Monday, 31 March 2014

Screams in Silence

To immaterial I run from solitude.
Gravity binds far off stars as tears.
Unsettled minds quiver with passion,
As madness leads to private paradise.
The drowsy air hums like a savage.
And eternity amuses itself with my fluttering mind.
Every touch has hurt until I have turned numb,
No match can light this fuse.
But I must light up,
And set fire to my insides.
Till my tongue has been too burnt to taste,
There is nothing in this world, worth a taste.
No cacophony worth a hear
I have always carried this mask,
But now it is my only mirror.
In the hollow stillness of my mind,
 I know not where to hide.
Words protected only by closed lips,
I know I am screaming,

I know I am silent.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

A Rambling on Meaninglessness

We use pots and pans as ashtrays because we cannot afford food, when this soul wants something harsher, something deeper. We live in snares of happy delusions and in smiled disappointments.
Tolstoy said, “The only true knowledge a man can have is that life is meaningless.” And Tolstoy got that one right. If you look scientifically, life is just a chemical accident, a grand result of evolution, all our feelings that we hold so dear are nothing but a few chemicals interacting in particular areas of our brain. And in the most reductionist of ways life is nothing but A, C, T, G, U (the base pairs of DNA and RNA). If Carbon was not the most fertile element of the periodic table, we would not be carbon based organisms. If evolution took a different course, we would look different and react differently to different stimuli. So the question that takes away our sleep arises, ‘what is the purpose of this chemical accident we are thrown into?’. And we all ask ourselves this questions, sometimes we just don’t know we are asking this question. This question makes people addicts or delusionary or depressed or cynical, hollow and dark.It haunts us when we are alone , at night when the trivialties of the world are done, when the neon lights have died ot when the blue computer lights of your virtual life has gone into slumber. Everyone wants to do something meaningful with our lives, but rarely do we find any. You could save a life, but that does not make a man immortal. Fact is our biology betrays us here, and as Camus would say, “Lucid reasoning knows its reasoning.” Or as Blake would say that if only our doors of perception were cleansed.
This absolute lack of meaning causes in us what the existentialists call angst. Or what Camus called the Absurd. The conflict that arises when we look for meaning in a meaningless life. Isn’t that the mistake we all make? And is that not why we want something more from life , no matter how much we get? We humans are indeed a curious lot. We spend our life looking for something that isn’t there. And then we become sad and bitter. Some drown themselves into oceans of vices , and some into the depths of their minds.
This is where Camus’s ‘ The Myth of Sisyphus’ fits perfectly. Sisyphus stole death from the gods and as a punishment he had to carry a stone up a mountain top. When he reached the top , the stone would be pushed down and he would have to continue the end of time. And yes, Sisyphus is the ultimate existentialist hero. We are all in Sisyphus’s juxtaposition.We live our lives , study our books , do our jobs , grow old and die , and then someone else takes our place , and then even our substitutions get substituted.  But then Camus ends Sisyphus with perhaps the most important lines ever written.” The struggle itself is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”
Here is what I think it means. Even the saddest of us have had some beautiful and happy moments in our lives. Something that makes you feel a bit wry in our most vulnerable moments. Maybe the summers you spent as a child playing with your friends, or nocturnal winter walks of solitude. Maybe it was your mother’s smile when you were just a kid, and if you are lucky enough you found it another person (lucky you!). So life, does not have meaning. So we are not truly free. As Sartre said,” Man is condemned to be free , because once thrown into the world , he is responsible for his actions.” But we humans have one quality that perhaps stops many recluses from becoming misanthropic. And that is beauty. Beauty in whatever you find it in. Some see it in art, some in writing, some in science , some in saving lives, some in the joy of finding things out. In chaos or order , beauty is beauty . It is not a disease to be classified. To quote Thoreau,” Let every man march to the music he hears.” You cannot make a dying man immortal, but you cannot deny the joy of a birth or the beauty in alleviating suffering. And that is enough to fill an man’s heart. They are like the summer of life in an otherwise cold winter. And yes porcupine tree got it succinitly right….’ Always the summers are slipping away. Find me a way to make it stay…’ You will slip into the winters , but summer shall come and you will feel that intense innocence of childhood summers even if your tongue has been burnt off to taste.
So ultimately, the only real thing in our lives is the beauty wherever we see it. Objectively , there is no meaning to life and the universe. Most people move around in groups of three or five and think the universe is concentrated in their groups. And these people will probably be the real living manifestations of Sisyphus. But you are not one of them. Otherwise you wouldn’t stumble upon this rambling in this corner of the internet. We just have to accept that we never will beat the absurd , but we cannot let it prevent us from experiencing the one singular beauty we find amongst so much angst. We are but grains of sand in a meaningless shore, but that does not deny us the right to experience the calm of the sea. Or as the greatest of troubadours should say,” Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind .Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach .Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow .Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free .Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands .With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves .Let me forget about today until tomorrow.
For some reason I don’t know why,
Everyone is born with a hole in the centre of the chest.
Everyone tries to fill it with something.
Some with religion, some with other people.
But I let it be
Because I know if you run against the wind ,
At the right angle it makes the most beautiful of whistles.

Monday, 17 March 2014

The Madness of Sincerity

There was a time I was sincere
And the sky to me was dear.
And my heart was a candid white,
But that was before the strife.

Blown by a roar from shore to shore
I witnessed the most sombre door.
My reflection in the Styx,
Was etched in onyx.

There was a time I was sincere,
And to be so I still aspire.
But there are no mirrors on this ship,
Apart from my etching in onyx.

Storm has passed, and seasick sailors have rowed off a sea of nuances,
But these are other rooms, other voices.
The misfit is the ebony,
And that is the root of my agony.

I belong, on the outside, far beyond the rising tide,
In such darkness, where there is nothing left to hide.
If there ever was an apparition as the light,
It shall know on which tide I lie.

Note: This poem may be taken in two ways. Firstly about alienation, if you belong in the light , it will flow through you, otherwise you are where you belong.Secondly it is about death, the somber door is the door of death and the narrator sees his reflection in the Styx. But he does not belong there as well. He is a sailor. He belongs to the waves, even if they are of the Styx .He just wants to be free, to have nothing to hide , whether in darkness or in light.
But then again it is a poem and it may have several interpretations, these are just the two I could think of. 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Mean Sleep

I lost a dream today,
Has anyone seen it in my dismay?
My dream, she mocks me now,
Reminding me of an unspoken vow
I loved my dream like myself, but of purer clay,
In my arms, my dream had promised to lay.
With my dream I had a lover’s quarrel,
But now my pillow is a long lost laurel.
My dream she smiles a sardonic smile,
As I walk another lonely mile.
Searching in the skies was futile,
My dream had sailed to an unknown isle.
But my sweet dream,
You are but a dream,

And everything else is but a mean sleep.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Neon City Lights

I arise in my roomy loft,
After a night of  chasing excesses sought.
Seeking the rare beauty in pain,
Living on feels like a bane.

City makes revelry all night,
As I sink to swim the depths of my mind.
Storms have come, storms have gone,
As I swim for evermore.

Once in a perturbed state,
I walked into the city late.
Bright city neon lights shine,
Trying to lighten my blackened eyes

Lights beseeching me hither,
Storms blowing me thither.
The light made fantastic claims,
To rid me of my ails.

I too join neon revelries shunning the garb of the recluse,
I had a neon bright muse.
In ephemeral chaos I found uneasy peace
Beauty never from pain , never at ease.

There are days I arise,
To yet again see those neon lights.
Like little airplanes tied to my toes,
Neon tries to fly me away from my woes.

There are days I arise in my roomy loft
Mind full of excesses sought,
Pain from beauty in rewind.
Sinking me into the depths of my mind.

* This poem is about how each time , I think I have found a place for myself on 'the otherside' , the attractive side , with all its flashy lights. Alas, those lights bring pleasure and never truth and beauty. And every time this happens , I learn to accept myself the way I am a bit more and enjoy my solitude a bit more */

Friday, 7 March 2014

Mirrored Echoes

I have never tasted this world,
My eyes in vain try to get a hold.
With this skin I cannot live as a man in this city of simulation.
City moves in mammoth steps, into desperation.

Sounds, people, minds producing a cacophony,
But city moved into a meaningless disharmony.
Chaos from order, pain from beauty – the city will upturn
Pangs of consciousness in stimulation-city will never let you outrun

Beneath shrouds of a million lies, the millions lie,
In the city , hope leaves and the true die.
The dissonant disharmony of chaos,
Is the city’s sweet symphonic ethos.

As a requiem for the truth, earth played its lonely drum,
As I prayed for the earth to dissolve as a drug on my tongue
And extend a bridge between the truth and this movement,
In this city, even the earth is not a constant.

Happiness is like held thunder,
A mural of meaningless redness, blood is a barrier,
With the million shrouded souls in dissonant throes.
I cannot taste the world with this skin that can only mirror echoes.

Sunday, 2 March 2014


“You know what your problem is ?” Andy screamed into my face
“ The hell if I know.” I said in the most I-couldn’t-care-less voice.
“You’re a wimp. You are scared and you’re too scared to admit it. That’s your problem.”Andy was one of the nicer guys I knew, but he was acting like such a pain today. I guess success does that to people. He sold a bunch of his paintings to this big time art house. Guy had been bragging about it all evening. I just wish he’d shut up. That’s what success and this bad world does to you. They give you this misplaced sense of ego. And that is the negation of all true art.
“ You think you’re some kinda rebel. You come here every evening , meet with the pavement artistes everyday and bring this new painting of yours. But you never have the gumption to sell it do you? Talk as much as you want about the satisfaction it is that you get and call me a traitor as much as you want. Fact is you are far too scared to let the world see your art. I don’t know what it is that you’re scared of. All you do is give it the name of protecting your art. Like the entire world is out to corrupt your soul. Like if you made a buck out of a picture , you’d never be able to paint again.”By now I knew Andy was beyond saving. Materialistic society had claimed yet another victim.
“Hey man. You used to be all about integrity, all about expressing yourself through your art.  So now you go and stoop low. Look at your older pictures man. They had soul. And then look at that bunch you’ve whored out. They’re just pretty colours on the canvas .Sure they’re pretty you didn’t become a painter for the pretty colours did you?”
“Well I’m not the one who makes these so called paintings with soul and never lets them out in the market. Every artist needs an audience and artists love their audience, they live off it. What do you have to be scared of?”Andy shot into my face. He had a funny way of talking when he was angry, but never did he talk like this. But then again he wasn’t really himself now.
“You damn well know why I’m not a sell-out like you.”I shot out in anger.” People don’t think and I don’t make dumb paintings. You have the people, who think, then the people who think that they think and then those who’d rather die than think. I’d rather keep my ideas to myself than sell it out to an audience who can’t appreciate them.”
“Whatever man, I’m out of this place. Good luck to you but take my advice man. Showing your art’s a part of the process. If I had your talent I’d never sleep hungry. Good luck and good bye.” Andy finally said and then walked out into the horizon.I just walked on till I reached the beach .The sun was almost setting and I was alone. Just how I like it. With nothing but the sound of the waves hypnotising me, drowning me. I watched the sun set and never felt like leaving. Damn Andy got paid and lost it. He was not better a painter than I was .True, he did have soul until he decided to sell it all away. But art was way too personal for me. The cool sea breeze hit me and the sun had almost set. Just a few shafts of elegant orange and pink beams in the sky fighting the approaching darkness of night. Maybe that’s just who I was. I was fighting the good fight. Trying to maintain my voice as the vast darkness tried to encroach upon it. The waves were like my paintings to me .The only cooling for my thoughts. The only thing vast enough to encapsulate within itself the storms within my mind. And sometimes these stormy seas produced my greatest paintings. This sea was where I belonged. I wanted to drown in it. The sea , the waves , they were my reward. No money, no recognition could ever come close to the calmness ,grace and elegance of these waves.                                                                       
The day job was done. And I was alone at my apartment to drown in those waves again. That crazy sell-out Andy’s words were still in my head from yesterday. Maybe he was right. Maybe I was scared. To tell you the truth, the problem’s that I cannot do anything halfway. And everything that I’ve ever painted has been has been about my feelings. Sometimes it is so easy to paint and sometimes I have to search so hard to feel anything inside me ,to find any concept worth drawing. And sometimes these feelings of love, anger, angst, depression, pathos and sapience just fill me to the brim. Mostly angst and depression. I guess the world tends to do that to you. But it’s like I cannot function if I don’t put it out on canvas. I have no idea what a painting’s going to look like when I start. I just have an idea almost a feeling and I let myself float into those waves. I go in with my heart full of pain and drown in these waves and I come out healed. I feel I can function until the next time my heart’s all filled up again. And that canvas captures a piece of me. That is who I am at my most vulnerable position. I guess this type of catharsis makes me a better artist but it is too much of me to let the whole world see
.I have this box in which I put in all my paintings after I show it to the people I know will appreciate the depth of it. Sometimes it was just Andy and I who could get it…… Andy damn, he just had to go and get me all wrapped up in all this self loathing…. Why couldn’t he just gloat about selling his identity and get it over with?......I’ve never opened this box except to put a new painting , a new piece of me into it. I’ve never had the courage to see my own paintings. I don’t know what memories it might just bring up again. All of them were like pictures of me at those times I was under those waves….. Maybe the only time I was truly myself. I don’t know why but I felt like looking at those paintings. They were exactly what make me and that little chat with Andy was probably making me want to see those frames in order.
For the first time I opened up that box, and laid out the canvases. There was my first painting, and perhaps my most honest. It was just this kid playing on the edge of this cliff.  What I meant out of it was that the kid was going to grow up soon and turn into a hypocrite, consumed by the big bad world. He was about to fall of that cliff on which he was just playing like any innocent child. I just wanted to capture that one moment of innocence in that painting. I remember that day clearly. The first time I had sailed those waves. I remember how relieved I was when the painting was done. It was almost like the canvas was speaking to me. And it continued too till this day. Every happiness every joy was in that box , almost like a diary of sorts. I looked at every one of paintings and recalled the storm that caused that picture.

All this retrospection was making me feel the waves rise again. I was way too attached to that box , that diary of mine to let it go into that big bad world. It only belonged with those waves.I picked up my brush and dipped it into my pallet hoping the canvas would yet again be my muse. But it refused to talk to me.                                                                       
There I was after a month in the same juxtaposition. Brush in had like every night for the last month. But the storm never burst, and I never drowned in those waves. My muse still wouldn’t talk to me. I guess some storms aren’t even enough for the waves to withstand. I was too tenacious. The fact that I put myself into my art made it better. The only way a storm would really subside, the only way I would get closure from any of the situations in that boxed diary of mine was if I let it free. I would overcome my feelings only when I let the world in rather than push it away. Most people wouldn’t get it at all. But those people were not the point. The point was that I felt that I was strong enough to face the world rather than hide behind my waves.                                                                      
I reached the beach and where the pavement artists put up some of their paintings. I too brought a painting , my first nonetheless . The one with the kid about to jump the ledge. I saw Andy’s silhouette approach in the fading sunlight of the sea line.
So ? ready to sell your soul to the big bad world?” he asked.
“No ready to fight it.” I answered.

The sun set and I drowned in those waves again.

The storm had subsided.

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