The Devil and the Rose

A rose, loved despite its thorns.

The devil, despised for his horns.

Looks,

Perceptions,

The power of imagery,

Have drowned many a beautiful soul in abject misery.

Smokescreens abound

All around.

Blurring lines.

Illusions and shine.

Do you have the strength

To show your real self

To a world that would judge

Every breath you inhale?

Bend or break is the new law of nature.

Bend, and create a new vision of yourself

Disjointed from reality.

Appealing, appeasing, misleading the masses.

Or break,

Break-free.

Give the tenacity

Of that devil within you

Some room,

So that the rose that you are

Can finally be in bloom.

Beauty and pain, in equal measure.

Isn’t that the truest reality of life?

Featured Image

Advertisements

The Magic of Fall

A plaid scarf wound round the neck,
Thick leggings adorned those lovely legs,
A cup of pumpkin spice latte in one hand,
And a cinnamon roll held carefully in the other.
A whiff of the two, combined with the weather
Made everything seem cozy and set her heart a-flutter.
She made her way under cloudy skies,
Making sure to step on all the crunchy leaves.
A smile crept sweetly upon her face.
Basking in the beauty of fall,
She dared to believe she could conquer it all.

Featured Image

Breaking the Mould of Peer Pressure

A question that sometimes drive me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?

Since as long as I can remember, I’ve been aware of the realisation that most of the time my likes and dislikes are quite different and distinct from the people around me. It would appear as if the whole world is obsessing over a certain fad at the moment while I’m unable to see any charm in that particular thing. More often than not, I absolutely abhor or despise it.

Time and time again, I’ve tried to ascertain the reason behind this discrepancy, because, like everyone else, I wanted to fit in or felt pressured to do so by peers. I failed to understand if I did not want to follow the beaten path merely because so many others were doing the same or was there some other factor involved? Would I have given the object/substance/matter in question a fair chance in vacuum without knowledge of the fact that people were going bonkers over it? It was baffling and somewhat disconcerting.

As of yet, I have no answer. Over the years it had become more and more difficult to define my own choices, to choose my own desires. It was easy to get swayed by popular opinion because of the tendency to be one of the flock. Any deviation from the ordinary is usually looked upon with scepticism and I really did not want to draw attention to myself. Was I being true to myself, however, was an entirely different question. All the lines had gotten blurry.

What I do know, today, is that it’s alright to be different. It’s alright to think differently, to choose differently and to decide differently. Peers are just that. Peers. They are not you. You’re your own person. It does not matter why your wavelengths don’t match those surrounding you. What matters is being unperturbed by their existence and concentrating on your own. So many children buckle under peer pressure. So many college kids get goaded into doing things they don’t like to the extent that it they end up ruining their lives. It is important to learn to say no. To put your foot down and draw the line between what is acceptable to you and what isn’t. No one can take the right away from us. All that’s needed is a simple assertion from our end. Within no time at all the notion of fitting in would look like the smokescreen it actually is. Sooner or later, invariably, everyone ends up finding like minded people. Thus, it is imperative to thrive in your individuality rather than to suppress it, to let yourself grow into what you’re meant to be and not what others would like to see you as.

At the end of the day, and also to answer the questions I posed earlier, remember the words of the good ol’ Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland – “We’re all mad here”.

Inner Demons

For a moment there,
I forgot myself
And let the demons of my past
Guide me.
I wielded hurt like an avenging sword
Without much thought to who I swung it on.
For a moment there,
I forgot myself,
And let all my wounds
Drive me.
I hurled mean words at the drop of a hat
Oblivious to the pain I was causing.
For a moment there,
I forgot myself,
I forgot that though pain begets pain
Nothing can justify my lashing out
On the people who were trying to help me.
For a moment there,
I forgot myself
And was no different from the person
Who broke me.

Every moment now,
I know myself
And see a vision of me
reflected in purity,
In the eyes of the one
Who took every hit
Just to get to me,
To battle every unkindness I’d ever endured
And brought me back from oblivion.

They say that demons run when a good man goes to war.

Doubt

It creeps into my mind,

Quietly, without much ado.

Once inside, it fills up the entire space

And promptly sets up residence.

From them on it consumes me,

Riles me and spurs me on.

It blinds me to logic

And makes me abandon all reason.

In mad fury do I function,

A walking wreck I have become.

When I come across her, it fills me with bitterness,

Causing me to explode.

I spew filth and make her wither

Till she’s too scared to even retort.

Oddly enough,

It makes me find comfort in her pain.

I go on till I run out of steam

But not before she begins to look at me with disdain.

Deflated and satisfied after getting rid of all my venom,

I return to normalcy.

Then it smirks,

And proceeds to leave me

With a smug smile plastered on its face.

I let one doubt destroy me,

Left without any saving grace.

Featured Image

Pulchritudinous

Sitting in his empty courtyard watching the rain fall all around him, he closed his eyes and allowed the pitter pattering of raindrops to take him back to the last time he had ever seen her.

It had been a day much like today. Nature had been haughtily showcasing her beauty in all its glory. The rain gods were also in tough competition. And the wind, oh, it couldn’t have been left behind and kept sending pleasant gusts all day.

Yet, there had been a melancholic undertone to the pulchritude that day. He could sense that every element of nature was trying to soothe him, calm him down, embalm him before the felling of a grievous blow.

Nothing could have prepared him for her departure though. It knocked the very wind out of him. It would have been one thing if he’d seen some signs of this impending doom, if he’d been able to anticipate it. Doom, yes, because that moment had been the death of him. From then on, he merely existed instead of living. Awaiting the end of his corporal self.

He did realise later, in his forced solitude, where his fault had lain. It had been too little too late. When he had finally mustered the courage to go to her, apologize and convince her to come back, even if he had to go down on his knees and beg, he found out that she was dying. She had been fading away for quite some time, not that he’d ever had the time to notice. What tore him apart was that she was so far gone she couldn’t even recognise him when he said sorry. There was no twinkle in her, no warmth in her smile. It was as if she was being forced to meet a stranger and had to be gracious about it. It wasn’t her. She had always been vibrant. He could not reconcile this frail image of her with the woman he had known and loved, no matter how hard he tried.

He never got his forgiveness. He never got his will to live back again.

Now, even though years have passed, every time there’s a day with a weather like today, he looks back to the last time he had been able to lay eyes on her, the real her. She had looked as resplendent as the day they’d met.

If only he’d have given her happiness some thought and understood her better. If only he could have mended his ways earlier. If only he could have stopped her from leaving. If only he had not forgotten the beauty in her over the years. If only…

Note: the featured image belongs to the author. Kindly refrain from sharing or using it without giving due credit. Thanks ☺️

To Feel Again

“Happy is the heart that still feels pain”

Getting hurt is part and parcel of life. Nobody refutes that. Getting over the hurt and moving on, albiet a humongous task, takes place around us everyday. We’ve grown to take it in our stride. What is incredibly special, however, is the ability to preserve the capacity to feel pain within our hearts. It is easy to shut ourselves out, protect our emotions and become indifferent towards everything. When you won’t feel a thing, you’d become immune to feeling hurt.

Yet, such well-intentioned guarding makes us blind to the happiness coming our way. It desensitizes whatever empathy we may have been able to feel towards our fellowmen. It turns us into highly functional robots.

The human spirit of resilience though is unparalleled and undaunted. After a stretch of such emotionless wading through life, it raises its head and brings us back on track. Once again, we open ourselves to the possibility of getting hurt by allowing ourselfs to affiliate. Even though we’ve been made wiser by our past bitter experiences, we try our best to not let it reflect on our present and future, we do not prejudge, we give every person we come across a fair fighting chance. How amazing is that?

So here’s to all the Bravehearts who plough through all the hurt, pain, suffering and are able to feel again. It’s true, happy is the heart that can still feel pain, because it’s what makes us human. It’s a language more universal than any other. We might not be able to understand the words that come out of someone’s mouth in a language foreign to us but we can never fail to see the pain behind someone’s tears or the scars etched across someone’s skin. And then, despite all odds, despite all unfortunate events that life has thrown our way, we are able to show love and help them overcome their grief.

On this note, I leave you today with a beautiful song by Ingrid Michaelson called “Everybody”. I’m also sharing it’s lyrics below the link for everyone who is too busy or is not in a place where he can play music right now.

PS. I’ve done a couple of posts where I share my thoughts and then end with a song having related lyrics. I would love to have your feedback to know if I should continue with them or if my song choices don’t really click with you. Thanks!

We have fallen down again tonight
In this world it’s hard to get it right
Trying to make your heart fit like a glove
What it needs is love, love, love
Everybody, everybody wants to love
Everybody, everybody wants to be loved
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
Everybody, everybody wants to love
Everybody, everybody wants to be loved
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh

Happy is the heart that still feels pain
Darkness drains and light will come again
Swing open up your chest and let it in
Just let the love, love, love begin

Everybody, everybody wants to love
Everybody, everybody wants to be loved
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
Everybody, everybody wants to love
Everybody, everybody wants to be loved
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

As I walk along the streets of my city, I see faces abound. Regardless of all their differences, I see them share a commonality. They all wear a harrowed, tensed and worried expression. It baffles me to see the time, energy and effort we waste in worrying over things beyond our control, since worrying in such cases can do no good. It saddens me to see people worrying over things that might very well be in their control – wouldn’t it do more good to expend effort into working towards solving the problem rather than worrying over it?

Now, I’m not religious by any stretch of imagination. However, I did study at at a catholic convent school and can sing hymns even in my sleep, if needed. A few words from one of those hymns learned during those wonderful, childhood years leap to mind in the hope that they might provide motivation, perspective or even some mood upliftment and, thereby, dispense with some of the worry doing the rounds.

Here goes nothing…

Do not worry over what to eat, what to wear or put upon your feet. Trust and pray, go do your best today. Then leave it in the hands of the Lord.

The lilies in the field, they do not spin or weave, yet Solomon was not arrayed like one of these.

The birds in the air, they do not sow or reap, yet God tends to them like a shepherd tends his sheep.

If you believe in a higher power, I needn’t say anymore. If you don’t, let me draw your attention to the lines “go do your best today”. Isn’t that all that we can actually do? Do your best, reap the results. Even if the benefits aren’t much, one would be able to sleep at night with the satisfaction that there was nothing more he could have done. Have faith in yourself. Trust your abilities. Push yourself and get ahead in life. Work towards what you want. When worry tries to knock you down, say “not today”. Live a happier life. Live a fuller life.

On a parting note, I’d like to leave you all a link to a wonderful song called Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin. It’s had a permanent spot on my playlist since I was a kid. It’s bound to lift your mood in its own funny, peppy way. Give it a listen! And a very happy Monday to you all! (Sorry for making it a motivational one).

A Midwinter Night’s Tale

Of cold nights

And summery dreams.

Of dampened flames

And rekindled love.

Of embers bright

And memories sweet.

Of icy winds

And blankets warm.

A hearth, a bed, a couch, a rug,

A heart, a face, a song, a love.

He had asked me what winters reminded me of.

Burn

He put himself on fire

Hoping that the flames

Would guide you in the dark.

All you had to do

Was douse it when you could

But you let it rage on.

Now you wish for someone

To be your guiding light

But the bridges that you’ve burnt

Can never become alright.

So cry, cry on till you can cry no more

And wonder why every match you strike

Refuses to light up anymore.