Warriors

All tales of battles waged
Sing about the heroes of their age
Glorifying them like the mighty sun
Fiercely blazing, undaunted and unstoppable.
Ravaging everything that lies in its path.
The burnishing embelm of a brave warrior.

But imagine the strength it would take
To be like the unsung moon.
Reflecting the blinding glare of the sun,
Unscorched by its threatening flares.
The moon persists, throwing back
What comes its way with the flick of hand.
While with the other it controls
The majestic waves of every ocean,
Silently writing the destiny of the world.

Be like the sun to fight, my dear.
But Be like the moon and rule.

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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.

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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.

Of Gratitude and Giveaways

As the title suggests, the current post is two pronged. I have previously written on the need and importance of counting one’s blessings (to read the post, click here). Continuing on the same note, I wish to express gratitude today to all the people who are part of the sweet, little community that I’ve managed to form in this wonderful world of blogging.

WordPress told me that I am a hundred posts old now. This made me look back on how far I’ve come and in how little a time. Needless to say, I couldn’t possibly imagine embarking on the journey this has been without the love, support, encouragement, inspiration and constructive criticism which each one of you has taken the time and effort to shower on me. You all know who you are, and I cannot thank you enough!

This realisation became more profound in recent days when I had fallen very sick and could not post any new content for a long, long while (I understand that my hiatus lasted only three weeks but for someone who posted and interacted daily, it felt like an eternity). The warmth with which you welcomed me back has left me very touched. What filled me with a deep sense of belonging was the fact that you noticed my absence. Isn’t this what our lives are all about? Creating a mark of your presence so that you’re missed in your absence? Now, I do not claim to have done that in the measure it’s usually spoken of but your love definitely fills me with a similar feeling.

So thank you, thanks to all of you for letting me become a part of this wonderful and giving community. For opening your arms wide when I made my foray into this world with baby steps. And lastly, for sticking by me all through. You are all deeply treasured and cherished by me each day.

Coming to the second part of this post – I come bearing gifts!

The absolutely brilliant author, Mr. Christopher Hepworth, who just happens to be someone who’s works I’m always going to keep a keen eye out for, is about to launch his third book! The Last Oracle releases in September and it would have the suave negotiator, Sam Jardine, back in action. I, for one, cannot wait to get my hands on the book ASAP. Sensing my desperation and plight with his internal radar, Mr. Hepworth has very kindly and warmly invited all of us (yes, it includes all of you lovely readers) to become a part of his book launch. There are some interesting competitions lined up for you too. What’s more is that you also get a chance to win a free copy of the soon to be launched book! Feeling excited yet? Then hurry up and click on the link down below:

http://christopherhepworth.com/launch-team/

For your convenience, here’s a little sneak peek of what The Last Oracle is about:

“As a series of bizarre climate-related events occur across our planet, it seems the world is edging towards a catastrophic tipping point. Rex Daingerfield is the owner of a giant fracking company that seeks to exploit a rich seam of gas in the environmentally sensitive Greenland ice shelf. But Daingerfield has a nemesis – his daughter. Born to an Egyptian mother, she is inducted as the Oracle of the Temple of Sekhmet. Her role is to protect the earth from the likes of her father. The Oracle recruits the world’s greatest negotiator, Sam Jardine, to convince her father to change his destructive business model. But a secret society of the rich and powerful stands to profit from the chaos that has gripped the world. Led by an errant priest from the Temple of Sekhmet, he will do anything to stop Jardine. As the planet edges closer to disaster, Jardine is confronted by politicians, lobbyists, vested interests – even his own radicalised half-brother – all of whom stand to gain from the mayhem about to be unleashed.”

If you’re new to the enigma that is Sam Jardine, click here to read my review of the book in which he made his first appearance.

Please do let me know if you decide to register and become a part of the book launch team by commenting down below!

A Heart of Stone

In his frantic attempts to find his way back to the caravan, he came across a sight that held his gaze. It looked like a formerly over trodden path which had, at some point in time, been overrun by weeds. Inviting, nonetheless. He followed the meandering path, curious about where it led while still trying to grasp how it had just suddenly appeared in front of him out of thin air even though he was quite sure he’d crossed that exact point atleast half a dozen times before since he’d been walking around in circles, completely lost.

Curiosity killed the cat, he kept reminding himself but his feet kept moving forward. It’s getting late and dark, it’s time to turn back and find shelter, not to go on a wild goose chase, he chastised himself. Yet, he could not bring himself to stray from that path.

After what felt like a mile of walking, the path took a sharp turn. As he had been walking in a daze, he could not stop before getting hit by several low, criss-crossing branches right in the middle of his face. He now saw that the path was fenced in from both sides by dense trees. Gingerly, he moved on ahead, careful to step over roots that were running through the ground any which way.

Just as suddenly as he had come across the path, he now came across a castle. A castle in ruins. A castle that had been taken over by the elements of nature. One that had been claimed by wild flowers, shrubs, bushes, climbers and creepers. The rains, however, had given tough competition to the foliage by wearing down the roofs, walls and pillars till only a few halls and rooms could even be made out anymore. Yet, he could see that the castle still stood tall. It still had about it an aura of old, like a proud king refusing to bend the knee.

As if on cue, there was a loud clap of thunder, lending further mystery. He looked up and saw grey clouds closing in. Just as he abandoned all thoughts of further exploration in the face of worsening weather, it started to pour. He was left with no option but to seek refuge somewhere inside the castle itself. He figured there would be atleast one room with a roof on top. Defeated and cursing the moment he first saw the path, he stepped a begrudging foot inside.

As soon as his other foot crossed the threshold, he felt something come alive. It felt like a surge of power or energy moving through the surroundings. He tried to shake off that feeling but there was no denying the fact that the castle was now breathing all around him.

Confused, angry, and a little scared, he started looking for a dry enough room to spend the night in. With every step, however, he was overcome with the feeling that he was meant to be here. Something brought him to this place. He had to have some connection to this castle. With his face set in determination, he decided to find out what it was.

Methodically, he went through every room, every hallway, every gallery of the place, looking for a clue, looking for absolutely anything at all actually. Yet, he was met only with resounding emptiness. It appeared like the place had been ransacked and nothing had been left behind. Everywhere he looked, he came up empty.

Just on the verge of giving up, he reached a huge doorway. Surprisingly enough, the doors were still intact. He pushed them open and found himself standing in a huge hall. It was a long one, supported by dozens of pillars and arches. To him, it looked like a throne room. Like every other room though, this one lacked a roof too.

Since it was almost dusk now, he could not see the other end of the hall clearly. However, something glittering under the setting sun’s rays caught his eye. He hurriedly walked towards it. Lo and behold! There sat the most beautiful of thrones. Encrusted with rubies, sapphires, emeralds, opals, topazs and pearls, it shimmered like a rainbow.

Yet, he was still to take in its beauty. Because before the throne stood a statue. A statue of the most melancholy beauty. It was a girl, with stony tears running down her cheeks. Her mouth open, as if calling after someone. One hand extended as if to stop someone from leaving. Her other hand, however, held her heart which had been carved out of her chest. Drops of stony blood dripped over her hand from her heart.

He stood, mesmerized. He stood, enthralled. A tear began to form in his eye as he took in every aspect of the statue. Someone had taken great pains to portray every intricate detail in this scultpure, he thought to himself. It obviously depicted someone from the royal family guessing from the tiara adorning her head. Yet, nothing could take away from the look of abject misery and sorrow that was woven in every ounce of her being.

Stirred by some unknown force, he walked up to her. He noted how in his mind the statute had changed from it to her and tried to fathom the reason behind. Before he could stop himself, his hand moved up and carefully covered her glistening heart in his palm. Very delicately, he caressed it. He noticed now that it was cracked and broken, deep ridges spanned across its stony exterior. He could feel the pain it must have gone through. He could feel her pain. The tears did not stop now as his eyes welled up. Streaming down his face, they fell over the heart. And then, the most curious thing happened.

As his tears fell over her heart, it started to come to life. He looked on in shock as he felt it beat in his palm. He looked on as it changed from stone to a deep red. And he looked on as the other hand holding out the heart took on a human tinge. Within minutes, she stood before him. In flesh and bones. Breathing.

Her eyes opened wide on seeing him. A gasp escaped her newly moistened, red lips.

“You came”, she whispered in disbelief. Her voice hoarse after years of not being used.

“How could I not?” He answered with a smile, feeling at peace for the first time since he got lost that day.

He held her heart in both his hands and took an oath. Never again will he let her get hurt. Never again will she die a thousand deaths. Never again will she give up all hope and become so unfeeling that she would end up being turned to stone.

As he seated his queen back onto her throne, the castle started to repair itself magically. Soon enough, the wilderness had shrunk back and in its stead stood a majestic castle that was rejoicing the return of life. He gazed upon his lady with all his love and decided he would like to remain lost here for life.

And, of course, he managed to get a roof over his head to settle under for the night.

Endless, Sleepless Nights

I often wonder

During endless, sleepless nights,

If I could have done something differently.

Would you not have discarded me then?

Or would you still have found an excuse

To shove me under a carpet

Because out of sight is out of mind?

Then I move on to wondering

If you had done something different

Would that have stirred in me the same thoughts as you?

Would I have become heartless too?

Would I have flinched before inflicting pain on you?

Would I have hesitated before crushing your heart?

Or would I have donned your mantle of mercilessness and shattered you,

Like you demolished me?

It gives me immense pleasure to note

That I am nothing like you would denote.

I loved, I lost and I will love again.

But you, my dear, will never know what it’s like

To love a person with all your might.

And that makes you all the more poorer

For there’s nothing more divine.

So thank you, my love, for making me see

All the reasons why you were wrong for me.

Because now, with my eyes wide open,

I can dare to plunge into the sea

And let it soothe all my injuries.

Then again during endless, sleepless nights

I’d wonder,

If I had done something differently,

Would I have still found this perfect love for me?

I’d look to my side and see

What destiny always had in store for me

And, with a sigh, I’d keep a watch all night

For when you find what’s worth treasuring,

You can barely let it out of your sight.

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