Long After You Left

Long after you left…

 

Your pointed words stayed with me

Often acting as effective antidotes

To the excesses of my own mind

 

All of my wild leaps of imagination

Swiftly cut down to size

By your pre-emptive acts of concern

 

Had it not been for you

I may’ve been lying fallen somewhere

Ditched by default of my own design

 

Yes, the credit for my salvation

Must be rightly accorded to you

And to the corrective power of sarcasm

 

For what could’ve otherwise been brutal

And left me hurt and wounded

Is now only a persistent dull ache…

 

I continue to exist- corrected, but wronged

Alive, but dead; breathing in a coffin

Shrouded in a symbolic spotless white.

Two Sides

He speaks with conviction

In words certain

With belief, meaning and purpose

While she dwells in doubt

Her words sitting on the fence

Of belief, meaning and purpose

 

He knows what he sees

And sees what he knows

She overlooks what she sees

And oversees what she knows

 

He travels to distant lands

In search of industry, wealth and love

Carrying with him

Proof of accomplishment

Proof of wealth and

Proof of love

 

He’s driven by desire

To own and possess

She knows that to own

Is to be possessed

 

While he speaks of his dreams

Of bringing her all of heaven and earth

She wonders why he won’t see

That all of heaven

Is right here, right now

In her hearth

 

He works odd hours

He says it brings the bread home

She cooks for two

But dines alone.

 

He says he’s free like the wind

And will not be tied down

And yet like a gentle night breeze

That’s destined to fill in a calm

He fills into her arms

His defenses down.

Lost and Found

We are all in a sense blind

Without insight.

Understanding doesn’t follow the rhythm

Of day and night

And its own dawn comes after

Many troubled nights.

I walk on the earth

A soul tormented

By thoughts that are the machinations

Of an untruthful mind.

I know that I need saving

But don’t know who else can save me

But me…

This is the first time

I stand face to no-face

Challenging myself

To speak my truth

Or remain forever silent.

This is the first time

I wish to see myself defeated

By a higher truth.

For in that I know

Lies my return to a place that

I’m trying to create for myself

In an imaginary world.

My hands join in prayer

And a tear rolls down my cheek

Today I pray for silence

So that I may rest

And so that no thought

Can come in between me and myself.

Unpacking

It’s not about you

There is no ‘you’

There are only circumstances

So that desires may act

And through action

Be liberated from binding thought

 

But who do these desires belong to?

…They belong to me

‘Me’ is only a thought

A rather persistent one

It’s actually a misnomer…

There is no ‘me;’ but there is ‘am-ness.’

 

Sound, space and light

In their tireless play create

A world of forms, words and meanings

And become the experiences

That ‘am-ness’

Describes as ‘mine’

 

In repeatedly describing experiences as ‘mine’

It condenses into an identity

A limited being

Perpetually longing

For an abundance

That pretentious language has hidden away.

 

You and I

Can trace our ancestry to thought

The remnants of an inaccurate language

That didn’t have the words

To describe

The indescribable.

 

 

 

Mom and dad’s 5Oth anniversary speech

Thank you for joining us here to celebrate mom and dad’s fiftieth anniversary! Fifty years is a long time for two people to be together! Leave alone fifty years, we suffer so many little pinpricks in the course of our everyday lives that turning away from, and shutting off to our loved ones have become our default reactions. Life’s journey is a story of small disappointments intertwined with small joys, big losses compensated by relatively small gains and delusional, fanciful ideas that have little or no conversation with ‘REALITY.’ How then, when we all seem to be destined for a life of sorrow, do some people still manage to rise above these sorrows and live celebratory lives?

Here’s a list of things I’ve noted in my forty-two years with mum and dad:

  1. Learn to trivialize the seemingly ‘big’ problems and celebrate every small joy!
  2. When you lose something or someone, never allow yourself to get bitter.
  3. When one speaks the other must listen. Otherwise, when both speak, the neighbors will listen!
  4. Give each other support and care. That’s all we need to receive and that’s all we are expected to give.
  5. Respect each other. Respect the differences.
  6. Trust each other and have faith that there’s a grace over and above what seems to be. Learn to wait, watch and listen.

A newly married couple went to a zen master and asked: “How do we make our love endure?”

He replied: Love each other, but more importantly, love together-something, someone other than yourselves.

  1. In the case of mum and dad, they devoted their lives to us- their kids. Evenings were spent taking us for short drives or long walks; vacations were not an escape ‘from’ the kids, but an escape ‘with’ the kids. Now too, when I go to spend an evening with them at least once a week, I’m sure they argue for at least fifteen minutes about what ‘they think’ I’d like to eat!
  2. Retain some of your quirks in your relationships. I’ve seen mum’s incorrigible forgetfulness stand in sharp contrast to dad’s memory of the tiniest details, and her impulsiveness challenge his meticulous ways. And then, mom can cook blindfolded (if she had to) and dad carefully calibrates the proportion of milk to water when making tea.
  3. He organizes her medicines and sits up till late reading about alternative therapies for her aches and pains. And when he stresses about a health condition, she flippantly tells him to chuck his worries in the Fuck it bucket!
  4. Be dependable, not dependent. Be that one person your partner can always count on.
  5. Mend the broken. Discard neither objects nor relationships if there’s a minor chip. If it can be fixed, please fix it. And lastly,
  6. Have faith. When things go wrong, express gratitude for everything that is still so right. A marriage is not a set of vows you make to each other, it’s a set of vows you make to yourself.

For Suri and I too, tomorrow will mark our nineteenth wedding anniversary. And even as we live through our journey, with its highs and lows, for me, it’s the memory of mum and dad’s marriage that allows me to sustain the bad times and celebrate the good. And that to me is the greatest gift of all!