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Saturday, December 26, 2020

Tracing That Silhouette

PC : Unsplash


And again there I was

Tracing that silhouette

Wondering while I traced

If I should trace it in shades of hues

Or with the gleam of lights

Should I even wait for the symphony 

Or just let hope dance to its own tune

But, would any of it even matter

As aren't shadows meant to be just shadows

Cast in that only shade of grey

Then, why do I each time

Still sit there to adorn them

Like as if, this one time

I will get to touch its apex

And gain that triumph

Over an ever escaping shadow

And in that pursuit again

Perhaps stumble across that wisdom 

That shadows are just meant to be shadows afterall 

Yet, I will still sit there again

And trace its silhouette

Every single time, time and again

Because, to pause in the tracing of those dreams

Is to pause in taking a step ahead

And the journey must continue 

If not as a chase of those shadows ahead

But, for those silhouettes that remain behind etched

Which can only form

If life is not held standstill 


So, that kind of sums it up all :)! Year 2020 had also started with the tracing of dreams and hopes, only to bring in the realisation that this time the shadow that we chased turned out to be a shade darker. But then, as the saying goes... That every dark cloud comprises of that one streak of silver lining.... which we all kind of grabbed on to.... to each their own.... to sail through this year. And while we held on to that lone streak of silver lining with all that it took the ghastly winds of the year 2020 passed through! 

So, here we are welcoming the year 2021 with a renewed hope and with dreams anew as we continue in our journey of life. And as we walk into it let those dreams and hopes soar high filling the path ahead and the canvas of the high skies reaching for every such silver lining, grabbing them by, just in case. 

Wishing one and all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2021 ahead. 

Peace, Health & Contentment :)


PS : This blog post is a part of the Welcome 2021 Blog Hop hosted by Swarnali Nath.






Thursday, December 24, 2020

An Emergence


Artwork 'Sense' by Lauren Rudolph


For what was like eons 
The words lay there inside 
Like smothered embers 
In a hearth buried deep 
Cloistered in the confines within 
Almost in a limbo 
For, to what virtue were they 
Than to be lost yet again 
In that labyrinth of hackneyed words 
Pronounced each time 
As just another blasphemy 
But then, came that day 
When the blood moon rose 
And rekindled the cinders 
To unleash a phoenix of words 
Disintegrate from a lone voice 
Emancipate from within 
Flaring above from the binds 
Of those age old ancient shackles 
And like erupted molten lava 
Spread out into infinitesimal roots 
Of voices and words 
Taking into its fold the prejudices 
And melting out the vicious 
In the purity of that ignition 
Giving birth to a new day 
Of a new liberated dream


PS: This poem of mine was a part of the event 'IGNITE from within the confines' curated by Deepa Gopal. 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Passion - Another elusive word or can it be really discovered!

"So, what's your passion.... Have you asked yourself yet?! "asked the trainer with a wide grin. The grin being greeted with only blank faces of the audience. A few of which were probably already asleep with their eyes open. And others, busy stealing side glances at their phones (that were made to be kept on silent mode) so that they don't miss answering any messages from their bosses. As, bosses don't like hearing to such lame excuses... Do they?! 

It's only when the trainer began to torture by singling out each one when they were forced to quickly come up with an answer. And in a room full of almost 30-40 trainees just 3 people had interesting answers to that question which truly did sound like their passion. Rest stuck to that safe answer that they were trained at since the time they had scouted  for that coveted MBA seat and jobs thereafter. Yes, that 'must have' passion, the 'intellectual' sounding 'impressive' one that is 'READING'. Have you ever said that as your hobby and passion yet... Well, then are you reading this long post :P! 

At lunch, apart from cribbing on that one hopeful element of such trainings, that is the food, we came to the compulsive mocking and ridiculing soon enough. As if our jobs allow us to fancy a passion was the common statement vehemently agreed upon. 

"But, didn't the trainer say if you have a passion you would definitely find a means to follow it" someone reminded on the lunch table. 

"Yup, and what was that other statement, there are always a million reasons to not do it" guffawed another. 

"Yes, and just one reason that rules those million reasons....PAYMENT OF BILLS" concluded one gentleman for the table. 

"But does that mean we do not even have a passion ?" the devil's advocate nailed it. 

And the discussion on passion that had come alive on that lunch table that day went back to its perennial  hibernating mode. Well, passion didn't have much of a whiff of a serendipity let alone stroke! In fact it kind of got habituated to remaining in its deep slumber. For hibernation was definitely better than being flung and disregarded any day. Not that passion hadn't tried to peek or poke its nose in desperation. But, after being thrown mercilessly out of the window of those tall tinted glass building structures of brick and concrete, where formally dressed people had to always keep busy (in reality or portrayal didn't really matter), passion must have decided to rather sleep than die!

What about the out of office hours you might think. And if that thought has come to you while reading this you must have never worked in Mumbai! If you did, then you would know passion possibly cannot even anticipate to fit into those jam packed local trains or the bumper to bumper traffic of the roads where life goes to standstill but the blaring horns don't. And if you happen to be an introvert like me, then well, apart from secretly patting yourself for making through the cacophony of the work day, you would know how draining it's on your energy in maintaining that much aspired for 'corporate visibility'.

So, if you happen to throw a pebble and ask the first person it hit as to what his/her passion was in Mumbai, you are bound to be judged as an asylum inhabitant. And that's where I resided, no not in the asylum but in those tinted glass tall structures, behind a laptop screen, unaware if a passion even existed inside me. 

As a child long back in some other life (because that's how it seemed), I used to love to scribble and write stories. But then I was made to believe that's just a child's play and doesn't really carry any material value. And so I believed. Because, what carried material value was writing hundreds of reports, information memorandums, power point presentations and excel model juggleries. And the art here was not to write them or make them but to get it approved by your bosses in the first instant which ironically was next to impossible. I would write in points and boss would want a story. I would write a story and boss would want in points. Sometimes, to show that he was 'the boss' he would even ask "Didn't they teach you English from where you earned your degrees from?! ". And it's a completely different matter of fact that your degrees might be of better repute than that of  your boss. Well, you are aware of the corporate exercise and the trysts,  which the HR trainings of the kind I described above like to portray as a cake with icing on it. 

So, yes I was still writing, passion or not. I guess that was the silver lining if not the material value that it carried. As it took a long long time for me to realise that those "Bills Payment" (behind which passion was dying a thousand deaths) were never ending. And the biggest irony was that I was the one who had bloated those bills and made them to be never ending. If I was any saner, I should have realised that to reach that word 'value' in 'material value' the 'material' needs to be encashed or dropped at some point. In other words, I was mentally conditioned to earn, save, earn and each time one bill got paid to add another bill into that list. Well, you know that vicious cycle. But I didn't know how to put a stop to it. Relax. Enjoy what little I had saved working hard for all those years. Which was the biggest joke here. Because, isn't that our very goal in life for which we willingly or unwillingly break our backs in those tall structures clad in those uncomfortable formal clothes wading through the office politics. 

On retirement you can enjoy you say, but that's near to sixties! By then the 'joy' in the word 'enjoy' would have vanished accompaning 'passion' along the way! 

And that's when fortunately or unfortunately Covid struck. We had moved to Netherlands as a family and the chances of finding a job looked bleak. Remember, as I said I didn't know how to stop and get out of that vicious circle. Thanks to the virus (yes, every bad thing does have a silver lining) and the lockdown that I discovered, if not wisdom, but the answer to that question on the lunch table discussion of that day. As to what was my passion and if I even had one in the first place. 

Since, I had no reports or memorandums to write or presentations to be made, I scribbled as an alternative. And this time when I wrote, I wrote for myself, not for an approval from a superior. It felt different. It felt nice. But my mental conditioning didn't actually see any 'material value' in it though, I confess. It felt more like quenching an urge and kind of a therapy than anything else. And so, I just pursued it blindly. I wrote to keep sane. 

"All you need, is to follow your passion,  and everything else will follow". I had seen this, read this, heard this innumerable times but never truly believed in it. Rather, I almost placed the saying under the category of pep talk. Until, that very saying knocked on my door one day and welcomed itself inside to my awe making me realise that there can be an element of truth in it. It was very much possible! And this happened when I saw my desperate scribbles win an award in a literary event, convert into a published book 'Dots & Streaks' and feature as an Amazon India bestseller within days of its release. 

Now, I had an answer to that question on passion. And I am glad whether I found it or it found me... Atleast I now know, that I have one! 

Link to the book 'Dots & Streaks' is:

https://amzn.to/37b0dsM

Do leave a review on Amazon.









Wednesday, November 11, 2020

IGNITE from within the confines 2020

Just when I almost thought I hit the writer's block, especially as the sunlight started receding here announcing the onset of winters, two things happened. One - I got an invite from Deepa Gopal who I had got introduced to by a fortunate stroke of luck few months back, when another terrific writer Sonia Dogra whose writings I am a fan of introduced me to her. The invitation happened to be for the event 'IGNITE from within the confines 2020'. Just by hearing the concept and the theme of the event I could not help but accept the invitation. Even though I was really not sure if I could get over my writer's block and be able to compose anything at all. I only knew that the theme resonated so well to my soul that I had to be a part of it and contribute with whatever it takes. Just then the second thing happened. That is coincidence number two - I got tagged for an eight day poetic marathon. And when one of the jury members of LIT Digital Awards 2020 tagged me for this marathon I had no other go but combat with my writer's block. 

And what came out of it, out of these two sheer coincidences was a feeling I did not anticipate and that is PURE GRATIFICATION. Both these coincidences made me overcome a few of my self created barriers and introduced me to a few more of my firsts in my writing endeavour.

First time I used FB as a medium to post my poems which I had never done earlier. Again, because of various reasons starting from self doubt to more on not wanting to spam the timelines or be a topic of discussion among that fraternity which doesn't appreciate artistic flavours. But with this tag of 8 day poetic marathon I overcame that. How, if you ask? Well, I really do not know! Probably because I did not want those barriers inside me disappoint someone who really wanted to see my work. And as I said it left me in awe and felt nothing but gratifying to see the comments and responses from people who appreciated and valued. Someone even suggested to me if I can build all the poems on the theme of glass and that was another first too to try something like that. And at the end I thank my luck again for the tag as that helped me in contributing one of those freshly written poems towards the captioned event as well going ahead. 


My another first being trying to compose my verses around a professional artist's art work. As was the concept of the event ' IGNITE from within the confines ' that 8 artists were paired with 8 poets and each were to submit 5 contributions. So, when Lauren Rudolph's art work got assigned to me I was actually left spellbound seeing her work. Her life like portraits were so real that I didn't feel it was a painting but a real person sitting across with bottled emotions spewing a thread of magical communication with the viewer's soul. It's definitely one thing to admire the strokes of hues and marvel at their hidden nuances and a whole other thing to be able to do justice to them with your words. I sincerely hope my attempt at this atleast took me half way there in doing justice to such intense art forms. 

And yes, finally this event brought me out of my blanket at last and made me brave the camera. I must confess here that I always knew I was camera shy but I never fathomed an inanimate object can make you fumble this much! 

Apart from my  scuffle with the camera (with me at the receiving end ofcourse.... Breaking the phone because of the camera fright would have proven too costly in this lockdown era!) this was also the very first time I recited my own poem and heard myself. Ofcourse without counting all those times that I had heard so far recite the poems in my own head! 




But more than all this the sheer pleasure of seeing each of the contributors works unfold at a scheduled time daily from the start of the event has been a tremendous experience! The brilliance of each of their contributions ....oozing with talent, passion and intensity is sure to rub off some of that inspiration on you to stir up that energy within you and truly IGNITE that what is within. 

And all this makes my belief even stronger now that universe does have strange ways to operate and bring about such coincidences which awaken you in some or the other way. 

The link to the entire event 'IGNITE from within the confines 2020' is below:

https://ignitefromwithintheconfines.blogspot.com/?m=1

Link to my contribution - click here

Some encouragements that came our way to cheer us all along thanks to the multi talented curator Deepa Gopal:

Media coverages by The Hindu, New India Express, The Khaleej Times and many more - Click Here













Saturday, October 10, 2020

The Game Of Perception

 
PC : Unsplash



A bunch of tinted bottles
Sat atop the counter muddled
In varied colors
They glistened anew
With each ray of light
That passed them through
Few of them tried captivating
With their charismatic glow
While some others shined 
Like a myriad of hues in a row
All trying hard with their charm
With just a single purpose under the arm
To be that one 
Of those chosen few
Which can adorn aesthetic spaces
And spend their lives 
In blissful luxury of that woo 
Leaving behind those, according to them
Whose fate was sealed 
To be abandoned 
As valueless into the backyard field
So, there thus lay those ill-fated ones
Whose bashful glamour 
Couldnt keep up with the fancied runs
And went through the grind thus they
To be reduced to shards in such a way
So as to serve as an incandescent bulb
Or as a masterpiece in an art hub
But then, those ornamental tinted glasses
That were busy in their show
Never saw the destiny of these 
Nor even ever got to know
For that's the order of the universe 
And will always be
As, if, perceptions were to go
That might just leave behind another limbo


PS: Posted as part of 8 days poetic marathon #PeetMeNotLeave. My gratitude to Anuradha Bhattacharyya ma'am for tagging me.
Today is the last day of the challenge. With this poem I complete the eight days marathon on my chosen theme of 'glass'. Hope I have done justice to the theme as well as the challenge :)!

Two Sides Of The Tinted Window

 
PC : Unsplash


One side of the tinted glass window
Housed those measured smiles
Sparkling chandeliers 
Immaculate arrangements
Plentiful Of Inanimate 
Classy colors
Artificial bird cages & waterfall sounds
Humming appliances
Overflowing wants but tidy bins
Closed Rosewood mahogany doors
And cared for expensive artefacts 
With eyes that intermittently gazed 
In between the deafening silences
At those tinted glasses 
But never wanted to see
What was beyond 

Other side of the tinted glass window
Housed abundant laughter 
Sparkling stars
Cluttered arrangements
Plentiful Of warmth 
Gaudy colors
Chirping birds & gushing rains
Humming breeze
Overflowing needs but wants filled bins
Chestnut rusted doors ajar
And cared for relationships 
With eyes that intermittently gazed 
In between the numbing cacophony 
At those tinted glasses 
Always wanting to see
What was beyond


PS: Posted as part of 8 days poetic marathon #PeetMeNotLeave. My gratitude to Anuradha Bhattacharyya ma'am for tagging me.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Essence Of Infinitude

 

PC : Unsplash

The little yellow lights glistened
Outside the glass panes
In the shroud 
Of the darkness around
Their fluorescent light
Almost cajoling one and all
To reach out 
And captivate them 
Making them your own
And bask in that 
Sought after triumph 
Like all those tiny fire flies
In the secure of your palms
But then, if only, ever
The candescence could be 
Captured in its entirety 
Perhaps, that's what is afterall
The most elusive virtue 
Of any luminosity
For, as long as it is in view 
The yearning remains
To conquer it 
But when it is within
Its infinitude
Housed inside
Will remain inconspicuous 
As always, as ever


PS: Posted as part of 8 days poetic marathon #PeetMeNotLeave. My gratitude to Anuradha Bhattacharyya ma'am for tagging me.




Thursday, July 23, 2020

Dots And Streaks | Author Interviews & Coverage

While in one side of the world businesses are thriving on "what to speak in an interview "....in some other plane of the same world there exists a place where you can just be yourself... And yes, that too in an interview :)

Here goes my interview with Blogchatter.... The place and point from where it all started... The journey of 'Dots & Streaks'


Here goes another interview with Chinmayee on her blog