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. 

This poem of mine is the winning entry of the coveted 'Orange Flower Awards 2021' (hosted annually by Women's Web) in the poetry category.

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:

Do leave a review on Amazon.