Hope

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High among the clouds
Lies a beauty of hope
Her flight in history
Has been ebbing in endless flows

She is perched in feathers
Exudes a beauty ethereal
She smiles when surrendering
To our dreamy tears

Up in the sky
Does she see the path
Blurred with the walls
Stuck in an eternal aftermath

Everything is a result
Of something sinister
Does Hope see the light
Across this dark reflective river?

Is she in the sun
That shines through the tiny window
Is that her in the corner of the eye
Begging my soul to let go?

Does she like an angel
Fly in the depths of a mind’s sky
Or is she the Icarus
Who falls after an unreal flight?

And The Mona Lisa Smiles…

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Perched on an unassuming wall

armed with her sinister smile

She awaits the times gone by

with trembling tenacity

She sits pretty

My Mona Lisa’s shadow

***

Housed in a land

undeserving of her ravenous beauty

I wonder what she thinks

of the vanity of this city

I wonder if she laughs

at their empty sorrows

***

Does she look up

at the mountain of martyrs

or at their Gods’

lost virtues

Does she pretend to be kind

to those who dwell in its grime?

***

Or is she mocking the hypocrisy

of the fake bourgeois nights

The city reeks of guilt

of its riches and grandeur

and yet she beams with pride

as the world’s wonder’s sparkles during dark times

***

Like everything around us

she is pretty only to her eyes

and those who fought and won

to protect that sensual smile

must often wonder if the lives lost

were worth her while

***

If beauty is only skin deep

hers is as thick as his canvas

she’s the world’s biggest mystery

and its greatest surrender

I wonder when he painted

was he in love with her smile

***

Did he dream of her home

so tainted and beautiful?

Or is it just time that has made

the Mona Lisa smile so wistful???

The Walking Unread

It starts with one transition. And before you know it, you are staring at empty pages and wondering how in that brief momentary weakness, you thought you could pursue hobbies like writing, singing etc in this lifetime. Very recently I heard Vikram Seth give an interview. He had started off in a 9 to 5 job, realized he cannot work in a place like that and started writing instantly and like a writer’s fairy tale he was instantly picked for publishing. He worked and still does in a different time and place: One without education loans and retired parents. Meanwhile, in a world far far away Seth’s namesake runs an organization that openly embraces the existence of these mundane responsibilities. So while Seth paints beautiful paintings and reads poetry while publishers sit biting their nails over when he will deliver, two doors away there lies a pile of papers which read of lost authors almost accomplishments. We, the walking unread, are a huge population. We thrive in the fact that a few loyal friends read what we write. We feel bad when the number of views on our blogs fall below 100 and every night when we listen to likes of Seth talking, we dream of the day we will own a book that has ugly connotations of India and reeks of social and cultural stereotyping. I know this reads like the rant of a self obsessed desperate author. But it is more like an attempt to rewrite illogical systems. I work in a bank as some few and numbered readers of this blog might already know. And my world is different. In my world, Murakami and Seth are considered same genre. In this place, people laugh off all kind of philosophical discussion and they have no time wonder about the higher questions of existence.

Which world do we belong to? The walking unread belongs to a class that stays put in this world all their lives and for those two seconds of rants on bloggers, dream of what it would be like to be a real writer. I love this world. The challenge of an empty page is a bigger appeal to me than that of an empty excel sheet. For now, it’s just a return to my favorite challenge. Tomorrow can be reserved for the mundane and morbid.

Of writing a nightmare…

I had a nightmare. Which is a worse kind of speech than I had a dream, but the point is, I have been having these nightmares and turning them into stories almost all my life. Which brings me to how we write stories, why do we write them? Why do we write AT ALL? Writers all around the world have a weird sense of non-artist-ness about them, they don’t paint beautiful pictures or sing songs or dance, they write. They just put down on paper what most people think and that’s that. Beauty, its basic definition for a writer, is just what he/she writes on a scrap of paper.  
There is a very thin line for most writers between reality and fiction which is why it seems only real to write about dreams and nightmares and what we see. I remember reading the Finkler Question and telling myself I’m a lot like one of the main characters in the book Treslove, who almost always was waiting for something tragic to happen in life. I have been waiting that wait.
A life which is a little too uneventful is no perfection for a writer’s life. Hence, the nightmares, they are my subconscious’ way of feeling the exhilaration, of a tragedy. Unlike a lot of “artists”, I have had too many things that have gone right for me. A less than perfect yet uneventful childhood, a more eventful but less tragic youth, so I wait. I wait for fortune to bring me a misfortune. Meanwhile, my mind brings about unrealities in front of me, plays the truth of death and helps me write about lives full of lies.
But when eventually the lines blur, between reality and fiction, that’s when my masterpiece would present itself (or so I think). Virginia Woolf was right; a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.
So this is me waiting, wanting and hoping for a tragedy, until then my dreams would stalk me until I pen them down.