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Memories and Hallucinations

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#1
"Write a poem that a young you needed to read."
I found this poetry prompt for National Poetry Writing Month. Really nice prompt, except I was 3 days late. But it got me thinking. What poem would young me need to read? I mean, I have come across these pieces before – Letter to Young Me- but I’ve never given the idea much thought before. Perhaps because it was not my time yet for that contemplation. But tonight, disturbed, anxious, slightly depressed with my thoughts going where they shouldn’t, where I don’t want them to go, I am trying to think of what advice I could conjure up for a younger version of myself.


At five, perhaps, don’t be so bitter For being always mocked at, For being made fun of, bullied, For being the youngest. We all grow up someday And frankly, it's overhyped.
At ten, don’t try so hard To be nice, to be liked It won’t matter, in the long run In a few years you will wonder That you ever liked these people, And wanted to be liked back again.

At 15, don’t you crave …

Sayings and Stories

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Apologies for the long delay. I have actually been busy with a couple of new projects- first, I bought a new ukulele- meet Polo, everyone, short for Apollonia, named after the Greek god of music- and I have been trying to learn how to play it.


Second, I signed up for the Airplane Poetry Challenge to write 100 Poems in a year. Usually, they give one prompt for every week (I joined in Week 13 so I’m already behind) but April being the National Poetry Month, they’re sending out daily prompts which, what with my daytime job and all the whining I was busy doing after spraining the big toe on my right foot (my theory is it happened while I was running from the alien monsters in my sleep. True story.), I’ve not had much time for the blog. But I’m ready to make amends for that, with what I hope is going to be a long ramble about three of my favourite quotes and a rather fascinating tale.
I'll start off with the story. I found this little gem in the 'Introduction' section of Robert …

Lost Words

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I have lost all the words and have no idea where to find them back again. They say, these modern critics, that the author died long ago, and every word that you think are his/her were gleaned from a matrix of time, canon and culture. And if all the words that were authored were never their own to begin with, was the author ever born? Or is the author an illusion, an idea or a ghost that we create in order to project the insanities we are too lazy and afraid of owning up to?

Look at me, pretending to understand literary theories when all I need is something to write about. And I look around, at the things people say and do around me, hoping to discern the invisible pattern that might shape itself into an idea, and an idea into a story that is my own, my original, and if I am lucky perhaps someone I love, or someone I've never met will tell me how my words, the words I chose seem to speak their thoughts. But the words seem elusive. Perhaps my brain has developed some strange defenc…

Home

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Childhood vanished like the bad man in a kid's film, leaving behind dissolving snapshots of the long bus-trip to the grandparents' home through a long empty road they called the Bypass. Then home changed, roads changed, people grew up, grew old, died.
I remember once going back to visit with my dad- that first tiny apartment where my earliest memories are. A big yellow front door and limewashed walls with blue pathes of damp making maps of countries yet undiscovered, a calling bell tune surely dreamt up by a tone-deaf person somewhere and the ceiling fans from a company called 'Ranjan' that I pronounced 'Ran-Jan'. I thought all of that was mine. That all of it was forever. And then one day a truck arrived and we folded our world in straw-lined packing boxes and home became a goodbye in a flurry of moments that slipped out of incomprehending hands. When I went back a few years later everything looked different, though they were there as they had always been- th…

Inertia

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The Quest of Saint George’ by Frank O. SalisburyThe Quest of Saint George’ by Frank O. Salisbury) #1
There’s a kind of relaxation that comes with the experience of travelling, of being transported somewhere without any direct effort on your part- this sense of a flow, of a movement towards somewhere. As the destination draws closer, an anxiety creeps in, because you know that soon, too soon, the bus or the train or the car or the plane or the boat will stop, and you will have to step out of the safe cocoon of passive inaction and be responsible for your own direction again. It’s like the breaking of a spell, or a reverie. But step back and think of the before- the past actions that led you to this journey, and may be finding a new route will become that much easier. Or may be not. Who knows! The ice melts, the oceans part, the forests shift and the maps change all the time. You are on the ride of life anyway, and there is only one destination, eventually. But maybe you can pick up a not…

In Quest of Happiness

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Have I drunk of the hemlock? How else do I explain this numbness of the soul?As part of his death sentence, Socrates was offered a cup full of hemlock, and ordered to keep walking after. I read this story in fourth standard history book and somehow remembered that last part- “You must keep walking.” Years later, a professor in college explained that the effect of hemlock begins from the legs and makes its way upward, till it reaches the heart and stops it. And the brain knows the gradual numbing of the toes, the feet, the legs, the thighs… it feels the slow but certain disconnect from everything that orients it in the world, and it knows the assured arrival of death. Sometimes on the infinite cosmic stage, the trappings fall away, briefly, to reveal the utter nothingness of it all. Ennui, we term it. Must I smother my soul daily thus wasting this one, singular chance that comes with an expiry date without an alarm bell? But what feeds a soul if the body dies? The soulless work of days m…

Etherized

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Dusk is a kindred spirit. Have you ever noticed the colour of the twilight sky- light, but not light, dark, but not dark, and the street lights lining the streets- bright and sharp, but not really needed yet- everything seems to be in a vacuum, waiting for something. The rush of the day is over, the rush of the night yet to begin, and the world moves around you in fast forward while you seem to be suspended in slow motion. They pick up tired  smiles, and cheerful anecdotes, and they all have a destination, a goal, and you ask- What is home? Where is home? Why am I going there? And I'll leave again, tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, and return in the evenings once again. "...and Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday according to the same rhythm"  Is that all that is there? Through the days and weeks and months and years? And for how many years must Icarus fall before he can rest in the sea?

Reincarnationists say that this world is only a temporal scho…