What Begins, Must End

Apart from this blog, I sometimes also write in an actual journal, a diary. I find that sometimes, you just need that physicality to writing – the sound and touch of paper, holding and moving the pen, the rhythm of the hands, instead of the mechanical “clickity-clack” of typing and staring at a white screen. And well, some thoughts are too private even for a “personal blog”. 😉

I don’t do it often – just a couple of entries a year. Sometimes even fewer. So, I’d been using that same diary for the last many, many years. But as I was writing in it this time, I realized that I had reached the end of it.

As I neared the end, I wanted to write a “goodbye” message in the little space that I had left (yeah, I’m “weird” that way), which I did. But as I began writing, I had an amusing and pleasant thought, one that I think (more like “hope”), some of you might find some beauty in. So, here I am, reproducing that final, short diary entry below:

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And just like that I’ve reached the end of this journal – a journey that began many, many years ago, with a thoughtful gift. Now, there aren’t many pages left in this diary, for another one of life’s journeys.

A little more space to continue writing would have been nice, but we don’t control how many pages we are given, and where our story ends. I guess I’d never really be ready for it to be over. So many stories left untold, incomplete. But not much that I can do about it.

Sometimes, you get a chance to wrap up your story in time, when you know the end is near, but even then, it’s not easy letting go. You wish you could continue in some way or another; just refusing to let go.

But, the end approaches, and it’s time to say, “Thank You! And Goodbye.” 🙂

* * *

Photo Credit: Dariusz Sankowski on Unsplash


The Fire That Refuses To Die

Today I bring to you this gem:

What an amazing guy! Hats off to the guy’s spirit and will! What a fighter! Just imagine the determination, the practice, the skill it must take to do what this guy does, given his situation. Wow!

I wonder what drove him to decide to make these clay sculptures that require such deft touch, despite his disability. Did he always make these figurines, before he met with an accident apparently? Or did he choose to make them after, to take this up as a challenge, to prove to himself (and to others maybe) that he wouldn’t let his disability stand in the way, that he’ll overcome it?

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The Most Important Thing To Know

Recently, one thought has been popping up in my mind repeatedly. And it happens at all sorts of time – when driving, when walking, even when talking.

Not that I’m complaining though. In my somewhat routine life, I tend to forget a very important thing, maybe, even the most important thing. But I’m glad that these days, the thought has been staying fresh in my memory through repetition.

And that thought is:

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Living Without Masks

Consider this: You are chatting in a group, and discussion veers towards a certain person X. Specifically, towards his attitude towards money.

The group thinks that X is a miser, stingy with his money. He doesn’t buy things that he should, and that he can easily afford. But, in your heart, you think that X’s behavior is more cautionary than stingy, that he is careful with his money, which is a totally fine thing to do. And let’s assume that you think so because you have a similar attitude towards money as X; you would do the same in his place.

At this point, suppose the group asks for your opinion on the topic of X and his money; what you would do if you were in his place. What do you say now?

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E. E. Cummings: The Hardest Challenge…

I find this quote from E. E. Cummings to be very true.

We always have an opinion on everything. Even if a random person, whom we are meeting for the first time, were to appear in front of us, and ask for some advice, we would definitely have something for him (even though we may not give that advice to him out of politeness or political correctness, but our minds will definitely think of something for him).

This works the other way too. Everyone has some opinion about how we, ourselves, are, and how we ought to be. That includes how we talk, our body language, our sense of dressing, our lack of knowledge about something, etc. People always have something that they want to tell us.

And this is not always with of a sense of condescension or contempt. Sometimes, people genuinely want what’s best for us. Like your family or friends. They’ll share their knowledge or opinion in the hope that it will make us better, prevent us from making certain mistakes, etc.

But, irrespective of the intentions, the ultimate effect on a person is that everyone tries to make the person be somebody else, according to what they think is best. But as the person leading that life, one has their own idea about how to lead their own life.

The result is that one has to deal with too many opinions, some their own, and some from different people. These opinions are often in conflict with each other, and one may easily be confused as to which one to take into consideration, and which to ignore.

To whom do you listen? To yourself or to those around you? Who’s to say who will be right? When faced with a choice, say you are thinking of going for option #1, but everyone around you suggests you take option #2. And say, after a great deal of thinking over the options, considering the arguments that others made for option #2, you do end up going for option #2, who made that decision? Did you or did they?

And even if you do take option #1 (your own original choice), suppose that turns out wrong (everyone makes mistakes and wrong decisions sometime in life). When the next time you have to make a choice again, and when again, the others have certain opinions different from your own, whom do you listen to?

These are not easy questions to answer. To make decisions that are truly one’s “own”,  one needs a great level of self-awareness and courage.

Self-awareness, so that one can objectively decide what one’s own thoughts are, without getting them mixed up with the plethora of thoughts from others that one will, undoubtedly, be bombarded with.

And courage, because that’s what one needs to stick to one’s own convictions, even in the face of a 100 people telling them that they are wrong. And specially, when one has actually been wrong in the past. A mistake, in the past, in a totally different scenario, doesn’t mean that one will make another in the current scenario. But those other people won’t miss a beat in telling you that you were wrong before (when you hadn’t listened to them), and that you should listen to them now if you don’t want to be wrong again.

In such a complex mix, it is a real challenge, the hardest even, to maintain a clear vision of who you are. So, yes, I agree:

The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else.

– E. E. Cummings


The Lives That We’ll Never Live

For me, winters are a time for reflection, more so than the usual. The long winter nights, lying in bed in a warm cocoon, sitting by the fireplace, sipping hot chocolate. With snow outside. It just makes you think and wonder about life.

Well, none of it actually happens where I live, but it’s how I picture winters. Maybe it’s because of all the books I’ve read from English authors, describing those cold winter nights in the English countryside. 🙂

Anyway, to get to the point: So, yesterday, I had a thought: What would it have been like to live the different lives that I never got a chance to live? What all lives have I missed out on? And it’s not the first time that I’ve had this thought.

Let me explain what I mean by it.Read More »


A Stranger

A poem about a chance meeting with a “stranger”:

In a cool autumn breeze,
Walking down an old street,
I came across a stranger,
And it made me lose my ease.

Memories, I tried to plow.
But my mind wouldn’t allow.
I knew I knew the man.
Just didn’t know how.

He was old and wrinkled.
But his eyes still twinkled.
“Hey there! Remember me?”
My heart, his voice tingled.

He smiled at me, bit amused.
I stared at him, lot confused.
“Sorry, but how do I know you?”
Said I to the man perused.

To which he said:

“I’m the wolf that wasn’t fed,
Surprised, I ain’t already dead.
Missing, marooned memories –
I’m what time hasn’t yet shred.”

Thinking him mad, I began to leave.
My quandary, he seemed to perceive,
For he spat, “Time, when one gifts,
Be humble, and their wisdom, receive.”

He went on:

“Friends were we; grew up together.
Our bond was to be our tether.
Keeping us safe, sane, spirited –
Storms, it would’ve helped us weather.”

The fog lifted at this mention.
I realized our deep connection.
Shocked, surprised, I almost cried,
At this ghost’s resurrection.

I inquired where he had gone.
Why return this beautiful dawn?
Why couldn’t I see him before?
Why did it have to take so long?

He answered with:

“Too busy to look or listen;
In a rush, you missed all the fun.
I was always ’round the corner;
You just… never made the turn.

But, for a breath, you stopped today.
So, here I am, plain as day.
Fate often looked you in the eye,
Only, this time, you didn’t look away.”


We meandered through a park.
Enthralled by the song of the lark,
I gaped at the colors of fall,
Wondering where had gone this spark.

As the old leaves fell,
I felt my heart swell –
A lightness long forgotten,
The lifting of a dark spell.

Finally, I understood this:
That feeling of something amiss,
Was just me not able to see,
A life blessed with beauty’s kiss.

So, at long last, I said to him:

“All your words are indeed true.
I’ve missed this place, this view,
Missed the laughter, the light,
Missed so much about you.

Last we talked, I was a child.
Living in a world less wild.
With a heart full of wonder,
Worried far less, much I smiled.

But somehow I lost that zen.
God only knows way back when.
Times changed, and so did I.
Never been the same again.

I so wish I could’ve seen,
The futures that could’ve been.
Life, blessed with your charisma,
Would be so much more serene.

I lost you once, and was lost.
But, thank God, our paths, at last, crossed.
Don’t leave my side till I close my eyes.
Not again can I suffer that cost.”


And so continues our story.
I just pray I never again see,
That deep, dark, death of a night when
That “stranger” is, once more, a stranger to me.

So, finally, I’ve managed to finish this poem! Although the idea for it came is swiftly and unexpectedly as ideas are wont to do, fleshing it out into the poem you see above has taken up a considerable part of my attention over the last two months. I know it’s not great, but it’s definitely the longest poem I’ve done in my short career as a poet, and given how much time and effort it took, and the subject, it’s quite close to me (although, as an artist, everything I write is close to me!). Hope you guys like it too!

P.S.: The inspiration for this poem came when reading the poem: “The Crooked Man” by Elrow Swift on hellopoetry.com. As I was reading about the “crooked man” in the linked poem, an idea suddenly popped into my head about what it would be like to meet the “stranger” from my poem.

Photo Credit: Nathália Bariani on Unsplash