Of several things I am afraid

Even though I have no phobia

Will my goals in time be made?

For only time is of the essence here.

 

I dared to think outside the box

I couldn’t stand being part of the crowd

I had my whiskey on the rocks

And began to think aloud

 

I had so many ideas,

So many ways to change the world

But my words often fell on deaf ears

And my plans never unfurled

 

One day out of sheer exasperation

I climbed up on top of a hill

It was an act of desperation

As the cold mountain wind caused my teeth to chill

 

I had gone up there to end my life,

To extinguish forever my burning disappointment

I had had enough of this futile strife

I was done concealing my resentment

 

My methods ridiculed,

My thoughts belittled,

My suggestions overruled,

My beliefs skittled.

 

What sane man with self-respect

Who took pride in his constancy

Could tolerate people falsely project

His genius as raving lunacy?

 

But little did I realize that in my haste

I had just left behind a gold mine.

Tis’ often said that the real taste,

The true worth much later does shine.

 

The very people who did berate,

Who always did my existence despise

Began to find acceptance where earlier was hate

Such was the power in my demise.

 

It’s sad that we live in a society

That’s intelligent only in hindsight

We can appreciate diversity

Only if it fits our definition of what’s “right”

Confused, eh? Well, let me simplify things a little. I was in the train today, from Shirdi to Mumbai and I really had nothing to do. So I started writing…and this just happened. I have yet to name it. And it does not reflect the state of my mind. No way! It was just a train of rhyme. After a while I was just finding words and forming sentences with them. Yes, it’s that easy to write poetry.

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The picture is from later when  The Mumbai Humor Writers met up at Prithvi Theatre and i happened to have the paper on which I printed my e-ticket on the reverse side of which I wrote this.

But while we’re on the subject, here’s a thought that genuinely disturbs the chords of my mind (sorry, I’m still in the poetic mood) – the dying art of essay writing. While that may have been a little too premature a statement to have made, it cannot be dismissed. I remember my school days when we had to write essays by the bucketfuls, every term. And while the rest wrote in typical three-paragraph-introduction-body-conclusion style, I begged to always differ. Mine was pure, unadulterated fiction. Also, more often than not, pure, unadulterated nonsensical fiction. But in comparison to the rest of the monotonous material, mine stood out as highly original.

Today’s kids couldn’t write a good essay if they were being offered free legal beer in return. I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve written a few pretty decent essays in my time. A good essay is one that describes something that everyone was very recently a part of but still wanna hear your version of it. I remember having to write an essay on a picnic we just returned from and the whole class listening to me as I read mine aloud (and not just because our teacher was strict). An essay need not be a mellifluous and beautiful piece of literature. It needs to be concise and yet vivid.

I go to class everyday with students from vernacular mediums and diploma backgrounds where soft skills and communication is not even an extracurricular activity. I remember this one time during our first lecture of a new semester when the teacher asked a diploma draftee “What’s your name”. The boy stands up and looks at his desk. The teacher asks him once again “What’s your name?!” He looks at the teacher, nonplussed. The teacher then asks him the same question in Hindi and then in Marathi, without trying to mock. The boy barely whispers his name under his breath and continues to stand hoping that this nightmare ends soon enough. The next activity is for everyone to take turns explaining why they’re studying engineering and what their future plans are. When it’s the boy’s turn, he hastily mutters “no comments” and sits down even before his legs could straighten and his real height be seen. I was taken aback for there wasn’t just one such boy. Majority of them seemed to be sailing in this pitiful boat. Their only response to anything that’s said to them by a teacher is to hang their head down in shame as if they had just committed accidental arson.

It’s their attitude towards anything that symbolizes authority that goes to show the kind of education they’ve received, their interests, and their company and in general their upbringing. I got to know a few of them better with time. Turns out, they’re all perfectly normal people who have no problem keeping up a conversation without running out of original thought. They have an intricate knowledge of their subject and don’t even have a problem explaining it to their peers. They smoke and keep up with the ways of the world.

Most of us have such an inarticulate relationship with our parents and for so long that it’s often to our detriment. We so busy trying to create ideas that we pay little attention to expressing them without realizing that an unexpressed idea is no better than not having thought of one at all. And on that note, a goodnight to you, or me, whatever. Or a good morning. It’s 4:00 a.m. here.

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