A Hope Still Flickers

The smile hardly reached up to the eyes any more.

Numbness was all that the fingers bore.

The ceaseless stings of the night seemed to kill.

Tears mingled with the raindrops on the window sill.

 

All that goes around indeed comes around.

No one could ever fly leaving another on the ground.

If this was the long-awaited desire coming true,

Then what is it that snatched away the sky’s blue?

 

Though the tears keep blurring them away,

Yet the dreams once dreamt linger all day.

Hope the storms aren’t as harsh there as here.

Hold on to faith. No, do not fear.

Though as broken as broken can be,

A hope still flickers, a hope so sweet.

Anwesha Saha

3rd March 2012

Your Doleful Symphony

Hold on, a miracle just passed by.
Oh! You let it go, I wonder why?
Were you lured into a dream?
Why didn’t you just let your heart scream?

You can’t just sit and stare.
Why don’t you set yourself a dare?
Why did you let yourself fall?
When it’s them who deserve to crawl?

Why did you submit in shame?
When they were the one’s to be blamed?
You can’t just remain shut
When you have every right to open up?

Alas, my dear! You’re getting choked
With all the words you never spoke.
Oh! How hard your eyes try
To hold back the tears you never cry.

This is not how you’re meant be.
There’s so much in you, you don’t see.
Go ahead, dear, play the joyful harmony
That lies unsung in your doleful symphony.

A Dance in the Rain

It was dark. The sky was clear, or so it seemed. I was all alone. My room had nearly suffocated me, so I abandoned it. The streets were peaceful, not a noise to be heard. Tranquil as tranquil can be. I lingered down the path. My thoughts had stagnated and I was thinking nothing at all. My pace was languid. My steps were reflex. I walked, walked and kept on walking. And as I was walking, nothing seemed to matter. For once I felt solitude was bliss.

As I kept on walking, somewhere out of the stillness of the night I heard a sound. Whether it was a thunder, I know not, because it lasted for not more than a jiffy. Till now, I was sanguine of the absence of life around me. However, after that interruption, once again I was aware of my surroundings. I was aware of the houses, of the dimmed street lights, of the sky. And of the clouds in the sky, who seemed to have appeared out of the blue.

I imaged in my mind that the clouds, too, were tired of some room, like me. They too, wanted to come out into the night and cherish its stillness. They wanted freedom, wanted something new, as if, they, too, had been confined…somewhere in the skies. Now that they were out, they wanted to pour their hearts out to someone.

And all at once, as though they had been listening to my thoughts, the clouds burst into rain. A little smile crept upon my face as I looked up the sky. A lightening occurred, not very loud, as though smiling back to me, as though I was a long lost friend. And as the raindrops ran over my face, I could feel the clouds caressing me. So I raised my hands to caress them back.

When I felt my entire body washed by the water, I knew the clouds had embraced me. And now, I belonged to them. They had poured their heart out to me and so did I. They loved me and I loved them back.

Suddenly, the rain slowed down a bit and there was a thunder. At first, I could not comprehend what that meant, but then I realized the rains, the clouds, wanted me to dance with them, for the rain had paced up again and this time, there seemed to be a rhythm. Knowing I’d love it, I kicked away my slippers and all at once, the girl who had never danced before, was swaying to the beats of the rain. There was no music, nor a dance partner. Yet, there was both-the rhythm the music and the rain my partner.

I closed my eyes and let the rain make me dance. And soon I felt myself getting nearer and nearer to the rain, as it held me closer to itself. We danced and danced and kept on dancing, never seeming to get tired. But suddenly, the rain stopped.

The clouds were gone. The sky was clear again. And I was all alone again.

I looked up the sky again, but this time I didn’t smile, for I knew, the rain was gone and the clouds, too. They would come back again, but it would never be the same, for we won’t dance again. As I stared at the sky, I felt like calling out to them, asking them for another dance. But I didn’t, because I knew it would be futile. So, I turned homewards and walked away.

It was almost dawn and the sky had turned pink. As I felt something wet on my cheek, I deemed it was a raindrop. But then I realized it was not. It was a sign that showed how I missed the clouds and the rain, how I longed to go back to them again.

And though my heart was heavy, as I went to bed, there was a smile on my face. And from then on, whenever it rains, I reminisce about the dance…

Vanishing Traits

“A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.”

-Benjamin Franklin

The other day, I was having a discussion with my mother regarding what it means to be ‘truly educated’. Our Government is endeavoring ceaselessly to ensure that no child in the country is deprived of her Right to Education. Primary education has been made free of cost and compulsory for every child. India’s higher education system is the third largest in the world, after China and the United States. There seems to be no stone left unturned in improving and developing our education system. Indeed, such facts make us feel gratified and proud of our selves and our nation.

 

However, as I ponder over the incidences taking place in my vicinity, I’m bound to lament- Where is all this “education” leading us to? Passing examinations, scoring sky-high marks, mugging up the textbook-where is all this leading us?

 

My thoughts travel back to the words of the Father of our Nation, as he wrote, “Literacy is neither the end of education nor even the beginning. It is only one of the means whereby man and woman can be educated. Literacy in itself is not education.” I couldn’t have agreed more to these words. I remember one of our high school teachers once saying, “You are not going to pin up your report cards on your chest wherever you go.” How true!

 

Now-a-days, the stereotypical image of a so-called educated person is one with numerous degrees following his name; a good student is one that has cracked the entrance exams with brilliant scores and ranks. Now, undoubtedly, these people are the assets of our nation and of the world. And I admire and dignify all that they have achieved by grace of their hard work.

My point, now, is that amidst our entire obsession for success and fame, and obtaining ranks in exams are we not missing out on some seemingly unimportant, yet, inevitably important values of our personality?

 

Blinded by fame and wealth, we seem to have entirely dismissed some integral elements from our lives and our being. There seems to be no place for a gentle word of kindness, for embracing our lesser-fortunate brothers and sisters, for bringing a smile on someone’s face or for wiping away their tears. We seem so engrossed within ourselves that we hardly realize the existence of our fellow beings. At times, I feel-how can we disregard the pain and sorrow of someone just like us? Just because we are not going through what they are, should we be so inconsiderate towards them? How can we remain so oblivious to their sufferings?

 

I believe all of us, at some instance of our lives, have experienced the happiness felt in return of making someone else happy. Our life is like a mirror. All that we give is reflected back to us. As the Bible says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). Just give it a thought, how would you have felt if no one offered you a helping hand in times of need? If no one consoled you when you are despairing? Isn’t that intolerably painful?

 

Maintaining a humble and gentle demeanor, helping a friend in need or passing a smile at someone we come across cost us nothing. In fact, they beautify our character and make us amiable persons. More importantly, they reflect our “education”. No matter how educated we are, if our comportment is not pleasant, all years of learning are sure to go in vain.

 

These things, when said or written, seem somewhat unimpressive and obvious. And albeit all of us being so familiar with these values, some Satanic wave seems to have swept away all such traits from us. We now seem to live in a kind of trance, where ‘nothing really matters’, except our own personal benefits. If we continue to be trapped in this trance, that foments intolerance and dishonesty, we better cease aspiring for a developed and prosperous world. For a while, we may be prosperous and successful, but, like all things achieved through deceit, even our success will perish.

 

It is therefore, the duty of every person, every citizen to ensure that they be concerned, not only about their own selves, but also about their lesser-fortunate counterparts. It is high time we revive the basic human values in ourselves and inculcate the same into our coming generations. Let us all learn and practice to respect and dignify the worth of every individual. Let us realize that every human being is the same, and no one is, and should not deem himself to be, superior.

Only preaching these values is not going to help anyway. We need to make it a part of ourselves. A humble, loving demeanor should become a part of our being. Our years of “education” should be reflected through our actions, not just our words. Only then, will “education” be worth it.

 

Let us begin today, let us begin now. Let us reawaken the values within us, the vanishing traits in us. Trust me, you will feel the difference.