Through Seasons

Oh, let’s just fall in love for a while.
Close your eyes and hold my hand,
Let us walk through storms and gales,
Our fingers intertwined.
Let us see a year, and cross ourselves,
Through all seasons.
When the buds blossom and the cherries turn red,
Let’s love each other beneath the shade of trees,
In the midst of spring,
Frolicking around, and swinging on swings.
When in the heat we perspire,
And the sun’s blazing hot,
Let’s love the summer as much as we love each else,
Walk naked feet on the burning sands,
Let the waters lap our feet at the shores,
Cooling them down, an insatiable want,
Want for each other, never quenching.
And when the leaves fall out,
And the lanes become home to them,
Let’s lie on the grass, and look at the branches,
And the rays that peer through them,
The damp sunlight, the smell of redwood,
Our smiles for each other never ending.
Come winter, and we’d be shivering,
Let us shiver together one time,
In the warmth of the quilts,
Seeing the snow through the windows,
Writing letters through the dew,
Settled on the glass of our doors.
Oh, let’s just fall in love for a while,
Close your eyes and hold my hand.

The Forgotten

He had inscribed her name on the barks of that tree,
Which has long been felled and a new shrub sits there,
Tell me then, now that her name’s there no more,
Has she been forgotten like the others as well?
When I was young, my father had asked me,
Don’t trees shed their leaves in autumn here,
Just like they shed in their country?
I knew I could tell no lies, and what I should have said,
But do you remember what I told him?
I told him, there are no trees there, father,
Only corpses hanging from the branches of things,
Which once bore leaves, now only bear blood.

Have they been forgotten, every single one of them,
Who made us into what we are today?
I ask you to serenade each and every one of them,
Lest they be forgotten like a stranded island,
Where no one would set foot, but for the likes of us.
But those not human, those like the birds,
Who care not what the island offers,
Impartially they visit, looking for the same things everywhere,
Do you know what we should learn from them?
We should have one goal, only one, towards humanity,
Not towards you, or me, or ourselves as a whole,
But to this world, to this world where we belong.

Let me tell you a story of the forgotten,
Do you remember the people who sailed long ago,
Only to tell us stories of the life this world had to offer?
Do you think they did it for themselves,
Dying in the sun, the storms, the seas and the gales?
I rather think not, but do you remember how they looked,
How they talked and how they craved for their families?
How their wives and children had wailed at their return,
Only to see them not breathing no more.
So let’s promise to ourselves, each one to himself,
And each one to herself, let’s promise to ourselves,
That we’d do something, something greater than the sky.

Or we’d be forgotten like them.

What’s Up

Hello again.

So, the month of July is at its end, and as promised, ‘Black Rose’ now has a collection of two hundred posts, the last sixteen of which were published this month, under the new category ‘Autumn’. Now I realize it may be a huge overstepping to assume you have loved each and every chapter in the category, but I hope you liked it overall, and somehow connected through it, and may be even liked it chapter for chapter. Thank you for that, if it is so.

But it is time to move ahead. So what have I been up to while you were reading ‘Autumn’? Well for that I will have to begin from the beginning of July, and so it might be a long post, but I’ll try to bring it down to a small topic, postponing more minute details for later posts. Among happening things, I paid a visit to Agra. If that name strikes a chord with non-Indians, you’re probably not wrong. Agra holds in it one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. I’ll obviously not bore you with its descriptions, which you might have already learned time and again in history books or if you were ever doing a thesis on it, and so I’ll keep it short by saying, it was a good trip, but I think a trip in the winter would have probably helped me appreciate the Taj more than I did this time. Moving on, so, yeah I am an engineer now; which for those who are new to Indian college system, means that I have finished four years of my undergraduate studies and now have a ‘placement offer’, which really means that I work in a firm for nine hours a day to earn a living. Yeah, four years have passed, isn’t it sentimental? I had started this blog five months into my college. Long time. Anyhow, so while I work for most of the day, I do have free weekends when I try to do some writing for the blog, some learning up of vocabulary so that my future posts could have a little more of better words, new words. Neologism it is called, the making of new words; well that is something I learnt while learning new words. There.

In other news, when on one hand I have stopped reading ‘A Feast for Crows’, postponing it for a later time when I have lesser things on my mind, right now I am taking up two courses on Coursera, which I hope, would help me increase my value; to what extent, only time can say. Andrew Ng from Stanford has offered a course on Machine Learning, which is very interesting indeed; I urge you to look it up online sometime and may be take the course when it is offered the next time, you will probably have a very good time through it. Dan Boneh, also from Stanford, is offering a course on Cryptography, which is a bit difficult, at least for me, since I did not have the course in my college, but it is okay and kind of doable; you might want to go online and check the site for more courses which are better aligned to your interests.

Apart from that, what else is on my mind? I have started working out a little, so you might see a completely reformed ‘me’ in a few months from now. That’s a good thing, isn’t it? Coming to my blog, well August would be slightly less packed, and I think I will put up not many verses and prose around here this month, so that if you really want to read and haven’t read ‘Autumn’, may be you can read them up. I have an array of plans for this blog ahead, which will represent the new ‘Black Rose’, celebrating two hundred posts. You might see a shift in ideas, a change of paradigm, and a new approach to writing. Apart from that, I really want to delve more into analytical writing, and reviews, but I don’t know how much successful either of them would be. So I think I will start with analytical writing soon, writing on issues and interacting more with you, talking more about what your views are, and how they are aligned or not aligned with mine. So yes, that might be an interesting notion, which I may experiment with, soon.

Fiction. Well, no, I think I am not going to post much of fiction in the coming two months. For fiction, you will have to wait until October, when I promise I will bring to you a new dimension of fiction for this blog. They say though you might not always get what you wish for, you will always get what you work for. I want to put this thought into action and stop for now, and go do some work that might help me. Happy reading! And I hope the verses this month help you develop a keener sense of imagination, and a predilection towards fantasy.

#12 – The Howl of the Wolf

The Things sat around the Fire, shouting, screaming, singing and drinking. They prayed to their gods. New Things would be joining them today, and they would arise from the Fire they prayed to. They had been praying for hours and days together now, but neither had the Wolf howled nor had the Fire given them their presents. They feasted on meat of the horses they rode, now that they could fly, who would need the horses? And they kept praying.

From the fire, rose the bodies of the new Things. They were happy. They knew that the Things were not the only kind of creatures on this world, but whatever other creatures existed, they would slowly all turn into Things. The Fire would do that, as it had been doing all these years. The wolf howled. A boy emerged from the fire. He had a wound on the left, where they knew the fabled humans had their hearts. Now it was theirs. “Tell us your name,” they demanded.

“I am of this world a Thing, and will remain so forever. This thing’s name is Brad.”

A smile gleamed over their faces. “And tell me, Brad, what do you remember of your previous life?”

“Nothing. I am of this world a Thing, and will remain so forever.”

In the next one hour hundreds of such came, increasing their strength manifold. The Things smiled at all, sharing their beer and bread with every one of them, until they all decided it was time to put off the Fire. Once the fire was out, they flew. To the humans. They flew.

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#7 – The Raven’s Croak

“Fly! Now! Fly! Now!”, the raven croaked.

As he sat in the verandah, feeding the sparrows, the raven perched on the high wall. He had grown an affinity towards the sparrows. The smallest of birds, who were complaisant to the happenings of this world. Just like the people, the small insignificant ones of course. The grains in his hand were almost over by the time the sun came up. He retired to his room, a small matchbox, seven feet by seven, good enough to fit his bed and himself.

He was dying. He didn’t have much time. The raven flew and sat on the window sill near his head. “Grain!”, it croaked. “Fly! Now! Fly! Now!” The man smiled. He shook himself up somehow, and slid his hand under the bed to find a bag of grain, took a fistful of it and kept it at the window sill. “How much can I fly?” he asked. The raven didn’t have an answer to that, but nevertheless it croaked, “Now! Now!” The man only smiled. He kept smiling, until an arrow hissed by his ear. He would be dead, if not for a centimeter. He reclined on his chair, looking at his palm, thinking of all what he had done till today, how he didn’t deserve such an ending, and how nothing should have been as it was.

His name was Edward. That was many years ago. Of late, he was only called Headmaster. Ninety and two years he had seen, yet this was the coldest ever. The others with him had already gotten up and had slowly started resuming their walk on the Winding Road. He strived a bit, then finally got up from his bed, and staggered out into the blinding sunlight. “For men may come and men may go but I go on forever”, he muttered, as he rejoined his people on the road. He spotted Uddin at the corner of the road, his mouth foaming, and a colony of ants streaming from his lips. It was the call of autumn, which begged for human lives. The first sacrifice had been given. He walked ahead, and the raven flew over Uddin, crying, “Fly! Now! Fly! Now!”

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#6 – The First Leaf

“Life comes in many forms, and so does death.” The students sat cross-legged under a tree, while the Headmaster of the school talked to them. Schools in villages were often conducted this way, under the open skies, for everyone to have a clear brain and of course, the fresh air did create wonders, sometimes bring the aromas of vendors crossing by as well. And then, the first leaf fell from the tree.

“See? That was the first leaf that fell off. It heralds autumn,” continued the Headmaster. Though only he, in his heart, knew what terrible things lay ahead of this, it would not be suitable to fill the children’s minds with such unwarranted fears. “Go back to your homes, tell your parents, autumn is here,” he said. There was a chill running down his spine, yet he bore the smile until the last student had left. It was only then that he picked up the leaf, studied it, and scampered down the street to his own house, barring the doors with logs, though he knew that wouldn’t really be of much help once ‘they’ arrived.

The first leaf had always been the sign of autumn, for ages. The ice-breaker they called it. Like in normal life, someone needed to first break the ice in order for the entire group to follow, similarly, the first leaf broke the ice. In this case literally. The first leaf broke almost simultaneously with the ice at the tip of the mountain breaking, and when the ice came down it brought along with it ‘things’, incomprehensible to man. They looked like skeletons of Tasmanian tigers, and flew like pterodactyls. Their screeches were louder than dragons, and they could smother the entire city with a breath of ice. However, it would take almost two years for the Things to reach their village. And once they reached, the rest was already written, over and over, time and again, in the pages of their history books.

The Things, the Headmaster thought, came once every ten millennia, and smothered everything. They were nearing the end of their ten thousand years now, with only two years left for the ten thousandth year. Everyone knew about it, they’d read lots about it in books of history, in encyclopedias, and yet nothing had ever been proved. The Headmaster wondered whether it would be proved this time. But, who would bear to testify the truth once it was over? That remained the unsolved question.

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#4 – The Withered Tree

The boy had only one leg. His name was Janas. The other was cut by the same axe that the woodcutter used to cut down the mighty forests. The same axe, when roused by anger, took the boy of his leg. But it was not something abnormal or unusual because no one felt sad about it. All were happy in this small house, at least as long as the house was there.

But autumns come and trees wither. The big tree fell down and with it the nests and the new birds in them. Everyone died but the boy and no one yet cared. The autumn brought with it the cold winds. Winds from far which bring messages and do not reveal from where they bring them.

There was a certain history about that tree, although it’s almost uncertain that it was certain. They say that the tree was the oldest in the village. It was supposed to be living for the past three thousand years, and yet it never died. Then why did it, suddenly, out of nowhere fall today? The birds died, yet no shouts of grief. What had happened to this world? Why were the laws of universe tumbling down today? Why did the storm flood the whole village today? Did anyone have an answer?

As he sat on a broken bench beneath the tree, a raven flew from somewhere, sat on the other end of the bench and started croaking. He though it said, “Fly! Now! Fly! Now!”, but it never made any sense, and how would it? Did birds suddenly start talking to men to warn them of the future and what it held for man? No, everything was a mere misunderstanding, a misunderstanding between man and Nature, and a proof that there was something beyond human understanding, beyond the natural, Janas thought, as he limped away on his one leg. The Supernatural, they called it.

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