Eternal Love

A high cliff, I stand there straight,
A dead end, time makes me wait,
I look at the skies,
Fathoming the emptiness beyond.

An eagle flies high,
The king of the sky,
Never cared about who else could fly,
We learned from them,
Made jets and planes,
And when the work was done,
Killed them ruthlessly,
Shooting gratitude in the heart.

The breeze is noisy,
The time is ripe,
I can try to fly, and fall,
Far down to the river that flows,
And no one would know,
But Death and Me.

No, that is not the path,
That I must take,
I hear a car screeching to brake.
She comes out, all rich and tidy.
I look at her,
The love of my life,
And think about how times have changed.

I think of the day,
When I first met her,
The ashes in my mouth,
Turn to a red rose for a moment,
Then disappear as she takes off her shades,
And I see the wrath in her eyes.

For the first time in these years,
I am unsure of my step,
The paths ahead seem hazy;
“Would you like to be with me forever?”
I ask her.

She looks at me with dead eyes,
Says “Yes” as a matter of fact;
I can smell the nonchalance,
The ignominy she faces in being with me.

No, this must come to an end.

I cannot let her suffer for being with me;
This cannot go on.
I ask her to walk with me to the cliff,
We look at the skies and we look at the river.
I tell her, “It’s your choice.”

She looks at me with her silent eyes,
I look into her eyes, “I can live without you,
Do you want that?”
She feigns a heavy heart, says “Yes”,
And continues with some more,
I have stopped hearing though.

My hands clench tight,
I ask my heart, does it think it can see,
Her with another man?
My heart replies, and I smile at her,
She seems nonplussed but smiles back.

I take a step back,
Then stumble onto her,
And look down the cliff,
Until I can’t hear her shriek anymore.
She would be remembered.

Footsteps and Love Notes

I stood on the sands, eyes fixed on the waves;
The sun was yet to rise, and the faint grey of the sky;
The sea changed its color as it moved towards the horizon,
And the breeze made ripples as on the petals of the flower,
Does a butterfly flutter by.

I looked calmly at the waves;
How silent the sea was beyond them, how peaceful;
The waves did not dare go that way;
They were childish, breaking free from the chains,
Rising up, only to fall down as they hit the almighty sands;
But the sea beyond the waves,
Looked calmly at us;
Never uttering a word, never stopping the waves.

I looked around me.
Men, women, boys, and girls, smiling at each other;
Walking hand in hand;
All eyes fixed to the east,
Where in a minute, the sky would give birth
To a red-hot goblet of fire.

Mynahs and crows, equally chirpy,
Perch on the sand, then fly away in a moment,
Then sit again, a bit far from the waters,
For they know where those go.

Four fishermen on the far east,
Push a boat into the waters;
Their methodical manner shows they’ve been at this for a while.
First one sits, right at the front;
And rows while the other three still push.
Then another jumps in, this time at the back,
And the other two on both sides,
Pushing and wading across a giant wave;
The next time I see them,
The four are all seated and in a lockstep fashion,
Have gone into the waters so deep,
That it looks like a speck of black in the farthest of the ocean.

The sun rises royally from amidst the clouds.
No later than that the hawkers come down to business.
A tea-seller comes around.
He pours some milk into a glass and walks towards the shore.
On the next wave, he drowns the entire milk,
And prays to the sea to bless his day.
He comes back and sees us waiting at his stall,
And thanks God for all He’s done.

Another wave crashes against the shore;
They are still grey where they hit the sand,
The wet sands, home to millions and millions of,
Footsteps and love notes.

I pause a while and listen to those around me,
Families talking about their daily chores,
Funny to see how people find happiness in the smallest of things.
As the sun now appears from within the clouds,
The sea changes its color too,
Glimmering a different shade of turquoise.

I sit on the sands, and look at the sea,
Building myself up for what is to come;
The breeze on my face;
It is warm and sultry around but the breeze is cold,
And makes me want to forget,
All the terrible things I think right now.
I see people sleeping on the sands,
They have made this their home,
Some old, some young,
They seem forlorn, forsaken;
I do not think they wanted this, but time brings changes,
And so they sleep here,
Void of a home, which they once had.

I get up slowly;
Walk past the sand castles,
Walk past the couples in love,
Walk past the mothers with their babies,
And walk into the water;
For I will fight the waves today.
Meanwhile,
The waves erase, from the wet sands,
The footsteps and love notes.

Absence

Far away in a different world,
Where the moon glows bright and the sun sleeps throughout,
You cuddle in my arms and lull off to sleep,
Whilst I stare at you and learn what love is about.

I appear strong and tell you it’s okay,
And you ask me to chill out,
For things will get back to how they were in a while,
So what is this fuss all about?

But like an overdose of alcohol,
Which people remember never to repeat,
An overdose of your absence,
Is killing me underneath.

It’s about the fact that never have I ever,
Loved anyone as much as you,
You’ve sunk deep into my thoughts and my dreams,
Of which left in my life are very few.

So tonight before you go off to sleep,
Imagine you are with me,
In a world where nothing else matters,
And where our hearts are free.

And I’ll pull myself a bit closer to you,
You’d come a little more closer to me,
And I’d smile and keep my brows straight,
Like you’ve always wanted them to be.

Unrealistic Wishes

There she stands looking at the skies,
The purple streaks on her hair,
A perfect contrast,
To the orange ones in the sky,
Atop a hill, faraway,
From the rest of the world.
She looks at me,
I can see her eyes welling up,
If I don’t go now, if I stay a bit longer,
I will never be able to leave.
Her skirt billows up in the breeze,
Encompassing the knee-length grass around,
My life only a blade of it.
She is looking towards me now,
But I know it is not me she sees,
But her eyes go past me,
Past the trees behind,
To the sun, which now sets,
And I know,
That the night will fall on us,
All of a sudden,
But my heart so wishes,
That this day be prolonged beyond infinity.
But that’s what happens,
When one lives too much in dreams,
I remember once seeing,
A guy wearing winged boots,
And still staggering to cross the field,
So all’s not real, and perhaps this isn’t either,
And perhaps it is,
Who knows?

Filling up the Gap

So it’s been almost four months since I last wrote something, and lest I forget the fact that I was a writer sometime in my life and before it becomes too late to write anymore, I think I should get back to writing. So hello everyone. What a tiring set of four months this has been, with so much happening in so little time, that should I sit down to tell you what all occurred, I could probably keep writing for an entire day, which is precisely what I intend to do this weekend, because I do not have anything else to do; and why I do not have much to do is also something I’d like to tell you sometime soon.

So this is what I have been up to lately. Reading. The last time I wrote I had just finished The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and had started with Tagore’s ‘The Home and the World‘. That was somewhere in mid-January. Since then I have read twenty two more books. Yes you read that right. So here is the list of books I read in the past four months, hoping it makes up for why I haven’t been able to write much. For reading in itself is such a pleasurable thing that it does not want to make you do anything else.
1. The Sorrows of Young Werther, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
2. 1984, by George Orwell.
3. A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini
4. Train to Pakistan, by Khushwant Singh
5. The Godfather, by Mario Puzo
6. The Sicilian, by Mario Puzo
7. Eragon, by Christopher Paolini
8. Eldest, by Paolini again.
9. Brisingr, by Paolini. It is actually a series of four books, which begins with Eragon and ends with
10. Inheritance, by Paolini, completing the Inheritance cycle.
11. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
12. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
13. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by R.L. Stevenson

And then I read some Tintin by Herge, for I wanted to shift to graphic novels for a while. So,
14. Tintin in the Land of the Soviets
15. Tintin in Congo
16. The Blue Lotus
17. Tintin in America
18. Cigars of the Pharaoh
19. The Broken Ear
20. The Black Island

And then I stumbled over Roald Dahl and his short stories, so I started reading his books. The following books by Roald Dahl are on my list:
21. Kiss Kiss
22. Over to You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying
23. Switch Bitch
24. Someone Like You, which I am currently reading.

Honestly, I do not have any idea how I finished so much of reading, other than the obvious explanation that I have been pretty much jobless over the past couple of months. I have included all the Goodreads links to the books so that you could review them and add them to your to-read list as well. But to speak the truth, jobless is the worst adjective to explain what I have been over the past couple of months. For one, I have indulged myself in another hobby which is also one of my two favorite things to do. Yes, travelling. So here’s a list of places I went to this year.
1. South Korea. In fact this happened towards the initial part of January when I was still in my writing mode, and most of the posts that I have written earlier this year were from Korea. Once I came back to India, I started reading the books, which allowed me lesser time to devote to my blog.
2. Goa, the beaches and the love, and the smoke and the drinks and the life and the bustle and the noise and the shores and the sea and the food and the drives. And most importantly, the nostalgia. Set out with my college friends, the last week of January was undoubtedly the best week of this year so far.
3. In February, I made a short trip to Amritsar, the land of the Golden Temple, which was an exquisite experience. The visit to Wagha border remains one of the most memorable moments of this trip. Seeing the border, and the soldiers on both sides, their dedication and pride towards their country, is indeed one of the most touching experiences one can have. It was a pleasure to meet the people out there and be a part of their function, where they exchange the National flags of India and Pakistan, and open their gates as a token of welcome towards each other. It instils an atmosphere of tolerance and a dream of unison. We put up at a friend’s house, and enjoyed the authentic Punjabi flavor of the state.
4. In March, we drove down to Jaipur and Udaipur. Jaipur is also called the Pink city because of the overall red stone used in the construction of the various monuments out there. We visited a number of places, the Jaigarh Fort with the huge cannon which was only used once for testing and never touched again, the Amber Palace which houses the royal family and serves as an excellent insight into the history of Jaipur, the Royal Palace and the Jantar Mantar which was once used as a safety building to save thousands of women during the battle at Jaipur. Udaipur is rightly called the City of Lakes, and it is one of the prettiest cities that I have ever been to. Lake Pichola and the Royal Palace, which is huge and almost takes an entire day to visit completely, provides an excellent insight into the rich history of Rana Pratap Singh and all the warriors that followed. Indeed if I had been here when I was in school, History would have been much less boring.
5. My father was transferred back to my hometown and my family shifted back. So in April, I went home for a fortnight and stayed at Jamshedpur, meeting old school friends and all my relatives. Home sweet home.

So travel and books, yes, pretty much a lot of stuff that I did from the beginning of this year. But that was not the only thing that I was up to. The most important thing that played a crucial role in my life and occupied the most amount of time in my mind was my future plans in life, my Masters.

There are different levels of tensions and thought processes once you decide to study in the United States. The first level of tension is when you are yet to answer your Graduate Record Examinations and the TOEFL. The thoughts right then are only of one kind: you must score as high as possible so that you can apply to your favorite universities. It seems hectic, and specially for international students, it means you have to really score very high in both the examinations. But once you’re done with that level, you never need to think about it again. You are set for five years with that score, and it’s time to start Level 2. This is when you decide which all universities you wish to apply to. You have your scores in hand, and you match their level with the level of the university and see which ones are the best for you. When you have this set ready in hand, you move to Level 3, which is one of the most excruciating stages. Level 3 is when you start penning down your Statement of Purpose and when your professors and managers start writing your letters of recommendation. It is an iterative level, which keeps going on and on and on until you are very satisfied with what you have produced, for the SoP is single-handedly the most important document that serves as a deciding factor when it comes to the university shortlisting you.

So now you have your statement in hand and your professors have their recommendations. Level 4 is applying to the universities you wish to apply to. This is an expensive level. A lot of money goes in, and you know that a lot of it is going to waste, but invariably you still put in. Filling in each form carefully, meeting the deadlines, looking up websites, talking to professors, this level is indeed one of those levels which take the largest amount of time. And then after this level, you just sit and wait. The waiting period is horrible. You have no clue what to do next. You could just pray, or you could just sit and do nothing, for now everything is in the hands of the university. For me, this level stretched for five months. Very long and very tough. And then suddenly one day, you receive your first reply.

It might be the best day for you, if you get accepted by your first university. It means you are definitely going. (Well, not technically.) Or it might turn out to be bad. Don’t worry though, for the next month is going to be full of acceptances and rejects. Level 5 is when you decide which university you really want to go in, if you have more than one acceptance, or if you really want to go into that one university, if you have only one acceptance. I got two acceptances, one from the University of Southern California (USC) and one from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). After putting in a lot of thought, which included reviewing the course structures and finding the best alignments of your technical interests with those of the professors, I finally decided to enroll in USC.

Congratulations! You have an offer in hand now. Level 6 is what you are going to enter now. This is the toughest level, but it also might be the easiest level for you. This level ends with your visa interview. You now need to start preparing your documents, your financial documents, academic documents, these documents and those documents, and lots of more documents. If you’re lucky and if everything turns out to be good, you would get the visa for attending graduate studies. I have just finished this level, and so that’s all I know about this for now.

I finally resigned at Samsung. I am now serving a notice period for a couple of months after which my life at Samsung will come to a standstill.

That much for now. I had initially thought of putting these into different posts but then I finally settled in for one post. I am not sure if I will divide this into parts by the time I post this, but I will definitely post this before the 25th of May, which is the day ‘Abyss 7’ will come out. And for that to come out, I’d need to write that too. So here’s me signing off for now, promising to come back soon.

The Time Traveller

She wanted
Like a little girl would,
For she was of course,
A little girl,
And so,
It wasn’t abnormal for her
To want what she wanted,
And wish for what she wished.
But then the man
Who defined normal,
Decided to poke a little fun
At this small girl,
And he changed therefore
The definition of normal,
So that her wish
Because almost synonymous,
With the most abnormal thing
One could wish for,
And so it was
That her wish wasn’t granted,
Moreover
People laughed at her,
For they found it amusing,
That a little girl,
Which she truly was,
Would want and wish
For the things
She wanted and wished.

But then she knew
What she had to do,
So she went,
To the nearest spaceport,
And picked up a spaceship
That was painted,
In pink and blue,
She of course chose it,
‘Cause those were
Her favorite colors,
And she time-travelled
To the past,
Wishing that she’d find,
The definition of normal,
To be as normal as
Any definition could be.
But the spaceship
Was an evil one,
And it took her to the past,
Where the word normal,
Had not yet been discovered,
When she reached there,
People had just come out,
Of their caves,
Looking for deer to kill,
And then ate them,
And slept merrily.

So she took the spaceship,
And travelled to the future,
But now she came back,
To where she had started.
But as far as I think,
Her wishes at the end
Were fulfilled,
Even though people
Did laugh at her,
For the wish after all,
Was to time-travel.

The Hitchhiker

Hello everyone. I am back now, albeit for a short period, and you would want to know what I have been up to. So here’s that then, for there’s not much to be told, apart from of course what I have been up to. So I just finished with my copy of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. It is a wonderful read. It is funny, it is dreamy, and it is carved beautifully into five parts which somehow just manage to intermingle and join up towards the end.

So what is this book all about? Well, the story revolves around a couple of friends and couple of their friends, who travel through time and space to save the universe and to find unexpectedly, the answer to Life, Universe and Everything. If there is one utmost important thing that this book teaches us, it is to never expect anything from life, for it is almost always the opposite of what you get. Another important thing that this book puts forward is that you do not need to write poignant pieces of tales, or very deep thoughts, to make it to the Classics list. Trust me, this is one of those books you’ll never regret after reading.

So that’s that then, for there is nothing much more to tell, and for this is not a book review forum, so I will not critique what has been written, for my job was to read it, and enjoy it to the fullest, and that was what I did. Coming back to my life, well, Happy new year once again, though it is quite late to wish you so, I’ve started with this new book. It’s a novel by Rabindranath Tagore, called ‘The Home and The World’, a translation of the very famous Bengali classic ‘Ghore Baire’. It is a pleasant read, and I have only been through the first couple of pages, so let’s wait till it gets over.

That much for now. I will be back again with more introspection when I am in the mood for introspection, which is definitely not today, but might happen some day soon. Bye then, and have a good day, and do grab a copy of the Hitchhiker if you can.