To Dana,

The roads I took to meet you scare me today,
I was fueled by love then but all I hit now, on those roads, is dismay,
The music that had me swaying to its tune stunts me now,
The sound of it ruled me then but, now, the words sting me somehow.

All the visions I have, of you, are so palpable,
And it’s of you laughing at me like scammers at their victims,
The place I met you might have been questionable,
But, dear, know that my love for you never knew limits.

The hurt was real when I realized all you ever said were lies,
The pain stung me like when someone you know dies,
But, Oh wait!, it didn’t end for me there,
I lost my father and then it all got too hard to bear.

I will, somewhere in an unreachable place in my brain, lock you,
And will, with all the strength I have, forgive me,
But I will not stop loving you,
Even though you never cared for me.

Broken Knight

I rode into the forest thinking I’ll save a damsel in distress,
Prepared I was, I thought, for anything out there in the wilderness,
From as small as having cuts on my body from the branches of the trees,
I endured everything else horrible the grove could throw at me to bring me to my knees,
Then when I got lost in the maze of the thicket,
I started losing hope and thought life to be wicked,
But air brought to me a girl’s voice that guided me to safety,
I was mesmerized by her voice and, when I saw her, her beauty,
Her hair was blonde, skin fair and eyes blue,
She stood there looking out of the only window of a tower on top of which a flag flew,
I stood behind the trees and watched her talk to people who passed by,
Till I went up to the foot of the tower and, to her, said hi,
She talked to me as she would to anyone else she met,
But every word she spoke and every smile she gave took away my breath,
I asked if she would ever consider me deserving of her,
She said she had responsibilities, that she had to attend to, so I would have to wait for her,
Since she said she loved me but she didn’t have time for me yet,
I kept going back to tower to talk to her and give her whatever I could get,
She thanked me profusely for all that I had given,
That I had been someone who was gifted to her by heaven,
I thought my unconditional love would relieve her of the pain and agony that she always seemed to convey,
So I sold my horse to buy a rope strong enough for her, eventual, escape,
I thought I had found myself, in her, a wife and a willow,
Until that day, and for many days after, I was greeted by a closed window,
Little did I know that she had family that didn’t need help in that tower so high,
That she had a man that she already loved and I wouldn’t have her as much as I tried,
She faked the love and the smiles to get what she wanted,
I was just some other guy who got played and discarded,
I, the knight, had rode into the forest thinking that I will save a damsel in distress,
Little did I know that, at the end, I would be the one who needs saving and somebody’s largesse.

Dana and Dad

In 2018 , at 31, I am no good for it. I have aged more in the last year – my 30th year – than all years combined. It turned out to be the saddest of them all and exactly the opposite of what I had worked towards for the preceding 8 years starting on my 22nd birthday.

In the last 6 months, I had two people, I loved dearly, leave me either by their choice (read Dana) or by natural causes (read Dad). I let my self-adjudged failures, in my personal life, ruin my confidence and professional life. I got myself entangled in the circle of self pity at first and then accepted it was my mistake but from both of them I couldn’t break free and lived through them the way I hope I hadn’t.

Dana (the girl I loved) turned out to be a lie I believed. It is the heart that hurts not the burnt pocket. Just for the sake of having me wait for 2 years for a date or just out of pity, I hoped she had gone easy on me. She left me with no closure and that will haunt me forever.

I always did love Dana. I still do and would have forever loved her if given a choice but she choose to let me go so there is no point pining for her. What I never understood was what I had done to not deserve the truth and a goodbye in person.

Come to think of it, I was plain stupid. They say truth is never pure, and it isn’t definitely simple, so whom am I to judge anyone on what she said or did. The truth is, I could have loved and trusted anyone the same way I did her but it is just that I was too dumb to realize what that commitment, to her, was doing to me. To me staying loyal and waiting for her to give me a chance was the best thing. May be I was wrong as I always was. There are things I wanted to give her, dreams I had dreamt and plans like buying a house big enough for her dogs and us. I am left, now, with no hope or dreams of finding love.

  But not finding love or not having kids, of my own, always scared me. And, I think, that is what will come to pass.

My father, on the other hand, loved me to the core so I know he will meet me upstairs even if he has to go through hell to find me. So I will have my goodbye and my closure with him if, and when, I meet.

I was/am no saint and, may be, I am not good enough, too. So, I guess, I got what I deserved



Dad, if you are listening to me,…

 “Your memory is a treasure. You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure”

         I am sorry I wasn’t there for you in your final moments. You didn’t give me any notice. One moment you were there smiling and living life and then, the next, you were not. There are so many things that were left unspoken. So many things that were left not done.

         I regret so many things in my life but none more than how I stopped speaking to you, in the last three years, the way we used to speak, unconditionally and unabashedly. I never got to say sorry but, trust me, I really am. I was stupid. Mom, and brother, told me that you, in one of your final conversations with them, said you were proud of what I have become and the things I have done for you. I wish I was there when you said that. I wish I could see that happiness in your eyes. But, Nanna (I will miss calling you that), I was living your dream here in USA and, hopefully, was making you prouder each day.

          I know you just wanted me to be happy and be married in those three years. I am sorry I let my love for a girl, who didn’t love me, blind me of what it was doing to you and mother. I am sorry I let her drive me to unhappiness and, in turn, put you through that misery. Today, I regret falling in love with that girl, for having you wait for 3 years and then give you nothing in return.

The priest said during the final rites that a tear from my eye, for you, would relieve you of your hunger for a day in whatever world you are in. Part of me wishes it were true because tears are the only thing that I have, and that I can afford, to give you now.

So many memories, of us, have flooded my mind in the last three weeks since your passing away. The rides on your moped that you took me on when I was a child and your commentary to make it look like we were racing the vehicles on the road, the times you played cricket with us, the times I got spanked for not doing things right, the times you sat with me listening to your favorite singer’s songs while I studied and, the best, and right now the most hurtful, memory of all, the way you had my plate filled with rice mixed, by your own hands, with my favorite dishes even after I turned 30 just because I asked, and loved, that way.

I loved you and will always do. I will miss you in every triumph and, every defeat, of mine from here on. I will miss your smile. I will miss your OCD of your final few years. I will miss the ways you made me mad. You have left me lonelier than I already was. But, how much ever life I have left in me, from today, will be dedicated to make you and mom prouder. I will do my best to look after Mom, brother and his wife like you would have. I will be my best just like you had, and would have, wanted.

I miss you. I Love you.

Always Your’s,                                                                                                                                         Jayaram Guda

In a Tourniquet

Sometimes you live for others,
While they are busy living for themselves,
Your love for them, to you, seems more than adequate,
When all they do to you is underrate,
Don’t repeat the mistakes that I’ve made,
And, instead, heed to the words that elders have said,
Not everyone you love will stay,
To everything wished, life will not obey,
Plan for the worst and give your best,
Your heart might get broken in a moment but learn to move on to your next.


		

Mirage

There was this guy walking on the beach barefoot,
On sand ever so velvety under every step he put,
Every time he would turn his gaze to the ocean, he would step on a shell,
He showed no emotion, picked and threw them aside and back into ocean they fell,
His wandering eyes then caught a silhouette,
Of a girl so beautiful like none he had met,
His feet followed her not minding where and what they stepped on,
He didn’t realize the ocean, family and friends behind him had long gone,
Without a warning the women in peignoir disappeared,
It was as if she had vanished off of this sphere,
He then felt, for the first time, pain in his feet,
They looked mauled and painfully dead beat,
He looked around and saw lands filled with thorns for miles,
“How did I get here?”, he thought, “Is this how love beguiles?”

Semblance

He stood there alone in the rain,
Wishing it washes away his tears and his pain,
While asking for the world he needs,
Instead of the world the God, to him, feeds,
His inner self heavier than his wet clothes felt,
His patience hanging by the straw as his resistance begins to melt,
Then a light shone on his closed eyelids,
The rainbow gave way to something that it until then forbid,
In the dark clouds he saw that strange semblance,
That smile, that eyes and in them peace in full attendance,
“Dad?” slipped out from the edges of his mouth,
“Yes” he heard from behind the curtains of the cloud,
He then felt the rain wash away the dead weight off of him,
His heart felt lighter and a smile was no longer a whim.

Dubiety

“There is lot to this life” said one,
“I am happy with everything in my marriage said no one”,
“The patch looks greener from other side”, said another,
“But trust me it is not something about which you should bother”,
I said, “I know I have people who care for me here”,
“I’ve got someone or another to endear”,
I understand what you are trying to say,
But there are couple of questions if I may,
How does a broken heart heal?,
And how does the first kiss of love feel?


Transmute

He looked at himself in the mirror,
He hoped that it would make everything more clearer,
Where was the beauty that his parents talked about?,
Where was the intelligence that his brother pointed at throughout?,
All he could see in the mirror was this vermin,
“Who am I?” was what his mind was questioning,
Yes he was swatted away by few to oblivion,
But to few others he was nothing but ethereal,
Confused was he about the state of his being,
How does he learn to live with this change unforeseen?

Image Courtesy:
https://bloodborne.wiki.fextralife.com/Vermin+Host

Book Review: The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung) is a novella written by Franz Kafka which was first published in 1915. One of Kafka’s best-known works, The Metamorphosis tells the story of salesman Gregor Samsa who wakes one morning to find himself inexplicably transformed into a huge insect and subsequently struggling to adjust to this new condition. The novella has been widely discussed among literary critics, with differing interpretations being offered. .Wikipedia

This book is definitely one of its kind. Hundred odd pages long and it can be read through in a day but it definitely will leave you thinking about it well after reading through it. I read the translated version of the original in English and am just hoping that it retained the depth of the original. Nevertheless, the translated version in itself packed the punch.

I heard about this book through a book club and the premise of the book piqued my interest. The book for me was dark and bit depressing with a touch of redemption at the end. Everyone who reads it can place him/her self in the shoes of the protagonist symbolically depending on the life altering incidents that they have gone through in their life. The story also brings to light the trials and tribulations of an alienated and isolated being in a society that is fast to judge and punish.

Overall, if you are down with reading a story which is dark enough to make you sleepless and good enough to leave you asking for more then this definitely is the book

P.S: I didn’t want to put myself in a position to critique Franz Kafka and his work after having read about his contributions to the world of literature. So, I hoped this would just be an introduction to his work that a review.

Intelligent Fools

The fool stood at the top grinning with ignorance,
The air around him full of belief and utter confidence,
The elite elected him with the cast of their vote,
The down trodden choose him as if it was rammed down their throat,
The middle class hailed him as a savior from their strife,
But now they are all standing at an edge of a knife,
The stunned silence of their’s shut the fool’s mouth close,
In the silence they realized the enigma they chose,
He had only repeated what a few said and many hoped to hear,
To give them the confidence and allay any fear,
The sheep that followed him had sang his praises,
Of foolishness and treachery there weren’t any traces,
Now the bodies, he stood on, lay there as a testament,
That he was a pied piper and an incurable pestilence to their own regiment.

Image Courtesy:
http://nddaily.blogspot.com/2017/06/new-deal-art-pied-piper.html

Silent Noise

Here I go again making some noise,
Noise that I know you can’t hear,
Not even if the rocks could have their own voice,
Not even if the end of days was near,
May be one day oceans will spit out gold,
May be one day forests will not be hacked through to be sold,
May be the Sun will decide to turn around,
Instead of pining west it might decide to travel east bound,
One day the moon might grow its own conscience,
And decide to be self sufficcient and have its own radiance,
One day may be I will find someone else to love to my core,
May be, just may be, they will love me more,
Truth is that all I ever wanted to see in your eyes was love for me,
The kind that I saw in your eyes for him in your post that the world could see.

Book review – Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup is a nonfiction book by journalist John Carreyrou, released May 21, 2018. It covers the rise and fall of the firm Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup headed by Elizabeth Holmes.

I haven’t read many books that have been non-fictional. The last two non-fictions that I have read have been captivating to say the least. The first was “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah and then this book. It is funny that even though it is not fictional it seems straight out of a movie.

There are two ways I can go with this review and that is by either reviewing the person and her deeds that the book is about or just stick with the review of the book. Since I am definitely not morally anywhere near judging someone, I am not going to talk about her or her story of riches and then rags. About the book I will say that, for a not-so-voracious reader, it had me interested all through out.

There are a lot of real life characters mentioned in this book and, hence, a lot of names you need to keep track of. I, for instance, had to pause to remember a person’s history in the book. The author did make a conscious effort to cover as many bases as possible to make it easy for readers to follow.

The story is very well told. Yet times it feels like you are reading a news article about someone or a company and I mean that in a good way. It also underlines the effort that the author put into research and interview the real people to chronicle the story of rise and downfall of Theranos.

It definitely is a must read if you are a corporate employee in a startup or anywhere else, for that matter.

Ocean and Forest

Here I am standing at the edge of a cliff,
Eyes wandering, my brow sweating and body all stiff,
I am facing the ocean all blue and majestic,
With a shore made of rocks and bushes wild and rustic,
As I catch whiff of the cool air from the ocean water,
The fire from the burning forest hits my back a bit hotter,
Happy was I living in that forest with that tribe,
When my fortune decided to leave me and turn the tide,
Oh! the singeing of my wings hurts a bit,
I doubt I can fly like I did when I was fit,
Time is running out as the fire grows nearer,
The smoke screens my Mother even though I can hear her,
So here I am standing at the edge of a cliff,
Eyes wandering, my brow sweating and body all stiff,
Ready to follow her voice before it’s too late,
To start my new journey with a last ditch leap of faith.

Conversation Pal

Ain’t it funny how life turns out,
Once filled with confidence but now its all doubt,
Once you were ok with me wearing a smile,
Now you are against it but not because its out of style,
Oh heart! so tell me what should I do to help you here,
When will you trust people again and let them near?,
What is there be to lost if we tried something or someone new?,
Haven’t we seen enough for you to analyze the data accrued.

Me to Me

Hey myself from a parallel universe,
If you receive this then rest assured that its true what they say about multiverse,
It’s me, your other you, checking up on you in case you’ve had the same luck as I’ve had,
If so, then let me tell you to go easy on yourself a tad,
The world is confusing and, sometimes, it’s people lie and they just leave,
But you will always have those who love you and, in whom, you can believe,
May be I am jumping to conclusions so, let me ask you this,
Do you, sometimes, feel empty and something is amiss?,
And Does it take longer to fall asleep than it takes a nightmare to wake you up?,
Is blank the only thing that your mind draws when somebody asks, “whats Up?”,
Tell me, oh friend, did you get to say goodbye to your Dad?
Or is he still part of every success, and failure, you’ve had?,
Do you lean towards you whenever you have to choose someone over you?
Or do you still agree to everyone even if, about them, you have no clue?,
Which reminds me, did “the girl” leave you or is she still in your life ?
Or did you have the sense to look her up first before you fell in love and began to see, in her, a wife?
I know stupidity doesn’t run in families but, does it run in parallel worlds?,
If it does, then, I welcome you to my fight club which bars no holds,
Do your senses work when you put your self out in the world?,
Or do you turn mute, deaf, blind and you, inwards, fold?
Do you always feel like you have million things to say but doubt lets only one or two find a way through your mouth?,
If all of this seems familiar then let me tell you that not all is pointed south,
Try finding joy in the small things that life keeps offering,
For what it’s worth, if you have marvel comics there, then isn’t there Avengers:Endgame release which will be soon happening?

Image Courtesy: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiZi9DpqbXhAhXp64MKHauJCQo4kAMQMyhMMEx6BAgBEE0&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmedium.com%2Fstarts-with-a-bang%2Fyes-the-multiverse-is-real-but-it-wont-fix-physics-82beaed322b&psig=AOvVaw08PCs-q_AJ8zILF-8gcOPE&ust=1554428839785900&ictx=3&uact=3

Recommendation

She came in from a different team when we needed someone like her the most,
Our product needed refactoring and all of us were close to toast.
She not only brought up points which we had missed in our original approximation.
But by understanding time was of the essence and so was the quality of implementation,
She got down to work and delivered the changes in time,
Saving close to 200 hrs of re-work and far more than a dime.
She came to work early and left late,
Even though she had to deal with a new role, that of a mother, on her plate.
Weekdays or weekends didn’t matter to her,
Delivering a quality product on time is what she choose to prefer.
The customer was not only happy with the quick turn around of the re-worked product,
They were also impressed with how it, on the product’s performance, had a positive impact.
If you hadn’t already noticed, since I was in a poetic mood,
I hoped this would pass of as a poem close to good.
But, please don’t let it take away anything from the work she put in,
even if my quest for rhyming words got under your skin

My recommendation for a bonus to one of my colleagues at work.

Adieu


It’s not like she was the first women that I’ve loved,
But she is the last one I will ever do,
May be I am reaping for whatever I sowed,
But what have I done, about that, I have no clue,
May be I will be that creep that doesn’t talk,
Or the obese that doesn’t like to walk,
You see, my heart can take those looks and their secret murmuring,
But, Dad, this heart cannot take anymore rejections or conning,
I know you are sitting there somewhere in the heavens,
Willing me to search, again, for a girl who loves me, and gets rid my grievance,
But if you can see, right now, at the tears in my eyes,
That’s the pain my heart can’t speak, and it’s the place where the fear of love lies.
I am sorry that I am not brave like you’d wanted and I’d promised,
I am sorry that I was the reason for some of the joys that you missed,
But, I am broke and, so, it’s a joy that I won’t be able to give you,
So, please Rest In Peace while I come to terms with your adieu.

My Judgement Day

Oct 20th 2018 was the day when the life, in me, went from it’s highest peak of happiness, after about 4 years, to saddest day of my life ever. This day has forever left me scared to smile again or have fun doing anything.

It started out well. I was gradually getting over the girl I loved (this, if you haven’t noticed, is a common theme through out this blog). I wanted to start living my life again. I wanted to have some fun however the day went.

In eight years, that I have stayed in USA, I never took a train (metra) ride. Believe me, romantic fools like me exists. I was waiting for a partner, that I love, to do it with. Yes, I was waiting for a romantic partner to get on a train, you are allowed to chuckle at that. I ended up doing the trip with a friend since the love part wasn’t working out for me.

Then, after getting down at the Union Station in Downtown Chicago, a visit to Lou Mitchell’s

Then it was to the activity of the day, Axe throwing. This was at the Ragnarok Axe throwing at the Fine Arts building in the downtown. To say it was perfect is an understatement. My team won 2-1 in the 3 contests that we had between the 2 teams our group divided into.

“Parush” was my warrior name or something like that.

Then to top it all off, I won the individual competition between all the 10 people we had there.

The mark of a winner.

It would have been a great day if it had ended there. My jaws hurt from all the smiling I did that day. I don’t remember the last day I smiled, without faking it, before that day. Before it came to a halt, when I got a call from my brother about my father’s passing away, after I reached home.

Zombie

The cover is, again, coming off my rotting corpse,
The mask is coming off while my mind warps,
I can’t seem to be able to hide my pale face anymore,
Nor hide my heart’s sore,

I gave it a good try,
Went out into the world and stopped being shy,
Alas! Now I know that it is not hard to keep myself busy before I go to bed,
But, for me, it is hard to not, ever again, feel like living dead.

Image Courtesy: https://vibvir.artstation.com/projects/llKxo

Killmonger

He says no when I say yes,
When I don’t accept, he forces me to second guess,
He’s painted the worst of images imaginable,
He’s cracked toughest of the problems which were thought unsolvable,

He has pushed me to my limit many times,
Has saved me from my end some times,
Through all this life, he has been the worst enemy I’ve had to suffer,
Oh my brain!, stop being him is all I ask for.

Rove

Not afraid of the darkness, was I, until recently,
Never will I venture into it, I thought blatantly,
Underestimated life, oh!, so arrogantly,
Lectured people, in pain, to get over it, vehemently,

Till I ended up in the clutches of somebody’s false love,
And to the feeling of worthlessness I was, by it, drove,
Now I am searching for the life at which I once throve,
While stumbling in this darkness that I rove.

Death Wish

Death wouldn’t come at a sweeter time,
If it came now it wouldn’t be as bitter as lime,
I would have a smile for the sweet release,
For I don’t care anymore of my heart’s debris,
Although the arrow she shot through my heart is long forgotten,
The pulse in me is waiting to be flattened,
The thought of not getting to get lost in her eyes is hurting,
Her smile and my love for her are haunting.
If the grim reaper ever comes for any of your lives or souls,
Tell him I am ready to swap mine for yours.

Trodden Monster

I look at the people around me,
Some of them happy, some sad and, some, very angry,
I wish I could read what is going through their mind,
I wonder if life is treating them fine or being unkind,
It’s the eyes, I suppose, through which life is seen,
Which defines how one describes his/her life has been,
The monsters fake innocence while they blame the world for it’s cruelty,
The trodden lose their identity and question the world’s morality,
May be I was a monster once, if not in this life then in the one preceding this,
As now, I find myself trodden and staring down an abyss,
I look at the people around me,
And wish I could read what is going through their mind,
I wish I could set them, from the pain they hide, free,
While seeking, from them, some help in going through my life’s grind,
While I wade through this storm in my life,
With my sanity placed on the edge of a knife.

The Whisper


A day will come when I walk into the world smiling,
Where that smile is now, about that, I don’t have an inkling,
May be she is with her parents helping them with their chores,
May be she is with her brother fighting him for a tv remote behind closed doors,
Or may be she might be gossiping with her sister,
Or may be, with her friends, she is having some wine or liquor,
I hope there is a smile out their looking into the sky waiting for me to find her,
Walking her dog or just strolling through a park while this reaches to her as a whisper,
I hope I can hold you one day with all my love,
I hope one day you will find life, better with me, than the one you have right now.

Crossroads

I hope I could show you, as proof, to this world,
To prove love doesn’t exist and never love even if, otherwise, told,
How did you not realize that a person is left empty with a trampled heart,
That even a person, as strong as a rock, will fall apart,  
Let me shout through that locked doors, of the heart, of your’s,
That it’s hard to contain the flame of passion that soars,
Let me tell you that sometimes a person cannot forget,
That the only option, he has, is to invite his own death,
Let me ignore your reflection in all of my heart’s countless pieces,
And let me write till my heart’s longing, for you, ceases, 
Even if it means that I’ll have to write till my heart, from this pain, implodes,
That’s the choice I’ve made, as you dump me at this crossroads.

Mulling

When did the carousel of my  memories change,
the photos of happiness got replaced by the ones of dismay,
When did the mirror, I look into, break,
It looks back at me sad, when I smile at it, for god’s sake,
When did my bed harden up,
I can’t sleep on it and, when I do, in just few minutes, I wake up,
When did the bolt of the door, to my house, get jammed,
It doesn’t  let me out, I feel suffocated and dammed,
When did my phone go dead,
It doesn’t ring or let me, with anyone, connect,
When did the time, on my watch, get stuck,
It put me in a fix and left me in this funk,
When did my world tear apart,
I don’t know how to fix it and from where to start.

Deer talk


I’ve been grazing the grass under the hot sun,
Thinking about the beauty of the day,
I’ve had a silent day without having to escape or run,
Away from any animal that saw me as it’s prey,
Yes this life has been good and beautiful,
It has been generous if not bountiful,
There goes my heartbeat, that enthusiastic fawn,
Protecting her is my duty, mine and mine alone,
Her father, not so long ago, fell prey in the nearby Serengeti,
As her mother, her protection is not, to me, to be considered as petty,
You see, oh human, the fact you think I enjoy the freedom that you do not,
Is just because you chose a life of a robot instead of putting in, into your interests, some effort.

Reckoning

Interesting have been my nightmares lately,
Don’t know if they are a sign of what’s to come,
I hope it’s just a passing anomaly,
because each of those, obviously, were glum,

From driving my car off a cliff to my death,
after having helped somebody,
To been chased by a bull which, on killing me, was set,
the nightmares were woefully gawdy,

The one where I got fired from my job wasn’t  pleasant,
Nor was the one with my father disowning me,
Because, when he passed away, I was absent,
And, three years back, I let one of my values go free,

I regret what I’ve let my mind think,
And what I’ve let my heart feel,
I regret how far I’ve let myself sink,
Instead of helping my broken soul heal.

Closed Encounter


A light shined through the window,
Bright, it was, as much as it was blinding,
It looked like a demon looking for me to harrow,
Just as it seemed my wait for relief was unending,
My feet started levitating off the earth beneath,
Into the gleam and its growing heat,
I felt like a deer in headlights,
So threw my hands in the air and signed off to the almighty all my rights,
In that moment I saw silhouettes at the end of the radiance,
As they grew nearer I found them to be a group of extraneous,
My eyes lit up and a smile adorned my face,
An idea struck me to end all this craze,
So I charged at them to commit suicide by alien,
Because I am done with this life of homo sapient.

Contraction

Time has slid by so slowly,
I still feel my part in this world as lowly,
My teeth are shy to show themselves,
My mouth doesn’t want to have it stretched,
My hands are heavier than the things they hold,
Legs don’t move even if the opposite is what they are told,
Eyes wander off to I don’t know where,
Ears don’t want to listen, its as if they don’t care,
The scent of her is all I inhale,
Yes all of this has been too much to bear,
If only my heart could just forget,
And my mind do anything else but regret,
Time wouldn’t slide by so slowly,
I wouldn’t feel so unholy. 

Mother’s wrath

She stood there with a cane in her hand,
My heart skipped a beat and I could feel the hair, on my skin, stand,
Frightened, I was, of the consequences of my infraction,
So I froze there ready for her to take, against us, her action,

You see, the school decided to send us home early that day,
So we decided to watch a movie at the theater on our way,
Thought she wouldn’t be home till the evening,
So if we could return home in time, there would be no way of her knowing,
 
Apparently she, on that day, wasn’t feeling alright,
So she returned from work early and saw the school bus but we were nowhere in sight,
As a 10 year old, I didn’t know, then, how worried she was,
But, oh god!, she choose a great way to show it, just because,

As soon as he saw she was home, my friend took a u turn,
Lucky him, unlike me and my brother, he at least had somewhere else to run,
The spanking that we got that day was one for the ages,
It still brings a smile to my face when I replay those images,
    
I was used to the spankings, as this for me was nothing new,
But my brother was very studious so, till that day, he got very few,
During that episode, I acted as if I was crying while, in fact, I was laughing,
At the fate of my brother and the spanking he was getting.

Simple perfect

  I will tell you a story today. You should know, first, that I have very good memory. It is a boon, at times, but most of the times it is bane. This is when I was in kindergarten. My teacher locked us up in our classroom for not been quite when there was nobody monitoring the class. It was her way of punishing us. It ended up motivating all the other kids to have more fun than they already were having. You see, now, they knew the world was, for sure, not seeing them or judging them and there was no way of being caught in the act. However, I ran to the door, started crying and slamming the door while screaming to be let out. I remember the color of the door. It was green. It had a hole right around the place that they have peepholes. At that age, I did not know what it was for. For me, as far as I was concerned, it was a way of letting the outside world know that I was trapped inside and wanted out. As I was not tall enough to talk through the hole or see through it, I found a stick,which was generally used to spank us, and tried to push it through the hole as a signal to the outside world that we were trapped inside.

I have always remembered my actions before, during, and after, that incident. I remember each of the similar incidents that happened to me before or after that. It was in the third, or fourth, grade that I stopped crying when I was locked in. Funny thing is, the first time I did not cry was the first time the class decided not to have fun. Let us just say, they were too busy looking at me because they were surprised I was not crying. Couple of them even pointed at the door to remind me that the door was locked.

   I never could remember what was going through my mind back then. It is as if I blocked out the mental trauma but the physical assertion, or trauma, I remembered. On Dec 23rd 2018, my 31st birthday, I remembered how it felt. On that day, my pent up emotions knew no bound. They unlocked corners of my brain, which I had long forgotten. That day, I was feeling the same way I had felt when I was locked in that room with all those kids. As I remember, I felt alone among those kids, some of whom were my friends. I was scared. I did not know why I was been punished because of some other person’s actions. However, probably the worst feeling of them all was the feeling that I will not be able to see my parents and my brother. For me, they were my world. Home was a place where it did not matter if I had a cleft palate, if I could not pronounce words properly, that I had a weird mouth, or that I was strange. It was a place where I was not pointed at in ridicule and I was not judged even before talking to me or knowing me.

    For 22 years of my life I did not need the world, I was with my parents. They were all I needed. Then I moved to a different country. Made a mistake of considering everyone my family. what else did I know? I did not know how to keep people away, how to differentiate friends from family and strangers from friends. Until 8 years later, everything came crashing down. You can only test your luck for so long before it turns on you.

  On that day, on my 31st birthday, I felt alone among people. I had just lost one third of my world two months prior – my father. For all he gave me in his life, for all his sacrifices, when I had to be with him, beside him, I was too busy wanting appreciation from the world and from a girl. My father used to fear that my country and its people would eat me alive. That I was too soft for my own good. Therefore, he sent me to a country that he thought would nourish me. I did not realize, back then, that he loved me too much to point out how stupid I was to believe in the world. To believe that the world will return me the favor every time I give it something. I did not realize back then, that he was my world and the nourishment I needed.

   There is no message in this.  I lack the confidence in me, today, to preach something out of this. There is no moral, or proverb, that I am wishing to convey. Sometimes, perfect does not have to be complicated. Sometimes, perfect can just be simple.

Silent Road

Driving, I am, on a road that’s empty as far as I can see,
With fear in me that I won’t ever find a city or a tree,
Surrounded, I am, with lands that seem barren,
Is it me, or my navigation, that I can’t find at least a small Inn, 

I didn’t lack the confidence when I started on this journey,
That I will travel the world before I end up on a gurney,
But I stopped  to help everybody I came across along the way,
Few blessed me, few mugged me,
But most of them took my time to send me, empty handed, on my way,

I fear I am running out of time,
But not stopping to check on someone seems no less than a crime,
God help me learn if travelling the world alone would give me happiness,
Or taking the world with me on this journey will lessen my ever growing sadness.
   

Imprisoned heart

Late is the hour that I opened up to the world unknown,
Trusted the smiles and love that, at me, were shone,
But, alas!, so much pain have I put my heart through,
Brain so broken that it doesn’t know what is a lie and what is true,
Lived for other’s appreciation have I always,
But now have been left feeling filthier than a sewage,
Love is also what I always dreamt from that special one,
Now it seems like that wish will never be done,
People left me for no reason, 
Whom I loved the most committed, against me, treason,
Family of mom and brother is all what I’ve got today,
Fatherless I had to become to finally learn this truth, to my dismay,
One day this world might make sense to me,
Only then will I, again, let myself and my heart free.

— on Jan 5th 2018

Broken Roses

It was an unusually harsh winter and Shukra, the merchant, took a different route to get home after his morning walk. He saw an old man dressed in rags, struggling to cope up with the cold.

Shukra stopped in his tracks and asked him, “Are you not feeling cold?”

The old man replied, “I do, but I am used to this now.”

Shukra said “I will arrange for some warm clothes for you.” The old man, visibly overjoyed,thanked and blessed him.

Shukra came back home, got caught in his work and forgot all about the old man. The next day morning, he stepped out for his walk but was stopped by his gate keeper. ‘Sir, there is an old man’s dead body outside our gate. We are arranging to remove it. Once that is done, you can go out”.

Shukra was aghast and rushed out. Next to the old man’s body on the ground it was scrawled, ‘O merchant, I lived by with the barest of clothes for so many winters, your promise of warm clothes killed me.”

“One can talk good and shower down roses, but it’s the receiver that has to walk through the thorns, and all its false expectations.”

― Anthony Liccione