Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Muse

Some call us revolutionaries, some say we are born, not made.

Why then, within our minds must doubt and turmoil pervade?


Like an impatient reader who jumps to the last page,

Are we drinking our wine before we have let it age?


Are we victory’s vanguards or futility’s foot soldiers,

Fighting for a cause dead and locked in its hearse?


We keep marching on, though the terrain ahead is a blur,

Has sense betrayed us for thirty pieces of silver?


Are we following the sweet music of liberty’s call,

Or is a sinister pied piper leading us to our fall?


Are we shedding blood to claim something that once was ours,

Or is ambition making us play desperation’s wet nurse?


The vagueness questions the worth of the pain we endure,

But then we look at our children, and can at once be sure.


The wounds will heal, though the gashes are deep,

But the young ones must once again smile in their sleep,


Keep smiling in their sleep.



Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rancid

After receiving a message on Facebook from the 'People against Sri Ram Sena and Pramod Muthalik' group that I had joined, asking members to refrain from writing anything that might be deemed defamatory on the wall of the group, in wake of a 'recent Supreme Court ruling', I decided to check what the fuss was about. After all, wasn't the whole point of creating the said group, criticism of the party in question? I looked up TOI, and realized this is what the message was referring to.

Reacting to these posts, the Shiv Sena youth wing's state secretary registered a criminal complaint at Thane police station in August 2008 based on which FIR was registered against Ajith under Sections 506 and 295A pertaining to hurting public sentiment.
Starting an anti Shiv Sena community on Orkut = hurting public sentiment??!!! Since when? Like the Shiv Sena echoes public sentiment and the public unanimously and unequivocally supports the Shiv Sena.

I am not going to write about how this is blatant stifling of the freedom of expression. Most comments on the article echo my exact sentiments. And it makes me ponder over the ridiculousness of the decision. Is this what has become of justice in India?

Unimpressed, the Bench said, "We cannot quash criminal proceedings. You are a computer student and you know how many people access internet portals...
Welcome to teh internets, Mess(e)rs. Balakrishnan and Sathasivam! Here, you will find hate communities for anyone and anything that has ever existed, more so public figures and political parties - George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Shah Rukh Khan, Slumdog Millionaire, toilet paper, Amitabh Bachchan, herpes, gay people. Heck! There might be a hate community about me out there somewhere that I am unaware of, created by 16 year girls discussing the most excruciating ways by which I must be put to death because I said 'Twilight' did not impress me much. Surely, a hate mongering party that thrives on divisive politics might expect to find one that criticizes them? Or is public criticism of anything a crime now? Or is that just restricted to criticism of big goons? Starting an orkut community calls for a court trial? How about I make a movie that criticizes and ridicules the government, like Michael Moore? Would that warrant a death sentence? If tards like the complainant in this case, go BAWWWWWW!!! over anything that has ever been written against them, are you going to have us all arrested and appear before you in court? Are most of the commentators on the TOI article criminals? Will you be charging them with disrespecting the court decision?

I'll tell you what. I implore everybody reading this to stand up against this atrocious decision and put up the most provocative, defaming, ridiculing post or opinion that these tards deserve on your blogs. Or start more hate communities. Let us send out a message - If you are in the public arena, be ready to face the heat or bow the fuck out. People will have opinions about you. Some might praise you. Others will not be so generous. Some might be polite. Others will disembowel you outright for what it is worth. Let us do this, and let us see how many of us they can stop from speaking our minds out in public. Let us deny these bullies the one thing they survive on - our fear. When you are a major political party and have to complain when a 19 year old starts an orkut community that criticizes you, you prove to be the wussies we already know you are.

Balakrishnan and Sathasivam, you have made a laughable, ludicrous, unjust and unconstitutional decision. One that tramples on citizens' fundamental right to freedom of expression. And as an ironic consequence, you should expect hate communities about you and infinite ridicule hurled your way. You have brought India's judicial system to shame, and in the process made yourselves look like morons with heads up your asses.

There! Hah! I just publicly humiliated you. To any tards reading this, go ahead and flag my blog. Or try to have me arrested. Send me a summons. Slap provocation and defamation charges against my butt. Do the only thing you are good at - bullying. I want to see just how far you can go to smother free speech.
*High-fives Ajith for standing up to the cowardly bullies*
*Flips the tards*

Monday, December 08, 2008

Terrorists DO have religions

I get irked when people say terrorists have no religion. In the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks in Bombay, this is the statement I seem to hear/read the most. Everybody from Manmohan Singh to Aamir Khan to the general public seems to be endorsing this view. Now, if this is a knee-jerk reaction to avoid a communal scene in the wake of the attacks by laying the blame on the entire Muslim community, something bigots in our country love to do, I am with the intention, but against the reaction itself. The statement has recklessly deep and harmful implications.

Firstly, people that have no religion are the atheists, agnostics and the non-religious. The 'Istics', myself included. When you say terrorists have no religion, you directly put them in the same category as us. We are not the ones flying planes into buildings, bombing cities and gunning people down. We don't live a life fueled by dogmatic beliefs. Please don't put us together. What you say implies that you hold religion and the religious as infallible, untouchable, and if somebody engages in mindless carnage, they have got to be non-religious. Not true. Unacceptable.

Secondly, with a statement like that, you are overlooking the fact that there is a problem with religion. You are giving religion a free pass. Remember that religions were created by humans, and can only be as good as the people practicing them. Religion is not just scripture; it also includes the deeds people carry out in its name. Terrorists kill because they believe god instructs them to. They believe in a god and pray to him. They are religious. That is why we call them 'religious extremists'. Admit it. And deal with it accordingly. Don't exonerate religion from flaw. Unless we accept this, we won't get to the root of the problem. It will keep hitting us. Terrorists can have any religion. While the generic face of global terror today is the Islamic jehadist, there are terrorists from other religions too - There are Christian terrorists in Nagaland. The Bajrang Dal and the RSS are Hindu terrorists. Raj Thackeray and his MNS pinheads are Maharashtrian terrorists - regional terrorists! So you see, terrorists can belong to any religion or region.

Having said that, I next wish to directly address the role that religion plays in terror. And while I have just shown how terrorists can belong to any religion, and people that know me, know me to be as secular as one can get, I am sure that even the most devout of all Muslims reading this post, would regretfully agree that as far as terrorism goes, the most formidable problem facing the world today, and one that refuses to go away easily, is the terror caused by Islamic jehadists. Muslims in India, both civilians and religious preachers, have gone on record condemning the attacks, saying that Islam does not preach or permit the murder of innocents, and that the terrorists have misconstrued the Qur'an. Some have even pleaded with the terrorists in newspaper columns to stop calling themselves the representatives of the Muslim community, and that they are maligning Muslims all over the world by doing so. I believe all these sentiments are genuine. I believe that these people are honestly shocked that the terrorists should use Islam as an excuse for the cold blooded murder of innocents. They say and honestly believe that Islam is a religion of peace. Why all the carnage then? Why is Islamic terrorism threatening the world with mindless violence and destruction? The motive is political, I agree. But what makes certain Muslim youth so gullible to be brainwashed by these 'politickers' and fall for divisive politics, take to violence and declare war against 80% of humanity? If Islam preaches peace, how is it so easily used to cause the perpetrators of the terrorist acts to lose all empathy for human life?

Here is why: The Qur'an can be interpreted either way. Moderates would read certain verses and interpret them in way that would imply that Islam only teaches peace, love and tolerance. The extremists read the same verses and arrive at a completely different, diagonally opposite conclusion, one that implies that Islam calls for a war on all other religions, and righteous bloodshed for its cause. Why the two (or more) separate interpretations? Because Islam, like every other religion in the world, and the Qur'an, like every other religious text that exists, was written by men. Mortal, fallible men, and so, like every other religion and 'sacred text', it is ambiguous and open to interpretation. Moderates interpret it as preaching love and peace, because they WANT it to preach love and peace. They have a sense of distinguishing between right and wrong, and so if a particular verse seems to be endorsing violence, they either overlook it or interpret the same verse in a different context that makes it seem more valid. And this source of the ability to choose the right from the wrong, does not stem from religion itself, but from having lived in society and learned the importance of mutual altruism - that the only way to live in the world is to do to others what you would have them do to you, and not do what you yourself wouldn't like to be done to you. This is exactly what people of every religion do - pick and choose; sieve the 'right' from the 'wrong', overlook the 'wrong' or interpret it to imply something 'right'. But the ability to scan religion itself, to separate the right from the wrong, has its roots outside religion. So, the reason moderate Muslims are condemning the attacks in Bombay, is not because the Qur'an says so, but for the same reason that non-Muslims are doing the same - because it is so OBVIOUSLY WRONG. You don't need religion to tell you this. You don't need religion to instruct you to have love and respect for human life, and to not destroy it mercilessly. It however, took religion to brainwash a few young kids, who would perhaps have otherwise grown up to be good, law abiding citizens, before they could be given the chance to think for themselves and develop the discerning ability that I wrote about above, and to convert them into killing machines for god, with zero empathy for the gift of life.

Reminds me of a quote by Steven Weinberg, 1979 Noble Prize winner in Physics - "Even without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." Certainly true in the case of the Bombay gunmen. And the case of the 19 well-to-do, educated youth that carried out the 9/11 attacks. And the perpetrators of the 2005 London bombings. And the Hindu fundamentalists that carried out violent attacks against Muslims in the 2002 post-Godhra carnage in Gujarat. The list is endless.

We need reason, not religion.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Longing for Anesthesia

My recent trip to India wasn't the best I could have asked for. To start with, it was short. Very much so. All of two weeks. And no matter how much I had prepared my mind before I even left for home, I felt the shortness. I felt the clock tick away fast. Immensely.

Secondly, the heat, and the pollution. Even if you have lived in Bombay all your life, spend fifteen months away in an essentially colder and cleaner place and come back. You are bound to take some time to acclimatize yourself to the change. Most of my time was spent preparing for a cousin's wedding, the reason I made this short trip in the middle of my semester. Shopping for gifts, clothes and attending elaborate pre-marital functions hardly left me any time to spend the way I would have wanted to. Calling it hectic would be a gross understatement. On top of that, I had to keep in touch with my classmates and colleagues at my university to keep pace with homeworks, projects, updates, announcements,instructions from my professors etc. that were taking place in my absence. Water and plumbing problems in my old, can-collapse-if-someone-kicks-a-wall-hard-enough building did not make my stay any more comfortable, and the less said about internet connectivity problems, the better. I couldn't spend enough time with my parents and with my best friends and couldn't even meet a few others. And all my pre-trip dreams of the desi goodies that I miss while I am in the US and was going to gorge on during my stay at home were brutally crushed by an upset stomach.

Yet, for all the above laments, did I wish to leave home and be back here? Heck, no! It is home! Home! The most underestimated word in the language. The place that has the power to attach its inhabitants to itself in a bond that neither Newton nor van der Waals can explain. One small, single place that means the world to most of us. One word that incorporates everything - parents, siblings, friends and childhood; school, college and education; gully cricket and exam fever; crushes, sweethearts, growing up and breakups; love, closeness, comfort...and life.

It might be your first trip home since you first left, or it might be your tenth. It might be a three-month long, comfortable stay, or a two-week long, hectic and bumpy one, as was mine. The pain of leaving at the end of it all, is unmitigated, intense and inescapable.

Yesterday, as I was trying to locate my Delta Airlines connecting flight from JFK on one of the electronic schedule charts at the terminal, my eyes inadvertently fell on the DL16 flight scheduled for Bombay at 10:05 pm, the one I had taken two weeks back. A crazy idea struck me. Could I somehow hoodwink the authorities into letting me on this flight? Having just arrived from Bombay, what if I took this next flight back to where I had just come from? Fourteen hours...just fourteen hours and I would be home again! What a pleasant surprise for Mom and Dad who must still be sad from having to see me leave! Alas! Sense prevailed and all I could do was longingly stare at the people gleefully making their way to Gate # 4 (that's where the said flight leaves from), wishing I could join them on their flight.

As I type this, I reminisce my first day in school. My very first day. Kindergarten. A two-and-a-half year old me being led away from my parents for the first time in my life, by complete strangers my parents told me were 'teachers'. As I was led into my classroom, I bawled loudly, not caring if my tears were seen, not caring if other kids laughed, arms outstretched, pleading to be united with my parents. Any moment now, my parents would come running and snatch me away from the evil teachers. But they just waved. My arms remained outstretched. Open.

I want to do the exact same thing right now. Cry. Bawl out loud with my arms in the air. It didn't work then. It might work now. I want to shut my eyes and sleep. Sleep. And open my eyes to find that it had all been a dream. That I am still on my bed at home. I wish to be anesthetized so I don't feel the pain of being away from home, don't feel the longing to fly back to where I belong, don't feel the envy when people I know here go back home in the near future. I wish to be anesthetized so I don't feel...anything.

Monday, February 11, 2008

WTF

Warning: Crass language.

I was out of touch with news from home for a few days, busy with homework etc. A friend happened to mention the recent attacks on 'immigrants' in Bombay. A little google news search threw up appalling headlines, with equally appalling pictures. I am guessing that much has been said and written about the issue - defense, condemnation, and fence sitting. I just wish to add my worthless rant.

First the disclaimer - I do think the problem itself is very real and very grave. I do think the unchecked migration of job-seekers into Bombay is an issue that needs to be addressed, and addressed fast. Bombay does not have the capacity to accommodate and feed countless people. There aren't jobs for everyone. It results in poverty, low standard of living, health problems and invariably, in rising crime. What I do hold, is that beating the shit out of bhaiya taxi drivers and vada paav vendors is no solution. It only serves to aggravate the problem.

Now, my main point - I do not think Raj Thackeray or other perpetrators of similar violence think it is a solution either. They know they are not attempting to solve the problem. They know nothing is going to come out of it. They don't frickin' care. They have neither the ability, nor the will it takes, and they know it.

Why all the carnage then? Why, to seek attention of course! Beat up a few defenseless individuals in mobs of dozens, break their bones, smash their vehicles to smithereens and lo! You hog the limelight for the next few weeks to come. They will be talking about you, that is for sure! There will be interviews, speeches, debates, protests, talk shows. Everything will be about you. And in the ensuing elections, you will of course, garner the capacity votes of people who support your 'cause'; people with thinking as warped as your own.

Why? Just why is it so very easy to be important? Who the hell makes these retards the bosses? Why is it that they believe they are the law or above it, and feel secure enough to engage in acts of battery, without the slightest fear of any repercussion, and to later justify those shameless acts of cowardice? You are physically hurting; punching, kicking, trampling on, dealing blows to an unarmed human being, who never meant you any harm and is striving hard to make ends meet. How morally decrepit can one get?

In one of the episodes of the popular TV series 'South Park', humans from 3000 AD travel back in time to the present to seek jobs, as there aren't enough jobs in the future. Since these future humans (called 'Goobacks' in the episode) are willing to work for paltry wages, they soon begin to replace the current workmen, and many people from the present are rendered jobless. The jobless men come up with a solution - they take off their clothes, get on top of one another and engage in a gay orgy. Their justification - if everyone becomes gay, there won't be any children, hence no future and no ‘goobacks’ to travel back in time and snatch away jobs from their current holders. The insane orgy continues till a bunch of sensible nine year olds explain that the solution to the problem, is not to stop the future from happening but to make it better, starting now. Replace the people from the future with people from other states and the sexual gratification with a sadistic one, and you have the current scenario in Bombay.


The 'gay-pile' of South Park residents

The more I read about it, the more I think, and the more my blood boils. It is time we showed these mindless self-appointed upholders of justice their place. But then again, fat chance this will happen. I just hope, very hopelessly hope, that these rotting souls meet a very ghastly, violent end, live to see their decapitated limbs, taste their own gastric acid maybe.

Son of the soil? 'Son of a bitch' is more like it.

PS: I am open to criticism and debate through the comments section. However, I do not support any political party, and I plead you to not crap the section with comments that assume I have a political agenda that is one with the Shiv Sena or the Congress or any party that the MNS is against. In other words, I don't want inane comments that go 'The Shiv Sena also does this' or 'The Congress doesn't do that'. That shall be much appreciated. Thank you.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Counting Crows

November 08, 2007, 12:31 am: I was away when my phone rang. When I had a look at it, it showed one missed call and a voice message. It was Dad - 'Call back quick. No emergency. But call as soon as you receive this message.' My heart sank, expecting something ominous. Dad calls me after midnight, sounds frantic, asks me to call him back immediately, and no emergency? Ever since I left for the US two years back, there have been far too many accounts of bad news; deaths, illnesses and accidents of relatives, family friends or someone we've known, and some of my friends who came here with or after me have had to undergo severe trauma after the loss of their loved ones. And being away from home when you hear about or go through all this doesn't help matters.
So with a shaky hand and trembling fingers, I dialed home. And after a painfully long five seconds, Dad answered - 'Aseem, a little Diwali gift for you. Here, speak.' The receiver at the other end changed hands. 'Aseem, kasa aahes?' were the next words I heard in unmistakably gaavthi Marathi. And although the voice itself had changed drastically since the time I had last heard it, there was no question about who it belonged to. I still pretended not to recognize who was on the line. Lest my little 'happy guess' turn out to be far-fetched. I wanted to hear it in that gaavthi tone. I did. I was right. It was Lakshmi...or 'Lak-su-mi' as she (mis)pronounced it.
Lakshmi was my family's domestic help since before I was born. Right till about four years back. The one person my family could never dispense with. The one person they were overly dependent on. The one person they could unhesitatingly trust with keys to the house when they were away, as they could with a toddler me instead of hoisting me away at a day care. Staying and working in our house every day from early morning to late night, what with her own house being hardly five minutes away from ours, she was as good as family. And to me, as good as a grandmother.
She was my first friend outside my immediate family. As a toddler, she would haul me up and show me the view from our balcony, and we spent the time counting crows perched on the tree. I could never complete the task; the damn birds kept flying in and out. And it didn't help much that I couldn't count beyond ten either. A little later in life came school. And Lakshmi's duties included taking me across the street to the bus-stop in the morning and waiting there till the school bus arrived and I was safely in, after which she would turn around and head home again. No...wait. There was this mandatory waving I had taught her to do, and say 'tata'. That was a must, every morning after the school bus picked me and every night before she retired to her house.
I found it impossible to fathom that she did not know the alphabet. Even little kids knew it. I made it my job to teach her. So I would take my slate and chalk and ask her to repeat after me, simultaneously showing her the symbols I drew on the slate. 'Aaaaa'-'Aaaaa', 'Beeee'-'Beeee', 'Ceeee'-'Sheeee'. That was it. I could never go beyond C, for at this point, my mother, sympathizing with the look of distress on Lakshmi's face, would promptly drag me away.
Later, as I grew more 'knowledgeable' and 'worldly wise', she had to adapt to new kind of roles, including playing an utterly confused Skeletor to my He-Man and a surrogate underarm bowler to my swashbuckling batsman when my friends were not around, though I must admit it was rather annoying to come down the pitch (read 'the corridor outside our flat') almost to where the bowler was standing so as to hit the ball before the second bounce. Lakshmi loved cricket, never mind that she did not quite follow it. It was enough for her to know if 'we' (the Indian cricket team) were winning or losing, a question she asked me every half an hour since the beginning of a match.
But times change. And so do people and the things they do. Counting crows gave way to shooting them in TV-video games. School buses made way for BEST. ( School buses were for kids, I was now older you see!) School was over in flash and I was in college. And while all this was happening, with every passing month, Lakshmi's health was deteriorating. She couldn't work any more. The most major setback was her back problem, which worsened to the extent that she could barely manage to stand. The medics declared that the only way for any improvement might be a surgery, but were not sure that at her age, she would be able to take it. Her family then sent her away to their native place to live with their relatives. This happened about four years back. I was wistfully hoping then, that it wouldn't be the last time I would see or hear about her. After I came to the US, I've been regularly asking my mother about Lakshmi's health, and she has been telling me what she hears about her from her family - that her condition hasn't improved and that she is simply living because she is still alive. And I would try not to imagine the worst.
Cut back to the telephonic conversation. Honestly, all I remember is that I was ecstatic, and that I asked her about a dozen times how she was doing, a dozen times she told me she was perfectly fine, we wished each other a Happy Diwali and she asked me to plan a visit to India soon and come see her. My mother then told me that she seems to have recovered completely, can stand erect, walk and also climb stairs. Miraculously. I didn't think how. Maybe the medics had been wrong. Maybe it wasn't as big a problem as it had appeared to be. I didn't care. All that mattered was that she was okay.
Over the years, I have become a bit more detached from people, other than my closest relations and friends, and the people who matter at the moment. I haven't really made any specific attempts to stay at home when my relatives come visiting. Nor taken any special efforts to track, trace or keep in touch with long lost childhood friends. All that has mattered to me has been my career, my enjoyment and my current friends. Everything I do has been about me. And of late when I have reflected over this, I have inferred that I am now so full of myself that there isn't much space for too many emotions any more. That I have turned myself into some kind of robot, oblivious to reminiscing about good old days and good old people, unmindful about what people might think or say about me, not caring if I wasn't being particularly gentle to someone who was knowingly or unknowingly invading my personal space. And I have been thinking that this change is irreversible. That there is no going back. Some of the emotions and innocence I once had in me have been lost forever to time. Maybe this is how everyone...well...mutates. Maybe this is how it was supposed to be.
So, after hanging up, as has become my nature, I tried not to think of the joy I was suddenly feeling and the reason for it. I tried to close my door to the memories that I've described above. I tried to stop that emotional lump from forming in my throat. I failed on all accounts. I couldn't help thinking. I couldn't close the door. The memories came gushing through into my mind. The lump did form. And I was happy. Happy that not all has been lost. Happy that I can still feel when I ought to feel. Happy that in a time punctuated with tragedies, I can still expect some miraculously good news. Like my little Diwali gift.
Hang in there Lakshmi. Stay healthy. Time flies. You know it. You've seen it. In a few years , you will be in the balcony again , helping my kids count crows. They will be needing someone to hold their hand and take them across the street to the school bus stop. And yes, I shall make sure they resume teaching you the alphabet from where I left. You are not going anywhere before you learn D to Z.

(Photo Courtesy Google Images and www.quirkworks.com)

Friday, June 29, 2007

An Ode to You, My Hateful Friend

...and I wrote this one four years back. Blogging wasn't a very common thing then. Just thought of putting up a couple of my old poems. Shall publish new posts soon. :)

I wrote the following poem in the wake of the communal riots that took place in Gujarat in 2002.

An Ode to You, My Hateful Friend
There were times we drank to each other’s health,
Had no love for hate, no lust for wealth,
And a friendship that was zooming uphill
Till the day you broke the glass of goodwill.
Bitter thoughts were all it took
For you, my friend, to take another look-
You chose religion at camaraderie’s cost,
And since then you forever lost
The path to the One you set out to find
But left this trail of blood behind.
A cut, a jab, a stab of your knife-
Waiting for death to gift me life,
I screamed a lowly silent scream,
Wishing it to be only a dream.
 Down on my knees, for mercy I begged,
“Kill him now” the Hate Merchants egged,
“Spare my life,” I pleaded in vain,
But hatred brought bloodshed in her reign.
And amidst my turbulent despair,
Hoping for hope of some pity and care.
But hatred had made you so very blind,
You didn’t mind the blindness; you had lost your mind.
You slit my throat, you stopped my breath,
Smashed my skull, bludgeoned me to death.
Kill and destroy, break and burn,
Are there lessons we shall never learn?
But I promise, if I had any clue,
I’d rather not this fate befall you.
How much strife can you give and take,
Just a heartfelt lament I’d like to make,
With which I shall end my woeful verse-
Communalism is a bloodthirsty curse.


Kise kaafir kahega, kise kaayar kahega
Teri kab tak chalegi ho
Arre mandir ye chup hai, arre masjid hai gumsum
Ibaadat thak padegi ho
Samay ki laal aandhi, kabristan ke raste
Arre latpath chalegi ho
Arre neendein hain zakhmi, arre sapne hain bhookhe
Ki karvat phat padegi ho...

-
from the song 'Bandeh' by Indian Ocean, OST 'Black Friday'

Conversation

I wrote this poem three years back. It is inspired by the book 'The Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho. Most of my friends have already read it (my poem I mean), but I would welcome comments. :)

Conversation

He knew not how to walk; he crawled on all fours, but as gracefully as he could,
Then with all the strength in his tiny limbs, the baby carefully stood,
And looked out through the window, a gleam in his little eyes,
Singing merrily through the air, arrived a tiny winged surprise.

‘How nice to see you birdie, on a day so bright and clear!
A bird so small yet so beautiful, tell me, what brings you here?’
Now perched at the window, it gazed at him for a while,
Then in one magical moment, returned his toothless, priceless smile.

‘Oh little one, O dear little one, with a mind so very pure,
You see I am a young one too, you’ll be my friend I’m sure!’
‘Certainly I’ll be! That’s sweet of you, saying thus you’ve made my day,
For I have nothing that’s mine, except a name I’ve not learnt to say.’

And thus that day, that splendid day, on that bright and blissful morn,
One that the baby would never forget, his first friendship was born.
So the next day again, and the one after that, and others in succession,
The bird and baby met at the window, lost in sweet conversation.

And on one such day, that this sweet friendship brought,
To the baby’s longing mind, came rushing a thought-
‘Birdie, you’ve wings, and so you fly,
I presume with ease, you can scale the sky?’

‘It is a gift I have, you’re right, it’s true,
But why this query, little friend, out of the blue?'
'I don’t have wings, but I have a thought, over which I ponder,
If some day, I flap my arms, can I too fly, I wonder?’

‘Your innocence speaks for you, and its sweetness I much admire,
I’m glad you’ve told me what you feel and expressed your desire.
You’re not winged, it’s not your fault, just one of nature’s little things,
But don’t let that smile fade from your face, for one day, you’ll fly without wings.

You’re so small you haven’t learnt to walk, so impossible though this may seem,
You’ll fly some day, make your wish come true, for in your eyes, I see a dream.
Live this dream, give it wings, mark my words, my friend,
Let nothing thwart your dream, beyond all bounds let it transcend.

You’ve a lot to learn, a long way to go, little as you are,
Never cease to dream, for you will see, it’s your dreams that will take you far.
Believe me, you’ll fly, let no weakness fruitless your quest deem,
Keep in mind, every success you see, was once just a miniscule dream.’

With this the bird left, and the baby thought: ‘There is a dream in my eyes,
A dream that I must pursue, a dream I shall realize!’
That night he dreamt as he lay asleep in his bed,
He dreamt of his friend the bird, and the wonderful things it had said.

He dreamt that he was flying high, way above the world,
Sands and seas bowed down to him, mountains shrank and rivers twirled.
Now he saw a house, a sight he knew would loom,
Down he flew and softly perched, at the window of a baby’s room.


When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.

-‘The Alchemist', Paulo Coelho.