The Journey

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Written in June 2008. Followed by a poem written in December 2013.

Every morning is a new night. Every morning the struggle begins. For they are the condemned – the lesser of god’s children.

In this incarnation, it’s no fault of theirs. But who knows how the karma bank works?

Every morning, after a bath as quick as a blink, and a breakfast as frugal as an ejaculate, these lesser, yet envied from afar, men and women go about doing what they are best at. Or what they got to do out of no choice. But their destinations vary and a journey has to be undertaken. This journey is where they are tested the most. Not only are the weak weeded out, they are mercilessly banished. All they had to do was say yes to the journey and then survive it.
This journey is none like the ones we hear in lores and legends. This journey is different. It happens everyday, for one. It happens everyday, twice, for second.

And it is no child’s task. Heck no! It’s no man’s task either. You have to be much more than just a man to survive it. Or maybe less.

Another peculiarity about the journey is that you can’t just go about it by yourself. One of the most important elements is you need to take up someone else’s place. You have to dethrone someone in order to win. Even if your objective doesn’t need you to win over others.

It happens in more than one stages too. Stage one requires one to get out of the house and onto the land. From here you catch a feeder ship to get into the current. The current is what carries you to your destination or your final shuttle. Getting to the feeder ship is a task by itself. Walking for what seems like miles in the scorching sun, the freezing wrap of winter or the wet muckiness of the rains, you reach the feeder ship port. There are other warriors waiting there. They watch you with interest and disdain when you arrive. Eying you from head to toe, they try to intimidate you with their wrathful stares. You defiantly stare back. While this war with stares and glares is happening, you and everyone else hears a distant roar that grows louder each moment.. On the horizon, you can see a cloud of smoke. Everyone readies for the arrival of the feeder ship…

Tension mounts as bags are clasped harder than an orgasmic nubile girl clasps the bedsheet. Eyes are squinted and the foot adjusts itself inside the shoe, resting on the toes, ready to run, jump, kick… The air is balmy, with a disgust of the curse, more than anything else.

At last the feeder ship arrives. Before it has even chance to harbour, people leave port as if the land is poisoned. Some get in, some stay hanging at the porthole. Some sadly never make it. But not one soul waits behind to tend to them or even empathize. Some get in. For them this day, shall not end here for. A good start is always a good omen. And a good omen is the most worthless thing in this land.

The feeder ship moves swiftly for sometime. No one is comfortable. No sir. Not at all. But then comfort is a luxury for rarer times. Suddenly the feeder ship stops. None are too unaccustomed to care. No one even cares to ask their neighbor why, or even stare out of the window. Maybe it’s a crushed boat. If it is, the people in the feeder boat will just curse their luck, for they will have to be inside this hell for some more time. And time is something, every one has on wrist, but none has on hand.

Stopping like this more often than not, the feeder nonetheless reaches the current somewhere near the appointed time. As people get down on the created port near the current, they heave a sigh of despair even as they get ready to get into the current.

The current was created both as a curse and a respite. It was actually created as a respite. But man with his infinite amount of resourcefulness, managed to turn the boon over on its head. The current is an extremely long, serpentine device which enables the lesser of god’s children to undertake their journeys. Only problem with it is, it makes the feeder ship look like Eden.

Getting ready to get into the current is describable in no words. It takes guts, nothing else. And it takes guts that are ready to get churned. As people get onto the man created port, they can see the ones already in the current. These onboard people evoke extremely mixed reactions. Envy, for they are already on. Relief, for they are not you.

After undergoing a battle with others, at least three times fiercer than undergone to get into the feeder ship, the lucky or the more skilled ones get into the current. Inside the current is no romance novel setting. You are dumped with those who share the same genitals as you do and these genitals brush against yours and other anatomy. It’s not pleasant and there are so many of the cursed ones, you cant even move. The collective body heat is so much, it would make the Queen sweat and smell dirty. The current is no man’s land and no man wants to be in it. Condemned is not an adjective these souls took on by choice.

Having borne the current, the final shuttle with the intensity of the feeder ships seems like a rose garden. Having gotten down on another man port from the current, the final shuttle is taken with much more ease.

Then after a day’s work worth every man’s salt, the journey back home begins. They call it life in Mumbai. And it is lived every single day

-X-

Reblogged from The Official Poetry Tuesdays Blog

The Travel Poem

Walk-walk, Run-run, Catch a bus, get a Rick;
Bustle in the busy local, get in Quick Quick!

Hands up, bag down, feet hanging in the air,
Fourth seat, get it NOW, stare a butt in the face.

Sit-sit, Squirm-squirm, Shift seat, do it now!
Quarrel in the ladies dabba, Boom Boom Pow Pow!

Read more… about 40 more words.

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Dreams, Protests & Morning Walks

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Morning Walks

Let me start with the morning walks. Recently, I started learning how to box. Box as in, the sport of boxing. Over a period of a month, I learnt two things:
1 – Left straight punch, right straight punch.
2 – I have tremendously crappy stamina.

So, like a good boy, I go running on alternate mornings. Alternate evenings, I have boxing training. Which essentially consists of exhausting us through skipping rope, pushups, jogging, and THEN the training. While most other training exhausts you, boxing training starts AFTER you are dying of fatigue.

So, every morning I go for my run, I see other people down for a walk/run. Almost everyone has headphones on. I do too sometimes. There are three kinds of people I have noticed getting down for the morning walk:
1 – Athletic people (5 year old kids to 70 year olds, men & women, thin and not, but everyone in great control of their bodies)
2 – Girls of marriageable age
3 – Girls of marriageable age with their moms

Now, India is not at a phase in her existence where people are health and exercise oriented. We have to wait till America thinks we are a good market for health oriented services and then we will take to it like fish to water. But, the point I want to make is altogether different.

Most women out to marry and who are overweight have a two year period in their ENTIRE lives when they are a little pally with exercise and especially The Walk. They have never done it before this and they will never again do it after marriage. Unless they have daughters too and they become category 3. If you think I am exaggerating, talk to me after 30 years and give me a sizeable number of exceptions and I will admit on this very blog that I was wrong. If you won’t bother with proving me wrong, don’t bother thinking and mentioning it.

Apart from how long they would indulge in exercise, I have spoken to this variety of women and most of them have the SAME complaint! “I have been walking for 6 months and I am barely half a kilo less :(” Anybody thinks they know why? I definitely do.

Because they are not doing enough. In fact, they are not doing even close to enough. What they are doing is, lying to themselves, telling themselves that they are exercising or walking or running, but the point is, they are only doing it for apparent evidence of having done the task.

To give a very simple analogy, remember in school during exams when you used to sit with a book for 2 hours? You never read more than a few lines and spent most time daydreaming. And when results came you cribbed because how could you have gotten such less marks when you had studied so much!

Because, by the time the results came, you had even convinced YOURSELF that you were actually studying.

So, just because you get up in the morning and get out of the house and LOOK like you are exercising, doesn’t mean you are. It only means you are allowing yourself to believe you are exercising. Unless you are walking for 10 kilometres a day, you are likely not going to lose much weight. I am not even getting into the diet part of it.

And seriously, why can’t you run? What is so impossible about running? Why do you have to walk? You are in your twenties, your knees are fine, just try and run! Run a 100 metres for the first week, try and increase it in the next! But you won’t! Why? Because again. You just want to feel like you did something without doing anything. If you start running, you will possibly lose 5 kgs in a month. But kaun faltu mein itna mehnat karega?

Morning Walk

Protests

Which brings me to protests. Save water during Holi. Don’t create pollution during Diwali. Light a candle every time a woman gets raped. All symptoms of the same social syndrome of appearing to do something while not being part of any system of real and consistent change. Outrage and facebook events don’t lead to change. Years of consistent work leads to change.

“But we are at least doing something!” is it’s own failure. Exactly like we convinced ourselves that we were studying, after a while, the SOMETHING starts seeming enough. We are satisfied with having just touched the issue. We no longer need to do real work because the SOMETHING allows us to believe we mattered. Which is why it is so easy and dangerous to fall into the trap of, “But I did something!” Which is why it is essential to weed it out of our collective conscious. Because, essentially, you are living a lie which is in effect eroding the world’s ability to create true change.

It simply means that I am telling you that it is NOT called studying if you only sit with the book. Of course you can argue, “But at least I am sitting with the book!”

Dreams

Which brings me to your dreams for yourself. Do you have them? Maybe travel to see the world? Maybe learn music? Maybe start your own business? Maybe do something for a social cause? Eh?

I am sure at the bottom of your heart there is something you want to do. I am sure you visit online forums, read stories of people who have achieved similar dreams, follow blogs and websites that teach you how to do it, watch youtube videos, all of that! But what do you do yourself to do what you really want to do?

Mostly, we do nothing. Some of us do, most of us don’t. We are not ready to run that extra mile, or even get up in the mornings to do that.

The marketing oriented capitalistic world gives you quick fixes for a lot of things. But for the more important things in life like having good health and a body you like, owning a community organisation, affecting real change – it takes the same old boring grit, hardwork, and running the last mile. It starts with the proverbial first step though. And the first step is to decide to do. The second step is to not allow yourself to fool yourself.┬áMy dad taught me that.

Just in case you want an inspirational video, this is a good one.

Every morning I remind myself of this line: “Remember why you set the alarm in the first place.” It has allowed me to get up and get running on more occasions than one.

Follow me on twitter @squareandfair