Sorrow

Like a scalding wave in the unending flow of time,

Like a scything knife somewhere from the past,

Like a resonating scream of some unforgiven crime,

Like some explosive truth with a fiery blast,

No matter how far and fast you run,

Your shadow clings to your very side,

As do all you lost and each loved one,

Who always stay with you and in your heart reside,

The pain is a thing of wonder,

The pain it hurts but its absence you cant bear,

Because the pain is a reminder,

That they were real, that they were here,

That what you had was no mere dream,

You realize the finality of death,

Yet how unreal it always seems,

And you feel them in every breath,

But the months and years start to meld,

And life starts to move on,

The grief it gets a little quelled,

But your heart knows they are gone,

And the tears bring no more solace,

No yelling unburdens your soul,

This is a test of Fate you must face,

Even though you can never again be whole,

And you hope the memories fade,

But you never want to forget,

They cut your heart like sharpened blades,

And you can’t scream just yet,

But just tolerate and be assured,

And though your mortal shell may never be cured,

Your souls will reunite when you finally go,

And you can finally not weep and cry,

And move past the sobs and sighs,

But you will sleep tonight and face tomorrow,

With your poor heart bursting with sorrow,

As long as you might live.

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Harry Potter Appreciation Post

I am well aware that this is not what I usually write but this is something that needs to be said. Mild spoiler warning.

When most people inquire about my favourite book and I blurt out Harry Potter without a moment’s hesitation, the amount of people who look at me with contemptuous condescension is higher than I care to admit. Now let it be known that I have read everything from Twilight to Coelho and Archer and Larsson and Dan Brown. But those books have never struck me as hard as this heptology has. This is a post that every Potterhead (that is the colloquial term for die-hard Harry Potter fans nowadays) can relate to and a post that every Muggle (non-Potterhead) should read. If I even get ONE person to read this series, I will get the satisfaction of accomplishing something worthy in life as well as the eternal gratitude of that one person.

Now on to the actual appreciation. Although, Harry Potter is a novel that kids are encouraged to read, the meaning of the books matures as you yourself mature. Every time I reread the books, I understand something new in the books. Because in the span between the re-readings I’ve understood something else in life. These books aren’t for any specific age. They are universal. But the meaning each person derives from them depends on the person himself.

Literature is like a piece of cake. The more layers it has, the more delicious it is. -Anonymous

Now Harry Potter has more themes than I can count and more fascinating things about it I can begin to list. But the theme of the books, according to the authoress, is death. This is because these books were impacted greatly by the authoress’s own anguish at losing family and living in poverty and dependence. Whoever read the books and didn’t understand this point didn’t read the books at all: Harry Potter is not a tale of little kids waving around sticks and learning how to turn rabbits into hats and riding broom-stick. That is just one level to it. Harry Potter is an intricate tale revolving around the constant war between good and evil. It shows the importance of bravery, moral fibre, loyalty, wit, the allure of power and the strength of love and how purity is always stronger than evil. Each and every character represents something. Each death has a meaning. Each event has its purpose. And the characters are so intricate that it eludes belief. For example, how Snape went from being the most despised person to the most loved in the span of one chapter. It is practically unreal.

Now I could sit here and with examples, write down a really long critical appreciation, elaborating the metaphors and the symmetry. Like for example, Remus Lupin is a metaphor for HIV and how all those with it are shunned by society. And how Dumbledore was a representation of gay rights. Or I could shut up and let you experience the magic on your own.

Harry Potter is a story that brings you together. Like whenever I meet someone, the first question I ask them to ascertain their awesomeness is what they feel about Harry Potter. (Ironically, 2/3 of my best friends are Muggles) I’m not saying that being a Potterhead is a sole criterion to awesomeness, I’m saying it is a major contributor.

Harry Potter is a story that stays with you, characters that live with you and deaths that haunt you. Now I would honestly and with every core of my fibre request all Potterheads to add to this and send it on. Because this is a story that deserves to be read. And I request all non-Potterheads to read the stories.

And even when I’m wizened and old, I’ll be sitting somewhere with a HP book in hand, a cold sea breeze playing tantalizingly on my skin. And people will see the book and say: “After all this time?”

I will simply look at them, smile, and whisper.

“Always”

The Obscurity Conundrum

Many people wonder why people write; why people want to be authors; why they think it important to put their thoughts down in words. Or why people paint or compose or do any art at all. Today I will try to explain this peculiarity, at least to the extent that I understand it.

Everyday, tens of thousands pass away. They leave the Earth without making any impact on anyone except their families. And their names live only till there family lives and then their names will be forever lost in the tempestuous sands of time, buried under the weight of years. These people lead a limited existence. I mean no disrespect, of course. Every person is, in their own way, irreplaceable and no death is compensable. However these people will not survive the test of time. Their names won’t live on. And this frightens most people, me included.

I want to make an impact. Make my name live on. Add my name alongside those great men and women whose feats immortalized them. Whose words and art and music eliminated this problem. This final problem.

I don’t want to be forgotten. I want my name to live on, my legacy to live. And this is one of the reasons I love to write. I want my writings to carry on in my stead. Let my work be a tribute to me, so that when I look down on the Earth from heaven (fingers-crossed) I can see that my name lives on in my stories.

My greatest aspiration is to write a book that creates a generation. Like J.K.Rowling. I know it is a very far fetched dream and I realize it is almost impossible to accomplish but damn it, I will try. And I will try my very best that a century or two from now, in a boring literature class, irritated students will be cursing me as they have to write long analytical essays based on my work.

Don’t think I’m narcissistic. I know I have a VERY long way to go before I can reach that stage. But for all I am worth, God help me in this, I will try.

And if I fail, oh well. I also wanted to be an X-Man. But not everything works out.

The Peasant’s Lament

As I crumple down in dismay,

I watch the rain start to fall,

I give up and feel my life fade away,

And I realize the injustice of it all,

Just because I wasn’t born rich,

And because I cannot afford life,

I will starve and fester in some ditch,

Whilst I cry for my children and wife,

I wept as I strangled my sons,

So they could go without pain,

I lied “It’ll be okay, little ones”

I weep as I recall when I begged for grain,

And I was leered at and kicked and shooed,

But its ok, I’m not a person,

“He’s a mere verminous rat, its not rude,”

And I knew as the rains came it would worsen,

So I sent my family to the afterlife,

Where they could wait for me,

In a state where there’s no hunger and strife,

Whilst from these troubles I flee,

I close my eyes and await the bliss of death,

Now I’m over, I’m spent,

I weep as I take my last breath,

And end this poor peasant’s lament.

The people I meet vs. The people I read

Every once in a while, a realization strikes you with such unexpected force that you are actually dazed and you need time to get your bearings back. It doesn’t have to be a big realization, but its the feeling of having overlooked something so obvious for so long that takes its toll. And I just had one of those moments. I just realized, that apart from a total of some 15 people, I don’t like any person at all. Now you may consider me detached or psychotic or whatever, but that is how it is. I’m not crazy. I have reason to think this way. And I came to the other realization that I actually legitimately prefer many fictional characters to real people. 

“Why may that be, you deranged sociopath?” you might ask. And to that I say: the people in my books have stuck with me and I with them. We have had a bond. I have solved unsolvable puzzles with Robert Langdon as he dodged assassins after treasured articles of history; I have fought the prejudiced society alongside Lisbeth Salander and exacted vengeance on those who wronged her; I have defeated Voldemort alongside Harry and defeated the Titans with Percy; I have rebelled against the Capitol with Katniss and I have fought the Erudite with Tris; I have destroyed the One Ring with the Fellowship and I have used the power of deduction to solve countless crimes with Sherlock Holmes. But that doesn’t matter. I have had so many adventures with these people that I know them. I know them inside out. And they are always there for me; when I need solace or comfort.  They don’t judge you, they don’t ask anything in return. They just whisk you off your feet in wondrous worlds of fantasy where you can discard the normal worries of reality for a while and just dive into the problems of the character.

Don’t get me wrong, if I like someone; I like them to hell. For example, I would take a bullet for my family and my best friends and I would trust them with my life. But other people tend to just disappoint me. They tend to betray me or ignore me when I need them. As soon as I got old enough to realize this, I gave up on people. They are all the same; all of them greedy and selfish.

I wish, from the very depth of my soul, that I could meet these characters. That I could learn from them. From Hermione and Ron and Snape and Dumbledore and Peeta and Frodo and John Watson and Sam and Dean and Castiel and so many more. I could learn from them and meet them and witness love and loyalty. But alas, I am doomed and confined to this existence where I can expect nothing but disappointment from all but a few. If you are of the few, you know who you are. If you aren’t, please don’t shatter my trust in humanity yet again. Focus on what I’ve said, don’t be offended, but think. Think that if what I’ve said is true. Think and realize.

Salvation

I wish it was simpler. I wish it was easier. I wish it was kinder. But I’m afraid it’s not.

Your pain hurts me worse than it hurts you. Your hatred throws me into a dismaying sense of agony. But I must do this, for your own sake.

As you squirm against the ropes binding you, you stare into my eyes and all I see in your eyes, as they burn up at me, is fear and hatred. You shout obscenities and curses at me, which are muffled by the silk handkerchief I put in your satiny mouth. I hear the gargling words and I can understand what I cannot comprehend. Your angry shouts, little more than guttural grunts, pierce my soul with an icy blade of neglect.

How can you not see that I am not the monster. I am not the devil; I am the angel. And I feel you are hiding from me, from the truth, in the oblivion of the cold detachment I have learned to expect from you.

Look at me, into my soul, and tell me if I’m guilty. Gaze into my eyes and tell me what you find. The secrets concealed within, the miseries I have seen. Can you blame me for wanting to set you free?

Because now all I yearn, is salvation. Redemption. Forgiveness. And the only way I can achieve that is by saving you.

You won’t understand me…What I mean by saving. I don’t mean ‘living’ or ‘surviving’. That is not what I mean at all. These are concepts of the flesh. And flesh is transient, temporary. What perseveres the test of time is the soul. And I wish to save your soul. To grant it relief from corruption; to allow it to last for eternity in it’s chaste beauty.

This is what I must do. I must grant you your soul to reclaim mine. I must do this, to set it all right. The guilt of what I have done has me shackled to the cold dark abyss of my past. And you can set me free. Allow me to save you, to save me. To mean one is to mean the other.

Tell me you can let it all go: the doubt, the fear and the hatred. Tell me you can see beyond the mask thrust onto me, beneath the facade: the truth I am dying to reveal.

Tell me you can be the one to see into the depths on my soul.

Tell me you can be the one to plunge into the darkness of my conscience.

Tell me you can save my soul from the grisly fate that awaits it.

Tell me you can be my savior. Be my savior.

Be my light.

Be the one to complete the reason for my existence.

And help me save my soul.

As I unsheathe the knife, I see fear break out in your eyes. I hear you pleading. But I can’t allow you to let your naive ignorance destroy your soul. I must do this.

Tears well in my eyes as I raise the knife. In your eye, I can see my distorted form wielding it.

I have to save you. I must.

I thrust the knife, into your heart.

As the life drains out of your eyes, leaving them glassy orbs, I crumple to the floor and begin to weep.

I am finally complete.

And the Heavens Wept

It was a dark stormy night. The sky was billowing with thick atramentous clouds, blotting out the crescent moon that hung somewhere in the sky. A blanket of unpierced darkness lay on the land and the only light came with the occasional flash of lightning that warped the landscape into a web of shadowy tendrils. The peals of thunder resonated in the deathly silence like artillery in some celestial war. A frigid wind blew from the north, throwing the clouds into a frenzied turmoil.

From it’s perches in a tall pine, a single raven opened up its folded wings and flew off. It soared through the charged air and spiraled down, landing squarely on a windowsill of a small dilapidated cottage. With it’s beady red eyes, it gazed into the room through the window.

The window was grimy with neglect, cracks emanating from one corner in a symmetric procession of chaos. The room was itself abysmal. A single rickety bed dominated the cramped interior, on a rotting parquet floor. The walls were mouldy and the faded wallpaper was peeling off. A candle burned in a cheap brass stand, casting a flickering light from a decaying bedside table. The only thing of any monetary value in the room used to be a porcelain figurine of an angel by the bedside table, wings spread and face aglow with heavenly glory. It now lay in a shattered heap of broken shards on the floor.

A small child lay in the bed, covered with torn, moth-eaten blankets. His brown hair fell onto his forehead, into his frightened eyes. His lips were dry and cracked, his skin pale and devoid of any color. Grabbing his burning feverish hand, a woman sat by the foot of the bed. She gripped onto it tightly, as if willing to hold onto the boy and anchor himself to her. Her hands trembled as she caressed his hand, her eyes red and her cheeks stained with tear-stains.

She could practically see the vitality draining out of his body as the fever wracked it. Every burst of pain that her son felt, she felt it it in an agonizing burst of helplessness. How many times had she implored the assistance of the very angels that she had told her son would protect him. How many times had she begged to take her son’s place, to bear his pain in his stead. He was all she had left in the world. She couldn’t bear to lose him. She couldn’t believe the Fates would be so cruel. The angels had betrayed her faith and she had flung the figurine of the guardian angel to the floor in a moment of enraged desperation and spite.

Every time the fever sent spasms of pain through his tiny body, he yelped and thrashed. His mother wept, stringing out incomprehensible streams of false reassurances. She knew her son wouldn’t live to see the dawn. She knew his time was here. She prayed that she would be quick to follow. She prayed there would be a miracle. But she knew that hope was an effort in futility.

As the last shreds of life seeped from him, the boy whispered in a hoarse voice:

“I’m scared, mother.”

“Don’t be,” she croaked, her eyes brimming with tears. “There’s no need to be scared.”

“But it hurts so bad,” he squeaked. “Am I being punished by the angels?”

“No, my darling! Not at all. The angels just give pain to the strong boys so they can go to heaven.The pain will go away and you will have so much fun in heaven where there will be food and toys and your father.” Her voice broke and she had to pause to regain composure. “Father will be so proud of his brave boy.”

A faint trace of a smile broke out on his face and his mother brushed a lock of hair out of his eyes.

“Its ok, my son. Don’t worry”

The boy closed his eyes.

“I can hear the angels, ma…” he whispered. “They’re calling me.”

Silent tears began to seep down her face. The boy opened his eyes slowly and gazed at her, a look of loving contentment. Then he was still, a glassy look over his lively eyes.

Her resolve shattered and she broke down into a cascade of tears. She hugged the body of her dead son. She wailed his name, her voice shrill to a point of dementia. She wept and the clouds outside broke down in a shower of icy water. She wept, and the heavens wept with her.

A small part of her brain told her that the dawn was upon them. Her son never saw the dawn, and neither would she. Her sight was blurry but she was determined. She grabbed a knife from the bedside table. She positioned the knife above her heart. She imagined the face of her husband, laughing. She imagined the angelic smile her son wore.

As she thrust the knife down and it sank into her heart, she smiled. The physical pain was infinitesimal compared to the anguish her soul had just freed from. As her body thudded to the bed, her chest spurting thick streams of crimson, the first rays of sunlight broke through the clouds, scattering into a thousand spectrums through the rain. She had stopped weeping, but the heavens wept into the dawn.

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