Thursday, 30 May 2013

Thank God For Little Pleasures - XV

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

- Emily Dickinson

Friday, 17 May 2013

A Hundred Thousand Things

What is it that brings on a train wreck? A thousand jarring sounds, all insignificant in themselves, clash against the brain and produce an explosion. The brain, like a mirror, crashes into a thousand pieces of as many shapes. All this while I am walking on a road, buying apples for after dinner. I hand over the money and walk away. For a briefest moment of time, I worry about over paying the fruit vendor. Another tiny piece flakes off.

I lock myself in a tiny room, alone. The city is full of strange noises, unknown people with unknown habits. I no longer understand what they say. I miss when they address me. Are they from another planet? How did we meet? When did it all begin? Was it like this forever?

It wasn't. Before the strangers, apples and the wreck, the world was a happier place. I too had a place in it, and so had some other wearers of worn out shoes. But we walked too long a distance without a map, and the spirit of wandering exhausted itself. When the shoes were reduced to bare soles and lace, the ground became all too real. The train made a sharp whistle before the tracks screeched under the weight of a pair of patchy shoes and two lost feet.

The cacophony outside is no match for the one inside. They say a cup of coffee does wonders. Some say tea. Sleep. Milk. Parle G. They are all placebos. The real medicine is elusive, if it exists at all.  Like elixir. But nothing that works on the brain works on the heart. And, anything that pacifies the heart is rejected by the brain. There can't be any harmony. It is a train wreck, after all. Both try to save themselves.

So, in such weary shoes the dreams return home, exhausted by a single moment in a long day. They sit quietly for a while. The jarring sounds have worn them further down. With great difficulty they detach themselves from the soles of the boots to which they have become attached during the long walk.

I slump in a couch. These last few words escape the train wreck. I ask them what brought it on in the first place, "A hundred thousand things," they reply.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

"Dil-e-Man Musafir-e-Man"

An attempt at a translation:

My heart, my way farer
It has been ordained again
That you and I be sent away
Holler out street after street
Look into alien avenues
To come across any clues
Of our beloved’s messenger.
And to ask every stranger
The way back to our home.
In these cities of unknown men
We crawl through hours long
Tell this traveller a word
Sing that stranger a song.
Oh, how should I explain to you
The misery of the night that befalls
We’d have thought it a blessing
Just to have been considered
Death would not have mattered hence
Had we to die only once.