Gone With The Wind

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The sands of time
Are slipping through my fingers,
Their lingering heat
In my bones
Makes me want to hold on
For a few moments longer,
To recapture and savour
The bygones,
I chase the winds
That carry those sands on their wings,
But as they gradually drop and cease to be
My legs give way, I stop
And unsteadily sway
In anticipation of a fall,
But soon I’m sinking
Into a quicksand of memories.
Alarmed, I grope for an anchor,
But my hold on reality is tenuous
At best, and ephemeral,
And furthermore
The panic-induced struggle
Only serves to tighten the jaws of sand;
Oh, I’d now give anything
For them to slip past the palms of my hands.
This realization, this epiphany
Is a moment of lucidity
Whence I regain my sanity
And my mind pushes back the instinct;
Calmly, I desist fretting
And free myself from the quicksand.
Now, walking towards land,
I feel the winds picking up momentum
And forcing the sands
To slip through my fingers;
Once again,
I relish in the heat
That lingers, and move on
Toward newer pastures.
– Akanksha Gupta

In All Fairness

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The need for fairness
After a fashion is a disease
There is a recession in the markets
And a procession on the streets

The products are all lined up
Like animals caged in zoos
And people of all colors come
To flock, stare and peruse

Their labels boast of chemicals
That claim to change complexions
Yet their adverts defy biology
Via Photoshopped transitions

Good money hops on all fours
As people preen in delight
Men are just more discrete
While women shop in broad daylight

Oh there’s fairness for all tones
And instant whitening creams
Exfoliating pores in all fairness
This market is bursting at its seams

~ Akanksha Gupta

The Existential Crisis @ HKUST IDOL

Pakistan. May 2, 2011. Militant Islamist Osama bin Laden was killed by the U.S. forces, ending his reign of terror:

A drizzle of blood

From the skies burst

Touched his lips

And quenched his thirst

 

And as innocent blood

Wet his throat

He inspired men

With hate and loath

 

His bombs, missiles and gun barrels

Vanished cities with a blast

And the eyes of each city shone

With the ghosts of its past

 

Each man, each woman,

Each child of every faith

Vowed to strike back

And avenge their death

 

And at last as though heavens raged

In silence with interminable zest

In secrecy they sent him where

No man in peace does ever rest

 

Is this the emotion that oozes?

When you hear his name

Forgetting latent virtues

In sheer disdain

 

How many of you agree to that

Upon which the poem insists

I may, I may not, but

Isn’t there a heart in every terrorist?

 

They say probably not

 

Bin Laden’s death was a landmark; a symbolic slap on the face of terror that boosted the morale of people. It was supposed to be a harbinger of hope.

But the power vacuum

Lead the Middle East

Into a state of

War and Insurgency

 

The chasm between

The two factions of Islam

Fueled by jihadists

Gave rise to a political bedlam

 

The ISIS then emerged

In Iraq and Syria

Wishing to establish

A governance by Sharia

 

The resulting civil war

Scarred the Syrian nation

Destabilized Middle East

And invaded global regions

 

Now as the US and its allies

Launched airstrikes at ISIS

Syria became inhospitable

Resulting in a migrant crisis

 

It is the year 2016 now. This is the story of a how, a Syrian refugee who lost his family while migrating to Europe, meets another refugee settled in Germany in a similar situation

It’s those some-times

When in the quintessential hush

You whisper

From a broken raspy throat

Crackling through the silence

As though parched and raked over

Burning coals, over

Scorching summer sands

And into those silences of the desert

Your agonizing cracked voice

That has been silenced

By fate perchance

For so long

It has so much to say

It longs to, but nay

The silence of the desert

Offers no solace, no oasis

Yet you whisper

It speaks of strength

That you’re so hardened

That only you know, it’s an illusion;

Where they see courage

I see the desperation

I see you’re broken

Because I’ve been there too

The ageless quietude

Of whispering

Of wetting the throat with emotions

Buried somewhere far but not forgotten

Of wetting chapped lips with blood

That you wished was not a figment

Of your imagination

You bleed within and wonder

Why it all never bleeds out

But like a rot on the inside

It gnaws at you, it clings on, it clots

And you scrape it out

With harsh rasping sounds

And guttural cries and howls

Your throat is hoarse

Because you have so much to say

But no one to tell

So you tell the silent air

The forbidden secrets you hope

It will share

You hope that one day

You’ll get there

I won’t lie and say it’ll be fine

But it will get better with time

Your lies, your self-deception

Your ability to hide the pain

To hide yourself

From not just the world

But from yourself

 

We wish to say something to those refugees. To tell them that there is hope. That they have people out there who wish to help them.

But at the end of the day,

We are spectators; indifferent

Sympathizers; still indifferent

Commoners; who aren’t directly affected by ISIS or the migrant crisis

And this realization

That our lives are affected by petty complaints

Transports us into an existential crisis