Teacher’s Day

To all my teachers: Happy Teacher’s Day!

It’s been years since graduation
I measure that time and distance
In values
That paved our way
In beliefs
That kept us walking
In attitude
That set the rhythm to our gait
And in fortitude
That carried us across

Because
The knowledge we then
Naively gauged us in
When faded away,
The wisdom
Wisely remained –
In the wordplay
During interactions
And the unintended wit
In the reactions –
Their impressions
Gained
In girth and momentum

So while it’s been years since graduation
I measure that space in memories
Too priceless to put a tag to –
Even words are not enough
To express my gratitude

Love,
Akanksha

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The Illusion of Freedom

My fingers don’t shake
Yet my pen hesitates
And the paper is black and blue.
I tighten my hold –
Had I been so lax
As to let the pen grow bold?
It is but a paper anyway;
And papers come and papers go –
The convenient martyrs
Of our self-effacing ways,
Covering our rot within theirs,
Letting our thoughts stay
Strangled within our throats –
Little birds
That now whisper
In our ears
Words
That make words cower,
And ideas, that yearn
To run free,
Find themselves
Short of words
Suddenly,
Apparently,
Justifiably.

– Akanksha Gupta

Lurking In Them Blue Pills

A house stood
In the far east end
Not quite marble white
Mud brown or charcoal black —
The colour faded before its quiet strength
Like the yellow of the yellow pages
And the red of the red moons —
Turning, waxing, waning —
Like a gnomon
Meditating
In its own shadow
Not so much abandoned or reclusive
As part forgotten, part oblivious,
And part elusive —
Just enough to have
A perceived objective clarity
As a bridge
Between dream and reality —
A house
Sometimes rented,
Sometimes owned,
Seldom sold,
Seeing all under its sun
Through windows
Cataracted to its soul

– Akanksha Gupta

MATCH 22

All the world’s a matchbox
And all its people a bundle of sticks
Unequally proportioned their figures
With peculiarly apportioned heads
Each with unique entrances
And equally unique exits

To begin with they are thusly formed
When each newborn, slithers
Out of the same old mould –
The wilderness; the savage stones
(By the book of cut-and-fold)
Crumbled, sutured and apparently, evolved

Assembly line production
(I hear tell it’s called)
Intelligently programmed to introduce
Per product Transgressions
Where every Difference in the delicate mix
Starts subtle, but grows, startlingly

To sow
The basis of conflicts
Villains and heroes – the tragic misfits
Stories and legends – the tragedies
Bards, audiences –
Subtextual nobodies

Co-existing under the same roof
Put asunder by the same goal –
To burn brighter than the bright
Sooner and longer than the rest,
To leave scorch marks in the wake
That remain undead after death

This struggle for a phosphorescent fame
Inflames the longer left unlit,
Fuelled by the silhouette of innominate death
Born of an unfortunate circumstance;
Such as dereliction due to dis(or mis)use
Or an incurable, congenital defect

And so every head butts against every other
To scratch and tip the scales in its favour
But – even & by sporting a red dye – every form
Remains conspicuously uniform
Making no difference to the fortune or fate
Of those unchosen abiding time and faith

Who rejoice at the measliest spark
That might just kickstart them into burning bright,
But after being brightly lit for timeless ticks
These enlightened (or accidentally ignited) minds
Flicker like flailing fish toward their end, then surge,
And cease, with a soundless dirge

Lamenting that while they lived, they lived
The way they were supposed to live
With the only changes being when-from,
How-bright, and importantly, for-how-long
Never stopping by, to wonder why –
Much like the cogs in a wheel – what-for

Thus it is why that history
Tends to seamlessly repeat itself
For every life is wrought with instinctive greed
In a box overcome with collective unease
Stemming from the common fear
That one day they’d quietly disappear –

A microcosm of civil friction,
Embrittled by a puppeteer’s dance,
A macrocosm of fractious civilisations,
Even as bundled together in a united stance –
Insidious match; afraid to combust –
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

– Akanksha Gupta

 

Quotidian

trolleybus-stop-big-city-vector-drawing-bus-street-50251794

Humming a half-chewed
Part eschewed
Hastily rewritten
Version of ‘Zehnaseeb’,
I am waiting at the bus stop –
Now 20 minutes and counting;
My patience is floundering,
It’s like time has stopped for me.
Why, it’s with recurring, insipid and
Unguarded jealousy,
That I watch the little people hop
Into their little taxis
That come, that go,
That go, that come,
While, all the while,
My unsteady fingers
Steadily drum,
And a deft foot taps
Left, then right,
While idle thumbs twiddle
Verbosity alight,
And oh!
There I see
The bus  my bus
Merrily making its way,
With the torturous velocity
Of an ignoramus, unambitious snail…
Ah finally! It has stopped 
To let the passengers go;
Tedious and slow,
As they clench within them,
An unhidden, unbidden desire
To push against
The damn viscous flow,
And, oh no 
Aboard, there still are,
Two lost foreign souls
Talking with an equally lost driver
(Who’s desperate to return
To looking bored)
And I?
With an inward sigh, I shake my head
And brave my left foot before right,
To become the First Person on the Bus 
First  since some 30 minutes ago,
The First Woman, actually
(Because, somehow, it matters more)
And so,
The rest of the people,
Now undaunted and properly sheepled,
Step in too;
Unceremoniously hinting a good-bye
To the poor lost foreign souls

– Akanksha Gupta

Inertia | A Proof by Contradiction

http://www.eduniche.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Physics-Concepts.jpg

The state of being idle
Is ideal in itself
Unreactive to any situation
Unresponsive to any request
Completely inert
And inertly happy within itself

To have not
Awakens a hunger
To have
Awakens more yet
To be oblivious to simply having
Rouses no regrets

To Not to be
Incites a longing
To be
Stirs up a hornet’s nest
Yet being oblivious to the question
Yields no such desire for success

That having said,
A sorrowful success
Beams
Remorselessly at idle beings
For, to have not oscillated
Between any two extremes,
Lulls into a sense of complacency,
Where, all is not what seams to seem –

The seams between experiences
Are not stitched flawlessly,
But are absent
Because they are unnecessary,
After all,
Gaping chasms are inert
And collapse unto themselves
Soundlessly

– Akanksha Gupta

Continuum

abstract_wallpaper___icey_by_summon_my_soul-d3l3u7e

We are but stories
Told from birth to death
And if special enough
Prophesied and celebrated
And yet, I can’t help but wonder
Which is worse, or if any is better

The stories, however
Remain indifferent.

Yet
It’s curious how
They ebb and flow into each other
Until their very edges are frayed
And indistinguishable
As strands of time
Lost to and in a sea of murmurs
Their individuality threatened
Their impact everlasting
Paradoxical
And utterly flabbergasting

And so,
Though we are but stories
Told from birth to death
We are born of many others
And birth some ourselves
And yet, I can’t help but wonder
That the question of which story came first
Is not unlike that of chicken-and-egg

The stories, however
Remain indifferent

Yet,
It’s curious how
They roll and cascade into each other
Until they are but one story
Infinite on both ends
A mesmerizing sea of murmurs
Whose individuality is ephemeral
And impact everlasting
That which is paradoxical
And utterly flabbergasting

– Akanksha Gupta