The Tissue Chronicles

There is something to be said for the transience of tissues,

From Kleenex to Gossamer;

Of Kleenex

I wish all paper

Could wither away

Like this one;

Burdened with thoughts,

Unburdening another,

And the thoughts going no further.

Of Gossamer

Some times I wonder

The others I wander

About different people

About different places

Knowing, all that there is to glean

Lies in wait in between.

– Akanksha Gupta

Sound Bites

It’s an unfortunate fact of life
That you and I will always collide,
They say we ought to build a bridge
But neither of us are willing to do it.

There were, are, and will always be words
That we wish to say and need to hear,
But there, somewhere, along the line
They get lost in translation to time.

Oh they may say – more than empty platitudes
It’s actions that actually count,
But even if we behave for the other
The truth will not get buried under;

Aeons of animosity burn in our veins
As we aim with words that kill and maim,
And silently they utter the bitter truth
Carried as they are from blood to blood.

– Akanksha Gupta

Schizophrenia

Says the spider to the fly,
“Always, always I snugly lie
In my web of truths
And now I’ve caught you too”

The fly, in kind, replies,
“I’ll find an escape route”

But on the sly, the spider laughs
“Oh you’re well and truly caught
No reason to deny
None of your elaborate plots
That run afoot
Can help you seek the way to lie”

The fly, however, self-assured
Wills the spider to watch
As it tells the truths from lies

Neither of them aware that
The spider is the fly

– Akanksha Gupta

Echoes Past the Point of No Return

A million voices bleed in my head
Pleading for a solid coalition
But I know the quota is limited
So I stand perplexed
Resisting temptation

You see, somewhere ages and ages ago
There was another set of voices
And though, long, I stood at the crossroads
As no storm did I hear them forebode
I discriminated between neither of the choices

Thence, teetering at the end of sanity
I waited for the next interlude
Whence I shrunk my limit to unity
Choosing the voice with the greatest amity
In anticipation of a sanguine quietude

But, as I languished in the passivity of the refuge
My voice lost all its vivacity
So for the following season of vocal deluge
I chose to rebel against the complacent attitude
Which has cost me more than my sanity

Now, as I stand at dawn of the next chapter
With the voices having returned with a vengeance
I stare at my ever-growing puzzle in wonder
Uncertain of the solitary piece I must discover
That which shall make all the difference

– Akanksha Gupta

Size Zero and the Girth of Sensitivity

I sat in a pizzeria
Munching on a pizza
An Italian thin crust
Lips olive oiled
Throat margarita’ed

A lady came in sobbing
And sat by my side
I took one look
At her stricken face
And barked “Who Died”

My bark was courteous
Without a hint of snark
But as she swivelled to me
In her bare-faced incredulity
I basked

Her tear-laden face
Turned many a shade of red
Mutiny, shock and anger
Were amongst a few
That ran rampant

“Wha-What” she uttered
“How clichéd” I muttered
And raised my brows
As she indignantly
Stuttered and spluttered

She called me many a names
I’ll spare your innocent ears
And all the while
That she spoke
She forgot to pinch out tears

When I remarked
Upon this remarkable phenomenon
Her frustrated eyes
Seemed to spit fire, screaming
‘Run, you bully, run’

But I’m not a son of a gun
And therefore munched on amused
As the mental conversation
Played on unfettered, yet
Ears infernally abused

For the lady sat sobbing still
Unspoken words, wet cheeks
It is times such as these
That I wish to let
My inner Sherlock skulk free

– Akanksha Gupta

Encapsulation

The ink of prose,

Sophisticated and staid,

Prosily stains the sheets;

Spilling words upon words

With reckless abandon –

In expectation

Of a lengthy greatness

And in want

Of unnerving honesty; 

The sort that can be

Effortlessly eclipsed

In the guise

Of poetry

– Akanksha Gupta

ARCHITECTURE

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The Inspiration For “Architecture”

Look at me
I’m a marble masterpiece
Sublime, serene and standing tall
Stained with the fumes of yesteryears
The past dredges up against my shores
But at the core
I’m a mausoleum
Whose walls are lined with memoirs
And the weight of each word within
Settles encoffined upon my breath
Entombing the truth indoors
Like a whisper lost in the abyss
Like a skeleton buried forevermore
Yet at the fore
With practiced ease
My smile stretches to meet your own
And I let its gaze
Graze the contours of my face
Wondering all the while
If I’d have preferred it to penetrate
Past the grandeur of my turrets
To the Pietra Dura inlays
The very reflections of your soul within me
Or to the desolate cenotaphs
The carcasses of my past
Laid bare to your scrutiny
I wonder if, then,
I would have smiled
Or welcomed your expression within mine
But as I shallowly gaze upon
The great expectations in yours eyes
I savor the naiveté of my thoughts
Having realized
That as much as my soul
May be shuttered to your own
Twice more
It is to mine

– Akanksha Gupta (poem)

The QuadCore Brain



ACT I : The Belligerent Sycophant 

I wish
I could carve out
A path
From my head to my heart
And rationalize every thought
And every chemical reaction
With a melting pot
Of facts, figures and emotions
I wish
I could dissolve
All my scruples and sorrows
With nary a care
About the tuples of tomorrow
Oh I wish many a wish
And dream many a dream
But right now all I can focus on
Is, my senses tingling
From the cool of the ice cream


ACT II : The Silent Activist 

I’m trying to improve my handwriting
Making it clearer
So that when I put down my thoughts
And ideas
And opinions
I can go back and recollect them
So that they leave in my memory
An indelibly clearer impression
They are an expression in time
Of Circumstances and the society
Of myself and those around me
And I wish to put them down
Elegantly and tidily
To preserve them for eternity
To remember, to recall, the actions
To study the reactions
And learn from the inactions
Most of all


– Akanksha Gupta

A Telenovela About Self Love

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There is a scatter plot
Of uncorrelated achievements
Oh I’m a jack of all trades
And there exists,
Braided through them,
A deep-seated contentment
A sense of self
A hint of esteem
And yet –
Yet
It is difficult to melt
That tincture of self-doubt
And a sense of inadequacy
For it is difficult to ignore
The unkempt words of the crowds
The jerks of all creeds
Who inspire such insecurity
That fleetingly
I wish I could forever stay
Wrapped in a cocoon
Of deluded disillusionment
And of uncertain certainty
All the while drowned
In the shallow pool
Of narcissism and vanity
Because
A certain uncertainty
Billows in the recesses of my mind
And overtakes the instincts
Until it eradicates all logical predilections
For languishing in the comfort of
Calculatedly and systematically stretched boundaries
However, Necessity turns my paranoia to adrenaline
Breathing new muscles into my languorous capabilities
And so, sees,
Dollop by dollop,
A regain of my pride
Tempered by time
And resistant to those crowds
Prejudiced
And preening with mockery
But all the while, not unlike them,
I too am walking
The fine line
Between pride and vanity

– Akanksha Gupta (poem only)

STRUGGLE

 

I hate the way you make me walk
I halt in my steps with you

I hate the way you make me talk
I halt in my words with you

I hate the way you stalk my way
How much ever I ask you to stop

I hate the way you hog my words
And overtake the dialogue

So stop alright and let me be
Free of the restrictions we placed on me

And stop tonight and let my dreams
Taste the sweetness of reality

That I may carve myself a path
That cleaves and wrenches my fears apart

That I may clench within my soul
The infinite sunshine of the world

– Akanksha Gupta (poem only)

Phantasmagoria

A soft breeze wafted through
As his eyes danced
In a million hues
All the while
Intently staring
At the daintily crafted
Candelabra,
Yet at times
Furtively flickering
Between me
And the candlelight
Which, like our silence,
Broke through
Through the canopy
Of the night

I returned his gaze
With equal fascination,
Our eyes glistened tentatively,
Whilst our ears, long parched,
Feasted upon
An accompaniment of crickets
Cavorting
Through the green grass
Scandalously

Gradually
The din grew dimmer
My senses came alive
Before my sight
The grass sparkled black and blue
As the clouds unveiled
A starry night

I sat awhile
In contemplation
Aroused by the splendour
Of this quietude
Whose tendrils plucked
Gently,
At the heart strings
Of a sombre mood
As though romanticizing
With me
My dinner date with solitude

~ By Akanksha Gupta (poem) ~

An Absence of Monotony

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One always needs inspiration
In his, her or their life
To live, to work, to think, to <code>
And especially to write

No experience can be said
To leave the mind untouched
No moment can be called
Too ordinary, and as such

Jilting constancy
By transitioning between moments
Produces yet another, thus culminating
Into many a resonance

Of long forgotten, archived facts
And intuitively formed impressions
That trigger newer trains of thoughts,
Streamlining our passions

And after this fashion of convulsing
Into brainstorms, involuntarily
The resulting creation unfurls
Yet another moment of epiphany

– Akanksha Gupta

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