I watch
A miasma of brush strokes
Trailing over
The canvas of life –
Dull, bright, warm, sharp
Their watermarks
Evade the sight
But those that loiter
I notice
The crinkly lines
That embellish their every stroke –
Bold, rugged, shy, sleek
Impressions that time erodes
But those that linger
I remember
The dots and crosses
That stagger each line
Big, small, subtle, sublime,
An expression that holds
The redolence of time –
A taste of vintage memories
That swarm
With an ageless, decadent grace
Yet ultimately
When everything fades
Period and pause
Everything fades
They say
Life is funny that way

– Akanksha Gupta


A Wound In Time

In the darkness of the night
There are secrets that we hide

In the brightness of the day
Faces give naught away

There is blood and there is grief
There is pain no words can ease

They are shadows fires cast
Burning the future past

Is it my wake?
I hear the dirge
Am I awake?

In the dying of the light
We don’t go without a fight

In the crook of in-between
Dreams are true, truth’s a dream

There is death and there is life
There’re no truths, there’re no lies

They are shadows that time casts
Blurring all th’ futures past

Yet I’m awake
Or is it all
In my head?

(I composed these lyrics to accompany the haunting melody of Javier Navarette’s Lullaby from Pan’s Labyrinth)

– Akanksha Gupta



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.

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
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

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

The Clothes We Wear


We enter

Wearing nothing

But flesh, blood and bones

We are then adorned

With a myriad garments

That they tell us are clothes

Later we learn the fabric

Was made with a swarm of threads

Of them, some were so fine

That even subtlety would’ve reddened

Gradually we observe and learn

The clothes everyone wears

Most follow the fashion

Some never catch up with it

But there are some who sweeten

The fabric and reinvent its ilk

We call them the leaders

And strive to be copy-artists

We too attempt to stitch

For, by and to ourselves

Only to realize it’s easier

To choose ready-mades from the shelves

We are happy to follow for a while

Good sheep who may never stitch

But every now and then to get by

We give the lone threads a twist

Where we had learned to wear

Smiles, frowns and courage

We have now also learnt the art

Of weaving and wearing politics

Oh this as an important life lesson

In case a thread comes loose

Or there’s a wardrobe malfunction

Because smiles, frowns and courage

Can sail you through

But only politics alleviates dysfunction

And with every political mutation

That makes the fabric twitch

The clock hands turn and tick

To wipe off an irascible itch

The fabric thus grows fainter

And starts losing its sheen

The threads come loose

It’s time to come clean

For some, that time never comes

Until they must exit

And their dirty laundry

If dirty enough

Is washed in full view of the public

But some stitch their garments

So cleverly embroiled with each other

That even after their exit

Their clothes either are buried with them

Or bury an unfortunate other

– Akanksha Gupta

Is there a reason for everything

If we think beyond

We can unravel any riddle

The more that we discover

Further will grow the puzzle


‘Coz we’re smaller than small

With the wisdom of one cycle

In the great scheme of things

We’re too inconsequential


This world began weaving its secrets

With the sacred thread of time

Now they have grown too huge

For us to be able to divine


And all those secrets are linked together

So intricately

That weaving and unweaving them

We will never run out of curiosity


In my opinion, the world is built upon rationality and everything that happens here results from and into a process; a long drawn and complex one, with intertwining cycles and hierarchies. But limited knowledge and limited time prevent us from completely discerning it. Furthermore, since we have different emotional responses and perceptions, we reason out every outcome differently.

For instance, consider death. Everyone has a different interpretation; from scientists who call it thermodynamics and cell degradation, to religious scholars who call it the path to after-life. Now, as rationally thinking individuals, we generally base our arguments on indisputable scientific facts. We find it difficult to swallow the religious explanation. Religion, many say, has no justification, yet it exists. It’s a matter of perception. Even the seemingly most unjustifiable thing can be justified. All that is required is a different approach, a different perspective and a different school of thought.

Let us apply this to religion. Religion too has a variety of schools of thought. While one says it exists, the other believes it to be a conspiracy by the powerful to control the weak. There are also those that believe that religion was conceived to put keep a check on human arrogance and deceit. However, simply because we do not have enough time and knowledge, we cannot dismiss the possibility of religions and their Gods existing. In other words, that which cannot be reasoned by quantification used by hard sciences cannot be automatically deemed unreasonable. It can be explained using softer philosophies.

Spirituality, a product of economics and anthropology, is one such philosophy. In principle, many of us are skeptical about it. We tend to complain that misfortune does not spare morally upright and honest men. That it has no justification. Now, this is not true. Take the example of natural disasters that wipe out tons of people. They probably arise from geographical factors that are too massive to mitigate or presently too complex for science to predict.

Few also call them a natural population control mechanism. Such statements, though, are frowned upon. The society may subliminally realize the truth in them yet consider them improper justifications. But you see, justification is not a matter of being nice or right or wrong; but simply of reasoning out everything.

To illustrate, a man who meets with an accident is not “deserving” of it. The accident can be caused by a variety of factors such as the vehicle quality, its makers, the road, the traffic, the driver and so on. The list is endless. But all these possible reasons is why a particular vehicle meets with an accident, while its severity determines the fate of the driver.

In other words, nothing in this universe can be accidental, not even what we deem accidents. By objectively observing all the factors, we can paint a very logical picture; one that isn’t necessarily nice, but honest.

This conclusion brings us to The Leibnitz Principle of Sufficient Reason. It quantifies the very process of reasoning to show how all logical arguments mesh together to culminate into the best possible outcome at the appropriate time. And, to quote Einstein, “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once”.

~ Akanksha Gupta