Tread Softly


When you look at me and those I paint
I hope that you see a rainbow coloured haze
For though I speak sharp with words so sure
They reflect a mere fraction of what I think I know

When you think of me and those I paint
I hope it’s not a puzzle but a mosaic
Because what I know are parts of a whole
Coloured by mine and growing evermore

When you speak of me and those I paint
I hope an equal lack of judgment is displayed
Those words that seem sharp, sure, and succinct
Are opinions, fickle; the truth has always been extinct

– Akanksha Gupta




Life is a story

If mine, I’m the main character

I’m the best actor you can find

In a pool of daydreaming narcissists

The rest are sheep; everyone that is

The occasional leader that pops up is not excluded

Though being a political animal,

He hadn’t even been included

But then I’m an idealist

Who picks apart the black and the white

I am also a cynic

Who caresses the gray left behind

But really, I’m a pacifist

Too concerned about my lazy behind

To actually pick up the chalk


But on the occasion that I do

I fill the canvas of my mind

With a cartload of chalk dust

And find beauty in the abstraction

The reality, however, causes an infraction

A world that never existed, shatters soundlessly

I feel free for a while

Without any labels, self-perceptions

Or impressions of any kind

Tis an alluring experientialism

In which I find freshness and novelty

And drown deep into it

Until the need to breathe supersedes

So I shoot up to the surface

And gulp lungsful of perceptions greedily

Some unaltered, some modified

And to study them

I dive

Back into the pool of daydreaming narcissists


This oscillation between radical worlds

Makes me teeter at the edge of normalcy

A piece of sanity dislodges itself

And pours uninterred into poetry

So do I call myself a poet now?

I suppose

It has taken years of writing

To gain confidence enough

To label myself

They say labels are empowering

Powerful and powerfully flattering

I say they are downright frightening

The standards they define

Mutate the potential

Garble the mind

Gradually I find myself

Changing my perception of me

A change should be welcome

But I find myself swimming

In a pool of doubts

Barely staying afloat

There are days I’m flailing

And those when I’m sailing

But I know I’m failing to hold onto an identity


At this interlude

You do recall

This is but a story of my life

And I, the lead actor

And thus, it is no wonder

That the plot does often twist

Into self-gratifying theatrics

Where victimizing myself

With labels

Gives the story

As though a drug-induced high

Whose hangover leaves me

Feeling like an unsung hero

But when you peel the layers off of me

My core is like everyone else; ordinary


By Akanksha Gupta

Just a Matter of Perspective

As an extension to Happy New Year, a friend of mine told me earlier this morning that he makes resolutions when needed, not when the calendar on the wall changes. That perfectly describes my sentiments. However, this New Year I received a greeting from another dear friend apologising for all her past actions and words that may have even inadvertently hurt me. That gave me a pause. It gave me the idea for my latest resolution, which coincidentally happens to coincide with the first of January.

Every individual reacts differently to a given stimulus. Communication in a common tongue aims to reduce the scope of misunderstandings within these reactions. However, our unique styles and perspectives on life disable this particular feature resulting in a wall that stops us from being able to adopt a foreign mindset that justifies a particular action or reaction.

evaluation3-copyIn this light, my resolution is to simply try and breach the wall by translating it through poetry. As an example here is a parody on the mental tyranny of social obligations:




I suppose it may differ
Mine from yours
As do I from you
But nevertheless for me
It’s true
My dear –
Oh bother
I really must start appending
At the end
Of every ‘my dear’
For I fear
That such affectation
May be taken
Under undue consideration
By one
Who may or may not
Have been
As the talk
Progressed into
The emphatic
But thence
The static

– Akanksha Gupta