Critical Reception

In pursuit of perfection
Our grimy sight stains
Our very own reflection
Leaving little room
To brood upon
Anything but

And even if that weren’t to be
A tiny glimpse of perfection
Would inevitably
Burn down all ambition
Only for the ash to, anew,
Tarnish the erstwhile
Flawless contours
And thusly stoke
The dying embers to life –
A critic reborn
A critic revived

– Akanksha Gupta

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Attempted Cuckolding of Commonality

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Painting emotions in hues of monochromatic blues
And carving expressions in granite
Little in matter, unremarkable in type
The common man walks forward
His gait stumbling toward his shadow
The crowds crow in forbidden delight
Magnifying the slight to overshadow
Those clung on their guise;
Uninvited, their gossip-ridden retinas
Molesting privacy and violating all arenas
Rove, probe and deride
Until there is an enforced stillness
Even in his overly expressive eyes
His mien becomes their definition of perfect
And nary a ripple can be fingered into it
There is a terseness in his shoulders
And a tightness in his lips
His tongue is held for times to come
Unless you count the rhymes it hums
In mutual agreement and cascading contempt
Unheeded and forgotten
The records of the past are unkempt
The present unencumbered of the future –
A future unmeasured and unread

– Akanksha Gupta

PERFECTION: Attempt 2

Perfection is abstract

Abstract concepts are subjective

To every individual

They seem to be distinctive

Yet no pair of eyes

Can claim objective observation

And thus if they see it

It’s their perception of perfection

But since nobody is perfect

And since there is no universal definition

Nobody has the ability to be perfect

By the inherent virtue of perfection

Though on their own they can

Strive for their self-defined ideal

But once they reach and cease

There would be no progressive fuel

This lack of impetus

Would stop further innovation

And a stagnant world would spiral

Into its own rot and degradation

And thus we return to the web

Of subjectivity and motivation

And to the existential crisis

The Shakespearean question;

The possibility to be

Or not to be

That weaves a delicious irony

Of perfection and imperfection

Do you know why we have so many matrimonial services? Because it is difficult to find the perfect life partner. Everyone has a different nature and nurture, and therefore, a very different view of what a ideal being is. Furthermore, their perceptions keep evolving with time.

For instance, in the 17th Century, the society defined a perfect, accomplished woman as one well-versed in a variety of homely arts and social etiquette (Sense the sensibilities of Pride and Prejudice here?). Had the society remained constant in its views of a perfect women, we would still be afflicted with gender roles today. The world would have made no progress.

Take another example. If we had believed that the first phones invented were absolutely flawless, we would have never made smart phones. We would have not invented beyond a certain creative threshold.

That is why it is said that “Forget perfection. There is a crack in everything. That is what lets the light get in.” In other words, we can always find potential for improvisation in every sphere.

However, let us assume for a moment that it is indeed possible to achieve perfection. To begin with, is there any universally agreed upon definition of what that may entail? Your version of perfection may very well be flawed to me. Perfection, therefore, lies in the eyes of the beholder.

The only perfect persona we can achieve is the one that we conceive. For that, we keep on improving and changing for the better. In other words, we strive to be more perfect than before. And herein lies the irony of trying to be perfect but not having the ability to become so.

In short, while nobody is perfect, everyone has the ability to overcome any imperfections in the constant endeavor for self-development where sky is the limit.

– Akanksha Gupta