Unnoticed

light remains without weight
and until light is defied
its presence is unnoticed

do you see light?
no! you only see
the effect of light
on what obstructs light

oh, how powerful is this light
that has no significance on its own
(like a religion without followers)

but wait! light is fast, isn’t it?…

and with a smirk of pride
light raced against all creation
but upon reaching
burned with envy, as
darkness was already there
waiting for her

***
I was reading two different answers about seeing light
Light is the only thing we can see
and
We inherently cannot see light.
What we see is actually the object on which the light falls.
I chose to write about the latter.
What are your thoughts?
Oh, and I could not resist being a little cheeky about the speed of light :)
These are in fact two poems combined

***

Inspiration: Sadhguru

A Letter from God

Dear Traveler,

Do you wonder where you are headed, where you will end up? I sense you are afraid that you don’t know your purpose and worse, that you feel you may not even have any. Why your destination does not seem obvious when those around you seem to have it all figured out? Or have they?

You are worried that what you do not know far exceeds what you do know? That is only the first step to be a seeker. But wait, you have no need to be a seeker. Simply allow yourself to be found. “How?” I hear you ask. Come rest awhile, sit beside me. Advice is always free, mistakes may be costly, but only if they don’t teach you anything.

See the road before you? Keep your eye on the path and there is no need to focus on any destination. Destinations keep changing, indeed some journeys have no end. All you got to do is keep walking on and look around you appreciatively. Be not in a hurry, never ever hurt or distress others. This is, in fact, the easy part. The more difficult task is not to distress or hurt your own self. Remember you are your harshest critic.

What you gather along the way, be mindful of the fact that it is not you. Never confuse your experiences, thoughts and memories for yourself. As you walk all will be shed in good time, no reason to mourn for nothing is truly lost. How will you be found if you are well underneath all these layers?

And sometimes you should stop and dance like Shiva, the Lord of Dance. Let the entire creation shake in your own rhythm. When you sing let it be a meaningful and uninhibited Hallelujah. A time will come when you will need to resist. Then do so with the courage and intention of Hussain*. Fight reluctantly, only after all other means have failed but without fear, stand up for justice and against oppression. Though you are merely a grain in the bigger picture, you are a unique grain with an ability to transform the entire scene.

Moving every step forward, let my fragrance infuse into your very being but take care not to allow religion to taint you or instill fear. Blemished beliefs are the birthplace of bias and bigotry. Devotion could lie in serving others, words of prayer may be recited instinctively rather than habitually. Don’t merely pray, you have to become your prayer.

Take the help of your ego to propel you further. Yes you heard right, it’s not such a bad thing, use your ego. It is helpful in boosting your confidence especially with the doubters and the envious all around you. But then, you should also know when to discard it. Don’t permit the ego to feed upon you, replace it at once with dignity. Believe in yourself and bow before no one.

We still got a way to go, never look back except to check if you have left your footprints behind. Indelible and eternal they will become if you have been able to create something on your journey. Creativity equates you with me like nothing else, after all I am the ultimate Creator am I not?

It’s not a bad idea if you peek towards the future, don’t worry if you see nothing. Carry a dream, or even two, there is no baggage allowance limit on our journey 🙂 Though they may be fragile, dreams are easy to rebuild. All it requires is imagination… and a touch of hope, such a great companion to travel with.

And so I must ask you a question. Did you notice that though your intention was that you should be found, you never actually let it guide your way? Here’s the thing…the more you intend, the less likely it is to happen. Sometimes I love to have a laugh at your expense. So keep your plans a secret from me and we will get along just fine!

I have finally found you, my dear companion. This “God” gets lonely sometimes with everyone constantly seeking and fighting and humbling themselves (and too right, I see through their pretentiousness). All I ever wanted was for you to allow me to find you, bare and unlayered.

With much love,

You

***

*Imam Hussain – Prophet Muhammad’s grandson who sacrificed his life fighting injustice and oppression.

Re-posting this letter in full. It was originally written for the Walking with Intention series where I was encouraged by Sreejit to step out of my comfort zone of poetry and write in essay form.

Pratiksha – The Wait

It was not the distance but the direction
That kept me from you
Searching through cosmic marvels
Within each duality
Though I did hear your call
And I know you heard mine
Why else would I be drawn towards you?
Irresistible, though the magnetic pull was no more than zero
(and no less)
Spinning through void within void
Where energy is enslaved by vibration
(and also conceived)
I uttered the name of your sound
The separation between you and I was devoid of space
Even time did not dare
All I had to do was wait
If only I knew how…

IMG-20170611-WA0000

***

Last Sunday, I met Shirish ji and found out that he paints as a hobby. Exactly one week later, early this morning, I messaged him to ask if I could see his paintings and perhaps use them as inspiration for my poetry. As I was falling asleep (for a very rare lie-in), some words came to me and I quickly jotted them down. I woke much later in the morning to find Shirish ji had messaged me and sent me some of his beautiful paintings under the series Pratiksha – Waiting. The poem I had jotted down was also about “waiting”! And yet I do not believe in coincidences! What do you think?

Many thanks to Shirish Pandit for the kind permission to use his painting for my poetry. Please do watch this space for more of his work.

The Worth of a Conversation

A fascinating conversation on Twitter between myself and @coldtusker (CT). Such interactions enhance the meaning and perspective of my words, so thanks for your questions CT!

Let us then face each other
You enhance me
For what is the worth of a star
Without her planets and moons?

Plenty, no?

what is the worth of a hero without his admirers
and a god without his worshippers?

Intrinsic worth?

Mostly yes. But the inner state will certainly be reflected off the surface.
(My 2 cents)

Isn’t a reflection generated by the light of others? One can radiate their inner being but reflects others light/radiance.

Yes! Which is why a star needs the planets and moons. You may have just answered your own question 😉

Why aren’t all these little snippets on your blog?

I was just about to ask for your permission to include our conversation… Please 🙏
BTW the original tweet was from my poem North of your Soul

Yes, you may. Should I have any hopes of receiving a chq for royalties?

One should never live without hope 😃

***

So, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed our conversation. Perhaps one day CT shall receive his royalties :)

the thought of you

i caused the thought of you
and now you want to leave?
i refuse to release you

with no introduction
you descended upon the doorstep of my imagination

without an invitation
you merged yourself into my memories

you now believe you are real?
if i wished it so, i could relinquish you
in an instant…
but i love
the thought of you

***

Featured Image Credit

tomorrow may never come

tomorrow may never come
because this night seems not to end

subh hoti hai, raat khatm nahin hoti 
The morning arrives but the night continues

the night did end
but another night began
tomorrow was not to be found
neither was forever
nor, you

Tum aaye ho na shab e intezar guzri hai
talaash mein hai sehr baar baar guzri hai
Neither have you come nor has this night of waiting come to an end
in your search, the dawn has passed by again and again

This interaction was partly in Urdu, a deeply romantic language, for which I needed some help with translation. Thanks to Shakil Akhtar for your beautiful couplet and to Mehshar for contributing Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poignant couplet. Please also check out their blogs, very interesting!

HeartBeats

&

SYEDALAMDARHUSSAIN