Thursday, March 15, 2018

The truth about telling lies

It is so very easy to tell lies. Try it. 

Children learn it at an early age. When they are little they blurt everything out, but at a certain age, they figure out that a lie might just save them a little punishment - if no one discovers it is a lie. 

A lot of complications ensue - a lie rescues them from immediate danger; but then the "truth will out" and cause damage. Is the lie to blame or is it the fault of the truth?

Then there are the adults. 

We, the adults, like to think that honesty is for weaklings. For kids. We are not bound by such little bonds. 

We can decide when to lie; when to be truthful. When to be partially truthful. 

Partial truths - they are the real saviours. What would we have done if the concept of half-truths did not exist! A little grey sprinkled over the black and the white. 

Lies that we pretend are to "protect the ones we love", what we call "harmless lies", "white lies"...

Lies to avoid confrontation. "If I speak about this, she is going to be mad. Let me keep it to myself."

"I never lied. I just did not tell you. That's all. That's not a lie. No, that's not. That is not. That is not."

"I did not tell you, because I didn't want you to worry." 

A lie demands another lie to justify its existence - a lie to vindicate another. 

A lie inspires a lie. "He is lying to me. Why should I tell him the truth, EVER?" 

"If I have nothing to lie about, let me create something. Just to get even."

"Next time, I will make it a point to NOT tell him what exactly happened."

A lie is a heavy burden to carry. A pile of lies is even heavier. So we find someone to unload the truth upon. Then the lie becomes dark and vile... because now you have lied to the person who matters, and revealed the truth to someone who doesn't.

Then you close your eyes and pretend that This is Life... 

Friday, February 23, 2018

When failure is success

On my tombstone
Let it be inscribed that
I tried.
Because I did.
To the very end.
That I failed
Does not matter.
Because it doesn't.
I followed
Where my whims led
And so I have
Found success.

Friday, February 9, 2018


​​​She co​​nfounds me. Strange, because she had seemed simple and straightforward when I first met her, all those years ago.

In fact, she was the first person to come forward when I stepped into the new environment. The others, with friendly smiles, stayed behind, promising themselves that they will make friends with me "in due course".

I accepted her, and was grateful for her companionship. When I saw others mock her, I realised there was more to her than I suspected.

I was right. And in the years that followed, I would see her, hear from her, and ​more often, ​hear ​​about her. Everyone was delighted to talk about her - because there was so much to laugh at. I confess I fell in with them too, for some years. Until one incident opened my eyes to who she really was.

​And as though a switch was flicked on, it ​became clear ​to me why she behaved as she did, where she stood right now, and what had brought her there.​ ​Some ​part ​of her attitude was ​deeply ​ingrained in her, some of it came from her upbringing, but most of it was thanks to the lack of support from the people around her.

After that, I could only feel a dull ache when I heard them speak of her, ​​hear​​tlessly​. I could do nothing without falling into their trap myself. Yes, I was - I am - too weak to speak out and support her. ​Perhaps one of these days...

She behave​s​ like a child often, laughing and talking and getting ​upset at little things. Then all of a sudden she bec​omes an adult, managing the house, juggling several things, taking care of herself as well as the others​ with an obsession that was mildly unsettling​.​ Sometimes she sulks, and I fear she knows what's going on, and I feel her depression.​

I don't think anyone spare​s a thought for her unless it ​i​s to ​spread nice, ​fresh, ​juicy gossip​ about her​. Which is probably why she chose to take up the most insane (​​seemingly) tasks, piling up her plate with things to do all day and night ​- ​to keep her​self​ from thinking and worrying. And she turned to God with a kind of ​zeal that was borderline alarming.​

For the longest time, I believed that she did not know she was being laughed at. She behaved well with the others, friendly, concerned, involved.​ If I were in her place, I would have withdrawn and put on an ice cold front​ ​to demonstrate my disapproval. ​​But she would go on and on, and ​I would ​wonder if she was putting on a show for our benefit, or she actually didn't know that her audience was gathering material to laugh the moment her back was turned.

​​The​ truth​ is clear to me now: ​​​she is each one of us.​ But a magnified, louder​, uncontained​ version. ​We know what she is, why she is, and what she endures. ​​Because we're there too: putting on a show, clutching at crazy ideas to keep ourselves alive, struggling to keep ourselves from falling into the abyss of loneliness and meaninglessness. We laugh because we find in her what we conceal in ourselves. She is all of us. We try to hide ​who we are. She doesn't. So we laugh at her. Mercilessly.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Finding Dreamland

The room is empty-ish. There aren't a lot of furniture; but there are people walking back and forth. I think it's my house - though I have never set my eyes on it before. We're on the top floor. Who are these people? I don't seem worried. I mean, I am me; but I am also an observer, outside. I don't exactly know what I am thinking. Or I have forgotten it upon waking. I think I see myself from outside. I am not sure. Is it a feeling? Or does it mean something? Being outside and inside at the same time?

James Franco strolls in from one end, as cool as you please (now where did he spring from? something I watched recently, no doubt) and says a line I have heard him deliver before, with that ever familiar crinkled-eyes smile. And then he's gone. People just talk and laugh like they never do in this side of life. There is no connection between anything. There was a sighting of an old heart throb. A fleeting image, but one that stayed.

I come down (or watch myself come down) the staircase and the building grows into a rocky valley with a waterfall nearby. Very green surroundings (yes, it isn't black and white). Right out of a painting. I am not surprised; no one else seems to be either. Everything seems natural; everything is real - the odd appearances and disappearances and transformations are nothing to be concerned about. Maybe the transformation was smooth; it is just that I remember it in jerks and jumps.

It didn't occur to me at that time, but days later, it comes to me: I used to know a house in the top floor where furniture was scarce, with a staircase outside. It never morphed into a waterfall, though. Not that I knew of.

I have gone to sleep in this world and woken up in a different world, like an avatar in Pandora, where everything is different, and science as we know it doesn't apply all the time. That's why there are no surprises. It is as expected. It's our entry to the alternate universe. Through the looking glass? We aren't back here. Only our shell is. We're over there. Light years away. Sometimes I wake up into a nightmare. Perfectly natural.

In fact, when I go to bed (here) in a few hours, I will wake up in that world and say to myself - What a weird dream! I was sitting at a table with something on my lap and punching it with my fingers and calling myself a writer (ha! ha!) Oh, there was a funny word - 'blog'. I guess I made it up myself. What a strange world, where waterfalls don't grow out of buildings and James Franco doesn't wander in from one end or vanish at the other...!

Which one of these is real?

I think I'm going nuts.

Monday, January 15, 2018


​I've built my prison
Brick by brick
Cutting off branches,
Burning bridges,
Turning a deaf ear,
Shutting my eyes.

A window I've left
For the sun and the wind;
I peer through the hole
At the sliver of the sky
Across which strolls
A slice of the moon.

The visitors thinned​.​
The calls diminished.
What right have I
To complain of ​fate:
I'd asked for this,
I got what I wished.

From their memories
I've now vanished.
From their lives
I've been erased.
I got what I asked
For I'd asked for this.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Restless Mind

Where does this restlessness stem from, and why does it not go away?

A constant state of discontent, the feeling of having left tasks undone, the shadow of a deadline over my head; no matter how much I run towards my goal, it continues to remain at an arm's length. One more step, just one more. Just one more thing to do before I can stop.

Why are we never satisfied? Never at peace?

What next? What next? The tiresome search, the incessant longing, the evolving ambitions.

Am I stuck here with no apparent escape, forever struggling to break free, torn between burning desires and fear of change? Every year I find something new, hoping that it is my deliverance. Every year it passes and I'm left behind. Hope – the damnedest thing!

Is it something to do with age, or the fact of, in all likelihood, being closer to the end than the beginning? The fear that time is running out, and will be gone before I can figure things out? Are we supposed to figure Life out at all?

Among the many things I dreamed of at different stages of life, even my so-called achievements lost their sheen soon enough, because new quests and hunger took their place. In spite of everything, are we expected to leave, feeling unsatisfied, incomplete, failed, at the end, because of that one unfinished task?

Why is it that every day the exasperating questions Where am I ? What am I doing? Why am I here? keep pounding inside, giving no peace? Will a person who has found her raison d'être be really content? Or will there be one final incomplete thing for her to be sorry about?

When will my search for the me-shaped hole in the universe be complete? And what if I never find it? And if I ever do get there, wherever there is, will I be satisfied? At peace? Or will I pry myself loose and go wandering again?

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A page full of words

Life is like a page full of words - each person has a page on which is written the story of their life. There is only one problem - the sentences are not complete: there are blanks - dashes - where certain words should be.

Every day we hop through each word. Every once in a while, sometimes more often than we like, we encounter a blank - and it is up to us to fill it, based on our experience and knowledge and current mindset.

What words do we choose to fill it? The easiest one? The quickest one? The most complicated one? The bravest one? The smartest one? The cowardly one?

I - do it.

I will do itI cannot do it. I won't do it.

It's up to us to decide. Our choice modifies our story. More blanks appear.

Some sentences remain unchanged, regardless of the words we have chosen. They're the fixed pillars of our life.

Thus we hop through our page, word after word, filling the blanks when we can, how we can, believing it will enhance the story of our life, that it will save us from peril, that it will improve our future. On certain days, we jump over several words; on others, even one is an effort.

Some people try to get away without making a decision by swinging over the chasm of the blank. Some leap too hard and fall between the words and perish. Some climb back up and continue their journey. And some... get tired of the seemingly endless hopping and let themselves fall between the cracks.

Some are given more words, and some don't have enough to fill the page.

Until finally one day, we reach the last word on our page and hop out forever...

Monday, November 13, 2017

Shadows with Dreams

I cannot be your shadow 
That fades at noon
Or melts into nothingness
When the sun goes down...

I am not the bottle 
you toss away, empty
In the midst of your 
cross-country run

I am not the twig you break
Nor the grass you step on
Or the water you push back
When you swim forward

You pass me by; unseen 
My struggles, my progress, 
With your eyes on the horizon,
Seem to you like baby steps

I'm seeking unexplored oceans; 
Unseen depths of the woods
The other side of the desert
The vast expanse of space

I must be the sun 
I must be the chequered flag
I must be the trophy; 
I'm the finishing line.