Run with me in my perpetual haste. Meander with me in my devious course. Wander with me in my desperate search. Slalom with me through my discordant vacillation. Wade with me through my hopeless misery. Sink with me in my unrequited love. Spin with me in my eddying emotion. Cruise with me through my youthful fantasy. Flow with me in my surging spontaneity. Swim with me in my divine euphony. Float with me in my phantasmal heaven. Whirl with me in my fragile bubble. Fly with me as I escape reality

Monday, June 30, 2008

Discoveries, this New York Summer

I walked up to the metal railing overlooking the water. The Hudson rolled on, sheer blue and mossy green as far as my eyes could stretch. The sun was setting at the far horizon, saying its leisurely adieu to a dimming world. James Joyce in hand, I leaned on the railing, lost in Stephen Dedalus' simple world. Today was a day of compliments. First for my carelessly hummed song, then for my unruly long hair. From passersby I might never cross paths with again. They evoked a smile, nevertheless. When will it cease, this abject need for acceptance, for appreciation and validation from the world? Will it ever come, a day of peace?

My eyes lazily traced a narrow rickety bridge. At the end of the bridge floated a barge. The barge was unchained. And every moment it spent trying to float away. So pitiful was its freedom. For the barge was prisoner to four tall pillars rising up from the riverbed, allowing it just a constant sway and an occasional bounce. Free! Only nearly. That barge is you. That barge is me. The river is our world. In its meandering whim and turbulent vagaries lie infinite possibility and enchanting vices. And there stand the imposing pillars of society, of rote conditioning and unbending rules. There stand the proud guardians of the right and the wrong.

I could hear music in the distance, from a crowded bar full of weekend revelers. Only the shriller notes and the clang of drums made the distance to me, leaving to my hungry imagination the melody and the mood. I watched a group of teenagers dancing. They took turns to show off their double flips and straight splits, their jealous eyes searching surreptitiously for the passing admirer. I absently looked on at the subtle rivalry as they vied with each other for little glories. It was all unfolding in front of my eyes, the birth of the adolescent ego, the slow demise of innocent pleasure.

I sighed at a couple as they casually fell into step and melted into easy conversation, thanks to their dogs playing cupid between them. I walked by a dog park and felt a rush of affection for my dead dog back home. I wondered what life was like for the senile gentleman leaning on his walking stick. Was it burdensome, his long memory? What did his solitude feel like, satisfied or lonely? I touched the edge of the page I was reading. Suddenly I swelled with gratitude for all the moments of pleasure my books had gifted me. Books obviate people. But much like humans, books make me smile, they make me cry, they please, they hurt, they tempt me only to later desert me.

In a strange coincidence, I had them all today. My book. The water. Music and happy thoughts. Even the rising white moon. But it was missing, the sound of a footstep by my side. It was missing, that warm arm around my shoulder. Can this solitude ever be perfect?

Monday, June 16, 2008


I dared to peer hard and far into the future. I saw many sights. Some redeeming, some surprising, some mocking at me for even trying. So what do I tell you about? What can I tell you about from within this dreadful circle of fire I've lit around us?

I could sketch your radiant smile and your mischievous wink. I could imitate your carefree gait and your singing voice now, here. I could describe that air of success about you. Your passion will persist, I can tell you that too.
Those people I see, they must care for sure. For they eye you from near and afar with such solemn pride. You are unfettered! Such flawless freedom, a lover's parting gift maybe? You are shrouded in a surging love. A love so imperceptible and accommodating, a mother's unfathomable ocean, likely. I found you looking up at that tempting cloud, hoping for rain, for a quick shower of joy. I caught you smiling to yourself, probably traipsing down a fond lane of memory. I watched your hop, your skip and that tiny dance in your step. Your world must be a happy place, I thought to myself.

Won't it be a sin to taint that pristine sight with presumptuousness? Won't it be unforgivable to undeservedly ask to share that gift, so rightfully yours? The slightest wrong wish, however sincere, can pitifully raze that delicate castle of cards.
I would shield that beautiful tomorrow even from indefatigable hope. For such perfection is beyond hope, beyond possibility, beyond my farthest reach.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Under the dark shell

River Urubamba, Peru
Stop. Read no more. Go away! This is the river of hurt, swelling with pain and a passion that can kill. Don't take another step, for you are in Fear's proud kingdom. Beware! Nightmares masquerading as dreams will usher you in with angelic smiles and pleasantries. Only to trap you and devour you. Here is Reality, rearing its rational head. Behold from afar, Fate's boiling blood. Doesn't it make you shiver, Nature's relentless revenge?

A child once lived here, at a time when one could still see the crystal cascade and the meandering stream. On a fateful day she peeked out from under the layers protecting her. Enthralled by what she saw, she tiptoed out, getting braver with every moment. In an adventurous whim, she left the confines of her customary hiding place and extended her innocent hand to the wide wondrous world. They made a comely duo. They held hands and whirled around together in seemingly unending bliss.

On the Inca Trail, Peru

In all ingenuity she gave herself to her newfound world. She became every crystal droplet in the waterfall, tirelessly falling from the sky to anoint the barren earth. She turned into a cloud and kissed those yearning peaks. She was every flower bobbing in those fields. She was the slanting sun ray illuminating the universe. She flowed, she swayed, she submitted to every demand. All in hope of keeping forever the beatitude she cherished from that fateful day. For she naively believed in goodness, justice and some sort of permanence.

Saqsaywaman, Peru

But this sadistic world would not let the idealist be. Fate methodically destroyed belief after belief, precise and painful. The river of hurt ran red with spite and venom. The Halloween was over, the ugly nightmares stripped themselves bare. She was shrouded all around by a new nature, so cold and gray. Fear left an indelible scar on her unsuspecting trust. The child receded into its trusted shell. Not for this child, this merciless river, not its love, not its hate. The child will live on, but in deeper waters untouched by harsh turbulence, only in a safe world of words.

Machu Picchu, Peru

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