It is morning…..

And yet, it is morning again,

The stars had beckoned….


Had carressed all the pain…….

Invigorated love,

Desires afresh…..

Every star had smiled

Last night, in the dark mesh……

And yet, it is morning again

Where the night was autumnal,

When biting winds swept within;

And every heart was in denial.

Upon every dark night

The torch bearer is restless;

Brighter he has to shine,

With grace and with finesse……

And yet, it is morning again…..

The dark night perchance happened;

Having slipped into oblivion,

When hopes had been dampened……

So we move on from here,

Knowing this for certain;

Some treasures are too dear.

What 2020 was like…

It is neither too late nor too early to talk about 2020.

For long I’ve kept the repercussions under wrap because almost everyone feels the same as I do. Caught in the same whirlwind, agonized by similar trials…basically, for once in a lifetime, territories, regions, boundaries…do not matter. We all feel pretty much the same.

Pardon me, I am herein going to talk about me.

It is difficult to not generalize when you’re writing for others to read. It’s like every word that you write is being watched, scrutinized….and Phew! I have not even begun yet.

I realize how cumbersome it must be to write about oneself. We hardly ever peep into our core. As I ponder so, all autobiographies that I’ve read to date scroll in the mind in a whiff. The strongest of them was “Raseedi Ticket” by Amrita Pritam…Well, more about it later.

The Jolts and the Rush
Well, for one, the surge and subsequent lockdown in April last year was a jolt. I had just finished with the checking of Board Examination Answer Sheets and the lockdown came into being. The days following it were spent in fear of probably having contracted the Virus…..a little body temperature, sneezing….set off an alarm. No, I don’t want to go back there. It just suffices that I am out of that phase.

PowerPoint and Web Camera
Huh, in all of my teaching experience, I was never dependent on the screen to satiate my students’ curiosity. But this time, the school management had to be satisfied more than the students. My kids knew me well already and cooperated like angels. PowerPoint was all over, strewn about my life like the air we breathe. How will I teach the poem? Are the Slides ready?

Hell…..Robert Frost is more than that. I believed I could reincarnate Lord Alfred Tennyson in a live physical classroom. But this, this silence on the other end of the screen was unnerving, to say the least.

Lured to give up work, almost at the brink
The pressures of coping with altered teaching strategies led me to believe I no more need this. I will call it quits. But, every day, some random query, the helplessness of parents, students….made me stick around. The kids needed us more than ever. Deferred salaries, insane working hours, unrealistic expectations…..nothing deterred the forward push, and we went on, like soldiers on the Frontline, keeping our mental turmoil at bay. The country was at stake. This was not the right time to quit.

Writing took the front-seat

The only friend that didn’t turn it’s back was the words. They came back, with more effervescence than ever. I returned here, to blogging and poetry. My first love-the verses.

Dealt with Seniors at work more openly
Here, the picture altered like anything. If at all, the management was equally flustered and depended on us as the frontline warriors. They sought us out to seek shelter. We could express ourselves better in Online Meets. They ached to have us back on the school campus. For once, it hit home, that the school was not merely the Playground, the edifice, or the beautiful Garden. Humans were missing. That hit real hard.

Went live on Facebook for the first time

Ok, this was challenging. I had to interview a great method artist on behalf of the school as an Art Fest initiative. Grooming had taken a backseat last year. Presenting myself to a vast audience Online was a challenge. Nevertheless, it was met with arduous prep and the interaction was…wonderful, to say the least.

Intolerance also took a backseat. That we were in this together was a big deal and is….till date. There still seems to be a lump in the throat, like all has not been spoken and remains tucked within layers and layers of the Antarctic snow.

Am I exaggerating? Tell me, if you don’t relate. 2021 seems worse…we have lost precious souls in the wake of the second wave.

If 2020 was the threshold to drastic changes, let 2021 be the end of it all.

Unmasked, Undeterred… Undone. Period.

Udaan(The flight)

“सुबह की किरणों को रोकें, जो सलाखें है कहाँ
जो खयालों पे पहरे डाले वो आँखें है कहाँ
पर खुलने की देरी है परिंदे उड़ के चूमेंगे
आसमां आसमां आसमां…”

Been listening to this number on loop and it does not cease to evoke the wonder called hope amidst all despair.

Let me first translate the above lines for you:

” Which mesh can ever stop the sun’s rays
Where are the eyes that can curtain thoughts

It’s just a matter of time when birds are free and they’ll kiss the sky…”

(Can’t say that I’ve done justice to the translation.) Hear it for yourself..
(Song from the movie “Udaan”)

Hope is certainly a thing with feathers. In the midst of all the fear of the unknown, making frantic calls to friends and relatives, ensuring their physical and mental well being, HOPE…is still alive.

As Indians, we are a resilient race, true… But this time, the truth is grimmer than ever. Blaming lack of preparedness, infrastructure, foresight…none of it is bringing back the lost lives. We seek solace in each other’s company, praying…feeling the shower of gratitude drench our souls…,hoping, all will be fine.

When dawns fall short
And the flowers blossom timidly
To ensure if it is the Sun’s warmth
Or an ensnaring blaze that beckons…

When the birdlet wonders
If the twigs belong to her nest
Or if it is the hunter’s snare
That puts her faith to test…

When eyes see the rain
Falling free on the threshold
Yet shut their periphery, to wonder
If the wetness was begotten by tears manifold…

It is then that hands rise to the skies
Seeking benevolence from the mightiest…

It is then that hope refuses to die
Seeking permanent hope, a forever respite.

(P.S. – This post is not meant to generate any biased response, just an impromptu reaction to this stimulus called despair. Hoping all this dissolves into better times…somehow)

Here we are

We have all come a long way, far from the depths of uncertainty and the best thing of all is, we were not in this alone.

We fought, in unison.

We fought, not against a deadly virus, that was just an excuse.

We strove against our worst fears that begin with…What if?

What if I had achieved more?

What if I had loved more?

What if I had explored when I had the time?

What if I could meet all my friends?

So what has kept us afloat is…

An unexpected hope

Of a better Sunrise

That beckons hope and positivity

Of plans that will suffice

That take us to the chosen eternity

Of unexpected emotion

That surpasses all practicality

Of newfound love

For all humanity…

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