Most powerful words
In response to, the optional prompt for NaPWriMo:
And today’s prompt – optional, as always — comes to us from Vince Gotera. It’s the hay(na)ku). Created by the poet Eileen Tabios and named by Vince, the hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words.
First, it was the escalator.
I thought it to be a dream, but it was not.
First, it was the escalator. Then, everything else. The automatic doors to the platform, the elevator, the train doors. Everything was slower today, more effortless, more tranquil, than usual.
Everything. Not everyone.
The people weren’t slow. They were sitting there. But, they were not immobile, not slow.
They were running, fast, faster than everything around. All of them. The ones on the platform and the ones inside the train with me. Running, yet not going anywhere.
No one was going anywhere. No.
No one, not nothing.
The train. The train was. Slowly, sluggishly.
From the inside, it almost seemed fixed, immobile, as if it was not. But, it was.
It was taking me home.
Slowly, gently, gliding through the tunnel, it was taking me home.
When he was 8, he would want to get wet in the rains, to feel tiny rain drops hitting his face, sliding down his smile onto his shoulders, and falling on the ground, to jump in puddles, to embrace the magical phenomenon that he hadn’t come to know about as yet.
The rains. The rains would come in Septembers. September was the time when his school exams were scheduled. So, whenever, it was raining, he would be spending his time studying in his room, diligently obeying his mothers orders.
Starting from just the next day after the exams were over, he would wake up early and rush downstairs to fetch the morning newspaper. He would bring it into his room and of all the pages, open the weather one. He would scrutinize the whole page looking for any sign of upcoming rains. There would be, at times, little chances, hopes which would never materialise.
This whole exercise soon became a habit, that he continued for long, till finally he grew tired of it. It was when he was 13 that logic struck him, that he realised that the world functions on pattern and monotony, and that the rains wouldn’t come after September if they never did before. The only thing he could do, was to hope.
I once read
Hope is but a casual lie said to keep innocent eyes from tearing up, and maybe it is true. His innocent eyes grew tired of waiting and with time, so did his fascination with rains. He started growing up.
He is 24. He doesn’t have any exams to give, and he is free to follow his wishes.
When the rain would come, he would take out his umbrella, open it over his head and then, instinctively, look down, at the ground, at the scene of rain drops hitting the floor, listening to the tip tap, hoping perhaps for fascination to come back.
“The next song” he would say “The next song that the radio plays would describe my future life.”
A declaration based on the notion that everything, as insignificant as the next song on the radio and as little as his declaration of these words, happens for a reason. Everything is connected and interrelated. Our souls aren’t floating in a space of boundless infinite serenity of chance, but are closely tied together by reason and fate.
“The next song would describe my future life” He would say.
He spent his entire life, or what was left of it, tagging an immensely sullen song as a happy, cheerful one.
Was his life sullen? Or happy?
Depends on what we mean by happiness.
What was it that killed him, I wonder.
Was it his belief?
Was it her blunder?
What was it that killed him, I wonder.
One day he will wake up just to discover that everything around him, everything that he had ever seen, the way people behaved, the way everything was, all the love that he had received, was all a dream, fantastic world that he had woven around himself because the reality was too much for him. And the brutal irony is, that he already knows about it. He already knows that everything around him, all the positive things, all the optimism, is dream. He knows that one day, he will have to wake up. But, he doesn’t want to wake up, he doesn’t want to accept the reality. He just wants to sleep just watch it rain all day long, all night long. He wants to live in that fog. He just doesn’t want to know.
“Why do you write poems?”
“In the hope, that one day the people for whom I wrote these poems, would read them and understand those feelings which I never communicated with my voice.
“In the hope, that one day, after reading the morning newspaper, out of all the millions of things you could do, you would pick up your laptop and out of all those thousands of things you could search for, you would search for poems. On account of that little, beautiful magic, we call coincidence, you would get on my blog and of all the poems, would read the one I meant for you. And, then, out of all the hundreds of explanations that those combinations could have, you would understand the one I wish you to. You would know that I wrote it for you, because of this thing we have. You would not say anything though, you would not ask me. You would just know, just know what’s going on in my mind and just help me. And, maybe, hopefully, after the incidences in question are over, you would come to me and ask me in subtle words- That poem? It was meant for me, right? – And, I would give a little beautiful nod and we would just smile.
“In the hope of that little chance, I write poems”
“Why do you write poems?”
“No reason at all.”
The ink in unerasable. There are just two choices: let the words just stay there, for you to read every time you look back or tear the pages apart.
It’s amazing how these hours, these little momentary hours turn into days, how these days turn into weeks and these little weeks turn into months. Month by month, as time goes by, the year comes to an end and yet, quite surprisingly, you find yourself still standing there, a little baffled, a little surprised, saying “Hey, 2014 had just started. ” And, then, you look around, noticing how yes, though you’re still standing there but everything else around you has changed, just to realise that 2014 had not just started, it was a long year, longer than you think.
PS: It’s my birthday today!
Walked a thousand miles till now,
Vows to walk a thousand more he,
Not for a happy future, but that someday,
When he dies, so he dies regret-free.