Rainscald

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My eyes follow the downward trajectory
Of the two stray droplets of rain
Chasing each other
On the side window of the speeding car
I am curious to find out
If they would kiss or shy away from each other

The railroad crossing is closed
In this opportune moment
Mist gathers around my window like a temptress
I get down to follow her bare feet

There is an empty graveyard shielded from the now
By a broken wall and a rusty gate
I spot an old Morris Minor
Or the fossils of it
Shrubs have made it their food
This is clearly a story untold
Waiting to be exhumed from the shadows of time

In their last bid for progenies
The cicadas hum acappella in this untimely rain
Deep in their tiny hearts they know
Tonight they will all die
A truth that is lonelier than loneliness

And suddenly
In a tiny ball of sadness
They all come back to me
All that I loved, those I loved
I loved alone
But they say love is a verb without a past tense
There is no such thing as ‘loved’
For loving once is to love forever

The train never arrives
The rain does
I let it pour over my shoulders, my arms
With a frail hope to be cleansed

Image sourced from www.mnn.com

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Aleatoric

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Last night
After I turned the lights off
It rained
And fishes drowned under the weight of water

Rouzbeh came to visit
His words bled colours
As his moustache danced and spoke
My room smelled of unicorns and hollow rainbow

And I said
God is an infant
He soils diapers
It’s Nature that’s wild and just —
Every man has a right to be happy
Every woman has a right to make him sad

Note: This poem was conceived entirely in an actual lucid dream at the early morning of 07.30.2017 and presented here without changing a single word.

Photography by Huseyin Sahin

The 21st Cemetery

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Picked up the newspaper
It was wet with blood and hatred
Rape, murder, suicide bombing

Logged on to the social network
It was littered with insecurities
A perpetual desire to appear cool

Seven billion puppets, bereft and bankrupt,
Gnawing on the bare bones for the need to love
To be loved, nurtured, forgiven

This is the 21st cemetery
Where darkness lives in unlikely places
And depression plagues the sewers

But we can be different darling
We can be the light
We can dance till the morning and outlast the night

Photography by Joshua Hoffine

Archaic Words & Arcane Rhymes

For new poem

You light a cigarette
Smoke shrouds you like future lovers
Wars will be fought for your pink mouth

I walk brisk
Lose coins in my pocket make poems
Archaic words and arcane rhymes

My words have teeth
No love bites
They are designed to take control of your body

Your love is an altar
Where souls are butchered as offerings
For the price of your rudimentary gloom

Too old to be your nice guy
Too old to give a fuck
I’m just here to witness it all

Photograph sourced from https://gdblogs.shu.ac.uk

A Discourse on Art and Philosophy

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“Art requires philosophy, just as philosophy requires art. Otherwise, what would become of beauty?” – Paul Gauguin

Recently I had a reunion with a group of friends from my engineering college. They belong to various professional fields, like banking, telecom, software and even publishing. It was a pleasant meeting but what surprised me the most was how they looked down on my choice to quit the corporate world to become a filmmaker. On the surface they seemed very encouraging and supportive. However during our long conversation over unending servings of beer and whiskey (I do not drink alcohol, so I was on my usual dosage of marijuana) things started to turn ugly. And I realised how these people who I grew up with, those who had wonder in their eyes and dreams in their hearts have become products of social engineering designed to chase fabricated greed and social norms of success. They have hardened beyond a point where they cant even appreciate logic in an open discussion. It was shocking to see how they would disregard, even vilify art and philosophy to justify their mainstream ethos of materialism and defend their own superficiality.

I tried to understand their point of views. Nobody told that everyone had to have creative aspirations. Civilisation needs people from all walks of life and all kinds of profession. In fact nobody in the group (I mean myself) criticised materialism or capitalism etc on a macro scale. I did not question their professional choice even once. However it seemed that the consensus among the group was that art and philosophy are basically waste of time and nobody practically needs them.

In a country like India, where half the population lives under poverty line, it is understandable to question the relevance of art. However none of these folks are remotely deprived. All of them are successful professionals, drive swanky cars, have nice apartments, families and dogs. The only person who has some financial difficulties at the moment is me, because of my career choice. So why would they behave like this? Is it because of guilt or jealousy? Or some sort of inferiority complex? Or did it root from the regret that they failed to pursue artistic careers (one guy played guitar really well) for the safety of financial security? I didn’t know. But I tried to reason with them.

Humans became civilised from being savages through reasoning. And the discipline of reasoning is called philosophy. The entire human history and intellectual evolution, knowledge, opinion, science, technology, commerce and even modern day jobs grow their roots in philosophy. My friends were talking about nationalism, economics and even social concepts like marriage etc and how they are way more important than something trivial as arts and philosophy. I was aghast at their ignorance. Their nationalism and political ideas came from philosophy. There would be no state, no country, no concept of marriage or money if there was no philosophy. And here they devalue and demean philosophy. How naive! Art is the expression and wonder of philosophy where as science is the logic and analysis of it. Not having any regards for philosophy! How do people live like that? It is such a pathetic waste of opportunity to be born as a human and then fail to notice the beauty around us and wonder.

One’s choice of profession doesn’t automatically give a person upper hand in aesthetics or reasoning. O’Henry was a fraudster. Einstein was a clerk. Faraday was a bookbinder. Van Gogh was a failed priest. Michael Bay is a film director. Surely if only profession was the criteria Bay would have had an upper hand in aesthetics. We know that is not the case. So I am not trying to prove superiority over any individual based on their profession including my friends. In fact I have been an analyst for seven years before I went to a film school. But to live without a sense of wonder, to not be able to see beauty in nature and life and art, to not be able to ask questions and question reality is a terrible way to live. And it seems most humans miss that gift.

It is my duty to speak for art and philosophy because I am a soldier of Cinema. If I do not fiercely believe in those faculties how will I act on them? Art is and always will remain the founding stones of humanity. Unlike countries, nationalities, political ideas, armies and materialism, art will be constant and relevant till the demise of human race. Not losing the sense of wonder is the essence of being human. And hence it’s a sacrilege to disregard art and philosophy, even if you happen to be an accountant or an insurance agent.

Featured artwork: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?, 1897 by Paul Gauguin

The Island

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The island spreads her arms to the world
Westbound wind caresses her woods
Runs fingers through her grass blades
Little mushrooms sprout everyday from her belly
To be food for rabbits

The ocean brings hope and despair
Depending on the lunar moods
Once in a while the stars lit up the sky
Defeating the fog
Adorning the island as a princess bride

The island croons in the westbound wind
Hoping against hope
That her songs will reach human ears
On the shores of terra firma
Or to the unlikely ship of kilted warriors
Sailing across the grey rainbow

Seasons fold and unfold
Orchids bloom and die
No signs of gulls
No rabbits
No fishes
No men or mermen

The island withers in the embrace of sorrow
Dying a lonely death, each moment of eternity
Maybe one day the ocean will rise to her salvage
By taking her into its cerulean abyss

The island awaits that fateful day

Image sourced from www.islandgirlwalkabout.com

Karmic Cycle

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I no longer know where you are
Or who you were
When you descend into the deep underbelly of Prague
In another man’s photograph

The curse of Karma breathing down on your spine
You stand frozen in the motion blur
As the Metro snakes through the tunnel
Hollow happiness betrays your fatherless eyes

You stole me from another
Another stole you from me
It is the law of Karmic cycle —
Proverbial bitch for all seasons

Life is a throw of dice
And History was made at games of gamble
You said ‘Moscow does not believe in tears’
But you haven’t played the end game yet

Photography by Sam Hurd
Sourced from
http://www.samhurdphotography.com