The Value of Friendship

pexels-photo-298297

How do I define,
The bond that I share with you?
Admiration, friendship, a protective,
Shield that I use to shelter you?
When others mocked,
I stood for you.
In your darkest hours,
I was there for you.
Just as a passive listener,
Who would absorb all your insecurities,
And still hold your hands,
And wish you the best.

Would you know,
The number of times,
That I have prayed for you?
The candles that I lit for you,
The sacred offerings that I made for you,
Praying that the mental and physical demons,
That plagued you would go away.

You will never know,
All these things,
As new friends and BFFs, and besties,
And God knows what other term is being bandied,
Surround you with fake smiles and gifts,
And praise you to the sky, moon, and stars.
You will never know, what is it that runs in their minds.

You know – what hurts the most?
This blatant arrogance and veil,
That you choose to cover yourself,
In judging me to be a no-good loser,
Based on what someone told you,
The no-good parasites that just cause havoc,
The calculating, conniving, cunning, minds,
That wear a smile with ease,
And get their priorities sorted out,
And use you to their convenience.

You will learn in hindsight,
When they stab you,
And then you will realize,
What the value of friendship truly is?
If you are reading this,
And somewhere in your conscience,
If there’s a gentle prick,
Then fear not,
It is meant for you only.

I really hope,
Only good things,
Come your way.
May each successful peak,
That you surmount,
Be another gem in your crown.
So long and farewell,
The door remains open,
When self-realization happens,
You will be back.

 

Image Courtesy – Pexels

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What Defines a Literary Classic? Thoughts on One Hundred Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is considered as a seminal masterpiece and is unanimously accepted as the author’s greatest accomplishment. I will be honest, I have not read the book in all these years, despite being a student of Literature and spending generous amounts of money on all kinds of books, year-on-year, once I started earning regularly.

First, how the book found me. So brother Karthikeyan Santhanam landed in India to renew his visa. We decided to meet and Ampa Skywalk was equidistant and an ideal spot. The Annual Landmark Sale was to begin, I continue to hold the Landmark card and was shopping looking for spectacular books in the 70% off and 50% off sections. KS walked in and he held the book in hand asking ‘Have you read it?’ I nodded my head in the negative and next thing I know I have the book in hand as a New Year Gift. Thank you Karthi :).

Now back to the book! This is essentially a tale of a man, his wife, the man’s levels of insanity, the woman’s courage and faith, war, famine, gypsies, love, hatred, death, infidelity, incest, revolutions, science, progress, and evolution that’s spread across seven generations.

See this picture to understand the primary characters in the book.

The book is not exactly an easy-read, way too many characters, different names, lots of things happening, idle ramblings, purported metaphysical thoughts and love, lust, sex and anger in ample measure.

The magical realism aspect seems to be forced. The book was published in 1967 and perhaps would have been a testimony of the strange times then. Reading the book now, it seems to be a laborious task.

How does a book become a masterpiece? Sales-numbers? Quality of Prose/Poetry? Characters and Settings? Marketing? Or a heady mix of all the above? If you are suffering from insomnia, read this book, either you will get a headache and continue to make sense of the chaos unfolding or you will fall asleep.

Z for Ice Station Zebra

Imagine you are in a submarine, you are supposed to reach the icy top of the world before the Russians do and there is a saboteur in your ranks in the submarine. Based on Alistair Mc’ Lean’s pulsating novel of the same name. The movie directed by John Sturges, produced by MGM with an all star cast headlined by Rock Hudson released in 1968 and was a decent box-office success that built on the psychological fears of the Cold War era.

Watch the trailer here:

 

Those who love watching spy/army thrillers and don’t mind a bit of rambling dialogue and old school special effects will love the movie though it makes significant alterations from the original novel.

The movie is a good watch on a rainy evening, with a glass of single malt and something spicy and crunchy to eat! 🙂 🙂 🙂

And with that dear readers this exercise in vanity, a race against a deadline and artificial ego-boosting on knowledge of cinema is done 🙂 Whosoever read my posts – thanks!

A shout-out to Miss Shri Abirami who blogs at – https://astrogogal.wordpress.com/ and featured me along with other stellar bloggers at the half-way mark. Thank you Abi!

Other leading lights who have blogged with great panache, passion and dedication and whose posts I loved reading are:

Dhivya Balaji

Rajathilagam

Mokkai Mannan VSR aka Gils the Great!

Kavya Janani

Nandhini

Kishor

Megha

Sylvian

Sneha

Good luck friends! Make a great May 2017 ahead!

Filling the Blanks

You sit staring at the monitor,

You have so much to write,

Then you wonder – what difference,

Is this going to make,

Other than turning into –

Yet another silly rant!

So you just type,

Inconsequential stuff-

Like this and pray that the mind,

Finds its fulcrum soon.

How am I going to fill,

The blanks that are there,

In my heart?

In my mind?

No answers, just blanks!

Joined together to form a loop,

From which I see no light!

How do I fill these blanks??

 

 

Till we meet again – Cheers!

It is 7:30 PM on this Monday evening as I type this out. Last Monday, same time, the winds were howling, rain pouring in torrents, there was no power supply and we were managing with a single light running on the inverter. It has taken a full week for things to return to some semblance of normalcy. Power came back late on Wednesday. Took a day for regularisation. Many pockets of the city and the suburbs are still without power and it is a scary proposition. How powerless we are in front of the elements??

On top of all the chaos unleashed by Mother Nature and the resulting catastrophe in terms of power failure, the great demonetization joke is truly taking a toll. I see construction work that has stopped, small workshops and factories shut down. The markets are no longer full of hawkers with their produce. I have to look for a shop that accepts card or Paytm for digital payments. This in turn is being used to advantage by these supermarket chains, which have cleverly hiked prices of fresh vegetables. Every single ten and twenty rupees note is quite precious and the 50 and the 100-rupees note, well they are like diamonds now!

The purpose of this post, as usual, I don’t know, 2016 is coming to an end. My mother gave me a scare of epic proportions as she had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency treatment and the recuperation is taking its own sweet time. 2016 has been an eye-opener, I finally found out that I am a joke to a lot of people. People who smile, laugh and joke with me in my presence, mock, tease and call me names in private and spread rumours. Well to each his/her own. Life goes on!

I learnt a key lesson, trust your gut instinct, everyone will offer a 1000 opinions and nuggets of wisdom, but it is the gut instinct that will always prove true. I have seen friends blossom into successful novelists, photographers, singers and accomplished artists and I am happy for all of them!

Being betrayed by people whom I trusted with all my heart has once again proved the gospel truth — “Be your own friend!” As the clock ticks, every passing minute, I can’t help but rue the lost opportunities. If I had been selfish enough and honest enough to pursue my own dreams, life would have been different. Despite letting go, the past returns to haunt me. I have run far away from the past, trying to create a new life for myself, but karma catches up in weird ways!

At 34, I am not even a shadow of what I was. The hands tremble, the battle to sleep without nightmares is a trying task. This year again, I bid goodbye to some people. In front of my eyes, I see my mother disintegrate physically and mentally and I can’t do anything about it. I am resigned to fate, trusting that the medicines will offer relief. The intense fear that she will leave me when I am away, scares me to no end. But then that’s life isn’t it – always be ready for the unpredictable to hit you bang on the head!!

The cherished desire to complete the Girivalam at Thiruvanamalai was accomplished in the middle of 2016. On the first day of the new year, I embark on a pilgrimage to Sabarimalai, my first visit to the holy hill. I will be away, aiming to find answers, seeking to find pardon for actions that cannot be corrected. I seem to sink deeper and deeper into a whirlpool of thoughts that plague me. The sense of abject failure and dejection never seems to leave me. Despite having supervised a fair number of creative writing projects, when I seek to write my own story – I am a big zero.

I am supposed to work on a 500-words essay on the modern classroom – but try as much as I can – the words are not satisfactory enough and I have deleted two pieces of writing. It has reached a stage where even the one skill that I trusted would not leave me is slowly disappearing – the ability to string words together at will! My mind fails me, I forget things with unfailing regularity. I get these blank and blind spells, everything turns hazy for a while and I have to stand or sit silent for some time till normalcy returns. All the bashes and blows to the head from another lifetime, keep haunting me in these quirky little ways.

This will perhaps be the last post for a long time to come. I need to look inwards and find purpose and meaning in my life. I can’t continue to fool myself and others with this mask that has now turned into my identity. Till we meet again, if it is destined; we shall meet again here!

May 2017 offer all that you aspire for and bless you with joy and good health!

Cheers!

M

Rains, tears, times, friendships lost!

How a year changes things?
Friends no longer friends,
Blocked, banned, ignored,
Wiped, scorned and deleted.
It pains me to no end,

Why? Why? Why would I,
Invest so much in a friendship,
Emotions, love, respect, time.
And why is it that people,
Can get so easily influenced,
And judge me with such remarkable ease!

We all pay for our sins,
I fully agree to the theory,
But where is that I went wrong?
At least give me a clear answer,
Tell me why my friendship,
Is no longer of consequence,
In any way to you!

Don’t I even owe the courtesy,
Of at least knowing,
What is it that I said,
Or I did, sparked of anger,
Such intense and heated,
That I do not even,
Merit worthiness of a reply,
From you!! I have no answers.

I continue to be losing people,
One after the other,
The ones that I have trusted,
The most – have always,
Managed to let me down,
The most, without fail.
I look at myself,
And wonder, with so many losses,
Well – It is I who am to blame.

Yes, that is the only answer.
Clear as sunshine,
I am the one who is flawed,
I do not deserve,
Your friendship,
Or of others, who worship you.
For I am a negative influence,
Who preys on unsuspecting minds.
So it is best for me to just shut up.
And smile, and pretend that – “All is Well”.

 

The Butterfly and the Poet

Where did this journey start?
Well the scribbles on the wall,
When I was just a toddler,
Growing into the kid,
Who ate the chalk,
With which he was supposed to write!
That’s the one – I believe!

One writes as it is a part of life.
The emotions bottled up within,
Need to find an outlet,
Gratification by others plays a small part.
The writer writes,
For he is like the butterfly in love,
That knows it has a short life span,
But is still madly in love!

The poet writes,
Knowing he is a failure,
A dejected, rejected, forlorn,
Individual, seeking comfort,
In memories of a love,
That never was,
Friends who have long ago,
Forgotten him and gone on,
To achieve success and glory.

The poet sits,
Looking at the notebook,
The fountain pen,
No longer oozes ink,
Just blood…
Life goes on..

We write, because we need to write!