The Lost Blessing

Time seems to have frozen. There is always a permanent state of wonder. Leaves continuously fall from the tree during an endless autumn. The days become colder and darker and the piles of decaying leaves surround the doomed tree. There is no wind to carry them away. The tree, however, has to withstand the autumn. It cannot withdraw from the fate that awaits it. The winter that will follow seems like a distant tale told by wanderers who take shelter under the tree. He sat under the tree, counting the falling leaves but if you asked him how many have fallen so far; he would not know. He sat there for what seemed to be forever. The world does not wait. The day came when he finally had to get up from under the tree and continue the walk of life, pretending to never have known the tree and its fate, silently stepping on the decaying leaves on the ground around him. One step at a time, he walked towards his path. A path he had never meant to have taken and did not know where it led. He wonders if it is alright for him to come back and count the falling leaves every once in a while, to see if the autumn has finally transformed into the long-dreaded winter? Perhaps he left a part of himself under the tree. He wonders if the falling leaves will ever stop and the part he left behind will follow the path he took to find him at the end of his journey. Soon he found himself standing in the middle of a never-ending landscape. Vast flat fields over barren land. All around him, he could see nothing but the drying earth and the scorching sun high up in cloudless skies. The rest of his journey has to be through these unforgiving lands. An endless walk which was more taxing on the mind than on his limbs. A weary traveler he has become, yet he cannot turn back and the path he walks is only known and remembered by himself. There are many things one cannot hold on to for a lifetime. Regret is one of these things. But what sort of regret is warranted? I ask this question from myself often. Should you hold yourself responsible for the actions of others? Should you continue to regret and blame yourself for the unfortunate outcomes? At what point do you accept the reality and try to overcome everything that puts you in a state of constant regret? A continuing desolation consumes oneself slowly. Perhaps the most unfortunate lesson I have learned is that only those who have a clear conscience are the ones who are affected by this desolation. The latter has a plethora of justifications for their actions, most of which are illusions behind which they hide while deflecting all responsibility and blame.

The tree was once full of life until one quiet night, during which the ground was silent and there were no stars above. Just a lonely moon, behind the dark clouds peeking down. He sat quietly on the stairs of his porch, as if behind a curtain that drowned all the noise around him. He felt like he was alone, with only the silence to keep him company. It seemed as if time had stopped and everything he cared for no longer mattered. He sat there, staring into the endless night and letting every thought his mind ever carried scream inside his head, for no amount of pain could intimidate him now. In his loss, his heart had started to turn into stone. Life is always full of impediments and difficulties. For him the past year was much like a never-ending storm. A constant, relentless onslaught of difficulties. Of all these troubles, the one that took a toll on him was his failed marriage. He had been lied to, deceived, used, and threatened. But the disintegration of the abusive marriage was not what brought him down. The slandering and constant blackmailing were not what he feared either. He had endured all these storms until this very night. He gazed at the peeking moon and wondered if he will ever see his child. He could fight against everyone and everything to get that chance. But just because he could, he thought deeply and questioned, should he? In many societies and cultures, men lose so much more when a marriage ends. I’m talking about the good men, who are honest, hardworking, sincere, and who go out of their way to make things work. I’m talking about those gentle souls, who repeatedly forgive even after being hurt in every possible way. In the end – they rarely find support. They are left alone and abandoned. They lose material things as well as their mental well-being. They are seen as weak if they try to reach out. They are just expected to bear all the burdens even in death . . . Why?

Time keeps passing. “Today, she would have been a year old,” he whispered to himself. It was past midnight and there was no light around him as he laid still on the bed. Distant sounds of the city were softly breaking the silence around him. He reached for his phone and held it close to his face, letting its bright light pierce his eyes. He stared at the screen, blinking as little as his watery eyes would allow. He kept staring at the phone without moving. There was a cool breeze outside, which was making a soft whistling sound as it passed the slightly open window and danced around his room. He had a profound smile on his face and sleep was long gone from him. He had spent the last year counting days and trying to come to terms with his fate. He spent his time preparing for the day he would see the tree again. It was growing, and soon it would be beautiful and perfect. There was anger inside him. Anger against those who deceived him and took away the tree from him. There was good in him though, for he had forgiven them. He did not seek vengeance. He was strong, but not strong enough to be kept away from the tree; and that was an everlasting torment, designed by those who failed to trap him in their webs. He blinked but his eyes were no longer moist. They were empty, just like the smile he had. He ran a finger across the screen trying to feel her. She looked a lot like him and that always gave a certain comfort to him. He began noticing the breeze and the city noise seemed louder now. “I hope you have the same heart your father has. Wherever you are, and whatever you do, it will guide you, and someday you will find your way back home.” He looked at her beautiful picture on the phone one more time and then put the phone against his chest and closed his eyes. An arduous path, fate has set before him indeed. The kind which relentlessly taxes his spirit and has begun to slowly erode the very seams of his sanity. The deafening cries inside his mind keep him awake and the deception, lies, and manipulation have made their mark on his thoughts. The decision to forgive and not seek retribution has now weakened the once willful patient man. They say that those who leave such matters to faith and goodwill eventually find peace.

Does the father, who withdraws; not because of the unending repression by the ruffians hiding behind their false agenda, but due to his deliberate choice of not separating his daughter from her mother, not deserve better? Or would it have been wiser for him to have unleashed his wrath until he could have had her in his arms? On this path, I have found that a father who withdraws for the sake of his child has a love far greater than the one who does not. I would have never forgiven myself, for letting you be used as leverage by those who sought mischief. I left you in God’s care and I hope you have the same heart as me for you will need it to climb out of the moral-less abyss. I have not been able to sleep properly yet and may never be able to. Whatever you will be told and taught; I can only imagine. You will only hear slander about your father. They will instill hatred inside your heart for him. But he passes his days knowing that there is a God above. He passes his days knowing that his blood runs in your veins.

Chapter 7 – A father’s love

An arduous path, fate has set before me. The kind which relentlessly taxes my spirit and has begun to slowly erode the very seams of my sanity. The deafening cries inside my mind keep me awake and the deception, lies and manipulation have made their mark on my thoughts. The decision to forgive and not seek retribution has now weakened the once willful patient man. They say that those who leave such matters to faith and goodwill eventually find peace.

Does the father, who withdraws; not because of the unending repression by the ruffians hiding behind their false agenda, but due to his deliberate choice of not separating his daughter from her mother, not deserve better? Or would it have been wiser for him to have unleashed his wrath until he could have had her in his arms? On this path, I have found that a father who withdraws for the sake of his child has a love far greater than the one who does not. I would have never forgiven myself, for letting you be used as leverage by those who sought mischief. I left you in God’s care and I hope you have the same heart as me for you will need it to climb out of the moral-less abyss.

I could write a hundred words, to express how much I miss you and how I long to see you, yet when I start, there is little I can muster. So, for this Father’s Day, I managed to get a painting made for you which I hope holds true to the adage; a picture is worth a thousand words. May you always be happy and healthy and may you always choose the right path, no matter how hard it gets. May you find peace through morality, like I did.

To my Daughter;


Beautiful

Constantly remind little girls how beautiful they really are.
because too soon,
they will be swallowed up
by the toxicity of society;
their minds twisted and warped
by unrealistic beauty standards
and pencil-thin women on their screens.
remind them of what the truth is;
that they are truly gorgeous
no matter what society tells them.


Release

I have kept my mouth,
soldered shut
for far too long.
Today,
I am ripping apart my lips
from the outside in
and letting the avalanche
of words pour out
and let them do what they may.


Chapter 5 – The Calm Before The Storm

I was standing on the porch of my house, which was slowly decaying as the principals that I had made the house from waned. There was a strange whisper in the wind that carried a vague message. It seemed to be a message of hope. Rain was coming. I stood there and stared at the vast sky and anxiously waited, so I could greet it. The sun slowly grew a little colder, from blistering hot to a pleasant warm as the dark clouds that carried rain slowly entered the scene. A smile appeared on my tired face after a very long time. I clapped my hands in joy and stared at the sky and the fields. The rich blend of colours in the scene gave me a new kind of energy, perhaps a fresh perspective. The brown fields, thirsty for rain, moving in waves as wind passed through them. The brown faded into blue and the fields became the sky, which had grey clouds slowly covering its entirety. The yellow of the sun was scarce now, but it was still present.

The first drops of rain came gently, slowly moistening the dry ground. I put my hand forward and let the drops fall on my arm. I took a deep breath and reveled in the smell of rain. The dry soil and the rain drops created a pleasant petrichor which reinforced my bones. I laughed and watched the rain wash and water my fields. For a moment, all my principals grew as strong as ever and my house was renewed. My personality and my character which I had used to decorate the house was enhanced. The floor of empathy and the walls of honesty grew stronger. The roof of kindness and the doors of generosity, the windows of love, the furniture of simplicity, the curtains of hope, the fence of loyalty and the foundations of modesty; everything was suddenly restored or so it seemed. The paint of honour and integrity that covered the house was as bright as ever. I smiled and stepped into the gentle rain. There was a calmness that I had longed for quite a while now. I closed my eyes and let myself soak.

There was a sudden flash of very bright light, followed by a great sound. My eyes opened and I was shaken. I looked up to the sky in question, and there was another bright flash of light and another noise. It was thunder, and it worried me more than it scared me. I have found that loud, invasive and immoral people bring ill things with them, and the same applied to the thunder. It was not just rain; it was a storm. The calm before the storm was but a device of nature, much like the treachery of people who build trust before deceiving you. The rain grew in volume and in intensity and there was a relentless onslaught. The field, I saw were now drowning, and the mischievous water seeped into my house and soon, I was waist deep in a flood. As I waded towards my house, It disappeared right in front of me. There was nothing left, and I stood there in disbelief. All those years, all the hard work gone.

Living Through a Dynasty

Immersed in monotony, one may wish for time to travel fast,
Make no mistake; all will wish for time to stay.
One should’ve learnt that all of time travels to the past,
And that’s with you, riding on the back, one day.

Although, isn’t a moment measurable,
Not through numbers but through emotion?
Lest one forget, time isn’t always pleasurable,
Like a fine sea, to a flailing ocean.


Everything will be Alright

Shed no tear,
oh, shed no tear!
for this situation
which you believe to be
the demise of you
will eventually pass
and become just a whisper
of what once was.

Dry your eyes,
oh, dry your eyes!
for in life, every situation
that you find yourself in
is simply another stepping stone
towards your own growth
and greatness.

Breathe, my dear,
just breathe, my dear,
for I promise
that in the end
you will emerge and prevail
from the ashes of yourself
and live the life
which you deserve.


Chapter 6 – The Impending Bewilderment

There was a time
When my thoughts were more coherent. . .
I was journeying swiftly
How did I become so desultory?

The path was clear,
Bare under the sky
How did it evade me?
When it was under my feet

Oh! I have been searching
Long forgotten and lost
Clad in abundant verdure,
Does it not want to be tread?

Or perhaps it was a thought
A mere creation of the mind . . .
I think of abandoning my search
Should I sift my heart instead?

In the timeless forest of my memory
I await for a long night
Maybe the north star will reveal itself
And guide me to my road?

Chapter 4 – The Long Drought

The fields were thriving. I was now more motivated than ever. All around the house I had built, there was hope in abundance. I would walk in the field, happily inspecting the crops, and later I would sit on the porch of my house, wondering about the future, when they would be ready for harvest, and bring great joy and pleasure. I must have spent years, taking care of the fields and nurturing them and watching the crops grow taller. Cultivating the land and honing my craft; that is what I did all these years, and this created a plethora of expectations. The kind which come with hard work, patience and persistence. I remember the beautiful clouds that watered the fields and the great sun under which everything grew.

As the long years passed, I learnt that everything is not what it always seems and change is often not for the good. Things and people who once were good, or rather seemed so, turn in an instant. Eventually, the kind of crop you grow does not matter. The crop of honesty, the trees of empathy and the endless field of flowers of good intentions, is not what is valued. The very foundations of my house which were made of kindness, generosity, love, simplicity, loyalty, honour and integrity were not enough to bear the burdens of this world. I learnt that the character one develops, is disregarded. The world wants the crops that yield fortune only.  Those who sow the mischievous seed of greed are heroes when the harvesting season arrives.

Just like that, the clouds and the sun, once my good friends and advocates for the fields, turned against me. There was none in the sky to water the crops as the clouds disbanded, and the once gracious sun scorched the earth. I was deceived. I was exposed to the harsh reality of the world. I experienced and saw things that I never otherwise knew of. My reluctance and refusal to adapt to the treacherous ways of the world was seen as a weakness. My house and my fields that held goodness were seen as a threat. There was a long drought; it taught me that with goodness, you cannot be a hero. You are not valued for principal. You are valued for the yield. I saw my fields slowly fade to brown, but I continued to work. I did not let the crops die, and I did not change the foundation of my house.

Goodness is not a weakness. Is it?

Chapter 3 – The Tree That Fell From The Sky

I have seen it.
When the day was younger.
And the night a distant tale.
When it was plenty
And scarce was its dearth
I have seen it
When words were kinder
And hearts simple and pure
When the winds were calm
And the shores untamed

I have seen it
When the land was vast
And grass tall and green
When the rivers sang
And the mountains danced 

I was there . . .
When the night fell quickly
And draped all in silence
When the veil was sewn
And hung from the sky

Still I observe
Most of them crossing
And on quest to find it
Souls scarring and tarnishing
And withering to dust

I will be here
When the sky falls down
And their quest fails
For what they seek
They had all along