Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cheshire cat

Where did you go, Cheshire cat
Leaving behind the ghost of a smile?
Don't just disappear, Cheshire cat
Leaving a conundrum in place of my mind .

Such a mystery you are to me
How I wish I could understand you!
But, perhaps, it is my destiny
To know you and not know you.


Note: Alice in Wonderland!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Paradise burning

I've always dreamed of going to Paris one day. Paradise, to me, would be sitting at a bistro on the banks of the river Seine, overlooking the Eiffel tower, writing my next best-seller (hey, if you're going to dream, dream big). Sadly, Paris was attacked, some say, for its very love of that freedom and tolerance and joie the vivre that make it paradise. And yes, evils exist elsewhere in the world too. But Paris, the idea of Paris, was peace and joy and culture. It was the something good in this world that was worth living for, worth fighting for.

But this is about the discussions that went on after, about who is to blame. And by that I mean the larger question of whether ideology can be blamed for the actions of its followers. One might choose to make a comparison against the gun control debate. Can you blame a gun for murder? Or do people kill people? But I think this analogy is flawed because guns are mere tools, they cannot be the cause for violence, only an easy means of venting existing violent emotions. Ideology on the other hand, can be the reason for why that gun was picked up. And when it isn't personal, it is always ideology, whether it is murdering doctors by anti-abortionists, or the mass shooting at a church by a white-supremacist, or whether it is the holocaust. It always comes down to ideology and the zealous belief in its truth over everything else that is sacred, even human life. 

The common thread among all these is the sense of supremacy. And most religion, at least when taken too seriously, is about just that. It is about being superior to those who do not believe, to the point even of destroying those who disagree, because of course, violence must be resorted to when words cannot win your argument.

In fact, if you think about it, this goes for patriotism too. When it isn't about what you can do for your country, or about paying taxes or voting or protesting against unjust laws, when it is about hating the "outsiders", hating your very neighbors, patriotism becomes a similar form of supremacy, and one that is encouraged in a populace that must be ready to go to war.

It is easy to understand why ideology must encourage this if it is to survive. It is much harder to understand the Why of the people: why would you choose the potential of reward in the afterlife over real life and real happiness? How can you burn paradise in the unlikely hope of finding another?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Blame

When one is struck suddenly
By the painful malady of misery
And there's nothing to make it better
But to chew its pill bitter

There comes a time in such ruminating
After replaying and reliving everything
When one looks back, as a detective
Coldly and calmly for reasons effective

To find some single cause, something to blame
So as to balm the wound and lessen the pain
Somewhere to direct all that hate
After a while, this too shall abate

But when such recriminations
Result in slightly different conclusions
And it is found that all blame lies
Not outward but within, you apologize

For inadvertently making those scars
Never to be forgiven, for it is who you are
At fault. Misery returns, this time two-fold
The pain never leaves, self-hate takes hold

To Have and To Lose

'Tis rightly said that true, lasting joy
Is a blessing few are familiar with
Like a secret shared only within the inner circles
Unguarded but unknown, seen but unheard

Not that the rest of us are so unfortunate
In our own pursuits of happiness
But, if that treasure is found, it is mere change
In comparison to the wealth of the ecstatically affluent

And envy though this may spark in the world
Its wonder and delight light a fire of their own
Whose warmth too spreads a few riches
Spilled as if from coffers that can hold no more

Ecstasy is the domain of a few
And perhaps it is rightly so
For it can be as violent and volatile
As it is beautiful and brilliant

And to lose it, once it is yours
No curse as great can there be
For it is worse to have had and lost
Than to never have known it at all

Just as poverty can break
A prince sooner than a pauper
So too does one who feels greater joy
Cry sooner than one indifferent