Perspectives

(The article is purely based on opinions of a teenager who might or might not have the same perspective today.)

We fall in love for the first time.

And every time it happens it happens for the first time.

The people we fall for are sweet and funny, mean and brutal and honest.

We fall for the ones who smell like the morning dew, freshly baked bread, perfect colognes, soil; fresh from the first few drops of rain, freshly picked tea and the warm evening sun.

Those who are puzzles and mind boggling riddles.

Even the ones who are mere shadows and a rude mockery find a place in the hearts.

The ones who have charming smiles and bright brown eyes.

The ones who turn out to be complete strangers when you finally think that you know them.

Sometimes you fall for people you barely know and probably never will- with them it’s like digging the rock solid ground with your bare hands.

Like digging graves hoping to ‘pull someone from the earth’.

There is something magical about it- something absolutely tragic. Only perhaps, because you were too young.

The very first time you fall in love is like a pulse of electricity running through your veins- and then it happens all over again.

You can write about it on a piece of paper- spray it with some flowery fragrance and seal the envelope, sing about it, stare into the starry skies and reminisce every second but no matter what preservatives you add- all of it will rot right before your eyes- paper crumbles, ink fades and memories die.

The people you fall for talk about families, neighbours, dead relatives, pre-school friends- people they handed change to and even those they haven’t met.

 The fiery sunsets, the azure mornings and the charcoal nights.

The pink cherry blossoms, the sapphire lakes and the emerald pines.

The dip of the fire ball into the deep blue, the crumbling of Babel and the making of the mountains.

All this enough to make you swoon over the person for the rest of your days.

Love is magical, beautiful, mesmerising, exciting, graceful and yet is cruel, callous, vague, bloody and a pure mockery. This is how much we love, adore and value it yet how much we loathe and disregard it.

It is all of these words. Though time has made me believe that while trying to experience love with a single individual we forget that we all are raging balls of fire and love- every human bursting with a tremendous energy of love waiting to be exchanged- and in trying to love one person we lose out on all that love which we can experience in a smile exchange with the one you saw at the station, the one who helped you pick your scattered papers, the one who dropped you home safely, the one who stood up for you, the one who was so tough on you that it made you a tougher person, the ones who gave you their phone to use when you were distraught and even the ones you ended up loathing. Because hatred passes over and all that remains are memories but memories die, papers crumble and ink fades.

@fissuredreveries

©Samrta Marks

Original Art by; Lora Zombie

Race

In modern times, if one is ‘lucky’/ ‘privileged’ enough one gets to have an ‘education’ promoted through the means of schools, where from the age of six to seventeen (varies) one ‘learns’. And if one is ‘lucky’/ ‘privileged’ enough, spends the rest of her/his life unlearning what was ‘taught’.

The simplest thing like ‘standing in a queue’ sounds preposterous now- will you ever make it on the last bus if you don’t push and pull to make it past dozens to people onto the already crowded bus?

Discipline? Decorum?

I’d say schools got it better than Thorndike with the cats.

Where be the discipline when the sun’s too hot? Or the winds too cold?

Where be the decorum when the lunch is late or dinner too early?
Where be the discipline when you wiz past the stumbling old man at break neck speed?
Where be the discipline when you throw away that spoonful of rice?
Where be the discipline when you pay up to secure a stethoscope round your neck and the white robe?

Where be the discipline when you throw that coke bottle out of that posh car window?
(Where be that discipline exactly when you buy that poison in the first place?)

Where be that decorum when you’re discussing a colleague?

What they don’t tell you is what happened to the cats after they got out of the box.

When three simple seemingly important chapters are removed from a textbook on the belief that it could lead the younger generation far from growing up with a mind set on unity- you can only imagine all the information that is actually withheld from one.
The same reason a ten year old will probably know only one half of the ones involved in the ‘War of Currents’.

Like the British who until recently never exposed their schools to the colonial history but chose to dwell on the glorious past of all the mad kings and successful queens but still fail at telling about the illegitimacy of the current crown.

In fact, discipline which one is taught barely cuts in life whichever reality one chooses to live in.

Tell me, which discipline would you go for at a funeral/mob attack/when hunger sets in- meticulously pulled back hair and shiny shoes or the discipline of your mind?

(Well, you’d say that you wouldn’t want a shaggy haired lawyer- but my friend, that’s the way you were taught it to be- suits are reliable and shoddy pants aren’t- right from school where they ingrain in you that your ‘uniform’ must be meticulous because that’s the path to conformity and train you to be a part of that endless cycle- but I’ve never met a musician/painter/poet/dancer whose hair were immaculate and shirts creaseless and they were far more reliable and far more grounded than those men and women in suits who were just Mr/Ms. Hydes pretending to be Dr. Jekyll.)

What they definitely don’t tell us is that this land doesn’t belong to us, that we’ve ‘borrowed it from our future generations and inherited from the previous ones’- if they did Mother Nature wouldn’t be running dry- we’d use our resources carefully- we’d know better than throwing away that banana/vegetable just because we didn’t like it- we’d love one another and help each other- knowing that the human race can succeed only when we hold each other’s hands- only if we weren’t pitted against each other in the name of ‘competitions’ and ‘races’- because in the end that’s what we’re left with – that ‘race’ just like the race for the new world order has begun and mind you- you haven’t a clue what you’re up against- because you were busy learning what was being taught and left out what you needed to know.
(May edited later)

©Samrta Marks

Of Pain

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Of Pain [Osha’s Last Entry]

“I thought we had left all that behind long ago, but it seems like it hasn’t ended yet. We are in a damp and a dark cellar.
I am sure that Eva and I have never betrayed Grace but I am also sure that someone had, that is why we are here.
I can see Eva staring at me, her thoughts are far away, yet her gaze is fixedly upon me. It seems as if she has seen a ghost. ‘They are here’ she mumbled. I heard the metal doors clanking open and shut – only strengthening the fear we all felt.
It is not the dead I fear, for they have served their term in this hell on earth and now rest in peace. It is the living that I fear for they can be far more inhuman. Eva, Yara, Gerald, Aryan and I are the only ones left out of the fifty three who were brought here.
I barely remember how our life was before we were brought here- the last thing I remember is that Eva and I were looking for a perfect restaurant to celebrate her birthday. A couple of men smoking cigarettes stared at us as we passed by, within a blink of an eye one of them caught Eva by the collar and punched her in the face. We fought back, but there were too many of them and we were unarmed. We were beaten in front of the mob that gathered around and none said a word to stop them or did anything- they just watched! We were labeled murderers and dragged out of the street into the grey van.
I have since then learnt that we are in some place called Arrishrryn. We are tortured everyday in the hope that we might vomit every detail but it rarely happens. The nights are worse, when the screams of the tortured captives echo throughout the cellars.
Eva looks at me as if she has seen a ghost. Her eyes are wide open. Her eyes reflect pain and fear. I stumble through the doors of the cellar. She catches me before I fall on the cold floor.
She knows they have electrocuted me, from the rotten smell which rises from my burnt skin. I would like to tell her that it is not so bad, expect for the fact that they have cut off my tongue…”
—–
This is my sister’s last entry. She died that night. I had woken up the next morning hugging a cold corpse.

©Samrta Marks 2020
(Earlier published in “Echoes”(2016) (Official magazine of St. Bede’s College)
and
(https://thewordcouch.wordpress.com/issue-2-2/)

Talk to me about a Tree.

Someone asked me once to talk about the tree, just some conversation as I tend to go mute for long hours (the silence could be for days and I need a jolt from it.)

But then there are thoughts; mere thoughts.

It’s not just leaves and brown really. If I did start talking about the tree I would really speak of everything else but the tree. It’s just like you ask someone of love and they tell you a sad story. But I was asked about a tree and I couldn’t just speak of the green and the bark. Because I’d want something more to it- the catalysts to complete ‘the tree’. And the catalysts don’t count as trees.

I’d want to talk of them far off on the hills in front of us with the falls concealed within them and wonder of the witches and hermits that reside taking in the old adages and wisdom they have to offer.

I would talk of the prodigious details; the foreign sounds, the fallen trees; one almost making a bridge in the deep trench, the sunlight stealing through the trunks. The little fur balls that perhaps flee at the sound of the rustling bushes, the silence- oh the silence I would love to talk about that.

And all of this, dependent, inter-woven, all of it- deceiving!

It would go on to abstracts.

I would talk about the whispers of the world in their highest boughs and the roots stretching into galaxies we’ll never know of. And then there’d be a conversation shift and you’d talk of how humans connect, perhaps through memories which form roots which will then stretch into galaxies forming a soul-connection. And when we remember the other that’d be the connection of ‘our roots’.

I’d tell you about the holiness within the trees and how it emits life more than just through oxygen, how it’s a circle and I’d talk of ‘The Lion King’ and ‘the lion eat the antelope and the antelope eat the grass and when the antelopes die they become the grass’… Still not about a tree!

I’ll tell you it’s a God and we’ll argue that I’ve denied the existence of God previously and then I’ll tell you it’s easier to say I don’t believe because beliefs are personal.

Perhaps then of deforestation but then it’ll again come down to human greed but then it’ll tell of histories etched in its’ ringlets of years; the happiness and the storms.

A witch once told me that the tree with the narrowest rings is the hardest and noblest, but how would she know if she hadn’t cut it down herself. But then my thoughts would wander off to the trees concealing the falls high up in the contours, the ones untouched, the indestructible ones, the ideal ones, perhaps; that inspire most words and hide the deadliest secrets.

They are the sanctuaries of life and I wonder if I’ll really ever sit down and talk to them, they know of a thousand years and perhaps they will tell me of the ancient laws of life. And then a gasp; when they tell you of the year long winter when they were just seeds, that they kept their bodies as temples when we humans just merely said it (‘our bodies are temples’). They will tell of the whispering winds that brought news from oceans across of how humans invaded the temples and charred their grounds. They will tell of how once the Western Winds had a quarrel with them, almost a war, like lovers fighting and reconciling. The trees tell me how she was calmer the next time she arrived, almost dead. But with a sigh they also tell that the realm of men had invaded her temple too. And being in the holy labour to Mother Earth they couldn’t do anything to help.
They teach me more than just that, it’s of home they talk about the most. Right here on these grounds and of the home within me.

“Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.”

And perhaps we all could just listen to them, like I was listening then, and I realized I had said none of it aloud. For I didn’t just want to speak of a tree but everything else but you just asked me of a tree.

Or should I talk of the dead tree in front of my house or maybe it isn’t and is just pretending to be dead and letting the woodpeckers perch on it and listen to their gossip of the hills across. Perhaps it was wiser, shedding away its’ leaves earlier for it became well aware of the world long before I did. So it’s just standing there mocking, for it fulfilled its’ purpose. And we are still dangling in the rat race. Still I haven’t spoken of a tree.

And then I’d think of the cactus in the desert, the most anti-social plant which grows alone and yet asks us not to come near it.

And still I can’t talk about just a tree.

©Samrta Marks

The in-betweens between Art and Perfection!

Perfection, a term which is just a mask for a compliment, I prefer “Your voice goes down like a molten metal down my throat and freezes when it reaches my heart.” That’s what I wrote to an artist on Instagram. She probably loved it and replied to the comment.

Flawlessness, an abstract idea for it is the imperfections that make something a masterpiece (based on a conversation I had with someone long time back.)

I loved the unblemished skin on women I saw on the internet and then I came across something called ‘makeup’ that made them look that way, foundations and highlighters with sponges to ‘blend’ the ‘contours’.

makeup Best-Beauty-Memes

I was pointed out for my tight jeans by a close friend, extremely offended I termed it ‘fashion’. But I have realized that the fashion and beauty industries have falsified the examples of the perfect skin, hair, nails and clothes. – The ideals on which the modern industries are running.

(Now you wouldn’t really wear those skull high neck frills, except on a ramp.)

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Even the puffer looks shocked for she pulled it better than him!

The health industry has us dissatisfied with the way we look- so they developed the treadmills, when walking and jogging serve the very same purpose!

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(An average man wouldn’t have those muscular arms. – A painter would definitely have those hollow, sunken eyes and a musician cannot worry about his perfectly trimmed beard!
The beard! Ah! The beard! Such a manly thing to have! Though it doesn’t run the world- personally I’m not a big fan either.)

(A housewife cannot worry about her perfectly manicured nails and a business woman cannot paint hers with a bright neon colour. It does not define any personality trait!)

The perfect body? It’s more of genetics and will power! – I shall leave out no contradictions for it is the in-betweens that are to be defined!

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The mere illusion of a perfect body!

You’ll have to be Manhji, The Mountain Man to make way through this obstacle in this society (I don’t know of the other countries- having little exposure and a humongous boulder of social connection.)
When a woman ages, they think of her as evaporating, rotting, decomposing as if her purpose is deteriorating – the big question of marriage comes up when she turns 25 (much, much earlier in some cases)- the likelihood of her remaining happy seems to be a lost cause.
But a bachelor, twice her age can allure women half his age!
A middle aged woman is mocked at and told that she will suffer for the sins of her youth, surrounded by cats (another ill omen in the country.) But did they not worship cats in Egypt?
If a woman fails to have children or doesn’t want any, she is yet again condemned and has failed the purpose of being a woman!
“Mai baby doll sone de” – Why is the idea of gold-digging on a rise? We have our answer. All the posh cars, fancy houses and prada accessories in those videos! Give us an idea that that is what we should have.
“Ho gayi jawaan, tujhko zara khabar na
Teri body karti shine jaise midday summer” – the extremely obscene voice with which the singer lusts over the female body, gives the idea to the general uneducated male population that the very lecherous voice can be used for a female walking on the streets.

(Not that it isn’t already in the people, but this is all the more a boost and an excuse – the mainstream media gives the idea that this is how our culture should progress.)

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Female Sexualization

The conventional pornography industries advertise sexual scenarios where a woman has sex even when she doesn’t want to.
The action becomes unintimate and immediate that this generation has begun to think that this is how it is done.

Despite the depiction of women in magazines and internet, one on the street is mocked, criticized abused (physically or verbally).

[But she really doesn’t care what reply you gave to that filthy comment under your post, because you are not in the position of that one who got her guts spilled out – and she probably doesn’t care for my words either, for I wasn’t in her place and no matter what neither you nor I can turn back time and give her sanity back.]

In truth our country isn’t ready for that mindset yet.

(Kalki’s recent video on World Music Day “Noise”- a masterpiece of all the conventional problems prevailing in the society- Go watch it if you haven’t!)
And you don’t even need to read this anymore!

A man is expected to marry to make his home comfortable, let his wife take over the chores which his mother can no longer do!

Where did the mere mortal aim of companionship go? Where did the love go?

(Another dying emotion- but I shall speak of it another day.)

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Revolution and change are a long way from here, you and I might not be here to witness the changes we want, it is not an overnight process.

A hundred years! That’s what it took Romanticism!

But the question; will human race live that long or are we going to destroy it sooner than that?

Time is probably running out and we need to find our humanity soon and create a masterpiece of this change, not perfection.
It never was a perfect world, it never will be! Art has only found a way through the imperfections and without art the world would be a dull and dreary place!

Samrta Marks
June 28, 2017

Micahel Angelo

[Image(s) Source : Google]

For the undying love for tea.

Just one whiff and your mood instantly perks up. When you inhale that divine beverage the only sense that doesn’t numb is that of smell. When you open the lid of the freshly purchased bottle of the lovely Assam tea the aroma wavers to your nostrils and you inspire the rich flavours. The grainy leaves, the greens with a texture of black slip past your fingers and into the boiling water. The water swivels –the leaves at an earlier stage leave a golden trace and the water almost magically changes colour, almost the colour of whiskey. A few more minutes and the color changes to that of a stronger beverage, rum perhaps -a yet more enticing redolence floats in the kitchen, past the lobby and the diner and into the parlour. Within four minutes the beatific beverage is ready. You pour the liquid gently and hold it near your lips; you inhale – shut your eyes and let your tongue be seduced by the sumptuous sinful drink. Your senses which were earlier numbed are now fully aroused; your mind does the happy dance in a bright red hula skirt as the hot liquid trails past your buds and down your throat. The other flavours of that scrumptious tea have the same bewitching effect. Want another cup?
                        I bet the fifth cup in the day and the wondrous beverage has the same effect even on the last sip and your inner goddess has sat up in a lotus position looking serene except for the sly, self-congratulatory smile on her face.
                      I believe in the present age it is really difficult to draw people out to get them to talk beyond certain things and to know them in person. The best conversations I have had with my family and friends has been over a cup of tea -things I never knew about them surfaced over this magical beverage- ambitions, fears, craziness etc…

                    It’s almost an addiction and you often try to convince yourself that it isn’t harmful, but the uneasiness that resides in the head and the pangs of desperation that knock on the insides when you haven’t had a cup when you open your lids; is almost like a drug leaving your body and the body aches with the lack of it.

                   But perhaps the best tea I’ve ever had has been; in those streets, on railway stations, in a dhaba on my last bus stop, when we stopped the car while travelling; on a wintry morning the warm liquid slipped down my throat and subsided the chills in my body, that moment was somehow when I disregarded the drink and gulped it down my throat to ease the cold and only at my second glass (yes, I do not say cup) I realized the aroma and the flavour.
And now it is my tea time.

 

 

-Samrta Marks

(June 26, 2017)11

(Image Source: Google)