Coal

I am the opposite of the word “perfect”. I have a lot of flaws. Now, I won’t say that I’m very proud of my imperfections or “I am who I am”! No, I won’t show that “I don’t want to change, accept me the way I am” kind of attitude. I really feel if something is wrong in me, and I know that, I should try to change it. I should improve. And, I’m constantly working on it. It’s not because I want to impress anyone or something; I just want to be a better person.  But despite my flaws I have a few good qualities too. A few good qualities that, maybe, I am proud of. And when you meet someone, in the beginning, you get to see only these few good qualities, which maybe every man possesses. And then slowly, as you bond closer, you start exploring the person and knowing the bad ones too. Now, I won’t say, the earlier ones were the fake ones and the later ones are the real ones. My identity is the summation of my good qualities and the bad ones— the good ones which I want to strengthen and widen, and the bad ones which I want to lessen and leave. Instead of despising me after knowing my bad qualities and maybe abandoning me, you should give some time and maybe help me improve it. Instead of just leaving me or talking behind my back, maybe you should say on my face the things that you don’t like or maybe, you think, I should change. Remember, only the lucky ones whom I consider close get to know my bad qualities. I don’t go on showing them to everyone on the road. And in spite of all that, if you choose to leave, it is you my friend, who is the loser and not me. Even the diamond starts as coal! And this time, I mean it.

~KMnO4

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Nostalgia

This time I went to my home, I saw my father’s hair greying. Something pained me. He was aging. I had never seen any grey hair on him before. Though many of his friends, some younger to him, had grey hair, he had a scalp-full of black hair; not even a single grey hair that I could spot. I had never seen him applying oil or shampoo on them in his lifetime. They were natural. Though some of his beard-hairs had greyed earlier, he never bothered to color them. And that added to his calm and composed look. Calm and composed that he was, mostly!

But when he gets, his wrath can burn everything like the third eye of Lord Shiva!

I remember once we were playing cricket in our courtyard—me and my brother. It was noon. And my father was having his afternoon nap; too lazy a person he is. We had got this new bat— a ‘Kingfisher’ bat for a local ‘China Market’. It was the first real bat that we bought. Earlier we used to use a nicely-cut bamboo piece or a piece of a wooden plank that we would get polished by the carpenter working at our house as bat. So this was the first real bat and it had been hardly a week that we bought it. We were playing and it’s obvious we’d be making some noise while we’re playing. I was batting and my brother bowling. I saw my father coming out of the house with a dao (an Assamese sword) in his hand. We could understand that we’re dead if he could catch us. So we ran for our lives. From a corner I saw my father cutting the new bat with the dao into pieces; tears rolled down my cheeks. It was the first bat that we had bought! And the funny part was he was even trying to cut the tennis ball, which bounced back every time the dao hit it. After a few failed attempts, he threw the ball into our pond. We got the ball back later when the pond-water was pumped out to catch the fishes.

Another time, I had gone home during my vacation in my engineering. It was not that late at night— around 10 o’clock maybe. But people sleep early in villages. So everyone had slept and I was watching TV in another room. We had no liberty of latching our rooms; there was no privacy. Everything was open. My father was getting disturbed due to the sound of the TV. So he said me two-three times to switch off the TV (which I got to know later), but I could not hear because of the sound of the TV. So he came to my room. I was watching. He unlatched the hook on the door, opened the door, pulled out the plug of the TV from the electric-board, took the TV and threw it on the courtyard. He then latched the door and went back to sleep. I was watching. Few minutes later, my mother came, unlatched the door, brought the TV back inside, put it on the table, latched the door, and went back to sleep. I was still watching.

So such was my father! When calm he’s totally calm and when angry he doesn’t see anything.

He has his own ways of caring. I remember when my mother was sick and had to be hospitalized, he had done all the work at home all on his own. He used to get up early in the morning, cook food for us before we two bothers went to school, then travel 2 hours in a bus to his workplace, work there, again come back and cook food again for us in the evening. Also he’d take some, at times to the hospital. And I wondered how someone who was so lazy could do so much, without even complaining anything.

We were never close. I hardly even talked to him. Whenever I needed something I’d tell my mother and she’d pass it to him. But I know he cares for me— for us. And now that he is aging and I’m working in another state, I kind of feel running away from my responsibilities. Life is too short. When all these years passed, I couldn’t even tell. And I know he won’t be asking me anything; he never has he never will. But shouldn’t I be giving something to him?

~KMnO4

Hearts

The most delicate thing ever on this earth is the heart. The most brutal thing ever on this earth is the heart. The most mysterious thing ever on this earth is the heart. Heart is the cause of many wars; or maybe almost all the wars. Had there been no heart there would have been no difference between a man and a machine-with-a-brain.

Maybe even if you can build smart machines that have a brain and can make decisions, they won’t be able to replace humans, because humans have got hearts. They might be able to make intelligent decisions, but they won’t be able to make wise decisions; for a wise decision can be made only by the application of both a mind and a heart. They might rage war at the slightest incitation or for any frivolous reason; which a man with a heart can avoid as he is able to judge the situation and understand the future unforeseen repercussions.  Heart is the only reason we make stupid decisions at times because those decisions might be doing some good for someone whom we care for; heart is the only reason we feel pain and we shed tears.

Hearts are soft and tender like a feather. It gets hurt at the slightest prick. Hearts change. Today you like someone; tomorrow you might not like him. When you like someone you’ll like everything he does; and when you hate him you’ll hate him for the same things. It’s not always because they have changed. It’s because you have changed. Your priorities have changed.

You liked him maybe because you were lonely at that time and you had no better ‘friend’. Or you had no better ways to spend time. You just needed someone to speak to; to get some psychological support. He was just a source of entertainment for you, just like a joker at a circus. And when you got some ‘better’ friends, he turns ‘boring’ and ‘irritating’.

People change; people change like the dresses they change. And the ones who can’t adapt to this change suffer.

Unfortunately, some people are too sentimental; mawkish for some. They take everything seriously. They mean everything they say. And the problem is they think everyone else does so. But, many say just for the sake of saying. They will call you a ‘friend’ and never mean one.

Sometimes people will just pull you towards them. They will make you feel special. You’ll feel there is at least someone on this earth, besides your family, who selflessly love who, who cares for you and whom you can trust blindly. They will do small-small things that will bring a smile on your face no matter where you are. And you’ll smile more when you feel stupid, once you realize everyone around is staring at you. But you enjoy that, you crave for such sweet-embarrassing moments. You cherish them.

And then, they will throw you out of their life, and you will keep wondering how did this happen. What went wrong? And you’ll never see the reason. The same person who once made you feel special will hurt you with words fiercer than bullets. And the sad thing is, they won’t even think that you would feel sad; they won’t even care. They were more than a life to you but you’ll see them slipping away, just like the lump of sand you try to grasp— the harder you try to grasp, the faster they slip away.

And you know, it’s better to let them go. But you don’t know how to!

~KMnO4

Delusional Paradise

You think I can’t see you? I can see you very well.

I’m like the ghost of the Christmas future. I’ll haunt you in your dreams. You may listen to me, or shoo me away thinking I’m just a shadow of your fickle mind. But at the end, you’ll meet your future one day.

Does that scare you? Your future? About which you have a vague idea, but you pretend not to know anything. How long? And whom are you fooling?

You can fool everyone on this earth, but not yourself. You know pretty well where you are heading, but you just want to live in oblivion; just want to be complacent. You know things are not as it should have been. You have screwed up things. Or you could have made things better; made it worthwhile. But you messed up everything.

But this is not the problem. The real problem is you’re not accepting that you have messed up. Maybe it’s your ego, or your fear. You just want to stay in the false illusion for some more days- until you can carry on with this drama.

And what after that? You’re going to meet you’re future one day. And when you reach there just remember these words:

I’M WATCHING YOU.

I’m you.

~KMnO4

The Terminus

We are one of the tiniest insignificant particle in this universe. One day we’ll die and would be buried or burnt and nothing would ever matter. Hell or heaven is a topic of debate. But what is fact is how we spent our life. It’s not what good I did for myself. It’s what good I did for others. Or at the best it’s what bad I didn’t do for others which I could have done. One day everything will end and we’ll just leave behind us a legacy for our successors. But what’s important is not what praise they’ll offer us or what condemnation they inflict upon is. What’s important is the moment of satisfaction of not having any guilt at the last minute before our death when we see it coming.

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