Kaleidoscope

@ks

I endeavor to live in the moment. In the meantime, here is a sum total of all yesterdays and tomorrows.

2,803 words

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The Remainder

Inspired by: Flashback

I used to walk back home
from this road
a long time ago
and usually
you would be standing
in the balcony;
waiting
in the twilight
of the evening.

On other fiery, orange evenings
you would be laughing
as I would break in a run
to save the ice creams
from melting in the sun.

Even today,
the ice-cream vendor is there
but does not remember
his old-time customer.
The balcony is there too
but you;
as you were,
do not belong there.

And so,
this road
can no longer
take me anywhere.

The remainder
is only a slender remembrance
of you;
waiting
and laughing
in the fiery twilight
of the evening.

© Chandra S.


The Anonymity of Maturity

Refreshing cool wind swept past me as I stood on the balcony of the apartment in which I have rented a room for the next few months. I perused my view of urban Chennai with a lazy eye.

Chennai would probably be a contemporary of California had it been fortunate enough to be a part of a first world country with its stellar beaches and coconut trees of all shapes and sizes on all roadsides at all angles to the ground, laden with fruit.

It is this famous tropical fruit which drew my attention, for today was the first time I ever saw one that resembled a papaya. It was undoubtedly a coconut as it was attached to a coconut tree but it couldn't have been more differently coloured from its peers on other coconut trees if it'd been painted by a person afflicted with red green colour blindness.

I surmised that fruits with unusual appearance were probably young, dressed by their parents in bright clothes, slightly embarrassed at being so openly displayed while their older counterparts had long since lost themselves to the anonymity that comes with maturity.

© Dhanvi S.

July 7, 2018


Reflections

From: The Antique Anthology
Inspired by: Reflections on the extinct
Writing credit: The Nightingale

The things that I have done
in my loneliness…
…singing,
poeming,
suffering,
snap-seeing,
dreaming,
waiting,
touching…
…wherever you touched…
are significant and sad
because;
you are all that I have
and have ever had.

It is difficult to comprehend
that one cannot spend
the nights
dreaming of dreams coming true.

So again,
I sigh in reflection
of nights
when dreams used to smile
caring to come true…
and when
there was love, only love
and all that I had was you,
only you.

© The Nightingale


The Avalanche

Inspired by: The certitude of ageing

Unlike before
a young lady ignored
my presence.

My heart broke
...once more!!!

Nineteen times
out of twenty
this would
not have happened
to me.

But this time,
it did
and I slid
into a peculiar sadness.

At a later hour
I looked at the mirror
and
a plump little man
with partly grey hair
glumly returned the stare.

The young man
of yesterday
had been demolished
simply by the way
time moves ahead
...quietly
...surely
and
the youth is buried
inevitably
and irredeemably
under the cold, old years,
that come cascading
dispassionately
along the avalanche of time.

© Chandra S.


Laces and Knots

For the first 1/3 of my life, I could not do shoelaces and tie-knots. It was awkward...debilitating. For the next 2/3, I raised the bar and went beyond.

Life got tied up and knotted at n number of places, attached and intertwined with a whole lot of people and events. It was impairing.

With the last 1/3, I now sit quietly...looking at laces and knots,  unlearning…undoing…disarming…empowering.


Belief

Inspired by: The subconscious mind which secretly prefers prayer over logic.

Many times,
You have said vociferously;

......for all success
and in all failure,
faith is the key.

And many times,
I have tried to reason
against the equation
of ritual and religion.

But,
in the fashion world
of materialist-spiritualism,
where majority conforms to modern tradition,
I have often found it convenient
to ignore the dictates of reason
and still more convenient
to believe in the corollary;

......faith is the key.

Therefore,
I have mostly believed,
......in your faith
and in your prayers
......for me.

© Chandra S.


Only For You...

Inspired by: Fear of loss

Every now and then...
I roll out
of a rude dream
and find myself
in some unknown stretch
of the night;
gaping blankly
...almost obtusely
at the false ceiling.

It is
at a time like this...
when the preceding dusk
is left behind... a long way
and I have no idea,
if the first blush is near
or still faraway;
that the mind conjures the cine-effects
like an elaborate multiplex
and a myriad portraits of you
and your groom
begin to flicker.

*

...There is that veteran wedding-album
of nineteen sixty seven.
In some photos
you both look tired.
In others...
...happy
...unseasoned
...childlike
...shy...

I see your vibrant un-arrested youth,
those wonder-filled eyes of first,
and then the second instance
of parenthood.
Do you remember mom?
And you dad?

I remember:
The grammar, the math
and the etiquette
that you have taught;
the silly queries
that you have solved;
and the medical opinions
that you have sought
for your gasping, asthmatic son.

Do you remember mom:
the eleven a.m. tea,
and peeling out the peas
in the cozy winter glee?

And dad, do you remember:
the visit to the cynic herb-doc
and the early morning moped-rides
in the impenetrable January fog?

Dad: Your out-station tours
Mom: The memoirs
of your childhood

...................∞

I remember so many of our times together.
How I wish they could last forever.
But as I approach forty-eight,
the inevitable dread
stares in my face
and often...
the rude dream that I wake up from
is about the time when you will be gone.

*

Tonight
is one such night
and I hope it is alright
to tell you
that even if I were sixty-two
I could hardly do
without;
your unconditional blessings,
honest counsel
and a love
that is
…immutable and true.

*

The heart is now at the brim
and like for every intense feeling
the vocabulary has become slim.
A few words quiver:
Thank you, love you, miss you....
None delivers
but I know
that you will know
just like you did before.

Therefore,
the remaining composition contains
all my pure silence:

……only for you.

© Chandra S.


Orbit

From: The Antique Anthology
Inspired by: Constraints
Writing credits: The Nightingale
Acknowledgement: Nicku

They loved each other;
sincerely.
And were masters
in lavish analogies

Once,
he casually remarked,

You are the Earth, I am the Sun

She replied,

You are right,
I must revolve around you.
The day this geography changes;
the heavens will be shaken.

I throb in the pain
of your searing flames.
And though I know
my misery cannot equal yours
in intensity,
I honestly kiss your parched lips
in recognition of your aching malady.

I share your affliction too
and that is all
this earth in this birth
can do.

Sun dear,
it is your fate to burn
and the earth cannot come
any closer to you
lest she burns too.

She may not be afraid of burning
but time has set her orbit.
So, your fire reaches her;
lighting up her entire self.

But sometimes,
when every ray out of you
carries tonnes of fire,
she purely burns,
surely burns
and realizes the trove of burning
you carry within you.

But since her orbit is set
that is all she can do.

© The Nightingale


No-Body is Powerful

Now and then, my weekends are spent in silence. I observe the rise and fall of my stomach as I breathe. Emotions wax and wane as the mind buzzes about.

I see that I am the host, just like the branch of a tree.

Thoughts fly towards and away like birds of various kinds. Mostly, they perch and chirp and sing their songs. Then they flutter and take off.

Thoughts are guests. To be in flux is their natue. It is a simple fact that neither needs to, nor presents a possibility of change. Fighting thought, any thought, is a doomed project by default.

My attention turns to the thinker. Who is thinking? It is important to know because the thinker is not only that branch on the tree where a thought-bird can settle for a while, but is also the one who remains when the thought leaves.

The thinker abides. Therfore, I look at abiding properties.

  1. Body: Decays, and with it all related identifications of name and form disappear.

  2. Mind: More subtle than the body but all its features are mutable. Intellect changes. Memory changes. Thoughts shift and the mightiest of egos can be deflated in an instant.

I keep looking, finding and discarding till there is nothing left that is not transient.

The thinker is non-transient. Therefore, it cannot be a body-mind combination. It is a no-body in the material sense. The thinking is surely there but no-body is thinking.

So when you ask me who I am and I look within, there is no-thing there. I am no-body and that is immensely powerful, for no-body could be any-body. All possibilities remain accessible.


The Next Catastrophe

Inspired by: This day and age where freedom is often misconstrued as freedom from obligation and a license to be reckless, indulgent, casual, uncommitted.

Liberty is the highest decree.
Independence and opportunity -
the finest, paramount glee.

Certainly indeed!

But are we really
moving towards being free?
Or is it brazen entitlement
that we blatantly feed?

*

You ask of the next catastrophe.

Mass irresponsibility:
that is sadly what
it will be.
...smh
That is sadly what it will be.

© Chandra S.


A Hope-less Poem

black-and-white-crumpled-paper.jpg

Inspired by: Writer's Block

Occasionally,
there are spells
when,
you have to compel
the homeless mind
to somehow find
a reasonable rhyme
in which
you could fit;
the unarranged
disfigured
and discoloured
bunch of thoughts.

But,
the mental friction
does not sanction
the end
of this sluggish trend
and eventually,
some patchy amends
are all that you can provide
to a hopelessly disorganised
and crumpled
piece of poetry.

© Chandra S.


As we go by...

He wrote:

Another day has gone by. It started a bit cloudy and there were some showers. Then the Sun broke through and I walked across the field that looks jaded bronze with all the grass fried crisp by the sizzling tropical Sun.

At work, I tried to focus on writing the fifth document but could not pick up much speed. It is a challenge to write something which is simple to understand and yet does not compromise the quality and completeness of material. I wrote one page and then struggled with finding a way out to mark an email as "Read" on Thunderbird.

Towards evening, I read up on the evolution of stock prices, a topic that I have to teach in class tomorrow. I will shortly shut down the computer, change and go out for my mandatory 3 kilometer walk with a hurting big toe. It is funny how age catches up. They renewed my driving license for 5 years instead of the usual 10, citing an age threshold that I have now crossed. The painful big toe is a symptom of rapidly developing gout and I think that I was in school just yesterday. I blinked and almost a lifetime is over.

And I wrote back:

It is indeed funny how we remain colossally unaware of the passage of time. Not only that, we never seem to be content with the present. When we were children, we wanted to grow up quickly and be all independent and strong and able to decide for our own selves. Now that we have grown up, childhood seems like a precious little lost gem. And yet we do not realize that if we are around 10 years later, we will miss what we have today.

Writing is a scientific art. One has to be precise in communicating and yet hold the reader's interest. If the subject is technical, the challenge is that much more. The best way to move ahead is to proceed in small steps instead of rushing. Beauty takes time to develop.

While you walk through the field, take time to notice the breeze that ruffles the hair, the shade of those veteran trees,

the chameleons that speed past, the birds that take a sortie from one tree to another and when you look up, there is that infinite blue sky reminding of the vastness into which all things merge.


 

Equanimity

Inspired by: A dream and its rememberance.


You were a tree. Not too tall but not very short either. The foliage wasn't thick but not thin enough to make the tree look bare and deciduous. Ample light passed through the leaves. The temperature was neither hot, nor cold. It was neither dark, nor bright. There was a breeze.

I stood there, knowing that it is you and the flowers kept falling on and around me.

© Chandra S.


A Hole in the Heart

Inspired by: Nostalgia and helplessness narrated by a long-lost colleague. I have forgotten names. Only the essence remains.

She was a beautiful girl
with intense eyes
and long black hair.

We would sit
on the windy cliff
till the Sun
went over the hill,
and
she would sing to me
and talk to me
about life;
that promised to be ours.

Then,
the evening would take
deeper, softer shades
and we would go
our own separate ways
waiting......
for the next day's meeting.

Today,
as I write about
those lively days,
I can still
feel the gaze
of dreamy,
eager eyes
of that beautiful girl
whose life and dreams
oozed away quietly
through the hole
in her heart.

© Chandra S.


The Timeless Bond

Inspired by: Loneliness, sickness, contemplation, nostalgia, longing and a Philips radio set.

The radio set was purchased by my father when I was a year old. It was a 3-band radio and came with a leather case that had a shoulder string. My parents would take a walk after supper and I would be perched on one of their arms while the radio would be slung on the other shoulder. I grew up with it. It kept me company for as long as it lasted and remained a true companion in my varyingly solitary moments.

It took years for the physicist
and the meta-physicist
to reluctantly agree.

They took opposing alleys:
One looked into matter
and arrived at its intrinsic energy.
The other looked at energy
and saw matter as incidental analogy;
just a random criss-cross
of cosmic puissance.

They made much ado
in arriving where my good old
three-band radio
catapulted me years ago.

Since my teens;
she had faithfully been
my worthy companion.
With sweet melodies,
thoughtful talks,
rousing commentaries....
she kept me company
through thick and thin.
For a scanty eternity,
she was the only tie with humanity
in my plain, flat life;
lonesome, sickly and solitary.

We knew each other closely;
fondly and dearly
and I would talk to her,
some would say foolishly,
and though strangely,
she always responded readily.

For years sixteen
that Philips machine
was with me
and I saw
into her inherent energy
that underlies every material entity.

*

When she died suddenly
without warning....abruptly,
I knew a friend had gone
but the essence lived on.

We were perfect camaraderie:
She was all intricacy;
body, battery and circuitry,
and the spark that came from me;
ah!!! my art of tuning adeptly.

Though I got newer models and makes,
the heart still beats with a dull ache
for the one who began as mortal matter
and bonded timelessly with my being;
...merged and mingled...
as an undying memory,
in what they call
my imperishable, impregnable spirit.

© Chandra S.