Judge Me Not

Judge me not by what I write

For I share a spoon from all I cook

Just hold yourself until I find

A purpose for me and for you a hook

 

Why read my words with a face so grim?

I think I scrawled them just for fun

Labels are fine for those who’ve reached

My journey my friend has only begun

 

And alone I wander in the wild so vast

With no one beside save my guitar

My fingers so eager to strum them all

All tunes melodious and utterly bizarre

 

For rejoicing the path is the point of it all

So gather some bruises – go out and play

Allow yourself to relish the breeze

Go stroll barefoot on a rocky hard way

 

These tiny little steps one after the other

Is all it takes to conquer the peaks

So ahead I stride listening to none

Just pausing whenever my heart speaks

 

Miracles it says do happen in time

To the one who walks – I need to remember

For all that glitters is rarely ever gold

Behind that glow smoulders an ember

 

© Sundaram Chauhan

I Breathe You

Lounged by my side

You shimmering molten gold

Your hands oozing warmth

And these are mine to hold

My fingers caressing yours

Tracing shape of your nails

My eyes searching yours

They’re telling me some tales

A part of you is air

Or is that your perfume

You flow from the same source

From flowers left to bloom

I breathe you in so deep

The world around is haze

You ripple through my body

In thousand different ways

©Sundaram Chauhan

The Daily Fight

Every day it returns

Carries on from the previous night

Without fail

The fight

First – you wrestle with yourself

Tame your doubts, your worries

Then you deal with the world outside

Nobody there – it seems – wants you to be working

Towards a goal they think

You are not worthy of

They snigger behind your back

And dismiss your attempts

And write you off

‘Cause how can you do something they can’t

And what a satisfaction it is then

To still keep working towards your ambition

To keep fanning your smoldering passion

Into flames

So high they consume you whole

So empowering it is

To wake up every morning

Feeling wiser and healthier

Because

The previous day was lived

To the best of your capabilities

You weren’t perfect

No. Rather far from it

But you persisted

Even when you could’ve given up

And today

In this morning

You’re up again

To protect your dreams

Not just from others – but from yourself too

The day stands before you

Saddled, well-fed, well-rested

Mount it. It’s restless

It won’t wait. It doesn’t – ever

Ride it

It sure will try to throw you off its back

Every now and then

But why to be afraid of a few bruises

If you hold yourself tight enough

You could direct its pace

And direction

Deciding to ride it was the difficult part

You’re already past that

By winning over your worst enemy – Yourself

Nothing can trouble you now

Nothing can even touch you

Good Day!

© Sundaram Chauhan

Same Boat

We might be sailing in different waters,

but we are all in the same boat.

© Sundaram Chauhan

The World Inside of Me

Childhood

The world inside of me

Is kind of pretty cool

I still am a boy

I still go to school

 

I play through my days

Read books for pleasure

A piggy bank of sorts

Still holds all my treasure

 

Brimming with zeal

I run until I fall

I jump and scream and jump again

For no reasons at all

 

The world is so huge

So confusing like a maze

But I like to find my own way

And walk through this haze

 

The prettiest of girls around

Don’t hold my attention

Except for daily homework

I’m not aware of tension

 

I wait for heavy rains

To play soccer in the mud

I cartwheel and somersault

Yeah – I’m such a stud!

 

The band on my wrist says

Hit First and Hit Hard

I train watching Bruce Lee

My whole body is scarred

 

I do visit this place in me

Whenever things go bad

To cry in my mother’s lap

And hide behind my Dad

 

The world inside of me

Is kind of pretty cool

Wisdom comes along with chains

I’d rather be a fool

© Sundaram Chauhan

(Image Source)

The Lone Tree

The lone tree

Standing alone

But standing tall

Shrivelled and stripped

Yet strong as a wall

 

They laugh at me

The greens in the distance

Huddled warm together

They pity my existence

 

Well-nourished they seem

In the company of their own

Here I struggle for a drop

Chipped, flaked, wind-blown

 

To tell you the truth

I was green as well

Then a season swept by

And took away my shell

 

Now I burn in the heat

Awaiting cool of night

Then shiver in the dark

Wishing for sky bright

 

But a bird dwells in me

It flies far and wide

It tells me many tales

My only friend and guide

 

Fly Fly – it sings to me

I stretch up on my toes

Screaming roots snap in pain

I’ll have to stay it shows

 

It squawks at me to try again

And touch the glowing dots

To beat branches in the air

And untie all the knots

 

I know I can’t do that much

But the fool knows that not

It keeps filling me with dreams

Now dreams are all I’ve got

 

I survive all the dreadful days

And look out with some hope

Can I really fly up there?

And glide down that slope?

 

But roots firmly hold me down

So I pray all day and night

For cruel winds to pluck me out

And give me once that flight

 

The bird calms me down

Do not despair, it says

Roots give you strength

To fly there are still ways

 

Spread your seeds in the air

Let thoughts grow their wings

Sow versions of you around

Imagine there are no strings

 

Imagine! There are no strings, indeed… says the bird that’s my heart.

© Sundaram Chauhan

Enough

b9ba3a239a0a86859a36b12b9bb4ed25--rock-star-in-a-relationship

She must cook

And she must sweep

So packed she is

She can’t even weep

You don’t budge

And you won’t help

When asked for a hand

You let out a yelp

You go to work you say

Come on – so does she

Allow her a breather

Be a man – can you be?

When she is all done

You don’t even thank

Somehow being a man

You get a higher rank

I don’t think you care

She’s living or she’s dead

I know you love her

But only when in bed

It’s not a home for her

It’s more like a cage

I think she’s had enough

Just beware of her rage!

© Sundaram Chauhan
(Image Source)

Depths

Don’t ever stop

while walking

the tightrope that’s life

for the fear of falling down.

As downward it may be,

depth is but a distance after all.

And who knows

you might get hold of

a few diamonds

on your way as well,

for that’s where

diamonds are found – 

in the depths.

© Sundaram Chauhan

Fiction # 1: The Trek

whatliesahead

Exhausted, and soaked in sweat, she decided to pause for a breath, and slumped down on a small boulder on the path. The rough-cut rock she leaned back on pressed hard against her back, but she sat there untroubled, looking out over the other side.

The world below had shrunk. Shrunk as well as expanded, she noticed, as her eyes swept across low hills, and unending forests, to settle on the horizon, light years away.

Up ahead on the winding path, the long straight line of the top announced the end of the trek. Not far now, she glanced up at the trees fringing the length of it, feeling satisfied. She’d be the first one to complete the trek, out of the group of fifty-odd people. An achievement, no doubt.

But… it could’ve been sweeter, she thought, had I been with my friends, instead. Far away this place might be from work, they were still her seniors, or rivals, and there was no way she was revealing her silly side to them. She just couldn’t trust them.

Yes, her colleagues, she had discovered in a rather short career so far, did not make reliable friends. And this sudden burst of camaraderie among them here was not going to fool her.

It’s all a fake show, she knew. Once back, they’ll forget all about the selfies they are clicking here, and return to what they do best – stealing credits, and backstabbing.

But for all her misgivings about the people it involved, she still couldn’t help loving each and every moment of the trip.

Up until the day she got a job five months back, her parents never even allowed her a night-out with friends, let alone an out of town trip. And a mountain trek was simply unthinkable. So everything here, including the very path, howsoever dangerously narrow or steep it might be at places, filled her with excitement. Even the jagged stones that constantly pricked through her shoes could not dampen her spirit as she pressed on with childlike vigour, leaving the fittest of them straggling behind.

Time to move, she nudged herself after a while, and springing to her feet strode ahead once again. It took her around fifteen more minutes of laborious walk to reach the place where the trek ended. The ascent from here was short, but very steep. So slowly and cautiously, she clambered her way up the slope, clutching the small rocks jutting out of its surface.

Halfway up she could hear the muffled sounds of laughter drifting from above. And soon afterwards her head pushed past the level of the ground. She straightened up, clapped the dust off her hands, and looked ahead. The trees fencing the place allowed only tiny incomplete glimpses through their leaves but that was enough to hook her.

All along the journey today, she hadn’t really thought about the top. Of course, she wanted to reach it, but that was it. The path itself was so fascinating that thinking of the end actually saddened her a bit. She hadn’t even cared to look at the pictures they shared on the office email. But once past the trees, she knew the pictures couldn’t have done justice to the place.

Before her stretching in all directions was a broad level field at least thrice the size of a football ground, its green surface mottled with hundreds of colourful camps amidst huge swaying trees. The place was swarming with people, laughing, playing, and crowding around shops, as if this was a regular picnic spot in the middle of a city. And, looming above it all in the background, piercing the sky, was a gigantic mountain range, staring her in the face, commanding attention.

It was so close she had to crane her head back to have a good look at it. Winking behind its high peaks, she saw, the Sun was struggling to stay afloat, throwing down great long shadows that swallowed the whole place.

Soon enough, she was walking, her steps leading her to the far end in the direction of the mountain. She weaved her way through a jumble of people, camps, shops and trees, until the last of them passed by, and all the noise reduced to a murmur, barely audible.

There at the edge, though imperceptible from the other end, the ground ended abruptly, and dropped hundreds of feet down to a narrow green valley kissing the feet of the arrogant giant in front of her.

She glanced down at the valley. Thick green trees tangled in a fight for space were crawling up the mountain that rose almost vertically like a wall, stopping only in the clouds.

The wind gusting authoritatively here was whistling in her ears and flooding her nose with the aroma of pine trees, making her eyes droop. Mesmerised, she let the backpack slide off her shoulders and peeled away the shoes. A stream of freshness shot up through her toes when her naked feet touched the grass below, melting all her tiredness away. She stood there, intoxicated, letting the wind caress her face.

It was running right through her, she felt. Cleansing her heart and purifying her soul. A vast sea of calmness seemed to be filling her being, drop by small drop. Overwhelmed, she lowered herself on the ground, shivering. There, she sat hugging her knees – sobbing yet smiling, famished yet somehow fulfilled.

The dusk had begun to settle around her when a sudden burst of music in the camps behind broke her reverie and made her heart leap up in delight. A latent longing to be among people – dancing, cheering, and laughing ones, rushed to the fore, and took hold of her as she gathered herself.

Just as she was turning to go back, the shouts of her name startled her, making her jump. Peering down the ground, she saw half a dozen people moving towards her, silhouetted against the campfires in the background. Their steps hurried, as they waved at her frantically, visibly relieved at finding her at last. She was surprised to find herself waving back in excitement too. Their voices, and their forms were all too familiar to her but she never knew they cared enough to come seeking her.

Maybe she was wrong about them, maybe not. But she seemed not to care anymore. At that moment she knew she wanted to be with them, and that was all that mattered – the moment. She would deal with everything else later on, but tonight she was going to be herself, even if that meant people judging her. She decided she wasn’t going to stop being herself for that fear. Nor was she going to judge them in return.

Forgetting everything, she just wanted to dance. And, if she was still hesitant, she had vodka inside her bag, she thought. But she knew she wasn’t going to need it.

She was already drunk.

Quickly, she scooped up her bag, and then ran towards them beaming, dreaming of the night to come.

© Sundaram Chauhan

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑