Remember

You don’t always have to feel defenseless. Nor go for the kill

You don’t always have to tell your side of the story. Time will

You don’t always have to defend your point of view. The task is uphill

You don’t always have to feel lesser. Or try to fit the bill

When you have the confidence don’t let chauvinisms upset

Remember when you are a threat you are always a target

 

You don’t always have to impress. Nor constantly strive

You don’t always have to fulfil expectations. Or feel deprived

You don’t always have to seek acceptance with a need to arrive

You don’t always have to be in the limelight as if on camera live

When you have the faith don’t let people make you a puppet

Remember when you have the courage you can bite the bullet

 

You don’t always have to be at your best. Some days can be uneven

You don’t always have to be flawless. Genuine mistakes can be forgiven

You don’t always have to be indefatigable. You don’t always have to be driven

You don’t always have to put your best foot forward. Afterall you are human

When you have the resolve don’t let little things dampen your spirit

Remember when you bring your own sunshine the path will always be lit

Many happy returns of life

The toughest the hardest the most beautiful of all

Is a soft smile on the edge of the lips that hides each fall

You may think you know somebody from the laughter you hear

But tip of the iceberg deceives so well you never notice the tear

 

The simplest the quietest the most sturdiest amongst feelings

Is inconspicuous care that quietly helps in healing

You may never realize the extent to which it can mend and repair

But if there is one action that keeps the world in motion it is care

 

The harshest the bitterest the most rashest of all reaction

Is a foolish temper that destroys the very fiber of emotion

You may either control your rage or be consumed by it

But anyone capable of angering you becomes your master bit by bit

 

The coolest the sincerest the most basic of all consciousness

Is a kind heart that knows hurt and still responds with gentleness

You may be vulnerable you may believe fortitude is a quality for the sage

But vulnerability is not our weakness it is our accurate measure of courage

 

The strangest the oldest the most avoidable of all sentiment

Is unfounded jealousy that indulges in loose talk for ears you lent

You may not believe everything you hear you may learn how to sieve

But at the table which speaks evil of others you are the topic when you leave

Ten-spots

From ten meters away people will judge your appearances

Dress well, walk with confidence, fine-tune your senses

It is not as if you must live to impress the world around

It is for your own self-esteem a feel-good aura to surround

 

From ten feet away people will judge your temperament

Wear the smile, win the hearts, being worthy is achievement

It is not as if you must live to influence all those you encounter

It is for your own validation and some skepticisms to counter

 

From ten inches away and with the first ten words you say

Remember all chimeras and illusions you will drive away

‘Well-intentioned’ may not suffice, well-honed will be scrutinized

The spoken word is bespoke of you and how you are apprised

 

From ten minutes into a conversation to ten years of friendship

Your honesty and integrity will withstand all storms in a relationship

Some rules are golden, some gold is imitation and the heart is aware

You be the best self you can be. As for the rest let the universe take care

Myself. And some

Some dreams are scattered across incomplete skies

Some feelings that mattered hinge on partial lies

The world around me is daunting and demanding

Some confidences are battered even when the spirit tries

 

Seasons change color and moods tag along for fun

Society alters silhouettes once their work is done

The world around me expects exactitude and passion

Sentiments carry the weight of hope under the sun

 

Some expectations are building up on rocky foundations

Some passions are attached to them for restorations

The world around me extracts promises and pledges

Some folks are judging me for my lack of perfections

 

Fragments of memory are strewn in the room

Petrichor whiffing past takes with it the gloom

The world around me affects outlooks and dialogue

Pain hovers on the edge of recall like a rogue

 

Some optimism is required to go past the sting

Some prayer to give add on power to each wing

The world around me is elusive and illusory

Some real time dreams some faraway realities need jugglery

Excuse me please!

Please excuse me if I don’t remember your number or name

I keep my memories up in a cloud I am not to blame

Some eternities ago we had this little black book

We called it telephone diary in which every nook

Had some name and number noted in pen and pencil

We would memorize and recall much of it at will

Today I cannot remember my own mobile number

Cities and phones are getting smarter I am getting dumber

 

Please excuse me if I claim Africa is in Asia

For most of my knowledge these days I rely on Alexa

Some epochs ago we had this big colorful book

Countries mountains rivers and seas we knew from one look

We called it an Atlas and we relished our geography

Given today’s politics compiling it currently would be catastrophe

Today I only visit places where Google is functional

Using my own brains or skills has now become optional

 

Please excuse me if I cannot understand your feelings

I still communicate in person and with word in all my dealings

Some eons ago we had this message-filled book

Full of memories and moments for every sign we took

We called it Autograph book and gave it to family and friends

Their comments invited love laughter fun and frolic to no end

Today emojis and acronyms have changed the syntax of language

And with it the syntax of emotions I have little proficiency and usage

 

Please excuse me if I don’t recognize your photographs

You have polished photoshopped selfies mine look like rough drafts

Some ages ago we had this photo-filled book

Of trips weddings birthdays relatives visitors strangers even the cook

We called it photo albums and it was a visual treat

Revisiting old celebrations and events in a heartbeat

Today we have unlimited pictures stored in laptops and mobiles

I am standing at the crossroads still technology has traversed miles

Take it easy

The foot is on the pedal the sprint is unbroken

Clamoring for action even before the word is spoken

This steeplechase is slowly making me a bit queasy

I wish I could step off the treadmill and take it a little easy

Life is racing past even as I ace the rat race

I want to breathe in the scenery I wish to cut off the pace

 

The expectancies are higher the performances contrived

Social pressures are replacing simple pleasures I derived

This constant need to keep update with trends and crazes

I wish I could ignore it all the criticisms and the praises

Life is racing past even as I stop for a respite

Did we really opt for this existence this state is so contrite

 

This rainbow is a mirage capturing colored desires in a prism

I call it crafty marketing they call it capitalism

Jargon is clervely whitewashed and packaged in gold

Someone somewhere decides my needs and lo! I am sold

Life is racing past even as I recall indulgences that had no cost

Now at every turn of the road hoarders and hoardings accost

 

Where am I heading the shaft is speeding towards a dead-end

The ones who hold my being for ransom select each trend

I am lured into a life of a lifetime eyes blinded by the bright light

The shine is Lucifer’s hallmark I am actually hurtling towards night

Life is racing past even as I try to hit pause button with all my might

There is no giving up now or ever. There will be a way to set it right

Some times…

Sometimes the words and lines are labored

Sometimes they flow with the tide

Sometimes perspectives and attitudes are savored

Sometimes there are rules to abide

In the labyrinth of sentiments tread with soft feet

Words and attitudes pitch like arrows you cannot retreat

 

Sometimes the paths and spaces are constricted

Sometimes they are open and wide

Some access to emotions is restricted

Sometimes you are simply tongue-tied

In the intricacy of sentimentality beware of heartbreak

The world will move on nonetheless the heart does a double take

 

Sometimes views and beliefs are blinkered

Sometimes they are bonafide

Some thoughts get twisted and tinkered

Some ideas remain untried

In the warren of judgements keep away from prejudice

Empathies must be impartial to do real justice

 

Sometimes family and friends have your back

Sometimes they take you for a ride

Sometimes they make up for what you lack

Some feelings have simply died

In the tangle of relationships you must infuse compassion

In every give and take you do suffuse some more passion

 

Sometimes situations and surroundings are perfect

Sometimes you have grieved and cried

Some experiences have lasting impact

Some expectations and hopes have lied

In the snare of social skills you can’t recant like a coward

You must stand up and learn how to put your best foot forward

Lesser known lessons

The less you talk about yourself the less they will talk about you

Conversations travel and turn into Chinese whispers soon you have no clue

Just like food, bland information is boring – each person adds a thing or two

Shortly you find yourself filtering fabrications from what was really true

 

The less you display your wealth the less they will trouble you

Claims of abundance create jealousies everyone claiming some due

Declarations of dearth fashion fears they will now look down upon you

Whether the monies accumulate or diminish hostilities still accrue

 

The less you exhibit your knowledge the less you will have to rue

Mediocrity rules and is convenient, intelligence will certainly not woo

Each one will grasp only from their level of perception the onus is on you

In case you have not noticed the wiser ones are so much quieter too

 

The less you demonstrate your feelings the less they will go askew

Thus fewer prejudices and judgements to face that invariably follow in lieu

Emotional baggage is yours to carry advice-givers have little to do

Expert opinions will be offered still each reaction from a variable view

 

The less you pronounce your beliefs the less you will turn blue

Explaining your stand and justifying your conviction even to a few

From the unseen line between opinion and opinionated you must take cue

Remember, like relations, some beliefs recurrently need repair and renew

Schatz (1)

Kindness has this remarkable attribute as if made of indelible dye

Kindness creates a ripple effect touching everyone by and by

It picks up fragments of broken hearts mending it into one whole

It leaves behind an impression like a permanent marker on the soul

 

Kindness has this amazing offer one kind deed begets tenfold

Kindness permeates personality keeping the morning star on hold

A little care so often erases underlying and unwitting tension

It infuses value in every relation it is a recipe for human connection

 

Kindness has a caveat your acts may be misjudged misinterpreted

Kindness requires patience and courage don’t expect to be feted

If ever you face a moral dilemma in your conscience ensues a fight

Between ‘right’ and ‘kind’ choose kind and you will always be right

 

Kindness has one condition it must discreetly dispel bleakness

Kindness is loaning your strength not reminding someone of their weakness

We don’t have to agree on anything to be kind to one another

It begins with understanding that we all struggle and suffer

Bits and parts

Can we help a neighbor without prejudice or din

Extend unconditional support to our kith and kin

Can we remain honest when everyone else is practicing guile

In the midst of aches and acrimonies can we retain our smile

Then maybe we have learnt how to balance heart and mind

In bits and parts at least learnt the definition of mankind

 

When we come across boorish motorists do we control road rage

Pay their doctor’s bill if our domestics are ill instead of cutting wage

Can we uplift one single life and educate the street urchin

In the midst of fears and suspicions can we infuse hope he is searching

Then maybe we have realized how to ignite real passion

In bits and parts at least learnt the meaning of compassion

 

Everyone you know is fighting their own battle can we align empathy

Forget our worries for a while and provide genuine sympathy

Can we open our minds and hearts without considering ‘help’ a bother

In the midst of fears and suspicions can we trust one another

Then maybe we have grasped how to stem to hatred and greed

In bits and parts at least learnt how to navigate desire and need

 

Can we give freedom to our children offer  guidance then let them be

Can we own up to our own faults instead of imparting advice for free

Can we generously compliment good work sans bias or self-interest

In the midst of fears and suspicions can we simply be our best

Then maybe we have understood how the soul factory works

In bits and parts at least learnt how and where Lucifer always lurks