Fade Away….

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Drops pelting down a broken pane
Leaves falling down an empty lane

Green fading away, Black creeping in
Good wilting away, doors open to sin

Empty stomach, makes no sound
The hungry heart cries out loud

Cry no more, these walls don’t hear
Shout no more, No one’s near

A drop of water, a sea of blood
The smell of sweat, the taste of mud

Soul searching within a crowd? Don’t
There’s no music, there’s just sound.

People moving fast, out of sight
Days drowning away into night

Yes, there will come the day I fear.
Yet I don’t move, I stay right here

Tears pouring down withered eyes
Body lives on, soul dies…


Niyad


Cricket and I …

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My cousin and I sat down for our usual late night chat. We were discussing Kumble’s retirement. I started thinking about cricket on the whole and what it meant for me. There was a time when cricket was all we lived for. Kumble’s retirement has left yet another big hole in my ever depreciating love for the game. Two names I’ve been hearing since the very word “cricket”, Sachin and Kumble. Yes, it might be time for them to hang up their shoes, but with their retirement, they also take away what I felt for the game.

I slowly realized that these heroes are what bound me to the game, rather than the game itself. That explains my change of feelings from fanatic to just a watcher.

I know the day is not far away when Sachin, Dravid and Laxman would call it quits, they ideally should, but then they are the only ones left who never fail to take me back to my fanatic days.

There are many glorious moments of the game that still lingers in my mind. It takes me back to my school days when I used to walk, talk, eat and sleep cricket. I hope Dhoni’s boys manage to re create the magic that I used to associate with Indian cricket some time ago. I wish I could get back to those crazy days.

The days when:

  • Sachin murdered each person who challenged him verbally or with provocative antics, examples being Henry Olonga, Michael Kasprovich, Andy Caddick, Azhar Mahmood and numerous others. Don’t ever challenge Sachin if you don’t want to see your bowls in the parking lot, as Caddick found out in the ’99 World Cup.
  • Venkatesh Prasad got back at Aamir Sohail’s smirk by showing him the way to the pavilion after clean bowling him in the Quarter Final of the ’96 World Cup.
  • Ajay Jadeja blasted 40 runs of 2 Waqar Younis overs.
  • Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid made a mockery of Sri Lankan Bowling attack in the ’99 World Cup. Ganguly scored 183 and Dravid 145. I ended up feeling sorry for the Lankans.
  • Warne looked down in despair at being mercilessly thrashed by Sachin and Co. The Masters of Spin.
  • Kumble was hailed as the one among the greatest after scalping a perfect 10 against Pakistan.

These were the golden days of Indian cricket for me. We may have lost a lot, but there were victories which made us all forget them and forgive our heroes.

For now, all I can say is that I wish the guys all the best and that someday I’ll get back my lost love for cricket. Until then, let me go watch the good ole days on You tube…

Cheers…

Niyad

LIGHTS FROM HEAVEN

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I remember almost breaking my nose falling from our giant mango tree. Well, I deserved to fall…coz I was stupid enough to climb tree trunks in the dark. My explanation – chasing fireflies!!! To be frank I wouldn’t mind falling all over again if it meant catching hold of one of those beauties. As a kid the fascination I had for fireflies was beyond my fascination for anything I want to acquire today.

The giant mango tree we have in our house used to be a treat for the eyes at night with hundreds of fireflies decorating it. I would chase them till I hurt myself or till my mother hurt me (the latter was more common). On one of the lucky days I would even see them in my room. When I would eventually catch one of them I would close my palms on it and just admire the beauty of God’s tiny little creation. As a kid, I always thought that fireflies popped out of heaven…how else would you explain the light??

The other day I was reading an article about fireflies being on the road to extinction, thanks to unfavorable habitat.

The article explained why the mango tree remained dark the last time I looked at it. There I was, standing beneath the massive trunk. My eyes craving for fluorescence, my heart aching for re living memories…re living the Good ole’ days…three words that never cease to bring a smile on my face. Alas…All that met my eyes were darkness of the darkest kind…

Thoughts and memories can be reflected in writing…depth of these feelings cannot…intensity of these emotions cannot…

Maybe this is the way of life for our generation…witnessing the loss of everything around us…everything… but us…This isn’t about fireflies…This is about every little thing that is the very essence of life…we lose these… We lose the essence…

I hope to open my eyes one day to the sight of fireflies greeting me…telling me they were not done yet.

Something tells me my hope is in vain…

For now, I can see the day when I’ll tell my kids stories about little flies that glowed with light illuminating everything around them…They would surely ask where the fireflies went..

“Well, they went back to heaven…right where they came from”, would be my answer.

Niyad

…An ode to living in the present

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I woke up early this morning..
Feeling kinda weird…
What’s up with this morning.. I wondered
Scratching my sloppy beard

The walls …once… were grey
Now …they are a shade of cream
Am I really feeling all this??
Or is this ….just a dream??

Let me get out of bed, I thought
N wash these feelings away..
But why do I need to do that? I thought
I kinda like it this way

Why are things so different
From what it used to be???
Why do I feel the whole world
Is smiling back at me??

Will this last the distance??
Will I feel the same??
It’d be sad to lose all this
It’d be such a shame

Let me just not think bout it
Lest it be a crime
Let me just live this life for now
This is… my time…

Niyad

A CALL FOR CHANGE…

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I don’t remember the last time I had such a depressing weekend….

For the first time I was glad the weekend was over. I had enough of television. Enough of news channels reminding me that my country was no longer safe for me. Enough of sights that filled my mind and soul with such gloom that I felt I would never see light again. But then…I live on…

This news channel was airing scenes from Ahmedabad, after the horrendous blasts claimed lives of 53 innocent people, people who knew nothing about what was going on around them. People who did not have the faintest idea that in the moments to come their world would topple in front of their eyes…and they could nothing much about it other than pray for dear life. Pray for their God given life which until then was totally in their control…which until then was theirs alone…ruled by no one…treasured by loved ones….all of a sudden their lives were in the hands of blood thirsty so called human beings with not a trace of humanity in them..

I saw a scene from the civil hospital in Ahmedabad. A small kid, not more than 8 years of age…torn face, burnt arms, crying for his mother…he was sitting on the hospital bed surrounded by people, relatives…little did he know that the one person he wanted to see would never come to wipe his tears or comfort him…he had lost both his parents. And no one had the courage to tell him that…I cried silent tears…and prayed for the child. May God give him the courage to accept and live on…

What’s happening to our Nation…where are the so called leaders? Other than playing the blame game are they doing anything at all. There is something seriously wrong with the way our country is being lead. I was watching this guy, one of us commoners, asking the same question. Where are the leaders? Are they involved? His voice was quivering with anger and frustration and a lot of feelings waiting to explode, “If these leaders can sell their party for meager crore’s, and shamelessly display it in front of the whole nation, for a few more crores they won’t mind selling the whole country…” he said. I kind of agreed with him. I too am slowly losing trust in our politicians but I still believe in the system. I still believe in democracy…I cling on to the hope that it’ll give us better days..

Let’s wake up to reality. It all starts with us…the youth…if we can make a difference within us…we can guarantee ourselves a better future…a better democracy…where the children of tomorrow can live in peace, with their mothers close to them..

But democracy needs people who care, people who listen, people who act, people who speak out. People who stand together at times such as these…

Let’s stand together….you and I…. Let’s join hands…Let’s start all over again…

Let’s make a difference

Niyad

SOMEONE’S WATCHING

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My dad told me this story when I was home last weekend. It’s not that great big a deal but I found it very enlightening. It’s about a time when the world was blessed with the presence of the mystical Sufi’s we always hear about. The Sufi’s are a lot like the Rishi’s who live a life not achievable by common mortals like us. Their lives are all but filled with the highest possible levels of spirituality. Worldly passions do not entice them the least.

So there was this highly ranked Sufi and 20 of his disciples. The Sufi had a particular affection to one of his disciples. This did not go down well with the rest of them. They wanted to know the reason for this particular partiality. All 19 approached the Sufi and enquired about the same. The Sufi assigned them a task which would give them their answers. He asked each of his 20 disciples to go to places wherein they would not be in contact with anyone, where they would be totally alone. They would have to collect 20 birds each, kill the birds and bring it back to him.

So the disciples segregated and went to deserted places to achieve their tasks and gain their masters confidence. Every one of them but the disciple in question completed the task and bought 20 dead birds each to the Sufi.

They were surprised to see that the very person who the Sufi adored had failed to complete the task. He had bought with him 20 live birds. What would become of him? , thought the other nineteen. When asked by the Sufi as to why he could not complete his tack, the disciple answered “O master, you had asked me to go to a segregated place, a place where I would be alone. So I tried to do that once I got the birds, but wherever I would go, I would find God. I tried a lot of places but I would find him no matter where I went. Therefore I could not kill the birds. Please forgive me for I have failed you”. This brought a smile on the face of the wise Sufi. He turned to the other nineteen and asked,”Now do you know the difference between him and the rest of you?”

This simple story got me thinking. If we could inculcate the thought that someone’s always watching, wouldn’t we become better people?

Wouldn’t the world be a much better place?

But then all I can do is think. Because I’m one of mere mortals, with more weaknesses than strengths, but I can still pray for a change that will remind me that it’s never too late to mend your ways because God’s watching.

May God bring that change soon…

Amen…

Niyad

WHERE ARE THE KIDS?

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I remember feeling restless in class. Looking at my watch every other second, cursing at the hands that told me there was still time.

I would run the instant the bell rang. Smelling the air of freedom at last, running to catch the first bus I could. The conductor never liked me, or any other kid who used student concessions, but I dint care. The hate was mutual. I’d jump down the bus, run home, throw my bag and run to the place I loved. The lush green ground that spread far and wide, the dark brown pitch in the center, the guys sitting on the neighboring fence (this was the fence to my house by the way…my mom never appreciated this…I could never understand what the fuss was about)…

I would be tensed as to whether I’d get a chance to play. The first twenty two lucky ones could play. I remember not being that good, cutting any chances of reservation in the team. The joy if I got to play, the dejection if I didn’t. Emotion in either case was strong for the 14 year old in me. The little kid who was tired of the bag of books that was just a little less heavy than him, the prick who loathed special classes (and normal classes for that matter) , the clean bath’s, the homework and everything his mom thought was good for him.

Today I miss the nasty prick. I wish I cud meet him again. Maybe I could find him in the kids who have taken over.

I was back home after 5 years of college. I had my evening tea and walked out, seeing if I fall upon anything interesting to pass time. I walk through the ground once again. This time, there was not a soul in sight.

Where were the kids?

I saw them in the end.

I was wrong about finding myself in them after all. There they were, fiddling with their fancy gadgets; hi end mobile phones and mp3 players, all the joys of the world in the palm of their hands.

What went wrong? What changed them?

They do not know the joys hidden in the heavenly green ground that is waiting for their running feet …or they just choose to ignore.

What ever the reason, I pray for them, I pray for their lost innocence. I pray for us.

Most of all… I pray for the little boy in me….the boy who wants to play.

Niyad

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