Author Archive: Ankit

Hindi or English

Some people recently asked me, "Why have you started posting so many of your posts in Hindi" ? And I kept quiet. Not because of a lack of reasons but because I had too many of them.

The first and foremost reason that came to my mind was an unsaid, subdued sense of revolt on my part against the shimmering facade of a continuously rotting Indian society. Now I could go on and on till eternity without breaking a sweat in reviling and blasting those moms who would rather say "betcha (polluted form of बेटा) corn खाने से stomach में ache हो जायेगा" in the hope that even if her "yet being anglicised" toddler catches a stomach ache on account of the comprehensive impenetrability of her recent gibberish, will atleast move in the right direction away from the poor and pathetic India which is hopelessly polluted by her mothertongue. I could give a million examples without saying an Ah! of those youngsters who try to mercilessly maul language and convert a "my" to "ma" and then to "moi" and finally to "mie" in the hope of forging their unique identity and sounding "khool (polluted form of cool) and who never for a second realize that all achievements both superficial and otherwise, rest on the strength of character and self belief and not on the crutches of a handicapped and bleeding language. I could laugh my ass off at those celebrities who do not anymore possess the talent of entirely speaking in their own language and have to resort to the familiarity of English every now and then. I could laugh surely but I won't as my heart cries out for the apathy which our regional languages have to face in our mass hypnotized nation.

But this is not the reason I have started posting so many of my posts in Hindi. The sole reason behind this is the dawn of my understanding of the subtle possibilities, the creative horizons and succint, inherent power of the Hindi language. The reading of Harivansh Rai Bachchan's नीड़ का निर्माण फिर, Mahadevi Verma's अतीत के चलचित्र, मधुशाला etc. has awakenden me to the immense facets of the language. I can safely say that whereas on one hand English seems to be better at expressing formality and logic, it can hardly match the silken fluidity of Hindi and Urdu at expressing emotions. It seems to me that this effect is do to the overexposure of English and some of its inherent weaknesses. Whereas we all have grown up studying English literature and are cognizant of its twists and turns, a simple verse in Hindi (Urdu) is enough to knock us off our sleep, sit up and take notice. Ironically, this is because of the unfamiliarity with the language which the Indian culture has introduced in us. Second reason is the simple fact that Hindi is better suited to rhymes and verses than English. One of my previous posts (Plight of an English poet) dwells on this. As an example, read these lines which describe the utter hopelssness and cynicism of a poet:

क्या करूं संवेदना लेकर तुम्हारी?
एक भी उच्छवास मेरा
हो सका किस दिन तुम्हारा?
उस नयन में बह सकी कब
इस नयन की अश्रुधारा?
सत्य को मूंदे रहेगी
शब्द की कब तक पिटारी ?
क्या करूं संवेदना लेकर तुम्हारी?

I would be more than happy to explain them if someone has any problems, but my point is that it is impossible to express something so subtle, so beautifully in English. Its just impossible. Atleast I haven't seen anything comparable till now.

Finally, I would end by urging that please give your languages the attention they deserve. Not because you owe anything to them or because it is your unsaid duty but because you would deprive yourselves of the immense treasures, those languages might be holding within. I will end by saying that I have nothing against English but I simply hate it when it becomes a status symbol in the hands of some non-discerning fools and ends up trampling and stomping our already tottering national language.

15 August

आज पूरे ६ साल बाद अपने पुराने स्कूल के स्वतंत्रता दिवस समारोह पे गया था। इतने दिनो बाद पहली बार यह अवसर आया था जब १५ अगस्त के दिन मैं लखनऊ में ही था। इसलिये मैने सोचा कि क्यों ना कुछ पुरानी यादें ताज़ा कर ली जायें। बड़ी मुशकिल से सुबह सात बजे उठकर, तय्यार होकर साढ़े सात बजे तक स्कूल पहुच गया।

दरवाज़े पर गार्ड ने एक अपरिचित चेहरा देखने पर कुछ सवाल पूछे और सन्तुष्ट होने पर गाड़ी अन्दर ले जाने दी। मुझे ध्यान है कि मेरे समय में गार्ड केवल नाम-मात्र होता था। उसको एक अमरूद दे दो तो खुद ओसामा-बिन-लादेन को अन्दर जाने की अनुमती दे देता। क्योंकि ध्वजारोहण में अभी भी आधा घण्टा बचा था तो मैने स्कूल का एक चक्कर लगाने का निर्णय लिया। जिस स्टाफ रूम में पहले जाने में पसीना आता था और अन्दर पहुचते ही अनायास ही हाथ पीछे और चाल सीधी हो जाती थी, वो थोड़ा निर्जीव सा लगा। ऐसा नहीं है कि अन्दर घुसते ही कुछ नज़रे मुझ पर नहीं गड़ गयी थीं लेकिन आज वो नज़रे मुझे टटोल नहीं रही थीं। आज उनमे वो सवाल नहीं था कि 'बेटा आज क्या घपला किया'। अगर उनमे कुछ था तो बस एक रुचिहीन कौतूहल। प्रिन्सिपल का कमरा वैसे का वैसा ही था और स्पोर्टस फील्ड में भी अधिक बदलाव नहीं था अलबत्ता उसके चारो ओर की दीवारें ऊँची हो गयी थी (हमारे क्लास के बच्चे उसको फाँद फाँद के मूवी देखने खूब जाते थे)। फिज़िक्स लैब वगैरह में L.C.D प्रोजेक्टर लग गये हैं लेकिन वही ३० साल पुरानी काँच की शीशियां जिनके लेबल आज से ६ साल पहले ही धुधले पड़ गये थे, वही पुराने चार्ट जिनको शायद ही कोई बच्चा पढ़ता हो कभी, वही आरामतलबी टीचर्स और खड़ूस लैब-असिस्टैंट।

आठ बजने में १० मिनट पर मौरनिंग असेम्बली की तय्यारियां शुरू हुईं तो मुझे वो दिन याद आ गये जब एक साल बीतने का अनुभव सिर्फ प्राईमरी के बच्चों से हर साल बढ़ती दूरी के रूप में होता था। बारहवी क्लास और हममे और उन नादानों में १० लाईनों का फासला! प्रिंसिपल के हाथों ध्वजारोहण हुआ और साथ में राष्ट्र गान। मैं ये कभी नहीं समझ पाया कि मेरे लिये राष्ट्र गान का महत्व पहले की बनिस्पत अब इतना ज़्यादा क्यों हो गया है। पहले जिसे मैं सिर्फ एक गीत और ज़िम्मेदारी समझता था, अब उसके मायने कहीं दिल से जुड़ गये हैं। और आज जब मौका स्वतंत्रता का था और सामने तिरंगा लहरा रहा था, मैं अपने हाथों पर खड़े हो रहे रोओं की सरसराहट साफ महसूस कर रहा था। हवाओं मे गूंजते 'ऐ मेरे वतन के लोगों' के स्वर मेरे कानों में प्रतिध्वनित हो हो कर दिल की धड़कनों को उकसा रहे थे। मुझे नहीं पता की और लोग भी ऐसा महसूस करते हैं कि नहीं लेकिन मैं साफ समझ रहा था कि उस दिन क्यों पण्डित नेहरू अपने आँसू नही रोक पाये थे।

कार्यक्रम के अन्त में प्रिन्सिपल साहब की एक उबाऊ स्पीच (कुछ चीज़ें कभी नहीं बदलतीं!) और फिर मिष्ठान वितरण (२ लड्डू!)। वापस आते समय सोच रहा था कि उन दो लड्डूओं वाले समय के लिये आज मैं क्या नहीं दे सकता।

A cricketing slugfest

आँखों मे जलती धूप और मुह पे लू के थपेड़े,
पसीने से भीगी शर्ट और धूल धूसरित उज्जड़ बाल ।
रहरहकर नंगे पैरों में चुभते वो कंकड़ हजार,
अगली गेंद से नज़र हटने का लेकिन ना कोई सवाल ।

मुनियों की सी एकाग्रता और गेंदबाज पे पैनी नज़र,
गदा समान बल्ला मुठ्ठी में कसकर पकड़ खड़े तय्यार ।
फील्डर और सीमा का, अवचेतन मन में चित्र खिंचा,
तन गई भुकुटी लो शुरू हुआ अब अगली बाल का इंतजार ।

अपना पूरा ज़ोर लगाकर, गेंदबाज ने फेकी गेंद,
सन्नाटे को चीरती बढ़ती, ध्वनि-सीमा को कर गई पार ।
एक कदम कर पीछे लेग पे, बल्लेबाज ने बल्ला भांजा,
दम टूटा फील्डर का पीछे, आगे देखो हो गये चार ।

उल्लासोन्मादित हर्षित दर्शकगण, चहक उठे और उछल पड़े,
तालियों और नारों कि गूंजों से, होता जीत का अभिवादन ।
बल्लेबाज कंधों पे चढ़कर, प्रशंसा का करता रसपान,
हार कठिन है सहनी लेकिन, उससे भी दुष्कर यह क्रंदन !

-Self

I remember

न जाने क्यों, अचानक आज वो दिन याद आ गये जो अभी तक बीते हुये सावन में मिट्टी की सोंधी महक की तरह दिल के किसी कोने में, धूल कि कई परतों के नीचे दबे हुये थे।

मुझे याद हैं वो लम्हे जब वो आँखें धड़कने तेज़ कर देती थीं।
मुझे याद है कैसे उसके सामने आवाज़ मेरा साथ छोड़ देती थी।
मुझे याद हैं वो पल जब वो एक नज़र एक नयी उमंग जगा देती थी, और कैसे मैं उन पलों को बार बार ज़हन में उलटता पलटता रहता था।
वो कुछ बार जब दो शब्द निकले हों मेरे मुह से।
वो कुछ बार जब दो शब्द निकले हों उसके मुह से।
वो शर्म से उसका उंगलियाँ चटकाना और रह रहकर बिना वजह किसी और ओर देखना।
वो बेबाकी से नज़रों का मिलाना।
वो मीठा सा तसव्वुर और बेसब्र इंतज़ार।
वो किताबों के पन्नो में उस सूरत की ख्वाहिश।
वो आँखों के आगे धुधलके की परत िजसपे वो चेहरा खिंचता था।

वो दिन जब आखिरी बार उसे देखा।
वो शब्द जो ज़ुबँा पे आ न सके।
वो अरमान जो इन आँखों के साथ ही पथरा गये।
कितना कुछ कहना था, कितना कुछ सुनना था,
शायद दोनो ओर से पहल का इंतज़ार रह गया।

और आज इन हाथो में फिसलती जा रही धूल बची है।
वो धुधलाता हुआ चेहरा जिसको अब पहचानना मुश्किल हो चला है।
गये सावन की वो महक जो अब एक याद बनकर रह गयी है।
डूबते हुये दिन की वो आखिरी किरणें।

-Self

Brave New World

Recently, a friend of mine asked me : "So what differences do you find between Indian and American culture ?"
I bluntly replied : "What culture ?"

Huxley's 'Brave New World' depicts a fictional dystopian society where everyone is happy. This happiness is not a result of personal milestones or successes but stems from the complete removal of every social aspect which might some day become a reason of unrest in the society. In this society, individuals are 'created' artificially based upon the demands of 'economic consumption' and 'labour'. Every individual, from birth, is conditioned to do a particular type of work and has the sole purpose of serving as yet another consuming unit. 'Distractions' like love, art, solitude, literature etc. have been conveniently removed from the system so that every individual may serve its purpose of consumption without any undue interruptions. 'Everyone is meant to be for everyone else' so that the pain associated with love and refusals is uprooted from the society. In short, everyone is happy.

While reading the book, I could not help but compare the nightmarish scenario depicted in the book with the present American society in general and the modern Indian society in particular. Having taken the blue pill of mindless capitalism, the dwellers of these societies have now been reduced to mere consuming units. Their lives are dictated by those idiotic TV commercials. Their needs, magnified by the giant corporations which try to sell them everything from nutritious and great tasting 'dog food' to credit cards to cars and what not. The notion that all these material amenities are necessary for emotional fulfillment and happiness is darkly etched in the collective psyche of these societies. Love in these societies, is conveniently compartmentalized into manageable, separate 'relationship' slots so that every 'break up' has the silver lining of being an indication of a new 'relationship'. Sitcoms like 'Sex and the city' expect us to identify with the emotions of the protagonist as she tries to overcome her 50th break-up. What crap!. In such societies, art, literature and happiness which results from solitude and silent contemplation die a cruel death as no one has time for such things. And this behaviour is entirely in accordance with the capitalist views. Its sad that in a place where events like valentine's day, mother's day, father's day and a zillion other days are marked by 10 advanced days of special advertisements of sales and discounts, a 4th of July passes off without even a single mention on the T.V. Sure, it is accompanied by fireworks but they are the prerogative of the Government not the people. Sure, it is accompanied by a host of parties, but I feel that people out here just need an excuse for getting wasted. This is not the sad part. The sad part is that the modern Indian society is frighteningly similar to its American counterpart.

A borrowed experience

It may be attributed to my own lack of creativity lately but this piece is encouraged by one of my friend's experiences.

The whole point in question is to pause for a second and analyze the hell out of the latest embarassing situation which your ingenuity has pushed you into. The situation does not need to be described in detail to you as it should be as familiar as your right hand and as unpleasently yellow as the stinking piece of vegetable which finds itself drenched in the light of the day after 3 months of neglected solitude in the lower most part of your refrigerator basket.

The situation rears its ugly head when you innocently remark over your hatred towards fatty foods in front of an especially portly person, when you ask a disabled subject, why the hell is he hobbling like that or when you start sermonizing over the utter futility of a particular academic field to your uncle whose dear toddler happens to have just started his career in the very same field.

The point of this post is not to summarize the various situations pertinent to the present discussion, for there are infinite, but to analyze the exact emotions which rush through the already cluttered mind during such circumstances.

The first thought which comes to mind in these cases is an unconscious realization that einstien's special relativity is flawed as without any apparent relative velocity between me and the subject of my comments (which by the way has become the most appealing aspect of all of physics at this moment) my clock has somehow become unbearably slow. The expressions on his face, which till now were as innocuous as the next person's, now stand out distinct, deprecating and deploring. He is trying hard to camouflage his embarassment with that forced and laborious streching of the left corner of his lip but reality is frustatingly being bombarded upon me by those wretched eyes which have blinked twice the normal number of times in the last 10 seconds. As I realize that probably history had just been witness to the longest period of speechlesness, my faculties go into an overdrive with the aim of salvaging whatever is possible in this hopelessly lost situation. What should I say next?

1. Well, I am sorry but somehow, inexplicably, inscrutably, I happened to overlook your enormous East-West expanse (a reply, sure to make the situation worse).
2. (matter of factly): by the way, did you happen to watch the finals of the french open? (how will I ever face myself in the mirror)
3. Shit!!! (most honest but honesty doesn't always make a digestible meal to everyone)

As I am ruminating over these possibilities, I again realize that 46 more seconds have been spent and now the probability of saving my face is lesser than my being hit by a lightning right at this very moment (a much pleasanter state) and I, in a rare display of callousness and daredevilry turn my face away as if nothing ever happened.

Sporty Nerves

Its 5:31 in the morning and I am sitting in front of the TV having just woken up after an extremely intermittent sleep waiting for the french open final between federer and nadal which is slated to begin in another 30 minutes.

I don't remember the last time when I woke up at 5:00 in the morning. Neither do I remember the last time I experienced such jittery nerves regarding a sport match. What I do remember is the fact that it used to be sometime about 8 years ago when a cricket match between India and Pakistan used to trespass my dreams in the night often culminating in my getting up just on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Those were the days when taking the next breath often took a lesser priority than the next ball and when the departure of Tendulkar often meant a fresh hole in the emotional fabric of my life. It is sad that I have not felt like this since a long time now. That is till now.

For the last few years, I have gotten so ennamoured by the genius of Federer that his victories have become my own and his losses, sad heart wrenching experiences. Since it is foolish to dissect emotion with something as crass as logic, I won't go into the reasons of my feeling this. I would only go as far as saying that I love this. It makes my life complete. To feel that gut wrenching nervousness, that rush of adrenaline over a brilliant passing shot, an almost unannounced shriek accompanied with that raised fist at another victory, is as innocent and raw as emotions get.

If only I could feel like this for another India-Pakistan slugfest.

The Reservation Impasse

For about a month now, I have been following the quota controversy as closely as is humanely possible by a person residing in the U.S. My opinion over the issue, thereby, has undergone several cuts and chips over this period of time. Begining from an intense emotional backlash and ending in a much more rational interpretation of the situation, I think I am in a good enough position to comment over the issue now.

The spark

A few months back, the Justify Fullcoalition Government of India headed by the Congress party introduced 27% reservations for OBCs (Other Backward Classes) in all the institutes of "national importance" (later extended to all institutes of higher education). This decision was promulgated by the HRD (Human Resource and Development) minister, Arjun Singh. Summing with the already existing 22.5% reservation for SC/ST, this decision took the total reserved seats to 49.5% (just .5% shy of the upper limit of 50% reservation set by the Supreme Court of India). This decision came just before the assembly elections which are supposed to be held in 5 states. Caste politics which has always been the most important vote garnering means in India seemed to be the reason behind this sudden decision. When enquired (and to some degree reprimanded) by the Election commission over an alleged breach of the model code of conduct (which prohibits parties from promulgating populist measures just before an election is due), Arjun Singh took refuge in the argument that the present decision was just a natural succession of the 93rd constitutional amendment passed in the winter of 2005 (which was unanimously passed in the Parliament). Although sound, the argument failed to explain the fact that the constitutional amendment was just an enabling act and unlike many other such acts which are languishing and begging for attention, what was the reason that this particular act had to be implemented at such a crucial time.

The Mandal Controversy

There is a very important reason behind the nationwide political support to the reservation issue. The Mandal Commission, constituted in 1980s to assess the composition of India's caste fiber among other factors, came up with a figure of 52% OBC. The commission in an effort for suggesting ways by which the oppressed majority of the Indian population could be brought in par with the upwardly mobile middle class supported the implementation of limited reservations. The commission however went on to suggest other steps like improving primary education, land reforms etc also. It was not until 1990 that the suggestions of the Mandal commission were given a thought. The then Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh decided to incorporate 22.5% SC/ST (the most oppressed classes) reservations in higher institutes neglecting all the other suggestions owing to their low political visibility. By doing so, he opened the pandora's box. The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) which has traditionally ridden on the upper caste votes vehemently opposed the move then. They were made to bite the dust as caste emerged as the latest dividing and polarizing factor in Indian politics. The move created huge uproar among the general public and culminated in the self immolation of several youths. Following this, V.P.Singh resigned as P.M and was succeded by P.V.Narasimha Rao. The caste division of politics got wider and uglier as national politics came to be dictated by caste leaders like Lalu, Mulayam, Mayawati and many more. Due to this BJP lost power in one of her stronghold states, Uttar Pradesh. Now that caste is very much the deciding factor in most of the constituencies across India and SC/ST+OBC votes range from a pessimistic estimate of 50% to an optimistic estimate of 80%, no political party dares to raise her head against the increase in reservations this time around.

The present agitations

The latest move angered the influential minority which comprises basically of the middle and the upper classes. Begining with strikes from the medical students of AIIMS in delhi, the protest as of today has engulfed the IMA (Indian Medical Association which has purview over other medical facilities across the country), the IITs along with many other engineering institutes, the chamber of commerce, the knowledge industry in general, the lawyers' association, trade unions, shops etc. Despite repeated pleas by the Govt. and the president (and once by the Supreme Court), the strike continues today, thus hampering critical services like medical etc. The quota move triggered the resignation of 2 of the 6 members of the knowledge commission (especially comprised by the Prime Minister to assess the education scenario of the country). The matter has now been taken up by the Supreme Court which has asked the central government about the rationale behind this decision in addition to asking the strikers to stop their protest.

My Views

Rationally speaking, I feel that in a highly heterogeneous society like India, reservations, if used judiciously, can serve as a strong means of achieving social equality. The fact that after 50 years, the need of reservation has only increased goes on to indicate that its implementation has been done from behind politically coloured glasses. The fact of the matter is that no political party (especially today's Congress) wants a rationally developed vote bank. The reason behind the widespread poverty and illiteracy in India is not any physical constraint but an underlying politican gain which stems from an impoverished majority. In such a scenario, political parties can garner votes over baser issues like caste and religion rather than more important topics like development and education. In this context, the present move is more the case of breaking the leg of a patient and providing him with walking sticks than striving to improve his condition and enabling him to stand on his feet. The whole issue stinks of political murkiness and I pretty much support the ensuing protests.

On the other hand, one has to keep in mind that SC/ST/OBC comprise atleast 50% (possibly much more) of the 1 billion Indians. These classes have traditionally been discriminated against and there is a genuine need to provide them with help and assistance. The help might come in the form of reservations but it should be based more on economic backwardness than the now abstract notion of caste backwardness. Moreover, any such move, which threatens to change the face of the country should be backed by more concrete numbers rather than the whims and fancies of one HRD minister.

Finally, over the apparently cold governmental response over the present strikes, I can only say that the middle class deserves such a treatment. The reason is the utter apathy which the middle class (sadly including me) displays over other issues of national importance (like the Coffin scam, Gujarat riots etc.). Now when it has suddenly woken up and started protesting, everything seems so selfish. How many of us really go and vote? If we are too busy to voice our opinions, the political parties would be more than happy to ignore our presence because as I already said, the oppurtunists called politicians thrive on an illiterate and divided India.

Poseidon

If you have been a veteran at the numerous screenings of those mind-numbingly dumb hollywood disaster flicks, what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you are presented with a 360 degree span view of a garangutan ocean liner, the inners of which are ornately decorated with elaborate doses of blindingly affluent profligation. How and when the hell is all this going to be turned into a confused and lethal mass of mangled wires, upturned furniture and strewen dead bodies?

As you are rubbing your hands in expectation, the director of Poseidon, sympathetic to your 8 bucks, glosses over any unnecassary character development and jumps straight to the action within 15 minutes of the start of the movie. Without any detail being supplied, the hapless audience is told that the Poseidon has been struck by a 150 ft. rogue wave and the ship has turned upside down (as if the passengers, now standing on the cealing are dumb enough to not figure this out). The film is not helped by its irritatingly banal dialogues. At the time when the grand central ball room is looking like the mangled remains of Hiroshima after the bombing, replete with disfigured corpses flying around every which way, one person asks the other, "How bad is it". "Really bad". As this line basically sums up the movie you can only tear apart those last remaining hair.

As the most foolish captain in the history of foolish sea-disaster movies cries to maintain status-quo as he thinks that help will arrive shortly, it is no surprise when a group of dare-doers led by the affectedly unnerved Lucas decide to reach the hull of the ship and get out. From this point you can basically guess whats going to happen in the movie. The group consists of Lucas (the daredevil hero), a former mayor with his daughter and her boyfriend, a mother with her child, a mexican waiter, a latino and a suicidal gay businessman. As far as final survivors are concerned, you make the following conclusions:

1. The mother and the child are not going to die as possession of a child imparts an immortalty to the mother and it is too sickening to kill a child, no matter howsoever irritating and troublesome he might be.

2. Josh Lucas is not going to die as he is ofcourse the "Hero".

3. Either of the girl or his boyfriend might die but if she has an expendable father, both might get saved.

4. Since the mexican waiter and the latino are played by relatively unknown characters, they will be the first to die.

and the movie lives up to all these observations. The only other things which should have been un-guessable are well, guessable. Like the lift falling down when the last guy just makes out of the vent. The sudden movement by an assumed deadbody accompanied by an orchestral bang. The water drowing the hero for just as long as he might survive.

The sole revelation of the movie was that the actors, instead of being homo-sapiens, belonged to some kind of a human-fish breed who could hold their breaths for unimaginably long intervals of time and traverse unimaginably long distances under water.

A final word. You can put your time to better use by counting the number of grass strands in your lawn.

Random Musings

The day has become so cruel now. Its no more the friend which used to conspire in our plans, cheer at those shots, revelle in our victories, lament at losses, confide silently, listen patiently, wait for me. Now, its so much more detached. Like a salesman, always in a hurry, phoney, like life, critical, demanding, too busy to pause for a chat, too short to allow a breath, too long to bear, too hot for a liesurly introspection, too cold to be a friend.

I remember the rising of the annoyed dust as the first rain drops came crashing down. I remember the smell of the partially wet earth. The unusually fresh green of the garden. Those puddles. That warm touch of the cold water. The dripping flocks. The shivering wind. The unusually grey sky. Distant, muffled lightning. Streaks on my window pane. Ripples in the river. Jumping in the puddles. Two worlds, one wild and turbulent, other snug and cozy, separated by a glass window. Now, rain is reduced to an inconvenience. A temporary, unwanted hiatus disturbing normalcy. The window has gone lifeless. Its there just to serve the purpose. The metaphor is gone. And the rain, desolate now, cries quietly on the other side.

I wonder, have the sacrifices been worth the gains? In this rush, innocence has paled and died. Time is fragmented with each fragment already claimed. There is a thick coat of dust on real pleasures. And I shrink and flinch as I try to remove it. Finally I give up and that bundle of joys, now blurred and hidden in the dust which binds my hands, hangs on the wall, sad, lonely, perhaps disillusioned and on its deathbed. And I look on, with nostalgic eyes, weigh reason against emotion, and turn away yet again.

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