Poetry

A doll’s world: Poem

I am a doll
I’m full of life

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I’m arranged on racks
during navratri*
A symbol of traditions
A narrator of culture

 

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I’m used as a puppet
The face of another’s tale
Man, animal or myth
A tool to counsel,
educate or entertain

 

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I’m used for voodoo
Pins poke into my body
meant to unmake witches
I bear the curser’s wrath,
the pain of the cursed

 

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I feel the safest
in a child’s hand
A metaphor for dreams
A voice to worldviews
Companion, confidante
Cared for, precious

But, most of all,
I love children for
recognising that
I’m a person,
not a prop.

*Navratri (Sankskrit) translates to nine nights and is an annual Indian festival.
Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

 

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Myriad Musings

New Year is a myth

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I’m all for burying the old and heralding the new.

Any reason for hope and celebration? Count me in!

Yet, as an Indian, it baffles me that we privilege the Western construct of the New Year over the different dates and traditions indicated by our cultures.

I’m also stumped by the naivete that one can truly expect Jan 1 to be different from Dec 31, the previous day. 2018 and 2019 are mere numbers unless we make it different.

What also bewilders me is that it takes a ‘construct’ to trigger man’s inner clock to pause and take a good, hard look at his own life.

I don’t look at the date and decide whether or not to evaluate where I’m at and take the necessary steps to move forward.

Here’s my year-long loop: Mark a habit, mind map a routine, evaluate, modify, try again.

I agree that we cannot be on at all times but it’s key to work towards the changes we really require a lot more frequently. I’d argue that self-reflection works miracles if it’s at least weekly, if not daily.

Becoming better is a constant; it is a state of mind and not a point in time. 

Let us determine to live consciously, with intention and awareness, and create a New year for ourselves.

Best of luck. I have faith in you. Time to make a happy 2019.

Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

 

 

 

 

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Myriad Musings

Travel

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I never understood why travel was so hep. Is it hip? Whatever the kids are calling it nowadays.

Don’t get me wrong. I relish new experiences to the core. But, I don’t need travel to feel that high.

Learning a skillset that takes five minutes, fondly gazing at the patterns the sun makes on the greenery and creating art give me that high.

Accomplishing a goal and hearing a refreshing perspective puts me on cloud nine. Maybe I’m easy to please.

Travel is associated with exoticism. Nature and culture can be found closer to home if you watch with a painter’s gaze and a poet’s soul.

The most precious thing about travel to me is uninterrupted time with your friends or family. This, I agree with, if you commit to going Wi-Fi free.

My concern is that most people I’ve spoken to, seem to equate travel with an escape. I think time, energy and money are better spent fixing your day-to-day life over planning fancy vacations.

I’d take an escape if my world would turn topsy-turvy while I’m away. But, when I return, my mess is still mine to clean up and I find that nothing has changed.

While weekends are precious, let’s create Monday mornings that make us look forward to the wonders weekdays can bring.

So, the next time you travel, ensure that you soak in that novel adventure, without worrying about being insta perfect.

The next time you long for travel, remember that there are multiple adventures hovering around you waiting to be experienced.

Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

 

 

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Poetry

Morning miracle: Poem

 

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The sky blinks back dregs of sleep

Clouds stretch to the call of dawn

Rocks join hands in prayer

Waves link arms in anticipation

They wait, with bated breath

for the bringer of rapture

The sun arrives amidst fanfare

Spreads out its wings with grace

A salute to its awestruck watchers

A lone man in a distant terrace

behind the lens of his eyes

wonders why there’s none

to witness this miracle

If only he knew the truth

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Poetry

Bird rights: Poem

 

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The gift of another day
I take flight
Zip through the dawn chorus
my friends Robin and Sparrow
greet me with innate tunes
Clouds hover over
early umbrellas to shield me
from the sun’s elation
I wink at the winds
that carry my wings
Greet sunbeams in my way
with a cheeky whistle
I rip through the air
Empyrean. Elated. Evanescent.

I miss my pen pal
the African Cape Vulture
I get no post from the
American Bald Eagle either
Their words buried with them
I seek my human friends
and wish to carry my tunes
into their weary hearts
With Polarised light
as my navigation compass
I whiz diagonally into
a mis-engineered pylon
Earth wire electrocutes me
and all my tomorrows

My human friends term
entertainment, animal meat,
natural resource, electricity
and a gazillion things
as their sworn birth rights
But, tell me, human
What about my bird rights?
– A dead bird writes

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Poetry

Civil war: Poem

I looked through the window
Birds chirp beckoningly
Scent of morning air wafts
I can almost taste
crisp grass blades
Skipping children, booming adults
gossip, sipping hot coffee
Brotherhood is in the air
I cherish the songworthy city

I wake up from my dream
I look through the window
Songs of the dawn are
sirens and shrieks
the stench of blood reeks
I taste sheer panic
a family divided by distrust
drenched in gas canisters

Air strikes are pikes
to the eager heart
Barrel bombs leave no
scope for a fresh start
Secret police turned traitors
Snipers beleaguered my street
I’m a one-man army, weaponless

Battle lines are unmoved
much like political aspirations
and cultural prejudice
that cost innocent lives
I wail for the broken city
Homes turned into rumbles
No brothers, only rebels

I look through the window
I see nothing
Darkness has come for us
I want to return to the dreams
but I can’t find my sleep

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