A Wormhole

author

‘Netflix Original Series – Episode 4’

I was binge watching yet another series with my flat mates in Mumbai.

10 years back, who would have thought that it would become so easy to stream your favourite series and watch it at ease?

My flat mate passed me a Budweiser pint and I struggled to open it with my teeth.

Nahi hoga tujh se saale, opener use kar le. Table pe pada hai!” my roommate mocked me as he tapped the space bar to pause the series.

I gave in to his banter and got up to grab the opener.

Poof!!

The lights went out.

What the…! Dude, is it just our place or the entire building?” He was utterly disappointed at being disconnected from internet.

It’s the entire society,” I peeped outside the window to check.

Shit! I haven’t even charged my phone.

Relax! This is Mumbai. It must be a temporary failure or something,” I assured him (and myself).

It wasn’t.

1 hour went by. My flat mates were getting increasingly worried about their phones’ batteries dying out. One guy informed his girlfriend in advance, in case it does.

I’ll go, get some Maggie from downstairs. Also, I’ll check with the security guy what the matter is,” I let my flat mates know as soon as I decided. They simply nodded in agreement.

Carefully, I walked myself out of the house. It was pitch black outside except for an occasional flash of light breaking its dominance. I could hear someone talking downstairs. It was our security guard. I walked down the last few steps to find him informing few other residents that he had already called someone to fix the problem. The gathered crowd did the formality of sharing their expertise (?) on the matter.

The guy will arrive soon”, the guard looked at me sideways and spoke.

I did not ask him a question and continued walking. He seemed pleased with it.

I stepped outside our building and started moving in the direction of the grocery store.

The view outside was not usual. Unlike most other towns in our country, Mumbai rarely faced any electricity issues. Today’s unexpected power outage had forced people out of their matchbox-sized houses. Few were seen using their smartphones’ torch function to walk just a few feet away. Headlights of the moving vehicles on the street were generously offering some of their light.

It was the mid of June and weather was quite pleasant. The cold breeze was reminiscent of monsoons gone by and it was quite soothing to stroll. Therefore, instead of buying Maggie, I decided to first take a walk for a while. I headed towards my favourite spot – the long pathway behind the last row of buildings, the one that was adjacent to the hill.

Those days, I used to often take long walks with my roommate every night after the dinner. It was a stress buster for both of us. We used to consider ourselves fortunate to be staying in one of the few societies in the town, that were still blessed with dense trees looking over the walking track. It almost seemed as if trees from both sides of the pathway held hands together and watched us from above.

I marched faster with the passing time as my eyes adjusted to the darkness. I could hear voices coming out of open windows that would normally be shut or be reflecting light from television screens. I walked further into the night and towards the narrow passage. I had always loved the soothing sound of water gushing down the crevices of the wall that failed to hide the small hill sitting behind.

Two green eyes shone brightly in the black night and a feline jumped into the bushes watching me move in its direction. Walking further, I reached a point where it was almost difficult to view anything ahead. But then, I knew the path well.

Few more footsteps and I heard some noise. Few voices were chatting somewhere close by. I was intrigued and paced towards that place robotically. The voices grew familiar as I inched closer and the visibility enhanced drastically. It was almost as if the dust had settled down after a quick sand storm.

I could see the rough path leading to a house and a porch. My eyes widened looking at the sight. There was a veranda outside the house where few people, rather a family sat close together. They surrounded what seemed like a lantern. Their faces were lit up with the yellow light emitted by the lantern and a candle. Yes, there was a candle too. It was picturesque, like a postcard.

I felt warm just by looking at the view and watching them from distance.

It was us. Gathering around the candle on the evenings when electricity would decide to take a leave. It was me running around and being asked not to wander too far into the darkness alone. I watched the little kid looking back at me from far. He had joy written all over his face. Pure joy, unscathed of any worldly matters. He looked at me and nodded his head before responding to his mother’s call. She seemed to have brought a tray laden with tea cups for everyone. She placed it next to the candle and gently scolded a kitten not to come close to it. The kitten straightened up its tail and rubbed itself against her foot. Daadi on the other side, seemed too busy trying to adjust the flame of the lantern and my sister sitting next to her – wondering if she would ever learn to use it when she grows up. The father, later, informed the family that power would not be back for another hour or two. The family seemed rather unfazed with the news and continued to enjoy the hot tea under the twilight.

I smiled at the innocence of that scene. It had gently pierced through the boundaries of my space and time. It felt like I had looked up from my phone screen after a long, long time. Standing there & watching them, I felt I was too far to cherish the moment while forgetting everything else in the world. And yet, I felt oddly close enough to sense the warmth as the younger-me fidgeted with the flame of the candle with his forefinger.

I think memories sometimes act like black holes, don’t they? They suck us in and all we can do on the way is to watch the kaleidoscope of moments stuck in their orbit. 

I was shaken up by a tap on my shoulder.

Dude! Where are you lost? Power is back.”

What?” I turned around to see my roommate standing there with his eyebrows raised.

Let’s go. We are hungry. And where’s the Maggie? You didn’t get it?” He looked at my empty hands.

Without saying anything to him, I looked back. But the house, the porch and the family – they all had disappeared. They were replaced by a pathway illuminated by the street lamp. Similar to how magician’s assistants quickly changed the background on the stage.

There only stood a tall hoarding at the gate displaying an ad by a network provider –

‘At lightning speed. Stay connected with the ones that matter’.

 

A 50-Rs haircut

Kisiki muskaraahaton pe ho nisaar,

Kisika dard mil sake to le udhaar,

Kisike waaste ho tere dil mein pyaar,

Jeena issi ka naam hai…”

The All India Radio FM sang the classic song in the background on a rusty-dusty radio equipment. The old chap at the salon adjusted the radio’s antenna in a specific angle to make the song more audible. It was almost as if the salon was immune to the marching of time and decided to stay back in the 70s.

So, how many days of stay this time?” the barber asked me while choosing the combination of scissors and a comb for the haircut. He used a water spray to wet my hair, and few water drops found their way down my forehead.

Oh this time, I’m back. Back for good. Permanently,” I said looking at him in the mirror.

He paused and sported a genuine smile on his now-wrinkled face. He was attuned to me visiting the small town every alternate weekend from the Capital city where I worked.

That’s really good. Mummy and Papa will be very happy, no?

More water was sprinkled on the backside of my head followed by scissors running through my curly hair.

They are happy, yes!

He is a local barber at my hometown. ‘Our family barber’ would be an apt description.

The first time I entered his shop was as a two-year old child holding my grandfather’s hand. My grandfather had very proudly introduced me as his grandchild. I don’t know if I cried like most kids do when they get their first haircut. But my grandfather would often tell me how I was an immediate favourite of everyone at the salon that day.

My grandfather was loyal to the salon throughout his life. My father followed the suit. I did too, for a long time. After my grandfather’s demise, I would visit the salon with my father. I remember him asking me how my father is coping with his loss. His father too joined my grandfather in few months. He told me that my grandfather need not worry now as he will get his haircut from him in heaven. I kept picturing it in my head for a long time. Him getting a haircut sitting in a chair that rested on clouds.

He is getting a moustache. Your son is a man now” the barber once told my father while giving me a haircut. In response, my father lifted his head up from the newspaper in his hands and retreated back to the same after a formal smile on his face.

But as I grew up, I could not manage such a long-term commitment to the barber shop. I came across fancy salons and parlors in the cities that I visited for my college, work, etc. So I sort of cheated on the local barber shop.

I remember the first time I decided to ditch the local guy and get a haircut at one of the newly-opened air-conditioned parlor. It was a luxury for a middle-class person those days. I must be in high school at that time. I had saved extra money especially for this occasion. I was bored of a routine haircut and wanted to try out something special.

I entered this posh salon which had opened not more than half a kilometer from my house. The staff welcomed me with a kind of half-hearted smile that airlines staff gives you as you enter the plane. You almost feel sad for them having smiled at you.

Would you like a hair wash with a shampoo first?

No, I don’t think so” I tried to sound confident as I wondered if that was a ritual in these parlors. I sincerely hoped it was not.

What kind of a haircut do you need?” the guy with blonde hair only on the left-side of his head asked me. I felt that I had seen him somewhere. I couldn’t place him where though. Was he the same guy who used to sell vada pav somewhere nearby?

I want to do ‘spikes’,” I said. This was going to be a game changer. Not just a routine reduction in hair length but a super-cool haircut.

The guy took out a pair of clean scissors and placed them in the pouch that he wore on his waist. It was like being a superhero barber with a plenty of scissors to choose from. I found it quite cool.

I stared at the variety of hair creams and gels set on the shelves in front of ads from brands such as Loreal and Garnier. Few men in the adjacent chair were getting a haircut or beard-shaving done. One of them was getting some sort of a skin treatment. I wondered how much would that cost and whether all of them too felt equally awkward walking in the parlor for the first time.

Do you want to colour your hair? I think it will look great on you” the guy surprised me with a question.

No, not really,” I said trying to recall once more how much cash I had on me.

It was followed by few more attempts of him tempting me with their add-on services and me safeguarding my honour every time by rejecting each one of those moves.

Finally, my haircut was done. I glared at my reflection in the mirror. It was not exactly the kind of hairstyle I had imagined in my head. But then the very next moment, he removed a hair gel tube from one of the drawers and applied some of it on my hair. With his deft fingers, he made my hair stand in a fashionable way.

Good? Anything else?” he asked me.

I checked myself in the mirror again for no reason and asked the most important question of that day.

How much?”

100” he said and called the next customer in to sit at my place.

On my way back home, I checked my hair again in one of scooter’s mirror parked on the street. As I was about to enter home, the uncle staying downstairs gave me a look as if hundred pigeons had pooped on my head.

Did you even get a haircut?” my mother asked the question which was usually reserved for my sister.

Show me. Come here” she called me and pointed out how he had done a shoddy job.

He has not even cut them in a straight line over here” she said and I just ran to another room.

As I grew old, I changed cities for my college and later jobs. With the change in location, I tried out different barbers and salons to experiment on my hair.

Sir, would you like a head massage? That will be 50 Rs extra. 100 Rs extra. Would you like to get this hair treatment done? 200 Rs…” the conversations were repeated with few more additions in questions.

Every time I visited my hometown, I made it a point to get a haircut at the local shop just to avoid all these questions.

Sitting in that shop which still wore a familiar look would bring back my childhood memories. It was like a cheap time machine. He still treated me like a kid who entered his shop holding his grandfather’s hand. I felt comfortable sitting in that chair despite the extra water sprinkled by him which ran over my forehead. I even started paying him 20 bucks extra.

What kind of a beard is this?” he asked me with a grin.

It is called a goatee beard. Do a simple haircut. Medium length.

Okay,” he started the job that he had acquired from his family. His son adjusted the radio antenna and increased the volume.

“Maana apni jeb se fakeer hein,

Phir bhi yaaron dil ke ham ameer hein,

Kisi ko ho na ho hamein to aitbaar,

Jeena isi ka naam hai…’’

Political correctness and a cranky generation

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Photo source: claremont.org

I’m fairly sure you have seen a kid or two in your family throwing tantrums or faking tears when you ask them to do things they typically dislike such as going to the school. Adults have their method of doing it too – ‘getting offended’ is the latest trend. Our generation gets offended at the slightest of opposing view or even humour. Being politically correct or (overly) sensitive is what most believe an ideal way to address any topic under the Sun.

However, I sincerely believe that political correctness never helps solve issues but rather exasperates them. Be it talking about the religious extremism, casteism or racism for that matter. What really makes sense is to open up the conversations on these so-called sensitive issues. But the general population is far too happy participating in debates that hover around the surface of the problem instead of directly addressing it. Because we are always afraid that it might hurt sentiments of someone or the other.

For instance, the liberal left shuns any conversation on Islam by accusing anyone who attempts to talk about it of being an Islamophobic. This doesn’t help reduce the hatred towards Muslims or the radical Islam from spreading. In fact, this restricts any attempt of actually focusing on separating the normal Muslim population and the radical Islamic teachings. The right-wing leverages on this to convince the masses that the left are nothing but Muslim appeasers. The real issue of radical Islam stays untouched.

Other issues such as racism are victims of political correctness too. We put too much emphasis on silencing people to even utter the word ‘black’ and replacing it with coloured. It hardly helps solve the problem and instead makes people too wary of talking about these issues altogether. Ideally, we, as a population should be living in a society where we can openly share race, cast or community-based jokes with one other. Because here, we are not inherently racists or casteists but are creating an easy, effective mode of communication to address these topics through humour.

Personally, when I sit down with my close friends, we banter about the basic traits of communities that we belong to – such as we Marathis being rude, UPites being migrants, Gujaratis being money-minded, Muslims marrying within the family, and Christians attempting to convert others. These open conversations is what we often need to address the social issues.
Because being ‘politically correct’ while debating is like drinking a decaffeinated coffee that gives you a satisfaction of having a coffee but doesn’t really wake you up.

 

The Social Network

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“Made for each other” and several other hashtags shone brightly on their photo.

Akruti and Siddharth.

Akruti. We have known her for three years now. Akruti and Vineet. That’s how we have known her for three years.

Akruti and Vineet. Not Akruti and Siddharth.

Who is Siddharth? Who cares? Apparently some guy with spectacles from New Delhi.

Who cares?

But Akruti has her hands wrapped around him.

Who cares? She has 248 likes on the photo already.

Vineet is not one of those 248 likes. But his best friend, 2nd best friend, and  3rd best friend are.

Anyway, Akruti just uploaded the 2nd photo now.

Life event. A symbol of the ring on top.

Social Media.

Us being social. As much as required or more than we need to. Vineet would agree for the later one.

Vineet clicked on ‘unfriend’ tab two weeks back. Three bottles of beer somehow managed to convince him. Friends were of help too.

But Facebook ridicules him. He scrolls down and reads 300 comments on a photo.

Akruti is smiling in the picture. We have seen her smiling in the photos earlier too. With Vineet.

This time, it is with a tagline ‘made for each other’.

Once again she says she believes in Love.

Vineet checks in at the famous lounge in town.

Three people like it. His school friend, his 35-year-old office colleague and someone he doesn’t know but is on his friend list.

Two more beers.

Akruti and Siddharth’s photo has grabbed a top position on everyone’s timeline by now.

Congratulations on the picture and gossip on the phones have started to flow in.

Vineet is somewhere between trying to distance himself from the life event and the life – which they both had famously sworn to spend together.

Vineet is failing to keep himself away from clicking the Facebook icon on his phone.

Social media has brought people together finally.

People. Lovers. Ex-lovers. Haters.

No more do they have to wonder, what others are up to?

Social Media.

Vineet forgot to read terms and conditions.

Untamed

untamed_souls

Give me a typewriter and some black coffee to complement it.

Make it drizzle outside my bedroom window and let vapors of caffeine flirt with my head.

Allow me to ponder, as I wipe away the drops of first rain from the window pane.

It will take some time, some giving-up and then some pulling-myself-up again to begin.

But the blend of rains and coffee shall suffice; it shall be enough to bribe my heart.

To spark the thousands of tiny street lamps in the corners of my brain.

And then I will write, I will put you into words, I will cage you into a stanza and I’ll only give you the keys to the egress.

I will write you into something that will carve your heart out of its rib cage and place it onto your hand and ask you what to do with it.

Dead poets will listen stealthily to my plans from behind the bookshelves.

They’ll stand witness to you tearing me apart with those stares and to me fucking your brains out with lyrical armaments.

Take off the clothes of sanity; my hands are itching to write, to send shivers down your spine.

Allow me to slide my hands into your hair while it drips off dew shining along their edges.

The beam of sun punches holes into the blinds and illuminates your wet neckline.

The slow fuck escapes your lips as you watch me and read yourself.

Love might take another form but the smell of first rain remains the same.

Melancholy to your sighs and reminiscent of your breath.

Teach me how to inhale this world and exhale it as art once again.

Sanskrit – a sacred murder

sanskrit_language.jpg

sanskrit2

(Amongst all the languages, the language of Gods (Sanskrit) is the sweetest, in that the poetry and further in that Subhashitas)

I cannot agree more to this subhashit.
I was born in a religious family in the heart of Pune. With an idol of Ganpati at our ancestral place and me being the only boy on my paternal side of the family meant – that it was me who was supposed to perform all the religious customs on behalf of my family. A mediator between the God and me obviously was a Hindu priest belonging to an upper caste. Being born with a curious bent of mind, I wasn’t much comfortable with this barrier of communication between the holy God and my naïve yet inquisitive mind. And the only apparent solution was learning the sacred language itself. The priest wasn’t much happy with the outcome. Over the years, he got further irritated with me reciting the shlokas before he could even begin chanting and further, more with me suggesting that we can skip one or two this time. And as I grew up, I read more on the language and fell more in love with it, with subhashitas and with the works of Kalidas. But all this was possible because I was living in the 21st century (Kaliyug as people ironically call it)

The origin of Sanskrit goes back to 1500 BC in Rigvedas. In fact, its roots lie all the way into Syria, Iran – the lands from where it later reached India along with the migrating tribes in the form of Vedic Sanskrit. Panini was the first one to standardize the grammar and vocabulary for the language. Interestingly Sanskrit went on to become a language of Gods or Dev community.
Sanskrit the so-called sacred language became restricted only to upper castes in Hindus. So sacred that the lower castes (more than 75% of modern Hindus) weren’t even allowed to listen to it being recited. This was the first horrendous mistake by then Sanskrit speakers which led to it eventually getting lost in the sands of time.

Prakrit languages – Maharashtri, Magadhi, Shourseni and Paishachi also developed around the same time. The prakrit languages were further developed into modern languages known as Marathi (from Maharashtri), Oriya, Bangla, Assamese (from Magadhi), Western Hindi (Shourseni), Kashmiri (from Paishachi), etc. Both Sanskrit and Prakrit languages had the influence on one another. No doubt that a Marathi, Bangla or Hindi speaker will find it easier to learn Sanskrit compared others. The important thing to note here is that the majority of southern languages had more or less nothing to do with Sanskrit, as claimed by many. Sanskrit was never the official language of all Hindus (except for few). Not a surprising fact that today it is spoken by less than 1% of the Indian population and mostly Hindu priests during religious ceremonies.

Any guesses why Sanskrit did not spread to the other parts of the world? Because according to Hindu priests back then, crossing the sea was a sin. That not only did kill the language but also made overly-dependent Kshatriya kings more vulnerable to foreign attacks and being conquered. Oxford dictionary, on the contrary, adds new words from other languages to official English language every year. It isn’t a surprise that English was established as a global language. Imagine if Sanskrit was also taught to people belonging to other castes and religions back then. Imagine if the masses were able to learn and recite Sanskrit shlokas the way few privileged ones were able to. Imagine the kind of literature that would have been created by writers and artists from rest of the Hindu classes which formed the majority of Hindu population. Such as Dnyaneshwar (13th century Marathi poet) who wrote Bhavarth Deepika (Dnyaneshwari) in Marathi for the masses who could not understand Sanskrit. Nothing killed the Sanskrit language (and other ancient arts) more than the devilish tradition of restricting it to only a few classes did.

Anyway that being the prime cause of the disease, what further killed the language? The ego and the self-proclaimed superiority of religious fanatics. For example, let us imagine a hypothetical situation where the current Government does succeed in promoting the Sanskrit language to masses. Let’s imagine a situation ten years from now, where few Hindu priests are performing a religious ceremony in a room full of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras all of whom can perfectly understand and speak Sanskrit. Will the priests be pleased with everyone becoming proficient in Sanskrit and catching them uttering gibberish and charging fees for it? If you know the answer, you’ve got my point.

I genuinely hope that Sanskrit survives and future generations get to savor the beauty of its literature and rich history. But the fact remains that the preachers of Sanskrit are the original murderers of this language. And these desperate attempts to impose the language on everyone are nothing but an epitome of hypocrisy and embarrassment.

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(It is essential to speak the truth, but it is more important to speak out things that matter to the masses. According to me, the thing which is beneficial to the community as whole is the truth)

Hatred & Love

romance_after_the_fight

“Romance after the fight is the best romance in the world” is a pretty mashed up line now. And I do agree with it for starters. But what they don’t tell you is ‘why’. I think you have to look for the reasons in the fight. Hatred. Anger. The words themselves are so strong and the feelings so intense. I think it is the intensity of the fights that resides in our hearts, lurking like a molten lava challenging to be calmed down. You cannot. You could only channelize it. And what is the best stop apart from romance to get down at?

Call me crazy. Call me a lunatic. But I feel I am equally in love with her while she is screaming at the top of her voice and am trying to subdue it with my husky (clears throat) one. I think I’m oddly drawn to her flushed cheeks and her fuming eyes. I do not think I love her any less even when we are fighting. And the secret is neither does she. The anger burning in her tone only  tells me how much she believes that she owns me and cannot settle down to agree with any disagreement that may happen between us. The little things that she does not shy away from, tell me that it is the version of us belonging to this moment or the period of time we are battling and not us – whole ourselves. She inherently acknowledges this far superior worth of our bonding and knowingly or unknowingly she is careful about the fragile nature of it even when we are fighting. That knowing and yet not knowing part is what builds our castle of cards, our cloud of dreams. And each time we have an intense fight, we only prick away the least important clouds that we made together. We do have to sacrifice a cloud or two, though, each time we quarrel. That’s the rule of the game.

But hey, we have only been talking about the before romance – the fight part. Once you clear this stage of the multiplayer game, romance awaits you to rekindle few dying sparks and ignite the new ones. The fire that was set up by hatred, jealousy, possessiveness and all other motherfucking siblings of them, is now waiting to draw you close. Fucking close. It starts with her pushing you away. That is the first stage of it. Then there are more attempts from your end, marinated with sweet words of affection. The names you call her, you know. She says, Do not call me that! You then call her ‘that’ again. Next stage is your ego making an intermittent appearance questioning your pursuance of her. You ignore it at first and swallow it down at second. She then surrenders. Not completely. But you see the glimmering hope in her eyes with a reflection of yours. That hope is what we live for and die for. The hope in her eyes. Yes, that is the end. It starts with once upon a time and ends with hope and grace. Not ‘they happily lived ever after’. That is your job asshole. You write, edit, proofread that. Good fucking luck.

 

 

Evanescent Happiness

evanscence_blog

Through my bedroom window the other day, I saw it was only a little time left for the Sun to set over Rock garden – and my favourite spot there.

I left home hurriedly & crossed the road to enter the garden located on the opposite side.
‘Hurriedly’ because I knew it was a fleeting, evanescent moment I had to catch. The Universe painting the sky with its blue, pink & saffron crayons, reminding us again that the nature is the biggest artist of all. And we both watched it together all those times, pausing for minutes, letting our silence appreciate that moment; for we knew it was a transitory one. We knew that the something so beautiful would last only for seconds stretched together before the darkness conquers the sky. Evanescent happiness.
But honey, we let the nature fool us by its artistic sorcery as if it would not return the next day.
It did, right? And we watched it again, enthralled by its magic. I watched your face yet another day, lit in the golden sunshine and the wind complimenting the scene by gently flirting with your hair.

So, I ran away to reach my spot and thought of all the times we could rewind the sunset and beat the so called fleeting happiness. The other side of the bench was empty though, as I let myself to be tricked by the Universe again as if I was Vikram & nature, Betaal.

The warmth of the setting Sun reminded me of your nudging me while I used to be lost looking over the horizon. And then you would shake your head like you always did, before you smiled showing an even row of teeth. I would ask how your day was…and while I rummaged through this past, I realised the biggest trick that Universe ever pulled on us was not hinting that ‘us’ sharing that time and space was the only evanescent moment of them all.

You know, I desperately bleed ink on the paper tonight, gasping for thoughts, hoping to preserve our memories, before the darkness conquers the sky yet again. Because every time I sit at my favourite spot, I remember so much and yet forget a little. That little is a scary part. I keep wondering if you remember the part of the memories that escaped my fingertips. For I am just a writer with a limited power to immortalise the part of us which I can recall. I sometimes wish you lend me few of our laughter & fights that I must have forgotten now.
Because I’m just a lover with an aching heart. If only we could become those purple sunsets and make a pact with Universe to let us meet behind the horizon. If only if we could blindfold the Sun and trick the time into thinking it isn’t yet the time to set apart. Because girl, I am just a writer…Not yet a match to beat the nature’s art.

 

The Prisoners

Prison

This is a story of the imprisoned 3.
They sat together in this big round chamber.
First one – a mischievous little boy of 9.
Playing with a Rubik cube he held firmly in his hands.
Twisting & turning, pondering, making mistakes & restarting.
Trying to remember the yellow squares, green ones & the red.
Laughing at his own failed attempts,
Not able to solve the cube, not able to get out of the chamber of secrets.

Sat next to him a young teen of 16.
Knowing he has learnt things, not knowing there was so much more to it.
On his flushed cheeks, reside anger, passion and desire to step out in the Sun.
To experiment his own version of right & wrongs.
Wanting to see new faces, fall in love and rebel against what others teach.
He paces up and down the chamber, plans & replans the ways to be freed.

Onto the bed in one corner of the chamber, lays a boy turned man of 23.
Seemingly at peace, yet battling an armada of thoughts he thinks,
He thinks of things that made him who he is.
Of the mistakes, the decisions – he took & the ones he refrained from making.
He senses a bigger picture in his mind, for himself and the ones he loved.
Rearranges the boxes of dreams inside the cloud of thoughts that hovers around like a bumble bee.
He doesn’t have a plan to unlock the chamber, yet.
He focusses more on getting all of his ducks in a row.

In a cubicle of white walls, air smelling of worldly tasks & an air conditioned wind;
Is sitting a man of 30, wearing a neatly ironed shirt he bought with his own money.
Trapped in a repeated pattern of 5 working days, for the sake of remaining 2 of the week.
He watches the hour hand & minute hand mocking him, parting ways & meeting over the time.
He gulps down the coffee with extra caffeine to euthanize the 3 in his head,
His head so restless with the imprisoned 3.
The 3 unknown of the illusion, of freedom of secret chamber they are safely tucked in.
The freedom, the man of 30 envies.