‘The Lotus’ (Part-1)

I had been wanting to return to WordPress for a long time. However, the transformation taking place in my life in the days I was away, kept holding me back. I just couldn’t seem to configure my creative outlets to match what needed to be said.

As a writer, it happens often that you write what you think you write best and the subsequent appreciation for your art drives you to write more of what you feel is ‘appreciated’. Appreciation, Praise, Acknowledgement of your ‘efforts’ can lead you into a whole different territory. A territory where it becomes hard to realize why you do what you do.

Far too many artists find themselves caught in the trap of repeating what ‘works’. What works, may or may not be your best work but it is what keeps you afloat as an artist. It is what keeps the reviews coming and the audience buzzing, asking for more. This part is the best about creating anything; anything of value is driven by a desire to be noticed. As much as you deny it, working your craft is far more refreshing at an ego level when you have and audience waiting for your next creation.

But eventually, things change and life changes with them. You change invariably with the various factors spinning out of your control. Then as you change, how people in the world view you, changes. At a certain point, you can’t control anymore how the expression of your being radiates into the world around you. Your art defines you but you define your art as the creator and as the medium it flows through.

A picturesque landscape exists for you as much as it does for the poet who wrote a poem about it and a painter who immortalized that point in time on a canvas. It existed for everyone yet it chose only a select medium to express itself through.

You are associated with what you attract and also the energies that channel themselves through your being. It’s all about what you ‘vibrate’ with, in sync.

What vibrates with you, is what is most like you; and what the core of your being vibrates with, you ultimately become one with.

Sewage flowing through a pipe will ultimately corrode and accumulate the inside of the medium with filth and stink. Clear, fresh water will ultimately impart a sweet taste to the farthest extents of the pipe. That’s not even science, just common sense.

“It’s such a drag. Such a drag. SUCH a drag. Such a drag drag DRAG !!…”

I remember shouting to myself in utter frustration. I was physically beating myself up, over the lack of focus and any discernible aim or motive in life. Why was everything going against me? Why was it all crumbling down? Why was everything that I was building up, crumbling down around me…with me in the middle; watching haplessly as it all tumbled down one after the other. Like a chain of dominoes undone by the sheer momentum of a chain reaction triggered by a simple nudge.

“Hmm… this sucks..”

Many years ago, I had been faced with situations similar to those I was facing in this phase. I had encountered similar frustrations in the past. Similar manic depressive, chaotic periods. They had all ended in unsuccessful suicide attempts and completely botched up self harm episodes. The only one I ever succeeded in causing harm to were the people in my life who wanted nothing but happiness for me.

As much as someone crushed deep under the weight of mental health issues will disagree.. the people in your life have nothing to do with the crap that goes on inside your head.

“It all beings and ends in the mind.” This is that famous statement you’ve probably heard many times. Nearly all of the successful people in this world.. vehemently stand by it. Not nearly enough people take notice of the depth of the idea the flows out from it.

To me, what I’ve come to realize in the last few months, this statement points out to the fact that reality is what you perceive it to be and also something you create. You can create by perception but you can also perceive what you have the power to create.

The fact that it all begins and ends in the mind points out to the sheer power vested in your mind. Those of us having a tough time handling our thoughts, controlling our emotions are simply out of sync with our own ideas.

We keep resisting the infinite power that our mind holds within itself. We spend so much time and energy ‘resisting’ a boundless force that we are never able to learn how to put it to use. How to let it pave our path for us. How to let it create for us, the world we want. We’re out of sync with it and that means we don’t know how to control it.

You can’t drive a Ferrari at 30 miles an hour and you can’t drive a bicycle at 300. It’s all about the minimal level of ‘vibration’ that everything functions at. When you’re out of sync with that vibration, it breaks you. Quite like an opera singer breaking a champagne glass at the right frequency. If that glass could match the ‘vibration’ of the opera singer’s voice, it wouldn’t break at all.

Similarly, if you feel swamped and mentally, psychologically drained or too worked up and screwed up in the head, you’re acting out of sync with your inner being. You’re acting out of sync with that highly powerful and highly expansive energy in your body, called the ‘soul’.

(Like I was at this time.)

I had been absolutely sucking at ‘living’, and at ‘dying’, I had been failing far too badly. However, this time, I had the deeply entrenched lessons from the experiences of my past, to help me take better decisions.

Lying on the floor of my room, I reminisced how I had found myself in a similar situation ten years ago. Ten years ago, barely 18 and already at the nadir of my life, despite all of the confusion and chaos, through all of the failures and frustrations, life had ultimately blended seamlessly into a happy phase.

Things had changed for me back then when I had left home and gone off to college in another city. There, I had started life afresh; met new people, had new experiences, discovered new dimensions to my personality and the pain of the short but violently intense struggles of my life had soon been washed away by the new beginning.

But just when I had thought that, that would be the new ‘normal’ for my life, along had come another trough. Deeper and with its own challenges, dark in its own way. Then just when I had thought I wouldn’t make it through the cold, dark night my life had become, the Sun came out on my life again one day. The flowers in the meadow of my life, blossomed anew.

And so I realized pretty early that this was the true nature of life. This is how it is meant to be. These cycles repeat and alternate like seasons and you just adjust to what finds you and where it finds you.

Happiness and Sadness are both a farce and whatever it is that is troubling you, it shall eventually pass like everything else in life does.

Only that it doesn’t happen as simply as that. ‘Life’ is lesson on contradictions.

A lot of ‘Learning’ means unlearning a lot of what you’ve learned before. A lot of ‘Living’ means dying many times over while you’re still alive. And we all know ‘Loving’ means letting go and ‘Winning’ means a temporary respite from failure.

The good things and the bad must both dissolve into each other yet separate into each self. Each turning into the other to preserve the balance of the mix yet working together to give meaning to good and bad.

In the past few months, this spell that I found myself going through was something completely different. It wasn’t a frustrating period of not knowing what to do. It was instead, a period of knowing exactly what to do and knowing I was failing at it spectacularly. What do you do then?

What do you do when you realize that what’s happening to you is beyond your control? You introspect. Or at least, that is what I thought.

And so, I began pulling out each uncomfortable question one by one. Untangling and separating each thread of my confusion. Patiently, yet frantically so.

Why was I miserable at all?

Why couldn’t I just be happy and content.. simple and not complex; like everybody else?

I must have spent days on end doing nothing else but this; until one day, it struck me.

That is the moment I found myself crouching in a corner of my room, with the lights turned off. I sat holding my face in my palms, rubbing my eyes and running my fingers back into my hair and pulling them, straightening them. As if pulling my hair back would straighten up my brain and get some logic running again.

I let out a deep breath..

and in that effortless, deep exhalation.. the truth flowed out of my lips along with the air.

“I’m out of sync with my purpose…”

Once I said it to myself, it seemed so comforting I said it once more.

“This is it. That’s what this is… I’m out of sync with my purpose…”

And I think that was it. That was all I had been needing to hear all along. Looking for someone to say it to me until I said it to myself.

That’s what it was! I wasn’t acting in sync with my true self and that was what was bringing me down.

But resisting your inner voice and forcing your will is human nature. It’s just the ego at work, wanting to speak over the mind, the heart, the intuition, the soul and every other sign in the world. The ego wants to be heard. Inside your head and outside it. It wants to be heard. Even if what it says makes no sense at all.

At that moment, I had every inclination not to listen to myself. I knew however that, that wasn’t an option for me. I had tried everything else. Everything!

Listening to my inner voice was the only way out if I ever wanted to be happy again. It was time to introspect and ask myself what I really wanted.

And so, like the frustrated father of a troubled teen would; shaking my head, eyes half closed.. massaging my forehead with my fingers, with all of the patience in this world I could muster, I muttered to myself:

“What is it then? What the f****k is your purpose?”

And as if anticipating my answer already, came pat the reply from my own self:

“I don’t know. You tell me…”

© Jay Kaushal

>> Read part 2 >>

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Unbroken

It hurts right now
But it won’t hurt forever.
To carry your broken heart within a broken body that can take no more;
It can still be done.
It still can,
even though you’re hurting beyond measure.

Tough times must come upon them;
Those life seeks to toughen,
beyond the ordinary.

Aye! building upwards atop the ashes of your past;
It’s gut wrenching, cruel, painful nigh fanatical, maddening et all..
As many emotions summed up into the lonely struggle tall.
Yet,
Believing it can be done
It can be done.
It can be done.

Ours is to build anew every time it comes crumbling down.

It can be done.
It can be done.

And his is to test; if broken we stay or unbroken we become.

It can be done.
It can be done.

No matter how great the fall,
Ye must heed the call;
Of his voice, awake, deep within.

It can be done.
It can be done.

He who looks into the scarred, horrible face of his reality and knuckles up..
Unperturbed. Yet again,
for another fight.

It can be done.
It can be done.

Battered and Beaten to the ground he falls,
Fallen but undefeated, to the sky he’ll rise again.

He’ll take the heaven by storm,
if he survives;

It can be done.
It can be done.

Oh! he’ll burn down the proud pillars of the lofty heavens above..
With his wrath Alone!

Beware if he survives,
Ye naysayers and unbelievers.

It can be done.
It can be done.

He’ll bend time itself;
And rein in the directions from as far out, as they reach.
A fine line between mortal and immortal, his glory shall breach.

It can be done.
It can be done.

If ye can keep him down,
Never let him up..

Only ye can’t.

If ye can drive a knife through his heart
and pray it kills him..

Only it won’t.

If ye can run for your life sooner than
ye realise, he shall not yield..

He might spare your life for servitude,
when his world is his;
And he has conquered all there was
in it,
to conquer.

He’ll slay all his foes,
Settle all scores to close.
Settle his debts, pay his dues.
As he walks up there,
Where he always belonged.
And he takes what is his
and rights all the wrongs.

Unbroken is he.
Glorious be his reign.
Unbroken Is he.
He befriended his pain.
Unbroken is he.
The gods bow down to his greatness.

He conquered the world.
And everything in it.
He conquered his fears and all the demons within..

Because it can be done.

© Jay Kaushal

What if this is all there is?

What if this,
is all there is?
What if this..
is as good as it gets?
What if this is
as far, you were
meant to be;
And everything
that you ever
dreamed about
for the future,
were memories;
Being carried on
from a past life.
A past where,
you had it all.
A life where,
you made it all.
And yet you still,
wiped that slate..
clean;
Just for this!
Maybe you had
everything.
Everything,
but happiness.
Everything,
but satisfaction.
Just an empty,
dark void..
That you could
never manage to fill.
Maybe the purpose
of all your sorrows,
all your struggles,
all your happiness,
and all your
experiences;
Was to bring you..
Here.
Here,
in this present;
That you
so carelessly
discount for
being a lot less,
than it is.
This present,
that you never
fully learned to
appreciate; Because
you were always
too fixated about
filling that void.
The void that
cannot be fulfilled.
The void that robs you
of the present,
that is the present;
While keeping you chasing.
While keeping you running
after uncertain tomorrows,
as all your todays
Have come and gone.
Each one of them
having failed,
to satisfy you.
Wouldn’t you regret
not enjoying this,
a lot more?
Wouldn’t you regret
not living; while
you could have..
If you realise,
At the end
Of it all..
This,
was the best
you could have ever had?

© Jay Kaushal

Photo by Jay Kaushal

Firefly

She ain’t just a girl,
She’ the girl.
She’s a flame.
Enigma.

She’s like fire,
Floating on
Tender ornate wings
Of a butterfly;
Fluttering past you
In the summer.

She’s broken
a many hearts
And had her heart
broken too,
One too many times.

You want her,
Like they all do..
But you can’t have her.
You need her,
Like them all..
But she doesn’t need you.

And if she wants you,
You can’t escape.
She always has her way.

If you get too close;
And if ever too soon,
You’ll dissolve your being
Into her, like hot wax.

But if she ever
Decides to be yours;
If she ever decides
To let you,
Into her life..

Don’t you leave her
And walk away.
Even if she misses you
Like it kills her,
She’ll never say.

Dont bind her down,
Let her fly free.
She’s like the wind
And will always be.

She needs to go
Where none else dare.
She dares to do,
What they all fear.
She has scores to settle
With society;
And she has a great cause,
She must fulfill.

Aye, she’s beautiful!
But not like Aphrodite.
She’s beautiful
Like Ares would be;
Were he lucky enough,
To be born a woman.

Aye, she’s a rebel!
But not like those idiots,
Shouting slogans
waving flags
rebelling just to rebel.
No.

She’s the kind of rebel,
Who changes and heals
The world.
She’s the kind of rebel,
Who leads the world
To light.

She’s independent.
She’s strong.
She’s tender within
But you’ll never know.
She cares a lot
But she’s too emotional
To really if ever,
let it show.

She’ll cry in her room
And walk out smiling,
The moment she steps
Outside the door.

She’ll start sentences
But stop in between.
“Anyway..” she’ll say
and go silent.
Just to hear you talk.

And when She begins to talk
about herself
she steers conversations..
To your dreams,
About your life,
And your goals
And your beliefs
And every boring detail,
About..you.

She may be having
The best time of her life
But she’ll tell you
Everything sucks,
Cause you’re not there.

If you’re lucky,
A girl like her
Will show up
In your life someday;
Like a beacon of light
In hopeless darkness;
Guiding you through,
Leading you out,
Of utter crap.

She’s something else.
She’s something different.
Patiently burning within..
Radiantly glowing without..

Like a firefly.

© Jay Kaushal

Majestic

A swan,
Paddles away
Furiously
Beneath the surface.
Just to stay
Afloat.
Nothing else.

Yet you,
Can only
Percieve
White floating grace;
Ripples nor Sound.
Flawless,
Utopian elegance.

And you,
Can’t imagine
Madness
Behind the scenes;
Hard at work.
Persevering,
Constant struggle.

The facade
Of perfection;
Unstable.
Control, no control;
Infinite cycles, intersecting..
Culminating..
Every second.

© Jay Kaushal

Image credits: denbora.org

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Photo-poem ‘My Dreams’

Photo & Poem by Jay Kaushal.

This is the last couplet from my sonnet ‘My Dreams

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