The Back Alleys Of My Mind
Even as I sit here on the balcony and write,
The curious scents of cow dung and agarbatti mixing in my nose,
And the sparrows singing their last song for today,
I wonder if there really is any point.
I only write for myself, after all.
But if I do, is there any real reason for me to labour,
Penning down my thoughts in a coherent fashion,
When I can allow them to wander freely in the back alleys of my mind?
I cannot answer myself.
Believe me, I’ve tried countless times before, and failed to make sense out of my actions.
Even the senseless seem to have reason
To their rhyme;
A method to their madness.
It’s strange, no doubt, but does it mean something?
That question, fortunately, I can answer.
And the answer is no.
Of course there is no hidden meaning.
God did not create me to be some sort of saviour, or a prophet.
No, I was created with the same purpose as the rest of humanity:
To live, to love, and to progress.
Perhaps the last of the three is the biggest mistake that
God has made.
Oddly enough, however, I do not laugh in the face of fate.
Many I know,
And many more that I respect,
Claim that fate does not exist, and that we are free to make our own choices.
To them I say only this: –
“Open your eyes, and look around,
“Then, you come tell me you don’t believe in fate.”
Is it not fate that put India between China and Alexander’s conquest?
Is it not fate that formed the Great Russian army, so that the forces of fascism could be halted?
Is it not fate that the Wright brothers slept in the same bedroom chamber?
Is it not fate that you are sitting there right now, reading this?
Let me answer you, my friend.
Yes, it is fate.
Fate is what carves us; fate is what shapes us into what we are
Just so that we can fulfil her unknowable machinations.
Destiny, however, is questionable.
Many people fail to see the difference, and indeed I am guilty of doing the same.
But I have realised that there is a difference,
And a vast one at that.
Fate lays out a sequence of events that our life must follow;
Fate gives us a path to walk on in this complex labyrinth of life.
Destiny places a burden on our shoulders;
It gives us a task that we must fulfil;
It pressures us.
But not fate.
I hope I am understandable in what I am saying,
For this is perhaps the first time I am not writing for myself.
This poem goes out to the people who are reading it right now.
I wish to make the discoveries I have uncovered clear to anyone in doubt.
Yes, I have found reason to my rhyme;
Method to my madness.
I am finally a normal poet.
If there even is such a thing…
As a side note, I live in India. Agarbattis are incense sticks which Hindus light and place in the praying room during the lighting-of-the-lamp ceremony in the evening. Well, that's what my family does, anyway.