Dadu

Dadu

Rain drops splattered on red dirt this morning as the abode of peace paid homage to its most beloved teacher, father and friend. I grew up playing in his courtyard as he gazed with a smile that I will never forget. My heart wrenched intermittently at the absence of his laughter. But I was reminded of his omnipresence. He was everywhere – in the leaves and buildings; deep-seethed into fond memories.

He is not gone; he has just become one with the majesty of that which he most adored – Shantiniketan.

Babu Raja

Raja

A naked child played in the rain, by the storm drain.

He pranced along, dancing alone to the tune of raindrops.

I watched from behind a glass door; restricted, I adored.

His blissful simplicity displayed a humanity.

I had never seen it before.

 

A naked child played in the rain – his free heart splashed again and again.

Humanity

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I am the animal – driven by selfish instinct, I am human. Unaware of my surroundings – I only want more for myself. I am ruthless in my incessant warlike living – even a flower in my way, I crush. I cannot control myself – that quality I utilize most for others, to get my way; I am man.

It is, after all, all about me – me, me, only me.

In Memory

Of Children

A blight of madness has afflicted humanity. Everywhere I look innocents lie dead – and the world trots along, enamored by shiny things and an unprecedented thirst for power. I wish there was a way I could detach myself from the human race – say I do not belong to this heinous, selfish species of monkeys.

Over and over again we have learned, an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind – over and over again, we ignore this basic message. We are consumed with control and the size of our collective ego rivals the breadth of this universe. We have become selfish, self-serving and self-involved.

We choose this detrimental existence – even when we do not, we remain complacent to atrocities that should never go unpunished. We have no regard for the feelings of others, nor a general wellbeing. We only love ourselves – so much that we turn our heads in the face of another’s suffering; we walk away.

How can we become all that we hope to be if we cut down the fodder that feeds our existence? How can we imagine a future without our children? To what end will this world come when all that is left is one man with one eye and a gun? Why do we allow this to happen over and over again?

I do not understand.

Maya

Picture 174

Memory is a strange thing – testing temperance with a kaleidoscope of kindness and cruelty. It creates universes within our heads, custom sculpted by the good, bad and ugliest of words and actions. What to make of it, I do not know – whether my actions will be contingent upon memory or will I start anew, a blank slate, has become my central conflict. It is distracting and distressful, the cacophony of the past.

Jajabor

Jen's Hancock

I am back in Kolkata, flooded with memory and emotion. It is overwhelming; I only find comfort in the handful of Tagore songs I carry in my heart. I stop myself from crying just as soon as I have to pick a reason for my tears. No one feeling fully describes it – I am overjoyed and heartbroken, exuberant of change and petrified of it at the same time. But the damp Kolkata air hugs me, its monsoon comforts me. Still, my heart yearns for the rampant shores of Lake Michigan – I am a vagabond with attachments.

Soul Home

When I looked upon you for the last time, you were no longer mine. I was just visiting this place, your man-made shores and circling doors. But I am leaving having become so very much like you, with my soul planted deep into your red, white and blue. My flying eagle copper buckle bids you adieu.

Desire

Manhattan

I want to be dangerous – it appeals to me, the danger in being dangerous. It excites me. I want to be at the edge of power – I deserve it, the weight of the universe on my shoulders. It is my curse, my bane and my guiltiest pleasure. I want to be unattainable – out of reach, like stars, looking down upon tranquility.

But it is not my nature – just my desire.

People

 

I always dream the world will change for the better one day. I hope that the better side of our human spirit will win out. If everything is cause and effect, an ebb and flow of good and bad, lies and truths – push and pull – the day of redemption must come sooner than I can imagine.  It falls upon us to progress despite hardship and suffering; to be unrelenting in moving towards universal peace and equality. As many before us have done, with each brave soldier in a field of hatred and every shy boy coming out to his world, we pave the way to a dream – a world full of love and free of prejudice.

It falls upon us.

Happy Pride!

 

Cancer and Capitalism

Silk

Cells beget tissues, which beget organs and bodies – bodies beget families and countries, societies full of rules and religiosities. They all exist within one another – and just as a cancerous cell can kill a body, a cancer within the social organism can upend society. Capitalism has become one such cancer.

Much like with its predecessors, our strict adherence to this ideology has disturbed the balance of living. Capitalism focuses on generating profit by maximizing the earning potential of one’s resources; it is an economic system where individuals, rather than governments, control trade and industry for profit.

While this mindset exalts individuality, it neglects the community within which individuals exist. It has no instruction on how to operate within existing social systems; it exists in an ideological vacuum. An excessive, uncontrolled growth of this phenomenon, therefore, hinders community growth.

So just like a cancer within our bodies, capitalism has ravaged our planet. In the name of ‘free market’ it has exploited every natural resource, siphoning the cream for a select few who either have foundational or intellectual advantages unlike most.

It is a matter of fact that not all human beings have the mental faculty or equal access to resources needed to thrive in this individualized economy. This unequal playing field means not everyone benefits from capitalism. Quite conversely, in this system, as the rich few get richer, communities get poorer.

Perhaps if a system were created that valued each human being equally, regardless of ‘net worth,’ it would change the world for the better. For example, do away with standardized monetary systems and the concept of debt – replace it with barter systems that value time, labor, skill and commodity.

Maybe then we would have the right amount of lawyers and gardeners, doctors and teachers; maybe then we wouldn’t have to say “I always wanted to be a writer but I need money to live…so I became an underwriter…or decided to be a writer and starve.”

O.

Clearly, I am not an economist; I just refuse to accept that there isn’t a more egalitarian way to do business.