Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Taman Shud Mystery

Major part of our reading phase during school days consisted of a lot of mystery fiction. Most of us must have gone through the Secret Seven --> Five Find Outers-->Famous Five-->Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew-->The Three Investigators-->Poirot & Miss Marple-->Sherlock Holmes phase and one must admit that it is a fascinating journey. As a kid, I always wanted to be a detective and solve murder mysteries. The case that I've mentioned in this note is one that a friend and I had stumbled across in some police journals during that phase and we had tried carrying on our own 'investigations' :P. It's a real case that has remained unsolved for the past 62 years and is clearly one of the strangest cases I've come across and does make you see the light in the 'fact is stranger than fiction' phrase. I met up this friend a few days back and during the course of our conversation; this case again popped up. I thought I should put this up as a FB note because not only does the case fall in the X-files territory but also offers a change from all the poetry that I put up on FB all the time. :P It's a long post but kindly read through the post patiently. It's certainly worth the read.

The Taman Shud Case:

At 6:30 am on December 1st, 1948, a man was found dead under a street lamp on Somerton Beach in Australia.

He seems to have come from nowhere and no one knew anything about him. It's the things we don't know that have been baffling authorities ever since. Including the meaning of the apparently uncrackable secret code he left behind (more on that later).

Things first started to lurch towards the creepy when police noticed that all his clothes' identification marks had been removed. He was found with no visible signs of injury, wearing a suit and no hat. He had a cigarette tucked behind his ear and another one, half smoked, next to his head as if it had fallen out of his mouth.

In his pockets were a used bus ticket to the beach, an unused train ticket to Henley Beach, an American comb, a pack of Juicy Fruit gum, sixpence, an Army Club cigarette pack with Kensitas cigarettes in it, and a box of matches. His body was found 250 meters from where the bus stop apparently let him off.

Apparently, a few people saw him the night before at the same spot- one couple saw him moving his arm around, and another saw him lying motionless on the beach.

The cops were even more startled when the coroner returned with the cause of death: "Sudden, acute onset of damned if I had any idea." The autopsy revealed exceptional health, a half-digested pasty in his stomach, and congestion in his brain and stomach that would have been consistent with poisoning if, you know, they'd found even a trace of poison anywhere in his body. For good measure, his spleen was three times too big.

It was concluded that he most likely died of poisoning, but from what? The Scottish Yard posted this guy’s picture everywhere, but there was no response. They reasoned that the dead man might have been missing local man E.C. Johnson, but then E.C. showed up. Many other possible IDs came up locally, but all were disproved.

Every breakthrough seemed to increase the mystery. A few months later, a suitcase was found at a nearby train station that had been checked in on the morning of Mystery Man’s death. The suitcase’s label was removed, and inside it was a red-checked dressing gown, a pair of slippers, four pairs of underwear, pajamas, shaving gear, a pair of pants with sand in the cuffs, a screwdriver, a stenciling brush, a table knife that had been fashioned into a sharp knife, a pair of scissors, and a package of waxed thread. All the labels on everything had been removed, but on several items of clothing it said “T. Keane”. Police believed that someone purposefully left the Keane tag on the clothes knowing it was not the dead man’s name, because when they searched for T. Keane, they couldn’t find anyone of that name that was missing anywhere in the world. There was one missing sailor named Tom Keane, but friends of his that viewed the body and the suitcase firmly believed that was not their friend.

Police were doing all sorts of searching and theorizing, and had started wondering if the body had been just dumped on the beach, when they found a secret pocket in the man’s pants. Inside the secret pocket, a piece of paper with the words “TAMAN SHUD” typed on it (the words meaning "ended" or "finished").

The text looked like it was a scrap torn from a book. And it turned out it was; from a collection of poems called The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. And not just any Rubaiyat, but a specific translation, and an extremely rare one at that. They released this info to the media, and a man in the town where the body was found came forward, saying that on November 30th, the night before Mystery Man died, he found a copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam in the back of his unlocked car, and the final page, which was supposed to read “Taman Shud”, was torn out. Yup, Mystery Man apparently ripped out a page and shoved the book into a random car. The Rubaiyat's last verse, immediately before "Tamam Shud", is

''And when thyself with shining foot shall pass
Among the Guests Star-scatter'd on the grass
And in your joyous Errand reach the Spot
Where I made One - turn down an empty Glass!''

This gets even weirder. Instead of the book having a library card with the dead man's name printed on it or something even a little bit helpful, the book contained the clue that would take the mystery from "spooky" to "creepy".In the back of the book, the cops found this code:

Five sets of seemingly random letters, the second of which is crossed out. So, what does this code tell us? Nothing. Nothing at all. To this day it remains unsolved. So was the code the result of a disturbed mind, or chronic boredom, perhaps? Turns out, no. The most recent attempt to solve the case found the letters aren't random, just some mysterious cipher nobody was familiar with.

There was also a phone number on the book, which was traced to a woman (Jestyn) in the same town who once dated a man who was rumored to be a spy (Alfred Boxall), but that man eventually surfaced, and his copy of the book still had that last page. (But there is a shroud of mystery surrounding the woman which shall be discussed later).

The man was buried, finally, and a strange woman was seen putting flowers on his grave several times. An inmate in New Zealand revealed that he knew the name of the name of the dead man, but it could never be corroborated. Mystery Man has been linked to more spy stuff, so much so that it prompted Australia to create its own anti-espionage task force, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

Possible link to Marshall case:

In June 1945, three years prior to the death of the Somerton Man, a 34 year old Singaporean man named Joseph (George) Saul Haim Marshall was found dead in Mosman, Sydney with an open copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam beside him. His death is believed to be a suicide by poisoning. Coincidentally, it is some two months after Marshall's death that Jestyn gives her spy lover a copy of the Rubiayat.

Recent updates on the case:
It has been uncovered that Jestyn (the same mystery woman again) had a son, who was 16-months old in 1948 and died in 2009, may have been a love child of the Somerton Man. It turns out that there might be some truth in this theory. A professor of Anatomy at the University of Adelaide has examined images of the Somerton man's ears and found that the cymba (upper ear hollow) is larger than his cavum (lower ear hollow), a feature possessed by only 1-2% of the caucasian population. The professor also consulted with dental experts who conclude that the Somerton Man had anodontia (a rare genetic disorder) of both lateral incisors, a feature present in only 2% of the general population. In June 2010, the professor obtained a photograph of Jestyn's son that clearly showed his ears and teeth. The photograph shows that the son not only had a larger cymba than his cavum but also anodontia. The chance that this is a coincidence has been estimated as between 1 in 10,000,000 and 1 in 20,000,000.

The identity of the deceased man and even the cause of death remain unsolved to this day.

Results from our 'investigations':

My friend and I made some attempts at deciphering the code and came up with a few possibilities:

1. There are a few stand-out features that you notice immediately on seeing the code:

# The “AB” letter-pair appears four times in the message

# IA appears at least twice

#Several reversed letter-pairs (ST/TS, AI/IA, TM/MT) appear in the message.

2. The second line is crossed through. On closer observation, it seems that the fourth line [MLIABO...] is a corrected version of the deleted second line [MLIAOI], perhaps where the “B” was omitted.

3. The note hidden in the pocket = TAMAM SHUD

The first line of the Cipher = WRGOABABD.

When we put the code line back wards and match it with the ‘Key’ phrase, we get:


The ” BABA ” sequence seems to be lining up with the ” AMAM ” which might help us to decipher the rest of the code..

4. Turning possibility no. 3 on its head; the message might not actually be a cipher; rather it might be a half-successful attempt to decode a message that was written in German. People who have knowledge of German might agree with my hypothesis which is based on the following observations:

-->The sequence “SAMSTGA” in line 4 is very similar to the German word “Samstag” (Saturday).

-->In line 1, the sequence MRGO is similar to the German word “Morgen” (which can mean either “tomorrow” or “morning”), and the sequence ABD is similar to “Abend” (evening). There’s also the sequence “AB” between those two elements, which is also a German word (“from”, in the sense of marking the beginning of a timespan). So, the sequence “MRGOABABD” looks quite similar to “Morgen ab abend” (tomorrow, from evening on).

--> I do agree that it might be a complete coincidence but the hypothesis holds some water for the following reasons:

i) All three words specify a time.
ii) Specifying times or meeting points is a very common usage of coded messages.
iii) The missing characters in the two words in line 1 are identical for both words (MRGO -> MORGen, ABD -> ABenD, missing characters in lower-case)
iv) The two mispositioned characters are both vowels, and appear both at the end of their respective word (O in MRGO, A in SAMSTGA).
v) All this takes place in a message of 44 characters. The chance of finding this by coincidence in a message so short seems rather small.
vi) The letter x above the O in line 3 can be seen as an alternate decoding considered by the decoder. (“I think that’s an O, but it also might be an X”.)
vii.) There is insecurity among researchers whether the first written character in lines 1 and 2 is a W or an M. The letter’s ambiguity can be seen as an insecurity on part of the writer about whether he had decoded the character correctly. There’s also the possibility that he wrote one of the letters first and then corrected that into the other letter.

One must admit though that considering the mystery surrounding this case; one can come up with infinite number of possibilities and none will ever have any substantial proof for us to satisfactorily conclude that the case has been solved. Damn! If we could only put ACP Pradyuman on the case :(

Abhijeet: Mmmmy Gawwwd...
ACP: Yahan pe toh laash hai!
Daya:Sir yeh toh marr gaya
ACP: O_o

Have a good day! :D

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Foot Full of Splinters

Another one of those random, impromptu scribbles. Not expecting too comments for this one.

I see a strip of sand,
Pebbled at the point where land meets the sea.
And a sea contoured in shingle.
Umpteen quartz dune on the shore,
Crest and troughs,
And an hour glass in the horizon
Running out on time.
A time of purple clouds,
Suspended hopes,
and a fading rainbow.
With a quiet adieu
The sun goes down
My thoughts saunter back
With a foot full of splinters.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A lost life..

Its rightly said that you don’t know what you have until its gone. There's a quote by Chuck Palahniuk which seems extremely ironic, “If people thought you were dying, they would give you their full attention.”

I wish we would pay more attention to our near and dear ones while they're still around :)

This one is for a friend who had committed suicide a few years back. I still miss her terribly.

One day under the firmament fiery, she wove a coloured dream
A wish she blew, all pure and true, she wanted it to mean.
With every day that came and went, her undeterred patience grew
The sole dream her eyes had dreamt, would come to her, she knew.

When rain poured down in huge rounded drops, she wept not a tear
Her faith in her dream- unmoved and still fresh, was imporous to fear.
Autumn gave way to the iciest winter ever, amidst the chill a dream began to burn
A shivering day dawned on a last breath, a loved one taken to a place of no return.

Summer marched in with its external glory replete, happily oblivious to the cruel cold
She was content wearing the envelope of silence, deaf to the proclaimed truths told.
Within her she witnessed her dream collapse, it fell down a precipice steep
She withdrew from hope with a resignation fatal, the hurt had been far too deep.

At the very edge of the cliff she stood, the salty coastal air she smelt.
The tumultuous blue sea raged down below, echoing the upheavals she felt.
She thought back to the day she dreamt, when hopes she would knit.
She thought of too, the resounding collapse and the agony that had hit.

She cared no more for her sole comrade, the solitude that had always been hers
Ended had she her store of endurance, her pains she longed to immerse.
A frenzy guided each step she took, led her to where she wanted to be
With a last sigh of relief and withdrawal, she jumped into the sea...

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Unsung Song..

I don't expect too many likes or comments for this poem. It is one of my unconventional poems which is playing around with words and the theme.

A song stays undone,
With no tune, it stood unsung.
A forgotten echo, reverberates from afar,
But nay shall I tune it, let it stay unsung.

The tune did hum; a memory quivered on my lips,
A distant tinnitus; sung with your voice afresh,
Our heads then moved in a sprightly trance,
We crooned a duet of our ballad undone.

Under the gulmohar tree, saffron clothed in spring,
Lying on your lap, writing our lines; nay not prim,
Tuned I the last line, in moods that ebbed from your heart,
Of this undone poem, ever after unsung song.

Sung with voices, in dissonance it came,
Tears frosted; a hazy mist on glass.
Discord creeping, rusted the wet violins strings,
Made the song unsung, and all undone.

In solitude, as I sung those lines in brooding pain,
I found the lines to our poem undone.
But I just left it, fading written with an inkless pen,
Etched; painful acrid vinegar’s sting, for we now not one,
And it froze as a poem undone, with a tune unsung.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The little star..

Lately, I've been receiving mails from readers saying that I'm only focusing on social issues or experimental poetry and I've completely stopped writing and posting simple, rhyming poems. Well; this poem is an attempt to assuage those reservations :)

Over the hills in the sky so blue,
Gleams a star so pure and true.
In royal company of the majestic moon,
She waits for night all through noon.

In days glorious, she fails to gleam
A mere speck, in the sunny beam.
She envies the sun, his might vast
Reign supreme, forever to last.

When night falls and the owl screams,
The world sleeps, with velvet dreams
Croons the star, in a sparkling lilt
With rainbow jewels, a blushing tilt.

All night through, she smiles and sings
Jumps about in her dazzling wings.
Her friends then dance, fingers entwine,
A constellation they make, a sight divine.

When the sun comes up, they flee for life
For the furious being, teems with strife.
Assures the star, "There's none to fear,
Again we'll shine, when the night is here...”

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lust- A Haiku necklace

I was going through my old posts and I realised that the last time I posted a haiku was almost 18 months back!!! So I thought I'll post a haiku necklace(Haikus stringed like pearls to form a poem) to make up for all the haikus I should have posted in the last year and a half.

For those who are new to the land of Haikus - Haiku is a Japanese lyric form that has seventeen syllables, arranged in 3 lines of 5/7/5 syllables each; usually invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons.
It consists of two sentences, separated by a puntuation mark, and usually, the last line holds a sort of key to the verse, a point to drive home so to speak.It is usually build around the beauty and feelings depicted by nature.

Ivy creeps and twines,
Your body is close to mine,
I'll not let thee go!

Grapes sweeten thy lips,
Succulent,smooth,temptous red,
O what thirst I feel.

Bosoms heave in heat,
Mangoes ripened calls me near,
On them soon I feast.

Twilight plays on skin,
Your navel licked; then I kissed.
Clenched your toes in haste.

Blissful moans I hear,
As I merge,blend into ye,
Drenched in passions rain.

Cool mist gentle touched,
Our bodies on green moss laid,
Thus this Haiku ends.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Our Symphony

Beating of your heart,
Rhythm of my pulse.

Flutter of your eyelashes,
Melody of my breathing.

Tingle in your spine,
Quiver on my lips.

Whisper of your eyes,
Murmur of my soul.

Your pleasurable sigh,
My passionate moan.

Our world.
Our symphony.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

An incomplete rendezvous

I saw a painting hung on the wall,
A girl and a boy.
Coloured with black and white
Grey leaves and a grass portrait.
Nimble toes and taut shin.
Doe-eyed girl, her flowing tresses,
The boy entangled in the tumbling twirls.
Both draped in muslin with fragile love.
Black bamboos lurking with fear,
Ominous milieu and a smile rinsed with tear.
Elusive feelings with silence so near
Stenciled silhouette wafted into the night.
With spirit and sinew, he gave it his all,
Holding her close, bare arms and a naked fall
His moonlit face and her timid lips,
Beaded dewdrops could steal a kiss.
But the breeze played truant, and the curtains drew
On an incomplete rendezvous.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I will never bid you goodbye...

I had written this poem a few years back but somehow everytime I read this poem, it just seems to hit me even harder and as even more friends seem to drift away from my life, this poem seemed extremely relevant at present.

Sometimes I don’t know why,
I feel I have lost
A bit too much in my way of life.
Like scattered pebbles,
Moments passed haunt back,
Memories never die.
And when I reminisce a beloved’s journey
Away from my life,
I wish I could speak better than just that goodbye…

It’s not easy to bond…
It’s harder to untie,
Those chords sweetly wound over
Abysses of time.
Which might be just a season as per the sand clocks time
But in life it’s a reason enough to
Recall and try.
To live in the old glory of bygone ties,
Away as they drift- my pals,
I wish I could say better than just goodbyes…

To live and see others go,
It’s a common sight,
But to live without the hope
That they might retrace their paths back,
Is what makes you cry …
And still as the loves of my life drift away,
I can't but silently watch all the way.
And wait for a miracle to defy the order of time;
And wish I met them all once again, at least before I die…
And yet I fall short of words,
I wish I could have the strength to undo the ‘goodbyes’.

Every time you see a friend move away,
Hold her hand and ask her to stay…
Strike when the time is ripe;
So that you needn’t sit and reminisce
And ponder over what she would have told-
Could she have gone away?
Had you not said the ‘goodbye’?
I wish I could be braver
To hold back people in my life,
I wish I had the guts to say-
“ I will never bid you goodbye."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

When you bury me..

Lay me not; in coffins of mahogany red, or golden brown,
Nor in caskets of ebony; shiny, and chocolate dark,
Cover me nay in shrouds; intricate with designs, embroidered in silver threads,
But in a coffin of cheap old wood, covered in a white spun cloth let me sleep.

Take me not; as ashes in pots painted with fabric golden paints,
Or cremate me in fires burning yellow, with fragrance rich of sandalwoods,
Flow nay thee; my remains in currents and waters of holy Ganges’ charm,
Burn me with dry rubber wood, and flow me in a nameless, sweet gurgling stream so small.

Make not please; an ivory tomb flawless in thy love for me,
Or a garden laden with flowers, and lush green grass smiling at the place where I lay,
Nay come ye; with colorful bouquets, or garlands to adorn, on the day or time I died,
Let me sleep now, with neither threads nor strings attached,
Interred with my bones, in an unmarked place.

Bury me not; underneath cold polished granite tombs,
Neither beside smooth white marble engraved headstones,
Nor in my family grave, with epitaphs inscribed in praise of me.
Let me lie; beneath an unmarked grave,
In the bright shining sun, and nights chilling starry skies,
Unkempt green grass, and touch me not weeds growing wildly over me,
Six feet deep, sleeping, dreaming and lying still,
Till my soul flies off, and my body putrid goes.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Time Flies...

I've made an effort to capture a father-daughter relationship in this poem. :) Not sure as to how far I've succeeded though. Do read the poem and let me know what you think.

She raised her fist
up to him;
with a tender plea
in her eyes.

Too scared to open
her palm;
lest it escapes and flies

She looks up to him
and says,
I have put all my wishes in here
and they're only for you.

I don’t know how a wish
so I blew a kiss in my

And am holding it tight
in there...
will you always keep it
with you?

And he picks her up in his
and hugs her close and

Kisses the top of her
and says to her, yes,
my princess...

Gently takes her kiss out
of her palm;
and puts it on his beating

She beams in joy and hugs
him back;
you have made my day,
dear dad...

He is jolted out of his
standing, holding her hand
at the aisle.

And a lone tear escapes his
how fleeting is the time,
how time flies...

Just before he gives her away
to her man;
he blows a kiss, a teary kiss,
in her hand.

And before he could say anything
to her,
she understands and holds his hand

I will always keep this kiss in my heart,
she whispers in his ears...
I will always remain your child and princess,
daddy dear...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Marital Rape

I had written this poem some years back to highlight an issue, which however much denied and suppressed, sadly exists in our society. The style I've used for the poem is slightly crude and raw; but that has been intentionally done to bring home the bitter truth in a more hard-hitting manner.

Like a caged animal,
she crouches in the nook;
trembling with fear,
to see that lust filled look.

No strength to fight,
no power to protect;
life’s become a nightmare,
filled with misery and abject.

He comes close and
touches her skin;
and the frightening episode
again begins.

She cringes and cowers,
she begs and pleads;
but to her cry he doesn’t
give a heed.

I married you, and I can do with you
as and when I please;
my wishes you will fulfil
and my whims you shall appease.

And another educated woman gives in
for she is too scared to escape;
and another educated man,
continues the marital rape.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Psalm of Peace-Cascade Poetry

Another experiment with poetry and this time it is Cascade poetry, a form created by Udit Bhatia, which is all about receptiveness, but in a smooth cascading way like a waterfall. The poem does not have any rhyme scheme; therefore, the layout is simple.
Say the first verse has three lines. Line one of verse one becomes the last line of verse two. To follow in suit, the second line of verse one becomes the last line of verse three. The third line of verse one now becomes the last line of verse four, the last stanza of the poem. See the structure example below:

a/b/c, d/e/A, f/g/B, h/i/C

To make the Cascade an even longer poem, use more lines in verse one. For example, if verse one has 6 lines, the poem must have seven stanzas so that each line of verse one is reused as a refrain in each following stanza (a cascading effect).

Ruthless mayhem if cast away,
Swords and guns; inhumed in lost graves,
Hands binding; sing the psalm of peace,
‘Shalom’ – greet each other with ease.

Children playful in unity,
Saplings nourished in fruitful harmony,
Zion heavenly; planet Earth shall be,
Ruthless mayhem if cast away.

Nations ushered; beneath one banner,
Tongues and races dissolved with peace,
Prosperity reigning then naturally,
Swords and guns; inhumed in lost graves.

Religions dwelling in mutual bliss,
Respecting each other and God faithfully,
‘Praises Adonai’, rising in one voice,
Hands binding; sing the psalm of peace.

Greed and hateful spite redeemed,
Tolerant humans, cleansed by torrent rain,
Anew, hopeful tranquil life in peace,
‘Shalom’- greet each other with ease.

P.S.: I've used two jewish words in this poem; the meanings of which are mentioned below:

Shalom: Peace
Adonai: God

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Another Day...

To sit.
And talk.
And share our day.

To see.
To gaze.
And discern what our eyes say.

To hear.
To listen.
And understand what is not said.

To dream.
To aspire.
And on that path, hand in hand, to tread.

To hold.
To touch.
And share the desire.

To kiss.
To caress.
And burn in the fire.

To embrace.
To be held.
And feeling content.

To love.
To live with you.
And share another day perfectly spent…

Friday, February 26, 2010

The fallen pride

Amidst the branches of a sycamore tree,
Sprouted a new leaf, a very fine leaf.
Covered in shades of lustrous green,
She swayed in pride, with her sheen pristine.

Across a loose twig on the very same tree,
Aged an old leaf, lone in her tremulous trill.
Cloaked in a russet, she too sang her song,
Rustling amongst others in the springtime breeze.

One bright morning as the great sun shined,
Smirked the new leaf, at the aging one.
Mockingly, she giggled at the lonely leaf,
As she rubbed her coat, and shined in the rising sun.

Nay! Laugh ye, O my lovely little one,
For I was once a leaf, more charmed than ye.
Time and autumn but soon shall hail,
Erode us both, and be shed by our mother tree.

Soon a lumberjack’s axe did fall,
Out on a branch of the very same tree,
Fell our new leaf, bleeding to the ground,
Bruised, trodden- her pride had proven costly.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Soldier's Funeral-Nonnet

A nonnet has nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second line eight syllables, the third line
seven syllables, etc... until line nine that finishes with one syllable. It goes like this:
line 1 - 9 syllables
line 2 - 8 syllables
line 3 - 7 syllables
line 4 - 6 syllables
line 5 - 5 syllables
line 6 - 4 syllables
line 7 - 3 syllables
line 8 - 2 syllables
line 9 - 1 syllable

Oh how good was he that lies in shrouds,
A friend in need, good friend indeed.
Slain brave in war’s rage forefront,
Soldier firm; corpse in flag.
Widow, then two kids,
Unconsoled weeps.
Gun salute,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ti amo tesoro mio...

I somehow didn't want to write a typical 'I can't live without you', 'You mean the world' kind of stuff 'cos you already know very well what the two of us share and I didn't want to trivialise our bond by stating the obvious and acting mushy about it in a letter. This is just a thank-you note on this Valentine's from my side. Thanks for putting that smile on my face by cracking a joke just when I would be tensed and worried about something. Thanks for laughing at all those silly jokes of mine. Thanks for patiently listening to me when I would just go on blabbering about my own little problems. Thanks for calling me up again the next day even after I would go off to sleep over the phone while you tried sharing your little problems with me. Thank you for always taking the initiative to set things straight between us after a fight, knowing very well that I'm too stubborn and stuck-up to take the first step. Thanks for somehow not letting the physical distance between us affect what we share. Thanks for making me feel important and loved. Thanks for just making me feel complete. Thanks for being so understanding and caring. In short, thanks for just being there. :) You might think that I do not notice and appreciate these small things because I never mention it but these things do mean a lot to me and you're indeed special and I do love you a lot. Just remain the way you are :)

I've written a poem for you as well. Somehow the poem doesn't do justice to what I feel for you but this is the best I could come up with right now....

At times like these…

When I am feeling
down and out.
When my dreams have gone dumb,
but my nightmares shout.

At times like these…

When my picture perfect
life seems shattered.
When I don’t have the strength
to pick the pieces that lay scattered.

At times like these…

When my ship is caught
in a sea that’s unruly.
When my shore looms afar
and my guiding star I can’t see.

At times like these…

When there is no sinew left
to take one more step.
When my spirit is bereaved of
all the verve and pep.

At times like these…

When this world is mocking me
and I feel withered.
When my today is insipid
and my tomorrow is blurred.

At times like these…

I close my eyes
and picture thee.
I am rekindled and enflamed
by the warmth surrounding me.

At times like very these…

I search my soul
and feel your presence.
I submit to you.
I surrender to your essence.

Ti amo tesoro mio :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Freedom was never free...

I had actually written this poem a few years back. I was going through my old diary entries today and came across it which was quite a sweet coincidence considering that tomorrow is Republic Day. So I thought I'll post it :) Btw Happy Republic Day to all fellow Indians :)

A broken heart
Devoid of hope.

Crying eyes,
With no will to cope.

A battered spirit
Forced to move on.

A worn out soul
Shorn of a chimera of a peaceful dawn.

A hand robbed of pen
And given a gun instead.

An artist stripped of colour
And made to play with blood.

A poet deprived of his thoughts
And forced to say what men in power want.

A composer deprived of peaceful melody
And coerced to compose a song of war that haunts.

A child wizened before his time
To fend for his family when his father is at the front.

A wife living a hell everyday
Hiding from the truth that she cannot confront.

Will they ever come back?
Will we see them again?

Will their sacrifice be justified?
Will it help the peace to reign?

As you and I sleep on our beds
Blissfully ignorant of the price someone paid.

For letting us have the freedom,
In the murky waters of politics, to wade.

When will we wake up from this slumber?
When will we realise and when will we see?

That the fabricated liberty that we enjoy
Is a sham, that our freedom was never free…

Friday, January 15, 2010

We were told we were fighting terrorists.. the real terrorist was me, and the real terrorism was this occupation.

I just thought I should share this speech that a US soldier Mike Prysner gave which describes a mission he took part in; where his unit forced Iraqis out of half a dozen homes, with no compassion or compensation, so the US military could use them. I won't add anything else to this speech. The speech says it all :)

" I tried hard to be proud of my service, but all I could feel was shame. Racism could no longer mask the reality of the occupation. These were people, these were human beings. I've since been plagued by guilt, any time I see an elderly man, like the one who couldn't walk, who we rolled onto a stretcher, and told the Iraqi police to take him away. I feel guilt any time I see a mother with her childen, like the one who cried hysterically, and screamed that we're worse than Saddam, as we forced her from her home. I feel guilt any time I see a young girl, like the one I grabbed by the arm, and dragged into the street.

We were told we were fighting terrorists.. the real terrorist was me, and the real terrorism was this occupation. Racism within the military has long been an important tool to justify the destruction and occupation of another country, it has long been used to justify the killing, subjugation and torture of another people. Racism is a vital weapon employed by this government; it is a more important weapon than a rifle, a tank, a bomber, or a battleship; it is more destructive than an artillery shell, or a bunker buster, or tomahawk missile.

While all those weapons are created and owned by this government, they are harmless without people willing to use them. Those who send us to war, do not have to pull the trigger, or lob a mortar round; they do not have to fight the war, they merely have to sell the war. They need a public who's willing to send their soldiers into harm's way. They need soldiers who are willing to kill and be killed, without question.

They can spend millions on a single bomb, but that bomb only becomes a weapon, when the ranks of the military are willing to follow orders to use it. They can send every last soldier anywhere on Earth, but there will only be a war, if soldiers are willing to fight.. And the ruling class, the billionaires who profit from human suffering, care only about expanding their wealth, controlling the world economy.

Understand that their power lies only in their ability to convince us that war, oppression, and exploitation is in our interest. They understand that their wealth is dependent on their ability to convince the working class to die, to control the market of another country, and convincing us to kill and die, is based on their ability to make us think that we are somehow superior.

Soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, have nothing to gain from this occupation. The vast majority of people living in the U.S. have nothing to gain from this occupation. In fact, not only do we have nothing to gain, but we suffer more because of it. We lose limbs, endure trauma, and give our lives. Our families have to watch flag-draped coffins lowered into the earth.

Millions in this country without health care, jobs, or access to education, have watched this government squander over FOUR-HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS A DAY ON THIS OCCUPATION. [IRAQ]

Poor and working people in this country, are send to kill poor and working people in another country, to make the rich richer; and without racism, soldiers would realize that they have more in common with the Iraqi people, than they do with the billionaires who send us to war.

I threw families onto the street in Iraq, only to come home and find families thrown onto the street in this country, and it's a tragic, and unnecessary foreclosure crisis.

We need to wake up and realize that our real enemies are not in some distant land, they're not people whose names we don't know, and cultures we don't understand. The enemy is people we know very well, and people we can identify. The enemy is a system that wages war when it's profitable. The enemy is the CEO's who lay us off from our jobs when it's profitable; it's the insurance companies who deny us health care when it's profitable; it's the banks who take away our homes when it's profitable.

Our enemy is not five thousand miles away, they are right here at home. When we organize, and fight with our sisters and brothers, we can stop this war, we can stop this government, and we can create a better world."

~Mike Prysner
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Poetry by Wandering Gypsy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.