Let My Country Awake, May Be

Where thoughts are censored and rumors roar loud;
Where the facts are manufactured;
Where the world has been broken up into communities by caste and creed;
Where every dissent is seen as contempt;
Where we elect those who have the least respect for the law;
Where selfish interests fuel the fire to burn all sense and reason;
Where one needs to prove their patriotism by pleasing those in power –
Into that swamp, my Gurudev, our country lays in slumber.

Inspired by “Let My Country Awake” by Rabindranath Tagore

In the Dead of the Night

In the dead of the night
I burn yet again

Trampled by the terror
I take to the pyre
To put it to rest
Your deafening silence

So no more like me
Suffer the fate and agony
Lest not my hope
Disappear in this smoke

In the dead of the night
I wish you be human again

On 14 September 2020, a 19-year-old Dalit woman was gang-raped in Hathras district, Uttar Pradesh, India, by four upper caste men. She died two weeks later in a Delhi hospital. After her death, the victim was forcibly cremated by the police without the consent of her family, a claim denied by the police.

One With the Divine

Can an eye ever see itself? Can a leg ever kick itself? Ever seen a hand that grabs itself, or perhaps, a tooth that takes a bite at itself? If you are “it” then you cannot exist out of what you are.

So tell me how can you be defined…by the thoughts alone that ring in your mind? For surely you have at least once or more…heard a voice within that observed your own.

When in fits of anger, it appealed to you for calm. When driven by hate, it spoke to you of charm. When in depths of jealousy, it reminded you to be grateful. When embroiled in revenge, it rid you from being spiteful.

On days mundane, we let our senses observe the drama around. On better days, we observe the senses for every sound. But what happens when the observer and the observed are sitting on the same mound?*

In that moment when we watch our own self, we see choices beyond the daily grind. In that moment of being present, we are a bit more than our mind. In that moment of self-awareness, we are one with the divine.**


* दृग दृश्य विवेक (Drig Drishya Vivek): Advaita Vedanta text on inquiry into the distinction (vivek) between the “seer” (drig) and the “seen” (drishya), making a case for divinity in all of us by establishing our ability to observe our mind as if watching a third person.

** तत्त्वमसि (Thou art that): One of the four Mahavakyas or great sayings of the Upanishads, it express the insight that the individual self which appears as a separate existence, is in essence part and manifestation of the whole.

Don’t

Don’t believe every thought
Don’t act on every emotion

Don’t opine in every debate
Don’t react to every instigation

Don’t chase every desire
Don’t succumb to every fear

Don’t rave every win
Don’t agonize every loss

Don’t yearn for every memory
Don’t fantasize every dream

You may think you are
The doer in every act

You may sense the world
As another separate fact

Don’t.

Dear Yosemite

I left behind a little bit
of me with you

When my sight took a flight
from the crown of your peaks
When the time stood still
on misty meadows tranquil

I left behind a little bit
of me with you

When the many sunsets
sparkled across the valley
When the wild wind whirled
with it, every waterfall swirled

I left behind a little bit
of me with you

When I sat down beside
the river in awe of a dome
When the trail I embraced
refused to return home

And so when you I adore,
like the growing morning dew
I leave behind a little bit more
of me with you.