I remember sitting in the backseat

of the old Honda as it made its

way to the hill station where I

vacationed to escape the rush

of everyday life, I looked outside

at the paddy fields –

wheatish patches interspersed by

shallow green pools, glimmering

in the half-light, and euphoria flooded

me, a peace that rejoices in creation,

shame it didn’t last, but even if it did,

what would I do riding a wave of serenity

when the cares of the world hem me in?

Confine me to dark, sooty places where

you don’t hear the euphonious whistle

of the wood thrush?

I’d rather live and love and learn

even if it means forsaking peak experiences

and saying goodbye to Eureka moments,

before long, time reduces the greatest

of us to crude-caricatures,

one-dimensional laughing stocks,

it shrinks intellects to nothing

and purges emotion that once made

muses garland us with inspiration,

in the end, there is the nothingness of dust

and the dreams of rocks,

oblivion that rivals the bleak, wintry

landscape of the coldest tundra,

whatever you hold dear, you will lose,

and whoever holds you dear will

melt into thin air,

from atoms to atoms,

from death to life to death,

so why search for something

that ravishes your soul

and begets ecstasy when

decay and entropy are Nature’s

diktats, its apoplectic prophecies

uttered with the grating voice of fall,

augmented by the brownish-grey leaves

drifting from everywhere to nowhere?

Find lyricism in the mundane,

find whatever truth you can cling on to

in the unremarkable,

if the book of your life along

with every other

book written is eventually bitten

by the gaping mouth of red flames,

why go beyond its pages,

seeking something that only gives you

an illusion of enlightenment?

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