Who would she be?

Someone would always tell her to be

This or that, give advice contradictory

Advice based on their own lens

Was for her freely dispensed

One thread was common in all that advice

She was expected to be submissive and nice

All advice expected her to conform

To society’s narrow social norms


She did not know what she could be

So she took all advice seriously

And actually did remarkably well

As far as anyone from a distance could tell

She became who others expected her to be

Not stopping to consider any other possibility


With greying hair, and the ability to ignore

The expectations of others, she wants more

For herself than she did all these years

Finally she has let go of her fears

Regarding what other people would say

She wants to turn over a new leaf in a way

She searches her soul to really find

Who she wants to be, what appeals to her mind

The answer takes her conscious self by surprise

It was buried under everything she had internalized

About who she was, it was all a lie

Now she shall claim her place under the sky

My vulnerable side

I kept pretending to be strong

I had imbibed that it was wrong

To display to the world your vulnerability

So I carefully cultivated the inability

To talk about how vulnerable I felt inside

It became such an ingrained habit to hide

My sensitivity, my weakness that I would not

Acknowledge it even in my private thoughts..


In the pragmatic world this worked well for me

But when I tried to rekindle my dormant creativity

I found that I could not keep up the charade

Of invulnerability around me, I had to go behind the facade

Of indomitability that I had constructed with care

To create something meaningful, I had to dare

To feel my vulnerability, that would find expression

In my amateur attempts at artistic creation


If I operate from a place of feigned strength, I know

The creative juices are unlikely to flow

My writing would be flat, my words lifeless Being vulnerable and honest, I confess

Was hard at the beginning but now I see

How, in writing better, it has helped me

Being open and vulnerable has bolstered my creativity

And that in turn, has made a better person out of me

When we ache for home..

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” Maya Angelou

When I am full of energy I want to explore

New cultures, new places, new cuisines, I want more

When things are going well I want to expand

My horizons, I have a hunger to understand

More of the world, I have the desire to be

Well-rounded, a global citizen definitely

When I feel secure in my place and my identity

I am more willing to embrace diversity..


When I feel insecure, hopeless, downcast

The lure of novel experiences diminishes fast

During such moments I crave the comfort of familiarity

Food, music, dance from my roots bring solace to me


When we are insecure, protection we need

Going back to our roots is like going home indeed

When you apply it to different societies you see

Why they embrace or reject diversity

Hidden ambition

If my ambitions I voiced out loud

I would be subject to ridicule, no doubt

For some sarcasm, myself I would brace

Snide remarks I would have to face

This is what would happen, I am afraid

If my ambitious plans before people I laid

People would misconstrue my dreams to be

Too audacious, too removed from reality


So I keep my outrageous dreams bottled inside

Waiting for the day I don’t have to hide

What I really want, for fear of causing discomfort

To others, while I silently continue my efforts

Towards realizing my dreams one day

The fire burns bright within me to show me the way..


For some folks the sky is just not enough

I may be one of those-life seems rough

Because my goals are too lofty indeed

But I am propelled by ambition, not greed

Telling a Lie?

My moral compass wakes up pretty quickly

Whenever I tell a lie, to remind me

That lying for any reason is wrong

And while I may have an aversion strong

To outright lies, in a different light I see

A half-truth, a stretched truth, hyperbole

Sometimes the truth unvarnished and plain

Is boring, difficult, or causes pain

Sometimes people pester me for a reply

And with a truthful answer I cannot satisfy

Their curiosity, or make them leave me alone

In such case an innocuous lie my conscience would condone

I try to lie only about things that pertain to me

Without causing anyone else harm hopefully


The trouble with all kinds of lying is but one

To remember your lie is easier said than done

So once you have embellished the truth or lied

You need more lies and exaggerations to hide

Your original untruth, or you could lose permanently

What is really important for you- your credibility


I am a human being as flawed as they come

Here’s what I’ve realized after making blunders some

Silence is golden is the mantra to go by

When the truth is difficult, but so is a lie

If you must say something, try to tell

A lie that is close to the truth as well

Thus you avoid the chain reaction

That starts with a lie in an interaction


On lies and lying here’s my parting thought

Just don’t lie to yourself, no matter what

That predictable life..

Ah the oppressiveness of a predictable life

Monday through Friday work, nine to five

Socializing on weekends, trips twice a year

Goals in life inflexible, unflinching and clear..

To own a house, save for college and retirement

To live life ensconced in stability being the intent

Finding fulfillment in family, work and community

Never exploring outside those confines for an opportunity..


If such a life you lead, you are thought to be fortunate

You have everything to aspire for on your plate

But something is missing in the unwavering cadence

Of your life, you often have a longing intense

To take a risk, start something new, follow a hunch

You might succeed wildly, or get a gut punch

Either way, the monotony of your life would break

And valuable lessons from your experiment you would take..


You are finally making up your mind

To go down a precarious path when you find

Life has thrown a curveball at you indeed

And to solve this problem you need

Your resources carefully collected for a rainy day

Your boring life has helped you pay

The bills during an unexpected event

And that puts a rest to your simmering discontent

When the sky falls…

When catastrophic thinking gets in the way

Of your life, your functioning from day to day

When the worst possible outcomes come to your mind

With every piece of negative news you find

Your pulse quickening, your breath getting shallow

As you play in your head the most horrific scenario

How do you lower yourself from the stratosphere

Of irrational thinking, into a more rational atmosphere?


From the sinkhole of your thoughts, you have to ascend

And direct your unwavering, laser-sharp focus on the present

Because you need to react to circumstances as they are

Follow your line of sight, not delve into a tunnel far

Focus on the present, and try to take

The next best step, think of the move you need to make

To solve a problem in the moment before you

When you are present in the moment, it is easier to

Forget about hypothetical horrors that in the future lie

You cannot predict tomorrow, no matter how hard you try..


If this seems too preachy, let me clarify

This advice is for myself when I

Get carried away in catastrophic thinking

To pull myself up from the hole in which I’m sinking

Can’t rise and shine

“Winners wake up early”- when such headlines I read

I have a sinking feeling- there’s no way I can succeed

If that is indeed true, because the thought

Of waking up early makes me distraught

If I woke up early, I would wither away

I am certain, before I hit mid-day

Spend my afternoon in a foggy state

And not be able to stay up late

Thus losing my most productive time of the day

When I can work in solitude, in my quirky


The hours between nine p.m. and midnight

Are when I get all my ideas bright

To wake up early I would have to sleep earlier too

And that is something I am just not willing to do..


If I am forced out of my bed early

I try to charge myself on strong coffee

That gives me a boost of nervous energy

But affects my concentration negatively

Thus I doubt my performance would be up to the mark

If I (reluctantly) woke up with the lark..


I don’t wake up early and a winner I may not be

But I’m convinced I wouldn’t win by waking up early

So let me clock in enough hours of sleep

And my schedule of late nights and late mornings keep

My silver lining

I am searching desperately

All I want is to see

A silver lining to the cloud grey

That has hovered over me all day

I want a little something to redeem

This day which particularly trying does seem

I simply need one positive sign

To bring some peace to my overcharged mind


I am home after a grueling work day

My young child has already been swept away

To the land of dreams, he is fast asleep

He waited, but his eyes open he could not keep

I tiptoe near his bed, and in the night-light I see

His peaceful countenance, then he smiles dreamily..


I smile too, my heart fills with love

I have received a sign from above

He is my silver lining to every cloud grey

He brings succor to my soul every day..

When opportunity knocks..

What I did accomplish versus what I could have done

Keeps raising its unpleasant head, this question

If only I could have in my abilities believed

I could have taken more risks, much more achieved

Or even if I did not end up achieving much at all

I would have had a more storied life, more experiences to recall

But each step I took was measured and cautious

It became a habit permanent, and thus

I never ventured outside my zone of comfort

I did not want to fail, did not want to get hurt..


As I grow older, I wistfully contemplate

How I missed out in my over-cautious state

All the opportunities that I should have seized

Oh, my current self is so displeased….

I cannot go back in time, but I can try

To grab opportunities, though they are harder to come by

Given my “play it safe” reputation

But I am determined to make the best of my situation


I see myself regretting my past years

That I would carry regrets to my grave, I fear

So let me open my wings and embrace

Life as it comes, difficult situations let me face

A dose of inspiration

I look for inspiration everywhere around me

I thrive on short bursts of creativity

That intercept the mundane work that I do

Things of beauty let me get through

Dull days, with unwavering routines

The mere sight of a sunset pristine

On my drive back home is often enough

To offset the rigors of a work-day tough

And inspire the aspiring poet in me

To arrange words in the form of poetry

Sometimes bright wildflowers bring a splash

Of color to my grey day, and I retrieve my stash

Of painting materials to create floral art

Which soothes my mind and warms my heart

If I hear foot-tapping music somewhere

I break into dance, without a care

I dance to the beats in my memory

Until reality breaks my reverie..


This in small aliquots I find

Inspiration for creativity to flourish in my mind

Order is not my cup of tea..

I seem to run, sprint or roll down hills

In frenzied attempts to fulfill

All the responsibilities that are mine

I make half-hearted attempts to streamline

All the tasks that I have to complete

I try to be organized, but cannot defeat

My inherent proclivity to be disorganized

After many years, I’ve finally realized

That through chaos I can find my way

While perfect organization, to my dismay

Makes me stumble, blunder, and fall

Leaves me incapable of doing much at all

When things are in order, I get stressed

That I would disrupt that order, I obsess

Over every step I take, unreasonably so

But when things are disorderly I go with the flow..


I like to explain things scientifically

According to the second law of thermodynamics, you see

The entropy of a system increases as time goes by

I shouldn’t question a law of nature, should I?

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