I was in the darkest of my days
lost and lonely
adrift within my bed.
Full was the moon.
This was another Kabul night.
The gas heater hardly kept me warm as I slept
Shivering as I was in the merciless winter cold
I was in a deep dreamless sleep
when death knocked upon my door.
Poison began to fill my lungs.
I was breathing heavy and sinking deep
drugged and dragged by death’s steely touch.
It could have been a painless end
but something happened that very instant
Was it a voice that called my name?
Was it a hand that shook me up?
My head was numb as I opened my eyes
The walls spun in the moon light
My throat was dry
I choked and coughed
I could not shout for help.
I felt like sliding into an abysmal hole
Did I wake up only to see it end?
My thoughts failed as I raised my face
to receive the final fateful punch
when suddenly a voice screamed inside my head
“run, Run, Run”….
And I ran.
I opened my door
dashed down the stairs
and all I remember was knocking on a door.
A day later
when I came around
I was pale and alive in a hospital bed.
Whenever I think of that fateful night
I remember the hand
I remember the voice
I thank the One who watched over me
Even in the darkest of my days.
Brainwaves: digital art by ashok
[This was a real life – near death experience I had in December 2004. I was stationed in Kabul , Afghanistan after the war . Those were dark days without electricity and we had to depend on Propane Gas heaters as temperatures dropped below zero. One fateful night, my heater leaked and the poisonous gas filled the room. Usually, it’s a slow death for a sleeping person. But miraculously I managed to wake up and run out before I collapsed in front of another inmates door. I was rushed to the army hospital and rescued.]
The lonely tree stands proud
above a carpet of flowers on fire
The leaves shiver as the noisy breeze
filters through them in a gusto waft
The gathering clouds on the grey sky
signal the impending monsoon rain
The birds struggle against the wind
to scamper back to their tree and nest
I stand and stare at this picture frame
as Natures’ everyday story unfolds
A dark heaviness descends within
at the thought of the imminent times
Concrete and steel will devour the green
smoke and stink will steal the scene
A paradise that soon will be
prey to man’s hunger and greed
I stand in shame before the tree
a helpless pawn in this heartless game
I feel a rain drop on my face
I feel a tear drop in my mind
Am I sleeping?
Or still awake?
What time of night is this?
A heavy load
Is on my chest
I gasp, I breathe heavy
and the distant light
Is this but a dream?
The silence outside
Should I sprint or scream?
My legs are firmly
On the ground
Yet the floor I do not feel
I am scared to turn around
I want to reach
The light In front
I can barely move my feet
Cold and numb
In quandary now
Should I wake or go to sleep?
Along the Temple wall
A farmer sits all day
With Sugarcane so sweet
Yet, none to buy at all
With sadness in his eye
He looks at every passerby
As If to ponder why-
Why none stop to buy?
The festival that he knew
The overflowing pot
The overflowing joy
And a beginning new
are just delusions now
A hopeless holy cow
A future bleak, unsure
With a pointless plough
Times are changing fast
Fresh shoots forget the roots
The meanings that he knew
are figments of the past
The generation of today
Behind burgers, buns & fries
Realize not the bliss
Of Nature’s simple way
Pongal will remain
Another holiday forever
In memories so sweet
Like his unsold sugarcane
Next year he might have
To a builder sold his land
Then sit by the Temple and laugh
At what we’ll never have…
I love the break of dawn
The golden morning ray
To purge the past- be reborn
A new day, a new way
I love the noise of birds
Closed eyes a tired mind
The Simple songs with meaningless words
All cluttered thoughts refined
I love the ocean waves
To and fro, tireless dance
Heartaches like footprints they erase
Drenched in a dreamy trance
I love the cooling breeze
A waft of scented air
With open arms- a moment of peace
Silent, exposed and bare
I love the flowered pathway
Meandering thro’ the landscape
Alone in silence, walk away
From burdens an escape
I love the showers of rain
Thunderbolts, a steady spell
To cleanse away my earthly pain
The inner blots dispel
I love the starry night
Infinite mystic sky
Lost in thoughts when all is quiet
Dried teardrop in my eye
In bottled colors my brush I dip
My thoughts infinite and vast
Into my framed canvas a trip
to a land sans a future or past.
With soft strokes and dabs so deft
I am lost in this Utopian land
Emotions! Joy, sorrow bereft
Flow from my meandering hand.
Abstract lines and surreal themes,
Unlock my mind and heart
Stirred by Nature, Life and dreams
Evolves a vision– an art!