The last day

1

 

If today was the day the time ran out,

And the world this moment you had to leave,

Would you depart with your hearts full ?

Or a casket of glory would you weave ?

 

Did you laugh and dance in the rain and walk on the wet grass,

Or stroll on the beach with the sand slipping between your toes ?

Surrendered yourself in the lap of the mighty ocean,

Gazing skyward underneath a giant wave as the time froze ?

Did you soak your feet in a chilly stream,

The soles caressing the pebbles on the bed ?

Or sipped its sweet water on a parched summer afternoon,

As the sun and the earth, on a fiery June wed ?

 

If today was the day the time ran out,

And the world this moment you had to leave,

Would you depart with your hearts full ?

Or a casket of glory would you weave ?

 

Did you watch the sunlight flowing in the sky,

Running between the canopies and skirting the leaves ?

Or felt it draping you in warmth and happiness,

Flooding the joy and love up your sleeves ?

Did you listen to the air whispering in your ear,

Or to the wind singing a magical song ?

A longing tune tucked away in its wings,

From the lands far away, carried along.

 

If today was the day the time ran out,

And the world this moment you had to leave,

Would you depart with your hearts full ?

Or a casket of glory would you weave ?

 

Did you bend down to smell the flowers,

Felt their velvet against your skin ?

Glanced above at the clouds shifting spaces,

Wondering at their shapes turn and grin ?

Did you sit voiceless in a moonlit night,

And hear the stars giggle and spark ?

Sensed a cool breath rustling up your back,

The familiar touch of a departed soul in dark ?

 

If today was the day the time ran out,

And the world this moment you had to leave,

Would you depart with your hearts full ?

Or a casket of glory would you weave ?

 

Did you see the birds soaring in the evening,

And imagined how far they would fly ?

Held a butterfly or beheld a murmuration,

The entrancing dance of freedom in the sky.

Did you hold an animal in your hands,

Lay your face on theirs and realize ?

The boundless bliss and the innocent hope,

The wonderment in the world through their eyes.

 

If today was the day the time ran out,

And the world this moment you had to leave,

Would you depart with your hearts full ?

Or a casket of glory would you weave ?

If this was your last day living,

Would you leave the world with your name ?

Mounted on a plate and etched on a wall,

Remembered by all, a legacy to proclaim.

Or would you leave it living your life ?

Everyday a first and everyday the last,

And everything in it a wonder and a gift,

Each moment, the present of the future past.

Conversations with Kabu

Capture

Call me Kabu.

Kabu ?

Yeah, short for ‘Kabutar.’

Really ?

What, I can’t have a cool name ?

Uhh… sure you can.

So, how are you doing, human ?

I’m hallucinating.

You are ?

Hell, yeah. I can’t believe I’m talking to a bird.

Well, it’s your lucky day.

What ?

You heard me.

Yeah, that’s the scary bit.

Ahh… a smart mouth. And a sulker. I have been watching you for the past half hour brooding in that chair. I was really tempted to poop on your head but I let this one go by.

Bad idea. You shouldn’t hold up your poop. Makes you constipated. Gives you gas. You’ll be miserable all day.

Funny. But your face speaks melancholy.

I didn’t know that pigeons could read faces.

Better than you think.

Fine, I’m a little out of spirits.

And why is that, my dear chap?

I guess I’m just put off… by difficult people, difficult situations, you know… life in general.

Wow… heavy stuff, man.

Sure it is… for an avian brain.

Don’t bet on that. This bird could give you more gyaan than your books.

Its funny how you speak of us humans as mere trifles. We could cook you for dinner, you know.

How do I break this to you… you humans are not scary. Some of you may seem intimidating at first, but if one is patient, sticks around, flutters about and explores deeper…

Like you ?

Yeah like me, I ain’t afraid of no humans !

Breaking news.

Aren’t you dripping with sarcasm…

Always.

Anyways, where was I ?

Stalking humans ?

I’ll ignore that. Like I was saying, if you observe these ‘difficult’ people long enough, you’ll realize they are not as scary as they seem. They are like the rest of you … a tad different, but not difficult. Just like no two pigeons are the same.

You all look the same to me.

Really ? You humans look the same to us when we are flying in the sky. Its only when we get close and sneak into your homes that we see you all are different. Some of you would run scared, some would get a stick and try and shoo us away while some would be more accommodating and let us sit on their window ledge and look around.

I have a friend who would run after you and shoo you away.

Then I would make a grand exit and give him shit before I leave, pun intended.

Tell me, what exactly are you looking for in our houses? I wouldn’t let you perch on my balcony and be privy to your voyeuristic escapades.

Voyeuristic ? Heh heh … I prefer to call it birdy curiousity. Come to think of it, you can’t even imagine the stuff I’ve seen. But don’t be so presumptuous my dear… you don’t exactly tickle my fancy.

Glad to hear it.

Even so, if I was sitting on your balcony, would you try to hurt me ?

Hurt you ? No. Why would I do that ?

Exactly.  Just like those ‘difficult’ people – they may seem unfair, they may piss you off … but they wouldn’t hurt you. At least not deliberately. In fact , after a while, you may even warm up to them.

That seems unlikely.

You better believe it. Difficult people as you call them, may find us pigeons irritating but they also sprinkle grains for us, click snaps with us at Trafalgar Square… hell they’ve even starred us in movies. Remember that Hindi film with the song ‘Kabutar jaa jaa jaa?’… Had a nice beat to it, don’t you think ?

No… but I would personally like to congratulate the lyricist for penning such apt lyrics.

I should have pooped on your head when I had the chance. My bad. Which brings me to my next point. Don’t lose your chances. Even if a window is just barely open, I sneak in to the house, loiter and litter about and have a grand time. So, always be prepared. And whenever you get the opportunity, snatch it. You may not live to shit another day.

You make life sound so easy.

It is easy, my dear. And you humans make it sound like a calculus exam. Let your dreams fly towards the sky, look at the world beyond your work. Don’t pigeon hole yourself, no pun intended. Catch the sunrise at a beach, dance in the rain, sing your heart out even if you’re completely out of tune. Don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself. If people ignore you, make a racket, make some noise, be heard. Make your presence felt. Haven’t you seen us strutting outside your homes pouting our chests proud ?

But your presence torments us. With all the strutting and the fluttering and the gutter-goo near our windows.

Goo ? .. heh heh. Theory of relativity, my friend… some people may think of you as nuisance, some may be allergic to you while some would worship you.

That’s not what that theory is about. I get the point, though. But what if life swirls around and hits rough patches? It was never meant to be a bed of roses.

Have no fear, chappie. Some situations in your life may get shitty and scary but if you face them head on, look at them as mere stepping stones in your path, you can overcome anything. Think of them as the jackass drivers who scratched or bumped your car… you look straight at them, eyes blazing and move steadfastly to face them, don’t you ? You don’t avoid them or run away. Have you seen how we fly at the planes, not afraid of them or anything? For birds, these planes look like ginormous super aviators hunting for their prey. But man, your pilots are so scared of us… they know if we run into one of their propellers, you guys are screwed.

And you wonder when people call you guys a nuisance.

They don’t know us as well as you do now.

That’s true. You’ve given me some stuff to ponder about.

Whether you liked it or not.

Ha ha ha. You are very persistent. And a revelation. Thank you.

My pleasure. For ages, we have delivered love notes; in world wars we delivered secret codes. Now we deliver gyaan and happiness, for those down the spiritual roads.

And you rhyme too. A poet and a philosopher. In fact, if you were a human, you could be a big guru with a mass of followers.

No thank you, I prefer my superior incarnation.

Touché.

I have to take your leave now. Will you think about what I said ?

I will. A conversation with a bird is hard to forget.

And keep that sense of humor, while you’re at it.

I’ll try. Bye.

Bye for now. Remember, keep flying towards your dreams, wear your wings proud and don’t forget your ‘f words’ – fun, flutter and frolic. Till we meet again. Peace.pigeon