Million Magi


Climbing dirty rough-hewn stairs at the end of a dimly lit yet busy alley
I reach road number one, bauble-shiny, filled with fresh flowers and cars
In an urban cool mannequined window I see my huddled hoodied self
And know in an instant the magic of being an anthology, the very best of.

I am the spirit of my times, anonymous and numberless, I am occupy, I am love
Seeing the cheer of the festive season and the despairing faceless alleyways
I am suddenly more than, more real than, more people than I ever have been
And I hear the earth calling, the bodhisattvas of the earth calling, a million magi.

I am revulsion and compassion, I am the frenzy of the possible, silent and unmoving
An unwashed  child nagging at the stop light, intent that someone stops, drops a coin,
Watching cold cars go by leaving warm trails of light in the sodium vapor of the night
I am the face at every stoplight, the face that haunts you every time you close your eyes.

I take a turn at Midtown Mall to head back home, where the garbage bins overflow
The mother, the Empress, the Ram and Rahim, too old to play games anymore
Fidgety, enduring, the you that you do not know,  I am the dawn to the darkest of nights
The divine gold, my time is now, I am the countless that has become one, one million magi.

November 2, 2012
Hyderabad

39 comments:

  1. I read it 3 times, and I am still struggling to comment. You say so much in such few lines. How do you do it? This is exceptional writing, Subhorup!

    //I am the face at every stoplight, the face that haunts you every time you close your eyes.// Were you talking about how many times, I've faced this and then tried to divert my mind?
    //Fidgety, enduring, the you that you do not know, I am the dawn to the darkest of nights.// Happy that you wrote it in the first draft.

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    1. So glad you liked it, Rachna. I can see my influences coming out strongly, but I guess I have still been able to write in my own voice. Long way to go still, as far as poetry is concerned.

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  2. that was quite a read. powerful & gripping.

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  3. That's real power.... this one got the extra punch Subho.

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    1. The credit goes to the thoughts behind it and to a great extent that has been shaped by people like you. :)

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  4. As intriguing as it gets... mesmerizing and thought-provoking!!!

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    1. Thanks, Murtaza. I enjoyed putting all the ideas together in a limited space.

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  5. Immensely powerful! A reader's delight!! Thank you Subho!

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  6. There is more than meets the eye,
    What I liked is you maintained the pace

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    1. Poetry writes itself. The poet is blessed to be the medium. I wrote a poem after years, I think, and I liked how it turned out. Perhaps it is all the things that have been going on in my mind all these months trying to come together at one time that made it write the way it did.

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  7. I have not read any poem of yours before -this is a bolt from the blue.Very powerful.

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    1. Thanks, Indu. In case it interests you, you will find some of my older Poems here.

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  8. "I take a turn at Midtown Mall to head back home, where the garbage bins overflow" - This journey is fun... go home!

    The poem is deep and connected :-)

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    1. Have been headed home these past years, Satish, that is what I realized as I was writing these lines. As a matter of fact, all of us are.

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  9. Wonderful poem. I love it. "I am revulsion and compassion" - Love that and love all of it.

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    1. Having you visit and comment itself is a privilege, Matheikal. So thrilled that you liked it.

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  10. Wonderfully written.. loved the feel of the poem... Just saw your year old comment on my amateur poetry and chanced to visit ur blog... needless to say, loved it!! Keep it up

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    1. Welcome to SJD, Malathy, and thanks for your kind words. Do keep coming back. Please.

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  11. This is the Subho I wait for, while he illuminates ordinary mortals with gyan.

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    1. This is the Subho I wait for too. Thanks, Purba.

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  12. you must have written poetry after ages . i was remembering your Fata Morgana . You have come a long way . the pain and suffering through which you have gone is not in vain . Glad to see ur rating going . you will soon hit 100. Keep it up . God bless you. My dream of u becoming a powerful writer is slowly but surely coming true. BY THE WAY IT TOOK ME THREE DAYS AND AT LEAST 10 READINGS TO DARE TO COMMENT. LOVE YOU.

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    1. Subho, you are blessed to have a Mom like this! You are a special son-:)

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    2. Bhavana, it is with many lifetimes of good karma that one can be born to a mother like mine. The time it has taken me to realize was the price I had to pay for my good fortune.

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  13. Very powerful lines. Poetry or for that matter any artistic expression, is beautiful in the way one connects to it. Every individual might connect in a different manner and hence every interpretation might itself be unique. I loved the way I connected to it :)

    -Asha

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    1. Thank you so much, Asha. The poem resides in each interpretation, and that is why analyzing poetry in a generic manner is foolish.

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  14. Mind shaking poetry. Nothing is left out. Congrats!

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  15. Quite late to read this...almost ashamed to read it this late. And yet a perfect time to read it, as the night deepens and the street dogs start their watch; a perfect time to read, reflect, re-read.
    You have finally listened to the call and emerged, Subho. I have been feeling it in your tweets, in your responses--the strength of your being, the sureity of your knowledge, the spirit rising.
    At some level I know how hard and how difficult that transition into that awakened moment is--to me it is still a dream. At some level as I read this poem, I am delighted for you and envy you at the same time, my magi!

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    1. Thanks, Bhavana. You are entirely too kind. At the pit of my stomach, I am probably as, if not more than, cowardly as anyone else, as fearful of the truth as anyone else, as reluctant to face the freedom that waits for each one of us. I know about the intense desire to run back to the familiar, to look at my butterfly net and wish the monsters well, to give up regardless of how close I am to having won. I do not know about emerging. Of course, this is the morning after Diwali, so I might just change my mind a few hours later. :)

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  16. Simply a remarkable rendition! The depth, the potency and the beauty of this poem is beyond description. My soul and heart smile in unison when I read this brilliant work of yours. :) I am still in complete awe after reading it 4 times.

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    1. Thanks, Raj. The appreciation from writers like you makes me feel I have done something great, but all I have done is follow my heart. Cannot express the gratitude for having such wonderful fellow travelers on my journey.

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  17. Such beautiful poignant lines and the photo captures this as well!!

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