A note to my past self

I knew this time would come. I was having a bad case of writer’s block. Heavy rains lashing out viciously on the window panes did nothing to clear my clogged mind. Nor did the hot cup of green tea I was sipping. To get some inspiration, I had to look back; again. Rummaging through some of my old effects, I came across a diary – a very old one – the book in which I had scribbled some of my earliest poems. Rhythmically broken and grammatically imperfect – but mine, nonetheless.

Nostalgia, rain and a cup of tea – the quorum was complete, and I could feel my mind open up. I picked up the diary and thumbed through its pages. I saw the very first poem I had written; the one into which I had put much time and effort then. A poem full of questions; but no answers. As I read it again now, I feel it was the apprehension of a child. Now, almost 13 years later, maybe I could answer a few of those?

Some times, we need to look back for inspiration.

Some times, we need to look back for inspiration.

Here’s the poem written by my 12 year old self. I was very much enchanted at that time by Wordsworth’s Daffodils. You would probably feel a strong resemblance in the starting lines. Bear with me; it came from a tottering mind.

My destiny

I am a wanderer; wandering for my destiny.
But, where is my destiny?
I don’t know;
I wish, I had known.
Is it among the shady trees,
among the blowing winds?
Or is it among the icy cold slopes
of the Alps or the poles;
among the freezing cold winds?
Or is it in a deep valley,
devoid of any human settlement?
Or is it past the seven seas and mountains,
where inside a cage I would be, like a canary?
Oh! Where is my destiny?
I don’t know;
I wish, I had known.

I remember my teacher’s remark after reading this poem – “So many questions. But where is the answer?” I guess, with her kind smile and inquisitive remark, she was prodding me to find the answers; to write more. Like a gentle nudge given to a fledgling to make it fly.Β  This is what I have to say to my past self:

Destiny

The path of life is a way unclear,
fogged by mind, and by mind it’s cleared.
Fret not, for the fate is a fact,
known or unknown, changing it is not one’s act.

Fear not, for you are not without voice –
fate may be fixed, but the path is your choice.
Life is not dictated by the start or the end,
it is the journey in between, which is yours to amend.

Years from now, I might have different notions. I will write another note then, probably when I have another writer’s block. My cup of tea is finished. It is too late for a refill. The rain has subsided too. Good time to get some shut-eye; and I do not have miles to go before I sleep; it is just a couple of steps to my bed.
[Image courtesy: Original image of the old book courtesy of JulesInKY.]

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46 thoughts on “A note to my past self

  1. At 12 years, you were so philosophical! I happened to lay my hands on one of my diaries where I have written down random things and poetry that makes no sense to me anymore. Shame na, I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote those so many years back πŸ˜›
    As for now, I try and stay as far away as possible from writing poetry!! πŸ˜€

    • I was always philosophical it seems…always writing about topics that are way too dark.. πŸ™‚
      and amma is very concerned due to that.. πŸ˜€
      About that first poem.. from my old set, that was probably the only one which was worth sharing… about the rest, I had the same feeling.. what I was thinking when I wrote those.. πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

  2. Not sure if my comment got saved… Came across a saying, “When a person loses something and is still happy about it either he/she is on a diet or is a philosopher. Thankfully I am neither” πŸ™‚

  3. Now I understand the resemblance u meant πŸ˜‰ Mind blowing han and ur poems r bful too. I loved the lines Life is not dictated by the start or the end,
    it is the journey in between, which is yours to amend. ! Poems in diaries always was soothing to me πŸ™‚
    Good day

  4. Oh well, your 12 year old self was an inquisitive thing, wasn’t he? πŸ˜‰ I like the notion behind this post of yours. Brings out your personality in both the poems.

  5. Loved your destiny poem – “fate may be fixed, but the path is your choice.
    Life is not dictated by the start or the end, it is the journey in between, which is yours to amend” – .agree with every word of it. And your post is so similar to Afshan’s. – there must’ve been something going on in the Universe then.

  6. Seems like both of us are revisiting their childhood diaries…
    and the poem..get ready for some plagiarism…

    • Hehe.. there are only so many thoughts and so much atoms in the universe.. are we all not plagiarised versions of each other.. in mind, body and spirit? πŸ˜› ( Guess that was a bit too philosophical πŸ˜‰ )

  7. Data quite a start at the tribe!! Lovely thoughts.. If you had not told I would necer make out that these two poems had a 13 years long distance to cover to meet each other… I cannot agree more on the line on path we take to meet the end… Somehow thats why the poem by Frost “The Road not Taken” has stayed with me forever.. Its the choices we make and decisions we take that maketh us… Loved the poems

  8. Typo :
    Thats quite a start at the tribe!! Lovely thoughts.. If you had not told I would never make out that these two poems had a 13 years long distance to cover to meet each other… I cannot agree more on the line on path we take to meet the end… Somehow thats why the poem by Frost β€œThe Road not Taken” has stayed with me forever.. Its the choices we make and decisions we take that maketh us… Loved the poems

  9. You were old before you time, Vaisakh – and I mean that as a compliment. When I’ve read your two posts and look at your profile pic, I get the feeling that a lot goes on in that head of yours. And the ability to put that down so lucidly is a gift. Writer’s block? Do you even know what that means? πŸ™‚

    • Thanks a lot Corinne! πŸ™‚ that’s a great compliment.. and yeah.. my mind is hopelessly hopping around.. I am halfway to becoming an insomniac.. πŸ˜€

  10. bro.. at 12 .. you were this ?? I was only cricket .. badly cricket !!
    Kudos to you … yes I did a little bit of doodling but that always had batman and heman .. heavy muscled guys .. I would always dream to be as muscular as them and be everywhere .. to save humans and humanity πŸ˜€
    I was not sure .. by the time I add another 12 years to my life I will become a wanderer .. πŸ™‚
    I am glad to be friends with such a talent !

    • Thanks bro.. πŸ™‚ I had my share of cricket too.. heck! even now πŸ˜€
      Would love to see your batman heman doodles by the way.. seriously.. superheroes with a ‘MySay’ touch would be awesome πŸ™‚

      • hahahaha .. although times I have made me understand .. Humanity is in danger for humans themselves and all of us need to be our own Superheroes … πŸ™‚ in whatever way we can πŸ™‚
        I wish I had kept my doodles alive .. they were always drawn during classes in school at the last page of textbooks and notebooks .. πŸ™‚

  11. Very delightful to seek unanswered questions from the past and answer them in the present using the wisdom one has acquired in the intervening years.
    May you continue to create such gems out of similar bouts of writer’s block!

    http://reekycoleslaw.com/

  12. Viasakh I loved the poetry a lot, I think you had a wonderful teacher because the second part came out such a wonderful compliment to the first. Even I have this diary hidden somewhere stacked with poetry from school. Somehow whenever I read them I start crying, it brings back a very troublesome time of my life for me. Well well the chai here is also finished πŸ™‚

    Richa

    • Thanks Richa.. I really had wonderful teachers. I am eternally indebted to them πŸ™‚

      Past memories can be troublesome.. but they shape our lives, don’t they? Thanks for dropping by.. and get the chai refilled.. there’s still lot left in the day.. πŸ˜€

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  14. I loved both the poems. It is amazing how a poem can mean and say so much and it stays on forever much more than any prose can. I take a look at my old diary sometimes too. The poems speak much louder than the ramblings in there.

  15. Wow ! Of the two I loved the older poem since it is so full of restlessness and energy . The second poem is sort of placid and serene especially maybe ‘coz you just discovered the bed isn’t miles and miles away .Never the less two pieces of beauty πŸ˜€

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  18. loved both poems, though I love rhythmic poems more.. the second one shows indeed how we all mature over the lives. Strange how we all have these questions regarding life and future, but we never blurt them out in real world discussions, but only in diaries and blogs.

    • Thank you πŸ™‚ We don’t blurt them out in real world possibly because everyone’s busy with their own problems? We do tell them to people who give us their undivided attention – listeners.

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