Birthday wish

Today is the day,
The day I was supposed to ignore,
But I couldn’t –
Because it’s special,
Because you’re special.
I just wanted to tell you
A beautiful day, a beautiful year,
A forever
Of fortune,
All kinds of happiness –
The deepest peace;
The wildest ecstasy;
Anything or everything you want.
You are
The most amazing person
To walk this Earth,
A kind spirit
With a sharp mind.
If karma is real,
All the luck in the world,
All goodness,
It will all be yours
Because you deserve it.
My life is better for having met you.
There are no words
For my gratitude,
I can’t pay you back
But I can wish
You a happy birthday
For many years to come.


Notice anything special about the verses? Take a second, think about it.

Yes, that’s right. All my poems in the last month had a ‘secrettag’ added at the end. If you click on it, and you see all of them in one page, the titles of everything I’ve posted lately actually make up this poem – aside from the ‘You a happy birthday’ line, which was replaced by ‘…..’ because it would have been a dead giveaway. It was the birthday of someone quite important to me last month, and I somehow got the idea of making him this impressively long and torturous wish (he kindly agreed that I can share the poems on the blog as well though). So, to answer the question of why everything I write is so upbeat and starry eyed lately, it’s just cause they were part of the birthday wish. It’s hard to make poems any other way with those kinds of titles.

Just out of curiosity, did anybody notice the link beforehand?

The day I was supposed to ignore

The soundless ring of the alarm,

The burnt toast, the broken elevator,

That unplanned tube strike

That made me curse loudly, forgetting

That trains are manned by people,

Not robots that live to serve me.

I could have written off technology

My brain knew to deal in numbers

And I could have assumed a coincidence.

But it was people, it’s always people,

And there was an inkling in my mind

Telling me the probabilities

Didn’t add up right, that maybe

That day was supposed to be something.

It was a day I was supposed to ignore,

But not the way I did. Not by shrugging

And borrowing the neighbour’s car,

Even though I hadn’t driven in so long.

I kept on trying to salvage it

Despite the heavy traffic,

Despite the impossibility to ever

Make my meetings on time. I tried

To contradict fate, with hands on the wheel

And the phone tucked in my shoulder.

I never saw it coming.

It was the day I was supposed to ignore,

To skip over, to opt out of.

And because I didn’t, I’ll spend

The rest of my life having

A day I’m desperately trying to forget.

But I couldn’t

There is beauty in the world

The sound of crickets in the middle of night,

The silver linings reflecting the light,

The taste of grass after pouring rain.

I just had to let go of the pain

And let my back straighten, my head rise,

I just had to open my eyes

And see the magic in action.

I had to do but a fration –

I just had to extend my hand

And wait until the miracles land.

I knew all this, how little I had to do.

But I couldn’t. Not without you.

Because it’s special

That little red cup, chipped on the side,

The moth-eaten teddy bear falling apart,

That game to which you long lost the guide,

The drawings that are more scribble than art.


People surround themselves with useless things,

Forgotten trash that belongs firmly in the past

Because it’s special to them, healing slings

Symbols of things that went by too fast.


One man’s trash, another man’s treasure,

It’s a bit of a cliche by now perhaps

But you can’t measure memories and pleasure

What’s special to you shouldn’t be turned into scraps.

Because you’re special

We come up with a thousand reasons

To explain to people why they are special.

We like talking about their beauty,

Both inside and out, those luminous eyes

And kind smiles. We talk about

The things that they do, the achievements,

And the troubles they’ve stayed out of.

We talk about things that

They hold no merit for, that just happened,

Like the family they were born into.

And it helps. For a while.

But rarely do we realize the conditions

That we imply to exist. Our talking

Implies that their uniqueness disappears

Over years when their beauty fades,

When their abilities fail, or in places

In which their background is irrelevant.

Everybody thinks it at the back of their mind.

That’s why we hang onto things,

Onto easy, comfortable, known stuff,

That’s why we identify ourselves with things

That should be just a passing stage.

We don’t allow ourselves to become more.

But we can change that. You can change it.

Instead of thinking of the things

Because of which you’re special,

Try to consider, just once, the things

That you can do. Because you’re special.

Above and beyond any happy, misguided reason.

I just wanted to tell you

I just wanted to tell you

That I could only whisper to you

How impossible it would be to say to you

All the things that I feel like shouting.

I’m alternating between a maddening need

To bare my soul in front of your eyes

And let you caress and soothe my past,

And an overwhelming desire to hide it,

To pretend the ugly scars out of existence

So you may never have the opportunity

To think any less of me for them.

I just wanted to tell you

That I don’t really trust myself to speak

And I need your silence to be understanding,

But I want you to coax the words out of me

Because they’re cutting my tongue to pieces

In their restlessness to reach you.

I just wanted to tell you

That I love you, and let the deluge

Of the past and present and future

Choose to throw themselves off my lips

When I read the same answer in your eyes.

A beautiful day, a beautiful year

The longest journeys start

With the same kind of step

As crossing the street.

You need the same letters

To write a whole trilogy

As a single sentence.

A lifetime is the longest measure

We would ever be allowed to know,

But it’s still just moments

Coming one after the other.

So at the strike of midnight,

When you plan your next year

And the hope of having it all

Breathtakingly beautiful

Sounds like a daunting task,

Remember that a year

Is just a collection of days

And resolve to just have

One beautiful day after another.

A forever

We are born of the stars in this restricting flesh

And yearn to discover our way back to origins.

We reach for the world and demand that it yields

The secrets of its essence to our greedy fingers

We hoist ourselves up and start walking away

With barely half-learnt worlds of knowledge

And seek the next thrill, the bigger enigma

Until we’ve given everything just a cursory glance.

It catches up to us after we learn how to speak

And realize we don’t quite own the descriptives,

So we throw ourselves in the things we suppose

Should be beyond words – convenient excuses

Until we forget not to take them so earnestly

And we waste eternities looking in one’s eyes

Searching for stars that twinkle ironically

On the other edge of pretty, fake lashes.

It takes us long whiles to realize the difference

Between momentary distraction and true value,

Until we separate what deserves our fascination,

We’ve already wasted forever on wrong paths

But it’s fine, because we’re children of the stars

And that’s only a forever out of the very many

That we get to experiment with and get wrong.

Maybe next time we’ll use those forevers more wisely.

Of fortune

Fascinating word, is it not?

Without context, what meaning has it got?

There’s a fortune in silver and gold

That keeps you fed and out of the cold,

And there’s a fortune that is good and kind

And resides far more in the mind.

It’s fortunate if you earn a fortune,

But you can’t fortunately have good fortune

And I just wonder who decides

What works according to which guides.

And how funny that money so rarely

Is linked to fate in any way fairly –

It’s only when it belongs to ourselves

That we admit in effort it delves;

For everybody else, it’s blind luck

And it’s up to fortune where it struck.

Fortune. I wonder how much it reveals

The first meaning that comes on its heels.

All kinds of happiness

A child clapping in delight

To things we’ve long since lost the wonder of.

The satisfaction of a job well done

Patching over all issues from the way.

Cheering from well-meaning friends,

And a more malevolent type of glee hidden.

Parents sighing in glad relief

When the children’s wild games are over,

While the elders smile on, amused,

Having found the secret to contentment.

A blissful pleasure shared between lovers,

With renewed rejoicing at every encounter.

And the thrill of discovering it all,

How many facets happiness can hide.

There are fiery sides to its rapture,

And deep pools of blessed serenity,

The coy smiles and the genuine ones

Hiding so many other little qualifiers

From shyness to absence, to desire, to dare,

Internal and hidden to boisterous bursts.

And the laughs – so many possible laughs

Giggles, chuckles, wheezes, cackles…

And on and on it can go with a grin,

The mere list turned to self-gratification,

An unexpected sort of kind reassurance

That of all possible kinds of happiness,

You too can find one for your own.