Speak Up

Sweet little thing, precious as a dove

One look at her, and you believed in the Gods above

She smiled not with her lips, but with her soul

Sparkly and gleaming, lighting up dark nights.

But her eyes, something hid in them, somewhere deep inside

They looked like they were tired, like a part of her, had died.

I wondered who hurt her fragile, beautiful heart

Who could have torn her trust apart?

She whispered in a hushed tone, “It was probably my fault”

Every inch of my body and soul, say no in revolt

I think to myself –

You with your kind words and trusting soul can never hurt a fly

This is where your problem lies.

You give them the power, to decide how you feel

When all they do, is take away your joy and zeal.

One of these days, just say it out loud, and you will be born anew

“It wasn’t me afterall. It was you”

The Purple Rose of The Cairo

I happened to see this movie recently called “The purple rose of the Cairo” directed by Woody Allen, and it was charismatic!

The movie’s plot talks about how a fictional character, Tom Baxter, from a film, called “The Purple Rose of the Cairo” (That’s right! A movie within the movie steps out into the real world and falls in love with a down one her luck, lonely girl called Cecilia.

Things start to get weird when the other characters in the “The Purple Rose of the Cairo” film playing in the theatres, do not know what to do without this character in the movie. The director, the writer, and Gil, the actor who played Tom Baxter in this film, try their best to contain the situation.  But Tom is intent on living a free life. the plot thickens when Cecilia falls in love with both – Tom Baxter, the poet and the adventurer, an ideal guy, but fictional and Gil Shepherd, real Hollywood actor, and upcoming star. I will talk about my observations and comments on the symbolism in the film.

 

  • Free will: The movie touches upon the concept of free will. Tom Baxter, the fictional character decides that he will choose his own destiny and even questions who is God? Is it the writers who crafted his character or some all-powerful mystical being running the bigger show? The film touches upon subtly how Tom, a fictional man has the courage to pursue change and write his own fate, whereas, Cecelia, living with a drunk, abusive husband is too afraid to let go of her miserable life.

 I was thinking about some very deep things. About God and his relation with Irving Saks and R.H. Levine. And I was thinking about life in general. The origin of everything we see about us. The finality of death; how almost magical it seems in the real world, as opposed to the world of celluloid and flickering shadows.

  • Escapism: The film is set in Depression-era in America and in my opinion, reflects how the middle classes and the common men wanted to escape their dull, monotonous lives and troubles and try to live in fantasy land. Hence, the fascination with the bourgeois, the elite, and celebrities.  The film quotes the following, showing how mankind craves something they don’t have, always
    The real ones want fictional lives,
    
    the fictional ones want real lives.
    
  • Stuck in a loop: I would not go as far as saying the film shows futility, because, directly, it does not. However, the scene where Cecilia is watching the scene again and again in the movie, with the same dialogue being displayed to the audience in the theatre, shows that she is stuck in a loop. The fact that she leaves her husband twice in the movie, but ends up returning to him despite being beaten and abused by him, shows how she is stuck and unable to move ahead. Even when it comes to the choice between Gil and Tom, she chooses the Gil who betrays her and she ends up winding alone at the movies, just like the beginning of the movie
  • Love and what we seek from it: One can’t help feel sorry for Cecilia’s character, abusive husband, no job, no money, and no self-confidence. She is the modern woman’s nightmare. However, she meets Tom, who teaches her how to live, how to be impulsive, how to express openly, how to stand up for yourself, how to make a choice. But in the end, she falls for the guy who loves her not for who she is, but for how she made him feel, or at least pretended to love her for personal benefit and ends up getting her heartbroken.

Has anyone else seen the movie? If yes, do comment on your opinions and thoughts!

Who do you want to be today?

Who do you want to be today?

The possibilities are endless

Do you want to be the best writer out there

Or pretend to be someone who just doesnt care?

Do you want to finally clean up the house

Or do you want be the most loving spouse?

An ideal daughter, calling and looking after her parents

Or become the life of the party at every event?

Do you want to improve your skills and knowledge

Or do you want to leave your boring life, and pursue your dream of being on the stage?

Do you want to run away to the beach and have a vacation?

Or excel at your job, battle for that promotion?

Do you want to pick up a new language, just because

Or do you want just sit back and take a pause?

So many possible turns this day could tak

So many choices, all yours to choose and make.

Each day you feel like a new world of opportunities and choices has opened up, changing the game

Each day, however ends up being the same.

Just as your New year, new me resolutions vanished into thin air

What were they anyway, do you even remember or care?

So whoever you decide to be today,

Come tomorrow, you will forget about it and go down some other way.

(C) Sneha Pathak

At least you tried

The skies cry

Cleansing the city.

Or at least trying to.

The mother sings a lullaby,

Hungry child in arms,

Hoping for him to fall asleep

To avoid hunger, or at least try to.

The girl scribbles in her journal

Letting out the demons, the pain and the loneliness

She tries to forget how hurtful words can be, how cruel, how tormenting

At least she tries to.

The man returns home drenched

Weary of another day of grind,

He smiles a warm smile for his dying wife.

At least he tries to.

They try and try,

In the muddy swamp

To find a way.

For hope I was told,

Can only be produced

Never bought and sold.

Never borrowed or lent

It can be revived, even if out of shape.

Or so they say.

I wrote this poem

To talk of futile hope and optimism

At least I tried to.

(C) Sneha Pathak

Letters to those who hurt me

I write a letter.

Several letters, one for each

Set of eyes that made mine overflow with tears.

One for the teacher

Who castigated me for years.

One for each bully

Who picked on me when I was weaker.

One for the friend

Who let me down in my time of need.

One for the aunty

Who broke down my self esteem.

One for the nameless relative

Who questioned my life choices.

One for the colleague

Who backstabbed me without cause.

One for the lover

Who made me cry every night

I pour my heart into these papers

Hoping it would make me feel lighter.

Telling these people off,

For all the times they hurt me carelessly.

Words spoken, cruelly and hastily.

And I write one final one

For the girl who writes these letters.

One to thank her,

For because of her pain, I became better.

I thank her for being patient

For pulling herself together

For braving through stormy weather.

I am the product of her endeavour

Of her courage, and her fear.

Where would she be

Without these experiences?

They moulded her,

And she moulded me.

I tear up the other letters

And keep just the one

I rise, like a Phoenix

As I watch the other letters burn.

(C) Sneha Pathak

A list of bliss

Soft cool breeze in autumn,

Leaves decorating the pathway in Auburn.

Sky painted in shades of orange and pink

White sheets of paper, ornated with dark blue ink.

Jazz instrumental playing in the background

Finding enthralling poetry in a library profound.

Kettles brewing some fresh tea for the evening

The sound of waves and the peace they bring.

Sunflowers, Roses, lilies of several colors and size

Finding small shells hidden in the beach like a prize.

The feeling of being wrapped in warm blankets on a winters night

A warmer hug from someone after a fight.

Having a good book and some hot chocolate in your hands

Reading tales of love and utopian lands.

This is a list of things that may fill your heart with joy and bliss

Add to this list, if there’s something amiss.

(C) Sneha Pathak

The girl in the blue polka dot dress

I remember the afternoon I met Her

We were both the only two people in the mueseum, alone, yet together.

In that solitude we felt an unspoken tug to talk to each other,

Our silences spoke volumes as polite smiles pushed the conversation further.

We walked together in unspoken agreement, yet in sync

The paintings fed our minds and our eyes continued to drink.

We spent hours talking, debating and discussing stories of times yore

As we shared hisotrical facts and nothing more.

We shared a coffee, and spoke of Van Gogh,

The way her eyes lit up, made me forget where I was, and where I was supposed to go.

We shared stories of art, philosophy and culture

Her face I have forgotten, for her mind is what had me captured.

When I bid her goodbye at the museum door,

We had spoken for five hours yet, I wanted more.

I watched her get swallowed by the crowd,

But I knew she wasn’t like them, her voice may be soft, but her words were loud.

The girl in the blue polka dot dress,

She did not tell me her name, neither did I press.

We may never meet each other again,

But I shall remember this afternoon, where I entered the museum merely to avoid the rain.

The beautiful encounter with the girl mysterious

Left my mind feeling fulfilled but my heart was left curious.

(C) Sneha P