odysseus

Charudatta Kelkar - a wanderer

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  • odysseus 6h

    What is it that I dread more than anything else?
    Somewhere deep within, a terrible feeling dwells
    It's not about spirits, vampires, apparitions or ghosts
    For they are indeed friendly and hospitable hosts
    Nor am I scared of being alone, yes, I love my solitude
    Yet I am warm and affectionate and I show no attitude
    It's rejection and non-recognition that my mind fears
    When sycophancy dominates and merit sheds tears
    Stygian, tenebrous thoughts push me into a black hole
    My detractors surround me, always prepared to troll
    I can feel them but can't see them for it's pitch-dark
    They whisper in my ears, then some of them begin to bark
    "A horrible writer you are, you illiterate fool" they scream.
    "You'll never receive critical acclaim, forget that doltish dream"
    They vanish, but the darkness doesn't; it terrorises me
    And even in that blackout, my bleak future I can clearly see
    They will continue to subdue me till my last breath
    How many times will I die before my actual death ?
    ©odysseus

  • odysseus 1d

    A Blood-stained Gift

    She wanted
    him to win the cup
    and he wished
    to win her
    heart at any cost so he
    trained really hard.

    However,
    with just two laps left,
    it became
    clear that it
    was going to be tough to
    beat his close rival.

    A signal
    from the corner of
    his eyes, and
    his cunning
    pacemaker did what he was
    instructed to do.

    A push, and
    the quicker runner
    fell headlong.
    Now "he" would
    easily lift the precious
    cup and win "her" heart.

    Watching from
    the stands, she quickly
    understood
    everything.
    After all, she herself had
    been an athlete once.

    She refused
    to touch the blood-stained
    gift and told
    him that she
    would not have anything to
    do with such a cheat.

    He believed
    that everything was
    fair in love
    and war but
    took the old proverb a bit
    too literally.

    Image credit - Rightful owner
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    Pacemaker - a runner who is included in middle/long distance races for various purposes(e.g. ensuring a fast time, assisting a prominent runner(as a tactic) etc.)

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    A Bloood-stained Gift


    She wanted
    him to win the cup
    and he wished
    to win her
    heart at any cost so he
    trained really hard.

    She refused
    to touch the blood-stained
    gift and told
    him that she
    would not have anything to
    do with such a cheat.
    ©odysseus

  • odysseus 2d

    While it's true that I have been inspired and influenced by various people at various stages of my life, I had never had a guru in the conventional sense.

    As I child, I was a movie buff and I enjoyed watching Hindi films. Of course I loved action and music, but more than anything else, it was the dialogue writer who would keep me glued to my seat. The Salim Khan-Javed Akhtar duo had had a great impact on me. Their dialogues shaped my Hindi-Urdu during my formative days. The influence is evident and I remain indebted to them for that. In songwriting, my greatest influence has always been the one and only Majrooh Sultanpuri.
    I loved to hum songs (mostly Hindi) but I was (and I still am) a pathetic singer. I always wanted to sing like Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar - undoubtedly the greatest male playback singers of Hindi cinema. I would sit with their photos in front of me and try to sing(only when I was alone at home).

    Cricket was my first love(now I don't warch or discuss cricket at all). I was a poor batsman, so I idolised fast bowlers. I could bowl reasonably, if not genuinely fast. In those days, Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson and Michael Holding were my heroes. They were right-arm fast bowlers and I am a southpaw, but I read their interviews and articles and tried to learn from them.

    Come 1992 and I was bitten by the bug of long-distance running. I worked hard and became a marathoner. Who was my idol or guiding force? I had read about the late Abebe Bikila, an Ethiopian marathoner who won the Olympic gold at Rome despite running barefoot. I imitated him and ran a few marathon races without socks and shoes. My genes and my past imposed restrictions upon me that no amount of training could overcome. I failed to progress beyond a point, but Bikila's influence has remained.

    I can't imagine a life without books. They have been my reliable and loyal companions and preceptors. Apart from our course books, biographies, novels, short stories, plays, poems and even newspapers teach us a lot.
    Life is the greatest teacher. In this case, the term "life" is comprehensive and all inclusive. It essentially means everything around us. Apart from people and incidents, there are many other living and non-living things in nature that teach us a thing or two.
    This includes seas, rivers, mountains, trees, animals, birds and even the smallest of insects.

    While I have never been face to face with most of those who inspired, influenced and taught me, it's my duty to acknowledge their contribution. They are great preceptors though I may not have been an ideal pupil.


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    Wish everyone a very very happy Guru Pournima...
    ��������������������

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    While it's true that I have been inspired and influenced by various people at various stages of my life, I had never had a guru in the conventional sense.

    While I have never been face to face with most of those who inspired, influenced and taught me, it's my duty to acknowledge their contribution.
    They are great preceptors though I may not have been an ideal pupil.
    ©odysseus

  • odysseus 3d

    A letter to my beloved

    My dearest,

    I hope this letter finds you well. Let me come to the point straightaway as I don't wish to waste your time(it must be precious) .

    Tell me frankly if you're done with me.
    Tell me if you don't want to be associated with me anymore. I know you made the mistake of falling in love with a poor and unsuccessful man. Your decision wasn't impulsive, but now you believe that it was foolish.

    You are super-intelligent, but even intelligent people make blunders and you made one by falling in love with me. Well, these days, I get no messages from you. I do text you and your brief (sometimes just one-word) replies do convey a lot.

    You may not say it, but I'm sure you regret your decision now. After all, We are human beings and we make mistakes; I always do.
    If you have committed a sin, you can atone for it now.
    You hesitate to tell me to "peace out" because you're soft-spoken and polite, and you don't want to hurt me. But certainly, you expect me to understand it. Priorities do change. Change is the only absolute truth.

    My life was desolate and devoid of love before your arrival. My heart was one of the driest places in the world. After decades of drought, flowers appeared to bloom in the wilderness...

    But it was a dream, and now I have woken up to reality. It's harsh and I must accept it.

    I must not overstay my welcome. This letter conveys my sentiments just as your silence conveys yours. Let me depart before the echoes of your silence deafen me and splinter my soul. Life without you will be painful but that's my destiny. I promise you that I will never disturb you hereafter.

    Adieu

    (a nobody)
    ©odysseus

  • odysseus 4d

    1.
    When I was a kid(in 1974 to be precise - when I was in class 2), I would often hear these comments:

    "The average lifespan has increased. Mortality rate has gone down."
    "The growth of population is alarming.
    Soon it will touch the 4 billion mark."

    " It will become impossible to survive. There will be no food and water for the next generation. There will be no petroleum reserves left. There will be no law and order. Man will start killing for food and water."

    "National governments across the world must take some drastic measures to control this growth. In fact, each couple should be allowed to have only one child(It scared me as I had 4 elder siblings).

    There were many details which I would like to skip. I was a dim-witted child and I didn't understand much, but I was worried. How would I survive without water, food and other basic necessities? Will I be safe?"
    It's been almost 45 years since I heard those remarks.
    The world population has almost doubled during this period despite certain measures taken by governments(In some cases, they have been extreme). The distribution is unequal.
    I hear the same things today. Only the figures have changed.

    I love to imagine situations. For example, what would have happened if my generation had decided to go childless(�� �� ��evil and ridiculous...but it's just a thought)? What would happen if nature suddenly reduces our lifespan/the average life expectancy by a few decades? Wouldn't it be better if no human being survives beyond the age of 60? Obviously these thoughts are selfish and evil, and it's better to dismiss them.

    2.

    ����I don't know much about economics but I do understand certain basic facts.
    Though it's necessary to strike a balance between available resources and consumption, such steps will do us no good.

    Fortunately the population growth hasn't affected my life to any appreciable extent.
    The queues at bus halts are much longer than they were during my childhood and this has compelled me to buy and use a two wheeler.
    I love to travel, and Mumbai is one of my favourite places. There was a time when I loved to travel by local trains - the lifeline of Mumbai. But now it is clearly beyond my purview to board a local train(and somehow, if I manage to do that, I find it impossible to alight from it).
    There are certain other problems which I face as everybody else does. Air pollution has increased. I can feel that when I go into the busy streets in the town. I spent much of my childhood with sparrows, pigeons, cranes and ducks. I loved the chirping of birds early in the morning. Now we live in a town. The population of the town is growing by the day. As the concrete jungles have been spreading out in an ungainly way, trees and birds have begun to vanish. I miss them.
    But then that's how the world runs. I must accept these changes. After all, every generation has played an active role in effecting these changes.

    *(There are more serious issues(of global or national concern) related to population growth but they are beyond the purview of this article)

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    World Population Day

    1.
    When I was a kid(in 1974 to be precise - when I was in class 2), I would often hear these comments:

    "The average lifespan has increased. Mortality rate has gone down."
    "The growth of population is alarming.
    Soon it will touch the 4 billion mark."

    " It will become impossible to survive. There will be no food and water for the next generation. There will be no petroleum reserves left. There will be no law and order. Man will start killing for food and water."

    "National governments across the world must take some drastic measures to control this growth. In fact, each couple should be allowed to have only one child(It scared me as I had 4 elder siblings).

    There were many details which I would like to skip. I was a dim-witted child and I didn't understand much, but I was worried. How would I survive without water, food and other basic necessities? Will I be safe?"
    It's been almost 45 years since I heard those remarks.
    The world population has almost doubled during this period despite certain measures taken by governments(In some cases, they have been extreme). The distribution is unequal.
    I hear the same things today. Only the figures have changed.

    I love to imagine situations. For example, what would have happened if my generation had decided to go childless( evil and ridiculous...but it's just a thought)? What would happen if nature suddenly reduces our lifespan/the average life expectancy by a few decades? Wouldn't it be better if no human being survives beyond the age of 60? Obviously these thoughts are selfish and evil, and it's better to dismiss them(read in caption)..
    ©odysseus

  • odysseus 5d

    This flurry
    of raindrops reminds
    me of my
    happier
    days, and it actually
    aggravates my pain.

    The day is
    overcast and the
    ghosts of my
    past return
    to fill my mind with poignant
    and tenebrous thoughts.

    Sheltered by
    a huge tree, I try
    to expel
    those bitter
    memories but they refuse
    to part ways with me.

    The leaves which
    had begun to fade
    may get a
    a fresh lease
    of life as the rainwater
    soaks into the ground.

    We often
    say that time is the
    best healer.
    I wonder
    if it has a medicine
    for my fading soul.
    ©odysseus

  • odysseus 1w

    Luck usually deserts me at crucial moments
    My life is a saga of sufferings and torments
    A sincere and honest trier I have always been
    Yet, fame and success I have rarely seen

    Failing to keep up with the latest trends,
    I was shunned by my relatives and friends,
    though I tried hard to meet their expectations,
    and listened to them with great patience

    I don't know how a talented girl fell in love with me
    Poor me, I thought destiny had listened to my plea
    But soon she realised that her decision was wrong
    She wanted her man to be assertive and strong

    "You have no x-factor, and it's over." she said
    Her words were poured down my soul like molten lead
    I own a splintered heart and a badly bruised soul,
    but I still have my life and I need to set a goal

    Not everything is lost, and I must fight hard
    Every depressing thought I ought to discard
    To be disheartened and pessimistic I must cease
    I promise to pick myself back up piece by piece


    Image credit - Rightful owner

    This is a work of fiction...

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    Luck usually deserts me at crucial moments
    My life is a saga of sufferings and torments
    A sincere and honest trier I have always been
    Yet, fame and success I have rarely seen

    Not everything is lost, and I must fight hard
    Every depressing thought I ought to discard
    To be disheartened and pessimistic I must cease
    I promise to pick myself back up piece by piece

    ©odysseus

  • odysseus 1w

    Yes, what you see here
    is a piece of barren land
    Devoid of vegetation, it's
    full of rocks and sand

    A lush garden once, this
    heart wasn't a desolate spot
    I can't blame my beloved;
    perhaps it was destiny's plot

    The deterioration was
    gradual yet depressing
    The whole journey was
    painful and distressing

    She chose wealth over
    uncertainty and darkness
    She embraced ornamentation,
    and shunned starkness

    To obscurity, she preferred
    limelight and fame
    A failure on every front, I have
    nobody else to blame

    Down I am but not doomed,
    though life is tough
    This heart still beats; I can
    breathe, and that's enough
    ©odysseus

  • odysseus 1w

    Adrift

    My boat has drifted and there's no one to guide
    My body is tired and the ocean is deep and vast
    I made a mistake earlier by rowing a bit too fast
    My boat has drifted and there's no one to guide

    My body is tired and the ocean is deep and vast
    Unfortunately the crimson ball has sunk,
    and my hopes to reach the shore have shrunk
    My body is tired and the ocean is deep and vast

    Unfortunately the crimson ball has sunk
    The chances of my survival aren't very high
    An ignorant sailor, I can't read the sky
    Unfortunately the crimson ball has sunk

    The chances of my survival aren't very high
    Hunger and thirst dominate as my spirits sink
    There's no food, and I have very little water to drink
    The chances of my survival aren't very high

    Hunger and thirst dominate as my spirits sink
    My boat has drifted and there's no one to guide
    Sadly, the Sea Gods don't seem to be on my side
    Hunger and thirst dominate as my spirits sink

    My boat has drifted and there's no one to guide
    My body is tired and the ocean is deep and vast
    I made a mistake earlier by rowing a bit too fast
    My boat has drifted and there's no one to guide

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    Adrift

    My boat has drifted and there's no one to guide
    My body is tired and the ocean is deep and vast
    I made a mistake earlier by rowing a bit too fast
    My boat has drifted and there's no one to guide

    My body is tired and the ocean is deep and vast
    Unfortunately the crimson ball has sunk,
    and my hopes to reach the shore have shrunk
    My body is tired and the ocean is deep and vast

    Unfortunately the crimson ball has sunk
    The chances of my survival aren't very high
    An ignorant sailor, I can't read the sky
    Unfortunately the crimson ball has sunk

    The chances of my survival aren't very high
    Hunger and thirst dominate as my spirits sink
    There's no food, and I have very little water to drink
    The chances of my survival aren't very high

    Hunger and thirst dominate as my spirits sink
    My boat has drifted and there's no one to guide
    Sadly, the Sea Gods don't seem to be on my side
    Hunger and thirst dominate as my spirits sink

    My boat has drifted and there's no one to guide
    My body is tired and the ocean is deep and vast
    I made a mistake earlier by rowing a bit too fast
    My boat has drifted and there's no one to guide
    ©odysseus

  • odysseus 1w

    Imperfect
    and flawed, I wasn't
    in any way
    close to her
    expectations and I was
    politely dismissed.

    "She" wanted
    a flawless man and
    even those who
    considered
    themselves perfect wouldn't meet
    her expectations.

    I married
    a girl who was as
    flawed as I
    was, and I
    must say that I did not make
    a wrong decision.

    "She" is a
    spinster now as all
    her efforts
    to find the
    flawless guy have failed but she
    hasn't given up hope.

    I hope she
    succeeds in her task
    as I am
    eagerly
    waiting to see what a flawless
    person would look like.

    Image credit - Rightful owner

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    Imperfect
    and flawed, I wasn't
    in any way
    close to her
    expectations and I was
    politely dismissed.

    "She" is a
    spinster now as all
    her efforts
    to find the
    flawless guy have failed but she
    hasn't given up hope.
    ©odysseus