Lords of the Last Benches

Throughout my school and college life, I was plagued with a problem. Students all over the world will empathize with me. How does one sit through thousands of hours of classes where the teacher is boring you with incomprehensible jargon that has absolutely no relevance to your future life?

Me and my friends became LLBs (Lords of the Last Benches) at the age of ten. We tried to devise ways to kill time at the back, while the teacher was killing everyone else’s interest in the front. At first we simpletons sat straight and tried to sleep thinking we wouldn’t be noticed. But a teacher is not that dumb. Then we realized that camouflage is a much greater weapon than distance. Plan 2 was to cover a story book with a dull text and get lost in an altogether different world. The chances of getting caught are 50-50. However, these odds may vary, depending on the expertise of the student and teacher respectively. One of my friends would lift his head and look at the teacher with great concentration at the end of every paragraph he read. However, I would get totally drowned in the plot. “Rajguru! Are you listening?” would go a voice which I never would hear and face the consequences.

After that me and my friends put into motion Plan Philosopher. I would lean my chin on my hand covering my mouth, take the support of the desk and look very thoughtfully towards the teacher. My fellow philosopher would do the same and we would keep whispering and have long classroom chats. Everything went well till my bench mate developed a sense of humour. I managed to control myself at the first couple of jokes… and then he dropped a downright beauty. My laughter traveled to the end of the class.

Our biology teacher was already in his worst of moods and was teaching fungi. “Fun-geee” was the way he pronounced fungi. “Fun-geee, you bhangi! Please come here.” I knew I was in trouble. “You dare laugh at me?” he thundered and I got my first taste of Teacher Brutality. First I was yelled at in front of the whole class and then caught by my belt. Then came blows for 30 seconds, a moral lecture for a minute, blows for… This alternate process continued for what seemed like an eternity. A dazed me was forced to drop Plan Philosopher like a hot duster.

After a brief lull, I started planning strategies again. Actually it was all the holes in the desk that set me thinking. I brought a number of buttons in the class and invented Button Holing. A simple game, in which you had to thumb buttons into the holes of desks. My bench mate was skeptical at first, but decided to give it a try. We always made our moves when the teacher’s back was turned. We became quite successful and the game became a passion.

But poor me again. I always get carried away. In one particular nail-biting game, I thumbed the winning shot. The moment overwhelmed me and I jumped and yelled in triumph. This was too much even for our non-violent history teacher. I had never seen him hit anyone in the seven years I spent in that school, but I was to become an exception. I can still remember the slap of a six-foot-plus broad-shouldered giant.

I finished school a defeated boy.

Nowadays everyone seems to be coming out with a book on everything you can think of. I wish someone authored a book, 101 Things to do in a Boring Class. That definitely would have been a help.

© Sunil Rajguru

Man Machine

The daily routine. The daily rut.
We all do the same things
again and again
and again
Each day is a carbon copy of the previous day.
The same mornings
the same work
the same evenings and the same nights
We live in a world of action replays
Life is a Xerox machine
photocopying a single page
endlessly
Each copy stands
for each day
we represent
the machines we create

© Sunil Rajguru

Punching Bag

Did you have to treat my heart
like a punching bag?
You used me like a handkerchief
to wipe your sweat
a handy bag
to carry your things
a vehicle to transport you
to your destination
I thought you loved me
but you just needed me
A need is satisfied and forgotten
unlike love… which goes beyond
Our relationship was like
the last rays of the setting sun
The sun sets only to rise again
but our paths shall never cross again

© Sunil Rajguru

Strong Love

My love for you is so strong
that I would hold you in my arms
and
crush you
and
kill you.
and love would do the same to me.
For in this world,
Everything perishes,
save death
our love can live only through it

© Sunil Rajguru

Where times meet

Mountain Lake

It’s always today
Tomorrow and yesterday are two worlds
which are equally far away
only the directions differ
or perhaps they meet at the same place
As the beginning of time and the end of it are two times
which are equally far away
only the directions differ
and perhaps they too meet at the same place

© Sunil Rajguru

Senses Better Left Senseless

I open my eyes and I see darkness
I close then and a blinding light
I open my ears and hear sadness
I close them and it’s joy in flight

I open my nose and smell decay
I close it and find a new freshness
I open my mouth and breathe foul air
I close it and feel no breathlessness

I open my heart and feel the treachery
I close it and find hope and faith
I open my mind and reach a dead end
I close it… an eternal road with no hate

© Sunil Rajguru

A Piece of Freedom

There is so much suffering in my heart
so many tears that I have held back
so much that my tongue has to say
so much substance that my words lack

My memories strain under the burden
my thoughts are too heavy for my mind
my feelings slowly sink into the past
as my very self I fail to find

I stare at the empty darkness
as I’m locked in a door less room
the four bare walls, floor and ceiling
all together spell my doom

I years for a small free space
and just one breath of fresh air
I yearn for just one moment of life
a moment I can live without care

© Sunil Rajguru

We are our Ghosts

Life is an elephant’s burden
on an ant’s back
The punishments outweigh
the rewards
Nothing is worth living for
or dying for
All around is misery
increasing by the second
and time passes

Life is a game of chance
but God is the Gambler

We live in a world of dreams
Each thing around us
is a mere phantom
Just an image of the real thing
which doesn’t exist
We live in our own houses
of imagination
and we are our own ghosts

© Sunil Rajguru

Where is my song?

My blood rushes as my heart recoils
My body convulses as my head boils
My conscience shudders as my soul awakes
My mouth vomits as my stomach aches
I fall down as my legs can’t carry
I don’t look up as my eyes see a haze
My hands are stiff and self unwilling
The burden of guilt is slowly killing
My self, my depths and my soul
God… save me from this hellhole

My tongue doesn’t speak—it’s been too loose
Too late. What now? It’s no use.
My shoulders are crushed under the burden
My back has been totally broken
I speak no more, do no more
Think no more. Hope no more.
I’m like a grave. Dead and lifeless
The heart is full of pain yet expression painless
What is right? What is wrong?
God! Where the hell is my song?

© Sunil Rajguru

Dazzling Love

Your love is like a bright ray
a ray so bright
that it blinds me and I can see nothing
Your love is like a thought
a thought so beautiful
that my mind cannot hold it
Your love is like a melody
a melody so sweet
that I fall into a slumber,
oblivious to the world
Your love is like a dream
a dream that vanishes
when I awake from my sleep

Your love is like a star
a star so high and remote
that I cannot reach it

© Sunil Rajguru

The Searcher

He wanders from door to door
In search of…
in vain
He begs, pleads, prays and hopes
to find an open heart
with a giving hand
For a microscopic
fragment of somebody’s health
that would make him a millionaire
in his small world
No dreams, ambitions or wild desires
Just the hope that
his tiny hand will be full today
But more often than not
he encounters
closed doors, deaf ears and unseeing eyes
and his fists remain clenched
enclosing nothing but
air

© Sunil Rajguru

The Idiot Box

A squarish piece of glass flashes images
of all the places of the world
of all the periods of time
of all the known emotions of man
Transports multitudes
into an untrue land of truth
and impoverishes them
separating them from
the real world around them
and uniting them with
the false phantoms of real people

© Sunil Rajguru