Passion Flame: A Rant

8 03 2008

I’m posting a poem I wrote last summer (before I had come to IIT). To set the story, I was majaarly pissed off by the coaching centre mentality. I had been madly in love with physics (though we’ve broken up, we still remain friends), and a year and a half later, my passion was just sapped away. With the exam over, I decided to generally start writing again, so I started with this. As you will soon see, I have abused the language in nearly every way possible, just to play with it. Most poems I have written till date have been of a melancholy tone. I wanted to try something new and that’s the explanation for the sudden shift in tone in the last few stanzas. It is pretty long, and I hope I don’t bore you with it.


Noooo! I scream inside,
This is who I am
A thousand pieces, together a puzzle,
Each bit part of a grander scheme,
The relation only obvious in afterthought
To do this is to me as to the dog a muzzle,
The bird a cage, the boat an anchor
If it be that I am the jack of all trades,
So be it, for that is who I am,
The jack of all trades,
But king of none.

Passion Flame

I lift my head from the papers,
Confident and self-amused
By the lines, the numbers, the ideas
All with my passion infused

The overwhelming desire to understand
the gears of this world
All the ticks and all the tocks
The carpet unfurls
Layer upon layer deeper I devle

The gears in my head turn
Even as I lay in bed, I jump and I skip
My passion blurs into dream
And with my dreams, my passion-flame burns
Bright, the flames flicker and dance.

I lift my head from the papers
Bored and self-abused
These lines, these numbers and these ideas stale
Stale with familiarity, stale as the fish I refuse
The desires that drove me, hidden
Hidden deep beneath the rolls of carpet

The facades of my friends,
Who work on, work on and on,
Pull at my heart, but my gut pulls harder
This is not it, but it is, is it not?

In my mind’s eye, I see
The face of my mentor,
Who inspired me so,
Who embedded my passion deep,
But now he says, “Go!

“Do not divert yourself, boy
Do not lose yourself in these petty thoughts,
These petty ideas, this passion passing,
The pursuit pointless, pointless I say”

Focus, focus, I say
Focus, focus, like Arjun on the eye
Focus, focus, not the truth, but the lie,
Focus, focus, and you shall succeed,
And be my success.

Noooo! I scream inside,
This is who I am
A thousand pieces, together a puzzle,
Each bit part of a grander scheme,
The relation only obvious in afterthought
To do this is to me as to the dog a muzzle,
The bird a cage, the boat an anchor
If it be that I am the jack of all trades,
So be it, for that is who I am,
The jack of all trades,
But king of none.

I stand before the Queen,
Where are those who would snigger,
“The Jack of all trades is he,
But the king of none ?”

So was I knighted, a knightly knave,
And I shall be called Sir Knave the Brave,
The jack of all trades am I,
But the king of none

“Do not fear, boy, do not waste
Your tears, boy, why don’t you emulate
You  peers, boy, there shall be
Tommorow always”

I cry infront of this indomitable enemy,
The Immortal Tommorow
All the while a thousand sayings fly past,
“A bird in hand is better than two in the bush”
A firm stand, shall hold against the push

I fall, fall down, down into an abyss
I am taken over my amensia
Everything seems amiss
Who am I? What am I? What is me?

I am now old, wise bold
The lines show on my face
Before me my grand children, bright faces
Expectant eyes of a future rise
What shall I tell them?

The story of a slog,
A script of how I wrote, and read
And still stood still as a log?
What difference to the world did I make?
That a thousand others did not fake?

I return to my desk, sturdy strong
My eyes glazed in defeat,
This is not me, weak wrong

I sit at the center, pulled at both ends
The mindless million, the daring dozen
Woe begone that my  daring passion
Is shrouded by a millions’ fashion

Those of the mindless million smile,
Happy to see,
another flame put out
The dozen look away, too used to seeing
another flame put out
I am lost, my soul belongs to the dozen
but my heart is captured by the million
And I feel
another flame put out

My hands, the lines distinct and clear,
It holds my future, they say
It holds my future, I say,
Though our views are not the same

These hands that make and create,
These hands that hold dreams firm
These hands that build a man
A man the world can look at and see
These hands are mine, a part of me

And so do I plant the tree
Its roots spread out and around
Giving as it takes,
Teaching as it learns,
Living as it lets live

And so do I know I am atlast free
Free to learn, to live, to hope,
To dream, to be all that is me.



11 responses

8 03 2008

very well voiced….though I would say it applies in a universal sense to all our acad stuff here as well…….(my jee physics coaching was awesome…’twas the only time in my life I actually used my brains)

8 03 2008

Thanks for the comment. My JEE physics also opened up my mind quite a bit. It was great at first, and that really put a lot of passion into me. But later on it became less about the topic and more about the exam, so meh, I got slisha pained.

9 03 2008
Arjun N Bharadwaj

Bows in deep respect!! POEM?? Whew!! God of ALL trades. 🙂

9 03 2008
ramya k v

@arun chaganty
Ought to happen at some point of time 🙂
It happened with physics n you….. Maths and me.
But i was luckier than you though [:)], i had no contraints by anybody during my preparations to jee(or rather never prepared seriously for it :P) but faced the dilemma a lot during my kcet prep days.

Agree wid u completely on the comment about our acad stuff here. Feeling sick of doing things for the heck of it.

9 03 2008

@slinky :
Welcome to the world of blogging. Hope you enjoy it….
@Ramya, Kirtika,Slinky.
Why simply why would anyone fall in love with acad????
*raised eyebrow- confused look*

10 03 2008

@kavi: Hello! The point here is not falling in love with “acads” but with an unbounded subject. Physics (and occasionally maths) can be tremendous fun if your working on it outside the fences of conventional classes (and sometimes even inside those), especially when you try to model something around you, and then find out that what you’ve done makes sense. You get direct feedback from nature itself. I’m not sure you get me, but hey, I tried.

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