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Ashwin Kumar May 8
Forty five dark days
Forty five desolate days
Forty five depressing days
With every passing hour
I go from depressed to hopeful
From hopeful to furious
And back to depressed
The vicious circle goes on and on
With no end in sight

Forty five dark days
Forty five desolate days
Forty five depressing days
As the first lockdown is extended
The sense of despair grows stronger
My temper grows shorter
My insecurities, buried till then
In the dark recesses of my mind
Suddenly rise like a tsunami
And flood my brain and heart
Leaving a massive trail of dead cells in their wake

Forty five dark days
Forty five desolate days
Forty five depressing days
As the second lockdown is extended
I become increasingly on edge
Every little frustration comes to the fore
Whether it be the delayed salaries
Or being cooped up in a small house
With five family members
And thus having to endure the sheer cacophony
Of the Mahabharat and Ramayan
Blaring on the TV every day
Or simply the torrid climate of Chennai

Forty five dark days
Forty five desolate days
Forty five depressing days
How long will this go on?
I have been patient till now
But at some stage, I am bound to snap
And then you will find
That when the going gets tough
The tough get going
However, I get dangerous
So, think carefully, dear Prime Minister
Before you announce another nationwide lockdown
Unless you want to land yourself in quarantine
My 3rd lockdown poem!!
Ashwin Kumar May 2
How cruel can you be?
How heartless can you be?
Every month, every week
Every day, every hour
Every minute, every second
You subject your employees
To nothing but abject slavery
In the name of hard work
In the name of targets
But in reality, just to satisfy
Your unquenchable thirst for money
Your insatiable greed for power

How cruel can you be?
How heartless can you be?
You expect results at the speed of light
But you do not provide your employees
The necessary resources
After all, do you think
They are all Harry Houdinis
Capable of pulling rabbits out of hats?

How cruel can you be?
How heartless can you be?
Your employees burn the midnight oil
And brave Hell for you
Some of them are forced to do it
Just to make both ends meet
And you have the sheer nerve
To deny them their pay
Which they have so richly earned
After weeks and weeks of toil

How cruel can you be?
How heartless can you be?
Mark my words, the time will come
When you will pay for your deeds
Till now, you have been lucky
Fate has been on your side
However, things will soon change
Your company will be in free-fall
You will be in debt
With nowhere to turn
As your employees will desert you
One by one
Not even a Houdini can save you then
This poem is a message to the owners of the company where my best friend works; she has not been paid the salary since June 2019!!
Ashwin Kumar Apr 1
Thirty years and counting
Every day, as life goes on
A fiery battle rages
In my mind, heart and soul
Conflicting thoughts and emotions
Wage an unholy war
Armed with a billion weapons
Far more destructive than nuclear bombs
The resulting carnage threatens
A result far worse than a Dementor's Kiss
You know, I never asked for this
I never asked to be born autistic
Of course, it is good to be different
But, does everybody appreciate this difference?
In India, the society judges you
Based on what you speak
However, my mouth is blessed
With an ability to turn
Anything that it touches, into stone
Resulting in decades of social anxiety
If only wishes were horses
I would be in Britain
Where actions speak louder than words
After all, not for nothing
Was King George VI one of the finest rulers
In spite of being born
With the handicap of a speech defect?

Thirty years and counting
Everybody seems to like me
Everybody seems to think I'm nice
Up to a point, that is
The moment I dare
To step out of my threshold
The moment I dare
To break codes of conformity
The moment I dare
To question any form of injustice
Is the moment of truth
It is the moment
When everybody shows their true colours
It is the moment
I stop being nice
Instead; I am angry, disturbed, jealous
Naive, immature, unreliable
Confused, weird, crazy
And the list goes on and on
With no end in sight

Thirty years and counting
I have seen enough
I have heard enough
I have felt enough
The time has finally come
For an internal independence struggle
Gone are the days
When I was busy being a 'Yes Man'
Now, if you have a problem with me
I can only tell you this
Tomorrow, you may find
A pill of cyanide
In your cup of coffee
Or a cobra in your shoulder bag
Or a bullet in your temple
Or a bomb in your briefcase
The choice is entirely yours, my dears
This poem has a dark ending, and a Harry Potter reference.
Ashwin Kumar Mar 23
Day by day
I am falling apart
Sinking to new lows
My world crashing around me
I may be thirty years old
But at heart, I am a child
A lost child, seeking reassurance
Seeking sanity, in this insane mess
Seeking happiness, in this tragic story
Seeking an escape, from this hideous cage
After all, what have I done
To deserve this terrible fate?
I did not ask, to bear this burden
On my already weary shoulders
It is quite easy to say
That I will soon be fine
That it is only a matter of time
But, how can I right the wrongs
That I have done
Over the last few hours
In my anger, panic and desperation?
Whether it be shouting at my family
Or breaking my phone screen?
Of course, I can start afresh
My love for my family is real
Irrespective of a few spats
Triggered by being cooped up
In a small house, for two days
After all, these are mad times
You cannot eat at a restaurant
You cannot watch a movie
You cannot attend a poetry event
You cannot even go to a park
But, how long can one remain inside?
In the absence of fresh air
The mind tends to become stale
And therefore prone to meltdowns
Can you then seriously blame me
For flipping out, as I did?
Of course, it is easy to say
That I should be more mature
Given my present age
But then, autism affects you
Irrespective of your age
Anyway, the fight is on
The virus may **** us physically
But it is upto us, to ensure
That it does not **** us mentally
Of course, we have to take a few blows
It is certainly not an easy battle
However, as they say
It is better to try and fail
Than to give up right away
Therefore, whether we win or lose
We will not go down without a fight!!
Poem dedicated to fighting the novel Corona virus.
Ashwin Kumar Mar 22
Woe betide me
Every day as I wake up
I sniff the air around me
Searching for some hope
In these dark, difficult times
However, like a fly
Buzzing around the dinner table
Hope hovers tantalisingly
Inviting you to make a lunge
Before eluding your reach
At the eleventh hour

Woe betide me
My mood swings like the Sensex
From happy to sad
From sad to angry
From angry to depressed
From depressed to stressed
Like a sine wave
The graph marches on inexorably
With no straight line in sight

Woe betide me
In all my thirty years
I have been through a lot
Depression, sorrow, grief
Heartburn, jealousy, rage
Frustration, stress, guilt
One thing, however, is certain
Anything set in stone
Is less likely to tug at my heart strings
Than something subtle and nebulous
Uncertainty is the worst evil
Like a cunning serpent
It slithers around us silently
Striking when we least expect
Sinking its huge fangs
Into our soft and supple skin
As the poison courses its way
Through our delicate bloodstream
We are ****** into an abyss
Deeper than the Pacific Ocean
And from which there is no escape
We can only pray in vain
As it is only a matter of time
Before our souls are ****** out
Through our gaping mouths
Open, in a silent scream of terror
Of course, we could be wrong
We may wake up tomorrow
And realise it was just a nightmare
Nevertheless, the damage has been done
Things will never be the same again

Woe betide me
Marriage is a dream
For every man and woman
As it heralds a new life
A whole new world
Full of promise and hope
Yes, there are hurdles along the way
But none of them are insurmountable
Now, however, crisis has stuck
Being born autistic is hardly a blessing
Since I am often bamboozled
By people and social situations
However, thanks to therapy
I have ridden the storm
And stayed afloat
Over the last five years
Now, however, I am faced
With something totally out of my control
Thus, all my old insecurities
Largely dormant all these years
Have broken through the dam
Carefully built, through sheer willpower
And flooded my mind, heart and soul
At the speed of light
Thus, I am back
To a place where I was, five years ago
Never did I think
In all these years
That I would return
To the humble abode of Satan
Alas, that's life for you
Handing you the greatest shock
When you least expect it
Woe betide me!!
Woe betide us all!!
This is my poem dedicated to our present times - the novel Corona virus. I have taken a bit of inspiration from Harry Potter and its author JK Rowling.
Ashwin Kumar Dec 2019
Rest in peace, India
For you are no more
No more a democracy
No more a republic
No more a secular country
What we are seeing instead
Is a fascist, Brahmanical dictatorship
Where Dalits, Bahujans and Muslims
Are treated as second-rate citizens
Where Brahmins rule the roost
And caste is the order of the day
Where the police run riot
At the slightest sign of a protest
Where equality is dead

Rest in peace, India
For you are no more
The Constitution is being wrecked
By the same people
Who swear to protect it
Day in and day out
This is not the country I knew
This is not the country I loved
Since I was a child
This is Pakistan, not India
After all, we are brothers
United by caste and communalism
Divided only by religion

Rest in peace, India
For you are no more
I so wanna escape it all
Thus I turn to cricket
Watching India play West Indies
In my beloved Chennai
But, then again,
As I turn up the volume
I hear chants of 'India! India!'
This is the last straw
That broke the wretched camel's back
Unable to bear it any longer
I yell 'West Indies! West Indies! '
My prayers are answered
As West Indies win the match
That too as if it were child's play
Rest in peace, India
For you are no more
Poem in the wake of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, followed by the Jamia students' protests and subsequent police atrocities.
Ashwin Kumar Nov 2019
Is this a democracy?
Is this a secular country?
Where is liberty?
Where is equality?
Where is fraternity?
Dear government, all the masks you wear
To cover your true faces
Which are full of evil
Have fallen like nine pins
It is time to cut the pretence
And to call a ***** a *****
For you have been brutally exposed, in broad daylight
As nothing more than a dictatorship
A tyrannical, fascist, Brahmanical dictatorship
Where human rights are routinely violated
Dalits and Muslims are lynched
Countless atrocities happen in the name of caste
Countless freedoms are curbed
And the list goes on and on
With no end in sight

Is this a democracy?
Is this a secular country?
Where is the freedom of expression?
As the marginalised communities
After countless years of suffering
Raise their voices in a crescendo
The police show their ugly faces
Raining blows after blows
Turning a university into a warzone
In an uncanny reminder
Of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre

Is this a democracy?
Is this a secular country?
A country where dissent is brutally suppressed
A country whose government cannot be questioned
A country whose constitution is being ignored
Tell us, dear government
Are you really better than the Nazis?
Stand with BAPSA. Stand with JNU. Down with the brutal police. Down with the tyrannical JNU administration. Down with the Brahmanical government!! Say no to the fee Hike!! Say no to the Hostel Manual!!
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