Arun Tejasvi Chaganty about articles blog thoughts research

Passion Flame, A Rant

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.

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