What is your answer?

“London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle describes London as a great pool of blood, and human waste, that he, a free man was naturally gravitated to. The British empire of which London was (and still is) the capital naturally attracted all kinds of people. But then again this was a picture painted of a Dickensian London. 

Like Sir Arthur, my attraction towards adventure brought me all the way here to the soil of Shakespeare, the rich, the poor, the expensive, fast-paced, London. And as I sit on my 3/4 double bed and glance at my duvet spreading, which ironically is an image of London’s view points, I wonder if London has always been a question with multiple choice answers to it. In the silence of this night, through that tiny window of my room, I still hear the racing bikes, probably young men chasing the night sky light. Afar from here, I glance over those tall, gigantic, man-made buildings, where you go to spend half of your lives, 9 to 5, every day, so that you can afford to pay the tax, the rent and the living of this mighty city. As I jot down these characters displayed on my screen, it’s 22:11 GMT and these man-made architectures still have their lights on, no humans around. It’s much of a satisfaction to think that these people, after a long day of work have gone back to the HOPEs of their lives, their family, their friends, their pets, and some to themselves. And like every other day the cycle of their 9 to 5 jobs continue, but even in this hazard Londoners lead their lives royally on the days labeled “BANK HOLIDAYS”.

London, A place where a cup of tea is like a sip of water, chips is a staple diet that you eat with anything and everything, beer, the nation’s favourite drink, where the pigeons have more sass than you, sarcasm is your everyday language and love is your religion. Multicultural, festivals, pubs, some other words describing this cesspool. Where differences are not tolerated but celebrated, love is kind and compassionate, people are more than just polite, they are caring, an act of random kindness is the homeless guy feeding a dog, humans opening up their homes to the needed, whenever and wherever in need. London, a place that just asks your participation. So coming back to this 3/4 double bed of mine, a heater on the side wall, which I barely turn on, I ask myself again, London, a question with many multiple choice answers, What is your answer?

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In the Hyde Park

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Photographed by : Suhrita K
With green grass spread beyond what the eyes could see
Textured and furnished with abundant trees
There on untilted land, played the young and the old
That evening, till the heart felt warm and the sun went cold.
There on untilted land, by the shades of the leaves, stood a park bench
Where they sat, gazing the falling sky, the couple speaking french.
There on untilted land, in Central London, in the Hyde Park
I saw life in all its phases, a dreamy voice in the deep dark.

-Roshni Rajshekhar Nair

Enigma of That great Cesspool

napo2017button1Day 4. Prompt– One of the most popular British works of classical music is Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations. The “enigma” of the title is widely believed to be a hidden melody that is not actually played, but which is tucked somehow into the composition through counterpoint. Today I’d like you to take some inspiration from Elgar and write a poem with a secret – in other words, a poem with a word or idea or line that it isn’t expressing directly.

I travelled back in time, Flew
A 4649 miles precisely, Perhaps.
That great cesspool”, said Arthur Conan Doyle, himself.
Oh! How am I drawn to your madness?
Poppies and Medals, Literature, and
Poetry, The Globe, Fantasy and Mystery.
Asthma Bronchitis! How do I keep up?
That cold breeze from where I stand,
Is this the Liquid History I breathe?
A dark beauty, Clear and Still.
Every smile, Every eye, I seek,
Are the sweet honey to my lemon tea.
Sweethearts on the go,
With their morning espresso.
Fix up your mind”, When it rains,
I drain and squeal. And then the sun-
with those beams, “Silly weather!”
“What the hell is wrong with you?”
But beyond the destined bridges,
The borough and of all, Buildings –
With Square in their names, I see
Red is your colour, Green from Space,
And you, Oh beautiful, Every night’s delight,
Imperial Purple and A Hazy Lilac
Thy greatness, thou make me want to live
Live like royalty.

-Roshni Rajshekhar Nair