I Am

Edit from the future, 2017: I don’t like this piece anymore. Someday I’ll rewrite this, or even roast myself for this.


I initially dedicated this to the ones who started Pune Poetry Slam and Airplane Poetry Movement, but as I kept writing, the poem quickly developed a theme of courage to start something wonderful despite all the doubts and pressures of conventional naysayings a person goes through in their lives. Of course, this is also a reminder for myself that every first step is always meaningful.


When you close your eyes and rub them gently,
You can see a universe inside.
Not out there, but in here.
Where part of the power resides.
That part of the darkness in space and time,
Where the first generation of stars
Took their first steps to illuminate,
And burst forth with dust, enriching life upon the earth’s crust,
Becoming this being with two arms, two legs and a smile.

You’ll find me sitting on shoulders of giants,
As I ponder, under the moonlight,
If I can ever jump, all the way, to the moon.
Or am I stuck repeating the same old tune,
Where my song cannot exist beyond words carved on the cobblestones,
Going one way, like a tragic story crumbling into sand.
The lines of this lore become the lines of my hand,
As I ponder,
“Who am I to dent the sky?
How could I ever, when the giants couldn’t fly?”

Me? I’m someone with two arms, two legs and a smile,
Walking in the stability of the cobblestones,
Lit by security of the lampposts, crafted with such care
By someone who is never even there,
Someone, like the stars, lightyears away,
Shining upon us, long after they are gone.

These cobblestones and lampposts were not built by ghosts;
They were built by those who cared the most,
One stone at a time, so we could walk another mile,
Building bridges, to unite you with the heart a distance apart,
Building tombs for the dreams buried in withering diaries,
Building a stage for voices that need a moment to bleed,
Like a map on your fingertip, each unique, like a key
To that part of the power that made those giants,
To that part of the power made you and me.

Even if it can be done, we’d need infinite gold,
Infinite support, and infinite hands to hold,
Infinite hope, and an infinite sense of thrill…
But it all comes down to infinite strength of WILL.

So I just came with open palms,
Singing psalms to myself, lighting one lamppost at a time,
And it didn’t take long for the dormant hearts to spark
With courage to face the uncertain dark.
When the sun abandons us on a road FULL of scars.
I asked for one candle; and I was greeted by the stars!

We stand on the shoulders of giants.
We can see the distant dreams beyond the abyss.
If we walked any further, we would fall and die.
But we weren’t meant to walk, we were meant to fly!
One step at a time, holding on to each other, hanging tight,
Torches alight, our wings learning to take flight,
Signing our names into the eternal night.

“Houston, do you copy? This is Apollo 11.
We have reached the moon.”
One small leap for a human. One giant leap for humanity.

Every time someone walks down the lonely square,
Their path will light up by a prayer, as they look up at the stars,
Wondering who it was that was the first to care.
It was ALWAYS our turn to light the next star of dawn,
So that the light keeps shining, long after we’re gone.

So, who the fuck AM I? What the hell CAN I do?
Well… Let me tell you.

I could be a miracle of stars. I could be a child of dust.
I could be the soul of the human race,
I could be just be someone with a face, a name, and style.
Or I could be nothing more than someone
With two arms, two legs and a smile.
But even if my name won’t last,
Even if you forget my future and past,
If I never was, and never will be,
You can still find my song on the cobblestones,
Signed by these words:

“I Am”.

And therefore, I CAN


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