Poems by Negatz

To Do or Not to Do

Poetry at Open Mic

A few months back, YourQuote (a platform for upcoming writers) had organized an open mic event at Noida. I had read about open mic events but never attended one till then. However, this time I decided to participate, despite being a reluctant (read as ‘not good’!) speaker. As if this was not enough to restrain me, I came to know that I was the one of the oldest participants! Even that didn’t deter me from performing! Nowadays, even the smallest of things gives me pleasure. I have stopped seeking perfection or expecting accolades at every turn. My current mantra is 3E’s:

Embrace, Experiment and Enjoy the one life given to us.

Well, my debut open mic performance was not a great one honestly. But the fact that I had the courage to try something I am not very comfortable with or even good at, made my heart sing. Some things are done neither for others nor to prove a point; they are done just for oneself. Each one of us is an unique individual, gifted with one precious life. Why is then the desire to either blend with the crowd or stand out from it? Let’s forget the crowd and follow our heart. I too followed my heart when I decided to recite one of my own poems “Looking Within”, later renamed as “Wisdom Reclaimed” at the open mic event, Noida. It is a metaphorical poem talking about every man’s inner tug of war between innate wisdom and mindless following of trends.


‘Speak less than you know’
‘Don’t judge the book by its cover’
‘Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill’
The Wise Ones advised.

As I grew up, their advice faded
And my inner voice grew silent.
I listened to the people around, who said
‘You work more, but show less
Do it the other way round and see the magic spread’

And I did exactly what they said.

I spoke more than I knew,
The fools were fooled, the wise eyes frowned
But who cares!
I focussed on packaging, content could go to dogs.
Fools were delighted, the wise minds sceptical.
But who cares!
I made mountains out of molehills
I talked, I showed, I presented more than what was.
I won the hearts of fools around, the wise ones scorned.
But who cares!

Fools were happy to be fooled.
And the wise ones…
Well, the world has tilted!
It’s a fool’s paradise out here. There are no takers for wisdom!

As I moved on, people commented,
‘You are too honest my dear
Mix some sugar of diplomacy and see the magic float’

And I did exactly what they said.
I smiled more often, a smile that never reached my eyes
I complimented needlessly, compliments that never grew from my heart
When people asked- what do you think?
I replied back with the echo of their thoughts
And what a boost that gave to their fragile ego.
The fools hugged me, loved me, adored me.
The wise ones shrugged with disdain
But who cares!

People commented, their decibel rising
‘Why play dice with your mind!
Come closer, we’ll give some advice.
Stop learning from the likes of Vivekananda and Einstein
You need neither, when Google is here
Think no more, Create no more
Just move your fingers to Google some more.’

I sighed…This is not funny anymore
I am tired pretending to be one of those
I feel so lost, and the wise ones seem distraught.

The advice from people is turning into a deafening boom
Thousands of fingers point at me and millions of voices accuse the wise ones.
‘You are stupid, you are naïve
No one will understand what you are saying
You are ahead of times, you are all gold and shine
You have art and magic
You have a novelty that is hard to find.
You are honest, you are brilliant
You are one of the last men standing
You are so much… and more
You are so tall for us.
But you are few and we are so many in number.
Lower your standards or we won’t let you in.’
That’s when, I could hear the echo of their fear.
Did you hear that too?

‘Enough is enough’, the wise ones roared.
And finally their silence broke.
What took you so long, I whispered to them?
To speak up and stand up to them.
The wise ones offered me their hands
‘You are one of us’, they said.

Remove the weed of borrowed thoughts
Plant new ones that are all yours
Let’s get together and make a brand new world
Where CREATIVITY is celebrated, GENIUS worshipped, and BRILLIANCE applauded.

Well, it’s not a fool’s paradise anymore,
The world has regained its balance once more.


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  1. Very very thought provoking and a true commentry of the life we go through. Unfortunate are those to whom wise men never speak up

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