Respect Or Love?

“He who wants a rose must respect her thorn.”

“Choose one,” the command was loud and clear.

I was confused. How could I choose one? I didn’t know love and was too young to understand respect but I was argumentative and would always rise against the commands.

“I want both.” I spoke with immense confidence.

I was pushed aside. My turn was over. 

One by one each person was given a choice and they left the arena with the group they opted for. I kept on waiting. My blood boiled at the authoritative voice of the leader who took pleasure in his arbitrary designs on us. Who gave him this power to rule over our emotions? Why are we here? 

I looked around, trying to figure out the place. How did I reach here? Strange, stern faces stared at me.

“This is your last chance to choose,” I could hear some kindness in this voice.

“But why?” Before I could speak another word, I was dragged away into a dark alley and my sobs could be heard.

*****

Some dreams keep coming back probably because some notions remain dormant in our subconscious minds. Whenever I read a disturbing book about injustice, my mind hurtles back and transports me into unimaginable lands that I could have seen in movies.

Love – the basic emotion that connects us with life and people.

Respect – the essential trait that raises man to his civilized state.

How could anyone survive without them? This question has always haunted my mind and keeps coming back whenever I see or hear about any atrocities being inflicted on fellow human beings.

Love can still be pretended but respect can’t be faked. It reveals itself through our body language. 

“I love you.” “You are my best friend.” I have heard many such refrains from people around me but I could make out from their body language and actions how selfish their love was. It changes its contours according to the situation.

Respect cannot be claimed. It shows itself, it reflects in the eyes. It is an offshoot of love.

Can you choose one? Yet there are people who have none. 

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Guardians

watchers
Sue Vincent’s #Writephoto

Frozen faces?
Don’t mistake them for stones
They are the faces of humanity
They tell the untold misery.

Sunburnt and sunken?
Don’t judge their color
They are unsung heroes
Tortured souls who refused to give up.

Ask the village elders
Their valor shines in their faces
They earned your freedom
They exemplify human values.

Sacrosanct sentinels of eons
Conceal sagas of savagery
Living reminders of venom
That is fed into human blood.

Wild flowers bloom around them
Comforting their distressed hearts
That still beat for those
Who value free thoughts.
© Balroop Singh

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Thursday #writephoto prompt Guardian

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The Land Of The Dead

The Land Of The Dead

They lived in the land of the dead
Nodding to whatever was said
Muttering to themselves…
‘His word is law…he is the lord
A God sent messiah…
He has given us all’.

Content with their muted state
Always ready to bite the bait.
They crept into their graves
And the institution thrived.
The devil exulted at his success
The dead never speak, he surmised.

Someone entered the land of the dead
Dragged life along ahead
Stirred them out of their slumber
But before muffled voices
Could be heard, he was yelled at
Cursed, chastised, forced to quit

Could anyone force out fortitude?
Could he ever be booed?
When people learn to understand
Submission to injustice
Is akin to living
In self-created graves…

They wake up before it is too late
Speak out their mind with berate
Break the fetters of intimidation
Rise from the graves and look around
The sun is shining splendidly
And they are still alive!
© Balroop Singh
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