Masks Do Not Make A Hero

Poem By Nilamadhab Kar

You cannot beg to be a hero
Nor can you be a real one by acting
Nor by beating your own drums

For your desire to be perceived as a ‘hero'
You need not create villains around you
Or see enemies in your friends, and ask for a fight

Believing you will win and be a hero
You may never realize
What you have lost
Asking for a fight, even before it starts
By just being at daggers drawn

To raise your height,
You need not dig pits around you
To lower others, the near and dear ones

To project your brightness
You need not paint it black around you,
Or smear the faces
You won't recognise your friends
Even in broad day light, under the sun
You won't distinguish the foes

Paranoia may creep in, settle and grow
As cancers in mind, and
Until you recognise, it may be long, too long

For peace, you need not raise a war,
Victories and defeats are all illusions…
Perceived and temporary
A score is never settled
Wars fell people, they do not make heroes
Win or lose, following a fight
There is always a pain, on both sides
However well may you try to hide it
In words, pride, or pompous ceremonies
It still lingers, undulates underneath

You would lose a friend in your friend
They may not bite your bait and turn into foes
They may choose a path that no more crosses yours
Or they may just turn viewers in a gallery, understanding
Your desire, to be a ‘hero', to be perceived as one
You may march on dressed as a king, your friends not alongside
But as bystanders, watching in pity,
A man, a friend once upon a time, walking naked

The real world, then, would change to a stage
Your friends would be acting, as your friends
They would know it, you too surely,
And all around you, in an imaginary ideal world
Untrue and pretentious, but correct
Measured, with dialogues and smiles
Already planned and rehearsed

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Packed with the brighter mornings.
Shall your silences ever mean
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There, in a mystic space, in concepts, you now reside
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You have transcended to a heavenly continuation


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It is always a half life
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One side of the coin only,