Contemporary dilemmas

Contemporary dilemmas lie aplenty 
obscured beneath those cleverly worded captions.

They loosely resemble careless fun,
while simultaneously reminding the voyeur of her miserable present.

Lost somewhere between the temporality of my ‘was’ and ‘will be'
lie my ‘should’ and my ‘could’ preceded by a soft whisper of ‘I wish’.

The subtext is always money, what else could it be
when the theme of the visual conversation (or a passive-aggressive confrontation) is that of an exotic land far, far away.

You show me the castles you visited, the paths you got lost on, 
hashtagging the most intricate of details, the hidden jokes and the double meanings.
You take me on your journey with you, but not quite. 

See, this is where lies my contemporary dilemma, 
for I’m not sure if I should be happy for your voyage or depressed about my lack of one.
I’m currently in lockdown with only books for company, endless sheets of paper, spiral bounded haphazardly.

See, they simultaneously bind me to an ever-present reality of now, while letting my imagination run wild (into the past and the future) as I explore some more,
letting me daydream while I’m awake.
So, sometimes, I wonder while I’m daydreaming with open eyes,
if I’ll ever feel as fulfilled in physically undertaking these journeys which I have romanticized about.

As for you, I must refrain to get personal at this time,
for I know you must have felt the same about my (un)intentionally hashtagged journeys too.
After all, it is but a vicious circle of the age of modernity.
We’re always intimate, yet always distanced. 
We always mean everyone well, but not quite.

This illustration is by Rashi Agrawal and has been taken from The Bombay Review's website.

This work has also been published online on The Bombay Review website and a part of their book which is a collection of poetry and short stories.


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