How to save a life

One, Tell them they are more music than muscles and bones

Where each note plays perfectly

Inside strings of nerves

And hollows of synapses

To create actions that weren’t written or decided for them

To create a symphony unimagined by Mozart.

So that when they are deemed a sidekick by an orchestra

And handed over a tambourine,

Tell them to go up on the stage

And play their best version of ‘The tambourine man’.
Two, Capture sunshine in the space between your palm and theirs

When they sit alone on the bench

Right outside the school canteen,

Go upto them and say Hi.

In time, when rays of the sun fall between your hand and theirs,

Hold their hand.

And let the warmth send something electrifying up their cold veins

let them know 

That it’s not hard to catch warmth

Which almost always

Lies at the end of their sleeves.
Three, take them out for a bicycle ride

Up the highest hill in your town,


Not opening your mouths as you move uphill,

Talk with your breaths if you need to.


Listening to the birds,

To the trees,

To the grains of sand beneath your tires 


Tell them to listen to what goes inside themselves,

The metal clinks , the waterfalls, the bomb blasts

That are drowned by the noise of citylife.


Till you reach the top,

And then release.

Tell them to let all those sounds out from the compression of helplessness

Into the valley of relief that spreads ahead.
Fourth, listen to them as they play their tunes for you,

Sneak some chocolates for yourself and them too,

I said chocolates, and not cigarettes.

For once

Let ashtrays be eulogies

Written to the gavel that you strike

When you pass judgements against them,

And chocolates be lullabies

That you sing to them,

On days when they are crying.

As you teach them to love chocolates more than cigarettes,

And listen to their songs,

You will realise that somewhere,

they have saved your life too.
Fifth, let them know,

When their path leads to a dead end,

Or a diversion,

Or a U-turn,

Right where they stop their car with screeching breaks,

Around that corner, they will always find someone

Who will write them a poem,

Like this one,

Acting as lyrics to the music in their muscles and bones

To create a song worth living for.

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