Like fingerprints

not one is similar to another,

even those of twins.

Each one

is more than a book to explore,

deserving to be reflected upon,

worthy of intelligent guesses,

as every face

has a story to tell.


No face can ever be written off,

even the ones you daily see:

indeed, as for the latter,

one has a bonus too:

the daily faces

are barometers

of the ups and downs

of life itself.


Even if some appear still

and others animated,

faces carry best

the signs of life.

One’s own face is best seen

in a mirror

while every other face

mirrors its soul:

it is for the onlooker

to perceive this.

One disagrees with  what Auden said

about private and public faces

in public and private places:

a face is a face

regardless of where it is seen.


Tragedy and turmoil

may exist beneath

a serene face

and one that appears

pretty anxious

may well be upset

about trifles.

The fun is in guessing.

No, one isn’t judgemental,

only excited about possibilities.

Be happy when  proved wrong!

Be warned too:

Some faces upset you

for no particular reason:

please resist the leap

to any conclusion.


One needn’t stare at a face

to infer anything:

looking deftly, as they say,

in the general direction

of nowhere in particular

would quite suffice.

Avoid staring incidents please,

as the Singapore posters

remind you!


In the drama involving faces,

when one looks at another

there remains an outside chance

of something prompting

each other

that it is perhaps

worth extending a hand or

simply saying  Hello:

the suspense still is in

who makes the first move:

a gesture which may well be

a life-changing event or

just an incident in passing.

Take the risk, please.


p29 (c) pradeep gopalan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s