We the celebrated slaves of social media

We pledge to let the propaganda roll…
Much before the penny hits the ground
Or logic intervenes for better
Or curiosity questions the hidden agendas..
We would broadcast your message to millions!

slavesofsocialmediaWe feed on rhetoric.. especially the one dressed in fear
Hit us under the belly and we would chant a nuclear reaction
Consider us, yours best mass media advertisers!
Often we are the krill unaware of the whales feeding on our big numbers…

For we are the celebrated slaves of social media

We are a bunch of nerves
Buzzing on surface, transporting million bytes every second
Who cares for where it came from
And what impact will it leave

As long as it’s fun
We will accentuate and spread anything
that catches our attention
We traded our intelligence and palette
For few extra emoticons by Mark Zuckerberg

Cause we are the celebrated slaves of social media

We work for free and proudly
In exchange of an illusionary freedom
We became the mini-news-producers
With 140 characters on our plate
We could shift the global debate

And that too with no accountability
To validate or verify, any fact or reality
We defend and offend but rarely repent
Unaware of the big games played at our expense

Try us, we are the celebrated slaves of social media

Give us any complex issue
And we will turn it into black and white
It’s worth only determined by number of likes
Who has patience to scroll down for nuances and minority voice
When we can reach conclusions by scanning digital headlines

When you have burgers and pizza at your doorsteps in less bucks
Why care for hunting, gathering, farming, cooking and cleaning
Screen is our buffet, our pride
Who cares about lives on other side of the digital divide

Indeed we are the celebrated slaves of social media

We conserve energy and boycott effort
Reducing activism to fingers tips and clicks on small screens
While farmers toil the earth, masons bear the heat, rest of the world walk the street,
We click, swipe, like, react, forward, comment, tweet but we never log off…

Our thumbs cries for mercy
Head low and lost in virtuality
While the real world dances and dies
A million deaths and resurrections
We wake up to the sound of new notifications

We… wait for it… are the celebrated souls of social media!


Manish Srivastava


Million Drops of Love

Humanity stands at a new threshold
Rising hatred, sinking hope
For every spark of hatred
Let’s rain million drops of love…

million drops of love

Just before the dawn of new humanity
A massive wave hit the hearts
A relapse of sorts
Intense tribal fear kicked in
The world started walking backwards
Sliding back into their caves
Of nationality, caste, class, religion and race
Whatever be the label
The stone on mouth of each cave read “fear”
Fear of being loved
Fear of being lost in eachother
Fear of breaking the old
And letting the newer and higher emerge
Irrational fear
Beyond all logic and education
Living unchecked in each heart
Only manifested by some lone wolves…
Before we scapegoat them
Let’s look within, our own caves
This is our time…
History of evolution is being created
Each of us stands at the threshold
Of our caves…
Either we step out,
Dissolve the boundaries that divide us
Embrace the other
Co-create a new world
Or we step further in,
Our comfort zones that separate us
Continue the war of “us vs them”
That has destroyed civilisation again and again
The wall that’s reinforced to protect
Also isolates and stifles the one within
The gun that’s fired to eliminate
Also kills the one who holds it
The hatred that justifies righteousness
Burns the one who lives within
Once again, we are in a divine tug of war
manthan within every heart
What would sustain us?
Who will we be at the other end?
What will we tell our children?
It’s our test as humanity…
For every act of violence,
Let’s take million steps of peace…
For every cave that’s closes,
Let’s open million hearts with hope…
For every spark of hatred,
Let’s rain million drops of love…
Manish Srivastava
Sacred Well
18 June 2016
(artwork by Manish on Moleskin app)
rising hate

Calling out the archaic game of terror


When senses are overloaded with multitude news and views
And information travels in & out of body, faster than the old-world oxygen & carbon
When movements are getting limited to moving fingers on key board
And public opinion is shaped by online petitions & Facebook likes…
When media is full of overwhelming stories of fear, violence, hatred
And the restless city life provides little anchor in self or community

In such a fragmented, frenzied and fragile social fabric—
How do we differentiate between our actions and the act that we are part of?
How do we see the script that has been written & directed for millions of years?

Animal world hunter or predators knew this game well—
First, find a herd busy in feeding their individual selves, oblivious to the ecosystem
Take them by surprise, so they run helter-skelter to save their lives
Give overwhelming dose of fear so they don’t get to reflect and organise
Create a scene that disconnects them from their own power— personal or collective
Then find a scapegoat. Slay it. And feed on it in presence of others.
Let the fear go down their genes.
Let the whole herd, ingrain in their DNA, that they are alone, fragmented, powerless.
Help them tweet, post, make it a big deal, so that it becomes a collective memory.

Old world dictators and aristocrats also knew it well—
They were threatened by a new breed of soulful warriors
Who refused to be part of the fearful herd and turned back to fight
These warriors could replace collective animal fear with hope
These warriors could expose the corruption of the powerful
So the the aristocrats invented the gladiators
And forced these best of soulful warriors to play a death game
While rest of the population watched public killing with great uproar, in exchange of little bread
Their own warrior and their own soul was brutally murdered
And in midst of those celebrations, fear prevailed…
Leaving each of the audience, fragmented, powerless, fragile…

In the new world, the game became more sophisticated
Industries & governments were the new power centres who send their best to armed wars
Or created conditions for informal, ideological civil wars and named in terrorism
Or incorporated global companies that led insidious exploitation of all resources, including human

Either ways, the game continued and served the powerful
Took the masses by surprise, fragmented them, exploited them, scapegoat some
and celebrated death to induce more fear and powerlessness.

The democratic mind demanded choice
And got satisfied too soon, between the two—
Either you go to war with our army or theirs!
Logos will help you justify that your side has the moral right to kill

Yet, what we all missed is that we were still on war—
Away from Kingdom. Away from fields. Away from families and children
Away from our own soul and longing
Away from the riches that our wars and sacrifices generated for the powerful.

Predator strategies have not changed
Dictators have not disappeared
Fear remains a valuable currency of power
Our degrees and bank balance has not given us any better sense
Patterns repeat and will do so…

Unless we, the herd of deers, or audience of gladiators, or social media aggregators,
decide to stop…

To stop our frenzied, fragmented, fearful run
And look at the hidden, old patterns of power
Refuse to participate in the scapegoating celebrations
Refuse to go to war from either side
Refuse to get drunk on the scared righteousness story
Refuse to play the old script of “us vs them”
Refuse to run for life…

And choose to live for love
Choose to look straight in the eye of fear
Join shoulders, paw the ground with forefeet, and dirt flying backward…
And get ready to fight together

No lion worth its salt will dare exploit a herd that stands its ground together
No dictator however brutal can thrive on fear if the audience stands with gladiator and calls the game over
No act of terrorism can sustain if we refuse to feed on its core values of fear and fragmentation

When the victim drops his costume of fear,
The prosecutor is also liberated from his spell of violence
A warrior who has found his inner king and anchor
Wins without lifting the sword








— manish srivastava

(from the sacred well…)
pic sources: warrior, gladiator