Your Name?

I’ve been stopped midway, interrupted mid speech and often called at ungodly hours and posed different variations of the following question,
‘have we met somewhere before? Do i know you?’

It has become an event that occurs so frequently that the surprise that must naturally ensue such an odd remark has left me. I usually calmly reply no to the flustered, curious stranger in front of me and proceed with my day.

Regardless of whether or not doppelgängers exist in our limiting space and time, I am certain I have plenty of them. Seven, if I may go by the count of people who’ve claimed to have seen someone exactly like me at the train station, subway, airport or perhaps a dream? haha

(either that or I have a furiously common face – which makes me sad, so i’d like you to believe the previous narrative)

**

Once in high school I was asked an interesting question by a friend’s father. The principled, sturdy man examined me from afar and rebuffed,

‘Imagine the world is on the verge of ending. People are dying, it’s total chaos. We’d then need doctors, teachers, soldiers, lawyers to help save the world. The world would need their skills .. what good would artists do then?’ he scoffed & put the conversation to an end.

I didn’t have the answer then. Five years later in an almost prophetic coincidence, his words would manifest & I would have my answer and it would follow like this.

If the world were on the edge of ending, an artist would save people from dying out of despair. He would heal that which no medicine can, grief.

There sir, you have your answer.

**

My mother has a habit of never accepting compliments. If you tell her that her meal was the best course of food you’ve ever gobbled, even if you sang hymns of her culinary skills, she’d still say ‘it’s no big deal’ distractedly.
ma, it is a big deal.

So it is true what Mitch Albom said; over the course of time, we all become our parents.

**

I find it particularly funny when people snark, ‘when will you grow up?’ while shaking their head with disdain.

& it is particularly amusing because in parallel there have been people who have smiled warmly and asked me not to grow up so fast. That I sounded beyond my age which made them worry. Life is funny.

Truth is, if I were to stop being childishly obsessed with all that moves me, if i stop going crazy about all that seems too frivolous to the world to notice, i might actually lose my mind. Reality is painfully unbearable. It is dark grey so I choose to keep my mind full of odd colours, that way I have a good chance of surviving (if at all) whatever this is.

**

They say the greatest cause of suffering is desire. Do you know what my name means?

Love always,

your blogger.

Where Is Your Bookmark?

What is a bookmark? If not a promise to come back, where you left off? We go around bookmarking chapters of our life we couldn’t quite finish, that perhaps made our heart ache. But they also made our heart warm, like the winter sun on cold mornings.
Are you smiling right now?


There is a book I can’t make any sense of,
yet I cannot seem to put it away.
Flipping page after page,
with faint, lingering hope,
it’d turn to something beautiful.

One day I chance upon a chapter,
that takes my breath away,
until, after a couple of flips,
it too, stops making sense

But since abandoning things midway,
demands a strength I am yet to have,

I bookmark this chapter,
& keep it aside quietly.

Someday when I’m wiser,
and my heart has more strength,
I’ll come back to you.

Until then, I’ll let you rest,
On the shelves of my weak memory.
Hoping that when the time is right,
I may have not forgotten about you.


Keep bookmarking chapters of your life like this. Open them in secret & feel that warmth again from time to time. Or open them for good, and start all over again.

 

Love always,
Your blogger.

Tune In To Understand

As a kid, I appeared on the radio a few times. Not often enough to make me a star (clearly), but enough to recall a cluster of fond memories.

I was a part of a show hosted on my school’s local radio station. I was 14.

When I spoke for the first time in that mic, my heart thrummed loudly. We were broadcasting live. As soon as I spoke the first line, people behind the glass wall gasped. I shrunk. What mistake was it this time?

After concluding the show, I stepped out quietly, barely ready to face the barrage of reprimands waiting behind the thick wooden door. I enter the room and faces turn, all lit up. This is what I hear,

‘waaaaaah, you have a wonderful voice!’ 

if there are singular moments in time that stitch themselves up against your ageing memory, so tight that you never forget them, this was one such moment. I never believed I had a great voice until then.

I’m not really fond of the content that comes on the radio these days, but I’m fond of the idea upon which it rests. The art of listening. Understanding something without your eyes aiding you.

There is a movie called HappyThank YouMorePlease (interesting name, no?) with a scene that stuck with me. A conventionally not handsome man is pleading his uninterested muse to close her eyes and just listen to him. He requests for a chance to reveal to her what she’s unable to see. The woman is perplexed for a moment but slowly covers her eyes out of pity, much to her own surprise. After he confesses his sincerity for her in a long, impressive monologue, the scene ends with the woman opening her eyes, her jaw slightly dropped, and seeing him in a completely new light. It was as if ‘the particles in his face had rearranged themselves’ and that she was seeing him, really seeing him for the first time.

A bit too dramatic, in my opinion, but you get the underlying point right? She felt what her eyes were refusing to understand.

We’re so glued visually and busy processing it all through our eyes that we only soak what is said, and not what is meant.

When we listen, without the hundred distractions of the colour of someone’s eyes, or why their face looks tired, the empty coffee mug in their hand & why they clutch it so tight, why do their legs fidget, why does their skin glow, why do they play with their hair nervously, why is their palm smudged with ink, why is their shirt baggy .. everything that keeps our attention away from what is being said in that moment ..when we shut our eyes from this and choose to really listen, then the words shoot straight through our chest.

The transmission is straight into your heart. Whether it’s from the goddamn radio or that person you just can’t seem to understand.

Listen loud and clear. Feel the gravity of words being said to you. Their voice to yours.

“Broadcasting, love and, airplanes, do you know what they have in common?

They all require the maximum effort in the beginning.”

-Tune In For Love (a film)

Here’s a beautiful song for you.

Hope you smiled today.

Love always,

Your blogger.

Here’s to Melted Chocolates

How’s everyone doing?

It’s 3 in the morning in my part of the world and I’m in my bed trying to make a piece of chocolate melt in my mouth because that’s how I like chocolates. melted. I once heard of someone who liked their chocolates stiff and cold, snapping pieces in their mouth. Who does that? What are you a psychopath??

Nah jk man. Just eat your stupid chocolate however you like it.

I don’t have anything particularly artsy/angsty to write today. Neither is this one of those trademark, obscure poems I write out of sheer panic. I guess the chocolate is working.

When I was a kid i had a cousin that lived near my place. A distant cousin but I thought her more of a friend. In the evenings I used to go to her place to play. Her grandma, often spotting me running around the house would call me to her room and open her, what I now like to call, snack box. It was a small tin box with biscuits, crackers and other munchy stuff. She used to offer me some of it happily, every single day.

Fast forward 12 years, I am now sitting in my room & suddenly notice the big plastic box from which I’m munching my own snacks. Life is weird.

You know what will happen after I finish this chocolate? I will immediately rush to the kitchen and search for something really salty, like a crackhead frantically looking for weed, and I’d need it really fast or I’d throw up. It happens every single time.

I really have trouble understanding my head.

‘i need to know what goes on inside your head. i want to get inside your mind.’ A thought communicated to me multiple times by several honorary members of the human tribe. Mostly male tribe.

What’s the nicest compliment you’ve ever gotten? Mine was, ‘Aakansha, you’re poetry in motion’. That blew me away.

I sometimes open my mind box and rummage for some strand of old memory I could use to feel better. Let me do that for you right now. One moment.

..

found it

This one time I was out for lunch with a friend. We were both having really giant burgers. Like burgers so big their entire insides spill out. And I love messy food. The messier the better. But while I was licking the sauce off of my fingers enjoying every bite, he was dissecting his into neat bite sized pieces and eating like a gentleman with not a crumb out of place.

I, being the competitive asshole, decided to give it a try and failed miserably, with every ingredient slipping midair and crash landing on my plate. Noticing me staring defeatedly at my mess of a meal, he quietly assorted a perfect bite for me on his folk, bun-chicken-lettuce-onions-sauce-bun and gently put the divine assortment in my mouth, which dropped open at the site of his slowly approaching hand. The moment still makes me all warm and gooey. How thoughtful. How affectionate. No, we weren’t dating.


This was the first year I think when I didn’t post anything on my birthday. Is that good? Bad? Were you expecting another sad poem from this grey cloud? Idk bruh.

My birthday fell in quarantine which doesn’t really make a difference because so far almost every birthday has been a quarantine (lol). But this time, one small tiny special detail happened. My gorgeous best friend sent me a bottle of wine because when you’re panicking about the future on your birthday you need alcohol amirite folks? Tbh mix fruit juice would just fine for me but anyway. So the weather on my birthday night was lovely. It was nice and windy, just how I like and the stars & moon were in full lunar glory. I went to my terrace and climbed further up the top of a small storage room built there. And drank wine while watching the moon with Charlie Cunningham softly playing on my speakers.

Not bad for a sad fu*k like me hun? <Head pats>

What else? You know what I made this small list of things I wanted to rant about but I can’t remember where I wrote it.

Oh, I haven’t been sleeping well either. I sleep around 6 in the morning and wake up at 10 for work. My eyes burn but I fix them with caffeine and my boss’ rebukes.

I finished a few books and I’m absolutely hyped about it since I haven’t read dedicatedly in a long time. <well done, you miserable Demigod>

Sometimes when I’m writing here I think of my glory days on this blog. Buried beneath at least a 100 posts is my time here when I had a lot of pen friends. I don’t know where they are now, neither do they write anymore but I hope they’re okay.

I also think of starting another blog at times. Freaking crazy right? Because I don’t feel comfortable venting here anymore. A lot of people from my life know of this place. Risky stuff.

I’m done with the chocolate. Ending this rant with a beautiful Korean song I’ve had on repeat. Here’s a rough translation:

아빠는 말씀하셨다. 너무 작은 것들까지 사랑하진 말라고.
작은 것들은 하도 많아서 네가 사랑한 그 많은 것들이 언젠간 모두 널 울게 할 테니까.
나는 나쁜 아이였나보다.
아빠가 그렇게 말씀하셨음에도 나는
빨간 꼬리가 예쁜 구피를 사랑했고,
비오는 날 무작정 날 따라왔던 하얀 강아지를 사랑했고,
분홍색 끈이 예뻤던 내 여름 샌들을 사랑했다.
그래서 구피가 죽었을 때,
강아지를 잃어버렸을 때,
샌들이 낡아버렸을 때,
그리고 아버지가 돌아가셨을 때,
그때마다 난 울어야했다.
아빠 말씀이 옳았다.
내가 사랑한 것들은 모두 언젠간 날 울게 만든다.
-신지상&지오 ‘ 베리베리다이스키 ‘

Dad said. Don’t love too small things.
There are so many small things that many of the things you love will make you cry someday.
I must have been a bad child.
Even after Dad said so,
I still loved,
Goofy with a pretty red tail,
I loved the white puppy who followed me blindly on a rainy day,
I loved my summer sandals with pretty pink laces.
So when Goofy died,
When I lost my puppy,
When the sandals were worn out,
And when my father died,
Every time I had to cry.
Dad was right.
Everything I love makes me cry someday.

 

 

Hope you have a good day, wherever you are.

 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Anecdotes From A Big City (I)

A scene.

A pleasant pink spreads across the sky in the rush hour of a dense, cluttered city. Amidst the filth & grime below, the horizon above looks an enormous ceiling, painted and bedecked with gentle colours.

I’m rushing past scattered groups of people, skipping, trodding down a lightly soaked pavement from a recent afternoon drizzle. It’s humid, I’m still somewhere between jogging and running, just enough to let people know I’m in a hurry, without giving any offence. You never wish to offend elite men in loose ties and baggy shirts, with dry lips from their 6th cigarette after a weary afternoon shift.

I’m trying to get past the crowd, balancing my two bags flung across both shoulders, while also trying not to trip and fall face first on the slippery sidewalk. Reaching the gate, I look around, “6132” ..muttering out of breath, “613 .. there you are!” Spotting my tiny, bulbous green carriage I skedaddle and cross the road, narrowly escaping a splash of muddy water from the wheels of a rushing sedan and land unceremoniously in the backseat.

Green carriages like these are pretty common in big cities. They are small but spacious enough for three. Swift and ventilated. Cheap and easily available. In concrete jungles, essentially built to cater to the comfort & indulgence of the rich, these carriages were a method to not let the working class get trampled beneath the rising rent & underpaid jobs that are the prerequisite of a bada sheher (big city)

The carriage driver looks at me through the rearview, giving me a toothy grin and chimes, “Hurrah! you made it, I was just about to cancel the ride!” I wave my clenched fist in victory & try to nod, still trying to catch a breath. Carriage driver, a plump man in his 40s, with his face flushed and chubby further added, “I was about to leave Ms,” he twinkled, “when, judging by the pace and intensity you were speeding at towards me, I understood my customer is here.”

I burst out laughing. Partly because of how witty & good humoured that thought was, and partly because of the sigh of leaving an awful glass building early and the joy of heading home in a nice, dewey weather.

Still peering through the rear view he added, “Ms, please don’t take offence, but I must say it’s been a while I’ve heard someone laugh so khul ke (freely) in this city,” he spoke kindly. We exchanged a happy glance when jolting the carriage back to ignition, his eyes darted back to the clogged road attentively, never looking back again. I blinked.

I still think about that evening from time to time. I admit I’ve been told to have a fairly contagious laugh, enough to turn a few glaring public eyes. But somewhere, and I say this with all humbleness, his kind remark was more than just on the visual or auditory anatomy of my laugh. I should like to believe, he was recognising the rare, carefree, kind and guileless quirks of a laugh with no buried intention. A laugh meted solely because of the incapacity to contain the happiness of whatever inspired it.

Why did he take a moment and appreciate something so plain? Perhaps, propped on his driver’s seat in the afternoons, with a metal box of roti and saag, he too notices the grim faces and empty eyes of the people whiling through their lunch breaks trying to make it through another day.

Perhaps he too wishes for a merrier, warmer world. Where respect and kindness are offered without prejudice. Perhaps when we laugh and acknowledge the presence of another breathing thing, we fix a tiny gash somewhere in the fabric of world.


 

Hope you’re keeping safe & staying inside while the Earth takes its time to reboot. To those suffering due to the pandemic, hope your grief heals a little through this prayer.

 

Love always,
Your blogger.

All that hangs in the air

i pour cereal in your blue, ceramic bowl
as blue as the creases of your sheets,
when you’re tossing,
& sleep is out of the question.

i’m as blue as your bowl
as fragile as the ceramic
perhaps not as glinting
but you won’t notice

cereal floats in cold milk,
‘my body is not used to warmth’
a naked corner of your diary says,
one you’ve kept since 02′
i know where you hide your diary,
in the same nook, you hide your hurt.

drops of cereal topple to the floor,
it’s 6 in the morning,
my eyes are heavy,
half open,
i feel your fingers,
untangle the knots of my morning hair
& slowly take the bowl,
walking away

my heart thaws a little.
the shampoo bottle can wait another day.

it all started,
when a song in my playlist,
asked me to knock on heaven’s door.
& there i was,
at 3 a.m,
knocking at yours.

 

 

Love always,
Your blogger.

Our Collective Fragility

What a bittersweet paradox our life is. I wish to weep and laugh at the complexity and simplicity of it.

We wish of the world to know us, but are terrified of being truly known. That life is at times a circle of trying to feel good enough about oneself against forces telling us otherwise. How our collective worth inevitably lands in the hands of those we barely know. Our sense of self affected so meteorically by external forces. 

I find it staggering how none of the structures created by men to falsely claim some sense of control over the independence of life, stand when the very foundations of the world begin to crack. When life itself is challenged. Then self worth is only limited to you, right here, in this very moment, living and breathing. It is enough.

We need not forget, in our quest for power & money that we’re human beings existing for a fleeting moment in a giant, incomprehensible cosmic backdrop. To not forget the decaying nature of time and that amongst the supreme impermanence of everything around you; love, joy & kindness stay the longest. Feel the greatest. Life is hard, but it can be made easy for each other. By empathy, by understanding, by being there, by reaching out, by opening yourself up. It’s terrifying to lay yourself out there in a world so undeserving of trust. Paradoxically it, for this very reason, is essential to lay yourself bare; because the world outside is too full of people afraid to share what makes them human, what makes them fragile.

 

There is no terror like that of being known. 

-Emerson.

 

Here’s what matters in the end; how you lived, how you loved, how you let yourself be loved. Evenings in a room full of strangers who love the same song as you. Music that brings people to tears. Moments that bring people to tears. These are what stay with you when your eyes close and breathing becomes labour. Not your metrics, not your payslip, not even sex. Money can help make some of those experiences richer, but it comes with no guarantee. Moments, however, can be created right here. Right now. Sometimes they’re just a hug away. Love heals the kind of grief medicine cannot. And it’s free. And it’s inside us all.

So love with all your heart. Open up. Blossom. Wilt. Decay. Go back to Earth. We all eventually will. Hold tight, we’ll be okay.  

 

Love always,

Your Blogger. 

heaven is here

you go,
wherever the urgency of time
leads you.

i wish to stay here,
where the pink of the sky is just within reach,
& where waves crash & fall,
like a million diamonds scattering.

where cherry blossoms bloom,
with all their might,
& whirl away softly,
by a cool breeze.

i want to be consumed,
evaporated,
soaked by the sky.

you go claim mountains,
as if they were your own,
i will be here,
as still as the ocean bed,
as roaring as its gut.

Poem to fix someone

Sometimes it gets so quiet that my head hurts,
then i see a slender beam of light escaping
through my curtain,
at 4 am,
and all is well for 15 seconds.

until I jerk to reality,
and go pee,
in the tiniest bathroom in the world.
but big enough to fit us.

sometimes at 3 am,
when sleep is out of the question,
i hear the distant rumble of a train.
bellowing through the night,
someone on that train can’t sleep either,
thinking of stuff he cannot fix,

like I think of myself.

To think that things cannot be fixed,
is a folly.
even a broken bone is healed,
what then is a broken heart?

only sometimes to get fixed soon,
you need a hand.
a pair of hands,
and a pair of eyes,
and a pair of arms.

“Come here”, I say out loud in my empty room,

“I’ll fix you.”

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Roaring 20s

Hello 2020.

Hope you all had a good 2019. Mine felt like someone held me by the shoulders and jolted me throughout the year while I’m seated on an equally rough and fierce rollercoaster.

Revolutionary.

So much and so many ‘firsts’ and ‘news’ happened I have now stopped counting. I’m not the same person I used to be exactly a year back, I don’t know if that is sad or good. Perhaps the most taxing part throughout this year was, as I was musing the other day to a friend, I met a giant pool of new people in 2019, but none became a friend. A friend, in its literal meaning. A dear one, who listens, cares, calls. Not one person knows me, really knows me. It’s so odd, I wonder if this is how life becomes past a certain age. Umpteen people enter your life and sort of tag along, playing their parts in the periphery of your story and eventually leaving, but none ferry past the layers of formal decorum and touch your core, your insides, your spirit.

I used to be of the understanding that every human being, like me, makes an attempt to understand every human he co-exists around. Not to merely float and loiter until the tasks are done and the need for interaction is no more. Tries to perhaps dig, with sensitive caution, what lies inside every being. How we really are, beneath the mortal layers. Deep in our cores we’re all so sensitive, our hearts are all equally vulnerable to hurt, to rejection, to unkindness. Yet still I see no humanity. I feel no warmth. We’re all so cold, so guarded, so aloof.

Hence, I try my best to forge bonds wherever I feel an invitation from an equally giving spirit. Rest will find their own way, I hope.

I spent my New Years with the person my entire being shines around. I am an intrinsically happy person who likes to indulge in frivolous jokes and laugh till she’s crying. Situations also draped me in an equally quiet and brooding soul, but my spirit likes to jump and cry out of happiness. The burden of carrying these two extremes is a bit too much at times. But yes, I entered 2020 laughing and jumping with my best friend in a different city. I’m so grateful and blessed to have finally made it happen. We both had been yearning it for years.

Then I flew back and all went grey for a while. I felt miserable and lonely. Abandoned.

I was trying to recover from these feelings when one evening my mother calls and tells me my cousin killed himself. I couldn’t feel my insides. Almost half shivering I recalled my last meeting with him exactly two months back in a family wedding. We danced, his 10 month old daughter in his arms, both of us laughing.

My heart clenches thinking how someone can be carrying so much pain and not finding a way to relieve it.

May he be at peace, wherever he is now.

I am not the person I used to be exactly a year back. I’m too afraid of time now. Too scared of what it has in store, good or bad. Lately I feel like a ghost. All my insides are cold, like a blizzard just passed through.

May 2020 give me some warmth. May all the good that occurred this year (it did, really) give hope for more good to come. May goodbyes be lesser. May we find people who stick throughout.

May everyone feel love, may everyone know Peace.

Here’s to officially ending this decade and looking forward to a new one, which certainly promises staggering changes in our life.

Take care of each other, we’re all we have.

Love always,

Your blogger.

Altar of a Misfit

Dearest,

Here’s a glimpse of my bedside corner, bedecked with the love & patience of a plant, the sentinel presence of books, and the warm glow of a golden lamp.

What a comforting sight to turn to for a pair of fatigued, drowsy eyes?

One last look at this ethereal corner before falling asleep is a morphine for the dreadful, impassive and largely callous world the brunt of which we have to face everyday.

Only if I could embrace it, the warmth radiating through.

Until then,

Christmas is right around the corner folks. Sending some of this glow to you, may it light up your day, as it lights up my nights. 🙂

Love always,

Your blogger.

Existing in Metaphors

A list of metaphors that have become too relatable lately:

  • Living these days feels like walking on a landmine. One wrong step could make everything explode. You always have to be on your toes. Always on the edge.I hate myself for taking the joy of comfortable conversations and even more comfortable silences for granted.
  • Handling too much at once feels like trying to arrange pieces paper, and someone has switched on the fan. And you’re helplessly trying to save every bit, but failing.
  • Every conversation I now have feels like taking a test I did not study for. I’m really exhausted of always having to be on guard.
  • It also feels like I’m always holding my breath. Literally, I’m not. But emotionally, perhaps. The feeling is like in a horror film, when it reaches the climax and you’re a bundle of nerves, you know something horrific is about to happen, you’re on the edge of your seat, that singular moment when time seems to pause, that is how I feel everyday.
  • Not a metaphor: Past a certain age, every new person you meet will be good to you, as long as they’re having their needs met.

 

December is here folks and my hands are starting to get cold throughout the day. And like every year I do nothing about it but to let them be. Winter is my favourite season. I have perfectly romanticised it in my head (thanks to novels and poems) and somehow started believing that something unbelievably magical will happen to me someday in the future, in some cold snowy December.

Until then, I accrue tiny joys from strolling markets and basking in the Christmas cheer. Watching trees all lit up, tiny Santas and plastic snowflakes displayed in plastic wrappings in all their colours.

There is a young couple sipping kulhad chai from a nearby stall, breathing out fog and occasionally letting the little one have a sip too. The little one, all bundled in scarves and sweaters shudders with delight at the taste of the warm sweetness. The couple smiles too.

I move on, smiling from within.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Unrelated thought I needed to share: 

Here is a quote from this phenomenal show called Fleabag that resonated so much with me, I had trouble believing it was a show.

fleabag.jpeg

 

Merry Christmas guys, in case I log in next year now.

(I won’t though. Always do a final retrospective post before every new year, remember?)

(wow writing this entire piece suddenly brightened my mood, now that I realise this is done, I feel f*cked again.)

*sigh*

 
Love always,

Your blogger.

What is written but not said.

This poem will have no direction,

Like my life.

there is a direction, but it is too bedevilled with pain,
Pain others carry well,
Or don’t. How do I know.
what I do know is pain shared is easier to carry
Like the sack of potatoes I switched,
from one hurting hand to another.

but now it’s too hard to hold
all of this,
Days when something small but cruel hits you face-front,
Your heart,
It flees.
Perhaps recoiling to somewhere sadder,
Quietly brooding the hurt away.
with no one to call it back.

To say you don’t give a shit and to actually not give a shit
Are two different battles.
I choose to live in the ephemeral joy of not caring for 10 minutes.
For 10 minutes my heart is painless.

Sometimes, you vow you’d love yourself regardless,
And sometimes you almost do
Then the world happens.
And suddenly you don’t like mirrors.

I don’t like to be quiet.
But it now seems like the best (only?) resort.

because now,
I’m unable to carry conversations,
I feel the insincerity,
it’s leaking through their eyes.
always in the eyes.
what have we become.

Life is now a,
Constant battle between
trying to love yourself,
trying to love the world
and trying to love someone else.

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Respite

WhatsApp Image 2019-09-29 at 7.50.56 PM

Laying down on the edge of a musty wall of a slightly secluded, sufficiently elevated square of my dwelling. Peering straight into these magnificent swirls of silver clouds; beams of sun escaping through it.

Through most part of our ephemeral existence we’re too engrossed making a living to notice;

The heavens open their gates frequently for us. At times it takes a quiet, languid afternoon of unwashed hair & ginger tea to make you notice; at times a glance above through sheer chance is enough.

Gaze. Watch. Contemplate. Let your soul rest. Let it breathe.

Hemingway had said that the sky is the daily bread of the eyes. Rightly so.
For I’m glued today. Beguiled by the work of art spread above me.

‘If all of us looked at the sky often, we’d live differently’, poured Bill Watterson through Calvin, a character tiny in stature and still unmarred by the filth of society yet capable of doling out excellent societal observations succinctly.

These frequent retreats from a world hard to keep up with are as necessary as physical sustenance. Else I’m sure, I’ll be incapable of carrying on for long.

Thankfully, the sky (for now) doesn’t have an expiry date.

 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

The sky is a Snowglobe

If someday you & I could get close,

I know exactly where I’d want to take you,

as I fall & watch you get closer,

my heart will swell with the urge to bring you here,

however, I would wait.

wait to see if you’d also gaze with quiet astonishment,

at how vast, how grey, how midnight blue the night looks,

from my terrace

my favourite block of the concrete house,

set aside from the wrinkled sheets & unwashed dishes below.

On evenings after supper, I’m often found plopped on the musty boundary wall,

Laying down,

Staring into the night, my daily repose. Purring, resting, contemplating.

With every sigh, Posing questions to the curving sky above

Hazy with gorgeous grey clouds,

Revealing the twinkle of stars as the wind rightfully sweeps them away.

The breeze makes my skin cold, like glassy slabs. I caress, smiling at how I’d bring you here one day.

You will gaze at the sky in awe,

I will gaze at you with wonder.

 

 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Emotional Granularity

Emotional granularity.

art of dissecting emotions. to be aware of precisely what you feel. to also feel too much.

You feel despair all the time. It has latched on to you. You don’t feel like yourself if you’re not in despair. Just realised what a scary statement this is.

You are,

At peace when it’s solitary. Not happy, just not in angst. Not jittery. Not afraid. At least for a while. You’re okay. There is no unspoken and unaddressed pressure of saying or not saying the right things.

Since Joy is now too vague a state to achieve, you’re content with solitude. You’re content with plastic chairs on empty balconies with nowhere to prop your feet comfortably.

But at least the sky is pretty.

__________________________________________

I’m trying to condense the giant ocean of my dreams into tiny drops. That way, maybe they won’t try to drown me.

___________________________________________

You’re afraid of your ability to not speak for days and still be okay.

You’re also tired of putting on a show.

‘Oh you’re so brave. Here take another gauntlet.’

I’m not brave.

The glass building and its nauseatingly proud residents astound you. They wake up everyday and work like machines, their insides content with bright screens and fancy gadgets, filling sheets with numbers & pretending they’ve cracked the meaning of life.

Disdaining anything that doesn’t promise a promotion, money or an approving, insincere nod from the boss.

You want to shake them out of this hypnosis. But alas. You’re often shrugged off as a kid who doesn’t know what she’s doing.

Do you though, good sir/madam who doesn’t know who Fitzgerald is?

But they say knowing Fitzgerald won’t take you anywhere. If anywhere is where these fancy people go, I surely do not wish to accompany.

You’ve been thrust with a sapphire stone claiming to fix your faulty planets. The planets are not at fault, ma’am, it’s I. The stone, now encased in shiny silver sits on your lean fingers, glinting twilight blue (pretty). Your hands are still lean and pale, even though your body now isn’t.

You’re unable to polish and maintain your only physical proof of juvenescence.

*sigh*

Welp.

Tunnel

hope is but a small, weak, quivering flame.

there is no light at the end of all this

mindless darkness

demands impossible bravery

& i possess none.

i want the happiness they

talk about in poems

but now I know though

why the poets have always been doomed.

Love always,

Your blogger.

Vicariously

You were the saddest soul I knew
On your Birthday
You never lit a single candle
But ate cup noodles & fell asleep
with your phone ringing

what are candles but light that never lasts?

i saw you tipping your hat
& beaming to passerbys

‘Oh what a fine happy fellow’

The smile never reached your eyes.

on your birthday you never lit a single candle,
but they brought 5. One for each time you almost broke down.

Over a small cake propped on the xerox machine

your moment had nothing to do with me.

Except that I was there. Watching.

That night, i saw a shooting star from my roof.

you never lit a single candle,

But the sky was kind enough to light one for you.

Who is a Storm’s Muse?

Few months during the year I decide to visit this parched, dust laden, sad city and like always I’m greeted by taller towers and glassier buildings. The locals delight at my arrival, however are too occupied running errands or making (what I assume) communication through a tiny box pinned to their ears to some distant land.

Some, after months of baking like bricks in the sweltering heat, afford a slight look of gratitude above, then continue with their daily tasks unconcerned by the myriad colours of the sky.

This time I visited this city at night. So full of lights it’s like the sky is upside down. Tiny, sparkling dots moving this way and that like ants. I’m going by as ceremoniously as I can when i spot her. A tiny, motionless space in the vast labyrinth of this city perched alone on a rooftop, staring right through me. Her head is fixed above, boring through me, perhaps smiling too. I can’t see her face, she’s only a shadow but I can sense her feeling every gust of wind I’m thrusting below.

This intensity and passion; I haven’t felt this from human race for a long time. It’s like she wants to reach out- it’s like she’s already reaching out.

I almost wish to swoop her from earth and show her lands and places she’s never seen before, to fill the void in her heart from all the wonder she craves, but I must leave. Humans are too big a burden to bear. To let her know that I was here & I saw her and that her presence, however overlooked by the human race was noticed from above, I send a few raindrops below, assisted by the wind, hoping they land on her skin and she knows. She will.

*

The weather is lovely tonight. I can only see dying remains of another tedious day from my rooftop but somehow the void is not scary. “And tonight,” I chuckle covertly, I”got company.” The wind. Oh how I love the wind. The sky is a perfect grey. The moon shines and occasionally sends its silver beams my way, sneaking through rolling clouds who always seem to be in a hurry.

I gaze at the moon almost like a wolf. Grateful that I’m here to witness the sky rumbling with unease, a storm in its chest. But I want more. I’ve always wanted more of storms. Wanted to be inside them. I lower my eyes achingly and continue to walk when a tiny, perhaps stray drop of water lands on my eyelid. I look up, my eyes wide. Another one lands on my arms.

“I know,” I smile at the sky.

It didn’t rain on anyone else that night.

Love always,

Your blogger.

Other Side of A Tunnel

Somewhere in the ruins of this blog I once wrote how I read Anne Frank’s last letter often. I felt myself turned inside out by a 15 year old girl. To have your insides bared and autopsied can be frightening.

Anne called a part of her, the part she chose for others to see as a ‘frolicsome little goat.’ Who jokes around and indulges in frivolous merrymaking, who is flippant and spontaneous and can be found shrugging away hurt like a fly from milk.

She also spoke of the other part, a part she keeps hidden away from scathing eyes of the world. I revisit that letter often.

I am so complex a bundle of contradictions, so many a personalities strewn together I don’t even know how or why anybody would understand me. How can I be shallow and deep together. Sometimes, even for days if I’m lucky, I find myself grappling on the surface, trying to keep my head above water, other days I’m already crashed on the ocean bed. It’s almost a home now.

I am a Pandora’s Box. Nothing within me is delightful. Except that my covers glint with remarkable sheen, but the box houses nothing within. I’m the wrong side of a tunnel; you walk from brightness to enter the dark. A few steps and you run towards the brightness again. I don’t blame you. Who wouldn’t.

I’m a cracked porcelain jar. Ceramic smooth like fresh wax, hollow and dusty from within. I also tumble and shatter to smithereens quite easily.

Two extremes, two mammoth, thick chunks of opposites have their roots boring through me, mingling to form a tree that bears no fruit.

Love always

Your blogger.

말 없는 슬픔 – 사람또사람

First you play the song below, then you read.

I stand under the kitchen light, chopping carrots while the oil in the pot simmers. Every chomp an echo punctuating the song playing on my phone I recklessly placed on the kitchen slab.

It’s a song in a language I don’t completely understand but I feel it sewing itself up to my heart.

I stand under the only lit space in my house. House not home. Rest is all in darkness, with no movement, nothing.

The chopping becomes slow, distracted until with a final thump it ceases. I glance at the perfect empty space around me, what a metaphor for this heart. The song plays like a perfect soundtrack.

If I’m looked at from a distance, there will be a kitchen with a light, with greyish dark around & a girl standing with a knife looking at nothing.

I spend entire days not speaking a word. But my head doesn’t seem to stop buzzing. This imbalance is starting to hurt. My head makes me think of you without a face, all the time.

I’m trying to draw you in my mind.

I remember you told me you loved sunsets. Particularly the ones silhouetted in clouds. Tonight I feel like a sunset too. Except nothing about me is pink. I don’t glow. I am only shrouded in clouds and I’m sinking.

Everything would make sense with you here, even the sinking.

The catch is, I don’t know who you are.

Yet.

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Addressing my mind- One Anxiety at a Time – II

Dear all,

Since my life lately has taken several unexpected, at times difficult turns, I sadly inform you that I will be fairly sporadic in my posts, as you may have noticed. They will often be unmethodical and anomalous. I’m trying my best to keep my creative pulse throbbing; please forgive me if you don’t find this blog as interesting as you used to. But I need this place to vent, as I currently have no other medium.

*

Yash nibbles at his plate of baked beans and draws patterns with a folk, unaware that I’m looking at him throughout. He’s wearing yellow. Bright yellow, like what you see when you look at the sun through the trees. He asks looking up, ‘so have you written something new lately?’

My smile fades slightly and I turn my attention towards the traffic outside the cafe we’re in. ‘Not really. I’ve lost inspiration. I don’t remember when or what I wrote last.’

Yash trembles a little, ‘Don’t you dare say that. Don’t you ever say that,’ he says shaking his head (& unkempt curly hair). I feel a flame rekindling inside me. If there is even one heart who doesn’t want me to stop writing, it is inspiration enough.

‘When do you leave?’ he asks, not looking up this time.

‘Tonight.’ He nods and takes the final bite.

*

Lately in a span of 4-5 months I’ve met several new, strange people. Their smile confuses me. It’s never genuine; forced, practiced. One stranger who sits opposite me has chuckled and remarked several times, ‘You are soo weird,’ she says.

‘Yaar, ye puri khiski hui hai (Mate, she’s totally insane),’ says another boy who sits next to her. I wonder if he means it or is solely reiterating because I suspect he has a crush on her.

I come home and gaze at the ceiling. I love gazing. At the sky. At the distance. At the trees.

A family member pauses his game, follows my gaze and looks back at me, “What are you staring at?” I meet his eyes and say nothing, “How did you turn out so weird?” he clicks his tongue and resumes playing.

The older I get, the weirder I become. More out of place and not understood. I cannot seem to connect with people, even after trying.

I’m watching myself recoiling in a cocoon.

*

4 girls and I, ogling at a guy from behind, who’s buying coffee. “Iced Americano to go please.”

“Wow he’s handsome,” says one. “Agree,” nods the other.
“Wonder if he has a girlfriend.”
“He’s not fit guys. He has a tiny bump for a belly,” snarks one.

All four of them narrow their eyes and look closely. “Yep.” They turn back disappointedly.

I don’t say a word but think how I had found him disarmingly handsome ever since he had stepped in. Before them I had first noticed his baggy shirt, and how he scratched his hair and closed his eyes frequently. I loved how his beard was scruffy. I watched his eyes dart the menu and finally rest on ‘Iced Americano.’

I loved the tiny bump. It showed he probably worked hard, sitting for long hours gruelling in front of a screen. He needed sustenance. I loved his baggy shirt after a long, tiring day. I loved how unaware he was of my gaze, of his surroundings. His direct stare at the exact gap between the menu board and soda machine.

“None of you had a chance,” I ponder looking at the girls.

He was probably wanting that coffee more than a girlfriend haha.

Addressing my mind- One Anxiety at a Time.

Only after you’ve sat and mingled in a sea of complete strangers and tried to feel a little at place, only then will you realise that at times the most sinking, wounding and difficult question to answer is, ‘Hey, how are you?’

*

Now I realise why I was thrust with the weight of blurry vision since childhood. Whoever runs the universe knew I was going to face things that’ll require me to cry. Cry frequently. Cry secretly. That’s why I was given glasses. To sob and unburden behind a thick veil of sheet. To snugly hide the swollen eyes and sit among people like nothing happened.

How I wish it also gave me fortitude to ferry past all the sorrow it so conveniently bestowed.

*

Also, I have lately been brooding over the enormous burden of getting to know someone utterly new. Which thread, in a giant, tumbled heap of threads do you pick up, when they say they wish to unravel your depth. I sit tangled in a labyrinth of stories. Where do I begin?

*

But with you, I wish to first gently tap on the sheet of your freezing heart. Then maybe place my palms softly, to let some warmth seep through. Then wait, for years even, to let my warmth melt your cold. Even if my hands bruise blue. To slowly allow you to be soft again. To be warm again. To love again.

The Only Tree on a Hill

After what feels like centuries a story has been brewing inside me, earnest to be put on paper. Enjoy. 

My grandfather housed a distinct fondness for trees. A love he happily passed on to me after failing to do so with my father. Being a reclusive child I seldom ventured outdoors, fearing human malice for, as a kid I was once pushed in a muddy ditch for committing the innocent crime of being the new girl in town.

The cucoon into which I invariably recoiled in grew into a home. I turned inwards for respite and befriended books and nature to ward loneliness. But the queer claws of time germinated an odd upheaval in my bosom. A longing for something so elusive it prevented me, at times from getting sleep.

Perhaps, my grandfather sensed this turmoil within me, an utter restlessness and angst for desiring something farther from my reach, and invisible to the eye- like friendship but not with a human form. Humans repelled me.

Thus, one cool April morning when the sun was tepid enough to cake us in its warmth and the air still tasted of dew my grandfather took me to a nearby hill, where I often previously went for walks. I noticed the clatter of a shovel tied to his waist against keys dangling from a belt loop, and a small plastic bag full of what seemed like dirt; but didn’t say a word.

We stopped at the highest crest the hill could afford. A few gulls croaked in the distance and a warm breeze swept the fields. Far East, I could see our little house, a tiny dot within a green pasture, a muddy road snaking its way into it.

“Do you know why we’re here?” my grandfather asked with a twinkle in his eyes, breaking my reverie.

I shook my head. Even at the usually stimulating age of fourteen, my heart somehow was always too tired to speak.

“I’m here to introduce you to a friend. Who will stay with you throughout your years and will stay further for your posterity and perhaps further for more generations to come.” 

With this he dug a small pit in the heart of the earth and handed me the bag of dirt, which upon closer observation, bore a tiny sapling. I placed the sapling in the ditch gently and pat it shut.

My grandfather passed away shortly after and I found respite in the sapling when my heart ached too much for him. Its existence became my purpose. I spent my youth watering, nurturing and at times even talking to it.

Time flew past like gusts of wind and ten long years later, I sit under what grew into a magnificent, sentinel, behemoth tree- lush and green, watching over me like a silent guardian. The distant longing inside me quelled with the tree’s pristine, watchful presence- quiet and sincere. The tree taught me stillness and how to give without expecting.

My grandfather gave my restless ship an anchor. He gave direction to my rapid thoughts. The tree embodied his own spirit, omnipresent but never holding you back.

Today, sitting under its shadow I brood over my life so far. Remember those who left and bemoan those who never arrived. I hope the tree will remain, if nature permits, perhaps for centuries,  and will continue granting stillness to those running from the future’s chaos. I pray it assuages their inner wounds too, doled out by a callous world.

A warm breeze tussles my hair and makes the leaves above rustle with delight. I’m pulled back to the present.

‘I know friend’, I muse looking up, ‘you too like the breeze as I do.’ 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

 

Cup of Thoughts- II

Lately, my tiny circle of friends (actually, triangle of friends since there’s only 3 of us) have been pondering over this crazy concept called ‘seeing the world from a third perspective’, in our very unpolished, non-fancy definition. The foundation of this idea was laid when the three of us, one morning at 2 am shared our mutual fear and panic over what is happening in our milieu.

Literally everybody is being thrown in the same pit of social, academic, professional, personal, filial pressure and nobody seems to be doing anything about it. Millennial life has been reduced to apps. Right swipe for love, coupon codes for cheap junk food, educational gurus spewing with academic wisdom, cabs relocating you from one door to another. These concepts, initially built as ‘services’ now dictate our lives.

There is also a meditational app emulating ‘sounds of nature’; chirping of birds, rustling of trees, bubbling of waterfalls, to help people ‘calm down’ from their daily dose of subways and cabs.

How can anybody not see how terribly messed up is that?

There are people running to therapy from unendurable despair and stress, suicide rates continue scaling new heights, every possible nuance of humanity is beaten and whisked into a social media stunt, homeless are freezing in the cold while extravagance continues to flourish online. Celebrity weddings and all the glitter and glam circling it continues stripping the whole occasion of its true essence- everything reeks of pretence.

I feel like it has all been upscaled and taken on such massive levels, that performing those same tasks for ordinary folks (who cannot financially or socially match those levels) has become a source of crippling anxiety. The enormity of it scares them. One heartbreaking result of all this is that it is silencing middle class, no showbiz people into forced reticence.

So what seeing the world from a third perspective means is being painfully aware of all the above. To witness a civilization in shambles by mass consumerism, a world constantly deprioritizing values and putting pomp and show on a pedestal. To always feel like a spectator and a misfit. To not be able to relate to any recent ‘fad’ rounding the internet. To sort of stand in the middle of a giant mob, where everyone is rushing to some vague, momentary purpose, a state of total disorder and haste, where you are the only quiet, still, sinking entity around.

This idea, if sat and brooded over carefully, will make your soul turn inwards. It will make the voice in your head louder and unfortunately, your heart heavier.

What do you think?

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

 

Note: If you wish to read Cup of Thoughts- I, click here. 

Listen to this beautiful track by Luke Sital Singh here:

Extremes

Lately my heart oscillates too much,

between boundless joy and utter despair.

The joy dissipates as fast as it arrives

The despair however lingers longer.

The centre of my heart turns cold

The core of my body layered in sheets of ice

When I breathe

It takes collective effort of every muscle.

I also feel weak, emotionally.

Drained, mentally.

I have always had a fire burning inside me,

It feeds my spirit.

In despair, the fire dies. Only wisps of spoke remain.

Until a tiny, insignificant moment ignites it again,

And my heart is warmer,

like it’s home.

I live for those moments of joy,

I wait patiently for them to show up,

I revel in their uncertainty, like a drug,

I wait for them to grant me a quick flash of intense euphoria,

until my heart starts beating again,

instead of thrumming.

Soon it is over.

A giant heaviness seems to have taken residence in my heart,

I have a feeling it won’t leave, but grow.

I will come to hope more,

And after having it tossed aside,

I will learn to live in the comforting possibility of what never was,

but could’ve been.

My inner Seol is my consolation. 🙂

Love always,

Your blogger.

What I learnt Inside a Big Glass Building- II

I do not wish to divulge much except that I spend 8 hours a day inside a building made of glass.

Funny, its glass bosom doesn’t make it fragile, but rather steely, like a cage.

People inside glass buildings are devoid of warmth. They also happen to be slightly twisted (for lack of a better word). They say stuff they don’t actually mean, and keep silent when you wish they’d speak.

Your frequent attempts at making friends will be rebuffed with an impassive grin. This is a place camaraderie is rejected with a smile so sly you’d end up thinking there’s something wrong with you. This is where you need to remind yourself otherwise, or the building will swallow you whole.

I try my best to be as kind as I possibly can. To be myself so as to give some other frail heart the courage to be itself too, but so far it has all been in vain. The nicer you are, the more they feed off of you.

This is also a place they ask you your position in life, to gauge the level of nice they need to portray.

I have deftly observed every human in my vicinity here. To some I have even given a score. But the score is irrespective of how little dependance can be placed on the appearance of either character or merit. Every day strengthens my resolve to never end up like them.

I have also lost my appetite or my distinct fondness of food. Most of the time I’m swallowing to sustain my organs.

The commute back home is my only pocket of contemplation. And my heart is so heavy with the burden of an entire, joyless day that, after lying about how great my day was to those who ask, I find myself crawling under a blanket and never wishing to see the light again.

Thank heavens for all the novels I’ve read, they assuage my grief with the naive hope that things will get better, like they did for our heroes stuck in pages. I will also try my best to empathise more, everybody has a story, the people in my vicinity have a story too; who am I to impart judgement?

Hoping for a better tomorrow (& happy that the person reading this is here for me),

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

 

Update: January 18th- I lost an earring inside this glass castle. Which somehow, makes everything worse.

Note: If you wish to read the first part go here.

A Feeble Attempt at Understanding Growing Up- I

Something occurs just as we reach the brink of adulthood. Not that there’s any defined door to being an adult, but a change, a subtle shift in disposition occurs where a seed of distrust for the world is planted, often from frequent disappointments. The sapling that once bloomed with tenderness and a sense of wonder is often abandoned behind concrete walls freshly built- a repercussion of facing the ‘outside’ world.

And gradually, like moss creeping upon forest grounds and slowly climbing up tree trunks, distrust transforms into malice, upon realisation that the ‘outside’ wouldn’t think twice before smothering us to death. Out of fear of pain our hearts bridle up, our shields held high and walls ever growing.

The circle continues swooping each one in its vicious pull, damaging one human after another. Until all we’re left with are a sea of people carrying the immense burden of their walls with a tiny sapling living inside them.

This sapling carries the power of fostering immense love and kindness, but is too layered (protected?) by fear, anger, jealousy and pretence. It also represents our imagination, our sense of wonder for this world, our love for wild possibilities- all abandoned and replaced with a suffocating idea people call being ‘realistic.’ I dislike this word, not for what it represents, but how people bend and break it into justifying cruelty, hatred and immorality.

Reality in itself is never ugly. It is pure and pristine. It is exactly what you overlook everyday. Your interpretation and manifestation of it makes it ugly. The filth you contribute to it, makes it ugly. Your choice of ignoring your conscience- that too yearns for the same love and empathy it denies to foster- makes it ugly.

So where did it all go wrong? How do we break this circle?

The circle breaks the day you give that sapling a chance to grow into a strong, mighty tree. They day you stop being unkind, and realise the value (and lack) of empathy and love in this world. The day you stop answering hatred with hatred and replace it with forgiveness- not because they deserve it, but because you deserve peace. The day you pick your imagination up, shake the dust off and begin dreaming again, the day you make friends like you did when you were a kid- with eagerness, curiosity and love. It will end the day we stop being at war with each other and realise we’re in this together.

The day, no matter how hard it gets, you stick to your morals and your choice to be a kind, nurturing and loving human being. Please be good. The world needs it now more than ever.

“Keep true to the dreams of thy youth.”

 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

What I learnt Inside a Big Glass Building (and a Happy New Year)!

Hello, 

Following bullet points are open to individual perspectives.

  1. This building is a machine. Its fuel is its people. It feeds on their soul.
  2. The only sounds are of beeping automatic locks of opaque glass doors, clicking of heels on an immaculately polished floor and remnants of quick phone calls made by humans who always seem to be in a hurry.
  3. Literally nobody cares. Breaks my heart.
  4. When people smile, they smile out of obligation, not choice.
  5. No love. It is like love arrived at this building’s door and turned away from all the malice.
  6. They’re nice to you because:
                  -they need you to get some work done.
                  -they are professionally obligated.
  7. No empathy. No one even tries to foster any. People make zero efforts to reach out. Zero.
  8. If someone senses you’re distressed, they’ll freeze and become unreachable. 
  9. You have to get used to eating meals alone. I’m sure everyone hates it the same, yet no one barely makes an effort to fix it. 
  10. Cafeterias are some of the scariest places in the world. 
  11. The moment it feels like they’re being too nice to you- be wary, there is some ulterior motive. 
  12. Nothing about the question, ‘How are you?’ is ever, even vaguely concerned with your well being but is asked solely to skip to the real purpose behind seeking you.
  13. You never make friends inside glass buildings. You only get to know a few strangers. 
  14. There is an abysmal lack of human warmth inside this glass castle. Poker faces, frowns, heads bent deep in cell phones or glued to a big screen pepper the hallway 24/7. 
  15. Everyday, I look around and I’m appalled by how badly we, as human beings- the one animal capable of nursing so much joy and affection- have fucked up. We really truly did. Maybe my quarrel really is with the state of the world- and not the glass building. If that is the case, I have a long battle to fight. 

 I miss greeting a face which is happy to see me. 


We have been together for so many years, thank you for being my constant companions.  I hope my blog helped you in some way, or made your heart slightly warmer, or gave you hope where you couldn’t find one.

Let us promise to do our parts in healing through art, through love and by being ourselves. Happy New Year guys. Wish you the best year of your life so far.

Thank you for everything, truly. See you on the other side. 

 

Love always,

Your Blogger. 

Bird in a long Winter (I)

Good morning,

Winter has finally settled in my part of the world (if I may be so bold as to claim it). Today my city felt like one of those dewy, misty mornings of London I’ve only read about in books.

A dense, quiet fog wafts through the air and the world below my balcony seems to be in a standstill.

I can’t tell you the details of the world below because my eyes are forever fixated towards the sky. 

The sky from my balcony appears to be the lightest shade of blue. Like today the sky is too tired to gleam. Too exhausted to shine. And the sun, no sign of it. 

Before my mind plays its tricks and I’m reminded of the enormity of this world I step inside and try to warm my freezing feet; a quandary I face every December.

Failing to do so, I take a deep breath and open my laptop, typing solemnly and ready to tame another, jaded day. 

 

 

Love always,
Your blogger. 

Cup of Thoughts- I

Hello all,

It’s been a while since I gathered the strength or willingness to directly reach out to you all. It’s not like I didn’t have thoughts to share (i always have thoughts to share) but I was waiting for something to stir me out of this mental hibernation I had purposely decided to settle into. And today on this rainy afternoon I managed to find it- or rather it found me.

I’m not going to go into detail as to what it is- I’ve decided to save that for some other day, but I do wish to share what it talked about.

While I was growing up, there was a small corner in my mind- one that didn’t indulge in mindless frivolities or amusing every minute of the day with a joke- in which a seed was planted, right at the moment I opened the page of a book. I remember that small corner getting more fertile and rich as I waded through classes, but all the more shoved away as I reached high school- perhaps due to my fear that it might be ridiculed, if exposed.

Now having passed those stages and after having experiences (both bitter and sweet) that honed me into who I am today, that small corner has matured, grown and occupied every rim of my mind, save a little for experience to fill. And now I find myself understanding every facet of life through this filter.

A thought I was fostering for a long time was recently addressed by a person I look up to, through a monthly letter sent to his readers, and that letter forms the content of ‘it’ today.

It spoke of the noise of the world. And by how each passing day that noise seems to grow louder and fiercer to the point that we’ve now chosen to ignore it and function along with it (i don’t know which is worse.)

When we stand on the cusp of adulthood, we’re asked to find our place in this world. Mostly through screaming what we are capable of accomplishing and grappling for that spotlight. We’re told that the world won’t notice us until we grab it by the collar and shake its attention towards us. That this world is a magnificent, malicious giant who won’t listen to you until you’re out there screaming ‘hey look what i can do’ with the rest.

My question has always been plain and simple. ‘What if I don’t wish to scream?’ What if the spotlight never appealed to me? What if in this world of distinguished humans who’re out there scaling new mountains everyday, I simply wish to walk along.

What if I choose to see the glass for what it is- rather than empty or full.

What if what I need in my corner of the world is the ability to simply be; without the looming threat of being ‘left behind’. To exist with art and find meaning on my way, while I try my best to foster love, kindness and empathy, should others ever need it.

I never wish to be part of this disorder. But rather help those who chose to lunge but are suffering. The letter said that beautiful things like art/poetry/love/kindness and empathy often come in a whisper. But since we’re all screaming and the noise is deafening, they whir past us. Some who’re wiser feel their presence at times but are unable to grasp it- the world being too big a distraction.

The world always seems too daunting to me. Too big for someone so small, so insignificant. I know that should I ever choose to scream along, my voice will be hushed before I’ve even opened my mouth, because I won’t.

That’s why I choose to remain in this corner, playing my part through what I write, hoping somewhere someone who’s stuck in the disorder bumps across it, and finds a moment of peace. Until then, I shall sit and nurture and grow as much as I can.

Go out there and make your mark. Look up at the stars more often.

If the disorder becomes too wild and you choose to look away from it, I’m right here waiting.

 

Until then.

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Coffee counter- behind the scenes

briskly she wakes up at 4
and shrugs off tiny remains of the dream that lingers from last night
it’s December
month of endings
giving way to beginnings

she scurries to the bathroom
and before the crisp morning air
could bite her lungs
and remind her she’s human

she’s behind the counter again
taking the morning shift
brewing coffee like she once
brewed her dreams

her eyes are of glass
smile is mechanical
‘thank you sir, please visit again’
like an encrypted code

the morning rush dies down
and she peers at the remains of
a coffee cup
once full of bubbling fuel
now only tiny specks of brown dirt

who could’ve guessed something
so coveted and longed for,
fresh and strong an hour ago
would reduce to nothing
in a few slurps

her eyes meet a mirror
she looks away
this metaphor is too much to endure

a bell rings
her thoughts break
and then a voice escapes out of her
without even trying
then a smile
like a mechanism
‘good morning sir, what can I get you today?’

No sleep for this sad

The date was 15th,
and my head bobbed with the train’s rythemic jolts
two hours past midnight & everyone’s asleep
white ghosts hanging in the air
swaying softly as the train lulls them

the window which I peer through is shrouded in dark
and my own, restless reflection ornates it
Until i raise my head
and see lights twinkling in the distance
it’s a factory

I see small figures on metal beams
Pounding the hammer for tomorrow’s meal
silhouettes of smoke
rise through tall chambers
like a serpent keeping watch
the workers grind
quiet and morose

hours past midnight
and my train marches through
the factory recedes from view
so do the workers

the window is dark again
I’ll keep peering
untill tomorrow morning when I deboard
sip my morning tea at the station

and silently hope
they got their meal too.

 

Yet so far

In the math of two numbers
My life vacillates
11:10
So close to being lucky
So close to being loved
So close to being chosen
So close to 11:11
Almost
But never quite there.

I see the shore every time
From the boat
In which I paddle alone
Grappling, sweating
I reach out
Almost
I almost reach the shore
But I don’t make it.
Just like the numbers
11:10

I’m running
I see the finish line
I see the ribbon fluttering in the wind
I see it between my labored breaths
It’s right there
Only if I could just stretch my hand and grab it
But I don’t. I can’t.
Almost.

In a sea of numbers
I’ll always be 11:10
Almost reaching what my heart desires
But just missing it
Almost
But never quite there.

Don’t take my hand

My palms were never soft. If you ever held my hand you’d feel they’ve been chiseled and worked with.

They’re not fleshy, they’re not silken. They don’t possess any generic mark of femininity.

They are flat and pale. Like a slab of colorless granite. Green veins pulsate beneath my cold, pasty skin.

The upper terrain is rigged and rough, with blotches of sun burns I try to hide.

My palms are so even, so toned. There is no plumpness to denote that they were ever fostered or caressed.

So when you hold them, you might flinch, but you’ll come to know what years of struggle does to a pair of hands.

Because unlike other women, I never had a chance to be soft.

A Spatial Affair

Have I ever told you how much I love space?

Outer space.

The first time I ever managed to foster an ambition, I was 10 years old fashioning a blunt hair cut, dirty brown hoodie and eyes that weren’t blind without glasses. Hopping up and down with the kind of earnestness you expect from a kid who believes he’s just found his purpose in life, I announced with as much resolve as I could, “Mum, when I grow up, I will be an astronaut.”

In return I was thrust with a bag full of clothes that needed dry cleaning.

But my passion never snuffed. I went ahead and made a fat, exhaustingly detailed project on ‘The Solar System’ for my yearly submissions and ended up getting full marks.
“If I can get full marks here, I can surely become an astronaut”, my ten year old brain schemed eagerly.

But then I grew up. And slowly with each passing year and with the arrival of Physics, Chemistry and Math died my dream of ever stepping into space. Later arrived teenage angst, thick glasses and youthful indiscretion and my love for stars and planets was unwillingly buried under copious amounts of schoolwork.

After a decade when I unearthed that passion again and held it in my hand it seemed to throb with life; it was old but stronger and fiercer. And now when I look at it with grown up prudence I understand that my love for space has always been solely from an artists perspective.

I love the stars for being stars. I see space as a vast painting, I see it as a gigantic portal of beauty and wonder. I feel a life in the cosmos. When the universe takes deep breaths our sky shakes a little. Meteors are sparkling messages from one galaxy to another. When the sky is pink, someone’s wish has been answered, when it is grey, somewhere someone’s heart is heavy. The universe is a huge, magnificent work of art, one that we’re too small and too puny to comprehend but too nosy to not be part of. It is for this reason that when you gaze at the night sky dotted with silver stars, your problems don’t seem so big.

This is how the artist in me has romanticized space and this is how it shall always be.

On December 13th after midnight, I lay on my terrace alone and watched the night sky slowly emblazoned with a dozen meteors. There was complete stillness except for an occasional brush of cold, frigid wind.  First there was a small, thin streak of silver light slowly piercing the velvety dark and I gulped and shivered a little.

And before I even blinked, the night was embellished with a splendid meteor shower and I soaked it in with bated breath and gaping eyes. It was an ethereal scenery painted by some strange, elusive artist.

Reader, it was the most beautiful and heart warming feeling I ever experienced.

While the night before me swirled and danced with a thousand shades of gold, a strange, subdued part of me whispered and tugged at my sleeve. It made me turn my head and stare at the empty space next to me. Subconsciously I wondered how it’d be to experience something this miraculous next to someone. It’d be comforting to look sideways and smile in between, no?

The Geminid meteor shower arrives every December. I close my eyes and make a wish.

Maybe years from now on some December evening, the universe would be considerate and the sky will be pink, for me.

 

Love always,

Your blogger.


Close your eyes.
Turn off the lights.
Listen to it alone.


P.s- I hope everyone realizes the above piece is purely fictional. There’s no way I could’ve watched the Geminid Meteor Shower from my terrace in the heart of a bustling city. But since I yearned to experience it, I chose to live the event by wondering and writing about how it would feel like.
That’s all I could do, couldn’t I?

Talk is Cheap

Every evening at six, I sit amidst a sea of people in a cafe farther down North. The air around me crackles with words I don’t follow. I can’t distinguish voices, so it sounds like a perpetual buzzing of the air. Mouths move, words are uttered but their meaning gets lost in a haze midway.

I take tiny, measured sips of my coffee, its warmth pulsating in my veins; it is my excuse for silence. The cubicle in which I sit is jammed with practiced smiles- not too much; not too little -and conspicuous gulps. The girl with a ruffled bow has her camera out already.

Someone utters something witty and our close knit huddle erupts in laughter. I don’t. My mind is befogged and I’m trying to focus on the label stuck to the bottle of hot sauce.
‘Manufactured in Hogsmeade.’ Peculiar.

I hook a finger in the collar of my turtleneck and pull, craning my neck slightly.
“Geez,” I glance at the sweater less arms around me, “doesn’t anybody else feel the brunt of December?”

Someone nudges me on the side. I turn and behold a perfect set of eyebrows creased in confusion. Inquiringly, she jerks her head up a little (sensing that my mind was distracted) and attempts to pull me back into the hubbub of the group.

I smile reassuringly and pretend to listen but the buzzing continues. She grins and rejoins the conversation, triumphing at the outcome.
What are they talking about?

I get stuck on a boy opposite me. I wonder if anyone noticed the blotches of ink on his left hand. His eyes are puffy and shoulders are slouching. He looks exhausted and appears skinnier than the last I saw him. But he beams at everyone and clutches his mug tightly, holding on to the warmth he’s paying for.

I look away and peer through the frosted window I chose to sit next to. The street outside is a greyish blur.
“From the other side of this translucent glass,” I muse, “we must be a blur too. Five silhouettes.”

Glancing above I follow a thin wire of dazzling yellow lights. They hang on rusted nails, hammered several Christmases ago.

I’m about to pursue the trail of lights when something happens. A voice hits me and the world zooms into sharp focus. I’m snapped back to clarity and the crisp sound of slurps and munches reaches me. The conversation is suddenly discernible.

“Did anybody notice the sky this evening? It was a distinct, rain-washed midnight blue and I could already see hazy outlines of stars appearing on the horizon when I walked here.” The scruffy boy opposite me sighs and looks around the table, hoping someone would mirror his spirit.

I smile at him feverishly.

See now the table has my attention.

A List of Little Pleasures

For a while now and due to some strange impulse, I have been making a list of some pleasures of life that go painfully unnoticed and unappreciated. I decided to jot down every moment or activity that feel insignificant while they’re happening but in retrospect, they’re pretty special.

It has been a month and these are all the things I call severely underrated and that they should be performed often and with more passion.

Enjoy.

Long walks
Freshly baked cookies
Running
Star gazing
Hand written letters
Staring at the clouds
Eye contact

Ferris wheels
Driving your bike in the rain
Wind
Candles
A caress 
Holding hands
Dancing in the kitchen
Your favorite song on the radio

Karaoke nights
A flower
Campfires
Conversations on park benches
Hot tea on rainy days
Forehead kisses
New toothbrush
Cooking together

Smell of books
Unwrapping presents
Cuddles
A bowl of soup when you come down with flu
New pair of socks
Warming your hands inside the sleeves of your sweater
Dining out alone

Someone tucking your hair behind your ear
Leftovers
Mixtapes
Fireflies
Bedtime stories
Grocery shopping for a special recipe
Rooftops at night
Midnight movie shows


Feel free to add anything you want to this list in the comment section. I’d be happy to know what other small pleasures of life exist in other parts of the world that I’m yet to experience.

Also, do let me know how many of the above things you’ve already experienced.

Let us take a step back and appreciate the little pleasures we are capable of creating and experiencing.

Let’s make this a long list of utter joy. 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

4 years of Brooding in the Tepid Dusk

4 years ago, on a particularly dreary night, I took the decision of starting a blog. I never gave it too much thought; came up with the name ‘Brooding in the Tepid Dusk’ and thus began my journey of writing all the things I can probably never say in person.

Ironically, today I find myself short of words to express how grateful I am to anyone who has ever visited BITD. The real purpose of this blog was for me to open up. To talk about things that I can’t talk about with people around me.
To make sense of the world I live in.

I never thought anyone would ever bother reading what I wrote here. That this place would be a void where I rambled away the confusion in my mind. But in these 4 years, I made so many friends here, interacted personally with so many of you.

I was stunned, that people on this blog not only read what I wrote, but also understood. They empathized and I even received some very loving e-mails from people of so many countries.

It’s crazy how important this blog has become to me. It’s the place I go to when I’m not okay. Somehow, all of you, you wonderful WordPress community makes it okay.

I grew up learning from all of you. I was 18 when I started writing here, when I was going through, what I call the most emotionally challenging period of life so far and this blog got me through all of it. You guys got me through all of it.

I once read this thought that the idea is to not live forever, but to leave something behind that does.

I feel really fortunate to think that if someday I’m not here, at least this little space I created on the internet always will. The things I wrote here will stay. All the people I’ve interacted with will, at some point in their life, remember me.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you. For assuring me that all these thoughts in my mind make sense.

122 Posts, 841 followers, 16435 blog hits, 1790 shares, 2984 likes.

And I’m only getting started.

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

An Evening at Coney Island

Picture captured by Robert Doyle at Coney Island, New York.

I can’t remember the last time I visited Coney Island. Probably because those were the brief happier days, the memories of which seem to be getting hazier now.
It’s unusually chilly today– should’ve brought my wind breaker. I sit on an empty, cold bench on the left, near the side walk. Partly because it is easier to observe all the life from here, partly because it is empty.

There is a sharp, cold drizzle imbued in the air as I watch the twilight melt slowly into the night and the clouds appear to be hanging threateningly low, heavy with moisture that’ll soon pour down as rain.

I finished my shift early today. There weren’t many people in the neighborhood looking for a drink to drown their grief in- so I was free.

After closing for the night I found myself standing at his doorstep, staring blankly at the wooden latch.  Uncertain about what may occur if it opened I left, with slow, hesitant steps and lumbered straight to Coney Island-  a place that made me happy since I was 14.

I made my way straight to the latte stall and grabbed a warm cup of coffee- keeps my head straight-and sat on this bench from where I’m talking to you.

There is something oddly beautiful about places that are always buzzing with people but are quieter at the moment. I’ve always looked at this place and seen poetry in every corner-even when I was young.

A few people linger around the empty stores, some stare at the brightly lit wonder wheel, leaning on each other. A woman lulls a drowsy baby in her arms, while fumbling with a half eaten hot dog and a bunch of blue and red balloons.

Sometimes nothing can make you feel more alone than watching a place getting emptied of life. The lights being turned off one by one. Shutters being pulled down as people are done for the day. Keys rattle in their fingers as they hum their way home.

The lights of all the stores are slowly dying out and the few people still lingering on the boardwalk are finally leaving, though reluctantly. I gaze at the wagon wheel, still so bright and quiet. Flashes of memories come rushing back- our first picture in the photo booth, our first shared cotton candy-the last left at the stall, the locket whose pendant I still carry with me, our first go at the sledgehammer and how I scored higher.

A smile crept my face.

Sometimes I think the easier the solution to a problem is, the harder it is to fix it. Because we cannot come in terms with the simplicity of it. The answer is right there, facing us, but we choose to look away. How can it be that easy? So we keep avoiding it, until one day, there’s nothing left to avoid.

And because we, as a specie have a habit of never trying hard enough, we hold on to things that are left- things that still connect the two. Like frail, cold ashes of a fire that once burnt bright. Something that once was a part of both of us.

Like our memories here at Coney Island. Maybe that’s why I come here often; in search of some happy memory that, at some juncture of life, was shared and cherished by us both.


Note- This post was in collaboration with the exceptionally talented photographer and my very good friend on WordPress, Robert Doyle. I never understood the practicalities of photography enough to appreciate the technical prowess behind them, until I saw his work. I’ve been a great admirer of his pictures, solely because they are poignant, deep and tend to speak to you in someway.

When Robert first uploaded this on Instagram, I couldn’t stop staring at it. I was immediately pulled inside the picture, melancholy and nostalgia oozing from it. When I write such fictional pieces, like the ones I’ve written in the past, I always picture them happening in a similar backdrop. A warm twilight caressed with cool gusts of wind and a bunch of lights twinkling somewhere in the distance. Pictures that can make you feel the weight of being human.

So when the opportunity arose, I decided to collaborate with Robert and write a small narrative inspired by this beautiful image.

The story you read above, is taking place inside this picture. Our protagonist is sitting on the bench you see on the left side. Hope you enjoyed it and please do visit my friend’s blog.

 

Love always,

your blogger.

Jane Austen: My Respite in a Decadent World

I have often been ridiculed for my irrevocable love for Jane Austen. Somehow, the people around me cannot adjust to the ‘dreary, jaded and cliched’ stories of Jane, often labeling them as predictable. My love for Austen was ignited when I first watched the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice where a young, green eyed Darcy (the unbelievably gorgeous Matthew MacFadyen) pours his love for the stunning Elizabeth Bennett (Keira Knightley.)

I knew I was hooked and proceeded on reading all of Jane Austen’s works and found in them, a sense of companionship and understanding. Her stories were soothing and were remarkably successful in extirpating, even for a brief period, any strands of hopelessness or grief.

Jane had a proclivity to bestow upon her stories triumphant, happy endings. In Mansfield Park, she remarks, ‘Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody, not greatly in fault themselves, to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest.’

December 18th, 2017 will mark 200 years of her death. If the literary genius had even an ounce of idea of what her books have done, how they’re worshiped, vehemently debated and discussed, admired and looked up to, shared and cherished, read in schools and colleges- all this after two complete centuries- she would beam with joy and perhaps tell us a little more about Darcy.

From the surface, and specially to men who find reading drama not ‘masculine’ enough, her books might appear like a simple, everyday romance.

But her stories and characters are unabashedly real. They don’t exude unrealistic courage or over enthusiastic proclamations of love or betrayal. They’re simple, meaningful and are a precise embodiment of human emotions. Her characters are just as vulnerable, and just as unsure as we are. They struggle with human follies, make sacrifices and learn from their mistakes.

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Jane’s world in the 18th Century was plagued with patriarchy and subjugation of women. She was a critic of societal hypocrisy and unfairness and made it evident in her novels with sharp criticism masked in solemn observations and witty remarks. So Jane, through her writing, was secretly rebelling against the patriarchy at that time. She created strong female characters who were capable of standing up for themselves- like Elizabeth Bennett or Elinor Dashwood– a trait not much admired by her milieu.

So personally, Jane will always be my respite. Often when I find myself troubled over an issue, I pick my copy of Pride and Prejudice and leaf through its pages; reading lines I’d underlined and paragraphs that still never fail to appease me.

I like to call her work as the modern day rendition of fairy tales. They possess a remarkable healing ability and leave you with an assurance that things will get better. And when the world around you is constantly plagued with hatred, anguish and cold wars, it is soothing to delve deep into a story that promises, unlike the world around you, a happy, satisfied ending.

I will always be grateful that she graced our world. That she created characters that will stay with me, that I look up to. And for giving us hope, that somewhere in a far fetched land, comfortably perched inside a dimly lit cafe, there is a Darcy waiting for us, equally earnest and hopeful.


You can read more of my work here.

If you wish to watch the best adaptation of P&P, watch the BBC 1995 version. It’s precise, sticks to the book and shows the details.

My ranking of Jane Austen’s work:

  1. Pride and Prejudice.
  2. Northanger Abbey.
  3. Persuasion.
  4. Sense and Sensibility.
  5. Mansfield Park.
  6. Emma.

 

Before The Storm

When I was little, one of the many things I waited earnestly for, were storms. They usually hit our city at night, and I used to gobble my food as fast as I could, so as to not miss a second of it.
I remember I was around 7 when I realized I was fascinated with sharp claps of thunder and dark, grey ominous clouds thrusting the wind down upon us. The ferocious, swift gushes of wind. But that wasn’t​ the best part.

The best part was standing right in the middle of the soft howling and feeling the air pierce itself while blowing against my skin. Realising, that at this instant, I’m in the wind’s way of wherever it is heading.

storm

Staring at the revolting clouds stretched far across the sky, shielding the stars and blanketing the night into a thick, impassable darkness. And the sky is breaking apart while a low, yet consistent boom of  clouds can be heard, like an old God is furious and is expressing his disapproval of the human kind. It evoked in me, a certain maudlin sense of satisfaction.

So when today the first storm of the season hit our city, I found myself following the same pattern. Gorging the dinner as fast as I can and then rushing outside, right in the centre of the stage.

I always make sure I walk against the wind; in whatever direction it is blowing, I’m always walking against it. It gives me the feeling  like I’m challenging the storm, in a puny way of course.

And no, never once in my life have I been afraid. It always felt like home. As a child I remember, I used to envisage that some day the storm will take me away with it. Somewhere far, in some new, Utopian realm.  And I would say goodbye to this godforsaken place.

So my usual walk at night today was wild, like I covet. I stood alone on a stretch of road, with not a single living soul in sight. No lamps, no torch, just the fitful electric streaks of thunder, making the gaps among the giant menacing clouds visible, if only for a split second.

I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and whispered within, ‘beautiful.’

Prelude

Months after it began, I felt I’d already died. Like one day I had opened my eyes and woken up to blood smeared all over my body and a few dead people lying around me. For a moment I could not understand why was I here; fighting for a cause I did not believe in and for a master I did not know. But a queer, distant force had thrown me into this belligerent commotion and there was no escape but to pick up arms and fight.

When I got on my knees to have a bird’s eye view of the parched, dust laden field I was standing on, there was nothing but a rough land stretching far down every direction. And darkness blanketed the sky where, somewhere in the faded strands of my memory, once glinted the sun. The imminent threat of what was about to pass for a seemingly long time made my heart heavy with grief and even in the coming years, amongst all the steely clinks of swords and the bashing of shields, I’d often pause and look around for a kind exchange – but all in vain.

For years I got so accustomed to the torrid heat, unremitting anguish, dark and threatening crevices with no end, desolate, cold nights with no repose that now when I stand staring at a waning sun, I do not know how to behave. I haven’t experienced tranquility in a very long time, and uneasiness seems to have settled in the narrowest slits of my mind.

Somewhere I once heard, assurance cures uneasiness; assurance from whom, I wonder. 

I’ll tell you how it was; hold on for a little longer. A queer game this is and by the time you learn how to play by its rules you’re already on the brink of incorrigible collapse. You learn the art of carrying the burden of helplessness and masking it with pride. You learn how to sit still and hear the world around you softly mewling for help. You learn to appreciate recluse corners.

You begin to look up to the sky often, like a pair of bright, celestial hands would pick you up someday and take you far away-far from all the bedlam.

You start nursing hopes of divine help. Any help. You excel at constructing impressive facades- after all, they’ve protected you all this time. Initially, you try to talk about it, to the ones fighting alongside. But slowly you feel derided and just .. not understood enough, so you shut down, turn inwards and find a listener within.

This is how I fought and waded through years of noise and unrest.

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But now, I’m entranced, reader.  It’s almost like an ending of a long nightmare. I gaze with longing and gratitude at the freckles of grey clouds dotting the bruised evening sun. A warm rain might wash away some of this angst. A gush of fresh rain sweeps the field and I realise I’m still clinging tightly to my armour, so I let go and take a long whiff of the petrichor rising from the moist earth.

Dismally gazing at the distance I think of who I used to be before the war. I make a silent promise to scour her in the deepest of corners and pull her back. But the question is,

Has anybody who has ever been through war, returned unchanged?

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Note- I’ve noticed many of you have been sharing my posts on Facebook. The numbers have been increasing ever since! I’m grateful for the kindness and I thank you so much for this.  

But somehow, WordPress doesn’t give me the liberty to know who all share my posts on other platforms. So if you do share it, please let me know in the comments section. I’d love to thank you in person.

____________________________________________

Love always,

Your blogger.

Carnival of Dust

I narrow my eyes and try to make sense of the tortuous blue-black lines, snaking their way through the map of this strange city. The sun begins to dip in the west, emanating pale gleams of warm light, like dying embers of a small fire.

rub my hands and breathe out some hot air, making me feel like a dragon, only this one exhales air. These dark, silent pine trees make it difficult to comprehend the map; I raise it slightly to catch some light before it finally gets dark.

At last, I make out where I am. I’m almost at the edge of these woods, where my odyssey would end. Longfully I look toward the roughly trodden path, at its end lies my elysium.

I trek and trodd, jump and wade and at last I hear the music. Faint, distant hum of a melody playing from some old instrument. Like a drunk jazz musician, it goes on playing. I’m close.

I make it through the final shrub, and in front of me lies the carnival. Abandoned, unkempt, uncared and nested beyond the pines, this is the place I saw in my dream.

The roller coaster still works as it climbs atop steadily, until it plummets to the ground, in one great leap. The roller coaster is empty.

The bulbs above the desolate trivia game still glow- on and off, on and off. 

The screen above the horoscope machine still blinks red- ‘Insert Coin Here.’ 

The rider less Carousel Horse goes up and down. Round and round the brightly lit centrepiece.

All you hear is solitary music from dying carnival swings. Nobody has been here for a very long time.

I make my way to the place I wanted to go. The moment where maybe I’d find my answer.

I head towards the ominously rotating giant wheel. The wheel pauses and ignoring my fear of heights, I shiver as I lock myself on a seat. The swing immediately powers up and takes me slowly to the top. I see the carnival receding below and the night sky coming closer and closer.

The moment is near.  

And just as I reach the top, the swing creaks and halts, leaving me hanging in the air, above the desolate and hollow carnival. I hold my breath and blink. Waiting.

A soft wind blows and sends a shiver down my spine as I finally breathe.

No answer comes.
Nothing but silence.

More silence.

At some distance in the star studded sky, I see the sparkles of a firework. Someone somewhere fired it up for me? Another one races to the top with its burning tail, finally exploding into the night, sending vapors of fire everywhere.

This moment on this brightly lit, rusted giant wheel is where I thought I’d find you. Waiting for me. On this buckled seat. And maybe, we’d share this together. The distance, the height, the dark, this cold, the spark.

But maybe, this is how it ends and this is why the dream brought me here. Wistfully, I smile. For here it is, that I’ve found my closure.

Fleeting pillars

I put my chin softly, carefully
On your shoulders
They seem strong
like you have the world depending on them.
I take my first, calm, heavy breath in ages,
and look at you, looking at something else
you don’t even know.
you are looked at like that.
wonder if you’ll shrug & walk away
or will it make you sit and brood
the knowledge,
That you are looked at like that.

 

life has been gazing at, from a distance. From a safe distance.
life has been wanting to take a plunge but panicking on the first step.

Life has been aching from a distance.
Life has usually been a giant, barren field.

that gets flowers and rain occasionally.

 

my chin still rests on your sturdy, capable arms. Far more capable to ever turn towards me.

I know it. So I close my eyes and try live the brief comfort wholly.

And then I feel you slipping away.

then you stand and walk in a direction I can’t follow.
then I see you not looking back.

my chin plunges down and I take a moment to find balance.

you never knew,
If only for while,

you put all my fears to rest.

 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.