What is written but not said.

This poem will have no direction,

Like my life.

there is a direction, but it is too bedeviled with pain,

Pain others carry well,

Or don’t. How would I know.

what I do know is pain shared is easier to carry

Like the sack of potatoes that 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 facefront,

Your brain,

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,

while I jumble between a hundred

full grown adults,

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 has now become 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 propped against the golden glow of a cafe.” 

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.

All About Perspectives

A couple of weeks back, while scouring the internet for cute dog videos (because dogs are love-deal with it) I happened to land on a page that described Nietzsche’s theory of perspectivism.
Don’t even get me started on how that escalated.

Now I have read bits and pieces of his philosophies, but never felt like ‘delving deep’ into the ideas he propagated. Philosophers and too much philosophy can mess with your mind.

So after I devoured the Wikipedia page enough to satiate my mind, I felt a certain sense of ..pride? Let me elucidate the point I’m trying to make by using (Hermione’s) my time turner and taking you back to the year 2014.

I’m a firm believer in perspectives. I feel that people never truly tell you information in its true form, but rather their version of it.

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Is it a room, a painting, the sky or a building?

Every person has this window of comprehension. The bigger the window, the wider the perspective. Knowledge that we receive is always torn, bent, twisted, interpreted and distorted by the mind that delivers it. It’s never really ..pure.

This is what I have been believing since the last three years. And now that I found there’s an actual theory justifying and claiming the same thing is unreal! I mean the fact that a small, private and less discussed principle I’ve withheld and believed in for so long resonates with an actual philosophy from, what history calls, one of the greatest philosophers of all time – Nietzsche, is surreal! I think I should be allowed to have a fleeting, teeny-tiny moment of pride?

But if you apply this theory to every piece of information you’ve ever received, it can seem a little scary.

Whatever news you watch on the television, is a version and interpretation of the journalists and the writers, apart from factual information of course.

Like I read somewhere once,‘How do you know your hero is righteous, if you haven’t heard the story from the villain’s perspective.’

Perspectives and point of views can revamp both the connotation and the core idea behind an event.

The book critic might consider Lord of the Rings to be the greatest work of fantasy but maybe it isn’t? (Psstt ..it is.)

So our opinions are limited to our window (or scope) of perceiving it.

There is no truth, there are only perspectives.

One person’s idea of the ‘right’ kind of behavior might not conform with yours?

This entire blog article right here is also a perspective. Care to refute?


Note- Once upon a time there was this weird, ethereal boy in my class. His hobbies included doodling on tables, minimal human interaction and secretly seeking the meaning of the universe.  We spent two years in Middle school which consisted of him doodling on the table and I admiring it. That was the only human form of interaction he was programmed for.

Then we lost touch and he left the city.(Or maybe he went to another galaxy to fulfill some strange odyssey?) But years later in 2017 and due to some very peculiar turn of events, we met again! And now that he’s capable of having a human like conversation and even telling me about his plans to open a music store, I can safely vouch for the credibility of his blog, that he’s launched very recently.

People of WordPress, please spare some time and visit my very talented friend Yash’s blog. He has phenomenal writing skills and his comic books (that he creates when he’s on Earth for the time being) are a cherry on the cake. He talks of abstract stuff superimposed with a witty sense of humor, creative metaphors and peculiar diagrammatic representations of kebab rolls.

His blog is:

Bipolar Bear

Do visit and leave a review. Both the writer and the blog mean a lot to me.

I’d be grateful.

About Empathy

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Let me ask you a question.

How many times have you been on the receiving end of someone ‘venting out’ stuff on you?

Have you ever been elevated to this role model of impossible empathy that you can no more find people understanding that maybe, at times, you need a friend like that too?

I once read somewhere that you cannot serve with an empty heart. You need to be emotionally balanced enough to soak in the imbalances of others. And frankly, helping people lighten their load, if only by being a patient listener, is what humans, as a community is all about.

That’s how we survive; helping each other, promoting each other’s growth, celebrating the victories, mourning the loses.

But the material point is, I’ve only ever found so many people willing enough to empathize these days. Sympathy? Yes, that is present in abundance. But empathy? The art of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and trying to actually feel their misery?

That is what lacks.

In taxing times, you don’t need people nodding at you and telling you the ‘wicked ways of the world,’ or that somewhere in extreme parts of the Earth people are starving; that doesn’t quite put their tumult to rest now does it?

We need more people bold enough to say, ‘I’m here for you if you need me,’ and brave enough to mean it. We need more people to re-establish other people’s faith in this morally declining world.

It’s hard being a vessel all the time. Vessel open to all forms of lamentations, grief, agitation and pain and still manage to uphold the countenance of a calm face, comforting eyes and an understanding touch.

But hey, I’m here to tell you it is okay.

I’ve been on receiving end of the laments of a lot of different people. I’ve been the receiving end of the adults in my family.

I’ve tried my best empathizing with people 30 years ahead of me. I’ve heard my much younger friends and tried my best to console.

I’ve listened to strangers online. I’ve even maintained a tolerable disposition in front of people I generally dislike.

But.

I’ve also seen people get gradually distracted and lose sense of the conversation when I’m at the pouring end. I’ve also seen people fidgeting with their cell phone while I eventually, with a few hesitant, muffled words succumb to silence. I’ve seen people lose interest when the conversation is no more revolving around ‘them.’

I’ve also noticed general apathy in the eyes of the receiver.

I’ve seen it and I’ve been quiet. Maybe that’s just how the world works. However, what I observed during this course was, people with the lack of a listening heart, often find solace within themselves. They crumble and crawl inside and eventually find rest within the comforting box of their own warmth.

Eventually, these people stop voicing out and get used, or rather comfortable, finding their peace within themselves. Or to take an extra daring step, maybe in a few pages of literature?


Can you guess why I chose a picture of a lighthouse with this post? Let me know in the comments. 

Wayward

Only 15 minutes before, I was screaming. 

Now I’m making patterns in the moist, fragrant sand. Some of it is sandwiched between my fingers, slowly oozing out of the gaps as I tighten my grip. Occasionally, I take a quick glance of the ginormous turquoise body of water in front of me.

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It rises sporadically, antagonized by the frantic wind, it rises and rises until all I see is a huge film of translucent water, racing violently towards me. Until, with a defeated cry, it crashes down, sending cold splashes my way.

I cower a little, to save my shirt from drenching, but all in vain. Drops of salt water drip from my lips. Don’t worry, the sun is warm enough today. In one great leap the wave gulped my pattern and washed it away; leaving trails of sodden sand behind. I scrunch my face. Not fair.

My eyes light up instantly. I remember why I was here in the first place. I remember why I was screaming. Hesitating, I turn around to take a glance.

They’re still fighting.

I shake my head and turn to the waters, ‘Will this ever stop?’ 

Zoning out the sound of the ocean, I hear them having a war of words. They’re yelling and cursing each other. Their voice is rough and beaten. One of them has welled up, the voice has become heavy.

I smile. I know exactly who that is. 

The other, however, won’t be subdued. Like always, it is powerful. It stands tall and condescending. It wants to win. It wants to be right. It is bleeding, it is in pain and somewhere inside, a voice asks it to stop, yet it won’t be appeased. Never will it surrender. It keeps on screaming, until it leaps forward and throttles the other. They stagger, fidget and grapple.

One is going to win today.

The brawl continues and I’m about to scream again when I hear the snap of a neck. I turn around instantly only to witness a scene that sends waves of felicity through me. In a war between my heart and ego, heart stood there, bruised, but victorious.

Solemnly, I take out my cell phone, and I dial the abandoned number.

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.

Into the Wild

After graduating in May 1990, Christopher McCandless left his home and all of his material possession for a trip across America. He ‘literally’ burnt all of his money, left his car and lived off the road for two years and walked into Alaska in April 1992.

A lot of people criticize Christopher and lambaste the public for portraying him as a hero. They call him reckless, inconsiderate and even narcissistic.

I could write an entire book about how all these claims are utterly and fallaciously wrong.

The boy was a bright and active student. He did well in class. He read good, inspiring books. He was agile, dynamic and friendly. He even made sure he graduated before he left; hence showing awareness so as to abide by his filial duties before reaching out to his calling. How can people say he was reckless?

The boy carried no IDs, no money, no possession and craved to be off the radar. And they say he wanted ‘popularity?’ If he wanted fame, he would’ve made sure people knew where he was.

Understand, that there must be something more persuasive than ‘fame’ to lure a boy with a bright future to abandon his affluent life and walk into nothingness. There was something more than that. 

Chris McCandless

Real picture of Christopher in Alaska at an abandoned bus where he took refuge.

Even though he died around September, he still scrambled and survived Alaska for 3 months, unguided and alone. He was caught by police authorities several times, and he still managed to escape without jail only by persuasive talking.

And they say he wasn’t smart. 

They say Chris had no idea what he was doing. I say, chances are, he knew EXACTLY what he was doing. He was not some hopeless romantic who got infatuated with some book and abandoned his affluent home. He was aware that he might end up dead. He knew the risks involved. He knew that there was a price to pay.

The reason I cannot stop being utterly fascinated with Chris is that I completely understand why he did it. I cannot put it to words, but I know how he felt, what drove him to take the perilous step. What coaxed him to give everything up, to leave them all behind and willingly walk away. I understand how claustrophobic he felt among people. I understand he was mad with the world. I know he was looking for an escape. I know he wanted peace. If I had more guts and less excuses, I would do something exactly like him.

I know what it’s like to live with a mind that won’t ever shut up. 

He certainly took some wrong decisions, and there are opinions of his where I greatly disagree, but I still admire and sort of pity him. Even empathize with him. He is exactly the kind of person I could sit and talk with for hours. The people he spent time with during his escapade said that the boy could talk and talk about the things that mattered. He would listen to anything that was new to him. He had a willingness to learn. A never quenching curiosity.

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He was loved and missed by everyone he met during his travel. He made an impression on every  body. All of them said that the boy was special, that there was something unique about him.

In September 1992, his decomposed body was found by a party of moose hunters.

Wherever he is right now, I only hope he found the peace he was looking for.

I’ve met a lot of people in various groups who read Into the Wild and were rendered speechless. I really urge you to read it. Please. It’s going to change your perspective regarding a lot of things. And if you do manage to read it, please send me an email. I long to discuss this book with someone.

Until then.

Alexander Supertramp, in our hearts forever.

Love always,

Your blogger.

To the Woods

I hadn’t expected it to be this cold or I would’ve brought the sweatshirt mama bought me last Christmas. For now, I hope my flannels will keep me warm. It is funny how in your last moments, you’re supposed to think about the ones you love, or all of those rare moments when life seemed extraordinary. You’re supposed to be having flashbacks of your favorite birthday parties, or the day you got your first kiss or the day you went to your very first carnival.

I smile, trying desperately hard to light a fire in this dark. I rub two stones together, little sparks lighting up with every strike, ultimately giving birth to a young, warm fire. My eyes reflect the yellow glow they receive and somehow, I don’t feel cold anymore. Rubbing my hands, I take a glimpse of the valley far below. Dark, quiet; like the trees were asleep, unburdening themselves.

Dry leaves crunch and break beneath my worn out shoe. They’re going to be one year old tomorrow. He gave me these when I turned 21. A quiet wind blew through the woods, fanning my young flames. The trees sighed and looked down upon my little figure. A young guy huddled by a tiny fire, smiling on the adventure that lay ahead.

I wonder if I’ll be missed. The son who had it all, but somehow didn’t? The obliging one who went astray? The exchange of a present on his 21st birthday, that changed everything. In one year, I was no more their obliging son. I was, according to them, ‘confused.’

What would’ve happened if they had said yes and we hadn’t run away? Would we be happier? Would our Sunday dinners include him too? Would we be free? Would we be allowed to stand on the altar? The smile on my face fades away, as I watch the dying embers of my fire. What will they think when I’m gone?

Slowly I stand up and wade my way to the forest’s end where lay the bare ground. The part where I could directly face the valley down below; almost hearing the sound of all the lives that slept in it. Do those birds ever have to run away?

I lie down and gaze at the star studded night and catch a glimpse of a falling star. I hear footsteps approaching and somehow my smile comes back.
‘I thought you said you needed dry wood for our fire,’ he says as he lies down next to me.
Holding hands we gaze at the night, thinking of what would happen next.

Somewhere in the distance, a star twinkled a little more brightly.

So what is Conformity?

 

I’m reading a book on social psychology these days, as a part of my goal to completely and fully understand the human mind. (Seriously, how free am I?) And in the pages I have managed to leaf through until now the author has again and again talked about conformity. He has talked about peer pressure. He has elucidated  on how our behavior changes when we are in propinquity to certain people. He has talked about how badly we want to be accepted.

He has talked about all the things every body hates to talk about, let alone accept it. Also, this post might seem preposterous to certain people, I request you to maintain your rationality and not take anything personally.

Have you ever wondered how your sense of self esteem is directly proportional to your social media account? The rate might vary, but don’t you feel a tinge of satisfaction when the likes cross 200? Or do you judge someone’s instagram based on the number of followers they have? Be honest about it. Do you feel .. ‘proud’ after crossing 1000 followers?

This ‘feeling’ that I’m talking about, this is called ‘conformity.’ Or in simpler terms, ‘validity.’ The feeling of being accepted. The reason why we post it and then wait for the notification box to turn red, is because we crave validity. We crave approval. We crave people nodding their virtual heads seconding us.

I] Why exactly do you ‘dress better’ for a date? I mean, it’s not a rule right? You might as well flaunt those striped pajamas? Then why? Some inner voice telling you to ‘make an impression?’

II] In a hypothetical group of 5 people, four of them say the correct answer is B. You were confident that it was A until all four of them said the correct answer is B. Now you’re starting to have second thoughts, why?

III] Our hypothetical friend Jack has gone for an aquarium visit with 10 of his other friends. He points to the water and says, “Look Bill! That’s a whale!” Bill looks at him confused, “Uh, Jack? That’s clearly a Dolphin.”
Jack looks at Bill pitifully, “Uh NO, THAT is a whale?!”
Bill turns around to the other 8 friends, “Guys! Jack here thinks this beautiful fish is a whale!”
The group glares at Jack like he just killed a unicorn.
“What is wrong with you Jack,” they mutter together “That is a Dolphin!” 

NOW, Jack is starting to doubt himself.”I guess it is a dolphin ..haha how silly of me. “

Now obviously the 9 friends were paid for the experiment to call the fish a dolphin when it was clearly a whale.

But why did Jack change his opinion?

These three examples clearly illustrate what validity and conformity is. Something works inside our brain that makes us crave approval. Something that forces us to mutate our behavior in order to be accepted. How group pressure can sometimes force us to act differently. How we start to self-doubt when the group stands against us.

How ‘nonacceptance’ causes us emotional despair and causes harm to our mental balance. And how being accepted by our peers can instantly elevate our mood.

How it often gets intimidating when you’re the only person defending a cause. How group acceptance is equivalent to comfort. How social media has only added another platform for encouraging low self-esteems and high rate of acceptance seekers. In fact, the entire social media framework works on this. How the fear of not being accepted has its roots deep within us.

This helped me draw my personal conclusion. Even though our want to be validated is strong and almost over powering our smallest of actions, yet breaking this need of social acceptance is one trait that characterizes the truly successful. Those who manage to defend their cause without being deterred by those around them. Those who manage to break the shackles. Those who are ‘successful’ in its literal sense. Those who prefer to sail against the wind. Although, it is not an easy task.

For now, I cannot promise you any solution to this problem, the only thing I can do is urge you to break your own fetters. Or at least be brave enough to stand for yourself.

But the day my research bores something substantial, I will write another post as an answer to this very post.


 

Also, I would urge you all to please go and check my good friend Divyanshi’s blog for she just entered the blogging world contributing her creative ideas for fashion. She is one of the most talented people I have met and portrays on her blog her own colorful and unique sense of fashion and models it all herself. Please visit her space and give her some healthy reviews. Thank you!

Highway

The wind is frantic tonight and the stars are unusually luminescent. I wish I had packed sincerely. But it’s not my fault, I didn’t plan for this to happen.
I stand amidst gushing noise of cars speeding past me, my hair flowing in their direction as I stare at their red tail-lights, until they drive off down the road.

I scramble through my bag and I only find a sweatshirt, my notebook and some useless currency. I wish I’d kept my iPod. At least I’d have a musical companion on my way.
I sigh as I glare at the night again, ‘What do I do?’ I ask the silver stars.

Disappointed I look down, half expecting a twinkle.

I feel oddly cool. My chest isn’t burning with uninvited anxiety, nobody’s around to question me, I’m not trying to find peace any more, probably because I’ve found it.
Right here.

On this highway.

Humanity has retired to slumber, but the magic has awoken. And I can feel it in the midnight mist.

I have tried and tried to understand all that is wrong in our massively sinister and decadent society. I even resorted to finding answers, answers to questions that trouble us till our deathbed and I have failed. I hinged on the universe to give me answers, but all I ever received were instructions to stop trying to fix things.

I guess not everything can be healed. The roots are too deep to exhume, understand, obliterate or mend. I tried to seek answers from pages of books. For pages are far too patient than anything I’ve known. But they hesitated, giving a sad smile as I stared at them blankly. They too, didn’t have the answers.

The past evening, I rummaged through my drawers in search of everything I could take with me. Sadly, nothing was important enough.

So I ran. I ran as fast as I could. My lips trembling, my heart beating through my chest and cold air piercing through my lungs. But it felt good. Dear God it felt good. The wind blew through every strand of my hair, untangling it, playing with it. Warm tears rolled down my cool cheeks, for the wind was too fierce to run against.
The city was sinking out of view and when I came to a halt, I could only see distant, yellow lights scintillating below the city’s skyline.

And now I stand alone on this endless road. With nothing but the low hum of cars rushing past me.

I wish I could say more and confide in you about my journey ahead. But I’m afraid you will come looking for me. And as much as I love you for it, I don’t want to be found.

For now, this highway is my home.

I turn around and take a wistful glance at the city that raised me. I  tighten my grip around my notebook. After all, it is the one who will tell my story.

One Last Effort

There is so much going on right now. I tip-toe silently trying to slide pass through all the energy inside. A moment ago I too was standing amidst all the chatter and hysterics. But very soon like I forbode, it started to consume me.
The song, the laugh, the drink, the people and their heated words uttered so fast I can barely make any sense of it. I can hear everything around me but I cannot understand a thing. I glance around in that crowd, where could I possibly go? What do I do?

I’m overwhelmed. I don’t do well in crowds and meaningless conversations. I’ve always loved the quiet, always preferred it. Always been fascinated with things I shouldn’t be fascinated with. I look around again, anxious.  A group erupts in laughter, a stout robust man quaffs down his entire drink and quizzically inquires for more.
A woman subtly adjusts the straps of her dress.
A man nervously strokes his tie, this is a deal he cannot miss.
The waiter stands patiently, waiting for them to finish their drinks, so that he may be done for the day.
The singer sings in all her melody, while no one is listening and she’s too drunk to notice.
I gulp in anticipation though I do not know of what.

I see a door straight down the hallway, festooned with ribbons and glitter. I open the door quietly, just enough for me to slip through; and I run. I run as fast as I can storming past the hallway, making conversations pause and a couple of heads follow my trail.

I reach a garden and my toes are bruised but I don’t feel any pain. The quiet is comforting and the cold seems like a friend. I lean against a wall and slam on the ground, breathing heavily and staring into the night. My hair is a travesty and sweat seeps through my make-up.

By now I only hear soft music playing somewhere far. Far enough to not be intelligible and I sit there barefoot, my head resting against the wall and every deep breath pushing hot air through the fog.
I see small yellow fairy-lights carefully hung over the bushes. I’ve always loved lights, you know. But not the superfluous, exaggerated, colorful ones. But the quiet, yellow and warm ones.

I pick myself up and make my way to the pool. The calm, unperturbed surface speaks to me. Glaring at the water I find peace. I’m enticed by how deep it might be. So deep that they cannot ever find me. So deep that the world fails to follow my trail and all that consumes me washes away inside it.
So I jump.

I jump in the water and let go. Bubbles of air escape my body as I close my eyes and allow myself to sink. As low as I can. As deep as the waters may allow me.
I think of everything that overwhelmes me, everything that makes me anxious and I feel it leave my body.
Everything that makes me hold on to things, everything that makes me think, it’s slowly going away as the water fills my body and it swells and crashes the bottom.

And in my final moments I see those lights. Though they don’t appear little anymore. The water makes them glow like blazing balls of fire, spreading their warm glow over me, maybe trying one last time to bring me comfort. In one last effort, I smile and bid them farewell.

Until I start floating on the surface.

Understanding an Introvert; Part-I

introvert noun ɪntrəvəːt/  1. a shy, reticent person.
You see, life as an introvert is not as easy and ‘simple’ as you think. People have various fascinating and sometimes hurtful perceptions about an introvert. Like in some way it is a ‘bad’ thing to be quiet and shy. So this post is for all my fellow introverts out there- you guys rule.
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My 20 years as an introvert brought up several types of opinions about me. Some were good, some bad, some reckless, either way people always look at you differently. My experiences have been rather dicey when it comes to people forming an opinion about me. Some people love me on first meet, some hate me on the first sight, some don’t give a crap
And despite all the spiteful judgement people form for introverts, I’ve always been fascinated by them-their thought process when they see a quiet girl entering a subway and reading a book or listening to music, ignoring everyone around.
I’m not kidding, I’ve really experienced all this in high-school and am still experiencing it in college. People often call you ‘fake’ which is a very common term high-schoolers use to brand someone as ‘not very High-Schooly’ or if someone is too kind. Introverts are usually happy being alone, they’re often bored in groups but they never get bored of being with themselves.
‘ALONE’ doesn’t feel very inhospitable to them.They might sit in a group of friends and have fun, but somewhere in their mind they’ll fantasize about the moment they’ll be alone with their book or coffee or anything they are particularly attached with, which is most of the time an object or something that exists only in their mind. We don’t mind staying indoors while others are out partying. You might say-“Get a life!” Guess what? ‘We ARE getting a life.’

It’s creepy how precise this picture is. 😛

What people do is that they mistake our silence with oblivion. They don’t understand the fact that just because we’re quiet doesn’t mean we’re not listening. We observe everything around us. YES, we KNOW when people whisper stuff about us along with scanning us top to bottom with their eye balls.

What you normal people should know is that just because we have trouble initiating conversation with people doesn’t mean we’re rude goblins with a rotten apple for a heart and we sure as hell don’t think of ourselves as ‘above’ everyone else. Most of the time, it’s the exact opposite. And from my own personal view, introverts are usually very kind people, we won’t fire a bullet in the center of your forehead when you talk to us. If you talk to us, we’ll reply-like normal people do-No Big Deal.

Our amount of talk usually depends on our level of comfort with the other person. We can’t tolerate to be around people we can’t stand, again that’s pretty normal.


 A girl in my college sat next to me once and she kept rambling on and on and on and wouldn’t stop and when she observed (finally) that I hadn’t said a word between her chatter for about 20 minutes she said, “Don’t you like to talk?”  Honestly, she kinda caught me off guard, it was very brusque- I didn’t know what to respond. So I shrugged and stuttered some muffled words; eventually she left.

 

One thing about us introverts-we have a lot of trouble trusting people, another valid reason we prefer being to ourselves. We have trouble expressing our feelings, that is why we project it in some way. As for me, it is through writing. I mostly write about my thoughts, my emotions, my frustration or maybe some prosaic observation.

We like to sit and observe. Observe how beautiful the clouds look today, how soothing the wind is, softly caressing our skin. We mute the entire world and just sit and see-and we LIKE that.So I hope when you normal people read this you muster up the courage to talk to that guy who usually sits alone in the cafeteria or the girl who’s seen in the library in the recess. We’re shy, we’re dreamers, we’re cogitative, observers, lovable, thoughtful and of course, quiet.
Try us, we’re not that bad-actually don’t, leave us alone.