Our Collective Fragility

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

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

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

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

 

There is no terror like that of being known. 

-Emerson.

 

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

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

 

Love always,

Your Blogger. 

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.

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.

Encapsulating 2016

Reader,

How are you today? I hope you’re merry and healthy as we descend to the end of a rather bleak 2016. I’m aware this year has been rather morbid, hasn’t it? Or is it just I who feels that way?
I only hope next year brings some light along with it. I think we all need it.

I’m not going to write about anything today. I’ll just talk (or write?)aurora-1185877_960_720

I had made a point to read as many books as possible this year and fortunately, I did it. I’ve read various kinds of literature and I’m just one book away from finishing every book ever written by Jane Austen.
How cool is that?

And the best thing I read this year was this book I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. It’s called Into the Wild. I’m sure many of you must have seen its movie version. I watched it in 9th grade. If you’re even vaguely familiar with the plot, you can imagine the kind of impact it had on me.

Reader, I watched it thrice. I  take the liberty to say that this movie helped me go through that phase, it really did. And now, 5 years later, the book has done it too; helped me wade through this wretched year.

(If you haven’t seen it yet, you should. Personal recommendation.)

Yesterday I finished reading Jane Eyre. Literature enthusiasts would know how popular that book is. In fact, it is the reason I’m particularly sulky right now. The story is so dark and bleak; painfully gripping.

If any of you is interested in reading my book reviews, since I’ve been reading like a mad man these days, you can find me on Goodreads. They’re not very good though, I’m warning you. If you want me to recommend you some books, ping me an email. I’m right here!

I’m a firm believer that every event in your life has a reason attached to it. There are no co-incidences. You go through a phase, or you meet certain people, or you ‘stumble’ upon some particular thing, because you were meant to. There is no stopping that. And however difficult situations get, I’ll never stop believing this.
The fact that the last couple of years have been hard only reaffirms this theory. They were difficult, but they were worth learning from. There was a reason they were difficult.
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Also, you will not believe something I’m going to tell you. A couple of months back, there was a moment when I found myself staring at the, ‘Delete Blog‘ button of WordPress. That’s right. I was one click away from saying goodbye to this place. If it wasn’t for this life-savior friend God gave me, I would’ve bidden you all farewell.
But she reminded how much effort it took me to build this page.
So I stayed. (Like the Kygo song. :P)

Perhaps the most trying part of this year was around October. That’s when my dad got really sick. That was the toughest, I swear. Staring at your father in a hospital bed at 3:00 in the morning as his hands are all pierced in needles and just praying he gets well soon is a terrible and devastating feeling. I pray you never have to go through it.

And here’s a tip- Never roam around in hospital galleries after midnight. It’s lonelier than you think. Overall, this year has been weird. I’ve had some heart swelling, delirious days. Most of them have been darker. I hope 2017 is slightly kinder to me and not like a battlefield.

Anyway, I’ll close this preposterous rant now.

This will be my last post for 2016. I hope you all had a great Christmas and I hope you have the most exhilarating year, full of new experiences, new people and more love.

Sending a silent prayer for the world to heal a little in 2017. Love each other people, we all need it.

Cheers.

Here is a fantastic song I’ve listening lately. Enjoy!

 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Post Life

Perhaps the most exacting part of growing up is realizing that you are now expected to perform. And that there is no scope left for chances. That there are certain results of a certain magnitude that people want to see you deliver. And you look around and you don’t see protection or second chances, but you see a battle. And even the strongest people I’ve met, have agreed to have felt that fear. Fear of under-achieving, fear of failure, fear of letting down and fear of not being good enough.

It is even worse when your heart has chosen to make a home in a place where the only way to reach it, is to take a chance. And you’re not fortunate enough to take that chance. What we are not told when we take our very first step into the world, is that we only need to grow while learning through this life. And experience its various nuances, replenish your soul with experiences-both good and bad and keeping riches and fortunes as a secondary goal.

Not learn to earn, but learn to understand the right way to live. Don’t hurt yourself mentally in the ache of not being the first horse in the race. It is okay. The onerous competition around us and the fear of failure is like a dark cloud; quiet and threatening.

What we need to propagate, is to make yourself, your life, your growth and your happiness of prime importance. Make sure to not be effected by what others are doing, but to slowly and steadily find your calling. And even if you don’t-IT IS OKAY. That’s what we need to say more- IT IS OKAY.

So the next time you feel fear creeping up your backbone, take a deep breath and tell yourself, ‘You’ve got this. IT IS OKAY.’ 


I’m also very happy to announce that we officially have a Facebook Page. I, in collaboration with a bunch of my supremely talented friends launched our page, The Theories of Everything where we would post occasional words, thoughts and write ups that we pen down.
We’ve also collaborated with our brilliant designer Zer0ality who has taken up the duty to design our posts.

Apart from this, we’ve all chosen to keep our posts anonymous for we wish to let our words speak for ourselves. I know you’ve all done more than enough for me here on WordPress but I really wish from my heart is that whoever is on Facebook, please promote our page, like and/or share according to your wishes for I’d be eternally grateful to you all.

I assure you, the write ups will be beautiful and you would not regret any of it. But even if you don’t I will only add, IT IS OKAY.

Love always,
Your blogger.

SOCIAL EXPERIMENT

My curiosity always gets the better of me. Somehow, even in unusually intricate situations, I find it very hard to suppress it. And human mind intrigues me the most. Irrespective of how tortuous, mind-boggling, complicated, nerve-wracking piece of a labyrinth it may become, human mind is my most favorite puzzle. And often I tend to ask people specific questions to unravel certain details about them.

And every time I do it, I’m always surprised in the most wonderful way! Every human has a kaleidoscope of emotions and some of them are kept bottled up. Not because they are secret or dark, but simply because no one really asks about them.

I decided to change that today. I asked every teenager in my contact list a question and gave them 5-10 minutes to answer. I asked them not to dwell over it too much, but jot down whatever came to their mind first. Be as impulsive as they could be.

The question was,
‘If you could convey one message to your future husband/wife, what would that be?’ 

All the answers were amazing, but some of them completely blew my mind! And honestly speaking, the boys gave more disbelievingly emotional replies than girls. What is happening? I thought girls were the sappy ones? 😛

Here’s an overview of all the answers I received. Enjoy.

GIRLS: 

1.) “Don’t be a normal person when it comes to temperament. ”

2.) “Please be exactly the way I’ve imagined you to be.” 😛

3.) “I’ll commit myself to you and pray for you always. The love between us will bring us together forever with many beautiful and precious moments.”

4.)”Just be honest with me, no matter WHAT you do when I’m not there.”

5.) “YOU BETTER BE SWOLE.”  (This girl is a fitness enthusiast! XD) 

6.) “If you really want to have a happy married life, you better live up to my expectations. 😛  No, but seriously, come with no pre-conceived notions about me, be my best friend and have a strong opinion on things.”

7.) “Respect is the most important. Let’s respect each other?”

8.) “Be a gentleman and I’ll teach you good things in bed.”

9.)” Don’t marry me if you value your life. SAVE YOURSELF. RUN!” 😛

10.) “I’m a pain in the ass. I’m a mess. I get upset for no reason and I’ll drive you crazy.  But I promise I’m worth it and I’m never giving up on you.”


BOYS: (Brace Yourselves)

1.) “I knew from the start that you were the one.” (Aww.)

2.) “I am very moody and my feet smell real bad.”

3.) “I know I couldn’t find a girl like you. You define beauty and simplicity. You’ve made me the luckiest person. I promise to love you the way I have. You are my strength and my love.” (Grabs tissue.)

4.)’I love you.’ (This dude won the ‘Most Straightforward Boyfriend’ Award) 😛 

5.) “If you can keep up with my shit, then as a husband, I’ll be as loving and caring as it gets.” (OH MY GAAAWWD.)

6.) “Hey partner, congratulations, you’re 18.
ON THE LIST OF 20 PEOPLE PEOPLE I’M GOING TO KILL. ”

7.) “Take your time to come. I’m not in a hurry. Let me live my life right now. :P” (Best response. XD)

8.) “You’re probably sending some cute, cuddly texts to some other guy and I’m helplessly getting jealous here.”

9.) “Do you even exist?”

10.) “Be safe and keep a track of your health. ”

All these answers came from my 19-21 year old friends. Some of the wordpress bloggers who have been in personal touch with me also have their answers here.

My personal summation of this survey would be that the boys sent more emotional and thoughtful messages to their future partner than the girls. It was a response I did not expect, yet it’s safe to say, this is a happy surprise. Based on the response I get from this survey, I’ll do more of its kind to understand the tangled mind of the current day teenagers.

Here is a little background of our participants:

GIRLS- 1 is an English Major.
2,5,6,8, and 9 are majoring in Commerce.
4 and 7 are Engineers.
3 is an aspiring Lawyer.

BOYS- 1,2, and 7 are majoring in Commerce.
3 is pursuing The Navy.
4 and 5 are aspiring Engineers.
6,8,9 and 10 are future Lawyers.

For what it’s worth, I really got to know my friends better through this survey. I can also use this information against them to embarrass them in future. That’s right, I make the rules.

Let’s do this with you.
Tell me in the comments below, what message would you give your future partner right now?

The Theory of Geekism

You’ll find them curled up in secluded corners of empty libraries, too engrossed in their precious book to pay attention to the world. You’ll find them lingering quietly in record stores, finding peace among music recorded years ago.

You’ll find their cell phones brimming with pictures full of quotes and notes from strange authors. You’ll always hear them talk about the most random and the most peculiar things in life. They’ll rhapsodize over something as small as a coin or as vast as the ocean.

They see poetry in the buzz of the city, in a heartbreak or a stormy sky. Somehow they’ll relate every situation to some lyric they heard in a track a long time ago or maybe to an incident in the life of their favorite character in a book.

What amazes me about Geekism, is not just the obsession with things that do not exist, but the intense passion they possess for it. Think about it, these people are head over heels for something they can only feel, not touch or see. Or maybe it is something they can see and touch, but it’s more than just a THING for them, they crave it in the most eccentric way.

How amazing is that?

Honestly, I covet these people. People whose eyes light up on the mention of their object of affection. People who know how to feel too deeply; who have more than just a reason to live.

It can be for anything, the passion. It can be for the sky or the stars or just the limpid blue ocean, it can be a book or a sport or maybe a place, but it’s their profound love for it-that is magic. It is how they can’t get enough of it-that is wondrous.

How they’re not ashamed of singing their love for it, how unapologetic-ally expressive they are about it. How honest their love for it is.

And not only this, it amazes me to think, that when these people can romanticize over abstract things and feel infinite beauty in something as simple as the slow patter of the rain, or the smell of the Earth; when they can feel so deeply for things that do not exist, what would happen when they fall in love with a human?

What on Earth would happen when they fall in love with someone who’s right in front of their eyes? What would be the intensity of that passion and how magically would they express it?

They are keepers. They’re loyal to their passion. They understand emotions. If you ever find a passionate human, stick with them. Hold on to them. Don’t let them go.

Teachings from Me #4 (The Art of Moving On)

We’ve all come across people we wish we’d never met. The ones who came, became the light of our life and then departed, abandoning you to your surprise. The problem with us fragile souls is, we make them our everything and expect them to make us their everything too, which in most cases doesn’t occur.

And we are so engrossed in the process of making them our everything that when they leave, we’re shattered.  We cannot accept and digest the fact that some things aren’t just meant to be.

I’ve never really gotten to the point of making someone my ‘everything.’ No one was worth the risk, but I have the skill of placing myself into someone else’s shoes, so I can relate and empathise.

But hey, I’ve lost people too. Special friends and human beings whom I expected the most of. But fortunately, I’m in the process of mastering ‘The Art of Moving On’ and I’m becoming a pro at it.

You see, I think of them as chapters, chapters of a very long book called Life. You might have an urge to tear them and throw them away, but would you be the person you are today if it weren’t for those chapters? How else would your magnificent story unfold?

No matter how hard this may sound, they came in your life to give you something, if they didn’t reap any fruit then they gave you something more valuable instead-a lesson. They showed you exactly the kind of a person you’d never be with or befriend.

Lose those strings, cut them off and look towards other bright things awaiting you. There’s more to life than just broken hearts (so cliche). You’d never even make half the journey you’ve embarked if you keep looking backwards on the road.

It’s a bad phase, not a bad life. 🙂

Cheers!

Let me take a selfie?

Today was a good day. I’ve had a really busy last week, with my college event lingering like Satan above my head to all the friends who were waiting (and still are) for me to catch up.

The event went AWE-FRIKING-SOME. The audience said I gave a reverberating welcome speech, full of pithy and vigor. Woot Woot!

As for the ‘friends catching up’ thing. Ahhh, we all know how bad I am at socializing. But I did manage to go for pizza with a friend. Which was fine and all.

Now, let’s get to the point.

I’m not very active on social media, but I do  bump across photographs of various girls in ..umm ..peculiarly scrunched faces. Two words I hate:

1) Pout.
2) Selfie.

Combine both of them, and you get a deadly equation:

Pout+Selfie=17412894723852859 Instagram Likes.

pout-is-incurable_o_1164245

I’m not being narcissistic or condescending here, but it saddens me to see the virtual non-existence of natural smiles. What happened to “Say Cheeeeeseee?” How did it get replaced with, “Make Pooouuuutttt?”

I see carefully crafted poses practiced a thousand times in front of the mirror. It’s like people are so much into aiming for perfection that they’ve forgotten what it’s like to be Raw. To be Crude. To be Imperfect.

Everything is revolving around selfies these days. Two things prompted me to write this. One, I saw an advertisement of a cellphone today. It said, “Here’s the new ‘XXXXX’ phone specially designed to take ‘Perfect Selfies.’ ”
Gone are the days when people checked the RAM or the OS of the phone people.

Two, while gorging myself on pizza today, I picked up my friend’s cellphone and was almost going to take a picture when she says, “Aakansha taking a selfie-now that’s something rare to watch. You would never make a pout, would you?!”

I rolled my eyes.

Understand this- I’m not condemning the idea of poses, but there’s a limit to everything. The line has been crossed.

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Either something is terribly wrong with my generation or something is terribly wrong with me. All THIS, the excessive self-obsession may seem futile and innocuous at the moment, but I fear what lies ahead.

Girls are getting OBSESSED to the point where it’s getting downright annoying. If the selfie isn’t perfect-it’s damnation. Hanging out is more for Snapchats and less for interacting. The thing that bothers me is-why isn’t anyone else seeing this? Why can’t anyone else realise what’s wrong?

Tell me fellow bloggers- Don’t you think a picture when clicked by someone else is much more natural and prettier? Think about it. I don’t even remember when was the last time a stranger asked me, “Ma’am ..would you please take a picture of us?”

They all just stick to each other and click a picture of their heads.

Anyway, I’m a sucker for natural smiles and giggles and kisses and not hugs. (Hugs are awkward.)

I’m surrounded by pouts and duckfaces. But I still grin with my 32 teeth. 😀 (Wait, I guess I should count.)

STAY RAW. STAY BEAUTIFUL. 

Teachings from Me #3 (Crazy, eh?)

My first meetings with people usually go through the following transitions-

-Ist Meet– Who on Earth does she think she is? Why doesn’t she speak to anyone? Why doesn’t she seem interested in a talk? 
-1 Month later- Oh well, I guess she’s not that bad. 
-3 Months later- Wait ..What just happened? 
-7 Months later- Will you please STOP TALKING about that gorgeous guy you met in a book? 
-A year later- *usually when they see me dance* I WONDER HOW SHE RAN AWAY FROM THE ASYLUM.

People tell me something is terribly wrong with my brain or maybe I’m missing a screw or something. But from what I’ve observed on the inside people, once they get to know the real me, love to be around me. They laugh with me, that’s the best part I guess.

And from what I’ve deduced until now is I’m not even a tiny bit ‘not proud’ of it. I’ve never found ‘behave like a grown up’ very appealing.

I’ve always had an admiration for people who’re carefree. Not careless, but carefree. I just think that considering how sinister and unfair, pernicious, serious, dark, sombre, fickle, political, tortuous, confusing, drama-queen, backstabbing and 100-faced bit*h life is, the least we can do is play our part in not letting this effect us.

And being crazy, which in a teenager’s tongue applies as having ulterior fun whenever we get the chance- is what will help us get through the aforementioned qualities of life.

Joey and Chandler are just perfection.

What I mean to infer is, it’s kind of okay to leave all the responsibilities for a while, hang them off on a hook or something, and just unburden yourself. Listen and tell stories, think of embarrassing memories from your childhood and laugh at yourself (which I’m a professional at). That’s why it’s often said,

“Some people grow old at 25; some stay young at 70. Age, is just a number.”

So today’s mantra is,

Sometimes, it’s okay to be eccentric and not care about how events are unfolding in your life. Don’t let LIFE or any other aspect suck your juvenescence. You may miss out on some great things available for free in life if you only focus on the ones you have to achieve.

Lay back and take a break.

Don’t take yourself too seriously, learn to laugh at yourself.

“खुद पर हसना सीख़ो।”

(I recently learned this thought from a teacher at my training camp and found it absolutely reverberating.)

Being the Younger Sibling

I’ve had some really busy 10 days. I became an aunt recently, which sounds too mature for my age, but yeah, I did. My cousin was in town with the 4 month old adorable little baby boy and I spent some quality time trying to make him laugh (I did make him laugh-I’m a very cool aunt.)

In these 10 days I spent a lot of time with my entire family, which is rare. Not because we’re secluded pirates living on some lone island, but because of my dad’s job, we kept on moving from places to places, so I never really had a ‘Joint Family.’ As a result I really look forward and enjoy these family gatherings.

Now obviously, dear readers, as you all know, I’m a very deep thinker. Even my family’s heavy visit didn’t stop my mind from pondering.

So the reason why I’ve written the above is, when it comes to family, I want to talk about what it’s like being the youngest one, yep that’s me.

As the normal stereotype goes, the youngest ones in the family are deemed as fragile little doves that aren’t supposed to do the tedious or heavy tasks in the family. They’re meant for the tough Elder Brothers and Sisters. It’s even worse when you’re also a girl. Again, me.

Even though there are several advantages to being the younger one but I’ve had my fair share of troubles and problems and I can only hope my nephew doesn’t has to go through all that:

1.) When you’re the younger one, you’re practically the servant of the elder siblings- believe me, I’ve been through it.

2.) The classic cliche “Learn from your brother/sister ..”

3.) You’re often deemed as the ‘rat’ of the family.

4.) When in school, teachers look at you as the little brother/sister of your ‘GLORIFIED BIG ELDER BROTHER/SISTER’ who most of the time got good grades so you’re expected to live up to that too.

5.) You’re always the reckless one. Even if you spill a drop of water, it’s like you brought a zombie apocalypse. “Oh My Goodness, you’re so careless! When will you learn? That’s an entire WATER DROPLET you spill there! Who’s responsible hun? Now what’re you looking at? Go ahead-wipe it off!”

6.) You always loose in bouts and WWE Battles at home.

7.) You’re mostly termed as too ‘young’ for some important task.

8.) Somehow you’re always responsible for any mishappening. Even if it’s found out later that you didn’t break the vase, by default the blame first comes on you.

9.) You are offered the sweaters and shirts your elder sibling overgrew. “You can use them, they’re still new!”

10.) You’re always teased by saying you were adopted or mentally retarded.

11.) You always get the back seat in the car.

12) And the most frustrating one, as if the above weren’t enough-your parents always listen to your elder sibling.

13.) The elder ones usually get the bigger slice of the pizza, don’t they?

14.) Even when you try to be a part of an elderly conversation, you’re mostly shunned by all- “Shut up, you’re too young for this.” 

15.) You CANNOT have the remote when you’re both watching t.v. You’ve to endure with the show your sibling’s watching. (In my case-Football. That’s why eventually I grew a fondness for it). 

But even though I wrote the above keeping in mind the things I faced (yes, I’ve been given a chokeslam by my elder brother) it’s undeniable to say that I’ve had several perks being the younger one too.

I wouldn’t give it away for the world (okay-maybe I would.)

To any younger sibling reading this, I know it’s a hard. *Gives a virtual high-five*

Her

Part-I

The day he broke the news, I knew I wouldn’t be seeing him very soon. Not the next year, not in a few years, maybe not ever. The December sky had already given me a foreboding that the time had come. Things were quieter than usual and the days were colder ..than usual.

Sombre grey always hung low in the horizon and the mornings were never fresh or tepid. Just frostbiting cold and the fields dotted with sluggish cattle, clumsily grazing with drooping eyelids. Christmas was not very far and I saw little kids skedaddle their way from school; blissful for the inception of the Christmas holidays. Occasionally when I peaked from my window I saw a few seagulls visiting our little town, and each time they flew my heart leapt at the thought of the lands they’ve visited and the people they’ve met.

Nights were freezing cold and our old fireplace did a poor job in warming up the house. It had snowed heavily that year and our streets were flooded with enormous cascades of pearl white snow. People were busy shoveling and clearing their jammed doors and pathways, steams of warm breath emerging from every shove.

All this while nature always informed me whenever something wrong was going to happen, in secret and subtle ways only I could understand. In codes and language only I could decipher, like an old scholar rummaging through an ancient manuscript. Of course the hints were nature’s own self-creation from all the resources it could possibly conjure.

The wind would blow stealthily that day, like a gory murderer slowly crawling towards his victim’s bed. The leaves would rustle frantically, in tuned chords and rhythms. The woods would appear deeper, like there’s some dark secret hidden somewhere in their heart. And the sky would have a gloomy grey spread across its bare chest, like a painting made by a solitary lover. Heavy clouds laden with rain would always hover above, like a distant warning, yet they’d never downpour.

As I tried to figure out what was wrong, I walked towards the most snug, warm and perhaps the only cafe selling the best cocoa in town. My steps were slow, almost hesitant, the image of the hot cocoa mug did not succeed in tantalizing me, something else was troubling me and I guess I already knew what it was.


Part-II

Pushing the door open my entrance was followed by a slight tingle from the bell above, few heads turned my side and then turned away. After a brief scanning of the arena, I saw him. He flashed a half grin and waved at me, I got instantly pulled towards it, like I always had been. Pulling out a chair, I made myself comfortable. The dense aroma of coffee lingered in the air.

“How have you been?” He said, taking a sip of his coffee. I took a moment and breathed him in, blue eyes, slightly copper skin, light brown softly tussled hair. Although he wasn’t swooning handsome, he was the one man I’d felt ridiculously drawn towards in my entire life, right since 2nd grade.

“Lyla?” he called out. I snapped out of my reverie, “Oh, I’ve been great, better actually,” I lied. “I’ve been thinking about the holiday project and have managed to come up with a splendid idea,” I grinned. 

He nodded in approval and said, “It’s good to see you Lyla.” His eyes grew deeper, like an intense suppressed emotion struggling to reach out. It was interrupted by Bernard who placed my cocoa on the table, sweet little freckled boy always knew what I ordered.

School was coming to an end and pretty soon we’d all be on our separate ways. While this blue eyed boy in front of me had been with me since 11 long years, I could never summon the courage to tell him how I felt, out of fear that it might not be reciprocated back which, in my opinion, stood a very fair chance.

“Lyla, I’ve been thinking a lot and last night I made a decision and that’s why I wanted to see you,” he continued, “I think I’ll be leaving for the city very soon. My parents had already been wanting this for me, my cousins are settled there and have been prospering so I’d have no trouble adjusting.”

He sounded disturbed and had been this way for a while. He was always a mystery, like a part of him was always hidden away, stored and somewhere far for the right person to discover.

“Bu..but why?” I mumbled.

He sighed, “To tell you the truth, I’ve been very very alone Lyla. I don’t have any friends and you know I’ve been in seclusion my entire life. Sometimes I feel I’m destined for great things but this town is eating me away. We’re all stuck here and I feel even though Christmas is all about love and cheer, yet I won’t find any, as long as I stay here. 
Look around Lyla, there’s no cheer. Just a bunch of sick people dragging another Christmas in poverty and beers. And there sure as hell no love here. At least I couldn’t find it, but I also know that it won’t happen unless I get out and grab her, whoever and wherever she is. 

Sometimes you’ve to break all the boundaries and let the winds sweep you away, so they’d land you on the right ground.”

I took a deep breath and fought away the tears. “That’s wonderful Pete. I’m glad you realized your dream and I’m incredibly happy for you.” 
“Thanks,” he said, “You know I’ll keep writing to you, don’t you?”
“Yeah.” 


Part-III

As his train slowly melted away in the distant fog, I waved him a final goodbye. The spark in his eyes had no regrets but just a measly dab of guilt that I could see. Nature had been right after all, I brooded as the train crawled towards the distant woods, Pete’s coach far in front, already marching through the jungle.

What I was to him, if neither a friend nor a love, I guess I’ll never know. The letters came every week, and after an year became less frequent. Telephones were a luxury we couldn’t afford.

I have no idea where Pete is today.

girl-in-the-snow

 

Photo Courtesy: www.memoirmode.com

One was a Book Thief. The Other Stole the Sky.

If you read the title and you know where it is from then you’re awesome and you have my love.

If you’re going to read one blog post today, I request you all let this tiny post be the one. There’s a reason for this, you’ll discover later in the post and believe you me it’s worth it. This post is BOTH for the readers/non-readers.

For the rest unfortunate people, before I begin this post, one thing you should know.

You’re all going to die.

Brutal, I know but hey these are not my words. These are “death’s” words as said in this incredible piece of fiction that sweeps me away no matter how many times I read it called The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. 

Why I love this book?

It’s not just a piece of young-adult fiction comprising of a boy and girl-one terminally ill and the other weeping over the tragedy of his expected demise like it is the case with the current series of books that are sweeping the bookshelves these days. Yes, I mean it. I won’t name the books but if you’re aware you might be knowing it yourself.

I understand the inexorable need for strong emotions and stories that leave you in a puddle of tears, but it’s one thing writing about deep, profound emotions and it’s another thing playing with them to win people’s hearts. I feel like these authors are using people’s soft spots for gaining best-sellers.  Anyway, I’m not here to talk about that.

But this book, these rectangular pieces of paper studded with magical words narrating an extraordinary story is an astounding piece of literature. I’m not here to give a book review, I’m just here to tell you all the few things I learnt from this book and why you must read this post further.

Our protagonist Liesel Meminger is a nine year old girl who is forced to live with her foster parents as she was a communist and her mother was taken away by the Germans. Set in Germany in 1939 before and during the escalation of the World War II the story vividly portrays Liesel’s journey in her new foster home in Molching with her foster parents.

Her young, yet short-lived so called German boyfriend ‘Rudy Steiner’ and her deep, and beautiful friendship with the Jew that her parents hide in their basement, one character that apart from others, I fell deeply in love with,  Max Vandenburg. Max teaches Liesel the real meaning of friendship, how small sacrifices can sometimes save lives.

16e70a9d1516f63761c3ec2ab6984a7e (1)

It’s not a fairy-tale, it is a deeply moving story of bravery and valor when situations demand it. Of friendship which is the greatest gift of all, about first crushes and how we never get over them-but most important of all, how we must treasure all that we have-before the inevitable death hits us all.

The interesting thing about this book is, the entire story is narrated by death itself. Death claims that it never met someone as interesting and as intriguing as Liesel when he first saw her while fetching her brother’s soul (the brother dies on the way to Molching) and decides to narrate Liesel’s story from the book she writes in the end about her life at Molching.

Death has very interesting perceptions about humans:-

“I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugliness and their beauty and I wonder how the same thing can be both”

“While 10,000 souls hid their head in fear and trembled, one Jew thanked the Gods for the stars that blessed his eyes.”

Trust me these two quotes said by death are just an iota of the brilliance of this novel.

Things Liesel and I have in common and the virtues I believe every woman needs to imbibe:

  1. Bravery
  2. Curiosity
  3. Knowing the importance friendship
  4. Reading
  5. Never giving up on your dreams.
  6. Ambition

And many more.

In the entire book Liesel steals books at different occasions, yet our hearts do not turn hostile due to thievery but pity and admire the poor soul for her exorbitant urge to learn. In the beginning, she couldn’t write her name, towards the end she writes her own book. That’s what determination is.

Liesel will always be on top of the list when it comes to my favorite fiction characters. She’s the girl I could relate myself to in every aspect. I saw in her my deep love for reading and friendship and family and my intense desire to write a book someday. 🙂

Note: To my friends who aren’t avid readers, there’s a movie adaptation of the book which is not equally but almost as good as the book. One movie you should watch. In case you need further motivation to watch, here’s the trailer of the movie:

Watch it and if you’re a mature and an enlightened soul, you’ll have one of the best 135 minutes of your life.

“If your eyes could speak, what would they say?”

Goodness gracious I love this book.

Rudy: “You’re stealing books, why?”

Liesel: “When life robs you, sometimes you have to rob it back.” 🙂

“WORDS ARE LIFE LIESEL, ALL THOSE PAGES .. THEY’RE FOR YOU TO FILL.

-MAX VANDENBURG.”

You can imagine how powerful this book/movie is that I’m desperately pleading you all to read/watch it.

And yes, another small request, my friend Akash has recently resumed his blogging. He was dormant before but now has stepped back in. If you all could spare a minute and visit his blog.

Thanks.

Have a great day you all. ❤

Oh C’mon! Be a Girl!

I go to this really cool store that sells these realllyyyyy cool fandom t-shirts that you’re gonna die if you see. I pick one ‘Batman’ t-shirt. It has a big and angry batman face over it and I’m about to turn around to show it to my friend when she says “Oh C’mon Aakansha! Be A Girl!”

I look around awkwardly, clearly incredulous. THIS particular statement is not new to me. People have said it so many times that now I’m kinda immune to it.

‘Aakansha..wear more colors. Don’t just stick to black all the time.’
‘Aakansha ..buy heels and dresses..Be A Girl.’
‘Aakansha..stick your head in a dustbin .. Be A Girl.’

I go to lots of parties with my friends..hang out almost every other day and there is a lot of versatility in my group of five. I wear t-shirt, there’s a girl who has never worn a t-shirt, two boys who don’t give a crap about what they wear (that’s why I love boys) and another girl (my bestie) who’s just like me.

There are two other girls who used to hang out with us. They too have never worn a t-shirt and think of it as something lame people wear. Someone who doesn’t know how to dress up. They look at me differently. Like if I don’t dress up I’m somewhat inferior to them.

The thing is I too love all these things, every girl does. But I’m not crazy and maniacally retarded about all this. I don’t go yelling inside a store ‘OMG! New Shoes!’ .. ‘OMG! New Dress!’ and I certainly don’t judge people based on what they wear. I’d prefer a Game Of Thrones t-shirt over a new dress ANY DAY.

(Is there anyone who watches Game of Thrones here?)

I love that store. I mean trust me, I could spend my entire life there. It is all decorated with these really cool posters of all the superheroes, bands and star wars merchandise. It’s so hysterically awesome I start drooling every time I pass by it. There are Batman flip-flops and Flash PJ’s. OMG. ❤

“But Aakansha, guys don’t like girls like that”

“Well fine by me! I don’t prefer a queue of boys waiting in line for my rejection. Someday there’ll be someone who’ll love my kind of girls and that person would be awesome.”

I cannot wear the kind of stuff they do. To be honest, I don’t even understand all that crap. Combining things-like matching neck-pieces and heels. It’s difficult and uncomfortable and confusing.

I’m 18. Just got into college. I just have 1 dress that is totally black which I bought for a fancy dress party as I was a witch and one pair of heels which I HAD to purchase for my farewell. I don’t own any other dress or heels or bags apart from it. There-I said it! I’m not ashamed of it.

I was talking to this one girl in my class when I was in 12th grade. I said I hadn’t bought any heels for the farewell. She said “Oh what’s the need to buy why don’t you just wear something you already have?”

“Umm, I don’t have any heels”

People, you should have seen her expression. She looked at me with eyes so wide it appeared as if they would pop out and start bouncing all around. It’s like I did some crime by not owning a pair of heels.

I have loads of shoes, sneakers and crocs. Loads of sweatshirts-LOADS of fandom and superhero t-shirts. And the one pair of heels I bought is still resting in its box and never saw daylight again.

My question is- Is it absolutely necessary to wear stilettos to clarify yourself as a girl? To fulfill the conditions on a checklist?

  • Bags-Check.
  • Shoes-Check.
  • Dress-Check
  • Eye-liner-Check.
  • Pout-Check.

Congratulations, you’re a girl.

It’s just WHO I AM. I like wearing t-shirts with my favorite prints and people and tv-shows and bands on it. I have a different personality. I don’t sit in a cafe with my friend and keep taking selfies because I dressed up good while my friend is busy talking to me trying to have a real conversation (Yep, this has happened to me).

I don’t go crazy if I don’t have ANYTHING to wear to a party. I don’t go and scavenge every market and store before I find ‘The Perfect Dress.’ I don’t wear make-up everyday. I have NEVER made a pout in any of my pictures. I don’t go around indirectly singing how perfect or beautiful I am while pretending to be modest because, in all honesty I’M NOT. I’m flawed and I won’t transform myself into a society that forces us to mold into the puppets it wants us to become.

I’m not claiming that those kind of girls are bad or idiots. But I face this everyday. I have this Eminem t-shirt with his face on it and one girl comes to me and says “Iski shirt dekho” (Look at her shirt). It’s just not fare to girls like us.

Reading books makes me a geek. Not dressing up makes me a nerd or a person with no sense of fashion. Not buying dresses makes me ‘Not A Girl.’

I wanted to write about this since a long time. It’s just frustrating although it doesn’t bother me anymore. I’m gonna buy those Flash PJ’s anyway. 😀 😀

 

whitch one tomboy or girly girl

 

Faith vs Superstition

So it happened like this:

Me and my best friend were in one of those ‘late-night-conversations’ (and by late night I mean 4 am in the morning). Bring those eyebrows down; it’s very common for us to talk this late and we never run out of topics. Usually it’s one of those ‘what’ll happen 10 years from now’ kind of chats. We both get really emotional and most of the time it ends up with me assuring him that he wouldn’t lose me even if some guy comes later in my life.

But apart from the sappy teddy bears we are we’re also great debaters (actually, he’s better) but every time we raise a debatable topic we have a pretty fruitful conversation that ends up with us either not talking to each other or with a mutual agreement with the topic OR calling a third person and settling the dispute between us before there occurs a bloodshed.

That night we were talking about ‘Superstition’ and ‘Faith.’

“Aakansha, what are your thoughts on God?” he asked me.

“I believe in a higher power regardless of how people might ‘tag’ it. Some call it Jesus, some Shiva, Some Allah. It doesn’t matter how you picture it but I believe there’s something always watching us and guiding us throughout. Something bigger and mightier and powerful in every aspect. Something beyond the mortal grasp.” I said.

You see he’s an atheist. He doesn’t believe in any sort of God. Something happened in his life that forced him to stick to that notion. Anyway.

“I won’t argue with that thought but I think it’s all just bullsh*t. No one has seen him, no one has felt him-hell they can’t even picture him in unison and they say he’s protecting us, loving us-dumbas*es. Thousands and lakhs of rupees are spent on decorating and maintaining these stupid idols of those trillion forms of Gods. So much money is spent on so called worshiping them and impressing them. The Hindu temples offer milk and sweets to statues made of sand and clay.

They claim to eradicate poverty but are spending fortunes on things that ultimately go in the dump. Over 50% of the Indian population is starving and homeless. Instead of ‘impressing’ those Gods they could friking donate and help these people.”

Honestly, I agreed to what he said.

“Look,” I said “I understand and I completely agree. It cannot be denied that people are wasting both money and material on things that are trivial. I don’t believe in idol worship. I don’t believe in the innumerable superstitions that Hindu mythology harbors.

  • You don’t wake up every morning and pray to God and light incense and offer fruits you won’t be blessed.
  • You don’t remember all the various ‘Aartis’ of the Goddesses you won’t be blessed.
  • Go to the temple every Monday.
  • Fasting to prove your loyalty to your God.

I don’t even want to take the time to mention all of them.

Anyway. The thing is, you don’t have to go to extreme levels to impress statues made of clay. You don’t have to keep yourselves hungry to prove your love for someone. You sure as hell don’t have to spend millions on organizing ‘Kathas’ for Gods. You want to feel secure? Are you afraid who you’re gonna turn up to in times of need?

Just have faith. There’s not a thin but a very wide line that separate the two. Have faith in times of adversity that things will get better. Faith and hope are perhaps the only two things stronger than fear. I have been lucky enough to literally experience miracles, situations like ‘Holy crap did this even happen?!’ (in a very good sense). The so called ‘Gods’ job is to make you feel that you’re not alone and give you strength. There’s no point in worshiping if you still feel hollow inside like a chestnut shell.

No point in showing people that you’re a religious person. All you gotta do is believe. Faith is an important virtue to sustain life. You cannot live without the hope that better things are waiting. Because normally you might be independent of any sorts of dependence. But when life hits you hard you hold on to the last leaf. The last strand of straw in the gushing, thunderous ocean. THAT  is when you need faith. That is when you look around for hope and find it in the most unforeseen places  and THAT is when you actually find faith offering you its hands.”

Analogically speaking: “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” -Roald Dahl.

He was silent for awhile then said, “God, you’re so boring but I’m impressed.”

“Shut up a**hole. You asked for it.”

“Lol. On a serious note, I think that makes perfect sense. I hope I can find faith in the most unexpected corners of the world. Until then, I have you.”

“We should go to sleep now. It’s late” I lied.

“Yeah.”

“Yeah.”

And we hung up. For the record, I couldn’t sleep and neither could he.