Anecdotes From A Big City (I)

A scene.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

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

 

Love always,
Your blogger.

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. 

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.

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.

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.
15697271_931866380277326_7522596524214243549_nrr

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.

Anne’s Last Letter

A couple of months back, I read ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ without the slightest notion of how deeply it is going to move me. Had I even an ounce of idea of the deep impact Anne’s words would have on me, I’d have prepared myself better. Nonetheless, I’m glad I read it. Some of you might have a hint of who she was.

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Anne Frank

 

Anne was the youngest daughter of Otto Frank, a Jewish man who fled Germany along with his family and went into hiding after the rising oppression against the Jews in the 1940s. Anne spent two years underground in what she called, ‘The Secret Annexe’ and wrote about her experience in a diary her father gave her on her 13th birthday.

There are certain entries in her diary so hauntingly beautiful, that I was nothing short of bewildered after reading them. Although all her entries are a proof of how mentally strong and capable she was, along with displaying her out of the world writing skills. But there is one particular diary entry, her very last before she was captured by the Nazis, the one that she wrote on Tuesday, August 1st, 1944.

I literally held my breath while reading it. No song, lyric or poem, has ever succeeded in describing so precisely,this disposition of mine, that I find so hard to make sense of, at times. Every single word she wrote in her last entry was directly describing who I am as a person. And because this 15 year old did a far better job than I ever could, in writing about a personality that is strikingly similar to mine, I chose to share it here. This is was she wrote:

Dearest Kitty,
“A bundle of contradictions” was the end of my previous letter and is the beginning of this one. Can you please tell me exactly what “a bundle of contradictions” is? What does “contradiction” mean? Like so many words, it can be interpreted in two ways: a contradiction imposed from without and one imposed from within.
The former means not accepting other people’s opinions, always knowing best, having the last word; in short, all those unpleasant traits for which I’m known. The latter, for which I’m not known, is my own secret.

As I’ve told you many times, I’m split in two. One side contains my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy in life and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things. By that I mean not finding anything wrong with flirtations, a kiss, an embrace, an off-colour joke. This side of me is usually lying in wait to ambush the other one, which is much purer, deeper and finer. No one knows Anne’s better side.
I hate having to tell you this, but why shouldn’t I admit it when I know it’s true?

My lighter, more superficial side will always steal a march on the deeper side and therefore always win. You can’t imagine how often I’ve tried to push away this Anne, which is only half of what is known as Anne-to beat her down, hide her. But it doesn’t work, and I know why.

I’m afraid that people who know me as I usually am will discover I have another side, a better and finer side. I’m afraid they’ll mock me, think I’m ridiculous and sentimental and not take me seriously. I’m used to not being taken seriously, but only the “light-hearted” Anne is used to it and can put up with it; the “deeper” Anne is too weak. If I force the good Anne into the spotlight for even fifteen minutes, she shuts up like a clam the moment she’s called upon to speak, and lets Anne number one do the talking. Before I realize it, she’s disappeared.

So the nice Anne is never seen in company. She’s never made a single appearance, though she almost always takes the stage when I’m alone. I know exactly how I’d like to be, how I am… on the inside. But unfortunately I’m only like that with myself. And perhaps that’s why-no, I’m sure that’s the reason why I think of myself as happy on the inside and other people think I’m happy on the outside. I’m guided by the pure Anne within, but on the outside I’m nothing but a frolicsome little goat tugging at its tether.

The happy-go-lucky Anne laughs, gives a flippant reply, shrugs her shoulders and pretends she doesn’t give a darn. The quiet Anne reacts in just the opposite way. 

If I’m quiet and serious, everyone thinks I’m putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke.

Yours, Anne M. Frank


You notice the ‘deeper, more conscious, more serious and more fragile Anne she’s talking about? And how she prefers to keep her hidden, for the people around her are not ‘used’ to her brooding, vulnerable side?

How people have always seen her as a boisterous, chirpy girl who jokes and laughs? And how whenever she even tries to bring out her ‘inner’ Anne, people find it absurd and she’s afraid they might ridicule her silent and deeper side, so she quickly hides it and ‘escapes with a joke?’

I know so many people who’re exactly the same. Too afraid to lay themselves bare. For they fear their vulnerability might be ridiculed. Bringing out your inner depth only to have it derided and not taken seriously is a form of unaddressed humiliation. It doesn’t make me angry. It hurts. Which is even worse than anger.

And all this time I’ve been trying to find the right words to explain this behavior. And Anne did it at 15.

Why Modesty Matters

Honestly, this is the longest I’ve been away from my blog and I feel awful. I’ve lost touch with so many  bloggers and I can’t even calibrate how to catch up. I promise I’ll make it up to all of you.

Those who’ve been following this blog for long know why exactly I’ve decided to emerge out of the grey solitude I love so much. Yes, an issue is troubling me and I won’t be at peace until I’ve written about it. So bear with me, please?

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Those who are fond of standing behind the scenes and just plainly observing people and the massive rate at which we are morally declining would agree when I say that out of all the virtues that humans have so recklessly decided to abandon, one remains on the precipice of absolute extinction- modesty. 

Whether it’s people’s instagram posts, or their facebook check-ins, or just the way they talk and express themselves, I’ve more than often observed this abominable hint of excessive pride in their disposition. Maybe partly it’s the fault of those widely shared images of ‘Love yourself f*ck the rest’ people seem to follow religiously.

But seriously, I feel awful. Truly sad, disgusted and really really pained every time I sense this dark cloud of conceit and vanity looming over people in their 20s who have, if I may be so bold to claim, achieved absolutely NOTHING so far, are living off their parents’ income, fritter away the resources they are provided with and somehow due to some false sense of pride, consider themselves to be doing a favor to the world by existing.

Where did humbleness go? What about being modest? Where is humility?

Everybody I meet these days has this absurd stand-offish air that I fail to make any sense of. It’s like everyone believes themselves to be the messiah. They are the best. They don’t need valuable advice from people who have much more experience than them. They are the ‘star.’ All these titles are self proclaimed, if I may add. 

I’m not saying self-love isn’t important. Of course it is! But don’t you agree that too much self obsession is harmful? Don’t you think, that if you consider yourself to be the master of everything, you’re leaving no space for growth? How will you learn if you’re not even willing to accept that you NEED to learn? How is being meretricious of any use?

And to make matters worse, it’s often the dumbest people who are the most confident about themselves. This sounds incredibly rude, but these are not my words. I’m merely resonating what Bertrand Russell said, The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.’

It’s like after you reach a certain age, majority of your conversations have to revolve around, ‘how great you are doing’, ‘how much wealth you’ve accumulated,’ ‘how many countries you’ve traveled,’ ‘how hot & rich is the person you’re dating’ , ‘how happy you are and how badly you want to tell this to the world’ ‘who’s job is fancier’..

*sigh*

May I just appeal to anyone reading this to please, please be humble. Even if you’ve been blessed with fortune that you played no part in earning, or life has been enormously kind to you or maybe, in an exceptional case you have achieved everything on the dint of your hard work still, please be humble. Be kind. Be open to new ideas. Don’t close your doors to improvement, growth or advice. Don’t be condescending. Don’t be rude.

Everyone faces different storms of life. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Stay kind.

Love always,

your blogger .


Note- Sorry this turned out to be a rather long and angry rant, if you managed to read it this far I have a gift for you. Here is one of my favorite songs from the band ‘Chairlift.‘ Hope you like it. 🙂

Chairlift- Met Before

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.

Chasing Life

Over the past couple of months a new form of concern has managed to make a home in my mind. I’m not allowing it to worry me, but since I observe various forms of it every single day it has caused me to brood for a considerable amount of time.

But what really sparked this natter and the anxious tapping of my keyboard was a recent post I read by one of my most beloved inspirations, Elizabeth Gilbert. I am short of the right words to describe how much I admire this woman and what she is doing for the society. I might go on a rant about my admiration for her, but let us preserve that for another post.

Everywhere I look around these days, I see people choking. Everyone toiling in the sun, anxious and worried about what is to come. Some are anxious about the future, some are stuck in stagnancy. The younger ones are only starting to get accustomed to societal pressure, the youth are worried about building for themselves a life that society approves, and the adults are worried about what is in store for their kids’.

I see people with tragic levels of anxiety and nervousness for life. Almost nobody these days has the courage to live for themselves. At this point I must state that I certainly do not exclude myself from the list.

In one post, Elizabeth (Liz) vividly recalled a story about her cousin. She reflected how her cousin left her secure and comfortable job and decided to start afresh in a new country. A country as beautiful and promising as New Zealand. She told how her cousin had reached that point of stagnancy in her life, where no matter what she did, dissatisfaction prevailed most of the time. So she decided to begin again. After reaching one saturation point, she garnered all her strength and moved away where everything worked out for her. Today, Elizabeth says, her cousin looks back and thinks that the only thing she needed to make herself incandescently happy was courage.

Courage to let go of everything that was pulling her down. This is what I see everyday. All the people I meet; everyone is being pulled down. Everyone is trying to find answers. Everyone is busy trying to please the world and present to it a facade of prosperity, wealth and happiness. It is shocking and it is grieving to see people having to go through so much just to fulfil their obligations to the world.
I see people fed up of their jobs, fed up of the people around them, fed up of their course of study, fed up of stress. Yet almost nobody has the courage to break the fetters. They spend their entire life in pursuit of happiness yet they never find it.

People continue chasing in the entire race not realizing to stop and breathe for a while, for the fear of being left behind is daunting, isn’t it? I fear we all make the same mistake. Choose survival over living. The fear grips us in its fists and we do everything to survive. Ignoring our passion and our inner calling and gearing up for the race.

But for some (like Elizabeth’s cousin) this becomes unbearable at one point. Some do manage to break the shackles, some do manage to tread the untread path. Some do manage to take the risk, give themselves a chance and just for a while, start living for themselves.
I ardently believe that it is never too late to start afresh. I do not encourage people to abandon their filial or any other responsibilities, but what I do urge and request from this post is, to please stop being your worst critic and start approving of the things you do.

Love yourself to the point that you would be able to garner the courage you need to let go. The key is satisfaction and it will unlock the door to happiness.
Make a plan in such a way that you seek and find happiness along with fulfilling your duties. Don’t ever feel that time has run out. As Elizabeth once stated, ‘If you’re not dead yet, you’re not done yet.

joie-de-vivre.

Love always,
Your blogger.

Let Me Tell You About Love

Nobody probably expects me to write about a topic as quizzical as love. Somehow, this side of life has still been unexplored by me. Do not get me wrong, I have tried making the sail. I have wet my feet in shallow waters and felt the warm sand below but never had the strength to sail away. Somehow, the depth was too overwhelming, and I always stepped back thinking maybe one day, I will have the strength to go farther.

Nothing usual can invoke me to write about a subject as convoluted as love. No movie, no mushy quotes, not even people themselves.

But the only things on this wondrous planet that can shake my iron heart and loosen the chains a little, are words. And tonight one of my closest friends (you know who you are) introduced me to a writer whose words had such a heavy impact on me, that I was forced to write about it.

Gazillions of wordsmiths, poets and philosophers tried to define love. They tried to capture it, encapsulate it in words, take it in their palm and examine it under the sun, spent nights brooding over it. But they couldn’t succeed.
And there I am, merely a young solemn writer, what can I possibly tell about love? But for my mind’s sake, I shall try.

But first, I present to you Jonathan Safran Foer, the man whose words have made me their captive tonight. I spent hours sifting through his quotations, gasped and shrieked, welled up and shook, got overwhelmed and read it all over again.

Foer says,

“I like to see people reunited, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can’t tell fast enough, the ears that aren’t big enough, the eyes that can’t take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

“I hope that one day you will have the experience of doing something you do not understand for someone you love.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

The more you love someone,” he came to think, the harder it is to tell them.”
-― Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

“We had everything to say to each other, but no ways to say it”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

 

and my favorite,

“Being with him made my brain quiet. I didn’t have to invent a thing.”
Jonathan Safran Foer

Do you feel it too? The sheer magnificence of these words? Woven so wisely they make you feel so much altogether, isn’t it? How can I possibly surpass this brilliance?

But love I reckon, is more than just two people sharing their time with each other. It’s much more than young love making you bubble with excitement. It is definitely much more than keeping your lover’s picture with you.
If all these things could qualify as love, then we probably wouldn’t have so many broken hearts today.

It is about finding peace. It is about finding placidity. It is about having someone to come home to. It is about growing and spoiling each other at the same time. It is about opening yourself up. And the scariest part, it is about being vulnerable.

It is about courage, definitely courage. Courage to dive deep within someone’s mind. The part they usually keep locked. To scroll through their darkness and still find light and making sure they see it too.

To tread the deep waters yet always hold on. To face the waves, together. To tame the storm, together. To fight the winds, together. And lastly, to watch the sun set, together.

But how many brave-hearts has this world ever produced?

Happy Valentine’s Day love-birds.

Love always,
Your Blogger.

Open your Heart

Emotions are hilarious. They have a knack for releasing a torrent of superfluous thoughts in our minds. They coax us into performing tasks we wouldn’t do in normal circumstances. Stuff which in the most crude form of normality, we’d never blurt from our mouths. Slowly shoveling out all the dirt we prefer buried. Each stroke releasing another intense wave of subdued words.

When inebriated with emotions, we’re barely ourselves. We lose the sense of right and wrong. They consume us; slowly empowering our rationality. They become the catalyst to our inner feelings. Our world starts to revolve around our object of attention. Like they are the only streak of light breaking through our humble darkness.

They are tricky, emotions. They play with us. We’re the puppets; they the puppeteer. We behave like children, overwhelmed by happiness and then consumed by sadness. We become addicts, aware of the harm being imposed upon us, yet somehow wallowing in the bittersweet emotion. Saying something we really wanted to, and then immediately experiencing a pang of regret.

We want them to go away, yet we want them to stay, so bad.
All the while we’re trying to balance between logic and emotional surrender, while still relishing the beautiful pain.

Why am I writing this, you wonder.
I just wrote about something that makes you human. This is just another aspect and you might pity yourself for feeling a little too much in this hopelessly void world, but I need you to know that making yourself vulnerable to the atrocities of the world, is in itself an act of valour.

Now if that doesn’t make you proud to be emotional and opening your heart to the world, I don’t know what else can.

Love and be loved.

-Your blogger.

Words Not Said Often

There is plenty of stuff we keep in our minds as we stroll through life everyday.  These subdued emotions have the power to untangle a lot of issues made complicated by our own selves, by not saying what we truly want to.

Women are usually grilled for this phenomena. To never tell what they honestly mean or want and somehow expect the other person to understand the labyrinth in their mind.

But I think this can be applied a little more widely. In some or the other way, aren’t we all the same at times? Feeling something we are too hesitant to voice out and  wanting the other person to just know. Or saying something we really want to but allowing some other contrary emotion like pride or hesitation getting in the way, failing us to speak what we wished to.

I’m sure everyone has gone through it.

The funny part is, even after realizing that confessing it to the person right there would save both of them a whole lot of drama, we still choose to play the silent game. I don’t know, maybe we enjoy it?

We’ve had this conversation in our mind where we’re about to blurt everything out but then it usually ends with this, “You know what? Leave it. It doesn’t matter.”

News flash: IT DOES.

You probably think that that girl already got a lot of compliments on her sweater so you resist adding more to the list.

Word Of Advice: YOU SHOULD.

Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone else lauded her. You did and that made her happy.

You want that someone to text you?

Why play the ‘I’ll ignore you unless you text first’ game? Go ahead, say ‘Hi!’ It’ll save a lot of time wouldn’t it?

As it is people are more surprised by kindness than malice. Plus, if it makes someone’s day, why keep it inside? Tell her, her hair looks wonderful today. Tell him he makes surprisingly great coffee! Tell them their voice is brilliant and together they sound sublime.

Try it out, who knows, someday someone might pop a compliment for you too!

Have a great weekend! 🙂

Happy Place

I know I have been severely erratic with my posts and I’ve been denoting my presence on WordPress with bits and pieces of hurriedly scribbled poetry lately and if anyone is unhappy, I truly apologize.

I don’t quite have an excuse, it’s not like I’ve been ‘awfully busy’ or anything. I’ve just temporarily lost my flair for everything.

Yesterday, I was wondering about how different people seek happiness in different ways.

Some find it in luxury, some in technology and for some happiness can be something as ordinary as a nice cup of tea or a fresh morning stroll. Every human, no matter how colorless, mundane or outgoing he may be, has a happy place.

It might be somewhere far and desolate with more nature around or amidst the glare of the buzzing life of the city with the traffic and the lights.

Believe it or not, even sitting among so much LIFE can sometimes bring a kind of peace that is hard to define. It might be with a friend or just the company of our own, but we all have it. Our happy place.

A small corner of tranquility, far from the claws of noise and conundrum. Somewhere, no matter how bad it gets, we’ll always be if not necessarily euphoric, then at least at peace with ourselves.

Our escape, our retreat. Somewhere you can just shut down for sometime.

Like our very own mind palace, we’re able to clear our minds and not think about anything for a while. This gives space for good thoughts and fresh vibes. 

I’ve been meaning to ask people about this. What exactly is their happy place? Where do they go when things seem out of hand for a while?
If there’s anyone out there wondering about me, then I have two happy places.

One is when I’m alone, in my very own company or when I’m with my music. Just some sweet melody from a piano or violen. The tunes tickle my mind and my soul smiles. It’s so comforting.

Second is when I’m here. Writing a post, unburdening my mind and pouring out my heart and soul on this white digital sheet. It’s surreal to think that two years have passed since the incorporation of ‘Brooding in the Tepid Dusk’ and I’m short of words to explain how much this blog and the wonderful community on it has helped me through my thick and thins.

What an important portal this blog is for me to escape and blurt all the emotions out. I feel truly at home when I’m writing here.

And honestly, it’s the people who care to read who make it even more worthy. It’s the people who make this place my happy place. So thank you for that.

If you haven’t been able to identify your happy place, pay close attention to your life and you may find so many normal things that make you jovial. Sometimes, life’s biggest blessings are hidden underneath the most ordinary details. For us to maybe eventually learn to appreciate their worth.

So if you’re still dubious, then please go find your happy place. Don’t ask anyone but yourself. What do you do when you’re ill at ease? What makes you happy despite all odds? What or where is the one place where you’re the most raw and happiness brews to serve you the greatest bottle of wine.

And if you’ve already found it, then tell me about it. About your happy place. Where do you go? Whom do you go with? What do you seek?

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.)

Teachings From Me #2

So I happened to read this quotation on one of my favorite apps called ‘Pinterest.’ And it went something like:

“AN OFT-OVERLOOKED KEY TO LIFE:
Find other people who operate at your same level of nerdiness, and proceed with the rocking on.”
-Sophie Hudson, Home Is Where My People Are.

And I raised my hands towards heaven and let the angels sing and the yellow glow befall on me while I waltzed around thanking the almighty for acquainting me with such a beautiful quotation.

What a bunch of wonderfully gleeful words and how ridiculously can I relate to it.

You see, as I was proceeding to my ultimate geek-ism; my spectacles getting bigger, myself getting more private, more into books and coffee, more into fandoms, I paused for a moment and realized I had no one to share my fanaticism with. I needed to find my own kind of people. I needed to be around those kind of people, to share and  spread the love.

Again, I was blessed enough to have a best friend who is equally nerdy and she and I, well ..we’re still rocking (not to brag) but we’re awesome.

The point of this short post was:

  • To introduce you with this beautiful quote.
  • To let you all know I’m awesome (didn’t you already?)

more importantly,

  • To make people understand, that you need not to be with people who make you feel even a little less than who you are. Be with the people who love to spend time with you, who appreciate your value and worth. Who, if not relate, but understand your craze for something. Even if that something is a fictional character or a cup of coffee and respect you for it.This will quadruple your spark and hopefully will make you incandescently happy.

 

‘SEEK THE PEOPLE WITH THE SAME LEVEL OF CRAZY.’

(I just invented that).

Teachings from Me #1

They have a habit of enveloping the hallways with somberness as pure as a pair of sleep deprived eyes.

When they walk, the blooming daffodils crumble to dust. The windows get festooned with enormous glittering cobwebs and the darkness in the alley makes a labyrinth so dark you lose your way. The creepers creep the walls and moist paint gawks. The dusty curtain drapes and stares.

They can make fresh scented rooms smell like rotten mushrooms.

They will clutch you in their grip and you’ll suffocate in their grasp. They’ll make sure you get pancaked between the walls of their pessimistic grandeur. The kind of people that suck the happiness out of you. 

Advice: Stay Away from Them. Be afraid, be very afraid.

They are ubiquitous; you’ll find them at most places, in various forms, work, school, grocery stores, workshops, college, even family. When you talk to them, they’ll shun you with their negative approach towards every phase of life.

They can be found below the dim yellow light in an empty street cafe. Or maybe in a lonesome cubicle in a Corporate Giant. On rusted benches of sidewalks in a dim niveous vespertide. Under the drooping branches of an old, brown pine.

You tell them their ambitions, they’ll tell you about its inhibitions.

You tell them you’re gleeful and you look forward to life ahead, they’ll remind you about the recent rise of unemployment.

You’ll see the waterfall;  they’ll see the deep valley below.

You’ll see trees; they’ll see forest fires.

You’ll see the ocean; they’ll fear the ship sinking.

You’ll see infinities; they’ll see abyss.

Their eyes are shielded with a dark veil, one that filters the images that come through it. These people are a different personality and they’re very discouraging and difficult to be around. They emanate negative vibrations and are seldom ambitious.

inspiration

When you find such a person, take 50 steps away. Learn to be around people who not only make you happy, but make themselves happy too. It is one thing to be happy; it is entirely different to ooze out such intense energy from within you that people gravitate towards it like moths to a golden flame.

They will encourage you and help you achieve your goals and make life a little bit easier. They’ll be your little jar of Nutella. Keep them safe.


I’m really thrilled to announce this new segment ‘Teachings by Me’ where I think I’ll be ranting more about the things I learnt by myself and my own personal observations in this course of 18 years. (As if the previous ramblings weren’t enough.) Please feel free to tell me your thoughts.