말 없는 슬픔 – 사람또사람

First you play the song below, then you read.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m trying to draw you in my mind.

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

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

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

Yet.

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

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.

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.

Brimful of Thoughts

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Do you ever, somewhere in your deep subconscious mind, feel the heat of tumult and conflict to such an extraordinary level that you long for nothing but a cool, silent wind; wind to blow softly through your mind and ease the burns arising from the constant conflict of thoughts?

To, only for a while, feel nothing but intense cold and then the comfort of a soft, cool rain extinguishing any remaining embers in the parched, torrid land. Have you ever, even briefly, longed for a moment of absolute placidity? Closing your eyes to make thoughts halt and opening them only to be revived again.

That the burden of wonder and curiosity at times becomes too much to bear. For you cannot afford to question everything alone? And answers are only found in stories, here in your mind, there is only a dispute. Constant debate, incessant squabble, shocking revelations, unnerving deductions mixed with a love for stars, nature, seasons and happy endings.

What do you do when there is no particular truth, but only a galaxy of perspectives? The scenery changing with every different camera angle. What do you do with these perspectives-for aren’t they a little selfish? Only acknowledging the mind from where they emanated?

Do you juggle with these flames of unsolved riddles? Or do you spend your life solving it piece by piece?

More importantly, in the process of figuring out this puzzle, do you ever stop and long for peace? If yes, then how do you find those gray showers of rain?

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.

Understanding an Introvert; Part-II

A year back, I happened to write a post on introversion, and so far it has been my most read and shared blog post. In case you’re new to my blog, you can read it here. I thought about writing a part-II for it, mostly because I tend to harbor strong views on this tragically ignored crisis.

I always find a sense of solidarity with anyone who is reticent and quiet. Not because they’re missing out on fun or anything, but because I understand how hard it is to be silent in the constant hubbub and buzz around you. When the whole world is ‘trying to get their voice out there.’ Everyone trying to out-scream the other, making sure the spotlight is on them. Finding a guilty pleasure in being the life of the party.

People see you differently, don’t they? Somehow, you’re always branded by an adjective. Quiet, rude, arrogant, supercilious these are mere examples. I’m qualified to say all this because I go through all this every time I enter a new domain.

I sit back and have a habit of astutely observing people, hence forming a brief profile and calculating who’s the best candidate to talk with. Of course these profiles are not permanent, they improve or degrade as and when I decipher a human. Yes, decipher.

From what I’ve noted, most of the introverts are brilliant judges of character. Not because they are mystics or augurs, but because they listen more. If you tend to listen and notice, not just their gibberish but also their body language, you are already way past their locked doors, deep within their private domain which they prefer to keep hidden. And very soon you have a brief idea of their character without them knowing it. It’s more like a super-power.

Being an introvert, may sound vapid initially, but it’s the exact contrary. Like the ocean they appear all calm and composed on the surface, but inside their mind, their is a different world entirely.

There are wars going on in one corner, deductions and conclusions in the other, a story being dictated simultaneously in the background, questions and graphs calculating the complexities of the world, pictures of people they love stuck haphazardly on the wall, scribbled and re-written letters to someone unknown, a revolution of thoughts taking place against another set of thoughts, bundles of paper loaded with heavy thoughts they can never voice out, clusters of other people’s minds they found difficult to unravel, always formulating plans on how to observe things differently, confessions, observations, questions, love, heartbreak, family, their imaginary friends, and that voice! The one voice that always talks to them. Like their own version of Siri, it’s always counselling them. It is always helping them form an opinion, it is very confident in its decisions and somehow works as their alter ego. 

Remember, introverts are not shy, they are just not comfortable in taking the first step towards socializing. We do love our own company and would never hesitate in spending time alone. But understand, once you do manage to lower an introvert’s defenses, they will talk about almost everything and anything. From the most mundane to the most extravagant affair. You’ll be surprised at all the opinions they have over the smallest of things.

You’ll awe at the amount of activity going on in them. Like a whole universe trapped inside one mind. So much to listen and learn, like a riddle that gives you a sense of satisfaction once you start solving it.

It’ll be hard at first, but if you manage to understand their mind, you’ll be treading on an adventure. It won’t be easy of course, every adventure has its hitches, but I assure you, it’ll be worth it. You just have to be brave enough and set aside your ego, make them sit and allow them to talk. It’ll be slow and reluctant initially, but once they’re open, you better put your seat-belts on.

All it really takes is the right person to open the doors to an introvert’s mind.

And you thought being an Introvert was easy?

Hey Nerds

We all have that one friend who prefers to spend his weekend snuggled by the side of a book and a cup of coffee; laying back and relaxing in the company of their favorite character. Their mood swings are often dictated by fictional chronicles. Soaring high in the sky from utter bliss and crashing the rock bottom, all in the snap of a finger.

In the era where internet is often used synonymous to life, and social stature is more important than food, clothing and shelter, there is a vast community of creatures who live a much different life and hence, face a lot of problem trying to ‘blend in.’

These are our beloved nerd girls and boys. Being an unadulterated nerd, I understand how difficult it becomes sometimes to explain normal people about your fanaticism for things that don’t exist (BUT IN OUR WORLD THEY DO..!!)

Okay, so as a dedication to all my fellow nerd people here are 10 problems that every nerd  faces:

  1. You make a book reference and no one seems to understand, let alone appreciate the humor. In fact, they shoo it away thinking it to be something childish or trivial.
  2. The non-nerds often tease you by purposely making fun of your favorite book. Little do they know the monster they’re trying to invoke the wrath of.
  3. They come up for book suggestions and you cannot control your hysteria and tell them all about the ONE BOOK THEY SHOULD DEFINITELY READ, but later they ignore it and you’re left exasperated.
  4. They blackmail you into doing stuff for them by threatening to tear your book and you have no choice but to surrender.
  5. You suggest books to your non-nerdy and they NEVER realize its value.
  6. If by the worst of fortune, you’re the only nerd in your circle, you find no one to discuss your favorite book with. Hence, you cannot share your love which leaves you devoid of that pleasure.
  7. Your friends often tease you for living in your own fantasy world and try to give you a WAKE UP CALL to come back to reality and you’re so tired of explaining them HOW REAL EVERYTHING IS!
  8.  No one understands why your glasses are getting thicker and thicker and you don’t care.
  9. You sniff, revel and admire a new book until it’s normal in the real world, then you just admire it on the bookshelf.
  10. You are single because you are mentally married to a fictional hero and you obviously need therapy.

Despite the pros and cons, nerds are undoubtedly (not being haughty) few of the best people we could encounter. Often ignored and termed as ‘bland’ and ‘mundane’, you’ll be surprised to see what thrills they have to offer you! Next time you meet a nerd, try exploring them.

I hope I mentioned all the problems here. If any nerd wants me to add something, feel free to notify.

There there Nerds.

Adulthood: Please Stay Far Away

Okay, I turned 18 like 6 months back, but today as I was going through one of my sudden bursts of cogitation, I realized that I hadn’t written anything about how freaked out I was when the clock struck 12:00 on the night of 10th of April. Even when I was 12 or 13, 14, 15 I freaked out every single year thinking I’m one step closer to ‘being responsible.’ I understand that no one likes to age, but my fear doesn’t lie in the fact that I’ll have wrinkles on my skin but that I’m not ready for THIS.

I DON’T WANT TO GROW UP. PERIOD. I get so terrified even on the slightest thought of taking care of a family. I can’t even take care of myself let alone a family. Ugh!
God. I want to be a kid. Forever. I want to be reckless. I want to go to school, come back, go to play, finish my homework and go to sleep. It’s funny how when I was young I couldn’t wait to grow up. It’s even funnier how now I would give anything to be 10 again.

 I KNOW, RIGHT?

I remember the night of my 18th birthday; my elder brother succeeded in making things worse and heightening my paranoia, “You’re 18 now, you’re an adult-YOU’RE NO MORE A KID. Muaahahahahahah”

Whenever I catch myself thinking about what I’d do and where I will be in 5-10 years, I take that picture off my head and throw it as far away as possible, but it still remains in the far corner of my mind like a ghost hovering above me, ready to swallow me down. I don’t mean to be rude. But unfortunately, I’m not counted in the “OMG, I can’t want to get married” kind of girls. Of course everyone has their own sweet choices. But as for me, nothing scares me more than my future (and a cockroach).

I think a lot. I think so much and then get so worried. It’s like this hysteria of freaking out. Whether or not I’ll get a good job, or if I’ll be able to achieve all that I aspire. I’m scared if I wont be the same person I am today. Maybe age will change me. Make me an ADULT. I won’t be able to scream out of happiness. Or maybe laugh my heart out for silly things-like the present day. What if I don’t get excited when I get a new toothbrush. (Yes, I love my toothbrush-deal with it).

I know it’s not that bad. Growing up has it’s own perks. But I don’t want to travel alone, or eat alone or go home from work .. Alone. What if I don’t get the same kind of amazing friends I have now. We’re in college and we’ve already traded our separate ways. Not that we haven’t been in touch. But ambitions have taken over the better part of us.

I want time to slow down. It’s October and in 2 months we’ll have a new year, 2015. I mean ’14 JUST started right? Does it happen with everyone? I wonder if time pranks us and moves at a faster pace after a certain age. I want someone to not tell me but assure me that it will be all right. I’ll make it through. Everybody does. *Sigh*

Anyway, I hope what I think of adulthood isn’t the reality. I can only hope.

Okay. It’s happening again. I’m freaking out.