A List of Little Pleasures

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

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

Enjoy.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

To the Woods

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brimful of Thoughts

star-gazing-1149228_960_720

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.

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.

Simplicity Rhyme

simplicity

They promise me hoards of gold and glitter,
And a jewel to bedazzle my slender neck,
A ring to festoon my lady fingers,
A sparkly dress to adorn my chest.

I smile with gratitude,
While they try to find the perfect shoe,
For what more could a girl desire?
Than a closet full of exotic tulle.

They scamper across the country,
Fidget, fight, falter and ferment.
Frenzied by my lack of satisfaction,
My heart had exposed my furtive pretend.

Aghast they make a one last try,
And scour the stores for a velvet sweater,
Displeased I caress its threads and wonder,
When was the last time someone wrote me a letter?

Wistfully I smile at my list of pleasures,
A little pile of invaluable treasure,
A mix tape made of our favorite songs,
A good old journal, that time had worn.

A wooden mug, a home for my coffee,
Maybe flowers- tulips and lilies.
An album of old photographs,
Stuck on a paper haphazardly.

Matching bands,
A token for our friendship,
A ticket for a stage play,
A messy unplanned road trip?

A picture on a key-chain,
For I shall carry it forever,
Small antique wooden artistry,
A box of varied stationary!

And the most precious of all,
What you’d find in every corner and nook,
A beloved obsession,
A precious book.

While I tried on that sweater,
Smiling at my imaginary list,
Secretly bubbling at my fictional tryst,
My smile faded at the wonder of how,
They only measure joy in bills.

As I looked at my velvet image,
A living example of standing travesty,
My head shook in contempt,
How hard is it really to comprehend?
That a feeling as pure as felicity,
Some people still find in simplicity.

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.

So what is Conformity?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But why did Jack change his opinion?

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

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

Highway

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

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

Disappointed I look down, half expecting a twinkle.

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

On this highway.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For now, this highway is my home.

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

Merry December

Alright I’m sure all my fellow bloggers are pretty busy and occupied these days. Basking in the spirit of festive cheer and the placidity of this fine winter season. ‘Tis the holiday season, indeed! I just thought I’m obliged to write a closing post for this year.  For we stand on the dusk of yet another fantastic, high-spirited, exhilarating year and boy has it taught us some precious lessons.

Okay, so five days when we’d have officially hit ’16.

Wow. I’ll just let that sink in.

I love how cheery the air around you gets this time of the year. Even though I do not celebrate Christmas physically, but in my heart I send a prayer to actually do celebrate it someday. And of course the mighty internet gives me detailed insight of how the world out there is celebrating it. So that keeps me going.

I’d like to babble minutely about how this year has turned out for me but seriously? No.

In a nutshell,
2015 gave me my fair share of highs and lows, fortunately all well balanced. I met a couple of new AMAZING people who love me and what I write and have been ever supportive of me throughout. And even though I got totally lost in between, they had my back. Showing me the right way (and telling me that I wasn’t insane.) Thank you God for this.

I developed more hopeless fictional crushes by reading more and more books thus eliminating any single chances of I ever finding a real man. (OHMYGOD I TOTALLY FORGOT TO WRITE ABOUT MR. DARCY?! WHAT EVEN?) Next post will be about him then.

I finally cooked an entire full-fledged Indian meal for my dad without having to call the fire department. (Well mom was out of town so guess who had to be the woman of the house?)

At last got the Harry Potter Deathly Hallows locket and the entire Lord of the Rings book-set I had been coveting (both gifted by two amazing people.)

Also you absolutely wonderful and amazing WordPress angels who manage to read my gibberish and give me so much love managed to make ‘Brooding in the Tepid Dusk’ officially hit 10,ooo blog hits. This Is Amazing. How will I ever thank you people?

All these things have amalgamated to form one huge, grateful and blessed year.

I’d also like to mention in brief on how just like every year, I’ll once again be stepping into a new year as a modified person. New thoughts installed. Memory refreshed. Superfluous feelings exterminated. Spirits rejuvenated and the previously installed files re-arranged. I hope I come off as a better person than I was this year.

So that’s it for me.

I hope you make the best of ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’
I hope your food is warm and your drinks are sublime. I hope your year ends with the happiest of spirits and that you may carry that happiness with you into the next year.
I hope you look back and be truly gratified with what you have.
And if by some ill-fate you cannot, I pray happiness and love finds you. Thank you.

Merry Christmas and very Happy New Year guys.

I’ll see you all in 2016. 🙂

 

One Last Effort

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until I start floating on the surface.

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! 🙂

I Got It

I get it.
When you told me you loved me, while simultaneously replying to an urgent mail.
I get it.
When you said you were too tired from work, to listen to how much I loved the rain.
I get it.
When you said I should cut the carbs, for all the weight I’ve gained.
I get it.
How at parties I was invisible, for you were too busy shaking hands and making bargains.
I saw it.
How you fixed your gaze on how she talked and glowed like fire.  
I saw it.
How when we came home, you still couldn’t stop talking about her.
I noticed it.
How you started drifting away, for you said you had important work.
I understood it.
That you instead chose to spend your time with her.
I reckon. 
As I lie in my bed alone,
And the rain beats down my window pane.
If you ever managed to understand,
How fiercely I loved the rain.
My floor is covered with pictures of you.
While you’re with her singing a happy song.
I’m still here trying to contemplate,
Where is it that I went wrong?

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?

The Art of Unraveling (Teachings from Me #6)

With the growing importance of the glittery facade of social media, it’s hard to know what’s hidden underneath people. Beneath the Facebook check-ins and instagram filters. We have long forgotten the art of slowly unraveling someone. Peeling off each layer only to find another happy surprise. Now we’re more inclined towards rummaging through  Facebook posts and ‘getting to know the person.’ We get to know about the other person’s pretentious virtual life, but do we ever try to unearth how that person loves his coffee? Or the story behind the mystery bracelet she wears all the time?

A long time back I read about how relationships these days have too much involvement. You see, when you already learn too much about the other one just by scanning every post on their account, no sense of mystery remains. There is no thrill. No surprises. No sense of tingling when you realise you both love the same book! You already are aware of mostly everything. Plus, you are ALWAYS connected which sometimes may result in things going a lot more quickly, against their natural order.

These days, people prefer speaking more and listening less and think of it as a healthy interaction whereas it’s the exact opposite. If you just listen carefully about the things someone talks about and pay attention to the details, you’re already diving deep in their heart, a place not many people care to look.

Try asking questions that open them up. Questions that are seldom asked in casual conversations. If you don’t intend to be just anybody in their life, then don’t ask questions that just anybody might ask.

Try to hit the higher note.

Don’t remain in the shallow waters. Like I said, dive deep. Deep inside their heart and view the parts of them not many get to see. Compliment them. Celebrate them. Nurture them. This is no ordinary place my friend, it’s the center of their soul, make it your safe haven. Make it your treasure trove. Then, only then you’ll get to know who they are as a human, not just a mere artificial persona.

A few things you can ask to understand someone better:

1) Ask them about their favorite song. Most of the time, you’ll get to know a lot about their emotions.
2) Ask them how do they feel about their future. Are they scared? Excited?

3) Talk about their passion. Or if they love art. What do they see in art?

4) What’s their favorite place to travel and why?

5) With whom would they most like to travel with? 

These kind of questions (I believe) help hit that point in someone. We sometimes presume that these questions are too personal or sensitive to ask and the other person might not want to answer them or they might be ‘too forward’ but the truth is, people never get to listen to these answers because they never ask them.

They’re too engrossed with whether or not they appear pretty or that they don’t get ‘too awkward’ or do something ’embarrassing.’

The point is to ask these questions! Would you feel comfortable in talking about all this stuff? If yes then you should seek someone who’s equally dedicated to talk about it too. And if they’re too cold, I guess that’s a warning signal?

It’s important to establish a strong mental connection. It would not only help your relation grow, but would also help you personally.

May The Force Be With You

“For a wound to completely heal,
You have to stop touching it.”

Lately, I have made a point to read a lot of ‘self-discovery’ books. For what I think has been a long spell of doubts, insecurities, depression and uninvited solitude I think this proved to be a major change in the monotony that was slowly engulfing me.

I tried several ways to abate everything trying to make me bitter towards life. I tried talking about it but every time I did, I always felt misunderstood. Almost like no one was getting what I was trying to say or worst of all, no one seemed very interested to listen. It’s not their fault, really.

There are many things, broadly speaking, that contribute to this feeling of abandonment. Work, stress, doubts, heartbreak, someone else you think is better off than you and many more.

I don’t quite know how it happened, but right in the middle of this spell of intense grief and guilt I had a sense of self-actualization.

Like some divine light had befallen me and made me see the truly confident and exuberant self that I once was. And I felt that in this course of leaving everything behind, I left her as well. People abruptly ask me on phone calls, “You sound very different. Is something wrong?”

I summon up the courage to narrate, but fall short of the right words.

“What? I don’t think so!” is what I usually come up with.

How do you explain people what’s wrong when you’re trying to understand that yourself? The answer is, you don’t. There’s no point. You pick yourself up, even when your legs shake and you shiver with cold and you’re short of breath, you look straight ahead and you walk. That’s what you do. How do you intend to surf if you don’t plan to enter the water?

I began reading with ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book was the perfect start. If it taught me one thing, it was to never lose faith in yourself. Be kind, be humble and don’t be your worst critic. Be patient with everything around you, especially you. Patience. Because it took Elizabeth two years of intense traveling and meditation to regain her lost sense of self-esteem. It didn’t happen overnight.

It is mostly when we’re on the brink of catastrophe when we either open our eyes and begin to construct the path we’re deemed to travel or we take a step back and prefer to lull in the protection of the happy past. The latter contributing little to our future.

So I made a point not do that to myself. I sought to love myself enough to not be fair to who I am. Gain strength by reading books of people who broke the walls and marched through life as indomitable as they could ever get. I decided to change my perspective and open up to whatever changes happening around me. As they sure are leading me somewhere I am still very unwise to see.

Am I afraid? Yes.
Do I still have doubts? Absolutely.
Do I have a plan? I’m working on it.

I guess up until now I considered myself cherished enough to not have to go through the various downfalls in life. Guess what? It happens to everybody.

If there’s anyone reading this who might be going through a hard time, I hope you’re able to find the hope you’ve been looking for.  All it takes is a seed to fall on the ground, once it does, all the forces start conspiring to help it grow into a prolific tree.

So go ahead, fall. Fall and allow the forces to guide you towards the path you’re meant to travel.

Love always,
This blogger.

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?

I Drive

The road is long and I cannot see the end, yet my foot on the accelerator is stiff as I drive through the unknown.

A mountain range is following me through my journey as I glance at it frequently while I drive. I may feel bored of its perpetual rocky view, yet it refuses to leave my side; it stands there with all its might.  Like it’s somehow tied to my fate.
Just like a soul mate.

I drive and I see a lamp. Covered in a layer of nightly frost. A warm abode for the buzzing moths. It glows in the dark and shows me the way. The right, safe and honest way. I can see the direction it’s steering me in and I know I’ll be safe. For this lamp has brought several lost, to the right, successful place.
Just like a teacher.

I drive further and my feet ache. I am thirsty and I start to faint. I slam the break near a flowing stream, getting thinner and thinner as I further my journey. I lie down on its moist, grassy bed. I drink the crystal water and continue the path I tread.
The stream was a gushing river when I was young. Now it’s thin and old. But it still promises me solace and asks me to move even when I’ve lost my hold.
Just like a parent.

I resume my drive and the road ahead is no more straight. It bends and breaks and jerks. There are tortuous loops and bumpy potholes. There is a storm and thunder and lightning crashes on my way. The wind is strong and it tries to steer me away. I shudder and cry and start to lose my faith.  But my car doesn’t stop and I pass through unhurt, unbent, unbroken.
I pass through all the vicissitudes of life.

There comes a forest. Lush and green. Long deciduous trees wave at me through the dark. I pass by them anyway, and glance at them through my rear view, they are still waving at me. I prefer not to stop, they are ones I already left behind.
Just like the relations that never work out.

I once again begin to lose my way, and the path becomes darker. There is no light and I’m lost and scared. Suddenly a voice whispers from above and I look up to a scintillating view of a thousand stars. The night sky now burns with a silver glow, and now I realise I’m not alone. For these stars may not be visible throughout the path, but I know they’d always be there. Bright and cheering, guiding me midway.
Just like friends.

The journey continues and the stream is no more present, but the  moist earth it left behind reminds me of its existence. I come across a diversion, where the path breaks into two. I stand there still, wondering, fearing which one to leave and which one to choose. The mountain range is enveloped in fog, and the stream is no more there. The stars are hidden among the clouds and the forest wouldn’t care.
I am alone and my mind wonders. I close my eyes and breath in the air and ask the person inside me. I ask my little beating heart to resolve the query for me.
The air soothes my lungs and my body becomes light. A little voice inside me tells to follow the path to the right.
When nothing worked I closed my eyes and allowed the air to wake me up from inside.
Just like our conscience.

I turn right and I know not where I’ll go. Where the path would bend and where it would flow.
But I know this I’d drive unbowed and unbent, my faith strong and unshaken, the river will flow and the stars will shine, while I tread this road that is my life.

Advice to the Past

I’m sure there are plenty of things in our life we now think differently about than how we did in our budding years. Each day and each hour brings with it a new lesson; some we learn, some we choose to ignore.
Unfortunately, the latter happens more in proportion to the former when we are young, ingenuous and whimsical.

So while taking a stroll tonight, I wondered what would I say if my 15 year old self came in front me. Here are a few things I could garner-

1) Your parents are the only people on Earth who love you unconditionally. No other energy in this world loves you more than them-remember that.

2) School maybe tough, but it is nothing compared to the struggles awaiting after you finish it and step in the real world. So buckle up!

3) Forgive people. Don’t punish them for one mistake forever. A strong bond is more important than momentary pride.

4) Don’t get so mad at small little things. More importantly, don’t get mad at yourself.

5) Be wise. Grow above the small things that try to drag you down. Don’t fret over stuff that won’t matter in a few years.

6) Concentrate on your studies and choose your stream wisely.

7) Always appreciate the little things in life. Because after a while you’ll realize those were all the big things.

8) Your school will always be a happy place. Cherish your time there before it becomes a memory.

9) Don’t waste your time on trivial things. Chalk out a plan, understand why things work the way they do.

10) Never be afraid of anything. No kind of judgement or hurdle should ever deter your spirit from soaring high in the clouds.

11) Learn from other people’s experiences and mistakes so that you don’t have to make them all yourself.

12) There is so much more to you than you give yourself credit for. Look closely.

13) Listen to your brother. He loves you but has a different way of showing it. He wants nothing but happiness for you.

14) Stay humble to everyone.

15) Understand your forte and work relentlessly on them. Nurture your hobbies and improve them.

16) Be aware of everything going on around you. Stay updated and vigilante.

17) Don’t act impulsively, think things through, analyze, deduce and then react.

18) Lastly, never lose hope. Things will get better, they always do.

This is a brief congregation of what I learnt in the past 19 years. I hope it helps someone someday.