Because This Is Our First Life

Today I’m dwelling on the slow & consistent decay of things. I loathe changes. Sadly, they are the cost we pay for growing old.

Sometimes, I feel the slow, seismic shift in time’s axis. I feel it twitch and move just a little. Cruel time licks its fingers & flips another page of life, the world shudders & goes still for a second, then moves on like it is supposed to. Your parents become a memory, friends see other occasionally, priorities change. This heart of yours that won’t stop hurting right now, learns to look away & focus on things which, at that moment, become more important.

So the tiniest speck of change makes me fold my hands in prayer to a God I don’t believe in, ‘please, please make it stop. just for a while’

**

Please look at people in the eyes and tell them they’re doing well. Squish their face with your hands & say they’re doing their best, and you’re proud of them as they should be of themselves. Sometimes it only takes it hearing it from someone else’s lips to make someone believe in themselves.

**

I love Emily Dickinson a lot. Not because of her poems, though that plays its part in her admiration, but I discovered something about her disposition that made me feel understood. And it goes like this:

Her choice to let her work get published and be available to the world, but her decision to never accept any public celebration, recognition of herself is something I resonate with strongly.

Anytime I do something mildly well, I wish to be admired and appreciated. I should like people to know I did something well.

But I do not necessarily like being celebrated. I should like to be acknowledged silently, but I don’t like being raised and upheld for worship.

Acknowledged, but not celebrated.

**

I got to know about this idea called Room 19. It is like a fictional (or at times tangible) room where your heart turns to, when it needs to get away from the world. For some it might be a corner of the house they can stay by themselves in, for some it’s inside their mind.

When I enter my room 19, I don’t speak to anyone for days. And my heart and mind are at unrest, strained from the burden of never being able to make any sense of it. Joy never enters that room. It can’t, it isn’t supposed to.

Some knock on their room 19 & let themselves in occasionally,

Aome carry it with themselves wherever they go.

During my childhood, I was always surrounded by people, my tangible needs were sufficiently met, i was safe & sound.

but in my head, I grew up alone.

I received a book in my mail box once, a gift from someone I once parted ways with.

The title of the book said, ‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone’

Something squirmed inside. I held the heavy hardcover in my hands.
This is how I will always be looked at, from the outside. Someone who needs fixing. Someone not quite okay.
This is how I would be thought of.

Maybe, I’ve locked myself up in my room 19. I don’t go there occasionally, I live in it. Everybody in my life is outside that door. And it is going to be that way.

______________________________________________________________________________

A note: Time flies too fast to stifle words.
It is not enough to just feel them, they must be spoken aloud. words must reach another person’s heart, so they can stay there. Whether they live there or don’t, is not up to you.

Love always,

Your blogger.

Where Is Your Bookmark?

What is a bookmark? If not a promise to come back, where you left off? We go around bookmarking chapters of our life we couldn’t quite finish, that perhaps made our heart ache. But they also made our heart warm, like the winter sun on cold mornings.
Are you smiling right now?


There is a book I can’t make any sense of,
yet I cannot seem to put it away.
Flipping page after page,
with faint, lingering hope,
it’d turn to something beautiful.

One day I chance upon a chapter,
that takes my breath away,
until, after a couple of flips,
it too, stops making sense

But since abandoning things midway,
demands a strength I am yet to have,

I bookmark this chapter,
& keep it aside quietly.

Someday when I’m wiser,
and my heart has more strength,
I’ll come back to you.

Until then, I’ll let you rest,
On the shelves of my weak memory.
Hoping that when the time is right,
I may have not forgotten about you.


Keep bookmarking chapters of your life like this. Open them in secret & feel that warmth again from time to time. Or open them for good, and start all over again.

 

Love always,
Your blogger.

Tune In To Understand

As a kid, I appeared on the radio a few times. Not often enough to make me a star (clearly), but enough to recall a cluster of fond memories.

I was a part of a show hosted on my school’s local radio station. I was 14.

When I spoke for the first time in that mic, my heart thrummed loudly. We were broadcasting live. As soon as I spoke the first line, people behind the glass wall gasped. I shrunk. What mistake was it this time?

After concluding the show, I stepped out quietly, barely ready to face the barrage of reprimands waiting behind the thick wooden door. I enter the room and faces turn, all lit up. This is what I hear,

‘waaaaaah, you have a wonderful voice!’ 

if there are singular moments in time that stitch themselves up against your ageing memory, so tight that you never forget them, this was one such moment. I never believed I had a great voice until then.

I’m not really fond of the content that comes on the radio these days, but I’m fond of the idea upon which it rests. The art of listening. Understanding something without your eyes aiding you.

There is a movie called HappyThank YouMorePlease (interesting name, no?) with a scene that stuck with me. A conventionally not handsome man is pleading his uninterested muse to close her eyes and just listen to him. He requests for a chance to reveal to her what she’s unable to see. The woman is perplexed for a moment but slowly covers her eyes out of pity, much to her own surprise. After he confesses his sincerity for her in a long, impressive monologue, the scene ends with the woman opening her eyes, her jaw slightly dropped, and seeing him in a completely new light. It was as if ‘the particles in his face had rearranged themselves’ and that she was seeing him, really seeing him for the first time.

A bit too dramatic, in my opinion, but you get the underlying point right? She felt what her eyes were refusing to understand.

We’re so glued visually and busy processing it all through our eyes that we only soak what is said, and not what is meant.

When we listen, without the hundred distractions of the colour of someone’s eyes, or why their face looks tired, the empty coffee mug in their hand & why they clutch it so tight, why do their legs fidget, why does their skin glow, why do they play with their hair nervously, why is their palm smudged with ink, why is their shirt baggy .. everything that keeps our attention away from what is being said in that moment ..when we shut our eyes from this and choose to really listen, then the words shoot straight through our chest.

The transmission is straight into your heart. Whether it’s from the goddamn radio or that person you just can’t seem to understand.

Listen loud and clear. Feel the gravity of words being said to you. Their voice to yours.

“Broadcasting, love and, airplanes, do you know what they have in common?

They all require the maximum effort in the beginning.”

-Tune In For Love (a film)

Here’s a beautiful song for you.

Hope you smiled today.

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. 

Roaring 20s

Hello 2020.

Hope you all had a good 2019. Mine felt like someone held me by the shoulders and jolted me throughout the year while I’m seated on an equally rough and fierce rollercoaster.

Revolutionary.

So much and so many ‘firsts’ and ‘news’ happened I have now stopped counting. I’m not the same person I used to be exactly a year back, I don’t know if that is sad or good. Perhaps the most taxing part throughout this year was, as I was musing the other day to a friend, I met a giant pool of new people in 2019, but none became a friend. A friend, in its literal meaning. A dear one, who listens, cares, calls. Not one person knows me, really knows me. It’s so odd, I wonder if this is how life becomes past a certain age. Umpteen people enter your life and sort of tag along, playing their parts in the periphery of your story and eventually leaving, but none ferry past the layers of formal decorum and touch your core, your insides, your spirit.

I used to be of the understanding that every human being, like me, makes an attempt to understand every human he co-exists around. Not to merely float and loiter until the tasks are done and the need for interaction is no more. Tries to perhaps dig, with sensitive caution, what lies inside every being. How we really are, beneath the mortal layers. Deep in our cores we’re all so sensitive, our hearts are all equally vulnerable to hurt, to rejection, to unkindness. Yet still I see no humanity. I feel no warmth. We’re all so cold, so guarded, so aloof.

Hence, I try my best to forge bonds wherever I feel an invitation from an equally giving spirit. Rest will find their own way, I hope.

I spent my New Years with the person my entire being shines around. I am an intrinsically happy person who likes to indulge in frivolous jokes and laugh till she’s crying. Situations also draped me in an equally quiet and brooding soul, but my spirit likes to jump and cry out of happiness. The burden of carrying these two extremes is a bit too much at times. But yes, I entered 2020 laughing and jumping with my best friend in a different city. I’m so grateful and blessed to have finally made it happen. We both had been yearning it for years.

Then I flew back and all went grey for a while. I felt miserable and lonely. Abandoned.

I was trying to recover from these feelings when one evening my mother calls and tells me my cousin killed himself. I couldn’t feel my insides. Almost half shivering I recalled my last meeting with him exactly two months back in a family wedding. We danced, his 10 month old daughter in his arms, both of us laughing.

My heart clenches thinking how someone can be carrying so much pain and not finding a way to relieve it.

May he be at peace, wherever he is now.

I am not the person I used to be exactly a year back. I’m too afraid of time now. Too scared of what it has in store, good or bad. Lately I feel like a ghost. All my insides are cold, like a blizzard just passed through.

May 2020 give me some warmth. May all the good that occurred this year (it did, really) give hope for more good to come. May goodbyes be lesser. May we find people who stick throughout.

May everyone feel love, may everyone know Peace.

Here’s to officially ending this decade and looking forward to a new one, which certainly promises staggering changes in our life.

Take care of each other, we’re all we have.

Love always,

Your blogger.

The sky is a Snowglobe

If someday you & I could get close,

I know exactly where I’d want to take you,

as I fall & watch you get closer,

my heart will swell with the urge to bring you here,

however, I would wait.

wait to see if you’d also gaze with quiet astonishment,

at how vast, how grey, how midnight blue the night looks,

from my terrace

my favourite block of the concrete house,

set aside from the wrinkled sheets & unwashed dishes below.

On evenings after supper, I’m often found plopped on the musty boundary wall,

Laying down,

Staring into the night, my daily repose. Purring, resting, contemplating.

With every sigh, Posing questions to the curving sky above

Hazy with gorgeous grey clouds,

Revealing the twinkle of stars as the wind rightfully sweeps them away.

The breeze makes my skin cold, like glassy slabs. I caress, smiling at how I’d bring you here one day.

You will gaze at the sky in awe,

I will gaze at you with wonder.

 

 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Who is a Storm’s Muse?

Few months during the year I decide to visit this parched, dust laden, sad city and like always I’m greeted by taller towers and glassier buildings. The locals delight at my arrival, however are too occupied running errands or making (what I assume) communication through a tiny box pinned to their ears to some distant land.

Some, after months of baking like bricks in the sweltering heat, afford a slight look of gratitude above, then continue with their daily tasks unconcerned by the myriad colours of the sky.

This time I visited this city at night. So full of lights it’s like the sky is upside down. Tiny, sparkling dots moving this way and that like ants. I’m going by as ceremoniously as I can when i spot her. A tiny, motionless space in the vast labyrinth of this city perched alone on a rooftop, staring right through me. Her head is fixed above, boring through me, perhaps smiling too. I can’t see her face, she’s only a shadow but I can sense her feeling every gust of wind I’m thrusting below.

This intensity and passion; I haven’t felt this from human race for a long time. It’s like she wants to reach out- it’s like she’s already reaching out.

I almost wish to swoop her from earth and show her lands and places she’s never seen before, to fill the void in her heart from all the wonder she craves, but I must leave. Humans are too big a burden to bear. To let her know that I was here & I saw her and that her presence, however overlooked by the human race was noticed from above, I send a few raindrops below, assisted by the wind, hoping they land on her skin and she knows. She will.

*

The weather is lovely tonight. I can only see dying remains of another tedious day from my rooftop but somehow the void is not scary. “And tonight,” I chuckle covertly, I”got company.” The wind. Oh how I love the wind. The sky is a perfect grey. The moon shines and occasionally sends its silver beams my way, sneaking through rolling clouds who always seem to be in a hurry.

I gaze at the moon almost like a wolf. Grateful that I’m here to witness the sky rumbling with unease, a storm in its chest. But I want more. I’ve always wanted more of storms. Wanted to be inside them. I lower my eyes achingly and continue to walk when a tiny, perhaps stray drop of water lands on my eyelid. I look up, my eyes wide. Another one lands on my arms.

“I know,” I smile at the sky.

It didn’t rain on anyone else that night.

Love always,

Your blogger.

Other Side of A Tunnel

Somewhere in the ruins of this blog I once wrote how I read Anne Frank’s last letter often. I felt myself turned inside out by a 15 year old girl. To have your insides bared and autopsied can be frightening.

Anne called a part of her, the part she chose for others to see as a ‘frolicsome little goat.’ Who jokes around and indulges in frivolous merrymaking, who is flippant and spontaneous and can be found shrugging away hurt like a fly from milk.

She also spoke of the other part, a part she keeps hidden away from scathing eyes of the world. I revisit that letter often.

I am so complex a bundle of contradictions, so many a personalities strewn together I don’t even know how or why anybody would understand me. How can I be shallow and deep together. Sometimes, even for days if I’m lucky, I find myself grappling on the surface, trying to keep my head above water, other days I’m already crashed on the ocean bed. It’s almost a home now.

I am a Pandora’s Box. Nothing within me is delightful. Except that my covers glint with remarkable sheen, but the box houses nothing within. I’m the wrong side of a tunnel; you walk from brightness to enter the dark. A few steps and you run towards the brightness again. I don’t blame you. Who wouldn’t.

I’m a cracked porcelain jar. Ceramic smooth like fresh wax, hollow and dusty from within. I also tumble and shatter to smithereens quite easily.

Two extremes, two mammoth, thick chunks of opposites have their roots boring through me, mingling to form a tree that bears no fruit.

Love always

Your blogger.

Addressing my mind- One Anxiety at a Time – II

Dear all,

Since my life lately has taken several unexpected, at times difficult turns, I sadly inform you that I will be fairly sporadic in my posts, as you may have noticed. They will often be unmethodical and anomalous. I’m trying my best to keep my creative pulse throbbing; please forgive me if you don’t find this blog as interesting as you used to. But I need this place to vent, as I currently have no other medium.

*

Yash nibbles at his plate of baked beans and draws patterns with a folk, unaware that I’m looking at him throughout. He’s wearing yellow. Bright yellow, like what you see when you look at the sun through the trees. He asks looking up, ‘so have you written something new lately?’

My smile fades slightly and I turn my attention towards the traffic outside the cafe we’re in. ‘Not really. I’ve lost inspiration. I don’t remember when or what I wrote last.’

Yash trembles a little, ‘Don’t you dare say that. Don’t you ever say that,’ he says shaking his head (& unkempt curly hair). I feel a flame rekindling inside me. If there is even one heart who doesn’t want me to stop writing, it is inspiration enough.

‘When do you leave?’ he asks, not looking up this time.

‘Tonight.’ He nods and takes the final bite.

*

Lately in a span of 4-5 months I’ve met several new, strange people. Their smile confuses me. It’s never genuine; forced, practiced. One stranger who sits opposite me has chuckled and remarked several times, ‘You are soo weird,’ she says.

‘Yaar, ye puri khiski hui hai (Mate, she’s totally insane),’ says another boy who sits next to her. I wonder if he means it or is solely reiterating because I suspect he has a crush on her.

I come home and gaze at the ceiling. I love gazing. At the sky. At the distance. At the trees.

A family member pauses his game, follows my gaze and looks back at me, “What are you staring at?” I meet his eyes and say nothing, “How did you turn out so weird?” he clicks his tongue and resumes playing.

The older I get, the weirder I become. More out of place and not understood. I cannot seem to connect with people, even after trying.

I’m watching myself recoiling in a cocoon.

*

4 girls and I, ogling at a guy from behind, who’s buying coffee. “Iced Americano to go please.”

“Wow he’s handsome,” says one. “Agree,” nods the other.
“Wonder if he has a girlfriend.”
“He’s not fit guys. He has a tiny bump for a belly,” snarks one.

All four of them narrow their eyes and look closely. “Yep.” They turn back disappointedly.

I don’t say a word but think how I had found him disarmingly handsome ever since he had stepped in. Before them I had first noticed his baggy shirt, and how he scratched his hair and closed his eyes frequently. I loved how his beard was scruffy. I watched his eyes dart the menu and finally rest on ‘Iced Americano.’

I loved the tiny bump. It showed he probably worked hard, sitting for long hours gruelling in front of a screen. He needed sustenance. I loved his baggy shirt after a long, tiring day. I loved how unaware he was of my gaze, of his surroundings. His direct stare at the exact gap between the menu board and soda machine.

“None of you had a chance,” I ponder looking at the girls.

He was probably wanting that coffee more than a girlfriend haha.

The Only Tree on a Hill

After what feels like centuries a story has been brewing inside me, earnest to be put on paper. Enjoy. 

My grandfather housed a distinct fondness for trees. A love he happily passed on to me after failing to do so with my father. Being a reclusive child I seldom ventured outdoors, fearing human malice for, as a kid I was once pushed in a muddy ditch for committing the innocent crime of being the new girl in town.

The cucoon into which I invariably recoiled in grew into a home. I turned inwards for respite and befriended books and nature to ward loneliness. But the queer claws of time germinated an odd upheaval in my bosom. A longing for something so elusive it prevented me, at times from getting sleep.

Perhaps, my grandfather sensed this turmoil within me, an utter restlessness and angst for desiring something farther from my reach, and invisible to the eye- like friendship but not with a human form. Humans repelled me.

Thus, one cool April morning when the sun was tepid enough to cake us in its warmth and the air still tasted of dew my grandfather took me to a nearby hill, where I often previously went for walks. I noticed the clatter of a shovel tied to his waist against keys dangling from a belt loop, and a small plastic bag full of what seemed like dirt; but didn’t say a word.

We stopped at the highest crest the hill could afford. A few gulls croaked in the distance and a warm breeze swept the fields. Far East, I could see our little house, a tiny dot within a green pasture, a muddy road snaking its way into it.

“Do you know why we’re here?” my grandfather asked with a twinkle in his eyes, breaking my reverie.

I shook my head. Even at the usually stimulating age of fourteen, my heart somehow was always too tired to speak.

“I’m here to introduce you to a friend. Who will stay with you throughout your years and will stay further for your posterity and perhaps further for more generations to come.” 

With this he dug a small pit in the heart of the earth and handed me the bag of dirt, which upon closer observation, bore a tiny sapling. I placed the sapling in the ditch gently and pat it shut.

My grandfather passed away shortly after and I found respite in the sapling when my heart ached too much for him. Its existence became my purpose. I spent my youth watering, nurturing and at times even talking to it.

Time flew past like gusts of wind and ten long years later, I sit under what grew into a magnificent, sentinel, behemoth tree- lush and green, watching over me like a silent guardian. The distant longing inside me quelled with the tree’s pristine, watchful presence- quiet and sincere. The tree taught me stillness and how to give without expecting.

My grandfather gave my restless ship an anchor. He gave direction to my rapid thoughts. The tree embodied his own spirit, omnipresent but never holding you back.

Today, sitting under its shadow I brood over my life so far. Remember those who left and bemoan those who never arrived. I hope the tree will remain, if nature permits, perhaps for centuries,  and will continue granting stillness to those running from the future’s chaos. I pray it assuages their inner wounds too, doled out by a callous world.

A warm breeze tussles my hair and makes the leaves above rustle with delight. I’m pulled back to the present.

‘I know friend’, I muse looking up, ‘you too like the breeze as I do.’ 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

 

Cup of Thoughts- II

Lately, my tiny circle of friends (actually, triangle of friends since there’s only 3 of us) have been pondering over this crazy concept called ‘seeing the world from a third perspective’, in our very unpolished, non-fancy definition. The foundation of this idea was laid when the three of us, one morning at 2 am shared our mutual fear and panic over what is happening in our milieu.

Literally everybody is being thrown in the same pit of social, academic, professional, personal, filial pressure and nobody seems to be doing anything about it. Millennial life has been reduced to apps. Right swipe for love, coupon codes for cheap junk food, educational gurus spewing with academic wisdom, cabs relocating you from one door to another. These concepts, initially built as ‘services’ now dictate our lives.

There is also a meditational app emulating ‘sounds of nature’; chirping of birds, rustling of trees, bubbling of waterfalls, to help people ‘calm down’ from their daily dose of subways and cabs.

How can anybody not see how terribly messed up is that?

There are people running to therapy from unendurable despair and stress, suicide rates continue scaling new heights, every possible nuance of humanity is beaten and whisked into a social media stunt, homeless are freezing in the cold while extravagance continues to flourish online. Celebrity weddings and all the glitter and glam circling it continues stripping the whole occasion of its true essence- everything reeks of pretence.

I feel like it has all been upscaled and taken on such massive levels, that performing those same tasks for ordinary folks (who cannot financially or socially match those levels) has become a source of crippling anxiety. The enormity of it scares them. One heartbreaking result of all this is that it is silencing middle class, no showbiz people into forced reticence.

So what seeing the world from a third perspective means is being painfully aware of all the above. To witness a civilization in shambles by mass consumerism, a world constantly deprioritizing values and putting pomp and show on a pedestal. To always feel like a spectator and a misfit. To not be able to relate to any recent ‘fad’ rounding the internet. To sort of stand in the middle of a giant mob, where everyone is rushing to some vague, momentary purpose, a state of total disorder and haste, where you are the only quiet, still, sinking entity around.

This idea, if sat and brooded over carefully, will make your soul turn inwards. It will make the voice in your head louder and unfortunately, your heart heavier.

What do you think?

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

 

Note: If you wish to read Cup of Thoughts- I, click here. 

Listen to this beautiful track by Luke Sital Singh here:

Extremes

Lately my heart oscillates too much,

between boundless joy and utter despair.

The joy dissipates as fast as it arrives

The despair however lingers longer.

The centre of my heart turns cold

The core of my body layered in sheets of ice

When I breathe

It takes collective effort of every muscle.

I also feel weak, emotionally.

Drained, mentally.

I have always had a fire burning inside me,

It feeds my spirit.

In despair, the fire dies. Only wisps of spoke remain.

Until a tiny, insignificant moment ignites it again,

And my heart is warmer,

like it’s home.

I live for those moments of joy,

I wait patiently for them to show up,

I revel in their uncertainty, like a drug,

I wait for them to grant me a quick flash of intense euphoria,

until my heart starts beating again,

instead of thrumming.

Soon it is over.

A giant heaviness seems to have taken residence in my heart,

I have a feeling it won’t leave, but grow.

I will come to hope more,

And after having it tossed aside,

I will learn to live in the comforting possibility of what never was,

but could’ve been.

My inner Seol is my consolation. 🙂

Love always,

Your blogger.

What I learnt Inside a Big Glass Building- II

I do not wish to divulge much except that I spend 8 hours a day inside a building made of glass.

Funny, its glass bosom doesn’t make it fragile, but rather steely, like a cage.

People inside glass buildings are devoid of warmth. They also happen to be slightly twisted (for lack of a better word). They say stuff they don’t actually mean, and keep silent when you wish they’d speak.

Your frequent attempts at making friends will be rebuffed with an impassive grin. This is a place camaraderie is rejected with a smile so sly you’d end up thinking there’s something wrong with you. This is where you need to remind yourself otherwise, or the building will swallow you whole.

I try my best to be as kind as I possibly can. To be myself so as to give some other frail heart the courage to be itself too, but so far it has all been in vain. The nicer you are, the more they feed off of you.

This is also a place they ask you your position in life, to gauge the level of nice they need to portray.

I have deftly observed every human in my vicinity here. To some I have even given a score. But the score is irrespective of how little dependance can be placed on the appearance of either character or merit. Every day strengthens my resolve to never end up like them.

I have also lost my appetite or my distinct fondness of food. Most of the time I’m swallowing to sustain my organs.

The commute back home is my only pocket of contemplation. And my heart is so heavy with the burden of an entire, joyless day that, after lying about how great my day was to those who ask, I find myself crawling under a blanket and never wishing to see the light again.

Thank heavens for all the novels I’ve read, they assuage my grief with the naive hope that things will get better, like they did for our heroes stuck in pages. I will also try my best to empathise more, everybody has a story, the people in my vicinity have a story too; who am I to impart judgement?

Hoping for a better tomorrow (& happy that the person reading this is here for me),

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

 

Update: January 18th- I lost an earring inside this glass castle. Which somehow, makes everything worse.

Note: If you wish to read the first part go here.

A Feeble Attempt at Understanding Growing Up- I

Something occurs just as we reach the brink of adulthood. Not that there’s any defined door to being an adult, but a change, a subtle shift in disposition occurs where a seed of distrust for the world is planted, often from frequent disappointments. The sapling that once bloomed with tenderness and a sense of wonder is often abandoned behind concrete walls freshly built- a repercussion of facing the ‘outside’ world.

And gradually, like moss creeping upon forest grounds and slowly climbing up tree trunks, distrust transforms into malice, upon realisation that the ‘outside’ wouldn’t think twice before smothering us to death. Out of fear of pain our hearts bridle up, our shields held high and walls ever growing.

The circle continues swooping each one in its vicious pull, damaging one human after another. Until all we’re left with are a sea of people carrying the immense burden of their walls with a tiny sapling living inside them.

This sapling carries the power of fostering immense love and kindness, but is too layered (protected?) by fear, anger, jealousy and pretence. It also represents our imagination, our sense of wonder for this world, our love for wild possibilities- all abandoned and replaced with a suffocating idea people call being ‘realistic.’ I dislike this word, not for what it represents, but how people bend and break it into justifying cruelty, hatred and immorality.

Reality in itself is never ugly. It is pure and pristine. It is exactly what you overlook everyday. Your interpretation and manifestation of it makes it ugly. The filth you contribute to it, makes it ugly. Your choice of ignoring your conscience- that too yearns for the same love and empathy it denies to foster- makes it ugly.

So where did it all go wrong? How do we break this circle?

The circle breaks the day you give that sapling a chance to grow into a strong, mighty tree. They day you stop being unkind, and realise the value (and lack) of empathy and love in this world. The day you stop answering hatred with hatred and replace it with forgiveness- not because they deserve it, but because you deserve peace. The day you pick your imagination up, shake the dust off and begin dreaming again, the day you make friends like you did when you were a kid- with eagerness, curiosity and love. It will end the day we stop being at war with each other and realise we’re in this together.

The day, no matter how hard it gets, you stick to your morals and your choice to be a kind, nurturing and loving human being. Please be good. The world needs it now more than ever.

“Keep true to the dreams of thy youth.”

 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

What I learnt Inside a Big Glass Building (and a Happy New Year)!

Hello, 

Following bullet points are open to individual perspectives.

  1. This building is a machine. Its fuel is its people. It feeds on their soul.
  2. The only sounds are of beeping automatic locks of opaque glass doors, clicking of heels on an immaculately polished floor and remnants of quick phone calls made by humans who always seem to be in a hurry.
  3. Literally nobody cares. Breaks my heart.
  4. When people smile, they smile out of obligation, not choice.
  5. No love. It is like love arrived at this building’s door and turned away from all the malice.
  6. They’re nice to you because:
                  -they need you to get some work done.
                  -they are professionally obligated.
  7. No empathy. No one even tries to foster any. People make zero efforts to reach out. Zero.
  8. If someone senses you’re distressed, they’ll freeze and become unreachable. 
  9. You have to get used to eating meals alone. I’m sure everyone hates it the same, yet no one barely makes an effort to fix it. 
  10. Cafeterias are some of the scariest places in the world. 
  11. The moment it feels like they’re being too nice to you- be wary, there is some ulterior motive. 
  12. Nothing about the question, ‘How are you?’ is ever, even vaguely concerned with your well being but is asked solely to skip to the real purpose behind seeking you.
  13. You never make friends inside glass buildings. You only get to know a few strangers. 
  14. There is an abysmal lack of human warmth inside this glass castle. Poker faces, frowns, heads bent deep in cell phones or glued to a big screen pepper the hallway 24/7. 
  15. Everyday, I look around and I’m appalled by how badly we, as human beings- the one animal capable of nursing so much joy and affection- have fucked up. We really truly did. Maybe my quarrel really is with the state of the world- and not the glass building. If that is the case, I have a long battle to fight. 

 I miss greeting a face which is happy to see me. 


We have been together for so many years, thank you for being my constant companions.  I hope my blog helped you in some way, or made your heart slightly warmer, or gave you hope where you couldn’t find one.

Let us promise to do our parts in healing through art, through love and by being ourselves. Happy New Year guys. Wish you the best year of your life so far.

Thank you for everything, truly. See you on the other side. 

 

Love always,

Your Blogger. 

Plane watcher

New cities are hard to feel at home in
every face a stranger,
every room cold
devoid of the comforting sense of familiarity. 

that’s why I find myself perched in balconies
of hotels, studios or polished penthouses
hunched over railings,
scooping a mug of strange tea.

eyes glued towards the vast expanse 
of a foggy night sky
traffic in the backdrop a distant hum,
conversations facile
while my eyes face the universe
with hope

When a plane snails its way under the moon
red lights twinkling at me, teasing.
I blink and sigh
The birds have left this city
Look,
I am now a plane watcher. 

Here’s to our Happy Endings

Hello all,

I have finally found the reason people cling to stories. 

They use fiction to heal what reality breaks. Forgive me, I do not wish to blindly mar what I dislike, but reality isn’t always pretty, nor is it anywhere close to how our heart wishes it to be. Reality and fiction run parallel, and some of us find ourselves hopelessly clinging to both with life ordaining us to maintain a healthy balance. 

It is a secret trapdoor in our vast, intimidating and often tedious material world. Some of us (rather most) wish to secretly escape through that door, never to return, while some sigh at its impossibility and content themselves with occasional peaks through it. 

I belong somewhere in the middle. There are periods where I open that trapdoor, climb through and sit there to my heart’s content. I believe I am the happiest then. Other days I try to be rational and real, two words I sincerely dislike (though understand their gravity). But even in reality, a tiny fraction in my heart still dwells in stories and imagination (and magic).

I believe others do that too; take that trapdoor with them. It gives them a tool, a feeling that helps keep the drudgery of life away, that tool is hope. The greatest drug, the foundation of our present and the promise of our future. It saves lives. It is what makes us brush the dust off and walk again.

Stories are like a bridge connecting us to that hope. They help allay our grief, ‘It’s okay. It’ll get better. Eventually. One day.’ They are a proof that we deserve happy endings, more importantly, that happy endings are possible. That they exist. 

Fiction helps mellow today’s hurt. So keep reading, listening, watching through your trapdoor. Keep it alive. There is a bright, luminous promise somewhere in there that things will be better.

They have to be. 

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.