Addressing my mind- One Anxiety at a Time.

Only after you’ve sat and mingled in a sea of complete strangers and tried to feel a little at place, only then will you realise that at times the most sinking, wounding and difficult question to answer is, ‘Hey, how are you?’

*

Now I realise why I was thrust with the weight of blurry vision since childhood. Whoever runs the universe knew I was going to face things that’ll require me to cry. Cry frequently. Cry secretly. That’s why I was given glasses. To sob and unburden behind a thick veil of sheet. To snugly hide the swollen eyes and sit among people like nothing happened.

How I wish it also gave me fortitude to ferry past all the sorrow it so conveniently bestowed.

*

Also, I have lately been brooding over the enormous burden of getting to know someone utterly new. Which thread, in a giant, tumbled heap of threads do you pick up, when they say they wish to unravel your depth. I sit tangled in a labyrinth of stories. Where do I begin?

*

But with you, I wish to first gently tap on the sheet of your freezing heart. Then maybe place my palms softly, to let some warmth seep through. Then wait, for years even, to let my warmth melt your cold. Even if my hands bruise blue. To slowly allow you to be soft again. To be warm again. To love again.

An Evening at Coney Island

Picture captured by Robert Doyle at Coney Island, New York.

I can’t remember the last time I visited Coney Island. Probably because those were the brief happier days, the memories of which seem to be getting hazier now.
It’s unusually chilly today– should’ve brought my wind breaker. I sit on an empty, cold bench on the left, near the side walk. Partly because it is easier to observe all the life from here, partly because it is empty.

There is a sharp, cold drizzle imbued in the air as I watch the twilight melt slowly into the night and the clouds appear to be hanging threateningly low, heavy with moisture that’ll soon pour down as rain.

I finished my shift early today. There weren’t many people in the neighborhood looking for a drink to drown their grief in- so I was free.

After closing for the night I found myself standing at his doorstep, staring blankly at the wooden latch.  Uncertain about what may occur if it opened I left, with slow, hesitant steps and lumbered straight to Coney Island-  a place that made me happy since I was 14.

I made my way straight to the latte stall and grabbed a warm cup of coffee- keeps my head straight-and sat on this bench from where I’m talking to you.

There is something oddly beautiful about places that are always buzzing with people but are quieter at the moment. I’ve always looked at this place and seen poetry in every corner-even when I was young.

A few people linger around the empty stores, some stare at the brightly lit wonder wheel, leaning on each other. A woman lulls a drowsy baby in her arms, while fumbling with a half eaten hot dog and a bunch of blue and red balloons.

Sometimes nothing can make you feel more alone than watching a place getting emptied of life. The lights being turned off one by one. Shutters being pulled down as people are done for the day. Keys rattle in their fingers as they hum their way home.

The lights of all the stores are slowly dying out and the few people still lingering on the boardwalk are finally leaving, though reluctantly. I gaze at the wagon wheel, still so bright and quiet. Flashes of memories come rushing back- our first picture in the photo booth, our first shared cotton candy-the last left at the stall, the locket whose pendant I still carry with me, our first go at the sledgehammer and how I scored higher.

A smile crept my face.

Sometimes I think the easier the solution to a problem is, the harder it is to fix it. Because we cannot come in terms with the simplicity of it. The answer is right there, facing us, but we choose to look away. How can it be that easy? So we keep avoiding it, until one day, there’s nothing left to avoid.

And because we, as a specie have a habit of never trying hard enough, we hold on to things that are left- things that still connect the two. Like frail, cold ashes of a fire that once burnt bright. Something that once was a part of both of us.

Like our memories here at Coney Island. Maybe that’s why I come here often; in search of some happy memory that, at some juncture of life, was shared and cherished by us both.


Note- This post was in collaboration with the exceptionally talented photographer and my very good friend on WordPress, Robert Doyle. I never understood the practicalities of photography enough to appreciate the technical prowess behind them, until I saw his work. I’ve been a great admirer of his pictures, solely because they are poignant, deep and tend to speak to you in someway.

When Robert first uploaded this on Instagram, I couldn’t stop staring at it. I was immediately pulled inside the picture, melancholy and nostalgia oozing from it. When I write such fictional pieces, like the ones I’ve written in the past, I always picture them happening in a similar backdrop. A warm twilight caressed with cool gusts of wind and a bunch of lights twinkling somewhere in the distance. Pictures that can make you feel the weight of being human.

So when the opportunity arose, I decided to collaborate with Robert and write a small narrative inspired by this beautiful image.

The story you read above, is taking place inside this picture. Our protagonist is sitting on the bench you see on the left side. Hope you enjoyed it and please do visit my friend’s blog.

 

Love always,

your blogger.

How to Handle Life- 101

In my brief span of the last couple of years, a period I like to modestly refer as ‘the awakening’ I’ve been able to deduce a lot of conclusions about life- stemming mostly from my own, often disappointing experiences. I have always had this annoying penchant to be severely critical of every single incident that occurs in my life.

I sit still, place the situation on a table, turn it around and analyse it diligently until I’ve found a possible explanation. I always have to find an absolute answer; cannot tolerate ambiguity. Because of my belief that there is a certain pattern behind everything, I reduce a matter to its bare bones until I can finally answer the question-
‘Where did I go wrong?”  

It’s not entirely my fault- this knack for seeking absolute answers. INTJs tend to do that- A LOT.

So here is a tip I discovered during one of my analysis that I’d like to share today. A virtue (as I like to call it) I find myself a pro at practicing:

Apathy. 

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Don’t get me wrong, I do want the world to be more kind, compassionate and altruistic. But sometimes, you have to take some measures to protect yourself from humans- they can be pretty callous.

One such measures is cold and sullen ‘withdrawal.’

I find it typical and amusing when I notice someone’s childish attempts to try and incite a reaction from me, or briefly stating, to make me care.
I have this ability to switch from intense affection to mad indifference within days. All a person needs to do is disappoint, the transition is almost instant and often irrevocable.

This way, you’re saved from hours of pining and mooning over an individual who clearly doesn’t deserve that much time. You’re not resentful, it’s just the emotional maneuvering doesn’t have any effect on you.

If an individual or a situation is becoming an impediment in your mental and social growth, is stealing away chunks of your time- time you could utilize somewhere better, doesn’t acknowledge your value, exacerbates your anxiety than abate it-, this is what you do- you instantly yet gracefully uproot yourself from their life. The final nail in the coffin, ladies and gentlemen. 

Understand, there is way too much life yet to be lived to hand any kind of power over you to someone. Don’t waste time getting offended over things and people who won’t matter in a few years. Don’t give them the satisfaction of being offended. That’s what they want. Don’t fret and whine over ..humans at least find something worthy to sulk about.

Don’t compete with those you subconsciously know are inferior to you in every virtue possible. Let them do the talking, you stay silent, nod and smile. Or better, zone out. I often do that- it really helps. You don’t have to justify your apathy to anyone. If people are stupid enough to walk away from you- be smart enough to let them go.

Trust me, if you can master switching to ‘apathetic mode’ towards those who don’t reciprocate your emotional investment, you’ll live your life liberated from mental unrest or upheaval.

Indifference is a gift, my fellow hoomans. Embrace it. Invest only in those who invest in you. Shock them with your ability to be perfectly unaffected with a taxing phase. Remember,

For common people, a taciturn disposition is hard to come in terms with. 

(And if nothing else works out- go find some memes-they always help.)

Love always,

your blogger.

 


Note- I’m very happy to let you all know that I’ve begun working with the star stuffed team of Acadman as an Editor. It’s an independent student run website currently focusing on educational advancements and internship experiences for the students of India. 

If you have any experience to share from an internship you did, do contact me and I’ll see how we can publish it. 


 

 

Wayward

Only 15 minutes before, I was screaming. 

Now I’m making patterns in the moist, fragrant sand. Some of it is sandwiched between my fingers, slowly oozing out of the gaps as I tighten my grip. Occasionally, I take a quick glance of the ginormous turquoise body of water in front of me.

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It rises sporadically, antagonized by the frantic wind, it rises and rises until all I see is a huge film of translucent water, racing violently towards me. Until, with a defeated cry, it crashes down, sending cold splashes my way.

I cower a little, to save my shirt from drenching, but all in vain. Drops of salt water drip from my lips. Don’t worry, the sun is warm enough today. In one great leap the wave gulped my pattern and washed it away; leaving trails of sodden sand behind. I scrunch my face. Not fair.

My eyes light up instantly. I remember why I was here in the first place. I remember why I was screaming. Hesitating, I turn around to take a glance.

They’re still fighting.

I shake my head and turn to the waters, ‘Will this ever stop?’ 

Zoning out the sound of the ocean, I hear them having a war of words. They’re yelling and cursing each other. Their voice is rough and beaten. One of them has welled up, the voice has become heavy.

I smile. I know exactly who that is. 

The other, however, won’t be subdued. Like always, it is powerful. It stands tall and condescending. It wants to win. It wants to be right. It is bleeding, it is in pain and somewhere inside, a voice asks it to stop, yet it won’t be appeased. Never will it surrender. It keeps on screaming, until it leaps forward and throttles the other. They stagger, fidget and grapple.

One is going to win today.

The brawl continues and I’m about to scream again when I hear the snap of a neck. I turn around instantly only to witness a scene that sends waves of felicity through me. In a war between my heart and ego, heart stood there, bruised, but victorious.

Solemnly, I take out my cell phone, and I dial the abandoned number.

Carnival of Dust

I narrow my eyes and try to make sense of the tortuous blue-black lines, snaking their way through the map of this strange city. The sun begins to dip in the west, emanating pale gleams of warm light, like dying embers of a small fire.

rub my hands and breathe out some hot air, making me feel like a dragon, only this one exhales air. These dark, silent pine trees make it difficult to comprehend the map; I raise it slightly to catch some light before it finally gets dark.

At last, I make out where I am. I’m almost at the edge of these woods, where my odyssey would end. Longfully I look toward the roughly trodden path, at its end lies my elysium.

I trek and trodd, jump and wade and at last I hear the music. Faint, distant hum of a melody playing from some old instrument. Like a drunk jazz musician, it goes on playing. I’m close.

I make it through the final shrub, and in front of me lies the carnival. Abandoned, unkempt, uncared and nested beyond the pines, this is the place I saw in my dream.

The roller coaster still works as it climbs atop steadily, until it plummets to the ground, in one great leap. The roller coaster is empty.

The bulbs above the desolate trivia game still glow- on and off, on and off. 

The screen above the horoscope machine still blinks red- ‘Insert Coin Here.’ 

The rider less Carousel Horse goes up and down. Round and round the brightly lit centrepiece.

All you hear is solitary music from dying carnival swings. Nobody has been here for a very long time.

I make my way to the place I wanted to go. The moment where maybe I’d find my answer.

I head towards the ominously rotating giant wheel. The wheel pauses and ignoring my fear of heights, I shiver as I lock myself on a seat. The swing immediately powers up and takes me slowly to the top. I see the carnival receding below and the night sky coming closer and closer.

The moment is near.  

And just as I reach the top, the swing creaks and halts, leaving me hanging in the air, above the desolate and hollow carnival. I hold my breath and blink. Waiting.

A soft wind blows and sends a shiver down my spine as I finally breathe.

No answer comes.
Nothing but silence.

More silence.

At some distance in the star studded sky, I see the sparkles of a firework. Someone somewhere fired it up for me? Another one races to the top with its burning tail, finally exploding into the night, sending vapors of fire everywhere.

This moment on this brightly lit, rusted giant wheel is where I thought I’d find you. Waiting for me. On this buckled seat. And maybe, we’d share this together. The distance, the height, the dark, this cold, the spark.

But maybe, this is how it ends and this is why the dream brought me here. Wistfully, I smile. For here it is, that I’ve found my closure.

Hey Nerds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There there Nerds.

Teachings from Me #5 (Spread Love)

Recently, I read this amazing thing on the internet and it really hovered on my mind for quite a good deal of time. After some serious mulling over and considering all of its pros and cons, I muttered to myself, “Alright, let’s do this.”

And so I did.

In brief, what that little caption said was, “Life was too short to be inexpressive and hesitant about your emotions. The only person you’re causing harm to by keeping all of those sappiness bottled up is yourself. So always make sure that when you love someone, you let them know. You might get hit by a bus tomorrow and any second might be your last. Even worse, you might take those last breaths regretting about why you couldn’t say what you felt.

So go and confess and express and sing your heart out. Pour some warm happy glow over everyone you love.

You never know when the bus is coming.”

And so I decided to incorporate this idea in my life. Actually, I decided to exhume it. Because I have always been very expressive about my feelings for everyone. I have always made people know how much I cared about them even if they found it uncomfortable or just plain awkward.

But a series of unfortunate events made me close my doors for everyone.

But I decided to turn my life around and have been doing so from the last week. I have been very blatant about my feelings for anyone. I’ve been concentrating on so much positive energy lately that I feel weird. I also realised the amount of time I had been choking in negativity that I forgot how it was to be ‘giddy’ and unconventionally happy.

I promised to myself that never would I let anyone else dim my sparkle. I won’t let someone else’s lack of expressing affect my inner light.

I gathered all my strength and confessed about my high school crush to a guy and his reply just made my day. And while reading it I wondered, “Why didn’t I do this before?”

I’m just reviving my life, catching up with friends, hanging out more, laughing more, eating more. Forgiving myself, forgiving others, writing more, trying to make things better.

So this post is for all those who might be a little grey today, remember, you’re the only one who can make yourself happy. You have the power to take control of that big, beating heart. Change the sheets of your room, arrange your books again, spray some freshener, take a long shower, put on some perfume, take a walk-just do anything. But more importantly, do all these things for yourself.

Tell yourself you’re amazing, even tell your loved ones they’re amazing, people might think you’re eccentric, but hey, it’s the weirdos who do great things.

This might even sound a little difficult to imply, but it’s a challenge. DO IT. Go and tell someone they matter. You’d be surprised at how instantly happy you feel.

Heads up for a positive post.

Go, message your crush now!

The Theory of Geekism

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

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

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

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

How amazing is that?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soulmate

So I wrote this a couple of nights before in my diary, I don’t know how or why but the idea just came in my head and I quickly grabbed a pen and started writing.

Here it goes-

“In the inception of your bond, you show them that you’re their greatest weakness. That’s when it dawns upon them that they’ve found the one they love. You know why? Because they finally understand that you’re the one person they cannot live without. That’s what LOVE really is.

But, my dear, that is NOT what a marriage is. A marriage not just comprehends the secret whispers or stolen kisses of two newly infatuated lovers, marriage is a stark truth, a truth basing on the foundation of a promise. A promise of not leaving each other’s side no matter how hard life may try.

Initially, you make them realise that the core to their weakness resides in your fragile heart. You’re their kryptonite. They love you more than the stars love their silvery glow because they need you. But the truth is, You Need Each Other. 

Because then begin the times of struggles and in those times you’ve to prove them that you’re their strength as well. That you won’t leave them alone when the waters are a little rough but you’ll help them steer their boat to the shore and fight against the frantic winds.
You have to prove that you weren’t just there in their happy times when love was fluttering like butterflies and the air smelled of strawberries;but they’ll also have your shoulder when the nights are longer and the days are colder.

Those nights when they aren’t hungry and they see the entire world in front of them collapse into a huge pile of dirt.
You’ve to prove that you’re the whetstone  to their sword and they need you as much as they need their armor.

You see, you have to play both the roles.
You have to be their most dreaded strength
and their most cherished weakness.”

-Aakansha.

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Obsessive vs Possessive vs Jealous

I’ve been observing myself for a long time. That’s right, apart from keenly noting and reading the activities and people around me, I happen to observe myself too (talk about free time). How I react to stimuli, peer pressure, a ‘not-so-funny-yet-I-manage-a-smile-so-I-don’t-look-rude’ joke, curiosity, exasperation and every other minuscule form of emotions that exist within me. And sometimes, when I react out of the ordinary I question myself, ‘Why’d I do that?’ Although I don’t sit and brood over it but it happens to retain in my head for a considerable amount of time.

One such thing I found within me is ‘Possessiveness’.

possessive
/pəˈzɛsɪv/
adjective
1. of or relating to possession or ownership
2. having or showing an excessive desire to possess, control, or dominate

When I say I’m ‘possessive’ I don’t mean that I go ninja in the middle of the night wearing a black suit and stalk my beloved ones in their bedrooms to check if they’re breathing. Possessive behavior has various applications in real life. It can be linked with men, material and sometimes intangible things as well. It is a feeling of ‘possession’ we get after having ‘acquired’ that thing/person we wanted so bad.

It becomes rather tricky, that when we talk of material things-car, house, furniture we have no hesitation in claiming them to be ours and it is socially acceptable. But when we talk of relations it becomes very dangerous. It’s natural, everyone will think of you as a creep and take 5 steps away from you if you’re constantly nagging them. Possessiveness illustrates your psyche of having complete dominance over that other person. You try to take control, maybe your intentions are good, but they end up distorting everything, and people misapprehend your purpose.

This is funny. 😛

‘Over-possessiveness’ in a relation can be gravely dangerous. It literally destroys bonds and sometimes leads to violence. People commit severe crimes out of pure vengeance and the ‘fear’ that the person they think they hold full responsibility and control of is slipping from their grasp. This leads to breaches between people. This kind of a behavior also doesn’t speak very well of the person himself. It signifies their weakness for the significant other and that weakness sometimes takes dangerous forms.

It often brands you as a ‘creep or ‘freak’ or ‘stalker’ yada yada yada. Plus, your intuition starts sending warning signals for you to back off and find a safe and free ground.

But what I feel is that a little possessiveness is also essential to build a healthy relation. It gives you the notion that you’re actually cared for, by someone. No girl would like it if her spouse doesn’t bother or is completely okay with her going to the club late at night, she’d end up harboring the notion that he doesn’t care and vice-versa.


As for me, I sometimes don’t like when I see my best friend having a great time with someone else (she’s supposed to have a great time with me!) :\ But then I think I don’t own her, she can spend time with anyone she wants to. Same goes for books as well, although I get pretty sparky when people read my choice of books and I get to discuss it with them but in all honesty somewhere inside it buggs me to know that I had to share that story with someone else.


People often confuse being possessive with jealousy, which is a completely different emotion. You are jealous when you wish to take the place of the other person while you are possessive if you wish to take control over the life and desires of other person. Jealousy in boys and girls is different and often confronted in different ways as well, which I think is unfair to boys and quite funny as well. 😛

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The term ‘obsession’ can also be interpreted here. You’re OBSESSED when you develop an intense fondness for that person/movie/song/book/game etc. You don’t have a feeling of owning it or taking its place. In simple terms, you can’t get enough of it. It has nothing to do with being possessive or jealous of it. You don’t demand it’s total possession or love. (Sometimes you do ..aah it’s tricky.)

The point is, even though a little acquisitiveness is necessary to build the foundation of a strong bond, the same however if implied in large quantities may harm your relation and weaken its roots. There should be a proper balance, a well measured proportion between freedom and possession. Heard the common saying ‘Excess of everything is bad’, the same applies here as well. It’s an important emotion to bind people, but it can break them too.

Have fun, relax and take the deal lightly and blissfully instead of transforming it into a forbidden love story with a single distraught lover. 😛

And the same goes for people like me-It’s okay, it’s just a frigging book or a song-it was viewed and listened to by millions of people-deal with it. 😛

Brusque Note: Did anyone watch Interstellar? If not, then go and watch it. It’s frigging brilliant! I think I might be getting OBSESSED with it! 😛