말 없는 슬픔 – 사람또사람

First you play the song below, then you read.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m trying to draw you in my mind.

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

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

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

Yet.

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

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.

 

No sleep for this sad

The date was 15th,
and my head bobbed with the train’s rythemic jolts
two hours past midnight & everyone’s asleep
white ghosts hanging in the air
swaying softly as the train lulls them

the window which I peer through is shrouded in dark
and my own, restless reflection ornates it
Until i raise my head
and see lights twinkling in the distance
it’s a factory

I see small figures on metal beams
Pounding the hammer for tomorrow’s meal
silhouettes of smoke
rise through tall chambers
like a serpent keeping watch
the workers grind
quiet and morose

hours past midnight
and my train marches through
the factory recedes from view
so do the workers

the window is dark again
I’ll keep peering
untill tomorrow morning when I deboard
sip my morning tea at the station

and silently hope
they got their meal too.

 

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.

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.

Revamp the Human in You

“Solitude is a crucial ingredient to creativity.”
-Susan Caine

It becomes somewhat difficult to be alone and by yourself when you’re constantly circled in a labyrinth of ‘News Feed’ , ‘Status Updates’ and ‘Photo Uploads.’ Yesterday, I accessed my Facebook account after 3 months approximately and it wasn’t even 24 hours when I had a severe headache and I felt a strange indignation within myself, so much that I closed it again.

Anyway, that is not what is important. The important thing is, the last 3 months have been the most productive 3 months of my life. After I quit Facebook, Instagram and all other social networks; I realized I had so much time in hand that I could channelize in so many good things instead of wasting it rummaging through these futile updates.

People are so obsessed in trying to create a ‘virtual’ image of themselves that they are forgetting that what they portray on the internet is nothing but an ‘IMAGE’ of you. It’s a banner you carry with you, so you try to festoon it with all the gleam possible to make your public profile LOOK better.

This has occurred on such a traumatic level that people are becoming completely oblivious to themselves. They are forgetting to improve their own self on a human and spiritual level. As my friend Steve rightly said, “When I go to college, I want to have some years to myself,” and I thought it was very admirable of him to infer that thought (now don’t get too cocky Steve.) 😛

I’ll give you a list of things I achieved during the past ‘Non-Social Network’ 3 months.

1.) Started working as a Freelance Writer.

2.) Read a gazillion books.

3.) Wrote the first chapter to my book which is not very ‘edgy’ but it’s something.

4.) Decorated my bedroom wall with all sorts of posters and art and craft.

5.) Gave my exams peacefully.

6.) Noticed that when I left social networks my mind caught some brilliant thoughts and ideas to write about.

7.) I blogged more and wrote more.

8.) And lastly, and what I believe is the best, I became more thoughtful. More than I already was. I believe Insight and Wisdom are a gift and these two things can be improved by experience and listening. Talk less;Listen more.

What happens when you spend time with yourself?

You become more aware of the importance of your presence in this world. You realize your full potential and you understand that you deserve more and that you can achieve more by working hard. You come to know that everything on this Earth has a reason affixed to it. The great classics that have been written in the history have all been scripted by writers who spent time alone.

Seclusion, if harnessed the right way can open doors to a plethora of imagination, curiosity, insight and wisdom. It leads to long hours of reflecting over things and the environment around you.  J.K Rowling, Emma Watson, Bill Gates are just a few names in the long list of successful people who spent time with themselves. Because when you’re alone, you think, you ponder and you brood. It hones your mind and your brain. It shapes your thoughts prunes your imagination.

Read carefully,

You don’t have to bereft yourself from the happenings of the world, you just have to direct your time and attention to things more imperative in life. Things that matter more.