Lost

As the people go about engrossed in the magnificent clutter of our world, I can’t help but imagine myself lost at sea. I guess it’s the plain understanding that in the very soil that we’ve firmly rooted our feet, shall we choose to scale forward, we will find ourselves in the Virgin lands of our planet.

The choked forests, the oceans, the untouristed valleys, they echo the utter truth and madness of the world…The truth of loneliness and the justified madness of a violence that is simply the normal survival script of nature. Of these, of the elemental nature ,we know nothing. Of the sprawling cities and chaotic charm of humanity we know everything.

What happens beyond the seven seas, what shrieks in the breathless forests, who sings at the depths of the oceans?

A billion brains on the planet cannot comprehend the vastness and the threatening beauty of our mother. Our mother, the nature that surrounds us is truly daunting. We sleep in the comfort and safety of our homes when night falls and in this we are truly archaic for we are not just turning our backs to the darkness that drops, we are turning our backs to what the darkness brings with it.

As I sit here trying to imagine myself lost at sea, I believe that the stories my grandma told me might be true after all. With so much of our world unexplored, who am I to deny mermaids and monsters?

For now, I’m just a tiny boat isolated from the raving busyness of the world.

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Waiting for Future

I’ve spent a fair share of my time waiting for future to happen, waiting for my glamorous life where I can finally not worry of making it, my feet kicked up to the top of a poolside table where you may find a modern classic casually strewn about while I take in the beauty of the magnificent earth and my aviators reflecting off the sunshine of a good Wednesday.

This particular image among the many others where I’ve conquered everything has made my life extraordinarily problematic precisely because the distance between reality and fantasy is far too many miles. I spend all my time imagining and none for the hustle.

But this is not just me , is it? All of us forget about the hustle and the grind involved in actually achieving something. Rarely are we presented with the behind-the-scenes of a now successful person. We are freshly served a sizzling platter of success story and so we lie blissfully unaware of the journey leading up to success. What matters is now. After all ,what is life but a series of nows? So burn your ideal image of success this year. Stay in the present and invest in the seconds and hours that will one day draw for you that pretty image of success.

This second is all that matters. One day , I hope to find you beside a pool, a beach or a perfect vacation spot and you can say to yourself, ” I made it”

Happy 2018.

The Importance of Star Gazing

What is funny and almost criminal about human beings is that we talk far reaching philosophy and when the time comes where our philosophical admirations might truly help us we become very anthropoid. We give in to our basic instincts.

But I have come to realise that words can only do so much and this is coming from someone who aspires to be a writer one day. But yes, words can only do so much because I strongly believe that it is only through philosophical experiments that we beget tangible results that we may apply in our own lives.

And I’ve been doing one such philosophical experiment quite unintentionally for long now.

Star gazing. There is something fascinating about sitting on my rooftop and taking in the sky. It’s during that moment that poetry surges in my mind. Did god spill his ink bottle? When the sky is spectacularly studded with stars, I have an urge to sweep them together and collect them in my hands. But after some time, as the poetic fancy passes, I realize some things more profound. Here I’m bickering about how I’m in the wrong college and how things are not going my way, I look up to see that the stars are aligned…

During my philosophical meditations, I think about how many of us, strangers to each other, could be looking up at the same star, and seizing the beauty of it and a strange feeling of companionship holds me as I stand there, isolated from city lights and urban noises.

The looming figure of the sky almost engulfs me when I think of how I’m looking up at the past. Everything that I see up in the sky is only how it was and not how it is. The lights from all these stars had to leave many light years ago to reach earth tonight and I’m looking up at the past, living in the present. I think of this beautiful blend of time. The pastness of the sky meeting the presentness of the world.

And it’s only when I look for the future, that I realise , it doesn’t exist. I don’t mean this in a nihilist sort of way.

Go to your rooftop. Look up at the past and embrace the present and create with the both, the best future you’re capable of living.

I cannot stress enough the importance of stargazing and how it has helped me during all the rough times. It’s important that we look up more and look down less. We are small, incredibly small. In the larger scheme of things, we are nothing but dust. One light year is 9.46×10¹² kilometers and most of the stars you see are at least 4 light years away.

Tonight, I want you to go to your rooftop and look for a yellowish star in the sky. It’s the Betelgeuse which is 642.5 light years away! It is impossible to imagine the distance. This star will explode and the effect it creates is a stunning night sky where the result of this supernova explosion is a brilliant source of light bigger and better than the rest. Sadly, this won’t happen in our lifetimes. So, bid adieu to Betelgeuse.

Our worries are silenced and our thoughts vaporise in the bigger picture. Look up, these are balls of fire, far far away from you. Is there a greater human achievement than witnessing something you can never ever get close to?

Star gazing is a hobby you will never get tired of. The sky is beautiful. Look up more. Look down less. Both literally and figuratively.

Falling in Love with Your Periods

My mother had her hysterectomy quite some years back and whenever Aunt Flow visits me monthly, amma tells me how she misses the monthly routine inspite of all the gruesome consequences it entails. It pushed me into a spiral of thoughts. If anything, a woman without her periods is the luckiest one alive. She doesn’t have to constantly keep track of her cycle to fend off any surprises. She doesn’t have to worry about leaving traces every time she gets up. She doesn’t have to dread the unbargained for label of being an untouchable every month.And well, need I even start with the luxury of all the painless months. I wondered long and hard at my mother’s peculiar remark. Of course, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. But here’s a woman who has seen her periods through summers and winters more than me.

I left, for I didn’t have much energy to argue since it was that time of the month and then it hit me.Only half the problems were biological. The rest were the culmination of regressive ideologies that has been forcefully carried into the 21st century.

Surely this wouldn’t have been that big a problem if we weren’t made to feel dirty every month. Indeed, we would have been just fine if the society was accepting enough of PMS( Premenstrual Syndrome) and the ugly reality of it. We would have been more than fine if men and women were equally made aware of the normal process that menstruation is. It would have been fantastic if blood stains weren’t stigmatized.

So I realised the problem wasn’t with how God wired the female body to be. I realised it was with the world that made our monthly routine more difficult.

As I was thinking of all this, I felt that same old pain I was familiar with since the age of 13 and for the first time in 6 years I took pride in the process. Here’s the pain. It’s my uterus twisting and turning in fury and breaking down layers,a part of a process that sustains the human race and I’m mighty proud. I’ve slowly fallen in love with Miss Red and I’ve made sure that the next time Batman asks,

“Tell me, do you bleed?”

I’ll happily say,

Yes, every month.

What Does it Mean to Be a Man?

Is it aggression?

Is it an indifference to emotions?

Is it a cave manish look?

I often talk with my friends apropos of how society demands females to be moulded a certain way to be regarded as a “lady”. But it wasn’t until I came across a talk by Justin Baldoni that I realised, society has been clamouring for the same from Men too. Justin very eloquently points out how boys have been taught not to cry and how they were always forced to indulge in “manly” things. Their suffering always had to find vent in actions other than crying . His speech got me thinking and I was amused by the irony of our world.

We have been addressing men as ‘gentlemen’ but rarely do we give our men a chance to be gentle and loving. We expect them to “man up” . We stifle their emotions. Masculinity is often associated with “scoring chicks” and a deep running aggression. Anything that were even vaguely on the softer side meant “so gay” and “what a loser”. If insecurities could be bundled up in three words then these dialogues are defining examples.

Vulnerability was not an option. Asking for help, even further away. I think it’s long overdue that we change what it means to be “man enough”. No, you’re not man enough if you spew a bunch of curse words and verbally assault someone if they stated something that was not in accord with your beliefs. No, you’re not man enough if you could score a different chick every night. No, you’re not man enough if you think that a ‘real man’ cannot be a victim of abuse. No, you’re not man enough if you think you’ll be emasculated for being emotional.

Let’s give our men the chance to be themselves without being judged. Let’s be accepting of the boy who’s not interested in sports or science. Let’s not be judgemental if a boy likes rom coms or takes interest in dressing up. Let’s show support for the emotional ones.

Being yourself is enough. No better way to conclude but with what Justin says,

Are you brave enough to be vulnerable, to reach out to another man when you need help, to dive head-first into your shame? Are you strong enough to be sensitive, to cry when you’re hurting or happy even if it makes you look weak? Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life , to hear their ideas and solutions, to hold their anguish and actually believe them, even if what they are saying is against you? Are you “man enough” to stand up to other men when you hear “locker room talk”, when you hear stories of sexual harassment, when you hear your boys talking about “grabbing ass” or “getting her drunk” ? Will you actually stand up and do something so that one day you don’t have to live in a world where a woman has to risk everything and come forward and say the words “me too” ?

Look Up

It’s been astonishingly long since I’ve looked up. My head has been down for so long that the striking rays of the filtered sunlight making its way through my netted window, felt unreal, out of the world. It is only when light blinds you, you grasp the strength of your inner dearth of light.

Ironic, isn’t it..?

And so I looked up, gently massaging the back of my neck and fully perceiving this new world set before me. To die without appreciating this marvel, is quite equal to a dying life. My fingers ached with the pang of addiction. I looked at my palms, slowly tracing the lines that have been there for so long, these lines which make my very existence different from you. I was through with my addiction. I have decided to step out raise my head high and take marvel at the glorious creation, that was earth.

I closed my eyes for one last time, aware of withdrawal symptoms and whatnot. But the decision, I decided was going to be final.

I stretch my body, and finally decide to put my phone on charge and step out, fully prepared to stand in awe at the beauty of mother earth…

Oh wait! A message.

The Troubles of ‘Claiming’ to be an Artist

 

 

 

One of the most burdening tasks of our lives is finding our stations in the world and some of us , even late into our 40s waddle around with our carry bags with no place to settle. But the rest of us with our inflated sense of self-esteem, further blown into, by a large support system, find the way to our wards quite early on. The consequences of finding your place get a bit more difficult when you are trying out your hand in the creative world.

When I was 10 years old, my English teacher took a liking to an essay that I wrote on Friendship. Since then, I’ve run around with this label that grew from ‘aspiring writer’ to ‘writer’. Considering my severe lack of talent in music and dance, the only thing I had to my claim was my unorganized and awfully damaged pieces of write-ups on rainbows, butterflies and puppies. Call it bad timing but another 9 years had passed when the truth decided to strike me in the head. My English Teacher, when I was 10 years old was a courteous woman. Well manners and a teacher’s ethics demanded her to be nice to 10-year-olds, be kind to them and encourage them no matter what non-sense was it they wrote. Today, I realize that you had to wait an hour to get a sentence out of her not because she had “stutter”. The ” It-it-it’s gg good” was her hiding what she could have probably been saying under her breath ( Ugh, another one? I hate my life). Either that or how could an entire class of 58 fifth standard students all be prodigious writers? Seems quite unlikely to me now.

And so I started keeping journals writing one after the other and never fully finishing any.  Since I could only direct my write-ups to my family because they happened to be the immediate audience, they borrowed the victim card from my teacher. Handing them my poems on shabby papers and letters that honestly looked like a new script, I’d order to read them out loud. ( Read it out! Read it out!) Because I wanted to gloat in the pride of what I’ve “created”. What I then thought of to be my masterpieces (  One of them was a love letter my neighbour’s dog wrote to my dog. Part two was her reply to the letter where she explains why she could get someone better than Appu) I now realize were all equally worse. Nothing stopped me because no one seemed to say anything to me!

The heat persisted for five years and I have to my credit some dear diary moments.  Relatives from afar and friends come and ask me about my writing practice (none of them has read a word of my nonsense; hence the curiosity) and this time I’m the one who stutters; complaining under my breath ” Ugh! Another one? I hate my life ”

What is funny indeed is that most often people fall for your claims. The questions never were about the quality of what I wrote. No one ever wanted to read me. Most seemed to be quite content that I’ve found my way quite early on. However, soon I started writing because I had already given others the impression of being involved in the creative world. did I choose to claim to be a writer! If anyone knows the magic to grow your feet to fit the large shoes you’ve created for yourself, please let me know! My secret that I haven’t written much in years cannot be revealed! I have to live up to my cooked-up reputation.