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Epiphany

There’s something beautiful about not caring; about being so detached that nothing (let me reiterate, in capital letters, NOTHING!) can affect you. You’re no longer a sponge soaking up the emotions, highs (maybe you do not really mind the highs) and lows of other people, of your surroundings. You stand (or sit back, relax, depending on your fancy) like an unbreakable rock (or a happy feather, or a flower in bloom, enjoying the mild breeze).

It’s so difficult to leave – until you leave.
Then it’s the easiest goddamned thing in the world.

I understand now why so many people practise it – detachment. It’s oddly soothing (why odd, though?). It’s revitalising, so much so that it feels like an absolute high.

I’m not indifferent. I’m detached. There’s a fundamental difference between the two, despite the subtleties.

I’m free from cares. I’m free from worries.
I’m free from the fear of tomorrow.
The anxiety leaves as easily as it came.
Here’s the exit route: It leads to an entrance to Another World.
You have options. Embrace them.

All of this came from gazing at a cloud yesterday, and admiring its shape-shifting nature. It’s a different cloud today, but the blue sky is so overpowering that it beggars all description (I cannot help but smile). Such exhilaration; just the way I love it.

Thank You Note

I wrote a post called ‘Weird Things’ two days back, and almost everyone who read it told me never to let go of 9 and 11, values I cherish and incorporate in my life. For those who missed the previous post, here you are: 

9. Gratitude is too often overlooked, because we feel that the world owes us what we have. Nobody owes us anything. This isn’t a business; it’s definitely not give-or-take, nor can it be an individualistic game. (…)
11. No matter where I go, I remain a believer: in beautiful things, in comforting words, in worthwhile moments, in poetry, and most importantly, in myself.

In the spirit of living those values, today, I wish to express my gratitude to those who shaped me without realising, without meaning to, without trying too hard, just by being present and sharing a part of you. I call you ‘my kids’, and my kids you’ll always be. Some of you spent so much time in my company, we went through trials and tribulations together, and somehow, we connected and became part of each other’s lives.  

Here’s to the one who thanked God in his winning speech, just like he intended to (Thank you for encouraging me to do what I love best).
Here’s to the one who cringed when I told him his essay was “not convincing enough” and he did his best to impress me with what he wrote from then on (Thank you for your sarcasm which always borders on cynicism).
Here’s to the one who metamorphosed throughout the years and who (accidentally?) fell in love with literature (Thank you for always standing by, in fun and in need).
Here’s to the one who trusted me enough to share his secrets, knowing I wouldn’t judge (Thank you for believing).
Here’s to the one who had to wipe his brow every time I looked at him (Thank you for coming out of your shell).
Here’s to the one who would tell me Everything, from what she had for breakfast to how she was feeling (Thank you for being a sushi).
Here’s to the one who was so shy in the beginning and then blossomed and couldn’t stop talking (Thank you for the heartwarming conversations).
Here’s to the one who developed a whole theory about reincarnation and the circle of life (Thank you for spreading light).
Here’s to the one who couldn’t pronounce ‘melancholy’ and sent me into peals of laughter (Thank you for those stolen moments).
Here’s to the one who invented theories and arguments in literature and then smiled sheepishly (Thank you for your heart of gold).
Here’s to the one who always made a grand entry and had a joke repertoire (Thank you for your ‘joie de vivre’).
Here’s to the one who once animated a discussion on gender issues (Thank you for being opinionated).
Here’s to the one who was amazed by the magic of Rubik’s cubes (Thank you for being yourself, always).

Here’s to you.
To all of you who enjoyed when I read whole plays / novels to you,
All of you who painted walls with me, who wrote and rewrote on them (with some massacres),
All of you who cracked terrible (yet funny) jokes,
Who participated in debates, who made silly mistakes,
To all of you who contributed to making me love teaching,

I’ve watched you grow up and I have to admit it’s weird sometimes to hear you talk about work, and going through life like a responsible adult but it’s also immensely satisfying to see where you’ve reached. I’m proud of you, each and every one of you, whether you were here for a year or six/seven (I’ve lost count; a rollercoaster ride!) eventful ones. We made discoveries together, some of you shed tears (and how!), and we collected so many memories – having lunch, parties, interventions (!), brainstorming sessions, watching horror movies, loving and hating texts… it has been full of emotions so far and I hope the journey keeps being so entertaining.

 I have taught you (or tried to) many things, and I hope that outside of academics, you have all learnt at least one life lesson that you will carry with you. In return, you have taught me the beauty of innocence, of purity of minds, and I feel so grateful to have known such genuine souls.

 My wish for you is that you do get to explore the world, read 100 books in a year, maintain relationships, create better realities, and accomplish every single thing that you wrote on the ‘Before I Die’ wall.  

Thank you for the worthwhile moments. Thank you for the connections.
Thank you for the memories.

Under the Rain

We heard the wind chime, and the bells chimed along.

We found shapes in clouds, found oddities,
And a million possibilities.

He walked beside me, yet he was all around,
Overwhelmed, I could not stay rooted to the ground;
He knew it, I knew it too: to each other were we already bound.

I once called him my sun
‘Cause he brightened the planets –
When he once walked with me under the rain,
Just before the showers gathered all that I had gained.

We met again, under the rain;
To us, it seemed like a drizzle
So much our hearts would burn and sizzle,
Hidden from sight, hidden from pain,
These hidden meanings were anything but plain.

He looked over, figuring out the mystery,
Eyes narrowed, wondering why everything was glittery.
It’s the rain, I assured him, it smacks of a conspiracy.
Don’t reason it out, we’re framed to a greater degree.
Walk, let the rain fall over me:
I’d rather hide you, let the rain confound me.

He pried open my secrets, reminded me of how we met.
Suddenly the torrent sounded like a litany,
The storm, the raindrops, unravelled in a flurry.
He spoke, softly amidst the mist and dew,
The rain sprinkled upon us, delectably,
No longer am I lost, said he, now that I have found you,
And now we are one, and now my world is you.

Yuthika

Weird things.

“People think dreams aren’t real just because they aren’t made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.” Neil Gaiman’s words are haunting me today. Should I have called this ’13 Random Thoughts – Part 2’? I wonder. I have been wondering a lot lately. And weird things have been popping up…

  1. Once upon a time, I realised that clouds were not like cotton candy, were not fluffy, and I couldn’t float on them.
  2. And then I started to wonder… what if… what if there were such things as parallel universes? What if at this exact moment, when I’m typing this, another Me is flying to a country I (present me, that is) never knew existed? The other Me would be unveiling the conspiracies of cartographers (thank you, Mr. Stoppard!) while I keep losing myself in a myriad of words. I do hope my parallel self is as charming as I am, though. Just saying.
  3. I do not know if I believe in luck – an ephemeral temptress (read: mistress) who seems to always glide among the shadows, and remains unreachable, unlovable. Frustratingly so! Does not believing in something make it less real?
  4. People are always in a hurry. Where are you going? Which train (bus, if you’re in Mauritius) do you need to catch? And would calamity really befall if you missed it? Why can’t you be a few minutes late? If you can’t, why didn’t you leave earlier? I’m starting to compile a list of things that bother me. Watch this space for more.
  5. Chess aesthetics are a paradox or a weird combination of harmony, symmetry, and complication.
  6. One of my favourite words is ‘ethereal’. It evokes so many things in my mind, like an otherworldly scent of cherry blossoms and rainbows, things that make me happy, and a curious child. Language is mesmerising.
  7. Questions keep swinging across the playfield in my head, a tennis match of sorts, or rather, a Quidditch match of sorts. I am, for obvious reasons, the Seeker.
  8. I like to compartmentalise my thoughts. I open one drawer, read the notes, and then lock them up for another day. I wonder if I could compartmentalise the people I come across – preferably not in drawers, but there are some I would love to lock away for safeguarding, and some I would just love to lock out of my life forever.
  9. Gratitude is too often overlooked, because we feel that the world owes us what we have. Nobody owes us anything. This isn’t a business; it’s definitely not give-or-take, nor can it be an individualistic game. Something to try (do it, why try?): The gratitude jar: fill it up with positive things that happened to you over the year, and read them all on New Year’s eve, or anytime you feel like the entire weight of the world is on your shoulders.
  10. I cannot decide whether I’m sad or happy sometimes: can I be both, or is there a middle ground where I sit cross-legged and contemplate the mysteries that surround me? I don’t know, but it’s oddly calming. In the words of Tennessee Williams, “If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels.”
  11. No matter where I go, I remain a believer: in beautiful things, in comforting words, in worthwhile moments, in poetry, and most importantly, in myself.
  12. There are some people who walk about, and it feels like it’s always raining on them – not just any kind of ordinary or torrential rain, but dimly-lit showers reminding one of joy bursting through an evening sky…
  13. It doesn’t take much to create beautiful chaos. It really doesn’t.

 I’ve read that people have on average 70,000 thoughts per day. I wonder how many you had while reading these. This was supposed to be a fun post, but I guess it’s just one of those days.

Confrontations

I’ve decided today to share an excerpt from a play I am writing. This feels like poetry to me, although it’s not; it’s stark reality, somewhat harsh, somewhat judgmental.

It is a conversation between two sisters, on a rainy night. One is a dreamer while the other readily gives in to cynicism. As they talk, the living room gradually grows dark, until the girls (women, if you must) seem to be enveloped in a yellow glow, as if their words come from a distant memory.

Their names, at this stage, are not important, but for practical purposes, we’ll call them Liz and Emma. 

Emma: I would like to travel far away one day.
Liz: Where to?
Emma: Indonesia sounds dreamy.
Liz: So, you’d go there to daydream?
Emma (as if already in a distant land): Or Tanzania.
Liz: One doesn’t need to travel to go far, you know.
Emma (whimsical): “One need not be a chamber to be haunted.” Yes, I realise that more and more. But sometimes I feel that I get lost in my head. Like there is no space for more thoughts. Travelling would help me ease up.
Liz (matter-of-factly): Or bottle everything up.
Emma: If only our sorrows could be like messages rolled up and hidden away in bottles… and we would let them sail away at sea.
Liz (with a sigh): I have heard you utter weirder sentences in a day…
Emma (dramatic): Aren’t we allowed to feel the poetry of our days? (Pause. Then, inquisitive) What do you dream of, then?
Liz (playfully): Certainly not Indonesia.
Emma: Don’t you ever feel like sharing?
Liz (in a serious undertone): I dream I’m getting pushed off a cliff.
Emma: What?
Liz: I need to charge my phone.
Emma (puzzled): I heard you about the cliff!
Liz: My phone is not charging.
Emma: That’s what happens when lights go out, love. (She smiles) No electricity.
Liz (frustrated): What on earth am I supposed to do now?
Emma (back to her usual self): Breathe. We could pretend we are in another era. One where we cannot hear the buzz of computers and phones.
Liz: I’m listening.
Emma: There is just too much noise here. I wish sometimes it could be quiet. No horns blaring, no loudspeakers, no music…
Liz: Not even music?

Jazz can be heard faintly in the background, and the following scene is enacted to the music, almost like a coordinated dance. The girls seem more tangible than ever, although they retain a doll-like fragility. The music grows more distinct, yet is not part of the decor. The girls are the only ones who matter.

Emma: Not even. Let’s play ‘Questions’.
Liz: Wait, you don’t even want music…
Emma (interrupting her sister): 1-0.
Liz (indignant): Hey, we haven’t started playing yet!
Emma (now mischievous): 2-0.
Liz (impatient): Fine… (Thinking) What’s 4 * 2?
Emma (raising an eyebrow): Is that your idea of a great start?
Liz: Rhetoric! What is your idea of the universe?
Emma: How many ideas do we have in a day?
Liz: Are there more possibilities to who we can be?
Emma: Will you go on a world tour with me?
Liz (chuckling): When did you last explore our garden?
Emma: Can you say the alphabet backwards?
Liz: Why did you choose Indonesia?
Emma: Why aren’t you asking about Tanzania?
Liz: When will you stop being so childish?
Emma (suddenly vindictive): When will you stop chasing your shadow?
Liz: When…
Emma (interrupting her): When will you stop crying every night? (Pause. Guilty.) Too personal.
Liz (giving up): We will never find the error in our ways.
Emma: We will, when you stop treating me like a child.
Liz (tired of the frivolity): Game over.
Emma: Nobody wins. (Pause) Nobody ever does.

 

 

Fireworks

This is a selfish post. It’s about me. If you have traipsed in here hoping to find yourself, then maybe you will, in my idiosyncrasies. Or maybe you’ll scoff at my foolish words. Maybe. One of my favourite words. Regardless, this is a beautiful selfish post, if I say so myself.

I have been practising the art of letting go. “The art of losing isn’t hard to master,” I’m told. Not quite the same thing, yet not quite dissimilar. So, I went ahead and lost toxicity. I walked away from ugly relationships that couldn’t be mended. I walked away from unhappy places, from candles that would no longer burn. Things we do to preserve our (in)sanity…

In the process, I realised I had unknowingly, subconsciously foregone my compulsion. I, the list-maker, had not drawn up a satisfactory list in a long while. I, the aspiring writer, had not written as if my life depended on that pen scratching across the paper while I secretly admired my eccentric handwriting. I, the compulsive reader, had not read for pleasure, and was irrationally lashing out in angst at the fictional characters who felt more miserable than me.

My universe has become colourless.
I need the fireworks back.

Being compulsive makes my madness feel explosive, it makes me feel alive and out of breath. It makes me a knower of things. It makes me roll around in the sand and splash in the water.

Today, I choose to go back to who I was.
I choose to love trees with wide-eyed wonder,
To read with happy thoughts,
I choose to discover something new,
To never let go of the madness that drives me.

 

Questions

I can feel the nightly drizzle on my hands.
December, you say? I can’t see it. I wish I could feel it… except there’s a wish in every step we take.

The mornings are the same, but the times have changed. They feel hollow, but part of me is screaming.

Where did they go? All of them. It feels so cold, so bleak. Yet someone collided with my heart.

I hear the echoes. Maybe I’m someone else. Maybe I’m still the same. Maybe you’re someone else. Maybe you changed.

I have thirteen wishes – one of them is to make it stop. The other is to find you. Or find you again. What’s the difference?

Did it matter? To me, it did. And to you?

Where did you go? Where have you been? I just heard you walk in again. Or was it my own heartbeat?

13 Random Thoughts

Someone once asked me whether bloggers were attention-seekers. If we are, what a wonderful way have we chosen! So here I am, trying to get your attention: Helllooooooooo! (Feel free to imagine an imaginary blue rabbit hopping and waving here. Yes, I just asked you to over-use your imagination.)

I love being happy (Who doesn’t?), and to celebrate my happiness, I’d like to share thirteen random thoughts I had this morning. Well, to be honest, I had many more, but I have decided to stop at thirteen because it’s a beautiful romantic number that reminds me of witches. I assure you, that sounded funny in my mind.

My ludicrous thoughts:

  1. The word ‘bicycle’ is visually wrong. Why isn’t it ‘bycicle’ or something? It doesn’t make sense to me – it never has. Sometimes, we just see words and we forget that we are used to seeing them in this particular order.
  2. I would like to have an imaginary friend. I have never had one. Maybe it’s high time… hmm.
  3. I am a compulsive list-maker. I have a list for books I am currently reading (coincidentally, there are thirteen!), a daily to-do list (because, obviously), a weekly to-do list, and I sometimes reach a point where I have a list of my lists.
  4. Hashtag. The word ‘hashtag’ shouldn’t exist. It’s not pretty. It makes me think of of ‘hush-tag’, which in turn makes me think of a person called Tag who needs to remain quiet, which reminds me of Tag Jones from ‘Friends’. What happened to him anyway?
  5. Some songs try too hard to be sweet. Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against romantic songs, but some of them just try too hard!! I mean, let’s take this breathy tone and soft tune and attempt to make people swoon and think of butterflies! No. Stop.
  6. Collecting stamps used to be an awesome hobby. Is diary-collecting a hobby? I love diaries. I am a diary collector.
  7. I like Sadness from the movie ‘Inside Out’ because she’s blue. Does that make me a racist? What a scary thought.
  8. Speaking of scary, snowmen can be scary. They have carrots instead of noses! I don’t get scared easily though (except when someone stands behind/beside me and goes ‘boo’); I find horror movies funny, especially when the possessed ones go ‘Niiiiaaaaahhh!’
  9. I do not like the colour yellow. Why, then, do I love the sun?
  10. I want to be a professional book reader. I want to get paid for reading books (not necessarily out loud because I don’t see why anyone would like to pay me to listen to my voice for hours).
  11. Hemingway’s six-word story (“For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn”) haunts me to this day. Whose baby? Why were the shoes never worn? Why does this make me so sad?
  12. Black market is not literally black. I however recently read a book which had a literal footnote, as in, it was a note about a foot.
  13. We all lead different lives. Sometimes together, sometimes next to each other. But they are different lives. We are different, and we like it.

If you read this, and it makes you laugh (chuckle? smile, at least?), do spread the joy. We are happy because we all deserve it.

This was supposed to be a short post. Oh, well.

Wish List.

It feels like holding a heart made of glass.
Is it mine, or is it yours?

You once told me I complete your songs. And you still complete my sentences.
You told me your heart skipped a beat. And you dream along with me.
You asked me to draw with the wind. And you think I’m a star.

What do I wish for?
I wish to feel like this forever.
Define “this”. I can’t. Feels like an anomia.
But I… I am breathing only for this.

So… it does feel like holding a heart made of glass.
And I am following it.
I know it will lead me to you.

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