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Day 7

30 Mar

It certainly isn’t January 7th, as I so wished this rather non-existent writing pact would synchronise with the fast disappearing dates of our calendar. In fact I’m so far off the mark with this ambitious APostADay idea which I’m proud I started, but knew so surely I’d not be able to keep up.

My life has changed so drastically since, and it wasn’t going to be a surprise. All I did manage to write was during the first week of January that I had off for my winter break. And the roller coaster has not stopped ever since.

We’ve had a baby girl, yes we did. And it’s been so overwhelming and amazing all at once. Days have tumbled into this rather huge snowball of all things frightening, lovely, crazy, beautiful…and there’s been no time to breathe. As much as countless thoughts all woven into rather fine words tumbled around in my head very, very regularly, I couldn’t muster up the will to give them their release. Hormones took precedence. The rest just tagged along, muted, but very much alive.

Let’s just say that so many days have passed since 6th January, and yet it feels like I’ve lived a forever in this one day.

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Day 6: Pivotal Unhappiness

6 Jan

I read a headline on my fb wall in passing, courtesy a friend, which spoke about the business of perennial unhappiness. Of course I now wish I’d saved it for later, but neither did I click it open to read, nor did I bookmark it for further exploration. If I were to go by the title, I’d presume its content was primarily based around how the world thrives on all of us being incessantly and constantly unhappy. I didn’t give it much thought back then, like I do 99.9% of the times when I see my feed. However, it did stick on to revisit me from time to time; perhaps because I think it’s the most real and truthful statement I’d read in a while.

Come to think of it, everything today does seem to run on our need to want something, to fish into this endless depth of perceived nothingness and perpetual have-not-ism. Maybe that’s why we’re constantly trying (so hard now) to actively catch moments and whatever it is that makes our world seem a little more sunshiney and happy; in a somewhat desperate attempt to convince ourselves that yes, we do have something. It’s strange how we’ve digressed (?) from where we started. Doing nothing was normal, engaging in even the most mundane was exciting and something to look forward to, being bored was the gateway to more interesting avenues of simple and uncomplicated discoveries…and none of it was a big deal. There was no parading of this sense of being, no platforms were stood on and boasted from, none of it felt fake or fragile. In fact, it was matter of fact, usual, and blatantly extraordinary in its casualness.

A lot of me doesn’t understand this constant need to show, talk, prove, highlight. It just doesn’t make sense. I reckon that’s why we even had someone write that article anyway – being unhappy is a trend, a business, a way of normalcy connected very directly, in my opinion, with the fear of being happy. I know I’m afraid of being happy, or at least talking about it to the world. Coming from an intensely private sense of self, I find it almost alarming to speak about my experiences, which people around me seem to do so effortlessly. A check-in here, a photograph there, a few hundred likes here, the display of very private moments there. At the cost of sounding judgemental, which certainly isn’t the intention or idea, I feel rather misplaced and not up with the times. And of course I have this added fear of expressing my states of happiness and being. Something really seems amiss.

I do hope to find that article and then share it here. In the mean time I sincerely wish this pivotal unhappiness goes out of business for good. We’ve got a lot going and maybe it’s best to use one’s time more wisely than thinking about all that we do not have. And what a fabulous outcome that’d be, no?

Day 5: Silence

5 Jan

…coffee, and reassuring sunshine.

That’s all I want, and that’s all I would like to ask for just now.

Peace.

Day 4: Change

4 Jan

It was bang in the middle of last year, when I was seat-belted and on my way to Bangalore, that my life was changing in the serious adult sort of way. A change that has no excuses, no escape routes, no shortcuts, no alternatives to comfort the commitment-afraid me. Half of me saw marriage as a life change that still had the potential to give me that leeway, should I ever want or need it; much to my husband’s utter shock and then ire. It’s an all or none deal, he told me. There can be no frivolity in judgement no matter how hard it gets, he explained to me over a phone call before we were to get married. He was still aghast at my way of thinking, which to me was very natural and completely normal given the history I’ve been woven from. It was scary; exciting yes, but scary to get into something so final. Little did I (reallyknow that there were changes with a grander and firmer foundation of finality than getting married. And so it happened – suddenly, hugely, and startlingly – in the form of two very defined pink lines on the pregnancy test I held in my hand once I got back from Bangalore, after two weeks of delayed periods and a nagging subconscious.

We’d begun talking about the idea of it, the possibility of it, and the plan to start working on it with immediate effect. But perhaps the universe suspected we were fooling ourselves and decided to conspire against us, in this case. The first sign was of course my delayed period, which I panicked about but then shrugged aside owing to changes in diet and what have you. The second stronger sign was my rather sudden dislike for alcohol every time I’d sip on it. Beer tasted strange, whiskey didn’t appeal to me, and again, I shrugged it off as something to be ignored. The third sign was this unnecessary fatigue I felt constantly. Back then I didn’t realise or even know that this was an early sign of pregnancy, which I blamed on the comparatively fewer trips we made to Comm Street. Something was amiss, and ma did voice what I was pushing into the recesses of my consciousness – is it possible that you’re pregnant mun?, she gently asked while I washed my teacup one evening. Of course I scoffed and kept it aside for another day.

There are two things I’ve learnt – never scoff at your mom, and never question her acute sense of intuition. These instances have always, and I mean always, backfired in my face every.single.time. And it was to happen to me yet again. It would be just a couple of hours after I said my byes to her that I would call her up again and mumble the words – ma, I’m pregnant; the stick shows two, very clear, pink lines. She was quiet (perhaps respecting my feelings and state of mind regarding it), and then congratulated the two of us and blessed us. We were to travel the very next morning to my in-laws, and I got no sleep that night.

If there’s a feeling I won’t forget, it’s the indescribable experience of watching that white nothingness turn into a second pink line. I remember staring at it, keeping it aside, and then revisiting it again. Repeatedly. It was that kaleidoscope of emotions that constantly switches from surprise to shock to excitement to fear to tears to this tide of overwhelming feelings that kept washing over me for what would be sometime to come. I was granted and bestowed with a gift, a responsibility, a job, a journey, a learning experience, a chance within a million chances to be *it* for someone who had chosen to come to us. It was a lot to take then.

When I look back, the two of us have come a long, long way. From feeling completely lost and left in the unknown, to where we are today – a little less lost and lot more sure of ourselves as parents and individuals – it’s been an intriguing journey. We’re far from perfect and will never be because that’s not what we’re gunning for. We’re here today, standing together, a little more ready and a lot less unsure from where we started off. Faith, trust, love, togetherness, and madness – I reckon this is all it takes to get by.

PS, trust me on the not scoffing at your mom bit. It’s true.

Day 3: Red

3 Jan

I opened the paper bag that had been lying around for sometime now; filled with the remnants of the kindest gesture from my neighbour. Out came what I’d left lying inside, for a day when I was perhaps feeling more adventurous – an uber smart navy blue and red striped maternity top. It’s a brand new year and I really ought to do away with some of my rusty beliefs and ways of thinking, I thought, as I coaxed myself into wearing this top filled with a colour I love but never wear – red. It fit and supported my belly snugly, and on I went to start my day as I usually do once I’ve had my bath. But midway through the process of lighting the diya, the doorbell rang, and I left it there to return back to it later.

I must digress in order to continue; and here’s why – because red is a colour I’ve grown up wearing and loved wearing, till I started noticing (and then associating) its coupling with negativity/the occurrence of negative events every time I wore something red. It’s rather absurd and strange, really. But it’s happened too often, in fact every single time since, which has led me to admire the dynamic colour from afar now. I did give it a chance during one of my wedding ceremonies which made me – the centre of attraction and all things amaze – end up looking horrendously raccoon-ish, and made the entire event a sad and far cry from what it was supposed to be. Anyhow, one must proceed, and so shall I – forward to today and my rather smart looking and feeling red and blue top.

The doorbell ushered in a small series of events that only left me frazzled and in an irritable mood at the end of it all. It started with the arrival of our baby’s bed – a superbly cute and lovely piece – which was too big to fit in through our doors. It is a beautiful gift from the baby’s grandparents, but one that now lies in a packed state of in-between-ness and a tangle of awkwardness and delicate sentiments. While I sat and cajoled my mood, another emergency beckoned my immediate attention – a flush that would refuse to stop flushing, with water gushing everywhere (given we stay in an old apartment with an even older plumbing system, or lack of). The emergency calls were made and there I was, in an even more rotten mood; but thankful for the plumber’s swift arrival, and for a direct target on which to focus these stupid turn of events – my wearing of the colour red.

Rest assured I changed right into a more comforting colour at a swifter pace than the plumber’s arrival, and before any other mishaps could even think of occurring. *rolls her eyes*

I really do not intend to be dramatic, but if I could express my state of affairs better, I would.

My freshly cleaned house is in a disarray just after having cleaned it, with furniture everywhere (to make room for the cot) and I’ve mustered up all my strengths to use the power of ignorance to march on forward. I’m barely sane, and this is all I can take for now.

Day 2: Life’s Littlest Things

2 Jan

I decided to treat myself to a trip to the mall yesterday. It’s not the first on my list of places to visit, but when it’s the safest and most (logistically, physically, and environmentally) comfortable option, it’s not one I shy away from. Besides, I’d been wanting to go, walk around, window shop, and vicariously enjoy all the things I cannot buy just yet (like those sparkly pumps that I’ve been drooling over since forever).

It turns out that most of the city was in the same mall yesterday – I had (unsurprisingly) miscalculated and thought I’d sneak in a visit when it was at its emptiest best, except 1st January seems to sadly be a holiday for all and sundry (except my husband). Besides, I was already tired the moment I entered that ginormous place. Unexpected crowds of all types + tiredness was surely going to be fun. But march on I did; right into the masses who had come to shop at the endless EOSS (End Of Season Sales) that are on, sight-see, click selfies, pose near promotional Audis, openly hold hands with accompanying partner/lover without the care of snoopy aunty-eyes, and what have you. It’s nice to people-watch discreetly, no?

The ultimate reward was to obviously be a food treat at the end of it all. When I’m visiting on weekdays and get delayed, it’s a hearty bowl of soup. When it’s a Friday evening, it’s usually a toasty cup of coffee. Going anywhere has to be accompanied by a food experience, by default. I’d spend the entire tortoise-paced afternoon subconsciously planning what to treat myself with, except I was clueless at the end of it (as always) when it was time for A to pick me up. My instinct led me straight to Starbucks and right to a coffee and toffee nut cold coffee with whipped cream on top (which I hadn’t asked for, but still welcomed).

It’s not a big deal, you know? Cold coffees were always a done thing. But I cannot remember when I had one at an outlet the last time. It turns out that 2017, and perhaps most of 2016 didn’t really feature a cold coffee in it. What a strange thing to happen, indeed. However, there I was, beginning my year with something I love, that really isn’t a big deal at all. I did begin coughing again (having just recovered from a nasty viral), but some things are best taken with a pinch of salt and warm water, left to be overshadowed by smaller, greater joys. Life’s littlest things are indeed the greatest of things and I never imagined a glass of coffee with my name spelt correctly on it (another first) to be it. :)

Day 1

1 Jan

With 365 pages and 12 chapters to write, I’m trying to begin this new book with a new start. There’s been this burning sense to write which I haven’t allowed to go up in flames just yet. Turn to your blog and write for whatever it’s worth, my mind said. Here I am, awaiting this year with more anticipation than I’ve any other year. More than the feelings of nervousness, doubt, and passing flashes of fear, I cannot wait for this year to unfold itself one day at a time.

Happy new year, my dear reader. May your aspirations give you a sense of direction and movement, a chance to do all that you wish to, and achieve the big and small things that do indeed make your world go around.

Here’s to keeping it simple and short, succinct and subtle, and ever so meaningful. :)

187: The Nowhere Post

22 Aug

Hello dear reader, I hope things have been ahmayzing at your end and I trust that all is well. All’s good on my side of the turf, too. :)

It’s super safe to say that I’ve done wonders to this challenge by disappearing, and for the length of time that I have. It was a mixed bag complete with losing my mojo to write, being preoccupied with a hoard of other things, and then just losing track altogether. I’m not sure I can make up for the lost time and posts, but I’m leaving that to the writing and blogging Gods, and my willingness to bid laziness goodbye.

This was just a random resurface post; a small hi, hope all’s well post.

Till later. :)

186: Little Conversations And Happy Vibes

6 Jul

It was yesterday while at school that it struck me how surrounded I am by different people. While my students put up what was perhaps the best assembly so far this year, I watched on like a proud class teacher would, and felt a connection with them for the first time I think. They picked the very apt, very relatable, very important topic “self-acceptance” and delivered a marvellous job which only spoke to hard work, effort, and a great connection with the subject. As the audience stood in rapt attention lapping up all they had to offer, my kids ladled praises that came their way. Much deserved and worthy of bragging, most definitely.

I’m not a very social person or a very open person. My walls are high, my boundaries very marked. I don’t cross lines and no one crosses mine; not beyond a point i.e. But I’ve been noticing this uncanny phenomenon which has been happening off late that can only be attributed to kids and their ability, to either lovingly or annoyingly, gnaw their way into a person’s heart. I’ve a varied bunch of kids from all walks of life – they’re all amazing in their own way, and equally challenging to handle.

They’ve slowly but surely started inching closer towards me, and I towards them. Professionally, of course. And somewhere in this entire process I’m reminded about just how many variant vibes I’m surrounded by – happy, jovial, youthful, energetic, humourous, beautiful vibes. I’ve been having conversations with myself, telling myself good things, even. Opening up to these youngsters all around me has helped me take these little conversations to another level; to open my eyes and see that there’s so much good energy all around me to sponge off from, to give to, to engage with.

People are strange.

But magic is stranger.

185: …

5 Jul

Ma left for Bangalore this morning. The guest bedroom is lifeless, the sheets perfect, the bed made, her purse and bags missing…just traces of her presence left behind every single where.

I hate saying bye; it’s something I despise immensely. Perhaps it’s a good thing I couldn’t get to spend as much time with her this morning since we were all getting ready to leave. As her cab moved along, all I felt was a sense of loss – of seeing her happy, smiling face everywhere; of just being in her solidly strong presence.

Thankfully there was a hectic day at school that took over everything else. I managed to sponge off some positivity from my students as we shared our thoughts and feelings before beginning our day.

She left behind, among pieces of advice, love, strength and joy, this book I almost picked up at a store but kept for later instead – Rabindranath Tagore’s autobiography – which is a keep.

His work is beyond classical and beautiful, something I thoroughly enjoy poring over bit by bit.

“Let your life lightly dance on the edges of
Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.”