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28: When I Fell Into The Pit Of Overthinking, Again!

28 Jan

Disclaimer: This is me talking to myself, yet again, after tripping into the trap of overthinking, again! :)

Whenever I’m caught in a situation that demands diplomacy, a certain amount of restraint which is considered and associated as being graceful, and one that requires me to not freely speak my mind; it doesn’t take long for all my faculties to fall apart and for me to fail a 100% in seeing that situation through. To simply put it, I cannot handle social circumstances without massive amounts of awkwardness, loathing, and without failing at them. I tend to wear my feelings on my face, especially when they’re at their extremes. You will not see me laughing when I’m angry, and you will not see me stonefaced when I’m joyous. I lack that skill, and sometimes I’m thankful that I do. Of course my honesty has never made me the popular choice, and neither does it make me socially approachable at all. It’s a win-lose situation depending upon my luck and my ability to be poker-faced.

Today when I was brooding over something that has long overstayed its welcome in my mind, a makeshift eureka moment chanced upon me. It is quite simple, to be honest. But most obvious things are frightfully and brutally simple; it’s a wonder how I end up missing their point. And it was precisely this:

if you are at the receiving end of a certain kind of treatment, whether expected or unexpected, pleasant or unpleasant, warranted or unwarranted; take a moment to step on to the other side, take cognizance of said response/treatment, acknowledge it, and move on. 

See, I told you it was so obviously simple and something you probably already knew all along anyway.

Every single peace-loving part of me cannot fathom conflict, dissent or ill-treatment, especially when the concept of accountability is paramount to me. I obsess over not stepping on others’ toes, wherever I may choose to tread, and so it beats me when I do not get the treatment I imagine deserving. Normal people would take this with a pinch of salt, and proceed walking on without looking back. I? I rue. I overthink. I obsess. I question myself a thousand times; just so maybe an answer can emerge; sometimes like a false confession, to make things feel normal again.

However, this luminescent thought today made me realise that it’s okay to proceed. That not everyone is normal, lol! That it’s absolutely, perfectly fine to not be loved, liked, or even be acknowledged by all and sundry. That the ideals you grew up watching, may not be that idealistic anymore after all. That people will be people, and when did people have a spotless track record anyway? That maybe I’m not going to be everyone’s favourite; not everyone is mine. That, most importantly, my life does not begin and end with/at this.

It’s easier said than done, especially when you’re someone who is your worst critic. But the thing that’s becoming evidently clear is that not everyone’s going to love you, like you, respond to you, understand you, or even just know you; even if they’re family. It’s a hard line to draw, but sometimes boundaries do have their purpose and benefits. Knowing when to make them, is essential. I guess this is how society runs. You put on that smile and show up even if that’s the last place you’d rather be, right? Oh well, sometimes. :)

Note to self: see the rubbish that thinking and overthinking can lead to – such a waste of time, energy, and brain traffic. The best things lie in moving on. Haha!

And with that, let’s all have a lovely weekend filled with zero thinking and a 100% living! Cheers!

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17: Love Lives Here

17 Jan

17th January never meant anything to me, and neither is it a day I picked out of my calendar to remember specifically. 18th January is a birthday, and so on, but 17th January holds no birthdays, anniversaries, or notes in my mind’s “do not forget” folder. And I’ve been unaware of its significance for 19 years so far.

As the calendar shuffled to today, I still woke up to my regular routine, and continued on.

Today marks the 20th year.

17th January, 2017, marks two decades since our family began what would be the next phase of its journey. I remember 1997 in hazes, but in very distinct hazes. It was the year we arrived in Bangalore in the hope to settle, and call it home. Twenty years is a lot to comprehend, if you ask me.

I graduated ten years ago. I lost my father and grandfather ten years ago. I got my first job ten years ago. I handled my first client project ten years ago. I smoked my first cigarette ten years ago. I went to a club for the first time, ten years ago. We bought a new, first-hand fridge for ourselves, ten years ago. See? A decade, while vast, is easier to deal with, than the expanse that is a lifetime lived in twenty years.

A lot of my mind used the escape of repression. A lot of my heart is still raw. But a lot of the journey we began twenty years ago, and ever since, is where love came, and stayed. My memories of living started from there; my sense of direction, while largely dormant at that time, took its roots then; my concepts of love, loss, forgiveness, joy, anger, gratitude, and family, took shape then. My sense of self, in its entirety, germinated during that time.

The past twenty years have taught me more than a lifetime ever could. And that is because love lived where our journey took us, those many years back. Love lived in our room on the roof, in our togetherness in that loneliness, in our strength in our companionship, in our protection amidst our insecurities, in our faith in times of uncertainties, in our determination during our weaknesses. Love lived in our abilities to share, hold our ground, and in our unity. Love lived. Love lives here, even today. Love will always live.

Even when journeys take on new roads.

When love lives and encompasses everything around you, even the toughest roads you find yourself walking on, become smooth. The passage of time becomes a mere amalgamation of calendar dates, chunked into one. 17th January disappeared from my consciousness, just like the many thorns that softened and blossomed into the garden this journey’s path was adorned with.

Twenty years.

Thank you, dearest universe, for conspiring, and making it happen.

Thank you, Bangalore, for being home, in every sense of the word.

Thank you, to the many angels we’ve been blessed to cross paths with.

And thank you, darling time, for always being right. :)

In Ma’s Words

13 Sep

I got an email from ma today; a precious letter filled with everything that symbolizes my mother. She has a way with words and now it’s evident that she thinks and talks in poetry. Something told me I’d find an email from her in my inbox after that heavy previous post of mine; though I wasn’t so sure given how she’s at work despite the sorry state of affairs Bangalore is in. Here are some of her words because there’s no way I could or would want to paraphrase them. They’re splendourous with a capital S.

Love you!!  I thought that its rather ambitious for either of us to
sit down and pen letters and post them though I pretty much want to do
it. The joy of receiving letter is so huge that I dont know how I will
feel to get one. I open the letter box to only get insurance papers or
BSNL bills..

This phase of being alone with both you and sam now on your own
journeys has been of sorts. The small corridor from the living room to
the bedrooms looks so deserted but I begin to listen to peals of
laughter of you and Saby and Sam springing out of his room and asking
me hey mom do you want to order something?. These memories that should
make me sad are so precious that I would never allow them to be greyed
with sadness. Time has flown just as it flies for everyone and I don’t
rue it. I like being alone as if its a joy. I am joyful that you both
are now living your lives with the small battles amid big victories of
self discovery.

Even as it’s difficult for you to change not because you dont want to
but because you dont wish to attribute to others for the change know
that in change lies the universal destiny.. You will always belong to
yourself and years from now you will realise that it was you
chartering your path most often with fellow travelers and often times,
alone. Make every day a day of personal discovery and celebration.
Watch the birds in your balcony as they nest or fly for food..the
trees that are still and suddenly burst in a rhythmic dance..the sky
that turns blue,grey, orange and a dull pink before retiring for
night..the moon and the million stars…

… find yourself and
your laughter; with your friends, in the books that you read and
mother nature. Be the child born to freedom.

I love you.

—-xxxx—-

I told you so.

Have you picked up the phone and said I love you to your parents?

Have you ever felt so rich with just words?

Isn’t it the best feeling ever?

Old Memories, New Memories

1 Aug

July 2016 has been a month to remember; one that automatically gets filed under the precious memories folder in my memory catalogue. It was the month of testing my fears and surrendering to courage which helped alienate my fears in a large way quite effortlessly. It was also the month of travel, soul satisfaction and a sense of contentment that has been a while coming. A and I made a trip the mountains, which felt familiar and different in many ways – A is from the mountains, but we weren’t really visiting his home. It was a time ornate with discovering each other, our own selves, our country and the lessons only travelling with each other can bring out. That travelogue is still in the recesses of my mind and one I hope to put on paper sooner than later.

I also made a rather eleventh hour plan to visit Bangalore which wasn’t really on the cards till an opportunity made itself present. Therefore it’s been a conscious absence, this lack of blogging; what with one trip and another one a few days later. Visiting Bangalore was very agenda driven and I’m back with a sense of peace that I was hoping this trip would bestow me with. It is difficult to put into words this amalgamation of all things good and peaceful; this sense of calm and excitement, this merging of visiting old memories and making new ones. It’s one of those feelings that fall under the too good to be true sections.

Even though moving out was certain and kept aside for that someday most of us know is an eventuality, a lot of it seldom sinks in…because how can home stop being home, how can your own bed stop enveloping you like only your bed can, because how can that feeling of home ever change and become something else even if you leave it to create another home? Therefore typing the words going home makes me feel like I’m living in a parallel universe – because I am home and I am going home as well. I’m not too sure if the deeply connected fibres of this umbilical chord can ever be severed or even be made an alternative, if I was to be milder and less morbid.

Every time I go back home, there’s a rush of feelings waiting to embrace me…like the pages I’ve moved past, flip right back and settle…as if the old times never left. And yet there’s this newness which confronts these pages from the past; eventually settling in with an unspoken coexistence. The encounter can be confusing and confounding, slightly abrasive even, till the old and the new make room for each other and fit like pieces that needed completing.

Completeness. That’s what it is. And that’s when the realization of what home, growing up, coming back and seeking this feeling out really dawns upon me. This parallel universe business becomes less sci-fi and more telling of how we create semblances of the old in our new, consciously and unconsciously, till there are no parallel universes anymore.

My visit to Bangalore this time was bespoke with just this; where the lines drawn out by time became invisible and nonexistent, even.

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It felt like I was back without having left in the first place.

A Title Where Words Fail Me

25 May

After a lot of effort and trying really hard to write on Monday, I came away with more drafts than I would’ve liked. Four in the span of two hours almost shows the desperation I felt to get those words out and on to this space because they needed that release from my mind and heart, except those same words didn’t really budge in my favour. I lamented about it over here for a bit, and let it be because I’ve come to learn the importance and the necessity of letting things be when they need to be left alone. I was trying to write about my girlfriends. Clearly it didn’t prove to be an easy task and one that I’m still not trying to attempt at the moment, unless my words are ready to match all that my heart and soul feel.

The first time I was prompted to write about them was because of a phone call I received from A who lives every single ocean away from me. If you have a girl brigade, a sisterhood, a team, support system, your essential go-to gang, which germinated and evolved over the years; everyone’s probably all over the place by now, with distance and life having played their cards like they do on every single one of us.

Some of us left to be with our husbands, some for higher educational pursuits, some to take their careers forward while some stayed behind, choosing to continue their professional and personal journeys back at our home ground. These changes were bound to happen, but if you asked me five years ago, I wouldn’t have acknowledged this awareness with as much consciousness. It’s one of those things you know is an eventuality, just like ageing is, except when you stand and look at your life sometimes, nothing feels different. I’ve written about this weird time illusion here, and I felt this way a lot of last year especially.

However, I don’t really feel the same way any longer. My friends are interspersed across geographic locations and even though we pick up the phone and call each other, and even though we catch up from where we left off with an ease only those very comfortable relationships allow, I feel a difference in the passing of time. While we can laugh, gossip, be giddy-headed (my mom’s favourite adjective to describe my friends and me) and totally mad, we’ve also changed. I sense a growing up that has happened when we were too busy transitioning and not paying much attention to this metamorphosis that was also simultaneously happening on the side. Today we’re a little more busy or preoccupied, a little more aware, a little more understanding of space and what it means to give each other that without questioning it. We’re a little more wise, more cautious, more skilled at handling ourselves in situations we never thought we could get out of alive. There’s a little more grace, a lot more dignity, and that command for respect. There’s a sense of stature, of direction (even when we feel so lost, which we do so often), of being in control (again, even if we aren’t really in control or feel like our life’s going crazy).

If I were to have a reunion with my friends, it would feel like time has stopped or gone back to its old ways where nothing has changed, where there were no responsibilities or as much stress about and accountability for one’s actions. We would gag on our own laughter and warrant stares from other tables, order food like we’re starving beasts and get bills that run longer than the length of our table. We would talk dirty, cheap, and still maintain that poise even with our hair flying in every direction from that amount of shoulder-shaking laughter and occasional snorts. Despite a higher spending capacity earned by our grit and effort, we would drink a lot less than we would’ve had we met a few years earlier, but we would’ve still had the same amount of cheese and french fries. And we would definitely moan over anything that deserved moaning as we savoured it off our plates. Time speaks in its own way, and will always continue to. Today if I were to meet my friends over a lazy lunch, we would still talk about all that crazy stuff like we did back in college even though our conversations would also now involve spouses, maids or the lack thereof, housekeeping, parents, the need for space, existential choices and decisions, the perennial lack of money and how expensive things have become, life and how it feels like it’s going nowhere. We would bitch about everything that needed bitching about. And then we would order dessert or step out for some exclusive Corner House treats. It all feels the same and yet different, too. Some of us may arrive later than the others thanks to housekeeping and/or marital duties. Some of us may arrive late because we never really were the ones to arrive in time anyway. Some of us may arrive first and leave first. Some of us could arrive first and linger around. Some of us may not even show up and it would be understood.

Priorities.

If I was to engage in some navel-gazing today, I would certainly say that we’ve caught up with time, or are getting there at least. We are more aware of time’s ways and its fragility. We are more conscious of time and its limited stock disclaimer. In every sense, I know we are more clear about taking the next step forward, whatever it may be, because we know that no one’s waiting any more. We’ve all taken foot on our respective journeys, irrespective of where we are, and while distance and time are relative, our bonds have withstood their tests so far.

To the ones who got married early and are having babies, to the ones who got married early and don’t really care about babies, to the ones who are driven by higher educational goals, to the ones who’ve moved out of home, to the ones who’ve stayed back at home, to the ones who so badly want to leave home, to the ones who want to be away from home but have their sense of home close by, to the ones who feel jaded by time, to the ones who just don’t care, to the ones who have the wind in their hair, to the ones who feel an oscillation of love and hate regularly, to the ones who feel like our bodies are changing faster than we care to accept or recognize, to the ones who stand their ground, to the ones who are everywhere yet here together – we’re all fighting the good fight every single day. We’re all just still a phone call away, irrespective of time zones, changing priorities, errant bosses. We’re still that sisterhood we never thought we’d become but which we worked towards becoming anyway.

To that support system which no one else can be – it’s a blessing, time’s doing and distance’s way of showing how close we can be, no matter how physically far apart we actually are.

Validation

26 Feb

It is so easy for someone like me to pinpoint the negatives, to put under spotlight all that isn’t going as per plan or to even channelize my energies into brooding over anything and everything. A true cynic and brooder, it really isn’t hard to wallow in the have-nots of my life rather than celebrate the many things I am, in fact, blessed to have. Let’s not even go down the road of how these constant existential quotes and memes out there make me feel; because no, they do not make me feel sunshiney or motivated or even remotely unicornish. They just lead me to question two very simple things – a) how much spare time do people really for this sort of stuff, and b) is this world really so sad and demotivated and high-strung that it turns to no one else but the internet to get itself gratified, so to speak? Anyway. It’s a real wonder.

Sometimes it’s unimaginable how time flies and where my day goes. Having worked or kept myself occupied with some routine or the other all my life so far, this new break of sorts is sometimes welcome and mostly questioned. No, I haven’t walked down the (very discouraging) what is wrong with me path and I’m trying to stay very far away from it since that is a black-hole to avoid. Neither have I asked what’s taking so long for a routine to fall in place. What I have, however, pondered and brooded over is why this is such a bother to me. When did having free time become a bad thing? When did not being employed (yet) become a question of one’s worth or talent or capabilities? Most of all, why are we so quick to be this harsh on ourselves?

It really isn’t easy, especially if you are someone who always wants to have something to do; something you automatically seek validation from. It really is hard. And it is so easy to begin that blame-game and throw oneself into the throes of negativity. It is a task that I indulge in on an almost daily basis to inform myself about the vagaries of time and its effects; that everything definitely has a meaning and a reason behind it. I do believe in that sort of stuff so it makes it a little easier to tide the waves of panic that sometimes wash over me. However, in the midst of it all, I do have my conscience ringing its bell as and when it pleases, because complacency was never really a favourite and not something to be tolerated in the least.

What does help me are the things I love doing; things that take my mind off its thoughts; and things that channelize my energy into more productive and meaningful expressions. With a very supportive and encouraging family, I have indeed turned inward and sought that which makes me feel at peace with myself — because it comes from within me, is by me and is always going to be for me… those precious reserves that we stock up all our life but never open because we never give ourselves the time to look within them and experience ourselves for all that we are, and more. It is the stuff that is mine and encompasses all this time which is my time – something that sadly is such a rarity today. I’ve no idea when and how we started attributing free time and me time to being useless and jobless and worst of all, worthless.

It’s taken some effort and lots of coaxing, but I haven’t ever felt this sort of absolute peace with my own company before. It’s triply thrilling because it doesn’t involve the company of a second or even third party – just me and my self. Because of which, I’ve never drawn my heart and mind out like I am now. With every curve, with every bend, with every line, there is a release that’s hard to explain and a crime to control.

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So here’s what I’ve basically spent a lot of January, doing. Be it doodling, drawing or even just writing – this time used to let my inner self speak and this opportunity to mingle directly with it minus any interference, is, I have learnt, most satisfying and validating.

Who Can Ever Say

29 Jun

I had already decided what I wanted my next post to be about and I’d let my words and thoughts stay brewing the entire time just so I could come here and spew them out. It looks like writing really is that form of catharsis considering the word spew came out even before I could control it. Everything began from Friday and continued to spill its negativity in every corner of my happy space. Of course we have the wonderment of hormonal powers to magnify every single feeling, especially if they’re negative. Or is that something our thoughts do? The point being that while most of my weekend was just dandy, on came along a series of thoughts that gatecrashed my happy weekend party and decided to take over. Of course one thought lead to the other as they always do and the last of the weekend slunk away in the dead of a rather sultry Sunday night. I woke up with a resolve to take it all out of my system right here and be done with it. So here I am. Except that I’ve been influenced otherwise, and for the better, thankfully.

Time has this magic of shedding its skin every single day and making way for something new, daily. And I use that as a constant reminder to look ahead and move on because evidently something so obvious as a brand new day isn’t enough for me to have renewed faith on my own. So a reminder it is that, in U2’s words, it’s a brand new day.

Every space around me has been taken over by love and so much of it. I see love in every place and in every being; more than I ever have in the recent past. It gives the cynic in me so much strength, that for once, I’m thankful to be on social media, lapping up all the positiveness around me for a change. For one, the world suddenly seems overjoyed about the new ruling by the US Supreme Court, which is lovely to see. Especially because we’ve become seasoned cribfests. So while it was a little overwhelming to see rainbows beaming from my screen, I guess the colours did their therapy for me, to be honest. I’m not going to comment about the ruling and how everyone went gaga over the country’s step forward while simultaneously and predictably became critical of India. But that’s more usual than unexpected; like I said, we’re expert cribfests come what may. Anyhoo, that was a joyous feeling to experience more happiness than I’ve ever seen, especially in the world of FB.

But when you’re surrounded by happiness and positive energies, it’s not that hard to feel a lift in one’s spirits too. Given said uplifted spirits, I tried my hand at this.

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My first ever apple pie/pie in any form from scratch. It definitely needs more trials to become the perfect version I have of it in my head. But my biggest achievement was to get the dough just as it should be, so I’ll take that as a start for my next move forward.

That followed a rather impromptu visit to the a local brewery we’re pretty fond of spending time at. Sometimes you need to dress up, pucker that lipstick on, dab some perfume on, look your sexy best even with messy hair and just head out to celebrate everyday things like happiness, life and love. I guess we take it for granted and don’t highlight them as much as we do the mere passing grey clouds over us.

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Many mugs of beer and flutes of champagne were chugged down. Yes, we’re ladies who do both with a “beer mentality“, like my friend said. And then carbs taste even more magical, I do hope you agree? So we celebrated carbs in plenty too. Actually, that celebration comes rather naturally and on a very regular basis, might I add. Thankfully we’re celebrating something good on a regular basis at least.

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Mmmm, magical carbs, be mine forever. This was a Mediterranean pizza I was, erm, enjoying. It’s quite lovely and I’m thinking you’d like it too if pesto speaks to you like it does to us. Give it a try, it will not disappoint. And what won’t disappoint you even more is a splash of tobasco sauce on it. Trust me. Hop over to The Biere Club and when you’re ordering those carbs, get yourself their Greek salad. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a crispy, crunchy, cold, feta-laden bowl of summery greatness that all of us deserve more than we know. :)

And because I loved the pizza so much and because clearly I hadn’t celebrated my love for carbs enough, more had to be had. Sunday was spent making a large batch marinara sauce from scratch (mine had more than a guzzle of wine in it too) for pizzas and pasta, as well as making the dough from start. It’s here that I would like to thank the carb Gods for just being there for us mankind. While my mood began souring slightly, my spirits were alive and kickin’ only because the end result was this.

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Just plain, simple margarita pizza. With 98234 kgs of cheese on it. Well, sometimes you just have to, you know?

So it’s safe to say that carbs and love and laughter and happiness and positive thoughts and some most amazing weather courtesy Bangalore, evaporated my cynicism away.

Thank you, universe. Thank you for the simple things. And thank you for the power of love. The wannabe optimist in me celebrates its power every single day, or tries very hard to at least.

The Cracks Of Comfort

26 Jun

The thought of breaking one’s shell, cutting that umbilical cord, dismantling your roots so they get easier to uproot and opening those supremely sturdy but rusty-hinged doors of comfort is debilitating. There are those who find sources of energy and thrill in connecting with newness, people who are ever ready to pick up and move. However, I think it just struck me down with a bad episode of not just paranoia but of panic and fear. Having been a home-girl all through, there are no surprises why just the thought of change to that extent made me paralyzed with anxiety. It is scary; capable enough to leave you breathless of the bad kind and is totally unabashed in making you feel incapacitated beyond your strongest beliefs. Maybe now you get an idea about just how scary the thought is to me. And I have absolutely no idea how the rest of the world does it. I don’t know where their courage comes from, where the restlessness to start anew stems from and where the thrill of beginning from scratch appears from. And I wish I had just a fraction of that in me. Because at this very moment, I’m still here, sitting in my obscenely comfortable bubble, completely unaware of what lies out beyond the four walls of my house, office and my inner circle. No idea whatsoever.

I feel foolish and stupid. Not because I haven’t done any of this moving out stuff before (for which I should feel very foolish and stupid), but because I tend to live in my own world where everything is just the way I want it to be and life is as smooth as can be with glasses so rose-tinted that they’ve made me blind. I also am aware of just what it means to live in such a closed, perfect, imaginary world and I’m hoping I open those rusty doors of comfort to let the real world in immediately.

So here I am on a Friday evening, struck by the fears and insane web of my own very debilitating thoughts; so paralyzing that it’s getting difficult to make space for some free movement to explore what else my mind is capable of achieving. See that’s the thing of having also turned the volume up so high that it gives you no other option but to cruise at the tide of what you’re listening to rather than be stuck in the stifling compartments of your own thoughts. Music is therapy. Music is escape. As is this.

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Music. And food. (Yes, I’m a stress-eater, apart from being a regular food lover as well).

So it helps. It helps to just let go. To sink your teeth into hot, crunchy, crispy broon maskas (bun with butter) and let that munching be the only sound that has the capacity to silence everything else, except the music of course.

I guess it’s not impossible to literally pick up and move. It’s scary, yes. But it’s not impossible and hopefully it’ll teach me what the world can give me in writing with its eyes closed; that it’s an experience every single person must go through in order to realize just who they are and just how capable one really can be.

For another time, when I have nothing better to do, it would make sense to navel gaze and figure exactly why everything in my head looks so gosh darn big, impossible and scary. And why this home-girl thinks she can’t do it, just like everyone else has been doing it for generations and more now.

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In the meanwhile, while I go gather some confidence and inner peace over more tea, perhaps, (or maybe it’s time for some alcohol), I’m hoping all those doors and windows are wide open for you. I’m wishing you an insane amount of good energy, positiveness and happiness. Have a lovely Friday, it’s time to let go in more ways than one, today, and every single day ahead.

Cliffs, Parachutes and the Sea

15 Jan

Have you already begun getting a sense of what this year could feel like? Perhaps small hints or even drifts of what it may feel like? Because while half of January is already over, I find myself feeling caught in a weird time warp of sorts…you know when it feels like time is going fast and slow together? It’s weird but I swear I’ve seen myself feeling it throughout the week.

It was at almost the very beginning of last year when I figured what 2014 could look like and while it was certainly too early to be sure of what an entire year would thematically feel like, the feeling came along anyway. And it stayed. Whether it was because I chose to automatically sense and see the year by the way I had already defined it or whether its events unfolded such, is like the chicken and egg story. Almost. But it went along at the breakneck speed that it did and when I look back, it was most definitely as bittersweet as the day I realized that 2014 could potentially be bittersweet, thematically.

It was the year of the most significant and profound discoveries I had had the chance of experiencing; personally, professionally, emotionally, mentally and physically. Do you know that feeling, or that phantom feeling of standing at a cliff and taking that dive into nothing certain yet so certain as falling from a cliff into the sea? That was it. And it was bittersweet because the feeling of letting go (by force or by choice; with resentment or with contentment and happiness) is like jumping off that formidable cliff. You can scream and you will. But you’ll also leave behind the concrete world of certainty to enter the fluid world of possibility. There are no promises and there certainly weren’t any. But the need to jump off cliffs countless presented itself more than I had ever prepared myself for. Because who ever prepares for that plunge until and unless they’re standing face to face with it? What if you wake up one day and find it in your face? At that moment it’s hard to figure whether it’s bitter or sweet or just plain annoying. But you just have to do it, because you.just.have.to.

In the midst of it all, I lost the ability to write like I could before. It was anxiety-provoking. But then when you’re free-falling from a cliff, I figured that gathering your thoughts into coherent, expressible structures wasn’t exactly top priority; forget writing. At some point you need to stop fighting. I guess it all goes hand-in-hand with the concept of letting go? You take a leap and you snap all the strings you hold on to with the control-freak mania that you held on to them in the first place. They just snap. A lot snapped last year. And it was okay. It’s okay to deep-dive into the deafening silence of that sea of possibilities and shut your eyes till you can see again.

And when you’re the crazy control freak you know you are, it’s not always sweet. It’s not easy to let go. It’s not effortless to suddenly switch lanes and destinations altogether. It’s grueling to shut your eyes in the depths of an unfamiliar darkness and find your feet to float again; to let go and just trust that the universe has indeed got you; that you also do have a place here and that maybe things are happening for a weird, crazy reason after all.

From the cliffs I had to jump and chose to jump off, many involved the understanding of relationships, people, and of course, the many jagged edges of my self. A lot was taken away and a lot came my way in return. There’s a magical cause-effect, Newtonian law spin to almost everything, if you look at it. Maybe you already knew that and I hopped onto the bandwagon late, as usual. But like I said at the beginning, the discoveries were most significant and profound.

– Letting go. Because really, try it. We’re geared with more parachutes than we ever thought we had.
– Trust. Because there’s just no other way to be stronger than to trust; to begin with.
– Our Mind. Telling our mind that the best place to go rest it, resides in our heart. And that we’re not taking over its freaky need to control every single thing; that we’re just giving its worn-out egoistic feet some hearty wings to fly.
– Emotions. Understanding the rawness of emotions and their potency to take over if we don’t give them their required space in the spotlight or the faith that they really also are important.
– People. That they’ll come and go. Some will take your breath away in a way that has never made you feel more alive. That they’re there to take away your so called oxygen so you fight to breathe the really magical stuff to feel alive again. And that you should let them.
– Cliffs. They exist. Especially when all you think you see around is land and the convenience of comfort.
– Asking. Because you must. Even when you think you know.
– Love. Because it’s made up of all of the above; that you’re bound to experience it one way or another. And it.is.bittersweet. Really.

Like I said before, maybe you already knew all this and you’ve mastered the art of it all. But I’m just about floating now, in this weird, fluid time warp. :) So. Has what 2015 could feel like, made itself felt or clear to you yet? While it’s just the beginning of the year, I’m sticking to this one I found somewhere in Bangkok last week. And I’ll take it as a sign. :)

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– Signs. Because they exist in the guise of floaters and parachutes just when the unfamiliarity of it all seems overwhelming enough to drown or fall or succumb.

The Extraordinary Ordinary

7 Nov

In-keeping with trying to be good, disciplined and all that, apart from the fact that I really did feel like randomly writing about random things, another bit of life happened just when I thought the clouds of sporadic, crappy writing were clearing up. The internal adapter of my laptop refused to connect to the wifi inasmuch as a big red sign splayed quite boldly across the 5 bars that ought to actually have been white, the 5 bars that really are the fix for the addict in me. I needed them to be alive but the stubborn red cross took over and whilst I tried everything, including becoming aware of this frothy but urgent need to want to hit my (office) laptop against the wall, I was reminded of a time earlier when something exactly like this had happened. Remembering that time gave me some hope because the tech-slow me actually managed to fix the situation and really, when there’s even the slightest trace of the possibility of a fix, rainbows blossom. Apart from the fact that I am quite so addicted and that when I need the internet, I need it no holds barred, I managed to fix the problem. Small victories come a long way. I could feel like the Hercules of network troubleshooting and fixing but I think I needed to be online more.

Moving on to more exciting things, I, as expected, jumped on the Humans of New York initiative/project/program much later than it had already trended online and all that. And given its brilliance in every single way, I’m not surprised that it still is trending like it ought to. I did come across it in bits and pieces in the form of shares that friends posted on their walls, once I rejoined Facebook (yet again), but never really paid as much attention as I should have.

There is something so innately beautiful about it. I love how such simple things really mean the most. It’s overwhelming how the normalcy of peoples’ everyday lives seem so awe-inspiring and extraordinary. I guess that really is the beauty in our everyday ordinary and what we choose to do with it. It is intriguing how everybody has a story, a page they’re writing or are stuck at; how each and every one of us, consciously and unconsciously, are writing our own story, which even though so ordinary in our own mind, becomes larger than life to so many others.

Imagine the number of stories out there? I’ve never felt so much emotion from a Facebook page before. It’s such a hit, I presume, because this world is so starved of meaning, relevance, purpose that for once, something as brilliant as this initiative makes us feel, erm, normal, or the people our reality has made us become. It’s not about fairy tales or harbouring false expectations or dreams we’d hope so hard to come true. It’s about life, living and just being yourself, so much so that you become inspirational to so many. It’s crazy how this looks in my head because who knew a presumably homeless man’s proudest moment of feeding pigeons and rats with whatever extra food he’s left with, would make you reassess your concept of giving, taking and sharing? Or the way the old couple who met in 1944 have traveled and worked in over 60 countries and consciously decided to not have kids makes you wish you wouldn’t care so much about “society”? Or the marine officer who became a cop but really always wanted to act and became an actor at long last makes you think about striving, believing and not giving up? Really. Ordinary, every day stories of very ordinary people who are living the life we’ve all been given the choice to live who make me feel so much. It’s magic. You should check this page out when you can, if you haven’t.

This reminds me of the times my brother returns from his travels or even his random regular days, brimming with stories of meeting strangers and exchanging tidbits that will only enrich his life. There are CEOs, assistants, paanwalas, street vendors, beggars, media folk and so many more we hear about. It makes me wonder why staying in bubbles is as appealing because when I listen to him, I feel like he really is living the life we should try and live from time to time. I use the definitive word ‘should’ not because I have the secret to the ‘shoulds’ of a good, enriching life but because when I listen to these stories that happen so ordinarily in his life, I know his book of life’s already gotten that much more extraordinary.

It’s one of those days that makes me feel hopeful and optimistic. It’s a big deal. I always feel that we’re so preoccupied with unhappiness and things that make us unhappy that it becomes hard to just be happy for happy’s sake. I don’t know if I’m making any sense, but this is what I find around me, every time, everyday, everywhere. I have no idea why we seek it so much and have sought it so much that the ordinary has become extraordinary.

Well, at least it’s heartening to know that there’s meaning in the ordinariness of things and life; that there are so many thousands, if not millions out there (me included) who get their shot of happy from things other than food, photographs and the existence of Benedict Cumberbatch.

PS, just to be clear, Mr. Cumberbatch will always give me that shot (and many more) of happy (and much more) forever (and more). And for him, I am grateful. Thank you, you universe, for plopping the perfect British man during this lifetime of mine. Best!