Tag Archives: Thoughts

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?

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184: Do You Know…

4 Jul

…that everything’s going to be alright? That it never was anything but alright all this while? That it takes a special kind of understanding to feel at peace, to come to terms with life’s ways, to essentially let go?

Do you know that the world conspires to put things together – sometimes with a small prayer, sometimes by its own volition?

Do you know that you’re safe, loved, trusted to be the best and only the best?

Do you also know that perhaps there’s no one better than you to do what you’re supposed to do?

:)

152: Homeward Bound

1 Jun

I’m off to Bangalore for a short while, dear friends. It’s a break I have been looking forward to, naturally, and now that it’s time to leave (yes, I’m writing this after my successful book hunt at the airport – I picked up Maharani Gayatri Devi’s memoirs), the wait has become even more unbearable. What once used to take us days to reach by train, now takes us not more than 3 hours – we’re fortunate; but now even these three hours feel like a lifetime. My check-in was smoother than I’d imagined at this hour – and everything went off with a happy, genuine smile from both sides – from the lady at the check-in counter to the lady at security check to my coffee waitress. It’s a great way to begin a day, that’s for sure.

I hope to be able to write regularly, but there might be more cheating involved during this period than I’d like to acknowledge. I’m referring to blog cheating and food cheating, of course. Sometimes it is hard to draw the line between these secondary forces that pull me to Bangalore – is it the food, the weather, the memories, the walk back in time?, because the one thing I focus a lot on, is food. I’ll write more about memories on a later post; but food really seems to take precedence. Going back to what I was saying is that I hope I can maintain this venture while I’m busy stuffing my face with the madness Bangalore has to offer.

See you on the other side, dear reader! Have a pleasant and colourful June! :)

128: Wisdom

8 May

Sucking on this ice lolly rather whimsically, I can’t help but think of this prayer that I once used to begin my workday with back while working at a rehab.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

This Serenity Prayer was just another routine thing I mumbled back in the day; a formality, a must-do, a not so crucial thing that didn’t really make a difference to my life. I didn’t know, and I couldn’t have cared less. I was there to do my work, get the job done, and get my ass back home from that all-male rehab which wasn’t the most pleasant of settings I imagined spending my summers in. But it was the need of that hour, and it was to be done minus much preoccupation.

Today is a different time. It’s seven years later, a long enough period for a lot to have happened, even if one was inert, existentially or otherwise. This has been a recurring thought to me off-late – to let go, to let go, to let go in absolution. I haven’t inspected the fear of letting go in absolution; no I have not. Neither have I bothered looking over the cliff to see the view and/or the fall. Like many things universal, this cliche is definitely easier said than done. But I’m fighting hard to not just try. And each day for a while now, has been exactly that – a reminder to work towards jumping off this cliff.

Sucking on this rather comforting lolly, I wish to, by action, also tell the world to go suck it.

I’m taking what’s mine and I’m walking away – go suck it.

I’m drawing my lines and you nasty, line-encroacher you, can go suck it.

I’m not going to care, and you can go suck it.

Watch me make 50% become my new 100% while you, my dear universe, can yes, go suck it.


This has made me feel better, strangely. I felt like I’ve left what’s unnecessary and jumped off the cliff. Or maybe that’s the soothing comfort of the ice lolly speaking – the sheer blindness of denial. Whatever it is, I’m feeling better already – a little less of me is preoccupied with things that really don’t matter (which I thought really did), and a lot of me is urging to fight this battle as hard as I can.

I hope you had a more fruitful Monday. Have this ice lolly, and suck it. Trust me.

(PS, thank you for stomaching the rant. I owe you!)

83: The Magnetism Of Realness

24 Mar

I’ll admit that I’ve been taken over by Jon Krakauer’s work and style of writing. I’m still admittedly hugely absorbed in his telling of the 1996 Mt. Everest tragedy, scouring each word and expression to immerse myself into, not that his work warrants much effort. My experience with this book has been the realest thing I’ve read in the longest time; as if I was there, watching it all unfold in front of my eyes, undergoing the sharpness of each emotion felt by the ones on that expedition. I can’t remember when a book made me feel this way.

As far back as I can remember, biographies and non-fictitious works never called out to me. The only real-life tales I ever participated in were those of Jim Corbett, thanks to the influence his works had on my cousin brother, and therefore on me. I’ve never read Anne Frank, neither have I attempted a biography, no matter how well talked about or moving. They just couldn’t lure me back then. Of course I chanced upon the movie Everest after which I felt drawn towards Krakauer’s book for reasons too mysterious even for my comprehension.

Last night as I ensconced myself in this piece, I was unable to keep it aside, for how could one just leave when members you’ve come to know over so many pages lay in a Godforsaken place waiting to die or be saved? It’s not the drama, the eeriness, or even the incalculable struggle which kept me in my spot, I realised later as I drifted into sleep (talk about letting go and trying not to think!). It dawned upon me that a lot of me connected with the realism of what I was reading. Books come to you, like everything else that’s meant for you does, I believe. At a time when I’ve innumerable questions threatening to exhaust the last stock of my sanity and concrete (or so I thought) sense of self, here came a book that helped me find a path towards some answers, if not give me answers itself.

This strange existentialism that grips us all in myriad ways has its grasp on me too. Where am I going? What am I doing? Who am I? What is my calling? The questions are many, and overwhelming. Some people have their answers because of their sureties. I’m not one of them because I’ve never felt so nomadic before. I’m from everywhere and nowhere, I tell whoever asks me where I am from. Somehow that answer fits my understanding of this question best at the moment. And so the path continues.

Strangely enough, my course of thoughts, actions, questions, and behaviours already seem to have taken a deviation taking into cognizance this need for more realness than the imagined. The gears have changed and it’s a refreshing phase, that’s for sure.

76: Tomorrow

17 Mar

As we sat over chai just sometime ago, conversations about tomorrow drowned me. Plans, and more plans. Before I knew it, I’d been submerged and sat there, twirling my hair, lost in the possibilities of a tomorrow which will anyway come, but with zero guarantees. How do some of us manage to let go, leave it all behind, and move forward effortlessly? Or seemingly effortlessly, at least. Shaking myself away from this futile wallowing, I got up and proceeded on to other more important things.

Today.

Think about today.

Give today your all.

Tomorrow’s going to arrive, but it hasn’t knocked on your door yet.

Today.

Live in today.

Work for today.

But it all still loomed around my periphery, refusing to be gone.

Go write, if that’ll help, I told myself.

I’m not sure if that’s helping, because I have this need to think and overthink till free-flowing thoughts become a trap of sludge that’s hard to get out of. Webs that become stronger, stickier, more clingy.

Leaving tomorrow for a later time isn’t my style, but it’ll have to be for now.

And what helped was this I came across earlier today on FB.

I cannot enunciate the combined power of letting go and the ways of this universe. A lot of me will always believe that I was to come across this today, maybe because I needed it. :)

Here’s more of the most amazing stuff that will do you and me more wonders than we can imagine.

Happy Friday, and happy living in the moment. :)

38: Hostessing

7 Feb

After our visit to my in-laws in Agra, I had my immediate in-laws over to stay with us. They left just yesterday and what a week it has been. I won’t deny not having the time to check my phone or to sit down to write, but it’s hard to put my thoughts together or even write when I have people around, especially family. I consider it rude to sit in front of the laptop or phone; partly because I’m still unable to strike that balance between me time and together time, but mostly because I didn’t want to find that balance.

The first thing that comes to my mind is how panicked I feel when I have guests over. Of course the game plan changes when you have your in-laws visiting, no? It’s this conflict between wanting to be a decent host versus giving them a good time versus deciding how much is too much or too less. The hostess in me needs to have things in order and go by a certain plan; but that may definitely not be in sync with the guests I have. In trying to find this balance between making them feel comfortable versus ensuring things go smoothly, a lot of my nerves get frayed. It’s safe to say that I am not a seasoned hostess whose house and peripheral tasks run as smoothly as keeping one’s guests happy, comfortable, and satisfied. Do you experience the same anxiety too?

The first few days were ripe with trying to get it right without losing my shit. I’d already lost my shit even before we entered the house and I have no idea what my in-laws took away from that experience. *shudder* In retrospect, I think my behaviour was completely unnecessary and a defense mechanism, if you ask me. I imagined my world falling apart even before I entered it – how’s that for a good laugh? But the rough edges did smooth out as the days progressed – I got used to them and they got used to me – and somewhere down the line, we came halfway to help each other out.

More than wanting to be the best hostess (if there even is such a thing), it’s this fear of not living up to the standards I have created for myself. Things need to be in order, and under control, for me to function optimally. However, what I did learn over the past week was this obvious phrase – the tighter you hold sand, the faster it will slip away. And then it wasn’t so bad after all. :)

9: A Few Of My Favourite Things

9 Jan

In this journey of trying to find myself and who I really am, there have been quite a few pathways that have appealed to me more than the others. It’s an interesting turn of events, or phase of life as it were, to examine where you’ve come from, where you presently are, and where you’re headed. Of course the guarantee and promise of concrete answers is negligible most often, especially when you’re desperately seeking them, but not entirely elusive altogether. Or that’s what I’ve come to believe. I’ve found many a light not when I was in darkness, but when I was either transitioning or was in light itself, and there have been many eureka moments when they were least expected…sometimes during a shower, sometimes during a fight, sometimes during a walk, sometimes while cooking…quite a few were missed because I wasn’t watching or wasn’t perceptive enough, but too bad and tough luck. Some reflections were rather obvious, some more inconspicuous…it was when and where I picked them up that gave these much needed insights a fuller context, and padding, as required.

While moving along, here’s what I’ve discovered are a few of my favourite things:

Solitude. I thrive on it, because it’s mine and mine alone. Whether and what I choose to do in my company, is my own prerogative, my headache, my fruition.

Moments. Whether it’s while I’m sitting down with a cup of tea or my food by myself, or while watching tv with A, or just making a fulfilling omelette; each moment speaks of its own spark and energy, each gives me a little bit of itself without expectations or judgement. And there’s so much to savour with what they have to give.

Art. There’s a satisfaction in creation which welcomes everyone in its grace, life, and magic, like nothing else does. I find art in cooking and baking, vegetable shopping, and my morning cup of tea – from making it to drinking it – apart from the obvious others of writing, painting, gardening, music, and movement.

Stillness. It’s gotten me so very far, this one. And it’s also been the hardest to nurture and incorporate. Stillness in my thoughts, emotions, mind, functioning, chaos, without falling apart…I’m far from where its absolute magic resides, but it’s all a part of the journey.

Silence. I come from that thought which mandates me to speak up, stand up, be seen for what I think, believe, or do. I don’t mean this in an attention-grabbing way at all, but in a way which makes you accountable, even if publicly so, for your actions. I will fight a battle if it rages inside me, I will break loose if the floodgates are too much to bear. But I’m a lover of silence, and honestly believed to have incorporated it in my life, till I was so wrongly mistaken. Being silent didn’t mean keeping quiet, it meant picking what to speak up about, and letting the rest rush past you without affectation or chaos. This was the difference I didn’t quite understand till very recently. I find it hard to pick my battles because I cannot keep my mouth shut, and this really is a secret favourite I hope to imbibe. It’s clear that it needs a predominant and paramount level of investment and effort, but here’s to trying and making it through, one word less at a time.

It is at this point when A, if he were to be reading this, would swoop right in, look at me, and tell me to not think so much…that everything I’m trying to tame in me comes from overthinking. This would’ve made me argue to prove a point, but before I’d speak, I’d have to acknowledge that there’s more truth in this than not. No?

Food For Thought

1 Sep

Today was one of those days where I wanted that simple and delectable fried egg for a snack as soon as I got home. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about when I say that sometimes you know exactly what you want to eat minus having made any (elaborate) plan to work towards eating it. Fried eggs; they’re a sure shot of comfort. I think I’ve asked friends settled seas and oceans away from me to make fried eggs for me. Haven’t fried eggs featured at that exact moment when you’re about to hit the sack at a sleepover? And then everyone gets excited and the menu sort of extends to become more than just fried eggs since caring friends are anyway taking the trouble to get out of bed for your random fix. They also make best sense when you’re back home after a late night of drinking and need some comforting, wholesome goodness that will absorb all that you want out of your system asap.

Eggs fried in butter…they’re the fried eggs you should eat. Trace a fancy design with cold butter on a heated pan; trust me it’s fun. And it’s good if you get carried away and find a small puddle of salty, sizzling, bubbling butter waiting for its purpose to be served. Crack those eggs open right in and let the magic take place. Crackle salt, flick pepper, watch the yolk jiggle just as much as you’d like it to and slide it right off onto a crisp, propah, brown slice of heaven we call toast. 5 minutes to heaven, it cannot get simpler than that. And you’d want to fry those eggs in butter, trust me. It makes all the difference and in case the thought of butter brings calorific palpitations to the diet freak in you, did anyone ever say how important butter/fat is for general bodily health? Of course I’m no one to get all medical on something I turn to only for hedonistic purposes, but it’s true. Ask your favourite family elder.

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This post isn’t about fried eggs and I’m sorry I took you on such a deviation, but it’s clear just how important fried eggs are to me. These life savers deserve a post of their own. Soon.

Of course I began wording this post when I started doodling on a pan with a cold stick of butter. And needless to say, I got carried away and landed with a gorgeous pool of butter. I cracked one egg open and it glided ever so perfectly onto the puddle. The words in my head also sewed themselves together into beautiful strings of expressions. And then I cracked the second egg open and this happened. All those strings of perfection shattered just like this silly yolk that couldn’t contain itself. I’d gotten lost and punctured it by mistake. Eeeps. Do you know how this feels to a person anal about structure and perfection? It’s powerful enough to generate countless tongue-clicks, irritated expressions and feelings of stupidity.

But then, it’s not like the egg tasted any worse. Of course it wouldn’t. I savoured it and then made my way here, even more convinced about the perfection of my broken string of thoughts. And so they begin.

As annoying as the past few nights have been, for reasons more than one, today seems like a day where the light at the end of the tunnel seems to finally be nearing. But you know the cynical side of that statement, don’t you? Not hoping it’s an oncoming train instead, I’m taking each day as it comes with these assurances, of sorts.

There is no perfection and there is no guarantee that the world will unfold as you want it to. I’m not sure when I began thinking everything in my jurisdiction was under my control. So it’s no surprise that dealing with situations, circumstances and events that aren’t tailored to your comforts is freaking hard. I also realise just how moulded the relationships we share with our families and close ones are – we’ve tailor-made our interactions and reactions to fit so snugly into the grooves of the other’s, that even friction has its own space and special fit minus the pain of what raw, untapped friction can feel like. Isn’t that a comforting thought to all us comfort-lovers?

It’s heartening to imagine and believe that we’ve got it all under control and in place. It’s good while it lasts. My beliefs in the were shaken over the weekend or maybe I took my sweet time to become aware of it. No wonder they say it’s good to shake things up, mess with it all, create some chaos. Oh wait, I have the perfect words to compliment what I’m trying to express here.

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I think it helps remove the cobwebs and gets those neatly placed gears of comfort in motion so we aren’t static free particles strung together without purpose or without an aim.

I’m thinking that unplanned, broken egg yolk strung my scattered thoughts together. See, eggs record yet another purpose for their existence – which is to remind crazy-haired, rose-tinted glasses wearing girls of certain realities.

It still tasted darn good, butter and all. It looks like not all chaos is tasteless or harmful; I’m guessing it’s just how we choose to see it. With or without that puddle of bubbling butter.

The Dark Side

18 Aug

There are days when your spirit, your willpower, your positivism and everything else that makes you feel invincible against the darker forces of an idle and cynical mind surround you in this safe, positive, indestructible haven. It’s that time when you feel absolutely untouchable in a powerful, god-like way. You feel like you can actually step right out of your zone and conquer the world, stretch those long folded wings and fly wherever the hell you really wish to fly to. It all seems possible. Even for us cynics, yes. Isn’t that just the.best.feeling.ever? I envy positive people because I presume they see the world like this all.the.time. Nothing is insurmountable, no one is too extraordinary and impossible to emulate should you be one to go by others’ standards, and life looks totally livable; roses and all. I’m sure optimists have roses and rainbows and achievable goals.

So being a self-proclaimed cynic makes feeling positive an alien concept a lot of the times. It’s not about being self-loathing or low on self-esteem as it were. They’re not really connected, I think. However, I see more instances of forecasting the absolute worst just so you feel you’re a step ahead and in control instead of just being able to let go and genuinely feel happy for your own self. It’s not that cynics don’t feel happy. It’s just that I guess we do not know how to feel happy should our worst fears come true and that happiness be taken away from us before we open those doors and let the magic in.

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As usual, I come across these when the moment seems just perfect. Call it selective perception if you may. However, this happened to come my way because I’m trying to walk on to the darker side – the happier side. There is no doubt about the amount of happiness there is all around and the sheer number of stimuli just waiting to trigger bouts of happiness at the slightest approach. It seems all too much of a waste to watch it all wither away once the moment is lost very well knowing you chose to sit in your scared corner not having experienced happiness at all.

It’s like that saying of holding on to grains of sand so hard that they eventually escape your grasp. That’s the same concept I’m talking about here; it’s astounding how we’ve become so afraid to let go and just live, fall, get hurt and heal. Apply the same to relationships and just why we’re so wary of opening those gates to what lies inside. I wonder what part of this generational spoke has us by our collar so bad that we’re losing, if we haven’t already lost the ability to live free and with the same amount of abandon as the posts we splash all over social media about life and its experiences. And I digress, but it looks like we now live our life vicariously through these rather magnanimous, if I may, posts we produce with great diligence. Magnanimous because suddenly real experiences of life now equate a rather exotic solo travel or a hot air balloon ride or even a trip abroad, at that. Whatever happened to regular, small, meaningful moments which also do contribute to life just as much, if not more? Of course I use the term exotic not to denote extravagance in any way.

That is another post to ponder over for later. While on the topic of happiness, actually being able to experience the feeling for what it is without the worry of it vanishing is something I’ve to deal with too. Being cynical about everything comes at such huge costs, not to forget the price you end up paying for being just so stupid, really. It’s needless to say that this goes hand-in-hand with the absolute inability to not overthink every single thing. Overthinking + aroused fears = a perfect combination for a cynic. Of course we’re so caught up in feeling cynical that whatever happy moments do come our way are lost or misread into being something we do not deserve.

And isn’t that the most dangerous thing; to believe you don’t deserve happiness? Things to think, and not overthink about, because our happy moments are always right in front of us. Always. Hopefully we’ll be able to tell ourselves that we’re just as deserving; that exhibiting and celebrating happiness has nothing to do with selfishness.

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I’ll let this speak for itself.

Let’s hop over to the dark side, cynics!