It’s A War

“He’s mine.” she said

“He’s mine.” she replied

“He said he loves me more than anyone else.”

“He has promised me his life.”

“He is my world. My happiness is only because of him. You can’t have him”

“My existence is only because of him. I need him.”

“He deserves better.”

“He chose me.”

The mother lost a son, the motherland won a soldier.

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Sunset Musings

She wasn’t there for the clear blue water, the fine white sand, the music of crashing waves, or the solitude that the beach promised. She was there for the sunset.

Someone had once told her that sunsets were romantic. She disagreed. It had more to do with romanticism rather than being romantic. Romanticizing the colors, the silhouettes, the feeling of witnessing a natural transition. Sunset blurred the hard edges off everything, maybe that’s why.

As the sunset approached, birds were flying home, and the distant mountains stood in anticipation of the approaching darkness. The sea met the sky in a riot of red and orange.
The colors intensified as they faded. The sun promised a new hello while saying goodbye. Contrast. Quite a soul stirrer.

In that moment she wasn’t a person burdened with the expectation of living a great life, but someone full of wonder, still of belief that magic existed. She wasn’t a person surrounded by walls a thousand feet high. but someone with a wild spirit and an open heart. Everything and everyone she didn’t need, she let go with the dying sun.

Her life wasn’t in the number of people she had loved. Her life wasn’t in the number of places she had called home. Her life was in the number of sunsets she had paused to appreciate. And damn, what a wonderful life it was.

Rain On Me

In the middle of a scorching Indian summer, all I can do is fantasize about monsoon.


The earthy, damp smell

Tickled her nose

The naughty little raindrops

Slid gently down her back

A promise of things to come . . .

The clouds roared with desire

The thunder screamed with urgency

And the final outburst

That drenched everything in pleasure

Nature had never been sexier . . .

 

Got Mail

She’d stopped checking for mail a long time ago. Handwritten letters were now in the same list as dinosaurs, flip phones and Orkut. That’s why she was taken aback when she saw a letter sticking out of her mailbox while returning from work.

It could only be from one person. Him. Only he knew how to catch her off-guard, make her feel like no one else ever did; even after all this time. She took a deep breath and grabbed the letter.

She let herself in, dropped the letter on the coffee table and went to the bedroom. She took a shower, wore her nightclothes and came out. She went to the kitchen, put the coffee pot on and took out the chocolate cookies. Now was not the time to ration. All this while, she was acutely aware of the letter being there, like it had a heart of its own.

She didn’t know if she was trying to postpone opening it or if she was waiting for some kind of feeling to kick in. She had thrown his memory away in the endless dark depths of her heart. To bring it to surface would be going back in time, breaking the dam she had so deftly created and letting the memories flood her conscious again. So all she felt right now was annoyed.

This was the first letter he’d ever written to her. You need a certain kind of courage to put your feelings down in writing. He never had that, until now apparently. As for her, he’d featured in all her journal entries since the day she met him till the day she realized the redundancy of it all. Plus there were several letters. Few she gave him and few she kept for herself; about things she would never tell him and things he would never know. So it was her million words against his, she was guessing, two fifty.

Finally, when the coffee was ready, and there wasn’t really anything else left to do; it was time to open the letter. She had a mad urge to play Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony on the music system. But as she scanned through the letter, she was glad she didn’t. The letter was highly anti-climactic. Actually if she ever wrote an autobiography, it would be titled anti-climactic.

The letter was everything a letter is supposed to be; heartfelt, well phrased, funny at the right places, and ending on a hopeful note. Timing was the only problem. It was a bit too late. There were apologies she’d long given up on receiving, there were confessions of mistakes she had long forgiven him for, there were questions about second chances and she was no longer a person who could answer those. She was almost disappointed. In him for being so… ordinary; and in herself, for having let go so easily when at one point she’d claimed she never could.

But the coffee still tasted glorious, there were three more chocolate cookies to go before the jar was empty and if not Beethoven, there was still time to play some Top 40.

I Know You, You Know Me

You meet a person. You connect. You start talking, start keeping in touch. You hangout. You can tell that you really like this person. It doesn’t have to be a romantic interest, just you-are-my-kind-of-a-person thing. It’s wonderful; the beginning of the journey of getting to know someone closely.

When it comes to people, there are these milestones, that when crossed, bring you closer without fail. I feel like I can’t really know a person, or a person can’t really know me until we check these milestones off. Maybe it’s just a personal thing and you are getting the what-is-she-talking-about feeling. But hey, it’s my blog. So here’s a list anyway. I’ve added fancy GIFs too! *pats self on the back*

  1. Wanderlusting

    More often than not, travel brings out the best and worst in people. And you definitely need to know a person’s best and worst if you want to be close. Plus it’s a joy to observe how someone reacts to new sights & sounds and how it changes their dynamics with you. Want to know someone better? Travel with them. Go book tickets now!

  2. The Sleepover Club



    I’m not suggesting any kind of hanky-panky business (although that does allow you to really ’know’ someone). How you start and end your day is such an important part of who you are. Going to sleep and waking up might sound mundane, but it tells you a lot about a person. I’m not, at any point, suggesting you watch that person sleep. That’s creepy (believe me, I know).

  3. Picture Perfect



    This one might sound stupid. But hear me out (read me out?) okay. My pictures with people I’m not very close to turn out to be very awkward. I guess it’s simple; your equation translates into the picture. So when do I know I’m cool with you? When we have great pictures together.
    Also, if ever our connection falters, the photos act as a visual proof of what we had. Otherwise it just makes it that much easier to pretend that we never had a connection in the first place.

  4. Cry Me A River



    I look at crying as a very personal thing. So I don’t let just anyone see me cry. Similarly, when someone is crying when I’m around, I take it as a responsibility; you trust me enough to be that vulnerable in front of me. And nothing tells you more about a person than seeing how they are when they’re sad and how they handle it when you’re sad.

  5. Family First



    Seeing how someone is around their family can range from hilarious, tragic, heart-warming to downright shocking. You’ve seen nothing till you’ve seen how one behaves when with family.

  6. The Elixir Of Life



    This had to be on the list, right? However clichéd it might be, it doesn’t get any more honest than being downright drunk. No I’m not talking buzzed, tipsy, or happy high. I’m talking drunk drunk. If they tell you they love you while they’re drunk, believe it.

  7. Hello… It’s Me



    Contrary to Ted Mosby’s theory, I’ve had some of the best and most insightful conversations after 2 a.m. There’s nothing like defying the societal laws of acceptable sleeping hours together, journeying into the unknown world of nonsense and the profound at 4 in the morning. Somehow people seem more interesting at night, or is it just me?

That’s all folks! (No GIF for this, too much was happening)

p.s. – This is not a definitive (or a very serious) list. If you have additions, do tell.

Patriotism: A Rant

patriotism

I’ve often heard a lot of people either speak of patriotism with great fervor or dismiss it with great contempt. What do I think? Like most abstract nouns, patriotism lies in that elusive space between black and white.

I am quite patriotic. I tear up every time I sing the national anthem in front of my country’s flag. I love where I was born, and the culture and values that I’ve imbibed as a result. I identify myself as an Indian. I feel very connected to everything India represents, and I’ve always dreamed about representing my country one day on an international platform. I can trace my roots to a geographical landmass, and that geographical landmass has come to mean something to me. That’s all there is to it.

Now I can’t stress this enough, being patriotic is my personal choice. It’s not a criterion I would judge people on. You can’t make someone love something, and even if they do, you can’t force them to prove it or display it. So if you’re not standing up for the national anthem, that’s your choice. If you think India is a mess and you’d be better off in a first world country, your choice. In fact if you are doing an honest day’s work, you are compassionate and you are making the best of all you’ve got, you’re already better off than a lot of ‘patriotic’ people around.

So do I feel patriotism is a concept that we cannot exist without, no I don’t. But it is an emotion, and it does make a lot of difference.

Now the argument about how we need to identify as humans more than being an Indian, or American or whatever – you’re right. We’re, first and foremost, humans. Solidarity for fellow human beings should be our first instinct. The thing is, I don’t see patriotism coming in the way of that. I don’t see it as something that creates boundaries, because in its essence, it’s not supposed to. I see it as something that helps create grounded individuals who come together as a productive community. We need to celebrate our diversity, acknowledge the plethora of identities we’ve come to create over centuries. I’m all for a world without boundaries, where we don’t have to worry about terms like immigrants or refugees. But I’ll never be excited about the idea of one religion, one nationality, one identity. It’s like opening a box of crayons but finding they’re all one color. Or sitting for dinner and finding that all courses are bread. Forgive me if my metaphors are a little off.

It’s simple, really. At no point let your patriotism give you the idea that you’re superior to anybody, or that anyone is superior to you just because they’re of a different nationality. I guess that’s what makes all the difference. Being proud of where you come from and understanding the pride that other people take in where they come from. It’s not about ‘my country is better than your country’. It’s more about ‘what can I do to contribute positively towards my country, and eventually towards the world’.

So let’s try this. Whenever in doubt, ask yourself a question – “Does my patriotism make me a better person or do I just use it as a douchebaggy excuse to justify my obnoxiousness?”

Capiche?

 

Remember To Remember

“You know what I think?” she says. “That people’s memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive. Important memories, not-so-important memories, totally useless memories: there’s no distinction–they’re all just fuel.”― Haruki MurakamiAfter Dark

Memories have always been the drug of my choice I guess. More like a romanticized approach to masochism. I like preserving time; I like reliving those moments which were even slightly better than the countless identical moments life is made up of. But it doesn’t necessarily work out well for me every time. Memories hurt, especially the ones that are no longer a part of my present. And going over those memories again & again is like trying to cut my heart out with a shard of glass; and I do it anyway. But hey, it’s the New Year. I’ll talk about the good part. About how memories remind me that I am very lucky. Very lucky to have had great people in my life, to have been to wonderful places, to have had experiences worth remembering. Also, memories are a great teacher. They’re an effective scale to gauge how far you’ve come in life. I’d like to conclude with an example:

Brunch

This is a brunch receipt from 1st January, 2015. I was pretty accurate in what I wrote, it was quite a screwed up situation. Although at that moment it was everything I could’ve hoped for. I can still feel the lingering shadow of how happy I was when I wrote it. Just that sometimes, what you think is the best, is probably just a tiny bit better than everything you’ve known till then. And this, you realize only with time.

It’s 1st January, 2016 today and what I wrote about is long gone. But I’m here and life’s pretty awesome. Just saying, chill the fuck out, everything works out in the end. To new mistakes, new lessons and new memories. Happy 2016, another chance to get right!

Not A Love Story

She was born with a tortured soul. She didn’t need any childhood trauma, personal tragedy or heartbreak to go spiraling into the black hole. She was perpetually on the edge of falling. The void was her home. She was the kind to run away from the light at the end of the tunnel. Darkness was all she knew, all she was fond of. There was nothing she was afraid of, except for herself. Her thoughts were darker than her own shadow.

Yet, she was the brightest star of his universe. She was the only light he would ever need.

“You can’t save me, no one can. I’m unfix-able.” she used to say.

And all he would tell her was, “You fool, can’t you see? You’re the one saving me.”

Roses Are Blue

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First off, the title is just for kicks.

My favorite part about this picture, I didn’t have to do anything. Someone had taken out the roses from an old bouquet. And when I walked past, they were just there, waiting to be clicked. It’s sometimes wonderful to stumble upon a piece of nature in the midst of our electronic lives, I feel.

Second favorite part, the picture is full of so many possibilities. I can’t put a finger on one particular emotion. Happiness, melancholy, nostalgia, pain, retrospection; it seems to take form of however you’re feeling at the moment.

Last, I’d just like to put it out there. Roses are anything but romantic. Flowers in general for that matter. It’s like saying, hey I saw something pretty and alive and I brought it to you so you could watch it die in your hands.

I See

Ma what is red?

The color of love my child

But I see blood everywhere, on torn clothes and empty roads

Red blood that knows no religion, no nationality

What is childhood?

The age of innocence and wonder

But I see eyes full of terror, tiny hands holding guns

Lost in the chaos of life and death

What is home?

Where you’re safe and happy

But I see closed borders, horrors at the sea

Waves alive with screams

What is peace?

When everything is all right and the world is one

But I see shattered hopes and broken dreams

I see humans against humanity

I see misplaced faith and diminishing integrity

What is future?

They say the future is space, the future is Mars

But the earth is burning, can’t they see?

I see and I don’t want to anymore

Can I go to sleep ma?

Yes my child

What if I don’t wake up?

Then you’ll be in a better place

For we’ve created our own hell right here.