Sunday, 29 January 2017

Precariously Precious

Strung up on consequences,
Volition became dissent..
..One's ignorance, another's decisiveness
Matter won the mind

Enswathed in grey
- a murmur of conviction,
Stormed, wayward figments
- loopholes on a loop.

Yet.
Drawn-in, closed-out
Searching for answers,
- an elusive glance, nebulous talk -
Found.
Another question.

Shadows of myself,
..Or perceptions of your light?
Compelled by time,
Unraveling an hourglass of possibilities.

Act, don't react
Reminisce, don't regret
Belong to moments, not people
Learn some, unlearn more.

Lightness over weight,
Blindsided no more
Me over you
Calm, above all

Twisted logic, sane still
Adrift yet anchored
For moments 'lone
In time, one.

Friday, 30 September 2016

My Irrepressible Alter Ego


Through the course of evolution, love progressed to become a thing of comfort. A fleeting emotion, which paved its way into into happiness & empathy, laughter and kindness..almost every positive sentiment. I have often mulled over the inbred affair between love and sacrifice; the notion of selflessness...of unconditional love and positivity. I thought I understood what it meant to give, and not expect. But you see, the other thing that we learn from the story of evolution, is the overpowering nature of the will to survive. Ipso facto, this need for survival equilibrates itself into a spectrum of selfishness. No matter what human form you embody, you align yourself somewhere along that spectrum. But sometimes, maybe only sometimes, if you will it enough, you can live your own little miracle of unadulterated, selfless love; of the kind of happiness that dwells in your stomach, and makes it home. 

You did that for me, my Yodlium. You made me gain perspective, and lose anxiety. You made me accept love, and reject pessimism. You reminded me on the most vapid of days, that going in circles was in fact a way of life one could love to enjoy, if only we did it without the expectation of actually getting somewhere. You made it okay for me to not arrive to whatever it was that I chased, and just keep yearning anyway, because that obviously was the point all along.

I do not have the prescribed expertise to assert the fact that animals are sentient beings. But if consciousness is what we need to establish the existence of sentience, I cannot think of a better way of exemplifying consciousness than the ability to love something external to you; to push those primeval instincts of selfishness to the periphery of your existence. 

And you, my irrepressible four-legged friend, were the manifestation of all that consciousness. 

I hope you find a kinder world wherever it is that you are.

I will continue to strive to see this world, and myself, through your lens.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Heads or Tails?

"I miss you."
"I miss you too."

I love it when people say such stuff. It's worth so much to be able to communicate to another person that they count. But like a lot of things people say, they don't always mean this. It's one of those things you just have to say to pacify the other person...or sometimes, to pacify yourself. 

But you've never really missed if you haven't done a long distance relationship, and not necessarily the romantic kind ( I'm doing over 9 of them at this point, and they collectively contribute to my bouts of "MISSing"- you guys know who you are). I mean, the feeling of your entire body churning inside your stomach, because you know "goodbye" is just a few moments short. You've never really missed, if you've lived in a place all your life- your lungs unaccustomed to air of another kind, your eyes blind to any other beauty but the sunsets you pictured when you drew them as a kid,your mind ignorant to any routes other than those you traversed....Every.Single.Day, your heart oblivious to what it's like to love, but never FEEL.. and suddenly it's a changed scenery, a different painting.

Don't get me wrong, the freedom is exhilarating; Especially for somebody as opinionated as me. It's refreshing to get a chance to cherry-pick your people in a completely different setting. And the proposition to get rid of the dependence on existing attachments is a very inviting one. The desire to grow, to break-free from familiarity, to test and measure myself on my own scale - it was these things that motivated me to leave home and study abroad.

I don't know if I regret my choices. I don't think I do. But the trade-offs are very tangible and real. And the importance of vulnerability has never been as starkly evident to me. How do we expect to feel the clawing depth of emotions without succumbing to the possibility of being hurt? It is an anachronistic belief. The perceived stability of independence is probably the most overrated thing in this world. It's also the most pretentious attitude to condone. Whether it's biologically or philosophically motivated, I cannot say, but I know for certain that relationships are an enamoring concept to all human beings- to some a little more than others. And that is the basis for love, hatred, fear, joy, faith, disappointment, contentment and the myriad of other emotions that you can think of. Association with god or family or friends or even work- essentially, all our actions are compelled by this sense of responsibility and attachment towards something external to us.

And with every passing day, as I attempt to plough my way into internal stability, these convictions are cemented even more. But the desire to strike a balance is there and hopefully it'll come with age and experience.

And the tussle for what home really is, is ongoing. What, if any, are the limits to your external dependence? And when do you define them?

The family and love you've left behind? Or those precious individuals who knew nothing about you, but graciously accepted your rawness?

Heads or Tails?

Friday, 11 July 2014

The Right to Rape- A True Story.



Gandhi. Taj Mahal. Corruption. Hockey? No, I think cricket. Rape. Tandoori chicken. The Himalayas. Goa!. Rapes in buses. The British Raj. Hindu-Muslim riots. Domestic abuse. Bollywood. Did I mention RAPE?

It was a Friday evening. It still is actually. I've been interning in Singapore for about a month and a half, so obviously I've been very busy pretending to work hard. So if my life were a wave, my weekends would be the crests, and my weekdays the deepest troughs. (Pardon the analogy, I'm a little shell shocked and I'm trying very hard to make sense).

I was out drinking with a bunch of friends (I'm twenty years old and it's legal here so judge all you want), and all of a sudden I felt incredibly hungry.. so I went to find the 24X7 Subway at Clarke Quay. I walked at a pace proportionate to my level of hunger, a bird's eye view of the sandwich at all times, and somewhere in that process, the friends I was walking with got left behind.

But I went on anyway. After all it was Singapore, not India. I hardly had anything to worry about

"Hullo?" "Hull-ooooo" "Hey there" "Hullllo"

My Delhi instincts told me not to turn back. But then it just got annoying..so I did turn back.As expected, he was talking to me, and I kept ignoring him ( #indiangirllifelesson101)... Until about 5 minutes later, when I just lost it and asked him what his problem was. He laughed. It was more of a sneer actually. So after I'd retorted once, I decided to continue walking and not let him "get to me". Then out of nowhere this guy lunges forward, inches away from my face. I take a step back (and so does the woman holding his arm).. he says, and I quote...

"You're Indian, right? You're used to getting raped?"



For the first time in my life, I was speechless. I am ordinarily fairly confident in my ability to retaliate and call people out on their lack of rationality and judgement. But not this time. I was defenseless. I think maybe, I was weak. My instincts led me to be torn between the response of slapping the guy, and just crying out of sheer disbelief. 

And so I cursed him, attempting to sound as strong as I could, and then I ran...feeling possibly the smallest I have ever felt.

Deterrence, restitution and rehabilitation- the pillars of justice. But my mere discomfiture with  a situation entitled me to no restitution. My solace lies in being grateful that he didn't actually do anything. It's simple..Think about how much worse it could have been, sympathise with those gazillion other women, play it out in your head, and you'll feel better about your current circumstances. Counter-factual, but convincing. 

I wish I better knew where I was going with this. I don't entirely know. I am still trying to fathom the fact that someone insinuated they had a right to rape me because I'm Indian.. I am trying to digest the fact that I've grown up enough to be told such a thing...I'm trying to understand exactly when rape became a part of my  inheritance..when my national identity was reduced to a derisive, humiliating and primeval notion of women.

I am attempting to learn how to become...less Indian.

Until then... Vande Matram!

P.S.- He WAS Indian.



Monday, 2 June 2014

Green















The world stops and turns,
at the behest of the green paper-

"It's wiser to choose the paper,
The trees are for free,"
- the mind proclaims fervently.

The heart makes a feeble attempt-
"But..the green of the wild--
 its power is miserably undermined!"

The venerable tussle of the heart and the head,
Has spared no soul alive;
"It's the choices we make that decide our fate;
they decide how we survive!"

But the fire in our belly is long gone..
extinguished by the ghost of insatiability;
What fuels the heft of our choices..
 is only the green of envy.

As jealousy strikes at both ends,
I am subsumed by all that's green--
Torn between the world's moorings
..and what best defines me.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Mirrored.

NOT MY WORDS THIS TIME; NEVERTHELESS, SOMETHING THAT MOVED ME:

Life. It is so abstract. No matter how planned someone may think their life is, it is a blank canvas, where only a billion strokes can paint a picture. There are so many things that affect each stroke. But the greatest variable there is, is people. People are a complex concoction of flesh, blood, organs, senses, thoughts and emotions. They are born a blank canvas, and die a beautiful painting.


I've always wondered why human beings let so much affect them. I mean, if a person goes through life with no emotions, nothing to hold him back, nothing to bring him down, he could accomplish so much. After all, the human body and mind are just tools. It is our consciousness that makes us do what we do, think what we think. If we kept all this emotion business out of it, we'd accomplish so much more, get so much more out of life. We could work every second of the day, no worries. Sounded perfect to me. But then I started to think, what's the point? All this work, all that money, for what?

So thus, I began to believe, that when the beautiful orchestra of evolution created man, all god had to do was add consciousness, to make things interesting, to make life worth living. So life became fun. It became variable. It gave us something to work for. It gave us love, war, happiness, sadness. It gave us our ups, downs and all arounds. It gave each person one common thing, thought, and put us all in the playing field of life. It gave people countless things to live for and countless things to die for. And if I have ever found something worth living for, it is you, and us. On my canvas, you are the thickest stroke. From the time we were 'acknowledgable acquaintances', to now, when I can't think of life without your smile, your laugh, your presence; it has been a beautiful journey.

Growing up, a large part of my time I spent alone. It's not that I didn't have people I loved around me. I have angels for a family and amazing friends, but still, I've always been someone who has had independent thoughts and opinions. I closed a large part of myself to the world. Not in a dark sinister sort of way, but more in the way that I preferred to just think, and get lost in my thoughts. I felt that they deserved to be only MY thoughts. And it is this mental independence (that stemmed purely from the lack of co-dependance) that I accredit for any sort of emotional maturity that I have. After a point, I began to realize how with most situations, I didn't need to share my points of view with people, simply because I was so comfortable with my own, and didn't feel the need for an opinion. So I let myself be whoever the situation wanted me to be, and reserved the true crazy, happy, fun-loving person that I am for my family. I didn't think there was anyone who I needed to be completely open with, and the thought of sharing my LIFE with someone seemed quite unnecessary. But that was until we happened. You're someone who I felt I could be myself around, who I felt was worth my opening up to. You're the first companion I had who I WANTED to open up to. And boy, that was just the beginning. From a want, you've become a need. I love you. And I love what you've done to me.

Every bit of me knows this can work. I know we can take whatever the hell life throws at us. It'll be hard, and that's why it'll be worth it. I love you.

-- Thank you for mirroring my thoughts, ninjip --


Monday, 8 October 2012

K(eep).I(t).S(imple).S(illy) ?


I’ve never considered myself to be an easy person to deal with. I’ve never claimed to be one either. But my experiences have taught me one thing- people find simplicity very inviting and comforting. It makes them feel like they have a lot less on their plate. Or maybe it’s the illusion of feeling empowered by dealing with and overcoming something uncomplicated. But I’ve tried simplicity, and it doesn’t do much for me. I think I’ve got too much to lose at the expense of simplicity. Emotion, intellect, knowledge, human behavior and interaction, and just the basic psyche of people- these are the things that excite me, none of which are “simple” in any sense. And I wouldn’t sacrifice them for simplicity. The bargain just isn’t inviting enough.

 None of what I’m saying is axiomatic. I’m simply stating what works for me. I’ve met very few people who would consciously adopt the same school of thought as me, and even fewer people who can appreciate the essence of what I believe, even if they choose not to follow it themselves.

 And because of this, I’ve had some anxious moments about this take on life. I’ve wondered if it would hinder my success- not professional or superficial success- but my success as a person. Self-doubt is by far the worst state of mind I’ve experienced. But my worst bout of self-doubt taught me something- how to be okay with it. Not to get immune to it and to let it not affect you, but to just know it’s important, and as clich├ęd as this may sound- to know it’ll pass. The strength to overcome this dubious state of mind may not always come from within. More often than not, it comes from an external source. It did for me.

 For the first time I surprised myself. I was willing to let another person take control of my problem, willing to let go of my obsessive nature of wanting to solve it on my own. And it was brilliant. It was amazing to discover things about myself and the world and the people and their emotions-the kind of things you assume only existed in YOUR head. It was comforting to know that there was another person whose head was as quirky yet tumultuous as mine. It was relieving to feel okay about not wanting to live with a fear of complexity. It was humbling to be appreciated purely for my rationale, my principles, my beliefs. For once it was easy, without any intention of mine to make it so. For once it was accidently “simple”. And it still is.

-- Keep it real and honest, silly. --