She woke up, startled
In a dark, dank place
It seemed eerily familiar,
and yet so strange
The noise was deafening
A cacophony like monkeys make
“Come here, look at me”, a voice yelled
“Not that, me, come to me”, the other wailed
“You are a loser”, snickered one
“How fake can you be”, chided the other
The voices went on,
screeching and singing and crying and laughing
At first she cupped her ears,
trying to make out what each said
Then got tired, and looked some way
to block the mess they made
She was embittered, and so added to it
Screaming out loud, just to get herself heard
But realized soon she wouldn’t win
and so sat defeated, in despair and a temper frayed
It smelled like honey turning vapid
and felt like nails scratching chalkboard
Scared out of her wits, she prayed
Wondering if there was something she missed
She searched wildly, looking for a needle in hay
and found it, crushed, and little grey
She tapped it, and lo behold,
the light arrived, like nothing happened
Funny how a simple “Log Out”
can make a brighter day.
Who am I?
Silence is my Refuge,
Words are my Hideout.
or an Introvert in the garb of one?
or Anxious, eager to get home?
Netflix and chill,
or Tequila for the win?
Who am I?
Single by choice,
Or Grey laptop?
or Fire, raring to burn?
Who am I?
Serious, committed sorts,
or The Tinder types?
I don’t need a man to be happy, I tell myself, as I scout through the dating/marriage apps on my phone. I am fit, I tell myself, as I scoop out the last of chocolate ice-cream in the deep freeze. Maybe I am all of that, and more. Maybe I am, maybe I am not. When I don’t know, how would you? Stop judging now, will you?
It’s not you, it’s me…I know that I had vowed to write regularly at the blog. I had promised myself to post at least three entries on the blog every week (3!!!!). And I know that 5 weeks are over and I have done just 2 posts till now (2!!!!). So when my good friend messages me everyday reminding to write something, I tell him that I am not “feeling it” or “I have no time” or “I don’t know what to write”. I talk about you, tell him that it is you, who doesn’t let me fill pages with my words, who doesn’t let me complete the last part of my story series, For the love of Food.
But I know it is not you. I know it is me. I am too jarred by all the things happening around me. I am too distracted, too volatile in temperament these days. From past couple of years, the first few weeks of a new year almost always bring with them a lot of uncertainty for me. This one seems to be taking the cake from all the past ones though. There is not one thing today in my life, where I can call myself “sorted”. Who knew adulting was this hard?
10 years ago, at this point of time, my worries were about getting a good grade in boards and getting admission into a decent college. And I used to tell myself,”I just need this, and I will be done forever.” I wish someone had told me that there would always be something-and that apprehension and anxiety about future, is the way of life.
So forgive me for putting the onus of my irregular writing on you. I have realized that life is like that, and that if I need to do something, I must take out time for it. And with my time invested in more fruitful pursuits, I am afraid I no longer have the luxury to spend it with you.
It’s over, Writer’s Block. A break-up 10 days before Valentine’s Day can be heartbreaking, but it is usually a good idea to quit things/people who are no good for us, isn’t it? It’s my time to shine through the darkness of uncertainities, and this is my journey, alone.
It is 8.30 pm in the night. You are at office, working on that issue customer reported two hours ago. It was a small change in configuration, and you have emailed the customer, keeping all the required people in CC. It is Thursday, and you really want to head home now. The cook didn’t turn up today, and so tonight’s dinner is going to be Barbecue Chicken Pizza, your flat-mate has messaged.
You are about to shut down your laptop when you see a meeting reminder from Outlook. The meeting doesn’t have a subject, but it says “ConfRm-BLR-1st Floor – Tanjore”, starting now. You are surprised, you don’t remember accepting any meeting invite for this late in the evening. You check for the email Invitation , but you can’t find it. You are annoyed, but you might as well go and check once, isn’t it? So you head to the 1st floor from your cubicle at 6th Floor, taking stairs of course, to compensate for the beer you would be having later with your pizza, and reach the conference room.
The room is dark, and there is no one on 1st floor. You switch on the lights and decide to wait. You fool around with your laptop, look for the email again. And this time you find it, it is from firstname.lastname@example.org . But that is an alias for automated emails, how could an invitation come from it?
15 minutes pass. The meeting is officially over. You decide to leave, you need to ask the IT guy about this tomorrow. You go to your cubicle, taking the lift, pack your laptop and leave for the parking lot. Once you reach the ground floor, you hear some commotion. A lot of people seem to have gathered outside the office. There is a tempo standing outside the parking lot, but you don’t know what is that for. You come out of the office gate, and ask the security guard who is standing at the outer edge of the crowd, “Kya hua Bhaiya?”
“Arey Sir, that tempo was over speeding and came from opposite direction in the one-way street, ramming into the tree. Fortunately no one is hurt, because had someone been leaving from our parking lot 15 minutes back, they would have died on the spot.”
You freeze. You think about that invitation. Or was that an intervention?
We Indians love our elaborate traditions and gaiety. We have many festivals all through out the year, and each is celebrated with joyous splendor and magnificence. But there is one festival that we love more than others, even more than Diwali – Weddings. The union of two souls is memorialized in grand ceremonies and extravagant show, and the Indian wedding only seems to get bigger and fatter with every passing year.
Since November-December is supposedly very auspicious for weddings, every year my Facebook news feed is religiously occupied during the marriage season with lovely pictures and picturesque check-ins of weddings and honeymoons and everything that precedes and follows it. And a very amusing trend in the matrimony “industry” (and I use the word “industry” because a lot of people mint good amount of money during this period) is the pre-wedding photo shoot. I saw it the first time couple of years ago, and it was absolutely adorable!!!! It has been long since then, and looks like this one is here to stay, except now, it has become kind of, cringe-worthy.
I don’t get it. What’s with these mock-up, larger-than-life pictures that look so unreal, like the romance has retreated from the life of the couple before it even started? I saw a photo-shoot recently that left me astound – one picture of the couple was overlooking the ocean, the other on a mountain top with the obligatory Titanic pose, and yet another was in a forest! I mean, is it a photo-shoot or a 4th standard Geography-text book?
At the risk of getting unfriended by truckload of married friends, who have wasted precious money on those mushy and pretentious pictures,me – your oh-so-single friend is telling you that you that those photo-shoots are actually, very silly.
Tell me something, is the romance really about exotic locations or filmy postures? Ask yourself if this is how you fell in love with your partner, while getting photo-shopped on the top of Himalayas, or when he/she reminded you to go easy one that ice-cream because you are still recovering from a cold? Why is romance, or love, supposed to be so mythical and beyond the realms of a normal world? Isn’t it about practical wisdom, dealing with each day as it comes, and stealing moments here and there to express how mad you are about each other?
My parents didn’t have a fancy wedding photo-shoot, and neither did yours. And they still turned out pretty well. Look around you, don’t you squirm uncomfortably when you hear of young married couples struggling to make it work, irrespective of their marriages being love/arranged, because they are incompatible? Why can’t love be more, honest and straight-forward, instead of fake? Why not have a photo-shoot that shows the two of you living life like you normally do – enjoying that occasional glass of wine or goofing around each other?
As I sip my coffee and go through some really crazy photo-shoots, I have no clue whom I am getting married and when. But I sure as hell know what I am not planning to do – A down-on-one- knee proposal picture with relatives in tow. Eww, no! Doing headstand together though, now that sounds interesting!
The other day, right after midnight, one of my friends messaged me – “If you had all the money and time in the world, what is that one thing you would want to do? Like, your true passion?”
“Write. Read. Dance. But mostly write”, pat came my answer. And then on second thoughts I said “But if I had all the time and money in the world, why would I just do one thing? Why not many things?”
That is who I am. I am a multi-tasker who fails at it everyday ! I absolutely have to have it all, do it all. Starting from getting up in the morning to going to bed at night, I do tons of things out of which very few are really necessary. It took me 3 years and Chicken Pox to realize that I needed a house-help, my weekends were all about cleaning and sorting and sweeping and moping earlier. The relief I get, knowing that I don’t have to do the dishes before I sleep or sweep/mop/dust on the weekends is not something I would be willing to let go of that easily anymore.
I cook all of my meals on my own-breakfast, lunch, dinner. Because I want to be healthier. But I also “wanted” to exercise in the morning – walk, functional training, HIIT, yoga, something. But I do go for my evening workout, so why did I want to make my mornings more rushed than they were? Once I realized that I would have to trade-off between cooking and working out in the morning, I chose what I “really wanted” to do – cooking, hands down.
Even at work – I am a software engineer, I kept trying to do something to become “better” – that Front-End Development online course, that Java certification, that coding competition – till I stopped and asked myself,”How is this helping me? Am I becoming better or worse?” In my bid to “improve” myself, I realized that my performance was actually suffering. I did not have enough time to do everything and do it well. Hence the courses were left incomplete, the certification never happened, and the coding competition emails remained unopened. And that didn’t stall my professional growth, surprisingly. In fact, I can concentrate better on work now, not having multiple things screaming for my attention.
This year has been a year of self-discovery of sorts for me. I started out as this over-enthusiastic woman who wanted to learn to “manage time” to do EVERYTHING. It took me an entire year to wise up and recognize the real problem – I really didn’t have to do it all!!! There is a scene in the movie “Dear Zindagi” – and this is a spoiler, when Alia’s character meets SRK’s character for the first time, he asks her about why we tend to strive to take the arduous path? Why scale mountains when there is no need?
So do read that book you have meant to, sketch if you like, pick up photography, and join that Zumba class you have wanted to try but couldn’t because of work demands. Because life is too short to keep pushing ourselves in the web of “multi-tasking” and not really achieving anything out of it. Human brain is really just meant to focus on one thing at a time, and in today’s world where opportunities are many, it is easy to get side-tracked and get sucked into something you took a fancy to, only to realize you really weren’t required to.