a birthday post

Quietened

What can I say about this year that hasn’t been said already? I can’t help but compare it to the horror movie ‘A quiet place’ because the entire world came to a fear driven standstill, my life included. We had to hit the pause button to whatever we were doing, make our lives quiet- less movement, more confinement so that the monster does not find us. Interestingly, this entire ordeal led to confronting some other silent monsters in our world that we had conveniently swept under the rugs of ambition, socialization, productivity and mindless recreation.

After my last birthday, I will admit that things had started looking up. But now I realize that happened only so that the future could coming crashing down on me like an avalanche, if you will. Even before the pandemic hit, life had already hit me with a good old classic shot of <insert super mean word>. I was barely done retreating to my safe place when the global pandemic made its grand entry.

This birthday I look back to every thought of mine that screamed worthlessness, helplessness and hopelessness in all shapes and words and forms to me every night just to creep back into my mind as soon as the next morning dawned, for nights and days I have lost count of.

This time I picked myself up and I am so proud. I champion myself as an ardent pessimist but this time I had to look the other way. I had to look for hope. I had to pat my back after the smallest of victories even if they entailed just getting out of the bed and fixing a bowl of cereal. I had to learn patience and hold on to it. I had to say to myself- it’s okay if there is nothing right now, you wait for something. I told myself this today as well.

And if you need to hear it, just to go one line back and imagine I whispered it in your ear.

To something, if not nothing. To the 27th year.

Ranting · Speaking Up

An urgency to wait

Love is not the same for all of us. Be it a reality check or a fictional story, I have witnessed multiple and varied forms of love in this quarter of my lifetime. Love can be good, bad or ugly. It can be wishful, unrequited or puzzling. It can also be fatal, futile and fickle. In all forms, it seems to be magical- a blessing or a curse, is your call.

This magic in love is what I want to rant about today. If I fall in love, I doubt I shall be able to settle or make a reluctant compromise. The fear of loneliness, the societal demands and the burden of insecurities has usually made me (and oh so many around me) settle for lesser than I truly deserve. Thankfully it has dawned on me that I am enough for myself and I complete me, no one else. And am I glad about this insight or what?! Now I can wait for love that has magic and that is an addition to my life, not being the bare minimum.

There will be magic when our love will not be about grand gestures but about seeking bliss in the strangest of things. Like looking forward to grocery shopping together. There will be magic when unsaid promises will sneak out of unconscious acts. Like finding each other’s hands each time we take a stroll. There will be magic when we will be thoughtful in our actions, not just words. There will be magic when I will be the choice, not just another option. When I will not be required to fit a box; I will rather be celebrated. When I shall see that twinkle in his eyes when he looks at me, for the star that I am. And mine shall twinkle too, to celebrate him. I imagine it will resemble the feelings of wonder and awe while watching a Christmas tree light up intertwined with feelings of warmth and content while sipping from a perfectly brewed cup of coffee.

Maybe I sound too idealistic or maybe it seems I’ve seen several lifetimes’ worth of romantic content but believe me, I have pondered over this for an unhealthy amount of time. I very well realise that no relationship is devoid of hardships and differences and I am game for those but the core of love has to run on that spark that whispers to you that there is no other person I want to go through this difficult time with, whilst during the joyous times, screams to you that I cannot imagine celebrating anything in my life without this person. And this last, extremely long sentence, is unattainable without the magic in love I am seemingly obsessed about. If I could paint, I would paint two bright yellow souls linked through a blue electrical wave that is charged by the light of these souls because each one is just so devoted to make this connection shine incessantly. They cannot ever imagine giving up on each other. It is not even an option. So I am done with half-hearted confessions, unwilling expressions, inconsistent communication and forced criterion in the name of love and companionship. I want that perpetually fuelled blue charge and I am willing to wait for it- I will wait till I feel it in every faint touch, in every dreamy look and in every silly grin.

If not this, then nothing else at all.

Poetry · Ranting · Speaking Up

Caged

Invisible cages around visible people
Each one walking with unseen shackles
The rods of the cage
And the chains of the fetters
Bear weight not on the bodies
But on the souls.

We think we are in charge
Be whatever you want, they say
When we do, they disapprove
Thrusting us back into the cage
With love and care
And deceit.

Sometimes the cages collide
And consequently we jolt
The vibrations cause a ripple
Trying to awaken us, take charge
And sense the entrapment of another
And of our own.

Being caged fosters seclusion
Being caged together fosters fellowship
In the hope of searching for each key
To try on each lock
Mine or yours or theirs and ours
Hoping that one day sooner or later
We all will set each other free.

a birthday post

Offline

World mental health day was one week ago. As a self-proclaimed mental health advocate, I always do something to honour that day for the sake of my profession, vocation, my calling and basically the whole humanity. Be it awareness, a post, a write up, a photo, a bit of anything relavant. This year I could not make myself lift even a finger.

This had to do with my own mental health. Mental health can have bad days, bad weeks, bad months and even bad years. I have started to acknowladge the bad days mine has been having. And I am hoping to see the good days sooner than later so that I can cherish them and value them more than ever. But right now I can sense my deteriorated health. I can feel the nerve cells in my brain being deprived of seretonin and dopamine. I can feel my body become drier as each day passes. I can feel my soul lose the light that was once shining bright enough.

My eyes feel so heavy but when I close them I don’t sleep for hours. When I stand up to walk, my legs give up. I see my phone ringing but I don’t want to answer another ‘how are you’ because saying how I really am is tedious and hiding behind ‘I am fine’ is exhausting. Everything hurts so much that I can’t feel the hurt.

To make matters worse, I also can’t bear to look at other people- physically or virtually. I don’t want to know about their stories or updates. I don’t want to laugh at videos of animals talking to humans. I don’t want to cry over the long stories of hearbreak and devastation that people post. I don’t even want to listen to songs that would make me sway.

Ironically enough I am documenting this on my blog but today I won’t click ‘share’ or request people on social media platforms to read this because I don’t have the energy to reply or say thank you for reading. I hope one fine day when I do ask people to read this, I feel better than what I am feeling now. In clinical terms, this kind of withdrawal is discouraged but I want to take my time. Maybe I want to start from the scratch or maybe I don’t want to go on anymore. I don’t know if all of this is right or wrong but it is what it is.

World mental health day was exactly one week ago. And today is my 26th birthday. But at this very moment, I frankly don’t care for either.

short story

The Ghost

He haunts her more than she prefers. It was likely to happen considering how close they were. At least, that is what she assumed. They had met by accident and never looked back. The yearning to spend each possible moment with one another was so intense that they forgot to take things slow. The long walks in the parks, the long meals in the restaurant, the long naps on his shoulder in the bus, the long entwinement of her fingers around his. Despite the length of their time together, it never felt enough.

And then he was gone. No trace, no contact, not even a goodbye. Obviously she could not talk to him even if she wanted to. Maybe something could be whispered to the wind but with no promises of a reply. Maybe something could be shouted out to the silence but with no promises of a rebuttal. Or maybe standing still in the changing seasons would pass the message that she refused to move on. Despite his absence she felt a presence, and again, it was never enough.

That is when the haunting began. She could not see him but she knew he was there. She knew he could see her humming the song they would listen together. She knew he could see her washing his favourite plate after dinner. She knew he could read her text message that said she missed him. She knew he knew that every step she took on the pavement made her think of his gait and that every time she smiled it made her think of his laugh and that every whiff of the air she took in made her think of his scent. Even though there was a sense of comfort in this haunting, she would often get frustrated. The constant presence made her conscious. She wanted to let go but could not. The dissonance was eating her alive. So she stopped humming. She stopped eating in his plate. She stopped sending text messages. She stopped going outside to avoid the pavement. She eventually stopped smiling. Should she stop breathing?

A voice in her head told her not to stop whilst a voice in her heart said stop. The heart had made a mistake before so she decided to listen to the head for now. Reluctantly, she begged the ghost to leave. To let her be. He did not.

And one day she saw him. That same person. In flesh. At the park. Fingers entwined around someone else’s. Then it dawned on her. The ghost was her set of memories. The presence was of the past. The dissonance was her own creation. A longing for the lost love had made her haunt herself. She was fighting with herself all this time to mend the mistaken heart. She was fighting with herself because the ghost kept her company on long lonely days. She was fighting with herself in order to hold on to something and she was fighting to stay miserable just because that something was gone forever.

But as time went by, she learned- if only she had looked in the mirror and started smiling again, genuinely smiling, then that ghost would have vanished in the blink of an eye.

Ranting

My relentless thoughts: a testament

As I sit on my bed, starting at the blank page in front of me, I realize I don’t know what to pen down because I have so many thoughts inside my sad little brain. What should I pick?

First I think about writing a story. Something short and melancholic because that is what I find the most interesting about life- the melancholia. The capability of life to show us how miserable it can become day by day minute by minute and second by second. How the world is raging with rape, starvation, deprivation and neglect. Then I ask myself, will this story actually be a story or a description of truth using fancy vocabulary and complex sentences?

So I think maybe I can just write about the truth. I wrap myself in a comforter and make a list in my head of the truths I might want to share with you. Should I tell you my truth? Or the world’s truth? Or this universe’s? Then again, isn’t truth idiosyncratic? Mine will not be same as yours and if so, why will you bother to read mine? Also, truth be told (see what I did there?!), my truth is so off putting that you are better off without it.

So I’ve thought enough and decided to take a break from just starting at that blank page. As my coffee brews, my mind starts to wander again. Maybe I should pour my heart out. Let that blood pumping muscle bleed on that white sheet of paper. I can say how I feel so cold inside, so lifeless and broken. How I need a comforter to wrap my heart as well. I can say how I keep thinking and thinking and thinking so that I can push away what my heart beats to say. This thought takes me back to melancholia- the sadism that life is.

Before discarding my blank page and keeping my pen aside I finally think if I just keep thinking, when will I write? Will i ever write? Or will I remain a woman of few words and many thoughts that give me many many sleepless nights?

Ranting · true story

The Rains

As the first drop of the season hits the ground, my heart fills up with nostalgia, sorrow and remorse. So much so that here I am, awake at 3am, writing, trying to articulate myself because if I don’t I might breakdown. I’ve always been a fan of the grey and the gloom but this season makes brings out my blues like nothing else does. Maybe it’s because of my past maybe because of my luck or maybe just because.

Whenever it rains I feel like curling up into a ball of misery, inside my warm blanket, crying as much as it’s raining. Whenever it rains I feel like make hot chocolate, sipping it as slowly as I can, to keep away from the sting of the rains. Whenever it rains I feel like sleeping it off because the pitter patter of the rain drops makes my heart beat faster than it should.

This melancholy of the rains, I feel, is unexplainable; it neither has the cool warmth of the winters nor the scorching chill of the summers. The damp air and the wet land complicates my environment. I become unsure about random things like should I carry the umbrella or not? Should I wear a cardigan or not? Will I catch a cold or not? Will I make it back home dry or not? I am not a fan of uncertainty and the rains definitely do not help.

Every year I make an effort to change. I tell myself to embrace the rain, to wash away the sadness, to accept the new season. And every year I miserably fail. As soon as it begins to pour, I find myself running towards the nearest shade, I find myself running away from the metamorphose, I find myself preventing the cleanse and I find myself wallowing in the pain I tend the receive from the rain.

Poetry · Ranting

Saying

Believe me when I say

How many times over

I’ve thought about

Speaking the right words.

So much so that

Whilst thinking

I genuinely forgot

To actually speak.

Believe me when I say

How many times over

I’ve said the wrong things

Using the right words.

So much so that

I didn’t realize

Until it was too late.

Believe me when I say

How many times over

I should have said something

But I chose not to

So much so that

Regret kept seeping in

Making me lose my mind.

Believe me when I say

How many times over

Saying is necessary

To preserve the necessary

So much so that

If it doesn’t happen

Lovers and lives are lost.

Believe me when I say

Don’t ever not say

Because

I now keep wondering

If only, I had said something

And someone had listened.

rantings · story · true story

A biochemical addiction

She thought it was love because so did he. When they met sparks flew. Not literally, of course. Even then, whatever was happening seemed far from real. Surreal- one of her old lovers had once said. This was like that. Serendipitous and Surreal.

She thought it was love because everything fit so perfectly. No puzzles, no apprehensions, no walls. They had the time, the willingness and the desire. To learn from one another to learn about one another.

She thought it was love because nothing ever felt wrong. The laughter was like sunshine. The smiles lit up like spring. The fights were like autumn but never cold enough. Only some gaps would bother like the scorching summer heat. But they ignored it using their umbrella of new found soothing adoration for each other.

She thought she was in love because of the way time stood still. Once they stepped into that bubble world, only the night skies would lure them out. Just to start the next day wrapped up in endless conversations all over again.

She thought she was in love even when things began to change. Even when the distance of the hearts became longer than the distance of the miles. Even when the endless conversations were conversations just for the sake of being conversations.

She thought she was in love, not because it was love but because it was a mere biochemical addiction. The habit of having dopamine, seretonin and oxytocin running all over the brain, befooling the poor heart into believing in love.

Because had she really thought she was in love, it would have actually lasted.

Poetry

Introspection

Let go.
Just let go-
Of all those fears
Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment.
Of all those thoughts about uncertainty
The unknown
The unacquired.
Of all those tangled feelings
The feelings of shame and regret
The feelings that give you sleepless nights
The feelings that make you cringe.
Take a couple of deep breaths
And focus-
On the cold air of the winters, the way it feels on your skin, the way it makes you jitter.
On the hot cups of coffee that make you warm and tingly inside.
On the innocent smile of the stranger you passed by this morning.
On the way you laugh when someone cracks a stupid joke.
On the confidence you feel when you’ve voiced your opinion.
On the time you spend admiring that loved one, nestling in them.
And whenever you feel some joy
Radiating out of you
Hold on to it
Hold on tight.
For
Even if it might not last forever
It’s there with you right now
In this moment.
And sometimes
One moment is enough
To grant the joy
You can cherish for an entire lifetime.