Friday, December 9, 2011

We humans are horribly selfish people. Some more than others. We believe that our lives are the most important and we expect everyone around us to treat us that way. The problem is, everyone is too busy treating their own lives as too important. Then comes that one person who for some reason just isn't as selfish as everyone else, who doesn't believe that his life and opinions are paramount and who thinks that maybe all those others who expect better treatment, maybe do deserve that better treatment.

Thus begins a story we are all too familiar with. This one less selfish than the crowd, patient soul has his/her love and energy sucked out of him/her as those others demand his/her attention and devotion.

"My work is more important." Yes sir. "My life is more important." Yes sir. "My future is more important." Three bags full.

And so ends another story, so is destroyed another soul.

Who's next?

Friday, November 25, 2011

We've all experienced deja vu at some point in our lives. The feeling that what we are going through now has already happened to us before. It's an eerie feeling, no doubt.

Then there is the feeling of knowing that the moment you are experiencing now is a look into your future. Of knowing that this is probably what is waiting for you in some corner of the vast expanse that your life to come. Of knowing that you'll have to learn to deal with exactly this sort of situation because it'll probably repeat itself.

We obsess over the future. And make plans and then decide not to make plans. And contemplate and then decide to let things be. But experiencing a moment of this sort throws us off. It's like looking into a crystal ball and you don't really expect to see anything, but then you do, and it scares you. Because though we try again and again to see what the future holds, the truth remains that we are scared of it. We are funny that way, us humans. Scared of the very same thing we are so desperate to know about.

The fact is that seeing the future in your present is unnerving. Maybe even more than deja vu.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The perfect coffee 14

It's time again for one of those elusive perfect cups. And oh what a perfect cup it was.

The Indian Coffee House, Bangalore. That's where I tasted bliss today. Yes, their coffee could not possible have been disappointing but still. The moment you walk in to the place the smell of coffee overpowers you, surrounds you. And then you sit down at one of the quaint little tables and wait for your cup of coffee to come. When it does come, it is like a small bit of heaven in a cup. It's strong, not too sweet and it's milky also. Best part - it is only Rs. 10.

It made me smile today. When I was feeling down. And that, my friends, it the magic of a good cup of coffee. It makes things better.

Till next time, aloha :)
There is something really scary about knowing how important some people are. How much space they have taken in your life. And how much their absence hurts. It shows that their loss would mean empty spaces and missing pieces.

It is scary knowing that people have made their way in so far that when they leave they will burn their way out. That they will leave trails of destruction in your mind.

But with the fear must also come a calm acceptance. A knowledge that you must be willing to continue wanting and loving, in spite of the pain that is sure to come your way. And only with the acceptance of that sadness will happiness come. I have learnt that accepting that inevitable loss helps make the present happiness sweeter and more important. It makes moments count more. It makes words meaningful. It makes the pain that will come, easier to bear, knowing that the times you had were worth it.

Very few of us reach acceptance. Since it is difficult to understand the need for that inevitable loss and the passage of time.

I'm still getting there. Slowly.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The cycle

I have realized that sometimes people just don't care. Other people don't matter and when the going gets tough, it's time to get going. They will take and take and take some more as long as there is someone to keep giving. They will use and abuse till there is nothing left. They will use guilt and self-depreciation to their advantage and they will get their own way eventually. As long as there is someone else to take the blame, someone who does not know how to say no, these people will live and thrive, like parasites.

But then again, this is what is necessary for balance in the world. For some to be the suckers who give and others to be the victors who take. For the cycle of life to continue and the wheel of time to spin, there has to be balance. So while we beat ourselves up for being horrible people, others will egg us on and make us give more of ourselves so that eventually, there will be nothing left to give and the cycle will continue.

And we will continue making excuses for these people and we will continue to let our souls go to rot, because that, friends, is what life is all about. Give and more give.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

She cut quite a plaintive figure standing there. A slight girl dressed in clothes too big for her, she stood on the doorstep, one hand on the doorknob and the other in the pocket of her shorts. She watched him walk away and I could see that it was taking immense effort for her not to break down. He turned once and smiled at her. She smiled back at him and blew him a kiss. The moment he turned away, her smile faded. In that moment, watching her watching him, I could see the fear and pain she had been pushing away. In that moment before she could put her mask on again, I could see how much she loved him and the future she could never have.

Then she shook her head and smiled, in control again, weakness buried, fear quelled, if only for a while. She walked inside closing the door behind her.

I gave the door one last look and walked away.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fools

We are very good at lying to ourselves. At fooling ourselves into believing everything is perfectly fine. At making our mind believe that our lives are just how we want them to be.

We are very good at hiding the truth. We conveniently tide over those things that scare us or we just pretend that they don't exist. We lock away all our doubts and fears so they won't haunt us anymore. We smile and we laugh and we wear our masks in all their glory. We cover cracks and scrapes with glue and tape and pretend that they've been fixed. We hide away the pain and the tears and we tell ourselves that it'll all get better in the end. We fool ourselves. Lie to ourselves. Every day.

Which is why when we see the end coming, we try our best to pretend we don't. When we find ourselves losing control, we clench our fists harder and lie a little more. We rejoice in denial. And revel in illusions.

And then reality hits. At our weakest moments. When we are tired of lying and our hands are too weary to hold up our masks. That's when reality attacks and shows us what we've been trying so hard to avoid. That life isn't fine or happy or okay. Things have gone wrong and people will leave. The end is close and heartbreak is near. That life isn't what we've made it out to be.

Reality bites. And we are left to pick up the pieces.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

For once

I wish, for once in my life, I could let go. That for once, I didn’t have to worry or bother about everyone else. That for once I didn’t have to protect everyone else. That for once I didn’t have to be the responsible one.

I wish, for once in my life, I could be the one taken care of. I could be the one who got the hug because I needed it. That I could for once, let go of everything and enjoy myself, like everyone else. That for once people understood that I am not a party-pooper and that I just care a lot. That I want people to be safe. That I don’t see the humour in embarrassing situations. That I care.

I wish, for once in my life, I could be reckless. Without wondering and caring about the consequences. That for once I could do something without thinking about it a thousand times. That for once, I could do something stupid and careless. That for once, I made a story that one day, I could look back and laugh at. That one day, I could do something that I could tell my grandchildren about. That there was one time I did something I wanted to without caring about being a hypocrite or a liar. Without questioning myself.

I wish I could let myself feel. I wish I had it in me to be uninhibited.

I wish, for once I wasn’t the weak link. That I was the foundation, the glue instead. That for once I wasn’t taking charge. That for once there was someone I could count on to catch me if ever I did let go.

For once in my life, I want to be needed. I want to be wanted.

For once in my life, I want to be able to really live. Without judging myself for it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fear is so debilitating. And the future is the scariest thing of them all. Every time I close my eyes, the nightmares come. The questions, the doubts, the fears. I wake up in a cold sweat, forgetting where I am, fighting to breathe. The nightmares still vivid.

So much uncertainty. So many chances for failure. So much left to luck or the vagaries of fate.

No one to trust. Anger and jealousy never far from the surface, stoked by the vile hands of fear.

It is a fear that chokes. For even words, those simple yet powerful charms, do not come. Sentences are left incomplete.

It is fear that overwhelms and consumes. And what makes it worse is that there is no one in the world who can help you. And you have to fight it alone. For everyone leaves and everyone has demons of their own.

It is a fear that makes thoughts tumble out with no sense of head or tail. It makes the strongest crumble into blithering idiots. It rules the mind.

There is nothing you can do but give in to it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fare thee well.

It's a nicer thing to say when compared to a simple good bye. It shows that you genuinely mean the other person well when you leave. With no malice intended.

Good bye, on the other hand, seems impersonal and too simple.

So I say to you, fare thee well.

Stay happy. Stay safe. And follow your heart.

Remember that there will always be a place for you in mine.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Man craves company. He craves a response, an acknowledgement. A validation. Proof that he matters. The desire to be heard is built into everyone right from the very time one is born. Right from the very time you scream when you are hungry so that someone listens and feeds you to the time you talk when sad so that someone can comfort you.

Life is spent in a continuous struggle to make yourself indispensable and important to someone. A continuous attempt to be heard, to be noticed.

And life is also a series of disappointments.

The point is, when do you stop getting up after you've fallen down? And when do you stop talking when you realize no one's listening?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wham, Bam, Boom

You fall to new lows everyday. And constantly struggle to come back to the level you used to be at.

The thing is, the harder you try to climb to the top, the faster you slip to the bottom.

You grovel for attention. You can't deal with separation. The dark scares you. And loneliness lets the nightmares attack. You pounce on the scraps of respect that people dole out. You look for meaning in empty words. You dream of the impossible and hope it'll come true even though you know it won't. You expect what you don't deserve.

Eventually, you look into the mirror and can't meet your own eyes because you have fallen so very hard, so very fast and you're ashamed of it.

That's when you know for sure.

Change is a cruel mistress. It turns you into your worst nightmare.

And there is no coming back from where you've ended up.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How does it feel?

So how does it feel to know that you are completely dispensable in someone's life? All that you thought was important and necessary, suddenly just a pitiful attempt at self-consolation.

How does it feel to know that you do not matter? That you never did. That you were just a waste of space and breath. That you are just as easily replaceable as a broken chair or a dirty pillow cover.

How does it feel to know that the love you gave and the sacrifices you made were secretly laughed at? How does it feel when you realise that the respect you were given was a pacifier, given to a baby to keep it silent and out of everyone's way.

How does it feel to have your beliefs and ideas, which you tried so hard to stand by, thrown back spitefully in your face like a cruel joke? How does it feel to be just a number on the phone, deleted with the click of a button?

How does it feel to have the carpet whipped out from under your feet making you land with a great big thump on your behind? How does it feel to see those painstakingly built castles crash as if they were made of sawdust?

Oh wait.

You don't know?

Well think about it. And prepare yourself.

Because in reality, you never mattered, you never will. You'll disappear like the biodegradable lump of human matter that you really are and no one will even notice.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The only person you have the right to hurt is yourself.

The perfect coffee 13

It has been months. I apologise to those few who maybe read this space and maybe missed my adventures with coffee.

To be completely honest, I haven't tasted a lot of coffee in Pune since my last post. Myriad reasons led me to abandon the search for my true perfect cup. I did drink a few cups here and there but nothing that was worth mentioning here except maybe the coffee from Coffee House in M.G. Road, Pune.

But this post isn't about excuses. I don't even know if signals another beginning to the search. This post is just dedicated to the absolute bliss I experienced yesterday.

At Saravana Bhavan. In Delhi of all places.

I was bored and tired of all the rotis and the sabjis and was desperate for a taste of South Indian food, if only for a change of flavour. And so Devu and I set off to the Saravana Bhavan at Connaught Place. Dosa with chutney and sambar. Pakka South Indian :) and then the cherry on the cake. The coffee... True South Indian filter coffee. Served in a glass with a bowl. Strong, frothy, milky. PERFECT.

And it gave me so much happiness that I had to write about it :)

It didn't matter that it was super hot outside, not exactly conducive to hot coffee, or that it was too less. It was just that one perfect glass of South Indian coffee that I have so desperately been looking for.

Now all I need is a Saravana Bhavan in Pune.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's getting harder to hold it all in.

Things seem pretty good on the outside,
But the core is rotting, slowly.

The walls look sturdy
But the foundation's crumbling from within.

The good that people do disappears with the wind
But the bad? That stays. It's remembered. It's held on to.

Things you smile and wave away,
You say they don't matter anyway.
In reality they live and grow and fester
Bottled up and hidden inside they stay.

Things are good, you smile and nod.
Ignoring the pain, the hurt, the doubt.

Because hope keeps us going, keeps us alive.
Maybe we'll heal, we'll change, we'll survive.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Shards and pieces

Stillness, stagnation and change.
Oxymorons much?

Repetition and trials
So much gone wrong
So many threads unravelled.
So many pieces broken, lost.

Mistakes, memories.
Millions of thoughts.
Just drifting around.
Floating.

Irrevocable damage
Unknowingly done.
Irreplaceable pieces
Knowingly discarded.

Masks and mirages.
Hopes and desires.
Regrets and remorse.
Together all
Constantly shifting.

Silence, a lie.
Rest, a luxury.

Words.
A release.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

They say that one of the worst things you can do to yourself is to sell your soul to the devil. The thing is, the very fact that the word 'sell' is used, entails a give and take, even though it's usually unfair.

You know what's worse than selling your soul?

Just giving it up. Handing it over on a silver platter with no sale, no bargain.

Know why it's worse?

Because you can't even blame the devil. You have only yourself to blame.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

No one ever writes about us. It's unfair really.

All you people ever care about is the happy ending and the smiling faces of the hero and the heroine. When do you ever wonder about my happy ending?

Agreed that sometimes I'm the "bad guy", but doesn't the "bad guy" also get a happy ending? And what about those times that I'm not the bad guy? Even then I don't get the girl. Even after doing everything right.

You think it's easy being ditched at the altar. After investing time and money in the damn wedding, it all gets ruined because the love of my life decides I am not the love of her life. Imagine standing there with an insanely happy grin plastered on your face dreaming about the wonderful future you are going to have and then watching your bride run away to "find her true love". Talk about giving due warning. Ever heard of talking to me before the wedding? I guess not.

And what about the emotional scars that leaves behind? Do any of you ever wonder what a beating my self-esteem takes? Being dumped at the altar for another guy doesn't do very well for the ego you know. Heartbreak is a messy affair by itself and when you add to that the TRAUMA of being dumped at your own wedding, you can't even begin to imagine the concoction THAT turns out to be. You know how depressing it is and how much it makes you doubt yourself? I think not.

When are there ever any sequels about me? All you see are their happily ever afters. Their babies, their tralala songs and their oh-so-happy smiling faces. None of you ever bother to follow up my story. You don't even attempt to think about what happened to me after I got my heart ripped out of my chest and crushed with a sledgehammer into a thousand pieces.

Then you blame me for becoming cynical. Try dreaming about that girl every day every night and then finding out she loves someone else. She's allowed to "follow her heart" but then what about my heart huh? Nope. No one cares about my hopes, my dreams, my future, my love and all that jazz.

No one ever cares about the secondary character.

No one cares about me. While I'm left standing in that church. No one bothers with the jilted lover. I don't matter in the great scheme of things right?

Yeah. Cos I'm just the convenient scapegoat.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shakespeare said parting is such sweet sorrow.

I disagree.

There is nothing sweet about sorrow. Nothing beautiful or romantic. Sorrow is painful. It's scary and it is weak.

Sorrow, my friend, shows you for the whimpering mess you are. For the scared little child you try so hard to hide away. It shows your addiction, your dependency.

No, there is nothing sweet about sorrow. And there is nothing sweet about parting. Because parting means goodbyes and farewell.

And it reminds you that eventually, everyone leaves.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A psalm of life

This is a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. We discussed it in out literature class and the sheer simplicity of the feeling is beautiful. But when you put this in context of life here in SIMC it is pretty much the most ironic thing you could read. It's funny actually how life here in college goes.

TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream ! —
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real ! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal ;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time ;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

And waiting is something we have learnt to do, very well.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Is it time for goodbye?
Is it time for farewell?
Time to part ways?
No smiles anymore
No glances across the room
No pleasure in company
Going through the motions
Maintaining the facade
Nods and smiles and happy faces
While reality lies hidden
Locked safely away
Maybe it's time to let go?
Time to move on?
Is it already time for goodbye?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Some lessons are so difficult to learn that they need to be taught multiple times. And every time it hurts more and cuts deeper just so that the lesson stays, is remembered. But fools that we are, every time the cut begins to heal, we forget and it is time for another lesson.

We forget that some people aren't worth the pain they cause. We forget that some things should be hidden. We forget that we need to choose what we say to which people. We forget that we need to keep the mask on. We give our trust easily and suffer. We forget that it isn't easy to forgive. We forget that it's easier to walk away than to stay.

Life has a lot of lessons to teach us. And we learn and try to remember. Because after all, there is nothing more we can do.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How do you compete with something intangible? How can you fight with something that you can't touch or even see? How do you fight a feeling? How do you win a bout with an unknown enemy? What kind of weapons can you use?

But then the real question here is what's the point? What's the purpose?

Nothing and no one matters anyway.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It only takes one negative incident to drive out a beautiful experience. It only takes a second to turn the page and by the time you realise that you never finished reading the last page, it's time to return the book. It only takes a single conversation to forget the moments that made the day. It only takes one person to enter to forget that someone was already there. It only takes a minute to forget something sweet that was said or heard.

It's this flimsiness of being that makes life the roller coaster it is.

The thing is, I want to get off.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The chink of glasses. Candlelight flickering off their faces. Perfectly cooked food. And most important - the smiles.

They were smiling, the both of them. Happy, glowing faces. They looked like no one else existed out of their bubble. No one else mattered. Nothing else mattered. They looked into each other’s eyes and they smiled. They held hands across the table as they spoke. It was a completely unconscious gesture. Their feet grazed each other under the table, as if they wanted to reassure themselves that they were actually sitting there and it wasn’t a dream. They sipped their wine and conversation flowed just as smoothly. She gestured as she talked and her fingers unconsciously played with the chain she wore around her neck. He couldn’t get enough of her; she was the one he wanted, needed, had. He touched her fingers and laughed in response to something she said.

But scratch the facade a little and the reality reveals itself. The picture is rosy, beautiful, untrue. The wine helps to ease the pain. The hands touch because they need to say good bye. They are actors both of them, putting on the performances of their lives. Pretending, acting, performing. They push their thoughts away, they can be thought tomorrow. They push their sadness away, the tears can be shed in the dead of the night. They push their fears away, those will be dealt with in the nightmares. They hide the doubts away, tonight is supposed to be perfect.

Tonight is supposed to be perfect and the reality can be held at bay for a little while longer. The wine is too good, the food too delicious, the conversation too interesting, the intimacy too natural.

They are consummate actors.

And this is the performance of a lifetime.

Because sometimes, you need the lie to deal with the reality.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Behind all sarcasm is a grain of truth. Every joke has a fact as its basis. Every wisecrack, every mean comment, though meant in jest is based on a thought which is in turn based on a truth. A joke is an exaggeration of the truth.

So when you look behind the laughter and the fun; when you dig deeper; hidden away is that tiny grain of truth.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Man is a social animal. He feeds off other humans. he needs relationships to stay alive. He needs interaction and communication, of any kind to survive.

The problem is, these interactions and relationships are often just as detrimental to a person's survival as starvation or dehydration. Because some relationships sap your energy and peace of mind. They play with your head and make you forget who you are. They change you, fundamentally, on a core level. They make you doubt and question and lie and fear. They make you trust and believe. Worst of all, they make you hope, for more than you ever will get. They make you expect. And just as easily, they destroy your expectations. Kapow!

Relationships are a catch 22 situation. You can't live without them. And they destroy you when you are in them.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sand castles

Building sandcastles was something many of us loving doing; painstakingly filling the small plastic bucket with wet sand and then overturning it, hoping that the castle would stand. Then came adding new towers and floors. Also, who can forget the moat of crocodiles? We would make sure nothing crumbled down by adding sand, adding water. But then the waves would come. And all that work would come to naught because after all, what is sand when compared to the sea?

As children though, we wouldn't give up, believing that we could defeat the waves. And we'd move a little further back and start anew.

Life feels a lot like this. The careful filling up of the bucket and then overturning it with fingers crossed, hoping the castle will stand and the risk pays off. That jubilant feeling when it does. And then the reinforcements to make stronger. Building it little by little. Only to have it all washed away in the blink of an eye by the relentless waves.

The difference now is that it gets more difficult to begin again each time the castle is destroyed. Lessons are learnt the hard way. Experiences are remembered and the hope dims. That childish faith in starting anew and believing that the castle will stand this time around is gone.

Because how many times will you keep trying and how many times can you just believe?

Life after all, is as relentless and tireless as the waves. And we aren't children any more.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Living with someone you love can be lonelier than living entirely alone. When the one you love doesn't love you.

- Cat on a hot tin roof.

This quote has stuck with me ever since I saw the movie. And every time I read it, the sheer honesty and truth of the statement hits me.

It doesn't have to be living together. It can just mean being together with a person who doesn't love you like you love them.

It doesn't have to be love in a romantic sense. It can be friendship too. With people who don't appreciate you.

In the end, love unrequited is loneliness, rejection and a whole lot more.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Glue, tape, string. You use everything you can to make sure the pieces stick. To make sure that things stay together. You mend. You fix. You hold everything in place. You pretend there aren't any pieces missing when everything doesn't fit right. You cover the out of shape parts with the good ones, so that they can't be seen. You paint over the cracks and the holes and the tape. You pretend it's all hunky dory.

Or at least you try.