Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Conversations with a dead poet

"I hold it true, whate'er befall; I feel it, when I sorrow most; 'Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all."

When I first read these lines, I actually laughed my heart out. I mean, why the hell would you say that losing in something is even a good idea? Then as I grew up, I realized that, half the works of art and literature I admired came from heartache of one form or the other. So perhaps, for the larger world in general, the heartache of a few is good. 

Even later in life, when I realized how important experiences were, I started accepting that it is better to experience something to the fullest - whether love(even the one sided variety, especially that if you ask me), or a job or a book and then let go. 

Letting go is a pain in the ass, but you evolve so much as an individual when you go through the whole nine yards and funnily, you never have a "What if" haunting you. A "what if" that you could have helped. There will always be a "What if we had ended up together?", "What if I had gotten that job?", "What if i had actually learnt to ski". 

Still, given the beauty that is life, over a period of time, even the deepest of wounds heal and the scars(if they remain) remind us every day as to how strong we are. So yes, dear Tennyson, it is better to have loved and lost but where i would like to change the thought is that, it is not a loss. It is a conquest. A conquest over one's self, a conquest to help us becoming who we are supposed to become. 

I hate the negative tone of the word loss. There is no success or failure. There is just experience. There is just passion. There are just memories. Some meant to remain in the past, some meant to be recreated when needed. 

Candle in the storm

I am a candle in the storm
Emotions swirl all around
Trying to snuff the flame out
Reality tries its very best
to blow the last of me away

I still hold on
For a mere flame, I refuse to be
The light from within
keeps me going
The warmth of a smile,
all but long forgotten
keeping me sane
The hope for what ought to be
holding me together

I am a candle in the storm,
But I wont give up
Until I set fire to the world

Youth

Yesterday, I went to Kolkatta for a day trip from work to visit a college. I was so happy in the few hours I spent there. There is something very pleasant about a learning institution. The possibilities seem limitless when you look at the students. When I was a student, despite my apprehensions, I always felt I could be anyone, do anything I wanted (Though quite a few people did not agree with this point of mine) It was the invincibility of youth. 

I had traveled alone and I had quite a long time to think on the way back. Somewhere along the way, the student in me, who believed in limitless possibilities, got distracted by life. I like to think that I am an untiring optimist with a dash of cynicism that helps in self preservation. 

When things have turned tough (my own making, no one to blame) I have stopped believing in the magic that is life. Those instances, I feel old at times and that is just ridiculous given the best years of my life are still ahead. The feeling and the attitude that comes from that emotion can be addressed if I proactively go ahead and confront it, but I am scared of addressing it, for fear that I might not like the answers I get out of the confrontation. 

It would be easier if I could accept defeat and go hide my head in the sand like an ostrich, but given that the best is yet to come, (I am young and I will be for every single day for the rest of my life) I have decided that every single thing I do, should be at making my life better and my emotions healthier. I decide to be a lifelong student of life (cliche line!) and not let go of the belief that everything is a life lesson and should be dealt with so and not as a failure or a success. 

When you interact with a lot of positive emotions, it does rub off on you. Yesterday, definitely has. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Inner Peace

They say that a lot of people in the world are depressed. I used to wonder why they dont just talk their emotions out and make sense of them.

Then I realize that it is not that simple because, what happens to the problem, depends on the end recipient and it is not always a pretty picture. 

In India, counselling is still not that easily accessible and confiding in family/friends is how we typically prefer to solve things. A few things I have seen happen that could be preventing opening up when there is someone waiting to talk to you: 

1. People are surprised that others are actually talking about something so personal with someone who has no clue what is happening and why they are being confided in 
2. Some are secretly glad that the person's life is not as perfect as it seems
3. Some try to offer half-hearted advice to sound concerned and genuine. 
4. Sometimes, people who should actually be there for you, use that opportunity to point out all your flaws without really listening or being there for you. I guess, no matter how important someone seems, they just cant let go of an opportunity to critcize
5. People are lost in their own issues which are sometimes bigger than yours and cant really be there for you. 

I am sure there are a lot of other things that happen and that scares me. The kind of anger and sorrow building within people, that can cause a lot of damage, can actually be taken care of with someone just listening to them, not judging and someone being there for them. 

Has living away from family and having friends who prefer to be around you just to have fun screwed up the society much more than we would like to admit? And are the supposed relationships we cultivate with like minded people, actually making us more closed to different view points which can help us cope better? 

Take being stuck in a bad job for example. If you are with people who do a job because it gets you an income, you will think it is normal and do something that kills you a little every day. 

Meeting someone who can actually tell you that doing what you like, even if it is not very very lucrative might actually change your mind - about being stuck in doing something you dont enjoy to accumulate things you dont really need. 

As I look around me everywhere, I accept that I know very few happy people. Some are unhappy because of their jobs, some because of their spouses, some because they dont have a spouse, some because of the money they cant spend, some because of the money they spend, some because of their children, some because they dont have children..The list is endless and very very scary. 

I wonder if we are all doomed to be unhappy and stuck in creating an image that looks great from outside but is broken within. I refuse to accept that, because I still believe that within each of us, there is an infinite capacity for happiness and no matter how bad it might seem, we need to get out of things, habits, relationships and jobs that dont bring out the best in us. If we are not able to derive happiness from the world, then it is ok to be selfish and define a new definition of happiness, that might make sense for just us, even if it is not accepted by everyone. Not letting the society dictate what is right can take away half the problems.

Funnily, though this generation claims to be one that breaks conventions, it is stuck in scarier conventions and with doing things that are far more self destructive. Maybe, it all boils down to finding out what makes us happy and maximizing that happiness.

Like Po in Kung Fu Panda, we all need to figure out a way that is going to give us that inner peace. It could be a pet, it could be a way to express creativity, it could be being alone.. But we need to figure out what works and it is as simple as that. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Facing my fears

The year was 2007. I had just started earning my keep(I was an intern). Every month, I used to put aside a part of my income and after the six month period I went and I got myself a camera for 6.7k. It felt like a lot of money in those days. That camera was my most priced possession for quite sometime. I took pictures in my last semester, then joined the photography club at work etc. Until one day, my friend who has this really fancy camera and used to hang around with it at all times told me, I'm not a photographer as I don't have the patience for it. I believed him and I was busy with other things(including evaluating marriage) that I actually stopped taking too many pictures.

Recently, a good friend of mine sent me a few pictures he'd taken which inspired me to write a lot of poetry. Perhaps, I needed the muse.
I decided to actually try taking pictures in my awesome Nexus 6p(yeah, I'm showing off the new love of my life) and writing about the world through my eyes.

I've set up a private blog and posted quite a few pictures there with verse or just a few words. I'm still not ready to open it to the public eye, but I've asked a few people to just see it and tell me how to evolve. Perhaps some day, I'll get over my fear and show people a world through my eyes which might or might not be similar to theirs.

I hope this time my affair with photography and poetry is here to stay. I am really loving it and trying to do something just for myself without any audience in mind (yet). So I can truly embrace a different aspect of my creativity and vision.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Forced fit

It's strange how people try to relate situations or other people to things they are comfortable with. For eg, some one just gives a generalized statement, all Indian dogs are aggressive. Just because one bit them years ago. Or my favorite, you girls/ men are all the same.

Agreed that our situations shape who we are but we shouldn't be force fitting an image just because it makes us comfortable. Often times, that makes us alienate someone we love. Can I go back and erase words? Or should I just forgive and move on?

Friday, June 24, 2016

When logic fails

I have a strange problem - which is as much a blessing as it is a curse. I cannot function without logic after a certain point. I try to rationalize every damn thing and after a point, that rationalizing becomes such a curse because emotions are not rational. 

Logically, you know something is not good for you, but you cannot let it go because emotionally that just has you under its thrall. Logically, you know something is good for you, but you cannot seek it out, because emotionally, you are attached to what you have as of that point in time. 

Right now, I have seen a logical end and emotions are playing catch up and in a way, I am a complete mess. I have to get my life back in order and then, just move on. I know I can, I know I will, but I dont know if everything will ever even be as good. 

What if this is as good as it gets? Can I ever live with knowing that letting go of something that was good because of a few fundamental issues was the right thing to do?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A brand new definition

Make them create
A new scale of measurement
Make them define
A new way of doing things
Challenge conventions

Move forward down a path
Not just unseen
But one never fathomed

Just because you can
Just because you want to
Just because you ought to

Define brand new goals
Impossible dreams
Be the new definition of success
Just,be you

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

With or without you

Too much of music can do this to you

The world does see
someone driven
someone constantly on the move
someone who does not rest

The world cannot fathom
the invisible demons
chasing, prodding and making me run
not towards a goal
but away from my thoughts,
away from the deepest desires
that haunt me night and day

Fear overwhelms me
as i wonder
what if i give in?
what if i crumble and just beg?
It wouldn't matter
for life is a cruel mistress.

Reality is unforgiving..
Aspirations, the only thing
that keeps me moving on and on
away from you
away from my heart
towards a new destiny
with or without you

Let's meet

Lets meet then
Not here and now,
Not there and then,
In this realm
But at the point
where dreams begin

Lets meet then
Not when we have to
Not when we ought to
but whenever we want to
for when i close my eyes
All I see is anyway you

Why name what need never be?
Why classify the formless?
Why hold back the boundless?
Why let go what never will be?
Why define a muse?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

An experiment

I'm trying to write with a pen and paper and see if having no distraction(except an angry Laika) will help me write better.

The funny relative scale

So, everything is relative in life. I guess this has been established beyond any doubt. It's also very funny when you pause to think about it. Take fashion for example. That's one area where the perceived fashionista of one place actually becomes an outcast in an other. Some are quick to take a hint but majority cannot ever get it. To an involved or a neutral third party, who knows both sides, watching the scene unfold is like watching your favorite movie whose plot and ending you know but still enjoy.

I've been enjoying myself a lot recently as I've decided to watch and have fun rather than interfere and get frustrated.

Friday, June 17, 2016

A scene that involves jars

During one of my frequently occurring writers blocks, I subscribed to a Daily Prompt by a writer. Funnily, I never got down to writing about the things she sent, though post that, I started writing. Today, a random email sent last year popped up in my inbox and it said, write a scene about jars. When I heard the word jars, the first thing that surprisingly came to my mind was jars of bottled up emotions that are stacked right next to each other in the cabins of our heart. It is funny when you think about all the contradictory emotions bottled up and stored right next to each other. 

Right next to unbridled joy, there is unrequitted love. In a way both connected, for if you truly love something, it is not about it being returned, it is about continuing to enjoy that emotion. Its only when you try to possess something that things go crazy. You can love and enjoy a beach and remember the emotion every time you feel down. That way, what you love is always with you, though not necessarily physically. It is a beautiful amalgamation of emotion, experience and memory. My friend once told me that though things didnt work out with his girl friend, he would never trade that time for anything else as it taught him a lot and brought out a different aspect of his personality. Plus, he remembers the good things as those were all that mattered. He has definitely moved on and I really admire him for that. 

There, right next to unbearable sorrow, lies eternal hope. When things don't go the way they ought to, it is easy to give up and drown in what is seemingly unbearable. But the truth is, this is just a blip. Life is yet to begin. I chant this every single day. I dont know which philosophical school this should belong to, but it is a beautiful thought. That every single day, you have the ability to go create a life for yourself that is far beyond your imagination. Once I realize that i have atleast 4 decades of living left, a few weeks or months or even years of decisions don't seem all that big. Of course they influence a few future decisions, but not all. I love to think that what I cannot see is so beautiful and so beyond anything imaginable. I try to remember that every time the glimpses I have are bleak. 

There, right next to uncontrollable anger lies a jar with a unlimited ability to love and express. Whenever I am angry with life and everything else, I close my eyes and imagine shouting at Zoya. How she would look at me with that love in her eyes, reminds me that as much as there is anger, loss and hatred in the world, there is love to be found at every corner. My recent experience with the 8 strays in my area have taught me that. I get enough kisses and licks every single day from them. 

So there are my jars. Perhaps not traditional. But definitely as real as anything can get. 

The fun in unpredictability

I recently changed my phone and since my hard disk was somewhere inaccessible, my usual songs are missing from my phone. I work better when I listen to  music as it helps drown out all the distraction. (I remember listening to music when I study. I used to top the class so I was not trying to fool anyone then. :)) 

So my solace has been youtube. (Lets not talk about the state of my data plan) and it has been such a refreshing change. There is something about letting random selection take its course that's so much fun.I have listened to so many songs - new and old. Of course the first song which starts the day is something I have listened to earlier. I have recently discovered this band called "Train". They have some lovely songs. Then, there are these really random Tamil songs I listen to. 

I don't like listening to RJ's rant so that rules out the way most people get to know about new songs - FM and this is my way of finding new music and getting lost in a world that is like mine but still different.

There is something nice in unpredictability. And I am hoping that if I start liking it in something like this, then maybe, I can finally learn to truly take each day as it comes (I claim I do but sometimes I wonder if I really do and while some people call me impulsive, others claim I am a control freak, perhaps its a perspective. Long rant on that later. :D)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ready to lose

It is so difficult to let go
Of all that was,
All that could have been,
The endless possibilities,
The limitless dreams
The beauty of hope
It keeps me going on and on

The pain reaches a breaking point
and I still push forward
For i believe in hope
I know I am going to break
and I finally admit,
I am ready to lose

I let go
and attempt to move on
Only to realize
that it was but a battle
The war is still on
My maker attempts to test
My resolve and my commitment
and my belief in his vision
All thats meant to be
will always be
and all that is not,
is just another battle
that was lost..
The war, is still on.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Keeper of secrets

Another Veer Zara inspired post

You're the secret
I cannot hide
Even from myself
At least to myself
You're the memory
I can't let go
The trigger
To a smile
Even in the darkest of days

Every moment bringing me closer
Giving me a hope
That the answer to every need
The elixir to the parched
The destination for all my paths
Is close and can never be taken away

For what's mine
What's fated
Cannot be changed

Flame in a hurricane

Inspired by a few songs from Veer Zara

Deadly silences I endure
Restless nights I embrace
Nightmares i welcome
Just to glimpse
My version of you

Know I do
That this is but a fantasy
Accept I do my reality
But life without you
Is not just meaningless
It's dead..

The light in my heart
Keeps me going
And it always will

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Not a goodbye

I'm all set,
With a heavy heart
To do what's right
To do what I ought to
Bid you a goodbye
That's silent
For you don't even know
My intent

Every step further away
Bringing you closer
For the heart holds on too tight
To the precious memory
Of all that was

I revisit my life
Realizing how beautiful
You made it seem
I pause to accept my life
And That you are a part of it
That it's incomplete without you
That I might try all I want
But I'd only get a pause
Never a goodbye

For the fates have other plans
I rush back
And hold you tight
Refusing to let go
You now,
The memory of us together later

You're all I'd ever need
I'm all you'd ever seek
I promise to hold you close
And make your day
Every single day

(inspired by a post I read about a guy changing his mind about abandoning his dog)

Fading away

I know I ought to stay away
Move as fast as possible
And as far away
From this temptation
This absolutely crazy addiction

The tiny strings
From the connection
Call out to me
Mocking my resolve
Reminding me of the absolute high
That nothing else can give

Caught between two worlds
I see myself split in half
And know that this conflict
Will make me slowly fade away

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Newspaper memories

So, Zoya has been drinking up oil(a post by itself) and we've been using up the newspapers our owners gave us like crazy. (We rent now. Sigh. That reminds me I can write about the different types of people I've encountered while house hunting)

We don't buy newspaper in the house so I had to borrow from them again. Their kids got a bundle of newspapers for us and I was taken back in time. (All that write up just to say how and why I was getting a bundle of newspapers)

My grandmother was one of those people who hated to waste things. She'd reuse everything, including the cloth my grandpa's answer papers came wrapped in. Newspaper collection was her pet peeve. She'll arrange it by language because the English paper got us more money by weight than the Tamil one did. She had a system to arrange it and she'll bundle a certain number of papers together to get a kg. When she was satisfied with the weight, she'll call the raddiwala and give it to him and get money. I remember vividly her counting those papers and scolding us if we don't get all the papers to her room( she never lost her temper but you get the drift)

Something small like a bundle of newspapers can make your feel happily sad. I'm happy I have these memories and for a second sad that I can't see the bundle of papers I used to curse her for in her room anymore.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Wake up calls

They come in different forms
At random times of the day
Realistic wake up calls
Fantasies meant to be shattered
Dreams to just remain
In a completely different realm
All of them breaking away
And slowly dissolving..

The cynic in me laughs
The romantic in me weeps
The optimist continues to hope

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Chasm

A huge chasm
effortlessly seperates
All that could be
from all that is
I stand at the edge
Watching, longing, plotting
to no avail

Giving up all pretense
I finally let go
and take the plunge
Only to firmly land across

Everything but an illusion
All that could be,
All that is
The only thing real
All that ought to be

Interconnected in ways
beyond the realm
of my understanding..

Metamorphosis

I watch you struggle
Wishing for the millionth time
That an absorber I could be
Taking away all that pain I see
In your usually sparkling eyes

The window into your soul
So heavy and lost
I flinch at the glimpse
and wonder..

My penance perhaps
to watch the pupa metamorphose
before it flies out
of its self imposed prison
The pain just adding to the beauty
More than anything else can

I was listening to this really beautiful sad song (I didnt get half the lyrics) and was very inspired to write this poem as I dont like sad endings. :)

Monday, June 06, 2016

Hindsight

So they say, Hindsight is 20/20 and I feel that lines up with my favorite topic - how everything happens just for a reason, a reason you might not be able to see immediately. 

The same time last year, I was struggling with a very difficult decision. To say it gave me sleepless nights would be a criminal understatement. Anyway, that said, now, I can see the pieces align for something wonderful. In a way, I got to know and like a different aspect of myself. 

In Hindsight, this was the best thing that could have happened. All those sleepless nights were leading me towards this. Thank you my guardian angel, whoever you are, for helping me get to know myself better. 

A hole in the heart

You can't really miss
What you never had
You can't really know
What was never yours
You can't really see
What could never be
But why is it that
A random fantasy
Bores a huge hole
Right through my heart?

Is this a lesson
Taught by a cruel teacher?
Or is it a glimpse
Of heaven, unadulterated
And persistent
Given by a benevolent
Guardian angel?

Will it help me pull through
Or will it pull me all the way down?

Walking

I love to walk. I find it therapeutic. The ability to watch the world one step at a time is a beautiful blessing. Today after my walk with the doggies(where i faced off dot and dash) we went for another walk together and saw a lot of beautiful sights. My favorite was of the sunset through the concrete jungle.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

My cattle friends

Our small plot of land is part of a really huge farm. Recently, they've bought a couple of cows and they're used for manure. In my recent photographic frenzy, I captured these animals happily enjoying a peaceful morning.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

The thin line

I see it right there
The object of my desire
Perfect, beautiful, made to order
Just for me
I know it fits
in a way nothing else would
The high, 
a simple thought gives me, 
unattainable any other way
It makes me run
full speed
all in pursuit
of picture perfection

A familiar breeze makes me pause
and I look back at what was then,
a greener pasture,
now too familiar to be exciting

Knowing how familiarity 
would lead to boredom,
I pause
framing my perfection
as an ideal to attain
some other day..
an object to desire
every moment
an object to long for
just to feel alive..

The thin line

I love to dream. I see endless possibilities and I always hope for something that seems impossible to just happen because I believe it ought to. And funnily, most of the time, what seems impossible happens and it was because I believed in it with all my heart and worked towards it.

I always have this conflict. How much do you stick with the status quo and how much do you try to get away and create something new? While chasing after a new dream ever so often is an awesome feeling, sometimes, accepting that you are going to catch it only to let it go and run behind another is a scary one. 

So I am wondering - should I just let some dreams be? Not because they cannot become real, but because its nice to always have something to dream about that will remain forever and not lose its charm?