Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Audrey

I get a work phone when I travel. It is one of those flip phones and honestly, they're not that old when I get down to it. I was obsessing over one a few years ago and even still have it somewhere.
Anyway, this phone is funny. It makes random calls, it reads voice messages in the middle of the night and suddenly starts talking. I accidentally dialed five people today. Well, I can be a stalker. Perhaps a new job for me. I had to drop a ,I didn't intend to call you, I'm sorry message. Sigh. 

I got a call now from a random stranger. 

I said hello and he was like, 'I think I have the wrong number. ' 
I was already annoyed with the phone and then he said this, so the devil in me got up and was like, 'How can you be so sure?' I had half the mind to rant about how there is no right or wrong. 
He said, 'Are you Audrey?' 
I was like, 'Maybe' 
Then he just paused for a second, said, ' No' and dropped. 
I think I should just switch it off and keep it away. 

Adversity

Today, I received my first rejection letter. As an author. A big publishing house rejected my manuscript. I never even wrote for a long time out of fear as to how I would be rejected. What if I am not good enough to have public validation of my writing? Am I OK living with that? I mean, this is what I have wanted to be since I was a kid. "What do you want to do in life?" Ask 5 year old Harini or the 25 year old and her answer would have been writer. What if it is one of those things I want, but am not good enough for? What if someone tells me, sorry we cannot actually publish you? You are good, but not good enough?

I always thought of myself like this brilliant artist whose work would be appreciated because it was quite unique. Reality is different. Isnt it now? I think I have been able to handle this rejection quite well today ( I havent cried, yet) because of a few hard life truths I have come to accept. 

I feel relief. I feel joy at having attempted. I don't know if I am going to be able to keep trying, I mean, I suck at handling failure, but I am becoming way better. I am continuing to write my second book, because someday, something will click somewhere. 

My silence in the blog has been because of how busy I have been, trying to come to terms with who I am. I am not ashamed of who I was, but I think I can be someone better. I feel like a frog that has been put into a boiling water, that is jumping out in an attempt to save its life. Wake up calls come in different ways and mine, were not pleasant. They had a few very bitter, hard truths that only one person was able to tell me. That took me a lot of time to accept. Time in which I lost something precious, I never ought to have. My only regret in life. That is a biggie to accept. Wooo! I have not understood regrets till  date. (A blog about it later)

I like to think I am perfect, but that is not the truth. I am a work in progress. If that was my best work, where is the fun in that? I really cant be perfect, because perfection is a moving target. Not a fixed one. I am going to keep trying. At least, attempting to try. 

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even in the next decade. But someday, I will get published. Until then, I will keep writing. I cant let go of my identity because someone else felt that was not me. I am opening myself to criticism and change. I am truly welcoming and hoping that it is there to stay. 

Dedicated to the person that woke me up. From a self imposed slumber. I am sorry. (Possibly my dramatic proclamation that I faced failure)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Endurance

What do I see?
At first, I'm seeing the dead brown,
Brown so brittle and dry and lost,
As of this moment.

Bent, misshapen, so seemingly useless,
For anything but fire, at this instant..

Acres of brown, covered with a coating of white,
When the snow kisses and goes away,
Chased by a confused sun!
A sun there, but still not there,
Surrendering to the day.

Or is my inevitable - the green, that will come someday,
After this endurance test?
Why do I seek the green so?
Isn't the beauty of the brown, just different?
Isn't that what the cycle of life is about?
Different, yet the same.
Dead, yet still alive.
Bent but still, holding on. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Growing up

This morning, I realized something. I wont say it was like a sudden out of the blue realization. It was more like that pleasant high creeping in and hugging me close, sneaking up on me and catching me unawares, though I knew it was right around the corner.

It was the realization that, life does not always go the way you want. You can plan, you can work, you can dream, you can hope, but you cannot help the end result. Everything is not in your control. As much as you might like to pretend it to be. 

Growing up is about learning which are the battles to pick, which are the ones to let go and which are the ones to revisit on a later day. It is about accepting that life is really much longer than just a few weeks or months. 

In this world of instant gratification, we expect everything to work ASAP. (Well, I do) We expect to see results for all the work we put in. But, good things take time. Sometime, they never happen too. It is not always just my fault. I just need to learn to let go and man, it is a torture. I need to learn to fail and that, I think is the key to growing up. 

I sound like a cliche, but this line from a song comes to my head. Love you Zindagi, for helping me grow up and for watching with a quirky smile when I am full of self importance. I am proud to call myself - "A work in progress"

Restful

I walk every evening with a friend. A few weeks ago, she told me that I was very restless in general. I did not get what she meant by that. Then she tried to explain it to me. She asked me, if I could sit for sometime, doing nothing. Just sit.

I wasn't sure why I should do that. Do nothing. Or even if I could, because when I tried to think of a time that I had done nothing, I could not think of one.

She is not like Master Shifu, she was not trying to teach me about inner peace. She was just asking a question about how I interact with life. After the weeks when I have thought about it on and off, I have come to accept that I can't do nothing. I have to do something.

Whether that something is thinking or working or talking or just watching the world. Is there a deep philosophical point I am missing here by always doing something? I don't know. But I know that I am happy doing the somethings and even when I am sad because of something, I find a way to cope. So maybe, this is my peace. My cocoon of somethings. Perhaps, someday, I will find a cocoon of nothing, or perhaps I won't. It might be another new interesting experience. 

Fate

I don't believe in coincidences. Rather, I believe everything in life is connected in ways I cannot even fathom. I have no other explanation for a lot of things I have experienced. Life is like a growing jigsaw puzzle. At times when I see only the red, I think it must be part of a beautiful flower that is just getting painted in the canvas of my life. A blood red rose, that comes from a place of pain, but the rose cannot look as good in any other shade. (Yes, I have been told I am quite dramatic)

So at a time when I feel like cursing life for something, I just tell myself that I am going to thank the way things happened a few days/weeks/months or at least years later. I originally wanted to start this post as an intent to rant about Fate and the pointlessness of trying to fight it. But as I started writing it, I realized I have enough opportunities to thank fate for and I have done a lot of things to invite certain types of situations, which lead me to a fate I might not have liked much. :) So, I am the master of my fate. I have reasons to be happy with it and for now, that, is more than enough. 


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Intent and Capability

We all have those dreams that we have killed and buried. Some of them are perhaps zombies, that will keep rising because they are not ready to go away. Some of them are more than happy to die, rather than lead a half baked existence. Some, try and finally go away. Whether it is personal or professional, ignoring the role of time, which is the easiest excuse we all make, I think there are two other things that play a role in us realizing those dreams.One is intent, the other is capability. (Provided you are able to dream, which is a different conversation)

Let me take a personal example first. We are all capable of love. That is one of the most basic emotions we experience from the moment we open our eyes to see the world. (Unless you are a sociopath or a psychopath I think) But if the object of our affection cannot share that, thanks to the lack of intent, love will not find a place. Rather, mutual love will not find a place in our lives. Excuses only will. "Time was not right", "He was too far away", "We wanted different things". If you want to, you will make it work. Lack of intent.

At work, I have observed people give their IQ as an excuse for not being able to perform. Again, a question of intent vs. capability.I am someone that strongly believes that given enough time and persistence one can pick up anything. The sky is the limit. When people draw boxes around themselves and then refuse to get out of it, I see failure and the endless battle between intent and capability. 

My strength till now, has been in seeing the capability in people. Until recently, I ignored the role of intent. Once I have experienced that, I can't help but wonder. How much more can we accomplish if those that were capable had the right intent and those that had the intent worked harder on their capability?

Falling in love - with myself

I have no shame in admitting this. I am trying to fall in love with myself. I am not talking about narcissism here. I am talking about real, deep love or as much of it as I can muster.

I am talking about being able to see the flaws very clearly - the blemishes, the scars, the laziness, the extra layers of fat, the lost love, the anger, the drama, the flakes of dandruff that decorate the little black dress, the off key singing, the love for the forbidden - self imposed, the hypocrisy - everything and still being able to accept and love myself. 

Accepting myself and constantly striving to become someone better. I feel that the novels and the movies have told me forever, that I need to do it, when I meet that one person, who will change my life forever. That is too much expectation on one single individual when there are at least a dozen or more, who influence my life. (The number could be even higher if I have to be honest.)

But, why do we never talk about the one person who is there in our own versions of forever? What about the person who is with me, everyday of my life? The only person who is with me from when I was born till when I'll die? ME!!

If I can't know, love and care for myself, if I can't try to become better, if I cannot get rid of the flaws that annoy me everyday, for my own self, how will I ever do it? How can i do it for anyone else? Rather, why should I? 

To a large extent, I have lived life on my own terms. Or, so I like to think. I know not about the shackles I have imposed on myself because of some notions of right and wrong I harbor. Shackles that are relatively unnoticed for now. 

Shackles, I will find more about when I get to know myself better. Intimately, without being scared of what I might uncover. Even if it scares me, analyze and accept myself, and just really truly understand what makes me tick.

Until I get to know myself well, I don't think I can really pretend to be someone else. I wrote a novella in the holidays and I realized that I created a portrait of who I want to be in that. I am going to keep building that out. I am after all a work in progress and I am the artist as well as the critic. :) I have a lifetime to perfect the art. What is the fun if I was born perfect?!

21 days of you

When you are down in the dumps, when you feel like the world is pulling you down, what do you do? How do you even dream? How do you remain positive? When you can't imagine getting to the next hour, how do you think of the next month or year? What use is a future when the present cannot seem to move or let you live in peace? 

When I am down, I talk to people who egg me on and if that fails, I find refuge in philosophy and music and I just keep telling myself, "This too shall pass." I finished the first draft of a book sometime ago (more about it later) and I have been wondering about my next topic. I chose depression. 

The book is called 21 days of you, and I am not even sure I can capture the details well, but I think this is a book that was meant to be written and that a few things have happened in my life, to lead me to this. 

Nobody talks about depression in the open. Like, you are somehow doing something wrong if you are feeling down. Hypocritical in a way, as I am sure that we've all felt that dark cloud around us - at some point time or the other. Perhaps for a few minutes, for a few days, for a few months. You can't have been untouched by the demon of the dark when you experience the joy of light. I firmly believe, one cannot exist without the other. If you believe in ecstasy, believe in torment. This is my attempt at throwing some more light on this topic, after seeing what it can do to a person and how the whole world might not even notice. 



Saturday, January 14, 2017

What you mean to me

To me, you will always be who you are
Why should you be anything else?
Why should you be something more,
Or something less for that matter?
Why should it matter that you would never be mine?
Why should it matter that perhaps, someday you would?

Isn't possession nine tenth the law?
You possess the key to read my emotions..
But, you own me not.
As I own you not.
You are me and I am you,
but we are both ourselves 
and can never be anything else. 

You are all that I sought,
but you are nothing I wanted.
You are all that I need,
but you are everything that will be denied.

I still crave and I still love.
For what you are,
can never change in my head,
despite what you might become.