Friday, 1 March 2013

Don't you?

Don't you wish,

That everything was not solely about what is conspicuous?
That there was more to one's face than ugly, red outbursts?
That there was more to one's individuality than curves being in the wrong places?

I do. Don't you?
Don't you wish,

That their idea of beauty was not so superficial?
That their sources of happiness were not so shallow?
That your motivation could stem from their belief and not from their constant disapproval?

I do. Don't you?
Don't you wish,

That you could speak effortlessly amidst them?
That you could shut their judgmental stares out?
That you could express without the fear of being ridiculed?

I do. Don't you?
Don't you wish,

That your sense of morality was not so gray?
That you could rise and let rise above petty conflicts of opinion?
That you could take your decisions with a mind bereft of obligations?
That some day, you could make a transition from sacrifice to self-interest without being labelled selfish?

You could be that one exemplary, free bird in this zoo full of caged, exhibited creatures.
I wish I could.
Don't you?

I'm aware. I'm alive.

‘’Happy Birthday!’’, she heard them scream. Stopping in her trail with a glint of joy in her eyes, a smile spread across Shivani’s face. At least her friends had remembered. With an innocent excitement, she jumped and turned around. But that smile began to fade. It was someone else’s lucky day. Nevertheless, her eager eyes searched for her gang of girls. With each passing minute, she wished with all her heart that someone would come along and turn this occasion around for her, but in vain. The day seemed to have lost all its charm. 
Fighting back her tears, she rode back home from college, hoping against all odds that this year would be different. Probably, a nice family dinner with her mum’s homemade cookies. Yes, that would be the best eighteenth birthday gift. It was something that she missed terribly. She couldn't recollect the last time she had had the satisfactory pleasure of gulping down her mother’s delicious food. Not since the band of butlers and cooks had made their way into her newly purchased duplex. Hers was a rich family yet a perfect example of the fact that every coin has two sides. The expensive gifts, cars, artifacts or any such luxuries could never make up for the lost love between her mother and herself. Neither could it make up for the long nights when she cried herself to sleep because her businessman father seemed to hold the world at a pedestal while neglecting his own little girl.As she parked her bicycle in the garage, Shivani could already sense the hustle and bustle. She made her way through the front door only to be welcomed by noisy strangers and blaring music. Her mother was by the backyard pool, rattling on about the latest neighbourhood gossip with Mrs. Desai while her father was nowhere in sight. That familiar pain in the gut began to surface. Her parents had thrown her yet another party. Another shindig to showcase their opulence. The room reeked of shallow materialism. This was not what Shivani had wanted. She needed to get away from there. As paradoxical as it may sound, the crowd seemed to pull at the strings of loneliness in her heart. She made a dash towards the door when a brash grip held her arm. It was her father. He looked her in the eye, signalling her to stay put. Normally, she would give in to his vindictive demeanour, but not this time. It took every ounce of courage she ever had to utter the words, “This is not where I belong, Pa.” She stormed off without a second thought.This was her day. This was her moment to be happy. 
Shivani knew exactly where she needed to be. She walked with an escalating pace, clenched fists, and her nails biting into her skin. All the bottled up anger was tearing up her insides. Shifting her gaze towards the grey sky, she knew. A misty evening awaited her. She had never really liked the rain. Her friends had always conditioned her to associate the monsoons with dirty mud puddles and stinky drains. But this day was different. She reached that famous, elongated stretch of concrete. Her own personal spot to beat the blues. More than just a mere landmark, it was her favourite place in the city.A gusty wind blew. Shivani watched the waves rising higher and higher as they crashed against the robust bedrock. This place was her own little getaway from the vagaries of life that confronted her time and again. 
A thunderous sound cut through the dense air. It rained. The smell of damp earth rendered her tingly. She could almost taste the liquid sunshine. She felt something. It wasn't disgust or repulsion. It was euphoria. Oblivious to the people around her, Shivani was overwhelmed with emotion. The serenity of that place captured her witless. The feeling of the raindrops against her skin was nothing short of a trance.Teary-eyed, she giggled. Oh, how she had missed her own laughter! Shivani felt impassioned. The best birthday gift to her was her very own being. She felt aware of it. She found those lost desires and touched upon that misplaced need to feel happy again. She felt alive.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Of all the crossroads and dilemmas

Many an occasion, a dilemma looks me in the eye. To hold on or to let go?
It could be with regard to a person, a job or something as simple as a hobby.

Ever heard of, ''The best decisions are taken in the shower.''?
Those confines once rendered me an enriching experience, so to say.
Yes, apparently I do have a little crazy in me to attempt foolish stints. Hence, this revelation.

On a serious note, it so happened one day that I cupped some water in my hands. First, I clasped my fingers tightly. The water escaped. Cupping some water again, this time, I released my fingers. Evidently, the water escaped again. Either way, I was at a loss. But what the water didn't fail to do, was to leave my hands wet. It succeeded in making its presence felt.

The affinity struck me. Most of the goals, circumstances and even people in my life are similar to water.

Sometimes, I clasp my fingers tightly and hold on to them, probably to prove to myself (or to the world) that no matter what, I will not hide under the sheets of abandonment just because of a few ugly experiences in the process.

Other times, I may decide to release my fingers and let go. Maybe because there comes a point when I feel that I am losing myself to the pressures of a circumstance or to the demands of a goal or to the expectations of an individual.

But whichever of the two I choose, the sole loser is no one but myself. I lose my sense of purpose. And at the same time, the feeling of suffocation while holding on or the feeling of guilt while letting go is implanted within me, thus making its presence felt.

Eventually, the brainwave that occurred to me was that its all about a little balance and prioritizing. It is, but, we who define those goals and circumstances and not the other way round. It is upto us to decide whether a certain life situation is worth our restless nights and constant efforts.

At the end of the day, it is a reciprocative concept. If you can foresee a long term benefit, that should be belief enough to ignite that dedication in you to keep going.
But if a bruised self-esteem and a shattered self-respect is what comes your way, only a fool would even consider holding on to such a cause.

So, cup the water. But let it stay. The only energy you need to put in is the one that helps you to maintain the stability of your hands. 
Hold on to the goal or person, but not too firmly. Let go, but only if the need arises.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Patience. Our new best friend.

This morning, I was faced with the ultimate test of self-control. Counting to 10 and chanting 'Om' 3 times did help to some extent. But apparently, my plight was synonymous to that of a boiling kettle. 
I had spent precisely 20 minutes, waiting for the building lift. 20 godforsaken minutes! 

But I managed to remain sober. It took every ounce of my endurance capacity, this task. But yes, I made it through. My mum would be so proud if she'd known that I was able to keep my cool. My patience was literally at its superlative best.

Of course, the ability to be patient, doesn't come that easy to most of us.
Very few have the willingness to suppress their annoyance when confronted with a delay of some sort. 

Patience involves tolerance, composure and trust me, a whole lot of strength! To keep myself from venting the frustration at my fellow lift buddy was one herculean task. It is an art. Not everyone is born with it.
Patience is a learned virtue.

Now, Mumbai city, in my opinion, is the best place to learn this virtue. Almost every facet of a Mumbaikar's life involves WAITING. And if you don't know how to, then God help you.

If I may add, some instances would be :
  • Waiting at the 3 foot long ATM line.
  • Waiting for the auto rickshaws. Yes, sadly we are at their mercy quite often.
  • Waiting at the railway platform since the chances of local trains being on time in this city, are remote. Very remote.
  • Waiting at the restaurants because the cooks seem to take forever. We've all overheard this and may have said so numerous times, ''Sabji laane gaya hai, ki banane gaya hai!''
  • Waiting for the lady at a government office who takes her own sweet time because obviously discussing recipes with a colleague is much more important than attending to your query!
  • Keeping in mind our current scenario, waiting eagerly for a transition from the scorching heat to the monsoon showers! And we are all aware of the enormous amount of patience this needs.
I am not complaining, neither am I ranting. 
In fact, these aspects of our city teach us something new each day. Unfortunately, more often than not, we consider anger to be an easier option in comparison to patience. 

Displacement of irritation is easy. Self-restraint is what really tests your waters.
The former has seldom done any good. All it will leave you with is a hot head and some fuming people around you extending those nasty looks.
The latter will somewhat give you a sense of achievement. For if you have learned patience, you have learned the solutions to the bizarre questions that life offers. You have found the key to unlock the door of calmness and sobriety. 

And as they say, ''Patience will bear sweet fruits, always.''

A misconception to be cleared. 
Being patient does not mean you are submissive or that you are giving in to the situation. Instead, being patient emphasizes your capability to deal with an annoying situation in the most civil manner possible. 

Patient people are loved and looked upon a great deal.
Piping in a political example, the recent fast by Anna Hazare most definitely required patience in plenty. He never gave up, though no doubt it would've been the easier way out. But perseverance was his sole motive. And his stint did yield good results.

Well, bottom line is thus, anger will get you nowhere. In today's day and age, patience should be your new best friend. Embrace it. 
Learn to breathe. Don't work yourself up, for it is fruitless.
In this fast paced society that we live in, Patience, my friend, is your survival strategy. The best one.

Monday, 9 April 2012

The Demonic Angel Within

His cherubic face, his radiant smile
Masked those desires, fiendish and vile.
A deceitful persona, a mind so sly
Two-faced yet cautious, he was living a lie.

He attempted to immerse himself
Into a sea of normalcy.
Secretly he wished to be a common soul,
Accepted, mundane and ordinary.

But he was beyond the realm of control,
His malignant self found its way through.
His eyes declared aversion and contempt.
Into a vicious monster, he grew.

The world was blinded by the obvious.
For they couldn’t look any further
Than his conspicuous portrayal
Of a soul with raging fervor.

The world was oblivious to the reasons
That may have driven him to transform.
His once selfless spirit,
Was now camouflaged by a spiteful norm.

The world was his mirror,
For it reflected his inner goons.
The world was also his blind spot,
For it failed to see his emotional wounds.

What the world couldn’t notice
Was a struggling angel beneath.
Those devilish horns concealed a halo,
And forever he hid under a false sheath.

Friday, 6 April 2012

My Guardian Angel

Amidst the crowd, I was on my own
My feet took me places, all alone
My mind was clustered with thoughts unnecessary
Making me feel sunken, yet a little wary

Wary about myself and the way I'm being perceived
By the very same crowd of people around me
Opinions, judgments, criticisms and more
Were all that came my way and all that I could see

Then came this day
In the most unexpected way
When You held my hand
And told me it'll be okay

All of a sudden, I found new hope
I began to believe now, that I can cope
I felt the courage, I gathered the strength
With You by my side, I could go to any length

It's a special bond, between Me and You
One that's rare and understood by few
A perfect connection, a soulful dedication
That guides me across troubled seas and struggles of depression

So when I think of You, I feel certain bliss
Pure love and deep content, nothing's amiss
Be the friend I need and everything will be right
I will know no worry and feel no fright

I will make it through the potholed street of life,
No matter how thin the rope or how sharp the knife
Counting on You will suffice
Because You're my Guardian Angel, a blessing in disguise.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Passion. Bliss. Love.

So, we've all been asked this patent question at least once, if not many more times.
‘’What is your passion?’’
I’ve been asked this too. At first instance, ''Food'' pops into my head. Yes. I’m passionate about my cheesecakes and chocolates and spicy, ‘indianized’ Chinese meals. But that’s just me. I LOVE FOOD.

On a serious note, that’s exactly what passion is. Passion is love. 
An amorous sentiment. A strong feeling or desire is what defines passion for me. 

Passion could be a powerful, compelling emotion like love, hate, envy, rage, lust. Or it could mean having a profound inclination towards something in particular like art, books, sports, movies, animals!

So, how does one find one’s passion?
To put it simply, I’d say, ''Doing something that you love. That is your passion.''
No matter how clich├ęd this might sound, there is every ounce of truth in that sentence. All it takes is some introspection. In other words, self talk. And you will very well discover the things, that when done, bring utmost happiness and fulfilment to YOU.

Putting myself in the spotlight let me give you an example.
I passionately love my folks and some other special peeps. If I may say so, there is a certain zeal to the way I love them. They make up some very important pieces of the complex puzzle I call, Life. So, they deserve to be loved with exceptional and phenomenal passion, to say the least! 
Also, I passionately hate some not-so-very-nice things. Like peas. I absolutely, passionately detest it. And keeping in line with what I said earlier, I love to hate peas!

I am passionate about writing too. Writing is a task that somewhat liberates me. At the end of the day, the paper is nothing but my best friend. I pour my thoughts and opinions without hesitancy and once it has all been ‘flushed out’ of my heart and brain, something takes over me. That ‘something’, is satisfaction. An overwhelming contentment. A sort of adrenaline rush through my veins. A layer of pure joy and satiety just settles down on my otherwise restless mind. And I absolutely love that feeling.

So we must all attempt to find our ‘calling’. It isn’t rocket science and once found, rest assured, there won’t be any turning back.

Pity goes out to people who live their lives sans passion.
For without passion, you will not have known the depth of emotions. You will not have known vulnerability and the sweet feeling of security, thereafter. Without passion, you will not have known life and its hidden beauty.
You will not have known the intense storms of probable failure, followed by the calming seas of definite success.
Without passion, you will not have known the wonderful pleasures of light, that may be disguised as dark, murky setbacks.

So, take a chance. Have belief. Love unconditionally. Try something new that may start out as a mundane routine or a mere hobby, but your love for it, may take it to another level of extraordinaire.
Be passionate. That is all that there is, to life.