If someone told me a couple of years ago that there would be a global pandemic that turns our world upside down, I would have told them that this is not a dystopian novel. Now, I am not so sure. We consume information about more and more violence every day, women are denied their bodily autonomy and wars can be waged without reason. I remember writing in my slam book in college that I would be settled in life by the time I’m thirty, enjoying cocktails by my poolside. I guess I used to be much more optimistic as a person back then. It’s going to be a year since I quit my corporate job to pursue my master’s, which also translated as putting enough distance so that nagging relatives don’t ask me about getting married. My work ethic was something I took pride in. When I was in eleventh grade, I remember my Tamil teacher telling us he has never been not occupied with something in life, he got his job the same month he finished his studies. I guess it stuck to me. I did the same, got a job right after my studies and worked for 4 years straight. It took me a lot of conversations with my therapist to understand that I never really had a break in my life. That keep-on-winning attitude is eventually going to result in you becoming burnt out.
I still struggle sometimes with accepting that I am living on my savings, but I haven’t felt this happy in a long time. I remember having a conversation with a German friend who told me it’s a given in his family that everyone takes a gap year after school to live life the way they want. He went volunteering in Serbia to work with school children and fell in love with the country and people that year.I realised the hustle mindset is something we Indians are groomed into. I have never lived life at a slow pace before. To be honest, it’s boring sometimes, but it also gives you time to introspect. Who are you? What do you want in life? Are you doing things for yourself or expectations of others? I realised the reason I didn’t enjoy certain things in life is that I didn’t want them, there were things I was pursuing just because they were markers of success in the world. Once I let go of them, I feel so much freer. Breaking those rigid milestone goals in my life such as getting married at this age, buying a house at this age etc has done wonders for my mental health. Now, my only goal is happiness. It might change in the future, you never know but I feel content where I am.
It could’ve been anything but it just wasn’t wanted.
Yet, a wish is made shaping flexibly to expectations.
Why do we make a wish only over a falling star?
Is it not vacating today and burdening tomorrow?
An extra-ordinary warrior, they call.
An extra of ordinary worry-er, it seems.
When everyone is out of mind, who cares what’s inside one’s mind?
Have you seen or been someone instilling hope into people facing tough times? I don’t mean advice here, but lending ears and providing words of comfort. I’ve been on both the giving and the receiving ends. Though the intention is good, sometimes, it just fuels the anxiety. This is a free verse that addresses such a scenario.
I have been of a belief earlier that when we overload ourselves, often over an emotional outburst like regrets specifically, we break our hearts. Even highly ductile and malleable metals have a breaking point, right? Likewise, I thought it’s okay to take rest and restore whenever there’s an emotional shutdown. At least, that’s how I was.
I sooner or later also realized that regrets keep chasing and we can’t keep shutting down repeatedly for the same issue. ‘Whenever’ was a mistake. A mistake when done once holds some value. But, when it keeps on popping as if there’s no end, it is literally draining. One can’t always choose to rest for the same emotional matter of concern.
Long after this realization dawned, I was told that there can’t be any heartbreaks over regrets, during a conversation with a friend. This assertion made me think. How can a person lose what is loved but not have heartbreak? I explored more on this “no heartbreak” philosophy and that’s when I came across a transcript which I totally enjoyed reading.
When people enquire about my busyness and the response comes out to be ‘I’m engaged or committed with something or somebody’, why can’t they just let it be? In awe, the follow-up is usually, ‘Why haven’t you told me yet?’. I mean, why should we announce if it’s just another part of our normal lives? Won’t you get to know if you’re meant to know?
How come the words ‘committed’ or ‘engaged’, in a multitude of minds, just associate themselves with romantic relationships alone? Can’t someone be committed to their family that requires special attention, their dreams that require extra efforts, just those regular chores that happen to be unusually long, or some self care practices that require more energy?
I strongly believe that commitment develops depths of emotions and understanding, be it in a hobby, a goal or a relationship. But, I don’t understand why this personal responsibility often gets mixed up with societal expectations.
There was an owl, and a mail sometime later, with a prompt to get home soon. It was once home, and will always be. But barely did it strike then that your voice nor my name will ever be heard thereon. The why was never answered and it’ll remain so.
A new star studded to the dark sky. It began to burn fiercely with that fuel of the pain it left behind on the earth. It is still as bright as the first day even after years, as if the fuel never depleted and is far from running out.
The water fallsWith the fallen leavesWhich make no soundAs the season spells fall.They flow togetherAs the stream flowsTo sink in the bed of beauty Steered by the scream of streams.
As autumn (season of fall) arrives in one’s life, at times, they (leaves) surrender to the closest cascade (waterfall) silently with no choice, even after which the unfulfilled memories follow the time’s (stream’s) flow to the bed (death) at the end of one’s beautiful life that would have been lived with the desired content and joy (screams).
The word “wee”, the prompt for SoCS this week, led me straight to a YouTube video. “The lion sleeps tonight” is my go-to song whenever I have a bad mood. Having watched both versions of “The Lion King” movie, this is one of my two favorite parts of the remake. Weembaway (YouTube link to the song sequence; embed available at the bottom) – at least that’s how I pronounce it – is always joyful to listen to as well watch.
The last time I watched this song, it gave me quite different vibes than the usual. Maybe, what I saw was influenced by my state of mind.
When the ambiance around is good, so many friends stay around the singing Pumba and Timon to enjoy the music. But when in danger, only Timon stays. Even if he can’t help Pumba, he’s the one who encourages him to run for life – “Run, Pumba, Run!”, “I’m coming, Pumba. Hang in there”, he keeps calling as he himself is running. Also, Pumba doesn’t fail to warn his friend even when he’s in a trap – “Run for your life”, he shouts and only then starts his run. Maybe moral support is what we all need in life!
Nala interrupts the best scene in the woods. Life is always such, pulls a brake when everything is so smooth and happy. How easier life would’ve been had Nala not entered the forest! Maybe that’s the perfectly right time or the perfectly wrong one. Who knows?
Is it not time we kill those man-made social constructs like religion, race, caste, and class in which humans still hide their inexistent honour? Emphasizing this thought, this free verse is written with six words in each line, and a six-word story is quoted at the end.
Disparaging sanity of love, honour glows.
The crushed dreams fuel its fire.
I’m ecstatically happy to share with you the news that an anthology that I’m a part of, “Utmost Feelings” with the theme ‘Love’, has been released.
It’s been exactly a month today since the launch (29th June 2021). But, I wanted to share this news only after I received a paperback copy. The delivery was a mess, unfortunately, and I got my copy only a couple of days ago and hence the delay in the announcement.
Attached with bittersweet memories, this book will always remain special. Astha, the girl who initiated the process of compiling this book is no more with us. Today marks the end of three months since her demise. But still, the legacy of her dream lingers in each word that the book holds. I heartily appreciate the efforts of True Dreamster, the publisher, who took Astha’s wish forward and presented this bouquet of love to her family as a tribute.
I extend my heartfelt gratitude to every person who’s a part of this wonderful project and all supporters.
I had 3 different conceptions while framing this tanka, the first being the direct inference of the biological formation of a pearl in an oyster, and the second about a motivational stimulus. The third perspective, not associated with the entire tanka, is a euphemism with a human hermaphrodite.
Has innocence lost its meaning at present times? We live in a world where even children are deprived of innocence. As young adults, most want to give the illusion that they are older than they actually are. Doesn’t this thought make one consciously lose a valuable virtue?
Facing the fact, it’s really hard to keep the inner child alive as we grow. But, is it not mostly because we want to look mature in the eyes of society? Let’s try recalling an incident when one of our peers would have behaved with innocence, maybe jump in the stairs or walk like a toddler used to. We’d have certainly heard voices about he/she acting weird, naive, or behaving so to grab attention. Why can’t it be considered simply as an act of joy and enjoyment?
It is been a long time since I have posted on this blog. My mental health took a drop in the last couple of months and now that I am in a position to talk about it, I wanted to share my experience. I started working from home in March 2020. It was really exciting initially because I could spend time with my family for an extended period. But as time went on, the lines between personal and professional aspects of my life got blurred. There were days in which I used to work for 14 hours straight. It had a serious impact on my sleep and eating habits. I knew I was in a stressful situation but kept on going without a break.
There’s a concept called spoon theory regarding your mental health. We have 3 pieces of cutlery – spoons, forks, and knives. Spoons represent the energy you can expend today, forks represent the stressors or things that take up your energy and knives represent the energy you have saved up for tomorrow. As the days went on, the number of spoons I had kept on decreasing. When you do not have enough spoons, you start using your knives. One fine day, I was out of spoons and knives and I had my first anxiety attack. The feeling of helplessness and inability to breathe was one of the worst things I have experienced in my life. I knew I could not do it on my own anymore and I reached out for help. I started seeing a therapist.
I have my own moral principles, and one of them is not to copy in an exam, or do any sort of plagiarism. Whether it’s a class test, term test, an assignment or finals doesn’t matter to me.
I’m someone in the top strata performers. I listen to lectures diligently. When there was a surprise test a few weeks before the finals, I failed at school. I didn’t regret it because I knew I deserved it for my preparation level. There have also been times when I’ve stood alone at college for non-submission of assignments. This made me lose marks in the internals. However, I’ve been happy for not choosing to compromise on my value.
I was tampering with this value – my academic integrity – in other means somehow, under the guise of being good. Little did I realize it until I got punished for being good. Continue reading →
This is a free verse, each line framed with six words, comparing water with the life of anyone who is in trouble. Based on the mind’s perception, the hope for reality might evaporate or offer a solution. A six-wordstory is quoted at the end.
Amorphous, but still assigned a colour.
She closed the doors of perception.
Things known transformed into things unknown.
She got lost in the waves.
It is a skill to generate a strong voice for oneself, ignoring the voices of those people who poke their nose into others’ lives. This is a free verse depicting the aforesaid message, with each line written as a six-word story.