Life · writing

Will You Miss India?


Will you miss India?

Will you miss the crazy honking on the street; the bronze and blistering bodies cohabiting a narrow breadth of space; the stalls of watery, salty-sweet, spicy, laden, yellowing, creaming mountains of fly-infested snacks and the jingling of pennies as bodies rub against one another, pushing to be the first in line; the pink sunsets across a dusty patch of land or through the worn, grey mesh of a half-abandoned building (and there might be a story behind it!); the scarves and kurtis that play at being rainbows draped over pear-shaped bodies under oiled, coiled, tangled, wispy hair worn thin or flown high from the heat and the smoke and the traffic and the dust; the perennial sound of traffic buzzing, whistling, flying past and men hurling words at other men, often not caring; the hostility and the harshness always permeated by the yellow sun, trailing a thin line of birds; an under-construction road or building piled with concrete and mortar and bricks; the tiny hammocks made out of thin cloth with little brown babies placed within them, their tiny fingers grasping the air for the first signs of that constant struggle which is to define them for eternity; the pitter-patter of tiny footsteps clad in half-broken slippers, the supple prepubescent bodies shrouded in hand-me-downs from generations ago and turning black under layers of grime and dirt; the toothless grin of a woman shoving her hand into your ribcage in the hope for a penny or two, dancing with an undernourished babe held in her arms as the signal turns from red to green and your eyes are focused on the vapidness ten feet away; the bone-showing hungry trot of a street dog uncared for except to be thrown stones at or fed by the occasional kindness of a stranger and his bark like a question mark, challenging you or his fellow competitors to hurl another hostile gesture into his life of a street thug; the sway of a cow, its body thickened under worship and fodder as it moves nonchalantly down a busy junction; the lines of girls and boys in their late teens, dressed like a uniform in jeans and a tee-shirt from real brands or fake ones, their eyes surveying the scene of their triumph as they trudge down streets that are unwelcoming to pedestrians or navigate their bikes and scooties with the giddiness of first timers- I could write for hours about the images I’ve absorbed over the years, taking for granted the tiny around-the-corner shop where you can find anything from a stick of gum to a bar of soap and the raspy cry of an ice-cream vendor making his way through rows of houses in the twilight. I can talk about nights of religious festivities where loudspeakers would blare the word of God late into the night, regardless of an individual’s sleep requirements and marriages would be celebrated into the next morning. I can close my eyes and see shops with absurd names next to showrooms of international brands on the edge of a road with barely enough turning space for two vehicles planning to go in the opposite directions. And I can see men staring, leering glaring and women walking with their shoulders squared against the onslaught. And I can see the fear in their eyes and the spark and the absolute certainty that tomorrow too, life shall go on and they shall be here trying to make the best of what they have, fighting through a sea of other human beings just as desperate, just as intense, just as overwhelmed, just as burdened and hurt and preoccupied and obsessed and determined and helpless and amazed by the contrasts and the competition frothing all around them.

So, yes I will miss India, in my own bittersweet way.

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Life · Love · Poems

Spring Confessions


We crossed our lonely hearts
Pulled lilies out of graves
And tore up letters into mulch
Turned old lovers into paste

I heard your drunk confessions
On a forbidden, dark porch
With little drops of blackened vodka
To lighten our glowing wounds

I taught you coffee highs
And fought wars through our single wall
You chaperoned me up the alien road
And warded men’s glares off with your charm

Over months of warm smiles, you pulled
Me out of endless steep reveries
When the sun would shine but I was caught
In webs of my own misery

You were high, I was low
We were aliens on a bed of snow
How unwanted and scantily-clad
From the elements of that long-drawn cold!

Sometimes I still dream about
What miracles the phone can do
But then I see the glacial pace
At which we seem to drift away

Now I’m simmering on a log of wood
And the riptide drafts different calls for us
And I know sometimes chapters begin again
But this is how they must all end.

This poem was not supposed to come out right now and it’s about someone who is far from my mind at this hour. Yet, it seems to have had a slightly uplifting effect on me. It swam to the surface of my brain upon a host of memories that were hurting and so I felt grateful to one of the few people who had anchored me (and been anchored by me at the same time), for those two years. We had our ups and downs, like everyone, and yet these are some of my recollections.

Life · Love · Poems

Moods of Love


I.

The sunshine
On her waistline
Blue-grey on the ground before me
Turned the dew drop jewels invisible
Drowning in a woman’s curves
I understood how no ornament could define her
I understood why she never tried

II.

There were two things he told her he wanted:
The cream atop the American dream
And a girl batting her eyelids, the color of milk
She whipped the yellow emulsion
And drank the liquid that remained
Tied a blindfold upon his eyes and
Told him to wait.

III.

He took years to find me
Years when I trampled over brambles
Bare knees and untied laces in the wilderness
Whistling like the bluebird
He came out at night though
And imitated the owl’s hoot
So we met at dawn and found a glade
To practice our little bird songs

IV.

Did I tell you, your limbs
Like shoots from soil, grew straight out
Found me. Got entangled.
Pulled apart the hairy edges of my skin
I’m the torn-up remains of a troubled soul
The signs of your massacre all over me
You fled like magic, I cursed you
You found my lips, I burned you.

V.

Would you trace the inward arcs my breasts make
When we’re kissing under a light post
When we’re kissing and people stare
When we’re kissing and someone smokes
When we’re kissing and the day is gone
When we’re kissing and it’s almost dawn
Could you tell, with each kiss
What havoc our love is
And how to tell it apart
From the one tearing the world.

VII.

Your birthday was a beautiful day
Ninety-nine candles and one, just for a joke
I wanted to say I loved the way your dark hair fell across your forehead
And I was broken without you, like one-half of a whole
I wrote the words; my poems a half-cooked treat
The eggs were plunged deep into the cake but
You cried when you saw the candles
I don’t know why they had told me once
“Women like their men with a sense of humor”.

VIII.

They mocked me when I read out my first poem
I was like cold water poured on a hot rock
This sensation was new, it was horrifying
The purity evaporated in a single dry fizzle
Today I note-
A single-lined book at the foot of the bed
And simple verse
And steaming coffee
Your arms allow me to grow old fearlessly.

IX.

I don’t want to know
If there is a God in the night sky
Your simple faith crushes the soul out of me
It is cold out there in the universe, I say
We aren’t part of any great mystery
Don’t console me with nothingness
Don’t console me with anything at all
I am inconsolably lost to this universe
To this life and to all others beyond it
I hold no claim to any foreign truth
I’ll follow your footprints into the mud and from my humble hole
We can gaze at the stars-
You’ll see magical possibilities, I’ll see balls of fire
But I’m content because you will still console me
Until my hair turn grey.

X.

The clothes lay on the floor
Like waves brought to a halt against a shore
They trembled because the distance between them
Felt unreasonable
How could one little act be so magnificent
That the universe stopped pulsating
And became a mere portrait
On the drab wall of reality
Whoever built it was a fool!
But oh, such a passionate fool.

I am over my creative standstill. I decided to welcome myself back into the folds of magic with a collection of small poems that reflect the moods of love. The hour it took to create these was a happy one. Hope you liked them!

Life · Love · Music

1989- Review


One word- Polaroids! I’m loving the 80’s vibe that this album brings.

Gone is the twangy guitar and the Southern melodies though her voice still resonates with the remnants of that Nashville girl.

I’ve been a fan of Taylor Swift’s music since she broke on the map of sixteen-year olds with classics such as Love Story and White Horse. At the edges of my adolescence, there was Fearless, Teardrops on My Guitar, Dear John, Enchanted, Back to December. And then, at twenty (her twenty-two), she brought out Red which was full of crooning ballads and bitter confessionals- All to Well, Everything has Changed, Red, Come Back…Be Here, Treacherous, I Knew You Were Trouble, 22, The Last Time (And Never Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever, much to my horror).

Associating yourself to Taylor has seemed to mean being a die-hard romantic and giving your soul up to the devil because she’s thought to be too girly, too childish, too immature.

But they beat the princess-y fairy tales out of you, replace it with the kind of philosophy where you put up walls and turn guarded, sober, broken. And then they tell you you have grown up.

After shrieking Shake it Off from the rooftops- a license to BE yourself, Out of the Woods was a darkly upbeat song about a relationship falling apart even though “the monsters turned out to be just trees”. The sound is different but the voice is the same.

I was setting myself up for disappointment by this point. Songs like Welcome to New York and new Romantics just look like well-poised publicity stunts but like always, there is some beautiful music in the folds of 1989.

Why I am talking about this album though is because it has a sort of welcome-to-your-mid-twenties and to the grown-ups version of everything on the planet feels for me. This is really about growing up in a pop culture, with all its superficiality intact inside you and yet being in a conflict with yourself every minute along the way.

Granted that I heard Wildest Dreams (“Say you’ll remember me/Standing in a nice dress, staring at the sun set babe/ Red lips and rosy cheeks/Say you’ll see me again even if it’s just in your wildest dreams”) and for a moment wasn’t sure whether I was listening to Taylor Swift or Lana del Ray. And that Bad Blood is just a song about two girls whose friendship runs into a rut (the only song I cannot bear on this album). And that I Know Places seems to remind people of a Hunger Games- Lorde mash. But there are hidden gems here and the lyrics are haunting too.

In ‘Clean’, Taylor croons some of her most mature lines yet:

10 months sober, I must admit Just because you’re clean don’t mean you don’t miss it 10 months older I won’t give in Now that I’m clean I’m never gonna risk it The drought was the very worst When the flowers that we’d grown together died of thirst

This song is purgative and cleansing, much like Kelly Clarkson’s Sober or Hilary Duff’s ‘Come Clean’ which has a similar undercurrent, but it has a tone of regret at growing out of dreams and into the real world. ‘Blank Space’ is like a mockery at the world of flashing cameras and gossip columns.

Got a long list of ex-lovers They’ll tell you I’m insane ‘Cause you know I love the players And you love the game

You can’t be sure how much she alternates between sarcasm and truthful declarations in this song but when she sings, ‘So it’s gonna be forever or its gonna go down in flames’, you catch another glimpse of being a grown-up.

Another song about rushing romance under the eyes of the whole world is I Know Places. ‘Something happens when everybody finds out..Love’s a fragile little flame it can burn out.’ and ‘They are the hunters, we are the foxes’.

I love ‘All You Had to do was Stay’ (“People like you always want back the love they gave away/And people like me wanna believe you when you say you’ve changed”) and ‘This Love’ (“When you’re young, you just to run But you come back to what you need”), ‘Style’ falls a little behind with the ‘James Dean day-dream look in your eyes’.

There’s inventiveness here. Some room for wishful thinking and growth is always left of course. But between all the PR managing and careful product placement that ensures commercial success, I somehow always find a part of my voice with Taylor Swift and her girl-next-door-this-could-totally-be-happening-to-you music, my one and only self-admitted, mainstream country-turned-pop obsession.

Life · philosophical · Prayer

Keeping Hope Without God


When I went through some of the toughest times of my life, I was a believer of God. I don’t know how much difference that made to anything that happened but there was a moment when I went alone to the nearest temple and prayed. I felt uplifted, like I was on a parallel plane. Everything took on a different light: I was right where I had been but I could believe something, somewhere would make everything all right. Nearly three years have passed since then and throughout my transformation, I have kept asking myself one question: what would happen when the next crisis hits me? I have realized one thing so far: most of my crises are more or less in my head. If I can conquer my thoughts, my emotions, my need to not hurt other people (who made me Queen of the World, anyway?), my constant struggle with putting myself FIRST, I wouldn’t have any crises. I won’t be in any mess, ever. But the price to pay is very high for me: loss of my ‘humanism’. I cannot be selective in showering my emotions. The trade-off is normally all or nothing. I am either capable of shutting up my system (at a huge loss of personal energy) or of feeling so much that I cannot get out of bed, let alone talk to other people or do any of the normal things that need to be done. The worst thing is that this is all in my head. I am stunted by my experiences, narrowed by my fears, defined by the things and people I have chosen to value right here in this life. So what happens the next time I feel trapped? What or who do I turn to? Here is an exercise in trying to find out that very answer.

There is only one struggle at the heart of it all

My personal struggle is that what I want and what the world expects are in an almost-constant clash. The worst thing is that I cannot predict with any sensible scale of measure, what it actually is that I want. I have accepted that human beings are fickle, there is no way for any of us to predict with any certainty where we are headed, let alone have any control over anything but our response to what hits us, cuts us, beats us. Perhaps the one answer is to have no expectations, to want nothing out of life, to maintain a complacency with everything we have. Some people can live in a small town forever and not want anything else at all. Some people can be content with a house and a family and never think why anything should be missing.

But me? I embrace my one life with in contradictory terms: I want everything and I can lost nothing. Devastation is perhaps inevitable when I don’t know what that everything is that I want. Some would say that it is the transcendence of God’s love and power pulling me towards itself, that my feeling of incompletion is the absence of God from my life, or the presence of the desire to be in touch with all the answers of the world. A friend and I spent hours one day exploring the psyche of Buddha’s enlightenment. For a few seconds that day, we were so completely in sync beyond the walls of the room in which we sat, we felt we had never been closer to understanding Buddha. It seemed clear to us in those few powerful seconds what ‘enlightenment’ really was. The catch? We were both atheists already.

As a disbeliever, I do not think anyone is beckoning to me from beyond. Hell, I am finding it harder to accept if there even is a beyond to be in after we die. I do not know, of course. I don’t have the answers to ‘ghosts’ that people see or my own experience of waking up alone in the middle of a night once: the night when my grandmother died miles away from me in New Delhi almost six years ago, with my name on the lips of something that wasn’t there.

I sound like a confused atheist but I think that is the best way to be. I need to be a confused atheist or I would be a foolish atheist. I do not think that the limited reach of my senses and my tiny nerve cell connections are capable of ever reaching the ultimate answer. Once I thought the final answer would come to me, perhaps on the moment of my death, if not earlier. Now I do not think there is a final answer to be reached.

Just a blob of random organic matter coming together and arranging itself into more and more complex creatures and then turning around and wondering why. The universe, if it is a conscience, has a very weird sense of humour. But how can I deny how funny it is?

Believing how rudderless life really is, I still desire things, experiences, people, a weird sense of belonging. Perhaps one of the biggest gaps that need filling is the desire to have people I can spend hours talking about these things with. Another one is the desire to read everything that I can ever manage to read. Strange desires and strange expectations. Over the course of these three years, I have found myself a handful of people I can talk this way with, without feeling like an alien.

How can an atheist suffer from a case of humanitarianism?

How indeed. I don’t think I need a guidebook to teach me my morals. This isn’t a debate I am raging because I know people do good or bad despite their personal beliefs in the Guy in the Clouds (or in an idol or in the wings of a butterfly or in their mother or in their lover or in themselves or anywhere or nowhere at all). What they do, how they perceive good and bad and how they deal with it on a day-to-day basis is dependent on a variety of circumstances: how they grew up, what they were taught, what they observed, what they were exposed to, what their genetic makeup is and how all of this comes together to make them a unique individual.

I have recently made a wonderful friend, Muslim by birth, she is a disbeliever of God and a nonconformist but talking to her is a liberation. Because for the first time in a long time, I am beginning to understand how I can balance the struggle and my love of peace.

Today she told me to go and have an adventure all by myself, an experience that would enrich me, free me of my thousand-and-one chains for a little while, put me in touch with my own slowly beating heart, my insides, my very core. I am ashamed to admit that I did not have the guts to follow her wonderful advice. I am hopeful though, that someday I will. Someday soon, I’ll make a breakthrough in my own head.

But there is a balance. There is an answer. There is something that can be done, even without God.

Yesterday night I found myself hoping there was a God to talk to. I started a dialogue in my head, cut it after one sentence. Half an hour later I unconsciously started it again and stopped the moment I realized how stupid it all was. Today I spent so much time with myself that I am beginning to see how something beautiful can spring out of my despair and desperation as an atheist.

It is all about me, whether I want to believe it or not.

I have been the monster and the hero of my own story. It is funny that I don’t always know when I am being which. I will just have to hope for the best in that regard because I wouldn’t know until I am way past that moment of truth. That being said, I can always find an answer to my own happiness. On a small, immediate scale there are a dozen things to be happy about right this moment. It is the darkly gathered cloud of my own personal struggle that is preventing me from seeing it. I cannot expect the clouds to blow away with one single breath but I can still see through the haze. I can see what I want to reach out to but more importantly I can see what I can already touch.

I wish I knew how to hurt other people. Out of that hurt something good does emerge. I have the strength to live with my own hurt but not enough to inflict it and live with that. While I struggle to find an answer to this very pressing and urgent problem, I still need something to hold on to. The reason this post is coming out of me is because I needed to sort through my own issues and get the clarity that will help me know what I want. I don’t know how successful it has been. But the purpose was to find ways to hope without God and I think I have managed to do that.

If you want to hope without God just look at the things you care about, the ones you want to grasp. Ask if you would rather see the change in this life or a next life which may or may not be there. If you want to hope without God, take care of your own body: both mentally and physically. Don’t punish yourself ever. No matter what. Steer clear of people who want to pile guilt, hate and anger onto you. Don’t let your frail shoulders carry the pain of the entire world. Don’t be Atlas. Be with people who are positive, even when you aren’t on the same page as they were. Get rid of the toxicity that is being fed into you. Recognize it when you see it.

I don’t know how I am going to achieve thes objectives. Sometimes things are just too ambiguous to have straight answers. I know life is a complex struggle. I don’t want to make the mistake of over-simplifying that complexity. But somehow, finding a path through is possible as long as my heart is beating and that last ounce of blood still flows through my veins.

Note: I need to clarify that I did not become a disbeliever out of personal pain/loss/sadness/unhappiness. I did not become a disbeliever out of hate or anger or hurt but out of a careful examination of the beliefs I held. I felt this needed to be stated.

Life · Love

I Just Need to Write


I am screaming alone, all by myself in the dark. Wondering what the hell am I doing back in this place which I thought I had left forever long ago. As it turns out, some places cannot be left. Some people ask me why I am so dark. So blue. They wonder how someone so drab and dull can ever do anything exciting. But I can. I am hovering inches above reality. My feet touch solid ground sometimes but I’m not even sure whether that surface is real or just another hallucination.

So the reason why I am drab is because it is countered by something on the inside. Something so exquisitely sensitive, it will die in the light. I only have two states of being: I will either feel everything or I will feel nothing.

I have been called every name in the book. I have felt the kind of emotions that made me want to go and live in a cave until I decided to collide with them headlong.

What am I now?

I don’t know. But I cannot run from myself anymore. I have been dumped at the very golden gates that I was afraid to open.

And on the other side? I have no clue what will be there. But then I try to think of the time before now. Did I have any clue, anyway? No. I was always just walking like a zombie through life. It is impossible to be anyone else.

And so I was laughing when I should have been crying and in a parallel reality when I should have been on the floor. I am scarred, I realized, more than I knew before. Once I was sure of that, once I had accepted that, the rest was easy.

After that there was no need to run and hide anymore. I could accept myself. Maybe even forgive myself. I wonder why people seem so surprised at my reactions to things. But they don’t know that I don’t feel the things that I should feel. I feel the things I shouldn’t feel, instead.

There is a reason they say, that old people are set in their ways. They have been that way for so long. What do I want to be when I am old? I guess I get to deal myself one card. I think I already dealt it long back and it changed the course of everything. Whatever has been happening since has been a shout in the void.

Which brings me back to the fact that I am alone in the dark, with nothing and nobody. I am clueless in so many ways. I am fearless in so many others. At the crux of the matter is the damning realization that nobody cares. The day I reach the Zen-like state of no expectations? That shall be the day I shall feel liberated. It isn’t going to come. Not to someone like me. But I have learnt to not let the universe make promises to me. It has no reason to keep them. It wouldn’t care if it obliterated just another blob of reproducing cells. Why on earth would that change the course of anything?

There is no reason to anything. Not to the events that make my life a ‘life’, nor to the changes that make me continuously question, falter, alter, metamorphose. So for what am I turning in my grave? For nothing. I have been and I shall be alone. I don’t want to.

The next step is to heal- to erase the emotions that are an impediment in the way of that. Everything from hate to love, from love to lust (as crooned Ed Sheeran). But for how long can I be okay without these? Forever seems like too short a time right now.

And then, most importantly, I must face people. People who think they know best. Who might not think that way but their well-intentioned gestures and conversations can become torturous. How am I supposed to pull myself through that?

I can only ask myself one question. Have I the power to forgive myself and everyone who has ever hurt me? The answer to this has been yes for a very long time. I don’t know whether this makes me stronger or weaker.

I don’t want to meet people. I don’t want my premises questioned. I don’t know right from wrong. I just know something changed and it will never be the same. I hope I am able to maintain this objectivity throughout the rest of it.

Life · philosophical

An Essay on Somethingness and Nothingness.


I was a consciousness before I became anything else. It was not my decision to suddenly become something. I was happy being a non-entity in the void, suspended outside reality. It was a great way to exist. At least I think so. I don’t remember any more what it was like before I became a something. Just as I didn’t know before I became a something what it was like to be a nothing.

I bet this is confusing. I don’t get it either, most of the time. It is only in moments when I am in closed spaces, shut off from being something that I can recall bits and pieces of what nothingness was like. You see, for me to exist as more than a consciousness, I need someone who is already more than a consciousness to imagine me to life. To want to feel me, touch me, see me, hear me. I am not sure how it works. I know you can ask the same question backwards. Does the something before me needs something before it to bring it to life? And what is the first something that became more than just a consciousness, spreading to create space and time? Was there even such a first something, ever?

I know these thoughts can be confusing. They can easily confound you if you’re not used to them. Or if you don’t try to exist as nothingness. You want to know how I first became more than a consciousness? I am sure you won’t be interested but you should be because it’s probably how you became more than a consciousness too. I know it doesn’t really matter because one day you will pass on to nothingness again and forget what it was like to be a something. And then this whole exercise will be futile all over again. The crux of the matter though is that right now you are something. It may be just a brief and passing experience, but as long as you are surrounded by somethings, you are a something yourself. And that means you should know why. So I am just going to presume you care. Even if you don’t, pretending that you do makes it easier for me to a something. The first lesson about being a something is wanting to interact with the somethings around you. So that is what I am trying to do for now.

I was inside a hollowness where quiet and dark were the only things that meant anything to me. I sometimes wonder whether I was a nothing or a something by that point. It is my earliest memory and will continue to be so until I go back to being a nothing, but I am not quite sure what it is. I think I probably was a something by then because someone had thought of me already and someone was holding me inside them. But then I wonder, what about those somethings that pass on to nothingness without fully experiencing the sort of something I know now? Because the consciousness that I was at that earliest junction wasn’t really a complete something. It was like a half shadow something. SIlence and quiet meant I wasn’t allwed to fully interact with other somethings but on some level other somethings already were interacting with me. I am sure you will feel the same way if you stop to think for just a minute. In fact, I think you should do that now.

I will share a little secret with you at this point. It is possible to achieve some levels of that old nothingness even while you are a something yourself. You might uestion how I know this and I won’t stop you. Because I did, it would only mean I was trying to dictate your somethiness and you should never let anyone do that. Your something ness is uniquely your own nd it should remain that way. And the only thing to do that is to disappear into the nothingness once in a while

I know it sounds odd. You might take me up on this or you might not. It may work for me and mightn’t work for you at all. The secret is to imitate the nothingness as closely as you can. And to do that you just need your own unique somethingness and a plae where your interaction with other somethings is reduced to a bare minimum. It is hard but not impossible. That is why to achieve that nothingness while you are something is not completely possible. It is just something you can try to do and hope it gives you the time to be your own little something while you can.

You may wonder why is it important fo you to be your own something? Why is any of this important, since ultimately you are going to be nothing again and this achievement of yours will be futile then. That is not a question I can answer to your satisfaction. Perhaps while your somethingness is interacting with the somethingness of others, you can get disoriented and lost. This can lead to you forgetting that you are a something of your own. A blend of many somethings, even for a little while, can cause conflicts and confusion between blobs of somethings. But if someone is busy being something on their own without imitating the somethingness of others, that’s when they are truly free and can float peacefully in their somethingness. Also, I think it is harder to untangle a group of somethings when they are ready to become nothing again. This must be done and perhaps it can be don’t in just a  jiffy but that little jiffy will include thousands of other never-ending jiffies inside it. As such, there is no end to the jiffies that will be contained inside that one jiffy that it takes to untangle a bunch of somethings while they pass back to nothingness. I don’t think it can be a pleasant exercise for your somethingness.

Because while you are a somethingness, you can feel emotions. It is stupid at times, for me to think of how these feelings grow inside me. They trap me and evern though I know I am going to be a nothing soon enough, I cannot escape the feelings that my interactions with other somethings produce. How ironical it is, this feeling that my temporary somethingness has the power to make me feel emotions I don’t want to. Would I rather be a nothing than face the things that a something does? I don’t know

But I do know this. If you want your somethingness to be uniquely your own, you need to be able to escape into the nothingness for a while. This is because while you are something you are in constant contact with other somethings. If you don’t look for your nothingness once in a while, you will find yourself echoing the thoughts and feelings of other somethings. The best way to imagine this is to think of a room with infinite mirrors, each mirror will keep reflecting the same thing forever and ever. But if you can escape into the nothingness for a while, you will be able to find your own little thoughts and feelings there. What is it in the nothingness that creates this unique somethingness? I don’t know. I forgot, remember? I am sure you did too but if you didn’t, you should keep the secret with you. Perhaps that is your own special thought derived from your nothingness.

So the true trick is to know how to reach that nothingness. There are many ways to do this and you must find your own. For a little while you must create a faux-nothingness that will make you a something in your own right. I don’t really know why you need to do this. Maybe you don’t. But I really think you should. Otherwise how can you know whether you are a something or just a something wrapped in a bunch of somethings?

For that reason alone, I think you need to be your own something. If you are not, you may not be a reality at all. I am not trying to say I am a reality myself. Perhaps the feeling I get when I go to my faux-nothingness is itself a reflected feeling, bouncing of thousands and thousands of mirrors before it reaches me. In that case, my entire hypothesis falls flat on the floor. But if I really am escaping to my own nothingness when I feel I am, then that means I am my own something. I will fluidly pass onto nothingness when the time comes. There will be no untangling needed. There will be no painful realizations before the forgetfulness sets in. I need to escape that pain because that pain will only mean I spent all my somethingness being a nothing- a reflected something, but a nothing nonetheless. What a waste that would be!

Life · Poems

I am in a Crater That’s No More


I’m in a crater that’s no more“-
Kafka on the shore

I don’t want your damaged little heart
To slice through mine like a sharpened knife
Caught up in that cool little spot
Of wisdom and talking for the very first time

You are made up of all those pieces
That existed in a world I left far behind
And your sudden call is a repetition
Of memories I have no strength left to find

It may almost seem like a warning although
You have no idea what you are doing
But nothing will work to stop the flow
Once this bleeding soul gets going

Perhaps I need a lesson in what works
And what doesn’t when it comes to life
But it’s almost as though my floating Titanic
Is heading for a collision against your ice

This strange summation is a warning
I might want to steer right clear of you
Since I don’t believe in prophesizing callings
And crying is just something little girls do.

I wonder if this happens to everybody. Intense periods of self-loathing which reduce the meaning of everything in life to a single point- am I even real? How genuine am I? What am I feeling? Is it the truth or an illusion? Am I lying to myself? To others? Am I following my heart or just mirroring the needs and longings of other people? Is there even an answer.

So to sum up this amalgamation of weird thoughts, I’ll just share words of wisdom my best friend told me:

Everyone has scars. It’s what you do with it. Aren’t you a better, smarter person with a scar? Don’t worry. The fact is, you will probably not forget it. But it won’t be a burden to live with. Just chill.

Life · philosophical · Poems

I Am the Only Being Whose Doom


How strange it is that I find the kind of solace in poetry that I cannot with any other human being. It is on moments like these, when reading the thoughts of someone long dead makes me think about how much more I can relate to their despondency than to the jubilant superficiality I succumb to everyday, all the time. So, for example, this poem called I Am the Only Being Whose Doom by Emily Bronte:

I am the only being whose doom
No tongue would ask no eye would mourn
I never caused a thought of gloom
A smile of joy since I was born

In secret pleasure – secret tears
This changeful life has slipped away
As friendless after eighteen years
As lone as on my natal day

There have been times I cannot hide
There have been times when this was drear
When my sad soul forgot its pride
And longed for one to love me here

But those were in the early glow
Of feelings since subdued by care
And they have died so long ago
I hardly now believe they were

First melted off the hope of youth
Then Fancy’s rainbow fast withdrew
And then experience told me truth
In mortal bosoms never grew

‘Twas grief enough to think mankind
All hollow servile insincere –
But worse to trust to my own mind
And find the same corruption there

Why is it that I feel today how completely this poem resonates everything I ought to and yet ought not to feel? I will not sit here feeling sorry for myself or for anyone else. I do not remember the last time I felt self-pity. I am so glad I learnt to forgo that vile emotion. Perhaps it was on reading these words from The Fountainhead that I was stirred into action against it:

“This is pity,” he thought, and then he lifted his head in wonder. He thought that there must be something terribly wrong with a world in which this monstrous feeling is called a virtue.”

And so I do not know what to do with this- the terribly sinking feeling within. The feeling that all of life is nothing. Just an unhappy, unplanned disaster.

Am I to be like one of those poets and writers whose thoughts charm me with the sheer force of their despondency? Why am I attracted hard and fast to anything even slightly romantically destructive? Like soldiers who want to die in glory on the battlefield, thinking that their greatest joy ever will be in a posthumous reward and that their families ought to rejoice more from such a glorious ending than mourn the fact that there is, at all, an ending, do I really and truly want to be envied for walking on a thin line outlining feelings akin to depression? How and what can tumble me over? I don’t know. But there is this fear that some day, something will. If I follow the script that I created in my mind. Well, how inevitable it is that whatever must and can happen, will. It isn’t as though I have a say in the matter.

One day there is hope, the next there is just a blanket of utter darkness falling over everything. I tend to remember with some fondness those days of 2008 when I couldn’t move my feet. When I found myself crying at 8 a.m. and it seemed that even at the age of sixteen life was only the absence of everything and the presence of hopelessness. It isn’t the worst I’ve seen but it might be the worst I have been. And I am afraid of going back there, visiting that place even in my dreams.

I don’t think about that now. It’s easy not to when you’re twenty-two and the possibilities seem endless anyway. But I know I won’t always be twenty-two. I’ll be fifty some day and these thoughts will catch up to me. I will be older and unsure of where this is going. I cannot let myself go to something just for the sake of it. And so this must go on.

 

 

Life · Poems

A Grown-Up


http://okramagazine.org/2014/03/12/vintage-cocktails-the-grown-up-shirley-temple/

What you don’t understand
Is that I am a grown-up
I no longer need the firm hand
Of someone else. Guiding me
Across the road. Over the moon-
Whatever it is.

I can do it all by myself
I’m an adult in a world run by adults
You see
There can be no knowing
Where my own thoughts will lead me
And nobody who would want to know.
I’m a grown-up.
Oh! You sweet, simple child
Why can you not understand this
I am a grown-up – a grown-up.