Love is not a one-way street. It is not your trip to the mountains or a holiday in a beachside resort. Love is not that summer you spent chilling in your shorts.
Love is the journey back home to the street long forgotten to the house, with an unkempt garden, a windowpane that broke last monsoon, and plumbing that needs to be taken care of.
(I can’t write about love anymore, that too a poem, so damn difficult. But here is an attempt. These lines came to my mind in a flash and I spent two days in refining them, adding something more, but I am giving up now. This is what it originally was, and I can’t add anything to it. Sometimes you just have to let it go, even in love. )
This one is my favourite prompt so far. I have associated songs with people, places, and important moments of my life. They bring back so many memories. A long time ago, I moved out of my hometown to a big city and went out for one last walk with my cousin. I saw my first ever crush coming back from school. The song “Do, pal ruka, khwaabo ka karwaaur phir chal diye, tum kaha, ham kaha” (The caravan of dreams stopped for a few moments, and then we walked off our separate ways!) was playing on a bus. I got goosebumps.
It was the last time I saw him. I don’t even like him anymore. (Some of our past crushes can be so cringy, right!) But, I am filmy like that. I live through my daydreams. That world is so much brighter and happier than my real life.
Last year I heard this Bengali song from the movie Parineeta, and I fell in love with it. It is such a melodious and sweet song. Aren’t most Bengali songs charming? They have such a fantastic ability to make you feel something that might not even be real? Like, love. Every time I hear this song, I want to fall in love again. And yes, I am talking about that sweet teenage type love, not the complex, irritating, difficult to decipher feeling it later becomes.
You know, I’ve always been such a romantic person. I have always wanted things to be super filmy. I have seen almost every rom-com ever made (TRUST ME!). I know those things just set very unrealistic expectations about romance or whatever, but how can you not cry when Anna Scott says, “I’m also just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.” to William Thacker in Notting Hill.
Or when Kathleen Kelly says, ” I wanted it to be you, I wanted it to be you so badly.” to Joe Fox in You’ve Got Mail.
Even a five worded sentence like, ” You had me at Hello” in Jerry Maguire makes one weak in the knees.
How I wish Life were a 120-minute movie!
Anyway, I am going to link the song down below if anyone wants to hear it. I think you’ll get the emotions even if you don’t understand Bengali. I listen to so many songs from languages that I don’t even comprehend at all. Have you ever heard Nepali songs? They are genuinely another level. I mean, I like those beats and rhythm more than the lyrics, and that is so not me. I am totally a lyric girl.
Coming to the prompts, while I am using Days in my title, I will not write them daily. Who has the mental strength to do that, so bear with me kindly! But I will finish these prompts, whether it takes me two months or a year.
Ciao! I hope you guys are okayish. It’s tough being an adult. I don’t know how you guys do it. Give me tips!
Have you ever tried the Myers-Briggs Personality test? Though I am not someone who would want to fit into a box of stereotypes, but by God, that test describes me to the t. I am an INFP, and as much as I hate being this pathetic mess, I can’t help it. Although an introvert, I tend to overshare with people I find trustworthy, even strangers. There have been so many people I met while travelling who know my entire life story. I don’t have a test to determine who to trust, just pure intuition. Of course, I don’t share my bank account details or passwords but personal stuff, like the things I write here. Once you have entered my inner circle, I am a pretty open book. You would know about my weirdest fantasies to my make-out stories. You would know all about my failures to my secret ambitions. I can never be unauthentic. I wasn’t like this when I was young, but I developed this coping mechanism when I turned 22-23. If I can just be honest about all the shitty things in my life, why would anyone else talk about it behind my back?
In one of my last conversations with Ak, he asked me to be a little skeptical of people and not trust anyone blindly. He was someone who didn’t open up to people quickly while I was an open book. I don’t use a filter when I talk about my life, so people find it normal to open up to me. Some of them might not even be in my life anymore, but I am pretty sure they’ll remember my stories. I have a terrible memory, so don’t even expect me to remember theirs except for some scandalous ones.
I don’t know where I am going with this, so let’s just stop here. I know this post had nothing substantial, but it helps me to relax. Years later, it would be nice to come back here and read my midnight thoughts. I don’t know what the future entails, but I would like to know what it was like to be me. I wish I had a blog when I was a kid; It would have been amazing to revisit the best times of my life.
Since I have decided to write regularly, I have been looking for a bit of inspiration from the internet. Don’t you think coming up with a title is the hardest part, or is it just me? I am eventually going to write about myself, but I need a topic first!
I remembered that WordPress used to have these daily prompts once upon a time. I googled and got this list of daily prompts from 2020, and I am looking at this day 1 prompt from two days exactly. JOKE. Like, you really want me to write about something funny. I don’t remember the last time something was funny, except for my life, I guess. There is no bigger joke than my life. I really believe that every time I fuck up something, God or whatever supernatural entity you believe in laughs at me from above.
So I’ve been taking care of these two cats for quite some time. I feed them, play with them. I even maintain a minimum distance because you can never really be sure about strays. But what do I get in return? The black one, who has been living with me for almost two years, bit me out of nowhere. I had to get 6 shots last month, in addition to the Covid one. I don’t think a human is nothing more than a joke to the cat species. They are so selfish, evil, and bossy. They literally act as if they own you.
And that is why I fucking love them.
You must have heard that societal jibber-jabber that unmarried women often become cat ladies… well, it seems like I am on the way to being one. And to be honest, cats are for sure better than most men I’ve met in my life.
There was a time when I would open WordPress, write a post in fifteen minutes, not think about how it made me look, and enjoy the process. Writing feels like a job now. I’ve already edited these two sentences seven times. When did everything become so strenuous?
Maybe it has to do with the fact that this blog chronicled my life, and after a lot of rants, I became too conscious of sharing my miserable life here. Who would want to read about the girl who always complains? But I realized that I didn’t start this blog for others to judge but for me to let it all out, to navigate through tough times. I wrote because it was too difficult not to. Although, when I think about the times, nine or seven or five years ago, life was much better. I didn’t know it then, but those were the good times. I never imagined such a downward trajectory in life. Who does?
The past seven months have been harsh. Who hasn’t suffered in this raging pandemic? I mean, families have been destroyed, kids orphaned, economies destroyed. 2020 was rough, and after that, I was waiting for 2021 to be better. I turned thirty this year, and seriously I was looking for my twenties to get over. I was sick of that decade. I so wanted to be thirty and start a life, and I was waiting for a miracle. Instead, I only got more challenges.
Mum has been in and out of hospitals many times in the past few months. Every time I took her to the emergency ward, I was almost sure that she wouldn’t survive. Two heart failures and a head injury plus the constant fear that we would get covid, so many days spent at hospitals fearing the worst, it was the most challenging time of my life.
All Alone. Terrified.
Saving my mum has become the sole aim of my life. And the circumstances of the past few months have made my life miserable.
I am the sole caregiver of my old parents, and it is in no way an easy task. I don’t remember the last time I interacted with a person my age face to face. Thanks to covid, we can’t go anywhere. The only time I’ve spent away from my parents was this two-day trip I took to Jaipur for some exam. My anxiety shoots through the roof every evening because my mum had both her attacks at night. You can’t forget those desperate times when your loved one starts saying what she believes are her last words to you.
May was the worst month of all time. I remember this one week where we lost one relative every single day of the week to covid. Every time the phone rang, we were scared to hear of another death in the family. Sure, I wasn’t close to these people, but my parents were. They lost their cousins, aunts, childhood friends. Grief had somehow become a constant in our lives. While I waited outside hospital benches, I saw people in emergency wards gasping for breath, being declined beds; I prayed for my mum. I just wasn’t ready to grieve again. I couldn’t let her go.
All this has occupied so much space in my mind that I’ve almost forgotten my other miseries. Unemployment, failures, grief, anxiety is now a regular part of my life. I can’t think of a time where I was happy or where I would be. All these years of ranting here, of being lost, oh god, take me back to those times.
Is this how adulthood is for everybody? There must be some happy moments, right! Sure, I didn’t opt for the usual ones such as marriage or children or building a family, but there must be some joys allotted to single women. I am even skeptical to say it can’t get worse because every time, it does.
At this point, I am just grateful that my family is safe. I spend my days in anxiety, but it is okay, my mum is here with me. I don’t know for how long, and tears have welled up in my eyes, but it’ll be okay.
Tell me that it’ll be okay.
P.S. To finish this post has been one of my major achievements this year. I think the most important. I was really sad several years ago and started writing here and it opened this whole new world for me. This has really helped me, more than anything I’ve done in recent times.
Zainab, if you are reading this…thank you for sending that email, it really pushed me to write . I don’t know who you are but I read your mail today and decided to come back here. Thank you.
Let’s just say that 2020 was not a year to take a major decision in life. But your girl here did exactly that and the rest is as marvellous as this year has been. While the world went into a lockdown around march, the loser writing this shit isolated herself in January. What can I say, I’ve a knack for screwing up things in an already screwed up world.
Today is not a good day. I’ve spent it in bouts of severe anxiety, hopelessness and panic. I can’t seem to imagine a scenario where things work out for me. Not today, not tomorrow, next month, year or any other measure of time. If you have been reading this blog since a long time, you would say that this has been my life for ever. Like when was I happy about anything. I have always been a cry baby. Well you see, blogging for me has been an anti social media platform. While social media facilitates you to share all the good moments of your life: the trip to a Scandanavian country, your wedding pictures, the first video of your child walking, blah blah, this blog here is the graveyard of my broken dreams. It doesnt help that none of the above mentioned things have happened in my life. I’ve not even been to Jhumritallaiya, forget north Germany.
For years now, I’ve been waiting for my happy ending. Not that I want to die, but you know some kind of a junction, a station from where I could move ahead. But for some reason beyond my understanding, nothing good is actually happening. And while this has been a good way for God/ destiny to keep me on my toes, I am just tired of this shit. Like, I don’t even want to pass these societal goalposts. I’ve no dreams of getting married and having babies. (Yuck) I’ve literally zero material aspirations. I am this close to becoming a monk, like really very very close. But something, something should happen in my life. I should find a way right. Why am I just going round and round. And this rant is not to say that I am sad. Surprisingly, I am not. Except for these bouts of anxiety that creep up sometims. And this fucking hopelessness.
I think, I am just too comfortable in my misery. Like, I am romanticising failure. I am not sad, but I am frustrated. And I hate this. I hate it that I’ve failed so many times that failure is the only scenario I look forward to. Whenever I am planning something, I don’t plan to succeed, I plan for backups, I visualise failure. All I think about is, what if even this doesn’t work out. I am so used to failure that no amount of effort feels enough and then I just stop trying and I am tired of this shit, you know. I am tired of me. I am tired of being a sob story.
They say everything happens for a reason. I can’t find the reason for everything that has been happening to me for almost more than a decade now. I might have been incompetent, unstable, crazy but I should have got a way right. I, of all people, know that however bad things might be, they can always get worse. But, till when? I am not ungrateful or dismissive of my privilege but I really want to end this misery. I know life can’t be without problems, but at least give me new problems bro. Change the syllabus, please!!!
अदृश्य हैं , सड़क पे चलते हुए बच्चों के नंगे पांव अदृश्य हैं, वो छाले, वो घाव , वो चुभते पत्थर अदृश्य हैं।
वो पटरियों पे फैली रोटियां , वो खून , वो चूड़ियां , वो बिखरे चप्पल, वो टूटे सपने, अदृश्य हैं वो माँ के आँचल में सिमटी ममता अदृश्य है।
वो संसद मे बनी नीतियां, वो अरबों के पैकेज , गरीबों के आसुं पोछते नेता, अदृश्य हैं | वो वोट बैंक की ताक़त, वो इक्कीसवी सदी का भारत, वो ईश्वर की रहमत, वो अमीरों की दौलत, वो राजाओं के तख्त, अदृश्य है।
चीखती थी कभी जो, वो जज वो अदालत अदृश्य है, इस जग से इंसान की इंसानियत अदृश्य है।
Translation: I am not good with translations but I’ve tried a bit using google translate. I hope it is making sense.
Invisible, Children walking barefoot on the roads are invisible, Those blisters, those wounds, Those stinging stones Are invisible.
Chapati spread on railway tracks, That blood, those bangles, Those slippers, those broken dreams, are invisible Love within a mother’s lap, invisible.
Those policies made in Parliament, Those packages worth billions, Leaders wiping tears of the poor, are invisible. That vote bank power, twenty-first century India, God’s mercy, The wealth of the rich, The throne of the kings, all invisible.
The judges, and courts, that once used to scream are invisible, In this world full of humans, humanity is invisible.
All these pictures were clicked by me in the last two months since the lockdown began. These are all scenes near my home. I didn’t even have to venture more than 500m for these photos. This is how the lockdown looks like when you live in a small Indian village. 😊