Life, Death and Everything in Between…

Death has been my constant companion since September last year. No, I didn’t lose anyone close to me except Ak last year but every death, close or distant takes me to that familiar, heart crushing state of grief. The same thing happened today with the passing of the marvelous actor Irrfan Khan. Although it is the most certain thing known to all natural beings, death is really incomprehensible. Even with the knowledge that cancer, particularly the one Irrfan was suffering from was most certainly fatal, none of us were expecting to hear such terrible news. Or does it feel worse, because 2020 has already treated us with so much mess? This does feel like a personal loss to me. So did many things that happened in the past few months, be it the death of a neighbour I hardly spoke with, or that of a plant I looked upon as a symbol of hope. Ever since last year I’ve cried for every person/animal I see dying on screen. I have always been touchy on the subject of death and have shed a tear or two in movies but this sense of familiarity with grief is such a new thing for me. I can’t believe I spent twenty eight years without knowing grief, how incredibly lucky of me!

The world is going through a dark time right now. Every day is filled with news of numerous deaths, uncertainty and a feeling of impending doom. It has been really difficult for me to write anything after whatever happened. Even writing these few lines has been a real pain. I spent lots of time online looking for ways to deal with grief in the past few months (along with several queries on ghosts, afterlife, tarot cards, Ouija boards and whatnot). I found a quote by a user named Gsnow on a subreddit, and I go back to read it several times. I don’t know if it matters to anyone, but I would like to write this down somewhere, more for me than for anyone else.

“Alright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.

I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.

As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.”

I don’t know how many shipwrecks I am yet to face in life but love will see me through.

I find you…

…in crumpled sticky-notes in old textbooks,

in rusted old lockets hanging by the mirror,

in a promise ring, you forgot all about,

in all my conversations about food,

the nine year plans and broken dreams,

the thukpas at MT, the kormas at Kareems,

in songs Taylor writes about all her ex-lovers,

from everything has changed to the last time,

in the melancholy of a river flowing down,

in the bus stops of unknown small towns,

inside this hollow that was once my heart,

in the words of my poem, in every piece of art

and then,

with a shiver and a long drawn breath

I lose you,

all over again.

*****

MT: Majnu ka tilla, a cool place in Delhi with great food.

Everything has changed, The last time: Songs by Taylor Swift.

Untitled

Your eyes follow me around,

in a room full of strangers,

and I can hear your voice

amongst millions of sounds.

Love, they say, brings you warmth,

but I am frozen in time

when your hand brushes past mine.

You unwrap me, in the slightest of gestures,

remove the layers I’ve spent years building upon,

one by one, while I stand still,

lost in your eyes.

Someone I loved, took away my words,

you brought back poems to my life,

and for now,

that is enough.

IMG_3138

P.S. August 20, this blog will turn 7 years old. I know I’ve not been consistent here, but this blog has been a very important part of my life throughout these years. It has been a witness to all my failures, my love, heartbreaks, my growth and I am thankful for it and for all you wonderful people out there who have spent minutes to hours going through my life. Thank you. 🙂

Hope Is A Good Thing

Someday we are going to have a good life.

The things we dreamed about will be right in front of our eyes, not in the form we want them to be but probably in a way we need them to be.

We are going to travel to places we haven’t seen, if not in first class then in economy but what matters is that we are going to be there together and isn’t that the point, to be with the ones we love.

We are going to fill our tummies with the yummiest food ever, probably not at a high end restaurant but at a road side dhaba and that’s better because a girl like me would probably embarrass you at a fancy place.

We are going to gift crazy, stupid, little things to each other, sometimes from a flea market or from festive online sales even if it means celebrating your birthday on valentines day and mine on our anniversary. It is perfectly okay as long as we find new days to celebrate our lives together.

We are going to fail and fight and stop talking a hundred times but we’ll be fine as long as we find our way back to each other.

And all these may sound like vague, hollow sentences from a cheap, cheesy novel to you but for us, I can be a total loser.

As long as we shall live, I want you to hope for a better day and a better life. Don’t give up just yet because these times will change and we’ll embark on a new journey, stronger, together.

As someone recently told me, hope is a good thing, may be the best of things and no good thing ever dies.

Have hope.

Love As It Is…

“Let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as
you sometimes feel, and as unaccomplished as you think you are.
To believe that you must hide all the parts of you that are broken,
out of fear that someone else is incapable of loving what is less than perfect,
is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dark room.”—Marc Chernoff

P. S. I am alive.

Chit Chat-3

Me: Hey! You there? ☺️

He: Yup. What Happened? 🤔

Me: Nothing. ☺️

He: Enjoying the food at home?

Me: Yeah, mom made Dosa, Sambhar and chutney! 😛

He: Even I want to eat Dosa. 😭

Me: I know how to make Dosa. I’ll make it for you next time.

He: Yay!!!!😍

Me: Plus my mom makes this really incredible peanut chutney. I’ll ask her for the recipe and we’ll try to make that too.

He: Idiot, that’s coconut chutney not peanut.😑

Me: Mental, there are all kinds of chutney: coconut, peanut, mix. You have limited knowledge regarding South-Indian dishes so shut up!😤

He: Okay ji.😳

Me: And my mom’s Sambhar is awesome too. She makes it differently, like a south Indian dish with a northern twist. I’ll learn to make that too.

He: Hmm… Great!😊

Me: Btw I was horny.😈

He: What!!! When?😯

Me: When I texted Hey! You there?🙈

He: Then?🤔

Me: Then we started talking about Dosa, sambhar and chutney.🙄

He: And now you are horny for food.😝

Me: hehe…yes.😂

He: haha 😂

Me: We are a weird couple.

He: I know. ❤️

*************************************************************************************

(Chit-Chat: A series where I record conversations between me and my guy. Read the previous ones here. )

How Do You Say “I Love You”?

Around a year ago, during one of the most difficult phases of my life, in between an episode of terrible migraine I knocked on his doors. My head was bursting with pain, and I wanted to shut myself away from the world, distant from anything that produced any light or sound. His small, dingy room in a secluded space was a perfect place to crash down. After several bouts of nausea and vomiting, I was in a bad shape. As the headache subsided a little, my stomach was growling with hunger and all I wanted to eat were potatoes exactly the way my mother makes them. Not his way. Not my way. But the way my mother cooks them. With almost no expectations I told him the recipe. In his one room apartment, while I rested in his bed, he toiled in the kitchen to cook something he hadn’t even tasted. After half an hour or so, with almost a frightened look on his face he asked me to taste the food. I took a bite and smiled. It tasted exactly like my mother’s. And, for the thousandth time, I fell in love with the same guy.

After several years of being in a relationship, I understood that love is not just the butterflies you get in your stomach when you hold each other’s hand for the first time, or your first kiss, or roses on Valentine’s Day, or a romantic night under the sky.

More than being just a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart, love is a verb.

And in love, more than what you say, what matters more is what you do.

PicsArt_12-29-12.58.05.jpg

 Inspired by: Discover

 

 

Black and White Photo Challenge #7


Because it’s his birthday today. And the only thing I bought for him was this cake. Apart from that, I lied to my entire family, made up great excuses so that we get to spend one day together.

Love is hard, especially when you have to hide your relationship from a lots of people, when you both are broke, unmotivated, and in a mess. But  I can still say that all our miseries are nothing compared to the love we feel for each other. Our tragedies turn into comedies the moment we meet. We laugh, we fight (a lot), we clean and cook together. We prefer lying in our bed,  than going out and enjoying a day in the sun. We bitch about people we mutually hate, and sympathize with the same people sometimes. We are completely different yet so alike. I don’t know how to say this but we are very wrong for each other but we are wrong in the right way. 

***

Orange nominated me for the Black and White Photo Challenge and I am so thankful to her for that. I can’t remember the last time I blogged so consistently. And even though I broke all the rules of the challenge, I am glad that I completed it today. Yay!!! 

Black and White Photo Challenge #3

Qutb Minar, Delhi

Yeh Delhi hai mere yaar, bus ishq mohhabbat pyar… ❤️

All my life, Delhi was a place of transition for me. It was the city that came midway while travelling from my hometown to both my colleges. It was the city, where I met my long distance boyfriend in bus stations, railway stations, airports. We roamed around its unknown lanes, aimlessly, just to spend time with each other. And two years ago, this city became an abode for both of us. Our long distance relationship, became short distance and I finally realised what it feels to be in a relationship. Delhi made me fall in love again, with a guy I was in love with since five years. 

Delhi is my “love” city. 

( I was nominated by Orange for the black and white photo challenge where I had to post pictures without any explanation but I bended the rules a bit. I believe every picture somehow tells a story and I like writing a few lines about each picture. Rules are meant to be broken, right?)