Some Things End, Some Begin…

I am not sure whether this is a comeback post or just a culmination of all the posts I am trying to write in the past several months. I can’t believe that I started this blog with the dreams of becoming a writer someday but somehow it ended up being a graveyard of my sorrows and broken dreams.

I know I have written some pretty intense things here, my struggle with depression, my failures, my heartbreaks and if someone who knows me in real life right now ends up reading this, he’ll be in one hell of a shock. That is the thing with people, you never really know them in entirety but only bits and pieces of what they want you to know. But this blog is where I feel whole. The internet is usually a place to show off your best life but for me blogging turned out to be a journey to find myself and be true to my own beliefs. If this means I have to share my not-so-great life with others, I am okay with it.

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I started working three months ago. It isn’t exactly a “job” but I get paid, get a chance to do something at a reputable place, and also see new people, talk , laugh, have tea or lunch with them, which is unlike what I’ve been doing since the past two years, that is sitting on my bed and contemplating my future.

The good part about this thing is I am working in my own town. For a long time now, I was really worried about my parents living alone. They are in their 60s-70s and although I am more of a liability than an asset but just being here with them calms my mind. I’ll admit, it is sometimes a pain to live with your parents when you are an adult and have tasted freedom before but I would rather spend time with my mom than on random “social” things.

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To Alok,

It was the second week of September when I came to know about your untimely demise. It was much more difficult to accept that you took your own life. I have only known you through our blogs and the little interaction we had over comments but you were always a positive influence in my life. It is hard to believe that you aren’t around anymore. I’ll miss your motivating comments. I’ll miss seeing the world through your blog. You were such an enthusiastic and motivated individual. I wish the world wasn’t too hard on you.

I don’t know how many times I’ve opened WordPress to write you a proper goodbye, but it is just too difficult. I can’t imagine what your family is going through right now.

Goodbye my friend. I hope you find peace wherever you are.

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I am okay. And I may not be in a state to write about this right now but I am okay. Sometimes, the things that you have worked for almost a third of your lifetime don’t work out but still feel worth it. I know nothing makes sense right now but someday it will. Love, like many other things is about how hard you work to make it work. And it doesn’t always have to end in a good way, or end at all. You could be in love without being in a relationship or feel unloved in spite of having someone to hold on to.

Everything comes to an end in this mortal world. It hurts, but this is what grief does. It makes you feel alive and even when something doesn’t work out the way you always imagined it to be, it doesn’t mean you have to live with regrets.

You’ll be okay one day.

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It has been almost six years since I’ve been writing here, on and off. There are times when some people (and by some I mean you Nomadosauras) dig up my old posts and comment on them. I have a pretty bad memory and sometimes I don’t even get the context of what people are commenting on. So, I go back and read my posts and it feels amazingly weird. I feel like I am reading someone else’s words. Sometimes it doesn’t even sound like my life. Sometimes it does but written from someone else’s perspective. Just so weird. I don’t know if I am able to put words to my feelings but it is just surreal.

And boy, have I grown in all these years!!! I was such a stupid girl. Well, I am still pretty weird and stupid but I am happy, in spite of the zillions of problems in my life.

Just the other day I was telling Vishnu that happiness to me is contentment. I don’t think I am content with life, not yet and probably not ever. And there are days, or even weeks when I cry my eyes out but generally, in a normal kinda way, I feel okay.

For several years, I have had this feeling that I wasn’t rich, intelligent, or pretty enough. Everything felt inadequate. I looked at friends, with jobs, with life partners, with money, property and a “life” while I had nothing. I have almost none of these things even now but I have stopped looking. Not to sound too “enlightened” I still have my “days-of-doubt” but my feelings are a little controlled. I feel blessed… with all “the little” I have.

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2019 is going to be a great year. I don’t know how or why or what am I going to do then but I have this belief that it is gonna be AWESOME.

I want to believe this.

I have to believe this.

To quote John Green, I’ll be on a roller-coaster that only goes up my friend.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR. IMG_20181224_162356

Bangalore Rains, Bangalore Days…

I’ve had several special memories associated with rain and several of them have been in the city of Bangalore. The weather in the city was unpredictable. I remember my first day of school in Bangalore when it rained like cats and dogs and I was drenched from head to toe. I had not bought the school uniform yet, and was dressed in a light colored salwar kameez which soon turned translucent so I had to cover myself up with my dupatta. It was embarrassing, especially since it was my first day at a new school, in a completely alien city.

And then there was this time when I met an old friend after about four years. We walked around the city all day long and when it was time for me to head back to hostel, it started raining and we hugged under a bus stop near MG Road.

But the most memorable day for me was when me and my best friend went to a lake near our college. We always used to go there when either of us was sad. Sanky tank was around 3-4 km far from our college and one of those places where we would roam around, check out couples, laugh and cry about life in general. This one day, we went there and as always bought the charcoal roasted corn (bhuna bhutta) to eat as we walked around the lake. Suddenly everything went dark and it started raining heavily. We waited for an auto or a bus but the streets were almost deserted. Now my friend is kind of a chicken and she really worries about things a lot. I on the other hand try to act brave even if I am not. So we were walking in the heavy rain and I was laughing so hard over the situation, and she was cursing me non stop. I was still eating my bhutta in the rain, kind of enjoying everything while she was almost in tears.

I don’t know why this incident is so memorable to me, when clearly nothing great actually happened. I guess it is more about the kind of friendship we shared, two contrasting people, spending every day together. I can’t think of a moment I wasn’t with her in those four years of college.

Now that I think of it, even though I was never that social I always had a good friend at every phase of my life. I was never really alone. I have been lucky that way.

I really was…

I wonder how easily we forget the happier times but spend a lifetime thinking about everything that is wrong with our lives.

But then happiness is mostly counted in moments while grief in periods.

If only these good moments occurred more frequently, life would have been a little better…

Weekly Photo Challenge: I’d Rather Be

I’d Rather Be…

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Waking up as the first rays of sun pour into my bedroom,

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and watch this little one go moo moo first thing in the morning.

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Or make my knees green by rolling in these grass fields

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and sometimes build hay stakes on the hill slopes.

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Spend the noon counting unripe mangoes on the tree I planted in my childhood,

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and plucking strawberries from our garden,

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Or may be look around for wild berries in the jungle.

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I would watch the sparrows perched on our wooden terrace,

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and build a scarecrow to fly them away from the crop.

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I would spend the evening listening to the sound the river makes as it flows down the valley,

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and wait for another day in this place I once called Home. 

‘Cause you are a sky full of Stars

One of the perks of living in a small town, especially near the hills is that you get to see a sky full of stars. You can go to your rooftop, look up and witness a sea of twinkling lights all over the sky. The rationalist in me likes to remind me that they are nothing but large astronomical bodies made up of hot burning gases but the romantic me refuses to listen and dreams about spending a night under the stars with someone I love.

The night sky makes me think of God, of ghosts, of how we evolved, how we came into this world and how someday we would cease to exist. 

When I told my four year old nephew that Oreo has died, he asked me whether he has turned into a star. Somehow a simple lie that we tell kids made me feel better. The idea of lost loved ones watching over us from above, however absurd it is, soothes my soul. 

As I watch the moon come up, outside my window I feel lucky just to be alive, to be with people I love, to know that as of today I don’t have to locate too many stars in the sky. Yes, Oreo could be there somewhere but for now, I have all my loved ones with me, right under this sky. 

Let the sky just be romantic for now. Let the stars shine for us. 

Can you see stars outside your window? Do they remind you of someone you love or someone you loved and lost? 

Just an old picture of the moon I took years ago. Don’t have a camera good enough to capture stars. Someday, may be.

I Remember…

  • being dragged away from a snow covered road by my mother, my only memory of the place where I was born. May be I was playing in the snow, or I was jumping in it, I really don’t know, just a flash with my mother holding my hand and taking me away with her. I lived there for the first four and a half years of my life, no pictures just that one memory.
  • waiting to board a bus to my native village wearing my favourite green frock, crying afterwards because the road was blocked and I couldn’t visit my favourite place in the whole wide world.

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    My heaven ( picture by me)

  • collecting empty packets of Dilbagh gutka with my friend because apparently 50 empty packets would win you a Shaktimaan costume. Yes, we were stupid but in our defence Shaktimaan was a rage back then, many people jumped off from balconies for him, we fools just collected dirty gutka packets.

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    Sorry Shaktimaan!!! (Courtesy:google)

  • running through the streets of my small town wearing black pants with floral prints all over them. For some reason they were my favourite. Now that I think of it, I would have surely looked like a clown back then.

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    Why oh why! (Courtesy: Giphy)

  • asking for 2-5 Rs commission for every work anyone would ask me to do- getting something from market, oiling hair, being an eyewitness to siblings fight, watering plants. By the time I was 13, I had collected 5000 Rs just from those commissions. I just realised I had way more savings back then.

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    I was damn Rich… (Courtesy:tenor)

  • having a list of people I loved, with my mom and brother topping the list on alternate days and my dad being the last member on it, behind almost every member of my extended family.
  • looking at the sky in winters and waiting for snowfall, dancing on the sight of first few snowflakes, sneaking into the garden to taste snow.

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    Ah…the magical days with snow! (courtesy: Giphy)

  • always supporting the underdogs- no one liked Abhishek Bachchan so I declared him to be my favourite hero, wouldn’t hear a word against him.

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    He isn’t that bad! (Courtesy:twitter)

  • being scared of ghosts. Always keeping a family member outside the washroom, couldn’t imagine being left alone in case a ghost attacked.
  • Thinking that the horizon is where India ended and that other countries lie just beyond the mountains with Pakistan, China and America being the only foreign countries I knew back then. Yes, my geographical sense was at its lowest but in my defence I did live in a district that bordered two foreign countries, China and Nepal. I win!img_0331.jpg

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    Oh yeah..That’s my home!!! ( Both pictures by me)

P.S. I just felt like chronicling all these memories on my blog. It would be fun to read all these childhood memories someday.

Being Homesick

I remember the day when my parents left me alone for the first time. I was 18 and my dad was transferred out of Bangalore. As I was in my first year of college, I couldn’t go along with them. I had to stay back at my college hostel.
I remember how devastated my mom was  with the thought of leaving me alone in a big city. For her I have always been a kid who is unable to look after herself. Even after eight years she probably thinks the same. As for me I am not very clear about my thoughts of staying alone. In the initial years I probably enjoyed all the freedom I got. I remember, I didn’t feel like going home that often during my graduation days. However things took a turn when I was in post-grad. I would eagerly wait for Durga Puja holidays so that I get a chance to go back home. I used to make a sheet with the number of days left for holidays and strike a date everyday. The more I was growing up, the more I was getting homesick.

Now that I am in Delhi and thus, a little closer to home, I do have the option of going there as often as I want but I still do miss being at home on important days such as festivals. In the last eight eight years I have been home for Diwali only on two occasions. The same is true for Holi, Rakhi, new years, etc. Apart from the festivities, food has really been a major problem. Every day has been a struggle to find food. First there was the hostel mess, now either restaurants or self made food. It’s like as soon as it is lunch or dinner time, my search for food begins. I feel like I am living in a pre-agricultural society where you can’t get food until you hunt an animal. Added to that there is the struggle of finding food with as less money as you can spend. I have probably spent more money on food than on clothes, and there are more food apps on my phone than photo editing apps.

You know I am just tired of living a nomad life. I have always been a girl who likes to be alone, a little isolated from people but I do crave for a family sometimes. Sometimes I close my eyes and relive those moments of the past;the fights over dividing a five rupee chocolate using a proper scale, buying new dresses on Diwali, and clicking a customary Diwali photograph with my siblings, running to Gandhi Chauk to buy an ice cream worth one rupee, asking for a two rupee commission for anything elders ask you to do.

Ah! I had such a great childhood. If only life had remained the same. But then I wouldn’t have valued it so much. It’s only when you lose something, you realize how lucky you were to have it.
Cecelia Ahern, one of my favorite authors has rightly said, “home is not a place, it’s a feeling.” For me, home isn’t just a feeling, it is probably the best feeling I could ever have.

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I felt stupid after writing my last post. I realized how I am always cribbing about all the things that aren’t right in my life, while completely ignoring all the things that are in fact good. So this is an attempt to write something normal and save you from the depression.

  1. I love music. I mean I have a song in my mind for every situation I encounter. “We The Kings”, though not so popular is my favorite band. I can listen to their songs forever and never get tired. I am in love with 90’s Hindi pop songs. Lucky Ali takes me into a different world altogether. He was one of the best things that happened to Hindi pop music. Euphoria, Strings, Jal, Indian Ocean, these are the bands that make me feel like I am dreaming and living in that old 90’s world again. Ah, the nostalgia. And then there are old Hindi songs and their lyrics…

“Pal pal dil ke pass tum rehti ho, jeevan meethi pyaas ye kehti ho,

Har sham aankhon par, tera aanchal lehraye,

Har raat yaadon ki baarat le aaye…

Mai saans leta hun, teri khusboo aati hai, ek mehka mehka sa paigaam lati hai,

Mere dil ki dhadkan bhi tere geet gati hai…”

 Kishore Kumar and his melodious voice, a healthy way to beat depression. Always.

  1. Though I have no clue about my own future, I am known among my friends as a great counselor. Some of them consult me for every step they are going to take in their life, be it career, love life or family. Many people have complimented me for my great listening skills, and for the fact that I understand them. Though, I have to admit that I have a pretty bad memory and most of the times I forget people, their names, their problems and even the advice I gave them.
  1. I hate it when somebody calls me “dear”. And I cringe with disgust when girls, in particular write “Love you, muah muah” in social media to each other. What’s with so much loooove!!!
  1. I can’t pout. I see my friends and even their dads posting such pretty duck face selfies on Facebook. I have taken countless selfies to get it right, but most of the times it looks like either the duck is dead, or is mentally retarded.
  1. Talking about pictures, I am very photogenic. Sometimes I look at my pictures and think, “Whoa, this is definitely not me! I don’t look like that in reality.” My pictures are highly deceptive. And yes, I am illiterate in the makeup department. The only cosmetic I know how to use is Kajal.
  1. I have always wanted a pet goat. I think goats are adorable. May be it has something to do with me being pahadi, but I grew up demanding my mom to get me a little baby goat. When I was a kid I used to bring stray dogs from roads to our house and my mama and mausi had to keep them at their place just to make me happy. I had a dog named “Bush”. I named him Bush because someone told me that George W. Bush has named his dog “India”. I have no idea how much of that story is true. I even had two pet mice in my childhood named Chintu and Mintu. Someday I am going to have this big farmland in my village full of goats, chickens, dogs, cats, rabbits and other adorable animals. And yes, my friends have suggested me to build my career as an animal care giver, because I have saved many girls from the “dangerous” cats and dogs of our campus.

Oh, this is turning into a huge post. I haven’t written 600 words with this speed ever. I should probably stop here. I am thinking to start a new memories section in my blog to write about my childhood and college life. Let me know if you think that’s a good idea.

The Tale Of A Broken Dream

As far as I remember I have always seen my mother struggling with a disease or two. Even before I was born, the valves in her heart didn’t work properly. Then there was always the case of hyper acidity and migraine that never let food remain in her stomach (and has been genetically passed onto me). Then came the disastrous paralysis attack which not only left her half dead but significantly changed my life too. Now, there is slip disc, frequent episodes of menopausal hot flashes, constant pain in her legs (reason unknown), and all the side effects of those numerous medicines that keep her alive. I have literally never seen my mom healthy, and I feel in some way because of that I never had a normal life. I know almost every doctor in town, the cute neurologist who looks great in a light green shirt, the I-have-no-time-to-breathe cardiologist, the orthopaedist who talks way too much, the old ENT specialist who has a big white house, you get the picture, I know way too many doctors.

 I stayed in Bangalore for seven years and I visited almost every hospital one could name. Manipal hospital is my favourite because I believe it is where my mother got her second life, even though only half of her body worked but she survived and got better. It was the last year of school and during the last three months I spent numerous evenings at Manipal hospital. I would sit by the stairs and practice mathematics. We would eat dinner from the hospital canteen when my sister didn’t feel like cooking. I skipped school almost every day but my teachers didn’t care much as skipping school was allowed for the “good students” so that they can prepare well at home for the Board examinations. I mostly spent my time watching television because it took my mind away from my dying mother. By the time she became healthy enough to live, I had almost lost everything. I messed up my Boards, all my entrance exams and any chance to have a normal career.

For eleven years from Class 1 to 11th, one would always see me on stage collecting my report card, prizes, merit scholarships amidst claps and cheers but in that last year, the year that mattered the most, whoosh…. everything was gone…. Just like that…. All my dreams shattered. In a flash …

I missed getting into a medical college by a single mark.

Counselling day. Rank number called. With a smile on my face I go ahead. He asks me to sign. I search frantically for a pen. He says, “sorry, last seat thi,chali gayi”. And I start crying.

Seven years have passed by but I go back to that moment all over again. There are so many what ifs in my mind…

What if the attack hadn’t happened? What if the 17 year old me wasn’t forced into a career she didn’t like? What if they had given me one more chance? What if I wasn’t so arrogant and angry with everything?

He gave me my mother…. He took away my dream.

I need to do something for those eleven years, for those years when I knew what I wanted, when I was determined enough to overcome any obstacle in my way to success. I need to forgive my parents. I need to forgive myself for not trying hard enough. As I sit here and see my mother trying to sleep in spite of a terrible headache I need to find a new dream and let go of the old one. I can’t carry the burden of that broken dream anymore. I can’t let it ruin the rest of my life.

I have to move on.

P.S. Writing is therapy. I feel better.