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Chase

A friend was telling me a story about a crazed girl chasing a guy at work, dangerously treading the harassment line. It got me thinking about all that we chase: work, target, skills, gadgets, goals and people…

Is there a point to this persuit? When do you stop and take a break? When is it too much and how do you know if you’ve given anything a fair shot?

My musings on chase continued as I ran after a train, catching it by the skin of my teeth. Then a thought (planted by another friend, in a completely different context) occurred: when you are chasing, who’s chasing you? (Yes, it’s from My Best Friend’s Wedding)

… And drove this one nuts.

Is there anything that brings a human down more efficiently than ‘flu? You know that annoying stuffed nose, a cough that doesn’t let you sleep, a fever that seems to dry your inside, leaving you exhausted, too spent even for tears?

(Baba, you can’t answer here, pneumonia beats cold hands down and will kill all the sympathy for this post. Hope you are feeling better today. I miss you and mumma).

What can possibly be more irritating than being home, with a temperature not high enough to induce panic but persistent enough to tire you out? What to do when your maid thinks you are unwell but not enough to volunteer to make you soup?

An endless loop of steam and gargling continues till you scald and can’t take no more. There is hardly any comfort in cough syrup (mine has no alcohol in it, so I feel very cheated). Friends and family are sympathetic but stay away ‘coz no one wants to catch a bug. You refuse any help, coz you don’t want to spread the bug.

Sniffling and coughing, between steam sessions, This is how I spend my solitary Sunday evening: Making an antithesis of Maria’s favourite things song, I list everything that makes me worse. Topping the charts has to be a non-committal, conversation-ender, casual ‘take care and get some rest’. Of course I will bloody take care, there’s little else I can do!

Cooking

Today I cooked.

It stared with yearning for distraction
A process that would hold together
As the tv told one more story
Of an unlikely romance and happily ever after…
I chopped,
Trying not to ask:
How long the ‘ever after’ lasted…

I cooked,
So I wouldn’t think
Getting involved in flour turning into dough
With some water and help from my bare hands

I cooked,
Not knowing how
Not wondering if I could.
Memory and the internet pitched in
And a meal came together…

I cooked so I could forget
Turns out,
It was,
A meal to remember

28: Gratitude

I have been 28 for about a week. Not much feels different but the last few days have taught me a lot. As I sit in quiet contemplation, just before I turn the router off and hit the sack (yes, it’s early, I am old and have an early day tomorrow), I feel the urge to dash this post off.

May I confess that this is the third post I am attempting today? The first two felt too personal to put out there and this treads the line closely too. I guess, at 28, I have finally learnt to filter. To not say a few things, no matter how tempting it is. Someone in class said Indian aesthetics is as much about the unseen as it is about the seen. I think we can apply that to what we must say and what we ought to bite back. But there is one thing we must say, out loud, and as often as we can: thank you!

We need to understand that we are indispensable, but only to ourselves. Everyone: parents, family, friends, lovers, spouses all lead their own lives anyway. Sure, we contribute and make life together but let us remember that their existence is independent of our presence. As I say this, I feel only gratitude for the love and care we receive from family, friends and strangers.

I am so grateful for the nourishment I receive from my parents. They made me from scratch, gave me wings to fly, shaped my sensibility, moral skeleton yet never imposed their own thoughts on me. They give me space to breathe and grow, frequently at the cost of personal comfort. In them, I find myself.

For friends and family, who stand with me, making space in their homes and lives, so much of life is comprehensible only because you help me see sense, laugh and cry with me. Your wisdom, patience, generosity and most importantly, love makes my life so brilliant. You give me strength.

And lastly, to the considerate guy next to me on the bus, who took another seat so my bags and I could sit comfortably, thank you.

Breakdown

The last few days were the best and the worst of my life.

From happy family occasions, seeing some of the most beautiful places on the planet and knocking items off my bucket list to loss of many things I cherished, life has been a roller coaster, that is leaving me dizzy.

This morning, however was the last straw, when my laptop, my friend and companion of many years, decided that enough is enough and gave up on life. I tried first aid and will attempt another resuscitation this evening. But hope is bleak and it looks like goodbyes are in order.

I broke a tooth (it’s fixed now, thank you), my camera and phone are depressed and on the verge of a breakdown. My plans for the next six years have also crashed. As I try to cope with these issues and stay happy, someone turned the lights out.

After A Trip

There is adrenalin pumping through my veins when I travel that vanishes when I get home. The fatigue of the last few days unleashes itself. Bags unpacked, camera cleared, souvenirs and shopping kept separately. The travelogue will be told several times over and I’ll relive my trip. 

But for now, I feel lost. Time, space, weather, all different… As I said to a friend, i’m reeling: under the impact of all that I’ve seen and experienced… I knocked a few items off my bucket list, this trip. I did many things for the first time. I had the time of my life. 

Solo

Days flew and I’ve hit a writing roadblock. Each day has been interesting, worth writing about- I met old friends, famous filmmakers, fought, made up, took a tough exam, watched films, taught and attended class. Next week promises to be epic, I’m traveling, alone for a few days, then joining cousins and nieces for a quick holiday.

As I pack my bags, talk to my mom and friends, do some research and plan the trip, I have the butterflies.  

I’ve not had a solo trip in a long time. Haven’t been abroad alone, for several years now. I’m super excited to go to these places, I’ve dreamed of them for so long and now, in just a couple of days, I’ll be there, in flesh. Walking the street, taking pictures, making memories for a lifetime. 

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