Mili

Often in life, it takes one Bollywood movie to get your sentiments rolling.

I was faced with one bleak-looking Saturday and thinking about how I’d rather not meet anyone, I set up my laptop to stream this old movie on YouTube – of Amitabh and Jaya Bachhan, titled Mili. I remembered seeing it as a child but as with most things then, my memory wasn’t at its strongest. All I could think of was kids dressed up in fancy clothes parading on a terrace with the gay Jaya in the lead.

I colored my Mandala set of coloring book as I watched this movie, sitting on the dining room, which has rarely been used for the said person. It ended with a lot of tears and emotions. Mixed, bottled up, and repressed feelings and sentiments that are so common these days.

Cinema mirrors life, or the vice versa. This phrase could well be the successor of the perennial, ‘What came first – the egg or the chicken!’. We Potterheads would just leave the discussion with a comment about how it’s an infinite circle without a beginning or an end.

Movies have immense power – but you already know that don’t you? Or you wouldn’t see little kids literally scared to death while there’s a mob threatening the school bus outside because they want a film to be banned.

But movies have other powers as well – those that enable you to look deeper within yourself and realize a few hard things in life. I had been struggling with some decisions in the past few weeks. I have asked my friends, family and colleagues. knowing fully well that their answers would never give me that clarity of thought unless I arrived at them, myself. I think I know now what to do. The universe is your friend – it’s cruel, it’s kind, it’s funny, and it’s basically there for you. Maybe sometimes you gotta wait patiently and listen in.

Watching Mili was a reminder about our life.

I lost my grandmother to cancer. I always thought I’d write about her, but then I decided I couldn’t or shouldn’t write about her. Did I have the authority to do so? Did I love her enough?

I never showed her my emotions when she was going through her toughest phase. Most of us didn’t. You don’t go breaking hope by being weak right? When she was really weak, I just went to the terrace and cried my heart out to my best friend. I told her, just please come. Just please come because you are so brave and because you are so lovable and so cheery. Just please come and meet her? She needs your spark and cheer. How have I never introduced you to her, babe?

The call satiated me. My friend was in a whole different city but she promised. She’s always been that positive, beautiful and pragmatic source of inspiration.

Despite living in the same city, we were far – my gran’s house and mine. We used to kinda meet once in a fortnight. We tried to make weekly visits, but I don’t think we were regular.

Can you imagine her pain and sorrow that she prayed for mukti. To be liberated from all these trivially hurtful word-ly things.

When I met Grandma that final time, I knew she said goodbye to me.I knew it was the last. She took my leave with a kind of apology. The I can’t do it anymore. I touched her feet, went to the car, shed some secret tears and then we tried to act normal.

That was that, you know.

That was that.

She knew.

I knew.

And strangely, that matters to me.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Pause

Today was a mentally taxing day. 

I had a training where in I couldn’t pay attention, and I blurted out the absolute wrong theory in front of a batch of newbies (No, I wasn’t taking the training)  I was trying to buy a phone online(unsuccessfully), I got some morbid messages, and I was feeling gloomy all day. I wanted to do something I was contemplating for a long time yet I thought I should hang in there for a few  mor days.

Some more days, some more time, some  moments, a second.

Such mundane struggles we have. An acquaintance I had met on the last nature trail I had been to, texted me on Instagram today. He thanked me for my pictures, in fact, my captions rather than the pictures and told me he was amazed at my interpretation of life. There was a lot of sadness because I knew he was having problems on the health front and he told me, he’d try to be back but for now, it was a goodbye. I had mixed emotions really. Being a fairly private person, I take a lot of time and definitely keep those  people away who I think, come on too strongly. And here was one such person, expressing his wish to have known me better. 

I couldn’t do  more than thank him and said I wish the best for his health. I really do. I hope he continues to inspire all. 

There are a lot of people we meet, but it’s just not possible to let everyone in. And that’s a sad fact. But for those who are in the inner circle, what have you done for them? 

What have you left them if not good memories and kind words, in case this transient life plays its cruel cards. 

Do what you can and try to make a difference in someone’s life. We Indians mostly just suck at this kind of emotions. It doesn’t have to be a daily reminder of I love you. No it doesn’t. When I was in fourth standard and I went for a sleepover at my friend’s, I was appalled and amazed at the same time when the entire family was having a light moment and confessing their love for one another.. I come from a family when love means pulling your feet and sharing a joke, often ending up on the verge of a fight.  Such weird family dynamics right? 

But even KJo can’t help change some things. Can keep trying though. After all, you will eventually succeed or that’s what they tell you anyway. 

Pride and Prejudice

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of good fortune must be in want of a wife”. 

The beginning of Jane Austen’s novel could not have been established on a more superior note. It was the succinct combination of the style that would follow in the pages thereafter. With expressions so apt, and emotions so detailed, it’s amazing how Austen portrayed the nuances of the time peppered with mild sarcasm and a general tinge of enjoyment.

After having re-read the book many a times, I resorted to listening to the audio book this time around. On one of those days when I give in to the inner child in me and resort to coloring mandalas to feel soothed and calm, I decided to listen to Karen Savage’s rendition of Pride and Prejudice. Whether it’s Mr Collins’ adulatory voice or Mrs Bennet’s high-pitched, dramatic expressions, Savage has done an admirable job with this one.

Despite knowing the story line and the dialogues in some scenes, I couldn’t help feeling awed at this piece of literary genius. I thought myself to be addicted when I couldn’t help myself to another chapter, even when it would be pretty late and I had to doze.  If you’re a fan of books and are looking to start something new, I would recommend this audio book to you so that you may be as fortunate as myself and sing glorious praise of it thence.

P.S The only cons I can think of after you having listened to the audio book is that you may be tempted, like me, to write in a slightly archaic manner and leave your readers puzzled.

Happy listening, folks!

🙂

Hiraeth

Ever since I can remember, I recall feeling insufficient or incomplete in life. It’s like I have always been seeking and searching for something that seems elusive. Even while living with family, I longed to get out and discover my true identity and to ascertain for myself what it is to feel independent. I wanted to leave home, move cities, be that girl next door who’s got everything in her favour. I’ve been away from home for close to three years now, I’m living alone in a different city, struggling to lead and make choices that pertain to day-to-day living and chores, but something still eludes me. I’m not that chirpy girl next door, I’m a cynical and hopeless maniac, struggling in the rat race and trying to tell myself that there’s more to this. Hang in there. I compare my mental and monotonous struggles to the labourers hard at work and tell myself that I do not need to do such hard physical labour to fill my tummy and what’s more, I even get a few extra bucks.

The only time I didn’t have this feeling of inadequacy was  when I was living the life of an MBA student. I was living away from home, could smuggle some food from home, could ask for tickets to be booked by the parents and run home every time I needed to get a break in life, or when I was feeling broke, and I could just enjoy that solitude that my situation had to offer me. It helped that I had some very non-intrusive room mates and friends. We all just loved our space. I loved that space, and I loved me in that space.

Despite living in a big city, with happening people around (who I never meet, and when I do meet, end up regretting) I don’t have my space. I don’t have the opportunity to come home after a long day and feel like I’ve truly done something amazing. What usually happens is that I come home and feel sad because I have to do this again the next day, and the day after . It doesn’t make sense to me. And for me to be truly living, I need to know that I make a difference. It’s true that your job will not think twice about replacing you. What do you do then? How do you find something to do that will give you the respect you deserve and the space that you need to flourish?

I tell people that some things aren’t your cup of tea. Because honey, you’re a coffee lover. Who’ll tell me that and show me the way?

I keep waiting for someone else to give me that push. Deep in my heart, I know that none can do it except for one person.

And that person, I’m afraid, is me.

 

Dig Through The Data For Insightful Thoughts

I think this is the dream.
Sitting in an airport café – the window overlooks the runaway and you see these beautiful non-natural birds gliding and taking off right next to you, and you’re sipping on a mocha-café and aren’t worried that it has cost you a bomb. This phase – the pre-travel anticipation for a much-needed holiday, it’s a blissful feeling. It’s like you’ve worked your ass off, or maybe not so much, but just a little bit, for these moments.

Sitting opposite a stranger, exchange polite hellos, and before it becomes imperative to exchange more words, you take out your laptop and start putting into words the emotions you feel. Writing is a boon, to those few who have discovered the perils of doing so. I call it peril because when you write, you leave a lasting impression of yourself, on record to the world. You may move on, move worlds and pass into nothingness, but your words, those creatures of your mind, they will survive the test of time. They’re potent, yet latent, The dangers will be unleashed only if discovered by people.
For a private journal writer, I am amazed at how curious I am about other people’s work. It’s beautiful seeing people open up to inanimate paper because you don’t hold back at all, then. I recently discovered a colleague’s office notebook – I read some of her words – a letter to her friend, some words to take off the heaviness in her mind, and some random scribbles. It gives you an altogether different insight into the person. She will never know I did that. For she will never want her pages back. And that, only adds to the appeal of the words.
It’s so beautiful – the gift of gab, albeit in the written format.
I was often asked why I wasn’t into journalism – I could have been one but I didn’t fight hard for it cause I didn’t believe in my abilities. I didn’t believe I, a meek and introverted person could be bold enough to follow up with people, to dig deep into minds and I didn’t think I ‘d be resourceful enough.

I still don’t think I’d make a good journalist. For writing, is only a small part of the qualities that you’d need to have. I hate pressurising people to open up. But if you do want to open up, I will listen to you with my heart and soul and try to respect your thoughts, words, and opinions, more that I would believe in. For faith is another beautiful thing.
While I was on the drive, en route to the airport, I couldn’t help but think about the people in my life, who I love.
I came to a few realisations, that are not altogether selfless. I do not see myself as a person who can be loved. When people accept me for my flaws and idiosyncracies that is when I begin to like them. I feel amazed – like how can you even like someone like me? If you are brave enough to take that step and are not turned off my the results, who am I to not respect the beautiful piece of art that you are? That is how my emotions grow.
They say that love is not selfish. I disagree. The intent to love can only begin if there are certain emotions that are brought to the fore. And for that to happen, you would need to be aware of certain attributes, that may not al be rosy.
When my desk at the office was changed after 3 months of joining the new corporate place, I was aghast. I didn’t like that I was seated in between two people who had the unfriendliest of faces. One was super polite, one was super quiet. Every time one went for a smoke, I could feel the reek and stench of the tobacco for minutes altogether and I hated it.
It took me about three months more to actually interact with the smoker. I realise that time is the biggest catalyst in your relationships with people. Take your own family members for instance. There are different phases and emotions that you can trace from your childhood. The overwhelming emotion is of love.. but if you separate them, you can see how it stems in.. When you’re in kindergarten, you are just awed by your parents. They are your biggest heroes – the know-it-alls, the solution to your everyday problems, your biggest support.
Move on to your teens, and you begin to see your parents as your enemies. You don’t get them, their logic or lack of it seems lame to you, you want to distance yourself away and you even manage to do it quite ruefully. It’s a hard phase for them to be in. And your dramatics do not improve the situation but hey, you are the Rockstar of your life and you think that you have every right to be that annoying ass that you are.
After a slow and painful teenage and a rather rough start to your twenties when your career decisions may be impacted by your folks, you are just beginning to accept things, and you are neutral to your folks. Then comes that long-distance phase with your parents. You may move to a new city in pursuit of new ambitions and goals and suddenly you realise the importance of your family,, Things may not get back to the idolising that happened to you as a kid, but you’re at somewhat a balanced phase now.
Now is the time you begin to value the sacrifices they’ve gone through. The early mornings, late nights, mundane job responsibilities and the likes. It’s a little too difficultfor you – because you don’t even know if you could ever do the same for somebody. Not until you’re in that situation, maybe not even then. You respect and love your folks more now, maybe see them as lovable frail hearts, that are slipping by you with time.
I don’t know the purpose of this post/rant, but the homecoming and the homegoing, both are always slightly emotional. For all the perks that living away offers, home Is always love, and always will be.
Perhaps that is why whenever you go back home, no matter how long ago it’s been, it always feels like you never left.

 

Coffee and conversation with the self. 

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf reads the tissue that accompanies my Caramel ice blended coffee. As I sit sipping on overpriced cold coffee in a Cosy corner of a swanky mall, I can’t help but wonder about the un-umaginative choice of name for this cafe that was established in 1963. The thought of imagination in  names reminds me of my roomie. Apparently her Dad insisted on bestowing upon my roomie a name that rhymed with her sister. ‘You have no imagination’  said my roomie’s mother to her husband and proceeded to name her quite exotically. 

Sitting here in this fancy ambience, I’m also pondering over my abject dislike for a certain coffee house that is bound to have franchises in every other road, literally. My dislike probably seeped in because of my inability to afford such grandiose coffee, which despite the tall claims, doesn’t guarantee an amazing beverage. 

I came here to shop. Don’t ask me for what. Oh yes. I’m in dire need of footwear because I’m down to my last pair of fancy comfortable footwear and I don’t have th  regular ones to wear to work. Despite checking out the bigwigs among the shopping stores, I wasn’t successful. I have funny feet. They prefer completely flat flats. And it’s difficult to find those. 

I was supposed to go to a parlor today. But there’s a certain reluctance in the air when it comes to trying a new place and style. The old haunts and practices are so set that it becomes extremely difficult to make the new happen. 

I am almost down to the last few gulps of this coffee. I might as well take in the ambience and leave in sometime.

Adios Amigos.

Marine Mornings…

Mumbai is an amazing confluence of cultures and there’s no better place than Marine Drive to emphasize that.

It’s a cloudy early morning and it’s seven thirty when I reach the sea-front after a short walk from Churchgate Railway Station.

I’m greeted with a spectacular view of the calm sea with an occasional rumble. However, there’s another sea that greets my eyes, and this one is up an about on the promenade. I’m referring to a whole horde of people who are enjoying the breeze.

IMG_20170909_073454157While some are solitary, some are briskly walking about with their partners, there are gangs of friends meeting up before heading to college together and the ones like me who are doing nothing, just observing life moving on.

The clock hasn’t even struck eight when I see a bunch of kids studying – some taking notes and two girls trying to understand some complex looking equation.

I look at the couples out here and am amused at their nonchalance – they must have woken up quite early for the opportunity to be enveloped in each others arms, before it’s even eight in the morning, unabashed at the location and oblivious to the people around. Why, even the cops seem to have given up!

As I walk from one end to the other, I see a shriveled, old lady talking to a younger woman, presumably her child, in Kannada. I pass by a couple who has just exchanged gifts and I catch some lines of Tamil. They’re just sitting, catching up on conversation and enjoying the weekend peace.

You also have yoga enthusiasts here who are busy stretching out in awkward poses and if you catch their eyes, you may feel a little awkward.

You also have the sleepers.

IMG_20170909_074542154They’re blissfully unaware of their surroundings as they’re actually sleeping on the pedestals. Perhaps it’s safer sleeping on the promenade than footpaths, knowing the drivers out here!

Among the best sight in the entire stretch and enjoying the maximum attention – are the doggos! I see a cute pup just finish its walk and head to the Activa. The owner places the pup infront of him, on the edge of the seat, gives the doggo a kiss and zooms off while the pup elegantly holds its paws on the handle. This brought a smile to my face and I would have definitely photographed them had they waited a few seconds. 

IMG_20170909_074228157

Mumbai is about its water. The city floods, the waves crash over you, crushing your town bit by bit, until you’re gulping for air and swimming. If you fight it, you’re a survivor. If you give up, you’re done for, and the choice is usually yours to make. This is Mumbai for you. You have the freedom to do whatever it is that you want to…Just as long as you aren’t getting on the wrong side of anyone, you’re good to go!

 

#Pune

Bangalore is heart and Mumbai is mind, but the simplest mention of Pune, brings a smile to my face because of the special place it holds in my heart. 

As with a lot of things, I’ve noticed that my tryst with love usually begins with an abject hatred of something. First impression of Pune was that I had to run away from it and not come even inches close to it. This happened during the time when I was interviewing at Simc. I was disappointed that it was so much like an older Bangalore. I assured two of my friends that I would definitely not take it up because Pune wasn’t Mumbai and I then believed that I had needed the vibe of Mumbai. 

I couldn’t have been more wrong bout Pune. Having lived in Lavale for two blissful years, I think this city will always be home of a different kind. The kind of home that gave me hope in finding good in different  people and an acceptance of myself, thanks to my people.  

As I undertake this bus journey home, from Mumbai. I am fleetingly passing through the lanes of Pune city  and I’m nostalgic like hell. What stands out is our countless trips to FC road on broke days, with friends and not so good friends, celebrity spotting while on a ‘research’ project to study religious tourism and it’s effects, (I’m amazed a senior sent us knowing fully well that we couldn’t have access to Osho, no regrets though cause that was a beautiful day!), a full day Pune Darshan at the end of two years (now I can brag about places in Pune to everyone), of freshers nights that turned to the beginning of common crushes and friendships, of dosa and coffee trips with the  extended best girl gang that one could possibly have.. And of countless as bus rides, to the ‘city’ and back to the hostel, just because. ‘Let’s go through city’ was music to the ears! And yet, the amazing solitude our rooms offered. 

It’s  funny how you comfortable you get with your people. How you video call each other, even if it’s as rare as once in a few months. How connected you are, and how much it makes you feel happy.. Knowing that they’re there. Man. I miss you guys! 

And I  haven’t even talked about the campus fun. Shared secrets, embarrassments, gossip and stories about the people you detest? Sigh. 

I can only hope that meeting all of you in two months, is going to culminate in  an epic extravaganza. 

So long, beauties! 

Kinare…

Although old, this has been one of my finest works. Sometimes, you just have to take charge of life and lead by doing nothing, but just living!

PsychedSpurti

I have been in love and I have been depressed. It’s the one phase of life I never want to go back to again. My mind resonated with despair and darkness. I kept my pictures black, the status dreary, and my smiles were without soul. I smiled. And I laughed so hard. And I kept telling myself that I was all right. It was going to be okay. And once in a while – every other day I would break down. For something, for nothing, I didn’t need a reason. A bit of silence, an advertisement that played with emotions, or random incidents with friends because some days I just wouldn’t be able to exist. I remember a vivid incident. I remember sitting in the canteen, plans being made for an imminent trip and I broke down for no reason. I remember it vividly, sobbing into my arms and hoping…

View original post 459 more words