Somedays, I want to write.

I want to write about the many wonders of life that exist beyond my four walls –of the air-conditioned, monotonous office buildings.
I want to write about the struggles of the fruit-seller on the streets, or the bus driver’s mental state while navigating through the most crowded routes of Bangalore.
I want to write about the dreams and aspirations of the artist who sits next to me, his crafts waiting their turn as his mind is busy, engaged on the screen for hours together.
I want to write about my dreams – those that I’ve conquered and the many that are left unsaid and unknown – awaiting their chance in the shadows like specs of dust floating around – not knowing if they will keep wafting about or find a place to call its home.
I want to write about the freedom that the wind experiences – as it breezes across oceans and swarms through cities, gliding gleefully atop mountains, and plunging restlessly down into the valleys. I want to listen to its thrilling stories of people encountered, of animals fierce and friendly, of its rendezvous with trees, colorful flowers, and broken leaves, of billowing for hours on treacherous territory until it’s found its way to me – oh the stories untold!

Somedays, I want to write.


A floodgate opens by, of memories rushing hither

Within that diary, my emotions nearing wither.

‘Twas us against the world, a battle was fought.

Left you strong, but I was broken and distraught.

What do I do with these papers and this ink?

The dusty fabric has secrets aplenty, you ‘d blink.

There was love there, and tenderness and care.

But then, you made clear, those feelings you did not share.

It took me time, a great deal of distance.

And here I am, relishing my sustenance.

Yellowed pages, dogeared ends..

They call out to me, and show me the bends.

Of lies, betrayal, heartache, and all the evil rest.

Move on, Life did, for it always knows what’s best.

The one without a title.

Suffice to say he led a magnanimous life. I don’t normally write eulogies. I haven’t written one for someone really close to me, my grandma – perhaps I feel there are too many conflicting emotions there that I can’t do justice to it. But here’s a moment of thought for a man I barely knew. I’ve only heard about his quirks and idiosyncrasies. Yet, I write of him because of an insignificantly little thing that he did, which left a significantly lasting impact on me.

It was ninth grade and English class was on. My favourite teacher (it sounds so clichéd, but I owe a lot to Ma’am because she believed in my words and she made English come alive for me) was doing something different in class. We were playing with words, trying to write an article or short story on ‘Teenage’. Something sparked and with the help of another classmate, I came up with a funny little poem that actually went on to get published in the student edition of TOI (those of you who have studied in CBSE/ICSE might be familiar with the times NIE newsletter). There was a flock of visiting relatives at home around this time. Yes, they were everywhere, preening creatures with hawk-like features, extremely interested in the happenings of the house. And when I happened to mention the not-so-impossible feat of having my poem published, there was a whole lot of zeal and cheer. Among all these people, there was one person who stood out because he was so hearty and had a pleasant take on everything. Devdas Uncle was a cheerful sport. Many months later, when grandma had gone to Mumbai, Devdas Uncle sent with her what he called – a gift. I was genuinely surprised to receive a black and mustard, slightly tattered copy of ‘A Selection of Great Poems’. It clearly didn’t look new. But Uncle had remembered that I wrote poems and he sent me a small souvenir of encouragement. The poems were pretty deep and went over my head at that time. I didn’t think much of it, thanked him for his graciousness and kept it in the hope of reading it. I didn’t write much poetry anymore.

I met Uncle exactly a month ago. He was completely unlike the large, jovial, bundle of energy that I had seen 7 years ago. It took me a few hard moments to accept that age had really played havoc with his health, rendering him into a state of terrible weakness. He was slightly temperamental yet his wit was about him. He kept talking about the next great adventure and said he was ready to go anytime. Everyone would get hassled at this and tell him to chill, he could pull off a century in a few years. Who know the intensity of a person’s feelings at such stages of life? I’m sure that it’s not up to us to ridicule or attempt to soothe. They know the truth and they’re ready to face it, head on.

I searched for that little book of poems and I showed it to him that day, thanking him. His wife remarked that Uncle always encouraged anyone with talent. Now, he didn’t remember, he just wished me the best. At that moment, I could comprehend and appreciate the kindness behind that gesture more than I had done on the day I received it. It is among my treasured books and yes, the poems make me think and it is a gem of a collection.

I just got off the phone with Dad a few minutes ago and I was momentarily saddened to hear that Uncle had moved on. But as I remember it, he was certain that he had no regrets in life. Cheers to a man who lived with his heart on his sleeve.

Adios. May your soul rest in peace.


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 no one knew. I was, but an ostrich trying to burrow its head.

This phase was also when I bonded. I tried to avoid the deep gaze that often came my way, because I was scared that if I let it touch me, then I would succumb into the vacuum that I was trying desperately to fill. It’s surprising just how dependent I was. How everything that I wanted was linked to the one person who got me into that state. Suddenly, even Bollywood’s cheesy romances became too much to handle. I stopped going to the movies. I had few friends, but I couldn’t confide into anyone. Even when I finally did, I found it oddly embarrassing. It was so comforting to be present with someone who had no idea of the turmoil in your mind. You could just be a listener, smile at the right places, interject, and respond if you felt strongly enough about something. It was nice to have someone, who was in a happy bubble. It gave me hope that I could get there too.

Yes, even the best of the people hide secrets. The best of us may have battled the oddest circumstances in life and risen from it. You’ve always admired and loved Dumbledore? Can you think of how much grief the biggest tragedy of his life gave him? He never showed it and his brother assumed that he was never bothered. The worst situations in life? That’s what builds them to become stronger and wiser. Something that even a cup of Horlicks will never give you.

The winners, the happiest people that you know of, they wouldn’t tell you things not because they are over it but because regardless of how much they’ve left behind, some things will always be a part of you. The trick is to make peace with this part of your life. Don’t let it overshadow your choices that nothing of your individuality is left in your decisions. That’s the ultimate irony if you don’t objectively decide what you want to do in life.

You won’t just wake up one day and decide that you are not depressed. That’s not how it works. It will take effect only when you put in effort. If you’ve been listening to tales about how depressed people sleep a lot, call it codswallop and get out of bed. Start empowering yourself, slowly but surely.

That fire in your belly, it has been subdued now. But light that smoke again and show yourself that you got it. Be you. Don’t be anyone else, but you.

Khud hi to hain hum, Kinaare.

Kaise honge kam, Kinaare.

Hain jahaan hain hum, Kinare.

Khud hi To hain hum. Kinare…

~As told to me by a friend~shore-at-sunset-590-706