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.

 

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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!

 

Sunday Morning Shenanigans 

  1. I wake up groggy eyed and disoriented from some strange dreams. I dreamt about how my vegetarian flat mate is back after a long holiday and she’s scrubbed the fridge clean of any traces of chicken and egg. I’m slightly guilty but annoyed that I didn’t take necessary precautions and hide / finish the stuff earlier. I get out of bed, and it’s too quiet, there are no bags in the hallway. So she isn’t really here. Go back to the drugged sleep. To wake up in another world where my cousin has an interview lined up and I have to report for my internship duties at a social media firm. It’s close to eleven and I’m so late. It’s around twelve when I’m ready and I’m thinking of excuses to convince the boss I wasn’t coming late for fun. 
  2. The reason for this drugged, still sleepy feeling is probably the oil on my mane. It’s raining like crazy outside and I have no intention of moving from the balcony into the shower. I guess we’ll let nature take its time with the downpour and watch and listen to the sounds. 
  3. That’s my view. Our maid has kept the spare umbrella in the balcony and that’s sort of blocking my view. 

  4. We don’t have any onion or tomatoes. I am not sure what I’ll do for lunch. Or breakfast. But I do not have the mental capacity to think so far ahead. 
  5. Its a four day work week and that makes me happy. So yaaay. 

That’s all, folks, from this sleepy, 25-year  old. I’m busy taking baby steps to know or tell you any more. Adios. 

Flow

Hi there!

I hope the world is treating you fine. I know it’s been a while and I haven’t really written much except for heartfelt poems that take on a bit of vanity and diverge from true feelings, because of the need to appeal to the poetic sensibilities.

I love writing in Italics. I remember going to my first job interview. It was for the post of a content writer and I had to write two articles before I was shortlisted for the interview. First job, start-up scenes and everything happened in a matter of a few hours. I just got ready at five thirty pm and told my folks that I was going to this place.. I’ve got the second round – that of an interview. They didn’t know I applied to one. (Oh wait. I see a trend here. They didn’t know I applied to SIMC either.) Dad dropped me to the office and although I was called ‘immediately’, the recruiters did not seem to be in any hurry to talk to me. I waited, observed, smiled at some people and just sat there wondering – what do I expect? What do I talk about myself.

I was finally ushered into a room and it was a very relaxed interview. I vividly recall the interviewer saying, ‘Your articles were fine and all. There were a few errors that aren’t too serious. But tell me, was there any purpose that you kept it all in italics?’.

‘I just like how it flows’, was my response. There was some amount of bewilderment in his expressions and then we laughed it out. But it’s true. I like that things will flow. Do you know, a hand-writing expert once said to me in 10th grade, that how you right actually reveals a lot about your state of mind. A left title to your overall writing indicates that you tend to linger in the past, a right-side tilt means that you are constantly thinking about the future. Yes, those of you with a straight, no-tilt writing, are more rooted in the present. P1120314

It’s amazing isn’t it? Little things that have so much significance. My room-mate and I are currently watching Westworld and I can’t help but think about the reveries bit. Small, seemingly insignificant things, harboring greater impacts than seen on the surface.

I’m digging through the archives for old photos and memories. Will be back soon.

So long, amigos. Stay safe! 🙂 

 

 

Musafir Hoon Yaaron!

I have a new, old-favorite song and it’s been buzzing in my head all day. I guess I’m indulging in a lot of retro. Here are the lyrics of the new love:

Musafir Hoon Yaaron

Na Ghar Hai, Na Tikhana

Mujhe Chalte Jaana Hai

Bas… Chalte Jaana Hai!

 

I love the melody and how peaceful it is. I do have a home and I do have shelter but I find it a solace to just keep moving on, traveling and experiencing the simplest pleasures of life.

Here’s the video if you want to revel in the beauty of this timeless music by R.D Burman in the soulful voice of Kishore Kumar.

 

First Crush(ed)

Take a few minutes off to re-live those awkward teem memories?

I remember it as clearly as it happened. I had just finished the captain duties after school. It was a major rule in our institution that all the kids were to form a straight line (I know it’s redundant in itself but some Indianisms really get me pumped) as they exited their classrooms and walked down multiple corridors to the gate beyond. I loathed a lot of things about this  particular school and this rule often left me feeling caged. Come to think of it – the last bell of school heralds a promise of unspoken excitement and things are meant to get crazy with everyone jostling, trying to get out of the institution first. It is an indication that they survived another day with our education system after all! Although I hated them, at this point of life, I can sympathize with some of the rules – they were probably put in place to ensure that no stampedes occurred.

As I walked back to class, to wrap my bags and head to Abacus lessons (Yes, I’d chosen to enrich my brain with the mental prowess of Abacus) I met my friend  Zit (That’s the closest I can get to not revealing his name. It also helps that all girls find zits annoying. Pun intended). I must tell you beforehand that I’d studied my entire life (until 7th std) in a girls school and in this school, I had but a few guy friends.

Zit seemed to be in a perturbed mood. I thought I’d talk to him and figure out why was he so morose? Which girl had he fallen for so suddenly that he couldn’t smile and just be?

He refused to answer to my insistent queries and just smirked and sulked away. I packed my bags and went up to him, ‘Come on! You can tell me, you know? I’ll keep it a secret.’

‘Who’s the lucky one?’, I ventured. Feeling a little cheesy and trying to be the cool girl best friend they often show you in Hollywood movies.

Little did I expect the reply, ‘You!’.

I was momentarily stunned and laughed it out. ‘You can’t be serious. Come on now, take the suspense off.’

‘No, I’m serious. It’s you’, he persisted. Now the wind just knocked out of me. It’s one thing to pull your friends’ legs and another when you’re going to find yourself in a similar situation. I went to abacus class in a stony silence and my mind was in a tizzy. Was I to feel elated that someone thought me crush-worthy? Or was I to feel bad and angry that a ‘good friend’ had just made things super awkward?

All my teenage fancies and wishful thinking about the situation came to the right conclusion when after abacus Zit met me and said, ‘I’ve got a gift for you’ and he proceeded to take a wrapped item that looked ridiculously like a book. It was a weird feeling then, I was left wondering whether people began dating when gifts were exchanged? Was it just the girl who got the gift? How do things like these work really? I was tempted to take the book. (The surprise was killing me too. Would he just lend it to me so I could read it later on?)  I denied the book and told him I’d err really ike to go home for now.

Life has a way of giving you answers when you really need them and that’s what happened.

Any semblance of romance that I’d gathered in the last few moments went out of the door as soon as I walked out of school to see Zit’s friends hovering about; cycling, playing, kicking stones and basically just waiting to hear from the brave one.

‘Did she say yes, macha?’

And that was that!

 

Thoughts…

You remember those pretend games that you played in childhood? Building forts made out of sheets, cushions, empty boxes and myriad shades of your mom’s dupattas and sarees? At some point in time, every one of us usually has played such games where you pretend you’re living in a small universe of your own, a cocoon in the seeming vastness of your home.

Who said they were restricted to childhood? Look around you and you’ll still see walls, albeit they are invisible. Everybody has walls. Some may admit it and some won’t but they are usually there, lurking in a strange anticipation of forbearance – one wrong move from your side and they’ll slide back in place faster than you can say walls.

Why do we have walls?

I’m no expert on psychology and I probably have the worst clairvoyance when it comes to predicting people. Can say that with some experience – the people whom I thought I’d never get along at first meeting, are the ones who’ve become imperative to my survival. Of course, at the end of the day you’re all alone but then there are fleeting seconds when these people, they just make your day. They make you feel so genuinely alive – it’s a marvellous feeling what people bring on in each other.

Oh, walls. Basically, they are to protect the tender hearts from the harsh existence of reality.

As I type this, I’m sitting in my own fort – obscured from plenty of prying eyes, I’ve converted my balcony into a mini fort. It feels pretty amazing and I can hear loud music with great tempo – too bad the grounds are so dusty. I nearly sneezed a large furball of dust after having temporarily jumped to the DJ’s tune. I realised that I was not able to capitalise on the moment wholly. Hey, to think about it, during the crappy engineering days when we had those weird holidays called fests (True to its name, Swayam was only attended by swayam us college dwellers, nobody else bothered to travel to this derelict location in the outskirts of Bangalore, a mile away from the jewel of the city – the first famous IT Park of Bangalore), there was a barricade placed to allow either of the genders to dance on either sides. Right, so much for living in the modern world.

I’ve often wondered whether under normal circumstance as you are overtaken by thoughts that may not seem related, would there ever be a period of blank? Yes, meditation seems to be the perfect answer to this. But I’m not looking to consciously streamline them. Let your thoughts flow and you will realise that everything eventually connects and you’re off leagues away from the inception. Yes, now you understand the randomness of this post?

 

Time will tell, or will it?

I’m sitting in the middle of the playing field. There’s a cricket match going on ahead of me and there are enthusiasts flying kites behind me. I’m caught in a pensive mood. The kite flies over me and a tiny bird flies with it too. It looks beautiful, a perfect evening.
There’s a lot of work to be done but I’ll just strategize now. The effort will be put at the nth moment.

The guys flying the kites are so happy.

Now I know why. The whee-whee got to me and I joined in the hullabaloo. Getting a kite high up is a difficult job but once it’s up, it’s simply amazing. I held the quivering string in my hand and it felt so liberating. Ironic because the kite is bound to me and I’m not letting it free really. If you think about it, that’s rather sad. However, let’s leave it at the liberating bit. Don’t want to get too caught up now, do we?

It’s been close to a week since I got back to college and I’m food sick. The feeling of blah-ness that you get when you look at the mess menu, you cannot understand it unless you experience it and so I went to the city yesterday to quench my thirst for a tender coconut. Yell-neer or nariyal pani has been an organic comfort food for me from the very beginning.

My association with this goes back a long way when I was about 6 years old. I lived in the south end of Bangalore then and there was a strong, hefty woman who would hack mercilessly at the edges of a big coconut and offer the sweetest ones to me. It was 7 bucks back then, a far cry from what it is today. It’s safe to say that I was

It’s safe to say that I was happily addicted and loved both, the sweet drink and the artistic way in which hewed it. Why, at some point, before flying back to Saudi, I remember telling Dad that we must explain to the lady, why we won’t be back for our daily routine for a long time. Dad was pretty alarmed, he obviously didn’t think it wise to disclose personal matters to strangers. I didn’t understand it back then, why not? Don’t you think she’d miss her regular customer I wanted to ask.I’d become so like him some day.

How was I to know that this is a life learning… You rarely say goodbye to people, some just drift away and you’re left with a quivering string..

I’m not here to talk about the benefits of tender coconut really. I just needed to get some stuff out of my head. There’s enough entertainment in it to last me a while. I just dreamt that Reya had flown off to Iceland and was enjoying the blissful locales at -18 degrees celcius. Yeah, who remembers details like that?

I haven’t read a book since the new year began and I’ve been suffused with a lot of strange thoughts. Changing relationships, inexplicable feelings, un-called for sentiments…Perhaps its is true that you only think so much when you are in a deep and seemingly un-intellectual stage, aka, the stirrings of depression.

I love the mornings here. I don’t normally pray but when I see the sun rising here, the horizon becomes so beautiful that a prayer of gratitude usually comes into my mind before I know what has happened.

It’s a great place to be… but this boat too will be rocked. Sooner than I think, or later… things will evolve. At that time, how strong will I be? How will you cope?Only time will tel.

How will you cope with changing environs and unsteady tides?

Perhaps time may tell…