The Choice

Over the past days, I have made multiple attempts to write this. Either the time wasn’t right or I still hadn’t found the closure for the events that had been going on. 

I do not want to mention the events and what followed, but things may be obvious as I discuss at length my opinions on the topic. And while I am not the best person to make comment on such a sensitive topic, I would ask my readers to forgive me if I have misinterpreted the meaning and the consequences thereforth. 

We live in a world which is pacing faster than it can sustain. There is a lot that goes around, a lot more than we can process. Emotions have more varieties of emoticon to describe than words. And people who try to stop for a breath are said to be lost and the breathless is declared alive. We have created for ourselves such high standards of goals and dreams but have left no space to breathe. We are exhausted. Tired. And sometimes confused about where the race tracks are leading. But we continue to race, for winning is more important to us than living. And while everyone seems a call away, a text away, we are alone. In the maze that the social media has woven, we are stranded in the middle of nowhere, nowhere to go and be and nowhere to belong. We are alone. And while we always keep finding the private space, the fact is that we are so private that there no longer is any conversation open and honest. Within the confines of our mind everything stays and there is where we make it linger. 

There is a need to talk, to confide your insecurites and vices. To present the true person to someone and not to be ashamed about yourself. But this is all that we have already talked about. About the social media that has made its way into places where words and sounds are more than just science. About how we are hiding behind our fake self. About these and many other things that stop us from being the way we were supposed to be, true to oneself. What is more important today is to realize though everything makes perfect sense to our mind and heart, we find ourselves lost into situations. And it is not every time that we escape from the quick sand and snatch our lives from its grab. Not all people are able to make it. The weight sometimes is too heavy and they find their escape in death. People will directly and outrightly state it as an act of cowardice. I will disagree and I will let you know why. Because you could never put yourself in that state of mind and think what was the next best thing to do. Because it is always impossible to determine the amount of courage it would have taken for the person to find his escape, whatsoever it may be. Because it wasn’t easy for him/her, it wasn’t convenient, it was the best they could do to find freedom. I won’t say it is right but I wouldn’t say it was easy. I wont’t say it was brave but I wouldn’t say it was an act of cowardice. It is just about that moment and how everything came together. It could have been avoided, maybe or infact we can take for surety that there are better escapes, but maybe it wasn’t so appealing. Maybe it just gave a false hope. Maybe there wasn’t any hope left. Maybe we could have saved them.  Maybe there are still lot of them to save. Maybe we just don’t have the time to observe. Maybe after all our doings too, things won’t change. Maybe it will. In all these unanswered questions, the most important is Did we TRY? And for most of us the answer is a plain and simple no. Because as a community we have failed to serve the basic commitment to humanity. 

There are ways we can come out of this mess that we have created for ourselves. Life is more valuable than what we put it to be. It is better than we think it is. Happier and complete most of the times. And if we ever find ourselves drowning, there is always a hand to hold. If your innerself fails you, there is nothing wrong to reach out for help. Keep adding fuel to your hope, for without it we are helpless. Without it there is no meaning to life and death. Without it we think it all was a waste. But it wasn’t. It never will be a waste. Because life and death have their own course to run and the disruptions are only superficial. Because there will always be a chance to find escape, but not always to return back. Because not everyone has a choice to decide, but everyone has the power to keep going.

The InkStained Soul

The living room was filled with dust and the fan screamed of its woe, while jiwe sat sipping our tea and occasionally talking. The breaks weren’t awkward. They weren’t happy either. My head did move back into time, reminiscing the past and remembering the wooden chair that had now grown dull and broken. She used to sit there. A pen in her hand and a notebook whose pages were filled with her soul. The Inkstained Soul. Each word romanced her thoughts and matched it tunes into a beautiful poetry. Somehow I could see through time and feel the amazing energy. Somehow I felt that things too share a part of our identity and even in her absence, the chair did keep reminding me of the wonderful person she was and what great time we had spent. 

We were ready to leave. “Bhaiya, can you stay for a day longer? She would come back by evening.”,said Siya. “I wish I could. Convey my regards to her”, I replied with an awkward smile. Siya knew that I wanted to stay, but she couldn’t stop me either. It was too late. Everything seemed to have changed but things that were too familiar were trying to resurface the hidden constant. I was the same, even after all these years. I wished it was the same for her. There wasn’t much left there and there may never had been anything for me in those paths. But still there always was my reckless hope and I kept myself hidden under it’s garb. I had removed the veil after long hard years and I couldn’t agree to go back to a place where every breath reminds you of the breathlessness of your soul. You wander. Keep wandering in the dark. You see light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel knows no end. 

I was to leave the very next day. I went to the local library. Books were my escape. The Lost Key by Varya Segal. I sat down and started to read it. I hadn’t read any of her books. My hope fed me her stories. Without hope, it were words that could quell my hunger. The second page read, ‘To the long lost Friend who hasn’t found his peace’. I knew what it meant. She did remember and maybe she did acknowledge the events that led us to set our paths apart. I kept reading. The words spoke of neither of us. It told the tale we wanted to live, but neither of us could. It found the answers, but the questions still remained unanswered in our ignorance. And of all things that she wrote, the end seemed to bring it all together. And then everything changed. It became ugly, just like our lives. I understood what she intended to. If not then, eventually things would have turn bitter. There is nothing wrong in relationships turning sour, it runs it course and with time and people constantly changing, we cannot expect their dimensions to stay put. What is wrong is to forget what those years meant for you. It is clever to stay away from deep waters if you don’t know how to swim, but it is wise to ace the art of swimming for it is in the unexpected that we find ourselves in the troubled waters. 

We may have failed. But she was right, like she always was. I had woven dreams that pulled me down. And without efforts, I drowned. She had reached the shores long ago. And it is only after hallucinating for so long that I have realized that all dreams don’t make sense, the ones that do are not under the garb of hope. They show what it is to be brave. They remove our insecurities, polish our skills and make us achieve what we always wanted to be- carefree. 

The train was about to leave. I stood in front of the travel desk, still trying to understand the goof up in my tickets. Tired of reasoning with the control officer, I left the room in much anger. And then I saw her. Siya must have told her that I was leaving, I thought. We hugged each other. Asked each other about how we were and what was up in our lives. There was nothing left to reconcile. There was nothing left to reconcile, because the reasons of our differences had faded. And time seemed to take a back seat, as I again moved back in time, this time with her and there was nothing to change because there was nothing to fear.

The Magic that it was. The Magic that it always be. 

I waited for a Hogwarts letter to drop by my door, for I was already 6 when I had been introduced to the world of Harry Potter.I hadn’t indulged myself into the books until 14, for till then the reader in me hadn’t come to fore. It was in 2009, when I had gone to Pelling(Sikkim) for a vacation, when I found Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone stacked up in the hotel’s bookcase. 

It took me a night and another to complete the first two parts and once back home I decided to purchase the third installment. My parents were skeptical about getting me one as they doubted if I would actually read it, for I had never shown any serious interest in reading earlier despite their various attempts at it. But I did. J.K.Rowling had opened my doors to the universe of writings and authors and infinite stories. 

One grows up reading Harry Potter. The childish enthusiasm in Philosophers Stone for magic slowly transforms into lessons of friendship and courage in Chamber of Secrets. The virtue of forgiveness comes across beautifully in the Prisoner of Azkaban and one finally learns that the people who really love us never leave us. In Goblet of Fire, our adolescent hearts is amazed by our new found love interest and high school popularity seems more important to us than ever and Dumbledore teaches us that though we come from different places, our hearts does beat the same. The real world knocks upon our doors in Order of Phoenix. The world is not as simple as it seems and politics can get the playing ground very dirty. We learnt how easily our minds can be manipulated, but if we keep faith in ourselves and the relationships that we have built, we will find our way to be back to self. The Half-Blood Prince taught us that one needs courage to unravel the darkness within and we sometimes just need a vile of luck to make our efforts worthwhile. Things change and as we grow from school boys to young adults, we realize that the pace of change is faster than we thought and to keep up with time is a herculian task. In the ultimate book of the series, Rowling beautifully brings all the themes together and blends them into one word- Love. After all heroism, courage, battles and strategies, one thing that keeps everything going is Love. 

Harry Potter is often criticized at being superficial. The way I see it, it is not at all superficial. Magic is just the garment. It is about the more basic human emotions and virtues that JKR talks about in her books, that makes the books truly and unequivocally ‘magical’. It is the undertones that shine the brightest and we all left gasping, hungry for more. 

Obviously, one cannot refuse to acknowledge her creativity. For she moves ahead and back in the books, connecting dots. Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them is a perfect example to bring home this point. There are no coincidences in her book. There is a story behind every character, a history that romances the personality of the character we see today. 

I am 21 now. Old enough to forget it’s charm but young enough to refuse to do so. It will never be about the spells, the magical objects, the theories. Undoubtedly they are a huge factor, but it will always be JKR spinning magic through words that will linger for long. After all, words are in Dumbledore’s humble opinion our most inexhaustible source of magic. 

The Tunes that make up your Song

Hope. 

A word. 

Each letter speaks.

An ode to mankind. 

It is why dreams exist.

The struggle for life is real. 

It makes the battle easier. 

We own our world. 

We are confident.

About us. 

Hope. 

Patience

It’s difficult. 

To keep waiting. 

The ability to stay. 

The fight is lost again,

Only to bring you back on.

It is not about time. 

Need to keep going. 

Dreams do change. 

Become real. 

Patience. 

Courage

To Rebel. 

An uncommon virtue. 

Stand against the world. 

Change doesn’t come so easily. 

Untreaded roads are difficult to walk. 

The world needs no story. 

You don’t need them. 

Nor their sympathy. 

Fly free. 

Courage.

Being Infinite

I did what I thought I could with all devotion and all courage that I could gather. There was no sorrow in my story, no struggle that I now regret, no story that I now feel untreated. Success and failure are just tags and I have learned this the harder way. This amazing thing called Life never disappoints us. It brings to us things at a time we thought we didn’t have place for. It lets us become the person we thought we could never be. It is a treasure house of opportunities. What you make out of it is a question personal to each one of us, but that doesn’t make these possibilities less optimistic. 

Life never tells you about right or wrong. Infact they are the same if you broaden your vision. Every side has a story, it is just that everything on the other side seems blatantly wrong. There is no one to dictate you to decide what it is like to feel what you feel. There is no one who can make you feel miserable about yourself if you know well enough what you are inside. There is no pull and push in life anymore when you know what do you want from it. But the strange part is  neither do we know how it feels to feel the way we feel, nor do we have answers to the other questions. Don’t panic just now. Even without these answers we may be better off. 

When you don’t know what you are, you can become whatever you want to be. You can mould yourself the way you want. Everytime you feel shattered, you can transform yourself into a better version of yourself. At the end of this continuous process of reinvention, you may find what you actually are. You may realize that everytime you change, it feels to be different. Every emotion attracts to you in an inexperienced manner. The gravity changes and so does the burden that each feeling brings with itself. You will have an answer then and it may not appear to be a just the one right now.And I know the answer- INFINITE. Infinite possibilities, infinite dreams and infinite truths. 

The story will still refuse to end when you have all the answers in the hand. Because what you have been doing all your life is gasping a part of the Infinite in you. You shall continue doing that till end of your days because someday when you close your eyes and look inside, not only would you see the answer, you will become one. The key to every lock. The pass to every riddle. The answer to every question. 

Being Infinite is not being complete. It is not that everything has a found a place in you. It is about indulging your senses beyond the scope of your mind. It is about moving ahead of society, setting the course of your time and being able to do it all without any sense of burden. You accept it all. All success, all failure, everything that comes in your way with grace. Grace that makes you stand out but that does not leave you alone. Being infinite is about the possibilities in your heart. The ability to explore yourself with no questions asked. The desire to break yourself only to recast the bars a little further. There is so much balance and content. The Himalayas comes to rest on your forehead, and the internal tides seem to fall back slower now. And all that you see and feel and experience is you and the wide world painted in white.

Story and its Time

It was then,

And now it is again. 

The world did know how to sway.

Time didn’t have time to tell its story,

Every time it told, it was lost. 

For time had no time to lose,

And to lose, was what it always wanted. 

The air didn’t lift the suspense,

The wind didn’t keep its promise.

And when they came rushing, it lifted

What the air didn’t spell, wind had to tell. 

Everything in its time get chance to come to fore,

No story is left untold, no heart left to crave for more. 

But when one decides to close themselves in the shackles of their feelings,

The world waits for the bubble to burst when patience reaches it’s glass ceiling.

A Letter to Self

Dear Self,

For the last 20 years we have been together and finally I have come in terms with the fact that there is a lot about  you that is unfamiliar. And while this seems to me as a major identity crisis, I thought what better way than to confront you once and for all. This may be the only letter that I have ever written to you but you know deep inside that all my letters are your reflection.It is not very comforting to being unknown to you. Everyday seems to be a day at mine field and while I try to unearth the traps I seldom do fall in one. And as it ticks off, I realize that something about us just doesn’t seem right. I feel that I have betrayed you. Honesty is not a great virtue of mine when it comes to us. I have hidden truths, incomplete truths, truths that I scapegoat under layers of excuses, truth that I don’t wanna tell, truth about you that I myself do not know. And I know that you know this too. But of all people, I know you the best.

When I am alone, at my vulnerable best, I am completely yours. Untouched. Unfiltered. But does that mean that, that is who I am. Is it your company that brings out my truest self? Or do I fake it with you too? I am confused. You are good at this. Whenever I ask you something, a straight answer is the last thing I expect. It’s all murmurs, riddles, sentences with strange demand for search. And while I do get answers, I never know if it was the right one and though you know the right one, you make me believe that whatever I have chosen, whatever I have made out of your riddles is indeed the true one. Till the time I get to know that I had been led astray into something unwanted it’s too late. You make me feel miserable and desperate at such times. I curse you, but since we are inseparable there is nothing I can do either to reprimand you. In the end we both suffer. It takes time, but you refurnish the hope in me, recreate memories with positive filters, stack up the bitter ones as experiences and put out your brave foot down to recreate me. You are the change in me and although it was you who put me through all these, it is you who make me get back to normal, even better most of the times. 

For sometime now, somehow I have felt that you are unhappy with me. Deep inside I get these vibes that are creating ripples in my existence and it is difficult to comprehend why. I have tried it all. Involving myself in things that you love, things that make you happy. But you have stayed discontent. Cross with some fault of mine. I have made a lot of futile attempts, so I ask directly to you now and while I won’t expect an answer, your riddles will be good enough to bring something out of the whole mess you have put me in. Are you dying young? Are you distressed with your suppression infront of the people whom I love? Are you sad because people rarely get to see you? Does my perfection annoy your flawed behavior? Do you find me more detached than I used to be? Or are you worried about the time we spend together, because even though we are together all day long, we hardly seem to talk! 

I recognize these, but there is very little that can be done about it. I am sorry for it all, if at all these are bothering you. But there is so much to catch up on with the world, the desire to expand my skill set, the work pressure, the attempt to keep everyone pleased. I try to fit in the ways of world, to gain social acceptability, on demanding likes and praises on trivial things on social media, and in all these where do I have time to cater to your needs? How do I make you feel free? There is time and still there is none. And while it is eating me up as much it is destroying you and sooner and later I do realize that this realization will seep in, I fear it will be too late. You are the source of change in me and unless I ask you, talk to you about myself, how can I expect it to happen.
 

I hope you understand where I stand. Let’s try to bond over at a cup of coffee. Maybe we can have a book reading session together. Or we can jam together. What say, just you and me in our alone time in this fast paced world try to slow time down for a while. 

-From Yourself

Silhouette of our Reflections

We don’t know what  we ask of ourselves,

And everyday try to fake it,

The smile is a little frowned inside,

Our happiness doesn’t let it show, 

We have long learnt the way to hide,

For long we have known to be unknown.

 

What life didn’t ask of us sometimes,

Was to give away the chance of little joys,

And while we try to gather them,

They never stay in us,

Such ways of world, so insane, so wrong.

 

In our attempt to do away with it all,

We try to get the energies going,

People seldom say we are crazy, 

It’s harder for them to see what in our head is, is boring.

Our identities are so layered now, 

What’s within is hard to judge,

And though we try to find it in us,

We don’t think we stand the courage to find it once more.

Isolation in Company

​When I started writing this one, there were some bad memories at the back of my head and somehow I felt that if I tried writing about what I am writing, it will bring out a lot of negative energy. But I still chose to do so, because bad memories need not always leave a bad impression on your life. They teach you something. Make you realize that you are above what everything and everyone forces you to think you are. And here it is. 

Friendship. Friends. If one is asked to define them, it will be a herculean task. Also not everyone would be content with such an attempt. Because everyone has their own idea of who a friend is. And if you have read some of my previous articles, like the idea of love I would like to reiterate that there isn’t any good or bad friend, because if it is bad it isn’t friendship at all. 

In the era of social media, where we have forgotten to draw lines between friends and acquaintances, there is a more important question waiting for us, it is only that we don’t know the right time to answer it. And the question is, who are they? Who are really my friends? Over the years, many friends I have left behind. The world is a clumsy maze and in the attempt to save ourselves, we lose what we treasure in others. We may have tried to stay in touch over the years, but it is not the same anymore. But that doesn’t mean that it is dead. It is just more passive. More treasurable, less comfortable. Some people, we do stick to. We make sure that it stays, that even though you have no idea what life has brought them to and you haven’t heard from them for so long that it now appears centuries, you know they are still a conversation away. 

Throughout your school and college life, one generally does have a gang of sorts. The people whom you talk to regularly, share your days, your happiness, strength and sadness. People whom you can confide in, trust and of all whom you can fall back on. Even after being surrounded by so many people, today we increasingly find  ourselves to be lonely. The nights are absolutely vacant and so is every minute you are with them. You are there, standing, smiling, talking but it is just not what you wished it would be. A pang in the heart remains and while you appear to be full and socially attached, there is no one as isolated as you. So where is the problem? I shall borrow Jean- Paul Sartre’s words for a start: “If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company.” 

A man is hungry for respect, one that he think he deserves, one that he demands from his friends and family. Respect for his dreams, for his views, for his philosophy and for his way of life. Because these are the very people a man thinks will understand them better than anyone else. Friendship is hence a very evolved relationship with lots of expectations, which is a result of the amount of effort, trust and time that goes into it without any ulterior motives. And when these very people show complete disregard to it, it breaks you from inside. They might not have meant it seriously, but a person’s dream and identity are things that shouldn’t be meddled with. Friends are there to show you the right way, to make you realize that sometimes your dreams are not deserving of you, that sometimes your vision may be flawed and they teach you a better way to look at things. But to hurt where it matters, to ridicule his ideas when you know that they hold weight is a mockery of the relationship.  The wounds there will always be deeper than a knife stabbed at heart, because though the scars remain in the latter one, in the former one’s life is scarred forever. 

It is never worth explaining and reasoning one dreams with others. And while you feel hurt, you stick to them because in your heart they still are your friends. You realize that they don’t get your pain, you realize that they don’t understand what it is to stand infront of them everyday with a smile and be vacant inside. It is so emotionally draining and still you stay with the hope that they will understand one day. So when you lie down and think about the days passed, you know you are lonely. You are lonely in the quest for your dream, lonely in the attempt to reclaim the respect for your identity. And while you have so many friends, you still don’t have one to fall back to. And such kind of loneliness is not a good thing. 

One does eventually realize. It may take time. After a period of complete isolation, self critical analysis, questioning the wrong in you when there may be none, you register it in your heart that you are right on your ground and it is for you to hold onto it. You find it to be rude to breakfree, but ultimately you do. By the time you would have healed from the injury, you would have learnt the lesson. There is no friendship without respect, there is no love without sacrifice and there is no greater joy than having someone who understands it all. For your dream and identity are very personal things and when you give someone access to it, it is their responsibility to show enough consideration for it. 

Why do we refuse to change for our loved ones?!

​We live in a era, where the new generation is well informed, independent and has the ability to carry themselves with dignity and respect, or so do they believe that they do. In this fast paced environment, where we question the workings of the society at every step and try to find the rationale behind any matter, of importance and otherwise, the structure and importance of relations and their sanctity has fast been changing. 

This may sound archaic and many may question my rhetoric to be a bit too old fashioned, but the truth is relations are dying and it is killing us apart. We fear monotonicity, we fear surrendering ourselves to our loved ones, we fear to let go of our egos. Any relation is between two people, it is obvious but given the reality it doesn’t seem so obvious anymore. We try to keep our identities intact, sometimes being so self-centric that it is no longer about us, rather only oneself. 

We refuse to change for the better in the name of I am who I am. That is probably the worst kind of argument one can give. A more severe analogy will be like a murderer claiming to be at his best self, because that it what his identity is and he   can’t be any better. To break the fallacy of such an idea for once and for all is to recognize that identity is not a static concept. It is ever evolving. And the resistance to accept the good that comes in the way is to refuse to transform as a person. Staying dead at heart couldn’t be called an exaggeration and I will take the liberty in calling it so.

So when, we are asked to change, to compromise our habits and lifestyle so that we can establish a good foundation for a relationship to build, we are haunted by the change. We fear it badly; and we are so scandalized if asked to do so that we feel that the relationship never was worth the effort. If the person rejects the way I am, how can he/she be in love with me. But isn’t that taking love as an emotion to be unrealistic. To consider it too polished. What if it never was meant to perfect. What if it never will be. Life is all about imperfections and that is how love did turn out to be. What we fail to see, is its beauty lies in those imperfections, those little scrapped edges, in the thorny edges that are painful but you do have the roses. The color, the smell, the so called perfections are what we search for, but roses are flawed and so always will be love. Accepting that is what I would call to accept love in its entirety.

But this is not just about love. What we are forgetting here is that engagement with fellow humans is not a need, it is a necessity. And while we question our hypocrisy when we behave differently with different persons, we are infact trying to bring temporary changes to our personality for a smoother communication. The person infront of you is also trying to do the same. There is nothing wrong in it until those temporary personalities instead of being a shade of your color turns out to be the fake one. It is very difficult to judge, but only you can know it well. So while we unknowingly surrender our personality or atleast change its hue to establish contact, why can’t we compromise a little more to sustain it with the people we really wanted to in the first place. People who matter. Friends, family and your better half. 

So what may seem to be a rather cumbersome task is nothing but a part of actually who we are. Keep in mind that you aren’t changing yourself to please anyone , all that you are doing is to improve yourself. Becoming a better person for the people who are becoming better for you.