Guilt: A Tryst with the Conscience

There was fire in the wind that night when the time had brought upon us an abrupt closure. My heart paced upon the idea of falling apart with the one thing that seemed so dear to me. It was going to take time and thought I knew I hadn’t any I could do nothing but wait. It was the first in many years. Helpless and anxious. Selfish. Colored in the tones of blue and grey I stood. She was a fighter. Fierce. I had that in me too, but that day I wasn’t. Because her fight was with death, my was with my guilt. Strange thing it is, guilt. It lies there in our subconscious mind, patiently awaiting the right hour to strike when the iron is hot. Our crimes stay with us. And while it slowly withers our soul, testing our ground and vacating our energies, we stand forbidden from a life that we had envisaged. The nature of crime could be logically justified and I may have been capable of fooling my heart to believe the same. But then we can’t keep fooling oursleves, can we? Maybe yes. Can we live with it? Maybe yes. Can we forgive oursleves? Maybe yes. Can we ever forget what was forgiven and forgive our heart who was entrusted to forget? Definitely no. 

I hadn’t seen her so feeble. Her voice dying out like an crisp echo at the edge of the night. She could have dealt with it only she didn’t seem willing to. Maa had been the superwoman in disguise and this time I need her without the veil. I was always her favorite. Even as a kid. Despite all the trouble I had caused. I was. My little brother would try to compare  and while she always consoled him by saying that she loved him more, in that lie I could hear her truth. I didn’t know bad times lay ahead and I couldn’t have done anything about it, for time has never been a comforting friend and destiny never a promising possibility. For reasons unclear I was admitted to a boarding school. Slowly the definition of home started changing and distances that couldn’t be measured became impossible to cover. I did wait for the vacations. But I always returned school a week or two ahead. She hated it. And I hated that she didn’t ask me to stay. I didn’t ask her before I decided to move to Zürich for further studies. It was over lunch that I sneaked it in our conversation. She didn’t say anything. I thought she would, but she didn’t. Best of luck she said as she got up. She didn’t look back. I never did either. In all the 7 years, I yearned to see her. I did write to her a couple of time. I got the same half hearted reply. I stopped. My younger brother had grown a strong dislike for me for he thought I was to blame. But I was clear about that part until recently. I was not to blame for something I didn’t know. 

I decided to come back. To see her. My anger hadn’t died but neither had my love.  I was forced out of the family and I may never be a part of it again, but as I stand here, I know that somethings you can never let go of. I was never hers. I was a part of her heart, but I was a token of betrayal. She loved me more than she could ever allow herself, but she hated me more than she thought she would. And then it all came in front of me. The loose ends were tied and I shied away from acknowledging the knots. She called me in. With all those pipes in and out of her body, she could barely speak. She lifted her hands and reached out to me. Tears trickled down her wrinkles as they followed a path aged with sorrow. They may have taken that course a million times, but this was the last. Life had come to a full circle and it was time to rebegin. I kissed her forehead and smiled. She was reassured of my position. And though I had a long way before the guilt could be drowned, I saw her drown in her content. She had paid the price of something she never wanted in her life and still she had the courage to admit to me that in her half hearted love towards me, she didn’t compromise. Whatever little affection I was shown over the years was pure and untainted. 

I decided to take a walk back to my house.  Flashes. Memories. They kept coming back to me. And then I realized that I never was her favorite. That truth that I heard when she said to my younger brother that she loved him more was the belief I had carried with me for too long. I have no complains. It was time for me to bid goodbye to all. I wasn’t coming back. I don’t have anything to come back to. I am glad that she buried her guilt before she was lost to the universe. I hope my guilt will find liberation too. And maybe guilt, it isn’t such a strange thing after all!

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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 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. 

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.

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

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. 

The Diverging Roads…

​There is a lot of thought that goes into deciding as to where does one want to keep his next step. Every step brings with it, its own baggage of good and bad but you can’t forever stand still. Life is moving faster than you think it does and the challenges are growing more fierce. The warship of survival ever at our doorsteps calls us out and we must fight back, with all that we have got, even if it is all that we are left with. 

How do we make choices? Gut feelings and practicality are often seen conflicting, though one might see it as the extension of the other in a more stronger sense. So of whom do we heed? The brain, the mind, the ‘others’. In reality, practical decisions are far from perfect and our gut feeling needs far too much courage than we find ourselves having. So where to go? Whom to listen? We keep finding the best answers, but what if there aren’t any! What if, all that we have is to work through the course of time and let the future decide for itself and then maybe we can think of what to do next, contemplating the present with the lessons of the past. For no two lives have been parallel and there is no mantra of living a happy and content life.

Everyone has a roadmap for his life. He fixes the intermediate destinations, the milestones that he wants to reach. The road sometimes needs repairs, sometimes we need to go back to refuel and recharge, for we don’t know where will we find them next, the bridges may be broken and   we may need to change our path. It may take a little while longer, or sometimes flyovers and expressways may get you sooner, but if you have the will to travel, the milestone is never too far way. But if you keep standing on the edge of the river, waiting for someone to built the bridge for you, then all your dreams were vacant, because they didn’t give you enough energy to direct your ambitions. 

It is neither easy to choose a path, nor is it easy to continue. But if you choose your dream nothing will ever haunt you. The easy may seem tempting, but the burden is for you to carry. The easiest job in the world is to suggest people how to lead a life, because we know what is ideal and we strive continuously for that perfection. But perfection is unrealistic and hence being content with life is boring. There is absolutely no harm in living a life that has no elements of completeness because honestly there never will be. Only the sense of being complete is important. The feeling of evolving with every milestone, the nostalgia of the struggle so far and the discontent of not have done enough yet is what makes one complete. Satisfaction is the veil of the coward, for no man has ever succumbed to its self declared glory. 

Every decision writes your history. How motivated were your decisions, how stable were you emotionally when you took them, whether or not you truly believe in what you have chosen for yourself are important questions. However, what truly brings home your dream to you is your perseverance. Being persistent in your struggle, courageous in your actions, humble in your achievements, the ability to make mistakes and the strength to accept them. Life is a continuum of choices, and there are many ifs that may have been but once we have move past one decision point, it is wiser to grace the present rather than to live in a parallel world that is non-existent and non-existent is that it will ever it.

The Flaw in Time Travel

​The hands of the clock were declared corrupt, for their speed didn’t seem to keep pace with time. Yesterday somehow tasted better to me than today, and future crippled my senses. The fear and anxiety of never getting it all right broke my patience. The present sometimes did bring promise for the future, but the idea of escaping to childhood kept me back from accepting that things were exactly the way they should be and there was no point of complaining about it’s flaws. 

I wanted to be in the time I really desired to be. I always wanted to grow up, didn’t I? But now I have somehow convinced my terrible heart that this is not the time I am supposed to be in. My  childish heart longed for the freedom, but I find this new found freedom more daunting in the face of the responsibilities that I keep running from. 

In the summer of our lives, we try to trace the steps of our parents. As we grow into young adults, we discover our new social identity, becoming the proud denizens of our generation. When we are finally confronted by the ghosts of our present, we surrender ourselves to the idea of our past. The stories, the people and the break from the continuously evolving mankind seems to attract our emotion deprived souls. We want to slow things down. The pace of our time is somehow very burdensome and as we lose our patience to the neverending sentences of our life, we crave for the commas. When we figure out that the phrase has reach its end, we realise that the chaos in our lives was better synchronized than the letters of the last word. 

Whenever we move forward in time, we try to take a step back in life. And when we are back to the time when we didn’t know what time was, we struggle to take the first step forward. This devious cycle of never being able to be at term with the present is exhausting at times. It sucks on your soul, feeds on your emotions, makes your life a mirror to imagination and real things and real moments are reduced to nothing more than a regret. 

So escaping into the time when you think that you would be happier than where you stand today is a flawed idea of our romantic hearts. Present is a mystery box longing to be opened. It is a the best we will ever have. Unknown to its plan and pace, we have the liberty to keep going on. It is the only chance we have to discover and change and manipulate our paths. The journey will be long at the outset, but every destination will renew our belief that there is lot more to life than reaching the destination. It is about dreaming. Of catching the stars from the sky and hiding it under our pillows before we go to sleep. It is about unleashing our best and the worst  without the burden of consequences, because we are what we are. Our future self may be unknown to our present personality, but we can never be the person we want to be if  we aren’t honest to the person we are today.

Time is mysterious. And I think it is the reason why so much of what I write revolves around it. Past seduces our hearts and leaves our conscience astray, but present is strong. It is in its honesty that our mind can find peace. So let us do what we want to do, but today. For tomorrow, yesterday would seem a better opportunity. And yesterday, tomorrow didn’t hold promise. So let’s live when we were born to live. Free. Unchained. Today. 

Michchha Mi Dukkadam

​Forgiveness. It is something that we seldom seek and something we should have in our hearts to give. This year, 7th September marks the Jain Festival of Forgiveness on the concluding day of Prayushana. When I look back, I am forced to think about how many people have I actually forgiven or said sorry to. Not many it seems.

The obvious question is Why? And therefore, before I set myself to be a part of this  thoughtful day, I have set my soul to embark on yet another journey of finding the answers to these unanswered questions. Flaws and instincts are without which we cannot exist. Let’s admit it. There is no one who is perfect and most of the things that we do are a result of our gut feelings rather than thoughtful practical deliberation. So while we may believe that our decisions are right, they may have irked the patience of our fellow beings. Till the time we realize this, there is no turning back. And even if there is, our egos don’t let us to step back. Things get even worse, when it is not our flaws or instincts that are at play, but a planned maneuver of actions aimed directly to hurt people. 

So what do we mean, when we say Sorry? I like to think of it as- as the realization of our mistakes and a new awakened sense of responsibility to make things correct, if there is a scope for such correction. More often than not, we do have the chance but we ignore it, for penance comes with its own weight of pain and sacrifice, and ignoring then seems to be a lucrative option, for we all know- Ignorance is a bliss. 

This in effect means, when we say sorry, we agree to have been/done wrong. We agree to bow our head and give others the chance to forgive us. When they cannot find in their heart to forgive us, we do not give up. We try the best we can to make it upto them. And when deep within, we realize that we have liberated ourselves from burden of our mistake, we finally are good to go. 

This sounds archaic. It was true in a world where sorry was not such a common word and meant something of value. When we thought about the consequences of our actions on the well being of others, rather than blabbering sorry in the aftermath. We have lost it in us, somewhere. Hollow is too soft a word to describe our souls. 

On the flip side, we have forgotten to forgive. We make fake smiles and  admit to have forgiven the people who pleaded guilty. But we never forgive, because we never forget. We hold on to the pain. We keep the grudges alive. Petty things, petty fights and talks, things that do not matter anymore. All are treasured. The gold begs us to cry and in its lustre our eyes shine. 

In this perpetual self drawn war of being forgiven and forgiving, we have lost the very essence of these words. In the poem Shakti & Kshama, the poet writes-

Kshama shobhti uss bhujang ko jiske paas garal ho, uska kya jo dantheen, vishrahit, vinay saral ho

I read this poem when I was in the 7th Standard. Years later, I find so much relevance in his thoughts. The lines above mean that-  it is in the hearts of the strong that one can find forgiveness. What power does a coward hold to forgive? – Strength should not be interpreted in its physical sense. Here strength is the epitome of righteousness.  The courage to do what is right, to stand up against the wrong and to be fearless in one’s actions and words. 

My thoughts have juggled so far between the true meaning of forgiveness and what do we really mean by the word Sorry. The conclusion is not very surprising, but still I find it too difficult to digest. 

I don’t know if I have the strength. I do not know if I have accepted my mistakes. I still do not know if I can find a place in my heart to forget the things that have happened and forgive. But the thing I know for sure, is atleast I can try. 

“If I have caused you offence in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or deed, then I seek your forgiveness.”

Michchha Mi Dukkadam