Saturday, March 30, 2013


"We'll have all the fun in the world."
"That's what I'm afraid of."

Why are we scared of having fun?

I don't believe most of us are, but some of us certainly are - the sort that take life seriously, a little too seriously.

I wonder if it's because we're scared of the fact that it will eventually stop being fun and then the higher you climb, the harder you fall will ring true. We might fear that having fun will distract us from what we hope to achieve... Not distract; we fear we'll like it so much that we'll consciously decide to ignore what we intended to do all along and go with fun, losing our way in the process and waking up one day realising that fun just isn't good enough any more.

But if having fun, being happy, being joyous isn't the purpose of one's life, then what is?

Isn't the ultimate responsibility of a human towards his/her own happiness before anything else? Maybe not. That might be called selfish. But if one thinks about it, one only really want to help others be happy for one of two reasons:
First, the happiness of others that you can attribute to yourself helps you become/stay happy.
Second, your happiness is dependent on the happiness of the other - call it care or co-dependence, I don't really care.

So, is the pursuit of one's own happiness not the ultimate goal in life. Or rather shouldn't it be?

Let's assume the aim of one's life is not that. Let's assume it is something else - maybe materialistic like seeing all the tractors in the world equipped with GPSes to automate agriculture; maybe more spiritual like helping the world embrace meditation as the most powerful tool towards self-discovery and contentment, that it is.

In the absence of such goals, does the line between happiness and contentment blur and begin to represent the same thing? Is contentment the ultimate form of happiness? A state where one doesn't need anything not already in ones grasp.

Is the lack of sorrow and worries called happiness? Or is it the presence of something else?

I don't know. I really don't.

To me, right now, happiness would equate to contentment. Contentment at being able to write a decent piece of prose. To me, happiness is not the presence of something, but the absence of certain emotions.

Happiness is sitting in the sun on a winter afternoon, smoking a cigarette and really, actually looking at the sun rise.
Happiness is looking at the tip of a leaf and wondering why you never noticed the fur on it before.
Happiness is buying an unassuming child a piece of candy and watching his face light up.
Happiness is surprising your mother with an unexpected visit.
Happiness is realising you're not perfect and being absolutely okay with it.
Happiness is realising you're flawed and cracking the best jokes about it.
Happiness is sitting next to the ocean and listening to the waves crash against the rocks. Just listening.

Happiness is the knowledge that you don't need to be 'happy' to be truly alive.

Happiness is realising that you actually chose to question what happiness is.

Happiness is a path.

Happiness is not a destination but a pursuit.

Happiness is a word someone else coined for you.

Happiness is a borrowed idea.

Happiness is a thought.

Happiness is what you want it to be.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Journal: I, me, be.

I'm writing again after a long time. It's March, that time of the year where it's a little cold at night but you don't want to le go of your blanket just yet. It's cold enough for it at night but too warm for it in the day. It's comforting yet unsettling at the same time.

It's 1 am right now and I've had a drink or two. I got out of my blanket, switched of the fan and now I'm here, typing. I mentioned the fan, something people don't really need to know, or so they think. But they do.

I turned it off and now the air is still. The only sound in the room is of the key-strokes typing out this masterpiece or complete piece of trash, it remains to be seen.

The fan that makes you comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time and the blanket that does the same are like a lot of things in life. They make you feel surrounded, distracted - like the air brushing against your arms making every hair on your body recognise its presence; the blanket making you feel encapsulated and secure but making you a little too warm for comfort, the feeling of affection and a little too much of it - either by you or towards you, comes to mind.

I feel overpowered by the thought. Everything till this point flowed smoothly but now it seems to halt; not for a lack of thoughts but the excess of them. So many emotions coming to mind that you can't distinguish one from the other or which ones they are, just 'nothing'.

You come to think of times when you are happy or sad; disappointed or proud; optimistic or cynical; drunk or stoned - at some of these times you want to hear your voice. That's what you really want. You feel you want someone to talk to, someone but yourself, but all you really want is for your voice to be heard. Not for results or emotions as outcomes of your speech, not as responses or perceived care but just as something living that would hear. Hear the words coming out of your mouth, the physical manifestation of your thoughts, the proof that these thoughts, these emotions, these insecurities exist and to acknowledge them with you.

Just the mere fact of their acknowledgement is enough to make you feel... human.

You want to express those opinions; you want to voice those feelings; you want them to be challenged, judged, questioned. You want to defend them and validate them, not to an external being but to yourself. To your own ravaging, conscious sense of self.

I called it 'sense of self' not just 'self'. It may seem weird to address yourself as just a perception or an abstractness of sense. But that is what one is.

How do you define yourself? Not define, it's too specific... describe. Think about it.

What did you come up with?
A bunch of adjectives and probably some ad verbs qualifying those adjectives - projecting some uncertainness and some concrete sureties. Let's think of those for a minute. Let's try to put them in perspective. Let's imagine a few scenarios and let's repeat the exercise.
1. You with you friends. The bunch you feel comfortable with.
2. You with acquaintances or colleagues.
3. You with yourself facing a challenge.
4. You with yourself at leisure.
5. You with yourself facing just idleness and you.

How many of these adjectives stay common? And out of those, how many convey the same meaning in all those scenarios?

Not too many or maybe all of them.

I don't believe the latter.

I might tomorrow, reading this sitting with a friend. I might tomorrow, reading this with myself. But I will not believe it in all of those scenarios put together.
I'll be a mess.

'I' will not be 'me'.

But I will still... be.

P.S. I'm trying to get back to writing again. I began this post with some other flow of thought, then it stopped. I then took care of a drunk friend and got back to it. At that point, the flow had changed - not to something specific, something I could write about but to 'nothing'. But I've decided to write it and put whatever it is - up. So I did. It's going to be more of a journal, with me writing regularly, just clearing my head for a few days. At the end of it, I'll have a less cluttered mind and maybe I'll start making sense again. Bear with me till them. Just let me... be.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A zephyr.

The perfect weather; the kind of weather that would make you want to sit in your balcony with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. Every cool breeze that brushes your face should make you smile. But somehow this day it makes you bite your lip.

Every cool breeze feels colder around your lips, the bite has made it wet. It's funny how alien your lips feel when compared to the rest of your face.
You bite a little harder so your eyes don't burn so much, so the lump in your throat grows a little smaller, so you can lift your head up a little and not look like you're beaten.

What is it that you are beaten by? It's surely not the weather. It was scorching hot yesterday but today there are clouds over your head, a slight breeze, it always seems like it's going to drizzle.

Could it be that there is something wrong and you just don't know it?
No, that's unlikely. The things that weren't so perfect in your life seem just the same. They didn't make you feel this way a day back.

You're well rested. You're well fed. You had a bath a couple of hours back, that should have freshened you up.

There is still something wrong.

You keep walking. Looking at the ground as you do so. The school-boy walk some call it. You kick a tiny stone that comes in your way, doodling with your feet.
You look up to see the trees swinging and somehow it pains you.
This very sight used to make you smile. This kind of weather would fill you with hope. And you know it doesn't do so any more. And you start to have the only conversation that never makes any sense.

You start having a conversation with yourself.

Could it be the weather?
No, that's outrageous.

You force the thought out of your head and kick another stone out of the way. But this time you weren't doodling so much as you were actually kicking it, using a little extra force as you reassure yourself the thought has been discarded.

You go and sit at that one spot that you go to to clear your head. It doesn't help. You still feel restless. You need to know what it is that is bothering you.

Nothing comes to mind.

It has to be the weather.

Could it be that the same thing that always lifted your spirit was the one crushing it?
It seemed so.

What does one do when that happens? How does that happen?
Could a person change so much and not even realise it?

No. That's... That's true.

You let the thought take shape, cautious to not let it get ahead of you.
And then you start thinking of other things like this, things like this wonderful weather that made you happy.
Kids playing.
You with a large group of friends just goofing around, laughing at nothing.

And you start to realise that babies are just a pain in the ass. The constant drooling, the crying and all that attention they need.
Kids yell too much. And the little fuckers never tire. They try to talk to you as if they actually know what their retarded minds are thinking.
And why do so many of your friends laugh at just crude, witless jokes anyway? And why do you laugh along even though you don't find them funny and you never did?

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale. Exhale.



Am I becoming grumpy? Or am I just starting to think?

I'm not grumpy. Yeah, I'm just growing up. My likes and dislikes will change with it.

It starts making sense.
You lift your head a little. You kick a pebble out of the way, but you do a stepover too.
You check for the lump in your throat. It seems to have dissolved.
Your eyes don't burn any more.

You're close to home. You start thinking what you'll do this evening.
A movie perhaps, maybe listen to some music while you play Scrabble online.
Yeah, that'll be good. Maybe you might actually beat that fucker from England who always managed to beat you to 'cause he's better at using the tipple letter score tile.

You're going down tonight bitch.
Just as you see the door to your place, you feel something on your head.
You look up and a tiny raindrop hits your forehead.
You expect yourself to stick your tongue out to catch the next one but you notice something else.

The weather.

Babies, kids playing and your friends. You reasoned all that out. But you missed something.

I love the rain.

You close your eyes and stick your tongue out.

Your face is a little wet.
There is no lump in your throat.
You feel like a weight has been lifted.

This isn't a breeze it's a zephyr.

Why are only my cheeks...

I hate this weather.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Scars are something we all bear.
Some of them show on your skin, some on the wrinkles on your face, some by the way your voice changes tone when a picture flashes in your head.
We all bear scars.
Scars on a man make him attractive to a woman (or so I've read), scars in a man make him harder.
When you get cut bad enough, you bleed. It heals and it leaves a scar.
The skin on a scar is thicker and tougher than the one around it. But if you poke it with something sharp, you'll realise the skin below it is actually softer than the one under normal skin.
In fact, the parts that do get scarred are the ones that are soft. They need to be made tougher. A scar does that just fine.

You can wear your scars with pride or feel ashamed of them. Whatever you do, you can not hide them. Not from the world and not from yourself.

I wear my scars with hope.

A hope that one day they will heal completely. Even if they don't, I hope the skin around them will one day wrinkle enough so I can't find them till I look for them, and people won't care to look for them in all those lines.

Hope that one day I may be scarred enough to not care about any of them.

But most of all, I wear my scars reassured.
Reassured by the fact that even if the part of me that's scarred today, gets scarred again, the scar will change
but won't be new.
I'll know what to do.
I'll know I should hope.
So go ahead, poke.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

one love.

‘One Love’.
We have all heard that song.
I must agree, you do fear being called gay if you're caught listening to it (which I do once a year or so, not more).
But I wonder, why is it one love? Why not more? It could, very obviously, mean that all you need to live is one love but this has various interpretations as well.

(I write this from the point of view of a girl, cause that is one that is clearer. We men aren't so sure of what we feel about this highly dangerous word - love.)

"One love is all we need" is true if that love is with you today and loves you as you do him.

One love could also mean that one man that you've loved in your life may/may not be in your life any more. The mere memory of that love you had for each other or sometimes only the love you had for him is enough for you. It may be enough for a lot of reasons again.

The first and the more romantic one is that the memory of that love is so strong, so pure and so moving that no other human bond that you establish after that can bring out the same feelings of pure joy or bliss as I've heard many girls describe it. That time in your life when you could just sit in silence looking at the sky and still feel so much, as if they world was right there, captured by your five senses. The whole world had shrunk into those four boundaries of the sheet you had laid out on the grass. And that world still exists in your mind. It will always exist. That world is your happy place.

The other more tragic reason and one more commonly given is that of heart ache. The world described above existed in all instances of love. These are not cases where you say you love someone; these are those tales which begin with the knowledge of being in love.
When this world, like all those beliefs we harbour from childhood, built on fairy tales and folklores of Santa and Prince Charming, shatters the passage of time, the shock sends you reeling.
That world of bliss did not break due to problems between two people; it broke due to the belief that the perfect world you were living in would remain perfect forever. When you realised in some fleeting moment of reality that this world isn't the one described in those fairy tales even though it felt every bit like it, you recoil in horror. You wonder if it ever existed.

It never did.

What made it so, was you. I don't use the pronoun 'you' to signify both you and your ‘love’, I mean only you.

We blame Archie's and its Valentine's Day for so many problems every year. Those business men know how to sell a product. They strike at the weakness of every human being, a child; the child inside you who was longing to grow up, to live in the big bad world and still find happiness.
No child ever thinks he will grow up to be sad. He knows that sad people walk around him every day, but he never lets himself think he can be one of them growing up. That thought hasn't been planted in his delicate mind yet.

The will to be truly happy is so blinding that you accept the first sign of something new and good as the same signs you've read of in books and seen in numerous movies; each incident leading up to some happy ending. Each incident form then on seems to you like it is something you know is going to happen because the world of writers en-capsules all events that can and cannot occur in your life. And so this strange familiarity seems comforting.

Our brains, tricky little blobs, only take us to the places we want them to in our times of joy and only to those places we don't want to go to in the days of sorrow.

You spin a story in your head. Your love story is written for you and by you without your knowledge.

When that story starts to deviate from that fairy tale, the little gaps of information that your brain collected but chose to ignore start coming back to your memory and you see things in a completely new light. The light of reality; it's a bitch.

Your own life and the recent months of bliss begin to seem different. You start doubting its every moment. Every memory that you held so close seems tainted; tainted by that doubt that it ever existed. Even though nothing changed from then till now, it seems like everything has.

And that doubt is too difficult to cope with. The knowledge that the one thing you held most sacred in your life was a mere illusion is so enormous a weight on your intellect that you hit rock bottom.

Now you can't trust your brain.

It tricked you. In all relationships one doubt is enough to shatter the bond of trust. The same happens again, only this relationship is with your brain, your heart if you must.

You don't trust yourself. You try to put the blame for this treachery on the world or on him. It's easier that way, eases the guilt. You make up defences in your head to somehow save that memory of 'love' from this new monster – reason.

It falters, it will always falter and you will never quite picture it the same way again. Over time it will change and it will leave you more confused, more hurt and more insecure.

But you will get out of it. You will learn. You won't lose that memory of 'love' but you will change.

You will grow up.

And once that happens, you will not trust your brain again. You will not trust the world again.

Even if you find someone better, even if you find something more pure, even if you find a world more blissful, you will reject it because you are too scared to get hurt the same way.
You don’t even want to acknowledge the possibility that it could be real, even if now it is.

So you will never love again.

You will never feel the same joy again (not even if you’re with friends and having the time of your life).

Because you are too scared to let yourself experience your own emotions.

You bent them.
You made them unbearable and yet,
you long for them.

So trust yourself again so you may trust the world again so you may trust that word again, or keep believing …

“One love is all we need.”

P.S. This post doesn’t reflect on my personal life. I had to point this out cause I know how we all like to think, “Oh! Poor guy, he’s fucked.”
Well I’m not. I gathered this understanding from observing some people around me, four to be exact.

P.P.S. I know what I ask of those ‘heartbroken’ people is not easy to say the least. I’m just trying to point out what I’ve noticed.
Also, I don’t listen to that song a lot.
Just saying.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

you're a human inside.

When your tears don't fall,
They just hang around,
In the corner of your eye,
Playing out,
All the thoughts in your head,
Which should be dead,
Instead of making new tears for you...
Your throat feels thick,
And your tongue can't lick,
The top of your mouth,
Cause your lips tremble,
The words can't escape,
As they've lost all faith,
In the world; they're too scared to go into...

The world is still,
As you're wondering,
If someone noticed you choke inside.
Some shuffling, some hovering,
As they're passing you by.
Then somebody, stops a second to see,
You sitting crouched aside.
He keeps a hand,
By your shoulder's side,
You feel the tear slide...

Cause you're a human inside.

Note: This one is dedicated to the friend I've never seen.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

the lantern in the sky.

I was walking back from my best friends' hostel after being unceremoniously kicked out from one of their rooms by the other one cause I have had an exam at 8 but I wanted to watch a movie.
The road was empty and yellow with the halogen lights. I could see my shadow in the centre of the road in front of me and I was walking thinking about how narrow my shoulders seemed. I would have made a good female model if only I had the face...
I looked to the left into the dark empty park as I usually do when I'm walking back alone in the middle of the night. It's something about the dark that gives me peace. And no, this isn't the serial killer in me talking.
I notice a yellow light in the sky. I squint my eyes a little since I'm not wearing my spectacles. I see a red balloon glowing faintly over the yellow flame. It was a sky lantern drifting gently along, carried by the breeze which only the bats in the sky were fortunate enough to feel.
A sky lantern at 3:16am in Pilani, where only zombies and I walk on the streets this late. It seemed odd.
I hurried my pace a little cause some trees were blocking my view of it. I whip out my new phone to try and take a picture of it, but all its 6k ass could show me in the viewfinder was a yellow dot in a perfectly black sky. Not the glowing red hood over the flame and not the flicker in the flame. It couldn't show me the two things that made the sight beautiful.
I am now in the clear and can see the lantern descend more rapidly. It wobbles and I wonder if it will tip over. At this point I am standing in the middle of the road just looking up at the sky. It seems like a better thing to do than trying to capture it in a photograph.
What's the point of a photograph?
It isn't to preserve a moment. Cause the moment includes what you feel - the coolness of the still air, the silence of the place, the faint smile on my face and the sheer innocence of wanting to have that lantern.
A photograph is meant to remind you of a memory and in trying to capture the lantern's flight, I was missing out on the memory itself.
As I watched the flame flicker and the lantern fall somewhere in the park, I noticed myself turning around and walking towards the entrance. I entered the park and looked around for the pack of dogs that generally get territorial when you walk on their turf. They were nowhere to be seen.

Perfect silence.

I walk to the middle of the park, use my cell phone light as I get off the stone paved path onto the barren ground... It was there somewhere. I start looking. I check intermittently to see if someone was watching me walk around with a bag on my back looking curiously at the ground like a little kid. No one.


I smell the weird smell of freshly molten wax, the smell you associate with Diwali or of summers in UP where the electricity  never fucking comes. I walk around the area looking for it. For the lantern. I don't even know what I'll do with it when I find it. Well obviously it would satisfy an engineer's curiosity on how a thing like that was flying, but that wasn't why I was looking for it.
I wanted it cause it looked pretty.

I check the time. 3:17am. I'll look for it for another 3 minutes, then I'm done.

Sigh. I smell it, but I can't see it.(It's time like these when you wish you had that cheap ass phone with the torch instead.)

I look up at the sky. I don't know why, maybe hoping there is another lantern in the sky.
I see no lantern, but I do see something else.
The sky is lit up by starts. I can see a whole blanket of black covered in tiny little specks of light. Twinkling light. The trees are all on the periphery of the park and the view is breath taking. (This is definitely a consequence of the rom-com I just saw.)
I look at the star lit sky and suddenly I don't feel like looking for the lantern any more.


The lantern had served its purpose. (Straight out of The Matrix, I know.)
It was there to make you feel nice, happy, innocent, child-like, curious... It was there, floating across the sky out of bloody no where in the middle of the night, making you think where it had come from and who else was watching it. But the key here is that the lantern was supposed to make you feel all this for a moment.

A moment.

That's it.

Just one moment, maybe two. It wasn't going to make you feel that way tomorrow, an hour later or even after you step out of that park.

That's the thing about little things. They're little. Yet from the second they catch your attention to the time they just disappear into no where, they are your world.

Get it?

Every time we have a chance to be happy for a few moments we waste it trying to make ourselves happy in the future.

A kid plays with his favourite toy without worrying about breaking it, cause he knows (unconsciously) that he'll find something else to play with once this one breaks.
A kid is smarter than us.

Just like that kid and his little brain that isn't really that little.