Knock Knock!

Point Pelee – the southernmost tip of mainland Canada

“Who’s there?”

No – I am serious. I am sure for quite a few people, this post will come as a shock. Maybe some vague recollections that there was someone who was lazy enough to call themselves an Armchair Perfectionist and then made a run for it because words became scary.

So hello, if you are still here. I went AWOL before the pandemic, and funnily enough I don’t really recollect how time worked then. It has been one big blob where masks, work-from-home, physical distancing became a habit and I steadfastly refused to open my eyes and look at the world that was once home. It’s so funny, I started writing because I needed to get away, then I stuck to it because of this amazing supportive community and then I ran because the mere thought of writing a word that didn’t pay bills made me breathless. I come back, older, plumper and probably not wiser.

I completed three years in Canada last month. D and I bought a condo last year and we have become a little too familiar it thanks to the longest lockdown. But it’s home with a pretty solid kitchen, and by the lake with tons of trails. What else? I turned 30 as well, but since it happened in the pandemic I might get away by calling myself 29.99 for a bit.

I too, baked a lot of banana bread and tried different recipes. I too, started day drinking and realized it’s not sustainable. I too, enthusiastically did home workouts for a bit before resigning to the fact that the tummy wants what it wants. Work threw in a promotion last year and has been paying the bills, and to be fair the long hours helped numb the few things that still raised their heads and tried to make me accountable. That said, work mates have been pretty awesome. As an introvert, I thought this was my time to shine and simply focus on my work but instead it gave me a chance to form some great relationships. I was one of the few people who was using Zoom before it was cool so I scoffed at all the Zoom memes but couldn’t help but stay ridiculously entertained by this incident “(I am here live – I am not a cat!)”.

Summer has been weird and damp (thank you Colin for clarifying that this is unusual for you as well), but I got a ton of hikes in. I cannot get over the fact how green this beautiful city is and you have a broad selection of parks within minutes of the city. But perhaps August will be great. All I need is one clear night this week to catch the Perseid meteor showers.

I want to end this with an apology to the kind people of this community and this dormant-no-more blog. No amount of “it was for my mental health” will excuse the way I abandoned this baby. I want to thank each and everyone who dropped comments on posts asking after me. I want to make up. I want to talk. I want to write.

Thank you for listening and I would love to hear from you 🙂

Time Machine

I built a time machine. And let me tell you – not an easy task! The dials go wonky, the hands refuse to sync with moon’s gravity and the batteries run out before you can even think 2050!

This was supposed to be a multi-directional machine. Forward and back. Left and right (Not including up and down as I don’t want to wake the Gods and the Devils). You fancy seeing your great-grandfather build the cabin by the lake or your future great-grandchildren pull it down to pieces? Hop on! Want to visit a parallel dimension to see how that meal would have tasted with an extra pinch of nutmeg or how that astronomy course might have changed your life? Got you covered!

To test it out, I had to choose the perfect moment to visit. I was seriously tempted to take a sneak peak into the future to see how the gamble D and I took with our lives would turn out. Or take a spin into the past when times were simple and safe. Or perhaps take a glimpse of an alternate reality where we stayed put in India.

That is pretty much when the time-machine ended up in the junkyard.

I now know I would have seen a future full of anxiety and second-guessing and frustration! Not to mention Canadian winters!! That itself would have been enough to firmly tie myself to the good ol’ climate of Pune. But would those stolen moments of the future done justice to the depth of my journey getting here? I am guessing no. My present tells me more about my future than the actual future; without my present, I have no future.

There is no moment I would rather be in than my present, exactly the way it is – crudely packaged with mistakes and lessons and bursts of brilliance. 

My curiosity refuses to go back to sleep though. It keeps wanting to know! I am smart enough to not try to interpret the predictions of Nostradamus but neither am I so sophisticated that I won’t do those cheesy prediction tests on the internet 😀 Hey! If I am destined to be a travel guide in Prague then there is always hope right??

I feel like I am forever trying to strike a deal with time – Don’t tell me the answers, but give me the four options! Or a teaser pack if you will. A movie trailer of my life with cool background music doesn’t sound so bad!

I play with online prediction tests while I resist the call to salvage the time-machine.


What would you do?

Helping Hand

hope
Image: Prateek Gupta

Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up. – Thomas Wayne (Batman Begins)

Just to be safe, let’s practice yelling as loudly as possible for a rope-ladder.

I love rising out of ashes stories. That journey of climbing out of the pit, brushing down the muck and moving on with life’s lemons? Oh yes.. count me in as I add some tequila into the mix. Funnily enough, I commit the heinous crime of overlooking the lifelines and cooling stations in my own story, not that there were any significant ashes.

Like a bitter pill, I spit out my pride and zip up my mouth. A stubborn misconception plagues me that requesting help makes you weak! It keeps me from taking the first step and admit that maybe, I cannot do this alone. Obviously, it comes with a cost of bewildered family and friends that justifiably feel hurt. Even if they cannot give a hand they can always lend an ear, right?

I am also a hypocrite as when someone else does the exact same thing – I am sense & sensibility personified. Turn the tables and there will be a me-shaped hole in the door… Classy, I know!

I am serving a life sentence for this. At least the prison isn’t empty – in fact, it is probably a fire hazard at this point. 

I took my sweet time getting used to counting on someone. Getting married helped. Funny how long it took me to realize that asking for help is the first step in becoming a bigger person. Funny how late I realized the amazing liberty of pestering someone and they will unconditionally be there to carry you through. Did you know they even get you ice-cream? If you did, why didn’t any one tell me sooner? I was missing out.

Oh to have the compassion of the helper and the strength of the … helpee? I am struggling with the maths here. 

Check out Erika’s infinitely brilliant take on this

Sepia

img_0575.jpg

That’s the thing about old friends. Instinct becomes your first and only language when emotions stay shrouded behind cooled gestures.

There are layers anew to peel off, bespoke of tense energy. But unexpectedly, a collision opens a floodgate of unspoken sentiments that simmer for an instant. Time goes back and in your heart you know that there can never be a second round. But you imagine a once over, desperate to pick out an alternative where barriers don’t need to be broken down, where your laugh is louder than the wind and the music isn’t a sanctum of restrained emotion.

But time doesn’t stop and the last vestiges of the sparks remain in the pointed scrawls lurking in the latent mind and the splinters of memories tinged with sepia.

Exalt

img_3671.jpg

I laugh and float leisurely,

The waves effortlessly carry my weight,

Of dreams and desires, of yearnings and passions, of joys and euphoria.

I dissolve into the salts of the ocean,

Nameless and formless like the ones before me,

With the same sigh of relief and perhaps a different gasp of rapture.

I ride out the wave of joy until it consumes me.

Not a wisp remains of my existence for that beat of time,

And the tide slows to a heartbeat, as the earth’s axis rights itself.

In that moment, I am only unbridled happiness