Warped

Dreams and aspirations lie astray,

As I was taught restraint and obedience,

As I was directed to modesty and diffidence,

As I learnt to be demure and sympathetic.

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Wrapped as a daughter, a wife and a mother.

A philosopher. A cheerleader. A dictator.

A cook. A lover. A tutor.

Warped in multiple identities but The One,

Several faces at the loss of The One.

The price I paid.

Of simply being a woman.

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I am under veils of mystery,

Independence boxed by sentinels of society,

With their double standards and patriarchal mindsets.

The waters churn a storm beneath the calm,

The rocks brew lava within the silence.

A dam waiting to burst. A volcano itching to erupt.

Waiting for the dominoes to fall.

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Often called by the name of the rose.

Soft as petals. Rich in fragrance.

Unforgiving as thorns.

Simply a woman.



Catharsis

For the last few months, I was operating on auto-pilot with the simplest default mode on. I was probably worse than a robot as at least a robot, has some direction configured. If someone had asked me to describe myself, then I’d have been at a loss! Let’s see what could have fit …

A process consultant? Eh!

An aspiring writer? I wish!

A health enthusiast? There have been days!

An experimental baker? Huh huh!

A questioning traveller? I try!

An awesome flower-chaser? Well… Yes!

That is one out of six … one and half if I give myself some benefit of doubt. That’s about it.

But now … I have at least one answer.

That I am still a person – and not a bad one at that. My consistent second-guessing of my mental state and of the Void I was peddling in is at peace. I am loving this … experience – it’s not quite a vacation- I don’t want to box it in. I have earlier written about the work my mother has been doing in the tribal village areas of Northeast India – possibly the most cut-off part of the country both culturally and geographically.

Since five days I have been immersed in the medical camps and the cathartic sense of purpose. These days are more real to me than the last few months. I am with people who still struggle for the most basic of facilities – for whom the word “doctor” is a distant dream. Yet the warm welcome, the outstanding hospitality and attention to details are simply wonderful! There is no power play, there is no politics, there is no personal vendetta. These are people who know work has to be done and are bent over backwards to ensure the dental camps operate smoothly.

No hiccup is too bad. No hurdle is too great. Why worry when there is a problem to be solved? Where there is a will… there is a way or at least a workaround! (I witnessed numerous classic textbook examples). Here I worried about my future, my life decisions while these people have no idea about their present. Yet they smile, yet they toil and yet they put the people above the individual. And for these fleeting moments, I am a part of this system, feeling their confusion, their pain and their hope.

I want to hold on to this warmth. As I write this after climbing half a hill to get range, I feel the cooling warmth of the autumn sun illuminating the valleys of rice fields and misty mountain tops. I want to bottle this light in a crystal decanter and preserve the pulse of those golden rays around me. A reminder that I too am living, breathing and thinking organism.

The Other Side

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Yeah! The other side is too bright occasionally!

I feel like throwing things at people at times. Or anything in front of me. I am not partial.

This big question “Why!!” keeps popping. Why did I work so hard at school? Why did I decide to be all independent? Why am I still in the same city after two years? Why am I so boring? Why is everything normal? Why am I missing the breathlessness? Why????

I feel like I have lost all enthusiasm in life. There was this intense drive inside me – always! Something to look forward to. Something to work for. And now, it is snoring. There is no fight! Weirdly, just a minute back I got a text from a friend going through the exact same thing about how he likes “my enthu” towards life. WHAT??

Which leads to these moments of weaknesses to turn my back on responsibility and sensibility. To everything robotic and pointless! I don’t get goosebumps and butterflies when I look into the mirror. I see a typical corporate slave, a struggling health freak and a writer without a muse (and time). And slave for what? Some figures in the bank and a chance at a good mortgage? Yeah… Definitely something to tell my grandchildren – not!

My life from far (and up close), is actually sorted. In spite of not playing by the book, I do have the ideal checklist that society has laid out ticked off.

  • Family – check!
  • Guy – check!
  • Job – check!
  • Health – check!
  • Friends – check!
  • Fun, laughs, impulsive moments – check!

Nothing wrong in this picture – this rant is just me wistfully looking at the “greener” side. People jet-packing around the world with their fat wallets and divine wardrobes. A lifestyle straight from glossy magazines. Somehow the normal scars of getting a degree, working ten hours a day, worrying about health and bank balance eludes them. Did I do something wrong? Or is it plain self-victimization? (I know it is the latter – shush!)

I crave. To taste the air I am breathing in, to listen to the winds burning my eyes and to see the gush of life flying right by my ears. Empty-handed, I have nothing to show for my time. I feel suffocated. I want to get out. Meander. I want to jump off the cliff again! To feel again.

Walk the thin rope. Straddle the line. The bird inside flutters.

But I can still grow wings, whisper a prayer and jump off with the assurance I can pick myself up.  I worked hard and I believe in those efforts. And on most days I appreciate them. Maybe it is slower and even harder. But I don’t want to lose sight of the magical sunrise of my backyard just because I am yearning for the lost wild. I want to jump on that train and venture into the unknown as long as I know how to find my way back.

The grass is greener on the other side because it has been watered! So I hope my seeds are just waiting to sprout.

I think.


Which is your side? Or are you buried somewhere deep down? Or is your place up in the clouds? Or you are the one who oscillates like me?

 This rant about my moody enthusiasm in life was a result of the prompt “enthuse” at Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by the lovely and charming Linda G Hill. Come over – you may find cookies!!

Invisible Vision(s)

A Spark like No Other | Image: Prateek Gupta
A Spark like No Other | Image: Prateek Gupta

Ever experienced that moment of clarity – that absolute moment of certainty? That this is it! You were born for this, you were meant for this, you’ve met your purpose in life! It is that one moment when everything in the world aligns meaningfully and you see this gorgeous play of stars taking you back and forth in time. Yet, the heightened awareness of the present is overwhelming!

Where am I coming from? What nonsense did I just spout? Well, this is with reference to that sense of knowing – that absolute conviction sans logic or reasoning. It is a hit that knocks your breath right out of you.

I still am not making much sense so let me state examples – and purely my own and completely unedited. Because this is important!

I experienced two such moments of complete lucidity. The first was when I went cliff-jumping a few years back. I was looking forward to the adrenaline rush, the out-of-body experience and the high-on-life feeling (okay – there was also a little bit of nervousness!)

But the moment my foot left the edge, the micro moments that followed were a stark contrast. No rush. No race. Just an irresistible silent calm inside me. I was totally in control of my body and tuned in to the wind rushing through my hair. It was beyond imagination, beyond any “rush” I had felt. It was almost like watching my life in third person – except I was at both places at once. It felt like for that tiny frame of time, I had traveled beyond life; unknowingly ventured onto a forbidden path meant for the higher spiritual realms. I knew the answers or rather the assurance of my life.

And then the ice-cold water enveloped me in a warm embrace after which a lot of spluttering happened.

The other time was not so profound; nevertheless a moment when every single line of destiny united to present me that one fact. I was astounded as I tearfully glanced at the purple lamp I had received as a surprise gift. There were tremors racing through my body at that unexpectedly intimate moment, all roaring out an answer. If only I had the courage to look into his eyes then… Apparently the unknown question was there.

I never found any reasoning behind such experiences. Some say it is spiritual; some say it is your imagination; while some brush it off as plain adrenaline rush. I don’t know. It can happen as you drive or when you take a dump; in the throes of an intense orgasm or while cramped over an excel sheet. Or like me, through a backward adrenaline rush or by sniffing someone.

The crash that happened later was bad! It felt like sinking into the deepest and coldest trench. The withdrawal symptoms hit hard. Life lost all color for a while. Yet, it was worth it – this glorious form of transcendence! Those illuminating answers needed no logic or derivation. They were just there – timeless.


I am sorry if this didn’t make any sense. Blame Linda and her prompt to use “VIS” in this order which made me come up with the thought of vision – those two visions that thoroughly unsettled and enraptured me. More Stream of Un-Consciousness anyone? 🙂

Have you ever had such moments of lucidity? Maybe when you saw your new home or went skinny dipping or said the words “I do”!  Tell tell!!

Kwick Kvotes

I was nominated by ShashankAmrit, Tejas and Helen for the Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge 🙂 I am going to cheat a bit and go for nine quotes at one go! Yeah 😛 I get off the grid and come back all lazy instead of pumped up!

To make it a little fun, I went for three authors and selected quotes that I liked the most. Without further ado, let’s jump right in!

First up, Alice Hoffman.

“Books may well be the only true magic.”

“Just because something is unspoken doesn’t mean that it disappears.”

“Do you ever just put your arms out and just spin and spin and spin? Well, that’s what love is like; everything inside of you tells you to stop before you fall, but for some reason you just keep going.”

Next, Charles Schulz.

“I love mankind … it’s people I can’t stand!!”

“Be yourself. No one can say you’re doing it wrong.”

“Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong’.
Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.”

Last but not the least, Ernest Hemingway.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”

“Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”


And because I took the easy way out, here is a bonus quote by Ray Bradbury.

“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”

If you were feeling too lazy to go through ten quotes at one go – Enjoy this… Apparently this is true! ❤

Source: http://i.stack.imgur.com/FPnPP.jpg

Penguines!!