Thursday, October 30, 2014

Your wish is NOT my command!

Expectations,  the savage demands imposed on each one of us
Expectations to be met,  expectations to be hushed.

Some expect me to be a conformist
But I don't wish to be
Because rules never made much sense to me.

Some expect me to be a master of all trades
But I cannot be
Because I never really sought perfection, knowing that the best people always keep learning.

Some expect me to be the diamond in the rough
But I would rather be breakable
Because I know being ordinary is not an anomaly.

Some expect me to not to fail
But I do not agree
Because failure is overrated and all days are not the same.

Some expect me to find my spot on the map
But I throw that crumpled up ball of directions right in their face
Because being lost always means there is a way to be found.

Some expect me not to scream out my passions atop yet to be built thrones
But I ask them to show me the line between confidence and overconfidence
Because being zealous and optimistic is not a crime.

Some expect me to be the white porcelain girl
But I don't want to be a blank canvas
Because there are a million colours within this heart,  waiting to explode and painting the world with breathtaking hues.

Some expect me to hide my scars
But I refuse to accept a make - up of distortions
Because scars are a mirror of all the battles you have survived.

Some expect me to have a beautiful face
But I choose to wash off what is on the outside
Because a rotten soul is not worthy of being adored.

Some expect me to be a supermodel
But I don't want to be shackled by the so called acceptable body images
Because a body that will wither away with time should not define anybody's attractiveness.

Some expect me to be silent
But I say - Brace yourself!
Because the music emanating from this heart is so loud, it will shatter all the delusions.

Some expect me to trust them
But how can I?
Because the sweaty palms of their weak hands that are holding mine, keep slipping away and so does that trust.

Some expect me to make them happy
But I don't wish to do that at the cost of my esteem
Because happiness attained is sometimes, someone's happiness murdered.

Some expect me to be non-expectant
But how is that fair?
Because desires don't sleep on imagined beds.

So, I expect the world to except me.
But on a second thought, please don't bother
Because some opinions don't matter and your wish is not my command!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Beyond the glass...

As the metro races towards another stoppage, distinctly blurring the New Delhi skyline, I realize I cannot do much to keep myself entertained. At each station, the mob scratches, shrieks and somehow, finally claws their way in to occupy the space available. I look at them, horrified, and quickly stretch my hand out to grasp on to anything that will ensure a stable ride. The brilliant novel, I thought I would finally read, has to go back inside my bag, owing to the lack of air to let those pages breathe. Finally, relying on the music to get me through forty five minutes of torture on the blue line of Delhi metro, I begin to get comfortable in the meager space available. Between skipping songs on my phone and feeling like an atom in a solid (remember the fourth standard science book and the diagrammatic representation of atoms in solids, liquids and gases!), I lift my head occasionally to observe the world beyond the huge glass. The view of ever rising cuboids of concrete add to the misery and I wonder why I am not in the wild right now. I keep watching though, battered and rammed in from all sides. The skyline is getting boring now, but one building suddenly catches my attention. It's the Police headquarters with a mural of Mahatma Gandhi. I have always been apprehensive about accepting him as a great man. He must have been a good person but not all good men can make good decisions. I try to ignore that this bald man has become omnipresent - in murals on giant buildings and on the paper that can buy anything in the world.

Music changes. People get in and out. Chaos and Distractions. Bridges and gravel roads,and then a stretch of some 200 slum cottages looms into view. A few kids are bathing in an adjacent water body, which looks more like an open drain. My mind starts whirring and a sadness descends when I take in the gravity of the situation. Before I can reassemble my frowning face into a more composed one, another building comes into view. It doesn't seem like a special building, what with its gray walls and boring, dusty windows. But unlike many others, this one has a row of flags of different countries facilitating it. This makes it a different building, not a special one.My near-sighted eyes adjust to identify any sign of uniqueness, ultimately showing me that it is the World Health Organisation, which turns out to be a catastrophe! The good people sit in this building. They are supposed to make things right in the world. Turning my head to catch the last glimpse of that dwelling ground of misery and those unfazed young ones, believing the polluted, insanitary water body to be their grand swimming pool, I realize that this building is a mockery of what we believe in. Have the principles and passion of this house of noble endeavours, been tossed out into that drain?

I think of the kids again, and feel overwhelmed and also confused. They looked happy somehow. Perhaps, their noses have accepted the pungent smell and their hearts have allowed them to believe that this is their Holy Ganges, maybe enough to cleanse their destiny. Perhaps.

Monday, May 19, 2014

How I lost my best friend to time and learned to live with it!

I let the lights flood the darkened room and that was when I saw this petite woman sitting on the floor, blood draining from her face, her hair wildly entangled. I imagined that part, picturing her state as she hastily filled the empty space in my heart that she had vacated an year ago. She had wandered into my life for the second time, making me understand her pain over a phone call. 300 kilometers away, I felt as lost as a fly who after entering a room, couldn't find its way back. Hanging up half an hour later, I realized that I could not forgive my best friend. Not yet.

Like most friendships, ours happened when we weren't paying attention. It was a happy period of my life, where time was not a precious little thing. There were no Mondays or Tuesdays. They were just anonymous days where I only counted the hours I spent away from my friends. The routines didn't bother me, neither did the absence of a purpose in life. I had them- my three friends, and they were enough.

The winter of our third year together approached and somehow, without realizing I failed miserably when the testing time came. I stood nullified by my apprehensions and the guilt of hurting someone. I waited for her to clothe my naked soul but she never came. That's how I lost my best friend and with her gone, I felt free to be condemned. The year of slumber went by and when I heard from her again, the tables had turned and she needed me in the same fashion, I once did. Somebody had broken her heart and she searched for a familiar shoulder to cry on. How was she to know that my entire being had crumbled, when she left me in my darkest times? I couldn't offer anything except empty words as I only thought of her abandonment. 

It lasted for several months. The dilemma. However saddened I felt for her loss of strength, I will not deny that the sadness came riding on the back of reproach. But eventually, the stories, old and new, beguiled the remnants of my indifference towards her. The feuds of past seized me up sometimes but things started to go rather well between us. The third member of what once was our circle also hitched a ride somewhere in between. I liked that. Choosing to overlook the absence of the fourth one, my time with the other two gave me a sense of possibility of renewing what once was.

I believed that three months ago. The belief leaks out as each day passes by and I don't hear from my best friend. I fear for the transiency of it all and question if my forgiveness was in vain. Her fleeting appearance is matched with the arrogance of a celebrity, cast off as a net to ensnare me once again. I wonder if her need of my presence has expired now that she is feeling more whole. People say it isn't about time, it's about priorities. So, how am I supposed to respond to her absence again? 

I have other friends, lots of them, but you know how one of them always stands out and in times of trouble or joy, you only want to hear their voice. I know I will miss her and I also know that my friendship with her has run its course. With time, which now seems precious, I have learned the art of letting go because that is how it always is. A lot of happy days followed by a lot of questionable days, winters followed by springs,so artistically blended sometimes, you learn to love the good as well as the bad times.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The days of dependence and independence

         I am sure most of you will remember the persistent efforts of Wile E. Coyote to catch the roadrunner. The never ending chase, mingled with ACME bombs and being thrown down high cliffs, meant nothing but a few minutes of entertainment to our young mind. I never liked the cartoon anyway, but here I am, in this desperate age where all we 20-something-year old people (the coyotes) are running after the roadrunner (life) just to catch it before time runs out. 
        Buried below all those years of education and strife, I find nothing but endless chases trying to prove that I will amount to something. But after being beaten, bombed and thrashed mostly mentally, I decided to go for derailment and to a mind encapsulated in agony of nothingness, getting off the track is nothing but the next greatest adventure. With the loss of dependence on a decided course, came the spontaneous desire to test the uncharted waters, followed by such absent time, it was hard to understand the working of how days dissolved into nights. This disastrous rebound was packed up in no time, leaving a gaping hole in its wake. 
       However, after every storm, the canvas is painted with beautiful and calm hues, making you believe in the sanctity of your dreams. It has happened to almost every dreamer I have known. The fall ultimately designs the rise, carrying you to the pedestal of wonders. It would be an understatement to say that the believers always reach their atonement because it is always this little group of people who build their lives touched by fidelity. 

         On one particular winter eve, when the lights seemed to be going out, a destitute seeker ended up knocking on the door of an old friend. Now, we have all been to the state of affairs when help must be asked, even though the answers lies locked away in the seeker's heart. As the friend opened the doors to his world, the seeker felt the fears ebb away, making place for courage. Hour after hour, the seeker absorbed the warmth of the friend's welcome, while the shelterer peeled back the layers of despondency.
         Buddha said "work out your own salvation, do not depend on others", but he was a great yet simple man, capable of completing the puzzle. We, on the other hand are complex beings, deflecting our gifts to land them in the middle of nowhere. We are incomplete beings, seeking independence by finding the keys to the treasure locked within us, so the truth of our existence can be revealed. It was on that night when the dejected laid down the map of his secrets and the friend, strengthened by his trails, gave the other what he sought the most. Hope. The key to his salvation. The answer to all his questions.