’13 Reasons Why’- A Show That Needs To Be Understood.

A couple of days back, I finished binge watching a T.V. show called ‘13 Reasons Why.’ Now that I’ve recovered from the mental trauma and temporary paralysis of all human senses, I can pen keyboard my thoughts about this phenomenal show.

For a brief introduction, the series is based on a book with the same name. It follows the story of a young adult called Hannah Baker who, after a year of bullying, depression, loneliness and rejection, ends up taking her life. Now does that seem like a cliched story? No. It isn’t. It isn’t ‘just another lame teenage drama’ either like I previously thought.
Because before ending her life, she makes 13 tapes chronicling her life and each tape contains a certain incident with a specific person, who gave her a reason to take the dreadful step.

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And from the last two days, I’ve been trying to make as many people watch this show as possible. You know why?

Because shows like these, that cover issues as sensitive as depression and bullying, need to be watched and addressed. People need to talk and not trivialize mental illness.

I’m not the one to blindly reprove our generation, but I do feel that we are all too caught up in our own idea of ‘normal.’ We’re more enclosed within our own walls than trying to reach out to someone screaming for help. We deride people who don’t qualify our idea of ‘cool.’  We flinch on the slightest mention of emotions. We don’t ..understand. When will we understand that a single word uttered out of a reckless jibe, may end up really hurting someone.

These books and shows teach us the value of reaching out. To realise that someone right next to you might be hurting. To not be scared of opening up and to say what you feel before it’s too late. Apologise if you think you were rude. Don’t let your pride stand in between. Don’t be bitter and cruel.

Because in the end, all you’re left with is a bundle of regrets. And regret, my dear friends, is a heavy burden to carry.

Some of my super smart friends who saw the show retorted that Hannah took everything ‘too seriously. Like ..grow up? Everybody faces that!’

My dear super smart friends, have you ever stepped out of your gigantic pit of self approval and wondered that your level of endurance to cyber bullying or objectification might not be the same as ..everyone else’s?

And more so, by saying that ‘every body faces that’ aren’t you subtly justifying bullying? Isn’t your argument similar to saying,
‘Boys are going to stare no matter what-it’s you who needs to cover up.’

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young adults. People end up killing themselves because that’s how hurt they are. Is this still a joke to you?

The story only further cements the importance of love and kindness. How powerful words can be and if chosen wisely, they could save a life; if not, could end up taking one. You don’t know what is going on someone else’s life because people are scared to talk about their problems, afraid that they may not be accepted or understood. Like Hannah couldn’t talk about hers.

Stay kind. Stay humble. We all have to be there for each other if we need to succeed as a race.
And the next time someone tells you that ‘They’re not okay,’ do me a favor, ask them, ‘What’s wrong. How can I help you?

Do watch the show. It might change your perspective regarding a lot of things. It’s available on Netflix. And if after watching, you feel like this show has ‘glamorized’ suicide like many others think, do mention it in the comments, I’ll tell you all the reasons why it hasn’t.

Oh and when will we find guys like Clay Jensen in real life. *sigh* 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.


Here is a beautiful song I found in the show. I hope you like it too.

And if this got too sappy or serious for you, here’s a bright and fun song that’ll make you dance in your car. (I did.)

Prelude

Months after it began, I felt I’d already died. Like one day I had opened my eyes and woken up to blood smeared all over my body and a few dead people lying around me. For a moment I could not understand why was I here; fighting for a cause I did not believe in and for a master I did not know. But a queer, distant force had thrown me into this belligerent commotion and there was no escape but to pick up arms and fight.

When I got on my knees to have a bird’s eye view of the parched, dust laden field I was standing on, there was nothing but a rough land stretching far down every direction. And darkness blanketed the sky where, somewhere in the faded strands of my memory, once glinted the sun. The imminent threat of what was about to pass for a seemingly long time made my heart heavy with grief and even in the coming years, amongst all the steely clinks of swords and the bashing of shields, I’d often pause and look around for a kind exchange – but all in vain.

For years I got so accustomed to the torrid heat, unremitting anguish, dark and threatening crevices with no end, desolate, cold nights with no repose that now when I stand staring at a waning sun, I do not know how to behave. I haven’t experienced tranquility in a very long time, and uneasiness seems to have settled in the narrowest slits of my mind.

Somewhere I once heard, assurance cures uneasiness; from whom, I wonder. 

I’ll tell you how it was; hold on for a little longer. A queer game this is and by the time you learn how to play by its rules you’re already on the brink of incurable collapse. You learn the art of carrying the burden of helplessness and masking it with pride. You learn how to sit still and hear the world around you softly mewling for help. You learn to appreciate recluse corners. You begin to look up to the sky often, like a pair of bright, celestial hands would pick you up someday and take you far away-far from all the bedlam.

You start nursing hopes of divine help. Any help. You excel at constructing impressive facades- after all, they’ve protected you all this time. Initially, you try to talk about it, to the ones fighting alongside. But slowly you feel derided and just .. not understood enough, so you shut down, turn inwards and find a listener within.

This is how I fought and waded through years of noise and unrest.

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But now, I’m entranced, reader.  It’s almost like an ending of a long nightmare. I gaze with longing and gratitude at the freckles of grey clouds dotting the bruised evening sun. A warm rain might wash away some of this angst. A gush of fresh rain swept the field and I realise I’m still clinging tightly to my armour, so I let go and take a long whiff of the petrichor rising from the moist earth.

Dismally gazing at the distance I think of who I used to be before the war. I make a silent promise to scour her in the deepest of corners and pull her back. But the question is,

Has anybody who has ever been through war, returned unchanged?

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Note- I’ve noticed many of you have been sharing my posts on Facebook. The numbers have been increasing ever since! I’m grateful for the kindness and I thank you so much for this.  

But somehow, WordPress doesn’t give me the liberty to know who all share my posts on other platforms. So if you do share it, please let me know in the comments section. I’d love to thank you in person

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Love always, 

Your blogger. 

All About Perspectives

A couple of weeks back, while scouring the internet for cute dog videos (because dogs are love-deal with it) I happened to land on a page that described Nietzsche’s theory of perspectivism.
Don’t even get me started on how that escalated.

Now I have read bits and pieces of his philosophies, but never felt like ‘delving deep’ into the ideas he propagated. Philosophers and too much philosophy can mess with your mind.

So after I devoured the Wikipedia page enough to satiate my mind, I felt a certain sense of ..pride? Let me elucidate the point I’m trying to make by using (Hermione’s) my time turner and taking you back to the year 2014.

I’m a firm believer in perspectives. I feel that people never truly tell you information in its true form, but rather their version of it.

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Is it a room, a painting, the sky or a building?

Every person has this window of comprehension. The bigger the window, the wider the perspective. Knowledge that we receive is always torn, bent, twisted, interpreted and distorted by the mind that delivers it. It’s never really ..pure.

This is what I have been believing since the last three years. And now that I found there’s an actual theory justifying and claiming the same thing is unreal! I mean the fact that a small, private and less discussed principle I’ve withheld and believed in for so long resonates with an actual philosophy from, what history calls, one of the greatest philosophers of all time – Nietzsche, is surreal! I think I should be allowed to have a fleeting, teeny-tiny moment of pride?

But if you apply this theory to every piece of information you’ve ever received, it can seem a little scary.

Whatever news you watch on the television, is a version and interpretation of the journalists and the writers, apart from factual information of course.

Like I read somewhere once,‘How do you know your hero is righteous, if you haven’t heard the story from the villain’s perspective.’

Perspectives and point of views can revamp both the connotation and the core idea behind an event.

The book critic might consider Lord of the Rings to be the greatest work of fantasy but maybe it isn’t? (Psstt ..it is.)

So our opinions are limited to our window (or scope) of perceiving it.

There is no truth, there are only perspectives.

One person’s idea of the ‘right’ kind of behavior might not conform with yours?

This entire blog article right here is also a perspective. Care to refute?


Note- Once upon a time there was this weird, ethereal boy in my class. His hobbies included doodling on tables, minimal human interaction and secretly seeking the meaning of the universe.  We spent two years in Middle school which consisted of him doodling on the table and I admiring it. That was the only human form of interaction he was programmed for.

Then we lost touch and he left the city.(Or maybe he went to another galaxy to fulfill some strange odyssey?) But years later in 2017 and due to some very peculiar turn of events, we met again! And now that he’s capable of having a human like conversation and even telling me about his plans to open a music store, I can safely vouch for the credibility of his blog, that he’s launched very recently.

People of WordPress, please spare some time and visit my very talented friend Yash’s blog. He has phenomenal writing skills and his comic books (that he creates when he’s on Earth for the time being) are a cherry on the cake. He talks of abstract stuff superimposed with a witty sense of humor, creative metaphors and peculiar diagrammatic representations of kebab rolls.

His blog is:

Bipolar Bear

Do visit and leave a review. Both the writer and the blog mean a lot to me.

I’d be grateful.

About Empathy

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Let me ask you a question.

How many times have you been on the receiving end of someone ‘venting out’ stuff on you?

Have you ever been elevated to this role model of impossible empathy that you can no more find people understanding that maybe, at times, you need a friend like that too?

I once read somewhere that you cannot serve with an empty heart. You need to be emotionally balanced enough to soak in the imbalances of others. And frankly, helping people lighten their load, if only by being a patient listener, is what humans, as a community is all about.

That’s how we survive; helping each other, promoting each other’s growth, celebrating the victories, mourning the loses.

But the material point is, I’ve only ever found so many people willing enough to empathize these days. Sympathy? Yes, that is present in abundance. But empathy? The art of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and trying to actually feel their misery?

That is what lacks.

In taxing times, you don’t need people nodding at you and telling you the ‘wicked ways of the world,’ or that somewhere in extreme parts of the Earth people are starving; that doesn’t quite put their tumult to rest now does it?

We need more people bold enough to say, ‘I’m here for you if you need me,’ and brave enough to mean it. We need more people to re-establish other people’s faith in this morally declining world.

It’s hard being a vessel all the time. Vessel open to all forms of lamentations, grief, agitation and pain and still manage to uphold the countenance of a calm face, comforting eyes and an understanding touch.

But hey, I’m here to tell you it is okay.

I’ve been on receiving end of the laments of a lot of different people. I’ve been the receiving end of the adults in my family.

I’ve tried my best empathizing with people 30 years ahead of me. I’ve heard my much younger friends and tried my best to console.

I’ve listened to strangers online. I’ve even maintained a tolerable disposition in front of people I generally dislike.

But.

I’ve also seen people get gradually distracted and lose sense of the conversation when I’m at the pouring end. I’ve also seen people fidgeting with their cell phone while I eventually, with a few hesitant, muffled words succumb to silence. I’ve seen people lose interest when the conversation is no more revolving around ‘them.’

I’ve also noticed general apathy in the eyes of the receiver.

I’ve seen it and I’ve been quiet. Maybe that’s just how the world works. However, what I observed during this course was, people with the lack of a listening heart, often find solace within themselves. They crumble and crawl inside and eventually find rest within the comforting box of their own warmth.

Eventually, these people stop voicing out and get used, or rather comfortable, finding their peace within themselves. Or to take an extra daring step, maybe in a few pages of literature?


Can you guess why I chose a picture of a lighthouse with this post? Let me know in the comments. 

Wayward

Only 15 minutes before, I was screaming. 


Now I’m making patterns in the moist, fragrant sand. Some of it is sandwiched between my fingers, slowly oozing out of the gaps as I tighten my grip. Occasionally, I take a quick glance of the ginormous turquoise body of water in front of me.

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It rises sporadically, antagonized by the frantic wind, it rises and rises until all I see is a huge film of translucent water, racing violently towards me. Until, with a defeated cry, it crashes down, sending cold splashes my way.

I cower a little, to save my shirt from drenching, but all in vain. Drops of salt water drip from my lips. Don’t worry, the sun is warm enough today. In one great leap the wave gulped my pattern and washed it away; leaving trails of sodden sand behind. I scrunch my face. Not fair.

My eyes light up instantly. I remember why I was here in the first place. I remember why I was screaming. Hesitating, I turn around to take a glance.

They’re still fighting.


I shake my head and turn to the waters, ‘Will this ever stop?’ 


Zoning out the sound of the ocean, I hear them having a war of words. They’re yelling and cursing each other. Their voice is rough and beaten. One of them has welled up, the voice has become heavy.

I smile. I know exactly who that is. 


The other, however, won’t be subdued. Like always, it is powerful. It stands tall and condescending. It wants to win. It wants to be right. It is bleeding, it is in pain and somewhere inside, a voice asks it to stop, yet it won’t be appeased. Never will it surrender. It keeps on screaming, until it leaps forward and throttles the other. They stagger, fidget and grapple.

One is going to win today.


The brawl continues and I’m about to scream again when I hear the snap of a neck. I turn around instantly only to witness a scene that sends waves of felicity through me. In a war between my heart and ego, heart stood there, bruised, but victorious.

Solemnly, I take out my cell phone, and I dial the abandoned number.

Carnival of Dust

I narrow my eyes and try to make sense of the tortuous blue-black lines, snaking their way through the map of this unfamiliar city. The sun begins to dip in the west, emanating pale gleams of warm light, like dying embers of a small fire.

rub my hands and breathe out some hot air, making me feel like a dragon, only this one exhales air. These dark, silent pine trees make it difficult to comprehend the map; I raise it slightly to catch some light before it finally gets dark.

At last, I make out where I am. I’m almost at the edge of these woods, where my odyssey would end. Longfully I look toward the roughly trodden path, at its end lies my elysium.

I trek and trodd, jump and wade and at last I hear the music. Faint, distant hum of a melody playing from some old instrument. Like a drunk jazz musician, it goes on playing. I’m close.

I make it through the final shrub, and in front of me lies the carnival. Abandoned, unkempt, uncared and nested beyond the pines, this is the place I saw in my dream.

The roller coaster still works as it climbs atop steadily, until it plummets to the ground, in one great leap. The roller coaster is empty.

The bulbs above the desolate trivia game still glow- on and off, on and off. 

The screen above the horoscope machine still blinks red- ‘Insert Coin Here.’ 

The rider less Carousel Horse goes up and down. Round and round the brightly lit centrepiece.

All you hear is solitary music from dying carnival swings. Nobody has been here for a very long time.

I make my way to the place I wanted to go. The moment where maybe I’d find my answer.

I head towards the ominously rotating giant wheel. The wheel pauses and ignoring my fear of heights, I shiver as I lock myself on a seat. The swing immediately powers up and takes me slowly to the top. I see the carnival receding below and the night sky coming closer and closer.

The moment is near.  

And just as I reach the top, the swing creaks and halts, leaving me hanging in the air, above the desolate and hollow carnival. I hold my breath and blink. Waiting.

A soft wind blows and sends a shiver down my spine as I finally breathe.

No answer comes.
Nothing but silence.

More silence.

At some distance in the star studded sky, I see the sparkles of a firework. Someone somewhere fired it up for me? Another one races to the top with its burning tail, finally exploding into the night, sending vapors of fire everywhere.

This moment on this brightly lit, rusted giant wheel is where I thought I’d find you. Waiting for me. On this buckled seat. And maybe, we’d share this together. The distance, the height, the dark, this cold, the spark.

But maybe, this is how it ends and this is why the dream brought me here. Wistfully, I smile. For here it is, that I’ve found my closure.

Into the Wild

After graduating in May 1990, Christopher McCandless left his home and all of his material possession for a trip across America. He ‘literally’ burnt all of his money, left his car and lived off the road for two years and walked into Alaska in April 1992.

A lot of people criticize Christopher and lambaste the public for portraying him as a hero. They call him reckless, inconsiderate and even narcissistic.

I could write an entire book about how all these claims are utterly and fallaciously wrong.

The boy was a bright and active student. He did well in class. He read good, inspiring books. He was agile, dynamic and friendly. He even made sure he graduated before he left; hence showing awareness so as to abide by his filial duties before reaching out to his calling. How can people say he was reckless?

The boy carried no IDs, no money, no possession and craved to be off the radar. And they say he wanted ‘popularity?’ If he wanted fame, he would’ve made sure people knew where he was.

Understand, that there must be something more persuasive than ‘fame’ to lure a boy with a bright future to abandon his affluent life and walk into nothingness. There was something more than that. 

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Real picture of Christopher in Alaska at an abandoned bus where he took refuge.

Even though he died around September, he still scrambled and survived Alaska for 3 months, unguided and alone. He was caught by police authorities several times, and he still managed to escape without jail only by persuasive talking.

And they say he wasn’t smart. 

They say Chris had no idea what he was doing. I say, chances are, he knew EXACTLY what he was doing. He was not some hopeless romantic who got infatuated with some book and abandoned his affluent home. He was aware that he might end up dead. He knew the risks involved. He knew that there was a price to pay.

The reason I cannot stop being utterly fascinated with Chris is that I completely understand why he did it. I cannot put it to words, but I know how he felt, what drove him to take the perilous step. What coaxed him to give everything up, to leave them all behind and willingly walk away. I understand how claustrophobic he felt among people. I understand he was mad with the world. I know he was looking for an escape. I know he wanted peace. If I had more guts and less excuses, I would do something exactly like him.

I know what it’s like to live with a mind that won’t ever shut up. 

He certainly took some wrong decisions, and there are opinions of his where I greatly disagree, but I still admire and sort of pity him. Even empathize with him. He is exactly the kind of person I could sit and talk with for hours. The people he spent time with during his escapade said that the boy could talk and talk about the things that mattered. He would listen to anything that was new to him. He had a willingness to learn. A never quenching curiosity.

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He was loved and missed by everyone he met during his travel. He made an impression on every  body. All of them said that the boy was special, that there was something unique about him.

In September 1992, his decomposed body was found by a party of moose hunters.

Wherever he is right now, I only hope he found the peace he was looking for.

I’ve met a lot of people in various groups who read Into the Wild and were rendered speechless. I really urge you to read it. Please. It’s going to change your perspective regarding a lot of things. And if you do manage to read it, please send me an email. I long to discuss this book with someone.

Until then.

Alexander Supertramp, in our hearts forever.

Love always,

Your blogger.

To the Woods

I hadn’t expected it to be this cold or I would’ve brought the sweatshirt mama bought me last Christmas. For now, I hope my flannels will keep me warm. It is funny how in your last moments, you’re supposed to think about the ones you love, or all of those rare moments when life seemed extraordinary. You’re supposed to be having flashbacks of your favorite birthday parties, or the day you got your first kiss or the day you went to your very first carnival.

I smile, trying desperately hard to light a fire in this dark. I rub two stones together, little sparks lighting up with every strike, ultimately giving birth to a young, warm fire. My eyes reflect the yellow glow they receive and somehow, I don’t feel cold anymore. Rubbing my hands, I take a glimpse of the valley far below. Dark, quiet; like the trees were asleep, unburdening themselves.

Dry leaves crunch and break beneath my worn out shoe. They’re going to be one year old tomorrow. He gave me these when I turned 21. A quiet wind blew through the woods, fanning my young flames. The trees sighed and looked down upon my little figure. A young guy huddled by a tiny fire, smiling on the adventure that lay ahead.

I wonder if I’ll be missed. The son who had it all, but somehow didn’t? The obliging one who went astray? The exchange of a present on his 21st birthday, that changed everything. In one year, I was no more their obliging son. I was, according to them, ‘confused.’

What would’ve happened if they had said yes and we hadn’t run away? Would we be happier? Would our Sunday dinners include him too? Would we be free? Would we be allowed to stand on the altar? The smile on my face fades away, as I watch the dying embers of my fire. What will they think when I’m gone?

Slowly I stand up and wade my way to the forest’s end where lay the bare ground. The part where I could directly face the valley down below; almost hearing the sound of all the lives that slept in it. Do those birds ever have to run away?

I lie down and gaze at the star studded night and catch a glimpse of a falling star. I hear footsteps approaching and somehow my smile comes back.
‘I thought you said you needed dry wood for our fire,’ he says as he lies down next to me.
Holding hands we gaze at the night, thinking of what would happen next.

Somewhere in the distance, a star twinkled a little more brightly.

So what is Conformity?

 

I’m reading a book on social psychology these days, as a part of my goal to completely and fully understand the human mind. (Seriously, how free am I?) And in the pages I have managed to leaf through until now the author has again and again talked about conformity. He has talked about peer pressure. He has elucidated  on how our behavior changes when we are in propinquity to certain people. He has talked about how badly we want to be accepted.

He has talked about all the things every body hates to talk about, let alone accept it. Also, this post might seem preposterous to certain people, I request you to maintain your rationality and not take anything personally.

Have you ever wondered how your sense of self esteem is directly proportional to your social media account? The rate might vary, but don’t you feel a tinge of satisfaction when the likes cross 200? Or do you judge someone’s instagram based on the number of followers they have? Be honest about it. Do you feel .. ‘proud’ after crossing 1000 followers?

This ‘feeling’ that I’m talking about, this is called ‘conformity.’ Or in simpler terms, ‘validity.’ The feeling of being accepted. The reason why we post it and then wait for the notification box to turn red, is because we crave validity. We crave approval. We crave people nodding their virtual heads seconding us.

I] Why exactly do you ‘dress better’ for a date? I mean, it’s not a rule right? You might as well flaunt those striped pajamas? Then why? Some inner voice telling you to ‘make an impression?’

II] In a hypothetical group of 5 people, four of them say the correct answer is B. You were confident that it was A until all four of them said the correct answer is B. Now you’re starting to have second thoughts, why?

III] Our hypothetical friend Jack has gone for an aquarium visit with 10 of his other friends. He points to the water and says, “Look Bill! That’s a whale!” Bill looks at him confused, “Uh, Jack? That’s clearly a Dolphin.”
Jack looks at Bill pitifully, “Uh NO, THAT is a whale?!”
Bill turns around to the other 8 friends, “Guys! Jack here thinks this beautiful fish is a whale!”
The group glares at Jack like he just killed a unicorn.
“What is wrong with you Jack,” they mutter together “That is a Dolphin!” 

NOW, Jack is starting to doubt himself.”I guess it is a dolphin ..haha how silly of me. “

Now obviously the 9 friends were paid for the experiment to call the fish a dolphin when it was clearly a whale.

But why did Jack change his opinion?

These three examples clearly illustrate what validity and conformity is. Something works inside our brain that makes us crave approval. Something that forces us to mutate our behavior in order to be accepted. How group pressure can sometimes force us to act differently. How we start to self-doubt when the group stands against us.

How ‘nonacceptance’ causes us emotional despair and causes harm to our mental balance. And how being accepted by our peers can instantly elevate our mood.

How it often gets intimidating when you’re the only person defending a cause. How group acceptance is equivalent to comfort. How social media has only added another platform for encouraging low self-esteems and high rate of acceptance seekers. In fact, the entire social media framework works on this. How the fear of not being accepted has its roots deep within us.

This helped me draw my personal conclusion. Even though our want to be validated is strong and almost over powering our smallest of actions, yet breaking this need of social acceptance is one trait that characterizes the truly successful. Those who manage to defend their cause without being deterred by those around them. Those who manage to break the shackles. Those who are ‘successful’ in its literal sense. Those who prefer to sail against the wind. Although, it is not an easy task.

For now, I cannot promise you any solution to this problem, the only thing I can do is urge you to break your own fetters. Or at least be brave enough to stand for yourself.

But the day my research bores something substantial, I will write another post as an answer to this very post.


 

Also, I would urge you all to please go and check my good friend Divyanshi’s blog for she just entered the blogging world contributing her creative ideas for fashion. She is one of the most talented people I have met and portrays on her blog her own colorful and unique sense of fashion and models it all herself. Please visit her space and give her some healthy reviews. Thank you!

Highway

The wind is frantic tonight and the stars are unusually luminescent. I wish I had packed sincerely. But it’s not my fault, I didn’t plan for this to happen.
I stand amidst gushing noise of cars speeding past me, my hair flowing in their direction as I stare at their red tail-lights, until they drive off down the road.

I scramble through my bag and I only find a sweatshirt, my notebook and some useless currency. I wish I’d kept my iPod. At least I’d have a musical companion on my way.
I sigh as I glare at the night again, ‘What do I do?’ I ask the silver stars.

Disappointed I look down, half expecting a twinkle.

I feel oddly cool. My chest isn’t burning with uninvited anxiety, nobody’s around to question me, I’m not trying to find peace any more, probably because I’ve found it.
Right here.

On this highway.

Humanity has retired to slumber, but the magic has awoken. And I can feel it in the midnight mist.

I have tried and tried to understand all that is wrong in our massively sinister and decadent society. I even resorted to finding answers, answers to questions that trouble us till our deathbed and I have failed. I hinged on the universe to give me answers, but all I ever received were instructions to stop trying to fix things.

I guess not everything can be healed. The roots are too deep to exhume, understand, obliterate or mend. I tried to seek answers from pages of books. For pages are far too patient than anything I’ve known. But they hesitated, giving a sad smile as I stared at them blankly. They too, didn’t have the answers.

The past evening, I rummaged through my drawers in search of everything I could take with me. Sadly, nothing was important enough.

So I ran. I ran as fast as I could. My lips trembling, my heart beating through my chest and cold air piercing through my lungs. But it felt good. Dear God it felt good. The wind blew through every strand of my hair, untangling it, playing with it. Warm tears rolled down my cool cheeks, for the wind was too fierce to run against.
The city was sinking out of view and when I came to a halt, I could only see distant, yellow lights scintillating below the city’s skyline.

And now I stand alone on this endless road. With nothing but the low hum of cars rushing past me.

I wish I could say more and confide in you about my journey ahead. But I’m afraid you will come looking for me. And as much as I love you for it, I don’t want to be found.

For now, this highway is my home.

I turn around and take a wistful glance at the city that raised me. I  tighten my grip around my notebook. After all, it is the one who will tell my story.

One Last Effort

There is so much going on right now. I tip-toe silently trying to slide pass through all the energy inside. A moment ago I too was standing amidst all the chatter and hysterics. But very soon like I forbode, it started to consume me.
The song, the laugh, the drink, the people and their heated words uttered so fast I can barely make any sense of it. I can hear everything around me but I cannot understand a thing. I glance around in that crowd, where could I possibly go? What do I do?

I’m overwhelmed. I don’t do well in crowds and meaningless conversations. I’ve always loved the quiet, always preferred it. Always been fascinated with things I shouldn’t be fascinated with. I look around again, anxious.  A group erupts in laughter, a stout robust man quaffs down his entire drink and quizzically inquires for more.
A woman subtly adjusts the straps of her dress.
A man nervously strokes his tie, this is a deal he cannot miss.
The waiter stands patiently, waiting for them to finish their drinks, so that he may be done for the day.
The singer sings in all her melody, while no one is listening and she’s too drunk to notice.
I gulp in anticipation though I do not know of what.

I see a door straight down the hallway, festooned with ribbons and glitter. I open the door quietly, just enough for me to slip through; and I run. I run as fast as I can storming past the hallway, making conversations pause and a couple of heads follow my trail.

I reach a garden and my toes are bruised but I don’t feel any pain. The quiet is comforting and the cold seems like a friend. I lean against a wall and slam on the ground, breathing heavily and staring into the night. My hair is a travesty and sweat seeps through my make-up.

By now I only hear soft music playing somewhere far. Far enough to not be intelligible and I sit there barefoot, my head resting against the wall and every deep breath pushing hot air through the fog.
I see small yellow fairy-lights carefully hung over the bushes. I’ve always loved lights, you know. But not the superfluous, exaggerated, colorful ones. But the quiet, yellow and warm ones.

I pick myself up and make my way to the pool. The calm, unperturbed surface speaks to me. Glaring at the water I find peace. I’m enticed by how deep it might be. So deep that they cannot ever find me. So deep that the world fails to follow my trail and all that consumes me washes away inside it.
So I jump.

I jump in the water and let go. Bubbles of air escape my body as I close my eyes and allow myself to sink. As low as I can. As deep as the waters may allow me.
I think of everything that overwhelmes me, everything that makes me anxious and I feel it leave my body.
Everything that makes me hold on to things, everything that makes me think, it’s slowly going away as the water fills my body and it swells and crashes the bottom.

And in my final moments I see those lights. Though they don’t appear little anymore. The water makes them glow like blazing balls of fire, spreading their warm glow over me, maybe trying one last time to bring me comfort. In one last effort, I smile and bid them farewell.

Until I start floating on the surface.

Understanding an Introvert; Part-I

introvert noun ɪntrəvəːt/  1. a shy, reticent person.
You see, life as an introvert is not as easy and ‘simple’ as you think. People have various fascinating and sometimes hurtful perceptions about an introvert. Like in some way it is a ‘bad’ thing to be quiet and shy. So this post is for all my fellow introverts out there- you guys rule.
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My 20 years as an introvert brought up several types of opinions about me. Some were good, some bad, some reckless, either way people always look at you differently. My experiences have been rather dicey when it comes to people forming an opinion about me. Some people love me on first meet, some hate me on the first sight, some don’t give a crap
And despite all the spiteful judgement people form for introverts, I’ve always been fascinated by them-their thought process when they see a quiet girl entering a subway and reading a book or listening to music, ignoring everyone around.
I’m not kidding, I’ve really experienced all this in high-school and am still experiencing it in college. People often call you ‘fake’ which is a very common term high-schoolers use to brand someone as ‘not very High-Schooly’ or if someone is too kind. Introverts are usually happy being alone, they’re often bored in groups but they never get bored of being with themselves.
‘ALONE’ doesn’t feel very inhospitable to them.They might sit in a group of friends and have fun, but somewhere in their mind they’ll fantasize about the moment they’ll be alone with their book or coffee or anything they are particularly attached with, which is most of the time an object or something that exists only in their mind. We don’t mind staying indoors while others are out partying. You might say-“Get a life!” Guess what? ‘We ARE getting a life.’

It’s creepy how precise this picture is. 😛

What people do is that they mistake our silence with oblivion. They don’t understand the fact that just because we’re quiet doesn’t mean we’re not listening. We observe everything around us. YES, we KNOW when people whisper stuff about us along with scanning us top to bottom with their eye balls.

What you normal people should know is that just because we have trouble initiating conversation with people doesn’t mean we’re rude goblins with a rotten apple for a heart and we sure as hell don’t think of ourselves as ‘above’ everyone else. Most of the time, it’s the exact opposite. And from my own personal view, introverts are usually very kind people, we won’t fire a bullet in the center of your forehead when you talk to us. If you talk to us, we’ll reply-like normal people do-No Big Deal.

Our amount of talk usually depends on our level of comfort with the other person. We can’t tolerate to be around people we can’t stand, again that’s pretty normal.


 A girl in my college sat next to me once and she kept rambling on and on and on and wouldn’t stop and when she observed (finally) that I hadn’t said a word between her chatter for about 20 minutes she said, “Don’t you like to talk?”  Honestly, she kinda caught me off guard, it was very brusque- I didn’t know what to respond. So I shrugged and stuttered some muffled words; eventually she left.

 

One thing about us introverts-we have a lot of trouble trusting people, another valid reason we prefer being to ourselves. We have trouble expressing our feelings, that is why we project it in some way. As for me, it is through writing. I mostly write about my thoughts, my emotions, my frustration or maybe some prosaic observation.

We like to sit and observe. Observe how beautiful the clouds look today, how soothing the wind is, softly caressing our skin. We mute the entire world and just sit and see-and we LIKE that.So I hope when you normal people read this you muster up the courage to talk to that guy who usually sits alone in the cafeteria or the girl who’s seen in the library in the recess. We’re shy, we’re dreamers, we’re cogitative, observers, lovable, thoughtful and of course, quiet.
Try us, we’re not that bad-actually don’t, leave us alone.

Encapsulating 2016

Reader,

How are you today? I hope you’re merry and healthy as we descend to the end of a rather bleak 2016. I’m aware this year has been rather morbid, hasn’t it? Or is it just I who feels that way?
I only hope next year brings some light along with it. I think we all need it.

I’m not going to write about anything today. I’ll just talk (or write?)aurora-1185877_960_720

I had made a point to read as many books as possible this year and fortunately, I did it. I’ve read various kinds of literature and I’m just one book away from finishing every book ever written by Jane Austen.
How cool is that?

And the best thing I read this year was this book I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. It’s called Into the Wild. I’m sure many of you must have seen its movie version. I watched it in 9th grade. If you’re even vaguely familiar with the plot, you can imagine the kind of effect it had on me.

Reader, I watched it thrice. I  take the liberty to say that this movie helped me go through that phase, it really did. And now, 5 years later, the book has done it too; helped me wade through this wretched year.

(If you haven’t seen it yet, you should. Personal recommendation.)

Yesterday I finished reading Jane Eyre. Literature enthusiasts would know how popular that book is. In fact, it is the reason I’m particularly sulky right now. The story is so dark and bleak; painfully gripping.

If any of you is interested in reading my book reviews, since I’ve been reading like a mad man these days, you can find me on Goodreads. They’re not very good though, I’m warning you. If you want me to recommend you some books, ping me an email. I’m right here!

I’m a firm believer that every event in your life has a reason attached to it. There are no co-incidences. You go through a phase, or you meet certain people, or you ‘stumble’ upon some particular thing, because you were meant to. There is no stopping that. And however difficult situations get, I’ll never stop believing this.
The fact that the last couple of years have been hard only reaffirms this theory. They were difficult, but they were worth learning from. There was a reason they were difficult.
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Also, you will not believe something I’m going to tell you. A couple of months back, there was a moment when I found myself staring at the, ‘Delete Blog‘ button of WordPress. That’s right. I was one click away from saying goodbye to this place. If it wasn’t for this life-savior friend God gave me, I would’ve bidden you all farewell.
But she reminded how much effort it took me to build this page.
So I stayed. (Like the Kygo song. :P)

Perhaps the most trying part of this year was around October. That’s when my dad got really sick. That was the toughest, I swear. Staring at your father in a hospital bed at 3:00 in the morning as his hands are all pierced in needles and just praying he gets well soon is a terrible and devastating feeling. I pray you never have to go through it.

And here’s a tip- Never roam around in hospital galleries after midnight. It’s lonelier than you think. Overall, this year has been weird. I’ve had some heart swelling, delirious days. Most of them have been darker. I hope 2017 is slightly kinder to me and not like a battlefield.

Anyway, I’ll close this preposterous rant now.

This will be my last post for 2016. I hope you all had a great Christmas and I hope you have the most exhilarating year, full of new experiences, new people and more love.

Sending a silent prayer for the world to heal a little in 2017. Love each other people, we all need it.

Cheers.

Here is a fantastic song I’ve listening lately. Enjoy!

 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Lured by Fantasy

Ever since I was a little girl, the one adjective people usually branded me with was -‘excited.’ I was always excited. Always chirpy. Happy. Laughing. Flamboyant. Giggling- (laughing like a retarded hyena.) And I always enjoyed it. I’ve always admired  and sort of coveted feistiness.

I loved people who could laugh and make others laugh. I couldn’t tolerate ‘quiet’ people. Not because there was anything wrong with them, but there was always so much energy inside me waiting to be released-and without a proper recipient I often felt my spirits lowered.

Even as a little girl (and till this day) I prefer thrill and excitement over tranquility. Don’t get me wrong, I too desire long walks on beaches and empty coffee shops.
But do I love books?- YES! But would I sacrifice a day of reading to go to a carnival with daunting rides?- Absolutely!
Do I like to sit quietly at parties and observe people-Yes! But do I also secretly crave to dance wildly with the others?-Absolutely! 

Like my favorite Jane Austen said-
‘Elizabeth had a lively, playful disposition that delighted in anything ridiculous.’

This very disposition of mine directly lured me to fantasy. Which is what I’m here to talk about. Since most of my friends think I’m only one hallucination away from being taken to a psychiatrist, I’m obliged to ramble (like I always do) about it on my blog.

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I love fantasy. It is perhaps my favorite genre in the world of books and movies. I have devoured the Lord of the Rings series and it circulates in my bloodstream. Sometimes I randomly quote Darth Vader to my mom. At times I try to switch the lights on in my room by saying, Lumos.
I’m trying very hard to learn the Elvish language coined by Tolkien. I literally asked all my close friends to change my contact name to ‘Lord Vader.’ (All of them complied-with a pitiful sigh though.) Half of the pictures in my phone (3000) either consist of mountains and snowy countries, salacious humor or fictional pictures.

Although I seldom try to justify my obsession, my answer to the blatant question is-

The reason I love fantasy is because I crave adventure. In every possible form. I love a rapidly beating heart. I love when I’m out of breath (not too much though-lol.) I love stories about dragons, and goblins, wizards, elves, witches, galaxies, battles, Gods, demigods. I love everything- unearthly. It fascinates me, charms me. And what deeply grieves me is the want to be a part of these stories knowing that that’s not possible.

I would jolly well help Harry reclaim Hogwarts or the Dwarves reclaim the Lonely Mountain than solve algebraic equations. I would prefer a battle with Basilisk or even help Sherlock solve some cases (though I won’t be of much help).

And because my life or rather anybody’s life on this stupid planet Earth can never be this thrilling, I resolve to fantasy. It gives me my share of adventure. And also some very faithful fictional friends; powerful if I may add.

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So what is your idea of adventure? Let me know?

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Some Great Elysium

I need you to be in a specific mood before reading this post. It’s important. So before you go on reading, I want you to watch this video and listen to this song. Then we’ll talk.

I hope you liked the song. I’ve listened to it 14 times already.

For a long while, I’ve harbored this notion that everybody, in some phase of their life, has a ‘turning point.’ A day, or maybe a month or maybe a year in which things happened that changed you. For better or for worse.

My best friend and I have a code name for this, we like to call it the ‘year.’ Mostly because for both of us it was this one particular year that changed us, completely. So whenever we see somebody in  a ‘pre-year’ phase, we shake our heads and say, ‘Oh he just hasn’t had his ‘year’ yet.’ 

Most of the time, these changes are permanent. This is what hones us as we grow up. This is what gives us our unique personality. This is what makes each one of us different. Anything could trigger this change- One particular incident, a series of incidents, a heavy loss, some serious betrayal, a miracle, serendipity?  Like I said- for better or for worse.

Nevertheless, these changes are important. To some they might be heartbreaking and they might miss the person they were before the change. To some, it would almost seem magical.

These are certain periods in your life that are specifically designed for you to learn from. You might not see it on the surface but they’re here to provide answers to some questions you’ve buried too long. They’re here to give you the absolute truth. They’re here to give you your perspective of things.

This phase is what blurs the wall between  crudity and maturity. Don’t get me wrong, you’re the still the same person, you still enjoy the things you love, it is just your view that changes. It is your way of calibrating the life around you that transforms.

And I’m going to say it again- it is important. This change, if understood and not resisted, might become your greatest teacher. There is no timeline for the ‘year’ to happen. It can happen at any age.

Some people are lucky enough to have it soon. Most of us have it multiple times in our life. I myself have had it twice. But I’m glad every single day it did. It made me the person I am today. Stronger, more empathetic and more headstrong.

Reflect on your life for once, go back and think about the day that changed you.

You did find something, didn’t you?

P.s- As for the song, I don’t exactly know why I shared it particularly with this post. But maybe because in the video you can see the death of their friend transforming all the friends. Just maybe. 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Anne’s Last Letter

A couple of months back, I read ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ without the slightest notion of how deeply it is going to move me. Had I even an ounce of idea of the deep impact Anne’s words would have on me, I’d have prepared myself better. Nonetheless, I’m glad I read it. Some of you might have a hint of who she was.

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Anne Frank

 

Anne was the youngest daughter of Otto Frank, a Jewish man who fled Germany along with his family and went into hiding after the rising oppression against the Jews in the 1940s. Anne spent two years underground in what she called, ‘The Secret Annexe’ and wrote about her experience in a diary her father gave her on her 13th birthday.

There are certain entries in her diary so hauntingly beautiful, that I was nothing short of bewildered after reading them. Although all her entries are a proof of how mentally strong and capable she was, along with displaying her out of the world writing skills. But there is one particular diary entry, her very last before she was captured by the Nazis, the one that she wrote on Tuesday, August 1st, 1944.

I literally held my breath while reading it. No song, lyric or poem, has ever succeeded in describing so precisely,this disposition of mine, that I find so hard to make sense of, at times. Every single word she wrote in her last entry was directly describing who I am as a person. And because this 15 year old did a far better job than I ever could, in writing about a personality that is strikingly similar to mine, I chose to share it here. This is was she wrote:

Dearest Kitty,
“A bundle of contradictions” was the end of my previous letter and is the beginning of this one. Can you please tell me exactly what “a bundle of contradictions” is? What does “contradiction” mean? Like so many words, it can be interpreted in two ways: a contradiction imposed from without and one imposed from within.
The former means not accepting other people’s opinions, always knowing best, having the last word; in short, all those unpleasant traits for which I’m known. The latter, for which I’m not known, is my own secret.

As I’ve told you many times, I’m split in two. One side contains my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy in life and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things. By that I mean not finding anything wrong with flirtations, a kiss, an embrace, an off-colour joke. This side of me is usually lying in wait to ambush the other one, which is much purer, deeper and finer. No one knows Anne’s better side.
I hate having to tell you this, but why shouldn’t I admit it when I know it’s true?

My lighter, more superficial side will always steal a march on the deeper side and therefore always win. You can’t imagine how often I’ve tried to push away this Anne, which is only half of what is known as Anne-to beat her down, hide her. But it doesn’t work, and I know why.

I’m afraid that people who know me as I usually am will discover I have another side, a better and finer side. I’m afraid they’ll mock me, think I’m ridiculous and sentimental and not take me seriously. I’m used to not being taken seriously, but only the “light-hearted” Anne is used to it and can put up with it; the “deeper” Anne is too weak. If I force the good Anne into the spotlight for even fifteen minutes, she shuts up like a clam the moment she’s called upon to speak, and lets Anne number one do the talking. Before I realize it, she’s disappeared.

So the nice Anne is never seen in company. She’s never made a single appearance, though she almost always takes the stage when I’m alone. I know exactly how I’d like to be, how I am… on the inside. But unfortunately I’m only like that with myself. And perhaps that’s why-no, I’m sure that’s the reason why I think of myself as happy on the inside and other people think I’m happy on the outside. I’m guided by the pure Anne within, but on the outside I’m nothing but a frolicsome little goat tugging at its tether.

The happy-go-lucky Anne laughs, gives a flippant reply, shrugs her shoulders and pretends she doesn’t give a darn. The quiet Anne reacts in just the opposite way. 

If I’m quiet and serious, everyone thinks I’m putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke.

Yours, Anne M. Frank


You notice the ‘deeper, more conscious, more serious and more fragile Anne she’s talking about? And how she prefers to keep her hidden, for the people around her are not ‘used’ to her brooding, vulnerable side?

How people have always seen her as a boisterous, chirpy girl who jokes and laughs? And how whenever she even tries to bring out her ‘inner’ Anne, people find it absurd and she’s afraid they might ridicule her silent and deeper side, so she quickly hides it and ‘escapes with a joke?’

I know so many people who’re exactly the same. Too afraid to lay themselves bare. For they fear their vulnerability might be ridiculed. Bringing out your inner depth only to have it derided and not taken seriously is a form of unaddressed humiliation. It doesn’t make me angry. It hurts. Which is even worse than anger.

And all this time I’ve been trying to find the right words to explain this behavior. And Anne did it at 15.

Why Modesty Matters

Honestly, this is the longest I’ve been away from my blog and I feel awful. I’ve lost touch with so many  bloggers and I can’t even calibrate how to catch up. I promise I’ll make it up to all of you.

Those who’ve been following this blog for long know why exactly I’ve decided to emerge out of the grey solitude I love so much. Yes, an issue is troubling me and I won’t be at peace until I’ve written about it. So bear with me, please?

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Those who are fond of standing behind the scenes and just plainly observing people and the massive rate at which we are morally declining would agree when I say that out of all the virtues that humans have so recklessly decided to abandon, one remains on the precipice of absolute extinction- modesty. 

Whether it’s people’s instagram posts, or their facebook check-ins, or just the way they talk and express themselves, I’ve more than often observed this abominable hint of excessive pride in their disposition. Maybe partly it’s the fault of those widely shared images of ‘Love yourself f*ck the rest’ people seem to follow religiously.

But seriously, I feel awful. Truly sad, disgusted and really really pained every time I sense this dark cloud of conceit and vanity looming over people in their 20s who have, if I may be so bold to claim, achieved absolutely NOTHING so far, are living off their parents’ income, fritter away the resources they are provided with and somehow due to some false sense of pride, consider themselves to be doing a favor to the world by existing.

Where did humbleness go? What about being modest? Where is humility?

Everybody I meet these days has this absurd stand-offish air that I fail to make any sense of. It’s like everyone believes themselves to be the messiah. They are the best. They don’t need valuable advice from people who have much more experience than them. They are the ‘star.’ All these titles are self proclaimed, if I may add. 

I’m not saying self-love isn’t important. Of course it is! But don’t you agree that too much self obsession is harmful? Don’t you think, that if you consider yourself to be the master of everything, you’re leaving no space for growth? How will you learn if you’re not even willing to accept that you NEED to learn? How is being meretricious of any use?

And to make matters worse, it’s often the dumbest people who are the most confident about themselves. This sounds incredibly rude, but these are not my words. I’m merely resonating what Bertrand Russell said, The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.’

It’s like after you reach a certain age, majority of your conversations have to revolve around, ‘how great you are doing’, ‘how much wealth you’ve accumulated,’ ‘how many countries you’ve traveled,’ ‘how hot & rich is the person you’re dating’ , ‘how happy you are and how badly you want to tell this to the world’ ‘who’s job is fancier’..

*sigh*

May I just appeal to anyone reading this to please, please be humble. Even if you’ve been blessed with fortune that you played no part in earning, or life has been enormously kind to you or maybe, in an exceptional case you have achieved everything on the dint of your hard work still, please be humble. Be kind. Be open to new ideas. Don’t close your doors to improvement, growth or advice. Don’t be condescending. Don’t be rude.

Everyone faces different storms of life. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Stay kind.

Love always,

your blogger .


Note- Sorry this turned out to be a rather long and angry rant, if you managed to read it this far I have a gift for you. Here is one of my favorite songs from the band ‘Chairlift.‘ Hope you like it. 🙂

Chairlift- Met Before

Brimful of Thoughts

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Do you ever, somewhere in your deep subconscious mind, feel the heat of tumult and conflict to such an extraordinary level that you long for nothing but a cool, silent wind; wind to blow softly through your mind and ease the burns arising from the constant conflict of thoughts?

To, only for a while, feel nothing but intense cold and then the comfort of a soft, cool rain extinguishing any remaining embers in the parched, torrid land. Have you ever, even briefly, longed for a moment of absolute placidity? Closing your eyes to make thoughts halt and opening them only to be revived again.

That the burden of wonder and curiosity at times becomes too much to bear. For you cannot afford to question everything alone? And answers are only found in stories, here in your mind, there is only a dispute. Constant debate, incessant squabble, shocking revelations, unnerving deductions mixed with a love for stars, nature, seasons and happy endings.

What do you do when there is no particular truth, but only a galaxy of perspectives? The scenery changing with every different camera angle. What do you do with these perspectives-for aren’t they a little selfish? Only acknowledging the mind from where they emanated?

Do you juggle with these flames of unsolved riddles? Or do you spend your life solving it piece by piece?

More importantly, in the process of figuring out this puzzle, do you ever stop and long for peace? If yes, then how do you find those gray showers of rain?

Love always,
Your blogger.

Blood is thicker than Water

(Wrote this for a competition a long time back. It’s a little long, but give it a thought please)

Part-I

She sat in the Starbucks cafe, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The blood stained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with her blue silk scarf. Stealthily her sharp eyes scanned the somber room; distant chatter of a budding couple perforated the air as the waiter shut the counter close for the day.

One by one the lights were shut. ‘Emma, we’re closing in 5 minutes,’ said a young lad unfastening his green apron. Taking a deep breath she put her cup down and stealthily slipped the knife in the bag, carefully as to not to spoil it with remnants of blood.

She walked out and scanned the arena, making sure no one was around. Fitting a torch in her mouth, she spread a map on the hood of her car and put a cross over an address. Her cold fingers followed a path up North. ‘I know you’re here somewhere,’ she said narrowing her eyes. Navigating it further she followed a trail to the east, searching for a nearby river so it would be easy to dump the cadaver.
‘Got you bastard,’ she muttered putting a red dot over an address. She measured the distance between the house and the river, ‘Three miles, well that’s not very far,’ she deduced with an ominous smile.
The night was unnaturally dark and the silver glow of the moon would occasionally hide behind the drape of grey floating clouds. Folding the map she closed her eyes and felt the stillness for a while. She remembered who she was before all this. A normal teenager but that was all gone now. Mere ghost of the past.

She glanced at her watch. It would all be over tonight.

Part-II

The sound of the clock was his only company as Mr. Berg sat resting on his palm, poking his forehead with a pencil, staring at a note. A tear rolled down and soaked the paper damp. The throat was choked.
His son had gone for his most coveted lake trip. He remembered his last conversation with his son, Dad, it’s going to be alright. It’s over now. We won,’ Lancel had chimed. But Mr. Berg knew it wasn’t over. He knew it the day he had seen the rage in Emma’s eyes when she had found out everything. And also when he received the news of Lancel’s death an hour ago.
It was an hour past midnight and he couldn’t even lament his son’s death. A guilt ridden, lonely father seeking ways to absolve his sins. A crash of thunder woke him up from his reverie and get back to what he was still trying to solve.
‘Blood is thicker than water,’ said the note he held, written inhard, vigorous strokes. 
“What in God’s name does that mean?” The authorities had found this note in the backpack Lancel left across the lake, right before he went for a swim, as they put it.
After researching and digging deep, he managed to understand the meaning of the proverb from his small repository of books, but he couldn’t understand what she inferred from it.
Mr. Berg knew Emma was behind it, behind Lancel’s murder. She had been abashed after her best friend, Alan died and he knew she would seek vengeance right after she found out Mr. Berg had killed him. And the revenge was simple. Kill Lancel.

Suddenly, amidst the pang of grief and horror, he was still. Staring into nothing, his face was blank. And dark grey spread across his eyes, like heavy clouds discreetly covering the sky. The quiet before a storm. The hush after a battle. He had understood what the note meant.
He scurried up and rummaged through a tattered phone book. With trembling fingers he dialed a number and held his breath as the sinister bell rang and the phone was answered by an unwelcoming voice.
“What is it?”
“She’s coming. She’s coming to kill me. She found out! She’ll not stop before she has killed all of us! She already killed Lancel!!”
“What do you want me to do?”
“Come here before she comes and kill her!! Hello?!”
He had hung up the phone.

Part-III

Mr. Berg was walking nervously across his study and figuring out how he would explain it all to Emma. His son was dead, he was next. He glanced at the ghastly note again and continued his tensed walk. Telling the truth was the last wise thing to do since the phone call didn’t work, he thought.
The storm picked up its pace and the lamp on his table flickered as he wrote a letter with trembling fingers. The night was cold and the lamp did little to keep him warm. He ignored the lump in his throat that came with thinking it would be the last thing he’d ever write and put the letter in his pocket. Now all he had to do was wait.

Suddenly there was a knock on the door. He glanced up and waited for a moment, the horror in the air jamming his legs. There was a knock again, loud vigorous thuds; surprisingly audible within the howling wind and frantic trees.
He saw the door being unlocked skilfully and his heart stopped as a grave, dark figure stormed in. Heavy, callous steps and a gory knife in her hand, she marched in, for the last bloody deed of the day. To complete the cycle, to balance the karma.
“Emma, listen to me. You need to learn the entire truth. You only know the grey part, the darker part awaits. Please, I beg you. Stop this madness and talk to me,” he stammered with joined trembling hands and shaky legs.
He was on his knees as she slit his throat open, and his head hit the ground as a copious pool of blood emerged around it. She looked at the ground and stared right in his pitiful eyes, “Alan, this was for you. I pray you have your peace now.”
In his last breaths, Mr. Berg handed her the letter and coughed some blood before finally closing his eyes.

Emma didn’t understand. Her first thought was to throw the letter in the fireplace. But her curiosity found her ripping it open and taking out an almost illegible piece of writing.

‘Emma,
By the time you read this, I’m probably dead and lying on your feet as I know there’d be no mercy in you for what I did. In utter honesty, I will never forgive you for what you did to my son and neither will I forgive myself for what I did to Alan. It would be hard for you to believe, but we were ourselves dubious about this entire venture. 

You should know, we are just pawns in a bigger game. Puppets to the master puppeteer and we did nothing but follow the instructions.
Someone you know, called me last month and told me about his vicious plan. Alan’s father was my cousin but also a business competitor, so the idea of his business being disrupted appealed to me.
He explained to me how big my cousin’s business empire was and wanted to sabotage it after his death by killing its only heir, Alan. But he couldn’t get close to the family so he made me, his uncle do it. He asked Lancel and I to give him a bulky share after we inherited the business since there was no one else of the family left. He made me see the long term benefits of this endeavor.  We could shut the police down by a heavy bribe and no one would bat an eye. 

No one would even ask of Alan’s family and we’d pretend to be atrociously grieved while the cash flows in our bank. So Lancel and I planned Alan’s murder. We asked a lorry driver to hit his car when he drives back from college and make it look like an unfortunate accident. The task was done but I still don’t understand how you found out. I rest my eyes with the satisfaction of not knowing it. 

I knew you’d come to seek revenge. Alan was more precious than anyone to you. Your bond reflected that, everyone knew it. But that you’d kill for him, I guess I never expected that. Now I understand why the ‘blood of the covenant was thicker than the water of the womb.’ This is the entire saying isn’t it? 
Despite being connected with blood, we couldn’t control our greed for wealth, while you stepped into fire for your best friend Alan.

Emma, he is a tyrant. A murderer and he’ll kill anyone who gets in the way.
I called him an hour before to seek help but be hung up. But I’m sure he’ll be coming to kill you.

Run Emma, run before he comes. Run before it’s too late.’

And before she even knew, there was a gun shot and a scorching pain emanated within her. Like a sword slowly slicing its way through her body. Her shirt was drenched with blood and she fell on the ground only to see a familiar figure.
She gaped with horror over the shadow above her.
Tears rolled down as she gasped for breath and said her final words,
“Dad .. No!”

Blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb, indeed.

Post Life

Perhaps the most exacting part of growing up is realizing that you are now expected to perform. And that there is no scope left for chances. That there are certain results of a certain magnitude that people want to see you deliver. And you look around and you don’t see protection or second chances, but you see a battle. And even the strongest people I’ve met, have agreed to have felt that fear. Fear of under-achieving, fear of failure, fear of letting down and fear of not being good enough.

It is even worse when your heart has chosen to make a home in a place where the only way to reach it, is to take a chance. And you’re not fortunate enough to take that chance. What we are not told when we take our very first step into the world, is that we only need to grow while learning through this life. And experience its various nuances, replenish your soul with experiences-both good and bad and keeping riches and fortunes as a secondary goal.

Not learn to earn, but learn to understand the right way to live. Don’t hurt yourself mentally in the ache of not being the first horse in the race. It is okay. The onerous competition around us and the fear of failure is like a dark cloud; quiet and threatening.

What we need to propagate, is to make yourself, your life, your growth and your happiness of prime importance. Make sure to not be effected by what others are doing, but to slowly and steadily find your calling. And even if you don’t-IT IS OKAY. That’s what we need to say more- IT IS OKAY.

So the next time you feel fear creeping up your backbone, take a deep breath and tell yourself, ‘You’ve got this. IT IS OKAY.’ 


I’m also very happy to announce that we officially have a Facebook Page. I, in collaboration with a bunch of my supremely talented friends launched our page, The Theories of Everything where we would post occasional words, thoughts and write ups that we pen down.
We’ve also collaborated with our brilliant designer Zer0ality who has taken up the duty to design our posts.

Apart from this, we’ve all chosen to keep our posts anonymous for we wish to let our words speak for ourselves. I know you’ve all done more than enough for me here on WordPress but I really wish from my heart is that whoever is on Facebook, please promote our page, like and/or share according to your wishes for I’d be eternally grateful to you all.

I assure you, the write ups will be beautiful and you would not regret any of it. But even if you don’t I will only add, IT IS OKAY.

Love always,
Your blogger.

Simplicity Rhyme

simplicity

They promise me hoards of gold and glitter,
And a jewel to bedazzle my slender neck,
A ring to festoon my lady fingers,
A sparkly dress to adorn my chest.

I smile with gratitude,
While they try to find the perfect shoe,
For what more could a girl desire?
Than a closet full of exotic tulle.

They scamper across the country,
Fidget, fight, falter and ferment.
Frenzied by my lack of satisfaction,
My heart had exposed my furtive pretend.

Aghast they make a one last try,
And scour the stores for a velvet sweater,
Displeased I caress its threads and wonder,
When was the last time someone wrote me a letter?

Wistfully I smile at my list of pleasures,
A little pile of invaluable treasure,
A mix tape made of our favorite songs,
A good old journal, that time had worn.

A wooden mug, a home for my coffee,
Maybe flowers- tulips and lilies.
An album of old photographs,
Stuck on a paper haphazardly.

Matching bands,
A token for our friendship,
A ticket for a stage play,
A messy unplanned road trip?

A picture on a key-chain,
For I shall carry it forever,
Small antique wooden artistry,
A box of varied stationary!

And the most precious of all,
What you’d find in every corner and nook,
A beloved obsession,
A precious book.

While I tried on that sweater,
Smiling at my imaginary list,
Secretly bubbling at my fictional tryst,
My smile faded at the wonder of how,
They only measure joy in bills.

As I looked at my velvet image,
A living example of standing travesty,
My head shook in contempt,
How hard is it really to comprehend?
That a feeling as pure as felicity,
Some people still find in simplicity.

Chasing Life

Over the past couple of months a new form of concern has managed to make a home in my mind. I’m not allowing it to worry me, but since I observe various forms of it every single day it has caused me to brood for a considerable amount of time.

But what really sparked this natter and the anxious tapping of my keyboard was a recent post I read by one of my most beloved inspirations, Elizabeth Gilbert. I am short of the right words to describe how much I admire this woman and what she is doing for the society. I might go on a rant about my admiration for her, but let us preserve that for another post.

Everywhere I look around these days, I see people choking. Everyone toiling in the sun, anxious and worried about what is to come. Some are anxious about the future, some are stuck in stagnancy. The younger ones are only starting to get accustomed to societal pressure, the youth are worried about building for themselves a life that society approves, and the adults are worried about what is in store for their kids’.

I see people with tragic levels of anxiety and nervousness for life. Almost nobody these days has the courage to live for themselves. At this point I must state that I certainly do not exclude myself from the list.

In one post, Elizabeth (Liz) vividly recalled a story about her cousin. She reflected how her cousin left her secure and comfortable job and decided to start afresh in a new country. A country as beautiful and promising as New Zealand. She told how her cousin had reached that point of stagnancy in her life, where no matter what she did, dissatisfaction prevailed most of the time. So she decided to begin again. After reaching one saturation point, she garnered all her strength and moved away where everything worked out for her. Today, Elizabeth says, her cousin looks back and thinks that the only thing she needed to make herself incandescently happy was courage.

Courage to let go of everything that was pulling her down. This is what I see everyday. All the people I meet; everyone is being pulled down. Everyone is trying to find answers. Everyone is busy trying to please the world and present to it a facade of prosperity, wealth and happiness. It is shocking and it is grieving to see people having to go through so much just to fulfil their obligations to the world.
I see people fed up of their jobs, fed up of the people around them, fed up of their course of study, fed up of stress. Yet almost nobody has the courage to break the fetters. They spend their entire life in pursuit of happiness yet they never find it.

People continue chasing in the entire race not realizing to stop and breathe for a while, for the fear of being left behind is daunting, isn’t it? I fear we all make the same mistake. Choose survival over living. The fear grips us in its fists and we do everything to survive. Ignoring our passion and our inner calling and gearing up for the race.

But for some (like Elizabeth’s cousin) this becomes unbearable at one point. Some do manage to break the shackles, some do manage to tread the untread path. Some do manage to take the risk, give themselves a chance and just for a while, start living for themselves.
I ardently believe that it is never too late to start afresh. I do not encourage people to abandon their filial or any other responsibilities, but what I do urge and request from this post is, to please stop being your worst critic and start approving of the things you do.

Love yourself to the point that you would be able to garner the courage you need to let go. The key is satisfaction and it will unlock the door to happiness.
Make a plan in such a way that you seek and find happiness along with fulfilling your duties. Don’t ever feel that time has run out. As Elizabeth once stated, ‘If you’re not dead yet, you’re not done yet.

joie-de-vivre.

Love always,
Your blogger.

Let Me Tell You About Love

Nobody probably expects me to write about a topic as quizzical as love. Somehow, this side of life has still been unexplored by me. Do not get me wrong, I have tried making the sail. I have wet my feet in shallow waters and felt the warm sand below but never had the strength to sail away. Somehow, the depth was too overwhelming, and I always stepped back thinking maybe one day, I will have the strength to go farther.

Nothing usual can invoke me to write about a subject as convoluted as love. No movie, no mushy quotes, not even people themselves.

But the only things on this wondrous planet that can shake my iron heart and loosen the chains a little, are words. And tonight one of my closest friends (you know who you are) introduced me to a writer whose words had such a heavy impact on me, that I was forced to write about it.

Gazillions of wordsmiths, poets and philosophers tried to define love. They tried to capture it, encapsulate it in words, take it in their palm and examine it under the sun, spent nights brooding over it. But they couldn’t succeed.
And there I am, merely a young solemn writer, what can I possibly tell about love? But for my mind’s sake, I shall try.

But first, I present to you Jonathan Safran Foer, the man whose words have made me their captive tonight. I spent hours sifting through his quotations, gasped and shrieked, welled up and shook, got overwhelmed and read it all over again.

Foer says,

“I like to see people reunited, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can’t tell fast enough, the ears that aren’t big enough, the eyes that can’t take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

“I hope that one day you will have the experience of doing something you do not understand for someone you love.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

The more you love someone,” he came to think, the harder it is to tell them.”
-― Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

“We had everything to say to each other, but no ways to say it”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

 

and my favorite,

“Being with him made my brain quiet. I didn’t have to invent a thing.”
Jonathan Safran Foer

Do you feel it too? The sheer magnificence of these words? Woven so wisely they make you feel so much altogether, isn’t it? How can I possibly surpass this brilliance?

But love I reckon, is more than just two people sharing their time with each other. It’s much more than young love making you bubble with excitement. It is definitely much more than keeping your lover’s picture with you.
If all these things could qualify as love, then we probably wouldn’t have so many broken hearts today.

It is about finding peace. It is about finding placidity. It is about having someone to come home to. It is about growing and spoiling each other at the same time. It is about opening yourself up. And the scariest part, it is about being vulnerable.

It is about courage, definitely courage. Courage to dive deep within someone’s mind. The part they usually keep locked. To scroll through their darkness and still find light and making sure they see it too.

To tread the deep waters yet always hold on. To face the waves, together. To tame the storm, together. To fight the winds, together. And lastly, to watch the sun set, together.

But how many brave-hearts has this world ever produced?

Happy Valentine’s Day love-birds.

Love always,
Your Blogger.