Hold on tight to the Parachute!

She uncurled herself from the couch in the quaint corner of the aromatic cafe. It was her favourite spot. And her regular one too. Infact she could faintly recall a hot lazy summer afternoon where she was curled in the very same couch jotting away a piece of story she had been working on feverishly for over a week on her blog.

It was a simple story. About a boy and a girl. And of course the regular 21st century ‘power-couple’ first world problems. She was so engrossed in it that she didn’t realise a scruffy bearded face peering at her intently across the coffee table, over her laptop, perched on the soft worn out tan leather cushion opposite her.

For a moment she thought she imagined it. But when she straightened her back and stretched her neck like a crane to look over her laptop she saw a man sitting lazily on the one seater couch opposite HER spot- eyeing her. Moreover, grinning while sipping his ‘chai-tea’. What the hell, she thought. “Excuse me?” She said raising her left eyebrow for more visual effect. He cocked his head a bit and moved his cup away from his face, flexing his left hand above his torn and faded blue jeans. He gave her a full blown smile with visible white teeth glowing under his soft pink lips. “This place is occupied you know? In case you didn’t notice.”, she spoke firmly in a gentle yet crisp voice for effect. “Details” he mumbled and took a sip of his tea. Before a bewildered voice retaliated for not getting the point he spoke in a completely opposite jovial tone – “Do you always spread all your stuff around while working? Or is that a very spectacular piece you got going on there” nodding towards her laptop screen. “I. Uh. Huh?”, she fumbled looking wide eyed down towards the coffee table between them where just over an hour ago she had scattered her handbag, magazines and chargers.

She wasn’t used to being questioned that way. Nobody had done that before. That was probably the beginning of something what could have only been labelled as an absolute Disney fairytale. But that wasn’t what happened.

She gathered her things and walked away that day. She had lost her flow and the excessive vibes of joy oozing out of him were disrupting her thoughts. She was at the sad melancholic part in her story now. His aura wasn’t helping. Especially after that awkward conversation – if one could call it one- she had no inclination towards typing whilst sitting opposite him. There were no other tables available, besides, that spot was her ‘work-zone’. And yet, she returned again the following day. And the next, and the day after that; only now her reasons did not include the coffee or the sofa, it involved someone else.

The door opened and she looked up. A waft of cinammon smelling breeze blew her hair a bit as the door shut and he walked  in the general direction towards her. He paid the money and waited for his coffee. All the while shuffling his hands around awkwardly. Sometimes in his pockets. Sometimes cracking his knuckles. He was nervous. She couldn’t believe it. Even after all this time.

When he came and sat opposite her with his coffee, she smiled silently and sat a bit straighter. Not because she wanted to look better in that worn out leather sofa she had perched herself on half an hour ago. Because she simply wanted to soak in every detail of him better.

“I don’t have much time. I need to leave once I’m done with this coffee” he said as he looked at her ears. She had gotten a new piercing he noticed. “You never did stay anyway” she said with a smirk that had a hint of laughter. “Don’t say that!” he said quickly and loudly. His hands shook a little. She gazed at him for a brief second and clucked her tongue. “So you still love me after all” she smiled and leaned back into her seat.

It was etched in her brain. Her standing in front him, next to their carefully curated coffee books stand. Him just staring into her eyes. The reflection of herself visible clearly in his soft green-blue coloured eyes. The day he left her and walked out of all of their 12 thousand 300 memories; she knew because she could count them on her fingers. She was wearing a blue summer dress and he was standing by the door. With tears in his eyes he had bid her goodbye. Because she refused to hug him. Touch him. Kiss him. Feel him. She wanted no memories of him to remind her of the day. Funny it didn’t work in the end because she always got the details right each time she closed her eyes to travel back in time to recall that particular memory.

“Please don’t do this. Don’t make it harder than it already is. For me. For, for..you?” he peered at her intently to see if he recognised something in there, in her eyes. “Why are we here? Why are YOU here?” he asked, she noticed with a lot of hope in his voice. And maybe an underlying tone of desperation.

She picked up her latte and gulped the remaining bits of her coffee. She dug into her bag and pulled out an envelope. It was a pretty envelope. She knew that too. Because she had made it herself.

“Why won’t you say something? What is all this supposed to mean? Does it even Mean something? Anything? Am I supposed to ignore those texts you sent me a couple of days back?” He whispered the words, barely holding onto his sanity. Barely hanging on by a thread. Desperation and hope flickering across his brow with every slow whisper.

She kept the envelope face first onto the table, the side with his name etched cleanly in cursive. She slid it across the table towards him and looked straight into his eyes and smiled.

“I wanted to invite you to my wedding.

I’m getting married this weekend with the man who stayed.

The man who picked up my pieces 4 years ago.

The man who threw me a great pre-wedding cocktail party last weekend that caused me to get drunk and send you those texts, finally saying out loud what I wanted to on that day.

The man whose courage gave me the strength to look you in the eye and invite you to the most happiest day of my life since after you walked out.

That man, who has now become my parachute for survival and won’t ever let me fall”.

As tears rolled down his eyes the door swung open to a woman leaving the cafe, striding quickly towards her car – crying under the cover of her sunglasses and yet, gleaming and smiling like a child who had found candy.

Mommy Dearest : “Don’t talk back to me !”

Bet you’ve heard that sentence before. Innumerable times. Insufferable times.

Well, if one were looking for what binds us humans from different countries, various races, numerous nationalities and ethnicity- together? This has got to be it. Mommy dearest and that alarm ringing sentence! I swear it’s like a never ending game of dodge-ball. Except I am that fat kid in the left hand corner of the ‘team’ who cringes each time a ball flies past me or even remotely in my direction and wonders if closing my eyes would “make it go away” – (this may or may not have derived from a very real part of my life!). I’m usually in a perpetual state of kung-fu awareness. Bracing myself for that one wrong syllable I may utter that would cause mommy to go ballistic on me like the Hulk. Not Mr. Hogan. The bio-nuclear researcher plus green t-rex-like monster Hulk.

Sometimes I think mommy’s are just jealous when they see a sense of calmness and an all gold glowing aura around us. I mean, all I’m doing is chilling and netflix-ing in the corner of my room. ROOM. Not even the couch. Which is usually our mommy’s most precious treasure. *rolls eyes* So anyway, coming back to the surplus ‘Don’t you talk back to me’ moments; why is it that giving a very reasonable explanation to “Why did you not empty the kettle and keep it back in its place” as “Because I wanted to boil more water and have more tea?!” considered as alarm blaring in the mommy world?? And yes it did gain me a ‘Do as you’re told’ glare followed by the infamous don’t talk back to me.

Yes I have been sitting all day and growing into a potato with possible tubers jutting out BUT why is my reasonable explanation for NOT placing the kettle back for not wanting to waste water so intolerable?! So should I throw away the water and waste it? Or do I keep it in place with the water swimming inside (gross I know. I only say gross because out of sight out of mind remember?! I would most likely not use it and leave the water inside till kingdom come) which would probably cause a nuclear explosion of sorts inside mommy dearest’s head. Which would lead me back to where I started. Again.

Confusion confusion. A classic case of to do or not to do.

 

Alone.

She hadn’t turned back in over 5 months. But today felt like she was drowning. She had so many emotions swirling inside it was getting hard to keep up with life anymore. She missed being alone. Even if for a few hours. She missed not being questioned. Missed not being told what to do. She missed listening to her own thoughts, but most of all, she missed being herself. Her and nobody else. All alone between a bunch of people, but never lonely. She often feel lonely now. She definitely missed being at home all alone and not being bothered. Jacking up the music so loud she would actually start dancing in the middle of the bathroom, or the kitchen. She was so tired of making excuses for the way she felt. So tired of having to repeat to herself to let it go. What if she didn’t want to let it go? Why does she not get the right to be upset? Just for once, why can she not shout and kick and scream and yell till her lungs ran out of air. Why does she need to continuously pacify herself with reasons. Why can she, just for once, not be the understanding one. She doesn’t want to hold it together for once. Just once. Is she allowed to do that? To have that liberty? She never asked for it. Any part of it. But when she did get  it, she shut up and suffered. Suffered enough for nobody to realise just how much she was dying inside. Now nobody cares. Because its assumed she is strong enough. Or heartless. Or oblivious. What if she told you she was not that oblivious. That what you say hurts her. Kills her. Sends her into an overdrive of overthinking and turns her into an insomniac and depressive person. She bites her tongue each day and turns a blind eye to the words but inside she is a wreck. Because she’s distraught. She is suffering and nobody cares enough to wonder. Or ask. Because lets pretend she is strong or ignorant enough to not care. Understanding somebody’s psyche is the key to a better life. She just wishes people knew how important it was to think before speaking and to just maybe care about someone enough to ‘ASK’ how they were dealing. Would it really take up too much of your time to emotionally connect with somebody’s psyche and get to know the real feelings hidden under layers of fake fronts? Or are we so self involved in our own misery or happiness that others don’t care and it must always be about you and only you. Why do people forget how it feels super to know that somebody genuinely wants to listen to what’s inside your head. And maybe you can reciprocate the same way since life isn’t always about you.  

Back in Time, Towards the Future: Part 2

“Who keeps a name like Kyle ?!”, Jules grumbled. Amanda sat opposite her on the plush black leather sofa and laughed so hard Jules thought she would spill her Jamba Juice all over herself. “I mean seriously, this is so hard as it is and then this massive roadblock.”

Amanda blew her breath out dramatically and said, “You know it’s not that difficult to sort through the not-your-Kyle’s to find your-Kyle right? Is this really the problem or is it really an excuse to give up and not search for him? Because you’re afraid you don’t know what would happen if he actually accepted your request.” Jules had been fidgeting with the ends of her purple streaked hair and refused to look up at her best friend. She didn’t look up because she knew every single thing Amanda said was true. She was always perceptive that way, knew what Jules’ strengths and weaknesses were even if Jules wasn’t aware of them herself. That’s why Jules loved her. Honest, impulsive, bratty Amanda. But right now that same person was annoying Jules and she hated that she was right.

“Okay yes!”, Jules threw her hands up at last. Zorro, Amanda’s pet poodle, jumped from the edge of the couch Jules was on and slithered to the corner of the room to lie on the mosaic rug near the fireplace.

“Yes I am paranoid about what happens next. Yes this is all just an elaborate excuse for me to NOT search for Kyle and yes I have not prepared myself for the reality of actually talking to him after five long years!” Jules exhaled loudly and sank into the brown plush couch and wrapped herself in the purple velvet throw again. She looked mopey but her eyes were bright and shining. Amanda was fidgeting with her french manicured nails and eyeing Jules throughout her paranoid speech, in intervals. She finally placed her hands onto her lap and leveled her eyes onto Jules’ and said quietly,”You obviously knew you wanted him back in your life. You obviously want him back real bad because you DID go through the first 30 profiles of not-your-Kyles. Don’t you at least wish to know how he has been? This happened for a reason Jules. You ‘wanted’ to meet him. You ‘wanted’ to know him again, how he has been, what he’s up to. He was your best friend Jules. You can’t just erase somebody like that from your life. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life wondering what would have happened if you had taken an extra effort to sort through that list and find your Kyle? And it’s not fair to think that when he does come in your life, he stays forever, unlike last time. Moreover it’s unfair to wish that when he does return he is equally just as much in love with you as you had been in with him all those years back”. Jules started at that and pursed her lips together.

“I never said I was in love with him”, she murmured. “Oh stop being so petulant Jules. I knew you were falling for him before you knew it yourself. And well, honestly who wouldn’t. Those eyes”, sighed Amanda and gave Jules a wolfish grin.

“Look, all I’m saying is that focus on what you want right now. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. Don’t give up, not yet.”

“AGHH. I am going to pretend this conversation never happened and that ‘I’ was the smart one who came up with that elaborate speech”, picking up the iPad from the coffee table Jules clicked on her Facebook app and began her elaborate hunt for Kyle. Her Kyle.

Back in time, towards the future. 1

It has been five years. Not more, not any less. It has been exactly five years since she last thought of him this way. Some people stay in your life for only but a moment. But their memories seem to last a lifetime. Until they fade, like the person itself. Slowly and then all at once. Only to come back and haunt you after five whole years.

“Shit. Snap out of it Jules”, she said to herself loudly as she washed up herself under the warm water. She stood there steadily debating, arguing, grumbling to herself in her mind. And then silently just let the warm water flow over the top of her head. She almost wished, rather hoped, that those feelings would wash away into the drain at the far corner of her bathroom. Go away and fade like he had all those years back.

“Ugh”, she mumbled as she dried herself and wore her freshly laundered pajamas. She loved wearing her pajamas when she was at home. She always wondered how girls dressed up and sat in their crisp white shirts and fiddled with their iPhone. She loved to just sit in her pajamas in front of the tv. Watch a chick flick. Eat marshmallows. Screw the diet, its the weekend. She picked her phone and saw two unread messages. She chucked her phone away and grabbed her laptop. Maybe watching a cheesy movie would solve her problems. She switched her laptop on and set it aside while it booted up.

As she grabbed her mug to make herself some hot tea she was consumed by his thought again. She wondered if he liked coffee or tea. She never bothered to find that out when they would sit and chat for hours. “Great now I’ll keep wondering, perfect. Just super!” Jules said to herself out loud while pouring water into her mug. She preferred her tea black and strong. But she would never know how and what he preferred. The thought drove her crazy as she sat and plugged in her hard disk to select a cheesy rom com to watch.

While her hard disk was connecting, her thoughts traveled back in time to those conversations they would share. Hours would pass by and they wouldn’t realise it. That’s how much they spoke. Now that she thought about it, she couldn’t remember what those conversations were really about. Inane. Silly. But funny as hell. He was always witty. He always made her smile. She laughed the most with him. But in all those conversations they shared, she couldn’t remember what they laughed about. She should have known it was just for him. They say that when a girl likes a guy, she always laughs at his jokes. Jules smiled and thought, “I always found him funny.”

Her laptop screen blinked and just as she was about to click her ‘movies’ folder her phone beeped. She picked it up and saw it was from her best friend. She ignores most messages but Amanda was always top priority. Not because she loved her best friend to death, but because if she did not respond Amanda would be at her doorstep with a fire brigade. That is how eccentric Amanda was. Jules opened the message and read, “So I’m maybe probably gonna marry Eddie. Eeeeee! :D”.

“What the fish”, exclaimed Jules and sat up straight. “Is she really serious about Eddie now?!”, she thought. A million things raced through her mind. Amanda’s past relationship ordeals, her falling for men who were always unavailable or unable to commit, her self loathing period then her men-bashing period. And now this. Lately Amanda had retired herself to think that Eddie was probably the best she could get. She felt like she was at an age where she should get married and settle into a ‘woman’s life’  as she claimed. But actually considering marriage? with Eddie? whom she met just three weeks back? all because she thought she should ‘settle’ before the next guy runs off?! This is insane! With that Jules threw her hands up and went out for a caffeine fix.

That night Jules kept wondering about how Amanda seemed so sorted on the phone earlier. Jules had called her up to try to understand where that text message had come from, but was amazed to find Amanda talk so calmly about her decision that she now had Jules convinced that wanting something very simple in life was not at all so horrendous. This in turn had set off a series of thoughts clicking through her mind and now as she lay awake in bed all Jules could think of was him.

“Did I miss out on my chance to work things out with him? Was I so pre-occcupied with my problems that I let the moment pass? Why on earth did we even fade away from each other? What went wrong back then. We used to be so close, he told me almost everything!” Tossing and turning in bed Jules finally mustered the courage to do what she should have done two days back. This had to be a sign. She grabbed her phone and opened her Facebook app. “search search search..”, Jules mumbled to herself as she fidgeted with her touchscreen. “Shit you have to be here! You just have to.”, she frantically typed his name and looked at her screen anxiously.

“Kyle Fitz”

It’s the London Life: Part One

I’ve moved to one of the greatest cities in the world exactly three months back and I still haven’t been able to completely absorb this reality.

LONDON !!

When I got my application for post-graduate studies earlier in the year I couldn’t believe this was happening. I not only managed to get into a great Uni but also managed to get into a Uni in London. The land of Royalty (The Queen and well, you couldn’t possibly eliminate Princes Harry and William could you?! *Sigh*) as well as beauty !

Strategically placed hotels are precisely what one should live at when visiting London and my hotel was exactly opposite Hyde Park. The wonderful garden where all the stories come alive. It was like living in my very own novel. My father, an avid fan of being with nature, couldn’t get over how wonderfully spacious and peaceful the garden was. For the remainder of the duration of his stay, morning walks like a true Britisher at Hyde Park were a must. With his hectic schedule, perhaps this was one of his most memorable and relaxing trips from all our holidays. He plans to visit me again, although its mostly for London and less for me.

London is another world. It’s like a world within another world. People from different countries, origins and races can be found here. I have been lucky to have traveled to quite a few cities and countries early in my life and on landing at the Heathrow Terminal I wasn’t immediately in awe of my new adopted home. The weather was a bit grey, I’d already read about that before so no alarms there. It was a bit colder for somebody used to 30 degrees Celsius on a normal basis. Ofcourse I saw none of the Londoners wearing layers, yet! But overall, how was this city, deemed as one of the most famous cities in the world, so great from the others I have had a chance to visit? The food sucked, the weather was blah and so were the people, walking away briskly like robots. Meh. I was going to have a tough time adjusting here but lucky me, its only for a year!

Or so I thought. The first one month went by in a jiffy. I had bank accounts to open, groceries to buy, set up my room, understand the tube – the complicated yet simple underground network. Thank god for the City Mapper app!! I knew only one person from my home country when I flew into this country, one whom I met through a social networking site. Luckily I got introduced to a bunch of other people from my country within a week of living in my Uni accommodation. Win Win. The next month however, was when things changed. It finally sunk in that I was away from my home, my family, my best friends. Whatever was I supposed to do during my free hours? Sit in my room and do what exactly?? The time zones made it crazy hard to skype regularly with my family and friends. And even with my new friends at the Uni, I wanted familiarity and warmth. I wanted to be with someone where I didn’t need to pretend to laugh at their horrible narcissistic jokes. I am not a stay out all night and drink till the morning kind of a person. And keeping up this ruse of making everybody happy and ignoring what I really wanted to do was getting to me. Throw in homesickness and voila! You get a perpetually snappy and grumpy me. Pessimism is what defined me. This was unlike me and I struggled to get out of this spiral.

To my huge surprise I started getting singled out by my pseudo family back at the accommodation. The same people who insisted that we were a ‘family’ away from our respective homes and that non of us would ever feel alone in a foreign country. I would complain for hours at end to my best friend about them, over skype. She had a brand new job and was having a tough time herself but I couldn’t see beyond my woes and frustration. It was one such venting-out session when my friend broke into my rant and said – well, you know, if you are so unhappy with your situation why not just go ahead and do something about it? If they make you miserable, why are you still with them?

I was quite taken aback then. I didn’t show it but I felt a bit hurt. Naturally I was in a vulnerable state and wanted sympathy. But it made me wake up from my self pity party. I did not need to feel this way because I make my own decisions. I am responsible for my happiness. This was when I got up, got dressed and ventured out alone into London, and saw it for the very first time. Youngsters and middle aged men and women, tired and haggard, sit in tubes during rush hours and return home. But I never observed the little girl with her mother chatting away about her classmate ‘Brian’ who gave her a coloured pencil to borrow that day. The cute little grandma standing and hoping that somebody would offer her a seat in the crowded mayhem of the tube. The young girl in her twenties, with tattoos and piercings, who got up and offered her the seat. The lights in Oxford street, the buzz of walking among a million people and not feeling lost because even if you were? What the hell you would just discover a new place in this city. A new cafe, a new favourite dessert. I had the liberty to do anything I wanted and I could just sit on the bench in the middle of oxford street and eat my sandwich, who was going to stop me? Hell I could just walk around Hyde Park and feed the ducks and swans. The christmas decorations were up in  the city and walking around Covent Garden made me realise all that I had missed waiting around for others to make plans which involved me. I refused to do so many things which I loved because others didn’t find it interesting.

Sure this self discovery could be done anywhere in the world, but I truly found myself in London. This city with its huge pretty lights and gardens and crazy traffic and filthy undergrounds, has the best of what the world has to offer as well as the worst. It showed me how life truly is, the bitter reality of life and at the same time it showed me how I didn’t need to depend on anybody else but myself for my happiness. I wrote the rules in my life. We spend so much time cribbing that we forget to cherish the best parts. I realised I was hating this city all along because I refused to look at the good, because I was selectively focusing on the few bad experiences I faced. But that experience did not have to define me. Acceptance and patience are two virtues I developed being in London all this while, and I surely hope this sticks with me till the end. Problems in life only further develop you holistically when you accept the wrongs in you and work to eliminate your faults. You won’t be no Gandhi or Teresa, but atleast you know you tried. And there in lies your inner peace.

And the best lesson of all, the best company in the world – is yourself!

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The death of Humanity as we know it

A recent, horrible, experience at the city Hospital has provoked me to write down my woes here. My mother has been a patient from the time I was 2 years old. My love/hate relationship with Hospitals began when I turned 12, when I could comprehend the severity of her medical condition and the complexity of how things function in a hospital. I was indeed gratefull for my mother always being treated and given back to me. But I hated the way she was treated as well.
Cold, distant doctors. Curt toned nurses. Security guards pretending to be guarding the president’s mansion and displaying superiority. The countless nights we would spend, alternating between each member sleeping next to my mother at night.
My childhood memories are filled with security personnels asking me to step back and not enter a certain area while I watch my mother being wheeled away. How do I explain that between my mother, aunt and me, there wasn’t anybody else in the family at present. Where could a 12 year old child go at 9:30 pm alone? Why was it so difficult to even let me ‘sit’ outside the testing rooms?
Its surprising how a child could be spoken to like she/he were an absolute imbecile when their mother is in chronic pain and being taken away. Such are my childhood memories. Im older now. But I have realised that this is not just a childhood memory. Its an adult-world reality as well. Doctors lacking compassion and nurses lacking a soft humane touch was not a part of my imagination as a child who is afraid of needles. Having lived my entire life in hospitals with my ailing mother would count for something but when doctors pretend that the patient is an experimental guinea pig and the relative present with her an absolute fool, so they wont even listen to your advice from personal experience – that is when one realises how ignorant the doctors are of the patient and their family’s pain. Being detached is a different matter. But behaving like you are the oasis of knowledge is downright stupid.
Every morning as we wake up, news channels describe certain news reports in glorious details which definitely do not make your morning any ‘good’. Newspapers publish pictures which make you cringe. Are we really concerned? Or do we just consider somebody’s horrific death ‘news’ – literally? Is it possible that with each passing day of our lives we are becoming immune to death, famine and other such ‘news’?
Our humanity is dying. And with our humanity so are we. Slowly, but surely. A little each day. We are dying. What is life without compassion? Why should we convince ourselves that ‘such is life’ ? Why is it necessary today to be tough and kill my humanity to survive in this world? Why should my job be just a ‘task’ on my daily checklist?
Sometimes life bemuses me. But mostly, it only leaves me helpless. In wonder…but surely helpless.

The Power of Words

So I recently met up with two of my girlfriends. It had been a few months since we caught up with each other and the best place to do exactly this is over a nice cup of coffee. We set up a date and met up at a local coffee shop. You know, the one at the corner of a street where it is not too obscure (try shady!) nor is it too prominently visible from the main street. It is offbeat and a perfect place for a bunch of young girls to catch up with each other and exchange some gossip.

The funny thing about some friends is that sometimes distance and not staying in touch with each other on the current favorite ice-cream flavor doesn’t really matter. You just don’t feel that void that exists at times with a person you haven’t met in years, which quite often results in an awkward silence. Nor do you ever feel the need to fill your chat with talks about the weather. Conversation just flows.

We were sitting and chatting with each other. Reliving some old moments. Conjuring some random plans as well 😛 Trying to understand how little we had changed over the years and yet, somehow, we had grown so much more than what we were. Grown into those bunch of girls you find sitting at the corner of a pub or a coffee shop. Sharing stories. Catching up to the current scenarios in each others lives. We giggled and laughed loudly over that special bond we shared, which no other guy/husband/fiance could ever share with us.

It was in between one of such stories that I seemed to overhear a man who sat a table away from us say – Buncha Loudfucks huh – to his girlfriend. I don’t know whether he spoke that aloud intentionally or just happened to say it that loud by mistake. So loud that I heard it. Perhaps I was the only one who did because I did not notice my other two friends stop or pause the conversation. I saw the guy sitting across from us with his girl. Smoking and drinking his coffee. Occasionally talking to the girl.

I turned and saw the tables around us. Except for two other guys working hard on their laptops, there was nobody around us. At first I wondered if I should tell my enthusiastic friend to lower her volume. She was telling us about a funny incident during her residency at the hospital. She’s training to be a surgeon.

“Would she feel bad? Am I going to be rude to one of my most favorite people in the world?”

And it struck me. That man, who ‘whispered’ loudfucks to us, certainly did not care about hurting anybody. He never even looked at us after uttering that word. In fact he was gone with his girl within 15 minutes of sitting at the table. He did not know us. He did not know our stories. The ones we were sharing. The ones we were reliving. He obviously did not care about us. But he made it certain to utter his disapproval and walk away.

This is when I realized how his words had somehow hurt me. Deeply. And that I may have judged somebody the same way so many times in my life. Muttered to myself why a bunch of people were so loud. Or laughing like they had heard the world’s greatest joke.

Words. We use them a million times a day. Each time we say something it affects somebody. We speak without thinking. We speak without caring. We judge everybody so soon. And we do not refrain from speaking out loud our disapproval for ‘unknown’ people and their behaviors.

But if we knew their story, would we do the same? If that man had known that one of us had in fact just informed about her marriage, would he have felt the need to comment nastily on us? Doesn’t every individual always have a story? What right does it give us (or him!) to comment on anybody and anything?

I wonder how many times I did this. Spoke without caring. Spoke because I judged somebody. Hurt somebody who may have overheard me the way I overheard him.

Speech is a wonderful gift and words are beautiful things that fill that gift.

Words are  very special. We need to learn to use them sparingly. 🙂

The Happiness of Travelling

Today I was asked by someone why I loved to travel and explore new places. I sat for a moment and thought about it. Surprisingly I found myself speechless. I just laughed out loud. I say surprisingly because if you knew me you would know that I happen to be the most opinionated person in the world! I had a brief flash of all the places I had visited so far, the millions of memories I gathered on those trips and came up with a gurgle-ish feeling in my throat. I gave a million dollar smile at the person and said “just because I can”.

I love seeing new places. New cultures. I love how we adapt ourselves to a new environment. It shows us how humans can do just about anything. We can adapt and change ourselves to blend into a new place. I’ve often heard how people say that they can’t change their ways since they are habituated to that kind of living. I wonder how they never realized that they did exactly the opposite of that when they travelled a few months back.

A new place is just that – it’s New. It’s a new way of living and we DO adapt ourselves to it no matter how hard we try not to. It shows us how we naturally have an innate ability to blend into a new environment. It shows us a new us. We discover another side to ourselves. One we thought we couldn’t ever have.

To put it simply travelling makes me happy. It frees me of my mundane life. I look forward to waking up and seeing a new part of the city I’m visiting. It’s practically like having endorphin released in your body without the whole tedious part of hitting the gym 🙂 And that’s everyday of your trip!

I like to observe how different the behaviour of people belonging to that city is from the ones I’m used to seeing everyday back home. I agree it could get borderline creepy at times 😛 But then that is when I realize how even though we may live in different time zones, there are a million things that are practically the same in every culture! We humans were designed in a similar manner and this similarity comes through when you travel and interact with people from other cultural backgrounds.

I love eating ! I always make it a point to try out at least one local dish when I travel. It shocks my sensory system. But in a good way. Doing this on my travels has made me realize how the basics of most cultural cuisines are the same but still manage to differ greatly in taste. We have a huge variation of dishes to try out and probably even one lifetime is too short a time to explore and travel to do this.

Travelling is that time when I can be another person. The person most people don’t see. I become the wanderer. The explorer. If you happen to love travelling just as much as I do you would agree that when you’re on a trip, with each passing day you can literally feel invisible chords being cut off from you. You start changing. You start enjoying your own company. You start finding solutions to your own problems yourself. You feel free from the baggage of being right for the society that surrounds you and just be YOU. And nobody even stops you from being anybody but yourself. New faces, new cultural habits and a new way of living all become a part of you without even noticing.

There is an almost child-like joy within me when I travel. I am always happy to know more and more about the new place I’m discovering. The kind of happiness you receive when you travel cannot be matched to any other feeling in the world. You are free in the truest form. The memories you save in the hard-disk of your brain are such that they live with you throughout your life. And occasionally even pop up in everyday conversations when you return to your ‘normal’ life.

The most special experience however is when you return. I don’t know if I happen to be the only traveler who does this but there is a certain sense of attachment that forms between me and each memory of the places I travel to. It happens quite often that I associate those memories to certain topics of conversations and suddenly I get thrown back into those wonderful cobblestone paths along the boulevard or that casual stroll by the sea when I had no inhibitions about letting the wind tickle me and jostle my hair.

Such memories popping suddenly to my conscience are what make my day. This is why I love traveling and making new memories. Because with each travel I find a part of me. And with each travel I can always take back a piece of that adventure with me forever – as a memory.

I love the feeling I get when I travel. That joy is my Happy Place. And when I’m tired of the hum-drum of everyday life, I can always sit in the corner of my porch with a warm mug of steaming hot tea and relive it! 😀Wanderlust

Mission 2014 : Listen to Mr. Tiny

It is a brand new year and as always, with it come a series of resolutions. Most of them would be unchecked on that “to do” list. And the other ones would probably be ‘half-checked’. What is ‘half-checked’ ?? (if that were a word) Well its those resolutions that start out with a grand zeal, but somewhere down the year you get lost in life and leave it halfway. It becomes okay to be lazy about not fulfilling them and then absolutely logical even, to not do it at all. “Why did I even keep it as my resolution? I’m so busy  all the time.” That’s what most of us would tell ourselves.

While all that ranting about resolutions ‘might’ be related to my  personal saga with NY resolutions over the years, the point of this post was to talk about how each of us probably leaves our ‘tasks’ halfway (or even procrastinate all year long to begin it) could possibly be because over the weeks it gets difficult to keep up that excitement with which we jotted down those resolutions! The zeal and pomp fades from us in a matter of few months.  It becomes an uphill task to incorporate what we thought would be a perfect way to jolt our systems each day for the rest of the year with something new and exciting.

Would we leave our office goals halfway because we got bored of it after a week?? Then why do we get bored of completing our resolutions? Probably because we can afford to get slack about it in life. When we try scheduling ‘excitement’ in our lives, it becomes stressful instead of relaxing, which is probably why those paint brushes and canvas  still haven’t been touched.

So I have made a resolution to not keep resolutions.  But then that means getting back to the same old rut of our life..running from 6 am in the morning to 8 pm in the evening. Without a pause…without a moment to breath. It’s easy for us to blame our hectic schedules. But the truth is that even if we were gifted 28 hours in a day instead of 24, we would still be as stressed in those extra 4 hours as we were before.

Solution you may ask? I think it’s time we paid heed to Mr. Tiny. Mr. Tiny is that little voice in my head. The one which tells me to get up at random hours in the day and just go for a coffee with my book. Alone. Without any company. Just me..and my book. Yeah most of us would think that’s so sad. Lonely. Border lining on ‘Forever Alone living with a million cats perhaps’. As girls we never do anything by ourselves. And acting on impulse? A big huge NO. We have so many excuses for not doing stuff by ourselves. What would people say? How would I look sitting all by my lonesome?

But then, why shouldn’t we?! What exactly is wrong in enjoying your own company? Why is it that when we see a single girl we feel sorry for her? Or even a single guy for that matter? This self pity and laziness must stop. We need to do things which this tiny voice says in our respective heads.

Mr. Tiny says ‘hmm…that movie looks so cool! I should go see it!!’.

But then comes another voice – your voice. The voice of reason you may say. I just call it the voice of Boredom. It is our safe side. The lazybones version of us – ‘Who would go with you for that?! It’s already labelled as  a big huge flop by my girlfriends. I’ll just download it at home and watch it alone’.

Erm hello?? You don’t get tickets based on who and how many people sit with you!

Mr. Tiny is what I call that voice in my head. My fun side. The one which actually tells me to sensibly slow down and smell my fresh ground coffee. To read that book of mine which I left halfway because I ‘got busy’. Mr. Tiny believes in enjoying life everyday and wants myself to just give that side of myself a chance. Eat chewing gum and pop a bubble. Grab your car keys and go for a long drive. Why wait for your boyfriend to do that for you?! Buy yourself some sunflowers or better yet – gift them to a friend or perhaps your boyfriend! You never know whose day you would make. It is a simple solution to not make life boring. To not be stuck in a rut. To love yourself and enjoy your company. Do something for yourself…all by yourself.

Sure some people say ‘that’s just being random.’ ‘Its stupid’ ‘You should socialize for fun’.

Never mind them.

Its never worth a dime to sit and try to impress others and please them. Do something for yourself. Listen to that voice which actually gives you hints all day long to make your day fun. Whats more? Its absolutely free of charge !! You don’t even have to pay for this adventure. Mr. Tiny has been waiting patiently for you all those years, dropping hints and suggestions. All for your own benefit.  So you can enjoy your life.

Its never too late to do just that. Listen. Don’t just hear. Listen… to what Mr. Tiny says. He always gives the best advice! 😉

Mad Hatter Quotes

Mad Hatter Quotes