What do you do when you realise that not many people like you.

After having not written for a while I’ve come to the conclusion that we let work foreshadow most of our life. We focus so much on everything that is centred around work that we forget to nurture the finer things in life like relationships and dreams, like words (for me), like dreams and what they used to mean to us (motivation rather than regrets), like love and laughter. 

I’ve recently realised that not many people would willingly interact with me. I don’t make any lasting effect on people’s lives. Rather, my absence wouldn’t create any major dent in anyone’s day-to-day being. If I don’t interact with anyone, things would be just the same way. Why put my energy to futile use when I am realising it makes no difference to anyone? Go to work, do the work, talk when needed and head back home. How does any extra communication do any good to any of us? It doesn’t. So why should I invest myself into it?

I don’t feel like I have the energy left to love anymore. Affection eludes me. Nothing seems to affect me anymore. I cry, yes, but I think that’s because this has become a go-to response for me. I laugh too, because that’s how I can avoid questions from people who only care and I assume, superfluously. Conversation needs to be cut down upon but what I seem to be confused about is what to classify as necessary and which would be unnecessary conversation.

Life is pretty much replaceable. Friends are transient. Love is fickle. So, what am I so hung up on, when none of it actually matters in the real sense. Yes, I need people around me, people I can admire, adore and be with, people I call ‘mine’ but do I matter? Except for my relatives, I don’t think I am irreplaceable to anyone. I doubt everyone’s love to me and that is because I feel I am at fault. My mind is at fault. I feel left out, singled, misunderstood and misguided. Is it just my mind playing tricks? I need help. I need to be told that what I feel is wrong. I need to be out of this place and I don’t want to be here. I want to be done with people who think they know me and judge me when they really don’t. I want to be done with this.

A lot of people asked me to focus on those who I feel like me. For instance, my ftiends- I make a difference to them. It’s a selfish way to look at things but the way I see things, life goes on no matter what so why should I make myself so vulnerable. I should keep interactions to a minimal and hence, avoid anything that has the potential to hurt me.

No talking equals no miscommunication. Isn’t that a jolly good solution? 

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While I wait.

A shooting star is nothing but
A star that’s near her end
Yet, we think of her as beautiful
And pretend to wish for the best.
After the storm ends, I come home
And fall into your arms
Time settles heavy like dust on my sleeves
And I can feel your flesh on my face.
The tears seep through my bones
And kiss the floor.
I’ll be yours and you’ll be mine
And I hope that my tower isn’t
Too high for you to climb
I’ll kneel before you, and hold you
Tightly, like I hold my thoughts.
I’ll whisper my deepest secrets
While your’re asleep by my side
And hope that your dreams
Tell you the stories I wish
I could.

july

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Leave the over-reacting to me.

I have been highly irregular in maintaining this blog for the last year. A lot has been happening and I, frankly, didn’t have the time or energy to document any of the happy (or melancholic) events that were occurring around me; to me.

I do not come here today t account for everything that’s gone by but I often sit and wonder whether I settle for things. As I retrospect, I wonder, with certainty, that I build things up in my head. My idea of a perfect life, of happiness, of love- it is all over rated- and I feel so because true happiness, love or even life has eluded my definitions of them being joyous, momentous or perfect respectively.

Life, well, it has been quite a bitch in some aspects and has been reasonable in the others. I ‘ve learn to quietly accept what it dishes out and do the best I can with it.
Happiness could be a more frequent visitor, but then again, who doesn’t wish so?
Love has turned out to be a whole different ball game. I always assumed that the kind of love I embrace would be the thing of fairy-tales. I have, since the time I grasped its concept, imagined that I would be in love with a storyteller, someone who would narrate tales of our epic romance to one and all. I’ve fallen in love with a man who is almost the opposite. It is love, but it is vastly different from the love I am used to or expected. It is almost like I am being forced to be mature (although he would beg to differ about the status of my maturiy) when I want to really just sit on the ledge of a wall and have ice cream with him.

Though his ideas of romance do match with mine in essence (we both love ice cream), there seems to be a bit of a tussle thereafter (I’d want to be on a ledge that’s on the 47th floor and he has acrophobia.) In the past year, I have come to adore him and that “fact” that he reciprocates the same is as comforting as a pair of woolen socks on a winter night. I have often been tempted to wonder what life would be without him. It would certainly have a lot less to look forward to. Every week is a countdown to the weekend which is when I get to meet him. he excitement builds up every Wednesday and the days get longer and longer till Friday night and then, Saturday arrives with a flurry and in no time, I’m on the bus to meet him.
That said, if this love is so different form the love I imagined he and I would share, then what is it? I have not any answer.

At the same time, I find myself at a loss for friends. This will come as a shock to all those who consider themselves to be my friend, and I am deeply apologetic for that, but my idea of friendship, much like my idea of romance, is rose-tinted. Friendship is that in which you know what is happening in my life and I, yours. And while I do have a few humans that fall into that definition around me, here in college, they don’t qualify as best friends, well, because they we haven’t yet passed the test of time. The two people I considered closest to me do not have the hours, means or energy to communicate with me and the ones who do have the three designated mandatories (I suppose) don’t know the words to say when I need words to be said.

I have so many conflicts within myself. I over think and I over analyse. I wish things were smoother and decisions were easier to make. I wish I knew if this what I deserve and, trust me, I know what anyone deserves is always far superior to what they think they should have. And, while I know this fact, I wish someone would just hand me the answers and let me know if my ideas of friendship, love and happiness in general need to be re-thought and re-designed. I don’t want a friendship that is born out of obligations- of time, history or habit. I don’t want anyone to think they are settling for me, and if they aren’t settling for me, is it not fair that I expect some sort of acknowledgement? Or is that, as well, a part of my rosy, utopia-filled approach to life? Having said everything, I hope that I make the people around me, friends and lover, feel wanted, respected, loved, admired and everything else that is good.
I have a lot of love to give but right now, very few people to give it to. This is not a cry for company or help. It is just a documentation of confusion over some of the things I thought were crystal clear to one as articulate as myself (look at me being not-so-modest). I never thought I would face troubles over the basic human relationships of life.

In every relationship, romantic or not, there is a settler and a reacher (courtesy: How I Met Your Mother)
In the relationships I have, I wonder if I’m the settler or if I’m the reacher.

Pujo from the outside.

As I sip on my lukewarm coffee on a Sunday morning and scroll through the newsfeed on Facebook, nothing out of the ordinary for a post graduate student who has an exam the next week, I realise that this would be the first year that I am not going to see a single Pandal or be a part of the festivities of the ten-day long celebration – Durga Pujo. Photograph after photographs accompanied with quotes written by Neruda, J.D Salinger and the likes, that make no sense with the visual treat that my friends have to offer, make me crave for the unique smell that the air has right before Pujo begins.

I get off my bed to fetch myself some vanilla cookies. On the way to the shelf, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror- late riser, un-bathed, clad in my night suit on the day of Ashtami. The folks I was supposed to meet for the iconic ashtami’r anjali decided to spend time in an Ashram and hence, couldn’t make it with me. I am lazy. I was in a foreign land with no cheer for the bangali pujo. All I saw everywhere, not that I went out a lot the last week, was Navratri and Garba adveretisements. Same Goddess, different celebrations. I wanted to go out for Garba this year, break into my maiden dandiya venture with the friends I have made here, but alas. Everyone has exams and no one seems to find the idea as novel as I do. The only solace I have is that my festival doesn’t require me to be vegetarian! They get starry eyed listening to my rants about Pujo back at home and I return the look when they describe their Navratri escapades.

Back at home. If I were in Kolkata right now, I’d be fresh and bathed and Mamma would be putting a sizeable number of safety pins on the saree (and blouse) that I would’ve carefully chosen the previous night. The choice of apparel had to be a perfect blend of representing my inner Bangali and outer youth. Right now, on my bed, in the opposite side of the country, I can feel the outer Bangali in me ooze out as the youth dissipates into what should be done for a future that Maa Durga would be proud of. Either way, I digressed. Once dressed, I would apply eyeliner and lipstick, Ma would force me to apply rouge (Ema, ektu toh kichu gaal e lagie ja. Put something on your cheeks!) and then, she would ask me what I’d like to accessorise the look with. She’d punch in the code to the safe and take out the all-too-worn out jewellery box, with multiple shelves of gold beauty. There’d be one shelf with traditional chains and another with just earrings, the third level would comprise of the bangles and bracelets that she had curated and collected over the years. There is a particular turquoise beaded necklace that rests along with the gold chains. It stands out like a blonde German in a Deshapriya Park pujo pandal. Every time I see it, it takes me back to the time we were posted in Bikaner, Rajasthan. Ma and I (along with a few other Army wives) would take a long, sandy drive in a Jonga (back open army jeep) to reach a jewellery bazzar of the town where Ma would design her own necklaces and earrings and I would stare at the precious stones they had lined out for her to do the same. (Years later, the owner of the tiny shop would call Mamma to tell her that they had started making her design on a regular basis and that it sells like hot cake).

I would choose the least dressy bracelet, Ma would put on one of the necklaces (much to my chagrin) and then she would dress herself up in half the time she took to make me look like her (she wasn’t successful) and we would go downstairs to assemble in the community hall at our colony. Bengali or not, everyone participated in the Ashtami’r anjali. Batches of people were formed, and purohit thakur would read out the verses on the mic for everyone to hear and falsely repeat. Flowers would be passes in a jhuri and we would each take small fistfuls of the flower and those who couldn’t get to the basket of flowers would be handed some by the ones who could (Ma, give me a leaf as well…). We would repeat the Mantra paath three times, as was custom, and then break for what we looked forward to the most- BHOG.

A sumptuous meal of khichudi, beguni, aalu’r torkari, chutney and papad for the main course alongwith paayesh for dessert awaited us. We would form a queue, wait for 10 minutes to reach the buffet counter, hand in the token we had purchased a month in advance and then, finally take our thermocol plates, dishevelling under the weight of the food we had laden it with, into the pandal. Every pandal in Kolkata has a theme. I don’t even know what it is this year in Ekta, my colony. Irrespective of the theme, the ashtami bhog remains the same- the taste of which I can still imagine if I close my eyes and concentrate for a bit. It is usually too hot to eat immediately, yet we make the same mistake every year. All the kids would either sit where there are the most number of fans attached to the bamboo skeleton of the pandal, or venture out, on the grass lawn that is there in the centre of the complex. The girls, in sarees would sit on the granite structure that outlines the lawn while the boys would stand and finish their meals, rushing for a second helping (Ei, please get some more beguni for me). Beguni is the creation of magic. Even those who don’t like brinjal will feast on it. The crunch, the exact amount of saltiness to balance the sting of the brinjal- it is a mouth-watering delicacy that one needs to be in Bengal to enjoy.

Tired after a long day’s work, we would all break for the day, but only after deciding what time we would be meeting in the evening (and what we’d be wearing). The evenings had a meticulously planned event schedule. There was something for each of the five most important days of Pujo- starting with Anadamela (where the residents would open stalls and sell chaat, an aunty would bake insanely gooey brownies, another would steam momos and someone would sell Avon makeup. There would even be stalls with games), dramas, dance shows, guest performances, a DJ night with no DJ for the kids, Dhunuchi dance and conch-shell playing competitions. We would practice for a month to put up a decent show. The evenings would comprise of us kids sneaking out to buy alcohol before the FL shops closed for the night or because some of the Pujo days were supposed to be dry ones. We would walk till Balaram Mullick and gorge two to three Malpuas, some would smoke a cigarette in the by lanes opposite to our colony while some ventured to look at the tiny pandals that the lanes held.

That’s the beauty. The size will not matter. Every housing society, Every complex, Every group of lanes will have a pandal with a beautiful idol of Maa Durga adorning it. The Jamini Roy eyes, the curly hair, a serene smile on Her face- that is all that matters, after a while. And this clutter of Pandals is what we enjoy. All of us would go out at 1 am, take a local bus till the nearest ‘big’ puja that was there, usually at Gariahat, and make our way back on foot, hopping from one pandal to the next, walking with a sea of people equally enthused by Puja, surrounded by amateur photographers, street hawkers, aunties who almost lost their children in the crowd, Uncles who would stop for Phuchka, lovers who have told their parents they are actually with friends, newlywed couples, tourists amazed at the footfall per square inch and the Police who are have the responsibility of maintaining the flow of people. The entire city gets barricaded like Eden garden before an India-Pakistan match, traffic gets streamlined to allow pedestrians the priority, much to the chagrin of those who have work to do. After reaching back, We would all sit near the swing, chit chat till 3 or 4 am and then, our mothers would start calling us frantically (Come home now, enough is enough).

Pujo is an entity in itself, not just a festival. The centrality of the Goddess with the peripheral activites that make her homecoming so special for even those who don’t believe in Her powers, is enough to sway the most strong-hearted. One cannot help but miss Pujo. I had never thought I would say this, and I am a firm believer of enjoying what the place you live in has to offer, but I miss Kolkata right now, at this very moment. I miss the thrill of clicking a hundred photographs per day, I miss dancing to dhaak beats as Mamma gets teary eyes watching Ma Durga’s face on Dashami and as the idol take a few rounds around the complex perimeter before finally leaving us for bishorjon, I realise that She smiles with a promise to return the next year.

PG makes you feel like a spec of dust.

Post graduate education is like a pimple you get on your butt. It takes a long time to show what it truly is and it pains at the wrong moments- more when you’re trying to relax. It literally doesn’t let you sit in peace. ever. While all the professors (and some seniors) make it their life’s mission to make your life as miserable as they can and you tend to tip towards becoming a borderline alcoholic with issues of frustration, there are just a few things which let you breathe.
Food is my primary reason. Food is actually my primary reason for anything, actually. Sad? Cheese. Happy? Cake, cheese (as separate courses, of course) Angry? Biriyani- which reminds me- the biriyani here in Pune tastes like foot hair when compared to Calcutta’s aloo-heaven-melt-your-mouth biriyani.

Suji 100%

Hearts flying with pink sparkles all over

The second thing is my weekly trip to Mumbai. Although it isn’t really a weekly affair (See what I did there? weekly ‘affair’? No? Okay.) because I end up going there only twice a month, sometimes even lesser but it is how I count my weeks. I look forward to the three and half hour journey on recliner seats which I don’t recline because it hurts my back. I curse when the bus halts for no reason but commission at Maganlal Chikki for ten whole minutes when we could’ve just reached that many minutes earlier. Then again, just because it stops, I eat chikki (refer to primary reason listed above). Once in mumbai I am ensured  the primary reason for happiness. I digressed. Okay, I should really stop talking about food lest ‘someone’ feels slightly overshadowed.
I count my days till I can finally hug someone and feel at home. He is a sight for my sore, tired, almost-panda-like eyes. To have someone who will love looking at you even when he knows you haven’t showered in two days just because. It is relieving to have someone who will be selfless in his love because I get enough of the rat-race- competition bullshit on the weekdays.

 

Shine 100%

The lifeline minus one

Staying in a girl’s hostel is like walking on recently erupted, really mucky volcanic lava. everyone is on edge, either because of the blood flowing from in between their legs or because of the blood flowing  in their throbbing heads because of medical / dental school. It is tricky business, maneuvering your way through the various frustrations in different departments, add to that unwashed and unironed clothes that pile up. If we were to calculate the number of clothes we all have accumulated over a week’s time all over the world, it would probably almost match up to the number of stars in the galaxy. Pretty close.

I must work upon writing about the same thing for longer bouts. We have hundred mark essay answers in our final exams where we have to drone on and on about one topic for ten to twelve pages. I should master the art of staying focussed which I clearly need work on because I digressed again.

PG is like a race where no one wants to hurt you but almost everyone (save for your friends) ends up destroying your day. It’s a course that makes you realise your true potential to achieve either of the two- total bitchiness or zen-like nirvana and not give any fucks at all. Love and food and love for food keep me alive. and shoes. Please send either or all my way. Dominos, even though I’m not a fan of mass-manufactured pizza, is welcome as well, with a pitcher of chilled beer, please.

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Just a photograph of one of the things that matter in life.

 

It’s been a while.

It has been a long time since I have had the time or inspiration to write about anything- here or otherwise.  It has been busy and trust me when I say this, I am not used to being busy. I have no idea how the days fly by and it is a welcome change. Life back at home was stagnating, to put it crudely.

Post graduation- ohmygod is it hard or what? You’ve got to study, run around for your dissertation, prepare for conferences, keep up with your social life, eat food, breathe… get the drift?  I came to a land quite far off from home and I did not expect to find family here. But I did. I miss Mamma and I miss home, I miss my grandparents and friends who speak a similar tongue. Nothing would ever change that, but to have amazing people surround you eases the transition. I found three beautiful people who make me believe that maybe, just maybe, the sisterhood of travelling pants could be a reality.

I knew I would make friends, I am someone who does that easily, but to have people who are kind, caring, goofy and as good as family can get (when you’re away from home) is a relief. Here, I am not just pursuing another degree, but also trying to find who I can be and how I can grow as a person. Every day is a learning curve- from learning to sieve the bullshit from wisdom to understanding how different people are and how small things can make a huge difference. I’ve learnt to sleep with the lights on and learnt to ask if the music is okay- things I usually never bothered to ask- but it somehow comes from within because they do the same for me. As a side note, all of us have the same, and I mean the same choice in music (double yay). I’ve also learnt that I am usually always hungry, especially if someone else is cooking (nomnomnom)

From my room, I have an unobstructed view of this huge tree that has cotton pods hanging from its branches. Every now and then, a group of kids (I cannot believe I am calling UG students kids- I used to be one of them just a few months back!) gather around at midnight to lather each other with cake and I am reminded of all the birthdays I’ve been through and all the friends I’ve had. I often wonder, while watching them run around- trying to escape their friends who have cake in their hands, whether they have any idea how precious all of it is. The memories.

We do everything for only two reasons- to make happy memories or to build a happy future. Here’s to two years and eight more months of a life that better be worth the wait. Here’s to memories being made on the way to happiness. Here’s to friendship and more importantly, family.

 

Honey.

Romance novels are birthday cake and life is often peanut butter and jelly. I think everyone should have lots of delicious novels, romance or otherwise, lying around for those times when the peanut butter of life gets stuck to the roof of your mouth.

This month, you are my cake and my peanut butter- what are the odds?

Here’s to reading to you as the last rays of a late afternoon flit through from under the curtains in your living room; the light gleaming off my fingers like honey- a tablespoon of it mixed in warm water every morning before breakfast and right after kissing you. Lemony lines cast rhomboid bar-codes on your floor, as I rest my head on your shoulders and sound alphabets that somehow string together to make words as beautiful as incandescent, ethereal, as beautiful your name. In the years that you weren’t there with me, I found photography. Sunlight lent such a softening edge to the world. It drenched everything in a warmish glow. With time, I mastered the art of not squinting when the sun shined directly in my eye. The trick is to stare long enough for your pupils to constrict so that you don’t tear up. So when you walked into my life again, against the sunlight and in your silhouetted glory, I knew how special this photograph would be. Time suspends itself when I am with you like dust particles against light. I notice and realise that the alternating light and dark lines of illumination on the floor of your room are only changing shape because the Earth, unlike time, hasn’t stop moving- just like my world; which has been spinning ever since we met for the first time several birthdays ago. You came into my life like the light streaming in through your windows that windy afternoon- a flamboyant guest, not waiting for an invitation- making itself welcome in a house that it is far too comfortable with. Like routine, the light scans for changes around the room and finds your familiar skin. Your chest moving up and down, with a rhythm that was immortalised in its memory. As it traced the edges around your shoulders the light reflected off my hair. Something different- this isn’t how she remembers you- and almost like a jealous lover, she hid behind the curtain for a while gauging my affection and earnestness for you. After a few minutes, a breeze billowed the curtain away from the window and coaxed Light in to your room again. A couple pigeons flew out. The ruffled noise of their wings made you stir as I turned to the next page. The light caressed my body like oil on water- touching but never mixing. It tip toed around you, careful not to let you in on the secret of the warmth that was radiating from within my body, careful to not make you aware of how I was taking her rightful place. You turned around to kiss me on my forehead and in that moment, time was infinite and the light, insignificant. I love you. How I wish that sentence would be a grammatically correct palindrome.

Happy Birthday, my love. I look forward to afternoons which last a lifetime and a life that is filled with lightness, dreams, fruit cream and blueberry discoveries.

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Happiness in HDR.

Have you ever touched a butterfly? The touch in itself is magical; the sun shines brighter and time stops just for a brief moment- long enough to make you realise how beautiful life can be.
You make me feel the same way. Every time I touch you, there’s just a hint of gold dust left on my fingers. When I look at you sitting across the room- I know that I’ve found my magic.
I’ve only felt this happy once before and that was when I read Memory Keeper’s Daughter for the first time. The words metamorphosed into images and I could picture myself writing them in the future. And look, I’m using my words to let you know how absolutely elated you make me feel.
Words have always been the most inexhaustible source of magic for me and now, every time my body brushes past yours, I feel exhilarated- just like a magician after her first successful trick for an audience. I’m in love with you because you make me see the beauty around me that is beyond words and poetry.
You are becoming my magic.

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It’s NBD.

I stared at a blank blogpost page for a while (actually half an hour), and came to the conclusion that I just wanted to write about one thing. Like anyone who’s recently started dating, I’m going to gush about how really frikkin’ awesome it is to be in a relationship where you actually get everything you want without asking for it. I mean- everything.

The sudden phone call in the middle of a busy day just to say he loves me? I gots that. Gifting me the book I’ve been thinking of buying but never got around to? Oh yeah. Knowing that I’d rather stay at home watching YouTube videos with him rather than go out? Yep, lazy bum reunion time! Taking me out for a dinner with just meat on the menu (oh, yes, that was a good date- so many types of meat with cheese and mayonnaise!)? He got dibs on the bathroom the next morning (no, don’t start ewwing)
Any healthy relationship discusses farts and potty. Discussing sharts, but, is probably tricky territory… but if you can do it, go for it!

I’ve always said that the most important thing for me in any relationship is happiness, and if that person doesn’t make me happy and I, him, then there is not much of a point staying together, miserably. I never thought that being in love would be so easy. For me, the idea of love was somehow always riddled with fights over silly things and ultimately settling for something (perhaps). BUT THIS PERSON MAKES IT SO EASY to love him. I do my bit too, in being my usual awesome self and make it super easy for him but oh my god, how amazing is this? (so amazing that it’s screwing with my grammar) To not have to try to please someone, where we can joke about babies and marriage and still not have the awkward shuffling of feet following it? It is surreal because I’ve always said the wrong thing at the wrong time and people just assumed I was trying to seed ideas into their heads. No, I usually don’t plan much in advance before saying something and he knows that. He’s the shizz. 😀
I usually write poetry or a prose with beautiful metaphors and I wish I could give the same to him. He deserves all my words, but he’s got to settle for a mediocre blog blabber with incorrect English… but all my heart in it. Heart trumps beautiful words, right? I send pretty nice Good Morning messages to him. No? Not enough? okayfinestopjudgingme. I actually want to write the best thing for him and I’m going to wait for it- for as long as it takes for me to write my masterpiece. Okay? Phew.

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Enough gaa-ing over the new man but whattodo? What would you do if you felt this happy? Cheers.

 

– detangled.

The sun shines out my bum

Dating people these days has become similar to fairy lights kept inside a glass bottle- they are nothing but pretend fireflies, trapped. Couples who start out in a relationship refrain from saying they love each other early on in the relationship (that is, if they even accept that they’re in a relationship in the first place). Why is saying ‘I love you’ such a huge deal? The influence of movies or F.R.I.E.N.D.S had a profound effect on what I thought relationships were like, when I was in school, and it might be the same for many others as well.

However, I’ve grown out of that idea. If I love you, I will say it uninhibited. When I feel like I love you, I’ll say it. When I want to let you know I feel like there is a bag full of butterflies waiting to explode out of my chest and there are no better words to express it, I’ll say it. When I see you work and you look adorable, I’ll say it. When we fight and I have nothing more to argue with, I’ll scream I love you.. because feeling love isn’t something I’ve been taught to hide or keep away. If I’m in a relationship with you, I’ll tell the world and galaxies beyond because that is how honest I will be. I am all encompassing when it comes to words and expression. The modern dating rituals baffle me and I don’t think I will ever understand them. I come from a belief where I hold letters and cheesy phrases in very high regard. I wouldn’t say I haven’t been a part of the modern romance, I have, and I realised that I couldn’t sustain it. I can sustain something only when I know it will withstand the trials of time, separation, arguments and come out stronger. I agree, it comes off as something utopic but if your wishes aren’t unreal then what else does one have?
I’m overboard with joy to have found someone who shares my vision of being together and I’m thankful too, since finding someone as understanding (and awesome) is not something that happens thrice in one lifetime. Yes, I meant thrice.
The fairy lights would be proudly decorated across the wall and he would still make me feel like the best darn glow worm in the world.

😀

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