Saturday, July 30, 2016

Life mein thora twist hona mangta hai...

Life is what you make of it, literally. You are creating your own reality at each moment, at each breath that you take. So, why create something sad or unhappy? Create something unexpected, surprising, and who knows, maybe something a little risky too. After all, life mein risk nahi liya toh kya kiya? Although, that doesn't mean swimming through the gutter water of waterlogged Gurugram! It means more than that, it means swimming with the sharks. The fun is in beating the sharks in their own game and winning it even when you reek of blood from your open wounds.

When you are stuck in a situation, there comes a time when you don't want to be bothered about it anymore. You just want to say, 'Enough, I have given too much mind space to you, let me move on to something else.' And, when you say that, you feel a certain lightheartedness about it, you start feeling to be yourself. You connect with your inner self. And when you do so, you don't find a boring you, you find that naughty self all over again that had gotten buried deep under some rubbish - mostly thrown by people who were clearing their own houses.

So, after you scrub yourself clean and dabble some extra perfume, you are ready to face the world all over again. It's time to reclaim it, make it your own, and be the bindaas person you have always been.

Let the veil of predictability be taken off, after all, life mein thora twist hona mangta hai na ;)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Her life is yours too...

She often wonders how sometimes life comes smacking on her face. Just when she wants to forget things, go about distracting herself, laugh with friends or simply work to numb her senses, things take a turn towards a signpost that bleeds her heart out.

The cards were dealt and she was winning at it. She was finally defeating that dreaded pain and hurt. And, that's when it happened. She was at Cloud 9 when the thunder struck and thrashed her to the ground.

As she lay there, bruised and hurt, she wondered what just happened. But she knew she need to get up.

She mustered enough courage to get going. She lifted her aching limbs slowly and with great difficulty stood up. As she wobbled to regain her strength, she was hit by a double whammy. Another unexpected blow, a cloud burst and her very being was threatened to be swept off.

They tried their best, but they were never prepared for her resolute self. She stood by the deluge, rooting herself to the very ground she knew will never give away.

She started with a smile again, a small step again, a dream again. She knows no matter how hard life hits her, she will get up each time and face it with a twinkle in her eyes. No, they cannot take that away from her, never.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Those 'God' complex people

There are certain people in this wide weird world who think that they are always right. They never make a mistake. They are those 'godlike' characters who can even put 'God' to shame with their 'perfect' ideologies. And, of course, we have all met such people in our lives.

They are the classic 'me only'. For them, it is my way or highway. Interestingly, even when you are appalled by their blatant narcissist behaviour, you often find yourself mum at their actions. They are so damn sure about themselves that they quieten the others with a stare. And, the 'aura' that they carry, even the Queen of Sheba may start feeling inferior in front of them.

They are the know-it-alls, and never listen. For them, they know the best and others are mere fillers and duds.

Question is, how do you handle such people?

The best thing to do is to move away from such people. But then again, they might be a part of your life, what do you do in such a case? As they continue with their bad behaviour, do you start apologising to others on their behalf or you finally muster enough courage to tell them to stop it?

The answer is not easy. But, sometimes you may just have to put your foot down and regain your self-esteem. And, the sooner you do it, the better for you!

Why we delay doing something right?

I chanced upon an Osho talk a few days ago, wherein the spiritual guru said something so relevant about this question. He said that when it comes to doing something wrong, we never consult anybody, we don’t even listen to our conscience, we just do it. If it means hurting someone, be jealous of somebody, inflict our anger or hatred, we just go ahead do it. But, when it comes to doing the opposite, as in doing something good and right, we bottle it up. We say let the right moment come and we would do it then or let me consult someone before doing this.

Question is, why do we delay taking a decision that we inertly know is right?

It might be because doing something right requires courage. It is often against the norm or the general tide. It could be something challenging or even life-altering.

And, that’s where the problem arises. Reminds me of a line from ‘Step Up 3’. “It’s never easy to take the most important decisions in life.”

And, of course, all the important decisions in life are the ones that concerns doing something right, right?

Friday, July 1, 2016

Love me thoda aur

So when the puppy love strikes, you feel the butterflies in your stomach, the world goes round and you hear music in the air. Happened to all of us when we were young, happy and without a doubt in our head. 

As you grew old, you wised up. You became cautious. You started to trust less, even the one you loved and married. You made boundaries around yourself. You were inaccessible.

But, isn’t that just the opposite of being in love. If you love someone, you need to be vulnerable, you need to let yourself get hurt, and understand that nothing is perfect, and of course, that there is nothing called ‘happily forever’…

It’s this expectation of ‘being happy’ in love portrayed in movies and books that creates undue pressure in any relationship. You want your love life to be ‘bookish’ or ‘filmy’, with Raj serenading you in the laps of Swiss valley and Simran running to catch the train. Ask yourself, do you really need that bull crap in your life?

Won’t it be better to be who you are, and let your partner be who he is, and express your love to each other in an original manner? Innovate, be creative, surprise each other, or just laze together on the couch the entire Sunday. Forget about the dishes, the food, the grocery, the bills, the family, the friends. For a few moments, just look into each other’s eyes, and if need be, you may sing that puppy song all over again, “love me thoda aur….” J

Sunday, June 19, 2016

He is you. He is me.

Don't know why I missed out on 'Tamasha'. Finally, saw it last night, an amazing, yet difficult movie to make. Ranbir Kapoor, as Ved, was predictably fabulous, and Deepika as Tara, was the apt catalyst who turned Ved's life upside down.

More than a movie, it was a treatise on modern life. It was like watching your daily mundane existence being portrayed on the wide canvas, as you struggle through to keep your inner conflict in check.

You want to be someone else, but you end up being someone else. You want to do something else, but you end up doing something else. But, in that helpless mechanical existance as well, we have a choice - to say 'No' to it. After all, we have chosen that life, and no one but ourselves are to be blamed for it. And, no one but ourselves can change it as well.

So, at the witching hour, with the lingering sound of 'Matargashti' in the background, I penned the following poem:

He wasn't a man of 9 to 5,
He wasn't a man of calculus,
He wasn't a man of logic,
He wasn't a man of law,
He wasn't a man of anything of this world order.

Who was he then?

He was a man without a watch,
He was a man of poetry,
He was a man of drama,
He was a man of anarchy,
He was a man of everything out of this world order.

Who is he now?

He is a man wanting to forget time,
He is a man trying to write poetry,
He is a man creating drama,
He is a man breaking in and out of his self,
He is a man challenging everything of this world order.

He is in all of us. He is you. He is me.

As I finished the poem, I wondered what would I have done if I had not been a writer / editor?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Have you made friends lately?

That's a question for anyone who is above 30. Ask yourself, when was the last time you made a friend. And, I am not talking about someone you met and added on Facebook. It is the kind of friendship you struck when you were a kid, when you became friends with anyone and everyone without judging them. But, do you do that now?

As you grow old, you pile up conventions after conventions. You create certain 'ideals', you need your new friend to fit in your definition of that 'ideal'. Those ideals could range from the banal to the sublime. You only want to be friends with people who are of your class, status, match your intellectual wavelength, adventurous, humorous... the list goes on as you add more numbers and white hair (not necessarily in the same order) to your life. 

You lose your spontaneity to be friends with a stranger, someone who is totally unlike you or someone who breaks every possible definition of your 'ideal' friend. 

Question is why does this happen? You have a motley crew of childhood friends. And honestly, you would have been bored to death if you had friends who were a mirror image of yours! So, why the same rule did not apply as you grew up. Did you stop taking risks?

As one crosses that dreaded threshold of 30, suddenly life no longer seems so rosy as it once used to be. You are faced with immense responsibilities, shouldering the burden of your own decisions, and running after some paper pieces that would buy you 'happiness'. And, you want to guard everything that you have with a mean pride. You want to control, be the conductor of your own orchestra, and do not want even a single note out of tune. And, that's where you go horribly wrong. You are so engrossed in your own little world, the known devil, you forget to even say 'hello' to someone new. Your risk-taking appetite ended with that paragliding jump from the mountain you ran-off from when you were not so 'wised-up'. The unknown is not for you, as you start teaching your kids, "Don't talk to strangers."

But, sometimes you do toe the line. You meet up with someone who makes you want to break your self-imposed rules. You find them interesting, and your eyes light up just the way they did when you were tiny-tots. Yet, you hesitate. Why? Because you fear, you don't want to be betrayed again? By the time you have lived three decades of your life, you know enough about betrayal that you could write a book as thick as the dictionary. And, that's where the real problem starts. You start analysing the person as per your parameters of defining someone as 'trustworthy'. Things remain hunky-dory till you keep ticking off your checklist. But, the moment you cross a pointer, you conclude with vengeance, "I knew it, everyone is the same. I shouldn't have wasted my time and effort."

You run-off to your carefully organised and decorated 'safe' world, get busy with the 'pretend-plays', as a friend once said. 

Ironically, you talk of wars and terrorism, and blind hatred almost every day. But have you ever analysed that maybe the start of all these had been because of the walls you created around yourself. When you do not allow people to know you, and extend your hand of friendship to a stranger, do you really think countries will ever resolve their crisis? Think about it, or rather don't and make a new friend NOW!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hidden in plain sight

Stating the obvious is clich├ęd. The mystery is in hiding the truth in plain sight!

It's much like hiding the tree in the forest. Despite being there, you do not see it. You consider it as a part of the larger ecosystem and ignore its existence. Truth is like that tree in the forest, only the person who has planted that tree knows the mystery behind it. And, it is for the others to figure out that extraordinary tree among the crowd of lookalikes...Now, that's a real challenge, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Living alone

Living alone has its challenges. After your friends are gone, and you finally settle down in your lonely abode, the first thing you notice is silence, that is, if you discount the annoying buzzing of the fan or the blaring horns of the passing vehicles. Suddenly, your brain is greeted with no voices to process, and your heart starts beating in anticipation of what would happen next, because you literary need to create that next step. The drama is thrown out of the window and in your solitude you find yourself thinking and questioning.

And, as you are deep in thought, all of a sudden you are tickled by two large antennae. You look down and see a huge flying cockroach. As you are about to shout, your brain processes your reaction and tells you, “Maam, there is no point shouting about it, no one is coming to rescue you. So, stop being a damsel in distress and do something about it.” After that rude shock, you collect yourself and logically analyse the situation. Should you leave the cockroach or should you kill it? You decide that the latter is a better option. If you don’t kill it, it will infest the house. You draw every ounce of courage, take the slipper off from your feet and taking a good aim, slap it on the unsuspecting creepy little thing. After that first attack, a maniac energy grips you as you repeatedly slap it to ensure that it is not writhing in pain.

Finally, jubilant at your first victory alone, you sit on the sofa to relax. As you look at the ceiling, you find another crawling creature ready to make your home his territory. Now, this one is a fight. Keeping a safe distance, you start shooing him away with a folded newspaper. You ensure that the newspaper does not hit him or else you may get into trouble. Finally, after directing him out of the window, you shut it tight and wish that you do not encounter Tom’s arch-rival next!  

Who said, living alone is easy…

Monday, June 6, 2016

Turning into a greener shade of olive

Jealousy is ingrained in human nature. You can’t fight it. When it hits you, it hits you hard. Even the ones with the ‘purest’ interest in their hearts are not immune to this universal feeling of ‘inability to come to terms with one’s own inefficiencies’!

Ouch! That hurt, let’s just call it plain old jealousy then.

And, even if you nod your head vigorously that you have never felt that way, ask your little ‘saintly’ heart what was your first feeling when you saw your best friend in that killer dress? Don’t mask it under the pretext that you so wanted that dress, and that you would have totally rocked it. Admit it, you know what you were…

Despite all that sophistication, education and walking tall, we still have this underlying pettiness. However, the beauty is not in running away from it. But in acknowledging it, processing it and reacting accordingly. After all, we may not be able to control what we feel, but we can definitely control our reactions.

So, be jealous, turn into a greener shade of olive. But, be human, appreciate the good, and turn into a paler shade of white!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Disowned

How does it feel to be disowned, to be thrown out on the streets, to be unsupported? It's like your flesh being cut open and someone liberally sprinkling salt and spice on it. Although, you want to scream in agony, your voice is drowned somewhere in the din of your own inner hurt. You are so hurt that you even stop feeling it altogether. You want the moment to pass, but you know things will not settle so soon, it will take time, you would need to go through the motion, you would need to soak in the bitter moments that you are put into. You just fervently wish for one thing, strength, the strength to see it through, to ride out that wave, because you know you are made of better metal than the ones they think you are made up of. And, sometimes, you need to show them the finger...

Monday, May 9, 2016

Calm

The world has changed, so I have. The world is still changing, and so I am. Change is the only permanence, and it is stupid enough to seek anything that is permanent, because nothing is. Have I learnt something new? Have I become a better person? Have I stopped making the same mistakes over and over? Don’t know, the answer is still illusive. All I know, I have become calm.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Same pinch

What do you do when you find yourself in the same situation again? Would you make the same mistakes or would you be wiser this time? Would you not be impulsive and jump to conclusions? Would you take your time, be patient and wait for the right time to say the right thing or ruin everything by being anxious and stupid? Would you keep your cool and not become obsessive?

Most importantly, would you remember that all the drama that you would create would finally go down the drain?

You have already learnt, already burnt your fingers. You know what to do, there is no need to re-learn them in a painful way.

Don't run to it, walk swiftly, walk surely and enjoy the view while you inch towards your destination. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Being wise

Are you wise now? That's not a rhetorical question, but the answer is not a simple yes.

Yes, I take my decisions measured at every teaspoon. Yes, I do not trust people easily. Yes, I have learnt to let broken relations be. Yes, now I remain calm when I am hurt. Yes, I can see nothing is permanent. And, yes, nothing really matters after all.

Is that being wise?

If that is wise, what happens to vulnerability, spontaneity and of course, life itself?