Sunday, 11 November 2012

I Never Knew- II

 
I never knew...

How dreams can flutter,

Like fairy lights

Draped over ancient trees.







As part of the "I never knew" series. Each one a small spark of emotion, a moment suspended in space. First one is here.

Photo:http://s1.favim.com/orig/11/blossom-fairy-lights-madamelulu-tree-Favim.com-178046.jpg

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

I never Knew- I

 
I never knew...

How delicate conquests can be,

Like soap bubbles

Under the lazy afternoon sun.





I plan to make these like a series. Each one a small spark of emotion, a moment suspended in space.

photo:http://graphics.ucsd.edu/~iman/SoapBubbles/Soap_bubbles_RGB.png

Friday, 26 October 2012

Being a Fool

If there is anything that being buffered around a few times in life does to you, is that it makes you skeptical. Something good happens, and you assume there is something bad waiting somewhere around the corner.

It is useful sometimes, even if unfortunate. Getting knocked down enough number of times comes with valuable experience. Experience that tells you you can't avoid getting the knocks, but it sure helps if at least you can prevent being blindsided. Survival strategies are made of such stuff.

As they say, life hands you lemons. And for a while, you do your best to sweeten away the sourness, figuratively speaking. Then you run out of sugar, and just accept the fact that lemons are sour. That is usually smart.

And then, rarely, something really nice comes your way. Guess what, you poor sod, you are still stuck with the sour taste in your mouth. This is the sad part. You know you like it, but you can't enjoy it. You try to put aside the baggage you've accumulated, hurt and pain and mistrust and everything else, and try to replace it with a new order of things, one that has you happy. And all you can think of is, "This is stupid. This is too good to be true."

Frankly, you're right. By most chances, the good phase will not last. It rarely does. And you'll come back crashing again, broken. Just like the last time. Remember how much it hurt? You are a fool. You can walk away from what makes you happy, you can even convince yourself you're doing it to protect yourself from further hurt.
It makes frightening sense, but you know what, you'll still be a fool. And moreover, now you are both a fool and a fraud.

Tough deal, huh? It's tough for me. But right now, I'll take my chances. I'll be just the fool. Simply because I've been a fraud for too long. Wish me luck.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Love Stories

I pointed out The Bridges of Madison County to my friend at the bookshop.

Friend: "What's it about?"

Me: "It's a love story."

Friend: "Why bother?"

Me: "It's a love story that doesn't work out."

Friend: "Why bother?"

He didn't say it because he didn't care. He said it because he did bother, that too, too much. I remembered vividly the sense of helplessness and melancholy that the book had left me with.

Why bother, really.

One can perhaps answer  the question in a hundred different ways. But my favourite is one that I had read long back, written by a woman whose wisdom I've come to appreciate fully as I have grown up.

Because to write a love story requires a special kind of bravery. At least to write one that is any good. You make two people meet, you make them love each other, then you make them laugh or cry, depending upon how your mood is. And it all get read by people, who can, with exceptions, be categorized into two groups.

One are those who have, or have had, their own love stories. You embellish your story, make the couple go through everything from disapproving parents to an alien attack and let them live happily ever after. Or you make a grocery list of all the ways they are perfect for each other, and then let last year's stock markets keep them apart till the next lifetime comes around.
But whatever you do, nothing impresses these people. For them, it is always their own that was the most beautiful. It's no use arguing. When you see their faces when they tell you their story, you know that they are right too, yours is no match. Every single time.

The other group, the polar opposite, are the ones who haven't had their own stories yet. And guess what, you can't impress them either. No matter how mundane, how "life-like" or how "based on a true story" you make it, even the simplest descriptions will look over-dramatic to them.
Again, it's no use arguing. You ask them to tell them the biggest thing that has happened to them. Then, if you have a love story, compare that theirs. You'll see that they are right too, yours is too dramatic. And from their view point, too dramatic to be true. Love always is. Every single time.

Perhaps that is why we bother to read a love story, specially those of us who fall in the first group. Because we know the pitfalls of one. Because it lets us validate our own. Because one can never write a love story. One can only live it, for a day or a lifetime.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Reading a Hemingway


                              

 Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee." 
-For Whom the Bells Toll

My first brush with Hemingway came before it should have. I picked up The Old Man and the Sea from the old neighbourhood bookshop (the kind that still wraps them up in brown paper). I was ten. Fair enough, I understood very little. But there was a haunting sense of melancholy that did make a lasting impression on me.

My next was For Whom the Bells Toll. I was more matured and more receptive when I read it, and boy, did I love it! I loved the fragmented style of narration, which jelled so well with my own thoughts. I loved how there was a certain kind of innocence juxtaposed with violence. And I loved how you could live a lifetime in three days.

Another was Indian Camp. Short, simple, and again the juxtaposition of innocence and violence.

The latest is A Farewell  to Arms. Brutal, realistic, tragic. It has the lyrical quality that life achieves without needing music and rhyming words.

The reason I keep re-reading Hemingway is the way he portrays everything without either sugar-coating or demonizing them. He doesn't need to. He stays true to the colours. He calls the bluff on hypocrisy and lets mundane things show their grandeur through mundaneness itself.

People are battered, broken, destroyed. And yet they move on, they survive, they allow their cynical selves to hope again. And that, is life in its full glory.


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Desiderata - Max Ehrmann

It is a bit wordy and maybe a teeny bit preachy, but it has calmed me in my worst times over the years. I don't want to spoil it by too many words of my own, but even if a single line makes sense to you, keep it close, it will serve you well.

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
 
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Sunscreen


I came upon this almost by accident, while reading a similar piece that has been a favourite for long. This rang true, so I had to share with you all. Specially the last para. Enjoy.


Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young
-Mary Schmich
June 1, 1997

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.


Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.


Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.




http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-schmich-sunscreen-column,0,4054576.column
Copyright © 2012, Chicago Tribune

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Calcutta Foodie-II


To be honest, this is not a strictly Calcuttan food. But it does happen to be among my favourites. Actually for this post, I was flipping a coin between this, and something with Prawns. But to save myself from the ire of my "strictly-vegan" friends, I decided to pacify them first!


Bengali name? Potol Posto. And before you tie up your tongue trying to pronounce it, the translation : Parval  with poppy seed paste. Since I'm not sure if I can convince you what Parval or Parwal or Potol or Pointed Gourd or stripped Gourd is, it looks like this:

I actually found out all these names for the humble vegetable on the net, so I thought it best you see and decide for yourself what you call it, since personally I have never called it anything but Potol.


Anyway, coming back to the dish. One of the main reasons of me loving it is the ease with which it can be prepared. My dad used to rustle it up in about 20 minutes. Rice, milk and potol posto used to be the perfect meal for a very sleepy me on the days when dinner got late with both parents working long hours at the hospital.


So listing out the ingredients :
  • Potol/Parval - 500 g
  • Posto/Poppy seeds - 1/2 cup
  • Onions- chopped
  • Green Chillies - 2
  • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
  • Red Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp (optional, if you like the heat. I don't.)
  • Salt 
  • Sugar

I remember seeing the poppy plants cultivated in rows along the fields of other staple food when I used to go over to my grandmother's place in the village. I loved the radiant hues. The house is no more, and neither are my trips, but I hope the colours still are there, for some other pair of wonder-filled eyes.


For the poppy seeds, soak then in water for about 2 hours, then grind along with the chillies into a thick paste with as little water as possible. The mixer grinder will serve you well, but even better if you can use the traditional method. I know, I know, takes way too much time!


Peel off the stripe gourd and give a slit lengthwise, rub with salt and turmeric. Heat oil in a pan and saute them in low flame until soft. 
Fry onions in the oil for 2 minutes, add turmeric, chilli powder, poppy seed paste and salt. Little sugar too, if you please.
Add the veggies, cover for 5 minutes, remove, serve with rice. 


And then, enjoy. But you weren't waiting for me to say that, were you, now?



photos courtesy:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_LQ_lHi3bygI/TBtScf8l4uI/AAAAAAAAAf8/77Kr4VqDct4/s1600/DSC03999.JPG
http://www.ivstring.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/DSC02548.jpg

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Feathers In the Wind


This is an old folk-tale, attributed to various people. I love it because of the message. As a first hand sufferer in the hands of gossip-mongers, and having seen others suffer as well, I have often wished that people be taught this is schools, rather than calculus. If only it were so easy.


Once there was a foolish woman in a small village, who went about spreading gossip about another
woman. Before long the foolish woman began to feel remorse about what she had
done, so she went to the wise man of the village to ask him what she could do to make things
right.

The wise man listened carefully to her story, thought for a moment, and then told her to
go to the market and buy a chicken. On the way home from the market she was to pluck that
chicken letting the feathers fall along the path. The next day she was to come back and see the
wise man again.

The woman did as the wise man suggested. She bought a chicken and plucked it on the
way home. When she came to him the next day she told him that she had done what he asked
her to do.
The wise man said to her, “Now, I want you to go home today by the same road you
took yesterday, and pick up every single feather you dropped along the path.” The woman was
distraught, and protested that there was absolutely no way she could find and pick up all those
feathers. The wind would have surely blown them everywhere!

The wise man quietly responded, “You are correct...and you see, just as you can never retrieve
all those feathers, there is no way you can ever restore the reputation of the people whom you
harmed with your words.”

The woman was ordinary, and so was the offence, but the remorse is much less so.
The next time you say something about someone that you do not know for yourself to be hundred per cent correct, hold yourself for a second, and remember.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Brown Eyes

If yours locked into mine,
Two pairs of browns,
Would the silence talk
Of you and of me,
Safe
In a fragile safety,
Loved
With an inflamed hatred,
Destroyed
By a violent innocence?


If yours locked into mine,
Two pairs of browns,
Would you find me pretty
Burnt, broken and beaten
Alive in dead flesh
Dismantled
Disfigured
And Disillusioned?

If yours locked into mine,
Two pairs of browns,
For the space of a blink
Or of a century
Would you hear me plead,
Silent, tortured, hungry
To let me love you
Just one more time?

Was written for someone I haven't found yet. Hope I do. If I don't, oh well.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

North Bengal Tour '12 - Flora






If all Riots were of Colours
 Tour to Lava, Loleygaon, Rishyap, Kalimpong in North Bengal. Images of flowers and a few trees. Very few though! Enjoy.
Cactus Flower

More Cactus Flower
Even More Cactus Flower

Not again Cactus Flower? Yes again.

Hydrangea Hill

The Half Bloom

Baby Strawberry. Nah, Raspberry


Wild Rose

Colonization

Tree Light

Friday, 15 June 2012

North Bengal Tour '12 - Beasts

All creatures great and small.....
Some animals and birds I captured during my recent tour to Lava, Loleygaon, Rishyap, Kalimpong in North Bengal. Enjoy, there is more to come :-)


Shera @ Kalimpong

Dragon-fly (wish I could remove the fly from the name)

Head first

Moth Tales

Hello Sparrow

Bow-Wow Cloud

Beetle Mania

Honey Assignment

Neigh

More bugs!
Bee-Eater

Monday, 4 June 2012

ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN

This one's by Robert Fulghum, from his book "All I really need to know  I learned in kindergarten." I personal favourite.


All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.

These are the things I learned:

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don't hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don't take things that aren't yours.
  • Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

[Source: "ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN" by Robert Fulghum.  See his web site at http://www.robertfulghum.com/  ]

Friday, 1 June 2012

Calcutta Foodie - I

Yes, I'm a Bong. Yes, I'm a foodie. Yes, I'm a Calcuttan. And yes, I don't stay in the city any more.

I come back, sometimes. As I was stepping out of the aero-bridge, I noticed one of the officials speaking urgently into his walkie-talkie, with a few others huddled around him. The question being asked with so much intent? "Score koto holo?" (What's the score?) I grinned. I was back in Cal.

A friend suggested I do a few posts on my favourite Bong food. Since the blog is a medley of so much, I thought, why not, maybe I can go beyond the typical phuchhka-rasgulla-illish line.

I propose to start with one of the humblest : the churmur. It's a byproduct of its more illustrious cousin, the phuchhka. You get it at any phuchhka-walas any where in the city. In fact, the previous statement was such a gospel truth for a thorough-bred Calcutta girl like me, that I made the mistake of asking for churmur from a panipuri seller even when I moved 3000kms away. He had never heard of it. D-oh! But then, there was also the moment of glory when I did find someone who not only knew what it was, but even proceeded to make it for me, the same 3000kms away. There is a God.

The name “churmur” is probably derived from the crunching sound made while eating it. Simply put, it's a generous helping of boiled potatoes (generous being defined by the generosity of your phuchhka-wala), some dry gol-gappas, chopped chillies, onions, boiled white peas all mashed together with chaat masala and the strongest tamarind juice you can find. 
So, the ingredients, listed out, would be :


  • 2 medium size potatoes, boiled 
  • Quarter cup white peas, soaked overnight and boiled 
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped 
  • Handful of coriander, finely chopped 
  • 4-5 green chilies, finely chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp 
  • 2 teaspoons dry roasted cumin and coriander seeds, roughly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder 
  • 1 teaspoon Chaat masala 
  • Half teaspoon black salt 
  • 8-10 readymade gol gappas 


There's a recipe coming up, but later.


I think, and my friends would agree, that this churmur probably made for at least half of our nutrition throughout our school days. It had definitely more matter in it , compared to the teeny amount of potato stuffing one could get for the same money's worth of anything else, including our beloved phuchhkas. Fancy stuff, which we gorge upon now, was way beyond the budget, with 20 rupees amounting to a veritable feast.  I remember we had Maths classes after school, 5-7pm again 7:30-9:30pm. It was an ordeal for the most dedicated. But we survived on that measly half an hour break, when we used to run two blocks away for a helping of churmur, laughing over our mad dash, eyes and ears streaming from the heat of the chillies, getting lock-jawed from the unbearably sour tamarind. 


There isn't really a very complex way of preparing the thing, anyway. Put all the dry things together, including the potatoes, but not the gol gappa-s, and mash it up. Squeeze out the juice from the tamarind pulp, adding water if you need to dilute it. Add to the mix, just so the whole thing keeps together, but is not runny. Crush the dry gol gappas, and toss the whole thing together. Top off with the coriander, and have before it gets soggy (remember the origins of the name!).


I got the singular soul who is enlightened in the way of churmur-making  in my university-town, to prepare it for one of my friends. My friend isn't one the most lily-livered ones when it comes to food, but the face he made on putting the first spoonful into his mouth, had me laughing at the fact that the heady mixture of tangy-and-spicy was probably a bit too much on the first go. Maybe it's an acquired taste. Oh well, maybe I can convert them all. After all, I am a Bong, a Calcuttan and a Foodie. And that is one heady mixture, I've been told!




photos : http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_c1GyAdVMPgw/TBSamNt_J6I/AAAAAAAAB88/l2NE62dunfQ/s1600/churmur7.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_63mUyNce2ag/TAaTwU88yMI/AAAAAAAAFms/QLDFqy3HT2o/s1600/DSC07639.JPG

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Get Out of Bed - by Diane Shore


A spot of humour for today. Everything around was turning too ominous, thought I should lighten the mood. This has been one of my favourite poems ever to giggle on. The first time I read it, the ending really had me rolling on the floor. And it still elicits laughter, after all these years. I won't give away a spoiler, if you haven't read it yet! And even if you have, go ahead and read it once more. Have a laugh, it doesn't hurt.


Get Out of Bed!
                                      ~ Diane Z. Shore

"Get out of bed, you silly fool!
Get up right now, it's time for school.
If you don't dress without a fuss,
I'll throw you naked on the bus!"

"Oh, Mom, don't make me go today.
I'm feeling worse than yesterday.
You don't know what I'm going through.
I've got a strange, rare case of flu.

"My body aches, my throat is sore. 
I'm sure I'm knocking on death's door.
You can't send me to school-achoo!-
'Cause everyone could get it, too.

"Besides, the kids despise me there.
They always tease and always stare.
And all the teachers know my name.
When something's wrong, it's me they blame."

"You faked a headache yesterday.
Don't pull that stuff on me today.
Stop acting like a silly fool-
The principal cannot skip school!"


Told you, it was a good one! Hope that brought a smile, and I'll see you around folks.

Text © Diane Z. Shore, reprinted from If Kids Ruled the School published by Meadowbrook Press.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Need to be Purred

At least once a day our old black cat comes to one us in a way that we've all come to see as a special request. It does not mean he wants to be fed or to be let out or anything of that sort. His need is for something very different. If you have a lap handy, he'll jump into it; if you don't, he's likely to stand there looking wistful until you make him one. Once in it, he begins to vibrate almost before you stroke his back, scratch his chin and tell him over and over what a good kitty he is. Then his motor really revs up; he squirms to get comfortable; he "makes big hands." Every once in a while one of his purrs gets out of control and turns into a snort. He looks at you with wide open eyes of adoration, and he gives you the cat's long slow blink of ultimate trust. After a while, little by little, he quiets down. If he senses that it's all right, he may stay in your lap for a cozy nap. But he is just as likely to hop down and stroll away about his business. Either way, he's all right. Our daughter puts it simply: "Blackie needs to be purred."


(from The Gentlest Need by Fred T. Wilhelms from Chicken Soup for the Soul, Copyright 1993 by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.)


And so do we all. Purred, petted, loved. Sometimes to put chaotic minds to order. Sometimes to heal. And sometimes just to remind ourselves that everything is all right. 


A friend reminded me of a classic saying, "Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired." I happen to agree. But magic such as that is hard to come by in yours truly's ordinary life. Oh well, I'll settle for warmth and happiness instead of fireworks and ecstasy. Not really such a bad deal. And if I may use our Harry Potter lingo, it "Exceeds Expectations". 


Don't get me wrong, its just baby steps, long way to go as yet. I am not even half-way close to what I really want, that is to be perfectly comfortable with myself. And maybe, eventually, with other people too. One does dream, you know. But I believe they are steps in the right direction. Let's wait and watch, shall we?






 Photo courtesy: http://www.visualphotos.com/photo/1x5067785/Woman_petting_black_cat_6N6555.jpg, Copyright VisualPhotos.com

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Nothing Here

You think the stories are true,
The gospels are right?
Open thy eyes, there is nothing here,
Not a god in sight.

You think all men are good,
There’s beauty all around?
See the world, there is nothing here,
Jackals and jackasses abound.

You think love is the answer,
We only need to have more faith?
Look around, there is nothing here,
Only decay and death.

You think miracles happen,
The good you do comes back?
Welcome to reality, there is nothing here,
Either you conform or you crack.

You think people care,
You can walk the path you choose?
See the truth, there is nothing here,
You never win, you only lose.

You think I am a lost soul,
This is another crazed banter,
I can’t be talking of you,
Maybe I’m just off the rocker?

One day you will be alone,
Amidst hidden wounds and empty hearts
One day you will break,
Amidst grey skies and crushed butterflies
One day you will give up trying,
Amidst stale hours and putrid words
One day you will know,
This is life, there is nothing here.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Can you Forgive



This is perhaps one of the few posts I will make, in which I myself do not have complete faith. Everyone tells me I get hurt very easily. Guess I do. And the worst part is, sometimes I'm not really good at hiding it, either. We hurt people, people hurt us. Who is right? Is there a right? Who decides? I don't have answers. Maybe I don't need those answers either. But one question which I do need an answer to, is "Can I forgive?" Or rather, "Do I forgive?" Again, I don't know. I try. But do I really truly do it? If I do, why does it still hurt, every single time?

I had lost this poem in the passage of the years, it came back at a moment when I was really feeling antsy. The last line goes "We’ll all find peace if we forgive.But then, peace has never been one of my strong points. And "I forgive you" sounds so condescending. I wonder if it so, in reality. I'll try anyway. Forgive me too?




Forgive 
                                     -Danielle Rosenblatt


Forgive the sun who did not shine

The sky had asked her in to dine

Forgive the stars that heard your wish
The moon prepared their favourite dish

Forgive the rain for its attack
The clouds have tears they could not hold back

Don’t hate the birds because they are free
Don’t envy all the things they see

Don’t block the wind, but hear its cry
Or else that wind may pass you by

Forgive the storm it means no harm
Could not resist to, show its charm

Forgive the earth that never turns
Don’t hate the sun, because too much burns

Life intends to cause no pain
The flowers bloom from all the rain

The storm will come and it will pass
The sun that shines, it grows the grass

The wind it cannot help but cry
The stars at night light up the sky

Forgive the world in which we live
We’ll all find peace if we forgive.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Life,Blues, and Some Answers


I had been struggling since a few days to make sense of it all. People killing themselves, choices and consequences, acceptance (or rather the lack of it), and of course, human folly. In short, the usual drivel. I got caught in a Mobius loop of it all. I talked it over with a friend, and a few home truths came out.

Truth one. I am scared. I am scared every day of my life. If it goes bad, I’m scared it will go worse. If it goes good, I’m scared it will go bad. I’m scared I will not be able to cope. That I’m not good enough. That one of these days, I’ll snap.  

Truth two. I am confused. I revel in grey. I don’t put things in black and white. I wrote before of hating “straightlines and twisted logic. I probably wear glasses to see things blurred, not to see them clear (this is metaphorically speaking, not literally!).

Truth three. I am never going to be ‘normal’, in the most ‘normal’ use of the world. I am always going to be a bit of a loner. I will always have trouble finding people who are like me (and consequently, like me. As in, ‘like’ the verb.). I may never get what I want of life.

All of which leads to Truth four. Ta-da! (Well, ok.).
When I say I am scared of snapping, I know that I will definitely snap. One day, but it’s not today. It’s never today.
When I say I am not good enough, I know it’s true. It also could have been worse. I am lucky to not be homophobic, or xenophobic, or bacillophobic. Or even a sociopath, for that matter.(Oh wait. I am probably that partially. Just kidding.).
When I say I revel in grey, I know it’s something I will struggle with for years to come. It also means I have a sharper perception of all other colours too. Specially those in people.
When I say I am not normal, I know it makes it tougher for me to survive. That doesn’t stop me from  knowing that I can. Not matter what, no matter how, I will see it through.
When I say I may not get what I want, I know that it is pretty much true, too (never mind what the birthday and new year wishes say). But I will always have what I need. Always.

I mentioned once before that I feel like a fraud with my words. Because they are just words, nothing more. But I still cling on to them, because, perhaps, they let me be who I am. And in my own poor, stupid way, I am an all right person (at least kinda).

And if the whole thing read too oxymoronic, it is probably because that’s exactly what it is. That’s why they call it life. Otherwise they would have called it three-cheese-and-pepperoni pizza. (I know you grinned at that.) 

Friday, 16 March 2012

Its Over.

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's meant to be broken 
I just want you to know who I am .
                                                      -Goo Goo Dolls - Iris


I start to see the pattern. Every time I think, this will be different, every time I open up, I’m only handing people ammunition. I understand that no matter what I do, I cannot make the world love me. There is nothing to love, nothing to respect. Only a black self-annihilating void. I abhor myself and everything that I tried to hold close. I seem to have some kind of anti-Midas touch, whatever I touch turns to poison.

I realise the fact that I am a fool and a fraud. My words are just that, words. They have no power, no life. Except to bring out the pathetic whining of my demented mind. My ideals have been shattered, each pounded to pieces. My ideas ring hollow and false.

Its time I called myself a failure. I lost. I thought I would make my own rules. I thought I would be good at what I am good at. I tried to make the small things count. But I am only mediocre. I am defeated. My best is not good enough. I am not good enough. I am sorry. I tried.

Its over. I would be lying if I said there is nothing left for me here. There is. But somehow, I don’t find it in me any more to seek it. I know it’s not the worst a person can go through. Not even close. But this time, I just want to give up. I would fight it, if I could. Smashed, broken and bleeding, I would have hung on. But I don’t want to, not any more. I want to let go.

I guess that also makes me a coward. How fitting. That I should become everything that I have always hated. But I can and will maintain one last semblance of prestige. I shall not make excuses. The only faults to be found, I will find in me. Not in the world, not in life, not in any one.

Please know that I love you, in my own weird way, across the words. Every one. Thank you for listening. Whether a minute or an hour or a year, you brightened up a stupid girl’s world. Whether you knew or not.

As I read this over, it sounded a bit like a suicide note. No, you probably won’t find a body on the bed tomorrow morning. But if you search in the rubbish heap, you might just find a soul. 
Goodbye.

[image courtesy:http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2203/2498445479_064841a97d_o.jpg]

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Anyway


“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross 


The following poem is variously attributed to Mother Teresa and Kent M. Keith. The verses are displayed on the walls of the Missionaries of Charity's children's home. It should probably be displayed on all our walls. And our hearts. 



ANYWAY

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds;
Think big anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs;
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them;
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it will never be enough;
Give the world the best you have anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

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