Why is it worth it?

Life’s not easy. Life’s hard. Life has its pitfalls. But, life is beautiful. Life has a lot in store for you. Life is worth it. This is how most posts about life or inspiration or spirituality or the rest end. The world is full of people trying to tell each other that life is worth it. If it really is worth it, why are so many people still unconvinced?

The truth is, life is not as perfect as everyone says it is. Life is a bitch. She makes you happy, and then makes you sad. She makes you joyful, and then she makes you miserable. If she was really worth it, would she do this?

The answer is yes. Yes, she would. The problem, you see, is with us. We as a species, are a selfish bunch. Greedy, needy and selfish. We conquer a city, we want the province. We capture the province, we want the country. We get the country, we want the world. The cycle is endless. The worst part is that we always anticipate things. Even the most casual, most relaxed one amongst us, expects things and plans out how things will be. Don’t say you don’t. Do you plan on waking up in the morning? Do you plan on reading the rest of this piece? All your decisions, expressions, actions, everything is based on a hope, an expectation. That expectation is that the next second will occur, and you’ll have it to do what you decide to do with it. One of my favourite architects once put it beautifully “The great moments of your life won’t necessarily be the things you do; they’ll also be the things that happen to you. Now, I’m not saying you can’t take action to affect the outcome of your life, you have to take action, and you will. But never forget that on any day, you can step out the front door and your whole life can change forever. You see, the universe has a plan kids, and that plan is always in motion. A butterfly flaps its wings, and it starts to rain. It’s a scary thought but it’s also kind of wonderful. All these little parts of the machine constantly working, making sure that you end up exactly where you’re supposed to be, exactly when you’re supposed to be there. The right place at the right time.

That exactly is what we need to survive. I am going to be completely honest and frank with you, and tell you that I found this piece lying on my laptop, abandoned until the last sentence, and I find it really difficult to pick it up midway through. But in a way, it somehow makes me glad and iterate the exact same thing I wrote months ago. You never know how life will work out. You’ll do a good deed and get betrayed. You’ll stab someone in the back and find a pot of gold. Something we as humans have to understand is that, life, is not fair. It is never uniform. You can never fully understand why, or when, or how, or what, or where, something happened, happens or will happen. What you can do is accept, and move on. It is not going to be easy. It is not going to be quick. You’ll be haunted by the ghost of the past. You’ll be bogged down by it, beaten by its traces. Everyone around you will try and help you, will tell you to leave it behind, but will fail to accept the same advice when something similar hits them. So breathe. Relax. Life’s worth it, because it has everything to offer. Think about it. Do we ever crib or cry when we win? or when something goes right? Then why do when it doesn’t?

Here’s a secret( actually not, I just gave it away in the previous paragraph). I’m myself going to not be able to take this advice, and probably will cry about how things are wrong in my life. But you know what? All of us need to be told this, this piece of advice. It needs to be present at the back of our mind. I don’t know where, but I read something which roughly equated to this- “Be the person you needed in your time of trouble”. I guess that’s what this piece has eventually become. Me, trying to be the person I need. I probably don’t know you, but all I ask for, is this. Just read this whenever you feel low. Read it again, and again, and again, and one more time. Keep reading until you don’t want to read more. I don’t know if it’ll help or make your life better, but it definitely will tell you why it is worth it.

Note: This post was originally published on of Thoughts and More here

of Rants

This was a post written by me a couple of years ago, on a dark night, awaiting the start of 2015.

The human mind is a onerous wonder. The sheer capacity of the thoughts it can tolerate is overwhelming. Scary as well. A lot of what I write here will not make sense to you. You see, I promised myself that I am not going to look back at the negative time of 2014, and just focus on the positives. So what comes out here, is a story without a context. A drama without a script. But that’s okay I suppose. I am not writing for you anyway. I am writing, because I need to get things off my mind, because I frankly have reached maximum thought capacity. So just like Dumbledore offloading his memories into a pensive, I’ll try my luck doing the same here.

I feel…dejected and lonely right now. I chose to be alone tonight, because that’s how I have always done New Year’s. But somehow, somewhere in the need to be alone, lies a desperate plea for attention; and company. Do you know that feeling you seemingly just can’t shake off? The one which makes you predict inevitable doom and sadness? The gut feeling that makes you think that things are going to go wrong? That’s the one. I want this to be a fresh start. One of my favorite TV show characters once said something, which is accurate to describe my anticipation and feeling for this upcoming year

But that’s the magic of New Year’s.
When that clock strikes midnight, we all get a fresh start.
And I don’t know about you, but I could really use one.

I really can use a fresh start, but somehow I have this sense of forbearance that the start will be stale. Rotten. That I am doomed to suffer, just like I did in this year. What if this year is worse than the previous one?

Oh! Another thing you should know about me. I overthink. In fact, I overthink so much, that I overthink about whether or not I overthink about overthinking. Anyway, while I was on one of my overthinking sprees, I ended up thinking about a Phoenix. I always was mystified by the mythological creature. Fiercely loyal and loving, they go to any extent to protect the ones they care about. But here’s the curious thing. Phoenixes never die. These bright red and yellow birds simply burn and reemerge from their ashes. Seems cool right? It is.

Have you ever thought about what the phoenix thinks though? Essentially, the only way for a phoenix that is hurt or aged or simply wants to escape, is self-immolation. Think about it. What was the first phoenix thinking? It probably burned itself to escape from a horrible life. But it got him a fresh start. The pain, the fire, the burning, all of these were just necessary elements in the process of survival. Maybe that’s what my pain is. Maybe that’s what everything I am feeling right now is. The fire before the rebirth. The phoenix gives me hope. I hope the new year is good. I hope that this is my trial and the future, my salvation. Who knows?

I’ll end this abruptly as I don’t know what else to say(or to write).

Note: This post was originally published on of Thoughts and More here

Let’s go somewhere where we can see the Stars

I was out on the terrace when this struck me. Looking at the sky, the only thing that bothered me was that I could barely see any stars. It is not a particularly cloudy night, au contraire, it is rather clear, but all I can see is  a handful of stars scattered across the sky. I don’t know why, or how, but that bothers me. The lack of star that is.
To be honest, this sounded fancier in my head when I thought of the title to the post, when I looked at the dark sky. Now as I struggle to write this very line, I feel stupid. But I guess that’s what makes this post this post. I recently watched a movie, which ended with two characters talking against a beautiful scenic backdrop. One of them turns to the other and says that they must seize the moment, and the other almost immediately replies, that it is the moment that seizes them, and not the other way around. That’s exactly how I feel right now. Seized.
The past few months have been turbulent. Due to a lot of factors, especially mine. But one thing about today is that I no longer see the stars in the sky. That worries me. The stars will guide you home, they said when I cried. How am I supposed to let them guide me, when I can’t see them? Is blindly, wildly groping in the dark the solution? I don’t know. There is so much we don’t know, doesn’t it bother anyone? How doesn’t it?
I pretty much need to stabilise myself right now, and in the absence of my guide(s), is when I ironically find the answer to my conundrum. Maybe we need to be our own stars, our own guides, our own stabiliser. Maybe it’s time we let go of what the past was, and build on the present.
Somehow, I always felt that we as humans, always behave in contradictions. Why do these contradictions arise? I guess we are not equipped to let our mind and our heart function in tandem. They simply can’t. In the race to decide who wins, both of them lose, while contradiction wins. So what do we do? Embrace the contradiction.
Yes, it is okay to be someone who likes to read, and not read at the same time. Yes, it is okay to ruin your life, and hate yourself for it. Yes, it is okay to look up at the sky and want more stars, and at the same time, lie on the cold, dirty floor and look up at the sky to revel in the beauty of those couple of stars out there. Yes, it is okay. Yes, Yes, Yes, it actually is okay!
I know this piece doesn’t make sense, and I guess it is best kept that way. Sometimes an abrupt end is the only end we get. But until we know it is the end, I don’t want to stop searching for a better end. Let’s get knocked down, let’s make mistakes, but more than anything, let’s go somewhere where we can see the stars.
Note : This post was originally published on Of Thoughts and More here.

Of Infuriation

I always identified myself as a happy person. And I was, truly. Think of songs like Drops of Jupiter, which describe girls with happy smiles, not a care in the world, bursting into dances, hair flying with ease in the summer. The songs about laughs that make you smile, so infectious that you just cannot be grumpy around these people. Think Colbie Caillat, beach movies and young love. Things that can brighten your day by just thinking about them. I saw these movies, heard their music and strived to be that girl. And for the most part – it was easy, it came naturally to me. I think I did actually become that girl.

But then something along the way changed. Do not roll your eyes, this is not a post about teenager angst. Yes, we all change as we grow up. Maybe because we deal with more intense stuff, or maybe because we envision the worst. Most of us become this way- a little less happy, a lot more guarded as we grow up. I guess you could categorise this as the same story.

My story is a little more different. I’ve become a very angry person. The worst kind, at that. I’m the person who internalises their anger. I do not yell at unsuspecting friends for no reason, nor do I shout out at family when they ask me something. I’m the kind that clenches my teeth and then realises that someday they’re all going to turn to powder. I’m the kind who slowly, has become a recluse because whatever anyone says just manages to piss me off. I’ve become the person who would not believe in the problems you have and you rant to me about, because I believe I have the biggest problems in the world. But when I think why am I possibly so angry? What could be the reason? There really is not anything out there. Sure, I’ve had my issues with boys, maybe grades, sometimes even friends. People have disappointed me, but hasn’t that been the case with everyone?

What is it that changes us completely, from the fibre of our being? Not a temporary sadness, but just constant bitterness. A state of being, that we do not recognise ourselves? As you meld away from what you used to be, something that defined you everyday, each day and become the complete opposite of that. There has to be some reason to that, surely? It cannot be so easy to change 21 years of actions and reactions?

I find myself being curious about the when more than the what and the why. I have reasons in my head as to why I’m angry, and that’s a story for another time. But when? At what point did I become someone so different? Was it a gradual change that I’m just realising now? Or did I wake up one day and had all this anger inside of me? Moreover, how long does this last? Is this a phase, or is this who I’m going to be now? Someone who is bitter at 21. Not a very exciting thing to look forward to.

Maybe (Hopefully) we work out our issues. Maybe we don’t. Maybe this is who I’m going to be. The truth is, I’m not really going to ever know. And that, that uncertainty really scares the shit out of me. But hey, someday I might just hear Drops of Jupiter again, and think that the song is definitely about me and dance to the beautiful music that Train produces.

Why should I care as an Indian millennial woman?

Yesterday, for the first time in the last six months of my work life, I went late to work. The US elections were a nail biting start to the day. I waited till 10 am to focus completely on the elections, snatching TV from my business channel obsessed mother, just so I could follow CNN. It was at this point that the crushing Florida defeat was announced. When I finally did reach work, I was refreshing Politico every five minutes. It was essential to do so, because at this point Trump was at the 266 mark. And then, the 101st time I refreshed, I saw the verdict. 276. It was there, in black and white for every one to see. I ran up from my desk to stare at the TV screen in the pantry, just waiting – waiting for Trump to gloat.

I didn’t see his speech. I stormed out of the room when my colleagues started discussing the elections. I didn’t understand why I felt so passionate about it. Historically, it has been proven that Republicans are good for India. Trump, especially is a supporter of India. He does love all “Hindus and Indians” after all. I thought of the various reasons this made me so angry – Hillary Clinton came with her own set of issues, it should not be surprising that there was intense distrust among people. Sure, Trump is racist – his ideas of immigrants and walls definitely put me off. I felt bad for Obama, for all he has done for universal healthcare and for LGBTQ rights. My heart wept for them all. But this was bigger than feeling bad. I was angry. I was frustrated. I wanted to lash out.

Huge disclaimer here: I am a political science student, I can be pretentious if I choose to, I have the millennial confused Centre-Left leanings. So yes, I would be affected as an inquisitive person or as a student of the subject. But it was more than that, for sure. And then I realised it – as I saw Hillary’s concession speech. I was feeling attacked, personally. I don’t think Hilary lost because she was a woman. I think she lost because of who she is as a person and being a woman. It frustrated me to read comments about her private email server and not as much about walls and Mexicans and gays and abortions. I felt personally attacked when I read comments by Republicans talking about the manic look in her eyes. They think she was too keen. She was too ambitious.

How dare she, right? How dare the most qualified woman to stand for office, with decades of experience and years of educational training in the field think that she deserves the position? Why should she be sure of holding one of the most coveted (debatable) offices in the world? I live in a country where the most powerful women politicians have to be Mummy or Didi to gain respect. We have had a woman president already, and it’s a fact that most women wish to forget (never forgive). Hillary lost because she was a go-getter. She knew she deserved something and she admitted that she did. She was unapologetic. She came across as too knowledgeable.

You should have an opinion, but not be too assertive. It is something you hear everyday. And in so many ways, this is worse than blatant sexism. It is not easily identifiable and it is something that is forgotten easily. It is systemic. It starts as a college student sitting for best paying placements when your male friends joke- asking you why you need a firm with the highest salary. It builds up to women in the workplace who are shamed for working 12 hours a day or being a partner because they networked too much or got too many clients. It goes on to the most well-deserving person when they stand for public office.

It does discourage me as a millennial woman. I feel bad for all the first time voters in America who cannot believe the verdict. I wonder what the point is of being unapologetic of who you are. It confuses me what society perceives me as. It disappoints me that it is 2016 and the term development clearly still connotes economic progress. But then I read this:  “And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.” – and it ignites a passion that I thought I’d lost.

Never be jaded. Be ambitious. Be keen. Be driven. Be assertive. Be unapologetic. Believe in what you deserve. And someday, the world will accept these to be good things, even though you are a woman.

Of Losing

Dear Friend,

Why do you feel so distant? This is one thing about friendships, or in fact, any human relationship, that bothers me. Drifting apart. I suppose change is not something anyone fancies, and that it is an inevitable part of life. I strongly believe that we, as human beings, are a culmination of each moment in our lives. Every moment, every experience, every second counts, and just like Legos fitting into each other, each bit locks in and forms the person you are at the very instant you’re reading this. Perhaps that’s why change is an issue we grapple with. Instantaneously, it is small, and almost negligible, illegible and tinier than a fleck of dust. However, you let it build up, and somehow, the result is greater than the sum of its constituents. Strange isn’t it?

 I suppose the inevitability of it all would mean that I shouldn’t be bothered by it, yet I am. Logic, deduction, and all the advancements our civilization has made to harness the powers of the cresses of our brain folding, layer upon layer, has never been able to push us away from our quest of curiosity. Be it death, or change, or anything else, we always struggle with the inevitable, and all I can do is assume that it is okay that we do.

 I miss you. I really do. I know it isn’t something I should be complaining of. This state of self-awareness, or rather semblances of it should help right? Knowing that you’ll change, or I’ll change or we’ll change, and that will affect our friendship should numb the pain. But yet, it doesn’t. In fact, it adds to it. It’s one of those classic situations where you ponder whether you put to good use the knowledge you possessed. If I knew things would change, why didn’t I accommodate them?

 Well, I guess change is fast, and slow, and sudden, and gradual, and all of the other possible antithetical things it can be. That’s what makes inevitable things worse than anything else. Their duality makes it extremely difficult to cope with, don’t you think so? Maybe we haven’t evolved as homo sapiens to deal with it. Maybe we have, and I haven’t. I don’t want to lose you. I really don’t. But somehow, it feels like I am on the path that I will. You know one those stories, where you want the journey to go on, because you know where and what the destination is, and you simply do not want to reach it? This feels like one of those situations. Perhaps, I am to be blamed to an extent, that I wasn’t able to grow with your changes, but is that a good enough reason to take this deduction to its logical conclusion? I don’t think so.

 We did not talk last night. I saw you standing alone in the room, away from the crowd. I saw you across the room, and spoke to you for the first time in weeks. You seemed bothered, but you didn’t want to talk, and I left it at that. I am worried this is what it will be. That you’ll be down and out, and I’ll have to let you be that way, because I have somehow distanced myself, or you have distanced me enough to actually not intervene. That is not something I can stand for, and I won’t. To everyone out there who’s considering giving up, be it a familial relationship, your lover, your friend, anyone, don’t. Do not give up. The answer to the question, on those nights of doubt, when you find yourself up at 5 in the morning, wondering whether this is a thread you should cut, the answer is always no. No, do not sever that connection. It is not okay to let go. Fight back. Fight the inevitable, because that’s what makes us human. That’s what makes us who we are. We think with our heart and we feel with our mind. We have spent thousands of years moving towards rationality, and logic, and thinking, and developing our minds. Well guess what, the heart is a delicate little organ you have which when it comes to its own, will override all of this. I am not going to let you go. I’ll talk to you. Maybe today, maybe in a couple of days, or weeks, I don’t know. But I am not ready to, nor will I say goodbye. When you find someone worth holding on to, you do, and you just don’t let them go.

 I wrote this without crying, but now I feel like I should. Out of happiness. That I live in a world, where I can, perhaps not with pride, but with a smile on my face, say that I am happy that I feel things. That I can feel things. That I can thankfully look beyond what my mind tells me as well. That sometimes, you just need to trust your gut. That sometimes, you see a bus, and you have a meeting, and a dinner, and it is clear, sunny weather, but you still get on that bus taking you hundreds of miles away, and that’s perfectly okay.

Of Writing

Tonight, I write to ease my mind. To be honest, this was a line I had planned for almost an hour. More actually. I did everything I could to procrastinate the act of finally sitting down in front of my laptop and type. I took time to carefully craft a playlist that’ll accompany this act. In a moment of planned inspiration, I switched off the lights. So here I am. Sitting in the dark, with the backlight of my Mac illuminating the world around me, and reflecting in my spectacles, the emerging words on the screen, and in some twisted way, hope.

That’s one linkage you did not expect, I assume. Typing and hope? That’s an odd combination. But the truth is, for me it isn’t. Let me explain. I used to write. Often, and frequently. I will not comment on my “skill”, or the quality of my work, but I was happy with what I wrote, more so because it was a process of healing for me. I write, to free myself. I write to unburden my mind. I write to rid my minds of those thoughts that plague us at 3 AM in the night, when you lay awake in the dark, staring into nothingness, which is nothing but your ceiling in the pitch black dark. I write to redeem myself of guilt, the guilt of past deeds and actions, and possibly, of all future ones as well. I write, for a variety of reasons, but primarily because it makes me happy. Joy is an emotion that I cherish, and I am guessing most people do, and that’s one reason I am writing this post.

Ever since the idea of this blog came up, I have been vexed. I enthusiastically agreed to do this, and that’s important, I’ll get to it later. As the dates passed by, and the calendar pages fluttered, I found myself unable to write. I had perhaps lost that instinct that made me write. Many a times I had half-baked ideas about what I should write about, but that’s not how it worked, and it probably never would. Planning art or words or music is like convincing yourself that you are in love with that one person who has the exact same interests as you. It might sound appealing on paper, but it is doomed to die right from the start.

Not that I did not have emotions or thoughts or feelings to express. Of course, I did. But somehow, it was always too late into the night, and I was yawning. Somehow, there was always a lunch, or a dinner, or a brunch or a movie. Somehow, reading that book was more interesting. It was funny. I wondered what was wrong. I loved writing that I was sure of. Then why was I experiencing this?

I figured the best way to answer this question was to let the devil lead me to hell. I decided to write, and figure out what I couldn’t figure out via unspoken thoughts.

As I stare at the screen thinking about the same conundrum, imagining delusional scenarios of coming up with witty lines that become quotations for the generations to come, and by that I mean the pictures that’ll be shared across mediums, I think I have figured out the reason, and perhaps that’s why I left the title blank when I started this document, and now I can fill it in. I have an answer.

All of us go through this. Not being able to go back to certain activities that we know deep down we loved. It might be returning to ballet after three years of slacking, or laying your fingers on the piano for the first time in decades. All of us have been there. I think, somehow we link every single moment around us. Each one of us, at this very instant, this very moment, are a result of everything that has happened in our lives. Everything that happened from the moment we came out of our mothers, or test tubes. Probably even the months before as well. Every moment of joy, every heartbreak, every instsance of success, every dejected failure, every breakup, every fight, each punch thrown, and not, every night you spent up with your friend on the phone, just to make her believe that there is someone who cares, each night you slept in your bed, nightmares or dreams or pure nothingness, everything adds up to make that person that you are. Never forget that.

But I suppose, all of us do, and that makes the difference. We tend to forget that when we love something or rather when we have strong feelings for a person, or for a thing or for an activity, we always forget that the same was not in isolation. The person who loved strumming the guitar, is not the same person who is right now wondering why is she not inspired to do the same, when she can remember infectious laughter and cheer from that one song she performed for her friend that one night months ago. Every second you’ve read this post, you’ve changed as a person. Each thought, each neuron, is magically changing us, and we abashedly delusional. Human beings are miracles in themselves, and each moment in our life is defining us individually, spinning the web of individuality.

Maybe that’s why I don’t feel like writing right now, and perhaps that’s why you feel like picking up the phone the one who broke your heart a year ago, whom you swore off for the rest of your life. Time walks with the storm, and runs with the breeze. It changes everything it touches, and you have no control over it. What you do control is what you’re right now, and what you’re feeling or thinking in that moment. I begun this post to figure out the solution to a conundrum and instead found ramblings of some momentarily linked individuality, espousing a lifestyle I have never followed in my entire life.

Perhaps, in this moment, that’s what I am, infinite, or maybe not.