Shield of thorns.

I am extremely irritated. I understand nobody would really want to spend 5 minutes reading my boo hooing, but this you may relate to. (Used the word ‘may’ coz if you don’t relate I still get to save my face.) Without furthering my brain rattles, I will get to the main agenda of this piece.
A little background to explain the point better. As deep as I can see into myself I can totally be sure that my reasons for a lot of my actions are innocent to a point of being super naïve. Most of the things I do I visualize a dramatic happy ending for them where I get giant size bear hugs and lots of amazing love. Oh yes, also, innumerable smiles to the point of being creepy. Highly exaggerated, but you get the gist.
Now now, I can see your mind writing this off as being pathetically needy but wait, this is my write-up and I get to justify! I simply switch places to set my expectations. If what I am doing right now was done for me, what would be my reaction? Pure happiness! Simple, right? Wrong. It took a lot of rude setbacks to realize that no two human beings are the same and the same goes for their actions and reactions. Disappointments were lots, accompanied by their close pals- Tears. Anger. Numbness. And then finally, what the heck?! I am tired of being hopelessly shocked and upset all the freaking time! Can’t change people, so a little tweaking in myself will get things good to go. A little less expectations, a little more shock proof, a little more alertness and lots more assertiveness. The ground didn’t break but the world took quite a swing as far as my existence was concerned. Thus life went on.
And at last I am coming to why I am very very irritated at this point in time. Because I miss being vulnerable. I miss being naïve and I sorely miss being happy. Slowly it dawns, when you buffer enough to not fall too hard, you kind of place an invisible limit to how high you could fly. And believe you me; it is definitely not anywhere close to the clouds. Question- was it worth the change? Bigger question- Why does it feel like it’s too late to turn back now?

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Wedded to Pune.

Orange brown hue. That was the colour of my thoughts that also misted my eyes when I landed in Pune for the first time as an official resident. The trees trembled with a few flower petals fluttering away, a far off half a dozen horns floated by in intervals but not as much to interfere with the fellow birds’ chirps. I was half dreamy like a hush blush bride and an awkward smile dressing my face as I absorbed all that my overwhelmed mind could.
I remember discovering the city in my initial days of wedding hood. It still was not completely sinking in. Being from Mumbai the colours I was associated with were fast streaks of blue, red, puffs of grey in between and if really attentive dots of green. That city is on a power treadmill intoxicating everyone with energy of raw urban jungle hood. And I was still carrying that intoxication, but not really knowing where to release it. So being a woman of few words and big smiles I trudged along, being a sponge like never before.
A day felt like a week, a week felt like a month. The usual thoughts then- There has to be a different time system here! I cannot believe it’s just one hour gone by! In Mumbai this would have been equal to 5!! I struggled with change, I struggled with thoughts and frankly I struggled with the question- why am I struggling?
Time gives a lot of answers and luckily it had plans to give mine. Slowly, a day felt like a day to me and a week had the fulfillment of a fruitful week for me. I learnt the ways and re adjusted my heartbeat to it. As time went by memories started accumulating rapidly, laughter rippled the soul and lips more often, the streets felt like home, the homes felt like neighbours. Simply put, the city taught me a simple truth that lay in its everyday life- happiness can’t be sought after. Make it sought after you.
Today, after a little more than a year, as I sit and put my jumbled thoughts in order with words, the orange brown hue of the city still lingers like a flashback mode of memories. But now the answer to that feeling lies in my soul. I have reached home.

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When Regret spells out it’s name in Bold.

It’s very easy to say “Everything happens for the good” or “There is a reason in everything”.

These lines sound supreme and divine when in a clear state of mind, beautiful with a glass of martini and a loved one by your side, strong for a soul that does not have a hammer banging outside it’s door.

But in the moments of tide and storm, they are just words uttered by those who are far away on the beach, sun bathing, while you are struggling on a raft in search for a shore.

Regret then shows it’s ugly head taunting and laughing at the decisions you took, the dreams you saw, the life you drew a little too early on the sands of time not realizing a wave is not too far away.

Every bit of your life flashes across, numerous ifs and buts turn into your every thought. Life then, for one more minute, feels like a thousand years apart.

How do I make this demon go away along with those dark heavy clouds he brings with him?

How do I answer my soul that is weeping and I am unable to console?

How do I assure a brighter day when it always ends up being followed by a darker one again?

These answers seem too far away when under his ghastly spell.

A simple soft voice I hear across all the laughs and sneers. It seems to have a simple solution to say- “Just close your eyes, and patiently wait for the bitterness to die it’s slow painful death.

This war being fought around is not about you; you are just the battlefield it’s being raged upon.

Make the land unsuitable for Regret and it will soon leave in search for suitable pastures.

It will then be a brighter day, as those phrases above would have had relevance in time of need and not mere documentation by your memory”.

That voice gives me the hope for survival, a might for the mind. As the soul I believed I needed to pacify, had the strength in turn to pacify me.

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Awakening of the lamps- Triumph over evil of a different kind

What is this evil horrible monster howling and storming? The noise is excruciating like a million pins are pricking me at the exact same moment with precision. Slowly I open my eyes to be welcomed by my phone alarm vibrating with that racket and a big line on the screen- RISE AND SHINE! GYM IS BECKONING YOU! (Yes I put that the previous night while setting the alarm thinking it will be highly motivating. And also I wasn’t at all sleepy then.) I stare at it for a blank 5 secs and hit the snooze button with supreme ease. I just close my eyes and it starts ringing again. (That is 15 minutes in sleep time.) This romance between us goes on for like 3-4 rounds till I finally get up. Yes I get up!

I quickly rush around getting ready for the world of fitness, health and frankly for that figure I saw in the magazine yesterday. And TV. And newspaper. Also that lady down the road who walks the dog. Racing down with all the activeness I would like to perceive I had, I swirl my cycle towards the gate and swish across the trees down the little hill towards my new temple of worship.

Before I enter the glass door of the gym, I would like to explain the whole reason for this pride, sense of achievement and self worth I was feeling all together in that one single moment. That alarm ringing and me snoozing had been a story for the last 2 months. But it always used to stop there. Never made it beyond the 4th snooze. The alarm used to give up and I would sleep with victory of a sad kind. And wake up feeling like a doodle. Fat Doodle. So now, I making it to the gym finally was an achievement worth tears of happiness and joy.

I entered and it looked like there was a lot of pride and tears and all of that making numerous rounds in the room. It was filled with sweaty happy people and some sleepy people, but it was really filled alright. What a let downer. Doesn’t feel the same when everyone else has achieved the same thing. And to worsen it, they have made it there earlier than you.

I take up the next treadmill that gets free. While jogging I think to myself with all the strength I could muster between the sub conscious self doubt- Once this guilt of holiday indulgence wears off, all these others will fall behind and I will then conquer and go far ahead in my mission!

For now, even I need to see how that one goes.

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Precious stoned memories

It still feels like yesterday when the royalty of that pearl necklace shown majestically across her strong sleek neck. I would look up staring at it admiringly, with stars in my eyes, wishing to be like her one day. Looking down she would laugh, ruffle my hair and pull my cheeks gently. I would giggle and run away soon getting distracted with something else like how 7 year old girls usually do.

In a blink and miss moment, the forehead would fold up on her elegant face trying to figure out another challenge of a day she has to face. Quickly setting her Sari and a last look at the necklace to check if it has not twisted she would glide down in a jiffy and gently thump my back as a sign to hurry up and catch up with her.

And then it would be a wonderful day. I don’t remember much of what I used to say but it must have been very interesting and captivating because I definitely remember the rapt attention with which she heard me out and responded. Suddenly there would be a lot of people around with similar bright gorgeous saris and gleaming beautiful jewelery. (Later through the years realized this setting is called a wedding). She would graciously acknowledge everybody’s greetings and look at me as a signal to follow suit. And I would, eagerly, just to see that fleeting shine of pride and joy in her eyes. I would look back at her happily and my eyes would settle upon the peacock shaped majestic pearl necklace for a brief second each time. Slowly and unknowingly it got itself imprinted in my mind.

Years have passed and today I stand staring at the mirror adjusting my Sari and my hand running over the pearl necklace. Can’t help but smile at the warmth that hugs me, as nostalgia fills to my brim. That necklace stood majestic and elegant with silent strength and through the years took a one word meaning in my life. The necklace simply now personifies my mother.

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Of cotton balls and other cute realities

In one of my many non consequential wonderings suddenly one thought crossed my high traffic mind. How did cute generate? I mean literal cuteness, not those kinds where for the lack of a better word (or limited diction) people go “ah cute”! How does a puppy dog make one go “aww” or a stuffed teddy bear (leaving out some of them which seem to look homicidal) demand an instant hug? How does touching a cotton ball distract you (even if it is just for a moment) from that painful worry of meeting a deadline? Or a baby falling asleep manages to bring silence around and suddenly nobody has the urge to utter a word. Just peaceful observation and a gentle smile.

The direction the world is heading it’s safe to assume that sensitivity is fast depleting. You will find yourself describing people thick skinned and stone hearted a lot more than ever before. It’s becoming more about survival and even more about self created ego. It is quite clear as to why humans need interventions. A lot more harmless distractions. Need something to soften the stone once in a while, show the meaninglessness of the rat race through innocence and sublime blissful ignorance. The army of the cuteness was created for a strong reason as one can see. To somewhere preserve the gentleness humans inherit by birth.

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The awakening of the lamps

As I sit early in the morning with a cup of coffee staring at the rustling leaves, I hear multiple swishes, bangs and throws, soapy water splashing and call outs to the maid in regular intervals. I cringe my forehead thinking of how I would be managing these activities in 2 days what my experienced and skilled neighbours take 2 weeks for. I hear the wail of my door bell which somehow gives me a sign that it’s been punched for the third time. I quickly slip into my bunny slippers and slide across the hallway to open the door. I give a courteous smile to my chirpy neighbour, with the cringes on my forehead forming a question mark asking “What now?” (Hopefully well disguised into a genuine concern for the troubles in her life). She quickly tells me something about how she found a window open 6 and half days before and I nod my head thinking “hmm maybe she means don’t do that”. And I quickly respond to her saying of course thank you so much sure will be careful and never?! keep a window open in our house.

I close the door a little annoyed with her constant interference in our highly hectic life. I then settle down to watch a little bit of TV. As I stare at the screen, my mind goes back to Chirps and wonders about her energy levels. (Or maybe boredom levels??) But to be honest, that buzz in her didn’t fail to rub off on me. I quickly take out a note pad and make a huge list of Things To Do, Subtitled within that ‘Things To Buy’ (with a longer list there) and list of ‘People to Contact’. The whole job takes me some time. I stare at the list thinking, this was work and I have nothing to tick off. Quickly I write ‘Make a List’ and cancel it out with pride. Laughing to myself I think, well that is a start!

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