Sunday, 30 December 2012

2013- Here's Hoping.

There is a reason why Calendars Inc (Mayan Brothers & Romans) invented the end of a year. 
To mark time, yes. But more importantly, to mark a new beginning. A starting point and the biggest intersection of Hope, Promises and Good Intentions.

Sure the evolved will say, we can start over at any point, and perhaps we can, but there is undeniable magic when an entire species hopes together. Maybe we're gunning for different things- better houses, safety, more cars, food, better love, more love- but at the root of it all, we're only hoping to be happier than last year.
So here are a mismatched collection of wishes for you and me, in 2013.

- This year, I hope you find your voice. It's the only way to fight ambivalence. Pick a side, have an opinion. Articulate it via a candlelit march, a status update or plot revenge in a badly lit basement. Whatever you do, do it like only you can. Because if all of us spoke in our special languages, but spoke and didn't shrug silently, somehow we would make sense.

- Read. 
Find time in daily mayhem to curl up alone with a book, even if its, 'The Exploding case of Jughead's Hamburger.' Turn the pages, or swipe your Kindle screen. But read. It's the cheapest way to be shocked, delighted, take a vacation and live another life.
Yes, I will submit that this was a shameless plug to get more readers for this blog

- Get inspired. It's all very well to make funny, critical noises. But this year, I hope you're inspired. Find your inspiration in a book, on the street, in art, in the lack of art and aesthetic, but be inspired enough to proclaim loudly, "I will do xyz in the most extraordinary way possible."

- Make many, many new year resolutions. The more optimistic and unbelievable, the better. The act of defining what you want in life, of identifying the missing pieces and gaping goals is important. Maybe you will transform your life, maybe you will get back to old habits in February, but it's worth finding out which it will be, year after year.

- Be loyal. If there is one thing the world could use more of, is undying, unflinching, outrageous loyalty. Be loyal to a person, to your idea of what your life should be, to your pet, but be loyal --because what other way is there to love ?

And beyond all else-

 I hope we're grand this year. Worthy of a stage, with worthwhile things to do and say. Maybe 2013 will be the year we write that symphony, or find a cure for cancer, or make men and women see each other as equals. Maybe we will fight the good fight, Nicotine sales will drop, kindness to strangers and more importantly those we live with will become our masterpiece in progress. And maybe we will be exhausted from doing these things, failing, wallowing for a bit after failing and getting right back up. 
May the end of 2013 will see us exhausted and grinning. Exhausted after an honest years work, because we were too busy being grand to ever get bored.

                                       Photo Credit : Here

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Your echo is a postscript.

It was another Tuesday.
Most life changing events somehow sneak up on a Tuesday. There is something exceptionally ordinary about this day, something that begs a little livening up.

She squatted on the floor, stringing the fairy lights together, set in her view-- if you can untangle the jumble of last years fairy lights, most Adult World problems were a breeze.

There was a certain rhythm to the whole thing.

Take the tangled knot, through the slightest space you find.
Push through as hard as you can.
In case of another knot, repeat the process.
Either the jumbled mess will fall into place, or you just cut the cord.

Pretty much, like the rest of life.

She kept an eye out for her phone, her flatmate would be calling anytime now to confirm coffee.
It had been a rough semester. Classes had gone on as classes always do, but somewhere in the midst of it all, she'd felt herself slipping, losing step with that daily march which keeps us under the happy illusion, that within routine, we are in control.

You could ascribe this to teenage angst, or to living in a new country.
Or you could believe like her, that a tectonic shift was coming, without knowing when or where.
All around her, people were doing something. Most of her peers seemed to have their lives and CVs together.

An In-case of emergency backup was prepared in the same way.
Figure out what you need, store it.
Make sure you're always alert.
Make sure you've covered all your bases.
It seemed that they were attacking life, like an evacuation situation. The fittest can and will survive, and the dreamers will be lost under rubble.

While her friends got their classes, references and Next Steps in order, she doodled outside the margins of her notebook. She wasn't without, of course. She had a jumbled set of passions combined with a desperate need to follow a different one, depending on the day of the week. And the voices in her head.

"See you at 5. Don't be late. Wear a scarf, it's chilly outside."

Functional, is how the text read. Functional, is how people should be. All that feelings do, is add confusion and make you hopeful.

That's the thing about Hope- it is insidious and creepy.
Like a houseguest you didn't want; who always shows up at the worst time. There you were, reading your book, curled up on the futon and the doorbell rings. You don't want to get up, but you have to.
And there's Mr. Hope. Wearing plaid trousers and that grin.

You say, make yourself at home, and return to your book.
You try to curl up and recreate that perfect nook you had found. But everything is all wrong. An ordinary sentence about Mer-People and their adventures is now layered.
Suddenly, you're rooting for the Mer-People to defeat the evil Sea Warrior. Suddenly, you're ready to believe that one day we will find a cure for Diabetes.
Once Hope moves in, it's really difficult to get him out. And sometimes Hope will get you high, that's when you become delusional and look for answers in a scratched Bob Marley CD.

She stood up, put her scarf on, as instructed. The Travel card nestled in her coat pocket, and her hand bag contained the rest of her world.

They met for coffee at their usual place. The walls had been painted green and there was a forced cheeriness and some kind of script in the way the sugar sachets were arranged on a plate.
Hello, young person looking for meaning. Sit here for a milky cup of coffee. Drown your conversation with some apple pie. You will look like part of a movie, if you do it right.

He began with an animated update on where his life was. How much it had changed in the last 24 hours, the enormous perspective he swore he know had, and how solutions were almost in sight.
She began with a sigh. A jumble of words and sentences which sounded inarticulate to her own well-read ears.

* I don't make sense. You won't understand me *
*Maybe if you spoke slower, I would *

*Maybe if you exercised every morning, you'd be able to concentrate better *

*Maybe you're a grouchy pig? *
As always, she flung her sugar satchet at him. He ducked, effortlessly.
They could have been sitting there for hours. You couldn't tell if you just looked her way. Of course, the number of coffee cups on the tiny table were a giveaway. If you were a fan of logic and math, that is.

She decided to walk back alone, by the bridge. It was such a poetic setting, that it had to have meaning, just waiting to be decoded.
Her favourite part was how their conversations over coffee, read like blog posts. Funny, hilarious, insightful blog posts. He knew who she was, on most days. On the others, he was excited to find out who she wanted to become. She knew his advice wasn't as functional as his texts. That a lot of lofty ideals were mixed in. Maybe that wasn't such a bad thing.

A friendship can be broken all the way down into just conversations.
There are the definitive ones, which outline who you're going to be with each other. The really important ones though, are the ones you won't remember. You could have been quoting Groucho or laughing like an idiot over a sexual pun, but there is warmth in the air. Warmth you created. This is the warmth which stops you from keeling over on rough days, much later.

The gravel on the bridge was getting stuck in the heel of her boots. She ran her shoe softly over it.
Wondering if these errant stones were witness on that Tuesday, last summer. He had been running recklessly on the bridge. There was something poetic in destruction always.

But the thing she missed acutely, sharply and everyday, was the touch of his hand on hers. So she picked up her pace and hurried back to her apartment -- to find and attack the jumble of fairy lights. She needed to stop going to that coffee house, every Tuesday. One of these days she would.

But for now, she untangled the mess of cords, one knot at a time, literally willing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

In case of Love: Break Glass & Hit Send

Dear Sam the XVth (It was your royal sounding email id, which made me fall for you !)

I write this letter to you on paper using a pen, because honestly the server has been down for two hours now! This has forced me to evaluate our relationship. (Mine and yours, not that horrid, unilateral, dependent, abusive relationship I share with the Internet)

We met three years ago, didn't we? On that beautiful day, my iPhone app told me it was sunny outside with just a bit of cloud (23 Degrees Celsius). 
You looked at me, I looked away- exactly how most love stories and stalking starts. 
We were talking soon after. We both pretended to be the coolest versions of ourselves. You didn't really believe that I knew a Harley from a Bentley, did you? And I never presumed you would be as great a listener, as you were those first couple of days.

That's the beauty of young love- you explore each other like an antique book store on a lazy Sunday, time and intention both being on your side. Of course, whether you get a great book in the bargain is entirely dependent on luck. 

We texted a lot, in those days. Thankfully, this tweeting mania didn't exist back when you and I were courting ! A good old emoticon expressed as much, if not more, than a hash tag "#" could. I don't know how kids these days keep the romance alive. Preceding every message with #hotforyou or #mommawantsyoubad would have killed that rush. 

You know, the rush I'm speaking of? When you're sitting on a table with your friends and the corner of your eye is on your phone.


The table vibrates. And you jump, like a prisoner awaiting a conjugal visit. 
Of course, it could just be your friends phone, or the other friend shaking the table with her impatient, possibly frustrated foot. The sheer rush when I would see your name light up my phone screen. I would read the text, grin like a monkey and put my phone away. I wouldn't want you to know I was available and waiting for your text, that's just not how ladies play, is it?

We moved onto emails eventually. Spamming each others work accounts. My boss thought I refreshed Outlook because I was young, crazy and raring to go. He didn't guess where I wanted to go. 
A little witty remark . Private jokes. Your favorite font was Tahoma and mine was Calibri. You changed your font to match mine. It was a beautiful world we created, just you, me and an internet provider of 500mbps.

We didn't meet as often Sam. We couldn't. I was exhausted from that long day of texting, emailing and whats-apping you. True Romance tires you out. 
But every time I missed that beautiful face, I would log onto Facebook and scroll through your 487 (erstwhile 489) pictures. 
You do clean up well. And thank god, you got over that goatee phase !

I had to put up a witty status once in a while. You needed to know how fun I was, and really how else would you have found out? 
I remember the day you shared a youtube link on my wall., I refreshed the page a million times. I knew you were serious about me. It takes commitment to openly communicate on my wall, out there where the world can see us. 

We hit a rough patch in the middle. As most great lovers do. 
I saw a picture of you and her. Someone had tagged you. Literature had taught me, that a picture is worth a thousand words. 
I dealt with the problem, the only way I could- by 'liking' the picture. The next day, my friends and I went out to a party. They knew what would cheer me up- a well-lit Ladies room, where we all pouted with our best face forward. You would have seen the album that very night, it was called "We go out and look fabulous every night vol47"
I knew I burnt a hole in your heart that night, baby. It was tough love.

I'm glad we survived that phase. It made us stronger, and brought us closer together.

We have been dating five years since. We're together, mature and solid. Your love is evident in the little things you do for me everyday. 
Every time you're away, you always 'check-in' so I know you reached safely.I let you know what you mean to me, by making sure I Instagram a picture of you, before I put it up. Sepia toned just how you like it.

It's insulting when people talk of great loves and forget the perils us, young, modern couples go through.

Thx Bby, u RoCk MAh wurl.


                                                         photo credit: link

Monday, 10 December 2012

I Do (Many such things).

Musings about marriage.

Researcher’s side note : Most of this information is drawn together by absolutely zero personal experience. However, I hang out at adult places a lot. These are arbid bullet points, most of them fictional which is why they make so much sense.

1. Marriage is the most hopeful decision you will ever make. 

Think about it. At 26/27/32 ... you assume, that this person will somehow be able to grow, expand and walk with you, as you grow, expand and mould into something you can’t even define just yet. Most math equations factor more probability than this decision. 

Have you travelled the world?
Met people younger, older, stronger, better?

And the clincher, do you even know yourself, yet? Your ice cream tastes are in a constant flux of evolution, what makes you think your choice in people won't be? 

2. A marriage will not be sustained without lies. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still collecting signatures for my 100% Honesty 100% of the Time campaign (we need a new campaign title!) 
But, all the fabulous married people out there will confirm, that it’s really the little lies that keep their marriage growing, ticking and not imploding. A Frankestinian version of the ‘what they don’t know, won’t kill them’ keeps most chugging along.

3. You’re not really married until 6 months into it. 

Maybe point 3 comes from the joy of belonging to the Great Indian Wedding background- however the expanse of being married and all that it entails, only really dawns on you, once the ladoos, dinners, photo-ops and gushing noises stop.

For most couples the period between the engagement, wedding and six months hence, is only really driven by inertia. You’re too exhausted from eating all that food and smiling to even realize, grasp and move with what you created. Happiness is an easy monster to feed on, and you do. Till one day, real life kicks in and that’s when you know what being married is like. 

I sound angry, because I only recently realized that its not all- sit on a chair, look fabulous and collect presents for the rest of time !

4. Marriage is frumpy at the edges, and that’s the most picture perfect angle. 

That time, when you’re sick and gross and even your kindest friends will only call you on the phone ? Its great then, to have someone take care of you. Have soup with you. Accept you, even when you’re a red-nosed, heat radiating, flu-ridden zombie from hell.

5. Most marriages are tested  when you play family. 

It’s a fair playing field when it’s two fools who come together and promise each other eternity and beyond. What makes it an interesting movie to watch , is when you throw other people into the mix.
Love me, love my family. Absorb all the idiosyncrasies we have as a group, and run with it.

Is it easy? Hahaha. (Sorry, too much audience laughter for a more evolved response)
Is it fun? Not all the time, everyday. But it has it's moments. 
Is it important ? In measured degrees, yes extremely. Oddly, it keeps us from turning into narcissist, self-project driven individuals who equally deserve to be abandoned when their children grow old.

6. Marriage is just that thing you do. 

That may not have been my most nuanced sentence yet, but I couldn’t have put it differently. It’s like choosing to play tennis.

It works for some.
Some make it work for them.
It’s never an option for some.
But, it’s only just that- a thing you do.Which makes it as good, bad, permanent, shackling, empowering as you want it to be.


Or just wing it.