Month: October 2015

Sober Notes 7: Lights

During these nights when the moon is red
The sky is black but there is a halo around the moon
It seems confused, trying to be black
But red forces its way through
I saw an electric pole today
With those bright red lights
That are used to warn airplanes!
Only, this one didn’t flicker
And guess what? They became the red stars
And the pallete of the sky was complete
Never had I thought that man’s intervention
Could give birth to a scenery so beautiful
Bright shining red shining against the pitch black
Need I say any more?

-S.

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Another Journey

Long ago, a friend wrote something about living out of boxes. This phase of my life is all about that. Every other month I am packing my bags to go home, to go on a vacation, to visit friends, etc. And of course right now I am writing because I can’t sleep in the train.

Goodbyes are hard. Specially for people like me who get all sentimental and awkward. To leave one place and to go to another brings with it a million changes. From keeping your brush on a different table to using somebody else’s toothpaste. Everything is so new, but it is so easy to adapt. When people ask me why and how I pack so light, I think it’s because I always use lesser than I have. Be it in terms of money, food or whatever.

I adapt to places as well. I think that is also because I have been to so many in my life. I am not a vagabond, though I would love to be one. I know this is really random but isn’t this what this blog is all about. I also noticed that as the posts get more personal, you really have to know who I am to understand the context of what I am saying. I have always been so bad at giving context. One of my friends says I would become a good stand-up comedian because of this and my roommate constantly chides me for not explaining things to her properly.

See, it has happened again, stream of consciousness. Well, so long for now. Will try to sleep once again. Otherwise there’s another random shitty post waiting to be posted. 😛

-S.

Home is where the Heart is

So I am all done with my documentary on the M-ward of Mumbai. More about that later. For many days I have been planning to write on all the places I have lived in.  After reading Varun Grover‘s article, I was finally really inspired to do the same. So here’s a short personal account of all the places where I have had a temporary home in! 🙂

VARANASI

I was born in the city of Temples and Ghats. I was too little to remember anything but I have since visited it twice and it’s a beautiful city if you want to laze around and just sit at the ghats and read a book. The city in itself is a madhouse, too much traffic and too many people. But that is the beauty of old cities. There is a mix of culture and modernity that you just cannot find anywhere else. I have somehow always been kind of proud that I was born there because of it’s rich cultural heritage. Now, when I pass through the areas where we lived earlier, my parents point out those places to me, the place where I was born, the place where they came to have lunch every weekend, the temple they visited on their birthdays and so on.

KANPUR

So my next stop was Kanpur where I spent 7 years and changed 3 schools and 2 homes, as far as I remember. I made a lot of friends, my memories of which are really vague now. I am obviously not in touch with any of them anymore, but I do remember that I was close with a lot of them! Now a relative of mine lives in the same locality and it beings back so many memories. I was a single child back at that time and the games I played at that time alone, the swing in my porch and the bees that stung me, the neighbours I had and the cricket matches my uncle took me to, the mix tapes we made and the terrace without the railing, the diwali with my cousins, the hiding in the cupboards, the fun I had in dusting the corridors and then riding my bicycle (with stoppers) there, the rickshaw that came to pick me up every morning and the dreaded swimming classes, the hatred for school and love for cable TV, the visits to relatives’ houses and meeting and forgetting people, the sweets that Grandpa bought everytime he visited and the dosa place he took me to, near my house. Omg, I miss Kanpur. Now when I go back, I hate it, because of the crowd and the pollution and zero traffic sense. But now that I sit and reminiscence about it, those were beautiful days. The days of carefree childhood.

LALITPUR

Lalitpur is a quaint little town near Jhansi, and it is also close to maternal home, while Kanpur was close to my paternal home. My sister was also born there. I lived there for 2 years. My memories of that place are mostly of my neighbours, with whom I spent most of my time. We used to play all evening until it got dark. It was also the time when everyone had those video game consoles and I had one too and it was also the time when I watched Nickelodeon for the first time and went gaga over it, the first time when I made a best friend, Divya, only to lose her in a year, the first time I stayed with another family, all by myself, because my mother was in the hospital during her pregnancy. There was a guest house next to my home, which belonged to a relative. The garden was open to use for all and that is where I learnt to ride a bike.

BANGALORE

This was a major shift. We had shifted from a town to a metro city. The energy was crazy and so was life. I was juggling between classes and computer classes, book clubs and extra co-curricular activities and ace-ing everything except academics. There was a library right behind my house which  I unfortunately found out too late, there was a Punjabi Restaraunt near our house which made the most amazing shahi paneer ever. My father took us to new places every weekend and we travelled like crazy – to Tirupathi, Nilgiri, Ooty, Munnar, etc. I went to this amazing book club where they gave us cold drink and cake at the end of every session. I found some of my friends from those days on FaceBook.  Those two years were undoubtedly the best years of my life. I often wish that we had never shifted, but apparently my parents didn’t like living so far away from their own families so we had to come back to North India. Now, I think to myself, that maybe I did the right thing by shifting because I feel that Bangalore had given me what I needed in terms of developing my personality, but had I stayed, I couldn’t have fought for what I loved and figured out what to do in life without anything being imposed on me. It is difficult to explain, but being in Lucknow gave me much more freedom to choose whatever I wanted to do next in life.

LUCKNOW

Lucknow was a new low after Bangalore but I gradually got used to it. I have spent the maximum part of my life there and that is where home is even now. 8 years in Lucknow, and I was a grown person too, I remember almost everything but mostly I remember hating my school. In the last four years that I stayed there, I made some really good friends and that is the only redeeming fact about that school. All in all the city is a great place to live in. It gives me respite from the rush of the big cities I go back from every holiday.

DELHI

I had entered college and was living in the Hostel, a much different home than any I had lived in before. It was a big, bad city and I was a little girl. With time it grew on me and I began falling in love with the freedom I had got for the first time in my life. This thirst for freedom just became bigger and that is how I moved on to the next city.

MUMBAI

My present home, one year in a flat and this year in a Hostel. Mumbai has given me the freedom I could have only dreamt of, friends that I know I will cherish for life and memories and experiences that have made me who I am now. It’s only when you live here, that you will know why it is called the City of Dreams. Every other person is a walking and talking book, whose pages and stories will amaze you. Here I am to be another book in the library, hoping to be the one most issued and to be an inspiration for other writers. 🙂

Wishing upon a Star

I found a picture,
Between the tattered pages,
Of an old notebook.
It was a picture of you,
With your teeth shining,
Like the pearls sewn in your dress.
The colour of the sky,
And freshly plucked flowers,
Adorned the laces on your sleeve.
A prettier picture I had not seen.
I look back at those days,
When I asked mother;
“Why did you have to have
another daughter?”
How could I have been so ignorant,
I had always wished for someone magical,
To come into my life,
To fill in the vacant afternoons,
To be a partner-in-crime,
To be all mine.
What would have I ever done without you?
You are the greatest gift ever.
I never wished for anything again.

Letters for Love/Being Unwanted (Guest Post)

Before you wonder why I didn’t title this post ‘Love Letters’ or ‘Letters of Love”, I want to explain and ask you at the same time what Love means to you? To me it means so many things, even hate, but this is a letter written for Love, not out of Love, not about Love but just for it. Make what you can of it. 🙂

Oh and also Special thanks to our writer, i.e. not me but someone who I begged to write this for me, since I have been too busy with work. And he hasn’t let me down. I love your writing, I really do. Here it goes:

BEING UNWANTED

So today, I will like to confess one of the feelings that come to me more often than others. I, for some reason, always find myself with people who are facing some crisis. With time this thing rooted deep inside me. I started feeling satisfied with the knowledge that maybe people needed me sometimes even if it was only in their moments of sorrow. Call it a lame effort to be wanted by others or an attempt to hold some place important in others’ lives. Or maybe I think too much. Someone told me that I always look for tragedies, but this is just what I have become. I don’t mind tragedies a single bit because I feel that people reveal their innermost feelings at that moment. I wish I could take those moments of closeness, the belonging to merrier times also but almost always I find myself getting sidelined for someone else who simply makes their way into lives of others when the grass is green and when they don’t have to live through autumn. Then again I start looking out for the next estranged soul. I fully agree that my life may seem tempting to others. Some people have in fact asked me that why do I even get sad, but its ingrained in me. I try to be alone at times hoping someone will ask about me.

This feeling naturally comes, when I see people enjoying with others, I find myself looking at people’s happy faces thinking it would have been so fucking amazing if I would have been the one sharing that laughter, if your smile would have started from your lips and would have stopped at my cheekbones. I always try to find a crevice in people’s conversations to an untold secret which would act like a thread that would keep us entwined forever with each other. I love to gradually fade into the background watching how people react to my absence.

You have been a great support to me amidst all the negativity. As I have said a million times, a lighthouse in the cold wild raging sea, a drop of water in the scorching heat of the desert, that last breath for which a man craves on his deathbed, those last few  of oxygen in a man’s tank on a faraway planet.

P.S. – You are the one who I believe can take me out of this perpetual turmoil. Only you have the charm.

A Reply

I think I am cast in a very different stone. I am the kind who wants to be with people in their good times and their bad. If they choose to be with me only in either one of them, then I carve out a different path for myself, far away from theirs. For me, it’s always all or nothing. The only thing I hope for is that I make you a part of all my seasons. That, I think, could be the best gift I could ever give you.

P.S. Don’t talk about lighthouses, they drive me crazy! 🙂 ❤

Handwritten Letters

I have a wall in my room, decked up with posters, drawings and postcards, lots of them! I have been an avid writer and a believer in the ancient art of letter writing (Notice Gone Girl reference). So I have been writing letters to friends for a while now. It all started with me and a friend exchanging notes and letters on a monthly basis. When we shifted to new cities, we started posting letter to each other. It was not that we didn’t have any other means of communication, we had access to internet and text-ed each other on a daily basis. It was just that I could express myself so much better in a one-sided conversation where I could put my feelings into words on something material. Slowly, I started writing more and more letters to more friends, newly made friends who were brought closer when I expressed my feelings for them through my letters.

A friend, sent me postcards of all the places we had been to together with really cute messages and poems on the back. Another friend sent me a beautiful postcard of the city I was born in with a poem on life and death which summed up the essence of Banaras (Varanasi). A teacher gave me a postcard that he had designed and coincidentally it was of my Hometown and I instantly fell in love with it. There are several others which I found at shops and cafes and couldn’t resist picking up. Letters and postcards are storehouses of memory that aren’t credited enough for the power they hold. This reminds me that I should be getting back to writing something yet again to bring people even more close! ❤

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