An Eulogy

A star studded fiesta does the charm

Sways us to the other side

Makes one forget the grim realities

The depths of the harsh truths

Yet as the curtains pull

We go home to the good old ordinary

The familiar sense of homes

The place that encapsulates our grounded happiness.

Ashoke, you lived there.

In the unclosed vermilion bottles of a Puja Room

The hanging garments of a sunny balcony

In the haphazard line of slippers on an entrance

In the painted porches of every door

You became a walk to the closest pan wala dukaandar

A small talk with the vegetable vendor

The sound of a cooker hooting it’s 4th whistle

In a life of the extra ordinarily ordinary

You are a fresh smell of a normalcy

One could swear you were probably a neighbour

Or just maybe a passer-by

Here’s a charm you good ol sick man

The only you’d always be known by

Always remembered by
Always remembered by

Talking To People – A Lifeskill

Call it a weird habit, or a permanent dent of my childhood. I have a penchant for observing people like nobody does. I do not mention it. Nobody knows about it. I always thought it would be something I’d take with me to my grave.

It is my constant need to monitor how people talk to others. My job involves me to always notice it.

So, I have been sitting on a very important chair of my workplace for over a year now. The job involves me to be a stickler for discipline, ensuring that everything goes as per clockwork precision. I need to be constantly on call and alert to the daily functioning of manpower. Maybe just maybe, surrounded by so many people and getting to command them with a bellowing voice got into my head. I had been taking my privileges of an authority for granted. Suddenly overnight, raising my voice and shouting at the slackers seemed perfectly justified in my head. I have also had a temper, but this seemed to be an issue of my desperation to be efficient. I often scolded a few simpletons of office with a nasty sarcasm.

So let me call this victim as X.

X is a simple, soft spoken man who had been in the office for a couple of years for a skill that he was initially not trained for. He is an undoubted idiot. Probably the slowest of his kind, yet better than the others who didn’t manage to make the cut for being worthy enough to do the job.

He had made some royal fuck up that increased my workload by a little over five minutes. Not a big deal. Yet I chose to get after him, probably taking out my own frustration at him, because it felt easy. I didn’t even think about it again and left the office for the day. In the evening when I was going through my contacts on WhatsApp, I saw his display picture with his wife and a very young daughter.

It hit me hard then. The wife and kid probably respected him to the lengths of the universe and back. He was probably an authoritative figure in his house making decisions, the kind who would probably be by their side in hospitals before a difficult surgery. The kind who would be the strong person, lifting a casket, or a pall bearer of a distant sister. The one who would give his parents , wife and his own in-laws the strength to go on, and here I was , belittling someone’s strength. Insulting him and giving him a hard time. I imagined how it would make me feel if his daughter was watching me do it. How crushed she would feel.

Would X take me negatively and go back to only to take the frustration out on his daily phonecall home? Would he snap at his daughter?

Most importantly, would I be able to live with this guilt?

Can’t I find a better way to address people with a firm stance without spoiling their day or hurting their morale ? Isn’t that what a good boss or a leader should be doing?

So, keeping all this in mind, I have promised myself to be respectful of people’s emotions. To make sure that I do not lose my firm stance as a staunch authoritarian yet remain the fulcrum of the organisation who can be counted upon.

I was today years old

I was today years old

To understand the many unsolved mysteries

That it is okay to fail

At the things others could be champions at

That the very champions seem to envy you

For you have things they wish they had

I was today years old

To understand that the grass will always be greener on the other side

You’ve heard this often

Yet it feels like a new realisation each time

I was today years old

To know that kindles are as bad as paperbacks

That kill trees almost equally if not more

That all book lovers are also murderers of a kind

That recycled paper also kills if not saves

If you believed that trees had emotions

I was today years old

to realise

That love is about vulnerabilities

About sharing not just emotions

But smelly farts

I was today years old to figure

That best friends come without clauses

Mine came without brains too

Which often helped my case

For they didn’t know squat about judgements

They’d make excellent companions

I was today years old

To figure that everything happens for a reasons

For it is the most unreasonable moments and people

That teach the most valuable lessons

I was today years old to remember

That I switched on the light in the living room

And if I go it’ll stop my train of thoughts

For there is a fridge there which will waste my time

So off I go.

Grandpa’s Room

Was it the oil or the clothes or the incense?

One couldn’t really say

Grandpa’s room had a personality of his own

Though I left the room yesterday

My childhood perhaps encapsulated in the walls

Was it the smell of the mosquito repellent?

Or maybe the aging wood

The table that once housed a battered transistor

Echoing the timeless ghulam saab’s charm

Was it the coat of distemper?

Which I noticed made a pattern

Fingerprints of the old man now emerging

As he walks out in his own

Was it my mental placebo?

To keep my thaata* in his element

My heart now playing tricks of the trade

Bludgeoning my inner ocean gates

You could offer me all the gold in the world

Perhaps a diamond or two

Yet they fall short my billions

To his set of off-white handkerchiefs I adore

Thaata’s room is a chasm of emotions

This litany I cannot confess

On nights I see him devour a preread book

Perhaps he relives their plight in those plots

Causes most certainly unknown

I bent over to kiss his forehead

That solved the childhood mystery

It was the sandalwood soap most certainly

Engulfing his wrinkled skin!

Oh you old man!

Never ceases to amaze me.

*Thaata – Grandpa in Telugu

Attempting an Honest Resolution

When I began 2019, I promised myself to work hard. Work as hard as I could and promised myself to do it for as long as I could. I did my best at everything. Be it work, making a sandwich or even helping someone. It was a decision I consciously took and for the first time in my life and I did it for someone else. Why someone else? Because I wanted to be worthy enough of people’s time. It is such a complex thing to say. We often weave a web of lies everyday to convince ourselves that we are working towards our goals but we don’t. We don’t because it is easy to fool ourselves.

I tried to put my best, often risking myself for both a physical and emotional breakdown.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Definitely.

Just don’t ask me why.

I went to Canada in December last year. It was a culminating odyssey for a year that celebrated my dedication towards my life. Going to Canada was because of the reason that I did not want to leave my life to chance encounters and destiny anymore. I wanted to make things happen. It is often said that if you want something, you should go after it. I spent a lot of time in working for it and getting it to materialise. Despite of all the lies that I have been spreading across the environment, the real reason why I went there was to chase the love of my life. A decision I took within the second she flew out of the country and I missed my flight from Leh due to poor weather.

Was I chasing her or chasing the voices of my heart? I tell myself that they’re the same.

It was beautiful time. I fought, made up, cooked and cleaned, watched a guy playing his guitar post midnight, irritated a baby, walked across the amazing bustle of a suburban street, bought souvenirs, took solitary walks and in the end cried like a baby at the airport.

I walked into this year with a decision now to not just work hard, but to channelise my energies into being honest. Honest to the organisation I work for, honest to my relationships and more importantly honest to myself. No matter what the consequences could mean. This is going to be worse than any of my previous endeavours because contrary to what people say, being truthful is one of the most difficult things in the world. Saying exactly how one feels is a dangerous ordeal.

What made me pick this resolution was the fact that I have manifested a new life for myself. A life where I am accomplished in all my piddly materialistic ambitions. A life where I am unburdened and can sleep horizontally to snore than to run away from realities.

I want to write more. Write to be well understood.

Damn this writer’s block.

Quick Fire

I always promised myself not to make a diary entry out of this blog.

This post is just to convince myself that I am keeping this blog active.

Here’s to a hope that I am not making an empty promise to myself, something that is possible because I am probably the sole reader of this page.

Does that make me a sad pathetic loner? Hmm maybe.

Do I care? I don’t think so.

Understanding Quirks

It has been barely a month in my new duty station. Life has been pretty hectic. I haven’t managed to discover/rediscover any magical pearl in the sea of thoughts thus explaining the snail progress of this portal. I am stuck at work all day. This litany is exclusively affecting my personal productivity. Look at me complaining about my made up productive problems, like I was any productive before.I have still managed to get myself a decent space in one of the many pigeonholes this place has to offer. Settling down was not a headache thanks to one of my henchmen (haha) Mahesh (mental note to self: write about him sometime) who ensured everything went in order, right till the last detail.Being at work all day, my small crashpad was visited by one of my seniors in my absence who later came and told me that my room told him a lot about my personality, something that got to me very deeply. I instantly went home and wanted to examine what made him say that. Things seemed pretty normal there. That’s when the quirks came to me.

I guess I love compact spaces.

Give me a 2 foot cubicle; I will still choose to stand on a corner. Maybe it says that I love being protected in the shadows of the walls. I discovered this about myself on many occasions which involved me to take short trips to places. A part of me just refuses to completely unpack my stuff. I love keeping my things packed or in a particular corner of the house.

You will never find my toothbrush.

Okay I am embarrassed about this one. Except for washrooms with a separate cubicle for the toilet seat, I do not leave my toothbrush out for long. I wait frantically for my toothbrush to dry and then shove it quickly inside the toiletries kit. My OCD infested mind has a phobia where germs settled in the toilet will jump in excitement whenever someone will use the flush and fly straight into the wet bristles of my toothbrush. I don’t particularly appreciate the idea of someone else’s toothbrush French kissing mine either.

I love aromatherapy.

This is something I picked up from my sister. I love smells. Candles, vaporizers and every cousin related to incense sticks.

TSUNDOKU.

I had to Google this word. It describes someone who collects books but doesn’t read them. There was a time in my life when I couldn’t go to sleep without reading something. Anything. But now with the course of life keeping me on my toes I haven’t managed to read as much as I used to. I have promised myself to change this soon. Yet I religiously go through stuff online and bookstores across and promise myself to read more. I’ve got a ton of books that I haven’t managed to give time to.

Symmetry of life.

I am not a neat freak. I wouldn’t even qualify for the qualifiers of a neat freak. Yet I have some weird relationship with symmetry.

  • I cannot stand shoes facing towards me. They need to look away like they were on a punishment.
  • My razor has to be on a 45 degree angle at all times. It is the only way to ensure its longevity (in my head).
  • I detest people who leave the bottle cap/ pens cap opened.
  • Don’t even get me started on those who do not leave chairs back in their original places.

Our quirks define us. Mine insult me. My friends often say that the girl who ends up with me will find it amusingly annoying. Somewhere out there we all end up wanting to be with people who harvest qualities that accept us for who we are. Don’t we?

Continue reading “Understanding Quirks”

Royal Enfield, a romantic story.

So, I have just moved into one of the most beautiful cities in Punjab, Amritsar. It has been one hell of a turmoil as things aren’t as per plan with my new house. The weather has only aggravated for the worse with the sun, choosing to shower it’s wrath every bloody day. I can’t stop behaving like a husky forced to be in the heat.

I needed a machine to get from place A to B, and had originally intended to get myself a big fat SUV. However, I decided to reward myself with it for a later time when I truly deserve one.

So the next best thing was to get myself a decent bike. Buying a bike is one of the most mind boggling experiences. Everyone suddenly gets enthusiastic and expects you to fullfil their fantasies through you. It was imperative to get a Royal Enfield, because it has one of the best services in remote locations, with one service center just a few miles away from where I currently live.

The next challenge was to zero in on the particular model, which is a bigger pain as the plethora of options and colours are mood based. I ended up liking a colour in the morning and changing my mind in the evening.

The Trial limited edition

The idea was to stick the the 350cc bracket because I am not a biker nor an enthusiastic afficionado of two wheelers. I find cars not only functional and safe, but extremely comfortable for my tall lanky athletic frame.
That helped me zero down on some specific models. The classic and the Thunderbird. Now here’s where people lose their shit and defend their opinions with the enthusiasm of kids at a Baskin Robbins.

I have driven both and loved them both. Some part of me associated myself with the birdie and I instantly knew that it was mine. Yet I teased myself by trying the others. The trial edition of the 350cc really caught my eye. I loved the silver too, yet I was not drawn to them like I should have been.

The bird was mine.

I loved the red.

The black alloys.

The halogen and ABS.

The cool gloves and keychains I got from the store.

A simple black helmet. ( I’ll make someone gift me a cooler one 😉, you know who you are!)

My love for colours was really evident with this choice. It is a bike I will want to handover to my son along with a secret stash of playboys saved over the years. Now I’m not one of those speed junkies. I prefer making loud unspoken statements. It’s my thing. Just like this bike. So I decided not to succumb to peer pressure and follow my heart. I love it. There is a satisfaction. Just like a happy relationship.

I see them kiss at the airport gates

I see them kiss at the airport gates

He looks as dilapidated as my ignored handkerchief

If only footprints in the sand of time could tell the future

Maybe a tear or two could be saved?

They say men are not expressive at times

But these ‘they’ don’t understand

If he doesn’t spout a tear or two

Has he even loved at all?

I see them kiss at the airport gates

Takes me to the time I had grass stains on my knickknacks

Father used to quip

If you didn’t stain them a little

Then did you even play at all?

As I walk away from their moment

I’ve promised to save this thought for a different day

Emotions are like a stomach upset

Never easy to say.

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