Saturday, 14 November 2015

The Twenty-Six Year Old Child

It was an orange scarf that hid in a corner of my cupboard and I never bothered giving it a second glance. I had never worn it, and would probably never use it, and so it lay tucked in its corner, bearing the burden of other clothes piled on top of it, almost forgotten. Until one fateful evening when my mother told me to give it away in order to clear some space. Despite the fact that it took her over half an hour to explain which scarf she was talking about, I put my foot down and refused to get rid of it. And so it stayed in my cupboard, and it still has never been used.

As I reflect on my behaviour, I know it is the kind that probably a four year old is more suited for, and I wonder what made me react in this strange possessive manner. It isn't just about the scarf but, in general, I am not someone who likes doing away with things. I have been this way since I was a child, and at twenty-six, I am not sure if I am any different.

I often wonder: do we really change with time? Do we actually grow up or are we the same people inside who would react to things the same way they'd do before if only they were given the space? As we start developing physically, our process of socialization ensures that we start reacting in ways that we are expected to, but do we really change as a person inside ourselves?

The process of growing up involves behaving in a way as expected by our peers, family members and significant others. So, we try hiding the green monster with a smile when we greet some people. We brush off our irresponsible side with finesse and each and every moment, we stand, all geared up to brave the big, fierce world. We try hard to fill the gap and be the person we are expected to be in order to match the image they have of us. But, somewhere inside, we still enjoy those small joys; we still like to do silly things; and some wishes that were once our dreams continue to haunt us.

Each one of us, according to me, is unique, and born with a different set of abilities, habits and desires. Rather than trying so hard to fit in with the rest, we should just own up to who we truly are and work towards achieving what we were born to do. If your first instinct as a child was to gather up some vessels and make music, chances are that it still is! Hence, this Children's Day, let us resolve to loosen up a bit, and be the person our inner voice has been screaming out to be. After all, we don't really "grow up", we just learn to hide ourselves better.

Happy Children's Day Everyone! Let Us Always Remember To Celebrate The Child In Each One Of Us!

Friday, 13 November 2015

City Lights

She woke up to a morning just like any other, and stared at the rays of the sun glinting through her expensive French windowpane. Everyone talked about the big city lights, but no one had told her about the darkness - when those lights go off, and the sun comes out.

In the big city, she kept stumbling upon people who were running as fast as she was in order to achieve something. In the race to the finish, she had lost many people, and had gained only a few. But, at the end of the day, she wondered if coming home to an empty apartment on the 26th floor had been worth the chase.

Her weekdays were always fast-paced, rushing throughout the day to complete work and then whiling away time with colleagues as evening turned to night. It seemed to her that weekends were reserved for the sole purpose of sitting down and pondering about life, in general.

She had been so busy chasing her dream that she had not looked back even once to contemplate or take a chance at love. She could not trace when that dream ended, and when she woke up to realize that the chase to glory had not been enough to fill her life with contentment? The philosophical books that she often delved in to find answers kept reiterating that happiness is a state of mind, but what was the essence of her life without people to share it with?

A walk down the beach always helped her clear her mind. She saw the young mother struggling to help her toddler build a sandcastle. She smiled at the two girls playing volleyball. There was an old couple sitting not far away. They were sitting down, holding hands, and watching the waves that arrived dancing on the shore. Their serene expressions made her realize the importance of relationships in her life. She realized that she needed to add another point to her chase.

Often the big city lights blurred her vision and drove her to go right to the core of her dreams. Next time, when those lights shut off, she decided to take a closer look at herself in the dark. Darkness was always an honest friend - it ruthlessly told her exactly what was missing in her life without any sugarcoat. It was time for her to start going after that for a while. The big city had appeared to be fun only when she had someone next to her, who saw her for what she was, and noticed things beyond the glitter and glamour - things that the shiny crowd failed to note.

It was now time. It was now time for her to find the knight in shining armour. She had not been designed to play the part of the distressed damsel who needs rescuing. Instead of waiting to be rescued by him for her happily ever after, she needed to wake up and find it herself.

Thursday, 5 November 2015


The first time she read the note, she had no idea it was not just any note, but the one that would change her life. In the time that she finished reading it, her life would begin its process of being rewritten:

Dear Beloved,
Not a moment goes by without me hunting for a life worth living or seeking knowledge that is worth knowing. I don't feel like I belong anywhere. I therefore have everywhere to go! Your love has transformed me in ways that I previously could not fathom. It gives me strength to seek newer lands, collect more pieces of me, and build myself anew.
I will always remember you even in my new kingdom! I'm sorry I cannot take you with me.
Yours Truly.

He had always been a nomad at heart. She knew she would not be able to keep him forever. But this rather unceremonious parting was too much to bear. He had always talked about exploring strange lands, discovering new ideas, but what had caused him to take off suddenly? She tried rewinding to their last meetings to see if she had said or done something to tick him off but she found no clue. Alas, it was a futile exercise. Revisiting past events never led anyone to discover the truth. It only resulted in interpretations. Would he ever return? She wondered about the possibility. It was of no use either. The future was just an illusion.

He was gone and she was alone. Suddenly, the silence gripped her. She despised silence. Whenever a thick smog of silence descended, the yapping voices inside her head became all the more audible, rising to the surface, one by one. She liked to believe that she knew all the voices that resided in that inner harm, yet she was scared of chancing upon those she had never met. Together, the voices just made noise instead of music, each talking at the same time as the other, in tones louder than the others, without listening to a word of what was being said. The voices frightened her. They made her scared of her own diversity. She hated coming in contact with the disintegration inside of her. It was rather unsettling.

She knew that she had always been a clinger. Even now, she wanted to cling, to bits and pieces of his existence here and there, with no firm grounding, no center and no coherence in her life. To put it simply: she was a mess.

She stared at the note yet again:
So, he was setting off to conquer kingdoms? What was he trying to prove to her? Was he trying to convince her of his valour or spirit? Why had he run away, evading all questions she would have asked if he had said a proper good-bye?

But then, she wondered, if she would have ever asked the questions that were now racing inside her head. In all this while they had been together, not once had she unashamedly bared her soul before him. He did not know much about her fears and scars. She had never rendered herself vulnerable in front of him. He had never been presented with an opportunity to realize that her greatest strength could be found in her flaws.

He too had his insecurities. He was too afraid to seize what he loved, and therefore was blindly chasing unknown territories. It was alright if love passed him by. After all, he would still have his new kingdom.

She found a way too to alleviate her pain. It was a simple solution, really. After all, whenever one wishes to destroy something, all one needs to do is surround it with walls. So, a massive wall she built around herself replacing all her now-obsolete beliefs with the new. No more did love call out to her, excitedly telling her to let go. Now, she listened to the voice of reason and approached everything with care and doubt. "Be careful, protect yourself" was her prime concern. This new approach never let her fall. Her old belief had only caused hurt and had her life falling into ruins.

The stranger heard her story and could not help but smile. After all, it's only in ruins that one finds treasures. Her broken heart hid many treasures; and it was now up to him to uncover them all...