TRAP.

It’s like a vicious circle

So repetitive, it spins your head.

It is like a trap,

You may feel like you have found the best way out,

But once again when you’ll be with your troupe,

Giggling about the last night shenanigans,

You’ll find yourself drifting away.

Away, away, and snap! You’ll go off.

The coffee mug will slip out of your grip as your fingers tremble at feeling the void within once again.

Who says it’s your heart which feels the pain?

Its toxic, it will gush through your veins inflicting every muscle of you.

Every muscle, every bone feels the pain.

Are you sad? No.

Are you happy? No.

But you know there’s a painful mess, a mess so knotted that you’re simply clutched by it.

Constrained smiles and swirling minds have become your constants,

Pretending becomes so real, nobody can even guess.

And in the midst of not knowing what’s going on,

In the midst of the dilemma to begin again or stop where you are,

You go on with the so called rhythm of the world,

Because you don’t want to attract attention, gaze or question.

Truth being, what do you say when you don’t know what to say?

How do you make understand when you don’t understand?

You know you’re crazy, but you don’t want them to know.

So you’re just awfully quite now.

Experience has taught you about the expectations,

So now you know exactly when to frown, laugh, crack a joke, be disappointed,

Even if within you’re giggling instead of frowning, crying instead of laughing, being cold in place of being sensitive.

But you cannot tell or show this, you don’t want to seem crazy.

So you keep moving on with hope that someday your heart and head will reconcile,

Till then you just keep building your little world in that trap.

A look back.

past-singular

“I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past.” – Atticus

How terrified are you of bad moods? How avoiding are you of meeting people you have lost touch? How weak in the heart do you feel when asked about your life? The common link? It all reminds you of your past and sets you thinking about that place you fear, brings back those thoughts which make you shift in your chair, reminds you of that part of you locked away.

Many of us have hard pasts. But we seem to have mastered the art of moving on and loving the present, only until asked to look back. Your fear for your past will stalk you till you believe it is best to let it subsume you into itself. That is not what you came so far away from it for.

Pushing away bitter memories was never the plan, fighting it was what was resolved. Then why do questions about the past still perturb you and similar instances from your past get you sleepless nights? What do you fear? That time bygone is never coming back and you know it. Then what is so scary? Experience. Emotion. Possibility. What you never want back is how you felt back then, how you had to cope with it and the thought of the consequences of your failure to deal with it.

“I could do it back then, I cannot now.” Believe me, you still can. How not if you could back then? Yes it is exhausting dealing with your ownself when you hit that low. But isn’t that for your ownself too? Did it not teach you to improve? Did it not make you stronger to a point where everything now seems so easy? What is haunting you now then?

Listen up. Nobody is bullying you anymore for that chubbiness because now you’re more confident than ever in your fitter self. Nobody is laughing because you can’t speak in public as today you’re getting some excellent clients for your boss. Nobody is calling you a failure now that you have launched your business with happy customers in no time. You don’t have to slouch in a corner and cry anymore because of a restrictive childhood because you can now be independent and no one’s putting you down all the time. You don’t have to cry to sleep every night anymore because now you have someone who is making ends meet to make you theirs inspite of your resistance to it.

After all this good, do you still want to run away? Why do you want it to chase you into your settled present? Why do you forget to tell yourself that everything is so good today because your past happened the way it did? Wonder, was your present possible without that desperation to make today better because of a sour past? No right? On your normal days you may feel you have embraced it, but if you retreat when it comes back in front of you in any way, you haven’t really made peace with it. Peace will come when you know and accept that you have moulded your present into success with the same experience, emotion and possibility from your past which you fear till date.

Your journey is yours. Do not let anyone steal that limelight from you. Know this, the past will never repeat itself now, because now you know everything about it. Nothing is uncertain. It all becomes challenging only because its so capricious. Without the unsteadiness it cannot frighten you.

So the next time you are asked to look back, curve your lips, turn around, look straight through time and admire your struggling past which paved your fine present.

AMU LOVED LEMONS.

Amu loved watching TV. Especially between 9-10pm on Fridays and Saturdays when ‘Tapoi’ played on Taarang TV. Amu loved lemons as much as she loved watching TV. She would always wipe the floor with the lemon scented phenyl and never with the jasmine scented one. She was intently watching dainty young girls on the screen put on a grand show of strength, beauty and intellect to win the crown while cleaning the floor in slow motion, when she heard her mistress gently ask ‘Kono hela? You’re home early? You had told me you will not be home before midnight”. The door shut and Biswal mahasay walked in with muddy shoes. ‘Mu Dukhita, Amu!” the Inspector General of Police exclaimed apologetically as Amu stared at the mud stain on the freshly cleaned floor. She feebly smiled, cleaned the spot and went to the kitchen. “We took down 3 more Naxals in Rayagada. Those scoundrels thought that slaying our honest officer would threaten us. It has only given us more strength and reason to fight back. Dutta took the bullet right in his chest and yelled ‘You shall perish!’” Biswal mahasay’s eyes were wide and fuming. His wife stroked his head and asked him to freshen up for dinner.

Amu had been warming the dalma to serve the mahasay. But she didn’t use the pakkad to hold the utensil. She did it with her bare hands, letting her skin burn against the metal of the hot vessel and her forehead and temples dripping in sweat. The comfort of Bhubaneshwar was making her forget her promise to Pendhili. She let Agni Dev punish her for her distraction. But let me see the winner at least, she gave herself a concession.

Amu placed the expensive porcelain plate on the table in front of mahasay, along with some lemon pickle in a small bowl. Biswal had not dined a single day without taking some of Amu’s signature preparation since the past 3 years; he relished it. Amu loved lemons. Biswal changed the channel browsed through to stop at some English news channel. Amu was very disappointed; her beloved Jigya was going to win for sure and she missed her crowning. It reminded her of how her Bapa would not let her spend time with her brothers and would always reprimand them for wearing black. Her Bapa, the best policeman she knew. But one day the Naxals killed him because her Bapa spoke sweetly to the zamindar and always went to him with the most expensive Chhena Poda during Durga Pooja. His body was fed to the wild dogs. Forests in Odisha had as many wild dogs as it had wild men.

Amu’s Ma was sexually assaulted for 5 days by Amu’s brothers, before she died. But they loved Amu. She knew that because they gave her the best training in the troop. The memory of that affection made her uneasy in the gut. She peeked in the bedroom; Nani was talking on the phone. She shut the door, took a lemon from the fridge and halved it. She went to the drawing room, increased the TV volume to the maximum and stood in front of the mahasay. “Amu!” he yelled in surprise. Amu squeezed the halved lemons into his eyes first, then gripped his neck and squeezed it into his nose and ears. In what was a swift blow, she slit his throat. She went to the basin to wash off the blood and the knife, wrapped the knife in a napkin, tucked it into her pyjama under her kameez. She walked out of the house sucking onto the remaining juice from both the halved lemons. Amu loved lemons.

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An amateur try at micro-fiction. Hope it grips you enough to make you read it right till the end!

Please leave your comments/suggestions on the post! I would love to improve! 🙂

 

A wishful streak

Can I rewind what has past and stop that endless streak of ‘What ifs’?

Can I be a little more sure about how the future will look?

Can I for once, dwell in my present without regret or expectation?

Can I find my calling in this blasé plastic existence?

I wish for once I could take back what I said, felt and saw,

Give myself another chance at life,

Not feed the fears and let my soul blossom.

I wish I could live just a single moment if that is all I can have

Bringing to life my vista of pleasure and rejoice.

I wish I did not have to beseech my stars all the time

And woo them to bless me out of my troubles.

I wish I had that lantern of magic which could guide me through pebbled roads,

Where I could fall and yet not bleed

Where I need not trip to learn my lesson.

I wish I could reckon that golden hour of subtlety as mine too.

I wish I did not have to constantly evade the churns of time

From its incumbency on me.

I wish being earnest and wholesome was most revered

Never had to be mocked by a fading lustre of value.

Can it be so fancy and bountiful?

Can reality be so rich in happiness?

Maybe not, maybe it can never be,

But I will still dream of walking through the alleys of that castle

Which I have built stone by stone into a stell of my fancy.

 

 

Let that expression connect you to your world.

Self-expression brings out the most honest form of you. It’s the most subjective yet the most objective feature of human behaviour. Why objective? Well, because it must exist, it must happen. Degrees of it may vary but it is portrayed in whatever way your sub-conscience permits your conscience to roll out. Nature of self-expression is motivated by the intensity of how things touch or bother a person, and that too depends solely in all entirety upon individual personalities, experiences and perceptions. How one gets affected and how one sets it up to the world cannot be mistaken to be the same thing because such a deduction can steal away much of the charm and achievements of human psychology and behaviour.

Self-expression varies from person to person, situation to situation, time to time. It is what sets the human race apart from all of God’s living bounties. It is as unpredictable as is desirable. We all love to animatedly chatter about our first trophy to literally the entire world, feel those butterflies and get stiff when your crush holds your hand, weep to the pillow and shut the world out when you hit a low point, cheer up a close friend when he/she is upset by baking them some warm brownies. We have all been in such situations, and I can bet that every individual has felt something different and emoted differently from the other. Infact, every individual reading this article right now will also react and express differently to it – one may chuckle and dismiss it as naïve, the other may just find it worthy mentioning it to his/her peers, another may just scroll through and mock it, someone else may just find a relatable element in this. It’s all so distinct, yet this one attribute has bound all us humans to a single pole of identity, communication and understanding.

I have come across several persons who complain of inability to express with words or reactions, or a bunch of people fed up of a straight face given to everything. Honestly, I do not believe that something like an inability to express even exists. Self-expression flows through many mediums and cannot be recognised limitedly just when reactively projected. That straight face may later paint a tableau with the most beautiful strokes known, or pen down the most heart-warming piece to be written. That painting will be the most honest capture of his/her emotional unrest, whether positive or negative. Conservatively expressively people cannot bring their thoughts to their lips or wear them on their faces; it takes something to be a little far-fetched for them to openly emote.

Over expression routes through a typically sensitive personality, for whom everything takes shape of a mammoth event and/or everything is felt and perceived sharply. Such people can activate several mediums of self-expression at once, creating an impression of loud efflux. This is the basic difference in the two antonymic patterns of self-expression; while the former may only exhibit a controlled expression through a single medium, the latter may emanate through a mix of several mediums all at once which makes it difficult for them to control any or all such means.

However you are, there is nothing more liberating than self-expression, whether in joy or sorrow. Do not fear a conscious or animated form of self-expression, if that is what recoils you into a shell. Let go of yourself, let loose on the strings you fastened to pull you away from yourself. If it matters, bare it out, for nothing else but to engage and associate with yourself better. You may be the agony aunt or the most revered confidante of your circle, but it will never matter till you know how to look out for your ownself. Self-expression paves way for self-reliance, and that my friend is what will never let you disappoint yourself.

Let that expression flow and connect you more to your world. 😊

THE ‘A’ FACTOR

When you are about to step into the real, or the corporate world as they call it, you have a panel of unappointed advisors ready with their handbook of tips to instruct and caution you against an assailing army of ambitious colleagues and snobbish bosses.

They are instances of experience and not just empty words much agreed, but behind that shield of caution one must be taught to wear the armour of certain traits which not only make their corporate survival simpler but may just help them stand out from the crowd.

Approach, Attitude, Aspiration- I call it the ‘A’ Factor. Having the right ‘A’s can swim you through the toughest tide, but having the wrong ones can probably drop you off the ship.
Our general perception today about a workplace set up is one of a lustful environment where everyone wears a mask of a friend over a face of deceit. Hence the most important tip given to tackle this is to wear a mask yourself too, not divulge much of yourself and ace the art of massaging the egos of your superiors. But what does it lead you to eventually? Not a very rosy picture there. Pent up frustration, disorientation about your individuality and a saturation point in your life. But is that your only resort? It maybe your favourite diplomacy tool but should certainly not be your sole strategy.

Everybody appreciates a dedicated approach, a driving attitude and an honest aspiration. It never goes waste. It is mistaken for being all goody-good and the most frequent feedback for anything goody-good is “No amount of it ever works”. When you know how to approach your work with a desire to improve rather than to excel, when you do not wear a know-it-all attitude and can embrace criticism to groom yourself into perfection, and when you have an aspiration of climbing up the infamous ladder the right way and not taking a shortcut to everything, what is churned out is wise balanced professional.

As the modern day professional, who has scores of things to juggle with to meet the demands of a pacing world, we crave for balance more than anything else. Work-life balance is a luxury, socio-economic satisfaction is a distant dream, Depression has become the largest predator. It is getting increasingly difficult to cope up with one’s ownself. The most distressed part of your life is your workplace performance and in such a frenzy, if you are able to help yourself keep even a part of the craziness at bay, you will feel a lot more lighter and steadier. The ‘A’ factor cannot explain your stressful days and exasperation, but it can give you endurance to cope up with it and keep looking forward. It will make you much more adaptive, the core of corporate survival. Adaptation is undisputed, because you cannot have things your way out there and to be the boss you first must be a good apprentice.

We read about the lives of over-achievers, we marvel at their success stories, but taking a moment to analyse the same will paint a rather mundane fact – some things never go out of fashion and having a right approach, attitude and aspiration gleefully fall in that bracket. It is not easy to stay afloat with such staunch principles today, you may have to make hard compromises, face flak for being true to yourself. But it has never been easy anyway to stand your own ground. Your good ‘A’s may not always be immediately rewarding, many times even scarcely noticed, but down the years when you will look behind over your shoulder, you will believe it was worth it.

Happy weekend to all you good ‘A’s folks! 🙂

Let’s Help.

Depression is not those frequent mood swings, or impatience, or anxiety, or inferiority. It is a long, dark, isolated space of hopelessness. It is the valley of the lost, where no one has any realisation of what is happening to them. It is a lurking negative, which you want to run away from but which will chase you to self-destruction, mental and many times, even physical.

A little poem to bring out the elusive plight of a haunted mind.

To a far eye she seemed to have a usual existence,

Never one of those you would find odd to have around.

But she had covertly been singled out from the rest,

Her emotions had betrayed her to push her into a formidable darkness.

She neither felt grief, nor joy.

Neither could she cry nor could she laugh.

Neither could she worry nor be a free spirit.

All she did was walk the world with a façade of opacity,

Guarding what remained of her so ferociously.

Bruises and aches were now a routine,

She feared nothing more than her own soul.

Nobody ever asked, and she never disclosed

She always fought the war behind shut doors of her room.

Every night after another failed attempt at her deathly arsenal

She practiced how to smile in front of her mirror and not cringe at the pain.

With a gut full of pills and swollen eyes,

She hustled through her days, the nights being a little vehement.

Life was just a masquerade and time was a matter of patience

Before she would be sucked into her morbid craving.

One grave night marked her escape,

She had braved the use of the kitchen knife at last.

There was a smile pasted on her lifeless self when she was found the next day,

Teary eyes and puzzled minds surrounded her to lament the loss of the young soul.

But does any amount of grieving matter now,

When her pleading wounds remained unseen and her growing silence remained unheard

As she lived at the mercy of a conspiring fate.

Do not feel awkward or repulsive towards talking to someone you think is haplessly diseased with the condition. Walk up to them and ask. Make the person feel important, that there is someone to see through his/her compelled positivity; that he/she need not suffer behind shunted emotions.

Maybe your attention and realisation of it was all that the person affected really needed.
#LetsHelp