December 30, 2010

I wonder just how good is "good enough".

November 12, 2010


It's funny how fate arranges things so that everything falls apart at the same time, like a house of cards crumbling in on itself, disturbed by just the light touch of a careless hand.

It's also funny how living, breathing people morph into limp, two-dimensional figures overnight, losing everything that once defined their character.

Last of all, it's funny how winter mornings are amazing.

October 03, 2010


It has been a while.

The monotonous routine of school has done me in. I have begun with the cruel task of overworking myself, ignoring the chilling screams of my rational mind as it pleads for rest, for sleep. I have stopped thinking, planning, analyzing. I simply attack each day as it approaches. I have started trying to get rid of those seemingly unimportant thoughts that have often clouded my ability to concentrate. I have also noticed that I do not spend as much time engaging in conversation as I used to.

And I am missing out on the simple pleasures that life and its many facets have to offer. I miss how I could gently turn the pages of a book with my fingertips and permit myself to be transported to fantastic worlds. I miss the warmth and happiness that comes with wielding a pen and allowing it to flow freely, spewing out my thoughts through the words it traces. I miss bursting into song. I miss being able to stand in the rain, letting it pour down on me and enjoy the feel of the wind lightly tousling my hair. I miss being able to stand on the balcony with hundreds of chirruping birds for company and stare at the setting sun.

I wish I could stare at this picture forever and forget about everything else.

September 15, 2010

Temper Tantrums

Sometimes you just have to be angry.

I usually keep my temper under control, locking it away in a heavily-guarded vault somewhere in my head, because custom dictates that we converse politely with other people as far as possible. But there are times when the door of the vault gives way, and most of the frustration and the venom rushes out with all its ferocity. And as the old memories come back to haunt you, faithfully recalled by your over-efficient brain, you just have to let yourself loose.

I guess you deserved it.

September 05, 2010

At some point in life, your perception of the world undergoes a sea change and you begin to rethink your priorities. What used to be dreadfully important to you doesn't command even a fraction of your energy now. A deep-rooted dislike for a certain thing miraculously gives way to tolerance. Prejudice, bias, the preconceived notions that have been drilled into your skull right from the time when you were born seem baseless.

You change. You mature and take life into your own hands, refusing to believe the barrage of half-truths being thrust upon you by almost every person you happen to be acquainted with. The world can be cruel sometimes. It can gnaw at you, feeding on your darkest fears, consuming you like a parasite, until one day, there is nothing left inside you. Or it can deal fatal blow after fatal blow and knock you out cold in an instant. It can shove worthless advice into your face, in the hope that you make the mistake of believing it all and proceeding to your doom.

But sometimes, you survive. And once you look back on it all and laugh, you know that you've reached there. There are much more important things to worry about. Much greater losses to mourn.

And you charge ahead, like the brave warrior on his chariot staring straight ahead, not daring to look back. The winding path in front of you is uncertain. You have no map with you. No guide. Only yourself. And, in spite of all this newfound bravado, you can't help but feel a tad insecure. Apprehensive.

You have no idea how long you have. Or where you will end up.

September 02, 2010


It was yet another rainy day. Cold, bitter and cruel.

The dull, grey skies were of no interest to the thousands of people who crawled the earth below, each preoccupied with his own worries; his own joys; his own grief. Some worried about their futures. Some worried about their jobs. And some worried about the next day's meal.

I could hear shouting. Loud, harsh voices. Shoving, pushing carelessly, they made their way through the crowd to their destination. And there was chatter. Incessant, unnecessary chatter. A sea of voices, waiting to be heard; wanting to be understood. The cars behind us honked. The rain lashed the earth with renewed ferocity, the wind threatening to uproot the trees that lined the street.

But then, you were there. And for that split second, the rain, the people, the voices, the cars, all of them disappeared into oblivion, leaving behind a lull of calm. A whisper of silence.

For that brief moment when time stood still, we were us once again.

August 28, 2010


The clouds in the sky begin to take on mysterious forms as night approaches. I love watching them with my head leaning against the cold steel of the jaali in my bedroom window. Not a soul is in sight, and the only sounds that reach my ears are the whirring of the ceiling fan, the occasional car smoothly negotiating the road outside, the unrestrained howling of the wind, and the soft whispering of the trees in the garden. The trees are eerie enough to prompt me to glance furtively around my room at the slightest sound or movement, for their crooked branches and broad leaves silhouetted against the silver gleam of the moon cast bizarre shadows on the walls.

The night air and the silence do wonders for the headaches I suffer from on a regular basis. The shadows of the jaali paint dark patterns on my skin, contrasting with the pallor of the moonlight. I pause to puzzle over what the shadowy figure walking past the gate could possibly be doing at 2 AM. I could sit here forever, but my eyes and brain eventually succumb to the tempting allure of sleep, and I drift away, not with a basket full of worries and a bevy of worthless thoughts cluttering my head with their unnecessary static, but with a delightful sense of peace and tranquility.

Never mind that I stayed up half the night to do this, and I will probably grumble my way through school the next day. At any rate, neend eludes me these days, unless I stay awake until the clock strikes an ungodly hour.

August 25, 2010

What do you do when the things you dread the most start happening in front of your very eyes? What do you do when, all in a flash, the hopes and dreams that you've been building right from the time you were able to think are washed away? When the rose-tinted glasses with which you viewed the world are shattered?

What do you do when the accumulated bitterness of several long years finally breaks the restraining forces of reason? When the truth gives you a slap in the face, forcing you to see things as they are, disbelieving the little voice in your head that eternally screams optimism?

What do you do when you're forced to hate they very people who've brought you up because of what they've put you through?

August 15, 2010

Empty Promises

Happy 63rd, India.

Another Independence Day is upon us. I remember how we used to look forward to the 15th of August every single year when we were kids. We were taught to wear our patriotism on our sleeves, quite literally. And we'd believe every word they said about 'progress', 'liberty', 'tolerance', 'equality'. Words that showed up every now and then in our year four Social Studies textbooks. Words that we were required to learn and write down in tests, but never quite understood.

And then, we grew up. And opened our eyes to the world in front of us. We learned to tell the good from the bad. And the bad from the ugly. And we began to wonder, what do we have to be proud about?

India is burning. Nearly every corner of the country is in flames. We're nothing more than a tangle of differences, our unity waiting to collapse, the common fabric that makes us Hindustani ready to tear into a million pieces, at the slightest provocation. Whatever happened to unity in diversity?

We say we're proud of being the largest democracy in the world. And yet, we refuse to do something as simple as casting a vote. Last April was a mess. Where were you, Bombay? Where was all your anger? With all the enthusiasm you were building up before D-Day, all you could manage was a measly 42% voter turnout?

We talk about non-violence. Of tolerance. Of human rights and equality. Justice. And yet, we calmly instruct our army jawans to take innocent lives. We shield serial offenders from the normal course of the law. We deny our own citizens the process of justice.

We watch, unaffected, as the corrupt politicians who run the country make mistake after mistake. Fatal blunder after fatal blunder. We turn away from their incompetence. We'd rather stay blind than take action.

We continue to live our lives, cosily closeted in luxury, just because we're fortunate enough to have money. We toss around words of sympathy for the victims of the unfortunate disasters that hold our country ransom every now and them. And then, they're forgotten; they remain as long-lost memories in the dark recesses of our minds, gathering dust. We choose not to care. Yahan sab kuch chalta hai. We believe that we're somehow above the process of reforming our motherland. We wait patiently, in the hope that someday, someone who thinks along the same lines that we do arrives to set things right. But that day never comes.

63 years, and we're nothing but a land of empty promises.

August 10, 2010

I'm counting the days.

Three down.

Seven to go.

The 20th is such a long way off. Sigh.

July 18, 2010

Testing times

Three weeks to go.

Sigh. As overworked as I am with a barrage of assignments to finish, tests to study for, deadlines to meet, and homework to complete; now there's an added worry. I better start studying.

Considering I don't get nice long breaks in between exams, I always wonder how on earth I manage to pass them, and end up doing pretty decent, too. I have several not-too-happy memories of staying up 'til the wee hours of the night, poring over my monstrous books and solving tricky question after tricky question, and then crawling into bed, and falling asleep instantly without even bothering to take off my glasses. And then giving the exam a few hours later in a horribly sleep-deprived state. After that, get home, bleary-eyed and tired, worrying about the next day's exam. Lather, rinse, and repeat, every day, until it's finally over.

Anyway, my brain is a mess right now, full of assorted, mundane little details, continuously worrying about whether or not I'll get through this year alive. Why is everything so difficult? And, when things fall apart, they always fall apart all at the same time, so that I feel like tearing my hair out.

Khair. Guess I have to be content with cursing the education system. Which needs a major overhaul, by the way.

July 14, 2010

Ink on Paper

My hand moves swiftly across the sheet of paper, my long fingers arranged awkwardly around the pen, as they always are. All around me is the soothing calm of solitude; the only audible sounds are the whirring of the ceiling fan, and the scratching of my pen. The words form in my head, and flow out gracefully in the form of long, black strokes on paper. Curves, lines, loops. My slightly slanting writing, with its sweeping Gs and Ys, curled Rs, and abnormally long Ls.

I pause to think of the perfect phrase, and the pen stops moving. The harsh blackness of the ink forms a large blot on the clean, crisp whiteness of the paper. Then the pen moves again. But the blot stays. The sharp tip of the pen strikes out a few words here and there, replacing them; sometimes it omits whole sentences. The whole sheet is now covered in my writing. And punctuated with ugly blots and scratches.

My eyes skim the lines traced by the pen, taking in the words they form. After some more corrections, I'm satisfied. I lay the sheet of paper among many such others, all crisp and white, covered in black lines.

Then I feel a sudden warmth spreading over my entire being, and filling every part of me with calm. Writing, as usual, gives me inexplicable joy. Sometimes, though, I wish I could write out my life. Reduce it to lines of black ink on white paper. And then everything would go according to plan.


July 04, 2010

I was once a doll

Has it ever occurred to you that I am a living, breathing human, with feelings of my own? I doubt it. To you, I've always been something akin to a live doll, that walks and talks and breathes, but possesses no capacity to experience emotions of any kind; you were under the impression that you could do whatever you wished, and I'd willingly bend into submission. I was just an experiment. You could dictate nearly every action of mine. My feelings were nothing short of a joke. You could play with them like they were insignificant toys, just the way you played your cruel, harsh game with me, your adorable little doll.

Oh yes, you'd pretend to care on the countless occasions during which I shed tears, but of course you didn't. I was your doll. You could give me even the most blatant of all lies, and if you wished, I'd believe it. I was a plaything. You'd watch carelessly as I stumbled and fell, not caring to help me get on my feet again. I existed for the sole purpose of your happiness. My own had no importance whatsoever. Who cared what happened to me anyway?

And for some silly reason, I let this happen.

 I still continue to be mesmerized by the empty words that escape your lips, accompanied by your cold, pretentious voice.

But I've promised myself that I'll never be the doll again. And I wish you'd fall off a cliff. It'd make my life a whole lot easier; I wouldn't have to experience the longing and pain that ensues whenever you strike up old conversations, day after day.

June 25, 2010

The calm before the storm

Contentment is a wonderful emotion.

That being said, emotions themselves are definitely among the most evil things that roam the planet. Although a world devoid of these strange forces would seem abhorrent, absence of emotion would definitely bathe our restless minds in serenity and bliss. Emotions control us, and that's a fact, let's face it. They dictate nearly every action we perform, every word we speak, every thought that crawls through the corridors of our colossal minds...

They walk, they run, they slide up and down, left and right, and in every possible direction. They trace straight lines, twists, loops, zigzags; or simply an endless, shapeless, winding path...infinite and tempestuous. They exchange places with each other, and seem to enjoy the prospect of tormenting us with their vacillation; happy becomes sad, and sad becomes angry, and suddenly, in the blink of an eye, everything metamorphoses into one giant, unexplainable feeling that painfully clogs the regular thought processes that keep us functioning normally.

But right now? This is different. Somehow, contentment is beautiful. Strangely, though, I cannot comprehend why I'm feeling a sudden, inexplicable burst of happiness. I don't have anything to be happy about, it's way past midnight and my sleep-deprived self is trying to get some studying done, so that my grades turn out half-decent at the very least.

They started out as isolated bubbles of emotion suspended somewhere in my being, and slowly morphed into a breezy exuberance that, somehow, forced my brain to believe that everything around me was perfect, just as I wanted it to be, whereas the truth was quite the opposite. Somehow, even the prospect of countless tests, exams, submission deadlines and whatnot couldn't frighten the happiness out of me. I've stopped caring.  Today, I feel calm. Serene. At peace. Like I'm standing on the beach, watching in awe as the massive crests of water race up to the shoreline and break majestically on the sharp, jagged rocks. The endless chatter of fleeting thoughts that normally ensues in my head is gone; instead, the corridors are empty, and all I can see in them are the tall, imposing pillars of gleaming stone that hold them up.

How I wish that this wasn't just a transient phase. It's probably the fabled 'calm before the storm'.

June 16, 2010

Let the rain fall down.

It's raining torrents. I can hear the loud claps of thunder and see the sharp, bright flashes of lightning, both in perfect symphony with the rain pouring from the sky. I can hear the howling wind, and although it sounds eerie enough to send shivers down my spine, I feel strangely drawn to this madness. I can feel the tangled web of emotions running high in seemingly empty space; I do not know their origin, or their purpose, or whether they have anything to do with the weather at all. Why is Nature's fury always such a thing of beauty? It's deliciously inviting. I want to stand still in the street outside and allow the torrents of water pouring from the skies to wash over me. I want to be rid of all emotion, all thought, all feeling. I want to be empty, like a deserted ruin, where the only living creatures that might want to inhabit such a place are wild, helpless beings, and where no soul may spot me; that is, see me as the pitiful human that I am. I want to be able to roam the earth freely, without apprehension or fear, discovering at my own pace, taking my own time to learn.

I want to break free from the endless basket of nagging worries that is slowly consuming my being even as I write this.

I just want to be. Just exist. That is all.

June 08, 2010

I like this new template. It kinda fits. :D

Who knows, it might even put some life into my exhausted, worn-out self.

June 07, 2010

That time of the year.

Bleh, it's that time of the year again. New school year. And it'll be my last.

Decision making has never been so hard. And it has clearly killed my desire to write.

May 28, 2010

One year later.

I can't believe it has been a whole year.

I've always been one to resist change of any kind. I'm rather terrified of anything to do with it, to be honest. Small changes are somewhat manageable; it's always the more important ones that cause my mind to fall to pieces. That being said, moving last year came as a huge shock to me. The very thought of leaving practically my whole life behind, and start afresh in an alien place seemed abhorrent, inhuman and cruel. I surprised myself, though, by taking it way better than I had thought I would. True, there were those moments when all I wanted to do was pack my bags and go back home. (It's rather funny how I still refer to Bombay as 'home'. People never lose the opportunity to bring this discrepancy to my attention.) But for the most part, I managed to pull through. In spite of hitting numerous obstacles along the way.

It has not been an easy year for me at all. I used to be adept at shrugging off stress, but I'm afraid this no longer holds true. Stress has turned my brain into a disorderly, chaotic mess. My mind is perpetually filled with myriad emotions, ranging from joy to sorrow and everything else in between. And there's the issue of worry. Worrying thoughts reside in my brain like parasitic worms; consuming me bit by bit, and eventually destroying me. School, assignments, exams, university. These four words play over and over in my head in an endless loop; like a broken record that nobody cares to turn off. My mind has become like a busy road junction; where things come to a complete standstill if even one such shadow of a thought refuses to move on its way. This often keeps me awake till the wee hours of the night; contemplating, analyzing, reflecting upon every minute detail, until the last vestige of energy left in my being is consumed, and my brain drifts off to sleep.

Much as I'd like to say that I've learned something worthwhile over the past year, I cannot. I assure you that I haven't. I still continue to make the same mistakes; still continue to expect the same things from life, in spite of knowing  very well that the odds of me actually getting them are very slim. Experience is supposed to be the best teacher, but I simply don't seem to learn.

And then there's you. You're nothing less than an infectious disease, slowly consuming every cell of my brain, and you need to be eradicated from every single chamber of my mind for good. You need to be shattered into a thousand pieces so that each piece may gather dust in its coffin in some remote corner of the world. So that I can stop lingering on old memories and indulging in wishful thinking. So that I never repeat the mistakes I made.

This is what I seem to have become, one year later. When will I ever learn?

May 17, 2010

I suffer from wanderlust.

One of the defects that I've been born with is an unnaturally tiny attention span. (No, I’ve been checked for ADD and I do not suffer from it). My mind is horribly fickle. It can jump from one tiny, insignificant thing to another in a remarkably short time period. Small wonder, then, that I cannot devote myself wholeheartedly to any task that requires a considerable amount of attention and mental exertion (a really good book is an exception, of course). This has its own advantages, though.

When distracted from life's endless tasks by the call of some worthless, inconspicuous (but shiny) object, my mind embarks on a journey of its own. It takes life into its own hands and manages to transport me from the closed confines of my skull to places far-off and wonderful. People often deprecate my day-dreaming and call it worthless, but I beg to differ. My mind carves out an imaginary path so tempting and so very intriguing that I forget time, space and the entire world around myself. It throws up ideas and people that I never knew even existed. It opens up new vistas of discovery and adventure. It permits me to explore its deepest chambers, and each chamber leads to an unexplored realm, silently waiting to be discovered. Sorely tempted, I succumb to its lure, savouring every twist and turn, every dead-end and every detour with gusto.

My seemingly useless day-dreams have taken me to places that I’ll probably never be able to visit in real life (some of them have transported me to queer worlds that probably don’t even exist). I’ve met every kind of person imaginable, been in every possible situation. I've experienced joy, sorrow, disappointment, fear, excitement, and every other conceivable emotion.

The sole purpose of this sort of insanity is escapism. I find it amazing that I can allow my mind to take over and transport me to bizarre, surreal places. I can escape from the stress caused by my ever-growing to-do list, the migraines and numerous aches and pains that I endure on a daily basis, my annoying sibling…all of it, albeit only for a while. These journeys, somehow, succeed in lulling my frustrated, overworked and exhausted self into a state of calm, filling me with a sense of peace and tranquility.

I look forward to my daydream sessions with a fervent, almost crazy enthusiasm. I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember.

It’s what keeps me sane, day after day, year after year.

(This is probably where my mind will travel next.)

May 12, 2010


I never really understood what people do with blogs. Yes, I started one.  To what purpose, I myself cannot comprehend. What am I meant to do, really? Do I ramble incoherently about my pathetic existence? Much as anyone would like to pretend that every day in their life is an engrossing adventure (possibly involving a few dragons), I cannot, and choose not to. My existence, unfortunately, deals with far more mundane matters, like the towering pile of textbooks that sits menacingly on my desk as I write this. Hardly the stuff fantasies are made of. Do I chronicle the little thoughts that flit in and out of my tired brain like butterflies; worthless, evanescent thoughts that, surely, are neither of any use nor interest to any creature that roams this planet? Would I be willing to expose the darkest, seldom-visited chambers and catacombs of my mind to any and every stranger, crawling the World Wide Web, who somehow happens to stumble upon this blog? I don’t know. Yet.

I assume blogging is a skill, acquired and perfected by experience. Someday, my writing will metamorphose into pieces that are worth reading. Until then, I will have to be content with my useless ranting.

I will learn. Eventually.