A Bolt From The Blue

imageSo engrossed was she in the library with poetry, that she lost track of time was late in reaching her hostel. Waiting at the gate, Geeta was hoping the otherwise stern matron would let her in, or maybe the kind old watchman? But she could see no one. Worry soon became fear, but the police patrolling made her feel cautiously safe. As she slid into the darkness to hide herself, she could hear the policeman’s soft footsteps come closer. Just as a blood-curdling scream built up in her lungs, a huge soft hand muffled out any sounds. Before she knew it, he was forcing himself on her. Raped and helpless, she couldn’t muster the courage to file a complaint, all she knew was that he was a policeman named was R. Singh. Dejected, she packed her bags and fled for an unknown destination, unaware that he left more of himself inside her than he bargained for.

A year later, in a nondescript village, she bore the child of hate. She didn’t even want to know its gender and gave it up for adoption. With the secret buried in at the back of her closet, she went on to marry an RTI activist. Jaganath was a nice man, just and fair, but she always feared that her secrets would destroy the happy life she had become cozy in. As years passed on, fear was a constant companion: the petrifying death threats often kept her on tenterhooks. The thought of being helpless and alone again in the big bad world without her caring husband haunted her deeply. Years passed by and one day, without warning, fate played its ugliest card. Geeta and her Jagu were enjoying an unusual leisurely Sunday morning tea session. Little did she know, the 5 minutes that she left him alone to fetch the newspaper will turn her world upside-down. At the gate of his very own house, he was shot dead by a corrupt policeman. Her blood froze in terror and anger. It took all her strength to come to terms with the loss and all the questions. Effectively though, it turned her off newspapers. But, as is true for any respected activist, love, sympathy, awe, and shock poured in through the grief. She never really wanted to be a part of any of the “activism” that followed his death. She was a victim of her own situation, and she refused to be a poster girl for it.

Shattered, she chose to be celibate to his loving memory, until she encountered a man not too young, but neither was he old enough to be her father. He seemed to be smitten with her and eventually she let him sweep her off her feet. She had finally lowered her guard, and poured her heart out to Ashok. But she still kept some cards close to her chest, playing the game of wait and watch, just to be sure that her keeper of secrets was the one she could trust. As the mature romance blossomed with her old man, they eventually started spending a lot of time in each other’s happy company. But fate seemed to be a fair-weathered friend to Geeta. As she prepared a feast of to help reduce the severity of what her closet hid, Ashok asked her to accompany him to the pension office. These small things, he deduced, mattered to Geeta; knowing that she was never privy to such simple romantic pleasures of life.

Walking into the dingy old office, Geeta realised that she knows nothing about what Ashok did for a living in his youth. Quite taken by the warm greeting and reception he received, she asked him about his work life. He replied gleefully that the was a cop: fair, and just man with a clean slate, and was well admired and respected in his own social circle. The revelation had hit her like a bolt out of the blue. Politely retracing her steps, she decided to walk away from the suddenly claustrophobic place. Walking into nothingness, she made the best possible effort of reaching home without spilling any tears. But once in the confines of her own nest, she let herself flow a river. Why did this have to happen? Why did she let her guard down? Why, oh why, another cop? The questions and the tears refused to stop. Composing herself after what seemed like an eternity, she walked to her cupboard to pack for yet another destination unknown, shattered and bruised one more time in life. She decided to pick the first and the cheapest getaway that would come her way at the interstate bus terminus.

Ashok, baffled by her sudden exit was left confused, angry, and worried. Was it something he said? Did he cross the line? How can she just take off? I hope she’s fine. With his brain on overdrive, he frantically tried calling her, only to reach the automated “This number is switched off” message. Anxious of her safety, he reached her doorstep, only to find the house locked. Dejected and hurt by her stoic silence, he accepted his defeat, but he chose to be persistent — he wanted to know what went wrong so suddenly.

Then a month later, Geeta finally musted the courage to give Ashok his much-needed closure. They decide on a coffee shop, where they could talk without being bothered. Geeta finally explained her moral dilemma to Ashok: He’s perfect for her, but the wounds of her past are too deep to heal. She’s been scarred for life and cannot come to terms with the fact that she can lead a peaceful life with him, knowing he was once a cop. Heartbroken, Ashok walks away, leaving Geeta with her thoughts; shattered again by her haunted past…

The Choices We Make

055Relationships are a strange and sticky part of your life. While you will be explained that your spiritual being is always a singular unit that is above everything else, it will be drilled into your system from an early age, that you need to keep that very self, or ego aside to accommodate everyone and everything else that keeps you away from that very core of your soul.

This is probably the greatest conflict of adulthood, and that is where the concept of yin and yang germinates. Since man is a social animal, his existence, growth, memories, and karmas are always connected. You will always need a catalyst to tip your karmic balance to either side, good or bad. Whom you choose, and why you chose them, shape your journey of life. And these relationships are not always intimate: Some may be platonic, and others a mere catalyst. How you behave with  the beings around you, and more importantly, how you let them go when their task with you is done, is where you learn your lessons. That is where we shape our personalities; we decide to be caustic, nice, or nasty… The choice is ultimately ours.

Superman (It’s Not Easy) – Five For Fighting

I can’t stand to fly I’m not that naive
I’m just out to find
The better part of me

I’m more than a bird, I’m more than a plane
I’m more than some pretty face beside a train
And it’s not easy to be me

I wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie

Bout a home I’ll never see

It may sound absurd but don’t be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed but won’t you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream?
And it’s not easy to be me

Up up and away away from me
Well it’s all right

You can all sleep sound tonight
I’m not crazy or anything

I can’t stand to fly I’m not that naive
Men weren’t meant to ride
With clouds between their knees
I’m only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street

Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me
Inside of me, inside of me,
yeah
Inside of me, inside of me

I’m only a man in a funny red sheet
I’m only a man looking for a dream
I’m only a man in a funny red sheet
And it’s not easy, it’s not easy to be me

Turning A New Page: A Birthday Like Never Before!

111You can never have enough friends, never have too many of them, or ever run out of them. There was a time, when I truly thought I can’t keep pace with the people I enjoy being with, so maybe it’s time not to forge any new bonds. But friendships, possibly like love, just happen. The last one year didn’t really start with a bang. A new workplace, after a few traumatic experiences, meant a more cautious and closed outlook to everything. By mid year, things just couldn’t get any worse.

And, surprisingly, they didn’t. Slowly, and gradually, I found some missing pieces. Joys are never where you look for, and neither is despair. But yet these manage to find you without fail. 2013 has made me a better person: It made me a person that I like; it defined who I wanted to be.

And I couldn’t have done it without you. At any point I thought I can’t do this alone, I didn’t have to, I always had someone to fall back on. There have been people I’ve known for ages, but truly discovered only now. Their stories awe me, their strength is baffling, and their grace and dignity is moving. For stepping up to task of standing by me, sharing your stories, and for just being the person that you are to me, I thank you.

You my dear friend, are the best birthday gift I could have never asked for: I’ve never known what I wanted, but you guys did!

Joining The Dots

Hindsight is probably the first step you take towards learning. If you can’t look back and realize the true meaning of your experiences, life hasn’t really taught you anything yet. If you are going to let things pass you by in life, they might seem as bliss at first but the tests of these unlearnt lessons will soon catch up with you. Most often than never, we leave it to others to mirror out our true feelings. And it’s only after a bit of deliberation that we realize, we were told something we knew all along, albeit with a new lesson, that we didn’t really need to put our heart on our sleeves. A bit of introspection would have sorted most of the husk!

Carnival of Rust (Poets Of The Fall)

To breathe the name
Of your savior
In your hour of need
And taste the blame,
If the flavor should remind you of greed
Of implication, insinuation and you will
Till you cannot lie still
In all this turmoil
Before red cave and foil
Come closing in for a kill

Come feed the rain
’cause I’m thirsty for your love,
Dancing underneath the skies of lust
Yeah feed the rain
’cause without your love
My life ain’t nothing but this carnival of rust

It’s all a game
Avoiding failure
When true colors will bleed
All in the name of misbehavior
And the things we don’t need

I lost for after no disaster can touch,
Touch us anymore
And more than ever
I hope to never fall,
Where enough is not the same it was before

Come feed the rain
’cause I’m thirsty for your love,
Dancing underneath the skies of lust
Yeah feed the rain
’cause without your love
My life ain’t nothing but this carnival of rust
Yeah feed the rain
’cause I’m thirsty for your love,
Dancing underneath the skies of lust
Yeah feed the rain
’cause without your love
My life ain’t nothing but this carnival of rust

Don’t walk away, don’t walk away,
Ooh when the world is burning
Don’t walk away, don’t walk away,
Ooh when the heart is yearning
Don’t walk away, don’t walk away,
Ooh when the world is burning
Don’t walk away, don’t walk away,
Ooh when the heart is yearning…

The Tensed Past Tense

Regret is possibly the most strongest of all emotions, it’s not always easy to deal with things that can’t be undone or redone. And the most damaging of all is when you don’t know why things turned out the way they did, that too with no warning. In hindsight, everything is too plainly obvious, but those observations hurt more than anything else.

But then there would be regrets at a point which offer no explanations, no hindsight and no warnings. Those stay with you for as long as you live. It’s these little gems that teach you to pick up the pieces one day at a time, and learn one new lesson with each piece of an incomplete puzzle that may never be whole again.

The song, Yesterday has been written and crooned by Paul McCartney where he sings about how he dealt with the loss of his mother. It shows confusion, guilt, a sudden sense of responsibly and an overwhelming sense of sadness. To everyone who’s loved and lost without a reason: rest in peace; body, mind and soul.

Yesterday (The Beatles)
Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away,
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay,
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be,
There’s a shadow hanging over me,
Oh yesterday came suddenly…

Why she had to go I don’t know. She wouldn’t say.
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play,
Now I need a place to hide away,
Oh I believe in yesterday…

Why she had to go I don’t know. She wouldn’t say.
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday…

A Happy After-life…To The Ones Who Survive!

It is hard to feel the loss of something that you have not experienced in its entirety. Yet when you do come around feeling that loss, it takes a lot of energy to deal with the stagnant flow of rhetoric questions that your mind throws at you.  That is exactly what happens when your first love lets go of you. It is much, much later that you fully realise the significance of all the experiences that you had and the ones that you could’ve had.

It’s not often that you are treated to a piece of heaven, and when the doors snaps shut it takes a part of your soul. But it’s never too late to grieve for a loss: the realisation is not always sudden.

However, life is not always a bed of roses. Sometimes, you are lucky enough to realise that you pulled yourself away just in time to hurt yourself further. Some firsts in life can leave you with bitter taste too.

Living a life beyond a ‘boulevard of broken dreams’ can be tough, but then again, memories are sometimes the best reminder of times well spent and a wholesome life. It is healthy to hold on to memories; sometime that’s all you get.

And sometimes you will meet people who will give you the full truth about the one you lost, good, bad, ugly and nasty without candy flossing things and no strings attached. That way it’s not a fantasy in your head you are holding on to, but respect for a relationship that didn’t survive.

In the end, it’s easy to like a pure soul, but it’s better to love something more tangible and real which you can manage to love despite all its flaws, that too beyond a lifetime of reality and existence.

Too Much Heaven (The Beegees)
Nobody gets too much heaven no more,
It’s much harder to come by,
I’m waiting in line.
Nobody gets too much love anymore,
It’s as high as a mountain,
And harder to climb,

Oh you and me girl,
Got a lot of love in store,
And it flows through you,
And it flows through me,
And I love you so much more.

Than my life…
I can see beyond forever,
Ev’rything we are will never die,
Loving’s such a beautiful thing.

Oh you make my world, a summer day,
Are you just a dream to fade away?

Nobody gets too much heaven no more,
It’s much harder to come by,
I’m waiting in line.

Nobody gets too much love anymore,
It’s as high as a mountain
,And harder to climb.

You and me girl, got a highway to the sky,
We can turn away from the night and day,
And the tears you had to cry.

You’re my life…
I can see a new tomorrow,
Ev’rything we are will never die,
Loving’s such a beautiful thing,

When you are to me, the light above,
Made for all to see our precious love.
Nobody gets too much heaven no more,

It’s much harder to come by,
I’m waiting in line.
Nobody gets too much love anymore,
It’s as high as a mountain,
And harder to climb.

Love is such a beautiful thing,
You make my world a summer day,
Are you just a dream to fade away?

Nobody gets too much heaven no more,
It’s much harder to come by,
I’m waiting in line.
Nobody gets too much love anymore,
It’s as high as a mountain,
And harder to climb.

Nobody gets too much love anymore,
It’s as wide as a river and harder to cross.
Nobody gets too much heaven no more,
It’s much harder to come by,
I’m waiting in line.

Nobody gets too much love anymore,
It’s as high as a mountain,
And harder to climb…

Coming of Age: A Decade in Time

The first decade of the new millennium was a realization as I stepped of the comfort of school life and structured learning into the big bad world. Everything that I have to show for myself, I earned in these ten long years, right from my degrees to my new family life. Whether for better or for worse, only time can tell. However, here are some of the lessons I learnt through this beautiful and gruelling decade, with the best of companions that God handpicked, just for me! Hopefully the next decade goes a bit easy on me.

  1. It is good to believe. Faith however is optional.
  2. Blood is thicker than water; even then it flows smoothly continuously and without jerks, despite distances and differences.
  3. A sibling is the best gift god gives you. He tops it with an amazing life-partner!
  4. You can’t choose your relatives or co-workers, but choose friends wisely.
  5. A friend in need, most often than never, is an opportunist in disguise.
  6. Pay compliments without malice and in goodtime. A delayed compliment often translates into jealously.
  7. Actions without expectations are the best. It helps you keep anxiety in check.
  8. Revenge is the strongest emotion of all, but karma always wins.
  9. Keep prejudices at bay. That way your mind doesn’t lie to you.
  10. Never stock up any emotions. Laugh when something’s funny, cry when you’re sad, and yell when you’re angry. But never displace it to the wrong person; not even yourself.
  11. Enjoy everything in its entirety, it’s easier to analyse and dissect later.
  12. A regret of action can be rectified, but a time bound regret can’t. Do all that you want in good time and with foresight; ‘could have beens’ and ‘should have beens’ are very difficult to live with.
  13. Be open to change, but learn to draw the line subtly.
  14. Inquisitiveness is good if your questions are answered; most often than never.
  15. It’s good to have perspectives, but be cautious when sharing them.
  16. Never hate someone who has a point of view and has the courage to express it too. Such people are difficult to come by.
  17. Never put your self in someone else’s shoes, they will end up blaming you for stealing them; extra pairs of shoes are not always good.
  18. For all the bad things you do, your children pay the price. Be better parents for them right from the start.
  19. Have an imagination; it becomes easier to appreciate the finer things in life.
  20. To have a healthy love life, you need to be the closest of friends for life.
  21. Love is always between equals.
  22. You need to be truly blessed to love unconditionally and not be taken for granted in return.
  23. It is healthy to hold on to memories. Sometime it’s all you have.
  24. It’s never too late to grieve for a loss. Realisation is not always sudden.
  25. Professionalism is not the best of virtues to have, but it guarantees you sound sleep every night.
  26. Speak your mind, but choose your words.
  27. Don’t expect perfection, only aim for it. That way you will still like yourself in the end.
  28. Its better to fantasize than procrastinate that too while appearing to be busy. That’s what multitasking is all about!
  29. Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve, being smart is better than being intelligent.
  30. It’s easier to remember nightmares in detail, but dreams are very forgettable. Same goes for joys and sorrows.
  31.  Dogs love you unconditionally, even if you don’t feed them or play with them everyday.
  32. A relationship that can stand the test of geographical distances and get better despite of the void is for keeps.
  33. When you love unconditionally, there are only random acts of kindness, no sacrifices of compromises.
  34. There are no such things as rose-tinted glasses; the world is full of cynics who are negative. Positivism is, at times, overrated.
  35. Competition is never healthy. You feel the guilt despite winning or losing.
  36. Avoid monetizing your hobby; the very essence of its de-stressing nature is lost. Make money from your second most favourite thing instead.
  37. All the questions of life come with options. But at times, you get the results the hard way.
  38. Never say no to anyone. Whether you carry out the deed is a different thing altogether. Save yourself the energy of getting into meaningless arguments that leave a bitter taste without doing any good.
  39. Keep your eyes and ears open, and your mouth shut. You need to use only your ears and shut your brain when criticism comes about.
  40. Don’t try to change the world all by yourself. It’s quite capable to do so by itself and that too at a blistering pace that you don’t even notice!
  41. You can’t make everybody like you. Settle with liking yourself to start with.
  42. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, especially when you are suicidal.
  43. Work is the worse thing to get addicted to. Detached attachment is the best medicine.
  44. No one but you can decide your own calibre. Others just try to clip your wings.
  45. Honesty is the best policy only if it doesn’t get you into trouble.
  46. It’s good to be punctual, even if no one else is. It goes a long way.
  47. Create a happy place in your mind. It helps you switch off your mind and wander away when in boring meetings. But cultivate sharp reflexes before that.
  48. Read across genres. You never know what you would end up enjoying.
  49. You can never learn from another’s mistakes, you got to make them all yourself and learn things the hard way. But it’s important to get the best out of every folly you commit.
  50. ‘I am sorry’ is the most powerful of statement. Even without any emotional backing, it helps you save energy for more important decisions in life.