Love Again.

It hurts so much that you don’t know what to do. The pain blinds you. You can barely remember you’re alive. Yet you walk around with a smile stitched on to your lips. Telling people you’re okay, when you’re not. Crying into your pillows when no one can see you. Tearing away scribbled letters, that were never posted. Typing messages on your phone that will never be sent. Swallowing in the anger, the disappointment. Staring into the sky and hating the stars because all they did was remind you of that one person.

The sight of others in love begins to repel you. Oh and love songs are a big no-no! Some days you feel anger for yourself. How couldn’t you see it coming? What you did wrong? Somedays it’s pity. You feel sorry for yourself. You look into the mirror and you can’t bear to look at yourself without tears streaking your cheeks. Then you begin pushing away the dreams. Burying every last bit of emotion, just so you don’t feel that crushing pain again.

Building walls because you don’t ever want to feel vulnerable again. You cross your heart & train your mind to look away if it gets remotely attached to someone! You slowly turn into the demon that you dreaded all along. You push everyone away because you can’t bear the thought of them leaving too. At your lowest days you wish you had someone, but then you say you’re better off alone. Then one day you stop mourning your loss. It stops hurting as much as it did. You don’t cry thinking about it now. Your words aren’t as bitter.

Somewhere along the line, you begin to forget what it felt like. The love, the care. The way your heart beat when your lips met. Those days that turned into nights endlessly with them by your side. You try to remember why you held that anger, but you can’t quite remember.

Then when we least expect it, comes someone who is patient enough to tear down your walls. To look into your eyes and see all your bruises. To hold you when you aren’t strong enough to face the world alone. Someone who tells you stories and makes you believe in magic again. Someone who’s voice makes you smile in the middle of the night. Someone who pushes you to be your best. Someone who tells you that you are beautiful on your worst days. Just like that, you know you were meant to be. Just like that, it’s all okay.

And just like that, one day you look at the sky, and the stars look beautiful once again! 🙂

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Mumbai Diaries: The Most Interesting Cabbie In Town!

“It was destiny that brought me here.” Says Mahesh, a 37 year old cabbie I met just a couple days back. Unlike other cabbies who usually dropped me to my workplace every morning, Mahesh seemed very upbeat and chatty.

But what was very appealing about him was his voice. Deep and husky, like the ones you hear in those sexy deodorant ads.

We got talking right from the minute I took the passenger seat next to him. From demonetization to current movies, to animal behavior in the African deserts, Mahesh had a say on everything. And with that beautiful voice of his, I couldn’t help but gleefully join in the conversation.

Jumping from one topic to the other I asked him how he landed up being a cab driver, because it was very surprising to see a person as well read and aware as him to be riding a cab for a living. He grinned at me and said that he recently lost his job. He told me about his college and how he had a diploma in mechanical engineering which held no value now. How he spent 5 months jumping down media agency to another in a chance to get one break into the voice over, radio industry. How his friends left him one by one when his financial condition deteriorated.

Seeing all the amulets and spiritual “jewelry” on him I asked him what kept him going through all of the tough times? Was it god? “My family is my God. It was my wife and children who made me smile on my worst days. They never made me feel like a failure. They never let me down or made false promises like the world or the so called God did.” “I’ve stopped socializing much, whatever free time I have I spend with my family”.

Behind the tough looking face and buttery deep voice if there was something that shone through was his positivity. Mahesh’s story wasn’t really inspiring or one of a kind. We meet so many others like him. People trying to make it big in the city or dreams Bombay! Of those who fail miserably and end up doing things just to survive this rat race. Dreams and hopes forgotten. Succumbing to the pressures of the city life.

But what was refreshing was his attitude towards everything. He still believes that everything that’s happened has happened for the best. He knows that his dreams of becoming a voice over artist seem bleak but that doesn’t stop him from dreaming about it regardless! His thirst for life and the will to do anything for his loved ones is what made his story better than most of ours. I couldn’t help but ask one last question, ” Can I write about you?” He put on his best smile and told me, “Sure Madam! Would you need a picture too?” As if  to say, this wasn’t the first time someone had asked him to do so 🙂

It’s all coming back …

“The hospital is a strange place . It’s a place where happiness and sadness co-exist . There is a continuous cycle of birth and death in action . Its a place that can turn an atheist into a disciple ,but at the same time, it can push someone to the limits of disowning their faith . Fate bought me to this strange place . I waited at the lobby with about 50 others for my turn . Each of us probably had the same hope in our hearts .The same eagerness to return home with our loved ones . I could see a man nervously fidgeting with his phone , two women who murmured and sighed occasionally and a child who cried incessantly in his mother’s arms . But inspite of all the commotion ; there was an unsaid silence , a disagreeable gloom over the place .There was an uneasy feeling running through all of our skins , and no matter what we did , we couldn’t shake it off .
And then all of a sudden I heard a loud thundering voice ,”Relatives of Rosily Palaian ? ” . The voice startled me ! Almost Picking myself up, I approached the half open door in front of me .
At first I desperately searched for a familiar face but couldn’t . After looking around for quite a while I found her .
Her eyes seemed that of a stranger’s . It was dull and lifeless and dazed with morphine . The Air conditioning was a little too cold for her comfort . She kept groaning and twisting about in her 6/4 bed in an unsuccessful attempt to get off it . I could barely recognise her . The ICU had turned her into a completely different person . Even from a distance I could clearly say that she was in pain . The hands that once pinned my hair in braids were now swollen nubs . Her lips seemed parched and dry and had cracks all over . She tried to call out my name but either she couldn’t recollect it, or she had no strength to do so . The infinite tubes and wires entangled around her like snakes .

I could barely stop the tears streaming down my eyes . I couldn’t imagine how she ever got here . To this place that resembled a nightmare . How could she become this person ?
She had forgotten who she was . I remember , her running around the house , busy with her errands . I remember how she loved to eat sweets even though her doctor had advised otherwise .
But the person I was seeing before me wasn’t her .
At that moment I realised that the person we were trying to save , was already lost . Even if she did get better , we could never recover her spirit . We could never recover HER”

This happened a week before my grandmother finally passed away . And a part of me was relieved to see her pain and agony finally end .
As ironic as irony could get , she died on her birthday . Her life had literally come around in a complete circle . She had suffered more than she deserved . Why ? I can’t say . But inspite of all the wounds that scarred her life she remained the meek and humble soul that she was . Now that I think about it , I can’t say she was talented or had an extraordinary personality . She spent most of her day in the kitchen .Didn’t have many friends to socialise with . Her family was all she had . We her children and grandchildren were the source of all her happiness . And that’s why it hurts so much to realise that she’s gone now . To know that no one else will love us like she did . Selfless and complete love . But I’d like to think she’s in a better place now . She can finally be at peace . She now has achieved ,the complete happiness and bliss that she always deserved .

-To a perfect wife , a doting mother and the most loving grandmother ,Roslin Palaian .
June 13, 1944- June 13 ,2016 .

Two Tales .

For those of you who are not aware of it , The Kashmir conflict is a territorial conflict between India, Pakistan, and to a limited degree, China. It started just after the partition of India. India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir, including the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1947 and 1965, as well as the Kargil War . And there have been constant conflicts between the Indian and Chinese counterparts too .

All of the three parties are equally headstrong about Not giving up the ownership of Kashmir .

Currently Kashmir is within the boundaries of The Indian Government .

But amist all of this , it’s the People of Kashmir who suffer the most . With stories of the army encroaching upon civilian activities , and the army accusing civilians of wilfully defying communal laws . There has been a constant state of unrest between the two .

With each new evidence of conflict , it becomes even more difficult to understand who is responsible for the destruction of peace in Kashmir . Over the dacdes it has turned into a dirty mudslinging game .

This poem is my opinion on the current state of affairs . Where there are two sides to every story that comes up .  It’s a sad picture of the people who are now tired of war and just want the peace , Kashmir once had .

Two Tales .

Seamless mountains as far as your eyes can see ;
A people so warm , and hospitable , as people can be .
And amidst their muffled voices ,
Emerge two tales forged by destiny .

A tale of the Warrior ;
A tale of the commoner .
One tale that questions the validity of the other .

Of beauty unmatched ,
But beauty amassed by the death of many .

Of snow-clad peaks ,that shine with clarity ;
That could very well be the tears of the half-widows , frozen for eternity .

Of two tales , so unnervingly convincing ,
That the truth itself had taken to hiding .

Of blood, shed for the country ;
And of innocent blood spilled mercilessly .

Of chaos and peace ,
Of curfews and retreats .

Of deals and truces .
Of prayers and bruises .

Of serpentine roads ,
That have long forgotten their reason for war .
And of conflicting ways that only lead to a haunted past .

Of fallen idols , And unlikely heroes .
Of propaganda , And falsified truths .

Of a generation that awaits the summer ,
To soften their frigid pain .

Of a paradise tracing its roots ,
To a new beginning again !

 

Just being human (*read stupid)

Its strange how we somehow end up doing the same things over and over again . sometimes , even overlooking the pain they accompany .

We are supposed to be superior beings . The ‘know it alls’  . but when it comes to our most beloved ‘emotions’ , even the rocket scientists are baffled by its capability to cripple us to our core .

Just take a small fight with your friend for instance . It ‘will’ drive you nuts .It ‘will’ give you sleepless nights until either the fight is dissolved or the friendship .

Take heart break on the other hand . It has the power to melt hearts of stone . It is the cause of utter dismay and has the ability to take you to the dungeons of sadness and depression ( all depending on the person you love , of-course ! haha ) .

And when these things happen we take decisions . We promise ourselves that we will never fight again , or never trust again , never care again  , never love again , and never let ourselves be so vulnerable to deception and betrayal ;  basically we will not put put ourselves in any ‘emotional turmoil ‘ again .

But one fine day you break your promise .     AGAIN !   . You tell yourself that its ‘okay ‘ That this time it will be different  . That maybe this friendship is true . That maybe this relationship is ‘the one’ after all  . You tell yourself that in time everything will fall into place and everything is perfect afterall .

And then one fine day it dawns upon you that you were wrong . AGAIN !  . Oh well , and then you know what happens next .

This whole process is a vicious cycle . That goes on and on and on . And each time we plunge into this muck ourselves , getting disappointed each time . Call it stupidity or madness I think  this is the very thing that  makes us human  . This fascinating and admirable hope for “tomorrow” . The hope that it will be better this time .