Friday, 10 October 2014

Hope ?

                "Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man"
                                                                                                                -Friedrich Nietzsche

It is the hope of an oasis perhaps, that keeps a thirsty man lost in a dessert going. Why else would he take another step? 
Hope, one would say, is a necessary delusion to survive in a world which is out to get you. 
On a subconscious level, hope gives us the power to take control in our disappointment. It allows us to choose how and when the disappointment reaches us. When the world lets us down, hope allows us to reject the world's dictum and take the reigns of power in our hands by choosing to believe in a probable version of the story that may become our reality at a future time. It makes us feel empowered. We feel we are in control of choosing the hope of happiness over the reality of  our disappointment. Indeed an intoxicating promise for a broken heart.
We need hope, we do.
Yet sometimes, this empowerment is really just an illusion. A rather tormenting one. We hold on to a version of the truth that doesn't presently exist in reality and might not even in the future. But somewhere in us a faint whisper tells us that, if we hold on to it a little longer, if we keep faith, if we give it more time, if we wait for the right moment to come, if we are a little more patient.........if, if only!
It is a shackle. It binds us to something we need to give up on.
But how do we know? How do we know when the empowerment becomes imprisonment? How do we know when to give up hope on hope?
It could be a casual question thrown in a joke, an empty laughter, an unspoken word, a broken smile, a silent stare, it maybe subtle or  it may be really loud, but when it happens, somewhere, somehow a switch flicks. We lose hope. It is perhaps the most liberating experience. To be free finally from the burden to believe in an illusion. Liberated from the obligation of holding on.
Hope doesn't necessarily bring us happiness, but rather encourages us to hold on to a version of the story that doesn't really exist. Never did. Probably never will.
And what if it does exist? Well trust the future to bring it to you, if it so pleases. But don't expect it, don't hope for it. Don't let your present be limited by the hope of your future. Don't let an illusion limit your reality. At least the present and it's reality is yours. Why jeopardise what's yours for what might never be?
I would rather accept the truth and be heartbroken than fool my heart with promises of happiness I will never be able to deliver on.
Knowing it will never happen is so much more liberating than hoping it does. There's an odd sense of peace in the knowledge.
So, Give Up.
Lose Hope.
Move On.
Be Free.

Friday, 25 July 2014

"....and she was loved."

I don’t know about you, but no matter how much I kid the world, I crave perfect stories. You know the kind that fairytales are made of and every time you retell it people go “aww, that is perfect!”?! 
I have gone around often, declaring how I love our messed up world and it’s imperfections and how only imperfections are perfect, but all the while I have secretly hoped and prayed for perfect moments in every story I have ever lived. 

Am I a hypocrite, then ? Well, maybe! But I am not the only one, am I?

Don’t we all try to validate our stories with meaning and sense and some sort of a ‘coming to a full circle’ ending ? Yes, we know better, we know that the best stories are tragic, the best loves unrequited, but is knowing that enough to satiate our need for ‘perfect’ and ‘forever’ and ‘happily ever after’?

Believe me you, I am true in my appreciation for the universe’s sense of irony and the poetic justice that often flatters our sombre tales.
But, inspite of that,  every time I walk into a new chapter in my life, I can’t help but secretly and a bit perversely perhaps, hope for a perfect set of firsts that all link together to make absolute sense.
But it doesn’t. 
That’s not ‘eureka' material though, we already know that. But somehow I never admit that, at least not to myself.
I have always told myself that we live in our own 21st century version of fairytales and it does have a perfect happy ending, after all. 

Wait, I am not saying life isn’t a fairytale. I am saying perhaps it is not the fairytale we think it is.

Okay go back to all the fairytales that you have ever read, heard, overheard or maybe wrote.
If we cut out the prince and the princess and the ‘once upon a time’ and the ‘happily ever after’ the perfect kiss and the prince rescuing the princess…yeah so basically almost all of it, what are we left with ? 
In some or any or every form. Love.
Parental, Romantic, Friendly, Humanitarian……Love.

So what I am saying is that maybe, love and love only, is our fairytale. 
That this monumental emotion, incapable of definition, is perhaps all the salvation we need.
Whether it is your family, your friends, a legitimate love interest, or just your pet, you have been, are and will be loved, by at least one living being. 
And that there, is your perfect story. That is all you need to tell, all anyone needs to know.
In the mean time I will continue to go about my life faltering, breaking, falling, collapsing, hurting, crying, howling, smiling, kidding, laughing….living.

But when they write my story, if they say “…and she was loved”, hope you’ll know that I have lived a fairytale.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Lest you forgot to....

Did you smell the grass today ?
No, really. Did you find time to walk by a park a take a long deep breath inhaling the smell of grass and earth ? And smile because you had forgotten that smell !?

Did you drop an old friend you were once inseparable with, separated by time, work, commitments or maybe even countries a text today ? Just a simple "Hi, how are you ?".
And no, creep texting or stalking your ex doesn't count !

Did you do something stupid today?
Not "haha I'm so silly" stupid but embarrassingly "kill me now" stupid ?

Did you laugh at something so hard you almost felt your stomach in your throat ?

Did you forgive someone ?

Did you try to make someone else's day better, with no matter how small a gesture?

Did someone smile because of you?

Did you greet a stranger?

Did you make a loved one happy?

If it's raining, did you try catching rain drops ? If it's sunny, did you try staring at the sun from in between your fingers and look away just before it blinds you ?

Did you tell your parents that you love them?

Did you order something new instead of just the regular at your favourite restaurant today ?

Did you make funny faces at a baby till he burst into a toothless giggle?

Did you pray for someone else today? Or if you're an atheist, did you genuinely wish someone well today ?

Did you make yourself happy today?
Not the doing-something-good-for-someone-else happy but the selfish, unapologetic doing-something-for-yourself-to-make-you-happy, happy ? Perhaps go shopping without a reason and splurge on that top you don't need-need but want-need or find time to start re-reading your favourite book or write a little or just take a break and relax with a cup of tea in your favourite mug or something, anything else that makes you intensely happy even if for a moment !?

Do you at least have one story to tell from today ? Like, give you're friend a call and start with " you won't believe what happened today...." or perhaps, " hey guess what I did today...." ?!

So, what I am asking you is, did you LIVE today ?

Or did work, family, meetings, appointments, picking up groceries, paying bills and other responsibilities bury you too much ?

If it did, apologise to yourself and start again tomorrow. Make yourself a promise. A promise to live, not just survive through the day. Only you have the right to decide how your day will be. So choose to live today, tomorrow, everyday.
Because one day there will be no tomorrow and today will be all you have. Live enough everyday to be able to look back on all your yesterdays on that day and smile, content and proud that you have used up all of your life and no one could have done it better.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

For the love of.....

She had always loved the lingering,chilly, piercing wet wind that followed the rain, felt alive with the brazen cold winds engulfing her as her skin prickled.
Sunny was never her thing. Overrated, she thought to herself, smirking, every time someone gushed about all things bright and well, sunny !

Yet this morning was different. The sun was out in all it's enigmatic glory . And she loved, loved, LOVED it. 
She loved the warmth of the sun caressing her cheeks. Smiled as the rays, she once complained to be too harsh, kissed her eyelids. She glowed as the blush of happiness enveloped her.


Was she having an affair with the Sun all of a sudden?
The Sun, whose power to cheer people, she had dismissed all her life?
Surely not!

What was it then ?
Undoubtedly it was love. 
No other emotion has you acting like a fool, loving all things you once claimed to hate with a vengeance ! 
Ofcourse it was love !
So, rather, who was it ?

She tiptoed back to her room, her feet springing in joy and dance.
At the door, she almost choked with happiness as she looked at her bed. It was basked in sunlight. 
She snuggled on her favourite corner and stared out of the window at the city lazily, gruntingly just waking up to a new day.....closing her eyes she took a deep breath, inhaling as much of the sun as possible !
Standing up, she walked to the mirror. Looked at her reflection.
And it was then that she knew. 
Yes she was in love. She was absolutely, completely, totally, fully, non-negotiably in love.
With herself.
All of her. Her flaws and scars and marks and all the brokenness inside that no one else knew about. All of it !
She was in love, no qualifications attached. 

She no longer hated her left eyebrow for never really arching as well as the right one. She no longer hated the small finger of her feet for being crooked. She no longer found the ring of her uncontrollable laughter embarrassing. The acne marks on her cheek didn't seem to annoy her anymore. Her protruding chin seemed kinda cute too !

It was the newest,oddest and yet most refreshing and freeing feeling she had ever experienced.
To be in love with yourself, your beauty and your flaws, is really the day you start living, yes, she had read about all that fancy stuff, never buying a word of it, never believing it to be at all possible.

But what between being pushed around and pushing back and finding a way, mending broken hearts and healing scars, waking up every day and not giving up, dreaming and struggling, losing and occasionally winning, being happy and trying to make a couple of others happy, existing and surviving, she had fallen in love. Without any warning or planning. Unapologetic love. The forever kind.

Today it wasn't the Sun. Or the weather. It was Her. 
She was the reason, the cause, the effect, the result. She was the story. No introduction, no conclusion. She was enough. Her story was enough. There is no going back now. 

Friday, 7 February 2014

The Villain could be your Hero, if only you let him !

                         "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future”
                                                                                                     -Oscar Wilde

We might profess our love for the Hero, but it is the Villain we thrive on. We are, perhaps subconsciously, maybe even habitually, more attached to the idea of an absolute, non-negotiable evil than we would like to admit.

In our own little world, where a mirror is often our least favourite accessory, the existence of the quintessential Villain validates us, brings us closer to being the Hero.  In our hastiness of pigeonholing the world into good and evil, we forget to appreciate that all of it, mostly is just grey. A black and white world is an utopia, an elusive expectation. But, how else would we prove how white is our grey, unless we subscribe to the idea of the existence of a black, of the blackest kind!

And hence, the anti-hero, you know, the one that gets it wrong most of the times, the flawed one, the one that messes up, the black sheep, if you will, needs to be an omnipresent frame of reference in our lives, to prove to the world and as irony would have it, mostly to ourselves, how less messed up,  less flawed we are, how many times we got it right to every time our black sheep faltered.

We like to cry foul to the mistakes of the black sheep so that we can fool ourselves into believing how much closer to perfection we are. Hanging on to the darkness in someone else’s character makes us seem fairer, validates us, and makes it easier to gain rite of passage into the world’s clich├ęd and I daresay, hypocritical mould of  'the good and the proper'. 

But really, could anyone be absolutely white, without the slightest remnant of darkness? Can you, or anyone you know, rightfully claim to have never done anything wrong?! Never hurt someone, knowingly or unknowingly, broken a heart, upset a loved one, made a mistake, missed a step and by the sheer instinct of survival grabbed someone else and took them down too….!?

We know the answer to that in all honesty, so tell me this, why is it so difficult to give someone the benefit of doubt when we ourselves are so tragically flawed? Why do we judge ourselves by our intentions and everyone else by their actions? Why can’t we accept the good with the bad in others as easily we do in ourselves? Why do we like to play victim of someone else’s mistakes when we ourselves don’t like to take stock of every time we hurt another person?

But ofcourse. No one takes note of the wrongdoings of the wronged and what could be better than the blissfull secrecy of the curtain of other people’s mistakes, to hide our own!

Bless Eve for eating the apple and thereby gifting us with a delicious world full of possibilities ! Everytime another one of us comes into this world, this beautifully broken world, we inherit an ocean of emotions and characteristics and without classifying them into virtues and vices let our conscience be our guiding light and  not hold against another their every wrong while we ourselves secretly expect forgiveness from our victims.

Let's give the Villain a chance. He just might surprise us!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

People who depress me...

     1)      Those with no regrets.

I am not talking about the people who have made peace with their bad decisions and are centred and happy with where those decisions have finally taken them in life. They are a brilliant bunch. Not them. 
But the other kind, who really believe that they have no regrets.  Those who are earnestly confident that they got it right, every single time.

Isn’t it absolutely frightening? The idea of a life devoid of regrets?  No laments, whatsoever?

Not even in the flavour of ice-cream you chose that evening or the love of your life you’re afraid you let go off in a hasty decision that fateful night  or the career you chose for life or the haircut your stylist convinced you looks awesome on you while you secretly believe it makes you look older ? None?

To meet a person that self assured is depressing, not only because it makes you insecure about your own life  but I think it is also quite a pitiful existence to have gotten every decision, every choice at every crossroad right, every time.

What is life without a couple of blunders that changed it’s course, a bad relationship that had no future yet you just could’nt get out of, the dress on sale you had your heart set on and somebody picked up the last one, the argument you had with your mom even though you realized she was warning you for your best………..ahh there’s so so so many.  Everyday, every hour.

Life without regrets is a life with only peaks, no lows and you know what happens when the heart line on the monitor goes up and doesn’t come down, don’t you? It goes straight and makes the most deafening depressing sound that has ever broken a silence.

2)      Those who sit with their back towards the world, at alfresco cafes.

Have you seen them?  Sitting alone or in company ?

It’s like, not only are they closing the world on them, but they are consciously depriving themselves of the delight of being a spectator to the world passing by.

How does one do that ? Is that self assurance or just ignorance ? Either way it’s depressing because I liken it to someone who has been invited to a spectacular play with the best seats and yet although they reach in time and sit throughout, they are too self absorbed or just too blunt to catch anything that is going on in the stage. Such carelessness is saddening.

     3)      Those who don’t feel the need to travel.

I once knew someone, who told me this. He said he loves the comfort of his home, his loved ones, the comfort of knowing where to go for what. Why would he want to give all that up and go to a strange place ? There’s always television and magazines and the likes for that. Why abandon home, even if temporarily, for that ?

        Isn’t it somewhat terrifying?  
To never experience what lays beyond ? To never feel the want, the need, to never crave to know ?  

Yes, you can "youtube" Aurora Borealis, but to not want to lay beneath the sky and to stare at it, directly ? To not want to stand in front of the Niagara and let it seclude you, even in the chaos of all the tourists around you ? Or even let yourself be drunken with delight at all the man made spectacles, the eiffel, the taj….bridges, buildings, monuments, palaces, museums. Not to stand in the Louvre and stare at Monalisa, directly ?

Ahh !  This world, this magnanimous, spellbinding  world. Not to even want to see it, feel it, touch it, visit every corner of your country, the neighbouring country, every country, before your life gives up on you ? What a catastrophically depressing thought !

     4)      Those who claim they don’t judge people.

Perhaps there is a fundamental misunderstanding in this whole concept of being or not being judgmental.

It is not wrong to judge people, but it is wrong when you hold these opinions, these judgments against them. It is about whether you give them a fair chance to present their case.

Can you honestly say, given you have a standard, working human brain, that the moment a person walks into a room you don’t form opinions?  Whether they’re tall, short, skinny, plump, how their hair is, if the cut and the style suits them, what clothes they have on, whether those flatter their appearance or whether you love those shoes and the likes !

And then when you start interacting with them, how they are speaking, what they are speaking about, their expressions, their thoughts and with every detail of the conversation you don’t form fresh set of opinions and judgments about who they are ?

It is impossible to have a functioning brain and not take note of and form judgments about a person. But pigeonholing people based on your judgments is perhaps what one can complain about.

However, this need to deny a characteristic and basic human working of the brain and the secretly continuing to do so, is what depresses me.
Trying to conform with certain over-hyped and  overused words of the present self-proclaimed civilized society, without using your own sense of judgement about it, is really sad, wouldn't you agree?