1 Aug

I can see why there’s a certain caution with getting in too deep too soon. Because how many pretty packages come with a set of eyes that hold wisdom beyond their years, the depth of knowing but choosing to stay silent, the warmth of the crackling flame that threatens to burn if you play with it the wrong way, the ability to bore through the soul with silent navigation, focus and attention that sifts through a crowded room to find only you on the other side of that gaze? How many lips can boast of speaking simple words but telling you everything you need to know?

We’ve always known that still waters run deep, but how many people are willing to learn to swim, knowing fully that along the way down, there’ll be uncomfortable ingesting of saline water, shifts of currents, low visibility, and other potential risks of treading into the unknown? There’s always curiosity, intention, courage, interest and determination that get you to a place of finding a world you’ve never known before, one that blows your mind but gives you peace.

The surface can only give you so much; glimpses. Light and comfort.

But there’s some of us, the artists, the poets, the believers, the philosphers; that stare in the face of fear and dive in boldly, if only to unravel the mystery in the depth of a pair of beautiful eyes.

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In memory of

21 May

Death comes many times in this lifetime.

A silent thief, to steal, and destroy what we believe with naivety is ours for keeps.

It’s inevitable, the only constant, and yet a lot of us cannot seem to find peace in it.

Death comes, many times in one life.

Death to one’s self; growing up as they call it, or accepting the intricacies of navigating through pain to make the in-betweens count.

Death to friendships; understanding that some paths can only cross for a moment, that someone can only see you through their own perspective, that not everyone has the will, or the time or see beyond what has been shown, because life is too short and no you won’t be as valuable to every single person you meet.

Death to belief; in utopian ideas and fantasies, in the power of authenticity, in the fragile innocence of connections.

Death to the possibilities; of everything that will never find it’s place in time.

Death comes, in a way we’ve known all along too.

People who have been snatched away too soon, leaving pockets of memories in everyone they’ve encountered, slowly fading into a blurred memory or a mere good feeling.

Death, always sneaking up, catching us off-guard, not giving us a chance to love a little more, hold on a little tighter, live a little fuller.

Maybe I haven’t been a fan of tough love because of this.

But you know what else death does? It gives us a sense of urgency. A chance to keep fighting for something more. The bittersweet feeling of revisiting a dear memory. The fulfilment of having something worth missing. The value of meeting people that see you for you. The long friendships. The passion of working on dreams. The joy of seeing results. The security in someone’s arms. The peace in being known.

Death comes, so many times in a lifetime.

And I’m only just starting to see, that it gives too.

11 May

Most days, unlike this one, I live without the ache making it to the centre of my forehead or the ducts on my waterline.

I simply keep the knots in a jar at the back of the shelf. It comes almost too naturally.

The jar of can-knots, will-knots and knot-a-chance-in hell.

I tell myself I’ll get to it when I have some time to understand better but I never do,

The days will trudge on as they do, crossing off the tasks I’ve convinced myself are worth accumulating in my fleeting timeline here.

I fear  I may never open it, that jar, lest the ache of the familiar unknown trickle out and find itself in a pool of unrelenting hope that is produced in abundance only nearly two feet south of my mind.

No, I’ll keep it there, at the back of my mind’s shelf, covering it’s blinding light with a blackout curtain quickly before I mistake it for warmth.

I know this drill too well; if you keep it there long enough, one day it is replaced with words, the kind you and I so love to immortalise,

The words that weave themselves together, holding the weight of every unspoken word, every sweet memory now laden with yearning, find place on a blank space.

A convenient mechanism, a way of life, a catalyst to this art I indulge in.

That Strange Pull

20 Apr

I believed Rumi when I allowed myself year on year to be drawn towards everything I love, it has been rewarding most times. But I have a bone to pick when it comes to the word “astray”. What are we if not the many directions we choose to navigate through, each leading us to another irreversible pitstop along the way. Whose to say we’re going astray?

Take the last couple of weeks, for example. After swimming against the tide in every area of life for so long, I am now flowing swiftly into a state of part euphoria-part caution. Almost a paradox, to be flowing freely with caution, more like being swept with the tide?

It’s been glorious, serendipitious, comforting to set agenda aside and still get to choose to be drawn toward that strange pull. I guess sometimes life has enough of us resisting, and has its ways of coaxing us towards what we had to choose all along.

I am taken back to when I was 16, fresh out of school, painfully introverted, with my extrovert besties, dragging me into Pizza hut to grab our regular three slices of garlic bread. It had to be true love, for them to relentlessly pep talk me into stepping into the gates of college every day for a whole year, and then proceeding to pacify me through our garlic bread session, and attempting to get me back out when we were done. Thank God for extroverts that pick you! I’ve obviously come a LONG way since 16. For one: I would never make it difficult to get someone to their object of desire (in the case of my friends : garlic bread). But, I have also allowed myself to get drawn to what pulls me in the direction of what sets my heart on fire.

And if Rumi was to be believed, I’ll be okay.

For a little while

12 Apr

Sifting through a crowd of faces and spaces in between them

The beautifully broken and the slowing withering

Sorting through the pumpkin spiced latte spirituality and Cheetos tans

in the masquerade we’re all in together.

Only to spot you in your corner, tranquil, weightless

Like the feeling of watching a shooting star dart across the sky,

or the sound of waves retreating back after they crash.

Like the silence in between the crickets chirping,

That feeling…so captivating.

If I could see the scars and wounds you so habitually conceal

with melodies, words, and colours so vibrant,

I’d sit with you for a while

And trace the stories trapped within them.

And we’d discover that fingertips really do have magic

that transcends time.

I’d sit with you for a while

and we’ll both agree that the 1 mm of space between the curves of our fingers

is still too much space

But much less than the diminishing gaps between your words and my mind

And so, I’d sit with you

if only for a while.

Let’s go down to play!

28 Jul

“Tyan, coming down?”. I remember when i’d hear those words every day and look forward to that telephone ringing, with a familiar voice on the other side of a 20 second phonecall. What usually followed would be me tying the laces to my sneakers, putting my unruly hair into a high-ponytail and zipping out the door, and down six flights of stairs.

We never really knew when it would be the last time we did that. Those long walks around the building, with so much to talk about, so many plans and dreams on the brink of adolescence and so much faith in what life would have in store for us. We were unsure but brave, completely oblivious that things were slowly evolving, changing and transforming us into the next phase of life. Ironic. We used to talk about everything we would become, experiences we couldn’t wait to have like knowing what it would feel like to be enveloped in the arms of someone who was crazy about us and then those moments came! We lived them, and we still do but we might have lost that feeling of wondering what those once magnanimous experiences would feel like. I like that about life.

This morning I woke up to my favourite kind of weather – overcast, slightly rainy, plenty breezy! And all I could think of was,’ I want go down and play!” . It is an ache I tend to have occasionally. Of wanting to change into shorts and a t shirt, pull my hair up in a high-ponytail, put on my sneakers and call up my friend and say,” Hey, coming down?” . I wanted to throw a ball to someone without a care in the world, I wanted to run and dodge the hands of someone trying to catch me in a game of tag, I wanted to be breathless from trying to be quiet as I hid under a car in a game of Hide and Seek, tummy hurting from trying not to laugh as I spot another friend trying to conceal themself ridiculously! That ache for the familiar but long gone “everyday” that we once lived.

An everyday without 300 emails, 22 work tasks, 6 meetings, 4 house chores, and 2 hours of free time that fly by before my eyes get droopy and another day goes by. An everyday where I could stop and appreciate the weather for hours with a friend by my side, quietly, without trying to hold on to a few extra minutes before the next task has to be crossed of. An everyday where things seldom looked as bleak as they do now.

Thankfully, my memory serves me all to well. And I can retreat to the same places that were once so full of innocence, dreams, pure joy and friendship and fill them again with gratitude. I can sit in the same places where I was once not by myself and write about the times where we’d play a silly ringtone and dance to it like dorks, see which one of us had grown taller than month, discussed our weekly crushes and how much in “love” we were with them, and make memories that we’d treasure forever. I love that about life!

That bit where through the webs of responsibility, deadlines, routine, and unplanned events, you can still sneak off on a beautiful day, into your favourite memory and experience the sweetest moments again. Sometimes it takes a breezy, rainy day to get you there…:)

Circles.

10 Jun

I stumbled upon somewhat of an epiphany today. Something about me and my life that I never looked at this way until now.

Let’s look back to when I was 7 years old and wrote my first poem. It was simple, whole, rhyming and pretty good for a 7 year old. As I explored my love for writing, my poetry became deeper, imperfect, incomplete, raw and abstract even. I didn’t mind it being this way.

Flash forward to today. I’m tucked in comfortably into a hotel room duvet, full of nostalgia, fulfilled and feeling an odd sense of calm. I know now that If I wrote a poem right now, it would be painful, I would struggle for the right words, it would be full of questions and it would be incomplete. I never realised that the evolution of my writing had anything to do with the state of my heart, until today. I knew that It was an extension of me, of my state of mind, but never figured that every piece would reveal the exact condition of my heart.

I’m feeling grateful in this moment for so many things, for the twists of fate that gave me the most perfect few days I’ve needed in so long that I didn’t even know I needed them. I’m so blessed to have had endless conversation and find an unusual friendship, solace and comfort in a perfect stranger at the most unlikely of all meeting places. ❤

Why is this post titled Circles? Because coincidently or not, today 5 years ago was the day I decided I could’nt live a moment longer in Bombay and set off to start a new life in Pune. Today, 5 years later, I’m able to say that life has come back in a full circle because when I woke up this morning I knew that I was ready, once again to move forward towards the life that is planned for me. That same sense of hope I had 5 years ago in my spirit, it’s here again, brighter and bigger than ever and I’m excited to see what’s next.

I know that without context, this post is just a bunch of feelings. And maybe if I read this a few years later I might not even understand all the subliminal clues I’ve hidden in here. But it would be so sad if I didn’timmortalise today because you know when you just know that someone or something has touched your life and you know you’re never going to be the exact same person again because of it? Yep. That is how I feel, starting today. On the brink of something new.

So here’s to my perfect stranger. Thank you, for just being. I’ll always remember you for being kind, respectful, chivalrous, polite, intelligent, observant, inquisitive, adventurous, humble, resourceful, hardworking, valueing family, gentle, mischevious, reliable, patient, sincere, deep, and overall just the best kind of human being. I’d been so tired of being let down by life before that day in the hospital, and I never knew that within a small moment, I’d be filled with hope again. It’s true that God only gives a person as much as they can handle because I knew deep down that I could not handle one more thing going wrong for me that day. And out of nowhere, outside that dreary ICU, hope found me, in the form of a pair of the most comforting eyes. So thank you, for deciding to reach out to me. I can only hope that the kind of support you gave me comes back to you in a thousand ways through your life.

And as most stories go, there’s a beginning, a middle and an ending. A full circle, if I may. I can’t say for sure that this is an end. Perhaps it’s another incomplete poem, perhaps it’s meant to be ephemeral. But it is beautiful, nonetheless. It was my pandemic story of hope, my serendipity, my meet-cute.

So, here’s to life coming together in circles. It’s painful until it makes sense but when it does, you’ll never be the same person again. I know I wont. ❤

Here we go again, and again and again!

19 May

Look, by now, I know that life comes in a full circle. But man, lately life is going round and round so quick that I’m always in a tizzy. No, that is not my natural state of being. I’m usually fully aware, present, and mindful of where I’m at and where I might be going. What’s happening right now feels like I’m in one of those hamster wheels. In fact, I’d rather be in one of those, at least, I’d get my workouts on track!

So, I’m writing to spell out everything good that happened to me today because gratitude always grounds me. Because, a friend introduced me to this word yesterday, I think I’m languishing.

  1. Someone I consider a strong support system reminded me why I allow what I allow repeatedly, and why it’s important to the ecosystem I’m in, to keep being me, even on days like this. Especially on days like this.
  2. A stranger told me I am pretty. And not the usual, “Want to make friendship, cutie?” kind of stranger. (vain pleasures are completely okay, okay?)
  3. My manager seemed to be in a great mood.
  4. I got reminded of what a great team I have. And how strongly they’ve formed connections amongst them.
  5. I had a dream that VERY clearly meant something. Something to do with God’s grace and secret gifts. I swear this pulled me through the hardest parts of the day and has me looking forward to when I finally sleep tonight. If you want to know why I give my dreams so much importance, I’m happy to explain.
  6. I got offered a glass of good wine, at.exactly.the.right.moment. What is exactly the right moment for a glass of good wine, you ask? You know that lump in the throat, heavy chest heaving, jaws clenched, eyes straining, brink of release moment? Yeah, that.
  7. I read old blog posts. That always makes me grateful for what has been and what is to come. It is a promise I hold on to dearly. The promise of the goodness, that is my future. Call me an optimist, and say it however you like, but I do have a strangely abundant supply of hope. Yes, even during this utterly disheartening state of affairs in the world. It.will.get.better and I wish it wasn’t so painful for so many. </3
  8. I re-read old chats and status updates with my best friends. Always my fool-proof tactic on days such as these.
  9. I oddly got more work done than I thought I would. Not glorifying productivity, but it did work to make me feel accomplished so it’s worth being on this list, I guess?

Did you think there’d be a 10th one? Nope. Nope.

Until I can make better content, goodbye!

Downtime

30 Mar

I’ve been harping about downtime so much over the past couple of years and yet I have zero posts about it. Understanding when and how much downtime I need to slough off any extra deadweight has been one of my greatest learnings and accomplishments in the past decade.

A decade ago, I was still a student, brimming with dreams as I learned everything I could in a foreign land. I learned so much about the world, about the type of people I’d meet, about betrayal, loss and gain, about friendship and love, about who I want to be and who I never ever want to become. I still hold those lessons close to me, understanding more about people and the world as I do and see more.

But if there was one thing that 23 year old didn’t know she needed, it would have to be ‘rest’. Sleepless nights, fuelled by buttered toast and energy drinks, drinking games and junk-food runs, and still emerging with a nearly flat belly – Man, was I proud of my “Accomplishments”. And if I had to go back, I probably wouldn’t change a thing. I was a little late to the party, by choice. I didn’t want to be like the other teenagers at 18, partying it up till the am, hookups and “Trying everything once”. I just wanted to write, listen to music and wear my black clothes. It all changed when I reached Melbourne. Suddenly I thought, hey, maybe I need a little taste of that “youth” everyone seems to be talking about. And with a fresh heartbreak to propel me, off I went!

And boy, did I make memories. I watched so many of my dreams come to fruition and I silently recorded all the stories I was living. It was beautiful but tiring! I’m not sure how my body did it all, but here I am, a decade later, climbing uphill, trying to keep some semblence of a health life in place. Enter my new fav word of advice “Downtime!”

It’s easier to preach the benefits of downtime, sitting out of a sweet cafe in Goa, attempting to finish a giant green smoothie bowl, with a doggie plonked at my feet after 5 days off work. In about an hour when the emails begin to flood in, I might struggle a little 😛

We’re smack in the middle of a pandemic and much like everyone else alive right now, I never expected to live to see what this feels like. While it has pretty much destroyed livlihoods, economies, and what we knew as “normal”, I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t do me good. I understand that I spak from a place of priviledge, having had a stable job with no pay cuts, one that can be done remotely and even on the hardest days ( and they’ve been tough for sure!) I am truly grateful to God for providing.

When I say that the pandemic was good for me, I mean that my single greatest lesson was that if I rested adequately, everything else I previously stressed about would magically be easier to deal with. Something as simple as waking up an hour later, not having to get dressed for work, and wait endlessly for a rickshaw , gave me a calm start to a workday. I was able to gather my thoughts, plan out my day, have more productive days and end work on time most days, something I’d never in 4 years been able to do!

My breaks saw me squeeze in short workouts, my meals were finally homecooked and on time and so many of the health issues I faced from working in office just left! I felt like so many of my desperate prayers for a way out of my routine were answered and I know there was a cost but there was a blessing nonetheless.

I’ve vowed now to never let myself settle into a lifetyle where rush and stress and regular guests. They’d overstayed their visit by so long I’m having to unlearn life without them in it. I’m having to learn more defined boundaries, stronger no’s and limited yes’s. I’m having to learn how to invest in my mind and body and I fail on most days but I have started to get it right on some days and that for me has been my biggest accomplishment lately.

Which brings me here, to this little cafe in Goa, struggling to finish this large smoothie bowl for the past 2 hours, tackling 47 emails, bobbing my head to the faint background music, my only conflict being which of the two doggies to pet, taking in the beach air and this moment, truly grateful for downtime and that I have the means to grab it when life gets too overwhelming.

It’s me again, the human version of a pressure cooker.

7 Dec

It’s true, my blog is now merely a place to blow off some steam when it becomes too much to hold in any longer. No more, silly DIY experiments, random love notes, bursts of creativity that cannot be contained. NO.

This is life as I know it now, one misfortune after another, times possibly 120 and that’s not even a hyperbole! I wonder if this is God, pushing me to write my story, this one full of falling and crawling back up. Is it meant to replace the one full of love and hope that I wanted to write and never did or the one full of experience and adventure that I did begin to write and never completed?

What is this story that the world needs to know? Is it the one where I go back to review the countless blessings and miracles I’ve witnessed? The carefully ordained acts of kindness shown to me by strangers, the  cherrypicked moments that filled me to the brim with contentment that I can go back and have my fill of whenever life gets me down?

Man, have I been blessed! And man, have I seen some traumatic, and downright nightmarish realities too. But isn’t that what life is for? Experiencing the highest and lowest of days, weeks, months, years, decades!?

I started writing this post years ago and left it in my drafts. Now, I’m back. On a random Monday morning at 3:35 am listening to music I don’t know, feeling that same pressure cooker like feeling of “If I don’t write now, I will explode!”, sitting on piles of undone work, pmsy tummy cramping, peeling dehydrated lips, mind full of clouds…you know… typical writer things.

So, today I was a monster. I snapped, was unreasonable, spilled my coffee on my white wall, cried about it as I tried to clean it, cried about not wanting to clean it because I was too tired, found out my clothes order was non returnable and that it sucked, impulsed shopped a LOT, hurt someone, slacked on my work majorly, didn’t do justice to my day off, skipped church, ate too much sugar. And no, this does not happen to me often. Definitely not every month. I feel like I’m on the brink of something.

Does that happen to you? A entire shift in your being to tell you that something good is on its way? A gut feeling. The kind that will upset your tummy, but still get you to believe that something good is coming your way?

So here I am, at 3:41 am on a Monday morning, work in 5 hours, 2 articles to write. But here I am, lifting that pressure cooker whistle to blow off some steam and calm my soul. Deep breaths in and deep breaths out. As deep a breath as I can manage with my inflammed sinuses. Yeah, that’s happening as well! *rolls eyes*

But here I am, watching my fingers type words I didn’t know I needed to say tonight. Marvelling at how this gift was handpicked for me when I was created. By a craftsman who knew at the start of time that I would need at my darkest times to pour out my heart through words. Here I am, marvelling at the accessibilty I have to pick myself up every time, knowing I am enabled to do so by a God that remains unchanging even as my world crumbles and falls, by the author of time, space and everything, a God that calls me friend.

Where would I be without this peace that transcends all understanding? Without this hope that never fades?

Where would I be without my God? The one who leaves the 99 to bring me back when I stray? Phew.

Here I am, pressure cooker of a brain filled with thoughts, crippled by hurt, confused by the future, angry at the present, yearning for things, wishing for what’s not, second guessing my health. Here I am, slowly being unraveled, deciphered, healed, made whole, redeeemed, forgiven, blessed, embraced, loved beyond measure!

Do you know what that’s like? To be loved beyond measure? It’s yours for the taking, just ask!

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