Tug of war

“Aim high, the higher the better.”
“Shoot for the moon, dream big.”
“Who seeks shall find.”
“Try and try until you succeed. Don’t compromise.”
“There is no-one between you and your dreams.”
“Ask and you shall be given.”

They say, you get in life that what you have the courage to ask for. The courage to ask for something is not always enough.

Imagine. What if every step towards something you want is a step away from someone who has always been there for you?

There is nothing more important than family and love.”
“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.”
“Love awakens your soul.”
“You always gain by giving love.”
“If you want to become fearless, choose love.”
“When we have each other, we have everything.

Is there anything worse than this state of helplessness?

Deep inside, self dissatisfaction is a choice we make over hurting them. It’s ironic. This choice comes from a mechanism that is trained to choose the best for us. It is functioning at levels beyond our conscious thinking. How can, then, one turn against themselves, when humans are genetically so well trained for survival.

Should we trust this intelligence?

The other option is to revolt.

“Revolt against whom, our own selves?”

This is the unsatisfactory deadend.

Broken… or… Beautiful

Sania was reading a book and got interrupted when the doorbell rang. She opened the door and greeted Anirban, her husband.

“Tea or Coffee?” she asked.

“Let’s have tea. I will freshen up in 5 minutes.” he replied.

Sania started crooning and went to the kitchen with a smile on her face. The evening was lit. Sania was liking the calm, pleasant, positive evening. Anirban joined for tea and they started talking about their day.

“Before I forget, we have been invited for dinner today by Aakash and Amrita.” Anirban said.

“Ok”, said Sania.

Suddenly, the vibe of the day changed for her. She started feeling a bit jittery.

Aakash is Anirban’s colleague and Amrita his wife. The couple likes dining out and road trips for exploring new places. Sania used to be excited to meet them initially. However, she realised that every time she met them, there was something that made her uncomfortable. It was the couple’s cynicism about everything and everyone. Every discussion led to them ending into judging someone, criticising someone or just gossiping about someone. Sania didn’t quite like that vibe. She also felt guilty of being a part of it, even though she never contributed. She would just smile and, she felt that by even smiling she encouraged those conversations.

Finally, they met for the dinner. Sania appreciated the preparations and before she realised, the couple started talking about their bad dinner experiences at another colleagues’ house. This was the beginning. Soon, they were talking about someone’s looks or mocking someone’s tragedies. They asked Sania if she had some gossip to share. When she said, she didn’t have any, they started pushing her to share something.

“Come on! There would be something spicy that you know. How about the Department Head’s wife? You met her last week.”

“Ok. Tell us about Department Head. Don’t you think he is too lean? Looks malnourished. Doesn’t he?”

Sania couldn’t take it anymore.

She said, “To be honest, I wonder if I have ever come across anyone who looks perfect in all aspects and has a perfect life all the time. And somehow, I have come to understand it’s our deviations from the standards of a perfect look or a perfect life that make us unique, that make us stand out and that make us beautiful. People with broken hearts, people with broken teeth and people with broken lives have stories to tell. They are adventurous, courageous and are living life to the fullest. For me, broken is beautiful. So, to answer your question, I have met only beautiful people with beautiful lives. In my view, these people deserve only respect and appreciation. I have promised myself to not judge or criticise them.

Not that anyone understood what she was trying to say. However, Sania started feeling better once she expressed this.

The Japanese art form Kintsugi is built on the idea of strength and beauty in imperfection. When a ceramic object breaks, the broken pieces are carefully mended by artisans and the golden repairs are visible — yet somehow beautiful. 

The Turning Point

A very renowned artist was being interviewed.


“Your fan following is growing exponentially. How does it feel to be in this place?”

“Well, I feel extremely grateful for these blessings. I am really fortunate that so many people shower so much of love on me.”

“But yours has not been a very smooth journey. You have always been very open about your struggle. From those days, can you recall a particular moment where you felt like you had gained enough confidence and were sure of yourself, after which things changed?”

“Umm.. That’s a great question. To be honest, it didn’t happen that way. There was no such defining moment where I found confidence. There were days back then, when I felt extremely insecure, embarrassed, anxious. At times, I felt really shitty about myself – inadequate, like a loser, like a complete failure. And interestingly, I feel all those things even now. I go on the other extreme too. Sometimes, I feel like I am on cloud 9, on top of the world, feel extremely stable, confident, graceful and grateful. I feel like I have it all and I know it all. And again, I felt all of these things back then too. I swing between these 2 extremes all the time.

And you know… actually, something did change. At some point, I became a lot more comfortable with the spectrum. Earlier, I used to be comfortable with only the so called “positive” feelings or emotions. And a lot of effort went into hiding, curbing, avoiding the other side or just wanting to get rid of the so called “negative” feelings. Now, I can acknowledge and embrace all my emotions. In fact, I feel grateful, as an artist, to have had these experiences. These are the source, the inspiration for a lot of my work.”

पेड़

पेड़ पर लगे हुए एक फ़ूल की कामना है,

“अगर हवाओं के साथ बहने के लिए थोड़ा ऊँचा हो जाऊँ”

ख़्याल रहना चाहिए उसको इतना ,

पेड़ से टूटकर उड़ तो सकता है पर जी नहीं सकता ।

तो क्या ऊँचा उड़ने की ख़्वाहिश की कीमत ज़िन्दगी ही है ?

ग़ुरूर को दरकिनार कर अगर वो सोच सके इतना ,

“क्यों न पेड़ को ऊँचा कर फिर लहरा उठूँ मैं”

ज़िन्दगी बच जाएगी, उसकी भी और पेड़ की भी ,

क्योंकि उस पेड़ को मुरझाते देर नहीं लगती ,

जिसका इकलौता फ़ूल उससे जुदा हो चले ।

पर फ़ूल को इतने ख़्याल आते कहाँ हैं ,

सोचना तो स्थिर पेड़ को आता है ,

फ़ूल तो बस पेड़ से पोषित होकर ख़ुद महकना जानता है ।

Heroes in our Homes

(1)

He is sitting silently on the hospital bench. 

“Congratulations! You have been blessed with a baby girl,” the nurse announces excitingly.

He stands up.

“Would you like to see her? I will bring her to you,” says the nurse.

She comes back after ten minutes, with the little miracle in her hand. He looks at the little life as she moves from nurse’s arms to grandmother’s arms.

“Have you recorded the time of birth? You guys are always in your own little world,” he yells at his mother.

Her face turns pale. Everyone around her goes silent for a while.


(2)

He is standing in the hall waiting for his wife and daughter. 

His daughter is going to college and is moving out of their home.

“Darling, hope you have kept your medicines,” says his wife, as they enter the hall.

Yes mom, don’t worry.”

“Also, make sure you take out all the snacks as soon as you reach there and arrange them properly.”

“No, I won’t,” the daughter laughs, “I will manage, Mom.”

“It’s high time you learn to take things seriously,” he yells at his daughter.

She breaks down. So does her mother.


(3)

He is moving out of the hospital with his extremely sick father. As he makes his father sit in the car, his father suddenly holds him tightly and starts breathing heavily.

He looks at his father and looks around to see if there is someone who can help. In seconds, his father stops breathing. He looks back at him to realize his father is no more.

He calls his wife, “Inform everyone he is no more.”

“What!??” she exclaims.

He hangs up.

Her heart sinks as she senses the coldness in her husband. She sits down and cries her heart out.


This is just half the story. Here’s the full story…

(1)

He looks at the little life as she moves from nurse’s arms to the grandmother’s arms.

He is overwhelmed and is feeling a range of emotions. He brought into this world a life; he has a big responsibility now and he suddenly has this unconditional feeling of love.”

He doesn’t cry with happiness.

“Have you recorded the time of birth? You guys are always in your own little world,” he yells at his mother.


(2)

“No, I won’t,” the daughter laughs “I will manage, Mom.

His daughter is moving into the big bad world. He always protected her and now he is concerned for her. He doesn’t cry and say, “I love you. Please take care of yourself.”

“It’s high time you learn to take things seriously,” He yells at his daughter.


(3)

He looks back at him to realize his father is no more. 

His world is shaken. He feels like there is no roof over him anymore. He feels this unbearable pain in his heart.

He doesn’t cry.

He calls his wife, “Inform everyone he is no more.”

“What!??” she exclaims.

He hangs up.


He  doesn’t cry, he never does. He should not. He is supposed to give strength to the family and be their hero. And heroes don’t cry. Humans do.

Every time he feels the rush of emotions, he doesn’t know what to do. And the outlet is what it is. 


Let’s ask ourselves today…

Do we want to be born to a hero or to a human?
Do we want to live with a hero or a human?
Do we want to raise a hero or a human?”

Beauty and the beast

Can a beast be with a beauty? 👹 ⚡ 👱🏻‍♀️ 
Can a hammer stay with a flower? 🔨 ⚡ 🌷 
Can roughness survive with tenderness without destroying it?

Ice 🧊 breaks its bonds to melt and become water 🌊 when exposed to the warmth of light☀️. The rigidity it possesses is subject to change. It is water… frozen by atmosphere. It can, too, flow freely, quench thirst and liquefy itself. Is it scared of the transformation?💭 Maybe. Undoubtedly, there is risk of losing parts of itself and falling apart, if not held tight. “Would it lose itself” is a fear that makes it hold itself solid🧊. Water, on the other hand, is flexible, free flowing and “more” liquid. It does not possess good counters for hard blows and punches, it lets them pass through; does not attack the attacker but tears itself apart🌊.

Is water jealous of ice for its endurance?
Is ice jealous of water for its freedom?
Ice and water are two forms of existence of the same material; interchangeable yet different properties.

What if they are put together in a closed box? It is no less than amazement to see them not fighting but trying to unite🤝. They tend to lose themselves to become the other. There comes a point of equilibrium where there isn’t a need for them to lose themselves anymore to relieve the other of its discomfort with the coexistence. They start coexisting⚗️. What if we heat the box🔥? The discomfort rises again inside both. A lot is happening inside💔. The tendency to lose themselves pushes them in one direction; survival instincts and identity greed in the other. After all confusions and haphazard ups and downs, what happens in the end😞?

Equilibrium. ⚗️ 
Peaceful coexistence. 🤝

How? 😯😯

However.

Woman Shrugging on WhatsApp

Why? 🤔

Because they want it. 🙂

Isn’t love also a verb?!!! 🙂

Woman and Man Holding Hands on Facebook 4.0

Romeo

My name is Romeo. I also live roadside. Contrary to what you might be imagining, the two words put together don’t describe me. But there is no doubt about my qualities as a lover. I do love. That’s one thing I am pretty good at. I say hello to everyone I see on the road. I try to. This… is a story of a chilling night in my city.

The month is January and the date is 1. It is around 8.30 in the evening. My dinner routines aren’t very organised and depend on a lot of factors. I don’t remember when I ate last. I can feel the chills taking my breath away with every blow of freezing cold wind passing by. I am by the roadside outside an ATM. It is my area and so I know there are people nearby who are setting up fire to warm themselves, preparing for the night as all of us know it’s going to get colder.

It’s not very cold inside the ATM room but I am too scared to step in. It’s getting colder outside and I am still outside, shivering.. lying on the road.. entangled in myself.. to cover myself up as much as I can with my own body.

I have furs but they don’t seem to be too protective today. My tail is stuck between my body and the doormat lying outside; I am trying to wrap myself up as much as I can with my body, trying to feel a little cozy. Perhaps I didn’t have dinner today and so I am feeling a little weak.

What happens next?
Do I survive the night?
This, and many other such stories, me and my friends talk about a lot.

This is not my story.
This is your story.
You get to decide the end the next time it happens in front of you.

I eat.. sleep.. reproduce.. repeat.
I wag my tail when I see you.
I lick. I jump.
I try to share my love in my language.

I can’t tell my story and so somebody is saying it on my behalf…

Next time you see me, don’t forget to say hello. 🙂