I look out of windows of places that I want to escape and only after 24 hours, only after 12 years in a poem about crows, in an essay about public school, in a story, in a ruin not mine do I find the space to figure out, to sketch what I would have thought of, if I allowed myself to think. If I allowed myself to feel, what I would have loved, what I would have gladly run away from. The lives that I couldn’t start, the roles I couldn’t end they leave my skin and become the masks they always were. I carefully place these masks on the words that have nothing to do with me My words they only hold the mould that were too painful for me to confirm to or accept.
As my teacher with broken voice dictated another question on radius and heights and the mountains where no snow, no season, no name sticks; I turned another page and wrote the name of an emperor who died even though he believed he won’t. I smiled and tried to correct the very very wrong spelling of a national political party that my friend wrote. It doesn’t matter she said, when I couldn’t figure out what was exactly wrong with it. At lunch, she leaned against the wrong window, the one with fresh coat of blue paint, and told me a joke which she memorized only to remember it wrong. I again gave her the laugh that meant nothing in particular. But I knew she loved it when I reacted like this- as if she is forcing a laughter out of my silent sombre heart, as if she is wining over me all my resistance. But I was nothing like that. I was nothing like she thought me to be. My heart was already open. She was already inside me- writing melodies with her soft steps beside me, painting summer sun over every window I looked out of. But these are things that need no telling, there are my treasures I won’t allow her to take back, these are the answer she will never realize. I hand in another assignment, another answer sheet that looks too little like me, that raises the eyebrows of people who realize they couldn’t teach me a thing right. I walk back to my seat wondering if my shirt is tainted red with my love like her back is filled with butterflies of blue.
There was that pile of paper I couldnever keep safe. The crossed out, always crossed out words, words always out of order, words turned beautiful only because they dissolved in my frustration. Only because now I cannot read them without effort. I must make something out of them something that couldn’t possibly be mine.
The blue ink dripping, forming planets on unexpected letters, forming planets on my hands. I would take them to class and look at them as if now I meant something more, now that I was suffering for something I want.
I raised my hands to answer a question I have already answered hundred times. I sat down and swallowed my teacher’s frown. He didn’t have to teach me that right answers matter only when they come from right mouths. (I once got an A only because I forgot to put my name.) I knew there was nothing I could learn by swallowing frowns everyday, but still I dragged myself, my broken planets, my half burnt poems in my half burnt hands to the one who doesn’t think twice before asking me to hate myself better.
After a long long time, I am back with another award post. Roshni has nominated me for Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award. I am really thankful that she like my work and considered me worthy of mention on her blog. Means a lot.
Rules – Thank the person who nominated you with a link to their blog. (done) – Make a post of the award (with a photo of the logo). (done) – Post the rules (done) – Ask 5-10 questions of your choice. (I won’t be posting any question as I won’t be nominating anyone) – Nominate 10-30 other bloggers (or more) and notify them. (For last few award post I always skip this step of nominating people. Most of the people I follow don’t like to included in awards and stuff like that, so yeah. And it is too much work to filter out who do like it. So I have given up on the step of nominating.)
So here are the answers to the questions Roshni has posted:
What is the most interesting aspect of the place you belong to? To be honest, I have never felt a sense of belonging to a specific place. The place that my family home is, the place I was born, the places I have lived are all different. We were on move so much, we never stayed at a place for more than 2-4 years. The place I am living currently living in, Bangalore, is the longest I have stayed somewhere. I do love the convenience of Bangalore, but again I do not have a sense of belonging to this place. All the places I have been I have fond memories of those places, they have contributed greatly to my childhood experiences. All these places, places I won’t ever belong to, places that will forever be in my memory nevertheless have taught me that people at their core are basically same. (It is one thing to read it and other to actually know it.)
Do you like quotes? If yes, which quote defines you? If no, ignore the question. I love quotes. I love quotes because of the beauty with which they deliver a sentiment, a sentiment that can live without the context. I don’t necessarily think that quotes are the ultimate truth though. If there are 50 quotes in support a sentiment or a thought, there will 50 other quotes against that thought. It doesn’t necessarily prove anything but it is still beautiful.
I am not entirely sure if I can objectively describe myself in quotes. The quotes that I can relate to either make me sound more grand than I am or more pitiful that I am. So the quotes that you see below are just a compromise between how I see myself and how I guess the world sees me.
Quotes that define me:
“They say it’s good to let your grudges go, but I don’t know, I’m quite fond of my grudge. I tend it like a little pet.” – Liane Moriarty
“I’m not sentimental—I’m as romantic as you are. The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last—the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won’t.“ – F. Scott Fitzgerald
“She knew that was not an honest prayer, and she did not linger over it. The right prayer would have been, Lord . . . I am miserable and bitter at heart, and old fears are rising up in me so that everything I do makes everything worse.” – Marilynne Robinson
“Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
For an accurate description of me, this is how my sister defines me :
infj (mbti) + cancer (zodiac) + sprinkle with some pixie dust & lots of love + lots of sarcastic humour
Following is a quote that defines my persona that I have as a poet (also, suggested by my sister):
“Today, too, I go on living just enough Keeping in step, wearing my feet out just enough The sun makes me breathless The world has stripped me of all I have Without a choice, with no other alternative, Under the moonlight I am picking up my scattered self.“ -“4 O’Clock“, BTS RM &V
You wake up in the morning to find an alien(or Thanos) sitting on your chair reading your favorite book. How would you react? (No, I’m not mad; I do envision such scenarios ?? ) I think I would just go back to sleep. I am good at living in denial. I don’t normally imagine such scenarios. I do daydream a lot, but my day dream would never fall into the category of fantasy, it is mostly about real life as it is. My daydreaming is mostly about what would happen 5-10 years from now, different scenarios of my future or of the people I love, or about a possible story that I am trying to flesh out.
What do you enjoy more- reading, writing or story-telling? I like reading the most. Though I love writing and story telling as well, but I feel I have too many limitations in that. I feel I have a very narrow vision and hence very narrow range of what I write. I don’t really mind it, because this narrow view, is just me being me, being obsessed about something that I am interested in. But even though I like being confined to specific topic and specific style, I cannot negate the fact that they are redundant to some degree. I love reading most because I never know what I am in for. Every well-written book surprises me, moves me, makes me think in a way I never could have otherwise. So yeah, reading would be the most exciting thing.
What is the knowledgeable/wise thing you have learnt in your adulthood? Wise things I learnt in adulthood, that have not necessarily eased my life, but anyway:
Importance of reputation I have to work for the reputation I want. It doesn’t mean I am trying to become someone I am not. But if I fool around all the time, obviously no one is going to take me seriously. So even if I don’t get my sleep, even if I am sick or in pain, I will complete my work, I will be on time, I will not let down people. My dedication and sincerity lies in my actions and not in the words I speak casually. It doesn’t mean pushing myself for the sake of my image. It means if I mess up, everyone would know that I have my reasons. My mistakes will be mistakes, not something that I do just because I can or want to. It also means I don’t expect people to believe me or take my side, if my previous behavior makes their disbelief in me justifiable.
Another quote: “I think both of you are going to have to take this to heart the way anyone who has ever changed anything about their lives has had to take it to heart: by making it not just a nice thing we say, but a hard thing we do. It’s how the real work is done. “ – Cheryl Strayed
Minding my own business I cannot save everyone, not everyone needs saving, I am probably not qualified to make such assessment on other people, and I don’t think anyone is qualified for that. My morals, my likes, my wants, my decisions are only my business and not something I should project on others. Exception – I will voice my views of people who don’t know how to mind their own business. The key here is reciprocity.
Being content Even though I might say that I don’t expect much in life. It is all a lie. I expect a lot. My standard are too high. My standards were higher when I was younger. I wanted a perfect family, perfect friend, perfect love, perfect job, and a perfect life. Not that I ever had it. At no point in my life I experienced perfection. Maybe that’s why I wanted it so much. But with time I realized, I didn’t need so much, I wanted only a little, I just wanted those little things to be true and permanent. I did’t want an adventurous or enviable life, I just wanted a peaceful life with things that I care about. I didn’t want a perfect person, but a person who is kind and understanding and on same page as me. I didn’t necessarily want that person to be my love or soulmate. I didn’t actually want a big dream or purpose. I tried to want all the grand things, because I was mistaken that what I have is my worth. But now more than anything I wanted only one thing – to wake up with hope, passion, and love for this world. I just wanted to be capable of loving and being gentle to this world. Once I would have once considered this as settling for bare minimum. But now I realize I actually need and want only this.
Quote: Hodaka: “Dear God, if you exist, please don’t take anything more, and don’t give anything more.“ –Weathering with You
Which blog post of yours is your favorite? (Kindly provide the link as we all can read and enjoy.) I don’t have favorites among my work. Half of my work is just a bit better than the other half, that’s it. So I am just listing here some poems that I had forgotten I had written and were sort of good:
Suggest 3 books for the readers. 3 books. Soooo tough. That is a really small number. If I select one book, it seems I am being unfair to other books. But I must select as I can’t list all the books I have read till now, even that is not possible. So anyway, here are 3 books that I can suggest you. These are books that have taught me something or have moved me, made me see and feel the world in a different way. There are many other books who have done the same for me, but let’s just consider this a starting point.
Name a fear (if you have and if you’re comfortable in sharing) which you want to overcome. I think all the fears that I have are there for a reason. I don’t mean to get rid of any of them because I know exactly why I fear what I fear. It is not an irrational fear but a rational one. (If you are vaguely interested in the sorts of ridiculous or nor so ridiculous fear I harbor, click here.)
So yeah that was all. Since we are at the end of the post I would like to thank Roshni again for the nomination and for liking my work.
universe fireflie has tagged me in this really sweet post about ten things that make me happy. I will try to answer them to the best of my ability, but it is going to be tough. If you are aware of my writing, you would have noticed that I am more than capable of writing about sad depressing stuff. So writing about things that makes me happy is a bit weird for me. So before I make this more awkward…let’s start!!! WARNING: This is a really really long post.
In no particular order…
My Sister When I think of happiness, my sister is the first person that comes to my mind. It would be an understatement if I say that I am extremely fond of my sister. She is my favorite person in this world. I love how sweet she is, how much curiosity she has for the world, the genuine interests that we both share. Any day, anytime spent with her is bound to be filled with happiness- may it be the serene calm type of happiness or laughing out hearts out type happiness. She is crucial to my happiness. I am lucky that I happen to be the sister of my best friend. 🙂 Afterthoughts: My sister draws really well. I am so proud of her that I can’t help but promote her work here. She will probably kill me for this though. Here are the links to my sister’s work, if you are interested : WordPress, Instagram, and Youtube.
Books I love to read. I am not sure if what I read is intellectual or refined enough. But I like what I like – mostly fiction and poetry. I think reading is what led me to have love for words and even for this world. Books make me believe that there is a meaning in everything, that life is meaningful. It is the kind of assurance that life by itself has never been able to give me. I wouldn’t categorize books into a means to escape from life, but rather a new layer to life that makes me more tolerant of people and world. I love buying books, reading them, finding more books to read. Even the sight of my bookshelf, the thought of all the books that I am yet to read, even adding a new book into my “to read” list makes me feel excited. Afterthought: On that note, here is a quote from the book I am reading currently: “Running might take her forward, it could even take her home; but it couldn’t take her back–not ten minutes, ten hours, not ten years or days. And that was tough, as Hely would say. Tough: since back was the way she wanted to go, since the past was the only place she wanted to be.” ― Donna Tartt, The Little Friend
BTS I will try not to make this too long (because I know I am fully capable of turning this into a 8 hour presentation on BTS). I love BTS. I love their music, their performances, their passion, their ethics, their character, etc. I cannot possibly explain what effect they have had on my life. I would say they have deepened my passions, made me believe in the goodness in world, and made me believe in the goodness that I am capable of. My life is thousand times better with them in it. They have touched and changes millions of lives through their music, through their existence. I wish they also find the happiness that they want. I low-key love ARMY – BTS fans who have showered them with all the love they deserve and who try to protect them as much as they can. Afterthoughts: I think almost every person has one artist whose works resonates with them. BTS just happens to be that artist whose work has most effect on me. I think we should treasure that, always remember that feeling of looking at life with a person who just happens to think about life the same way we do. It is not about supremacy of one artist over other, about loving the artist that made you understand and love ourselves.
Music My love for music is equivalent to my love of books. Maybe I love music a bit more than books. Each song that I love or like is an experience in itself, those few minutes makes me forget myself and sometimes remind who I am and who I was. I can listen to the same song many many times and only to love it more. I do not have a favorite genre or anything. I think it solely depends on the song. Afterthoughts: -Even though I try to explore as many songs as possible in as many language as possible, but most of the time I am not aware of the “popular” stuff. You might even think I am living under a rock. Now, I do not believe that popular songs are bad or good. I am not a person who is against mainstream music. It is just that I am so caught up in the things that I like that I do not get time to even look at other stuff. I sort of live in my own bubble. – BTS gets its own separate point here, because my love for them is on a whole new level. Their music is awesome. But they are so much more than their music. Stanning BTS is a way of life.
Writing I think I am a person who has zero confidence in herself. I do not think I am especially gifted in anything. I am not particularly intelligent or beautiful or funny or creative. And I take writing in the same spirit. I do not think I am exceptional at writing, but I love writing. I love the fact that I can write average good stuff some days. I love the 2000 lines of drafts that will never make to a post. When I write, I love how much clearer and focused my head is. I love my writing more when someone else find comfort in my words. I agree that writing with a regular job is difficult and bit pressurizing but writing gives me such joy, that I don’t think I can possibly quit writing. Afterthoughts: I once heard about a rule that one cannot estimate themselves correctly. So I am probably worse or better than what I think I am. I hope my writing is better than what I think it is.
Internet There were so many things to list here, so I collectively grouped them as “internet”. But then who doesn’t love internet. It is sort of basic thing that a lot of us take for granted. Having access to so much content, so much information makes me happy. I love the hour that I uselessly spend on looking at memes, the hours I spend playing and upgrading stuff on games that will take me nowhere in life, the hour I spend on watching videos, all the silly hilarious stuff that I retweet at 2 am, binge reading everything about MBTI on Quora, reading random articles that I will end up forgetting anyways. Though it is just a stream of easy to consume media, but still it does make us happy in some ways. And that happiness is significant in itself. Afterthoughts: I am aware everything is not picture perfect on internet. Internet depresses us also. But with I have learnt to leave online spaces that make me feel bad about myself uselessly. I am not good with interacting with people online, that is one thing that I cannot enjoy. It is not about whether these people are friends or strangers. I just have a feeling that I have nothing to say that the other person would be interested to know about. (That’s the reason that I silently like your posts rather than leaving the comment you deserve.) I don’t like to stay online for long also. The moment I finish doing what I had in my mind, I switch off my data. Because I just can’t handle all the notifications. I like the dear old SMS to communicate rather than the new efficient apps with awesome features.
Series/Movies/Stories Watching series and movies is another joy to me, something that I spend a lot of my time on. Every thing I have watched, every character that I have watched is equivalent to a life that I have lived briefly. I don’t do binge watch though. I like some time to think over everything. That is the pace I am comfortable – to watch something and reflect on it, think about it, to anticipate what is yet to come for the whole day. I think that feeling the story grow in you as you go about your everyday life is an essential part of the whole experience, a part that adds more importance to what I am watching. Afterthoughts: Again as with music, I have no idea of the popular stuff. I just see what I end up finding. I do have list of stuff to see but that is based on word-of-mouth suggestion from people who like the same things as me. I do not have a favorite movie or series or book. Naming favorites is too tough for me. For each story, each actor, each director etc. has their own charm. That would be like comparing apples to oranges.
Everything emotional/sentimental/sort of spiritual I do not look like an emotional person, but I am. I am an INFJ with Cancer zodiac, what else can you expect but an over-sentimental person. I like anything that seeks to explore or talk about these sentiment, anything that values human emotions and shows how complicated and simple it can be. Similarly, I have same feeling about works related to spirituality. I enjoy the company of people who genuinely have something to talk on these topics. I am not into talking about people but talking about ideas. Not the ideas that change the world, but ideas that helps me understand why we feel the way we feel, ideas that give me insight into the tiny limited world. Afterthought: I think I am not one of those people who can or want to change the world. My mind never wanders into that direction. All I think about is my understanding of world and how to perfect that understanding. Sometimes I think I am a narcissist and self-absorbed person because of that.
Lazing around/Sleeping I don’t react well to stress. So I am always looking forward to a good sleep or a day without schedules or deadline. A day that I can waste away makes me happy. Even though lazing around for me again means books/music/series etc. Even when it is not busy it is still a busy life.
Being Busy As much as I like lazing around, I like being busy more. Because of my sense of being less than average and constant feeling of not being good enough. I don’t handle free time well. I feel that no one needs me, the world will work without me also. That I have nothing to offer to world. It is a very sad feeling. So I try to do my work properly, try to do by best in everything. I like the days that I have work myself to point of losing all my energy. So that I can enjoy all the things I love (everything mentioned above) without guilt. Afterthought: It is not that I cannot sit still or introspect without driving myself to the point of sadness. I like introspection a lot. But having days and weeks of time for just introspection makes me feel like a useless person.
Things that almost made to this list but didn’t (and why):
Food I used to enjoy eating a lot. I still love good food. But I can’t eat or enjoy it as I used to. Something has changed in me, maybe I am growing old. Now I don’t have that much craze for it.
Friends I don’t think I am good at friendship. I loved my friends while I was with them. But then apart from the brief time of companionship, there nothing much left of those time now. My expectation from friendship I think is a bit too much. I think in the long run friendships don’t give me happiness.
This quote is from one of my favorite blogs of all time. I just love each and every line this writer (Luna, that’s her name on Twitter) has ever written. It was so difficult to chose this one specifically. I admire her writing a lot.
This quote always reminds me of how we can fear what we want. How they can be the same thing. If I speak for myself, I am always suffering this dilemma when I write anything. I want to be heard, to be understood. I want to put my abstract feelings into something more concrete. Sometimes what I write is not what I feel, but what I suppose or imagine a person would feel. But at the same time there are so many lines I cross out, so many lines I would prefer no one reads, cause it reveals too much about me or my thinking. Confessional writing is something I guess I can (will) never do. I am too afraid to be actually heard or seen for what I am. But I can’t stop writing (even if I am very bad at it).
Here we are at the end of 3 days quote challenge. I am glad that you liked the quotes I shared. But as you may have notice I missed out on giving nominees for the challenges in my previous post (somehow I forgot about that) . So time for nominees for this challenge :