Friday, June 22, 2018

Metamorphosis

One morning I dreamt that I had become a leopard.

Nothing surprising in it, as such, because it happened a few days after I read Kafka's Metamorphosis. The fact that Kafka imagined himself as an insect and I, as a leopard, must speak volumes about where we see ourselves. Not just any leopard, mind you, a man-eating kind, no less. I have no idea where that came from. (No doubt thanks to Corbett's Man-eaters of Kumaon, except that those were tigers.) Surely dream analysts would go berserk trying to decipher that one. I see a lot of fingers pointed at my ego.

As is usual in dreams, I could see myself - the leopard - from the outside as though my mind (in any case, my eyes) were suspended in the air. As though the dream were a video game where I had chosen my character as a leopard - I could see it as well as control it.

I watch myself prowling around the room. Round and round. Here and there. From this corner to that. The room has two doors and a window. One opens out to the balcony and the other to the rest of the house.

I'm restless.

I'm confined. Yet I am free. The doors are open. I don't go out. I go to their edge and peer out. I take in nature through my senses. From a distance.

A man-eater. Could be dangerous if let out.

My mind roams the jungles of my past. An ancient memory of unrestrained freedom. A fading image.

No one has imprisoned me, though.

I have confined myself.

I'm comfortable. I have everything I need. Even freedom in limited quantities. A cage, with an outlet. Breathing space. Walking space. Sighing space.

The leopard is a human, restricted by her own mind.

Prowling the wilderness of my dreams.


Sunday, June 3, 2018

My book of stories - now in Paperback!

Shadows of the Past and other stories
A wise person once said, "Coincidences do happen, that's why they have a name."
Sometimes these coincidences stop us on our tracks and make us wonder, “Was that really just a coincidence – or did the hand of Destiny strike ever so gently?” We call them ‘eerie’ or ‘uncanny’, or ‘miracles’ or ‘stroke of luck’ or ‘fate’.

Shadows of the Past” takes you to the crossroads where coincidence meets luck, miracle meets destiny, on the thin line between the strange and the eerie. Perhaps those incidents are mere coincidences, and there is nothing inexplicable about them.

I leave you to judge.


Reviews

"Engaging narrative. Author handles the plot well. Every story has a twist and keeps reader engrossed." - Pradeep on Amazon

"The stories were engaging, and the narration, simple. The eagerness to know what the twist might be keeps the pages turning." - Vinay Leo on Goodreads

"Really enjoyed reading the collection of short stories. My favorites being Rosa and awaiting August. The writing was simple to understand and pleasant." - Tejus on Amazon

"Each story manage to grip the reader and makes him want to read the rest. I liked the fact that no two story was similar, either in treatment or subject." - Anoop on Goodreads



What are you waiting for?? 

Purchase paperback edition from:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.in/Shadows-Past-Jeena-R-Papaadi/dp/9387649369/ (Also available from Amazon international stores)

Infibeam: https://www.infibeam.com/Books/shadows-past-jeena-r-papaadi/9789387649361.html

Flipkart: https://www.flipkart.com/shadows-of-the-past/p/itmf5jshqpyftw7x


If you are an ebook reader, you can find the book on Amazon Kindlehttps://www.amazon.in/Shadows-Past-Jeena-R-Papaadi-ebook/dp/B01L2JURE6/


Add the book to your shelves at Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40239056-shadows-of-the-past


Before you go...

... please remember to rate and review the book once you have read it, on the website where you purchased it from, as well as on Goodreads.


And while we're on the topic, check out my other books: https://www.amazon.in/Jeena-R.-Papaadi/e/B005HG4HMY/

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

I've given up being myself...

Where - and how - did I get lost?
Look, I tried to blend in.
I did not wish to, I fought my inner urge, but I did.
I did all that they wished me to. Well, almost.
Yet they caught on to the little things I missed.
And they remembered things from the past.
Things I wanted to forget.
And they dragged it all before me - I did not know how to react.
The stuff they did not drag - hung before our eyes, the elephant in the room.
I was not armed with details from their past. I never cared.
No, society isn't forgiving. They aren't kind.
They're mocking. They revel in it. They thrive in it. They rejoice in it.
And God, what long-lasting memory they have!
If you do not fit in, they tarnish you - with a smile.
Oh, that winning smile!
But I swallowed my discomfort.
I tried to smile and pretend it did not matter.
I even joked, for God's sake.
I had to go through this. It was only a matter of a few hours.
If they can survive, so can I.
But I didn't.
I did put up a good fight, but I lost.
It came out - my fury, a glimpse of it, in my eyes, in my impatient gesture.
In an unintentional slash of my words.
I took a deep breath and turned away.
This was not me. I could not do this.
And when my back was turned, they all trickled away. And I was left all alone, stunned.
Where had I gone wrong?
Why was it so much easier for them?
Later, much later, when it all came back in full force, I decided... I cannot be myself. It was a lost battle.
It was not worth while.
It was draining.
It was lonesome.
They were never going to give up. They will hound me for years. For as long as I live.
Better I put on a show than not. At least to give them less ammunition.
It was easier to give up and follow the rules. Even if it killed me or drove me insane.
It was possible to learn the ropes.
Then I would arm myself - with their past. Yes, I would play nasty.
It was easier to (pretend to) become one of them than try to be me.
Who cares, either way?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Talker

He just loves to talk. That isn't the first impression you get of him, though. He may come across as funny or efficient or friendly or a variety of things. Talkative is probably the last thing to occur to you - it comes over a period of time. It clicks one fine morning not when he is talking to you, but when you watch him attack someone else. Just talking and talking and talking. Flick, swoosh, snip, destroy!

You tell yourself, he loves the sound of his own voice. Then you begin to realise it is not that simple. He enjoys the reaction he gets - naturally that's when people perform: before an admiring audience. Not before someone who doesn't give a hoot.

You react to the way he speaks - it isn't new, but it is still fresh. It is not unfamiliar but it is exciting. His choice of words promises an extensive knowledge of the language, over and above yours. His gestures talk almost as much as he does.

You nod eagerly, you listen carefully to the ring of his voice, you observe the flow of his hand and you widen your eyes.

Then one day the spell breaks. Words tumbling over, hands flitting left to right, taking shapes, no longer hold any charm. You go through the motions - being polite, nodding, smiling, rolling your eyes, that sort of thing. But all you hear is yak-yak-yak... the more polite you pretend to be, the more you wish to die. The next time you see him approach, you bury your head into your book, and dive into your own world.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Back to the Past

​I went back
To my past
To change my life,
To find you again,​​
To keep you close...

I returned
To the day I lost you
But I lost you anyway

The day I met you 
I tried to keep away
But I met you anyway

The days in between
To change our destiny
I changed everything

But no matter how I tried
No matter 
How many more times 
I returned to the past
Everything just 
Remained the same.

I found you 
And I lost you again 
A million times...

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Greek God, Wave Rider

He flew over the waves... up, over, down and up again. With a rough swerve, he came back down, then up, and down again to where he started.

Looking like a Greek God, I thought, though I have never come across one. If only he had long hair to blow against the wind - in slow motion. But his spikes refused to budge.

He was beautiful in his skill, gliding smooth, flirting with perfection.

Yet he did not seem happy. His eyes, piercing, pale blue, wore the tortured look of Daniel Radcliffe about to face Voldemort.

Perhaps his performance did not meet his standards. Perhaps it did, and he did not wish to express his glee. Perhaps he wasn't used to.

Perhaps... he was an introvert. When he first came in, he had given a gentle nod and the suggestion of a smile. No Hello.

When someone clapped at his perfect finish, his eyes softened, merely registering mild pleasure. He didn't whoop or grin. That's who he was. He wasn't covering up. He wasn't pretending. He was in his own world, battling his own demons.

I could tell he was an artist. Yes - that explains the discontent in his eyes; the look of being forever haunted. Forever miserable. Any measure of success is immediately replaced by the pain of the next quest.

When I left, I knew I would never see him again. Because that was how the world worked. So many of us, walking past, crossing paths, locking eyes, and forgetting the next instant. And sometimes, remembering that brief encounter for a lifetime.

Like the man who painted clouds. The world rushed past, hurrying home to roost, but we stood there, looking up, admiring the perfect monsoon skies, blue and white and grey and breathtaking, and shared the joy. A few stolen moments. Then we parted. Never to meet again.

Some joys in life come and go while we are the least prepared, and they leave behind a fragrance so rich, so intense that we hold on to it for a million years, in our journey past the floods, through the desert, into the wasteland.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Won or Lost

I set a deadline 

For myself.

I didn't meet it.

So I cheated

And made it look

As though I had.

No one else knew

Of my act 

Nor of my target.

So essentially

I set the goal,

I failed,

I cheated,

So I won.

Did I win or lose?


Thursday, March 15, 2018

The truth about telling lies

It is so very easy to tell lies. Try it. 

Children learn it at an early age. When they are little they blurt everything out, but at a certain age, they figure out that a lie might just save them a little punishment - if no one discovers it is a lie. 

A lot of complications ensue - a lie rescues them from immediate danger; but then the "truth will out" and cause damage. Is the lie to blame or is it the fault of the truth?

Then there are the adults. 

We, the adults, like to think that honesty is for weaklings. For kids. We are not bound by such little bonds. 

We can decide when to lie; when to be truthful. When to be partially truthful. 

Partial truths - they are the real saviours. What would we have done if the concept of half-truths did not exist! A little grey sprinkled over the black and the white. 

Lies that we pretend are to "protect the ones we love", what we call "harmless lies", "white lies"...

Lies to avoid confrontation. "If I speak about this, she is going to be mad. Let me keep it to myself."

"I never lied. I just did not tell you. That's all. That's not a lie. No, that's not. That is not. That is not."

"I did not tell you, because I didn't want you to worry." 

A lie demands another lie to justify its existence - a lie to vindicate another. 

A lie inspires a lie. "He is lying to me. Why should I tell him the truth, EVER?" 

"If I have nothing to lie about, let me create something. Just to get even."

"Next time, I will make it a point to NOT tell him what exactly happened."


A lie is a heavy burden to carry. A pile of lies is even heavier. So we find someone to unload the truth upon. Then the lie becomes dark and vile... because now you have lied to the person who matters, and revealed the truth to someone who doesn't.

Then you close your eyes and pretend that This is Life...