Saturday, December 29, 2018

Petrichor

Last night there was a drizzle:
A sudden, unexpected patter.
Many would not have noticed,
Many would not have known.

I ran out, opened the door
To see, to hear, to breathe
What they call petrichor
And chilly winter breeze.

Early today morning, I
Looked out for some sign
A cold, bleak day, dawning;
Did I dream up the rain?

Not a drop, no cold wind,
Not one whiff of petrichor
Was it the morning after rain?
Did I dream it up again?


Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Final Door

I had started packing at least two weeks before.

Packing, cleaning, removing all the garbage that had gathered over the years. So much - you have no idea. 'They had gathered' - I make it sound like they had all walked in of their own accord. 'I had collected' is more correct - I had brought them all. Invited them in and allowed them to stay.

Now it was time to send them away - out of my life. Overnight, they had lost meaning, they had lost purpose.

When the door is in sight, priorities shift. All the unnecessary stuff we had been holding on to, begin to fade. It's only a matter of time before we step across the threshold and close the door behind us. What do we want to do, in those final minutes? Leave some memories behind? Brace ourselves for the journey ahead? Say goodbyes? Take one last look?

It kept me busy, the clearing of my space. Kept my mind off things. Things that were thronging my head, jostling for attention. Secondly, it gave me a chance to stage my disappearance - slowly, without anyone noticing. Honestly, no one was interested anyway. They did not observe that every day I was wiping myself from their view. Erasing myself right before their eyes. Or did they not care?

Every day I walked out, taking stuff with me like Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption emptying dirt out in the yard, little by little daily. Andy had all the time in the world. I had slightly lesser.

The door beckons, closing by inches. Too soon, too quick. Every minute it leaps closer. On the other side lies uncertainty. 

I didn't know what I was going to tell my friends. Yes I had a few. They didn't know what to tell me either. We kept safely away from the elephant in the room. I spoke about other things, for their sake. Their embarrassment and sympathy would only make me more miserable.

On the Last Day...

I was ready. A handful of people knew - none of them my friends. It just happened to be their duty to know. They would much rather have remained ignorant. This was awkward for them. Seeing me made them uncomfortable. Avoiding me was easier. Their forced smiles said as much. I wonder if they expected me to make a big hue and cry of the situation. Did they even bother? Or were they relieved when it was over, quietly, just like the end of another day?

I don't remember much of that Day. I have wiped it clean too, when I closed the door behind me. I must have walked around, bidding farewell in my mind. To things, to people. Touching the walls and the doors and the coffee machine for the last time. If I met any of my acquaintances, I must have said goodbye as usual. Some of them might have said, See you tomorrow. I must have smiled: I knew I won't see them tomorrow. They didn't have to know yet.

I turned my back on that part of life - with a vengeance. Pushed it out of my mind. Drowned it in my newfound independence.

Vanished. 

I heard them utter my name. Wondering, questioning,... finally comprehending. And then my name would fade from their lips too. The final stab.

Some memories are like quicksand. They just keep pulling you back in, no matter what you do. You remain still, and you tell yourself you're out, you're safe, but all the while you're right in the middle of it. If you move, you sink. But they don't take you in completely, they just leave enough for you, just enough to make you sigh over and over again, years later.

When it is time for you to leave, and if you're fortunate enough to get ample time to prepare, would you take the time to look around? To say goodbyes? To hand over unfinished work to someone you trust?

We are mortal. But our work can be immortal. 

The question remains. Did we matter?

Did I matter?


* Background vector created by Freepik

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Books to read

​Sometimes
I wither in panic
Remembering​​ the books I'm yet to read
The many titles I wish to re-read
And fear that
Life will take me away
Before I can savour them
To my heart's content.

Sometimes
I bloom in ecstasy
Remembering the books I'm yet to read
The many titles I wish to re-read
Because no matter how many years pass by
Or I live till eternity
I'll always have something new
To read.

There is no cage that can hold me
No prison that can contain me
No four walls can restrain me
Or take away my freedom
As long as I have a book
Within reach.
Take them away, and you've as good as
Taken my life away.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Shadows of the Past - now in Justbooks library

That exciting moment when your book is listed by your favourite library:



Yes, "Shadows of the Past and other stories" is now available at a Justbooks CLC branch near you.

(Photo credit: Justbooks, Banshankari)


Saturday, November 3, 2018

When you left

​You​​ left without saying Goodbye.
I waited, hoping you'd return, remembering.
Because the last time we met,
Years ago, 
I was the first to leave, 
And I had remembered. I had waved. 
A special farewell, just for you. 

And all through the night
It kept me awake: 
Why did you not say Goodbye?
Why was it so difficult?
You knew you were leaving.
I didn't. 

The acknowledgement was casual.
The kind people exchange when 
They pass each other by.

I waited. 
The evening retreated,
The guests flowed in and out,
Until they flowed in no more.

Then it came home to me.
You had never seen me the way I saw you.
The frequency, the wavelength,
All those clichés I'd used 
T o describe us, albeit to myself,
None of it was real.

Looking back, our conversations
So interesting and engrossing, to me,
Seem so fragile, so thin 
Like smoke, 
Rising, spreading, dissipating,
Thin ice, cracking, breaking,
Non existent now. 
I'd read too much between the lines.
Which had been nothing but vacuum.

So ridiculous, such a mockery.
I must have made a fine spectacle.
The support I offered
The sympathetic ear, the shoulder...
A fine spectacle indeed
If all that had meant nothing.

Perhaps I should just laugh
At my own foolishness-
Jumping to conclusions that never existed.
Perhaps I should forget,
Because it had been clearly 
All in my own mind, and 
Perhaps it is time to
Return to my land of silence.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Book lover

​Whose book is this?
Asks the six-year-old
In a loud whisper,
Awe and respect in her words,
Her hands reverently caressing
The hard cover.

Whose book is this?
She says, looking around
At her mother and friends;
Then she looks around
At her own little friends.
Whose book is this?

Hers, replies the mother
Pointing to me.
The little girl's eyes rest on me
With newfound admiration.
She's known me a long time, but
Today she sees me with new eyes.

Can I see it? Again the polite whisper
As though the majestic book
Must not be disturbed, or
Awakened from its slumber.
Of course, I say, and she
Opens it carefully.

It's not a picture book,
She does not care.
She's not old enough to read it;
The six hundred page book
Does not intimidate her;
The tiny font does not deter her.

I watch her turn the pages
Slowly, lovingly, respectfully,
And when it is time to leave
She replaces it gently,
And smiles at me.
Today I see her with new eyes too.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Giveaway: my novel "Temple of Time" #ebook #Kindle


My novel, Temple of Time (in ebook format) can be purchased for FREE from Amazon until Sunday, October 7th. Download now. You can also read the first few pages, the synopsis and reviews from the links below.

Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B00U54HX3I
Amazon US and other countries: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U54HX3I

If you have friends who love reading ebooks, please share this with them.

To know more about the book, click here: http://navy-blue-jeans.blogspot.com/2015/03/temple-of-time.html

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

"It's always the woman's fault"

It wasn't, by the way. Not even close.

It's like saying, the thunderstorm is a person's fault, or the flood is.

The problem with writing a blog in one's own name is that there is a limit to the stuff you can divulge. You ask yourself how desperately you want to tell the complete story and how badly you want to piss off someone. They might never see the blog, but then someone might and tongues, as we know so well, wag, especially when there is something juicy to wag about. Do I want to write, or do I want to fight?

It wasn't the woman's fault. Anyone with an ounce of common sense in them could see it. But the thing about rumours is that there need be no truth attached to it.There is a special channel by which rumours spread - and that is a path often shunned by common sense.

Someone said, when the shadow of the earth falls on the moon, poisonous substances will be released from your food.

The shadow falls all the time, across space. It just so happens that once in a while there is a satellite on its path - big enough to be visible from our home. They teach science in school. It's just a shadow. Harmless. Don't give in to superstition.

But no...

What if poison is actually released? What if it is true? We don't actually know, do we? What if,...

What if it is the woman's fault? What if she brought about the thunderstorm? The flood?

The tragedy is that she had been trying hard to be good. That's what irks me. She has sacrificed a great deal to be where she is. She wasn't managing somehow.

Nothing I said to the rumour-monger would change their opinion. They would spread the tale anyway. Because there was something so delectable about fresh gossip. About someone who was already in their radar. Someone who had been admired greatly at the start. Someone who seemed to have no failing. Someone who did not give away much about themselves. Controlled. Cultured. Nonetheless, ripe to be talked about. The more difficult it is to find something about them, the more delicious it becomes. And the ears that gather the news would be thrilled to spread it further.

What if it is her fault?

Actually, it is her fault. It must be. Everything had been so perfect. There is no other culprit. Then it must be. 

When the shadow enters, venomous creatures raise their heads... Once the shadow recedes, they crawl back to the hole they came from. It sounds true, so it must be.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Deliverance

​Adrift in the ocean
No sense of direction
A​​mong the waves
And the sky and solitude

Dawn has arrived. Ahoy!
Land has been sighted
The wind draws me closer
Mountains come to view

The sparkle of a brook
Slipping in and out
Signs of habitation
Smoke from ​the ​chimneys

My heart leaps out...
Only a matter of hours
For my deliverance
Patience, my heart...

To be safe, on firm earth
Free from the rocking sea...
Land, beloved land,
The destination, ultimate.

Suddenly the wind changes
It begins to blow out
Dragging me away
Farther from the land

And as I watch helpless
The brook vanishes
The mountains grow smaller
Land retreats, diminishes

My boat, rising and falling,
Driven far out into the sea...
A brief vision, a tiny possibility-
Now an unattained dream!

Between the lashing waves
And the apathetic sky...
Adrift in the ocean...
Once again-

Friday, July 20, 2018

Deep Side

Do you feel the lure of the Deep Side?
An irresistible yearning to explore the unseen?

The treacherous waters that others have crossed,
Over there, just an arm's length away; far, but near.

It's deep, it's dangerous, it looks ominous.
I'm safe, I'm protected, I'm content.

The Deep Side is for the Adventurers, the Explorers, the Brave.
I'm none of the above. Not now, anyway.

I'm safe where I am.
Here, in my world that's shallow, controlled and secure.

But that's never enough, is it?
Contentment is only temporary... We're never satisfied.

There's always the desire for something more, something exciting.
A thirst that no amount of money can quench.

The Deep Side dwells, calm and indifferent.
It beckons with its evident lack of interest.

It turns its back on me, callous,
In a way I cannot reciprocate.

What pulls you apart, from your safe nest?
What tugs at your heart, calls you a coward?

What new goals have you found to wreck your peace?
What unsatisfied longing gives you sleepless nights?

What is your Deep Side?

Monday, July 9, 2018

Every book is a memory...


I picked up The Day of the Jackal from one of the roadside second hand book sellers in Bangalore. The year was 1999 or 2000. M.G.Road, if I am not mistaken. One of those places where they spread the books on the footpath and as we walk past, we experience an irresistible urge to pick up everything lying face up. I stopped and looked at them - I knew these weren't original, most likely photostat copies, and yet I knew for a certainty that I will buy something that day. At least one. And I did. It was my first second-hand book.

Every time I think of or talk about or overhear someone discussing The Day of the Jackal, the movie or the book, that's what I remember. My first job in Trivandrum. My interview in Bangalore. Walking by M.G.Road with my father. Staying with friends who were either working or looking for a job. A book with a green cover. I am not sure if I still have that book. If I do, it would have yellowed, thumbed pages with the print no longer clear. In the first page, I would have scribbled my name and the date I bought it, followed by "M. G. Road." I didn't want to forget.

That's why I always note down the date and where I bought it, in every book I buy. I may remember some of it, but I may forget most. And I want to remember where I was, what I was going through, who I met, and why I chose this book.

The book seller waited patiently. He did not ask if I wanted this book or that. He could tell by the way my eyes were scanning the titles. When I found what I was looking for, he would know. Another person, who had stopped his hasty walk and was looking cursorily at the books, would not buy anything that day. I was the one likely to leave with a lighter purse. My eyes fell on Frederick Forsyth. Ever since my father told me about this anonymous shooter out to kill the French President Charles de Gaulle, I had been intrigued.

I looked up at the seller and pointed to the book. "How much?"

He quoted an amount I cannot recall now. But I remember thinking, photostat copies. Not worth the price. He waited for me to negotiate. "Okay," I said.

I don't regret spending that money at all. (It is possible that my Dad paid for it, but you get what I mean.)

Every book is a memory. A slice from our life. A few moments or days or weeks of time - from the instant we set our eyes on it, or hear about it, to the moment when we let it slip back to our past.

I read it in a crowded train. 
I saw it on her table.
I bought it from M. G. Road.
I gave it to my so-called friend and she never returned it. 
I borrowed it from a library I don't visit any more.
It was a gift.

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 her 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... 

Friday, February 23, 2018

When failure is success

On my tombstone
Let it be inscribed that
I tried.
Because I did.
To the very end.
That I failed
Does not matter.
Because it doesn't.
I followed
Where my whims led
And so I have
Found success.

Friday, February 9, 2018

She

​​​She co​​nfounds me. Strange, because she had seemed simple and straightforward when I first met her, all those years ago.

In fact, she was the first person to come forward when I stepped into the new environment. The others, with friendly smiles, stayed behind, promising themselves that they will make friends with me "in due course".

I accepted her, and was grateful for her companionship. When I saw others mock her, I realised there was more to her than I suspected.

I was right. And in the years that followed, I would see her, hear from her, and ​more often, ​hear ​​about her. Everyone was delighted to talk about her - because there was so much to laugh at. I confess I fell in with them too, for some years. Until one incident opened my eyes to who she really was.

​And as though a switch was flicked on, it ​became clear ​to me why she behaved as she did, where she stood right now, and what had brought her there.​ ​Some ​part ​of her attitude was ​deeply ​ingrained in her, some of it came from her upbringing, but most of it was thanks to the lack of support from the people around her.

After that, I could only feel a dull ache when I heard them speak of her, ​​hear​​tlessly​. I could do nothing without falling into their trap myself. Yes, I was - I am - too weak to speak out and support her. ​Perhaps one of these days...

She behave​s​ like a child often, laughing and talking and getting ​upset at little things. Then all of a sudden she bec​omes an adult, managing the house, juggling several things, taking care of herself as well as the others​ with an obsession that was mildly unsettling​.​ Sometimes she sulks, and I fear she knows what's going on, and I feel her depression.​

I don't think anyone spare​s a thought for her unless it ​i​s to ​spread nice, ​fresh, ​juicy gossip​ about her​. Which is probably why she chose to take up the most insane (​​seemingly) tasks, piling up her plate with things to do all day and night ​- ​to keep her​self​ from thinking and worrying. And she turned to God with a kind of ​zeal that was borderline alarming.​

For the longest time, I believed that she did not know she was being laughed at. She behaved well with the others, friendly, concerned, involved.​ If I were in her place, I would have withdrawn and put on an ice cold front​ ​to demonstrate my disapproval. ​​But she would go on and on, and ​I would ​wonder if she was putting on a show for our benefit, or she actually didn't know that her audience was gathering material to laugh the moment her back was turned.

​​The​ truth​ is clear to me now: ​​​she is each one of us.​ But a magnified, louder​, uncontained​ version. ​We know what she is, why she is, and what she endures. ​​Because we're there too: putting on a show, clutching at crazy ideas to keep ourselves alive, struggling to keep ourselves from falling into the abyss of loneliness and meaninglessness. We laugh because we find in her what we conceal in ourselves. She is all of us. We try to hide ​who we are. She doesn't. So we laugh at her. Mercilessly.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Finding Dreamland

The room is empty-ish. There aren't a lot of furniture; but there are people walking back and forth. I think it's my house - though I have never set my eyes on it before. We're on the top floor. Who are these people? I don't seem worried. I mean, I am me; but I am also an observer, outside. I don't exactly know what I am thinking. Or I have forgotten it upon waking. I think I see myself from outside. I am not sure. Is it a feeling? Or does it mean something? Being outside and inside at the same time?

James Franco strolls in from one end, as cool as you please (now where did he spring from? something I watched recently, no doubt) and says a line I have heard him deliver before, with that ever familiar crinkled-eyes smile. And then he's gone. People just talk and laugh like they never do in this side of life. There is no connection between anything. There was a sighting of an old heart throb. A fleeting image, but one that stayed.

I come down (or watch myself come down) the staircase and the building grows into a rocky valley with a waterfall nearby. Very green surroundings (yes, it isn't black and white). Right out of a painting. I am not surprised; no one else seems to be either. Everything seems natural; everything is real - the odd appearances and disappearances and transformations are nothing to be concerned about. Maybe the transformation was smooth; it is just that I remember it in jerks and jumps.

It didn't occur to me at that time, but days later, it comes to me: I used to know a house in the top floor where furniture was scarce, with a staircase outside. It never morphed into a waterfall, though. Not that I knew of.

I have gone to sleep in this world and woken up in a different world, like an avatar in Pandora, where everything is different, and science as we know it doesn't apply all the time. That's why there are no surprises. It is as expected. It's our entry to the alternate universe. Through the looking glass? We aren't back here. Only our shell is. We're over there. Light years away. Sometimes I wake up into a nightmare. Perfectly natural.

In fact, when I go to bed (here) in a few hours, I will wake up in that world and say to myself - What a weird dream! I was sitting at a table with something on my lap and punching it with my fingers and calling myself a writer (ha! ha!) Oh, there was a funny word - 'blog'. I guess I made it up myself. What a strange world, where waterfalls don't grow out of buildings and James Franco doesn't wander in from one end or vanish at the other...!

Which one of these is real?

I think I'm going nuts.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Prison

​I've built my prison
Brick by brick
Cutting off branches,
Burning bridges,
Turning a deaf ear,
Shutting my eyes.

A window I've left
For the sun and the wind;
I peer through the hole
At the sliver of the sky
Across which strolls
A slice of the moon.

The visitors thinned​.​
The calls diminished.
What right have I
To complain of ​fate:
I'd asked for this,
I got what I wished.

From their memories
I've now vanished.
From their lives
I've been erased.
I got what I asked
For I'd asked for this.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Restless Mind

Where does this restlessness stem from, and why does it not go away?

A constant state of discontent, the feeling of having left tasks undone, the shadow of a deadline over my head; no matter how much I run towards my goal, it continues to remain at an arm's length. One more step, just one more. Just one more thing to do before I can stop.

Why are we never satisfied? Never at peace?

What next? What next? The tiresome search, the incessant longing, the evolving ambitions.

Am I stuck here with no apparent escape, forever struggling to break free, torn between burning desires and fear of change? Every year I find something new, hoping that it is my deliverance. Every year it passes and I'm left behind. Hope – the damnedest thing!

Is it something to do with age, or the fact of, in all likelihood, being closer to the end than the beginning? The fear that time is running out, and will be gone before I can figure things out? Are we supposed to figure Life out at all?

Among the many things I dreamed of at different stages of life, even my so-called achievements lost their sheen soon enough, because new quests and hunger took their place. In spite of everything, are we expected to leave, feeling unsatisfied, incomplete, failed, at the end, because of that one unfinished task?

Why is it that every day the exasperating questions Where am I ? What am I doing? Why am I here? keep pounding inside, giving no peace? Will a person who has found her raison d'être be really content? Or will there be one final incomplete thing for her to be sorry about?

When will my search for the me-shaped hole in the universe be complete? And what if I never find it? And if I ever do get there, wherever there is, will I be satisfied? At peace? Or will I pry myself loose and go wandering again?