Monday, 17 April 2017

'In between'

This period of being ‘in between’ things. The upcoming ironical goodbyes that will be happy and sad at the same time, the shortly due new hellos, the fear and the excitement of beginning afresh somewhere, the zeal and exhaustion that comes at the same time at the thought of proving yourself once again, the new boundaries that you will set and the ones that will be set for you, the chanting that you have been doing to yourself. Saying again and again that the decisions you’ve taken are the right ones, that you haven’t gotten a raw deal. Although its only time that will tell if the chants have proven themselves correct or you have learnt things the harder way once again.

This ‘in between’ feeling. The feeling of being unmoored, unhinged.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Musings - When you reach office early

The familiarity of the place. As you open the cabin door. Day after day. You place your belongings and even the sound of shifting your bag seems too loud. You switch on the lights. And a thought. A flickering one. Can you switch on people’s consciences here like that ever? What if you could? What a different world would that be?

The peculiar smell of this place. You have known it too well now. The smell of old papers, of rusted iron chairs and of misty intentions of people occupying them. The smell of dissatisfaction too lurking somewhere. Sombreness seems to be a vital molecule of the air around.

Click. And the mammoth printer machine buzzes for a couple of minutes as if grunting for waking it up so early. ‘Oh you guys, will you ever let me sleep? You just used me entire day yesterday. Making me work all day long.’ She grumbles.
‘It’s a government office, sweetheart. We need to have everything in black and white. Hence, we need to make you work.’ You want to say to her. Oh but wait. Do you really want everything in black and white here? You laugh inwardly at the irony.

Grey. That’s the shade here. Of people. Of papers. Of realities. Of truths. And of lies.

You notice the tea stained white cup on the table. The proof of a long day at work yesterday. Lying quiet. You touch it, only to be startled by its coldness. Just like the people it serves. It’s been years since you've been here. And yet you fail to understand the reason of getting startled by the coldness here - of the place and people both. 

The unusual quiet that haunts your ears right now. But within moments, it will all start again. The ruffling of papers, the movement of files, clicking of keys on the keyboard, incessant cries of black telephones, fanatic meeting calls, orders masked as requests dipped in honey smooth voices, idle gossip burning your ears, your mind alarmed and awake. 

And the enormity of it all. The way it gobbles you up. For the entire day. Weeks. Months. Years too. And throws out the chewed up version of you at the end of each day.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Dear Non-Writer friends,

Dear Non-writer friends,
Firstly, thank you for the appreciation you show us for whatever we write on Facebook and here on our blogs. There is nothing more motivating for a writer than the fact that their thoughts resonate with others.
One of the ways of appreciation is sharing our work which helps us reach out more. Thank you for that. But when you simply copy paste what we have written from our timeline to your timeline on Facebook rather than sharing the original post or crediting the writer, nobody knows whether the post is written by you or by us or some other famous writer. Simply copying it on your timeline cannot be called as credit to us. It is blatant plagiarism. When it gets shared from your timeline, we never know how far it has reached because there are no credits, remember? Our sharing the work on a public forum / social media doesn't mean it is available for free copying. That thing you just copied and pasted was somebody's hardwork of hours, maybe days too. That is the reason we are so possessive about our work.
And when you do something like this, it takes away one of the most important things from us – the possibilities. From us – the ones who are still trying to make a mark for ourselves in the world of writing. You take away from us the possibility of a simple message like ‘I like what you have written’ from a stranger which could be the only reason on a bad day for us to continue writing when we are thinking of giving up. The possibility of the post going viral, the possibility of the post getting us in contact with the right people in the writing industry, the possibility of it landing our next book deal. I know I am being preposterous here but heck, there are possibilities !!
So when I have to fight it out on social media to ask you to ‘share’ the original post or give us the rightful ‘credit’ for what I have written, it makes me question as to whether I should share my next post or not, or am I being too arrogant in asking for the credit for my own work?
I know I am not a big time famous writer. I am just an ordinary blogger who is very passionate about writing and the written word in general. Thank you.

P.S. – This post was inspired by an ugly incident I faced recently on Facebook when a school friend simply copied a piece I had written on Facebook to her timeline and when I asked for credit, she and her friends turned nasty towards me.
I have used the word ‘we’ in the post above because I am speaking on behalf of my writer / blogger friends. I hope they would agree.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

I. Do Not Belong

The air was chilly. It was late in the night and I was coming back after being dropped by someone midway. Midway. I could feel the chill. But not the one that was around me, the one that was inside me. I don’t know when I started crying. I don’t know how long I cried. The only words that echoed inside me were these, ‘I do not belong’. ‘I do not belong’. I chanted it until all the salt inside me flowed out.

I do not belong to anyone, anywhere. I do not belong to people I call my own, to home I go everyday, to people I serve. I do not belong to the bunch of people I meet every now and then while sharing poor jokes and good alcohol. I do not belong to that one close friend I deeply care about and get intermittently cared in return. I do not belong to that last relationship, the ashes of which I still carry within me. I do not belong to those casual dates which, if nurtured could have meant something. I neither belong to that fling where lust overpowers sanity and self-respect, nor to that one night stand when I went with somebody I didn’t want to.

I do not belong to those chirpy coffee conversations about wedding planning with girlfriends or to morbid conversations about office politics. I do not belong to those lectures where I am moral policed and also to those freewheeling baseless talks when I am told I can achieve anything I want.

I am almost, always out of place. Almost, always I am somewhere I shouldn’t be, with people I don’t want to be around, doing things I don’t care about getting done, talking about things that don’t matter to me, living a fa├žade. And yet, yet I do not know why do I go along. When every fibre inside me wants me to stop trying to ‘belong’ somewhere, someplace.

Because. I. Do not belong.  

Monday, 14 November 2016


It’s the tightness of the neck which tells me that something is wrong within. I pay attention to other signs. The heartbeat. As expected, it’s fast and loud. So loud that I fear others might hear it. Something strange tugs in the centre of my chest. Like fear beginning to grow strong.  My stomach is in knots. 

But what is the reason? I haven’t had any unpleasant incident today. What is it that is making me choke? I recall the day. One by one, I rewind the incidents, running my fingers over them, touching each one, pressing a bit, seeing if it pains somewhere, tasting the words others had spoken to me, trying to know if any of them tasted bitter or sour, tried smelling the incidents looking for the smell of foul intentions. But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. I could sense I was missing out on something by the way the thudding in my chest had become louder by now.

Words. It had to be words. I could sense it. I was hit by them. Always am. There is nothing that can affect me the way words can. Deep or shallow, curt or polite, warm or hurtful. It had to be words. They were my panacea. And they were my venom too.

I played the tape of events in my head again. Carefully going through each one them. And just as I had guessed. There they were. My own words. I tasted them in my mouth again. Ran my tongue over each one of them. Tried to flip it around. And they left an ashen taste in my mouth.  

Not because I had spoken something about anyone else. But they were about me. I had revealed something about myself to friends. The kinds you spend your time with by laughing on idiotic jokes and criticizing the people all of you collectively dislike. The conversation innocuously steered towards my insomnia. The way I deal with it. The way I could deal with it better by not spending my time reading. They asked questions. And I had to answer. I couldn’t steer the conversation towards somebody else. So there they were. Discussing me. In front of me.

While I was talking, there was a trigger inside which was asking me to do the damage control, to stop the conversation but I ignored it and now I am regretting. Nothing has happened yet due to my sharing something about myself and yet everything is so different. I feel raw, exposed. I feel vulnerable, weak. Like I am giving the power to other people to destroy me, even though the information might me trivial in their eyes. But to me, to me it’s like handing over a piece of myself and then giving them the power to trigger something that I cannot stop. Somehow, people make me feel vulnerable these days.

On the other hand, there are times when I write about myself and my life. On the blog and on social media. So one could say I am as such revealing myself. I agree I am. But that is the measured part, the harmless part. I am aware of every single word I put out there about myself. The vulnerability creeps in when I am questioned, discussed and probed. What if I say something that will let them know what I think, how I think, what I am going through? That’s the scarier part.     

Does it happen to you? Do you ever feel vulnerable when you share things?    
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