The human experience


Stand at your window. Nonchalantly notice the greenness of the tree leaves and observe your windowsill. Let your eyes wander till they settle on a speckled red flower. Observe its yellow markings and lose yourself in marvel. Feel the stillness surrounding the trees surround you and hold it in your hands. Look at it- its overwhelming presence, its nauseating fear, its piercing clarity- feel the gentle thud of your heartbeat pounding against your chest in synchronicity  with the trees’ movements. Realize that the trees breathe too. Feel connected. 

Hold a rabbit in your hand. Feel its heartbeat running a million miles a minute, notice the gaping terror in its eyes, feel its pulsating clock reverberating with the rush of your veins and realize you hold life.

Fight with your mother. Know that the fear in her eyes brings tears in yours and turn away. Become numb, stoic and insensitive. Clench your insides and draw yourself into a shell. Bend over and internally release the silent conflicts. Let them play havoc in your heart. Feel the anger shaking within making no effort to release without.

Hug a lover. Feel the invitation of his heart stretch itself wide enough to make room for you and feel welcomed. Feel the throbbing vulnerability of his being as he kisses you. Feel loved.

Lie awake at night. Watch your heart, twisted, clenched, and dirty, suspended in mid air and hear its blaring conflict. Ponder over your miseries and your need for fervid self annihilation and know that you are gloriously, infuriatingly and inevitably human.

I’m failing


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I’m failing. Miserably and inconsolably.

I look into the open fields and I see the vast blue skies spanning miles and miles across. The empty stretch of grassland does no good as scorned and humbled I walk, across the lonely roads.

Ten miles before and ten miles after, there isn’t a soul in sight.

I look towards the scattered robins and try to feel the life energy pulsating through them. I can’t.

I walk across the curb and I see the moss growing out of the half frozen sewage.

My hands start numbing and my skin prickles with the gradual chill of wind. I push my hands inside my pockets for warmth. I feel cold.

I look around once again. I am in an alien land, with alien houses, alien people and alien birds. There is something highly unsettling about this unfamiliarity. Something almost terrifying about not knowing, not being able to find my way around. I guess maybe I am the alien here.

I wonder if everyone around feels the same way. I stare at the people in cars passing by.

I pick up a pine cone on the way home. I cross the pedestrian bridge and see the sun shining through the winter clouds.

My silhouette reflects with the trees swaying along the river bank. I watch the beaver and ducks waddling across the pool without a worry in mind. I wonder if I could be like that and try to push out all thoughts from my mind.

I fail.

The person


The person is dead. She has built up walls to keep away people. She feels nothing, sees nothing. Occasionally she pretends to believe and see, but she finds it useless. So she retreats to her shell. It is warm and comfortable here. Nothing can touch her- no one can know her thoughts, no one can see her emotions. Sometimes she meets friends and goes out for parties and pretends to have fun. Deep down, she is lonely.

One day, someone comes along. He sits beside her beneath the stars and shows her the might of the sea. She sees the raging sea and for what feels after an eternity, she feels terror. Heart clenching, hair gripping terror. She gropes for an escape; she is unable to run away from this terror. Like a lightning bolt it strikes, and with one thunderous clash, her walls are shattered.

The person is in love. She feels things, she sees things. She feels a plethora of emotions- she feels alive. Her walls have been broken and she feels free. She is poetry- walking, breathing, dancing and loving. The person is very happy. She rejoices in the fragrance of the first blush and starts dreaming of eternity. Slowly she feels eternity slipping away. So she starts clinging. She transfers her hopes, dreams and fears onto him. Very gradually he becomes her hope, her dream and her worst fear.

He notices something is wrong. He cannot understand what has happened to her. All he knows is he is getting suffocated. So he starts moving away. But she simply cannot let that happen. She needs him for her eternity. She cries, she begs and she pleads. But he doesn’t budge. He knows he must go. Without a word, he disappears.

The person is enraged. She calls him names and destroys his memories. She drowns herself in remorse. She revels in her rage. She turns vile and mean. Her bloodshot eyes spit hatred. She loses sleep. She loses herself. The person is dead again.

After futile attempts and fruitless efforts, she begins to complain. She talks to people about how miserable she feels. People decide she cannot be sad for too long. They decide it is better for her to forget all about love. So they tell her to move on. She follows their advice, plastering smiles when her heart aches and losing herself in work when her eyes water. People are very impressed. They say her strength is commendable. The person hears this and feels very good and continues to pretend. It seems as though pretense is the way of the world.

She sees people getting up and going for work. She sees them making international phone calls and signing important documents. She sees them in absurdly tight and uncomfortable clothes. She wonders why they do so. They tell her it is to make an impression. Now the person finds this very absurd. But she doesn’t utter a word. Yet she sees hands typing away with dexterity at phones, eyes trained to avoid contact and heads filled with overflowing clutter. But the person’s eyes are not trained. She looks deep into their eyes and she sees boredom. She sees repression. And she sees fear.

So she talks to her parents and they say, “Work hard, mint money and then enjoy.” The person finds this even more absurd but again, she lets the opinions of others drown out her own voice and tries to show excitement at the ambitions others have and decide for her. But deep inside, she hates the world. She hates its people and their ways.  But she cannot show her resentment. Because the leaders say peace is the way of the world.

Sometimes her heart aches for love. She longs to be held. So she latches onto a stranger and makes mechanical love to him. She allows him to deduce her to a thing. She secretly wishes that he might look past her layers and love her. She doesn’t know the stranger wishes for that too. But the stranger is more adept at the ways of the world than her and he knows that he has to act grown up. He cannot show his emotions. He simply cannot be vulnerable. And when he sees the person breaking down and exposing her broken state, he gets angry. He very gets angry because he hates her for being weak. But deep down, he envies her. She can be something he would dare not. So he gives her a sermon on being strong and walks away.

The person is broken. On a rainy day she stands and watches him fade. She allows the rainwater to seep into her cracks. But she doesn’t want pain. It is too strong, too devastating for her. It is just too much. So she finds another stranger. And then another. By this time, she knows what to do. She parts ways with firm nonchalance and poise. She stops complaining about heartbreaks and stops dreaming about forever. Forever seems to be a faraway reality. Loneliness is the only reality she knows.

She moves along life until one day, she feels like writing. The words leap at her out of the page, constantly streaming across her eyes. The person knows only too well that she cannot let this voice subside. So she writes. She writes about love and hate, sorrow and loss, envy and lust. She starts complaining about the state of affairs again. She shows her hatred openly.

One dark night, she lets her monster surface. The monster claws in on her heart and shrivels her insides. It threatens to take over. Its flames rise slowly, licking her feet and torso. But she patiently waits. She resists the comfort of prayer and help. She lets it overwhelm her.  For the first time, she lets herself be utterly and terribly alone. In that one waking moment, she is surrounded by her hate, her lust, her envy, her greed and her revenge. She is surrounded by her demons. They take over, consuming her like a fire. And out of that fire, the person is born again.

I want to be a speck of dust


I want to forget myself- the accumulated knowledge, the quest for love and self inquiry, the meaning of god and everything else. I want to drop all books- spiritual and non spiritual and delve into the world of fantasy and irrationality. I want to hide my vulnerability in the silence of the night and cry away in isolation as I seek emotional validation. I want to lose this endless battle of learning and unlearning. I want sweet repose.

I want to forget all dimensions of space. I want to erase time- past and future and be in the now. If you asked me what the now meant, I would probably not know. And I would know it too. But I don’t want to know anymore. I am tired of reasoning and rationalizing. I want to forget what it is to be alive. I want to forget the touch, tastes and sounds of the world. I want to lose love, approval, acceptance and desire. I want to kill passion and keep moving in this endless flow of existence.

If you were to be driving down a long winding road, you would find me hidden in the crevice of a rock, in a speck of dust. I want to be a speck of dust. I want to erase myself. Be nothing, feel nothing and know nothing.I want to be a robot- unaffected by emotions, events and thoughts. I want to live a life of utter ignorance. I want to drop this jaded skin. I want unconsciousness and suspension in this limbo- formless, thoughtless, nameless…

I am the most tired woman in the world. I am tired when I get up. Life requires an effort I cannot make. Please give me that heavy book. I need to put something heavy like that on top of my head. I have to place my feet under the pillows always, so as to be able to stay on earth. Otherwise I feel myself going away, going away at a tremendous speed, on account of my lightness. I know that I am dead. As soon as I utter a phrase my sincerity dies, becomes a lie whose coldness chills me. Don’t say anything, because I see that you understand me, and I am afraid of your understanding. I have such a fear of finding another like myself, and such a desire to find one! I am so utterly lonely, but I also have such a fear that my isolation be broken through, and I no longer be the head and ruler of my universe. I am in great terror of your understanding by which you penetrate into my world; and then I stand revealed and I have to share my kingdom with you.

― Anaïs Nin

If you were looking for God


If you were looking for God, I would tell you to observe the water droplets spewing out of your shower- their rainbow edges as they blur into nothingness, their mirror like façade and their shimmers as they hit the ground before shattering into a million diamonds.

If you were looking for God, I would ask you to look long enough into the glassy stare of another’s eyes till it begins to melt away to reveal a plethora of experiences and joy. I would tell you to look deeper and discover your own criterion of truth and beauty while the moments continue to transpire into eons and you know real human connection.

If you were looking for God, I would tell you to lie beneath the stars on a chilly night, wine glass in hand, and feel the pungent liquid trickling down and gently warming your insides. I would ask you to feel the warmth emanating from your rib cage as your eyes give way to the black void sucking you into oblivion.

If you were looking for God, I would take you to a temple and dare you to lose yourself in the palpable silence hanging ghoul like in the crevices before you groped among the idols enshrining the sanctum. And as you close your eyes in reverent prayer, I would take your  hand and walk you home. I would ask you to see the sun rays glistening through the stained glass painting on my window, make you smell the woody aroma of the books and their pages lining my shelf and hand you a cup of coffee. I would mutter something about the ultimate complexity and the stupidity of labeling God as a noun and walk away. And if on the next day, you were still looking for God, I would embrace you warmly and entwine my fingers in yours to continue this search with you.

The day I met the God of Love


It was a clear, bright noon. When walking home, I found myself to be alone, the entire street suddenly deserted, and light to be fast fading. As the sun hid completely, I saw a figure descend from above. My mind knew inexplicably, that it was a God, the God of Love.

My jaw dropped open at the sight of him. I stared at him blankly. I was astounded not out of awe, but out of surprise. He wasn’t anything like I had pictured. Clad in a simple white robe, he looked at me with gentle eyes. There was no divine light or halo over his head. Much like his clothing, his appearance was simple.

“Not what you had expected, eh?” he said, with a knowing twinkle in his eyes.

“No,” I said stupidly. What was I supposed to say? That I was expecting to see a glowing cherub with heart shaped arrows and bows?

Laughing heartily, he said to me, “It’s funny how your mind works. Love is not always flowers and hearts you see.”

“But…but..bu-t…” I stuttered. “But if love isn’t like that, then what is?” he said finishing my unuttered question. I simply nodded. “Come, I’ll show you,” he said taking me by the hand.

We walked along the street stopping at the side of a river. I saw a painter at work, painting the stream. It was a fairly small one, with a few plants growing by its side.

“Why does this stream fascinate you so much?” I asked him. “It’ a small stream,” I said.

Looking up from his work for the first time, the painter said, “Here you see the stream twisting and flowing around a few rocks, and disappearing into the distance. But I see the glacier it melted from, the mountain it flowed down from, the boulders it twisted and curved around, the way it changed from a mountain spring to a bubbling brook, the river it became, the trees that swayed on its bank, the farmers ploughing their fields along its borders, the fish swimming in it, the boats let into its waters by children and the lovers that sat along its bank, gazing into each other’s depths. Yet to you, it is only a stream.”

“It must take tremendous practice and work to do this,” I commented, impressed by his little talk. “Nah, it only takes love.” And with that, he resumed his painting.

The God signaled me to walk ahead. As we walked into the street, I saw an old woman, bending over with age, distributing food to urchins.

“Why do you do this?” I said, “Have you seen their nubile bodies? They look like they have rolled in the mud. Do not touch them, you will contract their diseases.” She smiled up at me from her half rimmed spectacles and said, “I lost my only grandson in the spring. Since then, life has never been the same. I have taken up the task to feed as many mouths as I can while I live. Often times, I see their little eyes shining with gratitude and I feel my grandson back with me again. It’s my way of keeping him close.”

“But don’t you feel the pain of his loss gnawing at your heart?” I asked. “Of course, I do,” she said. “But isn’t that the only way you learn to love?”

And again, the God lead me by the hand and ushered me to walk. We reached a hilltop where a young couple sat looking out into the sunset. My footfalls disturbed their moment. Yet, they seemed unperturbed. They beckoned me with their hands and offered me a seat on their bench.

“Sit,” said the God, sensing my reluctance on intruding their privacy. “Where are you from?” I asked the man. “London,” he said. “And she’s from Paris.”

“Does she speak English?” I asked gesturing towards the young lady. “No, and neither do I speak French.”

“But how do you communicate?” I asked, shocked.

“We understand each other better than anyone else. We don’t need words to communicate. It’s funny how love doesn’t need a language,” he said, turning towards the setting sun.

I sat on the hilltop with the two strangers I had just met and started to cry. I was overwhelmed. The tears flowed freely of their own accord. I saw myself in the blazing sun, in the pink glow that tinted the sky, in the trees that swayed on the hillside, in the painter, in the stream that he painted, in the old lady, in the urchins and in the two lovers. The tears flowed faster. Try as I might, I couldn’t stop crying. I was crying not because I was sad, but because for the first time in my life, I was alive.  I was love. I was infinite love.

“It’s time to go,” said the God, jerking me out of my reverie.

I followed his footsteps and we arrived at the street we had started from.  “You might be wondering why I did not give you any jargon on love. It was because I wanted you to experience and feel it for yourself. It can be quite overwhelming sometimes, eh?” he said, referring to my moment at the hilltop.

“Yes. But why is that I feel this void, this emptiness of love in my life at times?”

“It’s because you never knew how to ask for it,” he said, slowly ascending into the clouds.

“So all I need to do is ask?” I shouted as I saw him vanishing into the heavens.

As he disappeared into the sky, he said, “Ask, and ye shall receive.”

Hmm….


I’m sitting in the balcony, legs stretched out over the parapet with a book in my hand. I gaze absent mindedly at the view outside. Hmm. It’s rather scenic.
It has started to rain. From a slight drizzle it has picked up speed and is going into a full blown torrent mode.
There is a knock on the door. My brother barges in with his dirty shoes and football with my parents at his heels. I return to my spot and resume my gazing.
The rain has slowed down now. I can hear sparrows chirping in the trees. In the distance, I can see smoke spiraling out of the kitchen window. It rides along with the smell of the wet earth and reaches my nostrils. Mmm…I can smell something tangy and delicious.
Far away, I can see the rolling green hills disappearing behind moisture laden clouds. My attention is diverted back to the lunchroom where I hear the clinking of several plates. There is soft music playing downstairs. A car horn is sounded by a frantic driver somewhere.
I see a stone pathway winding away to some road. I wonder where it leads.
It has stopped raining now.

A clear sky


As I look outside my window, I notice the blurry red and yellow car lights flashing their way through the torrential showers. I see children wading across pools of murky waters. I hear the whistling policeman as he jostles the ever growing traffic. And I see myself, standing by the window, wishing for a clear starlit night.

I wish for a lot of things. I wish for the romantic love, the best friends, the attractive beauty, and the perfect life. I wish for a lot of things unsaid and unheard. Each of these wishes forms a twinkling star, illuminating the deep blue sky. I long to see these diamonds as I stand day after day by the window wishing and hoping for a clear sky.

But something dawns on me. I can sit and hope forever and watch as the rain washes away sparkle after sparkle. Or I can listen to another voice, another tiny being that whispers in the recesses of my heart and mind.

Often as I lie in bed, I hear it singing songs of joy and love. I hear it whooping in victory as it celebrates the world. And in the absolute quiet of the night, I hear its slow steady breathing.

And all of a sudden, the darkness seems to be filled with a warm glow. My ears buzz with a music that strums to the beat of my heart. And I smell an aroma, a fresh aroma that spirals out of the soft moist earth.

I run to window, rejoicing in the way the droplets caress my face washing away all traces of tiredness. I watch the sparrow as she flutters from one branch to another, ruffling her wings and shaking out drops of rainwater.

I watch the car lights move in and out of focus through the torrents, the kids making their way home as they splash through the puddles and the policeman as he tries to jostle the ever growing traffic.

I look towards the stormy grey sky as I see the clouds rolling in. Astonishingly, I don’t want a clear sky anymore.


This is an account of my brother’s trip to Japan! 😀

Goofiness Unlimited!

Hey guys I’m back again from my trip to Japan and today I’m going to tell you about it. Well you see in Japan we had lots of fun. But we had to train 5 hours a day on a regular basis. Sundays were off for us so we could have a break from karate.

Well you know we went to many places called ‘Harajuku’ ;Shinjuku’ ‘Akihabara’, the electronic city, the very famous Disneyland and Sudobashi amusement parks. We were staying in an apartment in a place called ‘Akasaka’. There was also a place named ‘Asakusa’ temple which was a very crowded place and the Japanese festival was going on. There was also a place named ‘Okachimachi’ which was a huge shopping center with everything available.

Well as I told you we trained 5 hours a day and the grandmaster of karate, Hanshi Goshi Yamaguchi taught us. It was a…

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The extra and the ordinary


As I walk down the station, I can’t help but notice the bullock straining under the weight of the blocks of ice as its master delivers a slab to the wailing fisherwomen. The cats which have been gorging on the morsels of tuna and Bombay duck in the dark alleys beyond the field of human vision salivate as another batch of fresh salmon makes its way into the bustling market.

I smile at the coconut man who smiles in return as he passes me a tender coconut drink on a hot day. With grateful eyes, I lap up its sweet white contents as I quench my thirst.  I love the animals that squeal and chirp at the oil seller’s store. I love the parrot with his humorous anecdotes, swishing his broken green tail in the customers’ face as the tiny squirrel darts its way through the mounds of dried coconuts to its master.  I love the ruckus created by their dog that wanders off on its own never too far, crossing roads and bringing back bits of news from the streets as soon as he sees the boys returning from school.

In the evenings, I love sitting by the sea watching the dark pall of twilight fall over the city that never sleeps. The twinkling lights of the advertisement hoardings and the cacophony of the horns with the occasional band baaja never fail to make me marvel at the undying spirit of the people.

Clutching a mug of hot chocolate, I gaze in amazement at the sparkling stars as they shine their way through the night. They possess an indescribable beauty about them. A beauty beyond words, a beauty I can’t yet fathom. Till this day, I wonder at their mystifying magic that keeps me encapsulated. I love falling asleep to the soft melodies of my favorite songs as I snuggle under the covers of my warm fluffy bed.

My heart races at the thrill of seeing the gold rays of the sun piercing their way through the lavender sky in the morning. My daily routine somehow always seems to be interrupted by the chirping of the mynahs and the smell of simmering coffee. The silvery sheen of the dragonfly wings create rainbow patterns in the sunlight as I watch thousands of them buzzing over the newly blossomed gulmohars.

A good laugh on my way to college is always provided by the urchins along the station who sit with their mats spread out over the cobbled pavements; a perfect picture of pity. Their pleading eyes and despairing demeanor soon vanish as they whisk  into thin air when the heels of the occasional policeman make their appearance.

I continue my walk to the whistling trains, with a satisfied smile on my face as I go over another day with its picturesque stories and hidden magic. ‘Cause I know that in the mundane humdrum of my daily life, I’ve managed to find that extra in the ordinary.