In Response

A dirge is only for the weak hearted
Those who have given up on the song of life
It’s not a song for the one whose soul still sings of light
Whose words still make grey skies seem blue
It’s not our time to give up my friend
But to continue in this battle of hapless souls
Because somewhere out there
There is a light that says
The sun still shines for you

The year that was…2016 in a nutshell

And like that another year comes to an end. As we roll on from 2016, and to 2017, it’s always nice to look back at the year gone by and count one’s blessings, be thankful for the good and learn from what didn’t go down that well this year. So here’s my little list of the good things that happened this year. There was the bad and thankfully there was nothing exceptionally ugly this year- but there’s no point looking back at it. It was bad but its over and thats what it should be, over!

I’m thankful for:

  1. Strength: Of mind, of heart, of soul. The last two years have not really been a joyride but one of the things that kept me going was a huge inner reserve of strength that I didn’t think I ever had. But as they say  strength manifests itself in moments when you least expect it and this inner reserve has led me through the darkest and loneliest of times, just holding my hand and gently guiding me along.
  2. Hope: Hope is what kept me afloat this year. Hope that the next day will be better than this one. Hope that there will be more smiles than tears. Hope that everything will be ok. It is true that when one starts thinking in a different vein with a different filter, things on the outside seem different and thats what happened. As soon as you look at something with a tinge of hope, what you see is not the black hole in the middle but the little stars twinkling at the edges, looking for a spot through which to get in.
    I spent four nights this year in the middle of a forest and at night I used to sit outside my tent and look up at the sky. Shooting stars and a dark sky with twinkling lights is perhaps one of the most beautiful things this world of ours has to offer. Vast stretches of pitch black darkness and when you least expect it, a twinkling little light breaking that darkness and almost just peering out to say hello. That is life. There are stretches when you cant see the road ahead but just then the universe will show you something that makes you smile.
  3. A stable job and a new house: I cant claim to enjoy my job anymore but its stable, I have a fun bunch of people to hang out with and I am good at what I do, even if I say so myself. So I guess the trick is to plough on and be thankful that I get a remuneration that helps me pay my bills and stay afloat. But the more exciting thing is that I have a brand new house. After years of procrastinating, this year saw me move into “my own” apartment, which I can claim to be wholly mine, with no baggage and only memories that I will create for myself and people I hold dear and near. I’ve already had lovely house guests and friends who’ve added cheer and warmth and made this place special and I can only hope that this will continue to get better and brighter as the new year rolls in.
  4. Good health: We are all getting old and while I cant claim to be where I am in terms of physical health, shape and fitness, I am thankful for no creaking bones or any major debilitating illness. Of course there have been spates of illness, when all I thought while curled up in my bed, that was my last hour on this planet. But then even that blew over and I woke up to realise I still had all my limbs and organs functioning. The brain is slowly giving way, thanks to old age, but I guess thats for the better- one forgets shit quite easily and continues to smile like nothing ever happened.
  5. Family:  The family has been well and healthy. And that’s saying a lot. Of course there have been tiffs, tears and arguments. But which one of us dont come from dysfunctional families? If you do, you are dysfunctional yourself and time for you to get help. So yeah, beyond all of that everybody was well and on an average happy and calm perhaps if i really stretch the envelope and want to be nice.
  6. Friends: I always put this last because I can never be thankful enough for the bunch that I have and call my own. My friends have been my backbone, my spirit, my strength…everything I could ask for and much more. And for that I am blessed. There have been times when I’ve laughed till I cried and times when I cried because they gave me so much of grief. But I wouldn’t have it any other way, ever. And in 2017 I promise to be a better friend to them and be there for them the way they have been for me!

So that was 2016 in a nutshell, very small shell of an even smaller nut but just a quick glimpse into a year that was. It always helps me put this down because it teaches me to count my blessings when it feels like there is none around. So come on 2017, match up and go beyond 2016 and I promise to write you an effusive soppy note come this time next year.

Happy holidays people and lots of good vibes to you and yours from this side of the screen 🙂

and 2015 went rolling by

Is it just me or did everyone feel 2015 whizzing by? Yes I know everyone says this every year but this year it’s just been one roller-coaster ride, whizzing past before I even figured out whether I had buckled my seat belt tightly enough. But boy, am I thankful that 2015 is over?

2015 has perhaps been the toughest year of my life till date. And at my age, I do have many years to show for this one. It’s been a year of personal disasters, of introspections and reflections, of knowing who I really am and as bizarre as it may sound, what I want from my life at this stage. It’s a different issue that I might not be able to solve all the riddles soon enough but atleast the year helped me figure out what was needed of me, for myself.

2015 also helped me see what friendships really mean. Some people stood there as usual, rocks and pillars, without whom I couldn’t take a step forward. Friends who rallied around me and held me tight, screamed at me, told me things as they were. But never for a minute did I feel their love or support wavering. And I am thankful. But 2015 also saw people who I didn’t think mattered, stand up and make it count when the going got bad. Just a hug, just a word, just a kind deed. And it made me believe that no matter what  there is still kindness in the world and it will show up when it matters the most.

2015 was a year of a lot of therapy. Personal deep therapy, something I never believed I needed. But today I have realized that it has been the only thing that has kept me sane and made me wake up each day and know that I can survive one more day without killing myself. And the person who made this happen has perhaps been my greatest finding of the year. I am thankful for what he has added to my life and I am grateful that he has helped me find sources of strength within myself. Yes, it is very cliche but at times you need that extra push and a sane external voice to make sense of the mad rush called life.

And so as 2015 rolls by and 2016 starts to peep out from the corner, I stand back and look at the year gone by with a smile and a tear. Regretting some of the stuff that life threw at me but happy that I still managed to swim through the mess and come out on the other side, comparatively unscathed. I want 2016 to be different. To be a year that continues to give me strength but also a year that makes me add value to the lives of those around me and those who have been there for me in my toughest times. Make new friends but hold onto those who are here. Appreciate people for who they are and forgive those who might not always have a pleasant thing to say. 2016 is going to be a year of change and I am going to make it happen. Make yours count. Because that’s the only thing that matters in the end.

 

The Warm Blanket

There are times in your life when you meet someone and you just know it’s right. It’s not a romantic connection but a soul-connect that is difficult to explain. It’s like talking to yourself and that voice we often rely on,that comes from the depth of our soul, seems to now be sitting across the table, looking at you with a smile and telling you what you’re already thinking. And when you talk, you see that nod of the head and you know you’re reaching into someone the way he/she reaches into you. I often wonder if these friendships are for life and it scares me to even think it might not be. It amazes me to think what I was doing all this time, alone, because no one has ever understood me or spoken to me like this. It’s not butterflies in your stomach, it’s not romantic bells in your head but it’s a warm comfort of knowing there is a hand to hold when the road ahead is filled with pebbles and a shoulder to bury your nose in when you don’t want to face the sun anymore.

Relationships don’t need to be named. All relationships don’t need to be defined. The beauty of these relationships lie in the fact that there is no explanation of what it is and how it happened and for that matter where its going. You discover it one day, out of the blue and before you know it, it’s an integral part of your soul. Doesn’t have to be a part of your life, in what you do, in every moment or every experience. But at the bottom of it all, it’s a connect that defies every other relationship you’ve known. It’s a warm blanket you would pull over yourself and even when it’s in tatters, you would want it there, curled in your little finger as you fall asleep. It’s perhaps not the only blanket you ever use but it’s the only one in which you can bury your face and that warm musty smell of years of use gives you a comfort nothing else can ever give you.

All of us have that warm blanket in our lives. But in our extreme endeavor to find happiness and hit the right spots in life, we often miss them when they are right in front of us. I seem to have found mine and I am so glad I did

To Me, Circa 1996

Dear ” The Skinny Over-Enthu Cutlet’,

I honestly wish I had written this letter earlier- in 1996 precisely- so that you could see what lay before you and be wise when making decisions that could impact your life forever. You are probably at one of the best stages of your life now- carefree, wild, unburdened and yet this tuition, home and classes seem such a big deal. You will miss it when you hit the ripe age of “30” and wish every moment that you could get it all back. So sit back and enjoy the ride because this wont last forever.

You’ve been a “good girl” so far and i think you will continue to do so till you meet the man who you will eventually grow to love, marry and perhaps have children with someday. Yes, I know- it sounds bizzare. But believe you me, you will be there someday. This man will completely destroy all your notions of the “Good Indian Girl” and will take you on this roller coaster ride completely shaking you out of your comfort zone and convincing you to try out stuff you’ve never done before ;). He will probably emerge as the only person who will shape your thinking and outlook on life like no one else has ever been able to do.  It will be a jolly good ride but it will also cause you enough and more heartburn in the next 9 years that will be more than your share for a lifetime. But alls well that ends well and you will be in a happy place at the end of it all.

You will also bear one of the biggest heartbreaks of your lifetime. Your role model, your hero and the first man you ever loved so truly- you dad- will leave you forever. Over time your relations will go through many ups and downs- fights, disagreements, arguments but at the end of it all, he will perhaps be the only person who you know will always consider you his princess and the queen of his heart. Spend as much time as you can with him because when he’s gone this is the only thing that will gnaw at your heart every single day, without fail.

At the end of it, grow to be strong in your mind, soft in your heart and clear in your vision when you are dealing with people. Fortunately you will do work that you enjoy professionally, though I cant say the same about the people you will be working alongside. Learn to choose your friends from acquaintances and be open to making friends every stage of the way. You will be surprised at how many new people you meet who will play an important part in your life, going forward. But also beware that every friend you make now will not necesarily stay the same 15 years from now. It will be disappointing but you will grow out of its stronger and more level-headed. Listen to your partner, even though he will speak nonsense most of the time. His perspectives on life and people, as bizzare and cruel as it may sound, will make sense in the long run and you will kick yourself for not having heard him earlier.

Most importantly, be true to yourself so that every morning when you look yourself in the eye, you dont cringe but smile and get ahead with the day. You will cringe though because of the humongous size you will be post the horrible disease that will hit you in less than five years. So wear all your figure hugging clothes and the skinny jeans and the short skirts to your hearts content because you’ll probably never see them again- sad but true. All in all, enjoy your life and live everyday to the fullest, because there will never be another substitute of happiness that will ever come your way.

Lots of love and hugs

The fat, still “over-enthu” cutlet