Category Archives: Breaking free

Unafraid

Thunder,
lightning
and
the path ahead
is
empty,
frightening.

Outside the window –
darkness
dominates the sky.

You tense
slightly
just as the sun
bids
a final goodbye.

No person,
no house
for miles around.

No gps ,
no network,
any second now
you’ll start to worry
and be filled with doubt.

No way towards
the highway
we’re all but lost.

Thunderstorms,
in the middle
of
nowhere
are
one of my
worst nightmares.

And yet, I’m unafraid.

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Filed under Breaking free, Poetry, The world around me

Crossing Roads

Today, when I was driving to tuitions, I saw this couple crossing the street. They were middle aged and their hands were chock-full of packets of vegetables. The traffic was heavy and there wasn’t a zebra crossing in sight. The lady was clearly a chickie like me. Everyone who’s seen me cross even an almost empty road would realize that if my life depended on it (and it really does) I’d end up being seriously injured or killed in a road accident. I can’t cross roads. No matter how many times I look left and right, I still end up almost being run over 9.5 out of 10 times. She couldn’t cross a road either. She’d look left and right and then hesitate. She’d smile, take a step forward, take one back almost immediately. The husband stood by her side grinning. A shared joke perhaps? And I intended to not just slow down to let them pass, but to stop. But before that, he finally shifted the packets from both his hands to one, rested his hand on the curve of her back and with a smile so full of love, propelled her forward and helped her cross.

Now, call me a total cynic but I don’t see a lot of couples sharing such quirks pleasurably anymore. I could name atleast a few of my own friends who’d have teased their girl, rolled eyes and helped her cross. But this, this was special. This was a celebration of togetherness. Not just accepting the quirk, but loving it. Now I bet the lady has children. And I bet she takes them out alone too. And I’d be willing to bet the next 5 books I buy that she manages to cross roads with the children just fine. Motherhood teaches you that. But when she’s with her guy, she seemed to be her. She didn’t HAVE to put everything aside and focus on crossing the road. She could let it be. For those few seconds, her husband took care of her. And yes people, THIS is taking care of someone. This quiet, I’ll-make-an-unpleasant-task-bearable is taking care of someone. Not the, I’m asking how you feel, listening to you rant and then rolling my eyes mentally (which is what again, most people my age do.)

That one thing set the tone for the day. It made me feel warm and happy and hopeful. It made me smile and sing along to songs instead of focussing on the gridlocked traffic. I didn’t care a trumpet hoot about reaching tuitions quickly. But then, it WAS a math class. 😉

So there you have it. A shared moment of love which didn’t require any effort. That tiny moment of surety in this really fast world.

And as many such random sights make me think, so did this one. If “crossing the road” be a metaphor for facing your fears and moving forward, why won’t I let a person rest a hand on the curve of my back and smile at me reassuringly and help me cross that road?

But more on that…later. 🙂

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Filed under Breaking free, Introspective, The world around me

Dreams are more precious

Sometimes, late at night, when no one is watching and the house is empty and I don’t have to worry about work or employees or propriety, I shed the cumbersome cloak of responsibilities and dance.

I don’t just do routines or follow a technical dance “form” but I let the music flow through me and carry me to the point where I can tap into the rhythm within me and dance to my own tunes. And yet, contrary to popular assumptions, the world around me doesn’t fade away. It doesn’t cease to exist and neither does it fill me with a sense of enlightenment.

When I’m dancing to my own rhythm and when my movements are more of a need to follow an instinctive pattern, the world around me goes from Technicolor tv to Technicolor high definition visuals. The edges and silhouettes become sharper, clearer and brighter. I don’t feel like I’m being filled with great insight, rather, I feel spent. It feels like I’m being pulled by these strings and bit by bit, I am drawn towards a vortex which engulfs me completely.

I have often noticed that it is this whirlpool that I seek. Coz once it engulfs you, and spews you out, you feel free. Its an exhilarating feeling of accomplishment because at that very moment, I’m free from all the incessant ramblings of a wayward mind. And then, I have these bouts of creative ideas flowing through me like water gushing out of a crack in a dam. New concoctions of food and fresher perspectives on literature emerge. And then, if I’m exceedingly lucky, so does the courage and the valor to face an internal demon.

It’s been a while since I danced to this extent. I still jump and twirl and waltz around the house (much to the grief of my mother who wishes I’d just learn to walk) but I hadn’t danced enough to reach my whirlpool. So tonight, I decided to watch a program called “So you think you can dance” hoping to pick up a few new twirls for when my parents were back home.

What I saw in a particular performance overwhelmed me and spewed me out. Without even having twiddled a toe, I was pulled into the vortex. It was this haunting piece of dance performed on a song which beckoned its listener to yield to the desire to dream.

I truly believe that it’s only when the idea of the mind is synergized with the spirit of the heart that a true piece emerges. It might not be perfect, and it might not even be the most talented piece, but it’s soulful and bit by bit, when the synergy gets stronger, the pieces become better. And this dance was all that and lots more.

Ironically, it had been a night when I’d been contemplating the lack of ideas and the chaotic schism between my own mind and heart. And when I heard the music, and I felt the dance onscreen, I realized, that in all my pursuits for fulfillment, the dream behind every activity had been overshadowed by a compulsive desire to succeed.

That was my trigger…what’s yours?

 

P.S. The title of the text  and the song mentioned is “Dreams are more precious” by Enya. I recommend it to everyone who likes eclectic music.

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Filed under Breaking free, Introspective, The world around me

Untitled…

I wasn’t going to post this. It lacks cadence, it’s stilted in places and it doesn’t make immediate sense to anyone who doesn’t know me. And yet, it’s exactly who I am right now. This is one of the truest reflections of my inner being and how I feel right now and I wasn’t going to share it. But just a few minutes ago, a very dear friend got me to start breaking out of my shell again. This is dedicated to the guy who makes me real and to the guy who made me realise he had my back.

To the both of you…


It’s a bright starlit night
And I’m sitting by the pool
It’s a long time into the night
There’s not a person in sight

The crickets keep cricking
And if I listen intently
Occasionally, I hear a bird tweeting

I see the moths encircle
The minute source of light
Entranced by the flames
Dancing to a tune
Unknown to me

Ever so often, a star catches my eye
I stare at it longingly
Letting my soul fly

The lilting cool winds
Creep in from behind
They tease and tickle softly
Like floating fingers of the night
Tightening there clasp sprightly
They seductively enshrine

As the wind catches momentum,
The leaves flutter more strongly
And the night gets deeper, darker

My desire soars, stronger
The soft, slightly prickly grass
Feels alluring underneath
The winding pathway ahead
Enthralls and excites me
The soft lights in the distance
Seems to beckon me

I stay rooted to my spot
Denying myself release
That the bountiful nature
Has graciously offered me.

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Filed under Breaking free, Introspective, Poetry

The Gig That Wasn’t…

indianocean_live

Written solely at the request of the undermentioned “Tall Guy.” I love you. 🙂

Some days in life are so perfect that you don’t just want to savor every moment of their existence or even just memorize every perfect detail, you want to chronicle it so that in the occasion that your brain decides to skip over even one tiny moment, you don’t lose out on the memory.

Saturday the 8th of August was one such day.

I met up with friends, hookah-ed at a nice cozy café and on my way back home, I saw the hoarding that changed my entire day. Indian Ocean, my favorite-st band was playing at Someplace Else – One of the swankiest places in town. I remember the moment write down to every passing thought in my head. I remember wanting to go for it…thinking how it was impossible since my grand-mom was sick and it was a night gig…thinking how if I’d been a boy, I wouldn’t have to think so much…thinking of how I was ever going to get dad to let me go…basically, thinking A LOT.

And again, I “thought” it into existence. I wanted it with such intensity that irrespective of how insurmountable the odds seemed, I was allowed to go. My friend “Tall Guy” picked me up and took me to Piccadily Square, the best waffle place in town. You see, Tall Guy was not a waffle eater at all. He tried waffles for the first time only after reading my post on them. And he fell in love with them too. So we dined on waffles with thick Belgian chocolate oozing on the top and I added dollops of whipped cream to mine (and also stole Tall Guy’s choco chips) and then we reached Someplace Else.

It was my first night out in Calcutta. My granny does NOT think that girls should be out with friends at pubs for gigs or anything for that matter justifies being out of the house without family after 9pm. I can’t blame her, she reads the classic “Sanmarg” newspaper whose sole aim is to print skewered statistics of women being abused/kidnapped/burnt etc in the city.

Needless to say, I was super excited. Someplace Else AND Indian Ocean AND friends only in one night (AFTER a waffles dinner). Life was perfect.

And then, like they say…this too had a sour tinge. The band was running 2 hours late. So even though I got to go out and listen to probably the best music in a long time and had an absolute kick-ass day, I couldn’t hear the band play. And yet, I’m not disappointed. I got a night out AND on the way back, I got to go on a long drive over the bridges of Calcutta.

Maybe next time, the band will play in my city! And I’ll even get to stay for the entire concert. 🙂

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Filed under Breaking free, The world around me

Magical Monday

I hate Mondays. When my mom enters the room on a Monday morning to wake me up, it sounds like a death knell. It signifies the end of one absolutely lazy, luxurious day and the beginning of TAX tuitions at the ungodly hour of 9am with a professor whose sole aim is to direct the entire lecture at me, save me a seat in the front row so he can ask me a zillion questions on Sections of the IT law that I don’t remember and generally make my life a living hell.

And so, when mom woke me up an hour before scheduled timing and then when my servant barged in and woke me up…again half an hour early, I resigned myself to an even worse Monday.

But then, tuitions weren’t so bad today. My adorable friend from school popped me a surprise, my tutor didn’t ask me more than 2 questions (one of which I knew) and even allowed me to let my mind wander around aimlessly.

Adi, the sister I never had, my mother hen, dropped by from Pune and we met up. Yes, I did have to play hookey, drive myself to the coffee shop and dress up in something more than my cut shorts and stained tee, but it was so so so worth it. And then, we were accompanied by two of the funniest people I know. I guess this Monday was looking better with every passing moment.

I didn’t have any idea how soon I’d get an idea for the next “living free” post. Or more importantly, when I’d have the next perfect opportunity… And this is where the Universe starts talking. Yes, you’re all getting tired of me and my “Universal” conversations, but I just have to let you guys know how real and tangible it really is, once you allow yourself to see it.

Case in point:
I wrote that post about taking chances, living for me yesterday. I vowed to myself to live it one day at a time. Today, I got the perfect opportunity.

While we were in Barista, I let myself be Me, and I walked barefoot. Coz that’s the real me. Also, me and Funny Guy 1 (and I wont name anyone, coz I guess I could get into trouble with them 😉 ) ganged up on Funny Guy 2 and took out whistle lollipops and blew them into his ears…in the middle of the coffee shop. It was exhilarating. It was something I hadn’t done in ages. I shed all my inhibitions and I did what I wanted to.

Sometimes, I feel very weird and totally feel like I’m making a big deal out of this. But then, I look into the mirror, and I see me as I am today. And I see the tiniest whitiest bit of the old me peeking out. The robe of societal norms was pooling at my feet and I stood there, in all my former glory.

For anyone who’s ever felt the way I did/do…do yourself a favor. Do one of the crazy things that pops into your head today.

I guess some days are just perfect. Even if they happen to fall on a Monday!

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Filed under Breaking free, The world around me

Give In

This is the beginning of a series of posts which are aimed at inspiring me and everyone around me to just live life taking chances. It had been a long, tiring journey for me to have lost myself so completely to mould to others’ opinion of me. This is me, taking one day at a time, living it a little, and breaking free…


Life’s strange you know. I’ve seen so many people living arduous lives and had I been in their place, maybe I’d have given up a really long time ago. But these people go on living, hoping that maybe one day, they’ll be loved too. They’ve loved so deeply that they have stopped existing. Yes, we all want to preserve a part of us from others, no matter how important they be. But sometimes, just sometimes, when you’re looking away, that latch you put on the door to save a part of you from others, is opened. And you don’t realize it. You love so wholly and completely that forgetting your own self doesn’t really seem to be a big deal. You don’t really “”get”” the concept when people say that you shouldn’t be completely immersed in one person. That must be exhilarating. To be able to be 100% committed. That requires a special kind of courage and lord knows, we don’t have too much of it going around anymore.

We keep ourselves distant to some extent or the other coz even when we love, we make a provision for being hurt. We call it self-preservation and we call it pride. When the other person behaves in the same manner with us, it’s stunning how quickly our perception changes and it becomes ego. Yes, we’re hypocritical.

So let me just take that shield of “”self preservation”” away, just for a moment. And really give myself wholly and completely to someone. Let me, knowing that I could be hurt, prostrate myself at someone’s feet simply because to me, they are divinity.

Even though we haven’t always got what we wanted from Him, and He’s hurt us so as to open our eyes to lessons we must learn, we still give ourselves completely to Him. And while at times, I think that He totally sucks at his job, with hindsight I see, He suffered my hostility to do a good deed for me.

Hurt is inevitable in life. And it can’t be quantified. But what we can do is live with it. Try to change it, mould it. It’s only if we face it head-on again and again will we succeed. And while I realize that its scary, facing it might just be my liberation.

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