Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Missing Pieces

Puzzles need
Empty spaces
Like cases
To keep congruency alive.
And so, my life
On your admissions of loneliness.

I fit into the crevices
You leave bare
And into instances
You forget to share.
The pain that numbs you
Gives me reasons to live.

I align to your latitudes
I fill your missing pieces
With multitudes
Of what they call mortal sins.
I entwine my luck
With the empty spaces
Between your fingers
And what lingers is
Nervous comfort in your eyes.

I languorously chew
On the smoke 
Burning your subterranean ideals.
The fluidity for which I aspire
Then conspires
To stop the cauterization 
And attempt a dousing.
I'll still be the banks
Once this river has flown through. 

Selfish, coveted
Stolen, even as you resisted
It fills you
As it fills me
With an emptiness
Of a special kind
Leaving a hole
Difficult to find.

I served my destiny.

You fulfilled yours.

Friday, January 8, 2016

If I Could

If I could
I would tell you
That I love the idea
Which brews
With your aroma
And dies with my soul.
You're tastefully forbidden
Majestically hidden
Tragically unbidden
In this land
Which unfolds
Into folds
Of my existence
Screechingly tugging at yours.

If I could
I would tell you
That I want that story
To plain be true
Which I conjured
Out of the concoction
You held in your hands
And more so in your eyes.
As our gaze met
I moved to your side
Just to avoid your eyes.

If I could
I would tell you
That inebriation is the cue
With which I come through
To drink pieces of you.
I like treasuring you numb
I like being dumb
To all but your being
Equally drunk
On prying me out
Of the haze of noise
And smoke of humanity.
You're majestic
Each time I drink to desire.

If I could
I would tell you
That held hands
Are normal.
They're cool
Like all instances
Of pretended normality.
Holding hands is the only
Transcendence of morality.
Rest follows on its own
I hope it follows soon
On the same,
Pretended course of normality. 

If I could
I would tell you
That not writing to you
Is not an option
It is a curse
To our love.
As I write to you
I write you
An unbecoming tale
As I repeatedly fail
To say any of this to you.

If I ever could
Even then I wouldn't
Let you know
How easy and true
Was it to get through
This funny notion of love
I happily hold
As a recipe of remorse
I am adamant
To never share with you.
I'm forever keeping from you
The idea of you
I uniquely own

Whether you do, or not
Say 'I do'.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Murakami and Melancholy

Some pieces of literary brilliance fill you with so much despair that you are literally waiting to burst open with all those shrivelled packets of unhappiness you had locked away long ago. This obnoxiously long first sentence only goes onto perfectly display the amount I was holding back, till I turned over the last page of Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood. And then, despair took over. A kind of sweet melancholy which does not make you cry, but leaves you eternally ponderous.

Thanks for a lovely Secret Santa gift Shweta!

Many call Norwegian Wood a love story. Few others a loss story. How, however, is it so simple to classify a novel which is a deeply moving reflection on all that ails us as humankind. Each character, painted in poignant detail, is a model of damage which many people suffer over many eras in life. The central character, Toru Watanabe, has a lot riding on him. He is the unifying factor in a story which seamlessly sews together damaged, fragmented, suppressed and even deranged psyches. Norwegian Woods is a love dance played within the psychological space of different individuals united with this deep sense of melancholia.

Imagine eternal winters taking over the heart of people - this is what Murakami's simple tale narrates. I say simple consciously. Simple is what this book is. Simple in language, in style, in thoughts, and it is this simplicity which tugs at your heart with a passive force binding you to the pace of the lives of Toru, Naoko, Midori, Reiko, Nagasawa and even Hatsumi. Far too many deaths in the book only add beauty to the narrative. Like that was even possible.

Haruki Murakami

This is not a review, yet it is important to spell out that Toru Watanabe was in love with his childhood sweetheart, Naoko, who came with historical and psychological complications. His relationship with a reticent and implosive Naoko is a contrast to his companionship with Midori - an outgoing, verbose, crazy-but-endearing girl, who is also a model of emotional strength. The exploration through the relationships with these two very different females is an exploration of Toru's character, which I found torn between a promise of valorous love and the reality of a  sensually satisfying affair. Nowhere have I seen a more wonderful elucidation of the physical mutating and shaping the psychological and emotional realities of a person. Murakami has accomplished this in nerve defying detail.

I was recently sharing with a close friend, how this novel revealed to me that sadness can be titillating too. Their is a heavy dose of wintry sorrowful sensuality in Murakami's prose. Sadness appears to be the most defining, the most basic, and the most unifying of human emotions. So much, that you want to touch feel it, touch it, lie down with it. Make love to it too, perhaps.

The spell of the book can cause this spiel to continue. I must put a stop though, since Mitch Albom beckons me after this.

A parting message - the impact of the book was so strong that it led to a need for discussion. While much of it happened over whatsapp, a twitter property also came into being, called @LitColl, short for #LitCollective, under which tag, I will be hoping to discuss some literary concepts with you all. Care to join?

Friday, January 1, 2016

One Day At A Time

Many would argue, that the time for nostalgia is over. For me, it has just come alive. I am celebrating the New Year in the most spectacular way possible - sipping through memories in an absolutely quiet room, all to myself. In the distance, I can hear some crass party music buzzing on meaninglessly. I can also hear gentle snores from neighbouring rooms. Dreams are hastily in motion, living their final pleasant breathes for tomorrow will bring the rush of office life, the mayhem of odd-even logic. My sister has an exam. I hope her dreams are flooded with untidily scribbled notes.

PC -

As for me, I am going to sit this night out. I have a couple of things to ponder on, another couple to feel good about, and I am going to allow myself the privilege of embracing only the fatigue caused by contentment. 2015 was a special year, not because it was perfect, far from it actually, but because at the end of all of the chaos, I remember prettiness. In fact, I even remember the darker times with a hint of pretty. That is a good sign, no?

Dates, endings and beginning are all psychological constructs. Nothing really, materially or physically has changed between yesterday and today. Still, I have quite loved observing dates to which we attach significance. These are times to pause and reflect, before you decide to drone on and get accustomed to the usual pace of life after a moment's high. Here are some reflections and learnings from 2015 which I find worth sharing. A part of them you might relate with, a part of them might help you out in someway. Another part of them, perhaps, you could help me out with.

There are these drunk screeches I can hear from cars blaring music as revellers inside them welcome 2016 in a manner I never can. I am casting loving glances on my Murakami lying a little away on the quilt, because once this post is over, I will be snuggling with it to sleep. (Whatsapp servers being down helps). I have always been an avid reader, but in 2015, I saw in me a compulsive need to read. Amid social media comments which called me a show-off to a liar, I persisted with my stubborn love for books, and ended up reading 58 of them! That, by any standards, is a huge number to accomplish in a year.

However, number is not all that I have accomplished. Books helped me discover knowledge, meaning and even balance. A  lot of time which I could have potentially spent over-thinking was spent guessing and obsessing over unfolding plotlines. My thoughts were often writing stories of their own, which were so powerful, that it impacted my actual writing styles, in a good way. I connected with people who connected with my reading list - and these, I can tell you, were the easiest people to match wavelength with. I ended up inspiring, quite happy to say this, a few to set their own personal targets and take up reading seriously in the coming year.

 No matter what was happening in life, I always had a book to come back to. It was comforting, and not in the least did it contribute towards making me reclusive. Rather, these books gave me so many conversation topics that I would be bursting with literary excitement everytime I was in human company. As much as I can remember, I only gifted books this year. Trying to find the perfect book for a friend was almost as exciting as trying to set him/her up with a perfect match! For those who have yet not discovered the magic of books, I am here to help. For those who want to sort out their reading list, I am here to help. For those who want membership in my personal library, duh, I am here to help.

Not my greatest friend, honestly. But I got along fine with it.

A persistent question which friends/acquaintances/people I interact with on social media, asked me was - how do I have time to do all that I do! Honestly, I don't have an answer. I do find myself burdened, running delays, panicking with the load of work I have - but that is a rare occurrence. It happens when the general spirit in life is low. Else, I am quite happy observing the diffraction in my thoughts as they are forever trying to accomplish multi-hued objectives. I am quite chaotic in my head, but this is a very endearing chaos which keeps me goofy and occupied. Do you see what I mean?

PC -

There are a few things I have learnt in 2015, about my relationship with time, which I am going to carry forward next year. I spent hours curating experiences for myself. I took myself out of dates, learnt to make peace with solitude and understood that cacophony is disorienting if consumed too much. This might not sound feasible or wise, but wherever there was a choice between saving time or saving money, I literally squandered money to save myself some precious minutes. I've started sleeping adequately, and I think, I have begun loving my sleep-hours more than food. THAT is saying a lot.

Moving beyond the ticking aspect of clocks, I have learnt to trust and respect time. It will keep moving - no matter what. So, if you have a happy situation - live it, because it won't last. If you have a difficult situation - keep cool, because it won't last. Flow, if possible. Act in the best possible way, take your breaks, get back up again, and time, with its constant flow, will take care of the rest.

PC - Tejinder Singh
I am not a great poet. Good is also a debatable adjective, but I have had the golden privilege of frolicking about in poetry most days of the past year. That, however, is not what I want to talk about. I actually want to mention Poets' Collective here, defining which is beyond the collective expressive capabilities of all the beautiful souls which inhabit it.

PC is a family which many of us have built together. Even while I try and observe a safe distance from most things, attachment towards PC comes naturally, without realization. Part of it, certainly, is about poetry. A greater part of it, however, is about life. In its most intimate manifestation, I have seen people show their craziest sides without a shred of fear about being judged or mocked at. I LOVE THAT. "Being" is more important than "being free". Think about it. And in this almost surreal state of being, I have seen some amazing poems brewing, even before they take the shape of words. There is no larger purpose here - we've got our jobs and ambitions and plans sorted for that. This is, perhaps, about saying - "Let's grow old in poetry, together."

This commitment, to growing together, learning together and cherishing all the good which comes along with poetry in our lives is what makes PC special. At least I believe so.

Oh many! So many!

Learning from mistakes aside, I learnt, that there are some mistakes I cannot help but commit repeatedly. In that scenario, what is important is to learn how to assuage situation soon enough, so as not to cause damage anywhere. Internal or external.

I believe people are sometimes too harsh on themselves when they realise their mistakes. It's okay. You will go on making them. Problem arises when you repeat your mishaps. Please find new mistakes to commit through life. Once done, ask yourself, 'What next?' And act. Action is sometimes the greatest way out of the gravest quandaries in life.

Shall I tell you something more? In retrospect, each of your silliest mistakes will beautifully fit together like puzzle pieces to complete the mosaic of your vibrant life. You'll have nothing to regret, unless you're hell-bent upon it. Hang in there. Most of these things are happening for a reason.

Important - when others make a mistake, and you think you are in a position to make them realize it, please to it with an aim to correct and not to condescend. There was this lovely day last year where there was an oversight on my part, and I was shamed in front of an alien public, in a verbose and unpleasant manner. I love rebukes. They are usually dazzling chances to learn. But not this time. Tough love does not include shaming - it includes a stretching of parochial perspectives.

Aah. My favourite part. This year was insane with respect to people. I offended a lot of people, sometimes knowingly so. I fell in love with a lot more. Some unfriended me, some took me out on marvellous dates. The pretty difference this year was, whenever it came to conflict between my peace and someone else's happiness, I first saved myself and then did whatever I could for the other. Rants aside, here are a few mentions.

Dr. Ashok Chakradhar - an inspiration and mentor, he gave me the privilege of calling him a teacher - a role in which he excels effortlessly. Literature, poetry, discourses and life - I gained a lot through my interactions with him.

Mujeeb - calling him a lifeline is still an understatement.

Niyati - if I have truly shared any phase of my life in painful detail with someone, it has been her. This relationship was due some years on me.

Akshat - we grew up, suddenly. We've had a history of most invigorating discussions, but the level and class and subjects suddenly became too grown-up. In a good way, I guess. (This person is my reality check in life.)

Mohit - he brought music and senseless smiles back in my life. Among few of the toughest days in 2015, it was just this guy, who could say precisely the words I had wanted desperately to hear.

Ekta - the way we connected, in an instant over that auto-ride, this is the stuff that great friendship stories are made of. Resolve to meet me more, okay?

Ambikesh, Prateek, Sharad - funnily enough, you guys played a similar role in my life at different points in time. Standing up for me, and facing my boiling temperature, you three have completed cycles of the relationships we're hopefully building for a long time to come.

Nimisha - daughter, decided? Chuck everything and come snuggle with me when times are tough. Also, there are always books and pizza.

Anurag - you came up bravely, but there is a long way to go. You know it. I know it.

Divyaksh - you are my goofy spoon of happiness and the best ever insight into mythology and philosophy.

Puneet and Atif - kaise? How are you guys such dazzling humans at heart? I have loved your poetry, your love and the pretty bonds of friendship which have formed between us.

Rashmi - no words in the world are capable of telling you how thankful, indebted and in awe of you am I. You are such a reflection of the life-force which I forever want to live with!

Mimansa - the genuineness of your heart tugs at mine. I hope to know you better next year.

Pooja - when you talk, it is like my conscience speaking to me. I could write poetry for you daily, you know, hoping that someday you'll scribble some verses for me.

Yaseen - you're a friend I have chosen to believe in.

Evita - how did we come to be so close? How did you come to be so fond of me?

Kamal - I think noone in my life understands the term 'unconditional love' better than you do. Darling son, okay?

Nishant - God gave me my full when he designated you as my friend. I'm blind and demanding when it comes to our love and friendship!

Netrik - for the unconditional faith you have posed in me and the world we've created.

Yasser - for being a charming new addition to life.

Atika - the liberty to be at peace with myself when I am with you is stupendous. You are a beautiful person, and there is nothing I will not do to add smiles to your life.

Vernita - I have ended up admiring you. So much! I want to meet you so much more and keep falling in love with you.

Saif bhaiya - you are the BEST gift that 2015 gave me. I have known you several years, but not like this, never like this. Your being there matters. A lot.

One Day at a Time
My biggest gift this year was the ability to live one day at a time. Yes. I gave each new day its respect. I seldom carried on emotions and intensities from previous nights to new dawns. There were many mornings I woke up and asked myself - so, what do you want to try out today? And whether it was as basic as making mashed potatoes for myself, or beginning work on a new book - I just went ahead and did it. Simple.

I wish you a great 2016. I have some great plans and some stupid tasks to accomplish gloriously. Absolutely kicked about it. You?