Friday, 12 June 2015

Being a lone wolf

 I crossed the road and stood with the many others in the quarters, waiting for the school bus. My interaction with the fellow-waiters was limited. Somehow, I felt as if I wasn't entirely a part of the group. Our yellow bus honked its way towards us. As we all climbed on, I looked around for my old friend. Nope, she wasn't there that day either. Finding an empty seat next to a little boy, I sat down. He gave me no more than a second glance. 5 years in a row, and I still did not fit in with any gang in the bus either. So that made me a loner.

The boy next to me was avoiding all possibilities for a conversation to spark up. That suited with me. The constant chatter within the walls of the bus was strangely soothing. I looked around for more of my kind. There sure were a few, seated quietly far in the front. I wondered what went on inside their minds.

I was feeling strangely lonely. One would think I'd gotten used to the daily 15 minute journey to school. But I began questioning my solitude. Was it something bad? Will it do me good to make small talk with people I just know? Solitude was so much easier! And yet, I wished some random chatterbox came up to me for a chat. I realized that I was missing someone. Maybe more than just a someone.

Melancholic as it was, I began thinking about what they say about lone wolves. They're the introverts who prefer working on their own, who choose to be alone, who enjoy being with themselves. I don't recall making such a preference. But  rather have somehow ended up this way.

"If you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them." ~ Jodi Picoult 'My Sister's Keeper' (

Aftter reading this, I've seen how we end up this way. In fact, I'd disagree with not enjoying solitude. Company of your very self can be much greater than anyone else's. Because not another soul will understand you the way you understand yourself. And now, I've come to admire the lone wolves. They refuse to mingle, because they refuse to be like the rest. They are those brave, independent ones who stand up on their shoes. They ought to embrace their eccentricity that makes them introvert. They aren't one among the millions of simpletons, they are different. We needn't try so hard to fit in if we stand out among the rest.

So if ever you feel isolated, and if ever loneliness creeps in involuntarily, remember that it is because you are one of a kind.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

8th August, 2085

"I'm confused grandma!" she said, looking at me through Skype. After all these years, the app for video chatting had gotten a hundred times better. I smiled back at my worried little granddaughter. I saw a lot of me in her, especially since she was born on the same date as mine. My little angel is turning 21 today, and it's time for her to fill up the citizen's form. This is the form of freedom, the form of choosing what you wish to be for the rest of your life.

I smiled at her. "What if I choose something only to regret it later on?" she questioned,, "Oh did you make such a decision when it was your time?" I laughed, recalling the time I was 21. "I never had to do that sweety." I told her, "In my time, the world was in chaos, where the crazy people gathered to fight for their rights and tried ever so hard to fit in." She nodded, "I can't believe people were actually considered rebels for wanting to live differently!" She looked down at her form, and read out the the next column, "'Gender: 1. Boy, 2. Girl, 3. Transgender' I think I'll stay as a girl for this life, what do you think gran?" I only smiled. Gender conversion at present is as common as getting a plastic surgery, which by the way is done a lot nowadays. My little girl ticked the square next to the 'Girl' option and continued. "Religion? I do wish to learn about all of 'em gran! But I think I'll go for 'no religion'. "  I peered at my angel, "You don't believe in god dear?"
She looked up from her form, "I don't know." she said,
"I'm not an atheist gran. I guess I'm the same as you...what was that word again?"
"Agnostic" I said, "One who claims to not know about the existence of god.-"
"-But neither denies that God might exist."

70 years ago, if I were given the citizen's form, I would've laughed at it, never understanding its relevance. Today, this very form is the doorway to a complete independent life crafted entirely by your own. Back then, all I was worried about at the age of 18 was about the field of studies to pursue ahead. But that option is way down in the priority list today. What's important is the way you want to lead your life. You can no more blame the circumstances around you for what you are, because you choose the atmosphere yourself. This form is one that let's you choose your culture, your gender,your citizenship, your preference, your very life!

When one becomes 21 years of age, he or she is said to have  a basic knowledge of her society, with which she has the freedom to choose the way she wishes to live. Ah well, but it isn't like the world is devoid of all problems. But at least no one stops you from wanting to be yourself.

"Grandma...I'm still scared!" my little girl whined, "What if at some point in the future, I wish otherwise? What if I regret my choices? What if they are wrong?..."
I start to wonder if she is my re-incarnation. She sounds so much like me. That time came back to me, when the very same what-if's haunted me for years. Those days of utter mind being bizarrely unreachable. And then I slowly understood how very simple it all was. How the complications were nothing but an illusion.
"There is no right and wrong in making a choice dear." I said. An age old saying popped in my head. 70 long and tedious years did not hinder the righteousness of the saying, which always helped me move ahead in life. It only seemed apt for the moment, so I told my little angel the same...

"Don't believe in taking the right decisions. Take decisions and make them right."

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

When the Heart speaks

 "So what's your ambition?" came the dreaded question. How embarrassing it was to have nothing to say, to not be able to describe what I really want in life. My sister piped in to my rescue, "Dashy hasn't decided yet. She has interest in journalism, but she's not sure whether to go for it." His eyes shifted to mine, "I've only one thing to tell you dear. Don't give a damn to what anyone in the world says, listen to your heart."

 Right. That must be the gazillionth  time that I've been told the same. Oh yes I understand, that it is always better to follow our intuition, to let the heart win, to make a choice entirely on our own. But the heart has remained quiet for far too long, and my wait for it to speak up has prolonged so much,  that I wonder if it has done it already and if it's just that I never noticed. Why is it that our hearts only give us vague ideas? Why is its voice so dim and soft? Why does it still remain locked up? Why haven't  I found the key to open it yet? I bet my heart is waiting to explode, to shriek out loud, to engulf the world in vibrance.

 And there, that's another paragraph of metaphoric representation of my confused state of mind. So much of clarity in how very muddled my head is, and how it keeps getting messier! All there's need to be done is to get the jigsaw pieces in place, if only I figured where they fit! I guess our hearts whisper all the while, but we simply fail to accept what it wants. When circumstances don't turn out to be favourable, we ignore what the heart says, just to remain on the comfort zone. We wish our hearts wanted something else, something that brings no trouble in our lives. And we begin the search for the same, for something that does not even exist. Why rule out the possibility of it's existence?

And thus the many unnecessary quests draw a veil to what the heart really wants to say. Maybe it is cowardice to not heed our very heart that pumps life into us. And maybe all we need is the guts to open up, and be ready to face the journey in discovering ourselves.

So watch out. Stay awake, 'cause you've got to be there when your hearts speaks.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

The Shoe Story

A cloth duster fell in front of me. Another flew past my head. I looked up to behold a scene of flying bags, pencil boxes and paper balls. Nothing unusual. At a point I thought I noticed a shoe among the flying objects. That was new.
      "Sa.One to the rescue...I'm coming!" someone screamed from behind. Just one among the many crazy ones around. I turned to pack my bag, only to find it missing. Looked like they were playing catch with my bag as well, among the other flying objects. I went over to my classroom's front in search of my bag. Before I could begin the search, I was shoved off for interrupting a game of football with a shoe. So the flying shoe was not my imagination.

 Someone was playing tabala from the corner. Probably practising for our assembly programme. Just then, there was a call from down below, "Oolamamavasugola" Ahh...that was our 'underground don'. 'Underground' because he stayed under the bench.  His head alone popped outside from beneath the desk, "Oxygen cylinder please!" he panted. I felt a tap from behind. My best friend stepped forth, her eyes darting from me to the underground don. "We need a skulblakaherz." she said. That was our little code language. Before he or I could reply, we heard a shriek from near the window.

All heads turned to the boy with spiked hair, who was holding the 'football' shoe outside the grills of the window. "I'm gonna throw it off...I'm serious!" he said with a grin. At a distance stood 'Sa.One the superhero', who was shaking his head. And doom, the one at the window let go of the shoe, which fell four floors down. Our eyes widened as the 'superhero' took off his second shoe and ran out to get his first. The 'spike hair' went after him, and we followed suit. Our 'don', being underground, took a while to catch up.

This was our little gang once upon a time. Friends in need, friends the above mentioned scenario of a fallen shoe! The five of us climbed  four flights of stairs back to our classroom after getting the shoe. Oops. The teacher had already gotten in. My bestie and I mumbled 'bathroom' and got in, but sir wouldn't buy that story from the boys! So they told the true story- "Sir, my shoe fell out of the window accidentally, and we went to get it." He had proof since he was wearing only one shoe at the moment. Sir's eyebrows were raised, "The window? By accident?"

 Alas! He took away one of the shoes, and our 'superhero' had to wear my spare pair of shoes which was in the classroom cupboard. How my extra pair got in there is a different story altogether. I remember that day, when I reached home...the first thing mom asked me was this- "Why was he wearing your shoes today?"
Though my mom was a teacher in the school, there was no possibility of her knowing about 'my' shoes. I still wonder how in the world she came to know about it.

The shoe story is only one among myriads. But that was once upon a time. It is sometimes hard to believe how much time can change. After all, change is the only thing that is constant, there is no good and bad of it. People come and go in our lives, but sometimes we get lucky enough to find someone who stays. For that someone, distance and time don't matter. For that someone, the bond remains taut, because it was always meant to be.

But for some, the bond loosens up as the distance grows, and yet others drift off with the passage of time. A few days ago, I happened to see our so called 'underground don' across the road during a walk. We waved at each other and moved on. I'd once imagined us to be that one crazy gang that wouldn't ever break off. Never once did I imagine our bond to end up with a mere wave across the road.

Our roads were common at first, but now it has led us off to different directions. Maybe the roads would meet again. Maybe they never would. Though the bond may disappear, there is something that never will. Memories. It is silly to whine, thinking we don't have the past anymore. Instead, it is better to look back and smile, for having a past worth remembering.

 The old chapter's done. Another one has begun. Life has to go on. We do what we can with it, and leave the rest to fate. So for the present, I just prepare for what's ahead. As for the past, I can only smile for once being able to rescue a shoe with a sweetly insane group of unforgettable friends.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Enlightening Darkness

I woke up with a jolt. It was dark all around. Probably past midnight. Raining cats and dogs outside. Despite the chilly air, I was sweating. There was no current. A sudden flash of light engulfed the room. I waited. And it came...the loud crack of thunder. My cousin was squeezing my hand. Sleep had left me, and it showed no sign of returning any time soon. So I settled down as my eyes adjusted to the dark. As the occasional flashes showed me weird shadows through the window pane, my mind drifted off to the idea of ghosts.

They say people who believe in god are most likely to believe in ghosts as well. Well, why not? You've never seen god, you've no proof of it except for age old epics and could-be-coincidences in today's world. The same goes for ghosts, except that there are plenty who claim to have sighted them. Video clips and experiences reveal that there seem to be more chances of the existence of ghosts than of god. But then of course, we've been told that god exists within us, in our surroundings, in the universe, as light, as wind, as energy. The things that we couldn't understand ourselves, were christened god's creation. Who then, is this almighty, the so-called creator of life? Why not call nature itself as god, why not the forces in the universe that make our earth go round, that keep the stars in motion, that makes time exist?

For the rationalists and atheists, the very idea of god is a joke. They do not pray, because it makes no sense to them. There are many instances in life that prove to be unfair, many unjustified, which makes it more difficult to believe that god will heed our miseries. Isn't it easier to believe that god sustains life, rather than to save the lives of the petty and the rich alike? How else would it make sense?
When we can pray for the good of others, we could do the contrary as well right? Will both the sides be heard, or are the prayers selective up there? Today the freedom of speech contradicts with the people's right to beliefs. The ones who choose to express themselves despite being in the opposite side of the tide are attacked and treated with disgust. The battle in itself proves the littleness of our maturity.

 In a time where buildings get taller, roads wider, and screens bigger, if our minds too don't expand, then there shall definitely be no peace. Accept and respect, that is all peace ever needs. Accept that people are different, accept that they have different views. Respect their views and beliefs, respect them for sticking to it. By doing so, the gain is all yours, not anybody else's.

Maybe god exists. Maybe ghosts do too. Maybe neither do. Maybe all that we see is governed by a supreme power unknown to us. Maybe physics hasn't yet learned to define it. Maybe it has no definition at all. Maybe we could just stick to our own beliefs, and respect that.

My trail of thoughts got interrupted by a rush of cool wind. The ceiling fan was moving again, the current was back. Sleep had slowly crept in without my knowledge. Slowly, the patter of the raindrops, the beats of the thunder, and the soft howls of the wind served as a lullaby...and I dozed off.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Those freaking lizards!

You know what the latest concern of the day is? Mannerless lizards! That's right, I'm talking about those creepy-crawlies found on the walls of every house. They used to be so decent and quiet earlier! Hiding themselves the moment the lights are turned on, disappearing whenever a human presence was sensed, staying put in a dark, unnoticed place. Unfortunately, they did not pass on their legacy to their descendants. The baby lizards of today are nothing short of utter annoyance! They stay in plain sight, don't hesitate to get on top of anything, and have absolutely no intention of staying unseen! Sometimes I feel pity for them, for being treated so harshly by their residents. It's not their fault after all. The lizards probably weren't taught the manners the way they should have been!

At first I assumed that their nuisance was only short lived. But then, my school session ending exam came up, and as I looked up to take a break from my routine studies, what do I behold?! A dark brown baby lizard camouflaged in the wooden table, standing still behind our hand-made pen-stand. Ugh! He was definitely not where he was supposed to be!

That little thing successfully distracted me as I spent the next ten minutes watching it move around slowly. Once I realized that it wasn't going to leave my study any time soon, I resumed my lessons. But the reptile was screaming for my attention! Soon enough it ousted me from my very own study and I had to study from my bed. How much ruder could it have gotten?! One would've thought it would leave by the next day. But no it hadn't! The next day I found it staring at a sticker of red berries stuck on my study wall. It was probably wondering if they were edible. But what difference did it make to me? I occupied my bed instead of my table for the second day. The lizard must've loved my study, for it was still out there the third day. Shaking the table, poking his vicinity, staring hard...none of it even made it budge. In fact, it even stared right back at me.

FYI, the lizard's gone by now. But only to take up other non-lizard-friendly places like dad's office table, my piano, the towel holder in the bathroom, and believe it or dared to even enter my bed! Not once, but twice! Now you must admit that it was completely unkind of it to do that! If only it stood behind the curtains decently, my mood would've been much better for a couple of days.  One of them did heed my wish, and stayed behind the curtain. But did I know then that it's intention was quite the contrary to staying hidden? I had gone to close the bedroom window and whoa! That mischievous little thing fell right onto my hand. This was too much! Too bad I did not scream, I bet that clumsy creeper wanted me to.

The lizards and I would have be in a better understanding of each other if they had kept a respectable distance. But they seem to be determined to interfere into my stuff, ahh...and thus the indifference shall continue!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Dubiousness here to stay

We're nearing the close, the close of the chapter concerning school life. The mixture of emotions would be that of excitement, nervousness and responsibility alike. But most of all, there's the dubiousness. There's one more year to make a choice, this way or that? Or perhaps a so-far-unspoken third path? Which way do I go? As much as there is the urge to get out into the world and make an impact, there's as much doubt if that's what's meant to be. Small disappointments are getting piled up, and before it forms a barrier to the way ahead, I wish to start the journey, and just leave the pile behind. It's the last year in school, and the first day's done. The teachers are doing their job to scare the hell out of us. And our job is to convince them that we're trying, be it true or otherwise.

I keep thinking I'm ready to step out. But then all I need to do is to have a talk with daddy to pull myself way down for I realize that I know close to nothing. Here I sit, wondering if I'll ever figure a way out of this mess. Now that the time's pretty close, I've started considering the option that I was determined to omit.

I still don't have confidence in myself. I haven't even the basic ability to take a decision of my own choice, why you may ask...I'm probably just afraid of choosing wrong. I'm told not to worry about it at all, that what has to come will come. But I can't dodge the questions from around, I can't ignore their warnings of not having a plan, I can't neglect my intuition of starting immediately, I can't just not worry. Worry gets us nowhere, it's true as long as all you do is worry. But if your worry prompts you to act, then my boy, get going!

I'm 17, and I've had a life worth living so far. I wouldn't say I am extremely experienced, but I do have a memorable teenage life, one that's made me what I am today. I doubt a lot more, I empathize every person, and keep believing that everyone would have a reason behind their every act, though I may not always understand them.

My target is a year from now. Will I make a decision by then? Will I shove away my small  wishes, and move along with the tide chasing prestige and money? No matter what the wise say, one cannot deny that we do need money to reach anywhere, unless you are lucky enough to fall in the hands of an angel on earth who'd help you rise. If I still decide to take the path less traveled, how practical would it be? Only as long as I am ready to deal with the consequences, I can move on. Do I have the guts to do that? How much would I know? Wouldn't it be being silly to not heed the advice of the elderly who've lived longer and know better? Like they say, we ought to learn from the mistake of others, for we won't live long enough to make them all ourselves.
We'll see. As I always say, what's meant to be, will be.