Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 Has Left The Building

I seem to have made my own random traditions over the years when it comes to my writing habits- certain types of poetry that has its roots set firmly in rains and cloudy afternoons, some stories that come alive when the despotic beats of the summer months are raging high and strong, those essays that find release when I am low on inspiration and find myself falling prey to the boring nothingness of uneventful weeks, and most importantly, that one long and rather self-centered review of the year gone by that I find myself writing on an annual basis on the 31st of December.

2014 did everything in its power to change the way my life ran; I've done an ungraceful pirouette on my axis and landed back on my own two feet, except for one little fact. I started this year on shaky, uncertain grounds where the future was as visible and predictable to me as the road looks to a driver on a foggy winter morning in Delhi.
I wished for money, success, glory and recognition on this day last year, like a greedy little leprechaun with tunnel-vision, a skewed perception of the world and an insatiable desire to prove to everyone that I wasn't an ordinary person with ordinary dreams. I was fueled by a mad ambition and fanned my own flames in a way that was previously alien to me.
Maybe this was because of the experiences that sat in my memory and glared smugly at my present, or maybe this was because I had reached some kind of moral nadir which allowed me to barter life's more intangible priorities for material pleasure, abandon emotion and adopt this severely inordinate desire to shine brighter than imaginable.
Driven by cynicism and blinded by this hunt for power, I trudged along into 2014 without knowing for a second that I was in for a life-changing ride on the world's wildest roller-coaster.
The year began with an insidious sickness that crept into my mother's life and thus, inescapably, into mine. There were innumerable hospital visits and needle pricks that we dealt with, and it took a few months before we could point our tired fingers to an accurate diagnosis; and even then, mother's recovery took nearly the whole year. I can only assume that this was God trying to teach me the value of good health and how we can never take our bodies for granted and run them mercilessly like they're just another gizmo we decided to buy from the nearest Apple store that possibly has a replacement policy. Our bodies do not have a replacement policy, and any damage done can take months to heal. I learnt the value of a healthy body, a loving family and the simple joys of waking up the next morning without worrying about hospital visits or blood tests.
I started working and making money (however embarrassingly meager it might be) this year, which is quite a liberating experience. It makes you feel like a grown-up in ways that grey hair or wrinkles probably won't. There are days when I hate my boss with a ferocious strength and evenings when I find some patients being distrustful of my surgical abilities because I'm merely twenty-five and I wear nail-paint. However, there are also days when my patients gift me chocolates and give me warm hugs when they leave my clinic free of pain and being able to smile freely again.
I faced failure and I faced success when it came to academic avenues, and although at the time, the success didn't seem successful enough and the failure seemed all encompassing, in retrospect, it wasn't so. I learned to take neither success nor failure seriously.
I suppose the only one thing that is worth acknowledgment in life is happiness.
This year gave me the biggest source of happiness I have ever known, so despite whatever negatives it may have showered on me, this one little spring of joy is strong enough to hold my attention till my dying day and remind me when necessary, that the biggest priority in one's life should be love and family.
Shiny exteriors fade away with time, dollar bills depreciate in value, and fancy cars eventually run out of fuel. A true friend/ partner will stand by your side at your best and worst and make your journey a more memorable one.
From the year that starts tomorrow, I wish for good health, peace and success for all the people I love. I wish for the world to be a safer place and for fewer children to die at the hands of merciless demons with Kalashnikovs.
And as for myself, I only ask that this year be the happiest one that I have ever had so far in my quarter century on earth. Simple enough, eh?

Have a great night folks! It's a wrap.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Have Your Cake/ Eat It Too

Do we hunt for ambition, recognition and financial success to compensate for the lack/ absence of a certain wholehearted, unadulterated, uncompromising, unfaltering acceptance of who we are by a fellow human being who shall concurrently also promise to walk by our side when we are at our least attractive nadir and snappiest possible mood..?
I'm beginning to wonder if this statement holds true for me. Whether I am an exception to the rule or just another head in the crowd of predictable human specimens. I think I have always been fairly well-aware of the faults that I harbour in my system and the demons that I carry in my mental suitcase; and I have also been just as conscious about my strengths and the secret superpowers that I conveniently hide and save for a rainy day. I know what I'm good at and I know what I can effortlessly mess up; I've always know this thanks to my father who always told me to work harder on the things that I'm good at so I became invincible at them.
All my life, I've been one of those kids who have known exactly what they want. My doubts and indecisiveness was restricted to restaurant menus alone. I knew I wanted to be a dentist and I chased that dream until it came true. I knew I wanted to travel the world and live alone for a long enough period to know what I'm capable of doing when left to my own commands; I did that and learned the lessons that were deemed important enough by my very analytical and overactive mind.
On the top of my head, these are the dreams that I have managed to scratch off my list up until now.

However, what about the contrasting dreams that still tend to occupy my proverbial throne? How do I deal with that steadfast wish to be a published author sitting at a bookstore with cameras flashing at me and fans getting their copies signed, when this clashes with that very primal, feminine desire to have a beautiful home of my own with a family that I love and nurture, tending to details like the colour of my coffee mugs and if the lightbulbs in the pantry have been changed or not..?
Are these two images possibly viable to sustain at a simultaneous pace, or are these parallel train-tracks that cannot really exist together for long enough?
Which side of the coin do we choose when both halves offer a slice of a sweet victory that will undeniably bring a smile to our face?
And more importantly, will that one victory be enough, or will our very human tendency to still hope for greener pastures continue?

At the beginning of this month, I told my best friend that I would stick to being zen from now; be at a forced ceasefire with the skeletons in my closet and outside evils that threaten my inner peace.
I think that's a wise call and that perhaps the best thing for me to do would be to stick to this idea until I forget that I'm forcing myself to ignore the issues that trouble me.
Whatever gets me there, to that elusive Utopian fairytale.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Just To Break The Jinx

The past four articles that I wrote never really got to see the unrelenting traffic of the cyber world or the relatively peaceful waters of my webpage. They were written, rewritten, rejected and frowned upon by the merciless critic that sits inside my skull.
I have been going through a rather long phase of creative inertia that has taken an undeniable toll on my sanity. It is quite correct to say that a writer's mind is the most cluttered space you can possibly find. Ideas have been floating around in my head like directionless rafts setting out to cross stormy seas and torrid oceans, only to sink, unsurprisingly, into dark nothingness.
There has, however, been a singular story that has magically managed to remain afloat despite the sadistic tidal waves that have hit my mental shores and ravaged my creative centers.
It is now my job to take this story and see it through to the finish line.
I shall never forgive myself if I let it go. 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

A Longer Sonnet

Like crystals of salt
Borne from rough seas,
And like round fists of topaz
Meant to gleam and evoke
Praise and envy-
Your eyes shone in that
Ineluctable sunshine
That had arrived after
Winning wars 
Against clouds and darkness
To tickle my skin,
And to dye your face 
With a shade of molten gold
That did everything in its power
To draw me to you
Like a compass to a map...

You curled your lips into a round egg,
Calling out my name like it was a prayer,
Your tongue romancing your palate to give sound
To my bisyllabic name, as if it was given
Merely so you could call out to me
And I could come home to you and never have to leave...