Monday, 25 January 2016

Life Keeps On Keeping On

Is success merely a mental construct? Or is it a quantifiable, measurable, tangible thing? Can you see success, can you feel it, smell it, taste it?
I have always believed that happiness and success are congruent. You can only be truly successful when and if you are happy, and your happiness can only ever be unadulterated if you are successful. But is that really the deal?
I find myself struggling professionally in ways that have been previously unknown to me, because since as far back as my memory allows me to retrospect, I recall success- academically and otherwise. I was always a good student in school and in college, with good grades, a good record and good references. Looking back, I know now that I was a successful young girl in whatever I chose to do. But then that's the thing- you only have 20/20 vision in retrospect. 
I have spent the past two months struggling to feel like myself, to feel confident (because confidence was so inherent to me all my life, that this now feels very uncomfortable), and to be able to give as much love as I get. I know that I have grossly minimized my social interactions over this period because of the reasons I just mentioned. It hasn't been an easy phase, but then, is any phase in life an easy one? Doesn't each phase come with its own demons? And most importantly, doesn't each phase come with its own expiry date? 
My big brother, in all his bearded wisdom, told me a few days ago that life simply 'keeps on keeping on'. Now while I think he ought to really trademark this line because of its brilliance, I am also trying my best to inculcate this into my brain and heart. Good things take time, and it's important to remember that if you find yourself in a (professional) rut, at least don't sit and furnish it. I have been doing my best to work on my book off late because that seems like the only thing that I can actually do to feel useful and productive. 

Meanwhile, I wonder in my spare time- which I currently own in plentiful- what being successful must feel like. Maybe this wondering will help me visualize it and get there, because I really do believe that you always get what you truly want if your wishes stem from a pure and real place. And mine stem from the heart, so it really can't get any realer than that.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016


There hid a magnificence
Beneath that muddy squalor
Where the weeds grew,
And the insects thrived,
And where coins hummed
An infrequently heard jingle.
Beneath this grime
That grew in salty layers
Of despondence, poverty
And hopelessness-
The child still played
With the runaway wheel,
His laugh resonating
Like echoes in a wine cellar
Which hid bottles and secrets,
And stories that you could
Only hear when you listened
Close enough.

Saturday, 16 January 2016


We walk on, with our backs to the past and our chins raised high, like the expectations we bear from each year as it dawns on us with an unrelenting punctuality and that unwavering hope that this year shall be better.
January is half-over already, and this realization makes me scratch my head and sit in bewilderment because frankly, I don't remember much about where and how time flew by and we reached this date on the calendar. Life has been different, if nothing else, off late. I think I can safely say that I am in a state of transition, trying to glide into a different mould, a different lifestyle, and a different role. It is exciting; that kind of exciting where you find butterflies in your stomach and a nervousness in your brain. ("Will it be good? I hope it will be good. I hope it will be happy").
There are certain habits that I wish to adopt this year, and I can say with complete honesty that I am working on them.

I am notorious for being impatient among those who know me, always hoping and wishing for things to happen right when I want them, and getting thoroughly dejected even if there is the slightest delay. Whether it is about me waiting in line for the trial room at a store or me waiting for glorious things to happen in my career- I have always been impatient, and I am not proud of it.

No, I do not wish to be like the majority of the people around me in the city who are intolerant of differences and changes. Being tolerant and kind to one another and to our beliefs is crucial to the success of any society. I hope I can be the kind of woman this year that embodies this belief.

I am constantly told by someone very close to me that I ought to be grateful for all the things that I am lucky enough to be blessed with; that I ought to allow these blessings to ground me and to anchor me. It is so easy to blame the world for being unfair and partial in the way it metes out different grades of justice to us, but it's a fact that we need to acknowledge and accept. And it's equally important to remind ourselves that every dog certainly does have his day. Good times might not be very abundantly splayed out into our lives, but neither are bad days. We must learn to enjoy and appreciate the familiar comfort of mundanity. The joy of coming home after a long, tiring day and knowing that your faithful cup of coffee is still hot, your dog still loves you with an unparalleled selflessness, and you have a family that shall protect you even when they would rather be doing other things- these are those famous 'little things' that truly make for a happy life.

I have gone on several rants and declarations on my blog over the years about what an unputdownable optimist I am. Well, 2015 was a bit of a wet blanket for me, what with all the health issues I dealt with, and it unfortunately managed to be a dampener for my glass-half-full ways. Sickness really does take a toll on your mind, just as much as it does on your body. A change in your physical appearance can be mercilessly talked about and reminded to you even by those closest to you. I wish people were a little more sensitive about the way they objectify people's bodies. In 2016, I hope that good health for me and my loved ones is a major highlight because I know how valuable it truly is. I hope that my scepticism dials itself down and I return to the mindset which has allowed me to be who I have always (thankfully) been.

So often, I find that my mood tends to mirror that of those around me. Now while it might be a scientifically proven fact that humans are psychologically programmed to feel the way their loved ones are feeling, I want myself to be a little more independent this year. I want myself to start thinking with a freer mind and a calmer heart so that it is easier for me to be happy and to spread happiness amongst those that I care for. This is not to be confused with selfishness, because my long-term goal in this regard is to able to give as much love as I get, and I know that this is only truly possible when there's lesser angst inside of me borne from the embarrassing knowledge that I depend on others for my happiness, that I feed off of their smiles. To be a better partner, daughter and friend, I know that this is an important attribute to adopt.

I have begun to appreciate and respect discipline in a huge manner thanks to a certain someone. The more disciplined you are, the more efficient you shall be. And this is, by far, the toughest attribute that I want to inculcate into my life this year. It is not easy to drag your derriere out of bed on a cold January morning and head out to the gym with the punctuality of a Swiss watch. But I watch him do it, every day-come rain, shine or wind-and it inspires me to be a better person. It inspires me to take time more seriously and to discard that horrible Indian trait that we all carry in our genes of underestimating its importance. We would be a more successful nation if we were a bit harsher on ourselves for wasting time with that shameless nonchalance that we have become infamous for.

Never before in  my life have I consciously found myself sitting down and wondering how I can be a better person, not just for myself but for those that I love. So much of that has to do with having the good fortune of knowing that I am in safe hands; but it also has a lot to do with age.
I can sense the changes in my personality that have revealed themselves to me over time, and this knowledge makes me feel better about myself.
So much of a person's happiness comes from self-acceptance. I hope this year takes me a step closer to being more comfortable in my own skin and towards my goal of being a better human being. I think this world is in dire need of that, anyway.

Friday, 8 January 2016


I will carry my jewels with me
To the skies, when I leave.

These necklaces from the passionate throws
Of afternoons in the sun,
And these rings on my fingers
That outline each story
I have smiled at-
I shall wear them when I pass on
Into the nothingness.
And these diamonds that you gave me
Heavy with memories
And light with the sound of our laughter,
They shall sit on my earlobes
Like a queen on her throne,
And they will play the sound
Of you voice to me, when I so desire.
(And I always desire for you..)
These anklets that kiss my feet-
Soft kisses of a practiced lover-
Anchor me to this life
That we are building together;
For even the greatest of ships
Need solid grounding
To remember the port and to fear the seas.
I shall wear these bangles-
That pretend to be your hand
Holding onto mine,
Helping me cross busy streets,
Guiding me through turbulent times,
Celebrating our victories.

I will carry my jewels with me
To the skies, when I leave.
And when we meet next, you shall see
My necklaces, my rings,
My diamonds, my anklets,
And my bangles,
And you shall remember who I was,
Who I am, and who I shall always be
For you..