Good is Bad. Bad is Comfy

I had a panic attack recently. And it got me thinking. Though, I think the above was in reverse.

I feel there is a dichotomy in what I am and what I want to be. Not in the sense of status, money, job description, but rather as a person. I want to be more straightforward, I want to be more spontaneous, I want to be more alive, I want to dive off an airplane, I want to learn exactly what I want, I want to be able to take failure in my stride, I want to dare to feel the most I can, I want to dare to push myself and know where my boundaries lie, I want to be comfortable in my skin, I want to not be some phoney that doesn’t fit in, and mostly. Mostly. I just want to, nay, need to, not be afraid.

I am the star of my show standing behind the podium mike, I am my audience, and the audience derides and mocks me and I feel, for a moment, comfortable with that ridicule. It feels familiar, it feels… right. Happiness feels like an allergy; it comes every now and then, it affects, and it passes away.

While I am not a total dreamer chasing happiness, I feel rudderless. My lows bring out thoughts in me which perceive my life to be a privilege, undeserved. Rationally, I know that life is a poker game, and the hand you are played is hardly something you choose or get to decide, be it a bad one or a good one; what you make of it, is what sets you apart. But how do I convince my irrational human conscience of this truism? What’s to stop it from hurling insults my way?

I need to act out. Have others listen and step in. Realize what my current thoughts are. It’s too lonely and sad, like a monochromatic movie in sepia.

Part 2 :

Some of my characteristics I do not fancy. I think they are not very becoming of a smart and ‘good’ individual. But to be honest, if I could have lived with these flaws, I think I wouldn’t have been writing this. I’d have been out, living, being envious of others’ achievements, making overt efforts to make the world revolve around myself, lying and cheating my way into getting fleeting moments of twisted self-serving happiness, and probably a few other vices. Trying to get rid of the green shade of my eyes has proven especially difficult. I just can’t do it consistently. My envy often puts me down as my ignorance propels others upwards, at least in my mind. The battle I wage against it has been raging for a decade now.
If only I could be ok with these flaws and live remorselessly. But, alas. Something about being a human being that won’t harm, if he can’t help.

I have seen shrinks, I have sought help and it has worked to some extent. I wonder why it takes me so much time. So much time. To understand and accept and move on with things that the world around doesn’t seem to need to stop and consider, either because they think too quick or they think too less. Why do I feel I am not doing either?
There are these thoughts originating from a place of pain. It hurts to access its core, so these are just the scraps I find lying on the surface – for me to pick them up and to allow them to help me grapple with this and that.

It’s like I’m waiting for a disaster. Like there is something big that is going to come my way, and which will finally. Finally. Finally. Let me have an excuse for being a failure. So that I could project my shortcomings on to that. So that I don’t have responsibility. So that I don’t have control. So that I have pity flung upon me like cheap praise – “Its ok. Its ok. It happens. You’re so smart, you’ll get through it, I know!!” So that I no longer feel obligated to do anything that will make me succeed. That will make a failure out of me, complete in every sense. Only then will I be sad. Only then will my penance be complete. Only then will I feel a clean slate. Only then I will be happy. Only then would my wax wings be burnt, would my doubts be proven right – “No. But I’m not smart, right?” To rise up from these figurative ashes, now wouldn’t that be a spectacle? Wouldn’t that be a show to look at and gasp in awe? What a turnaround! What glory! What a whiz kid!!

What romantic ambitions the mind concocts. Now I wonder why I’m such a masochist. But I like others’ pain every now and then too. It feels perverse and grotesque and sickening. It feels so… delicious. A pain junkie. Like I finally have something to talk about with this person and that. Yes. Be sad. Tell me what ails you. Tell me what has brought you down. Let me relate to you, let me revel in a shared sadness, let me walk in your shoes, let me be the one who hurts, let me be the one who gets stoned for your sins. All I want is this pleasure, please. Please, won’t you grant me some more.

I want to help you get out of this hole you are in. I want to help you rise, so that I see that it can be done too, that I shouldn’t be afraid to follow you since it isn’t something unknown anymore. Even though I don’t dare to start down a new path, I can always hope to pave a way for you to go through, can’t I? And who knows. You might like the place, it might be the answer we both are looking for.

And who knows, you might even help me up.

A lesson

Something normal happened yesterday.

Was stepping away from a long day at work, coming home to delicious mom-cooked food. Crossing an over-bridge at the railway station, headphones plugged in, walking at a leisurely pace. I saw my train arriving at the platform, and my “Dadar”ly instincts kicked in; (sorry, can’t translate that pun) for a second the unhurried pace turned into a trot. My right step a tad larger than its predecessor, my body bent forward a bit, bracing to make a run for it; My pose, I daresay with blatant vanity, was of a track runner who has just heard the gun go off. Such excitement! On a weekday! But with a mental shrug, my buzzkill head went (in alphabetical order).. “Naah. Too far, too pointless, too slow, too tedious, too tired, … Next one.” and my jog lost its steam.

I wondered, ‘Was the shrug “Instinctive”? or “Acquired”?’ My gut was betting on the latter. I decided to test my theory and gave the wind a run for its money. I ran and I ran; pushed aside a couple of guys, knocked into an older dude, almost (Almost!) crashed into an older lady, all the while profusely apologizing to the people I was leaving behind in the wake of this blitzkrieg. Finally, rushing through peak crowd and amidst a lot of curses-muttered-under-breath, I was in! And lo, the train started to move. I thought myself the destiny child, the star atop The Christmas tree, the very embodiment of the antithesis to Murphy’s law! I was a gambler who has just hit the jackpot; mistaking the win as one affected by me and me alone. The last thought, of course, arrived at the gradual pace of hindsight, occupying a void left by the receding adrenaline. All said and done – damn, that felt good!

I hadn’t done this in a long time. By “this”, I mean following my natural instincts, getting them suppressed by my acquired ones, and then trumping them with “acquired 2.0″s. At least in a big fashion; not that this was a big event by any practical measure, but it somehow felt like one. Why did I do this? This act that pretty much everyone sensible living in Mumbai summarizes with a “doosri mil jaayegi” (We’ll catch the next one)? I did it because I could. That’s the simple one-liner. And why did I think so much about it? Not so one-liner.

Because, I think I have been actively trying to suppress and forget certain things, behaviours, habits and attitudes that I acquired during my ‘growth’ phase through the environs around me, particularly the ones I am not a big fan of. During this un-learning phase that is still a work-in-progress, I believe I have successfully eliminated a few bad traits, but there has been collateral damage. I need to learn back some things now. For instance, I need to re-learn that competition & rank aren’t merely buzzwords on a candidate’s CV. I need to re-learn that happiness isn’t bad because of its ephemeral nature; that it is good precisely because of that. I need to re-learn what it feels to want something & to strive for it, not despite but because, you could fail. I need to re-learn what it feels like to make tiny mistakes, so that I will know better when I am about to make a bigger one. I need to re-learn. I need to learn.. 

So, yes. That 100m dash was but a step for me. A race against my (as of now) older self.

Something normal had happened yesterday. Just that it wasn’t normal anymore.

Overpowering Voice, Love

Here’s to your voice, love

Overpowering every sense
Blinding,
But your presence;

Missing that voice, love

A voice, gentle
A voice, calm
A voice, melodious
Blinding,
But your charm;

Speak your voice, love
& Let it overcome

The Feelings despised
The Worries harboured
The Nightmares, dreaded
Blind me,
& Guide me
Through the dark

Diary

A name and a number
A birthday to go with it
Alphabetically arranged;
Alphabetically forgotten

Accomplices and partners
Acquaintances and friends
The ones you played with;
And the ones who played you

Nostalgia rises up
A distant ache to go back
To memories;
That time has helped fade

It elicits a smile
It elicits a croak
Brings up a mourn;
Chokes your throat

Acts as a window to your past
A simple name – scribbled;
Connected to something vast
A memory that shall, now,
Forever last

Time helps forget
A diary helps foster
More memories to gather
And to, one day, look back upon…

Haiku

I came across a beautiful form of poetry I didn’t know of before. Thought I’d give it a couple of shots.

I am a novice at this, suggestions are most welcome and most appreciated! 🙂

——

Look into her eyes
I Search for a future
But see the past

——

The smell of rice
Imagined as if were true
My stomach bellows

——

Near the deep end
Of a river too fast
Feet slip away

——

Ant crawls
Grain of sugar on its back
The fit survive

——

Thank you.

Severus Snape

We have all seen Harry Potter 7. If you think you haven’t or can’t recall something, no reason to worry. You will still know what I am talking about here.

A scene from the movie which struck me the most and is embedded in my head is the one with Snape solemnly confessing “Always.” Quite a tearjerker.

And that, when I don’t cry easy in movies. Generally, it’d take a dying guide dog trying to comfort a fatally injured bed-ridden blind kid to make me go *sniff*…. I am kidding, of course. Just the dying dog might be enough – Images from “Marley and Me” cropping up in my head already 😦

But, back to the point I was trying to make. Snape loved Harry’s mother, but unfortunately, wasn’t Harry’s daddy. (Except for the times he’d kick Harry’s ass at freestyle rap and go “Who’s yo daddy now, beyatch?”)

Jokes aside, I truly felt for the guy. He loved a woman who he could not ever be with, a fact that he knew well. His was a hand that reached out, forever waiting for another to hold it, and to make him complete. No matter what the odds, he gave off a sense that he genuinely felt that there was always hope around the corner. It was a love you don’t see of too often. His was also a love that one wishes one would feel for someone or have someone feel for one, some day in the not too distant future. A feeling so intense that it would transcend not just space and time, but the barrier between life and death, a feeling too powerful to be explained or to be grasped, so as to be able to let go of it. Snape loved like no other, and no other could love like Snape.

It would be the epitome of the word “love”, no doubts, but it begs a question. Could it be that it was so because it was simply undisturbed by the tribulations of reality, of an involved relationship?