I mean, how ARE you doing?

I have noticed something.

I rarely mean it as much as I do when I’m asking you,

“How are you doing?”

And I usually mean to ask you –

  • Tell me about the darkest night and how you lived through it, since we last spoke.
  • Tell me if you have had any nightmares, and what they are about.
  • Tell me, are your limbs in order? Do your jaws work alright? Can you blink at regular intervals?
  • How are your parents? Have they showed you recently, how much you mean to them?
  • What about your friends? Do they check on you, when you’re deeply hurt and immersed in sorrow?
  • What’s the most fun you have had recently?
  • What rules have you broken? How did you like that?
  • Tell me about that time when you dealt with your inner demons like the warrior your soul is. You thought this moment would never arrive! – yet, here you are.
  • Tell me, have you kissed any girls recently? How did they taste? Did they use their tongue?
  • Have you bared your soul to anybody lately? Did they understand you?
  • Show me your skills, your hacks, your latest tricks! What sort of jokes do you tell lately? Can you still make me laugh? Can I make you?
  • How are you doing at work?
  • At night, a while before you fall asleep, what keeps you awake?
  • How have you been nurturing your body? Have you discovered anything new about how it works for you?
  • How have you been destroying your body? Tell me about what drives you to do that. While you are it, show me where it feels like a mortal wound. I swear I’d take away your pain if I could.

And lastly, I mean to ask you –

  • Do you ever think of me? Why? When? For how long? And what does your heart say when such a thought flickers, even momentarily. I daresay that a thought of me could stand a barrage of ones that are about life mundane, but for how long I wonder, does it manage to sustain? Or rather, do YOU manage to sustain it?

Don’t just tell me you’re fine. That breaks my heart. I want to know. I care.

Until next time, old friend.

 

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Hold space, there is plenty.

I can’t really put a finger on it, but I have changed since the last time I posted on here.

I have become very comfortably whole, but in a rather porous way. What I mean is, I am not whole in the sense that I have no holes, and no space to accommodate the ebbs and flow of life. My earlier definition of whole used to be akin to that of a SOLVED Rubik’s cube. No need or space for change. Thoroughly well-defined, and really no scope for anymore human interaction to be involved in anymore. And then, somewhere along the way, I didn’t really feel like I wanted that anymore. I like my periodic ‘struggles’… they have helped me unearth aspects about myself that I never expected to learn. It has put me in positions that I hadn’t ever really fathomed, and it gave me a renewed sense of wonder. Sometimes, it did nothing for me, and I discovered that ‘nothing’ is not bad either!

‘Trust your struggle’ is a maxim I have come to accept over the past few years, sometimes grudgingly so. It’s become quite integral to my being now, and in the process, I have finally gotten a peek at the reality of ‘holding space’. Sometimes, life isn’t a project. Sometimes, even the most well-intentioned advice can be ill-timed. Sometimes, what you have to offer is not what the other needs, and other times it is not what they want. And that’s ok! It’s fine to step back and move forward with those connections that are felt strongly, and it is fine to loosen your grip on those connections that seem like they are slipping through your fingers.

I recently did something for someone with absolutely no expectations, and with genuine, uninhibited affection. It was liberating! It still is. I am in awe and curious, but I think I’ll just let this be this one time. I’m letting a flower be a flower; no need to pluck it. It’s already working its magic by just being. 🙂

What more?

Moments before embracing drunken stupor,

A short while after episodes of coquetry, albeit with folks unconcerned,

To the tunes of a soulful ballad,

She thought a strange thought. An unexpected thought.

It washed over her like a wave, catching her by pleasant surprise.

She stood there watching the musing of her own subconscious.

She thought her thought without judgment.

A thought of effortlessly dying in his arms, with satisfaction.

She imagined a return to the velvet unruffled veneer that was a mystery to all, but her.

No hard feelings, no bonds of longing either,

Just a sense of eternal and fleeting love. Of returning home to-

Understanding. Affection. Sympatico.

What more could she ask for, when she had a place of love to approach the world from?

Thinking thus, she turned over and fell asleep.

 

 

 

How I Wish You Were Here

There is no escaping this moment. How I wish you were here.

So bittersweet, the powerlessness. Like sands of time, velvety, slipping through the fingers.

Left behind, in residue, is my solitary existence.

All-purposeful, complete and self-fulfilling.

And yet, how I wish you were here.

Why must something so beautiful and effortless suddenly require deliberation.

But that doesn’t stop me from wishing you were here. How I wish you were here.

To be understood, not just noticed. How I wish you were here.

To be seen for who I am, within and without. How I wish you were here.

To be called out, hugged, nudged, prodded, made light of.

To be loved. How I wish you were here.

So bittersweet, that I have found my own way.

Learned to be my own anchor and stay.

To have found a home in my own heart.

I have accepted endings, and new starts.

I have accepted ongoing in-betweens.

To stay lively in the face of dullness and detached dreams.

Dealing with intricacies, nuances and bursts in human seams.

To slipping into moments of wishing you were here. How I wish you were here.

To live consciously in lulls.

To strive to see through the haze.

To feel during moments of indifference.

I wish you were here.

To share laughs and sudden escapades.

Awkward grinning and unexplained getaways.

To quiet calms that need no clarification.

To rambles and arguments without apologies and justification.

To explore the deepest of depths without jadedness

To warm both our hearts with much gladness.

How I wish you were here. : )

Varying Displays of Affection

I have come to the understanding that, in their most intimate relationships, everybody seeks to feel valued and appreciated. Some of the greatest falling-outs result from feeling undermined, even though the other person might express it in ways alien to your own understanding.

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My parents gave me fist bumps. And a LOT of space.

Having started on my 20s, it was probably about time that I understood what made me feel valued. I began to notice patterns in the way I helped friends when they needed me. Realizing this helped me communicate my affections better as well. For instance, being someone who leaves their phone behind a lot, I make sure I take the calls of friends who might be going through an especially trying episode in their lives. If I don’t, then I am prompt in calling them back or letting them know of the circumstance that’s keeping me away from them. Usually, it has worked out for me. The friends that I have, the people that I hold closest to my heart, have always seemed to value this aspect of my ways. In fact, that’s become one of my frequent sign-offs – “Don’t worry, I got your back.” I’m glad at my being able to successfully communicate my affection for them. It took me a while to figure it out, since everybody has their own way of expressing it, but I think I am getting there.

When the styles are mismatched, either or both parties might end up feeling rather disregarded or suffocated, given their own individual preferences. In my own life I have known myself to distance certain sorts of people, while wondering quizzically about others’ behaviors. I am going to use this post to talk about a few of those kinds.

The first kind is the people who having known me for just a few days, suddenly want to do everything together, and as much as I understand their needs, I cannot have that. I’d rather prefer to sow my probably-metaphorically-misplaced, friendly oats far and wide. There are plenty of people out there, and they all seem interesting. In fact, the people closest to me are the people who get to know my other best friends, who might be peeps I may have met in completely different contexts and circumstances. If I see them making an effort to get along with the others, I love them for it. Being something of a collector of seemingly disconnected experiences (how they are all connected is for another post), interacting with a different group of my friends is sure to draw any of them out of their comfort zone- probably not the easiest social setting. My mantra is, if you love me, you’ll love the people who love me too. And of course, I absolutely adore them all.

The second are people who will land up on my door step. I don’t dislike this kind, as much as I am inconvenienced by them. I have really tried to take my time less seriously, but I can’t help but hate distractions. I mean, I lead a life that I have consciously structured, in the absence of which I become highly malfunctional. I indulge in this dysfunctionality from time to time: for example, I took a year off, from a rather ambitious, carefully-crafted career in finance starting the latter part of 2013 to travel, volunteer, meet new kinds of people, study philosophy, and work in an entirely different sort of organizational setup- I really plucked myself out of the known zone, and reinvented my perspective for myself! But can I be doing that for the rest of my life? Probably not without hurting and baffling the people whom I care about, which brings me back to my way of expressing affection- by being there when they need me.

The third kind of people are those who want to be centre stage. All the time, that is. It’s GREAT in the beginning. They tell me ALL I want to know about them, making my people-watching considerably easier at their individual level. But after a point in time, I find myself rolling my eyes, gasping for air made up of the molecules that is the participation of other people! I am sorry, but I am interested in you, but just about as much as I am interested in Elon Musk’s ideas on space colonization! If you are going to take it personally, then I’m going to end up hurting you quite a lot without meaning to.

Conversely, some of these very people, end up showing their affection for me by putting ME in the spotlight- the conversations are dominated by how awesome they think I am, how my intelligence is absolutely dazzling them, and how they wish they could worship and make a Walk-of-Fame boulevard out of the ground that I walk on. Seriously, if I needed a sidekick to hype me up, I’d have become a rapper. Just talking about it, make my breaths feel short. Now I will admit that I have not always been the more graceful person with accepting compliments, but I learn to relate with other people by knowing THEM better. Besides, I am quite inhibited by my past experiences of people finding themselves inhibited and intimidated by me. It’s disappointing and makes my friendly soul quite sad. Stop putting me up on that pedestal of perfection. It is boring, lonely, and quite far from truth, because I’m a fan of Brene Brown here.

How has identifying this helped me in my professional life? Well, to be honest, it hasn’t had the chance to help me out YET, but I see how it could if I communicated it over a period of time. Having people telling me that they have my back if I mess up a situation, or letting me know that making that one tiny mistake is not going to jeopardize all the other details that I worked on to put together, what I hope would be, a masterpiece, is really what I need to stay motivated to deliver on a job or in a relationship of any sort. I’m not usually the screw-up in professional scenarios, but that makes this all the more important. Given my powerful, stoic, cold inner-critic, makes me put my guards up if I have bricks flying my way on the outside too. Although, I am sure I will evolve to find a less egotistic way to deal with such situations in the future.

Still don’t understand how this theory could be true? Well, try and think back to that boy you knew in middle school (or whichever stage of your life you met him in). He would pull your hair, call you names, and poke the most fun at you in public, but it probably was so because he felt the most comfortable with you (Awww…). You know that because it turned out that he liked you after all.

Me. And You.

Hey you! Yes, you. You, who have called me out on all my disadvantageous ways. You, who have never been intimidated by me, to engage me in fierce ego battles, who have never shied away from being a pain in an uncomfortable spot. You push all my buttons at once- BAM! It makes me- me who is always so calculated and measured, turn around and bare my instincts like a furious chimpanzee in all her maternal protective glory! You make me want to scream and label your existence purposeless- but I’d be lying. You send my head reeling with all the coincidental similarity, the synchronicities- as if the world were beckoning me to look at you and the sight to behold that you are.  I wish you were a million miles away from my conscious awareness. But… that would mean that I wouldn’t be the person I am now and here. I can’t have that.

Hey you! I know all your quirks, and pssst.. I enjoy them! I know that you rub your eye with your pointer with a coy smile when you are confronted with a question you don’t wanna answer, but you answer it anyway. I love that. It’s the only time I have seen you smile in real life- we’ll change that, won’t we? I love the honesty with which you readily admit when someone’s speaking an uncomfortable truth about you. It brings about a surge of respect in my heart- I wish you could see yourself in moments like those… the raw honesty, the humility, the utter humanness. I know you love my quirky retorts, even when it means besting you. You’ll take it with that shy smile- yeah, I noticed them all, you know? That eyebrow lift, your moments of claim to knowing me better than anybody else, and those flashes of maniacal anger and mistrustfulness of others. But, I can see that you hold me in the highest esteem and trust me to make good decisions- you have told me so yourself. I can see that you love being around me, even if you are rolling eyes on the outside- you know I make you feel warm and understood. Only because ‘you’re weird… and I’m weird too’ (No, I’m not! 😛 ). I know you love to hear me laugh. When I walk into a room, I know you’ve taken note of my presence, whether you acknowledge it or not- because when I’m looking around the room for you.. our eyes meet and you are always already looking at me. You always find me before I find you. Just like the first time- you knew it then too, didn’t you?

Hey you! I think you are a beautiful soul, just the way you are. You are kind and gentle, and wouldn’t hurt a fly if you could help it. But that’s not to say that you are any less courageous than the bravest of them all. You are such a braveheart, never letting anybody upset those whom you care about. You can get fierce, and sometimes that pulsating temper gets the better of your usual restrained composure- sorry for prodding them outbursts out of you <sheepish grin>. Your empathy, your sensitive side- it shocked me the first time, but it was momentary as I realized that I should have known. On the inside, you are just as warm as I am. Just as caring. Just as tender. But what I admire most of all is your persistence and the way you honour commitments. You will never let your word fall by the wayside. Your consistency and your stern awareness of what you claim to be your responsibility- you are such a remarkable soul.

Hey you. Knowing you has humbled me, softened me, made me more aware to my faults as well as my graces. But you know what? That has never bothered me, thanks to your unwavering affection. You loved me then as you do now. Back then when I was angsty, wanting to whip up Molotov cocktails, and hurl bottles at walls. Back when I dressed shoddily… not that I have made too much of a headway since, but at least I am aware of the nature of shoddiness? Back then when I was loud and living on the surface of things, never letting myself care to look further. But you, you knew that I would come around, didn’t you? You cared for me anyway, and decided to take a step back until I figured it all by myself. Whathell, you. How did you get ahead and get so wise? I’m so envious that I have to smile. 🙂

Hey you. I’ll tell you something- I don’t care for your coming around, because there is no such thing. I’m already right there by your side, never to be anywhere else.

Hey you. Let me in again, will you? Let’s never give ourselves the chance to lose the lessons we have learnt. You are my best friend.

She was beautiful.

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She was beautiful.

Gracious host, warm of heart.

Too gentle to be envied, and loved in return.

She nurtured her kind and tended to them tenderly.

Her support is what brought out in him his purpose and its pursuit.

She spun a world of her own around her, shrouded in love and clouded by tranquillity-

Clouds that were caught in a tempest so severe and steady and unrelenting.

Such a fight was put up; a wall of hope on the nimble shoulders of affection.

It was a sight to behold, and took all those who watched in a wave of inspiration.

She was beautiful, and it could be seen cradled beneath her wrinkles and blemishes.

She was beautiful, and it could be seen in their eyes that brimmed with fondness.

But her silent courage, even as she carped, it shone through.

Her fight against living hell, for life itself.

For this, she is beauty.