I SAW IT ALL ONCE ALIVE

It was the summer break of May and June when we used to eagerly look forward to spending the vacation at Nani’s house. Although it might be devoid of the so-called luxuries like air conditioner, high display television set and furnished upholstery which have now become necessities yet I can say it was the best place for leisure. From morning to night, Nanu Papa used to be on his toes to fulfill our needs and the demands of Nani Ma who always had a list of grocery items ready for her kitchen. While she kept busy setting the menu according to our wishes, Nanu Papa roamed in the market to bring the items needed, be it the grocery or the famous delicacies of the place so that we never ran out of good food. His duty started from early morning by getting the jalebis prepared at a famous stall for us in the homemade ghee and ended at night with the ‘Satnam’ (a recognized shop) kulfi. Serving us the best exotic fruits also counted as the responsibility of Nanu Papa which he used to fulfill in the afternoons. Nani Ma just made sure our dishes were full of home-made parathas, bread rolls and all the dishes which she used to prepare with her loving arduous efforts. There were certainly no guilt traps irrespective how much white butter or sweets we consumed as we knew this would last only till the days we stayed there or maybe because we were kids!

The spring sofas which held origin from Nani’s wedding were used for jumping and hopping by me and my siblings. The nights were spent by half of us sleeping on the meshed charpoy with the rest using the floor mattresses for there were certainly no separate rooms on the ground floor. There were rooms on the first floor but all of us wanted to sleep together with Nana and Nani. Maa, Masi, and Nani engaged in colony gossips while we siblings spent the night playing games and scaring each other with horror stories until Nani came with her tales. It was like life was not lived but enjoyed for those days when each one became busy in their own best company of siblings and elders while delicacies continued to be served endlessly by Nani. It was like each one of us were king and queen at the same castle with so much of love and goodies on our platter. However, no one had an idea that time would change all of a sudden.

It was six years back when Nani had the symptoms of trembling hands and legs. We didn’t take it seriously until she fell on the ground losing control, that too not once but a couple of times. Soon it was diagnosed that she has Parkinson disease. After a lot of research and consultation, we realized that it has no cure and though it would not shorten the patient’s life but will degrade the lifestyle. Before this discovery, we were all blaming her for no recovery in symptoms as she lost hope and became negative with her sufferings. However, we realized later that it has all not been in her control. It was the brain cells that were weakening and becoming less responsive.

As she has always been an active worker, she managed a couple of years with some falls and making the most of it by sitting at a place however problems started when she became extremely slow in her actions and which depressed her. Being an active housewife throughout her life, she couldn’t take herself being stationed on the wheelchair and being dependent. While all of us make her feel comfortable, she still feels like she is becoming a burden. The worst part is she wants to speak, but we cannot decipher, because of her voice becoming soft and slow pronunciation of words. I know her brain is completely active and she has a lot to say, but it all comes out like a murmur to the point when I don’t understand her at times and she gives up speaking while ending up in tears.

It’s like now though we meet less because of me pursuing post-graduation in a little far off place but grief overtakes me on seeing her condition. I know what she is going through is unbearable. I might get moved for some hours when I see her or maybe a few minutes when I think of her but it is she who is actually suffering. Inwardly it has shocked her for she has always been on toes but now even little movement is difficult. She has expressed her sadness so many times for being dependent though we tell her it is a phase that everyone has to go through with age and so she doesn’t need to feel so as we all are with her. It becomes completely inconsolable for we ourselves cannot take it at times that a lady so active at one time has to go through this for the rest of her old age.

Whenever I see her, we talk through eyes while she constantly makes efforts to inquire about my life and work. I fail at times to understand her when mom interrupts and is able to exactly gauge her thought and feelings through telepathy as she is the closest to her.

I always had the feeling that I would make her proud someday not realizing that not all days are the same and so everything needs to be expressed and done at the moment. It is very necessary to convey what we feel and try to fulfill our desires in regard to our loved ones, as soon as possible as the wheel of Time cannot be trusted. It is like all the planning done by maa, masi and mama for giving my maternal grandparents a happy old age in regard to gifting them touring packages, making lavish arrangements for their stay and giving them luxuries have turned futile as my Nani now isn’t in a state to be taken somewhere or to utilize any of the gifts. I could see how they all have been working hard to give the best to my grandparents but it is all not needed now for its too late. What is now desired by them is, our quality time as in we going and spending time with them and making efforts to understand Nani while giving her courage and strength.

Nanu Papa has been really admirable while he takes up the vow of being her right hand for the rest of the life. I always see him helping Nani with washing her or with movements. It is really a tough job for I see Nanaji gets tired at times but the best part is he never gives up. What has been most disheartening is when in the initial stages he got so blinded by Nani’s disease that even though being a scientific person, he was ready to pay any cost to the devil fake priests who promised him of the cure.

All that was once alive at Nani’s home seem dull now. Mami does prepare the same dishes but they do not taste the same. There are more talks of consolation than the chirpy gossips. Nanaji is always around Nani to serve her and make her feel wanted. I just keep adoring how Nanu makes her feel so loved. Nani Ma wants to speak but is silenced by her own inability to speak. The house that was so full of life with her moving in and out of the kitchen while Nanu tracked her needs, whole day has now lost the cheerfulness.

Moreover, there has been quite a change in the house as well; there are air conditioners, wide screen television and all luxuries but it never has the same charm. There are maids to cook the food and better upholstery for our rest but it is like we never need that. It was the best place with Nani and Nanu fighting, Nani cooking food throughout the day, Nanu collecting all delicacies from outside while we siblings loudly sang ‘Nanu Papa aaye, humare liye kya laaye’ (Grandfather has come, what has he brought for us?) when he entered from the door. But now, no more the house rings of the same laughter, funny gossips, late night tales or the fattening food made out of Nani’s love.

All the joy is now replaced with tears. The moment we enter the house, I see Nani stationed at her wheelchair, expressing sunken emotions through her eyes while my maa and masi gets busy cooking to feed her with her favourite dishes. I never imagined time will change in this manner! There are no more Nani-made pickles, jams, jellies or knitted sweaters to take back home. All we have is her wishes and blessings which she whispers when we get close to her.

I still remember how Nani used to scold me laughingly when I tried to pretend walking with a stick that how Nani would do in her old age, some years back. She still laughs when I remind her of my acts. Being the first grandchild, I have been lucky to receive a lot of pampering from my grandparents and so my heart sinks while writing all this. When I see wrinkles on Nanaji’s face that don’t symbolize graceful aging but lines of stress, I feel so helpless. I cannot even give him strength for he is stronger than me and very spiritually inclined. He has a heart of gold and spirit of a chivalrous man who never shows his sufferings but has the courage to tackle everything on his own perfectly without an a fuss on his face. Even today he is into saving money for all his grandchildren while we tell him not to do so. His love for us is immeasurable and beyond what one can fathom!

Going through this phase, I just realize that irrespective of the fact we have bucks in our pocket or not or we are able to fulfill the dreams of our loved ones or not in future, all we have is present to make them feel loved and wanted. The moments that we spend with them need to be so full of real joy that we create such memories which leave a sweet taste in the mouths of our loved ones. Since no one can trust the wheel of Time and so it is like efforts should be made to create happiness rather than working and planning the future needs as one cannot even rely on life. Working on ambitions is never wrong but we should not let them overpower us to the extent that we forget or ignore our loved ones and don’t spend time with them for they are the one who have mattered to us and will continue doing so. Our loved ones need to be told and reminded every now and then that how much they are needed and wanted in our lives. This phase is giving me so many lessons while I also see the wonderful growing bond between my maa, masi and mama for giving my Nani the best possible means of sustenance for healing. I feel it has evolved everyone in my maternal family while teaching us how unpredictable life can get such that none of us can boast about the perfectness of future planning. Thus, all I can say again and again is that all hidden sentiments need to be expressed at the moment without waiting for the perfect time as it actually never exists! Also, there is nothing such as perfect family but we can make it a happy family with moments of togetherness symbolizing united efforts of strength and love.

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To the one who never gives up on me…

         I was playing with the grey coloured yarn indifferently when you appeared in formal robe and pulled one of the threads. I had met you before but I never felt that warmth until yesterday. While my eyes constantly ignored your stares of genuity, you never failed to decipher my escape trials. With sentiments hovering over my intellect and I making innumerable attempts to fool you; you have been precisely correct in identifying my buffoonery tactics meant to distract you.

          I hated it when you showed me the mirror for I was least willing to see my reflection but somehow you were right. Right in knowing me or rather too accurate in secerning my traits. You, acquainting me with my own acts of futility hurt. Your words struck me hard for you were ringing the bells which sounded no less than cacophony to me.

         Bewilderment struck me relating with the verity in your sayings. I know I was acting selfishly by not revealing my turmoil but then I wondered if you would even have the patience to tolerate my rants that tedious until I would finish. Somehow I didn’t want to act vulnerable though you had adamantly frozen the moment to unwire the foist within me. I really questioned myself if it actually made sense dragging conversation about sufferings which probably have no ends. However, you perceived my expressions so wisely that you were benevolent enough to tie the knots than simply giving up!

         With grief in my heart and laconism overtaking me, I just didn’t want you to leave for even without words, your presence was soothing. And so with knots between the threads, it is difficult for me to run away from you for you have made the ties so unbreakable that I can see myself drifting towards you. I don’t know where it will land me and if I would actually make up to your sense of empathy but only if you will to stay for a little longer or maybe forever.

           Entangled in my own thoughts, I might not hold the willingness for now to unlock your heart’s door but I do desire to make trials for breaking the barriers between us some time, soon. Until then, clinging onto you gives me a sense of security and clears my skepticism for a while as the astonishing part is you never give up on me. By hook or crook, you always get me right in your grip even though my actions speak of something else!

          Cherishing the time spent with you in tits and bits at random places, I look forward to you many a time for no reason while I act indifferently and brag about the falsely claimed independence. This equation would never have persisted haven’t you created this comfort zone while putting up with my shadiness with extreme directionless swings. Thanking you doesn’t seem enough but your efforts of putting up with me always leave me in your awe.

Yours Lovingly,
Psycho friend.

(*p.s: This is a part of fictional write up drawn from my writeup of scribbled expression notes)

THE WARM FUZZIES

Image result for sketch of a guy cuddling a girl

That informal dark night
When your eyes never failed
To catch my glare,
For reciting expressions
In absolute laconism!

Those uncountable hours
When the intermingling of fingers
Sought support from unison,
Playing like the pawns
On the chess board.

Those humorous moments,
When you raised a brow
Attracting my attention,
Invited chemistry all of a sudden
To tune on its own!

Those unforgettable minutes,
When you wrapped your arms
Around my thick skin,
Made my fragility act vulnerably,
Seeking comfort under the armor
Creating a grip,
Too difficult to escape!

Those laughs and the gags
When there were unforced smiles
With empathy filled hearts;
All that my hopeful eyes urged
Was your everlasting presence,
That could subtly overshadow
My sins and my agony!

The joy was at full swing
Splashing colours on the canvas,
Forcing me to ponder;
If it was your light
That subdued the darkness
Of that haunting night,
Or were the stars dancing
Felicitating my destiny,
With a spotless moon
That emitted sunshine!

But Oh! the roosters called
For the break of the day,
And the dawn arrived
Welcoming the crepuscules,
Breaking my fantasy
Acquainting me with a reality
For it had to be a dream!

But here I stand,
Fighting with my gray matter
Deciphering the truth
Denying the illusion!

Raid of the Stagnating Beast

Depression has become a clichéd illness affecting many beings in today’s fast paced world but we ought not take it lightly assuming it to be a very natural phenomenon. I call depression a ‘disease’ for it actually feels devastating going through this phase. Mental energy gets depleted to an extent that performing even basic chores lead to an extreme physical exhaustion. It is said that reaching out to others help but most of the time it is the perception of not being understood that hinders one from talking about it. Moreover especially when one is clueless about it and has drawn a restricting boundary around, it becomes all the more difficult to even express the symptoms. It can be either dissatisfaction with the way life has proceeded or the way life is passing and maybe even future concerns that can land one in depression. Though life seems to hold no meaning and the daily chaos becomes difficult to handle with time, hope needs to be alive for cure and treatment to work. Depression does heal but it takes time and a lot of efforts.
There is also a dearth of good listeners for many are ready to hear but few accept and the most of the symptoms expressed by the sufferers are taken for granted as excuses. Mere advice to enhance focus and the motivational stuff doesn’t work. Depression actually requires contemplative treatment under the supervision of a loved one, counselor or psychiatrist as per the conditions.
Life actually goes through a turbulence when attacked by this stagnating beast and if we want it not to reside within us for days, months and years; we need to share our feelings. And it is absolutely not selfish when you seek love without attachments and it is also okay at times if you ask help even if you cannot reciprocate! So desist not from talking about it….

In the given stanzas, I have tried describing how it feels passing through this dark phase.

When the emotions take rest
And sentiments overflow indifferently,
When mental weariness
Accompany as a best friend;
It is certainly an aimless walk
Along the pathless track.

When brain gets infested by worms
And rust occupies the grey matter,
When fatigue plagues the body
And limbs get paralyzed;
It is not just a malaise
But a vile raid by an invisible foreigner!

When life turns into an illusion
And Mr. Hope seems a counterfeit,
When the hollowness slowly creeps
And continues digging a dark abysmal;
It is not just mere emptiness
But an anonymous fear that haunts!

When there are times that cannot be changed
And some lost battles to be wept over,
When expectations go unfulfilled
And relations get broken,
However unlike always
There need not be a rationale,
For this uninvited guest.

When the talking mind comes to a halt
And heart sinks in a trauma,
When the fog blurs vision
And inner voice becomes inaudible,
It is not just the dampening of inner quest,
But a gradual loss of consciousness and identity.

When sleepless nights and wet pillows
Become a daily ritual,
When the dreadful nights seem better
Than the bright mornings
And sunshine hurts!
It is not just another gloomy day,
But a daily struggle for survival.

When one is bound to move in veil
And put up the pretense of normality,
When ambiguity is all that remains
And clouds that question worthiness
Continue to hover around head;
It is not just a wish to quit deception
But a desire for escape that grows!

When one looks in the mirror
And sees eyes bleeding,
When self-talk doesn’t help
And giving up seems best,
It is not that there aren’t listeners
But only if someone can empathize!

When pain aggravates
And Ascends like a climber
When trap becomes inescapable
And wings become ineffective
It is not that there is no cure
But only if hope persists!

——————–xxx—————————————-xxx—————————-

The Futile Discovery

The threads untwined their knots
The cage loosened its bars
The wings unfurled for a flight
But what if I chose the submarine?

The clouds resorted to their station
The sky signalled my movement
The path cleared its hurdles
But what if I chose the submarine?

Missing the flight,
I chose to dive ;
To discover the pearls
Under the Mollusk’s shell!

Before I could strive hard,
The gems found me
Bedazzling my energies,
In the vortex of abysmal!

Oh! There I sank underwater
Once Again!
Amid the confinements,
Yearning for freedom
Waiting for the signal
Up above in the sky
To get ready for the flight!

NO SHAM FOAM



Far away in a foreign land

Amid settlements all so grand
With planning imaging perfection,
My eyes perceive only hard complexion!

Oh! I remember my land

My town and my home
Where peace resides
With no sham foam!
Those multiple narrow lanes
Where streams flow during the rains
Converge into the byway
Where commuters move in an array.

Conquering miles and distances

Traveling on varied carriages,
I ramble across sceneries
With well-shaped greeneries
And domestication perfectly tamed;
I wonder why they are famed?

Oh! I remember my land

My town and my home
Where Nature resides
With no sham foam!
Those uncivilized parks
Where nature sparks,
Plantations finding their own way
Growing and blooming astray,
Producing flowers and fruits
Coloring the land in different suits!

Mountaineering the frozen heights

To experience the greatness delights,
I am attacked by aloofness
Stark coldness wrapped in bleak darkness,
The Uniqueness loses its joy
While the victories turn a decoy.

Oh! I remember my land

My town and my home
Where warmth resides
With no sham foam!
Welcoming sunrise and mesmerizing sunsets
With rays sieving through rosettes,
Greet the visitors with a vivacious expression
Igniting the course of amelioration!

Strange acquaintances

Diplomatic faces
Calls for benefit
Majorly counterfeit

Oh! I remember my land

My town and my home
Where culture resides
With no sham foam!
Guests are treated akin Gods,
With no visitor suffering any odds
Welcomed with an open heart
Even etiquettes seem an art.

Professionalism on the cover

Tactfulness forms the inner,
Smiles reflecting fake demeanor
Wearing the attire of redeemer.

Oh! I remember my land

My town and my home
Where humanity resides
With no sham foam!
Words have meanings
People have feelings
Commitments mean the world
When vows go unfurled.

Furnished bungalows

Sophistication echoes,
Barricades separating rooms
Uprooting values evaporating in fumes.

Oh! I remember my land

My town and my home
Where humility resides
With no sham foam!
Unadorned establishments
With Love embellishments,
Meals on the same platter
Sentiments never scatter!

Indifferent masses moving in a tizzy,

Claiming to be very busy
Slip emotions with time
The Concern is core sublime!

Oh! I remember my land

My town and my home
Where hospitality resides
With no sham foam!
Mom fulfills all deficits
Dad fetches all favorites
Siblings wait at the door,
Happiness at my shore!

Roasted, baked and sauteed

Food cooked in hygiene masquerade,
Best of equipment and cook
Yet commotion in the brook!

Oh! I remember my land

My town and my home
Where purity resides
With no sham foam!
All dishes piously made
Holding tastes that maladies fade,
Everyone bids for benign gossips
With crispy fried turnips.

This is how my land has been

With blossoms freshly green
Where love still grows
And compassion still flows,
Where humans value each other
And empathize no less than a brother,
Where relationships are still cherished
And absence is still missed,
Where mother holds the position
Higher than any possession!

Oh! Yes I remember my town

I belong to the land of principles,
Where integrity thrives in multiples
Where simplicity is observed
And honesty is practiced,
Where bonds are altruistically planted
And woven ties are never taken for granted!

Oh! Yes I remember my land
My town and my home

Where harmony resides
With no sham foam!

 

COMMON ≠ NATURAL


It has been three long months at a B-School while I am still trying to adjust to its hectic ways and demands. Joining a curriculum straight after a weak graduation does not seem to be a wise move but I am glad like few others I have been able to make it and I am breathing fine. While I still panic at times to decipher the meanings of the occurrences around me, I make several observations, few of which need to be learned and many to be discarded as irrelevant happenings. Being one of the youngest people at my college, what I really feel blessed about is when many people confide in me. However some confessions really strike hard leaving me in wonder.
Are we supposed to be going by the worldly ways that are common and seemingly right or abide by our morals that rarely make our conscience speak urging us to take the path that might not be clichéd?
Anyway my purpose is not to question morals regarding what is right or wrong for I feel it is all a personal choice and a matter of the upbringing but yes I wish to assert that what is common is not what is natural!
Being a part of one of the coolest gang in my college, many a times I am offered drinks and cigarettes, however since I am adamant on not trying these, I am more and often forced to go for it in the lieu of missing out something really great and worth trying! What has been strange was when two of the members of the same group approached me personally, individually regarding the issues they had been facing in regard to the addictions. I was really shocked by the fact that those were the same people regretting who were forcing me the most in the group to drink and smoke. Well, I didn’t know how to react while they confessed their regret for they were elder to me. But it was really despicable to know that they were indulging in something that they actually didn’t enjoy. Of course I could easily sense from their conversations that it was a way out to escape from the daily tensions but cannot there be another way to evade the stress levels?
Well, I had no advice for them because I actually didn’t know what would work but all I could explain to them was relatively in terms of how they were getting trapped and succumbing themselves to the slavery of these addictions. Hearing their individual rants, one thing became very clear that all of it starts with peer pressure and the worst part is that despite knowing the harmful impacts, they are unable to quit it.
Another trait of human being that comes forward is that the one who is trapped in the vicious cycle of vices, feels pleasure and relief to have others on the same way as well. Making the incorrect correct has become very common nowadays and so it is really a tough call for people with a gullible mind to follow their intuition. Maybe that is the reason of our dying conscience as the world is so fond of making common vices seem like a natural process. Ironically, it happens to an extent that the line between the right and the wrong vanishes slowly.
‘Doing what one believes in’ is still not a banal quote to say for most of us still act out of pressure which can be family, peer and societal that succumbs our mind and weakens our heart. Undoubtedly it depletes our aura and breaks our determination for we end up committing regretting actions which we later try to justify by falsely convincing ourselves ‘ it is okay , it happens! ’
Before this article turns out to be a boring moral lesson , I got to write this simple reminder that let us not be a victim of the unconscious moves but rather be thoughtful of the consequences before we again end up doing just another common thing!