Wounds

Did you ever realize how much your body loves you? I mean its always trying to keep you alive. That’s all your body has to live for. Your body is making sure you breathe while you sleep, stopping cuts from bleeding, fixing broken bones, finding ways to beat the illnesses that might get you. Your body literally loves you so much. It’s time you start loving your body back. —Unknown Sculpture by Justin Novak: Did you ever realize how much your body loves you? I mean its always trying to keep you alive. That’s all your body has to live for. Your body is making sure you breathe while you sleep, stopping cuts from bleeding, fixing broken bones, finding ways to beat the illnesses that might get you. Your body literally loves you so much. It’s time you start loving your body back. —Unknown Sculpture by Justin Novak

It always starts innocently enough…

Like when you are picking at a wound, its just for relief you say to yourself
but soon enough you have scratched open your wound, raw skin and blood all over.
You end up enduring a worse injury. And to be honest, aren’t you to blame for it?
So you start picturing a future together
Irrespective of whether you even have a present (you don’t)
Soon enough in between clinking of glasses and laughter and kisses
you realize, how will it ever be?
And you realize you are further down the pit than you ever thought
Raw skin exposed and blood all over.
Just give it time dear,
wounds close and the blood clots and they heal.
Don’t go picking at it.
It will heal.

Unlike scars.
Don’t scar yourself.

Sculpture by Justin Novak

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What If…

I am supposed to think about the greater good. I am supposed to focus on my calling, things I am passionate about. I am to look for adventures, not sit here thinking of you. Over-analyzing all the words you said to me. One moment I am convinced that you meant every word you said. Because you looked in my eyes and you made me smile. Isn’t that how it is supposed to happen? I have been too out of touch. I have kept myself too out of touch because I am a fool and I am being foolish again. Of course you didn’t mean anything. You were in high spirits and I was in high spirits. And we both said and heard what we wanted to. High spirits make a bigger fool of us than we are. But here I am nevertheless, playing it, rewinding it and playing it again. Just one more time. And its 3 o’clock and I dug out a hole in my heart that I had barely been able to cover up from the last time. So, I will make this easier for myself.

Let’s play a game of what if? What if you did mean it? What if you do want me and I won’t turn out to be like all the other ladies before me? We will seek out the high spirits again and you will make me smile and laugh and make me feel good and soon enough I’ll start craving you. People like me get addicted to people like you very easily. And I will start changing myself according to you. I won’t say the words that upset you, that could anger you. I just want us to be right there, laughing. I just want that moment. But moments are fleeting. I always forget that. We will continue with our conversations. We will shut out the world and you will open up in secret. I will then tell you one of my secrets. The ones even my friends don’t know. And we will kiss under the drunken stars. Or maybe under the fort of your blanket. Or anywhere really, I don’t mind you kissing me anytime… anywhere.

But soon enough, the high will fade and you will become you and I will become me.
It won’t last because I will sabotage it. Or maybe you will. But more likely we both will strangle it. You will start fidgeting, I won’t be enough for you. I won’t find you compelling or challenging enough, and you will be just another pretty face unable to understand my fickle, rude, arrogant heart. And all the kissing won’t help it. And we’ll let each other get lost in the crowd again. Becoming perfect strangers.

There you go, sweet heart,
if it won’t last do we have to indulge in it?

Illustration courtesy: Harriet Lee-Merrion

Scene

Lights. Camera. Action-
You come in.
You sweep me off my feet.
I hit the ground hard,
Breaking a bone or two.
You creep in under my skin.

Cut!

Let’s do another take.
You come in.
You make me laugh.
You are still lodged in between my broken bones,
And it hurts,
The space that you fill.
You make me laugh.
And then I cry.

Cut.

That wasn’t in the scene, darling
Keep the laughter on,
Or at least give away smiles.
Can we do another take of this –
Let’s make this perfect, shall we?
From the top, people:
You come in.
You sweep me off my feet.
You make me laugh.
You make me breathless.
But you are in a hurry
And it all happens a second too fast.
A blurry mess.
You are gone.

Cut!
I think we had a miscast.

Painting by Nigel Van Wieck

My Graduating Speech


4 years and it ends. Change is a funny thing. You know it is inevitable, you look forward to it for the most parts. Every time when a semester ended, I couldn’t wait to just finish it all up and get over with the race. I wanted desperately to have change take over my life and turn it around. But now that I am here – 4 long years gone and change just a few moments away from taking over my life that I feel a little paralyzed. My brain is taking time to comprehend a situation it made many tiny movies about. My body wants nothing but to float in space. The scary thing about change isn’t that what I have come to know as life is going to be refreshed nor is it that I am scared of losing out on the familiar life that I got used to, but that nothing is going to happen until I let it.

Everything is in my control and whatever I do from now on will for better or for worse change everything or maybe it won’t change anything at all. But the control is in my hand. And that is scary. It is scary to be blindfolded at a spot and asked to find the bow and the arrow and shoot it. It’s nerve wrecking.

But it needs to be done. At the end of the day, the enemy that keeps us from moving forward isn’t the society or circumstances. They do create problems, but the real problem arises from much within. It arises from fear – the fear that is paralyzing my brain and body, the fear that is whispering in my ear that maybe I am not yet mature enough to handle a job or a big move, the fear that tells me I will fuck it all up. The real enemy is my fear that things will not be in my control, I am too small to keep anything in control and being in control is everything if I want to survive.

And this is scaring me.

So, I will step out of my body here, and tell this to myself:

“Take a breath.

Tackle one thing at a time.

It’s alright to be scared. I am not the only one who ever felt this. Most people out there are fighting the same battle within. So it’s my time to join the war.

Keep it simple. No one can keep everything in control. Not even Batman. And it’s not in the nature of the universe to be in control.

And it’s okay to screw up, make mistakes, fail, fall on the way. No one came here with a Dummy’s Guide on How to do Life. Its trial, error and DIY.”

Society vs. Individuality

Sofie Bird Moller, Interference We are individuals in this world seeking our individual fortunes. And though we are made of the same components we have our own unique differences, rendering us alike and different at the same times. Maybe it is that alike bit that brings about the craving in us to form communities and societies. In turn, we get boundaries in this expansive planet of ours to form a working civilization and pronounce the differences between other communities and societies. We form different ideologies of the same concept of spirituality and each one trying to force it on as many individual and driving a deeper wedge. So much so that it has almost become hard for many individuals to accept another as a mere human being because of their personal opinions or different experiences they had to went through.

Over time instead of reveling in the joy of being unique, who in a utopian world should have a right to their own individual thoughts, beliefs, value system are forced to herald together in a group and follow the one shepherd. We are brainwashed and forced to shun the voice in our head and follow the loudspeaker. And this has always encountered rebellion of some form by a small group of people. Be it the Romantics, the Expressionists, the Impressionists. Be it the rebellion of the flappers in the 1920s overthrowing the constricted, conservative society paving way for freedom of expression for women or in the 1960s when the hippies rebelled against consumerism and war. It has mostly been the generation of the youth who has rebelled against the existing system, but then it fizzles out as well.

Society keeps on labeling and categorizing everyone like commodities. In fact, this categorizing business has been so in bred in us at this point that we ourselves revel in it – are we a Chandler or a Joey? A Carrie or a Miranda? We are labeling ourselves, choosing to be 2-dimensional characterization of someone’s imagination rather than labeling ourselves as our own persona. The society uses the written word, the broadcasted voice, the pretty girl to tell us how we all should look, how should we dress, what we should think.

In our individual journeys, they create a virtual road block and try to paralyze our muscles, so that we forsake our roads to join in with the crowd, where we then are categorized and labelled from their existing categories. We are then told how to live a “safe” and “secure” life, so that we die a “peaceful” death, and do nothing that could anyway change the course of the society.

So did the society just win over individuality?

Artwork courtesy: Sofie Bird Moller,from her series “Interference”

To my brother

I grew up with an elder brother which affected me more than anything else that I can think of. Now, I don’t know how my life would have turned out had I been a single child or had an elder sister or was the elder child myself. But I sense things wouldn’t have been any better. Firstly, you are pampered when you are the younger child and I was pampered. Secondly, everything about me is either directly or indirectly influenced by him. No, scratch that, everything good or interesting about me comes from him. He introduced me to everything that was good about the time we were growing up – Cartoon Cartoons, Nickelodeon, Terminator 2 – The Judgement Day, travel shows, comic books, Linkin Park, Pokemon, Harry Potter. The whole of the popular culture that’s nerdy. No complaints.

As a kid, I harbored a strong sense of sibling jealousy. Mostly because I am a jealous person and partly because he was the golden boy. With siblings it’s never all smooth ever, the starting is always rough. Kids are selfish by nature, and putting a second child in the picture tends to bring about a lot of chaos. And it was very chaotic. Quarreling, beating, biting, ripping his books, pulling my hair, complaining to mum. Destroying everything he has, reading his diaries. Him not sharing anything in return. Not talking for days. He taking away a huge chunk of anything that’s delicious on my plate. I crying for anything he has and when he gives that up, losing interest in it. Making a fit over whose school is better. Him punching my nose and almost breaking it.

It was terrible and kind of fun too.

But deep down I wanted to be him. Do everything he does and the way he does it. He was what I looked up to. He taught me how to draw, and I still remember he showed me two different ways of drawing grasses and he taught me how to color neatly and inside the lines. When I read his diaries, I thought it was so cool to keep a diary and I wanted to do that. So, indirectly inspiring me to write. His compliments meant the world to me. But during my middle school years, there was this gap where we found each other excessively annoying and would break into a fight for almost anything. We barely talked during the time. But somehow, in my junior year of high school we connected again. I don’t remember exactly when and how, we opened to each other about relationships, the opposite gender and he gave me a 101 on sex. And I have been open about everything to him ever since. Be it any problem I face with my family, at college, with friends and with basic handling of life. It’s nice to know that whatever a fuck up of a situation I have at hand, I have someone to talk it out with someone who is not a total dunce. And doesn’t charge me 5 grand per session. His compliments mean a lot more than the world to me now.

So, here’s to siblings. They know us better and understand us better because they know where we are coming from. The bond of blood is rather strong so no matter what, you can always fall back on it and they are there reminding you of the safety of home. And they will be there when you need to leave home too.

Understanding.

Encouraging.

Lessons That You Need But Don’t Deserve

I made a Dark Knight reference up there. And it may or may not have any significance in this article. So sometime back, I stumbled upon a realization, and by sometime back I meant to kid you there, I talk about it all the time – that it has been exactly half a decade that I have been single. Hell, right now, I could run for Mayor if single people had their own city. Seriously though, 5 years – half a decade, however you put it, it still sounds ominous. I will go sit in the corner for a while now.
I’m back, and ready to turn the situation upside down and dole out the only thing I have, pseudo sense of having wisdom. Woohoo! Ain’t that an upside? So gather around and I will walk you through the nitty-gritty of how to not be noticed by anyone and remain secluded and single. For-EVER.

  1. Kill your social life. Mingling with the outside world, pfftt, who needs that? In fact take it to a whole new level where you make yourself a myth, your existence is called upon question and people can only ever confirm sightings – in the virtual world.
  2. Think that you are ugly because, self-esteem sucks. This may be a little difficult first, but then with constant practice anyone can achieve this. Think it enough and you will believe it. Remember, tearing down your self-esteem is the first step to bringing down the self-confidence. Confidence is supposed to be sexy; you need to avoid that to attain the goal here.
  3. Have a list of qualities you look for in the sex you prefer and would like to mate with. Make it as precise and lengthy as you can. Though this may sound easy to you on the get go, but it actually isn’t. You think “Smart, funny, chivalrous” is a hard combination to crack, you must be kidding yourself. You need to go deep to ensure proper protection – think “Can survive the Hunger Games, needs to be a high-functioning sociopath with looks befitting a self-satisfied Adonis also with farts that smell like lavender and baby cream.” Ha! Try breaking that, person of opposite sex I would like to mate with.
  4. Another no-brainer, don’t ever put on display all the awesome qualities you think you possess. Think you are funny? Think you are really intelligent and charming? Think you need to boast that you know everything about Harry Potter and indulge in raunch-filled fan-fiction? You think wrong. Stay quiet and don’t try to pull any stunt. That might draw attention to you.
  5. Do not meet new people. This is crucial, I know this sort of comes under the first point, but this is so important I have to stress on it particularly. Meeting new people will give you a chance that you may fancy someone, worse, someone may fancy you. If we wanted that to happen, you and me wouldn’t be here discussing this and going through it point by point and making lists, ok! So, no new people. Ever.
  6. In case you do, first thing, have a mental image of me shaking my head and just walking out the door. You are a lost cause, it’s like you don’t even want to be here. But suppose you couldn’t help it and it was somehow forced upon you to come into such contact, I understand. I will walk you through it so that you can come out of this miserable situation. First, work yourself up a little bit. Tensed you will always perform better in situation such as this. This takes care of the “first impression.” With the situation under your control, take out your mental list of qualities we discussed in point 3. Obviously, this mere mortal can’t stand up to it even if they give up their left arm. Laugh on their face, do your best evil laugh and walk away. Just walk away.

So, this should cover you fair and well. If anyone still has a problem and seems to attract someone, call me up, man. We can plan how to get you out of it or get them out of the scene. If you know what I mean.
I meant to take them down or kill them off from the story.
Whatever fits.

Image courtesy: Cyanide and Happiness, you fucker.