Matters of the mind

This week I told my therapist that I was exhausted. I told him I was mentally exhausted. I find myself exhausted many times. Sometimes it happens multiple times a week and at times I have a good six months between my slump periods. Tell me if you can relate – this exhaustion is simply a state of having a paralyzed mind, where no information is able to enter, be processed nor is accessible. It’s like reverse meditation, where at the end of the session, you find your head heavy, overcrowded and dark. It’s chaos so immense that neither fight nor flight kicks in; neurons just take a break from firing.

The year 2020…let’s just say I pray each day to remain alive, employed and afloat. I’m grateful for my privilege; makes it easier for God to fulfill those three wishes (God may have created man but man created capitalism so who’s mightier, you think?) Despite the privilege, each month in 2020 has been a new onslaught of troubles, both globally and personally. Each month has either tested the strength of my privilege or attacked the legs upon which it stands. And hence, my frequent mental exhaustion, the focus on my musings here today.

So much has happened in the past year that it is beginning to look like a constant stream of bad luck. As a pragmatist who likes the occasional dip into astrology, I know by the alignment of the stars that this is supposed to be a good time for me. I suppose I grossly misunderstood what “good time” or “good luck” meant. It’s not about receiving, just having near misses. It’s just “it will be bad, but not as bad.” It’s apparently all relative. Takes the charm out, doesn’t it?

So what do I do? Do I talk to my friends and family who have problems of their own? Do I constantly whine about how bad is it for me? Do I engage in my delusions of times past? Do I give up?

I suppose I’ve tried each one of the above. I have spoken to friends and family but I’m too aware of their probable judgment and exasperation. This of course is exaggerated by my sincere belief that no one is coming to help me. Furthermore, I am not in the mood for tough love. I do not need someone to ask me to pull myself together. I’ve been through enough that I know how to get back on track. But as it so happens, finding an ear, a shoulder to cry on, a patient sympathizer, is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Whining is another thing I have tried and it has worked for me many times. Whining has a negative connotation to it. What I mean is “venting.” It does feel good to wallow in self-pity, sit pouting and simply complain for a while. I find that once I’ve done that, the feeling of sadness dissipates and I’m motivated to overcome the challenge. Sometimes I add a good cry or good food to the mix. Sometimes I blame it on PMS and enjoy the time off from keeping it together all the time.

Delusions of a past life were easier to engage in when I could leave my apartment and visit places that mean something to me. I’ve done so in the pre-pandemic era. I’ve visited the first apartment I moved into in the States, walked along my favorite paths, met old friends or flames, allowing myself to pretend as though time had never passed, that nothing had happened in the interim. Today, staying indoors, it is harder to pretend, harder to physically reminisce. I rely on phone conversations and deja vu’s now.

And giving up? That is what I did this past week. I just let myself be engulfed by a paralyzed, heavy, overcrowded mind. Sometimes matters of the mind are so overwhelming that they take a physical toll. I just laid there, on my bed, staring at the ceiling, blankly. I then assumed the child’s pose, my preferred version to “head between your legs/knees.” And then I just decided to sleep on it. That is my idea of giving up, momentarily.

I’m not ashamed of having tried any of these techniques. It is the reality of the situation. I believe it is even healthy to engage in these methods, in the right amount. After all, excess of anything is not good. I woke up the next day, renewed and fresh. Sure, times are tough, but this too shall pass. Had I not taken that break the previous night, I might not have reached that realization the next day. Had I not spoken to my therapist in a judgment free zone, or the oldest friend, about what’s bugging me, I wouldn’t have felt better today. Had I not cried that weekend and had a cheeseburger with fries, I wouldn’t have have felt satisfied and content today. It is all these tiny acts of self-care that let me absorb tough times and grow stronger out of them. These matters of the mind, matter a lot, I tell you.

Someday, maybe, I’ll look back on these experiences and appreciate them. Perhaps I will be grateful for them. Experiences have shaped me into a better version of myself, a version I am truly proud of. I hope to look back without resentment. I do wonder what it must be like to not worry or be stressed, to have it a little easy, or easier still. Perhaps there will be resentment. Perhaps there will be longing. Longing for a better youth. Or maybe it’ll get better, who knows? Just like it’s tough to see the long-term benefits of healthy choices today, it is tough to see the eventual benefits of today’s hardships. I suppose I am growing strong enough to know I can handle every curve ball that life throws at me. Maybe I’m not strong enough yet. But I do have these experiences to rely on, to draw more strength from, if need be. For example, I was and am still scared of needles. When I was younger, I would tell myself that I can take hours of having my legs waxed, I can take a two second shot. Today, I have an array of painful and bad experiences to choose from. I suppose there are at least those benefits to hardships – makes blood tests pain-free.

I’ve also learned to react differently to situations. I am still defensive, but a little more considerate. My circle of concern has shrunk. My circle of influence around my own reactions has definitely increased. I could probably also say I am more proactive. I definitely seek to understand first. I am more considerate, more forgiving. Of course, I am bordering on being a pushover; my assertiveness needs more work. Nevertheless, I am making Stephen Covey proud.

To conclude…I don’t have a conclusion. This rant is probably more for my future self. Or for anyone who can relate. To my future self, the message is that your mental game is strong; to those who can relate, you are not alone. It may or may not be fine. This too shall or shall not pass. But writing it down on a blog read by my Dad and a friend or two is definitely worth a shot.

Happy brewing, happy reading! 🙂


Morning has broken

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I feel calm and content as I sit comfortably on my bed, cozy under a comforter. I sip my hot cup of coffee and flip the page as I read the beautiful lines of Amor Towles’ ‘A gentleman in Moscow.’ The silence of the early morning presses gently on my ears. And yet, I hear the birds chirping, as they do, at this hour. Somewhere, somehow, in my mind, the sound of the birds reminds me of the 5AM alarm I would switch off as a child, years ago, to be ready on time for my swimming class at 6AM, with my father. I wouldn’t get to go if I was late. We had to be out the door at 5:30AM sharp. The birds take me back to this scene because that is what I remember listening to when we traveled to the club and when I sat by the edge of the pool, cooling off after a few laps. As my subconscious returns from its own reverie to see me turn another page of the book, my mind coalesces and notices, for the first time, the bookmark that had dropped out of the book. It looks content too. It’s just sitting by my side, leaning on my torso, moving as I breathe, as if sighing at how calming this moment in time is. As if nothing is wrong in the world. I just look at it and it looks back at me, encouraging me to read on; its excitement apparent, to see how far I get in the story when I place it back in to mark the end of this moment, when morning was broken.

Happy brewing, happy reading 🙂


2018 – the year that was

happy place
My happy place 🙂

I do not remember the last time I genuinely sat down to write my thoughts on paper and not a paper on insurance or healthcare and the rising drug prices. I don’t really know why I am so concerned about drug prices considering I’m an aspiring corporate sector b**ch, as I’ve been told on numerous occasions while in a school for social policy. Perhaps, I’m working on a more achievable solution as security for when I’ll genuinely need medication and not a glass of wine to drown the blues.

Anyway, as Ross from FRIENDS puts it, when there’s a need for a change of topic – anyway, 2018 is finally coming to an end. I try to pen down my thoughts at the end of each year. I also try to write down my expectations from myself in the new year. I’m not sure I’ve revisited these thoughts in the past year or so because things don’t usually go as planned. Which is fair because if there was no uncertainty in life, I wouldn’t get paid for decision making in the future.

At 24, I find myself incredibly skeptical of everything. I’m stone-hearted and practical. I do not judge, I make sure I don’t, but I’m always wary. I’ve aged in the past couple of years. I’ve aged a lot more than I’ve ever before. I think it happens with everyone coming from similar circumstances. Initially you observe and learn. There’s a laziness to that and hence you age proportional to your number of years. Later, you experience. And experience is a brutal teacher (C.S. Lewis). That’s when the equation, a linear equation, changes to a quadratic one. I’m trying to “log” the transition (see what I did there?) but it’s not been easy keeping up. Hence, I’ve aged.

On the bright side, my personal goals of being independent, strong, an adult (in the true sense of the word) and financially wise (if not secure, YET), is seeming more achievable day-by-day. It’s not easy, but if it were, it wouldn’t be as satisfying.

To recount….2018 started with decisions of being honest to myself, to others, personally and professionally. It also included (chronologically) anticipation, stress, coping with rejections, waiting, some more waiting, the blues, good news with not much effect (I’m indifferent to happiness now, I will explain why), experiencing more than just four seasons because of a trip to India, experiencing more than a few stress headaches, praying, caring but then not caring, loneliness, separation, new beginnings, introspection, breakdowns, acceptance, working, realizing self-worth and also realizing I’m currently 56 years old and enjoy getting cleaning supplies.

It was a long year, as you can see. A very very long year. I think it’s clear why I would like it to end and for my vision to be reset to January, looking ahead and not behind.

I have simple resolutions. I’m not sure if they’ll all work out. I know I had two personal goals for 2018 and I only did one of them – run my first 5k. Why is it a big thing? It is. It is because I achieved a goal, for once. I’m not a finisher. I’m a let-go-er, sadly. I start projects with a lot of enthusiasm, but I may or may not finish them. It’s okay. I’m aware and accepting of that fact. No one is perfect and there are thousands who fall in the same category as me. I know I have the potential to work on my flaws and I am also aware that I am strong enough to pull myself up again and get back to work. So yes, I’ll continue working on being a finisher (and with the right person and equipment, pun intended – 😉).

I haven’t achieved much in these 24 years, but I’ve achieved self-growth and self-awareness, which is a lot more than many at age 24.

I’m aware I haven’t explained my indifference to good news and not written out my resolutions yet. See? So aware! So here goes – you know that feeling when you’re hungry? Of course, you do. Well, when you’re hungry and get fed then and there, the feeling of fullness is different than say, when you get fed after a few hours. It’s good, you are happy you finally could eat something but your pangs of hunger are dead by then. That’s where I am right now. I have no pangs. I’m monotonously doing what needs to be done. I’m feeding myself. But there are no pangs to satiate. So I feel nothing when something works out. I’m so accustomed to having nothing ever work out that a little luck goes unnoticed. Hence, I’m not only hard-hearted, I’m also indifferent and skeptical and *shrugs shoulders* – meh.

No! I do not want solutions to this because this isn’t a problem. It is not. I’m happy and active. I’m not depressed and I should know that because I’ve been depressed before. Depressed in a country where it is not an issue, depressed around people who wanted me to only pull myself together. No wait, that’s unfair. You mustn’t blame someone who is unaware. Blame them when they are being decidedly ignorant. Nevertheless, I am not depressed and am happy with my indifference. It keeps my feet firmly on the ground and urges me to keep working. Yes, one side-effect is that this indifference at my own achievements negatively influences my self-worth, something I’m trying to improve. In any case, they do not exactly cancel each other. There’s still room for progress.

Anyway….RESOLUTIONS! That’s a short list –

  1. Run a 10k
  2. Get your damn driver’s license already *eye roll*
  3. Fit into leather pants 😊

I didn’t write down being organized, having self-control, being financially wise and practical because those are innate qualities meant to be honed. There’s always room for improvement.

ANYWAY….. – Ross Geller

If I had ended with the last statement, the abruptness of the end would’ve haunted me. Hence, I’ll bore you a little longer; a paragraph’s worth! I don’t know if I wanted this piece to be depressing. I had no expectations, to be honest. I just wanted to write. Outside of texts to people. I wanted to write, for myself. For this blog which is another remnant of past projects begun and shelved. I just wanted to write because writing is a drug. It doesn’t come free, mind you. You pay in time. But it is time well spent. I do not know what you, as a reader, can do with this piece. Honestly, it is a personal piece. It doesn’t teach, it only shares. But you know something? That’s how you learn. You share your experience to teach. You communicate. This is me communicating with a handful of readers I have (a big assumption but still…). Maybe you relate to something. Maybe you had a similar or worse year. Maybe you had a better year and learned to sympathize. Maybe you pick up one of my resolutions. Maybe my strength and constant struggle gives you strength in yours. Maybe my transparency becomes your mirror. Or maybe, just maybe, I put a smile on your face, driving you down on an introspective path, reminiscing the past year, as I was this morning (now afternoon), while I sat down with a hot cuppa (now cold), opening my Amazon package with my computer cleaning supplies, content with the fact that I’m an adult, a 24 year old adult, who had paid off the loan on the PC she decided to write something on.

The year…that was, it truly was. Happy brewing, happy reading! 😊


Premature Gilead

Margaret Atwood had suggested that the occurrences of Gilead were in the future. Apparently, we’ve skipped to that dreaded future already. Or it has arrived prematurely.

Disclaimer: Purely fictional yet horrifyingly real.

“You should have come. It was thrilling!” said Sophia.

“Hmm,” said I, rummaging the drawers to find my keys.

“The women are really going to hold you to it this time, Maya.”

I looked at her with disdain. “What happened to being supportive of each other?”

“That’s exactly what they’ll say! Why weren’t you there at the march to support us?”

I ignored her, still searching for my keys.

She sighed. “Listen, I tried to tell them about your work. They insisted this was going to help you get the pay you deserve. This is a step toward it. Every woman counts in these marches.”

“I understand. I really do.”

“Then why aren’t you doing something?”

I rolled my eyes. This was pure torture. Women, a support system at one end of the spectrum, can also be bitches at the other end.

“Listen, I need my car keys. I have to go pick Avi up. Can you stop berating me for the past and help me find them?”

She moved to check my bag then. I could tell it wasn’t only the support group but she too, who wanted an explanation for my absence. I missed a rally they organized outside a member’s workplace because she was fired due to budget cuts. You may think that’s completely plausible but here’s the catch and the cause for suspicion. They were the only two women in a group of ten and they both lost their jobs. The remaining eight men stayed on and also received bonuses. “Right under their nose” was beautifully exemplified by this incident.

I missed because I had a work call. On a Sunday, no less. But I had to attend. My livelihood rested on my attendance. In these trying times, a minor mistake was a major excuse. As you can see above, the lack of a penis was excuse enough for being sacked.

“Look,” she said. “I know it’s not easy. I understand. You have a family to support and hence can’t take risks. But we must take risks to be heard! We have the support of the men too in this. They understand our oppression. They can see it is a proportion of their own kind who are doing this. Is it too much to ask for you to support in this united agenda?”

“Sophia, do you think I’m against feminism? That by not showing up, I am pro-sexism?”

She grew quiet.

“Do you think I do not support equal pay, don’t speak against harassment or support anti-abortion laws?”

She was simply looking at me now.

“Do you think leaving the scumbag I was married to wasn’t a step toward being an independent woman? You know how he abused me. I’m there for any woman who wants to escape. I’ll urge them to do so. That’s our support group for, you know. Isn’t that something for now?”

“I go to work every day and put up with shit for a lower salary, for what? Do you think I like it?”

“I never said you didn’t have problems, Maya..that is what we are trying to do, can’t you see? We are hoping that our voices are heard and that we make a difference,” she opined.

“I want to be heard, I honestly do. But I have two kids to feed and educate. I can’t lose my job. Hence, I choose to not make a display. I can’t afford to do so.”

“We could all lose jobs over this, you know,” she said.

“I admit, that’s the difference between you and me.”

We had both stopped searching for the keys now. We were simply staring at each other, hoping to make the other see her own side.

“I’ll be there the next time. I’ll fight for equal pay, for abortion, for women empowerment. I will. But the abortion laws won’t change in the next six months and I will have to have this unwanted third child, Sophia. I can’t lose my job, even if it’s less pay than the work I do. I can’t. I just don’t have the security I need or the financial backing in case things go wrong. I am trying to do my bit. I didn’t let my kids and myself be abused by my ex-husband. I didn’t sleep with my boss to get the promotion that’s coming. I will make sure my baby girl knows her rights. I’ll make sure my baby boy understands feminism. I’m hoping to lead by example, Sophia. That’s my bit. That’s all I can do for now.”

And I walked out.

It was the least we can all do.

P.S. When I was a kid, I learned many lessons in history. I was taught about the evolution of women in society. It spoke about how women had no rights and we can vote today because we fought. It spoke about how women weren’t allowed to live if their husbands died and how the act of ‘Sati’ has more or less been eradicated. It spoke about how women can work and juggle profession and family. It spoke about how society is now accepting divorce or women from broken marriages.

The truth is that we are still being stereotyped. It is still a man’s world. I see no difference in the times past and the present. It has improved for a section of the society, true. But the worse continues. Even the “improved” section faces discrimination. The rate of progress is appalling.

I am a woman who needs no man to tell her what she must do, how she must live and what she must say. I do not need a man to direct my life. The flaw in the system is that it is an accepted norm still. Either men are unaware of their oppression or they prefer having the upper hand, or the women are simply unaware of their rights and hence fail to fight for them.

I may earn more than my future partner. If this upsets him, he won’t be my partner for long. I may have to move for work. If he chooses to not adjust even though he can, we will have to rethink our relationship. If I must choose to either work or handle a household and all my partner decides to do is impregnate me? Well, I’ll find a new father for that child. I have only ever asked one man for permission to do something – my father. I do not intend to extend that list. He too has always allowed me my freedom. A new man in a nascent relationship has many years to go.

And it is through this mentality of mine, which I will pass on to the generations ahead, that I am contributing to the feminist movement. I may not be joining marches or naming names, but I am calling BS on what is appropriately so. Women need a platform to express themselves in the trying times today. That is the need of the hour. An entire half of the world is facing oppression. That’s not progress for mankind. Women need security to do so. I thought ten times before putting up this post! I was worried about making a statement because of possible Gilead-like consequences! Women are scared. Some of them are.

A big thank you to all the women and men who stand for us and represent us all in the best way that they can. They are using their positions of power to do the right thing. A pat on the back for all who, like me, try to do things in the best way that they can. I understand, safer options may not sound grand, but every little rebellion counts.



The Plateau Rebellion

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Vrksasana – The Tree Pose. Promotes balance and centering. #YogabyCharles

I am 23 years old. Coming from a supposedly self-aware species, I’m becoming a more self-aware person, in the sense that now I can recognize and verbalize certain aspects of my character. For example, given the constant struggle that my life has been (a struggle that may not necessarily qualify as such in the eyes of the society, mind you), I’ve become oblivious to achievements. I used to think it’s the struggle that takes the charm out of things for me and hence, nothing surprises me nor gives me immense joy anymore. Apparently not. I can now say that I am a realist with a touch of indifference. It’s no longer incidental and I am beginning to realize it is a genuine trait.

Similarly, anxiety is a part of my character. This again hinders any possible “moment of relief.” I’ll explain how. My anxiety prevents me from enjoying the fruits of my hard work because as soon as Lady Luck favors me, I begin to wonder what’s next. The next, in my anxiety-ridden mind, is always bad because life’s a roller coaster ride. If I’m at a crest, the next must be a trough. I’m usually calmer when things are going wrong because I know you can’t go lower once you hit rock bottom. But as soon as things begin to look up – SH*T. Something bad is about to happen.

Oh no no no, you don’t need to worry. I am a stable human being. I take calculated risks, I’m calm and collected most of the time. If always anticipating and preparing for the worst-case scenario makes me a pessimist, then I am one. I’m neither sad, nor depressed. Currently, I am quite content. I know I am content because apart from a small buzz at the back of my head, reminding of my never-ending to-do list, I’m aware that immediate danger has been thwarted.

You may wonder why I’m not taking a tiny vacation, but honestly, I am! My procrastination is quite a vacation. My procrastination includes walking around the beautiful city of Boston, yoga by the Charles, reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, solving the Metro crossword (I’m terrible at it) and beating Dad in the game of Words with Friends. This is my vacation!

So, I am happy, I am content (cue italics for emphasis – or is it bold?)! But remember the ‘small buzz at the back of my head’? That does more than remind me about my to-do list. It tells me the future. The bleak future. I’m happy now, right? So, it is the trough next. This is just the calm before the storm, baby.

I am a stable human, though. I crave stability, the lack of drama. I like the steady-state rather than the ups and downs. I’m addicted to consistency in life. I know the thrill is in the unpredictable. Change is good and welcome, they say. I like change too, but on my terms. That’s something nature won’t allow, of course. Hence, I am battling nature constantly. Let nature take its course, they say, but I have been working too hard to pave my own path. Hence, I am constantly battling nature. I am looking for my plateau in the constant up-and-down. I was always a rebel. I’ve always rebelled for balance. Not too much of anything, nor too little. Just right. Always. Hence my search for the plateau. Hence my rebel against this unpredictable life.


P.S. Forgive the grammatical errors. I only speak code now…

P.P.S. Food for thought – happy brewing, happy reading! 😊

Mind’s cacophony, paper’s poetry

Presenting my collection of amateur rhymes suited to a host of images that had, once upon a time, made my mind chatter endlessly!


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Turbulence defines me
It emanates in the sea
And while turbulence I be
The steady water I see
It winds around, joyous and glee
It teaches finding a path where free
Now in this new tenacious stability
And between the ripples and the silent sea
Balance, I find thee.
Now, it’s the warrior defining me.
-DH, on yoga by the ocean

The calm sea, before the storm brews
“How feisty!” murmur even the shrews
Childlike wonderment and yet wisely aware
I am all the drama one needs; I am a play, stare.

What do you see,
When you look at me?
See my mind, I tell thee.
What would you get, objectifying me?
Talk to me, listen, that is the key.
Argue, converse, challenge me.
I could destroy you, but bear with me;
Be a man, like I can be.

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Staying within the four walls?
Not confinement, I say.
Braving the weather outside?
Cowardly? Nay!
To each their own
In the moment, stay.
I have this, my happy place;
I stay in and wander away.

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A world beyond
The scapes that surround
She looked with dreamy eyes.
Her struggle though
With mediocrity
She looked away, steeling her life.
It’s always today
Just for tomorrow
Selfish, at times, even cold.
A momentary lapse
In the today for her tomorrow
Forced her to write the psychedelic an ode.

She looked,
As baby steps she took.
The experiences she had,
She was glad.
This was the city that helped her craft;
The first to the many starts.
-DH, on Boston

A long week past,
A longer week ahead.
To work that lasts,
While stories are shared.

To home away from home and
Similarity in difference.
It’s a paradox, my friend.
It’s a transient smile while on the fence.

It’s experiences you never think you’ll have.
It’s growing up, while you already feel old.
It’s the quiet in the bustle you can nab.
It’s about today, though you work for tomorrow’s gold.

You think it’s a blank stare
You think she wouldn’t dare
But she sees the bigger picture
She believes she isn’t the preacher.
You think she’s lost
You think it didn’t cost
But she knows what she had to do
She knows it more than you.
It’s not blank
It’s a reverie
It’s not naivety
It’s the momentary
It’s a break
It’s to make
It’s for the whole from a piece
It’s a breath, please
It’s the race against the norm
It’s the quiet before the storm.

If I look beyond I see,
I wonder what might I find?
The future, so unpredictable
Or the past that I left behind?

If I ask you to look through my eyes,
Do I mean, “step in my shoes”?
Or to peek inside the product
Of the fate with whom I called it a truce?

Many lives I’ve seen around me
Many nastier than mine
So shall I complain
Or thank the divine?

But there doesn’t exist a soul, I believe.
It’s all the self-awareness that breeds.
Look, you’ll see!
It’s always you, it’s always me.

I still need idlis and dosas,
I still need the Sunday Carnatic.
It’s the violin that forms my lullaby,
The kaapi that makes me tick.
It’s the potu that makes me feminine,
The mayee that makes my eyes pop.
It’s the nine yards that I’ll adorn one day
That’ll make someone’s heart stop.
I speak Tamil but am from Kerala,
The best of both worlds, if you may.
I’m southern in my heart and mind,
Home’s where Amma-Appa stay!


Happy brewing, happy reading! 🙂

Life comes a half circle

Me, smiling away at age 2 or 3!

I look up at them, knowing they are the two people I see the maximum – everyday or on most days. I know not who they are, but if they aren’t around, I feel something inexplicable. Or rather something I can’t explain. I do not have the words or the understanding yet. After all, I am but a few months old. I just began supporting my own head. One of the many firsts in life. Still, I know not the significance of the task. It will be eclipsed by other tasks I will accomplish in life; the list of significant tasks written to humankind.

Shush brain, my chatty friend, you wandered off. I still look up at them. This man would pick me up at the nursery and I would feel something else, something I can’t explain, again. Then this woman would return home late and feed me. The feeling of a full belly is something I will continue to appreciate throughout life. This man would someday sit down with me and explain how I’ll have to work toward a full belly forever. Well I do not know this just yet. I am but a few months old.

But for everything this couple does for me, it makes me something that I will learn eventually is called “happy.” And the only way I know to express happiness is to flash them a vibrant smile, the significant half of a circle.

I look at them now. I am older. I know they are Mom and Dad. I know that if they aren’t around me, the feeling is called sadness. Sadness which is caused not only by their absence but also when they do not give me what I want. I do not know why that makes me sad. I just know that it does. After all, I am but a few years old. I flash them a despondent smile, the symbolic half of a circle.

The man I learned to call Dad would give me what I want, without question because I am that important to him. I do not know why. I do not know what it is called, affection? Maybe that. He does this to turn that half circle upside down, and it works! I learned that “happy,” comes from being what you want.

I look at him now. A lot wiser, and yet, not really so. I know what the names for all those things I have felt over the years are. I know why my parents give me everything, why their absence makes me sad. It is something called “love.” I still don’t exactly know what that is but it exists. I know the feeling of wanting something. That’s more than needing something. It’s more possessive. Though, there is a fine line between wanting and needing. I do not know this just yet. I am but a teenager. I look at him, a man who is not my Dad. I look at him, wanting him, I don’t know why, just yet. A sense of possessiveness engulfs me. The same way that I wanted an object, I want him, to be all and only mine. He has something that made me “happy.” He does something that makes me smile.

I look at them now. A smart woman that I am, presenting my knowledge and opinion via a PowerPoint presentation. And yet they question my ability. The politics of this I may not know now, but will feel later probably. I look at the work I’ve done and I know if they aren’t the takers someone else will certainly be. This is a pivotal moment, you know. I begin to feel self-aware, aware of my worth. It is, how do you say it? Yes, an uplifting moment. The need for approval diminishes as I begin to understand it all. The feeling of sadness at not being recognized is replaced with confidence of walking out when not given the importance I deserve. I do so. And I go elsewhere. And they take me on as though I belonged. And I wear my pride and my smile, the beginning of the half circle of my life, on my face. A glitter in my eyes. And if I could do this, I knew I will be able to do what comes next.

I look at his number now. On my phone. I am aware it was lust, not love. Love would last, I know it does, when I call my parents everyday. I know there is love in the world. He wasn’t it though. I know about the fine line between want and need. I had crossed over. My want had become my need and when he couldn’t be there, my need just choked me. I know a lot now. After all, I am twenty. I delete the number, feeling the symbolic half circle on my face and the water that delineates it. The sadness of loss, of comfort, of trust, of affection. I know what every feeling is called now. I am not a child anymore.

And because I am not a child, I know how to change the half circle. I am self-aware. I know my strengths, my weaknesses. I am human, I know human. I know how to deal with everything. It takes time, courage and will, and I know each of these words with their practical meaning. My dictionary is appreciably big and I can frame sentences now. I am no longer confused. So, I prioritize. I decide. I don’t let life take me places, I make sure there’s been my hand in it. And I feel the dependency ebb, joining hands with a prefix I didn’t know had the power that it does. The “in” in independence is the “in” in the constant feeling I work toward – happ“in”ess.

It makes me happy to wake up every morning, to ready myself for the day. It makes me happy to do a set of tasks, to keep myself healthy, to keep problems at bay. It makes me happy that I can deal with the ups and downs that come along the way. It makes me happy that I am needed and I do not need, that I can give myself what I want, and do not have to ask for it. It makes me happy that I am the master of my life. It makes me happy that I can pamper myself after a long hard day. It makes me happy that I can intimidate those who come my way.

All through my infinitesimal time on earth, I have been learning and I continue to. It all started with feelings toward others and has finally propagated toward me, myself, I. Call it narcissism? But it’s not! I have to take care of myself so that I can transfer that happiness to others. It has taken me years to understand. As I reach the half circle of life, I learn the secret to the half circle on my face, something only in my hands. My decision, my actions, by the people I choose to keep in my life.

And I am sure, as my life reaches a full circle, which I shall define by saying, the situation in which someone else might look up at me, maybe, someday, not knowing who this woman is and why does she want a half giggly circle on his or her face, I will help them on the path of independence-defined happiness. That will be my full Circle, but for now, I shall happily flash a half! 😊


P.S. I know this is the most disorganized blog there is! Nevertheless, I hope the above makes sense. Happy brewing, happy reading! (insert your half circle) 😉

Three sins.

Disclaimer: The use of “she” is not symbolic, just poetic. I am one of those who believe that women are capable and powerful enough to destroy anything and anyone who deserves being destroyed. It is not to deprecate nor to degrade womankind because in doing so, I would be implicating myself as well, being a strong and independent woman. Hence, it is just poetic and in fact, empowering, that it is a “she”.

How could I ever say no?
I had spent an hour without her.
My desire worsening,
I looked up again,
Trying to find an escape,
But I couldn’t.
All I could see
Was her.
In front of my eyes.
All I could feel,
Was her.
On my lips.
All I could think,
Was of her.
The scent I took in,
The flavors that I always tasted.
I needed to get out.
And then I did.
I got up, I ran.
I ran faster, then just fast.
Then I couldn’t.
I couldn’t breathe.
Her thought was suffocating me.
Her constant presence was killing me.
And yet I craved for her.
I knew I had to let her go.
But she was what I needed most.
She was my need, my want, my reprieve.
But I couldn’t run anymore.
I began coughing.
But I reached where I was headed.
I removed the pack out of my pocket.
I lit her, she was on fire.
I put her between my lips and let her fill me.
I had reached where I was headed.
Or so I thought.
I was close to reaching where I was ultimately headed anyway,
Because she was Disastrous for me.


How could I ever say no?
It wasn’t my fault, you see.
She came to me.
Exquisite, to say the least.
She remained long after she left the room.
Almost indefinitely.
She remained in my mind, my thoughts.
I woke up to her.
I slept to her.
I wept to her.
I touched, to her.
And yet I slept next to a beauty.
Every night I slept, her hand over me.
She was everything I needed and yet,
My want overshadowed my need.
My love didn’t bleed,
For nine months or more.
And yet my lust..
I bled for my lust, albeit, differently.
My love cooked for me,
Yet my lust burnt me.
Alive, I craved.
Dead, I craved.
My lust took over one day.
How could I resist?
She came to me,
Her undeniable beauty.
Her lashes brushed her cheek,
Her bosom came up and fell deep,
Her legs wrapped around me,
And I let lust take over me.
I returned home then.
My love, waiting for me.
What had I done? I couldn’t believe.
Beauty so real, I’d reached an end, in my family.
I knew she was the forbidden fruit,
Because, ultimately, she proved Disastrous to me.


How could I ever say no?
If she asked, I gave her.
I would give her everything.
I would give her my surface, my core and everything in between.
She used to ask me though.
Ask and I would provide.
But now she doesn’t.
She takes what she needs and a lot more.
She uses me everyday and I let her.
Do I say no?
I show her my pain.
I show her my anguish.
I show her my rage.
She understands but doesn’t act.
She sees but she never reacts.
She uses me, every inch of me.
She has begun giving back.
But her needs have become wants,
Her gifts have become ever small.
It won’t help, I know.
I won’t last, you know.
She knows and yet she uses me.
All of me.
From the top to the bottom.
From one end to the other.
I am a full circle.
She has gone around using me.
From my deepest to the farthest from me.
She has explored and continues.
She looks, learns and does more.
She is brilliant but careless.
It won’t help now.
I won’t last for our future.
I’m exhausted.
Yet I continue to give.
While she experiments to replace me.
But I’m irreplaceable.
It was great while it lasted
But if one ever asks,
Earth, how did you meet your end?
It was because the human was Disastrous for me.

P.S. Three acts – smoking, we kill ourselves – adultery, we kill two – global warming, we doom us all. Hope that came through to those who read! Happy brewing, happy reading! 🙂

The Caretaker

“It’s time to wake up!” she said to her. “Come on! There’s warm milk ready for you. It’s a big day today!” she continued and prodded her awake.

She continued looking at the face she knew so well. But her optimism for the day ebbed as a frown replaced her smile. She suddenly couldn’t bear to look at the all too familiar face. She turned around and left her, half awake, half asleep and headed to the kitchen to prepare their breakfast – porridge, as usual.

“Are you awake? We have to get you ready, bathed, dressed and ready to go!”

She went back into her room to check that she had packed everything. She had laid out the clothes she was going to dress her in. It was a big day indeed. She was worried about leaving her alone. Mother’s anxiety kicked in, and she began worrying a lot more.

Despite the melancholy creeping into her day, she pretended to be all happy and smiled while she went through the motions of a usual day. She fed her, bathed her and dressed her. Maybe she can do this, she thought. Maybe separation wasn’t the answer. But she had to let go. She had to live her life.

“So, you are all set for your first day! You’ll have a good time there, I promise. They will take very good care of you,” she kept saying, probably to console herself, more than anything else.

She looked at her; two sets of brown eyes met. Tears dripped from both.

“Don’t cry! I’m sorry, it’s all my fault I know. I am a terrible person. I’m sorry,” she said and she went to hug her. She felt her hand touch her head and felt as though she was making her look at something. She couldn’t speak much anymore.

She directed her gaze to the couch, around herself. The area around her seat was darker than the rest of the couch – it was wet. She had Soiled herself.

“Oh’s okay,” she said, looking at her mother.

She had been taking care of her mother for years now. She soiling herself was nothing new, nothing she hadn’t always cleaned up. Her mother was an old woman. But a woman who had taken very good care of her. She could never come to let her go. But lately, it was getting very difficult to juggle her own life and that of the caretaker she was while at home. She felt terrible about entering her into a home, a facility that could and would do a better job of taking care of her.

She cleaned her mother up and helped her into new clothes. She drove her to the old-age home and checked her in. She sat with her until they were ready with the room. She put all her mother’s belongings in her room; put photos on the sill and her clothes in the closet.

She couldn’t bear to stay there any longer. She crouched in front of her mother and said, “I’ll visit often, I promise.”

She left her then. On her way out, she saw many others there, laughing, playing board games, sharing stories, reading books with their glasses perched low on their noses. She hoped her mother would have a similar time, a good time. She hoped they would take good care of her.

She drove back home. She had been worried about the stress of separation triggering an episode but she had made it through the morning. She dialed her doctor.

“Hi, it’s Zoya here.”

“Hi Zoya, how are you today?”

“I’m alright. I can come in anytime you want.”

“Oh, that’s great. Has your mother settled in?”

“The place looked great. I just dropped her there. Thank you for your suggestion, Doctor.”

“They will take good care of her, don’t worry. I’ll have your chemo scheduled at the earliest.”

“Thank you. I’ll be there.”

She hung up then and sat there. She allowed her concentration to waver for the first time in the day; allowed her brain to grow fuzzy. She looked at the nearly dried up spot of her mother’s urine, on the couch. She wondered about her own impending incontinence. At thirty, she wondered whose attention would she direct to the fact that she had soiled herself.


P.S. A short story after a long time. Happy brewing, happy reading! 🙂