Conversations in my head

the present
the present

I do not remember the last time I had a conversation I didn’t want to end. It has been too long. A person for whom a good conversation is the perfect food for thought, a person who craves it to the maximum, I am yet to have an invigorating one in Boston. Sad. I have friends but none to speak with. Frustration has ensued. I am having conversations with myself. Maybe I will revert to being the introverted kid who had imaginary friends. Maybe I should think of imaginary people who challenge me in thought, in words, who want me to think, who make me think, who ask for my opinion on things, whose perspective I could change, who themselves could provide me with the “Aha!” moment. Sigh. Double sigh. Triple sigh.
Sitting here, now, at this coffee shop, I am trying to have a one-sided conversation with my computer screen. My actual expression suppressed, my animated gestures oppressed. Suffocating? Well, it shouldn’t be. I am writing. It is a mode of expression. Perhaps I am worse than I thought, or perhaps my writer’s block is worse than I anticipated. If I am unable to express well even on a screen, then makes no sense to continue.
The problem, though, you see, is that it is all the more suffocating if communication with the screen stops. It is some outlet, after all, isn’t it.
It has all faded, unfortunately. It all just has. There were times I had a lot of time and also people to talk to. Say, my Dad. He is my replica in thoughts. I miss the conversations. They have always been fun. The topics would change from one to the other. Our talks, never ending. But now, I have reached the point where I have no time and if I do, I have no one to talk to. Finding solace in my talks to cabbies, but for how long will that last? For how long will I, who craves good conversation, be able to cope with this sinking feeling with just small talk?
Finding myself at a loss for words isn’t a new feeling anymore. I am getting accustomed to it lately. I haven’t had the opportunity to put them to use recently anyways.
No one gets it. Waiting for the one who could get me out of this. Anyone. One good conversation. One lasting conversation. A plethora of topics, words. One long talk which could go on forever. Can’t wait. Frustration mounting every day.
Patience, dear writer. You have made it this far, the road ends in a beautiful cul-de-sac soon. Contradictory, right? As much as I would like the end to come sooner, to find the one long conversation, I am just as scared that that won’t change into many new long conversations. But that is most unlikely. On the other hand, what if it does so for the other and not me? With all my quirks and wishes, I must admit, even that isn’t acceptable to me. Sigh. Double sigh. Sigh Sigh Sigh!
Nevertheless, puzzling though it is, how I have written today, I did write. The faded conversations shall come back. If not, new ones will emerge. Patience my dear conversationalist. Patience. Until then, the blank screen beckons you to have your conversations with it. Sitting in a coffee shop, listening to music and having what you want, in your head.

P.S. No words. Happy reverie 🙂

Faded

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Gone are the days…

Disclaimer: Mostly fictional.

“Mommy! Mommy! Can I have another?” asked the little girl, jumping around her Mother, at the Cafe. I caught myself staring at her. She reminded me of someone.

“Oh, sure, honey!” replied her Mother. The little girl wanted another sweet. Her Mother bought another one for her.

I smiled in their general direction. Generous, I thought. My Mother would never have relented so easily. Of course, that was always just a momentary no. If I ever needed something and was denied, she would put it under my pillow, if small, or under my bed, if big, that very same night. She always made sure that I was happy.

I looked down at my poached egg; my hunger had suddenly abandoned me. I had to think before I spent now. I was away, far away from home, where a tantrum would get me what I wanted.

The smile I had had on my face just seconds ago, vanished. All that remained was a ghost of a smile, if at all.

I left the Cafe without eating anything and rushed to College. Lectures dragged on the whole day. I had no time to think about anything else.

So there was a study tour coming up, and the girl sitting two rows ahead was very excited about it.

“Well, obviously, the true reason we are going on this trip is to see the place and have fun! Who cares what the “tour” has to offer! I’m all packed already but I might shop a little more! I’ll probably have to get another bag to stuff it all in! Too much work, don’t you think!?” she kept chatting, incessantly with her girlfriends.

I looked at them and looked back down at my tattered, used copy of the textbook. I can’t go for this trip. I can’t pay for it. I was already working two jobs to help me through School, a trip was an expense I could avoid.

I couldn’t travel in reality but I could travel down memory lane..

“We are going on a holiday, my dear!” said my Father, as soon as he came back home from work that day.

“Yes!!! When, daddy, when!?” I shrieked, running to him and hugging him.

“Next week sounds good, right? Is your schedule all clear my busy little daughter??” he asked me.

“Let me check my Diary, Daddy! Hehe” I giggled, pretending to check an imaginary Diary. “Yes! I am available! Let’s go!!”

That had been a happy day, I thought, coming out of my reverie. I too had been in a position of not bothering where the money came from. I too had been happy once, excited and looking forward to the next day. That just seemed like a long time ago. All that remained was a ghost of that excitement, of years ago.

After classes and the shift at the library, I walked back home. A home, away from home. My responsibilities and the cruel realities weighing me down, making it difficult to walk. The day had reminded me too much of my carefree childhood; reminded me too much about the stresses I face everyday; of my demons, lurking around the corner. When my friends tell me to be content in the small things and that this too shall pass, I agree with them. But it is easier said, you see. As a child, I would dream big. About things I would achieve, do. Places I would see. People I would meet. But I found myself walking home, alone, a home, away from home, thinking how only the next day mattered, at the most. There was just worry, exhaustion now. The dream had faded away, and all that remained was a Ghost of it, if at all.

P. S. I guess I put a little too much of my current state of mind into this protagonist.. I guess that is just separation anxiety talking. Happy mind-clearing! 🙂

Ghost

For my Egg!!!

DSC_1319 IMG_20160716_022319

 

 

 

What can I say, that I haven’t said before,
Every day I just love you more!
I can’t write better than you,
You who’d choose azure over blue!

Our bond, 8 years strong,
No part of it, ever felt wrong!
Even stronger since yesterday
Our mischiefs, never at bay!

The girl who can do it all,
Though difficult to get on call,
But when you do, all your lows
The crying, to hell it goes!

High on life is she,
Never deterred she be!
Whether good times or bad,
Exemplifies strength, this lad!

My Arian sister,
We joke, following her may give a blister!
But yours is the opinion that matters,
You are the leader, we’d follow for starters!

Halfway through this I am,
This is terrible, so terrible, damn!
But Apoorva, you’d be the one to say,
Don’t regret, keep at it every day!

My penguin she is, she is my egg,
She can take a stand, albeit not on the keg..
I’m going to miss miss misssss her,
“Stay back”, “come along”, our spirits whisper!

She has taken me at my worst,
Made up my days, which were cursed.
When elated I am though,
She puts me on seventh heaven, bro!

Honored I am to be your friend,
I take, not only your souvenir, but you till the end!
I hope I have been the friend you deserve till date,
I shall continue to improve, I promise you mate!

I really am bad at poetry, you see..
This is only my bestie’s forte be!
Haven’t read one of hers for long,
So I thought to write this, to move her along!

P. S. Just for you!!! Happy poem-ing! 🙂

August Goodbyes

My blog on my mug!!!
My blog on my mug!!!

Alrighy then. First and foremost, apologies for having abandoned my blog…for nearly 1.5 months. No excuses. A very bad thing to have done. Complete lack of trying as well… Been out of Reach of my inner writer; willingness to write. Things have finally fallen into place, and so I can begin!

I understand that my entire theme of July went down the drain, but I shall write that out as I did learn cooking, albeit, basic, just-for-survival cooking! I can’t let Julie and Julia July just fade away with the category blank!

Anyway, August is here! Who am I kidding… it has been here for weeks now, sorry 😦

It’s the final month in India, for I don’t know how many years to come! I’m quite blank, I’m neither excited, nor sad. I’m just..?

It started with saaa aka Abbas leaving, that’s when I wrote my first goodbye. Now it is time for me to say so to my special people and hence, I shall obediently give them my kind of goodbye – something this permanent and PDA-like. And what is a better medium than an abandoned warehouse of written work!?

August is my last with my people, my soulmates, my lovelies, and I am going to make it all worth it!

Before I begin, if I miss out on someone, which is unlikely, remember that I love you too!

As for practicing my short stories, many more months are yet to come! So worry not!

First, for my egg, my penguin!

P. S. Okay, must admit, feels great to write here again…knowing someone somewhere is reading! Happy brewing, happy reading! 🙂

Reach

Deprived of Everything

“Sir, you have a conference call at 0945h; the ROW marketing meeting at 1030h. Your lunch with Mr. Smith has been arranged at 1300h. You have Reg Inc. coming in at 1530h and Boss needs you dot at 1700h.”

He listened to his secretary ramble on about his schedule for the day. This was every day, nothing unusual. He didn’t even bother looking up. He made notes about pending work which he would have to finish before each of the mentioned meetings and asked, “Is there anything else?”

“Well, your Project report is due tomorrow.”

“Oh, yes. I’ll have to do that after my last meeting for the day.”

He had begun working on the report the previous night, after yet another day completely booked by appointments and meetings. He couldn’t recollect the last time he had slept the entire night. He sighed and continued working. He ordered coffee, after a while.

“You are going to ruin your health like this, honey,” his wife had warned him the previous night. “Please stop this and come to bed.”

“Yes, I’ll be there in a few, sweetheart, I promise,” he promised, falsely.

He awoke the next day and found that he had dozed off at the table, in the study. He had sighed and begun to get ready for the day.

“Stop thinking about irrelevant things,” he said to himself, shaking his head to come out of his reverie.

With the conference call and meeting done, he was sitting in the car, on his way to the restaurant when his phone rang.

“Hello, my sleep deprived husband!” chirped his wife.

“Hello, my observant wife!” he replied.

“I hope you remember that it is your son’s recital today? I expect you to be home by six, ok?”

A moment of silence followed. This would be the third consecutive recital he would be missing. He didn’t know how to break the news to his wife this time.

“I, uh..”

“Oh no. Oh no no. You can’t –”

“I’m sorry, darling. I really am! I’ll talk to him, I promise!”

“You cannot possibly think I’m ok with this!? Do you know that you haven’t attended a single one of his performances? Can’t you make an hour’s time for your son??” she asked, her tone accusatory.

“I’m really sorr –”

“Please. Don’t. You are hardly ever home, and even if you are, you stay in your study. You can’t make time for your own son, your wife. How important is your damn work? Is it more so than your family? You are depriving a son of his father and a wife of her husband. I have nothing more to say to you.”

She cut the call.

This too was usual. They often fought over his absence at home, important functions.

But he always tried to reason with her saying that his hard work is what offers them a luxurious life. He had never had one himself. He wanted his son to have one. He always had to think twice before spending on anything, had to curb his demands while seeing his other rich friends get what they want and also what they didn’t. He didn’t want this to happen to his son. He didn’t want him to cope with financial difficulties at a young age. So he worked and slogged his guts out.

“But you can’t buy your son some time with his father, you fool!” his wife would yell.

He just didn’t want to deprive his son of a good, secure life. Why couldn’t she understand that he was doing it all for them?

He stopped thinking about his wife and son, and continued through the day. He met his boss, who unloaded his own worries on him, his subordinate, quite conveniently. He took it silently and promised better results. This promise he will have to keep.

He walked back to his cabin, sat down and decided to grab some shut eye before starting with the report. He checked the time, it was 1817h. When is the recital, he wondered. He picked up the phone and dialed his wife’s number. He’ll make up for it tonight, he decided. He’ll take the weekend off and be with his son, he decided.

“Hello? Mr. Roy?” asked a male voice, instead of his wife.

“Huh? Hello? Who are you?”

“Mr. Roy, I’m speaking from Grant General Hospital. Sir, I’m extremely sorry to tell you, but your wife and son…

P. S. A short story after a long time. Disclaimer: Completely fictional. No happy anything…

Deprive

Journey Within A Journey..

Image Source: http://cdn2.wallpapersok.com/uploads/picture/929/50929/fantasy-moon-sailing-sea-ship.jpg?width=665
Image Source: http://cdn2.wallpapersok.com/uploads/picture/929/50929/fantasy-moon-sailing-sea-ship.jpg?width=665

It has been a bad week. Let’s just leave it at that. But it affected us all, my friends and me, to an inexplicable extent. If I have to try, I’d say, to the extent that we have all probably aged this past week.

I saw the prompts every day, even thought of what I could write, but simply chose to not, at the end of the day. My consistency has taken a major hit though and it is high time that I get back on the horse, else, the only medium of expression I have at my disposal will be a forum long forgotten. So, voyage it is!

Imagine a weird dream – it’s a big ship, on which there is a pool. In this huge pool, there is a ship, on which there is a pool too. Now in this pool, there is another ship, and so on.

You know what the first ship is? It is our life. It is our maiden voyage. Our birth-to-death journey. You know what the ships within the main ship are? They are our experiences! The smaller journeys during our lifetime. Our childhood, adolescence, school or college life, the afternoon with grandparents, the picnic with friends, the family dinner discussion, the argument with mom..

The above can be long term voyages or the ones which last a few minutes, but each experience is a journey. You may be motionless, but you change positions, mentally. You are never the person you were a minute ago, you can never be that person, ever again. True, you can’t be a baby again, but remember, you can’t be the person you were before you read this line.

In short, the main journey and all the little voyages you end up taking up, are all unidirectional, irrevocable. The experience itself is the vessel and the path, your unavoidable voyage.

Now, in the same ocean, there are other vessels. These are journeys that others are on. If you club with another, your journey becomes theirs and theirs becomes yours. Until you part ways. But if the beacon persists, you still know where that friend of yours is. Even if not physically near, they know you remember them.

I don’t know which journeys I should talk about. Which of mine and which ones I’ve taken on with my family, friends. Do you want me to talk about my change of school? That was 11 years ago; about the time I took my school exams? That was 6 years ago; the journey that was college? I just finished 4 years of it; the journey I was and am still on, of my higher studies, starting with the examinations, applications, visa procedures..? Why such long term voyages? Why such tedious and lengthy experiences? I’ll tell you about how I aged during the few seconds I waited before my results flashed on the computer screen, the tremendous experience that the gap of a few seconds actually is. When I took a few examinations 4 years ago and clicked finish, for my marks to be displayed, I was devastated and disappointed. It was all my fault, obviously, I took everything for granted. Depression ensued. I went through all the stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I aged then. I changed. I became more responsible. Why? The few-seconds-later had changed my life. Last year, I took other exams, with a similar result declaration format. The few seconds were back. The past experience nagged me. I aged again. I had changed again. This time I had done everything I could; I knew it wouldn’t be my fault. I was on a new journey altogether during those few seconds, but this time I had succeeded and my life had changed, hopefully, for the good.

So I told you a few journeys that I was on, on my ship. Some were long, some of merely seconds, but they were all experiences, which taught me a lot; voyages I had been on.

And what about the voyage I am on with my friends? The past week has been a journey too. One which we didn’t want to be on, didn’t want any of our accompanying vessels to be on, but we had no choice. But it’s again one which we would sail ahead on, together. We have all aged, matured, within a night. Our perspectives and priorities have changed. We are planning and thinking differently. It has been and will be a different important journey, one which has bound us together, stronger than ever before..

I understand I sound vague, but I’m sure you can relate to it all. At first I wanted to write about my friends, the journey that I have been on with them, but that is suited for another time, perhaps about 50 days from today. Until then, more experiences to have, more situations to encounter, more daily journeys to be on… After all, that is what life is all about.

P. S. I know I missed the Sunday post. I apologize. But my consistency shall resume again. Vague will become specific tomorrow. Until then, happy journey! 🙂

Voyage

Travel Tales!

Image Source: http://img.topyaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Mumbai-local-network.jpg
Image Source: http://img.topyaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Mumbai-local-network.jpg

The consistent association of the City of Mumbai with its locals is clichéd and yet there is no other way to put it. A fast life, the rush, the feeling of constantly being on the move, all of this simply comes with being a Mumbaikar. I am being prejudiced, of course. But truth be told, I experienced it all properly for the very first time just a couple of years ago. The above feelings are quite fresh, emerging out of my recent stint with the Mumbai life – travel and work.

Travelling cannot be separated from the life in Mumbai. It is a known fact that the locals that run here are the lifeline of Mumbai. The constant movement of trains in all directions is like the blood pumping in the arteries – necessary and life-sustaining. Facing the roads by not taking the train is like performing a bypass connecting the brain to the arteries. I say brain on purpose because the emotional attachment a true Mumbaikar has with the locals, invariably stems from his heart. He may have millions of rifts with the locals but at the end of the day, he’ll still be grateful for its existence.

The standing on the edge with the wind in your hair, the mumbling of the tracks below which is the typical sound that forms a part of every child’s play (chookh chookh?), the getting down or climbing into a moving train, letting natural physics do the trick. Who hasn’t related to that feeling when inertia was first taught? The innumerable experiences a Mumbaikar has while travelling on the train! They are worth the effort, life lessons as they are! Patience, perseverance and determination – to deal with the maddening, suffocating crowd, to remain in one of the most uncomfortable positions throughout the journey, to push the crowd apart and make your way into the compartment just to reach work on time or home soon. It’s survival 101. It teaches you to be selfish but also to be helpful. It teaches you to negotiate and how to compromise and adjust. You name it and you’ll learn it.

This brings me to the ladies’ compartment. Men are simple – not much to them or their traveling characteristics. It’s the women who are entertaining. It’s a typical crowd every day, can be divided into 4 groups – the pch-and-look group, the I-am-deaf-as-my-ears-are-plugged group, the talkative group and the “bullies”. Of course, there are a few who only observe the proceedings, like me for instance, but even I take sides at times, just to not get alienated.

The most common occurrence in the ladies’ compartment – the “point the finger” occurrence. As soon as a lady gets in, she starts pointing the finger at each one sitting. It’s the unasked question of “where are you getting down?” If the answer is a little before her own stop, the finger goes back and forth between the pointer and the seated person with the sideways movement of both heads. It’s a ritual followed by all. If initially you don’t do that because you think you can stand among the women throughout the journey, you will give up gradually and begin doing this. Longer the distance, sooner you give up. Experimentally proven, I can say.

Coming back to the groups, a little elaboration. Women love to talk; it’s in our blood. You get into a full train and the first thing that reaches your ears is the banter of the women circles. Not really a punishable offense, eavesdropping brings various stories to you, from different backgrounds and in numerous languages too. You get to hear Tamil, Hindi, English, Marathi and Malayalam stories and you listen – not much else to do when you are that crammed. They are fun, interesting and at times, boring. It may be an amusing incident from the day, a complaint about a colleague or boss, plans for a holiday or sorrows of womanhood. The weird part is that they (the group), if very friendly, even engage you if they think you can contribute, with the most common “hai na?” (isn’t it?).

But at times, you come across a particular group which doesn’t respond to anything. They are not only deaf but dumb and blind too. The “ears are plugged” gesture is the subtle way of saying “don’t bother me”. And the message is well received. Only time you could get irritated with this clan is when you really need them to move and they don’t because they simply can’t hear you, and when they ruin the “pointing” ritual. Else, it is a live and let live situation.

Want to know who gets on your nerves the maximum? It is without a doubt the pch-and-look group. It is obvious that everyone is standing, or even sitting, uncomfortably. Everyone can see that the tiny compartment (wonder why they make the ladies’ compartment small – gender discrimination, thinking only men work or something as deep as female foeticide?) is packed. And yet, this batch of queen bees want their space and comfort and won’t hesitate a second to show their disgust at being touched. I pity their husbands..ahem..even two is a crowd for their wives. Such fuss is impractical and it’s fun to tell them ‘deal with it’. Most satisfying.

I suppose that’s the feeling the “bullies” enjoy. The feeling of satisfaction that they get from ordering the others around. They are the center of every brawl, imposing their presence and many times preaching upon the other, more gullible women. You know the quality women possess of continuing a topic, talking to themselves or anyone who listens, forming a team and bitching together by the end of it? This group has it and they use it. Perhaps it is to vent a frustrating life, lifestyle, job, family, no one knows. Raging menopause (women do have many biological excuses, I must say), but among the same gender, it is obviously rendered moot.

But brawls are as common as flies on food. Especially on a hot day. Better if you are not a part of it, especially if you are losing. You lose a lot more than just a fight. Your dignity, worth and even place is taken away from you. Cat fights are even worse; pulling of hair, hitting, slapping, the whole of WWF happens right there in the crowded compartment. Men, in the adjacent compartment always have a good time. Of course, the satisfaction of victory is immense. Makes your lousy day good and a good day the best. It’s not only the men who get a boost in general, even women have ego which gets fed from winning a fight. She has just been proven right and which woman doesn’t like being right?

Whatever is the case, at night, you know the destination is home. Place (in most cases) of peace and tranquility. And even if not, at least a few hours of shut eye is in there somewhere. Maybe a good conversation with family, quality time with your partner, something that rejuvenates you to go through the whole process of travelling in Mumbai locals the next day. And believe me…it’s all priceless.

P. S. I’ll be leaving this place soon, but until then, happy travelling! 🙂

City