20 seconds

It is said that all it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage, literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery to turn the tide.

There are days when you hate your job, hate your boss, that nosy colleague, that whirlpool of an unrequited love, of the inability to resist the tub of chocolate ice cream resting on the top berth of the fridge, a sudden torrential downpour, the traffic, everything and anything.

Stop. Pause. Breathe. Listen.

Listen to that one tiny voice inside, one that doesn’t need words. Listen to what your heart craves, makes your soul dance, lets light into the tiny cracks of your heart, and makes you go giddy with joy like a five year old in a candy store.

Chase. Follow. Run. Jump.

When did we grow so old that we stopped dreaming? Dreaming about opening a tiny chai shop atop the mountains; having conversations with forgotten old friends over endless cups of coffee and steaming hot maggi; scribbling roads with crayons, blue, pink and purple; of the freedom of jumping into trains and exploring less traveled roads; the cold gush of wind at the top of a hill after hours of trekking; dipping your fingers in bottles of paint and creating masterpieces; bottling fireflies and chasing butterflies and rainbows; dancing in the rain.

Somewhere along the way as we grew up, all of us seem to have made a pact with the devil. Exchange our soul in return for practicality. Of technicolour dreams for sitting in a cubicle, crunching numbers on computers and calculators.

We build CVs but burn bridges; stare at our phones, tablets, kindles but forget the feel and smell of a second hand book; Collect travel magazines but don’t have the time to explore your own city, its forgotten lanes, abandoned buildings, old walls with pink bougainvillea.

20 seconds is all it takes.

To decide to set your soul free from the shackles of the daily grind, the same old job, dust those forgotten ambitions that have been shoved in some corner of your heart collecting cobwebs.

To ease the pain of your heart by burning those unsent letters to a love long lost, deleting them from your life, and let time heal your wounds. Bare your scars and let your heart fall in love, again.

To use your weekends for rediscovering abandoned hobbies, be it cooking up a storm and burning down the kitchen, let your palms bear ink stains of your words, strum your out of tune guitar, delve your city till you are left with purple shoe bites, dance, swirl and twirl.

Stumble. Grumble. Tumble. Crumple.

The first step is always the hardest. Listening to your heart is no doubt a herculean task, after drowning its voice for so many years amidst comparison with the lives of others, pay packages, jealousy, you may be unsure if it still talks to you. Have faith, for every ounce of sadness, there is happiness and dreams are lurking just around the bend. Start small, baby steps.

Fall. Break. Crib. Try.

This year be more, do more. Let the race be for the rats. Laugh a little louder, take absurd risks, do batshit crazy things, wake up with the most insane hangover, lug your own problems, stop and help another with a shoulder or an empathetic ear.

So take that leap of faith, or squeeze your eyes shut, be insanely brave for 20 seconds and jump into your dreams, and who knows of what wings you’ll grow and soar into the skies.

This is an article I had written for an online magazine, rose alley. Here you’ll find articles about love, life, its colors and flavors, some pertinent to women, others that will open your eyes. It’s an open platform to share your ideas by contributing articles, do check it out!



44 thoughts on “20 seconds

  1. Wonderful words as usual. You know, you write very well…if you actually write and not take a break 😛

    I don’t think 20 secs is enough for me though.

      • Haha yeah, I have actually been devouring books! Insane amounts of them with the occasional companies act *cue banging my head on the book*
        Have any good recommendations?

      • Ah, that book is gold! Every time that I read it I’m filled with greed and regret of not finding someone with such a beautiful library, full of books that have coloured fat spines with their names engraved on it in colours of gold and silver.
        Safe to say I have a pretty vivid imagination! 😛

        I have been obsessed with murakami and elif shafak.. Need a new change 🙂

        BTW have you read the palace of illusions? Amazing read that one is!

      • Haha done done, ab aap please koi acha book recommend karoge?

        On a completely random note, have you watched tvf pitchers and permanent roommates? I’m in love with mitesh and my heart yearns for jeetu!!!! ❤

      • Jeetu was my senior in college – Governor of our dramatics society – succeeded by me 😛
        Yes I have seen all of Tvf 😀
        And have you read ‘And the mountains echoed’? It takes you on an adorable journey of life.

      • What what what!? I’m hyperventilating now!!
        Jeez less talented mortals like me are currently digging a grave of shame 😛

        I somehow didn’t like the book, too many generations being spanned, too many people and their complex relationships, beautiful nonetheless but somehow it couldn’t make its mark. Lots of things happening all at once, its a bit of an organised chaos situation..

        Now I sense you’re scratching your head for more books to recommend 😛 bring it on! 😀

      • Let us go to a library sometime on a date and read what we lay hands on 😉 If you are into non-fiction, try ‘the polyester prince’. You will be surprised by the content 😉

      • Haha 😀 okay I’m holding you accountable for that date, considering you picked up the topic and I have been moping about the impending dreaded valentine’s day celebration, same old books, pillows, switched off phone and dreaming about srk, oh and ice cream too! 😛

        I’m not a big fan of the non fiction genre, will try out the book you recommended though 🙂

      • Huh! The book got banned in India! Jeez, what the hell is wrong with us banning everything in sight!?

        Okay prateek kohli, by the authority vested in me by the Hyderabad banning association, I hereby pronounce you banned from the 6th minute past midnight of the 2nd of February to time indefinite 😛

      • Arre arre ! At least let the date happen! I was looking forward to it! In the library behind the Hyderabad banning association! And yes, I too have only the e-book :/

      • Haha 😀 okay, I’m officially going to term this as you asking me out on a date and do the happy dance! 😀 😛
        Though for most part of it, it’ll be me maniacally waving my arms while pretending to play hop scotch on hot coal 😛

      • Or the typical shaadi dance, which I recently performed for 3 days and 8 hours straight each day.

        Easy peasy guide to dancing, half bangra, half dhumka, train ki tarah circle mai bhaago and garbha/dandiya ki mnb karo 😀

      • Nagin dance is for the drunk uncles in the baraat 😀

        I don’t know why people have to dance! I’m a peaceful Bengali and hate being the cause of injury to others but hey, no one listens to me!

        So even if there wasn’t any music the damn punjabis started singing songs to get people to dance and I happily dug my heels into the feet of people as revenge! 😀

      • Please tell me you don’t like to dance. I’m tired of active people around! What if I want to be a panda (peaceful, non racist, extremely cute) who reads books and is unendingly obsessed with srk!?

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