In a world of text messages, WhatsApp, 280 characters, snap chats and emails, I feel like a long handwritten letter.
There are some people whose touch you would want embedded in your skin,
Tracing fingers on your body and feel the caluses of their thumb,
Of how their breath felt against your neck and made your skin tingle,
Then there are those, whose very thought makes you shudder
Forcing you to take respite under a cold shower and pumice them off your life
– Midnight Musings
For then I realised that addiction didn’t require a glass of whiskey nor a pack of cigarettes when it was easy getting drunk on the words we once spoke and delusional on the conversations we may never have.
– Midnight Thoughts
Taken for granted.
There are lots of things we take for granted, now I could be philosophical and tell you about the people in your life that you take for granted, the non-questioning of ‘why me’ when good happens in your life or the fact that you are here, now, reading this on a screen with access to internet and electricity.
Instead, I write about what I feel like I had taken for granted all along and realised the importance of only when I don’t have the opportunity to exploit its presence.
A not runny – not stuffed – not blocked nose!
I haven’t been keeping well thanks to ENT problems, but what I miss the most right now is a fully functioning nose. The one that twitches at the strong smell of a half spilled bottle of jasmine attar, or can guess what is being made for dinner as soon as I climb the stairs, or the odd hibiscus in my kitchen garden or the act of just breathing free without scampering for tissues and otrivin.
This might sound strange but I can smell rain a day before it really thunders and showers, thanks to my nose, I’m caught at an odd without an umbrella – safety cloth over my head situation.
Now slightly drifting from today’s topic, I haven’t been writing much.. I had this irrational fear of putting my thoughts out, every teeny tiny thought and twinge of insecurity out there for the world to read, know and go hmm. I have many a times contemplated of shifting to a more anonymous blog (really shut the curtains tight and type in the dark over the faded light of a screen and odd blue glow of velvety curtains, safe to say I have the cartoon imagination of what it is being really anonymous) but then refrained. Sometimes when you don’t like the amount of light in your house, you just pull across the drapes or buy thicker curtains which is probably what I plan to do with this blog.
Lets hope that I find my sense of smell back.
This post is exactly what it says it is.
Well technically not because I have a glass of brandy nestling in the nook of my elbow, a book that takes me back 70 years into the past, a bowl of chocos (sugar dusted chocolate breakfast cereal which I almost always have without milk) and a classical carnatic song playing in the background.
Oh and it is 02:27 am IST, a time that I should be asleep since I have to go to work tomorrow but I couldn’t deal with another bout of Monday blues as soon as the clock struck 12 and decided to cut my self some slack, dig out the bottle of hooch that lies snug in my wardrobe and write all the things that I want to shout out.
I have been meaning to write since a long time, to be fair everytime I found myself cornered, I wanted to write it out, flush it out of my system. But then I fear this would become a sound board of complaints and negative thoughts hence alcohol to ease the process.
Of what and why? I don’t know.
I discovered approximately a year ago that I suffer from extreme anxiety. I panic really fast and go to worse situation scenario in seconds. I worked all weekend and I still have three things that need to be completed but I can’t find the time, patience and energy to finish it. Hence at the risk of probably having a bad day at work tomorrow, I have decided to not burn the midnight oil and just let it be.
In other news I think the neurons in my brain responsible for evoking feelings of love have given up and shut down. I find it amusing that I’m no longer attracted to anyone. I skip all scenes romantic in movies or tv shows or books, just skip right past it. Somehow it makes me queasy and irked.
And I have been mulling a lot over things. For a blog named wanderingstoryteller, all the wandering that I do is restricted to work and back, office, client offices and back home.
And that quarter life crisis has finally struck.
Why is everyone getting married? Like seriously?! Anyone and everyone is walking down the aisle, running around the fire pit, getting down on their knees, filming corny pre pre wedding/courtship/engagement/pre wedding/standing right at the altar/wedding/post wedding/ look-how-my-married-life-is videos and whatsapp invitations. Jeez!
I understand getting married is an important stepping stone but I have this irrational fear that I could never get married. Just all the hooplah around it has my covering away to the safety net of my pillow fortress. Add to this I think I have become dating averse.
I’m a thorough advocate of spending time with yourself, but maybe I have overdone my time. Three weeks back I had to meet a friend, meeting whom I had successfully put off for ten months and I knew I couldn’t dodge it anymore. I agreed and immediately panicked. It took my all my energy to convince myself to not make another random my mother isn’t well/ my health isn’t good/ I’m not in town/ turn my phone on flight mode strategies. But once I psyched myself up and went out, I actually enjoyed human company, albeit the company didn’t make much of a difference, but it was a change from being holed up at home.
Though I adopted similar strategies as mentioned above, last week when I had to go meet someone else. See I’ll put it this way. All of us have this one-big-love of our life thing, I had it and its over and I accept that it is over. I’ve moved on, but also maybe you get just one big firecracker goosebumps filled rollercoaster experience and I’ve emptied my share of that love. So I don’t find the point in going through the entire song and dance routine all again. Dating is so tiring, and I get tired even thinking about it. Go find someone, then there will be texting, and dating, on weekends, days when all that one should do is wear loose pyjamas, tie your hair in a bun, scrub your face off makeup, sleep for 18 hours straight and drink hot sweet chai while pouring over newspapers for hours. Then there is the I don’t know if I like you, then decisions, then drama! Why can’t whosoever is your fated mate just come with an identification tag and there, all problems solved!
There will mostly be a part two of this, considering my saturday rum ritual. Plus I guess I have descended in that sweet spot of feelings the weight of the world melt away and fingers easily glide on the keyboard.
Sorry this wasn’t much to read, apart from a part of the chaos in my head on digital paper.
Sometimes I wish I knew what to do. Like have a written path/plan. ‘This is what your purpose is’ on a piece of paper thrown from the sky for you. And then put all your efforts in attaining it. I know, I know that it doesn’t happen that way. That you should set out and explore, fail and fall, live and learn, but what if you are scared to your wit’s end. That taking any step in any direction, the thought of which makes your knees wobble and a pool of doubts to swim in your head.
I just realised two things, I’m not only scared but extremely lonely.
Not to be mistaken for not having friends. I have a few amazing friends I know I can call and talk to, who wouldn’t flinch when I pour out my insecurities. But just this feeling of void, somewhere deep within. Like a gaping hole in my being that I carry whereever I go. I’m not able to find the words but its a different kind of companionship. It sometimes takes me hours to find within me the effort to drop a message to someone, I generally rationalize the thought away or have a two way conversation in my head and drop it. Or to make plans with someone and actually go through with it, or to lie awake in bed pulling myself together to go to work.
I’m grateful for all that I have, I lead a fairly happy life but maybe its not happy. I mean it isn’t loud laughter all the time, or smiles all the way, its the kind that just goes on. Or maybe like still water doesn’t go anywhere but stands stagnant, its surface calm but beneath is an entire ecosystem trying to co-exist.
In the quest of finding myself, I have successfully pushed everyone away. I didn’t take calls, never replied to messages, made plans that I didn’t want to go through and let stubbornness win, because I was in the space where nothing made sense for a while. The mantra breathe in, and put one step in front of the other and things will get better did work but I have walked into a different realm if quiet.
I can say this without a doubt that it is difficult to reach out now, because the rules of the game have changed? I’m not on most social networking platforms and would like to keep it that way, but what ever happened to a good old fashioned long phone call? Or 5 pages long emails and texts that felt like short stories.
So if there is still anyone reading this and has made it this far, reach-out. Let’s make an effort to be kind, and just talk to each other instead of about each other. Let’s make friends like we did in kindergarten, clean hearts, open arms and bear hugs.
I find myself being pushed out of sleep, deep at night,
A faint cry of time, an abandoned dream, a lost star.
Pulling the quilt over my head, I remind myself to breathe,
In ones, twos and threes.
A song I learnt long back, a decade and a half between the times,
The rhythm and words difficult to roll over my tongue,
A particular antara always managed to throw me off,
When I sang, I ran out of breath midway.
Every night I listened to my music teacher sing, on a cassette, in an old walkman,
Rewinding the tape with my fingers and letting the shruti flow.
Late one night at the ninth attempt, I figured her trick.
One sharp breath in the beginning and to pause at the right places,
The music magically took over, and she let her heart sing.
When I feel overwhelmed, I sing this song, to breathe easier.
A few years back while studying I realised that no amount of cramming could help me,
The concepts flew over my head and all I wanted to do was, raise my hands and walk away.
Which is what I did.
I shut the books, made myself a tall glass of chai and looked out of the balcony,
Watched the traffic make its way through the narrow arterial lane,
Tiny marigold flowers, bright orange and yellow resting against the lazy creepers,
The sun set in all its glory, calling the birds and bread winners alike.
And for once, in a long time I slept, for fourteen hours straight.
I woke up in the morning and thought to myself, what was the worse that would happen if I fail?
I walked out in the balcony with the question, to breathe in some air and sunshine, and the question answered itself,
A moment of surreal clarity amidst chaos.
There was a time when the pain was much to bear,
I can’t quantify the time, sometimes it seems like yesterday and during others, a previous lifetime,
One that reddened my eyes, choked my throat, brought tears and anger bubbling right beneath my skin.
Everytime I felt I couldn’t, I would remind myself to breathe and repeat,
This too shall pass.
A stab turned to sear, slowly became a dull throb and now is blue and numb.
And that’s okay, for maybe time heals all.
I have been having the urge to just run away from everyone and everything around me. To just step out of the life that I’m living. To stand out and see my life as it passes by.
To vanish, sublimate, disappear.
I celebrated my birthday in obscurity, in the midst of a forest where there was no cell reception, no internet, no electronic devices. Ample amount of sunshine, star gazing, dense forests, incessant chirping of birds, campfires and books, blankets and blankness.
Then I rang in the new year in a city that I fell in love with, mostly ate bun maska, watched the sun set, the leaves of calendar turn, the sea as the world went past, of singing at 1 in the night and not a care about what next.
And since I’ve been back, the only thing that I can think of is to run away. I don’t know to what, to whom, with whom, where, when, how, why. So many questions. And just no answers.
I zone out with people who talk relentlessly, sit cradling a cup of strong chai and just stare into space wondering if I’ll ever feel the rush of something, whether I’ll feel something maybe ever fall in love, the lala land type, if the pain will ever go away.
I stare at the fan above and remember the ceilings of all the rooms I’ve ever slept in, some I’ve spent hours staring at in the darkness, some have been marred by tears streaming down my eyes, finding their way and disappearing in my hair, some of them have the loudest laughs, the chorus singing and most of them with books with dog eared pages perched on my chest lost deep in thought.
This year there will be some and then more..