Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Sab Tamasha Hai! :) - Movie Review

Okay, okay! Accepted I am pretty late to be doing a review on Tamasha when the film has already spent more than one and half weeks at the box office and at the multiplex near you. And agreed, most of you would have watched it by now and reviewed it for your friends and family members who would also have watched it, some probably twice.

But, I am still going to do this review because this is what I am writing in a long time and Tamasha was my after-exams treat. My exams just got over on the 7th, in case you were wondering, so, yes, I am late.

But, in case you haven’t been lucky enough to catch a screening, please feel free to take (or shun) my advice J as I bring to you reasons why you should absolutely go and watch this flick, just once!
Warning: Spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk! :P

1.      Ranbir and Deepika, together!
Bollywood hasn’t given us more crackling chemistry in recent times. If you are one of those who still mourn their break-up and hang your heads low every time you read about Ranbir and Katrina’s impending wedding, this movie is a treat for you! Admitted, they fall short of the magic they revved up with YJHD, but watching these two love, laugh, dance and cry on screen is a beautiful experience! :)

2.      Corsica
The sheer superior cinematography will blow your mind, as it did mine, and what happened in Corsica, didn’t (un)fortunately stay in Corsica. I carried the visuals all the way from the movie hall, imprinted on my mind. The sunsets, the seas, the sand, the streets, the cobbled pathways, the mountain roads and the French in all their elegant glory…the term picturesque acquires a new definition in the movie :)

3.      Simla and the bachpan in the hills
The queen of hills is a character to reckon with in itself. The grand old church, the magnificent mountains, the seemingly royal house where the protagonist spends his childhood, the complex, twisted family ties, an old storyteller and a gift of imagination…all blend in to give the melodramatic recipe the pinch of spice it needs! You almost feel like hugging the little boy who loves to weave stories of his own, and keeps questioning the old storyteller as to why we get the same old story every time! Cuteness quotient: one hundred per cent!

4.      The storytelling
Scenes from the life of Krishna, the Ramayana, Romeo and Juliet, Heer-Ranjha, Laila-Majnu,and countless old legends of cult status keep flashing in the middle of the main story, and keep the narrative flowing even when the pace of the main story falters a bit. Yes, there could have been sharper and crisper edits, but the constant switch between who one is and who one wishes to be, would perhaps have been lost, then!

5.      The storyteller- Imtiaz Ali
You cannot help but compare this movie to his past ventures, especially Rockstar. I came out with the feeling that all his films, including even Jab We Met, have that common theme of trying to find one’s true self and remain true to that self. It makes me more curious about the man himself, and perhaps, there are bits and pieces from his own life, reflected in the story!

6.      The story-identity crisis
Who is Ved? Is he Don? Who is Don? And how can someone be two people in one, at the same time? Do we ever figure out if we are the Rama of our story or the Ravana? Do we know if we are capable of love or only of hatred? Do we know we are someone else on the outside, and a whole different world on the inside? Do we ever get to know? 

7.      The angst (and the humour)
Sexual innuendo abounds. Apart from that, there is situational humour in some of the scenes, but it fails to impress, though you might end up laughing hard at some silly dialoguebaazi! The angst is another matter, altogether. If you like to have stuff to think about, watch the movie well and re-read point 6.

8.      The music
The best part of the movie, for me, was the song ‘Tum Saath Ho.’ I have always been the kind to love senti-songs in the middle of a senti-sequence, and ten on ten to Tamasha for achieving the brilliant placement of the song, and not just this one. ‘Safarnama’ and ‘Tu koi aur hai’ ring a bell, too J
For those who love flashy, dancing numbers, ‘Matargashti’ is the perfect number with the perfect locale, and perfect moves!

9.      The end
We know there has to be a happy ending! And that is also the correct ending! You can’t help but smile, when Don returns, and once upon a time turns to a happily ever after.  :)

Yes, it may still be the same old story, like every time, but, it made me smile J
And, I couldn’t ask for more. A word of caution, though! Don’t expect a YJHD and you might come home with a feel-good feeling! :)

Not a five-star worthy one, but three doesn’t seem too bad either ;)


Happy watching! Do let me know if you liked the movie!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Festival of (p)Light

It’s been long since my fingers tapped on the keyboard, and the punched-beaten-harassed-overworked keys aren’t too happy about having me back! I can say that because they aren’t complying with my rough demands today, and so I am forced to check, recheck, type, retype, delete and correct things multiple times.


Nevertheless, Diwali is almost here and I am really sorry about the whole thing, except for the fact that it marks an end to my fifth semester at college.
Unlike the average Indian for whom Diwali is a high-light event (pun intended), for me, Diwali is just a stupid, silly festival of (p)light.
Before the devout Hindus of this nation rush up to strangle my already choking throat (smog, you see!), let me clarify that it is not the festival I am against; it is only the mystifying meanings we have assigned to it that I am allergic (literally) to!

What make Diwali a festival of darkness for many of us are the frivolous notions, expectations, ideations and traditions that have come to be associated with it over the years, as the society has devolved.

Smoke (and noise)

There is something depressing about the entire patakha mess that plagues the streets of Delhi soon after the ten headed menace of Ravana is burnt to ashes during Dussehra. Kids as young as five years of age vow to replace that menace and create a city of smoke on the congested, dying streets of the capital. Even adults no longer care about the rising pollution levels and plunge into bursting crackers, full throttle. People set fire to their own hard-earned money and dance with inexplicable joy as it is reduced to wisps of smoke which blanket the whole atmosphere.
And, I am not even going to start about the obvious, intense discomfort animals face due to the noise and the pollution.
Breathing the city’s air during such times of smog is equivalent to smoking eight cigarettes a day. In fact, Delhi is so polluted that every year you spend here shortens your life span by a month! (Yes, you are free to Google the stats, doubters!)
This Diwali, spare those of us whose lungs aren’t as good at breathing smoke, and gift us all a life, please. _/\_

  The mess and stress of gifting

Though more prominent in the corporate world, commercialization of Diwali is no news to us. While the opportunity is fully exploited by chain discount stores by offering attractive gift packages, schemes and irresistible vouchers to the frenzied shoppers, for most of us, choosing gifts for friends, family, business partners, bosses, colleagues, and the occasional door ka rishtedaar who materializes out of nowhere during festivals, is a headache. And, people always secretly dislike the gifts they get, anyway!
Here is a tip: Limit the exchange of gifts to those who you cannot do without (read essential business associates), prefer gifting cash wherever possible so that the other person can use it to their advantage and not sulk over the gift,  and if someone takes offence over your no gifting strategy, fold your hands and mutter ‘good riddance.’ Honestly, you are better off without such people in your life. And, think of the number of dinner sets and glass sets you will be spared in return! :P

Traffic

Though the chaos is common on Delhi roads at any given time of the year, Diwali takes the cake. This Diwali, since you are no longer a part of the gifting mess, give your car some rest and avoid the jungle on roads ;) Carpooling is a good option, plus, you always have public transport that saves you the trouble of clutch-break-accelerator-break-break-clutch! J Travel easy, travel happy!


 Lights that can make you go blind, and the nation bankrupt

We as Indians are licensed to waste the nation’s resources, but, even by our standards, Diwali marks the absolute epitome of the reckless expenditure. And what is worse is that we are spending it on Chinese lights- giving the Chinese more reasons than us, to celebrate the festival. Case in point, just take a look at the extravagance that goes into lighting up houses at Diwali, decking them up like brides to be!  
No, I am not against lights. But, excess of everything is bad.
Complement electric lights with traditional diyas, so you not only save on the bill, and the nation’s resources (electricity in India mainly comes from coal which is non-renewable resource, as fifth standard Science will tell you!) but also contribute to the meager incomes of the desi artisans. Give them a cause to celebrate, too! J

So, dear fellow citizens of my nation, this Diwali, be a little more considerate. Celebrate and put a smile on the faces of those not as fortunately blessed as you, and have a good time without the chaos, confusion and drama.
Here is wishing you all a very happy Diwali. Please don’t make it a festival of plight J



Friday, 9 October 2015

Leave

Pack up everything that belongs to you
And leave.
Don't leave me with keepsakes.
Just leave.

Gather the memories you left
In the crevices, corners, folds of my being.
Dust the places of me
you left parts of yourself in.
And leave.

Look for your favorite colour in my paintings
And your favorite songs in my playlist
And your movie recommendations in my browser history.
Extract them.
And leave.

Don't forget to pick up
Your books that line my over crowded shelves.
And planned birthday presents for every year till you turn
twenty four. 

Rip away the pages of my diary
That smoke with the ashes of your name.

Help yourself to the make believe world
I crafted for us.
But, remember, half of it
still belongs to me.
Leave me with mine.
Take yours.
Then, leave. 

You are free to share it
with somebody beautiful.

Let light illuminate the jagged edges
Of my broken pieces.
I don't need you to put me back together. 
Just take what is yours
And i will help myself.
Leave.

Take away the stories you told
The poetry you wrote
Take it all away, my wishes upon 
imaginary shooting stars
And single strands of eyelashes
And coins tossed into decrepit fountains-
What wish would they fulfill,
When they can't keep me from wishing?

Pack those wishes away in your luggage
So that I can trust myself to
Believe in promises, once more.
Then, leave.

I don't have enough space
In my closet, bedroom, slam book,
heart, soul and mind
To accommodate the two of us. 

I don't have the strength
To listen to unsaid words
Nor the intellect
To weave the threads of meaning around them.
Leave.

I don't need you to mess things up-
I am an expert at that, already.
I don't need advice, patience, practice, sighs
Love isn't a drug good enough
To cure me. 

Take all your love back.
Maybe someone will have use
For all your kindness.

Please.

Leave. 

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Times when You Fall in Love with the Metro :)

We often end up taking our lives for granted. Okay, if you are still reading this after the super clichéd introduction, thank you  for believing in me :p

I hope this meets your expectations. And even if it doesn't, I hope you begin to notice stuff that always existed around you, but never quite found its way to your consciousness.

I take my one hour commute to college for granted.  Commuting doesn't exactly top the list of Delhiites' favorite things to do, yet it is something we all have to, day in and day out. 

Today, I take time out to list some curious Delhi Metro phenomena that make me feel super awesome on my way to college, and which could make your commute joyful, too, if only you unplugged those earphones, shut the newspaper slash book slash e-book you read on your way, logged out of all the social networking nonsense and took in the world around you, for a change.

1. When the metro enters the platform:
And I stand dangerously close to the warning yellow line, watching its serpentine, perfectly engineered (though slightly degenerating) body rushing towards me, I experience sheer bliss. And when I wear my hair loose, it is even better. The wind whooshes through my open hair, messing them up, unlike Bollywood movies where hair is supposed to stay poker straight even when the actors are braving mind numbing storms :p
The high wind velocity and the sense of freedom and weightlessness it brings, makes me feel grateful to be alive, if only for an instant.

2. When you are expecting a four/six coach and it turns out to be a six/eight coach: 
Because obviously, the longer the train, the more chances of bagging the much coveted seat. It is presumptuous to assume you will get to sit, but, then, ummeed pe duniya kayam hai. 

3. When you actually get a seat:
It is like India winning the world cup. Only, your joy won't be shared by fellow Indians who lost out on the seat :p but, what the hell...you enjoy your lucky day :p 

4. When you willfully give up your seat to someone who needs it more than you do:
It is so much better than India winning the world cup. It is like your archenemy(you get the reference, right?) losing out in the finals :p Honestly, the satisfaction is immense and you end up feeling so good about yourself for the whole day that you can barely restrain yourself from dancing in public. Extra happiness is almost always welcome, right?

5. When you help a clueless kid or a grown-up climb the escalator:
The smiles on their faces when they step up successfully and get down without injuring themselves.... You feel like giving up the world for that! And their nervous-embarrassed thank yous- a great start to a great day! :)

6. When you unexpectedly bump into people from your past:
No, I don't mean ex-es :P 
I mean the good people from your past, because you obviously pretend to ignore the miserable ones! :P 
Classmates from school, coaching classes, juniors, seniors... Friends you thought you'd never see again. It is amazing the stuff people will remember about you. And you can relive all the bittersweet memories and laugh at how silly you used to be and how wonderful the bygone times were. Things, I have noticed, are beautiful, in hindsight. So when you are down, you can always remind yourself that this too shall pass. And, smile. Metro could be a lesson in letting go!

7. When people bump into other people: 
Suresh, tu? Ramesh, tu? And the hugs, the happiness, the bewilderment. If only metro had popcorn outlets, the show would be even more entertaining :)

8. When you are so tired you sit down at the platform, back against the wall,in your favourite company:
This happens on my way back home. Sometimes, the metro refuses to arrive and your feet hurt from all the standing. So, plop down your bottoms on the air-conditioned platform floors and rest your backs against the walls and have a tetra pack of Frooti with your friends and bitch about the professors, the coursework, life, the universe and everything. But, yeah, don't forget that cribbing and crying won't make the Metro arrive any faster :P


So, this is what I totally love about going to college and coming back. The time I get with myself on the commute, the time I can spend watching the ways of the world, the time that is mine and absolutely mine to own and spend :) 
Try doing some of this the next time you travel via the Delhi Metro, and I hope you identify better with whatever experiences I have shared!

Happy journeying :)

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Bare Minimum

Help me craft paper boats
Of love
And set them to sail
Through muddy puddles of rain
Which hold the sky
in their wake-
Perhaps, one day,
Before drowning,
They will reach
Where I couldn't?

Help me fold love along
The highway roads of our initials and see
If the bends meet up somewhere
To link your destiny to me.
Perhaps, one day,
While cruising,
I would be set free?

Help me dream verses of love
In the color that I bleed
And let them seep through my being
Coloring all my need.
Perhaps, one day,
As I bleed,
All pain would cease?

Help me set love on fire
And leave it to crackle
Through fireplaces that gather dust
Inside my heart-
Perhaps, one day,
While raging,
It will burn me to ashes?

Help me hold love tight
In the death grip of my fist. 

Help me restrict my love for you
To the bare minimum. 

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Krishna in Him

Sometimes, when I look at him,
Even though I am not great at eye contact,
I See Krishna in Him.

Sometimes, in those jet black eyes,
Sometimes, behind his dimpled,
naughty smile,
When he locks his eyes with mine,
I see Krishna in Him.

Sometimes, when his lips part
And i can hear the soft sound of his breathing,
Somewhere, I think I hear, too
The faint, fragrant echoes of a flute.
His voice, his notes find
A way inside my head-
I hear Krishna in Him.

I see Krishna in Him
When he dismisses everything-
The world, pain, love, our bond-
everything as illusory.
Because Krishna said to Arjun
Things he unknowingly says to me...
I see Krishna in Him.

While he loves everybody with similar intensity, I,
I egoistically believe
I am his favourite, though
I know it can't possibly be so,
He has so many people to love,
to choose from.
I see Krishna in Him.

Playing pranks, pulling my leg
making faces, hurting me-
He has liberties, all of them
Perhaps, he knows that, too.
I am his property, just as I belong
Ultimately to the blue-bodied god;
I see Krishna in Him.

When he hugs me hard, crushing me at times
And plants a sweet little kiss on my cheeks, on request,
I guess, I can say, I know
That is exactly how divinity is spelled.
I see Krishna in Him.

He is five-
and sometimes, in that little child,
My god tries to come alive.

Sometimes, when i look just right,
I see
Krishna in Him.





Wednesday, 12 August 2015

On Religion...

Disclaimer: This piece doesn't intend to hurt your sentiments. It is just a means to express mine. Thanks for being tolerant :)

I envy people who can drape accoutrements of their religion by the dozen on their bodies. I envy their security, the surety that comes from knowing that at the end of the day, they have somebody definitive to praise for the miracles and blame for the curses in their lives. I envy how they fast on certain days and feast on others, disguising all their suffering and reveling in all the joy that belonging to religion brings.

In archaic forms that still need me to label my religion as a part of my identity, I put down Hinduism, albeit a little apprehensively.

I do not fast on Shivratri; I am perpetually confused as to why we celebrate two of them in a year (hoping my limited knowledge in this regard is correct). I like Janmashtmi for the beautiful programmes held at temples in the night, for the super cute figurines of baby Krishna, whom I absolutely adore, for the swings I get to give him- a number of times over, for the colourful balloons; for the idea that my favourite God could have a birthday, too! I do not know of the significance of the fervor and the gaiety that preceds Ganesh Visarjan on Ganesh Chaturthi. I am blissfully unaware of the varied forms that Maa Durga is worshipped in, during the auspicious Navratri.  

My routine doesn’t involve recitations of aartis or Hanuman Chalisa every morning at 5 am. I do not go to temples regularly, and even if I do, instead of actually praying, I end up looking at the serene, simultaneous figures of Krishna and Radha in awe, wondering if Krishna loves all of us as much as he loved Radha! (I Hope he does, or it will break my heart!)

Maybe, I am not a Hindu, after all.

 My mom believes in Guru Nanak Ji. The gurudwara is a place I visit daily. I dutifully kneel before the Guru Granth Sahib across my city, despite not being a Sikh in the traditional sense of the word.  If I concentrate, I can impart meaning to the soothing voice of the raagis singing the shabads- sacred hymns in Punjabi. I sport one of the 5 Ks of Sikhism, the Kada, on my wrist. It is the only outer display of belief I allow myself the liberty of, because, inexplicably, it makes me feel protected and looked after.  Yet, I cannot help but feel a slightly disparaging sense of alienation that churns inside my stomach when I glimpse men and women carrying Kirpans draped across their sides, as warriors of the gurus. I have never done the nitnem religiously because I couldn’t fathom the language in totality. I get a haircut every once in a while.

I am not Sikh, either.

Churches fascinate me with their aura of peace. The mass is a beautiful congregation- not only of people, but of attires, tongues, voices and tales. The stained glass windows hold my gaze for moments on end; the filtered sunlight surprisingly adequate to awaken the light of joy, within. Yet, I have never touched the Bible. I envy the cross that dangles from the necks of the Christians. I miss the happiness in decorating Christmas trees and looking for Easter eggs and being able to talk to Jesus as if he knows it all. I miss all of it despite having no apparent cause to.

I am neither Catholic nor Protestant, nor do I connect with any other sect in Christianity.

Buddhism and the theories of Zen find a resonance with me. I like to see monks and chant Om Mane Padme Hum- their Golden Mantra randomly during the day. The scenes of Azaans in movies bring a smile on my face. Mosques fascinate me. Yet, I cannot label myself as a Buddhist or a Muslim simply on these grounds.

I envy people who belong.

I envy that they do not go to gurudwaras and whisper prayers in English, the way I do, because Punjabi isn’t my area of expertise, exactly.

I envy how simply they purchase flowers for offering to the deities while all I seem to visit religious shrines for, is to say thank you and send a prayer for the well being of people I love.  

I envy their knowledge of customs and procedures and hate myself for not being proper in my conversations with God, at times. I wonder if they fight with their Gods, too and challenge Him/Her to prove existence.

I wonder if I am doing it all wrong, somehow.

I believe in a superpower that runs things we are far too naive to grasp. I half-agree that God is nirgun- without a tangible form. Yet, I love the ideas and myths of existence of some Gods more than others. I am not an atheist, because I believe.

The only question I haven’t figured out the answer to is what I actually believe in.


Someday in the near future, before they do away with ‘Religion’ on forms, I hope to find that out. 

‘Belonging’ may not be everything, but, ‘knowing’ just might be. 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

One More Time

It amused her how people believed rains were the best time to cry. Literature was full of varying versions of the same fact, and everybody seemed to agree with everybody else- tears could mingle with droplets of rain and run down your cheeks and no one would know the difference.

It was pointless and deceptive. One could always tell the difference. She could always tell the difference. As if to prove the point, a thin rivulet ran down her already soaked face. It was hot and it pricked-the gush of liquid out of her jet black eyes. The rain was, in contrast, bitter and biting cold. There was a difference.

The rain gods were in a mood to exhibit their full fury and she was drenched from top to bottom. She hated the rains; they made her feel vulnerable, lonesome and very, very scared.

The clouds carried endless oceans within them, just like the corners of her eyes. She considered it fitting that she wasn’t the only one weeping. The least the universe could do was show her some sympathy, after having snatched away her chance at love, yet again. She was tired of the pain love brought in its wake. Was it even worth the sacrifices? No matter how much she gave, it was never enough; her very best was not enough. She always ended up hurting someone- mostly her own self. If they awarded degrees for that kind of hurt, hers would be a double doctorate.

The rain lashed harder at her back and the harsh winds whipped her face. She deserved the punishment, she thought, for having trusted, for having lived a lie, for having loved. She kept walking down the deserted street, bearing the inclement weather and the numbing pain.

All of a sudden, their eyes met- her jet black with his deep brown. And, the universe stopped.
He was walking towards her from the opposite end and they were on collision course. Instinctively, she backed off. He saw her move and stopped a few feet away.

A whirlwind of emotions coursed through her at the sight of him- longing, compassion, joy, sadness, and love. It was a trap, her mind warned her. She should know better than letting herself get pulled into the whirlpool again.

She was already so broken, so bruised. Could she do this all over again?

All the while she was battling her demons, he stood still, as if trying to gauge what she felt. He kept gazing at her with so much promise in his eyes that even the rains ceased to matter. Tentatively, he stepped forward. She let go, and gave in to her heart, once more. When you had lost so much, perhaps losing lost its threat altogether. Their eyes met again, this time in a silent vow of trust, of forever.

Slowly at first, and then with supersonic speed, he ran up to her, falling into her embrace. She held him; tears of sorrow turned into those of happiness. Love did that to you, she knew. They smiled at each other, no longer lonely.

The puppy squeaked in her arms. He had found a new home. And she, the courage to trust love, just one more time.

(Inspired by Maya Angelou’s quote: Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.)


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Stare back

Disclaimer: I am no feminist. I have never been very outspoken against male chauvinism, against their false sense of entitlement just because they possess a particular organ women don’t, against the ills that are meted out to women in our patriarchal setup, and against the atrocities which befall a number of women from varied walks of life across our country.

And, I bitterly regret the fact.

Being a dilliwallah since my birth, when my mom carried me over as a newborn from St. Stephen's Hospital at Tis Hazari to our Rohini home, I am proud to belong to the capital. Yet, sometimes, when I look at the worst kind of human beings possible sharing my city space, I cannot help curb the fury of hatred that seethes inside me. I cannot help recalling that it is because of them that my city has been dubiously branded the most unsafe city for women in India.

Alluding to the heinously barbaric Dec 16 gang rape of 2012 simply to be on the same page as you, I narrate a little, perhaps seemingly insignificant instance of harassment in the Delhi Metro. It is no big deal in itself; most of the women who commute by the Metro have faced numerous such incidents, but, it opened my eyes to some of my own weaknesses, and I am sharing this so you can overcome yours, too.

Nine o’ clock on the Monday morning of 20th July, when the Delhi University had opened its gates to the under graduates across various streams, I happened to board the Metro's yellow line to Vishwavidyalya.

A punctuality freak through and through, I wanted to reach my 9.35 lecture before time, so I caught the train Metro just as it was about to shut its doors to the hapless, and found myself in the last coach of the eight coach train.

With earphones plugged in to block the unwanted sounds of my surroundings, I remember having wished I had something to block unwanted stares, too. I was wearing a knee length denim capri and the 25 or so year old man in impressive formals had perhaps never seen one before. His eyes were glued to me as if I was the only other person inside that super crowded compartment.

And, he wouldn't stop staring. I am no stunner- an ordinary five feet tall 20 years old who wears specs and no makeup, not even a touch of gloss on her lips. It made me pretty uncomfortable, though such instances are as regular as a sunny day in June.

I avoided his gaze and looked down at my feet. Something about him freaked me out and I chose to ignore the entire situation, like most girls. Meanwhile, he continued to ogle.

Just then, a switch clicked at the back of my mind and I realized I was not the one at fault there. It was my city, my Metro and I had every god damned right to travel in any coach I desired, reserved or not. The city had been mine for the past 20 years and I wasn't relinquishing my rights to unwarranted shame on my part, and unwarranted shamelessness on that asshole's. 

I unplugged my ear phones, welcoming the sounds. I adjusted my specs and lifted my gaze. Then, I stared right back at the idiot, with five times more intensity, if I could supply an approximate measure. He hesitated and averted his gaze. I kept staring right at him. A few seconds later, when he looked back again, my eyes were still burning with indignation. I was so enraged that if I had a gun in my hand, and knew how to shoot, perhaps I wouldn't have given a second thought to pulling the trigger. Perhaps he got the message I had intended for him. Because, as I continued to stare as shamelessly as he had done, he got up, sacrificing his seat and moved back, hiding behind others at the other end of the coach.

I sighed with relief.

It was the very least I could do. It is the very least we all should do.

Because, sometimes, being afraid isn’t an option. Sometimes, turning a blind eye is not the solution. Sometimes, you simply have to stare back. So, ladies, next time if somebody tries to stare you down, stare back. Stare till you convince them of your not-so-healthy murderous intentions. Stare till they give up. Stare back.

And, to be safer when outside the Metro, carry a pocket knife and a pepper spray. Just don’t carry your fear along. Stare back, and give them the dirt they deserve.




Sunday, 19 July 2015

Breaking Up!

I have been happier since we broke up. Trust me; I am not lying.

There is no longer the pressure of waking up every morning to look at your face and trace the stories it tells, of the day before. I don’t have to worry about how you have been; there is no mad rush of anticipation for what the day might bring for us. I do not expect, and am not disappointed. It’s a relief to be free again. Thank you!

I do not have to let my coffee go cold while I tend to your needs of being heard. And, you know what, my mornings are more peaceful and relaxed, now that we no longer share what we once did. To be honest, I was getting fed up of all your cribbing and whining.

I do not deny that you made me wiser, more intelligent, and more open-minded. You helped me grow, enriching me with words I was too young to learn, exposing me to worlds I was too naïve to fathom alone. I became a new person altogether, because of you.

But, I have been happier since you have gone.

I guess I had become too dependent on you and had begun too care far too much. I had begun to believe everything you told me, without verifying it for myself and without realizing that you told the same things to so many, simultaneously. I was never your only love. And, I couldn’t bear that, possessive that I am.

But, all that is past, now. You have so many others to look after you and listen to all you have to say, with a patience I was too impatient to possess.

I agree I have begun to lose perspective of things ever since we split our ways, but I have gained insights into myself that I couldn’t, with you. I no longer have to be available to you; all my time is mine, now! It is liberating.

They are right when they advise us to move on when relationships begin to hurt, and not heal.
I am happier, now. And, I believe, you are indifferent. That works well for both of us, doesn’t it?
So, I will sign off. It’s not my attempt at getting back! It’s just a thank you note and a forgiveness note and a farewell note, not that you need it, but, still! J

Dear Newspaper,
I have been happier since we broke up. Perhaps we could make it work sometime in the near future, when you have happiness to share, instead of sorrow. Till then, I will take your leave! Take care.
No Longer Yours,
Garima




Thursday, 2 July 2015

My Kind of People


This piece is for all of you out there who mean the world to me. I am pretty sure I have told you how much you matter to me and how much I love you and how grateful I am that our paths cross. But, I am equally certain that I have hurt you, angered you, worn you down at least some time with the overbearing, dominant, possessive, unreasonable and rude character I periodically become.

So, this is an effort to apologize and to let you know I love you, even if I sometimes push you away :)

Thanks for being here, despite everything.

My kind of people:

The kind who will take the pains to actually open the link and read this ramble, despite being aware of the nonsense that sometimes comes tumbling out of my mouth, and of course, pen (keyboard, if you must!).

The kind who won't give up on me. And who will keep propelling me on and on and on till I finally manage to make it to wherever I need to.

The kind who care to call, and not just on birthdays. The kind who are unlike me, when it comes to making the effort to stay in touch; the kind who know magically when I am hurting.

My kind of people. The kind who will stay up at night if I don't sleep- when I am out, when I am down and needless to say, when I am down and out.

The kind who are kind to me, despite the staggering intensity of my stupidity, despite knowing that I invariably mess things up. The kind who continue to bless me with the honour of their faith, despite having been hurt.

The kind of people who believe I am more than the sum of my parts.

My kind of people.

The kind who will turn off the ignition at a long traffic light and roll down the windows to buy a flower or a balloon or a dysfunctional, cheap Chinese toy just because it helps somebody smile. The kind who believe in the good that the world has to offer; the kind who aren't afraid of being cheated upon- my kind of idealists.

The kind of people who will pose with me for pictures, no matter how messed up they are, inside; the kind who hug me despite having a million reasons not to; the kind who love without agenda.

My kind of people, who I can take to the gurudwara and sit with, in silence, for hours, without the need to make polite conversation; the kind I can talk to, late into the night; the kind I can contemplate the universe with.

The kind who won't judge but simply listen to my same old whines about the same old problems; the kind who type okay instead of OK in their texts; the kind who care for grammar, or if not, for feeling.

The kind who laugh and make me laugh till I am laughing so hard that my eyes have to cry; the kind I can cry with over the tiniest of issues- runny nose and blotchy cheeks and hoarse voice notwithstanding.

My kind of people. 

People who will clink their glasses of coke with mine and shout cheers, forgetting every misery they are plagued with, if only for a moment; the kind who won't withdraw from a hug unless I do; the kind who lift me up, whether I am down or not.

The kind who won't leave, because they know it will break me; the kind who will stay and the kind who make life tolerable and sometimes, even happier because of their presence.

You are all my kind of people.
You are all my best kind of people. 

I just wanted you to know that. 
But of course, I know you aready knew! Didn't you? ;)



Friday, 13 March 2015

Nineteen :)


Nineteen leaves me stuck somehow-
dangling precariously
between

The dignified glory of adulthood 

and the delicious nonchalance of childhood.

Nursing nostalgia for school 

and dreading the end of college years.

A reminiscence of summer break laughter 

and a fear for all those “Farewell” tears.

Between

Being too old for uniforms 

and too young for corporate suits.

An overwhelming urge to catch rainbow hued butterflies 

and looking for internships to bolster my CV.

A craving for the biggest piece of chocolate truffle 

and the realization that I have put on weight.

Between


A desire for company 
and the will to fight it out alone.

A compulsive obsession to figure all of it out at once 

and mood swings that do not let me get out of bed.

Between

Me and myself.

Nineteen leaves me clueless.

There are so many choices to choose from 

That sometimes I have no choice but to choose 
What I would rather not choose 
Just because… I am nineteen.

The last of my teens- 

The trickiest of my teens.

I am no longer a child 

not quite a grown up either-

Simply nineteen.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Insecurities

Insecurities
Wash over me
Like winter rains...

Dripping,
emptying me of themselves,
only to collect
in puddles
at the bottom of my feet

And
in those puddles,
I glimpse again,
Reflections of them
Of me...

Having left, they never did leave
Like rains go back
To being rains.

My insecurities stay,
looking up at me
as if,
through my own eyes.

My insecurities
sweep over me,
drenching me as I try
to step away in vain;

Insecurities hurt-
A sharp, bitter pain.
Insecurities hurt
like the winter rains...

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

On Writing!

That is the beauty and the curse of writing.

It helps me erase who I was,but confines me to who I am.

It helps me mask my pain from the piercing gaze of the world, yet, it leaves me vulnerable to my own darkest face.

It saves me the trouble of explaining things to everyone, yet, pushes me towards a confrontation with my self.

It gives me answers that questions cannot question. Yet, it leaves behind a search that just does not end.

It tells me I can share my pain with the world, while reminding me that there are some burdens that need to be borne alone.

It has won me admiration, awe and applause. Even love. But it fails to explain the sense of loss, of emptiness, of inadequacy that has come to settle inside me.

Writing fills me with all I need, but it has taken away all I had...........

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Thank You, 2014!

Thank You, 2014 for:

1. Parents and a love that is unparallelled :)

2. Friends who know what is wrong with you the moment you pick up your phone to answer them.
 Friends who know something's wrong, even while you simply text them!
3. College, and the beautiful times that we spent this year! My friends would know there is as much happiness in crying together as in laughing together like a bunch of mad people :)

4. Lessons that I thought I was too wise to learn.

5. Blessings I thought I was too unfortunate to hope for.

6. A shift in my poetry.

7. The chance to write, and keep writing, and the honour of being good at it.

8. This blog.

9. A published story.

10. A good examination result :P 

And for all those people and things I earned this year and which cannot be put into words, lest I should insult them. And for all the awesome experiences, moments and memories <3

Let's see if 2015 takes up the challenge of being just as awesome!!! :)