Death by a million stabs 

 

In this age of technology, lost love is a death by a million stabs.

Be the passport size photograph tucked away in an old wallet away from the eyes of my spouse.

Be the password that only I type and find eight seconds of solace. Be the rotting love letters.

Be the gifts that are buried under my bed.Be the places I carefully avoid lest it stirs up memory of your cologne.

Be that memory that pops up and then fades away at the snap of my fingers.

Don’t be the newsfeed. Those checkins to places we had once sat and built our dreams in. Don’t be the Whatsapp image. The filtered reality on Instagram. 

Those tweets that are almost just as long as our conversations at the end of our relationship. Really short.

Don’t be the Facebook upload. A constant reminder that you’re living the life we were supposed to. Without me.

Don’t follow me with your life in filtered hues that almost make your life look good without me in it. 

Don’t follow me with your fake hashtags because one day even I JUST might believe that you are really happy. 

Don’t pop up on me. Literally. Every time I choose to forget. Or rather every time I try to forget.

Just as I convince myself that tomorrow is a new day, it feels like you just jumped at the back of my chair to remind me that you’re better off without me. 

For breakup always feels like death. But in this age of technology, a breakup is death by a million stabs.

To The Boy Who Is On His Way

To the boy who is on his way,

How are you? Actually, where are you?

The more you get stuck on your way, I am going to start believing this worlds  idea of love.

When I was six years old, I believed that you were coming on a horse. When I was twelve, you had nice hair and played the guitar. When I was twenty, you were really smart and charmed me with your intelligence.

Right now, I don’t really know how you look or who you are because I don’t care what the world wants me to expect of you. I just want to write our messy imperfect story.

Are you busy holding another girls hand and wondering if you will spend the rest of your life with her?

Break her heart and come find me. However, remember to break her heart gently because I may not believe in soul mates, but I do believe that good people still exist.

Or if you get your heart broken right before you find me, I promise to do my best.

They say it with brimming nostalgia that you can love only once while your heart is still full.

That is okay.

I will have places that remind me of things that could have been and you will have lines from every other song that reminds you of her.

When you come to me, I will not expect you to be like a fresh journal that I picked off a store. I will accept you as a book that already has a few chapters. I trust us to be imaginative enough to write the rest of our lives the way we want it to be.

Let us not be the couple that treats each day as a milestone with color coordinated clothes and a ten year plan. Let us love imperfectly because that is the only way you can truly love someone.

Never “complete” me.

That word makes it seem like an ending. I don’t fancy harmony as much as living every single day with a sense of bitter-sweet anxiety that most people do not appreciate.

“Challenge” me instead.

Read poetry to me and tell me which lines I should like the most. Tell me why our child should take cricket lessons when he/she could read a book that could change their life instead. Make me understand what makes your heart beat fast. 

We don’t have to “agree to disagree”.

We can disagree every single day with unmatched passion that seems to ask “How can the person I love the most not feel the same way about this?”

That is how we will grow and learn that we are like the mismatched patches of purple and yellow sewn together to make a beautiful patchwork blanket.

Let us not fill our house with just beautiful things. We will find space for an ugly clock, a broken chair and a quirky old couch that serves no purpose.

That way, we will know that even the most beautiful things are not perfect and that small spots of ugly do not change the fact that “Home is Home”.

A few years later when we discover something about each other that we really don’t like, we can look at that clock and smile a little.
I would say that I can’t wait to grow old with you, but honestly, I simply can’t wait to grow with you. I want you to strip me naked in ways more than one so that you can know me better than anyone else and then fall in love and hate with my bare soul.

I want you to slowly enter my world and then become the center of it, so much so that I remember my memories through your words. Be the candle that lights up my universe.

But, where are you?

Am I missing you in the list of suggested friends that Facebook throws up?

Are you hiding behind photographs that I casually flip through?

Are you crossing my life in insignificant moments that will go on to be the story of what changed my life?

Are you there at all?

To the boy who is on his way,

I know you are wondering why I haven’t found you yet.

I promise that when we find each other, the story of how we almost got lost would make all of this worthwhile.

 

[P.S – This post has been written for Write a love letter campaign by Chennai Bloggers Club www.chennaibloggersclub.in]

Quarter-Life-Crisis Much?

The first thing you should know before you start reading this is that “Quarter-Life Crisis”is very real.

And once you stop rolling your eyes and telling me that I will miss my “twenties”, the metabolism that comes with it and the fact that I don’t have to set alarms for changing diapers, sit down and I will tell you all about my Quarter Life Crisis.

We were supposed to graduate, find a great job, preferably get picked by the CEO to run the company or at least win a few awards or scholarships. Did I miss the overrated soul-mate cliché?

My bad.

When you graduate, you feel like a little snowflake in a dessert. The world needs you

Three weeks into your first job and you start to realize that 90% of the meetings that you would probably attend for about 80% of your life can go on smoothly even if you dropped dead right in the middle of the said meeting.

Your twenties is probably your first real exposure to this harsh world.

One minute you want to quit your job because you want to go out there and change the world. And fifteen seconds later reality hits you and you decide to be grateful because they serve free coffee at work. The perks of being in the corporate world.

 

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Your twenties is also the time when you understand that no technology is sophisticated enough until we can treat some people like software updates. They should come with a “Remind me later “or a “Never Remind me “option.

Not that real technology is very helpful when you are on social media all the time.

For instance, let’s take Facebook.

Is that your childhood friend with a display picture in Paris? Scroll down.

Mental note to self: Do not stalk your ex’s girlfriend. And even if you do, do not let these slippery touch phones trick you into liking a picture from forever ago. DO NOT. Scroll down.

He’s not even that funny but everyone seems to “ROFL” for his status.  Close Facebook.

You realize what they meant by “A picture is worth a thousand words” when you find #soulmate, #bliss, #blessed, and #travel on Instagram. It is when you realize that an empty fridge and your friends #bestchocolatecakeeverrrrr is not really helping, you just #shutyourphone and listen to music.

You don’t stop with just listening to music but also update what song you are currently listening to on Facebook only to find that not even 1/10th of the people who liked and ROFL at “not-so-funny guys” status want to know what is playing in your I-pod.

This world is unbelievable. *Grabs tissues* 

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Let’s talk about the real world for a change.

Twenties is the time when everyone wants to know “What do you really want to do?”

And here you are, a naïve child, asking the world “What do I want to do? Like now or next week?”

Some people go to the extent of modifying the question and ask you things like “Who are you?”or “What really motivates you?”

Really. I am just a girl with small dreams and a desire to look good without an Instagram filter 

The only time your social calendar is booked three weeks in advance is when you have to attend the wedding of a relative you haven’t met in forever and its funny that people want you to make five year plan. Forget it. You don’t even have a plan to survive the next five day week. 

You just snort at anyone who says the word “marriage” because we both know that keeping a goldfish alive feels like responsibility.

And marriage?  I can’t even figure out how to file my tax returns unless it comes with a colourful instruction manual (not too colourful because then it’s just going to distract me!)

 

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It is at this point that older people who care for you want to hug you and say “It is all going to be okay when you follow your passion”.

Seriously, who came up with that one anyway?

“What are you passionate about?”is something every twenty year old is asked at least once a week.

I want to sit these people down and ask them if there is any way I can make a living out of the Ballet.

Of course, the most exposure I have to Ballet is the Black Swan. But, nothing is impossible when you are young right?

That is probably the one statement that puts pressure on so many of us. The idea that nothing is impossible when and only when you are young and that the time to do everything is RIGHT NOW! 

I choose to differ.

I want to tell all the snowflakes reading this that some things are impossible. Not everyone is meant to go out there and change the world and live the perfect life. Not immediately anyway.

Also, nobody is as happy as they look on instagram. Don’t worry.

Stay Put. Breathe. And don’t listen to twenty year old’s who say they do Yoga. Nobody is that classy.

And it is okay if you mess up, think that you don’t measure up to the imperfect standards they set and feel like the only constant passion in your life is the sweet onion sauce on your sub.

It is okay.

And I want you to remember that it is okay because as much as quarter-life sucks and that’s just the way it is, I hear things are worse on the other side.

Good-luck as you graduate from your twenties! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Is Why One Should Travel: You Might Know, What Home Is

Travel.

Travel because cupcakes don’t taste the same everywhere. The taste of roasted pork or chicken with lemon grass. Peanut butter shakes that freeze in your palms and donuts that melt in your mouth.The fragrance of jasmine rice topped with a beautiful green curry. Sample the best dumplings in the world and still miss home a little bit.

Travel.

Travel because that is the one way you will learn a million things about this world only to unlearn it all the very next time you go to another place.
You will catch the resilient woman you never know existed within you when you lose yourself in a swarming market. Say hello to the vulnerable girl inside you when the slightest scent of something that smells like home brings a drop of tear to your eyes.

Travel.

Travel because that is one way you will meet people from all over the world. Be surprised at the way how one language can sound so different when spoken by different people and how one thought can be like the light that enters a prism and instead comes out as a rainbow of perceptions!

Travel.

Travel because beer tastes much better when sipped a few thousand miles away from your local watering hole. Talk to a girl from some other part of the world over a beer and a cigarette if you like and realize that despite never having met each other before, you both like fashion and Jane Austen. 

Travel.

Travel because that is the only way you will grasp how different we all are. Meet people from all over the world and give yourself a chance to smile over the same things. And if possible, give yourself a chance to cry over the same things because that is when you realize we are all essentially the same.

Travel.

Travel because when everyone you know at home tells you that the darkness is too much to bear, you can tell them that there is still sunshine left in the world.

Travel.

Whether it is holding a piece of paper so carefully in your bag because it is all that there is to validate your identity or falling in love with a boy you know you cannot have, travel makes you a little more human with a stroke of vulnerability.

 

Travel

Travel because you need to know that cupcakes don’t taste the same everywhere.

But when you do taste cupcakes in any corner of the world and let the sugar melt in your mouth just the way you would back at home, you would know that it really is just one small world after all.

Travel.

Because that is the only way you will realize that every place can be home if only you let it be.

 

This post was originally published at : http://www.womensweb.in/2015/12/one-travel-might-know-home/

And What The Vows Should Say.. !

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Till death do us part. Or, maybe not.

Wedding vows if you ask me, need not be about forevers.

Promise to make each other’s sandwich with extra mayonnaise and never be stingy when it comes to love or chocolate spread. Promise to know by-heart how many spoons of sugar they like to take with their coffee and never forget the little ketchup packet that comes with the fries.

Promise to keep the ugly photographs only in your phone and like every picture, every post, every tweet and every comment, just because. Promise not to stalk their exes and promise to let the past lay where it belongs. Promise to Wi-Fi proof your bedroom and never to let a smart phone creep inside your blanket when you are with them. Promise to live a little.

Promise to never let the world end with you two.  Let the beaches of Bali take your breath away, get lost in the markets of Hong Kong, get intimidated by the sky-scrapers in New York and gasp at the beauty of nature in places that you go to. Cuddle next to each other in the strangest of places and feel at home even when you are so far away from home. Promise to travel.

Promise to be their spell-check, alarm clock, tax planner, recipe tester, coach and whatever else they need you to be. Wake them up on those days when they really want to sleep, ask them to sleep when they are stretching too far, push them when they are slacking and sit next to them silently when they want to think aloud. Promise to keep each other’s dreams alive.

Promise to never tell them they look “ugly” in a dress. If at all they look ugly, promise that the dress would just mysteriously disappear from their wardrobe but they would never have to hear the word “ugly!” Promise to be the spring they need in autumn and promise to be their summer when it is snowing outside.

Promise to never flirt with anyone they know and promise that you will not stare at anyone else for too long when they are next to you. Promise to try and make them jealous but promise to never make them insecure. Never forget that you don’t “own” each other and never take offense when they want to be left alone for a while. Promise to be loyal but promise to let them breathe.

Promise to make love to them until the stars can melt in your palms and promise that it won’t always be this cheesy. Promise to never frown at each other’s fantasies and promise make-up sex after every bad fight. Promise handcuffs, candlelight, strawberries and like I already said, promise to never be stingy with the chocolate spread. Promise to never be a prude.

Promise to look out for them. Remember to pack an extra tooth-brush and save their favourite top even when they throw it away. Apologize when you are wrong and promise never to believe the things that they say when they are angry. Promise to always think for two.

Promise to be around in health and sickness and most importantly promise to never let them hear the words “I told you so!” Promise to love them when you want to hate them because that is when they need it the most.

Promise to remember that promises cannot always be kept and promise to love them anyway.

Promise to forgive.

And if you can promise them all this, no matter how long, they would have found a forever within you.

Heart-Broken

shhh1I remember a little framed quote that I always used to keep at my desk. It read “If your heart was really broken, you would die.”

It was a constant reminder to my no-nonsense cynical self that a heartbreak was not that painful. Heartbroken to me was nothing but a theatrical misconception that a stoned poet conjured.

How can someone “break” your heart? It had no physical connotation what-so-ever. At least, that is what I thought.

So, when do you realize that a heart-break is very real?

What does it take to realize that a “heart-break” actually has a very tangible physical connotation to it?

It takes waking up one morning, suddenly stripped off your denial and realizing that your life has changed a great deal.

It takes coming to terms with the fact that your house will smell of yesterday’s breakfast and that you are going to smell of freshly dried tears for a while.

It takes sleeping with frizzy hair and puffed eyes in your old clothes that were supposed to be in the washing machine, a week ago.

It takes a sink full of undone dishes, untouched homework and a heavy heart.

It takes waking up to the smell of Nutella and banana pancakes and grasping that you still don’t have an appetite.

What does it take to realize that a “heart-break” actually means that you are broken?

You slowly start to realize that you don’t make plans for “We”.

You realize that suddenly you have no one to tell the most unimportant details of your life to. You smile when someone says how being single feels great even though every time you think about the fact that you are single, it feels like someone just punched you in the gut.

It is normal to panic at the very sight of emptiness. When an important person leaves our life, it creates a void. We hate emptiness and we immediately fill that void with something, no matter how meaningless it might be.  

That is why he becomes a box of chocolates. He becomes a new hair-cut. He becomes a new job, a new city.  He becomes a gold fish you cannot take care of.  He becomes a new hobby or a garden.

He becomes a box of condoms in your rebound phase.

And slowly, he becomes everything that you try to thrust in to fill the void that he left behind.

What does it take to realize that a “heart-break” takes its own time to heal?

It takes days when you are smiling because it seems like there is finally a new beginning.  That feeling lasts only until memories of a seemingly sweeter yesterday pushes you back to the corner of your bed where you cannot even stand the thought of your own blanket touching you.

It takes days when you feel that life is downright unfair. It takes days when you plead with destiny to give you just another first time with the familiar. It takes sleepless nights and days when you just live to oversleep.

And then it takes those most important days. The worst days. The days when somewhere in between a busy meeting, an excel file, a meaningful book, a funny movie or just before you drink a sip of water on a random afternoon, you wonder.

You wonder, however did I let something so perfect be ruined?

And it is on those days that you realize that a heart-break is very real after all.  

Swept off my feet

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A random Monday afternoon. 

When I was busy making other plans. When I was busy telling myself that the timing was so wrong. When I was engrossed in a book. When I wasn’t looking for someone. When I already had someone. When I knew it was so wrong. When I didn’t have the strength to get hurt by someone. When I didn’t want to take the chance to hurt someone.

When I stood firmly, being the cynic that I am, he walked in.

He walked in like the last piece to a puzzle that I vowed to never solve again.

I could say “a gasp of fresh air” but that would be the worst understated cliche ever.

Is there a term to describe someone who walks into your life and suddenly makes you feel like they are the secret ingredient to your favourite recipe?

Is there a term to describe someone who makes you pause your favourite television series?

Is there a term to describe someone who leaves a writer desperately searching for all the words she has learnt and conceived?

Romantics would say that the word I am looking for is “soul-mate” and sceptics would say that the word I am looking for is “dangerous”.

I don’t know what this is because I am still lost in the fleeting brightness that darkness has left at my door.  

When they said “fall in love”, I believed it would be like tripping on a staircase and waiting for someone to catch me.

Is there a term to describe someone who makes you understand that the “fall” in love is as dicey as the free-fall ride they have in an amusement park but it is “love”, only because you take a stupid blind leap of faith?

There is.

But while you are thinking too hard about this word, odds are, they are going to sweep you right off your feet!   

A Sincere Apology if you think that Leggings are an abuse of Indian culture..

I am a twenty something strong woman who is financially independent and well-qualified. I am also fair skinned and I never imagined that a time would come for fair skinned women in our society to apologize for something, but the day is here.

My parents always told me that being a “Good girl” meant getting good grades and achieving my ambitions. They clearly misguided me.

What is the point in chasing my dreams when my wardrobe is filled with leggings of different colors? That too white leggings and body colored leggings.

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How could I forget that it is a gross violation of Indian culture to wear body hugging clothes? Didn’t Krishna tell Arjuna on the battlefield that the most important lesson he had to learn was to police the women in his house and make sure they never wore leggings? I believe Bhagavad Gita has also linked the end of the world to women wearing leggings.

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While we talk about Indian culture, along with my leggings, let’s also burn every copy of Kamasutra and demolish all the beautiful naked sculptures that adorn our temples

We complain about rapes, but really, what else other than our clothes can provoke men?

It doesn’t matter that two year old babies are raped and eighty year old women are raped. It all has to do something with the clothes we wear.

We have state owned alcohol shops that are a step away from temples and scarcely clad women summoned by politicians to dance on the roads in order to inaugurate every important state-led function (I still fail to see the connection!).

However, it is my leggings that abolishes our Indian culture.

If journalism has stooped so low that they have to police my wardrobe to find content, I cannot mention how proud I am of the society that we live in.

In our society, it is okay that women’s breasts and curves are used to sell everything from a shampoo to a sports bike. It is when a girl’s dress is lifted up because of the wind, she becomes the ultimate epitome of obscenity.

At the risk of having culturally rich content on my blog, I am sharing a picture of an article that Kumudham had posted. For those of you who cannot read the title, it loosely translates to “The Kiss given by Kamal” although the reporters perverse creative power is lost in translation.

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We all can clearly see how decent this magazine is and going by the title of this article they have posted, they are absolutely over-qualified to be talking about culture.

On a completely serious note, I am appalled and disgusted at how journalists can stoop so low to sell just a few more copies. I urge you all to share this and protest against journalists who think that they can objectify anything and anyone just for the sake of money.

We demand an apology from the magazine, but more than that we should stop buying this magazine. What belongs to trash has no place on a bookshelf. 

We are not trying to create free publicity for them, rather we are trying to ensure that such exploitation against women does not go unnoticed and ignored!

And once again, I want to convey my sincere apologies. I apologize to anyone who thinks that leggings are an abuse of Indian culture and that this is the fault of women. I apologize for your lack of common sense and complete ignorance. 

The Honeymoon Phase

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He can’t possibly break my heart. Staring at uninterrupted nothings and smiling, just because.

Sweet-nothings, pounding anticipation and impulsive blushes. Waking up to a text from you and sleeping to the sound of your voice. Racing heartbeats and occasional hand-holding. I am going to pretend that I like superhero movies.

I love being around you, the way your fresh scent reminds me of something so strikingly familiar.

I love the way you kiss me, I love the way I think it will be when you kiss me and I love your dimples. I would change nothing about you.   

I am going to laugh at all your silly jokes. I like your friends. I am totally fine if you want to hang out with your friends today. It is okay that you have not heard of Ayn Rand.

I love the tea you make. It doesn’t matter that I like it with milk and extra sugar. It is cute when you get angry. It is adorable how indecisive you are. You can pick the movie.

It’s almost been an hour since we spoke. Something must be wrong.Is that too clingy? Or, should I care more?

Thai-food over my usually greasy and comfortable burger and fries? I love trying new things. I want to keep talking to you for the rest of the night. You hang up. No, you hang up.

Stolen glances thrown your way and my weeks planned around our dates.I am going to stay up until you text me. And then, I am going to stay up as long as you text me.

I feel so awake, I barely slept last night.  I can’t stop talking to you. And then, I can’t stop talking about you.

I don’t know how long your love is going to make me spin like a little girl on a tea-cup ride.

But, until then, I am staring at uninterrupted nothings and smiling, just because.

Just because, it is the Honeymoon Phase!

Madras Musings

Vanakkam.

To all of you who has ever asked me, “What does Chennai have”?

I don’t know about you, but to me and to all of us who call this city home, Madras has a whole lot of things.It is home, after all.

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Madras was the first man I fell in love with. The gusty waves, the dark ocean, the cold winds, the burning sun, the once-in a while cold showers, all accommodating of my erratic mood swings, just like the man of my dreams would.

Madras is the lady that I want to be. The kind of woman who can let her hair down and dance the night away but also loves her tightly braided jasmine clad hair as much.

The smell of curry leaves from the inside of a kitchen, boys playing street-cricket, the way the outside of a tumbler that has Amma’s filter coffee feels, the music that comes on-screen every time a Thalaivar movie is played,  the coarse touch of kola-maavu (rangoli powder) in-between my fingers, the overpowering smell of jasmine that suffocates me and at the same time comforts me, because I know I am home.

The only “sun-burn” you will get in Chennai is probably from the heat here, but you have got to be kidding if you think that we are willing to trade the old-school magic for anything else. The day Starbucks claims to make the best coffee in Chennai, it will be apocalypse for us.

We are still all about masala vadai served with whiskey, filter coffees as hangover cures and parties are “okay-okay da” but “First-day-First-show” is more our thing.

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Super-star movies or for that matter any good movie is not just a celebration here. Every time I use the internet to book a movie ticket, I am nostalgic of the times that Appa stood in those long queues in theaters so that we could watch Superstars movie on the first day. Cinema to this city, is a way of life. 

Why doesn’t anyone here speak Hindi?

Let us not get into the “Is Hindi is our national or official language debate”, but really, how many of us know another Indian language that is not our mother tongue? And that too, a language with another script altogether? Not that I am against learning a language that is widely spoken, but as political history would have it, for now, our city is all for Hindi only little maalum.

Yes, we love rice. We like it with sambar, we make ridownload (1)ce-cakes and we add rice to milk and have it as dessert.

Molaga-Bhaji, beach manga, tiny little idlies topped with sambar, crispy dosa’s that leave your hands smelling a little bit like ghee, thayir sadam garnished with curry leaves, pongal that sometimes helps me recollect every festive morning at home and filter coffee brewed to perfection.

Roti here is purely for weight-loss purpose. Really. Life is hard, and some times, so are the Roti’s in Chennai? But, so what?

We may have adapted to change and incorporated the best of both worlds in everything. The Mehendi’s, Sangeets, the Bollywood dancing and the celebrations.But, to me, the most important mark of festivity that I remember is the “Marudhani” (mehendi!) design that was done on our hands and feet when we were children.

And Madras to me in a lot of ways is the “Alta” clad feet and bangle adorned hands of a bharatnatyam dancer.

At the Dance Jathre 2009, held in the freedom park, Bangalore.

I recognize the things that my city does not have.

The nightlife, the beers, the language, the dancing, the movies you want to watch, and the rock-concerts you want to go to and so on.

But it does have one thing that I am sure you would respect.

Madras has my memories sealed in a bottle. It has the taste of my childhood, the fragrance of puberty and a touch of adulthood, all together in a bottle called home, just like your home-town would.