Power Cut!

The other day after a major gap, we had a legit power failure. It brought back so many memories from my childhood.
Back in the day, there used to be scheduled power shutdown for half an hour or so. I used to long for that because we could spend time as a family. We used to sit together in the steps leading to the house, cold in the air and smell of flowers from the nearby tree. And, how we used to play the guessing game where my mom will hum a song and we have to find which one. I was terrible at humming.
The silence, but for this sound from the gas lamp we had, and the candle flame that I will try to touch in a heroic way. And, making shadow animals when elders are not around as they never encouraged those; some cultural reason they cited which I don’t remember anymore.

The word “load shedding” that was part of my vocabulary, long back before my degree in electrical engineering (not that I know any better). So many things from the past flashed before my eyes.
So, while I thought we could have a nice power cut time, my 2 year old was worried about the shadows, and noises from the apartment on top of ours. We called a call center to ask what is wrong, then spent sometime agonising on whether the operator was right about when the power will be back, which did eventually and life went back to the grind.
The sad thing about nostalgia is that however great it was, it’s hard for others to get it.
May be he will one day have a story about when the Wifi went out or something.
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Second Chances

I am envious of people who have these friendship gangs that they belong to, you know this supportive group that they can always fall back on and have fun with. I never had one.

Well, to be honest, I almost thought I had it one or two times, only to realise it was not so. I have invested in so many relationships which did not get anywhere. Sometimes it does hurt when people who we pour our heart to, does not tell us things. We just figure out randomly, and cannot help but wonder why did they not share it with us. Worse is when we want to share something, but there is no response. May be we are not important enough and we just let go. And, that’s what I did too, so much so that there was a radio silence for a while. Noone to call or text or share something with.
Then, one day I got a message that one of my classmates passed away. She was young, just married, had so much to look forward to in life. But, that was not meant to be. In college, for two years we had spent a lot of time together. But, afterwards, we just grew apart, for no particular reason. Just that we did not find a reason to reach out and connect with each other. So, more shocking than her death was that for about 5 years we never spoke a word to each other, making me wonder if I can even mourn her as a friend.
A good thing that happened in the aftermath was that another good friend of mine reached out to me after a hiatus. So, we used to speak a lot and suddenly there was no word from her. I felt dejected and let go thinking there must be something wrong. But, I never asked. Anyway she told me she was caring for her sick father and coping with his loss. I felt really bad that in her time of crisis, I chose to focus on my petty issues than probably be there for her.

So, I realised someone else could be doing the same to me just as I was unknowingly. If you are a friend or family of mine reading this, or is someone having a similar issue, please don’t hesitate to reach out. There is nothing that cannot be fixed.

Give more second chances. Let go of things. Move on.

Because you don’t want to regret it later and it’s never too late to turn things around.

She-shh!!!

She told me about the trauma she endured as a young bride and how far she has come.

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She told me how she felt beautiful and confident.

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She told me about how she wanted to go study for this course, now that her kids are big.

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She told me about her caring husband who surprises her.

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She told me how she is trying to win her marriage back.

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She told me how she has finally got approval from her family to marry her long-time boyfriend.

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She told me the family secrets and makes me swear that I not share with anyone.

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She did not tell me that something was wrong. But I made out from her silence.

***

I know a lot of women from different walks of life. Some are very close to me, some I have known for years, but just opened up; some are practically strangers and some I recently met.

I don’t know why they tell me the things they did. But, I believe they just wanted to talk.

I see a bit of me in them definitely. But most importantly, do they see a bit of themselves in me?

***

Introvert’s Day Out

She went to the town square and the crowd made their way to wherever they were headed on both sides. It brought her memories of that documentary she had seen where ants broke away from their line when it faced an obstacle, only to carry on to its destination a few minutes later.

She saw someone who wanted all the attention and almost annoyed the others, but they put up with her because it was the norm. Besides she had the clout that forced others to put up with her antics.

Then, there was this guy who was too aloof, as if he was forced to make conversations. People were intrigued by him, but he seemed to be either humble about his achievements or he found others too lowly to engage with. She was not sure which one was it really; may be it added to the mystery about him.

There was a silent guy with a forlorn look, gazing at the happy couple. There were young couples looking at old ones and wondering how they can still pull it together. And, there were old couples who were too stuck up in their routines to care about anything different.

Also there were several who were there because it was important for the person who they came with. They sat there with a forbearance that was often not subtle not to be noticed.

And there were couple of them who came alone because they could not force someone to accompany them. Well, they so badly wanted to be here, that is why they came here alone. But, now that they were here, they seemed lost alone and yearning for the other.

There were people who did not turn up, but was still talked about. And, people who walked about as if the entire burden of universe rested on their shoulders, while some others laughed without a care in the world.

There were busy bees and social butterflies buzzing from one person to another. There were spiders with their webs in a corner, waiting for the fly to walk in. There were oysters cozy in their shells.

And, then she was there too. She could not decide whether she should stay or leave. She could see a little of her in everyone, but still not find something common with any of them.

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That urge to feel included and left alone at the same time was hard to beat and she felt alone in midst of a crowd.

And, later that night in comfort of her room, tucked into the bed and re-living the moments of the day, she felt a strong sense of companionship.

Words stuck in throat

There are so many things to say, but cannot be sure it is what you want to hear.

And, because too many people are saying things you like to hear, it does not mean it is always true.

Say the right things? Is right- what is truly right for the other or just politically correct or diplomacy!

If we burn bridges or dislodge a brick or two, every time we speak something, then is it not better to walk away?

To brood, to stare beyond, when words surface from heart and even from belly; but get stuck in throat!

To swallow hard with saltiness of tears, while eyes remain dry, as not many lend ears.

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P.S

Too much white noise everywhere; but not sure anyone is being heard, and sometimes not sure if we are talking what we want to or what would sound right? And, are we listening or just hearing and sometimes not even latter??

You know what, forget it!!

Goodbye Serendipity

There was a time I would walk into a store and casually look at things, and buy something that I swear I would never have thought of buying in the first place.

And, I would listen to music that is not my cup of tea, because I stumbled upon it, and end up actually liking it.

I would go to a book store looking for something, then forget why I was there in the first place and explore the cover of books from different genres.

Now, it is so hard to break out and do something random even if I want to. I will tell you why.

YouTube has got my mix of songs. Even if I choose a song that is different from my usual style by taking some effort, it reverts to my usual list of songs.

If I ever look at something to buy in Amazon or any e-commerce site, the ads keep popping up everywhere I turn. Stop following me Google and Facebook!

Worse is the suggestions; people who bought this, also looked at these two things. And, I am like okay, go on, typecast us. Then, Facebook and LinkedIn think that I should connect to some people because we share similar interests.

And, if I accidentally I have my location on; Google says I have to click some pictures as apparently it is a popular place to do so and tag ourselves in.

The other day, I had a mini heart attack. I saw a private photo of mine in Facebook that they took the liberty of posting themselves, and I was hyperventilating for two minutes, because I did not see the disclaimer that only I can see this.

I miss doing something because I want to, and not because I need to. I want surprises, not suggestions.

I want to discover something new, not because it is trending.

I miss serendipitous encounters.

Apparently, someone said “Life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences, but rather it is a tapestry of acts that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan”

But right now, I feel life has become painful stalking from all sides

Reminiscing the past

Recently, I went to this resort for a friend’s wedding. I had gone there several times before when I was a little kid, with my parents and brother. I remember sitting in the balcony overlooking the river and having hot cutlets with ketchup. And, several years later when I stepped into the same place, it never felt the same; not the place, not the river, not the taste, or the excitement.

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Why does somethings feel so much better in our memory? And, however much we try to recreate it; it is never ever the same.

There are people that I think of with such fondness, the warmth of them in my thoughts is no longer there today.

There are places that create totally opposite and often conflicting feelings now than before.

But worst of all, when I look back, there is a different me that I see. And, I am not sure if that person is better than what I am now- but we sure are different.

I try to reach out to her, but she seems to walk away from me.

***

The other day my husband (may be out of his own nostalgia) bought this soap (Chandrika- a South Indian Brand), and he seemed very excited. I also could not contain my excitement (yes, I find happiness in little things). I remember that back in Palakkad, I used to walk into the bathroom that smells heavenly of this soap after coming home from school or playing. The smell of rain, wet soil and soap!

It was raining that day as well. I tried to teleport myself to those times. But it was never the same.

And, from a distance, a song seeped into my head from depths of my soul.

The poignant lines by eminent Malayalam poet O.N.V Kurup

ഓർമമകൾക്ക് എന്ത്  സുഗന്ധം, എൻ ആത്മാവിൻ നഷ്ട സുഗന്ധം

“Ormakalkkenthu Sugandham, En Aathmaavin Nashta Sugandham”, loosely translated (failing miserably ) as “The fragrance of memories, the lost fragrance of my soul”

And, I have the song stuck in my head ever since.

P.S

For those of you who want to listen to the song, here is the link . Forget the video and language, may be you will be able to relate to the feel. May be you will not. And, that is precisely my point!