Imaginary Friend 2.0

You are the character from the book that I felt one with,

To live a thousand different lives in one birth

You are the quotes from great men, celebrities and obscure strangers,

Nevertheless I felt it was one-on-one discussions with me

You are the words that I read in between the lines in that poem,

But could not forget for a day and half

You are the talk shows that I listen to,

For inspiration has to be experienced and not a cacophony

You are the random pics I see on those apps,

And it fills the empty spaces between non-existent conversations

You are the stories I scrolled down at the swipe of a finger,

Only to let it linger at the back of my head for hours

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You are that imaginary friend from my childhood that never left me,

Or on second thoughts, the one that I did not let go

For you don’t have to be alone to feel lonely

 

 

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Shell on the Shore

Friendship and people was never my thing

Not that I did not like to have either in my life

I just did not understand how to make friends

“Awkward” will be an understatement to describe me

 

Then, I met someone who had so many friends

“Effortless” is how I describe him

He said, you don’t make friends

You be a friend- be mine first

My first friend he became, but I was not his last

I stood at its mouth of his expanding friend circle, waiting to be absorbed in

I was rejected, like a shell that is returned to the shore by a wave

The same wave that swept it in at the first place

 

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I let go of it all- Such a pain to try

Then, friends happened on its own or so I thought

I bragged that I also have friends and He said ‘I told you so’

For once I was there for someone, without seeking returns

 

But, soon I felt I was just a cog in the wheel

People text me and I know they need help

One day I do not reach out and no one misses me

Random texts, forwards and mindless conversations- but no one missed me?

 

I withdrew further into my shell, told him- only you can do it

Wept my weekend away- talked to myself

Reassured that, I am there for myself

It may not be a lonely end, hopefully

 

I walk into the room- relieved to see my cactus plant

I have you at least I tell it

A second glance and I see it is dying too

What was wrong? Too much water or too less sun

I will never know and does that matter,

Now that I have really lost the hope forever

Broken Promises

There is a lot of hype about heart break. But, it is often wrongly portrayed as this one instance when the whole thing crumples down- an apocalypse of sort, for some relationships mean the world to you (at least at that particular point of time).

It is not. It is when small cracks appear, and it starts bleeding, and you patch things up to keep going despite all the pain. And, one day it becomes too hard to take anymore and it just stops ticking for things you believe in. That’s real heart break!

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Heart broke a little every time when;

I was told I can grow up to be anything, but realised all everyone wanted from me was fit into their mind frame

The pinkie swear with this girl in ponytail to be best friends forever did not stand the test of time

The assurance of “Always and Forever” wilted a few years after the first flowers were exchanged

Farewell mails vowing to stay in touch are as hollow as it sounds

And many other countless times..

It breaks a little more now, when I look into your tiny eyes and keep saying I will always be there for you, knowing exactly that I won’t be around forever

A pile of broken promises and spoken words that weighs heavily sits now where the heart used to

 

Guest Blog #1: Tomorrow!

This blog is part of my guest blog series where I let fellow writers contribute to the blog- if and only if it is in-line with spirit of my blog

I want to see Paris again, walking down the Siene hand in hand with a lover.

I want to swim in Flic beach, watch the sea stretch to infinity, and feel overwhelmed by the beauty that lies in my insignificance.

I want to eat another burger at Jeanno’s and wash it down with a cold beer. I want to drink 21 year old Bushmills and read Hemingway in the middle of nowhere.

Cobbled alley, downtown ParisI want to make love to a woman who truly loves me, in the middle of the afternoon on a Wednesday and hold her close as we watch the sunset.

I want to feel the adrenaline course through my body as I fly 40,000 feet in the air to visit new lands, walking in the footsteps of kings and emperors that came before.

Most of all, I want to sleep, like I used to when I was a boy

Unencumbered by the burden of knowledge and the fear of tomorrow.

***

P.S

Shruthi says: Being a Cancerian, I am very territorial about my space, and it applies to my blog too. But, here I am letting another Cancerian, Tanvir guest blog. What interests me about Tanvir as a person is:  how he has a strong view about anything and everything. What interests me about Tanvir as a writer is: how he effortlessly pulls us into his monologue and keeps us wanting for more, even when at times we have no clue what he is talking about.

Tanvir’s inner monologue:

I am a mindless drone in the corporate machine. I am proud of my fancy masters degree and ascerbic wit. I spend my days looking for love, imported kit kat and bushmills whiskey, not necessarily in that order. I write mainly to sooth my soul, and impress women.

 

 

 

 

Secret Wish List of Moms

Motherhood is hands down a wonderful and very satisfying experience. But all is not always hunky dory, as often perceived or sometimes portrayed. As a mom there are things I go through and I feel, is it just me? Then, it moved on to what if there are other moms out there who are going through similar things, but are feeling alone or sometimes a bit lost.

And, ta da! I kicked off “Secret wish list of moms”. For once I didn’t have to do anything but ask around young moms and mom-to-be’s to send in their feelings. Let’s take a look at what moms (includes me) have to say!

Motherhood is hands down a wonderful and very satisfying experience. But all is not always hunky dory, as often perceived or sometimes portrayed. As a mom there are things I go through and I feel, is it just me? Then, it moved on to what if there are other moms out there who are going through similar things, but are feeling alone or sometimes a bit lost.

And, ta da! I kicked off “Secret wish list of moms”. For once I didn’t have to do anything but ask around young moms and mom-to-be’s to send in their feelings. Let’s take a look at what moms (includes me) have to say!

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Perfect mom of her son says “I left my career for a short while to take care of him because I am reluctant to give my son to others’ hand (it is a kind of fear and depression that I don’t want to share him). I like to think that I can leave him somewhere when he gets a bit bigger and with this hope I keep up job searching (not vigorously). Some will think I am not ambitious but that is not the truth. I am just believing my instinct and setting out my own priorities. As my son is 2.5 now, I feel this is the right time to step out, but I am not sure whether opportunity will knock my door too. My secret wish is to live back the life of ‘no responsibility’- just what we enjoy at my own home: nice food, good sleep and no tension. But I know that those days are gone, now I am a mom, wife, career woman etc.

***

Working mom who wishes to spend more time with kid says “I want to spend more time with my kid, but sometimes I shout and beat my kid when she does some naughty things, especially when I am really stressed at work. I keep thinking that I should not turn my tensions into anger towards all, but sometimes I cannot help it. I secretly wish to take some time off and go to some really cool places with my husband and baby.

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An anxious mom-to-be says “I never thought the red line in the kit that marked the confirmation that I will be mom will bring so much of self-realization and individuality in me. I thought I will be taking this pregnancy along with my husband as a couple together. But things turned otherwise that I was left alone. Of course, I have my parents but no daughter can celebrate the ownership of her parents post marriage, worst case is if you have chosen your own partner. I was staying with my parents after 12 odd years and things were no longer like it was before marriage. Maybe they didn’t realize that I am all alone with no support either from husband or anybody from his family. Then, I voluntarily went to my husband’s place but I was soon sent back again to my parents place citing ill health. There started this journey of self-realization. Four months of introspection and interaction with like-minded friends boosted my confidence and strengthened my valor. Initially I was trying to pull my partner to get him to understand what I am going through. Unfortunately that resulted in pain and fatal arguments between both of us. I felt he was busy concentrating on his own career and his acquaintances. It became worse when we stopped talking for quite some time which has never happened in the 4 years we were together. I was slowly able to overcome all of it and I stopped seeking his attention and time. It was around this time that I was diagnosed with severe anemia and depression. I realized the seriousness of where I need to be. I took some time off, read lot of books, spoke to lot of people, rejuvenated my lost acquaintances and started to surround me with positive people. I slowly built the lost confidence. I have now reached the stage that nothing can demean me and my baby. Even if I am the last human being left on earth I will take care of baby and I will be the best mother to her. I wish and feel pregnancy as a journey should be traveled by both the partners. If it is a single lane it will turn difficult for both of them as they are laying roads in opposite directions. However situations, customs and culture differ and some of the women are left alone at least during their first pregnancy which can be avoided with slightest effort from both the partners. My wish to other moms is to stay fit and to stay strong.

***

A nearly perfect mommy says “I am always worried: that my daughter could be still hungry? How frequently should I change her diaper? Is she meeting her growth milestones perfectly? How can I keep her engaged all day?

I keep worrying almost for everything, while secretly wishing for the day I can start having my road side panipuri (Indian savory snack)!!

***

Full time mom with a full time job says “I guess you are wondering how is that possible being a working mom; but let me tell you that I am a 100% present mom when I am with my son. I get judged a lot because my son goes to a crèche from 10 to 5. It is as though I am a lesser mom and at first it used to bog me down a lot. Trust me, that it is not the easiest thing to give your kid to someone else. There were days I used to wake up and think I wish I don’t have to work or earn a living; but I know it is not for money that I work, but because I truly love to have a career. And, that does not make me a selfish person. Right now we are in a good place and my son adores me, we spend all non-working hours together and I feel this way I am more appreciative of every second that I spent with him. I know for sure that he will find a role model in me and I will have more experiences to share with him as we grow up together. I secretly wish sometimes to have some time to myself- read a book, binge watch shows, paint my toes, go to spa or have some time with my husband. Yes, we do spend a lot of time together as family, but I secretly miss his companionship and wish there is something we can do about it. I also wish that people randomly don’t keep advising and scaring me, but encourage me for the positive things that I do, as some reassurance and validation is what I badly need now.

***

Happy mom with twin interests says “Working out-of-home, I am glad I can spend as much time I want with my two kids, but I miss the ‘me time’ so much. I have once fantasized going on a break for a weekend or so with a best pal or a long lost crush, to spice it up a bit, so that I am away from the monotony.  Preferably a beach, as it relaxes me.  And I come back rejuvenated. Yes! I do secretly wish that my husband notices me romantically. I stocked up a pile of sexy lingerie, but then I realized lingerie doesn’t matter at all 🙂 you know what I mean?

***

New mom of a 2 month girl says “I quit my job to take care of my baby as all that I keep thinking wherever I go is about her. I am not comfortable leaving her with anyone, even my partner. I am always anxious if I am feeding her well or is she growing as per what is mentioned in the baby books and online media. Though, quitting the job was my decision, I am always worried if I will get a good one or if I will be underpaid or if my ex-colleagues and friends will go far ahead of me in this so-called corporate race. All those who suggested that I quit my work, now keep on nagging why I quit and that I shall regret this in future and blah. I feel like staying away from everyone and their stupid suggestions. When I see myself in the mirror, I see that change, a big one indeed. I don’t receive any compliments anymore, no one admires me and I am worried that spending so much time with baby will create a distance between me and my husband. Though he was very supportive all this while, he cannot do much when it comes to the baby. I get anxious and I keep thinking if he was ready to welcome our baby. I know he was, but still these thoughts haunt me. I secretly wish about holidaying with my husband and that is something I have been longing since I was pregnant. Sometimes, I want to do seemingly mundane things like gulping down a glass of beer or wine, or pampering myself at the parlor. But, the most important thing is getting back to office as it keeps me active throughout the day. I am a very happy mom and I feel proud that I created an individual, but somewhere I am worried if I will lose my individuality raising her.

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A complete woman says – Days and months have paved way to where I am now – an year into my new job after maternity break, going back home to my naughty 2 year old daughter, husband and wonderful in-laws. Beating the blues of the first few months: is she sleeping enough, is she fed enough yada yada; I successfully navigated to the next stage where I could sit back without worries and wholeheartedly enjoy being a mother to my beautiful little daughter who was few months short of year then. A group on a social networking website guided me through the abundant sources of information on the internet and more importantly, made me feel that if it is a difficult day, week or month as a mother – “This too shall pass!”. Sometimes that phrase, as much as it helped me deal with the issue on hand, made me sad too – my lil one will grow up soon.
All through these 2 years (and 9 months), I’ve been wishing that I could walk into my home back in my place, sleep till I want to, eat the food that I ate as a child, enjoy a relaxing spa while my crush texts me with a flirty message, after which I walk into a cafe to meet him – no kiss, no intimacy and definitely no strings attached, enjoy the raw romance and get back to my home – sleep. Wake up to a Monday morning – all refreshed and ready to head back to work – with good health and a sound mind. All through these 6 years, I’ve been wishing that I could go back in time to MY days.
As much as I love my daughter, I have realized and made peace with the fact that I hate my life!
And, by the way, I am a complete woman because I feel so, not indicating only motherhood and career completes a woman. I feel complete because I have all the aspects of my life that I wanted and need.
***

These are women from different walks of life, but I feel they all share one thing in common- strength of their character- the courage and resolve in doing what they ought to do, despite being judged or facing loneliness (not alone) or putting their dreams on the back burner.

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And, at the risk of sounding preachy, I also need to share a snippet. I was telling a guy-friend of mine (who had a baby around same time as me) that I wanted his wife’s inputs for this blog. He disappointed me by telling why I would want his wife to make a list of his shortcomings. I felt he like many men (/people) out there totally miss the point. Whenever a woman seeks help she is either a nag or is pointing fingers at a guy. Most often, we are asking you to be there for us while we figure it out ourselves. To be fair, it probably could be because the way a woman reaches out makes it look like we are complaining all the time. But, sometimes a little support can go a long way. And, as partners we need to do it together and not both of us, separately- that is just not the same.

Finally, a big shout-out to all the moms who put their feelings into words for me (you know who you are ;). Sometimes just putting it out there will help release some steam and get you going. All I have to say is you are not alone! You go girl!

Lastly, when I started this project I was thinking that I am going to help some moms out there. But, now I realize it is the other way round. This whole experience was very humbling and it has helped me in ways I never imagined. I am convinced without an iota of doubt that I need to keep doing things that I believe in, even if that ruffles few feathers and rattles some cages.

P.S

If you are/know a mom and like to share your story, please feel to post it in the comment box below. No pressure!

Staring at blank spaces

Well, it is this feeling of what the heck am I doing right now, right here!

It is when you (supposedly) have everything in your life, mostly everything seems to be going your way, but you hardly feel passionate about anything. I particularly feel this when I am at crossroads with someone over something and do not even put the effort to talk it through-but instead feel the urge to walk away. I find it easy to go into a shell and stay in the comfort zone of not confronting or defending something that I believe in. I feel this when someone is looking at things only from their angle, but I feel it is too tiring to explain my point of view and I shrug my shoulders, say something non-committal and go on. It deeply hurts me, my heart bleeds, but I just let it be.

It is when voices thump in my head, but I do not tell anything, because I know I won’t be heard or even may be blamed.

It is when I have an idea and I do not share it, because I know it will be shot down.

It is when I scroll down these social media rants and happen to see the status update column, and ignore it as I really don’t want to put up what I think.

It is when I want to shake someone’s shoulders and say, look at me,  I am right here! But, I turn away and hope that I will be sought after.

It is when someone looks at me like I am a mistake, like I am something that should have been undone.

But it is also as much about you as much it is about me.

It is also when I see people stuck with wrong people, wrong job, and wrong places and doing nothing about it.

It is also when I see the look of resignation in people’s eyes, when they are past struggling, fighting and cribbing, and give up.

It is also when I see people throw in their towel too early in the game.

It is also when I see people fall on one’s own sword.

We are all looking at blank spaces.

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And, I do not know how to fill it with things that matter. I do not know how to let go of the emotional burden that I carry on my shoulders.

I can only hope I and you have the courage to.

Letter to the guy from past!

I have always loved this place for so many reasons, but it also brought us together. The last few times I was here, somethings felt different. It is bitter-sweet to say the very least.

This silly heart pulls a trick on my overworked brain into believing that memories we made here are delusions. Like, it almost never happened; that I made it all up. But, it was all very real. We had walked on these very roads-carefree, happy and most importantly hopeful. There is not a curve, turn or a tree here that has not shared a moment with us.

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The light headed feeling of a hopeless romantic, how I miss that! It is not too often now, but I see it in you once in a while. When you throw your head back and laugh when I do something stupid, and your eyes become tiny slits, when you pull my leg. I see it once in a while, like the specks of grey hair that has started to appear on your head.

And, this place just makes it all come alive, all at once. I walk around the corner, look at the old books, and gifts, and I see you from the past. I feel like the girl from ten years ago.

And, when you come over this time, I don’t want to make memories. But, live it all one more time.