Wednesday, October 15, 2014

As We Survive

Some days just come together,

Known patterns, small idiosyncrasies,

Like members of same family,

Almost twins.

Other days are visitors,

Often from another planet.

Some days sit peacefully

Separate, as spices.

But will make something 

Richly flavored and complete.

Other days are known, 

Expected, even tolerated,

Like noisy, smelly stations of a 

Long distance destination,

On one's yearly visit home.

With Some days

You make friends, only after a decade,

Once cleaned of daily struggle, 

Sharp edges blunt,

Colored in soft, pastel


Some days,

Well, you can't speak of them 

Without lowering your voice.

They are not your share,

But someone's curse, others' blessings.

You have waited for them

Without knowing, while you were 

Busy with all other days.

They ask, they demand,

But in your answer, if you take 

All of you, without hiding,

Or saving some for later

The totality of your being will 

Be defined, transformed,

Touched with a second life,

Deeper, more alive.

(-J, 15/10/14, 8.47am)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

When I Die...

When I leave,
May I not have
Outlived my purpose,
Or get too late to die.

A little early is actually
Fine. If nothing major
Is left mid-way,
A bit of tying up
Can take care of itself.

May I not go
Miserably famished
Or wounded.
But have come to terms
With what life gave,
And what I returned

May there are some
Kind thoughts, fond memories.
And rest is forgotten.

May I leave
As one does a good party
To go back to one's home.
Warm and Welcoming -
In any season,
On any day!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Is it all so pointless ???

My high school classmates have been interacting over a whatsapp group, which I avoided joining initially... till I got nostalgic due to a IIIrd std group snap. As a group we looked cutely awkward, and I got tempted to join everybody.

Interestingly, these are a bunch of adults, with spouses and children, (and bosses too), busy chatting in the group almost 24X7, or as they say 24X6 (because sunday is the day when most of them are supposed to be in the service of their spouses). Like usual Indian high/ higher secondary classes (and friendships), these connections are generally non-complicated types. (There were only few romantic pairs, and break-ups were especially hard on boys ... but thats another story). 
All of it is present here… affectionate chiding, friendly bickering, keeping a track of each other's lives and locations, discussions (at times heated) over current affairs (usually political) and flirting (amidst rising concerns & eyebrows) !
But within 2 days of being in this group, reading hundreds of messages exchanged per day, and contributing a few myself, I'm getting a nagging feeling about the epidemic scale of meaninglessness in modern life.
My classmates/friends are prototypically upwardly-mobile, educated middle class Indians, spread across the globe, mostly working outside, and a few homemakers. I don't know much about their lives personally, individually. Except those few who candidly shared with me their pain and emptiness. These friendly exchanges might be their primary distraction on a daily basis, bringing smile to their dreary lives. Who knows, probably all of them have it ... why engage in such online interactions when you can do something else. I know some of their spouses too are busy with their own whatsapp group, or TV. This much for intimacy!
Closer home, my work place also seems to be burdened by mundane issues and trivial conversations. Just for a little bit of intellectual stimulation I go online, and for some authentic conversations we try to reach out to our psychotherapist circle (suddenly acknowledging that we lived in an utopian world as trainees ... that level of conversation which we took for granted then, is actually rare).

Somewhere today I read about the importance of having a non-demanding adult in the life of a child, someone who doesn't even need demands to be made. Such a presence creates an inner space leading to exploration and creativity. How true it is... I have experienced it, not only we are burdened by other's demands, but also about their requirements for us to be demanding. So many times loved ones feel invisible, invalidated, rejected, unless we place demands over them.

My personal distress arises from the fact that I do not fit into these frames fully. I am far away from the other shore, but somewhere sometime I did leave this one... so now it is a daily struggle just to keep afloat. I wept as I tried to give words to this feeling ... I love my work and find it meaningful. But I'm acutely aware that no matter what I do actually, and how I conceptualize things mentally, it will all be an attempt to construct meaning in life. I doesn't dismiss its usefulness, but is it the full story ? No! doesn't seem to be so... for I yearn for another transcendental meaning.
Even to survive on a daily basis I need a constant series of miracles and its after glow... miracles need not happen just to me, but I want to see it around me, in this world, to make me feel it is worth living this life, on this planet, in this solar system, in this galaxy....
Otherwise the earth has been whirling-moving, seemingly senselessly, since ages... and we are just passing specks of dust on the windshield of this spaceship... it is audacious to say 'rahne do he dev yeh mera mar mitne ka adikar ...' but it gives back some agency, if not in birth, then at least in death!!!

(PS: I left the group... my ever present existential crisis was worsening)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Grief: Two moods

I was contemplating about Grief and a poem came. Its lot different from an earlier poem ...



An opening,

to the fullness of our humanity
its beauty.

That, we thought will be with us, 
Longer, a little more,
Till the end of our imaginations,
May be forever!
Always leaves some day.

It breaks our heart,
and more.
That bubble of security,
within which we zip ourselves
As we move narrowly, around our
daily life. 

Every time, it cracks and loosens 
That concrete pedestal
On which we have erected ourselves
For eternity. 
Collecting junk around us.

We hate grief!
It reminds only this - we are passing
Without promises of 'forever',
In amnesia.
We still have to figure out, 
From where? to where?
And why?

Forcing choices on unwilling Us.
Either shrink, as we find back the pieces,
Glue them, stitch them, tie them
Cover ourselves from the vagaries
Of a fragile life. Get back inside 
The eggshell.

Or to crawl down, out, 
Stand erect, walk, run… beyond that little
World of safety. Spread our arms, 
Out, around, embrace whatever is present. 
Remain open in moments, like that flower 
Which bloomed today, knowing well
It will wilt tomorrow. 




Grief has no arguments
it doesn't want to win a war
nor to do negotiations
about the worth of a relationship

It remains quiet
For it loses itself
when translated into unfamiliar languages
of mind and logic

Grief has always remained alone
Its path a solitary one
where weary heart
finds only one companion

The emptiness
which walks together

without saying a word!



And here is one of my favorite quotation...

Its so curious... one can resist tears and behave very well in the hardest hours of grief... but then ... someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer ... and everything collapses.
- Colette