A Tiger’s Walk

The monsoon had just begun. The constant drizzle and patter of rain had made the forest lush and green. Sitting in the open safari jeep I could hear different sounds: the bark of a cheetal, the challenging hoot of a langoor and loud chirping of cricket, filling the silence of the jungle in perfect harmony.

The road was wet, muddy and slippery. The guide had just taken a turn in one of the narrow roads, hoping to spot something wild for his fellow passengers. Another jeep came back from the opposite direction and halted in front of us. Some communication was exchanged and before we could gather what had happened, the guide had swiveled the jeep around and sped in another direction. He hastily explained that he had gotten an intell on a spotting of something rare and exotic in the forest in the middle of monsoon season: a tiger.

We came to an halt in front of a man made lake,which was couple of meters away. And we waited. Silence ensued to prevent any startling. There was an occasional clicking sound of the DSLRs that every enthusiastic photographer had pointed at the ready. Everyone’s eyes and lenses were at the lake, waiting to spot the tiger. So were the passengers in the jeeps ahead of us.

But the tiger took its own sweet time. It did it’s own thing. It continued doing whatever it was doing. Unfazed by the onlookers. It was as if, the world ceased to exist after the lake where the jeeps stood waiting.

Mintues passed by.

The impatient city dwellers started clicking their tongues. The girl next to me zoomed her camera and started scanning the lake area, using her camera as a makeshift telescope. We were still unaware of the Tiger’s exact whereabout. So we waited. 

Suddenly there was a yelp. An indicator for everyone to look in the direction the finger was being pointed.

The tiger was on the move. This majestic beauty, in its grand splendor…

It walked slowly, in its own pace. Patient and in peace with itself.  Unruffled and unmoved by the countable eyes that were piercing on it, trying to look at it’s every single move. But, it just kept walking and crossed the road till it finally disappeared in the greens of the jungle. Unaffected. Peaceful. Content. Maybe these were the Tiger’s state of mind.

This was the majestic Tiger’s walk. Teaching me, silently. Answering me, subtly.

Standing Out

There was this constant chatter of confusion rattling inside my head. A constant question bouncing, asking myself everyday, “Who am I really?” Though uneasy, it felt relieving to speak out my opinions and feelings without being afraid of being judged for the wrong reasons. But still, the question remained: how much of me can I risk being shared? How much of me felt comfortable in my own skin?

And as an answer, while waiting for my shuttle in the evening today, I saw this white hibiscus inhabiting in between this wild growth of leaves. I had to double take to notice it, but I did. The white beauty stood out brilliantly when I encouraged it to step out of hiding. 

And the best part was: I loved it even more when it was standing out with its own elements. It didn’t hurt my sentiments one bit. Just like that, it felt natural to accept the white in between of dominating green.

Nature answered my agitated mind, and helped me take a step away from the anxiety of wanting to please everyone arould myself by becoming into a version they liked. Losing my essence in the process.

I’m at peace with all of me at every moment now. Most importantly, I’ve begun accepting myself the way I am. At least a little more than yesterday.

It Is What It Is

Did I get too comfortable?
Or was it my vanity?
When everything was at my finger tips
I walked away
Leaving everything behind
Should I blame it on the youth?
Or do I call it a wondrous risk?
Embarked on a journey born from an infatuation
To see it crumble at my feet
Most often I look back
And wonder what could have been
The places I would have traveled
The heights I would achieved
Only if I would have waited, a little while longer…
But I wonder
If universe turned back time
And granted me this wish
Would I have done anything different than this?

Pining After Long Shots

That’s the thing about hope – it makes us dream and get ahead of ourselves. We give our best, putting in every last bit of our will, fully aware that it’s a long shot. Aware that there is a fair chance of that something not working out. But we anyways give our everything in because we believe we have got nothing to lose. Slowly gambling on the our fragile heart’s naivety and letting it get ahead of itself. So we dream and inadvertantly start hoping, pining and praying asking, “God! I hope it works out.” Making it seem more like our ticket out of the current​ misery and our ultimate happy spot. Suddenly, there is so much to lose: A trail of dreams and the whispered promises on the dependencies… Forgetting that there is a fair chance that it might not work out. Maybe, it was the audacity of our confidence which made us forget about different scenarios. Maybe it was something else. 

Then there is a slip. Your gut picks on the vibes, and we begin to pray, “God! I hope I’m wrong about that!” But then, hey earth to… reality is the ultimate truth. This is life. In mum’s wise words, “You won’t always get what you want. However bad you want it. However desperate you are about it. But don’t forget to live. Don’t forget to be happy. Give your sincere shot. And don’t forget to nurture your patience.”

And then, there comes the wait. The wait to let it pass, the news to sink in and the final acceptance of reality. Till something else comes along and the cycle repeats.Maybe the next time, pining, hoping and dreaming about it would not be so bad. Maybe this time, it would be right time to receive.

Till then, don’t give up.

Everything will be ok.

The Midnight Before The Dawn

The clock slowly edges towards midnight, and it is a long drive back home. Suddenly, the safety confines of the vehicle is shattered as the car breaks down in the middle of a deserted road in the city. The car has run out of gas.

She steps out of the car, and hears the sand crunch  beneath her feet. She looks around, and just before the clock strikes 12, she finds herself face to face with her monster. It stands in front of her, swaying slightly under the influence of excess alcohol, the stench reeking from his breath. She could smell it. Its yellowing eyes roved over her, making her heart race with fear. She takes a step back, trying to find something to hide behind. To cover her naked vulnerability. But she still felt uncovered. Her clothes, were merely an illusion covering her modesty. But to its eyes, she was a prey. A prey to be destroyed beyond recognition, to send her back to her spiraling downfall.

It sneered.

Panic gripped her soul.

She looked for the courage in her that she thought was inherent within her. She found nothing. She only found cowardice.

She bowed. She hid behind her invisible personality.

He took over and faced her monster. He stood looking at her monster, chest out, hands on his hips and let out a strong growl. The monster distracted, looked in his eyes, its eyes had stopped roving over him. It looked straight in his eyes. Almost daring to imagine itself to be his equal.

But he smiled. “The audacity of your persistence! The audacity of your ignorance!”, he said as laughter started bubbling up in his throat.

Gathering her courage, she peeked at her monster.

He took a step towards the monster, cornering him till it couldn’t bear his strength anymore. It slinked back in the ground, exactly where it belong. Dissolving into nothingness.

He turned around and looked at her.

She found herself, smiling at herself.

Maybe, she did need to open up to possibilities. Maybe, she did need him after all.

He was her dawn, she was waiting for.

He was a part of her after all.

Story of Hope

It can be triggered by the smallest of the smallest things. Maybe because of an old diary page that you came across or because of looking at a picture of something you were trying to let go and forget. It bubbles up half forgotten feelings in your heart forgetting all the reasons you had sternly latched on to let go and move on. It is like the unpleasant memories never existed and the only things you can remember are laughter and happiness. Slowly building a strong foundation of emotions based on these happy memories until the reality slowly starts distorting and your mind and heart get tormented by your own wishful feelings. This is how slowly hope builds in.

Hopes that, that something will be rekindled again. In that dream of rekindled hopes, you would start building castle of stories in your head of how it would be rekindled and be alive again. The stories then would sound so real and strong that you would start mistaking it for “intuition” or “gut feeling” that this would happen.

Hope. 🙂

The kinds that would destruct you, mind and soul, those are the irresistible ones. You would hide it, harbour and nurture it and let it grow, so much that you start growing fond of it. So fond that you are scared of sharing it with your closest friends. Because, somewhere in your suppressed rational and logical mind, you know that they will break the reality to you, make you face it and ask you to move on from the comfort of a feeling you were so used to bask in. So, it stays with you. All the dreams built on hopes. Hoping that all the old things will remain the same, yet hoping that all the things would now be different. The irony. Hope makes us want the old things, just as the way they are with another hope of it might have changed, which is what we would actually want.

Complicated. So complicated. Once you understand this, the rational mind would take over and it would desperately try to break the cycle you been stuck in. It will speak to you that voice in your head, the rational voice, and make you come to your senses and remind you why it had broken you in the first place and why you need to move on. Move on to a dream or even a hope that would nurture you and build you. Not the toxic hope that will break you and walk all over you till you are left unrecognizable to yourself.

Maybe, it is ok to toy with old hopes that builds stories of what could or would have been. Maybe. Who does not like the idea of a fantasy coming true? So maybe, toy with it, fantasize and bask in the tingling feeling of happiness that you get in your tummy. Maybe you can let yourself indulge in it for a bit. Maybe you can do all of this as long as you know how to pull yourself out of it and detach from it when you see it is becoming addictive. Because though fantasies are wonderful, reality is what that is going to stick with you forever, just like your shadow.
—..

My Journey Towards Happiness

Renunciation. Is that the solution? Only when I lose it all shall I find my happiness?

What is happiness?

I think it is the attachment to so many things that is causing this chaos in my head. Was Buddha really right when he spoke about detachment? Detachment from materialistic things I can understand and give up. But detach from those few human relations that I have? I can let go of people but not those who have had impact in my life. Including my family. I cannot detach myself from them.

I already give out very less of me. I had said I will try to give out more. But I do not understand what stops me. All the time. The lesser the people know, the better? Am I really saving myself the pain or am I saving those people from the pain? Do people actually want to listen and share? I don’t know. Is this coming in my way of happiness? By thinking about not giving myself out to the world? Happiness makes sense only when shared, right? Should I be concerned by this? So far, I am numb about it.

Money. It is a devil in angel’s disguise. That is what I would love to call it. It gives me control. I can get what I want with it when I cannot seem to get other things in my life. It seems to give me happiness. I also learned that it was momentary. It never could help me forget the other pending disappointments. At one point of my life, it had only pushed me to work more like a donkey towards realizing someone else’s dreams, so that I get paid more and then buy some more things and make myself and others around me happy.

It was not enough. So, I tried something else. I made it even more basic. I switched jobs. I picked the one where I would actually learn. Learn things I couldn’t name. Learning seemed to be vast. And I picked that over money. I know, I am still helping someone else achieve their dreams. My dreams are maybe long forgotten or lost. But, right now my journey with those friends towards their dreams is pretty good. My selfish motives, known only to me, is getting satisfied. And trust me, this journey is not a bed of roses. That is what makes it more adventurous. It is challenging, frustrating and tiring. There is something there in that journey that gives me tiny pleasures. Not happiness.

And I am back to questioning, what is happiness? I do not understand it anymore. I know it is a feeling. But what exactly is happiness?

Should I go down to minimal basics now? Become as minimal as a baby is? With nothing but a few clothes to wear, food that would sustain me and those close relations that would help me grow? Give things away in my room, in my wardrobe, in my drawers. Give away my books, my companions since I was growing up. I don’t know yet if I will have the heart to give my books away. Maybe, I am worried I will give away my memories with them. But I will try. I will give it away to people who will keep it safe. People who will appreciate them.

The more I seem to hold on to things, the lesser there seems to be room for anything else. Is this coming in the way of happiness?

These all seem to be theories and desperate attempts in attempt of pursuit of happiness.

But whatever needs to be done, must be done.

But if you have understood what happiness is, are you willing to share that with me? And tell me, what is happiness?
—..

My Lessons From Today

Never be afraid to ask. Only when I ask is when I get all the answers and with the answers I learn something new. Leave no room for assumptions.

To ask questions, I learned to leave my ego behind, to not be afraid to show that I do not know something and finally to accept that I am at times ignorant and need help to understand. Only when I accepted all those things, I got more knowledge. I became a bit wiser than before.

This is what I must do:

  1. Ask when I do not know. 
  2. Let my ego behind, accept and not be afraid to ask. 
  3. Listen to them speak. 
  4. Learn and grow. 

I keep wondering, how many deaths in my family and in my friend’s family should I see before I finally understand that life is not permanent. Only death is.

Maybe, I already have understood it, else this reasoning or this understanding wouldn’t be there. I must value time more than I do already. My time. My time with my loved ones. The time that my loved ones share with me.

I must remember: Only and only death is permanent. Nothing else.

Maybe, my dear reader, you will listen and learn from my mistakes as well. Teach me as well, it will help me when I am lost.

Let us learn and grow together. 🙂
—..

My Life before Death

Death is the ultimate finality to everything. Nothing puts a big period at the end of anything as death. It means serious business and once it hits, there are no second chances.

I don’t find myself pining to the past. But I can’t help wonder, “What if?”

What would he have said, if he would have seen me right now? What would he have said, looking at all my achievements and failures right now? What if he were here with me, would I have missed his laughter the way I miss it now? A deep throaty and a hearty laughter.

He stood there, in front of the Eifel Tower, smiling and waving in the picture. It looked like the unsaid final goodbye. And nothing gripped my heart stronger than this. The last time we spoke, we parted saying, “Until later.” Not knowing this would be the last conversation we would be ever having. Not knowing the time is shorter than we had anticipated. Regretting the trip that I delayed to see him. I apparently didn’t have time.

This void will never cease to exist.

This finality made me wonder, and question lot of things.

The most haunting question was, “What is the point of everything?” Melancholy sets in easy, I know. But I couldn’t help wonder this over and over again. Is it just the want of being immortal? Because when I leave, I wouldn’t be able to take anything with me. I will have nothing: No second chances. No another – just one more breath. No one last hug. Not even time. Nothing.

Nothing will last. Even if it is immortality that I will be chasing in the name of my dreams, the immortality will also not last. It will eventually fade with the generations to come. What is the point then? I am optimistic. But, haven’t you thought of it too once?

There is everything to lose, at the end of this journey. Still, why do we pine and hold on to things? Chase things? Even the achievements that we would have earned, what would it matter once we are on the other side?

I ask this, once again, what is the grand purpose of everything? At times, when I wonder over this, I feel mechanical, as if my senses are in a comatose and I am merely existing, trapped in my body and moving around doing things as they are supposed to be done, unaware of my surroundings. Moving around people like they are some mere entities, moving around, just like me. This all makes me question again and again, am I merely existing? I would like to believe, I am little more than ordinary. I enjoy the quests and challenges. I do. But then again, what is the grand plan? What is the reason of my existence?

He brought lot of laughter and happiness in our lives. He liked to enjoy everything on his terms, when it came to himself. This is what I primarily remember of him whenever he crosses my mind. He took nothing with him.

I wonder, if he is standing on the other side and looking at things down here, wondering how he could have done that something in a different way. I wonder, if he is feeling free from all the pain he had to go through. I wonder, what he must have felt first once he was on the other side. If he found the answers to all these questions. If he found the secret of the grand plan. If he found out what needs to be chased in this life. If he found the reason behind our existence. I wonder, if he understood the “point of everything”. If everything looks silly to him, when he looks down here from the other side.

It is only death of a close one that makes us stop for a while and rethink everything. Is it because of the finality staring straight in our eyes? Or is it the harsh reality that is mocking us in our face, telling us again and again that nothing lasts forever.

What is it?

This unrest is unsettling. The shades of grey are never ending. It is an uncomfortable acceptance that it is highly unrealistic to expect things to be in perfect black or white.

Till there is a strong answer to all this burning curiosity, I will continue to chase all the things that I would fight tooth and nail to have in my life. I will try my best and appreciate everything around me more and prioritize what does and does not matter. I will live and not merely exist.

Probably, this is what he would want too.
—..