The 15 Minutes

Those 15 mins every morning with my mother has come to become the best part of my day, life. The drop from home to her bus stop which is on the way to mine. Takes 15 minutes. Everyday.

She is with me. She talks. She shares. Stuff she wouldn’t otherwise at home. She talks about her work. She talks about her college get-together. She talks about her plans. She talks about her calls with her sisters. She talks.

Though a grown child that I am, I am still happy about the fact that, those 15 minutes she is completely with me. Her eyes for me her ears for me. Her thoughts for me. She is present around me. The lighter part of her day, when it has just begun is also shared with me.

Those 15 minutes that she gives me, is the most beautiful thing anyone can ever do for me.

Time.

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That Happy Place

It was a big hunt, to find that one place of solace where I could find eternal peace. A place I can always run to everytime I felt down.

I first thought a beach called Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai. A place to let lose all the frustration with the strong night beachy breeze. I could see the stars twinkling if the weather was clear.

Then I moved.

It became impossible to touch those silky sands again and feel them slip between my toe. It became impossible to want to hear the waves at my whim and desire. I missed it.

I was in search again.

Then I was in Ha Long Bay. A visit. With people I liked being around. There was this boat ride. Being in middle of vast water body. Feeling peaceful in the midst of small islets. Sitting on the top of a big boat. Listening to the wind blow. Feeling tiny in midst of this huge, beautiful nature. Enjoying the silence I longed for. Leaving my sadness bit by bit. Because it could take it. Peaceful.

Then the trip came to an end.

I couldn’t travel across countries just to feel the serenity at my whim. It didn’t stay with me.

The search continued.

The next place was relatively closer. It was 3 hours drive away from the city. It was a lake in midst of a small city. It is called Kukkarahalli lake. A 4 kilometres stretch. A peaceful walk early in the morning. Walking around the water body which is surrounded by lushness. People co existing in peace. Doing their own thing. I had found a small corner in the middle of the stretch. A series of mini stairs which attempted to take me closer to the water. I could sit there, forever. Look at the calm water. Silent. Graceful. Emanating some strong positive energy. Making me feel refreshed. Renewed.

I had to return to the concrete jungle. Earn my livelihood. It wasn’t closer, again

The search continued.

When the heart is exhausted, relieved, in turmoil, the magnanimity of simple things stand out.

I had found my happy place at last. It was and is right here with me in my home. I discovered it while watching Charlie and Lola with my 2 year old niece. Her favourite cartoon currently. She either sits on me or next to me with her head leaning on my shoulder. Today, she sat on my lap resting her legs on my pillow. Her head resting on my chest. Snugly wrapped around in my arms as she sucked her thumb while she watched Lola create Lola land.

The search had ended.

There it was, everything and more than before. Right in my arms. Every single day.

My Happy Place in the world.

Over The Edge

They were thick friends. Almost inseparable. Even the distance couldn’t keep them apart. They made memories, every single day, even if it was over the phone. They were that sticky, close, inseparable friends.

One day, unknown to her knowledge, he was pushed at the edge of the cliff. He stood there, silently, feeling the gravity pull on to his center. He closed his eyes, feeling the breeze gently push him closer to the edge. He swayed, but he had held on to his balance.

She was his last piece of silky silver thread that he could hold on to and pull himself out of the abyss, if he happened to tip over.

So, his mother sent him away to her. Maybe spending a week with her would help him clear his head, his mother thought. She sent him away to be her, with huge hope nursing in her heart. She wanted her son back. Badly.

Next day, there he was at the airport, reluctantly embracing her in a lose hug. She was disappointed with the lack of his usual enthusiasm. She shrugged it off and pulled him in a cab to take him home.

She tried to get him to talk. But he now preferred long silences.

She wanted to help, but she didn’t know what that worm was that was slowly digging into his brain. She only knew he wanted to talk but couldn’t find the right words.

Her patience was running thin.

She was only 24. She didn’t understand the mighty darkness that he was enveloped into. She prided herself into being practical. She prided herself into believing that everything about her was in the proper place.

She didn’t understand his inability to get out of bed or go for the long walks that they once enjoyed doing together.

He had crawled tighter in his shell. Lost to her, forever.

She failed. The guilt was beginning to build in her. It stayed inside. Suppressed. Closed.

She assumed the air of being practical and fair. He needed to hear the truth. He needed to be shaken out of his numbing tune. But he was gone. Lost in his music. And she pretended to move on as the silence between then grew. It ate into her. Her eyes had grown old.

Time passed into months.

She believed it was love. The idea of love was enticing. She was pulled into it. Dragged to make a decision. A rash one that too. She was encouraged to take it. She was also warned against it. Mostly, she was warned about the reckless risk she was jumping in. It was impulsive. She did it anyway. She thought, “Fuck this shit. I don’t want to look back in regret.”

But she did. She had lost.

It didn’t matter who looked down on her. It mattered when her mother like figure looked down on her. She wasn’t angry. She didn’t reprimand. She just was disappointed.

Hell broke loose.

She was pushed in silence. Her eyes closed. Her mind closed. A wall was built around.

A plea for help was denied.

The pile of guilt and shame kept getting bigger.

She could no longer pretend. There was lengthy silence. Panic attacks in the middle of the road. A mind that was slipping away in darkness.

In midst of this, there was a failed marriage. Battle of ego and pride. Sanctity of relationship was lost. Belief was shattered. Ideology was broken. Her last source of comfort had slipped from her hand.

Panic attacks got worse.

She went down to see him. She had lost him. He was there near her, but not with her. It felt like her heart was socked hard.

Guilt.

Went back to routine.

She was living with constant panic attacks. They owned her.

A doctor treated her without meeting her. Thrusted 12 small pills in her hands. Advised her to take one every night. It will help you sleep, he said. It will help you breathe easy, he said. But it would only numb her muscles and her senses.

Things felt bleak. She didn’t know where she was anymore. Where her mind was wandering, she didn’t know. She grew fragile. Fragile enough to let a stranger’s taunt get to her.

She found herself standing in front of her own abyss. But there was a friend, who had touched her shoulder, and unwitting asked her to stay back. It was a faint, muffled sound. But she heard it and took a step back.

She had reached out to her phone, thinking of giving him a call. She typed his name and then locked her phone. She couldn’t give him a call. Someone, whom she could reach out to at any time of the day or night. She needed to speak but the words were stuck in her belly.

Her mind was losing its strength to hold on.

Panic attacks came with added wandering thoughts. Scary thoughts. Thoughts that gave her ideas. Made her believe in disillusion. Pushed her. She was close to touching insanity.

She was tipped over the edge.

She stood over the end of the abyss ready to make her final lunge.

But before that, she had to speak with him. She had to reach out to him. She had heard he was doing well now.

She plucked her courage and spoke to him. She spoke about how vain she was. She spoke about how she had failed with him. She spoke how the pressure had buckled her down. She spoke about her guilt of not being able to help him. Of all the guilt that had eaten her away. The unspoken love. Trying to me up for the lost time. It had only taken her 3 years.

She felt lighter after speaking with him. With every tear flowing down her cheeks, she felt her chest getting lighter. The pile of guilt seemed to slowly disappear.

It felt like she was getting her business in place before the deed was done. With this thought, she went to bed.

A rested sleep after a long while.

The next morning, it was worth being alive.

That Sweet Lullaby

The mother held her baby in her arms as she rocked her gently. She sang that sweet lullaby in her soothing, gentle voice. Her dream of wanting to be a singer was fulfilled. She had an eager audience. Her daughter calmed down. Her breathing became regular. Her eyes heavy, until it was unbearable to keep them open anymore. She was finally asleep. But the mother continued to sing. Repeating the verses, enjoying the lyrics as she imagined dedicating each words to her daughter. Singing her emotions to her. Till the song slowly faded on her lips. Her eyes rested with the trailing verses. 

The day came to an end. Another battle won. All that mattered was her baby daughter in her arms.

Her Time Turner

She sat up staright, took his hand in hers and grasped them tight. She looked straight in his eyes and asked him with a hopeful tone, “Will you take me back? Will you remind me who I was? Will you help me find the pieces of myself? Will you help me remember? Everything we did and how we laughed…”

Her voice trailed away, wondering if he could understand the urgency in her voice. The unbearable loss of control over her memories. The slow decay of her essence. The first signs of Alzheimer’s beginning to show.

He pulled her close, and wrapped his arms around her tightly. And he began, “Remember that day we went to the beach, and you insisted on…”

“He can fix anything”, she thought with a smile as she closed her eyes and listened to her stories with him. His voice bringing out the faint memories. “Maybe, he can bring me back too.” 

He was her relaxant to her anxiety.

He helped her breathe.

That One Hug

They stood on the porch at four hours past midnight, as their paths awaited to be diverged again. Their adventure had come to an end. With time, the familiarity that the distance had deprived them of, was discovered in an unknown land. With time, the comfort of being themselves with each other had fallen in comfortably like that one missing puzzle of a jigsaw.

When it was time to say their goodbyes, he held his hand forward while she glared at his formality. She opened her arms timidly and he took a step forward and gave her a hug. This was not a drunken state of mind hug. This was a conscious hug. And his hug conveyed everything that maybe his words couldn’t for the last three years of knowing each other over long distance.

That one hug, opened up a box of suppressed emotions in her. But she hid her face in the dark as she saw him sit in the car and head towards the airport. She walked away towards the elevator before he could see her again from his car.

But that one hug…

The pretense icicles in her heart had melted. There was acceptance of deep attachment to another human being. She was overwhelmed and surprised with the enormity of the feelings she had for him.

She held back the dry tears that threatened to break from her eyes. She thought maybe sleep will make it easy to bear. Maybe sleep will make the ‘momentary’ feeling wash away, she thought. She went and slept on his freshly made bed.

The morning after dark was cloudy with light drizzles. The enormity of being able to feel so deeply had still successfully caught on with her as she boarded her cab towards the airport. She confided in her friend, who sat next to her with her arms on her shoulder, as she began to understand that she was simply missing him. She had gotten used to the unasked assurance from him. The unasked fulfilled promise of being by her side, no matter how, when she needed him the most. She had gotten used to his presence around her during their adventure together. As her friend held her, she let go of her pride and felt hot tears flow freely from her eyes.

It was finally the acceptance of a beautiful bond that they shared – friendship. It was a pure, unadulterated, unselfish, maybe a little selfish, friendship. It was the acceptance of letting go of her controlled boundaries and acknowledge the special place he held in her life. It was this acceptance that made her determine to make an attempt to show her emotions like he did with her all the time.

To be honest, she had taken a while to realize the emotions of his hug. Once the feeling of his arms around her shoulders was gone, only thing that remained was the warmth that he had left behind. Maybe this was their last goodbye after all.

My Wheels in Motion

The birth of an idea – the reason behind a beginning and the reason behind an end. How it formulated and how it is encouraged to take a form, no one knows. At least I don’t.

But, I guess an idea starts because of some random trigger when we are on an aimless path. Upon its birth, it is beautifully crafted and cradled in the depths of our mind, till it gets promoted to a dream.

Dreams. Beautiful, beautiful dreams, which then gives birth to an ambition. Ambition, which makes us believe that we are born to do something great, that greatness itself awaits us, and that we are born to be great and make an impact on the humanity. This is what dreams are capable of.

Ambition then gives birth to a want. A want to succeed. A want to make it big. A want of power. A want to climb. Ambition gives us a direction to our aimless path. It makes the cogs of motion move in our minds again and thus formulates a plan. A game plan.

A plan to mold our direction and give it a goal. A plan to fulfill the wants, to fulfill a wish. A wish that might be mine, might be yours, might be someone who we used to love that is no more. The game plan gives a sense of purpose. A sense of motivation. A sense of confidence. The mind starts a raging battle with the doubting self arguing:

I can do it.

I will do it.

I will fight for it.

This is created out of a purpose. Purpose in our lives. Purpose of our existence.

The path is still not clear. The path is still aimless, but lesser than before.

I can see 10 steps ahead of me. I have decided, I will work on those 10 steps. Then maybe, when I am on my 8th step, I will be able to see the next 10 steps and work on it.

Thus, hope takes birth along with determination. Hope that there is something great waiting for us and the determination to make it till the end.

I do not know what gets beyond this. I think we will get to know it once there is action to all this.

This are my wheels of action in motion.

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. 🙂
—..

When I felt the Baby kick

I couldn’t help wondering, what would be the baby thinking, when it kept pushing inside my sister’s tummy against my hand and then move around till it felt comfortable? If it can hear me, does it have the capacity to think, I wonder.

If it thinks, does it believe that there is a world beyond the womb? I wonder, what does it make of our voice if it believes the womb is its world. And when it would be its time to see us, would it be reluctant to leave the warm comfort of the womb imagining the worst of the “other” world.. I wonder.

And then in that chain, I couldn’t help thinking, if we are entirely inside another universe, growing and maturing till it is our time to get to the other side? Maybe.

I began respecting God. I had indifference to the concept, but I valued my religion. All this because a  benefit of doubt began to take birth and I wondered: What if God is nothing but a gentle soothing voice with His hand fondly caressing its tummy, the tummy being our world in which we reside. But we are in such deep slumber inside our world that probably we are unable to hear Him speak to us.

Maybe, He can feel us shift inside as we move around in discomfort or excitement of our own chaos. Maybe, He can feel us kick when we throw ourselves out of frustration to some unknown void or when we dance in the ultimate trance of euphoria. Maybe.

Maybe, He is as eager like us; like we are to see the baby take its birth in this wonderful world.

The possibilities are so grand that I do not know if what is real, is actually real at all.
—..