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.

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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 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.

Indifference on The Mango Tree

The wind of changes has blown, yet again. You have found happiness, in the arms of another. There is no room for sadness, regret or hate. Lives have moved on as I stand still. Watch all the ghosts of past swish by me. The wind of changes has blown, faster than I could handle. I sway with that force. And I’m perched above that mango tree, watching you hold her hand, and slip a diamond ring on her finger. Claiming her to be yours. Forever. There still is no room for sadness, regret or hate. But for indifference. Plain, numbing indifference bringing in that calming silence. That’s when you know, the wind of changes has blown, yet again.

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.
—..

C’est la vie…

You know its finally over when you miss the memories of the moments spent with the person more than the person himself/herself. You finally part and move on with a bittersweet feeling in the pit of your stomach with all the what ifs and what could have been with the person if things were just right.
But then, c’est la vie. What is, is.
The past cannot be touched. But the future can be shaped. 🙂

Discovering Old Memories

There is such pleasure in organizing things. I always feel like I am clearing some clutter and organizing things in my head along with the things I am organizing around me. By the end of the entire exercise, I feel at peace and satisfied. Another beauty of organizing, finding out things that are buried somewhere – maybe in dust or maybe under some pile of books.

Yesterday, while organizing, I found a book called “Simple Ways To Manage Stress“, which was passed on to me by my dad. Looking at its green and blue cover, I was transported back to the day when I was maybe 10-12 year old:
It was a hot summer day. My summer vacations were going on. That evening, dad had handed me some A4 sheets along the book and marked couple of pages that had some pictures. I was supposed to draw and color  those pictures in the sheets that he had given me.

I remember drawing a farmer with birds over his head and a conversation bubble over his head. There were some more similar simple pictures that I don’t remember right now. All that I remember is that I was having fun drawing them and then coloring them with my precious rainbow color pen set (I still have them. In working condition 😀 ).

He later told me that they were for his presentation at office and that his audience had understood the presentation better and interacted during the session because of the pictures that I drew. I do not know how he presented it in the conference room without using a laptop and a projector (I will ask him, once I finish this post), but when he told that, I felt so proud and pleased that I could help dad out with his work. Remembering this, made me happy.

Simple pleasures and simplest of acknowledgement were all that I needed when I was a kid. Reflecting on the memory, I feel it is still the same, even when I am all grown up. I still thrive on the simplest of pleasures and simplest of acknowledgement from the people that I love and care about. This is what that still makes happy.

Relationships might not be easy. I might not have lot of experience in this area. But looking back at this memory, I realized one basic thing – Acknowledge the person and the person’s efforts for you. Respect each other. Love without any boundaries or limitations. Elementary things. Simplest of simple things. But these are the things that matters the most.To me, to you and to everyone! This is what makes us all happy.

I still do not have the answer to “What is happiness?” but now, I can feel and understand what makes me happy. Must focus on it. Like Charles Bukowsi said, I must keep finding things that I love and let it kill me.
—..

My Brief Affair

I am a little sad. I did not listen to myself. I did not listen to the warning bells in my head. I listened to some feelings in me. Does it count to be the same as listening to myself? I think a better way to put  this is, I didn’t listen to the rational part of my head. But, if I had not tried it I would have sat back on my desk in front of my laptop and wondered, “What if? What if I had done it, how would it have been?”

There is no regret. I did whatever I wanted to do.

There simply is a little sadness that I let things come in between a beautiful friendship. Primarily, it was work nature and disappointment that came in between. I should have known better that there exists multiple personality inside each of us. A different personality at work. A different personality outside work. And when I happened to see it in a dear friend, things seemed to start tearing apart.

There was a big disappointment. I couldn’t detach the work character from the personal character of the friend. I always had been bad at handling disappointments. I failed to understand that feeling disappointed is very normal. I failed to see that we are all humans and it is but human to be imperfect. It is those imperfections that we suddenly see in a person and feel disappointed. Rather, we call it disappointment. I fixed it before it was too late. I had let it go. But there was some damage and there were some knots in the thread of our friendship. There was difference in personal impression.

I had to step aside and take a decision. A tough decision. This is the thing about decisions, you cannot ever escape them. Like truth, they have a way of coming back and biting your ass. Making sure you go through it and do what has to be done. So I took a decision. And that decision widened the gap between my friend and I.

I learned a big lesson: There always is you and then there is friendship. There are things you must and should do for yourself. To preserve yourself and your mental peace. To preserve a friendship. For example, decision making – it should and must be for you. Not for anyone or anything. Purely you. If that will save things, then why not!

All my hopes are now torn and dumped unceremoniously. All the jealousy, discomfort and the attempts to show my vulnerable side seems like a wasted energy.

I am sad that there is no closure. I am sad that things seems to have sealed towards a goodbye and there seems to be no turning back, no first steps taken to mend it.

I am sad that I never got the beautiful in between that  I wanted in our friendship.

I am hurt with whatever that had happened that had lead to this.

But, for however long it was, it was a beautiful affair. I will try to cherish that and let everything else go.
—..

A Letter to Mr Grey

Mr. Grey,

I’ll skip all the nicety and get down to business, as you would like.

If it was acceptable in the “social norms”, I would tell you exactly what and how you make me feel half the time. What I have come to think of you over time because of all the confusions you have successfully implanted in my head.

I wish I couldn’t pretend that it’s all cool and normal when your actions and words do not walk hand in hand. I wish I could tell you that you do affect my emotions negatively when you commit to something with what seems like an honest earnestness but fail to tell me your real intentions. Telling the truth is better than all twisted formalities.

I have been a fool. A fool to think  that over time there will be some progress, but it seems like I’ve made a failed investment. I’m sad that it’s become this mechanical because I was pushed. I cannot decide if I like you or dislike you. You are a wonderful person I’ve ever met. A gentleman who pretends a lot and thinks people don’t notice all the pretenses you think you hide so skillfully. But when indifference starts to creep in slowly, none of the wonderful traits matter. That’s the whole point of indifference isn’t it?

Your words hurt. Most of the times now.

Maybe my assumption of fair treatment is flawed. Maybe my perception is flawed because we do not communicate like we are supposed to. I say “maybe” because there maybe a perception I’m blind to – the your point of view that is resulting out of my treatment to you.

It’s too tangled for me to even stay calm about it anymore. Maybe it will be at the edge of nothingness or the edge of edginess that will make me blurt all the zingers that I have so carefully restrained myself from uttering at the expense of preserving our friendship.

Again, you do not know that you have affected me so much again. And I won’t tell you, not now, because I know you have your own battles to deal with and I have enough humanity in me to stay kind.

Maybe this is close to a finality. I’ll be slinking back in my shell. Because I cannot afford to be completely indifferent to anything or anyone. I do value our friendship enough to hold my tongue.

“Fools repeat the same mistake twice”, my chemistry teacher used to say. And I think I’ve been utterly foolish. Let’s keep it extremely businesslike as you want it to be.

You are a perfect businessman. I’ll not fall for your words no more. Maybe, I’ll not be a fool anymore.

Yours truly.

On Pain and Love

Apparently, pain demands to be felt. But then what about love? Love, something that which we pursue so desperately. To love and be loved. To bask in the admiration of one person we truly wish to be with. Drunk, so passionately on this idea that love and only love can mend everything that has been broken and left broken inside of us. Drunk, so hopelessly on this belief that, that one love will make it all right and that we will be whole again.

Pain, I agree demands to be felt. It is felt. Felt so deeply that at times I do not know what to do with that feeling. Maybe this pain is out of missing someone who has now slipped onto the other side. Maybe the reason behind this pain is the insecurity and jealousy that has creeped into my mind because of my obsessive assumptions nearing to unhealthy paranoia. Maybe the reason behind the pain is the acceptance that the one thing I wanted was never meant to be mine in the first place. Maybe. There are many generic reasons. And once the pain is allowed to be felt, we will always look for love to fill the void.

Might there not be a reason that love is not getting the proper recognition that it deserves? Pain demands to be felt, but does it need to be so morbidly dramatized? I don’t know. Maybe this all is a reasoning. Maybe this is me consoling myself asking me to stop letting the pain of the void be felt for such a long time. Still, I cannot stop wondering if it really is all about love than pain. If it’s secretly all about the want to be loved and cared for rather than swim in the attractive melancholy of pain bringing out the genius/poet inside of us. Really, in the end, when we are stripped off of everything what do we really want? And the answer ringing in my head is – love.

Love is what would bring peace in our minds and hearts. Love is what that would at times make us wonder if we are happy or sad.

Maybe this might be it. Or maybe not.

Maybe this is all as void and still like vacuum. Maybe.

Maybe it is all a game of time. Demanding to feel one thing after another. One more than another. Demanding to feel all at once sometimes. Maybe.

Right now there are feelings that are exploding like cherry bombs in my chest that I do not know what to do with these feelings at all. Probably dig and indulge in all the old memories.

Such a hot plate of mess.