As a kid, one of my favourite things to do at my dad’s home was to swing around this pole (sounds very stripper-like, I realise). I would go round and round till I felt everything around me was spinning. And my ammachi would flip. She would say, molay, this is an old house, the roof will collapse, and you will fall. I would just roll my eyes, step out of the house so I could go play in the backyard only to have her scream at me begging me to not go there because who knows what is out (as if that wasn’t enough reason to make me want to go there even more).

A couple of years ago when she became bedridden it was weird for all of us. She was an extremely active woman up until then. She was forever running around, feeding the whole world. Now, she couldn’t see if I was swinging on the pole or going too far into the backyard. But, now that I had the freedom, it didn’t seem as much fun anymore.

Earlier this week, she passed away. A lot of people asked me if I was close to her and I told them, no, not really, she never let me do anything. But, when I walked into the house and saw the pole, my heart just broke. Suddenly, it felt like a part of my childhood just left with her.

She was 88 years old. I don’t know if she led a full life or if life was everything she hoped it would be. I don’t even know if she had hopes and dreams. She had a husband, three kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. But the testament to who she was as a person, and how deeply she was loved, was the fact that there were people who worked around the house years ago (as back as when my dad was still a kid) who came to see her one last time, because she treated all of them, like they were her own kids (their words, not mine). She was truly loved.

Rest in peace, ammachi

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Week 3. Day 18.

Today was a tough day from the start. It started with the knock at my door, which was meant to wake up my sister– a noise that she conveniently ignored (as always), but managed to wake me up from my disturbed sleep. I shook her legs and pleaded that she wake up first. She ignored me. I woke up, begrudgingly, and started my day.

Fridays are leg days. I love leg days. Today is going to be great, I told myself as I stepped on the treadmill for my warm up. By the time I got on the cross trainer, I felt my knees buckle, but I wasn’t about to quit. I pushed myself to complete my 35 minute cardio session so I could move on to my favourite part. Weights! A few floor exercises later, when I got on to the (I-have-no-idea-what-its-name-is-leg-thingy) equipment, I was excited. 10kgs. 20kgs. 3-FUCK-MY. LIFE-30kg. Unlike the previous week, all the exercises seemed a 100 times more tougher. The third set for every single exercise made me feel like my body was going to fall apart. By the time I left the gym, I felt like a loser. I couldn’t do what I had done last week. I didn’t know why, but it made me feel so pathetic.

Back home, things were same as always. Shower. Lunch. Screen time. The annoyance never left me. I managed to get some shut eye, only to be woken up by a yelling mother. Of course, taking an hour long nap, after a whole week of not being able to, has to be the world’s biggest sin. After lazing around for a while, I decided to go shop for some gym wear. I was getting tired of alternating between just two black tees through the week.

It has been a while since I have shopped, which is probably why I had forgotten how disheartening the whole experience used to be. I tried on a couple of kurtis only to see how even an XL (the largest size the store carries) flattened my boobs and accentuated my tummy. Angered, I moved on to the sportswear section. I had to pick up a tee from the men’s section, when I realised the XXL of Women’s Perfomax tees were too tight for me. Pants were too tight, or didn’t allow for breathing room. Finally I found a pair, that I didn’t really care for, but fitted me.

I was practically in tears when I got home. I know if I wasn’t home, I would have ordered some desert or indulged in some sort of junk food. Yes, emotional binge eating really is the enemy. But, thankfully I am home, so I am just eating whatever is made at home. But the realisation scares me. What happens when I go back. Who will keep a check on me? But, I guess that’s the tough part.

Everyone shares transformation photos and then tells you how difficult the journey was and how unlike before shopping has now become pleasurable. The thing is, you can read all about it and relate to it but that moment of feeling like a complete failure under the bright light of the trial room after stuffing yourself into a t-shirt you thought could fit you, well no amount of relating to another person’s struggle can prepare you for it.

I have had numerous attempts at weight loss, and all for different reasons. For a boy, for an occasion, to shut my family up, for a dress I badly wanted…the list could go on forever. But, I realise that the only I way I would not quit is if I just did it for myself. Not for a moment or glory, or for the transformation photos, but so I could give my body the love and care it deserves. So, I am trying. It’s not going to be an easy journey, for sure. I know I will have numerous weak moments. I will want to give up because I won’t see the results and major transformation that I hoped for, as quickly as I want it. I know that the minute someone says that I look like I lost weight, I will read it as a sign to relax. I will be tempted to eat out and drink more than I should. I will want to take an off because I am lazy and I want to sleep in. I will want to use the excuse of a bad day to bunk. But, I am going to try hard as hell to not let myself stand in the way of my betterment. I will come out of this stronger, fitter and happier. I will.

Stages Of Dealing With The Loss Of An Electronic Device

Stage #1: No! Tell me I am dreaming

NO! NO! NO! This can’t be. Oh God! Just turn back the clocks to just a minute ago. You know, maybe your mind is playing tricks on you. Just go stand under a better light. Maybe, the screen isn’t really cracked. Maybe it is just in your head. 

Stage #2: Oh god! What have I done?

How could this have happened? I mean, I was just walking. What did I even trip on? Oh, there is the rod right there? Are you fucking blind? Of course, you are. How could you have tripped on that giant ass rod that is protruding for thr world to see? God! It really is broken, isn’t it?

Stage #3: I’m the biggest piece of shit that has ever lived

You should just go ahead and stop living. Just walk in front of that car. Actually, dont bother. You will probably screw that up as well. You were so close to making it to two whole years of keeping the phone safe. What are you even going to tell parent? Are you NUTS? You can’t tell them anything. Just live with the guilt on your own

Stage #4: At least it is still working

Is that a glitch? Did the screen just go multi-colour? Is that lines on the screen? Oh, I am just hyperventilating. Oh good god! I am just crying in the middle of the road now. Get a grip, lady! Pull yourself together. 

Stage #5: Jeez! Can I just curl into a ball and hide myself in a ditch somewhere?

Okay! The tears need to stop. Just stop. Breathe. 1. 2. 3. Inhale. 1. 2. 3. Exhale. 3. 2. 1. Just keep breathing. Just pause a second. Dust the muck off your body. Don’t forget to keep breathing. Just make it home so you can cry into your pillow. 

Stage #6: It’s not like you meant for this to happen

You fell. It is not like you threw the phone or something. I mean, let’s face it. There isn’t much you could have done to make sure this didn’t happen. Well, you could have looked where you were walking. Did you see anyone else fall down along the way? Nope, that was just you. Then again, it was an accident. You fell, dammit. 

Stage #7: Cry

Yeah, no point trying to stay strong. Just bawl and get it over with. Just crawl into bed, pull the covers over your head and cry like there is no tomorrow. You deserve a good cry. It is the one thing you are good at, after all. What if the phone stops working eventually? Given your luck, it probabaly will. You can’t afford a new phone now. What are you going to do? 

Stage #8: How much to fix this?

So, you bought this about 2 years ago. Gosh! You just had to make it to four more months to hit 2 whole years. So, it is probably not under warranty anymore. Daymn girl, why do you do this to yourself. Ooh! You could get a second-phone of the same model for 9k. Is it worth it? Your phone is still working. Maybe, replacing the screen won’t cost as much. Hopefully, you have until April to get it sorted. Ugh, MAN! You just got my laptop back. Hope you feel proud of yourself. 

Stage #9: 3k per month= 9k in 3 months

It possibly can’t cost more than 9k to fix it. How the hell are you going to manage to save 3k per month when you barely make it to the end of the month? If you do, you won’t even have to let parents know. What if the plan fails though? You should call and find out how much it would really cost. Ugh, what’s the point. Well, the point is you CANNOT afford another phone right now. 

Stage #10: Sleep

Just curl up into a ball, binge on some sitcom and wait for sleep to overtake, so you can wake up tomorrow with a new found extreme-level of self-loathing. In a couple of days you will feel better about it all, until you look at your phone again and see how you messed up. But hey, things could have been worse, yeah? 

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Here I am yet again on a Saturday night with no plans. Once again, it is just me, my bed and my laptop. It is not the fact that I don’t have anything going on, but the fact that it is going to be this way for a long time that really gets to me. I have begun to hate being alive. I have honestly no will to live. I have been joking around about how the only reason I am living is cause I am breathing, and if that had to stop I would be okay with it. The thing is, I wasn’t kidding around.

Lately, I feel like I don’t have many reasons to keep living. Well, I have no reason. I have stopped having dreams for myself. I have stopped believing in myself. I have stopped hoping that life will get better and worst of all , I have just stopped wanting to try. But, since I have no control over when my final breath will be, I have been trying to make the best of what I have. I have been trying so hard to stay positive and look at the brighter side of things. But some days, I just can’t cope. Today seems to be one of those days.

It wasn’t so bad when I woke up. In fact, it seemed like it would turn out to be a decent day. I ate my breakfast while I did my laundry. I felt so energetic, I did a second load. I came back to my room and cleaned up around. Then, I went ahead and re-arranged my cupbopard. It was only 11:00 and I had done more than I had the entire week. I was happy. Then came the call. The hundred calls about the lies to be spun and I was irritated. ‘No, you won’t let this ruin your day’, I reminded myself. I stepped out to collect my laptop. I should have been esctatic, but instead, I snapped at the auto guy for charging me 10 bucks more. I braced myself internally so I wouldn’t hurl my bag at the guy at the service centre for charging me 600 bucks more than he said he would just 10 days ago. I controlled my angry tears when I couldn’t get an auto back. ‘You just got your laptop, think of all you can get down today,’ I told myself. I put my head down and kept myself busy so I wouldn’t think about anything. I watched Scrubs as I made bookmarks for Radhika. Before I knew it, it was 8:00. Then, I made my way for dinner and saw how empty the dining hall was. My food was far more saltier than it was meant to be.

People don’t get it. To be honest, I don’t know how to explain it to them either. Sometimes, I am with people who I call friends and I just still feel so alone. Sometimes I am alone and I couldn’t be happier. Somedays, I jusy want to curl up in a ball and never wake up. The other day I was sitting with Sarah and admiring the big old banyan tree in college and I just wanted to put pause on the world and just cry. I was telling her how disappointed I had been with the city and the college. We talked about how things could always change and then quicly accepted that it was unlikely for it to happen in the next year. As I stared at the big, mighty tree, I realised that so much about me and my life are so insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Then, I began wondering if there was a plan for me in this so-called grand scheme. I have been waiting for years now for so many little and big things in my life–things I don’t really have control over– to change and it hasn’t. Maybe, this is just the rest of my life and I just couldn’t bear the thought. I wanted to burst into tears. But, instead, I went and taught some kids.

I hate feeling this way and the past few months I have been trying hard to not let myself swim within that pool of self-pity. That is why I started volunteering. So that my days would fill up and I hoped that it would make me less angry. Starting my bullet-journal was a big part of this effort to gain some modicum of control over my emotions. It is a way for me to channel my time and energy, while also creating a space where I can out good vibes and memories. Some days though, it just doesn’t cut it. The light that I am trying to spread out pf me isn’t enough to drive away the darkness within. I just seem to be painting it all over with a big thick coat of black over and over again.

I know that maybe I will wake up tomorrow and feel different. Maybe, I should just focus on that and worry about the next bad day when it comes. But, the thing that really bothers me is that when I am having my bad days, I will be all alone all over again, trying to fix my soul a little piece at a time and just crumbling down all over again because it is so darn hard. But, that’s what I got to do, right? Fot as long as I breathe because no one can save me from myself, except for me? I wish I knew how, though. But, I know I will get there. I just have to.

Musings ❀

Musings ❀

It has been two days since I have interacted with anyone face-to-face. I have been lying in bed, binging on food and The Mentalist. Every now and then I have this thought. What if I never have anyone lying next to me in bed? What if years from now, I will be in a room, a much better, a much prettier room, lying on a bed, sprawled up next to a laptop and not a single soul around of you? It makes me sad–those kick you in the gut, squeeze your heart real tight till you can’t breathe kinda sad.

Suddenly, I had this thought. Imagine I make my career as a freelance writer. I will eventually move into a nice place, all by myself because I have grown tired of roommates and I have no significant other. I don’t have anywhere to be, so I spend my days just lying in bed, a few too many sizes bigger, binging on shows and food.

I shudder at the thought.

Hello, my old friend.

Hello, my old friend. It’s been a while. Counting off yesterday, it has probably been a year. How did it go from just brimming with things to spill to ocassionally visting the site when the ol’ friend ‘guilt-trip’ comes to town? How is it that even when you force yourself to come to this page, you find yourself staring, like an idiot. Look at that blinking, flashing line, the blank screen staring at you. Don’t you see? It is mocking you. Of course, it is mocking you! When was the last time you wrote something? Sure, there have been papers for college and articles for that magazine you have been working with, but, can you even remember the last time you had an idea and you just couldn’t wait to write it down?

The truth is, you have been afraid, haven’t you? It came out of nowhere, didn’t it? One minute you thought that you would be writer, no questions asked. It seemed the most natural thing. Then, one day, like a thief who comes in the dark, it came. It came stealthily and grasped you in its clutches so tight that you couldn’t breathe, much less free yourself. This fear made a home for itself. It was everywhere. In your heart. In your head. In your gut. You just couldn’t escape it. It consumed you. You were convinced that you had nothing interesting to say, that you didn’t write anything worth reading, and most importantly that you are not a good writer. So, you stopped. You stopped writing, until when you needed to. Sometimes, you would just miss the feeling of just writing down whatever came to your mind. You would think, who cares if you didn’t have anything interesting to say or if you didn’t say it well enough? Maybe, if you kept writing, someday you would actually have something worthwhile to write about, you thought. But, it is not all that easy, is it? Almost always, it is not the criticism from the outside world that can be tough on you, but the one that comes from within. How do you deal when you compare yourself to standards way beyond yourself? You don’t. Instead, you retreat. You pretend like you have no standards to meet, until you start believing it. You start believing that your talents are insignificant, and no matter what you did, it would stay that way. You tell yourself that the people who once told you that you write well were only doing so out of courtsey. Then you try to remember the last time someone told you that you were a good writer. You don’t remember. Maybe because you weren’t paying attention, but really because noone you thought was worthwhile told you so. Then you begin to wonder, what even is the point of trying. Just give up and wait for the world to stop going round and round. But that doesn’t happen so quickly, does it? So you sit there, stewing in your heavy dose of self-loathing and self-pity, forgetting that all the magic lies in the tips of your own damn fingers.

Maybe, one stoned night you will remember. Then you will tell yourself, maybe for a while you should just write. It could just be five lines, but hey, it’s still better than nothing. Why don’t you write till it seems as effortless and normal as having a class of ice-cold water on a hot summer day? Why don’t you just take that little feeling in the pit of your stomach, or the one that seems to be weighing down on your heart and put it down on a piece of paper? Why don’t you take the earphones off your ears for long enough for you to be able to hear your own thoughts? Why don’t you let yourself go with that thought instead of telling yourself that it is stupid? Then, why don’t you do us a favour, and take a pen, or open your laptop and write it down. Just write it down, the rest will come to you. Eventually.

Finding My Soulmate

All my life, every book I read and every movie I watched led me to believe that I would find someone who knows me better than I do and loves me for who I am. I believed, that this person would be my soulmate. I thought, that one day, somewhere in a coffee shop or while standing in the line of a grocery story I would find him. Sparks would fly, we would fall in love and I would have my happily-ever-after. 
However, lately I have begun to believe that maybe our soulmate doesn’t have to be the one we choose to spend the rest of our lives with. Maybe, being someone’s soulmate doesn’t mean that you have to make a ‘death do us part’ commitment. Maybe, the title doesn’t belong to the on-and-off boyfriends we have had or the ‘one who got away’. Maybe, just maybe, our soulmates are our best friends. 

These are the people who will be there for me till the end of time. They have proven to be time and again, that I mean the world to them. I like to believe that it will be these people who I will be spending the rest of my life with. Even when we are miles apart and busy with jobs and family, I like to think that we will still be connected. We would probably not be able to have our old Friday night drinking/venting sessions, but I believe, that if I chose to vent on a Sunday morning, they would pick up the phone and listen to me.

I don’t think I have ever told them how much they matter to me. Sure, I would shower them with love on social media their birthdays and maybe even tell them that I appreciate them for being there for me whenever I hit a rough patch. But, no words can help me express how much I love them for dancing with me to shady item songs (even without a drop of alcohol in them), or saving me from the guy at a random house party that I thought I wanted.They have hyperventilated over shows, characters and celebrities with me. They found time to listen to me, even when they were busy. They are the ones who I know will walk till the ends of the earth with me. I can’t begin to thank them for feeding me on broke days and for laughing at my lame jokes and making me laugh when all I really wanted was cry. For honouring our little traditions like watching The Middle after getting high, or writing farewell notes or not letting me drink rum; for loving me the way I am. Thanks for holding my hair back and helping me clean up my mess; for being real with me; for believing in me and for adding colour to my life, even when I am trying to paint it black. 

They have made my life a thousand times better. They not only understand me, but accept me for who I am. They loved me even when I wouldn’t listen and talk about myself at the speed of a bullet train. They loved me even when I was being difficult and cranky. They know me- the good, the bad, the ugly and they are still around. 

I have always hoped that I would find someone that would make me feel like there aren’t enough words in the world. How lucky am I to have found you all. So what if my “BFF” left for an other continent or if I am no longer in the same city as the rest of them. I spent the last week with all of them and for the first time in months, I felt at peace. I know for a fact that even if I don’t see them for years now, they will be there next to me on my death bed, making me laugh till my urine bag is full. I can almost see them, sitting around my corpse, before the funeral, drinking and reminiscing about the good old days and the stupid things I did then. That’s how I know, what we have, it’s for life. Thank you for being my constants in my otherwise chaotic life. 

Much love, 

ME