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

My happy places

Unemployment has once again begun to get to me. I spend hours relentlessly mailing possible future employers, following which I spend hours panicking about my future if no one hires me. The remaining 20 hours, you will find me sleeping, eating, watching Netflix or desperately wishing for a meteor to fall on my head. 

The past 40 days were interesting,  to put it lightly. I spent a whole month Ramganga, a small town in Sundarbans, West Bengal. I volunteered with an NGO named Digambarpur Angikar during my time there. Only after I reached the place did I realise that no one there could speak Hindi (I hadn’t expected anyone to be able to speak English). Turns out, they only knew Bengali. The first one week was the toughest. I felt ridiculously lonely. While I had wanted to take this trip alone, I really thought that I would be able to make friends of my own in this new place. But there I was, struggling to let them know that I wanted a glass of water. The fact that the people there were friendly was the biggest blessing. Once they realised that I was alone in a land where I could communicate with exactly two people, they started making efforts to make my life easier. They tried to talk to me using gestures and whatever Hindu words they knew. Knowing that they were making an effort, lifted my spirits like nothing else. Over the next few weeks I learnt what kindness of strangers really means. When you are in a strange land with no one else, all you can really rely upon is the hope that the people around you are good, decent humans. 

From the moment I stepped out of the train until the moment I took a his back to Kolkata (from where I took a train to Tirupur), I was in the hands of a complete stranger. The guy who picked me up, could have taken me anywhere and I wouldn’t have known until too late. The Swiss knife that I was clutching in my hand could only do so much. If I had to run asking for help, no one would probably even understand me. But, I chose to trust. Probably because I knew I didn’t really have much of choice. It wasn’t easy though. This is something many people out there wouldn’t understand. When you have grown up hearing about girls being raped by their friends, and loved ones, it becomes quite hard to trust someone so blindly. Every night when I would get on his bike, I would pray that I would return home safely. And when I would, I would wonder if I was being paranoid for being afraid, but the next day I would find myself clutching my Swiss knife and praying. However,  don’t let that fool you into thinking I had a terrible time.

My happy place. Sundarbans, 2016

I was at peace there. Ironical, I know. But, when you wake up to the river and you get to watch the sun rise and set against the backdrop of a beautiful clear sky, all complaints just fly out of the window. I could sit by that window and smoke for hours. There, at that point, I was just happy existing. However, before I knew, I had to say good bye to boat rides, the beautiful night sky and the gentle breeze and the view from my room that made my day a little better every day. I made my way to Kolkata, where my college roommate, Sohini was waiting to show me her city. The two days there flew by in a frenzy. Sohini and Sreeparna, my two guides in the city, were practically my gym instructors. Everytime I was too tired, they literally dragged me to new corners of the city and each time I was grateful that they didn’t just let me sit there like a cow. Following Kolkata, came the favourite part of my trip– 10 days in Tirupur, with Radhika. 

Radhika and me. Tirupur, 2016

Tirupur is Radhika’s hometown. If I haven’t mentioned it before, Radhika is pretty much what someone would label as my best friend, but we decided long back that tags are not our thing. Of course, there may be no tags, but there is a lot of love and history between us. She is the person I would call crying at 3 am,  she is the one  I would send my ugliest selfies and the one I would tell my deepest, darkest secrets to. Truth be told, she is my happy place. I mean,  I fight with her and I get annoyed when she is irritated with me (and that happens a lot), but I am always happy when she is around. And now, she is leaving for Canada this August and I don’t know when I will be seeing her again, which is why I had to make this trip.

We spent the days chatting till late night and smoking  cigarettes in the terrace once everyone at home fell asleep. I would watch her swim (I am terrified of pools) and we would drink beers after and sometimes I would smoke a doob or two with her brother. My favourite parts were when we would sit in her room and laugh over the lame things we did in the past. It never gets old–laughing over how naive and Stupid we used to be. We even managed to stuff in a two day trip to Kerala. For the first time, I didn’t cry after I said goodbye to her. I cried in a train that she was leaving in after school got over, I cried when she left Bombay after college, I jumped in joy when she came back to the city and cried like a baby she left it for Delhi. This time she is leaving the country and all I feel is excitement for her. From the day I met her, I knew that she was going to kill it in life and this is just taking her one step closer to it. I know that keeping in touch will get harder, she will make more friends, maybe better ones. We will miss one too many Skype dates and maybe I won’t see her till my wedding day. But, I will always be the girl who wrote her a book as farewell, she will be the one who comforted me as I cried over the loss of my aunt. We lived together for years and apart for years and we survived both. I think we will do just fine 7,127 miles apart. I will miss her like crazy, though. 

Well, I should probably get back to my job hunt, or well, Netflix. 

Hopefully, the next time I write, I will have a job in hand. Let’s wait and watch. 

Until then, 

This is me. Quirky and patient as ever.

Ciao

Confessions Of An Overweight Girl

I have always been an overweight girl. I have not myself in any other avatar. I went from the girl with the chubby cheeks to the chubby girl and have stayed that way since. Over the years, I have learnt that I can complain about my weight to people I am comfortable with, and also to break the ice with people I am not comfortable with. The complaints always come masked under a layer of joke, because no one like a fat, whiny girl. While they laugh and call me ‘silly’ or ‘funny’ or ‘cute’, I wish that at least one of them told me that I am not fat.

Sometimes these jokes lead up to the question almost every woman dreads—’How much do you weigh?’ What they plan to do with that piece of information is beyond me. I always lie. ‘Oh! I haven’t checked in a while,’ I reply quickly, knowing that they are going to tell me that it is very silly of me. In my head I can almost see the double digits glaring at me, almost accusingly. ‘Fat! Fat! Fat!’ the siren goes off in my head, but I plaster a smile on my face and tell them that I will check as soon as I get the chance. A lie. Somehow, the fact that until I tell them, they can only assume where that arrow stops on that scale, calms me down. I guess, that is naive of me.

If I am fat, I must me ugly. Or, so I believe. On a night out, unlike almost every single one of my friend who can push their bodies into ridiculously tight fighting clothes and look like they stepped out of a modelling magazine, I pull on a pair of ill-fitting shorts and floral, flowy top, hoping for magic. Skinny girls can pull of almost anything by virtue of being able to fit into almost anything. When you have a tummy that can gain you access into the maternity ward, boobs that would have put Pamela Anderson to shame if it came with a body that take could rival that of Shay Mitchells and a face that makes you look like a teenager, it is really hard to shop.

I guess when you are unhappy with a small part of you, hating the whole becomes an easier option. Probably why I can never look at a mirror and end up feeling ridiculous. I go on diets, a lot. Fruit diet, GM diet, Corn flakes diet, and my favourite— starvation. But, every time I see a slab of chocolate or a tub of ice cream, my resolve waivers. ‘Just once,’ I lie to myself. I don’t generally stuff myself to the point of oblivion. In fact, I get full really fast. A fact that no one can believe, because if I am fat, I must be eating like a pig. Sure, I do snack in between meals, I have a sweet tooth and maybe I have a few too many biscuits with my coffee, but I can never eat too much in one sitting. I do exercise. Almost regularly. I guess if I had to choose between exercise or an extra hour at work, I would choose work.

I guess, if you live away from your family, coming home almost always feels like the test. The first challenge is, of course, to see if you have finally been able to enter the ‘omg-have-you-been-starving?’ club. I haven’t managed to. And, then, despite the fact that for days I could barely scrape together two chappatis and I was looking forward to pampering myself with some good home-cooked meal, I start Diet #768788. Then, I meet my relatives who greet me with an extended disco version of the same performance by your mother. At the those moments, I wish I could lose weight just to spite them. But two days later I will find myself munching on the nibbles my grandmother lovingly made for me.

In all my dreams, I am never myself. I am always a new-and-improved version of who I am. I have managed to convince myself that even though I am smart, funny, well-educated, my body is a shortcoming that can’t be forgiven. Funny thing is, a few years ago I was in a far better shape and yet, I assumed otherwise. The fact that people kept telling me that losing a few more kilos would do me good, didn’t help. But, when I could have been happy, I was hard on myself and stayed insecure. Now I wonder if I will feel any other way. The truth is my insecurity is my problem. No one asked me to feel that way. When I see women like Iskra Lawrence, or any woman brave enough to be comfortable with herself, I feel stupid. But, when I scroll down and read the hate comments, I tell myself that maybe brave is not such a good thing.

The idea of sticking a finger down my throat never appealed to me. I do dream about getting a liposuction or working hard enough to transform into someone else. Then I realise I am stupid again. I mean, if I can’t love myself, I can’t expect someone else to love me. While being fat isn’t my identity, it is a part of who I am. While I do know that people come in all shapes and sizes, I can’t seem to accept the fact that maybe I am going to be this size all my life, and maybe that is not such a bad thing. I probably will continue a life of countless diets and experimenting with various exercise regimes, until one day I realise that I am good enough. Until then, and probably after that I will still be wearing tops a few sizes too big and jeans a size bigger cause my ass won’t fit otherwise.

Until then, this is me. Chubby and quirky as ever.

xoxo