Paradoxes

Life forever seems to be such a paradox. There are moments I wish I could just freeze in time, lest it pass by me before I can catch my breath. And then there are those wherein there’s nothing more I’d like than to move past it and jump into the awaiting future.

This is one of those instances when I feel like I’m stuck in a rut, while everything else whizzes by me. It feels like I’ve been doing the same constant mundane things over and over for the past two years. My soul craves some adventure, to delve into the unknown, to get away from the routine. I can almost taste what it would feel like.

And yet there are a million reasons for why I can’t do so, yet. Every time the craving hits I pacify myself by saying that there’s always time. And the proverbial dreamer in me keeps the dream burning alive.

And yet I find myself pondering if that is not the very reason keeping me from grasping what I want. Just another one of life’s many paradoxes that I’ll have to content myself with, till the dreamer in me has it all in her tangible hands.

Hello Fear

Every time I close my eyes,

There are these flashes I see.

Flashes then lead the way to an unsettling Fear.

The Fear grips me; body, heart and soul.

And yet, there’s a fixed rigidity

Which won’t let me do what I must to drive away The Fear.

It’s like a bucket full of storm clouds which have taken up a cozy residence in me

Constantly raging war with its thunder and lightning

In a way completely consuming me..

It’s all I can then think of; papers, case studies, reports and submissions.

Not a minute of peace

And yet I’m stuck in this limbo – unable to move forward and unable to take a step back

But life goes on, does it not?

This too shall pass,

And oh how I shall conquer thee, Fear, you just wait and see.

The diary of a confused teen.

She was your average teenage girl, going through life’s worries just like any other girl, going through the pressures, stresses and pleasures of college life. She was happy, exceedingly so, however much she may whine about it, with this arrangement. There were no teenage dramas or boy dramas unfolding around her. She had a peaceful life compared to others her age. Did that make her different? Yes, she guessed it did. Did it make her want to have some drama in her life? She grudgingly agreed that maybe a teeny bit of drama would do her no harm.

The saying ‘Be careful what you wish for’ clearly wasn’t taken seriously by her. Because really, if you ask me, which sane person who is happy with their life would wish for more drama to complicate matters? Apparently she would. And bam! Hello, complicated teenage life.

It all started a while back for her  when she met this guy. (It’s not really surprising considering most teenage dramas revolve around guys.) Met actually doesn’t cut it. He was a friend of a friend and she was set up with him. On the day she was to meet him for the first time she almost had an anxiety attack and to make matters worse, she wasn’t even keeping well at the time. But she did meet him, and he turned out to extremely nice and she had a lovely time.

From there on, it’s pretty much been a roller coaster ride for her. She’s wary of meeting new people because she’s shy with new people (certainly not with people she’s become close to over the years). And it amazed her exactly how comfortable she felt in his presence. Or how there was no awkwardness when they spoke over the phone. How they could have a two and a half hour-long phone conversation after they’d just made their acquaintance with each other, and yet it wasn’t even slightly weird, with no awkward pauses and she barely knew so much time had just flown by. She still maintains she barely spoke but he thought otherwise.

And yet she knew that she wouldn’t date him. They’d probably end up as spiffing friends but she knew for sure that they wouldn’t end up together. She knew he kind of liked her. Even that didn’t make her change her mind (even though her friends are rooting for her to date him).

So what changed then? Honestly, even she doesn’t know. There was a lull in their conversations a while back because she was so busy with exams and assignments. She had no time to breathe let alone have a conversation with anyone. So their conversations gradually fizzled out but they didn’t completely die out. They still spoke whenever they could.

She didn’t give this a second thought till one day in class her professor asked them to write a love letter. A love letter?! Her initial reaction was one of annoyance. It was 8 in the morning. Most of the class was half asleep and she didn’t have a love interest to write a letter to and she was much too sleepy to make up an imaginary love. But then, his name did pop up in her head. Would it be a letter of love? Certainly not. (She believes that being a teenager and being ruled by hormones one can’t really fall in love at this age)

But it did get her thinking. She knew she didn’t love him. She was scoffing at the very idea. But she also didn’t know what it was.
Because she had time in her hands now. And they were talking. Not every day but often enough. Often enough for her to start anticipating his messages.   Often enough now, that the thought of him messaging her made her just a little giddy. Often enough, that his name popping up on her screen could make her smile a little.(She, however, claims that that only happens because their conversations are usually hilarious. I can only roll my eyes at that.)

But that did get her thinking. Why? Why was she so happy at the thought of messaging him? Why did she eagerly wait for his messages? Why did they make her so happy? She knew it wasn’t love but maybe it wasn’t completely platonic for her anymore. She honestly doesn’t know. And it’s always going to be there, nagging her in the back of her mind, until she does figure out what it really is.

I guess all she can do is give it time. But the lesson I’m taking away from this is – You really should be careful what you wish for. She was so much more happy (and turmoil free) without all the added drama. So really, don’t let your hormone riddled brain make any wishes.

Never regret anything that made you smile.

‘A great source of calamity lies in regret and anticipation; therefore a person is wise who thinks of the present alone, regardless of the past or future. ‘ – Oliver Goldsmith.

Regret. That one emotion which to me is unbearably painful. Regret and guilt go hand in hand. And that is not something anyone would want to go through. Yet there are so many things that we do end up regretting.

‘If only I’d pushed myself a little harder maybe I could’ve won the gold. If only I had studied for two more hours everyday I would’ve made the cut. If only I had thought before I said those harsh words I wouldn’t have hurt her so deeply. If only I had tried to communicate a bit more I may have been able to salvage our broken relationship. If only I had been strong enough to resist the temptation of his alluring charm I may not have lost the love of my life. If only I had forgotten my pride and apologized before he breathed his last.’

We all have regrets in our life. It comes with being human. To err is human and when we make mistakes we regret them ever happening. But part of being human is that we live in the present. We don’t think of the consequences our actions may have in the future. Quoting Dumbledore – “The consequences of our actions are so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.” And that would be why at some point in the future that feeling of regret eats away at us for our past actions.

Yes it can leave us quite bitter but looking back even though certain events caused us to regret them there would be something about it that made you smile. Through that haze of anger and bitterness and melancholy those precious little moments can be like the light of life, giving you warmth, allowing you to look past that dark haze. Those are the moments you should hold onto like a life belt. For the rest of your life.

Because life comes with its ups and downs. What makes all the difference is the choices we make. We can choose to focus on the bitterness or we could choose to focus on those little moments that made you joyous and merry. And that will make all the difference. That will enable you to move on with a smile on your face.

It’s good  to get crossed in love now and then. What we can take away from it are the moments that made you laugh your heart out, made you smirk. Made you give that shy bashful smile. And you can learn from your experience so as to not make that mistake again. Make new mistakes instead. So why waste your time on the painful, bitter and angst-y memories when you can focus on the good things.

Take pleasure in the small things in life. Never regret anything that ever made you smile because there was some magic about it that got you to smile in the first place.

Laugh Uncontrollably!

If I look back on the past 18 years of my life the moments that come foremost to my mind are the ones where I’m clutching my tummy in pain, rolling with mirth, gasping for breath and tears streaming down my face. Laughter. It’s ironic. My description above sounds almost painful but it’s the one thing that can give us some semblance of relief from our pain.

A little bit of laughter and humor can brighten up your entire day. It can make even the most grumpy person crack a smile. And what greater pleasure than knowing that you gave someone a reason to smile.

Have you ever wondered – when you see from afar a bunch of people laughing their hearts out, what could they possibly be laughing about? Has it ever made you also want to be in the in of things? Laughter has the potential to turn a lot of heads. It’s like that moment in class. Everything is quiet except the professor’s monotone voice droning on and two people burst out laughing loudly and all heads in the class swivel towards you so fast, there’s a possibility of your head falling off! It’s quite comical, really. Or maybe it’s just me because I happen to have a very vivid imagination and can find the silliest of things amusing.

Whoever said you need alcohol to get you a high? Laughter is the thing which can get me higher than the empire state in a matter of minutes. Throw in this mix iced tea from my canteen and you have a deadly result. The outcome is a blabbering, blithering idiot spouting utter rubbish, who can’t stop laughing even if she wants to. But you know what? Those are the moments I live for. These are the moments which have cleared out a part of the clutter from my brain and taken up permanent residence there.

Neither do I need a reason to laugh. I can start laughing for absolutely no reason. No, I’m serious, promise. I remember this one incident which took place last year. College was being a pain and I was up all night completing an assignment. I’d gotten just about 3 hours of sleep. And. And turns out sleep deprivation can give me a really happy high. Good for me, not so much for the others who have to bear my antics. All it took to get me started was one look at my friend (and I must mention that there wasn’t anything wrong with her. Like she wasn’t sporting shocking pink hair neither had she grown fangs overnight. No it was all me.) and laughter started bubbling out of me. Throughout the day I’d take one look at her and giggle. This reached its epitome when we’re leaving and I stop at the college gate with her and another friend and open my mouth to talk but instead there’s a ripple of laughter which burst forth from me. And I still don’t know why I’m laughing. I’m clutching my stomach, bending down trying to breathe and I have tears pouring down my face and I kept chanting I can’t stop laughing. Oh well, I gave the other two a reason to laugh as well. I remember now the weird looks I was getting from people leaving college. Do I care? Absolutely not. Because even while I’m writing this, I have a huge grin on my face.

Another incident which I remember took place a couple of years ago. It was a Sunday and we were gonna go out for lunch. As is the case in my house, me and my sister were ready to go, waiting for my parents to get done. She was lounging on my bed reading something and I walk into the room and see her. So because this really is a completely normal thing to do and any sane person would do it I take a running leap onto the bed, land face first and holler out boo yeah! I didn’t even have to look at my sister’s face to start laughing, though I’m sure her expression would have been epic. No I just started laughing and I proceeded to laugh my heart out for the next half an hour. I swear I’m not kidding. No my sister even mentioned to my mum that I’ve gone crazy.

So when I say I really don’t need a reason to laugh, I mean it.

Or it’s in moments like this. You’re travelling by train and your friend sends you this hilarious message and you burst out laughing. Really loudly. And the lady sitting in front of you thinks you’re a lunatic. But does it matter what she thinks? I’m probably going to remember her scandalized expression and laugh over that as well.

Even the mention of laughing gas can make me start laughing. (You must be thinking I really am such a loony. And my friends have already tagged me certifiably insane)

Laughter, it can give you such a high. So what is the point in complaining and whining about everything in the world, which is out of our control. Just laugh it over instead.  and it’s such a contagious thing. It’s like a pack of dominoes. One person starts laughing and everyone follows. So laugh yourself, give others a reason to laugh and spread some cheer and craziness in this grave world.

Love truly.

It was cold. Bone chilling cold. The wind was fierce and blustery whipping her hair back and forth, cruelly punishing her for all her past misdeeds. All she had was a thin shawl to fight back the cold. She was left to fend for herself. She sat huddled in the warmest corner of the street she could find trying to protect herself as best as she could from the cold. It was cold, so cold. She was cold and numb. She was dead to the world, dead to her own emotions, dead to her pain. She’d run, she’d run as soon as she had the chance, from that hell hole, as fast as her bruised legs would carry her. She ran and ran and she ran before she could go forward no longer and then collapsed in a heap. She was shivering. Shivering from the cold or the pain? One could only guess. Tears slowly made their way down her face. Before she knew it violent sobs were racking her body, the stress of the past few months finally catching up with her broken, fragile body.

He had ventured out only to visit the grocery store. He was pensive as he walked back home, lost in the thoughts of the girl at the small cafe. It was sheer luck that he chose to take the long way home. He had just wanted the quiet, enjoying the breeze licking at him, warm in his coat and cravat. The girl at the cafe intrigued him to no length. He found himself visiting the cafe daily just to catch a glimpse of her and if luck favoured him to exchange two words with her. Just that could put a smile on his face for the rest of his day. Yes, she certainly had him intrigued.

Walking along the cobbled street, he heard the gut wrenching sobs emanating from a dark alley. It made his hair stand on end. One part of his mind told him to just keep moving ahead, to not get involved but his values wouldn’t let him leave a woman sobbing this way, like she was being tortured. He trod forward carefully and peeked around the alley. Her knees brought up to her chest, her hand hugging them like they’re her life support, keeping her from collapsing. Her hair, bushy and tousled was covering her face. But he had spent hours studying her and there was no mistaking that vibrant shade of red.

“Jenny.” It was a strangled whisper lost in the wind.

He walked up to her and knelt down in front of her. She felt his presence and looked up. The fear present in her eyes almost stabbed him with pain but then recognition flickered in her eyes and he gathered her in his arms doing his best to keep her pain at bay. She was icy cold and he shrugged out of his jacket throwing it over her shoulders providing her with whatever little warmth he could offer. He rocked them both there for a few hours until her sobs reduced to just sniffing. He stood up with her and took her home, just round the corner. He made her a warm cup of cocoa, gave her some warm clothes and urged her to sleep in the warm, comfortable bed. He grabbed a pillow and a blanket and took up residence at the couch.

He didn’t judge her for anything but was just there for her if she needed him. This was love truly. Their acquaintance blossomed into a blooming friendship and slowly into love.

She had thought she was in love before. Before he had raised his hand to strike her. Once, twice, thrice, innumerable times. She had thought it was love. How mistaken was she. She realized now the trap he’d made her fall into.

But it was Luke who’d shown her what love is. It was Luke who made her feel so cherished, made her feel like the prettiest being on the planet. It was Luke who made her want to be a better person, who made her want to excel. It was Luke who taught her to dream again, it was Luke who was there every step of the way in the pursuit of these dreams. It was Luke who kept her grounded when she merged the thin lines between reality and fantasy. It was Luke whose one touch could help keep her calm. It was just that one touch which could give her comfort, just one touch which could make her tingle all the way till her toes; it was his words which could make her laugh, his words which could make her blush. It was his hug that makes her feel protected. It was his eyes that make her heart speed up. And it was he who made her feel wanted; it was he who made her feel like he couldn’t live without her, she was his oxygen. It was Luke who made her believe in love again. It was Luke who made her fall in love and it was Luke who loved her like no other.

Love comes with its own baggage; it comes with its own share of pain. But what doesn’t? The pain is a small price to pay for the joy, the happiness, the peace and the serenity that love brings with itself. All it takes is love. Love to change the world, to make it a better place for you and for me.

Kiss Slowly.

Eight months and seven days. It had been eight long months since she’d last seen him, held him. Eight excruciatingly long months and seven days. She started the countdown two months ago, striking out each day in bold red. It was exactly two months ago that she received the letter. The letter that brought her joy like no other, the letter which made her pace up and down unable to wait a minute longer. Because he was coming. He was finally coming home.

It wasn’t easy. Love is never easy. No, it certainly isn’t easy when you fall in love with someone who has a heart this big, big enough to want to protect a million strangers yet somehow all his brothers and sisters. It isn’t easy to know you’re never going to be the only one he needs to protect but it helps to know that you’re the most important one to him, you’re the one he wants to protect – to protect from any sort of harm, even protect you from yourself.

No it wasn’t easy at all. It’s not easy when in a year you get to spend just about twenty days with your other half. Those twenty days however, so blissful and sweet, it was a bubble she never wanted broken. But alas! All good things eventually come to an end. The pain was physical. Every step he took away from her, her heart felt like it was stabbed ruthlessly with the broken razor sharp glass shard. It pierced her with every step he took away from her until he was all but a shadow imprinted on her eyes. And then. And then it shattered, shattered into a millions different pieces. He was the only one who’d be able to put it back. Piece for piece. But would he be there the next time to mend it back? Would she see him again? Or would He above snatch away her dearest from her? She could only pray.

Hence the letter, so precious it was, because he was well and breathing and he was coming home to her. The letter clutched tightly in her hands, with a thousand tiny wrinkles, the setting sun bathed her in a warm orange glow. Peeking out at the curvy road ahead, perched against their creaking gate. She waited. And waited. A sliver of a shadow could be seen in the bend ahead. She held her breath, her heart beating a mile a minute. The shadow grew to indicate a man walking towards her. It was him. She knew that shadow very well. She sprang the gate open and looked up to see his face ahead. With a cry of happiness she ran, ran with all her might and stopped short just in front of him. She tenderly grasped his face and he held her waist. And no words were needed to express their love as they gazed at each other. Their love was beheld in their eyes. In that moment they were both lost to everything else.

And he slowly lowered his face, brushed her lips with his, taking his time, savouring the moment, savouring the feel of her against him, savouring the kiss. There was no hurry. He wanted to relish every moment of their kiss. Because god forbid not, but if this was their last kiss he wanted to remember every minute of it, every single minute. For now they had all the time in the world together and he kissed her slowly into the starry night.