Ready to Love.. again

The tragedy isn’t that life stops without you, it is that it goes on..

Whether or not you stay to lighten my days and deepen my nights, the sun fades in and out.

It doesn’t mean that the forever and always meant nothing..

It only means that that forever has been lived..

The always deep inside your heart.

The tragedy strikes when you realise that the only way out of this-

Is through it.

Inside are the colourful memories, the sweet nothings, the forgotten messages and the innocent forwards..

Innocuous as they may all seem, each but breaks you little by little.

Till you are a whole of painfully tiny parts-

Each part sings it’s own song-

And together you resonate as one.

The way out, that’s reaching out to you..

The highway to a new place with the old you..

That’s in reach.

But there’s something that you don’t want to leave behind

It’s not him or her; they have long ago left this place behind

It’s you and how you remember yourself

It’s how you remember what made you happy through your tears and what made you sad in spite of the smiles

You will chance upon the same you in a new place; eventually

When you’ve healed enough to press the wound,

When the pain in faint but there,

When you feel it but without the tears,

When you can laugh about those times without the pangs,

When you can think back and move on.

That’s when you’ve healed and that’s when you are ready to love again..

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Why does it hurt when you get smoke in your eyes?

You know how smoke impairs your vision. You can make out what’s behind the smoke screen but not see it. The defect doesn’t lie in your eye or in your vision; it’s just what the smoke makes you see.

Smoke has tiny particles at high temperatures. These tiny particles sting your eyes and the heat dries them out. Then there is that burning sensation in your eyes and sometimes in your throat.

It affects our vision and our quality of life, but what happens when that smoke gets into your mind?

I said mind there, not brain.

When your mind is smoke wrapped in a haze of stereotypes, perceptions, prejudices and judgements. For instance-

  1. Fat is ugly
  2. Thin is beautiful
  3. Fair is lovely, dark is ugly

Sometimes this smoke goes into the inner recesses of our minds-

  1. Women are meant for household chores
  2. Men are breadwinners and meant for odd jobs outside the house
  3. Seeking permission from your partner (read: husband) before going out with your friends- makes you second fiddle to him

And sometimes even deeper into our soul-

  1. My name is Khan and you may think I am a terrorist
  2. I sport a beard and you may judge me based on my religion
  3. I don a hijab and you think that makes me the weaker sex

Research shows that sight is the sense that people fear losing the most and many of us think of sight as only a physical manifestation of what we see. While it’s easy to protect your eyes from smoke, it isn’t always easy to stop the smoke from entering your minds and your brains.

The challenge here isn’t the culture or the system; it’s much simpler and more complex- it’s your behavior.

  1. When you don’t believe in societal diktats and yet adhere to the code of conduct
    1. Like it or not, you buy the whitening sunscreen and the haldi kesar face wash
  2. When you don’t believe in religion/ region based right and wrong
    1. Yet steer away when confronted with beard or hijab
  3. When you understand physiology, and yet
    1. Judge people for their shape and size

It’s easy. It’s easy to adhere to the social cues.

It’s easy to not stand out.

It’s easy to let someone else handle the smoke. It’s easy to blame the smoke.

And sometimes the smoke is so thick, that you can’t breathe in it. That you stay indoors, isolated, away from everything else.


Get the smoke out before it forces you in. That’s why it hurts when you get smoke in your eyes.

That moment..

That moment when you hug with all your soul, and inwardly become ready to say goodbye

When you want to feel all of them, and leave it all behind

When you don’t want the moment to end, and suddenly become aware of the passage of time

When you dread the end of the story, but know that’s the only way forward

When the biggest pain is that of waiting

When their absence is presence incarnate

When the loss is so great that any other win is insignificant

When the old faded photos drown out all the colours of your life

Then, only then my friend, you have truly lived your life.

If love doesn’t destroy you, doesn’t change you, doesn’t polish you, doesn’t spoil you, then you haven’t loved worth loving.

You haven’t loved enough.

You haven’t lived enough.

It’s Okay

Probably the most oft used phrase and yet so underutilized.

Those people on your floor that you just don’t resonate with, not because they have done something to you but it’s just a feeling. And you can’t decode it.

It’s okay- you don’t need to like everybody and everybody doesn’t need to like you.

Some folks that write “mens and womens” instead of “men and women” simply tick you off.

It’s okay- English is a skill, not a reflection of your value system or your character.

You have come to a point where you think (read: not feel) that relationships aren’t your thing. You are probably done with all the match making efforts both self-“inflicted” and forced.

It’s okay- the right guy or gal may not be just around the corner, but you have added so much depth to your soul that you will make it till you chance upon the right one!

You can’t help yourself in a bookstore. You don’t just buy books; you reach into deeper recesses of the author’s mind and search for bits of you. And you have hit a space where you just can’t read anymore. But you can’t help yourself in a bookstore.

It’s okay- it takes time for those overwhelming thoughts to recede. It takes time to empty before you are ready to feel full again.

I am sure you have worked out multiple such scenarios in your head-

  • Neighbor’s laundry line dripping water onto your line
  • Friends that get a haircut worth a fortune and then tie it up
  • Others who think that wearing a chunky watch with lounge wear adds class to their personality
  • Some that wear blue with brown

And so on and so forth.


At some level, if you think of it, they are all searching for answers and that doesn’t make them bad folks. They are just people.

It’s okay is a helpful way to display compassion; unmindful compassion I believe. It’s what we sometimes don’t feel, but it makes the other person feel listened to. It portrays our humanity without overwhelming the receiver.

So If you’ve people in your life that are telling you “it’s okay”; send up a silent prayer to be grateful for these people in your life.

And if you don’t feel grateful- you know what, it’s okay.

Imperfect.

That word is so not itself. The beauty with which “imperfect” describes everything so perfectly is wonderful.

  • Celebrating Women’s Day to mark that women have a special place in our lives- the most imperfect way to stand up for women
    • Celebrate women by acknowledging that they aren’t men and that doesn’t make them any less able, competent or serious
  • Increasing maternity leaves for women- the most imperfect way to ensure balance in the family ecosystem
    • Celebrate motherhood by enabling fathers to become better parents. In Padman, Pari’s father talks to Akshay Kumar and tells him “Baap banne ka asli maza to Ma banke hi aata he”/ The true joy of becoming a father is realized only when you have become the mother.
    • Ever heard of paternity leave? The mother gets 6 months and the father gets 4 days. Who do you think becomes the primary caregiver at home?
  • Creating “non- time bound” quotas for bringing women into the workforce- the most imperfect to press for progress
    • Women don’t get onto boards because of lack of executive experience. Since there’s no time limit around inducting women into the workforce, no compliance and so nothing really changes at the ground level.
    • Time bound quotas, those directed by state have a special role in transforming this imbalance.
  • Making women feel that the home doesn’t run without them – the most imperfect way of making them feel loved
    • Most women drop out of the corporate race while continuing to work because of competing priorities. Many let go off challenging assignments because the home suffers without them. A lot of people including family members doubt their commitment to family if women accept assignments that take them far from home for long periods of time.

This post is after all about how perfect that word is in itself- Imperfect.

All these imperfections strive to make a woman’s life perfect. It’s no wonder that though women top the education ladder, not many make it to the top rungs of the corporate one.

Happy Women’s Day.

Find what Feels Good

When my yoga teacher is demonstrating a new pose or telling me to stretch beyond what I have done before, she says- find what feels good.

So pertinent to other facets of life too-

  • When you are worried if this job isn’t what you want to do now or ever
  • When you feel you have been moping for far too long
  • When you skipped your workout- yet again
  • When the clothes from last year don’t fit that well
  • When the healthy food that you’ve been eating isn’t what you are craving

Find what feels good.

  • Figure out what you truly enjoy doing and see if you can do a side hustle, along with your job
  • No love lasts for all time, no person remains the same till the end; find out what kind of person you’ve become and move on
  • Maybe sneak in a quick yoga practice
  • It’s time to buy new clothes! It’s time to love yourself; there’s probably more of you now or a fitter you
  • Sneak in some mayonnaise into your salad or some ghee on your parathas

Stop existing in extremities.

  • You love writing, but don’t think that it’d be good enough; start a blog, try making writing a practice. The best is always a work in progress.
  • You’ve moved on but aren’t ready to move in to a new relationship; just be in the space with you right now. It’s great feeling complete by yourself.
  • You aren’t able to exercise 6 days a week, but can you squeeze in 150 minutes during the whole week?
  • Donate the clothes that don’t fit. Stop existing in aspirational sizes; buy what fits today and what flatters you today. Don’t but a size smaller and then not be able to breathe.
  • Cheat meal once a week or cheat day once a fortnight. Don’t mark the calendar; just indulge yourself when it feels good.

You deserve to be the best version of you. All that compassion, empathy and affection that you shower on others, switch it yourself for a bit.


Find what feels good.  Daily Prompt: Restart

See how your feet hold you up and how you glow when you have that bowl of fruit every day! Define your own good.