SHAJ

“To look life in the face and to know it”

Lately I have been having doubts about the decisions that I have taken in my life. Most of them are career oriented. I keep asking myself, have I been doing this right? Am I lost? Do I not know what I want to do next? I have been so confused at my own confusion and – I understand when that is related to love problems – but work? Wow. I never thought I would be confused about work. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do. And then something happened that is pretty much inevitable in general term called “life”. Change.

Now, I am a kind of person who loves change! I hate monotonous life. I just hate it. Its not like everyday needs to be unique or something but I have known myself to not handle routine life in a row. It gets me all worked up about how useless my life is, while people in Instagram have so much more exciting things to do.

That blabber aside – its been tough. And my workplace is not really a kind of place where you have the liberty to share your concerns such as these. You see – when you are in the film industry – you are here because of your passion. That’s it. Doubting the work you do (not the project) is almost like doubting your passion and that is looked down upon! I understand that. I have been judgmental in the past too. But since, that’s the past – I am not going to JUDGE myself about it anymore.

So after a lot of pent up emotions inside, I finally decided to share it with someone who I felt was trust-able and probably not judgmental. And I did. In the process of explaining it to this very kind woman (and an amazing writer!), I found myself asking her – if all this is worth it? She spent a lot of time listening to my woes and after some discussion I was finally able to understand my dilemma. So, I decided to not beat my head over it and wait for the right time and then do the right thing – as per the passion commands. But the question that I asked her, really bothered me! I mean – I did not know if being in one of the best places of the industry and getting to learn from the best people in the industry – was worth it or not? That’s scary. What do I want? I asked myself. And there was no answer. For a person, who is always so sure of herself and the decisions that she takes – this is sort of a panic attack.

And then I woke up this morning, did my one routine that I don’t get sick of doing – I made tea. (When I do get sick of it – I order it from the dairy downstairs. But its still the most routine of all the things I do. Don’t even get me started on my bowel movements!) Anyway – so I made tea and started reading a book. I had an hour to go to office and I always need some time for myself before I go to work – that’s the only way I can function in a normal manner for the rest of the day. So, I was reading this book and I had a sudden urge to write something. I immediately took my diary from my bedside drawer, my pen from the pen stand on the bedside drawer and settled myself on the huge cushion for my back, on the bed. And I looked outside – it was raining.

My windows are big. When I had taken up this house – that was all that I was sold with – the ample amount of windows in my house that led to a magnificent view of the greenery outside. That’s a tough gain in Mumbai and I can’t stop bragging about it. I looked at those trees outside and in the rain, the light green looked lighter and the dark green looked even more darker. What contrast! Their barks, so deep brown – were flaunting their beautiful scars. And it came to me, in the most poetic way possible. The answer to my question – this is why its all worth it. 

I might not have a lot of time for myself, but when I do – its all mine. I am not worried about the next project because I am safe at this point. So, at this point – I can keep looking out of the window and remember how satisfying life is. Unless of course I lose my job and then I will have to worry – but until I don’t – I have this moment. I can pay my rent. I can pay for my groceries. I have a bedside drawer (Its important. I paid for it!). I have a space for myself that is my own and I might not have all the time in the world to think – but I have everything I need to sustain for myself – so that whenever I get the time, I have all the means to THINK. And I wouldn’t trade this for ANYTHING else in this entire world!

Yes. I am here because of my passion for films. But that does not mean that that part of me will always be satiated. And the last thing I want to do is pretend that it does. It won’t. Its very important to do what we love and its even more important to not make it a habit. We don’t want to end up eating snacks and be full by the time dinner’s ready. How will we enjoy our dinner otherwise? (imagine a high pitched squeaky voice saying that)

I realized that we tend to create a projection of our enlarged selves and then pose it to be real. We actually believe that people don’t see it. And we keep doing it because it tends to make us stronger, so we get quite convinced that that image is true. I don’t want to be captured in that image of myself. I don’t want to be captured in the philosophies and the wisdom of the philosophers. I want their wisdom to help me grow, not stunt it. I want it to make me powerful, not weak.

Like in the book, “The Hours” by Michael Cunningham,Virginia Woolf writes to her husband:

  “Dear Leonard. To look life in the face. Always to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it. To love it for what it is, and then, to put it away.”

A part of my life felt simpler today. And hence, the urge to share.

:)

Life, right now.

I am busy again.
Chop. Chop. Tick. Tick.
Work work.
Lets – get – it
Done. Done.

It was day when I left
and I haven’t looked out my window since.
Shit.
Its already night fall
Past 9.
What a life.
I have none, they say.
I like it.
I like it.
Chop chop. Some more.
A little more. Lets get it.
Done. done.

Tick. Tick.
I sit.
Staring at the screen,
the blue light that its emanating.
All my world,
the meaning, the comprehension,
the joke and the leisure.
Its all here.
And I can see it,
through this blue light that’s emanating.

Oh.
Wait.
No. no.
That wasn’t the point of it all.
Was it?

Chop –
No. Wait. Stop!
I don’t want to chop anymore.
Do I?
Don’t I?
Adrenaline rushing.
Click. Click.
Happy – sad?
Don’t know. Don’t know.
Shhhh. I wanna think.
I think?

———–

Tick. Tick.
Blink.
Think.

———-

Fuck it.
I am busy again.
Chop, chop.
Tick. Tick.
Lets get it.
Done. done.

In the deep tresses of my mind

In the deep tresses of my mind,
I scream for a let out.
I scream for a door
in a room full of colorful windows.

In the deep tresses of my mind,
I loathe this dreadfully, pragmatic life.
The dawn beneath my curtains,
this blue world promising me its light.

I rush back in my head,
to years of childhood that are far left behind.
I weep for the grasses untouched,
and feelings forgotten in my mind.

I beg for my freedom.
I beg for a life more accustomed to regrets
than the meaningless applauses,
made for a night.

In the deep tresses of my mind,
I wish for a life lived again-
with less fear in my heart to begin,
and within, a burning fire until the end.

A free world?

Its a free world they say.
A much better world than what it used to be.
They had regulated television
and we have the freedom of internet.
Their sedition was crime.
Ours is anonymity.

Its a free world and yet not, they say.
We are loud and clear
so why are we not heard, they ask.
Change the subject, they say.
Distract with terms and decorated faces,
that mean nothing and yet our attention is theirs.

Who am I to crib, I wonder.
So many things waiting to be sketched from words
and yet no courage to spill the paint.
The voice is afraid
and so the change is yet to come.
They say. They say and they say.
And I put a stop to this.
My pen, my sword thumps on the ground
with a thud not so loud.
And I weep, weep without tears of hopelessness
but foreseeing the tragedy of the inevitable end.

I chose quiet.
Quieter than I thought I would be.
Only words that sum up
and have no meaning stay.
So, how does it matter
if I said something over nothing at all.
The uncanny chains remain the same.

Mother.

How easy it used to be for me to criticise her. To make her feel that she wasn’t good enough; that she could have done much better but stuck herself to my father, to the “meaningless family life”.

Today while we were taking a walk in the morning, she pulled out my dad’s phone that she had specially bought to just click pictures of the flowers in the garden where we walk. I usually find it silly when she sends me a good morning message everyday at 8’o clock. I know she sends it to ‘all’ in her list. But what struck me this morning was not that she was clicking pictures of flowers to continue her religious commitment of her ‘good morning’ ritual – it was the look in her face when she was watching the flowers. She loved them. The colours, their shapes – the way she chose pure white ones to off-white ones, the way her face lit up when she saw a small garden patch of marigold flowers. ‘Aren’t they beautiful, bebu?’, she asked me. I said, yes. Truly, I did not even know what was so beautiful about them. And I felt so jealous. I thought I had been doing it all right. I was living my life to the fullest while she could not. That, she got ‘stuck’. And here I was, not even understanding her awe at the beauty of those bright orange globe-concentric shaped flowers.

I have usually been critical of her ever-so-happy demeanour. I would wonder how much she keeps inside her and criticise even more whenever in anger, I would hear some spite. I would tell her that she is better than that. I wonder, if she doesn’t want to be better than that. And whatever she has done so far, what I call the facade – is because I and people like me in her life kept telling her that she is better than that. I wonder, how much she has suffered, how much she has let go of. I wonder, if she has ever hated me and loved me at the same time by not letting me know so.

Today while she was watching the roses, more than sadness, I felt disgust for myself. I realised how I have put the people I love in boxes of my critical court and hammered them with my own insecurities of who I am and how they must be, to be with me. You would say that I must not be too hard on myself, but the truth is that I am not at all being hard on myself. This is me. My energy comes from critically accessing all parts of my being in the constant need to renew myself from who I am to who I want to be. But to subject people who love me on the same dais as mine, is just not fair.

I wonder why they do not complain. I wonder why she does not complain. Or, maybe she does but I can’t hear it, because I am too busy being convinced how she knows so little and I know so much more. That I am not disgusted with, though. I think all children at some point or the other feel that they are much smarter than their parents. And that is usually true – given that they come from them and have better adaptation to the present world and its obsessions more than their parents. They care about the world and their parents care about them. Children are smarter – definitely. But that’s not what am worried about. I am worried about, how little I know of the real world, of real people, of real things and of real feelings. If I show this write – up to my mother, she would wonder what I am talking about, probably even say that its amazing while never comprehending what I actually mean. She wouldn’t understand that I am jealous of her. And that is what am most jealous of – the fact that she doesn’t know what it feels to not feel about the real, tiny happiness existing in bright yellow petals out there.

The new beginning

‘Its gonna be fine’
I told myself.
Like Aamir Khan consoled himself
‘All is well’?
Its gonna be all fine.
I told myself.

‘Are you going to leave again?’
My heart asked.
Yes. Yes, please.
I need to, don’t I?
‘But you will be a wreck again!’
I know, I know!
But, it doesn’t feel right.
Not any more. Not any more.

‘Have you tried letting go of your ego yet?’
Yes, I did. Didn’t I?
Not all the way though.
Not this time.
No, not this time.

‘How do you manage to inflict so much pain upon yourself?’

I wish it didn’t hurt so much.
I wish it was easier like it should be.
Such a blessed life with no worries, no problems to flee.
And yet, so much desperation, so much self inflicted pain to deal with.
I just wish it didn’t hurt so much.

‘Are you gonna be fine?’

Aren’t you gonna be there for me?

‘Yes.. Yes, ofcourse I am. Ofcourse I am..’

And we walked away.
Very slowly,
‘cos there’s no hurry.

Still, steady and all that throbs.

And there goes a dream,
a child’s fantasy of a fairy tale
and the perfect ending.
How would I have known that it was only a chapter.
Regret and sorrows all drying
in forlorn branches of wisdom and lore
I wonder what all is left
for this tiny hyper heart to implore.

Somehow its living
and yet its not.
This constant. Oh, this constant.
Breathing,
and yet not knowing what’s really alive.
Left, right, top, bottom,
diagonally aligned? Is it? My heart?
No. No.
Its all in the centre.
Oh, so steady.
I like it here.
I like it here?

Is it an ending
or a blank page before a new beginning?
Maybe its that chapter that I did not expect to come
but has already begun.

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