Art, Poetry And Conversations


Many of my readers asked me why I have stopped posting poems and short fiction on blog and if I was making this a food blog. The answer is, No. It is true that I post a lot of recipes these days and that is because I send most of my poems as submissions. Almost all magazines accept fresh work so I can not post them here. As for short fiction, I am not writing any these days.

I am trying to take charge of the life I left behind and really working hard to get out of the vicious circle of anxiety, depression, fear and worry. It is a hard task for me but I am making those lifestyle changes that I can to be emotionally and mentally well. We will soon talk about that in another post.

One of the things that I found really therapeutic is art. This is the first of the Warli art pieces I did. Warli painting is a form of folk art from Maharashtra. Traditionally drawn by the tribal women belonging to Warli and Malkhar koli tribes.

Warli Art

I did some digital art and a few acrylic on canvas but never seriously pursued it. Since last few months I began to draw, color, paint and experiment with various mediums and art forms. I have not shared them here but you can view them on my Instagram page  . It started when a very dear friend began to share her Madhubani art. I was fascinated and asked her how she did those. Then through a lot of research on line and after watching videos on YouTube I made some and shared with friends. I found the process very calming so looked further and discovered Warli. A new window opened for me and in those dark hours of desperation I would immerse myself in those intricate  patterns and figures but something was still waiting to be discovered. My elder son is a fantastic artist and he’s been doing water colors lately. Now, I painted with water colors in middle school so it’s been 35+ years or so but the thought of dipping my fingers in color again was too tempting that I bought myself some paint, sketchbook, micro pens and brushes.  Adi was very encouraging and it gave me real boost to launch forth and just do something that would make me happy.

Again a proper research on techniques etc began and this time on Instagram too. For days I just watched wonder eyes the images emerge on the white sheets of papers, canvases etc. I was thrilled.

After a few failed attempts I am now beginning to get the hang of it. There is nothing more therapeutic than doing something you love. Art like writing has made me stronger though I still slip down and get those panic attacks now and then.

I am very happy to have finally found my linchpin.

Meanwhile two poems got published it my favorite magazine Cafe Dissensus. Always happy to find a place in this fabulous magazine. This is my first submission after the release of Wayfaring.

Here’s an excerpt from one of  the poems :

“the river hears her hurried footsteps
with rapt attention, at its bend
under the shade of the mangroves,
a boat and a promise patiently wait
ready to carry her away.”

You can the poems HERE.

Wayfaring is very special to for many reasons and if you haven’t got your copy yet please do. I would love your feedback. The book is available with all online book vendors worldwide including Amazon.

Here is an excerpt from a recent review that got published in The Sunflower Collective .

Poet/Journalist Abhimanyu Kumar says,

” Organised in seven sections, the poems cover a wide range of emotions and experiences. The book opens with the section called Trains. The poems included in this section set the tone for the rest of the book, in a sense.”

Do read the full review.

Blogging is still my first love and many of you know that I won the Indian Blogger Award for poetry recently. I finally got my certificate from Indiblogger and here it is. Makes me so proud of my journey as a blogger/writer/poet. Now you can call me an award winning blogger 😀

The Indian Blogger Awards IBA2017 were announced at BNLF and Valley of Words International Literature and Art Festival, Dehradun in Nov, 2017

I won the special VOW award for poetry and got my certificate today. The Google Chromecast was received by an author friend on my behalf on the day of the ceremony.

I’m humbled by this recognition. Thank you team IndiBlogger, jury members and all those who appreciated my work and still do.

It’s been a great journey so far.  My second book is being read and appreciated world over. Some poems from the books were read by Poet Dominic Albanese in Open Mic in Florida where he stays. A much awaited review is coming up soon and some more publishing news is awaited.

I will be starting the Monday Memories series again and try to be regular here so keep visiting and do please leave your feedback in comments.

Let’s hope it rains soon till then I am watching the changing color palette of the sky.

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You And Me – How Can You Forget


What We Were To Each Other?

never mind. it is a rhetorical question anyway.

Rant alert. Rambling thoughts.

We had different needs, our lives were too separate. Too far away. And you kept stretching the distance like cheese from the pizza.

We were pretty much on the opposite side of everything but we met, love happened, or so I thought. So many things feel like love and we are so often and so easily fooled. I just wanted a shelter, a sustenance, while you were looking for haute cuisine and a pleasant home. ASnd then one day you fell out of whatever it was you felt, dusted off, got up and walked away. we meant different things to each other. our needs were different.

I lost myself in words and images I conjured in my mind, forever torn between the lover as you were and the lover I had created in my head and in that process somewhere I lost you. I noticed the slow decline from being everything to being no one. Saw every single act of dismissal but I stayed. I wanted to. Just as i wanted to believe everything you said.

It is what it is. You, my dear, are too much to forget.

I will turn fifty in a few years. More than half my life is over. I want to  travel before my stressed out body gives away. I want to go back to places I imagined us going to. I want your memory. I want to take you there with me. Carry you in my heart. I also want to stop being a sad, sorry fuck that I am and be what I would have been if we were together.

A time to shed what’s not me. Time to move on, move away from people who pretend to care and understand but actually wish me dead. Tough luck. I wasn’t born to be ruled by others. If some people did, it is because I allowed or because I was caught in the web of circumstances beyond my control.

While I am ranting, let me also say that natal homes are most often not the safe sanctuary one thinks they are. This thought is pressing hard on my jugular.

Gratitude too is a form of love. I am grateful for your presence , imaginary or otherwise. Grateful for love, for being the wind beneath my wings. Somewhere you changed direction and I plunged into nothingness, picked myself again and now I am drifting aimlessly. My wings are tired and I can not even fold them and rest for a while.

I rant too much. Blame it on the Hormones. Times are a changing and your memory, it comes at most impossible times. Peri-menopause does that. It screws up your mind and body. I was sure I was going crazy, unable to decipher what was causing the hot flushes, night sweats, sleeplessness, mood swings, anxiety attacks, meltdowns, palpitations and not to forget the intense desire to strip off all my clothes at any given time… Was it the aftermath of losing you or were the hormones going wacko. Jeez, it is hard to go through a heartbreak when you are dealing with midlife crisis. Cold showers, by the way, came handy in both cases but it is still too much to deal.

I would reach for anything within reach that would comfort me. Alcohol, comfort food esp sweets, books, cigarettes.. anything that would cocoon me and keep me safe from the world that had suddenly become so unbearable. But now, I am going to get my sexy mojo back by turning menopause into menopower and I will make the memories of love to make me strong. Love that I felt for you. I am going to fill that You-shaped hole in me with something good and I will wait.

My love for you was wild and reckless, strong and rebellious, painful and desperate, untamed and hungry, It was needy. I was needy. I was hungry. and for me even the less was more. You were needy too but our needs were different as i said earlier. You fed me love with your fingers and then one day you left, and now I know what it is to starve. But you know what, love stays longer, endures more. Lust doesn’t. It doesn’t give anything except a momentary high.

“Loving you was like going to war. I never came back the same.” ~ warsan shire

but I will take those wounds any day.

Seeing you in the flesh, touching you, kissing your mouth, letting you kiss my mouth, surrendering to love, to lust, to the moment that brought us together was the bravest thing I ever attempted and the weakest I ever felt and now my body is like a haunted house that is never owned. A house that is sometimes lived in but mostly abandoned. It is an archive of fingerprints and scars that throb. It is filled with a lingering odour of love, sex and spices.

I am walking through a fog but I trust my instincts and I will make it through the frenzy of emotional whirlpools I am facing now.

If you think this post is not going anywhere, it is true. It is a floe, forever drifting like me.

My boy thinks I need to “chill”, that old age crept on me long ago and I am living in denial. My foot. what does he know.

So I will put a frozen teabag in my vagina (before you get ideas, it is for medical purposes. Sorry to disappoint.), have a hot mug of coffee or  go indulge in the finest wine or anything I fancy from a brain hemorrhage shot to a manga, get a short spunky hair cut that doesn’t need too much looking after.. (going bald is still a recurring thought), eat healthy while keeping my cravings satisfied, change the wardrobe (bring in some colour), and most importantly NOT GIVE A FUCK. Till now I was only writing and not believing but I guess it is time to change that.

Hormones can rage, your ever-present missingness can run havoc, financial trickling can continue, and people can snoop and stalk my blog for whatever they are looking for(you know who you are and I know it too) because I am going to live my life as I want. I am done with naysayers and f*tards that drained me of belief in myself. Go find your entertainment elsewhere.

Of course i miss you and I love you. Trust me, you do not want to feel what I feel. It is not easy task to go from halo to a broomstick in a jiffy. Don’t even try. Just understand.

this will keep me on a roller coaster

But

I will rock the change. I will flow.

And

I hope one day

you will find yourself and in turn find me.

If only
one fingertip
of a touch
could make
you real.
If Only ….

till then….

I will just come here and vent.

Better out than in.

Good things are happening in my writing world . Will share soon. 🙂

Monday Memories 17 – You and Me – Variations of love


Sometimes things simply are a matter of “is” ,” is not” and ” won’t be”.

It seems odd that a casual unexpected meeting with someone could bring about such a change in one’s life but that’s life , isn’t it? Since the day we connected on that nameless day  my each step has been to bring myself closer to you.  Some bonds are karmic . People are brought together on the checkerboard of life for a purpose, to accomplish something, to help each other evolve. It is as intense a relationship as any other but never culminates into anything.  A house that isn’t abandoned and yet is uninhabited. Only visited.

Karmic love is different from romantic love , friendship or passionate longing. These things may be a part of  that karmic bond but they are not the essence, they are just part of a bigger scheme of things. It is a bond of a lifetime and is understood only when the expectations are dropped.

I will tell you a little story here.

There was a woman devoted to the love of music and she practiced it all her life for a performance she would never give. It is the same with love sometimes. You can only keep on loving. There is nothing else to it. There never be a spotlight on you nor you will ever come in public view. Some loves stay on the backstage but that does not mean they wither , they blossom unnoticed. Sometimes the breeze may carry their fragrance to the beloved at others it may linger and spread far and wide slowly fading until only a hint remains.  Just like the smell of sweet pines in the mountains.

Hurt and ache springs from expectations. From a want to mold a person in the image you create of him. The moment  you fall in love  you believe that the universe has planned this for you for ever , that everything is a cue in that direction, you choose the characters, rearrange the scenery , guide the plot and do all in your power to make possible what is utterly impossible. Love itself has no power to conquer anything , it wants us to do it on its behalf and we do it all wrong. Smothering it in our wish to dam that whose intrinsic nature is to flow.

Some things are never meant to be and daydreams are fine till they do not take bearing on the reality.  At times when you find love unexpectedly and in great abundance you  become selfish and possessive but slowly over the period then comes a time when one is at a crossroad and there is light. Either you smother the self and the person you love with hopes, demands and expectations or set free each other and enjoy what is.

Over the time I realized that all this talk of unrequited love is nothing but expectations gone wrong. When the relationships weighs heavy on heart it is a cue to reflect upon it. It is a difficult process as it involves looking within in a totally unbiased way. Relationships should be a source of joy, not heartache.

Loving you is my feeling not yours and no one can take it away. You may or may not love in same way or not love at all. One can not force other person to accept your love, no matter how deep and meaningful it is to you. So either we form a karmic bond and do good, happy things or suffer the illusions.

If your love is deep and meaningful to you , you don’t push the other person, you let it flow and mean well and accept things as they are. Most of the time when we push we lose the other person, we lose a friend too and all that is sweetness turns bitter.

Karmic bonds are life long two people who respect and appreciate each other and yet do not smother each other. The degree of intensity of this can vary between the two people involved. The reasons too. It is better not to question because the answers usually lead to more questions and an endless process of speculation begins. Love is , as Rumi said, meeting beyond the ideas of our right-doings and wrong-doings. It is like a seed, you plant it in others with acts of affection, kindness and respect, you water it with your hopes, and it will either flourish so that you can eat the fruit that grows from the plant that grew from the seed or it will lie dormant, never to flourish. True love is the love of equals but there are occasions where love is unconditionally given because one keeps the ego below the relationship.

Sometimes it is what it is.  There is no future or hope for any togetherness of a level one may dream of in a love relationship but one still gives.  It is meant to be that way and if one finds solace and joy in it then there is nothing more precious to live for in one life. Reciprocation, however longed for, is not the goal. Love then takes a spiritual form. A devotion. It is also a way to express gratitude for being part of the journey. Of evolution.  Sometimes two people are bound by events in their lives and all they can do it give in their own way. Sometimes in shot measures sometimes completely.

Not many people agree but to accept the things one can not change and give what is needed and receive whatever is there is also a form of love. If it doesn’t hurt either that is. For if it does then it is not love and maybe never was.

It is funny that we expect honesty and trust in a relationship but are ready to let the other person compromise it to love us back. It is true of the relationships where there is a third person involved but the moment you respect and love yourself and your love for the person it feels good. It feels good  not to feel the pangs of jealousy, of loneliness and want , or absence, guilt and whatever it was bringing. You accept your place in their lives and theirs in your life. There is nothing more than that to look forward to. Or is there? I think there is.  Someday you will know it too.

There was a time I would cringe at the thought of being outside the periphery of your world and lament non stop of the heartache it caused but it has all dissolved. For my love for you does not need crutches to stand. It isn’t dependent on anything.  I said once, “I wear your love like a scarlet letter on my being” but not anymore. I wear it as a warmth that was lacking all through my life and know it will see me through all the winters of my life.

Time is an illusion where your past and future lives run simultaneously in the present and in this present I am happy and content with the variations of love you have brought. Together in distance each in its own way for mutual growth and personal evolution. If the universe has brought us together there ought to be a purpose and it will fulfill itself at the right time. Till then You and Me will keep flowing like a river finding and charting its path in the landscape of our lives.

I leave you with Neruda’s Sonnet XVII from 100 Love Sonnets

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep

♥ ***************************♥

Monday Memories 1 – Bottomless Pits, Edible Weapons and More


I was looking for more ways of wasting time and thought of starting a new series called ‘Monday Memories’ .  There are times when some little thing in the present takes you back to some moment in the past. Some bittersweet memory comes floating to you and then the things you remember are more real than the things you see in the present. I always wondered if a moment from past tasted the same . Sometimes it does. You can actually feel, hear, see touch exactly the way you did at that moment or maybe you believe you do and that’s all matters. It keeps you going in hard times, in times of loss, separation, loneliness.

My boys are now grown up and many a time a simple little thing as a pack of cookies, a box of crayon, a song or a sentence in a book sparks a memory of  their childhood, a childhood that was an adventure for them as well as for me, and I realize how those memories are piles in endless stacks inside me.

My elder one is now 21 and I guess we spend 3,000 more hours on our first-born than the second one. Every little thing the child becomes precious. I don’t think I remember his “Firsts ” or  “Lasts” but I do remember some particular incidents that filled my young mother’s heart. Raising boys is not for wimps. It is a challenge only some can endure. I guess I developed eyes at the back of my head when Adi was growing up. He was one little explorer who was curious about anything that he could lay hands on. A complete foodie and an absolutely fearless boy. While I struggled to keep things under control without going insane he invented different ways to bring the house down. Those were moments when I cried and laughed at the same time unable to decide which was the best thing to do.  Never thought that these very incidents will become irreplaceable with time.  I had to think two steps ahead to find a way to involve him while  I went about doing my household stuff. One of them was colors. He would sit for hours totally immersed in various types of coloring material, old newspapers etc and create masterpieces on everything in the color zone including himself. He would then look around quietly, make sure I am not watching and then slip through the door with a riot of color in his little hands. He would pin it somewhere or place it where I will surely see and then hide. Waiting for me to make the move. As I said, I had somehow developed superpowers so I would know exactly what to do. I would pretend to do something right where his treasure lay and accidentally discover it. It was such a joy to see him creatively involved. I would say ‘ look what I found. This is such a beauty and who made this gorgeous piece of art? ” and he would shyly emerge from his hiding place , his eyes sparkling with joy and pride and his a big dimpled smile lighting his face and say , “me’. I would hug and kiss him and we would sit and talk about his masterpiece all covered with colors of love. For many years I kept those paintings and drawings till they were discovered by another curious adventurer who had found the art of dismantling, dissecting, tearing and making new objects what could be  anything from weapons of war to some new inventions of a technical genius. 😀 My second boy was exact opposite of his elder sibling. four years his junior he loved a leisurely peaceful life most of the time. Another bottomless pit was added to my misery. At times I thought I was created for just two things- cook and clean.

Shubhang was always curious about the “hows” and “whys” of life and he practically dismantled anything and everything to observe the intricate machinery that lay within the mundane looking objects.  If a watch was missing we knew where it would be or for that matter bigger things like camera carelessly left unattended. It would all end up in the junk box or will be discovered months later buried under something neatly tied in a bundle. One really needed a high IQ to figure out what that originally was.  Watching him working with rapt attention on some complex toy or gadget that he had decided to open up I would often marvel at the working of his mind at such a tender age. Of course I went into a rage on finding something destroyed for good but then there was some magical spell these boys put on me every time they screwed up something. Yes, they were a gang of two. Partners in crime and vowed to defend and protect each others honor at all times Unless there the offered bait was a better option :D. I had to shell out big time in kind more than in cash to get the desired information. This was the beginning of a very strong bond between them which I can see even now.

One thing one must remember as a mother of growing up boys is that anything can be converted into weapons and landmines. It is through cuts and bruises and spilling of blood one learns this unless you are prepared for it and you never are. You never can possibly know what will burst under your feet or hit you from nowhere. It just isn’t possible to know. I realized it when I watched these brats chew their toasts in shape of guns and shoot each other or target strategic places or people with things they found uninteresting to eat. Although I hovered like a chopper to watch over the proceeding they managed to turn almost anything into a missile. I just had to learn and master the art of being alive.

The space between these memorable moments were filled with hair-raising tales about which I will talk some other time and between those tales of horror I cooked endlessly to fill those bottomless pits. It was something I loved to do till it became the sole purpose of my living. “WHF, I would say , You guys just had your meal” and they would look at me with those innocent puppy eyes and I wold melt like butter on toast and tie my apron once more.

But you know what, although I could kill with bare hands and I got so tired at the end of the day that I wanted the earth to split wide open and take me in I never restricted them in any way. I disciplined them but not at the cost of snatching away their childhood thought they may feel differently.

That bond which we three developed grew with passing years and slowly we rose above the mother-sons  relationship without even noticing it. This is a friendship which I think should be there between all parents and children where the kids aren’t extensions or your subordinates but individuals. You got to respect their uniqueness and intelligence to gain respect and love. You got to listen to them, praise , them, guide them and make them believe in the fact that they can count on you for anything and you value their presence in your life.

Anything is possible in the house with growing up boys. It is fantasy land where you can trip on cars, you got to dodge flying objects and things popping out of no where, where there are no time zones, where there is battles are won and lost every day and you can hear one of the finest remixes and music pieces ever written. It is also a warm cozy zone of love and togetherness, of laughter and craziness, of pains and pleasures that life offers. Here you will find yourself floating in a cocktail of emotions almost all the time. From birth every stage of their enchanting life is an irreplaceable miracle.  You learn the biggest lessons of life and the greatest strategies of survival in this world. You got to enter at your own risk but once in you are part of the gang. Once in never out. That’s what friendships are all about.

This is for my boys with love and a warm hug. I treasure them and very proud to see them all grown up into sensitive, discerning young adults.

The Song Bird


Someone asked me,”Should a blog be used to rant about personal issues? Is it alright to expose your vulnerable side to the entire world?  Is it in good taste to bare your heart’s innermost feelings in front of  everyone? One can write about so many other things then why whine, rave and rant on a blog and why not use a pillow instead to cry your heart out? There will be hundreds who will offer you sympathy but that’s all BS. Actually no one cares a hoot.”

I listened patiently and said,”I don’t do it often and I don’t do it for sympathy. That is the last thing I want from somebody. Sympathy and pity. I write for no particular reason. Not everyone reads my meltdowns and those who do, maybe it helps them overcome theirs. Who knows? ”

Obviously she and I did not see eye to eye on this like many other things. So, if you think personal outbursts are not your reading material, move on. For, this is going to be one such post.

Sometimes one goes through this deluge of “what ifs and whys, If only and I wish” and seeks answers to questions which are better not raised. Questions which burn like embers in a dying fire. If you stir it you might start a wild fire. Uncontrollable and Unstoppable.

Your heart gets filled to the brim with this deluge and overflows on the blog. I think it is cathartic in more than one ways.

It makes me restless to realize that there is no escape to freedom. There isn’t a thing called ‘freedom.” It is always a caged reality. The cage gets bigger and better than the previous one but the walls begin to rise magically the moment you want to step out and not just the walls , the roof and the floor begin to close in till you choke and gasp for breath and surrender to “what is”.

It’s a woman’s life. A caged song bird.

“You always think as if  the entire world is out to get you and is conspiring against you.” She said. (It is strange when women talk about women’s issues in this fashion. Why am I surprised anyway? )

I think it is because at times I feel it.

Not the entire world maybe but then my world is very small. It is a world within a world and in this world are people who don’t give a damn about what I go through but are ready to make snide remarks, pass judgement, show all kind of indifference camouflaged as love, care, support and what not. It is an art. Not all posses this skill.

How does one feel to leave behind young children  in a personal quest for dignified living?  Mind you it is very different from “empty nest syndrome”  and ‘one day kids will grow up and do their own things and go their own way” thing. It is a living, pulsating, raw hurt which eats you away bit by bit. You try to reason with your self  but fail. I always said, “I have given my boys roots and wings”, never knew it’s not them but I , who will fly away leaving them to fend for themselves. Leaving, in search of myself.

Did I find “myself” ?

“No” and “Yes”.

“No”, because there is a lot that is concealed. There is deeper play of shadows that I do not understand at times. A door opens and closes behind me. I forge my way through the unknown only to discover a wall , a trap or again a door, sometimes just a window or a crack. The search continues.

“Yes” , because I managed to cut out most of the weeds which were blocking my way. I bled and bruised myself but finally found myself at the edge of a new beginning. Another challenge but certainly not as suffocating as the previous one

Some prisons have no bars. Some cages are imaginary. Some others we build around us unknowingly or knowingly because we are used to certain comfort zones.

I sometimes wonder who has got who locked in the cage. I just might be free, on the other side of bars. Looking in. Remembering my time within the cage. The feeling sweeping through me whispering to me that I am still there when I am not.

Have you heard the song of the caged bird? Do you find it different from the one who is free?

One day when I woke up I saw I had grown new wings. They seemed so unfamiliar and yet they were part of it. I was scared to spread them lest I lose an illusion. Instead I wrapped them around me and found comfort in the new-found warmth but wings are meant for flying. They throbbed with exciting energy sending sparks into my listless soul to make use of them as I should.

With the break of new dawn I decided to take a plunge into the valley of unknown. Either to sink or to rise.

The cage suddenly didn’t seem to be there. Was I living an illusion or just a shattered one? I wondered.

I looked around at the crumbs , the bowl of water now empty and turned upside down. I looked at the blue sky , slowly spread my wings, flapped them, took a deep breath and folded them back. I wasn’t ready. Then the wind began to blow. It picked up the momentum and I could feel my cage sway with it. Scared of this wind of change I buried my head in my breast but with one shove I found myself at the edge of the window. Perched precariously. Now there was no turning back. I leaped on the back of the wind and dipped my wings in brilliant sunlight and claimed the sky which was truly mine but the storm raged in insane fury and rain lashed like whip of bare skin. Bewildered and panicked by the raging storm, blinded by the dark rain I plunged and rose with the tempest fighting the forces beyond me, trusting my wings to keep me afloat. Fear gripping me from within, a tight fist beneath my breast. Caught in the whirling skirts of winds I circled and circled and longed for the comfort of the cage I had left. I scanned the murky unknown, shadowy in parts brightly lit in parts, a plethora of possibilities that could take me anywhere.

Startled by the fire bolt that swept the sky with lurid glow I screamed and was shocked to hear my own voice, stilled for so long. If I could scream in fear I could sing in joy. I began to hum and the words came back to me. Muted words buried in some deep crevices of my heart. In the midst of rolling thunder and chaos I had found my song. I began to sing and I don’t know when and how I glided out of the storm into a blaze of color — oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples, molten gold and when I looked down I saw deep green mountains and rivers coppery with sunset.

Then , at that moment I realized , “Deep in the heart of winter, there lay within me an invincible spring.”

I realized that the cage though real was also imagined. I had built it myself.  It was wherever I went and no matter where I would run, I just ended up running into myself. If you stay within the patterns and conformity you carry the cage with you. I broke those patterns and reclaimed myself, my freedom.

Songbird

This post is especially written for a songbird who lives in the Pyrenees.

Empty Spaces, Inky Nights and a Sound Cave


This is just a collection of thoughts triggered by a fabulous photograph of an empty walkway, a message exchange of thoughts on the beauty of sunsets and nights, an emotionally charged lash-out from someone right in the morning and a gloomy rain filled day.

Words explode in my head pushing and thumping against its walls to escape, thoughts stumble on each other like perplexed mass but I could not bring myself to write a single word. Frustrated with myself I turned to reading but the words became a blur. Crying is therapeutic and I was filled since some days. Suddenly my eyes became pools of hot liquid and from under the closed lids streams of hurt and pain and utter dejection with self began to slid down my flushed cheeks. For a long time I just let it all flow. My temples throbbed and zillions of electric currents passed through my head sending shock waves down my tired body. Then it all ceased. Sleep is a healer too.

Words still kept their distance. When the walls begin to cave in and suffocate you light streams in from some crack somewhere. I chanced upon a lovely photograph of a walkway and a simple exchange of thoughts and a some comments reminded me how I miss the empty spaces in life. How all the life, even in lonesomeness, I am filled with an inner chatter, how I need to calm my self and embrace what I love. Go where love is. I have always been fond of long empty corridors, walkways. They give me a sense of intimacy. There are stories drifting in the play of light and shadows.Shadows that add meaning to the mundane. I remember how I would lean against a pillar , a tree or against the coolness of a wall and watch the deeper play than that which words can express. I would imagine the people who must have walked there once, their conversations, silences and then those empty places would fill with colors, textures, sounds and smells and as suddenly they would appear, they would vanish. Leaving a quiet silence and I would stand at its threshold not moving a muscle listening to the silence.

As I saw the photograph I was sucked into that place, that time and for a moment nothing else existed. The conversation drifted to sunsets and nights and I remembered what beautiful sunsets I had seen during my various journeys. Each one distinctly different from another. Sometime a carnage of dreams and memories, a sun stabbed sky turning  from Merlot to scarlet to shades of crimson, purple, blue and bronze which existed only in the box of crayons from my childhood. As I grew up I usually found them spread across the sky. A few of those brilliant sunsets I still carry in my heart. The orgasmic meeting of sky and earth at the horizon. The shimmering snow-clad peaks of Himalayas. The deepening evening shadows, the cacophony of birds, the sweet fragrance of pine or flowers riding on the back of evening breeze, the timelessness and a knowledge that we have a few hours of solitude ahead of us. It is surreal experience that remains etched in the memory for ever.

The sunsets led to the nights. The rich hues of night sky, the changing patterns, the calm that slowly seeps into the hollow of your bones. Night sky holds a very special place for me. I find it more alive than the day sky. I have memories associated with the night sky from my childhood, from my growing years and those years in between when it became my constant companion. The healing dark, I called it.

I often wondered what pulls me to the night and realized that just like memory it suppresses the idle details. Night is all-inclusive. Everything is draped in one single color.  A vast expanse of oneness that takes everything in its compassionate fold. There were times I felt choked behind the walls and curtains during nights and it loomed large over me like a hungry carnivore ready to take a plunge and dig its sharp claws in my soft flesh of my heart. I longed to step out and reach for the night sky outside my prison , lay bare my body and soul to it but then slowly I realized that all the serenity and calm that the night brings is inside me. Nights became the blotting paper for my sorrows, a playground for my desires, a confidante for the untold secrets and unfulfilled dreams just as it has been a fairy kingdom with stories written in stars and imaginary shapes and figures lingering in the drifting moon and cottony clouds during my childhood.

There was something about the darkness I loved then and do now. Every perspective changes as the night deepens and then fades with the first break of morning light. Laying in bed  just before the sleep takes over is the most rewarding time. It is a time  when the human heart , alone and unperceived, is full of powerful emotions and surrenders itself completely to the darkness. When all that is concealed is revealed.

City nights are harsh, artificial, haunted by neon dreams and smog that chocks its lungs and yet there is a time when everything stops. When one is pulled by the magic of the night sky. The few hours before dawn when I usually step out for deeper communion with self and whats around me.

Nights spent lying under the stars on terrace during summers still makes me nostalgic. The first thing that we lose when we grow up is the sense of wonder. I remember nibbling on a blade of grass and just watch the night sky. A million zephyrs, a lonely and frayed moon tugging the corner of a cloud drifting aimlessly, smokey wispy clouds,  sometimes  just inky blackness  of a winter night descending on everything under it like a widow of the universe it mourns in silence.  Its deep horizons yearning and longing for all that is lost.

The wild stormy nights of rain armed with jagged spears of lightning slicing the sky in two. Rainy nights that cleanse the venom inside and outside. I have spent hours standing under the night rain letting it out flow out.

Have you ever heard someone play soulful music on a wooden flute in the stillness of the night? Ever felt the warmth of human body next to you on an endless summer night without even touching? Ever thrown your arms open to the sky as if fishing for stars? Even looked at the mist moving like a ghost in the night from behind a glass window. Ever stood in an open filed, a lonely beach, a moonlit desert, at the edge of a cliff jutting across a deep valley drinking in the night? Ever walked the smoke-filled, neon lit, city roads at night? If not then you haven’t lived to the fullest.

I have walked the meandering , winding roads in the hills with sweet intoxicating smell of wet pine filling my lungs and puddles dull of moon light creating a magical scene after a sudden mountain rain. Roads hold me captive but we will talk about them some other time.

I woke up to a rain-soaked day today. When you stir a dying fire there are chances of some spark turning into a flame. Some questions burn like embers and should be left alone. Relationships are complex tangled web of emotions. I watch an emotional outburst turn bitter  and pungent with rage right in the morning. With heavy heart and tear filled eyes I took the blows , scared that one wrong word may spin the thing into uncontrolled roller-coaster and it was the last thing I want at this point of time in my life.

Brimming with pain I tried to stop the deluge that waited to be unleashed. The best option at such times , and I have faced many of them, is to go into a sound cave.

This is something I learned over the time. To switch off, disconnect, choose some music with drums, guitars, preferably rock, heavy metal , turn up the volume, put on the headphones and go into a sound cave. My favorites in such times are Enigma, Nirvana, The Rasmus, Evanescence etc. I used to listen to soft melodies which acted like fuel to fire marooning me in deeper in sadness. Music can be a great stress reliever as well as an escape into another world which is far remote from the grim, heart wrenching reality. Wearing headphones acts like  insulation from outside world – a sound cave where nothing else exists. In times when the world seemed too much for me I learned to slip into this sound cave. For an hour or so I sedated myself with music giving myself time to emerge out of  the incident that shook me. I often play some music according to my mood and listen with headphones on. It is my way to kill loneliness , to disconnect with the unpleasant and to connect with the sounds and rhythms , to absorb the lyrics which may or may not really have any relation with my current situation and mood but it soothes my inner.

I realized that doing this cleared much of the blocks within me including the writer’s block.

The sand is slowly shifting from under my feet. Uncertainty is looming large. Am at the edge of desire. I tell my heart that everything will work out well but I know certain things are elusive, distant dreams that may never get fulfilled. Sometimes we are at a crossroad of emotions and all we can do is either push through the fear and go ahead with the flow where ever it takes or become a cynic and get caught in the web of “what if”s and “if only”s .

Last one year  has been a journey within. I discovered facets of me that I never knew existed. I found myself doing things I could never imagine doing in wildest dreams and yet I am still unable to cut that one thread that is rubbing against my soul and making it bleed.

There is also something else tugging at my heart apart from losing my new-found economic independence. Something which holds the key to my life.  Love is a many splendored thing. Right now , with my muse back, I am letting the universe take over. I have slipped the questions to the universe. I know the answers will come .

Leaving you with a song I love

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6qLNnxGDaA&feature=related

Photograph : Part of the collonaded walkway that surrounds the Plaza Mayor at Salamanca. Photo Credit  James Goddard  . Many thanks.

You and I – Secret Tales


“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving.”  Neruda

There is a certain relish in what you steal, in savoring the flavour of forbidden fruit. Stolen kisses . … stolen moments … a sudden brush against me in the cyberspace that made my soul dizzy. Today I am searching for words, searching for those apt words to describe the feeling of intense love that I feel for you. Love that is not laced with passion or lust or longing but with a  warmth that rises from different strategically located places in your body and then slowly sweeps over your entire being .

You entered my life like a comet and exploded into a zillion stars, illuminating my night , my life, me. I felt star spattered. A blooming new galaxy.

You made me feel like meadow of wild flowers. Not roses. Not tulips. No. Just a beautiful landscape blazing with thousands and thousands of wild flowers.

You brought out all the essences of a woman in me. The wild gypsy girl , the sensuous lover, the porn star, a nurturer and a healer . You stimulated and ignited my intellectual side, spiked it with wit and humor.

With that and much more you gave me dignity, honored my womanhood, held my hand and pulled me up into the comfort of your embrace.  Shielding and protecting me like a cocoon. A womb for my metamorphosis.

Unlike all those who scarred my life where ever it touched theirs, you asked for nothing in return and that I guess made me open myself to you completely without fear and inhibitions.

This is called Trust.

One doesn’t sign a treaty for this. One just believes totally and with no reservations and second thoughts.

This is called Love .

Across thousands of miles hearts connect, blossom into something nameless. Something much above the usual norms of friendship and romance, above everything that’s temporal and ephemeral.

I know when we meet , it will be enough for me to just sit beside you.

There were million little things that added up together over the time and I knew we were destined to be together. I knew it the first time we reached out to each other. It was like a journey back home and You were the talisman I needed to survive the highest highs and the lowest lows.

It is so simple to love you. To go about doing the mundane just with knowledge that you are there. It’s easy to let you be with your solitude, understand the language of your quiet and return when beckoned with love.  It is an aromatic blend of cinnamon and clove, ginger and honey, strawberry and cream,  Fragrant Tisanes.  It is the raw mango and mint. It is the citrus moon and the marmalade sky.

A margarita with its lush flavors and smooth delicate blend in a salt rimmed glass. A long tropical cocktail. A tequila shot. Single malt on a rainy day besides the fireplace.

We are different, yet similar. Distant  and alone yet together. Whatever we do is as much  yours as mine. Love grows in spaces between, not in bodies or someplace else.

Every time you call my name some piece of me falls into place. I’m glad to have you in my life. I feel  infused with glitter and stars and popping candy. It’s flowing in my blood and brain. fingertips and toes. I love him. I don’t know how to describe how happy I am. I am still searching for some apt words to describe my love for you.

For now I will just surrender myself to you, my laughter, pain, truth, lies, half-truths, half lies, my hopes, dreams and secrets, my fleeting days, endless nights, . I give you my flesh my skeleton . I let you occupy me. I will remain vulnerable for that is how love is supposed to be.

There is a pleasure in simple things. Simple words of love carelessly thrown , stolen kisses, stolen moments. These are secret tales. You may have your own. We all have unbridled desires, secret wish lists and they all start coming out when you are in love. 

read all the posts here YOU AND ME 

I am large, I contain multitudes


I have a contemplative self and an impulsive self. A short-term self and a long term self, some distant past selves and distant future selves. At present I am in conflict with myself about the imaginary selves and the so-called real self.

Which of the self is actually me? Who am I?

No, it is not dissociative identity disorder, though at times one may think it is. Mind is a devious creäture who makes us believe who we are and is aided by the powerful emotions – anger, guilt, sadness, desire, pain, longing etc. Within our brain are different selves who pop up in and out of existence, each one with different desires, and each one wanting control and planning, scheming, plotting to get hold over others.  Walt Whitman said it aptly, “I am large, I contain multitudes.”

I think I have a strong coping system to deal with all my selves.  The idea is to maintain a balanced interplay between all the selves, a balance between long-term contemplation and short-term impulse.

As the time span increases I feel we have more multiple selves. I feel that I shift from one self from another smoothly; there is no clash, no conflict, no overpowering of one over other. Sometimes these selves that we create protect us, help us cope up with daily life situations, help us emerge from some deep hurt or realize some desire. They also help in making us strong. I see it as therapy.  I feel that different selves are brought to the fore by different situations and it is a continuous process.

A friend once remarked that I come across as a shy, introvert, scared, insecure person and that does not fit the image I have as a blogger / writer in virtual world. People who read me and know me from there expect me to be that gregarious, extrovert, bold and outgoing. Both these selves are me. One what I wanted to be and maybe was from within and other which people saw in me as a person who interacted with them. These interactions also differed from situation to situation and people to people.

I noticed over the time that I was able to merge the various selves to create a new stronger self, shedding the weaker aspects. From the moment we are born, we wear a mask and a robe of who the people around want us to be and the layers increase with time and under all this the true self in subtly forcefully buried.

I felt that under this entire role-playing I developed some overpowering selves which took control over those which initially existed. As the awareness increased the conflict also did. Maybe, to combat that, I created more imaginary selves, one of them being my virtual self. Most of them are various “me” in complete harmony and control over the situation they are in.

I realized that this creating imaginary selves  helped me to become what I am today and by that I mean to uphold what I believe in. Enjoying fiction requires a shift in selfhood and I think participation in what is unreal is the best way to spend the leisure time. To take on different identities makes takes much of sadness and hurt from the real-time experiences. It helps heal. I find creating alternate identities or selves, interesting and harmless.  My imaginary friends and selves have a lot of fun and adventures. I am fully aware of these imaginary situations and selves and often joke about it as I love my schizophrenia J  . I guess they have made me more socially adept than before. More confident and secure and most importantly helped in “being myself” and not a shadow of what others expect me to be.

Most of us from time to time hold conversations with people who are not actually there. Conjuring up people or physical props is common and with me creating selves to match these props or people comes easy. As I said before maybe I have a strong coping system. Internet is interesting place for creating the alternate self and many people indulge in it due to its relatively safe environment. I know people who have created different avatars to explore or release different aspect of them.

It would be remarkable if all the selves coexisted and worked as team inside our mind but they clash and create compulsions and addictions. If one can keep them under control then they can prove beneficial too. In my case to an extent they did help me get out of a messy life and change my path.

Self binding helps to contain oneself from dominating the other self. Both the short-term impulsive self and the long-term contemplating self are essential for growth, the conflict continues and sometimes one wins, sometimes the other.

I define my self as what I stand for and believe in, sometimes visible and at others camouflaged.

I remember a short verse from Rumi which says it all:

 “Anyone who knows me, should learn to know me again;

For I am like the Moon,

you will see me with new face every day.”

― Rumi

This post is in response to week  #54  (5-27-12 to 6-2-12): Self  BGE 2

Last Night


 

Last night was longer and made for torture or reflection or for savoring of loneliness. Like an ancient tomb where the souls come out gasping for life and searching for potential bodies which they can occupy. The soul with as opposed to them struggles to escape.

I lay taking in the  stuffy darkness of the room.  Everything began to rapidly merge into blackness. Unfamiliar shapes, menacing, uncanny, or merely grotesque began to emerge.

Some prisons don’t have bars, or guards. Such was last night, thicker than any wall, blind, empty and  immensely engulfing . Like a huge gaping hole which slowly sucks you in and  now and then you brush against appalling things that roam and prowl in its chambers. You see nothing. Hear nothing. The murderously asphyxiating silence is all one has for company 

Was I scared? No. It was a trance like state where you feel nothing or feel so deeply that the pain makes you numb.

An owl screeched and I could imagine it gliding past my window. Stillness returned.

On the opposite wall a pattern began to emerge. The fluorescent hands of the clock like some invisible claws blurred into nothingness and a face of time emerged. The glowing numbers burned holes in my mind. Nothing stirred.

Spellbound by the deep penetrating eyes I lay transfixed on my bed.  Thirst like the scrape of hot sand-paper began to bruise my throat. I tried to get up but something held me tightly to the bed. My eyes returned to the face on the wall.

All the uncertainties, all the questions came rushing to me. Here was Time who had all the answers.

“Only the time will tell ” I was told.

I looked beseechingly , pleading for the answers. None came.

Maybe it wasn’t time for them to be revealed.

So, why was it here, staring at me like a death mask ?

What did it want?

Why it glaring eyes seemed to look accusingly at me, making me shift uncomfortably?

Time doesn’t tell anything. It doesn’t heal. Don’t believe it all you have been told. Time simply crushes you, chains you, makes you its slave and whiplashes you to obey its commands. The answers, the healing comes from either within or from elsewhere. Time just watches the drama and laughs at our misery . Time is the devil to whom we have sold our souls. It is the master , we  mere slaves. Only an inner uprising can bring the change. Only that can create true love, true courage, true self.

Tonight the battle was at its peak but something was amiss or maybe someone and it made all the difference.

I shifted my pillow to the other side but I could still feel its gaze  penetrating   through my skull.  It’s measured ticking reverberating.

With some effort I pulled myself out of bed and removed and shoved the menacing clock under a pile of clothes. The muffled sound of its breathing still audible.

I gulped a chilled glass of water and decided to lie facing the window. The hot summer night-sky claimed me.

The butter-gold moon came encroaching through my window. Suddenly filling it with a calm glow. Spent by my inner state of being I watched as it lingered in deep sky. Watching me with its forlorn eyes.

A jarring buzz vibrated in the small of my back  scaring the wits out of me. The cell phone had quietly slid itself and nestled in the comfort zone away from the events of the night. The led light brought me back to the real world. Reluctantly I opened my laptop to work. Sometimes one is just pulled from all sides like an elastic band and then released. The sting of pain shot through my head as my fingers tapped mindlessly at the keyboard.

The cellphone meanwhile breathed its last. Sleepless and restless I went to put it for charging, took the chair out in the balcony and slumped on it. The moon had disappeared behind the high-rise buildings. The air was still and did not provide any solace. Back in the room I brought the clock out . The hands had miraculously appeared, the face had melted into the fiber of the machine. 3 AM it said.

I could hear an early bird call somewhere.

Sometime loneliness and absence digs its claws deeper than usual and leaves one wounded. Such was last night. The ache hasn’t subsided nor has the yearning.

You and Me – More places where I found you


I found you in the creases of my bed, in the mirror when I suddenly turned around and glanced at it, in silence of early morning and in the stillness of the night, in the rise and fall of my chest, in the warmth of water cascading down my aching shoulders, in my fingertips as they traced upon all that you wrote to me, in the webs between the fingers, in the heat nestled between the legs, in the vodka flavored ice cubes  kissing my lips and dripping down my neck, in the salt of my tears, in the honey dripping from a hot crisp toast as it touched my mouth, in the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, in the box of spices ( cinnamon and clove ),  in the swirl of Bavarian chocolate ice cream as  it melted on my tongue,  in the jingle of the charms of my bracelet, in the kohl that lined my eyes, in the softness of  lingerie that clinged to my body, in the changing colors of the sky, in the delicate ensemble of words, in the early morning drizzle, in the depth of the night sky, in tequila sunsets, in the shadows of dusk, in the tangerine mornings, in the droplets of water precariously clinging to my wet hair, in the blush that rises on my cheeks, in the base of my throat, in the half-open box of crayons, in the edge of the rose-tinted cloud, in the jingle of coins in my pocket, in the swaying sheer curtains, in the prayer flags fluttering in the summer breeze, in the smoothness of cocoa butter as it melted and morphed  into the skin to become my body, in the soft moonlight that filtered through the bare branches of trees, in the paper boat merrily drifting , in the whistle of the steam engine as it turned around the corner, in a folder named “favorite” , in the music that linked us  from across the miles, in the sensuous sweetness of your name when I whispered it in my sleep, in the verses of Neruda as I feasted on them tucked inside the comforter, in scent of cookies baking in the warm oven, in the bowlful of vodka flavored ice cubes and the lemon slice that floats in it, in the smile that struggled through the tears, in the changing shapes of raindrops on the cold glass windowpane, in the heat rising from the city roads, in the fiery magenta, pinks, oranges , whites and yellows of Bougainvillea draped over ancient walls and clinging to the naked trees, in the folds of my laughter and in the eyelids heavy with sleep, in the changing temperature of cold marble floor beneath my burning body, in the thirst that rose in my parched throat and in the  subtle flavours of my life. 

I can go on making a list , listing all those dark secret places where I found you , those mundane things that remind me of you like a baby sleeping peacefully in comfort of his mothers arms, his little head resting on her soft breast.

Now I want something Real, something truly your own to  touch and smell and breathe and kiss day and night.

I want to find you in you and in me at the same time. 

Also Read You and Me series here