When You Lose Someone – ‘Literally’..

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This morning when I sat to drink my coffee, I couldn’t control the tears. ‘Khaali pet chai coffee mat piya kar’, he would say. ‘Don’t drink tea or coffee on an empty stomach!’. 

I wonder if a person really goes away from your life after they cease to exist in form. When you lose someone close to you- literally, you realize that they never really cease to exist in your life.

I don’t know about others- but I’ve always dreamt a lot. My dreams have been too real, and once I wake up, it is too hard to come to terms with the real life. Because what I saw with my eyes closed is as real as what I see with open eyes. This morning it was a pain to wake up again to reality after what I saw in my dreams, and must have been even more painful to start studying for the exam coming up- so I chose to pour my heart out again before I get back to the real life.

This day, last month, was the last day that my dad lived on Earth. He passed away on 12th March, and since that day, I have neither gone to sleep peacefully, nor woken up peacefully. Who said he doesn’t exist anymore? I see him smiling as soon as I lie down in bed to sleep. I see him smiling, and laughing, and cracking his silly jokes over and over again. Some nights I have to shed all the tears that my eyes can shed, to be able to finally fall asleep with tired eyes. Then he comes in my dreams. Who said he doesn’t exist anymore? In my dreams, I see him in new settings, new places, and he creates more memories with me. Memories that are as real as the ones we lived together. But memories that become painful, as soon as I wake up. Because every morning, when I open my eyes, its like losing him all over again.

When you lose someone quite literally, you realize how different it is from losing a friend, or a lover after you break up or choose not to talk to them anymore. That person exists, but doesn’t bother your existence. You hate them for what they did, every bad word they said to you, but when you lose someone literally, you realize that whatever problems you had, they didn’t really matter more than the person itself. You realize how different it is to voluntarily go away from someone’s life, but when someone ceases to exist in form, you want to forgive everything they did and have them back. So I would say, Do it today! My dad always told me ‘Sab log ache hote hain‘ – that every person is a good person deep down. Only situations make them do what they do.. but deep down, deep deep down, they’re a good person. It is only now that I fully understand these words.

When you lose someone literally, you only lose them in form. Who shall take them away from your mind, heart and soul? Who shall erase their words ringing in your head? Everytime I drink coffee on an empty stomach, I hear him scolding me. Everytime I close my eyes, I see him laughing and hear him bragging that he had perfect teeth. Everytime I sleep, I see him. Its painful. Because these are dreams of separation. But people say it’ll get better with time.. Maybe it will reach a point where I live a second existence in dreams, and create happy memories with him again? Who knows what is a dream anyway? Maybe then this waking life would be a happy place to live again.

SO Easy To Tell Lies .

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Image source : tumblr.com

I think we live in a world where telling lies has become acceptable and an easy escape. Well, it’s the easiest thing to do isn’ it? Want to escape an awkward situation? Lie that you have to go somewhere. Don’t want to continue the conversation? Lie that you have to do something important. Don’t know what else to say? Lie some sweet little lies. Couldn’t reply because you didn’t want to? Lie that you were busy. It’s just SO easy!

I think we’re getting so used to lying all the time, that we have completely forgotten that those little lies we tell all the time are directly related to the promises we break all our lives. You lie for the silliest of things and you then you tell someone you’ll love them forever? Duh! Who’s gonna believe you?

Sometimes I find it funny when I watch/read the Ramayana and Mahabharata and the strong determination of the characters to not lie or to not break promises. Like come on! Just because the mother Kunti said the brothers must share whatever they had won, they shared a woman? It would have been so easy if the promises didn’t have to be kept and the word of the mouth not to be respected. The great war of Mahabharata wouldn’t have been fought! And as a result, so many incidents could have been avoided.. But wait.. How would the world be gifted with the knowledge of the Bhagvad Gita then? How would we have been inspired by these great stories then? Wow! So many consequences of respecting the word of the mouth!

So does that mean we humans of the 21st century are smarter because we avoid so many consequences by just telling convenient lies? Well, I won’t give my opinion on this.. That’s for your to judge – whether its right or wrong. But wait, aren’t we becoming a race of the say-it-and-get-away-with-it mentality? .. Let me give you an example.. When you have to console somebody, the first thing you say to them is – I’m sorry.. bla bla bla.. and I’ll be there for you whenever you need me… bla bla bla.
Hello? Seriously? Have you given it a second thought before saying it? Are you sure you’ll be there for them? Are you sure you’ll pick up their call at 3 am when they’re having a terrible breakdown, and you know you’ve to wake up for work at 7 am? Are you sure you’ll give up on your sleep for them? Do you really care that much? Well, maybe you don’t. And you don’t have to say that lie to every other person who is going through a difficult phase.. Because you’re not supposed to be there for everyone. It is okay if you can’t. But by saying that pretty little lie, you kill somebody’s hope for humanity.. So next time you claim to do something for someone.. Think! Will you really be there for them? Or will you text them back in the morning saying that you were busy/ you were sleeping/ or that you’re terribly sorry your phone was on silent…and bla bla bla.

And well, that applies to everything else too. Think before you say you’ll do something.. It’s okay to not say it, than to not respect your own words and continue lying to hide a previous lie.

The Dying Fire.

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As a part of the photo-poetry collaboration that I started. This photo was sent by @himanshu_durden on instagram.

How innocent is our hopeful being.
Like a bonfire on a monsoon night :
Life, wishes and the happy things.
Everything goes down the drain.
What was once a bundle of flames,
Ready to consume and destroy.
At the same time, spreading warmth and joy.

A burning passion ;
Its destiny prewritten.
A drop of rain, and a few others
Come pouring down ;
A forbidden love that it was.
Of fire and water.
Like that of life
and constant laughter.
And yet the foolish
union was awaited,
But everything was to die out,
soon after they mated.

A drop, and then a few others.
The skies commanded a slow death
For the fire full of life.
From flames to ashes it turns.
Calling out for a breath of wind,
Like a drowning man,
in a sea of burning sins.

What happened to ‘Friends Forever’?

I’m always quite surprised when I think about how life has changed in terms of the friends we have. I remember how when we were younger, it was always very important to have a best friend. Friendship seemed like an award. If someone called you their best friend in front of others, you felt proud and happy. We said we’ll be friends ‘forever’. But little did we know that forever is too short a period of time.

I don’t know about others, but I, I always had a difficult time having a stable group of friends. Maybe I was too selfish or ungrateful or maybe I just expected too much. My family always told me that I never stick to my friends and always end up fighting with them, because I don’t know how to adjust to situations and work according to others. And even after so many years after school, I fail to understand what went wrong. I’m sure it’s not just me here. I know you too have lost some friends on this journey. But why is that the case? Why can’t friendships remain stable throughout life?

The school friends we promised to be friends forever with, just moved away slowly. As the cities changed, our lives changed too. I know I’m not saying anything you don’t already know of. You do know that relationships change with time, as we grow up and meet new people. It’s easier to be the best of friends when someone is always around. The college friends who you always used to hang out with. The school friends you used to do all the mischiefs with. But as time goes by, and you move away into different spheres of life, there is nothing common anymore. You spend less time together, and you make lesser memories with them. Its gets difficult to understand each other, because you don’t share the same life struggles anymore.

I’ve come to understand that friendships are all about understanding. And understanding doesn’t and can’t come over the phone or a text. Remember when your closest friend in college broke up and came to you with tears in their eyes? The way you saw their pain and understood it so perfectly. It’s about that understanding, which can rarely come over a phone call or a text. When your struggles in life change, the people you find solace in, change too. We wouldn’t let go of our old friends, because we want them to be in our life, the way they used to. We’ll keep calling them; keep expecting them to be the same. You both will be putting in efforts, but the magic of that friendship is lost on the way somewhere. The magic that came with everyday laughter, teasing, hugging, running in the corridors, and so much more.

From school to college, from postgrad to a job, and from one job to another job, life and its struggles change again and again and again. It gets more and more difficult to maintain the friendships that we promised to keep forever. Its leads to more and more sadness and crushed expectations. But that doesn’t mean no friendship is forever. In the age of facebook, where you can have more than 1000 friends, the meaning of friendship itself has faded away. People are less and less patient with their friendships, and quickly move from one to another, because its so easier to meet new people. But what happened to the whole concept of friends forever that we admired when we were nine?

For me, the friendships that last forever are the ones that are baggage free. Because we were used to talking to them every day, we expect to continue that forever. No. When your situations change, the understanding of your friendship must change too. The friends who understand this, can fulfill their promise of being friends forever. Even if you don’t talk to them every day, you must know that they will be there for you when you need them. And even if you talk after two months, nothing should change between you. When you meet them, even if it’s once in an year, you should be able to accept the changes in them, and try to understand their new struggles.

Those are the friendships that last forever.
You don’t have to talk everyday till infinity, but be a part of each other’s lives until infinity.

 

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In this photograph, me and my best friend from undergrad. We’ve been living in different cities since three years now, but nothing has changed between us. We won’t talk for months, but when we do, its all the same.

Keep on Holding .

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You and I are blind men,
walking on a dark road.
He who is holding the lantern,
is also testing our patience.
So don’t stop dreaming, don’t cease your hopes.
You never know how close is the end of the rope.
Keep holding on tight,
Let not the sweat shake you with fright.
Dream of the delights at the end of the road.
Let not the boat of faith drown with tempting load.

To The Children We’ll Have ..

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Picture Source : Tumblr

Dear baby,

I am writing to you way before you would learn your alphabets. Way before you would take your first step, and way before you would breathe in this world. But it is important that I communicate my thoughts to you right now, from the world where I live, because I’m sure its not going to be the same when you start to grow up.

When I was a child of your age, I, and all my friends were eager to grow up. And I think everyone who has been your age, certainly was. And I’m sure you too are. But don’t be, my baby. Growing up isn’t all that fun as it seems. You think we adults can do anything, take our decisions, and be free as a bird, whilst you are asked to follow rules, at home and at school. You are asked to talk in a polite manner, dress up nicely, and what not.

But we adults, when we have to choose and take our decisions, we mess it up. We don’t wanna do it, but we have to. We are scared, baby. We are really really scared deep down. We don’t wanna be responsible for our actions and thus we fear making decisions. We have forgotten all the lessons we were taught at school – the good manners – being polite, brushing our teeth twice a day, eating healthy, excercising, being organized, waking up early and so much more. We regret it today, because we don’t follow it anymore. But you, baby, don’t forgtet the moral lessons of life.

When I was younger, we used to go out to play and we’d play till the sun set, the mosquites started biting and till our mums called out to us for dinner. We played all kinds of games, running around, drawing on the ground, collecting stones, kicking footballs, hiding behinds walls, and building blocks. They might not be as innovative and exciting as the games you play all the time on your laptop, but trust me, they taught us a lot. If it hadn’t been for those games, we’d never have shared our childhood dreams with the children in the neighbourhood who turned best friends. We’d never have learnt how to work together and play together. We’d never have learnt how to deal with the company of so many others. We’d have dealt with humans as we grew up too, but what you experience in your childhood, stays with you. Thats when you accept more honestly, love more selflessly and care more naturally. Because then, you don’t know of the horrible notions and ideas that exist in the world. 

Baby, be good to others, and to yourself. Nothing matters more than the way you treat others, and the way you treat yourself. It is okay if someday in life you feel like you don’t have enough of something you want. You have what someone else might not have.
Respect everybody, and respect your elders. They are like those huge Banyan trees that you see in our village where I’d take you every year. Those Banyan trees have been there since a long, long time. They have dealt with extreme heat, thunderous rains and storms. And yet they stand there, mighty and tall. Don’t ignore them as you pass them by. Next time, look at them closely. You’ll know what I mean.

I won’t scold you or hit you if don’t get the highest grade in class. I would want you to do with all your heart what you really like doing. Because thats what would matter the most  when you’ve grown up. Unlike most us, don’t get stuck with a job you don’t care about. Be passionate about you do.

Baby, I still haven’t grown up fully as I write this to you. And I am as confused about life as any other person my age. But this life is so thrilling, yet mysterious, so depressing, yet joyful, so burdened, yet calm. There are days when we wish we didn’t have to deal with life. And there are days when we wish time would stop for us. Every day is not the same, baby. If today it rains, tomorrow the sun might shine. It is this uncertainty that makes life the bitter-sweet symphony that is.

If you’d be like the children growing up these days, surrounded by endless gadgets all day, I’d be really sad. This is the golden time of your life, baby. There is nothing to discover in those screens, and in the four walled room that you live in. Go out, into the world. In a garden with trees and flowers. Walk barefeet on wet grass. Smell every flower that you see. Dance in the rain. Talk to children of your age. Laugh until you roll on the ground. See the sunset and try to paint it. Play hide n seek and invent your own games. And smile. Because this is the most beautiful time of your life. You might think we adults have more freedom, but to be honest, you’re the one who’s actually free. Free, from prejudices, ideas, ways and norms of society.
Rejoice in this moment, and in this day.

Lots of love,
your mother-to-be.