Labels and boxes

What are we engaging in- journeys and voyage or merely travel by apparition or teleportation? Yes we get from the same one spot to the other, but its how we get there that makes all the difference. Losing sight of that, its a little like losing sight of life itself.
Delhi glows at night. It glows like hot embers on a smooth charcoal, scattered in places like lazy fireflies and resembling that maharaja’s gold Guinea collection in others. Its interlacing ropes of pearls and glistening chains emphasize its vastness. And it makes me feel small, Not insignificant, just small. Small enough to wonder what lies beneath, to zoom into every intersection and discover new stories. That’s much more appealing than scowling at the way an angry birds game is going, like the person next to me.
When we speak of journeys, and life, Delhi reminds of something that crucial to it- the utter lack of pattern and predictability. Delhi is unapologetically random, much like our lives, except we keep trying to force them to fall into schedules and unrealistic regulations. We fight change and surprises and we categorize everything. We’re the sticky note and tagging generation, as much as we pretend to be the wild carefree youth. We don’t just label coursework and jars, we also label people- we label them by career choice, by the type of college they went to; by where they hang out and what they read. whether they listen to Dylan or Beiber. And its a little ridiculous. I, personally find it demeaning. When you classify someone as a bookworm or a Hindu born or an atheist or a soccer player, you remove the other aspects of their personality. You forget that they’re kind and patient or fiery and passionate; that they can empathize or love the rain, that they’re amazing lovers and loyal friends. That they’re camera shy and make amazing hot chocolate. You forget it. And when you start following these categories, you start putting yourself into them too. Am I social worker or a lawyer? Am I an artist or an economist? Who the hell cares?
We become so restricted by our definitions and classifications that we start tying ourselves down to paths that make us dread waking up every morning to face our lives. Because we’re scared- we’re scared of being judges; of not making enough money. We’re scared we’ll embarrass ourselves or not reach everyone else’s perception of success. We’re afraid we’ll make mistakes and might have to admit them. And with all these stresses, what we forget to do is be good people- be happy satisfied humans.
People cant be labeled like boxes about to be moves. Hell, even things shouldn’t be labelled so rigidly.A bed-sheet is wall-art is a toga is a sarong is a curtain is an Ipad cover. And humans are infinitely more flexible. We aren’t just multidimensional- we’re a set of constantly changing multidimensional aspects. And when we recognize that, its liberates us to shut out judgment and introspect. A doctor who gives up his career to become a scuba diving instructor, and leaves that to travel around the country with a yogi groups and goes back to being a doctor isn’t the same person at all. And anyone who tells him/her that they made a mistake by interrupting their career is laughably off the mark. Its the experiences we gather, the people we meet, the emotions and conditions we learn about that help us get peace. Its a constant process of overcoming fears, specially a fear of admitting not just to everyone else but to oneself that a wrong choice has been made. But wrong choices are only wrong if we don’t learn from them.
Identity isn’t a present or past or future tense noun. Its a verb.

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One shot

one shot for my pain
one shot for my sorrow
one shot for my heart
one shot for the emo blackmail

one shot for my life
one shot for love lost
one shot for today
one shot hoping there’s no tomorrow

 one shot for my soul
one shot for the horror
one shot for getting high
one shot for getting’ fly 

one shot to sink in the ground
one shot to touch the sky
one shot to celebrate
set me free
let me touch the sky
no limits 

one shot for getting messed up
one shot for goodbye
gimme a shot, gimme a bottle;
for now, lets just celebrate being alive

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Carpe Diem

There once was a world, a long while ago
Where people were not afraid to sail beyond the sunset,
To the heart of the unknown.
There now is a world where people don’t have the time to watch the sunset,
Sailing is a long shot
We’ve forgotten how to live,
But we must remember
The rich and the poor die the same deaths of cold
All that matters is whether you merely existed
Or you lived a life worth dying for

 Why live a life, a life of hiding, of quiet desperation
When you can let it go, let it all go and be more than mere lemmings
Look around you, look
We are taught not to look, we are taught perspectives
What is ingrained in us is irony
The irony of learning with seeing, without forming our own perspectives

 Somewhere along the way in the drudgery of life
In the misery of forced ambition
I lost my voice, I lost my vision
And vision once lost is all we have is all we need
And it can be won back it can be regained, be it by accepting the loss,
Oh Sumit and Zoya, how I wish you two had met,
How I wish we could have been all on this earth at once
But I’m here now and delighted to have a chance to be free
Free of remorse, to be rid of it, to live, to really live
Without fear and derisive of judgment

They tell me to be calm
That’s the problem
I’ve been calm all my life
And now it’s bursting, bursting outside me, out of control
It’s the most beautiful tragedy
If it kills me, even
I can’t think of a better way to go down
And I’ve loved
I’ve loved and lost more than one should, much more
But love is like a cyclone
It strikes and that’s just that,
I called him today and it made my day
He said he was thinking of me
We start with our own strides and paces or talents if you will
Until were taught the correct pace
And that our rooms must be painted beige not black
Before the alcohol was a bane and the drugs called your name,
Who was it, when you walked around and your mind wandered,
Who in your imagination, who was it that you became?


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I’ve lost track of where I am; and lost sight of where I want to be. If I want to be.  I’m oscillating between worlds in the same city and it makes me wonder. Wonder, wander

Mornings are spent tutoring. By 4 am, I have to reach. Wake up the kids. Get them to the one empty room. I pay the electricity bills. No other way they’d let me do this. And it must be 4 in the morning, before the few of them that get to go to school can be tutored. The rest follow their parents. Picking up waste; begging on the street. Specially my sweet, darling autistic kids. They’re generally who get me to wake up, day after day, no matter how bad things get. But I’m lost.

How do I balance my desires and my guilt? The guilt is from living the sort of life people around me were accustomed to. Clubbing, drinking; wearing pretty, shiny things. Making pretty shiny things. Because I have fun doing those things; I do. And I’m used to it. But is that okay? Is it acceptable to live in this warped messed up sense of reality and constantly struggle with oneself about life choices and how much I’m willing to devote to others?

I’m scared I’ll lose my way. I’m terrified. But I hope, and I look for answers. 

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A shot of amber goes a long way

Voltaire once said, there are some who only use words to disguise their thoughts. I guess because, once you’re along a certain path, you’re in so much disguise that you’re also disguised to yourself. Denial of the real world anyone?(note: its where nightmares become dreams)

Its better known as surrealism. It’s the place where sobriety (more often than not) seems like a faraway land. It gets blurred as the level of amber slowly reduces from the glass bottle at my feet. But what it really blurs is reality. Deadlines, people. Relationships, responsibilities. A delusional sense of contentment, the point where worries  cease to exist. Reality. It feels so distant. And it is. It’s what the amber is for. Fairytales and Neverland require magic potion;but amber lets you be; be or be away even if just for a night. Its peaceful, this amber. It must at some point, but right now, its amber land or playing a lead role in Wristcutters: A Black Romantic Comedy.  (Unless you’re actually slitting your wrists, it goes on the do NOT watch list. ugh.)

But the truth is that we have memories. Now some memories are fine, good, even. But the rest would be better if they weren’t part of the past. The things, in essence that make you wonder about the time gap between the desire to drive into a lake and want to save the world. Not much, eh? I guess it goes a little bit, along the way, the destined path. The amber. It makes me feel again. Alone, cutting off ties. Working on the art and amber. Its not reality, but the path is laid.


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Re-sketched lines

Pain. Cry. And then? Nothing. Empty vacuum.

The secrets and the fears. They hurt, the linger and they pester. You can run away, you can block things out. Reality can be conveniently ignored. But how can you master the skill of running away from yourself; and, more importantly; how the hell can you keep it up? The fear of the mirror, to look at myself, to look inside myself. To face me.

The things we do, the things I’ve done. Destiny and fate. The lines on the palm. The lines that we’ve learnt to sketch and re-sketch. Alter and hide. Oh, the things to hide.

Guilt and shame and embarrassment. And the tears, oh lord, the tears. You get used to it. Their consistency, their saltiness and the redness that follows. The piles of crumpled, snow white tissues and the trembling hands. The emptiness.

The fear, the fear. Of the consequences of taking responsibility. Of cleaning up. I’m sick of the tears and my eyes hurt. I can’t blink, I can’t open them.

Make it stop.

Make it go away.

Stop; just stop.

And then it ceases to matter. It really doesn’t matter beyond a point. The money, the fame and the success. The poverty, the frail sickness, the complaining starving stomachs and the hopeless crying. None of it matters, because none of it sticks.

At the end it’s just you.

All that you have and are left with.

And hell, that better be good enough.

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I think Lucifer should hire me. So, you know, he learns. How to destroy people. How to kill them. The walking dead; the wounded; the victims of life, who crave death; the victims of torture, pain and love.

Hunger hurts, more than someone who hasn’t had it can understand. Hunger, starvation. Begging on the street, outside a roadside eatery.To sustain yourself, to live. And that hunger never really dies.

And pain? Pain is so much more and so much worse. Pain doesn’t die either. Pain is like a very sensitive wound in the middle of your soul. Pain is watching, seeing. Pain is knowing who destroyed your roots and being the prime witness. Pain is not being a virgin at age three.

Pain is being repeatedly abused. Being hit. Being bruised. Bleeding, crying. So much blood, so many tears.

Pain is trusting. And then having them go to heaven; or having your dreams literally punched out of you. Slapped, beaten. Falling to the ground. Lesions on the skin and a broken, fractured ear.

Then comes wanting escape and medication. Lets find out how those two mix. Once is an attempt; twice is a cry for help. The third, is usually final.

Pain. Pain is aphrodisiac.

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Thin air

Transported for life. Imprisoned for life.

That’s the legal terminology for punishment. But aren’t we all subject to that anyway?

Invisible bars, sometimes more blatant than others. Bars that restrict our movements, our lives; our careers and political choices. Bars that have existed since birth, bars you wish you could see a little clearer, so as to break out and defy.

Every year, people vanish. And they don’t spontaneously combust. And no, I don’t meant the abductions or killings. Just people who are missing. Who walk away from the bars to make sure they don’t exist anymore; to defy the prison of life.They walk away from people who discourage their choices, who make them do things that make each and every day seem like mental torture. They walk away to be who they are, without the bars.

They walk away from being prisoners. Prisoners of the fortune or misfortune they were born into

Prisoners of their birth, of their lives.

So they vanish.

They vanish into thin air.

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I’m “hole-y”

People die.

They die all the goddamn time.

And whats left then are memories. Memories that make you cry, wake up sweating at night. Memories that make you laugh and then cry; cry. And then the memories begin to fade, and you think it’ll be okay. And then you wake up from precious, precious sleep, crying, trembling. A wet face, darkness and a spinning, trembling world.

But whats really actually left is lots of empty spaces. Holes. Little empty spaces, big empty spaces. Emptiness that can fill you up, cover you up. That make you feel like a block of swiss cheese, just not as yummy or yellow. Holes can be pretty darn useful though. This whole lack of emotions business is damn good for productivity. And its circular. You feel the emptiness but the emptiness means you don’t really feel it. Or you talk yourself into not feeling it. And then you have cold sweat. Hot showers and some amber. Nicotine for the trembling and a book; an excuse for tears, a means to another life.

But those damn holes. They remain. They grow. And the numbness. The greatest of all, the numbness that does away with the desire to desire in one clean stroke. And then you visit. The aisles of the cemetery armed with beautiful, beautiful roses. And you cry, and cry. It feels good to cry. But then the holes, those holes you were trying to ignore? They grow and they numb your mind.

Spacey, holey. I’m holey.

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Crack and Concealer

Who am I? What does being “me”even mean? Sometimes, I lose track; and I want to disappear. Away, where no-one can see me, where I can discover myself. Where art and scotch are more than bare necessities.

Where someone will get me flowers, even if it’s not my birthday, just to celebrate. Being alive; being there. Maybe even having at some point loved and been loved. A land where delicious chocolate cakes begging to be finished encounter appetites to satisfy that; where colored TV sets don’t seem like ominous black and white signals.

But how can anyone really grasp it? Who else would have travelled? Through the lands of coffee and concealer, of lipstick and its abuse.

Fear. Pure fear. Sometimes you’re scared; you want to cry. Those are the good days, the really good days. The days where you tell yourself, bon courage! And then, you talk yourself into believing that the worst is really over.

And then you still d’ont feel. Nothing. Nada. Numbness. So you force yourself. A threesome with Ben & Jerry; an orgasm over Louboutins; momentary smiles, but nothing lasts.

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