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If you love her, hit “Like”..

During an agonizing period of rote studying, it is obvious that the minds of innocent victims drift to better things like books, crushes, and anything except the matter to be studied. During the course of my study hiatus, my drifted-mind, made me read a collection of poems by Rumi. I was astounded by the accuracy to which a picture of one’s feelings can be painted through the use of the right words. I read and re-read the poems and understood exactly what the words meant. the depth of longing in the words and the feelings involved.

While reading I remembered my grandfather telling me that the love during their era was much more potent and pure than today’s dating culture.Reading Rumi’s work made my grandfather’s statement seem to be truer than ever. When I read extracts that describe the loved ones in beautiful detail and revered adoration, I couldn’t help but wonder whether such a love, such an adoration exists in today’s world, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the love they felt then, exists in today’s world, In a world where divorce rates have increased, with certain western countries having a divorce rate of more than 50%, its easy to conclude that it does not. It seems believable that what our forefathers felt and wrote is non existent. But can love really die or reduce in degree…?? As I got to thinking, I realized that we read of only true love, not failed relations in history. Just as we read of significant events in history and not normal events, we learn of great love and not the ones which failed. Also, declaring a love as failed in today’s world would invite much lower societal repercussion than those a decade or a century ago. This simply states that we have grown to understand that staying in a relationship anything less than the love Rumi talks about is unhappiness and injustice to that special someone and we keep on searching.I refuse to believe that the love existent decades ago described in a necklace of words by poets does not exist now. Marriages which do work are examples of such a love in today. The reason being that, there are fewer reasons that mandate a couple to remain in matrimony now than there were then. Hence each matrimony which survives now, is more often than not, due to pure and unadulterated love.

Why did it seem so believable while reading Rumi’s work the we have lost love ? We have faltered when it came to expression of love. In the passage of time, we have forgotten how to express that pure love. Reading Rumi’s poems, the lover would know the love, its depth and have no doubt that it exists. In today’s generation of technology, we use fewer and simpler words while talking. Words used in conversation in any language have become simpler. And expressions of love have become even simpler. Talking can mean texting, tweeting, posting as well. And I wondered, as Rumi expressed emotion after emotion in words beautiful enough for the feelings they carried, what do we do to express love today..?? And as I compared the expressions of love today with those used earlier, I realized that the feelings are the same, the depth the same. However poor expressions make them seem trivial. I have a friend who posts about missing his wife whenever he has to go out of town for work. “Miss you a lot wifey…really” it reads. And with a jolt I realized that the feelings are similar to those of ancient writers like Beethoven. Beethovan, instead of the status said “Ah, wherever I am, there you are also –

Much as you love me – I love you more –

Oh God – so near! so far!

Is not our love truly a heavenly structure, and also as firm as the vault of heaven?”

Both these men miss their loved ones. The only difference, is that the expression has changed and become simpler. Social media has made it even simpler. But ultimately, it is nothing but a confession of deep longing for her,now expressed to the world via social media. Men in the ancient times were known to “brood about their beautiful loved ones in the shadows of the night under the moonlight and telepathically their hearts would enter a conversation.” Now, we text each other for hours at night, neither one wanting to sleep. Is the feeling any different ? Technology has made it easier, but the intensity of feelings is, I believe, still the same.The mighty soldier, then, would very subtly tell Miss White “Might I say that the colour complements your skin tone.” Now the investment banker very subtly lets her know on Watsapp “You looked pretty cool today.”

Sometimes, these simple languages, easy communications and easy love leads to a fault in expression of love, As they say “Language is to woo a woman”. In a world of “Watsup, I misssed u” we falter to let her know that what we really mean is “I miss you. So much that I cannot concentrate and I wish I could drop everything and be with you, for that is what my heart desires.” When liking her picture is one mouse click away, we forget to let her know that the “Like” means you look as beautiful and heavenly as I can ever imagine and that the picture brings me happiness. Where declaration of relationships means changing the “Relationship status” we forget to remind her that what we are actually doing is letting the whole wide world know that “I love you, I am committed to you and that there is no one else I wish to have”. Words when said correctly have the power of communicating feelings in the most accurate and unadulterated form and we seem to have forgotten this power in maze of clicks and #s and internet slangs.

When love is just a “Like”, explaining that “Like” is becomes essential. Sometimes, it is appeasing to let the Beethovan in you come out for her, and let her know what that “Like”, that status, that message, that kiss, that emoticon really meant to you….because after all, is your love any different than Beethovan’s…???

I miss…

I carry on with life with the brave and unfaltering spirit of a single independent girl. And I do sincerely believe that sometimes people, especially women in India, sacrifice a lot more than they gain in a relationship. I have basked in the glow of being in a relationship and loved it, as also dealt with the pains that this package deal brings. But, I have come to believe that I want to do many things with life which would only be deterred by a committed relationship at this point and so I am happy. But sometimes

I miss having that someone who always has a seat beside you at dinner tables with friends.

I miss having that someone whose message makes your heart skip a beat, even if that message is a simple “gm” or “luv u”.

I miss having that someone who can’t wait to see you again, who gets angry when you can’t make in time for him. I miss the conversation that follows where you calmly explain him to give you space, when in reality, you are just happy that he wants to spend time with you.

I miss having that burning jealously when he talks to someone and the soothing warmth when he assures you that you are the one.

I miss having that late night drama over little things, having fights which you amend at 3 am. I miss having that edgy feeling if the amends are not made at 3 am and there are no calls the next morning.

I miss having that someone who so beautifully slips his arm around you among his friends.

I miss having that someone who cares about you first, that someone who would specifically ask you if you need anything and not to the general crowd.

I miss having those unexpected kisses when you are furiously speaking and all the anger melts at the contact.

I miss having that someone whose hand you can hold whenever you please.

I miss having that someone whose every move catches your eye, whose voice sounds like symphony and sometimes dark chocolate.

I miss having that someone for whom you could get ready in front of a mirror for hours and when he says you look beautiful, simply saying “Really..I just put one some clothes.”

I miss having that someone who would always be there to talk to you, to cheer you up when you are down.

I miss having that someone who would grab you by your hand, and kiss you in a way that would make you believe you are flying.

I miss having that someone who would make the other girls jealous.

I miss having that someone who would always be the one to drop you, get water for you and be a gentleman instead of some random friend.

I miss having those long phone conversations after which you still wish to talk more and already miss him as soon as you keep the phone.

I miss having that goofy grin while texting that makes it obvious to your friends that you are texting him.

I miss staying awake after a party with friends just to have the traditional phone conversation.

And most of all, I miss the feeling of being loved by one man, who knows you, your secrets and shortcomings and you know his. When nothing matters against the crazy hedonism of being in love and no logic or thought finds place because every logic and thought is overthrown by happiness.

I am not saying that everything in a relationship is sunshine with no dark clouds but sometimes I miss the sunshine of the relationship. I wish that the sunshine would come to me right now without the dark clouds of distrust and fear and I could embrace it. But alas….when has sunshine ever come without trouble…

Driving and women

Really really true…

A dash of Pepper...

I started driving at 18, so I can safely say I’ve been driving for a decade now. Okay, fine, 9 years, if you want to nitpick. I do believe I am a good driver. I have good control over the car, my reflexes are sharp and I can maneuver skillfully. All my life, though, I’ve heard this one statement – Women are not good drivers. 

It is sad, the way we pass on this idea, from one generation to the next. It irks me a lot, because I spend about 2-3 hours at the wheel, every single day. And in all my driving time, I come across a million idiotic male drivers. Male drivers that drive slowly, with zero confidence – in the right most lane, thereby obstructing the flow of traffic. Male drivers that brake dangerously, without any warning. Male drivers that stop the car in the middle of…

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Everything’s gonna be alright

To A Cherished And Lovely Friend

 

When the black clouds gather,

And you see no way further.

When star-light dims a little,

And hopes seem horribly brittle.

Remember that nothing lasts forever,

The darkness will eventually move over.

The rays of love’s sun will end the night,

And then, everything’s gonna be alright.

 

I know it’s difficult and I can feel the pain,

But happiness will come and we will smile again.

The despair may seem too heavy to keep at bay,

But you are not alone – together we will pave the way.

The darkness around is too weak to keep up,

The shine in your soul will light every corner up.

When you will search far enough, joy will come to light,

And do know, that everything’s gonna be alright.

 

I know the road seems too rocky to travel upon,

But darling please hold on, and half the battle’s won.

We are right there along the way,

Trying hard to drive the dark rocks away.

One day the rocks will melt to your might,

And then, everything’s gonna be alright.

 

I know the Lord has closed one door,

But trust Him, he will open some more.

Together we will search for that entrance,

Together we will travel that distance.

And then, all the happiness in the world will be right there-in sight,

Finally you will know what I meant when I said, “Everything will be alright”. 

Indeed a “New” and “Happy” year

After a day of the same old tax stories to be sorted, the excitement of learning something new, the frivolous banter near that office colleague’s desk, I boarded my usual bus. Like all the other teenagers young people, I had my headphones tucked in my ears with some random song playing in the background as I mused about life and work and the city lights and its aura at night. I was unconsciously nodding my head to the rhythm of Avicii, enjoying the beat against my eardrum. I noted somewhere in the back of my mind that the song ended, and the blank space between two songs in the playlist ensued. And I stilled at the sound of the next song. It was our song – Mine and his. The song was not that famous and nor was the movie. I stilled waiting for the memories to fill up in the otherwise normal space in my mind. That is the thing about songs and me – whenever I listen to a particular song, I recollect some memory associated with it.My multi-tasking brain had already started working on how the hell did the ominously dangerous song made it’s way into my sacred and beautiful playlist. All of this happened in just a second. As my hurried hands opened the screen lock on my phone and were about to change the fatal tune, I stilled once more. …I was not really feeling anything. Holy hell – I thought. This can’t be right. I remember myself shuddering at even the slightest hint of this song and being glad that it went out of fashion. “Is it really happening..?” I thought. “Am I really listening to the song without feeling sad, nostalgic, jittery or anything else.?” So, very tentatively and with a little fear and trepidation, I concentrated on the lyrics, dreading every second that the atom bomb of feelings would go off any moment and I will have to face the consequences of not listening to the song for years. That too,face the consequences in a bus. But nothing happened. I could smile and nod and rock my head at the slow beat of the song – just like any other song…And I wanted to clap in a bus full of strangers and say a happy new year to them – It was indeed a “Happy New Year”. Yes, wish the funny looking lanky guy, old lady with unwaxed hands, the cranky conductor – wish all of them a “Happy New Year”. But I just smiled to myself and heard the song after years, enjoyed the lyrics – every word of it and rocked myself at the melody.I could listen to it like any other song. And then I went on a spree – picking out all the soul wrenching songs, heart-breaking, mournful songs which the break-up doctor in you tells you to avoid for …forever. I picked them and heard them – the English sad ones, the Hindi sad ones, all going on behind the shadows of a big smile on my face.

I had been thinking about what to write on the blog about new year. Sure I drank, got drunk and slept and welcomed the new year. But everybody did that. So what was so happy and new about my year. And I had the answer when I was alone in a bus. It is not about others in our life, it is about us. When we change, we see everyone differently. When we have that inner change in us that assures us that we will be happy, no curses or situations or people can make that happiness go away…

So “Happy New Year”…!!!

Ideal Guy V/s The Spark

Someone once told me  – ” If it’s logical, its not love. ” I politely begged to differ. Well, if he has that beautifully sculpted face, soft kindness behind the rough exterior, a smart mind and a glorious leadership quality, I am bound to fall in love with him. Of course, being a feminist he cannot be the “typical sexist”. I was so sure that love is science – a potent variation of sexual desire. But someone came along and proved me wrong. Love is illogical – that is it’s definition. Someone, with that smart personality, fluent English, kind heart and mad love for me in that very heart, lovely leadership skills and a strong feminist himself, proved me wrong. He was what I called the ideal guy. The one who would make me go all sparkly and head over heels. The description I just wrote was my logic in love. And that logic came along, smiling a dazzling smile, and confidently and a little madly expressing his love for me. But something was wrong – the ideal guy was gaga over me but there was something missing ….”What..? Tell him a yes ” – My logical self was shouting at me. But something was missing – the…the…Spark..!! Yes the spark. Well, for a logical and legally-mad-and-definitions-are-essential-person like me, spark was the Mother Teresa of vague. Spark was something I felt with him and the Mean but Attractive – the love, but not with the ideal guy. I just couldn’t get the spark, in spite of standing amidst the fireworks, couldn’t feel the little butterfly, smack in the middle of the garden, couldn’t love the one I was meant to love from the day I was born – all because of the trivial, highly inconsequential, and terribly vague something, called a “spark”. The self-certified lawyer in me admonished me – “Well what do you want..? Diwali…Sparkles….DIsney land….glitter…what ? Please define your spark”. But I couldn’t define it. It was something which made me feel something. (See, VAGUE..!!). So I waited for the turbulent illogical phase to pass and the calm logic to return – I made him wait too, of course. But no sign of the mysterious and elusive spark. And finally yesterday, I realized – that spark is what people called love. I was in love once, madly – How did I remain so ignorant of this “spark thingy” anyway ? It is because my logical self, thought it was logic. But the irony is that the illogical spark, that senseless love, made me forcefully fit everything in the logical puzzle. It was not logic. Love made it appear like logic to me. And so with a heavy heart, and a butterfly-less stomach, I told my ideal man a goodbye – the reason being the absence of spark.

Love is not logical. Sometimes, we make decisions based on logic terming it as “mature” because logic doesn’t appeal to the citizens of Bollywoodville and Hollywoodville. But it is not logic. Love is the opposite of logic. There is no reason why you love someone. You may like certain traits in him, but put the same traits in someone else and you may not like him. We seek reasons – he is smart, funny, hot, does that thing with his eyes, kisses me like that. But these are just things which we find attractive in people because we love them and not the other way around. We don not love them because of these reason. We love them because…. we just do. 

So next time, you think his laughter, her smile, his body, her curves, his kindness, her selflessness, that one thing which made you love him/her – keep it simple and say I love you because I do. 

Maximum City

I was once walking back, filled with a strange weightlessness and delight. My exams were over. On my way, I see the exam-over-gifts casually lying in neat piles on the street, hesitantly eyeing me, luring me. (or so I thought. Perhaps it was me who was eyeing the gifts). There were piles and piles of words and sentences and paragraphs written by people all around the world. Yes, they were books – the black market ones. Usually, I don’t buy all the books I read, and never from the road side vendors. I am a member at a library. But some instinct or desire told me to buy – and so I did. I picked up books with random names and I spotted one which, I remember being suggested to me by a friend. I do not even recollect the friend’s name – so lets call him a good old fellow. Also the book was well received by the readers in general. So I bought the book – It was Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City. It is a book about Bombay Mumbai. I have finished reading almost 75% of the book. It often happens to me that when I read a book the whole day, I am in that world and not in the present. Just like a pensive. Each word paints a picture for me and I then see the movie play and I am an observer standing right there through the plot. As I shifted through the pages of the book, I was transporter back in 1992 for a while. I realized that I knew the facts, but not the emotions, about my city.(I know the fact that the name of my city had been changed but not the emotion behind the act.) It talks about a Mumbai before I was born – A Mumbai in 1990s. The gang wars, the blasts, Dawood and Chotta Shakeel and the Hindu-Muslim riots. As it is, residing in the southern part of the city i.e being a “townie” or SoBo (South Bombay), as my non-SoBo friends nickname us, most of our city is a stranger to us. I have never visited the suburbs beyond Borivali – ever. But I know the history, the politics of the city I live in. One of the most important events is the Hindu-Muslim riots in Mumbai. I have heard a lot about it from my parents as they were on their honeymoon, and how they had to deal with an emergency curfew in Bangalore and how they couldn’t find a place to stay and my mom was suffering from a winter stroke. That was a trying time for them and I think it made them love each other even more. As they narrate the facts, I listen to them, take them in, but without any emotion for the riots. All I ever noticed was how they dealt with it. I always thought that the riots were petty stunts by political parties and senseless bloodshed ensued because people in India over-react when it comes to religion. You can tell them your dressing sense is pathetic and they’ll laugh but if you tell them, I don’t think Gita/Quran is the ultimate literature of knowledge, chances are that the person may never speak to you. Even today, some old relatives use the word “Muslims” as an alternative to a thug, hit-man, terrorist etc and I am offended. I am a Hindu and I know people who are Muslims and are anything but those things. I always discounted these old relatives as irrational and illiterate. I never wanted to get into the details of why they felt that way. But while reading the book, I understood why. I am not saying their opinion is correct. I still consider the opinion baseless. But, I now have a better glimpses into why they hold such an opinion i.e why even today, in Mumbai, or rather India – the older generations of Muslims consider Hindus as autocrats and vice versa. The reason is simple – they witnessed the riots live and I didn’t. I know the number of people killed but didn’t see the killings or corpses. I know there were alleged claims that the Hindu police sided with the Hindus, but didn’t see a policeman who is supposed to protect, kill. I know that there were claims that a Hindu girl was raped by a mob of Muslims,but I was not born then, to hear or see the news. These memories – of killing, or rumors are etched in these people’s minds. I use to laugh when my grandfather used communal language and admonish him saying – “Unity is strength”. But can someone who has seen his father being burnt alive by a Hindu, easily forget and start liking a Hindu. How can one expect a father whose daughter has been raped in front of him by a Muslim be expected not to treat them differently. Violence scars people – be it a bomb blast or a riot or a war. One’s who have seen it, cannot forget it and it is irrational of someone to expect them to forget. I could feel the intensity in the book – though only statements were recited, they were a bloody descriptive picture. I wonder how men and women who operate in violence, see it everyday, survive. In my opinion – there was no Hindu Muslim riot. It was an assault by the Hindu criminals on Muslims and the Muslim criminals on Hindus. The non-criminals suffered – both Hindu and Muslim. Today, the present generation, does not consider religion a criteria in making friends, business partners or at times choosing a life partner. But the aversion of the other religion still lingers – it’s palpable in the city. I still see Gujarati ladies cringing at the sight of a group of Muslim men for no apparent reason. But India is changing and people are changing. The scars of violence eventually fades and people consider it futile to hold on to grudges. Eventually, people will see the individual they know and distinguish him/her on his/her individuality and not on the basis of religion, nationality, college, company,locality, relationship status etc. During the riots – my parents couldn’t find a vehicle to get to the hotel – the cabbie deserted them, as he ran for protecting his own life. They traveled for an hour to reach their hotel in a car, whose owner offered a generous lift. The owner was a Muslim. Somewhere, humanity eventually wins. Human beings have a biological and social desire to belong to something and this desire cannot go. Belong to a group, religion, nation, cult, company etc. Even if boundaries and religion in the world were to miraculously disappear, we would form some group and belong there and fight with the other. But after all the grouping and fighting,  time will move on, heal the scars of violence, lift the dark black cloak of bloodshed and clarity will manifest. When that time arrives, and if someone says “They burnt us alive in 1992”, the response will be “May be. But, now they share coffee with me and have not burnt anyone in their life. I think it’s okay.”