Running Away

Question not this stranger you see,
'Tis not the same you knew before.
It is as it was meant to be,
Believe, the past was a lure.

Keep searching for what was,
Try to find the slightest clue.
Something of a reason, a cause.
Its a realization long over due.

Barricade of fear, denial and an excuse.
Everything should be placidly clear.
It was yet another clever ruse,
To flee from all that are near.

Live with this answer henceforth,
It is an admission of escape,
The story has come to an end.
Shroud it as death with a drape.
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Soul

It actually dawned on me when a friend said, "It's not enough to just be born there, to call it your town". It was true. It's not enough to just know the history of a place or have lived in a single place your whole life either.

It was about the sense of comfort...It was about feeling at home...

It was about that little stifling giggle you share with your cousin in a store, when the salesman wraps the saree around himself and twirls around telling you how the color combination would suit you perfectly.

It was about going from house to house being offered the same paan leaf with a banana after a varalakshmi vratham and having your face smudged with gandam and red bottu, and still come out smiling after the gazillionth sweet in your mouth.

It was about haggling over prices, trying to convince the man that you've been standing here for hours bargaining and how it was unfair he would make you do that, so it was a legit situation to get a discount.

It was about enjoying a baby's 21st day ceremony and not worrying about having every aspect of your appearance in place because everybody appeared drenched in the smoldering heat.

It was about sitting through the million pooja's in a wedding trying not to fall asleep as it dragged on until 4 am in the morning and still be able to have the best time of your life.

It was about loving the jasmine flowers in your hair, the fried corn dumplings in the evening with your grandparents over a cup of tea, the kajal on the sole of your feet to ward off any 'evil eyes', the sound of children getting ready for school in the morning and so much more...

It is about walking through a place and realizing that there is a memory hidden in every corner...
It is about knowing that you share similar beliefs with the people around you...
It is about appreciating the foundation on which your values are built...
It is about the sense of belonging...

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"Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it"
-Rabindranath Tagore
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My Mystic Counsel

I bow down my head,
prepared.
Masked behind the lattice,
to confess.
My regrets, my happiness, my sorrow,
my sins.
I know not what is behind the gaps,
sitting silently.
Listening to many disclosures after mine,
before mine.
A still witness to peoples words,
attentive.
I lean forward trying to steal a glimpse,
of my confidante.
The soothing voice reassuring me,
teaching me.
I hold my breath for a verdict,
my punishment.
But I receive nothing but guidance,
never judging.
It has become an unconscious need,
for approval.
From the one that matters,
me.
I gain comfort, I gain solace,
peace.
As I pardon myself and realize,
I am only human.
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Memory Thief


He chants:

To steal, to keep, time and again.
To create, to weep, time and again.
To sow, to reap, time and again.
To stop, to leap, time and again.
*****************************************


Come listen to this tale I speak,
Of a thief pursuing an age old art.
Beginning to ensnare an orb of fire,
As a skilled master adept at his task.

He proceeds, twisting the sphere craftily,
The flame hisses, its tongue licks his hand,
As he leans forth, diving in head first,
Allowing the red to entangle him in a trap.

The spirited winds surround him now,
As he is launched across the seas,
With none to his name save,
A wavering compass and tarnished plot.

Fully mindful he is to row forth blind,
Amongst the floating wisps of clouds,
He curses the treacherous world,
For what he has to conduct tirelessly.

Islands of reminiscences he sees,
Gliding to the one that entices,
He paddles toward the isle for the day,
Considering the present moment-Past.

He parts with the chilliness in a jolt,
An absent warning, from no one known,
Back into the heat of the pyre when,
He will begin to practice, time and again.
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What was and what will be

I sat there, staring out into the vast blueness that spread out like a velvet blanket before me. The smooth ripples floated across the surface, as if dancing to an unheard song, while the cool breeze escorted the water, being faithful to the steps of the ballet. They kept in sync together, waltzing to a certain secret rhythm of their own.
I had no clue what I was doing there, witnessing this seemingly clandestine scene. perhaps I was there to calm myself down, to clear my head of the thousands of thoughts running through it, or just maybe to reflect upon the happenings in my life.
Whatever the case, the sight in front of me offered me an abode in which I could seek sanctuary; while I let my thoughts run wild. It allowed me to admire the simplicity with which the world was made; while I tried to untangle the web of my own life.
It was like any other day in the windy city, but for me, it meant so much more. After what seemed like eons, the day had finally arrived. I was conflicted within myself on what to think. I had trained myself, literally entrenched it into my head that after all this waiting, if things didn't work out, I could just simply say "F*** it". I would try again, of course, but I wouldn't let myself dwell on the negative aspect of it.
But what would I think if things did work out?
I saw it beautifully spread out before me... of what life would be like after the confirmation. I knew that this wasn't my entire life, that there were so many other things that mattered more, but I couldn't deny that it was a big part of me. of what I always wanted. Of what I always worked toward.
I thought about all those days I slaved through to just wait for this day. Those countless hours of studying, painstaking waiting on where I would be accepted and wondering when I would be able to begin yet another chapter.
But when I really think about it, my ultimate goal wasn't ever to become a 'doctor' in life. It wasn't what defined me, of who I truly was. It was a part of me, yes. But not ME.
It was about... hmmm... balance...
I suppose it had always been that way and this day was just another reflective moment when I tried to place my priorities together. Of course today mattered a lot, but what mattered most was balance in my life. This fine rope that I walked on, trying not to tip over and get sucked into the whirlpool of chasing after success or falling face down into an abyss of fun, where I never set any goals for myself. If I hadn't done that, I wouldn't be where I was today.
______________________________________________________________________
This piece took shape on another one of those days where I just let my thoughts flow and my fingers obeyed. i just penned down what I heard, felt and sensed. I never finished it and I do not intend on finishing it.
And so, I place it here. Today.
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Now

"How many times have you done this?" I asked.
"This is my first time"
"Oh... Have there been any previous injuries from here?"
"Yeah, around three deaths, and a couple of broken bones, but other than that, if all goes well, it's actually really fun!"

I gave him a skeptical look, while I tried to imagine the worst possible outcome of my life at that moment.

"Hahaha, relax! I'm fully certified, and I'm not new. I've done around 500 jumps to get my license and have been in this business for over twenty years now. No deaths or broken bones," he said.
I smiled back, amused at his humor.

So here I was... about to jump off a plane. The anticipation, the thrill, the excitement. What would it be like? Flying? Falling? Floating? I had to know. I had to find out.

It was a decision I had made on a whim.

On impulse.

I suppose I had always been this way - acting on something without a second thought - and now I'm just extending it to other realms of my life. Maybe the consequences of this characteristic I possess will catch up with me someday, but for now, I had made this one and I awaited its effects.

I looked up to see the plane moving towards us and the instructor signaled to me to walk ahead. It was a small plane, with one seat for the pilot and space to fit four other people. I lowered my head, careful not to hit it, as I tried to scramble into the space behind the pilot seat. My instructor followed and sat opposite me, leaning against the parachute he had strapped on his back. He turned on the camera he had fastened to his wrist and aimed it at my face.

"Well? What do you think?" he asked.
"I seriously can't believe I'm doing this!" I exclaimed, trying to shout over the sound of the aircrafts' propeller.
He laughed, "Are you sure you want to go ahead?"
"Hell yeah I do! Let's go!"

The aircraft raced forward and took off as I leaned over, taking a peak out the scratched window. I saw the ground drifting farther and farther away from me.

"How high are we going?"
"10,000 feet. We're at 5,000 right now," he said, still aiming the camera at my face to record my expression at this piece of information.

He motioned for me to turn around and put on my safety glasses. I struggled to get up in the small space without gripping onto the pilots seat for support, while I untangled the goggles from its strap and pulled it over my eyes. He attached the hooks from his harness onto mine and crawled to the door, pulling me with him. I refrained from looking outside, waiting for him to give me a signal to jump as he put his foot outside for support, steadying himself.

"AAAAAAHHHHH!" I screamed, as I felt the floor lurch away from me and I was hurled out of the airplane.

He jumped with no warning!

I was plummeting to the ground, the cold air whipping my face with an unbelievable force. I felt paralyzed as I let the wind carry me according to its wishes. The instructor pulled my arms and feet back, reminding me that I had to go into a 'Scorpio Position' he mentioned in the training session we had before starting. I tried to move my arms, but the gymnastic position that I attempted to do was futile against the strong wind.

Suddenly, I felt a jerk at my shoulders, as if somebody were trying to pull my arms out of my socket. My entire body was yanked back as he opened the parachute, slowing down our fall.

"Wooooohooooo!" I yelled.
"You want to say something?" he asked, as he turned on the camera again.
"The wind seems to be blowing my slobber everywhere, so I hardly think this is appealing to whoever is watching this video right now. But oh my god, this is absolutely wonderful!" I said, as I tried to wipe away the unattractive drool that spewed out of my mouth when I screamed.

He maneuvered the parachute so that we spun around in a full circle, drawing me in a graceful twirl. I focused on the view before me, amazed at where I was.

Nowhere.

I was in the middle of the sky, with no barriers.
I wasn't peeking through a window to see the world below me anymore. I wasn't wondering what it felt like to experience the wind so high up anymore. I wasn't pondering about the wisps of clouds up close anymore.

I was living it.

I inhaled the sweet scent of nothingness, as I felt myself being drawn into another spiral. My arms sliced the air in one smooth swift motion, while I pulled them back to hold onto the harness. It was as if I were performing a pirouette in front of the world; my audience in their cars, homes and offices.

"Do you remember what we talked about? Put your feet up right now like I told you," my instructor said to me.

I lifted my legs up, ready to land, as we inched closer towards the ground. It felt like we sped up while we descended, gliding onto the grass like little kids slithering down a water slide. We skidded to a stop a little further ahead from where we initially landed and the parachute fluttered to the ground behind us.
I sat there for a couple of seconds, replaying those twenty minutes I spent in the air, trying to etch it into my memory: the flight, the flying and the landing.

I don't think I can possibly convey in words what it felt like to undergo such a wonderful experience, but I can say this:

Whether it be taking a risk and plunging into something that I don't know the outcome off...
Or having no place for fear as I sense something words can't describe...
Or just trying to do as much as I possibly can today...
This incident has reinforced what I've believed and tried to follow all my life:

I live in the now.

____________________________________________________________________

"You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this,"
-Henry David Thoreau
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Scraps

6 hours. 12 hours. 24 hours. A day.
The clock ticked.
"Focus light". The Fountain Head. Bed.
The clock ticked.
"Dark Black". Dimple. Stripped Shirt. White.
The clock ticked.
Om Namaha. Geethanjali. Em Maya Chesave.
The clock ticked.
Cutting Classes. Imposter Sign Ins. Drunken Nights.
The clock ticked.
Leader. Medical School. Flying Rockets.
The clock ticked.
Noctural Studying. Morning Tea. Sleeping In.
The clock ticked.
Fights. Jail. Broken. Lost. Alone.
The clock ticked.
White Rats. Killing. Chili Intoxication. Lab.
The clock ticked.
Study Partner. Immunology Lectures. Steps.
The clock ticked.
Kitchen Singing. Random Jokes. Biryani.
The clock ticked.
Match. Lake. Call. Writing. Gift.
The clock ticked.
Friends history. Pictures. Past.
The clock ticked.
Trips. Poses. Birthdays. India.
The clock ticked.
Gaining Speed. Rushing fast. Loosing control.
The clock ticked.
Shared families. Unshared future. Empty present.
The clock ticked.
One word. Nana. Nothing. Nada.
The clock stopped.
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To give and take



She hid behind a pillar,
Concealed from the worlds view,
Refusing to be seen,
By nearly all but a few.

I opened my arms wide,
Beckoning for her to come,
Smiling whole heartedly,
Assuring her she was the one.

She peeked from behind,
Revealing her dark beautiful eyes,
Hesitant to take a step forward,
Unable to know truth from lies.

I softly whispered a secret,
So only she could hear,
That I would hold her close,
Promising she had nothing to fear.

I have failed to place,
What convinced her so,
My display of willingness,
Or her curiosity to know.

But she ran forward with eagerness,
Gripping me tightly like never before,
Leaving us both content with the thought,
We had received what we asked for.
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For what its worth

It's a dull pain, hammering steadily, as it tries to break through a guard of carefully crafted avoidance. Each jolt runs through, while the faint sound echoes against the emptiness. It confirms the truth, of nothingness.
It stops after forming a crack and then... it collapses. It gives way to a strong wave which slams against the jagged stones on the shore. Splitting the water into two with its sturdiness. There. The scramble begins. Frantically, driven by obsession. Searching. Searching. Searching. For some way to obtain that want, that need.
Like a possessed addict, refraining from the desire but being mercilessly pulled, by unknown, unseen hands. Of course, there is no wish to let go. Of course, afraid that the fuel will destroy everything in unimaginable ways. A fear of having it all turn into dust with a flick of a finger. Against what was so carefully built.
There is the discovery of new things through this compulsion. Or what seems like a compulsion. Of having no expectations. That, a seemingly wrong decision. But wait...
Something from somewhere... Calls out from randomness... In a tuneful voice... It sings:

Come take my hand,
Let's explore together,
Take a leap of faith,
With me, forever.

I do not promise,
A journey of no trouble,
I do not promise,
A journey of no pain.

I promise,
A journey of laughter,
I promise,
A journey of some gain.

Come take a leap,
Come take a risk,
Come show me you care,
Come with me, forever.

I trust you won't,
Let me fall,
I trust you will,
Guide me well.

Come hold my hand,
Let's explore together,
Take a leap of faith,
With me, forever.

Despite the call, the pain still hammers. But its sweet now. The addiction. Like honey. As it tries to trickle through the little openings, stealthily, craftily.
Each jolt runs through, giving shape to renewed hope and to new wishes. It confirms the truth, of a future.
Yes, there is a crack and yes, it collapses. But it welcomes pure pleasure. A smooth fluid motion as the wave washes over. There. The scramble does begin. Frantically, driven by obsession. There, being pulled across the shore. By strong steady hands. Of support and strength. Of trust and faith.
Of course there is no wish to let go. Of course there is a wish to want every moment. To cherish, to have, to learn and to keep. To create beautiful memories.
A new found confidence of having it all turn into reality, with a flick of a finger supporting what is being carefully built. Meticulously. Each turn, curve, edge and corner.
There is a discovery of new things through this incident. Of understanding expectations. That, a knowingly correct decision.
Something from somewhere... Calls out from randomness... In a tuneful voice... It sings...

_________________________________________________________________

I feel blessed at this point in time. For all the people in my life that make it worth living. Who understand me, who know me, who appreciate me and who love me.
Without the need for any social networking site statements, personal alerts or constant reminders. At the stroke of midnight. Throughout the day. You remembered. You know. That is all that matters to me. That is all I want.
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Habit

Trundle along,
Over and over,
It has become a habit.

The same path,
Methodical as always,
It has become a habit.

Take not from me,
My familiarity,
It has become a habit.

Veer me away,
I steer back,
It has become a habit.

What is missing,
I tend to miss,
It has become a habit.

What you read,
A lie, it can be,
It has become a habit.
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"We get so much in the habit of wearing disguises before others that we finally appear disguised before ourselves"
~Francois de la Rochefoucauld
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The winner

She strutted down the sidewalk with her head held up high with confidence, scorning the world around her; ordaining herself the queen of all the mere mortals that walk the earth. She sneered at that girl, that frivolous creature who always has her head in the clouds. The venom throbbed through her veins and she seethed with anger as she thought about the moment that was about to come.
The day she had been waiting for all her life.

The end.

She wasn’t going to endure it any longer, the torture she went through every time those people played with a dilemma in their inconsequential minds. She knew that witch had unimaginable power, she wove a foggy veil with her magic and covered their eyes with it so they wouldn’t see where they were headed. She cajoled and cooed as she pulled these gullible airheads by the hand and lead them down a false colorful path.

She looked up and she saw her waiting. In an open place, with no witnesses. Absolutely nobody. She had her face turned to the sky, with an oblivious smile playing on her lips. She had an aura of serenity enveloping her, was she really a witch? For a split second, she felt almost sorry for this pretty being. She caught herself before she turned around and headed back. NO! She was not going to fall into the trap that so many others fell into. She was not one of those senseless human beings. She held her ground and walked toward her carefully. She wondered how her magic would work on her. Would she be lead down the false path too? Would she let herself be walked down that path?

***

She turned around and faced her, as her smile spread wider across her heart shaped face. Her voice was like a song, perfect to make any person believe every word she was saying. Her eyes twinkled as she saw her friend after what seemed like ages. She was happy that she wanted to meet her. But it was an odd place to be meeting. She would rather have met at a fair or a park, somewhere colorful and full of life, because this space was so devoid of every joy known to her.

She looked at her pitch black hair which was clumped, unwashed and disheveled. Her eyes showed no sign of emotion and her skin looked aged, as if she’d endured every single trouble this world had to offer her. She felt sorry for her friend. She wanted to reach out and give her a comforting hug. She wanted to tell her that it was going to be okay. But she didn’t move. She just quietly smiled and hoped it would convey everything that she wanted to tell her.

The beginning.

She contemplated holding out a hand so she could show her a new world rather than the dreary one she was living in. Perhaps if she said something now, it would change her situation right now. It might be a new beginning for her. She pondered over using her magic to start an idea she had been playing with her head. Perhaps, if she just spoke! Her beautiful pale pink lips quivered as she whispered, “Hello… I hope…”

***

It was done. Quick and easy. Ha! No more… No more…
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Change

Ah, here it is… another year. The fading of the old and the beginning of new. As much as I love the innovative things that occur in this world as time goes by, I cannot help but do a complete 180 and think about what was. And the first thing that struck my mind as I opened gmail was how I missed writing a letter. No, not an email.
But a letter, with the freshly scented paper, an envelope, and a stamp.
and with that thought, another one followed… and another…
I thought of how I missed sitting in front of those huge boxed computers, instead of the sleek new ones with flat screens.
I miss listening to the steady buzz of a cassette rewinding.
I miss using a floppy disk to save my work, instead of a flash drive.
I miss watching television, considering all the shows I watch these days are available online.
I miss manually opening my car door and fumbling with the keys, now that they open with a simple click.
I miss using the phones that actually have a cord attached to them and forced me to stay in one place.
I miss the anticipation of developing pictures from a camera film, instead of having them available immediately through a digital camera.

It never fails to amaze me to see how things have changed in just a span of ten years. And i'm pretty sure this feeling will never cease to exist, considering that more changes are underway.
So here's to yet another new year! and more change!

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"Technology doesn't drive change, It enables change"
-Unknown
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About Me!

To escape from the humdrum existence people call "life", I explore the jungle of my mind. A meandering path, with thoughts as my obstacles. I put aside the smiling face of my mother, snapshots of holidays with friends, lost memories of my childhood... All in an attempt to find answers to my branching questions.

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