Do you remember those times when you were a little kid and you were constantly asked to take a mental note of ‘wrong-doing’ and ‘right-doing’? We were ruthlessly engineered to know the difference between the two and slowly but warily build our lives around this idea. A clear red bold line drawn out between them, where the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ proclaimed their individual dynasty. Yeah. It is only recently, that I have come to realize that they happened to proclaim a lot more than just that. These very abstract ideas that we have of ‘right and wrong’ have probably taken over our entire perception of everything that lives, perhaps.
So the last time you saw a girl wearing meagre clothes, you almost certainly thought “OMG! What a tramp (tramp, being one of the most refined expressions used here)!” Or maybe, written someone off as a probable drug addict/rebel/worthless piece of debris just because he happened to fail his exams for the nth time. Don’t even get me started on our ideas about the oh-so-ethical-arranged marriages and the ‘evils’ of love marriages (let’s leave that for another day altogether, shall we?). We are so committed to our judgmental opinions that we mistake them to be a universal phenomenon. If the whole concept of right and wrong was indeed a universal phenomenon, then how is it that it’s very foundation is ripped apart with our own bare hands when we want them to? Somehow, when we see ourselves doing the exact same thing our entire belief system gets very conveniently shifted, no?
The trouble is, we draw out our entire lives into two regions-one BLACK and the other WHITE. As time passes we strategically (and many a times, even hypocritically) place people and their actions into those two regions. But to tell you the truth, not everything has to be BLACK or WHITE necessarily. There is a whole another region sitting right there with its arms wide open. A region of possibilities, a region where people are given the benefit of the doubt, where pre-conceived prejudices don’t happen to be our bout weapons against one another! I call it the region of GRAY. Where we, for once, learn to live and let live. And not point fingers at some other soul without even knowing it’s journey or the painful lessons it has been through. It’s where we finally understand, that every person bares his own story and has his own version of ‘right and wrong’ and decide to leave it at that.
So today, I, an insignificant girl-next-door, call out to you. I beckon you to come join me in this region of GRAY, an unconquered land that it is! For it is here, that we can open up our minds a little bit more and let each other exist comfortably in our beautiful individuality. This is it. Take it in your arms. It’s Your Region of GRAY.
What seems like a perfect ten,
A cool summer breeze that blows along;
Look in deeper for you might just find,
The darkest hours of a silent storm.
Fooled by her practiced smile,
Like a piece of jewelry she wears;
Go ahead and rip it off her face,
Let her weep tonight, I say!
For, the heart’s a still sitting rock,
Hard. Stagnant. Astray. Unseen.
Set it ablaze and you shall watch it melt;
Breaking through..flying free!
It’s about time now, so pick your side;
A gamble of faith: you either lose or win..
Would you judge her by her masquerade and walk away,
Or would you care to meet the GIRL within?
She wakes up in the morning, like every other day;
The sun smiles at her…prancing by the bay.
But she won’t smile back..
NO, not today.
She gathers up everything together;
In her heart, an aching heat..
Her pillow, her LOVE strewn on the floor, her sheet.
Next, her thoughts…her feelings…all tied up neat!
But her tears still stain her pillow,
She wants to cast it off her sight!
She is glad, she is yet not completely broken;
Glad, she made it through another night.
She was his wave; he was her shore…
He was her LIFE, knocking on her door!
He doesn’t wait there anymore, she knows;
Yet, with every thud on the aisle, OFF her heart goes!
She waited and she waited, as the seasons would render;
Haunted by his touch, so soft and tender..
To the ever-melting warmth of his arms,
She would oh-so-completely surrender!!
But now the sun sets and no, she WON’T pretend;
She had dreamt of a day by his side..a LIFETIME she would spend..
But now she smiles to herself, for she knows the ugly truth,
Yes, it’s about time now….for “A BEAUTIFUL END”.
I was always the ‘emotional one’. You know those fuzzy-on-the-inside annoying little girls that you see on hopelessly dramatic soap operas? Yeah. Pretty much on those lines. I say ‘was’ because I have come a long way since back then. And my journey has been a blatant roller-coaster as for many of us.
When I was a little girl, I used to practically thrive on every fairy-tale that was within my arm’s reach. The handsome prince, the royal carriage, a far off land with an almost magical landscape and oh! A “HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER”. The much clichéd ‘happily-ever-after’. And slowly, before I even knew it, my concept of reality was staunchly weaved around these fairy-tales.
Until, I grew up and reality finally showed up with its appalling face. Friendships that were supposed to last a lifetime went flying out the window. Well, the prince-charmings came and went like the wind, the next one promising to be even more callous and shallow than the one before. Happy-endings started to feel like fabricated myths. In the face of all this muddle, you usually have people telling you things like “Oh, you poor baby!”, ”See? This is why you shouldn’t get too emotionally involved.” Like, being emotional is a bad thing. And what’s worse is, you start believing them.
We all have those meticulous phases, you know. Depressed, broken down, hateful, petrified and down-right hopeless. Not only are we in a pathetic place, but, we find ourselves sinking in deeper. We begin to question anything and everything; the world, our loved ones, and above all, ourselves.
You try blaming it on things like ‘life’ and ‘fate’. Little do you realize that in reality the only person getting in your way is probably YOU.There is a resilient part of us which refuses to get back up. A part of us that is so adamant and head-strong, that it rubbishes the mere possibility of the problem lying somewhere within us. Yes, things are going wrong. Yes, you keep falling down. But the only person who can change this is –you.
So, NO. Being ‘emotional’ is not a bad thing, afterall. All you have to do is back those emotions up with a rational mind-set as well. Friendships will perish and probably your prince charming might turn out to be a lying/cheating douche-bag, but it is not the end of the world! And definitely not the end of YOUR world.So instead of pushing yourself further down and being your worst enemy, try pulling yourself up. It gets you a long way. I, too have been in the dumps, why I know precisely how it feels.
In this rat-race of a world, often, we forget that the greatest battles to be fought are with ourselves. Who wins and who loses? Well, now that’s left to us, isn’t it?
The traffic jams on Mumbai streets could be more insightful than you’d actually imagine them to be. Well, if you too, are one of those city birds who spend your evenings in a raging haste to get home, practically cursing everything that moves around you, then let me tell you, we’re not that different, my friend! But one evening had something more to offer than the usual madness. I sat there in a cab, muttering to myself all the while and finally when I was done swearing my heart out, I let out a deep breath and just leaned back for a while. It was in this moment that I saw a little girl by the side of the street. Her hair let loose, wild, like a forgotten forest, clothes that could easily qualify as rags and a smile on her face like her world couldn’t have been more perfect. She was a beggar-girl who was perhaps taking a break while her parents were off to beg. As I looked closer, I noticed she had these two oddly shaped stones that she kept moving around, bringing them together and placing them apart, giggling to herself every once in a while, so completely lost in that little game of hers. It was only after some time that I realized, she was getting the stones ‘married’ and building their lives like a careful puppet-master, immensely satisfied with her story! She didn’t look around, didn’t have the time to frown at what life had offered her nor the will to whine over her fate. She simply picked up two oddly shaped stones lying on the road and painted a picture, a story of which, she was the sole master. And I smiled to myself. Yes, amidst all the honking and the chaos, that little girl by the side of the street, had made me smile!
‘Someday, I am going to be happy. Someday.’ We say it all the time. But the real question is, will that ‘someday’ ever come? If it hasn’t arrived yet, what makes us think it will? ‘I will graduate from college and then I will be happy’, ‘I will find the love of my life and then everything will be perfect’, ‘I will find a job and that is the day when everything shall fall into place!’ Seriously? It is good to have hopes and dreams, it really is! But the trouble is, more often than not, our so called ‘happiness’ is tied to the future. And of everything that I have known, the one thing I am absolutely sure of is, there is nothing more fragile and uncertain and twisted as the ‘future’, if you ask me
They say “There is no HAPPINESS as such. Just HAPPY moments that come and go.” And I am starting to believe it might be true, after all. And in our never-ending quest of seeking true happiness, a million such moments might have passed us by. We weren’t meant to have too much of the good, maybe. We aren’t wired that way. But yes, every once in a while, against our belief in the contrary, such happy moments do come. In bits and pieces be it, but they do.
Agreed, in times where we happen to weigh our self-worth on the number of ‘likes’ we get on a social networking site, happiness doesn’t come that easy to us. Maybe it takes a little more effort than we’d like to admit. But sometimes we need to pick up our own set of oddly-shaped-stones lying on the road and build our own story that makes us happy. And on other days, all it could take is a little girl’s make-believe game by the side of a street to make you happy while you’re stuck in a traffic jam. And you ask yourself a simple question-‘Are you happy, yet?’
Lo! There you are my lunar friend;
Wrapped up in your brittle gleam..
A little unsure, a little restless,
Tonight, a little dubious, we seem.
We meet again, at my windowsill;
A silent camaraderie of sorts..
Gathering ourselves, piece-by-piece;
Some things found, the others, lost.
What are words, but mere colloquy?
Better off without them, we are!
All we need is, your light and mine,
Guiding us, kins, through the stars!
I cut myself open, tonight,
Hurling my soul, carelessly towards you.
It’s yours for now, oh mighty friend!
It was time, I let it off the hook.
When we meet again at my windowsill,
Remember to get my soul along with you;
And as I take it back, carefully now,
I’ll be hoping you’d turned it, brand new.