poetry · scribbles

Take Me to Sleep

You live with your heart,
Your brain is a fucked up place.
You think too much.
Don’t do this
Don’t do that.
Maybe just try living.
You expect too much.
You’re enough.
You don’t have to achieve in order to be worthy.
You think too much.
You do too much.
You laze around a lot.
You are not fucked up.
You create fuck ups.
You don’t have to do this.
You’re not supposed to do that.
Just breathe
Just live
Just smile
Just laugh.
Don’t stress.
Don’t cry.
It’s okay to cry if you get fine
Don’t cry, my child.
You’re loved.
Why do you make the people around you prove that they love you?
You love too much.
Don’t do that. People will break you.
They suck your energy. You let me get away. Don’t do that.
You think too much.
You’re special.
Dream big.
Life isn’t a dream.
Reality sucks. It doesn’t operate like those in books and movies.
You dream too much.
Dream but dream as per practical standards of dreaming.
You think too much.
Live life as it comes.
Don’t stress.
Don’t cry.
Don’t fight.
Just exist.
Just be.
Just smile.
Just love.
Just live.
*STOP*

I am dying. I die every time I know I have fucked up but can’t make it right.
I die every time I cannot do things they are supposed to be done.
I die every time I don’t rise up to the expectations of the people around me.
I die every time my loved ones are disappointed in me.
I die every time I fail.
I die every time someone leaves.
I die every time I love the wrong person and take ages to move on.
I die every time I do not achieve my target and fulfill the needs of my people.
I die every time someone feels bad because of me.
I die every time I have anxiety. I die every time my brain becomes my own enemy. I die every time my heart and head fight to the point where my body gives up.
I die every day. I die every time. 

Your pieces of advice and words and care are all correct and provide reassurance but years of being an achievement addict, an addict to seeking approval in order to feel worthy, an addict to make things right even when everything is crumbling, an addict to the idea of not needing anyone and just being there for the people sometimes makes me cry and my head hurts and I die with pain and in pain wishing for death Everytime I cannot say I am fine or I will be fine.
Take me to sleep. I don’t want to wake up.
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In Seven Circles

You come to me in circles, in circles of life, in circles of days and nights and in between. You are a constant thought coming to me even in my thoughtlessness. You’re my fantasy of being. I work all day and tire myself out to come to you when I open the door of our home, I see scented candles for which I have a thing for in my long luxurious baths on Sundays, I see candles of all colors, shapes, and sizes adoring our tiny little home, it’s you and me dancing in circles. I see you have put up a giant painting of night sky full of stars and a moon which shines bright, you know how much I love the moon and the stars and how I can never really choose whenever you ask me the question of Moon or Stars. I love both of them and they have been my constant companions on several nights before you came along with those brown hazel eyes of yours, that smooth symmetrical nose which is a bit cuter than mine and that jawline for which I would die for and I am sure so many other women too but darling, I am aware that I captivated you as much as you captivated me with that bright look of yours, I know I am pretty and not modest because I learned with several heartbreaks. I remember our first meeting on a boat in the middle of the giant lake where we both were being touristy and I heard you playing flute to the songs I was humming to myself, when our eyes were locked and I kept singing and you kept on playing the flute, we never exchanged any words and just floated away with time just like the boat floats on the lake or river or the sea, I don’t even remember anymore. All I know is the look in your eyes not leaving mine and here I am standing in front of you in our home after years of being together with the same look as on our first meeting. My heart is taking leaps like never before, my breath is short with your hands slowly holding my waist and pulling me closer with your eyes not leaving mine, I have my arms wrapped around your neck and I smell apple pies instead of smelling your cologne and I light up with joy, my smile becomes laughter and I leave you standing in the drawing room with scented candles as I rush to the kitchen to get the apple pies and you laugh, you laugh louder than I do on most days and just keep on laughing while I smell the apple pies and grab myself a slice and begin eating in the kitchen while you just watch me standing on the kitchen door from a corner and say “I love you” in your most sexy voice which I know you are modulating and I say “God damn, I love this pie and I love you too” and you can’t help but laugh at my love for food because you now have come to accept that I will always love food and SRK more than I will love you and I am glad because I am done fighting  with you over this little issue. Now that I am well fed after a shitty Monday in office, I ask you how was your day because running a startup isn’t as easy as it looks but it’s cool, I like you being your own boss because I don’t get to be a boss until I am home, stop chuckling, you know who runs the house, you might be the head as the patriarchy says but I am the neck and a Vetaal hanging around your neck at the same time so you are not going to win ever and you know that the moment you try to win, I leave. I love you but I have made you realize that I won’t take a minute to leave in case you plan on playing schemes with me or to hurt me and what scares you is that I am capable of being alone. I want you around but not need you because my past lovers broke me enough to never need a man and I know I break your heart every single time because I can’t risk you breaking mine while unintentionally you do break my heart every now and then and sometimes I love it because it is not love but guilt that makes you decorate the room with scented candles and paintings and pie and your “I love you” and that laughter is overflowing with guilt of you cheating on me with my sister, you are abandoning me exactly two days after tonight, I saw your flight tickets that night while setting our bed. Flight tickets booked in the name of you and my sister on the day of my birthday, thank you, dear husband, for such a beautiful birthday gift.

I should have known for those brown hazel eyes can never be trusted, but I play along with your game of candles and pies, we should have had the most amazing sex that night, the mood was right but you did hurt my pride. Your fingers trace my figure, knowing every single sensitive spot, making me shiver and shudder. I suggest role play in the middle of the foreplay and blindfolds, and handcuffs, and wine. I tie you to the bedpost, put blindfolds leaving you fully dressed. I pack my bags and head to the airport for my solo trip to Hawai and my sister is on her way to rescue you, I texted her. Keep the home, the candles and what not. I am never coming back cause I got myself something which you will never know and have while you were busy setting up candles.

Enjoy your new life

Never yours,

-Unfortunately your wife.

Darling, NEVER HURT MY PRIDE.

 

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Confessions of a 20 Something Slightly Above Average Indian Girl

I am just another slightly above average Indian girl who might be called as the girl next door. On most days, I feel that there is nothing special about me while I have grown up listening to the fact that “I am special” from all my teachers and parents. Everyone seems to just consider me as an extraordinary person who can do anything she wants to do but here I am full of doubts about myself, the number of efforts I am putting into achieving my goals, the number of people I make happy because once I was told that no matter what you do in life, on your death bed, you should have only two thoughts- How happily you lived your life and for how many humans you are leaving happy memories.

While I am happy in my life and I know I do make people around me happy, if not all, at least some of them I do manage to keep happy and that is the only thing that should matter right? But that is not the case because I care about a whole lot of many other things which should not be of significance ideally but they are to me. Over a period of time, I have realized that I might not be addicted to drugs or anything that can potentially harm my physical well being but I am addicted to seeking approval and validation from my loved ones about anything I do. My decisions might be completely my own but they are often guided by how my loved ones feel about me taking a particular decision. While I own my decisions and take up responsibilities for my mistakes, I still let my loved ones have a say in my life thinking that they might know what is better for me rather than my own self.

I often feel that my heart is too courageous while my brain is such a risk-averse scared jerk with several trust issues and insecurities that it actually hinders the adventure in my life. It’s not like I am not happy with my life, I genuinely am extremely content where I am today but at the same time, there must be more than this provincial life as said by Belle in The Beauty and The Beast. I know I am dreamy, I know what I imagine life to be with my dreamy bollywood disney fairy tale glasses, it is not that way but I have seen some of my dreams come true, I have had my share of bollywood romantic moments, I have had my disney princess days, I have had my fairy tale fantasies turn into real things and I have seen myself in a power position in my career, all of that  for a brief moment of time. I have seen great highs and lowest of lows and now I am in a stable life pattern which actually makes me feel like an average but I do like to call myself a little above average to keep the hope of my dreams alive where if you think you are above average you might end up doing above average things.

But the more I grow up, the more I realize that there is beautiful simplicity in the monotony of life and instead of letting my heart go crazy, all I should be concerned with is how to enjoy this monotony of routine and climb the ladder in this limiting domain of adulthood because that is what is safe. As Indians, we are concerned with being safe and secure with our future. And if you are a girl, no matter what you do, you are always asked to be safe and make sure that whatever career you take up, it leaves you enough time to balance the family responsibilities because at the end of the day, everyone settles down and has kids and that’s how life works.

How about I want to get married to someone who loves adventure as much as I do, who really do not feel content with the monotony of routine, all he wants is to wake up in a new place every single day of his life with the love of his life (that would be me for sure in this fantasy), how about we both are at the top of our careers and travel to new places, explore every corner of the world and have amazing mindblowing sex with no kids on the cards and keep falling in love with each other without a fear, without a doubt, without any god damn social construct guiding our life and decisions. For once, I want to be free. Free of my own self. Free of my god damn risk averse brain. Free of my addiction to seeking validation and approval. Free of the monotonous routine where every day feels new and full of fire and adventure and spunk and what not.

Or just get me a real-life Bunny from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani.

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Write what hurts, till you get over it.

You come to me in phases of your loneliness and I hold you tight in my arms, numbing your system with a blanket of love and putting you to sleep.

You smile, live, laugh and breathe the next morning and thank me and then vanish to a place where you completely shut me out.

I don’t bother much because I am happy that you are happy.

I come to you in weak moments and you are too busy and I leave a note and leave, you read that note, crumple it into a ball and toss into a dustbin before your  girlfriend sees that note saying “Call me whenever you get free” , you never call back and pretend that nothing happened when we happen to bump into each other in the metro while going to our respective offices.

You abandoned me when I needed you the most and said “I can count on you” when I say that sometimes I wish I could talk to someone about how I really feel over a cup of coffee we shared. I have been lost and distraught but stood up and I have managed to do the same for myself what I do for you, held myself tight, numbed my systems and asked my tired soul to sleep.

You make me feel guilty for doing that and not really loving you because if I loved you enough, I would come to you in my weak moments and I have no defense to your statements because I don’t want to be rude.

Our bond now is precarious one and I leave this time, I don’t stay anymore while I remember asking you to stay on one of the nights when both of us were drunk and chatting way past 2AM and I thought I cannot live without you but I don’t want to stay anymore because I know you have faces and I cannot keep on dealing with your masks  no matter how much I love you.

It has been years now, we don’t talk anymore.

But you still come to me in your dark days, I still hold you numbing your fears and demons with love, holding you in my arms and putting you to sleep. You get upset with me that now I don’t talk anymore with you, now I don’t tell you about my days, I don’t tell you how my heart aches when you leave me the way you do even today and how I cannot seem to hate you even when I really want to. I sometimes wonder what is it that we share? I sometimes wonder why you had to leave me when it is you who still haven’t learned to live without me while I managed just fine without you, I missed you and I still do but I no longer need you in my life. I wonder who am I to you because friends don’t do what you did to me and the way you assert your right on me is like that a lover does but darling we were never lovers. You don’t hurt the people you love, not intentionally at least.

And I still have that question why you had to crumple the note I left you because I remember setting you up with your girlfriend and I remember all three of us being a happy trio which is now a Bermuda triangle where all three of us are empty in different spaces.

I was told to write what hurts because that’s how you get over it., stumbling upon your old letters and facebook memories don’t make me cry anymore but there is this strange sadness but I am not hurting anymore, and I hope you’re happy because I am happy and I really hope you learn to live without me someday.  I cannot be there anymore. Not anymore. Not anymore. Not anymore. You gotta say the final goodbye because goodbyes are not my forte.

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Chand ke Saath Guftagu

Disclaimer: Following is a Hindi poem featuring a conversation with the moon, typed in English script because I was too lazy to change the script and check for spellings.

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Image courtesy: Dr. Shiv Mishra (He is a brilliant photographer, follow his work  on Instagram He was kind enough to let me use his photograph for the poem because it fit well)

Aaj chand thoda naraaz hai,
Aasmaan Mei to hai, baadal k bas pass hai,
Yun to vo mujhse roz baatein karta hai, aaj khafa ho baadal k peeche ja baitha hai.

Kehta hai tumhe ishq nhi.
Mai kehti hu k tum hi to mere ishq ho,
Chand meri iss baat pr hasta h,
Vo kehta hai k Mai jhoothi hu,
Pyaar ki talash mei chand k chehre Mei roz uss shaks ka chehra khojti hu jo kabhi kahaniyon mei padha tha k sabke liye ek hai.

Chand ki baat sun, meri kahaniyan mujhse khafa hain,
Vo kehti hain k mai apni kahani likhne ki jagah bas wahi puraane kisso mei vo khushi dhund rhi hu Jo waha hai hi nhi.

Tum, na jaane kaha ho aur kon ho, jo apne na hone pr bhi meri zindagi mei itna kolahal machaye hue ho,

Suno door chale jaao kyunki na hokar bhi hona behad behuda harkat hai.

Aaj mujhe chaand se baatein karni hai, ek kahani padhni hai, aur thodi si meethi neend jo sab sapne sach karde.

Maine tumhara sapna dekh Kar bhi undekha kar, kaid kar dia hai waha jaha neend na pahunche.

Chand ko khafa karna mera shaunk nhi.

-neha

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How I want to die- My death story

We all plan out our lives, what we want to achieve, where we want to be, how we want to live, we have our self set goals and targets with each age, the kind of career we want, the kind of home we want to build, the kind of partner we want in life, the kind of kids we want to give birth to, the kind of people we want around, the kind of places we want to visit, the kind of love we want to experience, the kind of stuff we want to try and do by certain age, how we want to grow old, what we want to learn but nobody really plans out death. Death is something which isn’t talked about much. It is not something that we are comfortable talking about, while it is the ultimate truth of life that we are here to die after a point. Today I want to talk about death.
I have always had several days both sad and happy when I just want to die. In my happiest moments I have wished to die because I felt that this is the perfect moment to leave the world, so content and so happy. And there are days when everything around me feels crumbling and I wanted to die to escape the problems of life but that made me realize that I am being weak in those moments. So I fight. I fight off those weak moments and there are days when I am in so much physical pain that the idea of death seems better. But then I am reminded of so many things and experiences I am yet to have so I hold on and move ahead. And live life a little bit better after that thought.

I want to die in my happiest moments and that is something I have realized lately. I want to leave this world filled with echo of my non stop laughter. I want my death to be a celebration. I have celebrated my birthday with so much enthusiasm over the years that I want my death to be a grand festival of love, laughter and hugs. I want people to dress up as bright as they can for my funeral and put on my favorite songs and dance like it’s the best day and most importantly laugh their hearts out.

I want my loved ones to not grieve my death but rather remember me in their daily routine while making their coffee or missing their metro station or listening to a song or just watching a comedy movie and whenever they read the word love in daily moments, they are reminded of how much I love and adore them. Maybe look at a painting and imagine something weird I said or maybe just seeing someone act like a princess and think of me being like one.

I want my loved ones to not grieve me but remember me when they are cleaning their closet and find a huge bunch of letters I wrote them and how long those letters were and wonder- oh boy! She did write way too much and smile to themselves reading that.

I want my loved ones to remember me with the books I leave them, with the songs I leave them with, with the filmy dialogues, with my crazy obsession of srk and with all things cute around them.

I want to spread happiness and love even when I am gone. That is really how I want to die.

life

Women in My Life

This one is basically for the women in my life.

I have a couple of super strong women around me. The one woman who comes on the top is my mother. She is actually a superwoman, who gets up before the sun rises and runs the house like a boss. The entire family depends on her for every tiny thing. She takes care of her job, of herself and of everyone and everything in the house. She is the powerhouse of love, scoldings, care, and discipline. She motivates me to be better. Yes, she is my friend and sometimes, I fight with her for unreasonable stuff. I am not proud of it, I feel guilty for a long time after having a fight with her. Even when things have sorted, I still feel bad and not good enough as a daughter for losing my temper with her over something really stupid. We tend to take our mothers for granted and I do that too sometimes, not a healthy thing to do but I still do. But the best part is my mother gives me chances to improve and we both grow as individuals in the process. Now, enough of the fangirling over my mother, I can do that for ages and still do a fuck up and upset my mom over something where she is right.

Anyway, I am here to appreciate the women in my life and the womanly bonds. Being in girls’ college has been in the biggest blessing in my life because it taught me to be “Me” and move away from being the conscious, insecure individual who felt she was too fat, not good enough for herself, it helped me overcome my loneliness. I learned to turn the feeling of loneliness into peaceful solitude. It also taught me to be a supportive woman as well as helped me build my own support system. You find all kinds of girls and women in an all-girls set up and you find women you admire, women you love and you also find women who are irritating to the core and when you spend three years in a place like that you understand how irritating you get as a woman for the people in your life and how to change your behavior so that everyone around is moving towards their goals, there is peace, there is understanding even in conflicting thoughts and opinions and less drama. You also identify where there is actually a need for the drama. So, all in all, being in girls college has helped me become better as a woman and as a human being too.

We often tend to blame the patriarchy and the men for the societal pressures, judgments, and taboos, what I have come to realize is that women are also a part of the problem. Women in India are quite insecure in general and it could be with regard to anything. Some are insecure with regard to their bodies, some are insecure with regard to their friendships and relationships, some are insecure with regard to career and some tend to have multiple forms of insecurities and these insecurities are not with respect to men. We have majorly accepted patriarchy as a form of social structure, women are insecure of other women and hence they tend to display cold and passive aggressive and sometimes bitchy behavior to the women around. Women are mostly insecure of each other rather than anybody else. This is my personal observation and I could be majorly wrong here as well but this is what I have observed in my experience with several women, women who are young to me and who are elder to me, the age does not matter, to be honest. I know women at 20 years of age who are more mature than me and I know women who are 10 years elder to me and are still immature with regard to their general behavior so age does not guarantee maturity in a person. It is quite hard to find the kind of bonding men share among themselves when we study women friendships and bonding. There is bound to be some form of an issue at one point or the other in strong women bondings and friendships.

But I have had such strong healthy relationships with certain women that I cannot help but say that if all the women in this whole wide world just start supporting each other, trust me that this world will be much better in all forms. I want to dedicate this post to Paridhi, Kameshwari, Ekansha Di, Adritanaya, Trishala, Sonal, Monal, Eshita and a couple of other women in my life who simply support. I don’t talk to either of them on a daily or a regular basis. I have occasional conversations with them and the conversations and meet-ups may be small or long but whenever it takes place, the talks and the energies and the vibes are so empowering that both the people involved feel so charged up and happy. It’s like the motivational and inspirational powerhouse that each of us goes about doing our own business feeling better about ourselves, our lives and we strengthen each other’s inner strength. These women can be found even in your professional setting, these women can be your friends and these women can be merely acquaintances but having women around who help each other grow is such a blessing. It’s not that we are not insecure. Each one of us is insecure with regard to different things in our lives but the difference here is that we are not insecure of each other. We want each other to do well, yes, it is human to not feel good if someone is doing better than you and especially when that someone is your friend, there is bound to be some sort of pain in that reality, however, why I am writing this post is that the women that I mentioned above are either elder to me or younger to me or have been my classmates but each one of them understands that each individual is on their own journey and will achieve things that they are meant to achieve in their own time. I have never seen these women put other people down or be cold to someone. They are so secure in their lives and trust themselves enough that they will get through their insecurities that I cannot help but admire each one of them in their own ways. And no, these women are not perfect, they do have their bad days and breakdowns and heartbreaks and feel vulnerable too but that really doesn’t mean that they are not strong. These women are the strongest warriors because they embrace their vulnerabilities and move past them.

I have no ulterior motive of writing this post, I have written this post purely to appreciate these women. And also, to let the other women make aware of the fact that its high time that we start changing ourselves and let go of being insecure of each other and unite as a unit because if we just do that, we help each other become better as humans. Most of my friends talk about office politics, but I have been blessed in the sense that I don’t experience that. I happen to have such a healthy work environment and my colleagues, all of them are supportive. However, two people-Himanshi and Parisha do deserve a special mention here because, in the professional setting, we often say that it is hard to find friends, which is true because there is so much competition, we as Indians have learned the concept and idea of competition since the beginning of our school and we take that attitude of competition even in the official setting, however, in my office, I have experienced collective growth. These two women have helped me in so many ways over the past couple of months that I am really grateful to them and it’s not like we have not had our issues, being human you are bound to make mistakes and have issues, however, learning from mistakes and moving ahead together counts for maturity and respect for each other. It’s about believing in yourself and believing in the people around you.

And it is also about giving. You can’t grow if you only want to be at the receiving end. You only get what you give, it’s about mutual regard, mutual respect, and admiration for each other. You can only give to another woman (or human, as a matter of fact), if you feel secure within yourself and you have something to give, it could be knowledge, it could be love, it could be time, it could be anything, and this form of giving doesn’t take anything away from you. It rather helps you become richer as a human being. So the key is that first give to yourself, accept yourself, love yourself and believe in yourself and then give yourself to the people around, radiate love, respect, knowledge, regard. Appreciate people when you feel like appreciating them. Tell them what you like about them, you never know but you might make someone’s day if they are feeling low. And most importantly, be honest while appreciating. If you admire someone and you don’t like a particular thing that they did or are doing, there is a nice way to convey the truth out to them, it is important to call out for the mistakes too, be honest and be open. I have had friends and colleagues come up to me and call me out for my mistakes- these mistakes could be unintentional or intentional, and sure, it does really feel bad when you receive criticism but do check if it is constructive criticism and if it is, do make the necessary changes in your behavior, try to correct the situation if you can and accept and acknowledge your mistake. Also, be grateful to the people for being honest with you because by doing that you are strengthening your bond. Acknowledging other person’s feelings and understanding them actually works for better for both of you. Do that in your personal and professional world and you will see tremendous improvements.

We as women are really powerful, each one of us, and we all just realize our powers and potentials, we can actually brighten up this world in a beautiful way.

So here it is for the women in my life who continue to do good and inspire me in different ways.

Also, note that towards the end, this post is less about womanly bonds, it is becoming general because, at the end of the day, it is about being human. One day you can feel like a man, the other day you may feel like a woman and some days you feel like both and somedays you feel like you don’t want to be a man and you don’t want to be a woman, what you really want to be is just a sloth sleeping all day in bed, it’s okay. It’s okay as long as you know the language of love for life, you can be anything.