Between the two extremes.

Sitting in the corner. Or being in the centre. 

In between these two extremes lies our social being.

Yes fate positions us towards one of these two. But actually, its purely a matter of choice. And more than that, desire. 

There is no doubt that conviction helps us stay put and follow our proclivity.

Recognition. Acknowledgement. It’s not the same as being famous. Or is it? 

The line is thin. And our eyes, not so keen.

Its not as if the one sitting at the corner desires absolute anonymity. He also desires recognition and respect, but not in a way that suddenly brings him from the fringe into the fray.

Similarly, the one in the centre also doesn’t desire such fame which affects him privately. Because despite being inclined to take the centre stage in many situations, he also has a part of him who wants to sit back and relax in the corner.

And that’s important. The balancing act.

There’s anonymity in fame. Amidst the frenzy and the charades.

Fame in anonymity? The way you look at it. The mystery. The intrigue.

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Gloom. Despondence. And a tempest of thoughts.

You know sometimes, you truly feel lost. Everything seems so insipid. Everything seems so ordinary. Gloom is besetting. And unsettling. But you can’t do anything about it. Or don’t. Apathy ensues.

Wallowing in bed, eyes closed, eyes open, doesn’t matter. Overthinking. Imagining impossibly beautiful scenarios. Sometimes just lying blank, unmindfully scrolling the news feed on facebook or Instagram. Witnessing another minute, another hour, another day go into the bin. Watching self centered narcissists and their stories of frolics, all the more agitating. But then again, apathy follows.

You don’t go out much. You don’t interact much. You don’t socialise much. You denigrate it privately. You find faults in everything. And boy! You are good at it. You think everything is so unnecessary. So kitschy. Too corny. 

Your eyes see nothing but problems in the world. That everything has a veil. That everyone is a charade. You overlook a lot of beautiful things. They just lie in front of you, waiting to be seen. You don’t even open your eyes to them. Let alone squint.

A moment comes, and you just can’t take this inertial state anymore. You want to scream, shout your lungs out. You want to rip your clothes off. In that moment, you want everything to change. And its so frustrating because its not possible. You vow to change, yourself and the situation. But in the back of your mind, you are aware that this just might be another whim of yours. And you try your best to battle it. No this time its different, you say. I will get into a routine. Or I will go out. Or I will go talk more, to my mom and dad, friends, heck! Even strangers. I will study more. Or I will work more. 

And you imagine the satisfaction and happiness you get when you turn things around. And the problem with you is that you have already imagined the whole scenario, what good could happen? What could go wrong? You have imagined, and acted every emotion and situation in your mind. So that makes the actual working part hackneyed and uninteresting.

And this happens every time. Everything, seems laced with banality. Every situation seems redundant.

For a person like this, (For you. If you identify with this predicament) any sudden thing or a situation he has not imagined, is the thing that gives him the kick. And that’s very rare by the way. Because he has all the time in the world to overthink. 

And he always knows where he is lacking, and what he is doing wrong. This is not a problem caused by lack of awareness. Its far from it.

This makes him hold unnecessary compunctions. His confidence, his will, absolutely sink. He is just like a walking, sentient, cognizant sponge. Observing everything, absorbing, everything. Compressing and compressing. Not knowing or not wanting to expand, regain its shape. Aware of the ridiculous burden or his own making, yet still bearing it. A burden of his own compunctions, convictions and his actions, or inactions I should say.

What can be done about this??

You know the answer. Always. 

 Just act on it. Even if you know all the outcomes.

Not all men…

​Not all men have a perverted mind.     Not all of us lurk behind.

Not all men have a black soul.                Not all of us are a demented ghoul. 

Not all of us are bereft of shame.           But all of us share the blame….

Of crimes so hideous and depraved.     The tortures our women have braved.

Yes, our women, they belong to us, we should be proud.                                         Not ogle at them, suppress them and force them into a shroud.

They deserve more, much more.             For they are Goddesses in our lore.

Not all men deserve women.                   But every woman deserves a MAN….

Delhi- ‘High’ on smoke…

​He coughed and coughed, and huffed and puffed.

Through the shroud of mist, or smog I should say.

No sunshine, no stepping out in the hay.

The city under a spell, of darkness and despair.

It better not be some thing which we cannot repair.

The future seems dark and desolate from here, more on the dystopian side.

Miles tall buildings, no air to breathe, nothing green, no one to chide.

Good health would just be a myth,  a perfect unattainable state.

Fresh air would just be a memory, to tantalize, but not something tangible to sate.

She sat there, on the table…

​She sat there, on the table.

And I, unable, to look her in the eye.

Desperate to tell her what I felt, my heart fluttering like a butterfly.

With a heavy breath and a thin smile.

I walked closer, but it took me a while.

I said hi, she said hi…
The moment drew nigh.

And so did the jitters.

And I crumbled under pressure.

The smile turned awkward.

And I couldn’t go forward, with a pounding heart and a restless soul.

Despair, feeding on me like a ghoul.

With quivering hands and a weakened resolve, I scurried past her, then ran out of sight.

 Panting outside. Cursing, smiling, shaking my head, it was a flurry of emotions.

 Emotions, of epic proportions. 

Racked by guilt, bullied by shame. 

I had only one person to blame.

Shackled by his shyness, an introverted boy.

Missed his moment of joy.

I change my path, whenever I see her in the distance.

 Heart still pounding, face still smiling.

Wondering whether she also laughs, like me, at a disaster of my own making.

Or if she even thinks of me at all.

 A shy, stupid boy who couldn’t tell her  that he liked her.

In love with the hills

​Its a late evening in Dehradun. The sun is about to set. A bike, a Royal Enfield, patters through the city streets, music to some ears, to others a hassle. 

After a while, the road straightens a bit. Traffic is more mellow here, except a few adventurous bikes and scooties, skidding and zipping through, leaving a tang of their blaring ‘beeps’. The shops and their numbers dwindle. Greenery ensues. 

A couple of kilometres more on the Rajpur Road, the altitude rises gradually and its almost no traffic. Barring a bike or a car far ahead. The shops and their numbers have whittled down to a handful and that too in a sporadic manner.

The bike now saunters through the smooth road, and its turns, with an air of regality. Its late December and the wintry air is getting more and more chilly, by the minute. I can feel the cold wind course through my hair (whatever is left of them.). My hair swaying a bit with the wind, my face numb and smiling, my eyes closed, mind lost in a serendipitous ecstasy.

Don’t worry, I am not the one riding the motorcycle. My cousin’s riding it. I am… well I am enjoying each moment as it passes.

The mountains, which just stood far away earlier, start materializing. I feel dwarfed, not that I ever felt ‘enlarged’ at any point in my life. The gigantism of these mountains is somewhat humbling, intimidating. But wow! They are exhilaratingly beautiful. 

The air here is so great. Its so sweet, so pure. It feels like I was barely breathing earlier. I never inhaled so deeply, and never smiled when I took a breath. It always was like an essential thing, to live, of course. But now, it feels like an unsolicited luxury, a gift from a higher power or something.

The sun was about to set, it was already half beneath the shoulders of the mountains. Faintly glistening in its reddish, golden hue.

I could see some lone houses, far away on some hills. It was not yet dark, but they were lit. I don’t know, I just imagined how peaceful it would be, to just stay like that, live like that for a while. It would be peaceful. To sever all ties with the world for a while. Live far away on a mountain, fresh air, fresh water, trees, that melodious silence, among all these absolutes. Inexplicable. Incredible. 

We stopped at a roadside tea selling shack. And the scalding hot tea tasted heavenly. It was dark now. And I could see lights in the distance. Along the road. On the mountains. We sat there for a while. Seized by the tranquility. Awed by the beauty. Laughing at our worries and squabbles we left back at our homes. Thinking what life actually is. Not that we got an answer. Just… wondering, surprised by our own selves. This place had hit home, and touched our hearts. And home is where the heart is. 

But it was time to go back. It was just a long ride after all. The mountains looked like dark shaped grandiose sentinels of the valley, stout and still. Still amazing, still beautiful.

On our road back, the gentle wintry breeze had become relentless. And I was freezing. I had no gloves, no cap!! What was I thinking? My face was numb, and I was chittering, absolutely, and sniffling by the time we got back to the same traffic snarls of the planes, it was no longer freezing. Thanks to the people and vehicles for their heat. And we were back in the same old mire, the palpable beauty some minutes ago, just a memory now. 

Its not as if those mountains are thousands of miles away. But yeah, they are not our homes either.