Be your own life jacket 💗

There are people who know you inside out. People, you can count on. People, who you can take the liberty to call, at 2 in the morning, and talk nonsense.

And then, there are people, who are toxic. Who are always a tad too concerned about the kind of work you do. About the kind of life you lead. About the choices you make. Who are always around and about, ready to give you their shoulders to lean on, and make you look upto them, albeit gradually, for everything you need. You soon grow, to live for their approval. You come to a point where everything you do, begins to look useless to you, without their validation.

You become vulnerable, and your equation with them, parasitic.
Your confidence begins to dim down and you stagger, when left alone.

But that’s the whole point lost, ain’t it?

‘Cause, somewhere deep inside, you know you are enough.
And all you’ll need is a nudge every now and then, courage in abundance, and oodles of faith.

So gather your broken confidence and string it together. Be independent. Fiercely independent. Wear your flaws on your sleeve and march ahead.

Be your own life jacket.

Cheers!

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Opinions and all that jazz.

People’s opinions, no matter how old we grow, always seem to matter to us, no?

So much so, that so many of us tend to let go of ideas, ambitions and dreams – simply because they seem a tad too unconventional for the society we live in.
Or sometimes because, we’re scared we’ll be mocked at, if we fail. We are scared we might lose in our attempts and will be looked down upon. We are scared we wouldn’t be given the push, the love, and the light we seek.

But that’s the whole point lost, ain’t it?

Because, you can’t just kill something that keeps you kicking and alive, for someone else. You can’t forgo your passion because a section of people you live with, don’t think much about it.

Opinions be damned, listen to your heart.

And choose to pursue what YOU think, is your calling, even if people think it is a waste of time. Even if people advise you against it. Even if people tell you that you wouldn’t make any money out of it.

Because, you don’t have to fit in. Into anybody’s shoes or standards or opinions.

Be bizarre. Weird. Mad. Eccentric.
Be everything that your heart propels you to be. Be everything that you’re made of.
Be everything that breathes life into your existence.

Cheers!

Put your foot down when you have to.

I quite often see a lot of men on the road, (behind the wheel and otherwise) putting down women who drive.
I see them assume every idiot blithering on the road, to be a woman.
I see them trash women for driving slow, for honking a little too loud, despite the fact that it is the men, who are most often than not, reckless (and take pride in bragging about their stunts on the road).

But what puts me off, actually, is the patronising attitude towards women and how everyone finds it okay to look down upon them like they’re lesser mortals.
Maybe, the society’s been tuned to think women are weaklings. Or dimwits who can’t grasp things quick.

Because, think of the times we’ve seen people asking the boys to stop crying “like girls”, and man up. For, crying apparently, is for the weak. Which women, are presumed to be.

Think of the times your mom would have insisted on wanting to know what you were up to and you’d have told her off saying she wouldn’t understand anyway.
Can you, for once, imagine doing that to your father?

And weirdly enough, the head of the family is, almost always, a man. For what joy? I still haven’t been able to figure that out.

Plus what astonishes me more is that, in most families, it’s just the father’s name that is added to the child’s. Not the mother’s. Though she, is pretty much the spine of her child’s existence.

I know all of this isn’t new. I know all of this has been in practice for ages now, and beyond,
I know my two cents wouldn’t change the course of the wind that’s been flurrying, succinct and strong,

Yet. Here’s to bringing about the change we want and, here’s to calling out what’s wrong.

Cheers!
💗

It’s your ride, after all.

There are so many things you can do without, in life. And one, of them would be this never-ending, vicious cycle of expectations.

There’d always be a cousin who’s abroad and is doing very well for himself. Or a neighbour, who is studying in the IIT. Or one specific somebody, who’d be everything you would be “expected” to replicate.

Cut to phase 2, when you’re done with graduation. When the world wouldn’t let you pause or take a breath. Because, before you know it, people would begin shoving “Hey, so what next?” down your throats. And if you don’t have a plan ready, they’d have one ready-made. A plan that’s been tried and tested a million times over, yet not one hundred percent fail-safe.

Enter phase 3, and you’re surrounded by benchmarks you don’t have a choice but to drown yourself in. Benchmarks and, status symbols – Of 6 figure salaries and a big brown mercedes. Of a palatial house in the vicinity and a couple of trips to the New York city. Of posh, skimpy clothes and plush, velvety shoes. Of goals, you’re asked to chase, in a chaos you wouldn’t have bothered to choose.

And, in the process, you don’t get to enjoy the journey you’re asked to be a part of – because, the focus, unfortunately, is always on the destination.

But hey. Here’s the deal. Despite all the compromises you might be required to make, you can’t let anyone puncture the eccentricity out of your soul. Or disrupt your momentum. Or drive you into making decisions you’d regret or have second thoughts about, later. Because, at the end of the day, it’s your ride after all.

Cheers!
💖

P.S. Quite a long post, this. A little late into the night too. But trust me, I’m sober.

Thank you, April!

You collect thoughts that melt into a pool of nothingness,
Whisk them into a song that lilts in effervescence
To the tune of the voices muffled inside my head,
Gently tucking with it, a million emotions that lie beneath, unexpressed,

You breathe life into the shadows that lurk in a corner of my brain,
Bringing to light an identity I’d choose to curtain,

You give shape, to the hesitation crawling under my skin,
To the heart that’s enveloped in insurmountable chagrin,

You diffuse strength and warmth and hope into my spine,
Colouring my sky with fairy dust and rainbows and stellar sunshine,

Thank you, April, for stringing my words into poetry,
For magnanimously containing my profound insanity.

Cheers!

An ode to the firstborns.

You come into the world anticipating sweet nothings, but before you know it, you are marred by expectations aplenty –

From your parents, from your cousins, from almost everyone short of the Prime Minister of the country,

You are expected to become the role model the world is yet to see,
One mistake, and you are paraded through the streets to show your siblings what they shouldn’t grow up to be,

Your mischief is looked down upon; you don’t get any sympathy,
You are required to be strong, your shoulders can’t be weighed down by responsibility,

You are envisioned to be an example par excellence, for, in the eyes of the world you are a human that’s been chiseled to perfection,

You can’t break any rule in the book, because hey, you are trained to be looked up to as an epitome of goodness that needs no introspection,

There’s more – you test the waters of the tempestuous seas, you clear the boulders that lie in your wake –
Just so, for the ones that come after you, the ensuing road becomes a piece of cake,

I could go on and on, for the struggle here is real,
Being a firstborn is, trust me, one true ordeal.

What would I choose?

A friend once asked me in jest – if I’d like to peek into the future or relive my past,
I jumped at the question and chose the latter, because there’s so much I’d want to go back and change;
I know not what the future holds in store, I’d rather let the suspense remain,
But there’s so much regret I carry in my heart, there’s so much of the past crowding my present, clotting my brain, not letting me breathe that, I’m reminded –

Of the ruptured conversations, of the punctured silences, of the unfinished sentences,
Of the hasty decisions, of the empty spaces, of the moments of incomprehensible agony,

Of the chaos; Of how often I drowned in them, Of how they’ve become an inseparable part of my identity now,

I’m reminded of my failures, of how easily they still manage to trace their way back into my dwindling solitude –

A gush of air, smelling of salt and the sea flurries into my brain,
And I’m gently reminded of those tiny moments of inexplicable joy I’d give anything, to relive again.