Tired of the inadequacies of the world

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I cannot read the news anymore. I cannot see my twitter feed. I am tired. I listen to the kids and whether they hold hope or are so disillusioned, they wholeheartedly believe this world requires them to be heartless – I am heart broken. I have lost faith. I have lost the faith I had in Ahmedabad perhaps. Perhaps time and experiences have led me to this point where everything feels futile. My own tryst with kindness and honesty and being true to myself has failed me. My incapacity to be kind to others while being true to myself and what I believe in and my capacity to hurt another by the things I say or do in search for this true self, is distasteful to me. It sucks all my motivation. It paralyses me. Can’t move on, can’t change anything, can’t dream – what should I dream of? All possibilities of my dreams have been disproved, wrecked by humanity’s shortcomings, my shortcomings.

I think before I saw myself as different from the world, as kinder than the world, as more thoughtful than the world, now that I realise that no matter how thoughtful, I can cause so much hurt and pain, I see no difference between me and the world. So I feel I have no real legitimacy to say anything about anyone. Everything I say out loud about anyone seems reductive and not nuanced enough to me. But then what is nuanced enough? You can never control what a person will read into what you say or what you write. You can’t really control what hurts a person either or how much. So what are you going to do? What am I going to do? This is mostly what has led me to have a very small group of friends – seeing the best in them and believing they are trying has always been important. I need to fully respect them and understand their processes so as to have an idea of their deepest internal processes and when I see that I know they try.

I see glimpses of this in people I don’t know that well. I suppose I know that if I knew everyone’s internal processes, I’d know everyone is trying. It is partially knowing this that makes leaving and moving on so hard. Giving up feels so harsh when you believe someone is doing the best they can, that they are struggling, that they are flawed but they are human – products of the inadequacies of this world. Like me. I sense that accepting that about the world and loving it anyway is part of the healing, and perhaps loving oneself too?

 

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A piece of my soul – lost and found

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You have become a part of the past. Added to the list of beings I miss, my Amma, Thatha, 2 black cats, 1 golden lab and you. You still exist somewhere, like all of them I suppose. But I will never see you again. I get that. I got that, that morning when I woke up from a dream that made me feel dread for the rest of the day. You were gone. From my life in any case. And for days I didn’t know how to go on, without you, without the possibility of you. If I’d known I wouldn’t see you again, what might I have done differently? If you’d known, what would you have done differently? All we have now is our imagination.

I do this thing sometimes, when the thought of never seeing you again is unbearable, I imagine you sitting at your desk covered in white light streaming from above, smiling blissfully. I wish you peace. I call out your name slowly and feel the warmth flow through me at the sound of my voice saying your name. I wish you the abundant love we all should feel but don’t. It’s there, I feel it for you. Therefore I know you have it. If only you’d believe it. If only you’d believed it. If only I’d believed it. But these layers of ours that we used to talk about, they complicate things. They make love about things that it is not. They twist the things we say and do, the things we don’t say or do.

Every time I go back home, I go on a pilgrimage to all the places we had been, I try to enhance the memories, keep them intact, lock them tight, revisit them eyes closed, tears flowing down my face, feeling so loved, trying to feel gratitude for what I had, to not feel regret for all that I couldn’t have. Most of the time it feels like salve to my wounds, occasionally it feels like a sprinkle of salt. Always it makes me feel closer to you.

 I strive now to live a life that honours your influence in it, like I do with all the others I loved and lost. You are the latest addition to this list of beings that are present in my life even more in their absence. You are in everything I do, in my pores, in my every thought and action, in my soul. You made me. You are still here. You will always be.

Of Snail Mail and Unanswered Questions

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May be it’s still lying in the post-box in Dhaka, that looked like it had not been opened in a long time. But the man at the international counter in the post-office looked at my skepticism through his thick glasses and insisted I put all of my 18 post-cards in there. I had hand painted them so I really hoped a few of them would reach their destination. I sighed and nodded ‘OK, I’ll put them in the post-box’.

So the letter I wrote you might still be lying in that post-box in Dhaka, or it might have been one of many or the only one that made it out of there. May be it lies now in a post-office somewhere between Dhaka and wherever it is you’re living now. I sent it to your last known address. Or may be it was the only one that reached its destination. You. And lies torn to pieces, disintegrating, the blue ink and water colours no longer reminders of me. Or may be you kept it, tucked into a book somehwere or thrown into the pile of papers and stuff on your mixing table, as if forgotten but traceable, if you wanted to find it, someday. Like you and me have become to each other, as if forgotten but traceable if we wanted.

I suppose it is where it is supposed to be. Isn’t that what you’d say? Nevertheless it is one of many testimonies to you and me, concrete evidence sent into the universe that you and I existed, that we indulged our fantasies about each other only to be deeply disappointed. Why would we be different from all the others who believed naively in the possibility of finding their one destined soul mate in the infinity that is this universe? It would be nothing short of a miracle. And what had we done with our lives to deserve miracles anyway.

And, who knows what soul mates are supposed to do in our lives! It is one possibility that soul mates spend their lives together as partners serving to carefully conceal the reality of our undeniable loneliness. Perhaps they come and go, perhaps they are not one but many, perhaps they don’t exist, confirming our existential loneliness but also unveiling our self-delusion that we are somehow special, different, from those living seemingly carefree (or careless would you say?) lives. All we have are these questions for now. Answers will come in good time apparently, or they might not.

In any case, its not done yet in my head. There are chapters to come, truths to be revealed, epiphanies to discover. What part will you play in all of it? That of a distant muse or a close conspirator? Another question I will have to tuck away unanswered.

Moonlight – Movie Talk

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This is not really a movie review but a love letter to a beautiful cinematic journey. Nevertheless I hope it urges you to go and experience it.

Sometimes resilience is really only made up of a few scattered moments of deep care, love and connection, that we hold in isolation to all the inadequacies and foibles of being human. People are not perfect but some moments with people are. Especially those people, who in all their imperfection reach out to hold your hand across the darkness that surrounds both. To hold that perfect moment as a precious pearl amongst all the ruins life served you and acknowledging its value can keep us going a long time. These moments, these perfect moments, strung together, shine light on hope on the dark days. On those days when you look within with brutality, when you hang your head in shame at your failures or at the unfair burden you have been deemed to carry. On those days this hand that reaches out marks your soul with a magical healing touch that endures.

The value of a safe space, especially for children, but so much for adults too, where you are truly seen for who you are, where you get to lift your head, straighten your back, push back your shoulders and find ‘pieces of your soul’ again. This safe space gives you the much needed practice to be yourself, slow and steady and the more time you spend in this safe space, the more courage and strength it gives you to be yourself, in oppressive, stifling spaces, hopefully.

Moonlight is a poetic portrayal of our imperfect selves, in an imperfect world, living perfect but fleeting moments of beauty, connection and homecoming amongst chaos and abandon. Finding ourselves, losing ourselves, stumbling upon safe spaces and special people destined for impermanence, looking up in awe at them, sometimes let down by their helplessness, sometimes by ours. 

Filled with moments that will knock the air in your lungs out and sublime intimacy, this movie will break your heart and make sincere attempts to heal it back in a slow dance of powerful emotions. With brilliant performances and beautifully written, framed and shot, intense sequences, this movie is equal parts art and poetry. Go WATCH and tell me what you thought?

Gaping hole

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You’ve gone and left a gaping hole,

Of dreams and hopes and possibilities,

Of things we could have been,

Of things we could have done.

And though I never counted on them,

The idea of it was reassuring,

Muddled it with dreary reality,

Smudged it with your fears and strains.

I will mourn as long as it takes,

And who knows of the afterlife?

But in this life you will still remain,

A gaping hole of possibility.

Let me hold on still to the dream,

Of an idealistic living.

Of loving without hopes and plans,

This gaping hole, that was sanity.

Fill it again with happy things,

Trinkets and memories

Words and songs and sweet nothings,

Tender looks of longing.

Moonlit nights of dreamy singing,

Dancing, driving, feeling,

Incomplete and still healing.