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March 20, 2017

W for 'Wastrel proceedings'

I tried to cheat time by breaking the hour glass. I wanted to lock every moment, feel every memory in the palm of my hand, hold it, relive it, immortalise it and never let it go.
Carefully, I emptied the contents of the hour glass; golden dust of a magical past that I yearned to safeguard. But every time I closed my fist in an attempt to tighten my grasp over it, the grains of sand would slip from the gaps between my fingers.

As my gaze fell over the broken hour glass, I realised what I'd done. In my vain attempt to control time, I'd lost my chance of turning the hourglass over and starting anew. Desperately, I tried to collect the sand that had slipped onto the ground. But it was too late. My past, had taken along with it, my present and future and mingled with the dust.
And I could do nothing but watch...


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W for 'Wastrel proceedings' is the twenty-third post in the 'A-Z Series' of posts, a chain of scribbles by me on topics starting with each alphabet of the English language. Read back and forth for the other posts, and please feel free to contribute your thoughts on the subject.

March 09, 2017

V for 'VIBGYOR'

As a child, I'd never seen a rainbow for real. But I remember dreaming about one.
I'd memorise the different colors and wonder if they could be shifted and mixed. I'd wonder if one color drained into another when it rained, like the way my water colors would when I dipped my paintbrush in a palate of water for a little too long. I'd fantasise about collecting pieces of coloured rainbow falling from the sky. I'd even dream of  eating them---savouring their taste which I'd imagine would be akin to Poppins, the popular multi coloured hard candy available those days.

But my flights of fancy were soon to end, and one day, I finally witnessed a real rainbow. There it was, peeping at me from behind the clouds, sharing the same sky as the golden sun. I immediately started counting it's colors. But I could hardly discern all seven. This rainbow was nowhere like the mesmerising one I'd seen in books and animations, the one that my childish imagination had fallen in love with. I felt duped...cheated, sold off an inferior quality version when all I'd wished and prayed for was the VIBGYOR of my dreams.  My brain and heart, all of seven years, felt terribly let down. And that is when I first realised that reality is never as beautiful as you hope and imagine it to be.

Later in life, I learned that most things are like that. Expectations are often braced with disappointment. But human as we are, we never really learn.
Even now, there are days when I still expect that rainbow, all bright and flashy with seven strips of color and leprechauns flying over it. But soon enough, reality strikes making me feel heavily disappointed and disillusioned.

Nevertheless, the child in me still believes!
When the world is whitewashed of joy and I see no hopeful hues, I reach out to that imaginary rainbow I'd first witnessed in books and animations; the one I'd fallen in love with, the one that set the bar so high that reality couldn't  match up to it, the one I still adorn and immortalise with my words and imagination from time to time---My VIBGYOR with all its colors intact, perhaps waiting at the end of this mystifying yet  magical experience called life.

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V for 'VIBGYOR' is the twenty-second post in the 'A-Z Series' of posts, a chain of scribbles by me on topics starting with each alphabet of the English language. Read back and forth for the other posts, and please feel free to contribute your thoughts on the subject.

February 23, 2017

Back to blogging: 'Breaking the silence'

A couple of days ago, I insisted on calling a friend who I've been guilty of not being in touch with for a while now.
More so because he texted me that he was majorly hung over on a concoction of red bull and fresh pineapple juice, and I was curious to know how that sounded.

Much to my surprise, the said friend (who was once known for his rambunctious attitude) suddenly shied away and started making weird excuses.
"I have a sore throat," he said. "I sound really bad."

In accordance with the theory of the forbidden fruit, I now wanted to hear him even more. And so I adamantly told him I'd deal with it.

Now, all my friends know that there is one thing that invites the wrath of Priyanka Naik like nothing other. And that is if my call is cancelled. This means even if my friends are in some major life threatening situation and cannot answer my call, they let it ring and fade out gradually but in no situation cancel it. It's a quirk of mine that they entertain.

Anyway, so I called and he answered. I said the customary hello, but nobody spoke a word.
After a moments pause, I heard a mousy squeak.

"Hey Pri, I need to call you back. I have a client," he said.
"You sound fine. You really do," I laughed.
He laughed back awkwardly, confirming my suspicions.
"No no. Really, there's a client. Will call you."
I knew that was a lie. But I gave in this time.

"Ok. Say Hi to your imaginary client from my side," I teased.

Seconds later, I received a text from him.
"You sound just like you did five years back. I'm so jealous."

I laughed it off then. But this  incident got me thinking.

How much of our state of mind or maturity do we really let on in our voice? Am I expected to sound different now than I did a decade ago or another decade ahead? Not all of us choose to do a 'Geet' from 'Jab we met' and manifest a major transition in personality post interval, no? Life doesn't always work that way.

Most of the times, personality changes are internal and not that obvious. My voice might stay the same. But I am changing...every single minute. Evolving, growing up, hiding, revealing, trying desperately to preserve whatever is left of who I used to be. And yet, striving to be a better version of who I choose to become.

As this explosion of thoughts wreaked havoc in my mind, I got reminded of these lines from a favourite song.
"Naam gum jayega. Chehra ye badal jayega. Meri awaaz hi pehchaan hai, agar yaad rahein... 


January 05, 2017

U for 'Untitled'


Dear Heart,

When in doubt, I want you to know that it's okay not to understand.

Don't beat yourself about it. You are not responsible for striking the perfect balance in the world. It's okay not to have some confusions sorted. Life is like that. You don't need to feel terrible about it.

You must realise everybody has their own cross to bear. You can't make anything easier  for anyone, not even
yourself, by trying to understand. Don't waste your time over it.

So sail away and don't hope for company in any kind of storm. In the end, nothing really matters (and perhaps this is the only thing one needs to understand.)

Selfishly yours,
Brain


U for 'Untitled' is the twenty-first post in the 'A-Z Series' of posts, a chain of scribbles by me on topics starting with each alphabet of the English language. Read back and forth for the other posts, and please feel free to contribute your thoughts on the subject.



January 04, 2017

Estranged

I see the seasons changing
Once again too soon;
The leaves are turning
From lush green to yellow-grey
The Sycamore is in bloom no more
It's strong roots and naked branches
Remind me of our love
That could neither be uprooted
Nor bear flowers,
And of us; you and me
Who just like the seasons,
Couldn't stay for long.


December 05, 2016

Face-Off



You wear a mask to fool the world,
But you cannot fool yourself...

How long can you not run away
From a life that always binds you
How far can you hide and stay
When love eventually finds you
How much can you ignore inside
Feelings that refuse to die
How helpless do you start to feel
Till you finally break down and cry
How deep does your face color
At the mention of their name
How easy does your heart enrage
And love them just the same
How forlorn do you tend to feel when they are not beside you
How hard will you fight for love when all else will deride you

You wear a mask to fool the world,
But you cannot fool yourself...

November 11, 2016

A free bird


The door of the golden cage was kept open until the bird with clipped wings expressed her desire to fly...as it was only then that the world realised that she was capable of dreaming.

But how had she dared to commit such a blasphemous  crime? The foolish creature had taken undue advantage of the privilege bestowed upon her---she had dared to fall in love with the sky.
The Gods were now fuming with anger. She had left them with no other choice. They had to act immediately. And that's what they did.

Soon enough, the dice was cast. Her fate was sealed. The door of the golden cage would stay shut until the day she'd lose her will to soar....unil the day she'd gaze blankly at the open door and choose the comfort of the golden cage...until the day she'd laugh at the memory of the silly dream she'd once dared to dream, of a brilliant blue sky that she'd once wished to venture.

However, the bird with the clipped wings was resilient. She refused to resign to her fate and continued to dream. Every day, she'd watch the sky through the bars of the golden cage. She'd pray for the door to open. But the Gods paid a deaf ear to her pleas. Afterall, some rules could never be broken---birds with clipped wings should not dream of flying.

And so life went on, as it always did. The door stayed shut. Grief stricken, the broken hearted bird kept dreaming and humming her melancholic tunes from the golden cage. 

Until one day, she finally gave up and died.

That was when the door opened. As her soul escaped her body, the cage was cleaned. She was now free to make love to the open sky. Her clipped wings didn't matter anymore. She was finally a free bird.

#DearZindagi...a letter to life!




Dear Zindagi,

You must be really surprised to see me addressing you with such terms of endearment today. I don't usually have positive things to say about you, no? But there are days when I also count my blessings. And lucky for you, today is one of them.
So tadaa! Here I am, Zindagi. For all you are worth, here I am, my head bent low, my eyes brimming with emotions and my heart full of gratitude. For you, only for you, and for all that you have taught me till date, I have only one thing to say...Thank you!

Thank you, Zindagi, for giving me a brand new chance every day---a new opportunity get things right; to learn, to prove my worth, to improve. You are the best teacher and worst critic one could ask for. You never allow me to be too hard on myself for the mistakes I commit and yet make sure I'm guilty enough not to repeat them. Of course, there are times you end up being an utter disappointment. Fretting and fuming, ranting and raving, cursing, blaming, and fighting with you for being unfair...has almost been a habit.

But in hindsight, I do realize that every second chance you refuse to bestow upon me does me a whole lot of good. Thanks to this, I have learned to value my relationships...to cherish and treasure them. You have taught me never to take for granted those who love me. In fact, it is this constant fear of not being allowed a second chance that helps keep me in check. And I owe you big for that.

People say I have changed. I think I have too, for the better. You have made me emotionally stronger and more hurt-resistant over time. There was a time when I was so hopelessly sensitive that one push (from someone who mattered) was all it'd take to shatter me. I thought I'd never be able to survive the agony of heart break, stressful relationships, work pressure. But you exposed me to the big bad world and convinced me that nothing here is indispensable, no one is irreplaceable. Friends backbite lovers betray, relationships putrify, and you can't do much than break the bonds that chain you, burn bridges that lead to nowhere, and never look back.
You taught me that there is nothing more important than self worth and peace of mind.  to leave before I'm left, to learn the difference between want and need, love and lust. I learned that sacrifice can be liberating, that love need not always mean attaining, and that hearts, no matter how badly bruised, will heal with time. I also realised that a mug of freshly brewed coffee and a good nap can provide an instant fix to most problems.

Of course, I cannot forget to thank you for the more permanent reasons to smile--the amazing friendships you have helped me forge. Some that have won over time, distance and even fate to stand by me. Some that have proved my cynical heart wrong by showing me how lucky I am to have them in my life.
However, pain and grief are part of every journey. I have had my share of it as well. Cliched though it may sound, it made me stronger, showed me what I did not want, and helped me see what I really needed. I needed to believe in myself, respect myself, fall in love with myself before expecting that from anyone else.

You, Zindagi, taught me the true meaning of love. To love unconditionally is a heart breaking yet surreal experience. I think everyone should try it at least once. You taught me that love need not always have a fairytale ending. It can be very different from what you were expecting and yet be love all the same.

Gradually, I discovered your myriad hues. Each experience you offered taught me a little more about you. It made me realize that we are never in the place to judge anyone, for their reality might be way different from ours. To judge someone, we need to run a mile in their shoes. I'm grateful to you, Zindagi, for you evoked in me enough compassion to attempt seeing beyond the masks people wear, to try listening beyond the words they speak. In the process, I discovered hearts of gold beneath many steel armours and malevolent intentions behind the sweetest of smiles. You snapped me out of my childish delusions and planned a rendezvous with reality. I hated you then for snatching away my rose tinted glasses. But thinking back, I'm so glad you smashed them. You helped me grow up. And although we all would love to be kids forever, I learned that growing up was inevitable. Gradually, I realised it wasn't all that bad. As I stared awestruck at your various nuances, you made me realise how I'd never be able to comprehend you fully, that some questions were best unanswered, some things were best undiscussed. I couldn't understand then but I realise now that it did work out for the best. It almost always does...

Even today, I can count on you to believe in me when the chips are down...even when everyone else leaves my side. It's true you make me stumble at times. I have even fallen flat face-down a couple of times, but it is only because of you that I have learned to pick myself up, brush away the humiliation, hold my head held high and continue walking.

I am faced with challenges every day. And everyday, I fight, I survive, I triumph the odds. You have taught me to believe in myself, to value my strength and confront my weaknesses. At times, you break down my defenses, and I give in to you. I trust you to show me the way, and you trust me enough to know I'd not let you down. There are times I can't help feel frustrated at your antics and want to let go. But you, in your own stubborn little way, make me realize how fragile you really are. In my career as a doctor, there have been several incidents that have made me value you more than I ever had. I have witnessed patients struggle for a breath of air while their loved ones watch helplessly, watching them suffer. They make me aware of the times I take you for granted; be it wrong food, stress, a lethargic lifestyle, the truth is I am guilty of cheating on you. Every time they look at me, that pleading look in their eyes, I see you there, dear Zindagi...gasping, hurting, groaning, compromising, and yet putting up a brave face for me. When a patient leaves the hospital premises in good health. I feel you beaming with joy. But when I fail, I find it impossible to confront you. These are times I try to  block you out by scribbling furiously in my journal in an attempt to stonewall the disappointment I feel. However, writing is a contemplative and introspective task and you manage to find your way out through my words.

You inspire me to write, Zindagi. And for that, I am eternally indebted. Even today, you continue to be my greatest muse. Words fall short to capture your true essence. But I'm not giving up...neither on you nor on writing. We are stuck together for good.

You have taught me when to hang on and when to let go. And that is a lesson I hold very dear. You have made me understand the difference between strength and wisdom, integrity and courage. Every day, you make me open up to the unparalleled beauty in the world---stars wrapped in the blanket of a clear sky, a breathtaking view of the setting sun, the sound of babies gurgling, the musical quality of a flowing brook, the natural fragrance of wild flowers. I find poetry all around me. I find it within me too.

You have watched me dream and crumble. You've witnessed me sprint and crawl. You've seen me soar and crash. It has been one hell of a journey. But every step of the way has been an adventure in it's own sense.

Come to think of it, hasn't ours always been a queer relationship? I do not believe in definite beginnings or strong endings. And I believe neither do you. (You are my mirror after all.) All we can be sure of is a worthwhile middle. We might not have had a great start, and I have no idea how we are going to end. But I feel strongly about this transition period of learning. And I have learned from you never to give up on something you feel so strongly about.

So let's make the best of this symbiotic relationship. Let's show the world how strong a team we really make. No cribbing, no complaining, no mud-slinging. Just loads of gratitude for what was, what is, and what will be...because every moment can impart us with wisdom, knowledge, or experience if only we allow it to.

So here's to making more memories...
Here's to you, me, and tomorrow...

Thank you, Zindagi!

Yours truly,
Me.
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