Its funny how certain things linger around you, disobeying rules of transience. These things are few of many things that you acquire from specific people. Although those people do not stay, or wait for you, but you acquire these little something that are a constant reminder of the impressionable people who were once an inevitable part of your life. Lets not go into the ambiguous dilemma of whether the impact was for better or worse. But in your journey through life you acquire little bits from people. A thought here, a word there. And somehow when u delve deeper into these little acquired habits, you see that a person never stops existing. They perpetually exist in these little habits, these intellectual gambits of the mortals left behind. We are all virtually immortals, no one dies. When people reminisce about people who are gone, they become a part of their memory. And when people forget the incidents and memories, they get transformed to stories – the elixir of life. We are all a part of each other. All little pieces of us make all little pieces of everybody else. But do we covet immortality? Do we covet being in a perpetual state of virtual existence. I guess we do. Whatever we do, every miniscule thing, is an added effort to be remembered, to be brought back by a storyteller, to exist. This game of existence, what if we stop suddenly, what if we quit? What happens then? You die alone??? Everyone dies alone. That point, between existence and extinction is lonely.
Are you really this tempting? Are you really the priceless commodity that no one is capable of buying? I wonder at your strength really. How powerful are you? Every memory that you make alliance with, every sorrow, every joy, every misgiving and every neglect. You are the glass that is conceieved to be shattered. But you are really the pieces that reflect a thousand images in kaleidoscopic fury. You are the path tat is traced back to by every lost soul, by every hopeless romantic, you are the place where people without a sense of time, dwell. How you predominate the present and the future. How sweet your embrace is at times. Yet how dexterously tragic. You suffocate as much as you let breathe. You really are a paradox aren’t you?
How are you my whimsical friend? Its amazing how much dependant you are on the ying and the yang of a person. How much conditional you are. How delusional and deceitful you really can be. Seize the moment they say. Funny expression isn’t it? What is there to seize if the moment does not make me its own? What is there to acknowledge if its a steady disintegration of sense of time? For loners and thinkers as well as the talkers, you are either too stretched and divided into infinite time zones or are as fleeting as the cars with flashing red lights. Either you are as distinguishable as the snowflakes swirling and comind down to the ground, or is indistinguishable as sand escaping from the grips of one’s fingers. You are the cruelest you know? You rob people of the skill of contemplating. You rob them of judgment. You rob them of their life. Because it takes a lifetime to be in the moment. And it takes a lifetime more to find a perfect moment.
Oh. You have the most conceited laugh. You are a mentalist. You make so much happen. You alter so much, you kill so many hopes and build so less that it’s almost a felony. You do the unexpected. And you have a funny way of dividing jurisdiction between past and you. You are on the verge of absolution. Verge of being absolutely lost in a whirlwind of predictability and unpredictability. You are the reason why present isn’t happy and past isn’t independent. You are the king to whom hopes and aspirations bow. You clip the wings of carefree pursuit of passion. You are ruthless in your attempt to relate to the past. But you, my dear friend don’t let anybody turn back. Don’t let anybody catch up. You are alone. And alone you sit in all the glory of relativeness. Because who does not give in to the ultimate power, who does not fear the power of unknown?
A wanderer caught in an eternal time loop.
Father’s day it was, yesterday. Not that it makes much of a difference to me anyhow, because I don’t have a father. I don’t miss him, neither do I crave for his presence. It’s an unperturbed void and most of the times out of my mind. So yesterday I was scurrying through endless social media posts about people and their perfect fathers and something struck me. It was a simple yet strange fact that, for as long as I have lived, I have never had a role model. I definitely look upto each of my family members, but as far as a role model is concerned I never had any. So yesterday, when I diverted my attention from the ‘perfect father’ posts, and started to think about an absence of role models, I realised that, it wasn’t because there was any dearth of any perfect person, it was the fact that their was a dearth of imperfect people. I have seen, people, looking upto their role models, and saying “he is a perfect role model” or “He is a perfect man, a perfect woman. You should follow in their footsteps”. It was this blinding bias towards ‘perfect’ that made me think I am better off without a role model. Essentially because I cannot stand the idea of perfect. Perfect needs no work, no improvisation, no effort. Perfect is just plain. And perfect is dull. Someone who is living a perfect life, is highly likely, in my opinion, to not have lived to his extreme potential. I want a role model, who is imperfect, who makes mistakes and does not cover that up, who takes things for granted, who wastes himself away, who takes the wrong decision, who is not afraid to try. I want a person of flesh, blood and sinew, doing things that we aren’t supposed to, and coming out of them victorious, knowledgeable and a bit wiser than before. A perfect man would not suit me, because a perfect man does know nothing about struggling. Just something I would like to share is that, my musical inspiration, might come from Schubert, the great composer. You see, each of his compositions had some fault, some glitch, small and minute though they were. And once you notice that glitch in his music,you cannot unsee it, it plays in your head, and you realise that, this is imperfect, that this is beautiful. Same goes for people. Once you notice imperfections, you notice the beauty. You notice the inspiration. That is why I want an extremely imperfect role model, because only he can teach me to strive in my extreme lows, only he can tell me where I can go wrong, in the crossroads of life. Because he has been there and he has been wrong, so he knows now what is right. I want him to teach me to fail. Fail but never give up the fight. Would a perfect man with a perfect score, know how to fail? No. This thought reminds me of so many people I have seen, so many great people who were role models, though imperfect to other’s eyes. I admit that right and wrong are extremley relative, and there are no absolutes. However I like to think that wrong is, whatever pricks the conscience. The first person coming to my mind is Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society, and also in Good Will Hunting, Morrie Schwartz in Tuesdays with Morrie, Atticus in To Kill A Mockingbird. Aureliano Buendia from A Hundred Years of Solitude. All of these people went wrong somewhere, went wrong in some decision, all of these people saw the very lows of life, and yet they unflinchingly never left self righteousness, never abandoned self confidence. Never betrayed people. That my friend is integrity, that is honesty and that is what a role model should be made of. Not a stuffed up Ken doll, diffusing perfection. Because perfection does not allow change, and equilibrium does not allow the true potential that one needs. So I never found a role model in a society too busy in covering up flaws as if they were leper patches, and trying to act perfect as if putting conscience up for an auction. I never found a role model, and I don’t think i will, any time soon.
To the friend who always “lived”,
Thank you my friend. You were always the one person who made me realise life is but a dream. And we rule in our dreams. Remember the time when you switched your phone off and escaped to the sea side? And how you told me about the waves crashing on the beach at night? I was so happy for you! Remember how your laugh was electric? And every disturbing thing came to a halt with your laugh. Thank you for making me realise that happiness is for a short while
To the friend who always kept in touch,
Hey there buddy where are you? Ironically i don’t know where you are. Remember how everyday you used to ask me about my day? And you never missed the question “What’s there for lunch?” I used to get angry at you for keeping in touch every day, but my friend, you were the only one who did make an effort to be in touch, who did make an effort to ensure that the friendship stays. Thank you my friend, nowadays i keep a check on everyone.
To the one who listened,
Of all the things you gave me, why did you lend me your ear? It’s intoxicating, having someone who listens. You get used to it. I did as well. All my mindless jokes and strange fancies found home in you. And the speaker found her home as well. Of all the things you gave me, why did you give me your time? And why are you not here? I shout and shout hoping to find you,to bring you back, but the cacophonous city consumes it. I wish we hadn’t met. I cannot thank you. Nor will I forgive you and I’m sorry.
To the friend who loved movies,
Do you remember how often you talked about movies? How very happily? And do you remember all the movies you asked me to watch? All the movies That changed history? I now realise how indispensable movies are to your being. Thank you my friend.
To the friend with all the theories,
Hey stupid. Where do you keep your theories now? What happened to the theory about having a lifetime of 250 years? What about your theory of Vodka and Cohen? Where does your mind wander nowadays? Does How I Met Your Mother still make you cry? Tell me someday if you succeed in being Stinson. Thank you for making me realise that being whimsical is beautiful.
To the people who left impressions. Thank you for not being there anymore. Thank you for making me realise so many things. So many times. Thank you for people, for making me feel that we should live in the moment. Once it gets by, it ends up in a pile of regret. Always. Everytime.
Finally the monsoons are here in my city. And i could not be more happier. I like summer. I like winter too, but there is a certain resplendent beauty that the city manifests in monsoon. I love my city when it rains, i love the mud, the traffic jams the waterlogged areas, the greenery and everything that follows. Actually I love rains. All the time, right from childhood. And I know so many people who live rains, but from a distance. I was always that kid, shooting out of the house to get drenched. Always the one to splash on every mud puddle coming my way. But these are all very normal ways of telling people how much i love the rain. The fact is I love the rains because i find them extremely comforting. Somehow when I’m in deep mess or in deep sorrow, i find myself craving for the rain. I still remember a day,when i had a tremendously awry fall out with one of my friends, and it rained that day, that was the only thing that could comfort me. One day it rained so hard, I was stuck inside my school, and while the others became restless, i enjoyed it so much. I love the feeling of being drenched for a long time. There’s a certain calm coldness that creeps inside, almost always warming up the cold feeling in my brain sometimes. I find rains to be extremely liberating. The teachers always catch me staring out when it rains. People ask me what I want do, what sort of a job would suit me, I answer something socially acceptable timidly. But the first thing that comes to my mind Is whatever I do, I never want to miss the first thundershower hitting the city. It’s like a pact I made with nature since i was a child. And I haven’t broken it since. I hate places where the windows are sealed or closed, which is precisely why I hate my Biology class. One day it was raining and my teacher saw me literally trying to force the window open, and was most amused. Although it left me disgruntled. What I am trying to say is I don’t want to sound fancy when I say I love the rains. Because I love the rains in all entirety, i love all the quirks that come with it. Have you felt the suffocating feeling when it rains very hard making you feel wet to the bones? I love that too. I love the sun peeping through, I love the wet leaves and the wet road, and it’s so maddening, you’d think I am risking it by being poetic. Everybody around me says he loves the rain, i just find nobody happy when it rains, except me. This is so child-like. But the monsoons are here, and even though i don’t know how to make paper boats, but I’ll try to make peace with the fact that, no matter what happens, I won’t ever miss the first drizzle of the year.
(I do not own the picture. This photograph was taken by a photographer working for an Instagram Page called ‘Stories of Kolkata’)
I remember i always used to talk a lot with people i was comfortable with, from my very childhood. What i learned as i gradually am stepping into adulthood is that, its impossible for me to respect or acknowledge a person without talking to him. Naturally all the people i love have always enriched me with a good conversation. These range from Quantum Mechanics to A thrift shop in the market. The thing about a good conversation, apart from it being a way to exchange facts, is more so about reliving and recollecting all the experiences and nuances of certain incidents, or certain books or films. The first person who made me understand this was my grandfather. He was my wikipedia while growing up, and our extensive conversations were carried on till late in the night,accompanied by my grandma’s scornful lools for staying up late. Then there was and always will be my mother. It was through her that i learnt to understand music. Music as you see is a very important part of our life, and listening to the right music at the right time is an art, my mother made me learn. Debates ensued, discussions followed about various artists. Then, i had, a mysterious friend i discussed books with, extensive discussions about many authors. Mind you,this person introduced me to many authors that changed me. Neil Gaiman and Murakami being few of the others. Somehow this friend introduced me to great films, i still remember the day i watched Shawshank Redemption suggested by him,and it turned out to be one of my all time bests. I had another friend, who taught me what a debate was, and how to be a debator, our topics ranged from Sanyas to Adolf Hitler. Such was our debate that almost the whole school gathered to listen to it. And were thoroughly entertained. I had two other friends with whome i discussed people. I am not talking about gossip, it was more of analytical autopsy of people we knew. We talked about their mentality and approach. And restrained ourselves from believing that it was gossip more or less. I also discussed with them all the television series we devoured back then, House MD Sherlock, Suits being a few.Then there was a certain person, I discussed life with. Life is a pretty vague word, but judging our extent of conversations i think its probably the only word apt to use. Somehow psychology,science and thoughts governed our talks, it was as if while decoding this other person, i realised that we knew so much about life in general,that it would only be unjust to keep quiet. I remember one time it was about seeking Eldorado,the other time it was about the theory of earth being flat. Then one time it was about people changing,the other time it was about happy childhood memories.
I also have to write about my sister here, who first made me fall in love with astronomy,and Quantum mechanics. I remember one time i was in the sixth standard,she in the seventh,and she made me learn the preparation of nitrogen gas,just by talking to me. I never really grew out of conversing with her. And never will.
Somehow with all those people around, who made this world better,i realise now,that i have always been in love with a conversation. And so i still feel that communicating and expressing, are key to a better understanding of not only the other person,but also of the world. Somehow with a conversation,you get to live so many experinces at once, it’s almost magical.
I find animals fascinating to a very great extent. I cannot explain the wonder i look at them. I have a very weird tradition that I follow sometimes. Sometimes when i am sad, I go up on the internet and learn about animals. I find it extremely relaxing. So one day I was particularly sad, and I was too deep into studying about whales. Somehow, if I could call it anything remotely similar to ‘connection’, I felt a connection with them. Whales are extremely liberating. I read articles about whale spotting and i devoured first hand experiences by some activists. And I made up my mind that even if I never had a bucket list, this would always be my dream, to spot whales in their natural habitat. I saw pictures of them, jumping out of the sea, with their tales flapping, and i felt that there was never a more majestic creature. I remember I once told someone who unintentionally asked me how I was, that I wanted a whale. Ofcourse the enquirer asked me if I was in a stable state but I could not get the whole prospect out of my mind. Somehow most of the times I have a weird notion that the whale has all the answer, and everything sometimes is solved when I read more about them. All in all, I solemnly accept that such a tremendous fancy for a wild animal is extremely out of place, but somehow whales make me feel the same kind of curiosity i felt when I was a kid, reading Moby Dick, or watching pirate movies, or playing pranks on neighbors. I will stop here today, without sounding anymore queer.
Viktor Frankl said that equilibrium is bad for mental health, adding that, now and again people need to be pushed out of their comfort zones, just to remind the brain that it exists. In all my life i haven’t found a more suitable evil to make a maudlin mess of the brain than the rules. Rules everywhere. All kinds of rules. If you think about it, unbiased that is, you’ll find that not all rules are bad, not all patterns repetitive. Howsoever, any pattern that constricts us is vicious. A name, a compulsion, a method, a place anything can be a rule. A rule that takes away the life from you. Why do people have names? Will it change any of the characteristic of a particular person? Why do people have places? Is human nature predictable on an atomic level? But rules that liberate us, the rule to be happy, the rule to be a wanderer, the rule to be a rule breaker. Each of this liberates us. The thing is, even breaking the monotony becomes monotonous at some point or the other. But you should never let the equilibrium set in. Any porblem, any unrest in the human life can be traced back to this. Extramaritals. Passionate love stories, suicides, depression, anxiety. Everything. Equilibrium is bad. Because once it sets in, reality becomes obsolete. And your thoughts senile.
Dear readers, I think you all have read one book in your childhood that remains with you as long as you relate to your existence. There must be some book that has all the answers.
To me that book is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I received the book from a certain person whom I have immense respect for. This certain person has always kept a keen eye on garnering my interests in books. He gave me this book, merely a hundred pages long, when I was not more than eleven. The curious kid in me was delighted to find a book so fantastically rich in drawings of stars and a boy looking like me. I devoured the book in a breath. But even at that age, there was something in me that changed after reading the book. The more I grew up and faced situations, the lines of the book hauntingly came to my mind. All the times I felt alone, all the times I felt I was trapped, and more importantly all the time I doubted what love was, I came back to the words in the book. It was so simple, so enriching that this book has become one of the best possessions I have from my childhood.
There are some simple lessons that has played a major role in shaping my life
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
“People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose”
“Where are the people?” resumed the little prince at last. “It’s a little lonely in the desert…” “It is lonely when you’re among people, too,” said the snake.”
And so goes on the magic.
Many times people ask me why I love looking at the stars, they ask me why I have a weird notion about love, they ask me why i laugh at grown ups a more too often, and the answer is always that book, the book I received on a summer evening from a certain person who always understood how magical it was to remain a child from within.
(P.S Though I have tried to sound as funny as possible, but in all entirety this has been one of the most dreadful and traumatizing phases of my life. And I do not want it back, ever. I am happy that I could come out of it, and the fact that I am writing this, is to spread awareness about it. Because as far as I know, mental well-being is above all. )
1. Depression is seriously one of the best ways to lose weight. Honestly it beats any sort of crash diet, because you look like you are going to crash any minute
2. Depression is like receiving a Hogwarts letter. Nobody believes you at first. I repeat nobody. You have to do a lot of explaining to tell them what’s wrong. And when depressed, trying to explain is a very bad option. Also people think teenagers cannot be depressed. So more explaining
3. Depression is nothing like they show on television or depict in books. You don’t lie in bed with the shades down all day. You get up, you go out, you do your work. But you feel you will shut down any moment, that you are rotting from within
4. Want to look like a great misanthrope? Welcome to Depression-land. You get the feeling of banging everyone’s head against the wall, and naturally people leave you to your own devices, which is exactly what they should not do, even if provoked.
5. You become the most procrastinating version of yourself. Got homework? Ah, what’s the worry, I can do that three minutes before the teacher comes. Or better. Let’s not do it at all, so that i can stand outside the classroom and procrastinate a little more
6. You doubt whether you are sane. All the time. Some days you are so happy you feel you’re on drugs, and some days you’re so low, you wish you did drugs
7. All the people will constantly try to revoke everything you say. You say you googled your symptoms, They will laugh it off. Apparently you could make internet your life, just not this once.
8. You become super clingy to the ones you can tolerate. And that will be two or three people. So they will have to bear the brunt of everything that sets you off, even if it is as small and insignificant as the day being Monday.
9. Your mood swings, swing so high and so low that they can take you to the moon and back. Might just leave you grounded on the moon for a few days before realising that you might die. And these moods range from sheer irritation to being a hopeless romantic.
10. You become mushy, you binge watch on Sherlock and FRIENDS and still cannot make sense of what is happening. You lose almost all your friends, your sense of time and punctuality, your wardrobe looks shabby, your books gather dust, your writing degrades, your jaws become stiff from not smiling at all. You become bored all the time. Even in a midst of a work. Even while traveling. And you always get a feeling that this life is grey.