Friday, June 28, 2013

The rain reminds me of you

The rain reminds me of you love. 
Everything that the rain does with me, to me, reminds me of you.

As the raindrops slither down my arms, 
It feels like your touch love and my heart blithely skips a beat. 
My eyes close and my lips unfurl into a smile 
As a drop caresses me on the lips and for a moment stays there.
The touch of your finger there is what my mind instantly conjures up and can't stop thinking about. 
Your breath on my neck is what the breeze feels like 
When it tries to reach me there through my open locks 
And as it playfully pushes them away, it's your fingers again. 
To me, the rain is you love.

Monday, June 24, 2013

My Windows and Me

It's only fitting that the song playing in the radio now is "Jeene laga hoon, pehle se zyada..."

I'm in love. With rain; with my large windows and with this beautiful genius of God called life.

I grew up in houses that have always had huge windows, thanks to my parents' penchant with the same. Sunlight used to flood all the rooms in the daytime nad we never had to switch on our lights till close to sunset. I had, however, like all things too easily available, never fully appreciated their worth till I moved out for college. The first year in college was still alright in the sense that I stayed in the college hostel that had balconies and one window in each room. The next two years during which I stayed in a paying guest accommodation made me fully appreciate, down to feeling suffocated and perhaps even SAD (seasonal affective depression), the actual worth of windows- the bigger, the better.

And this is only half of what my windows stretch upto :D

I write this while rain and breeze together romance the tall coconut trees spread all around the flats I can see from my windows, and these windows, I must tell you, extend all over one side of my walls :) I'm one of the minority amongst those new to Mumbai who are actually yet to be irritated with the constant rain. Why, I'm actually in love with the rain! I'm in love with the breeze that makes sure I haven't missed AC in my room and I'm in love with my windows that make sure I get to know whether it is morning yet without having to consult my mobile. Imagine staying in a room, all alone, for one year, that didn't allow you the faculty of knowing whether it was day or night if you didn't have a watch on or your mobile phone on the bed! The alone part wasn't problematic since I'm an introvert plus had a few good friends in the pg as well but having no windows made it pretty difficult.

From a lane in north Delhi in which buildings were all huddled so close together as if parts of an omnibus building stretching the entire lane, to a flat in suburb in Mumbai that accords me all the privacy as I would have wanted from my windows that remain open all the time, it's been an amazing journey of realizing the value of little little things we never come to appreciate for their easy availability. I originally come from a sleepy little town in Odisha whose easy pace of life and luxury of space I never truly appreciated till I shifted to Delhi and now it's a full circle again having been blessed with a place to stay in Mumbai that makes me feel like home yet at the same time makes sure I don't miss Delhi too much.It's a nice balance and yeah, I'm loving my new haven :) 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Lives may end; Love lives on

Love is not meant to bind one to anything, even if it is to anticipated fears. Love is not meant to make one weak and dependent. True love is always a source of infinite strength, security and joy.  If it's not that then something somewhere is wrong. Yet the equation is not so simple when you understand that there's one thing you can't really conquer with your infinite love, no matter how much faith you have on your loved one's love for you. You become more and more scared, more and more insecure in your love when you realize that there's one thing that acts as the ultimate leveller and takes away everything, no matter how gifted, special and good you were since always. The more attached you are and the more good and pure your love for someone is, the more you start fearing it for it so happens that death is the inevitable end of every story. 
Turns out it's actually not.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Alternatively, when you really, badly, and badly as in absolutely in a soul shattering state,  need and seek help, it is unfailingly bestowed on you. 
I can tell you; it has happened with me far too often to let it go unnoticed. It happened again, today.

I have been racked by questions of death, reincarnation, eternal love and the like in the recent past few weeks. The more I loved and the more I realized how lucky I am to be loved by a person whose love for me can match my love for him, the more I have grown distressed by questions of our not being together forever. The more I realized the beauty of this life and the genius of God lately, that this love has made me appreciate better, the more I have caught myself deliberating on what would happen to me if I live to see more days than my love. It may sound utterly silly and ridiculously far-fetched but a few knots here and there have meant that my line of thinking can't be any different.

I have been an emotional wreck when alone with myself in spite of a steady career and personal life. My guy is by the way extraordinary in not having ran away from this relationship considering how often his normal statements with neutral intentions have made me cry, and cry incessantly, for some chord used to be touched that feared our separation. Everything else, I'm confident I can deal with but the prospect of death has since long made me feel very helpless. It doesn't help that personally I haven't faced death in family, friends and close relations yet.

Today I came across a book I have very often heard about, highly recommended but one I never chanced to pick up for my library at home. I had half a day with absolutely nothing to do and so decided to give it a read in the college library. It was 'Many Lives, Many Masters' by Dr. Brian Weiss and having completed it a couple of hours ago, I'm to a great extent a lot more changed with respect to my fear of death and separation.  

 It's not that I haven't been told about reincarnation, past life remembrance and stuff but coming from a renowned psychiatrist, and like this, has brought my mind to peace. I'm at ease now with regards to the existential despair that was haunting me since several weeks and will now, hopefully have far less reasons to cry. Jokes apart, I highly recommend this book and specially to all students of psychology.You may not be interested in parapsychology (even I'm not) but chances are you will end up taking home a lot of life sessions at the end of the book.

I didn't intend this post to be review of the book so I leave it to you explore it further. Here you go: Many Lives Many Masters.

Lives may end but love lives on.  And it is this love that keeps getting our loved ones closer to us in the cosmic labyrinth while we are on our quest to settle our respective karmic accounts- paying off debts and experientially learning lessons. Call them guardian angels or anything else, it is heartening to know that our loved ones will be with us in our coming lives too in whichever form that is chosen by their karma. That's my take home from the book amongst many others. To repeat myself, I highly recommend it.


My TISS Story

It's funny how hazily we may first come to know about what turn out to be the most significant areas of our life. The way psychology happened to me, and of course psychology in DU, would make a very interesting plot for a novel I could write someday. Same goes with TISS. I had no clue about it's existence till late 2nd year of graduation, let alone it's selection procedure but once I got to hear about it from a senior and that it's entrance is pretty tough (which was enough to attract me at that point of time :D), it seemed like the whole universe actually greeted me with a barrage of TISS related information and conversations. Before I knew, I had heard so much about TISS, all good of course, that I was highly motivated to give the first stage of the entrance my best shot.

The first stage happened and I ended up being one of the highest scorers (with 90 you see :D). This was enough to let me dream boldly and actually think that I could get into TISS after all. The best part was, the introduction of a new course that perfectly suited my future goals and present interests. For my honours in graduation i.e. psychology, there was just one course in TISS till last year i.e. Counselling for which I wasn't very keen. This year, so that I didn't have any reservations about joining TISS and not DU, they introduced Clinical Psychology (by the active direction of God, I being His favorite kid you see :D).

The next two stages went satisfactory and what happened in-between is of no consequence now. Well nothing much...I just had terrible result anxiety and ended up having bad mood swings and irritability for no apparent reason, but that's as I said nothing much, is it? They tested our patience by delaying the results but you know the super high scores in my score card managed to do well in appeasing my temporal annoyance *grinning from ear to ear* Fast forward one month and now in June I'm here in Mumbai, in the cyber library of my college, having attended all three days of a superb orientation that made me fall in love with TISS all the more.

Bathed in hope and wrapped in a warm sheath of faith, I look forward to the beginning of a new life. It's in a way a continuation of my previous years in terms of what I have always wished to do and new in terms of leaving me with hardly any choice but to give life my best shot yet. I'm all charged with an energy that borders on frightening me and I can't wait for this energy to be properly channelized once the classes start. Students of other courses have their classes underway already but we people have to wait till Monday. Good Lord how will I pass this weekend!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Presenting God with Oscar Wilde & Others

After Whatsapp took everyone by storm, it's now the age of WeChat, very correctly described as "the new way to connect". WeChat in case if you have just landed from the moon, is a social app that does the amazing job of gathering all of your sharing and communication tools in a single place! And this includes video calls, text messages, and images. Ask me, and the best feature of WeChat I would say is 'group chatting'. 

Now, if I were to have five people with me in a WeChat group with whom I could connect with, and preferably with all of them together, I would have with me *hold your breath*: 
  • Albert Einstein (his wit has fascinated me since always, I dare say as much as his hair and expressions)
  •  Oscar Wilde (I'm currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray and you should know what this book can do to a person. Btw I didn't like the book, rather it fascinated me. There's a difference between the two.)
  • Sheldon Cooper (if you don't know him, you might as well come and shoot me)
  • Jack Sparrow (quite obvious, going by the first three names)
  •  God
As to why I would like to have these five people and not others is quite obvious. Read along and you will know. Before that here's a peek into how exactly WeChat works: here.

Alright in my dream WeChat group, I would have the conversation to start by having Albert Einstein ask a few questions to God, which Oscar Wilde would obviously have the answers to (he has the answers to everything) and which he would answer before God has finished. Oscar Wilde being Oscar Wilde. There would then ensue a debate of the kind that has never been witnessed before (*devillish laugh*) between Wilde and God. 
Meanwhile Jack Sparrow will try to impress me with his witty aphorisms and the still wittier epitaphs he has thought for his corpse. I know this sounds uncharacteristic of him but Jack Sparrow has a penchant for doing the outrageous you see. 
The three of us would heartily enjoy the debates on hedonism, puritanism, morality, art and religion still continuing unabated between Wilde and God. Neither of the two would ask for our validation and so we would be content not adding anything to it. 
Sheldon would, however, and uncharacteristically, talk a lot- not to impress me of course (there's Einstein in the group after all) and not content with what I would already have by then, I would gradually incite Sheldon to join the discussion going on between Wilde and God.
 I would not be disappointed. 
Einstein and Jack Sparrow would have a gala time getting to know each other while trying to win me over (which means I'll have a gala time too) while we witness the world's most interesting discussion between the other three in the group. By and by, all five would get involved and no matter how the debate ends, I'll have the last laugh.

P.S. This post was written for the "WeChat with Anyone, Anywhere!" contest on Indiblogger.

New Girl in the City

"The thing about Mumbai is you go five yards and all of human existence is revealed. It's an incredible cavalcade of life, and I love that."- Julia Sands

People it's Mumbai for me now! I, however, do not claim to have known all of human existence already (just in case you were misled by the way this post starts). Having spent three amazing years in the city of my dreams, Delhi, now finally I'm in the city I had dared not fall in love with during my first visit lest I should encounter a massive heartbreak if I didn't make it through the entrance. For those who know about TISS, I need not say anything about it's selection procedure. For those who don't, suffice it to say that you can never be sure that you will get admission here, even if, as in my case, you are DU topper and were the highest scorer in the first stage. Anyways, this post is about Mumbai and not TISS as the latter will keep featuring in several of my posts in the coming two years. I'm a TISSian in and out already and you will tire of me singing its praises in anything remotely related to it that I write on :D

Sweltering heat and humidity welcomed me here but in less than a week I have tasted it's monsoon- buckets poured on you even before you have got your raincoat out of the bag and put it over yourself. I have had several misconceptions shattered and horrible myths busted about Mumbai in general and Mumbaikars in particular. From having heard that Mumbaikars don't give a shit about each other, I have had umpteen instances of people ever so willing to help that I seldom came across in Delhi. The simplicity in dress largely is something I had totally not anticipated. Yes, there must be sections of milieu I haven't come across till yet but in 4 days of roaming in several parts of Mumbai and interacting with quite a few in the three days of orientation in college, I have had some experience from which I can safely draw my first impressions. I'm in love with the weather and I'm not complaining about the rain. I only don't like it when I'm wet before my raincoat is out due to which I'm carrying an umbrella as well now :D And yes, the breeze! I have got huge windows in my room and the breeze keeps me cool minded amidst my grumbles about how most of those I have met in TISS sofar are not really so much into social service as a true TISSian would be.

I have traveled in local train already and unlike I had expected, it's now my preferred mode of travel when I need to go somewhere outside this area. There is somethingly outstandingly exciting about a train halting for just 20 seconds in which people need to get aboard as well as get out!
My college is just 15-20 minutes' walk away from my flat which means I walk to college. The best part about Mumbai so far is that I can walk home after dinner in college dining hall at 9:30 in the night alone and without fear. Whereas in Delhi this would have been an hour of dread for a woman without a male companion, it's nothing out of the ordinary here. Whereas in-time there was 7:30 or maximum 8 p.m. (and 10 p.m. in the lenient hostels), here one can walk home at 12 in the night without a thumping heart or go for chai with friends at 3 in the night.

Alright I can see that I have been comparing Delhi and Mumbai, which isn't fair as it's been just a week here. There are many things here that I can appreciate without necessarily comparing those to Delhi, say, the street food. I have tasted almost everything that is common in Mumbai and have loved every single bite except for the fact that there is bread in almost every item :D The pav bhaji I had in Juhu Chaupatti was out of the world totally and I am still in awe of how surprisingly inexpensive street food here is. The one necessity of life that is however unfortunately pretty expensive is parlour charges. To get threading done, I have to shell out double what I have so far in life over and above the fact that the beauty parlour right opposite our main campus offers special discount to TISS students! Getting to hear Hindi generously sprinkled with Marathi words in the morning, thanks to our always smiling maid aunty, is another thing that amuses me. The tapori way of speaking (say, humko jane ka hai) always reminds me of Bollywood movies and it feels a little uncomfortable that I can make out absolutely nothing when I hear Marathi.

The beaches are not as enticing for me as would be for most others, as I originally belong to Odisha and have had my flings with beaches. The sea, yes, remains one of the things that inspire the sleeping poet in me and fill me with a sense of awe and amazement and I mean to visit it quite frequently in the winter. The Nariman Point in the night is indeed what it is famed to be and sometime in the near future I'm gonna visit it at night to partake in the feel I couldn't have enough of, this time.

Another good thing for me here is inexpensive public transport. The autowallahs here have already impressed me with their honesty  as every one works according to meter (not to be expected in Delhi) and here I go in comparison mode again, which I guess I can't help. By the way, they call you back to return a rupee if you paid Rs. 20 and the meter shows a rupee less. They rarely refuse to take you to some place though I confess that I had to roam around for 15-20 minutes in rain, in vain, asking autowallahs to take me to my place three days back (turned out that I was in the wrong direction and due to the rain and traffic nobody could perhaps wait to tell me that). I maybe a little biased towards Mumbai, thanks to my first visit here two months back and thanks to TISS, but my instinct tells me this love affair is going to be as good, if not better, as the one I had with Delhi :)