Free writing

Sometimes, I am really glad that this blog is not too popular. I can come here once in a while, and write what I feel like without any worry. No one will really judge me. In the present world, the concept of space is fading. With social media becoming an important part of our live, there is nothing that is really private. Ironically, this blog post is far from private.

I miss my Dad, so much that some days I feel my heart might just burst holding those kind of tears. I have not cried in a very long time, and even if I am in some situation, the tears just show up and never fall. I am on the verge of making an important decision, and today I felt that what if dad was here. He would have guided me and said to go ahead without any fear, and that he will always have my back.

I called up my mom, and she is not too aware about these things. She told me that end of the day, it is my call.

And at that point, I felt this yearn to hear my dad’s voice. After a point when your decisions are not taking you anywhere, your confidence to take decisions continues to reduce. There are days when I have tried to not let this misery consume me. I have been successful and on days like these, I have again hid myself behind my words.

A musical undoing

Music has a way of undoing you. Over time, you are able to put yourself together. You are already grappling with changes and the ones that will take place, and one song is able to tear it all apart. And just when you are at the brink of taking a leap, there you are finding pieces of yourself once again. For some, this is an on-going search and for a lucky few, they are able to do this in no time.

Some days, I really want to shake myself. This behaviour seems too unrealistic and unreasonable. More than to others, you owe yourself some opportunities. And you cannot let some music, which is laced with memories, take them away from you.

It is not necessary that re-establishing ties with a He and She will restore everything to normalcy. You long for that time and not those people. And there are times when you will fancy a conversation with those people, but why give the baton of your peace to someone else?

Thinking these ‘what-if’ probabilities about this He and She might just cost you an opportunity, which could do with some attention. They have crafted their happy beginning and you are yet to begin your story. So where will your loyalty be?

Let the river of nostalgia flow with all its might. It is not necessary for you to wash your hands in it all the time. Create the flow of your story than overflowing in someone else’s memory.

The beginning of the quill

I was an average student. A ‘nobody’ in the farthest corner of the class; with my head sunk into a Harry Potter book or any novel. School was bearable because of two of my closest supports. I did not have too many talents. And at that age, I did not know that it was really okay to be an introvert. All I knew was that I could read. It was an English period that changed something within me. Not a gigantic change, but it was my first step. 
Shobha miss was one of my English teachers at school; and when I think of her, I always remember that one period. That day, miss had asked us to write a poem. This was in the seventh standard. I had never attempted writing. I just looked around. The sight of heads bent into notebooks and pens dancing in the air did not serve as an inspiration. I went into a panic mode because I did not have a story within me whose magic I could bring out in verses. Or that is what I thought. I closed my eyes and just looked into my desk. My copy of ‘The Twins At St.Clare’s’ lay in front of me. I thought that maybe I could write Enid’s story in verse. It was a book that I had enjoyed. I wrote my poem using a typical ‘abab’ rhyme scheme. I particularly chose incidents from the novel that had left me with a smile. Once everyone was done, miss asked me to read my poem out loud. And to my shock, she actually loved my poem! To actually hear someone praise me in relation to academics was surprising. And later that day in the night, I wrote a second poem for Daniel Radcliffe. And after that day, I never put my pen down.
It was a poem written in the seventh grade that began my writing journey; it taught me that I need not be a ‘nobody’ biding my time in some corner of the class or trying to be someone. I could still be myself with genuine words as company, if not people. 
This World Poetry Day, write that poem which is aching to be realised on paper than just languishing within all that hidden potential. May the verses be with you. Always. 

Stumbles

My road is marked a lot more by stumbles than glorious sprints. This too was going to transition into another stumble; the horrible one where the feet get too comfortable with the familiarity of the ground than the mystery of the sky. However, I thought that let me run the course of these six circles. Let me continue waging a war against proportion that tries to restrict me to width and length and radius and diameters. Maybe one day, I will get to know this inner life state, which is waiting to be tapped. Maybe one day I will understand that my victory cannot be measured on someone else’s yardstick.

image

A letter to someone not-s0-valuable but deemed to be important

Sender’s name 
[Disha Khemchandani]
Apartment name and number 
[Like hell]
Street name
[I am]
Area code
[Going to say so that it finds me once again]

Recipient’s name 
[Nostalgia]
Apartment name and number
[It]
Street name
[is]
Area code
[Omnipresent]

Subject: Declaration of hate

Nostalgia, 
Hope you are not doing well.
I hate you. I cannot imagine that I would have to say this, but yes I do. Since the time I have understood what it is like to feel you, and to have you lead me towards all those walks down the memory lane; I have just been on a downward spiral. You are the anchor that ties me down to every memory that drills a hole in my heart. 
No, I don’t want you to recreate that coffee shop scene when I cracked a ‘joke’ and He no. 1 sat with a still face, while I sip on my Frappucino now in 2016. No I don’t want to remember that hospital where dad breathed his last, while an ambulance goes past by me in 2013. No I don’t want to think about the simplicity of the 90s with you twirling to the tune of ‘Ho gayi hai mohabbat tumse’, while I am trying to make sense of my professional life in 2016. No I don’t want to think about the perfection and organisational skills of He no. 2 while He no. 3 struggles to arrange the perfect date. I am just happy that He no.3 is the only person, who accepts me and I don’t want you to ruin something that is shaping up well. No, I also don’t want you to creep into my typos and give me the impression that the misspelled name is the right one for me. 
Nostalgia, you are a witch. You will find your way from the deepest of the holes and chant the choicest of the curses to again put me off-track. Like you always do. 
Nostalgia, you are a message in a bottle, which nobody wants to find on an ‘off’ day by the beach, while he or she hopes for a better tomorrow. 
Nostalgia, you are a letter, which I will never post. But I will make a boat, and sail it, hoping that the universe listens to me. I would want it to put some reins on your horses. And in the next world, it should place you on one of those planets that are never discovered and only theorised in books. 
Yours. Never, 
D

Running with Questions

Let me just say it out loud to myself.

I have no idea where I am headed or what I am meant to do.

I sketch. Write. That is all what I know.

Sometimes, it just helps to say it. You keep repeating it to yourself in your mind. And your mind just goes on playing a film of all the bad luck your cluelessness is bringing to you. And all you can do is drown with this thought haunting you day in and day out.

But when you write it or say it with all the firmness, it might just feel as if you are ready to tackle this storm.

To tell you a little about me, I suffer from anxiety. Panic attacks for me sometimes become something like a tussle between life and death. It is that real for me. And I lost my father six years ago when I was nineteen years old.

Since that day, I did everything that came my way. I did not sit and plan out or charted out a career path. It was all about finding peace and if that also meant, getting a job in his office, I was quite alright with that too. In fact at that point of time, that goal was driving me. It helped me not lose my sanity. But I had not realised that I was just digging a hole for myself.

At that point the decision to escape in multiple internships than deal with the trauma of losing him suddenly seemed like an easy choice to make.

And then my years just passed with multiple internships to my credit, juggling it all with my studies etc. At 22 or 23, big words like ‘career’ don’t make a hasty appearance.

This word will take its time to come till your doorsteps. It brings with itself a batallion of questions. These are weapons of different intensities meant to poke you at all the right places. The injuries might make you want to sit down and not get up or maybe rise after a long period of sitting down. In my case, maybe it is the second scenario.

The thing is my anxiety also started sucking my power to think. It created a comfort zone for me, which was made of tears, fright, panic attacks etc…It actually seemed like a soft cushion when doubt struck. And now when my counsellor asks me to think about my life ahead or what I want to do, I can only envision a blank space. Maybe because all this while I have gone with the flow. Maybe I have never known what it is to sit and have that talk with your parent.

When I thought of writing this piece, I had imagined that I will be rummaging through all the doubts within me and find an answer beneath that pile. But yet again, I wrote the question while the answer is still somewhere waiting to be found; hoping that I don’t fall in the trap of running with questions than embracing answers.

Gumption

2015 taught me survival. If I had a pair of wings, I found them in 2015. With every heartbreak, loss, missed opportunities, I started losing sight of these wings and maybe, even the gumption. This year, I experienced fear in its entirety. I understood what it was to flirt with danger and then the eventual retreat into the comfort zone of anxiety. I tried to find company who could anchor me with conversations, but just realised that I was digging the hole deeper.

I was inviting an unwanted element who was as broken as I and maybe had the right intentions but was just over imposing wishes on me. The fall would have hurt more because it was a descent without having any accomplishment to my name. He had seemed like the ‘perfect’ guy. 27. In the armed forces. Well-read. However, his over-bearing nature proved to be a warning to the person who could be. Doing things for me without my consent and trying to be a ‘wonderful friend’ but freaking me out nonetheless.

It was in 2015 that I understood what was coming to terms with. I had lost my father six years ago. The trauma of which continued to haunt me all these years. Me being me, I resorted to escapism, which got me on the thresholds of anxiety. Losing my dad to a cardiac arrest while I was alone at home with him affected me, but this year I was finally able to accept it. With acceptance, the hurtful essence around a memory floats into oblivion. What remains is the memory, but with also a coating of a happy moment with that person.

This year I learnt what it was to be in the dumps when it comes to mental health. It was this year I realised that just like your physical health, even mental health needs its fair share of attention. How lightly we take our mental health; Not realising the havoc that will spread in our life if our mind is not functioning properly. Suffering from anxiety accelerated my journey towards falling into the cliff of depression, but sometimes, all you need is an anchor.  It can be a person or memories, and in my case, sketching. It became as important as breathing.

Often we identify our anchors and sometimes, we miss out the ones or the one, who always stands by our side no matter what. You will tell that person how bad you are and how he deserves someone better and all he will say is that you are his strongest emotional support. You will find him to be your ‘Lumos’ and you will be his ‘Expecto Patronum.’

This year I finally saw what any place outside my comfort zone looks like. The walk towards getting there is not easy but once you are there, you will never want to look back into that zone. It limited you and probably even kept your wings in the closet. Through my novel, I met the free person I yearn to be. Maybe I might never meet this goal, but I am happy that I got to meet her in these pages. No matter how many negative adjectives I use to describe my novel, it does not really take away the fact that I met an extension of me.

I understood what it was to let go. Let go memories and even friends. Maybe they are just characters in your story and not friends, if you have to let go of them. For the real ones will stick to you. It is a myth that you are a good person if you keep all your relations together. In doing this, you will forget the one you have with yourself. And that is the most important one. So you are a better person if you work on the relation with yourself. The rest eventually falls into place.

This year, I found peace in my own company. I felt that satisfaction, which was long gone. I felt the gumption flow in my veins all over again. I realised what a Phoenix would feel after it rose from its ashes. I am no Fawkes. But this year I have understood the significance around a New Year. Irrespective of any loss or any hardship, losing gumption is the biggest loss ever. But there is no feeling like finding it and starting afresh, one moment at a time.