Writer’s Block!

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Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all. 
― Charles Bukowski, The Last Night of the Earth Poems

 

Writer’s Block strikes only when I open my laptop to write,

For the rest of the time, endless thoughts clutter my mind.

Ideas come by when I don’t want them to arrive,

Nevertheless, they come with all their might.

Irony thy name is life, my friends!

And yes, you have guessed it right,

No sane post today, as I am down with the syndrome for a while.

 

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Happy Janamashtami!

Hey, this is my first time writing a post from mobile. Don’t know why but i am not comfortable typing on mobile for a post. Why today? Coz i have a busy day and don’t have time to open laptop. But still want to share the sweet tidbits of life with you. For, it is a beautiful day (still raining) and Janamashtami too.

It is difficult to miss Krishna spirit in my house. Right from morning, A is super excited for all the rituals he engages in. Thakurji seva, as he says. ‘Panch snan’ for Bal Gopal, new dresses, a swing, prasadam, a surge of devotional feelings and complete surrender to him. Bal Gopal has been with us for five years now. Remember here. It is important to keep reminding ourselves of our true purpose on this planet and not lose ourselves in the mechanics of earning a living.

May we all work relentlessly towards purifying our souls. One day at a time! Love, grace and bliss for one and all.

Wish you all a very happy Janamashtami!

(At my mum’s place)

Moving home and my dream of Jeannie!

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I have been dreaming of Jeannie, every day and every night, since the time I last blogged. I have been secretly wishing for some magical twist of fingers to finish the process of moving home at the brink of an eye. Whatever little time I get in a day to sip my cup of tea, I swing into my dreamworld, thinking how lovely it would be if all my wishes come true by just blinking my eye in a cute little way or whatever way my Jeannie would approve of.

How I wish all the old curtains would hang by themselves perfectly in new door measurements, how I wish all my kitchen appliances would work in tandem with new switches, how I wish my new maid knows exactly what and how to do like my older one, how I wish the 95 cartons would empty themselves into the perfect places meant for them only.  And I wish and wish some more!

But for the record, I have done much more than wishing. I have actually moved my butts to get the work done. Shifting from one place to another is akin to being reborn. New faces, new surroundings, new challenges, new learnings, new people to deal with on an everyday basis. These include those who are very crucial for your comfortable living; your society’s manager, electrician, plumber, maid, milkman, etc. You start from scratch to form a symbiotic (one-sided from their perspective) relationship with these people. All the sense of familiarity evaporates. You long for the comfort of old relationships that had weathered the initial phases of forming a bond. I am not jumping at the thought of making new acquaintances and friends yet. It is helping that I have my old friends here and the place is not entirely new to me. The only sense of sanity I have in my life at the moment. I am dreaming of a day in a spa once the process is over.

Can’t share all the pictures as most of my friends are averse to posting pics online. But here is a precious soul I left behind.

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No religion above love: She was my househelp all these four years who gave us abundant love and care just like her children. I hate to say this but still saying to urge all to live in communal harmony. She was a Muslim by religion, a fact that never bothered us nor her. She cooked for us and managed my house impeccably. Her five beautiful daughters could be a lesson in upbringing for all single mothers, and everyone else. We wish her well, always. I wish I could call her and say, “Ek cup chai bana do please!”
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Every house has a story! (Har ghar kuch kehta hai)!

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It’s time to manoeuvre life’s turn again. To leave behind the known turf, a few known faces and more fewer close friends. It’s time to muster up the courage again to seek unchartered routes and unknown faces. It’s time to move to a different place after four years of calling this house our home. Our home whose journey began with teary eyes (unmet expectations) and is now culminating with tears in eyes (soul-satisfying). What changed in between is a beautiful story to be told.

House Story 1 (Gurugram)

It will be for the third time now that A and I will be moving home. Right after marriage in 2013, I shifted to Gurgaon (now called Gurugram) where A got posted while we were engaged. Since he was staying in Delhi before that, we had to look for a new place. A finalised a beautiful apartment that became our home for the next one year. It was a brand new flat with modern infrastructure and a not-so inhabited neighbourhood. The surroundings had lots of open spaces since the area was still developing. A beautiful terrace extending right through the entrance was a dream come true. A and I spent many beautiful evenings and late nights at the terrace, watching night lights, the never-ending skyline, and the planes that hovered over every then and now. Our landlords became my first friends in a new city.

A city and the house that gave me endless stories to share with you, which I will do so in due course of time. The stories of my first year of marriage, of beginning of my hospitality experiences, of watching shows at Kingdom of Dreams, of A’s friends (let’s call the duo S2) becoming our anchor of support,  of us ending up spending more time at their house than ours, of meeting my PG flatmate and best friend from Chandigarh in Gurgaon (out of nowhere) at a stranger’s house, of meeting a colleague in my office who turned out to be my mother’s best friend’s daughter, etc. All scattered stories interwoven so magically.

 

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I am yet to dig out old pics of our home that explains this cute image

 

House Story 2 (Ghaziabad) 

After an year in Gurgaon, A was transferred to UP western area (Noida) and it was time to move again. This time too, it was A who finalised the flat all by himself without me. It was so because the circumstances were such that A had already joined in Noida while we continued staying in Gurgaon because of my job. He was commuting daily from Gurgaon to Noida and had only late evenings at his disposal to look for a place while I was in Gurgaon serving my notice period.

A finally zeroed in on the flat and we shifted to Indirapuram on May 24, 2014 to be exact. I remember it because it was my birthday the next day. I was taken aback when I saw the flat. It was a huge place with four balconies, nice light fittings and chandeliers. The kitchen was too spacious with so much storage that my stuff seemed less in comparison. But all this didn’t matter to me just because the flat was not a first-hand. I don’t know why but I realised later I have this slight resistance towards staying in second-hand flats. Plus, it was a little old construction. You know those houses with brown, hinged huge doors like in older times.

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Concrete all around. Societies in hordes and flats stacked up like cards.

As it is, the cultural shock of moving from Gurgaon to the state of UP was hard enough to chew on. As we drove from Gurgaon to Noida belt on the day of our shifting, a complete cultural and social transition was evident. Here, all I could see was people and more people. Forget about open spaces and greenery, it was concrete all around. Societies in hordes and flats stacked up like cards. I felt lost. The day somehow passed in moving boxes and arranging the stuff. But by the time it became dark, I couldn’t hold more. Just as A wished me happy birthday as the clock stuck 12 am, tears rolled down my eyes and I said to A, “I did not like the place.” Poor he, he could not fathom what was there to be bothered about in such a spacious, airy and well-built place. He consoled me and offered to look for another space. The day got lost in birthday wishes and surprise party A and S2 had planned for the evening. With swollen eyes, I cut the birthday cake.

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This is a picture of A’s b’day in same house. Old pics are in my old laptop waiting to be dug up.

In the week that ensued, stuff was unpacked and energies diverted in making the place functional. Kitchen utensils and glass crockery up and shining again, paintings and pictures put upon walls, bedsheets spread, pillows covered in bright hued covers, chairs and tables placed to perfection, curtains hanged, a dash of magic here and some sprinkle of charm there, and voila, the house I hated became the home I loved. Everything shined, the lights at nights brought the home alive. The happiness in my heart brought a sense of relief to A. We both hugged each other and said, “Life, bring it on. We are ready.” What ensued next was a four-year-long journey, a roller coaster one, just like you all. At a place I humbly called my home. It was not perfect, but still was ours, until A got transferred again.

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When the house I hated became the home I absolutely adored

This city and home too gave me many stories yet to be shared with you. Of how I felt extremely safe in a city and state (UP) so notoriously called “unsafe”. Of how I learnt to stay alone, my solitude stories, my bond with malls and cafes, of meeting old friends from Chandigarh again, of making a friend for life in my society lift, of my professional freelance experiences, of my marriage gathering more years in its journey, of having the good fortune of excellent landlords once again and more importantly, of a six-month-old child (not mine, please don’t confuse again guys) growing up into a four-year-old boy, of hospitality efforts gone right and wrong, of hosting host of family members and friends, many celebratory birthdays, small gatherings, and much more.

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Hosting family and friends 

Presently, A has joined his new territory. We are still looking for a place to call our home. This time, both of us together. Life has come full circle once again. Last time, we were alone. This time, we have all of you to share our story with. Let’s see what life brings on now. We pray for love and happiness, for us and each one of you. Do you have a home story too?

Monsoon and Rains: When heart gets mushy again!

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When the sky is dark during the day,
When it’s monsoon time and you try to make hay!

When you have ‘chai’ and ‘pakoras’ in your little plate,
When you are stuck indoors and call your mates!

When you stay awake binge-watching Netflix shows,
When there is chit-chat galore and ‘chai’ once more!

When music stirs those young emotions again,
When you feel like your 16-something self again!

When season change brings along a perspective change,
When summers’ heat gives way to soothing gaze!

When you work late at nights and get up at noon,
When life seems more beautiful even with muddy pools!

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(PC: Image from the Internet)

 

Are you there, anyone?

I feel stifled amidst chaos outside
Some soul-liberating moments.

I don’t know if I have readers yet. There are likes and views, but comments are still a far-away fantasy. I need to work harder and smarter to make my writing resonate with you. But irony thy name is life. I am not writing to impress you. I am writing for myself, for my soul, to quench my thirst. This blog is my only pious and sacred space untouched by outer influences. This is me, pure and naked, sans any masks. This is me laying bare my heart and soul, into the unknown, to the strangers and acquaintances, alike. Why?

Because I feel stifled. By the noise around. By so many viewpoints, opinions and judgements that I don’t know what makes sense to me anymore. I am losing myself to the world. A world that has not made much sense to me ever. I feel lost, like I always do, for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I have felt lost at birthday parties. I have felt lost among friends, among foes, among strangers, among family. I have felt lost in crowd, in loud and authoritative tones, in achievements and failures. I have felt lost at my workplace, at relatives’ homes, at big and small gatherings. In short, I have felt lost at every damn place and situation.

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Irony thy name is life: I feel lost in my limited existence but not amidst the vast expanse of sky!

Were there times when it seemed I have found myself? Yes, aplenty. Watching a sunset, the moon, the stars and the beautiful night sky. Walking in a garden among soft, gentle, delicate flowers. In my own company. In silence. Sitting on a terrace watching the vast expanse of life in front of me. Watching a flower bloom, birds chirping in a garden. Reading a good book where characters felt relatable and vulnerable, just like me. Watching a TV show where life was as challenging and rewarding as it is in reality. I have found myself in a warm lovable hug. In the company of hearts that understand me. But Irony thy name is life. In all the situations where I seemed to have found myself, the words always failed. They felt too small to be used. Then why did I choose words to liberate myself? Because that’s the only way I know. Irony thy name is life.

I have never been a great vocalist. I have failed mostly whenever I tried. I am not good with convincing people. I am not authoritative. I will voice my opinion and step back leaving you free to choose your way. I will speak, debate and argue but to a certain point. Afterwards, I will recoil. I will keep myself last in the pedestal. Amidst dissenting voices, I will always take the blame for not being right. I will question my feelings and will always give you the benefit of doubt. I will not try to unearth my inner voice voraciously if I feel the surroundings are hostile. When I am surrounded by too many people who think alike but contrastingly different than me, I will prefer to let them have their way. I will choose peace rather than the burden of explaining myself. I am still learning to stand tall among dissenting voices. Still hurting and learning.

Irony thy name is life. I am writing to share myself with you, adding one more voice to the already prevalent sounds around you. Irony thy name is life. But I am daring to expose my true self. I want to share uninhibited. I don’t want to make it perfect. I want it to be honest. I don’t want to look for the right words to make you understand better. I just want to lay bare. In as simple words as I can. I detest complications. It’s my need but not what you may want.

So listen, if you please, listen! It’s getting rarer, the quality of listening. Irony thy name is life. I don’t want to listen to anyone anymore, but I am asking you to listen. But listen for yourself, and not to listen me. Listen to see if it resonates with you too. Do you feel the same? But why should you? You are not me. But I sometimes do. I feel stifled. Just sometimes, when my soul gets lost amidst the maddening chaos all around.

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Joy knows no bound seeing a flower bloom!