Cluttered Thoughts

That was the last time we met. I knew, but I did not tell her that we wouldn’t meet again. It would not serve the purpose. I did not want to break her heart, but more than that, I did not want to break mine. It is always nice to have a little more anticipation deep down somewhere in your heart, dream a little more than you know you will get, wish for an extra star, live for an extra day, think about her a little more, hug her thinking there will always be a next time. But deep down, I knew, this was it. She had been a good friend, but sometimes, even the best of friends change, much like the weather. For when the clouds cover the sun, the sun does not stop shining, but it still feels helpless at not being able to meet the sunflower, and the sunflower stupid as she is, thinks the sun’s gone, and the sun, stupid as he is, keeps waiting for the clouds to remove themselves, and both in turn, become upset.

The first time I had met her, things were different. I was only trying to be a nice person, trying to fill in a void. Now that I think of it, that void was never there. It was a creation of my thoughts, and an aggregation of mixed emotions, but all of them, in reality, were made up. And I knew that. I simply refused to acknowledge the fact that I knew that. I was much like an ant, trying to fill in the void of an elephant. And though that may sound much kiddish, in actuality, it was really the same that I was doing. I later realized, that there were two distinct worlds going on in here, and that we both were weaving our dreams together, but in different worlds. And that even if we were to weave the web completely, (if that were to ever happen, which it never really happened), we would not be at the center of one web, but each of us would be at the center of two different webs which were made of two entirely different things. We were two spiders, but our needs were different. One of us needed protection, weaving a web that was small, but very strong. One of us needed food, and the web was sticky, but frail. And the funny thing was, we both thought we were one of these, but in fact, we were really the opposite of who we thought we were.

When you are climbing uphill, all you wish is to reach the zenith. It will just be an easy roll-down from there you know, and you desperately wish to just finish the climb. Yet when you start rolling downhill, you realize that this wasn’t really what you imagined it would be like. It is nauseating, you feel like puking, and you wish mayhaps a level ground would be welcoming for a change. But the level ground never comes. It is either uphill or downhill. Life is made up of such ups and downs. It is never smooth, never like the one we dream it to be. I once read an anecdote about wishes. When you are confused between two choices, flip a coin; when it is midway in the air, see whether you are really praying for heads, or tails. And you will know what you really want. Who you really want. What matters to you. What doesn’t. What you really need. Maybe I really wished for her. Maybe I really wished for us. Maybe not. Time for me to flip a coin, will tell you what I really wished for, when it is midway.

Five

I want to talk a bit on the idea that some of us like to follow. “Live in the present”.

Although it sounds very appealing, I want each one of us to really think how much this matters and how much or how less this would affect our lives. The effect of living in the present is huge. We are always happy in the moment. We love today, and we know we will love what tomorrow has in store for us. But personally, though I love today, and I might love tomorrow, I really hate yesterday.

Think about it, if we were to live in the present, we cannot control our past, nor our future. Great quotes have been made which say, “Do not think of the future or the past because you cannot control them, so live in the present.” But now when I see back at all those years, I see so many mistakes that I have committed, that I was well aware even at that time, but disregarded their importance because I was too busy living in the present. Sometimes, I just sit, and introspect. What if I had done this instead of that? Would I be happier today? The answer is almost always “Yes!” Almost all through my school and college, I used to put this extra focus on friendship. My early posts bear testimony to this. Friendship and love were the two things that I considered the most important. Then slowly I realized that love is not really that important, you can make-do without it. This one time my blog put my friendship with an entire group in jeopardy. Now that I think about them, everything seems so trivial, so stupid; we seem so immature it is hard to believe we have come this far.

Back to where I was, introspection. I am one person who believes in the power of it. “Five” represents my very motive to write about introspection. Give yourself five minutes of your day, but give those five minutes entirely to yourself. We are so busy with the affairs of the world that we sometimes forget that we should take care of ourselves. Wake up in the morning, watch the news, Air Asia flight missing, rapes all around, people dying of the winter, new parliaments, red alerts. Go upstairs and your computer is waiting for you with a hundred mails that huddled up last night. Bring a cup of coffee, but you’ll forget to sip until it gets cold. You read a Whatsapp message, write down the reply, forget to press the Send button. Story of our lives. And so, sometime in the day, just sit back, close your eyes, feel the darkness, plan out your evening, plan out your night, smile that the weekend is almost around the corner, and be happy again. Those five minutes will be the best ones of your day.

I am more than half-way into Decagon now. In another four posts, I will have to close this chapter. This has been the most personal and treasured set of write-ups that I have shared. And yet, I yearn for more. I yearn for your response. I wish, some day, you come and read this again. And then you will remember about today, and how much your life has changed between the two times you read this. Change is lovely, and change is inevitable. So embrace it, let the new year bring a fresh wind in its winter, wrap you in furs, prepare you to battle against all odds, and make you a stronger and happier person in the days to come. Happy reading!

Four | Six

Return – Chapter 1

As I sat there, watching the black of the sky fade into deep maroon, the sun rising between the clouds, more crimson than ever, and watched it light the sky into an orange, the chirps of the sparrows, and the caws of the crows who had left their nests already, the alarm in my watch buzzed. It was five in the morning, the iron bench on which I sat still cold, drops of dew settled on it, and on my coat, and the sun slowly started hiding behind the clouds, turning the sky into a black, and in a few minutes, the drizzle came upon me. The grass looked greener than ever, as if it rejuvenated in the morning mist and rain, the dogs running back into their shelters where they slept, and the road in front of me, empty. Only after the drizzle had stopped did I see old couples back on the road, some walking, and in some, one pushing the other around on a wheelchair. A guy in a raincoat rode a bicycle, had roses to sell, and newspapers too, but the papers were all wet already, and he didn’t have anything to protect them from the rain. He reminded me of a time long before, when I used to see someone else exactly this way, only the face was different, rest everything same. Or was the face same too? I didn’t remember. It was six o’ clock then, when I rose from the bench, and smiled at the guy who had been sitting beside me for the past two hours, never making an introduction, never saying a word. It was better that way, no one liked to talk early in the morning, he was out for some reason, I for some other, or may be the same, who knew. I had to return, I decided.

It couldn’t go on forever like this. I had tried long and hard for four years to stay away from her, and had thought that maybe we both would forget each other, get on with our lives, move ahead, never looking back at the path we had left. And yet, God works in mysterious ways. Sometimes, you run so hard away from destiny that you don’t realize you’ve taken a full circle back to where you started. Maybe in a parallel universe we might have never met, and had been much happier than right now, but then, I needed to live in the present. I needed to be happy. Spring was around the corner, small green leaves on each tree, wet with the morning fog. I liked the winter rain. It made the surrounding slightly colder, and nothing could be better than going back inside, cuddle a quilt around, sip a cup of coffee, and get engrossed in a novel. However, right now, that didn’t seem the best option. In fact, going back didn’t seem a viable option at all. Going back now would mean getting back to square one. When one has read a story one didn’t like a bit, he is less likely to want to read it all over again. I was somehow the reader of this very bad book, and it seemed that someone had just thrown the book on my face again, only with a new cover, or maybe not even so much a new cover than a reprinted one. Yet if I had to read it, it were better I got started and get done with it already, rather than procrastinate it so much that it would seem to have gained more importance in my life than it should have.

I plied a bus and took a seat near the window. A few stops later, a man got up and took the seat beside me. He was roughly middle-aged, and smiled at me congenially, which was perhaps the first good thing that happened to me in the day. I was too flagged to make a good conversation with him, so I decided to let him speak if he wanted to, assuming he would get tired after a while and try to lessen the small-talk. But when he stopped, I felt miserable. It was nicer when he was talking, and so I started talking to him. He was a father of two kids, he said, had been living here for the past three years and found this city extremely affable. I laughed at my destiny. Here I was, listening to a person telling me how pleasant this place was, when it had succeeded in giving me nothing but nervousness of what was impending. A few stops later, he got up, we shook hands, and he left. A beggar got up in the bus, pleaded for some money, and I gave him some. I had always been lenient towards them, perhaps it was because of the way I was brought up, or maybe just because I had a soft corner for everything, or maybe, I really didn’t know what spurred me to spare something for them every time they asked for something. Perhaps deep inside, I wished that if ever I had asked someone for something, may be they would also give it to me, just as much as I wanted it, nothing more, nothing less. But life, strange as it is, hardly works in the ways you would have wanted it to. When I got down from the bus, the place was completely new. It wasn’t how I had remembered it, and not really how I would have wanted it to be. My memories raked up the old place, and superimposed it on the current. The entire scenery looked misplaced now. I realized that time indeed does change things. It might not have been weird to see it grow into what it was today, had I been through it entirely. But right now it felt as I had time-travelled into the future, and that somehow twenty years had passed since I had last seen it. There was no smoke from the chimney of the tavern, instead air-conditioning machines placed on the roof. The trees used to bear orange leaves perennially, yet now they were all green. Something was different about this place.

Perhaps it was time to embrace the change. Perhaps it would be better for me to go back to the point where I started again. Maybe this was the way it was all supposed to be. If so, then life was giving me a second chance. If not, it would be the most terrible mistake that I would ever commit in my life. I only hoped that this time the journey would not end so soon, like it did before. My mind was firm, and strong as ever, but my heart wasn’t ready to accept this fate. But when it saw the spring, and how the trees bore new leaves again, it sometimes found solace in nature. It realized that this is how life was supposed to have been in the first place. Make, break, make, break. It was an endless cycle, and how much ever you wanted to get out of it, at the end, it was inevitable to get sucked into it. Because that was the difference between God and us. We could not control everything. Because if we could, then we would have been as powerful as Him, as stoic as ever, never wandering from our path, and never being forced to choose anything. But now that I had made my choice, I would live by it, and live it good. Or so I wished. I would soon set things right, but before that I had one last thing to do.

Next

Rotations and New Leadership

Claim: In any field—business, politics, education, government—those in power should step down after five years.
Reason: The surest path to success for any enterprise is revitalization through new leadership.


“If it ain’t wrong, don’t fix it.”

Being a strong believer of this fact, I do not think that people in power should step down occasionally. Honestly, it makes no sense. Let us take Samsung for an example. Over history, there have been only two heads of Samsung; and we all know what that resulted in. This is the most brilliant examples that defies the above presented motion. On the other hand, those in power should remain in power, taking help from newbies and tyros, to revitalize their perspective and to be at par with the problems of the newer generation.

‘The surest path to success for any enterprise is revitalization through new innovations.’ This modification of the latter sentence makes the claim somewhat acceptable. Leadership does not need to change; we are all led by some principles, some values and some goals; not by some people. In fact, nowadays, even the leaders accept this fact, that they do not lead the enterprise, but only represent it in the global industrial perspective. Be it the field of business, politics, education or government, as long as the system is fault-free, we should not try to experiment with it.

On the other hand, changing hands in power is actually harmful. For example, whenever leaders plan out their rule, they have a set of short-term plans and another set of long-term plans. Often these long-term plans extend for more than five years. In such cases, it is often frequent to see a lot of short-term plans being implemented in order to lay the base for a long-term plan, however, the long-term plan is never spurred into action because of the very fact that by the time it is time to implement the plan, the rule is already changing hands.

If we take up any field, a constant leadership often helps us build a trust in the leader, and consequently in the field. A parent would more often than not want to send his child to a school that has a good reputation, and more importantly, a good Principal who is heading it. This reputation comes after years of service, and after one has proven his or her mettle in the respective field. It does not build overnight. Imagine the head of a school changing after every five years. A student in his school life will hence witness three Principals, which really does not make sense, if the school was running fine in the first place. Same is the case with business. A company might not want to risk failures if it is really prospering and earning a lot of profit under a particular leader.

Revitalizing any enterprise with an array of new concepts, ideas and innovations is very important for anything to succeed. However, in my opinion, making those in power step down after five years is not really an optimal solution to this problem, rather, I would go to the extent of saying that it is not a solution at all, for as long as things don’t go wrong, or become problematic, it is really a waste of time trying to fix it or alter it without any rhyme or reason.

If Only

If only I could tell you,
How fairies are real,
How faces can change,
How moons can die,
How love can wither,
How cold the summer is,
How my thoughts are frozen,
How I still love you,
How beautiful you are,
How journeys never end,
How smiles get killed,
How you really didn’t care,
How I wished you did,
How I now don’t care,
How roses blossom,
How the sun never sets,
How warm ice is,
How happy I am,
If only I could tell you.

If only I could tell you,
Why I loved you,
Why night turns to day,
Why so many cry,
Why love doesn’t hurt,
Why I never stopped,
Why that day had come,
Why I still think of it,
Why boys like girls,
Why dogs love men,
Why toys always break,
Why nothing is real,
Why dreams don’t materialize,
Why beggars are kicked,
Why names fade out,
Why sands seeps between fingers,
Why lies are good,
Why bruises don’t hurt,
If only I could tell you.

Stranded – 2

Read the first part in Stranded – 1.

She looked at him, he was still drinking,
He hadn’t said a word in the past three hours,
Wondered how terse he had become,
And wondered whether he even loved her anymore.
The blood on his face had dried to black,
A stream of it from his forehead to chin,
She remembers how that had splashed on his face,
And the axe that he used to kill him.

The boy who was waiting on him came up later,
And told them they needed to pay for the ale,
She explained how their money had been stolen,
How they had been robbed of everything as they came.
He went back to his mistress, explained everything,
The wench was ruthless, she didn’t care,
Came up and slapped her on both her cheeks,
That was the last time the wench ever breathed.

As night fell upon them, they decided to sleep,
Shared the hay that the horse in the stable slept on,
She talked to him about love and hopes,
About the children that she planned to have,
The things she had ruminated on while he drank,
He listened intently, or so he pretended,
Until a point when he dozed off,
Leaving her to herself, still talking intently.

When the sun next rose, the girl woke up,
And as she rubbed her eyes and faced his side,
Lo, her love was nowhere to be seen,
Nor was the horse, the stable gates open.
She leaped up and started running,
Never missing the footsteps the horse left behind,
But after some hours she realized her folly,
Sat down where she stood, and wept out loud.

She learned that day what love was about,
How it seldom stood against the face of adversity,
How people changed, and did not realize,
And how love like all things eventually came to an end.
Her love knew no bounds, then why was she,
Alone today, in despair and turmoil?
Stranded she sat, amidst the sand,
Which would bury her into itself, come tonight.

For Those Who Care

I will smile, and be happy again,
Blossom like the flower of spring,
And cuddle myself against the warmth of sunlight,
And hide under a bird’s wing.
I will tell you what I think is wrong,
Why birds should go to school,
Why men should fly, why elephants should smile,
When the gods should rule.
None of it is what you think I am,
I am but a lonely wretched affair,
But I’ll change myself, change for the good,
Change for those who care.