I just finished reading ‘The Lord of the Rings‘. I have posted on this blog rarely because I was really trying hard to finish the novels. It is cumbersome sometimes to concentrate on reading when you have so much of other work going on in your mind. I feel that the fact that our brains can multitask is sometimes a bane for us. For some nights, I used to have the book in front of me, and I knew I was reading it, yet my thoughts were focused on completely different paths. But anyway, the books are done, and so in eleven months of this year I have finished with A Dance With Dragons (the last part of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin), the entire Shiva Trilogy by Amish, A Prisoner Of Birth by Jeffrey Archer, Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie, Deception Point by Dan Brown, and Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy by Tolkien. That is a lot of reading, per se, and it perhaps explains why I have posted almost only half of what I posted last year, but to be fair, I had read only four books last year (the first four parts of A Song of Ice and Fire.) For now, I am done with the genre of fantasy for the time being, and I do not intend to return to it soon.

That being said, December is almost round the corner, and winter is slowing creeping its way up trees onto frosted leaves, spreading its fangs around snowy streets, and making ice flakes out of waterfalls in the misty mornings. I have written really less this year, and looking back, I think the write-up that is closest to my heart would be the most recent ‘Call of the Mountains‘. I had initially thought of naming it ‘And the Mountains Echoed‘, inspired by Hosseini’s poignant novel by the same name, but it seemed too much of a plagiarism more than an inspiration, and so I changed my mind, though I did include the title in a sentence, because it was too dear to let go off. That’s the problem with me; I cannot let go of things easily. But it is okay, I am learning, and this year has been a lot of learning for me. If you’ve followed me this year, you would have noticed I have repeatedly hovered around the idea of dreams in my posts. Though somewhere at the back of my mind I might have done that intentionally, I think it is just that I have been intrigued by them lately, and probably that is the reason I’ve been writing about it. I finished watching the last season of ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ this year, that was the only television show I followed apart from the regular ‘Game of Thrones‘. But then since the latter is slowly deviating from the novel, I am slightly disheartened and am not as excited about it as I used to be. For example, earlier this week they released their poster for next season, yet I had almost expected the exact thing to be. The show was about unexpected twists, but sadly it has failed to offer that of late.

Let me get back for a moment to the ‘Lord of the Rings‘. If any of you out here are yet to read the books, go grab a copy today. Tolkien has created a magnificent world, with extraordinary character development and spell-bounding chapters. At the end, I could only wish that there were yet another instalment of the book that I had yet to read. But then, all good things come to an end, and so with this. But now that I have done a lot of reading, and will probably read only a little more this year, I intend to write a little more in December. I am going on a one-month trip to Suwon, so the next time I post, it would be from Korea. I hope I can take out some time during the weekends to keep this blog updated, for the last thing I want is to kill this blog out of inactivity. I already have the next book on my mind. I am going to start reading ‘To Kill A Mockingbird‘ soon, but not today, not just now. I need some time to absorb Frodo and Bilbo, and Sam and Pippin, and Aragorn and Gandalf, and the Fellowship, and Lothorien and Mount Doom, and Gondor and the Shire, and Saruman and Sauron. I wish there was more about Sauron in the text; I had expected at least half a chapter where he would be in first person or at least in third, so that was a little disappointment, but then, it is a classic book and is a legend, and probably I am not fit, not yet, to critique Tolkien, and would probably never be.

In verses, I have tried to go back to square one, spending time writing more of love tales than fantasy, and the last three poems do exactly that. When I wrote ‘For I Will Walk‘, I was not sure I was doing the correct thing; it felt as if undoing years of trying to overcome an obstacle and finally banging it head on, and not crossing it at all; but in the end it all turned out good. You have liked it, and that is all I care about. In case you’ve missed out on some of my latest posts, I did manage to wrap up with the ‘Return‘ series that I had started last year. It took me more than a year to finish it, owing to several distractions, but somehow I joined the strings at the end.

So much for now. Let’s join over a cup of coffee sometime later, when you and I can wrap ourselves in a quilt and sing a song of dreams and love. Good bye!

Back to Square One

So after a lot of hits and trials and errors, I have finally come up with a decision as to what all corrections to make. The first thing I did was give proper titles to the last few posts, which were otherwise only numbered and gave little meaning to the post. The next thing I did was redo a bit of my OneNote categorizing, by putting things into their correct places. Seems like I am growing a bit more OCD’ish than I was before.

Today I made a resolution to first complete whatever is left unfinished. That leaves me with three posts of ‘Decagon‘, and to complete the short story ‘Return‘. Yes, I am sure you have already forgotten about Return, but don’t worry, I forgot about it too, so it really does not matter. So yes, I need to get done with them. I also have some plans about publicizing this blog a little more than I usually do. I might put up a page, for all you know. I am inspired by Terribly Tiny Tales, and I want to do something on those lines, but not exactly write tiny tales. I will have to figure that out later. For now, let me tell you a bit about my new wishlist. I really want to check out Windows 10, though I currently do not have that many GBs left in my internet quota. I might install it next month. I also had a self-realization lately, that I need to learn a lot more in Java. I was going through a tutorial and it amazed me to see that so many basics are still unknown to me. I will need to sit down with a book, and really see what all have come up in the new compiler versions of JDK, and get myself updated.

Talking about updating, I am waiting for the L upgrade to come on my Sony Xperia Z1. Anyone knows when it will be out? I downloaded a few Google Apps (Inbox and Messenger) which have based themselves on the new Material theme and they really look clean. I am looking forward to it. It will be a nice combination, Android L on my phone and Windows 10 on my laptop. Hope they don’t dismay me.

That’s a lot of talking for now, see you soon with fresh new posts, and even better genres. Have a great day you!

Winter is Coming

I sit outside in the balcony, sipping from my cup of tea. The slight tinge of ginger in it helps me stay awake. I see the sun, red as blood, uncover slowly at the eastern edge of the sky. It isn’t morning yet, but it will be, in a few minutes. I like this time of the day. It’s the time when the birds chirp and yet none fly out as yet, waiting patiently for the first ray to fall on their nests. The wind is chilly, I need a thick shawl, but I don’t want to go inside as yet.

In another hour, I’ll leave for work. Then it will be nine hours of tough grueling on codes written by big professionals out there, but right now my mind doesn’t want to think about that. I smell the air, a tinge of perfume of the girl in the next verandah, potatoes frying in oil, and gulmohur flowers. I imagine how life would have been if I had been a bird, flying at sunrise, returning at sunset. On a second thought, I kind of actually do the same, only I ride inside a bus instead of flying. People come out of their houses once a while, stretch and go back. Some dogs are awake on the streets, but they seem too lazy to bark, and they keep lying down anyways. I hear sounds of bells ringing. The pious lady in the adjacent house strictly observes an early-morning pray-time, and now I smell the incense sticks too. It seems as if the olfactory senses are the only ones alive inside my brain right now, and my fingers continue typing without realizing what I just finished writing.

Even though I try not to think much, my mind is clouded with lots of thoughts, which are really unsorted, and I make a mental note to sort them based on priority once I am ready to begin my day. I bring out another cup of tea, this time making sure I enjoy every sip, but it gets over, just like the one before. Winter is coming. I can feel it in my bones. It reminds me of Game of Thrones, of the Stark family, of the Red Wedding. Then it reminds me of Lady Stoneheart and I smile a silent smile when my devious mind tells me I should let out this spoiler to a friend of mine. But I dig it in, postponing it to a later time. The cycle of thoughts is a wondrous process, moving from one thing to another as swift as a deer, until you forget how the train started. The floor is cold, and I cannot put my feet down. I check my phone once a while, seeing if it’s time; I could as well put an alarm, but find it tiresome to do anything right now. Yesternight was good, we went to a pub. It has been over ten months since I last went to one, and my entire college life kept creeping inside me back and again all the while, until I left for home, my parents and the regular monotonous life that I lead.

And now it’s time to go. I need to take a shower and then get ready for work. So I’ll catch up later. Bye!

Return – Chapter 4

As I walked back, I pondered on how she would feel if she knew of this. She had always been patient when it came to listening to stories about Shaena. She was beautiful. We were beautiful. Irtiqa. When we first met, we had talked for a couple of hours before we exchanged our names, and by then it had been too late for us to back out. How everything went after that, and what it led to, only we knew. Irtiqa, she said, meant progression. She had kept the entire thing afloat, and somehow I had felt it was her who I owed so much in my life. But life is a strange affair, and we were meant to not be. If she were here today, she would probably have walked with me, discussed if it were right, whatever I was doing, and maybe even encourage me a little, boost up my confidence, that pretty smile that changed everything, those instantaneous hugs and pats on the head… it had been a good time together.

I sat in the drawing room, waiting for Shaena to come downstairs. On the opposite wall, there was a poster, which reminded me of a stanza which she had read out to me ages ago.

“For when the sky is dark,
The rains will come,
And when the rains do come,
The dust will wash off,
And when the dust washes off,
New dust will settle,
Until the sky turns dark again.”

It seemed so true and so clearly untrue at the same time. Indeed life was a circle. Not one big one, but many small circles. You kept going round and round unless you found the way out. For me, I still hadn’t discovered the way, and was engulfed in it, round and round and round. I looked up at the ceiling, the fan moving persistently, in slow circles, never tiring. I wondered what would happen if the fan rotated counter clockwise instead of clockwise, and whether it would just break out of the ceiling and fall on my head if I were to close my eyes. I kept my eyes open. Irtiqa kept interrupting my thoughts. I thought of the day when I had finally decided I would ask her out, and then the tumultuous events that led to me deciding for once and all, that it was never meant to be. Once a while I looked up the stairs to see if she was coming down.

After half an hour she did. She looked mesmerizing. It would have been wrong to say she looked just pretty, or gorgeous. She looked different. Different from how she looked yesterday, when we met for the first time in years. Of course, she didn’t realize she was talking to me then. She had drank more than she was capable of. We had talked as if we were strangers, until Saeeka turned up. Things changed, and I instantaneously left that place. But how she talked today didn’t really suggest she had any idea of what happened yesterday. And maybe that was for the good, because it would have been the worst possible reunion I could have imagined if it were to happen that way. But things happen, they just, happen. They are not always under your control. Two years back, when Irtiqa and I first kissed (and it was the last time too), it just happened. We never talked about it again, pretending as if it never happened. Could it be Shaena was pretending too? Whatever it was, I decided to let it be as it was. She came down the stairs. “Let’s go?” she asked. “Yes,” I replied, and we walked out.

On our way, she chattered consistently. It felt nice to listen to her, after such a long time. The wind blew through her hair, so she took it up all in a bun, but then she saw the dismayed face that I had involuntarily and unintentionally made, and she left it open again. It was only after she smiled that I realized my face was crooked. “Have you read A Song of Ice and Fire?” she asked. “Oh yes, it is one of my favorite series,” I replied. It had been fifteen minutes since the last time I spoke, and so I had to grab this opportunity. But she didn’t let me. Instead, she prattled about her friends, college, life, thoughts, plans, wishes, memories and what not. Even so, it felt good. The winter wind on my face, the damp sun after the rain, and the snowy streets, all reminded me of times long gone by. We crossed a pond, where in the summer you would spot lots of fishermen trying to grab their lot of fishes for the day. Now, however, it was covered with a sheet of ice. The trees were white too, as if they had white leaves. The aroma of Christmas floated. It was less than a fortnight away. “I have a friend, her name is Irtiqa,” I said. “Oh, nice name,” she said, before continuing with whatever she was talking about. It was five minutes later that she realized I wanted to tell her something, and then she finally stopped talking. It was my turn.

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Return – Chapter 2

I knocked on the door. I knew what was impending, and even as I knocked again, I felt it would have been a relief if I could just run down the road beside, and keep running until I was tired. But then, I wanted to face what reality had in store for me. It wouldn’t be easy, I knew. In fact, the next few minutes could be the most tough moments of my life, something that I could pass on to my grandchildren in anonymous stories. I waited. A lady shouted from inside, which roughly translated to “I swear this is the thousandth time since morning someone knocked on my door. I will break this door someday.” She opened the door, and for a while she kept looking at me. I realized she wouldn’t know me; when I had last left her, I did not have a stubble. My hair was neatly combed that morning as I left for school. That was four years back. I smiled at her, hoping that would remind her of the past. She did not look a day older. She was the same old woman that I had left a few years ago. Same white sari, same white hair, plump but weak, fat rimmed spectacles, nothing had changed; except time. “Namaste Taaya,” I said, which meant, “Hello, Taaya”. Taaya was what I called her when I was small. I did not know how I came to learnt that name, and why no one asserted a problem to me calling her by that name when she was in fact not my taaya. In relations, taaya refers to an elder aunt. But she was not an aunt of mine, neither did she have any nephews. I was the only person she had, and only had she been the only person I had, nothing would have ever gone wrong. She was my mother.

She looked at me melancholically, kept looking at my eyes for about a minute, and then shut the door on my face. I couldn’t expect anything less or more than that. When I was young, sometimes we used to fight over small trivial matters. Then I used to pretend I was angry and would shut the door of my room and lock myself inside for hours. My mother would cry, thinking I was really angry. I felt sad about that, but I didn’t want to break it to her. If I did, she would never again think I was angry, and things wouldn’t work out. So many incidents flashed into my mind. But then, things changed. Today we played a role reversal. I was crying, and she had shut the door. Only, she literally did it. There was only one person I could now go to. I didn’t know if she would remember me at all, or whether she would give it any thought if I stepped up in front of her, but I owed it to myself, and I owed it to her, to meet her once more, to try to set things right, and to live my life as I should have done before. It was late, but they say it’s better to be late than never. I was praying they said it right. As I walked down the road, an old friend met me. He looked at me strangely, as I stood, stagnated, not moving an inch. He hugged me for a while, and as we walked, he narrated all what had happened in the interim that I was gone. I was gone. I had never thought anyone would put it that way. I was not gone, I was right here. All the while, I was right here. But I couldn’t explain that to him, nor could I talk about it to anyone else around. So I just nodded. He left me after a while, when he saw the way I was headed. “Don’t do it,” he said. “For your sake.”

I strolled on. I had to see if there were a life that I wished for, if there were a destiny that defined me. So I reached her house. And I knocked, hoping she would open and recognize me. I hadn’t been away that long that she’d not recognize me. Unless she did it purposefully… The door opened. She looked at me with her shining eyes. So much of her had changed. Except her eyes. They were still the same. They still said the same story that they said four years ago. And her tears still pained me as it did in my dreams. She had grown thinner, and she looked prettier than I could have ever imagined her to be. “I still love you,” I said. She put a finger on her lips, indicating me to stop talking. And she hugged me. “I’ve missed you,” she said. “I’ve missed you too, Shaena,” I said.

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Does It?

Do you still wake up the same way like you did,
When you were in India?
Does the sun still share its light the same way,
Like it does in India?
Do the trees still shed leaves in autumn like they did,
When they were in India?
Do people still talk about love and hope,
Like they did in India?
Do you still exchange gifts in Id, like you did,
When you were in India?
Do they still look the same, like they did,
When they were in India?
How does it feel different then?
Pray tell me, what is different?
Does not the moon shine bright at night,
Do not the fields grow crops anymore?
Does not the rooster still crow in the morning,
And does not the smoke come out of chimneys?
What has changed then, how are you different?
Does it not pain when your loved ones leave,
Does it not hurt to give birth to a child,
Are you not loved by your neighbors anymore?
What has changed, how is it different?
Do you still get the smell of wet mud,
When it rains in India?
Do you still hear the shouts of Holi,
Do you still see the lights at Diwali,
Do you?
How is it different then, than what it was,
Pray tell me, I don’t understand.
Why do you fight now, when you didn’t fight then,
Why do you, what has changed?

*inspired from the song ‘Husna’ by Piyush Mishra*

The Time Paradigm

So why am I suddenly writing so much? So much more than before? Why have I stopped writing poems? Am I so out of thoughts? Is there nothing else I can write about nowadays, that I have resorted to writing personal details out here, the nitty-gritty ones? Well then soon probably I’ll be sketching out my entire autobiography here if I don’t stop doing this right here, right now. Ah well then, let me stop.

Yes now, let me think a bit too. I should really use my brains. They are meant to be used. Use them. “Use me,” it cries out. So what is this post about? This post is really about nothing. For the first time, I want to write about nothing. In fact, the truth of the matter is, I really don’t want to write this post. I actually want to go out and eat something good from the street. May be a shawarma. I had four of them yesterday. See what I did there? I just told you something about myself that I didn’t intend to. This is exactly what is happening with me. I am so bored I am actually telling people about myself. I used to fashion myself calling me an introvert. That was the trend then. Call yourself an introvert. Do everything, be everything but an introvert, but don’t forget to call yourself so. Yes, then, so I was an introvert. I had plenty of friends, plenty of talking, but to other people I was an introvert. There’s this saying people say, “I’m an introvert until you know me.” Well hello, if I don’t know you, you aren’t an introvert, you are just nothing to me. Nothing isn’t a synonym for introvert, so stop calling yourself so.

It has been three and a half years since I started writing here. I was going back through all of them. There’s a lot that I have indeed written out here, and for someone like me to be writing so much, it really only implies that I had been jobless for quite some time in the past three and a half years. What was I doing for the past three and a half years? I was attending college. Well, that makes complete sense now. But I was also full of thoughts. Full of ideas. Now I can’t write poetry. It has been some time since I have been thinking about my next poem, but I haven’t been able to come up with one so far. It all started when my interest first drifted from the genre of love and tragedy to the genre of happiness and fantasy. Writing tragedy has always been easy, not because of any personal incidents, but they come soon enough. You can write and you can imagine it because you see it all around you. No, my family isn’t sad. They are all happy. Oh, that does prove it right? Since I came home, I haven’t written one sad piece. Hah.

Oh, I forgot completely why I had started this. The time paradigm. So what is the time paradigm? Well I just gave it that name because the words rhyme, but let me tell you what it is really about. It’s about an article I read a while ago, on time. The author of that article seemed to be a brilliant sci-fi guy, and he had this brilliant notion about time. So yes, I am kind of copying this article, and I would like you to present your views on this as well. Because, for one, it is really interesting. So this guy here had the idea that probably time isn’t moving, which is quite the opposite of what we presume. So let me give you an example of what he really means. It is kind of relativity in itself. For example, when we move in a train, it seems we are at rest and the trees are moving backwards right? Similarly assume time to be the scenery around you, and you are moving on a train. You pass the years as you go by, but the years by themselves, and the time by itself, is stagnant. Quite simple. But if we extend this theory, it might well mean that at a later point of time, someone will pass through the same years that we have passed through. Of course, for this we will have to consider the truth in the theories of parallel universes. Of course, there are a lot of other concepts that closely follow this, but this one was particularly interesting. It means that what has happened may happen again, because nothing is infinite. This may also prove why we get the feeling of déjà vu. But then again, all this later part is just what I deduced and what I think, and none of it has been proven or written.

Anyhow, it’s time for me to stop writing again. See you soon, with a verse hopefully. I haven’t written a verse in long. Hope some idea just blinks. Good bye for now.