No title

For all thoughts illegal or controversial, I mark them as ‘chemical locha’. Something that’s a mind-game, mind trying to play it’s dirty tricks. I refuse to acknowledge it as a dream or a wish or heart’s yearning.

Why? I am scared that if I tagged it any different, it’ll become real. Too real. Too close home for comfort.

And that’s how I decide which dream to pursue and which is a chemical locha. If it’s a complication in your current life plan, let’s mark it as mind’s shenanigan and move on.

And that’s how I’ve officially become an adult.

Of emptiness

Dear Diary,

The day has been full of articles of how the society imprisons a woman.

Whatever Happened to ______ ?

https://www.vulture.com/2019/10/the-scariest-horror-movie-of-all-time-is-revolutionary-road.html

And a post by Saloni Chopra on self-worth. Hits hard. Hits home.

You know, most of these posts/articles/movies try to paint a picture of a woman who’s imprisoned – by in-laws, or by responsibilities, or by being financially dependent on the husband, or by the kids. She’s usually a home-maker with dreams of making it big. Of doing something for herself. Carve her identity but isn’t because of the circumstances.

I am not in any of the scenarios above and I can still relate. I too crave, at times, for freedom. For doing something big. Making some completely alternate life-decisions and escaping from all that binds me. I think it’s usually out of boredom with the routine, than anything else.

But, I wonder. Do I feel this way because I am a woman? I don’t think so.

What I feel is not related to gender. It is related to all that the world puts you in. The bindings. Marriage, Parenting, Job, Home. All the stuff that forces you to live with your current reality. This is all you craved for. This is all your dreamed about and worked hard to achieve. And, now when you have it, you feel stifled.

There’s an emptiness at the end of it all.

Would I be wrong if I say most of the world’s population is in the same bracket?

Perhaps. Not everyone feels content once they have achieved it. But, not everyone feels empty with what they have.

I think its not about what we achieved. Its about constantly dreaming. We are seasoned to dream and achieve. We enjoy the hard-work and the sense of elation. And, this feeling, this habit, is not gender-biased. Anyone can be in that state. A man or a woman.

A lot of families suffer because one person feels this way about the whole arrangement and wants to change.

What do you do if you find yourself in such a predicament? When everything that you should be grateful for, starts to feel like a burden? What do you do?

Things I have tried:

  1. Try to be grateful – Doesn’t help.
  2. Try to look at people who don’t have it – Doesn’t help.
  3. Wait for the phase to go away – Doesn’t help.

Things I think can help –

  1. Screw it further.
  2. Do something that’s not for yourself – This is something I want to give a shot at. But, I am not sure.

Dear Diary, do share if you have some thoughts on this!

Of the power of Google

Dear Diary,

I know they say internet can answer anything under the sun, in today’s times. They also tell you to beware of what it may generalize and respond to you. So practice caution when heeding to advices received via internet.

But, I’m amazed! It’s amazing how Google gives you accurate answers to most psychological questions too! I’ve tried the solution once more before – when I was searching on how to learn patience. It worked. It sure did.

This time, I searched for – how to get rid of a thought that won’t go away. And I found this gem of an article that I would like to keep. As a gentle reminder.

https://psychcentral.com/blog/9-ways-to-let-go-of-stuck-thoughts/

Of faith

Dear Diary,

When you read books like ‘Sapiens’ or ‘The Handmaid’s tale’, you realize how humans have tried to sell a myth larger than life to mankind, since ages. It helps those select few people attain a common goal perhaps. And they believe, truly believe, that it’s for a greater good of the mankind too. Whether they are right or not, is debatable.

These books inevitably bring the question to your mind – is God a myth too? Created for the greater good. With all the years of scientific education and brutal life experiences behind you, it’s a possibility you’re more than ok accepting.

I thought I could too. To believe that my life is not governed by any external factor or no higher power is controlling it. More than control, I think the idea of ‘no answerability’ is what you enjoy.

But the moment I thought of trying this, I realized no God also means no more prayers during moments of crisis. I’m not the kind to go to temples or start doing poojas as I find myself in a fix. But I do use my faith to give me power during my times of weakness.

To let go of the idea of God means to let go of the faith. To accept that you’re alone in dealing with all the shit flying around you.

The thought was enough for me to reel back on the experiment. I don’t know if a higher power can do miracles or not but it helps me hold on to the idea of ‘This too shall pass’. It gives me strength to hold on in tough times. For that moment when I’m weak, it tells me, you may not be able to but I’ll help you get through.

False sense of security? All in my mind? Sure, call it what you may but it works. And it’s a stick I need.

Does this make me weak? Does this mean, faith is for the weak-hearted? It may sound like that.

But I think faith also opens my mind to possibilities. To options, to accept what your mind cannot explain right now. That it can exist.

And to believe in magic and miracles too!

PS: In this dark world, where everything around you tries to tell you what’s wrong (with you/with the world), I think all of us could use the belief in magic and miracles. Isn’t it?

-Hope

Of a friend

Have you ever had a friend who was a best friend for you? A confidante, a lighthouse in those times of darkness and hopelessness.. a safe heaven, a no-judgements unconditional friend. No romance, pure friendship.

And the friend is no longer in your life?

I once had one. And I let him go. I miss him dearly. Often.

There are times when I want to connect back with him. These are mostly the times when I miss the safe place to go and hide. Or mostly cry my heart out. I remember I once went to his house and cried. He couldn’t fix anything but, giving me that moment to let it out, he did that.

It’s strange. I don’t cry in front of people. I hate showing my weak side. I hide (or mostly try to) my tears even from my husband or my parents, people you’re supposedly closest to. But I felt okay to cry in front of him.

It’s so strange that I’ve made so many friends after him, some are close too, but no one is what he was. I had a girl who became my friend, around same time as him. Good friend. Still a friend. But I cannot talk everything with her. No where near.

It’s strange that I miss him so much and yet I do not connect back with him. He’s just a phone call away. I have his number.

Actually, I am scared. I don’t want to spoil this memory of my safe heaven. I don’t want to find the reality. I don’t want to find that things have changed. That I have changed or he has changed.

I need that memory to remind me of the good times to get through the dark ones. A false hope that if things got worst, he would still be there and have my back.

-Hope

Of the year 34

#Old Post. Long overdue. Dated 25 November’2019.

Dear Diary,

It’s my birthday today. I turn 35. From a naive girl of 25, to a boss-lady at 35, life has come a long way. I’m not all wise and made-it-large yet. But I feel far more confident and happy in the place I’m at. I definitely don’t cry as much as I used to. I laugh hard, I love often, I live large. I know what I want. And I know I won’t get anything on a platter so happy to work my way to it.

Found some great people on my journey so far. Treasure the people, the moments I spent with them. Whether they are with me today or not, I remember how they made me feel special. How they cared. How they loved me in their own special way. I’m glad to have been loved so much.

I remember the milestones. The reservations. The mind-numbing hours of uncertainty and the shattering moments of failure. The effort it took to get back up and start all over. Each time I got back up was a moment I remember as an achievement. Not the failure, as much. Each time I fought back to what the world pushed me to accept as fate, I remember as an achievement.

And hence, I realize how my life has been a life of choices.

I saw a Korean drama – The Goblin’s bride. It has this conversation between the Goblin and the God. The Goblin says “Why did you make my life so hard?” And God says,”Why do you think ‘I’ made it hard!? Why do you think ‘I’ made the decision? I just threw a choice at you, a question at you. ‘You chose.’ ”

The statement had a great impact on me. It stuck with me.

The year has been a very personal, very positive journey for me.

From moving my boss at work, to facing big health challenges, to realizing I’m addicted to kdrama and … <let’s keep the space blank, not ready to accept it yet>.  There were dark spaces. Months when it didn’t seem like it was the right decision. If this is the path I should stick with. Not sure if the doctor I chose is right, or the Manager is right, or the Life is right. From questioning everything to realizing that it’s not about the right or wrong choice. It’s what you follow it with. We have chosen the path. Let’s stick to it and make it work. Now, no matter what roadblocks you face, or problems come, you deal with them. The choice has been made. Now, let’s make it work. Realize your follies and make sure not to make the same mistake twice.

-Hope

Of friends with benefits

Dear Diary,

I’m in a troubled state of mind. I met a girl friend yesterday after a long time. I’ve known her since my early career days. Seen each other through bachelorhood to marriage to her-now divorced-mother, single-and-free stage.

But, meeting her, talking about all things freely, about your own darkest problems, (read sex-lives) was…relieving and ..unsettling.

Sex is a majorly taboo subject still. At least in ‘my’ world (read, totally my personal universe). So, to talk about it openly, even to my closest girl-friends, is hard. There’s a huge mental-barrier – what if she finds this gross to talk about, or furthermore, what if hers is better than mine, will she judge me on how naive I am? Will she judge my marriage?! Aah!

And yet, the subject had been on my mind for so long that I almost felt constipated!

So, there I was. Sitting on her sofa, sipping chai, and on her slightest mention about the subject, I ..relieved myself, almost like Sheldon Cooper.

Now, I am not going into the details of the discussion. I am relieved already! Ha! This is more about the aftermath of the discussion. How anatomical the topic became, how easy it was to just talk, and actually get some things confirmed and some myths busted. The experience was orgasmic, if I may say so.

But, after it all, my current state of mind is – sinful. I feel like I opened a Pandora’s box from where all thoughts sinful have entered my mind. I feel like I have now no way of returning to path of salvation and doomed to hell. No saatvic life and moksha happening in this lifetime.

Is it that my mind associates the subject with sin, that I feel this? Or, is it just a temporary phase because of the innumerous thoughts currently consuming me!

Don’t know!

Ishq mujhko nahi wehshat hi sahi – Ghalib

Ishq Mujhko Nahin – Mirza Ghalib Poem With English Translation

ishq mujhko nahin, wehshat hi sahi
meri wehshat, teri shohrat hi sahi

there is no love between us and your feelings towards me are not love
let it be madness then and let my madness be the cause of your fame.

qata`a keeje na ta`alluq ham se
kuch nahin hai to `adaavat hi sahi

Don’t break of the relationship/ties between you and me.
Even if nothing remain between us, then let the enmity remain.

mere hone mein hai kya ruswaaee?
‘ei woh majlis nahin khalwat hi sahi

What is this displeasure that you are showing in my presence?
If you don’t like it here (in the public place), then meet me alone someplace isolated

ham bhi dushman to nahee hain apne
ghair ko tujh se mohabbat hi sahi

I am also not enemy of my own self.
So what if a total stranger is in love with you.

apni hastee hee se ho, jo kuch ho!
aagahee gar nahin ghaflat hi sahi

whatever you are, it is because of your being/self.
If one is not aware of this eternal truth, then let there be ignorance.

‘umr harchand ke hai barq-e-khiraam
dil ke khoon karne ki fursat hi sahi

Life is passing by (moving forward) every moment like a lightning flash.
Despite this, there is lot of time to engage in the rigors of love.

ham koi tarq-e-wafa karte hain
na sahi ishq, museebat hi sahi

I am not the one who has given up on this relationship of ours.
I still believe in it. If not love, then it be another torment/trouble.

kuchch to de ‘ei falak-e-na_insaaf
aah-o-fariyaad ki rukhasat hi sahi

Give me at least something, O you unjust One (referring to God as Keeper of the unfair blue sky).
Give me at least the right/permission to plead and appeal.

ham bhee tasleem kee khoo daalenge
be_niyaazee teree `aadat hi sahi

I will accept this habit.
Even if this indifference of yours is a habit of yours

yaar se cheda chalee jaay, ‘Asad’
gar nahu wasl to hasrat hi sahi

The poet says that this teasing and sweet-talking the beloved by Asad will finally end.
Even if union is not possible, then let the desire remain at least.

Of purpose

Dear Diary,

I struggle with my mind’s weakness. I keep falling into same old traps of temptations or involuntary worry patterns. I know they are all mind games and none of it is real. When it peaks, it’s hard to define where are the boundaries between real and fiction.

There are times when I find myself living more in my world of fantasy than in my reality. I found myself more at peace in my make-belief world, running away from problems or people I could not solve or get away from.

It’s just so easy to create an alternate world of dreams, where you assume yourself to be totally different from your actual self. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create new ID and identities. It could simply be a world where you don’t think about the roles you already hold. For example, you are a Mother and you are expected to behave a certain way, you are expected to carry out certain responsibilities. You continue to carry out those responsibilities at home but you don’t behave that way at work. You forget what all roles you don in different arenas of life.

Now, as you separate those arenas and roles, you start to create new identities for yourself too. Why not!? It’s so freeing to not think of any limitations that being a Mother brings to you. Or being a Manager brings. Or being a woman brings.

I did not break free from any of the moulds, yet I imagine a world where I’m free from all tags and realities. And act as per my will. And that is liberating, at the least.

But, living in fantasy makes you pine for perfection in reality too. You start to question. You start to wonder impossible what-ifs. And the lines between reality and fiction start to blur. You no longer realize what’s really a desire of your real self and what is just a fantasy of your mind.

All these thoughts, problems, queries, aka bullshit comes to mind when you’re too free. Or, your mind is free to wander. And your mind is weak. And this results in damages, very real.

I tried listening to BK Shivani regularly. I tried breaking free from my temptations. I tried changing the online content I was following. Little helped. Sometimes it helps but many times it doesn’t. I catch myself thinking the same looping thoughts.

I reached to the conclusion that these are all because my mind needs to be occupied by something larger than life. Either a life-changing worry or a life-changing milestone/goal. I need to keep it occupied with some constructive work.

I tried embroidery. It was an Anchor Stitch Kit I had picked a long while ago. It’s an ambitious project but it keeps my mind busy as long as I’m doing it. Brings me calm, if not complete peace.

I am thinking of learning painting – fine arts. I have always been interested. But I don’t think I can spare the time for going to a physical class. I can do something at home perhaps. Let’s see how that goes.

I wonder how my life would have been if I had found a real passion. A goal for all the passion and fire I contain inside me. Would that have made me a peaceful soul? Would my life have been perfect?

We will never know that. I’ll let you know how my paintings and embroidery go.

Love,

Hope