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Irony

He walked tip-toed To not wake her from her sleep ~ Hardly did he know She was not sleeping but drifting away ~ In the arms of who awaited her on the other side ~ ~ ~ -Asha Seth

asna

Waiting

You held my hand as I walked ahead of you. You trudged along The dried leaves, tangled mass of branches, scattered everywhere the leaves crunched beneath my feet reminding me just how much I love autumn Sunlight creeped in through the dense mass of leaves … Continue reading Waiting

For a Moment, Let’s just…

For a moment, let’s just…
Stand still
And look around
Watch the birds fly
Or hear the rustle of autumn leaves
Or let the deafening silence reign

For a moment, let’s just…
Stand by the sea
And enjoy the waves
Crash against the rocks
And let us do nothing
But watch the bubbles disperse
Never to be found again.

For a moment, let’s just…
Blink our eyes
Ever so quick
Repetitively
And what forms?
In front of our eyes
The image we see
Is a broken one
Or perhaps just dark is all we see
What can we make of it?

For a moment, let’s just…
Let  a moment pass
In solitude
Where you get
To know nothing, no one,
And yet you know
You are everything there is,
And will be.

-Asha Seth

And for once…

For some unknown reason, I felt like sharing this again.

Asha's Blog...

49acb4981e7e5a2e99a4f1d1d2faf0ea Image Credit: Pinterest

…and for once, I want to forget the sad memories,
and think of all the happier ones…
tonight, can I leave behind?
the heartaches caused by the impossible would-bes…
can I step aside?
and make way for the crippling afflictions to pass…
can I look past your cruel carelessness
that paralysed my affections…
…and, just this once, perhaps, just for tonight,
can I allow myself to fall in love with you again?

-Asha Seth

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Another Mistake…?

Yes, it’s all about who’s stood by your side when you needed them the most. But what about those who chose to leave despite their wish to not do so. They had to, because that was best for you. That was what they had to do in that moment of truth when you have to choose the right from the easy. Or maybe because it was best for them.

We are hasty in making decisions, especially when we are heartbroken. Ever thought about how frustrated we get when something doesn’t span out the way we wanted? Think about it. Speaks tonnes about our capacity as humans. What’s the difference, I ask? Rather introspect.

The right things feel wrong. There is always a second thought to the most thought-out solution. Our brain somersaults a hundred times over events, digging out thoughts from its deepest wells, from right the core of its cells, from the thousand cranial nerves. Draining us.

A recent event left me scarred. I’d rather not talk about it. But let me ponder out loud on the tailing thoughts. I’ve always believed that there’s a limit to how much a person can tolerate in a lifetime. Apparently, it’s quite the opposite. There’s no limit to pain or suffering.

A friend, a beloved one, vowed to stay close, forever. Things went haywire as was destined and he chose to leave. Hasty, he was. Hurt, was I.  I so want to believe that what he did was probably out of sheer pressure of sorts or maybe the righteous cells in his body coaxed him to back out of a friendship that lasted a decade. Yes, more than a decade.

I’m being hard on myself right now beating myself to believe he did not deserve my friendship. That the times we spent together were mere illusions that are stuck in my head. That there’s nothing that can be done when someone chooses to leave but to accept their decision. But I also know none of it is true. I’ve cried myself to sleep. Starved myself to death. And yet I wish, things had not ended.

Forcing myself into doing things is something I suck at. Maybe that’s why it’s so tough for me. People come and go all the time, but friends don’t. And friends shouldn’t. Believing that someone who was an integral part of your life is now non-existent is effing hard. Moreover, that your friendship with them was a mistake is a gravest one at that.

You miss them all the time and they don’t. So then, was there a connection at all? And if there was, why was it so easily crushed to death?

I might be wrong, in all fairness. And I am ready to sort it out. Are you? Is what I wish to ask. But to whom? I have no idea. Maybe it’s another mistake that I’m yet thinking about sorting things out, when the other person has clearly moved on.

-Asha Seth

mindless musings

You crave for something for only so long,
and then you begin convincing yourself.
That certain blanks will remain unfilled forever,
certain meanings undeciphered forever,
some questions will forever seek answers
and gradually, you lose hope,
there’s no more faith left, no right or wrong.
Just you and your mindless musings,
for days, for years,
until you cease to breathe.

-Asha Seth

Recovery

Some days, you may not feel like talking – accept it, and stay quiet.
You may not feel like moving out of the house – stay in, remain locked up in your room.
No desire to eat or drink – remain such, till your body starts to crave food.
Nor you may have appetite for anything that you ordinarily love to do.

But it’s quite okay.

Just be, wasted, spent, doing nothing, in oblivion.
Probably, your body is taking time to cope up with certain things that make you bleed inside.
This is recovery time. Let them heal; the scars that have been hurting.
You need to let your heart and mind grow. How will you otherwise ever let go?

-Asha Seth

Unlove

Few years ago,
I learnt knitting a sweater.
Shifting patterns and struggled trials,
Doing and undoing the thing,
over and over again…

At times, I curse beneath my breath,
other times, I hurl them yarns and needles,
right across the room…

It’s less a struggle with the needles,
more with my heart and mind.
The mind makes it so obvious,
the heart hardly likes…

Why can you love someone,
but can never unlove them?
If only life was a ball of yarn,
with the needles in our hands.

-Asha Seth

Finally Home

Lived stranded, for far too long
Accepting, all that came along
until I met you!

The moment I set eyes on you
is the only moment I’ve lived
in a long long time

A nice warm feeling it was, and I was cold
I knew, I was finally home

A feeling like those
of revisiting old photos

Like walking in the fields you once did
as a child
like the first touch, the first kiss,
like snow melting on your skin

And the day I found you,
I knew, I was finally home.

-Asha Seth

December

the snow, the chilly winds,
these will always be,
December, though,
will always remind me,
of us, you and me,
your whispers on foggy breaths,
the warmth of your touch,
melting beneath my skin.
-Asha-

Pen & Paper

She barely existed in the world of people;
those faces, masks of lies and deceit,
she concealed her joys and tears,
for her companions – the pen and the paper.
-Asha-

Second Chances

She is, on the brink of adulthood, with much that life can give her. If only she gave it a second chance. But will she?

A friend’s cousin, yet to be 16, attempted ending her life. I’ve never met or spoken to her and yet, trapped is my mind, this morning, in her thoughts. The various emotions her conscience must have battled with, her body must have rebelled against her decision, and finally given in, and the mental conundrum she tortured herself through, are now twisting and turning, in my head.

It astonishes me that the country I live in has the highest number of suicides in the world. About a lac Indians attempt suicide each year and the figures are quite disturbing. Alarming. Imagine, every 40 seconds a person dies of suicide in some corner of the world. Moreover, an unsuccessful attempt should not lead one to presume that the person will not attempt a suicide again. 80% people who commit suicide have attempted it at least once previously. It’s creepy.

Beyond myself, I am pondering over things like – while you are going on with your day, someone somewhere is searching ways to end their life. It can be your next desk colleague, the person sitting next to you on the bus, the person at the traffic signal asking directions to somewhere, the lady standing ahead of you at the grocery shop till, someone in the family, or perhaps, a cousin, a close friend. It numbs me.

I will not get into what persuades one to attempt suicide nor go listing reasons why one should not commit the act. I guess everyone has their reasons and moreover, there is little one can do to help them in time since suicidal people are indiscernible.

At times, it sure looks like the end of the tunnel is after all a blank dark void. Surviving thoughts as dark as pitch can need more courage than physically moving a boulder. In wake of mental distress, we lose the far-sightedness the intuitive human nature compels us to consider. There is no wrong or right. Nothing easy or tough. You lose the appetite for living through another day, let alone the rest of your life. Giving yourself a second chance, as a thought, is only as close as Mercury is to Neptune, tediously far apart.

After having done something similar with my life too, I now realize, that it doesn’t take much to peep beyond the fence. Even after 4 years, at the slightest strike of depression, I vacillate back and forth from positive direction to grim outlook. It is a struggle to continually remind myself – This is not the end. There’s always a second chance.

It’s not the last exam you failed at, there’s always a next chance
nor the last interview, as something better awaits
nor has the world reduced to just me to not find love in a second man
neither it is the last attempt if you’re first book, song, movie, dream or a goal did not take desired heights
heartaches and failures only make you stronger
and you do, have it in you to take second chances with life.

If all was to end at dusk, there wouldn’t have been another day.
Have you ever thought of that?

I have written this post hoping that it helps someone in the crux of time. Before it’s too late.

-Asha Seth

maybe…

maybe its true,

maybe we are not meant for each other

maybe how we feel when we are with each other, may not be true

maybe we are just fooling ourselves, maybe exploiting each other

to get past things we know will never happen but we so desire

maybe it’s just me or maybe it’s you too…

and maybe someday,

when we are gone our separate ways…

we may look back to today and hope, we had the chance again

to accept what we deny today, maybe we breathe in the odds

maybe for once, we finally, give our hearts the liberty

to dream the dreams we once neglected, to falsify the insecurities we bred

maybe for once, we become one as to never fall apart

and maybe for once,

we look in each other’s eyes and rejoice in what we know is true

we were and will always be, meant for each other

just like the seas and the skies…

-Asha Seth

And for once…

49acb4981e7e5a2e99a4f1d1d2faf0ea
Image Credit: Pinterest

…and for once, I want to forget the sad memories,
and think of all the happier ones…
tonight, can I leave behind?
the heartaches caused by the impossible would-bes…
can I step aside?
and make way for the crippling afflictions to pass…
can I look past your cruel carelessness
that paralysed my affections…
…and, just this once, perhaps, just for tonight,
can I allow myself to fall in love with you again?

-Asha Seth

From a Distance…

Scarred you for the hundredth time
How can I expect you to forgive?
I was everything you ever wanted, you’d said
Now, you can’t stand even the sight of me

What was I supposed to do?
How was I supposed to choose?
To tell you the truth and see you leave
or mask it up and keep you close

What would you do, I asked but you never replied
Watching you from a distance, I know
I’d still have chosen you even if that was with a defaming lie

A hundred lies I weaved. A hundred tales I spun
Wondering always how could you love one?
So much, to not ever doubt them, suspect them
of acts so foolish, so cruel, so killing

Each time you looked into my eyes
I feared if you saw the damning truth
But what did you see?
Did your eyes ever give you away!

And hurting you, I know, I was
But to see you walk away is the last thing I want
And baby, that’s why, I kept the truth
But it was a treacherous thing to do
Watching you from a distance, I see how it’s torturing you

There you are,
Standing, perhaps waiting, at the other side of the street
The dark night keeps me cloaked through, hiding my entity
You look up from the book just for a moment, to right where I stay rooted
My heart skips a beat! Can you feel me, so close to you?

Your fingers fumble with the pages of your book
There’s nervousness, I see, in your moves
It’s dark and deserted for the two of us
But for you, it’s just you!

I‘ve always known you to walk the distances
Then what are you waiting for? Who are you waiting for?
I’m tempted to leave my hidden stance and walk upto you
Just then a cab pulls into the drive and there you are gone

From a distance,
I see what never happened
or in my mind, it did
I did walk upto you despite the rising beat
I see you staring at me, or are you staring right through me?
What I hadn’t noticed until then, however,
Is, the smeared mascara and the dried tears on your cheeks

You carefully avert my pleading gaze
And beyond myself, I hear these words escape

I wanted to keep you close and how blind could I be?
That with every lie, I was only pushing you away
Baby, I never wanted to lose you and so I kept the truth
But now I see the fool I’ve been, because I’ve lost you anyway

Watching us from a distance
I almost believe
that you hug me, that I kiss your lips
that you forgive me, with a solemn promise

 A leaf, dried lifeless, falls at my feet
As I stand rooted at the spot, under the tree
And while I regret at the lost chances
I realize that’s how it’s always gonna be

Me, watching you from a distance
You, walking away from a distance

-Asha Seth

Is there a limit?

Is there a limit?” asked my friend who I happened to meet over the weekend. At 27, she is expecting her second baby.

We studied chemical science together. Missing lectures, attending practicals which were few and far spaced in the academic calendar, whiling away time in the college canteen, staying at each other’s places under the disguise of college submissions, wandering to unknown places, watching movies, we were more sisters than friends. Who said only blood relations come a long way? Upon graduation, while I turned the page to a professional start, she decided to get married to a man she knew for 2 years, then.

Half arranged, half in love, she stepped into a marriage I could’ve never braced at 21.

Her eyes twinkled with mirth as she narrated tales of her new life. Tales that did not stay longer to keep her happiness going. Soon, I found her smiles loaded with lies and her face a mask of hidden anguish and regrets, desperation for dead dreams so obvious that life seemed so cruel to me as an onlooker, while word by word each time she wrote the letter of resignation, resignation from hope, life, her dreams and herself, gradually inching toward closure.

My heart aches for her. Each time, every time.  Every few months when we meet, sitting face to face, at either sides of the table, opposite to each other, makes me realize how really worlds apart we have gone, we are opposite in every sense, not just in that moment but in every page, every way, every phase of life.

You’re the only one I ever had who never asked me why I did things I did. Maybe because you trusted me enough. Maybe because you never cared enough. And yet, I knew I always have you”. I watch her while she says this and also how she wished we were back in those days when missing lectures and defaulting attendance were the only regrets we had. I watch her, solemn, without a word, while she has her eyes focused on the table, her overgrown red-painted nails playing with the crumbs of bread left behind from the bagel sandwich we just finished.

She wouldn’t look at me. It was on purpose. I know she didn’t want to face me. She couldn’t face me. How would she? Wasn’t I the one who always chagrined about her marriage, her hasty decisions, persuading her to follow her dreams?

She finally looked up and large beads of tears travelled down her cheeks. Her big beautiful eyes I always teased her about were so numb, tired of the struggles of the life she accepted while least prepared. True, we can never predict nor be totally prepared to face what challenges lie ahead of us, but time teaches us a lot and of that I am sure. We need to give ourselves time. Sometimes, we make the mistake of deciding against it.

I hated her when she went ahead with her decisions. Getting married at an age one hardly even knows the responsibilities that lie ahead. I hated her when she battled against death in the dingy room of the hospital while she delivered her first baby. That she survived is only a miracle. I hated her when one after another she sliced each of her dreams for her family that hardly ever acknowledged her efforts.

And with time, she only reminded me of what she was and what she became. I can try and be nice and clap her back for all her sacrifices all those years. But, I cannot.  Because I know they’ve come for a price. Dreams traded for disappointments.

Sitting with her, watching the words escape her lips in a deadpan voice, I barely know what to say.  “Is there a limit?” she asks. “To what?” I’m tempted to ask back. “To madness, insanity, dumbness, imbecility? To what?” But I don’t because I don’t know a better way of doing this without hurting her.  So I let her speak. After a moment, she asks again, “Is there a limit to pain, disappointments, sacrifices, regrets?”

I don’t know what to say.

I go back in time to that day, the year when we were 21. A month after graduation. I wanted to tell her about the new job I’d got. And she told me she was giving up her dream to be a Math teacher; she was getting married instead. I kept a tight lid on the overflowing cauldron of happiness in my heart and took back home the surging sea of despair that I could barely suppress.

-Asha Seth

I have never…

The best thing about spending time alone is you get to know yourself better. I’d read somewhere that ‘The only person you should be better than is yourself‘. So that gives me a lot to think about. And therefore this ME post. I will talk incessantly about myself. Read on. Read till it does not get to your nerves. Please move on to other awesome posts out there once it starts to annoy you.

I’ve always believed in keeping my life less cluttered. Less cluttered with regards to people, places, incidents, secrets, expectations, dreams, etc. You can’t be certain of most of them, of course, but I always try to stick to things I can’t live without. Makes life a lot easier.

I’m amazed beyond measure when I think of the quintessential greatness and vastness of nature – the universe, massive oceans, endless stretches of forests, gigantic mountains, ferocious wildlife, beauty of flowers, wicked nature of darkness. The creator sure is an awesome artist!

I’ve also almost always made rules than following what everyone does. Helps me discipline myself in a manner I approve of and not be too unreasonably harsh at the same time. It’s needless to say that in the process I go offending a lot of people. But it’s inevitable. We are all born different after all.

Routine life gives us a lot to ponder about. But that is possible only if you allow yourself some time. It is as important as breathing for survival and eating for strength is. I allow myself that time by walking to destinations than opting transport. So, resultantly, I walk about 4kms each day and that, if you ask me, is a lot of time to absorb things happening around you.

Of late, I have come to think of habits, practices that I’ve indulged into.

I sing aloud when I have earphones plugged in and I realise only when people stare back at me. I bump into people or parked vehicles when I am reading a book walking down the road. I do not check myself in reflective surfaces. I always have a mass of messy disorganized bun for hairs. I stare at guys with broad rimmed glasses. When I enter a building, I notice the stairs; elevators go invisible. Most movies I’ve watched, I watched them alone. I love my mum so much that I’d have married her were she a man, and of course, not my mother. I frown at the mention of ‘GOD’. I adjust my glasses when I’m nervous. I hate color orange. I have a British accent and most times that confuses people. I argue on senseless bits. I can kill someone if I find them hurting animals. 

And then I wonder at the things I have never done…

I have never written more than 2300 words at a stretch. I have never cried out loud. I have never lied to this man I so love. I have never danced at a party. I have never played basketball. I have never tasted carrot juice. I have never cheated anyone. I have never been able to hold my breath for more than 21 seconds. I have never planted a tree. I have never spoken ill of anybody to anyone other than themselves. I have never liked cats. I have never read a book in one sitting. I have never traveled atop a bus roof. I have never written in blue ink. I have never plotted against anyone. I have never believed in miracles. I have never worn stilettos. I have never been able to stick to my words. I have never been able to accept heartaches born out of love. I have never liked scotch.

And there are many more, I’m sure. Only, I’ll discover them in time. Getting to know yourself only gets better when you totally absolutely love yourself. Because you know, that no matter what, nothing can bring you to hate yourself. And most times, that’s enough to lead you through light and dark.

-Asha Seth

Say it Anyway

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Credit: Google Images

So what if they walk away? Say it anyway.
Enough of holding back. Being indecisive, struggling with your own self.

It may not be worth your trial, but you deserve the impending peace.
Enough of tormenting yourself. Say it anyway.

Life’s unfair, as it is. Why make it even harder?
Because when you suffer, in wake or sleep, who’s there to watch you weep?
Turn bitter, curse each day. But don’t keep it to yourself, say it anyway.

If anything, you’ll know you were right and in time, leave it behind.
Keeping it clutched to your heart, will only kill you inside.

Walking away is cowardly, staying back and watching them go is what takes courage.
They always thought you were weaker, it’s time you changed their mind.

-Asha Seth

Eyes tell a Story

“Why eyes”, asked he suddenly not so curious. “Why ever not”, I enquired. Answering his less satisfied yet inquisitive look, “For the same reason as you may find lips or hair or general physique attractive”, I finished.

I find casual coffee talks quite stimulating. Especially, when you meet with old mates after a long haul. Conversations steer in all directions. Sometimes interesting, sometimes dull and well, sometimes shocking. My dear friend Julian has a queer habit of remarking about people around. He goes on about things he likes or doesn’t like about them, based purely on appearance. No one’s spared, mind you. Right from the waiter to the security guy in the parking lot, the woman at the cash till to the strangers on other tables.

Over a coffee catch-up the last weekend, we raved and ranted about everything under the sun. All the while that we spoke, I noticed that his eyes settled on a particular person before traveling through the room and back to me. I gave him a raised brow look to ask what was going on. Now, didn’t I tell you he’s weird in some manner. So here goes.

I stared at him for full minute when he said pointing at a girl in the far corner, “I like her, she’s quite brainy”. “How on earth, do you know, she’s brainy? You haven’t spoken a damn word to her?” I asked perplexed. “I can say from the way she talks”, he ended smartly. “Besides, I haven’t seen a face like that, in a while.” “What do you mean?” I interjected. “Ah, no! I mean her fine cut facial features; make her stand apart from the rest. She’s sure attractive.” Then he looked at me and acknowledging the envious look, he maneuvered, “So, what do you find most attractive in a person?”

I have always been a great admirer of eyes. And that much is known to those who know me well. Somehow the best of looks don’t get me that floored as much as someone with great eyes.  You need not be as good-looking as Leonardo or Keanu Reeves, but if you got beautiful eyes, you sure got my attention.

People with beautiful eyes attract me, eternally, at that. I feel eyes are the ultimate holders of deep and dark secrets. They give you a glance in the person’s soul. No, wait, not the soul. That’d be a little too much. In the heart and mind, yes, that, just a brief glance, when they are being pretentious.

Eyes, I believe, are always, always beautiful. Never merely beautiful, ugly or anything in between. You may find blue eyes captivating or may find brown eyes sensually attractive, but I think, dark black eyes are the most beautiful. Yes, being quite the hypocrite compared to what I just said. But that’s that.

But the bottom line remains, if I met you for the first time, the first thing I am to get fixated with is your eyes. Because eyes always have a story to tell, secrets to divulge, things you keep clutched to your heart, eyes reveal them.

Isn’t it amazing how easily eyes give you up especially when you are trying to conceal things up? Ever tried looking into the eyes when someone tries denying something, camouflage something? Especially, during moments when you are trying to suppress an upsurge of disappointment or desperation, fear or frenzy?

Of late, what leave me in surmounting state of curiosity are the queer looks given by my 3 year old dog. He’s got huge brown crystals for eyes, a wonderful mélange of the myriad emotions he experiences at an instant. I’d read somewhere that unlike us, humans, dogs are capable of expressing a whole bunch of emotions at a given point. Isn’t that totally stunning?

Naughty as he is, there are times, when he looks up at me, with mind full of some petty prank. He stares right through without as much as a blink. I start laboring my mind; all the cells go active at once, trying to decipher what he must be thinking at that moment. Whether he’s asking for his chew bone, or wants to head down for a quick stroll or quietly saying it’s time for a round of throw and catch or just simply to rub the back of his ears. It’s like that moment at school when the teacher gives you a math puzzle and then stands towering right above you, seeing you squirm in your seat while you struggle to solve it, and she knows full well that you have no clue what to do. Yeah, I feel like that kid again. Only, in school, the teacher eventually shifts to other kids, while he, is still sitting on all fours, looking right at me, enjoying the show of my incompetence.

As for humans, I guess there’s certain amount of predictability,  to what a person may or may not be thinking backed with the possibility of just asking them right out, in case you totally fail. In this case, however, there’s none. So, my poor little Alfey is left to accept what my best opinion of that moment is. Whether he does it happily or dismally, I’m yet to know.

Here’s one such moment. Can your brains comprehend what the eyes speak?

Photo2367_20131009225224742

-Asha Seth

Reflections

Revisiting an old favorite post.

Asha's Blog...

Quite often, I wonder if life could be any better or worse than what it is right now.  Could it be any different than what it actually is? Perhaps, a little more happier. And what if it was gloomier?

When I am absorbed deep in thoughts, I find myself running back in time, in my past. And the wheels of my mindless imagination set to work all over again. Thinking. Dreaming. What would it be like, if life was like I had imagined it to be? If my nascent dreams had had a chance to grow into reality? If hopes that got shattered, were not shattered at all? If everything I ever lost, were not lost at all? Would I be happier, had the decisions that went wrong been right? What would it be like if the person I loved and longed for, had loved me back and longed for me…

View original post 293 more words

Manners can Kill

Apparently, manners and I don’t get along well.
Don’t look so surprised. Not yet. Save it up for what comes next.

If you’ve been following this blog you’d already know
that I have never been the best kid in the world.
Blame the generation gap, blame me, and blame whoever you like. But that’s that.
For one, I love to be left alone by which I mean
I am the last person who would willingly invite or visit people, let alone be hospitable.
And my parents have never been able to understand why.

Usually, when I am supposed to meet visitors at home (which, by the way, I hate most),
I do it for the sake of my parents and yeah, also because who later wants to go
through endless hours of exhausting verbal tyranny of sorts.
All the smiles, the greetings, if only the visitors knew how fake all of it was,
they’d never again show up.
Yeah, go ahead, call me an antisocial shrew.

Now, the biggest problem of being 27 is that not a single day passes without you
being cornered by your parents and being pestered for marriage.
This is one area I’m lucky because my parents don’t much believe in talks but actions.
So when I say my parents don’t much believe in talks but actions, what I really mean is that
they ensure they accept and attend every get-together, marriage and reception party,
they are invited to, like traditional Indian families do.
Don’t these opportunities serve as the ultimate match-making grounds?

So, as you can see, the tactics to keep me engaged involves a lot of things,
let alone all the keeping up with friends, relatives, distant cousins,
which I am only always surprised how they manage.
I mean, don’t you get tired of meeting people?

Now the best part about being a working woman is,
firstly, you are never ever free because you always have office work to do
and secondly, that you hardly have time to catch up with your parents.
So, no room for talks; except for the dreadful weekends.

Not getting off the track, I recall this incident from few months ago when
I was made to visit a friend of my father’s. This bloke bagged a huge
promotion at work and was throwing up a party to show it off.
Few families were invited to be a part of the so-not-their-business fun.
My family was one.

The almost thousand excuse wall I’d erected was knocked down
by a single swipe of the sledgehammer coated with my
agitated father’s resignation when he muttered,
You are going with us and that’s the end of the story”.

Although fuming, I made it to the party alright
but guess who I didn’t forget to bring along?
The constant cause of frustration for my parents – My book.

I never once have gone wrong of my opinion of parties
– that they can bore you to the core.
So to occupy myself, I make sure I have a book
just in case the party starts to get boring.

So, I found myself a nice cozy corner; the kid’s room and
had finished reading few pages when my paranoid mother finally found me.
What followed is now a practice we both are experts at. Or maybe just she is.
My usual bickering and her exhausted retorts that make me give up, each time.
And that look again was all that got me to my feet and I dragged myself to the party,
to socialize with people who have absolutely nothing to do
with me, my career, or my life, in general.

Getting back home sane was one hell of a task.
I realized I was under the misconception that my parents
had enjoyed right the whole time.
I wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that they were secretly
planning on how best to grill me on the ‘manners’ part.
The one hour ride back home and yet few hours after reaching
was more exhausting than the party itself.

So, here it is, let me summarise the conversation for you:

  • Refusing to be with people you don’t know makes one low on manners
  • Again, you are low on manners, if you wish to do things you like than indulge in senseless gossip
  • You are absolutely totally mannerless, if you argue and put forth your reasons
  • You really need to learn some socializing manners if you want people to have good opinion of you
  • You must, always must, leave your books behind because they make you appear a snob
  • Disregarding people’s presence and not making them feel welcomed is being low-mannered

 And the list is endless. Phew!!
Quite honestly, manners can kill, if you are someone like me.

So, these sound like life-threatening rules to me. And I have no intention of following them.
In the meanwhile, I am planning to employ tactics to make my parents less social.
Maybe, then they will understand me better.

Now, now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my parents
but there has to be a common ground of satisfaction for both the parties, right?
So, yes, let the battle begin. All smart-ass suggestions are most welcome.

 -Asha Seth

It feels ‘Special’!

Unable to read her mind, I asked, How do you feel?

Insanely perfect, she said, not looking at me. I couldn’t make out if she was serious or just funny. Just then, she turned to look at me and with a slight smile playing on her lips, she added, It feels special.

My mother always says, when you try to make someone happy some of it sticks to you. I have ever since tried to keep people around me happy and I realised it’s one of the easiest things to do. The upside is, there’s immense satisfaction. The downside, you become The People Pleaser, for outsiders, on-watchers, whatever you call them. But it hardly matters, right?

I sometimes wonder what the world must be like for those who do not have a best friend. Just like Sarah Dessen said in her book Someone Like You,

“Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a best friend.” 

Because one of the best things in the world is having a crazy awesome friend who walks the way with you, no matter the pits and potholes.

I and Shreya come a long way. Long enough to care what the world thinks about what we do. We come from a time when the world was not engulfed with the social media madness. There weren’t so many mobile phones around the time we graduated from college unlike now, when even school going kids can’t make through a day without the damn thing.

New friendships require lot of nurturing.  A relationship, like ours, that has stood the test of time, needs a lot more than just that. Although, I never miss a chance to tell her how much she means to me, I knew it wasn’t enough. So, with her wedding just around the corner and her mind boggled with the forth-marching changes, when I told her that I wanted to take her out on a date, she could barely suppress her grin.

Now, as crazy as it may sound, I was doing this for the first time. Planning a date, I mean. I am not someone who goes out on dates, so this was hell lot of organizing as I realised.

A checklist of things to do, places to take her, listing down things she likes and hates. And trust me, even after more than a decade of us being together, I was surprised that there were so many things I yet did not know about her. This only got me shitty nervous and suddenly I wasn’t sure if it was such a good idea after all. I may end up screwing everything. I mean it’s one thing if things don’t turn out well when you are going out with someone for the first time, someone you are only just starting to know. I did not want to jeopardize a most treasured relation.

Yeah, tell me that I was overthinking, fretting unnecessarily. But really, when nervousness creeps into your system, the fear of failure, somehow, is amplified tenfold.

So, then I made up my mind to keep it simple and sweet. It doesn’t have to be grand to be great, right?

A stupid hilarious movie that got your stomach hurting due to laughing hard, dinner at a cozy place with exactly the kind of taste she prefers, chrysanthemums white, exactly what she loves with dives in the past and tales to recount which filled the evening with sparkles of fun.

I am not sure if people really plan dates for their best friends.
I am not sure if I stood true to what she probably had expected out of our evening together or if she had expected anything at all.
I am also not sure if I could see her as much happy had I gone on with my initial plans coated with magnificence and dripping with lavishness.

But I know one thing – I wouldn’t have been as happier had I stumbled across a magic lamp. I knew I was successful at making the evening memorable, if not perfect. There are really countable few who, I would stake my life for, and this girl who’s stood tall right by my side even at my ugliest is one of the few. Seeing her smile knowing she is really happy, is one of those magical moments that I can’t begin to describe.

Marriage, for a girl, is the time, when she is happy and sad. Happy for new beginnings, sad for what she has now to leave behind her; people, routines, fun, freedom that defined life until that age.

While she was looking to take her mind off of the eminent mayhem, I decided I wanted to make it easier, simpler, add some fun and bring a wave of unanticipated excitement and happiness. And somehow, all my insecurities and apprehensions were wiped off when she quite simply said, it feels special.

-Asha Seth

 

Another year has passed…

Another year has passed…
And it still feels like a new beginning.

With two years gone, there’s much that has changed.
Two years ago this time, after much thought; the wheels were set to roll.
Like the almost negligible crunching of pebbles that is heard on the ground
when a cart starts to move,
words were scarce, ideas shallow and scattered few and far between.

Gradually, just like the cart speeding across the road, crushing the bigger stones,
burying them further deep inside the earth,
more concrete ideas were born, hurling behind the fears of failure,
burying them in sands of time,
walking the route walked by many, the same road, the same land.
Learning. Improving.

And another year has passed…
And new acquaintances, leading where, no one knows, were formed.

Image Credit - Pinterest
Image Credit – Pinterest

So many people met, so many more forgotten and many not yet known.
New friends, equally passionate about walking the same road with you,
maybe not hand-in-hand, but word-by-word, kept clutched to the heart.
Some others perceived as more, chose to walk away.
Yet, learning, growing by conquering boulders in the path that once made you to stop, divulge; almost quit,
are no longer boulders, but a part of what is left behind, just traces.

And another year has passed…

Living through everything you face and feel, transforming them into words, is not easy.
But a pinch of inspiration peppered with confidence and bounty of love, is all you need to keep you going!

Nothing is as hard, nothing as difficult as taking that first step when you began.
But nothing gets as wonderful as the memories you make, once you’ve begun.
Phase of uncertainities will leave; what made you live through those times, will live.
Times will test, but sticking by what you desire is all that makes the difference.

And this is still just a bit from the pot of gains you’ve treasured through time.
Because although another year has passed,
it has left behind marks.
It only reminds of all the good times that are yet to come and
so will follow more love, more happiness and more worded treasures.

Turned around the corner and my blog is another year old. 

This is a dedication post to all those bloggers out there who have helped me make it big.  

-Asha Seth

The Silhouette

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Image Credit: Pinterest

Someone passed away recently. A school mate. Someone I didn’t know well. And yet he appears in my thoughts.  A silhouette. As crazy as it may sound but I think about him. Every so often. He gave in to cancer. I’d heard from friends. After three years of tiresome battle. A battle to live. A fight against death. If only he’d won…

Visiting his family was one of the toughest things I’ve done in my life. I have never been one to take departures subtly. Well, I guess no one does. But I’m talking about even those whom I’ve never known and they yet tend to stir some feelings deep inside, just knowing that they are gone.

Somehow I’ve always believed that people who leave us, don’t actually ever leave. They are still around. Only invisible. Looking for us. Protecting us. Around us. As a child, dad made me believe this. It was meant to pacify the state of hysteria funerals caused me. But the idea only caused towering fear. Having someone invisible around. All the time. Well, it can get scary. It still does.

Traveling for three hours through trains and buses, wasn’t as distressing as the atmosphere in his house. I hadn’t seen him beyond school and a picture on the mantel shelf from his graduation day caught my attention. This is what he must have looked like. A face I could barely recognize, let alone remember. He looked happy with his mother at his side. Unaware of the evil thing inside him, living there and killing him.

Sitting with his mother, surrounded by solitude, I realized it’s so hard for words to come out when you actually want them to. She sensed it and forced a smile, dripping with the pain of loss. Her eyes were moist. I could tell she had hurriedly wiped off the tears when she received me at the door. She asked me how I knew her son, an attempt to end the dragging silence. I knew him from school was all I could muster.

We sat forcing words out, in bits and pieces. About family and work. Things that meant nothing to her. Not anymore. After her world had shrinked to herself alone. I knew she had lost her husband. Her bare hands missing the bangles and the partition of her hair missing the vermilion weren’t hard to notice.

It was since the moment that I had sat down next to her, holding her hands, I knew she wanted to say something. Something she was fearful about, that if kept inside it would die away, the silence would kill it forever. That maybe repeating it to anyone and everyone, would keep it alive, in her heart, in her mind. Had I known, what was coming, I would have prepared myself well. I would have practiced what to say; only to lift up a mother’s sinking heart.

Eyes focused on the floor, on her fidgety toes, she whispered that the memories of his final moments are the ones that will remain truer than anything else. She said, he’d known. He’d known that the next morning would never come. Never for him.

And the last night, when she was retiring from his hospital room, he’d called her. He’d asked her when the last time he’d kissed her good night was. To which she’d replied, just the other night and he’d smiled. Knowing she was lying because it had been ages. And through dried lips, he’d kissed her on the cheek. The warmth emanating from his body had burned against her skin. She’d cried since she’d known there weren’t many days he’d able to do just that.

I saw she was reliving the moment, her eyes shining with large beads of tears. She admitted something that broke my heart in a thousand pieces. She said she hadn’t slept since her son had passed away because he’ll never kiss her good night again.

I was tearful too while I hugged her. Hugged her long, believing, it’d help force out some of her grief. I held her till her breath stopped racing, till her tears dried. Some more minutes passed and I decided it was time to leave. I looked at the watch and it showed merely 40 minutes had passed. But in those 40 minutes, I’d lived another age.

At the door, I gave her the only thing I could bring. A photo album I had put together since school days; a collection of class photographs taken every year. I don’t know if I needed it more than her. And I gave it to her. She opened it and following her scanning eyes, I realized she’d found the one face she was looking for. Then another page and another.

I don’t think she heard when I said the final goodbye. I don’t think she saw when I turned and walked down the street.

It was only later while traveling back home; I pondered over all that I’d learnt about that silhouette from my thoughts. I could now replace the shadowed figure with an image. The image from the photo on the mantel shelf.

-Asha

Looking in your Eyes…

Looking in your eyes, I know, there’s nowhere else I want to be.
I know there’s nowhere else I want us to be.
There’s nothing else I want to do this moment but be lost in your eyes.

Every dream I ever dreamt somehow seems possible, and I want to realize those with you.
For I see those thousand dreams come to life, the minute I look into your eyes.

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Image Credit: Pinterest

Being in your arms, I want to hold you like this forever.
Your face so close to mine, your breath mingling with mine,
Difficult to distinguish, the place and the time.
A solemn moment passes before I feel your fingers pressing on my waist.

And looking into your eyes, it’s hard to negate what I see.
Glazed with longing, written in bold letters is what your racing heartbeats scream about.
The desire to hold on like this forever, the want to never let go.
I can feel it as that’s exactly what I’ve wanted too.

But before I know, you blink it away.
Denying me the comfort by erecting that wall.
Retreating to that space I so wish you had not.

 

I don’t know what’s right. I gave up thinking what’s wrong.
Because looking in your eyes I know you are all I’ll ever want.
That you see your plans irrefutable is a vague impression to me,
because when I look in your eyes, I see the possibility impending, a possibility; you and me.

You’ve never admitted, always denied when asked.
Looking into your eyes, I see that’s false.
I see the hidden regrets, I see the melancholy smiles.
Your eyes; sometimes too chirpy, sometimes as dry as flame.
Looking into them, I see they are tired too of playing the games.

All these years, you’ve masked it too well, too perfect to be true.
But looking in your eyes, I see a web of self-tormenting lies.
You’ve held too long the pain, the untold secrets, that have nothing but killed you inside.
And they stop you; they still do, from accepting what’s waiting this side.

You refuse to stir, you have your reasons.
But for once, I want you to know, I’d do anything for us.
Because, looking in your eyes, I see how it’s supposed to be, how it’s meant to be.
I get a glimpse into the future, a still of you beside me.
And I wonder if you can see it through mine. The many memories I wish to make.

Drawing a long breath, you slowly pull away.
Still holding my gaze, ‘We aren’t meant to be, we are worlds apart’, you say.
I am shattered by that ungiven chance. Broken by the unlived medley of odds.
My heart missed a beat, my eyes began to burn.
And I’m sure you wouldn’t have said this.
You’d have known you want to be with me too,
Had you, for once, looked into your eyes.

-Asha

Losing Faith

How do you hold on to faith when your world is falling apart? Know what I mean? When you are almost always pushed at that edge where you start questioning everything you’ve ever believed. How do you stop yourself from losing faith?

Kevin and I, did our schooling together while we attended same classes in ninth and tenth grade, we always spearheaded academic and curricular activities, whether it was the science club or the volleyball team or a debate meet or a skit performance. Over the years, we lost touch and happened to meet only recently when I learnt that he had left the country right after school. We agreed to meet over coffee one evening. An evening that will leave a lot to think about!

Meeting old friends after what seems like ages, unearthing the past is a usual affair. But filling the gaps, closing the distance is all well and good only as long as the talk is on pleasant grounds. And then there are those moments when you opt mute smiles. There are certain grounds where you reach a dead end even before you’ve reached the turn.

The conversation over coffee drifted to the past, from work to college to school, and from colleagues to friends to family. I was greatly delighted to learn the heights Kevin has scaled in all these years that he was away. He is not only employed with a reputed and an all-desired firm but has been equally successful in acuminating his talent in painting which was his hobby since before I’ve known him.

The casual talks led me to realize that he had not forgotten what I would otherwise term ‘little things’ and that he remembered my habits and interests with such definitude all too perfect to be true.

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Credit: Google Images

Surprisingly, touching over the surface of talks, I gathered he isn’t much of a religious person which I don’t know if he ever was. The fact that he is an agnostic did not disturb me as much as the fact that he is an acute atheist. That also was not the end of my disappointment. It was rather the manner in which he almost mocked about how I always was an ‘overly’ religious person. Right since those early school years. He jeered with utter travesty at the religious practices that I followed and was flippant enough in mentioning how he thought that my observing fasts was beyond a certain point of ridicule and proved only how much more weak it portrays us. Besides, there’s nothing ever like pleasing the Gods.

Slowly, the conversation ambled from one point of religion-mockery to another and I started to believe that it might never end.

You must be wondering why did not just cut him short if I am a person of God, why did I not argue and make him see how wrong he was, or why did I not just walk away?

But amidst the rather grim conversation, I had had a glimpse of something else. A lurking question that I needed an explanation for. Kevin’s words although coated with deepest contempt convinced me that there was an underlying reason. What I saw on the surface was only half the story. There was more than what met my eye. And only digging further into the ground he’d dug, I could find the answers. And I had to do it his own way. Not mine. Debate. Arguments. Convictions. Explanations wouldn’t help me. And pretty soon I discovered what it was that had made my dear friend so loathsome at even the mention of God.

Kevin had had a rather troubled upbringing as a child. With highly ambitious parents, none willing to sacrifice their ambitions or successful careers, Kevin grew up in the supervision of his sometimes present old grandma and an always present nanny.

He hardly ever saw his parents as they lived in separate towns, traveling the globe more than half the year, the percentage of their attendance in his life was much lower than the very many board meetings and presentations they attended. Finally, it reached a point when there wasn’t one day when he could see both of them together. Attending school plays and report days with his good old granny became a routine and gradually, the fading bonds between his parents resulted into a dissolved marriage. Today, while his father runs a successful business with wealthy clients overseas, his mother is the dean of a reputed university in another country.

Until that day, each living moment of his life was spent struggling to get his family back together. He frequented churches and prayed that they come back. It was neither the fortunes they were making nor their growing careers that stirred any interest in him. It was only the family he so wanted, the love he so missed that he had begged for on bent knees. He held onto his drifting faith that they will come back, that they will see how much he needs them. But he realized it was too late. That he was mistaken all these years. It was not their careers that were meddling with the family but the family meddling with their careers. This not only tore his family apart but shed to bits every tiny thread of faith he ever had.  It just became too easy for him to believe that what is not there cannot give you what you ever ask for.

Well, what could I have said that would have lessened his pain? Were there enough words to unburden his heart? Actions to restore the lost faith? I mean, you reach that point when you learn there is a lot of shit than what you see, shit that kills. Especially, when its killing people you deeply care about.
How do you keep yourself from losing faith then?

True, I got my beliefs. True, I got my faith. I also have my own share of challenges and disappointments which make me apprehensive. But had I been in Kevin’s shoes, after having fought with every ounce of my energy and hope left, and yet watching my world fall apart, would I be able to stick by my faith? Not sure!

-Asha

Count your blessings

It doesn’t take a scientist’s brain to comprehend basic conversations. Yes, sure! But when it comes to sarcasm, I guess it takes way more than that, especially if you are someone like me. Well, it is not that I am a dim-wit or anything but I have a penchant to dig for goodness even with sarcastic spears.  So, with me, most times, efforts employed on sarcastic grounds pass unnoticed.
Yes, go ahead, call me WEIRD!! That’s not the point though.

Now, my less-than-smart brain has discovered that people have the tendency to say the weirdest things exactly when you least expect them. And all you can do at times like such, is remaining seated with pursed lips and may be at the most add some nods, because you do not know what would a justifiable response be.

A spare weekend took me and my friend to an orphanage to spend some time with little orphan girls raised by a married couple. These girls are taken in at the age of eight and are raised with every possible facility that can be provided. We were astonished at the efforts the happy couple is investing in doing the great job that too with least assistance from independent parties or government. The girls are well-mannered and are being raised with high standards under personal supervision and observation of the couple.

Image Credit: Pinterest
Image Credit: Pinterest

In the few hours that we spent talking and chatting with the girls, I became overly fond of most of them since they are all so polite and pleasant. However, I noticed one girl of about 15 who was aloof from the gang of girls. She would barely talk and was on her own since I time we were there. I was surprised that the other girls who were otherwise so close to each other never once checked on her.

I had learnt this from the caretaker lady that new girls who joined the house took some time to mix up with the other girls and I convinced myself that she must be trying to adjust with the new surroundings. Very soon, I learnt that she was staying with the family from the age of 8 and had been different from the family ever since.

Now, she did appeal to the best of my curiosities and in no time, I was sitting next to her, trying to strike a conversation. It was clearly evident that she was least interested. She not only made me repeat everything at least a few times before I could extract a reply from her but she made it even more difficult with her single-word replies. Surprisingly, in 20 minutes time, she had uttered only few countable number of words whereas as I had almost constructed a mountain of loose talks!

 

After about 5 or so minutes of awkward silence, she asked me, “do you count your blessings?” Now, this totally threw me off-balance. While I was happy that she was finally opening up with me, I was clueless as to what I should say to that.

I don’t remember her name, for she never helped me with it, but I so wish I had forgotten what she had brought up. Now, this is why I always prefer books over people. Books tell you things only when you are ready to take them unlike people who will bring up things at most awkward moments.

She kept looking away so I could not figure if she was being sarcastic or plain rude. She asked again. Well, now, we sure do, don’t we? Count our blessings, I mean. Appreciate what life is despite the hardships and challenges it brings. Thank God for his mercy and love. But then it is not the first thing we talk about!!

Sure, I do, I replied. Just what you mean when you ask me this, I asked her.

Not all do, she said. Maybe. Maybe not, I said. Why do you ask anyway? I asked. And what she replied was bizarrely sad and left a void in my heart, that I doubt will ever be filled.

You should count your blessings because you have everything that I don’t. You’ll never know what that feels like. I was still searching for a reply and she went on. With that far away look, she said, I hate to come back to a family that isn’t my own. I hate to accept someone as mum and dad when there are 30 other kids your age calling them the same. I hate that I cannot seek the affection that I would get from my own parents and that I cannot be the one child that I would’ve otherwise been, she paused.

I hate that no one cares enough to come and talk to me. That I have to think so many times before asking for anything, maybe a dress, maybe something for school, maybe a chocolate. Anything for that matter. Because then they will have to bring the same for every other girl here. I hate to talk to these girls here and I absolutely hate of being reminded every time that I am supposed to consider them my sisters and behave like one.

I totally hate that I cannot ever feel normal among people like you. I hate when my teacher asks me twice but asks others only once before moving on to next topic. I have lost my parents, I am not mentally retarded. I hate to be treated like one, she added dejectedly.

I hate all the sympathy. That you’ve come to talk to me while I lament. That you get everything that I too deserve. I hate that you will go back to a family that is your own. I hate that you have friends, normal ones whereas all I have is these girls to talk to, she said enviously. I hate my life and I hate everything about it. And most of all, I hate God, if there is anything like that, to have let me suffer like this, she finished.

It was like a flood of emotions that had unleashed itself after years of self-agony. Like a tornado of pain that hits you so bad that you stumble without control. I do not remember how many seconds had passed before I could utter a word again. She didn’t bother disturbing my thoughts. It’s like I was transported to a different world. A world where there was only misery and loads of anguish, an ocean of pain.

Coming back to the present, I failed to understand if the other girls were right in accepting their lives the way it was or this girl was right in lamenting over her life. Was I even the right person to judge?

Something about her sullen outburst turned my senses numb. I wanted to talk to her. I wanted to say something that would make her feel better but didn’t she say that she hated sympathies? I wanted to be angry with her for abusing everything God had blessed her life with, no matter the past. I wanted to make her see sense, to drive out the negativity, to see a solution, find one. Most of all, I wanted her to look at the other side of the coin which was begging for her attention. And that thing was happiness. I so wanted to talk to her. But all I did was get up and walk away.

At the door, I turned just once to look at her and she did too. In all those 20 minutes of being together, that was the only moment our eyes met. I saw she was crying all this time while I thought that her words were quavering with anger. The tears now dried had left her eyes moist and cheeks pink. Her face emotionless.

Although, I had no words left to justify her arguments and accusations, I am sure; my eyes conveyed what I was thinking at that moment. And that was although I do count my blessings, I was not sure if she did!

-Asha