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Paranoia – Or Whatever It Is!

After about four hours, hunting for one of my meds which I could not find, and completing the official procedures required for the acceptance of a fee after its deadline date, I was undoubtedly exhausted. Starving, as I approached my college canteen, I saw a classmate.

“This was supposed to be a mass bunk!”

“Oh yes it was”, said Saif reassuringly. “I was here only because I can concentrate here better than at home.” I heaved a sigh. Both of us went on to fill ourselves with the most wholesome items on the menu. As we walked, I also caught a glimpse of my old friends – the ones from my first year at college, two of whom were still my classmates. They waved at me and I was bound to respond. Etiquette says I should’ve gone over to them, but I was too hungry. Also, I was not very keen about going over and having fun made of me, which almost always happened. I pointed towards the canteen building; I don’t know how they would’ve interpreted that. And I didn’t care so long as my stomach was empty.

After having my lunch at four p.m. or so, I branched off from Saif and decided to go over to my old friends only two of whom were now sitting there. I don’t really know if the absence of the other two was good or bad.

“Am I welcome?” “Ayesha and Pandu replied in an affirmative and therefore I went on. The conversation kick-started and it happened to continue while two more of my old-but-not-current-classmates joined us. As we began talking, she asked me why I asked if I was welcome. “Why wouldn’t you be?” “Maybe because I bore you people? Maybe because my jokes never fire, I’m not so cool and fun and stuff like that?” “Oh come on! Chill out. That is certainly not so.” No doubt, it was nice to have such an answer. I told them about my no-girls pact while all of them laughed. It was a nice time and all of us talked on till we parted for our respective homes.

One thing that comes to mind is, am I paranoid? If so, what’s the reason behind it? My near-black complexion? Or my handicapped sense of humor? Or my slurred speech? Or just being extra-thin? Or is there really a reason behind it? I’ve been eliminating people from my life, especially those whom I can meet everyday. I just ignore them. I guess there’s a reason why I ignore them. It’s because of the fact that I realize my shortcomings. The people being ignored might not realize them; but the fear of having them realize those is perhaps the reason for what I do. But this elimination has perhaps made me all the more paranoid, because there’s no one to share all those negative and self-depreciating thoughts.They’re all in the head. Or, am I even making any sense?

Today’s conversation has at least told me that I am not that bad a company after all. I’m not incapable of having my group of friends. Maybe, the depreciation has come from inwards. It was not because people made fun of me but because of the way I sometimes felt about it. Of course it’s not true for all the people. And I therefore have to be selective. I am not ready to give myself to just anybody; but I might certainly try to mingle up a bit. I know it’s going to be hard; and next to impossible when it comes to new people. But it has to get better with time. Everything does.

So if I am paranoid, the reasons I cite may not be so important or significant. I cannot aim at ‘having lots of friends by the time I leave college’, because there is hardly any time to start all over with friendship when I have a hell lot of academic stuff to catch up. I can however aim at maybe, ‘not ignoring people’. The no-girls pact still holds, but my old friends from college can be partially exempted. 😉

If the paranoia – or something like that – stems from the fact that I am aware of my shortcomings and wish to conceal them from the world, let’s just stop concealing. People eventually find out what’s wrong with you. Trying to hide them is not only vain but also self-depreciating. It only leaves one unable to lead a life which one otherwise could. So, I guess here it is – embrace yourself the way you are. It’s good to be aware of one’s flaws, but it’s more productive to work on them instead of spending all the time concealing them. After all, who doesn’t have flaws? None of us is perfect. It’s not about becoming a people’s man, it’s about letting people know that here also stands a man.

Let’s see how that works!

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We’re All So “Mature”!

In less than a fortnight of its release, ‘Afreen Afreen’ from Coke Studio 9 has become one of the most viewed and talked about Coke Studio songs. Some say that the addition of some extra lyrics for the female voice has robbed the song of its original charm while some others are just in awe of the beautiful rendition. In less than three days since release, the video had received more than 4 million views on YouTube. That certainly is extraordinary. And certainly, not all of it could be attributed to the awesome music that has been clubbed with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s version of the song.

The exponential popularity of the song has another cause factor – Momina Mustehsan, the beautiful female voice in the song which has Rahat Fateh Ali Khan dominating the vocals. Since the release of the song, she has become the heartthrob of young India; I don’t know if that’s true for the rest of the world. She indeed is beautiful; no doubt about that.

The thing to ponder over is, how did this popular heartthrob become my heartthrob too? When I first came to college, things were abuzz with rumors about a girl who was great – both by intellect and by looks, which people obviously preferred. My classmates were nuts about her. I had not even bothered to try finding out who that girl was. Whether I found her out or not, and what happened next is a completely different story. What bothers me is that this time, I feel myself all the more immature than ever.

I know she’s a celebrity, I know she’s at least ten thousand miles away from where I am, and I know that there’s no way any sort of contact or correspondence is possible. I still am following everything about her. That’s not me! Or maybe, since I’m writing this, it actually is me. And if it is me, then I’m immature and an impostor hiding himself from himself.

The question is – Is being immature really that bad? And how immature can you get?

Admitting that I am very immature, I guess we can never declare if we have matured. Each moment, we only get as mature as to be able to recognize our past actions as our ‘immaturity’. Under the garb of ‘maturity’ we increase our worth in the society, but how worthy do we feel inwards? I was once identified as a very mature person, far more than my peers; but you know what was behind that superficial pride that I felt? It was fear – deep rooted – haunting my being at all moments. It was burden – consistent efforts to save my image in the society! What about the image of myself that wanted to see? I never could!

So yeah, I am in – what I call love – with Momina Mustehsan. As ridiculous or childish as it might seem! After two failed attempts at it, here I am, back again! Experimenting with “love”! To the superficially ‘mature’ part of me, this actually seems foolish; but I guess it’s time to move on from superficiality to truth. I realize that I would have otherwise not at all expressed my admiration of her beauty and her voice. I would have just responded with a shrug or a nod while maintaining my “mature” calm and composed aura. But now, I can actually joke about it with my friends and roomies. I’ll openly follow her Instagram account, her Facebook, her Twitter and other stuff. And since she’s just a year or so older than me, I might even have a ray of hope about it 😉 ! Reality will soon unfold, and we’ll all move on – me, my friends, and Momina Mustehsan! We’re all so “mature” after all…

By the way, here’s my first gesture of love – requesting all of you to please watch this performance of my love! 😉

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I’ll build ’em up

Three days back, one out of the two people whom I deem most fit to review what I write commented on a freshly written article as being “Being well-written but inscrutable”. The other one has yet not replied to my email in which I sent him that piece. The other response can be easily anticipated. What Critic-1 (C-1) had to say about the article completely shattered me. It was like saying that your ship is perfectly constructed but it won’t be able to set sail. What good is the perfection of grammar when your sentence does not belong to the domain of human understanding and imagination.

On its very optimistic face-value, I could have inferred that I had gone so deep that it had become hard for such a man to comprehend and appreciate it in a few readings. But the practical me almost brought tears to my eyes which I hopefully did not show. But the moment I left that room, I had decided to quit this pursuit of creative writing. People did not in general like my writing, though they appreciated it for my sake. It was written on their faces.

Who was I writing for? I’d like to believe that the answer to this question is “MYSELF”. However, if it had been for me, why would I crave positive reviews from someone? And why would someone’s negative views bother me so much as to shatter me? “I quit”, I had said innumerable times in my heart. As it appeared, my dream of becoming the best writer in the world was about to stay a dream forever.

….Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools….

These lines popped up in my mind when it was dealing with cyclones. This poem, “If”, by Rudyard Kipling was perhaps the first poem that I had read. And some lines from it are still etched on the walls of my memory.

I think I have to stoop and build’em up. With renewed fervor, positive spirits, and hope, I need to start again. I may be a bit more equipped this time – years of nonsensical writing have at least given me to writing. If expression is still on the other side of the barbed wire, this journey will bring it to my side. I promise, not to C-1, not to C-2, not to you, only to ME. I will not show what I write to anyone in person. I will crave for positive reviews. I’ll just write – on my blog – to myself and to an unidentifiable crowd that dwells on the other side of my screen and none of whom I personally know.

I’ll write shit at first. No doubts. But there won’t be a stagnation. I’ll evolve – momentarily for good or for bad, but – ultimately only for good.

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No Abnormal Stuff

I’ve spent the last few months of my life looking at all the negatives it has offered and can have in store for me. I’ve been frustrated, confused, befuddled, angry, complaining, disgusted, exasperated and finally gained nothing out of all this. No wait, there’s one thing that all this has made me realize, and that’s what I’m going to share with you here. Possibly, most of you know what I’m about to tell; but then there’s no harm in revising what you’ve learnt, right?

So, what I’ve realized is that life is not a fable. They are two very different things. There’s a difference between the ideal and the real. Why did we have to write “Considering ideal circumstances…” for all derivations in our Science class? Because, in reality, things deviate. The deviation only widens. Your parents won’t always understand you. Your girlfriend/boyfriend will ditch you. Your passion will not align with your profession. Your interests will not always be acknowledged. You’ll fail in your academics. You’ll be mocked in public, you’ll be fooled, you’ll see the peak of your career and then its worst downfall. You’ll find yourself devoid of all skill and wonder how the world happens to be so prodigious. Your love won’t be reciprocated. You’ll see your parents proud of you at one time and ashamed of you at the other. You’ll beg God to spare you all this unfair treatment, or you’ll become a complete unbeliever. You’ll cry, you’ll feel like dying, you’ll see no way ahead.

Disasters will happen. You’ll be left dead with no one to bring you back to life but yourself. Yes, your very own self. This is life, and you have to live it. Period. When you feel mentally, morally or physically low, it is only you who can convert that low into a high. It is just a mind-shift that’s required. You need to feel that this is your life! You just need to feel saturated. You need to feel that now you can’t take any more of this mediocrity, that no one deserves to take you for granted. You need to feel that adrenaline rush that shouts out to you,”I’m here for a purpose and no one on Earth can deter me from achieving it!” You just need to be mad enough to be unable to be mad any further. That’s when your madness will reincarnate itself to sheer determination and hard work. That’s when life will rush its way into you. That’s when you’ll be living again.

If you want something, get up and get going. If the world gives you a blow, get mad enough to give an ever harsher one in its face! Stop crying. Change your mind and you’ll change the world as you fancy.

Contemplations · Random Thoughts. · Uncategorized

The Fag

Woman_smoking_a_cigarette

Dense smoke; White puffs rising and mingling into the air, becoming one with it, amalgamating themselves to look as pure as the air itself, our rather, making it all impure. Instinct tells me that I am being watched – I look around and spot a boy in an auto-rickshaw staring at this man in his forties, smoking a cigarette in his SUV – staring at me; Stuck in the never ending traffic jam, staring straight in front, looking at nothing. What goes through my mind? Why am I unintentionally piercing it all with my sight? Or am I piercing anything at all? And all at once, my mind leaps from this air of nothingness into this boy’s thought. What is he thinking? Is it about me? His face dons an expression of disgust while never fidgeting his stare. I can see it all through the rare view mirror of my car; I can almost hear him ask out loud, “Why do idiots like you smoke? Why throw yourself into that abyss that ends only at death? Why?” I can feel him almost gasping with frustration and contempt.

“Why smoke?” he asks me, I want to ask back, “Why do you live kiddo?”

I take in a deep, strong puff. It almost burns my lungs, I am about to cough, but I gain balance as I have against all atrocities of life. I can instantly shape a metaphor. What is this life but a burning cigarette? There are countless entities who smoke, all of that smoke disappearing into the air, transforming the blanket of air into a blanket of smoke, converting the atmosphere to the kapnosphere; just the same way the sighs given out in disgust by people like me mingle into that huge pool that accommodates the disgust of the entire world. We sigh at all times, sometimes at failures in academics, at other times at a colleague’s promotion and having ourselves left out, sometimes in disgust with the disrespect that our kids show us, or sometimes just at the squalid condition of our neighbourhood. It’s a continuous process, just as smoking is.

We are aware of the carcinogens that enter us with smoke, the Carbon Monoxide that burns everything as soon as it finds a way in, yet we smoke just as we continue to live despite the continuous blows that life throws at us in the face. We the humans live in a continuum of failures, aware of all the damage every passing second is entitling us to. We acknowledge the fact that one cannot come out of life alive, yet we let it do all the damage it can. We are a mob of those who surrender, who are well versed with this art – surrender with a valid excuse. Isn’t the same true for cigarette? We surrender to the cancer with the excuse of the short lived pleasure that it provides.

It burns and burns, burns till all we are left with is the butt, and we try to extract the last iota of smoke that might be left, we hold on to it till the end just as we do with life. Each and every passing moment symbolizes the end that we are slowly but consistently approaching, but does one abhor anything more than the end, anything more than death?

The smoke has been rising, and instead of entering my lungs, I think it has entered my mind, reaching out to every neuron, burning every nerve ending, blocking all thought, blocking it all. Things begin to blur, no more can I pierce the space with my stare, nor am I able to see the boy in the rare view mirror, no wait, I see a smirk on his face, and then the smirk subsides. I can hear some loud sounds, people are honking. But I have imitated the smoke.

The cigarette has reached its end.

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Ounces of Words, Deluge of Pain…

He watches as mother goes inside the room to summon his dad up for dinner. He has been resting on his bed in his usual silent but frustrated disposition. Shaun can feel the tinge of nervousness on his mother’s face while she approaches the room. Both of them know it; he is in a bad mood. She enters…

The door is not completely closed and sitting across the veranda, Shaun can see whatever happens. He cannot listen what is actually being articulated, but he sees a frustrated dad turning to see while mother asks him to come for dinner. What he sees next is a hurling of words, such words that make the already frightened face don a flaccid expression, an overpowering pallor.

Before his mother entered, Shaun had decided that it was enough for him now. He was not going to bear all crap, all blaming and anger and tears and all that depressing stuff that had blown him off his senses innumerable times before. But what he saw today made it seem all the more worse this time. It was actually a consistent graph, each time their quarrels had grown increasingly merciless; and it was this reason that made Shaun intervene as he feared that the limit may be crossed. The limit may be crossed. Oh poor boy, the limit had already been crossed – innumerable times.

Once again, he hopped down from the railing bar at which he had been seated, sped towards the door where the drama was on. With each nearing step, he could hear the words more clearly. And now he was there, audience to those shameless blames thrown by his dad upon his mom. He heard those unbelievable words where his father blamed his mother for all the failures that he had faced in his professional life, for the fact that he had to live on someone else’s means, for the fact that today he and his family were as homeless as the group of people living on the footpath, for the fact that they were at the mercy of these shelter-givers who could have them out whenever they fancy. He scorned her for her tries of making us stable, for the hard work that she put in so that the shelter-givers did not get a reason to get them going, for each and every bit of life that she had suffered. He stated that she had brought ill-fate with her in dowry to their marriage; that his unison with her was the beginning of the apocalypse that was about to befall him. To Shaun, this was nothing new – although with each word fired, his lachrymals responded with equal violence. He could feel that his mother was at the brink of a violent outburst of tears and he just wanted to grab this man by the neck and give him ample punishment, but this was not what his mom had taught him. He stayed – his body, not his tears. Sorry, their tears…

***

He cried that night, erupted actually. As he wrote –

“I am writing this note to you Ma. Ever since I have come to my senses, I have seen you as the best person in the world. I have idealized you for all that I think and do. With you, I have been witness to a whole lot of learning experiences. You have been my school better than any other organization; and I have worshipped you. You have been the source of uncountable successes of mine, the origin of all happiness of mine, the root and cause of everything positive that I have within me today. But it is not all positive that I have in me.

You and Dad have been excellent parents. I still adore you both for those sacrifices that you have done for me; but in this course of life, I have also seen you both as husband and wife. And with each such witnessing, I have gradually lost belief in this institution of marriage. I do understand the motive and logic behind marriage, but its consequences have taken me aback.

Each and every time I saw you and dad quarrel, I’ve had this strange feeling that it is me who stands shamelessly as the root and cause of all of dad’s sufferings and, consequently, your sufferings too. Both of you could have been very well off if dad did not have to give all his earnings for my hefty education fee. And this has pricked me to limits of pain.

It has been a great mental trauma to see how two people who swear to be each other’s support in life come to blame each other for all the bad in their lives. I know it is nothing as compared to the pain that you have taken all these years. You were always stronger Ma. Let me confess something Ma, I have often come to the idea of killing myself, releasing myself from all this tension, but not executed it because the moment I closed my eyes with all the tears, all I saw was you. I would no doubt free myself, but at the cost of having caged you once again. And I did not want to cage you and all those dreams that you have associated with thoughts of my bright future.

But what future Ma? Will things ever get back to normal? Even if I become a big man, will I be able to give back to you both those moments of happiness that you missed? Will I be able to erase from the record of Time all those tough moments the cause of which was I? Will I be able to make those words return which dad hurled at you when he was tensed? Will I be able to quash all failures that dad met with? Will you and dad ever reconcile, laughing and enjoying life as you once did? Maybe; but I cannot see an affirmative here Ma. I am still confused Ma. I love you. I want you to be happy. But what will give me what I want?

Is it my death? Or is it my life?”

***

Shaun’s mother woke up to another morning. As she approached Shaun’s room to wake him up, she could guess the tears he would have cried last night. She herself had cried. Shaun wouldn’t have slept early.

As she was about to knock, she saw a piece of paper lying halfway through the door on the floor – the very note that Shaun had written last night. She opened it; read through it; and before she had finished reading, the paper was already wet enough to make it look as though it had been thrown in water. With trembling hands, she pushed the door open.

What could she have seen?

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My Son would Never Rape a Woman

Just read this exceptional piece… Hope you like and understand it.

Epiphany in the Cacophony

sad-alone-cute-girl-waiting-someone-window My son would never rape a woman. It is brutal, disgusting and immoral. He simply isn’t capable of such a thing. She has obviously enticed him. __________________________________________________________

She was at the club when it happened. Short black dress, tall black drink. She stood in the middle of the dance floor, moved her hips slowly. She made eye contact with him. She even smiled. He walked up to her and asked her to meet him at his car. When she declined, he grabbed her arm.
And what a scene she created! She fought, screamed and kicked. You want this, he told her as he pulled her out of the club. NO, she screamed, yelling as he dragged her to his car. You don’t know what you want, you’re drunk.

She sat alone in the parking lot a few hours later. Disgusting girl, she reeked of smoke and alcohol. What…

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