I fear death. I fear it not in the usually brave, tame, hesitant way. I fear it with impassioned distress.
To lose a loved one is an end of a delightful story. To see a story end when you have to continue without it, living your story without a crucial wedge to prop you up, you stumble a little; sometimes a lot.
Layla, our dog of 12 years died today and she’s left us immensely sad.
Barely 2 months old, she came to us a sweet bundle of fluff and charm. Over the years, she became a companion to my parents and her senior FooChoo. Dogs are meant to be companions — they take that road easy, nothing new about that. But to someone who experiences their particular brand of friendship, they are irreplaceable.
Layla remains in our hearts. As we wait to bury her tomorrow in the garden she so merrily enlivened with her antics and very-dog enthusiasm, our hearts are breaking. Tonight is going to be long night.
We meditate. Each one of us. We think of what we think of — sometimes with enviable deliberation and sensibility, sometimes with manic insanity, sometimes with ignorant habituation. But we, all of us, think and meditate without pause. When the mind is without thought, the thought is about not thinking. Until I experience a complete nothingness, I will believe so. And until I believe so, I will think, and express and ask and seek.
I have a list where I sometimes jot down my thoughts, questions and observations. The list keeps increasing, of course, and today I wish to add to it. To read the previously published one, just click here. As always, your answers, your comments are wanted, dreamt of, even.
34. I like Pablo Neruda’s poetic mind.
35. Would it be right to say that a strong retaliation is unjust, if the trigger were strong enough?
36. I can’t make bubble-making liquid. I just can’t.
37. If all the self-help advices in the world were collected, there would be equal amounts of contradictory advices for the same problem.
38. Ice-cream melts slower if you eat the cone alternately from both the ends.
39. Feminism is farcical. Just as machismo is.
40. Grief is a good thing for your soul, if you allow it to enrich you.
41. Huge raindrops are slightly scary.
42. What would happen if it really rained cats and dogs?
43. The amount of electronic and plastic no-good things in your house speak volumes about your past life. You might have been a magpie.
44. I’d like to give a giver of fulsome praise a good punch square on their nose.
45. I am beginning to believe I could garden well if I tried well enough.
46. Could there really be space scrap floating in space?
47. People living in war-torn regions aren’t people. They are super humans.
48. A child should always get a chance to know his/her grandparents.
49. Was any of your grandparent without denture/teeth? Yes? Such fun when they laughed, no?
50. If you can hug a tree a day, or sit under its canopy, consider yourself very lucky.
Note to Reader: You might find me here every day – writing short notes, long notes, stories or poems or whatever takes my fancy and whatever my time dictates. Don’t feel obliged to read and comment. Although, if you do read and/or comment, you’ll be delighting me in the process. And delighting me can be your good deed of the day every day.
When I was but a fledgling blog writer, I wrote a post telling people a little about myself, in which it found a mention that I like looking at fish swim. That fishes are my marijuana. Having never experienced the effects of the latter, I can use the word loosely, and feel happily cool about my choice of relaxation and a hallucinogen. I have no choice but to feel happily cool at this moment, because if I don’t, I won’t, since there are innumerable reasons for me to feel unhappily grumpy. One of them being that the parrot fish couple in our aquarium has lost not one, not two, but all of their 15,000 eggs. Another could be that I am shooting away this diaryesque post here instead of either translating a file, or cooking, or sitting with my mum or brushing my hair (it is 3 days overdue from my got-very-lucky weekly brushing). I am doing so, because I feel at the end of my tether.
Mothers are meant to be over-worked either in the body, or llll-./0mind, or both. I am one of the trillion exceptions. I am over-worked in my body, mind and soul. The only way out of it, it seemed this morning, was to indulge in a little, mindless marijuana of writing to you, reader. I feel my limbs relaxing already. It could be the very-sweet ginger tea, but I don’t care, as long as I am not only sipping it, but also the looking at these words form on my screen, releasing a little of this pent up frustration, this indescribable feeling of inability.
Inability. I can see your mind race with ideas to swiftly type down comments or mails about how it cannot be defined as inability. I know it isn’t. But it is my definition. Anything I do that is less than what I can is my inability. And since I can improve the quality of my routine existence, there is much more to do. I feel so overwhelmingly inadequate on the days there is a freelance work to send. Even when things are functioning as well as they can under the circumstance, I perish all chances of relaxing and go on to batter everyone and everything in my way to panic and rushedness, including my old, very-missed calm. Consequently, my work suffers, the people around me suffer, my little baby doesn’t suffer, but she could’ve had better. My inability to be as efficient as I was earlier is only a small part of this confused agitation. Another aspect is that even as I am struggling with the daily demands on my time, energy, love and understanding, I want to sit down and write. I imagine myself sitting somewhere quiet, and writing, and feeling every bit of this darned tension getting released from my body. But it doesn’t happen. Largely because during Bela’s waking hours I am either with her, or translating, or cooking or carrying out hopelessly insufficient measures to bring some order to my shabby home, thinking all the while that all I want is to go to my daughter, while my mother or my husband take care of her. And during her sleeping hours, I am doing the same, except taking that chance to take a nap, too. Where does the time to write come?
It came this way today, when I gave up everything and just began writing, forgetting everything, including the endless list of drafts in my Dashboard. I am back again after 3 hours. Bela woke up, I spent some time with her, all the while fretting that I had to deliver professionally rendered work, delivered (hopefully) professionally rendered work, ate (hallelujah!), saw Bela doing her Bela things while my mother was actually participating in them, prayed that Bela went to sleep, and after she’s gone to sleep, I am back here, typing garble.
Since I am a new mother, I am not sure this happens to every one of us, but I suspect it does in one way or the other. But we look so cheerful and happy and in-control. It might be because of our Mini Me babies, reflecting a lot or a little of us. That can be relaxing, too. Very relaxing. When I look at my baby’s face lighting up soon as she sees me, nothing else matters — not writing, not money, not a pee-visit. I suppose there isn’t anything to complain about except my state of mind.
And that’s where the churning cogwheels stop and take a deep breath, and say, “Oh yeah!”
The job of a mindful mind is to let the heart relax enough to allow it (the mind) to feel. There is bound to be an imbalance somewhere in this very tricky and ill-conceived situation. Funnily, unlike other ill-conceived inventions, this one doesn’t come with an antidote. At least not a universal one. All you can do is to keep fretting and yelling and doing what-finally-makes-you-bang-the-door-shut until the sound of that bang makes your mind find your heart’s marijuana.
Note: The blue letters in the middle are what Bela wants to say to you. I suspect she meant something like, “Hey, you!” And they are in blue, because it is her favourite colour.
As a child, and then as a teenager, and later as a twenty-something, I would occasionally put my head inside our aquarium, and look at the fishes swimming, trying to feel the water in which they swam. I looked at the aquascaping we had lovingly arranged, trying to visualise how life for the flora and fauna was in the aquarium, and must be in the rivers their brothers swam in. It was a beautiful experience, irregardless of the lurking thoughts of foolishness and impropriety. I’ve had aquariums most of my life, and continue to do so, but I no longer put my head in the water. I do, sometimes, pretend I am swimming with the fish. That is a safer way to let your imagination and sensory celebration run amok without being labeled a mutilator of propriety. At any rate, I didn’t attend a finishing school, so propriety doesn’t bother me much.
Bela’s sleeping, and I am here, translating. Or should be translating. When I habitually hit the Random Post button on my blog here, it took me for the umpteenth time to Weather Me Well, an Etheree I wrote a while back, claiming to want to get back to being people-happy. I am people-happy. A blog with no interaction is not me. But a blog — two blogs — with responsibilities is something I am not sure I can manage very well.
This poem below is not new to me. I read it more than a decade ago, and enjoyed it immensely. I still do. Since I’ve begun to fancy myself as a poet sometimes, I’ve even begun to want to write a similarly impassioned one. Maybe next week?
I published a book two days back. While I secretly (and sometimes publicly) gloat over this mild accomplishment, let me tell you it isn’t mild at all. First, when you are absolutely new to the publisher’s site (in my case CreateSpace), you don’t know how to carry out even the smallest of tasks. For instance, finding a decent copy of your book’s cover.
By decent I mean the one in which they also publish the ISBN code. At any rate, if you do know how to right click and copy and save a picture, you will be able to copy and paste the preview of your book cover (without the ISBN) and show it to eager friends. I keep doing it all the while these days.
Also goes without a mention is that it is frustratingly difficult to find a decent way to provide a preview to your eager friends. So, the best thing is to make a pdf out of the best pages of your book (if there are any. If there aren’t, just pick up a random set of numbers, like I did), make a pdf and upload it in the Preview section of the good publisher’s site. They make it available for the ones who get roped in, and send you the address for you to make viral (ugh, I do hate the expression, but it’s a certain word I’ve been dreaming of since the day before). Mine is slightly average, the address. Here.
When I found that my book is ready for purchase, dear reader, my mind began racing with the idea of holding it in my hands before you did (should you choose to buy it, of course). So, I ordered a copy. Since I live in a land, which is not mapped in the Easy Shipping Map of the world, I shall receive my book in January, 2013. On January 7, 2013 to be exact. So, should you purchase my book, and open its physical copy before I do, please tell me how it feels. I am dying to know.
More about that, the feeling, and the dying to know is available at my other blog.
Note: The book is also available at the CreateSpace EStore. Should you choose to buy it, of course.
Perhaps the name of this blog is working. It has helped me weather — whether well or not remains to be seen.
The desire to write and be read is so intense, I write instead of sleeping at my off time. (This won’t do for long, I must sleep, too.) For now, the one decision I have thought of is of going public again. I don’t know why, but like always, I am going to succumb to my whims and fancies.
It is 44 degrees Celsius here today. Some respite after yesterday’s storm and a spot of rain. We’ve gone up to 47 degrees this season, so we know what’s worse. I hear bird songs from inside my well-insulated, air-conditioned existence and crave to go out and look at these happy-sounding creatures. And take pictures of them for you, maybe. For them, there’s no sweat, no heatstroke, no dreading the time outside of air-conditioning. Though they make nests that sometimes break in storms, look for food and water (which is thankfully aplenty in this region even in summer, unlike the cosmopolitan cities, where birds are known to have died for the lack of water), and chirp in the heat, they largely seem happy. Almost smiling.
I am huge with expectation of the now long-awaited arrival. Our bundle of joy, as the cliche puts it. I see the kid as this tiny kitten I have as wallpaper on my desktop. Somehow, it and its mother seem very much like us, me and the expected baby. The wait is getting onerous, what with the heat and the unwieldy body and the frightening thoughts of pain and discomfort during the arrival. I am not the first expectant mother, and I won’t be the last. Many more have been through this agony before me, and yet, only my pain seems to be of any importance to me. How very selfish, wouldn’t you say?
I like telling you about where I am and how my life is in these last few days of pregnancy, hence these teeny updates. The reason for this poem, however, is something else.
Baba bhaiya, the one I wrote about a few days back, is gone. He, and those that he loved, are free of the trauma of his unrelenting invader and disease. As I write this, his son must be coming back from the cremation ground after having set light to his father’s pyre on his own birthday. Such are the vagaries of life. Bhaiya’s old parents, dessicated souls, must’ve gone from their home to his to see their dead son — for the second time in one year. The first time was a week back, when they were told of his condition. They were stoic, I am told. To go and meet your almost comatose son — all devastated with sickness and attempts of revival — must be an unmentionably withering feeling, though.
A cousin who’s posted there in a cantonment in the same city has been going often to the hospital since the larger family came to know. He was telling me a few days back about the terrible feeling of having to look at a man, who’s designed gliders and world-class aero-models, being unable to write and comprehend an alphabet. Vagaries of life? I do not know. But one cannot keep dwelling on these things. They are to be felt, withered over, and then planted a seed on. And then watered, until there’s a tree for the birds to sit on and nest in.
This new place is not new, since I belong to it. And yet, it is strange and unfamiliar, because the only few years I spent in this region were at a time when I was drunk with teenage and didn’t have time to look around and see and observe the peculiarities of the place (except the ones I could laugh at).
This post is just to orientate you about my surroundings. So that when you imagine me sitting at this computer and typing out thousands of words in the near future (hopefully), you can visualise better. To be perfectly honest, though, the post that was due today is still incomplete. So, in a way, I am cheating and giving you a cheap substitute. But what the heck, I am pregnant. And I can take liberties. No? Continue reading To orientate is easy. To get lost is easier.→