2016 – The Year That Was

Picture Source: Pinterest

Picture Source: Pinterest

I love writing these year-roundabout posts. They make me look back at all that has happened this one year, rehash all the lessons learnt and be prepared for the year that’s coming. I remember reading last year’s roundabout post and all I could exclaim was, oh such a sweet summer child was I! Because that girl and this girl is just so much different, courtesy this past one year. 2016 has been one hell of a year, being officially the worst year of my Life till date. Everything I had ever loved and believed in, changed. People I’ve loved and lived for, left, betrayed and you can go ahead to fill in all the worst adjectives you can find, even then you wouldn’t be able to gauge the enormity of the damage that has been caused inside of Me. And yet, here I am, having survived it all.

2016 had begun with promises, with a constant worry in my head that the happy bubble would however soon burst. And burst it did, oh-so-badly. In fact, the worst nightmare of mine came true, when He left Me, this city for another city. The person who had come to define my life, had left me groping to come to terms to living alone, that too so suddenly and too early. It took me almost a year to get over him, and even now, I cannot say with 100% conviction that my heart doesn’t miss Him. But He sure taught me how to save and survive by myself against all odds, when I’d thought I wouldn’t be able to. Most importantly, this time, the Savior was none but Me myself. That would be one of the most important lessons he taught Me, when He left. Yet, I’d probably hold this grudge against him all my life, that he’d butchered the innocent girl that was Me, giving rise to a woman who no longer feared losing anything. That again however, was just a start to the tunnel that only spiralled downwards to losing so-called friends that had been the only gang of mine. Then had begun the web of trust, betrayal, disappointments and oh my, the amounts in which they were raining! I tell you, when people you thought to be your closest, reveal their ugly faces behind those social masks they wear, leaving aside the fact that they are not just horrific, but they even make you cringe thinking that you had actually wasted a huge chunk of your time behind them! That you had once given ’em a piece of your heart, only to have it stomped over, by them. But in hindsight, they were some great lessons learnt and now I can safely say, that there’s nothing that I haven’t been tried on. No one and absolutely nothing, no matter how bewildering the events might be, can surprise Me now. Been there, know that, Sir! Besides, given the peaceful person I’ve turned into, I’ve left it upon Karma to deal with them. Let Karma make its hands bloody, while I rest in peace!

This had however led to the first trips of mine, of this year. First one with the family, the second one for the family. The beach family outing had been amazing, full of fun and given my fondness for the seas and waves, they had given me constructive mental support to face head on, the problems that were going on in my life then. It had, in fact, steeled me for Varanasi. The Varanasi, with its conditions of keeping anonymity from the world, of being alone fighting it out for yourself and your family, and most importantly, making you realize the importance of Time, had changed me inside out. I no longer cared for anyone except myself. In fact, it had made me realize the value of family and that I’d say would be the most important good thing that came out of moving away from the gang of my friends. After the debacle, I have become so close to my family *touchwood* that there’s little that they don’t know about my Life and that actually makes me feel so contented. Varanasi taught me that and that, there must be space for nothing in my life except thinking of how to make my life more substantive.

So began the last year of my Masters as well and that thankfully didn’t give me scope to think about anything else than studies, which were so stressful and occupying every single moment of my life. Then came THE trip of my life, the first solo trip of mine which had been very bumpy at first, but went ahead to check off one item of the bucket list. From losing my purse along-with my college ID (totally caps my officially worst year, thank you 2016) to staying over at my bestie’s amazing place, from my appetite going worryingly down to watching the whole town stay quietly lit up at night during Christmas. From video calls of family to watching the galaxy of stars at 4 am, from surviving on only Chowmein for a week to travelling through a cloud storm, it made me grow my attitude back and went on to teach me yet another trip-lesson of my Life. If Beach had taught Me to think of ways to make Life more constructive than waste time over trivial matters or people, Hills taught Me to be selfish. To not give a damn about anything or anyone, than thinking about only myself. And that was just what I needed before the end of this year.

I’m not keeping any expectations out of 2017, that it’ll finally bring in everything that I need the most in my Life. In fact, I’ll keep doing what I’ve learnt this year: Keep surviving it. Prepared or not, 2017 can definitely expect some tough resistance outta Me against all kinds of obstacles and challenges, for I’m not going to give an inch without fighting. You must have already noticed that unlike the previous year, I didn’t mention the good things that happened this year. Lets just say that, they were bare minimum and the little I got, I don’t wanna jinx it up too. Also, unlike 2016, I’m going to draw up a resolutions list for 2017, because I’ve realized, I like being busy. I’m not gonna waste my time after any future scumbags or trivial matters, because my mission now is grooming the one I see in the mirror, into one of the best person out there, so that I can one day look up to myself and be really proud of myself. Now, it’s not about being worth of anyone, it’s about being really worth of the standards that I’ve set for myself. That’s the mantra now, because really YOLO.

2016 has been officially the worst year, sure. But it shall remain the year I’ll never forget. For breaking and remaking Me.

Happy New Year, everyone. May The Forces be with Us, this new year. May We ourselves, become The Force.

Coffee Talkies 2.0 #2 – Epiphany(s)

Picture Source: Pinterest

Picture Source: Pinterest

Sometimes, it’s been such a long time since you wrote anything about yourself or your life that, when you do set about having a go at it, it feels strange. Yeah, it feels strange that here I am, sipping coffee and actually getting to think about how everything is getting around in my life and not having my mind clogged with the studies’ plague. For once, it feels liberating. For once, it feels like home.

Now enough with the introduction and let’s straight headlong into what I’m here for. In fact, that’s exactly how I am now: Straight to the point, no beating around the bush. And today I’m here to talk about the major headlines, no, lessons that happened in my life these last 11 months of the year 2016. Two things to be cleared first: 1.  I think it’s gonna be a bit long post. So bear with me, please? 2.  I’m not gonna say “gosh, it’s 11 months already!” Because I’m glad it’s gonna be over. 2016 has been officially one of the worst years I ever had. Period. Now with that cleared, here goes my lessons. I have learnt that:

–  Dreams aren’t true. Sure, they occur and we consider ourselves lucky to have achieved, that whole dreams-coming-true thingy but they are dreams only because we gave them that position. I’ve decided to call them benchmarks from now. One bench crossed; walk, run, stumble, fall whatever is required, to your next bench. Dreams are cliché. Because they’re unreal and…. it hurts like hell when you see them breaking.
–  There’s nothing called settled life. It itself is a contradiction because absolutely nothing in life is permanent. Not your closed ones, not your friends. They constantly change with times, even if you don’t and it doesn’t matter if you don’t change and don’t want others to change, because life is just that. You just cannot let things run according to your own course. Accept it and move on.
–  Take the challenges like a proud pilot when the winds flow wild. Like literally. No matter how heart-breaking, disbelievingly shocking the events might be, face it and you’ll know forever that you’d been courageous. That goes a long way, really.
–  Sometimes it’s okay to have setbacks. In fact, I’d say it’s necessary to have ’em coming because that makes you learn the lessons the hard way. And if the setbacks are personal and yet you’re surviving it like a professional, pilot salute little wolf!
–  It’s always okay to love and not get loved back in return the way you wanted it. In fact, even in cases when your love is not appreciated or recognized and you’re hugely disappointed. Know that you had loved and it takes a lot to love. You’re far more greater than the other person. You’re way more courageous than the other person. And most importantly, you might love someone, sure, but at the very first list is You. If you love yourself, you literally need no one’s love.
–  That it’s okay to still have the box called feelings, get opened sometimes. That it’s totally fine to have ‘crushes’ and get psyched about talking with them. That’s being human!!
– That it doesn’t matter if you don’t have many, like, 30-40 friends to boast or roam about. I mean, really who cares!? If you got the back of your family and that 1-2 friends whom you can call up and rant, vent your heart out, that’s really enough. I’m happy for myself when I say, that this year I came close to my family, thanks to losing out on some of my friends and I really, actually don’t regret any single bit of it. In fact, I’m glad life called out on some of them. Saved me a whole lotta time getting over them in the future!!
–  At last, but definitely not the least, it’s okay to be imperfect. To have flaws and have the courage to accept it. To be human and most importantly, be myself no matter how crazy that might be! I am Me and I do not regret one single bit.

I could have harped on more, but my coffee has ran out and I refuse to write anything without coffee! *cheeky smile* Okay, no the post is already long enough and I need to save some for the December roundabout post. But before I leave…. Always remember the best is yet to come. Always.

Have hope in the darkest of times. Because you’re all that you have and you better make the best deal of it!

Coffee Talkies 2.0 #1 Musings

Source: Internet

Source: Internet

I’ve been thinking about this for some months now and finally, the time has come. So ladies and gentlemen, I hereby relaunch my Coffee Talkies 2.0, drawing a very abrupt end to my previous version of Coffee Talkies, which was essentially a story of a broken couple. Due to a general lack of interest on part of mine in creating any kind of story further, especially given that this world is buzzing with lots of stories already, I henceforth came to the decision of letting the story be where it was and let the characters take it where they want to, in their own fictional world.

The idea behind Coffee Talkies 2.0 is to pen down my musings, which I usually do in my Instagram posts (my Insta handle is @esh_insta, in case you want to visit anytime, of which in fact, I’d be very glad of) and since then, 2 categories of my well-wishers have come into being. One, who have been quite generous with their compliments regarding my musings and the other kind who have been subtly hinting to me, to take it to my blog and leave my posts alone! And thus here I stand, being half-shoved and half interested by myself, to this position. The basic premise behind this Coffee Talkies 2.0 would be a theme for every post on which the musings would be based on and would also happen to involve a few stories. Yes, stories again, except that this ones are very real and happen right out there, something that can be connected with easily. Why Coffee Talkies and not some random blah-blah talkies? That’s because my musings usually choose to visit me during the coffee hours of my day and not just that (’cause as it so happens, I can actually get musings whenever I want *touchwood*), the musings that come then, usually do me the favour of staying back in my mind and not drift away, like the other times.
Okay, now enough with the preamble and on with the theme of the month that passed by: Switching Off and On.

Yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing this 2-3 months and Lord, haven’t I gotten to be a pro at it! No, of course we ain’t talking machines or some mundane stuff here, but you know, emotions. Raw, passionate emotions which are to be switched off and on, as per situations. Not getting it, right? See. We all have our weaknesses which we find, sometimes in people, sometimes in some places, or sometimes in both. The common thread happens to be the fact that you care. Care enough to get hurt at the slightest mistreatment or if and when things don’t turn out the way they should/expected them to be. Thanks to my amazingly good luck, I had and have the fortune of getting hurt at both. (Yeah, I manage to do that now and then and in fact, far often.) Now to survive in this world, you simply can’t keep on getting hurt, can you? So then, I Switch Off my emotions.

No matter how much the places might haunt you, no matter when you look at these people with whom you were once very close but not anymore and remember all those memories, the trick is to think of yourself as a stranger, meeting ’em with an enlightened, changed view. No bitter feelings with only the best wishes for ’em, what you can do is to switch off yourself in front of them. Feel not a single thing walking in those places or along with those people. Easier said than done, right? I know, I know. But well, if we talk about Me in this case, I tell you, I’ve turned into such a professional at this that sometimes I myself get so flabbergasted about it. In fact, I actually have got an interesting story regarding this.

The other day, one of my sisters quipped to me saying in this past 3 years since I have met her, I have changed and reinvented myself so many times that in a very short span of time, it is as if I’ve matured a lot, despite my age. And this is not just Her, but a lot of people have said the same thing and her statement that night just happened to corroborate with the general consensus. Yet to be honest, I hadn’t really wanted to but circumstances and people made Me to. And I refuse to look back. Really, the most important thing one must do is to never lament and regret. Most certainly, believe they have changed you into a much better person than you were before.

Does that mean I have turned into an unfeeling human being? Here comes the Switch On part. The moment I’m out of sight of those particular places and people, I switch back on myself. It’s almost as if I’m leading a dual life character. It’s tiring, sure and sometimes feels like it’s an unnecessary burden to carry but then, it’s so much better than getting hurt innumerous times or turning into an unfeeling being. Some particular disasters of your life should not change the person you are defined by. Not that much that, you can’t even remember the person you were/are and thus fail to look at yourself. Because at the end of day, all you’re left with is You yourself and he/she is someone you don’t want to hide your eyes from.

So Moral of the story is: No one can heal You but You, yourself. Believe and never lose sight of Yourself.

NON-FICTIONAL FICTION

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This happens to be a not-so-famous dialogue from a very famous Hollywood film.  Couldn’t identify? No? Okay.

Right, so this happens to be from the film The Matrix (1999) and even though this conversation between Agent Smith & Neo is not so famous, but is closer to my heart.

Sometimes, when sensitive people fall into depression, people who perhaps fail to grasp their sensitivity, laugh at their backs and call them, “Empty”.
“She is so empty, ya.”
“God, crawl out of this empty life of yours please, will ya?”
“Oh, I get so bored with this empty, boring life of yours.”

with the general consensus being “Get a life, dude/babe!”

What has always piqued my curiosity is, how do you define emptiness? Can there really be any universal definition of what can be called emptiness?

Most importantly, when you are calling someone ’empty’, can you really put your hand on your heart and call yourself ‘not empty’/’full’/’whatever-you-call-that’?

Think over it and let me know, please?

 

On a personal note, this past few weeks has brought along several epiphanies for me. And with epiphanies came in a big change. Thank you world for the love and hatred alike. They have been crucial for the change, which was the need-of-the-hour. *smiles*

What change? Let’s wait and watch? For, even I am eager to witness the change happening!! *grins*

COFFEE TALKIES – 3 (AN ECSTASY)

“Good Morning!”, came the sing-song voice of Elaine, while Shoi was entering her shop. Elaine, her assistant was a local native and a very good friend of hers who had helped & supported her much since the time she had moved to this part of the world. Shoi returned back her part of the greeting & taking her coffee cup, sat on her chair, massaging her temples. Damn Him. Damn Him. Damn Him. Shoi muttered under her breath.

Since the time Shoi had replied back to his message after successfully resisting it for weeks, Ayan had been unstoppable. It didn’t matter to him to explain his absence. It didn’t matter to him that Shoi might have even wanted or deserve some sort of explanation behind his errant behaviour. It didn’t matter to tell her about his present whereabouts as well. Of course, it also didn’t matter to him that Shoi had refused to share any details of her present daily life to him. Not that she had shared the details of her past life though. But ’twas as if nothing mattered but him. So always full of himself, Shoi frowned, sipping her coffee. It totally deluded her even now as to why had she even replied to him in the first place. But truth be said, Shoi hadn’t been able to resist accepting his truce, for it had been one. Or maybe, Him.

It had been quite late at 2:30 am that she had gotten to sleep the previous night. Why? Because the great Mr. Ayan was going all guns about the future projects that he was going to be a part of. Shoi could have feigned tiredness & conjured up some excuse to retire for the night, but she just couldn’t. Because his happiness was infectious. He was infectious. And Shoi had been smitten. Precisely why everyday now she has been waking up, with red eyes and throbbing headaches on lack of proper sleep.

 

large (1)With the shop being mildly crowded by the morning tourists & Elaine charming and managing them effortlessly, as always, it was the faint ticking of a clock nearby that drew Shoi’s attention from her logbook. Finding something amiss, because she had no such clock in her shop, she started searching for the source. And just then, she spotted one on a cup with an open book lying beside it on her window sill. Surprised because she didn’t remember keeping anything like that there anytime, she moved to see an absolutely beautiful, intricately designed cup, a retro-version, vintage clock, replete with a white bow and a small white rose. Admiring such an unexpected gift, she had just opened the book, when she found a note attached to it. Intrigued, she went on to open the note, which read: There’s no goodbye till I see you again…. A date, m’lady?

 

It was as if her heart had missed a beat. Shoi knew it all in an instant. Someone had slipped this gift by her window sill in her absence and she, Shoi gasped loudly, apparently knew this someone. He had been here. Ayan.

 

 

This post is the third installment to the fiction series Coffee Talkies. For the previous story installments, here are the links:

Coffee Talkies – 2

Coffee Talkies – 1

Enjoy and do take the pains of letting me know about your reviews regarding the story.

 

COFFEE TALKIES – 2 (GRUMPY ACCEPTANCE)

 

It was quite late at night when Ayan came back to his hotel and flopped down on his couch, completely drained and exhausted. Barely able to keep his eyes open, he checked upon his phone’s messages. None from her. He sighed. So even after a week since he had first messaged her after a 5 month long hiatus, she has still been holding her grudge. Punching in the good night message, Ayan smiled. Forever stubborn and headstrong Shoi. In this 5 months, there hadn’t been one moment when she hadn’t crept up in his mind. Why, it felt just like yesterday when he had unexpectedly stumbled upon her in one remote Indonesian beach.

 
11720558_656226241179420_112486274_nAfter a sleepless night, he had been out wandering on the beach early morning, when he had first caught sight of her and to his surprise, found his breath taken away. Looking out at the beach, she had looked like a demure femme fatale who could kill without the slightest suspicion of yours. She wasn’t gorgeous in her looks as much as the power that emanated from her. And all this Ayan had felt without even knowing her. He had went up to her and introduced himself as the travel journalist working for the National Geographic. She had introduced herself as Shoi Ray, an independent woman with a successful jewellery business, with her shop overlooking the beach. Having found someone who knew her way around, he had asked for her help in his work. She had acceded reluctantly, if not very enthusiastically. Treating her as just another native of another foreign land, Ayan clearly hadn’t expected her to change his life.

 

He still vividly remembers their farewell moment at the airport. How those 2 months had went by, he still couldn’t fathom. Shoi hadn’t said a word about asking him to stay back. But in some corner of his heart, he had expected her to. Not a single drop of tear nor any traces of broken voice had been there on part of her which might have given away her feelings for him. For he damn well knew she had, but had stoically refused to show. Instead, she had looked straight in his eyes and said in a clear voice, with a smile, “Goodbye, Ayan. May you live your life forever as a hippie without any roots anywhere behind.” Ayan had somehow managed a smile and never turned back to look at her even once. For then, she would have seen the tears that were falling limply on his cheeks.

 

 

The night’s silence got broken by a single beep on Ayan’s phone, who was oblivious of the same, being off to the dream land already. The sender’s name: Shoi. Message: “There’s no goodbye until the next hello, huh?”

 

Photo Credits: The picture in this post has been used with complete consent on part of the beautiful girl in the picture named Debolina, a college friend of mine. Without this picture of yours, this part of the story would have lost a chunk of its magic. Thanks a ton for lending it.

 

This post is the second installment to the fiction series Coffee Talkies. For the first story installment, here’s the link: Coffee Talkies – 1. Enjoy and do take the pains of letting me know about your reviews regarding the story.

COFFEE TALKIES – 1 (A DISBELIEVING SURPRISE)

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Like all mornings, Shoi had woken up at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m, went for jogging at the park and after her punishing ritual of exercises, been back home at sharp 6 a.m. She’d made her morning coffee, black straight and jam toast in the breakfast, just like any other day. Cupping the hot black coffee cup with both her hands, she pulled up both of her feet on the seat end of the chair, her favourite sitting posture and sat musing.
She’d earned quite a reputation in her family and friends circle, being a ‘living machine’ leading successfully, an independent but drab life, straightened down to every small detail. Hearing ’em, she used to give a mere shrug. Wasn’t as if they were wrong. Excitement in Shoi’s life was zilch. Work was her favourite hiding place, where she used to slog days and nights, for the fear that whenever her mind found itself free, it used to inadvertently take refuge in her past, when she wasn’t this person.
He’d drop in every morning, deliberately late (to make her wait) for the coffee, which he found distasteful and the toast, which only worsened his appetite, as he claimed (“You’ll be burned in hell for treating a guest in such a way!”, he’d spat, with a puckered frown on his face), yet drop in anyway. He’d walk her to her shop, despite her innumerable attempts to dissuade him and again walk back her to her home in the late evening. Why? Because he wanted to be ‘in form’ and what better than to walk with a just-average-looking girl. She’d be offended, turn up her nose in the air and fasten her speed, trying to leave him behind, much to his amusement. Among all other things he used to do, she liked the good morning and night messages. She had grown warm to the habit of waking up and sleeping to them.
Snapping back to the present, Shoi sighed. He always had to return back to torment her, didn’t he! 5 long months since they have had any contact and she still couldn’t forget him. She shouldn’t have let down her walls and let him in, she berated for the nth time. For when he’d walked out, he’d broken every piece of her. Yet she’d held her pride. She hadn’t went back to him, begging. After all, why would she? They technically didn’t have any rights on each other, to want the other person to stay back. After all, they were just strangers. Yet every piece of her mind and heart had wanted him to. But he hadn’t looked back even once and she had let him go.

The coffee had turned cold, the toast half-eaten. She swore an oath. Now her appetite had gone for a toss as well. Fantastic. Just then, her mobile chimed an incoming message. Surprised, she looked at her watch. 6:40 a.m. Too early for anyone to be awake and message her, except… Nodding her head disbelievingly, she reminded herself. 5 months, Shoi. Just let him be, now. Huffing a disappointed breath, she retrieved the mobile from the work table and widening her eyes, almost frozen a stance, fell back onto the chair in disbelief.
“Good Morning.” – Ayan.