Stumbled Upon Myself

You’re lost amidst echoes.

Blood’s pumping into your head.

Crickets sound like people calling out.

Someone’s clapping from afar.

 

Its dark, your thoughts are falling in place.

The broken signals are harmonizing.

You were running away from something.

Work, love, hate, separation, reality, responsibility?

 

Your eyes got fixated upon the sunset.

And your mind was far away

Thinking of the evenings you spent

colouring books and eating with your face.

 

Days when you weren’t actually smiling

for the camera but were just smiling.

Days when you made up stories

about the smallest of incidents.

 

Days when love came naturally.

And people lifted you up with joy.

And you stole extra pieces of cake

and hid under tables, giggling.

 

And somewhere you got lost.

You stopped telling stars stories.

You forgot about imaginary friends.

You don’t feel excited when the sun’s up.

 

You don’t paint your face green.

Yo don’t make paper boats

and set them afloat in drains.

Or write notes to your parents.

 

These memories turned into music

Your footsteps became beats

and suddenly you’re living your past

in your head, like a movie and laughing.

 

You lost your way

while you found yourself.

 

 

 

 

Coca Cola Kid

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You meet someone for the first time.

Filled with words that you think to be wisdom.

You hear with utmost curiosity.

You make notes and click mind-images.

 

You’re bubbling with excitement

waiting to froth all over the place

with appreciation (and flattery?)

but you’re sitting cross-legged.

 

Weeks turn into months.

And by now all your friends and neighbours

know of the person’s glory.

It tops Sunday-night-dinner-discussion.

 

As all pumped up things fizzle out

so did your bottle of coca-cola.

And now its nothing but flat sweetness.

The novelty wore off.

 

Now the person is just someone

who used to make a lot of sense.

And now you don’t even care

to attend gyaan-sessions.

 

You’re just working by yourself.

A warm bottle of flat coke.

Wondering where your judgement

drove off the hair-pin bend.

 

Masters you’ll meet many

But who eventually quenches your

intellectual and artistic thirst

is who’ll keep your fizz alive.

Khwaaish

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The other day I was banging my head against the wall wondering what my dream really is? Is there like, one major dream and then sub-dreams or what?
And I read this from an old blog post, today.

I think I want to intern at various design places…no matter what they design, do theatre, video-log, do a TLC show where I show people places they need to get going to. Visit all the places we stayed in when I was a kid.

Maybe this is a clue. Maybe I should believe in the Universe or listen to the people who love me and step-up my professional game.
Well let’s see. Let’s get done with Thesis, first.

Arrivederci

Encompassed

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The heat is bogging everyone down and the view outside my window is a land filled with buildings and alleyways, bordered by huge hills that hide the horizon. These hills are magical. You may believe this or you may not.

Some mornings when the sun’s still in bed and the clouds have taken over – it would seem as though this town never had giant hills holding it in their arms. You’d look afar from the highest terrace and still not find a trace of those hills that I speak of. And then, when they decide to make a special appearance amidst the pink-evening sky, you’ll see them stand tall, gaily inviting your eyes to their presence.

I’ve not had the opportunity to enjoy these hills too much in the past three-something years but whatever little I have got to see has been nothing less than enchanting. I still remember the first time I went up there with a few good friends. It was a clear-night sky and the town was a silent lake lit with lamps that forgot how to float. From highway lamps to the glittering dots that were houses – they resembled a thousand lamps sitting atop an endless pool of water. And it was silent – except when the breeze made the trees sway. We were standing atop a boulder as huge as a truck.

I looked up and there, in the lap of Unknown consciousness, I found my bliss – a starry night unlike any other I’d witnessed before. Prettier than the ones NASA uploaded, more vibrant than the painting of its namesake. I still remember the feeling I had : to dust the sky because there were just too many of them to focus on any. It resembled a dusty table that needed cleaning. That night, I felt I had seen true beauty that was far from pretentious, bigger than us all and humbly looking down upon us from light years away. 

Whenever I see stars and feel their light upon me, I remember, that this light that now touched my eyes comes from ages ago – when what emitted this glow co-existed with a different age.

The memories and times that I look at the stars with, will be silently passed onto someone else, ages later. Unknowingly or not, these stars tell stories from afar. And we can only hope to understand their silence. How beautiful the mystery of the unknown is that it makes you look deeper into oneself and derive an honesty that is special – one of a kind.

Then there is the other night when I encountered these stars again – on a different hill – famous for spotting peacocks and cheetahs. We stopped the car in a secluded spot and turned off the ignition. While the crickets and breeze took over, I slid my neck out of the window and turned to face the sky squarely. The night-sky loomed over me – bearing itself upon me – filling my eyes with its darkness. I had to focus hard to find the celestial lamps tonight. I despise romanticizing my experiences but mere stars do not make up for what  they make us feel like. There is a feeling of freedom you get when you realize how inconsequential you are when you stand among the cosmos.

Yes, we play a part. Its all a circle. I agree.

But sometimes we take life too seriously. We start behaving as thought the entirety of our being depends upon the project due the next weekend or that the one day our partner couldn’t give us time will determine our entire future. Our ego belittles everything and makes us give way too much importance to us and our circumstances than we deserve. That is what stress is – and that is why we stop breathing.

But when you leave all that behind, roll down your window and gaze up above- look at how humble those bigger buddies up there are, your eyes are filled with tears – not because you feel small- but because the Universe is the reflection of what you hold inside you. Infinite possibility. Then why don’t we allow nature to enter us and teach us? Why are we so away from what is really our maker?

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Time to reconsider spending more time – tasting raindrops, climbing hills and gazing up the stars. If that’s too dreamy for you, why don’t you just pause beneath that tree you walk by everyday? Just stay, look up at its canopy shading you from the relentless sun and pass on your gratitude to it? We tell these things to our kids. Why don’t we follow suit?

If Tumkur has taught me anything then his will be it. Peace lies closer to nature. To ourselves. 

 

 

An Abundance of Shreyas

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Yes.
You read that right.
When you have too many ideas, too less time and many platforms to choose from – you get kind of lost.
I don’t blog  for money. Neither do I do it for fame. Most of my posts are just repositories for an unknown future. It’s like a scrapbook of thoughts. My categories are simply useless and tags are just formalities.

I love going through blogs with detailed divisions and segregations. How immaculately done – crisp and clear.

But my blog is like a small house in a cold place – with carpets layered over carpets, soft sofas draped by shawls, magazines and mugs lying everywhere, a gog snuggled up under the table, a lamp lit somewhere – in another room, paintings on the wall with no  signatures, books sleeping on window sills and incense swimming in the warm air. Oh and there must be food down the narrow hallway. And there will be music. But it will be messy. And it will be feel like home. An original, organic feel that will trap you in its comfort. Yes, that’s how I want my blog to be.

And so, I’m going to write in short everyday stories and things I learn so that we can keep this banter going.

I appreciate comments and I love emails. I want to read every story you want to tell.
And write some, too.

Love,
Shreya

Floating

Solitary walks – right before dusk settles in the sky. You’ve told nobody where you’re going and neither did anyone ask you a thing when they saw you leave with your shoes on. Probably going to run some errands or buy groceries, they must have assumed. But no, you were on a mission. And it was to accomplish nothing. 

Too many time in a day I catch myself anxious about a future which is nothing but an illusion – a game the mind plays with images floating between dreams and logical projections based upon current realities. Will you have enough money? Will you be able to make enough time for your loved ones while you run behind buses and bosses, alike? Will someone serve you or breakfast or will it forever be coffee-on-the-go? Will you ever have that mounted bookshelf with your collections stacked neatly the way you always dream of it? Will you ever have enough time to appreciate the rain and sing about it on a night that is far from beautiful? Will you have kids you’ll take out for ice-cream on your scooter? Will your partner enjoy the same kind of jazz or will he or she even know the difference? Will you ever feel accomplished or will you accept any sort of regret?

So many questions and one little mind. How is one ever to answer all these queries on one single day. You barely have time to do laundry these days so you cannot worry about ice-creams and kids. Valuable moments are lost while we stitch for the future. But then again you can’t pretend to not care, either. You need some amount of planning – some idea as to what you’ll be doing? Finding a balance is tough but it must be done. And in your way, in your own time. But done,it must be.

But what has to be done now?

Work, yes. You need to till the soil.

But when it gets too monotonous?

Well, that’s when I pitch the wise words of an Architect who we had the good fortune of learning from – Sanjeev Mokashi. He always had words- of wisdom, irony and technique. He had hacks for everything from plotting in AutoCAD to beating procrastination – n infectious disease every student gets affected by at some point or the other. ‘Do design – spend enough time with it – stay immersed. But when you’re bored – take a book and read it or so something that gives you joy. You don’t have to just keep working all the time. But you must remember to get back to it once you’ve been sufficiently entertained’

And that’s what I think I’ll do, too. The coming months have endless hours of work written all over them – with the thesis reaching its completion; reviews being announced; deadlines to apply for internships coming close. 

It is so easy for me to get distracted by instagram posts by Dayanita Singh in Champa Gali swaying to Delhi Sultanate’s reggae tunes or by the Delhiwallah ( Mayank Austen Soofi) who walks around capturing moments otherwise missed. Or just going through pictures from the more colorful lives of celebrities and wonder what they do differently to live life this large. Or I’ll be longing to go back to a point in life where I was happier than I am in my current reality – whatever it is.

So I need to commit to my own diligence and treat myself to a few pages of A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (or Jeet Thayil and Gabriel Garcia Marquez who are also sharing the space) when I’m tired of the same thing.

We have to find our own ways to get things done because only then will the wheel move forward. Despite my ardent love for doing absolutely nothing and just lying down dreaming – or eating grapes when its too hot for anything else – I need to find a way to channelize my efforts to accomplish tasks.

And when all this is over – I shall roam the streets of my choice, live the life I yearn for and make more memories as I dream of more distant realities. Forevermore.

(The next post is a tribute to Zaha Hadid – the architect who held onto her whims)