Letters and Letters · Places · The Paths Travelled

Learn. Unlearn. Repeat.

Dear Lieblingsmenschen,

It has just been a week that I got back home. And as soon as I put down my bags and looked around the room, I understood that home held an entirely new meaning. Do not get me wrong. I still love my bed and my room. My study table and yellow daisies above it are still the places where my soul wanders. Nothing has changed but the feeling of home. I am home and I am home-sick.

I remember writing about this in my journal (which has been confiscated by a Pride and Prejudice loving freak) few weeks ago when I was still in the village. I wrote how “I” was home. I felt like I could be my own home and that way I could never ever be home-sick. It turns out that it is kind of hard to knock on my doors to let me in sometimes. I keep losing my key! And it is not a bad thing. At least, I know I have lost my key. Anyway, this letter is not about that. I will find home again. This time at a new place with new people. I will survive.

Survival is the key word here. In past two months, I’ve learned that you can learn anything if you have to learn it. I’ve learned to survive. I’ve learned to push myself so hard because there was nobody else to do that for me. I’ve learned to be brave enough to smile even when I wanted to cry. I’ve learned that love flies like soul and touches the clouds around you. And even when those clouds burst out storming water and thunder, it is okay to be outside smelling the earth. And rocks crumble like sugar but they also rip your trousers if you slide in them for too long. I’ve learned that under the river there’s something more than sand and rocks because why would I still feel them underneath my feet after all these days that I’ve been away from it? I’ve learned to stay in the ground even when my pride flees in the jungle of praises. I’ve learned life in ways that I never could learn before.

In contrast, I’ve unlearned things too. I think I forgot how to stay. And I’ve found new ways to escape. Remember how I used to run off into fantasies and have my mind in the clouds all the time? I still do that. However, the clouds are new and real. They are so approachable that I can taste them and hug them. I can be among them. I am on the edge of something and I can either fall or fly. I do not know which will be true. If I fall I get to be on a rock bottom where I can build a new foundation. But I am scared what life will mean when I am there. Will I still be this positive? Will I still have the strength to stand up? Or will I wither away like leaves in autumn?

All these questions lead me to the fact that I am still unknown to far too many things. For instance, I do not know how strong I am. I do not know how to say no; how not to be too generous. I still cannot control my tears. I wonder if I will ever learn to do that. But then I know that I don’t know all these things. Yusra used to demonstrate how we don’t even know what we don’t know. She tells it in a better way. Someday I’ll ask her to make an inspirational video out of it.

And then there are things that haven’t changed. I am still a worrier gently trying to fold into worrying warrior. Trying without succeeding. I aim to change in this cycle by trying to let the air into my lungs until it displaces the worry which, leads me to the information that I will be leaving again. Very soon. In another village. And I do not know how it will be like. It will be much different and more challenging because this time I am going as a Team Leader. That would mean a lot of responsibility, patience and resilience. I am still to conquer all those things. However, I know that nobody is born a leader, they become one. So I am going to try to be a good one.  Wish me luck!

Until then!

P.S. I promise I will try to sneak in more blog posts. Please don’t give up on me!!

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Places · The Paths Travelled

Glance of our home away from home: Meet our family!

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Our Family!!

Home was a family.  We were a family of ten. A mom and a dad. Six sisters. And two of us. Yusra and I. Our family woke up early. As soon as the sun touched the sky, we heard Aama and buwa’s phone conversation. Buwa works in Gorkha and Aama calls him every morning. Most mornings, I sat down in a muda overlooking floating clouds and green leafy hills with my silver diary in which, I wrote pages and pages of memories. Kalpana is same as my age and is the eldest daughter who sings in the voice of an angel. Samjhana is married and has a son. She visits regularly. Sabina is Yusra’s Taekwondo guru as Yusra is her Yoga guru. In evenings, they practiced their yoga and Taekwondo. Sajina is a genius and she is an amazing dancer too.  Kareena is a star and does amazing splits. She also never stops talking. In the last few days, she would not leave me alone in the room. She insisted on watching me sleep and I let her.  Kabina is the youngest. She is our tinker bell. She danced and she sang with her little lips curled up in a smile so endearing that we fell in love with her every day.

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Kareena the star!
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Sajina the Genius
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Kabina the Tinkerbell

Ours was a pastel pink house on top of the hill. The window of our room faced the maize field and the dried leaves rustled every time breeze touched them. It felt like music. The attic was house to magic: Dry garlic and dry corn lined up in rows and columns. I never found spaces to walk across it, so I walked barefoot on piles of stalks that felt like uncomfortable roller-skates. At night, stars appeared and we hugged them from afar noticing how close they were and how beautiful than the stars back in the city. Sometimes, there would be fireflies in our room and it looked like moving stars. It was delightful to see stars fly in the room like that. I felt blessed every day.

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Our Pastel Pink Paradise.
Places · Poems · Stories · The Paths Travelled

Cravings

I crave the river bank

where lying upside down

I forgot my doubts and fears

grasses smelled of rain

and so did the mud

but they were always quite about it,

like

sophisticated angel eyed butterflies

that flew, flew, flew

befriending dragonflies that had rainbow hues

in their wings

as they went up, up, up

around a farm with pearl teethed buffalo

who lost her pearls

but still gave milk,

still chewed the dried maize plants,

still breathed out aggressive carbon dioxide

as she saw us climbing down a small narrow path

where the pink pastel house waited

like

a tree that waits for her birds to show up at night

I crave the river

under the bridge

that brought clouds right next to my nose

making me sneeze but smile

I was one among the clouds

and I had no full stops

only semi colons

of days that went

by bye bye

in blink of an eye

there was a hill with two rainbows,

one moon and one woman

who had lived a drought in a forest with no water

she was washed into a village

with no blue water bins and

 she talked, talked, talked

but did nothing to change the dresses

that marked the up and down

of that village and town

I crave the banana groves

gated greens of mulberry trees,

a mustache man with strong hands

whistling tunes into basuri

and his family in the rice fields

digging beneath the earthy soil

growing soul in rocky hills

DMCs in a room with fireflies

tinkerbell’s knock, knock, knock

and smile that opened all the locks

windows facing happiness

night prowl of brown-white cat

gazing stars and planets

that blinked, blinked, blinked

stretching in a yoga mat

I crave all those things

that made me breathe the misty mists

I believed in the mysteries

the calling of never-ending melody

and I crave all those things

Stories

Reason of my absence

I was absent for more than two months from the blogging world. All this time, I was in the most wonderful village of Nepal. It is called Amling. This village gave me invaluable memories and the people gave me so much love.

Why did I go there?

I was volunteering in International Citizen Service for Raleigh International. I learned many things there and I hope to share them all with you guys. Thank you for not clicking the unfollow button even when I was gone for months.

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This is what Amling looks like! Isn’t it beautiful? The pink house in the farthest left corner is where I stayed for 2 months.
Poems

Physiology of Self-doubt

1. It begins with a kid.

    dubious “Can you do it?”

    instead of

    smiling “You can do it!”

2. It begins with a fear.

    you’ll fall down the bicycle

    before you even learn to ride.

3. It begins at night.

    crawling ghosts will eat you alive

    if you go down the stairs alone.

4. It begins with mark sheets

    nothing is ever good enough

    you can do better next time. 

5. It begins with how they see you

    too fat; too skinny;

    too much make up; no make up.

6. It begins with silences

    half broken homes

    incomplete sentences

    waiting approval. 

7. It begins in a dead end zone

    a cul-de-sac

    of conversations

    in broken dreams. 

8. It begins at the very beginning

    as an embryo metamorphosises

    into you who knew

    where the limbs belonged

    where the brain belonged

    into you who doesn’t know now

    where you belong

    where your life belongs.

9. It doesn’t end.

 

 

 

 

Stories

A Tale of a Lost Hippopotamus

Sometimes I cannot write and at times like that life happens. So maybe I should not always write to let life happen to me.  It sounds stupid and lazy because I don’t know shit about my life. It  has been slow and fast at the same time. Paradoxical.

I am a  Hippopotamus with my eyes just above the surface of water watching deer, monkeys and giraffes drinking from the lake as they go on with their life. They have stuffs to do: application forms to fill, exams to take and classes to go to. They know their grounds. Submerged in the deep, treading through the dirty water, I cannot even find a ground to stand on. Where is my ground?

I am trying to find one. In the lake. Because I love the lake. I love treading, floating and swimming even though I mess up and drown sometimes. Water is where I belong. When the air blows soft ripples on the surface, I feel alive. Little things make me feel alive. I like the solid ground as well. It has grasses where I can sleep in and I have lots of terrestrial friends who love me. They have excellent GPS system on their brain and they help me navigate through the forest. I get lost everywhere which is sometimes a good thing because I have made lots of new friends in places where I got lost. They know their grounds too and they know it so well! However, I am always searching for misplaced pieces of puzzles; always squabbling with myself; always intruding the crocodiles. So I have more chances of being eaten by a crafty crocodile than finding a ground!!

Sometimes I dream of being a Hippogriff like Buckbeak because he can fly. Buckbeak is a war hero and lives in the Forbidden Forest. I know it is hard to believe, but he visits when I ask him nicely. He doesn’t believe in grounds because he has wings and he can go anywhere he wants. He is proud but polite. He found me when I was absent-mindedly thinking about the shape of clouds.  He loves solitude and so do I. We stare at each other silently and he goes away with a gush of wind. And I stay. But now, I am leaving too. I am going on an adventure in search of realms that never existed. It is going to be a long ride and I have no expectations. I plan to embrace everything that comes along the way. Far from the hullabaloo of my crowded forest, I am going to swim in strange waters and hear strange stories. Regardless of grounds and knowledge, I hope to find my sleepy soul.

Prose · Stories

Kopfkino

“About time I wrote something”, thought a wandering mind on a breezy morning. It was easier to think then. It was much easier to make a cinema out of the scenarios that went on. Naked trees somehow inspired vulnerability. I wanted to sit on the footpath and scribble shamelessly on the ground about how happy I was at that moment. I have always had a thing for silent roads. They let you soak up all the calm and space that you need. That is when the entropy comes in. Total randomness of thoughts, inaudible and lively and everything in between. Rational even but not always.

There were no ends to the words that flowed this morning as I was walking, no ends to the metaphors that came up. I think blankets beckon the stringent side of me who does not hear whispers of that morning soul. It craves for foreign words instead. And the rational papers made up of logical points. It seeks answers to all the questions asked in the day. I also have a thing for answers. The folders of questions open up making it impossible for the Kopfkino to go on. It never stops entirely though. In fact, I have doubts on entirety of the Universe. Nothing is ever complete. Everyone’s life looks like an unfinished Venn diagram. And that is how, the night becomes a bane to all the calmness and sleep becomes “Leises Leiden”.

So the stories of the mind end when there is a desire to be something more than the story. The road to reality is painfully crowded and noisy. It smells of cigarettes, sweat, and thousand other unpleasant stuffs.  I am homesick for words, for lies and for sleep. They are all within my reach. There is a drawer full of books behind the bed, adorned with words and bewitching lies. The magical worlds, soulful poems and tragedies laden with blood and tears. Lies. Then there is sleep in my eyes which I ignore most nights in the pursuit of time. I am homesick for time too. I need more. I need more easy breezy mornings in still silent roads, I need a slow-paced hour to fall in love and I need a couple of hours more between 4 AM to 5 AM because that is when real sleep occurs. Before that, the sleep is a werewolf, a metamorphosis of restless voices and visions.

In between the deafening reality, sometimes, I can hear my Scorpion twin scribbling away all my thoughts back in the 1950s. Only that she was one of the most eloquent, innovative and intelligent minds and I am not even close. As ingenious as she was, she writes in her journal, “…… to know that it’s four twenty three o’clock by the watch you got for graduation and that in three days you have your first midyear exam and that you’d much rather read anything but what you have to, but you do have to, and you will, although you’ve already wasted two hours writing Stream-of-consciousness stuff in here when your stream isn’t even much to brag about, after all.” I wasted three hours writing this stream of semi-consciousness. But thanks to her, I wrote fearlessly after a long time.