Stories · The Paths Travelled

A Silly Story

Once upon a time, in a world where nothing was complete and nothing was perfect, walked a person who was both complete and perfect. However, since the world around her was so broken, she felt like she was supposed to be broken too. Hence, everyday she started breaking pieces of herself to fix things around her. She never realized that the things she wanted to repair were so far gone that nothing and no-one could ever fix them. Each day, she became smaller and smaller. Each day, she was wrecked a little bit more. On a chilly December morning, she was walking by a road full of fallen stars. She felt lost, alone and hollow. She did not even notice that the sky and the earth had somehow changed their positions. The earth was as clear and blue as the perfect night sky and the sky was green that smelled of mud. She had no idea where she was going. Each step she took, it felt lighter as if she was flying. Suddenly, her feet were not in the sky looking earth anymore. She was floating somewhere in between. The world she tried to repair with pieces of herself looked so unfamiliar and distant. Nobody tried to stop her and nobody held her hands to make her stay. She floated for what seemed like hours and at a point where oceans became rolling balloons and clouds became mountains, she stopped. There was a low hum of music and its waves were thrashing the Cloud Mountains. Everything else was perfectly still except the rolling ocean that was moving very swiftly towards her. At any minute, it could crash into her and it did. She was now inside the blue water but the thing was she did not feel alone, lost and hollow anymore. Somehow, she felt complete again even though she was far from it. The parts of her were still missing. A wreck she was but a happy one because she knew where she belonged now. All she needed to do was swim and everything would fix itself. In case it did not, things would still be okay. She enjoyed the low hum of waves crashing the mountains made up of clouds while her ocean rolled away.

Moral of the story: We might be floating in this undeniable mess of things and waiting for our rolling oceans to crash into. I desperately want to stop floating and start rolling.

Other moral: I am good at making things up. hahaha

 

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Awards

Mystery Blogger Award

I have been nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award. This is my first ever nomination! And I am excited!! I am not sure what the rules are, so I am just sneaking into Nel’s blog. Her blog is AWESOME!! She is honest to the core and her thoughts flow so beautifully in the words she writes. Thank you so much for nominating me Nel!!!

Okay, the rules are to tell three things about yourself, answer the questions asked and nominating more people.

Here we go!!

Three things about me:

  1. I have never seen the Ocean or Sea. I live in a land-locked country and I haven’t traveled that far. I really want to travel and I hope I will.
  2. I am a dreamer. I basically dream all the time. I draw my inspirations for stories and poems from the vivid dreams I see.
  3. I do not like speaking on the phone. I feel really awkward. Sometimes, I don’t know any appropriate things to say. So I mostly prefer texting.

My Questions and Answers:

What’s your favorite book or series of all time?

Oh boy!! This might take an eternity to answer. I read voraciously!  Choosing only one would be very difficult. I am going to list out 5 of my favorite books and series:

  • HARRY POTTER SERIES by JK Rowling: You know what they say, “Once a Potterhead always a Potterhead.” I fell in love with this series relatively late than other people do. I discovered it only in my late teens. But I am glad I did. I am a Hufflepuff!
  • THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL by Anne Frank: Find out why!
  •  A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS by Khaled Hosseini: For Laila and Mariam and millions of women who quietly endure all that falls upon them. It drove me to tears and rage.
  • THE INVENTION OF WINGS by Sue Monk Kidd: I read this book in one of the most difficult times of my life. It gave me so much strength.
  • THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows: Purely because of the name and simple piercing story line!

If you could write for a TV show or movie, which one would it be and why?

I think I would write for Grey’s Anatomy. I mean Shonda Rhymes is great and all but I’d stop Derek, Mark and Lexie from dying. I would add more musicals. I would never let Cristina leave. I would end the show at season 12 with an epilogue where Meredith has Alzheimer’s and Zola finds the cure!

If you could sum up your personality in 3 words, which words would you choose?

  • Hardworking
  • Compassionate
  •  Crazy

I nominate:

Simpledimple

Rebekah Blake

 

My questions are:

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

If you could go back in time and meet a historical figure, who would you choose to meet and what would you say?

Why do you write?  

Do you remember what your first memory was?

 

 

Places · Prose · The Paths Travelled

Traces of My City

When I was 5, I greeted her every Saturday morning. I played with her in the old  palaces of ancient Kings and Queens, where she was named. She greeted me back with smiles and lots of pigeons. She made me run with joy, chasing the pigeons and feeding them. She gave me wings on otherwise boring Saturdays where all I could hear were songs that weren’t in her mother tongue. When I was 5, she was my best friend. I learned her smell in spice shops of Ason and Kilagal. I learned her voice from my Grandmother’s stories. The ways she sang while making rice wines in a small terrace from which I could see the towers of Dharahara and Ghantaghar. Standing in their grandeur, rejoicing the beauty she was. She was my city.

When I was 10, I greeted her from the silent micro-buses where the polite conductors refused to take the 5 rupees I offered them. I sat on the last seat with the windows open. Taking in the air around the Keshar Mahal. She was the place where my school and my house were equidistant from each other. She was the place where bats hung upside down the witchy looking trees. She was the place where my friend and I conspired against all the odds to run to the pani-puri stall and grab a few pieces of extras. She was the place I used to sneak off to without telling my grandmother. She was the place that lead to my favorite library. She was my city.

When I was 15, she moved with me under the Swayambhunath Temple. I greeted her with anger and fear of losing my faith and my voice. I refused to look at her as I closed my doors and wrote letters to people who did not exist. I refused to notice her broken limbs. I walked on her, carrying with me, her parts. She stopped smiling and so did I. It was a difficult year for both of us. We lost our parts in dramas of daily lives. We lost our friends in all those complicated story lines.

When I was 18, I hated her. I cursed her from the crowded 5 AM micro bus rides. I hated her for sheltering the old dirty men who stared and probed. I hated her for her bumps and bruises. The ways she was so difficult to understand. The ways she was just like me. Confused and crowded with thoughts  like people and people like thoughts. But she was still my city.

When I was 21, she shook me with all her strength. She cried for help as the rocks beneath her broke and slipped into hell. She screamed in pain as her children broke their bones and took off with their souls. And I cried with her.  She looked like an old broken woman begging for a quiet life. Her skin patched up in pieces of old tents, she looked sad and frail. Almost suffocated with the dust that blew over her, the rain that violated her and the ground that cheated on her. I hugged myself and pieces of her that were attached to me. I tried to calm us down as I waited for a familiar face. She shook all night in terrible silences. I could not understand her still but she was still my city.

Today, I greet her with smiles and hugs. My legs love running along her difficult roads. She is still broken but broken still she stands. She still sends me pigeons from her wounded palaces. She has purple clothes draped over her and she  has asthma attacks. But she still lives. She still loves me like she loved me when I was 5 years old. And I cannot hate her even when I try. She is my city. She will always be my city.

 

 

Odes to people I know and don't know

Pink Pratikshya

Pink always reminds me of Pratikshya. Pratikshya means to wait. Pratikshya means patience. Pratikshya also means hope. Pratikshya means to be strong enough to hope and wait. And Pratikshya likes pink colors. She loves pink bags, pink dresses, pink scarf and pink sweaters. Pratikshya loves her grandmother more than anything in the world. She loves her brother and her cousins. Her love is so pure and simple. And limitless. Pratikshya is limitless. But she doesn’t know it. I hope she will someday.

The best thing about Pratikshya is that she listens. She listens to my stupid questions. She listens to my woes and silliness. I love annoying her. Because she always laughs when she gets annoyed. She says, “Hyaaaa Pallu!” and bursts out into one of her addictive laughs. Pink Pratikshya is the cutest Pratikshya when she laughs at my stories. I love telling her stories.

Pratikshya makes me Noodle Pizza when I am sad. She brings it in our morning walk expeditions. She carries it while running. She wakes up early to make food to kick out my sadness. She is that good!! I don’t know what I ever did to get a friend like her.  Pratikshya also knows how to love herself. She is her favorite person. And that’s why she knows how to love other people. She knows how to be kind. She knows how to hug. She knows how to be there.

Pratikshya is so much more than Pink. I hope she knows about it. I hope she knows how glad I am that she exists in my world.

via Daily Prompt: Pink

Odes to people I know and don't know

Anne Frank: What her Diary means to me

I have never been touched by war. I hope I don’t. But I know that someday I might.

I don’t know the full extent of what this really means. I wish there were people who could explain. There have been few extraordinary human beings I have come across, who have written their grief on papers, on letters and on the minds of people that made them up or met them in dreams. I often wonder what these people would be like if they were my friends. What would we talk about? Would they like me? Would I like them?

“The Diary of a Young Girl” was the first book I ever bought. I was 11 then and I had been saving my pocket money for days. A short paragraph about Anne Frank read out by my English teacher, that’s all it took to be engrossed in the history and life of a 13 year old girl who lived in an Annex to hide from the brutality of her World.  At that age, I could only understand her dreams and her anger. I lived in a small room with my mom, dad and brother, with cousins and their family living right above that room, Grandparents living right above that. I used to feel trapped too, somehow. And I was unreasonable. The fact that I didn’t have a room of my own and I had to go in the corridor to change clothes and make sure that nobody was coming down the stairs or going up, infuriated me. So I understood her only in ways a soon to be teenager would: in frustrations, in the lack of space. Thanks to her, I started writing letters too. Hers were to her best friend Kitty and mine were to god. I believed that gods reside in papers because my culture had stories about worshiping books. I still cannot touch papers with my feet. If I do, I have to bow down to it two or three times! I never stopped writing letters. The receivers of my letters changed as time passed by but thanks to Anne Frank, I never stopped writing.

At age 11, I did not understand the significance of that diary. I knew it was real, written by a real girl who died tragically in the camp of Belsen, Germany. I knew all the facts about the World Wars. I knew about the gas chambers where thousands of people suffocated to death. I knew those people were Jews. I knew that a certain person called Adolf Hitler hated them. I never knew the reason. And when asked, there weren’t any concrete answers. There were only facts and dates and numbers that I easily wrote in exam papers to get a decent grade. I was ignorant and so was the teacher who taught me and the teacher who taught him. Despite the reality of the world wars and history, I knew only numbers and dates. It all came crashing down when I read the diary for the second time. I understood what a spectacular person she was. She had hopes engraved in those letters.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”

“I’ve found that there is always some beauty left — in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you.”

These were all written by a girl trapped in a Secret Annex in a time where hopes were burnt in front of the buildings and mutilated in laboratories. I still read the diary time and again. In fact, it is sitting right beside me at the moment. I think I smell it, more often than I read it. The scent of the old papers take me back to my old house with blue walls that never shut out the noise. They still don’t. Even the new walls in my new room do not shut out the noise. It seems like the noise has somehow made it to everybody’s soul in this new world. Nobody talks about the silences of the history. Nobody realizes the extent it scarred the human lives. Nobody “really” knows. Because they were “never” there. But what if we were? I know it is a silly question. But is it? I keep wondering what would the world look like if Anne Frank and many others like her were allowed to grow up in a world without wars. I wonder if I could meet her: the girl who taught me how to write letters, how to pour out thoughts into papers, how to hope in extremities. I wonder if we could be friends. I wonder if I could tell her about Sarah Starzynski and Liesel Meminger. Both fictional and real at the same time. Would she like me? Would she like the silly questions I ask and the mess I am? Would she like my letters and poems? These are the things I will never know.

And I can live with it. I can live with it in the same way I live knowing that it takes nothing to start a war and everything to end it. Anne Frank would have been a Global Citizen like I am trying to be. She would be kind. She would good. I choose to believe that she would be just like how her diary was to me.

daily prompt · Poems

Bitter songs of Brave hearts

Getting home sun stroked,

Stories to tell of lost roads,

Fishing the cell phone to dial

As the mirror sees a fading smile.

Nobody to call and talk

Words stored in an electrical bulk

A bitter lump in the throat

Trying not to float

On the bell jar bubbled thoughts

The unseen fights you fought.

Surviving empty tears,

Dark days of clouded fears

Still you hum the song, your soul craves

“You are brave. You are brave. You are brave.”

via Daily Prompt: Bitter

Poems

Merder: On death of my favorite TV couple

The smell of war in his skin,

Unclaimed ashes of someone or something,

Lying in the mahogany couch

Unopened and untouched.

His blood makes a map of places he conquered

In the white tiles, it runs like river.

His blue lips give away the sound

Of the last name he whispered

Over the wind and below the chaos.

His shut eyes, tell the story of dreams

Where he saw her

Cuddling and hugging

Before he went away,

Trying not to cry but crying anyway.

Hiding behind the stair case,

Her commitment issues

That knocked his doors time and again,

She was a lifeguard away from drowning

And he was her post-it person.

She was darker than anyone could ever be,

And he was the one who made the carousel stop.

The smell of war in his skin,

Unclaimed ashes of someone or something

Was hers.

And she decided to let it fly in the clouds with him.

~~(Wrote it the day Derek died)~~

 

Letters and Letters · Poems

Papa

I wish I could remember the day I was born,

To see you smile when you first looked at me.

I wish I could remember the first step I took,

To see you proud and laughing with glee.

But I am happy with all the memories I have,

Of slides and boats and swings and sweets,

Of holding your index finger every Saturday afternoon

To ride on trains that felt like dreams.

I never really understood what sadness was,

Because you shielded me from every pain

Like Aegis you scared all my monsters away,

While teaching me how to fight even in the rain.

Today, I am strong enough to defend myself,

Stand on everything I have ever believed in,

Because I am half you,

Stubborn and never ready to give in.

It is not easy to be you really,

But I try hard to be unbreakable.

In all my glorious failures and fall-downs,

I am also learning the power of vulnerable

Vulnerability is misjudged as a weakness.

But it’s not.

With each passing day, I learn

That vulnerability is being

Courageous enough to accept imperfectness of things

Vulnerability is the ability to say, “I love you” first,

To people who matter the most.

So today,

Your paradoxically strong and weak,

Gentle and tough,

Passionate and platonic

Sociable and loner

Daughter,

With all her heart and soul,

Wants you to know

That you mean the world to her

And you matter the most

Because you are the best Papa in the world

And I love you.

 

Poems · Weekend Coffee Share

Sometimes You Feel to Live

How can you not be happy when you have tan lines all over the skin?

You swam in the river too long,

You walked until your legs were numb,

You looked up the sky and gray clouds smiled and showered.

You were the oldest you could be and the youngest you wanted to be.

How can you give up when there is a world out there waiting?

Mountains and hills up above you and ocean just underneath,

A person who wants to know a person like you,

You could stop someone’s chaos. How can you not realize that?

You could be the whoosh of air that comes along when a big truck passes by,

Making people enjoy the only breeze that comes along,

When they are walking by the hot road all day long.

How can you look at your reflection and not see yourself?

The stranger in the mirror you are pretending to be everyday,

The heart that is beating and beating and beating,

Underneath the ribs inside the color changing skin, you are wearing,

If it gets red under the sun and blue under the snow,

So can your soul.

If it can feel everything, the world offers,

How can you refuse yourself that opportunity to feel?

When they tell you that feeling too much is a weakness,

It is damn hard to make them believe,

That for every bit of happiness they feel, you feel twice as much,

For every bit of sadness they feel, you feel twice as much

How can you limit yourself only to things that exist?

When your tears can be poems and your smiles can be stories,

When your walks can be dances moves and your voice can be music

You are a limitless canvas waiting to be painted, so why won’t you begin?

Why are you waiting for the “one” who exists in a different plane?

One that might need a wormhole of belief and black hole of trust,

Things that can take all the light you have in a fraction of second

Things that can null your existence in THIS plane you are living in.

Why can’t you think about the 5 year old you?

Chasing the monsters with cape tied on the neck,

Racing empty nail polish removers in the window sill,

You were perfect on your own and granny was your superhero

Vegetables were the only things you hated.

You made hammocks out of mommy’s shawls,

Pulled your daddy’s mustache to see if it was real,

Cried your heart out when you were hurt,

Tried to fit all the cotton candy in your mouth at once

You only knew how to be you, so why can’t you learn that again?

The world was your own, why don’t you claim it again?

When the storms of emotions hit you hard, just let them be

Absorb every bit of everything the world offers you

Because you are meant to feel. You live to feel.

And sometimes you feel to live.

 

daily prompt · Letters and Letters · Letters to self · Weekend Coffee Share

Donuts, Interview and Us

Dear You,

You gave one of the worst interviews of your life and the only thing you were worried about was that there were no donuts in your favorite donuts shop. You are a funny person. You walked all the way back home. You never thought a bit about that interview. You thought it was doomed from the very beginning, not meant to be. You walked all the way home. All those miles of footsteps and dust in your shoes, your ironed new shirt and pant, your face layered in air full of dirt and yet you only cared about how the clouds illuminated the light so beautifully. You never saw your reflection on the puddle but you saw purple trees. Beautiful purple trees lined up in places that were ruins few months ago. And you saw grasses and vegetation on the remains of Dharahara that died along with so many people two years ago. You wondered if they were still there. The people climbing those stairs wondering about the views they would see on the top. You wondered if they still remember as you do. Every detail, every memory of that day when the earth shook. Your mind took you to places and you remembered a detail version of a dream you saw yesterday. You killed a dragon in your drawer as she burnt you alive but you lived anyway because it was your dream. You are a funny dreamer too.

You got home and looked at the mirror. You saw sunburned and thin girl standing in front of you. Big glasses, small face, tired and confused. She did not know where to start. She was not you because you knew what the next step was. You knew that job was not meant to be. From the very minute, you walked into those doors; you could feel that the place was not meant to be yours. It did not feel right. And you knew that. But the girl in the mirror did not. She looked devastated and scared. She was just trying to belong somewhere. She was just trying to be a part of something big. She was trying to find a way because she always felt lost. Among her friends, she was the one who found directions to places. She was the one who never made plans. She was the one who was unsure and perplexed. You knew her well. You knew she would seek someone to talk. You knew she needed friends. So you did just that. You dialed for her and laughed off the problems with her and her friends. You talked about astrology. You talked about submission dates and deadlines. You talked about everything but the conflict inside you where you were fighting for your identity.

But you know right? You know everything. You found the way today, remember? You actually walked all those miles and failed and you came back all those miles again. You were not scared. You put forward your ideas. You forgot about the hole in your socks that could be seen so clearly. You never gave up. You did not doubt on your ideas even though they were so different from the views presented there. Because you believed in yourself. On being asked how you could influence people, you were so honest. You told them about your introvert-self that was quite and your intellectual self that could raise damn good scientific questions and find ways to solve them. You told them about how you pour out your souls in poems and stories and letters. And you asked them how a person who tries to write pieces of soul on papers could ever be bad at work even though it was not relevant. You felt stupid for saying that. Honestly, you were but who cares! You were good today. You were not the best and that is okay. And you know that. She doesn’t.

She worries and she goes to her silent zones hoisting wars with you. She ridicules you and she doesn’t let you sleep. She makes you study all night. She makes you think about all the bad things that could happen to you. She looks at you in the mirror and only sees a failed person with nerves sticking out of the bones. She cries.  She feels lonely. She wants to talk to somebody who understands that she is not a bad person. She is not horrible. You don’t know how to help her. So you write to her. You write to her about how purple the trees were and how the ruins wore the clothes of spring this season. You tell her how clouds never have identity but they still are sky high. You promise her a donuts. You remind her of tomorrow. You remind her of smells of Jasmine that air adopts every morning. You remind her of you until she forgets herself and sleeps. You will be okay and she will be okay. Life will be okay.