daily prompt · Odes to people I know and don't know · Prose · Stories · The Paths Travelled · Weekend Coffee Share

The Week Story (and one bad thing that happened)

There are times you forget that you are living. The only thing you realize is that you are breathing. The only thing you feel is the scorching sun burning your body and sweat plastered in your clothes that stick like rice cakes. This was one of those weeks. However, I wouldn’t say it was a bad week. I got many things done. For example: we organized Science Awareness Day in one of the schools in the community. We taught students about miracles of Science and we taught them how to extract DNA from a banana. They were an amazing bunch of students. Enthusiastic and diligent. I loved every moment of that day!

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The group photo after the program 

Bad things happened on Thursday. Someone stole my purse in the crowded Zebra Crossing. It had all my belongings and money. It would have been alright if it was just my money. But it had the money of our organization too. Total of Rs. 4000 and my ID cards and bills, all got lost in a moment. I felt devastated, scared and vulnerable. I don’t know what I would have done if Rabbu wasn’t there. Rabbu is one of my best friends. And she was there with me on Thursday. She has been there this whole week. We have been doing the official works together. She is one of the kindest souls I know and I would literally be lost if she wasn’t there. We went to the police station to file a complaint. It was overwhelming. The security cameras in the road faced the other direction, so it is kind of impossible to track the thief but they said that the lost identity cards sometimes turn up in the station. Someone brings them in eventually. I don’t know if anybody will bring mine. The whole event happened so fast. I was sad and angry. Angry at the sinful thief and angry at myself for not thinking about the safety of my purse. I wanted to cry but there was work to be done. Rabbu held my hand the whole time. We somehow managed to go through the official works. While heading to the next office, Rabbu asked me not to blame myself for things that happened, because she knew I was. She was still holding my hand and we were walking towards the bus station to catch another bus. I realized how lucky I was to have such a friend who understands so compassionately, the unsaid, invisible words and feelings. That was the moment, the anger somehow faded bit by bit. I was still sad. But sadness and anger are different. Anger is like a heavy bag you carry around your shoulder. Sadness is just sadness like happiness is just happiness.

The office was located in a silent part of the city. It was a strange place. It rained as we reached the red building full of files and old looking young people. It was as if the sun allowed the clouds to take over the sky to relieve all the heat for a moment. It was as if the sun knew that we were having a bad day. The rain made the whole place look beautiful. We had to wait for an hour but we made it through by stalking celebrities on Instagram. We were extremely hungry so we had puff with tea as we loudly wondered about how the thief was using the money. The sadness seemed to wash away with hunger. We were refreshed again and thankfully, the work for the day was done. I ended up at Rabbu’s home again and we ate and watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S. episode where it ends with one of Phoebe’s iconic lines “He’s her lobster!” I went home with mixed feelings.

So many things had happened in a day and I was indebted to so many people: the police-woman who wrote the complaint and was so polite and assuring; our senior who sent the required money immediately and helped us through the whole process of the work; the chartered accountant who answered each of our repeated questions; the rain and the small house across the red building that felt like a tender hug. And most importantly, Rabbu, who stood by me through everything understanding my silences and smiles. I am grateful that she is in my life. In some ways, she has always been there: as an unknown childhood neighbor to a best friend, we might have a history and lineage we don’t even know about. I do regret that I lost my belongings and money but I don’t feel hatred for the thief anymore because that one bad thing made me notice so many other good things in the world. And I am thankful for all those good things in the world.

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Tender

 

 

 

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daily prompt

Portions of Blessings

I count books as blessings in the portions of my bad days to realize that good stories are made up of tears and hardships. Sometimes, I take them in fractions: one failure at a time. Most of the times, I prefer drowning in them, until I forget the way up. So I count the books again. I smell the pages of ink and soul where the writer poured out her dementors and made them go away with chocolates. I talk with people who know how my breathing breaks while crying. I count them as blessings too in the portions of my bad days to realize that I am understood even when I am not understandable.

 

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via Daily Prompt: Portion

daily prompt · Odes to people I know and don't know · Weekend Coffee Share

Scandals of Science: Passion of Love, War and Possibility

Science is notorious. It binds into every part of our being like a double helical DNA. Even when we try to avoid Science, it is always there, lurking in the corners of logic and love, Science always exists. The scandals of Science are hidden in the history we are taught. In classrooms, where half of our minds are sleeping, the scientific history is not something we take seriously. But why should we, right? Why does it matter at all? Isn’t it enough just to know the names that pop up in the quizzes and exams? Unfortunately, I had the same mind-frame. I always skipped the history and jumped into the mechanisms and the facts. I never tried to understand how these mechanisms came to be the mechanisms they were. I never tried to understand the lives of people who loved and lived Science; the people who made it their life’s mission to unravel the true secrets of life.

As notorious as Science is, it is also a story that intertwines beautifully and imperfectly where the contradictions fit and unfit to look like a giant scribble of an insolent child. The stories of the people who made the biggest contributions in science are not that big. In fact, they were normal people: dwindling in insecurities; failing and falling in anxiety; lonely and depressed. There were some who stood in top of their game; who laughed throughout the process; made life-long friends and yodeled in both their success and failure. Some were purely evil.

Mendel’s laws never escape the syllabus of biology if one is a Science student. Like all the students, I was taught how important these laws were as they governed the most essential features of gene when gene was not even discovered yet. However, nobody is ever told about Mendel’s life. How he failed exams after exams on physics, chemistry, geology, botany and zoology in the university in Vienna; how he was denied the position of a teacher in Znaim High School. He did not fail because he did not study. He failed because he was sick from anxiety. “Seized by an unconquerable timidity”, “uninspiring”, “too neurotic” , “arid, obscure and hazy” are some of the terms that have been used to describe Mendel by his colleagues and examiners. Despite all of this, Mendel was an excellent gardener. Siddhartha Mukharjee, the writer of an amazing book called “The Gene- An Intimate History” writes, “Mendel’s life seemed to be filled with the smallest of thoughts. Sow, pollinate, bloom, pluck, shell, count, repeat. The process was excruciatingly dull- but small thoughts, Mendel knew bloomed into large principles. Mendel’s garden plot may have been small- but he did not confuse its size with that of his scientific ambition.” From the small patch of garden, he collected heaps of statistical data, and made them into laws, that would be chunked by the students a day before exams after more than a century! In his time, his findings and data were blatantly ignored by scientists like Charles Darwin. He was discouraged by people he admired and he went on with his life neglecting the plants he loved. He died of kidney failure on January 6, 1884. Mendel’s paper on the laws of heredity disappeared for a long time marking the period as “the strangest silences in the history of biology” until William Bateson read the paper on his train ride to deliver a lecture on heredity at the Royal Horticultural Society in London. William Bateson was nicknamed “Mendel’s Bulldog” for he was fierce as one and had made his life’s mission to ensure that Mendel was never ignored. Continue reading “Scandals of Science: Passion of Love, War and Possibility”

daily prompt · Prose

The Cycle As It Is

“It takes a lot of time, focus and energy to realize the enormity of being the ocean with your very own tide every month. However, by honoring the demands of bleeding, our blood gives something in return. The crazed bitch from irritation hell recedes. In her place arises a side of ourselves with whom we may not—at first—be comfortable. She is a vulnerable, highly perceptive genius who can ponder a given issue and take her world by storm. When we’re quiet and bleeding, we stumble upon the solutions to dilemmas that’ve been bugging us all month. Inspiration hits and moments of epiphany rumba ‘across de tundra of our senses. In this mode of existence one does not feel antipathy towards a bodily ritual so profoundly and routinely reinforces our cuntpower.”
― Inga MuscioCunt: A Declaration of Independence

Standing on the edge of precipice, I look at the normal and natural truth with horror. In the morning, when the cycle rings my bell, I curl up in a ball and decide whether to die or die. It gets worse in the day. The jarring pain shoots down a river of tears that won’t stop flowing. I am kind of glad I am home with stack of pads, painkillers and a hot water bag. The beginning is the worst. It resonates with me on so many levels when the period cycle begins. And the worst really happens when I am not home. When I am sitting in a class room or standing in a lab, I feel a gnawing feeling in my uterus. The irritating presence of soreness and  the awkwardness when I  want to cry in front of faces staring at me. It feels like a war-zone where I  have already lost. It feels like I am Prometheus and the vultures are eating me away. Piece by piece. Blood by blood. Pain by pain.

The facts that it is natural and happens to every soul that is born a woman and this is how “creation” begins make no sense to me on these days. And the walk back home is the most difficult part. It takes me hours to maneuver my steps. I cannot decide whether to walk normally or act normally. Because I want to either scream and run or cry internally and walk the normal walk. There is no in between. And how hard it is to talk about it as it is! Yes it pains. Yes it feels horrible when every toilet break is a blood bath. I am sorry if I am being too graphic. But this is how it is. The blue liquid they pour in the sanitary pad advertisements is not blue. It is red. It is blood. The ultimate truth that began the human existence and that will most probably end it.

via Daily Prompt: Precipice

 

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

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.

 

daily prompt · Poems

Panicky Poem

In my room with the moonlight open

Back doors closed and cherry blossoms,

Thinking of ways to make it all right,

Ruined wheelchairs set up for a flight

 

In my bed with eyes all open

Messy tears and fogged up specs,

Finding means to fill up spaces

With pink diaries and inkless traces

 

Pens withdrawn and silenced phones

Books sewn to mattress, silent zones,

Shutting out the feelings, and muffled cries,

Battling moans and hiccup breaths

 

Asking why the stars aligned,

“Strange and scared” Who designed?

Picking pieces and the melting phase,

Rising up with passing days,

Skipping smile to smiling skipped,

When did it happen, this confusing maze?

 

Screwed schedules of coffees at night,

Delaying life but still keeping up the fight,

Between “I am sorry” and absurd normal,

Between “I need my space” and needy journals,

Between calling out and shutting out,

Am I still me or just a noiseless shout?

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Panicked