Today I attended conferences barefoot. The balcony served as an office as the pouring rain beckoned me. I wore shorts under my shirt and my messy buns have become a tad messier. As I stroked Nymphadora, her purring reminded me how every day is bring your pet to work day now. My to-do list of office tasks has found a rival in my grocery list, both vying for my attention side by side, both equally ignored – because there’s music in my ears and spreadsheets on my mind. Columns merge with squiggles and I am all smiles.
We may be a thousand miles from normal, but it doesn’t all seem too bleak? Today, I am counting the privilege of being able to work from home as one of my many blessings. What’s the new normal been like for you, dare I ask?
Why does being happy today feel almost like a betrayal – of all the times I’ve cried before, of all the hurt I’ve suffered, of all the pain I’ve borne till date, of all the wounds I’ve secretly bandaged and of all the aches I’ve nursed.
Why is it that when you’ve walked through fire it’s only burning embers that give you solace? Why can you not breathe freely unless the air is filled with smoke? Why must you pass your time by striking matches after matches? Why should you feel the urge to snuff out candles by touching their wicks with your bare fingers?
These questions are many and answers I have none. But when being happy feels almost like a betrayal, take a minute, then go ahead and stab yourself in the back. Only then a new phase of your life would have well and truly begun.
Because, my dear, the only betrayal is to not be happy instead.
I have always been scared of watching horror movies. Not that the movies were terrifying enough in their own right, but my over active and, frankly, runaway imagination would become my own worst enemy. I would imagine scenarios in my head. So much so that a simple trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night was an insurmountable task. Hold it in, go back to sleep, because what if you look in the mirror and saw something else. Worst still, what if you saw someone standing behind you! Damn, the thought still makes me jittery.
I tried everything. Muting the sound when the background theme gave away an upcoming jump scare. Watching from behind a cushion or a pillow with just one eye open. Using someone’s shoulder as a buffer between me and the ‘ghosts’.
But a little girl’s imagination is a little girl’s imagination, after all. It has it’s good side and bad. Yet, never even in my wildest of imaginations could I have imagined a time like 2020. Natural disasters, pandemics, civil rights movements, economic depression and freefall, border countries on the brink of war (I live in India), locust swarms attacking farms and cities alike. This is all horror movies put together and then some!
The truth shall set you free
And yet you chose to imprison me
It’s the middle of 2020 and everything feels surreal. Days are both hazy and a blurred. While months seem to be hurrying ahead, seconds are taking an excruciatingly amount of time to live through. Suffice it to say, we are currently undergoing unprecedented times. No arguments there.
I’m sure this feeling of depression, hopelessness, despair, ennui and an all round negativity has been getting to each and every one of us. While most countries are still firmly in the grip of the pandemic, the bigger challenge lies in the road to recovery ahead. The new normal, as people call it, is far from normal or comfortable. But it is unavoidable.
So today, I want to put it out there that even though I’m nowhere ready, mentally or emotionally, to feel positive, I vow to begin the process of healing myself. Counting my blessings, more than usual. Being receptive to the struggles faced by other people. Being kinder. Being more loving. Giving more, expecting less.
Easier said than done. But trying is an important part of the process. Without healing our hearts and souls, there’ll be no recovery.
Ready or not, I’m taking the plunge! Are you with me? Because today is when we need to stand together more than ever.
Here’s to sending little doses of positivity out into the world ❤️
The most compelling of stories aren’t those which are written with flowery flourishes and bold words or captured on the big screen with scenic locales and theme music.
No story is good or bad, beautiful or ugly.
What makes it memorable is that it demands to be told.
The abyss did not just stare back at me
It seemed to echo my inner symphony
Mesmerised by the melody
Stepped into the chasm
And let it subsume me
Till there was nothing but complete harmony
Do you dream of angels?
No, not the one in heaven above
The one who fell
Incurring the wrath of the almighty
The one who stole light from the Gods
To give to men
The one who rules the Netherworld
With an iron fist
Running a kingdom
Of tortured souls
Forsaken and forbidden
Burning in fire
For an impious desire
Having faced God’s ire
On judgment day
Yes, sometimes, I dream of an angel in hell
What stories would he have to tell
I’d pour you an entire ocean today
If you were but thirsty for poetry
Alas! You’d only let it spill
Till the last drop bleeds out of me
And rainbows burst out in the sky
As if dancing in rejoice
The moment she stopped to cry
And finally made her choice