My dreams. My Stories.

So Not Unlike Me…

As you all know, WordPress has had this brilliant idea to motivate us to actually update our blogs regularly as opposed to simply leaving them to rot away into oblivion via the Post a Day/Post a Week Challenge.

Now, signing up for this challenge is pretty simple. You publish a post on your blog saying what you want to say about the challenge, mainly that you are joining it and then tag your post appropriately with ‘postaday2011′ or ‘postaweek2011′ tags. That being said and me being me, I ended up doing this whole thing backwards.

After three posts I realized I was supposed to post about me joining the challenge and then move onto tagging my other posts. Yes, cue in the light bulbs over my head please!

So, here I am now. And since I am known for my temperamental frequency of writing, I decided to give Post a Week a try from 9th January. I maybe posting almost daily this week but next week could very well be a different story.

Either way, hopefully 2011 will see more of me on my blog than 2010.

Happy blogging people!

Spring Night (春天的夜晚)

We seem to forget just how fleeting and beautiful life truly is, for most of our own lives. Image by Pamhule via Flickr.

For Love.

The scent of gunpowder and dried blood makes their way to your nose just as another wave of sand assaults your vision. You clasp the rifle even harder; your jaw tightens as you take in your surroundings through your fingers.

Steve’s crouching over there looking ahead; Jack is right behind him with his rifle positioned, ready to shoot. You don’t know where the others are, you just hope that they are still here.

You wipe the beads of sweat off your forehead; the sand is in your throat now, scratching against the parched walls. A dry gulp and you steady your hand…any minute now…

So you wait.

You wait for death to rain in, for the earth below you to bathe in the blood of nameless people, and sometimes you wonder what it is that you are doing here…

You no longer know…

At the beginning it was about protecting the land that you called home and loved since birth, or about making sure your mother didn’t die in a shopping mall bombing or that your nephew and niece could play in the playground and make it out alive…it was about a lot of things, half of which you can’t remember right now…

You’ve seen your nephew aim a gun at you only to find out that it was just another kid who had the same black mop of hair as little Bruce and you couldn’t stop the tremors from coming that night.

So now you wonder, whether you will make it out alive to see Lily in the isle or if she will still remember you years after you arrive in a casket…

And honestly you don’t know.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

We live in a world where patriotism is often measured in how much you crave the blood of another nation or if you think XYZ deserves to be blown off the face of the earth. And I can’t help but wonder, is this truly what we have dwindled to?

In the last decade we have seen wars that virtually serve no good, greater or lesser, but bring down evil in its most inhumane forms. And I can’t find any difference from the ones history has labeled as barbaric conquerors and us…history repeats itself and we continue to learn nothing from it.

My country has no soldiers employed in the battlefields (as far as I know), but it still doesn’t make this war or any other one different from the one that could plague my own country. Violence is violence; you don’t need to be there to know the damage it causes to the soul so long you have a soul.

The only thing these wars have gifted us is the knowledge that for some of us, love for our fellow human beings regardless of nationality, race, caste, culture, religion, sexual orientations or any thing that is different from us, is a notion that is nonexistent.

I am no diplomat or politician, just a young girl who feels that perhaps we should all practice the sweet words of tolerance, respect and love for mankind that we never seem to get tired of preaching to others, a bit more ourselves.

 

 

With Love.

Fairy tale card

The path to love is treacherous, but that has hardly ever stopped anyone from moving forward. Image by Moshik Gulst via Flickr.

You pull the covers over your ears, your small fists trying to muffle the sounds of voices clashing and words that are too hard for you understand. It’s been like this for weeks, you think and you kind of miss the times when mom would bring you a glass of warm milk in your favorite kitty shaped mug or those times when dad would tuck you in even though you were kind of tucked in already.

But it really doesn’t work all that well, you can still hear them and you don’t feel good all of a sudden.

So you start counting dragons…one dragon…two dragons…three dragons…four…

The dragons aren’t enough, perhaps nothing ever was you realize, a few years down the road.

The accusations aren’t there because they are no longer there. There’s no one to tuck you to bed and mom no longer makes you that delicious glass of milk, you’re a big girl now, she says, and you nod your head, scared what if she leaves too…?

The birthday cards aren’t the same like before; there’s one from mom and one from dad, but there isn’t one from them both.

You keep all of them, looking through them, tracing over their hand writings. It’s when you are a bit older that you notice that they all ended the same, ‘Love Mom. Love, Dad.’ They still love you, and you know that. They just don’t love each other anymore.

And you think, maybe love is like that magical candy that you can split between people and sometimes it lasts forever and sometimes it goes stale over the years.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

What happens with love is that it sometimes becomes nothing. And instead of holding on to that nothingness perhaps it’s better to simply let go, so that years later when you look back, despite the regret you can still remember a time when you loved.

I had hoped to find that little girl a happy ending, but then remembered something someone once said to me, “A happy ending isn’t necessarily happy but rather that fairy tale everyone writes knowing it is just that, a fairy tale.”


In love.

 

love.01

Love is a swirl of warmth. Image by Mark Knol via Flickr.

 

It’s that blasted window that refuses to stay shut that’s letting the cold wind invade your small flat you deduce, while grumbling about not feeling your toes because really it wasn’t your choice to have the floor covered in oh-so-white-and-oh-so-cold tiles, now what was the problem with using wooden planks again?

You pull the thick blanket around you, taking in the smell of the Baklava you shared months ago under the starry skies of Istanbul. That soft sweetness isn’t there and logically you know it can’t be, not after the trips to the dry cleaners over the year. Also your nose is running so it’s not like you could smell it even if it was there.

Slumping your head on the end of the couch you decide to have a staring contest with the clock, willing the minute hand to go faster…..not that it works, but it takes your mind off of things.

It’s the soft click by the door that pulls you out of your trance and you huff indignantly at the man hanging up his coat in the closet.

‘I hate you.’

Your scathing comment is met by a raised eyebrow and a low chuckle.

‘I really do you know.’

‘Yes, yes, I know.’

A small thud and you try your best not to look even mildly interested in knowing what is inside that big bag. But like always you are terribly easy to read, or at least to him you are.

‘Chicken soup, steamed dumplings and those spicy tempura fries that you never get enough of.’

You can practically hear the smile in his voice.

You reach out to grab the plastic bowl of soup all the while mumbling about infuriating know-it-all and stupid cold and the life of being an adult and God knows what else, only to have you hand swatted away.

‘OI!’

The heat behind it is somewhat more pronounced simply because you are hungry and really what kind of person stops sick people from eating?

Apparently the answer is a certain editor flashing a crooked smile and sporting far too much joy in seeing you like this.

‘Fine, fine. I shouldn’t have been in the snow for that long no matter how many amazing photographs I took. You were right oh noble one, now give me my soup!’

‘Scoot over.’

Dragging your legs back to your body and curling into a small ball with a head and two hands sticking out, you stare at the man on the other side slowly taking out the utensils and dishes. A small bowl of steaming soup is pushed into your hands and the usual customary warning, ‘It’s hot, try not to scald your tongue.’

And you do just that simply because he expects you to do the opposite. It takes all of your ‘maturity’ not to stick you tongue out and go “Hah!” when the lukewarm liquid makes it’s way into your stomach sans the scalding your tongue part.

Content now that you are warm to the tips of your fingers and the takeaways have magically taken care of themselves, you lean back against the warm arm next to you.

‘Aren’t you supposed to, I don’t know, hate me?’

You only snuggle a bit closer in response.

You’ll blame it later on the cold or the tingling feeling in your chest but it still doesn’t change the fact that when that arm gently wraps around you, softly stroking your hair, you think perhaps you don’t really hate him that much for leaving early and generally making fun of you the past couple of days…

But you won’t say it out loud to him. And really what’s the point of saying ‘I don’t really hate you’ when you have already booked the plane tickets to Rome for your fifth anniversary?

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I get very clingy when I have a cold, something that gives my dear sister headaches when I latch on to her saying, ‘I’m cold, and you’re warm, staaaaaay!’

Love is more than saying ‘I love you’. It’s about living and loving at the same time after you say those three words. I wanted to start a small series about how I see love and where I find it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

Growing Up….

Dandelion abstract

Sometimes, childhood feels like those dandelion seeds....a puff of wind and away they go. Image via Wikipedia.

They say that children wear the color of rosy cheeks and starry-eyed innocence in their hearts, that they see the world in a way that makes you think every thing is possible and impossible is just another word someone made up to scare you into eating all your vegetables and going to bed on time. They say that grown ups know what’s best and that you should always listen to them. They say…………..they say……..they say a lot of things………do them even know what they say?

When you are a child you look up and see the one casting that huge shadow over you, you reach out hoping that those big arms would lift you up and take you to a higher place, a place that you can’t see sitting on the ground……….when you blindly imitate those around you, terribly trying to be like them because they seem so strong, so big and so much more than you……..when you skin your knee from falling down and there’s always that person to ruffle your hair and tell you not cry anymore because really the pain’s all gone, you think that they are like superman or that other hero you saw on TV the day before……..when…….ah so many when’s………tell me where did they all go….?

And then as the summer rolls by bringing with it the scent of parched earth and cicadas buzzing at night, you start to see things a bit differently, but different isn’t bad….right? One summer turns into many more, each singing the same song in a different tune and you realize that it’s about time you let those ‘grown ups’ step off the pedestal you placed them when you were five.

Because now you are slowly becoming one of them.

Those broad shoulders that you used to grip ever so tightly when you had a piggy-back ride from school doesn’t seem all that big anymore, actually they feel so fragile that you want to wrap your own arms around them and hold on. That place that you loved seeing from way up high isn’t all that high, in fact you laugh at yourself when you think about it. Those small gestures that you used to do like picking up the phone and slamming your tiny hand on the numbers and going ‘ello, ello’ are now your reality, and really they don’t feel all that powerful anymore. And somehow you still wish they would.

They are falling off that pedestal, but you are going to be there to catch them because really, they were always just ordinary earthlings and not magicians of the fourth dimension, but they were incredible people who made you feel ordinarily extraordinary.

And so after the day’s gone by and you finally close your eyes that you can see that little box where a small child is banging her fists against the glass panels, crying ‘I want to get out! I want to grow up! Let me out!’ and there’s the trembling you, pressing the lid back down and whispering, ‘No, you need to stay there, for just a bit longer. Just a bit longer and I’ll be all grown up, so please just stay there for just a bit longer.’

I don’t know what brought this on, except that in the middle of the night I wanted to go back to being a child so very badly that I ended up writing what I think of growing up.

It’s quite the day!

Tree Abstract

Life is like a tree, with branches at every node, slowly growing and taking shape. (Image via Wikipedia)

You know how they say that when one door closes another opens? Well, I never truly believed that till now. What had been a disturbingly disastrous year had turned around to be rather fruitful one indeed. And yes, I am sort of talking about my mother’s philosophy of trying to find something positive in everything!

I’ve been frustrated, spent a hefty portion of my nights being teary eyed and had blamed practically everything and everyone in the vicinity, simply because I could. And well that I had an arsenal of valid reasons kind of helped…but that aside, all that bitterness was like a slow acting poison, making me twitchy and wary of almost everything around me. Of all the things that I learned this year it was that there will always be some people to instill that moment of doubt in you, to make you want to settle for things less than you, people who’ll wish you ill…but remember there will always be people who will tell you to climb higher and that it’s ok to stumble once in a while (but not enough to make a habit out of it), people who will be snarky and give you that shove, people who will give an honest and candid remark because as much as it hurts, it’s said for a reason…

So now here I am, taking small steps to start a brand new chapter in my life while the year steadily approaches an end. And even though I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I think I might just carve that turkey and say a short, silent prayer of thanks to Allah, Jesus, Buddha, Bhagoban and the numerous Gods and Goddesses out there for watching over me.

The Magic Behind Words

We should have a great fewer disputes in the world if words were taken for what they are, the signs of our ideas only, and not for things themselves.

John Locke

There’s a certain charm in hearing a different language, even if you don’t really get what’s being said. The timbre, the sharp stretch of the vowels or the fast pace with which the words roll of the tongue all of these are fascinating to a new ear…fascinating as well slightly frustrating to bear with.

These past few days I have been looking at the diversity of different languages in a different light (because I have nothing else to do and for once the cable company is being kind enough to show all the channels it had promised). While anthropologists and linguists believe language to be an integrated part of our culture, heritage and base communications, for me it seems to be all that and more.

It’s a code of secrecy. Yeah, that sounded pretty hush-hush-spy-movie-type to me as well.

Think carefully and you’ll realize just how true those words are.

Every country has its own set of tongues that are unique, not only in respect to the country but, also in terms of the various regions people inhabit. Someone from the east won’t speak in the same tongue as someone from the west, even though they share the same language. (I heard that ‘Obviously’ your mind just whispered at that sentence…)

Have you ever tried listening to people conversing in different languages? If you have then you already know what I’m trying to say.

While languages are there for us to communicate they can also be used to alienate ourselves as well; in a sense they are like the double-edged swords yielded to protect or take lives. And yet there is one language that is universal.

The language of the heart.

Not through words but rather by the slight turn of the lips, by the wrinkle near the eyes or how the nostrils flare and fingers curl into a fist. It’s how we all wear our heart in our sleeves, one way or the other. And it hit me when the other day my father passed a comment as to how we all cry the same way.

It doesn’t matter if you are from the east or the west, if you have fair skin or the rich shade of auburn, if you have a PhD or can barely read, if you are 90 or just a toddler…we are all alike in how we smile, cheer, cry our hearts out, loathe, love, care or are nonchalant about the world. It’s the same.

So pray tell, why is that we stubbornly refuse to listen to the voices that speak to our souls and instead focus on blaming the differences in languages for not understanding each other…when all it takes is just a glance…an open heart and a mind ready to be inspired…?

Words, like Nature, half reveal
And half conceal the Soul within.
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “I’m memoriam A.H.H.,” 1850

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