A Pinch of Courage & A Shard of Reality

His collar was upturned at the corner, and he turned towards the sunrise over the shadows of buildings and forgotten grounds seen from the balcony, the smoke escaping through his slightly open mouth. HIs hair looked like he got out of bed, goofy though, not Mills and Boons style or anything.

As he spoke about how the scars of our society crumble every shade of utopian idea of humanity, I flew. We spoke one language – the stories of dreamers, and maybe naive beliefs of the ‘humane’ side of our nature. Even knowing that the situation may indeed be hopelessly bigger than us – we stuck on. Mainly also because we were high. Yeah, that could be it. It didn’t matter. What people thought didn’t matter. If I got branded, it didn’t matter. Weed gave me hope. It gave me hope for life. For something bigger than my own life and more about the meaning of the large-sized word ‘life.’

It also made me forget the world though, which was peaceful. More peaceful than anything my normal self would allow. I am not a calm person. I am never calm; always nervous, fidgety, worrying too much about things that everyone say matters and also doesn’t matter. I am a tired person, who doesn’t get past her own self-critical doubts to address others. I am someone who is badly bruised, and only wishes to lick her wounds with love for the rest of her life. So basically, I am a little insignificant in terms of the world.

When I am high though, I find that love that I need to heal, and I find it within myself. It is that rare moment when my self love is enough to boost my pride and confidence. I am solid. I exist and I take my irreplaceable place in this world. All of this, because for a few hours, my mind is quiet. Not empty, but quiet. And the peace is like a river, bringing with it all that positivity that I keep blocked out like a dam. Of course, this is always mixed in with a tinge of detachment. It wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

That detachment is opaque, floating in and out. I watch the love scenes from Vampire Diaries – the intensity that we dreamed of as starry eyed 16 year-olds. I see a friend talking about her love with confidence, and even more so enchanting are her stories of lust – of equal balance between the two – and I wonder. I see my own sister, living my starry-eyed dream – the same age I used to be. And those moments, they pierce through my cover. They pinch like a reminder to wake me up from my dream and understand that such love may always be a fantasy for me. Because love involves two people, and it seems, so does dreaming.

I turn to him, still talking to me while I had apparently nodded at the appropriate times, and I smile. This boy I could dream with occasionally; when I need a dose. Before I go back to the love of my life – carrying the hope that someday things will be different. We will find that bruise and look it in the eye – with the courage to face it together.

-the positivity of black

A Mind Full of Things Unsaid – Blogs, Therapy, and Self-Discovery.

I have been watching shows and videos that speak of important issues such as feminism, sex education, gender equality, self-acceptance, racism and so much more. A lot of the time, this stuff feels like it is all just voices, people saying things because it’s the trend or because it seems to be the ‘correct’ thing to say. Being homosexual is now legal in India, and it seems to me that people have suddenly become avid supporters because that is the popular response. Of course, there are as many haters and trolls, especially on social media but a lot of people want to seem in vogue with the current social issue. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but sometimes, all of this noise seems like clutter – like nothing is actually happening, like it is just that – noise. I know, the noise helps too, even if it is ‘pretend’ support, it helps. And I’m not against it.

My point in all this is that amidst all this sudden outrage, there are people I come across or a video I watch that gives me the feels, for lack of a better way to express it. There are certain phenomenal human beings who are contributing, genuinely doing something and making that difference. And it means so much that I can’t help but pause and take stock of myself. I recently saw a Ted talk by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin that talks about female friendship, a topic so easily dismissed as a lesser priority, but really, it is not. The Ted Talk was a 15-minute discussion filled with humor, thorough research, so much love and the undeterred drive of two women who are so sure of who they are and what they believe in that they couldn’t help but make a difference. (Here’s the link to the video: )

Meanwhile, here I am, having lazed away my weekend watching shows, smoking cigarettes and having gone for my first therapy session. I am not sure where I am going with this post, it is more of a reflection of where I am going in life, and it feels like I am so wrapped up in my head that I am unable to break away from my fog to see the world, to experience it for all that it is. And I don’t seem to be the only one – I know that my friends feel this too – we have stopped feeling things as vividly as we used to – the mundane life catches up to the best of us. The video that I saw though keeps hankering in my head – piercing through the fog. It shows me the strength of being so comfortable in your own skin and the positivity that comes from it. It reminds me of the vigor that would fill within me during my Master’s degree in English when I first heard of Simone De Beauvoir and Ismat Chugtai.

I know who I was supposed to be – and I am all that. My job involves writing, I have a steady relationship, a few close friends and a completely supportive family. You see, the checklist is ticked and yet suddenly I find myself unsure of the person I see in the mirror. I look into my own eyes and I see nothing – not a stranger, just nothing. No matter how much I criticize myself, I am unable to do something that genuinely makes a difference, in my life or somebody else’s. How can I? I have so suddenly lost sight of myself, without any warning. And I kept brushing this off as the norm of life…until I couldn’t.

So, two days ago, I stood outside the therapist’s office, thinking that I’m being dramatic, making a big deal out of nothing and telling myself to stop being such a baby about everything and just pick myself up. I was terrified. But a small voice in my head countered it all with just one question, “What do you have to lose?” And then, no matter what argument I made, it kept repeating – “What do you have to lose?” So I walked in eventually and spoke for almost an entire hour – the constant chatter in my head pouring out of me until we finally decided on the area I wished to start working on – learning to ask for what I want. It seems simple, but I just can’t do it. Not in relationships, nor friendships or it seems, even of myself. She told me that therapy was like driving a car at night, the headlights only lighting up the path immediately ahead of you. The destination may not be clear just yet but eventually, if you keep at it, you will reach it. I am okay with that. So my first step is to start with the small things, stuff that I know I want. I am hoping that by asking for the little things, with time, I will slowly find my way to things that matter. Find my way to myself.

A week ago, I spent all of Saturday setting up a blog on WordPress with just the right pictures and fonts, taking hours browsing through photos of black roses and then feeling happy that I began somewhere. After that I hit a block as to what I shall write about – it had to be big, it had to be meaningful and a great start! And because I didn’t have any idea which was all that, I avoided writing. I have always wanted to write, and not just in my journal. So starting with small things that I want, I decided to bring my journal here instead. Maybe there is someone out there reading this slightly rambling post, and maybe there isn’t. But I know that only once I start to change things for myself, can I make tomorrow a better place for those around me as well.

-the positivity of black