Stay


Hey August,

Stay a little while longer, why don’t you? We can continue to have fun.

Sleeping till late and promising to adopt a proper routine soon everyday.

Eating junk food. Trying to control our junk food intake.

Being a complete potato couch.  Watching horror movies. Microwaving popcorn and being happy they didn’t come out burnt.

Talking to mom in the kitchen as she cooks. Dreaming about being as good as those kids in MasterChef Junior.

Feeling jealous of the people going abroad for studying. Watching little kids talking like smart adults.

Trying to write more than a couple of whiny tweets. Trying to read the books we bought. Being glued to our cellphone.

Buying pretty clothes. Trying to think of ways to pack them best. Making lists and plans.

Wanting to go to lunch with friends. Writing a bucket list. Putting everything off.

Dancing in the monsoon rain. Getting comfortable on the phone. Thinking things might be okay.

Feeling utterly confused and being too bemused to show it. Pretending we’re okay.

Being utterly terrified and too afraid to show it.

And if you don’t stay…If you go, you take it all with you…

Except the fear.

So take my hand and look me in the eye and tell me you won’t leave me. Tell me you won’t succumb to time.

Tell me you won’t leave me alone with my fear.

Tell me.

Please, August. Stay.

Sunday Evening Thoughts


We never do much together but the house seems empty without my sister. I’m sure she’ll have a blast. It is indeed the experience of a lifetime.

Everyone’s really glad that her trip is only for two weeks though, including traveling time. It’s hard to admit that the baby of the family is old enough to leave the nest and step out into the world by herself.

Meanwhile, I use all the technology available to me to stalk her to hide the i-miss-her and the small twinge of green. Flight live-tracking and hotel websites for the win!

Revenge


There’s a famous saying: Don’t go to bed early. Stay up and plot your revenge.

Such lies when it’s more like: Stay up tossing and turning. Seething in your own rage. Arguing with the “culprit” in your head. Logically but forcefully. Imagining the other person bowing down to your ultimate reason. Feeling hot fury course through your veins every time you think about them. Which is every second.

Tossing some more.

Balling up your fists in the effort to stay calm. And then giving up because you almost sliced open your palm with your own nails.

Silently whimpering with the pain of almost having stabbed your palm with your own nails. Feeling your blood boil once again as you think of them. Thinking of what they almost made you do to yourself.

Tearing up at the stupidity of it all.

Giving up.

Falling asleep.

Wishing you could just…sleep in peace forever.

Fading


I’m nothing but a number of days. A few hours, some minutes, a handful of second. With each passing one, a part of me fades away. Never to return.

Ever.

The hands of the clock tick on steadily, going around in circles. They pass by the same numbers, but each time is different.

Time.

That precious friend. That greatest enemy. So infinite yet very limited. All mine, yet all yours.

Mine.

All the days, hours, minutes and seconds. And all that I want to do with them. Everything and anything; and yet, nothing at all.

Nothing.

Completely empty. Completely useless. Darkness. Disappearing into even more nothingness.

Fading.

(Inspired by Al-Basri and one of my bosses)

Leap of Faith


This is the tale of a trip down memory lane which makes me nostalgic and proud and less lost sometimes…

Completely calm, I stood straight, with my toes as close to the edge as possible and surveyed the lake below. It twinkled blue and calm back at me in the evening sun. I will do the counting myself, I told the instructor. Just keep your legs as straight as possible, he replied. I crossed my arms in an ‘X’, counted in my head and jumped.

Easy peasy, right?

Looking back, I wonder how and where I got the courage to go through with it…

The view from the edge/top

The view from the edge/top

I jumped off a 60+ foot cliff into the lake below. While:

  1. Having a fear of heights (I don’t like vertigo)
  2. Along with a major phobia of large water bodies (what if there is a shark in there?!)
  3. Also, having practically no training in swimming.
  4. And, only wearing a measly life jacket.

Not kidding.

Oh, and twenty minutes ago, one of the members of our group apparently jumped wrong, injured her back and was paralyzed for quite a few months afterwards.

Gulp.

(Of course, we only got to know about this part much later. At that time, we only knew that she couldn’t move.)

I remember sitting there on the cliff, my girls around me, waiting for our turn, thinking out loud, singing a bit. E asked me: Are we doing this?

I remember I was calm and humming the Strings’ classic Sur Kiye Yeh Pahaar (it was just too appropriate) as I answered.

I have come all the way here to do this. That we have just been up a huge mountain and then down a cave – which was incidentally full of bat shit…! So, yes! We are going to do this!

And that’s exactly what I did.

It was only when I was in the water that I panicked, feeling the weight of all those ten seconds (maybe less) that it took to come to the surface. Spluttering and gasping, and with the aid of our great group guides, I hauled myself up to the safety of the boat, opened my eyes and only then realized how BIG the cliff really was.

Yikes! Did I just jump off a 60+ foot cliff into a lake and managed not to drown?!

And that's the view from the boat

And that’s the view from the boat

I sat there, wet and shivering. Watching as my friends’ and other group members took their turns. And all I could think of was the jump and the plunge and the exhilaration I felt after doing something that was generally very scary.

These days, I sometimes remember that moment: how I was so sure that nothing would go wrong. I was afraid, yes, but not enough to stop me… Where did this courage come from? Do I still have that in me?

Whether or not I do, since that trip a couple of years ago, I know that I have a great example in front of me that, (especially when a self pep talk seems necessary) illustrates the following message:

  1. Let go of your fear.
  2. Jump off the cliff.
  3. Take a leap of faith.
  4. You’ll only know if it is worth it once you do it.

Just gotta know which cliff to dive off!

Cookie Dough


Lately, I’ve been feeling so lost and disconnected that I drew a blank when I tried to define these feelings, for myself or for others’ benefit.

How do you that your dreams appear to have become an even more distant possibility? That you’re swimming without a life jacket and you don’t know how to swim? That you built mere sandcastles too close to the sea?

That you will never be…done?

And then, Lucy’s Football helped me out by quoting from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Lucy says:

I think of Buffy telling Angel, “I’m cookie dough. I’m not done baking. I’m not finished becoming whoever the hell it is I’m gonna turn out to be. I make it through this, and the next thing, and the next thing, and maybe one day I turn around and realize I’m ready. I’m cookies.”

In fact, not only did I have a way to define what I was feeling (yes, labels help to process things), I realized some other (important) things:

  1. It’s okay to be cookie dough.
  2. I will be “done” when it is my time to be “done”.
  3. Good cookie dough will turn out to be good cookies.

Must keep this in mind to stop feeling so lost. Maybe a cookie will help?