Listen more, Judge less

“The 3AM texts. The class tour you missed. Walking away in the middle of lectures. The pain you hid behind the words “I’m okay” and ” I don’t feel too well today”. Pain. I can’t imagine the pain you went through. I should have seen this coming. I remember our last conversation. I sensed the desperation in your voice. But I failed to ask you why. All those movie nights and sleepovers at my place. I could always see the shadow you hid behind your eyes. You weren’t there with us. No, we weren’t there for you. I knew you wanted to open up to me. The only thing you probably wanted is to be listened to. I thought you would be okay. I wanted you to pick up your pieces and move on. I thought it’s just a matter of time. Today, as I stand here at your memorial, I can’t remember the good times we had together. All I recollect is holding your cold hands, staring at your pale, dying face at the hospital. My love for you is now grief. I shall bear this burden forever. It has no place to go. Maybe one day, it’ll weigh less when I’ll be able to save someone else. I know you would have wanted that.”

Sometimes a long illness or an accident might kill someone. Sometimes the struggle to stay alive kills someone. Help out. Listen with a little less judgement. Return love. You may be the reason someone lives tomorrow.

Live at home

Amidst all the negativities, I wanted something positive to look towards to. So I thought of penning down a list of things, many of us have been doing in the past four months of house arrest. I believe we should be doing all these, even later, without a nasty virus being the reason.

1. Unearthing the creativity within us, be it knitting, painting, craft and so on.

2. Starting from Dalgona coffee to exquisite dishes, cooking has become our new love!

3. Some good reading, reviving the long-lost bibliophile in us. Maybe the world has seen some new ones too!

4. Finally getting some time to work on our passion and eventually starting our own YouTube channel, blogs, etc.

5. Literally spending some time with our family and getting to know who they actually are! 😉

6. Catching up with friends and family through video chats – it has become a weekly affair for many of us!

7. Enjoying some ‘me-time’ , for introspection and for dealing with mind wars!

8. Spending some time with nature, doing a wee bit of gardening.

9. Binge-watching interesting shows and movies, filling the pockets of Netflix and Amazon!

10. Learning something new has never been this easier with the variety of online courses and articles available!

11. Finding eternity, catching up on all the sleep lost during the time we would have otherwise spent stuck in traffic!

We aren’t sure when would we be able to go back to the old normal. Once we do, let us carry forward a bit of the ‘quarantined us’ into the future.

The little joys of life

A bright sunny day. A child’s smile. The first rain of the season. A hug from your loved one. A hearty laugh with your parents. A funny conversation with a long-lost friend. A long walk on the beach.Waves crashing against your feet. The smell of a freshly bloomed flower. The sight of a rainbow in the sky. The sound of autumn leaves crunching under your feet. Waking up to the chirping of birds. Snuggling back on the couch with your favourite read. A freshly brewed cup of coffee. Some wine and cheese. Your favourite one pot meal. A hot shower. The smell of fresh laundry. Playtime with your pup. Loitering around in your pajamas. Your favourite song being played on the radio. Rediscovering an old box of childhood things. A good long sleep.

The little joys of life ❤️ Which one is your favourite?

The shift

June 1st. As I look back, this date brings in a lot of mixed emotions. There were times when I used to hate this day, as it meant the end of two glorious months of vacation. Then there were years when I used to feel excited about the day, hopping onto school with the new set of bag, pencils, books, uniform, shoes and what not! Happiness then was a fancy pencil or an eraser that I would show off to my friends, being the first one to pick up from the shop. In the midst of it, uff, Rains! I used to hate the muddy, sloppy rush of water all around which spoilt my new bag and shoes. Rains made me gloomy. Moreover, it ruined our PT sessions! Later came the years when I used to wait for the whole two month vacation to get done with so that I can rush off to school to meet my friends. Nay, we were not the generation who hanged out at cinemas or malls. We were the ones who memorised landline numbers and rang each other up every single day. Fun then was narrating about our holidays to each other, anxiously looking up the new timetable (PT period, to be exact), the new seating arrangement in class and wishing for the most lenient teachers in class.

Years have passed by. Dates hardly matter now. Instead of bringing us closer, cell phones have distanced us. We hardly ring up our friends. Texting is much more convenient. I see a bright and sunny day on the first of June today. I’ve grown up now to enjoy every drop of rain as I’ve realised it brings in happiness and peace. But, monsoons have long since ditched us and terrorise us now in the form of floods and cyclones every year.

This year has brought in even more dramatic changes. I see children are resuming online classes from today. No more rushing to school to meet your favourite friends. No more running off to the playground. Goodbye books, welcome pdf files! I’m curious, how would their friendships be? Will it be contained to texting or perhaps a video call? How would they learn socialising when the world is talking about social distancing? Will their learning be limited to the screen of a laptop or a tab? Will there be any simple joys left in life for them? I wonder!

Okay – so one of the best getaway places in everyone’s bucket list, Kerala is going through the worst of its times now. Hundreds lost their lives, lakhs lost their homes and the hard-earned savings of a lifetime. But yes, we never did and never will give up. It doesn’t matter if we live in Kerala, or for that matter, in India or not. We will stand up during times of need and fight for our brothers. This is exactly what we demonstrated in a span of just 5 days. Trust me, we come from a land which has seen a lot of rains, and I genuinely feel that, even though we suffered a lot, we managed to scrape through much better than probably how other places would have. We did manage to fight death back with minimal national media coverage and with all the dirty politics that hovered on. Yes, we are very thankful to a lot of our Non-Malayalee friends who came forward for helping us out. This short stretch of time witnessed lakhs of people uniting together to help the state in whatever little way that they can and today, as we look back through the fire, or rather water,😉 that we came through, I am proud to say that I come from Kerala, a place, where we do not discriminate people on the basis of religion, festivals, or even the food we eat. The door of every religious institution was open for the needy. It is definitely God’s own country, where we actually saw the hands of God in every common man, be it from a fisherman to a techie. We promise you we’ll be back with a bang and this will remain as your favourite holiday destination forever!!!

A big shout out to everyone who stood by us understanding our dire needs!! We love you with all our open hearts!! ❤️ ❤️

My first enemy. The one who pulled my hair and as defence, I dug my teeth into. The one who influenced me most often by defining himself as not being me. Probably the only one towards whom my resentment and fist fights reduced over the number of years. The one who unknowingly taught me that love and affection exists amidst all the differences. Childhood was a constant power struggle to seek the maximal attention. Little did I know that home is never fun if he is not there to snatch it away from me. We have always been the definition of opposite – I am loud, he is quiet. I’m social, he is private. We never were best friends and have always been different from each other to be super close. But no matter what, I know that he will always have my back. The considerable age difference that we have never quantified the fights we had. But even at the age of 12, he gave me paternal and protective vibes. Over the period of years, I realised that he is my confidante and he became the first person to whom I rush to when I am clueless. He is my longest lifelong memory bank, my shared history, the person who knows me better than anyone else. He is such a deep part of my identity that he cannot be erased, even by his absence. This is the perfect love hate relationship that I’ve ever had. Happy birthday Manu!!

Self-love

I long for days like these. Days of unconventional living. Wake up to the rich aroma of coffee and old books after the late night Netflix marathons. Eat pizza and ice-cream for breakfast. Listen to the songs humming on the radio. Breathe in the fragrance of the garden. Take hot bubble baths. Wear oversized shirts. Savour the comfort in hot soup. Seek art. Write letters. Feel poetry. Lose myself somewhere between sunrise and sunset. Grab a bottle of wine, climb on the roof and catch the stars. Drunk dance at midnight. Talk all night and sleep under the velvety sky. I long to be a wildflower and soak in the days of adventure and magic. I don’t want to feel the hurt. I want everything to feel right and happy. In a city that feels love like none other.

Love

Let’s talk about love, shall we? Love is in the small and big things of life. It is the compassion with which a mother spends sleepless nights taking care of the child. It is the comfortable silence you share with the folks. It is the effort with which you break the quiet after a fight. It is opening up the wall you’ve built and freeing yourself from pain. It is the meal you buy for a less fortunate soul. It is the last scoop of ice cream that you are willing to give up for the other. It is about fulfilling midnight cravings. It is the peck on the cheek after a long day at work. It is cooking your unfavourite dinner just because the other favours it. It is about accepting wrinkles, stretch marks and grey hair. Love is the choice you make every single day. It is not always merry, bright and euphoric. Love is imperfect and messy, but still you choose not to give up. Love is discovering more of each other every day. It is about accepting flaws and staying placid. Love is the raging fire that flutters in you during the moment of a day. Gradually, it becomes the steady burning ember that lights your life. Love is a beautiful paradox. It is graceful and wild. Love can rip you apart and put the pieces in you together. It is painful and healing. It makes you resilient and vulnerable. It is kind and tender. Love is growth. It instils better versions of you. Love, first the self and second the other. Remember, all you need is love. And yet it is never enough.

Flow

The war raged in her head,

The one for love,

Which ebbed and flowed.

The scars of imperfection shined brilliantly,

Drowning her in relentless melancholy,

“Flow” , she breathed to herself,

She embarked on the quest for light,

To the land far beyond.

Silence

Some days, she loathed silence. It echoed pain, the resonance of the broken heart. Time stood still, and the world around her went numb. Years of thoughts cornered the bits of her soul and all she wanted was to scream out aloud and seek help. Her world was on an uproar and she needed her thoughts to be heard, her soul to be felt. She longed to know nothing, by letting go of everything. Silence, she realised, was not for the faint-hearted. In the stillness of the shadows, love broke in through the clouds and cast its way into the quintessence of calm.