Thursday, December 31, 2020

What a year; the year that was 2020!

Days, weeks, months, years pass by. The pale blue dot continues on it perilous though insignificant journey, except that it gets a bit significant through human eyes.

In my eyes, 2020 will be defined and remembered for a lot of right-wing and fascist political parties showing their true intentions and colors. This year will be edged in our collective memories as a space and time when during a pandemic, the government and the powers that be chose to look the other side. When peaceful protests and dissents were violently crashed. When India became a pale version of itself... Its future as a true democracy in dire straits... When a temple became more than the deity inside it... When the deity's idol became more important than the deity's ideals...

All through this year with its unplanned and sudden lockdown with the most disastrous consequences showed India its true identity. That we were mostly bigots in the hiding. That the so-called urban educated believed in religion over state and caste over humanity. Most of the NRIs, with their rose-tinted spectacles for the PM and his ilk, were singing bhajans and completely veiling themselves from the realities on the ground. The largest reverse migration in the history of humankind was invisible to the government and the courts.

This was a year when I felt sad that I am an Indian. Truly ashamed of my govt, my people, and especially those who voted for the nincompoop and his ilk.

With WFH becoming the norm, and changing my job mid-year where the scenario was better-to-avoid-than-being-avoided kinds, I had overcome yet another crossroad in life. High risks were always a part of my life. 

I have always gambled huge, lost some along the way but in the end have always learned, loved, and won my own heart. For life as it is, is my only teacher.

The way forward was filled with fear and apprehension and the only solace, the only comfort, the only source of truth was her and through her, my newfound family. 

Alex brought in a kind of cheer, a bundle of joy that made my heart erupt with the purest form of love. His kisses, tangential conversations, trivial deeds, and questions of pure innocence made me feel like a father. His pecks, kisses, hugs, and story-reading sessions made me a child once again. His bad words and waiting for my reactions, his hyes and byes, and the way he'll run to me if and when hurt makes me want to outstretch my arms to this old addiction called life.

Andrew with his excitement, banter, and tireless topics of conversations made me feel wanted. He reached out to me in his moments of need, of attention, loads of self-contemplation, and hidden sources of sorrow. At the tender age of just 10, he made me realize and taught me the importance of being a fatherly friend and a patient guide to a boy, who hardly ever listens to what you say. Yet, his natural love and care makes you want to be there for him as he goes through this transition period in his young life.

My Cinnamom baked her life out this year while life baked her in more ways than one. 2020 tested her to the core. With her health levels plunging to the lowest of lows while her stress levels beating her previous records, it was a truly testing phase in her life. 
Her musings, her passions, her writings, and a few OTT series and movies kept her sane during an insane 2020. 

All through, I stood by her like a rock while she was my deep sea anchor. We complemented each other in every way possible. Deep conversations, solitary dual silences, a few disagreements, partner workouts, home gym, healthy food, verbal arguments, love bites, cafes, hot chocolates, home-baked pizzas and pastas, common friends, and sweet nothings... All became a part of our life and lifestyle as a family. 

We laughed between the sheets, made love in the open, stayed at her farmhouse, went on our first long ride, and even persuaded the police to meet each other during the strict lockdown with cleverly detailed and well planned moves! 

End of August saw me moving closer to her residence, which was a dream-come-true moment. With her house being just a stone's throw away, we got to be together almost every day. This gave us a feel of how life will be together. The mundane daily transactions, such as bill payments, other expenses, shopping for provisions and vegetables and fruits, planning our days ahead et al gave us an idea of who we truly were behind our ideals and moral compasses. 

Such days allowed me to silently catch glimpses of her true love and care for all her fellow humans, animals, and plants across all walks of life: feeding strays, baby-talking to them on our way to shops and back, looking after Skipper when he was unwell, advising her old and some long lost school friends through honest conversations, helping her maid, Padma, helping her hairdresser, Hanuman, visiting her cousins, and being there for all of them... Quite objectively, she truly is the best human being I've ever met and I've met quite a few throughout my brief but eventful life. :-)

All her close friends became my close friends too though I could not say that about a few of my close friends. I would have loved that but that's fine. 

As the year comes to a close, she's inspired me and pulled me from my depths of self-doubt and low self-confidence and made me shed a good 10+ kg while gaining lean muscle mass. Our new Honda CB350 doesn't look bad when I ride it now. :-)

2020 made life and love worth it. 2020 made me realize the importance of looking after my family, old and new. 

Here's to a hopeful, healthy, and happy "family-full and love-filled" 2021. :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2020

After a stormy night

For the butterfly, it is out,
For the firefly what is within.
You and I survived this stormy night together,
Both inside and outside.

Our conversations and compromises
Change with the sky and stars
Like the raging storm that passes by.
We fall like wet twigs outside
Like stardust inside.

Let me hold your mind
And eyes
Like my poems hold your body
Like a catalog. 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Haikus - II

I. Gifts, scars, pity, hot chocolate?
What do you need, I feel...
My relentless love, tireless attention.

II. Sleepwalking prayers, like unconventional rains
I am not sad about myself...
Your broken things, muted pains.

III. I wish the autumn carries
Flowers in her back pocket, like you...
Drink the moonlight under a cocoon.

IV. Unwinding onions, layer-by-layer
Hold a wildflower in a storm, like your
Past peeled off but unfathomed.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Attempting Haikus

I.
Does the heart cry like rain?
Or, is it the mind that binds?
Come, flow like love in-between. 

                                                            II.
In the era of sunny #s
With neon-lit thumb typefaces,
She writes a love letter.

III.
Donut-shaped eyes afire
Bitter butter-soaked hands bake...
She stripteases our past lives.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Stillness in a workout

The calmness and the solitude you get while working out is similar to meditation. Either I am doing it right or am doing both wrong. :-)

Today, during my workout, I have begun to understand why Shaolin monks practice Kung Fu. How the mind does win over matter, if trained hard. 

Boundaries of 'the other' and 'my body' blur temporarily. Oneness permeates within, without thought.

As your body struggles and shivers, your mind stills. 

As your breath tries to escape, you let it go.

Each breath you take becomes a measured one. Each rep and each set starts being accounted for. Just like each decision, each change, each event, each action and inaction. Just like life. 

You know you control most muscles of your body; you also realize most of these muscles control your thoughts too.

Each workout is a lesson in humility. 

There's only this much weight you can lift, this much burden your mind can carry. For all the weights you lifted, all the breaths you took, all that you burdened your mind with, will one day turn to nothingness. 

We all end up as five elements and maybe a few more. For only time will tell our stories only to be forgotten in time.

Monday, November 09, 2020

Companions

People come, people go.
Like seasons and the winds, 
They change. 

With you, I can sit in a ruined city
And paint the heavens
And, like a mountaintop that touches
The clouds,
I want to touch your touch.

You're a stranger, who I know well, 
A strange dreamer who knew me well.
We wear each other's skins.

A savior, a hot cup of chocolate
In winter,
A book that my mother reads,
You're a temple for my broken mind
And healed heart.

After all, we're:
Companions of each other's
Sacred scars,
Storming in a tea cup,
Frothing in a coffee.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

A few things

You're...

Deep conversations,
Loud laughter.

Unanswered questions, 
Avalanche of emotions.

Classical music,
Romantic novels.

Treasured memories,
Incensed fragrances.

Old books,
Stolen kisses.

...Just a few things,
I'll give up for
You.

For, you're...