Moments

Life’s all about moments
big and small
and someone to share them with
or not…

I hiked
through the rain forest
to this beach
with gorgeous views
and crashing waves
that calm my soul…

There’s a few other people
A mid aged couple
eating lunch on the rocks
A younger couple
sitting on a log
An older couple
walking and holding hands
A little further
I see a woman
writing in her journal…

I think to myself
what I want to do
I’ve taken pictures
to my heart’s content
I’m carrying a book
but no journal or pen
So I type on my phone
whatever comes to mind…

Solo travel is exhilarating
but also exhausting
To step out of your comfort zone
Be the master of your time
Reach out to people
Make some new friends
Be responsible for yourself
for the good and the bad times…

I look at the ocean again
and think about the rock I’m perched on
exposed at low tide
what would happen
if a big wave came crashing by

I think about love
and life
what would it be like
to lose a loved one to death
harder than heartbreak, I guess…
I am intrigued
how one dimensional life can feel
when you’re grieving a loss
how nothing seems to matter
on days like that…

I sit here transfixed
by the warmth of the sun
and the sound of the waves
and say a silent thanks
for being present
in this moment
that I long to share with you…

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Love – Found and Lost!

“Is it the painter in you that loves sunsets?” She was intrigued by the thoughtfulness in the first message he sent her. She smiled and responded and they ended up texting for a few hours. The conversations were interesting and she started looking forward to them.  After chatting for about a week, they decided to meet. It was late spring and the weather was finally beginning to warm up, so they met in the plaza for their first date.

She was early for their first date and worked on her laptop, while watching other people soak up the sun. They briefly hugged when he came and started talking about the usual introductory stuff about each other. As conversation flowed effortlessly, they talked about science and careers, dating and relationships, life and family and growing up with siblings, books and writing, and minutes turned into hours.

Towards the end of the evening, she knew that she had to bring it up. “I need to be upfront that I am looking for a job and will be moving from here soon. So if you are looking for a serious relationship, I don’t want to waste your time.”

“I appreciate your being honest about this. I am not looking for anything and just like to go with the flow. I am enjoying your company and would love to see you again. I would say tomorrow, but I know you have plans. Let’s meet again, as soon as possible.”

She was meeting  friends for dinner that night and they reluctantly parted ways making plans to meet within the next couple of days.

One Month Later

She had interviewed for a couple of positions since they had met and was surprised at how supportive he had been and how close they had grown in their brief time together. They had been on several dates, had interesting conversations, enjoyed each other’s company, and were very comfortable around each other. A couple of days earlier, she had received her first job offer and was excited about it and they went out to celebrate. As they were walking to the car after a movie and dinner, she mentioned that it had been a month since they had met. She wasn’t sure if she should wish him a happy anniversary, she wasn’t sure what this meant to him. “I must really like you, I don’t think that I’ve dated someone this long without…”, he paused and smiled. “Well, I am special, you know,” she winked and smiled back at him. She thought about the last month and how surprised he had been when she had told him that she had not had sex with anyone yet, and yet how comfortable she felt talking to him about sex. They had been intimate several times yet she never felt pressured or rushed. After reading about consent and sex positivity in the last few years, she was happy to have met someone who was understanding and respectful. They made love for the first time that night. He was thoughtful, gentle, and caring. He was everything that she had hoped for, and more.

Two Months Later

She was thinking about the date all week but didn’t bring it up because she didn’t want to appear needy or too attached. She thought about the last two months, about their trip to the caverns over the long weekend and the fabulous time they had. She remembered telling him that she loved him, how she blurted it out right before they arrived home because she had been thinking about it all weekend. She thought about the day she slept over at his place for the first time, how they solved a maths problem while he made dinner, how he packed lunch and made smoothies for breakfast. She loved that they challenged most gender stereotypes in their relationship. He always asked her for directions because she knew the city more than he did. He was emotionally and physically expressive and they had great chemistry and she found herself surprised at how attracted she was to him and how much she enjoyed sex. “By the way, I just realized that it has been two months since we met,” she casually mentioned when they facetimed that evening. “You realized it now, I had been thinking about it earlier today,” he responded. She was secretly happy that he remembered. She remembered all week and was trying to be nonchalant, she confessed a few minutes later.

Three Months Later

She had accepted a job offer and couldn’t stop thinking about how it was time for her to leave. She had already started organizing and packing and was wondering what would happen to their relationship. They had talked a few weeks earlier and he had said that he wasn’t ready for a long-term relationship at this point. She had been upset about it but eventually made her peace with it. She had not been this happy in a long time and what was the point in ruining the present for what the future may or may not hold. She thought of all the things that made her happy since she had met him. The first time he had said he missed her was when they made love on the couch after he came back from a short weekend trip. She remembered their short weekend trip to the state park, the picnic lunch he had made for them, the walks by the river, sharing poetry, clicking pictures, the sunsets, and how someone walking on the street saw them and said they looked happy. She loved how they talked about science and work, gender inequality and other societal issues, hopes and dreams for their lives, and how much he valued her thoughts and opinions, her little wishes, how he pulled her leg and teased her. She was grateful that they could be totally honest with each other and were able to talk about anything under the sun, including past relationships and their fears in life. She felt lucky to have met him and couldn’t believe how quickly time was going by by and how happy they were. As they made love at midnight, she told him it had been three months since they had met. “Oh I didn’t realize it’s the 15th today. Are you sure we didn’t meet on the 16th?” he teased. “Happy three months,” he kissed her. She smiled and wished him the same. As he made time to drop her at work the next morning even when he was running late, she silently hoped that this would work out.

Four Months Later

It had been a little over two weeks since she had left and he had said he didn’t want to be in a long distance relationship a few days before she left. Instead of goodbyes, the farewell was filled with au revoirs and promises to meet again. She had been traveling for two weeks and was enjoying the long distance train journeys and living the adventure that she had been dreaming about for years. They still talked regularly and she missed him and had not let go of the hope that something might work out. When they talked on the 15th, she wished him a happy four months and he wished her back. When she brought up her visiting him over the following weekend, she realized that he didn’t have time to see her and didn’t want her to make the trip. Although she knew his reasons were genuine and she understood his situation, she was frustrated. She knew that she was hoping against hope for something to work out and was fighting the reality that it wasn’t going to happen. She was scared that she might not see him again. She reminded herself that even if this was the end, this was a mature and respectful relationship that made her happy, and it set a good standard for what she would expect from future relationships. Except that she didn’t want any other relationship, she wanted to be with him.

Five Months Later

A month later, they were having a similar conversation. She wanted to go and see him over the weekend and they fought about it on the 14th. This was the biggest fight they had ever had, it was probably their first fight. Maybe the only fight they would ever have. He didn’t think it was a good time to meet because things would get complicated, he didn’t want to deal with emotions and didn’t want himself to be the focal point of her travel plans. She tried to convince him that she didn’t have an agenda and wasn’t trying to salvage a relationship. She wanted one last weekend with him – a weekend of happiness and laughter and intimacy. They were both right and they were both wrong. On the next day, she wondered if he remembered, if he would call or text her. She didn’t like prolonged fights, so she texted him mentioning that she was not coming. An offering of peace. He didn’t respond. She wondered if he was busy or choosing not to respond. Although they talked the following day and things returned to normal, she wondered if he remembered. As she reminisced their three and a half or four months together, she knew that there was no fifth month anniversary. There had been a brief glimmer of hope in the past month. She had interviewed for a position to move back to the same city where he was, it was an excellent opportunity for her career and would have given their relationship a fresh breath of life. However, despite her fervent prayers and hopes and dreams, she wasn’t hired for the position. Meanwhile, they weren’t talking as regularly anymore and she was coming to the realization that it was over. They could probably be friends. She had been trying to process it over a few weeks and had already shed many tears when she missed him.  Although she was trying to be happy that it happened, she couldn’t help being sad that it was over. When she saw the poem he had shared on facebook a few days earlier, she wondered if he didn’t love her even a tiny little bit. Was the poem a sign? It was interesting how the same poem could be a reflection of both their lives despite their contrasting approaches to love and life.

they come

different and the same

with each it is different and the same

with each the absence of love is different

with each the absence of love is the same

– Samuel Beckett

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The need for change and DofG – Sep 2

Today, I am thankful for:

  • Working out in the gym in the morning, since it helps me with managing pain and stiffness and the endorphins help me feel better all day.
  • I’m visiting my sister S1 and brother-in-law in Canada for a few weeks and it was nice to spend some time and hangout with my sister in the evening.
  • We went to visit their friends last night and had a good time hanging out with them, their parents who are visiting from India, and meeting their new born baby. I loved the delicious Indian food from a restaurant we recently discovered and I drank rum and coke after ages.

Two brilliant things that I read/watched today:

  1. I read this post by Shail today morning and loved it and could not agree more.
  2. When I was working out at the elliptical, I watched this TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and it is absolutely brilliant. A few months ago, I read a collection of short stories by Chimamanda Adichie and really liked them. I started reading one of her novels after that but had to leave it within the first few chapters because it triggered some traumatic emotions for me and I didn’t have the resources to deal with them at the time. Anyway, I knew about this TED talk and had been meaning to watch it for a long time. I finally watched the video yesterday and Oh My God, it’s brilliant and I love it. She’s not saying anything that I haven’t heard before, but what makes this talk awesome is the fact that she articulates so many important points about gender inequality and feminism in a 30 minute talk. I could not stop nodding my head in agreement at every point she made. While she mostly talks about her experiences in Nigeria and Africa, I found most of them to be true in the Indian context and some in the US as well. Please please watch the video and tell me what you think!

Watching and reading these two things was helpful for me today because they reminded me of things I was passionate about and believed in. For many years, I have believed in the power of one and how it is important to engage with people and have rational conversations even if they may be difficult. I have believed in doing my bit and hoping that through these conversations, I would learn something new and question my mindset or have the same effect on other people. In my opinion, this is the best way to shake things up and bring about a change because we are the people who make this society and culture. When I started volunteering for AID in 2011, I learnt to think objectively and question cultural norms and political ideologies. While I was always a feminist even when I didn’t realize it, volunteering with AID opened my eyes to many other injustices in society. I actively engaged in discussions even when they were difficult and learnt a lot from other people.

Over the last couple of years, I have lost that zeal to engage in discussions. It started when I had to my write my dissertation within a couple of months and was working all the time. I started avoiding reading some political posts at the time due to a lack of time and energy to deal with anger and frustration arising from these issues. Things kept getting busier and while I did start reading articles on gender and some other issues, I only shared them with like-minded friends, people that I considered my safe spaces. Over time, I have grown indifferent or numb to many things.There are so many atrocities happening in the world everyday, the refugee crisis in Middle East, the right wing propaganda in Europe, the political situation in USA, the constant barrage of patriarchal bullshit and its ramifications everywhere in the world, just to name a few. In an attempt to initially protect myself in times of stress and pick my battles, I have gradually grown indifferent to many things. Instead of feeling angry and upset when I read these things, I feel a sense of hopelessness and despair. I feel that there’s nothing that I can do to change things. And this only depresses me further – it adds to my personal struggles and makes everything worse. I feel like I need to find my passion and voice my feelings and opinions to reconnect with my core and feel energetic again. While my personal and professional life has kept me busy and has been getting better, there is a void that I need to fill. I feel like I need to be working towards a cause that’s larger than my individual struggles. It helps me stay grounded and remember the bigger picture. It also reminds me of all the things I have and my privilege.

So this is what I need to change. I need to vocalize my thoughts and feelings and start engaging with people and discussing important issues, online and offline. I need to stay in touch with my beliefs and contribute my part in fighting against injustice. Gender inequality has been close to my heart for most of my adult life and that’s where I am going to start. On this note, I will see you tomorrow! Have a good weekend!

I have decided to make September my ‘Days of Gratitude‘ (DofG) month. I will be posting everyday about something that I am thankful for in that day. I want to do this as a reminder to myself to be thankful for what I have, and also to develop a habit of mindfulness and self-reflection.

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Days of Gratitude – Sep 1

Hello there! I wonder if anyone still reads this blog.. I’m back, at least for a bit. So, in an attempt to start writing again, I was reading some of my old posts.

 I did a gratitude challenge in September 2014. I thought it was last year, but I checked and found out that it was two years ago, time flies. I had thought of doing a reflections post after the challenge but of course I never got around to it. I do remember that I felt better after doing that challenge for two reasons. First, it helped me focus on the positives in my life and be thankful for what I have. Secondly, it helped me reflect on my day and writing everyday taught me to focus in the present moment. Since I’ve been wanting to write regularly and have many things I’d like to share with you and I am still trying to learn to focus on the present moment, I think I’d like to start with this gratitude challenge.

So here we are. I am PMSing and not feeling great, but thinking about today, here’s what I am thankful for:

  • Being on a break / long vacation and being able to stay in bed until 11.30 am today.
  • Passively watching Gilmore Girls all day as I worked on some things that I needed to.
  • A gorgeous sunset this evening (you know I love sunsets).
  • Finally being able to write this post and publish it before I go to bed. I’ve been thinking about it all day and was having a hard time getting started. I also have many half written drafts from the last month that I didn’t finish. In any case, I’m just happy to be writing again. I know this post is very choppy and doesn’t flow at all, but please bear with me as I get better at this.

I read my September 2014 posts and this was the description and I think it still holds true. 

I have decided to make September my ‘Days of Gratitude‘ month. I will be posting everyday about something that I am thankful for in that day. I want to do this as a reminder to myself to be thankful for what I have, and also to develop a habit of mindfulness and self-reflection.

P.S. Wish me luck and feel free to join me in this month of gratitude if you’d like..

P.S. 2 I’m writing this on the phone, so please ignore any errors. See you tomorrow! 

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Wanting Love…

“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

I want to say this to you, right now. If only I could feel it too. I am tired. I am frustrated because I feel too much and expect and want more.

I love you, I said when we were saying goodbye.

Not as much as I like you, you responded.

Was that true, I now wonder. I’m not disputing what you said. I remember you changing plans to spend those last two nights with me. I remember your eyes, our hugs, your holding my hand and not wanting to let go, your hesitation in leaving the elevator door after our final goodbye.

Go now, I said.

I wish we had a choice. I wish we could spend some more time together, more minutes, more hours, more days…

Eighteen days later, it feels different. I do realize the constraints in our current situations but I feel what I feel. Time and again, I find myself wanting more – more time, more involvement, more you. I have been willing to re-organize my life and prioritize meeting you and spending time with you. I choose to do that.

I know that you like spending time with me and you did all that you could do. I also know that I can’t hold you responsible for not doing things you never said you will. You’ve been honest since the beginning about where you stand. Whenever we talked, you said that you weren’t ready for a long-term relationship. When it was time for me to move, you clearly said that you didn’t want a long-distance relationship. The irony of the situation is that when we first met,  I wasn’t ready to start seeing you. Or anyone else, for that matter. I didn’t expect to fall in love when I knew I would be leaving the city in the next few months.  And then I met you. And fell in love.

When I realized how much you meant to me, I was willing to change some plans. I tried to stay longer in the same city or close by, but it didn’t work out. I wanted to give things a real shot, to see if this can go anywhere, if what we have can last. Because I have been happy with you and it feels right. Because you seem to be the kind of guy I want to spend my life with. Because I think about wanting to raise kids with you, when I’m not even sure if I ever want kids. Because I respect and appreciate you for who you are. Because I feel seen, heard, valued and appreciated in this relationship.

I know it’s too soon. We’ve known each for only four months. I was not asking for any guarantees. I just wanted you to want this as much as I do.

We talk almost everyday. We Facetime often. I call you everyday because my day feels incomplete if we don’t talk. I don’t know what we have and where we stand. I am afraid to ask you, maybe because I don’t even want to find out. I am afraid to hear you repeat that you don’t want to be in a long distance relationship. This way, I live in the hope that we have something. As I get ready to leave the country, I just want to see you one more time. Because I am afraid that I may not see you again. Ever. And I know that it probably doesn’t matter if I see you this one time either, right? But to me, it does.

I love you. I have told you that a few times. I don’t expect you to say it back, I always tell you after. But some part of me wants to hear that you love me.

I am living my dreams and having the time of my life. You are a part of this time.

I miss you. I think about you everyday, no matter where I am, and what I’m doing. I just wish that it was reciprocal. Either you felt as strongly as I did, or I didn’t feel as much. I am a strong independent woman and I choose to live my life on my terms, as much as I can. However, when it comes to love, I can’t stop my heart from falling too fast and too hard. I don’t know how to not think about you or want you less. So I just hope that maybe you start wanting me more. On that note, happy four months!

Posted in Fact or fiction!, LIFE, love | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Resilience or foolishness?

Rhea didn’t feel like getting out of bed. She looked at the time and realized that she was late, again. She grabbed her phone to silence the alarm, glanced at her Whatsapp messages, and didn’t bother to read the usual forwards. Not really expecting anything important, Rhea checked her email and was excited to see Neal’s email – not just one but two. It brought a smile to her face and gave her the energy to sail through the day. As Rhea was in and out of meetings all day, she kept thinking about Neal’s emails and couldn’t wait to find the time to write to him. She found herself remembering You’ve Got Mail and smiling to herself during the day!

****

When Rhea woke up in the middle of the night, she checked her phone for any emails from Neal. Looking at her empty inbox, she wondered if he had disappeared again. She had responded to his email three days ago, the same day that he had written to her. Since then, she had called him a couple of times but he didn’t answer the phone.

****

As Rhea lay in bed on the cold Sunday morning, she craved to talk to Neal. It had been a week since his last emails. More than him, Rhea was frustrated with herself. She wondered why she let herself get excited again – isn’t this classic Neal behavior?

In his email a week ago, Neal didn’t really say anything about the story she had shared with him, he only responded to one of the questions she had asked him. Rhea wondered if he even read what she sent him. In his second email, Neal had asked for her opinion on a video he shared. Unlike him, Rhea had written a long and emotional response sharing her thoughts. As she over-analyzed the email, seeds of doubt began creeping into her head. Was Neal put off by her opinions? Did her ideas sound naive or immature? Rhea reminded herself that the main reason she felt attracted to Neal was that he respected her value system and thought process. She was not going to start questioning herself because a guy wasn’t responding to her emails. Not again.

As Rhea longed for Neal, tears rolled down from the side of her eyes onto the pillow. She wondered how she ended up in the same situation every few years, or even months. At the slightest possibility of love on the horizon, her heart began doing somersaults, like an over-enthusiastic kid not willing to accept failure in gymnastics class. Rhea found herself speculating if her heart is resilient or foolish or both? While she inherently believed in love and didn’t want to give up on meaningful connections, she was tired of picking up the pieces of her broken heart. Rhea mused, is the heart’s resilience necessarily a good thing?

****

You can read more Rhea and Neal stories here.

Song on my mind

 

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Cheat song post!

I’ve been sick for a couple of days, been very busy, sleep deprived, and exhausted! Weekend, wh’re art thou?

Leaving you with a song on my mind – Shaam tanha by Agnee! See you tomorrow!

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