Tag Archives: Inspiration

The Funny Thing About Change

Image Courtesy- Google Images
Image Courtesy- Google Images

A few people who know me quite well will tell you that I fear change like Voldemort fears death. That I’m scared to Hell and back that something will disrupt the delicate balance that governs the present and the future. I found this idea too ridiculous to even take into consideration in the beginning, for I love spontaneity and recklessness. Unfamiliarity thrills me. I don’t like to make planned, calculated moves when it comes to many, many things, but now when I think about it properly, I guess I am afraid of change. Scared to lose whatever makes sense in a whirl of absolute unfamiliarity.

I’m not afraid of improvement, but maybe I am scared of some emotions I can’t handle too well. I can’t tell what frightens me so much, but perhaps it is the possibility that there is such a great chance of loss or rejection, and that I can’t ever be prepared to handle it. (I hate being told that I can’t do something.) It’s very visceral, yes. But such emotions always left me feeling far too lost. However, more recently I’ve grown sort-of comfortable with the idea that nothing is static and the only thing that’s constant about life is change itself. Adaptability is probably not my strongest point, but at the end of the day, maybe it’s all that counts. Because change does that. More often than not, it gives you the chance to adapt and even though I called it a ‘whirl’ before, but maybe it’s more gentle, more gradual, more like a swivel.

The thing about change, forgive my poor metaphor, is that it is like growing your hair. It happens so slowly, and you can’t make out the difference from one day to the next. You can’t feel it. It isn’t palpable enough. And day by day, it grows longer and longer, and you fail to realise it because the change is so so minute. But then, all of a sudden, someone comments on how long it has grown and you feel the full weight of the realisation that your hair has progressed from shoulder-length to mid-back and you haven’t ever felt it happening. Similarly, change happens little by little, so slowly that you sometimes mistake it for stagnancy. But it will happen and the understanding that something is different will probably only strike you once it is too late, unless you’ve paid attention to the signs.

In many ways, it’s like evolution, which is a constituted of a series of smaller mutations.  Life did not jump directly from the single-celled organism to human being. There were several stops along the way, signs that something else; something much more complex was ahead. It’s the same with degeneration as well. You will see it coming. Still, it’s funny how we sit and wait for the smaller changes to multiply, or maybe accumulate in the patterns of geometrical progression (?), before we are completely ready to open our eyes and see that it has compounded into so much more than it should have ideally been. Do we always need to sit idle till the storm strikes?

I’m not going to make sweeping generalisations and give you certainties, but there’s a great chance that change will leave breadcrumbs along the route, little signs and blinkers that it is on its way; and when it does hit, it may hit you with a pat before a blow, giving you ample time to be mentally prepared and to adapt to it. Maybe waiting for the full after-effects isn’t the wisest way of telling if something has already happened.

So, I think I do seek some amusement in how this works, because if you look at it from the ‘micro’ lens, not much has changed from yesterday to today. And not much will change from today to tomorrow, or from tomorrow to the day after. But when we look back, years from now, everything has happened. 

Find My Presence

Look for me in the trees
Midst the lush green foliage
I promise you will find more memories than one
Of times when we would go there, and sit in nature’s lap
Or pretend to be lost adventurers, seeking concealed muddy paths

Look for me in the fall
When the leaves have turned amber
They drop like the rain, covering your path
See these leaves, and think of love
Think of sunshine, and happiness
And of the months gone by, devoid.

Look for me in the trails that we once left behind
On those sandy lands, lined with cobbled webs
They are worn out and dusty, but here, answers you will find
Hidden under those golden grains
Lie the solutions to all your darkest troubles
Hear them in my silenced voice

Look for me where the ocean clears
Where blue meets white, and white meets yellow
Build your sandcastles
But forget me not, for the stories we have made on these salty shores
Are the ones you will remember forever more

Look for me when the snowflakes fall
As you shovel this white beautiful mess
In these intricate designs, you will feel my call
Reminding you of heart-breaking has-beens
Think of me, each time you see this shimmering sheet
And shed those silent tears for those Christmases gone by,
With no presents from me.

Look for me in the pages of an old diary
Cry, as you feel my fingertips, brush across the paper
For a mere second, let go of what is lost
And hold me in your embrace as if I were there
In flesh and blood

Look for me in the years gone by
You have aged, as time has worked on you
But I, rest as I always was
Kept alive by your memory
Still young, and fresh. Smiling.
In those dog-eared photographs

Look for me in every corner
Of this ghostly land
Green and gray, stones everywhere
And corpses lie below your feet, rotting.
Run your fingers over those letters and say them out loud
Let the wind catch your words and float them my way
For nostalgia will strike even those who wish to forget

Look for me, and you will find
My lingering presence.

I Woke Up

While you were asleep,
I woke up.

I woke up
To a world of tales,
A mosaic of lovely stories,
Woven together by me.

I woke up
To a life of happiness.
Of  joyous colours.
Stunning alchemies
Endless hopes.
Held together only by my fantasies

I woke up
To a world of dreams
More vivid than any you have ever seen.
More real than the ones you currently dream.
I woke up to bridge the gap
Between my dreams and realities

I woke up
To see the white in the black
The beauty in the plain
The laughter in the happiness
And the joy in the pain.

I woke up
To the wonders of  a smile
And to the excitement of  a surprise

I woke up
While you were asleep.

What am I?

 What am I?

 

What am I, but a gentle whisper?

 A lone tree, in a rain forest.

A star, hidden by the glow of the moon.

 

What am I, but a humble servant?

A tiny drop in the ocean.

The dot on the ‘I’.

 

What am I, in this sea of souls?

A tiny toe on the footprint of mankind.

A single page in the book of eternity.

 

What am I, in this universe?

But a single speck on the expanse of nothingness.

 An action. A choice. A decision.

Can they really change my place?

 Will I make my mark in history?

Or will I fade away like words written on sand?

Confined Creativity

Image Courtesy- Google Images

I have a brother who is twelve years old, and like any typical twelve year old, he spends all his time playing video games, watching TV and annoying me. I remember asking him what he wanted to be when he grows up once- about five years ago- and he promptly told me that he would be a super-hero. When I ask him the same question now, he confidently says,”Either a game designer. Or a professional cricket player.” And I believe that maybe when I ask him the same question five years from now, he will tell me that he wants to become an engineer. Or some other mundane, safe career like that. Of course his bank balance will see some action. But where’s the fun in that? The adventure? The stories to inspire his own children? They say, throw a stone at random and the chances are that it will hit an engineer. And there is no doubt about this. Every second person is one of them.

In another instance, I asked my cousin the same question today. Being seventeen, she is about to make this decision herself. I have asked her this before and her answer has always been the same. It is today, what it was even three years back. I don’t know whether to applaud her on her keen sense of decision making or bang my head against the wall in frustration. YES, ladies and gentlemen. She wants to be an….. ENGINEER!

And then I begin to wonder what the world will do with about 4 billion engineers. There are after all only so many technical problems to solve. What is the fun in living like that anyway? You spend roughly four years getting your degree. Then you get a fancy job from the campus recruitment, usually. Earn some money. Marry an engineer/bank manager/doctor (yes, those are your only options). Earn some more money. Have two kids. Earn more money. Spend all this money to buy a house, on education, insurance policies, vacations, etc etc etc…. marry off your kids… work work work and finally retire. At the age of 65, your life FINALLY begins. But by now you have arthritis or diabetes or some other problem. Hence, you buy two rocking chairs and all the newspapers in town and spend every single day in pretty much the same way, reading newspaper, drinking coffee and rocking away!

Where’s the excitement?
“Oh hi honey. I’m home! You know what happened at work today? A server crashed. And I fixed it. Woohoo!”

Where’s the risk?
“Guess what? I decided to take an extra hour off during lunch today! What an adrenaline rush!”

Where’s the fun?
“I sat and typed out twenty different codes today. And now my wrist hurts, my back aches and I’m pretty sure my eyesight is going to the dogs. But I like the noise when I type.”

Oh. And most importantly. Where’s the time to… live?
“I have a holiday tomorrow. Which means I have to work only from nine to four! YESS!”

See. This is what I’m talking about.

I’m saying ‘engineer’. But it could refer to any other such career, requiring only a degree and a willingness to give up your life.
Yes, it is safe. If you get fired today, you’re likely to find a pretty decent opening very soon.
Yes, it’ll give you financial security. Your pay hikes will come faster than those mounting expenses.

But the real question is, will it make you happy?

All I’m saying is, don’t confine creativity. Don’t be afraid to dream. Dare to do something different.

Make mistakes. Crazy ones. But be happy.

If you really want to do something, whatever it is,  give it your best shot and do it. You can never be bad at doing something you love because you will end up giving it all you’ve got. If you want to become a painter, dancer or writer, then do just that. Don’t waste your life sitting in a cubicle, doing something you don’t love, enjoy or aren’t good at. Because, you might never be happy.

I’m sure that if you’re doing something for ‘the heck of it’ or because ‘it’s what everyone is doing’, then someday, you will wake up miserable and you will think back on those days when you dreamt of being a… An astronaut or  a writer or maybe even… a superhero? Then the realization hits you. Your dreams have died. The child within you is buried so deep inside that you cannot even feel its presence. It is probably the most terrifying feeling. Like something within you has died.

So wake up before it’s too late. And let your creative juices flow. Do whatever you’ve always dreamed of doing.

And even after all of this, if you still want to be an engineer, then go ahead!

I, for one, am taking the unconventional road. I might never be ‘The Richest Woman on Earth’, but I will find happiness.

Because I refuse to bury my dreams.
Because I refuse to kill the child in me.

Because I refuse to confine creativity. 

Woman’s Woe

WOMAN’S WOE

The world was free, though she felt caged.

She felt angry, upset and enraged.

They said we have freedom, yet she had no voice,

Nothing she could do, she had no choice.

No happiness, opportunities or rights,

Oh! What a miserable plight.

She lives her life, handicapped.

But the spirit within her can’t be trapped.

With patience, she waits for a fresh start.

Hoping and praying for a change of heart.

Ready to leave the past behind.

Waiting to use her own mind.

She shakes off change’s mocking smile.

Learns that it is her who has to go the extra mile.

Things won’t change if she leaves them this way

She has to fight to have her say.

Though women are denied equality,

They know how to maintain solidarity.

Not ready to give up, not ready to give in.

Going to keep fighting till they win.

Turning Tables

An old man was once walking one way

He met a young man who worked for him back in the day

His clothes once ragged, were now brand new

And his hair smelt of some expensive shampoo.

Said the old to the young,

“It seems like your fate has sung.”

Chuckling, the man replied

“I’ve never forgotten the days when you crushed my pride.

Made me your slave.  Took what I had.

Gave me nothing in return.  It made me sad.

I saw the way people looked at me.

Heard when they whispered, “Stay away, you creep.”

It hurt me. Brought tears to my eyes.

But I knew better than to cry.

I pushed myself to find an escape.

From this injustice, from this rape.

I worked as hard as I possibly could.

Fought for recognition. Took pride in all I withstood.

Now the world hardly cares where I come from.

It’s who I am that makes them look twice.

They’ve forgotten the looks they once gave me.

They’ve forgotten that they said, “Stay away from he.”

They bow down to me. A nice change, don’t you think?

For if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this.

A man may be as poor as it gets.

He may not have a home or a roof on his head.

But treat him well. And be nice.

For tomorrow you may meet your own demise.

For when you are gone,

Lost, forgotten and withdrawn.

He’s still around,

Laughing at how you have drowned.

He won’t give you a second thought.

Because respect, like happiness, cannot be bought.”

The old man disguised his contempt well.

Yet he could not help but dwell

On how the tables had turned.

For now, he was worse for wear.

And the pain was his to bear.