When Saturn Returns.

saturnreturn

“I don’t know what is happening… but I know that I’m not happy.”

In more ways than one, I’ve been at the receiving end of this line this past week. It’s scary, too many people have been calling or texting me, sharing intimate details of their lives, searching for an answer – one that they know isn’t with me, or anywhere around me.

To make things worse, I realise that these thoughts I’ve been having; well, I’m not the only one…

It makes me wonder? Is there an answer to this? Why are so many 25 something’s just not happy?

Do you get this feeling? You open your eyes and the sigh from last night still escapes your lips. Even if you want to give up, you’re not exactly sure what you’re giving up.

Happiness: is it a journey, or the destination?

Many of us have the luxury of thought and life. We have been raised well, our education has taught us to achieve, and then some, and our lives are leading… well, somewhere. We’re fixated by the flashy idea of change. Everything has to become better: You will find your soulmate. You will get that promotion. You will have friends. You are not alone.

Last night, I was having dinner with my parents, the meal was delicious, one of my favourites. Out of nowhere, I felt a deep unrest within me.

I was confused. This hasn’t happened to me in a long, long time. I was unaware of how I should react; and knowing that a reaction would result in concerned questions from my parents: Questions to which I had no answer, mind you.

Mid-way, I told them I was done and excused myself. I rushed to my room and shut the door quickly behind me.

My heart was pounding.

What was happening?

Was I unhappy? I could feel the tears prickling my eyes.

Why?

Why?

Am I going insane?

I read somewhere, that sometimes you get this “gut-feeling” sort of like a “sixth sense” when something is about to go wrong, terribly wrong. Was this it? Was something about to spiral out of my control?

Did I jinx my own calm, mundane life?

I tried everything from a hot shower, loud music, Netflix… all to no avail.

Deep breath. Deep breath. Deep breath.

My eyes fell on a book, Coelho (of course).. Curious.. I went to it. I sat there, wondering if I’ve even finished or read this book… Blank.

I took it and head back to my bed.

Opened it slowly.

Read three pages.

And reached this line,

“Maybe it’s just Saturn-returns…”

I’m confused.

I read a few more lines and decide that I have to find out what this means: much as the protagonist decides too.

I open my laptop and type:

Saturn Returns.

Enter.

It’s not an epiphany. It’s not a moment of “OMG” or even “WTF” – it brings tears to my eyes. It brings joy to my overwhelming sadness. And, it gives me an answer.

Saturn Returns.

“The notorious period of our lives, where our life goes one of two ways – we either take off, soaring like an eagle, successful, happy and financially free, or everything crumbles around us and we fall apart. For many, it’s the latter.”

Basically, ‘Saturn Returns’ is a crisis that will leave you facing your deepest fears. Everything that you thought you wanted will come into question, you will begin to question who you are, what you want and even where you want to be.

Saturn Returns (To Mess With You.)

“I don’t know what is happening… but I know that I’m not happy.”

It’s a test.

The Universe is testing us.

It’s testing us to our basic core.

Isn’t this what we’ve always believed in? What we’ve always thought to be true somewhere, all along?

Why is it that simultaneously with grief-stricken news, you hear of people in this same 25 something group finding their soulmate, getting that promotion, are surrounded by loving friends and most definitely are not alone?

An interesting conversation with a friend once made me think out loud, “Did the Universe skip some of us and move on to the next generation?”

We still have no answer to this – But think about it, Saturn Returns… Is this the answer that we need? That we need to power through – we need to take ourselves through this test… and mind you, the Universe, while testing us, doesn’t want us to be walking alone. Is that why recently, I’ve been connecting with friends who have the very same thoughts circling in their heads? Am I attracting this? These thoughts? These people? These results?

I want to say that I slept well last night and that I will tonight too. That my demons are far from me; that joyous thoughts will fill up my dreams.

But this is a test, remember?

My demons and I will share my bed and my nightmares too.

Do I have it in me, to wait for Saturn, to pass me by?

I don’t have the answer for this, just that tonight, it feels a little safer…

…. Even if just for a while.

Advertisements

My Coffee & You.

Who would have guessed:
That what started off as an innocent kiss,
Would turn into a shy coffee date,
Would turn into endless conversation,
Would turn into dinners for two,
Would turn into days:
Where just a sip of coffee,
Taken without you,

Turns me into a poet,
As the clock strikes 2.

e58a241da2d79ddfcdf3774c787254fb

Photo Source: Pinterest

When It’s Perfect, For Now.

8c5013e7fdc2c9330dd3ad623a71f523

We spoke, all through the night. It wasn’t unnatural, for two people who met this suddenly and had had a night that was just absolutely perfect, to do so. With every beep of the phone, two hearts raced uncontrollably: their finish line, the same… the other’s phone, the curve in her smile, the shine in his eyes… and hopefully, though no one said it out loud: the beatings of the heart.

But then that would just make this a perfect fairytale, and anyone who has loved, even if just for a second, knows that a story like that one is as difficult as sighting a shooting star on a polluted night in a crowded city. But do you remember the excitement if you did happen to sight it? Exhilaration.

James Blunt croons, You’re Beautiful in my ears. Monsoon has reached where I am. The skies are grey, with a hint of blue sky appearing every now and then, the breeze a gentle yet welcoming tease.

It’s time to face the truth, I will never be with you.

He said what I have been fearing to even whisper to myself.

Finding love in a hopeless place is what makes it so desirable, yes?

No.

NO!

Let me set the scene. Let’s for a while, go back to that absolutely perfect night — when texting each other seemed to be the only thing that life would and should be about.

That night had all the perfect ingredients: Whiskey, dancing, a girl, a boy, a leather jacket, eyes interlocking, smiles exchanging, a bike ride, a kiss exchanged under the stars…

And then the messaging. All night long.

It wasn’t before long the, “Can I see you again?” message was sent.

And it wasn’t long after that, that she blushed and confirmed a time and place.

And it was decided: a rooftop café, a Monday afternoon when most were buried with work and the attack of the blues. These two, with an excitement they had both forgotten, made their way — he on his bike, she clutching the steering wheel with sweaty palms.

That night, in all honesty, was a blur: possibly caused by the whiskey and romantic nature of it. She quickly realized that there could be a chance she doesn’t recognize his face. Her heart, now racing even faster. What are the chances, that she, anxiety on her face, walks right past him? His face, thoroughly puzzled.

Amused, he follows her, a few steps behind, a text on his phone, “I’ve reached.” He tried not to laugh, “I know. I’m right behind you.”

Ahead of him, she turns in one swift motion, her dark hair whipping around her: she was… magnetic. A smile appears on her face, mirroring his own.

They sit, talk, it was supposed to be one quick coffee- it’s become one quick coffee, something to munch on, and now… “Dinner?” He suggests. But she has to run home, promised her mother she would be home by then. Well earlier — “…But it’s okay…” She blushes.

More texts are exchanged. He’s surprised at the ease with which she can handle a conversation. Not exactly one of his strengths. “Your eyes..” she messaged one day, “They speak more.”

Sometimes he forgets she’s a writer: Her words will be the death of him, he’s sure.

Every night after, he wrapped up work quickly, and with a smile on his face, rushed to say “Good Night…” to her blushing face. Sometimes she greeted him with a smile, some nights a dish that she had spent hours trying to perfect, but for this one night…

… He could sense an urgency, unlike any he had witnessed before, in her message, “Please come see me for a while? Even just 5 minutes would be fine.” Nothing else. He typed “Yes” without a second thought.

He saw an uneasiness in her even before she reached to where he had parked his bike. She smiled. He smiled. They both wore dark blue.

“Hi…”

“Hey…” Her reply, breathless.

She shifted around him. The silence was unnatural. Her eyes darting in every direction but meeting his own. That night, he spoke… well, a couple of sentences, because mid-sentence, she rendered him speechless.

“Shush…” She whispered, as she came close. It was all a blur: Her hands on his face, her lips gently touching his. His hands closing around his waist. He took a deep breath… wishing this moment would never end.

She giggled. His eyes were still shut. She gently stepped out of his embrace, waved to him and ran off home.

He only stared back in stunned silence.

More evenings passed them by, a few stolen moments in the day left the blush in their cheeks intact. And then finally, it was Date Night.

Dressed to impress, they wound up at her favourite bar.

And they spoke for hours.

The night, the crowd around them, everything they were blissfully oblivious to.

And then something happened.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call it magical… but for the lack of any other word:Magical it was.

The lights around them switched off.

He was listening to her intently when this happened.

“Wait… Pause… Pause.”

Alarmed, she was silenced: her eyes wide open now.

“The light…” He looked opposite her, he was talking about the soft orange glow of the streetlight.

“The light… it’s falling on your face. You’re beautiful.”

Her eyes were now glistening.

“…Like a diamond.”

All initial awkwardness now far behind them, they leaned in closer.

Her smile a little wider now… Was that even possible? He thought to himself.

His soulful eyes, now staring almost inside her. It was then she finally understood why someone once wrote, “The eyes are the windows to the soul.”

Back to her place they went.

Long conversations poured into the night, which was already sprinkling a soft patter of rain around them.

She tried to let him go, he tried to leave her: But that night, that electric night, their lips refused to part.

It all sounds beautiful right?

Yet, why when James Blunt sang, her heart sank deeper into a chasm.

Someone once mentioned that you meet people for a reason. Always. Whether for a season or for eternity, that depends on the circumstance they find themselves in. From two opposite worlds, they were bound to meet that one fateful night, yet when she thinks of her future, his face doesn’t seem to appear.

Whether it’s because time left them with strained conversations, or that his world was too different from hers, no one will know the right answer:

“I need to let you go,

Your eyes, they shine so bright,

I wanna save that light,

I can’t escape this now,

Unless you show me how.”

Imagine Dragons seem to have all the answers.

But they both had to stare their Demons in the face. If not today, then a few months or years from now.

But it’s today. And she’s decided to live a little selfishly. He’s perfect for now.

Maybe that’s how life surprises you: It gives you everything you thought would be perfect, would be enough, for you. But there’s always a twist. There’s always something missing. And you can either choose to look at it, or ignore it. But we aren’t creatures who can ignore… We are creatures meant to obsess.

Now here, I can come up with two endings for these two star-crossed lovers.

They remained friends. That one night was their highlight. They fell for each other, and decided to use the other for their own selfish reasons. He was her shy guy; she was his angry little girl. Together they decided to conquer the world: colliding and hurtling through space and time.

He would heal her, all her broken parts — he knew she needs her someone. But he couldn’t promise to be anything more than her strength. Unaware that, that was all she expected.

The second ending: They hold on tight, making promises under the stars. It’s a battlefield that they’re standing on. Them against the world. But all that’s ahead of them, is her smile and his eyes. It’s a little bit frightening, but all they need is each other.

A few days, weeks, months… maybe even years later: He’s going to become a bittersweet memory she pours out on paper, while he’ll always ache to see her, with her black wild hair, dancing away some night. Maybe he’ll go say ‘Hi’… Maybe, not.

I guess, we’ll never know.

My Scarlet A.

After much consideration and thought, I’ve come to this one simple yet mildly profound fact: I shouldn’t fall in love.
Albeit, “shouldn’t” sounds extremely harsh and permanent. However, it is needed. 
I’m a left over soul. Long from the days of the 17th century, when poets fell in love with their muses, where women wrote long letters to the one whom their hearts yearned.
Love, was not a feeling to hide away or be ashamed of. Yes, being shy was a positively normal scenario, but tell me, have you ever been in love and not blushed? Or not beamed as you watch your effects causing a slight bright rush on your lovers cheeks? 
But Love was proclaimed. Love was fought for. Love was defended. Love was declared. And it all happened in the most simplest ways imaginable: and no, this is not another fairytale of mine: Love, was expressed, not calculated or planned or even pondered upon. 
Today, love has become the latest tragedy. It has become the most complicated emotion that one should ever find themselves in. 
Yes, I wear my heart on my sleeve. Yes, I can’t help but blush when He looks at me with his soulful brown eyes. But questions like: should you text first? Should you appear to be “more” intrigued? Should you even care this much? – I have no answers frankly. 
Not every beginning has an end, not every ending is final.
But my mind and heart aren’t wired like this: every beginning is hopeful, every beginning has the capacity to evolve; every beginning is exactly what it is termed, “A Beginning”. 
Close friends are tired of giving me endless advice. Family thinks I should read less and focus more. Around me, Love seems to have found a way to work, so why am I allowing myself to be entrapped in this force field?
Who set the rules?
Wait, when did the rules change? 
Why does He have to make the first move? 
What is a “first move”? 
Why does my overt and free use of the word, “Love”, send shivers down people’s spine?
Make people shift uncomfortably?
Make some roll their eyes in despair?
Or stare at me with pity? 
If Love wasn’t meant to be so overpowering: we would have no writers, no artists, no emotions, no pain, no lyrics or tunes to give justice to starry skies and cloudy nights. 
Love is meant to destroy you- engulf you, ravish you, seduce you, create you- over and over again. Much like an orgasm; you know the end, but you want this rush to last… Slow, slower, but you’re spiralling out of control, you want it now; 99.9% of the time, you and your lover want the same thing, but one of you is too scared of proclamation. But you want the orgasm: Because it sets everything, on fire. 
 
So why should conversations be postponed? Feelings be diluted? Love be suppressed? 
 
I say, there’s no one to blame but ourselves. Unfortunately, not too many people are wearing their heart on their sleeves… It’s glared at today, like the Scarlet A. And sadly, the Scarlet A is burning bright on me. 
And therefore, it is with this that I say, I shouldn’t fall in love. Rather, you shouldn’t fall in love with me: Because I will engulf you, like a fiery comet racing towards Earth at an unstoppable pace. 
Together, my lover and I, we will create our own Universe. 
d7646132147b72211ee3e68e2e84235e

Image Source: Pinterest

My Jigsaw Theory of Soulmates.

Life is like a ten-thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle. Maybe even more actually. Quite frankly, I think it’s a puzzle where you keep finding new pieces hidden, some in some corner of the box, some you might be sitting on (tell me I’m not the only one who stands up triumphantly after finishing a puzzle only to realize I have puzzle pieces sticking to my legs!), and some just a little beyond your reach.

But when the picture is complete, that’s going to be one puzzle that you’ll stare at admiringly for the longest time – with social media now at it’s peak, you’re going to be Snapchatting it, Instagramming it – with filters that change it’s very hues and tones, it’ll have long captions on Facebook, you’re going to let everyone know how tough this was and how much you can take on challenges… Yup, when the last jigsaw piece fits into the puzzle, you’re triumphantly going to look down and smile.

I say “look down” for a reason.

Because I have a theory. About jigsaw puzzles. And life. And well, a lot more: but let’s save that for another time.

Life is like a ten-thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle. We’ve established that.

The pieces, they are a part of us: this could range from anything, to everything, to nothing at all. Some pieces may just even be fillers, small moments that you believed shouldn’t even amount to a second thought in your life, but yet it’s there.

Now visualize this.

You put your hand in the bag of pieces and the first few that come out are, your family, your parents, you.. of course, right at the centre. It expands, it gets brighter: you find the right colours to fit in the right places… your friends. You’re gaining your identity through the new colours that have come into your life… You’re growing up.

Slowly, the palette changes to colours of love… of lust, of longing – and yet not far behind, are the colours of pain, loss, forgiveness, anger…  You’re just growing up. Your puzzle is expanding vastly, there’s no control to which direction it’s raging in… No one can control what piece gets added on, but they do. Sometimes you have ten pieces that you know will fit right next to you: sometimes you’re stuck staring longing at the one piece that’s in your hand, searching for a place next to you, but you know that with this addition, the other pieces won’t fit, so you have to let to go, let it find its comfortable place in the puzzle.

When we meet someone, there’s this unexpected yet instant connection with them: You don’t know why and how this person has become an integral part of your life. You aren’t even sure why they mean so much. And frankly, when someone asks you how you two met, you can only smile, because just like some pieces in a puzzle, you instantly know where they have to fit. And that satisfied smile on your face when that person fits right in, that soul-satisfying connection… well that my friend, is when you know you’ve met your soulmate.

Soulmate: noun, A person ideally suited to another as a close friend or romantic partner. So that’s how Oxford dictionary defines it. But it’s me, and I can’t settle for something so… basic… for what my soulmate means to me.

So, let’s try another one…

Soulmate: “One day you meet someone and for some inexplicable reason, you feel more connected to this stranger than anyone else–closer to them than your closest family. Perhaps this person carries within them an angel–one sent to you for some higher purpose; to teach you an important lesson or to keep you safe during a perilous time. What you must do is trust in them–even if they come hand in hand with pain or suffering–the reason for their presence will become clear in due time.”
– Love and Misadventure, Lang Leav.

If I had to define the word soulmate to someone, I would say this,

“Your soulmate, that’s the perfect piece in the puzzle that sits comfortably right next to you.” – Richa Sheth

So as you rush on to finish this puzzle, as you find the right pieces, the colourful ones, the ones with broken edges, the ones that are even darker than black; as you finish this beautiful puzzle of life, a day will come when it will be complete. And that day, as you finish this life, just for a split-second, before it all ends, I believe that you’ll get to see the entire finished piece of art that you created.

So make sure that you create the best jigsaw puzzle for yourself; it sounds like a lot, I know, but this one, you owe it to yourself.

f43aed4b72d178eb32cba719c805babf

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Yours Truly, A Freelance Writer.

I know what you guys are thinking… You’ve read stuff like this before. You saw this coming. Well the struggle, it’s real. I had no idea what leaving my 9-5, monthly paying job would leave me with…. Rather, without.

Yes, I was disappointed. Yes, my life was mundane. Yes, I had to fight with myself to spend time with myself! But it was comfort. It gave me peace. It gave me a fancy chair that took care of my backache! But alas, now all that’s gone away: today I work with my legs dipped in my pool, laptop in hand and a lemonade by my side. Tomorrow I could work at a quaint cafe (that I would have spent nearly two hours locating online). I’ve thought about poverty, I’ve smiled at strangers, I’ve given biscuits to the poor crossing roads.
I’ve been indoors for 6 days in a row now. I spend time playing cards with my parents and catching up on my list of books to read… And, House of Cards, oh my my!
There are moments in between my day when I do sit in front of my laptop, hair tied up high, glasses on and fingers furiously typing…. Stringing sentences together or sourcing for images. “Content curation” I’ve always loved the word, Curate. It has this archeological air to it, makes me sound like one who is in search of “the truth”. The best part? It could be anything I want it to be. Why? Because I’m the curator, of course. Because I have the time I need to dig through the pages and pages of the World Wide Web and find something that the people, who have hired, and hopefully more will soon hire, will be thrilled and overjoyed at its sight. For I am, the Master Curator. (Indiana Jones feel is coming right about now)
But let’s focus on something more “curatable” (for the lack of a better word). It’s another C word that for better or worse, my life depends on.
Client.
Having a boss that loved to chew me till my bones ran dry got me prepared with one thing: thick skin. I can handle any amount of absurd work load, sarcastic commentary and sometimes the odd critique on works that didn’t require her feedback (for example, the birthday letter I wrote to her). She taught me how to stand tall, snarling and ready for a fight… My fights usually began and ended with her – today, I have to change my stance. I have to stand down. I have to approach clients who think of me as an equal. I have to learn, that it’s easy to think you have a thick skin but very difficult to actually have one on.
Clients will woo, seduce, bargain and the better ones will even smell the desperation of a freelance writer and all I can do, is wait. Wait and hope, show off my talent; yes, but the most part is in the waiting and hoping.
Waiting for the potential client to reply.
Then soon followed by, hoping the potential client will reply.
For now I can safely say, patience is a good teacher. But sometimes, a good win can also be a good teacher.
Here’s to all those who are hoping and waiting, and waiting and hoping. May our journey be a long one, but a good one: one that if nothing else, can be a good story for those living it with us!
Yours Truly,
A Freelance Writer.
16ef0b8a8eb8701301508f2902ff41e7

Kala Ghoda Café

She started walking- while her mind was aware of the direction she should be heading to, her feet seemed to be taking her somewhere else. Crossing lanes and paths that she had long forgotten. Unaware, yet aware, with lyrics of the past floating in her ears, Roxanne walked and walked, almost as if she were in a dream.

~X~

M looked around, the office was almost empty. He glanced at his watch, it was 6.30. He should pack up his things and head home too. His whole new life awaited him. He needed some more time. He looked at the thin pile of files around him. Nothing was urgent enough to be an excuse to stay on longer. Especially not for a newly married man. His head started hurting again. He needed a walk, a cigarette, and some chai. In that order. He packed up and walked out of his office. Just after sending a message his wife.

~X~

I’ll be late. Sorry.

Love you.” She sighed.

~X~

Roxanne walked and walked. It only struck her to look at the landmarks around her when a passing car honked, forcing her to stay alert. It took her a few minutes, but when realisation hit her, she smiled and turned right, into the small narrow lane.

~X~

He was almost finished with his cigarette when he saw-

Well, at first glance he knew it was her.

Roxanne had this way about her. Her long black hair was always dancing around her; sometimes even with no wind around.

Second, the way she walked.

Always being the shortest person around had her in the habit of taking tiny, yet quick steps. It made him smile, even today.

Her last message suddenly flashed in his mind and that smile quickly vanished.

The headache was back.

And she was now standing only a few steps away.

Her eyes wide open in disbelief.

Her lips slightly parted.

Emotions worth a thousand words and more etched on her face and unmoving body.

~X~

How could you do this to me? To us?”

His reply reached her too late. She had blocked his number.

~X~

He threw the cigarette on the floor. Crushing it.

As a tiger studies the deer he wishes to attack, he studied her.

Fight or flight.

~X~

Fight or Flight.

She didn’t look away. Like a deer being studied by her prey. She stood motionless. Waiting for him to make the first move.

She watched M throw the cigarette, and walk inside Kala Ghoda Café.

Was he alone?

Should she follow?

Can she run fast enough?

She was better than this!

Wait… What?

KGC - 2.jpg

~X~

M was watching the door.

He saw it open.

Her eyes full of confusion.

She walked in and picked the table right behind him. He heard the chair directly behind him move. He couldn’t help but admire his brave deer.

She ordered a cappuccino.

No one else was there, except the two of them and eleven years of history – all in this one tiny, quaint café.

~X~

It’ll explode. They both thought the very same thing.

~X~

When will you be home? It’s late.”

~X~

His phone beeped once.

She wondered if it was… Her.

Was her coffee too bitter?

Was there not enough sugar?

Did they use bad milk?

Should she say ‘Hi..’?

~X~

She heard his chair move.

It was the right thing to do.

He should leave.

She would breathe once he left Kala Ghoda Café.

~X~

He pulled the chair in front of her and sat down.

The barista sensed something was wrong, but also that this was personal. He went into the pantry, but stood close enough to the door, in case she needed him to be outside.

As he walked in, her eyes caught his.

~X~

Before Roxanne could say a word, M said his-

I was a coward.

Silence followed.

It wasn’t clear if she watned to hear more, or nothing.

Roxanne was unsure herself.

She watched him struggle to find the right words.

The white walls around them seemed to have more to say.

~X~

She never looked into his eyes.

Not when he saw her for the first time.

Not when he said his words to her.

Not when they say with eleven years of silence stretched out between them.

Not even when she stood up to leave.

~X~

He didn’t deserve to see the love for him that had found a space in her soul and would eternally stay there.

He didn’t deserve her forgiveness either.

But she gave herself the one thing that she deserved-

Good Luck.

Her words, as she walked away, out of Kala Ghoda Café, and as she finally moved on.

~X~

He stared at the untouched cappuccino she had left behind.

Even though the seat was empty, her presence lingered in the air, along with eleven years of their love that turned into heartbreak.

He had never known what good bye truly felt like- never known until he watched her walk away.

Good Luck- it was almost a whisper now. He tried to remember the sound of her voice.

The way her hair moved, even when there was no wind. Her walk, her eyes…

Something.

But she had moved on and with her, she took all of their memories.

~X~