Karaoke and Kinesis

Chand si mehbooba ho meri kab

Aisa maine socha tha

Hann tum bilkul waisi ho

Jaise maine socha tha

He sang to me as I scooted inside the gates of The Grand Dragon, Leh. His lips inching closer to my helmet clad face, his breath lingering on  my neck, his grasp slightly firm on my waist and his voice solemn, more solemn than with any other song that he had sang earlier. His eyes sincere as they met mine and his embrace reeked affection as he held me in his arms and shrieked gaily, “Yayyyy, we made it alive.” And then he withdrew, and then he was at the reception and then inside their room tossing his shoes in the air and then he slept. And she simply looked on, replaying the moment, the last song in her head.


Many many moons ago, Pranav had perched himself on the balcony of their honeymoon suite and sang for me this song. He had taken me in his arms and said, “I know this is not Kashmir but I promise that a day will come when you will have your dream. Perched atop a hill, I will nestle you closer and sing to you this song.”I had laughed then, arguing that my dream is not a five minute sequence from a Yash Raj movie. He had countered me, “If not yours, then this is mine, both a dream and a promise to you.”

It was his idea that we sing songs to keep ourselves engaged in the journey and so w had. He had sung a lot of old romantic songs, particularly Mukesh‘s because he was such an oldie with music. No tadak bhadak, just raw emotions and melody. I was enjoying the choices he was making with the songs. Because they were beautiful songs and beautiful songs are meant to be relished with every lyric. But never during those four hours, had an emotion stirred in my heart because at the end of the day, they were mere words strung together for recreation. Until he sung the last one and a box in the back of my mind flipped open, the memory resurfaced and a riddle took siege on me. Was it simply a song or was it a message that he was hoping to deliver in the guise of a song?

When they were getting to know each other better, Pranav would often remark what a nightmare must it be to born with my brain. The kind of brain that is always looking out for symbols. Every time I would over analyse a fact, a gesture an occurrence, he would chastise me saying that not everything is a code for you to decrypt, some things can be taken at face value. But I would make a mental assertion that maybe it is a code after all, a jigsaw puzzle to be brought to order. How ironic is it, that today he had played on what he once deemed nightmarish to earn a second lease on our marriage. That after all, I had left no doors for him to reach to me but through a code. Talk about friction, someone.

What if it was only was a song, an innocent song that was being read into excessively. Among the many things that we have both forgotten over time, the promise could have been one. When we had begun on the path of estrangement, he would tell me in the middle of arguments that my knack of reading between lines has deluded me into misjudging his actions and him; that it is this that will cost us our relationship. Come to think of it now, if it is that, what comes as natural as a reflex to me, then it is his words that hold veracity in the end. And this night has been nothing short of being a futile exercise in the hope of holding onto a relationship that I have rendered dysfunctional.

When did my life come to sound like Clouds in my Coffee? Deep poetic words ought to be liked on pages not begin to parallel your life. If only, I could stop thinking of this song, that would ease the muddling in my head. Once I had read on Quora, that the trick to stop singing a song was to think of how it ends. But before I can reach the end, I get stuck on,

Iss duniya mein kaun tha aisa

Jaisa maine socha tha

Haan tum bilkul waisi ho

Jaisa maine socha tha


This is the 11th chapter of the story I had begun to write as a part of AtoZ Challenge. To make more sense of it, hop onto the page Anniversary and Kashmir.


Leap of Faith

Have you ever realised that when you are young and naive people are immensely fond of posing questions? Questions that are of no consequence to them, but all the while questions whose worth has not dawned upon you completely. Like they are trying to measure each one of your moves even before you have planned them.

When I was much younger than I am today, I was quite often asked, “What would I like to become when I grow up?”. I was riddled at the multitude of choices open at my behest and sometimes I believe I still am. At times I was embarrassed at the humbleness of the few unambitious careers I had marked for myself. I wanted to be the voice at the railway station that announced the arrivals and departures. The woman who answers the phone or this person who organises your documents or clothes in lieu of money. But much beyond this uncertainty, I always told people, “I may not know what I want to do with my life but once I figure out what it is, I am going to be a success at it.” Those were the much younger and naiver times yet the times of unwavering self belief.

Today I am sitting in front of a doctor complaining of a knee pain which hasn’t subsided for a month. The doctor points out the small but alarming changes in my knee joint. Minuscule they might be, but they are a forewarning of arthritis that I may develop later (a sooner later) in life. He suggests that I lose weight, quite evidently my knees are facing trouble managing my weight on them. I want to laugh at his suggestion. I have always been slightly overweight. No matter how little I may eat, no matter how much I may exercise, how many stairs I may climb. I may shed a few pounds to be at a slightly lesser number at the scale but I always stand at an over weight number. So yes, I want to laugh at the ease with which he voices his suggestion. As if this was something right at my disposal and I have been a fool for ten years to have not acknowledged it.

The man who takes me for driving lessons every morning pities the fears that are conspicuous in the way I drive. The circumspect way, where you never speed irrationally, you fear braking on slopes, you breathe heavily while crossing unmanned roundabouts and T points. He advises me to empty my heart of inhibitions. For he believes, I may never be able to drive with such deep rooted fears.

At work and at times outside work, people inform me that I am working in a much lesser place than what I deserve. They apprise me to the joke that life is playing at me. I tell them that is how it is with most people in the world, that you either remain unemployed or work in a position worth lesser than your abilities. Still, they persist that I should try my luck at better places. I want to to tell them, obviously I have done that and it never works. They are not going to respond any differently to my résumé  this time around.

All it takes is a leap of faith. To be free of fears, to begin beginnings and to conclude them. That is the popular belief. Eventually you  witness that things start falling in place. Honestly, I used to believe that once, when I had a plenty in my abilities. Currently I have none left neither to make possibilities materialise nor to believe in beliefs again.

Wrapping my Head Around Fears


I am scared to watch the new season of Suits. I am scared to wake up to the realization that I no longer enjoy my favorite show. I am scared that my coffee is going to be too sweet. I am scared that when I go to bed, I will not be able to sleep. I am scared that once I sleep, I will see a bad dream again. I am scared that I have left the door unlocked. I am scared that I haven’t turned the gas off. I am scared that if I eat, I am going to put on weight. I am scared that a truck will crash into the car. I am scared that my words are going to hurt someone. I am scared that I will not be able to write well. I am scared that you will quit reading. I am scared that I will lose a loved one. I am scared that I will drop my phone somewhere. I am scared that it will pop out of my pocket, my handbag or even the car window automatically. I am scared that the two people sitting next to me are going to argue and I will have to make them see sense. I am scared that one day my anger will take the best of me. I am scared that we will soon see a sequel to this post. I am scared that I will never forgive those who have hurt me. I am scared of happiness. I am scared that something will go wrong. I am scared that I will always be stuck here. I am scared that everybody will move on to better things but I will never see a new dawn. I am scared to be so scared. I am so young and so scared. I am scared that when I grow old, I will be twice as scared as I am now.

The fear that stems from love


In the summer of 2009, I was reading New Moon, the second book in the Twilight series. In the epilogue I came across the word, ‘Epiphany’. As it happens with me some words catch my fancy, they are sort of my favorite words. They become a non rewritable part of my word database, they simply stick along. Epiphany is one of them.
I find epiphanies intriguing. It is quite strange how a thought you must have once battled with or remained oblivious to, elucidates itself in an abrupt manner. I am sitting in a hospital. An hour ago I witnessed a dead body being whisked away in an ambulance. A woman crying profusely at the helm of the corpse. Five days ago, a loved one fell ill, the news of which was being kept from me. However owing to an intuitive mind and a flawed execution, I discovered about the illness. I had a set of lugubrious thoughts, fears, anticipations in this context which I had one by one diligently erased from my mind over the past 120 hours. But the sight of the corpse and wails afloat in the periphery brought all those fears to the forefront.
In the same summer, I had almost given assent to the decision of becoming a doctor and subsequently reverted from it. The turnaround was because at that point the images of blood and dissection terrified me. I was the sort of person who couldn’t stand the sight of non vegetarian food being cooked. I was partially doubtful if I had the brains to sustain the arduous curriculum. I wasn’t willing to commit ten years of my life to a profession I wasn’t completely sure of. Thus I concluded that I shouldn’t be a doctor.
Five years later, an epiphany has struck me. I am far too sentimental to make a career in a profession where death and mourning are an inevitability. I hate hospitals. The stench of grief that runs abound in an hospital makes me cringe. The sound of the ECG machines, the clinking of the metal instruments, the odor of medicines, the sharp needles, the screams of the patients, blood oozing out of injuries, the mechanised approach of doctors, all induce an emotion akin to that of a Dementor. Sadly I do not even have a Patronus charm to shoo it away. I dread deaths. Reading about them, witnessing them or watching it on the celluloid leave a dent on my mind which is strengthened through a series of bad dreams that follow. I can’t risk losing someone I love, they cannot even fall sick on my watch. It makes my mind go crazy.
Now that I am thinking of it, I would have lost my sanity had I become a doctor. To be in the vicinity of people who have fallen sick and people who have affection parked on them, seems quite a monumental chore. To witness the pain of these both unflinchingly and impassively is a skill that will elude me forever.
I had read about Gautam Buddha in school. At eighteen when he discovered about aging, illness and death (the three bitter truths of life which were astutely hidden from him) he found it prudent to surrender all his riches and embark on a quest to find God which he later renamed as the quest for Nirvana. I never understood his decision but in a second epiphany I have come to realize that now his seems a more rational course of action. If we are all going to succumb to death one day, is there any rationale in investing affection in people, forming relationships and nurturing them, qualing at the loss of a kin and learning to live with the void that death leaves in our hearts. Is there a point at all?

Footprints in the Sand



Earlier today, I was travelling and there is something about road travel that makes me think with clarity. And I thought, if my life was a patch of wet sand then this blog captures my footprints on the sand. Every single element of this blog draws inspiration from the person that I am.

I chose the name Expressions because that is what this blog is about, expressing my thoughts, something which I rarely do vocally. I do not like beating  around the bush, hence the straight forward title and not a fancier one. Coming to the theme, it mirrors my affection for simplicity, even my favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla. Simplicity holds a distinct charm within itself that nothing can supersede.
The bio was very difficult for me to pen down because honestly I am not very comfortable with blurbs. For an entire day I kept on putting the pieces together to sum up the image ‘Me’. And I knew that it could not go on without the three things that fuel this blog, namely, my love for fiction and the analysis that follows (a lot of references come from fiction), my coffee addiction and finally the challenge that sleeping is for me (both of which give me time for writing as most of my posts are between 12 am to 3 am).

When I think of the posts or rather as the widget calls them, the concoctions, they are based on my observations and contemplations. What I see and learn, gives me food for thought blog. And yes my notorious fears and nightmares, also have pieces dedicated to them.

There are days of writer’s block, the days when I skip the Daily Prompt and choose to believe I have more important tasks to heed to, namely the Auditing and Taxation books that eagerly await my attention every day. Thus, a void on such days reflect my apprehensions about being a worth reading blogger or a versatile writer. And then there is this friend who does not have a single reading gene within her, who has failed best selling authors with her inability to read. But she has read every single one of my posts without my insistence and that is where I get the motivation to start afresh the next evening because I may not be that bad if I made her a reader.