Spectations

A study, of words, in crimson, sometimes blue, rarely yellow.

Archive for the tag “life”

“What does it f…

“What does it feel like to be alive?
Living, you stand under a waterfall. You leave the sleeping shore deliberately; you shed your dusty clothes, pick your barefoot way over the high, slippery rocks, hold your breath, choose your footing, and step into the waterfall. The hard water pelts your skull, bangs in bits on your shoulders and arms.
The strong water dashes down beside you and you feel it along your calves and thighs rising roughly backup, up to the roiling surface, full of bubbles that slide up your skin or break on you at full speed. Can you breathe here? Here where the force is the greatest and only the strength of your neck holds the river out of your face. Yes, you can breathe even here. You could learn to live like this. And you can, if you concentrate, even look out at the peaceful far bank where you try to raise your arms. What a racket in your ears, what a scattershot pummeling!
It is time pounding at you, time… Knowing you are alive is watching on every side your generation’s short time falling away as fast as rivers drop through air, and feeling it hit.”

– Annie Dillard

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Split Second

Sometimes when I’m sitting in front of the TV,
when I’m entering the house after a tiring day,
when I’m sitting quietly in my own room,
I catch a note from a song,
I catch a whiff of a perfume,
I catch a glimpse of a shadow on the wall.

And for a split second,
I’m taken back,
To Wednesday dinners,
To Monday afternoons,
To Friday goodbyes.

And in that split second,
I have you back,
Standing in the kitchen,
Working on the Wednesday dinner.

And I reach out to you.

But then the split second is gone,
And you’re gone again,
And I sit back, waiting for the next time,
I catch a note from a song,
I catch a whiff of a perfume,
I catch a glimpse of a shadow on the wall.

I sit back and wait for the next split second,
That will bring you back to me.

Monologue [Survive]

There’s always laughter to be had, also to be dealt. But what do you do when there is no longer any laughter left in your soul? I was not made to be bound to one place, one emotion. Maybe to one person, but even that is not apparent at the moment. I was made to travel, to walk on air. But what do you do when you can’t find the key to the shackles around your ankles? I was made to love, maybe to be love also – but that’s a matter for another time, another moment of rambling honesty. I was made to close my eyes, blind myself to the world and to walk the path that my heart saw. But what do you do when your heart can’t find its bearings either?

What do you do when you’re standing in the middle of nowhere, without a compass, without a friendly face, without a clue and without a soul? What do you do when you’re whole life turns upside down and still nothing good comes into view?

You push on. You close your eyes, spin on your toes and start walking in whatever direction you find. You keep walking until your feet bleed and your heart aches. And you keep walking until you see the finish line, until you see the prize. You don’t cry, you don’t break down – that is not allowed. You stay strong, you prove people wrong. You become the foundation and the legend built on top of it. You tap into the hollows left by your soul and find the crumbling pieces of your sanity and glue them together to make hope. You persevere. And you live, even if that is a life lived on the fringes, on the edges of reality.

And you survive – until that is all you know how to do.

12 a.m.

At 12 AM, when my mind is swimming with a thousand regrets,
And I can’t stop the tears from falling,
That’s when I wish for you, from the bottom of my heart,
For you to whisper, “All is forgiven, darling.”

Two Questions

I had to go through mock interviews a couple days back as part of a mandatory exercise for all graduating students. As part of the last minute information-swap that students do, we were all asking each other a bunch of questions that are generic to interviews. Two questions stood out for me & I couldn’t think of a concrete answer.
1. Define yourself.
Now this is a tricky question. I can ramble on and on about myself to people who couldn’t be less concerned but when it actually counts, I’m at a loss of words. And I think this happened to everyone. I thought about it before the interview and the only things I came up with are the general terms that everyone uses; confident, problem-solver, team-player, people person.
But who am I really? I sat down to think about it and all the things that I came up with were nothing that the interviewers wanted to hear, because they are totally unrelated to my degree program or the IT industry in general.
So, who am I?

  •  I’m a reader. I can’t live without books. 95% of the time I can’t even step out of the house without a book tucked into my bag, my one defense against loneliness. The book is the one companion that won’t leave me or won’t stand me up.
  • I’m a writer. I love the feeling of pen/pencil between my fingers. It is the one kind of innovation that I’m moderately good at. I can put my thoughts into words and then put those words out into the world. And that is more than most people can manage.
  • I’m an “imaginer”. I have always had a wild imagination. I might have never gone on an actual hike, but in my mind I’ve travestied across dense African jungles and frozen landscapes.
  • I’m a believer. I believe in things – some true, some merely rumor and some wild ramblings of a half-mad mind. It is incredibly easy to fool me into believing something – especially when that ‘something’ revolves around the people I fancy. And I believe in the impossible, the improbable, because my faith tell me that my God is bigger than any impossibility.
  • I’m a child-of-the-universe. Aren’t we all? I’m a student of the human condition. I try to understand what drives people to action, and what dulls them down to do nothing. I try to understand how each event carries so much weight that we have a whole phenomenon to define this.

2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Honestly, how do you answer that question? For me, the answer changes every 6 months. People might call my confused, and I’m pretty sure I fit the general description. But I’m not confused, I’m just dynamic. My mind is filled with so many possibilities; I don’t know which one to wholly pursue. And for a person who says they don’t put much stock in what people say, I get deeply upset when someone tells me I can’t achieve something. Half of me wants to prove them wrong but the other half just wants to forget everything and move onto the next ‘big’ thing.
When I was in high school, I wanted to open my own software house. I had the name picked out and a design that would pass for a logo. Then I wanted to start writing my own column for a newspaper. Then I wanted to start my own e-magazine. Lately, I’m thinking I should open my own café/bakery.
But where I really see myself in 5 years is in some exotic location, carrying out the grandest of adventures – A World Tour. I still haven’t worked out where the money for such an endeavor would come from, but I don’t think I should stifle my imagination with such trivialities right now.

These two questions baffled me ever since a fellow asked me before the interviews began. I couldn’t answer them at the time because I kept thinking I should find an answer that would please the people around me, and I wasn’t really thinking about being truly honest with myself. I came up with these answers right now within seconds. And I had to write them down, because I feel the next time someone asks, I should answer properly. It might be the answer they’re looking for, and it might not satisfy them. But at least I’ll know I was honest with myself.

I Am A Romantic.

I’m a romantic. I have a thing for the ideal. I know that in most cases it is unattainable, and that all the hours I spend fantasizing about it might be considered as wasted. But that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about perfect days and perfect people – a perfect life. I dream about spending my summers in a cabin in the woods, sipping coffee and reading Keats or Neruda. I dream of walking barefoot on the beach, watching the sun set in a beautiful blaze of color. I dream of backpacking through a world where I don’t have to be afraid, where the strangers smile back at me. I dream of nights spent under a canopy of stars, with Sinatra softly singing me to sleep. I dream of a cup of coffee that becomes the plot of my love story. I dream of a life filled with beauty; of men who look like Greek gods and women who are divas drunk on grace. But most of all I dream of myself – a “me” that has achieved all the good that is possible in a lifetime, a “me” that has manifested in itself all good things and shrugged off all the bad, a “me” that has become desirable, loveable, inspirational. I dream of a “me” that is the most unattainable of unattainable ideals. But that is what romantics do, we see the world not as it is, but as what we think Heaven might be – because we don’t live for this world, we live for Heaven. And we may be sinners, the lot of us. But, contrary to popular belief, romance, in pure essence, isn’t sin; it is the basis of faith. God gave me an imagination so that I could see Heaven in all the unattainable ideals. God made me to be a romantic, to write of love, and passion and the desire for all things brilliant. God made me to love. And so I am a romantic who dreams away her days and waits for a spark to start the flame and light up my ideal in a beautiful, glorious blaze of color. My ideals define me – I am a romantic, because I dream.

Rescue Me.

What is the meaning of this plasticity? Why are we surrounded by such mockery of the truth? Where are the friends who would not leave and lovers who would not sway? Where are the moments of glory and the passion for honor? Where are the morals? Where is the sincerity of purpose?

 Where is the love for beauty? Where is the love for words? Where is the passion for language? Where is the lust for adventure?

 Rescue me from this insincere world. Rescue me from all these people who would make a mockery of my sincerity. Rescue me from the faithless who point and whisper, “God shall never forgive you, sinner!”

 Rescue me from this plasticity, this façade, this folly. Take me instead to winter’s end, take me to where the Sun shines shamelessly on a river of gold, & where monotony doesn’t tire the soul. Take me instead to where friends are loyal, lovers passionate and God forgiving.

Take me, instead, to truth.

Home.

Home. That’s where I want to be. A place where I’m not ridiculed or demeaned; a place where what I say is heard and what I do is seen.

Home; a place where my heart is, where my soul is at peace.

But what is home? Out of all the millions of definitions that each one of us would give it, which one sticks as universal? What is this place where we all want to be, this place that we’re all searching for but can’t seem to find? Is it a place, a feeling, or a purpose maybe? Maybe it’s just a thought, an illusion that we’ve conjured up, a motivational tool for when the going gets too tough.

Does “home” even exist in this plane, in this universe? Maybe it is somewhere beyond; beyond reach, beyond imagination but never beyond hope.

Home is where I want to be right now; at peace with myself, at peace without.

Home is where I want to be.

Bucket List (ca. 2013)

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  • Learn French, Spanish and Persian.
  • Learn to fly a plane. Get flying license.
  • Learn to ride a bike.
  • Learn to swim.
  • Learn some exotic dance.
  • Learn martial arts.
  • Travel the world – see places, have larger-than-life experiences.
  • Go bungee-jumping, parasailing, hang-gliding, scuba-diving & snorkeling.
  • Build a cabin (with water, electricity & internet) in the mountains in Rama.
  • Build a summer house on a beach somewhere. Have my parents move into it so my Mom can finally have that big bedroom window over-looking the beach & my Dad can finally have some peace.
  • Own & drive a 1960s Dodge Charger.
  • Write at least 5 books – novels, biography and memoir.
  • Read all the classics.
  • Build an awesome vinyl collection.
  • Have a library that looks like the one in Disney’s “Beauty & the Beast”.
  • Have a house big enough to contain my WHOLE family (including the friends who are more like family), should they all choose to suddenly move in with me.
  • Have a swimming pool in my backyard.
  • Go on Caribbean cruise.
  • Learn to be kind & generous.
  • Be wise enough to know which bridges to burn and which to keep.
  • Find God. Ask him for mercy.
  • Find love – the kind that endures and fulfills.
  • And truly be a ‘child of the universe’.

On the Eve of Every Tomorrow

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On the eve of every tomorrow, I will light a candle for you; in case you decide to come home that night.

On the eve of every tomorrow, I will keep the door unlocked; in case confronting is shames you.

But on the eve of every tomorrow, I will not stay up waiting; in case you decide to kill the dream once again.

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