The Validity of Perception

Last week, someone I knew on Facebook posted a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon.

It was one I had seen before- did I mention I was a big Calvin & Hobbes fan?- and shared with my academic friends, sort of as a light-hearted in-joke- a nostalgic reminder of our experiences as clueless students trying to hand in assignments within looming deadlines. As one classmate very memorably said on encountering a discomfiting question- “What’s the point of studying literature for all these years if you can’t use the language to fib and improvise?” Strangely enough, I had never seen this joke as a specifically literary one, but found its humour revolving around the fact that Calvin didn’t actually know anything substantial to say about the subject. As a teacher one knows that the less a student has studied, the more likely she is to “inflate weak ideas, obscure pure reasoning” and write longer and more convoluted sentences. However, my Facebook friend graced this little strip with a caption, and it w…

The Friendship Day Post

I left a little bit of me at every place, A little broken trust, a little broken heart, A little bit of not loving myself.
I found a little bit of me in all of you, A bit of spite, the good despite, A little bit of old me replaced anew.
I left a little bit of me in your songs, A tattered toy, a dash of joy, A little story retold winded long.
I found a little bit of me in your love, A stronger voice, a truer choice, A little light along the road as we evolve.
How do you make friends? You are thrown together to sit at a table at 4 or 5 by your Kindergarten teacher. You run into each other during afternoon play because you happen to live in the same neighbourhood. At that age, that’s all that matters. You don’t think of big words like wavelength and frequency, because you don’t know your own frequency yet, and you can only like or dislike from amongst what you are given. When I try to recollect my earliest friendships, I cannot recall any great surge of emotions – affection or otherwise, just a des…

To Those Who Wander...

Some people live in the past. Some people live in the future. I fall into the second category. For as long as I can remember, I have survived the present by weaving stories about the future in my head, without knowing anything concrete about the path to those stories. And the futures became present and the stories never materialized and I moved on to newer stories, newer futures.

But this future that engrossed me was always of the airy variety- not the practical future of- if I practice X sums a day for Y number of days I will finish a chapter in my math book, or if I write points a, b, c in this order I will have a coherent paragraph. When I was in school, my mother would complain about my habit of always crossing out the first sentences of any essay I wrote.
“Why can’t you plan first and then begin writing?”
But I could not begin to think till I was in the middle of the business, neck-deep into a sea of scratched out words and by then, the thoughts had begun to take a life of their…

Where the Vanished Light Goes

Okay, let's get this bit over with first.
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There, I said it. And that's all I know. I do have a third party sharing tool that also analyses site traffic, but that's about it. I don't know who subscribes to my blog or who reads it (unless they tell me about it, or you know, like/share/comment- that's a hint) & I personally have nothing to do with your data. Now can we move on?
The following bit of rambling writing grew out of a poem that grew out of a CNN tweet of an article about the biggest ever black hole that has been discovered so far: "Astronomers have found the fastest-growing black hole ever seen in the universe. " I am not a science person, but there are two topics that I have always been interested in- the first being evolution and the second being space. One reason for that would be my parents. My first non-fi…

Maps and Bridges

The mountains recede into the folds of memory, the snow disappears beyond nameless roads forking and the world flattens out into ceaseless ordinariness- acres and acres of plains sans mystery or beauty or movement, and we are moving away, encased in this marvel of modern technology, this miracle of glass and metal and comfort rushing on towards an inevitable end. We drift away from ourselves. Yet somewhere still in the world the ghost of a forgotten ocean raises its soul upward as buried past overreaches towards heaven. And one day, that churning unseen ghost life will topple the earth.

Happy moments fall flickering lightly like wondrous soap bubbles, sparkling, weightless, innocent. But then the heavy air of life touches them- with all its needs for data and details and precision, the lightest touch from the expanses of the flat lands, and the brief refracting looking glass is gone, leaving you with chores, lists and deadlines. But then you pick up the straw-pipes again, and that litt…

Faded Pictures/ Songs and Sounds

If you know me on social media - Instagram or Facebook , you probably know I've had a busy, eventful April. And the reason is NaPoWriMo - National Poetry Writing Month. I guess they should start calling these things 'international' or 'global' (I mean I do think GloNoWriMo sounds just as catchy and will roll off the tongue just as easily come November,) but a hashtag is difficult to get rid off, and perhaps it's not really such a bad thing if all it takes is poetry or fiction to bring Lennon's dream come true, even if it's only for one month in the year. But I digress. The point is, I participated in NaPoWriMo and I had no idea, no prior plans to do it. I just fell into it. I saw a friend posting poems for weekly prompts by someone called The Airplane Poetry Movement, loved their poems so much that I joined up, and then I found out it was April so it was going to be daily rather than weekly prompts. And I somehow managed to finish the challenge. I'…

Memories and Hallucinations

"Write a poem that a young you needed to read."
I found this poetry prompt for National Poetry Writing Month. Really nice prompt, except I was 3 days late. But it got me thinking. What poem would young me need to read? I mean, I have come across these pieces before – Letter to Young Me- but I’ve never given the idea much thought before. Perhaps because it was not my time yet for that contemplation. But tonight, disturbed, anxious, slightly depressed with my thoughts going where they shouldn’t, where I don’t want them to go, I am trying to think of what advice I could conjure up for a younger version of myself.

At five, perhaps, don’t be so bitter For being always mocked at, For being made fun of, bullied, For being the youngest. We all grow up someday And frankly, it's overhyped.
At ten, don’t try so hard To be nice, to be liked It won’t matter, in the long run In a few years you will wonder That you ever liked these people, And wanted to be liked back again.

At 15, don’t you crave …