Of Palms, Feet & Spaces

Yesterday, I went out with my housemate, her brother and my sister (Janet). It was tiring, but enlightening in some ways. We went to this book fair, spent time checking out books… It’s always bliss to have books all around me! We had lunch, roamed around a bit, blah blah. It was past 5pm or so when we got back home. Completely drained and dead tired.

The enlightenment was more like an insight into myself. While travelling in the bus, on the way to some part of the city, I realized that I have a kind of claustrophobia. It’s not that I’m always afraid of all closed/cramped/tight places. For instance, I’m not at all uncomfortable while using an elevator. But then, sometimes, when I see walls all around me or can’t see beyond to an open space, I feel this rush of anxiety, a weird sense of suffocation. I was surprised when it struck me; I had never noticed it until now.

How I came to realize this fact about myself – While the bus was passing by a building, the wall was visible right outside the window (to my right). I could just reach out and feel its rough surface. And when I looked to my left, there were people crowding around, and I couldn’t see beyond the wall of human bodies. I felt like I’d begin to suffocate…a clutch of panic in my mind. That was when I understood that I’m claustrophobic, to some extent.

Another enlightenment I had was in the book fair, when I chanced upon a certain book. During the past couple of days, I’ve been talking, reading and thinking a lot about certain unconventional fields of study – astrology, palmistry. What drew me to them is the fact that they combine science (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE) and ethereal, metaphysical elements (which I find intriguing).

At the book fair, yesterday, I saw this book – The Complete Illustrated Guide to Palmistry. I flipped through it, stopping for longer on some pages; the images, texts and concepts all jumping out at my inquisitive mind. Apart from the fact that it was detailed, illustrated and written in an interesting way, I loved the book because of the sheer curiosity it awakened in me. Anyone who saw me could have seen the unmasked excitement on my face!

I’m sure my face must have looked even more animated when I found another book below the palmistry one – The Complete Illustrated Guide to Reflexology. I have always liked the concept of reflexology but didn’t know anything much about it. Beyond the basics, that is. So, seeing the book, I went through it, trying to get a deeper idea of a topic I like. And, I was surprised to find myself going on turning pages, falling in love with the book. I loved the illustrations, explaining how to massage, where and how to apply pressure at the right points for the right reasons.

When I moved towards my sister and away from the book, I felt this longing, pulling me back… I had fallen in love with the book. I had discovered interest and zeal for something so unexpected. And I knew I wanted to learn, know more about it.. So, I’ve been trying to get more information on the subject, checking out possible courses, blah blah. And I couldn’t help sharing it with y’all. 🙂

As far as work is concerned, the bad phase is slowly starting to brighten up. I just completed my first major event, quite successfully. More on that later! I’m still demotivated, more or less, but I’m sure that will pass. Janet is here for a couple of weeks, so it feels really good. I’ve become aware of the presence of an awesome friend. I’ve been having a lot of chocolate. 🙂 Seems like good times are just around the corner.

Thinking Away (as always!)

Some of my most wayward and deepest thoughts were born while travelling. I love travelling. It’s like a transition phase, where you go from one place to another, passing through so many strange places. I have always held a peculiar sense of fascination for travelling, that act of journeying from one point to another. While on the way to some place, I have always felt a desire to just go on travelling. As in, I don’t want to reach the destination, I want the path to go on. I love that in-between phase. And during travelling, I get so much time to indulge in thoughts. I let my mind wander around, taking in the people around me, observing the places I pass, the happenings on the way.

A DTC bus on a Delhi ring road, travelling on ...

During the one week I was away, I did a hell lot of travelling. And, needless to say, I have had so many interesting thoughts. Once, while I was in the bus, I noticed how it was so weird that around 40-50 (or more) people came together, in close contact or proximity with each other, for a short time span and then went off on their different ways. That is what happens in a bus, right? You have some 50 other strangers around you, all so close to you (physically) and going in the same direction, atleast for some time. So many people with a lot of different lives, hopes, dreams and problems. Yet bound to you in an odd way, because you’re all in the same vehicle, on the same path to somewhere.

I was struck by the singularity of the situation. When I looked around, I found so many unknown people around me…people who were going the same way, sitting so close to me, yet living worlds apart…making no effort to know the person sitting next to them, just plain lost and immersed in their own worlds. Have you ever thought about how many such strangers you meet on your way to and from work (or any place, for that matter)? It’s like, for those few minutes or hours, you are all bonded by the journey…kind of like your destinies have come together…and then, you are lost. [I just realized that I LOVE that last line, the sheer imagination behind that thought.] 🙂

I always wonder what kind of person must be the one sitting next to me, what kind of life he/she leads, so on. If it didn’t seem like an intrusion into their privacy, I guess I’d have tried to ask them and find out! 🙂

Another time, while in the bus (again), I was listening to music. And I noticed that each song made me think of something related to college, even if it was in the slightest way. Now, since college is over, every song I hear seems to remind me of some instance related to college days. Almost all the songs I hear fall into categories like: songs we danced to or songs we wanted to dance to, songs that this person liked or that person disliked, songs that we sang to make fun of some friend, songs that I listened to on that trip or that day, songs that my ex and I loved or hated, songs that remind me of particular events or situations…so on. Every song I listen to has some significance, some connection to the times I’ve had at college. It’s amusing, actually, to know that these 3 years have influenced me to such an extent. 🙂

Nextttt! While I was with Kiran, I happened to ask her if she had heard some new songs. She replied that she listens only to English songs now; she doesn’t listen to Hindi music because, frankly, she doesn’t feel there are many good songs coming out now. I suggested some of my favourites among the latest releases and she said that she didn’t like them. I confess that I kinda agree with her statement about not many good songs being made nowadays. But there are quite a few, nevertheless, that captured my attention enough to make me want to listen to them again. Then, Kiran mentioned that all these ‘good’ songs are love songs, all mushy-mushy or talking of true love and stuff (that being an inherent theme in Bollywood music). You know what I mean. And she said that she has become sort of immune to that line of thought – love, commitment, true love, blah blah. She feels a kind of sarcasm and contempt when she listens to those totally mushy songs; she doesn’t believe in that ‘shit’ anymore. I understand her comment, because she has never really held any belief in the concept of true love. So, no wonder she has become immune to it.

I don’t think the same, though. I believe in true love and I enjoy all the love stuff that some (read: most) Hindi songs talk about. But I kept quiet and listened to Kiran’s reasoning and perceptions. Something about the conversation struck my mind and refused to leave. Later, when I thought about it, I understood why. I admire the fact that she can be immune to the concept of love when it is a most pervasive thought, particularly at this stage in our lives. I realized that I was, in fact, wishing I could also reach that point when I’ll be unaffected by it all. Because, truly speaking, I’m tired of it, fed up, worn out…whatever you choose to call this situation.

GelGems (I love them) on train.

The whole dating thing, commitments, relationships, heartbreaks, everything has got to me, exhausted me…and I’m seriously tired. Yet, I don’t seem to have become ‘immune’. I mean, I still believe I’ll find true love and, I have to admit, keep hoping for it. I keep waiting for it. Inspite of being tired. Sometimes, I wish I could also feel the same as Kiran. Compared to what I’m going through, her ability to be free of such emotions sounds like total bliss. I don’t know when it will happen to me, or if it happen at all. Or if I actually want it to happen! 🙂 Imagine…if I became indifferent to the whole love thing, how would I believe or accept when it actually happens? AAhhh…I don’t think I will ever let go of that thought. Doesn’t really matter. Though, I do wish it would stop pricking my happiness at those random moments.


(An Attempt at) Figuring Out the Purpose of Life :D

I always come up with these awesome titles which sound very profound and serious. But after I read what I wrote, I realize the content is not all that contemplative. Somehow, I don’t think I will ever come up with something that is purely serious, devoid of my usual nonsense. Hell! No! That wouldn’t be me, would it? So, this time, it’s no different. I can only hope that it makes some sense to you. 🙂

I wrote this down in a notebook, to be typed out later. And while I wrote this, I was sitting in class. We have this really sweet teacher who lets us sleep in his class. He does not compel us to listen (or even to pretend that we are listening). As long as we don’t disturb others, he is fine with what we do. I adore him for this reason. I wish all the other teachers would adopt the same attitude. 😀

Yesterday, I was talking to a friend of mine. He is a very carefree person. I haven’t known him for long, but until now, I have never seen him being serious…(not the solemn-no-smiling kind of serious…serious meaning just a little no-nonsense kind of talk). Maybe he does get all solemn and stuff when he really has to be, but I have never had the opportunity to witness that. So, as far as I know, he is a very funny, carefree, easy-going kind of guy who is fun to be with. He is always joking around, doing what he wants to do…basically, enjoying life (I’m tired of describing…you get the picture, right?). I asked him a certain question that has been on my mind for the past 6 years or so. When I look around, almost everyone seems to be leading the same pattern of life. Go to school (study, study, study), go to college (study, study, study), get a job, get married, have kids, raise them, lead them through the same phases of school-college-job-marriage-kids…and finally, you die. My question is: So, what is the ultimate purpose of life? What are we living for? Why are all of us following the same pattern of life? Why doesn’t anyone want to do something different?

I know even I am following the very same pattern as millions of others. But I want to break out of it, now that I have realized it. I want to do a lot more in life…and I want to understand the purpose of my life. I asked this question to my friend, last day. As always, he made a joke out of it, saying a lot of nonsense (like telling me that I didn’t have to brush everyday, if that’s what I meant by the ‘same pattern’). After a round of joking, I asked him to give me a serious reply. Again, he did joke around but amidst all that, he said something very true, that almost qualifies as an answer. It was a little astray from the true meaning of my question but I loved his reply. What he said was: ‘Everyone wants to be happy. People have different perceptions of happiness, different ways of finding it. They do what they want (or should) to achieve this happiness. They follow whatever path they think will lead them to it.’ In other words, what he meant to say is that people are always in search of happiness, and maybe, that (the search, the ways of finding it, so on) is the ultimate purpose of life.

I don’t know if that is an exact answer to my question but, I admit, it is closer than any other answer I have got till date. I believe that each one of us has a purpose in life…something we are meant to do or achieve, however small it maybe. It will take time to realize what it is. But be assured, someday, it will dawn on you (of course, if you are not bothered, never mind). Until that moment of revelation, I suppose it’s just about

Photography by Martin Vincent

finding happiness in our own distinct ways. Though, I wouldn’t say life is a journey towards happiness. It is a journey of happiness…a journey in which we encounter so many junctures of joy. Ultimately, if you can say, with complete certainty, that you are happy with life and are doing what you want to, then that’s what counts! 🙂 Hope you find the happiness you are looking for, at every point in this journey.