As the gentle murmur of the train
Soothes your senses
Have you forgotten how to live
The slow life
Levitate like lapses in your soul
Smothering yourself with self doubt
You wander aimlessly
Reaching for a reality that never existed
Forgetting to dream
For they make you waver
From your sycophantic straight line.
As the gentle murmur of the train
I remember, riding my rusty Ladybird bicycle, rushing to Senthil library in my locality to borrow Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on a humid Sunday afternoon. That was my first bout of reading that got me hooked to the best book series ever. Till date.
Tonight, as I contemplate whether to re-watch Modern Family or just snooze off after a tiring day at work, I can only dream of staying awake to read a 500+ pages novel. With the onset of Kindle and social media, we derive our ‘stories’ from feeds than a dog-eared book passed on for ages.
Between writing fan fiction in the very last pages of our school notebooks to listening to podcasts of our authors, we grew up. I always dreamt of having a cosy library corner to myself when I grew up. Now that adulthood is staring at my face, I cannot push myself to budge and turn the pages of a book. Enveloping myself with my laptop and the imaginary interface suffices almost everyday. Where did we lose that urge to pull all-nighters to finish a book? Where did we bury that craving to read more and talk about what the author could have meant? Vivid in my memory are the dissections of contemporary poems with Jyotsna Ma’am in class eleven. Poetry another forte, also faltered. I can hardly put two words together to talk to sapiens. Forget writing interconnected sentences.
Can technology really be blamed for our shortcomings? Can we take a conscious effort to read again and get back to the wonderful world of words dancing promiscuously? Can we find our fingers, instead of flirting with the keyboard, ensconced between the pages of yore? I somehow connect the happenings around us to the lack of reading in daily life. When we read fiction, we traverse boundaries and become one. There is only one journey the author takes us to. And in that moment, we are all one.
If only, we opened our eyes to literature.
Pure like honey,
Her love trickles over me
So is this how it was hyped to be?
Adulthood they call it,
Busy we call ourselves, yet so bored,
Passionate about goals, but lethargy creeps in
Doesn’t matter what you’ve fared,
Sweetness is the dress code.
Ambitions locked away in a prized cell,
But burning through the soul like living hell
On the exterior, all’s swell,
In the core, it is a labyrinth of paradoxes.
Muddled days get more frequent,
When your all grown up
Childhood seems like a heavenly place
That we sailed through
Yearning for the past,
Doesn’t put us in any good place
Negativity, is just a tear away
Let’s buck up
And find happiness in every broken toothed smile,
Sunshine in an episode of a sitcom
Beauty from the wrinkle on your mothers face
Let’s not give away our right to be happy,
Let’s rewind, but look ahead
Let’s dance in the rain
Let’s melt away in glazing sun
Let’s spread cheer when we don’t have any
Oh let’s buck up already!
After a juncture in your life, you stop living your life for others.
Oh what will she tell, doesn’t influence your goals.
Your patience for stupid people reduces drastically.
You don’t want to be that good person that oversteps their own boundaries to make others comfortable.
You realize self love is more important, Self Love is not being selfish.
It is just nurturing yourself and believing in less bullshit that comes your way.
You become your own best friend.
Self actualization they call it.
It intrigues me
How friendships end
People move on and fail to see
Power to mend
Do they know that
This is the last word in their chapter
Their story will never make the happily ever afters?
Do they know
The axis they dwell in for ages
Will cease to exist in history pages
Do they know
The hurt, the tears and words will cut deep and sharp
That all they go through will be wasted in a time warp
Do they know
The traces of tears
The countless fears
The exhaustion and pain
The thought bubbles in vain..
Do they know..do they know?
Chennai, a city I love and grew up in. The city that forms my identity. One would assume everything was normal on December 2nd. Rains lashed the ‘hot city’ that many people hate visiting because of the harsh sun. Friends in Bangalore used to tease me about my city because of the weather. Hell broke loose when rumours (which turned out to be true) that Chembarambakkam reservoir was going to open its sluice gates and the entire city is going to be flooded. Pardon my ignorance but until that day I had no idea what the lake was and if it even existed in Chennai.
Stocking up on supplies I was busy responding to messages from concerned friends across the country stating that I am safe, holed up in my house. And then, like Day after Tomorrow film, everything started going kaput. Power was gone, the sound of water gushing across the streets started filling the arid silence across the streets, and in essence, the entire city shut down.
With the little network I had, I tried sharing helpful information for others, without knowing that my own relative was trapped in nandanam. I scampered to try and rescue him but in vain as roads were cordoned off by the police. “Boat irundha dhaan ma poga mudiyum,” was the response I got from an indifferent police officer.
Two days of frantically trying to reach the army and navy helplines left us frustrated and hassled. Finally my relative turned up at our doorstep. A muslim neighbour had rescued them with the help of a boat and had provided food for two days. Humanity was alive.
We then engaged in cooking for people who have lost their homes and were in dire need of rescue material and food. We supplied clothes to the needy. A lady who does our ironing came home helpless as she had lost her house. We gave her everything she needs to restart her life and opened up our homes.
These Chennai floods have taught the residents a couple of things:
- In times of crisis, a person near you will always be there to help you. Chennai da!
- Social media is not only to curate your social status but also for providing essential information for survival
- Chennai people have big hearts and will save the city in spite of a major natural/manmade disaster when even the Government goes incommunicado
- Our first world problems took a backseat and made us realize the importance and value of Maslow’s physiological and safety needs
- National media will continue to treat Chennai as a outside land and we need to survive with our 1-1 communication in times of crisis
- RJ Balaji and Siddarth should stand for elections! Never has any effort been so heartfelt so please do your bit for their initiative
Calling it a day. So proud to be a Chennaiite.