Tag Archives: dreams

Why ‘Outspoken’?

The word that is doing the rounds in most of my social media accounts and now here too – ‘Outspoken’! The name of our team’s in-house public speaking forum at work.

Three weeks of effort, bonding with friends over brain wrecking sessions, hours of script editing, listening to audio recordings of speech practices at the oddest hours, reaching work early, leaving for home late – it became a habit.

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Oh shoot. Why did we begin this? Breathe, breathe.

The fright of the stage, fear of performing sub par, worrying about being a nerve wreck – not for myself, but for others. All of it so that the other people I know also feel the rush of confidence on the stage I’d once felt.

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Who’s backing out now? Will anyone even come?

Last week, I wrote about the event (a meeting for an audience of more than 80 people – we wanted bigger, better, grander) coming up. This week we are done with it. Not only did we manage to create joyous ripples of success but even five days after the event, mention of it creeps up in conversations.

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We didn’t know either we’d be so good, but thanks!

I’ve been thinking for a while now about why the event mattered so much to me. It took a lot of space on my already full plate. My manuscript editing got hampered, my work hours stretched into my sleep hours, I forgot to eat on time, I was hardly being able to compartmentalize and prioritize and these are all things that really matter to me! Then why? I thought about it – a lot. I tried explaining myself to people in a lot of fancy ways. But it is time to come clean. I have always been afraid of public speaking. I still am. I still fear I will fall short of content, or blabber too much, mostly about Elon Musk, or if I will have cold hands. Thankfully, shaking knees got chucked out of the window over the months. So yes, this is me. But I took my chances. I got pushed by a couple of people, they know well who they are, and I realized I could be less nervous and more confident. It dawned on me that with time, I could be the one addressing an audience. And I wanted the others to see, know, feel and acknowledge exactly what they and I had been missing out on for most part of our lives – the chance to let go of the fear.

I’ve always wanted to make a difference in the lives of people around me. This lets me make a difference in mine through theirs. With you, I too get better. With you, I laugh. With you, I cry. With you, I walk the talk.

And that is exactly why I did it.

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Can’t stop dancing the happy dance!

Graciously Yours!

The Ideal?

Her eyes teared up as she wrote another long, lying letter to her mother. A letter which would give away nothing of what was happening to her, which killed her bit by bit from guilt every time she thought of her mother.

Her mother had always been her best friend. She still was. But this time she couldn’t share her happiness with her mother. Or her pain. She looked at herself in the mirror across the bed. She saw her blurred self lying on the bed, papers piled up neatly on a hard bound dictionary. She covered her bosom with her saree. The red marks around her neck didn’t need a mirror as a reminder.

She was in love. With a man not her husband. She was in pain. With a man her husband.

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To be contd…

Graciously Yours!

Picture Courtesy : Pinterest.

The unseen face.

PST

 

They could not afford the granduer of the Durga Puja pandals which were stretched across the length and breadth of the city. Their idol had none of the splendor associated with the city’s most festive days. They were five women praying to the strongest woman deity they’d ever known, celebrating her stories, wondering if she still existed somewhere among one of them.

Not many of them prayed anymore. Over the years, the numbers at the Puja had dwindled. She didn’t blame them. After all, how long can you fight against your own destiny and hope that things will change, tides will turn and the unthinkable will happen? But she hadn’t been able to forsake praying. That is the one thing that she had wholeheartedly learnt from her mother – to pray.

They weren’t a part of the privileged – if she could put it lightly. Goddesses and prayers couldn’t be an element of their daily living. Far from it, in fact. They lived in areas, the others called red light areas. She never understood where the name came from. She always wondered if the red light signified danger – and if yes, then were they a danger to society or was the society a danger to them?

She seemed to have lost herself in the sounds of the conch shell and the bells. The fragrance of the incense sticks devoured her into a trance.  Someone banged on the door. Snapping out of her trance, she opened the door. “How much longer will you all be at it? It’s almost sun down. You need to get to work,” the lady at the door, said strictly. The lady was not a bad person, but she wasn’t necessarily good either. She was, unfortunately, just right.

“We’ll be downstairs soon,” she said ruefully.

Closing the small 10 by 10 feet spare room which housed a small idol of the Goddess of the season, the five ladies trooped to their respective rooms downstairs. Taking off her red and white bangles, she kept them carefully in a velvet clothed box. Her mangalsutra* lay beside it. She’d never worn it after her wedding day. Tears welling up in her eyes, she kept the box tucked far inside her wardrobe. She removed her red bindi and stuck it on the top of the box. They were to be used again after a long time. Slowly she took off her red and white sari, an attire which held no significance in the life she was living, an attire that was to be kept hidden away from her ‘customers’, an attire that shouldn’t remind them in any manner of the life that was awaiting them outside the red light area.

She was faceless to them. Nameless to them. They wanted it that way. And she wanted to keep it that way too. She didn’t want to think of what her life meant – either to her or to them. She wanted to keep her dreams locked away in that velvet clothed box.

She was a devotee of  the Durga. But she couldn’t harness the Goddess’ strength in herself. They were devotees of the Durga too. And they didn’t want her to harness Her strength.

Graciously Yours!

Picture Courtesy : Prashant from Just Spoken Thoughts. Thank you for coming up with the beautiful sketch in almost no time! Hoping that this post will allure you into further creative collaborations! ;)

*The black and golden beaded necklace that signifies marital connection and is a part of the married Hindu woman’s attire.

Wheeling towards life.

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“You see that man down there who’s cycling?” said the Creator to the little baby beside Him.

The soon-to-be-born gurgled, “Yes” in baby lingo.

Soon, even his mother would understand it as well as God did.

“That cyclist doesn’t have ambitions. He hasn’t made plans on how he wants to spend his next five years. He saves much less than he spends. He helps his neighbor, an old lady, with rations every month. He gives kids, he doesn’t know, candies to eat. The world will tell you it is wrong to be him. They will tell you to think about yourself. They will mock you if you don’t plan. They will chide you for being ambition-less.”

The baby looked up at the peaceful soul beside him. He looked puzzled. Saliva dripped from the corners of his parted lips.

Chuckling, God took the baby in His lap, wiped the drool and continued, “I want you to be like him. I want you to live one day at a time, one moment at a time. I want you to dream but I don’t want you to become so blind with ambition that you forget why exactly you were living. I want you to respect the beauty of my creations and find your strengths, hopes and solace in them. I want you to always believe in yourself and in humanity. I want you to appreciate life much more than fear death.”

“Will it be easy?” the baby asked, looking down at so many unlike the cyclist.

“No, it won’t. And when it isn’t, remember that God did not bring you this far to abandon you.”

And saying so, He let go of the baby, whose head was now visible to the doctor as the mother screamed in pain.

Graciously Yours!

P.S.: What according to you is life?

Picture Credits: Ishita Shah.

Of angels and demons.

Jacob walked away one fine sunny morning. No explanations, no answers, no smile and no acknowledgment of her existence in his life! Sarah was left baffled and groping at the blank expanse her life had become without him. But in that tough lesson which life gave to her to learn, she exceeded expectations. She became excited about learning – learning about herself, learning about finding solace alone and most importantly, loving herself before any one else. Because until you don’t know how to love yourself, your lover will be as lost and confused as a chicken in a bull fight.



Today, basking in the glory of the sun and her beloved’s gaze, Sarah wondered how different her life would have been if Jacob hadn’t walked out that day. She silently thanked him for being a jerk. Because of him, she stopped looking for angels to come and fight her demons.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : Izza, this is inspired by your #SeptemberPosts! She’s been writing abstracts so beautifully that I couldn’t help not writing like that. I give in. I hope you like this.

A dream too real?

Smiling in her sleep,

She dreamt her beau cupping her face,

Caressing her hair and her cheek,

His finger lingering at her lips.


She felt a hand up her neck,

She brushed away the tickling fingers,

Only to wake up, horrified.

She was sleeping alone.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. I hope you love the new look as much as I do! Feedback awaited.

Dare to dream?

For the past few days I have been pacifying myself with these words :

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough”

And I think I have dreamt big. Because my dream is scaring the hell out of me!

My dream wasn’t planned. One fine day, it just happened to become mine! Some one crossed my path and changed my life’s direction or should I say, gave my life direction. I always wanted an assortment of things which I thought would never fit together. But it does. Fit together. And I’ll be happy pursuing that dream.

But. There’s always a but.

I’m taking risks by leaps and bounds. I’m doing what is not obvious. I’m not following the crowd. And I’m refraining from en cashing my recent success. Instead I’m dreaming out of my league. My friends think I’m made for more. My heart says I want more. My brain says it’ll work for more.

Yet some part of me is making me ask you this : should I settle for the ordinary (which will be available to me even two years down the line, though not so easily maybe) or should I try and get into the league of the extraordinary?

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : Remember, I just cleared those exams? This is about what I wanna do after.

Away she flew.

 

She strode

 

Past the onlookers

 

The staring eyes

 

The pointed fingers.

 

 

 

 

 

She strode

 

On the path less strewn

 

On the road less traversed

 

On the course which was harder.

 

 

 

 

 

She climbed the ledge

 

Shushed all the whispers

 

Spread her arms

 

And leapt.

 

 

 

Earlier, she strode.

 

Now, she flew.

 

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Graciously Yours!

P.S. : I haven’t painted that. A really talented cousin of mine did 🙂