She slowly closes the door behind her. A semi turn, clockwise and the lock clicks in. Silence. Warmth. Safe. Alone.
She stares at her reflection for a second. All she wanted was to get out of the over bearing temperature of the air conditioning, the incessant taps on the keyboard and the mouse clicks. The chitter chatter, phone calls, photocopy machine in the background. She just wanted some alone time to swallow the knot forming in her throat. She stares back deeply into the eyes. It engulfs her. One step closer for better scrutiny. Who is this person? Why is she so glum? She gazes on pondering deeply. Her eyes so black and beady tinged with moist, she could tell it had a sea of emotions safely tucked away. Hair neatly rolled back on either side and tucked in to the folds of her perfect chignon.. without a strand out of place.
She takes a second look at the small blemish dusted off with a light sweep of bronzer and the fading blush on the upper right corner cheek. She faked a smile to see the dark circles appear almost out of thin air. Her face fell flat again. She read the lines on her forehead, wondered why the skin seemed a little oily and shrugged. The knot moved down to her chest. Its not the best she felt. Demotivated, fatigued and chugging out the last steam. She was pulled into pensive thoughts and taken into a flashback where she trotted around in heels exuberant and vivacious. Full off life. Her gaze fell down to her feet. Flat basic pumps, the insole socks peering from a corner. She stood back and looked at herself from a distance. She didn’t agree with what she saw. Not fair she thought. This isn’t the person who she knew was her.
She saw the light pale pink Gorgette material cling to the crop top inside, revealing a little bit of skin from underneath the top. She straightened the gold buckle of her belt and ironed out the pencil skirt with the palms of her hands and took another criticizing look at herself. The outer appearance still looked the same. It exuded the personality of a smart young individual that she was perceived to be but her heart didn’t feel it anymore. The passion was fading like a lamp short on oil. The knot tightened in her chest.
She stared back into the eyes of the reflection. So dark, so deep. It pained to see how glum it looked now. The effervescence all fizzed out, wilting away. She stole a glance at her favourite black sweater that she usually paired with her formals, prim and proper. She appeared neat and normal… just unhappy. Lately she’d been feeling lonely and invisible. She just returned from her lunch- the first ever lunch that she sat herself at a restaurant and ordered a meal and ate it all by herself. She could look at herself from the window pane and comment on the loneliness in her mind. She is surrounded with people, yet staring back at her, the person seemed terribly confused and apathetic. Uninspired and hopeless. She wondered a while longer squinting at the image. Her eyes felt weak from lack of sleep.
She didn’t feel pretty even though people sometimes said so, she didn’t feel any excitement towards any endeavors in her life- professional or personal. Its as though, one tornado swept everything out of her life. The plans hung onto her caricature with guilt of never surfacing. Aimless, she thought. I’ve become aimless she thought. She faked another smile, looked at her teeth this time. They aren’t perfect, uneven, a little jagged. She noticed her clavicle protruding and seeking attention from the corner of the shirt collar.. she stared with agony. The ensemble was note-worthy. All of it. She didn’t feel it though. She dragged her feet back from slouching on the basin. Washed her hands. Pasted one more fake smile.
One anti-clockwise click and the door was free. She gave a quick glance at back of her silhouette and stepped back into the chitter chatter, the telephone calls, the machines in the background, hustling busting noises and happy, busy people. She hurried on pushing away the mirror image out of her head.
Most of us spend a lifetime seeking happiness, looking for it in nooks and crooks, in the high-life, in luxury stores, on travel maps and shoe boutiques (okay that might really be real happiness), in solace and amid company but what really is real happiness? Is it the early sunshine on your face every morning? Is it the break of dawn? Is it the comfort of silence or the chirping birds? Is happiness found in crackling ice clonking against each other in the merriment of evening drinks? Or is it the touch and feel of fabrics against your soft skin?
People say children give you happiness, pets bring you happiness, a good job, a fancy car, a holiday gives you happiness. Some people say travelling brings happiness while others say being in love brings you happiness. Progress brings you happiness. But still, what is happiness?
It is something that mankind yearns for, works for, seeks for, gambles for.. but yet don’t know where to look, can’t find it, it never lasts, never enough? Well, I discovered why… just a couple of hours ago. Happiness isn’t found in places or things, it is not defined by who you are, what you have or what you do.. happiness can’t even be found. It’s not under today’s rug, nor in tomorrow’s scope. It wasn’t in yesterday’s opportunity and it won’t be drafted in the forthcoming unforeseen, predicted, sought after future either.. it lies within. It is intangible, broken into tiny little fragments and spread across the universe. You needn’t seek, you need to only look- that when these tiny, fragmented particles catch the dust… where do they settle?
Happiness is observing. Happiness is feeling. Happiness is emoting. Happiness is the good you see .. in others.
Today I found happiness and I pondered over it for a moment. Why am I “this” elated? This has nothing to do with me. So irrelevant and random, yet I can’t stop this epiphany. I traced back to the times I’ve been that happy and surprisingly the kind of happiness I felt a few hours ago (and which is also contributing to my general overall mood right now) couldn’t be compared to the times I thought I was really happy. I ruled things out absent-mindedly in my head while waiting outside the loo (a colleague even bumped into me and asked.. hey what are you doing?) No, it wasn’t that holiday I took there, well yeah surprise flowers were good, I really liked that gift.. that party made me feel real nice.. but nothing compared to what I felt now. Right now was something beyond joy. It wasn’t even joy, it was a sense of coming to terms with genuineness perhaps?
Then there were moments I had felt this “kind” of happiness. Once it was when I was on holiday AND I helped an old lady carry her some heavy bags up a steep set of stairs to the temple and held her hand on the way up.. another time it was saving a small child from getting bullied by a few older boys.. then there’s the time when I forgave Tibo (my dog) after he almost bit off my ear and I could sense the elation on his face. Today I felt that sort of happiness when one of my very good friends from Oxford posted her engagement photos. She had a troubled relationship since the time I know her, her case was very similar (just the same in fact) to mine. No parent support, Nepalese girl meets Indian boy meets trouble and she’d been holding on forever but now the happiness I saw on her face today in the pictures just put me into the best mood ever.
I don’t want to disclose what and when and where but she looked radiant and as happy as I’ve never seen before and I experienced a sense of happiness that was new and amazing to feel, especially when I thought about how irrelevant, how disconnected and how odd it was that I was feeling so ecstatic about something I’m not even involved in.. I realised I was just happy for her genuinely because I know what it feels like to go through something like that.. for years on end, and to move on and come to terms by yourself for yourself and others.. it takes great courage. Maybe she did fall in love again, maybe she thought she deserved it and so did her family and maybe she just listened to her gut because there is no difference in what we faced but I saw her bond and talk to her dad in pictures after so long. She was stubborn, did not get married until so late and then she cracked but what its bloomed into within a span of a couple months that now she’s engaged to be married and she’s the happiest person there.. its truly a blessing. The passing of the test of time.
I don’t know where and why but maybe God did have a plan for her. I still hope to be with A, I will still plan for that but I remember always telling her ” Your dad and mine are similar.. their dignity matters most” Her dad a Gurkha in the British Army and mine, a dignified Engineer- both care about their societies, their ego held high.. so I told her coz she’s older and will be more under pressure than I would be.. “if you convince your dad one day.. I know mine will agree too” and she said all the things I still say.. but I don’t know what made me so happy for her was the fact that after spending a long time with a certain someone and facing so much, YOU had the courage to move on and the happy endings exist. I cannot imagine being with A for 6 years and suddenly being engaged to be married in couple of months.. so hats off. One decision regardless of how it got there has just united her family.
What matters the most is that she stood by her man for as long as she could, she was adamant and stubborn for as long as it required it to be, she sacrificed her youth being bound by the pressure of marriage, parental fear and restrictions and then she chose something that SHE stood by again. She did not succumb.. she served each role well.
Happiness is … being happy for someone even if it doesn’t touch your life in anyway. Real happiness is when your happy for others, selflessly. The satisfaction it brings, the elation, its inexpressible yet the most beautiful of its kind. Unexplained happiness. Sometimes you need just that. Do something that you don’t need to for someone, pick someone up, help someone cross the road, smile often. Let the sun shine on your face, talk yourself into optimism, meditate and deep breathe. Give a little attention to the lonely, lend a ear to the weary. Today is a gift, share a little cheer, a little joy…
…and keep it real!
I know I haven’t been posting much and I’ve been so caught up in life in general. Sometimes writing comforts you and at other times, just being irrationally busy comforts you because then there is no scope for looming thoughts that haunt you. A left the country and now is in Sikkim, India. He quit his job here and left with the hope that within a maximum of three years I will be with him and I am trying everything in my power to maintain his faith in me and to go the extra measure if need be to be with him. But it is a scary time. The anticipation, the insecurity, the wait? It all equates to 1095 days that I need to spend wondering what he’s doing, how is he and if I still have him on my side.
He’s miles away. Two flights and a visa away. He’s home among his people, his friends and suddenly I feel like the outcast. He may move on? New colleagues, new places, new horizons.. I don’t know. Its just that the ground below my feet has moved and I’m leaving no space for myself to breathe, react, emote or express. Its not required. The world requires a warrior, a fighter and I need the world to treat me as one. I want A to treat me as one. Maybe we’ll get through this. I know the best is yet to come.
But on this occasion (steering back to the title of the post) I realized that hey! Its been two years to Life through a Kaleidoscope! I am an avid reader even if I don’t post as often and all I want to do is take a moment to thank everyone who reads my blog, posts comments, provides support and share their experiences with me. Its been a great pleasure having you all visit. All the likers, readers, to the nominations and for the couple of odd yet humbling awards I’ve received through this year, even those who don’t follow me but occasionally leave a comment or a like, THANK YOU! You make my day, you encourage me to keep writing and I’m very glad and grateful that I get the emails and private notes as well that you send across. The smallest gesture I can do in return is to say a VERY BIG THANK YOU once again for all the love and support.
I’ve met great people through the blog and made real friends and pen pals through it and like I said last year, its been such an expected yet amazing journey blogging through the past two years and yes, time does really fly! Feels like just yesterday I started sharing my life on this platform and yet its been a long long time.
Keep reading and keep sharing!
Lots of love,
What is the use of owning the whole family of Apple yet not using its features to the maximum? I don’t know. But I’ve been an Apple loyalist for the longest time ever, from say, the first 60GB big fat IPod to the latest IPhone, from Mac to IPad, I got them all (pointlessly of course) yet after the novelty wears off, I just do the basics, not considering the depth of the technology.
This might sound funny, but it was just last weekend that I discovered the magic of podcasts! It kind of solved my life problems-momentarily of course. I had obviously discovered the podcast app on on my new IPad mini earlier (which was gifted to me in FEB and I never really used it until August because.. IPhones are just concise and ..well, fits the hand?) and browsed through the directories and subscribed to Coffee Break Spanish in the quest of learning a new language, but just recently (that is last week) did I noticed around 500 notifications on the app! And I have an OCD with all things messy, be it unchecked emails or notifications on apps. The little red thing with numbers just don’t work for me, so I sat down and tried to figure out how to make them go.
While tackling the odds (or as it may have felt to me) I read up a little on what I can actually use podcasts for, why is that purple app on my IPad and I discovered Itunes U (which is awesome too by the way, if you are interested in listening to lectures and seminars on any interesting subjects from your old universities or any university really!) I found at that Podcasts download episodes of the stream that you subscribed for automatically on your station and you can listen to these live online or can download them and listen to them anytime. So basically when I subscribed to Coffee Break Spanish (which is operated by Radio Lingua designed to teach Spanish during your coffee breaks) it automatically downloaded each new episode and it sat there patiently waiting for me to listen to it.
THAT had to be the best thing ever! Now I have around 170 episodes to catch up with, but you’d be glad to know that I got rid of the notifications and for the past 3-4 days my ride to and from work have been more interesting that just mindless RJ banter on the radio. I just paired my IPad to my car and practice Spanish over the radio = purpose added to all those long drives and traffic jams! And finally my IPad is useful!
I know smarter people out there would already be using podcasts but to me, its a new world and all that material available on ITunes U is as good as taking mini courses at your favourite universities over the world, or just listening to interesting conferences and seminars conducted by your old professors. Listen to business leaders, learn a language, listen to economic or national issues or just anything, literally anything! To a info-hungry person, this is the new reading! I mean of course nothing can replace reading, but even when I’m not reading, there is so much information I can get by just listening to things and its just a click away.
Podcasts are available on the IPhone as well and are really easy to use. I was at a seminar last week on social media it was amazing how much “useful” stuff you can do with it rather than the hours spent stalking people or listening to hear celebrities rant. It also shed some light on podcasts and you can even create your own (in case you are a teacher or professor or just simply if you have something to share!)
Music is soulful but so is information
Since Mark Zuckerberg introduced the timeline, I take the liberty to walk down memory lane more than just once in a blue moon.. today I came across this post I had posted on facebook notes, during my pre-blogger days, right after high school ended. Reading this brought a feeling of nostalgia.. and back in the day it was one of those high school farewell topics everybody is discussing, but looking back now, it all seems so relevant. the things we assumed would become- has become. The things we thought we’d be, has come into being, the struggles we thought we might face- many of us have, the heart breaks, the lies, the good times and the bad, the love, the smiles.. free sailing through it all. Its been nearly 7 years since high school and we’ve covered most of the below Just wanted to share this with you all so you can walk down memory lane too
You probably won’t get the big jobs and make the big money – at least not right away. You might have to start off at menial jobs that force you to dress as a wizard and stand on the side of the road holding a sign that says “Magical Move-In Specials” (or at least, that’s how some of us started out.) You will probably get stepped on in the career world, somewhere along the way. Someone you thought was your friend will prove to be less than loyal. You will get hurt, get fired, be underpaid, and overworked. The good news is – you’ll meet people along the way and have experiences that will make you come to life in ways you never thought possible. Every time you get knocked down, you’ll grow stronger. And every time you refuse to get knocked down, you’ll be introduced to a new side of yourself that you never knew existed. And either way it goes – you’ll have friends there to either pick you up off the floor, or stand and clap and watch you soar.
When you look back, not only will your jokes still be funny, they’ll be funnier. Things that once broke your heart will make you smile. Things that once upon a time, you thought would kill you, will heal you. Moments that seemed at the time like they were the most painful you would ever go through will stand as landmarks now, for the moment your entire life changed. You will be able to look upon those moments that you thought you’d never laugh again, and be silently thankful for whoever or whatever it was that walked away, because without losing them, you would have never found yourself. You will, years from now, sit at a restaurant with your best friend and giggle for hours on end at the bad jobs, the even worse relationships, and the unanswered prayers that remained unanswered so you could answer the call of your true destiny. And you won’t regret a single thing…because every last bit of it made you who you are today.
You most likely won’t remember everything you learned in school – at least not book-wise. You WILL, however, remember the moments that mattered the most: Your first kiss. Your first love. Your first big heartbreak. The friends that were lost, either to death or circumstance or distance. The moments of sheer joy and beauty with your friends that would never quite be repeated once the veil of innocence was removed from your eyes. The boys you pined for in high school or college – now 40 pounds added and lots of hair subtracted. You’ll wonder what you ever saw in them, and you’ll silently thank God they didn’t see the same thing in you. You’ll especially remember the moment you walked across the stage and accepted your diploma – because it will be not just the moment that your education ended, but also your childhood.
Will you still be trying to break every single rule?
I hope so.
You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.
Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you CHOSE your life, you didn’t SETTLE for it.
And remember this: “In the end, you always go back to the people that were there in the beginning.”
Value the friends that have been there all along, because when the others disappear and leave you heartbroken, those people that have been there all along will be the ones that are there to pick up the pieces.