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11

Apr

Weightlessness

You said the shadows wouldn’t chase me, they won’t chase me

 But they did.

You said I wouldn’t hurt me, no won’t hurt me,

 But I did.

They said not boxes but circles, just circles

They came out square

I said time time, like storm before rain,

But the clouds,

 They come every day.

The diamonds went dime, not stolen, never far

All gone worthless, so bland, so dull

The mirror read stories of faces, long gone places, Something else more shapeless lay trapped, unrecognized.

Longing, just longing, to climb out again

Where lights and bubbles, earthly fairies play

Instead I felt naked, and barren, and frail

 I’m scarred, I’m scarred, I’m scared

I’m barely there.

19

Mar

10th Anniversary

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March 19th, 2014 —

Today is the 10th death anniversary of my aunt, my mami. It’s the same year my family and I immigrated to Canada. 10 years have passed since I have resided in North America, and nothing pulls me back homewards other than my grandfather, and the loving memories of this woman who smiles in these pictures. On paper she died of a massive heart attack, but in truth she died of a broken heart.

I remember her exactly as in this picture - always smiling, always jolly, the heart and mind of a saint. She was one of the most beautiful and gracious women I have ever known. It was almost sinful, I thought, to be so pure and angelic. She was strong and resilient, but I saw her tears while watching silly family dramas on the telly on random afternoons.

She too, like me, left everything and all she knew behind in India, to live and make her life with the man she loved. She loved him for 10 years since she was 13 years old. Once she opened her eyes to the wonderful possibilities of romance, and once she knew love, she only knew how to love my uncle. Love stories like their’s was only written in fairy tales I thought. After her passing, I realized I thought right. Not their marriage, but their love, specifically her love for him, is what kept me going when I was a budding teenager dreaming of big things and wild romances. I used to think, here is a real example of what true love is. 

She taught me how to love, how to be kind, how to be strong, and how to be vulnerable. She was a dedicated principal of her school, a compassionate mother and a wonderful sister to my mother. When she died, hundreds and hundreds of people came to pay their respects - her students, their parents, all my school teachers who were her closest friends and colleagues, to long distance relatives and staffs who had worked with her. Her legacy and her testimony lay bare for all to see, as every single person I passed wept and shed tears for her. She was that kind of a woman.

I will always remember the last time I saw her alive. She was already suffering from a heart attack that began 8 in the morning. Clenching onto her chest and her face completely drenched in sweat, cringing in unimaginable pain. The last look from my mami was from the open window of our car, as my parents rushed to take her to the nearest hospital. It was a glance I exchanged with her for bare seconds before they took off. Her face had a look of shielded despair - neither one of us knew what was going to happen. A silent fear of the unknown engulfed me at that moment. But I will never forget her face. People look for context in serious situations all the time, I don’t know what her glance meant. But all I knew was she looked at me straight into the eye, still strong and resilient, still bold and fighting in her own sweet way. 

I miss her so much, every so often. It took me years to overcome her passing. I somehow kept thinking she was going to walk through that door, any second now, for months and months till we finally left for Toronto. I visited her grave every time I have been back, somehow hoping she could hear me every time.

She was my second mom, the woman I aspire to be in life and the angel on earth who died for those who did not have the guts or the will power to believe in her. But I will not let that disappear. I strive to keep her legacy, her memories and tales of her beauty alive through me, my kids and every generation to come. 

Rest in peace, mami. I love you so much.

the art of honest conversations

I feel that the art of honest conversations has died somewhere along the road. I noticed this deterioration over the years - somewhere between age 16, when knowledge was being shoved down my throat whether I liked it or not, and age 26, when I was well past the drunken college days and making plans for my future. At first I thought it had to do with age and maturity, but then I realized it had to do with people. Especially the quality of people you choose to surround yourself with. If there are way more small talks going on at random and not enough sincerity and truthfulness, then your life lacks an honest conversation. Your life lacks clarity.

Small talks absolutely exhaust me. There is only this much of superficial nothingness I can handle over and over again with the same people, who I know in my heart, are never going to be, well, “honest” with me. I used to find really fantastic people to talk to in my teenage and young adolescent years. These human beings were full of depth, perceptive and sharp by nature, witty in humor; people who knew and understood life inside out and had the same unquenchable thirst and excitement for knowledge as I did. We could discuss Beethoven, Pablo Neruda’s poetry, private family/relationship matters, the diversity of the human mind to why pigs can’t fly. Everything was done with candor, wit and honesty. And let’s be honest, these conversations cannot happen if the other person isn’t ready to receive that level of honesty. It’s a two way street. So even though a lot of us crave honest conversations, I simply feel there are not enough people out there anymore who are open to receiving it. 

Some spend a lifetime not knowing what an honest conversation is. They think they have it, but most of the time it turns out to be just an idea of what they think it is. I often associate honesty with depth. As hard as it is to find honest people, it’s perhaps harder to find those who’s life lessons, learning and adventures, have given them layers of skin and growth, made their minds more prominent and deep. The hardest is to actually speak with transparency and connect with someone like that after all that trouble of finding them.

People seem to be so guarded these days - most I have encountered seem to wear at least ten different masks in their lifetime. Why is it so hard to see that we are shackled and bound by these masks of repression? These masks will protect you but will they fulfill you? 

Everyone is protecting themselves so they don’t get judged, misunderstood, ostracized or ignored. Too afraid to make mistakes. Somewhere down life’s path, we begin to control our natural instincts until we are all the same people moving in and out of the same light and darkness, never knowing what could lie outside that morose monotony. Some are too afraid to be honest. Most are not comfortable having that level of a conversation. So what’s the point really, of waking up every morning and filling your heads with all the things you have to do in a day? Who will be the witness to your life other than you? Do we not owe it ourselves, to make those connections, to reject traditional inhibitions and submit to the raw and candid conscientiousness that we all innately possess? 

06

Mar

Wonderment

If bad things happen to good people, I must be a good person.

05

Mar

Oscar Red Carpet Trend 2014: Snowflake Gowns by polyvore-editorial on PolyvoreAcademy Awards 2014: Arrivals / Academy Awards 2014: Arrivals / Oscars 2014 / Detalhe PSD | Spots Tripple | PSDs oficiais / star/psd / Christian Bale Sibi Blazic / Transmissão dos indicados ao Oscar na TV e internet / Red Carpet Trend

25

Feb

thingssheloves:

untitled by rosemary* on Flickr.

showslow:

Zander Olsen, Tree,Line.

This is an ongoing series of constructed photographs rooted in the forest. These works, carried out in Surrey, Hampshire and Wales,involve site specific interventions in the landscape, ‘wrapping’ trees with white material to construct a visual relationship between tree, not-tree and the line of horizon according to the camera’s viewpoint.

Our connection

People talk so much about maintaining a connection to the things that are most important to us; being connected to your culture, your religion, your politics, your family. But I think we often forget to nurture and remember the biggest connection of all - our connection to earth.

This earth is your root, the reason you are alive. We come from this earth, we flicker, burn out, and return to this earth. As we breathe a little in between, we must not forget this innate connection we have from the very root of our tiny existence. This earth gives us food and nourishment, shelter and direction, a home and life.

To be connected to earth is to be rooted and humble, to understand that modesty will always be a more virtuous path to a fulfilling life than arrogance and intolerance. Those who need that big fat piece of ‘humble pie’ need to remind themselves not to take yourself too seriously. 

So it’s not only about staying connected to the differences, but to also stay connected to the sameness, the parallels, the harmony that we all share. If we can do that, if we can somehow survive this in between madness of a smidgen of a life, then we have cared for earth as it continues to care for us. We will have lived a connected and fulfilling life. So that when we return to her one day, she will willingly take us into her loving arms and give our soul the peace she holds within her, that if you are humble enough you will realize is all that matters.

Beauty is truth,

truth, beauty.

That is all you know on earth,

All you need to know.

John Keats, Ode to a Grecian Urn

Library Madness

Serbia (looking at his pictures):
Omg I love myself!
Trina:
You are always so naked.
Serbia:
I have to share my nakedness with the world. I feel obligated.
Trina:
Stop being such a slut.
Ivan:
Oh my virgin ears!

20

Oct

Dear Tree,

Thank you for sharing with me the secrets of the universe, for helping me feel calm and at ease. I am forever grateful to you for answering my questions, making me feel like there is always someone who listens. Your beauty humbles me - I can’t get enough of your gentle breezy smiles, the dancing leaves, the rippling happy reflections of the wavy water on your skin. You make me smile, you dance and sway and speak in endless volumes while you stay the nurturing mother to those who live and survive beneath you, beneath your gentle, playful, protective calming shade. I sat and watched the wind whisper sweet nothings to you, and happily you obliged. Delightfully, you shook off those yellow droplets of leaves that fell on the skin of the water below, floating and swimming in a cozy downward glide; once rested, the fishes came with their mouths open to eat them. I sat and watched you, mesmerized, as you mothered every thing around you - so much love, composure, so much wisdom and so much character. You taught me everything in those silent minutes we spent together.Dear Tree, you are a beautiful life that has nourished the roots of my soul. To you I return, over and over again, to heal and cleanse my doubts, sadness and pain.

In you, I find the universe. In you, I find myself.

Thank you, Tree.  

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19

Oct

Why?

Some days you let others be selfish. Some days you let others determine your happiness. Some days you realize not everyone cares if you are happy, and less if you are lonely. Then some day, you wake up and realize you never got to live the life you wanted. Yet you are alive, aging, breathing.

What do you do?

I have heard it all. Most people I care about have constantly told me that I am selfish, I am immature, I don’t try enough and at the end of the day it is all always my fault. Then why do I feel so unfulfilled? Why do I feel so upset? Aren’t people who are selfish and immature supposed to feel at the height of their contentment, feel like they are living the life they want? Well, I don’t. Then how can I be those things? 

I don’t know if people who are selfish search for peace and happiness, but I do. I am. So many things are felt on and on - restlessness, impatience, indifference…but worst of all unhappiness, all the time. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I don’t know why I am in this moment, why I have changed so drastically as a person. But it has happened. I don’t let people love me because I don’t and cannot love myself. But then I pine for the right companionship, laughter and romance…and following all that, the bitterness ensues. Then comes the sadness, and ultimately the quiet defeat, that I will never be happy again. Not daily happiness, but that inner peace that Prem Rawat talks about. 

It’s hopeless. I am trying so hard not to be who I am….it’s not working. I am trying so hard to be grateful, be happy, be joyous but it’s not working. Perhaps in this life, I really don’t deserve anything better. Maybe this is my fate - something I wrestle and fight with every single day. It’s like a silent battle of two opposing fists punching the right and left sides of my brain. 

I feel naked, like the untouchables. Ostracize me, for I know not where I belong. I know not if this is it. I know not….who I am. 

15

Sep

Bleeding Serendipity

Heart’s deepest secrets

Heart’s darkest desires

Like a murky black storm

Sitting, tippy toeing,

On the crown of a burst of rain.

Like a thunder

It beats for excitement, in fear

In recognition

Of its thoughts and existence.

Sharp structured tongues

Blackened hollow eyes

Icy distant shadows

Do not know me.

They do not know me.

Then why from the precipice does the desire not leap?

Why do the steps of joy not follow?

A walk into the light becomes

A stone body beneath a grave

Sinking ever so quickly, into one cruel wretched abyss.

Curse this joy, curse this rain.

Curse the fowl breath of mortal words that do not beget the truth.

In our holy sins we rest, like dead spiders in a web.

My heart.  My heart. My, heart.

 

Date: Sept 15th, 2013

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23

Apr

The lonely number one

All my life, I have heard my family say to me, “give up, you are the older one. You need to be bigger. You don’t need this,” or “give this/that up, you are older, you should learn to sacrifice for others and your younger ones, you should apologize to them because you are older, you need to be the bigger person.” So, I did. I gave up my favorite toys so my younger sister and younger cousins could play with them. I sat quietly and watched my mother give my younger sister more dolls, the beautiful barbies with the latest clothes that was revered by any four year old. I gave up my books to my friends at school, my favorite place to sit in class, my favorite corner on the school field where I used to hide and sit after being bullied by ignorant teenage girls in my class. 

All this time, I kept giving up things, watching things happen around me, sometimes be part of things I had nothing to do with and had no control over. What I failed to realize is that I was equipped with this beaten-in knowledge, the knowledge that “I need to give up,” that “I need to be a bigger person” was an incomplete one. Why do I need to give up? Why do I need to be a bigger person all the time? Why did I feel stepped on so much? My family told me I need to, but never explained that need. That willingness to give up everything got me - well, nowhere. It just made me really really angry. Really angry that I could not be a little selfish after 24 years of my life being the person who gave up everything and only knew that it was the right thing to do, but not sure why.

I gave up so much from such a young age, I never thought I would have to give up the biggest dream of my life - I gave up my dream of a big wedding, with all my nearest and dearest ones around me, that ultimate celebration of a union that is a bond every girl remembers forever; the one day that you are allowed to be the center of your universe, where you are the glowing and radiantly happy center; you get everybody’s attention and everybody, despite your relationship with them - will love you and wish you well. That single moment of joy, happiness and emotions that one can feel. Majority of women want this dream -  to get married and wear that beautiful red, the color that separates them from everyone else in that room, for that one day.

I have given up a career back in Toronto to be in a place where I don’t have many friends, where I cannot work legally, where the weather is grey most of the time, and where the brink of my days goes in spending my time on mindless things just because I have gotten too comfortable and demotivated, and have little confidence in myself. As a good friend pointed out, “I have lost the fire.” If she only knew.

I have given up so much I feel empty inside. I am alive, I am breathing. I appreciate nature and everything around me. Yet, I can’t help feeling empty inside. My whole life I have looked for a reason. What can it be? why has love become the center of the self for me? why is it so important that I be around people who value my emotions and happiness more than their own? When did this happen? Well, because I have given up my ‘self’ along with giving up my toy, my doll, my book, my seat, my wedding day. I have done that since the age of four way too many times, more time I can count or remember. And  because I understand what having to give up people, moments, memories, things feels like - I have always wanted to be around those who value my needs more than they value their own - because that automatically means I will value theirs equally if not more and strive to do exactly that - give up, but give up happily, knowingly, and with good reason. 

This has not happened on a consistent basis and I am still empty. I am older, maybe wiser, or as a lot of those people around me feel, that I am stupider, with this knowledge I remain empty. 

I want to be able to say, I have given up enough, I don’t want to give up any more, any longer. I want to be able to say, it wasn’t my fault that I was born the older one, and I don’t think that constitutes me having to assume a role you want me to, it has to be a role I want to assume. I want to be selfish, I want to be bad, I want to be it. 

But I can’t. because that too, will leave me empty.