Tag Archives: life

Inspiration

aceo-original-art-card-sunset-abstract-fantasy-mountains-painting-signed-7561de7d7a6db525663a09067ff0fdf7

I’ve driven through the mountains in search of you; I’ve crossed boundaries – on land and sea – in pursuit of you.

I’ve seen what you can do to people – build them into more than humans and then cause them to crumble. You’re as dangerous as fire, a threat graver than death but you’re salvation, a fate better than heaven.

I remember the first and the only time we brushed shoulders – in a crowded train, in my crowded brain, you entered and left a lasting impression. I remember the moment our eyes met and I’d realised how inept I was at hiding my feelings.

That day, that time, that moment, I was no longer safe – from feeling incapable at life, having lived so many years in your absence. At the same time, your sheer presence in my life, in my brain and in my heart – harmonized all my thoughts, my dreams and my future and merged them with yours.

Image source: http://www.terapeak.com/worth/aceo-original-art-card-sunset-abstract-fantasy-mountains-painting-signed/361374000506/

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Hostel Diaries #1

I choose to write fiction (and will continue to do so) because I love the idea of creating stories that you and I could live but haven’t yet. This blog post and the #1 in the title shows I have another reason to write: I am experiencing new things and meeting new people that are just as spectacular as any fictional characters I have read and written about. I hope you enjoy what follows.

 

When the decision was made to pursue an MBA, I knew there was a minute chance of staying at home: a big negative of living in Mumbai is that all the institutions here are in high demand. Nevertheless, I found my new home at SCMHRD – roughly about 150 kilometres away in the city of Pune, The Oxford of the East – after working not-especially-hard at the preparatory MBA entrance examinations.

“The course is unforgiving”, “You won’t get room to breathe in the first semester”, “You’ll soon start treasuring 4 hours of sleep” were just some of the tales shared by fellow pursuers of the famed degree and, more importantly, those that had already gotten through it. I knew for a fact that the next 20 months would be demanding, but it wasn’t the lack of sleep or the unforgiving schedule I was worried about – it was the people.

For the first time in my life, I would be staying away from home – I’m not referring to the actual structure that I reside in but the protection of people, places and feelings that surround me. Needless to say, I have lived in a variety of places during my travels or functions but those were all temporary arrangements. This would be something else; this would be shifting home base – and I wasn’t confident in my abilities to handle it.

What exactly went through my mind when the process began, which activities I enjoyed and which ones I didn’t will be shared at a different time. I write this blog post as a celebration of the many relationships I and countless others have formed as part of our #scmhrdxp.

 

The term ‘Strange bedfellows’, as coined by William Shakespeare, comes to mind every time I walk through the corridors of D-Hostel (the one with First-year boys) and see a few of my classmates smashing buttons and smashing heads over a game of FIFA or when I see a good dozen of them huddled around the unfortunate birthday boy who is moments away from a sore back and hundreds of hugs and wishes. In any other world, these guys would never be friends but as observed in the past six months, they are inseparable.

The women do not fit this narrative. They are still carefully colouring within the lines, not trying to step on anyone’s shoes or trying anything different. There are few weird friendships, yes, but largely, you can place these girls into various compartments and every compartment probably has a secret handshake and BFF group on Whatsapp. However, who hangs out with who in their hostel rooms is anybody’s guess; all I get to see are the many factions taking rounds of the campus, with the rest being conjecture.

I’m comfortable speaking about the Boys’ Hostel because I live and breathe in it (sometimes wishing I didn’t have to breathe in it). Coming back to Day 1: As someone who finds it difficult initiating meaningful conversation with strangers, I thought I would have to spend most of the first month looking up at the sky and discussing weather trends. I haven’t looked at the weather forecast once since joining as the boys’ hostel was brimming with conversations and handshakes during individual first meetings. As things go, I’m close friends with some, enjoy the company of some more and don’t mind being in the same room as the rest, but there’s a sense of camaraderie and understanding with my hostel-mates that I wouldn’t have bet on, before walking into the college.

I speak about this now, after about six months of silent observation for two reasons:

  1. I’ve only just gotten the time and motivation to write and update my blog
  2. My Facebook newsfeed is full of odd couples travelling to various parts of the country

The second point is the beauty of the D-Hostel – you see two guys renting bikes and riding their way to Goa, you see five of them boarding a bus to Bangalore on a moment’s notice with no bookings and, most surprising of them all, you see two classmates who seem to have nothing in common enjoying Arthur Lake, Bhandardara.

There is something about hostel life that makes you dependent on the people around you: It could be the limited resources or the realization that you are stuck with this bunch for 20 months. Or it could simply be that you learn that people who differ from the normal bunch of folks you hang around aren’t alien or weird; in fact, they’re unique and special.

Here’s to another 1 and 1/2 years of 2AM celebrations!

Hello from the other side!

We’re in the middle of February already? Why didn’t someone wake me up?

Over November and December of the previous year and the first 40 days of this one, I’ve been trying to get into a B-School; I’ve been brushing up on my quantitative analysis by watching re-runs of Numb3rs, improving my logical reasoning by binge-watching Elementary and maintaining my verbal ability by avoiding any sort of reality shows. The attention that this attempt at furthering my academic career has demanded, has unfortunately taken a toll on this blog. I started ‘Ruminations’ – as it is lovingly known to its non-existent fans – with the hope that nothing would force it to go inactive for an extended period of time.

Even as I shifted focus from my B-School preparation to my college semester, a little part of my brain crossed off one more day off the calendar; one more day that this blog has remained entry-less. Every “How to Blog 101” post will tell you – updating regularly is an absolute must! Because of that very reason, there was some consideration given to filling the blog with a quick resolutions post for New Years, or perhaps a quick six-word story with an attractive picture to get the readers excited, but it didn’t feel right. In fact, taking a break from Ruminations might have been the best thing that could’ve happened to me, as the creator of this blog.

The inactivity and the time away has given me the opportunity to look at the blog as an outsider and not a contributor, and I’ve seen the problems that it has. What this means is that I can work on solving these problems and, more importantly, it allows me to regularly update again with far more structured blog posts, knowing exactly what I want this blog to be – not only for the sake of the readers but also me as the writer. More examinations, more interviews and my final college semester hover over me, waiting to strike and drag me away, but as I write this post, I know I’m done shaking off the rust.

 

There’s a lot of fiction – short and long – coming up in the near future, but that’s only a part of what’s truly going to be this blog’s very successful 2016. Stay tuned!

Viral Fever

stressed-man Viral fever

He saw them on their phones: scrolling; typing; listening to songs; feeding imaginary fish.

He had lived the same days as them, yet his experiences had sucked him dry, isolated him. No – he couldn’t pose for selfies, he couldn’t even smile for family photographs. He wouldn’t share his food details on Instagram; he could hardly convince himself to eat.

There was so much hate and anger and sorrow within him that wanted to burst out, but he had no one he could turn to. All he saw were petitions and rants and blogs and vlogs but how were they going to help him? He needed a person to look at him and tell him to continue on his path, even when he found himself in the darkest corners of his mind – scared and helpless – but the concept of eye contact and help had died a few years ago. All he got were thumbs and more thumbs jumping at him, urging him forward – a dozen, a hundred – but as he looked beyond the mountain of these blue thumbs, he saw no one. He was fighting the demons inside him all alone, while his peers were fighting with their gaming clans, saving princesses from fictional trolls.

He took a pen, surprised that he still remembered how to use one. He wrote:

I am not from this earth. I do not understand her. I do not care for her the same way she does not care for me. Her other children seem to perfectly fit their roles while I — struggle. She isn’t the mother I remember; is it that I am her black sheep or am I not a sheep at all?

He continued to write until his fingers started to bleed. He walked and he walked until he reached the bridge and he walked some more, until there was no earth under his feet. A month later, a neighbour discovered his letter and noticed the lack of life around it.

It went viral.

Friday Fictioneers – Looking For Fish

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple‘s weekly prompt had me excited as soon as I came across it a couple of days. Unfortunately, I couldn’t send in my entry for the previous prompt, so I stepped up my game and decided to send one in for this week’s prompt as early as I could. I had a 100 words to tell a story inspired by the photograph you see below.

Hope you like it!

Photo Prompt – © C.E.Ayr


Looking For Fish

Word Count: 100

Let’s go meet the fish, daddy”, she mumbled.

The structure she had been in, shed its skin and turned a bright blue; fallen bricks turned to dust, then water; lifeless bodies turned to whales, sharks, little fish she couldn’t name; people’s desperate screams formed the cage, as she continued her descent – more and more fish swimming around.

With tears rolling down her cheek and joining the water, she saw her father opening the cage door. She leapt, clinging onto his arm, just like she had on their previous fishing trips.

Together, they swam into the darkness of the ocean.

A Life In Colour

I’m still searching for the multi-coloured sneakers I had bought for Kat on her 14th birthday. “I’ll go for a run till the supermarket and see how they fare. I’ll be back in 20 minutes”, she had said, excitedly. This is how she trained for her fledgling track-and-field career.

It’s been four months since she went on her run, but even today, I can hear the sound of the blast in my ears, playing on a loop. Every single day, I drive to the end of the world, where they disposed off the debris from the blast, yet I am unable to find those multi-coloured sneakers.

Is it because Kat is still alive or has all colour in my life disappeared after lowering an empty casket in my daughter’s grave?

Life’s Tasty Lemonade

When life gives you lemons..’ is a phrase I’ve never really gotten behind or believed in. All throughout our existence, from the moment we step in this world, all life does is drain one day after another, relentlessly, without a single holiday or break, until we exhaust our resources and death grabs us.

Early in our being, people say, “You have a long life ahead of you”, without realizing that every day after that, our life only gets shorter. Yoga, positive thinking, feeding the homeless, charities and donations – we all do good, hoping to earn karma points and extend our contract with life, but when has karma promised to give you anything in return? There is no connection between being a good person and living a long life. In fact, some of those who shone the brightest, were the ones that death took away without warning, early, before their calling. It was life that ceased to exist for them; yet somehow, it is death that gets blamed for it.

In essence, what is death but a mere repayment of loan to life? Why do we worry so much about death when it’s only job is to rescue us from the jaws of life? Death is a saviour that stops by just once and frees us of the debts we owe to life.