Knowing Me...

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If I say I'm just a teenager leading a life as normal as it can get, I sort of defy what I stand for. Its not all that easy but it has its moments. I like those moments when they come along and they bring with them a significant amount of emotion, which I only began expressing in words at age 7. Since then, its all about the writing. It gets to certain people and some just don't get it! But I think that its important for me to write because that is maybe the only talent that exists in me [not denying the presence of good enough speech to win a few here and there =P] There is little I know and there is much I simply yap about but I make sure that if its really got to be said, it better be said, however in the wrong or right. I feel much. There are lot of things I plainly observe and those are sort of the things that I adore writing about. I'm inspired by minute details and small things that have a huge impact much later on. There is much more to me that most know and many have bothered not about. Not like I want them to. But I'd like to be known. And that's what I think I stand for, being known beyond what is known. =D

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Beating of the Retreat

Republic Day is quite the momentous occasion for our nation. 26th January marks, in layman terms, the birthday of our Indian Constitution. Its celebrated with much gusto and there are battalions and marching bands from all the 3 branches of the armed forces - the Navy, the Army and the Air Force. One also gets to see floats representing each state of the country, showing off their finest as part of the parade from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate. Its quite magical looking, actually, to see a relatively small fraction of such a large population, all awe-struck, watch another relatively small fraction of our country's population perform in the country's honour. Considering how cold the Capital has been this year, the turnout was still huge, which is heartwarming to see from a tv screen telecast live by yours truly, DD National. To be absolutely honest is to be cliche` but I'll still say that it truly enhances one's patriotism, if it doesn't wake it briefly from its slumber. But seriously, it makes me a proud and happy Indian to see my country's constitution being given a birthday bash in such style!

I watch a considerable portion of the parade each year, its kind of hard to avoid it. But this year, I watched something new, something I haven't watched before, because I had no idea about it. Ignorance at its best, I tell you. So when my mum told me about this event called the Beating of the Retreat, that marks the end of the Republic Day celebrations for the year, I wanted to check it out. It is an hour and a half of musical and marching excellence by all the bands that play in the parade, playing various compositions by officers and marching in different formations that are only meant for one to marvel at. The bands come turn by turn, playing 4 or 5 pieces, marching in different directions to either make a flower, or a fortress, or stars in four corners! meanwhile, the camels and horses, with their riders, stand absolutely still, as if transfixed by the effect of the music. The coordination, the flourish with which the leaders twirl their staffs, and then throw them in the air and deftly catch them again, and the grand music completely take over your senses and you have no mind of taking your eyes off the tv screen. It ended with all the four bands coming forward and playing the best possible drum beats and wind instrument medleys I've ever heard. The conductors have such splendour on their faces, showing how happy and proud this makes them feel. As the bands officially retreated, after taking permission from the President and saluting the flag right before sundown, they played "Sare Jahan Se Achcha" which only brought tears of joy to my eyes.

The best moment of the entire event is when, just after the President is escorted to her residence, the whole of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Parliament House and all the surrounding areas of importance are lit up with lights that shine brighter than the stars put together. Delhi never looked more beautiful, and I cannot wait for the day when I'll see all of it in the flesh, but for now, the image is forever vivid in my memory. Not only for its aesthetic beauty but also for another type of beauty, perhaps patriotically induced, that I can neither describe nor explain. Its like love, and after watching this, I truly fell in love with India all over again.

For those who watched it, lucky you. Really. You will understand what I say, because it takes that understanding to watch these displays year after year. If you haven't, luckily the chances are not lost yet. When its on next year, if nothing else, watch it to test whether my words make any sense. So, 1645 hrs, 29th January, 2012 - the date is set, and the countdown begins.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I've always been a free-bird of sorts. Going wherever I want, doing what pleases me, and choosing to believe only what I think is believable. Its quite like the sand in a desert - changing face every now and then and refusing to settle, moved only by the gusts of wind that take with them all that they encounter. I've always been like a particle of sand in the wind. I cannot settle in one place, can't give it a rest once in a while. And complementary to that, I actually enjoy this freedom. But there are times when this freedom gets locked down and I get chained into confines that I cannot get out of. And for the most part, its all in the mind. My mind. The mind that is free, but also houses fear. Fear that buckles me down to my seat. Not in a grounding way, but in a restrictive sense. It renders me helpless without much to repair my state.

Think of a fly trapped in a glass jar. You can see its harrowed state. It bangs against the wall, flits about helplessly, clueless and tries mindlessly to escape. And then, after a rigorous struggle, it settles, not because its patiently anticipating release, but because it has lost. Lost the battle of survival over existence, freedom over captivity, vibrancy over faded hues. Imagine your thoughts, your expression trapped into such a jar, where everyone and everything can see you struggle but can't do much about it. You fight for what you believe in but you're rendered defenseless and the invincibility of your imagination shattered. That's pretty close to how anyone would feel when they're inhibited by their own boundaries, their own rules, their own 'what ifs'. And the bad news is that no one apart from our own person can open the jar lid and set us free.

This inhibition has slowly made its way into my mind too. It constricts the way I think, what I think, the way I write, what I write and most of all, who I am. I'm too scared of what the outside of the jar has got in store for me. Maybe a fly-swatter, waiting for me to escape so it can squish me. Maybe a repellent, waiting to smoke out even the last dregs of my zeal and zest to live out loud. Or just about anything that could shoot me down because I dared to try and find a way out of a jar that I was trapped in. Its more destructive than anything really, because it takes em away from what I truly love being - a grain of sand floating in the wind, care-free.

Maybe if I gathered all my energies, and resolved to escape, I'd probably break my jar as a way out by just banging into it. Who cares what's really outside the jar? As long as I have nothing holding me back, I can't be worried about the way forward. If only I can still trust the wind as much as I did and not wonder about where I'd be lost, I'd know for sure that there's nothing that can make my thought vulnerable to the forces waiting to shatter my imagination's invincible spirit. And then maybe, I'd soar higher than I did before, not because the wind lifted me beyond what it did before, but because this time, I'd do anything and everything to avoid another jar to get trapped into. And now, at the end of this, I'm convinced I'm flying high, because I have reason enough to believe and to live, the way I choose.

Love, Peace and Freedom to All...


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

There comes a time, when life as we know it ends. I heard something to that effect in a movie once. it kind of stuck with me. not because of any special significance, but because i'd kept it on the back burner for this long to sort of try and uncover what that line truly meant to me. I think i finally have an answer.

There are times when the whole world just stops and then, when it restarts after that interlude, you sort of wonder where the time flew, what chanced, where you are now and what the future is. that uncertainty, where you don't know where your life is going, is where the way you knew life has just come to an end.

when you fight, the fight leaves you disoriented for God knows how long. you lose track of where the words went, what each said to the other, who makes it up now, and why you fought in the first place. that just happened to me a few weeks ago and i still cannot let it go. i'm at an utter loss for words, for thoughts and for niceness even, but all without cause. that leaves me blank and i'm probably standing on the dividing line between life as i know it and nothing. i think i'd rather just stay on this line than move anywhere from here. going back doesn't look like an option and moving into nothingness is not something i prefer. probably this is also an end in itself - the end of innocence. the innocence that it'll all be alright someday. the innocence that we're always going to remain friends. maybe that doesn't need to happen all the time. maybe it never happens.

i'm growing up. i kind of have been for a while but this time its a tad bit different and a wee bit difficult. i'm at the threshold of adulthood and childhood. of school and college. of success and failure. and to be honest, i'm scared. not because i may not get what i want or may not be able to achieve my targets, although that is fearful. but i'm scared of the thought that there's a lot i'm going to have to leave behind in the bargain - my school, my friends, my house and even a bit of my edginess. its going to be that place called "the real world out there" that i'll officially gain an entry into. here's truly where life as i know it is ending, and the countdown has begun. maybe i'm ready, maybe i'm not. maybe i'll manage, maybe i won't. but the point is, its going to be over, and i cannot force myself back. here, going back from this line isn't even possible. its an abyss back there. its a one-way escalator that i've got to climb. and lets hope to God that the climb is worth it.

there's no controlling love, affection, hate, loathing. they come and go as they please and sometimes stick around longer than one would like. there's no escape and there's absolutely no turning back. there's tonnes of regrets though. i think the day that you start loving or stop hating a person, or begin loathing and end being affectionate towards someone does life really alter its course. it takes the train to a whole new platform altogether. some of us like being on this trip, others are wondering what we're doing with a ticket in our hands. at this point, i'm liking the trip but i can't quite see the platform. i think my train's still in that dark, deep tunnel, or its still cruising in the night-time through a forest, with no way for me to look out the window and place myself somewhere, for some peace of mind. its tough for someone as impatient as me to sort of deal with this sea of darkness, but i guess that when i reach the platform in the morning, the sun will be out to greet me and i'll probably know where i landed up. for now, the anticipation could either kill me or lull me to sleep. i guess i'll choose the latter. its a happy place to be in, and i do like surprises. again, lets just hope to God that the train doesn't get derailed and push me down another track that i have no clue of. the wait is just too long already...

conclusively, at this point in time, life as i know it is ending in more ways than one. i finally know what those words mean, to me at least. there are boundaries i might be crossing and there are thresholds i'm yet to cross. however odd the circumstances, at this point, all i can think of is, "between dark and day, and night and light, the interim is always confusingly beautiful." i thus leave you, wondering and wandering, wherever you may choose to be.