For the many thoughts that come and go unannounced and the ones which refuse to budge out of my head…

Archive for the ‘Strength’ Category

Thank you, T.J.


Dear TJ,

Nature works in mysterious ways, and I have reason to believe it does. I write to you every year, hoping I get a response from you. It’s been three years since you’ve been gone, but I know you’ve always been right here beside me. It may sound a wee bit insane, but deep down, I just know it’s you, standing by me through all my laughter, tears, sickness and health. I always crave for a response, and somehow, in one magical way or another I seem to get it from you.

Words seem to fail me when it comes to describing how much I miss you. I hope you know how hard it’s been for me without you. Without that first morning hug and bright smile and sometimes the tough love and lectures about how I need to get my act together. I hope you know that the void you left behind was not an easy one to fill.

A part of my life went with you the day you left us. And for sometime, I was left stunned and in disbelief, bitter and craving for that part of my life to come back to me. But life has a pace and life is the name of that unforgiving thing that gives you the time to heal, but doesn’t give you the space to show it. It is unexpected and sometimes takes turns when you’re least prepared. But it does lend you a hand when others aren’t looking, trying to make up for the pain it caused.

These three years, I have been healing, but I still have been seeking, what you seemed to have taken with you. There is a part of me that wants to let go, a part of me that wants to believe that everything happens for a reason, but no reason seems good enough when it comes to you.

But then again, there come these times in life when you believe life is working some bits of magic to give you a sliver of hope. I know you have your mysterious ways TJ, and I somehow manage to find you in even the littlest of things. You have changed my life in so many ways, and it’s amazing how you still seem to do so.

From our college pet, a little puppy whom we figuratively raised and named; a cat I brought home, hoping to raise alongside my dog; the different and sometimes crazy combinations of colours I wear; the pages in my notebook filled with random doodles; the insanity and ecstasy I feel whenever it rains; all the times I’ve been fearless to speak my mind; spicy chaat and chai-samosa sessions, and so many more of those little things in life are places I find you in. Things you imbibed in me. In every good thing I do, or positive thing I say, I feel like you are present. A part of you that lives in me and is guiding me to do those things. Do good, do the best, do right.

I know you’re out there somewhere, and I need you to know that you mean the world to me. Even if you aren’t reading this, I know that somehow, my thoughts are reaching you. TJ, you are the most special person in my life and I hope you know what you mean to me. I am the person that I am today all because of you. You have given me the strength, courage and passion to go through life with the simplicity, ease and innocence which were synonymous to you.

I would’ve loved for us to grow old together and do all those things we planned to, from being together in school and college all the way to being business partners and flatmates. I know life would have been different had you still been here, but I know deep down that you’re always right here by my side, making me go through life effortlessly and with the same passion, insanity and innocence that you did.

Tejaswee Rao, thank you for being in my life and making me what I am today. All the hurdles I crossed, the tears I fought, the fights I avoided and the hope I refused to give up, I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for being there for me and for still continuing to do so. You’ve been my mentor, sister and pillar of strength. One may think it’s cosmic coincidence, but I know it’s all you.

I hope someday I get to see you again. I wouldn’t want to wait another lifetime just to be with you, but I know you would make it worth the wait.

Love you now, forever and for always,

yours,

‘Roo

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Abuses Don’t Need to Hurt you


My friend called me up, in the middle of the night, crying. She had just gotten into a fight with another friend’s ex-boyfriend. She said, “I’ve never felt so insulted in my life!” I was taken aback when she said that, when she continued, “He said I was a whore, and a bitch who did stuff with all the dogs on the street!”

Normally one would’ve had excessive violent reactions to that. But somehow, I was kind of indifferent to it. I know it may have meant to be extremely offensive, but it just didn’t have that effect on me. Some may say, it wasn’t said to me, hence it didn’t affect me so much. But to clarify their doubts, even if these or any greater degree of abusive insults were to be used on me, I would get a tad angry (depending on what degree I place the abuse), but it wouldn’t really ‘offend’ me as such. And let me tell you why.

It doesn’t affect me. I personally know that I could never be what they claim me to be and anybody saying that, doesn’t change the fact that I’m not.

First off, remember when our parents used to tell us, ‘if XYZ calls you a donkey you don’t become one, and you certainly were never one in the first place.’? So why did she get so offended? If she could’ve just kept shut, and instead of reacting or retorting, if she could’ve just stopped and thought for two seconds, ‘if this bloke says I’m a whore, I don’t become one and I certainly never was one.’

I tried to avoid it, but here I go with the crude language. Basically, take two people for instance, let’s call them ‘M’ and ‘N’. So, M and N get into a fight, and M calls N, a mother f***er, followed by N calling M a b**t*rd and so on. It leads to a fist fight, the cops come and so on and so forth.

If N could’ve just told M on his face, ‘none of what you say is going to lessen the sanctity of my relationship with my mother’ or if M could’ve just told N, ‘none of what you say can ever change the fact that my parents did in fact get married before having me’, it would’ve saved them a lot of trouble.

It isn’t the truth. The truth hurts, abuses shouldn’t.

Now, like I said, of course an abuse, supposedly offensive, can’t change anything about you or does not state any fact about you. And if one may ask why, it’s simply because it isn’t the truth. In terms of what hurts more, the truth definitely hurts far more than anything in this world. And, if this isn’t the truth, and merely a ‘false claim’ on your personality, dignity or upbringing than you should have the ability to laugh at the supposed ‘offender’ and at his limited vocabulary and and lack of knowledge or information about you.

Saying nothing in return, has a far greater impact than counter-abusing. It agitates them much more.

What annoys someone who’s abusing you most is when you say nothing back to them, and no I don’t mean keep quiet with a long face, just waiting to burst into tears. I mean, standing in front of them, and keeping quiet, without gesturing any signs of getting offended, and somewhat laughing at them and the situation. You could take that as miniature victory. In a situation like this nothing frustrates more than someone not getting insulted by insults.

No point stooping down to their level.

And whatever said and done, I definitely wouldn’t want to stoop down to the level of someone immature enough to use borrowed phrases to offend me. It really isn’t about tolerance or anything. If you really want to retaliate to someone who just abused you, all you need to say is, something like, ‘Oh come on, you can do better than that, very limited vocabulary, must say, you really need to broaden your literary horizon!’ And it’ll work like magic. 😉

Dear Tejaswee…


Dear Tejaswee,

As you know, I never liked calling you by a nick name (because I respect the fact that our parents put a lot of thought into deciding names for us). This is my sixth letter to you, the previous five being the ones I had written to you when you were in the ICU, when you needed to know what was going on around you. I know you never read those letters in front of me, but I’m sure you did read them later without letting me know. Sorry for the bad grammar in them by the way, you know what state of mind I was in when I was writing them.

It’s been exactly a month since you died. And I remember the time when we were sitting in my car, and you told me that when you die, you’d prefer people to use the words death and died instead of insinuations for it. I’m sorry for not saying so before. It was just difficult for me to do so. After you died, I felt lost for quite some time. Stayed quieter than ever, was so unaware that I wet my iPod in the rain and now even that is not working any more. I quit my dance classes (I know you’re going to hate me for it, but I don’t think I could put my heart into it). And most of all I had lost my belief in God. Maybe I was really angry with him. I just couldn’t see you go. I guess I came to know about God’s human side that day, of sometimes being more selfish than man.

By the way thanks for replying to my random conversations with you through my dreams. Each one of them was so comforting. So like you, always know how to make things better. I remember the time when I cried on your shoulder about my masi being really ill, and you just made it all so much better. And made me laugh after that, and I made you swear not to tell anyone that I cried.

I still haven’t seen inception by the way. We were supposed to watch it for friendship day, the day you were hospitalised. That day you totally outdid me with the ultra lame jokes you were cracking, about us to be positive, ‘cause that’s your blood group, and the fact that you’re in the ICU, but the irony is that no one can actually ‘see you’. You also told me to reduce my caffeine intake, and yes, it has fallen drastically (V and A are witnesses to that). A, V and A are fine by the way. They still do the best they can to take my case, and now that you’re not there, there’s no one to tell them to stop. I also added D on facebook. I remember when you had told me, that I might get along with him because he’s into dance.

Aunty is doing well too, she’s being really brave. I’m sure you already know that, and you’re looking at her and giving those virtual hugs you used to give me on the phone. Uncle was ill a few weeks ago, but he’s much better now. I talk to aunty every day, speak about your little quirks and eccentricities. I also tied two rakhis to your brother, K by the way. One from you and one from me. I remember when you told me how patronising you found the whole system of the brother ‘protecting’ the sister, and that it should be mutual.

I’m sorry about those nights I spent crying, maybe it was all pent up. You see, I did the best I could to hold it in, in front of aunty and uncle. And you know me really well, before you left us, you were the only one apart from my family, who’d ever seen me cry.

You know, sometimes when I look at little things, they remind me of you. When I look at my fridge, I’m always reminded of when you labelled me as your ‘fridge-friend’, which is a friend who opens the fridge in your place and takes whatever she likes. My pillow reminds me of when we were little kids in class two, and you had told me this story about the ‘magic pillow’ you apparently had. You bum, I almost believed you at that.

Tejaswee, you may not be around physically, but I know you’re there somewhere. I know you listen to me when I talk in the air randomly and hope like hell that you’re listening. Sometimes when I watch the rain, I remember the time we danced in the rain and got wet from head to toe. Before I knew you, I never thought love existed beyond a romantic relationship. You truly showed me what love is, when you took care of me in the medical room when I had got a severe asthma attack, when you came back for me when we were crossing the road, and I got stuck in the middle. When you got me those bodyshop lip-balms in front of me and never told me that they were actually meant for me. And all those times you showed me what it is like to love a friend with all your heart.

The last day that you talked to me, you told me you’ll always love me. And I know you’ll stand by it. Please keep coming in my dreams and talking to me, you’re the only one who could give me sound advice. Life is going on, sweety. But I don’t think it can be the same without you, at least not for now. It’s going to take time. I cannot let go of you so easily. But learning from you, I am living every moment to its best. I’m honing my talent of writing, which you always believed in and encouraged. I’m going to write a book on you. People need to know what an extraordinary person you were.

You will always live on in my heart, no matter what. We’re going to do the things you always wanted to. One of them being that all of us are planning to adopt kids like you always wanted to. I still miss you sometimes, but you’re the only one who gives me the hope to live life to the fullest. Thinking about you may someday retain my faith in God, because if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have had a friend like you. You will always live on sweety, we will never let your spirit die. You’ll always be among us guiding us through right and wrong. And I will love you forever, as I promised.

Till the next time that you meet me in my dreams, loads and loads of love and big virtual hugs.

A

PS: Say hi to Heath Ledger for me and tell him I’ve been a huge fan. 🙂 And stop blushing at the mention of Heath Ledger. 😛

Love…

To Love who you are and be ‘Glee’-ful…


Today was the season finale of ‘Glee’, my favourite show, ever since the second season of ‘Castle’ ended (all this by Indian time).
For those of you who don’t know, Glee is about a group of school kids who belong to a school show choir and their optimistic teacher’s attempts to make them find themselves.
I’ve always loved Glee for the splendid performances and the brilliant song covers and the fact that even though I am not particularly fond of musicals, this show has something special about it that makes me love it so much.
But more than anything else it has a message. It tells you that, no matter who you are, what others think of you, or where you come from, you are an individual and are special in your own way.
Their coach, Will Schuster, did do a good job of transforming nobodies into somebodies and those who thought they were somebodies (and apparently weren’t) into someone who they really were.
It didn’t have a movie-like ending of the underdogs winning the final competition. In fact the team in question, ‘New Directions’ didn’t stand anywhere in the competition. But no matter what direction the competition took, I truly believe (and so would most of us) that it was a happy ending.
Because, at the end of the day they learnt, that no matter who wins, all that counts is the fact that they put their heart and soul into what they did and loved doing and enjoyed it. It is the journey that matters and not the destination and if the journey was great, no one needs to care about the destination.
In the end they all found the true meaning of happiness because they found friends, found love, found their strengths and weaknesses, and most of all, they found themselves, who they truly are.
The initial part of the show reminded me of my days at middle school, when I hated who I was and wished like hell that I could be special. And it took me three years thereafter to change my outlook and love who I was, because no matter who others thought me to be I knew I was special in my own unique way.
And this very idea was reinforced into me by this very show.
So all those who’ve been watching ‘Glee’ (and even those who have not), if you’ve ever felt that you wanted to be someone else, or weren’t good enough, think again.
Never be afraid to be who you are, your true self.
Because only then would you truly find ‘glee’ 🙂
The final performance by the Glee club group New Directions- Journey Medley. 🙂

In Our Hearts, Forever


There was a time in my life I was an unsure, naive and timid child. I was scared to face the big, bad world alone. Or even step into it for that matter. The problem was, even though I was a child at heart, I wasn’t a child anymore.

And then something happened that changed me. In ways I had never known until now. It was this girl who came into my life-my best friend. True to her name, Tejaswee was bright and radiant, and most of all, gifted.

Her coming was my own little history repeating itself. We had childhood memories together of rescuing puppies from the street and her making the most annoying yet, fascinating little magical stories of magic microwaves and pillows. She was a crazy child.

When destiny brought us together again, she was her same crazy self. But this time more mature. However, her childlike innocence was her virtue. Her smile as infectious as ever, wormed its way into everyone’s hearts. Her optimism kept our morales at a level which could not be brought down. She was the only one who had the courage to believe that the world could be a better place.

Yes. She did change me in many ways. But not like a preachy elder or life-coach. We learned from each other. It was amazing how similar we were but we still had so much to gain from one another. Day after day we evolved into better people. We motivated each other when either of us were low and criticised each other when we knew something had gone wrong.

She wasn’t too different from me, as I said before. She too had her bit of timidity and naivety. But we got rid of it together. She taught me how to be patient and I taught her how to be calm. And together we turned from girls into women.

I had opened my heart to her completely. A place which is reserved for very few. I saw the naivety reducing, and the timid me was slowly disappearing. She taught me how to be cautious and sometimes to let go.

We danced in the rain like little crazy tadpoles and enjoyed the winter sun with as much welcome. Talked for hours on the phone till our ears ached and reduced each other to tears when we laughed together. Got butterflies in our stomachs when we talked about guys. And went to our little fantasy world when we listened to “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz.

As we grew through life she had many things to teach me. How not to treat people differently, no matter where they belonged. How to be patient and forgiving but get angry if someone was hurt.

She was a beautiful person, and she made me a better one too. She always saw that best in me and loved me despite my countless flaws. And I loved her for that.

There was a strong, unbreakable bond between us, which nothing could’ve broken, except one thing. And the unthinkable happened. She fell sick; really sick at that. But she gave us the hope that she would be back soon. All her loved ones prayed in unison. About the one thing we all need the most at that time, which was her.

But God had been selfish. He was jealous of us for having her. And he took her away from us. That day I can never forget. Though I tried to, many-a-times through those sleepless nights.

Losing her was like losing a limb. You get used it after some time, but the absence would always be felt.

Life did go on. But it could never be the same without her. I would long for that laughter time and again. But it was like she had taken my laughter with her.

But then again, she was a special person. Whenever I thought about her I didn’t have a single memory of the times spent with her, which could make me angry or sad and I never regretted any moment spent with her. Whenever I thought of her, it made me smile. And I knew somewhere, this was her doing, her trying to heal my wounds.

I looked at her pictures regularly, recalling every moment they were taken. And soon I got into contemplating. I thought about how she changed my life. How she made me a better person. A more patient, optimistic and rational being.

And from where I stand today, even as she left, she taught me a lesson in life. She made me a brave, mature and a stronger person. She indeed made me grow through life.

Tejaswee came into my life for a reason, stayed there for a season but will always remain in my heart forever.