the daunting clock

The clock on my cluttered desk reads five past seven. The birds are chirping, the clouds are parting, the sun is bright and shining. I’m sitting on a comfortable chair, but I’m not quite comfortable under the accusing stare of my textbook’s dull and tedious font. As on most days, I’m using the pencil in between my thumb and my index as an instrument  to create a poor excuse for a melody, and yet, one that is just enough to distract me from the erudite stare that has seemingly transformed into a textual frown.

The clock on my cluttered desk reads nineteen past seven. My field of view has made the timetable for my examinations its protagonist. My eyes however, refuse to oblige and remain unfocused. My traveling mind lures the unexcited, blank pair of brown orbs to a land that’s more inviting: one that involves simple appreciation, free of any forceful memorisation; one that is more desirable, more tempting. To get there, I need to get past now.

The clock on my cluttered desk reads fifty-five past seven. It’s been seven minutes since I mustered up the will-power to tweak the focus of my eyes and concentrate on the dormant print before me. The modern legal profession in India has colonial roots, emerging with the advent of the Mayor’s Courts in Madras and Calcutta in 1726. I hum the tune of the song that casually greets my mind; I mumble the lyrics and I tap my feet. I hear the faint conversation between my parents sitting outside. I wonder what my sister is doing – if she’s studying well at university. University. Similar to a flashing red light, in my mind, my eyes revert to where they’re meant to be looking. The reformation of legal education in India undertaken since the late 1980s at the initiative of the BCL, the University Grants Commission, and various state governments has led to the establishment of various national law schools in India in the last two decades.

The clock on my cluttered desk reads forty past eight. I’m on page three. I’m looking at the microscopic stitches of my light green shirt. I’m hearing the fluttering of the loose sheets of paper near by. I’m smelling my mother’s presence after she has freshly bathed. The small Ganesha beside my table calendar looks interrogative, almost as if asking me ‘a penny for your thoughts, young girl?’ I frown in shame.

The clock on my cluttered desk reads twenty-five past nine. My face is slightly wet after washing it. The water bottle near me is nearly empty. Giving effect to the Chamier Committee recommendations, the Central Legislature enacted the Indian Bar Councils Act, 1926. I sigh deeply. The clock on my cluttered desk reads five to ten. It’s almost time for breakfast. The Act was to provide for the constitution and incorporation of Bar Councils, to confer powers and impose duties on the Bar Councils and to – I hear the distracted voice of my mother, calling me for breakfast. I reply that I’ll eat after a while; the guilt has been feeding on meThe clock on my cluttered desk reads fifteen past ten. I desperately try to squeeze in a few more sentences. In order to be eligible for enrolment, an advocate must be: a citizen of India, at least 21 years of age and – I feel the buzz of my phone. It’s irrelevant; unimportant, but the fleeting moment of concentration is lost. The clock on my cluttered desk reads thirty-five past ten. I comfort myself: ‘I’ll try again after breakfast’.

The clock on my cluttered desk reads forty-three past eleven. The owls are hooting, the sky is pitch dark, the sun is nowhere to be seen.

(ps: here’s a funny thing – there’s actually no clock on my desk; i almost always check my phone for the time)

Hideout

Rhythmic

eighteen

How is it that I’m already eighteen? Each year as I turn a year older, I don’t feel any different. I suppose it’s because the “growing up” part is a gradual process; it takes place throughout the year only to result in no major difference on one’s birth day. I’d like to think that I have led a pretty comfortable life up until now – I didn’t have to adjust to the new infant in the house since I was the second child; I’ve never had to move or abruptly leave the city; I have an excellent relationship with everyone in my social and familial circle. Let’s brush over my intense fear of conflict which stems from this one particular incident that happened when I was younger, because apart from that, I think I have had it quite easy. After all, the drama and misunderstandings amidst my circle of friends in the lower grades is hardly anything to fuss over about now. I suppose I’ve realised that growth doesn’t necessarily has to happen from the bottom.

What I have also realised is how utterly fortunate I am: I have got parents who tell me ‘you are the best gift in our lives’ and who go out of the way to ensure I’ve got a smile on my face. I’ve got a confidant in my sister, who’s far away and yet closest to my heart. I’ve got such brilliant friends – ones who search for that one book I’ve been meaning to read for ages, ones who give me a piece of themselves in aromatic sand and hand made stars which instantly makes me sigh in happiness, ones who write me poems that warm my heart and make my eyes glisten with tears, ones who write me letters, ones who remember me even though they’re miles apart – I am so grateful. In a world so uncertain and quite honestly terrifying, my own, small world is brimming with love, care, affection and so much support that’s got me where I am today.

When I was returning home with my parents tonight and we were greeted with traffic and soft music on the radio, I fully understood how much I want to make each of these people proud. I want to be one of the reasons for their happiness and their joy, just as they have been mine.

Aware

wheels on the bus

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here is where i read novels under the rays of the sun streaming into the bus. here is where i laughed with my bus mates who were often the reason for my unexpected catharsis. here is where i slept, while the soft wind caressed my face and played with my hair; a nap of merely twenty minutes, but a nap nonetheless. here is where i learned to appreciate the most ordinary landscapes: an infant, sitting behind her father on the scooter, gleefully laughing when the wind touches her face or a frail, old man catching a wink of sleep at the red light. here is where i shared warm smiles with small, shy kids. here is where i admired the sun rising; the sun falling on the book i’m reading, or the rays dancing on someone’s face. here is where i studied last minute for an exam. here is where i swatted countless mischievous mosquitoes. here is where i learned that bus rides – even without music playing in my ears, without my best friends to talk with, or without something to look forward to during the day – is one of my reasons to cherish the little things in life.

i remember the days

i remember the days,
when your breath would stagger
each time your eyes met mine.
i remember how,
the hair on your skin would rise
every time you touched my bare spine.
i remember when
your heart was steady, strong and true
when we laid under the stars with our wine.
i remember the days,
when your lips used to yearn
only for mine.
today when i look at you from afar,
and you fail to spot me
like you once did in a crowd.
my heart stammers and it stutters;
i miss the way you would smile
before shouting my name out loud.
but it’s the change in your breath and in the pace of your heart
when you’re with someone who isn’t me
that makes me believe i’m shadowed by a dark, gloomy cloud.
you claimed i was your one true love,
or so i heard, when you said i was your one among many
it’s my fault, i’m naïve and i’m not proud.

ten seconds

i just smacked a mosquito so hard i could almost hear it whisper before its final breath, “i deserve this for attacking you just when you sat down to write about something you have absolutely no idea about; after all, you’re just winging it, so you’re going to need all the help.” 

have you ever felt terribly, pityingly inadequate? of course you have! just when you find yourself seemingly grounded and at the same time, metaphorically suspended in the air, floating about with less worries than usual clouding your mind (do you want me to stop with these puns, really? do you?), you’re suddenly strung high up into the air, with your ankle having replaced the spot for your – or someone else’s for that matter – neck, while your blood succumbs to gravity yet again and gives you a long overdue head rush.

these past few months, i’ve been trying really hard to be optimistic about all things going wrong; i may have also started believing in fate – probably my mother’s influence, and definitely not a bad one. but there are some days when upsetting what ifs start to pick at my brain and all the negativity i’ve managed to avoid suddenly comes and sits upon my shoulder, like an annoying bird pecking my ear, except this one bird weighs a ton. human beings are weak, and a tiny peck, a nudge if you will, is enough for us to give in and descend into this underlying world of all things bad.

three seconds for your mind to register the thought; two seconds for you to frown or scrunch your eyebrows because you’re obviously startled by its sudden intrusion; four seconds for you to mull over your options panic and a hint of pity for yourself , one second for you to choose whether or not to continue that harmful four second streak.

that’s the thing though – if you refrain from giving heed to the first negative thought, you can escape the subsequent self-pity and onset of inferiority complex that follows. now, the content of this particular post is an example of what’ll happen if you give said thought more attention than required: you will have in front of you a poorly structured, aimless rant, riddled with puns and humour that have traces of pity, guilt and sadness, and a clock that reads the time as ‘way past your usual bed time, young lady’.

enigma

wrote this when i was 12 going on 13; i wonder what was going on in my mind back then hm

If the keyboard was a maze,
would you be able to find your way out?

If you were the size of an ant,
would you be able to last a day?

Or perhaps,

If you were the most important person in the world,
would you not let arrogance get in your way?

The answers to these questions,
happen to be a mystery.
An enigma such that,
no physicist, scientist or philanthropists’ mind
could have the solution initially.
Correct me if I’m wrong,
but every coin has three sides.
The two, that we’re already aware of,
and the one that’s somewhere in between.
Standing on its edge, with every answer
leaning towards being incomplete.
The answer remains buried deep,
in our heads.
Waiting for our consciousness to,
reach out and answer these questions,
by ourselves.
Put yourself in the shoes,
of the situation you’re facing,
be calm, collected and eager
to discover the answer you’ve been chasing,
At last.

ps: have you noticed i’ve changed my url? ajournalnotadiary had become borderline cringy

spotlight

Tap, tap, tap.
I hesitatingly tap the stage mic with the faltering pads of my fingers
just as I would tap the shoulder of a stranger;
I tap the head of the mic, even though I know it works perfectly well, I tap it;
I’m stalling.
On a stage, under the spotlight, with a lump in my throat,
I stand before an expectant crowd;
I have avoided this situation more times than I count.
I recall the endless videos I have watched of confident poets
painting the air with their hands on the stage;
the rhythm in their rhymes, the twangs in their ‘I’s,
the mystery behind their pauses and the drawls in their sighs;
“You’re meant to be just a writer, you could never perform.”
I hear the words of my traitorous and trembling hands;
“People are staring, don’t you dare mess up.”
I hear the hiss of my conditioned mind;
I hear but I don’t listen.
“It’s okay, go ahead; you’re doing just fine.”
I listen to the soft whisper of my rapidly beating heart;
it’s thumping so loud, the mic finally catches some sound.
It’s so quiet, I can hear the walls whispering to each other;
I close my eyes and take a deep breath,
as I would before I dive into the endless ocean.
I feel the side of my lip twitch and I unclench my hands;
I open my eyes and they shift to the clock on the right;
it’s been twelve seconds since I stepped up onto the stage.
And then, I spoke on my first fourteenth second on stage alone:
“Let me tell you about the day I overcame my stage fright,
in this hall, before this crowd and under this very spotlight.”