a slightly exaggerated but true experience of eating what turned out to be an outrageously good muffin

my sister and i bought six too many muffins. one whole extra box. at the bakery, we had more than convinced ourselves that one box of six muffins isn’t enough to serve a family of four! so, naturally, we bought another box. you see, there was no maternal supervision; there was only our fancy, our mother’s money and a whole shop of delicious confectionery. it’s a miracle we didn’t buy some other things we would be ashamed of. it was surprising that while standing at the check-out counter and buying those twelve delicious cupcakes, we felt no guilt whatsoever, even when both of us had an unsaid mutual understanding that neither of our parents will eat even one cupcake – what, with adults, and their calories and health and all of that important stuff. also the fact that one entire box contained too much of something my mother doesn’t eat: egg. so essentially, we had just bought twelve cupcakes for the two of us. when we sat in the car with our muffins, both of us looked at each other and probably thought the same thing: well. at least we have variety – one box of chocolate muffins and one box of red velvet muffins.

skipping ahead to the good part – past our mother’s defeated sighs and our red cheeks – we sat down to eat our evening snack: one chocolate and red velvet muffin each. yes, we decided to reward ourselves after watching an annoyingly good movie. nothing like positive reinforcement done right, yes? as we were seated at our dining table, we switched on our stereo and it played smooth, silky piano notes. there are only three tracks on my iPod that are instrumentals, and one was playing right as we took our first bite into the muffins. and for some reason in that moment, as my teeth sunk into the delicious, chocolate fluff that was the muffin, i realised that i had never heard the piano so transcendentally. everything seemed to proceed in slow motion; the music flowed through my ears, and seemed to pass through my entire body. right then, i felt like i was exaggeratedly aware of all of my five senses: i could taste the sweetest of the sweets, i could hear the sound of simple, ethereal music, i could feel the rhythm of the piano notes, as i watched my sister probably experiencing the same thing while eating her own muffin, and i could smell a new, freshly-baked story for my perpetually inactive blog.

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her?

some many seasons ago, i met a girl so unlike me that i fell in love with her. she was as blunt as the end of a cigarette, her words sharper than the edge of a knife. she claimed to have a stone for a heart, but there were moments when she would let its weight sink and her feelings float above. one could say she was a work of art: bold, messy, d i f f i c u l t, but in progress. when her confusing, cloudy world entered the view of my rose-coloured glasses, i was caught off g  uard. i had never felt so dis or ie nted; it was a feeling like no other. i liked girls? i liked girls, too.
in all my years, i hadn’t had such an enormous question mark
towering over
my
routine
pauses.

?;,.

i knew i was utterly spent when i caught my heart f l utt e r ing as soon as she laid her head on my shoulder, resembling the perfect word in a poem to be italicised; i knew i was absolutely hopeless when she had placed her cold palm just under my collarbones to check my temperature, my cheeks as red as the nail polish i never wore again.
and i knew i was a  g o n e  r         when she playfully patted my behind and exclaimed that i had, “a great ass”. she was everything i was not. on most days, it was  fucking infuriating, but on some days it was absurdly endearing. i hated a lot of things about her: her ambivalence, her apathy, her incessant !!!! swearing, her l aid back attitude about nearly e v e r y t h i n g, how she’d brush over things that mattered to me, how annoyingly good she looked in the worst pictures i took of her, amongst other things. but the things i liked about her? they outweighed everything else: her subtle yet well-meaning caring side|, her honesty, her sense of humour – just as terrible as mine, her courage, her terribly underestimated mind, a selflessness that i found lacking in almost everyone else – she  had  my  heart.

“does she feel the same way?”

i worry every other minute, but as i write type this i realise that it doesn’t matter after all, [[[[does it?]]]] it’s not like i can suddenly! stop loving her for being, well, her. it’s going to take tick time tock for this moment to p a s s,  so i might as well revel in the days of our growing ~comfort~ around each other, be it as friends or just a someone new in each other’s lives.
until this situation comes to a close, i plan to lurk around her – just to make sure she’s not too self destructive; i’ll hover around for a little while longer…, to be able to laugh with her at the plainest of things, until the “rational” side of my mind realises that there are other things to work upon. after all, i want to do great things, i just don’t know what


ps
: a slightly exaggerated version of what i experienced when i had a crush on a girl
last year

 

about my parents

i am eighteen years old and only in the past couple of years have i realised how utterly grateful i should be for my incredible parents. there have been days when i wasn’t an easy child to deal with, but all i ever received from their end was love. their parenting has been blood, sweat and tears, in the purest sense.
my parents have raised my sister and i gently and patiently, appreciated our every achievement, no matter how small the scale and acknowledged our every effort. their upbringing has got me well acquainted with the feeling of being loved unconditionally, sans any terms and conditions.
in my years as a pre-teen, my relationship with my mother wasn’t as healthy as it is today. but since the past decade she has grown along with me, even more so. she has always been a kind and loving woman, there’s no denying that. but since her indulgence in spirituality, my mother has transformed into the most calm and collected person i know. her mental and emotional strength has sky-rocketed, so much so that she can not only bear the weight of my father’s, my sister’s and my burdens but become the unexpected sunlight during rainy season. to see my mother radiate positivity under dire circumstances and spread comfort to everyone around her is astounding. there are days, however, when her unfailing optimism irks me, because sometimes i just want her to agree with me and say, “that sucks, my dear”. but after all that she has done for me, i would do whatever it takes to see her happy and proud. now that i’m leaving for college, she’s been remembering my childhood days, when all it took to make me giggle and gurgle was raspberries on my stomach and tickles on my chin.
my father is a gentle man, especially when it comes to me. it makes me a little sad that he’s not around as much as i would like him to be, but that’s okay. i understand his commitment to his work; being a doctor isn’t easy at all, particularly not when you’ve got hundreds of patients lined outside of your cabin, waiting to share their troubles. he may be seated on the sidelines, but he’s the best cheerleader i’ve ever had. he is easily swayed by others’ opinions, but he also gives a lot of importance to what i have to say – which i appreciate so much; and he always prioritises my happiness. no matter how many birthdays i celebrate, my small hand in my father’s soft and tender hand will forever be one of my favourite feelings in the world.
parenting is a mammoth task, but massively rewarding if done right. but here’s the thing – you don’t raise your child with the goal of getting something in return. that makes your child a liability waiting to be balanced out. my parents have given me the freedom to study what i enjoy, pursue what i’m good at – no matter the scope. i can’t ever thank them enough; my happiness is linked with theirs, there’s no otherwise. i aim to please my parents.

ma

it is late in the evening – the sun has
one foot out the door; reluctant to go,
she leaves behind a splash of colours to
remind one, of her crimson warmth and glow.

with my petite frame shrivelled with failure,
i sit on the edge of my bed, and i
wait for the light of my sun to return
to help assuage my pain, and pacify.

her scarlet poise fades a little when i,
greet her quietly, words lodged in my throat;
one breath later, she’s battling my despair,
her arms round me, the strongest antidote.

my head pressed against her chest, eyes shut tight;
yet, stubborn tears escape and roll down fast,
discolouring her once red blouse to stale
burgundy: a change in weather forecast.

wiser than most, kinder than many, she
proves passively powerful once again
as she bears the weight of my heavy heart,
teaches me to conquer my mind and reign.

my distorted view of success she mends,
with her gentle words and nurturing smile;
from one of callous comparison to
faith in oneself and a journey worthwhile.

Venus, Earth or Mars, we are all the same:
different worlds that orbit around her –
our source of power, love and optimism;
she keeps us grounded, safe and together.

conflict

his brows furrowed, with a ticking vein,
her face mirroring only anguish and pain;
he’s angry, she’s scared; they’re fighting yet again
what could they possibly have to gain?

their fight is over something so trivial, so petty,
but she knows exactly why her heart is so heavy;
it’s almost become customary,
how regularly they fight; it’s become utterly weary.

he knows that she’s done no wrong,
she knows that he’s just been working too long;
they’re tired, they’ve never been too strong,
a mere moment of silence feels like a song.

in between their hollow words they failed to see,
their little boy, hiding behind the tapestry;
it was each other at whom they were angry,
but it was the boy who cowered, stiff as a tree.

one of the few things that kept the boy awake at night,
was not the odd flickering of his bedroom light,
or even monsters under the bed that gave most a fright,
but the mere thought of his parents having a fight.

the seven year old boy had not one clue
about the meaning of 11:11 or how it worked too
yet everyday, he’d wish for both to forgive and let go
he’d wish and he’d wish, never for anything new.

“what happened to your face?”

what happened to your face?
a small girl of six asked me today.
her voice was soft and her eyes round,
startled and upset, i hadn’t a clue what to say.
she was looking up at me innocently,
even though i myself am just five feet tall;
my lips gently quivered and my brows scrunched,
for the first time today, i could feel my face fall.
i was shocked and a little hurt,
at the little girl’s harmless question
and how it could easily plague my mind
with recurrent thoughts about my very own skin.
she turned away, confusion evident in her features
after i rushed out an unconvincing, feeble reply;
hoping that nobody had witnessed this exchange,
i closed my eyes and let out a long and deep sigh.
most places i go, with most people i speak to,
it’s hard to avoid their questions, which make me ache;
it’s painful to listen to them give me useless remedies,
when all i want to scream is, i’ve tried it all, give me a break.
i realise that they are all my well-wishers,
hoping to help me out of this seemingly permanent phase,
so i shrug it off, with an embarrassed smile,
and a hesitant nod silently saying yes, i’ll try your ways.
two brown eyes, a cute nose, thin lips
straight teeth and a nice chin,
what’s wrong? chubby cheeks peppered with blemishes,
they trigger one to ask me the question;
they ask, i frown then shrug,
they raise their eyebrows and i sigh
i mumble a convincing answer, one that ensures
no follow up questions, internally thinking WHY?
the little girl’s honest, guileless query however
caught me off guard and i stuttered,
since the syntax of my usual interaction
was out the window, leaving me perturbed.
these blemishes have made themselves at home,
uninvited guests that have exceeded their stay;
with aloe vera and fruits as my best friends,
i exhaustingly wait for the day, when they all go away.

extremely loud & incredibly close

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i haven’t done justice to this book at all; i’ve been reading it for more than a month now, i think, and it’s because i kept reading it in long intervals – sometimes i didn’t read it for a week or two altogether. it’s not that the book wasn’t interesting, in fact it’s anything but uninteresting, but the reason i was avoiding reading it was because it made my heart hurt and heavy with each page, with each chapter. jonathan foer has done an absolutely exceptional job writing this book; it’s not just a story, you can literally experience the feelings of the protagonist (oskar, a nine year old boy) on the pages; he’s used all sorts of formats of writing and incorporated the visual aspect of the boy’s feelings (if that makes sense) onto the page and the reader can’t help but understand it perfectly well, at least i did, even if oskar himself isn’t sure. i’m not done reading the book, i’ve still got a few pages left to read and yet again i’m avoiding it because a few uninvited tears have already escaped my ducts reading the last chapter, but maybe it’s just me being a lil oversensitive bb. apart from the whirlwind of feelings that accompany this novel, it’s got everything you could ask for: humour, suspense, conflict, drama, naïvety, perspective, epiphanies, analogies, frustration, sorrow, death, experiences, letters, visual appeals, a cameo by a specific someone famous, attachment, love, need, mystery, relationships and so much more. this is a book that i’d definitely want as part of my collection and one that i will read yet again once i’m done reading it for the first time because i feel like it deserves more of my attention; attention that i want to give it without becoming a jumbling mess of tears. i’ve already recommended it to a bunch of people, and i’m doing the same to you – i’m not guaranteeing that you’ll like it but it’ll definitely be a taste of something new.