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 on 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 getting something in return. that makes your child a liability waiting to be balanced out. my parents have given me the freedom to do 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.

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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.

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)

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.

to love someone

before

q. what is it like to love someone?
a. i wouldn’t know, i’ve never loved someone romantically, you know?

after

q. what is it like to love someone?
a. oh boy, this gon take a while

to love someone is to completely feel at ease around them
to love someone is to cherish their terrible puns, cringe-worthy jokes, cheesy stories
to love someone is to have the most fun doing the most trivial things (for instance, building sandcastles)
to love someone is to never judge them because you’re one of the few they rely on
to love someone is to be grateful for their presence in your life
to love someone is laugh until you cry at a moment you shared together months back
to love someone is to feel their pain
to love someone is to treasure the wrappers/cards of their gifts, more so than the gift itself
to love someone is to genuinely care about them
to love someone is to make time for them, no matter how tired you are
to love someone is when their dorky messages make your possibly worst day ever a little better
to love someone is to be comfortable and eat chicken with hands while wearing each others’ fancy clothes
to love someone is to give them the right advice, even if it causes them pain
to love someone is to spend a day out with them once in a year and still have the best time
to love someone is to understand
to love someone is to have so many memories with them, that you finally get around making that scrapbook you’ve always wanted to
to love someone is to learn how to sacrifice something for them
to love someone is to never, ever, feel burdened
to love someone is to make them realise their worth
to love someone is always be there
to love someone you don’t have to be part of a romantic relationship

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.