There is this feeling in me that never disappears. Like a hollow but a lot deeper. It’s like a corner or a bend that I never reach. That I can’t touch or particular feel. A dull ache that could be due to anything. Broken relationships. Relationship that never were and could never be. A disappointment that life is or has been. Of not playing my part right. May be it is my failures. Or loneliness. Regrets, perhaps. Knowing that I am losing a fight a bit by bit. Or just believing that worse awaits.
It is always there. Even when I am happy. It lies there making its presence felt. Diminished, but not disappeared. It waits till the smiles disappear and euphoria ebbs away. It waits for its moment to take over. To possess.
I call it eternal sadness. A place that no one reaches to and no one can stay away from.
I wrote this after reading Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil. It was a thought that emerged inspired by that book. How much do I relate to it, I dont know. But it seemed like something that had to be said out loud.
Ever wondered the difference between wanting something and thinking that you want something? I didn’t even know something like this could exist. My conversations with someone lately have been making me realise that it does. It is such an interesting topic to write about, but it so personal that I probably can’t divulge too much here. But yeah, the difference. It exists.
Contrary to what we believe, misery is a comfortable space. If I told you that people like being sad and miserable, you will probably think that I am out of mind. But I know for a fact that this is true. Misery may not get you company but it will make you comfortable. It is easy to not want to change things. To go against whatever you feel is a very difficult task. No wonder people don’t try to.
I am stepping out of my comfort zone. Looking out for a change. It seems scary and unachievable. I can only hope it works out.
I was a bit a disappointed last week when Haruki Murakami did not win the Nobel Prize for literature. I am not the sort who usually follows this kind of news but I was a little excited for my favourite author. Over the years, I have fallen in love with his writing. In fact, I even considered learning Japanese to be able to read the books without the barrier of translation. Although, I am sure his translators do a great job.
I remember during my college years, Kafka on the Shore was a huge hit. I came across so many people who were reading it. Finally a year or so after college, I read the book. I was totally hooked on to his style of writing. I guess I would describe it as realistic surrealism. It might just be an oxymoron but it is true. There is no logical way to explain Murakami.
While Kafka is a beautiful book, it isn’t my favourite book. I borrowed Norwegian Wood from a library. Read the book during boring work hours and coffee breaks and it just became one of my favourites. It is a simple story of a boy scarred by death and love trying to figure out life. And like all of his novels, it is set with a vivid backdrop of Japanese history. Though I know nothing about it, I am sure for Japanese readers it is something that helps them connect with his imagination a lot more.
Life, love, death, depression, friendship, comfort or should I say need for comfort, and even pointlessness. These are feelings that we all deal with at some point of time in our lives. No one thinks that these feelings are unusual. No one thinks that any of them can scar us. But they do. At so many levels. Having felt many of those, I can relate to the emotions, if not the story. And hence, it is one of my favourites.
If you are new to Murakami, start with this book. But know that this is the most “normal” of his stories. And then read Kafka to know the real Haruki Murakami.
PS: I doubt I am going to see the end of this challenge. I might blog without the compulsion of these topics. I wish writing wasn’t so difficult.
Today, I had to decide to buy a refrigerator. And then I had to pick one out as well. I don’t know anything about refrigerators. I only know that it is the place to go to when I crave for cold water. I don’t know why the measuring unit for fridge capacity is litres. I don’t freaking know what is a difference between a digital and normal compressor. It felt like a very grown up thing to do. More grown up than buying a laptop. At least I understand laptops. A little bit. But this is way more difficult. It feels like being initiated into the grown up world.
Over the last few years it has been happening a bit by bit. First sign that you are growing up is parents telling you to attend funerals. It is no longer a taboo. Which is strange because till you are a certain age, death is something you are sheltered from. Grown-ups keep you away from it as much as possible. They also shelter you from disease. You aren’t allowed to visit hospitals. Neither are you allowed to discuss stuff with the doctors.
Another part of growing up is knowing bank stuff. Like filling deposit slips, writing cheques and understanding things like yearly statements. If you are an earning member of the family, the dreaded word – investments, comes up frequently. You are supposed to plan your life. And death. Just in case.
I don’t like this at all. I don’t like attending funerals. I know no one does but what are you supposed to do if you can’t cry? There is no way on this planet that you can console someone when it comes to death. Having been on the receiving end, I just disliked people who’d try to console me. Crying people make me uncomfortable. Not doing anything makes me uncomfortable.
When all of your life, parents take all the health related decisions, suddenly discussing the best treatment for your parents is not an easy task. If you do manage to maintain equilibrium and sanity, the weight of your decisions is more than you can bear. It makes you feel like you are diminishing every minute. While, in fact, you are getting bigger and bigger every second. This is actually growing up.
The incorrigible institutions called banks become a part of our daily lives. Writing cheques becomes as easy as writing your own name and planning your investments suddenly seems to make sense. And when it does, you know that you’ve entered the dreaded territory called adulthood.
But nothing prepares you for something like buying a refrigerator. It is being responsible for a decision for the whole of 10 years that you will own it. Every time it groans differently, you will doubt yourself. And the pink flowers on the door that looked cute while you were buying it, will haunt you forever.
Today while looking for a picture of me for today’s post, I came across a few letters that I had written to someone. I vehemently avoid visiting that mail account because there are way too many letters written to various people. I love writing letters. In fact, I love communicating through the written form. Like I send messages when calling is cheaper. I like it that way. What I have to say has a form and the recipient can actually give an answer that has been thought through.
I write very very long letters. All the thoughts, feelings and everything that I have to say is put in words accurately, organized properly and sent out to someone. There is no time limit, there are no questions interrupting the thought process. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a letter from me, you’ll know why exactly I prefer it this way. It is easier than talking because everything you want to say is out there. For a person to see, feel or ignore. It makes you feel honest, truthful and open. But it also makes you feel exposed.
The letters I came across were written to someone who caused me a great deal of pain. Someone who I still cannot forgive. Reading those letters made me realise how desperate, needy and negative I sounded back them. I cannot believe that it was I who wrote those words. I cannot believe that I gave someone like him that kind of importance when he deserved none. I almost always feel embarrassed when I read stuff I had written earlier. But what I felt when I read those words doesn’t even come close to all of this.
I guess this is the problem when it comes to writing. It is capable of making you feel exactly what you felt when you wrote those words back then. And sometimes with a vengeance.
I didn’t find that photograph. It was in a mail to him. I have no intention of looking for it anymore. Online or otherwise. Found this picture instead. It was taken on a happy trip to Aamby Valley. Not 10 years ago but around 6 or 7. Happy days.
This was taken just before the first rain in the city. Beautiful apocalyptic weather captured from the 14th floor. Dont have anything more the say about it. Yes, it was taken on Instagram.
Goa 2011 – With the gang
This was taken during the infamous Goa trip. This was also one of the many many tequila + breezer shots that happened during that afternoon. It signifies a great deal to me. This Goafest trip was a super happy one. I was with few of my very favourite people on this planet. I was unbothered. There were no rules. There was no chaos. There was no one to bother me. Nothing to manage. Do what I want, drink what I want and be however I want.
I remember stumbling back to the room alone, taking a shower and going off to sleep for a long while after this. So much fun.
This trip also marked the end of an era for me. Post this I changed my job, decided to get a bit more serious and do a lot of different stuff. Not a lot of things went my way but this picture is like a happy place. I look at this and I remember the good times. Above everything else, I think this was the best way to conclude an awesome time with some really awesome people.
Cheers to that.