I am sitting in front of the computer looking for words to write. I do not want to talk about myself. My mind is blank. Nothing comes to me. This image of me sitting in the cab on way home at night is the only thing. The road is empty and long and we are driving on it. Even though it takes only 15 minutes for me to reach home at night, sometimes even less, the journey seems the longest. During the drive, I do not know what to do. It is the only time when I am actually alone with my thoughts. I share the cab with three other people and sit in the front. I sit silently. I am conscious that they will look over my shoulder at my phone, so I do not use my phone. I have nothing to do then. Just sit and wait for my home to come, so that I can switch on the screen of my phone and feel a connect with something other than my brain. It becomes scary. Two things happen — either my mind is abuzz with weird scenarios and anxiety or my mind is vacant. I have been told that meditation helps clear the mind, but mostly my mind is clear. Clear is a misleading word now I realise. It is empty. I cannot think of anything. I know before I used to play these possibilities in my head, 99% of them uplifting, happy, ambitious. Now, I do not. I blame it on realism, when I know that it is cynicism. Sometimes I wish I could do that again, drives would be especially more enjoyable then? I tried to do that, imagine of a time 2-3 years from now. I am at some beach with my college friend, we are on a holiday. It is after long that we could afford this break and I am wearing a white dress and she is wearing black. We are eating an open-air restaurant aglow with yellow lights. We run into someone and sparks fly. But, I stop. One because it does not come that naturally — things being handled by serendipity is something I stopped believing long ago, even things going exactly as planned is a long shot for me. Second, I do not want to be disappointed because I know that things maybe never change. So, sit blank-faced, blank brained — feeling caged in my own vacant mind. I do not know what to wish for negative thoughts or silence, each is worse than the other. These 15 minutes every day make me realise just how much I am dependent on my phone. It is my safety blanket. I hold on to it when I want to avoid a person, when I want to slip away from a gathering, when I want to remain hidden, when I want to dodge a conversation, when I want to escape myself. I have cut everyone else for the fear of tripping into bouts of anxiety, but I could not cut off myself. But, I do not want to speak about myself or make it sound like things are nothing short of a disaster. They are good, they get better, they get worse. I handle, I do not. But, I want to. I want to be maybe someday have rosy if at all loser-ly dreams. I need to meditate not to clear my head but to fill it with something nice. Something childish, something red, something that feels like the open sky, something that smells like the forests, or something that makes me go back to those nights when I would lie in bed listening to radio and all the while in my mind dancing to the song at some party, laughing and having a good time. Until then, I will continue to sit in front of the computer and think of words to write…
Somedays I am so sad, I don’t know who to talk to. I try and think of names. But, I can’t talk to anyone. At that point I just want to bombard all the unhappy thoughts at them but, it has to begin with a hi or a hello. Usually when I reach the brimming point. I have no energy left to say anything. I also do not have the strength to be snubbed my someone when I am so vulnerable so I don’t say anything. I cry. I lie down on my terrace or I sit outside among the greens. If I can’t do that. I lie on my bed and wait for the crying. Sometimes it takes time because it feels stupid. Just imagine sitting in a room staring at the wall waiting for tears to pour down and expecting some sort of relief or a poignant experience when it just feels like a big drama. Sometimes the crying comes easily, sobs followed by bawling. Sometimes I catch (read: force) a glimpse of myself in the mirror. And that image too feels so pathetically funny. I want to laugh looking at myself sitting alone in a room and crying but I know if I do so. I’ll lose the momentum. Sometimes I forget why I thought of crying in the first place and just sit there watching videos on my phone, oddly irritated and at peace at the same time. Irritated because I have this elaborate plan of emotional release and at peace because the internet videos offer me some recluse from reality.
When I cry, I make sure I am alone and I don’t make noises. I am quick to wipe my tears and blow my nose and wash my face, so that no one finds out. I find this perfect spot that is well hidden but within the range that I can return quickly if someone asks me to – to avoid suspicion. I have a back story ready, in case someone catches me, usually very thorough ( I am good at making up stories). But, secretly I wish someone should be able to find my secret spot or hear it over the crack in my voice over the phone and come and talk to me. They would be suprised and sad looking at me crying all alone. I want them to ask me what’s wrong, I’ll say nothing is wrong ofcourse for the first 2-3 times but then I will say, without any inhibition of being judged. I’ll try and clear the ocean inside me with their help maybe, but, it never happens. I am so good at hiding. It is one of the many things I learnt from Indian cinema that if you are a heroine someone will see you crying and your pain and what not. So, I wait until someone finds me crying and helps me maybe. Because somedays I am so sad, I don’t know who to talk to. So I sit in a corner stare at something and wait for the unhappiness to engulf me.
I am sitting in front of the computer thinking of words to write. I know what I want to talk about. Sexism. But, I don’t know how to talk about things that are important to me and everyone. I fumble, I misspeak or I give foolish arguments to make a point, even when I know what I want to say. There are times when due to shyness or fear, I just don’t say anything at all. But, I thought with writing, I can really think hard and frame exactly properly how I felt all those times, and especially in the last few weeks being a woman. And no this is not a ‘boo-hoo letter’. This is no ‘victimisation’ – this is just knowing that you can never really be sure from where prejudice will be thrown at you. It hurts more when it comes from someone who you thought was above all this.
I have been working for two years now and I have seen enough sexism in the workplace – already. I already think, that this is too much for me to see in 2 years. I am not scared or weak. I am just disgusted that these things happen still. More suprising is that this is so deep set in journalism – a place that is expected to show a mirror to the society.
And people say we should move past this? That women make an issue over unnecessary things? I am now beginning to sound fake maybe because I can never make very strong and intelligent arguments. So, I’ll just ask one question, why is the best compliment for a woman is that she is not like a woman? What is so wrong about being a woman that doesn’t make her good enough. Today someone in a ‘compliment’ said – she is not a woman, she is a don. Why? Since when is it better to be a don – something that in common parlance is associated with crime than to be a woman. And the sentence continued. ‘She is not a woman, she is a don. She is smart and….’
Why are they not womanly qualities. I know some super smart woman, so good at everything they do. But everyone would much rather want them to be Dons?
This is one of the many incidents that I have experienced in only the last 3 days. I know I’ll forget about this tomorrow. Day after there will be another thing to be angry about. But, someday someone will tell a child that so and so person is great because she is not like a woman and they will believe it. And they will think of it as the truth. And the age old cycle will continue
I wish there is a brake somewhere. I wish I ‘really am giving it too much importance’. I hope that things change. I hope that things change sooner, until then I’ll sit in front of my computer and think of words to write.
I am sad every day almost, I guess — okay mostly, not every day. But this is the ‘why I am sad today’ list. Some are things that I always worry about some are just blekh.
- I could not do yoga today, I know it is not a big deal but it might hamper my weight loss goal that I have set for myself.
- I am questioning my creative capabilities. I cannot remember one original idea I had or one meaningful from start to end thing that I wrote that I can be proud of.
- I am feeling very average — which is not a problem — but I am getting anxious about what will happen in the future.
- I realised I am 23, I do not know why I forgot and thought I am 22. I am actually 23 and a month now, so okay the confusion because of that. I am not sad because I am ageing but because I think time is running too fast and I am not doing enough.
- I realised that a lot of ideas and opinions of mine are very utopian, and I might have to deal with that.
- I also realised that in ‘real life’ people favour snooty people and not hard-working people always and how the world is unfair that way.
- I am sad because I realise that I am sounding so righteous in the above two points when I am just one of the dumb people operating in this world.
- I am sad because I do not know what is going to happen and whether I will be able to handle the things that WILL happen.
- I am sad because I am in a fix whether I should shift to some other city for better career prospects, or stay at home and wait another year and finish the things I decided — which I did not do last year.
- I am sad because I do not know who to ask for help, and I do not know what purpose does writing here solve.
- I am sad because I have started feeling that everything is meaningless.
I am sitting in front of my computer thinking of words to write…
I am hungry again. I just had two sandwiches, like an hour ago. When I get tensed, I eat a lot.
When I was in Class 10 and I was worried before my first board examination (simpler times) I could not eat anything.
This stuffing my face development is new.
Food has started giving me comfort that I cannot find in words — written or spoken. The crisp wafer or the oily French fry tells me everything that I want to hear in the moment without making any noise.
My mother on the other hand when she is worried about something (which is rare because she is so strong) does not eat anything or cannot eat anything.
If I had to have an eating disorder, why could it not be the one that helps me lose weight?
Needless to say I am worried. I am worried a lot these days. I hate my mind, always over analysing things to the point that makes me just want to pull my hair and scream and ask it to shut up. It is supposed to be my support system, but it is my worst enemy.
Right now too, my heart is beating very fast. Words do not come to me easily at such a time, and I start questioning the purpose of this whole exercise. If trains in India travelled as fast as my heart we would not need Japan’s bullet trains. However, the only thing that can match up to my heart is my mind, which surprisingly is never tired. Always running mad.
After making that allegation I was reminded of a lot of situations when my mind was completely blank. I know people say that it is a big thing, but it happens to me. For a long time I do not think about anything, it is quiet and peaceful and calm. Such moments are prized.
Recently, the longest I went without thinking anything was 2 hours or something. It was in Andamans. The staying blank was due to no credit of mine, just the beauty and placidness of that place. Someday I wish I am equipped enough to write a travelogue so that I can keep that experience safely for myself. I do not want to attempt it even, because I do not think I can do justice to what I saw. The massive ocean, and the knowledge that you are so very small in the entire mechanism of things. When we were in school, there was a line in a chapter in hindi — ‘Woh drishya toh dekhte hi banta tha’ — meaning that only when you see it do you get it and I thought that this is just a literary device, trying to induce mystery in beauty, but when I went to Andaman I realised that the writer had not put the sentence there because of literature but simply because she accepted the exquisiteness of nature.
One of the days in Andaman, we were in a car, on our way from point A to point B — with trees on either side, long unwinding undulating roads. Everywhere you look there is green. Nothing is brown. Even the barks are covered with moss. Rainforest. My first time in a rainforest. Green, green everywhere. Wherever there is a possibility of of growth, there is something.
A sapling, a twig, a creeper, a big tree, a small tree leaning on a big tree, a small plant growing on the small tree. Green. The only colour you see.
Quiet yes. But there is so much activity going on at that moment. If you are very very quiet I think you can hear a root digging deeper into the soil, or a creeper strengthening its hold on a branch, or just a shrub finding more space to grow.
It was so heartening to see that something or the other was growing out from even the cracks that had developed between the cemented portions of the road.
Which made me think, how much determined we must be to destroy the forests and the environment, because it is so powerful and stubborn itself to grow on everything that is capable of life. It grows, unabated taking everything in its fold, it does not care whether there is a sewer next to it or waterfall — unbiased, it spreads, until we step in.
Maybe someday we will understand that we cannot take nature for granted, when it will be too late, it is already too late. Maybe someday I will stop eating when I am tensed, or stop getting tensed all together. Maybe someday we will have trains that run as fast as my heart. Maybe someday I will understand my things are so unrelated in my mind, and why I cannot thread a thought together.
Until that day, I will wait and write stupid blog entries that make no sense…
I introduced an error in a newspaper report that went into print yesterday – which is a sin in print media. An editor is supposed to pick out the error not insert any. We had to issue a corrigendum. I am ashamed. I always take care while editing, even minute things that do not matter anymore. But I do, because like I have said multiple times I love my work. I always try to put in extra effort so that whatever I do is good for the paper and my self and yet it happened. It had to happen, when I was adding the line something went off in my brain but I ignored it, it had to happen because people usually re-read copies but somehow that point was missed. I am ashamed that it is my fault taht something like that has happened. I know, for everyone it’s like a normal day in the life of an editor and yes I agree. It’s not the end of the world. Tomorrow is a new day and people will forget about it might have already. But I cannot, it seems much more bigger to me. It is an indication that no matter how hard I try, I falter. Unknowingly. I get distracted or I miss something or I just don’t know. Why did it happen to me and not the other people at work who do not work as hard as me? Do I think too highly of myself. I have found, proof-read, polished errors in copies edited by other people before – did I think no one will be able to find in mine? I wanted that to be the case. I have let down the people who thought I could do some work. Why I have come here instead of scribbling in my notebook is beside me. The tap tap of the keypad is a better distraction than the scratch scratch of the pen in the middle of the night. I did not want answers I wanted to vent and find the strength maybe to go to work again tomorrow. I know it’s not a big deal but I don’t want to be scared of making mistakes. If I am then this will be the last mistake I will ever make and most probably the last time I learn anything. But I don’t want to be the blooper girl. I don’t want my life to be riddled with mistakes. I don’t want my career in journalism to become like my life – vague and plain. I want it to go where I want it to be. More than often I feel that right now I am just flailing my arms in the ocean. I want to stop swimming and I know if I do I will drown but I don’t wanna drown. And I feel like I am just about to drown every week.
And I don’t wanna drown. But most importantly I don’t want to be ‘the blooper girl’.
I have been very worried by the train of thought in my head which has been annoyingly similar for the last one year.
I try to push it away, but nothing has happened. Whatever I am saying right now is also very similar to what I have said multiple times before.. I am stuck in my own mind, the same things rattle my brain, making me anxious, it’s a vicious cycle. It has taken all creativity out of me. I think about only one thing and can write about only one thing the confusion in my brain. It isn’t constant, it comes in waves. You’re relaxed you have a good day, but everything that can possibly go wrong in the universe rushes through your mind, are you doing the right thing? Is everything fine? What will happen after 10 years?
I don’t know. When I was in 10th class I thought in the next 4 years I would have everything figured out. Everything. I always thought myself to be very smart. I am smart, you know, reading wise, understanding things easily learning new stuff and all that. Smart. Normal. Average. Not brilliant.
But, I have found something about myself which I think has contributed to my confusion in the present day. I was very naive as a child. I still am a different kind. But earlier I don’t think I had any sense of reality my life was me and my smartness and how things will be fine for me due to the same smartness. I am not talking about innocence. My sister as a child as well could always differentiate between reality and fanfare. Why could not I ? Why can’t I still?
For me now the definition of growing up is only one thing. When you know what you want, and you’re happy with your choice. I have seen so many grown-ups who have chosen what they want out of life which may or may not be fancy enough for us ‘millenials’ I hate the term. But they are happy with it, they care about themselves and lead a fulfilling life. And I have met many people pretending to be grown-ups who are never happy with what the have.
It all comes back to perfecting the self and everything?
For most parts I believe I know what I want and what I value, simplicity over bling, small over big, cotton over leather and other little things here and there. My choices are nothing great, or better than anyone. They are mine. Simple. Normal. Average.
And I think good I know what I want, and then the conflict arises, because I don’t know how I want what I want. There are various clauses and subclauses involved in the entire wanting of things. It’s not a simple want. It’s not always cotton over leather, some days it’s leather over cotton but then since I plan my entire life around cotton – I miss out on the chances of leather,or so I believe.
And again after one year, I am as far away from being a grown-up as I was last year. I.
I am in a hurry yes, anything to quiten the storm in my head.