They call me a Hippie..

So they call me a Hippie. They say that in a very obvious way, I somehow represent today’s popular understanding of the term. Is it a term or is it someone’s reality somewhere? The fact that a Hippie originally was someone who rejected the America of the 60s and became this counterculture spewing manifestation of the simplicity of life and complexity of the mind, begins to make me wonder of the most real question every Hippie must ask himself; Does he belong? To anything, anyone or anywhere..
The established definition of a hippie circulates in the realm of being unsettled, unhappy, alternate and possibly at war with oneself. There is the subset which is the unrefined figurative of being pretentious and wanting to ape a hippie existence but let’s keep the pretenders aside and focus on the mind and not the material of a hippie. We are keeping aside the big black artist glasses or the eco-friendly ride or even the food from the earth diatribe that some of us ramble on. Let’s just focus on the mind; the counter-balanced, the lack of comprehension of the normal, the disbelief in his current circumstances and a constancy of being unsettled. On these trains of thought, as I depart, if they call me a hippie, maybe I must accept. Many years of consistent change either leaves you fed up or possibly craving for it all the time. And that hippie mind starts asking you those questions about the people that surround you, the ideas that engulf you and the stability that threatens you. Maybe there isn’t a way forward but that only sideways and along the grid without ever completely falling off it is your path. That maybe your love for very few things, like true obsessive love, is symbolic of a greater need to find permanence in something that can be equated to a feeling and not necessarily a person or a tangible reality. Like they say I love coffee. There is also a suggestion that the feeling for it borders on true love. But maybe it’s more about the need to find something that is permanent irrespective of where I am. My obsession to find and brew the perfect cup is that little part craving for some sense of belonging, even if it is restricted to a cup of coffee. Strange thought? Let’s break it down. We all have attachments. Some of them are people we refuse to let go, some are cities they refuse to leave, some are jobs they refuse to quit and some are habits that refuse to change. In its entirety, we are just clinging on to a sense of belonging desperately at times. Maybe the hippie looks for the bottom of the pyramid amongst all of that, if there is a pyramid. Maybe the hippie choose the option easiest to hold on to and least capable of upsetting his equilibrium. Because in his equilibrium lies this freedom from all the attachments further up that pyramid. And in that lies his peace with the world he has to live in until he finds a departure more suitable to his mind.

So when they call me a hippie, I say, yes maybe I am. Maybe I will be one in Soho or Koramangala or a suburb in Buenos Aires and maybe my choices in life will seem nearly as random as the places I chose there but there is a hippie only in some of us. There is a part in some of us bursting to be let out or fighting to stay within. Within a line that we drew ourselves while we walk along the grid until, we are ready to fall off it. For good. Until then, the hippie sustains on his imagination, his hopeful material longings, the relationships he cherishes and the few bonds he fights to stay relevant in. He continues to question, he irrevocably loves and fights, he is all out there with his emotions, he is also careful in his submissions and most importantly, he is irretrievably on the verge of constant disillusionment. That is his reality and his only hope. So let the hippie live, let him love, let him enquire and let him run wild. In return he will allow the jokes and all the questions.

He will also let you continue to call him a hippie..

Advertisements
They call me a Hippie..

Thank you 2016!

To sometimes think that 2016 was all of 366 days is sometimes tough to comprehend. With so much packed into it and so much of life changing, possibly forever, it seems a tad bit unjust that it went by so fast.
So 2016 saw me finally travel. Beyond borders and sometimes beyond my own imagination. There were macarons in Paris, Coldplay in Barcelona, street partying in Hong Kong, the best restaurant in Asia in Bangkok and the blindingly charming Hoi An. There wasn’t a moment this year when I wasn’t looking forward to or in the afterglow of an amazing journey. I travelled with people who have come to define my year and with them I covered miles of memories that could only have been created with them. In a way it takes me back to the first stamp on my passport and looking at it last year and wondering where I was going wrong. Twenty seven years alive and I had only that one stamp to show and while for many it is about the vanity or the pride or the sense of adventure, travel for me was always a need. A specific need to break out of the monotony of myself. All these years, I have always known that every 2-3 years, my life will change, there will be a move and an upheaval after which I will bask in that swooning glory for some time and the moment it begins to sting again, I know another move was ready to be made. But somehow, in this city, against all my great and insufficient wisdom, I feel that next move may not come for a while and therefore spending nearly all of 2015 without moving more than a two-hour flight away, things had begun to slip and along with it so had my mind.

Thank you 2016 for giving me travel and some temporary peace of mind. Hoping to make a more permanent feature of it.

I also found a new home in the city. In a time when much hope seemed to be waning to find the right place to restart life. Pop. From absolutely no where came this gorgeous place I now call home, with possibly one of the best views in the city and the presence of what is easily Bangalore’s most prized possession, Cubbon Park. Running and walking through the park every day has given me an unparalleled sense of calm that no part of Bangalore manages to bring in me. In finding a great flat mate, a sense of domestication and a belief that life can be lived in a home without constant need for distractions, lay my solace. In that a weekend with great home cooked food, a good book or a movie and a walk in the park can be all one needs. And while I see the fingers pointing at me with accusatory thoughts of me growing old, I can safely declare that it is a tag I’m happy to accept because in the time spent in this house lies some of my strongest resolve to be better and feel so much freer.

Thank you 2016 for giving me this dreamy abode to in many ways extinguish my inexhaustible need to change and run.

I found memorable movies and TV shows. My top picks would be all foreign language shows which caps a rather surprising year of TV shows with just the quantum of shows I got through. There was the Norwegian show ‘Occupied’ and the Israeli show ‘Fauda’. There was also the rather sublime and heartwarming ‘Master of None’, there was a throwback classic in ‘Stranger Things’, the mind numbing ‘The OA’ which left me standing (actually standing) for an entire episode during the finale. There was Bollywood, understated yet classy in ‘Nil Battey Sannata’ and ‘Dear Zindagi’. Hollywood broke through with ‘La La Land’ in what was by far my favorite movie of the year. The brashness of ‘War Dogs’ far outstripped all the many true stories charading for your attention. There was the Argentine film, ‘Wild Tales’ which wasn’t released this year but I watched it on a lazy Sunday evening and left me wondering why, just why, we will never be capable of such a dark celebration of filmmaking.

I saw some of my all-time favorite people ever get married this year. In the two weddings, I saw love and hope triumph over all the shit that makes up our worlds. I saw them truly happy and possibly, victorious, in the face of all the so called common sense that was thrown at them over the years. I felt the strong urge to live those feelings that they felt and was left with the realization that maybe that was in the past and that love, as a force of nature comes only to the lucky few. These friends of mine are those lucky few and I will stand not in envy, but in great pride in knowing them and in believing in them and their incredible stories. Wish you all the love you guys, you know who you are and you must know that many tears were shed looking at you making this journey. And all of it, was for every day that you spend together from today, worth it!

2016 truly was a special year. So much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to. It takes me back to one of the most special days of the year, while sitting on a boat on a river along the gorgeous town of Hoi An in Vietnam where looking around at the trees, the water and the calm that surrounded me, I realized that this life is much larger and much more significant that anyone or anything that makes up my life. It was in the serenity of what surrounded me and the look in her eyes sitting beside me that I felt true comfort again. That warm feeling when after all these years of struggling it finally began to come together and that feeling of before, of many years ago, of knowing that ‘I am ok’ began to return. In its essence, that’s what the year was truly about. It was about knowing that I had returned, from the wilderness and all the insecurity and disdain, I was ready to live again, but only on my own terms.

Thank you 2016 for introducing me to Ranbir Kapoor and getting him to say he liked my writing. Sigh. Thank you for food that surpasses fantasy writing in its purest form. Thank you for family and not just the ones back home but the ones that today make me feel at home. Thank you for a flatmate who chooses to be awesome every day, a workplace that has challenged me like never before, colleagues who truly seem to want only the best for me, the game of Golf and all the joy it brings, thank you for the miles I ran, the crunches I crunched, the mugs of coffee I made myself. Thank you for dissolving doubt and re-igniting purpose. Thank you for finding her even though she was always around to become the friend I needed so desperately. And finally, thank you for leaving me so unbelievably restless and distressed by the time I have reached the end of the year, like you just wanted to undo everything we worked towards. Because now I start again, but start with purpose, and this time knowing exactly how I want this year to pan out. But let the new year know, that I’m up for all the surprises you got for me because this year I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I have never had before.

2017, bring it!

Thank you 2016!

The Devastation of Man

There is a part of all of us that has felt true suspension of hope. That kind that doesn’t just rattle you but leaves you desperate for it. It’s what an Imtiaz Ali film teaches you. Or at least holds up a mirror to. There are moments in an Imtiaz fllm, make that many moments where you are convinced that only in the complete and willful destruction of oneself lies the true discovery of that self. And I only say willful because even though his characters may seem to be falling apart organically, it is mostly and always self-engineered. These men are always on decently successful paths, well-endowed by the bounties of family or wealth but never both and yet are incapable of holding on to either as a crutch to help them through life. Imtiaz’s men aren’t men running from their shadows, they are in complete and absolute ignorance of it. It is in this strange but rather deliberate dichotomy that they all live, only to be restored to former or imagined glories by the harder they fall.
 
In Tamasha, Ved, must be completely dissolved in self-doubt and needs to be woken up by a woman who begins her journey in his life by indulging his fantasy and then questioning his reality. It is in that questioning that he unravels and begins to gain control of himself to find himself but all in a manic rush to rid himself of this stain she has left on him. Even when his father questions his love for hurting himself and finding pain in nothing, you realise how disconnected his father is from him and in that moment Imtiaz Ali manages to split his audience on to two sides. The one that agree with the father and believe the boy is making much of nothing and the others who seem to walk with Ved and find that he is just mirroring something deep in us all or something imagined in us all. That maybe pain has to always be dug up, conjured and forcefully felt because it is in pain that we wipe off the dust and feel ourselves. Ved needed Tara to push him past his daily routine into a journey laden with doubt and hopelessness. There is light, there always is light and it doesn’t come at the end of the tunnel, it’s right with you. Right now is what he says..
 
In Rockstar, Jordan gets slapped by cops on the street, insulted by friends in the college canteen and lectured by family and his future manager and current canteen manager. While Imtiaz doesn’t spend much time in this phase of Jordan’s life, it may be useful to note that this is a man destined for greatness but is so unaware and seemingly incapable of even grasping such a truth. He bungles his way through his friendship with Heer and forgets to wrap his head around his real feelings for her until she goes, until he is in love and until, he is destroyed. It’s here that he finds his purpose and finds his way but even though he begins to walk his musical talk, it’s empty without her but full of soul for everyone listening. And in that moment we are misguided by a man again possessed only by himself, blinded with his obsessive love and again onlookers begin to wonder what motivates him to such depths of destruction. But again, remember that before Jordan, there was a Janardhan. The simple boy who Heer had befriended to find her fun and her abandon. And as their love unfolds like a broken record never giving up on that one track, Janardhan becomes Jordan becomes a broken man who only finds power and great inspiration in himself. It is here, that Jordan gives birth to Ved, as a man left desperately alone, handing over the baton to another troubled soul in hope that he will find his redemption. But not before a fight..
 
In Love Aaj Kal, there is Jai. He is inherently less complex than Jordan or Ved but is far more broken and unaware of it. This is what makes Jai possibly Imtiaz’s most relatable character. He is easy to move with, he doesn’t distance you with his bottomless depth and there is a negative space to his character that constantly seems to need filling which the viewer keeps adding. He is devoid of complications and isn’t held hostage by his emotions. Until it all begins to fall apart. It begins when he sees Meera as a bride. In that moment he realizes so much but is incapable of putting a finger on it. Jai is such a clueless character that he seems to be so many eons away from Imtiaz’s traditional mold. He is so distributed in his emotions that after being robbed and broken and lying on a street in San Francisco he realized that it isn’t his desperate present but his distant reality that hurts so much. It is in faraway Delhi that his redemption awaits and even though his devastation isn’t as disturbing as Ved and Jordan’s, it is his simple endeavor to find answers that finds him his way back into her heart. In that moment when he finally comes face to face with Meera in what is possibly the most touching of reunions of all film time, he asks for her to return and return she does.
 
And we finally see the beginning of a legacy of broken men fighting hard to tie their loose ends together. We see the beginning of Jordan and the early onset of Ved. Men driven by ambition and running away from or faking love only to fall hopefully and painfully in it. They aren’t ever given a choice before they decide to fall in love. There isn’t a grand moment of peaceful meditation on realizing. They are beaten into it, they are dragged into it, they are held hostage by it and sometimes they just discover that she was always there waiting to be found. But it’s usually too late in Imtiaz’s world or nearly too late at times. Love isn’t meant to be hard fought in his world or earned, it is meant to be worth being destroyed for because at the end of these movies it isn’t about finding love and making your happy with it, but for all these men it is about discovering their truths and that is what makes Imtiaz’s characters real and scary. Think about it, all these men are really the same man. Driven by the same things, in love with strong women and incapable of finding a straight line to love. They are our struggle, each of our broken hearts and many of our innumerable moving parts. They are what we confess being every night, they are what we have all been in that moment when she turned away from us and they are what we never hope to be but in every broken moment, always are. We are Ved and Jordan and Jai and we can only be foolish to believe otherwise. We are all their extremes, their nonchalance and their hopeless lovers. We are this undying breed of romantics who just don’t know where to draw the line, when to stop loving her and when to accept we are beaten. We are all firmly placed in Imtiaz’s world of devastated men, not because we like it or like Janardhan feel its necessary, we are there because we know no other way.
 
And there we shall live. 

‘Away, beyond all concepts of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field, I’ll meet you there.’

The Devastation of Man

When Saigon came calling..

‘So what did you come looking for in Vietnam?’, Nhuy asked me.
 
I wasn’t sure if she intended to attach any gravity to the question or was it one of those frivolous conversation starters that were meant to just ease the moment. I was sat across her at a bar at around 1 AM as the lights in Saigon were being turned off in some districts and were shining brighter in the others. The local rum she served me reminded me of the Monk back home, but there was a sense of occasion to it.
 
‘I’m not sure what you mean. As in do you mean, Vietnam as a country or generally..’
 
Nhuy looked at me intently, clearly gathering the right words as the English required processing, in her mind, as she was thinking in her language, but speaking in mine.
 
‘Just what was your soul looking for? Something beyond the travel and the places you needed to visit and the food you needed to eat. Just what did you expect from Vietnam?’ She closed knowing she had got it right this time. But she had left me speechless now and even though I was thinking and planning to respond in the same language, all sense seemed to desert me.
 
Seven days, seven flights, three different hotels, a group of six other amazing souls and all of South Vietnam at our mercy. Sometimes it felt like we had planned everything and most of the time felt like we knew nothing about what we wanted to do. I surely had very little clue of what was going to unfold and precisely how I was going to react to it and for all the trips I have done this year, this was strangely new.
 
Her question immediately took me to many places and moments on the trip and a few hidden places in my soul that I never knew existed or had had a chance to find a way out.
 
In one moment I was on a boat heading to Hoi An with her, watching the water calm down around us, the air quieten and only the sound of the boat take over my conscious. She seemed perfectly in sync with her surroundings, absolutely content in the moment and in her calm beauty I found meaning to my first day in Vietnam. A sense of peace mixed with unbridled joy of her company and the feeling that it was all clicking perfectly in place, in a way that life should and unknown to myself until that point, in a way that life actually could. The boat chugged along the river for thirty minutes but it was a lifetime I lived in it, many lives, many moments, unexpressed, yet complete and cosmic in its effect. The boat docked on the riverside, she ran to a fruit vendor and we were back to the reality of the holiday. But I’m still there, and a significant part of me is still on that boat with her, refusing to return and defiant in what I felt. I can still hear the water, see her eyes look at the hills and hear the engine matching my heartbeat…
 
In another moment I’m barefoot striding along the bridge leading to the other side of the Old Town to a noisy bar, with her egging some strangers into a conversation. He matching me stride to stride in our barefoot abandon. She tried her best to chase away the backpackers from the bar and the pool table and settled for some foosball instead. She refused to allow the night to die on us and in her refusal, lay our first introduction to a Vietnamese night and a special one at that. He found his rhythm with her and they took on the night while I took on some wild dancers on the floor with small talk flying around, the same music we dance to back home blasting through the walls and my faith that I was in great hands with the two of them as I built mental images of a life led here in the midst of the tiny fishing boats docked at the river with its inhabitants asleep on it with these merry bunch of backpackers from every part of the world dancing, drinking and ice breaking into the night. But the moment we stepped away from it all, it was immediately quiet, like it was never meant to be. Until she screamed for a picture and in our drunken haze we posed against the night and in her mad love for the moment and in her loving hug left me stuck there, in that picture, in that moment, forever floating around and waiting to unfreeze and continue into the night instead of returning home..
 
Sitting looking at the river with him while we sipped our favorite beverage on the trip, sapped by the heat and at the point of surrender, we just wanted to fall asleep at that table. But as it always was with us, it began with a lowball joke followed by unnecessary follow-up jokes and the heat was forgotten. We spoke of the year we had had, of him going away and of the tragedy that is life. Of how dreams may never be fulfilled but that our hope of wanting to do something lasting and do it together would come true. That we may be apart in years but could still strike a wavelength that was for the times. We gave up the sitting and lazing and got on our feet to find him a massage. We scoured the town and broke into child like giggles on seeing a stray Alsatian, or at the fact that we had gone around the same street twice, or the joke we had cracked an hour ago had returned to become funny again. And when I finally dropped him off at the massage, it felt like I was saying bye to something special. We would meet in a couple of hours but that really was it on the trip. That was my goodbye to him on day one of a seven day trip and it was special. And in that moment walking those streets with him, is where I still am, ready to go back in a blink…
 
Lying on a beach with the sun going down on us and with no one around for what seemed like miles, we watched the tide rise and gently hit our feet as we joked about bad movies, our house back in Bangalore, the fact that we were sipping beers on a beach in Vietnam while our world seemed so numbingly different just a couple of days ago. We made promises to each other of things we may never do or can’t wait to start and then he went quiet and so did I. Like in perfect sync, knowing fully well that our company was each other’s presence and on a day that began in such despair for me, all of a sudden I was rescued by a good friend who managed to make the setting sun and the rising tide and some pretty ordinary beer seem like the brightest spot of my trip. In that silence on that beach is where I feel assured and comfortable, in the know that I could be alone there and I could still love the drizzle hitting my face while the waves wet my feet, but I know that without him that day would have been half the day it was and Vietnam would have felt a little less warm. That’s me right there, on that beach, confined to its peace forever and never sure if I truly want to return..
 
In a way she epitomized everything right about the trip for us. Irrespective of everyone’s concerns and understanding of how exactly the trip should pan out, she was possibly a couple of degrees aligned differently from the rest of us. She was just completely in awe of every moment we spent there. She was who I constantly returned to when I needed a reminder of the fact that we were on a holiday, when the flying got a little too much for my gentle heart or the planning got to us all, she always managed to infuse me with confidence and real love for what was unfolding around us. Her pictures are memories etched forever and her enthusiasm was something I vicariously lived whenever I couldn’t summon some of my own. In her smile and joy when she witnessed something incredible or even something everyday lay my fascination for this wonderful country. In her simple way of looking at this vacation lies a part of me forever captured by her vigour. I would love to be her and at the same time I can’t imagine not having her on a trip of such soul searching magnitude, and in her love for the wonder that was Vietnam, I remain stuck..
 
In that wonderfully blurry night at Saigon, as we lit up an unassuming bar with some Bollywood, I stood there with her explaining this moment of poignant questioning by Nhuy and she listened to me intently, not betraying any emotions but still pleasantly surprised by this experience of mine. She didn’t waste the moment by trying to make it sound larger than it really was, instead she reminded me that special moments somehow follow me on trips like these and that she wasn’t surprised that one of them had followed me here too. In her ability to hear me, like really hear me out from deep down, she managed to disarm me in a moment that was confusing for me and it was this knack that had managed to make her such an amazing travel mate this year. In that all the beauty that surrounded us in every country we went to this year, it always took a little conversation and a lot of listening for an entire trip to possibly make sense for me. On that rooftop in the middle of Saigon, not so in the middle of the night, I managed to feel one with so much that was Vietnam for me and in that conversation I lie tied and unable to return. Unable to completely break free and get back to reality..
 
And finally I still can visualize, so clearly and happily, a gemstone museum with a tiny bar tucked in it. A glass of wine, a bottle of beer, many confessions, a few revelations, a connection that warms me in vulnerable moments of my everyday and that specific and careful picture of her against that colorful background and a conversation punctuated with silences where we would smile unknowingly to ourselves. That, there in those culmination of moments there, lies a part of me, destined to be stuck forever..
 
I didn’t have an answer for Nhuy as I paid for my drink and hers and walked out of the bar. I think it was best she didn’t get an answer because now she had a stranger to talk about who continued to be a stranger to her and I had soul mates to return to who had truly in their own way, unknown to themselves, made this trip a chapter out of a book that I am not ready to ever put back into a shelf.
There are many moments and experiences left behind in Vietnam and for it all I shall return one day, whether alone, or with them or some of them, either way, there are parts of me strewn all across the country and I must go back to bring it all back, piece by piece, and maybe finally give an answer to Nhuy..
 
‘So what did you come looking for in Vietnam?’..
I think the answer for now, is, me.

When Saigon came calling..

Finding and Losing

When I was 16, I figured it was all going to be very easy. It required a few knowing glances, a couple of well intentioned notes telling her exactly how you felt about her, a well executed meeting that would lead to a 10-15 minute conversation, many phone calls in the middle of the afternoon while your parents were asleep and finally that note from her where she told you just how you made her feel. And that right there, would make it all, every effort ever, worth it. That was the day I learnt a very valuable lesson, that in every love story there will always be a ‘finder’ and a ‘loser’, and you can only hope that you are always finding something in the relationship and so is she because the moment you are still finding and she begins to lose you, well, that is where many an unfortunate love story seems to end. But never completely and truly the way it should.
Along my journey of falling in and out of love, I have done a lot of ‘finding’ and ‘losing’. I consider my most fortunate relationship as the one where we spent many years ‘finding’ each other, ‘losing’ each other on different laps of that journey but always clawing our way back. We were unbeatable and it seemed like we had it down to a method, that the only thing that would come between us would be us. And finally we did come in between each other, we tore down our walls of defiance and allowed a strange sense of calm to enter it and enveloped in this bubble, we discovered us ‘losing’ each other. Every second together was us ‘losing’ a bit of each other until the point there was nothing except this thick cloud of memories and nostalgia in front of us. I’m not sure who burst that cloud, but in one remarkable day, it was all gone. There was a hug and that was it. None of us will be sure of the velocity at which we moved past that day, but we know for sure that we ‘lost’ together and in the process created an end that was fitting to our beginning. In a moment we ‘found’ each other, in many separate and beautiful moments we loved each other and in one poignant moment we let it all go.
As life progressed and I began to discover layers to myself that I hadn’t known of, there were moments when the idea of love began to supersede all else in life. There were obvious pitfalls attached to it, amongst many; attachment, losing myself and a gradual erosion of things that mattered. While hind sight Is a tricky operator, in the moment it was really tough to see or measure some of these things and I think the positives of which there were so many that they began to cast a shadow so dark on the rest, that my mind refused to even ponder over these inconsistencies in my head. Love wasn’t anymore just about the ‘finding’ but it was also about the ‘finding’ in the ‘losing’. There would be moments where I would discover just how strongly one could feel about oneself after a fight, of how pure emotions of a relationship could weather you through some of the strongest storms otherwise in life. I could break down mountains at work and in life, just with the thought of spending time with her or a hug of comfort after breaking down aforementioned mountains. That was the power of love for me. It was all conquering in ways that I couldn’t imagine and maybe in it lay many obvious follies but for a guy who had for once been swept off his feet, this wasn’t something I ever had experienced before. And that’s where it begins to get a little murky for a fragile mind. It is at that point where the lines between the ‘finding’ and the ‘losing’ begin to intertwine. You would surely have had moments where you would feel such immense joy of being with someone that the thought of losing them cripples you and it makes you wonder, if anyone having such power over you is good. You question the fundamentals, but only sparingly because at the bottom of it all is this strong sense of having ‘found’ something so beautiful that you refuse to let it go. And sometimes you refuse to let it go long after it is ‘lost’.
All these years and many more instances of falling in and out of love or versions of that, make you wonder where you have gotten as a person. That somehow you feel you would have mastered yourself and your emotions and figured out that there is no line between the ‘finding’ and ‘losing’ and that so much of it resides so stubbornly in your head. You wish that you could carry around hindsight like an assistant on every journey of yours that leads down the path of love but you somehow cannot detach yourself from yourself and look at it objectively. Because the world will tell you that love mustn’t be looked at objectively, that we must allow ourselves to let go and never ever stop being the original version of ourselves that we have promised ourselves to be. That in every relationship there are after all two people, and if she cannot make you feel like you are constantly ‘finding’ her and not ‘losing’ yourself, then pray, what are you both doing?
Examining the truths of your love and the love you both share can sometimes expose realities about yourself that you are incapable of seeing while together, but imagine a time and a place where they two collide, where your self-awareness mixes with what you both share, where she ignites in you a need to be better, greater and happier. Where she doesn’t compel but propels you to be a good guy, scratch that, a great guy. Where she makes you feel everything you feel about her, like these mad threads that just seem to effortlessly string together. That in your greatest challenges she isn’t just a shoulder to cry or vent on but like that weapon that ensures you are up and fighting again. Where you both decide that you will together, quietly creep up on the world and conquer it in your own wildly chemical and endearing way. Where time spent or time away could feel the same because both are the building blocks of a timeless love story. And in ‘finding’ and ‘losing’ and in doing it all over again, you just never stop loving..
That’s it. That’s all I need, you need, we need.

Finding and Losing

Welcome Home

I have searched for this song for possibly the last two years. On and off, lesser known to me, this song was on this journey around the world to find me. And it finally did, thanks to a show destined to turn my life upside down and the absolutely awesome ‘Soundhound’.
So it’s simple, I need you to click the below link and play the song and then, let’s begin a rendition of the song in my head. Something happens to all of us when we hear a song that truly speaks to us. This is what happens to me..
Press Play and hear the song while you read this because that’s how it was written!

The Song

Of days when the rains were just another season, but then they became an outlet and today I stand at my window waiting for the sprinkles to hit my face. And that moment when they do.

Of running to my Mom as a child because I couldn’t run faster than my friends, because I couldn’t make friends, because I wanted to just be a part of something. Because I knew that maybe some day, when it all falls into place I won’t need to run back to her and that I could walk away from her knowing that she had my back while I tried to discover my world.
Of that time when I stood there, watched her go and didn’t try and stop her. Didn’t will her to turn, didn’t find all those words I seem to be good with to convince her. Of not wanting more from something possibly so eternal.
Of driving through washed streets of a city so new and alien to me. Not being sure if I could ever fit in, ever find my heart, ever lose my heart again, ever want to fit in, ever want to build a life. If I could get used to the smells and the sights and the people and their eyes and their dreams. And then of walking away from that city, just when it had opened its arms to me. And then driving through the same streets out of the city to never return as a son but only as a passer by.
Of wondering whether she closed the door or whether I let her close the door. Of closing the lift door, of opening the gate, of riding away, of speeding through the rain, of nearly riding past home, of making a promise to myself to never let myself go again. Of pledging layers of protection so dense that no one would pierce it again. That no one shall be allowed in. That chambers of hope shall be closed and replaced with a self belief so strong that it could be pierced only by true love or true hope or maybe if I am lucky, then a truly amazing human being. And that that person would surpass what I considered as love, affection, attraction or any of those myths.
Of finding a new city that was old. Of hoping to find its old glory along with my own old swagger. Of discovering people who changed my concept of reality and expectations of good, bad and beautiful. Of finding travel, new people and worlds far away from mine yet so close to my idea of how it should all be. Of being lost in streets miles away from home. But of thinking of only one person, far away, many miles away and wondering how she seemed to make her way in my head. Of looking and finding only her in every corner of every street and lonely dream of mine. Of buildings and monuments and moments of history calling out to me, but only showing me its beauty through her face. Of wondering what was really happening. Of finally not caring whether real answers, real love, real desperation, real longing, real anything..anything real exists. Of stopping to care.
Of finding her. Finding hope. Finding purpose. Finding your jokes, finding your swagger, finding reasons to run not to find pain but to discover another iota of her, finding why you are, finding that in her simplicity lies my answers to my need for complexity. Of knowing that doubt doesn’t need to cloud me anymore, of the confidence that comes from faith and belief in you and to see it in her eyes. Of knowing that she isn’t changing or judging or hoping for you to be someone else, that for once she is enveloped in you in a way that isn’t just physical, just emotional, just about love or attachment or an underlying need for comfort, that is maybe spiritual and that she helps you find your way through this maze you have been walking in and then you see her at the end of it and you know that this is you, you in all your glory and that all these years spent questioning and protecting yourself was just you running away from all that was good about you.
I have discovered my good. My hope. My eternal belief in myself and in the world again..
Welcome Home son..

Welcome Home

At War With Myself

My Love,
I am going to war. I did not intend to leave you this way but I need to go. I’m not going to pick a gun, fire a bullet or kill a man. I am not fighting for our freedom or the democratic rights of another country’s. Baby, I am going to war with myself. . .

It’s not that your love doesn’t matter to me. Actually it matters so much that I feel I need to do this. We aren’t growing apart, I am just finding my way back into your heart. I know all those times at all those get – togethers with our mutual friends, you weren’t looking longingly at the other couples and their overtly obvious bonhomie, but you were wondering what it would take to even fake such attachment. I know that ‘we’ weren’t a compromise to you, but at the same time I hadn’t infused you with hate but more horrifyingly I have left you indifferent. And that is why I am going to war with myself. Not to make myself worthy of you but to make a believer of myself out of me.

I am going to war with myself because I know there is more to me and even though you have tried hard to show it to me and have given up, I believe that every man has his journey of discovery and mine has been rotting in the back of my head fighting hard to escape. I am not escaping reality my love, I am embracing it. I do not intend to throw away the cigarettes and climb a mountain and look down from there waiting for an epiphany to suddenly hit me. You were my epiphany all this while and it just bloody hit me now. I am not running away to hurt myself into submission, no great designs of finding some weird peace in the middle of a jungle or a footpath in a small town. I am not planning to board a ship and sail away to a distant country and discover its people and culture and in the process find myself. I do not intend to Eat, Pray or Love myself out of this funk. Nor do I intend to reverse engineer myself to a place I think I belong to in my mind. I do not want to be the guy you want me to be too. I know that will be a great guy to be but I don’t want to be a great guy for you, I want to be the guy you respect and are ready to open up your deepest desires to. I don’t want to be the guy in your office who makes every one laugh or the guy at your gym who looks so fit or the guy at the super market who is so caring or any template of any man you have ever known. I want to be an original, a fucking limited edition and the kind of guy you find words hard to string together to describe. I am going to war with myself baby and you get ready for the backdraft. It may not be pretty but it promises to be glorious.

I am going to war with myself to define myself afresh. I think there are parts to my daily routine, the way I approach work, my colleagues, my boss, my coffee guy, the departmental store, the barber shop, the roads, the quiet alleys, the guy I pick up my smokes from, the DJ at that place we dance at, the bartender at that place we get drunk at, the mutual friends I like, the mutual friends I’ll push off a cliff, the books I read, the food I eat, the miles I run, the way I choose to have fun. None of it, and I mean none of it is going to change, because none of it is wrong. None of that needs re-defining or renovation. Nor do you or your expectations. You see, like every country that goes to war and every soldier it takes with it, they all walk in not to change destinies but to alter fundamental truths. And no truth can be changed by running away from reality. So I’m not running away anywhere my love and nor will I be hiding in plain sight. I will be right here, living this life, with you and everyone that makes it and change my fundamental truths one by one from a place I can see it and you can feel it.

That’s my promise my love. Now, I am going to war with myself. . .

At War With Myself