These days have been about masks and PPEs. All in an attempt to protect ourselves from an unknown (do we know it yet, really?) enemy. The way I see it, what came in handy with these masks is the fall of facades. There’s no compulsion to smile broadly, or acknowledge an acquaintance. Not even an attempt to hide a frown. The mask does it all for you. The ease of covering up all that you feel or forced to express. Does sound like a blessing in disguise, doesn’t it?
The above is a write-up from a while ago when Covid-19 was still ‘news’. Somehow, I was convinced to find a silver-lining even in those dark times (maybe not entirely silver – let’s settle with bronze!). Over the past few months, however, the wave of optimism died a slow painful death. Work was growing beyond acceptable limits, friends grew further away with almost no see and less talk – life was stalling in short. When all else fails, you turn to family. But for me, that also failed when they threw my fancy dinner suggestion out of the window. So yeah, New Year’s Eve is a complete flop. Rather, it almost was. And suddenly, it rained! And in that instant, everything changed for me. The drizzle, the fragrance of the earth and the gentle breeze! New year is always new hope, no matter how clichéd it may sound. Happy New Year! To new beginnings!
The transience of time,
The newness of each moment,
The lingering hope of each dream,
And a will to chase them all.
That’s what I wish for the year,
For you, for me, forever.
White gown and the lavender lillies,
The long trail and my flower girls.
The brown shade of drying mehendi,
And my own troupe of dancing gala.
The turmeric paste and the saffron bindi,
And my flowery garlands and the three knots.
The well-begun tale of my dreams,
And the ill-fated days that followed.
Says every men and women,
Embracing the halves that make them better.
Like yet another fly and its drawing to the light.
As I close my eyes today,
One more night steps in,
And one more day fades away.
As I let the darkness crawl on me,
One other memory hangs in there,
Eating a part of my soul, a part of myself.
As I struggle to die a short death,
One after the other, my eyes wake up,
Imagine and weave stories of horror.
As I lie there, the rooms close in,
One more nail on the coffin of my sleep,
Once again I welcome the drowsy Sun.
As I embrace the warmth and the shine,
One another time I feel defeated,
Under the spinning wheel, crushed, mauled.
Well, before you jump into conclusions there, it was not completely my dream. I liked the ‘weight’ of the title and still do. But the effort involved and the profile of a ‘civil servant’ job was not very convincing to me. The civil service dream was my dad’s, and never really mine. I distinctly remember us stepping out of the movie theatre after ‘Thanmathra’ – the emotional story of an Alzheimer’s patient whose entire life’s memory zeroed in on his desire to see his son being an IAS officer. As we stepped out, dad intently asked me if he’d have Alzheimer’s. The rest of the sentence was unsaid. Years later, now when I ask my dad if I’ve ever let him down, he’s quick to say how disappointed he is of my career choices. A dream he saw alone, through borrowed lenses perhaps.
P. S. Recently, talked to a friend about the triviality of our career paths, and alongside, we did talk about a schoolmate who pursued the ‘civil service dream’. Just putting it down here. 🙂
A plain usual Saturday. Like just any other day. But suddenly, it’s like one single day just changed lives for a couple of us. Being a regular working day, we should have been at college, celebrating our final ‘pookalam’ at college. Instead,three of my friends and me set off for an adventure. And so was it indeed. An amazing adventure, transcending our perspectives!
What after college was a very challenging question to each one of us. But now, we have something at a distance to point at. Inspired by innovations and ignited by the spirit of a group entrepreneurs, our paths are lit brighter than ever. Venturing into something different, thinking out of the box, and actually working for it, is no longer a distant dream. Seeing people of same wavelength, with similar aspirations and interests, the enthusiasm has touched a record high! We met people. Few of them like us. Few of them better than us. And most of them, nowhere near any comparison benchmark. We made contacts. We got exposed. And that’s uber exciting. To quote an incident that marked the gravity of the event in my brains. The speaker asked, “Have you heard of *so and so*?”. And my instant response, “Hey isn’t that *xyz*’s seminar topic in class?”. Letting the speaker complete his words, I got to know that I was in the same room as someone else who actually works hands-on on *so and so* in real life! And that was the master blow, about where I was then! We see people who talk about things others do. And we also see people who act upon things and make others talk about their acts!
Now the question is simpler. What do you want to be? Talking? Or acting? The dream is still distant. And the hurdles are still strong. But the passion is stronger. No matter the distance, no matter the obstacles. There’s always a chance we might make it. A faint little chance. A chance worth striving for. And that’s the passion we gained. On a plain simple Saturday.
I always wanted to be an editor. An editor of something. The newspaper editor we see in movies, who make controversial story appear in their daily, and contribute in the making of a socially aware society! (Like Murali in the movie Pathram!). Or the magazine editors who cover interesting features and meet so many people, for every edition of theirs! Like my cousin Rekha. I wanted to be something near an editor at least. I wanted to read and filter what others might write. I want to make my own comments in the editorial, and still get people to read it. And on one awesome day, my English teacher asks me for an editorial for the school magazine! All the while, I was one of the two student editors who didn’t know what we were actually doing with the magazine. Coz, we never saw a single article in the magazine before its publication. And even to get a copy of the magazine, of which I was an editor, I had to pre-order with juniors and wait for, coz by the time of the magazine release, I was already out of school. That was one unfortunate editor experience, except for the joy, for God knows what, that I saw my name against the title ‘Student Editors’! The fellow editor also blogs somewhere here, but she is yet to grant permission to bring her out in public. Hope she does, at least after reading this.
So by ending up with a professional course, I almost fully bundled up my ‘editor dreams’ and was facing reality with a smile! And then came my second year of college, with a college magazine boom! So I hope, I work here now, and may be someday I can at least get into the editorial board of it! And guess what, I just back off and sit at home, teaching myself to forget about all magazines! I re bundled my ‘aspirations’, for which I never worked for. Yet again, the time came once again when I could unravel my bundled up desire! But not anymore, for I now realised final years are never gonna be editors, by University norms, and I have less than 2 months in my pre-final year! 😛
Need I say more!