Silence 

We sat in silence for the longest time. The comfortable kind, where nothing needs to be said. Words, in that realm of love and understanding often fall short in their service. And nothing had to be said really. It was a moment that an artist couldn’t capture, a musician couldn’t sing about yet here I am trying to immortalise it. To everyone else we were two people sitting there but I was so much more than that. Something only we knew about. Or probably just me, I question my judgement of the world sometimes. I give the world way too much credit than it deserves. The people mostly. I don’t know why.
“What do you want?” She asked, breaking my chain of thoughts.

“Me? I want what anyone wants.”

“And what’s that?”

“I want to wake up next to the love of my life every single day. Nothing else will do.”

“And who is she?”
I smiled, she smiled with me. To the world we were just two people sitting there but it was so much more than that. Something only we knew about. The silence returned surrounding us like a warm blanket. Nothing needed to be said. Words, often fall short in their service.

My time has come

I sense that i have a trigger for my cravings to writes. It isn’t good though. Every time i am upset or sad about something it automatically triggers these thoughts and ideas that come to me and i reach out for my laptop ready to write. Even during ungodly hours, such as right now.

I’ve been home for 6 months. My extended study leave nears its completion and I can’t really understand how to feel. It is always a big change whenever i have to uproot myself from one location to the other and doing that after a period of 6 months at home seems like a daunting challenge as of now. I know all of this is built up in my head and i have done thing enough times to have confidence in myself that when the moment comes, I will deal with the situation. This transition period is the toughest. When you know it is inevitable but there is still enough time left to not worry about it.

I’ve had some of the best times of my life during this tenure. Things i will remember for my entire life and secrets i will take with me to my grave. It hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies however. While at sea i am completely distant and cut off from the realities of life here on land. Yeah, one gets to hear the news and the important stuff usually finds its way to social media somehow. But these intricate details about personal daily lives never leave the shores. The fact that everyone wants to kill each other and torture each other mentally does not reach you. People’s opinions and the things they say about each other dont make it all the way to me. Six months is a long time to get into the root of the matter and see the ugliness inside each and everyone first hand. It is a rude awakening.

I had thought that i would dread the day i leave but that isnt the case. I want nothing to do with this path of self destruction everyone seems to be on. I am fine living far away living in oblivion and ignorance. I usually get anxious as the day draws closer but this time i feel nothing. And for once, i welcome the nothingness back into my life. I want to feel nothing, i want to worry about nothing and i want to be around nothing. This might just be the first time i welcome a departure. Because the past 6 months have been good and bad and great and a disaster; all at the same time. And i have had the chance to witness and examine the living fibre among the people around me and it is devoid of any logic or reasoning. I find it to be blind and self-centred. I find it to be weak and unforgiving. I find it to be lost and uncertain. But most of all i find it to be confused and afraid.

And it is this staunch inertia that makes all of this a lost cause. It ruins everything. And i for one am exhausted being the voice of reason around here, fighting a battle that i was never going to win in the first place.

I hear the sea calling out to me. It asks me to return. And i return to seek comfort in the warm of her company and tell her all about my travels. My time has come. Soon, we shall reunite.

New rules of the road. 

After spending a fairly large amount of time on Indian roads, covering vast distances, I have come to the conclusion that the existing rules are just not good enough to keep driving a fun and pleasurable experience. I have therefore come up with new rules that shall apply effective immediately. 
1. To the people who change lanes without using their indicators. 
If you have decided to change lanes without informing the person behind you and you think it is his obligation to make way for your fat incompetent ass then he has the right to paintball your car at the next signal till the lights turn green again. Either give a timely indication of your intentions or get paint balled. 
2. To the people who decide they must get off right there and then in the middle of the road. 
Dear rich fat ungrateful clowns. You are the centre of the universe. And so is your car. And it’s in everyone’s way. While others may not have the time to step out of the car mid traffic and take their own sweet time with the bazillion bags you have, it’s great that you do. Good for you I say. But I say if you have the absence of common sense to block everyone else, then I say the people you’ve kept waiting should have the right to take your car and park it inside the nearest dumpster. 
3. To the people who absolutely have to speak on their phones while driving. 
It’s simple really. If you aren’t successful enough to get a hands free device, or an aux cable or a car that supports Bluetooth connectivity, I’m sure no one important enough is calling you. So hang up your damn phone or the people you endanger have the right to drive over your phone as many times as they want till it no longer looks like a phone. 
4. Fender benders that have to be settled right there and then. 
Someone bumped into you eh? Aww. I understand. I get why you have to get out of your car mid traffic and discuss the what’s, where’s, why’s and how’s of the incident and ruining everyone’s day with yours. I mean I get it. It’s important that you discuss everything from global warming to corruption right there and then till an absolute solution is found to every single problem known to mankind. Or you act like a civilised person and pull over to the side. Ask the other person for the number of his insurance company and you both drive away in silence. If however you decide civilised ways aren’t your thing and blocking everyone’s way is the right way to proceed, then everyone stopped in his tracks has the right to fill your car’s backseat with horse manure. 
5. DJs on the roads. 
Good day young music enthusiast. Pleasant day isn’t it to blare Honey Singh songs from your car with the windows down showcasing your illiteracy to the world? It sure is. And two thumbs up to you sir for that. However if you have the right to make me endure your insufferable music, you have to endure my drunken karaoke songs for an entire night. And I really nail the high parts when I’m drunk and singing. No I don’t. 
6. Burning cigarettes. 
Hello there wannabe Bollywood super idiot. A brief introduction into fire safety. Hot things on fire set other things on fire. I know it’s unfair but that’s how nature works baby. I know, I know. You no longer get to flick your cigarette butt outside the window without giving a damn anymore. I know that sucks. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll make you an offer. If you somehow manage to burn something down, we get to burn off your eyebrows. Sounds fair? I think that’s fair. 
7. One man’s wrong way is another man’s highway. 
It gets confusing sometimes. I mean all roads look exactly the same right? How is one supposed to know which side is right? I mean it’s not like they have road signs or pretty much all the cars and trucks heading in one direction. I mean how is one supposed to know? It’s just impossible. I’ll tell you what. If you can’t tell which way the road leads I’m sure you can’t tell your ass from your face. So how’s this. If you decide to drive in the wrong side of the road, you get to wear your trousers over your head and your shirt around your waist. That’ll give you a good lesson on what goes where. 
8. Captain high beam. 
Yes captain, I saw you coming from a million light years away. Your xenon headlamps are a thing of beauty and I would gladly be blinded by them every night if it weren’t for the fact that I am in fact driving a car too. If you decide to drive in high beam all the time, we get to decide when you fall asleep. People will take turns to keep throwing water in your face every time you feel sleepy. That’s pretty much what your damn high beams do. So it’s only fair. 
9. Oh no! I missed the turn. I’ll just reverse and be a pain in the ass. 
Yup this ones for you. Pointing in the right direction but reversing still counts as going in the wrong way. One road can only be used to proceed in one general direction and reversing doesn’t count. Missed a turn? Too bad. Unless you are literally dying, you may not reverse unto the turn and be a pain in the ass to everyone else obeying the rules. Drive away and come back after a U-turn or find a different road. It’s not rocket science. If however you decide to do that anyway, everyone else gets to mount your car seats backwards so you understand the concept of backwards and forwards. 
10. I’ll just be a minute. 
Can’t find parking? Only a 5 minute job? Sure. Just park on the road itself. I mean it’s just 5 minutes right? I’m sure no one will mind. I mean it’s just 5 minutes. Yeah. Your 5 minute parking job leads to a jam that takes hours to clear. So here’s the deal. Either park in a proper place or we get to pick up your car and park it for you in the Yamuna. Ample parking space there. It’s fantastic. 
11. Captain death wish. 
Life is hard. I understand why you would drive like a maniac. Frustrations getting to you. Love life in a fix. I understand. However if you have no obligation to your own safety, others don’t have the obligation to save your life either. However I would request you to die elsewhere. Cleaning up your blood spatter from my front bumper is such a hassle. 

I mean come on people. We live in the capital of our country and the driving sense is just abysmal. Keep your wits about and look around you. Driving isn’t supposed to be this stressful really. This is killing the whole driving experience and soon enough you’ll end up killing yourself or someone else too with your ridiculous driving. Let’s make an effort and drive better. Like civilised people. 

Relationships 101

Relationships aren’t difficult. Contrary to popular opinions, they can be quite fulfilling and not at all stressful. Times have changed and the latest trend of divorces and break ups saddens me. I think somehow the idea of dating and being together has been poisoned by various sources. I however think that relationships are easy. Being with someone you like is not supposed to be difficult at all. Listed below are a few points worth considering for all you young and confused couples.

1. Communicate.

I cannot stress this enough. It is pretty much the backbone, the sustenance of every relationship. I believe anything can be worked out and everything can be fixed. It may sound naïve but it isn’t. Communication in a relationship is essential and it has to be a two way street. Even the little things matter. That brings you closer. By opening up yourself you welcome your partner into your world and make him feel welcome. Shutting the door and dealing with your issues in private may work for you but the other person feels that he isn’t involved. Talk about everything, share thoughts and talk as much as you can. This is a person you want to be with. So why not? It has become a trend that the two people involved spend more time among their own friends and barely meet each other without company. While personal space is imperative, living two separate lives in my opinion can start the process of corroding your relationship. Talking about things does not make you weak, it makes you human.

2. Honesty.

Is the best policy. Rightly said. This again goes hand in hand with communication. In the long run honesty always reaps it’s rewards. Lies eventually catch up to a person and the damage done by then is tenfold. Be honest and explain your point of view without losing your temper.

3. Indulge.

Everyone has different quirks and tendencies. Things they like to do, the way they react in circumstances. Like for instance men would enjoy a football game on a weekend. Women for instance would want to go for a movie or maybe window shop somewhere. No I get that most women find football as dreary as it gets and men would rather have their fingernails pulled out before they go through an agonising process of shopping for stuff that will eventually be rejected. But I advise you to indulge. Take a step into their world and be a part of their life the way they live it. It goes a long way. Trust me

4. Compromise.

Goes without saying. Opinions will conflict and you can stand your ground and fight till the end of the world. Or you can make a compromise and give in every now and then. Also works best when it is a two way street. There are no winners or losers in relationships. There are only good times and bad times. And you get to decide what time it is. Take your pick.

5. Understand.

Understand that your partner is a different being. He/she are bound to have different ideas about pretty much everything. They are not there to compliment your behavior or be your twin. Everyone is different. So live and let live. Understand that there are things that they will do or want to do in a manner that only they understand. And that’s okay. Understand that they exist too.

6. Reactions.

The outcome of life can be changed by how you react to situations and circumstances. I believe the true identity of a person lies in the way they react. They either want to talk about it, go inside a shell, get angry and storm off or stand their ground and raise hell. Before you react try and understand the meaning behind what was said and what has happened. This would’ve come from a person who loves you and means no harm. Accidentally he may have hurt you but understand that it was probably not intentional. An analysis of a reaction is important. Saying things in anger that further damage everything is meaningless.

7. Simplify.

Things aren’t supposed to be complicated. It’s easy. Just simplify. Take out the complication out of the equation and just be. A simple long walk or holding your hand while watching a movie or something communicates a thousand words without actually saying anything. It works brilliantly. Human beings hate complications and it takes two to  uncomplicate.

8. Isolate issues.

The things that have become a problem have to be isolated from the rest of the world and external influences. Another person may have a different understanding of the matter and may provide a judgement that would be invalid yet influential. Marriages often break after parents get involved in little matters that can be sorted out between the people  involved. If things cannot be sorted right away, stick a pin in it and discuss later. Blowing your trumpet about your relationship problems make it worse. A lot lot worse.

9. Complacency.

This comes a lot later. But it is lethal. You start taking things for granted. You start taking the other person for granted. You stop dressing up smartly, you stop being romantic, sex becomes monotonous and everything turns blah. But it doesn’t have to. This can be cured even if one of them makes an effort. Go on fancy dates, long vacations, late night movies even when you’re 70 years old. You will have fun and so will your partner. Satisfaction guaranteed.

10. Fight for it.

Its not easy but more often than not it is worth fighting for. Keep it alive and remember that everything can be fixed. Fight till the end and fight with all your might to keep it alive. Rolling over and letting it die is easy but it brings in a world of hurt and regret. Destroying anything is relatively easier than building something from scratch. And something that you’ve built together for so long must be preserved and fought for. Even if you have to fight with each other. Whatever you do, don’t let go.

This instant.

I prefer the nights,
Over days
Any day.
Even here
At sea.
Where even the night
Feels as alive
As day.
I lay awake
Without a thought
Without a sound.
I lay still,
As a witness.
Watching my restless soul
And wandering mind
Reunite.
In peace,
Without a sound
And the rest of the world
Is dead to me
This instant.

We made it.

I’ve taken many many photographs over the course of my life. Not a big fan of photography myself but somehow I end up in a lot of them. As time passes the relevance of these photos reduces in my life. And I delete them for various reasons. I can divide my life into sections or era’s if I’m being too dramatic. And various era’s have given me a lot of photographs. At one point or another each photo meant a lot to me but as time passed I kept letting them go. There’s no point holding on to something or someone you want to forget. A bad memory or something that you just want to move away from permanently.
One such era of my life were my college years. Or should I say academy years. I have taken and collected hundreds of photos from those days and I have not deleted even a single one. It was a different time. It’s not something I remember fondly though. I mean college was fine, it wasn’t great and it wasn’t bad either. I was hated universally for various reasons. People thought I was a weird loner with an attitude problem. For the first few years I hung around in various groups looking for acceptance and companions. But even though some were nice enough to let me hang around, I didn’t feel welcome. I realised there would be no difference if I wasn’t here. Around the second year I started hanging with these guys from class. It was then that I had I had my own group. We had our own little world and I now have tons of pictures with these guys. I’m in touch with all of them and I would say they know me inside out. And that’s a lot coming from me because I am a very private person.
It was a different time then. We had no money, we had the bare minimum education from college and we still felt like kings. Scrambled for money to pay for meals and to buy phone cards to talk to moody girlfriends. Shore leaves to the city by bus and returning just in time to make the evening head count. The nauseating exam tension and the burden to study yourself and teach your friends too. Pictures of us playing football, entering malls, checking out women, smoking cigarettes, waiting for the bus, sitting in class, watching a movie, chilling in our rooms. It’s all there.
Most of these guys are now married. Some with children. I cannot imagine such lunatics being fathers. It is hilarious to picture them with kids. Some of them have left sailing and have joined other professions. Some have sadly died too. When I look back at these guys and I look at myself from back then, I cannot even begin to describe how difficult it has been for all of us. I’ve been there for most of them and I know about every failure, heartbreak,tragedy that they have endured. I’ve had some of my own as well. But looking back to us, our gang, the 5 of us and a few others; I think I can say – we made it.
It’s not over yet but the worst part is over. They’ve all found love and happiness. They’ve all become a tiny bit fat, including me. The conversations are pretty much the same though. Although every now and then it drifts to something serious. But then we pound some beers and get back to normal. I couldn’t have asked for a better set of people to help me endure my college years. Everyone hated me, but I belonged to this group. It was my sanctuary. And after all these years it still is.
Even though my college years are some of the worst and some I intend to forget; these times, these people, these friends of mine make it unforgettable.

Inconvenience.

“Why not? Just do it. Do it and be done with it for good.”
“I don’t know,” I replied. “It’ll be a terrible inconvenience for everyone. ”
“Why do you care?” She said. “You’ll be dead. So why worry about that?”
“Yeah but still. I mean I wouldn’t want this burden on me. Why do it to someone else?”
“So what’s the plan then? Carry on like this?”
“I don’t see any other way. Plus a lot of people will be hurt in the process. ”
She raised an eyebrow.
“Okay maybe not a lot of people. A few. ” I said.
“You know they should use people like you for expeditions into the unknown universe. People who have given up and have nothing to lose. Plus they’re too damn sweet to die and become an inconvenience for others.”
I nodded. “That I would do gladly. And when I die there they can just eject me into open space. I don’t think that would be a really big inconvenience.”
“No I suppose not. I think that’s how they dispose garbage in space. In the end it all collects on Mars. Mars now has the second largest garbage dump in the world.”
I laughed. “You say the weirdest things.”
“You started it,” she smiled.