All these seasons inside of me.

One leaf at a time,
and just like that,
i have turned the page,
and let an entire season age.

Knowing the pattern,
i tuck fall in a corner,
pull a blanket over,
let it rest for a year.
Welcome June with a hug,
make space for it to stay,
reading one line a day,
enjoying what the new has to say.

One leaf at a time,
and just like that,
i have turned the page,
and let an entire season age.

Instagram handle – @words.and.other.comforts

Un-rushed moments.

Life’s beautiful paradox,
for when I start to slow down,
and breathe with intention,
an un-rushed pace,
inhale to a count of seven,
exhale to a count of eleven,
is when my body experiences,
the intense rush of calm,
and the mere awareness of being,
takes my heart on a giddy spin.

Instagram handle – @words.and.other.comforts

Elseworld 🌱

As all the worlds collide,

I offer you some quiet,

no promises, no words,

just silence that comforts.

Instagram handle – @words.and.other.comforts

The Alipore Post Poetry Month – Week 3

So, www.the.aliporepost.com (and it’s corresponding Instagram handle) is celebrating poetry writing this month.

We are three weeks down, 10 days to go 😊

Week 3 Prompts –

Day 15 Prompt – Need

There it goes again,

dancing in the rain,

ignorant of any pretense,

this need of mine,

messy and untamed.

I let it run wild,

gleefully naïve,

till the rains mix with tears,

uncontrollable and fierce.

When it comes home,

I give it a towel to dry,

both the rainwater and cry,

then I sit with my need,

not saying a word,

for it knows no logic,

and just needs a tight hug.

We sleep over the grief,

long and deep,

and I wake up to find,

a steadiness to my need.

We learn to live together,

without hurting each other.

now that we know us better,

there is no fighting the feeling,

rather we find joy in the very being,

and like long stable relationships,

settle into a beautiful rhythm.

So, there it goes again,

dancing in the rain,

still ignorant of any pretense,

this tamed need of mine now,

calm and contained. 

Day 16 Prompt – Favorite

I am surprised you even have to ask,
you will know her favorite,
every single time,
look a little closely,
and you will figure out,
it’s in the way she becomes quiet,
but her eyes get loud.

Day 17 Prompt – Love

Because love should need no words,
no definitions,
no spaces.
At it’s very basic,
it feels something like this ♥️

Day 18 Prompt – Burden

All these feelings,
he’s put aside,
screwed the cork tight,
so they don’t escape unknowingly,
and his world can sleep right.

Little does he know,
they’ve conspired together,
and sit building pressure,
till he won’t be able to,
hold them in any longer.

I wish I could tell him,
some of these were not his to begin with,
to uncork them free,
this burden he lugs around,
is not his to carry.

Day 19 Prompt – Meanwhile

Loud clinking of glasses,
fancy food platters,
lots of fake smiles,
overlapping chatter.

Meanwhile, no one notices,
as she grabs a wine bottle,
winks at her friend,
and they quietly slip out together.

Clutching firm their sarees,
they run out the side gate,
make a dash for their spot near the sea,
laughing all the way to their own party.

Day 20 Prompt – Bucket List

She looks at her bucket list,
makes a paper plane of it,
and lets it fly far,
the only tick that matters,
is the one she whispers close,
chai with her parents by end of the year.

Day 21 Prompt – Lost

That kind of hazy morning,
where I plug my airpods in,
amp up the volume high,
go through my music pile.

Make my choice,
a Coke Studio song,
seldom disappoints,
to drown out the noise,
both inside and around.

So while I continue jogging the usual way
I find my heart veer off and stray,
not to find some place to belong,
but to get lost in the glorious unknown.

Instagram handle – @words.and.other.comforts

Notes to 2020.

Death to 2020 @ Netflix was sheer sarcastic brilliance. Much like a lot of what I saw on social media this year was.  I laughed more than I should have, at both on-screen and off-screen drama and yes, am grateful that I had the comfort of a couch and some popcorn to up the entertainment quotient while some real shit was happening outside. Needless to say, none of it takes away from the seriousness of the curveball life threw at us this year and many others who weren’t as fortunate.

This was the year I saw activists emerge in full glory on social media. I still for one, can’t understand the logical reasoning behind all that aggressiveness. How is liking 20 tweets or posting 20 things of the same kind starting from a gentle nudge to hardcore accusations going to get people to even remotely listen to your perspective? Besides, what even is the point of just loud armchair activism? What am I missing here?

This was the year I saw trolls emerge with zero pretence whatsoever on social media. Being deliberately nasty at a time when people are just doing their best to get by on a day-to-day basis, you have got to be really twisted in your heart. I have no words for you.

However, this was also the year I saw kindness and quiet strength emerge in the way people coped with the shit-show around. Resilience won the day time and again.

Final words on 2020, because sometimes even we give in to the hype around writing notes to the year that was. No, 2020 was not a year of reset for me. It was the year I rested.

Halfway into the year I lost my job and while it was very disappointing initially, it gave way to a long due break. The first three months were spent in the sweetness of not knowing what I wanted to do next – from one hour to the next, one day to the next, one week to the next. I cooked, I baked, I went for long walks, I clicked photos of anything that caught my eye, I read books, I read blogs, I experimented with making cocktails, I learnt about wine, I shifted preferences to white wine, I read about my industry, I read about interesting people not from my industry, I watched loads of shows and movies, I wrote bits and pieces whenever I felt like. No agenda, no purpose but just pure zen and therapy. After close to 13 years of working our asses off, upskilling and networking could wait for a while.  I was even lucky enough to land a project for the next 3 months, one that pushed my boundaries of thinking, while still giving me the space to continue my other interests.

It was most definitely a year of feeling and expressing deep deep gratitude for all I have, especially family and close ones, and good health. Touch wood.

So, to wrap what has been an unusually fulfilling year personally, my top three’s:

  • Cooking and Baking – Momos (steamed, pan fried, soups), Patra (stuffed colocasia leaves), Focaccia (normal tomato, cherry tomato, heirloom tomato)
  • Books – Remnants of a Separation, Park Bench, Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed
  • Gen entertainment Shows – Salt Fat Acid Heat (Netflix), The Morning Show (Apple TV), Street Food Latin America (Netflix)
  • Movies – Little Women (Netflix), If Beale Street Could Talk (Netflix), Unpaused (Amazon Prime India)
  • Cringe Binge shows – Indian matchmaking (Netflix), The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives (Netflix), Emily in Paris (Netflix)
  • Blogs – A Cup of Jo, LaTonya Yvette, Apartment Therapy
  • Wines – L’etincelle Pays d’Herault (Chenin Blanc, France), Villa Loren (Amarone, Italy), Maria Camilla (primarily Sauvignon Blanc, Italy)
  • Homemade Cocktails – Negroni, Paloma, Sangria
  • Instagram handles – @words.and.other.comforts (shameless plug), @saffrontrail, @newyorkercartoons
  • Twitter handles – Sayantan Ghosh@sayantansunnyg, Pomp@APompliano, Wine Folly @WineFolly

On that note, 2020, we were okay. 2021, may the force be with you but for now, continue to wear a mask please 🙂

The Heart asks Pleasure First

Raw emotions, pages and pages of it…treated gently, treated wisely. This should feel heavy, with the imagery and the metaphors and the poetry. But it does not.

“A flight of yesterdays.”

Words definitely don’t do justice to the depth of everything i’ve just felt, overwhelming and a bit unnerving.

“To love. All kinds of it.”

Daya (mercy) and Aaftab (sun), their love too much to fit in a divided world.

“Now she wrapped up her dreams.

Now she folded them into a paper plane.

Now she aimed for the wastepaper basket.”

Then there’s Wasim (the brother) and Colin (the friend) and Asha (her mom) and Gyan (her dad).

“A pan of food critics.

A float of dancers.

A clutch of families.

We are all the same. Bones, muscle, souls, blood, shame, hate, joy.

Love.”

Read, it’s beautiful.

The Covid Life – Emotional Distance.

How do you do the long distance love? Parents, cousins, friends.

Yes, we do the video-calling and the normal calling and the whatsapp messages. But these are not ordinary times to just keep in touch in a passive detached way. Every thing seems to be tangled up in every thing. News, moods, love.

We consistently find the answer in everyday little things. Good mornings, breakfast photos, a call to say hi, lunch photos, a non-sensical joke forward, sharing a song i hummed all day, sunset photos, sending them reiki healing, daily game of ludo, analysis of the game, jibes over how dad’s always focused on killing us all, slightly heavy goodnights because none of us know how tomorrow will fare but we are hopeful.

It is a hell of a lot of work. Sensitivities are at peak and emotions are swinging like never before. Some days you tick all the boxes and arguments still break out but you don’t have the luxury to be upset for a whole day because none of us know how tomorrow will fare but yes, we are still hopeful.

Then we hunt for ways to keep the connection going in a purely mechanical way. Ludo comes in handy again. Play, kill, throw a six, start again. Hesitatingly share another dinner photo and hope you get a reply or even just an emoticon. Gauging cautiously, you make that call just to say goodnight and you sleep yet again with a slightly heavy heart because none of us know how tomorrow will fare but we are hopeful.

I read somewhere, ridiculous times like these call for ridiculous amounts of love. Yes please, love. Even when you feel like you can’t, LOVE. Baby steps 🙂

Wine happens.

So, our kitchen sink has a big leak, possibly water pipe broken and needs a plumber urgently. Here is how whatsapp conversation with husband (on his rare day working from office) went:

Me: so, he’ll fix it tomorrow?

Him: no, assuming wall needs to be broken, will take a few days

Me: my kitchen is a mess, he needs to find an immediate temp solution

Him: may not happen tomorrow

Me: this sucks, I may have wine

Him: nice (sarcastic nice), today is the 17th, may have wine

Him: today is Thursday, may have wine

Him: the sky is blue today, may have wine

Me: it’s my birthday month

Him: october is the follow-up to birthday month, may have wine

And, it went on. My partner in w(h)ine, he does not drink 🙂

The Covid Life – Balcony series.

This tiny strip of land we call balcony.

Home to our plants, our chai dates, deep conversations.

Our connection to the outside. Moving cars on the road providing some semblance of normalcy. Heavy downpours, lightning and cloud drama giving us company on otherwise lonely days.

Our comfort space to go to after petty arguments because living together 24 hrs also takes a toll some days. To shut the balcony door firmly. To go stare outside. The vast expanse of the sea providing comfort to the restless soul.

Our brief escape route from the day-to-day routine with the gorgeous sunrises, stunning sunsets and beautiful dusk settings.

Solace.

L.O.V.E. is a four letter word.

How many different kinds of love are there – someone asked me. Just the four-letter one, the simple me said. Infinite, the complicated me said.

The we don’t meet often but there’s an instant connect when we do kinda love.

The I’ll always have your back kinda love.

The you give me butterflies in my tummy kinda love.

The you swallow me whole, heart and soul kinda love.

The no words, only eyes kinda love.

The I need you right now kinda love.

The ping hi to say nothing else kinda love.

The no words, no eyes, only hands kinda love.

The lets sneak in a kiss kinda love.

The I’ll learn all about superheroes for you kinda love.

The 3am call kinda love.

The grow old together kinda love.

The I’ll give you my last saved piece of fries kinda love.

The 3am call, come over now and bring me ice-cream kinda love.

The sweet snuggle in on a rainy day kinda love.

The no one dare hurt you or I’ll taser them kinda love.

The I love you but I am too scared to admit it kinda love.

The I need to text you about every little thing kinda love.

The sit on the couch do nothing but toes, fingers, legs, hands curled with each other kinda love.

The possessive needy you are mine kinda love.

The calm secure I know you are mine kinda love.

The look in the mirror – I got you love, kinda love.

The just a four-letter word kinda L.O.V.E.

Shit! I am a strong independent woman.

My husband sent me this, as a joke. I responded with a lengthy piece on how the concept of an independent woman or a woman with feminist values is often misconstrued. Sorry to the husband but also thanks for getting me to re-start my blog.

Dear fellow men,

When I bring up a feministic/independent viewpoint, what I’m saying is not that “I am one of the boys” or that “Women are stronger” and I’m definitely not saying “I hate men”…unless you’ve given me a solid reason to dislike you…which would not change even if you were a woman.

Here’s what I am in fact saying:

  • I (we) do not need a man’s approval, just as much as I would not need another woman’s. However, when I do ask you, it is because I value your opinion and respect your feelings.
  • The actual words you are looking for is “gender parity” or “gender equality”, critical in areas where we put in equal effort e.g. similar kind of work. Also critical for basic human rights e.g. the right to vote, the right to education, etc.
  • I (we) like being pampered, doesn’t matter if it’s self-pampering or otherwise. Not because I’m dependent on someone or simply because I’m a woman but because everyone likes to be spoilt silly sometimes. Affection is very gender-neutral, wouldn’t you agree?!
  • A No is a No. It is about respecting boundaries and comfort levels. We do have a sense of humor but disrespect disguised as a joke is a No. There’s a difference.

Basically – “There are areas of expertise where men may be better than women and vice versa. That doesn’t make anyone of us any less equal. If anything, we complement each other. That being said, a No needs to be respected on both sides.”

If you feel anything otherwise, then that would be your assumption. Come talk, we can agree to disagree over a drink or coffee 🙂

Love,

P.S: These are my thoughts. Any resemblance or similarity to any other thoughts/actual events & situations is purely coincidental.

Home – the feeling of it.

I read a beautiful piece yesterday on how one is not 100% happy all the time. Rather joy or the utter feeling of it comes in moments and it’s these moments that stay with us a while. Here’s some moments that belong so completely to me, they are absolutely and wholly mine :o)

  • Waking up to the pitter patter of rain on my window…
  • Stealing 10 minutes of us-time with my hubby in the morning sipping Pudina chai , no words spoken…
  • Discovering $10 in the back pocket of my jeans…
  • Hubby surprising me by buying Coca Cola cos I have cooked Pav Bhaji and it is my absolute favorite combination :o)
  • Noticing another couple dunk their croissant in coffee in a fancy Paris café, I smile at my hubby and then we proceed to do the same…
  • Reading a Nora Roberts and thinking I am exactly like the female lead (prettiness and the works)…he he he…
  • Tipsy happy conversations around math and philosophy…after two glasses of wine…and the memories of it the next day :o)
  • Simple words of appreciation from my boss or a co-worker on work well done…
  • Discovering by fluke that the awesomest bagel shop in all of NYC was bang opposite our hotel…
  • The innocent toothless grin from my friend’s 2 yr old, especially while she clutches my hand…this one just topples my heart over :o)
  • Wearing matching Wonder Woman and Supey tees with the hubby to comic con…
  • Front row seats on the upper deck of a double decker bus roaming around the city, especially when it rains…
  • Rains!!!! Anytime of the day!!! Rains!!! I love rains, it washes out every little bit of low and negativity from my soul…
  • Co-incidences, the good ones, like when I am missing someone, and they ping Hi…
  • Hugs!!! I am big on hugs, not the sideway ones, the really big warm bear hugs that squash me with love…I can proudly say I have received some exceptional ones…
  • Seeing snow for the first time!! I will never forget that feeling! Ever!!
  • Exchanging knowing glances with a bestie, Oooooo…the secretive ones :o)
  • Having an aha! Moment where all the jumbled up, messed up thoughts just sort of fall in place, in a jiffy…
  • Super sweet and sugary icing on a cupcake…yum…
  • Pure unfiltered love in any form – a friend filling my wineglass with his own in the split second my hubby looks away, another one mussing up my hair in like a protective big brother way, cutiepie of a girlfriend massaging my head seeing me in severe sinus pain, another one pushing her hubby out of the room to sleep with me cos I used to be scared sleeping alone (ghosts!!!), an out-of-touch college friend pinging to say she misses our sitting-on-the-roof-with-a-faraway-look deep conversations, yet another sort of just-got-back-in-touch friend saying she will buy me organic natural soaps (I love!!!) from her trip to Morocco…this is an endless list…

These just fill my soul with waves of happiness and a sort of glowy contentment, like feeling immense joy, safety and love all at once, kind of like how I feel resting my head in my mum’s lap. That’s what these remind me of – Home, the feeling of it, in random places, with random people.

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