Another episode with my (fictional) grandpa (i.e., myself) where I’m worried about how to fit in all the variety of dishes available at a dinner party buffet in my single, limited spaced plate…
I was on an unknown dinner party with people my family knew. I hated to meet those people as none of them really cared about my presence but still all of then would definitely ask me a series of question, almost predictable series, which I hate to answer.
So, I skipped through all the introduction and socializing hush-bush, and directly went for the reason I went there – dinner. I don’t really remember the occasion for which party was organized.
I was skipping through the tiles, jumping on the pattern, while ignoring all the people I’d bump into. I had hoped that they would just ignore me, consider me a psycho and would avoid talking to me. And till now, it had worked.
But then, my own Grandpa came to me and expressed a desire to talk.
Over the dinner, we talked about random topics from my life and he gave me advices in each one of them. I don’t actually remember any of those as they were not practical. They required me to be active, strong minded and willing to perform in my life, which was exactly the opposite kinda guy of what the school had made out of me.
The dinner was being served by the caterers and often a well-dressed waiter would come up and serve my plate with things that I didn’t want. Before I could say anything, he would just throw it all onto my plate. And then I’d be left staring at those things, thinking where to hide all this stash…
My Grandpa said “What happened, son? You look weird today… Not liking the food, are we?”
Me: *Shaking my head* “Nah… Nothing… No problem. I’m… I’m fine.”
“You don’t look like that, definitely…” And Grandpa resumed his dinner.
After a while, another waiter came and put things in my plate, and it was too late when I noticed that. He had already left.
“Would you mind? I hope not…” Grandpa said while putting a few bites from his plate to mine.
I shouted “No! I DO mind! My plate’s already full and you pushing things off your plate to me! No way I’m gonna complete this plate!”
Grandpa simply smiled.
I couldn’t bear it any longer and asked “Come on… Speak!”
Grandpa spoke with a bigger smile “Why is your plate full?”
“Because that waiter is serving out things without first confirming with me…”
“No.” Grandpa snapped in between.
“Yes! You look… Just in a minute. He’ll come back and put things in my plate without asking me anything! He’s just…” I tried to explain myself, rather poorly.
“You can always say ‘NO’… But for that you’d require to pay attention for his arrival” Grandpa explained.
He went on “Look son… In life, we are often bombarded with work, responsibilities and expectations. And sometimes, we feel that we are being pounded at from all the directions and that we cannot take it any longer. We wanna quit, we wanna leave the plate half-eaten. But that’s when you should understand – we can always foresee those servings and can always be ready to say NO to them.”
I looked at him, mouth half-opened. He found way of giving me life advice even at this diner!!
“But what if I couldn’t foresee the serving, and am left with extra food on my plate?” having a habit to argue at every point, I gave a poor defensive tilt.
Grandpa looked at me for a while and said “Is your plate really full then?”
Our dinner was complete, mine was a mess, but I had better things to do. I had to think upon my conversation with Grandpa, first of all understand what he meant by that last remark, and then use it in my daily life, where I always think that I am being barraged by tasks and that my plate is always full.
P.s.: Do tell if you happen to understand my grandpa’s advice…
An essay on my friend, loneliness, who cares for me enough that it agrees to lets me go, and whom I love enough to not accept to let go.
Our favorite topic for essay writing as a child used to be ‘My Best Friend’. No other topic used to appeal us that much as this particular topic, as we could just write what we felt instead of searching for words. We used to write all the things we could remember about that one person, nonetheless that might be a very few things to remember at that time.
As a child, I did not have that privilege of having a best friend. Whenever such a topic was tossed at me, I used to choose other options instead. And the word barely made any sense to me. Even now, I do not understand the superlative degree assigned to it. ‘Best’ means better than ‘better’, and even better than ‘good’. Superlative degree implies that it tends to stay highest in the category. But then superlative also means ‘exaggeration’, which made me wonder – is ‘Best friend’ an overinflated relation in our life?
Anyway, leaving the language disarray aside, in my childhood, I used to write this essay on my friend, Loneliness.
Loneliness has been the only constant thing in my life since childhood. It has been there with me in good times and in bad times. It tried to sneak away from the back door once or twice, allowing someone to swoop in into my life. But somehow in the end, things always led us to be together. And to be honest, I liked being with it.
Unlike my endeavors with other ‘Best friends’, our relationship has stayed intact after having sailed through the tough times that any relationship passes through. It allowed me to reorganize my life after the mayhem the storm left. It stayed, holding hands with me, when I needed it the most.
Apart from the mutual feeling of belongingness for each other, we shared a lot of common things – me and loneliness. It had two faces – one where it spread gloom and dismay wherever it went, and the other where it spread the light of hope and jump-started the brain to work towards betterment. I had similar bipolar symptoms. I used to be utmost boring at times, converting even the most happening event an excuse of melancholy And at times, the spark in me could light up a dull and regretful talk into a happening, fun ride.
We were great together. And I had always found peace while being with it. But recently, I thing something has jinxed our relationship. The sparking part of our relationship has dried out and we spend most of our time in quiet. Something’s not right about it, something’s missing – it keeps on saying to me. It keeps on looking outside the window, waiting for something to happen. And I wonder what wrong did I do to it, what mistake did I make, how did I hurt it, that even the loneliness is seeking to leave me!
I asked it what could I do to make it feel better, to bring back the spark between us, just like the good-old-times. But it doesn’t answer my question. It never did. It has always been like that, keeping to itself, peaceful. But somehow, things had always worked out between us. We both used to communicate despite our persistent silence. But now, I speak and I wish it spoke back to me. I wish it would tell me the reason before the final moment of dismay.
As this is how it has always been. This is how my life always turns up after a long story, not a happy ending. And I have always marked it as a beginning of another chapter instead of an end of the story. But without my best friend, without loneliness, and without anyone else being there for my support, I wonder how things will turn out…
A series of stories of a bird who leaves his parents’ nest and moves on to live his life in his own way.
After leaving the house of his parents, the bird had set foot in the world of opportunities, which could both help him fly high or dump him right on the ground. While juggling his world with arranging his new nest and the new life, the bird feels the need of a companion, for the first time.
Previous posts under this series:
He had just returned from his morning flight. He loved flying over the town in the morning, just when the first ray of light touched the highest trees on the ground. All other birds would wake up after the sun was up enough to splash its sunlight on the ground. By that time, he used to make his trip.
He felt something he couldn’t explain in words, when the morning cold breeze and the new-born sunlight used to touch his feathers. He would just close his eyes, spread his wings fully apart and just go with the wind. And when he reached the end of his town, he would open his eyes and see the naked beauty of the sun, no buildings or man-made aesthetics to blur its beauty.
He cleaned his nest with a flap of his huge wings and settled back the twigs for the next night. Soon it will be time for going for the morning ritual – food, work, food, work and food, before it would be time for taking rest again. He watched other birds in the nearby nests. They had started to wake up.
He loved watching them wake up. It was half the reason for his early rise from his sleep. The birds around his nest used to wake each other up. Those staying alone used to show off their place and strength, in order to attract females and keep other males at bay. While some notorious ones used to invade other’s privacy by flying into other’s marked spaces. And it was just seconds that a fight would start between the owner and the encroacher.
But he didn’t like watching all that. He enjoyed watching the couples wake-up. It was an amazing sight, funny sometimes, and adorable too. One of them would wake-up and slowly caress, gently stroke the other’s head with its beak. The other would slowly open its eyes and the first thing it will see in the morning would be the his love in the eyes of its loved one. And then they would entwine themselves in the rickety ride of beak-lock, entangling their beaks and pushing each other up and down.
Gross! It used to be his first reaction to such acts of other birds. Rumbling inside other’s beak without the morning gargle! But then he felt something else too watching them. His heart used to slow down watching the scene. And a strange crunch would start out of nowhere in his stomach. Probably, he missed all this in his life.
During the day, he would think about how his life would be like if he also had a companion in his life. His early months after he left the house of his parents were hard. And he felt this dire need of being with someone. But he always pushed away those feelings thinking that he had to make his life first, and this was only temporary reaction of his mind upon leaving his parents. But then, those thoughts never stopped after more than a year from that time now.
He had met several people on his way to this town, before he finally settled at his current space in the corner of the balcony of an abandoned man-house. But none of them made him feel weak at heart. None of them were compatible to him. And he moved on easily from all the occasional beak-locks and making out times with some, he didn’t care enough to remember. But he was waiting for someone whom he would never let go. And that made him feel incomplete everyday.
In the evening, when he would return from his long flight of searching for food, having fought several fights with some annoying birds on the way, and finding his purpose of life, living his dreams, he would see the sunset, alone. He would sit on the chimney of the house, and watch the sun burn the last rays of light. He would extend his wings to touch the light as it would slowly rise towards the sky, leaving the ground to embrace the darkness and wait for another day, another morning when they will meet again. Although the sunset is always beautiful, he would feel low at heart having to watch it without someone by his side.
At night, he would arrange his extra twigs to form a structure of another bird, a portion around his side, and would close his eyes, letting his feathers feel the touch of another warm being, imaginary companion by his side. It was the only time during the day, other than the morning escapes, when he would actually smile without a reason…
After-all, the truth was harsh and he knew it. Life wasn’t all generous all the time. He understood he had to accept how things were in his case. Due to his nature, no one was ever gonna be with him forever. He wouldn’t let that happen…
An epilogue on my encounter with a butterfly, symbolizing a lost opportunity, or a deemed opportunity, may be a false perception… Taking a permanent place in my dreams.
The water molecules were colliding with each other. The electricity in the clouds charged up the molecules and after continuous colliding, a drop of water was formed from all the vapour collected in the clouds. That drop was carried in the clouds in the form of semi-liquid vapour and when the clouds could no longer hold on to the water drop, and the wind couldn’t carry the clouds further, the drop bade goodbye to the clouds and left out on a long journey to meet its mother earth…
On the earth, there was a creature resting on a flower-bed. It woke up and flapped its wings up and down to welcome the beautiful morning. The creature was a beautiful butterfly…
Just when the butterfly got up from its flower-bed, the drop that was falling from the sky fell on its wings with a splash and few tiny drops from the whole drop flew on to the butterfly and watered its face. The butterfly turned its face away from it in surprise and then smiled at the nature’s Good Morning Wish…
The butterfly got up and took a high flight in the sky. It felt the sky, the wind, the sun and the environment. It was so fresh and overwhelmingly beautiful. As the butterfly cherished the nature’s gifts in its way, other creatures on earth enjoyed watching the butterfly! One among those creature was a me…
I was watching the butterfly so keenly that I forgot all my time and commitments. It flew just by me not even noticing me, may be noticing but not making any difference… It was all lost in its own world! It was enjoying the nature and the environment; frequently stopping by other places that it might have been attracted to. I was jealous…
I tried to move closure to it. I wanted to see it closely. I wanted to hold it in my hands, not to trap but to show it my affection. I tried several times, but my efforts were wasted. As it didn’t trust me and found me just like other humans who wanted nothing but to trap it and put it in a box. It couldn’t see my feelings so it just started flying away from me.
I sensed that it was no use trying too much towards the butterfly, because I knew that it was way far my reach. But still, my heart thumped for its beauty, I could never stop admiring it. In a way, it won’t see me gazing at it…
After some time, as I had gone into a complete motion-less posture, it came close to me… May be it didn’t see me or may be it wanted to play with me more and taunt me that it was not within my reach… Or may be it felt my emotions and was considering befriending me… ‘May be’s were many. But I ignored all my instincts and gave it its space. Not to mention that my eyes always found ways to take little glimpses of that beautiful creation of nature and give an image to my retina with an instruction to make a permanent portrait of it in my mind…
The beauty of its wings and the amazing contouring design swept me from my feet. I had seen nothing like this in my whole life. The shape it had and the patterns on its wings, its big black eyes and those two hairy antennas – were all so amazingly stunning! I again started to try running behind it. But soon as I tried, it swiftly and elegantly went far from me.
I sat down in disappointment. I consoled myself that it was just a butterfly. And I would see many such butterflies in my life…
At night, I closed my eyes, thinking may be get some sleep tonight. As soon as I closed my eyes, I saw vivid colors forming different patterns and different designs, all a stunning blend of colors and shapes turning into its face, its body, its way of flying, and everything about it.
The color patterns that were forming due to a sudden change in light in the room, were a delight for my eyes. I enjoyed making them, watching them. It continued for a while then slowly the saturation started dropping. The colors were now blurred and less bright from how they had started to be. Then slowly the darkness overpowered them…
As the darkness grew over the colors, the patterns formed a ‘B’ like shape and just them the ‘B’ shape cloned itself into a reverse ‘B’ shape. Both the ‘B’ shapes merged and formed a big oval-like shape, filled with beautiful color patterns. A thin line, cutting the oval in equal half, started to grow bigger and the two sides of the ovals started moving in a carousel way…
All of the Phosphenes and Entoptic Hallucinations that I was seeing were nothing but the beautiful structure of the butterfly! I dared not to open my eyes and face the darkness surrounding me…
I hope that some day, the butterfly will come stay with me. I wish to see that butterfly, forever, by my side! (I went to sleep with that wish, as that’s the only place my wishes come true…)
Life is a journey with many destinations. Some destinations make us happy while others don’t. And there’s always a cycle of happy and sad destinations. It is for us to decide where to stay a little longer. But one thing is for sure, we will have to leave every destination in some time.
Then why does the time happiness stays in our life look very small compared to the time sadness creeps in?
On a particular morning, I woke up filled with boredom, resistance to wake-up and live another day of nothingness at office, and self-loath for this melancholic feeling. Then I decided to get ready a little quickly and go for a ride. With the turning off of the engine, the silence marks way for the sadness to crawl in again.
A long, lone, silent drive lifted up my spirit and I was willing again to fight the day, no matter how hard it might become.
Another morning, I woke up with similar somber tone of my mind. The tedium was like spikes growing up on insides of my mind, hurting every time I thought. I decided to cover it with freshness through watching some episodes of Friends, any random season. That series always lifted up my spirit, helped me turn happy, momentarily. Pressing the button to switch off the TV also turns open the door for sadness to come in, almost instantly.
Similar series of events happen just another night when I returned from a long boring day at home. I was unable to sleep as that meant waking up again the next morning and going over all of this again. But then I had to sleep, eventually. To make it more promising, I thought of listening to my favorite playlist. That always turned on the ‘happy switch’ in me. I slept peacefully, for almost few minutes of that night.
So then I thought about it, ‘bout happiness. It feels that happiness is momentary, temporary. It is fugitive, fleeting right out of us when we least expect it to. All the reasons for us to be happy, be them small or big enough to throw a party, they eventually turn sore and we tend to get sad again.
Sadness on the other hand is steady, unwavering. It has to come, it will come and we know it. It doesn’t scatter away due to a few moments of happiness, it stays – calm, patient, waiting – for happiness to pass, and then showing it’s slimy face again. We feel more sad after feeling a happiness, as now we miss it even more.
Sadness knows it that happiness makes us envy sadness more. And it takes all the gain our of happiness in our life by getting stronger and bolder.
Happiness is a kid. It doesn’t understand the schemes of sadness. It falls prey to the plots of trickery by sadness. It doesn’t keep relation with different lots of it and thus is weaker compared to sadness. It is able to drive away sadness almost instantly, but it is not able to mark a permanent place in our mind like that of sadness.
And whether we like it or not, happiness doesn’t care. It is too happy to think about sadness that follows happiness.
We, on the other hand, care. We think about it, sometimes too much, this post might be evident of it. We let sadness get stronger by thinking about it even in the moments of happiness. This we should avoid, debar strongly.
Although we know that sadness is going to come, now or in some time, we must not spoil our moments of happiness with it. When we are happy, we should only be happy and ignore the sadness just the way happiness does it.
But what can we do about the temporary nature of happiness? Can we do something about the sadness that always shows up like a rainbow after a rain? Can we do something to not let it in our lives once the happiness quotient drains out? Can we fight against it with the memories of happiness that we stash up in discreet corners of our mind? Can we make the temporary happiness to last a little longer, if not make it permanent?
Why does it feel like the sand in the hourglass runs faster on one side compared to the other upside down side…?
Who are all those people who come rushing and buzzing towards us when we find some happiness in our life, like a honeybee attracted to the fresh flower pollen…?!
There was smile spread across my face, and was probably gonna stretch out of the boundaries of my cheeks. But I didn’t care. I was happy and that was all it. I strode, and strutted, almost hopped and skipped. When I entered and got a glimpse of my new car shinning in the morning sunlight, I stood there admiring its shapes and curves – the only shapes and curves that I admire after you know who’s.
“Ah! You brought a new car…! But you brought it so plain!”
I turned around and found a person from my neighborhood, I didn’t know his name or nothing for that sake. My expressions probably said a big, confused “What?”, so he repeated.
“You brought your car in a very plain, vanilla fashion.”
This time I said out-loud “What?”
“You bought a new car, but brought it in a very non-festive style. No observance, no fete, parade…”
Okay he didn’t use these many synonyms, he just repeated his earlier sentence again, but this time I understood him. By plain he meant that I brought a new car home without “sharing my happiness with others”.
So whenever we find a new happiness in our lives, people of this species pop-up out of nowhere and stand before us. Eyes popped-out of their sockets, weary, like a zombie, looking directly at us; their twisted hands, with bones tearing out of their sordid skin, extended towards us, not in attack, but in anticipation, which is almost similar to an attack; their body bent towards us, not in respect, but as their spines have corroded in expecting things from everyone. They come to us dragging their feet, brushing the dirt on the ground, with their saliva-leaking mouth open, trying to say something while spilling all their gluttony for parties all over us, which will emulsify a stink on to your body and soul…
They are like leeches who feed on people’s happiness.
You can’t run away from them. They will hunt you down even with their perverted legs. You have to face them and choose either to be good or bad, in their ever-judging eyes. You choose to be bad, they will not rest till they are able to spread various kinds of rumors about you everywhere. Some of them might even manoeuvre an evil ambush upon your pride possessions or your newly achieved happiness. You choose to be good, they will disappear almost instantly, if you’re lucky.
Some of them are so hard-skinned, they might even keep sucking out of us even after we have been good to them. They will come with questions, inquiries and desires, more expectations, which will take the toll out of you.
It is said that sharing happiness increases it exponentially. But that doesn’t mean we go sharing our happiness with everyone in this world. That’s just a poor implementation of a good thought.
Our immediate family and friends and others, whom we love and like to be around are the people we want our happiness to be shared. We can also share our happiness with people who have silently helped us in various ways. If we want to share our happiness in monetary or material form, we should choose people wisely. And if you aren’t sure about it, share it with people who don’t expect from you this sharing, but will be more than just happy if you share it with them. They will actually wish good luck for you, unlike those other species of parasites who will almost instantly disappear once they have reaped the benefits out of you.
He came close enough to me, I almost got scared of him attached his suckers upon me, I backed off.
“Let’s see. We will do some celebration once my parents, my friends come visit me. (And I am definitely not calling you in that!” I snubbed his aghast expressions and moved on to leaving from there. He started giving out his precious advises as to how I can park my car and other details, which I half- no- fully unheard.
Why should I share it with my neighborhood, colleagues or those so-called friends, who don’t care a dime about me? Unless you are gonna help me pay the EMI or clean my car every weekend, why should I give a party to you? My dealers terms didn’t mention anything about you earning a right to free food and drinks upon my car purchase…
While moving out, a kid in his skates went past me looking at my car and then shouted “Nice car, uncle.”
I smiled and yelled thanks. Then I re-heard his statement, noted the “uncle” in it, and frowned. Moving on to the gate, I saw the security old guy who keeps a watch at our possessions. I celebrated with him about my new car and he beamed of happiness, giving his blessings out to me. Yes, they were some people I could share my happiness with, not that scrounger!
To him, I should’ve just said “Sorry.. Who are you?!”