My Friend, Loneliness

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.

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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…

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The Looping Sun

A fictional world, which is flat and without gravity Center. And the sun revolves the world, not around it but inside it.

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There was a world which was a sphere, but there were no galaxies and no universe outside the sphere. Yet its size was unfathomable. It was spread across a huge distance of soil, solid ground, which was surrounded by a large bowl of water. The water bowl formed the lower hemisphere of the globe, and the upper hemisphere was nothing but sky. All of it was confined in a big, round, sphere, which was the world in its totality.

There was a moving source of light, the only one. People used to call it ‘The Sun’. And it moved around the outer boundary of the sphere, in the sky all day, until it finally sank at the edge of the water bowl, spreading its shine inside the water world.

The Sun wasn’t biased to any of the two worlds – the sky world and the water world. It divided its time equally between the sky and the water bowl, thereby giving both the worlds the benefit of embracing its light.

It would rise from the water world, slowly spreading its light across the sky, brightening up the sky with its yellowish-orange light. The world would wake up to welcome the Sun and its glory. The day would begin for the world to write another page of the story.

As the evening came closer, the Sun would start to pull together its light, slowly approaching towards the edge of the water bowl. When it has gathered all of its light in its hands, the Sun will start to sink inside the water bowl. That would be the time when only light in the sky world would be around the submersing Sun. Slowly the Sun would soon be gone, and the sky world would be left in darkness, only till the time the Sun rises again the next day from the other end of the bowl.

Then it would rise and spread its light inside the water bowl, illuminating the water world with now its bluish-green light, the time when elsewhere it is night but inside the water world, it is called sunrise. For the whole day, it had enlightened the world while burning on the semi-circular path at the edge of the sky. And now, it would swirl inside the water world, releasing crystalline light while moving on its semi-circular path, scooping the bottom of the bowl.

This was the world, where both the half-worlds inside the spherical world stayed in peace, each lightened by the same lucent source for an equal time. The creatures residing in both the worlds were totally different, yet they shared the qualities of life, living, sharing, and loving and giving. The cyclical task of the Sun will continue till the end of time, as they say. At the end of time, the bowl of life will break into nothingness, spilling the water world out of the bowl and drowning the sky world into emptiness. The Sun will let go of its light, and slowly will turn into a blank spot in the world, where things live in the death forever.

But that is at the end of the time. And the time had just begun. There were a lot of days before one could face the end of the time. Till then, the Sun will continue to serve both the worlds, painting the sky with bright colors and whirling the water with shiny crystal-bubbles.

I was not the part of any one particular world. I moved too, behind the Sun, watching it, trailing it, both when it rose high in the sky, and when it sank to the depths of the water bowl. I loved watching Sun from my world, and wondered if someday, it would take me with it on its journey traveling round both the worlds… I’m darkness.

Catching the Butterfly

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…)

Sorry.. Who are you?!

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…?!

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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?!”

The “Perfect Time” Trap

A trap of waking up at the rounded up time in the clock.
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The “Perfect Time” Trap is that when one decides to wake up at a time which is a round figure, they tend to never wake up at any time as they always mark a subsequent time as rounded time compared to current time.

What really helps this is that you wake up at any time in the clock, your definition for a perfect figure time changes.

If you wake up at 6:37, you wanna wake up at 6:40. When it is 6:40, you wanna wake up at 6:45, a more complete figure.

If you wake up at exactly 7:00, a rare scenario, you will take several mins to see the clock, which will again be a non-rounded time, say 7:09. Now you wanna wake up at 7:30…

I go through this everyday. And somehow, I have to let go of my desire to wake up at a perfect time…

First of all, I’d be dreaming about some weird thing which will wake me up early than the time I had expected. So I’d think of a better time to wake up and go to sleep again. Again, all sorts of weird dreams will come up. I’ll somehow get out of those, but it will be too late and the time would have ran way ahead. Desperate to wake up at a perfect time, I’d dig inside the blanket yet another time, this time half awake and counting the time. If I wake up on time this time, I’d still not be happy because anyway I wanted to sleep more.

The only way to come out of this is to wake up at whatever time you open your eyes without seeing the time. Taking another nap for a few minutes more is nothing but a trap. Don’t fall for it… The sand in the hourglass never forms a flat surface on its own.

I say this to me every night and do the same thing every morning. As if, in the morning my mind is not in my control and forgets all my talks from the night earlier. It starts functioning on its own wishes and the result is that I’m always late for everything in the morning.

And now, it has become so normal for me – to wake up late – that the day I break from the trap by waking up at exactly a perfect numerical time, I feel accomplished! 😀

So have you been waiting for a perfect time to fo something? A perfect time to start that book, to leave that sucking job, to propose her, to give that guy a tight slap, to start that new business idea or to start something you really wanna do?

Then do it… There’s no perfect time to start.

Till then, I’ll just get on with that extra 5 mins of sleep. The perfect time to wake up is right now (for you), never (for me). 😉

P.s.: I was waiting to publish this on a perfect time… I’m so obsessed with perfection that doesn’t matter! 😛

Shopping Blues

Not all of us love shopping. Some of us suck at it, while some of us even get scared of the thought of it. So how does someone like me feels when it comes to shopping… Let’s see.

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First of all, when it comes to purchasing something, I’ll just explain myself that I don’t need it. Then after several days or months of finding ways to survive without those things, I’ll finally accept the fact that I need to buy that thing.

No no… This doesn’t mean that I’ll just go there and buy stuff. No. I’ll add that thing in my shopping list. That’s it for now.

Then finally my shopping list will be large enough to call for a day, probably weekend, to go out for shopping.

No, I don’t go shopping here either. My weekend will go finding other stuff to do, trying to persuade my mind that those things are more important than going shopping.

I’ll search on online websites for the products that I want. Scroll and scroll and scroll to find a perfect choice, but then again, there are other websites, which might have different price. So, I’ll just search again on other websites, and again the cycle will repeat. Even if I find a good choice, I’ll just not be able to add it to the cart.

Finally, working without the things becomes difficult, I will not be able to take it more, or probably as someone else has forced me, I’ll go for shopping…

Sulking as it was the shopping day finally, I will just do whatever I can to delay the process. But in the end, I’ll have to go to shopping that day.

Now the first task would be deciding the place to go shopping, deciding on the list of shops. Based on the product that I intend to buy, the options available will be plenty. This is supposed to be a good thing, but not for someone who hates shopping. So, I will pass time asking several friends and strangers about good shops.

Finally I will narrow down to a list of shops where I would set out for finding the products. I will plan my route of transport and will start the journey… preparation for the war actually.

And as soon as I reach the first shop, the war begins…

With so many options and different prices for each options, I will start comparing and evaluating options based on several criteria. Actually, such an evaluation solves the problem of choice for people, but for me, it narrows down to a few favored options. And choosing between them is the actual war. And know that, for me, that’s not easy…

Not just the choices of products, I will even start visiting several shops. This will add more choices to my list, thus complicating it more.

And to add to my problems, I have no idea what do I want actually. What looks good on me, what makes me happy or what do I like out of all the options – I will have no answers to all these questions. And thus, I will not be able to choose from the options.

All these problems combined makes shopping the most difficult task for me. Dilemma from the problem of choice, anger due to lot of options and being unable to choose any, and melancholic feeling from the whole process of shopping makes me feel miserable in the end. Due to this, even after buying something, I will hardly like it as it took a toll out of me while buying that.

At the end of the day, I’d sit in one corner and mope about the purchase that I made, and feel sad for the loss of money that happened. And that night, it will take me great trouble falling asleep.

So, these were my shopping blues…

Living alone vs Living with a family

Living Alone vs Living with Family, which one would you prefer?

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When you live alone for long enough, you tend to develop mixed feelings for both these types of living habits.

I stayed away from my family for more than 5 years to complete my education. Thereafter, I have a job away from my family. However, mother or father or both do occasional visits to my place. And so do other relatives.

While I stayed with my family, I never had such thought in my mind. But now I am confused whether I like to stay alone more or with my family.

Look at my own-self argue with other regarding which lifestyle is better:

When we stay alone, we are totally free to do whatever we want. We can give our entire time to ourselves. There’s no one to give us any work, there’s no one to interrupt in our personal time.

While at the same time, there’s no one to talk to. There’s no one to take care of us when we are down with sickness or just depressed. There’s no one to look forward to when we are returning home. It feels lonely at times and depressing even.

But when we stay with our family, we can’t watch whatever we want on TV. Sometimes your favorite show coincides with that of someone in your family. (No you don’t have another TV and neither do you have recording facility). What if there’s someone elderly and their views about something are not the same as yours? What if all they talk about is God and your marriage? It’s better to stay alone than to handle this.

But then whom would you tell all the incidents from today? Whom would you play games with? Whom would you show the profile of your crush and ask for some ideas to approach her? Whom do you ask for a warm hug when you need it so dearly?

But then they invade your room without your permission! They keep on asking weird questions and annoy you. They use your things and change their places. They put their views above yours b’cuz they are elder. Their needs become your priority above your own personal pass time. Your free time gets occupied by their activities.

Nevertheless you were not going to do something great in that free time, were you? You were going to watch some stupid movie or waste your time organizing your library. Or you were going to go through all your friends’ updates and feel miserable about your life.

But then you missed that movie with your friends as you had to take your elder shopping. You missed your night out with your best friend as your family won’t allow you to do that. You couldn’t arrange that match at your house as your grandma won’t like it.

Yes, but no one is stopping you from enjoying. Family deserves your time too. And you can have lots of fun moments with your family too! And you can always mix your family and friends to enjoy events.

But you can’t enjoy the same way as you enjoy with your friends alone.

Vice versa applied too…

Yes but then there are lots of restrictions.

You consider them restrictions. They are only guidelines. For your own safety. And when we live with someone we have to take care of their needs to. Don’t your family takes care of you in all circumstances?

They do. But we don’t have to sacrifice our desires with friends.

Oh is it? Don’t you have to go with them even when you don’t want to? Doesn’t deciding a place to hangout makes you sick with all those arguments and discussions? Don’t you miss your brother or sister more when your friend doesn’t help you with something? You sacrifice in case of friendship too. And haven’t family members sacrificed a lot for you? Now don’t get me started on that…

Yes, but then as we grow up, we have our own views about life. We can’t follow someone else’s views. With change in time, we have to change our views. We have to accept new culture and move with it. We can’t live in past. But these elders at home won’t understand this.

True that. But that is generation gap. You have to make them understand. You have to prove it to them that what you think is actually valid and safe. It takes time and effort but remember that will help you too, when you’re on the other side of the table.

Do you think I wouldn’t have tried? I have tried explaining them my point but they always take the discussion to that point where it is question of their respect and seniority. And hence, we cannot speak anything further. Besides, don’t you think you lose your freedom while living with them?

Freedom is a relative word. What you consider freedom might not be freedom for me. While I might just solve all conflicts with a simple discussion with my family. There’s nothing a discussion can’t solve.

Yes, but discussions do not always come to your favour. While if you had been staying alone, there would be no need of these discussions.

But don’t you feel lonely at times while staying alone?

Yes, but I miss my carefree and independent life more…

But…

Their arguments would never end…! And I don’t think they will ever come to a conclusion either.
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What about you? Which lifestyle do you prefer – Living alone or Living with a family? Say in comments…