Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart..

Playlist 9

Dearest Cecilia,

Long time? Aah no. You never leave me. You linger. You make me dance. You always bring joy. Remember Joy? Joy is the girl you followed everywhere! Why? Because your mother told you so. And, well, in a space where you were so lost, Joy was your only known destination.

You’re a song I love to sing. You’re the heartbreak which will always call me home.

You’re my heart soar. The heart soar where my face is flushed and my heart feels like it will explode. You’re the sudden rush of energy which has me living life at a pace where I am almost ahead of Joy and not seeking her to not be lost.

You’re the sound of a cello. Or, rather two cellos. Or, maybe a saxophone. I guess what I am trying to say is that you are magic. You make it all okay. More than okay.

Have you ever wondered, Cecilia? You’re my words of joy. And, somehow you always speak of a heartbreak. Maybe, that’s when heart truly breaks. When in moments of time you experience beauty, honesty and happiness. I am your Jude. And Cecilia, you’re the song I take and make it so much better.

Not Betty better. Rather, butter better.

Sheesh. I don’t make sense. But, baby baby, oh, how else do you even write? Remember those notebooks which had this printed on their back side – “Thoughts make words”. And also, something about words leading to action? Hah! Clearly, it must have been phrased by a human mind – always trying to put thing in order.

What about the times, when there are no thoughts? When only tunes linger on your lips and not words. And, the words that do, only speak to you. All communication fails and expression triumphs.  Of trumpets and triumphs. The triumphs you sing of. The triumphs which make my heart swell. With Joy, of course. She is always around. And I am always following her.

Cecilia, you’re the anthem I will stand up for. Just imagine Cecilia. You play. A group of people stand up. And they sway. And they smile. And maybe some even twirl. You make me dream of a utopia, Cecil.

You see what I did there? You and I are on a pet name basis now.  Love has been established. The trumpets are ready. The flags shall be unfurled. And, we shall flourish.

Or maybe not. Clearly, I have the tenets for establishing love all wrong.

Anyway, Cecilia. Tonight was fun. A few hours of the good times.

Won’t be away long,

~ R

 

 

 

 

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Bavra Mann Dekhne Chala Ek Sapna

Playlist 8

Did I tell you about my Bombay trip? Of course, I didn’t. But, I have been eagerly waiting to.

And here it is.

Bombay was my gift to myself, as I turned 24 this month. I made sure my first weekend as a 24 year old was a stellar one.

At 3:00 pm, on my birthday, I left my house with my bag pack for Bombay. The moment I stepped out and took an auto for the metro station, it began. I moved at a pace so relaxed, it almost felt like I am wearing a beach hat and commuting across Delhi, sipping on a Margarita. As I came up from the metro station towards the New Delhi railway station, I saw the sky and how it was blanketed with black clouds. The rains were here to officially kick start, what I like to call, the good life.

The New Delhi railway station was oddly empty on a Friday afternoon. I strolled across the foot over bridge, looking at a city I have called my own for years now. I was amazed at this feeling of belonging, which had come back to me after a long time. Here, I was ready to escape it and just when I was leaving, I allowed myself to see the beauty, I have known, but chosen to forget. Maybe, we do well when distant, Delhi.

I reached my platform and walked till my coach. My coach was parked under a tunnel and I could not be any more thrilled about it. I perched myself on my side lower seat. The bedding arrived and by 5:30, I was nice and cozy in my bed for the next 12 hours, ready to read and sleep.

Oh dear. I slept and slept. What did I tell you? The good life was back.

I woke up the next morning to the ghats. And then, came Borivali. The locals whizzed past. I could not stop smiling. Fuck yes. This was happening.

I got down at Bombay central. At this point, I have to reiterate and give a special mention to my pace, throughout this trip. Relaxed is a pace and I was acing it. I walked from the platform I arrived at to the platforms for the local trains. I bought my 10 rupee ticket, hopped onto a local which was pretty empty since it was a Saturday, got my window seat and sat at an angle which gave me a 180 degree view of everything around me. I was in awe of the city. I was still a newbie who wanted to see it all.

I reached my place of stay. Told my relatives all about how I was back to do some solo chilling. Then, I took a long long shower, wore my vacation shirt, packed my bag with an umbrella, shades, earphones and a book and set out for my solo day out in SoBo (South Bombay).

Took an auto to Khar. Took a moment to register how their were coins in my wallet after 2 auto rides. Bought another 10 rupee ticket and set out towards Churchgate. I got down at marine lines. I climbed the stairs and as I walked on the foot over bridge, I saw it. There it was. The sea in its full glory.

From then on, for pretty much the rest of the day, all I did was walk. I walked by the sea. I sat by the sea. I stared at buildings. I noticed the face of the person, I crossed the zebra crossing with. I clicked pictures. I wrote mushy captions. I told my favorite people about just how happy I was. It was all so good. And then it go better.

It started to rain. I took out my umbrella, like a pro, and continued to walk. I moved on instinct. Suddenly, it started to pour and I took shelter under a shade and watched the rain. Oh, what beauty. The old buildings of Kala ghoda, the streets of Bombay and rain.

As I stood there, thinking about what I should do next, a sense of familiarity dawned upon me. I was near a cafe I had been to before and was also extremely special for me. I enquired with a guy standing next to me about the cafe and he told me that it was right at the corner of the street.

While walking, I had been hoping to go to a place which serves beer and good food. It was a lazy afternoon for me and a beer just felt right. And, that is exactly what my instincts led me to. My instincts led me to a Parsi cafe which served alcohol. Damn. I won’t say my day was perfect. Rather I think perfection defined my day.

I sat at the cafe. Alone. With a beer and yum Parsi food. I plugged in my earphones and began to write. Write what? This post.

By the time I got out it was bright and sunny. As I continued walking, I came across art displayed outside an art gallery by an upcoming artist. He had used the local tickets with paint to depict different things. The artwork had my attention. For me it spoke of Bombay and distances travelled. I had a short conversation with the artist. I told him how I loved his idea of using the tickets. And, it felt good.

I spent the rest of the day walking, hopping from one place to another, drinking, eating and laughing with a friend. My day one in Bombay speller contentment for me and my 24 year self had learnt some very important things about herself by the end of the day.

I started my second day with breakfast  facing the marine drive, a space which  defines Bombay. Post that, I hopped on a train and headed back to SantaCruz. The rest of the day was spent with family, eating, talking and laughing. Eating to an extent where I had to pop in pills by the end of the day. Family time was also coupled with solo bookstore and walking time. I had found my balance and I had found it on my very own two feet.

My third and last day began with a realisation, that at some point in your life it is essential that we do what we do during our routine phases of life for leisure. A year back when I was in Bombay for my post graduation, I would frequently take a bus back from where my relatives lived to go back to campus. Back then waiting for the bus, riding the bus felt like such a task. However, this time around I decided to do it for fun, to reminisce the old times and I cannot begin to explain how calming my relaxed demeanor was. I stood at the bus stop for an hour, staring at trees and buildings, smiling. Even after an hour when the bus didn’t show, I simply took an auto without any feeling of irritation.

College is special for me. And, visiting it this time was equally special. However, I realised that it was not my highlight for this trip. Why? Because this trip was not about nostalgia for me. It was about defining a lot of things for myself. It was about new experiences. It was about asserting that there are somethings which will always take precedence for me. And that no one can take that away from me.

After a few hours on campus, I took a cab to SoBo and spent the next three to four hours at a beautiful cafe, facing the sea, reading my book, alone in peace.

My last few hours in Bombay were defined by people. People who are very dear to me. While with one it was about realising how important it is to keep going in our lives by striving towards newness, with another it was about simplifying our lives and being true towards how we feel.

I began writing about this trip at the cafe. But couldn’t finish it. I tried to complete it again at home, but couldn’t finish it. Today, as I finish writing this post, I realise it has taken me more than a month to do this. But I also realise just how fresh that trip is in my mind. And how it has defined my life ever since I have come back.

Bombay, 2017, will always be a cherished memory for me. It has brought back and lead me to a lot of things in life for which I will eternally be grateful. Thank you, Bombay. For me, you are not an escape. You are an assertion. An assertion which was much needed for me as I completed yet another year of my life.

Thank you.

 

 

With my pretty little Galway girl..

Playlist 7

Weeks and weeks of wanting to write. Wanting to write about lazy afternoons with my mother and my grandmother. Wanting to write about how there are fleeting moments of realization that those afternoons are a memory now.

Weeks and weeks of wanting to write about how a movie and it’s songs are my pills of enthusiasm.

Weeks and weeks of wanting to write about the lead singer of my favorite band passing away. Wanting to write about how Chester’s tribute to Chris Cornell reminded me of a time when conversations with friends were about how if ever anyone of us passed away, life would be a possibility, a possibility difficult to imagine.

Weeks and weeks of wanting to write poetry. A poetry not written with an intention to hide, but with an intent to appreciate.

Weeks and weeks of trying not to forget how to heal. Weeks and weeks of knowing that I have to get back.

Weeks and weeks have passed and I am back. Back to healing. Back to being in a space where candles illuminate the sky and lamps cast shadows on the wall. Where friends occupy the couch in your house. Where you wake up and wear your holiday shirt. Where Ed Sheeran sings ‘Galway girl’ and your speaker starts working that very moment. Where you dance, laugh and grow stronger.

Today’s writing, flow of music, the space I am in, is nothing short of bizarre (I am certain you will agree after listening to that playlist). But it is a bizarre I want to express gratitude for. Gratitude, a word, I don’t hover over much, but a word today I delve in.

Gratitude for having found the space this blog gives me. Gratitude for comfort which comes to me in the form of writing, music and spaces.

Just a few days back, a friend and I were talking about how, we don’t have a vision for what our life should look like. While some people have that vision, some people like us don’t. It is strange that just a few days after the conversation, I find myself being a fence hopper. Today, I have a vision or rather a resolve I know I will fulfill. It is this resolve of achieving my fifty’s. Of living my fifty’s. Thoroughly. To have not one but multiple visions to look back upon.

Little do you know..

Playlist 6

You don’t realise that you have forgotten what being under an open sky feels like, till you see it again.

I went for a run yesterday. After days and days of planning, I finally put on my new shoes and went for a run. The whole day I had been wondering where I would go. I had always noticed this park near my house, but had never gone inside. Google told me that it was actually a DDA park and should definitely be explored.

I entered the park and started walking. It seemed like a well maintained park. People of different ages, genders, classes were all around. While some played, some walked/jogged, some loitered around, some found cozy corners and some found shady spots. Oh and there were dogs. 🙂

The initial stretch was covered with trees. After about ten minutes of walking and jogging, I reached a stretch of the track where suddenly the sky appeared all over me. I looked up and I saw a clear sky, blanket all of us with only a slight glimpse of buildings at the horizon. I knew I had found my favorite part of the park. I also realized that it had been long since I was under the open sky with nothing obstructing my view of it. It almost felt like coming up for fresh air and getting my due share of oxygen.

Today was my second day of successfully sticking to my running plan. I saw the open sky today too. I have also developed a route that I follow. I begin my run first on the track which is covered by trees and then end by doing the stretch under the open sky. It’s like an incentive to keep running and not give up. Not that the track with trees is bad. But well, clearly my heart lies with the open sky.

….

You don’t realise how much you truly miss something, till a memory brings it all back.

I stayed the night at a friend’s place a few days back. Both of us were tired and just wanted to crash. However, we decided to do one thing before we go to sleep. We played a song (Nindiya re) we had once played when were in college (in the hostel) on repeat and slept for hours at a stretch. Peacefully.

We played the song. I closed my eyes and the very next moment I had a clear picture of the window in our room. That window has to be the prettiest window I have ever slept next to in my life. I did not see through that window. I dreamt. Of the cottage in front. Of the tiny yellow window. Of beaches which lie beyond palm trees. And the picture stayed throughout till I drifted off to sleep.

I realized how much I missed the sleep I got next to that window which always had the open sky up there for me. Sometimes with stars, sometimes with a sun shining down and sometimes (the times I remember the most) with clouds pouring down rain.

…..

You don’t realise what you will miss the most about a person, till the person starts living the memory you wish to reminisce together, alone.

I wrote another note on my phone yesterday :-

“Despite everything that has gone down, there is still a connect. A connect strong enough for me to laugh and miss you. Miss you and want to be there with you. I don’t know if you still say things like “Are you seeing this?” in your head when you are there; a place I want to be.

Do you miss me? Was this our connection? Love for a space and city? Do you feel it too?

I am there with you. Hiding behind a pillar for all the walls we have built, but still knowing that you are happy and knowing exactly what is it that makes you happy.

Not strangers, after all?”

I realise now that we connected best under the open sky. I realise now that we connected and didn’t get consumed in a spiral void, when we had a sea and an open sky to look at and talk about.

I realise now that we stopped talking about the open sky.

….

We don’t realise a lot of things. Up until it comes back to us. Sometimes as a breath of fresh air and sometimes as a reminder that you might be becoming a person you don’t want to become. Whatever it may be, it comes back. All you need to do is take a step back and look up. Towards an open sky.

“ज़रा नज़र उठा कर देखो….. दुनिया की इस भीड़ में, सबसे पीछे हम खड़े।”

I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town.

Playlist 5

In the past 3 years, I have started associating haircuts with newness.

I moved to a new city 3 years back. During the first two-three months, I realized I needed a haircut. The intent was need. When the need was fulfilled, I was left wanting for more.

I located a salon nearby. As usual, I was a little worried about whether the hair dresser will get it wrong and I would end up having to live with a ‘bad’ haircut.

My first haircut in my new city was given to me by Mahi. She seemed to believe that a bob cut would suit my face. I was unsure. Wavy hair and a bob? Really?

My first haircut in my new city was an asymmetrical bob.

The asymmetry grew on me and this is when haircuts became a source of newness, an addiction almost.

I was in my new city for 2 years. Haircuts were a ritual. I moved from asymmetry to symmetry and beyond. I moved on from Mahi to Vishwanath. And with Vishwanath I stuck.

Vishwanath was the unpredictability I chose to trust.

He gave me my last haircut before I moved on from the city. His parting gift to me was something I got asked about so many times in the city I moved to. Once a woman in the metro asked me, “I love your haircut. What is it called? Where did you get it from?”. I had no clue what the haircut was called. All I knew was that, it was a Vishwanath creation. My parting gift.

I am certain Vishwanath or Mahi do not remember me. And, I will confess I haven’t though about them and all of this so articulately till now.

Today I went for another haircut in my current city. And, while the hairdresser (a name I don’t know) gave me a haircut, I thought about all of this. I thought about how I wish he (today’s hairdresser) wasn’t so cautious with what he was doing. I wished for him to catch on to my ask for ‘something new’. I thought about how Vishwanath would have given me a newness to live with.

Today, my intent for a haircut was newness. And I missed Vishwanath.

My intent with haircuts and life is a want. A want for newness. There was a time when I thought monotony and a settled life is something I can live with for a while. But that was a need. And while my need has been fulfilled, the want has come back. Stronger and stranger.

Call it dreaming

Playlist 3 – This post is a dreamy one. I heard each song, with my eyes shut, and wrote a para. I hope it turns out to be a dreamy one for you too.  🙂

I am sitting on a rock by the river as I see a small meadow on the other side. I imagine a table full of people eating, drinking, singing, laughing underneath small twinkly lights.

I am staring at the yachts parked in the sea as my hands are entwined with yours. I imagine a nostalgia so strong, that the moment feels more than I could ever ask for.

I am in a car driving to a waterfall, driving on a narrow winding road with small plantations and a forest all around. I imagine someday cycling on the same narrow winding road, eating cherries from my cycle basket.

I am listening to a jazz band perform at a garden party. I am imagining swirling someone around under small twinkly lights as we laugh together to hide our awkwardness.

I am looking at a window of a house with yellow lights. I am imagining home, where close ones sit, with light music playing in the background and the house smelling of the food that is cooking.

I am driving by the airport. I am imagining being on a plane, headed towards a holiday, on an evening flight where the lights are dimmed and all that there is, is a tinge of yellow shade inside the flight, as you descend upon a world of houses and roads, all identified as lights for a moment in time.

I am with you as you speak and yet you don’t. I imagine honesty.

I am watching the rain through my office window. I am imagining sitting on the front porch of my house, as it rains and eating salted Jamun.

I am dreaming. While I imagine living.

……

“Is dil ki aadat yahi hai, girkar sambhalta nahin hai.” – The last song ❤

Look into my eyes and you will see, what you do to me.

Playlist 2

Do you ever wish to be a part of something big? Tonight, I do.

I am sitting on my couch listening to music and guess who played? Bryan Adams. Aah! He sang “Look in to my eyes..” and I had a smile.  I truly believe nobody has sung or spoken those lines with such sincerity till date. And probably, no one ever will.

The next song that played was Heaven. What played was a live performance by Adams at Wembley stadium and it began with a crowd singing the first few lines of Heaven, together in perfect unison. And that is when I knew. Someday I wish to be a part of a crowd, singing Heaven together or for that matter any song, and know that I am a part of something big. A place where several unite and it is for something as beautiful as singing a few verses together and in that moment experiencing the warmth and love, we wish ourselves to be capable of as a species.

Someday I wish to be a part of something big and while being present among a thousand or more, feel significant and mesmerized.

Be there standing amidst a thousand other people, singing the words and looking into the eyes of the artist, singing and smiling, letting him/her know, that he/she got through. He/she made me feel through his song, what he/she felt in that moment and we connected.

And maybe it was not even about him/her knowing, but just me knowing that you can connect with people over a melody and in that moment experience a sense of joy that no one can ever dispute.

I am an idealist today. I am an idealist today because I know it was a good day for the the city I live in. That is a whole lot to believe in, but, today I do. The air was fresher and the smiles were broader. I don’t think it was just what I saw or felt. While my every other day is an auto driver, who never listens, today was someone, who understood. While my everyday is people wanting to get done with the day, today was a day , they did not want should end. Today was a day when I met a young boy at a traffic signal who sold flowers and offered me a mango while enjoying one himself.

Today was a better day and I truly believe it was because all of somewhere gave into something bigger to experience peace and joy. All of us came together under a blue cloudy sky, on a rainy day.

All of us became a part of something big and probably sang a song, in perfect unison.