On an online discussion group a couple of weeks back (the lovely Indiblogeshwaris), the topic of talk turned hovered around dealing with the loss of a loved one: by death, betrayal or a separation. Everyone had a lot to say about coping with break-ups and betrayals, but death was difficult. For a couple of minutes, I sat back and thought of a meaningful reply, but, nothing came to my mind. That's when I realized this wasn't a topic I could reply to with a single lined witticism or an anecdote with a message. It is one that requires a great deal of introspection.

The first thing I asked myself: do you really ever get over the loss of a loved one? 

The answer is an obvious and painful no.
There is no technique, no meditation,no counselling and no pill that can purge you of that grief. The void people leave behind is permanent.  

I have lost family, I have lost friends. Each death took me by surprise and left me in unsure territory. 

After the disbelief subsides, you reluctantly embrace acceptance. 
First come the memories. Words, caresses, images... There is just so much that can remind you of a person. A cricket match. A song. The moon. It's all very bittersweet. You want to remember the way things were but it also makes you so sad.

Then comes anger and vexation at the way things turned out to be, a desolation of sorts. The what ifs and if only. 
Then, just when you're trying to go on, you see or read something that reminds you of them and you yearn with all of your being to communicate that thought, but you can't... And it hits you. Grief. 

In most cultures, there is a mourning period the family of the deceased have to observe. I am a huge supporter of this practice. Don the white, relinquish the color, because that is how you are feeling inside. Death is something you just can't shrug off. You need the time off to grieve. You need to cry, reminisce, think and be with the people going through the same. 

But the mourning can't go on forever. At the end of the period, you pick up from where you left off and let life go on. As usual. Things have changed, but, that's how it is. Moving on is always the hardest.

When someone close to you dies, a part of you changes irrevocably. It could signal the end of a belief system: you tend to question theism or you take to it with an increased vehemence. It could alter the way you looked at life, it most certainly makes you more aware of reality. It might also bring along a huge change in lifestyle.  In our scheme of things, we don't realize how much a person brings to our life, till we lose them. We take a lot for granted: the support of our loved ones, the constant care of our parents, our health, our luck...

We just take too much for granted. We disregard mortality. And when we suddenly encounter loss, permanent loss, we can't reconcile ourselves with the way things change. Hence, the need for rigorous coping mechanisms.

As time goes on, the ache dulls. You reconcile yourself with reality and get back to routine. The memories will always remain. What changes with time is the way you reminisce. Tears lead to soft smiles and maybe even laughter, when remembering a funny instance or a silly nuance. Yes, there will always be that little glint in your eye when you think of them. That is the real eulogy to the dead.

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live"- APWBD

When you realize that death is but a necessity, as real and tangible as life itself, you cease to be terrified of it. You can focus on life better, then. When you know what each day means, you can focus on making it prettier. When you realize how precious happiness and love are, you can focus on spreading more. 

Yes, death is terrible, but so is a life not realized.

The era of the Super Geniuses

There comes a time in a blogger's life when he or she is tracked down by peers in the community and requested to contribute to their websites. The occasion, whenever it comes, is extremely flattering. There you thought that nobody was reading your posts except bots, stalkers and humans with sub-human IQ levels, but, lo, not only are people still alive after bearing the weekly assault on their news feeds, they want me to write more! And with their blessings! So, well, after the celebrations subsided, I happily agreed to write a guest post for Half Baked Beans (the publishing house) blog, Half Baked Voices. Then came the realization: I hardly have any content going around on my blog, from where will I get enough gibberish for theirs? After a lot of hair splitting and coffee brewing, I decided to take a break and watch House. That's where is struck me: House! Sherlock! Dexter! Why did I not think of these gentlemen earlier?

Presenting The Era of the Super Geniuses. Enjoy! :)

My pen

13 Oct, 2013

What compels me to write?
What invisible forces drag me from slumber in the middle of the night to a mad search for a piece of stray parchment and something to impress upon it with?
I am not, by any means, looking for gain- or fame. Most of the times, the re-reading vexes me, giving birth to an embarrassing debate within myself, for, caught in a frenzy, I will pour myself out- only to find a mistake here and a half truth there the next day. It humiliates me beyond bearing to have someone else read me before my eyes- I can't stand the silliness of it all! Yet, every time I see a blank sheet, I must mark it...

When I went up to my terrace this evening, I saw the half moon, seated comfortably on a silver bed of wispy clouds, it's luminosity heightened by the indigo blue of the sky- and I wanted to write. A scenery so splendid, I had to capture it in words. Maybe, I thought, I could weave a story around it: have a fair maiden look upon it longingly, while, maybe, also wishing upon the evening star... Or, maybe, some poetry would suffice: a quartet of select, almost rhythmic words strewn with imagery and the hint of a metaphor... Or, as I mostly do, I could write about myself, about the countless conversations I have had with the night sky, there is always some wisdom to be found when searching the heavens...

But why, why the need?
It's almost spiritual. It's a conversation. It's me plunging into the depths of my soul and my understanding, asking and retrieving. It's a search. It's also a discovery. It's meditation. It is a journey. It is an attempt at identification. It is also an attempt to defy identity- to be somebody, anybody, but yourself, to live a stranger's life.
It is purely about creation.
Ideas and ideologies: the pen starteth it all. And what is man without the thirst for creation?

I'm sure I'm nowhere as near to an answer as I'd like to be, for tomorrow if and when I re-read this, I'll think up another theory...and then another...

The pursuit, the whole temptation of it, is what fuels the passion.


5 Oct, 2013

Like a mesmerizing butterfly
Rests on a nascent dewy bud
The stance not perfected, yet,
Eyeing a dash of color,
Relinquishes it's hold

And the shimmering wings are airborne, again


1 Oct, 2013

Overflowing chalice
Salted water from my eyes fed

With a sigh and a push
Watch it tumble, break, release

A grief unbound
Dissolves in the ever lasting

Its diffused glow, wavers
And Darkness, thirst quenched
Returns to embrace my calm