Unlived Life

The screaming quiet
The chaos within
The joyless smile
The clock ticking

The springless steps
The tuneless song
The purposeless morning
The days are long

The faithless prayer
The lonely crowd
The wandering eyes
The nagging doubt

The meaningless hello
The heartless goodbye
The unlived life
The time to die.

~Anushree~

Little Miracles

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Ever had one of those days when even the things that are going right don’t feel that way? When the humdrum of routine life becomes too much to bear? When the presence or absence of all material benefits or loved ones doesn’t seem to matter?

And then suddenly when you’d least expect, the tiniest of things that you would otherwise ignore, would make you feel so exuberant and full of joy that it’d become impossible for you to contain that feeling. These tiny things are what we call ‘Little Miracles‘.

We pray and wish for miracles to happen; miracles that’ll change the course of our lives, make our troubles disappear and help us lead the idyllic lives we’ve always dreamt of. But while waiting for these gigantic and fate altering miracles, we often overlook the million tiny ones that grace our lives everyday. Like a cute smile on a baby’s face that fills up your heart, finding the exact thing you’ve been craving to eat all day without even realising it, coming home to a smiling and loving partner after a hard day at work, having someone come out to help you out of nowhere when you were just about to give up.

What we call happy coincidences were miracles waiting to happen on the sidelines. Our lives are made up of these tiny miracles that we either tend to overlook or take for granted as we grow up. But the more you start noticing them, the more you’ll notice them happening. Watch out for them and watch them watching out for you.

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Magic In Mundane

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I see my goals in the distance
Taunting me to dare if I might
I exasperate, as they seem farther
Than where they were last night

Everyday is a battle I try to win
Preparing myself for what lies ahead
Living through the mundane life
Knowing tomorrow’d be the same as I get to bed

But today, today is a bit different
I feel exuberant without knowing why
Despite my To Do list full and day packed ahead
I feel happy and calm inside

Today I don’t care whether I win or lose
My exacting goals suddenly cease to matter
Happiness fills my whole being
Elation consumes me with its incessant chatter

Today even the mundane feels like magic
Making me feel jubilant just to be alive
The ordinary is a disguised blessing
Atleast I have worthy goals for which to strive

~Anushree

100% Perfect Lovers

Lovers

While reading yet another book by Haruki MurakamiThe Elephant Vanishes, a collection of short stories; I stumbled onto a simple yet intriguing story that goes like this:

Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and a 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened.

One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street.

“This is amazing,” he said. “I’ve been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you’re the 100% perfect girl for me.

“And you,” she said to him, “are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I’d pictured you in every detail. It’s like a dream.”

They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. It was a miracle, a cosmic miracle.

As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts: was it really alright for one’s dreams to come true so easily?

And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, “Let’s test ourselves – just once. If we really are each other’s 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we’ll marry then and there. What do you think?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is exactly what we should do.”

And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west.

The test they had agreed upon, however was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other’s 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully.

One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season’s terrible influenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death, they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence’s piggy bank.

They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 80% love.

Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty.

One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send the special delivery letter, was walking from east to west, both along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in the chest. And they knew:

She is the 100% perfect girl for me.

He is the 100% perfect boy for me.

But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fourteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever.

Aren’t we all the same? Don’t we all think we don’t deserve good things? We’re forever praying and hoping for a miracle to grace our lives and when it actually does, we can’t believe our luck and try to look for the loopholes. Why is it so bloody difficult for us to accept that we can be happy, that we can actually get what we want, that we can have our cake and eat it too?

This story isn’t just a tell-tale sign of our love lives. It holds equally true for other spheres of our lives.

We reject many things thinking them results of our rose tinted glasses of youth and the naivete that comes along with it; all the while forgetting, we might not get lucky with a second chance.

Maybe we ought to believe in ourselves, have faith in the cosmic power and keep our arms open and embrace the good things that happen to us, no questions asked. THAT, I guess, what happiness is all about.

Don’t you agree?

Ladies Line

Onli Ladis Plis

Onli Ladis Plis

The best thing to have happened to Delhi since Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Janpath and the likes is definitely the Metro. And the best thing to have happened to Delhi since the Metro is the much revered and envied Ladies compartment.

For the uninitiated, the first compartment in the onward direction of every train is reserved for ladies. Apart from the obvious benefits of the move for women, men are in a way benefited too. Now they know exactly where to slyly fixate their wandering eyes.

Being the privileged member of this inner circle of first compartment, I’ve chalked out 10 categories of women who frequent the hallowed premises; for those who aren’t satisfied with observing from the sidelines.

1. Loud Talkers (Phone or otherwise)

"I'm telling this *only* to you."

“I’m telling this *only* to you.”

It’s no secret that women love to talk. But imagine the plight of others when it is at volumes hard to ignore. I’ve unwittingly been party to conversations ranging from relationship woes and in-law bitching to career advises being dispensed and shopping lists being exchanged.

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2. Bling Brigade

The word subtle ain't in my dictionary.

The word subtle ain’t in my dictionary.

A category that’s easy to come by and hard to miss. Delhi being Delhi, women love to dress up. Can you imagine the horror of the local grocer discovering your non-kohled eyes or un-painted lips? *shudders*. Look around the metro any time of the day and you’d find women from all age groups in the most garish and lurid of outfits, complemented by gaudy make-up and blingy accessories. These women surely must be the stars (literally!) of someone’s universe.

3. Goggled Girls

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This particular phenomenon must probably be as old as the sun itself but still baffles the daylights out of me. Now I understand you’d like to protect your kohl-lined, mascara replete eyes from the bright glares of the sun, but what I don’t get is why keep ’em on when there’s no sun? This category of women heroically keep their sun glasses perched up on their noses even when the metro’s running underground. Maybe it’d take a few years of scientific study to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Oh you must!

Oh you must!

4. Rule Breakers

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Being an Indian automatically grants you the license to break rules. Hell yeah! We’re risk takers that way. No wonder then, that this category (which belongs to all socio-economic classes of society) takes utmost pleasure in sitting on the floor and munching snacks from their carefully packed ‘dabbas’, when announcements to the very effect are being made every 5 minutes. It’s damn cool you know!

5. Scooch Requesters

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Anybody who’s travelled in the ladies compartment even once in her life would tell you about its unsaid rule. Have even an inch of space between you and the person beside? Well you gotta scooch for anybody who asks for it, no questions asked.

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And the worst is when a female who, well to put it delicately, would never fit into the tiny space, requests you to do so and ends up hogging all of it leaving you gasping for air or your former seat. I once had to endure an experience of a scooch requester’s half thigh resting on mine. Oh the horror!

6. Stareres

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Without a doubt women check out other women more than men do. And metro isn’t any different. You’re sometimes at the receiving and sometimes at the giving end of it.

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But there are women who’ve made it their business to unflinchingly stare at every female who travels with them. And the professionals that they are, they remain unfazed even when you catch them in the act.

7. Music Lovers

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Music is a good thing, maybe the best of things. But what happens when you have Justin Bieber or his Bollywood equivalent Atif Aslam blaring from the headphones of the person sitting next to you? Not the best of situations is it? And then there are those who rock their heads and lip-sync to whatever song they’re listening to. Well, music makes you do stupid things.

8. Bookworms

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Whenever you spot a female intently staring into a book in her hands and her mouth bunched up, you know you’ve come across a bookworm. Whether she’s standing in the crowded lanes hanging on to her dear life or sitting on the luckily found (grabbed?) seat, she’d not lose sight of her knowledge reservoir even for a second. Time well spent won’t you say?

9. Cool Crusaders

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There’s a reason why shady institutes which loudly claim “ek mahine mein angrezi speakna seekhiye” (learn to speak English in one month), have mushroomed across the country. Because talking in English is just so cool. Can’t get your work done? Shout in English. Want to clear an interview? English silly!

Students of Lady Shri Ram College for Woman in New Delhi

This category of women (mostly college girls) make sure they shout at the top of their voices in totally accented English with the words ‘dude’ and ‘like’ thrown in after every second word. Oh it’s not like they want to, they HAVE to. How else would you know they’re from the cool breed?

10. Sleepers

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The oldest and the most famous category in the world of trains. The moment they get onto any kind of moving vehicle, a fog of drowsiness encircles them and they quietly submit to its incessant clamour.

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This category is the worst enemy of the ‘scooch requesters’ and some even feign sleep to belong to this category as soon as they comfortably settle in their hard-earned seats.

So which category do you belong to?

In case I’ve missed any, please add it in the comments section.

Why Do Today?

Procrastination isn't so bad. You always have something to do tomorrow.

Procrastination isn’t so bad. You always have something to do tomorrow.

You always ask me, why not now?
To get a good crop, must not you plough?
Why leave for ‘morrow, what you can do today
Accomplish what you must, than leave it for another day

I oft answer, though not at once
Haven’t you heard of Procrastination, you dunce?
Why do today, what you can leave for ‘morrow
Why sweat, when there’s more time you can borrow

Aren’t life ’bout throwing worries to the wind?
Shouldn’t you make merry, be happy and sing?
Being too serious can ruin all the fun
Procrastination let’s you have your day in the sun

You sigh as you give thought to my thought
It sure seems my point has been bought
And just as you begin, for a moment, to ponder
I quietly slip out of the messy room, to yonder

~Anushree

Maybe Optimism’s Overrated

Pessimist

Since the beginning of time, we’ve been taught to always hope for the best, to always view the glass as half full, to always be optimistic. But is optimism all that it’s hyped to be? Well, probably not!

No matter how much we’d like to believe otherwise, we’re all dark and pessimistic within. Maybe that’s how God intended for us to be. And maybe that is why we are naturally inclined to always notice and absorb the negatives before our mind even rationalizes and registers the positives.

We try to please our moral selves by putting on the brave mask of eternal sunshine. But truth be told, nothing satisfies and soothes us more than wallowing in self-pity. Oh the pleasure of feeling sorry for ourselves, wondering why we’re the favorite recipients of bad luck and deducing that God’s always unfair to us, is utterly fulfilling. We take pride in spending hours thinking about how perfect our past was, what a shamble our present is and how dismal our future would be.

We’ve been running around trying to catch that elusive thing called happiness; a sham created by self-help books and motivational speakers; all the while forgetting that as human beings, maybe our real happiness lies in being unhappy.