Colours! some dark and some bright; Some like a garden and some like a night sky. They are vibrant varieties of rays travelling with its own unique wavelength. Their contrast and their similarities, their willingness to blend together and then diverge into thousand perspectives make our lives intense.
To the human world, colours are not just the images that fall on our retina. They carry many more meanings. Languages adopted colours to define times and explain moods. Politics took up colours and changed it into ideologies. Colours became festivals. Colours got converted into moments caught up in pixels.
But the colours, that mean no harm were destined to carry unfortunate burdens as well. World got divided into black, white, brown, red and yellow. People with same emotions and similar dreams got split. They were thrown into pits filled with hatred and anger. Colour decided right and wrong. Colour enslaved lives, and started wars. Colours, that are supposed to merge with each other emerged as a barrier.
Some among us have become so senseless that, they can no longer see beyond colour of skin. They have turned our lives into a mess by preaching about greatness of one over the other. They could have held hands irrespective of the colour and led our generations through a peaceful history; to an optimistic future.
Lives are blooming in different colours. These variants are meant to strengthen our society and nurture our culture. More lives will be lost and more dreams will be crushed if we just refuse to believe it. It is painful to see humanity pleading for breath under choke-holds. And I am terrified of the chaos it will uncover.
Colours are characters with pure souls. They are spread out for us to see the beauty in all things. Do not get fixated on one colour. Let us not make our lives a monochrome. Fill it up with every colour. Remember, all colours together make this world alluring.
Another Eid came and went. Entire world celebrated it during the lockdown. For me, Eid is only about family time. We have never celebrated Eid in an extravagant style. Due to the relaxations in lockdown conditions in Kerala, I was able to visit my parents. Therefore, it was as normal as, and as beautiful as, last Eid.
Lunch was followed by heated debates on politics. Then, we all got lost in our solitude, for some time. I went to my old room. Apart from some new cardboard boxes filled with unknown items, it remains the same. But it is tidier than I remember. I sat on my bed, where now the prayer mat of my mother is kept; neatly folded. A silent smile escaped from my heart, thinking, how I used to hate anyone else entering my room. The room was filled with a mysterious feeling, like a painful happiness. My brother, who was passing by, asked me, “oh! Sitting here being all nostalgic?” Yes! That was the feeling; nostalgia. It has been 2 years since I have sat in my room like that. This room is a witness to my life and a trustworthy secret keeper.
The room knows me in and out. It was place I go, to shed my emotions. I had sat on the floor next to my table and cried silently. I had lay down on the bed placing my legs on the window bars starring aimlessly at the fan leaves; vegetating. I would message him at late night hiding under the tent made out of my bed sheet. I used to laugh pressing my face to the pillow, so that others won’t wake up. I built my secret little castle of love inside my room and filled the gaps in my drawer with his gifts and hid my diary behind the wardrobe. My room was not a mere spectator. It always held my hands; sat next to me. We painted a dream world together. A world, which often gets attacked by my over pouring emotions.
There are so many secrets, we share only with our room. Our bed room is a visible version of our space. I ran my hand through the books on my shelf, pen on my table and the wardrobe filled with my cloths. My parents have kept everything like the same, as if, they want to feel that, I am still living in my room.
My little possessions in the room; they are not mere objects. Those are memories. The magnets on the wardrobe door, folded pages of a novel, cap less pen, broken pencil, rusting tiny trophy, and coffee mug; They are all memories, which I forgot without meaning to. We cannot take all of our memories with us wherever we go. Some memories, run off. But some get attached to the objects we leave behind. They live on those little things, and hibernate, waiting for us to return.
I wished like a muggle; if I could do the extension charm on my little pouch like Hermione, and take all those little memories wherever I go; as a reminder of my past, as a companion for my present and as a souvenir for my future!
There was a WhatsApp status put by my friend, asking for suggestions from others for the title of her autobiography. She has a beautiful name, “Maitreyi” . It is only due to my love for that name, I suggested “Maitreyam”. She also has the crazy habit of scribbling and keeping notes like me. When I asked whether she is planning to write one, she told me she might write an autobiography in future, if she feels like her life has become meaningful. May be if she was the one to ask that question first, I also would have answered the same way.
But every life is meaningful. When Anne Frank wrote the diary, she was an ordinary girl, hiding from the Nazis. But later what she wrote, became inspiration for millions. Our life become meaningful, from the moment we are born. It is not any celebrated status or position that makes our life meaningful enough to write an autobiography. Honest words are always meaningful. One should write if one feels like.
As I am writing this, I cannot help but wonder, how many great experiences we might have missed, because the writers decided to conceal their ink? We have set unspoken standards, making everything so tangled and confusing. We will spend our entire life trying to untangle it; doubting our abilities; questioning our desires and will slowly get lost in the maze drawn by us.
We scribble down our thoughts, re-read them, alter them and then hide those from the sight of others, thinking those are not worth reading. Then the very same us, will read other books and will be jovial for establishing a mental bond with the writer; never realising, our lines also would have made such wonders.The fear of being tagged as ‘not worthy’ make us abort our creations in the womb itself.
Writing turns words into emotions, and when someone else reads, those emotions turn into relations. When we hide what we have scribbled, we are closing the door towards thousands of invisible but meaningful relations we could have had. We are cutting the ties with ourselves and with the world; without knowing it.
All those words, idle on the pages of our note book, sleeping silently near the dry rose petals and colourful peacock feathers; they should be awakened. They don’t deserve to be forgotten like a lost love. They were us once; Our pain, dreams, laughter, love and anxieties. Without them, we may not have travelled this far. They deserve to see the light. Let us not judge them. They will derive meaning for themselves on their own.
High Court of Kerala is reopening tomorrow.It surely gives me a hope that, everything will get back to normal. After college, my office is one of the few places where I have felt like ‘I belong here’. I had to take a small break due to health issues. It was really hard to take that decision and stay home. Within few days, the pandemic outbreak began, and soon, lockdown was declared in India. One of my colleagues said, “the entire country took a break with you.”
Since the first day of lockdown, I have gone out of the house only four times. Twice for buying grocery and twice for morning walks. Now that lawyers are gearing up, to get back on track, the realization that many things as I know have changed make me nervous as well. Earlier, while at courts or office, my worries were mostly about work. Now, I will carry a lot of virus induced anxieties too.
I am used to many things; rushing to a colleague’s desk for help, standing close to each other during every day meetings, using neck band of others, eating near the crowded food joint or in the canteen, shaking hands, sharing food, drinking from bottle of others, doing quick research from the Association library , heading to the filing section to cure defects noted by the filing section, finding a way towards our files in the crowded 3A courtroom, leaning towards the handrail of the escalator. I may not be able do any of this anymore. It is difficult to let all those habits go.
I know that everybody is scared and there was a shadow of realization on the virtual faces of my colleagues that we will have to learn to live with this virus. But all are scared about the chances of carrying the virus home. Therefore, everyone will try to keep a distance from each other. These are hard times and we need to fight it to go forward. Or as my Senior told me, “no more fights, we need to deal with it.”
The physical distancing may not affect warmth of any relation. But, how can I stay 6 feet away when I see my friends again. It is going to be really hard to re-learn things like, how to express emotions and how to contain it. While going outside with a mask glued to my face, what affected me the most is, the vanished smiles. It looks like one grim world, with all those smiles hiding behind the masks. However, nothing can hide the reflections of a beautiful smile in one’s eyes.
Sometimes, it feels like living in a fictional world of Hollywood movies. And I am afraid that, our world will be remembered as ‘before and after Covid’. There may not be any more time on the beaches. There may no longer be sudden plans for a Munnar trip. There may not be any stand-up comedy nights anymore. There may not be any drive to Queen’s Way. Even then I am happy. Scared, but happy.
I am really glad that there is a ray of hope, and I have decided to cling on to it. I am happy that we are far ahead of many countries in preventing the spread of covid. It was on January 30 that the first case of Covid was reported in Kerala, and all Keralites stood as one and the Government did their best. I am grateful to all. I am happy that I am able to go back to my office and see those familiar faces. I will be able to do what I know and forget about the bleak news I hear every day. There will be a sense of purpose every day.
So I am getting out tomorrow, to resume work – intending to develop some new habits to stay alive, and importantly, stay happy .
Travelling is liberating; from the usual meaningless daily routines; from the gender duties imposed by the society; from the accumulating files on the desk. May be that is our reality. We were never meant to settle down.
We were meant to be wanderers. We were meant to follow the seasons. We were meant to migrate like birds. We were meant to swim with the currents in oceans. But we chose to settle down; like dust. We enslaved ourselves to the systems established and evolved by us. We became prisoners in the fortress built by ourselves.
When we travel, we get this unexplained feeling of fulfillment. We have realized, that we can’t live without those bike rides. We know how much we miss opening our car windows when it is drizzling. We want to travel towards the sky, take a dip in pristine waters, play on sandy beaches, follow the trails in a forest or may be create one ourselves, sleep under the stars. I don’t think we are supposed to travel towards our destiny. Travelling is our destiny.
This is why , this lock down feels like an imprisonment. We can’t wait for all this to get over. We can’t wait to visit all those destinations in our bucket list.
It is half past three in the evening. I am laying on my bed clutching to my mobile phone, with my Laptop on the side. My brain is pushing me hard to go to sleep, but I was determined to stay awake and write something.
After spending around 2 hours in the kitchen, trying to make a dish with Soya Chunks, which ended up like an emulsion of tomato coloured water and gravy with Soya chunks floating like ice bergs and tasting just like water. Like punishing oneself for her own sin, I took some rice and the so called curry I made and tried to finish my lunch. When hungry husband who was immersed in a webinar asked for food, I served him as well. But like always, he was not diplomatic with his words in describing how pathetic the curry is. I could not stand it. After swallowing the remaining food, I escaped to the bed room. To punish me more, the power went off and the bed room fan stared at me blankly, with “I can’t do anything” look of some High Court Clerks. Cursing my fate, to invite fresh air inside, I opened my bed room windows, which were hiding behind the curtain, suffocating itself in the dust that had settled there in the past few months. I don’t like cleaning windows. I always come up with an excuse in my mind for not doing it. But today, I felt sorry for what I have done to them. Surprisingly, the breeze which rushed in was cool as the dark sky kept the promise and started to rain.
I got bored of staring at the screen, of being angry at my husband for not eating the food silently and of pitying myself for my inability to produce anything appealing today; either in the kitchen or on the screen. Somewhere in between being awake and asleep I read about a woman who lost her twins in her womb. I don’t know whether I was dreaming or I was imagining about my kids I never had. When I woke up, rain was pouring down heavily. Two years of marriage is two days away, but we are still living the life of bachelors. Class room reunion Zoom meetings, WhtasApp groups, and Instagram pages are filled with children of my friends. But I am unable to get hold of the fact that, my peers are growing, or that I am getting older.
We couldn’t even come to an agreement on buying a puppy. We have even had fights on who will look after the imaginary puppy. I just don’t know, how the short tempered, care free me can agree to give up my priorities and take the lifelong pledge of looking after someone. And I am unable to explain to myself the feeling which explode in my mind when I hold a baby. The confused, childish mother in me may never give an accurate answer about me having a baby.
Whatever be the progress made by the society, struggle of a woman to make a mark in her field is still the same. Because if she fails once, she might even be denied a second chance. I have heard many declaring that, women can always quit their jobs and be house wives. Like, she always have a ready, risk free and appealing career option. So if a woman fails, she will be easily written off and shown the way for home making. When a woman becomes a mother, majority expects her to quit the profession. I am not being a man hater. From my experience of practicing as a lawyer for around 6 years, I know this for sure. Majority of the skilled, enthusiastic girls disappear from the court halls after marriage, and many after becoming pregnant. The remaining adamant few have to prove themselves every day, otherwise will be easily tagged as derailed. I am afraid, will that be my fate? One invests years in her career. Even the thought of giving up is scary and so is giving up many other things. Will I be able to find the balance between what I want and what I am? It is a challenging quest, which I should do alone.
It’s kind of funny that, I search for my child in my husband. It’s like closing my mind with a lid to contain the thoughts from popping out like mustards in hot oil. I can only conceal it. The mustards will pop anyways. Finding answers to the opposing emotions inside us is the most difficult challenge in life. No one teaches us how to answer it. The more I try to be rational the more those get entangled and sometimes even strangle me. I am struggling with these thoughts, since the distractions are few.
May be it is not so hard for some people to take decisions in life, who greets the life as it is. But for people like me, who is stubborn on overthinking everything and then being anxious about it, simplest decisions are the hardest. We often say, things will happen when it’s time. But how can we leave our life decisions to time? Most of the things that happen in our lives are untimely. I was supposed to be travelling this vacation and here I am locked inside my own house. Time has, its own plan, or it makes up the plans while it runs. It has never paused even a second to think about us. Never will it ever. It is futile to trust the time. At least we should be able to own our lives.
The sky is stretched like a dark canvas, but it has stopped raining. The weather was gloomy and a bird was singing. She sounded very lovely, but lonely; or maybe I am the gloomy one. I could sense the hurricane of thoughts shaking me from inside, and there is a tree standing still outside. It looks so peaceful, like a meditating yogi. I looked at it for a long time as a disciple eager for guru’s wisdom. That little bird flew away from the tree’s branch to the unknown, maybe I should also let my thoughts go for now!
Hiding is in human nature. We hide from the people we hate; hide our emotions; hide reality from ourselves. If each of us has so many hidden secrets, I wonder how much this world has hidden from us. Others, including our long lost siblings, Neanderthals, couldn’t keep up with us, because of our ability and hunger to unearth these hidden secrets. The more we found out, faster we moved upward of the food chain. After conquering the kingdom from other animals, unquestionable barbaric rule of the Sapiens race was imposed upon other subjects of the earth.
We emerged as the only species which can create, rewrite and change the course of the history of this world. But have you ever wondered, whether the real history of this world is still buried deep to save the faces of some, to keep some always oppressed and to keep some always fighting, to keep on exploiting the nature? The history as we know must be the biggest lie built upon the grave of the truth, buried deep in between the lines of our history books. History of opponents contradicted and fought with each other and the one which got wounded always was the truth.When the past hid the truth from the present, the present also hid the truth from itself.
The old saying goes, “truth can never be concealed for long”. But it remains as the longest concealed ever. When we are in a race, hiding from ourselves, burying our inner voice to achieve the target set by the power centres, it is very convenient to hide the truth and give ourselves the sugar coated falsity we desire. We would believe anything which feed our pride, boost our ego, and make us belive that we are superior. We will kill each other, wage wars, destroy dreams, and annihilate other life forms, so that we can thrive. So we lied to us, that this world is for our luxury.
Now we all had to retrieve to our safe bunks fearing an invisible and (so far) invincible enemy. Now there is time to contemplate the worthlessness of all what we have done. The deeply buried truth in all of us, that we are not here to rule the world and this world is not ours to ruin; that we are all one – this reality is the hidden gem we should hunt for.
Data protection is a growing concern now. When the locked down world is practically living inside the internet; when we are giving out more information than we should; I feel so insecure thinking that my privacy, which is priceless for me, might not be private anymore. To fight Covid, data collection of the infected individuals and that of the possible cases are inevitable. But, we don’t know how this data is going to be used in an ‘after Covid world’.
My friend Nithin Ramakrishnan had wrote an interesting article on the data protection scenario in India in connection with the Sprinklr data issue going on in the State of Kerala in India. He has rightly raised concerns over the lack of effecive data protection provisions in India. How far, our information available, in the servers of others, are safe? Isn’t it like keeping my valuables in the locker of another person? In my opinion, there is no effective law to protect one person’s private data in India.
Isn’t the issue of drawing a line between our privacy and public health be treated at least as important as showing the number of unfortunate demises, the number of infected, the curve and the peak. ? Isn’t it as important as the economy? Isn’t it more important than showing what the celebrities are doing in their homes during lock down?
There should be an active poltical involvement to educate the citizens- not mere political gimmicks. Actions should be taken for spreading awareness and holding public discourse on the topic of data protection. There should be positive steps taken to make individuals aware about their right to privacy and how the misuse happens. There are no active and effective awareness campaigns on how one should protect his or her privacy in the virtual world. The presense of large number of digital illiterates, demands, an active social movement in this regard.
We are proudly marching towards digitalisation, without teaching the masses what it is really about. My thoughts, my dreams, my conversations and my opinions are mine. I don’t want those to end upon the desk of an analyst working for an MNC or an election campaign team, without my voluntary consent. We should realise that, our data might be worth more than we can imagine. We need to protect the most lucrative commodity in the global market- “our data”. Like Stephane Nappo said, my “privacy is not for sale”.
I have lost track of time. Wake up in the morning, but its already noon. Went up to the terrace to see the trees, it’s already night and eerie dark outside . The clock I have is all messed up.
There are allot of movie to be watched. Thriller? Romantic? Horror? Action? Fiction? I get confused. Open my Note to scribble something, then all of a sudden, I am watching Trump.
But it is not only what I have lost track of, I have lost count of the graves as well. When tombstones are the only family at funerals; When you don’t get to give a last goodbye kiss; That’s more painful than death itself.
The virus is mocking everyone. Elderly and the youth alike. It is not the time to show off the adrenaline rush. All the dead were healthier once. People are stranded at unknown sites, Nothing to do but wait this to end. And there are people with placards outside, shouting slogans. I still don’t know what they need.
I guess its better to lose the track of time, than loosing my mind and my dreams.
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Covid took away so much from this world. But it gave back one thing we had lost. TIME… For the first time in past seven years after college, No one is busy. Everyone is free to dive into their thoughts. Pick up a painting brush and pour the dreams on a canvas. Scribble a poem and let out the emotions, Chit chat without checking your watch; because you are not busy tomorrow.
Yes!this was the situation of the fortunate few. When we got our time back, majority lost their source of life. When the busy world stood still, they slept hungry under the roofless sky, and they walked miles ,because they wanted to be home. We are happy because we have money in our accounts. But it had disappeared from the hands of the poor.
When this is all over, don’t go back to the way we lived. Where those who had , had more than enough. Where those who didn’t had nothing. Where the animals were going extinct. Where the nature was being ruthlessly massacred. Where no one had time for anyone. NO!not back to the normal before lock down.
To a normal, where everyone have enough. Where the rivers get cleaner day by day. Where all can breathe fresh air. Where we can co-exist. Where there is time. Remember, world doesn’t require us humans. We require the world. But like the many, I am also confused. How to? Like us think. Because now we have time. *****