portrait of a regular day.

Four paws cross the street looking for food when I had just bought a chai and a Britannia at the roadside tapri. We both end up eating the cake together in alternate pieces. Chai sessions are just NEVER complete without company.

I hear something clink against my ankle. I feel it tracing an odd circle on my skin with its cold silver. I welcome the graze. I love its fleeting touch. I create a new reminder in Evernote of my phone to never take it off my foot.

At home, I lace up my shoes tight and go circumferencing around the apartment with the phone clutched tight in my hands and the earphones plugged loud in my ears. I drown out the outside noise with music blaring right in my head until all I can hear is myself panting. The most cliched songs are making sense all of a sudden.

Happiness comes in a size. It says ‘14 * 21.6 cm’ on the cover. And the 300 odd pages feel heavier than their weight when I confide things in them I would never tell my best friend.

What have you been up to?

Oh, lately I have been collecting lollipop wrappers from strangers on buses.

So this little girl sitting across from me in the bus unwraps a lollipop but looks around cluelessly when it comes to disposing off its wrapper, so I offer to throw it away for her. She gives away a cute smile that I can adore for a while but then she gets lost in devouring her candy and I have to shove the slimy wrapper inside my handbag to finally dump it in my office dustbin later.

Anyway, they should give me credits for the ‘value addition‘ I do by adding colors to the office trash.

so there’s one for every day. and you’ll celebrate all of them moods. GLORIOUSLY.

You feel small. Like the fierce woman living inside of you has toned down her element a bit. Actually, quite a bit. And then some more. You curl up all the sprawling, vibrant parts of yourself into a tiny, sorry ball. Or more like, pack them up tight under innumerous folds. One confusing lap after another done in such a way that it could may be take forever to really uncover what it had been like before your nimble fingers chose to handle your own vivacity so precariously.

Yes you do that to yourself. You recognize its red-alert signs and acknowledge it when you see it coming. The collapse. You tear up in the backseat of an Ola while riding home in the night. It just hits you out of nowhere. And you don’t even have the capacity to reason it anymore. So you welcome it rather than try glossing over it with ambiguity or outright denial. You know you are going to break down hard on the balcony floor once you get back home. (You also suddenly try to recall if Chikkamma had cleaned the balcony in the morning. Irrelevant. But relevant. Somehow your brain can simultaneously function on several parallel levels oddly well.) But you let yourself have ‘that’ time. You wilt and shrivel in silence. Or rather with outrageous wails being muffled into the pillow. May be that’s just become one of the survival tools now.

You stay quiet. You try to shrink yourself almost to a point of societal non-existence. Today is just another one of those days when you feel pulverized to the bone. And even ten mounting cups of coffee amount nowhere close to being a saviour.

You leave post-its around the house for selfcare. ‘Buy chocolates.’ ‘Buy that anklet from Instagram.’ ‘Get an organic shampoo.’ Some are just regular-care. ‘Apply aloevera.’ ‘Wash the damn clothes.’ ‘First Dunzo some detergent.’ ‘Drink water.’ ‘Did you drink enough water?’ ‘Get a new toothbrush.’ Because how will you remember all the ordinary and apparently-mediocre stuff in the middle of battling an apocalyptic crisis that is going to hit you unannounced! Again.

You feel happy. Dance-in-the-shower happy. Dump-on-you-the-most-monotonous-shit-at-work-and-you-still-won’t-fret happy. Roll-your-eyes-back-at-the-bus-conductor happy. Try-lipsyncing-to-the-silliest-songs-on-Saavn happy. You can literally feel a weeeeee-heeeee welling up inside you in the office elevator. You walk up to to the coffee machine and actually attempt blowing bubbles through the stirrer into the golden brown magic filling the cup to make odd faces froth up on the surface. Obligatory(?) confession: This is a weird kind of mood. Personal defence: But it doesn’t actually need to affirm to the mainstream, respectably-acknowledged moods out there because there is a whole spectrum of moods and this doesn’t even border on the territory of the most insane ones. Impartial question: Or does it?

You finally manage paying off your credit cards for the month. Though it’s another traumatic thing that you pay your first credit card through your debit card and your second credit card through your first credit card and your rent through the second credit card. Okay, this is vicious. And you know what it is but you still somehow end up just elongating this ugly chain every month. (Urgent note-to-self: Try to accept that taking care of personal finance forms an essential part of selfcare, so may be try to fix that in future. Like NEAR future.)

You feel high. You can almost imagine confetti showers. Or you don’t know what to call it but wild asymptotes of some kind of personal contentment have come crashing into you. Hard. Their wilderness so neck-to-neck with you now that there’s no space left anymore for useless pretence. You can openly be your rawest self. You can finally take an axe to all the dead ends tonight. You can weed out all the toxic things and nurture all the good ones. It is finally being taken care of. Everything. Is. Okay. You-can-safely-pick-up-that-honey-and-milk-tonight-instead-of-the-wine-bottle-and-it-will-still-be-fine-until-morning okay.

fuck finding beauty in the mundane, it’s just funny now.

2 28 AM. And the only happiness that knocks my door is the Zomato guy bringing in food I had ordered an hour back. Though even that is botched up. He brings me Paneer Manchurian and not my plain Aaloo Jeera that I had been badly wanting to eat since my flatmate cooks an amazingly yummy one and I was kind of missing that but had to settle for the Paneer Manchurian when he told me they don’t have that anymore, though he weirdly kept insisting on the Chicken one. Ugh. So much for happiness.

My bed is a mess. But I kind of pride myself on my invincible talent to find enough space in this horrific dump to squeeze in every night. Anyway, I will clean it up over the weekend. Or when I find time to not do anything at all. Probably, the latter.

So I had bought this pretty taupe jumpsuit on Amazon and it came in yesterday which really deserves five stars on super fast delivery but not even a single one on the fit because it weirdly clung to my body when I tried it on! Exquisitely d-e-t-a-i-l-i-n-g the fat that I have come to nurture on my…everywhere! I so hate it when dresses in rare colours like taupe and mauve and lavender and wine and mint and coffee and..(I think I will just omit the ‘rare’ part so basically any of all of them)…fail me.

I recently learned how to make plain paranthas. By pouring in oodles of ghee. And it seriously felt like an accomplishment in the beginning since I had finally perfected the art of making something edible. But now it doesn’t feel half as exciting as before when I have been making them every single day and eating them plain without any daal or curry to make them bearable for me. Last time I tried, even the lid of the jam bottle got jammed and I sort of died a little and had to somehow muffle my silent screams inside of me. Cooking daal or curry is still beyond my amazing capabilities so when I am alone at home, I just settle for the not-so-healthy ghee-laden paranthas. Or sometimes go the Zomato way. Which is not-so-healthy for my pocket.

I discovered that your Customer Care Executive can be your best friend! So one time, my WiFi broke down, one other time I thought there had been some fraudulent transactions on my credit card (no they were not fraudulent, yes I have reached a point where I don’t remember my own ENORMOUS transactions and then later suspect them to be fraud, yes I am capable of doing that!), one time my train bookings got cancelled, and then one time Nestaway fined me for paying a late rent (how mean!). I had been calling the ‘Customer Care’ a lot throughout all of these wonderful instances. And I have come to realize that no matter how depressingly sad or sadly depressed you have been feeling, by the time you keep the phone down on them, you are fuming with such anger that all your pathetic feelings will have been dissipated and you suddenly feel renewed with this rare vigour, unknown to man until this moment, to take down the world and to fucking take on anything in life! Like screw Ted Talks, these unabiding Customer Service people are the new therapists. They listen to your deepest needs by not listening to your immediate ones. Surreal.

on making the right investment.

choosing to battle it out with poetry instead of pills

that darkness and negativity and depression and anxiety and their hundred other cousins that come creeping up my door unsolicited

hammering them all down without getting hammered

buying books over vodka

turning to stories instead of stores

opening up myself in my notebook instead of ripping open those bottles in my hand

turning page after page rather than emptying glass after glass after glass

yes i am letting the words save me tonight

yes ink is all the poison i need.

on celebrating failures.

with feet sinking deeper into sand

my toes try hard to clutch at the grains

but fail at it pathetically

and still i am happy miring deeper anyway

not caring about

how far down i slip from the ground

or where exactly the fall ends

because it’s a discovery anyway

uncovering a new bottom below the bottom

finding a new ground to stand and smile on.

you are more than enough for yourself.

chasing after person after person after person

looking for your rescue in everyone surrounding you

you lose almost all of yourself to the circumstances

when at the last leg

one hand appears out of nowhere

pulls you out back to normalcy

and before you could begin to thank anyone

you realize all of a sudden

it was your own damn self.

 

you are your own saviour.