Category Archives: Write-Ups

Ghost Hunter

For a man who spends his quiet nights chasing ghosts that lurk around corners without a motive, for someone who walks quietly into the shadows of a dark night, I wonder if there’s any part of him that believes that life exists outside anymore. Beyond the dark corners of his heart? He walks into the cemetery and searches frantically, and weeps and weeps on the tombstone of a man he once knew. Rumor has it, he killed the man buried under the tombstone. Then why does he cry? What is he looking for? What have you lost? Whose dreams were you chasing that you let go of yours?

Let’s rewind 5 years of his life now. “You came to me a long time back, like a friend should, like a friend would. All I see now is a faint shadow, which crawls back in and out, afraid of quiet sunsets and dark nights. I remember a time when you walked the shallow streets like you owned every sleepless night. Now you’re merely one to walk amongst it. No different than any ragtag junkie or a scavenger. A bitter irony, this story, of a man, reduced to nothing more than a faint shadow of the man he once was. It’s not often that you see a man burn and come back as nothing but ashes of his own reflection. No, it’s not the Phoenix. That return was triumphant. This is just sad to watch.”

“This is my dream! Raise objections, ask questions, shout, shudder, ponder, abuse me! But you raise a finger and I’m taking your arm for it.” I remember you shouting out to the world. You were on fire.

Then you made a mistake. You decided to walk away. Leaving behind an empire of dust and sin. You left it to rust, you looked away and you walked. I remember the anger, the cries of a million dead dreams, and they all surrendered; frickin’ surrendered to the roar of a lion. The wild untamed beast that you had become. Welcome to the dark side! You asked us to embrace it. The lifeless nights on old forgotten roads and empty streets. What happened to you, man? A man of quiet anarchy, a man of fire and wind and magic. How could you forget everything and walk away? I know the inspiration runs dry, I know that the music doesn’t sound good anymore. But you have to come back. You deserve more, you deserve better. You’re frickin’ better than everything you’ve put yourself through. It’s a tombstone of a dream you once killed. The ashes of which you scattered over the face of a broken-down, faceless society. It’s a thousand stories that you massacred. Come back, man. The anguish of man crying over broken dreams is one that this world can relate to, or maybe not. But that’s not your problem. That doesn’t matter. Come back. The dead have been known to bury them out. Don’t give up just yet. These ghosts haunt forever. Come back! Rewind! Watch the world go backward, watch time turn back.

Yesterday’s dead. Yesterday’s buried. Sing your songs of tomorrow, you’re only young until you tell yourself you are. We can’t always walk away from ourselves. We can’t always stand on thin edges and stand by what’s right. Sometimes you have a story to tell. Tell them your tales. Never kill a man who has a story to tell. Our todays are yesterdays’ stories and ‘tomorrows’ become stories too. Tell them a good story. You tell the world a good story because the world needs one. When you tell them, a lot of them will relate to it. And you ask them whose dreams were you chasing that they let go of yours?

Never let them tell you that you can’t stand on thin edges of an abyss without falling in. It’s the inner depths of reality that you can never come back from.

And so, “On the day to the last, when all eventualities come to pass, you’ll know it has been a good life and one hell of a ride.”

Psithurism

We live in a cosmos where so many stories happen every centimeter. Every day, all of us come across so many entities that change in us in ways that we never realize. The best ones, I feel, are the ‘ones unheard’.
Now, when I say ‘unheard’, I am referring to the ones that fall into the drums of our ears, yet never travel through our system to dissolve into our blood and make a home within us. The ones that might touch our surface but never seep in, and persist, at the most, as faded memories in our lives. The ones that collide into our path with the sole intention of being held by us, just to bounce back into their place, as we, unaware of their very existence, continue with our ways.

Psithurism: The word goes on to explain one such sound. The sly sound that the wind makes when it carries itself through the trees. The sound of the joy that the leaves make every time they meet. It promises the joy of childhood memories and the comfort that they bring along. But it has an untold itch about itself; how it never promises to assuage the untouched wounds that follow that joy! The memory of how feelings dried, over the time, to empty thoughts. The memory of the pain that’s felt, when after all this time of feeling that you know love, how, in one stash it behaves like it never knew you. The memory of the revelation that how effortlessly, things, that you never thought you could forget, dissipate with time. The memory of disbelief related to how you dusted yourself off, after every time you fell down, with your own little hands and ended up marveling at the magical wonders that those little ones created. The beauty attached to the impulsive starts of those beautiful memories, where no reasons were needed in order to get started. The realization, that by their end, all they seemed to be made up of, was reasons. The hope that your friends remember you, with what it was like, before all the reasons got in between. (and not by the end of it.)

UBUNTU – I Am Because We Are

Some of us might look at this word “Ubuntu” and think of the operating system, some of us might acknowledge it as a word of South African origin, some of us might be aware of both the things, while some of us might have encountered it for the first time.

The word “Ubuntu” is a noun that is defined by dictionary.com as “humanity or fellow feeling or kindness”; however, this is not enough to capture the entire meaning of this wonderful word, and almost everyone who is aware of Ubuntu will agree with me.

I have gone through many articles and speeches that mention Ubuntu; every author, every speaker, has held a similar approach to the topic, but somehow everyone has had their own meanings for it. So, I have decided to take the efforts of my fellow writers, a bit further, by writing about what I feel Ubuntu is.

The very basic thing you would hear from someone who knows the word ‘Ubuntu’ would be: “I am because we are”, or “I am what I am because of who we all are”. President Barack Obama mentioned in his eulogy for Nelson Mandela, that he (Mandela), not only embodied Ubuntu but he inspired millions of people to find the truth within their own selves. It is said to be the word of the highest praise, a word which can only be loosely translated into other languages. I will not give it another translation. However, I will elaborate on the ones that are present already.

Since the time we were born, we have been observing the people around us, learning by mimicking their words and their actions. I will never forget that my mother taught me how to ride a bicycle, or that it was my aunt who taught me how to whistle. These are activities that we perform, and learn, or are taught. There are feelings and emotions as well that mold our personality due to the kind of encounters we have. I am a very patient person, not because I always was, but because I have a younger sister who can be very testing. I have met people who display kindness which is boundless. It is something I admire as well as respect; hence, I was encouraged into becoming kinder. Of course, there are many things that come to us naturally; most of all, love. We are born with love, to love, from love, for love. Without going astray, I’ll clarify what I’ve wanted to convey by saying all of this.

Every person we meet, we see, we talk to, owns a moment or many, of our lives, and so do we, of their lives. We leave a little of ourselves in them and vice versa. We are a part of everyone we know and they are a part of us. Meeting someone with kindness would leave our kindness behind for them and in them. And, this is why, I am because we all are. We cannot survive without each other. We learn and grow due to each other. All of us are connected by the invisible yet beautiful thread of humanity. Ubuntu is what makes us all one.

Veni. Vidi. Amavi.

We Came. We Saw. We Loved.

I.

“Tell me something about yourself,” he said, with his young energy bubbling to its zest.
“First day of office?” she asked, veiling her familiarity to its answer under the cover of the very question.
His eyes widened out of bewilderment for her experience as he confirmed her belief.
She went on with telling him what her name was, and described herself by her schooling and job profile. While leaving the office, she looked at him, wishing that his energy never vanishes.

It was weekend, but she hit back home at her rock bottom, not knowing what lay ahead of her. After feeding the family and completing her daily course of work, she walked towards her room wondering if she would ever be able to know herself beyond that description. This very uncertainty of never being able to, was crumbling her heart. Tugging the sheets, she hemmed her body into a foetus, as tears forced themselves out of her. In the safe custody of the vicious blue of that night, she sobbed.

II.

“So you save lives?” The girl smiled.
His face, covered in grey beard, twisted into confused expressions as he broke his deep silence and reassured himself, more than her saying, “Yes, I am a doctor in practice”.

It is sad how we choose to feel about ourselves as Doctors, Professors, Advocates, Architects, Actors, Public Accountants and Ministers, and not as humans. Not as people who save lives, people who help human generations succeed, people who help bring harmony, people who make manmade wonders happen, people who make other people happy or people who make it easy for all of us to live together. It is sad how the means of living have superseded the feeling of being alive. Sad, how we have become so indulged into this urge of defining ourselves, when we could go on with living to what we really are with no limitations. Sad, how the sound of breathing, the crinkles by the eyes, the curling motion of lips, wet eyelashes, pulsating nerves, pounding chests, hormonal imbalances, adrenaline rushes, cries of joy, words between gaps, silences between words, among other things that are tangible and have life, have reduced their meanings to lifeless and intangible labels like Doctors and Public Accountants . Sad, how life and energy despite being alive, present around everyone, all the time, fails to make its presence felt. Sad, how we need the blue of the night to curtain us while we can be human and perform humanly things like crying and repatriating back to our real selves, the persons we have been underneath for all our lives. All through the day, we indulge into the false convictions; hide our sad faces behind our empty smiles and then, covered by the blue veil of night, humans and babies sleep alike.
Just like the Cinderella story nights bring along a magic with themselves, we can be ourselves, we can be humans, just like babies, we can talk our hearts out, cry our eyes out. Then, the morning comes and we turn into pumpkins, again!

VENI: We Came.

Humans are nothing without other humans. Many people won’t buy it. However, no one can deny that humans are made out of other humans. We come out of love, for, the human who goes through a prolonged period of mental and physical anguish, never, for once complains about the enormous turmoil of bringing you to life, as the joy of giving life to you supersedes the enormous pain that she had undergone. You are blessed with love, even before you could know what love is. Therefore, we must appreciate the fact that everyone is born out of someone. That everyone has at least once been loved.

VIDI: We Saw.

We all work so that we, the carriers of love, can persist; but at the end of the day, no one can deny that love centers our lives. For, Love is what keeps us alive. What I feel is that life is too underrated a concept; because everyone has it, no one values it. No one cares to see how finite it is. Most of us believe in keeping ourselves, our love and our finite lives reserved for our family, or, at the most, for our friends; shutting our doors to the energy, the life, that surrounds us. Without knowing what we are stopping from seeping in, we stare blankly at it like we have seen it all, when no one has seen it all. But the ones, who have seen even bits of it, cannot undervalue the endless sight that it has got to itself.

AMAVI: We Loved.

No matter how much they deny, even the people who claim to not love anyone must have loved at least one person in their entire lives. I don’t think there has been even one person who has never loved. All of us grow up with people who want someone to love them in a certain way. But it is beautiful how some people want someone, not to love them, but whom they can love, for taking love is an art that not everyone can master. We all say that we want to be loved, failing to acknowledge that it can be hard to take. Despite all of these complications, it is beautiful how we can love each other, especially, when we love with our broken hearts.

We don’t know why life was given to us. We don’t even know when it will be taken away from us, for, one day we are all going to be transformed from the sound of breathing, the crinkles by the eyes, the curling motion of lips, wet eyelashes, pulsating nerves, pounding chests, hormonal imbalances, adrenaline rushes, cries of joy, words between gaps and silences between words, to stones. To stones and dust and ashes. All I know is that, right now, life has been loaned to me. I don’t want to deceive myself into the false conviction of owning it or having it for a very long time, for it belonged to someone or something before I had it and will belong to someone or something after I have had it. So, while I have it, I want to make sure that I live it to the fullest. I want to be certain that I came, I saw and I loved.

This Man Walks

This man walks and walks for no reason. He never had anyone to give him directions. He could never go back home, for he had none. A man told him once, “Kid, keep walking. It’s always better to be a mile ahead of where we stand.” And truth be told, that really was the only thing anyone ever told him.

So he walks now. He walks without aim, without reason, he walks in every season. Just to be a mile ahead of where he stands. He walks with the burden of ages upon him. He walks with the memories of the walls he has left behind. He walks with the burden of the streets he has left behind. He knows there’s no going back. Life does not go a full circle for everyone. And yet he walks. He walks for the blood that flows within.

He walks in search of freedom. In search of life, love and beyond. In search of purpose. To live a life well-lived. He walks to see what lies beyond closed doors. To see what’s on the other side. Yes, this man walks. He walks with the burden of ages bestowed upon him. He walks to be a mile ahead. He walks to respect the words of a dying man, to respect a promise to be a mile ahead of where he stands. And now he walks forevermore.