Fin

Thank you for the sea. The sun and sand. For sudsegad and the daily siesta. For the sunsets. The daily brush with shells, saltwater and seabreeze. For the fish thalis. For tisriyo, veliyo, lepo and chorice. For the beef. For the chocolate cake, serrsdura and caramel custard. For gelato. For friends who never forget. For friends like family. For the beach stays. For beach days. For the drives. For the 2000+ kms done in just six weeks. For the ease and acceptance. For the best time with S. For all the good work vibes and the tsunami of sessions. For the comfortable routine. For the drinks and the doobs. For the humidity and good skin days. For the heat and the powercuts that made me miss Bangalore. For such great shorts weather, my jeans lay untouched. For sweaty workouts. For meeting new people. For making new friends. For comfort in those that have altered. For acceptance with those that I left and hurt over for too long. For the happy happy days that outnumbered all others. For the flat days that gave pause. For the solitude and solo exploring. For all the catch ups I managed. For all the new places I ate at. For letting go old discomforts that have been heavy. For lightness and ease. For everything that’s changed that I worried wouldn’t be the same. For how okay it feels. For how okay I feel. For the quiet end of the year. And quiet beginning of a new one. For a home away from home. Forever home. For always.

One year ago: On anger
Two years ago: New light
Three years ago: Blockrockin’ beats (Wayanad 2017)
Five years ago: Come undone

 

Tarot: On magic

It’s not Monday, but I had some thoughts on Magic. So here goes.

Making Magic usually takes some work in terms of aligning desires with actions that can take us towards fulfilling them.

But there are many times that life offers up Magic without any effort or doing on our part. Think the sweet spots that shine amidst the rhythm of mundane life. Surprises that hum through the low hum of daily existence. Unexpected gifts that were waiting to be revealed, that were chanced upon seemingly in the middle of nowhere. When we weren’t looking. Happy coincidences, chance twists in the tale, unexpected good times that somehow make our day, week, month or year.

It’s okay, good even, to take these moments of magic for what they are. With arms outstretched, to receive it in full, even when it feels unwarranted or like we did nothing to deserve it. From a source beyond our making or doing.

The end of 2020 has been nothing short of magical for me. And I’ve been trying to take it for what it is — pure goodness — without wondering if it will last, how long I’ll be before the next slump, if I’m worth it etc, and all the other thoughts I usually have that totally kill the magic.

If you need a sign, take this today. Magic received and passed on, just as is. No reasons given, no hustle needed.

One year ago: On listening
Two years ago: Changing seasons, changing reasons
Three years ago: I’m just too good at goodbyes
Five years ago: On waiting

Endless beach days

We took ourselves to the beach on the 31st to catch the sunset. And somehow, without plan, found ourselves back at the beach on the 1st too. Then on the 2nd, we celebrated D’s birthday by spending the day on a beach in the south. So now we’ve even ticked that off the box. I want to believe that starting the year with three days at the beach is a good sign. Of what, I’m not sure.

Of balance? Of grounding? Of more access to sunshine and salt water? All of the above?

One can hope.

One year ago: Recharged
Three years ago: Here I go again (on my own)
Four years ago: 2016
Five years ago: In-bloom

Sun and salt water days

I only got to the sea in the last quarter of the year. But it is a privilege and a joy I cannot overstate. Our plan for 2020 was to shunt between Goa and Bangalore, as and when we pleased, because finally we are at a stage and place in our lives where we can. But of course that plan was not to be.

We did make it though, in October, finally. And despite living in Goa for eight years and having this continued come-and-go relationship with it for nearly ten years now, this time around, I really made time and effort to make it to the beach.

VC and I decided before we came here this time around, four weeks ago, that we’d try and spend sunset at the beach everyday. And so when we did, I started marking the days. Counting them off, here and on Instagram. Till I got to day 10 (without a break) and I realised we were actually doing it. I t wasn’t just a pipe dream or a short-lived burst of josh. And so I stopped counting. Nearly four weeks in, I’ve been at the beach at least 5 days a week, on average. Most times with VC, some days with S, and many days alone. Sometimes to swim, sometimes to just sit and watch everything, sometimes with tea, sometimes just music, sometimes to lie on my mat.

I unfailingly made a conscious effort every single day to get out and go to the beach. And I made it on most days. Some days I settled for a coffee shop, or a drive — getting out at sunset everyday anyway. LIFECHANGING.

Anyhow. I’ve more than made up for lost time at the sea — a feeling I’ve carried for all the years I lived here and was too busy living life to actually go to the beach as often as one imagined one would.

All this to say, I’m deeply, deeply grateful for the sea. For showing me how to flow and be steady. For letting me let go. For taking my tears. For giving me so many spectacular sunsets to close so many days, all kinds of days. For taking my breath away so often. For leaving me silent and speechless. For being okay with my solitude and companionship, whichever I brought with me on any given day. For being always available. For steadiness. For resilience. For silence. For flow. For ease.

I have received more than I have given. I have taken more than I can ever return.

***

We spent today evening at the sea too. It was way mroe packed than it has ever been this season. That was expected, I guess. But it was ncie none the less. To soak my feet, ground them in grimy sand, catch floating seashells, dodge hermit crabs.

Watching the sun go down as it does every single day, I reminded myself to go in to the new year without heavily pressing my intentions on what is yet to come.
To be okay with feeling my way through.
To find comfort in the wonder. In discovering things beyond what I think I already know.
To learn and accept how little I actually do know.
To try and take each moment as it is. Full of possibility in its own way.
Without heavily pressing my intentions, expectations or plans on what it could hold for me.
To come and go lightly. To hold on to only as much as I need. And let the rest go.
To flow, and to be steady all at once.

One year ago: Curtain call
Two years ago: December
Three years ago: Crossing over
Four years ago: December

This disgusting sunset

So effing disgusting.

I mean, it has absolutely no business being so disgustingly good that my heart couldn’t handle it. NO business.

And then it went and made it worse by turning even more disgusting.

One year ago: Simple
Two years ago: Let the water lead us home
Four years ago: Home is where the yellow roses are

Going under

It’s safe for me to let the waves that come, touch me. As they can. And they will.

One year ago: Love and belonging in politically charged times
Two years ago: Find my direction magnetically
Four years ago: Too much nature ho gaya

On love (and connection, and life)

I’ve been carrying this on-the-brink-of-happy-tears feeling around in the pit of my belly, trapped in my throat, jabbing right behind my eyes for over a week now. It felt like a storm of emotions brewing in my stomach. Like the slightest nudge would break me. The feels sloshed around in me, threatening to spill…and yet they somehow would just not flow? Just sat there bubbling, kissing the edge of spillover and nothing more.

That upside-down splish-splosh feeling sort of just became omni present. I thought it was about the (surprise) excessive happiness of the good chill time I have been having with my husband and my best friend, juxtoposed with the shit year I’ve had. But as the days wore on, the feeling grew in momentum, intensity and and two days ago, riding the ferry across to Chorao, in a yellowed hazy sunset, it hit me that it was more than that. It was coming from more than just being in Goa and having this welcome, unexpected break. There has been an over abundance of joy, lightness and laughter, but with a very different quality. I feel very overly emotional about the joy. Like how is that even possible, to feel like I could cry buckets from happiness. Like so full and expansive that if someone touched me I could burst. And so, that state of being on the brink of happy weeping constantly just lingered around.

***

S left last night, and VC has been away on assignment since Saturday. So I took myself to the beach all by myself this evening. It was a flat, unusually blemishfree sky when I got there. Over exposed cloudless, exploding with hot white light. But at about 5:40, something turned and just as I was planning to leave and head home, I witnessed yet another spectacular sunset. In those few moments, something was also set off inside of me. It slowly broke me, gently chipped away and eased me into a swivel of happy tears.

Somewhere in the hour that followed I realised what I am feeling is the contentment of being seen. Just as I am. Not too much, nor too little.  And the tears were a combination of having my heart pretty much splintered by this experience I’ve had over the last two weeks. Equal parts overwhelming joy from having the space to be entirely who I am, happy sad, in pain in joy, messy and fulfilled, awkward and alright, all of it. Without adjusting myself to make it better or palatable for the other. As well as equal parts grief from going over oh so many past friendships/relationships where I have gone looking for it, having a pre-defined shape and form in mind, expecting it to be something I will be offered, and never really having found it.

The simultaneous delicious surprise in having stumbled on it most unexpectedly, in a shape and form like absolutely nothing I had imagined, in a confusing medley of emotions, and heartbreaking realisation in how long I have waited for it, looking high and low, waiting for it to be somehoe given to me, when it was here within me, waiting to be had all along, has been a lot to process.

Today, I sit in the comfort of a warm lap of that grief for how much I’ve gone thru, and relief at looking back and knowing it has all added up to lead me here. This silent work I’ve done between one ruptured relationship where I wasn’t met and the next, has brought me here, to this place of being so willing to show up and be seen as I am, in the right moment. That when I was met with a willing, equally authentic recipient, something clicked.

And it feels like love. Pure and simple love. With no labels, no boxes, no pre-defined form or extension.

***

The last time I felt this swirl of inexplicable happy-crying, my-heart-can’t-take-it-anymore love was this day, two years ago. And I see now that the common thread has been the element of being seen. Being received. Having space to just be — authentically, in everything the moment has to offer.

These past two weeks have felt like my parched soul found an oasis. And I am still drinking of it’s soothing, hydrating, healing love.

Authentic, intimate relationships are pure love. Authentic connections are pure love. Authentic support is pure love. We were born for this connection. And I am here for it. All of it.

One year ago: The ground beneath my feet
Two years ago: Love in a thousand different flavours

Protected: On love (and connection, and life)

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Change the water

We have to dust things off every once in awhile, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases.

— Haruki Murakami

Like I was saying yesterday.

Four years ago: Ohhaii again, Bangalore

Above and beyond

An entirely unplanned break within a break has happened and I haven’t sat at my computer long enough to write today’s tarot message.

It wasn’t planned but it has been totally welcome. To have the general vibe of 2020 turn around slowly, just for a bit. To suddenly feel free, to roam, to enjoy the outdoors, feel together, bond with friends, share spaces, intimacy, laughter, sadnesses and fears as easily as food and drink, to feel flexible and allow indulgences, to re-discover home with my homies (VC and S) again.

It was entirely unplanned but totally serendipitous. And I have learnt to accept these instances with a bow and both hands outstretched. There was a lot of going with the flow, even more than I am used to, and it was freeing to be able to just chill out, and not be afraid of how far out we were venturing.

It was time to pause and hit refresh. And allow myself to relax my shoulders, shake my limbs out, swim in the sea, climb mossy seaside boulders, find hidden beaches, count the stars, eat greasy food, pet sandy dogs and breathe easy again. Even though I hadn’t planned for it.

I’ll be back with a tarot message in a few days.

I checked our odometer today and it seems we’ve clocked 1200 kms since leaving our doorstep in Bangalore over a week ago. In addition, I have enough sand in my feet (and sunset images in my mind) to have made up for nearly nine months of going nowhere limited movement. I wrote “going nowhere” earlier and on Instagram, but that is untrue I realise. I have been lucky to get out. Wayanad one, twice to Goa and a fair bit of freedom and luxury to move around in both places. But if I’m being honest, even that was with some reservation, self-imposed restrictions and a whole lot of retrospective fear. We have felt very weighed down by that.

This time aorund though, we have let loose, snapped, relaxed (while still taking care, of course) and that has been very freeing. I have just had so much fun these past 10 days. It’s been a bubble of friendship, warmth and a shared intimacy — all, of the kind that’s been very hard to come by this year.

In an older time I might have enumerated all the events and experiences, but I’m finding it hard to do that today.

One year ago: All I want for Christmas
Two years ago: I got this feeling inside my bones
Three years ago: I shake off all that no longer serves me
Four years ago: Indian Women Speak Out About Not Wanting To Have Children

Chasing sunsets

What is it that makes me place myself (even if just my feet or toes) in snapshots of spaces I’ve been, clicked leisurely, yet deliberately as if to preserve the memory of that time, and my being in it, forever?

What did we do before phone cameras became so mundane. Before documenting every moment became unbearably easy?

I won’t deny, I have an unquenchable need to wrap beauty in moments stored in snapshots. I want to preserve and keep them intact somewhere. In byte-loads of memory in a cloud. And this need is at direct odds with my constant urge to stay in the moment without wanting to elongate it or make it remains for anymore than it is meant to.

It’s just one of my current contradictions. The need to exist in moments of time, suspended and floating as is, without the urge to tether any part of the experience. With the need to do exactly that. Hold down, preserve, document, make endure. All the moments I experience. The beauty, the wonder, the joy, the contentment, the humour, the sadness, the mirth, the bitterness. I got to witness.

What is this need to make it time-proof? Memorable and eternal?

Maybe some day I’ll understand this need. And maybe some day I won’t feel the urge to do this. But today was not that day.

One year ago: Up and about
Two years ago: Abiding faith and peace of mind

This year

Everything has changed.

And so have you.

One year ago: More love
Two years ago: Take all my world and shake it

I get by with a little help

Plans and talks of having S visit us have been in the works since October. And yet, now that we’re here together in Goa, it feels a bit surreal that we’re hanging out in the flesh and not across a Zoom call.

What a year it has been, I think this thought umpteen times even now. And to be finally hanging out with a friend, ending the year together with someone who has played a big role in getting through 2020, feels all kinds of absurdly grateful.

We’ve been visiting markets, taking walks, cooking, catching up, sitting in silence listening to music, chatting, watching “content” together. But the highlight so far has been the daily jaunt to the beach to catch the sunset. I don’t know when, and this wasn’t planned, but maybe it’s going to be the thing to remember this trip by. And the skies have been the gift that just keep giving.

Uncannily, this is the third consecutive year where spontaneous plans have brought us together In December. Another one to add to the album.

This is day 4.

One year ago: New love
Four years ago: Looking back

Sun, set

I don’t know if there’s anything more cool than the way the sun casually just rises and sets, every single day in dramatic fashion. Whether anyone is watching or not.

Chill, easy, flowy, just doin it’s thang. There may be an insight in here for me, I think.

Four years ago: Essential reading

Sunday, sunset chill

I had a thought: this should be the way every day ends, if I can help it.

One year ago: Little tricks
Two years ago: Now I’m free falling
Four years ago: Grasp