Making meaning

It’s not that I have been busy. I’m just as occupied as one can be in a situation like this. But I realised this morning in therapy, that I am sad. I am grieving. Many things. And as I processed some of it, I realised this is also why I have also been at a loss for words.

In all of this, I have been feeling a lack of space for expression of what I am feeling. I have been feeling alone, worried, anxious, confused, uncertain. And I have had very few places (nearly not enough) where I can express that. Words have not felt like they’re enough. And formulating them has been difficult. So much so that I haven’t tried very much. Couple that with wanting distance from the news and not turning on my laptop means there have been no posts. My head has felt blank a lot this week.

Even so, outwardly, my life goes on. I have been alright. Life has been going on okay as it does even when there is no full blown pandemic in the air. Up and down. Good days, okay days, not so good days. The way it rolls even otherwise.

So yesterday, as I struggled to find the words, we explored art instead in my therapy session. I scribbled in silence, crying some, on a Skype call. Quietly, but strangely mindfully. Not knowing at all what I was doing with the crayons on the paper. Not making meaning. Not even remotely trying.

I often mistake words as my only form of expression. And by extension, I see my need to make meaning in my expression, in everything I do. My deep need to understand and have certainty is fully exemplified in writing. Words are certain. They have form. They hold shape. They say very specific things. They make articulation possible. They communicate. They make me feel like I have control.

Whereas what is going on around us right now is from a different realm altogether. No certainty. No form. No pattern. No plan. No shape or size. No articulation.


And it is this that I have been confronting everyday, at a very subtle level. So subtle that I had no idea until I had been through an hour plus of therapy where I — you guessed it — made meaning of it.

So post therapy, I sat with my sister and put paint to paper for about four hours. This is no big deal for my sister who spends hours very quietly, never needing words, not wanting to expend any energy in words, simply making her art. So her presence and company helped. There was music, there was me occasionally breaking the silence to chatter as I always do. There was chai, and there was banana bread. And I painted.

I have no idea what I made. I didn’t start with a plan, I didn’t set out with a picture in mind. I just went with it. I still don’t know what I’ve made. It holds no meaning.

But it was therapeutic. I might have to include this in my regular activities now.

One year ago: A good day to give thanks
Two years ago: Love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves

Pictures for words

Until the words return, I might have to make do with pictures.

And something I made today.

One year ago: Finding flow again
Two years ago: Just go ahead, let your hair down

On crying

It takes a good cry, or several, to get your hand to touch your face. To explore its contours and to see what lies beneath the thin skin that stretches over your eyes.

Crying has shown me the shape of my face. The curves where tears stall, the nooks that let them escape, making a beeline straight for my mouth. I trace a finger down the salty dry, residue from where a tear once trailed. And I see the shape of longing, I touch the slopes of happiness, I feel in my hands, the fullness of overwhelming emotions.

When I’m done crying, there is a strange new glow. My eyes sparkle invitingly. Suddenly, I find I am looking at myself straight in my eyes, more.

This is new and liberating. Crying has that power. Of discovery. Of freshness. Of endings. Of new energy.

I’ve tasted my tears now. Searing saltiness, reminiscent of cured memories. Memories I’d tucked away in the hope I’d never have to look. But they’re ready now, pickled, and pure in a whole new way. Waiting to be unwrapped. Waiting to hurt and liberate in equal measure.

The tears envigorate. Prepare me for what is to come.

Crying has made my heart fluid again. Turned it into a shapeshifting mass of water, held together by its own inward magnetic pull. That same heart I’d wrapped in layer upon layer of wisdom. The heart I’d helped grow strong (and perhaps cold, too) is salt water and sea breeze now.

The heart that has grown up, wise and clear, wants to grow young and naiive again. And so the tears come from that place of young-ness. Of the baby I once was.

Eyes full, always ready to spill over. A tiny nudge and the overflow is on. At the slightest hint of sorrow showing up. Of a kindred spirit. Of stories so alike they frighten.

I’ve found sharp loathing and a piercing ache in the spot where tears flow from. I try to stop them. But it is not to be. Not now, anyway.

And so they flow and they flow. Long after the urge to cry has left my body, they continue to flow. In that moment I know I’m not crying for my grief, or from the big sorrows alone. This is grief for every small, little, everyday pain.

From everyday dejection, defeat, disinterest. From that unanswered message. From that plan that didn’t include me. From that dress that didn’t fit. From having to make a choice that was no choice at all.

From the unknown hands that jabbed inside my teeshirt on that crowded bus. From that perv in the shape of a doctor. From the relative I can never speak of.

From not having made it. From holding myself in. From not being good enough. From balancing it all.

From moving from Bangalore to Goa. From moving from Goa to Bangalore. From wanting to be the hostess-with-the-mostess. From wanting it all. From that copy that refused to be written. From the pitch that never took.

From the love that turned sour. From friendship that I’ve let go of. From being too much. From not being enough. From people who didn’t pick me. From people I picked who wouldn’t have me. From people who had me, but fell so short of what I wanted of them. From people who had me, and who I had, but only just for a short while.

From distance. From too much closeness. From boundaries that were never made. From boundaries that were transgressed. From boundaries that were in places they never should have been. From being too hard on myself. From letting myself go easy.

Crying has shown me the shape of my face. In the abyss of loneliness that lies still, within, just beneath my eyes, and in the turn of my chin, I’ve felt a softness I didn’t know I had. A softness to hold in my tender hands, old sadness. I’ve found there, the power to choose myself. I’ve found strength to be myself.

Salt water and sea breeze, sunshine and sand — crying has shown me the source. A single drop from where I emerged, and the shapeless all-encompassing vast beyond that I must eventually go to.

One year ago: Tell me what you really like

Day 33: January

I blinked, and January has passed. In a flash seems about right, when I think about how to describe it. Odd, because it was a stagnant month, and not much happened on the outside. I was mostly disinterested, but restless. I was eager, but felt crippled. I slowed down on work, choosing not to actively didn’t seek new assignments, because I was just about managing to keep my head up enough to see the commitments on hand to the end. Even the projects that were otherwise fun and engaging were beginning to get to me. A head full of questions and no answers in sight can only be pushed aside so much. And this was a long time coming, so by the end of the month, when everything related to work really began to weigh me down, I realised I could push it no more.

In another classic me move, I swung from one extreme of working madly to the other – giving it all up to start from scratch. So that’s where I am at now. Making measured baby steps.

But what else did I do in January? (Apart from feeling restless, hating the waiting and feeling like I have having a shit, shit month.)

Watched: Netflix came to India and opened up a whole new world for us, given that we live without cable TV for the most part. I watched Aziz Ansari’s Master Of None which came highly recommended by S. I loved it for its simplicity, warm fuzzies-inducing take on everyday stuff like work struggles, food, dating, co-habiting and many things that people in their 30s can relate to. It’s straight-forward, funny, relatable and just the kind of consumption I like – 10-episode season, 30 minutes each, and nicely made too.

What’s Love Got To Do With It is a Netflix documentary about the Indian culture of arranged marriage. Again, it came recommended by N, so I got around to watching it. I was equal parts amused and angry by the end of it. Amused because it’s always enlightening to get a peek into the minds and lives of your fellow Indians, with whom you feel like you share so much in common, but you also realise how you couldn’t be more different. Angry because the film left me furious not so much at the meaninglessness of the system and the marriage “market” (which I will admit, I can try and see the advantages of) but the reactions and thought processes of some of the men. And consequently, the women they marry. Obvious debates about arranged marriage aside, the movie left me questioning the institution of marriage itself. In recent times, I’ve seen relationships crumble for a variety of reasons and increasingly I’m beginning to question the importance we attach to finding a lifelong mate and binding ourselves to it. Instead my take has been more aligned to the the belief that it is not for everybody. That it works excellently well for some, is no sign that it must be the universal aspiration for us as a race.

Begin Again  is a rom-com with Keira Knightly and HUBBAHUBBA Mark Ruffalo and I was interested in watching it  because of the setting and plot – budding singer, song writer in search of herself, meets failed producer and they Begin Again. It was a lovely light hearted film, and I enjoyed it even more because it didn’t go the conventional rom-com route, had an open ending, and they’re both such lovely, real actors. At the end, I realised it was co-written (I think) by Judd Apatow, and that explained a lot of things. And why I liked it too. Also, lots of Mark Ruffalo being an angst-written passionate musician to see. And he’s topless in the very first scene. So. Yeah. Mark Ruffalo.

Read: After last year’s abysmal reading habit, I’m slowly getting myself back on track by making sure to read a little everyday, even if it is for 10 minutes before bedtime. On the upside, I found I chose reading over work, TV and going out more often than not. But it was slowly unfolding effort, and most attempts ended very quickly with sleep taking over.

I chose a simple, but by no means light, read and managed to finish it very quickly. This restlessness I’ve been going on and on about started to really rise to the surface around November last year, and when none of the small external changes I was making seemed to make a difference, I began to look inward quite spontaneously. This is something I haven’t actively done in a very long time so I was a) a little taken aback at myself b) pleased that maybe this was a natural sign of what I need to focus on more. When things come spontaneously, I tend to take them a lot more seriously than when enforced by an external force. Some events occurred around that time too, for VC and I, which made me sit up and accept that perhaps the answers I am seeking aren’t really obvious and won’t be found in places I was looking for them. I re-started a meditation practice I had near abandoned about 7 years and have been consciously looking inwards and trying to get to the root of everything I am feeling, my reactions to situations and relationships and my attitude to every day things that happen to me.

As I usually do, I shared all these experiences with N, who recommended reading this book she’s mentioned to me before. But something about the way she said I think this is the perfect time for you to read this made me want to pick it up immediately. It helps that it is a short, simple read, so great for someone restlessly seeking answers, and/or getting back to the reading habit.

Then she wrote a lovely post here that only reaffirmed my feelings. So I started and finished The Untethered Soul, by Michael A. Singer, and it couldn’t have come to me at a better time. I’ve always found modern spirituality book titles so fluffy and hard to relate to. Nebulous concepts, wrapped up in ambiguous, loaded words that actually mean very little when it comes to our daily lives. But I was pleasantly surprised with this book. A lot of it was good timing, because I’m increasingly learning the immense power of how everything has a time and a place. That I have been dealing with a lot of the questions the book deals with, in my own mind, is probably why N recommended it to me.

The book talks about spiritual growth, understanding things that we all deal with: fear, insecurity, disappointment, rejection, anger, frustration, inexplicable highs, satisfaction, joy and so much more. It has helped me understand a lot of what I have felt in recent time. It’s provided solace at a time when I was questioning every decision, second guessing my relationships, feeling fearful and unable to let things go and move forward.

It ultimately is a book about trying to slow down, listen carefully to what your mind is actually trying to tell you. It emphasises the power of every little thought and feeling we experience and the capacity of our heart and brain (the spirit) to give us some of the most important clues about who we are as individuals. The book has guided me to watch my emotions, my reactions to situations, understand my innermost feelings in dead simple, almost too simplistic at times, language, devoid of the usual mumbo-jumbo I was expecting. The process is continuous, of course, but I couldn’t have arrived at it on my own, unless I read something or spoke to someone who spelt it out like this book does.

If you’re seeking spiritual growth, trying to understand what’s going on in your mind, want a little peace and clarity and have come to believe that it can only be achieved by realigning your mind, this is a good book to read.

Did: I resumed exercise with a renewed commitment in January. It came back with a bang when I realised I was feeling unhealthy despite everything I was doing. I realised I hadn’t consumed a single fruit in about 4 months, simply because I have been too busy to notice. I immediately fixed those little things this month – easily done. Started stocking fruit again, getting my help to chop them up so I have absolutely no excuses to keep myself form eating them! And I have started pushing myself to be regular with exercise again.

Another big improvement is I started enjoying cooking my everyday meals again. An activity I loved and sought like solace, had been relegated to a 20-minute chore that was done with the intention to just get it done quickly rather than with a focus on the outcome. I’ve ignored this for a whole year now, and I know it has shown on the quality of the meals we’ve been eating at home. When my mind is restless it invariably shows in my actions and it’s reflected in my kitchen too. Haphazard shopping trips, badly planned menus, distasteful meals and close to no socialising that involved having people over and cooking for them. I’m starting with cooking well for ourselves again, before I try and get folks to come home again!

I’ve doodled a mad, crazy amount in January and enjoyed it a lot more than I expected it to. An activity that was meant to just empty my mind out has become something more, and that’s the stuff of an entirely different post that I will get to soon.

Apart from that I managed to write a little something everyday and go to the beach a lot more this month, and since they’re things I want to do more this year, that’s two more big ticks for me.

January was pretty shit, but I’m in a better headspace, and a better place overall than at the start of the month. So I’m going to count on that. Leaving you with a song I’ve had on loop a lot this month. Something about the monkeys in the video makes me really, really happy.

Day 32: On creative happiness

To finally realise, whether in a flash of an instant or a longwinded way, that it is okay to be happy with a calm life, has been the essence of re-discovering a kind of creative freedom for myself.

To have the ability to do x, y and z. But to realise that it is actually just x, that makes me truly happy. And to accept (even if painfully) that I must let go of y and z, has been oddly liberating.

I am cut out for a certain kind of life, work-style and my entire journey of discovering writing has brought me back to this point, several times, in several different ways. I have time and again found that all roads lead me back to this point – where at first I feel like a fish out of water, stick out like a sore thumb, but eventually I realise that it is okay to want to pursue a journey different from the one it feels you can manage perfectly. I’ve been in this same spot, arrived at it from various different routes, even acknowledged it and shifted gears before. So why am I resisting it so much this time? To finally let that guard down and accept that cycles repeat for a reason, that I find myself back at the same point over and over only because I’m not fully learning the lesson from that experience, has taken me closer to creative happiness.

To be able to really tell the difference between what I can do, and what I want to do; what is a nice-to-have career and a must-have purpose – that feeling perfectly encapsulates what creative freedom means to me. And to be in the privileged position to indulge that path inevitably leads to creative happiness. I have tasted, savoured, devoured it. But somewhere, I lost it too.

To acknowledge all of this, scale back my life and commit myself to living this dream authentically, is my creative freedom.

To dedicate myself to the smallest, most personal little goals, and watch them as they unfurl and create bigger changes around me, like ripples in a pond is what exercising creative freedom feels like. At the centre of that process, that journey, is chaos. The point at which the rock hits the calm surface of water. The dashing of peace and placidness, to make way for tumultuous action, that eventually transforms things. Within and around. That is creative happiness at work.

To understand that creative happiness is a choice. That it takes effort, it takes owning up to it, it takes following through has been my biggest learning in recent time. I fully understand that the slightest bit of wavering on these counts can make it slip away in an instant. Hang on to it, I remind myself everyday. Hang on to it, live it. And own it like you mean it.

creative happiness


Some of my dearest friends and I decided to start a blogging prompt thingie, to help us get into the habit of writing more often. It actually came about from the fact that several time in our deepest most involved conversations about the things around us, things that affect us, the people we engage with, the relationships we have, the phenomena we experience and our opinions that are shaped from it, we’d tell each other “Hey, you should write about this!” So one day we decided to try and make a serious attempt at doing that. Except life got in the way, an absolute shit month ensued and this got forgotten. I don’t know if it will be a weekly thing like we intended it to be but, the prompt we started and ended it at – What does creative happiness mean to you? – seemed rather apt for the month I’ve had. Serendipitous, if you will. So I didn’t want to pass up the chance to write it down, so I can come back to this the next time I’ve lost my way.

Day 29: Emptying my cup

There’s a lot to be said for people who perfectly manage their busy, full, hectic lives, straddling work, family, a social life with equal aplomb. Then there are some who do all that and still make time for the simpler, individualistic pleasures like reading, indulging hobbies and such like, with equal panache. I always want to doff my hat in admiration whenever I meet or see folks like that – people who seem to have every single ball up in the air, at any given point, yet manage to perfectly juggle them, with a smile plastered across their perfectly preened faces, and not a strand of hair out of place.

I tried somehow found myself in the midst of a life like that. And I managed for towed the line for a good long while, at the end of which I realised I had failed was exhausted. For several weeks now this irrevocable truth was gnawing at me, nibbling bits of me, inside-out. Every time it threatened to reach the surface, I’d physically move it to another spot, so it would start chewing again. The immense burden of what I thought was wasted time, of sacrifices that I felt were perhaps in vain, of compromises that I convinced myself hadn’t paid off, weighed down on me like the heaviest rocks from the darkest spot at the bottom of a sludgy black river that moves ever so slowly. For weeks, I found comfort in beating myself up over whether it was worth it or not, looking intensely to find what possibly caused my severe exhaustion, over-analyzing the personality problems that always land me in similar situations and until I reached the inevitable What could I have done differently?

Which is when I realised the answer that was staring me in the face all along was, absolutely nothing. Because there was absolutely no way to know then, what I know now, or how it was all going to pan out. I was made to realise that there is no failure. Only lessons.

Suddenly, I am right back to where I once was. The world is my oyster, again. And being here is not as frightening as I anticipated it would be. And VC’s words ring true again, The fact is that you won’t ever be back right where you started, because no matter what, you’re better today than you were a year ago.

As I sent out the last few emails and cleaned out my virtual slate, wiping down the long list of to-dos, assignments, deadlines, I realised it has been so long since I’ve been at a loose end, of my own doing, that I have forgotten how immensely liberating it can actually be. I feel lighter, un-burdened. Yet stronger. Almost physically. If last year was all about that proverbial cup filled to the brim, that was in fact running over, it’s about time I empty that cup completely.

It takes me back to that old Zen story we were told. How can I show you Zen, unless you first empty your cup?

I started my 32nd year with a promise, that it was okay to be happy with a calm life.  And yet soon after that, I somehow forgot all about it and got completely consumed in the landslide. Yes, it felt good in the moment, in the long run even. But I eventually grew tired of it. And it left me with a big hole in the space of my heart that is usually bursting with joy at everything I have done. So when I let go at the end of the year, partly by choice and partly because it was getting physically impossible to keep going, I knew it was time to empty that cup. To make space for new work, new goals, new skills, new horizons.


Today  a good day to remind myself of the peaceful thoughts I began my 32nd year with. It’s a good day to give myself permission once again, to allow myself to slip back into the calm life that I know suits me best. To regain some of that harmony and balance. And to have some fun while I’m at it. To know that a full cup was fabulous, but it’s time to empty it. Essential, even. In order to make space for the new. To remind myself that saying yes to everyone and everything that came my way was good, it was great, in fact. But it’s also safe to say yes to myself again.

Day 26: Pain


Conversations in the a.m. with S&S begin early, sometimes as soon as we have woken up and barely surfaced – well some of us more than others! And its a gaggle of laughter, wisdom and banal details about our life all squashed into the little time we have before we each disappear into the chaos of our respective mornings at work.

The conversations are solid. Like gold. And invariably they’re peppered with seemingly simple but loaded words, casually, almost carelessly thrown into the midst of the banter and mad laughter.

Like bird feed, scattered around for us to pick up and munch on mindfully, slowly, at any time of day. Many times remnants of some of these conversations linger with me like the sweet taste at the end of chewing on a piece of tamarind.

But they’re just words, strung together like beads on an abacus string. Mix them up, push them sideways and measure them up any way you like. And so we hang on to them, inhale, exhale, ruminate, regurgitate, and let it go. Once we have taken everything we needed from them.

Today’s nugget will stay with me for a while. I don’t know if they realised just how intensely meaningful it was for me to be told, to be reassured, that: my pain is valid.

How sweet is it to be able to show someone the bruise on your bum with as much ease as it is to send out a voice note that’s struggling to come out because of a snot filled nose and a heart that’s jammed with tears? And how wonderful is it to realise that the ears and hearts listening at the other end will, in all probability, distill the entire mess into a tiny little seed and plant it deep within your soul.

I’ve never thought of pain as valid or even necessary. Until we had that conversation. I’m always so quick to brush aside pain, shirk it, protect myself from it. But sometimes pain is a seed. Plant it, and every day thereon water it, talk to it, and watch it transform into a full, lush tree.

Day 20: Perspective


6 am doodles about planetary movement in a vacuum of ebony. Of drawing and feeling energy in a way that cannot be explained, controlled or stopped. Of spinning around on a rock in the middle of a sea of nothingness.

Of size, perspective and realising once again, how completely insignificant we are in the larger scheme of things we often ponder about.

Day 6: Sometimes I draw

So, I had a prompt for today’s post and a complete story written out in my head. But it’s been a long day, my flu refuses to leave me and in addition to a blocked nose a hacking cough and a heavy head, this morning I woke up with a catch in my back. Forced to spend most of the day in bed away from the laptop meant allowing the prompt-induced post to recede into a corner of my mind where it can marinade a while longer. 

Instead, I’m taking a shortcut today and posting some stuff off my Instagram. 

Apparently I am Zentangling. 

I didn’t realise it but it seems what I am doing is exactly that. I’ve been doodling intricate single colour patterns of this kind since I was 15. In fact, I remember making a bunch of these on 4×6 pieces of card, mounting them on large chart paper and attaching stapled bunches of calendar sheets (also hand written and multiples made by photocopying them!) below to turn them into calendars that I handed out to about 30 people at a family reunion over NYE of 1999. 

It was the December right before my board exams and with thoughts of future studies and bright futures ripe in my mind, I nurtured the idea that I’d go to NID and study graphic design. 

We know how that turned out. Or rather didn’t. 

But the doodling habit, love for geometric patterns, symmetry and intricate hand work has stayed with me. At the end of last year, I realised I needed an activity apart from reading and writing that would disengage me from a lot of the mundane stuff in my daily life that seems to engulf me completely. I needed a healthy distraction that would disengage me from that noise and also engage me in a completely absorbing way. 

Since the day I doodles the reminder to let it all go, I decided to start doodling a little something everyday, once again. And it seems to have done the trick. It is absorbing in a way that makes time slow down to a crawl. It is deeply addictive and makes you put everything aside till you finish a page completely and it is just the thing I needed. 

6 days in, 5 doodles down I feel this is calming, soothing and almost meditative. 

 Apparently, I’m Zentangling. And this is what it looks like. 

A wish for peace on a particularly troubling day.

There is no end and no beginning.  


And then my black pen ran out of ink. 


Day 3: Reminders and notes to self

Amidst the incessant chatter, the incorrigible banter, the uncontrollable laughter and the endless streams of communication that happen with the two maddest girls I have met in recent time, I sometimes find a trigger. A trigger that sets off an inner monologue. A random utterance that ought not to hold too much meaning, but suddenly clicks a little swirling thought right into place, in my head. And today that happened by way of one of those pinterest-y aspirational quotes that were shared on whatsapp.

Starve your distractions. Feed your focus. it said in big fat letters, superimposed over a reclining tiger. Simple words often hit the spot like a hammer on an anvil that has been in waiting for aeons. Instantly, it put words to the meandering thoughts that I’ve been juggling in my mind. It gave shape to the shapeless, mish-mash that has been my focus of late.

I know what I want, I know what I have to do, but I have been restlessly shuffling around not knowing where to begin. To-do lists, notes to self, reminders, calendars — I’ve tried it all. But the thoughts continue to morph like shapeshifting ninjas that refuse to be tamed. At some point last year I resigned to the headless-chicken-like existence that I had resorted to. Just slipping along with the landslide and continuing that way seemed like the easier option than hitting pause and making sense or working out any kind of schedule.

But. I cannot continue that way. It caused a significant loss of stillness, patience and calm that I had so carefully built over the last 2 years.

Our conversation today, about rejigging the focus back to where it should be, made me realise it is ultimately about cutting distractions. I sorely miss the days when I lost track of time, immersed in one activity. These days I don’t feel like I have done much unless I have multi-tasked the bejeezus out of my daily task list. Any free moment of time makes me restless thinking about the ten other things I could be doing to fill my time. And I hate that kind of constant preoccupation. Mostly because it is not productive. It is noisy and chaotic, and I cannot function that way.

The importance of everyday rituals and habits is seriously underrated and I have never felt the lack of it and missed it sorely as much as I did these past few months. Daily habits that I had made for myself allowed me to pare my thoughts down to the most important, listen to the inner voice that’s always struggling to be heard, and gave me immense peace and joy even at the busiest of times.

I need to get back to that level of stillness. And because I know how hard it was to cultivate it, I want to grab it before it slips away completely.

I am so very grateful for the moments of honesty and sharing that I have with these girls, where it is so effortless to swing from ranting about men to talking about how I need to bring focus back to my life, in a moment. I revisited this post I’d written on Flow, because I remembered it perfectly encapsulated all that I had back then, and what I am missing in my life right now.

So, to remind myself of an oft-repeated, old and very cliche, but completely accurate and apt mantra, I drew myself this today:


Rather than panic about the hows and the whens of this cacophony, I’m reminding myself to let it go. Let it flow. Then I’m going to slowly declutter, follow-through and  keep calm and try and finish everything I begin.


Another thing I resumed doing last year is giving in to the itch to doodle. And these are some of the pieces of work that came out of it.

A few months ago Mommygolightly asked if I’d exchange art with Re. I happily agreed (because there’s very little I said no to last year). And then forgot (because there’s only that much my brain can ultimately process). Until she came to town in November, and we decided to meet. I decided to finally get down to it and make something to send to Re. Of course it ended up being an elephant. But it sparked off my annual itch to draw/sketch/paint.


A few days later, I woke up to an internet outage (yeah, I’m still suffering those). So instead of rant and rave, I shut the laptop down and opened my sketch book. And this happened.

Blow Fish

In December, R and I had a series of conversations about feeling at sea. It was how I was feeling, and she was too, in a different context. So we talked, and tried to assuage each other’s trepidation about love and life at large. And then it began to rain in her city. A few hours after a milestone conversation we had, she sent be a disturbing video of the real situation the floods had caused. So I made this. For Madras.

For Madras

The hAAthi and me

If all things hAAthi epitomize my life, if the word has become synonymous with all things me, then right now, I am peace, happy and just glad to be where I am.

The irony

Considering how much I’m wishing for some rain, I really wasn’t wishing for it this way..

But that’s the last of it. I’m going to, to quote the sister, “leave it, left it, right it, put it on a plane. And let it go.”

It’s amazing how I was in the same place just three months ago. And I still haven’t learned a lesson.

With that, I’m done. Over and out.

Aimless rant

Warning: rather aimless, pointless, rant/whine post about nothing of any consequence, coming up.

For about a week now, I’ve roamed around like a  zombie. Not fully sure what I’m doing. Writing, yes, in fits and starts. Working steadily, just not fast enough. It’s like my brain is on hibernate and jogging it back to its waking state is going to take some time and effort that I am not willing to put in right now. It’s like I just can’t get a grip. I feel a bit like a headless chicken, in a race that I must finish. Except I don’t know what’s at the end of it, so I’m not sure I want to run it at all. Add to it the effects of newly stretched muscles and the awesome pain of endorphins rushing through your veins and you have a nice stiff cocktail that screams just-please-let-me-be.

The outcome of it all is that things are taking long. Far too long. So long that the little things are getting stretched disproportionately and by the time I’m done it’s too late to do start focusing on the big things. I’m stuck in that downward spiral. I want so badly to just grab on to something and get moving, upwards. Yet I’m kind finding it a lot easier to let myself slide, even though I know that in the end I probably wont like it very much.

If it sounds like I’m rambling, I probably am. I’m kind of woozy from a crazy morning of working out despite waking up late, thanks to a little too much wine last night. And then surviving a mad, extra crazy scramble of chores. And a morning that has hit me square in the face when I am clearly not ready for a new day.

Anyhoo, here’s a doodle I made yesterday. I didn’t know what brought it on then, but I know now: it’s the need to do stuff like its meant to be done. To move on and and stop feeling weightless and aimless like I am. Come on, chop chop!

And no, its not PMS, in case any of you is tempted to suggest it. It seems to me like a case of the Thursday Morning Blues. If such a thing doesn’t already exist, it does now. But onwards and upwards we must move. Much as I don’t feel like I’m in the frame of mind to do so, and all I really want to do is sleep. Till this weird feeling blows over, try I will.

Like a bubble in a glass of champagne

Yeah, that’s how I feel. Floating. Without roots. Just moving on.

There should be a ban on Monday Mornings. They should be made illegal purely for the amount of listless un-enthusiasm they breed, the world over. There is nothing worse than waking up on a Monday morning and wondering why it’s Monday so quick. Or so I thought, until today. Because today, the husband who who I usually turn to for some inspiration to get going on a Monday morning, woke up sulking. What’s worse, he came out of the shower and got back into bed for two whole minutes, thinking aloud, “Why am I feeling this way?” You know there is definitely something wrong when the one person who can kick your Monday Morning Blues to the moon with his attitude, looks like he’s wilting away before your eyes. He, who is usually the epitome of all positivity with his you-cant-escape-it-so-might-as-well-embrace-it attitude, looked forlorn and tired. So that was it. I have decided Mondays must be banned.

Monday’s are officially a pain in the neck. Especially since I discovered this morning, that the sore crick in my neck that I have ignored for two whole days now had gradually turned my neck to what felt like solid stone. To turn, I have to turn my body completely. I have to move with extreme care. And looking up or down? Don’t even think about it. So I have lugged my laptop into bed with me. Doubled up on the muscle relaxant and here I am, wondering what brought it on?

The reasons could be many, and if you know me and my history with strange ailments, while the symptoms are physical, the cause is almost always emotional. It could be the strange posture I caught myself in on Thursday, and in that moment when I straightened up in the office chair, I felt a slight panic thinking about how long I had been unconsciously sitting that way. I could even be the new diwan in my living room that is sorely missing bolsters leading me to recline in all sorts of weird positions. It could be the excessive lugging of groceries up four flights of stairs. It could be all of the above, but I’m leaning towards the silent, namelss cause. The incredible pressure that has suddenly surmounted me. I’m tempted to call it work pressure, but its not. Its an internal self-made pressure, of wanting to achieve something that at the moment feels so unattainable. That it is triggered by events at work, is no mystery. But this past weekend as I powered through my study material, I can’t ignore the fact that I did have a passing thought that sounded kind of like “Why?” And much like I said the other day, I don’t have the answer crystal clear. The only thing that’s keeping me going right now is the fact that I know I wont regret this learning in retrospect. So I power on, hoping that when I look back and connect the dots, this will make sense.

But the thought just won’t leave me. And like it usually is with me, it probably won’t, until I find an answer that can put my heart to rest. And since the discovery of the doodle monster within me (thanks to the last spontaneous doodle), I doodled this again, in an attempt to make some temporary peace (phew, thats a lot of doodle for one sentence), and it kind of worked.