OXYGEN MASK

“In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you….”

 

LX-8399 – 21:02hrs.

I boarded the flight in an abstract state of mind having bid adieu to the country that had welcomed me warmly and made me feel homely.  My eyes, still moist from the crying session that started the other night at the farewell party, ended in reading the heartfelt letters that we had written for each other. True, goodbyes are the hardest. But never had I slightly imagined they would be so crushing. Dazed by the imprint that these people from all across the world had left on me, I fastened my seat belt and took one last glance outside the window pane. Oh Italia!

 

“…. if you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person” announced the flight attendant. Isn’t this sensible in our prosaic, mainstream, usual lives too?

How often do we try to heal others without having fully healed ourselves? How is it remotely possible to advice others and guide them through the walks of life without making peace with ourselves first?

I love how Michelle Obama quotes in her book ‘Becoming’“Now I think it’s one of the useless questions an adult can ask a child, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end”. This holds so true in real sense when our backs are against the wall and we are faced with infinite challenges. At gunpoint, it is absolutely rational to think that that’s the end. La fin, Das Ende. We tend to lose hope from the subtle way of living life. We nip the bud before it blooms and clip off the wings before it learns to fly. We invite everyone to our pity party and self loathe as if we’re getting a cupcake each time we bad-mouth ourselves about being a failure – at career, at love, at life.

What we truly fail to recognize is why do we let our problems hold the trigger? We find comfort in the bubble we make for ourselves during episodes of depression when the whole point of facing trials was meant to demolish those comfort zones. We stay wedded to the shackles of failure, too afraid to leave our identities from yesterday thus barring any opportunity for healing. We don’t realize the truly authentic potential we hold until surviving is the only option.

In the moment, we feel our world’s coming crashing down. But my love, galaxies come crashing down to form constellations too and my God, isn’t that one of the most beautiful phenomena the universe offers? There is no statute of limitations on starting over. Be a Phoenix! Burn down to ashes and rise again. Don’t let anyone rush you into being normal and mentally/emotionally healthy again just because it is convenient for them. Take your time. Healing is a process and every breathing individual on this planet (Climate change is real. Please protect Earth, we do not have plan-et B) holds the right to heal at their own pace. It is okay if your strength looks a little different this season. Don’t fear confronting your obstacles because there is always light at the other end of the tunnel. Even in the crowdiest minds, lies a room for peace.

Over mountains & valleys, rivers & deserts, over all that you have lost and all that you have gained, over all that you have gathered and all you have let go, you have traveled through the wilderness of uncertainty and that itself is healing.

 

Secure your mask first, then & only then can you save others.

1.5

1.5 gallons. That’s the exact quantity water takes to kill you. 16. That’s the exact number of bottles of water it takes to end you. 16. That’s the exact age that breaks you…. or perhaps, makes you?

 

I’ve met two kinds of people in my life. The ones that made out alive from this snare of sweet sixteen and the ones that couldn’t. Belonging to the latter lot, I can, without hesitation, say Sweet Sixteen never came easy for me. Rowing and paving my way through waves I managed to anchor my boat. 3 months later, I lost the will to voyage. 6 months later, I lost my fuel. 9 months later, I lost my way back home. 12 months later, I lost myself. While everyone was rushing to prepare for the next expedition, I stood there admiring the beauty of the view before my eyes. It pacified me but at the same time, ran chills down my spine. What if I can’t meet the raised bar? Ironic how we’ve been taught that early bird gets the worm, but haste makes waste. All good things come to him who waits, but a stitch in time saves nine. Here’s when dreams step into the play.

You could dream of endless voyages or endless beauty of the vast sea. You could dream of endless luxuries of the future or endless beauty of the present. To the 16 year olds out there, let no one impose their lifestyle on you regarding how to live your life. Dream your own dreams, desire your own desires and destine your own destinies. Dreams hold different meanings for different individuals. They may have dictated the protocol to succeed, but they can’t dictate to you your dreams. In the end what matters is, your understanding and comfort with what makes you happy and what puts you at peace with yourself.

 

What’s baffling is how something that gives you life, has the potential to take it away too. Let me rephrase this. It baffles me how something that can kill you, has an equal potential to give you life too. The five letter word could be either water or dream, I see no difference. You either die living your dream in the present every day or live dying every day for your dream to come true in the future. The choice is yours.

 

alter

Travel makes you modest, it really does. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world and ever will. It introduces you to a sphere of its own, magnifies your emotions. Could you possibly be somewhere & nowhere, all at the same time?

 

It was not the usual day for me anymore. The day gave me a contingency to clean my window pane and look through a new perspective.  I was amidst a different atmosphere, an atmosphere that comforted me but gave me chills; made me feel homely but homesick. Strolling down the streets of London, an unfamiliar city in an unfamiliar country gave me the edge. I think that’s what makes us embrace change every now and then. It’s metaphorically essential for humans to discard their skin and put on a new one once in a while.

 

People fear change. So did I … until it suffocated me. Suffocated me to an extent where I couldn’t get myself to understand what the hell was going on! Everyone craves a change that they are unwilling to implement. Again, how could you possibly love and fear change, at the same time? But that’s the bipolarity I’m willing to risk everything for. The thought of living the same sedimentary lifestyle scares me.  I mean why would one want to? Phasing towards new responsibilities with each growing day, quite surprisingly, I no more repel temporariness. It makes me want to make room for new habits, new memories, new people and new relationships. It’s practically stupid to hoard old baggage, unless it’s really worth it. We have waited for apologies yet to be accepted, expectations yet to be fulfilled, closures yet to be sought.

It’s time to unpack the luggage now. Everyone’s told you to ‘let it all go’. Believe me when I say this, it’s not that easy. Nothing has ever been a cakewalk for us. But aren’t you tired?  Of the same reel playing over and over and over? The reel that reflects your flaws, errors, guilt and incompleteness. Well, it’s high time you burn this reel.

 

Unlock your bags, clear up the clutter and make space for new clothes, accessories and food (if you’re a gujju). Your “I’ll wake up at 7am from tomorrow”, your planner and stationery, your new skincare routine, your “I’m gonna be a new person from tomorrow” awaits  you. My question to you is, do you have what it takes to exc… I mean make yourself feel like YOUR SELF again?

ovaryact

“When she bleeds, the smells I know change color. There is iron in her soul on those days. She smells like a gun.”

Alright so, as I was walking back home with a friend, I noticed her expressions were turning mopey. Minutes of waiting and I couldn’t thwart back the urge to ask what the hell on earth was bothering her so much. As instantly as I popped the question, her facial expressions stirred in one bit. She drew her mouth close to my ear and meekly whispered, “It’s my stupid period again!“ With that, the both of us rolled in aisles.I mean, periods are so much fun to gossip about, aren’t they? Who knew periods were still a taboo in this modern era! Before the pregnancy scare, you hated your period, but now it’s your best friend…. Now it’s like ‘Hey, Period! Missed you! How was your month? You look great. But honestly, they’re too much to deal with. PMS- Prepare to Meet Satan. It’s that time of the month when you keep asking yourself ‘WHY BLOOD??? WHY NOT FAIRY DUST OR SOMETHING!!’. It’s that time of the month when you want to hog on tubs of ice-cream and boxes of pizza. It’s that time of the month when you want to curl up in a ball and go to slumberland, but you also want to burn your ex’s house down. It’s that time of the month when you want to cry the eff out but at the same time want to giggle hysterically. It’s that time of the month when you push people away but also want to be loved. We aren’t always on our period, but when we are, we just ovary-act.

Puns apart. Living in the 21st centenary, it’s interesting that so much embarrassment, awkwardness, and shame surround a natural bodily function experienced by half the population at some point in their lives. We don’t hide toilet paper away, yet some women still get flustered if a tampon drops out of their handbag, or we might buy a floral-patterned tin to hide our sanitary pads. If you spotted some toilet roll tucked away and covered in a little bespoke baggy in someone’s loo, wouldn’t you find it faintly ridiculous? And yet that’s what we do all the time with sanitary products, as if the evidence that we have periods is something to be ashamed of. While we continue to progress with Make in India and the Mars project, the mentality of most of us is still limited to warding off the evil eye with brooms and flip-flops! One of the most rampant taboos in India is the notion of impurity attached with the natural female body process of menstruation. If statistics are anything to go by, a shocking 70% of women in India still use old rags to soak the flow. Apparently in some parts of the county, menstruating women are cursed. I can’t figure out why exactly but may be it is because of the fact that we bleed. Yeah, may be that. Would plants also start menstruating if women on their period watered them? Yes, as illogical as it sounds, women are not allowed to water plants during periods. I recently had a talk with a lady. I asked her as to why are girls not allowed to touch a Tulsi (basil) plant during her menstrual cycle. Her answer was, ‘beta, since there is clemency of toxins from your body during this time, the plant gets affected and eventually withers away. Haanji, you’re absolutely right. Slow claps for you, lady. You mean to say, a woman who releases natural toxicant substances from her body is considered impure whereas, you spreading such profane bullcrap does not even appear under the tag of ‘impurifying people’s mentality’. Amazing! Her touch can rot the food so kitchen is off-limits. Honestly woman, if you’re reading this, get up and touch all the veggies in your fridge. I promise they won’t rot. Why is menstruation still a taboo in India? Why is it so difficult for people to accept the fact that damn yes, we bleed. Big deal! What part of my statement is not clear to those obnoxious people out there that, menstruating is a natural process?

Grow a pair of fallopians first, honestly!