Musings of a bookworm

I am not an avid reader. There are times when I don’t even touch a book, there are times when I start reading a book and then leave it unattended for weeks, and then there are times when I cannot put down a book that I am reading and finish it off in a day or two. I have been asked often why I like to read, which I am sure a lot of book readers are asked as well. Is it the detailed description that movies cannot ever explain (book lovers will always begrudge the movies). Or is it something else?

I just read a heart wrenching book and I just had to talk about it, the book, the experience of reading, not this book but reading in general. Couldn’t have been a better time to talk about why I love to read so much.

I do not know how to appreciate movies, mostly the direction, the dialogues. It is just the story for me, which I may or may not relate to. The dialogues are mere lines spoken matter of factly. If they are complicated, deep, meaningful lines, it is most likely that I will not be quick enough to grasp that hidden meaning behind that line. So I will end up liking a movie if I resonate with the story and the characters (or if it is a thriller, I am sold). But books ! Ah, what can I say? You are at leisure to read, re-read a certain line. There is nothing there, no actress giving you the visual aid of expressions, no scenic beauty to get lost in. It’s just you and your imagination. You have to get into the details of imagining your character, their actions, demeanors, expressions. You are at a free will, yet the burden of how this experience will turn out lies on your shoulders. Going too fast may ruin it, so might going too slow. The perfect pace matters. Patience matters.

There are times when an author may write a book with such honesty that you just believe them. The characters are too good to be true, yet you believe them. You rejoice in their happiness, shed tears for their sufferings, you laugh and weep with them. Your heart longs to be with someone who does not exist. All the emotions that you have buried deep within yourself come right out. You live a life in those moments that is not yours and you get to see so much of this world through someone else’s eyes.

I used to read for the sake of reading at some point of time. Hurrying through the pages, skipping lines. More concerned about reaching the end rather than enjoying the journey and the experience (I blame you Agatha Christie for doing this to me with all the action happening in the last chapter). But then again, better late than never. I loved reading because it was a good past time and the stories were damn good! I think now I read because I love to get lost in a different world for a few days, living a different life. Next time I’ll learn how to appreciate movies and non-fiction better!


Don’t ask me

Don’t ask me what I want to do with my life
If I knew, I wouldn’t be aimlessly tumbling along

Don’t ask me what I am passionate about
If I knew, I wouldn’t spend hours scrolling Instagram

Don’t ask me what I want to be when I grow up
All I wanted to be was happy but growing up taught me better

Don’t ask me when I am getting married
Getting married for the sake of it scares me more than the ticking biological clock

Don’t ask me how’s my job going
I don’t wanna talk about work, and if I do, you will get tired of hearing me rant

Don’t ask me why I overthink so much
You should know that what you think is not in your control, but what you say is

Don’t ask me why I never say yes to plans
Sometimes you gotta choose yourself over everything else

Don’t ask me why I am never contented, never happy
Should a person ever be contented if they wanna make things better?

Don’t ask me why I never make efforts for that contentment though
Trust me I am trying, making an effort takes more effort sometimes

Don’t ask me the questions that I don’t have an answer to
If you will not take ‘I don’t know’ for an answer

Don’t assume though that I don’t wanna talk by saying the above things
I am hoping that I would have a better answer to these questions some day !

Living or existing?

It’s raining today. I stand in my balcony looking at the rain, listening to a song I am obsessed with right now and all I can think about is how am I going to make it to office tomorrow if it’s gonna rain this much. The only reassurance I get from the rain is it might get the groundwater levels in place and we will get water for some for days this year. I close the door and come back to my room.

I wasn’t this boring always. As a teenager I used to love the rain, well for the most part. Me and my friends used to go and play in the rain everytime we had a chance. I used to get a little upset if my school bag ever got wet from it, but in the confines of my home, I was never scared of it. If not this, I used to listen to my favourite songs while standing in the balcony, romanticizing, enjoying the cool breeze and the few water droplets sprinkled on me by the wind.

I come back to my room, open the window and stand there for a while. I have put blue fairy lights in my room which I never turn on. Seeing the amazing weather outside, I think of just sitting in those dim blue lights, and listen to some good music. But then I think what will I gain out of it, close the window and sit on my bed with my phone,

And then it dawned on me how boring I have become. Boring and sad. And how I have stopped enjoying the small things about life, how I have stopped living. I am merely existing, going to office, getting things done, eating the easiest thing possible to get hands on, going out if someone makes a plan, coming back home, watching something I have already watched because I don’t wanna think too much, sleeping.

Last week I went to get some groceries from a big shopping mart and I had planned to get things for some midnight snacking. I used to do this all the time. But that day, I didn’t get a single thing, not because I am afraid of putting on weight (maybe subconsciously?) but mostly because I didn’t find anything appealing enough, not even those things that earlier I used to find impossible to put down.

People whom I hangout with might say that I am always laughing around (or cribbing, basically reacting and feeling). But I don’t think I am ever happy or sad. I am just there. I don’t remember the last time I was genuinely happy. And that makes me really sad. The worst part, I don’t think I am even feeling this sadness.

Thoughts I have during summer

It’s May. My school exams have ended and the summer vacations have begun. My class teacher handed out a big list of holiday homework that has to be completed in the next 1.5 months. But I cannot wait to get home. Once home, I change and switch on the TV. Today mom won’t ask me to turn it off. As soon as it is 4 p.m, I run to my friend’s place and we play our hearts out. In the evening, we go to the ice cream vendor nearby and get orange candy. At night, me and my sister fight for the best place in front of the cooler. I watch cartoons all day, everyday. Mom expects me to start working on my holiday homework from the very first day, but I don’t.

It’s May end. We are at the train station, waiting to go to my maternal grandmother’s place. It’s an overnight journey so I tug my dad’s hand and ask him to buy me a book. He takes me to the book vendor, I stare at the plethora of books and the titles that don’t make any sense, and settle on Panchatantra. As soon as we board the train, I immediately rush to the upper berth, as if it’s my home for the next one day. I try to read but cannot stop looking around at the different families boarding the train. While at Grandma’s place, I play cards with my cousins all the time. We sometimes go to the nearby market to get chocolates or Faluda. Sometimes the “kulfi-wala” passes by and all the kids rush outside, and then have soar throats for weeks.

It’s June. We are back home. Dad brought mangoes yesterday so that is what I eat all the time. My sister is small and hardly interested in eating anything so all the mangoes are mine. Mom let’s me eat mango after every meal. Instead of drinking milk every evening, now I get to drink mango shake, with strawberry ice cream and a little Rooh Afza on top. On Sundays, when dad is home, we fight for the last piece of the mango. Guess I know where my love for mangoes came from. Mom forces me to eat watermelon and muskmelon as well. She even puts some sugar on muskmelon to make it sweeter but I don’t oblige.

It’s June end. School is about to reopen and I haven’t even opened the holiday homework sheet. We were told to write both Hindi and English essays everyday, which will now be done over a weekend. Mom helps me in some of the homework because I cannot complete it all alone. We even have lychees at home now and now they are what I eat everyday. It’s raining today and so me and my friends go out to play in the rain. It has rained after months. I have even become a little tanned due to playing in the scorching sun these past months but I don’t mind. This was the best summer of my life.

It’s 2019. I am 24. I am in a different city, away from my family. It’s 3 am, I am sleep deprived, and am trying to finish off some office work. May has started and am thinking of home, thinking of summers, thinking of the best time of my life.

Sleepy yet sleepless

There are some nights when sleep simply evades me. I lie on my bed, tossing and turning, eyes tightly shut, my body perfectly positioned in the blanket, with one leg safely inside, and the other peaking out and softly curled on a pillow; one hand below the head, the other one over the pillow. But sleep won’t come. Just a couple of hours ago, I was so drowsy and tired that I could not wait to go to bed. I waited for the perfect moment, when my body cycle is used to falling asleep and I knew I wouldn’t have to focus a lot on it. I stopped using my phone 10 minutes before, knowing that it’s easier if the phone is kept aside atleast few minutes before going to bed. I took all the measures. But here I am, it’s been more than an hour and I cannot sleep.

I wasn’t thinking anything special today, I swear! Just the usual stuff. Trying to make plans of what I will do tomorrow, with the thoughts slowly drifting to whether I even wanted to go back to office and do that work. This slowly transformed into me coming up with plans of how I could do something else. But what else can I do? I need to have money for the lavish lifestyle I want. Point. Let’s make a list of the things I find interesting. Psychology sounds fun, but it might need a degree. People are posting a lot of dance videos on instagram these days and getting famous. But I can’t dance that well. Should I join dance classes? But all of them are atleast an hour away. I cannot manage to go to dance classes will all the office work I have pending. Now that is a vicious circle 😦

I decide there is no end to this. Let’s think about something else. Where do I want to travel next? Beaches are out of question, I am still trying really hard to get rid of the tan lines from the previous trip. Well it’s been long since I travelled north. I can visit mom and dad also while I’m there. But it will take a lot of planning, I am burdened with work. If I am planning to take a lot of leaves, why not go to Europe? That has always been a part of the plan. Ok Google, which country in Europe is best to be visited during summers? But whom all will I ask? Let’s ask the girls on the group, hear their opinion and then decide.

Hey! I haven’t talked to that friend in a long time. It would be weird to message though, we weren’t that good friends. I wonder why I haven’t seen her posts on Instagram. Let me just check. Oh there she is. Probably her posts didn’t get prioritized on my feed, given the plethora of meme pages I follow. Oh, this is a good meme. Let me send it to the set of people I share memes with the entire day, and that being the only conversation we have.

Ok! Now you really need to sleep. Just keep the damn phone down. Then randomly, out of nowhere, my mind tells me to think about my crush, like the last rite of the daily ritual. Was he really looking at me today or am I totally reading it all wrong, again? Was I being too obvious today though? I should have said something funnier when we sort of managed to talk today instead of being too philosophical. But I should be myself right? I shouldn’t say things just to impress. But did I dress properly today? Oh man I did dress really bad, why would he like me!! Light is faster than sound. Why was I worried about the jokes when I should have focused on the looks. He’ll be shallow if he does that but what do I care? I am anyway not getting ahead with this.

I promise now I’ll close my eyes, keep the phone down and not think about anything. I think I am falling asleep. Hurray!

Oh no!

Just a little more :)

Just try a little, try a little more and you will succeed. I have heard this so many times in life and have always felt that it is very easy to say these things and very difficult to actually implement.
Just push yourself a little. But isn’t that what I am doing (apparently), yet failing? Or maybe I am just lazy and this is how I will be. I am happy in my place and don’t want to change.
But last year I decided to change, though very slowly, but just a little change every once a while. This last year has been an year of pushing myself. Pushing myself in so many ways that I had never imagined I could.

I have pushed myself to participate in plans.
I don’t like to go out a lot. Plans scare me. Be it for a simple coffee or a weekend getaway. The planning that is involved scares me, the feeling of being surrounded by so many people for such a long time scares me. More than getting excited about doing something fun, most of the time I am stressing about how it will turn out to be, or cursing myself for agreeing in the first place. I am not going to lie, but there have been times when I have celebrated a little in my head when certain plans got cancelled just because I did not have the energy to be a part of them. But this year I learnt to say yes to plans, even if I did not want to go at all. And turned up for almost all of them (there were few times when the lazy person took over). And mostly, as it turns out, it is so much better than sitting at home πŸ™‚

I have pushed myself to read a little more.
Reading random mystery novels was once the only escape I had when there was a lot of pressure of competitive exams, with no phone, no friends to help me pass the time. I used to spend hours reading Agatha Christie, re-reading Harry Potter and not studying. With the entry of phone, friends and work in life, I stopped reading altogether. Maybe 2-3 novels in one year. But this last year I really tried to read a lot! I almost completed my 20 book reading challenge on Goodreads as well (with only 100 pages left to complete the challenge, but I am still proud of myself).

I have pushed myself to make up my bed everyday.
I never used to understand why my mom used to scold me everyday to make up my bed, fold the sheet/blanket. I never did it when I started to live away from home. Everyday in the last 6 years that I have stayed away from home, I used to come back to an unmade bed. Life was messy and my room was messier. But then one day I decided to fold that blanket neatly on the foot of the bed and the joy of seeing that beautiful bed at the end of a bad day was amazing. Henceforth I pushed myself to make up my bed every morning, no matter how late I am getting for office. And now I just cannot stand the sight of an unmade bed πŸ˜€

I have pushed myself to cook.
Sounds funny, and it will sound silly as well when I will mention that I might have done it only 2-3 times this last year. But this was big for me. I hate cooking (or so I think). Even if there are guests in my own house, I will look more like a guest when it comes to preparing meals. But there were a few instances when I forced myself to cook. It mainly started with a promise to make paneer for a friend who was leaving the city and a two hour long phone call with my mom, but it was worth it. After that I have cooked twice or thrice for myself, same paneer dish, not always better than before, but it felt amazing to me. I now have this confidence that if the time comes when all the food ordering apps close down, I will not die of hunger.

I have pushed myself to workout.
Yeah the same old workout story. I am not looking for a fit body. I eat a lot of junk food! But somehow these days there is an unsaid bad feeling if you are not working out. Because given our 9-5 sitting jobs, and then the binge watching sessions in the remaining time, sometimes it is necessary to take out some time to stay healthy, to stay alive. And I was told by a friend recently how working out takes away all the negative emotions of the day. That was a real motivator. And I started to workout. I am not regular. Never have been. But atleast these irregular sessions are consistent. Atleast I have started to not totally give up if I skip workout for a week. I go back again, and yes I have seen how on some days my emotions have changed drastically over a workout session.

I have pushed myself to stay motivated when I think that everything is going bad. And I cannot even begin to explain how much it has helped me in keeping my sanity. I was this person who used to get worried about things a lot. I still do! I don’t think that will go away easily. But I have learnt to let go of things a little. I have learnt how to stop worrying about the consequences of every word that I say because in reality most of the people don’t care. And those who care, either you will make sure they are not hurt or they will know not to base your entire relationship on those few words. And those days when everything seems to be going awry, I have learnt how to convince myself that things will come right back on track. And even if they don’t, I know I will learn to live happily with that off track phase of life.

Going somewhere?

Going somewhere? Out of breath? Life, never stopping to take a breath, or let us take a breath. No time to calm down. You have to keep moving if you want to make it big. If you are doing something, it makes you angry, you want to stop, but not doing anything makes you even angrier and you surround yourself with work and responsibilities that are sometimes way out of your league. But you stay adamant, you want to prove your worth. Because if you don’t, then you would be looked down upon, or so you think. You keep slogging, every day, work to home, home to work. But are you trying to get somewhere? You have no idea where to go. You are just moving, just like everyone around you is moving. You want a big shiny car, a brand new apartment, but too afraid to take the big leap, aren’t you? You want to move to a better country, and still not sure what for. You want to go to that dream destination that everyone keeps talking about, but you actually wish to go to the confines of your hometown. Because trips are more stressful than stress relieving. But maybe that is because we want to visit every single place lest we miss out on something good. You go to the gym, not for staying healthy but just to get a better body. But this pressure of getting a better body is making you eat more and worse, isn’t it? You want to read that book on your nightstand, but cannot keep the laptop down. One more episode, and eventually you fall asleep. The book still left untouched, getting dustier. Sleeping late, waking up later. Cancelling plans because going out takes too much of you. Then cribbing that life is boring and monotonous. You don’t want to drink or smoke every other day, but the loneliness of the home seems worse than the hangover and the derailing body. And you cannot stop. FOMO. Your biggest enemy. Stressing over something that hasn’t even happened but you are afraid you will miss it. Spoiling something fun you were already a part of in the process. You complain that everyone else is happy. And one fine day you wake up and are mature enough to realize no one actually is. And this weird unhappy world gives you a little bit of contentment and motivation. You start learning how to live happily with this unhappiness and lack of purpose in life. You learn to live in the moment because you realize most of the parties are blurry and the same anyway. Learning how to keep promises, and not cancelling at the last moment, because people are better at listening than the walls. You start sleeping on time, even if not waking up yet. The more the sleep, the merrier the day is. You take out time to read, even 10 pages would do. You learn how to workout and eat, because atleast the scale still shows the same number. And the workouts are pretty fun. Taking the trips slow, enjoying rather than hurrying. Still not sure what to do with your life, still over-burdened at work. But life seems better, atleast you are happier. Calmer. You learn how to leave office in office, unwind and sleep.
Life might be getting to you right now, but you will get there, bit by bit πŸ™‚


The meaning of friendship has changed variedly for me over time, and yet it’s something that defines me as a person more than I knew it could. But what is it exactly? I have so many different ways of explaining it.

It’s that smiling face you find in class when you are stepping out of your home for the first time in life. It’s the person who lends you their new fancy pencil and in return you share your lunch with them. It’s the person whose name you search in the list of the new class on the first day. It’s the person with whom you want to be bench partners with. It’s the person with whom it takes seconds to break and mend the friendship, and yet you never keep any grudge inside.

It’s the person who plays silly games with you in the evening, and ends up creating even sillier versions with you. It’s the person who goes cycling with you to discover new streets in the locality and sometimes sits with you and watches cartoons. It’s the person who shares your small budding interests and makes you learn their own.

It’s the person you meet when you have moved places and thought were too old to make new friends. It’s the person who teaches you how to come out of your shell and meet new people. It’s the person from whom you first learn about all the dirty words. It’s the person you walk with in the evening every day, telling about your day. It’s the person whose sibling and parents are almost like your own, their home being your second home.

It’s the person you learn to share gossip with. It’s the person with whom you sit and stare at the dreamiest guy in class, and then tail him together in the recess. It’s the person you talk with for hours on phone after talking for hours in the class the same day. It’s the person with whom you learn how not to get competitive and help each other out. It’s the person you write letters to and keep them safe for years to come.

It’s that another smiling face you meet in a new home you have moved to, away from home. It’s that friend who can make you laugh so hard that you are out of breath and then make so much fun of you that you want to throw them off the balcony. It’s that person you spend every waking hour of your life with and still not get bored because there is so much to talk about. It’s that person with whom you learn how to cheat to score the passing marks because you sure as hell can never learn how to study together. It’s that person you cannot even imagine saying goodbye to because they are literally your family now.

There are so many different flavors of friendship, getting richer (and spicier) with every passing minute. In all the different phases of life, I have made so many friends. Friends I have never fought with and gradually stopped talking to; friends I have fought with so many times and yet am very close to. There were times when I have felt that I will never be able to rekindle my friendship with someone or the other due to some differences that we could never sort out, but I have realized that as we have grown up, all the silly fights don’t seem worth it anymore, and when I look back, I only regret all the lost years. I do not remember what I was mad about anymore, nor do they! And frankly, who has the time to think about all that? With so many other things rising up the stress levels in our lives everyday, we do not need another reason like that to add onto the things that we have to worry about each night before falling asleep. All that matters now is that they were your friends, you cared for them, they cared for you. If some part of you still cares for them, you will let go of whatever made you angry.

I have met a lot of old friends in recent times that I have not talked to properly in years, who once were the most important people in my life. Harsh it may seem, but it’s true that we will always keep meeting new people in life who will stay more updated with our life than our most closest/oldest friends. It does not mean that we forget them, but we cannot keep updating every other person about every small change that keeps happening. But when we do meet them, sometimes it feels like all these years never passed between us. I start feeling that I am right there, carefree, sharing every small detail, laughing, having no inhibition at all. Yes the person sitting in front of me is almost a stranger to me as we both have changed so much over the years, yet I know that we are both those exact people that we were when we first met because that’s what friendship does to you; it takes you back in time. You remember the good old days, along with just the good old memories.

I do feel sorry when I have to say goodbye to that person though, not knowing when we will meet again. I know we said that we will stay in touch, and I know it won’t be more than a formal ‘how are you’ followed by the birthday text exchanged twice a year, but I know that if we do ever meet again, it won’t be as awkward as I would have imagined. We would slowly slip into a comfortable zone, knocking the doors of our past and just being two silly friends, celebrating their friendship.

Unspoken words

Have you ever been in something that was almost a relationship, but never really materialized into one? There was something from both sides but no one ever said anything and then just like that, you drifted apart. You were sad about it but sad about what exactly, you don’t know. You think about what could have been, but what it would have been, you’ll never know.

The worst part is that this was not one sided. It was there, felt by both of you, but the timing was wrong. You don’t even know what to make of it, what to share to make your heart feel lighter. You want it to happen, and this time you want to make an effort. But will there be this time ever again? Will there be a second chance?

You have imagined many perfect scenarios in your mind, where it turned into a happily ever after. And it pierces your heart to snap back into reality, knowing that this perfect little scenario is just a figment of your imagination, and is almost as unreal and non-existent as the magic world. Maybe somewhere in your heart, you will choose to find out what it could have been over getting into Hogwarts for one day. Because you are intrigued by the mere possibility. That it could have been. Maybe you just want to live like that for one day to convince yourself that it was not a good idea in the first place and that’s the reason that it did not happen, that you did not lose out on something beautiful.

But can you? Can you ever stop wondering about it? Can you ever get over it?

A letter to the person I once loved

I don’t remember who you are anymore, nor do I remember the person who once loved you.

I don’t remember those good memories that we shared together, just those moments in which I hated you.

I don’t remember the feeling of blood rush when I was starting to fall in love with you, but I can easily relive the moments when I had the pangs of extreme anger over something that you said/did.

But I sometimes try to remember what it was like when I loved you…

I remember how you came before everything and everyone else for me,

I remember getting out of any gathering/outing if that meant another minute together with you.

I remember how a shy person like me could let her crazy out in front of you,

I remember how I had to tell you every minor detail of my day before falling asleep.

I remember laughing at your silly jokes and making you laugh too,

I remember our stupid innocent fights, and the big ones too, and how we always made up after that.

I remember not caring about the world while walking by your side, your hand in mine,

I remember how eating the same boring thing at the same boring restaurant with you every day was my idea of a perfect date,

I remember pouring out all my love for you in ink in the numerous letters I have written to you.

I remember crying my heart out when things started to go wary and when you refused to talk to me,

I remember waiting every night for your call and then crying myself to sleep,

I remember how that innocent love turned into something that tortured me day and night.

I remember finally giving up on our love after hundreds of tries to win you back,

I remember these things by the face of it but cannot recall the feelings behind them anymore,

I remember that I loved you once but I do not remember what it was like to love you anymore.