Emptiness

I have a deep desire for something more than just ordinary indulgence. I have a longing, an ache which I don’t completely understand. I constantly have this feeling that I’m not living my life to the fullest. I am unsatisfied, hungry and uncharacteristically empty.  There is a persistent hammering for something more than just what is. I close my eyes and as my psyche rises up into the great nothingness, it releases a nebulous hankering, one which doesn’t know it’s purpose. It’s like there is this huge being inside me which persists without reason. There is no purpose for this being except that it’s just there, a living, breathing something inside me.

There is a whole big world I’m born into, of which I have seen fractionally nothing. It makes me feel small, it makes me feel insignificant. I have issues with being just a speck of dust within the galaxy, I have issues with being and feeling insignificant. Though I know not of what may really mean not being and feeling insignificant.

It makes me think of power. Is that why people desire power? To be and feel significant? Is that why people do the mad hustle, is that what fills their deep wells? Or does power makes them more anxious and restless? Or does power deepens their already deep wells?

It makes me question the existence of everything. It makes me question the purpose of everything. It makes me question the worth of it all.

I am happy, but I’m not full. I am laughing, but I’m not full.

 

Something lacks. Something is missing.

 

Or is that all there is? An eternal emptiness?

 

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My dad and I

In so many immeasurable ways I wish I wasn’t like my dad. Because in so many immeasurable ways I know he’s a very difficult person.

I think teaching thousands and thousands of students over a span of more than twenty five years makes you that sort of a human being. My dad is a complicated and twisted human being who has his own unique and sometimes very mind-boggling eccentricities. Being a teacher, he cannot help but judge anyone and everyone on merits. There is a certain very high level of moral quotient which you develop when you have hundreds of classes of thousands of students looking up to you for guidance and directions. He cannot help but be an epitome of what is the right thing to do. My dad is a perfectionist in every sense of the word. He has high standards of doing things, living a certain kind of life and he incessantly strives to achieve that perfection in all his affairs. And just like him, I am a perfectionist, anti-pathetically so. I many a times wish I wasn’t this way. Perfection is beautiful on an orgasmic level. But just like orgasms, achieving perfection is rare, and on non-fulfillment almost always disheartening. We as human beings, live in an imperfect asymmetric world and when a majority fails to taste that level of success in their endeavors, we tend to glorify imperfections to create false illusions of a sense of achievement. We begin to call it a practical approach which gets mass endorsements because it is easy and it works. And that is when perfectionists start to be looked down upon. I wish I wasn’t one, but I have grown to realize I am unarguably and irrevocably born this way.

When I think of my dad as a teacher I begin to realize that although he tends to meet a lot of new people very often, he is characteristically and essentially a very private person. He is as much an introvert as he is a charismatic outwitting professor in his class. It is hard to explain such diametrically opposite behaviors encapsulated in a single individual. Or rather I should just say he is selectively extrovert. He tends to pour his heart out to people with whom he manages to strike a chord.  Others, well they simply don’t deserve much of his attention. And much to other people’s discontent, I am a very private person myself. It is tough for me to keep up with trivial conversations. I cannot do small talk and I often times get caught up in awkward silences in empty spaces with not so close acquaintances. Many a times I did try to fight it and often landed into situations where I didn’t feel like myself anymore. That space is very tricky to manage. You feel so conscious of not coming across as someone who is proud or pretentious and you also don’t want to spill a lot of beans. But thankfully I am learning. Over the past few years, I have subtly changed my approach to such situations and have been better able to deal with them.

Just like my dad and mine idiosyncrasies about having a closed personality, we both have starting troubles. Now I don’t know if there is better word for that sort of a disorder but it means that when we meet someone after a long stretch of time, we do not know how to start. It is weird because even if we shared a good chemistry with the person earlier, we take some time to fall back in the comfortable space where it doesn’t feel like we’re trying to make an effort. And this syndrome, is not just with outsiders. It happens between me and my dad as well! When we meet after a long time, we take some time, almost a day to start talking like we do. It is ridiculously weird, but somehow it just is.

My mom on the other hand is very different from my dad and me. She is exceedingly good at people skills and never for once I have found her at a loss of words with anyone and everyone. She glides gracefully into the space where I and my dad barely manage to keep pace. And because of such lopsidedness, there is often a discord between my mom and dad. But in spite of countless dis-satisfactory remarks of my mom about my dad’s behavior, he continues to mind his business as his alone, not even my mom’s.

My dad is a creature of habits, many of which he refuses to change. For example, he has a habit of never telling my mom the exact time at which he has to leave for college in the morning. And this leads to much of my mom’s confusion as to when she should keep his lunch ready. Sometimes when she hurries her chores to prepare his lunch, he very leisurely leaves at 12 in the noon. Other times when my mom is short of time to finish her morning rituals and temple routine, he tends to blow up a squabble of getting late for college at 9 in morning. Some things like this are unexplained mysteries in my house which cannot be solved. There is no reason for his such an etiquette and no amount of banging heads will lead to any sensible justification. He just is this way, a slave of his habits. And so much like him am I. I am a lousy packer when it comes to packing for a trip. I hate to pack, I just despise it. There is no reasonable justification for me not packing until the last hour and always missing out on stuffing something important. But there is no learning happening because I am never going to pack one day in advance. It just is not me. It is a shoddy habit, but there is no coming out of it.

I and my dad both love to hoard books. We have enough books at home to open a library and have a steady passive income from the library memberships. And even now when I live away from home, I have a travel bag full of books which I refuse to give away. I always carry a book wherever I go. If there is a book fair, I and my dad are bound to be there. If there is a roadside book stand, me and my dad will definitely go and browse the collection. We are books junkie to the extent that we cannot sleep in the nights without having books tucked in our beds. And strangely enough, that gives us a sense of security nothing else can. But the other side of the story is this – the obsession is so bad that we tend to buy books we never read. This not just involves cost, but they also eat up space in our house. We still very naively believe that someday in our lives we will be free and have nothing to do but read all those books we have bought. And then our fairy tale story of reading all those books will come true.

The more closely you see someone, the more you realize that we are all inherently flawed. In some or the other unique way. What is really interesting is that I find my flaws on a saturated level in my dad. It gives me a sneak peek into what I might be like when I grow up. Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll learn. Who knows?

grayfurry

Friyay!

10:35 PM

It has been a cool windy day. Soft drizzles and city noise.

I look outside my window into the dark night. The moon is hanging on the lightly luminescent branch of the distant tree. It has been an oddly satisfying day. The day which begun with a tired, snoozed up morning to the one fading with soft rustles of trees outside the window mixed with soul reggae saxophone inside the window.

I have run out of shoes again. I have a manufacturing defect per se my feet are not made for sophisticated pumps. A broad foot that I have been gifted with tears open the lining of my footwear from the sides. This time I have screwed up my new branded shoes. Oh dear God help my oh so tiny feet.

Last night’s Fanta bottle lays by the side of the table, all fizzed out. I want to throw it away, but I like the tangy taste. I will keep it for a while before one day running out of space and throwing it away in a fit.

I am on a revamp mode. New music. New itinerary. New things on my mind. I have a feeling, everything is coming up roses. One day at a time.

 

Friyay!

13

Letting go

Somehow I could never quite get used to the idea of losing people forever. I am a sucker at giving up on people. Though in a general parlance, I would be termed as an emotional fool, I would be that, reluctantly so. I can never construe something to be the end all of everything. Be it moving out of a city, leaving a place or having a huge conflict with someone. I am insanely hopeful about a happy ending. You may say I’m obsessed with happy endings. I can’t bear to be on the receiving end of all that pain of separation and all the missing that happens afterward. It has always been simple for me. Stay in touch. Now and then, here and there. Don’t cut it off just because it is convenient or we cannot meet frequently. Being such a person that I am, I also take good offence when people cut me off. It just makes me feel that all the good time we spent, the other person was in it because it was convenient for him / her. It appears to me an insult of all those moments of genuine cry of laughter we had shared. You know when you pass a smile to a person whom you have to face every day? That awkward smile to that awkward neighbor, that formal how’re you to your colleague at office. It does not mean anything. It is not the real deal. But I would still give the other person the benefit of doubt and continue to do so, sometimes more than I should. I would give anyone as many chances as I would give myself, sometimes even more. All because I refuse to live with a dark memory. Something that ended badly. Something which feels like a waste of time now. I refuse to have those doors locked forever. I refuse to look back with remorse or self-doubt. I give my heart to people, I do. And I refuse to believe they had the audacity to play with it. So I would let them have that privilege of enjoying a leverage on me, because I would rather lose the conflict, than lose the person.

Being the hopelessly optimistic person I am, it doesn’t always end well. Nobody is perfect, and people slip up often. Sometimes, the doors which I wait for never open, because the people behind them have walked away, long ago. So when I know for sure, I would lock those doors myself and hope to live with them. Sometimes, you have to accept that some stories will never get closure. You have to learn your lessons and live with them. You have to learn that not everyone deserves your love, and not everyone is worth fighting for. It is not a great feeling, but it is what it is.

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