It’s not over.

It won’t be over just like that.
It’s not like turning off a faucet.
Pick up the strands tenderly,
There’s some yellow in there,
Touch her. Roll her over your fingers
for she knew what you did when
you thought she wasn’t looking.
Let her slowly slip away.

Let go of the strands that
they keep handing over to you.
It’s not your fault.
Do not think twice.
Rip them off.
That’s not your burden to carry.
Drown that guilt away.

It will be difficult,
Watching what’s left
of the damage.
“Blue sky, think blue sky.”
Bullshit.
Let not the darkness blind you.

And trust me;
actually, no. Trust the air around you
Trust the yellow that slipped away.
Trust that gut.
Believe in your backbone,
it’s a rarity to have one.
And know, that once it’s over,
You’ll be free.
And please, remember,
It won’t be over like that, still.
It’s not like turning off a faucet.

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The balance

It can be more than just black and white, right?
It is so much more
Than the balance,
Than the set patterns,
Than the cycle that keeps moving,
Slowing down where it needn’t,
Pacing on where it shouldn’t.

Life’s much more
Than the monochrome
or the colors,
Than the joy
And the smiling eyes
Watering where they needn’t,
Burning where they shouldn’t.
It is so much more
than a full stop;
And so I put my trust
In the black and the white
In the fire inside.
And I move with the cycle,
Slowing down where I need to
Pacing on where I must.
I take the monochrome
and I take the colors
I hold on to everything that’s inside
And I let go of the balance for a while.

I can be more than just black and white
Or
I can just…be.

The imp.

“I do not wait for unconsciousness to force my eyes shut. The moment the blue truck hits my bike and sends us flying in the air, I let go. I close my eyes, refuse to hug myself and hold on to the shattered pieces of my being. I stretch my arms, loosen my grip and let myself fall on the concrete. When I said I wanted to be a grounded person, I didn’t mean this, gosh!

My left arm hits the ground first, dislodging itself from my shoulder. I hear the bone break before I feel the dampness of the blood on my neck. It is strangely comforting. The warmth of the sun and the pool of blood are soothing enough for me. I open my eyes and see a right hand, palms up and dipped in blood. I try to hold that hand when I realize it is my own. That brings up a chuckle and some blood right out of my mouth. Sometimes, when you’re broken, you can’t always hold your hand, pick yourself up and get on with life. Because sometimes, you really are broken. I make myself laugh from the inside, I refuse to look up or cry for help. I stare at my severed palm and try to make out the lifeline hidden in that blood somewhere. I watch the blood pool beneath me getting bigger. The blood moves around in perfect, steady curves. I decide to trace its boundaries with my fingers. I try to move my fingers; only the forefinger moves. Soon enough, my eyes start to close, so I let them. I am being lifted up by some strangers. I don’t like that. One of them climbs on top of me and tries to get my heart start beating on its own. Suddenly, my eyes are wide open. It’s so dark. Why is it so dark?

I am lying straight. I should move to my side. I can’t move to my side. I try to move my forefinger, I can’t do it either. I feel the heavy weight on my chest. May be the strangers are still trying to save me. But, why am I at home? I try to shift my gaze from the roof towards the stranger sitting over me. I have to keep staring at it in the darkness to make out what I am looking at. She is crouched up on my chest. She’s so tiny. How can such a tiny person weigh so much? The heaviness is killing me. She smiles at me. The pain is killing me, I try to say. But no voice comes out of my mouth. She continues to smile ear to ear. What’s happening? Why can’t I move?  I yank my neck to my right, a hand waves at me. I keep staring in that direction, but it’s just the hand. I try to close my eyes and go back to sleep. I can feel my body shrink. I want to ride a bike and get hit by a blue truck. I want to be able to choose my demons.

My home is full of people, so many people. I don’t recognize any of them. “Hello, who are you?” I ask one. She keeps her hand on my shoulder. I break away from her. I bump into several people in the process, making me sprint away faster. I am running away from my own home. I don’t want to run away. My eyes open up again. I stare to my right, the hand waves. A smile appears above it. I look to my left: two faces, smiling ear to ear, shaking their heads. I try to look away; my neck is so stiff. Someone help me! I try to shake my arms, my legs, neck, anything, everything… Nothing moves, except those faces, smiling at me. I struggle like that for a few minutes, or hours? I try to shout, but all I get is a steady stream of teardrops trickling down from my eyes.”

I stare at the words. I stare at them long enough to strip them off their meaning. I stare at them till the wish to be in an accident and get extremely hurt lays bare, till the shamelessness of writing it down hits hard. I stare at the words that fail to communicate the experience of several regular episodes of sleep paralysis. There’s no relief in being stuck, there’s no relief in running away.  The words dissolve into the randomness that is this moment in life. The forced expressions, the obvious, suggested humor in the work melt into the chaos, taking that last bit of shame with them.

“I want to be able to choose my demons.”  Seriously? Accident would be a trick of fate; sleep paralysis, just a bump in the natural process. But writing and having written? What weird imp is this? I wait for a moment of realization to strike. I wait for this random blackness to move just a tiny bit aside to let the bright light blind my eyes, giving me something more than the clichéd dark-and-light imagery. But deep inside, I am happy with this cliché. It’s dependable and encouraging at the same time. It’s always there, even when it’s not.

The words mock me. They mock me for all the times I used them at places I shouldn’t have. Wait. I refuse to take that shit. I write some more to hit them back; because I would use them again at the same places if I had a chance to do over again. Am I playing with them or am I the one being played with?

New Year Resolutions: Life Goals or Pipe Dreams

New_Year_Resolution

So it’s that time of the year again where we look back upon the year passed by either with jubilation for the milestones achieved or with regrets about the opportunities lost. With a new year down the corner most of us would be ready with a new set of resolutions. But do we stay honest with ourselves with respect to our resolutions?

Think about it. How many of your resolutions of past years have you undertaken with resolute will? Be it heading to the gym to get fitter, spending more time with your family, quitting smoking or drinking, none of these resolutions we take up every year last more than a month or in some cases even lesser. Why do we fail to live up to the promises we make to ourselves? We usually go out of our way to keep up to the promises made to our loved ones but we often fail to honour the promise which we make to ourselves. Are we not strong willed or are we just outright lazy?

From my personal experiences, I can say that there ought to be more reasons than lack of will power and laziness for not honouring one’s own resolutions. What I have observed is that at different stages in life, people have different priorities, so a resolution that couldn’t be completed in the current year can’t just be procrastinated for the coming year again because the circumstances in your life have changed since last year. I don’t know if there are similar people like me but for me during a particular time frame there has to be one sole objective and everything I do during that time frame should be in some way related to achieving that objective. I have that dogged determination that this is my current objective and anything I do has to be somewhat related in helping me achieve that. Anything not aligned with that objective is either a distraction or an unnecessary wastage of time.

Let’s say for example, when I decided to write a blog I decided that I will not write fiction or poetry which I had done earlier but I would rather give my take on current affairs because it would help me prepare for job interviews. But having tried that, I realized by not writing what I am most comfortable writing, I am just curbing my natural instincts and like many other people pretending to be someone I am not. I am slowly realizing that unlike the lessons in management everything in life can’t be analyzed in cost-benefit terms. Some things are done just for the sake of doing it, they are done because they make you complete or they just define who you are and how it makes you different from others. Just like that, I feel our resolutions shouldn’t be with respect to achieving an end objective but should be an end by themselves. Don’t just head to the gym to get fit because you would get better marriage prospects; get fit because a healthier lifestyle is a happier lifestyle.

Every resolution we make involves some amount of change in our behavior or routine and change is something we never embrace with open arms. So, we have to ask ourselves first. Are we ready for the change? Or are we just obliged to change our behavior just because it is a new year and we should do something different? We have to be really honest with ourselves in answering these 2 questions because that would determine whether our resolutions turn into a routine or whether it just ceases to be a pipe dream.

It Is Your Choice. But, It’s A Very Poor Choice Of Words.

MyChoice

“My Choice” has been an abused and overused response from “Generation Y” for anything that doesn’t adhere to the conventional standards of behavior which has been set by the earlier generations.  Now when these 2 words are preceded with the words “My Body” then it is bound to ruffle some feathers especially in a conservative society like ours.

Vogue magazine came out with a video under their ‘Vogue Empower’ initiative series named “My Choice” with Deepika Padukone as the protagonist and as many as 98 other women including celebrities from the film industry like Anupama Chopra, Zoya Akhtar, Nimrat Kaur etc. The video aims to bring awareness to the cause of women’s empowerment nationwide. It is ironic to see a fashion magazine and celebrities from an industry who make their money by reinforcing sexist standards of beauty on women preach about women empowerment. The video was probably made with the right intention but the execution of ideas and the statements used turned out to be rhetoric and didn’t drive home the point which I believed the video was supposed to do.

If the execution of the video was poor the reactions and the responses to the video were equally immature. There is no doubt about the fact that some statements in the video like “my choice whether to have sex outside of marriage” do not reflect the true essence of women empowerment at all but just to take a few excerpts out of a video and blowing it out of proportion was not a very mature thing to do. My interpretation of the video’s intended message was that there should not be different guidelines for women and men in the society. A woman should have the choice to wear any kind of clothes she likes; she should have the choice to binge on any food she likes without bothering about her figure; she should have the choice to marry as per her own conditions and whenever she is ready; she should have the choice to love temporarily, or to lust forever. What our society does is denies her that choice.

The angst of the people might be justified if you consider specific statements from the video but as a message in its entirety, it was a pretty strong video. What surprises me is that statements like “having sex outside of marriage” and “to have your baby or not” boils the blood of certain sections of the society but when Vogue Empower had shown a commercial titled “Ladke nahi rote” starring Madhuri Dixit which ends with a shot of a man about to tear up while hitting his wife, there were no reactions from anyone whatsoever. If the bloodied face of the girl being a victim of domestic violence from her husband didn’t instill a chill down your spine but rather an innocuous remark by a movie celebrity did, then I believe we all should take a strong and hard look at ourselves in the mirror. The “My Choice” video was only a logical extension to the “Ladke nahi rote” video where it was further re-iterated that instead of binding women to rules and restrictions, it is necessary for us to educate the men to learn how to respect women and give them equal rights.

It is also the responsibility of women to treat this “equal rights” terminology in the right manner. Yes ladies, “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”. Women shouldn’t use equal rights or special privileges granted to them at several places, according to their own convenience.  In fact, I believe that everyone should be treated as equal. If we can’t resist on judging people then we should judge or evaluate everyone on the same framework. Why can’t a man cry? It is perfectly natural to cry. Why can’t a girl dress as she likes to? It is perfectly natural to groom yourself to look the most delightful. Let’s learn to respect the women in our lives; because lack of doing so has caused all of this malice.

Let’s encourage efforts towards woman empowerment even if the message is not conveyed in the subtlest manner possible. To Vogue, I would say, “It is your choice” but as the Joker from the Dark Knight would say “It’s  a very poor choice of words”.

A Heady Commotion

uncertainty-of-life

No reason for anguish no reason for pain,

Trying to find some lucidity but it all seems in vain.

Looking at the faces with every emotion feigned,

Rather than unveiling the masks, I prefer to take the blame.

 

Feelings running short of being expressed,

Decipher life so much that you end up possessed.

Fears remain unanswered and concerns remain unaddressed,

But no stone is left unturned to ensure that everyone is impressed.

 

No place to go, no acquaintances to find.

If only I could have caged the mind.

Tired of being nice, tired of being kind,

Disgusted of always being put on the grind.

 

Neither that hurt to turn rebellious,

Nor that calm to ignore it as frivolous.

Comprehending people shall always remain tedious,

Two-faced sycophants with souls so hideous.

 

People say that each of us is here to serve a purpose.

What I see is the ringmaster running a circus.

Even if you are caged you are supposed to entertain,

Without the assurance of anything to gain.

Dancing to the tunes of a future so uncertain,

Makes you wonder why you treat your emotions with such disdain.

10 Reasons Why You Will End Up Reading A Shitty Article With A Long Catchy Title Like This Even Though It Exploits You!

Untitled-1

We hate to think. We hate to work for what we want. We hate anything that gets us off our lazy asses. And we all are hardwired to want things, now!

And this is more apparent now than anytime before. According to The Guardian, the desire for in depth analysis is being continuously diminished and this has led to a generation of internet consumers who live in a world of “instant gratification and quick fixes” which leads to a “loss of patience and a lack of deep thinking”. Our hedonistic tendencies dictate that pleasure remains the driving force that compels us to gratify our needs, wants, and urges.
And one alluring consequence of this is a fairly recent trend, which we here at DoubleThink couldn’t help but be amused by. Sample these:

This Akshay Kumar Song About ‘Susu’ Is The Craziest Thing You’ll See On The Internet Today!
Do Indians Want To Have Sex With Desis Or Videsis? Interesting Answers Ahead
20 Epic Responses To ‘I Love you’ That Will Make You Laugh Your Lungs Out
10 Reasons Why Your Best Friend’s Wedding Is The Most Special Event Ever

These articles could well serve as the foundation course for “How To Market Crap Extremely Well 101”. How these articles capitalize on the attention deficit and perverted tendencies of the readers by offering senseless masala that does not add any real value but gives instant gratification can be a lesson for any budding marketer. And we all love senseless masala, don’t we?

So as an “ode” to this trend, we list a few tricks and a few reasons why we think views on these articles just keep on comin’ :

Reasons:

► Because we like the easy way out
I mean, why watch an intellectual cinematic experience when you can just watch Dabangg instead?
Why read the book when you can watch the movie, or the TV Show, or just read the summary?
We are lazy, and reading is too much of an effort. How does it matter that reading helps in improving your language, conveying thoughts better or the fact that ideas can quite literally start or stop a war. What matters is how did Salman Khan do a double-flip on a super fast bullet train as he juggled live grenades with one hand and raised his collar with the other.

  Because we are perverts
My eyes lit up as I read the title- “10 Reasons Why Size Matters.”
I’m a girl, and I care a lot about any and every size known to me – Shoe Size, Dress Size, Ring Size, ad infinitum.
I’m a man, and the article is about size. I expect high definition photos of breasts. (I’m looking at you TOI.)
I’m a guy, and who are we kidding here, in our darkest hours we’ve all searched the internet for the acceptable penis size.

 ► Because we have a short attention sp… oh look, a fly!
When social networks that limit you to 140 character updates are doing great, you know the end is near.
I can’t even introduce myself in 140 characters, and here you are, trying to make me write what I feel about my mouth watering, perfectly grilled sandwich in 140 characters.
I had essay writing exams for this, and I can’t go through that shit again.

► Because we love it when everything is served to us on a silver platter
I don’t want to make the effort of scrounging through a mountain of links Google shoves in my face. Wouldn’t it be much better if it is all there in a single list? The headline catches my eye; it promises a story that’s finite, and as long as my fast-food information diet is necessarily limited in content and is unlikely to contain the nutritional value of the more in-depth analysis of traditional articles that rely on paragraphs, my purpose is served.

► Because I need some stranger to tell me things about myself cause I can’t figure them out on my own
We hate thinking, remember?
We all have tried to find the perfect answers to those HR questions for our first interview, haven’t we?
Why put strain on this work of art resting on my shoulders. I’ll just read it of the internet and be done with it.
Also, I need the internet to justify my fantastic decision of dropping out of college to be successful. Hey, Steve did it, right? And see where Apple is now. I always knew I was the next Steve Jobs. It is my destiny, bitches. Gah! What do these lowly humans know.

Tricks:

►  Throw in a couple of funny GIFs from a commercial box office movie and we’re game
No literally, I have no imaginative thinking. I need a pictorial description of what I just read (and sometimes to laugh at the jokes I don’t get.)
*insert a lame GIF*

►  Find a YouTube video that has been trending, and title it like “This Awesome Rap Is Dedicated To All The Chutiyas Who Did Not Want To Become Engineers/Doctors”
Just re-share a lame trending video, write a few random lines summarizing it and Voila! Hit post.
Really, I do need one more shitty website so that I can waste my time on a senseless video on YouTube, which god-forbid I might have missed out on if it weren’t for this site. I really don’t have anything worthwhile to do with my life. True story.

►  Exploit emotions and social issues you don’t give a damn about
#Reading this letter from a boy to his mother will bring tears to your eyes
Sounds familiar?
Hey! There’s no dearth of flaws and emotional fools in our society. Let’s pretend to care about them and exploit them to make some moolah, while not giving a shit about constructively working towards alleviating the issues. Exhibit A : Kill The Poor – SHOCKING Social Experiment.

►  Exaggerate that shit bro!
Exaggerate to the extent of a hyperbole.
I still remember that day I laughed my lungs out to a video on YT. Still trying to find where that sneaky left lung went. Ping me if you find it strolling somewhere. Oh, fond memories!

►  Sprinkle a few attention grabbing keywords such as sex, crazy, shocking and unbelievable throughout. CAPS for a larger effect.
And there you have your fair share of creeps raking up your hits counter. Tried and Tested.

(with inputs from Tushant Juneja)