A Day In My Life

Many a times, I wonder what I am doing with my life.

A typical day in my life would start with me waking up at about quarter to eight in the morning, occupy an empty toilet in the bathroom, brush my teeth, wait for a bathroom to vacate, bathe, and leave for my nine o’clock class sparing seven minutes for the commute. Fit in a hurried breakfast at about ten thirty, an lunch at one thirty, my class gets over by three thirty in the evening, Ideally, I like to fit in a workout at the gym for about an hour, but it is not an ideal world. I grab a bite, usually junk like chips or biscuits. Then depending on the amount of work I have, it is either studying or I chat with my friends, listen to music, catch up on my TV shows, or simply sleep. At about eight thirty, I go with my friends for dinner at the mess. Coming back at about ten thirty, I study for an hour or so, and then call it a night.

Then there are days where I simply get nothing done right. I sleep late; consequently, I wake up late, either getting late or missing my morning classes altogether. I forget to eat because the food sucks, I fight with my friends, I don’t go to the gym even though I know I should, I sleep the entire evening, only to wake up late at night, when I can neither sleep, nor study because I am too groggy. Those days are the worst because I end up feel like a useless lump of skin. I feel disgusted by myself for having slipped in my routine, just because of my frivolous attitude.

Coming to the university, I had to change a lot and adapt to a lifestyle that is befitting to me, which actually brings out the best in me. Last semester, I had classes only two days a week, which were absolutely packed. The rest of the days, I had no work, nothing on my agenda. I fell into a vicious circle of laziness and lethargy. I would stay up till dawn watching movies, and would sleep till noon, getting ready late in the evenings. My productivity was all time low, I wasn’t blogging, I wasn’t reading, I wasn’t doing anything. I hated that feeling. Thankfully, by the end semester break, which was almost a month long, I almost had a proper schedule, and I promised not to let myself slip again. Since the starting of this semester, I was inclined to give my hundred percent in college. I eat food, I study frequently, I am regular to my classes, I am happy.

Today was a wrong day in sorts. I slept late last night, working on an assignment we had been given. I set my alarm for seven thirty, waking up eventually at quarter to nine, giving me barely enough time to get dressed and rush to my class. I had a class from nine to ten and two consecutive ones from eleven to twelve and twelve to one. My eleven am class was cancelled at precisely eleven am, after I had wasted an hour in the block doing nothing when I could have taken a bath and change. I came back to my room at eleven, ate chips, drank juice and buttermilk, watched One Tree Hill. I went back for the twelve noon class, attended it, had lunch and was back in my room by two fifteen, feeling a little flustered by the hot sun, and my unwashed, unproductive state of being.

There is something in the last two weeks of February and the first week of March that just lightens me up. The weather is just short of hot in the days, and appropriately cool in the night. I blossom in this time; even the most mundane tasks suddenly seem very exciting, I am ten times happier. Maybe it is the winter fading, maybe the approaching Holi that I absolutely love, maybe it is just seeing and existing in the sun when it is not melting you, I love this time. If you ask me to give up my most prized object at this time, I would probably give you. I would even share my food at this time if I am extremely happy.

Any when I came to my room, I listened to some music, the fan airing away all that I was feeling and the sun outside, the cool inside, I was actually very relaxed. However, arriving quarter past three, the idea of going to the gym was growing on my mind. I am the type of person who needs to lose weight to actually be healthy but gives up way too soon, before any results of all the hard work that I put in are visible. But as I said, it was spring, the weather was absolutely perfect, and the guilt of not having gone for the past ten days was killing me. Instinctively, without giving myself time to change my mind, I changed into my gym attire, ran a brush through my hair and was off to the gym, a water bottle in one hand, earphones and phone in the other.

It was a sweaty workout, I can say. I wear a woolen sweatshirt over a tee shirt so that I sweat more, so that was that, plus considering the fact that I hadn’t worked out in over ten days and started a month ago, I was impressed with my performance, particularly my stamina in running. I can also say the The Pretender by the Foo Fighters is a great song to work out to. I returned at about twenty minutes to five, absolutely knackered, sweaty and itchy all over. Again, without thinking, I went to bathe (with cold water, the first time since winter departed), knowing that if I think, I will probably not go. Came back, cleaned the room, my bed, folded my laundry, dressed up (a little fancy), and sat down to study all before five, which is when I started this post. All my frustration of being unproductive had washed away while I bathed. Admittedly, I am really proud of myself today. I think I am finally learning how to adult #donotjinx

I don’t know where I am aiming at with this post today. Maybe I just wanted to share my little victory with someone. Maybe it is the spirit of spring that inspired me to write this uncharacteristically personal post- a glimpse of my everyday life. I don’t know but I am feeling very happy today. Sometimes, you need to step closer to reality, look at the little things instead of the big picture to be content.

So now, I guess I am going plug in my earphones, and study since I have my mid-sems just a week away. What is your daily routine like? Have you done anything, no matter how tiny that has made you proud? Does the spirit of spring also transform you like it does me? I’d love to know.

Cheers!

Soothe Sundays #20

Woah, it’s been almost five months since I posted a quote. I was so preoccupied with college that I reserved Sundays exclusively for sleeping and just chilling. The past 2-3 weeks, I’d been planning to post one but Sunday passed by in such a blur that I would remember that I had to post only on Monday, but not this time!

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This quote, I came across while watching Modern Family which I feel fits the world perfectly. Though I would consider myself a realist, I find myself way too often to be dreaming about things that are not even still certain. Thus, I would consider myself something in the middle of both the binaries.

What would you say you are? Leave in the comments below and have a great Sunday ahead!

A Night In The City

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The sun has almost set in the sultry winter sky
And to every poets consternation,
Each nook of the city smells like cigarette smoke;
They wonder what they should write today,
A pint down with a burning throat
They walk through the city, to capture life.
The night is piercing, even the hookers have put on modest clothes
And somewhere in a multi-storey building
A girl sings in the dark,
Her drunken voice bewitching the entire city in its merry spirit;
And further down the lane,
An old man collapses, and with a wheezing breath
Denounces his possessions to his son
And he breathes his last in the snow clad streets,
The stars bearing witness to this commemoration;
And a girl stands over the bridge,
Whose coat flips carelessly in the icy wind,
As she readies to jump into the freezing waters,
Thinking desperately of last words that’ll hopefully
Last longer than she herself did.
And somewhere an artist’s fingers roll the joint
After he’s fucked the same guy he did last week,
And the one before that and the one before that,
Wondering if this is what love feels like:
No late night conversations, no meals,
Just two hot naked bodies writhing in passion
And the familiar smell of smoke and sweat.
They all wonder, they’re all living,
And thus the city lives on-
They all wonder, they’re all looking for something,
Or finding something or making something,
Or just being.
The city breathes through their breath,
And the world feels alive, thriving,
Even though nothing is similar and nothing is different
Because it has all happened, it is all happening,
It will always happen
And yet is is never the same- the girl’s voice
Has never sung of that one morning, ever again
And the old man’s son will never know how proud
His father was of him.
And the artist has woken up to a realization
That what he loves has, and can never love him back,
So the next morning, when the moon descends
And the first shy rays of the eager sun wake them all up,
The poets, well, they’ll already be wide awake, with cheeks blued, and hands gritty,
Forgetting to see the sunrise, forgetting to breathe
As they write about the cities they’ve never left,
The cities they’ve never seen,
The cities they’ve never been,
The cities they’ve never owned.

50 Questions Tag

So a few weeks ago, Cynic (as she very kindly lets me call her) from The Finicky  Cynic did a  little 50 Questions Tag which I found very interesting and which is what I am going to do today. While of these questions are quite random, and general, I thought it would be fun and different from the usual poetry that I’ve been posting for quite some time now. Hopefully, my new bloggers friends will get to know me through this, and my old ones a little better.

So here we go-

  1. Were you named after anyone?
    No, not really. My name- Akanksha, means ‘desire’ in Hindi. The story behind my name is that my father heard/saw this name somewhere and decided on it almost immediately: he liked it so much. When I was about to be born, many members of my family tried to convince him to rethink his decision for they worried people might mispronounce or misspell it (which they do all the time!), but to no avail.
  2. When was the last time you cried?
    Well, this is embarrassing because this was precisely two nights ago. I was trying to download a torrent for a movie and in the process, I infected the laptop with a virus. While my father was fixing that, I was also trying to convince him of buying me a hard disc, and which is he adamant to not do. Fast forward four minutes, things got a little out of hand… and I rushed into my room, tears running down my face.
  3. Do you like your handwriting?
    I used to. I had really great handwriting up till class ten but the frantic note taking of eleventh and twelfth class and substituting my laptop for a pen and paper has pretty much robbed me of all my good handwriting practice. Most of the time now, writing things down seems like a pain in the ass.
  4. What is your favorite lunch meat?
    Since there are not a lot of options available in India as per the choice of meat- I’ve only ever had chicken and lamb- I would have to say chicken because I absolutely love it. If given an alternative that doesn’t get me killed and which I like, I’m welcome to change.
  5. Do you have kids?
    Very predictable, but no. Also, I’m only 18, so no way.
  6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?
    If I were the person that I am right now, today, this very second, and if I were to meet me, who I am this very second, there is no chance in hell that I’d be friends.
    Let me clarify. I keep to myself so the chances of me going up to someone else, even if we were all strangers in Hunger Games and the only chance of escaping would be to gather five facts about each other, to talk are minus. I’d probably keep expecting the other me to approach me and try to make a conversation. At the same time, if the other  me is also like me, she’ll also do the same thing, and we’ll both never talk for the rest of our lives. So no, we won’t be friends.
  7. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
    I’ve started to recently, ever since I’ve come to college. But I think I need to lose it or I’m going to lose friends over my inability to give a straight answer.
  8. Do you still have your tonsils?
    Yes. I don’t know any people who’ve had them taken out, I think.
  9. Would you bungee jump?
    I like to think I would but realistically, the only way I would is if someone pushes me off the stage (?), and even then, I’d probably wet my pants.
  10. What is your favorite cereal?
    Not a cereal eater, but the last I ate, Kellogg’s Cornflakes.
  11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
    Never have and I don’t think I ever will. Who’d bend down just to do that?
  12. Do you think you are strong?
    Yes. And here, I’d like to borrow one of Cynic’s own hashtags: #Strongindependentwomanwhoneednoman
  13. What is your favorite ice cream?
    Choco-chip all the time, all the way!
  14. What is the first thing you notice about people?
    I think their physique, most probably, I’m not sure. Or their hair.
  15. Red or pink?
    If we are talking about the bright Barbie pink or the ambulance red, then neither. I have no particular affinity to colors that scream. I don’t mind blood red though.
  16. What is the least favorite thing about yourself?
    I have to say, my introversion. I have missed out on a lot of great events and awesome gatherings because of my wish to laze around, watch a movie and eat pasta.
  17. Who do you miss the most?
    My best friend Palak, who shifted to Bombay two years ago. I would actually kill for her to be with me. #longdistancesux
  18. What is the nutrition or fitness strategy that I need to work on the most?
    Well, I’ve been trying to lose some weight on-and-off for the past two years now, and I’ve tried both dieting and exercising and I haven’t been successful. While both are good, and for me it is necessary to do both, I always fall short or one. If I am exercising regularly, I would quit eating healthy and gorge on all sorts of junk, and if I diet, I never exercise. I need to moderate the two of them.
  19. What color shoes are you wearing?
    None, at the moment. Who even blogs while wearing shoes?
  20. What was the last thing you ate?
    Paan. It is an Indian betel leaf after-meal sort of a thing that’s really sweet and refreshing.
  21. What are you listening to right now?
    Again, nothing right now. But I do have Troye Sivan’s ‘Happy Little Pill’ and ‘The Cave’ by Mumford and Sons on repeat this week.
  22. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
    I’d be sea blue. I love sea blue color.
  23. Favorite smells?
    The aroma of the food that the aunty on the first floor makes, when we are in our parking lot.
  24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
    My sister. She was out so I asked her to get cake from my favorite bakery. Midnight snacks are so cool!
  25. Mountain hideaway or beach house?
    I love mountains, always have. So a mountain hideaway it is. Also, if you can arrange it in Kashmir, I’ll give you a three of my beloved books.
  26. Favorite sport to watch?
    Cricket. Can’t hit a ball for hell but GO INDIA!
  27. Hair color?
    Black with brown ends at the end under a sun, but only I can see that. I am however thinking of getting my hair dyed blue this summer.
  28. Eye color? 
    Black- I hate it. My roommate has such amazing grey-green eyes and I hate that no one can write poems and songs about my eyes the color of the sky or green the color of sea. Dammit!
  29. Do you wear lenses?
    No glasses, no lenses. I have perfect eyes, thank you very much, even though they are a little small.
  30. Favorite food?
    I have no answer, sorry. For me, food has always been about what I feel like. I eat what appeals to my heart. So I would say it changes, depending on how I am feeling.
  31. Scary movies or happy endings?
    I love happy endings forever. If Bauji hadn’t let go, I’d have killed him- Raj and Simran are meant to be together. Even otherwise, I am hardly scared in horror movies. I am known to have burst out laughing in the hall, watching a particularly scary scene in the Conjuring, so no horror movies anyways.
  32. Last movie you watched?
    I watched Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Na last completely (also another happy ending). Otherwise, I watched the second half of Whiplash on TV just earlier this evening.
  33. What color shirt are you wearing?
    A poster blue t-shirt that’s probably too old and holey to wear decently now. *I have to keep it safe, ma might just get rid of it.*
  34. Summer or winter?
    Summer, in the early months when the temperature is like 30/32 degrees outside (I mean this is Celsius), or winter in the mountains with a winter wonderland.
  35. Hugs or kisses?
    Hugs to close friends, kisses to mom and dad, and to friends if I am feeling particularly happy. So, most of the time, hugs.
  36. Favorite dessert?
    Can’t name one. My favorites would be Kaju Katli, Gulab Jamun and fruit truffle with whipped cream.
  37. Strength Training or cardio?
    Cardio. Have always done that. Found it more exhaustive.
  38. Computer or television?
    Computer. I can do without all those long, senseless commercials or the lack of change. Plus, a computer (by which I mean a laptop) is way more handy and convenient.
  39. What book are you reading right now?
    Currently, I am reading ‘Unravel Me’ by Taheren Mafi and ‘Love In The Time Of Cholera’ by Garcia Gabriel Marquez. I am also going to start ‘Milk and Honey’ by Rupi Kaur pretty soon too- it is currently waiting on the table in my hostel (I am at home for the weekend) waiting for me to dive into it.
  40. What is on your mouse pad?
    I don’t ave a mouse, let alone a pad for it. I use the finger thing on the laptop.
  41. What color is the moon?
    Yellowish white, I suppose. I am not very sure.
  42. Favorite sound?
    Definitely not the lawn mower outside my hostel room window that starts up every day at seven in the morning and makes up enough racket to wake people up from the dead.
  43. Rolling Stones or Beatles?
    Arctic Monkeys, ha ha.
    Honestly though, have never heard any of them sincerely so I can’t say.
  44. What is the farthest you’ve been from home?
    It either has to be Kashmir, Bangalore or Bhutan. If you bother, look up the distances from New Delhi and please comment. Thanks!
  45. Do you have a special talent?
    Um, I can replicate food recipes really good, and most of the time, I make really good food.
  46. Where were you born?
    Moradabad, in Uttar Pradesh, India. I was just three years old since I moved out from there, so I’ve been living in this area for about fifteen years now.
  47. Where are you living right now?
    Nearabouts New Delhi. It’s not really the city but I would say what you call the NCR region.
  48. What color is your house?
    Our house has different color in each room, and white. So there is each of the rooms have pale green, yellow and lilac plus white. It looks nice!
  49. What color is your car?
    Not my car, my parents. But one is white, and one is metallic blue. I don’t know how to drive a car.
  50. Do you like answering fifty questions?
    I do. And listen to this, I started this Saturday late evening, thinking I’d post this on Sunday, but then, I was really sleepy so I couldn’t finish it. And sunday, I was really busy so I couldn’t complete it. So this weird monday noon time, I’m posting it. But hey- it is still Sunday somewhere, hopefully!

 

Turned out to be a pretty long post! To all who read this, I would encourage you to do it, it’s very fun! Hope you enjoyed it and that you got to know me a little better. See you all again soon 🙂

My Diary

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You appear inflated, the pages that
I have browsed through repeatedly
are dog-eared, stained, and smeared;
the remnants of the pages I tore,
with secrets spattered like spilled ink
haunt me like ghosts, for they remind me
of a time when love was forbidden;
and the different ink that I started
to use, halfway through, brings alive
the pen that wrote of my first kiss;
running my hand across my own scrawny
print, smudged slightly in the corners,
ignites in my fingertips the same urgency
I had felt, twelve years ago, to release
the anger I felt towards my friend,
the night of my eighteenth birthday;
and the movie stub I stuck on your
last page, fell out today, immediately
transporting me to the last movie
I watched with my mother, ever-
You hold memories that photographs
can never do for me, for I chose to capture
these moments, they are mine; you ignite in me
a desire to inhale you, to take every word
in, to back in time, to live again the words
I diligently wrote, and which you never
told; you have held my life in leaves, sewn
so delicately-

Take me, fly me away, be my time machine
when it gets too much.

An Instruction Manual for a Gravedigger.

Step 1: You turn off your emotions,
that constriction in your chest just might
make it difficult for you to dig, when the snow
has covered every inch of the equally marked landscape;
identifiable by names, relationships- by how people saw them.

Step 2: Don’t let the seed of gloom
plant itself in your heart, you don’t need
a growth that cannot be weeded out; the silence
interrupted by the rhythmic thawing of the land need
not be layered with an unhappiness that is not yours to begin with.

Step 3: Along with every clump of soil
that your spade collects from the ground,
say a little prayer; what you are digging it for
will soon melt- the skin will integrate with the soil,
and the evidence of any wrongs the body had done to
anyone else, will cease to exist. Say a prayer that the hurt
are delivered their justice, so that one end doesn’t bring others.

Step 4: Know that each body will return
to haunt you one day, when you are tossing
in bed, late at night, unable to separate yourself
from the fingernails that are scratching your back, hurting
you; their frozen masks of fears, hatred, happiness, forever
etched in your mind like stone, will surround you, try to overcome
you. At that time, close your eyes and hope for forgiveness, from whatever
haunting them; maybe the next night, you’ll sleep tight, having put their demons to rest.

Step5: Remember this, for I know, what
you do is never who you are- don’t let the freshly
covered grave enchant you with its heavy barrenness;
there is nothing immoral of what you do; don’t distance
yourself from the living, or you might as well, dig a grave for your
own self. Plant flowers near the headstone, wait for them to bloom,
learn that no ending is beautiful; it is merely the start of something new.

Update on The World Past Me.

It has been just a little more than a month since I’ve last posted on my blog, and over six months, since I stopped posted continuously. This is an long, overdue explanation for that.

I had trouble writing. The enthusiasm with which I wrote had deserted me, moreover, it felt impersonal. I’ve always written because those were words that I didn’t say, and they needed to be said. They’ve always been from the heart, they’ve always been about things that I felt, or did, or thought; my writing was never about just writing- it was a means for me to express myself.

Lately, more specifically starting last summer, I ran out of things to talk about. I ran out of things to say. I didn’t know what to write. I felt that the one thing that I had with me always had emancipated from myself. What I wrote was a result of my frustration of not being able to write, not being able to feel empty after I’d written, not being able to say what I needed to say. And let me tell you, that isn’t a good place to be. Imagine someone taping your mouth when you are telling them about a very personal event, or not being able to find a recall the word that would say exactly what you want to say and your mind going in circles at that thought and you’ll know what I mean. 

Many of you may also know that it was around the same time that I started my undergraduate studies as an English major in a university about two hours from my house. of course, as a language major, I was also supposed to write a lot. My conviction in my writing only grew weaker, and the feeling of being wordless was engulfing me. I could only write for my courses. I felt that this “academic” writing was draining me of my ability to write, for myself. I wrote, a little, as I said, but they were not writings that I was satisfied with. Their purpose was simple: to keep the blog running. And in that way, an entire semester passed, without me having blogged successfully.

However, last month, at my end semester break, I decided to write anything, poetry , prose, anything that would make me write. And I started a little something. From 11 pm to 3 am, I would sit with a cup of soup or coffee at the dining table in my house, surrounded my a warm blanket and alternate between writing and watching YouTube videos. And I did write; I wrote about 7.5k words in a span of 15 days. I don’t know a lot about these stats, but the important thing is that I wrote. I wrote without deleting every second word and without closing the file in my anger and without getting distracted.

Fifteen days since I last worked on it, I have finally written something today that I am satisfied with, that makes me feel like I’ve done a good job. And it is in celebration of that that I am finally making this post, my first post in the new year that is 2017, that is making me think that yes, I will be more punctilious and adhere to blogging regularly.

Hopefully, this post today will unjinx the bad voodoo that has prevented me from writing, and hopefully, it’ll be the welcome mat for the next, and more frequent posts, on The World Past Me.

A very (late) Happy New Year to everyone. May words always be with you!

 

Aleppo.

My mother is a history teacher,
and I was a sixth grader when
she first told me about the World Wars.
Now, as a twelve year old,
blissfully unaware of the crises of the world,
this was a revelation because

I could not understand, however hard I tried,
how anyone could watch and simply see people
killing other people.

Six years later,
desensitized to terrorism
and having learnt the ways of the world,
I realize how wrong I was,
believing that I would never ever be
one of those who could stand see war
tear apart countries.

I have been witnessing a genocide
in Syria for most of my adult life,
and reading the final goodbyes of people
in Aleppo over Twitter today,
never have I been more ashamed
of my own existence.

The Starry Night

“Through the iron barred window, I can see an enclosed square of wheat… above which, in the morning, I watch the sun rise in all its glory,” – Van Gogh, in a letter to his brother. 

The condescending darkness
echoes through the cosmos
the descending doom,
the sky sways with the wind
the lit sky numbs progressively
the candle flickers dangerously
the wheat winnows itself
the bars of my windows break free.

I sit over the crescent moon
and watch the world burn
and watch the sun rise
and I burn as the sun
fills me with light
like the lit up sky,
the stars eddying
hypnotize mankind
will them all to hope
as hope is in the stars
and the planet is a star
ignited with souls like me
and today, I paint just for me.

About Venus.

I wear my hair in a bun, curls cascading down my face,
my bun, prim and perfect like the Manali mountain
rooftop where visitors (tourists and local alike) throng
for the picturesque view they can post on their timelines
as a reminder of the majesty of the place, all the while
paying homage to what I can humbly call my creation;
the gentle curls around my lush pink cheeks hover like the
floating clouds that threaten to hide the wide valleys
nestled behind the crevices of my collarbones and the
steep, winding heights , that are my perky breast,
making experienced conquerors dizzy with their unyielding
climb; my abdomen is the valleys unexplored, some huge
with their unconquerable landscape and some so narrow,
only a stream can run through; into the mystery that is
between my legs, secrets unrevealed, ever gathering moss,
places that my deft fingers- like the animals in the forests-
have been to and been lost in; thighs like tree trunks, strong
and sturdy, developed well enough to carry my own weight
and well as to nurse life (on my lap, children have slept
as the nursed and they sat as they played until they grew)
but dare you seek my wrath and I will uproot and destroy
everything, everything, everything you have ever known to rubble.
So the next time you call me weak, remember that clouds
do rain, mountains do collapse and trees tremble and fall
but it all comes with your destruction.