All things that begin must come to an inevitable end. A cry of distress, in an unfamiliar world and hence begins life.
Some live for a 100 years without being alive for even a second of it. We are our own undoing. Blessing or tragedy?
Stop and smell the roses, they say. Maybe I should become that rose and carry that beauty within me.
I wish to forge my own path. Untethered, free and wild. Liberated from this worldly cage, and when Death finally finds me may it find me alive.
The other day, I came across an African proverb : “When death comes to find you, may it find you alive.”
We spend a lot of our lives being held back by trying to become what we think others expect us to be. We let ourselves be trapped in a cage.
Our soul knows what it wants. At this very moment, it’s speaking to you. Listen. Then go do it, grab it, live it.
Something went wrong with my WP a few days ago, and this got posted before I was done editing it. I removed it as soon as it happened, but a few of you had already read it and left comments. I’m sorry I had to delete that post because it just wasn’t ready. This is the final and improved version!
Ever so often we find ourselves looking for people, places, memories and opportunities that make our hearts ache. But in a good way.
Some find happiness in running after that feeling, chasing it in bars and discos. Jumping off cliffs only to have a trace of its grandeur. Intoxicated by its scent in foreign skies and seas.
Some find solace in the hope that it will come to them. That all they must do, is believe in its power, its possibility, and trust it with all their heart, and the wait will be worth it.
That feeling is what makes the World go round.
Earth, our home, found it in its path around the Sun. Sun, our star, found it in its luminosity and illumination. Water, our sustenance, found it wrapped in the bonds between hydrogen and oxygen. Wind, our cosmos, found it in the chirp of every bird that beautifies it. Fire, our energy, found it in the oxygen that strengthens it.
Sometimes, it comes in our early years. Others spend ages feeling incomplete. Sometimes, it comes right when you need it. Others learn that it has the worst timing ever. Sometimes, it comes when you’re ready to hold on. Others are caught completely off guard.
I made a wish for that feeling, then placed it in my soul.
I promise to welcome its immensity and its enormity the next time we bump paths.
A bonfire, a friendship and a paradox. Three unrelated entities that came together. This is a story of how.
Completely different yet somehow bizarrely functional, such was our connection.
This is how I met The Boy Who Loves Bonfires.
Click.Tap.Click.Tap.Click.Tap. I had come up with a rhythm to which I bobbed my head, sitting impatiently. It was yet another day in a class I wasn’t very fond of. Don’t get me wrong, I was great at the subject.The class, however,was a borefest.
There is always that one class where no one pays attention. Everyone is either dozing off or daydreaming. The latter is more my thing.
The seat next to me was unoccupied…until, it just wasn’t. My daydream came crashing down when I heard the sound of metal screeching as the seat next to me was pulled backward.
Within seconds, a complete stranger who I had occasionally seen in the hallways, sat next to me.
That is probably the most boring and cliched starting to what became one the most beautiful friendships of my life.
While I admit that the beginning was awkward and rocky, a few months later we were inseparable.
“The Boy Who Loves Bonfires,” such was his epithet.
Bonfires? I mean what’s so out of the blue about bonfires?
Fire. An element of life, a symbol of damnation, a source of energy, the hallmark for death. A purifier and a destroyer.
In the last sacrament of life in many cultures, corpses are burnt. Day after day, countless people die, yet the living wish to live forever.
The bodies of the dead are burned as they depart on a journey to whatever lies in the afterlife. Smoke stacks choke the skies.
The holy element of fire is hence linked to the end of a loved one’s journey amongst the living.
Fire, then becomes eerie and sinister to many people.
While my friend envisaged a starry night, sitting across a bonfire, with blankets and marshmallows.
The heat from the fire soothing the frigid air and the shivering toes. Consuming, devouring, annihilating the wood in order to stay alive.
Orange flames cackling while they dance, throwing vivid shadows and shapes under the dark of the night.
Its reflections in the eyes of the people gathered around, whispering secrets as its warmth caresses each soul.
Burning with the valiant desire to breathe. It reminded him of the beauty of being alive, each day.
“We can complain that rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice that thorns have roses,” while I had heard this many times, The Boy Who Loves Bonfires brought it to life and made me live it.
The Boy Who Loves Bonfires taught me a way of life.
I like to think of fire as the calm before a storm. Sometimes, the storm strikes and there is death, devastation, and loss to deal with. Sometimes, the storm passes over. It doesn’t strike. On those days, there is relief, warmth, calm and joy that the fire itself spreads.
I wonder sometimes, does fire know of its power? To create and destroy. Or does it remain an oblivious paradoxical element.
A paradox contradicts itself. It has various faces to it. The one we choose to focus on arbitrates much of our lives.
This I learned from him.
Who would have thought that a friendship that began in the dullest possible way would spark a fire. Dazzling and alive.
Quarantines and Lockdowns have made some of us productive, while others like myself, are constantly on edge.Yesterday, to take my mind off things, I revisited old pictures and memories.
Now, this particular picture, that I have inserted above, caught my eye. And I was taken back to a bittersweet day 2 years ago. 5 minutes later, I was typing away everything I remembered about that day.
I loved writing about it, so, I came across this idea wherein I start this series called “Mindless Musings” and every once in a while, I write about such days, experiences and fond memories!
Below is my first piece of “Mindless Musings”
Let me know what you think!
Encounter with a Cable Car
Even as a little girl in amusement parks, I refused to venture on rides that had anything to do with heights.
Heights. Probably my greatest fear. I have never been one to face my fears, or try in the slightest to get over them. So, the moment I set foot into a cable car for the first time ever, I had a feeling that it won’t end well.
Now, as you read this, you might think that this is my tale of an experience that helped me overcome my fear. I am sorry to disappoint, because that’s just not the case.
Having given in to my cousins’ coercion, I perched on the edge of one of the makeshift seats inside this daunting glassy box that accommodated five people. One very scared girl and her four overly joyous cousins.
I heard the automated doors closing down and trapping me in that box, that would travel so far away from the green fields of Switzerland, Europe. I have never been claustrophobic, but suddenly I was. I heard instructions blaring from the speaker located above my head, and finally I heard the voice say, “Sit back and enjoy your ride.”
Sitting back and enjoying were the two things that felt surreal, impossible, bizarre. As my sister started to reassure me that we were safe, my brother continued to tease me. While the other two were busy clicking pictures.
To be honest, to this day, I have no idea about what either of them said. It was impossible to focus on anything except that the box of horrors would start moving in a few seconds.
I felt a slight jerk, and suddenly we were moving, as the others cheered, I sat very still in this box of horrors. Terrified. At first, we were moving horizontally, but gradually, I felt a slight incline.
Now, everyone was silent. While my co-passengers were in awe, all they did was stare at everything around them, mesmerized. I, however had my eyes shut, completely silent.
I was told afterwards, that talking, felt like disturbing the serendipity they found in that car. So, all I heard were hushed whispers in tones of amazement.
Now, humans are curious creatures, so I gave in to their demands and requests and cracked one eye open, what I saw, gave me chills. And not in the good way. I was now staring at my feet which were set on the floor of the box. Only, it was transparent. I saw how far away I was, how far away I could fall.
At 3000 feet above the sea level, I had a meltdown.
So, I shut my eyes again, only this time I started to pray. Now, I am a Hindu. And Hinduism has no shortage of Gods and deities. So, I prayed to all of them, or at least all of the ones I know. Hoping, that at least one of them would hear my pleas. From Gayatri Mantra to Hanuman Chalisa, I called upon all deities.
But even as I did so, I felt the incline of the cable car get steeper. My eyes were shut, my hands over them, when i felt four supportive hands on my shoulders. The car was very small, so reaching out wasn’t tough. I knew they wanted me to share this newfound serendipity.
Once again, I found it in my heart, to give it another chance. So, my hands moved away from my eyes as I made it a point to not peer through the transparent base of the cable car. Instead, I peered around, all I saw was pale blue sky around me.
We were too far away from the ground,there were no birds flying. Only the clouds floating by. I saw another cable car ahead of ours and I saw the passengers gesticulating at each other, drawing each other’s attention to the different views. Beside me, I heard appreciative cheers.
I was torn. I wanted to shut my eyes once again but there was this part of me that never wanted to stop worshipping the view in front of me.
At 3500 feet above the sea level, I found serenity and tranquility. However, that did not take away my fear.
I heard the camera click, as my sister attempted to get a few pictures with my face showing. But my eyes kept darting away. To the clouds floating by. Now, I am not sure of what happened next. All I remember is the urge to look down. So I did.
What I experienced next, is called, adrenaline induced tachycardia. My heart beat irregularly, on a pace that is unusually high. Exhilaration. Fear. Intertwined together.
All I saw was the green fields for as long as I could see, with small water bodies distributed everywhere. I saw small specks, moving through these fields, that I assumed to be the inhabitants.
At 4000 feet above sea level, I realized just how insignificant I was in the Universe. How small, maybe even unimportant.
And even though, sitting back and enjoying were still surreal, impossible, bizarre. I was wonderstruck, amazed, astonished.
I heard the lady from the speaker, announcing that we had reached the end of our journey and within seconds I felt the box of horror coming to a halt. I realized, that somewhere after my meltdown, the claustrophobia had gone away. Although, I was still scared out of my wits, I had a certain reverence for the beauty I had witnessed.
I heard, the automated doors opening, I remember standing up and walking out.
The hushed whispers turned to normal conversation as I stepped into the coffee shop that was built nearby. Then, out of nowhere came a group hug and whispers of appreciation and support.
As I stepped in the queue, I realized just how significant I was to my family. How important, and loved.
So, I realized, that although, I was a speck in a population of more than 7 billion spread over continents far away. I had immense significance in my family. After all, I comprised a fifth of the group hug that followed my first cable car ride.
This was two years ago. As of now, I continue my love hate relationship with heights. It is, still, one of my greatest fears.
Shamelessly, she held onto that sliver of hope. The odds, ludicrously against her. Yet she stood her ground, grasping on to it. Maybe that was her strength.
Her combat had just ended, blood trickled down her skin. Clothes clung to her body, and a thousand scars adorned her form.
Yet she chose to believe, that humanity, the very one that had killed her lover and forced her to battle unknown anonymous heroes at the border was capable of warmth.
Anticipating that the end of the war would mean an end to all sufferings, she returned home, giddy with joy, only to find rubble and debris where her home was.
Dejected and in anguish, she made her way towards the young boy in the middle of the wreckage and as the toddler wrapped his little body around her leg, shrieking with joy, she knew that her sliver of hope had survived.