Swimming pool of chai

Imagine this scene: you are on your comfy bed, wrapped up in layers and layers of blankets and in their warmth. Your worries are nowhere to be found. Next to your bed is a tall, ornate frame of window, separating you from the outside. It has been left a crack open for you to enjoy the snug atmosphere. Lashing against the window, making therapeutic sounds of melody is the rain. You are oblivious to the rhythmic chaos outside that the sound precedes.

In your hand is your favourite book, a book that creates an aura of safety and comfort around you. A small reading light brings clarity to the words on the pages in your hand, even as darkness engulfs the pedestrians outside. You sigh in bliss; there is no way you can get more relaxed than this… unless… someone brings in a hot bowl of Maggi for you. That someone happens to be your mom. Piping hot, the bowl warms your hand, while the steam wafting from the bowl mingles with the cold breeze that the torrential downpour outside has created. The aroma of the masalas lifts your spirit, it satisfies your soul… and stomach.

And now, finally, you are in heaven.

Loving it?

Now imagine you are on the other side of the window.

Your shoes are wet and your socks are soggy, soaked with muddy water. They are making a distinctively irritating pachak-pachak sound with every step you take. Your umbrella is inside-out because of the strong winds. Your hair is a mess; sticky and moist, it sticks on your face and smells awful. You have something in your left hand, something else in the other, and your shoulder balances the umbrella that is doing a poor job of keeping you dry. The one thing it is supposed to do, and it can’t even do that properly.

There is no way to cover your arms. They are exposed to the chilly drafts of air that graze you, tickle you and make your nipples pointy and sensitive. You might be getting sick as well, and the hunger that is starting to build in your stomach only adds to the shitty-ness of it all. You have to reach your destination, a few kilometres away, and the only way to get there is wading through brown, lumpy water that reminds you of roadside chai.

And of course, the rain has put a stop to all kinds of public transport. So you have no choice but to walk – oh sorry – swim through the swimming pool of chai (but we all know it’s not really chai…) trying to go where you want to. And then you happen to drop your deliciously sexy phone you were desperately clinging on to, from your right hand. Of all places, it happens to fall with a dull plonk into the muddy puddle. Yay you!

Dreading it?

Good. So you are just like me.

Because today, in a span of a couple of hours, I happen to experience both… while I was sick, tired, hungry and sleepy!

But more on that later…

Heya Bleedsters!
A short post for you guys. If there are any regular readers left, that is. Those in Mumbai, stay safe from the rains!

The Urban Hill

Clicked by me!

Sometimes in life, and I know this might sound very typical, you get lost. You look around, and everything seems different.

Its weird in a way because things look familiar, they sound familiar, they even taste familiar. And yet, they don’t feel the same.

Friends do not feel like friends. You start seeing them in a different light. All the things you relied on for support seem to not work anymore. You feel confused and overwhelmed. And you say to yourself, something has changed.

You look around, and desperately try to find the reason behind this change. You analyse your life, you analyse the people you interact with, you wonder whether you have done something wrong…

You introspect your personality, you doubt yourself, you try to find someone to blame for your problems. You look for comfort in the comfort zone. You look for some kind of familiarity. You try to find some hope to desperately cling on to.

And it doesn’t work.

And then, you find yourself wandering through the streets of Pune, alone and deep in thought, thinking – why has everybody changed?

And then it hits you harder than a punch in the face: you are the one who has changed.

Of course, by now, you must know that this is all about me. Not you, not him, not her. Not the reader. But about the writer. This writer, in particular.

It wasn’t all that bad, but it was something new. The feeling of being lost, truly lost, was something I had never faced. I had faced feelings similar to this, but not completely like this. And recently, I had the pleasure to finally do so.

And as a result, I found myself on the Urban Hill.

It was a cute little hill, carved out of a sea of mountains. At the edge of Pune’s urban boundaries, it lay quietly and delightedly. Poised at the perfect location, it stood welcoming and tall, yet comforting short.

Bhakti Shakti, it was called. They had turned the hill into a park. A beautiful, clean, nice and simple park. From afar, it seemed like any of the hills and mountains you see while passing Lonavala. But as I came closer, I saw the fine, intricate pathway woven into its grassy skin, the tall statue of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Sant Tukaram and the tall flag pole. I sat there, in my own thoughts, oblivious to the beauty around me, at the start. I was so lost in my own thought that I did not notice the bronze sculpture.

Behind me was one of the greatest Kings of all time. Behind me was also one of the most popular saints in India. Behind me was Bhakti and Shakti. And all it took was a selfie flash of some school going girl, to make me turn and marvel in its beauty.

Now, I could lie and say that the statue is what made me realise the true nature of life. I could claim that somehow, the towering frame of Chatrapati Shivaji bathing in the glory of the melodious Sant Tukaram was what brought me back to my senses. And made me realise why I felt lost.

But it wasn’t.

All the statue made me feel is more lost! Because by looking at the statue, the real complexity of life hit me. I sat there in the cool breeze, with the pointy grass making my ass itchy, just staring. And only when I turned away did I finally realise what was going on.

That one feels lost in a strange new world. But one has to carve out a new way in this new and unknown world. One has to change, one has to adapt and one has to grow to survive in this new world. Thinking about past, stewing in your own thoughts or thinking on and on about why, how or when, will not help. You need to focus on the what. On what you are going to do about it.

You need to accept the fact that while everything and everyone around you feels brand new, it is only because you have changed. And you get to decide if this change is for the better or for the worse.