A writer in the cubicle

You know what?

Maybe some of us are not meant to be the leaders. Maybe we just exist to follow, and why not? Leaders need that. Maybe some of us are not supposed to have those “great and immortal” dreams. Maybe some of us are indeed ordinary and we will die ordinary. Maybe some of us are not even supposed to whine about all this but that’s what we will do forever throughout our lives. And that’s the saddest part. Maybe, if the gods are kind, we will realize this at a right time and accept life for how it is. Maybe we will march towards a happy ending even with all the insipidity.  Or maybe we will never be this optimistic, maybe fate will drag us through the most beautiful of cities and we won’t appreciate it, because that’s not what we ever wanted. Maybe we hoped for ruins and war sites, maybe we hoped for barren lands and burning forests and what a shame we would never get to see them. We yearned for stories people can gasp at. We yearned for photographs that were taken from the oddest angles. Fate wouldn’t understand our dull-wittedness of course. But maybe, that’s how it was meant to be always and we, being the nincompoops we are, will never get that. Maybe some of us are happy but we just don’t realize it. Maybe it’s not even that complicated! If you are breathing then you are living! Maybe it is as simple as that! So, why does it never dawn on us that some of us just waste too much of our precious time comparing and weaving up the possibilities that are not even as shiny as our eyes believe them to be? Why do we throw away our entire lives waiting for things to happen that would actually never happen? Why do we need to expect amazement in that same monotonous hollywoodized narrow minded way? Can we not come up with our own definitions? Can we not, for once in our lives, afford to be original? Will we never realize that we star in this movie, that we are the heroes, that we are the ones our lives are all about? How so ordinary and wasted and hammered and stumped, we might seem, our lives will always be about us! We can’t change the protagonists. We are the protagonists. There are no substitutes! But we wouldn’t get it, would we? We will mistake our velleities for dreams and doom ourselves right there. Why do we have to categorize things into supposed to be and not supposed to be? Why picture the greatness?  Why attach selfishness to everything we ever love? Why draw money out of it? Why commercialize? Maybe there are people who can pull happiness out of that but maybe you are not among those people. Why be a zabardasti ka rebel? You don’t even want to be one! Why go against the clichéd advices when you know they are the ones that are most suitable for you? Why bring unnecessary pain? Why expect so much that you drive yourself mad with sorrow? Maybe you don’t deserve it? The best parts, the worst parts? Both of it! Maybe you simply just don’t deserve it! And if that’s the case, why can’t we live with it?

So, you might interject, that maybe this whole line of thought is just a cowardice approach. You might interject that this is just one of those bad days and things will be alright tomorrow. Well, you are right. I know what you mean. There are good days. And there are bad days. And those are regular normal days. And then there are horrible days, so horrible that you are not even able to figure out the reason why. And there is no reason when you think about it – Just the sudden outburst of hopelessness. Like a dementor’s kiss sucking happiness out of you. And you can’t cast a patronus, so yeah, you are doomed. In these numb moments when you can’t even feel pain, when you can’t shake off the thought of killing yourself from your head, when you are nothing but just a moving sac of disappointments, when you are whining and you are ridiculously rebuking yourself to stop, when you are so lost and everything seems such a waste, when all the glitter and blizz is a horrible head ache, in these precious moments, what do you do? Nothing. I know those days. They come and go, fleeting moments!  So, yes, you are right – this too shall pass. You probably sense and feel my temporary agony. But then, I don’t need your sympathy today. Do you think that I am giving up the shelters of metaphors and deceptive literary devices just so that I could make a song out of your ‘there-theres’? No, I don’t.

Today is a bad day but I am not here to just ramble and complain. I am here to make peace. I am here to be honest. I don’t want to hide anymore. And I don’t want to seek. I want to accept and not expect. And mostly, I don’t want to care. I don’t want to care about what I am and who I am, about what I can and cannot do, about what I should and should not do, about what’s right and what’s wrong, about what I do and what I might end up doing. And I want to believe that with the first ever ridiculous poem  that I sang in front of my class, with my first entry of that small journal with a lock, I wrote my fate right there, without ever realizing it that I am no one, that I am everyone,  and really? At heart?  Just a writer in the cubicle. Just a purposeless stupid writer in the cubicle. And you know what; I just want to learn to live with it. Period.

Your human existence?

Your human existence
is running out of evidence
as your tales fade away when I pass them to others,
and others, preoccupied, don’t pass to another,
as words die at the tip of my tongue
when I try to recall the songs since long unsung,
as I toss and topple through a restless night,
and people who knew you depart gradually out of sight…
as your same old stories are recycled over and over
camouflaged as new ones, drunk and sober,
as my own judgement dresses up like your possible advice,
In moments of uncertainty, that’s a cunning disguise,
as your clothes lay, never touched, never worn,
degrading slowly, yearning to be given away or thrown,
as your photographs smile like you never left any dots or dashes,
Conveniently ignoring that your flesh and bones are long gone burnt to ashes.

And, you are far from being mattered now
Hence you exist like a god;
Never seen
Never heard
All your mistakes are forgotten
All your missteps are wise
Your fury is symphony
Your love is a way to paradise
Your voice is a miracle
Your smile is the turquoise ocean
And all my tears are my prayers
All my sorrow is my temple
You are worshiped here everyday
You are glorified every hour…

But then you are not a god
Just a handful of memories;
Fading and dripping,
Now only the best ones remain in the filter cone,
And they too are eroding everyday, millimeter by millimeter
Lost in the wind, lost in the history, lost in our ironical transcendence into  nothingness…


That woman in my office

You might have been unconsciously or deliberately avoiding hence you have never admitted it even to yourself but the truth is that when you look at her, you have to look at her again. You have to look at her again and stop whatever you are thinking and start wondering why exactly she is so attractive. She is not the most beautiful woman you have ever seen. She looks ordinary in a way. She should ideally easily blend into the crowd. But then, she doesn’t. Maybe her hairstyle is different, you guess, her clothes could be, you think but nothing really brings down the air of mystery. You find yourself a little baffled, and then you realize that you are staring at her, you look away immediately, you don’t want to seem rude or look like a pervert after all! But her face is imprinted in your mind and you can’t rid of it.

Chances are you might not even see her again. Good. Even if you were to meet her once more what change would that have brought?  You are certainly not going to go talk to her! And if you do, despite all odds, your conversation will end before it even starts. Hi. Hello. Who is she? Who are you? There’s only so much decency can allow you to say. There’s only so much you can allow yourself to say. It’s a work place after all, not a bar and you are not drunk.

Why is she so attractive you wonder again.She resembles the daydream you often have when you sit at your desk scanning through your mails but not really reading them.She resembles the attractive thought of a faraway vacation that hits you when you look at the ever increasing figure of your privilege leaves. She resembles the content of your resignation letter. She resembles all of your vacillating escape plans. She resembles a life – faraway and far different and far amazing. Uncanny! Now you are utterly perplexed. You need to work. Why are you thinking about her? She is just a temporary face at office! Temporary phase in your head! Come on!

No use complaining, no use telling yourself how utterly stupid all this is. You can’t go back to work. You are too preoccupied now. Hell, what to do. How do you stop it?

So, you think about her. Unabashedly now. You think about her face, her voice, her eyes, her hair, her kajal, the heels of her sandals and think about all of it despite knowing that your thoughts won’t answer the question. You steal glances at her more frequently now. You try to notice even the minor details; shade of her nail paint, her ear rings, border of her dupatta, embroidery of her kurti…

Interesting part is – You are not the only one. Everybody else appears to be engaged doing the same thing. It’s amazing how this woman is unaware of all the attention or maybe she is just very much used to it.

Dreaming and dreaming.Suddenly, the spell breaks. Screen. SAP. Codes. Programmes.Desk. Cubicle. Manager. Phone calls.

Welcome back. Where is that woman now? You search for her all around but she is nowhere to be seen. She is gone. Your thoughts are gone. You are used to being alone but today loneliness leaks through out of nowhere. The walls are damp, pipes have burst somewhere and you are staring at all the Dear Sirs and Dear Ma’ams. Hope has gone out for a lunch at a fancy restaurant and you are left without a single bit of him. Bastard! Such sad mess your life seems to be. Where is that woman? Come back! Maybe you will go and talk to her! Who knows conversation might not meet an awkward end! Who knows it might turn out to be worth it after all.

But where is she? Will she come back? Will she? And if she does, and if you do meet her this time, will she stay?