Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Waiting to Exhale

These days, my posts are all about the past and looking back, like my last post, Is goodbye just another word? The past few years have been one of change. Good or bad? I don't know that, only time will tell, but yes, things have changed, and my world has altered beyond recognition. The change has happened at break-neck speed and it has left me running hard, literally and figuratively, trying to keep up with the change.

This change threw up surprises and challenges  my way and made me a different person. Now, I welcome new experiences with open arms, as it gives me the opportunity to rediscover myself and my own strengths and vulnerabilities. I am learning to own every moment of this new adventure and experiencing the highs and lows of this new journey.

After an extremely stressful one year, on the personal front, I delved into a 3-day break with close friends and escaped to a place called Tarkarli. A place where the ocean and river unite, where the choppy blue waters are teeming with corals, fish and dolphins and where I could find a piece of myself that I had lost.

Now, I find it ironical, when I hear the words "art imitates life", cause for me, the reverse has come true. The experience of diving in the ocean, and going down 30 feet to touch the corals and fish was a divine and spiritual experience. The complete silence, the serene waters and the feeling of being alive were so intense that it took my breath away. For me, it was a moving experience, which reiterated the fact that life is short, you have to make it count. The thousand tonnes of water pressing down, the vastness of the sea and not knowing how to swim did not scare me. I just knew I had to do it, it was as if an unseen force was pushing me to test myself and have this life changing experience. I now understand what Hrithik Roshan experienced in the movie "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" after he experiences diving in the ocean.

The thrill of water sports such as snorkeling and parasailing were an added bonus, to let go and learn to be 'in the moment'. Flying high on the ocean, tied to a speedboat was adrenaline pumping. The holiday made me realise that I was waiting to exhale, exhale out the disappointments, the unfairness of life and the helplessness that I had felt for the past few years. These three days gave me a chance to know myself again and what I can overcome. I learnt that  "Life always offers you a second chance and that is called Tomorrow".

Pighlay neelam sa behta hua yeh samaan
Neeli neeli si khamoshiyaan
Na kahin hai zameen
Na kahin aasmaan
Sarsaraati huyi tehniyaan, pattiyaan
Keh rahi hain ki bas ek tum ho yahaan
Sirf main hoon meri saansein hain aur meri dhadkanein
Aisi gehraiyaan
Aisi tanhaiyaan
Aur main sirf main
Apne honay pe mujhko yaqeen aa gaya
The moment flows by like molten sapphire
Deep Blue silences
No Earth below
No Sky above
The rustling branches and leaves
Saying that only you are here
Only me
My breath
My heartbeat
Such Depth like this
Such Loneliness like this
And me only me
I now believe, I exist
(Translation courtesy: bollyspice.com)

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Is goodbye just another word?

A few days back, I was listening to one of Lobo's song, "Goodbye is just another word", and it got me thinking about whether that is true. Is goodbye just another word?

Goodbye means till we meet again. When I was younger, saying goodbye to someone did not put a thought in my mind. Life was fresh, full of promises and my eyes were focussed on the future. Now, I am looking back more than ever..some would call it midlife..or taking stock. Whatever it is, I am looking at the past and have dissected it to shreds, turned it upside down, inside out and have pondered deeply about the choices I have made in life. I keep thinking of the relationships that were made and torn down, the people who came into my life, people who decided to leave and people who have stayed with me for nearly three decades.

I have come to realize one thing, these days, for me, it has become harder to say goodbye. Like fleeting shadows, people have been passing through life, old friends, colleagues and family members. At this point in time, old foundations have crumbled, leaving the dust and grit in my eyes. The dust has not even settled and it is time for me to say goodbye to many.

When people come in your life, they come as a breath of fresh air, pumping life-changing moments in your mundane everyday existence. They bring with them their bit of sunshine and unique perspectives that color your thoughts. Some people leave your life and they take some lessons from you and others leave you with a hard learned lesson that changes you to the core, so much so that you can't even recognize your own self. Some say it is a part of the healing process while I believe that the experience touches you at a different level and makes you question yourself more than ever. You end up distancing yourself from the way you have been with them, and try your best to find who you are now.

Pic courtesy:www.pixteller.com
As people say goodbye, more often than not they just drift away and become strangers. Most times it is not intentional, life just happens and they get caught up in its intricacies. The connections you form, they take with them a piece of your heart, of shared dreams and experiences and leave you with a slice of their own world. The impression they leave on you, influences your mind and many a times, there is a gradual shift in the thought process especially, when the bonds have been meaningful.

Over the years, any relationship goes through its own ebbs and flows. It brings people closer or people break and drift away from you. Sometimes, you come across the same people later in life. Meeting them is somewhat like a half-remembered song or of a familiar perfume whose bottle has changed.

I keep hearing about how change is good and how it is the only permanent thing in life. As Kathleen Kelly from the movie You've got mail says: "People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all... has happened."

Saying goodbye to people with whom you shared a strong bond, is life changing. Try as you might, these changes are hard and it is hard to come to terms with them. You struggle and you try to live each day believing that this change is good for you. You learn to survive every day and move forward. Goodbye then doesn't remain just another word anymore, it becomes a process of letting go. 

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