It’s okay.

Peace comes from within – Buddha

It was almost comical as I kept repeating “inner peace” over and over again to myself, just as I’d once seen Master Shifu do it in Kung Fu Panda. If only attaining it was as easy as saying the words. If only achieving anything was as easy as thinking about it. The power of positive thinking, they say.

I’ve always been a discontent person, it’s in my nature. I’m never satisfied; whenever I am, it’s temporal, fleeting. It’s an honest to god admission. This little ill trait has bred so many others in me now, that I’d have to borrow hands to count them on fingers. I’m too impulsive, too reckless, too stressed, too tensed, to name a few. But it’s been about three months that I’ve been struggling to find peace – within and out, struggling more than ever. So it would suffice to say all those toos just got magnified into fours, eights, sixteens and so forth. Getting anxiety attacks and coming down with depression was not a shocker at that point.

We, and by we I mean the 90s kids, are at that strange stage in life when we’re supposed to be either figuring out where we’re headed, or have it figured out, or the best – already begin working on it. The pressure is intense. Everywhere you look, people are going somewhere, doing something, while you feel you’re stuck in a time lapse that you cannot get out of. It’s ironic how all those people we are looking at, are thinking that exact same thing. Everyone is stuck in their own time lapse. The one I was stuck in just began running extremely fast, making everything spin out of control in my head.

I was making mistakes right and left, trying to solve them and ending up making even more. My brain just gave in under all that debris. I lost all the energy I had in me to do anything, even the things that gave me joy. A simple task of getting up to go eat lunch felt like a herculean ordeal. Waking up, taking a shower, going to work, working, eating – all mundane tasks people didn’t really have to think twice before doing were taking tremendous effort on my part to get done. I began feeling like an imbecile. The fact that my brain was now working against me didn’t help at all. It shut down every time I decided to change things, I believed – truly believed – that I was nothing; that the world would still be the exact same if I didn’t exist, that it would be better off in fact, if I didn’t.

Slowly, I began rationalizing every consequence of my death. The emotional loss that my loved ones would face would fade away with time. There was nothing else that would change. I could honestly think of nothing, and it was a jarring thought. My anxiety would kick in at such moments and I would feel I need to change this, that I need to matter, that I need to make some difference – but the depression would silence all of it with just a simple – but what’s the point? You’re going to die anyway. It was a constant battle with myself. And let me tell you, you can fight people, you can fight loved ones, but the hardest battle you’ll ever face is the one you have against yourself.

I had good days when I’d feel like myself, smile and laugh and feel good in general – I couldn’t even think of not existing in this world and missing out on everything I had. And then there were the not-so-good days when everything was bleak and I dreaded every minute that passed by, all I wanted to do was hole up somewhere and sleep, forever. I seeked medical help after a few serious episodes of anxiety attacks and thoughts of dying. I hadn’t attempted ending my life, I couldn’t bring myself to do it because of my anxiety, so in a way I’m glad I had it.

I began talking to my friends about it. A really, really difficult step because the depression makes you feel so worthless and such a waste of space that you feel like any kind of help that you seek is a crime. I felt like a burden to everyone I shared my thoughts and problems with. Every time I had a panic attack and wanted to call my friend up to talk to her, I felt I didn’t deserve to feel better, for no particular reason but just because. I’d lie in my bed all morning, with my eyes closed, wishing to never wake up. Minutes would tick by and turn into hours and I’d be glad that time never really stops. I’d never known nothingness of this expanse before. I’d never imagined myself capable of creating it.

I’d lost track of time, days, feelings, words, people, myself. Days felt like seconds and seconds felt like years. I told my mother about it, after hours and days of worrying over it. I still don’t think she truly understood what was happening with me, but I loved her all the more for whatever methods she tried to do to fix things (some of them were counter-productive though, I’ll admit). She stopped me from taking the medicines, I protested but she insisted they weren’t the solution to anything. And maybe she was right, they weren’t making any difference anyway. I began writing a journal, to vent my mind into. It was ugly at first, words scattered and strewn across the page like broken glass, sharp and brittle. I could barely form cohesive sentences.

I kept reading up about what was happening with me and felt little comfort in knowing there were so many other souls facing their own battles for years now. I was terrified of the thought that I might have to face mine for such a duration as well. I wanted everyone around me to give up, so that I’d stop feeling like such a disappointment all the time. I wanted them to give up so I could make up another excuse to give up as well. It was shameful to admit these things to myself, much less anyone else.

I still don’t know what it was that makes me get up every morning. Maybe it’s my anxiety about disappointing the people who care about me, maybe it’s the fear that I don’t want to turn into nothing. I’ve stopped fighting with the reasons. I’ve stopped fighting with my thoughts. For every time I did, I’d end up in this paradox that I saw no way out of.

I won’t lie – I’m still half-drowning. I still move about my day a little half-heartedly, every smile and laugh still feels forced – something I know I have to do. Things don’t feel natural as they used to. But it’s something. And believe me, anything is better than nothing. Even knowing that I’m trying, makes me feel like I’m winning. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t – but if I don’t try, I definitely won’t. I just needed to focus on the efforts, and not the results. Sure I could fail a hundred times, but I’d rather think that I tried a hundred times. Perspective made such a huge difference for me that I don’t think any amount of emphasis that I give to it would ever be enough.

I wish I had ways I could tell you about that I use to bring myself out of the pit I get stuck in, but I don’t. I don’t think I’m still out of that pit. I’m still at the bottom, but I’m no longer hopeless that I will never get out. I know my friends are all reaching out as hard as they can to pull me out, some even drop in and sit with me so I don’t feel alone. But at the end of the day I know I have to get out on my own, and that it will be me who makes that climb. I am at least at the stage where I know good things are waiting for me at the end of the tunnel, and that it’s okay if I’m stuck here. It’s okay that I’m not frantically trying to get out, as long as I’m not digging myself in further. It’s a funny thing really, but I’d tried all the methods I could find to calm myself down during the panic attacks, but what worked the most was “It’s okay”.

And it really is.

It really will be.

Ex animo,



Staying Afloat

He reminds me of an ocean. Vast and unfathomable. No matter how far you swim or how deep you dive, you might still not be able to gauge it. He carries within himself all of my secrets, silently, with a spark in his eyes, a smile on his lips. He has kissed my tears, giving me pearls in their stead; caressed my wounds, albeit with the stinging salt. I’ve never seen anyone so calm, so collected, but capable of bringing such terrible storms. I’ve seen it in his eyes, the color of the sea at night, how he sees everything, how he reads me like a book, arching my spine, stroking each page gently, brushing his fingertips ever so slightly over each word. He calms me down, with just his mere presence, his rhythmic breathing, like waves rolling off the sand, slowly. I find myself drawn into him as if by some invisible force. Minutes and hours somehow lose their meaning when I’m with him, my heart squeezes itself in my chest, begging for more time and trying to make its way out, but getting stuck in my throat. My sighs make up for the words I cannot say. I look at him from afar, glad that I can watch over him at the very least. I see how the wind plays with his hair, how his mouth hangs open a little when he sleeps, and how he peeps through his sleepy eyes in the morning, before burying his face in the pillow that now smells of him. I could sit here, burying my toes in the sand, for endless days, just wishing for another encounter with the tides. For the ocean doesn’t welcome everyone; I could charge at it a hundred times, only to be thrown back to the land. I’m a star ready to fall from the sky to lose myself in him. But he’s an ocean and oceans pine for the moon.


Ex animo,

A Letter

I have a lot of things I wanted to tell my younger self, things I wish she knew then. But more than that, I have a lot of things I want you to hear. Because as much as I’d like to go back in time and whisper the words of wisdom to her, so she’d know better, I know I cannot. And I shouldn’t, because if anything was different about myself a few years ago, I wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t have learnt all that I have. If my words were to travel in time and be of help to anyone, I know it would be you. So hear me out, wiser one.

I hope that you’re doing okay, that you’re doing much better than I’m wishing and planning for you to do right now. It would be too far-fetched to assume which life goals you attained and which ones were swept away with tides of time, so I’m not going to hover over that. I don’t know if you’re single, with someone, married, living alone, with parents, or with friends, but whichever the case it is, I hope you’re happy, with yourself. I wish you have people around you who make you laugh really hard, enough to bring tears to your eyes and ache your belly. I hope you’re doing your parents proud, and they’re still a huge part of your life, and that your brother is still a constant source of inspiration and love. If nothing else remained consistent, I wish at least all this did.

I know you remember when this was written, probably seems like ages ago, in another world. I was sipping my tea, typing on that noisy keyboard like a maniac – and typing on it always gave me a sense of peace, I imagined I was writing on a typewriter. But most of all, writing, was what made me feel truly content. Do you still do it? I hope you do, and I hope that you’re so much better at it than I am. It’s something I never want you to give up. I know how hard it is for you to sometimes open up about things that really deeply affect you, and writing has always been the air, in those times, when your heart was suffocating silently. It used to solidify the moments of happiness and joy, express the love your heart could barely contain. I want you to remember how that felt. I want you to keep writing, for yourself, if nothing else.

Are you still curious? About anything and everything? Do you still look at people and places with wonder? Are there at least a dozen things that you plan on learning in the immediate future? I hope there are. Do you remember all those hours and days that you spent, at times, planning things? The countless this-and-that you learnt just out of pure curiosity. Let’s be honest, you weren’t a master at any of them, but you learnt – and you kept learning no matter what! I trust you still do that. Did you finish learning German? Wie geht’s? Kannst du das verstehen? Eller det här? I hope that didn’t sound like gibberish to you or that you didn’t have to open Google Translate to understand it. I’d like to believe you still love learning about the world, all the overwhelmingly large number of cultures it has, the staggering amount of places there are to see. And I hope you’re still figuring out a way to explore them all, making lists and itineraries just in case.

And hey, I hope you’re still a fool in love, trusting, forgiving, forgetting – just as you’ve always been. This might not sound like a great advice – and it probably isn’t – but I don’t think there is any other way I’d like it to be. It’s who you are. You love too much, and too soon. Always have. I hope you always will, because eventually the world may run out of people who don’t see that it isn’t a weakness, but there will always be those special humans, who’ll love you for this quality. Just the way they do now. I want you to think back and remember all the beautiful souls you’ve encountered along the way, even the ones who haven’t stayed. The warmth and peace they made you feel. It was for the person you were, without any alterations. Never be ashamed of loving, there is probably nothing more wonderful in the world than being able to give love. I want you to stay the same, no matter what you have to face.

If I’m to predict the kind of things that you probably had to go through, on the basis of what I’ve faced till date, I won’t sound so optimistic, to be honest. But I’m not going to take back anything that I’ve said. I only trust that you’ve grown even stronger than ever before, that every heartbreak or fall, made you want to be better all the more; that you had the support of your family and friends, through every thing, that you knew their importance and told them so at every chance you got. I hope you didn’t lose your faith in goodness, or your empathy for the people around you, or the love you felt for animals. There might be a tonne of things I hope you changed about yourself like, a tad bit of reduction in your procrastination skills, or your inexplicable inability to enjoy waking up early in the morning, or getting a leash on that monstrous impatience you’ve been raising for years; but there are a few traits I wish you never have to tweak.

I don’t have to list out the incidents or name people, who’ve changed you for the better, means aside – I know you keep all the memories stacked and organized chronologically in your mind, so there’s no need for a reminder. But once in a while, we fail to see what’s right in front of our eyes. We might have the solution to a problem, dancing in front of us, and we could still be absolutely oblivious to it. It is in those moments, when it’s of paramount importance that we make sure to know that we’ve got all the help we need, right inside us. The motivation to keep going, the strength to get back up, all the support – it’s all within you. We learn by example, we see the mistakes others have made and keep in mind not to repeat them, to not be in the spot they’ve landed themselves in. Look back – never be afraid to do that – and learn from yourself. What better example could you find anywhere else? Nobody understands you the way you do, then how could somebody else possibly help you better than the way you can?

There are times in our lives, when we feel so lost, it’s difficult to listen to anyone. It becomes tough to even make sense of your own thoughts. This, is for those occasions. To remind you, of all that you’ve been through, of all you’ve survived, all that you’ve overcome. To remind you to stay the way you are, the way you were, regarding the things that matter the most. That, if there is anything, that can get you through the rough patches, it is your very own heart and mind. They don’t necessarily always think the same way, but remember how they’ve always agreed on things that are best for you. Trust them and trust yourself, always. I know I do.

With Love,
A younger you.

Are we unlovable?

Is it just me or does the title sound similar to a question we’ve probably asked ourselves a thousand times already? I know I have (I just did last week). But thankfully, my brain is at its smartest yet, and stopped that tenacious worm of doubt before it could bury itself in my mind. I’m not unlovable. Far from it. But before I explain the claim I just made, I want you to believe, with all of your heart, just until you finish reading this, that you’re not unlovable either. Just till you get to the end.


The insecurity that I can’t be loved had plagued my mind for a couple of years, and I cannot even begin to tell you how incredibly stupid and obtuse I was to think that, even for a second. Had I forgotten my family, my friends, my pet, and most importantly – myself? It may sound vile and vain, but I absolutely love myself. Despite all the flaws, the idiosyncrasies I have, I don’t think there is anything unlovable about myself. And that’s alright, I’m fine with being a narcissist, it’s infinitely better than wallowing in self-pity and self-doubt. At the end of the day, even if I have no-one to tell me that it’s going to be alright and that they’re there for me, I have myself. I will always have myself.

The word unlovable is such an incontrovertible word – unlovable: you just cannot be loved. Do you really believe that? You shouldn’t. Every person deserves to be loved. Like I said, if by no one else, then at least by yourself. And if you can’t bring yourself to love you, think of the reasons why. Before analyzing the hundred reasons because of which some other person might not have loved you, you need to understand why you cannot love yourself. Change that. Become a better person. Not for anyone else, but yourself, so that you can be proudly in love with you. Once you do that, rationalizing the relationships that have gone south won’t be a synonym for self-doubt.

Now let’s face the real problem here. We’re not sad because we’re unlovable. We’re sad because our love wasn’t reciprocated by someone we loved. Does that make us unlovable? You go into a store and try on a few dresses. All the ones that you liked somehow don’t look good on you at all. Does that mean you sulk around thinking you’ll never be able to wear anything good at all? They were just a few dresses! There will be more, but you won’t be able to judge any of them rationally, if at all, unless you believe that you aren’t at fault here. If you’re trying fit into clothes that are too small, will that get you anywhere? Instead of feeling dejected and worthless, why not try to find clothes that are your fit? Understand yourself. Recognize what you need, not just what you want. It’s all part of loving yourself.

I cannot stress enough on how you don’t really need to depend on somebody else’s feelings towards you, to be happy. Why chain yourself like that? Why be a slave to someone else’s emotions? We spend most of our lives loving others, trying to make them love us, please them, even at the cost of our own wishes. And when it’s all said and done, you feel empty. You know why? Because you forgot to love the one person, who will, without a sliver of doubt, always be there for you. The very person you see in the mirror everyday. When my love for myself is more than enough for me, I will never, ever, feel empty. I won’t need somebody else’s love to tell me that I’m worth it, because I know I am.

I said in the beginning, that you had to believe in something just till the end of the post, even if you thought you cannot. So now that we’re at the end, you can either go back to questioning every action you make, and complain about all the bad hands you’ve been dealt with when it comes to love, or you can give yourself the love you deserve. All we really want is someone who loves us, despite everything – all the sad parts, the not so fun parts, the ugly parts, the quirky parts. Isn’t that what we look for all our lives? Someone to love us completely, sincerely. We are capable of it, I know we are. Do the honors then.

Ex animo,

Are we living?

The little joys in life come unannounced and unexpectedly. You might find yourself being transported back to a time when laughter came from within, not as just a reaction; when the wind howling in your ears as you speeded on a bicycle was enough, and you didn’t need loud music beats to pump your heart faster. I experienced such exhilaration one morning recently, when I went cycling with my friends. It was a spontaneous plan (one that I was very late to) and I hadn’t given it much thought, it’d just felt like something that would be fun. But it was so much more than that.

I felt like a kid again. My 13 year old self who absolutely loved riding her bicycle everyday. I’d go round and around on the streets near my house till my legs gave out. And as I rode a bike after almost a decade (you really never forget how to ride a bicycle), I realized how I’d given up something I’d enjoyed doing so much. Then came the thought of all the other activities I’ve stopped pursuing, just simply because life happened. That was the only reason I could come up with at the time. But if I wasn’t really doing anything I truly enjoyed anymore, life really wasn’t happening at all was it? I wasn’t really living.

Over the years I’ve found myself complaining multiple times about how I’m not really doing something that I like or love. I would list a dozen reasons to blame for that if you’d ask me. But at the end of the day it all comes down to a single fact – I chose not to. It’s always a choice. I chose not to ride bicycles anymore. I chose not to draw anymore. I chose not to learn that language I’d really wanted to learn. I chose to do something else over these. And one day, I might not have the choice anymore; one day I might not have the privilege of time. All I would have, would be regrets.

I don’t want that for myself. I’m sure you wouldn’t want it for yourself either. So do what you enjoy, do what makes you happy. Life may or may not be short, but it’s too precious a gift to waste either way. No matter how annoying the acronym ‘YOLO’ may sound, that does not undermine the truth and depth of the fact that you truly do live only once. So sing, dance, play that game, join the drama club, learn that music instrument you’ve always wanted to, start swimming again, pick up that bicycle collecting dust and catching rust in your backyard and go out for a ride, because life, is made of these little joys, let’s make the most of it.

Ex animo,

Ad Meliora

Life sometimes feels like a string of unfinished entities – stories, hobbies, jobs, dreams, blogs, et cetera. We tend to begin things in the spur of the moment, propelled by the thrill of starting something new, without much thought about how we will fare once the adrenaline subsides. If the number of unsuccessful attempts at kicking-off a blog was something to boast of, I’d have added another bullet to the achievements section (which then would sum up to a grand total of 4 bullets, mind you) in my CV. This might just be another attempt, but I’m not willing to let myself believe that, because if I did, I’d have given up even before trying to stay committed to this. I have a notion, that, everything in life happens just when it is supposed to, even if it feels otherwise. Although, no matter how many tries it takes for you to get what you want done right, always believe that this attempt, right now, will be the one.

In case you’re wondering what novelties I shall be bringing to your screens and minds that has not already been said and re-said on the almighty internet, the answer is nothing. I’m not here to kindle new fires, or campaign new movements. I’m here for us to look inside ourselves and realize what we already know, deep down. I’m here, so that we can rediscover the human in us, bit by bit. It’s an experiment I’ve been conducting on myself for the last few months, and I’ll be sharing the findings with you, in the hope that what I learn about myself might be of some help to you too. If that intrigues you, then by all means, stick around.

Ex animo,