Eye, Me & Myself

Me with my new glasses

The misadventures of the new smartphone generation: Admit it – we are all suffering from the inescapable ‘Digital Eye Syndrome.’

For a soul who was constantly on a laptop for close to 10-12 hours everyday, and at times even more, it was natural to have my eyes affected badly. To add to that, I never spared them even after getting away from the laptop; I continued to consume absolute trash on my smartphone, further torturing the windows to my soul.

There came a time when my eyesight could be best described as looking at the world through a butter paper. The same clarity reflected in my life vision. “Where am I going?, Why can’t I see my future?, What is the meaning to this digital existence?” I had over-fatigued my eyes and it would be in good faith for their sake alone, to undertake remedial action straightaway before I spiral gradually and permanently towards blindness.

I began accounting my time on screens, both laptop and smartphone. Realizing it was way too much for two little eyes in a 24-hour cycle, I made quick changes. Apart from work related reading, I restricted screen time to the absolutely necessary only. But, one can never get away in this digital age – there’s always a screen near you!

I also visited the eye doctor and he wasn’t interested in listening to the symptoms – blurred vision [check], double vision [check], pain in the eyes [check], pain in the head [check], pain in the … [ok, never mind!] He was just proceeding with different types of eye tests, all the while nodding at the symptoms that are now generic, not just restricted to the IT workers.

“No one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side.”

The fact that you are finally able to book an appointment with him, in the next month, with Lady Luck favouring you over countless weak-sighted others, is a milestone of an achievement. Getting through to Kaun Banega Crorepati is way easier, I tell you!

A poster on his entrance extolled the virtues of eye donation, quite teasingly. I went back in, after having been diagnosed with a bad case of the Digital eye, and both long and near-sightedness, and asked in all innocence, “I am not eligible to donate my eyes, right?” “Wrong! Even a blind person can donate their eyes as long as their cornea is healthy, just ensure you (rather your corpse) is taken to the nearby government hospital within four hours of death.”

This immediately got noted down in my ‘Did you know?’ list.

Talking about interesting facts, the lady before me was asked to visit again after an HIV test. I was more embarrassed than her to hear the doctor’s assistant yell out the name of the government AIDS testing center. For a moment, I was quite muddled: Am I visiting an eye doctor or what? So it seems that STDs also affect the functioning of the eyes. One more to jot down in my ‘Did you know?’ list.

Now I look at the bright side of things. Because after all, “No one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side.” I could get scarlet fever and go blind. I could get meningitis and go blind. In all likelihood, I could have an evil kid poke a pencil into my eyes, and cause blindness, not to mention severe shock and bleeding, too!

I indulge in eye exercises, these are all over the internet and that’s the irony of it! I meditate, the side effect of which is restoration of the eye and nasal muscles. I also give them adequate rest – you see they are your precious pair after all – the windows to your soul.

They say hindsight is always 20:20. Looking back now, I see many things I could have done differently. In fact, I have a growing list of things I’d like to tell my 18-year-old self, the time since I have been staring at a computer monitor. So, I caution my nieces, my friends and other folks to ration their screen time. Also, anti-glare screens and glasses do not make much of a difference.

Eye exercises, vitamin A-enriched foods and adequate rest are the only three  weapons in your arsenal. Save your eyes, save your world in this digital age!

The Joy of Journaling

A close friend of mine, a mother in her late 30’s, feels a sudden sensation of ‘the world going round and round’, while waiting for her son’s school bus one afternoon. Next thing she remembers – parents of other kids hovering over, trying to talk her back to reality. Regaining consciousness, she is escorted back to her den, to her existential blackhole: nothing escapes her home. All her anxieties, lists of things to do, expectations to live up to, just about everything had taken a toll on her. They just made themselves home, they had no way to get out.

The blackouts had turned frequent. She joined Sri Sri’s Art of Living, alongside taking medications for low blood pressure. ‘I feel so good, you should try it, too!” she sang to me.

The therapeutic benefits of a meditation course have been proven time and again, but there is not much about the positive changes brought about by the simple act of ‘writing a journal.’

I began writing a journal as an 8-year-old. It may have not lasted even 8 days, given my extreme anxiety and sleepless nights over being spied on by my siblings. Reminiscing the entries, they were mostly a vivid description of my dreams, the ones you see with shuteye.

One was about how I had discovered a particular mountain, just like other climbers had, with no gravitational pull on one side. The people ahead of me, slowly jumped down, giving wings to their ultimate dreams, and were soon floating about in air, maybe 1500 kms above sea level. It’s now or never. I got off too. I became a bird, just gliding real slow all around.

Jotting it all down on those pages was so much bliss: the very act of recalling the feeling of being a bird, talking about my wish to, perhaps someday, set out on a discovery mission for the magic mountain. Also, I can recall it so well as I’d written it down.

Another entry I remember is about how my mother taught me to ‘fly a butterfly like a kite’ while returning from school, and how I instantly rejected the idea, because passing a thread through butterfly wings might be hurting them. The other entries in the little journal may have been imaginary stuff – I can’t recollect any more. All I know is me tearing off the pages and then tearing each page into little pieces – me, the human shredding machine!

Later, I tried again but encountered only false starts. The fear of someone finding my diary lying about minding its own business, reading it and knowing the goings-on in my mind, was too extreme for me.

So, I stuck to blogging – logging on the world wide web. It was not personal anymore. I weaved cryptic words into little poems to express what I was feeling inside. I made fictional accounts of fictional characters, actually telling my story. People read them as poetry and fiction, not a soul knew the stories hidden between the lines. This was fun, but not as liberating.

Your diary can be your road to inner peace. Your diary can be your friend, your philosopher and your guide.

So I stuck to personal diary writing again – late last year, and have been going strong till date. It’s the best part of my day; I look forward to putting pen to paper and jotting down whatever comes to my mind that time.

Therapists have long proven the benefits of keeping a journal, specially after going through trauma you can’t explain to another soul. History is replete with famous people and their diaries, without which we wouldn’t have known their humane side. Inventors, Philosophers, Visionaries, Artists, Shapers of our world have maintained notes or journals of their random thoughts throughout the day. Explorers loved their travel journals while Thinkers loved their book of ideas.

The Anne Frank Diary is a classic window to the joy of journaling. Hiding from Nazis, this Jewish girl all of 12 copes with her anxieties, dreams and aspirations and the eternal fear of being caught, by making time to write the day’s happenings, and her ideas about growing up to be an adult. Her diary may have played the role of a therapist, given the disturbing times she was growing up in and her impressionable young mind.

Journaling is self-therapy. Whatever be your standing in life, it can always be tackled by writing away your fears and worries, your missteps and wrong turns, your regrets and failures, your anxieties and hurt feelings. Journaling has the ability to purge out the toxins just when the pen touches the paper, the ink flushes out the unwanted.

I believe like reading, writing too, is to your mind, what exercise is to your body. When we begin the process, it feels pointless and dull. We are so used to an audience, we cannot jot down our feelings in private. But, jot down we must, as it also helps exercise our grey cells and slowly but steadily there is a marked progress in our sentence construction and contextual description skills. Like regular exercising helps keep our body supple and agile, so also is daily journaling an effective tool in making our brains active and in positive mode.

Moreover, journaling helps bring clarity in the times you are quite muddled. In this age of instant gratification and mindless scrolling, nonstop swiping and virtual escapism, a diary is a real thing. A tangible beauty made of paper that you can savour it at leisure, look it up for ideas or just ogle at the vintage beauty of a bygone era, still very much yours.

I recently learned about the Zen way to look at diary writing or journaling. Just as Buddhist monks spend days making intricate mandala designs, only to wipe it off when it’s completed, so also must a diary be destroyed. Perhaps, the last day of the year is a good day to send your diary to the shredding machine! Ring in the new year with a new diary and press REBOOT!

In conclusion, I’d say your diary can be your road to inner peace. Your diary can be your friend, your philosopher and your guide. Write your own story. Own your day. Jot down things that brought you joy and also those that made you cry, things you’d love to do, friends you’d love to make and places you’d love to visit. Go on… discover the daily joy of journaling!

Indian Railways takes a cue from NASA and Bill Gates, Promises to make future Rail Neer from human poop

Under the aegis of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the national transporter is apparently slaying two demons with one spear… err one dump at a time.

The Indian Railways is struggling with Rail Neer, its packaged drinking water brand. A product by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) under the Ministry of Railways, Rail Neer is a key revenue generator for IRCTC, but despite continued efforts, the bottled mineral water is failing to meet the demand. Last year, it could quench the thirst of only 20% Indians who were thirsty inside railway stations, and clocking sales of only Rs 150 crore.

The brand is now looking for growth. India has over 7000 railway stations and over 1000 passenger trains, but not many bottles of Rail Neer. This gives other brands a free pass to fill the void, and the Indian Railways a wasted opportunity. Rail Neer, a brand that reportedly contributes 10% to IRCTC’s annual revenue, could easily be doubled in a tropical country like India.

The problem statement and the identified objectives were both very clear. This set thoughts in motion for the Chief Innovation Officer of the Indian Railways, Mr. P K Shitamurthy. Inspired by Aajit Kumar’s bestseller, ‘Think Beyond’, Shitamurthy found his ‘Eureka!’ moment one fine morning as he sat on his pot.

So many travellers on a train and so many more at the stations. Imagine the amount of crap being generated at every railway station, and on every train. What if we could gather all that crap and put it inside ‘that’ machine that produces pure, drinking water out of it. NASA does that to quench its 19 or so astronauts in the International Space Station. Bill Gates took a sip of it years ago, and had said, “It was delicious.”

Surely, this would be a win-win for Rail Neer, the different punchlines could go something like – ‘Swachh Bharatiya desi pani’, ‘Boond boond – ek ehsaas’, ‘Keval pani aur kuch nahi’ or the direct ‘Hamara potty, hamara pyaas.’

Designed for areas with no access to clean, drinking water, this water-faeces machine could be implemented as a way to ‘think beyond.’ More like a ‘two birds with one stone’ solution for the problem at hand. The now even-more-famous Shitamurthy recalled at a press conference later, how his chest had puffed to a 56 inch one after having shared the innovative solution with topmost boss of the country, our PM.

Apparently, our PM immediately jumped up to the idea of fulfilling Rail Neer’s raw material needs as well as the addition of another shiny, clean feather on his Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. But, he also doubles up as the country’s ‘Make in India’ salesman, so he proposed to Shitamurthy to invite as many foreign companies as he can, to convert our poop into drinking water.

The Minister of Railways is reported to be very pleased with this innovative idea; he was fed up with being mollycoddled his way every year in presenting (somebody else’s) rail budget in parliament. When he was sworn in, little did he know that this was his only role.

“Let’s do this shit!” he exclaimed in an animated gesture, not knowing that he was to take the first sip of that water at a public demonstration of the wonder machine, amidst journalists from national and international publications.

Parallelly, Rail Neer is taking a deep look at cost-cutting measures. It has begun the process with its own. The Rail Bhavan in New Delhi has reportedly refused to provide Rail Neer to its officials. “Bring your own water else drink from the installed RO plants in the premises,” a circular stated.

Meanwhile, Shitamurthy and our PM are basking in glory, as reports have come in. ‘Crap in India,’ was an inside joke, taken literally!

Ajji – a D.A.R.K revenge drama that’s uncomfortably satisfying

Ajji is just like any other granny. She’s frail on the outside, her wobbly knees could give away any time. Yet she never ceases to run that feet-powered, ancient yet trusty sewing machine. What’s wrong if she can help contribute to her family’s meager income? And, what’s not to like if the family has a little girl all of 10? The girl’s mother sells home-cooked eatables on a bicycle and her father works at the factory. The family stays in a dark, dingy slum with a pregnant out-of-work prostitute as a neighbour.

Ajji is tender at heart, just like marshmallows she melts to her grand daughter Manda’s very being of existence. Still, the depths of her love can only be fully fathomed at the end. How far would she go, to save the dignity of her beloved Manda? Because, where there is a little girl all by herself, minding her own business, there is a big, bad wolf, too!

Ajji, the dark thriller directed by Devashish Makhija and co-written by Mirat Trivedi, is an Indian take on a Korean revenge thriller, but minus the action and the gore. It slowly builds up your hunger for a fantastic revenge by our wobbly, old granny, as it generates hatred for the bad guy in the pits of your core, but finally leaves you very satisfied in the climax.

One night Manda does not return home; a search party comprising the duo gets into action – our wobbly Ajji and her faithful companion, the pregnant prostitute. Together they find the little girl dumped in the trash, brutally raped and bleeding. They bring her home, call a cop who then proceeds with a fake investigation, and adds more insults to their collective injury.

Although Manda identifies her attacker as the son of a local politician, the cop refuses to file a report citing the family itself is into illegal/unlicensed activities. They could be jailed instead, he frightens them. So, life goes on as usual at home.

Our little Manda has no clue about what has happened with her, her mother is strangely aloof about the mental repercussions of this lowly crime on her 10-year-old. She is worried about having to cook eatables and then sell them on a cycle all around the area. “Is this my life?”, is her top most concern!

Ajji decides to take up the matter, and we begin to wonder – ‘How?’ On one side, there is utter poverty, helplessness and frail knees, and on the other, there’s political power dynamics at play. But, her single-minded determination takes her from pinning down the bad guy’s hiding den to ultimately pin him down – badly bleeding and bruised, writhing in pain, with no idea about what just happened.

Source: Wikipedia

Ajji is never, even for a moment, revealing in her expressions. There’s no inkling of an actor’s angst or pretentious venting out fumes of revenge. Just pure, effortless playing of an inwardly resolute but outwardly frail old woman. “I know what I need to do, and I’ll find my way to accomplish it, come what may.”

A particularly long scene between a female mannequin and the bad guy sets the level of gore and misogyny that exists in our society. Post watching that scene, just as ajji is from behind the bushes, you are scarred for life. Like her, you too sub-consciously start working out a plan to do unto him what he does to helpless little girls and women.

The cinematography is like truth; it’s ugly and you need to take it with a pinch of salt. There is absolutely no effort to hide the truth – the sinister truth about dark, unsafe places and big bad wolves. The hardly there background score only adds to the thrill.

The film’s poster is understandably dark in tone, but if one were to look at the wolf in it, they’d know they are in for a sumptuous meal of revenge!

The 2017 film has deservedly been a part of prestigious film festivals all over the globe, and is now available for paid screening if you’ve missed it. On a budget of INR 3.5 crores, in under 105 minutes, Ajji is one memorable film for lovers of dark cinema.

Party for one

I’m a shy and introverted being, and have always been as far back as I can remember. When my dad took me to my first interview, I was all of four. The little me held on to my dad’s lap for dear life; I was certain the principal was a monster in disguise, and this interview was just a front to catch children.

The gentleman placed a colour chart on the table, and pointed out at the squares in random manner, while I whispered the name of the said colour into my dad’s ears. This is the only man I trusted, and would only tell him what I knew. “It is my supreme right to keep my knowledge of colours a secret, only meant for my dad’s ears.”

I flunked the personal interview and test.

It must have been a traumatic experience for my parents to see their intelligent, creatively-inclined but painfully shy last born, not make the cut for her admission to kindergarten. The road to ‘getting her an education‘ is already a bumpy one!

That is my earliest experience of stress caused by panic I caused to my parents. They tried a few local schools but our education system is full of assholes – they are trained to say No! “We cannot take this kid, she just hides behind you tugging at your trousers, or climbs onto your lap and replies into your ears. How do we know if she has any cognitive skills at all?”

My dad – the impossible optimist and a teacher in his early career – had a long talk with the first principal. He got him convinced that there is no learning hurdle here; this child is only shy. I guess writing and some drawing assignments ensued. It saved my life. I was cleared for Junior Kindergarten!

I am 40 now. From 4 to 40, nothing has really changed. I am awfully shy still, and yes I can write and paint to save my life!

In fact, if someone were to harm me like an assault or something, I choose to get my revenge by writing about it. It could take the shape of poetry or prose, but write I will. No revenge is as sweet as describing all the bad things I would do to that person. In hindsight, I believe my parents should have taken me to a counselor, or probably enrolled me in dance or martial arts classes.

Let me not digress. This isn’t about failed parenting, quite far from that in fact. This is about my anxiety that could be at best a reluctance to step ahead and say a ‘hello’ even if I’m dying to be friends with a particular person, and have already imagined a lifelong bond until death do us apart types, and at worst a sudden choking by this invisible monster, a feeling consistently experienced when I enter a party, a meeting or a group interview.

I had so many chances I blew cause I was too damn shy!

One time I nearly began gasping for air, my throat went dry and I forgot all about C and C++, programming languages I was supposedly good at. I felt like I was speaking but words were stuck somewhere between my head and my voice box.

I knew later this was a repeat stress interview, just like the trauma I underwent to get into kindergarten. Nobody cares if you know the right answers, they just want to see you speak while looking at their eyes.

The perks of being shy are none really. Like an old Hindi idiom goes: ‘Jis ne ki sharam, uski phuti karam‘, meaning ‘The shy ones mess up their own destiny.’ And I’m a shining example. I revel in my shyness. I also got sick due to it.

I used to avoid having lunch for a whole six months, during my very first job as a ‘Field Researcher’ with a market research firm, at the tender age of 17. You see I just couldn’t face the stares. People are really rude when it comes to staring at a girl eating her food alone. This is trespassing and should be treated as such.

But, the worst part was me choosing to store all my waste liquids in my bladder, because to empty it, I would need to use the loo – the keys to which were kept at the reception. This was a common toilet, shared by many of the offices in the nearby buildings.

Shyness just didn’t affect my overall well-being; it has kept me away from discovering new friendships. I hardly socialize with new groups. I prefer to stick to my old ones. But, some things are good  with being shy – I don’t talk much and that makes me look intelligent. First time acquaintances are under the impression that I probably know a lot about the discussion at hand!

The other by-product is a focused channeling of my expression. There is no anxiety or a sudden welling up in my stomach when I indulge in creative writing or painting or just reading a book. It’s like my life is so happening – I’m writing this on a Friday night while relaxing Zen music plays on SoundCloud.

Party for one is my kinda life. My kinda Friday chilling out. At 40, there’s no changing that. In case your kids are shy, don’t yell at them. My parents never did, and see how I turned out! 😀

twisted love

cold-blooded,
but often with a rhythm
her heart is a chamber –
of secrets lying hidden

mother! mother!
lovingly, they called her
oh! kindest heart of all,
whispers breezed around her

but, deep in her bosom
cuddled a green monster
fed by her envy, and
nourished by her anger

spewing pure evil,
across her worn veins
simmering, wasting,
tethered to disdain

a little afraid, a lot twisted
she glanced at the mirror
her conscience descended –
in a deviant gossamer

turn me into a firefly

you wish to keep me in a bottle
turn me into a firefly
so you could see me glow
but, one day – I’d surely die
that alas do you know!

you write a little love note
then fold it and shove it.
now its inside this book –
hiding, never to be found
you regret what you wrote?

you try to shower petals
like one moves pieces
on a chess board, but
deceit, strategy and tricks,
are all your heart can afford!

you dig into your memory well –
of old desires and romances galore
there is nothing to sieve, no fires aglow
just an empty gaping infinite hole
with no happy endings to tell.

In honour of World Poetry Day, March 21, 2018

“Poems are trees where words attain nirvana!” – Old Fox 004

That shining ball in the sky

I saw the sun today. A glowing ball of red and yellow gradient, It’s not so often that I happen to steal a glance at the sky, early in the morning when I’m watering my plants. But, this one time I did, and I found myself transfixed. It felt like I was shoved inside a time machine, and transported back to the days of little me looking at the sun in stark wonder.

This shining ball in the sky, its purity, its simplicity and it being the source of all life on earth, never ceased to fill me with wonder. It looked like a beacon of hope for all of mankind. And so, I became a morning person, not like an early riser and all but more like a person who craved for the beauty of the sun!

My mom was really happy to know her youngest always wakes up once the sun rays hit her eyes. A sureshot way to wake me up was to pull the window curtains, letting the majestic sun rays do their magic. At first, I had all kinds of creative excuses, very much justified for a little mischievous mind. I would complain that the early morning sun rays were harmful for my eyes, and I could go blind if she continued to do this. Thank the Sun God, my mom didn’t stop. I got addicted to those sun rays.

It became my early morning dope. The rays injected me with a sudden explosion of consciousness. The wall between my deep dreams and the everyday mundane school life would fall apart. I would slowly come into a reality zone, brushing aside that fantastical world I was at, a little while ago, fighting strange creatures and protecting my people. Yes, I was the king of a mythical world and my sole duty every day was to kill the enemy forces attacking my people and bask in the glory of victory that was always mine!

A look at the sun was my reality check. Today is school day, slaying monsters can take a break now. I would usually have to run to school, along with a friend of mine, to avoid the punishment of having to run the school grounds a whole ten rounds. But, again in my class, through the window I would stare at the sun. One teacher named me “Dream girl.” The truth is I never dreamt when I looked at the sun, I was just amazed by its breathtaking beauty. That shining ball in the sky!

A few years ago, a mentor-like personality told me we should strive to be like the sun. I was stunned by that statement; how can human beings be like the sun. Then she explained: be like the sun, an entity that only gives and does not expect anything in return. That is so humanly tasking an effort, we are so hardwired to get something in return, that when at times we do good, we wait for good to come to us, and when it doesn’t we are quiet disappointed. The sun never asks for anything. Point taken!

Elon Musk’s Solar City is hedging our future energy resources wholly on the sun. The visionary believes only the sun will save mankind from total extinction, even if our planet is destroyed, we could colonize Mars and other planets by harvesting energy from our good old sun. The man has concrete plans in place to make that a reality. That is a smart move because his raw material, the sun will not have any demands!

There are many odes to the sun. In ancient civilizations, the sun is a male God worshiped for a whole list of reasons. In Hindu religion, there is the Gayathri Mantra dedicated to the sun. For me, the sun is a representation of the divine. The ultimate creator of all life. It fills me with hope and charges me up for the day, just as it did when I was a little girl.

That shining ball in the sky is my aerial charger. My messenger of hope saying “You are loved.” The sun makes me feel significant, however small I may be feeling inside. What does the sun say to you?

FOMO in 2018

We are all together in this – this Fear Of Missing Out on the best things in life, actually the best things in other peoples’ lives. This endless scrolling through our social feeds right through till midnight – lest we don’t miss out on Ms. Darjeeling ki Babydoll’s special surprise birthday party, which surprisingly was planned by her two BFFs (read sidekicks), and executed by Babydoll herself, of course without her knowledge!

We never fail to amaze ourselves with our ceaseless energy to troll others. Glancing through ex-colleagues’ LinkedIn profiles, trolling through a target individual’s Facebook and Instagram feeds, carefully scrutinizing the hashtags, decoding the meaning between the lines and arriving at our fantastical conclusions about his or her’s glorious life. What to do – we are like this only!

Like ‘eavesdropping’ is a legit human instinct, so is ‘trolling’ in this social networking age.

The Fear Of Missing Out is so acute and widespread a phenomenon the world over – the first world that is – that most of us have quietly succumbed to the fact that FOMO is the new normal. Everybody has it, so it must be OK. Which implies FOMO equals OK. When was the last time you heard someone is OK with their phobia?!

Most of us live with phobic disorders for the larger part of our lives without being aware of how acute our condition is. We walk back when a black cat crosses our path, heaving a sigh of relief from the horrors that would have been the order of the day otherwise.

We do not share our pregnancy news early on, lest evil eyes kill the baby in the womb itself. We do not tell about the recent slip disc episode that kept us from being oh so productive at work and somehow uncool in this age of the fitness rage. And we certainly do not share about our secret love affairs, despite the umpteen conditions that form the foundation of it, cautiously sticking to the – ‘We are just buddies’ phrase.

We thrive on FEAR. Our insecurities make up for most of our pseudo hashtags.

FOMO drives trolls, some of whom go to the extent of making sarcastic posts or comments, bringing upon themselves more harm than they could have possibly brought had they not trolled in the first place. We know our lives are good, we are often reinforcing it every time we share a picture on social media with the hashtag #lifeisgood, but we hardly believe it. For most of us, the grass is always greener… on the other side of the fence.

But, this is far from the truth. Because, the grass is greener, where you water it, my friend!

Fact of the matter is that true FOMO is essential, the Fear Of Missing Out On Real Life. FOMO ORL. FOMO in 2018 must be relegated to missing out on what truly matters to us, what brings us inner peace, what remains with us till the grave.

In 2018, we must fear missing out on the best things in life, like savouring a hot cup of tea at ease, without indulging in the pointless affair of sharing a picture of it on Instagram complete with the hashtags #hotcuppa #teaporn #iamatealover #teaaficionado #chaipanti #ifeelnaughtea and oh, not to forget the universal hashtag – #lifeisgood! (Fun fact – Yours Truly is a certified criminal in the use of #lifeisgood :))

In 2018, we must fear missing out on holding this little bundle of joy in our arms, lazily enjoying its cooing, rather than subjecting it to pure mental torture with endless selfie attempts to get the perfect one – baby nephew and bua all smiling away inside the perfect happy family frame. You know Instagram feeds have a short shelf life just as babies who grow really fast. Enjoy the purity of a baby, these little humans do not ask for much.

In 2018, we must fear missing out on the joys of travel. Getting lost in the wonder that is a sunrise, is way better than clicking a snapshot of it and sharing it with sleepy people on the other side of the planet. Clicking selfies with the locals only because it looks cool on your social feed is nothing enriching compared to the experiences you would have, had you spent time talking with them exchanging tales of love and longing.

In 2018, we must fear missing out on the joys of cooking for our loved ones. We cook in haste and spend most of the time in making the dish look good, for our social feeds. Missing out on the ingredient of love is like missing out on salt, well almost! What is the point of #homechef #instacook #sundaycooking #notagreatcook when the taste buds aren’t happy?!

FOMO in 2018 needs a new definition. Let us resolve to FOMO on the best things life has to offer this year. Cheers to #FOMO on the best of 2018!

like a dried up petal

like a dried up petal
between your pages,
like little chirping birds
flying inside cages,
I feel squeezed –
like truncated messages

like the first drops of rain
slipping through your fingers
like the first kiss of love
glowing through the embers
I feel numb –
like auto reminders

like a wafting sunny breeze
tugging at your justifications
like a guilty conscience
caught in endless multiplications
I feel so wasted –
like app notifications

like an abandoned sea shell
swept across the shore
like the ghosts of the past
knocking at your door
I feel stagnant –
like the ‘Read more’

like a soft healing touch
filling up an abysmal gap
like the smell of dead roses
lying still on your lap
I feel so petrified –
like an uninstalled app