Posted in Daily Prompt

No Sincerer Love Than A Dog’s Love

I wish I was more like my dog.

There’s something about the way he looks at me, like when he sees me for the first time in the morning- it’s like his whole world has lit up. The furious wagging of his bat-like tail, ears pulled back in excitement, wobbling/jogging towards me as I leave my room to brush my teeth, is truly smile-inducing.

I may be his walker, the one he takes on mini sprints twice a day. But this same greeting is available for everyone in the house.

There’s something about the way he craves food. The fixed stare into my face while I am eating my food, is unsettling in a way that I can’t help but give him a bite off my plate. Not because I am scared, but because I can see how badly he wants it.

There’s something about the way he comforts me. It may be as simple as walking up to me and curling up next to my leg or as active as furiously peppering my face with kisses till I start chuckling. It’s easy to feel lighter when he is around.

There’s something about the way he craves his outings for the day. From car rides to a simple walk down the road, he makes every stepping out moment an adventure for him. We take the same routes, are greeting fondly by the same street dogs, yet the look of pure bliss on being outside has never been different.

There’s something about the way he loves us. He’s a big bundle of yellow fur, running around, knocking down things, hogging on biscuits, humping his pillow and what not. But he always takes his time during the day (and night as well) to individually and silently tell us that he loves us, and he is the happiest when he is with us.

My report cards back in school all mentioned the word sincere every year without fail. And I thought I was. But then I met my dog, Ron. I understood the meaning of sincerity because of his love for me and everything in his life, and his ability to convey that sincerity with simple actions. Yes, he has also caused lot of trouble for us, but everything we need to know about his love, is visible to us.

I really envy that.

Many a times my words and actions have failed to convey things that I wanted to convey. I have struggled a lot with words, paving way for verbal diarrhoea at inopportune moments, causing turbulance and tears.

If only I could look at them, tell them that they mean the world to me, and that I would always be there by their side till my last breath, and beyond, with a simple head tilt and puppy eyes, wouldn’t life be simpler?

I really wish I was more like my dog.

PS: This is a blog post submission for the daily prompt “Sincere”

via Daily Prompt: Sincere

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Softening The Bludgeon

I carry a bludgeon with me, everyday. I have been carrying it around since Day 1.

It is visible to others in the form of words that come out of my mouth, which seem to have no connect with, or prompts from the brain.

The bludgeon ends up unintentionally hurting the ones I care about the most. Sometimes, I am able to reach out to them and apologize (while really meaning it).

And sometimes, the bludgeon whack comes again without warning, smacking the injured soul in the same recovering spot. And this time when I reach out to apologize, it isn’t enough. Because they’ve been whacked so many times in the same spot, over and over again, it’s never going to heal completely.

But will I stop trying to heal the spot? No.

I keep trying.

Because I love them. They are my world. And it’s because of them I can never stop trying.

To be good. To do good. For them.

But the big question is whether I would be able to soften the repetitive blow before the damage becomes irreversible and non-healable. And that thought terrifies me.

Isolating self seems so easy and convenient. Just walking away, and letting them breathe in peace. They would have time to heal, and would probably heal faster without the recurring blows.

But it’s not the solution. There’s no guarantee they’ll be happier without me. And without the loved ones by my side, I have no reason to be a better person. They are all I live for.

So now what?

The only solution? Turning the bludgeon into foam. Soften it so that it gets more amused eye rolls than hateful eye rolls.

And would that take time? Oh that would take time.

Bringing out the filing tool, always hoping for the best.

PS: This is response post to Daily Prompt: Bludgeon

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Baking Bad

“Hum honge kamyaab ek din,
Mann mein hai vishwaas,
Poora hai vishwaas
Hum honge kamyaab ek din”

I enjoy eating delicacies. I enjoy making delicacies. All I do is find a recipe online, and get cracking to get the end result. This applies to all. All includes everything that’s being cooked on the stove. ONLY.

Baking has always been an ordeal for me. From setting the right temperature, to adding that exact amount of baking powder, every ingredient, condiment needs to be precise. The Indian in me, who loves jugaad, tends to experiment a lot when it comes to cooking and is left disappointed when it comes to baking. Because there isn’t much scope for experimenting. Until you know your ingredients very well, and therefore know your proportions

I remember the first time I tried to bake a cake. We had recently purchased a microwave oven, and were extremely excited to try making the succulent tikkas given in the microwave cookbook. But sister suggested that a chocolate cake might just be the perfect way to inaugurate the microwave oven. Having something sweet before starting a journey is considered auspicious.

With innocent aspirations we started our sieving, whipping, mixing and folding. The batter was delicious, tasting more sinful than the classic melted Dairy Milk. We thought we would get a nice, soft sponge cake, springy and light, cutting sharply as the knife sliced through it. After keeping it in the microwave for a prescribed number of minutes, we all waited outside, watching the container from the glass door, waiting for the batter to rise. Excitement turned to worry when we saw no change in height, and there were only 2 minutes to go.

And a couple of seconds later, it happened.

The batter slowly rose. So did the excitement. We had done it!

After we heard the annoying microwave beep, we sat down for a bit; sister had said that we should allow the cake to cool down a bit before we tried taking it out of the container. And after 10 minutes, we opened the microwave door, and saw a cake with cracked, slanting top.

The lifeless-looking cake was disappointing. Cutting through it, and watching the sponge crumble was even worse. We looked up reasons for failure on the internet. And the more we read, the clearer it became just how the tiniest difference in ingredients, mixing patterns can make or break what you’re baking.

We must have baked many cakes since then.  Over 50 maybe. It’s only now that we see consistency improving. The prep time has also become more efficient. But we are yet to make that perfect cake.

And that day is only closer than before. Just another 50 more to make.

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I Dream Of…

Chaand Taare, Tod Laoon
Saari Duniya Par Main Chhaoon
Bas Itna Sa Khwaab Hai

Chaand Taare, Yes Boss

Dreams.

We all have them. Fulfilled, unfulfilled. Far-fetched, within reach.

From becoming famous, to travelling the world, from making the world a cleaner place, to rolling around in money. From finding true love to building that ideal work-life balance, from wanting a dog to getting that perfect body. We want it all.

Sometimes there are so many dreams that you don’t know where and what to start achieving first.

Dreams change often, usually becoming grander in the scheme of things. You always want more; you aren’t satisfied with what you have, and what you achieve. You say that you have a lot of dreams, but they don’t actually mean the same.

Sometimes you start the chase, not stopping till you achieve it. Sometimes you don’t pause, and understand that the glorious end result you want, requires unlimited hard work and perseverance while working smartly towards it. Sometimes you mess up even before you even start, by following the wrong route, disrespecting the dream. And sometimes, you just don’t take that step forward.

What differentiates a dream is turned into a reality, from a dream that remains one?

Whether the dream is a goal or an aspiration.

Your lips are parched. You need water, but there isn’t a sign of it anywhere. Everyone around you is also parched. You have to find water.  Not just a drop, but an entire stream, so that the inflow never stops. How do you go about it?

What if you don’t have the technology, even a physical map to assist you? And what if the people you know are ridiculing your dream, calling it unattainable for multiple reasons? Everyone tells you that it won’t happen. Your dream shall remain a dream. Just the way it is defined, dream being an aspiration.

But you want it. It is not simply something that you’re wishing for. Over time it has become your ambition, your goal.

You don’t keep thinking that somebody would assist you or do the work for you; you start by understanding and identifying the closest route to a spring. You pull back your sleeves; you know that have to break through the hard ground, move through rocks- move all of them away. You get your knee scraped, you keep slipping. There are days when you feel that it is going nowhere, the urge to quit is strong. But you keep ploughing on; you have come so far! And one day, you see the ground becoming damp. The thirst to move forward gets fired up, and soon, cool fresh water hits you in the face. Every pore in your body is in bliss. And all you can think of is that you did it, you finally have what you wanted. Whatever you faced on your journey was absolutely worth it.

Be it conquering the world, or perfecting that cheesecake, make it a goal instead of a dream. Dreams are not worth reliving and contemplating about if you aren’t chasing them. They are not something you just wish for, but something you know you know you can’t do without.

You stop at nothing.

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Rediscovering An Old Hobby

“Tell me your secrets
And ask me your questions
Oh, let’s go back to the start”

The Scientist, Coldplay

It started back in school, when mind was being trained to express the thoughts formed and stored, in written form. After creating and writing multiple essays and articles, it was an English project in middle school, that got me to write a little more than a 500 word one-page write up; I had hand-written a mini-novella (less than 10000 words) and completed it with hand-drawn illustrations.  Looking back at it, I cringe at the plot-line of the story and how the story was fleshed out, but hey-I was a 12 year old who was extremely shy about expressing how she felt and thought, and preferred keeping such work private. The novella, along with others’,  was passed around in my section for peer review. And instead of fretting at the idea of other people reading my work, as I normally would have, I approached them for feedback. Why not make the most of this opportunity?

The habit of writing didn’t stop there. The writing continued in the form of short stories, getting drafted whenever I had spare time. These stories, however, never made it beyond the pages of the diaries I filled in- they were my personal bed time stories, and I felt too possessive about sharing them with anyone. In my Harry Potter-obsessed world, where impatience, while waiting for the next novel/movie, was often appeased by re-reading previous books or watching re-runs of the movies, I was introduced to fan-theory debates and fanfictions by a friend. It was exciting; to be able to read more about your favourite characters, to see some of the fan theories come to life in form of a story. It was also exciting to see a stranger, most of the times someone across the globe, who thought the same things I did, and then wrote about it, telling the world that this is how the story should have been. It was only a matter of time before I started writing as well.

And I did. Albeit anonymously. Because fierce need for privacy!

It was fun publishing my ideas on a public platform. Just watching the words flow out of my mind and to the computer screen, lit a spark in me. Days and nights were spent in charting out the next steps, next paragraphs, next words. I never told anyone that I wrote. I even maintained an alias while interacting with people online. Soon, I started receiving feedback on my work, a lot of them encouraging me to keep writing, some talking about the premise of a story, some pointing out the flaws with the grammar/flow of the story, some claiming that I got them to start writing . And I kept going, feeding the reviews to my imagination. The fingers flew across the keyboard, typing out word after word, each chapter being rewritten multiple times.

The number of reads increased, but then so did the other tasks in my life. Commitments were popping up out of nowhere, and due to the demand by the readers on my blog, it was only a matter of time that writing felt more like a task rather than a recreational activity. Soon, I stopped writing.

Stopping the habit of writing affected my writing abilities more than I would care to admit. I can sense the rustiness as I write this. The words and thoughts that flowed so effortlessly back then, are now punctuated more by Ïs this really required, or am I making any sense. The inhibition to share ideas has become stronger over this period- this is an inhibition I need to lose. It’s time to lose the rust, become comfortable with expressing myself-start again. But this time, no hiding.

Hello again, blogging!