All posts by Moushmi Radhanpara

I wish I could be more specific about myself but I cannot. If only I knew myself I would be able to tell someone who actually I am. I am a person yet in search of oneself, and I truly hope and pray that I fathom myself before the eternity.

Swimming Escapade!

As the summers have hit, I lumber across the huge and insanely deep waters in the mornings almost everyday. It is so relishing, so relaxing that I can’t even to begin explain how I feel then.

Well, who am I kidding, I know exactly how I feel, because it isn’t the oceans that I am bathing in. I am in a small pool under a very beautiful canopied roof.

But the idea seems enticing, oh, the idea of having and living beside the ocean. (This keeps gawking at me, the idea and my past. I miss living near that raving ocean.)

So, coming back to today, when I am drenched in those chlorinated waters, barely neck deep and yet trying, putting my efforts in a vain attempt to swim; I savour and enjoy what I have instead of crying over the past which can’t be in my present. Yes, there I was, glorifying myself, basking under the shaded warmth, drinking in the morning chills of the freshwater, awarding myself an imaginary trophy for choosing the time when I could avoid the thing that I always want to, people. It is peaceful, and I am just glad that I don’t have to make fake pleasantries or even fabricated efforts of trying to make any kind of conversation. It is soothing.

The irony lies in the fact that I can’t swim. Believe me, every year it is on my list, to learn how to swim. But there are excuses always. It starts with skin and hair issues, then it is sometimes followed by busy schedules, followed by my laziness. And some of the years I just am not in one particular place, preventing me from this little thing which I have been wanting to do since childhood. No, I am not scared of water, I love playing in it, playing with it, playing all over it 😉

They say some people are ‘hills people’, some on the other hand are ‘oceans and lake people’, I consider myself to be a ‘Nature person’. Yeah, you can refer to me as one of the Romantics who is always in awe of hills, mountains, trees, sky, oceans, rainbow……….

But the problem. Yes the problem lies in the fact that my love for nature never wins over the other reasons of not learning how to swim. (Lazy me; Accepted guilt)

So, there I was like a small kid flapping and waving my hands in that water (the lack of people helped me bring out that carefree child in me) instead of literally swimming. I was dead sure of not crossing the 5ft mark on the corners, as if I would never know that I can’t feel the pool beneath me. But just to be sure, that my dwarfish height does not submerge beneath the level, I did not cross it.

The second irony lies in the fact that I was almost drowned despite my careful analysation of the height level. As much as it sounds funny to me now, at that point of time, I thought I almost died 😀

At one point in my ineffectual attempts of swimming I got tired (Look at my laziness) and decided to relax against the sides of the pool. And I paid for it instantly. Why did I have to go there? I saw someone from the corner of the eyes, and to avoid that person I shifted a little making myself closer to my doom for the day.

All of a sudden my left heel pulled inside of something, the pull was so strong that I lost my balance completely. And then it dawned on me that I was standing right ahead of one of the suction outlets. What was I supposed to do then?

I had lost my balance, I had lost all my little stamina too in that one hour of childish play in that pool, and I was being pulled forcefully inside something, inside which my leg would probably not fit, despite which my leg was wanted!

I was trying to pull myself out, snatching myself, grabbing my feet, but it wouldn’t budge. This kept on for a few minutes which certainly seemed like eternity. I was underwater now with no balance, no breaths left, flapping about, almost battling with that pool and desperately attempting to free myself. After a while I could feel myself struggling even to breathe and a certain kind of pain started stabbing me in my heels, I don’t know if the pain was from that continuous suction or from the fact that I was pulling myself away incessantly.

After a while I gave up.

I almost started drinking that chlorinated water. I thank that it was only almost and then I threw it up. Realisation dawned on me that there was absolutely no one around, the pool was empty and if I didn’t do anything soon, I’ll probably be left there unless someone finds me struggling underneath.

I let go off my feet and came up, as much I could at that level, and swallowed air like a hungry animal. And then I saw that, literally, there was no one around. When I came in there were certainly few people there, but I guess not everyone loses themselves in the spur of the moment and bask in the glory of getting to their work late, almost every second day.

The next suction was so strong, I thought that not only my feet would get in, but my whole body would be drawn in. Oh, the dramatic me!!

I went in one final time with certainty that I cannot let myself wait for someone to come and rescue me, I had to do something, but my audacity came crumbling down as soon as I went in and lost my balance again.

But this time, I could not let it go. I held onto my feet tightly and with my other leg pushed myself against the sides of the pool. And with one final pull, and push I was out and free.

I rolled inside the waters a little but thankfully I was pushed towards the 4ft level and I could stand up, finally breathing, raspily. I clambered out of the pool instantaneously and just when I came out, there was a small group of people heading towards me. They definitely eyed me for sitting there sulkily and in a very awkward demeanor. But who cared?

I hurried out, not even glancing back towards that pool!

Now that i think of it, it sounds funny to me, that a small suction outlet pulled me inside and gave me half an inch deep cut in my feet. But in that moment, I was frantic!!

Well, I was ready to let go. What if I had let go? I didn’t know how to swim, what would have happened?

I kept struggling, and I realise now that sometimes we need to keep fighting that one last battle. As always I might be reading too much into things, but that’s who I am, we got to deal with it.  I accept not everything is in our hands, and sometimes to let go is the best alternative, but sometimes, it is worth fighting for. May be, may be that one last battle could make you win.

Anyways, so this year I get another reason for not going swimming. My cut in that stupid feet is deep and it burns, really bad. I wouldn’t dare to think of it submerged in that water. And by the time it might heal, I have my exams coming up, so we’ll see about swimming maybe next year 😉

 

 

 

 

Truth.

Ernest Hemingway once said, “All you have to do is write one true sentence, and then go on from there.”

I want truth today, anything, sad, happy, good, bad, anything- just truth. What is your truth today?

I want to listen today.

My truth at the moment will be something like this-

“Some days I am a Goddess,

Some days I am wild child,

And some days I am a fragile mess.

Most days I am a bit of all three.

But every day I am here, trying.”

Do share your thoughts, your truth, it could be anything, your thoughts, your story, what you are going through now, anything…

As I said I want to listen…

 

 

 

 

I’m Nobody! Who are you?

EMILY DICKINSON  1830 – 1886

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

Nature’s Beauty.

Wherein in every part of the world, it is already hot and the temperature is soaring, my city is running it’s weather guide on it’s own accord.

It is almost raining here every single day, the sun is scorching down on us only for a couple of hours during the day, and then it is again a picturesque place to be in.

So, it is honestly, wonderful to wake up to a day like this-

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That Playful Drop of Water!

One of the perks of living in a small city is, you are almost always close to nature, especially when your city is known to be clean and green. I cannot say that this is the cleanest of all but when compared to all the other cities that I have been in, my city is unquestionably clean and green for that matter.

I mention one of the perks above, because the other one is extremely less traffic, which helps me to go on long drives even during the day. Today was one such day where I had the exceptional chance to delight in and devour the gorgeous and deadly amalgamation of nature’s tricks.

I was on my way to let’s say ‘someplace’ when unexpectedly and yet incessantly my inner goddess was screaming at me to divert ways. And I am a fan of her, my inner goddess, you know. I just cannot desert her. After all she is the one who stays with me, always; my constant and unbroken support even when I don’t listen to her and make wrong decisions. And so, I avert ways.

Where? I don’t know but I do what she says and instantly I am drawn to the most secluded part of the city. I don’t know what I am doing, and where am I going, all I know is I am driving. I am driving to the most serene part of the city, and to the most magnificent part of the day.

And suddenly I am unerringly aware of my surroundings.

There are two roads diverging in front of me, and I take the one that is less crowded 😉

I am driving at a very measured speed. I am in no hurry and I am instantly overwhelmed by the towering trees on both sides of the road, making it difficult to even look at the sky, the daunting sky!

Leisurely, I stop my vehicle and park it in a corner. There is a bench on the corner of the road and I sit there for a while. I breathe. The smell is so fresh, that I close my eyes and get drunk with it. I am already losing consciousness. But the mere sight of my inner goddess dancing and scowling at me makes me instantly aware. I am aware, surprisingly well aware of a glorious sunset, right in front of me, where the road seems to end, where I can see something more than those intimidating trees, where I can see the hint of a sky, an orange sky where the sun is setting at its own pace. It seems to me like a horizon, a place to where I want to walk. I know I cannot reach there, but the prospect is enticing.

The place is disturbingly secluded, but I am okay with it. Slowly, I walk to the middle of the road, where I can see the slightest hint of that orange hue from midst of those trees and look up.

It is so beautiful that I want to keep staring, keep soaring. But even Icarus was rewarded for soaring too high. I shut my eyes after a long time, and look down, and yet there is a deep auburn and bright echo inside my sealed eyes.

Just then, when I thought I had listened enough to my inner goddess and should head back, a chilled drop of water fell on my neck, and ran through my back, sending shivers down my spine.

Oh, the shivers that it gave me, taking me completely by surprise!

I shot up, glaring wide-eyed right at the sky.

Questions squirming.

Mixed feelings.

Dancing emotions

And a thrilled inner goddess.

I smiled!

And just as my smile brightened at that inconsistent and erratic sky; another drop of that startling water touched the corner of my mouth, running down my chin, further down my neck and finally mingling with the musk of my breast.

Oh, the feeling, the sensation that it passed through me.

A small bead of that water making me squirm?

There were butterflies all around.

White trivial flowers were thrown across the path, below the trees.

And then it started drizzling!

I have never loved rain so much.

Never!!

I let myself soak in that cool and unseasonal rain and I don’t care about being drenched.

Listlessly, not wanting to go; not wanting to let go of that pleasing picture, I move.

I start driving, nearing the horizon, that which seemed remote and distant; unreachable.

I am driving as slow as I can balance, as slow as I can allow myself to believe that I am moving forward. I just don’t want to let go of that spectacle, but neither do I want to reach that skyline.

And just when I am nearing the end, just when I feel I am losing those looming tress, I see some colours. It’s not blue of the rains, and it is not orange of that blinding sun.

It is every single colour of the rainbow!

I can see it, I can almost feel it, and now even I am dancing in my mind. My heart is in my mouth, and I am euphoric.

What more could I possible want in that moment?

 

I can see all the colours right in front of me. And what I feel and what I see is beyond words.

In that moment, I don’t want to move, I don’t want to go forward, I want to be there. Simply be there.

I am static now, my head slightly tilted to the left, admiring every inch of nature, wind gushing my senses, splattering locks of my untamed hair on my face.

And in that moment, there is a small salty droplet dripping from my eyes, caressing my skin, inking my cheeks, warming it with its sensations that I had not felt in a long while.

And suddenly I am alive!

 

Just Like Me!

My niece just spent a good long week at my place and it was nothing but wonderful. (The same niece who presented me a little souvenir when I was at her place) Yes, there were times when I was losing it completely trying to keep a nine year old occupied and entertained all day long but I never took it out on her. Well, I tried my best, as best as I could despite not being a fan of the kids. (In my defence, I don’t hate them either.)

But this kid, is really special to me, has always been. I have never met a kid like her. You will see what I mean.

When she was here, I could not help but notice that what my brother and his wife used to tell me was nothing short of true, “She is just like you.” Earlier, when they used to tell me this, I tried ignoring the fact assuming it as their fondness for me. (Yeah, I know I give myself too much of importance 😉 )
But the more I stayed with her, I realised that they weren’t kidding. She is precisely, unerringly like me.

And you know what my first thought used to be? “Oh, my!!! Another mess like me? What is to happen of her?”

She brought the exact replica of my childhood in front of me. It was as if I was looking at a flashback in mirror, only she was a little more cuter and sweeter and the adjectives can go on.

She loves all the same things which I used to love; she reacts the very same way that I used to do. She is fond of colours, loves to sing despite the fact that we are no singers, her tantrums, her habits, her behaviour, the list goes on.

I use ‘Used to” for myself above, because reality hit me hard a few years back and it changed me. Well, it wasn’t a shock to me, because I had been dealing with it for years, only I did not want to accept it. But then I question again and again what will happen of this lovely kid?

I don’t want her to turn like me. I know reality cannot be overlooked or evaded and one day even she will have to grow out of the fantasy land. But, only I don’t want her to be troubled and moved like me.

I use ‘like me’ a lot today which reminds me what I am like. “I am just like her” which again I don’t want to be. So if I am like her and my niece is like me, it is like the genes are flowing down and we will keep creating messes like us. (We should just stop marrying, you know 😉 )

Coming back to my niece, I knew she would grow beyond her age, considering our long known family drama, and the fact that no one cares in our family to keep the kids away from the things which they needn’t know. But I did not see that coming so soon. This was precisely the reason why she was at our place; to avoid the family scenes.

But I don’t think that made any difference.

I know for a fact that when her mother is not around she takes care of her younger brother. She does small things like bringing him food, asking him if he wants milk, looking after his homework- as if she were a teacher. She doesn’t do all of this to enact a mother or a teacher, which most other children would do at her age, she does all of it because she cares, because she knows that she needs to do it. I know it, I know this because I have seen her performing the caring one, I know this because I have done it myself.

So when she came to my place I was happy and relieved that at least she would avoid a little of the drama and could have a week of saneness and being a carefree child.

But something happened after she left, which is still boggling my mind.

This is what happened and this is the reason why I say that I have never met a kid like her.

Her parents did not have the time to come pick her up, neither were we free to go and drop her at her place which would require at least a day’s break. So her father asked her to send her with an uncle that we know and was travelling the same way. I don’t exactly know what is the right age for a kid to be left alone at home; or to let her travel alone for a journey of four hours? But it just doesn’t feel right for a nine year old to be left alone. Though I do remember very well being left alone at home, and so is she left alone most of the times.

So we all thought that she left with the so called uncle and reached safe home, when she called me from home in the night.

I kept checking on her while she was travelling and so did her father.

(Since she has a phone which her dad gave her only since she was alone here. We weren’t supportive of it at all, but since she had it only for the time being, we thought it was okay.)

But today, we got to know the real story, the story that she wasn’t giving away yesterday, the story which was kept from everyone but her father.

In the midst of the four hour journey the said ‘Uncle’ needed to buy a pack of cookies on a railway station for which he got down alone….

And yes, if you were guessing, you might have guessed it right; because he did miss the train leaving that poor little child alone.

After the train moved the panic must have begun in her, but before anything happened her dad called her and warned her off any kind of people. (I cannot begin to think what her state of mind would have been then)

She was left alone for two hours in a journey; she kept playing games, and talking to her father, her mother and me. But she didn’t give away anything. I called her like four times but all she said was I am playing and I will call you as soon as I reach.

Her father reached the station even before the train would arrive and picked her up. Only then must have he breathed a sigh of relief, I am pretty sure about that. But apart from those two people no one new anything.

When they reached home her mother was briefed about what happened, and she scolded her for not telling her anything. My niece’s reply broke my heart-

“Mom, I know you have high diabetes and blood pressure and if I would have told you this then you would have got tensed and then you might have fallen sick, I know you already have a lot of problems going on so I didn’t tell you!”

And when I got to know this, I asked her too, why didn’t you tell me?

And she retorted, “I know you’d have done the same thing. And I am just like you!”

And this broke me completely.

Here, I was trying to keep her away from everything, but I just didn’t realise that she was already captivated in all of it. She was already beyond her years.

I know most people would say that these kinds of experiences make you strong, bold and practical; they give you the strength to deal with life. They sure do, but most importantly you lose a lot too in all of this. It sure makes us strong and resilient, but it also, makes you too practical and feeling-less. By the time you grow up you are hollow inside, and all that is left is a concrete body. You are referred to as pessimistic, gloomy and heartless.

But the fact is we aren’t heartless, we do have a heart, just ours is shielded with facts and truths. It is not that we don’t love ourselves, we do, with all our might we do. But when it comes to our loved ones, we go even a step further than we could, or we should and love them with borrowed might.

And this is what I didn’t want her to go through. I didn’t want her to grow beyond her years, but she already has and I can do nothing about it.

I am just like ‘her’, and she is just like me…

 

PS: I attach the two links here that I refer to from my previous posts.

https://aestheticmiradh.com/2017/06/12/just-like-her/

https://aestheticmiradh.com/2017/11/01/a-souvenir/

“Who am I?”

Preparing an essay on feminism I came across something which made me thinking, well, a lot of thinking happened after this. Nothing new, right? That is usually me, who keeps thinking on anything and everything.

So this is what I read today, a simple description on how women are depressed and what Friedan writes-

“I’ve tried everything women are supposed to do- hobbies, gardening, pickling, canning, being very social with my neighbours, — I can do it all, and I like it, but it doesn’t leave you anything to think about- any feeling of who you are. I never had any career ambitions. All I wanted was to get married and have four children. I love the kids and Bob and my home. There’s no problem you can even put a name to. But I am desperate. I begin to feel I have no personality. I am a server of food and a putter-on of pants and a bedmaker; somebody who can be called on when you want something. But who am I?”

I read a lot of things today, a lot which struck my mind and touched me but this dug something deep in my sub conscious mind.

That feeling, where you are absolutely helpless, when you don’t know what to do; when you question your own identity; that is absolutely depressing. And I do not have the courage to live with it. The point is I don’t ever want to have that kind of courage.

What would be the point of my life if I have to question my own identity?

You would say, why abruptly I am thinking so much, and why the question of identity? Nothing is wrong with my life, but this moved deep chords inside me.

I have never been too ambitious, no I won’t say I had no ambitions, I don’t even want too much from my life. No, I don’t want to get married and have four children, maybe I don’t even want to get married at all. May be I don’t even know what exactly do I want. But I just don’t want this feeling- the feeling of being desperate, the feeling that you can’t even name your problem, I don’t want to be that person who loses her personality, who just becomes a person who can be called on.

I cannot begin to think what it would be like to live where you don’t have anything to think about. Can you imagine, me, having nothing to think about?

I have always said, I have unending questions, that I am seeking answers, that I am searching for myself. This I can live with, a quest that might not end, where I am still searching for myself. But I might not be able to live with the question, “Who am I?” It is not even about living with that question. I don’t ‘want’ to ever live with that question.

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