Monday, August 31, 2015

You Just Wait.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, August 31, 2015 0 comments

Wait for someone who tells strangers about you.

How often do we hear people quoting this? I’ve heard this so many times over the past few years that I’ve quite convinced myself that I must wait for someone who indeed would tell strangers about me. Call me mad, but I’ve been a strong advocate of it.

I might have found one. I might have found none. But over the years, I grew to accept that I would never find someone like that. In fact, just to coax my emotions, I’ve absolutely persuaded my mind to believe that such men barely exist.

Here comes a surprise though. 

I’ve been closely noticing this really good friend during meetings and hangouts, and see how often he talks about the love of his life unabashedly. Be it a stranger or a person who works for him, he does not shy away from talking about his girl, often attracting ‘awws’ and ‘aaas’ from people around him. It’s funny yet endearing to see a man, who is not a teenager, gush over a woman like that. We all love seeing him do that!

This friend, who luckily also happens to be my manager at office, has given me a reality check.

So, this is probably a ray of hope to most of single friends out there. There is always someone who will talk about you to strangers. I’m afraid, even to random people who are walking across the street.

If you do not find one like that, I suggest you adopt a cat or a dog.

I mean, what’s the point in being with someone who doesn’t make your world go round and round?

P.S. It’s been a good Monday.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Of the Great Unknown and Winding Roads.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, August 29, 2015 4 comments

Of one of the most important rituals from childhood, I vividly remember my daily visit to a really gigantic coconut tree that was located in a lane behind my colony. For some reason, it was a habit to go check up on the tree every evening when I was back from school. After every visit, I would be so glad. I would imagine the tree was growing with every passing day. I would imagine the tree was expecting me too.

My family moved to a different city and the next Summer when I was in Vizag, I was utterly excited to go see the tree. And I did, only to find out that it was cut down to widen the road. I still remember that moment in my head. Actually, scratch that. I could picture it, and if I made a list of top ten horrible moments of my life, this would definitely top the list. It was so painful that I never went to that place again. I wanted to smash the person who cut the tree. But I was seven, and that wasn’t going to be easy.

For months, I wasn’t able to look at another coconut tree normally. I mean, figure that! In due course, it never mattered though -- something that was so important to me back then seems like such a petty issue now. Of course, a coconut tree might be inconsequential in my life now. I don’t even remember when was the last time I noticed one.

While talking about this to a friend today, I thought about something similar. Or not.

Does present pain turn into something so trivial years down the line?

Take a closer look at what I meant there. There are instances where we lose people. Often there are reasons, often there aren’t any. Separations are always tragic, and we never accept them entirely. The pain is so awful that we lose track of time, and sit in the darkness dolefully hoping the void would go away.

It doesn’t. We make it go away. We fill it. Or we just forget it. It takes time though.

I have never been a great person with losing people. I have always hated it, just like most of you do. It has never been my forte to let go of people hundred per cent. However, if I was able to look beyond the destruction of my favourite tree at the age of seven and still love trees, I could definitely look past a lot of painful things at twenty four.

Doesn't the idea of horrible things turning insignificant seem ever so liberating? Yes, it does. It might be a great unknown for now but when it happens, I would gladly take my long and winding road again.

P.S. It has been a wonderful Saturday!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

What's Wrong With Life, Ya?

By Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, August 22, 2015 9 comments

What began as a rather annoying morning turned into quite a retrospection.

My driver decided to bunk yet another day and I was forced to take a cab. I am not a chatty person when I am on my way to work but much to my chagrin, I ended up having a conversation with the cab driver who was a little more than what he seemed. With an MBA degree in hand, he was speaking impeccable English but chose to drive a cab as it paid him more. In fact, it paid him a lot more than what I imagined. Weird! While I was thinking his job was way more lucrative than mine, he said he envied me for doing what I really wanted to do. I brushed it aside saying the grass is always greener on the other side.

Of course I had no reason to envy him. My job is really good, and I get to write what I want, and this is exactly what I hoped for ever since I was a kid. But our minds are weird. We always want more, crave for the unattainable, and in this process, never experience the happiness of the present.

I saw a beautiful couple laughing and taking a ride on a Vespa that reminded me of sunshine and poppy seeds for some bizarre reason. My mind drifted into a train of thoughts again. When was the last time I was that happy? When was the last time I did not care about the wind in my hair? When was the last time I was on a bike? I don’t know. It must have been days. I am afraid, months.

Let’s talk about parents for instance. They think marriage is the universal solution to every problem on Earth. I mean, on one hand, while I am failing miserably at deciding what I want for breakfast, on the other hand, mother confuses you with who you should be with. Sweet life. Just so you know mom, a person who cannot choose breakfast has no right to get married and spoil someone else’s breakfast.

Is it just me or it happens with you all too? Does your heart want one thing when your brain wants an entirely different thing altogether? Are you generally torn between the matters of heart and brain, and assume, always assume that the lives of others are better than yours?

Because, this happens with me quite often.

To simply sum it up, we are 24. We are not getting any younger. Hangovers hurt. Meetings seem endless. Coffee replaces lunch. Nights seem dreadful, and mornings seem bleak.

I make myself another cup of coffee, and take a closer look at my life. What’s wrong with my life? I have a decently well paying job that makes me look forward to Mondays, friends that travel across the seas to come meet me, peers that respect me, and books that bring out the joy in me. If there’s any consolation, I love clothes and shoes, and I have closets full of them. Still, all these things are just alright, okay? I mean, you can think I am mad and all that, but I lack peace of mind. And that, I cannot buy with a Mastercard.

Sigh. Such is life.

Unfortunately, I have no conclusion for this post. I might find one soon though.

P.S. Tomorrow if I wake up and cannot put words on paper, I swear I am turning into a cab driver.

What? It pays more than just bills.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

The Poetry Club.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, August 09, 2015 0 comments

I have to tell you this.

My colony is filled with cats that are pretty frisky. They play, run along the trees and bikes, hide under the cars and broken brick walls making faces at each other, or simply occupy a cozy corner in our balconies for a pleasant afternoon siesta. But there is one kitten -- almost white in colour with two brown spots on it, that is perpetually isolated. It plays on its own, and often pushes itself to seek company of not just its fellow cats but humans too. It leaves after a while though, you’ll never find it spending more than a scheduled amount of time with anyone. Much to my chagrin, it barges into our kitchen to drink the milk I set aside for making coffee.

Funnily, it reminded me of my poetry club at school where I was like the solitary kitten writing poems on the most mundane things right from civics to squirrels. Mostly, on squirrels because they were my favourite subject. No one would visit my club though. With cool things like science club (Of course, it is quite cool) displaying models of solar system and fancy rockets, which child would pay attention to literature? And that too to a club which had just one member.

I wasn’t the one to give up though. I really wanted the kids to appreciate the beauty of poetry and look at the world with an entirely different perspective -- I wanted them to understand the beauty of stars, and love the sight of a pond full of ducks without getting into the details of science behind stars. I was a romantic and I desperately wanted them to experience the profundity of my mighty squirrel talking about its woes to the ruler of the kingdom. To lure more kids into the club, I decided to create and draw attractive posters and sketches with my poems carefully scribbled on them with crayons and sketch pens I adored. I put them in the classroom, and requested a few of my friends who I traveled along with to put a two of them in their classes too. Needless to mention, they were always dominated with the posters of Parts of Speech, and Global Warming. I remember my science teacher telling me how these things matter, and that I was simply wasting my time on literature. Nothing would come out of it, she claimed. I remember how much I hated her when she would urge children not to read stories like Nancy Drew or Malory Towers in the library, instead forced us all to read Britannica encyclopedias only. She probably never understood a right balance had to be created between literature and science. For the longest time, I was distracted in her class owing to her haughty nature of brushing aside everything that wasn’t science.

Before I digress, let me tell you more.

I joined way too many clubs to talk about mine. I joined the Karate club too, and ended up resenting myself. I quit them all mid-way, mostly because no one really cared about poetry as much as I did. Sniff.

Irrespective of all this, my club did manage to get featured in the annual exhibition where I displayed a few of my poems, including a series on the mighty squirrel with a pride.

Sooner or later, I came to terms with the fact that you cannot force poetry on someone. You cannot make people fall head over heels for it. Poetry too is just like love. When people get a dose of it, it would be the most enriching feeling that will last for ages.

P.S. Don’t ask me about the little kitten in my colony though.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Of Impromptu Birthday Plans and Ghost Stories.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, August 05, 2015 2 comments
It was my childhood friend’s birthday yesterday. Our impromptu planning led us to do really stupid things. Of course, they were totally funny. I guess all the things you do with your friends end up being great. In pursuit of killing the time period between breakfast and lunch, we watched a 4D movie called Hell Ride with Ghosts. Now, this wasn’t the first 4D movie I watched. I have watched and enjoyed a couple of them earlier, and few were scary too. But this one did it to me. It was outright annoying with the chairs swaying for no reason whatsoever and not even matching the scenes on the screen. It was filled with women and a child wearing utterly dirty clothes, smeared with blood, doing gory things to a guy. Ghosts in white are alright, but ghosts with blood dripping from their arms and eyes are not cool. There were many instances in the movie that made me go eww, and I was forced to close my eyes.

All this, of course, like always, led me to another thought. Ever wondered how we are all fascinated with the idea of ghosts? Any conversation about anything supernatural is intriguing. We read books, we watch sitcoms and movies based on supernatural beings and find them ever so gripping. But how many of us actually believe in the monsters under our beds, or a ghost with twisted feet lurking in our neighbourhood? Yes, we don’t! Some of them might believe in them. I really don't know know.

One of the fondest memories from childhood would always be include staying up till wee hours of the night with my cousins and urging my grandmother to narrate stories of ghosts and haunted mansions. On the days she would, it was a treat for us, but later in the night we would either refuse to turn off the lights or tug at each other in sleep.

Such is the fright. Sometimes.

This reminded me of yet another incident that happened last week. I came home from work late one evening and my mother rushed into my room to fill me on the latest gossip of the colony. As it turned out, my neighbours had an experience with a spirit. They claimed to have heard vague footsteps of someone at 12:30 AM. Terrified to no end, they vacated that floor instantaneously and huddled downstairs, shivering and waiting for the dawn to break. That morning, they made it a point to visit all the temples and churches in the vicinity.

I was baffled.

The footsteps they heard were mine. My balcony is right beside their bedroom and I was talking on phone. If only they peeped out of their window, they would have seen me.

They would have known it wasn't the ghost.
Boy, I did scare them a lot, didn’t I?

And we blame the poor little ghosts for everything.

P.S. Happy Birthday, Aditya! Here's to a healthier and wealthier year ahead.

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