Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Curious Case of Sadness.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, October 28, 2015 4 comments
It was 6 AM. The sun rays were playfully dancing on the contours of her face. She cupped her face and turned her back towards the window. She did not want to get out of the bed. She did not want to face the world. She wanted to stay still in the comfort of her room. She felt the pain filling up at the pit of her stomach and anxiety creeping up her spine. She dolefully wiped the stray tear on her left cheek. She dragged herself across the room to sit in front of the mirror to notice the bags under her eyes, her otherwise big brown eyes.
"A long indulging bath would help," she murmured, "it helped yesterday. The day before. And for months." She took turns to run lukewarm water and cold water on her. She loved how the hot water soothed her after the cold water. That's how life is, she mused to herself. The warmth always saunters after the piercing cold leaves.
She looked at her reflection in the mirror flattening her hair. She took her sweet time to apply her favourite mousse to her hair and dressed in black pants and bright red top. The red lipstick did a great job at lightening up her face, and on the outside she looked like someone who was not broken. She twirled a little, hid her pain behind her kohl-lined eyes and walked out of her room.
Maybe she was feeling better. Maybe she was not. But she was not giving up.
If you are reading this and can relate with it, do know that there are people struggling to get better like you. If you are reading this and cannot relate with it, please understand that in this real world, there are people who make a gigantic amount of effort to walk out from their bed to the outside of their room. Each day. Every morning. Sadness, void, depression are real, as real as you and I. If you think happiness is real, the opposites of it are real too. And they fight with each other to claim larger spaces of you.
Depression(or sadness) is that cynical dude who seduces you into a dark place. Remember the cynical dudes we found hot during high school but deep inside, they are good for nothing. Yes, that! Happiness is that geeky dude you ignore in the beginning but take the time to understand how amazing he is. In a way, you need to fight your way to end up with that geeky dude, you need to make efforts to accommodate him in your life. But here's the deal. The cynical dude and geeky dude will walk along with you. As the cynical dude is sardonic and the geeky dude is shy by nature, you need to make the first move. Even when you choose the geek, the cynic will lurk around you, and many a times, he will lure you into his darkness. You'll have to be firm with him. You'll have to tell him that he doesn't get to make the choices in your life. He is free to make himself comfortable in your life, but all he gets to do is see you waltz with the geeky dude. Unfortunately, you need to meet the cynic to value the geek.
In the end, it all falls into place, though.
P.S. You don’t have to build a fort for insecurities, sadness, depression, fear, anxiety. They can look after themselves. I know you cannot demolish the fort overnight, it takes time to ruin something too. However, wake up every morning and show up. Create something each day and happiness will build a fort for you. That’s the catch!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Dear You!

By Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, October 25, 2015 4 comments

Dear you,

Today was a difficult day and more is yet to come. You feel the darkness engulfing around you. You feel sad. You feel the pain at the pit of your stomach. Your heart is broken and you cannot gather the broken pieces. You are too tired to mend it. You do not love sunsets any more.

You want to read books and not think about him. You want to go to your favourite coffee shop and not miss his presence. You know you have lost your favourite corner, your safe haven, but you also know that you have not lost yourself. You have stopped taking pleasure even at the beauty of butterflies. You stare endlessly at the wall and question yourself. Everything goes in vain. You know that, don't you? You want to watch a movie and savour pizza even if he is not around. You know he won't be but that you will be around yourself. Your world should be filled with you.

You stay up late one night to finish an assignment, but all you do is weep your guts out. You cry for the lost moments, you cry for what's not yours any longer, you cry for the song that reminds you of him. There is still time to get better but for now let me just lie in the darkness and the shadows, you tell yourself. You chant 'I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine.' Unconvincingly. You stop noticing the little things and you stop fighting for fine mornings. You just be and you ask people to let you be. People around you pass on the unsolicited piece of advice, they force you to go back to how you were. Funnily, you will never go back to be how you were. You will never be the same person again.

You try to smile. You sign up for bizarre things, you try to do more. You know that he was just a terrible chapter in your wonderful story, but your story is not over yet. You start believing in yourself. You begin to understand the importance of you. You walk the streets and do not crave for his arm in yours. You start loving your morning coffee in a coffee shop that you went along him. There will still be songs that remind you of him. But now you have a new playlist that talks about the person you are.

You learn new things. Your heart was broken for a reason, to make space for more beauty in your life. You can feel yourself healing, the physical pain at the pit of your stomach has vanished for good. You see the sunshine creeping through the windows into your room. You smile at your reflection in the mirror. You start loving the sunsets and you notice the flowers in your garden again. 

The essence of the beauty in your life was never meant to be lost. You were never meant to be lost. You were meant to reach here, but you just embraced a thorny path to reach here.

Your story is all about you now.

Friday, October 23, 2015


By Sunaina Patnaik at Friday, October 23, 2015 0 comments

Broken promises. Forgotten promises. Abandoned promises.

We lament about them, but they are all lost in time.

But what about the promises that we make to ourselves?

The ones that we break ruthlessly.

Will they be lost in time too?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mondays Like Today.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, October 19, 2015 1 comments

We all have one of those days when we do nothing but we still get tired. I am having one of those days today. I left work earlier than usual only to save myself from the trauma of the ever famous Monday traffic. Also, because I had to finish an important writing assignment and I could not find myself in the right mood to accomplish that task at work. I got lucky and submitted it on time. But I don't want to talk about it for the moment.

I did a little shopping today. It felt like an eternity. I don’t know when was the last time I went shopping in an actual store. It must have been June. Woah! You know what I mean? I have been a compulsive shopper, and I am known to shop all around the clock. I do not know where those days have gone.

One of my worst habits happen to be buying anything. Sometimes, I buy things I would never wear. There are things in my closet that remain untouched with their price tags still on. Today, I bought just one thing. One thing that I fell in love with the moment I spotted it. One thing that made me plan to go out. I was tired, sure, but I was also happy to just have a normal day.

I think some days are simple like today. I am glad some Mondays are all about listening to some 80s music and reading. And a little shopping.

P.S. I love shopping on Mondays. The stores and their trail rooms are absolutely empty.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Writing Our Stories.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, October 18, 2015 0 comments

In my last post, I've said that I've read two amazing books last week and that I would write about them.

I’ve read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski. The overly sensitive person that I am, I ended up shedding a tear or two while reading both the books. The books were so truthful that I could not help talking about them all the week. Every person I met and everywhere I went, I talked about these books.

I love Elizabeth Gilbert. Call it serendipity or my idea to feel better, I have always read her when I was hitting rock bottom. I remember reading Eat, Pray, Love when I was in college, but it was just a good book. A book that I liked and that was all about it. But the first time I ever had a major breakdown, I picked Eat, Pray, Love again. This time it wasn't just a good book, it was a voice that was talking to me, reminding me that there is hope. I read it once. Twice. I felt better. I watched her TED talks and I read more though I still haven't finished reading The Signature of All Things. When I got to know about Big Magic, I knew I had to read it. Funnily, I read it when I was going through another breakdown, and this time, it was liberating. I read it on my way to work, and I read it before I fell asleep. I read it during breaks, and I read it at every opportunity I could find. I understood it. Loved it. Talked about it. And secretly, I found my lost courage from it.

You know there are instances when you find mentors just around you. And sometimes you don't. Sometimes they are in your city. Sometimes you meet them every day. In my case, it is different. In spite of the miles of distance between Hyderabad and New Jersey, Elizabeth is my mentor, though she is absolutely unaware of existence.

Thank you for writing this book, Elizabeth! I needed it. Just the way I needed Eat, Pray, Love. I've learned so much from it and I know there is so much more to learn. I will live my life with stubborn gladness and it is a promise I've made to myself this year.

Jamie Tworkowski's If You Feel Too Much has made me realize that there are people like me. That there are people who waltz their way through pain and emerge stronger. That there are people who never give up despite what happens to them. That people struggle and fight.

I have been following 'To Write Love on Her Arms' for a quite bit of time now and I honestly believe that what Jamie has been doing for people is wonderful. When someone told me that Jamie wrote a book and that I must read it, I was a little apprehensive. I thought I did not need a book that would make me sad. Funnily again, this book was anything but sad. It has beautiful stories and every story teaches you something.

Jamie has always been a strong advocate of urging people to not to give up on their story. And this is amazing because we are all carrying so many stories inside us but we either give up or never talk about them. It is time we do. It is time we write our own stories. Live our own stories.

P.S. Elizabeth Gilbert, you rock my world.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Week of Epiphanies

By Sunaina Patnaik at Friday, October 16, 2015 0 comments

I am glad I could call it the week of epiphanies.

I have accomplished quite a bit this week and met most of my deadlines. I am happy. I have read two amazing books (I promise to write about them in the next post) this week and I feel so liberated. I love books like these - books that me cry, books that keep me up in the night, books that break my heart, books that make me ponder. I think only good books and sunsets can have that effect on me.

This evening, as I sat down to write a post on the multiple epiphanies, I figured I would only pick two of them and announce it to the world. Why? Because why the hell not!

1. My idea about the love of my life has always been slightly distorted. I fell in love for the first time even when it was an age forbidden to be in love. It was not with some guy, though. It was with Literature. It was with the world of books. Of stories. Right from my childhood, I have cultivated a habit of reading before I sleep every night. Even if my options were limited to Tinkle. I put myself in the picture often by writing silly poems and stories that my mother pretended to enjoy for the sake of her child.

I will be honest, though. I took my writing for granted. I abandoned it, stopped having conversations with it. I stopped nurturing it. Even worse, accepting it. But it did not leave me. It was by my side on the days when I was self-absorbed. And on the days when I was drowning in darkness. It did not break my heart like a certain boy did. Nor did it stop reminding me about its purpose in my life. That's how cool it is!

It probably, and will always be the only love of my life. As long as it wants to be. I am delightful for discovering our mutual love.

2. Like I already said, I could be a little self-absorbed sometimes. On the days when I am, I think the world revolves around me. It is days like those that force me to assume I am the only person who goes through pain. For the longest time, I thought all the first world problems were happening in my courtyard only and that it was the most intriguing part about me. I was making a huge deal about the pain I go through.

Well, it looks like every second person goes through pain. There is nothing sensational about the kind I was facing or whining about, but what really is my forte is the ability to write (It doesn't matter even if it is cringe worthy) even while enduring the pain. And that, definitely, and has to be the most intriguing part about my personality. I am not letting something like pain, fear, anguish signify my personality. We all have intriguing personalities. Mine is this, yours could be something else. But even the most intriguing part about us vanishes if we succumb to the chaos in our life.

I would not let mine vanish. Not in this lifetime.

P.S. What is the matter with the radio channels in Hyderabad? Have they stopped playing music or what? I waited for thirty minutes for a decent song but all that was played were advertisements. Sigh!

Anyway, you all have a great weekend.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Demons In Our Head.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, October 11, 2015 2 comments

Often there are demons in our head we have to fight battles with.

These demons cripple us. They begin living with us. It does not matter how much we try to push them out. They stay. They hover. They make our head their home.

One such demon I fight is love. People who read my blog or know me well enough know how much I think about love, or how happy I am when two people in love have a really happy ending. I derive so much happiness from the little stories my friends or family tell me about it. But in this post, I am not referring to the romantic love alone. I am not even talking about the platonic one. I am talking about the love that comes in various forms. In the form of friends, family, coworkers, strangers we meet every day.

It is strange that over the past few days, weeks, months. Wait, you know what? I actually lost the count of it. I have come to believe that love is a bad space to be in. And this is coming from a person who weeps every time a romantic comedy ends. Not a cool thing.

I began to believe that love is a lie. That when someone loves me and then stops loving me, I have done something utterly terrible for them to stop loving me overnight. That when I attract unhealthy friends who convince me to do things I hate, I blame my love for them. Never did I blame my poor judgment of choice. Or when some random relative gives me advice or forces me into things I hate, I forget to stand up for myself. I blame love for it. In fact, I blame it for every bad thing that happens in my life.

That is the thing about the most of us. We forget that our problems with the people we love are the problems we have with them. Not with love. The problems we claim to be problems are because we stop fighting for them, we stop talking about them. We stop communicating. We avoid them. And what happens when we avoid them? We make space for sadness and demons.

I have this wonderful, a little special friend who said something a few days ago. Confront your devils before they take your soul for ransom. I don't know what he meant when he said that, or in what context he updated that status, but I knew that I have to really deal with my demons (or devils) first. Little by little, probably, but I won't let them stay in my mind for things I blame myself for.

I hope you all fight the demons in your head (We all have different ones. Yours and mine might be different) and help the people around you to fight theirs. There will be no end to our struggles if we aren't in this together.

P.S. I hope you all had a great Sunday. I look forward to nothing but Monday. Gosh, I am such a Monday person.

Friday, October 09, 2015


By Sunaina Patnaik at Friday, October 09, 2015 0 comments

I looked at the stars and wondered why.
I fervently hoped the endless sky would heal me.
I panicked, strode across the room restlessly.
And when I couldn't fill the void, I let words pour out.
It was words that fixed me, even when you couldn't.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

A Weekend Rant: On Time and Life

By Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, October 01, 2015 0 comments

Weekend is here, and for some reason I am quite excited about it after a long time. I am not really a weekend person. Anyone who knows me really well, totally knows that I am a Monday or a Wednesday person. But let’s not talk about it for the moment. I don't want to ruin your holiday spirit.

It is October. Strange.

It is October. Still strange.

Oh my god, if you don’t understand what I mean, let me tell you again. It is OCTOBER. We are just two months away from the New Year. 2016. This year will soon come to and end. So scary. The next year we'll all turn a year older, parents will shove more responsibilities. But we'll still be clueless as ever.

The last time I checked, I was still celebrating the New Year. How did time fly so quick? As I look back, I realized I have changed jobs and I am longer a new employee at my current workplace. Ouch! I like to be new because being new is so cool. And now that the flying time has robbed me of that privilege, I don’t know what else it planned for me for the next two months. Apart from sulking. Don't plan anymore surprises for me, time, you have give me enough this year and they were lame. Horrid. As bad as you are.

I mean do you even realize how many TV series and books are to be devoured and there is so little time for all of it? No, you don’t.

Go on, time. Keep flying. Don’t wait for anyone. One day, we’ll ban you. Just the way beef was banned for no reason whatsoever.

Snoopy gets me. Here, look - Snoopy Gets Sunaina

P.S. As the title suggests, this post isn't much about my life.
Happy weekend, you all.

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