Sunday, May 28, 2017

Growing Up.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, May 28, 2017 0 comments

A week before my birthday, I used to hand out individual letters to my parents. On 4-lined papers torn from my notebook, I used to write a list of things I wanted for the birthday. Yes, I was totally that kid who loved her birthday. Throughout the week, I used to carefully go through the details of the party, the invitations, and the cake. I fussed about everything. In fact, somewhere between fussing over my birthday to hoping I wouldn't grow up in a jiffy, I grew into a young girl with an ambition of creating something truly exquisite with her life. And now, as I metamorphose into a woman who has reached a certain age in life where her decisions and thoughts will certainly be questioned, I wonder about so many things. So much is running in my mind right now that I'll need tons of perspective to sort everything out.

I was talking to my friend the other day about a little trip I took, and he commented that he's proud of me because I rarely step out of my comfort zone. Well, I guess he's right because it troubles me a great deal when new plans ambush me, or when things happen out of my control. But then, they happen all the time. I'm learning to deal with them. I'm learning to make spaces for my mistakes, desires, flaws, and changing ideologies. However, I must admit, I'm still not there yet.

When you turn 26, you are expected to behave in a certain fashion. I mean, I'm just 4 years away from 30 (the very thought scares me), and I'm supposed to be more responsible, sensible, and maybe even put together. But here am I, grappling with insecurities and darkness. At the core, I confess I'm still selfish and play to please my ego. You'll never find me questioning my choices or decisions. Unfortunately, even the wrong ones. I'm beginning to think if they'll start defining me. You see this whole point of growing up is starting to take a toss on me. And so are these incoherent thoughts!

Some days, I find it truly hard to get out of my bed. On days like that, I truly wish my mother would come knocking at my door with a cup of coffee. I often find myself unsure about myriad things and people in my life. Despite everything, I wake up in the morning thankful for their presence. And then there are nights when absolutely everything seems bleak. Even the brightest possibilities. And yet I find someone I can call and cry to. Someone who just sits still on the other end of the call, listening to my sobs and never uttering a single word. I am certain about quite a few things in life and they are probably these. Now, I even know that growing up is a lot like getting into a battle with your mind. Growing up is a lot like choosing between your heart's desires and mind's sensibilities. It's a lot like picking your fights wisely. Growing up is no fun, especially when you have to make these choices every waking moment in your life and woefully live with them. Nonetheless, we all do, since we have no way around cutting this growing up thing.

So this year, as I realize that my mother won't be cooking me my favourite fried rice and aloor dum, I am hoping I can give myself a list of things I should be doing. I am hoping I could fuss about them. Because somewhere inside me is still that little child who made sure everything on her list emerged into a reality.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Not So Small Talk.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, May 24, 2017 0 comments

"Look to my right..."
"Where? I don't see anything."
"What? There are mountains. Look up."
"Nope, still cannot."
"What is the matter with you?"
"Matter with me? Why are we doing this video call in the first place when I can neither see you nor the mountains"
"You cannot take the slightest joy in anything I do, is it?"
"That's not true. I'm listening."
"No, you're not."
"Okay, why don't I just close my eyes? Describe everything around you and I'll hear you out."
"Listen, I'm not good with words, okay?"
"But you're not bad either. Go on, give it a try."
"Alright. So.."
"Wait, let me get under the blanket and be cozy."
"Okay, start."
"So I'm sitting on the porch with my feet on the grass. The grass is greener and softer here. And it's always damp, even when it is 2 PM."
"The sun is shining bright and I feel the rays on my face. But it's not scorching, it's just warm and pleasant.

In the background, somewhere amidst the clouds are the mountains. I know you couldn't see them properly but they're snowcapped, and I wonder how they'd look in Winter."
"They'd look scary."
"Yeah, and maybe majestic too."
"See, how Winter works is.."
"Stop disturbing my flow. Let me do the talking."
"Ugh ok."
"So, last night when I was near the mountains, the sky was insanely clear, it almost felt like it was fearing the formidable mountains."
"That makes no sense."
"Just listen, alright."
"Okay sorry, please continue."
"The air here has a different aroma. It's fresh and chilling, but it also has this strange aroma that reminds me of something that we had years ago."
"Hmm. Tell me more about the night you spent on top."
"How do I put it into words? Umm...okay, the sky full of stars was a beautiful sight. Everything was dark and only the stars shone brightly. We ate our dinner under those stars, and although I couldn't see anything, it was amazing. And then there was the Moon. The Himalayas lit up in the moonlight as if they belonged together."
"Like how your face lights up when I am around."
"I guess so."
"You guess so?"
"I wish you were there with me."
"Why? What would you have done?"
"I would have cried with you."
"Well, I wish I was there too."

Small talk.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, May 24, 2017 0 comments
The blue sea in front of me was changing its colour to green. My nose a little too red for Summer was still failing to inhale the scent of the warm beach and sand. I stretch my legs and try inhaling a bit harder this time, only to hurt my nose. I look to my right to see him stare at the endless beach, nonchalantly. Where does he get this calm from?

"Do you like Jane Austen?"
He doesn't answer right away. But when he does, I've already forgotten that I've asked something.
"I don't know much about her."
"Have you ever tried reading her?"
Another bout of silence.
"Not really."
"Would you like to read her then?"
This time, he answers right away.
"She was way ahead of her time. Don't you think?"
"Yeah, maybe."

And so, I went back to cursing my aching nose, and he, to staring at the sea.
Tune for the day:

Sunday, May 21, 2017


By Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, May 21, 2017 0 comments

Tonight I want to tell you the sweetest of things,
but you're away and I'm unsure,
so I let my words crumble,
and cause my heart to suffer for one last time,
or maybe more,
because I'm unsure of what lies ahead,
I remember the times when I was a child,
I was fascinated with waterfalls and countless stars,
both of them were colossal and held a mystery that I couldn't conjure to call my own,
but I tried counting the stars,
and cupped my little hands to hold all the water I could,
failing miserably to capture the infinity,
I wonder what I'd say if you were here tonight,
beside me, under the light of thousand stars,
but then, between us, are the ten thousand light years,
and I, for one, hate distances, spaces, and the enormity of everything an unfulfilled promise offered,
so here am I tonight, unsure but absolutely certain that you are an infinity that is good enough to fancy
but never to call mine.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Waking Up In Dharamshala.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, May 15, 2017 0 comments

This morning as I boarded a flight from Delhi to take me home after a short vacation, I tried hard to fall asleep after a sleepless road trip. But I couldn't as my mind kept gathering all the memories and experiences that I was carefully carrying back to Hyderabad.

Now, what's the big deal about traveling, you must wonder. Everyone is traveling, everyone is seeing places. But I haven't. This was the first time I traveled to a place without my family or one that doesn't have any family residing in. This was the first time I stepped out of the confines of my comfort zone, and the result was.....well, let's see.

To read more about my journey to Dharamshala, go here:

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

What If I Tell You?

By Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, May 09, 2017 0 comments

What if I tell you that our love is a little bit of the stars in the night and the setting sun in the evening?
A story that I am reading and a piece of work that you're struggling with passion right now?
What if I tell you that our love comes from the places our feet takes us to and the hills that know our secrets?
A few our fights in the parking lots or the tears we shed in the corners of hospitals?
What if I tell you that our love, although nothing like a fairytale, has something new to bring every morning?
And that the surprises are too much and too extreme but tolerably tormenting for the nights when we stay away from each other?
What if I tell you that our love is inspired by everyone we meet, everything we watch and touch, and every dream we dream?
What if I tell you that our love is like an ocean that’s both calm and furious, exciting yet profound?
And that there’s more to discover, stories to write, lives to live?
What if I tell you that sometimes between your silence and my words, our love too is swimming between the shores of sanity and calamity?
What if I tell you that at this moment, we don’t know what lies ahead of us but every possibility seems like something we’d remember forever?
What if I tell you?

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