?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Don't Panic!

I'm not surprised that I haven't written about this before. I've been embarrassed. I feel the truth in the light may make me vulnerable. I feel like people will either treat me like a delicate feather or they may use it to their advantage. The underlying point here is that I fear. But it's an emotion that I feel all the time. Every day. Every minute. Before I sleep. When I wake up. I fear all the time. I will find a reason to be scared in the safest scenarios. I am currently recovering from anxiety disorder, one I've had for almost 6 years. I like to use the word recovering because I have noticed that the frequency of panic attacks has come down to a good 5 a year. While sometimes these panic attacks have been really bad and crippling, it is definitely better than not being able to leave the house without the company of someone.

I have been there too. There have been times where I have just sat at home and done nothing but paint, write and read blogs simply because I couldn't leave the house alone and nobody was free to take me out that day. This happened to me for six months until I finally sought help but even then, I only left the house to see my therapist, and only went with my mom or sister. I never tried to be on my own, the thought of being alone was too scary and the thought of being in control was a dream. I have come a long way since then. Yes, I do still have panic attacks and a solid amount of anxiety but I am independent, I go to work everyday. I DJ part time and I even go out to meet friends and pretty much live a normal life.

Last week I had the worst panic attack of my life for 17 hours, reasons for which I prefer not to discuss on a public space. This morning, I had another panic attack because of simply discussing what triggered the earlier one. Since then I have been explaining to a friend what it's like to have this disorder and what life feels like. When I panic, I feel like the blood in my veins is flowing over a series of badly built road humps really fast. I tremble. My pulse rises. I feel hot one minute and cold the next. My memory starts to fail. I may have walked down that road several times but will not remember where I am. I can't make decisions. I want to sit and stand at the same time. I do not want to lie down because lying down reminds me of death. I feel like I'm going to die. I will in my state of panic make sure that I am easily accessible. For example, if I start panicking in the shower, I will unlock the door. Believe it or not, the reason I do this is so if I die, my body is easily found. I imagine my own funeral and the wall posts people will leave on my facebook wall. It is scary and as I write this too, I am scared that I actually think of these things and that at one point I did this every day, every time I showered. After the panic attack, I am exhausted. Even if the attack lasted only 15 minutes, it feels like a long day of work and I just go to sleep. When I wake up, I feel low and depressed. This lasts for another day or two and is sometimes accompanied by OCD. When this is all over, it's time for a change. Any kind of change – a haircut, a new friend, rearranging the bedroom, eating a new meal. And with some effort, you are back on your feet again.

The lowest points while dealing with anxiety have been the nights I couldn't sleep without my mom, without her embrace or without the sound of her voice. To date, I still call my mom at 3 am if I am woken up by a nightmare. For almost a year after learning to cope with the panic, I never left the house without Yule. Yule is a beanie baby of a goat that my dad gave me for Christmas years ago. Since last week, Yule has now returned to my bag. He's like my security blanket. For some reason I feel as long as he's with me, nothing will happen. I am a 27 year old woman who carries a stuffed toy, sadly, even to work. I have lost out on a lot of opportunities over the years. Holidays because I couldn't take the train or bus alone. I missed my friend’s funeral because I could not take a bus back home alone and so never made it on time. I have made my friends miss their plans or go out of their way just because they had to take me out. I have once even lost a job.

Fighting anxiety has been painful but the rewards have been overwhelming. After a bunch of therapists didn't work, I decided to get over it on my own. I started going on walks to expand my safe zone. I started with the end of the road. Then a little more the next day. Maybe a turn the following day and one day I walked 3 kms by myself. When I got home, I cried with joy. I still get minor anxiety. Music helps though, keeps me company during the chaotic auto rides to work. I made a few decisions that have helped avoid situations that make me prone to have an attack. I always carry water and make sure I am completely hydrated at all times. I eat when I'm hungry and never skip a meal. I make sure I get at least 7 hours of sleep every day. I keep myself physically active and sometimes even do yoga. These things changed my life magically within a span of a few months. A friend of mine made sure I did things on my own. While most people would actually come and take me out, this friend refused. He pushed me out of the nest, making sure that one day I will fly. A high point at that time was when I rode to his house, 12 kms away at 9 thirty in the night. I didn't know where his house was and even got lost in the middle. But I kept my cool, reached safely and was completely overwhelmed.

If I had to pick one good thing about having an anxiety disorder, it would be the infinite joy of realising your strength, even if it is something as silly as walking back home only four hours after a panic attack ended. I never fail to surprise myself. I sleep next to all of the paintings that are what's left of the dreadful agoraphobic stage of the disorder. I see them and realise the depth of this weakness and the length of the journey. There are times, you wish getting up after falling down wasn't so difficult. Times you think it'll just be easier to let fear take over. But having come so far, even those times have come down. I am almost free.

When I was getting over the agoraphobia, I used to take an auto to go out just as an exercise. I would go till this one particular signal, always chicken out, take a left instead of a right and come back home. I considered that signal like some sort of Lakshman Rekha of safety. And when I just started getting over the whole thing, I used to get so excited every time I took that right! Ironically, today my workplace is just a few metres after the right turn. Every day I go to work, I am reminded of how much stronger I am today and how my agoraphobic days are over. My panic attacks are lesser and getting up is actually really easy.

I've come so far. So what's next? Buz Luhrmann says in his song “Do one thing that scares you every day”, which clearly is no problem for me. But I am forever expanding my safe zone. Some people climb rocks, I take the elevator alone (something that I have started doing only 2 months ago because my office is on the 5th floor). So when will I know that I am completely free? The day that I will go on a holiday, to a place I've never been to before, alone. And trust me, there is no goal more important to me than this one.

Lifeguards

The sun rises in the east. I sit with my back turned to the light hanging on to the descending darkness. The mercury within me rises, at the tip boiling to breakthrough and overflow. No matter what I do to keep it down, swallow it with air or water, it bubbles rising slowly. My muscles pull my weight down, like the fishes in Finding Nemo struggling to stay alive in the water. But the emotion rises until it eventually spills over.

It was 3 AM. I sat up feeling the nausea of a kicking restless passion for the loss of something within me, something I can't place. Where did it go and where could it be? I wish I could answer this. But the lack of knowledge of what “it” is fails me halfway. I walked to the living room and sat on the sofa staring at the carpet. The designs stood out. There were four dots here but only three there. It looked so perfect on the whole. As one big picture. But as I looked closer I noticed, the two horn like things on the left weren't on the right. The blobs were of different sizes everywhere. Intricacy gone wrong. Much like the lines of the life my hand was clutching so tightly within itself as I lullabied myself to sleep in the walls of my mother's womb.

I lie down again, slowly wiping tears with a napkin I thought was white. Pure, just sucking the little bits of emotion that had spilt out. The rest just bubbling at the surface stinging the edges of my sore eyes with salty tears. I closed my eyes and imagined the earlier magnificence of your lava lamp that put me in a trance just minutes ago. The bubbles of wax just go past each other, like the way I have to avoid a pervert trying to bang the edge of his arm into my not at all well endowed chest. But sometimes the wax just bang right into each other amalgamating into a bigger being. And in the end when it hits the edge, the lava splashes in zeal emitting streaks of bright orange and pink.

The thought of those sights edited very brilliantly by my mind to the soundtrack of a Radiohead song, reminded me of you. Moments of turmoil interrupted now and then, and so I gasped. But the overall tempo remained in the hands of peace. I then dug for another face. Another person, I could talk to or want to curl into when I'm in the fear of impending death. Another face that will recognize when life is slowly slipping out of my soul. Another person who will know when everything is lost.

What if there was a soul transplant or a soul surgery. Would anyone want my soul? Ill thoughts began to circle around me like a little tornado. Like the ying and yang coming together in war. Something phenomenal about to happen. As I reached the pinnacle, almost about to orgasm in the sinful thoughts of just letting go and being sucked into the sky. I turned to my left. And you were there. Just sleeping, tranquilized by peace, knowing I was right next to you safe in the fence of your protection and love.

You stopped it. You stopped it from destroying me. For one night. For two nights.

Tonight, I head to bed just knowing that if I chose to fly away in the tornado of my ill thoughts and disappear, you wouldn't sleep as peacefully.

Don't look back. Emancipate.

Don't look back. Emancipate. As long as the snail took to complete it's short trail, I have redundantly repeated these words to you. I think back on times that I wanted to sit in the corner of the room, surrounded by glistening broken glass, teasing myself with the sharp edges, under an interrogation light, screaming nothing into the fading darkness. The times I wanted to tear apart the skin of my thighs and bleed hoping everything would flow out and clot into little scabs, that I can one day just peel away.

Today, we are older. Today, we can look at the scars that have been left behind by the past. The reason why I always carry my jacket, you, your umbrella. As the sun rose and dipped into the horizon like a cookie in coffee everyday, everything took on a new shape. Like the pieces that could no longer hold on, softened by the constant beating of monotony, we grew apart. But yet today, I feel that we came closer. The older I grew, I climbed up the ladder. The older you grew, you climbed down towards me.

Now, you're in the way. You have been many times before and I have just sat in the illusions of my interrogation light, silently pushing the virus to another part of my body, delaying the wounds, the blood and the scab. Today, I know I will never see the scab because I will never bleed. As the needle was poked around into my vein, the nurse tipped the syringe here and there. She twisted it around from side to side like she was trying to wear a earring after years of nothing.

Out came no blood. In the sphere of my life, there are many craters, empty, rotting, green with fungus. Like a vial of life had been drawn out every now and then. I think back to some years that just went by in silent agony. Of years that I will never get back. Today, you say I don't love you or respect you any more. Today, you say your life isn't here but down in Mexico. And as you drive into the horizon of Sunny Mexico, I watch solemnly as my lost adolescence disappears into the bundles of baggage you took with you.

Star Wars - The ultimate rant!


So I finally watched Star Wars Episode I and II. And man, what it taught me was with all the patience that I had, and all the respect that I had for movie directors, I could still either fall asleep in the middle or voluntarily take a break in the middle of the movie to clean my room.

In a galaxy far far away, there were creatures and humans who liked to fly around in fancy looking flying cars. The women, especially the queens would wear ghastly looking headgear and change their clothes way too often. There were only two warriors, kinda like the phoenix except there were two. And guess what they fought with? Tubelights! And to add to it, they were always accompanied by robots. And not even cool, futuristic looking ones, but idiotic ones that were trying to pull of a British stand up comedy act but failed miserably. For example, C-3PO sounds so much like an eighty year old moron! To top it all, both the movies had annoying children. The first movie had young Anakin who was an annoying meddling little brat. The second movie had Boba, Jango’s son who was like the brunette version of Ani, another stupid little boy. Don’t even get me started on the creatures. The first movie had a dinosaur with flippy floppy bunny ears dressed in suspenders walking around saying “Misa” nonsense all the time. Come on, you have to agree with me and ask why Obi Wan Kenobi didn’t just leave the weirdo behind. He was unbelievably random! Random in sci fi at the cost of funny, no can do! The other creatures were even weirder. And there was this one creature that kept making noises like it was enjoying itself playing with two knockers. And another one that didn’t speak English but sounded like it was speaking fart! Lastly, I don’t see how other than the very detailed magnificent sets and the very original costumes, how Star Wars could have such a massive fan following around the world!

My Star War hate status message on Facebook was received very badly by these so called fans. A friend of mine called Shravan personally counselled me on the matter. I was amazed at how someone with great movie taste could actually like Star Wars. His first reason was that it was Sci-fi and that if you didn’t like Sci-fi, you won’t like Star Wars. Okay, so maybe I’m not a Sci-fi fanatic, but yes I did like Back To The Future, Terminator, Godzilla, almost every Alien movie, etc. My point at this statement was that Star Wars starts with this whole monologue that sets off a story. Big problem is that story disappears into the movie and then dramatically ends. But between the beginning and the end, there is no story.

For example, let’s take episode ii - It starts by talking about the separatist movement. Then Amidala is going to be murdered. Ani and her fall in love. He goes to find mother but she’s dead. Then they end up somewhere and are all being attacked by big ugly creatures in a field. Then the tubelights come out. Then there’s the intense fight between the Jedis and the bad guy. The Jedis are defeated. Yoda fights the bad guy. Next thing you know, Ani is marrying Amidala with a robohand! Okie, no that is not a story that millions should fall for!

Compare that to The Man From Earth, another sci-fi movie. There is no action in the movie. It’s just 6 people sitting around a table talking. But it’s captivating. It has nothing tangible to it, but the conversation is just weaved into a very thrilling story told by an immortal guy who is 14,000 years old.

So my friend Shravan then goes on to explain that Star Wars is not meant to be understood but just watched for, I quote, “Cinematic brilliance.” He went on to give examples of Titanic and Avatar that were watched only for visual appeal. In response to this statement, I would have to agree that Avatar was just made for visual treats. Titanic on the other hand, is a hard story to tell. The director took great pains to add the stupid John-Rose love story to get people to watch it. The point of making the movie was to show people the beauty that Titanic was and of course showcase its tragedy. The difference there was that the movie cost double the price of the actual Titanic. But yes back to cinematic brilliance - I agree, it is exciting to see the futuristic sets and movements in the Star Wars movies. Another friend pointed out that it was to be appreciated because the first Star Wars movie was made in the 70s and back then it was quite genius to pull it off. So what this tells me is that the reason that there are millions of Star Wars fans is because of its cinematic brilliance? The reason there are couples who have Star Wars themed weddings is because the movies look so great?

My friend stopped me and said not everyone likes romance. Romance is boring and cheesy and nauseating, yes. But it still has a story. I can put A and B together in the end. But with Star Wars, I start with A and B and end up with Zghyrofl. And if the movie is just meant to be watched, I assume everyone just turns off their brains to go watch a Star Wars movie? So basically, my point is that Star Wars fans don't need stories or intellectual humour. They are satisfied with what they see - Fools for gold!

Last but not the least, just now as I was writing this rant, my friend Anish enlightened me that as a woman, I will never understand Star Wars because it’s a guy thing. So now must I associate the last point of no requirement of intellectual satisfaction as a trait that only a man can have? I actually do know some men who who don’t like Star Wars. For example, my friend Abhishek does not like Star Wars. On the other hand, he watches documentaries on the “real” outer space, on squids, sharks, etc. Another friend who clearly mocks at the tubelights, Ashwin has an Egyptian Skull tattooed on his arm. My point is that by following Star Wars like a fanatic it only proves to me that you have no intention of quenching anything intellectual off from this world. And if you’re watching Star Wars just to get a visual treat, try cartoons or porn. They are better.

May the brain be with you!

The Story of You and Me

In the chaos of a 24 hour indulgence in the nothingness of life, I sometimes find the door to the parallel universe where everything looks photoshopped into looking like a piece of art. A silhouette stands before me - locks of confused hair that seem to begin straight but end up curly here and there; a body that appears to be carved out of wood and moulded with clay in a heterogeneous mixture and the vision of a soul so hazy and ambiguous, filled with numbers and letters just waiting to be deciphered. 

It's a bubble that follows me around like a shadow of my past. Like a mystical tale, the bubble seems like a hologram with a picture that moves as I turn from side to side and consult my compass. It's a delicate bubble, the kind that has little bubbles slightly perched on to the sides waiting to either enter the bigger bubble or just destroy it in jealousy. In the fear of letting the latter emotion win, I sometimes only barely touch upon the bubble as it leaves me with no hope, a pinch of excitement in a sea of morose serenity, if there was ever something like that.

As I sit in the holographic parallel universe, I peep into the real world and arrange it out in a timeline. As I take a seat inside my mirror and scan through the reflections in the past year. The different arrangements of hair, its metamorphosis from plastic straight to just plain glam, I travel through a tunnel of scents. I like how I can look at a photograph, listen to a song and smell something different, maybe the scent of a man, the smell of rain or the stench of rum and puke. 

Among the many scents last year, I see ups and downs, like a line animated film, two beings just merge with the surroundings, now and then into each other but mostly apart. In some instances, the distance grew too long to meet, but they always came around. At some point they thought the worst is over. It was the story of an army that grew stronger having fought the toughest battles, but just as the saying goes that it can only get better. Well, it can always get worse. 

The songs ran into each other in turmoil, as the mellow tunes of the acoustic guitar ended, a thrashy snare took off but the film of memories played seamlessly. In the many frames of picturesque art that I imagined us to be in the worst of our times together, I always liked the one where two cliffs met. Huge and mighty, reaching into a collage of clouds, the cliffs stood, only half a foot apart. We stood facing each other, our egos fiercely at each other like pit bulls; we kept that distance just to be civil. It was only half a foot, but we never crossed it to be together, it was like the repulsion of magnetic poles. Today I sit here alone as my pit bull looks into the deep ravine and looks at me disappointed thinking "Why were you so scared?"

It's a horrific feeling to sit in front of your reflection and just watch. To have no control over it. To watch versions of horrendous, adulterous you stare at you in the face. To actually confront that part of you that mindlessly got you here. At some point it seems like Chinese torture to want to never forget the darkness but have no way to throw in a light. 

In the short psychotic film of the story of you and me, a splash of vibrance breaks in as a Scottish tune plays in fast forward, the reel drowns in the a pool of liquor, in a sphere of music, as the bike speeds into us from the wrong direction and I stand up asking for a light for my cigarette. As I suddenly hear tumbling plastic in the steady rhythm of the road underneath. The chili flakes swimming in a pond of grey surrounded by scrumptious rocks of chicken and cartilage. In the folds of hate, tears and violence, submerged in shyness are these moments of marsh mellow, from holding hands to rubbing tummies, from sucking the pain out to wiping the tears. 

As the credits roll, as an audience to my own relationship, I'd think it was only turmoil, too unstable to survive. But having riden the roller coaster myself as quickly as we sped down the lows, we enjoyed the slow, steady rise to the highs. Nothing is perfect and nothing ever will be. But the flaws add beauty to perfection - and as I have held this belief strongly, I must admit. This was fun. 

 

\m/

I woke up the next morning with a swollen jaw and broken lips. A swollen tail bone, a stiff neck, bruised thighs, knees and elbows. As I came to my senses stretching in pain and struggling to brush my teeth, I was still in the haze of my rendezvous with Morpheus, where he had taken me down a path of darkness that had led to a podium where my muse stood before me in the flesh.

As I skimmed through the past five years of my life, reluctantly stroking the broken fortress in my mouth, I could only think of the times when my hair would attempt to touch the ground as I'd head bang while I stood far away in a ruined temple staring at the aesthetic ceiling, spinning around forgetting the world around me. I was alone. I was scared to see tomorrow alone. But my muse spoke to me and only me. 

I stood in the darkness of an army of black around me, I felt the chaos and fury take over. In the agonizing growls, powerful riffs and intense beats, I found solace - that spot on the ceiling of the temple that called out to me. Amongst the darkness, I had found the flaming ends of a meteor shower and as I opened my eyes, the chorus broke in

"Hell No!"

and I thought to myself the same of the night that was about to end. I looked around me - in that unity of black, anger and fury, I suddenly became aware of my pink horns in the air, the womb and everything woman inside of me, my broken tooth. I was me. Just me and in all that, there they stood upon the podium, talking to only me. 

"It's great to travel all the way across the world and find out we're all the fucking same" - Randy Blythe

The excitement of watching Lamb of God began a few months ago. And as the same built up with that spring of a smile whenever a LOG song played, or when I decided to send them Deepti's home-made brownies, I was still in no position to really expect one hell of a week. The week took its genesis with a good ten cartons of stress. As the day neared, I realized it was time to grab myself a cotton pair of shorts so nothing, not even an extra drop of sweat would ruin what was to become one of the best days of my life. Less than 24 hours before the judgement day, the pitchers began to roll. Among which, the senseless cheers, the undying desperation to get drunk and the countless shake hands with old and new continued. The night ended with barely any room for thought, the weariness of mind, body and on some level, soul took over, only to wake up surprised, hungover and the least hopeful. 

1300 Hours: After the arrival of old friends from Manipal, it had finally began. Pitcher after pitcher, song after song at the neighbourhood retro bar that gave itself a makeover in the name of metal \m/. We continued the guzzling in the auto, on the long walk into the arena and inside as we stood long queues and even convinced one of the bartenders to throw in an extra glass! 

At the raw hours of 1930 hours, Lamb of God assembled on stage to begin with The Passing. I stood in awe as I was finally quenching the thirst that had parched my throat the instant I heard about the concert. Tears began to race down my cheeks as I stood still for seconds that seemed like hours. The screams began and my undernourished self seemed to disguise into some kind of Rambo, leaping into an ecstasy, now and then charging towards everyone around. Soon I found myself in the third row, straining my neck in unison with an army of thousands, with only one thing in common - music. 

Fifteen minutes to 2100 hours, the sound of the snare broke through as the words "...last song"  faded away. I sat upon the shoulders of my friend to rise among everyone and witness a tornado of souls begin slowly. As it came towards me, I looked at the stage. In less than a second, I realized, there was only one way to touch the top of the temple and it wasn't by sitting on someone's shoulders. I got down and raced into the crowd, making one astonishing vanishing act. Next I knew I was begging a fat guy with glasses for five seconds up ahead, squeezing in and feeling the chill of the metal barricade against my wrist. As I struggled to push my already frozen throat to scream, I caught the best glimpse of my muse. There they stood in a halo of blue, ripping the screams, beats and riffs through the chaos of the crowd. My jaw dropped only to be met with the fist as the tornado of souls tumbled along and grew. 

A young man saved the day in the most unthinkable manner, the pain grew numb in an instant and I stood there watching the last few minutes of what was nothing less than a storm. In seconds it was over. I turned around to greet my friends, thinking of the most interesting detail to share with them, and only the pain remained. 

It was only a dream, I thought to myself as I gargled my mouth with water. But as I pulled myself up to check if my eyes were open, the weakness in my muscle gave in and the forces pinched me and told me - "It wasn't a dream. You watched Lamb of God live"

P.S.: The thrill was interrupted with the passing of a legend on the following day. But as I think of that night, a faded smile returns and my fingers automatically turn into horns \m/ invented by late Sir Ronnie James Dio. R.I.P. Long live metal. \m/


I'm not a rat

 Recently, I watched a movie called The Tale of Despereaux, in which there was a rat who had caused pain to a princess and was the cause the species of rat were sent to live in the dungeon.  The narrator asked us  to imagine what it would be like to be a part of a species whose name was an insult itself. I enjoyed the movie, only allowing its memories to collect dust under a pile of other movies that i thought were more memorable and more worth it.

But the movie was force-fit into my conscious stream of thought as I got caught in a rat race myself. And I reminded myself that I was not a rat - which is when I discovered that I was much like Roscuro, a rat whose only misfortune was to be born into a colony of evil rats. 

Could it be possible that there were some of us were just born to live our lives to the fullest without wanting to be champions. Those people who are happy with living in small homes and content with their two-wheelers? I have observed that most people find themselves in a race against the rest, like their lives were a game of snakes and ladders. To me, my life is not a game. My career, especially is not a game. My personal life, my education definitely not a game. So why must we always be in comparison to the rest from the time we grow up?

Two mothers engage in a conversation about the time their children spoke their first words or took their first steps. Competition begins. By class 1, age 6, we begin being ranked in various subjects, this doesn't stop until we're out of college. By 14, we are ranked by how tall we are if we're male, or how "woman" we are if we're female. By 16, we are compared to the others of our gender by almost everyone, if not people around us, by ourselves with the help of the television set. In our twenties, the comparison between degrees, jobs and salaries begin. Mid-twenties, we are either brides or bridemaids and if only the latter, the comparison continues. 

It appears to me, that I signed up for a race that I didn't even want to take part in. Yes, you can't help the people who talk around you. But what happens when you are running in this very race, you don't know you're in the race, and you see someone hurt, someone who seems to be in trouble. You stop to help them. And when you're done helping them, not only do they race past you, but they steal your wallet. 

To win something, does someone else have to lose something? Is your victory worth the other person's effort and misery? Games are great. I love to win! At Chess, at word games, at quizzes, at pool, at puzzles, but I never thought of my life as having to be a game that I had to win. So what happens if you turn up first in a rat race? You get a bigger house? A better car? More salary? But what if my happiness is only worth 20 bucks? Do I still need to run the race. And what if your happiness was worth 10,000 bucks? Is my meagre 20 bucks really gonna make a difference?

I read somewhere that happiness is just the pleasure of being content. But if we are always trying to race against everyone else, measuring happiness in terms of money, achievements and weddings, who is content? Well, if we could call this a game, I can say, I won because I am content. 

Large Cup of Coffee

The morning coffee arrives and I take a sip from it to wake up, I sniff it consciously, allowing the aroma to fill my nerves with anxiety, just enough to get through till the noon cup of coffee. As soon as the caffeine begins to work, I am completely aware that my new day has just began.

Why is this new day any different from the rest? The sun rose in the east, I asked for another 5 minutes of sleep, exactly an hour later got to work. Nothing different, the same old idiots walking on the streets instead of the footpaths and the same heroes on bikes trying not to put their feet down and almost ramming into other vehicles.

My string of "new" days began sometime ago. I feel like I've been locked up in a cellar, caught in the chaos of a terrible war and have come out after months of darkness to see the light of day. Little by little, my days are starting to bloom again, for so long they've been parched of conversation and new insights. New conversations are coming along, rarely with people, more with myself. I've discovered a new degree of patience in myself, one to read, a new obsession, for war diaries.

Zlata Filipovic narrates the strangulation of her childhood in Zlata's Diary, an account of her life in Sarajevo, her hometown during the Bosnian War. It's one thing to see things on the news, and have journalists aesthetically narrate the sufferings of the civilians, the loss of innocent lives and the destruction in the name of war. But to hear it in the raw words of a ten year old girl really paints the picture.

A routine has come to form itself, as much as I've tried to run away from monotony, it's like this thing that just settles by itself, and there's nothing you can do about it. It's like a fringe, looks pretty glam when you're out drinking, but when you're at work, you push it back, you try to tie up, pin it up, but it always comes back to the place it belongs. So I wake up, get to work, meet up with a friend, grab a beer or two, get home, maybe watch a movie or read up on something interesting on a number of whacked out websites and get to bed.

Along with the routine, comes this metronome in my head, subconsciously keeping track of everything I'm doing. Every beat is something to do. The beat plays everyday at the same time. My metronome goes on by itself giving me the freedom to add any chord or note to my life. Enter - presence of mind. I gave the clarity of space in my head to gather my stranded and orphaned thoughts and bring them together solving the many puzzles that were haunting me.

This morning, I solved the puzzle of companionship. Two people who come together to "love" each other for many reasons. Most of these reasons are taken at face value by both partners. They are either glorified, outshining the others or are thought to be reasons enough to get into the "relationship". Most people enter a relationship not thinking of the expiry date. I on the other hand have tried my best to refrain from relationships, in fear of the expiry date. The 'refrain' bubble is normally busted open by that friend who says "It's better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all".

So you enter the relationship. Everything is great about it, the first kiss, the first movie, the first tackle with some kind of trouble and even the first fight. The process of discovering something new is in full swing with long telephone conversations. Everything is smooth until the two have discovered everything there is to know about each other and are hanging on to those qualities they like and consciously ignoring the ones they don't with that voice in the head saying "Hey nobody's perfect".

Somewhere down the lane, normally at around 8 months, it's these good qualities that are taken for granted, abused and then they just become a quality. The bad stuff on the other hand starts to get magnified leading to a good overdose of it. The further you go down the road, you realize that this person is not the person you initially fell in "love" with. So then you either try to get the person to change subtly or start whining. This is the beginning of the end. It starts with affecting your time alone, then the time you spend with other people, then the time you spend away from each other. Next thing you know Godzilla has eaten every skyscraper in town and you're sitting next to the shit pot, exhausting the toilet paper by blowing your nose into it and occasionally puking after your massive drinking binge.

The end is here. Now there are two ways of dealing with the end. Either you learn to control these "feelings" and stay friends or you run away from the situation, take the first bus out, change your name, number, buy a wig and start over. Now, I know what you're thinking, that your relationships haven't ended this way. I disagree, the difference between the start and end of relationships only depends on the genre. There's comedy, action, drama, horror and even fiction, the story is still the same.

So at the end of putting all of this together, I realize that the cause for all of this starts at the beginning. We discover things we don't like about the other person and compromise. One leads to the other and in the end, we compromise too much and then we say "Hey I compromised" not realizing that the other person has done the same. So I've decided that when I'm done with getting over what has got to be the most hurtful break-up, I'm going to settle for nothing less than perfection. And when the compromises begin, that is when I'll expect the expiry date.

So today, when I took that sip of coffee, I realized that when Godzilla tore down the last skyscraper, all I needed was a large cup of coffee. And I got mine. So, here I am now, looking forward to fill the coming days with more books, more beer, more conversation, more music, more women and less worries. I'd like to keep my count of Grey hair at three.

Bruised Thighs & Black Eyes

What if you looked inside you one day while staring at the leaves of the tree, seeing how they don't move wishing they were painted by the old painter in the cold who thought it was worth his life to see you want another day?

The image grows closer and clearer feathered by a pixel of darkness on all sides. The darkness disappears giving way to light, as you see the figure of lies and the truth, you wish it was bright instead.

Within minutes the tree's leaves began to fall, their branches, transform. Some, muscular arms and some bloody whips, they come at me wanting to make me pay for everything from the littlest fib to the biggest conception of thought, all out of the Pandora's box.

As my tears competed in size, I began to blur into my reflection, feeling angst, feeling my feet slipping off the edge of sanity. With every lash, came pain followed by arousal, a sense of freedom, letting go of every baggage in my life, letting the lashes sting off my skin, sucking the venom of life out of me.

As I dropped the last bag, I fell to an ecstasy that only I know, that only I've felt and drifted off into a deep sleep where the tunnel was long, running towards a faint sound that sounded like the beginning of a Lounge Piranha song.

The tunnel ended in a quake and I woke up in the corner of my shelf surrounded by my clothes, yet naked in salad of scars. Around me lay bits and pieces of my life strewn across, once flashbacks in a tunnel and now real in my room. Opening my eyes in a hope to think it was all a dream, I look in the mirror only to find the figure of lies and the truth.

Optimus Pride!

Not much to write with just a week gone by. But riding pillion with the wind and pollution in my face, listening to Dirty Diana on the way to watch Transformers, I had a brilliant realization.

Waiting to see Optimus Prime in action, the only thing I know about the Transformers, I had transformed into Optimus Pride. Defending myself with the feeble rule of an eye for an eye. He delayed, therefore I did. I let the strings of consideration go just to hang on to that of pride with my feet. Vain, wanting to fly high like a trapeze artist. As I swung with my feet firm on the bars, I looked for a hand to hold, arms reaching out for me but there were none.

Entering the darkness of a cinema hall icy with artificial air, I looked up to see Optimus Prime, powerful and humongous begging for the aid of mere human. Optimus Pride, as it hit me, the term, reminding me of compassion as a symbol of human entity. Of how my pride was begging me to aid it with my compassion. I was there thinking if it weren't for those two hours of the movie, he wouldn't be next to me at all. It was a string, a human string of trapeze artists, being flung around. At the interval, people talked, they bonded, reaching their arms out, helping one another swing with wee. But I hung on with nothing to hold on to but my pride. He delayed, therefore I did.

I hung for two hours, an hour later I was home, fed with speed and pollution but I still hung alone, giving up. But I didn't cry. Or scream for help but only hung my head in shame. In the shame of Optimus Pride. Pride is a horrible thing. With the ego boosts lately, Lady Jackson and a 4.02 rating on 5 for my new story, I felt like those were things I could hang on to. But In the end of the rat race, if there is no other rat by your side celebrating, if you're sitting alone in a bar drinking shot after shot talking to a fat bartender who's only giving you company so you pay him that heavy tip, then not to worry, you're not alone. You still have your pride. Your Optimus Pride and this movie will probably be worth watching, only up until the bad ending.