A look back..!


It was exactly a year ago that I met Stephanie. Oh Stephanie! Quirky in ways of her own. She walked with a quiet way around her, minding her self, lost in her own world. Those big grey eyes could keep the world’s darkest secrets within her. You know the sudden unexpected rush of emotions you sometimes randomly get? The energy, positivity, happiness bundled up into a fire going through your heart, churning out thoughts positive, one after the other. You get up, you look around the room, you write-down things needed to be done, the goals that were a distant dream now seem reachable, you can see the steps that will take you towards that goal of yours. Such were the emotions in me, whenever Stephanie was around.

I was a loner. Anxious, introvert and insecure were the adjectives that described me the best. I was also a drinker. Jack Daniels was the friend I never had. People took coffee to receive the morning jolt, I downed a glass of JD. Another few glasses each night to ward off the impending nightmares and a sleep so deep, you would think that would be your last. I never envied other people of their friends and relatives. it never struck me watching families get together each festival, celebrating. I was content. Satisfied. Or so I said to myself before passing out each night.

It was Tuesday, I remember. The January chill coming down on us. A swig of the good ol’ friend kept me warm enough to make the regular walk to the liquor store nearby. Patrick, the owner started towards the back upon seeing me. He knew the routine. I looked around until he came back. The same world war II poster hanging on the left wall, dingy floor, distinct smell of the beer, the rickety fan going about its business, a couple of persons checking out the wines and whiskies. Patrick reappeared with my regular. Wishing him good day, I returned on the path to home. The wind was stronger than usual, chillier as well. Hugging my coat tighter, I kept on walking. A breath left me as I closed the door behind me in my apartment building. Finally, some warmth. A dozen or so cardboard boxes on the floor caught my eye. Looks like someone’s moving out or somebody is moving in. Ahh well! The building had six apartments on each floor and 8 floors in total. Mine was on the 3rd floor, not much of a climb. The good thing about corner apartments was that you had only one apartment across from yours and you were completely out of view from the other doors. Sounds good to me. Upon reaching the apartment, I saw the one across the hall had its door open. Someone was moving in. And that is when I saw her, Stephanie. Torn jeans, white t-shirt, grey hoodie, ruined shoes. Blonde hair turned up into a bun of some sorts. She saw me looking, my hands turned the keys faster. Fumbled a bit and a “Hi” came from across the hall. Turning around, it was Stephanie. A cardboard box in hand, a couple of them laden across the floor and standing between them was Stephanie. Carefully making her way across, she came up to me and said : “Hii, I am Stephanie. I just moved into this building. Looks like you are going to be living across my hall.” “Hey. Welcome to the building. I am Joseph. Haha yes. I’ll be living across from you. Let me know if you need anything okay.” I replied, carefully, trying not to sound too awkward. The conversation went on a bit before I entered my apartment. And so entered Stephanie. Into my building, onto my floor, into my life.

The next day, I saw her again. It was late night. Her lights wouldn’t turn on. I went over to see what was wrong. A flashlight in my hand, the hunt for the fuse began. It wasn’t that difficult, since the layout of the apartments in the building were the same. In a few minutes, the lights were back on. So there we were, in her apartment, which was arranged in a manner that was far far better than mine. Wall prints hanging almost on each wall, beautifully color combined upholstery and so much more. Everything seemed to inspire something in you. “Want some coffee?”, she asked, snapping me back to attention. My introvert instincts started to kick in, but before I could said no, she had already started the preparations for the coffee. So there I stood, in this stranger’s house, waiting for coffee after fixing her fuse.

I woke up. Severe headaches visited like an old friend, a glass lying sideways and an open bottle next to it. Another normal night. After forcing myself to wake up, and clean everything. I sat in the chair, contemplating if I should make a drink for myself. And the thoughts of Stephanie came back to me.

The way we talked every night after a few months of her moving in. Me with a glass of whisky and she without any. It was always like this. Whenever I offered her a glass, she’d always say no, saying that she didn’t wanna be drunk when I was talking. She always said I had stories to tell, tales that had emotions in them, that drunk me was completely unlike the real me. I believed none of that.

One thing always struck me though.

Stephanie was beautiful.

Why did she hung out with a guy like me? I could never gather the courage to ask her.

Stephanie tried to introduce me to her friends, she knew I had none of my own. But she stopped trying after 7 times. I guess she realised the depth of my social anxiety.

Stephanie talked a lot. And I loved to listen to her. Her eyes so expressive of the emotions she wanted to convey. I liked her company, which came as a shock to me.

She told me stories. She told me about her childhood. The story how she got dumped by her first boyfriend and how horrible it made her feel. She told me about her pet dog and how he was no more. She told me about her life in the past city and how she loved the current city. The stories had details, details I still remember. I told her about my childhood, atleast that is what she told me. I remember not, because I was always drunk. She was never.

Stephanie was such a good lady. A good friend, if I might call her that. Slowly I started to drink less. I wanted to remember the moments I spent with her, enjoy the conversations we had when I was lonely. My anxiety never left me, but it subdued itself when Stephanie was around.

I started to open up to her. Tell her about my ambitions, my goals, the things I wanted in life. I never thought I would open up myself so much to someone. Stephanie liked listening to me. That is what she told me and I’d like to believe that. She spread a vibe that full of positivity and happiness. It made me feel better about myself. It changed me in ways I could never imagine. With Stephanie I was honest with myself.

And one day, I came back to an empty apartment in the hall across mine. She always told me that she wanted to travel the world. Maybe she went ahead with her plans. I never knew. I feel good thinking that she is out there, fulfilling her life goals.

I never got to say goodbye to her. I hope she’s having fun. I could never thank her for the changes she brought in me. I was now a better person. I was not an alcoholic anymore. I had friends and a better job now. I always thanked Stephanie. I still do.

Thanks Stephanie.

 

*****

This post has been written for the Indiblogger Youth ki Awaz #SpreadTheVibe contest.

 

Advertisements

Of thoughts, some scattered


In the realms of the night,

the moonlight that shines the path in your dreams.

A magical land awaits,

of no longer sorrows and lay-lows.

The chariot awaits,

ready to fly.

You sit there scared, anxious

, in the corner.

Knees in your hands tell me a story,

but I dare not ask. I want to.

You know of a place,

a tale. But you wouldn’t tell me.

but I dare not ask. I want to.

I reminisce

(sometimes)

of the days when I wasn’t myself

the times when gloominess and despair

made their presence felt.

and in them you held my hand

guided me

through the swamps

and into the optimistic lands

of joy and peace.

A word of thanks

I haven’t uttered

I know not,

if it should be.

Yet I always have

to myself and carried on.

Journey


She must have said it a hundred times. Repeated the words out loud for the world to hear, for him to hear somehow. A journey that halted so abruptly, stealing the stars from her eyes and turning them into ashes. All she could do was watch the hazy sun go down on her.

What was years ago seemed only like yesterday. They first met in the park near the house. Curious little children of 10 and 12, looking to play a game of catch with someone. She fondly remembered the game as another shot of bitter Vodka went down her throat. The game that started everything.

Turning the laptop on, she went through his facebook profile. Messages saying how everybody missed him and how he was too young kept flooding by. She kept on scrolling. A post by his ex, a post by his best-friend’s gf, a post by his high-school teacher. Everyone loved him.

She remembered the last time they met. He was giving a treat. A new promotion and a new office in his current company. They got very drunk very fast. But hey!! It was on him.The bartender was courteous enough to call a cab. She passed out on his floor that night. It was only yesterday.

She couldn’t take it anymore. Another shot of vodka, another silent minute passes by. She closed her laptop. A silver knife shone from the lamp’s light. A thought crossed her drunken mind. Grabbing the knife, she went to the mirror and looked at her self. Smudged mascara painted itself on the face as her tears kept on racing towards the bottom.

It’s not like anybody would even care, she said. 7 billion people in the world, one went away today, another will go tonight. The clocks will still tick, the sun will still go up, people will keep on doing their jobs and the earth will still rotate.

The shiny edge, Oh so beautiful!

A deep breath she sighed

A journey she decided to take

Her friend, she could miss not

A friendship

the planet could not afford

found its place in the clouds.

The silver met pink

crimson spread

and a soul was free again.

 

Small – Prompt 84 – A Week For Writing


The envelope was in her hands, 4 years of slogging had finally paved the way for her to move ahead in life. Recalling the last few months, emotions in turmoil, with each passing day, thoughts kept gnawing her from inside. Consoling self, something will turn up tomorrow, it’ll be a better day tomorrow, she kept herself at bay. She did not have to worry about all those things anymore. She had a job at-last. Although not in the industry she wanted to be in, but something was better than nothing. At the very least she’ll be able to show her face to her family and friends. It might be small for everybody else, but it was big for her.

Celebration was coming next, she thought. It was natural, wasn’t it? She wanted to shout at the top of the world, A JOB!! FINALLY!! She wanted to tell all her friends, talk to her sister about the company, what she’ll be doing at the company. Telling her father the details of the salary and asking how should she move forward. Asking her mother to cook her favourite sweet when she came back home this winter. Happiness galore!! Yet there was something amiss, she did not feel content as one should be. She did not feel as happy as she should be.  “What is wrong with me?!???” –she wondered. He has been gone for years now, every attempt at contacting him has been futile. He doesn’t want me in his life, yet why do I want to talk only to him about everything. Long telephone hours came rushing back to her, the conversations they had, keeping everything under the wraps from their parents. It was another high. But today, everything seemed meaningless. She only wanted him to know, wanted to hear his comforting voice, the way he’d reassure her of things. Only if that accident hadn’t had happened!

fall


Amongst the hollowed dreams

of empty spaces and abandoned themes

he who wished to move ahead

lays currently in his bed.

******

Awakened by the moon-light

the eyes of whom shine so bright

her curly wop so gracefully brushes his cheek

is the reason of many a knees going weak.

******

the emptiness made its presence known

as they came together when the sun shone

for the final time

they embraced the other

******

her words ringed in his ears

the sounds of “You’ll never leave”

echoed the halls of his thoughts

Alas!

smudged mascara and red eyes

felt those words fall out

as he said the final goodbye!!

Surf it up. Slow it down.


It is not a sport, it is a religion. Whenever someone talks of cricket, this statement is bound to come up to show the crazy love we have for this game where two guys hit a ball and the eleven from the opposite team are running behind it. Deserted roads, empty malls, huge crowd infront of the single tv shop showing the match, families and societies coming together to witness the epic rundown the Indian team will face or give to the other team. The hottest of all matches, the holy grail of cricket matches in the world is the India v/s Pakistan cricket match. Suddenly offices are flooded with sick leaves, one can feel the tension in the air right from the morning itself. Snacks and food items are stocked up. It is a crazy fiesta and the perfect excuse for the whole family/society to come together and savour the moments while Yuvraj blasts 6 sixes off of Stuart Broad or be in awe of Virat’s exquisite batting skills or watch the bowl being thrown beautifully by R Ashwin.

Cricket for Indians is everything, and we Indians take pride in taking things personally. Every match is a do or die situation, and we treat it as one. With the rapid influx of technology into our lives, we now don’t have to cower in front of the tv to watch the match. One can easily get score updates via the UCBrowser that has a dedicated app section for the cricket-maniac crowd of ours. With such information available to us at our tips, we can now enjoy both the cricket and our personal lives simultaneously without having to miss out on small moments of our lives.

Now we can go on that special date without having to worry about whether we’ll miss another double century by Rohit Sharma or a hat-trick or the next stupendous catch by dhoni. Information will be available to us no matter where we are. Technology is amazing, isn’t it.

With smartphone accesibility growing day by day and the rise of inexpensive and good quality phones flooding the market, almost everyone we know, now has a smartphone which they use to stay connected to the world. With this influx, a major problem can also be seen making its way,the decrease in the physical interactions and conversations. We are ready to talk to someone who is sitting far away and not the one sitting right across from one. Although they have made our lives significantly easier, but a line also has to be drawn for its usage and the conditions where it is supposed to be used.

Combine the two issues of maniac-cricket love and boundary-less smartphone use, it gets really tough to figure out how to keep in touch with the surroundings as well as the latest cricket update. 

For me cricket has always been a soft corner, but the need for proper social interactions also draws me, do I try to reduce my smartphone usage when in groups, only pulling it out once or twice to keep myself updated and UC Browser helps me do that quickly because of its dedicated cricket section. This way I get the best of both world’s.

A Diet that goes a long way


The time had arrived, for coats to be hanged, sweaters to be wrapped up, jackets to be kept away till the cold, dark days of winter come rushing to us again. The time has also come to start working towards the extra amounts we have gained whilst cozying with the blanket and eating dollops of sweets and savouring the taste of hot chocolates. It was time for the mirror’s harsh realities to reflect back upon us as we prepare for shorter and freer clothes to escape the sweltering heat. Along with the longer nights and shorter days, the unhealthy mess we made ourselves to be also have to go. For staying fit and healthy is what allows us to function better as a human being and motivates to reach for that extra mile that often separates us from the pack. It has also been proved that a healthy human being leads a life that is more joyful, energetic and cheerful as compared to the ones who are often seen sitting on the couch, the ones who start panting heavily to reach the door for the pizza they ordered and the likes of them. A belly that promptly leads us has to go and it has to go quickly for the summer is here and one can easily achieve that with a basic crash diet and a little bit of exercise during the day to keep those muscles moving and fats burning. A healthy and nutritious diet not only has a positive physical effect on your body but it also tends to have a positive effect on your mental as well emotional being. A little bit of Dabur Honey every day does indeed works its wonders for you definitely feel a different kind of pulse radiate through your body, a positive one at that.

Balanced diet is something that he wave been learning/studying about since our school days. The ole science lectures where our teachers rambled on and on about the importance of a balanced diet and the advantages of the same on a human body while we babbled away our lives to our friends. But the lessons our teachers taught are still very much applicable in our real lives and play quite an important role in how we treat our body. A healthy and balanced diet not only gives you an emotional edge but keeps also keeps away ailments and diseases. Such kind of diet, although is very difficult to maintain in times when cheap fast foods which look and taste heavenly, but also are a quick way to fill our stomachs on the move which can be a little challenging with a complete balanced diet, but if one keeps himself/herself strong a balanced diet goes a long way in terms of physical and emotional health.