Is that you, future-self?

EDITOR: Hena Sarkar

“I’ll figure it out someday in the future,” I said to myself, adding further to the ever increasing list of things that I’ll (apparently) get done in the future.

I kept expanding this list everyday, again and again. I was loading each and everything I couldn’t comprehend in my present on my future self. I was loading my future self with too many responsibilities.

I was betting too hard on my future self with hardly any improvement in the present.

I sucked at interacting and making relations with new people, especially with females. Every time I had to interact with new people, I tried to avoid it in the hope that sometime in future, I would overcome this fear.

Every time I considered starting a blog, I procrastinated with the thought that I’d write it someday in the future. Came another day and I delayed it again with the hope of having a blog in the future, someday.

Basically, my idea of my future-self was a magical transformation of my present personality that would get things done at the snap of a finger.

I waited for a really long time for this future to come. After all, all my hopes and dreams depended on it. But the future wasn’t arriving.

Because every time I waited for it, it became the present.
This was really counter-productive for me. I wasn’t able to think anything, leave alone get things done.

So, one particular day, I decided to take matters in the present. I decided that I would no longer rely on my future-self.

And that changed many things. Almost every confusion I had in my life disappeared. Things became much clearer, now that my future-self was much less occupied than my present self.

Because ultimately, future is nothing but a clever disguise of the present. You need to rip off that disguise and look inside and make yourself responsible.

Surprisingly, many things were getting done.

So you see the problem I had? This is the problem faced by many people these days.

I like to call it ‘long-term procrastination’. It basically makes you an irresponsible, lazy idiot. I was one of that kind. I still am, to an extent, but I think I’m improving.

So, how do you tackle it?

The best way to tackle a problem is by realizing that it exists.

Realize that you have this problem and know that it can be counter-productive for your life.

Realize that the most important thing in your life is the time you have in the present and how you use it.

Realize that future is nothing but a distant version of the present and procrastinating things would leave you with nothing but too much of unaccomplished possibilities.

Realize that the only way out of it is by realizing this problem.

Because most of the times, problems aren’t solved not because of their quality of being difficult but due to our inability to accept that they, in fact, exist.

That’s all for now. I do have a lot more to say on this but I think I’ll write about it later someday, in future.


Perfect Match


The golden fingers of the sun crept through the window waking him up with a gentle caress across his face.

It had been decided. Today was the day. Calling it the biggest day of his life would be an understatement. Everything around him was going to change, it was in the air. He could feel it with every breath that he took.

The stress, the tension… It was all gone. The weight of the world seemed to have finally lifted from his shoulders. He was ecstatic yet at peace, for a match had been found.

A perfect match.

***

The sun rose beautifully across the sky marking a new day and possibly her last.

Everything had been perfect. She was perfect. Her life was perfect. There was just one problem. It was too perfect. And this was the perfect time for life to strike.

When you are on top of the world, life always has to push you down. It breaks that ‘bubble of perfect’, that ‘bubble of happiness’. And that is what happened to her.

She had been found. She had tried to make a run for it, she had tried to hide but all was in vain. You can never truly run away from your past. Now, it just stood in front of her, towering over her. She was cornered with nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Life had a beautiful way of being cruel.

It had started when she was mere four months old. Defenceless, vulnerable and weak. So weak. Her family found out about the abominable thing that she was carrying inside her. She was abandoned immediately. It wasn’t her fault; it was completely out of her control.

At that time, they didn’t realise how valuable she actually was. They never considered the possibility that they might require her, that they might need her.

After few years her importance came to light… And the search began. Not because they repented their decision. But because her worth was realised.

She was a match.
A perfect match.


Lost?

The Editing Startup
btR by LOST
Am I lost?
I don’t really know.
How would I ?
When nothing real ever felt like home.
When everything surreal
Makes me wander,
And everything real
Stares me down,
Forces me to slumber
Demand’s my surrender.
What’s the answer?
When you think you don’t know,
But fate says
“NO!”
And then you start to wonder,
Questions strike you like thunder !
Yet no answers?
‘GO’!
Have to find them ,
Before the final confrontation
Before the last tick to zero.
But wait,
What if we’re never found?
Never meant to have a home.
Maybe not a place.
Home,
could be just a voice , a sound.
Cradled by warmth and a few bones.
Souls don’t need space to anchor down.
Just a feel and not mere form
To  just let go and be unbound.
Hope and trust are the walls and doors.
Build them up and open through,
That’s where you find the real you.
So stay lost till you do.

लिफ़्ट करा दे।

The Editing Startup

क़रीबन 3 महीने बाद यहां कुछ लिख रहा हूँ। हर दिन कुछ लिखने के लिए लैपटॉप खोलता, और फिर बंद कर देता। समझ ही नहीं आया कि क्या हो रहा है। कुछ लिखने की सोचता, तो संकोच होता, कि कहीं किसी को बुरा तो नहीं लगेगा? कभी कुछ अच्छा लिखना चाहता तो कुछ बुरा दिमाग में आ जाता।

तंग हो गया था।

सुबह उठ कर ऑफिस के लिए तैयार हुआ। ऑफिस पहुंचा तो देखा कि एक लिफ़्ट अटकी हुई है। 5 मिनट बाद एक लिफ्ट आयी, लेकिन बहुत भरी थी। मेरे बोझ को बेचारी लिफ्ट कहाँ संभल पाती। जैसे ही अंदर कदम रखा, OVERWEIGHT का SIGNAL आ जाता। मैं वापस बाहर आ गया। लिफ्ट के दरवाज़े बंद हो गए। मैंने सोचा सीढ़ियों से चला जाता हूँ। 14 माले चढ़कर साँस फूल चुकी थी और शर्ट पसीने से तर। ऑफिस में अंदर जाने से पहले अपने आप को अंदर जाने लायक बनाया और फिर अंदर चला गया।

हर रोज़ का यही रोना था। जहां मेरे सभी साथी कुछ लिख रहे थे, मैं सिर्फ कोशिश कर रहा था। इसी बीच THEES की पहली सालगिरह भी आ गयी, तब भी समझ नहीं आया कि क्या लिखूं। लोगों से सलाह मांगी। हर किसी ने अपने मुताबिक़ अच्छे अच्छे तरीके बताये जिनसे दिमाग ठीक कर सकता था। मगर सभी टोटके फेल।

अगले दिन ऑफिस पहुंचा। लिफ्ट आज भी अटकी हुई थी। दूसरी लिफ्ट 5 मिनट बाद आयी, एक बार फिर लोगों से भरी हुई। इज़्ज़त बचाने के चक्कर में इस बार अंदर जाने की कोशिश ही नहीं की।

फिर वही सीढियां, फिर वही साँस फूलना, फिर वही पसीने से तर-बतर।

न लिख पाना, मुझे अंदर से खा रहा था। कितना कुछ था जो मैं लोगों से कहना चाहता था। कितना कुछ था जिसकी भड़ास लिख कर निकालना चाहता था। ये सब अपने अंदर रख कर घुटन महसूस हो रही थी। छोटा मोटा कुछ लिखता, पर ऐसा कुछ नहीं जो सबके सामने रख सकूँ। कुछ बड़ा लिखना चाहता था। कुछ अच्छा, कुछ ऐसा, जैसा कोई न लिख सके। लेकिन इस चक्कर में कुछ भी नहीं लिख पा रहा था। कुल मिला कर मेरी लिफ्ट अटकी ही हुई थी।

फिर एक दिन, गूगल पर कुछ पढ़ते हुए एक पंक्ति दिखी – “कई बार आप 2 कदम पीछे जाते हैं, ताकि 20 कदम आगे की छलांग लगा सकें।” पहली बार में इसका मुझ पर ज़्यादा असर नहीं पड़ा। फिर इसे दोबारा पढ़ा। तीसरी बार, चौथी बार पढ़ा। फिर कुछ समझ आया।

अगले दिन, अपने मनपसंद गाने सुनते हुए घर से ऑफिस तक के रास्ते का मज़ा लिया। ऑफिस पहुंचा तो देखा कि वो लिफ्ट अब भी अटकी हुई थी। मैं हँस दिया। मैंने गानों की आवाज़ थोड़ी और बढ़ा ली। और एक राहत की साँस ली। राहत की साँस इसलिए, क्योंकि आज अगर लिफ्ट नहीं अटकी हुई होती तो मैं अपनी नए नवेले उत्साह को खो देता। चीज़ें अपने आप ठीक हो जाएँ तो आप कभी कुछ नया नहीं सीख पाएंगे। अच्छा है कि चीज़ें वैसी की वैसी रहें, जब तक आप खुद उन्हें  सुलझा लेते।

मैंने सीढ़ियों की ओर कदम बढाए। लेकिन ऊपर जाने के लिए नहीं, नीचे जाने के लिए! मैं बेसमेंट में पहुँचा, जहाँ कोई नहीं था। मैंने ऊपर जाने के लिए बटन दबाया। हम सब जानते हैं कि लिफ्ट कैसे काम करती है। अगर आपको ऊपर जाना है और आपके नीचे वाले माले पर कोई खड़ा है, तो लिफ्ट आपके माले पर ना रुक कर पहले नीचे जाएगी। मैं देख रहा था कि मेरी लिफ्ट आज मुझ तक पहुंचेगी भी या नहीं। सोलहवें माले पर खड़ी लिफ्ट, धीरे धीरे नीचे आ रही थी। 15.. 14… 10… 7… 4… 3… 2.. 1.. G..

एक बार के लिए लगा कि लिफ्ट वहीँ रुक जाएगी, लेकिन फिर… B1.. B2!

लिफ्ट के दरवाज़े के ऊपर लगी बत्ती जल उठी। कुछ क्षण बाद, लिफ्ट का दरवाज़ा खुला। मैं मुस्कुराता हुआ अंदर गया और एक कोने में सिर टिकाकर खड़ा हो गया। लिफ्ट ऊपर उठी और ग्राउंड फ्लोर पर जाकर रुकी। एक दम से लोगों की भीड़ अंदर आयी, पर आज मुझे उनसे जूझने की ज़रूरत नहीं थी। जैसे जैसे लिफ्ट ऊपर उठ रही थी, मेरा मन भी हल्का होता जा रहा था। मैं जब लिफ्ट से बाहर निकला तो न ही मेरी साँस फूली थी, न ही पसीने से तर था।

आज मैं एक बार फिर कुछ लिख रहा हूँ। कई दिनों बाद। मन में अब भी संकोच है कि किसी को कुछ बुरा न लगे। अब भी चाहता हूँ की सबसे अच्छा लिखूं। लेकिन वो मेरी दिक्कत है। मैं संभाल लूंगा। लिफ्ट के दरवाज़े बंद होने के बाद, मुझे कोई नहीं देख सकता। अंदर मैं चाहे MOONWALK करूँ, या भोजपुरी गाने गाऊं, वो बस मैं ही जानता हूँ।

क्योंकि जब लिफ्ट का दरवाज़ा खुलता है, आपको बस एक शख़्स दिखाई देता है जो अपना बैग हाथ में पकड़ कर, लिफ्ट से सिर टिकाये खड़ा है।


The Colours of Truth

The Editing Startup

btR by Atma Kaur

 

She was blind when she was born.
Darkness was her first companion.
She gave her ears the place of her eyes and learnt to obey them.
“I remember being held by everyone” she said as she smiled at the memory of the love and adoration she reaped as an infant. “I remember feeling everyone pulling at my cheeks and giving my forehead little pecks of kisses. I just giggled and screeched with wonder at so much attention. My mother left me at safe hands whenever she was busy, and I assume, those safe hands were very much like my own.”
She couldn’t break the realm of night she was forever in, but as humans do, she got used to it. That was her life. Then she went to school.
“I was frightened to be in a place I had never experienced before. I could hear so many different voices and sounds at a single time which confused my mind. I tried my best to keep myself collected because every voice seemed just like my own. However, school taught me differently.
Every voice was not like my own, every person was not like me. Everyone was different. Disturbingly different.
My mother had always tried to explain to me how I look. I have fair skin, with golden locks and a pretty pink smile, as she always told me, although it’s very difficult to know whether my perception of these things is the same as anyone elses.
That’s what everyone is to me. Fair skin, golden locks, pretty pink smile.
I heard people laughing; laughing at someone because they were ‘Black’. I didn’t understand how it mattered, and how was I meant to differentiate between who and what ‘Black’ meant? How was I to know? I found my way towards the ‘Black’ person and began talking. Mother had Taught me the contrast between a male and a female voice, but never that between skin. By her guidance, this person was evidently a girl. I found it hard to understand why everyone was laughing at her, as she sounded just like I did; even when she cried.
As I grew up I saw many such cases of what mother defines as ‘Racism’. Apparently everyone doesn’t have the same skin colour and are penalised for it emotionally and socially. Mother tells me those who are darker than others have always been treated negatively. Well, I don’t even know what colours actually are but my life is still normal, I still eat, sleep, breathe, and do everything everyone else does! Yet such a small thing seems to make so much difference.
Let alone colour, my friends tell me people are bullied for being over/under weight, for having different types of hair, for having different facial features, for having skin abnormalities. I can never comprehend it. Everyone seems the same to me.
They talk just as politely and laugh just as melodious as each other. When I shake a hand I feel the same welcome, and every hug brings me equal warmth.

My mother cried when she found out I couldnt see.
‘She was blind when she was born’ she told our relatives. She put in all her might to gift me my sight, but there was no going against nature. She sobbed through nights, hugged me close and told me ‘you are special as all you see is dreams, and no obstacles to distrupt those dreams when you wake up’.
Is it still a thing of grief that I cannot see mother?
I cannot see but I feel every human as an equal. Is it better to have a sight and create such differences amongst each other than to remain unaware of appearances and love equally?
Do you really feel the gift of sight means creating barriers that should not be there?
Then how, mother, how have you spent all these years telling me that being sightless is not normal, but the world believes that discrimination is?
I may not be able to see faces, colours, abnormalities, differences; but I feel each person who gives me love and affection.

If being blind gives me the ability to see past such discriminations, today, I am proud I am Blind.” She finished off, as she got up and kissed her ‘Black’ husband.


A Mother Without a Voice

The Editing Startup

btR by Atma Kaur

I am her child.

I have seen her sweat through the scorching heat and burn with the blaze of the sun.
Raindrops adorn her skin and teardrops nest in the fearlessness of her eyes.
Chained to our suffering, handcuffed to our betrayal, shackled to our disparagement.

She Loved.

I have seen love flowing in every part of her.
Sheltering her offspring and offering the impecunious the compassion of her lap.
She fed me regardless of how it disfigured her, nurtured all those who came to her in search of a dwelling, in search of comfort, in search of a home.

She embraced.

I have seen her enraged.
Lashing on the brim of her patience, she bawled for freedom.
She drowned us in her tears for she watched us sin, she watched us murder, she watched us steal, she watched us rape… she watched us soil her beauty and purity.

She Forgave.

I have seen her sacrificing herself for her children.
Sacrificing her body and her soul.
She bathes in humanity and feeds on truth.
She holds no desires, but amidst the blurred vision of her children, she carries a dream of oneness.

She Dreams.

To eliminate prejudice between her children, to let go of the devil residing within each heart.
To embellish her soul with the smile of her children, to bury their anguish within her.
She dreams to see the three colours of her rainbow, blend into one…

She is INDIA.


Simplicity is the best Sophistication!


THE EDITING STARTUP

“It is so simple to be happy, but is so difficult to be simple”.

Rajesh Khanna’s famous dialogue from the movie Bawarchi, holds as much relevance in 2017 as much as it did in 1971.

Happy all of us are today, and even if we aren’t, we definitely find a way to amuse ourselves via our mobiles, be it taking selfies, watching endless videos on YouTube, using Facebook, Twitter or even Whatsapp, we have end number of ways to keep us entertained.

But do these means keep us actually happy? Do they give us true mental satisfaction of being happy? They just help us pass the time away without feeling sad.. that’s it.

Being simple has always been confused with being backward or non progressive in thoughts or action or both.

Having the best of everything is the ultimate goal for any individual. Why? Because they make them happy.. and give them a feeling of accomplishment.

But somewhere, in this race of becoming successful, to be “Happy” , people tend to forget the small and simple things that made them happy..

Wishing a friend by calling them, helping a stranger in finding their way in case they’re lost, sharing lunch with friends, sitting and having endless conversations with an old friend, meeting them at their house, spending some quality time with them, etc, etc, without posting about it anywhere has become a thing of the past.

People don’t even seem to get up to brush in the morning before posting a “just out of the bed look” everywhere.

Where’s all that “Normal” life gone?

Nobody likes to stay in touch and even if they do, they do it only at times of need .

Showing others that one is busy all the time, has, is and will always be a trend that won’t fade away ever..

People have forgotten the value of all those they love and care.. they can’t remember simple things like phone numbers of the person they call their “Bestie”.

Constantly remaining in touch via texting is great, but it has it’s own drawbacks too.

Once people have their long lost friends finally in their whatsapp contact, they tend to take them for granted.

Everybody does this. All of us never bother to message someone with whom we haven’t spoken in a long time because it, well, takes up our time.

Simplicity always wins in the long run, be it keeping in touch with our friends by calling them whenever we’re free, focussing more on the people around us than the ones with us virtually, keeping our little happy moments in photos and memories.. etc.

And of course, as Leonardo Da Vinci himself said, “Simplicity is the best sophistication”.