Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

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These nurturing hands have cradled my head when you first brought me out into this world, held me when I was in pain, hugged me and shown me affection, whacked me when I needed to be brought down a notch. These hands have worked tirelessly to provide care and love for decades. These hands create artistic and culinary magic, spreading joy wherever you go.
Happy Mother’s Day, Ma! 💕
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Why am I doing Enneagram Portraits?

I just became a Mod/Admin of a page that I had been haunting for years. I am excited and enjoying this opportunity to not just delve deeper into Enneagram, but also use my knowledge to help others. It has also led to greater self excavation which in turn led to the painful shattering of some powerful, closely held wrong notions about myself, my beliefs and opinions. I have plumbed the depths and come out with fresh understanding. It has taken a lot of reminiscence, introspection and even a meltdown to get to this point where I see things clearer than ever. While to the uninitiated, Enneagram can appear a shaky system at best and a fraudulent, illogical and convoluted system in the worst case scenario; it is dawning upon me that the only way to understand Enneagram is honesty in knowing oneself. It is not going to be pretty when you are hit with that understanding. One of my friends said “Damn, I feel called out” when I described the influence of the core type and the tritype on her behaviour, along with how it affects the manifestation of her cognitive processes.

Enneagram basically has nine points of integration and disintegration, it speaks of a person’s spiritual evolution. Each core type has a specific set of fears, desires, motivation that drives the individual. These core types are also influenced by another number in their vicinity, called the wing of that type. Tritype provides a more comprehensive analysis. The Enneagram divides the nine types and places them in three “centers”: The Head centre, The Heart centre, and The Gut centre.

The Head centre is how an individual mainly handles fear and anxiety. If fear or anxiety is a person’s main driver, it will influence the way they act and react as well. For example, Fives are extremely slow to act because they have a deep fear of not possessing all the knowledge required to handle the situation deftly. The types that fall within the Head centre are Five, Six and Seven. This fear that drives Fives makes them loners, cynical, investigative deep thinkers. Prone to social introversion because they feel safer living in their minds where they don’t have to face the threat of being called upon to act, or be overwhelmed with expectations or having to perform in the real world without back-up. Sixes are the pure thinkers of this centre, always scanning for logical inconsistencies in situations and people. They are the first to tell when something is off. This is because despite being deeply loyal and community oriented folk, they always fear being betrayed. It is this fear that keeps them up at night, and drives them to frequently keep tabs. What they seek most of all is security and stability. Hence they will cling to people and societal systems that will help assuage their anxiety. Meanwhile, Sevens have such a crippling fear of being tied down , losing their freedom or getting stuck in a rut or painful situation that they become masters of reframing situations positively. They are seen as the positive, happy go lucky, action oriented individuals who always keep it light and fun. Carrie Fisher was probably a Seven who said “If my life wasn’t funny it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.” They substitute plumbing for emotional depth with chasing new experiences. Commonly identify as social extroverts.

The Heart centre tackles issues of love, shame, acceptance, self and identity. The numbers in the Heart centre are: Two, Three and Four. Two is driven to entirely create their identity in that of the ones they love and the role they play in their lives (Molly Weasley being a typical Two is defined by her nurturing and caring qualities) while Four strives to create a unique identity in order to compensate for the sense of loss and deficiency, envy that they operate from. Threes completely lack any sense of self, because they are image oriented, and driven by notions of success, popularity which can be measured in tangible, objective terms.  Their main fear is failure, Monica Geller from Friends is a wonderful tragicomic example of a Three whose drive to succeed is also what makes her neurotic. Threes have to be seen as the biggest and best in whatever they do. Style over substance for these ego maniacs.

Gut centre is the place where anger comes from. The types that fall in the gut centre are Eight, Nine and One. Eights report feeling their entire body thrumming with energy when they start to sense the warmth of anger build up steadily in their bodies. Nines actively practise self erasure in order to promote universal peace, harmony and will deny themselves expression of their anger so as to not disrupt the social order. Ones are slow to anger, and will generally never strike unless struck first. When morally outraged, Ones can rise to the occasion and deliver justice swiftly. It is then that their anger resembles that of an Eight. But while Eights thrive in the expression of anger and conflict, Ones always prefer the high road and regret externalized expressions of anger.

These are the basics, and because I was announced as the Enneagram mod, I am preparing a set of profiles for each type and wing which will streamline the system. I used to get a ton of asks requesting descriptions. These unveiled the innate narcissism of humanity which greatly amused me. I am creating Enneagram Portraits to avoid answering the same questions over and over again. For the purposes of my own understanding (and perhaps this might end up helping someone), I will be keeping personal notes here as well.

The White Room (Part One)

Krish woke up with a start. His breath smelled like shit and his body ached all over. He tried to move his legs around and found that he could not. He looked around in panic. He was in a too pristine room, it was as if it had been stripped forcibly of everything. Chills ran through his body. He was strapped to a metallic bed with a thin mattress. Thin but strong cords snaked around his wrists and ankles, preventing any kind of movement. There was a sense of nothingness to the room. It smelled of nothing. There was nobody, it had no windows. It was just lit up by the garish glow of artificial lights. He heard footsteps in the distance. That’s when he first registered the two chairs by his bedside. He was connected to a strange looking machine that had multiple buttons, labelled FP2, T3, T4, F7, P4 etc. He racked his brains to come up with an explanation. How had this happened? Where was he? What was that strange machine? He had been divested of his clothing and was wearing what appeared to be standard hospital garb. The first thought that came to his mind was organ trafficking. Unnerved, he looked for evidence to support that possibility. A few feet away lay a door and panels of what appeared to be translucent glass. He could make out two or three shadowy outlines. He decided to lie still and pretend to be asleep.

“No, Mr. Sharma. No use pretending to be asleep. We know what you are thinking” The motion sensor operated doors opened and in came two people wearing white coats. One was a balding man in his late forties or early fifties with a wiry build, and the other was a woman wearing a red baseball cap, jeans and a black t-shirt. The woman held his attention immediately. That gait, those hands! The curve of her lips, he didn’t know why but Krish instantly felt like he knew that woman.

“I see that you remember Dr. Nirali”. The man spoke in an amused tone. “I know you!” Krish blurted out. “No you don’t, Mr. Sharma. Let me take your vitals and EEG. Please relax.” she said, without removing her cap. “Show me your face! Where am I? Who are you people?” he demanded to know. She went about wordlessly, while he kept throwing questions at them. “Please stay still, this will hurt.” she said, swiftly jabbing a needle into his side.

“WHAT DID YOU INJECT ME WITH? I don’t know who you are, but let me tell you that I have a very wealthy brother who will pay anything for my release. Please, let me go.” Krish’s bravado left him and he broke down, terrified at what they would do to him next.  “Shut up” she said, the composure in her voice cracking. Her voice had an icy edge to it. Completely belying it was the warmth of her grip on his shoulder as she pressed him down, her lips close to his ear whispering without barely moving “Stay neutral because they can read your thoughts via emotional cues”. He forced himself to do as she said, reluctantly trusting her despite his misgivings. The man said “You are at Paramjyothi.”

“What! You have put me in an abandoned mental hospital? You cannot illegally detain me like this!” Krish screamed. “You are mistaken” the man said silkily. “It is neither a mental hospital, nor is it abandoned. It is a research facility. Not everyone in the experimentation cells is… cooperative like you. You have been very good.” The man patted his left shoulder. Krish’s eyes pooled with tears of rage and helplessness. “Remove these chains and then take me on, you bastard!” he cried out, voice choked with emotion.

“Oh but it wouldn’t be a fair fight, Mr. Sharma.” he said, moving his white coat to the side an inch or two to show Krish the concealed weapon he was carrying.” What kind of scientist carries guns? Who are you guys really? Why did you bring me here? Where am I? Please tell me.” Krish said, looking at Nirali. “We are not at liberty to answer those questions” she said stiffly. “Then who is? I demand to see whoever is in charge here” he stated firmly.

The doors slid open to reveal a man in his late thirties, in a dark suit, hair parted mussily to the side. One ear was pierced. He strode in confidently like a man who knew his way about the place. He had eyes for none but Nirali, and came to a halt where she stood. “Hello darling” he said, pulling her to him for a swift kiss. “Saad, my good man. I hope you won’t mind if I don’t kiss you” The two men laughed, while her lips quirked upwards in the semblance of a smile. Something twisted painfully in Krish’s gut.

“Anil Anna, you know these people? I don’t understand.” The smile disappeared from the man’s face as he turned to Krish. “Ah, little bro. Hello to you too. Vitals stable? EEG okay? He hasn’t been giving too much trouble? Does the dosage need to be increased, Saad?” She passed him the files, while the latter replied unctuously “No Sir, he has been very cooperative. Everything is stable as you can see. We don’t think we need to increase the dosage. However, he has been full of questions.”

“Has he, now? What do you wish to know brother?” Anil Sharma said, turning to his brother with a slightly feral grin. Letting his guard down a little now that his brother was there, Krish threw a bunch of questions. “You are right. Ordinarily, scientists don’t carry guns. But Saad is not just a scientist, that is one of the many hats he dons. Heck, I am not even sure Saad Ali is his real name. However I would suggest that you not try his patience because he can be quite unpleasant when he wishes to be. This is not just a research facility. This is a top secret Government one, we report directly to the Prime Minister. As for why we are here, I am not sure how much I should tell you but seeing as how you will be dead soon anyway…  I guess there is no harm in telling you. My lovely wife here has been working on techniques that allow us to not only access your innermost thoughts but even possibly, alter the state of your consciousness. You are here to test out our Thought Harvesting program. Whether those changes are permanent or not remains to be seen. Pretty cool, huh?” Anil said.

“Why?” Krish asked, taken aback. “We can use this to weed out potential terrorists, for one.” He said with a casual wave of his hand. “That is a violation of the citizens’ right to privacy. This is illegal. It is a violation of our fundamental rights as citizens of India!” Krish said, gasping out his words, because of the hand painfully pressing down on his shoulders as he tried to get up.

“When the safety of a billion people is at stake, there has to be some give and take” the man said, dismissively. In a small, totally defeated voice Krish asked “Why did you say that I would be dead soon? Do you plan on killing me?”

His brother shook his head and said with a sigh, “About a year ago, you were diagnosed with a terminal, incurable illness which leaves your brain in perfect condition even as the rest of your body starts to shut down. As a man from a military background who frequently suffered from PTSD, you were the perfect guinea pig to attempt Thought Harvesting on.”

The pieces started falling into place in his mind, but something that his brother said had Krish feeling a bit disoriented. “Wait, does this mean you planted false memories in my mind?” He asked Anil.

Anil tapped his nose, saying “Remember when you said that you knew Nirali? That was a false memory we planted in you. Can the memories be activated at will?” Anil asked, turning to Dr. Ali.

“It has to be done preferably when the person is asleep, else it could cause the individual to hallucinate severely, induce seizures or even death.”

“Do you think we can do it now with minimal damage to him?” Anil asked, ignoring his brother’s panic stricken expression. Dr. Ali nodded and took out a small device that looked like a pager. Activating it with his voice, he typed a few commands in. He then went over to the strange machine and turned the regulators on for multiple regions of the brain and pressed a button, sending a mild current of electricity to commence the manipulation of the memory trace, within the brain.

“Memories” flooded Krish’s mind with a startling rapidity that left him reeling.

A Forgotten Evening (Part Two)

It was a balmy Friday night. Young people, tourists and locals alike milled about in the streets of Byblos. Local beer was being downed by the pot and people were heartily indulging in Lebanese fare. The speakers were blasting music loudly from the karaoke stage where people drunkenly headed to the podium and sang off-key love songs, their voices thick with passion. The thin, peeling walls of the studio apartment vibrated with the thundering sounds emanating from the bar next door. It was here that Krish aka KS stood, his clammy hands clutching the envelope tightly. The big brown envelope held 15,00,000 INR in cash. Krish was nervous about this sale from the first day that his brother told him about it. His brother had a small but successful curio shop in Chandni Chowk, New Delhi. Occasionally he and Krish did overseas transactions where they personally sourced heirlooms from estate sales or individual sellers, and negotiated acquisitions between the parties. It was one such transaction that had brought Krish here. The seller wished to stay anonymous and insisted on payment in cash, which worried Krish no end. His brother however laughed off Krish’s concerns, asking him to ease up. Krish wore the carpet thin from his pacing and smiled feebly at the old woman next door who was looking at him suspiciously.

“Um… Mr. KS?” a voice sounded from behind him. He turned around quickly. The speaker was a young woman, in her late twenties. She had shoulder length hair with purple streaks in it. She wore a lavender tank top and artfully ripped jeggings with silver jewelry. In that dreary dim-lit corridor, she looked like spring come alive. The corridor seemed impossibly warm and small for the two of them.

“Hi, call me Krish” he said, and extended his hand towards her. Shaking his hand with a firm grip of her own, she said “I am Maya, I work in the curio shop downtown. My uncle sent me here because he had some unavoidable errands to run at the last minute. I hope that will be okay?” Although he had been suspicious earlier, he looked at her and found himself relax. What harm could this young woman possibly do?

“Yeah, that’s okay” he said. Ten minutes of awkward small talk later, she said “Listen, I am hungry. I know a great place here that sells the best Fattayer pastries. Do you wanna come?” He gratefully nodded even though he didn’t know what Fattayer pastries were. He tucked the envelope into his backpack and left, happy to leave the seedy apartment complex at last.

“Where are we going?” he asked, jogging to keep up with her long strides. “Souk el Akel, best street food you will ever have in your life” she replied without turning around, to look at him.

She drove through the streets with an ease that seemed effortless, the night coming alive with her words and laughter. “Are you done checking me out?” she asked suddenly. “I was not… I mean, yes I was. I apologise” he stammered. She laughed. “That’s okay, I don’t mind. Plus, you’re kinda cute” she said, patting his knee. He coloured and said nothing.

They had reached Souk el Akel. The smell of the food alone nearly brought him to his knees, his stomach growling and reminding him that it had been a long while since his last meal. It was a chaotic and intoxicating mesh of colours, textures and smells all coming together to weave the most fantastic sensory experience. They walked some distance, and finally halted at a kiosk that looked quite unimpressive, except for the huge crowd that stood in line waiting for the famous meat and feta cheese pies. Making casual conversation while they waited, he learned that she was an only child of her parents; born and educated in London till age 14, when she was orphaned. She hated moving and her new life in Byblos till one day she discovered her uncle’s antiques shop. She fell in love with the exotic items in the shop and became a shop assistant after school. The passion which she spoke with, and her tender affection for her uncle was apparent in every sentence. As they lazily munched on their Fattayer pastries, he told her how his dream of medical school was thwarted because of his father’s premature passing. After a few years of handling deliveries and client interactions, his brother promoted him to the position of Acquisitions Manager. They traversed through the cobbled pathways of the souk. He thrust his jacket at her when she rubbed her arms, and hugged herself for warmth.

“Do you want to go have something to drink?” she yelled, to make herself audible in the loud streets. He yelled back in the affirmative. She took his hand and expertly guided him through the narrow alleys packed with street food lovers. “Where are we going?” he asked her, when they reached the car. “Have you ever been to a bar here before?” she asked him. “No, didn’t have the time to. Just landed last night.” he said. “Then, I think you will like Frolic.” She said, slamming her foot on the accelerator.

Pulsating coloured lights cast lengthy shadows on the wall. Krish gazed around in wonder at the wooden walls and stone-inlaid flooring of Frolic, the massive mounds of colourful cocktails being passed around, people playing carrom in the same space as couples dancing around. Outside, there was a huge canopy filled with writhing silhouettes.  

“Tamma Tamma? This is my favourite song! Come!” Maya said, all but dragging Krish to the dance floor. Even as he danced along with the rest of them, he couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the ophidian movement of Maya’s body to the music. They danced to a few more songs and then she snuck them out towards a quieter part of the city, a six – pack in hand.

They sat in the town square near some rose bushes and drank deeply. “What is the one thing you wish you could do right now?” Maya asked him. “I want to sing. When I was standing there being tortured by that karaoke happening next door, I just wanted to go there and show them how it is done.”

“Oh yeah? Go for it then, show me” She challenged him. He stood up and started singing Un Poco Loco. She laughed and started dancing along as he sang “The way you keep me guessing, I’m nodding and I’m yessing, I’ll count it as a blessing, That I’m only Un poco loco…” He ended it, looking her squarely in the eye adding “For you.”

She clapped and whooped, adding “That was so good, man. Like, really, really good”. “I know” he said, making his magnificent Cara Delavigne – esque eyebrows dance along in a funny fashion. “Teach me how to do it!” she said, trying unsuccessfully to do it.

“Come here, learn from the master” he drunkenly beckoned her forward. No matter how hard she tried, she would laugh and raise both brows. “Not like that. Perhaps we could try this, instead” he said, placing his thumb on her brow and holding it still while the other brow lifted. “I didn’t know you had all these freckles” he said, tracing the light smattering of freckles across her face with his thumb fondly. The cheap sodium powered orange lights cast a golden glow on her countenance. The streaks in her hair stood out even more, their noses brushed up against each other and bumped foreheads slightly. They both laughed. Just as they were about to kiss, everything went black.

Flight to freedom (Part Three)

“That’s quite enough. You have made a joke of me and my work, with this.” Nirali said, her voice trembling with anger. She tossed her cap aside, and her eyes seemed to be shining in the yellow glare of the lights. Her long dark brown hair was tied up in a high ponytail, a few loose strands framing her pale, angular face in a sharp, regal way.

“I will make it up to you tonight, babe” Anil said, cupping Nirali’s cheeks. “I will fly you to the finest restaurant, take you shopping wherever you want and then, make it up to you” he said, winking and bumping shoulders with her playfully. 

“That would mean something if you actually stuck to your promises” she retorted, hiding her smile. Anil walked over to her, embraced her from behind and said “I am so sorry babe, you know the assignment I am on is really important right? If I could, I would spend all my time with you and not let you out of my sight for one damn minute.”

She rolled her eyes and extricated herself from the embrace. Anil left the room with Saad to talk privately.  Krish had an idea. He started screaming and pretended that he was having a seizure. Nirali jumped into action and freed him of the restraints that held him. As the curtain of hair masked them from Saad and Anil’s view, she said “Impressive. You have three minutes before Saad realises you faked it. Check my right back pocket.”

As she stepped away, Krish lunged into action and grabbed her, swiped the switchblade from the back pocket as she had indicated and pretended to press it against her throat. “Anil, Help!” she screamed. Anil and Saad came rushing in, guns drawn.

“Krishna, NO! Please don’t hurt her” Anil screamed with genuine terror in his voice. “If you dare take a step forward, I will slit her throat right here.” Krish yelled.

“Hands where I can see them, and stand to the side. Let us go, secure safe passage for us and I will let her go at the exit. If you try to act smart, I swear this will be the last time you see her alive.” Anil gestured to Saad to keep quiet and make way for the two of them. Krish snatched the gun from Saad’s hands and shot him in the kneecap. Saad fell to the ground, drawing breaths sharply. Just before leaving the room, Krish turned to Anil and squarely aimed the gun at Anil’s heart. Nirali closed her eyes.  She opened her eyes when she heard shots ring out and found her husband doubled on the floor clutching his testicles, howling like a maimed animal.

The duo ran through the corridor even as they heard Saad say “Target’s on the move. Block all exits. Man down, Room 214”.

“Why are you helping me?” Krish asked as they ran. “Duck!” She yelled as they both did and swerved into a narrow corridor, to avoid being hit by gunfire. “Impressive.” He said, echoing her words from earlier.

“Gee thanks” she fired back. “We don’t have much time. Listen carefully. Keep moving, take the third left. It will lead you to a trapdoor. Open the hatch, go down the flight of stairs and it will take you to an abandoned storage room. I have placed some supplies there just in case, including water and extra ammunition. Stay put till I ask you to leave. Here, take this” she said, pressing a phone into his hand.

He watched in shock as she plunged the blade into her own thigh. She let out a scream of pain, and waved him off when he came to help. He looked back helplessly at the woman bleeding out on the floor. “Godspeed” she mumbled before passing out. He took one last look at her hair fanned out around her, tinged with red before leaving the place to do as he was told.

When he reached the storage room, the shock and adrenaline wore off. He felt suddenly tired and sank to the floor. His own brother? Was he really dying? Things just didn’t make sense any more. Who was this woman who claimed to be his brother’s wife yet had helped him escape? Why had she done that? If she was really a good person, then why had she started working on a project such as Thought Harvesting? So many questions spinning around in his mind. How had she gotten entangled with his brother? Would he even get out of this building alive?

Once the whirring in his mind had slowed down, he looked around. He was filled with admiration for Maya’s foresight and tactical planning capabilities. “Nirali, NOT Maya.” He corrected himself, wondering whether in that “memory”, they had kissed. He was almost certain they had. He “remembered” the sensation of his lips placed on hers, the way she smelt of wine and spices. The feeling of holding her firm, well-rounded shoulders, his fingers getting lost in that lovely, fragrant hair. He was brought out of his reverie harshly when he heard footsteps outside.

Krish recognised the high cold voice that said “Smoke him out” as belonging to that man, Saad. He began to panic slightly as he found no way out. He was going to die there. He was conscious of a sharp stinging sensation in his eyes. He felt the phone in his pocket vibrate slightly. “Lift the loose tile and take the narrow path to the exit. Call Shrinathji and tell him I sent you”. Nirali again! “That woman is such a godsend.” Krish thought, blinking sharply. She had included a phone number. He wondered how she was and where she was. He started tapping on every tile till he found one that sounded a bit hollower in comparison to the rest. He found that when two of them were removed, it created enough of a space for a person of average size to go through to a narrow corridor. The ground began to grow warm beneath him. He moved swiftly on all fours, as he smelled smoke. Seeing the literal light at the end of the tunnel gave him hope. Having deduced that there must be a window there through which sunlight was filtering, he raised his leg and swung it hard. The glass came down crashing. He was careful to cover himself, as he crawled out of that tunnel and rolled on to the floor. Krish looked around and kissed the Earth, his eyes welling up slightly when he realised he was still alive.

“This must be the back of the Paramjyothi complex, and the exit leading to the highway.” He turned back and saw the small shed like building that he had been in, burn brightly. It was being licked by the hungry flames viciously. The flames grew taller and brighter till all he could see was a big ball of bright orange in the distance. He dialled the number she had given and waited with bated breath for a response.

“Shrinathji? Hello? Nirali gave me this number.” The man on the other end sounded like he could be about sixty or older.

“Kathmandu, two persons?” He said. Bewildered, Krish said “No, just one.” “I will send a vehicle and supplies. Text me your coordinates.” The man stated. “Yes, I will. Please hurry. I may be in some danger still.” Krish said, and the call ended with a click on the other end.

Ten minutes later, a truck with the most garish decoration came to a halt. The number plate checked out. “Mitesh?” Krish asked, before handing over the sum of money as promised. With mixed feelings as he thought of Nirali, he hopped on his ride. The truck drove for some distance before coming to a small, private hangar. There stood a man in all black attire. He was small and portly, with a fierce moustache that reminded Krish of Hercule Poirot. His gait had a honed military precision to it. Out of habit, Krish saluted the man. “Shrinath Awasthi” the man said, offering his hand with a small smile. “Pleased to make your acquaintance, Sir.” Krish shook his hand firmly.

“Why isn’t Nirali joining you?” The man demanded to know. “She will join me later, Sir. She had some things to take care of.” Krish said, sounding more confident and optimistic than he felt. Would she join him? Would she contact him ever again? All these thoughts were at the forefront of  his mind as their runt of an aeroplane took off. Scarcely believing what had transpired that day, Krish sighed as he embarked on his flight to freedom. Thinking about Maya as the plane began to gain altitude, Krish felt imbued with new zeal and a sense of purpose.

 

Girl Crush of the Day

I wish I could tell you that she was one of the most charming or beautiful or intelligent in all the land, but I’d be doing her and myself, a disservice by painting her so. She is not the most anything, but I think the people in her life will agree when I say she is pretty damn special the way she is. She prides herself on a more than healthy sense of curiosity, this colours her world view and she is frequently open to new possibilities, going in with a trusting heart and a more often than not skeptical mind that wants to believe. She has a keen mind, one that is always open to learning but will not accept anything without questioning it first. She loves the energy of certain places and people, and thrives off of it. She has tight circles, woven mutually exclusively. For them, she will do anything. Her approach to comforting a friend is more along the lines of problem solving than offering empty platitudes. She has no use for meaningless words in her dictionary, or her life. She gives her heart easily, but not her trust. Nor her respect. No, you have to earn them. But once you have earned your place in her life, she will seldom let go of you. She will stick with you when nobody else will. She will stick with you when you give up on yourself. She will infuse you with hope and practical wisdom. She will care for you. She will leave her mark on your life.

She wants to do many great and amazing things. She wants to learn archery, shooting, swimming, multiple languages, chess, write, travel and never pin herself down to a life she would have to settle for. She will however willingly put down roots when it is time, and support the dreams and aspirations of her life partner, as long as they can soar together.

She hasn’t been without setbacks. No. She has been handed her fair share of bouquets and brickbats by Life. She is attempting to take them all in stride, and treat them just the same. For now though, she just does her best to look at situations with humour or in a more philosophical light, as a moment to learn from or wonder about the cause and effect nature of a particular incident in her life, and how the ripple effect spills over to other things in her life.

Another thing you need to know about her but you will never know for she won’t flaunt it, is her spiritual beliefs and the values she holds dear to herself. She does not believe in public proclamations of faith.

She is incredibly perceptive and accepting of the duality of mankind. She identifies more with the anti-heroes than the classic heroes and heroines because she too has known the struggle. She grapples with her dark side too. She sees readily and is willing to grant to people a second chance, or even a third or fourth as long as she believes in them. She will see the good in Malfoy, as she will see the callousness of Dumbledore. Oh, and did I mention that she is a huge Potterhead?

She calls herself a writer type, she would like to write some material that challenges perceptions, and informs formative minds. She is deeply interested in people, not merely as individuals but as ideas and who they are as a product of their cumulative life experiences. It is these layers that she peels back and watches in wonder. But mind you, she will tire of you or get bored if you don’t have too many layers to you. Or if she has you figured out.

You wouldn’t know it from seeing her but she is strong and fairly agile, she has a decade or more of martial arts training. She has trained in music, though not formally. She is not a morning person but when she wakes up with a smile on her face, you can almost be certain that it is accompanied by a tune on her lips. She loves a good mystery or something to ponder upon. To her though, it is human behaviour and relationships that are sort of the ultimate puzzle. She constantly seeks to better her understanding of the two. Not only this, she is tireless in her quest for evolving into a better human being. She does have momentary lapses, for she is also human but for the most part you are requested to remember that she comes with good intentions, which may end up in flawed execution. She may be a Gryffindor but what keeps her up at night is thinking about the times when she could have acted better, said something different or even wondering if she is smart enough, capable enough. To fulfil her dreams. She is. She just has to believe in herself. She can be everything she wants to be, and more as long as she doesn’t allow herself to be crushed under the weight of the expectations of family and society. She has a streak of fierce independence and rebellion; easily distractible but few can match her single mindedness when she sets her mind to something, but seldom does something retain her fancy for long enough for her to form feasible goals around it, and then prepare a plan to “go in for the kill”, so as to speak. Speaking of which, she loves metaphors and analogies, she is unabashedly wordy. She forms really long sentences, often meandering ones; each connected to a particular (related) train of thought but more often than not, they present contradictions within themselves. Much like her.

She is a bundle of contradictions most of the time. This contrarian nature of hers mostly manifests itself in an internal struggle for self expression and what is appropriate. No, she doesn’t care about what is deemed appropriate but she would rather not hurt your feelings if she has the slightest iota of care about you. Many a time, she will laugh it off or wipe the streaking tears from her eyes as they settle on her pillow, while she is unable to sleep because of something she said to you. But she would rather process her emotions by talking it through, always even if it doesn’t always come easily to her. Perhaps with the person involved or a neutral perspective from a friend which she doesn’t realise is not always the best thing to do because a friend is only getting one side of the story and she… She is big on justice and fairness. She will root for the little guy. But she is no bleeding idealist. Indeed, some may see her as a dreamer but she is far more pragmatic than she gets credit for. Except when she is in love.

In love, she is giddy and excited. She is scared and doesn’t know how to process what she is feeling. She feels deeply. She trusts easily but fears just as easily too. In love, she is anxious yet confident. She wants to be adored and desired, both at once. She wants to have the charm of the girl next door, while exuding the sex appeal of a showgirl. She is a bit of an emotional exhibitionist when she is with the right person. There will be no lies, nor secrets.

She is fond of finding herself in others, parallels to her own character, she might compare herself one day to a lion, another day to an eagle. She may compare her life to a certain raga or a musical note, or even a particular Shakespearean play. She will try to fit as many labels on her as she can because those labels, according to her neither define her nor limit her. They are just facets of who she is. She is all these and more.

She is the flavour that if you taste once, you can never forget.

Girl Crushes – Guess Who?

A Queen whose machinations shape the fate of a powerful empire. Another, a Princess whose words would change the history of that empire forever. That woman whose grace, prowess, intelligence and beauty made the prospective Emperor bow before her. Yet another, a fierce warrior. A Goddess of unparalleled skill, chosen for the most elite of missions. One woman who is driven by duty and family, the very family that goes on to betray her. Another, driven by love. A Queen she remains, even in captivity. Living without lament for the loss of her love, his life most cruelly snatched away well before his time. The other is driven by duty and sacrifice, inspiring the Saviour to take up arms and thus, changing the trajectory of his destiny forever. Setting in motion, a chain of events that inexplicably intertwined the tales of all three women as they powerfully come together to defeat The Man.