Post-midnight ramblings

Am I child like because I believe in the magic of books like Harry Potter? Or took the Sorting on Pottermore somewhat seriously? Or the Patronus quiz(zes)? Are adults not allowed to want an escape hatch? A wonderful, fantasy land where good people triumph over more often than not bureaucracy, red tapism, sexism, nepotism and sometimes of course, downright evil? Or even a world, where the truth still prevails? Of course these are subtly woven into plots, and at other times, these themes are in-your-face. This isn’t exactly a Harry Potter appreciation post. I don’t know what this is. Post midnight ramblings, I guess. The day draws to a close, words jump and dance seductively before my eyes. They are keeping me from what I should be doing. Ideally. And yet here I am. I digress. What I want to say is, Harry Potter is so much more than a series of a fantasy world to me. I am not waiting for my Hogwarts letter. I am not waiting for any wizened old people to come and tell me I am special, and take me along on a grand, life changing adventure. How grand it would be, if that were the case but no. “Adults” swallow the reality of their existence. Therefore, shouldn’t I? All we do is to try and make things tolerable. We paint them with shades of drama, humour, escapism, even draping around ourselves tightly the satin folds of faith just to be able to not open our eyes to what states us in the face. To me, identifying as a Gryffindor itself is like a label that enables me. It is the over arching themes of these books that make them so popular. It seems open to interpretation, and that’s why every person loves it. Nobody reads the same book. Not really. Gryffindor, case in point gives me the courage to be emotionally open or vulnerable, go stand up for someone (or even myself) in small, probably unnoticed ways because these acts take courage too. It is not always all fireworks a-poppin’, all guns blazin’ and diving head first into danger. Sometimes, the courageous task can be something as simple and painful as swallowing one’s pride and admitting fault or saying sorry. Or telling someone you love them. Those words can be rusty and taste foreign on your lips if you haven’t said it in a while. Not that words mean anything, if they aren’t backed up by action. Even these could mean nothing. Words. They keep getting added to the dictionary every year. Like twerk. An unfortunate development. Then there are words like courage, kindness, honesty, empathy. Success, power, money, drive, motivation. Somewhere these two paths have to converge. May be a rainbow bridge connects these two. And I am that seeker. Eternally seeking that timeless rainbow bridge that connects these two, so that somewhere in the heart of all these I can make a place to call my own. Home.
But what is home? Is it a place to kick back and unwind? Is it something to come back to? Is it a place? Is it a person? Is it a people? The arms of a lover, or the cajoling of a mother? Where is home, in the vast expanse of this timeless, limitless universe any way? Is life a testament to the defiance of the human spirit in the face of mediocrity? An attempt to transcend the basal nature of the human race, and evolve into something else entirely? Is it an endless cycle of permits and licenses, from birth till that last breath. Whatever it is, the answer has to wait till tomorrow. My thoughts start to wander, even as the eyelids start to grow heavier. I must go now.

As I look for the perfect way to close this post, the irony of that strikes me. There isn’t a perfect closing. Not always. So here it is. The ending. The search for answers however continues…


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.

Friends and Strangers

What? Could they return to being friends? There was this weird undercurrent of… A little something else. Like a little zap that he felt when he shook hands with her at the airport. They walked out in companionable silence. He tried to fill the silence with some insipid enquiries about her flight, the flight food and she made the same enquiries about their plans for the day. She had about two days. And then she would be gone. Back to their existence, where the words would float back and forth on a screen. It was a strange friendship between kindred souls who couldn’t have grown up more differently. Differences spanning time and distance couldn’t have erased the inexplicable similarities between them. They had rounded the corner of the airport. “We will hail a cab from around that side” he pointed across the road. She suddenly felt nervous about rhe traffic. Different city, different rules. She looked at him unsurely. He moved to her right and a bit in front of her, as he guided them across safely over to the other side. She smiled in gratitude and said “Thanks”. He teased her for being a scaredy cat, and the awkwardness melted. She laughed readily, teasing him back about his insipid remarks at the airport. Soon they were chatting like the old friends that they were. Over a slice of cheesecake as he elegantly wiped at his mouth, he observed her. Her eyes seemed a bit dilated as she looked at him directly with her honest, unflinching gaze and smiled in that lazy, lopsided manner. Her cheeks had a bit of a rosy sheen to them. Interesting, he thought. He seemed to be leaning forward completely towards, fixing her with an earnest gaze that made her ears feel a bit warm. He appeared to be taking any chance he could, for their fingertips to brush. Curious, she thought. There was a point in time where all speech was suspended, and they understood perfectly without words what each wanted. “I have to go.” She said abruptly, and got up. She paid the bill directly at the counter. They walked out, side by side maintaining enough distance for a third person to walk with them, between them. “I think there is this lovely hexagonal shaped garden you would really enjoy.” He said, in a pathetic attempt to rekindle some communication between them. “I am actually feeling pretty beat, I think I will head back to the hotel now. It was nice meeting you.” She said and waved him off, as she got into a taxi.

He didn’t know why he felt so disturbed as he sat on the steps, booking his own cab home. She thought of texting him. Deciding that it was a fruitless endeavour, she put her phone on silent. The cabbie had good taste in music; she closed her eyes and enjoyed the music all the way back to her hotel. She ignored her phone that buzzed incessantly with messages. Yep. Eight messages. All from him. Upon reaching her hotel and finally lying in bed, she checked the messages. He had sent her links to some nice places in the city for her to check out. Nothing about a second meet or asking to join her. She smirked and made a decision.

“Would you like to join me?” She texted him and smiled on seeing what he sent in reply. “Yes, we would :)”

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.

Musings on writing: Circa 2010

Disclaimer: I am no creative genius and hence those who read my blogs are bound to find redundancies in my writing. I write as it flows, from my heart, so all the inexcusable errors are absolutely mine and if brought to my notice, I will amend them at once.

The writing bug bit me after a very long time and I was seized with the urge to write something. After casting around for topics in vain, I thought “Why not write about writing?”. After all writing is not something insignificant. Writing is a wonderful thing. It is not about putting pen to paper and scribbling something down. It is about stringing together seemingly meaningless words and phrases and lending meaning to them. Writing is about voicing our thoughts and innermost desires. It brings to life the dreams that have not been realised or that, which cannot be realised, the emotions, the expressions that cannot otherwise be expressed as effectively as it would turn out on paper. Writing just lends a different kind of identity to thoughts, it makes them seem more solid, more stable and lends them permanency. Having written enough about the nature of writing, I think it’s time to move on to people and their highly individualistic styles of writing.

“Can everybody write?” I wondered. Of course, anyone can jot their thoughts down on paper provided they have the patience for it. However, like I said in the earlier paragraph, that alone cannot be called writing. What is it that sets each writer apart from the other? It is their style of writing or the way they choose to express themselves. Why is it that we feel some writers’ words carry weight and are powerful tools of expression whereas some others choose to express themselves in a mellowed down or toned-down fashion? The latter is often mistaken to be dull and uninteresting as it is impassioned and lacks the intensity that the former carries. It need not always be so. The intense or passionate writing style evokes powerful emotions within the reader and the toned-down form of writing makes the reader reflect about what they have just read. Each is good in its own way.

One more thing that brings the difference between various writers is when they write, the timing they choose to write. It is often that the most brilliantly churned out pieces of literature are written at odd hours, the plot and content conceived in odd places. I personally believe that writing needs to be done when the words are flowing inside the brain, when there is the inner urge to write which pushes you to take up the pen, and that is when the writing seems lively and retains a fluid-like quality. In other cases, there are writers who take a very systematic approach with unrelenting focus, their ideas spread out across several spread sheets, steadily building upon the plot and fleshing out the characters. However, either approach works just as well as the other to fulfill the purpose of the writer.

I mentioned earlier that each writer’s style is highly individualistic. Hence there are no such things as good writers or bad writers. There are only writers who carry universal appeal and those whose appeal to a certain section of society. No writer can be criticised for their faults except for maybe factual and grammatical errors committed during writing which cannot be helped as we try our best to steer clear of these errors, but often we do end up making them anyway. Erring is after all, the trait of humans. A writer’s style rises out of the kind of person they are, the kind of environment they are in and everything else that may influence their minds and colour their thoughts. Some of us may write for the love of writing, those who consider writing their passion and like a hobby fall under this category. Then there are those who write with a purpose, the purpose of making their voice reach out to the society and spreading their message far and wide. Then there is the third category whose voices are suppressed due to various reasons and since they have a lot of pent up emotions within them they often adopt the fiery style of lashing out against their oppressors in their writings and this feeling comes across as being very strong writing. Every piece of literature has a tone and feel to it, it is accompanied by the mood that the writer was in while writing, the things on their mind making it seem like the paper is speaking to the reader. Writing truly lends character to a blank white sheet. So, if the writing is what we are, then does the writing style change with changes in our personality? That change in our personality does come across in the writing and serves to unveil the new and modified style cultivated by the writer as their own personality undergoes many transformations.

It is up to us to choose what kind of writing style to adopt while writing and what style of writing to read. However, it’s my opinion that it is best to be well acquainted with both forms of writing. That way we get to truly experience the best of both worlds and its only then that we feel enriched. One must not stick to one style of writing alone. We need to keep experimenting. After all, isn’t variety supposed to be the spice of life?



(I am attempting to write a story daily, usually veering towards short fiction with a plot prompt or word of the day given by a friend. The word prompts for this story were: Obstreperous, and pernicious.)

Little Lonia was a very knowledgeable six-year-old. There was a heady mix of bleakness and optimism about her, her knowledge and air of superciliousness, which made her a loner. The Sisters at Good Hope Orphanage worried about her. Each time, one of her “friends” was chosen for a home, a Sister would pat her hand and mistakenly offer comfort. She didn’t need them, as long as she had Max, the old English sheep dog that bounded joyfully around her. He was quite an obstreperous boy, that one. He came with shaggy, matted fur, he smelled funny at times and his energy was really out of control. But he calmed down around her. They were good for each other, the Sisters observed and let the unique bond be. They knew it could be pernicious to take away Max from a child who had already lost so much. Her mother, her father and her legs in 1939, when the Nazis had bombed her home. A network of refugees had found the girl crying clutching her deceased mother’s blown off head and a piece of her own, bloody stump. At great risk to her own life, Sister Agatha had brought the child out of Poland; to the home and began caring for the girl as one of their own. There was a strange, unholy light in the girl’s eyes. One she hoped could be beat out figuratively with a mix of service, prayer, love and compassion. The girl was unresponsive at first, but perked up when she first heard that old, almost blind sheep dog. They had very nearly opted to put Max to sleep, but after seeing how much it helped the poor child, they decided to let them be. After all, they were family. And family meant never letting go of the ones we love. Besides, nobody would suspect a physically handicapped child of having a ton of explosives strapped to her chest, and she would get easy access through Parliament. Mother Superior smiled coldly and began to put the plan into action to shake up the system and make themselves heard, and eventually have a representative of their own in office. Insidious, yet ingenious.

The First Match – A Harry Potter fan fiction

Droplets of rain fell hard from an inky, streaked sky. He performed Impervius on Nott, and Zabini. He looked out into the roaring crowd, that seemed more angry than excited. The top box was full. His auntie was dressed smartly and her hand rested on top of that of her new husband, who had eschewed his usual terror inducing robes, for a smarter set from Madame Malkin’s, with a matching cane with the family crest embroidered on to the breast pocket of both members. He felt his bile rise a little, he was going to be sick. He chanced a glance at the opposite team. They looked pale, hungry and tortured. As they had been. And yet, there was a fire burning in the eyes of every last one of them. His eyes rested a moment longer on the two youngest members of the Weasley family, who had already lost so much. A brother, a friend, a lover. They would lose so much more after tonight’s match if Lord Voldemort had his way. The youngest Weasley clad in Potter’s numbers, she wore her heart on her sleeve. Her face was contorted in a cruel, condescending manner as she looked straight past him, making deadly slicing gestures at him and his team mates. He tried to look contrite or send some sort of sign that this was not how he wanted things to end. He would much rather have preferred for Potter to have survived that night, too. But the fact of the matter was that Lord Voldemort had won. He had arranged this Quidditch match, for his personal amusement and that of his new bride. Just as much as Weasley had her stakes, he had his too. His mother had been locked away in their basement. His eyes shut briefly, tuning out the screams. His jaw was set, he barked out orders and strode on to the pitch. The storm had come out in full force. He shook hands aggressively with Weasley, who had been appointed as the team captain. “Good luck” he mouthed, not sure if the boy saw it or not. And, then they were off into the air.
Ninety minutes of illegal jinxes flying thick through the air, a near Crucio-ed team and they still didn’t give up. They wanted to win back Hogwarts, they wanted to win for the memory of Potter. Lord Voldemort had promised the school freedom if the Gryffindor team were able to defeat his own. There was a purple light, and a slash appeared on Peake, crimson blossoming and being camouflaged by Peake’s robes. He cast an Impedimenta surreptitiously as the boy fell more than fifty feet through the air. He looked at Weasley, whose flashing eyes softened just for a moment as she realised what he had done for their team. Seizing the moment, he dove in right beside her and grabbed the Golden Snitch, that was fluttering desperately as if to get away from him. His eyes closed briefly as his hands closed in on it. He looked at her eyes that had gone hard, and took the call to let the ball slip through his fingers. Shouts of “NO, Draco!” were heard from the solid wall of green beneath him. He imperceptibly nodded at a shocked Weasley, who gave a small crooked smile of her own and gave chase once again to the Golden Snitch.
It was a hard won victory but Gryffindor won despite Draco ultimately securing the Golden Snitch. He was sitting amidst the ruins when he heard soft footfalls. He looked up, when he saw Granger. “I want to tell you that I understand. I know what you did for the team. You aren’t as bad as I thought, if you want to join the resistance.. here you go” she said, pressing a shiny coin into his hand. She was off once more before he could say anything to her, warn her about how dangerous it could be for her if someone had seen her there; or even contemplated the dangers for both of them being seen together. The wind was whipping her hair around in an unfathomable fashion even as she walked away. He looked at the coin engraved with a lightning bolt symbol, cast Geminio on it and put the lot in his pocket, suddenly feeling lighter as he walked away from there.