Embrace You !

6

She floated on the shimmering aqua blue waters surrounding the island. The sun was shining bright, up in the morning sky, as if telling her he was there, watching, giving her company and the winds that blew upto to her face ,kissing her lips gently and the water holding her afloat as if she was a piece of wood, dancing to the tunes of the waves in symphony with the string of the thoughts in her head. She was slowly feeling how peaceful it was to let go. To let her mind switch off and be in that innermost circle of herself, conscious and even more aware of what’s happening to her heart and body.

As the waves did their job and swayed her in a different direction each time, she knew it must feel exactly like this to not be in charge all the time and giving up control that gave her the comfort she thought it did, was only a constant trigger to all the headaches that precipitated for so many nights in the past few years. She thought of the moment that led her here and how she vulnerable and weak she felt in that moment. She had been so clear in her choices and motivated to make it big in her own perfect sense, and how hard it was to put every ounce of her energy to bounce back with the same zeal every time she experienced a knockout. She wished she could give it all up. She wished she could muster enough will to get away and come back, or not. She wished to sail, and look at the mountains, and sleep under the starry sky, and eat when she felt hungry and wander when she had the whole day to herself. She grew up reading about people who were wanderers in thought and in action, who took charge of their lives and did only what they believed in without faltering. In her heart she could feel the ache when she had to keep her wings curled and the happiness that would soar when she grabbed her opportunities to fly.

The sun was beginning to get warmer and her swaying was getting more comfortable. Her eyes were closed and in her mind she could see the glimpses of every important piece of her life and what it did to her. She smiled when she saw a much younger her, picturing a perfect life that she hoped to live and the time she spent in making it a reality. How her family and friends stood by her in times of thick and thin irrespective of whether they were in agreement with her choice or not. She sensed the water accommodating her as she was and a wave of gratitude surged inside her chest. She felt grateful for the warmth and the support she received from them. She also remembered the times when she strived to balance the two very important sides of her life then. Often more than not, she was beginning to feel different about her connection with herself and others, and she couldn’t fathom why.

May be it’s a passing phase, there are things that happen to you when your body ages and mind doesn’t and coming to terms with that could be very painful. That’s what she thought it was about .By then she found herself feeling avulsed to social gatherings, and timely catching up on pals, she would spend the weekend at her apartment all by herself spending more time in the bath, reading in the tub with hot chocolate by her side all the time and cooking only when she felt like her tummy grumbled. She was so oddly at ease with this new adopted weekends with herself that it was pure bliss until she found herself answering questions which no longer made sense to her. She would go through her day at work like before but there something different about her demeanor. She could feel it. But she was not able to pin it down.

She began feeling a sense of restlessness that did not go away with sleep, sugar, or even alcohol. Everything seemed okay on the outside, but the insides did not match up. One night she lay awake in her bed, her thoughts consumed with fictional characters from the stories she read. There was one common factor in all stories she read, which was passion, be it for dance, country, partner, life, poetry. A driving force that refused to die irrespective of the challenges that the characters faced and she began to draw similarities and differences in those stories and hers. This moment that she was floating on water without moving or winking her eye, was so much like a story in itself to her.

It was exactly in this moment that she knew she had to read all the way to the last chapter to know what happened in the end! She had been doing this all the while and it was only now that it came to her awareness.  This realization brought out a sense of relief and a layered calmness that touched her all over her body and head in form of waves, taking something from her and giving back much more!

In that moment she knew she had the strength to wait a little more longer to persue what she wholeheartedly desired, and she had the courage to give up stuff that didn’t excite her anymore and above all, she loved herself too much to let the happenings in life let her down.

The rest of the day was spent in the water and on the sand, looking at the seagulls in the distance, watching them take flight and flock together and rise to reach the sun!

 

– Charmi Gada

8th March 2017

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Fear of Change

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She was standing at the window, looking at the night sky. The moon was radiant, crescent , with a faint tinge of yellow envelope around, the clouds seemed ready to encroach upon the moon, maybe they were just waiting for their time. The smoke from her cigarette hazed the view every time she took a puff, she looked up just in time to see the dark grey clouds cover the moon, but that couldn’t dim the brightness underneath. She sighed. Millions of thoughts were running in her head and she couldn’t slow them down. She downed her glass of red wine in a single sip and kept standing at the window, gazing out, looking at the dim yellow lights that covered a vast expanse of the city in front of her. It was past midnight, not many cars were seen passing by, and yet there was a constant cacophony that nagged her. She raised herself on her toes and tilted her head out of the window , trying to spot the cause of the dissonance. All she could see was a couple having what appeared to be a heated conversation in the middle of the night ,out on a pavement. She shook her head, and got back inside after stashing the bud. Her room was small and cozy, and looked like an artist’s den. It had a reflection of every form of art by the virtue of the artefacts ,paintings, tastefully chosen wood works, a crisp, attractive color on the walls and the minimal furniture. Yellow lights brilliantly made a boundary to her favorite piece of writing on the wall, it read,’’Magic happens when we don’t give up, even when we want to”.

Exactly on this day, three years back, she had chosen to walk free. Walk free of the burden she felt in her head. Walk free of the weight she seemed to have carried for so long. The weight of her own dreams. The chase to make it somewhere on the wall, the battle to stand out , the war she fought with herself, to pick that one thing that felt right for her. Walk free from the sleepless nights spent ruminating over ideas, reasoning and filling places for others. Nothing stopped her from making those choices, and nothing stopped her from walking free, even then. She was happy, she had everything one could possibly ask for, and yet there was a deep sense of restlessness that sprung back time and again, and she couldn’t fathom why. One day, she was idling through facebook when she randomly found a test that said find out what are you most afraid of. Since she had nothing much to do, she clicked on let’s play. The word play caught her attention, and she felt odd about it. Intrigued, she went on and answered all the questions that the test asked her to. Eager as she was to see what pops up in the results, she was sure it would be silly nonetheless. It took about a minute for the result to buffer, and she was taken aback with those 6 letters staring at her boldly! The result read, You are afraid of CHANGE.

A plain stupid game, played to while away time ,suddenly created so much chaos. The person that she was, confident,outgoing, extrovert, ambitious and free at heart and head without a doubt, couldn’t digest those 5 words. She thought about herself, and tried to relate it to her answer, then shook her head and went to sleep. It was that night that kept stirring in her head today. Ever since those 5 words came together, consciously or subconsciously she found herself in situations that hinted her fear more strongly than ever before. Over time she accepted her fear which was rooted deep. She now knew what caused her restlessness. She kept talking about taking a plunge and exploring a different side of life that she always craved for, but it was this very own fear of change, that kept holding her down. Now that she knew it,she also knew the only one who could do something about it was no-one else other than her! She took her time to arrive at a state of final readiness. The state of being okay with letting it all go, that everything was going be okay, one way or the other. And since then she never felt any weight downing her. Her wild dreams and never ending list of to do’s have only grew in magnitude and craziness and it was no longer scary.

As she poured more wine in her glass, she thought,” There were times when I said, i wouldn’t change ever. I did. And I denied that I did. What i am now is the result of that transformation. I always knew where my true self is. Sometimes, it just helps to clear the mess in my head and drop the curtains of resentment, anger, guilt, expectations, ego and embrace acceptance and gratitude. I deeply wish for everyone in a similar chaos, with an unconditional hope, that one day you are able to overcome the humanly elevated levels of not so required emotions and make peace with yourself.”  She lighted a fresh cigarette, sipped her wine and gazed out of the window, the moon shining back again.

– Charmi Gada

8th December, 2016

Across The Great Divide

road-divide

 

I saw her standing on the other side of the road. Dressed in a pink and white punjabi suit, long luscious hair left open, waving for a rick to stop by, she still looked the same. Cute, a little more plump perhaps, but radiating with glow. She had a duffel bag resting on her shoulder, her face said her workout at the gym went well.  I was walking on the other side of the road, talking aloud as a routine, hunting for some bread for dinner. My hands were full with bags, and I was lost in my trail of thoughts ,when from a distance I noticed a familiar figure waving out for a ride. I stopped, looked at her from where I was standing, and a dozen thousand memories came flashing back to me. My gut was churning inside, rumbling to me to cross over the divider blocks that stood in the middle of the road, and tell her I missed her.

As my right leg wanted to take that step, the left one firmly held back. She hadn’t noticed me yet, and I thought this was a chance to let things be. My head started reasoning at the first opportunity it got, let bygones be bygones. We did not speak in the last four years, how much would it matter to add a day or a few more to the list? I turned direction, and began walking with bigger , firmer strides, as if I was running away from a situation I desperately wanted to avoid. It just left me outright uncomfortable. I felt nervous, anxious and sad. What makes us not want to take that first step? Why did I assume so much power in those divider blocks to not make me cross over? Wasn’t I the same old myself who would scream across from the other side and cause vehicles to stop only because I saw some old friend on the other side, and I had go and talk!

Why not now ? While one part of me was trying to think like an adult, other part of me was reasoning with me like a child. I bet, I saw a negotiation coming. I said to myself , I will go ahead and run the errand at hand, and when I am back, if I still see her standing on the other side, I will cross over. I guess I was just buying time. I wasn’t ready for that confrontation. The next five minutes buzzed past in a blur with a flurry of thoughts. It was time to head back, I almost found myself to be hopeful of her still being there. I wanted to do it so badly. Why did I even think I could kid myself into a stupid candy like this. My legs took me back faster than they would otherwise, and I skipped a beat when I saw the same familiar figure still waiting .

I had this huge four lane road right in front with those blocks that separate vehicles moving in opposite directions, but it also had enough space at one junction for a crossover and a U turn! A simple line, the first thing we learn at school, has so much power of what it could do when we begin to give different meanings to it. Our mind is conditioned to see a line as a boundary, and when you hear the word Boundary, you know you are taught not to cross it , when deep inside what you really want to do is, just jump over and enjoy the view from the other side too !

I smiled when I realised this. Boundaries don’t stop me, they never have, they never will. A plain divider on the road is not taking the blame for the boundary I have in my head, and I don’t like missing my chance of making up. I wanted to kick myself in the butt for not crossing over for the last four years. They say, better late than never. I took that U turn to the other side of the road, and walked straight at her. Her back was on my side, and just when I was within the reaching distance a rick stopped by for her. I jumped in and said, “ Will you miss this one too ??” She nodded and waved the rick away and engulfed me in a bear hug, “You are still the  same.” “I very much am, and so are you.”  In the next hour that followed, we were teleported to some distant place, where nothing could stop us chatting away, unaware of the time or place!

We promised to catch up soon, after all we wish to make up for all the time lost. Honestly I don’t know when and if that will happen, and it wouldn’t bother me if it doesn’t. At this point in time, I am just ever so glad that I did trust my gut, and did what I really wanted to . Did I not have a chance to that before? May be I had, I did not take it then. I took it now, and I took it without expecting from myself or her. Life has its own beautiful way of transference, and it keeps hinting it to me all the time.

After all across the great divide is who you truly are!

 

– Charmi Gada

5th October 2016

 

The Intersection

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“Now that we are here, I wish to make a confession”, she said, her voice crisp and clear, no pretense neither an overflow of sentiments. Ever since I experienced that first bolt of attraction, I have had only one person who has managed to be on my mind since my tenth grade. That was one of my mathematics professors. I experienced that for a decade straight, and inspite of my relationships, whatever I felt for him never ceased. And now i seem to be experiencing a similar state in my head, where You are constantly present.  When we met a year ago, I thought it was stuff that happens when you meet someone out of the blue and connect immediately. You find yourself drawn to that energy in a very powerful way and that settles with time. But you stayed. I tried to decode what this feeling was, and after a few months I realized the effort was futile. There are times when you have to let things be. You have been on my head ever since I first conversed with you. I find myself thinking about you every time I feel i wish to share a moment, feeling, experience, thought. Inspite of this feeling being so strong, I have also felt the need to be conscious in my conversations with you. I am highly aware of the fact that I am not expecting of you, and that knowledge has now eased in on me. I do not wish for us to head in any direction, or have emotional implications owing to one another and yet there is a hook. I want you to know about this feeling which sits deep inside me, I don’t have a name for it, nor do I intend to give it one. There were times I role played with myself on how I would voice it to you, and now, in this moment that I am doing it, I am content that I went with the flow, I did not plan on doing this tonight and I was able to tell you the naked truth without shying away from reality. And at this point I would like to draw your attention to the fact that if some day, I behave on an impulse, please ask me to bugger off.”

He was lying on the bed beside her, patiently listening to her revelations. The room was pitch dark and quiet, even their whispers seemed to echo, and there wasn’t a flicker of expression on his face. His whole demeanor was attentive and calm. He softly said, “Give me an example of your impulsiveness”, to which she stated,” It could be  a simple statement of me calling you and saying, hey i expected you to call”. I request you to not attend to any of such behaviors If I may relay them to you at any point in time. At no cost do I wish to cause you discomfort, or create a vacuum between whatever it is that we share”.

He smiled his wholesome smile and started speaking,” I am full of gratitude at this moment, for the way you have shared what you feel with such ease and grace. You are an amazing person with a beautiful soul, and I am happy to have met you. You and me both are very strong people, we are like the ocean, we come from an immensely high state of energy and we are meant to give. Give to others what they don’t have. If two energies of our magnitude were to meet, they would end up getting wasted, instead of illuminating lives. The combined energy would be powerful enough to break. They would break both of us . We should never be in a relationship, we would ruin each other. We are both travelers, leading our independent paths, our paths may intersect like now, in this moment, in the year that’s passed, but they are not meant to conjoin. Our destinies are different, our journeys are different. Whenever we intersect again, we will have a great time and head back in our own worlds. You have an amazing potential and the gift to give. I wish for the universe to give you the power to give, grow, mature, and some day find a companion who gives you back what you deserve. I wish for the universe to give you that power to stand up for what you have always aspired, to take charge of life the way you want to, and create a space that you have always dreamed of for yourself. I don’t see all this happening if we were to conjoin. And yet I am always going to cherish your presence and I hope you will too.

Through the darkness, she looked at him and pulled him closer. Kissed him on his cheeks and said,” I am happy I chose to do this in person, and not over a phone call”. I have never thought of a relationship with you, neither do I intend to have one, but I always did think of saying what I said, just that I did not know myself it would happen this soon, and in this way. They say you meet the people you meet for a reason. I haven’t been able to figure out why did we meet, but I am glad we did. For now, your consistent presence makes me feel good , it doesn’t make me realize a need for verbatim, or physical presence or emotional satiation. It’s not started bothering my heart or mind yet, and I would be happy to let it be that way till it doesn’t affect me. He nodded his head, and said,” You need to let go of that presence. Spend more time with yourself, pull the thing on your head apart and realize how it would be to not have something on your head at all. Steer clear off that heaviness. Perhaps, you will discover wonders.” “ I may, she said, from my perspective, its done me more good than bad so far, and I will consciously unlearn that state, when it begins to bother me. Till then I am going to have fun with it. But I also want you to know again , I am not expecting of you, I never was, I never will. I do not wish to crumble whatever connect we share. And he suggested,” If your impulse makes a show, we will take that moment very very very lightly, and I will tell you then, dude you need to snap out of this and hang up! She said, Yes feel free to do that right on my face and I would oblige!

No one spoke for sometime. They kept looking at each other, each trying to live that moment and take in what got exchanged in those minutes. In the same instance, they pulled in closer, kissed a longest kiss they ever had, and slept in a cuddle only to wake up with a good morning kiss, and a nod in a silent acknowledgement of what transpired the previous night, more aware of each other as individuals, more aware of their individual selves, their journeys, and the paths they had crafted for themselves. In this journey of their lives, their paths intersected once, and now they are free. Free to unfold, free to craft, free to design, and free to intersect again, if they may choose !

 

Charmi Gada

7th August 2016

 

A RENDEVOUS WITH ICECREAM

butterscotch-icecream-.-desserts.-recipesatclick1

I finally stirred at around 10 in the morning, not wanting to wake up and move my limbs from the lethargy that lay deep within me. The glass on my window had an intricate pattern of raindrops seemingly plastered on them, and it was mighty dark outside. Had it not been for the alarm, I surely wouldn’t have realized it was morning and mistaken it to be my afternoon siesta. I tossed in the bed for a few minutes more and a whiff of petrichor evoked millions of thoughts in my head. It was my day off work, and I was all set to be home and laze off all day long on the couch, switching channels , and watching random programs mindlessly. Not having timelines to meet, and worrying about delayed trains was surely relaxing. I quickly fixed my tea and breakfast, once my feet stopped feeling numb. The whole process reminded me of so many books I had read, which would describe a similar morning with the protagonist behaving all dazed and disinterested in the happenings of the world. I moved about in the house trying to find a spot which I could cave in for the rest of the day. I began with the bathroom. I love being in there, under the cold shower, singing along my favorite tunes, but I realized too soon that this was going to be a long day, and I would get hungry soon.

Next was the kitchen and I felt like making Ice-cream at noon and I set to work. The flavor, coloring agents, cream, beating machine never seemed to make so much of a difference when I would gulp down a monster scoop atleast twice every week!! I loved to look at the patterns that were formed when I used the beater to whip the cream and in that moment, i realized life was so similar to what I was seeing in front of my eyes! Imagine yourself to be the cream, plain white, smooth, bland, ready to fit in any container, and out of nowhere you meet someone, like the color and the flavor drops I poured in the mix. And then life tosses you like the beater, churning you inside out, whipping you in with those drops, like people that add color and flavor to your life. You can literally see the way it blends. Each twist and turn brings out a different shade and fragrance, but you are so blinded with the joy of those patterns that you seem to forget, you may not be the same plain cream again! Its so much a choice of allowing that change, slow, joyous, fun, colorful, romantic, and every adjective that makes you feel you are different , and this wonderful notion called Life is happening to you. I began wondering how conscious or not, was I in selecting these flavors for myself. I surely would have overlooked the consequences of my selections, for i had so many colors in my ice-cream called Life. And each one was thoroughly relished, I smiled at myself.  As kid I came across a saying ,” Enjoy your icecream before it melts”, and it’s only now that I could literally see it transferring to life.  That’s the transference piece is what a facilitator would call it J !

Damn, it’s rather funny to drift away in a whirlpool of thoughts, courtesy to a process that began on a whim! So this time around, I consciously chose two flavors, coffee with chocolate chips in a squarish box, more cause it fit the quantity first, and of course it looked simply perfect later, and good old butterscotch, in a rectangular box, only because I did not want to engage a new one! Old habits are hard to change, but the trial does become joyous with a heightened awareness of what it’s doing to you.

The remainder of the day, passed by the window, flapping legs to the tunes of the downpour, the bluetooth speaker playing music, yellow lights creating a soothing mood and finally the icecream, creamy , smooth and amazingly tasty, melting in my scoop!

 

–  Charmi Gada
21 June 2016

 

THE SPACE

A bird is reflected in a bicycle mirror in Amsterdam. (NOT FOR SALE IN THE US)

THE SPACE

Its almost imaginary, like my brain defining a boundary that doesn’t really exist. Its like an aura, radiating energy and brightness all around. This brightness isn’t blindening. Its an awakening of sorts, from a deep slumber, from years of hibernation. Its like a magnet, drawing me towards it with intimacy and luring me into its charm. Its a bed of roses, soft and verve against my skin, with thorns pricking in at just the right places that it doesn’t really pain. It only questions my position. Its an ocean, with a huge amount of action happening just a few feet away from where I am standing on the shore, and as i raise my glance towards the horizon, I see that hint of a line that separates, or may be not, the water and the skies.

This space invites me to realize my naked truths about myself, to share without fear, to attempt with purpose, to plan and execute, to challenge myself in places I feel most comfortable in, to allow a turbulence that makes me want to take a pause from the maddening pace of my life. The generosity of this space allows to take it with me, inside me, wherever I go. Its almost effortless. Its like I am carrying a fifth dimenision within myself, its surrounding me so subtly that its become one with me!

From the outside, it looks like a school building, multi-storeyed, made up of cement and bricks and iron rods, concrete structures that guarantee physical safety, being on the 6th floor kinda generates a feeling of power, within myself, for myself. The power to allow a transformation. Slowly and steadily. The door to this space is seemingly wooden and strong, which opens only after walking a narrow passage and when you enter through the door, something changes. Its the core of that space. Of course it has walls, and chairs and tables and electronic gadgets which defines it physically, and yet it makes me feel “at home”.

I often ask myself, how many times have I felt similarly? And my mind tells me I am not really looking for an answer from my past. I am absolutely basking in the glory of this moment. By just being here. By being with people who make me feel everything inside me come alive! The co-existence of more knowledgeable others around me has created a beautiful transference in many ways. And this what this space does to me. I want to keep coming back to it.

Its like a pinch of salt, an ingredient I wouldn’t want to miss in my journey with myself.

Charmi Gada

12th October 2015