Knock on Wood

It’s been 5 years since 2008. When I counted how many years it has been on my fingers when I was half-asleep I had to wake myself up. Really? I said to myself. 5 years of blogging. How vela have I been?

So, this is the post where I recount how wonderful this year has been and celebrate whatever it has come to. You know all those year-end posts which sum up the year and say nice things? I am not so sure if I can do that. To be candid, I have spent this whole year with an overwhelming sense of immobility. I have just been around and watched my life go nowhere. So much so that after a point I didn’t even make an effort. I vegetated, watched everyone hobble and get up, take flight and smile, and even fall and cry. I have also spent this year feeling worthless. Yes, you read that correctly. I have felt of little or no use and not loved. That’s as honest as honest can get. Suffice to say that 2013 has been, probably, the worst year of this small life of mine. I didn’t even wish for this year to end so that it can take all this stale and negative feeling away. I am not beguiled by the gilded promises of a New Year Eve, the turning over of a new leaf with a new year and all that jazz. I believe that it is just a day on the calendar when we fool ourselves, very strategically, that the new year is going to change us and be different from the last. No, that’s not happening. Nothing is going to change us, except ourselves, and you don’t need New Year’s Eve for that.

So, as this blogoversary came closer I sifted my mind for what I thought would be useful to write about, and beautiful. (In case no one has noticed, ‘beautiful’ is my favourite word of the English language.) I can be morose and irreparable, but what’s the point, really? None. Like I said in a recent “interview” I am a very hopeful person. So, there has to be something that made this year worthwhile, the proverbial ‘silver lining’ of the cloud. To my surprise, I have been watching this year more closely than I anticipated and I have learnt a few things for myself. It has not been active learning, it has been induced. You know how you tend to mature while you don’t notice? Something like that. Here’s a list I have made for myself.

You don’t belong to anyone. You belong to yourself.
There is no merit in believing that your life is yours to give it away, to parents, to siblings, to a lover, to the public, to the government or to anyone for that matter. You can’t go around believing that your life belongs to your parents because they brought you in this world. Or to your siblings because that’s what family is. Or to your lover/spouse because that’s what true love is. No. You belong to yourself. You’re unto yourself. And you’re answerable to yourself. If you can’t exalt your own being, there is no point in anything else. That doesn’t mean being selfish. It just means being self-aware. You need yourself before anyone else needs you.

Life is a bitch-fight.
I would say life is a dog-fight, but bitch sounds meaner. You’ve got to be a bitch. Let’s not confuse this with ‘people’ are bitches. Life is the bitch, and we’re all in this together. So, all those times when your parents and every adult said “wait till you grow up, you’ll see how tough life is,” sadly, all of that is true. It’s every bit unyielding, every bit unrelenting, every bit unfair that they said it would be. The challenge, here, really, is how much of a bitch are you? Not to everyone else around you. To life. How tough are you? How stubborn are you? Life is going to take you down (because you will die) but how hard are you going to fight? And how are you going to win?

Your existence is pointless.
On a large enough time-scale your small little existence doesn’t matter at all. Many would say this is depressing, but I find this hugely liberating. Technically, the past doesn’t matter nor does the future, so how valuable is the present day? And what should stop me from being happy today? Whatever I do, on a large enough time span won’t matter. So, how great can I be? How good can I be? How much can I push myself? How exalted I can live? Think about it.

What people say means naught. What they do means everything.
I have really come to believe all of us are trying to cope with whatever comes at us the best we can. But then, when it comes to going out there and doing something, the people who actually do something are far less than those who talk. Even when it comes to being there for someone. Some people just sit there and listen to you, while some get up off their seats and put an arm around your shoulder. The surest test of a person’s mettle is to just watch what they do, and how they do it. Talk is cheap.

The same goes for you.

Heroes fail too.
Sadly, this is the most hard hitting and painful one. Yes, your heroes will fail. So don’t turn them into demi-gods. Period.

Never miss an opportunity to make a friend.
No matter how old you are, always keep the doors of your heart open for a new friend. Impermanence is a reality. Not all your friends will be around you all your life. Friends make life worth the while. Sometimes, some friends become family. But life comes in phases, and you need friends in every phase. So, never hesitate to make one.

Everyone is fighting a hard enough battle. Make it easy for everyone.
This one is really easy. 1. Life is a bitch. To everyone. 2. Everyone has similar battles. Therefore, be kind.

Be open to new ideas, culture, food, and realise that actually you know nothing.
I’ve spent a lot of time this year interacting with people who are so different from me that it’s crazy how I could even get along. They are dissimilar than me in so many ways. Nothing coincides — the ideology, food eating habits, reading habits, ideas of excursion — all are vastly different. But then, both sides had to come half-way. There are so many people you’ll meet in your life who will be nothing like you and you will have to co-exist, so what will you do? Simple, keep an open mind. And frankly, being open to anything that is outside your comfort zone is not scary, it is exhilarating. And you will realise, how, in reality, you know nothing.

Yourself. And others. Forgive.

You never get anywhere worth being, alone.
So, all this talk about life being a solitary journey and all that is very well. But if you have to get to a certain place, lots of people who love you or believe in you will help you get there. Sure your journey is your own. But then, when you need a hand up, you need people around you. I read a quote once, which I paraphrase because I can’t find it. It said something to the effect that we’re all one-winged birds, and without someone else’s wing, we cannot fly. Spoke volumes in just two lines.

Enjoy yourself.
Again, this is simple math. 1. None of this matters. 2. Your life is way too short. So, enjoy yourself.

Among all these things, there are some things I am very grateful for. Really. Family, friends, soulmate, a job that pays, and health. All of this. But specifically, I am grateful for this year for being so fucking trying and that I did survive it. I am happy to be a part of a crazily kick-ass book club where I met some wonderful people, and having maintained a flourishing book-review blog. I may not have written much here, but I wrote a lot there. Must say, I am proud to be a Bookhad. I am beholden for reading some emancipating literature that makes me want to write again. For a bike ride in the rain. For a friend who always knows when to make me smile. For a great sister. For another friend who is a silent rock. For my very own SamWise Gamgee. For the person who always forgives my temper, and who teaches me that calmness is a virtue.

Peace to everyone.

Happy 5th blogoversary to me.


17 thoughts on “Knock on Wood

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  1. Happy Blogsovery to you! It takes sheer determination and commitment to relentlessly blog for five years. A very honest post. I have known you for barely 7-8 months now, even then I cannot agree with the useless/worthless wala feel. You do so much! I wish I had your kind of energy to build something like Bookhad or maintain that kind of enthusiasm!


  2. I agree with some of your points that-“Talk is cheap” and “You never get anywhere worth being, alone”.But do not agree that “your existence is pointless” but again as you have written that you should be open to new thoughts and ideas and see point from his point of view, as you have ended in Bookhad interview with quote of Harper Lee.Still I would be waiting for a blogs from “vela” in upcoming year and wish you have to struggle in what you have called “bitch fight”.:P


  3. Happy Blogoversary! That was a beautiful post.

    Seeing this – “You never get anywhere worth being, alone.”
    Reminded me of this old African proverb – “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

    All the best, Sameen! And a very happy new year 🙂


    1. Like I mentioned in the post, “I can be morose and irreparable, but what’s the point, really?”

      Thanks for the mubarakbad. 🙂


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