All the Little Lights

I have a 10-piece Steadtler colored pens box, which when turned the right way, turns into a pen stand. It’s so simple, it’s God-damn genius. Just that I misplaced the pink color pen while at an event in office. I try not to think about it as the incompleteness of the box is gnawing to my obsessive self. I’m not okay with losing stationery. Absolutely, not. If anyone’s secretly pining to gift me something I might adore, here’s a link with suggestions 25 Present for People Who Love Stationery. Not that that’s ever happened that some Internet followers have sent me gifts, but why not put it out there? The link to my Amazon’s public wish list might feature on the blog, soon. Or perhaps not.

Much to Faye’s chagrin, I have read 8 books since Jan, which makes it a book a week. I don’t expect to read 52 books in 2016. I have stopped fooling myself into misbelieiving my own shortcomings. If that makes any sense. Currently, I am reading Manto – oh hell, yes, finally, what-took-you-so-long – Manto. I find it ironical that Wikipedia calls him a Pakistani writer when he was actually living and writing in Bombay the book titled Bombay Stories. Also, he was born in Punjab. (This is the point where I leave the rest to the reader’s own curiosity or the lack of it given the current Indian situation.) But here’s the thing. I don’t know if I may be able to read more than enough of Manto. The crudeness of his stories makes me shift a little. Of course, I have to admit to be an open-minded, liberal, feminist, equalist, egalitarian, yada yada…and more to be accepted on the Internet. But come on, reading Manto isn’t easy. And that’s fine because writing should get under your skin.

As should some other things that make you uncomfortable.

In the past month though I have not blogged, I have contributed to the blessing of my own existence. I’ve come so far as calling it a blessing, which is proof enough. The other day I went to our family GP to ask her why I was so dizzy lately. Because, well, telling myself that the weather has made a sudden 180 degree will never work. (I can be paranoid about my mortality.) So, here I am telling her that I’ve been eating an egg a day, leafy vegetables, fish, too, and even my periods are on time waiting to hear that very thing which is going to cure me. She simply asks me to drink 3 litres of water a day and pushes me along. I pay the money and think of Catherine Zeta Jones.

In the movie No Reservations, there’s a scene where Kate (Zeta Jones) asks her therapist what can she do to ensure that her bereaved niece eats food. The therapist asks her to make something that children relate to, something familiar. “Like Fish and Chips. You know Fish and Chips?” he asks. And Kate stares at him blankly for a while. Then, being the masterchef that she is, she says, “Of course I know Fish and Chips. I just can’t believe I am paying for this advice.”

Yep. That’s exactly how I felt, too.

So now as I refill my magenta bottle over and over, I try to remember the actual thing that hit home that night. Whatever I need is right by my side.

Water. Water solves everything.

I kid you not. Civilizations have lived alongside water and died from the lack of it. But see? The futility of repeating something you already know doesn’t help. Only when you pay someone to tell you that, it is suddenly gospel truth.

Did I ever mention on this blog that I am observing Lent this year? I will not make this into a restoration-of-faith activity, but some incidents have made me re-center myself. Like remember the story of how I met a friend after a decade and felt like I knew the person I became when I was with him? That made me realise how I had stretched myself thin? No? You’ve not been reading the blog regularly then.

This is how routine makes magnificence. (Location: Ellora Caves)
This is how routine makes magnificence. (Location: Ellora Caves)

And yesterday, when me and a friend hugged like there was no tomorrow. Because the friendship was more than the altercation that happened the day before. It was a sum of all those regular day-ins and day-outs we’ve lived watching each other. I think there’s something sacrosanct in sharing the mundane. The tenacity of your relationships can be measured by the summation of the unchanging days you’ve spent together. Or to say it very simply, it’s in buying toothpaste together. What can be gained by just sharing the routine can never be sought by fancy poems that arrive like the lightning or by those promises you make over a text message.

Everyone can survive a flight of fancy. It’s the every day life that’s hard work.


  1. I must blog regularly. A lot of cool things have happened.
  2. I think the best part about Zayn Malik is the spelling of his first name.
  3. The most recent post on BrainPickings about grief hits the nail on the head. Read it.
  4. Oh wait, this song here. I love it. Specially the part that goes:

“We used to play pretend, give each other different names,
We would build a rocket ship and then we’d fly it far away,
Used to dream of outer space but now they’re laughing at our face,
Saying, “Wake up, you need to make money.”



2 thoughts on “All the Little Lights

Add yours

  1. I am so glad you sound so much like yourself in this one! It’s true that all the while we worried about the bigger ‘what-ifs’ of life, it is the mundane, everyday, true living, that is perhaps the most difficult part, also the part that makes us truly what we are!


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