But, I Love You

I have always loved you. From the moment I bumped into you and from the moment the crowded city suddenly felt numb, I have loved you. From the first kiss and the first walk down the lanes of sheer unaltered happiness, I have loved you. I have fallen in love with you every time you woke up in my arms, your body twitching and curling around mine, as I burst through my nightmare. When, you lost your cool and crashed in my arms, sobbing, holding me tight as your inner child came out, I fell in love with you.

Sad? It's Actually Good!

When was the last time you were sad? You might say some moments ago. You must have been missing someone, someone must have disappointed you or you may simply not be contended with yourself. Is that sadness? Is that what you think happened to you a few moments back? 

People are connected these days. Too much, if I may add. Smartphones have made it easier for all of us to distract ourselves from not just relationships around us, but also the relationship we share with ourselves. We have become strangers to ourselves. We aren't in control over what we feel, how we feel and for how long we feel the same. 

Here's to Life!

The blinking cursor offers some solace. At least you have your words. You could write a thousand dreams and yet the pages won’t finish. You could write as fast as their words or as slow as your thoughts when you have woken up in the morning. The tea doesn’t help, never has. But then it’s worth a shot, just like that relationship that’s no more. 

So you have another old wound opening up right in front of you. The person whom you gave all the love and respect at one point of time in life suddenly seems to be the very person to kill you. It’s like a lost battle, really. Like the very insect that walks across the bright monitor thinking it has found the warmth of a flame. But the light will be gone and it will be dead by the time morning ushers in. 

Celebrate the Difference

We are different, each one of us. We live our lives in a cocoon of lies and hopes that people feed us, sometimes even going overboard. These waterboarding words of hope drown us and soon we resign to a life we didn't think we will have to suffer through when we were kids. Somehow, we agree to the life that's given to us and somehow we agree to everything that's given to us. That's basically against the very ethos of life, isn't it? Life is meant to be lived, not survived!

Chapter 12: But Will You?

Team - Writers' Den
Writers Den - Blogadda

Chapter 1: Mens Rea
Chapter 2: A Morning Star
Chapter 3: The Cursed One
Chapter 4: The Vanquished
Chapter 5: The Insurmountable
Chapter 6: The Vulnerables
Chapter 7: Her Last Voice
Chapter 9: Res Ipsa Ioquitur
Chapter 10: Pro Bono
Chapter 11: The Dialogue

I am hurt. No, not because of this arm, but because I have failed you. I have failed to make you happy. I have failed to show you how much I care. I have failed in pretending that I am happy. I can't. Really, I have tried hard. I have loved them, our daughters, since the day you both gave them to me as a gift. I nurtured them like you'd have had things been different, had I been like everyone else, working, earning, being a dad. 

But I feel like living with a stranger. I don't know anything about you, about your past, about your fears. I know that I love you, but everyday that's tested. I could fight the world, sweetheart, you know that? I could fight them all, but I can't, because you are here and you aren't at the same time. I could touch you like I'd touch a corpse, lifeless, soul-less. I am saddened, as I know that I couldn't find Sophia's killers. I know that you curse me every single day. I am sorry but I cannot change that. 

Chapter 4: The Vanquished

Team: Writers' Den
Chapter 1: Mens Rea
Chapter 2: A Morning Star
Chapter 3: The Cursed One

Their marriage wasn't something out of the ordinary. Many thought it was for the better. Tara's ambition needed to be curbed and what better way than to give her up to the man everyone thought will do big in the future? However, a woman with resolve is the one to watch out for. Tara battled everything and then, some more. Shekhar's dream of becoming an author didn't quite materialise and he had to let his wife become the man of the house. It wasn't something he was very proud about. Yet, he couldn't do anything about it. Back at their ancestral village, everyone was told something else.

Not Being Sad Doesn't Mean Being Happy

"Hey! How are you?"

The innocuous question, what our parents taught us to ask a new person when we were kids, stares at you through that chat window. For a brief second, you wished you had turned off the chat a couple of minutes ago. But you forgot. Because you were busy running down the news-feed, checking marriage photographs, new-mummies and foreign trips of people you didn't care about while your work was calling. You just weren't interested to answer to that. "Such a vague question!", you thought. "I might be dying here but I got to reply that I am Okay. God, damnit it!" You key your reply, which is duly seen in a couple of seconds. For a second, you wished the conversation ended right there.

Happiness: The Gastronomical Way!

Tastes of Europe Mumbai EU

If you stay in Mumbai and are looking for a gastronomical trip down the beautiful cities of Europe, it's time to visit the "Taste of Europe" festival! This is a lovely initiative by the European Union and is all set to delight Mumbaikers by raising awareness about tasty European dishes, ingredients and Flavours in India!

Some of the top-notch restaurants serving European cuisines have been roped in for this grand festival that will see them cooking up a storm from the 6th-12th September. In case you will be away from town, don't lose hope. EU will also participate at the 9th edition of the Annapoorna World of Food India Exhibition 2014 from 24th – 26th September 2014 in Mumbai. Here's the list of restaurants you cannot afford to miss during the festival!

Olive Bar and Kitchen, Khar
Vetro at The Oberoi, Nariman Point
Prego at Westin, Goregaon
Salt Water Café, Churchgate
Smoke House Deli, Bandra Kurla Complex
Olio at Novotel Hotel, Juhu
Maritime by San Lorenzo, Taj Lands End, Bandra
       Indigo Deli, Colaba
Nido, Bandra
Botticino at Trident, BKC
Timings - 12pm-3pm and 7pm-11pm
Rates for a 3 course meal start from INR. 1500/-

So, what are you waiting for? Follow them on Twitter or Facebook and get ready to experience Europe at its finest!

He Is My Role Model, He is Much More!

On a cold January night, as the city I stayed for 13 years was getting ready to bid good-bye to the Winter, my father was steadying himself to see me off. I had gotten a job in a city far away and that meant my weekly visits would now turn into quarterly or semi-yearly ones. While I was packing my belongings, partly with the memories of the city and the gift of happiness that it had shared with me, my heart was heavy, for I was leaving my old man. I couldn't comprehend the depth of my departure. Afterall, I had prepared for this moment, this day for quite sometime.

But did he?

Friendship: All That's There to It

"There are so many things to do and memories to create, and yet I don't have much time. For you are leaving. Will you promise to come back again? Why are you silent? Stop walking! Wait! Stop!!"

Waking up with a gasp is something you'd normally want to avoid. You are tired. Your entire body aches, as if you have come back from a battle lost. You wish to sleep a little more but then the cocoon of sleep hides the sneer of a nightmare, a nightmare you had just witnessed. Your body wants to sleep, your mind wants to stay awake. And so the day begins - with a battle.

The color of the coffee reflects the thoughts inside your head - Clouded and dark. There are so many things to do and stuff to learn that at one point you wish to leave everything and hop on the next train to that place you've always wanted to go, but somehow postponed owing to the deadlines that roam around like a pack of wolves on a night where you can see nothing else but snow. And you're cold.

The warmth of the cup fails to break the numbness away. Something has died. Again.

The synchronised chaos of the traffic keeps you away from your past, albeit for a moment. But then you will again get free, even momentarily and the anger will seep out of you, even momentarily. A boat without oars in a storm, you float aimlessly throughout the day and come back home, a li'l dented but alive. Your body has given up, your mind wants to shut off, your thoughts lay far away from the pretentious messages waiting for you in the message box.

And then it rings.

In a room with no one else but open windows and the evening soothing breeze calmly swaying the curtains, you pick up the call. It's an old friend. See, the thing about an old friend isn't about the conversations which you may have to fathom. It's about reliving the same conversations over and over again. And instantly, the insanity of the entire day goes away and you are in this cocoon of old memories and laughter. How's that mutual friend doing, when is he getting married? what happened to his ex? Is she still that psychotic potato?

The subtle smile that lingers on your face is something that you treasure, just like that friend from miles away. You wish that person was nearer and not over the phone, so that you could hug that friend. You have been cheated, laughed and sneered upon by the ones you didn't expect it from. You have been alone in a city full of known faces and this one friend is bringing that home closer to you. 

When you're done with the call, you're smiling. You're smiling not because of that known voice who has shared your laughter and sadness, not because you are alone, but because that person gives you hope. And that hope surges from within like a volcano making its way up to the Earth, like a river crushing everything to find its ocean, like the stars shining bright to light up the path of a child feeling alone in the darkness. That friend is the wind that kisses your face everytime you have a sunset staring at you. And at that moment, that friend becomes your life. That's why you smile.

But We have Said Our Goodbyes

Another sun sets. The dusty city enshrouds me like a mother to her child after a long day. She tries to put me sleep, only failingly so. The steam rising from the Styrofoam cup dances with the dry wind, happy to have met her, just like I met you. And like the vapors losing their identity, their self into that wind, I lost myself in you the moment I laid my eyes on you. 

The way you smiled before you said Hi, before you said how much you missed me, before the promises, the fears, before that kiss, the one after and the one I last saw when we met for the last time, come gushing back at me. I am consumed by the sunset only to be reminded of your benign face and that stubborn lock of hair. 

The maddening crowd of this new city is warm, Sweetheart. But they fail, you know where? They fail miserably to give me the warmth your hug gave me. When I held you tight, when I buried my face deep in your shoulders, the warmth you gave me brought me home, something I never had. I miss that.

The smiles, the laughter, your thoughts, your hopes and your aspirations from life and the way you were so determined with your beliefs made me happy. Your insecurities and subdued-possessiveness and your confidence in me, the trust you failing had in me. I miss that.

But we have said our good-byes, there is not a moment I mourn. Another day draws to an end and I don't have my own. The twilight seems beautiful, but not as beautiful if you were here with me, savoring this cup of tea. But you don't like tea, or coffee, silly me! I miss that.

Not a single moment goes by without me thinking about trying to persuade you to come back, but then we have said our good-byes. It's hard to believe it's been so long and yet you are here with me, in my thoughts, running your beautiful, long fingers through my hair. Your perfect face, your perfect eyes, lips, smile, nose. I miss that.

I miss the mornings when I woke up with a smile on my face, knowing that there was this one person who was there for me. I miss the kiss, the hug, your voice over the phone, your questions and the hidden answers in them. But we have bid our good-byes, with you looking ahead while I am standing here with nothing else but my stillborn hope.

It's dark now and the tea's gone cold. Far away, the city runs frantically while up here on the roof, I see a progressively darkening sky.

Do you still look up in the sky when you think of me? Do you?

All That Matters is Your Smile

Walked up the stairs of heaven
Touched the stars
Moved over galaxies
Couldn't yet find the smiles

One Last Breath

The luggage was quite heavy, something I hadn’t quiet expected. But then I wasn’t quite travelling, I was leaving. 3 bags full of clothes and things I might need to start afresh in a city of millions, thousands of kilometres away. But then it’s not just the bags that you carry when you leave your home. 

I have been travelling all my life, perks of being a military brat. But then other than leaving my buddies, nothing pained about the transfers. A new place, new people always made me happy, with the prospective of probably trying to be a better kid. When you are reduced to a walking, talking Water Hyacinth, you sort of prepare yourself for the eventuality called life.

5 Wellness & Happy Resolutions for 2014

Guest post By Marta López

New Year, new attitude… It´s January and it means it´s time to make new resolutions. I´m sure this is not the first time you have thought about this (last year you probably promised yourself not to drink alcohol during the first month of the year and to give up smoking) but for once, let’s be realistic and set up goals that you can easily achieve and, even more importantly, that  will make you feel happier. Forget about the standard challenges and think about those little things in life that are easy to explore. Are you ready for the happiness? 
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Aurindam Mukherjee