Venom

Time and again, I figure that anything worth saying in life has already been said by some ageing rockstar wearing eyeshadow. Case in point: Falling in love is so hard on the knees – Steven Tyler, vocalist for Aerosmith.

It is well-known and most people would have experienced it by now, so I’m not disclosing any state secrets in telling you that love hurts. How can it not? You’ve served up your ridiculous, raw heart on a plate to someone who doesn’t have an instruction manual.

There are different degrees of pain and different heights of falling, and some loves are more dangerous even than others.

There is unrequited love. If you love someone who doesn’t love you back, then you’re well and truly fucked.
Worse is the pathological kind of love, when life is not worth living whether with or without the object of your obsession. I fell for you when I was sixteen, and it hurt so goddamn much.

I would get asked why all the time.
“Why,” people would ask, “why have you fallen for someone who is never going to love you back?”
I’m paraphrasing, obviously.
In the real conversations, people would never understand my side, and reiterate “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?” over and over again.

Let’s skip the scientific reasoning because, frankly, all that stuff about nervous systems and dopamine receptors bores me to tears.
Let’s discuss some elementary human nature that all of us can understand.

Why does anyone ever do anything that may cause them harm?
Because it feels good.

And it felt bloody marvelous. You were my most beautiful Technicolor dream. Just spending those evenings in a dark alley, with you in my psyche through my vein, was the most fantastic escape from this rotten reality. It was homecoming, a whole-body orgasm, it was Eden for the soul. Nothing from the real world got through that. Not fear or sorrow or disappointment (nor joy or meaning either, but at the time I didn’t care about all that).

I wanted to know what hunger tasted of.

You were a gateway to an altered reality, and by the time I knew about it, I knew I was primed for you.
I’d read Burroughs and Welsh and Hunter S. Thompson.
Stared at that Trainspotting posters, the one about choosing life, for hours.
That’s what I wanted for myself aged sixteen.
Just a hint of squalor, a darker thread to weave into my otherwise vanilla tapestry.

Also, one thing I realised later in life, I’m an addict by nature. If something gives me pleasure I will keep right on doing it and not give two fucks for the consequences. That’s how it has been since the beginning.
Once you’re an addict, you’re always an addict. It becomes your eternal constant. Only the substance is a variable.

It took me a long while to understand that pleasure and happiness are not kin.
That one is outlier and the other median.
That one is a sharp spike on a wild Saturday night and the other a flat line running through your entire life.
But with you, the lines of contrast were blurred and in paradise, all emotions provided felicity.
I felt invigorated, yet also very comfortable, because you erased all the anxiety and swapped it with euphoria.
But the hardest part of waking up the next morning was remembering everything I was trying to forget the previous night. So I would meet you again that night. And you became my daily ritual.

I knew by then what hunger tasted of.
It tasted like desperation.

And I’d had enough. I found myself gasping for life, sinking within myself, accelerating downwards into the depths of my own oblivion. By no laws of God or man did I deserve another chance.

You’ve caused me considerable trouble and I’ve contemplated ending my life almost every night since I’ve known you. I have tried and believe me I could live without you, but I really don’t want to.

I want to make love to your existence,
drenched in colors of your energy,
and then masturbate to the memories.

I want to lose myself inside yourself. 

I need you, even if you are venom to my soul.

Amputation

“I’m sorry. I won’t be able to come. The plan is cancelled.”

“But why?”

Before I could say anything further, he hung up. A ten-second phone conversation propelled me into pondering over a legion of speculations as to what could have gone wrong.

We had just spoken a day ago. Everything was set. I was going to bunk college, because nobody wants to attend Engineering Graphics anyway! He was going to come from Dehradun for a couple of days, just to meet all of us. It was his eighteenth birthday after all! The midnight cake was ready. We had planned a surprise party for him. His parents were about to gift him a car. Everything was fine.

What could have possibly gone wrong?

I brushed that thought aside, and began searching for reasons to convince myself into attending that EG class, eventually figured there are none, and went off to sleep. It wasn’t until evening that I came to know his parents had passed away. Both of them.

I could only imagine what might have been going through his mind. Without wasting much time, I rushed to meet him. On my way, I recounted what I had gone through when I’d lost someone. The closest word to describing what it felt like was amputation.

It was as if my being had been permanently altered. The cells in my body were different. My organs felt different. And even after a year, my heart physically aches from the inside of my chest, every time the thought crosses my mind. Despite having gone through something similar in the past, I was in no position to even estimate what he was going through. And to my surprise, I found myself at a loss of words to comfort him.

I looked at him. I knew his body is convulsing with fear of the unknown. Emotional pain can subject one to unfathomable depths of torture. It had taught me that both, our bodies and our minds, are able to discern every flicker of unsteady emotional and corporeal suffering, even when there is no tangible evidence to be seen. But, the pain that I speak of, was going to be a new constant in his life.

Amidst the tornado of emotions people experience at such times, when it happened to me, I remembered feeling an intense desire to smile. To think about all the beautiful times we had spent together. To repeat all our conversations in a monologue. The memories that stole a tear, but also twinkled a smile on my face. I sensed a minuscule silver lining in that very obscure cloud.

I looked at him again. I knew he wanted to find that silver lining. But when such a humongous pile of anguish hits you off-guard, a simple hug might feel like the most wonderful thing in the world. Without coping with grief and coming to terms with the harsh reality of life, growing up would be superfluous.

At that moment, all you can say is, ‘I’m sorry for your loss.’ and be there for them, because that moment will be etched in their mind, forever.

Au Revoir.

Years passed like days, friends came and went, kids metamorphosed into citizens, but this place has been constant. Like everyone else, I too had a roller-coaster ride and swerved my share of highs and not so highs, through the school life.
The backbone of a good school is not made from fancy classrooms and large campuses. It is made from the excellent education imparted by teachers, and I owe a sincere gratitude to all the teachers who have taught me through these years. I don’t think there is a single teacher in the school who hasn’t scolded me in a fit of rage but it all seems worthwhile.
Saying goodbye engulfs me in a tornado of emotions.

I remember my first day in the school. A shy little kid stepping onto unfamiliar territory but while stepping out, public speaking is the best part of my skill set.

Went from being a raw retrospective renegade, to a refined retrospective renegade and iconoclast. Despite joint efforts the outspoken renegade part didn’t change through these years. (Stubborn?)

The three years I spent in our computer clan DynamiX, from noob to President, will be a cherished time and I can say that I’m proud of all the work we have done as a unit. The basic objective was to elevate ourselves and I think we managed to do that. It was wonderful being a part of the tech circuit. All the last minute chaos, procrastinated preparations, technical handling, pushing the team to work harder and systematically organising a computer symposium of our own is really something greater than education can preach in practical experiences.

Being the Deputy Head Boy and House Captain for one year each, and on the hindsight also being suspended from school four times in four years, maintaining it an annual ritual (thankfully none last year) was a contrast like no other.

I have been suspended for from the stupidest of reasons, which include uploading photos of a school trip to Facebook without the consent of teacher, abusing a teacher in class, to supposed cyber crimes and slapping a fellow classmate who oh so handsomely deserved it (read: evil teachers taking revenge on brilliant students).

I doubt if anyone has been late to school more times than me. Having an average of 9 times a month in the last two years, I have been told its something to be not proud of. But the supposed walk of shame when you enter after 9am everyday is definitely memorable.

Every person in the school right from the sweeper to the principal felt like family.

I will miss the brown furniture, the broken chairs, the scribbled desks, the walls I wrote on that said ‘Do not write here’. I will miss the grounds, the corridors where I tripped way too many times, the bunkers spot stairs where I learned more than by attending classes. I will miss the guard Bhaiya who would always let me in even when I entered at 10am, the sweeper Bhaiya who was perennially annoyed by our filthy classroom. I will miss the chemicals we most daringly experimented with minus the adult supervision, the apparatus we always damaged in the lab, the computer systems we crashed out of frustration, the books we issued from the library but never returned. I will miss the Principal’s room where I have received appraisals as well as rebukes countless times, the classrooms where the foundation of the person I am today was laid. I will miss the morning assemblies in high temperatures, where we are supposed to sing the same stupid song each day and then listen to a not so wonderful clichéd story. I will miss the overpriced canteen food, the pakoras and spring roll and that awful chutney. I will miss the chaotic rush through the swings while you are bunking and someone shouts that the principal is on round, the times I have been made to unnecessarily tuck in my shirt, threatened to get a haircut and forced to cut my nails. I will miss the teachers, the students, the building, the classrooms, the washrooms, the corridors.

Ramjas, I will miss you.

I am not Depressed.

It’s the text at three in the morning, “What’s wrong.” And you don’t have a proper answer to it.
It’s the phone call late at night as you hold back tears.
It’s standing in a crowd and you’re overcome with this wave of loneliness so you reach for another cigarette, trying to feel better.
It’s the over thinking and anxiety that keeps you tossing and turning.

Depression has been my shadow for as long as I can remember. Always there, always present, always waiting to kick me when I am down. I have, for the most part, hidden my depression and the sickening thoughts that accompany it.

There have been days that I have fallen so deeply into the darkness of this feeling that I couldn’t make myself walk to the kitchen for something to eat. I have stayed in bed for days at a time, laying there, alternating between sleeping and staring at the ceiling in silence.

At first, I’d try to explain that it’s not really negativity or sadness anymore, it’s more just this detached, meaningless fog where you can’t feel anything about anything — even the things you love, even fun things — and you’re horribly bored and lonely, but since you’ve lost your ability to connect with any of the things that would normally make you feel less bored and lonely, you’re stuck in the boring, lonely, meaningless void without anything to distract you from how boring, lonely, and meaningless it is.

Anhedonia is real, it is not something that can easily be shaken. It is the self loathing that wakes us at 2 a.m. and the voice that whispers “you are nothing to anyone”, as we lay in bed wishing we could sleep. It is the 10 a.m. cigarette that we need, to lower the volume of our self doubts. It is sitting on the bathroom floor because you feel too sick to move but you knowing that you can’t possibly have anything to vomit because you really haven’t eaten anything in days.

I don’t think it happened over night — but at some point I suddenly realised that everything had become impossible. For a period of time I hadn’t felt any emotions at all, and spent a large amount of my time feeling as if I wasn’t in my own body but just spectating. I was simply existing — if you can even call it that. I would walk around, do what was needed or expected of me, then crawl back into my bed until my next obligation. Eventually, I stopped getting out of bed.

After said period of feeling nothing, I then started to feel all of the emotions. Sad ones.

I liken those days to trying to climb out of a well that keeps getting deeper, until eventually you can’t see any light at the top.

I started to lose myself.Read More »

Stop Using Profanity as a Crutch

Does a cultural phenomenon have to be “fucking awful” or can it be “repulsive,” “repugnant?” Maybe it’s simply “shocking.”

Does a product have to be “damn good(!)” or can it just be “surprising,” “revolutionary,” or “a breakthrough?”

Why does the oh-so-revered life of an entrepreneur have to be “shitty?” Why can’t it be “miserable,” or “endless?” Or how about “draining?” What about the days where it’s “rewarding?” Maybe it gives you “irreplaceable joy.”

Throwing in a curse word or two does not give your work more power.

Work Fucking Hard” is a better title than “Work Really Hard.

But when it looks like you’ve recruited the word “motherfucking” (and “behenchod” in Hindi) to serve as another form of punctuation, your lack of vocabulary becomes clear.


Do curse because it is the right word at the right time to deliver exactly the message you want.

Don’t curse because you are lazy.

-Todd Brison

I Want It.

It started as a suggestive experiment one evening.

I told myself it’s just an experiment, a one-time thing, just to hit and see what it feels like, and then revert to my banal routine. I’d heard stories about people doing it just for the sake of a trial and then getting hooked so bad, that they spent the rest of their lives in regret. I told myself I was not like them. I thought I could fixate my mind to a particular objective and overcome the fervor when I wanted to. I knew I was not like them.

Two of my friends led the way through some lanes of our locality I was unaware of, till we reached a deserted point. He dialed a number and in five minutes there was a amiable guy before us. Being a rookie, I stood behind while they negotiated, and was told to pay less for my cut, still it seemed rather expensive, but I was assured that it was a ‘high quality product.’ They took out the syringes, filled them with it and one by one flushed it down a vein in left arm.

After about ninety seconds, I felt my heartbeat increase. It was definitely kicking in. I began to worry a bit, as I could feel my heart pounding and my pulse increasing. I finally felt as if it had reached a plateau. My heartbeat became level, albeit still very high. Many people say that one feels euphoria – being invincible and/or the desire to start doing something you’ve been wanting to. I did not feel either of these (and I did remember to think about these things). For me, the positive effects came directly from knowing that I had reached a plateau and I was going to be fine. I felt invigorated, yet also very comfortable.

I was rationalizing everything tremendously, but it was SO intense! And it was only getting more intense faster! I didn’t know what to expect, I was sinking within myself, accelerating downward like into the depths of my own oblivion. I was a novice, I had no idea what to expect, and the world had become out of sync. I became amazingly irritable and wanted them to leave me alone or not talk in my presence. They did not understand or appreciate my fear, and they began to get loud again. I ran back to my home and laid down with some wistful hope that I could wait out this storm.

As it turned out, the experiment had me coming back to it the next week, and the week next to that, following through three months. It never got boring, but it did give way to a desire to try more of the similar stuff. So, one evening, I chose to idolize Jessie Pinkman…Read More »