anecdotes, life, stories, words, writing

Nerves

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“I am sorry…I…I….sorry,” she stammered as she scrounged around in her sack of a handbag, digging around to find whatever it was she was going to present to me. One by one she started to take things out of her bag, a pen, two pen, few pencils, a really old motorola phone – I didnt even think these kinds existed anymore – a small opaque plastic bag, which I didnt have to peek inside to know the contents of. The wafting foul smell of beetle nut and lime told me it was doma*, a Bhutanese favorite snack. She paused when she put it out onto my desk, and looked at me for a second like she was going to offer me some, but decided against it to continue her search through the abyss of her magical bag – it was amazing how many things fit in it.

“Ahh….here it is,” she exclaimed and handed me a tiny tiny USB drive. “Can you please open it on your computer?” she mumbled. Some consultant I thought to myself. It was one thing to ask for a favor and help her with her work, it was an entirely different thing to actually carry out the work for her.

“You see, I am running out of time, I am running out of time,” she repeated. Her relatively young round eyes filled with anxiety. “Right,” I nodded back and inserted the USB into my sleek laptop’s USB port. Her mangled key chain of what appeared to be an extremely dirty teddy bear hanging off the USB in stark contrast to the shiny silver of my macbook pro. The file opened to my utter horror of chaotic pdf files, excel sheets, word documents, movies, books, jpegs, neither in order nor appropriately named. My OCD kicked into high gear and if I knew her better than just being introduced through a mutual friend some one hour back, I would have offered to organize her files on the USB. As she looked through her files to look for whatever it was that she was going to show me and ask for my help, I noticed all her paraphernalia still scattered across my desk. Her slightly large tego** sleeves skimming over my desk zen garden. I inhaled a sharp breath of air in panic worrying her lovely purple sleeves would leave an uninvited line across the sand perfectly styled in symmetric curlicues.

“Umm….,” she mumbled and rested her face on her hands and her elbows uncomfortably close to me. “Here,” I said and got out of my chair allowing her to move closer to my laptop so she could look at the screen better, but also for myself because the smell of unsolicited beetle nut and her chaotic hair and slightly running mascara was irritating me, but also garnering some deep level of sympathy because she was everything I tried not to be. I felt guilty I was judging her in that moment. She paused and looked up like she remembered something, picked up her bag and starting digging through it again. She pulled out a notebook, a compact – which has obviously not touched her skin in the least bit today- and then some breath mints. “Here, have some,” she said and offered the mints to me. “Umm, no thanks,” I said and asked if she found the file. “I think its not here,” she said and smiled at me. “Anyway, I will go home and find it and will come back when I have it, if its okay with you,” she half asked and half declared rhetorically. “Okay….?” I responded quizzed by the coolness and ease and chaos with which this woman went about.

She moved across my desk, swiped her entire arm across my desk and literally chucked all her things back into her gunny sack of a hangbag. I handed her the USB, as she got up. “Thank you,” she said. “I really dont have time and now I wasted the last hour getting nothing done,” she said laughing. “Okay, will come back soon, thank you for your help,” she said and walked out of my office. I plonked myself down on my chair, energy drained by that whirlwind of a personality. The speed and chaos with which our interaction ensued confusing the hell out of me.

I never heard back from this woman.

doma* – In Bhutan the areca nut is called doma. The raw areca nut, which is soft and moist is very potent and when chewed can cause palpitation and vasoconstricting. This form is eaten in the lower regions of Bhutan and in North Bengal, where the nut is cut into half and put into a local paan leaf with a generous amount of lime.The fermented doma has a putrid odour, which can be smelled from miles.
tego** – Toego or Tego is a long-sleeved, short jacket-like garment worn over their traditional kira by women in Bhutan.

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A little Introspection through Retrospection

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All of us make the mistake of realizing something after it’s too late. I know I am definitely not myself a carpe diem type of person, but I try to be, especially when I know if I don’t do something, or say something, or accept something in that very moment, that when I am left in the shadows of that moments departing light, I will almost immediately regret it. Yes its rightly said that there has to be a balance for everything – a right so we know what is wrong; a sadness so we really appreciate joy; a darkness so we value the light; a yin to every yang – but one does not have to be found standing in the midst of the settling dust of a moment past in order to realize what you had or could have had. We are, each one of us, capable and intelligent enough to realize it while we are in the moment. It is only a matter of allowing ourselves to take a moment, just a little moment of introspection to realize it. I would urge everyone to, at any moment in their life, take a few moments to think about all those things in your life that are at the brink of brilliance, and realize what it is you must do in order to make it happen. Do you love someone? Say it now. Do you wish you could do something in particular? Just do it already (wait! unless it is something that will harm or hurt someone else, then you need to go to the second level of introspection i.e. psychotherapy haha just kidding. But really, do not harm other beings! None of us have the right). My brothers have always used ‘practice what you preach’ as their retaliation to most advice they’ve been given, so in order prove that I am practicing what I am preaching here are two major decisions I have made (major for me, kinda insignificant and pathetic for someone who just happened to stumble upon my blog and has no idea just WTF I am talking about. For those folks, I say, sorry…OR, you can go through my blog archives and get to know me better so by the time you get here and re-read this, you will be like, “YOU GO GIRL!!! Just a suggestion).

Okay, 1: I have looked into two writing programs. I have decided that whether I succeed or fail at getting into these two programs I don’t care, the first step is to try it. I know I want to write, and I feel a MFA would be a good place to start. Additionally, these two programs also happen to be in schools located in two of my favorite cities in the world. So this also covers my desire to relocate for a while. Two stones…no, two birds one stone….something like that.

2: I am going to ask a man out for the first time in my life. I am kinda known to banter about gender equality quite often but then one day I sat down to think about this interesting fellow I’ve met, and even though I am rather intrigued by him, I just don’t do anything about it. Why? because during one of my 2pm I-ate-too-much-lunch-and-cannot-work-but-will-daydream moment of INTROSPECTION (see, doing this leads to some crazy breakthroughs because I am about to tell you how I am going to be breaking gender stereotypes in a second), I realized I’ve never in my life asked any man out. So, I am going to do it (Boom! stereotype broken!!!). Because really I kind of think hes interesting, funny, and nice. So, carpe-f****-diem!

There, see, preaching what you sow, or reaping what you sow…..I can never get proverbs or idioms right the first time around. And then I say I want to be a writer 😦 Oh well!

Anyway, in light of my “words of wisdom” about brightening your life, here is an illuminating poem by the irradiating poetess Emily Dickinson 🙂 (See what I did there?) 

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“By a Departing Light” – Emily Dickinson

By a departing light
We see acuter, quite,
Than by a wick that stays,
There’s something in the flight
That clarifies the sight
And decks the rays.

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Free My Freedom

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(Woman Before the Rising Sun by Caspar David Friedrich)
FREEDOM
I’ve always wondered why it pained me so
To remain rooted and stable in my being
The moment the 365th day passes
Elations escape and I yearn to move
The first time it happened I blamed myself
Blamed the comfort and luxuries I was always afforded
Blamed the exposure and too much leisurely moments
The lack of responsibility and obligations abounded
But then it happened about 1096 days later
The desire to move, the itch to uproot
No sense of security abated the follies
I longed to see sea, sky, and earth in rampant paces
To release myself from the life I spent
The very life of the past 1096 days
This second time I said was my fatigue speaking
Blamed the stress and pressure of drudgery
Blamed the boring conversations on repeat
But still in my escape route I reveled
Taking another 365 in a foreign space
Working my hands to my mind extended
Till winter came along in one full circle
My wings they twitched in anticipation
The desire to move, the itch to uproot
No love of man could hold me back
No promise of success outweighed the craze
And this time I realized it’s just me
It’s who I was, and who I am meant to be
A gypsy in blood, 44% a nomad
From the highlands in the Himalayas
The only place close to a home
I pride in my need to uproot so often
It’s who I was, and who I am meant to be
No clicking tongues and pitying glances
My bohemian self I am learning to embrace
It’s who I am, and who I will always be
The first thing standing between me and my happy
The last thing standing between me and my freedom



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