Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Grow Old With Me!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, December 31, 2014 8 comments Links to this post

I walked out of the railway station with the heart on my sleeve; my eyes wandered for you in the crowd. I tucked my stray curls perfectly behind my ears, when I felt your arms around my shoulder and your lips at the nape of my neck.

I missed you. I stuttered and failed to put it in words.

I let out a deep sigh. You looked so debonair even in those black pants and white shirt. 

Long distance was not easy. In fact, it was excruciating. However, looking at you, at that very moment, I have realized it was worth it.

You did not let me go out of your sight. Your car and its familiarity took me on a long trip of nostalgia.

You said I have changed a lot. I said you have changed a great deal too.

But your quirks still remained unaltered. The way you slightly hum a song while driving to your smile that calms my nerves—you haven’t changed! You were still that beautiful man who made my world pleasant.

You still gave me flutters. You still gave me the butterflies.

You were still your charming self.

I looked at the rose you slyly put on my lap when I tried to explain you the details of my journey. You paid attention even when the radio was playing your favourite song.

As the car passed through the post box that was beaten out of shape, I remembered your first letter to me, “I want to grow old with you.”

At 50, we are still growing older. Together!

We crossed a tiny coffee shop later. We called it our secret place, remember? We used to meet here often, in pursuit of exchanging letters, books, and gifts. I still remember all those poems you've written for me. And the letters, the letters are still treasured in a suitcase under our bed.

As we parked the car in our community parking lot, and walked towards our home, we passed the park. I remember how we met here for the first time. You were with your golden retriever, and I was with my book.

We met every Sunday after that.

As we reached home, I remembered the lovely moment when I stepped into this place 25 years ago. The note you left that day, “Make my house into our home with your words, our love, and the sunshine.

The note is still nailed to our mirror.

Over the past few years, many things have changed. Our tiny bed has been replaced by a king size one; our Videocon television has been replaced with a swanky flat screen; our Yashica’s roll camera has been replaced with a Nikon digital camera; my typewriter has been replaced with a desktop.

Everything has turned obsolete except our love for each other.

I walked into the kitchen to see our coffee filter damaged beyond repair. You have done it again. Is this our 15th filter or the 16th? I have even lost the count.

I walked into the bedroom to find you unpack my bags. You looked a little exhausted. 

You looked frail.

We were growing old together. You wanted it, didn't you? 

You were with me when I published my first story, and I was with you when you made your first fortune. You stood by my side when my parents left the world, and I never let you go when your pet died. You mocked my failed attempts at tying a saree while I suppressed my giggle watching you wear a dhoti. You were there when I panicked on turning 30, and I was there when you spotted your first grey hair.

We were there for each other. Even when one of us fell apart. 

As you noticed me standing behind you, you looked at me with your eyes full of warmth and affection. You smiled at me. Just the way you used to when you were 25.

I missed you. And I still cannot fathom why I cannot put it into words.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Your words!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, December 28, 2014 0 comments Links to this post

Summer love, lingering thoughts, anxious nights;
Let the Monsoon hold a different charm with your words.

Friday, December 26, 2014

2014 So Far!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Friday, December 26, 2014 12 comments Links to this post


“You raze the old to raise the new.” 

2014 has been quite unpredictable, and on many occasions, it was disappointing and excruciating too. No matter what I say, it has been a great learning experience, but I wish to go on a holiday from the grand learning experience.

I am not sure if I have anything much to say, but I just do not want to break the ritual of writing the end of the year post.

1) As you all know, I was a corporate slave, doing things I hated and absolutely did not care for. When my manager said I was not good enough, I am glad I paid attention to it. I moved on to a job I cared in the pursuit of creating something beautiful instead of trying to get myself into another corporate rut.

2) It does not come as a surprise to me when I say there are very few friends with whom you can pick where you left. I am glad I have them, and I would not go overboard to say I love them, but I am almost there.

These people have stood by my side all the time. Though they were royally absent in my happiness, they never gave up on me in my distress.

3) The best way to know if you can trust someone is by trusting them. If you are willing to put your trust in them, I am sure they are worth the effort. 

4) If not for reading and writing, I would not even be half the person I am.

The sorcery of words, beauty of letting you dive into a whole new world, introducing people of different ideologies and tastes are amazing.

Perhaps the beauty of emotions is always spoiled when I try to talk about them. But when I write them, they sound surreal. But real!

5) I've lost and let go off too many people this year. You can take my word for it-I have made peace with myself by forgiving them.

But it does not mean the broken things can be repaired. Not yet.

6) There is this one person who has the ability to bring out the best and the worst in me, bringing out the child in me, making me do things I probably never imagined, saying things I would not even dare to say in the wildest of my dreams.

This person is not the sunshine to my life. Oh no, definitely not! But it sure feels like sunshine when this person is around me.

And even when I claim not to throw tantrums with this person, I always do. I know it, but I argue otherwise.

7) There is really no antidote to pain and loss.

But red velvet cupcakes and tiramisu take care of the pain. Temporarily!

8) When you really like someone, it does not even matter what you are going through or willing to go through for them.

9) Solitude and silence are beautiful beyond imagination. Living all by myself on the days my parents are away, cooking for myself, cleaning my space, and reading, ah! Needless to say, the best things always come in tiny packages.

10) Over the last 6 months, I set a record of wearing just black. Mostly! My mother is wondering if I am wearing the same outfit every day, and my colleague keeps asking me if I'd ever get bored of it.

I think I should buy some colours the next year. My mourning outfits need to go on a break.

11) I have turned into a bigger caffeine addict. I am trying to cut down but I think I would fail. Miserably! 

12) I have made some real time investments this year. I am a little proud of myself.

13) I sold my first story. More details soon.

14) I have lost the interest in making conversations, and I am hoping it would turn into a lost art. 

15) While writing, you always need a good editor. An editor who can edit your work relentlessly, calling it a piece of trash, and sit for long hours with you, trying to beat sense in your slightly delusional mind, by correcting your grammar and replacing mundane words with graceful ones. You need this editor to read out Abbe Prevost or Proust to you. 

Phew! I had a tough time listing out these things, and most of them do not make any sense. But this year has just been tumultuous, you know?

As I close my eyes, I can now remember the good things--reuniting with lost friends, rekindling forgotten emotions, meeting your teacher and the first editor who inspired you to do something beautiful, late night conversations, sleepovers, writing my first Haiku poem, meeting fabulous people, discovering great musicians, painters and writers, looking at this person eating ice-cream like a child, embracing friendships that are beyond geographical restrictions, writing more than ever, turning into a braver person, earning the ability of expressing what I like and what I do not, not putting up with people who harm me, and pushing myself to work for the things that matter.

I have always loved myself above everything, and I will always. That is a promise!

To everyone who has been a part of my life and this post this year, thank you. For contributing bits and pieces of your life into mine! You add stars to my memories.

Here's to growing older, flying time, wasted nights, haunting dark circles, beautiful memories, smiles and laughter, broken promises, words and conversations, love and a lot like it. Happy 2015!

And now 2015, can you just grow my bangs already? I feel like a goof with this haircut.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Which Hot Guy Do You Deserve For Christmas?

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, December 18, 2014 6 comments Links to this post

“I never assume anything. I anticipate the possibilities and allow my imagination to create the future." - Lionel Suggs


Yes, you have read that right.

No, I am not giving out any predictions. That is not my oyster.

Let me explain you what I have been doing.

Last night, I was killing time on the internet when I came across this utterly ridiculous quiz on Buzzfeed. Who plays these stupid quizzes anyway? I have always found them twisted beyond human comprehension. How could they be true? I mean all you do is answer some stupid questions half heartedly, and they just predict your future? And sometimes, the results come true. 

Each time I see people sharing the results of the quizzes of the like on the social media, I find it hilarious. I mean, I played it as well, but I did not go and share it on the social media.

I took it to a whole new level and posted it on my blog. Neat!

Anyway.

I took the quiz because I had nothing better to do last night. Or maybe I took it because its feature image had Ryan Gosling.

I did not get Ryan Gosling. Of course!

I got Chris Hemsworth.

The result said, "Chris Hemsworth emerged into the world like a true bolt of lightning on Aug. 11, 1983, making him a fierce Leo next to your free-spirited Gemini. You'll be an extravagant couple wherever you go. ;)"

I mean, what is that? Just what is that? A Gemini woman and a Leo man? I see this prediction everywhere on the face of earth, and you have no clue how inordinately disappointed Gemini women are. 

Because Leo men, as much as smart they are, they falter to understand even the most simplest gestures from the Gemini women. And you know what baffles me, Gemini women aren't subtle even in the smallest of their gestures. You can take my word for it.

Or, there is another side to the coin. They understand every tiny thing we say yet decide to remain aloof. Quintessential Leo!

I am confused.

You know what? I do not need any hot guy for Christmas. 

I will settle down for a buffet at my favourite restaurant. And go home and watch an Ashton Kutcher's movie. 

And oh, by the way, you can take the quiz by clicking on the following link:


Just let me know if you get Ryan Gosling, okay? Because, a Leo man? I just can't even! 

Sigh!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Woman, You Are Not Safe!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, December 17, 2014 9 comments Links to this post

“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.”
– Jane Austen, Mansfield Park


She loved the desolate streets.

She believed her thoughts thrived while walking through the isolated, stark dark streets.

Today was different. She was ecstatic. She sold her first story.

I sold my first story, I sold my first story, I sold my first story,” she repeated these lines to herself, grinning widely from one ear to another. What would delight a writer more than that?

Being delusional was one of her occupational hazards, because she totally assumed she was safe to go home. Alone!

As she walked in those streets, she realized that someone was following her, because she could hear footsteps behind her. Vaguely, but certainly!

What she did not realize was that he would try to harm her. She also did not realize she would use her pepper spray on him. Practically, it was lying around in her bag since two years, but she never had to use it anyone. Following that incident, she did not realize she would entirely abandon the desolate streets she once loved, look at the men around her in suspicion though they meant no absolute harm. She was safe, but she could not get that incident out of her head.

No surprises there, she did not stay in that quagmire for longer than she intended to. She let go of it, because it was not even worth a thought, if you know what I mean?

This is my story. This is your story. Oh wait, this is the story of your best friend too. I am sure her sister too has a similar story. In a  nutshell, this is the story of every woman I meet, and I cannot even put it in numbers on how many such stories I hear time and again.

“WOMAN! You are not safe,” my family utters every time I decide to go out.

Maybe they are right. Maybe they know if anything ever happens to me, all I would get is a candle march.

I will get nothing else. Zilch. Nada.

However, that would not stop me from doing what I got to do. Actually, it shouldn’t.

This is my two cents to every woman out there:

You are not safe.

If you are assuming you are a sleeping beauty, or some damsel in distress who will be rescued by a man, you are mistaken.

If you are secretly hoping the government would come to your help, you are totally hallucinating.

If you are imagining the women who see you going through the mess come to deal with your mess, you are demented.

They will be sorry, but that is all they will do.

Instead, let us accept that you are not safe. Because that is what makes our lives simpler!

Carry two cans of pepper spray cans if you must, but do not go anywhere without it. Keep your phones charged all the time. Let people know where you are.

Download SOS-Stay Safe application to your smartphone. And if you think your parents are stopping you from having fun, let me tell you this - You are not safe!

No matter where you are, do not get worked up. You will need to deal with the situation all by yourself. Your love for yourself must protect you even during the most awful situations because only you can take care of yourself.

Just to get things straight, let me repeat it again for you. You are not safe because you live in a country where people worship Goddesses yet prey on the same fraternity. You are not safe because more than half the population actually consider you as an object of pleasure. You are not safe because the law of your country seems to work against your best interests. Not intentionally, however, not unintentionally either.

But you know you are entitled to be safe. 

Because you deserve more than just a godforsaken candle march.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Case of You!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, December 15, 2014 0 comments Links to this post

“And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.” 
 Sylvia Plath

His desire always prevailed in things that anguished him. 

He sat by his window, observing the raindrops dripping over his window sill, reading a short story by Raymond Carver. He lost the count of the number of times he read it. He sought comfort in words and literature, in music and art, in her and her idiosyncratic nature.

It did not come as a surprise to him when he realized his despair and glee were tied down to the same person.  

Should we meet?” he read her text message over and over again, trying to look for an inherent meaning. 

All said and done, why would she want to meet me again?" he kept asking himself but he did not know the answer to it. But he knew it was going to be an anxious night.

That night, as he lay supine on his terrace, counting stars, he wondered if she was anxious too, if she was counting stars and minutes in pursuit of waiting for the sunrise, if she was looking at the moon and thinking fondly of him. Lost in thoughts and misery, he fell asleep under the starlit sky.

The next morning, he rushed to meet her at their favourite cafe. He saw her waiting for him already. All the apprehensions he had last night vanished as he looked at her smile at him.


If his eyes spoke volumes like a book, it was her silence that gave away the unsaid.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Last Ride!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Friday, December 12, 2014 2 comments Links to this post
Picture by Kamal Kiran!
     “Can I ask you something?
      Anything.
     Why is it every time we say goodnight, it feels like goodbye?” 

     ― Lang Leav
The night was darker than usual, the lights at a distant were brighter than ever. Standing there, stealing sly glances at each other, they waited to fill their silence with words.
Amidst all the rush, the occasional breeze and the slight drizzle stirred their thoughts. 
It was hard to say how long they waited for the cab. But the relief on their faces was obvious as they spotted it approaching them.
As they got into it, she waited for him to break the silence. And he did, with an awkward smile that refused to reach his eyes.
She took the cue, and let him entwine their fingers, and rested her head ever so lightly on his shoulder. Occupational hazards, he whined.
Regular bouts of fights, contradictions, and misunderstandings took a toll on their relationship. They did not let it affect their relationship though. He understood her retorts as she understood his silence.
She let it go but during their playful banter, she said, “You'd miss me when I am gone.”
Being a firm believer of ‘forever’, he asked her to refrain from all the absurd talk. Every conversation about staying apart was conveniently put aside. They were meant to be, he claimed. 

Too delusional, and absorbed in each other, they failed to realize the most beautiful thing they shared would end that night.
He went home with his white shirt stained with her lipstick stains, and she with his aroma draped around her, not knowing it was their last ride together.
*****
Picture Courtesy: Kamal Kiran
You can head over to his Facebook fanpage, and shower some love: Kamal Kiran Photography

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Settling For Happiness!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, December 09, 2014 4 comments Links to this post

“HAPPINESS [is] ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED” 
― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
Be it euphoria or melancholia, I have always had a trouble expressing it. From a shy child to a reclusive teenager, I might have metamorphosed into a rather outgoing adult (MAYBE!), but I faltered in expressing things. Always.

Strangely, I was never troubled in putting my emotions in words. All I needed was a pen and a paper.
I believed it was the best I did.
In a nutshell, I would write everything in a journal, pretending the journal was my best friend, hoping my bright pink journal would be happy at my success, and gloomy during my shoddy times. Of course, it was not!
I might as well thank my stars for being blessed with a company of great friends. That did not pull me out of this misery either. My inability to explain even the most exquisite things was beyond my comprehension, however, my flair at expressing even the most mundane things with grandiosity surprised me. 

Much ado about nothing.
I reckon the stars had a different plan for me. 

I cannot handle extremities, and quite presumably, I tend to push people away during those situations. But people around me never left me alone--they urged me to talk about things that troubled or mattered, they hovered around me wondering if I would ever let them into my world. And I did.
It could be a simple text from your friend saying she is proud of what you do, or opening shopping bags with your best friend, sharing happiness has found its way into my life for all its intents and purposes. Amidst all the chaos of euphoria, mood swings, melancholia, I have also discovered one person who doesn't squeal in joy along with me; that person still taunts me in my joy. But it doesn't matter because happiness is pure when shared with that person.
I have never realized happiness would be this beautiful when shared with you, and I am coming to terms with it. Awkwardly yet happily!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Conversation Between Brain and Heart

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, December 03, 2014 0 comments Links to this post


"The Genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in the council; and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then."
-William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

Brain: Heart?

Heart: Brain?

Brain: I do not mean to offend you but do you remember the time you claimed to be more powerful than me? And that the world runs around the ridiculous emotion you produce? I think it is time you accept the truth. I am the most powerful organ, and you function only because I do.

Heart: Oh please, I am such a knockout! People mention me in poetry and grand prose, in melancholy and utter happiness; while I live in grandiosity, you live in boring science textbooks. 

And just for the record, you too function only because I do.

Brain: Look who's talking! If I was so powerless, why would you come to me broken and tattered every time someone tears you apart? Why do you say, If only I followed your advice, each time someone hurts you? Because even you know that you cannot deal your issues alone. 

I tell you what? Just pump blood, alright? That is your job. Do not get distracted.

Heart: I am a multitasker.

Brain: No, you are stupid and illogical.

Heart: Of course, being logical brought you a long way, didn't it? 

Brain: How would it? I get to suffer along with you. Because of your utter foolishness, you get into troubles, and drag me along with you. Have you ever put yourself above anyone else?

Heart: No, but that's what makes me the heart, doesn't it? I am selfless, and even when every fiber of my being hurts, I do what I got to do.

Brain: Do you even listen to yourself when you talk? Complication is your second name.

Heart: Just the way egomaniac is your second name!

Brain: Maybe, but I am the safer one. I am the last resort to everyone, okay? I make geniuses what they are. I pull people out of their miseries, and I take their thoughts on a right path. 

Heart: But I have the power of transforming the geniuses as well.

Brain: No. You push them towards eternal damnation.

Heart: I add beauty to the lives of people. If anything, I push them to seek your help, I push them towards making their lives meaningful. I am hopeful unlike you.  I might makes their lives painful, but even those thoughts come from you.

Just take a look around yourself. People make movies about me, write stories about my presence in their lives. I'll give it you, you are amazing, but we do not exist without each other, and that's possible because I make it happen. 

And I make it happen because I want my name to be written beside yours.

Brain: Oh stop manipulating me emotionally, you evil thing. Fine, let us have it your way. But do not come to me when someone breaks you, I am too exhausted to bandage your wounds. 

Heart: *Giggles* 

Monday, December 01, 2014

Words And Reflections!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, December 01, 2014 4 comments Links to this post

“She had the world’s worst poker face: her feelings floated across them like reflections on a still pond.”

― Jojo Moyes


She finally sat down to write with a pen and a notepad, overlooking the fairy lights up high in her room. The faint rustling of the trees in her courtyard distracted her time and again. She let her thoughts go astray for a moment, and gathered herself again.
Too many adjectives describing him? Edit relentlessly, said one of her post-it-notes. 
Look for imperfections, said another.
As she was scratching her head looking for imperfections, there was yet another distraction. She dashed into her balcony to see the raindrops adorning the streets, young couples running towards trees for shelter, dogs and cats cuddling under carts and cars, and children with bright red umbrellas running in circles with paper boats in their hands. 
Surreal. She muttered. But not again.
She sat down to write again, not letting anything deter her focus. She did not want to be flippant this time.
He was noble, he had his off moments; he was absurd, but being imperfect wasn't one of his liabilities. Like a haiku poem, he was mysteriously beautiful. Of course, he was oblivious to it.
She tried to recreate his voice but she could not. She tried hard to recollect his figure but it was distorted in time. She closed her eyes and tried to picture his smile, but she could barely picture it.
She tried to remember all the conversations they had and this time, she could remember all of it. Words meant everything to her. She had a flair at remembering every word ever said to her. And she did.
She crumpled the paper and opened a fresh one.
"The sea fell in love with the sand," she wrote in big, bold letters.
 

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