My time at the cafe

Do you have a Happy Place?

Recently I was exchanging comments with a fellow blogger about places and what they are like. It made me think about my time at the Cafe.

Yes, it’s THE Cafe! I go there alone, usually to write. Sometimes to think or to read.

The place is old and a little worn out. The sign sometimes tilts a little and the corner light occasionally flickers. I know the music, what song will play next; I know the playlist by-heart. The guy at the counter knows that I like my water cold and my latte plain- no cream, no syrup. The second tile near the counter creaks; I deliberately step on it each time so that I can listen to the sound of it. The tree outside is a beautiful one, with it branches low. Autumn turns its leaves orange and yellow and the wind russtles lightly through it. I have seen it endure some storms too. After around four in the evening, the sun peeks at me through its netted branches. I always look up at it from my spot (Oh, I forgot to tell you about my spot, the second sofa to the right of the door and another one to the left, if ever my spot is occupied). 

Most of the days, a man visits the cafe. He sits on the table that is diagonally across me outside the door- always. 

He sits down and places his keys plus a pack of cigarettes side by side at the corner of the table- always. 

Then looks up at me and waves with a bright smile on his face- ALWAYS. 

And always, I wave back 🙂

Somedays he keeps looking at his phone or he reads the newspaper. I don’t know his name still I’d like to call him my friend. Because there have been days when I was thinking and writing about something really sad but then he comes along and smiles at me in such a warm way that my mood lifts a little. He does not know this but he is one of the reasons that make my time at the cafe so peaceful. I’d like to talk to him someday or maybe not.

This place is good for my soul, I fathomed. When I am here I think better, clearer ; It is like my mind palace. When I am not writing anything, I just look out of the window at things, people. The simplest of things like the wasp buzzing outside the pane or the froth in my coffee slowly dying – seem to be interesting. Even though I am alone, I feel at peace with myself and my place in this universe. Looking at the lights passing by, things seem to slow down- like I am sitting there, cozy all by myself and everything passes by in such blinding speed that I can feel my breath; pulse twitching on my wrist. Yes, I exist and I am at peace.

This cafe has given me so many stories, feelings, memories and smiles. I’ve filled diaries here, written some beautiful lines, read wonderful books; I have thought about people, forgiveness, hatered, love, gratitude.

I am so thankful that this cafe exists.
I think everyone deserves a place like this!

You Think You Are Right?

There is a thing with human beings, we think whatever we think and know is true.

As a kid when I first read about atoms- protons, neutrons, electrons!…I was  awestruck that something so small and significant existed. I gaped at the thought that I see and touch it everyday yet I never feel its presence. It was like opening my eyes to something that was right in front of me all the time. I remember thinking about my school desk looking at it like an object of amazement and wondering how electrons are revolving around billions of nuclei. And it was so damn hard to believe, I almost told myself that it was a lie. A few days days passed and another thought occurred to me; before I knew of atoms, I thought there was nothing like it. I was unaware of its existence and it was okay..that is how I knew things were. Wood is just wood. I thought I was right.

We think we are right. Don’t we?

Then, it occurred to me what if there could be more to atoms and we think it’s just atoms because we don’t know more about it yet. And the thought was so eye opening that I have clung to it ever since.

Whenever I feel I know something, I look twice to check if I can see more to it. Even if I can’t, I like to keep this thought at the back of my mind that there might be something that I still can’t see..that I still don’t know.

Be it facts or emotions. There is always (okay..almost always) more to it than we know. We believe what we see and hear (I’m more of a see-person) and it is such a surprise that it rarely limits to those boundaries.

Boundaries, in any sense I have seen are meant to be surpassed. There is something beyond boundaries, I have no clue what that something amounts to; it might be a fraction or it might be millions and billions of things. Once it is surpassed..the ground where you land is the new boundary and then it goes on boundary after boundary after boundary.

We keep building and breaking boundaries.

Life appears to be a cycle of it. Like a limbo.

I don’t intend to write a scientific blog. I’m not much of a science girl. I think of all this is in such generic terms. I have had this habit of relating everything to my life and if and when I am unable to relate, I start to loose interest.

When it comes to people in my life, they never cease to amaze me..you think this is where the limit is. This is where she stops but then she takes two steps extra- SURPRISE! and this happens all the time. See, boundaries surpassed?!

This is a funny habit, relating unrelated things and even more funny is the fact that you usually end up establishing a relation. Things aren’t so hard to connect once you start at it. It just connects. Maybe it is all connected for real?

I don’t know if the above chatter makes any sense to you, does it?

Actually the matter is, the server is down..I am jobless and I’ve had around five cups of coffee already! Hope that adds some sense to my mindless musings.

Much love, I hope your coffee is as strong as mine(and not so strong, if you prefer it light ;)).

Wisdom & Stuff

Alex says-

“We live in time- it holds and moulds us- but I’ve never felt I understood it very well. And I am not referring to the theories about how it bends and doubles back or may exist elsewhere in parallel versions. No, I mean ordinary, everyday time which clocks and watches assure us passes regularly; tick tock click clock. Is there anything more plausible than a second hand? And yet it takes only the smallest pleasure or pain to teach us times malleability. Some emotions speed it up; others slow it down; occasionally it seems to go missing- until the eventual point where it actually does go missing, never to return.”

Julian Barnes seems to have known or created the smart Alex. He is from the book ‘The Sense of an Ending’ . I have never in my life read such an accurate description of how time really feels. Recently, I have read two books and coincidentally, both of them have taught me so much about time. Or maybe just made me realize what it really is and how powerful a little second can be. It was a wonderful experience reading these beautiful books but I would be lying if I don’t tell you that I am scared of time now; the power it holds and the delusional beings that we are!

A second and things might turn around completely. A second and it could be the difference between life and death. A second and you could have a completely different life. It’s just strange and amazing that there is no control. No matter how much you want it, you will never have it. That’s how life is shaped.

I can’t stop telling myself “Girl, you are small, you are insignificant”

I am not underestimating myself, here I mean this in an entirely different context.We feel we are all powerful, controlling the course of our lives..mastering time and achieving the ultimate.It’s all about us…the happy, sad, horrid- all of it.

What I decide! – What I desire! – How I wish to go ahead with my life! – The people I decide to love and to hate!

To make and break!

ME! ME!! ME!!!

Now when I think back I see Time laughing at me all through it. Every minute of my life when I thought I had the control. I suddenly feel betrayed and utterly stupid but I am not pissed off, not one bit. It just feels funny, you know…like I was pushing this wall with full rigor and then there is this moment; I realize how stupid I am. It’s so damn stupid that it feels funny. I thought I had the controls not even once realizing that there was no control! Just frantic running all around and a perfect illusion of control. Suddenly I feel as if wisdom has hit me like a truck! And I can’t help but wonder if this is an illusion in itself.

If there is one thing that I can conclude from my frantic musings is that I’ll never know enough. I am going to have these illusions all the time and I can at least laugh at myself that moment and tell myself “Just an illusion dear!”

Maybe wisdom is knowing that you don’t know enough.

A friend used to tell me – “You never know”  he used to say this all the time and I thought of it as something to live by. I guess I will add to it today and form a version of it for myself –

“You never know enough” I’ll say.

And then there is another such thought, again from a friend (yes my friends are smart and wise it seems :P) –

“A perfect illusion” she says.

As I sit here in this empty cafe writing about time as it softly, silently ticks by I can only smile and tell myself- Life indeed can be a beautifully sad string of perfect illusions.

The Phone Call

Buzzzzzz…my phone goes, it’s you!

The frown on my face transforms to a smile and my eyes burning from the glow of the computer screen instantly light up.

Within seconds, we start ranting about our lives.

Mostly, what has gone wrong and Oh! how things are a mess.

We laugh about it all.

We tell each other, how life would have been easier without some people,

and as I hear your voice,

I softly whisper to myself;

“and so much easier because of some people”

❤

A small town…called HOME

There is a sweet attachment that one has with the place they hail from. Be it a great big city or a small town. Geographically, be it of immense importance or simply lost on the map. You belong to the place and now, it dwells within you somehow.

The sweet nostalgia when you saunter through the streets of the town. I live away but I still call it my home. I might have spent a substantial amount of time in this other lovely city but it will never be home to me.

When asked, “Where are you leaving for?”

I always answer, “Home”

‘Coming home’ is a feeling and this place gives me just that.

Strolling through the market, the shop-owner gives me a bright smile and slips an extra chocolate in my grocery bag. He recognizes the small girl he once knew and I guess she is still the same for him.

In the pitch dark sky, I see thousands and thousands of stars twinkling as I lay on my terrace for hours. The sound of  crickets and  occasional cries of the peacock from the jungle, mingle with the silence that warmly wraps my home atop the hill.

As I put up some little twinkling lights in my garden and look at my parents sitting, sipping tea…the corners of their eyes wrinkling with laughter…I certainly know that this is HOME.

 

Weekly Discover Challenge

Hope!

 

She was standing amidst this storm, heavy dark clouds closing in every minute. The howling wind when brushed past her freckled skin sent chills deep down her spine. She looked around at all the dull and tired faces; almost like zombies. It felt as if this was some disparate world.

A dead world.

Everything neutral.

And she had become a part of it.

Neither tears nor smiles. She almost felt dead…tired of searching for life and not finding it ever.

She almost gave in to it… just then, she was blinded by a stark shimmer.

A shine, she very well recognized!

Her eyes sparkled just like it that moment…

HOPE!

It was hope! Yet again… 

Right there.

She was in love with hope, it sparkled in the dull.

The shine of it caught her eye, every single time.

When the world around her almost strangled her to death, hope found her.

It hit her then…she always found it…a new life in hope.

The glimmer of it had found home in her soul. The storms stayed, but hope pierced through all of it like a subtle beam of light bringing her back to life.

Yes, she was a hopeful kind of person even in a dead..DEAD world.

It kept her alive.

 

The Daily Post: Shine

Bits…of the whole

Bits; pieces; chunks; torn from the whole.

 

A piece of cake,

A page from a book,

A tissue paper torn in half…scribbles all over it.

 

A spoon of porridge from your bowl,

The faint humming of the songs you sing,

The things you mumble under you breath,

The hint of shy smile at the corner of your lips.

 

 

A piece of the entire – so much more than full.

 

Image credits: Priyesh Jain or Kavya Pandey (Sorry, I don’t remember distinctly) 🙂

Pink and Yellow

The society that we live in demands ambition. It measures success and happiness on how ambitious you are and how you work to achieve those goals you’ve set for yourself (For your sake, I hope you have done it solely for yourself).

When it comes to me, I am not very ambitious. No, I don’t wish to be famous or rich beyond imagination. Nor do I want to conquer the world with my ideas. I just want to be! Traversing through life at my own pace…I am slow, I like to stand aside and enjoy the view. I am okay with achieving my dreams late in my life. I don’t want to rush with them in my twenties itself.

I’ve always felt that people with “REAL” goals have difficult lives. They have to toil day and night to put things on track, to keep up with the brutal competition. I have never been one of those people. However, I’ve come to realize, the simple goals like being away from the burden of ‘the social definitions of success’ are equally difficult to achieve. You just can’t slip away from its grip, no matter how good you are at sneaking.

I have nothing against the people who are ambitious or those who tune in with the widely accepted definitions of success. I respect you all, for you have guts and real strength. The society we live in is tremendously flawed and equally brutal. It has all these stringent rules drafted and methods crafted!

One slip and you experience a downpour of criticism. It can be really damaging to the spirit, when all you’ve ever tried is to keep up. There are people who fall and then there are people who keep going. I feel, we all break. Some of us break completely, some have little broken pieces here and there but we keep going. It’s just that we are all built with different thresholds. I don’t understand why people find it so difficult to respect this little fact.

At some point we all come under the same umbrella of “YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH!”. Some for never being good enough while some for not trying enough. The world is rarely happy with any of us. You might get that appreciation temporarily until you slip; One slip is all it takes!

It just makes me sad.

Why are we made this way?

I ask myself a lot of times.

Why can’t we be more kind and considerate?

Why do we have to judge people?

Why do we even need to define measures of success?

What makes us think that other humans should conform to our standards?

The answers are lost…

If it is Pink for one, it can be Yellow for the other.

They are tracks apart, but both of them are equally beautiful. Just because you prefer Pink does not mean yellow is ugly.

Don’t forget, Yellow can be sunshine!

 

The Daily Post

To The People We Love

I have no clue, how to form a ground for what I am willing  to convey. So I guess, I’ll jump straight to the point.

I have slowly, with time…come to realize that the things that make me happy are all connected to the people I love. There is this bunch of people and my life just revolves around them. There is nothing else, I don’t need anything else. They are my world, my survival kit and probably the reason why I actually want to go through life.

Today evening, while on the phone I was wondering how I absolutely adore these people.

The sound of their laughter, feeds my soul a smile. The sound of them when they’re sad, sucks my soul dry.

I have caught myself worrying about them more than I ever worry about myself. I would span the Earth…the entire Universe for them, if need be.

I am not bragging about my capability to love someone nor is this a declaration of my love for these people. However, you might call it a simple note of gratitude if you want.

They help form a vital part of my personality. There are certain parts of me that exist solely due to them. Maybe they are those parts themselves.

I find it amusing, how we are all separate-breathing-individuals yet some of us mysteriously connect.

We meet so many people through life but not all of them are scribbled in ink!

To all those people in my life: Your smile makes my life beautiful. Love you all to the moon and beyond… ❤

 

The Daily Post

The in-SIGNIFICANT Part of My Day…

Busy days! There is a thing with busy days. They are weird, both good and bad.

Mostly, you don’t get the time to think about anything at all. You are all too caught up in work!

Some days, you are so tired after a day at work that once you get back home you don’t even realize when you drift into slumber. The sleep though, sweet and deep!! No usual struggle with the mind. It’s relaxing.

Then there are days, where you are tired but you can’t sleep…maybe you need more than just sleep. You take a nice hot shower and turn on some good music accompanied by little yellow lights( Yes! I’m obsessed with these) and just sit there comfortably wrapped in your blanket digging into a jar of nutella! ❤

Well, the point is…

I find it funny, how I dread busy days. When I think about a day that has been all busy this is what I usually recall ;

-work and work- oh I’m so tired- missed my lunch- my head hurts- is this what you call life? huh!- etc etc-

See the point? I tend to count all the negatives! The time after work, I never seem to remember that.

It’s just funny and maybe a fact! Maybe a funny fact about me or you…or probably all of us!

This makes me think about the bigger picture then. How I might be missing on the best moments when busy counting the ones I dread.

We need more of such musings I suppose!

Glad I could think about the best part today 🙂