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  • fat_sparrows 63w

    We sat at a table draped with a checkered pink and white tablecloth. They matched the tiles on the floor- checkered, but not pink and white. The ceiling fan above us creaked audibly, as though to proclaim it was indeed working, even if the Mumbai heat ensured it served no real purpose. The waiter half-threw, half-placed the menu at our table with a blatant exasperation that was quite usual in restaurants like these. No managers hovering around to ask if we liked the food, that wasn't a thing back then, and not that we'd know even if it were, because we couldn't afford going to such restaurants. We were broke 16 year olds. Panipuri and Vada pav were our guilty pleasures.

    The clean wide Matunga streets outside were littered with dried leaves that had fallen down from trees that lined the roads. It was the transition season between winter and summer. We didn't call it autumn or fall, but it was somewhat that.

    “Ek Schezwan fried rice aur do lemon soda” we placed our order
    “Spicy/medium spicy?”
    Why is it that when we ordered food at a restaurant we mostly went for the chinese?

    Two college forms stuck out of our bags, carefully rolled up, because important documents were not meant to be folded for some reason. These forms were basically why we were here. We were collecting forms from all prestigious colleges to try our luck everywhere and settle with whichever college accepted us. Two weeks later we'd be here again to check if the list with percentages in descending order had our names on it. This was before everything became online. Our scores would be paraded in notice boards for others to see if we had succeeded or failed. But my friend and I weren't thinking about that, we were wondering whether to have ice cream from the restaurant or from the store outside where it could possibly be cheaper. The waiter arrived with the same exasperated look. If I had to serve unauthentic chinese that the kitchen rolled out all day for a minimum wage, I'd be exasperated too.

    There's one thing about chinese food though, no matter how many times you've had it, you would keep coming back to it, not so much because you liked it, but because you know chances of going wrong with chinese (food) were rare. Humans love a safety net, even if it's something as trivial as ordering food in a restaurant.

    We split the bill. ₹97 + ₹40. So ₹70 per person. Cool. Food wasn't as expensive back then. Oh the joys of 2011. Walking towards the railway station, we went past roadside book stalls, the women selling jasmine garlands, the bustling Ram Ashraya. It was past 6 PM, meaning the train would be cramped with office crowd. It was amusing to note how office crowd decided what time would be the best to travel in local trains. We'd left home at 1:30, strategically planning that we'd have enough time to collect the forms and come back before the trains got packed. Alas, the last minute hunger pang, and the conveniently located restaurant two minutes away from Ruia college had betrayed us. Not that we minded. Boarding trains that didn't have breathing space was the norm for us. We'd mostly be separated once inside the train, so my friend and I said 'Chal’ to each other before boarding the train. 'Chal’ is an informal ‘bye’. A bye without the undertones of farewell.

    We had no clue if we'd get into this college, we didn't care either, we were perfectly fine waiting two more weeks to find out. Those were simpler times, way before anxiety and overthinking came into the picture. We were unprepared for the what-nots that we'd be slammed with a few years down the line, but it didn't matter. We were content with our fried rice, our lemon sodas, and the ice cream bought from the departmental store. We were broke but we always had enough. And if we didn't, we could always choose between Vada Pav and Panipuri.

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    Humans love a safety net, even if it's something as trivial as ordering food in a restaurant

  • fat_sparrows 67w

    Do you see how social media rings of criticism these days? If only we hadn't waited until push came to shove. But hey, it's still not too late, amplify your voices. Speak, because they are afraid of us. Our voice can get too loud, louder than taalis and thaalis ☺️

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    We have a spoon at home that nobody uses.
    My mother was the one to stop using it initially for absolutely no reason
    And going by example, I stopped using it too.
    My father thought something's ought to be wrong with that spoon, so he stopped using it too.
    Once a guest opened our kitchen drawer in search of a spoon, and I said, 'Hey! Don't use that spoon, use this one!'
    The guest obviously hadn't formed any opinions on the spoon, but by word of mouth, he believed me too.
    So the spoon just lay there in the drawer shunned by all of us, for no fault of its own
    It was just a spoon
    Just as the other spoons
    And yet its reputation remained soiled, and proliferated even.
    Why? Because someone somewhere decided to frame it a bad spoon, without any logical or scientific reasoning.
    And nobody else seemed to have a problem with it, so they all just blindly agreed in unison.

    And that is exactly how communal hate, casteism, racism, sexism, and most other plagues that haunt our society spread :)
    And THAT is why we need to use our voices and speak up against it every chance we get.
    Because today it's this spoon, tomorrow it could be your favourite spoon.
    And when would it all end? When they come for our forks?
    Well, I for one don't have a single fork to give.

  • fat_sparrows 74w


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    When the wind finds abode in an ancient Peepal, the leaves fall toward the earth to the rhythm of an invisible force that cradles them into the soil. Sometimes they find a crevice in concrete, sometimes they find fertile ground. Nevertheless, they grow. Slowly inching towards the sun, they build their way into existence again.

    When your rustling mind falters meek to the ground, look where the sun shines, chin up. You'll find me there, lending you a hand.

  • fat_sparrows 74w

    My 10 year plan

    I hope I have a big comfortable couch, and I can change channels on the TV lounging on it before I eventually doze off

    I hope the house I have has a nice balcony, and I have some plants in the balcony that don't die on me, and I hope sparrows and other little birds often come visit me there. No offense to pigeons and crows, but they can watch from afar

    I hope when life presents me with a choice to pick between being opportunistic and being a decent person, I always choose the latter

    I hope I am a part of protests, I hope I grab every chance to be on the right side of history

    I hope I don't fall back into my old routine of staying up till 3 AM

    I hope to continue to believe in the power of words. In a world of power and authority, I hope we as a society can make a difference despite being seemingly trivial

    I hope my work doesn't affect my ergonomics, got to have that chair position right!

    I hope I bake and experiment with making many many desserts before the diabetes hits me (I know it's coming)

    I hope I am still friends with the people I was when I was 16.

    I hope I shed some of the cynicism.

    I hope I have a library, a comprehensive collection of books for every mood, whimsical or serious, morose or happy, or just indifferent and lazy

    I hope whenever I'm sad, I can learn to eventually stop being sad

    I hope I am the dentist 4/5 patients recommend

    I hope I am rich. Of course.

    I hope the world is cleaner, literally and metaphorically

    I hope there's love around the corner, always

    Plans don't always work, but let this be a plan underway, gradually progressing into completion. Amen.

  • fat_sparrows 75w

    No I don't agree that the last line was quite lame, and what the heck is फुर्सत‌ in English?

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    So, in the healthcare field, we are made to take case histories of the patient where we describe them under certain parameters. And there's this one bit where they ask to describe the gait of the patient. And like everything else, gait has its own classification too.

    Today I was walking behind a stranger and it seemed like that person was just done with everything. The characteristic drooping shoulders, one arm hanging purposelessly by their side and the other fiddling with a loose thread on their garment, head hung low with no intent to acknowledge what the horizon holds. A gait like that isn't recognised in any classification. We would consider it normal, which in all fairness, it is. But isn't there more to it?

    Why is it that we fail to see beyond what our eyes can see? Why do we classify everything under certain subsections? Perhaps, everything is not so simplified, we need to look at more than what our eyes present to us. Each day it feels like we are moving in and out of our jaded perspectives with blinkers around our eyes like that of an horse (I'm highly guilty of the same), and this could be asking for too much, but I wish we as a society were better than that. I wish we'd just try to fix things even when it is not expected of us. It is difficult to do the right thing when we don't have an audience, but I wish we went ahead and did the difficult thing anyway.

    There is a definite need to recognise what's going on around us and there's only so much we can ignore. Albeit life doesn't give us the leisure of फुर्सत‌ to pull up our sleeves and take things up hands-on without it being asked of us, but I wish we participated more, were present more, and you know, I wish we didnt have to memorise so many classifications because I swear to God there are too many of them and this was all just about me not wanting to rote-learn all of them. But hey also, just have each other's back, reach out to people, go the extra mile sometimes. I know none of us have the time for it, and not everyone can be Bob the builder, but if everyone comes together we can all करके दिखाएंगे.

  • fat_sparrows 77w


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    It's the year 2021.
    Things are back to normal
    Pffftt, it's a farce.
    Nothing is normal
    Nothing ever was.
    What is normal even?
    Everything is perspective
    What's normal for Luna Lovegood may never be normal for you.

    Sanity? Yes, that is a thing.
    It's insane to consider some things normal.
    Like how it's 2021, and people still think fascism is normal?
    Yes, that's not normal.
    That's both abnormal and insane.

    This one time I'd been to an exhibition
    Not particularly because I like going to exhibitions
    But because I attribute going to exhibitions as fancy and classy
    And when I went to one, I realised it indeed was fancy and classy
    I didn't feel fancy or classy myself though
    I just felt the exhibitors at the exhibition were mighty fancy and classy
    That didn't make me feel shitty, however
    I was happy to know there were fancy and classy people in this world
    Even if I wasn't one of them.

    That day I realised, we all have a certain role to play in this society
    Not everyone can be everything.
    You can be the fancy one
    I can be the one in awe of your fanciness
    You can be the producer
    I can be the consumer of your product
    You can be the government
    I can be the people
    You can make rules and laws
    And I can be the one to assent or dissent to those rules and laws
    And together, we can be a democracy.

    For a democracy needs two things
    You, the government
    And me, the people.
    If you don't have me - the people
    It will just be you,
    Your rules,
    Your laws.
    So why am I even here then?
    Do you even want me here?
    Or are you trying to, you know...well, I can't really say it out loud
    I don't feel comfortable expressing myself
    I somehow feel like I've lost that privilege (almost) (not yet) (not entirely)

  • fat_sparrows 81w

    Hi, Mirakee. Been long. Bye, Mirakee.

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    Some nights, some nights you just lie awake on your bed, completely aware of the fact that you're going to regret this the next morning, but oh man, some nights, some nights you can't help but stay awake because life has been such a jumble of messy knots but yet it has been so good to you. And at night time, when that one dog is barking for some unknown reason, when you can hear that one leaky tap dripping water on an overflowing bucket, you are consumed by this zen state of awareness that you're so immensely blessed, and oh man, life is good. And when you have that feeling, you don't just go to sleep. You savour it, no matter how late in the night it is. It's always worth it. Well then, night.

  • fat_sparrows 89w

    When life gives you lemon, add ginger.

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    Mothers and Ginger-lemon concoctions

    It was 1:17 AM and I was alone in my rented flat, stooped over the kitchen counter, unable to stand straight because of a particularly suspicious sandwich I had eaten for lunch from a suspicious-looking kiosk. As I was struggling to extract the juice from the ginger, and my stomach felt like all the organs inside were slowly disintegrating, I couldn't help but think about the 7 year old me who was once stooped just like this over the sink, one hand clutching her tummy and the other a toothbrush. I had an exam in school that day, but my tummy didn't seem to agree with it. My mother was ready with a ginger-lemon concoction, which according to her, could solve all problems in life. I hated it, and I told her I would rather not give my exam and fail second grade, than drink that monstrosity. Of course she coaxed and lured me with the prospect of having added a lot of sugar in it, so it wouldn't taste so bad, and the naive 7 year old me was on the brink of believing that lie. Why would a mother lie to her child after all, to make the fussy eater drink a pungent medicine? I don't think so! Well, both times, the ginger-lemon concoction seemed to have some kind of magical power, because the pile of dissolving organs in my stomach suddenly started to feel alright.

    That night, I would've given anything to not be alone and have my mother make that ginger-lemon concoction for me. She would reprimand me for eating outside, and put one extra teaspoon of sugar to make it less pungent, and everything would be alright again. The 7 year old me and the 25 year old me had one thing in common, we both still believed our mother, the only difference was that the 25 year old me was less reluctant. Being an adult is an absolute farce. 9/10 times you will wish your mother was around to help you get through life. And you're lying if you say you're independent and don't need your mommy anymore. Everybody needs their mommy.

    So basically what I'm trying to say is-
    1) Mothers are amazing, and they know everything.
    2) Ginger-lemon concoctions are amazing, and they can always fix an upset tummy.
    3) Ginger-lemon concoctions cannot fix ovarian cysts. I speak from experience, because once when I was 17 I had a gut-wrenching pain in my abdomen because of one of my ovarian cysts (I've had 3) and my mother tried to fix it with a concoction. One surgery later, she was proven wrong.
    4) Go to a doctor if you have ovarian cysts.

  • fat_sparrows 92w

    I am also. But I wish I was amn't.

    PS- Poetry is subjective

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    I think, therefore I can't sleep.

  • fat_sparrows 98w

    Side note- I understand social distancing, I'm sure so do they. I'm a healthcare professional myself, so no I'm not vilifying the need of the hour. I'm just trying to look at the nuances of life. It's okay to look at some butterflies even when the world is burning. Please don't come at me ��

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    There's something absolutely beautiful about lockdown weddings. Keeping aside the fact that they’re saving a ton of money spent on people they barely know, it is also an audacious proclamation of love. It's the middle of a pandemic, there's so much uncertainty about almost everything happening in our lives. Heck, the entire world watches as the year continues to unfold bizarre events month after month. But here we have two people willing to look 2020 in the eye, and say 'I do’. It's almost a testimony of how nothing, not even a worldwide crisis can stop love. You come in the way of love, they'll find a way around it.