still corners

I want to tell you about 3:36 AM, my customary – my signature clock read. The house and the world outside the window, hum with quiet.

I want to tell you about the nostalgia that shrouds you at this hour from your first memory to random office conversations to beer-soaked evenings with best friends to all the random quiet corners of your life.

I want to tell you about this morning, I woke up to the moon playing a peek-a-boo with the tall buildings – like wisp of a presence – letting the ambers of street take over, with a grace of someone who was here when it all began and will be here when it’s all over.

Insomnia teaches you things, you would other wise perhaps miss – the way the streets play host to teeming automobiles and humans of various shapes and stature with same equanimity and stands firm in solitude, the way the sky changes from dark to bright, the way the world begins to swell then with the sounds of birds, the way the water lapping up the harbour front turns from ghostly to benign; the way mystery turns to magic to mundane.

We moved this May. It was a silent brewing storm in more ways than one.

We moved to an apartment with wall-to-wall glass windows, apartment less than half the size of our old home. Where quiet is complete. It took us a while to create home – we are still putting our lives back together. Lived-in beige cream couches, white TV console – courtesy Ikea; photo-memo holders, fairy lights, throw pillows, the cute kitchen dotted with cuter doll-house appliances and Lego strewn living room carpet.

Nirvaan is on the cusp of the tween he is becoming and kid he is. I know this move is good for him – yet there are times – the quintessential parental second-guessing chides. The subtle negotiating of his emotional terrain whilst keeping my natural reticence in check – takes all, some days and then the showering of kisses and the run and tackle whooping “Mumma HUGGGG!” more than makes up for every single moment of privation of the last decade – not just this move.

We went grocery shopping and played at the park in the evening.  We had fruits and veggies for dinner. We have plans to sleep-in and then go to the pool tomorrow.

I hold my breath. And soak in every moment. Alive to each one of them. My time is flying – as it’s wont to do – at this space and speed. Being grateful for pocketful of seconds, I have been granted this time around.

At nights I still get to envelope his 9-year-old small boy fragrant frame, in my warmth; whilst missing the warmth where I could fold myself up like a bird.

It was so incredible and scary and amazing to start, and start again. Becoming too precious about things. To question everything. To commit to something. To love. To fight because you are scared. To find meaning in the scare. To find the right lines, the right tone and colour of moods.

I have faith in the process of making this life work, is showing up, resilience, to inhale the bittersweet of moments and say “I can do this like a rockstar!”

And for the nth time I think – there’s nothing in the world I would trade my life for. 

This is the life I want. A few more steps... 

Copyright © Neerja Yadav

La Vie

Life has a way of stopping you and also getting you to run. Amidst all the best-laid plans – it sneaks up on you.

A month of back-to-back days; without a minute to collect breath – there have been hurriedly written journal entries or notes scrawled in the margins during meetings.

I come back tired these days. Amidst the teeming madness of a big city life – finding the quiet for the core can be a task, sometimes.  So, back in the apartment where the stereo croons something soft changing tempo to imagine dragons to ‘80s disco and back to alternative. My playlist like my friends and living too, is eclectic. I cook – I try and write – I devour books or binge Netflix. Or simply just let the being float in vacuum.

I don’t get much sleep – but that’s always been de rigueur much like my denims and white tee – in dreams where ideas take shape and things are woolly soft or where the anger gets amplified – a narrative happens. A twisted messy glorious pretty narrative. And just like that the ideas begin to converge like iron filings in a slow motion drag to magnet.

Despite myself, the default of curling up with a book, last weekend – went out for a dinner with a set of funny brilliant women. M who is kickass and warm; to be honest she used to intimidate me and then I figured she is a choco-lava cake! ‘A’ who is so full of life – the practical and the practiced too – she could easily be an elder sister, partner in crime and then we have another 'A' who makes you laugh so hard you weep/pee your pants with her straight face anecdotes.

Then took a mid week break to walk down a promenade – watching the sea and feeling the ‘mistral’ blowing through a sunny day. A stroll through a near empty huge shopping mall – catching up on the woman superhero – much slicker than superman could ever hope to be; Captain Marvel! A much needed break to balance out the craziness the human systems become.

I took my notebook with me. And, what I remember is the heat of an azure blue sky and the wind turning up the brolly upside down. The huge warm amber chandeliers and mustard laden burger from shake and shack.

To paraphrase Max Ehrman – Despite all the mess – it’s a beautiful planet!

What I miss is the sweetness of my baby. His fingers; in mine, and his smell – which still carries a hint of the baby boy.

What I remember is this: to show up and show up with the intention. There. Done. The beginning is here.

Copyright © Neerja Yadav