last of the decade


A silent goodbye to a bridge year. A transcedental staircase, if you will.
A year of navel gazing and seeking the universe.
A year of understanding the importance of little things, every moment and coming to terms with irrelevance of it all.
A year of being honest, hurtful and et al!
A year of being quiet and ranting and then quiet again. Peace at last!
A fruitful year!  
Adieu, Oh Ten!

Dear Calendar, bring on 2011 now! 
365 ways of defining my days.



Copyright © Neerja Yadav

dreams of new york

oft late, theres this overpowering urge to move to new york
and yea as cliched as it sounds, i figured this isn't for any cliched reasons at all
especially with the unfeasiblity of even the thought!! the place am right now, the denseness and the unsettled entwined so intricately together and am unravelling them one knot at a time... that yep, even the idea of a simple travel from one city to another sounds unsurmountable... "no, can do!" 

and like a flash and bolt from the blue, only its more a nudge, a nagging from the blue... i have this... "move to new york!" and yes, i love united states for what it is... and yes, i have enjoyed all my stops and stay there... but it never did figure into my scheme of things... things one calls life, while what we are exactly doing daily... is it really life? is it really living? 

another thing, that keeps me pre-occupied oft late... living! i guess i am... not a 100% yet... but i have begun... i de-wire as soon and as much as possible... i am reading books and watching movies like am on a mission...

and i even went to an extent of a tiny makeover of sorts! i play with my son, i cook(!!!) yep... gourmet dinners at that... !!  i make small talks with my neighbors (this definitely is a first with me!) i was almost most anti-social person i personally knew! :)  so, thats like a star for me! 

so, i need, (see... how it already changed to a need??) to move to new york, for all it has to offer... in terms of culture and expansion of mind and for being on the cusp of mundane and magic... the co-existence of nouveau-art and old-world, the tabloids and the literature as true blue as they come... its mumbai, only better!

and i have no idea, how and when and what should i do to get this ticked off my "to-do"... not that its on "to-do"... i have no idea from adam (or eve or whatever), all i know is i should, i have to... and perhaps i will! 

i guess i will! maybe soon.... maybe this is destiny becknoning! ah... am such a chick flick kinda chick!! :) serendipity, y'all!

Copyright © Neerja Yadav
 

p.s: i took off the comments because of some stupid trolling and hurtful things flung across my way, for those of you, who come by.... thank you, folks! write to me, if you really wish to talk. for the trolls: this is my space, isnt it? and not put up for your pleasure, so, shut up!
 

1000 to 0 MPH - M theory - my version

commas and ellipses
and you never finish anything
whats with the un-finished ayway?
nonexistent nothing
the uncertainity of ambiguity
the unsent letters
and thought-riding sentences
i should perhaps fill, bags with pencils and pictures
crayons and broken mirrors
toy cars and balloons
things that are real... 

Copyright © Neerja Yadav

life list

i have been dodging showing up here, things have been tumbling more through the rabbit hole than the looking glass...

for the first time in weeks, i feel i can breathe and then some and something which i have been procrastinating for 1000 years is now done... 

this a lucid list, in no particular order... 36 things which i would do before i say "so long and thank you for all the fish!" :) 

__________________________________________________________________________________




1.    Write and publish a book.
2.    Take a road trip across the US in a camper
3.     Live in Greece for a year.
4.    Learn French.
5.     Learn to ballet dance.
6.     Grow a garden
7.     Build my own dark room/ studio
8.     Make a film .
9.     Take photographs daily for a year.
10.   Write regularly for a magazine/newspaper.
11.   Buy a potters wheel & kiln and throw pots in the garage.
12.   Teach literature.
13.  Own a farm house/barn in a village to sneak away to.
14.   Meditate.
15.   Learn archery & join a archery club.
16.   Take a trip to South America.
17.   Travel somewhere every year.
18.   Grow a rose garden.
19.   See the northern lights.
20.   Backpack across Europe with my son
21.   Go camping every summer.
22.   See the election of Pope in Vatican.
23.   Visit Prague
24.   Renovate the apartment completely.
25.   Have a Cozy Family room.
26.   Have a library at home
27.   Own books and kitsch shop.
28.   Adopt a baby girl
29.   Learn to drive
30.   Learn to bake.
31.   Make small investments for Nirvaan
32.  Spend a winter in Tibet meditating.
33.  See a Le Reve performance in Wynn Resort
34.  Take the entire family out for vacation
35.  Attend Venice film festival
36.  Work in New York  for McKinsey


 __________________________________________________________________________________


Copyright © Neerja Yadav

grateful* touche'

heaven does conjure up little something to make you happy,
the trick is to relish the fortune while lapping up the cookie,
the trick is to have faith...


 eros, july 2008
 
p.s: *nirvaan runs up and smack! his-signature kissi wissi :D  
Copyright © Neerja Yadav

threading in the music

Today, I am happy and relaxed. And, yes I still have tons to do at work. I think that’s the good thing.  Put me under pressure, I glide. Put me under strain, I balk. And, when it comes to your only child, your first time parenting, even a little looks monstrous and some of these  monstrosities slowly suck the life out of you! 

He is better today and is his happy devil self again!    

The sky is gray except for where the clouds are pulled thin, and then the sun shines through with milky light. Out my window birds arrive: chickadees, pigeons, house sparrows, crows. The alight among the iron railings of the terrace, and preen. Beautiful! Nirvaan gets happy, his four toothed grin radiating glee at them.

This is as close as I’ve come this week, to being outdoors: I even missed being at the School Reunion, the one which I have been looking forward to for months!! So, how do you do this? How do you compartmentalize you heart? I missed being with this bunch, like a hell lot! But, am happy I didn’t go, and stayed home with my son! Does being a woman, makes this easier? I guess.

Watching from my window as the world turns to winter outside. And I can hardly believe it: winter, just like that. The days darker and darker still. Inside, I’m at my desk; an itemized to-do list hanging on the wall in front of me: 104 projects of varying degrees of critical importance to be accomplished.

And it’s intense. That’s for certain. Especially with an infant underfoot!

This not the old jet-set, living of suitcase but at home and work, sedentary yet running, overflowing minutes. I love every single minute of the intensity and the exponential learning that takes place every day as the lens through which I’m looking widens, and then widens again. Its emergent! I love that the word emergent implies that the subject is always in process. Life in process, in evolution!

So right now, on the very smallest scale it comes down to this: to being in the moment, and applying it as broadly and flexibly as possible to all the moments those extend beyond it. It means going into the day expecting surprise; and about being present in the process when things converge—when news feeds, SoWs, code, images, ideas, systems and dirty dishes collide to create a small tear in the present through which innovation pours, like the milky light spilling through the clouds even now.

 one monsoon evening from my terrace


Copyright © Neerja Yadav

"he is just not THAT into you!"

 picture credit: Amit Ghosal


Have you ever noticed how your thoughts almost always follow the same patterns, the same path? Even if it’s out of the box for the world, it becomes run of the mill for you. And, the moment something different strikes you, you are either full of wonder or want to dump it, out right! 

I miss, the days when the world was a big beautiful world and we had questions for everything. We were learning. We were growing. When did we stop? Why? Do I know and understand everything that needs to be known and understood?

Words collect and gush and then collect again, like little rain puddles. Dirty and beautiful! Then words that snapshot the evening skies and starry midnights, dewy mornings and birds on wire; the words that are prim and pretty! How about those words that gathers like cirrus clouds and wrench the fluttering heart and daggers in your marrow about heart aches and arguments and hurt and bouncing back.

Why have we become so wordy? Where is the simplicity of silence? Why do we devise methods of hiding? From our own selves? Why are we a afraid as a race?
 
*

In past week or so, I have been hearing and seeing a lot about cheating-on-your-partner thing. From the web to the Sunday newspaper supplements, looks like media is re-hashing the age old, beaten to death and yet alive issue.

WHY DO PEOPLE CHEAT?  Should this be the question at all?

I believe you can never EVER force loyalty and commitment. If you bind them in words and social structure and legal technicalities etc; if they wish to cheat, if they FEEL a need to Cheat, if they according to them are either unhappy or unsatisfied or do not think enough of the commitment, they would cheat in their MINDS. Can you stop THAT?

Can you place a thought-catcher and use it in a court to settle scores? Why even attempt at settling scores? Wouldn’t the self dignity call for walking away from an uncomfortable situation? If someone did not think enough of you before cheating, has the gumption to either lie or accept. Don’t you think, you must not have been important enough? Then, why the fight? To assert the importance? How is money (in case of legal marriages) a reprisal enough of the thoughtless gesture? Though, it might take care of you (in case you are a dependent spouse and that’s why the law)

We don’t own people. EVEN the blood ties! We as a race should stop asserting our ownership on things. On people! Hasn’t helped! Doesn’t help! Will NOT.

Giving up things is easier, people is not. And, I say; as long as you are together, make it lovely. The moment you feel you might separate, let them go! After all, if one of you was to die, you wouldn’t do anything, right? BUT the ego says, why the other over me? It is never over you! It’s a new thing ONLY; it’s NEVER a new thing!

I am trying to let go of all sense of ownership. It’s tough. But, am trying!

Copyright © Neerja Yadav

handful of sunset



picture: magarpatta sunset from tower 1 wing B

chapel around this feeble heart, buried in the wilderness, it stands mute testimony to time, to space, to cold; misfit verses, rhymeless meanings; clothed in absence... poetry happens, when time melts and conscious hovers, kissing books in the dark

Copyright © Neerja Yadav

energy-sap

So I fell ill and tried sleeping it off.  But I have a year old at home, and this was not the type, I have been waiting for, to catch me unawares; but the “transference-illness”; my son wasn’t feeling well and so… ! 

I tried sleeping it off but all I managed was perpetually fractured REM sleep. And, I carry on full length dramatized conversations and its more than lucid dreaming. It’s as if my conscious hops on a ledge and begins weaving a yarn, replete with complex characters and emotions. Was “Inception” fact-based after all?

The trees are all shedding, quivering in the autumn air, a hint of chill already in the evening air. Harbinger of cold months heading our way. A year of being a mom, a year of uncertainty – such that I have never known, a year of tumultuous emotional fare, on a perpetual roller coaster of hormones and brain chemistry.

I long to reconnect with my own narrative; the narrative that was solely me! And somehow, that doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon. The movie has been shelved. The prints half done.
I dream of far off places, full of wanderlust. My reverie includes taking my baby along, showing him this beautiful planet and seeing things his way. Learning together, growing together. Living full!

Instead I have been on a task tackling spree one after another and by the time, I lie down to let sleep rejuvenate me for those next set of tasks, I am bone-tired but sleep doesn’t come sweetly. Doesn’t take me over, like its meant to and this goes one.

But, in all the chaos and the incoherency, I am thankful. Thankful for my son! For my family!  

A friend said… “be thankful, it could have been worse!” 


picture credit: Niemamowy


Copyright© Neerja Yadav

ONE


You are one today!

We are sick, you and I, still so much a part of each other, down with stuffed cold, which makes your brain goes hollow! 

A year just waved a goodbye and its perhaps been the most eventful year of my entire 32 years on the planet! Watching you grow from a milk like divine-ness to wet-small, big eyed to the little devil you are turning into; has been most satisfying!

You become a mother, your DNA mutates. Your soul literally jumps out and is now trying to maneuver the walker like a bike! (guy, already!!) 

And, every time i think of the moment I gave birth, there's this transcendental quality to it, beyond numbness and beyond pain, sort of surreal... and i slowly blink, bam, you are ONE!

Watching you everyday for first 90 days where it looked like a sinking investment... you keep working and loving and all you get back is loads of dirty laundry... to next 9 months, where every week was like a milestone, now you look at me, now you smile, now you hold your head and curl your fingers, now you giggle and hey, thats the first tooth and excuse me, i can talk "mummmma" 

As a confession: this last year, i almost always tethered on the cusp of black-hole depression, they have a fancy name for it - postpartum, but i belief its just the mind's rebellion against the lost energy synch! You, saved me! 

And, on this day as a pledge to you, who makes me strive towards the best in me: You can count on me... like you do now, always! i do not promise to give you the best of everything out there... i could try, but i do not promise! what i do know, in my very marrow... is that i would never love any other soul as much as i love you!

EVER!

your presence has taught me a new way to living. patience and a new take on things... NOW is what matters!

you are intense and you are gleeful, already we see you staring into space, lost in your thoughts and the very next moment, the perfect infant crankiness... contradiction of sorts! you are cute and you are a rascal, you want to be picked up all the time, sometimes and other times, you want to be left alone. you are this and you are that... above all, you are beautiful! 

a very happy birthday, darling! 

love,
mumma! 


Copyright©Neerja Yadav

the golden hour




 
there was a time, the web was my dwelling. those were the times, when we at Avaya R&D were really pushing on products which would help make everyone, "always-On" like literally all the effing time...Unified Communication, the industry calls it!

in walked facebook, twitter and the likes and the communication took another leap! ha, you guys... hello!! i was always here, just wired differently. 

when i began this blog (and this baby here has seen avatars like indian mythology at its best!) i did not know anyone in real life, who had a blog and i felt pretty unsure and awesome and then unsure again!! but, i wrote, i wrote because, i subsist on words... i wrote to understand myself and everything around me...  i wrote to satiate that insatiable... and it did wonders... twice i almost killed this space (yeah pretty anti-physics that ways... or anti-daily-physics to be precise) and lost some stuff which i logged here.. my dashboard says 180 posts and i know, i lost some 100 more...!  i read more than i write and i publish way less then i actually end up scribbling. it did wonders, because in those heady affair beginning days, when theres no response to all your muted passion leashed unto your journal and then suddenly you see things happening and that dear diary bit begins to feel like prayers or self-fulfilling prophecy.... i made friends!! some real kick-ass folks, am proud to call friends... the comments rocketed and dwindled, some kept in touch and some were lots in the ebb of chip-time and digital space... but the presence and the support, the undying belief and never-ending encouragement was truly AWESOME! 

since then, the face of personal blogging and social networking has mutated into this big giant of a thing! imagine, if either terminator or matrix were ever to be true!! we would be SCREWED! LIKE ROYALLY!  

love as much as i do, this space here... i look up from my sleek fancy laptop and mind gets caught with the quaint splendor of late afternoon autumn light. things basked in golden tint, the distant hills, the skyline and the clear blue sky. a symphony for the senses.

dude, i really don’t wanna miss all this! coming from a generation which will always be on cusp of when things were still Eastman color and an era which did a  double-take on mobile communication… I would always nurse this nostalgia for slow and sweet, big family gatherings, train journeys, poetry recitals and letter writings. 

Am a self confessed geek, I mean, nerd to the core… I knew my unix shell script even before I was out of college, hacking was the professional mecca, and not your astlavista.com styled hacking, a true blue unix/assembly version.

And, yet I say… we need to get off the addiction… and as a personal bit, I get off the grid on weekends. No blogging, no tweets, no fB.. sometimes not even cellphones! Pretty green, eh?  

The fact that I am a full-time mommy to a one year old might have something to do with it! But, all the same… aren’t babies blessings? I know… I named mine just that! :) 

Copyright©Neerja Yadav

moonsick

incessant rains in all sorts of combinatorial falls, all over the place. the universe suddenly feels a damp place, from duotone of green and grey, all goes monochrome grey... skyline, clouds. all.

my ideas, my thoughts, me ... a haphazard mosaic barely stitched together. the threads all visible.

summer is galloping by. Full tilt. Allready the shadows are longer

It has been stormy the past few days: dark skies, cold winds, rain at the slightest suggestion...

the warmth of a fireplace - as distant a dream as moon.

with dreams of perfect pointe' poise and cracks in the universe, am moonsick!


Copyright©Neerja Yadav

eternal sunshine of rabbit-hole!

Sometimes I sift through the artifacts of who I used to be. I move and arrange my things housekeeping my life gone by, creating tag-clouds of stuff and spend hours sorting and perusing and riffling, and discovering again who I used to be.


Since I was twelve I’ve a notebook or journal of some kind more or less consistently, and today when I leaf through several, re-reading words I no longer remember writing. It’s strange! In an embarrassing way! In a good way!


I’m not much of a diarist (though my earlier notebooks were certainly concerned almost entirely with boys and my parents and some of those school girl dreams and friends and my relationships to them.) My notebooks usually contain the recordings of a haphazard, passionate life: words I’ve read and want to learn, conversations overheard, to-do lists, notes for poems, and sometimes the longer unraveling that I wrote to discover what I am feeling in a given situation or moment. And oh, my twenties were abundantly full of feeling. Crushes/Relationships coming and going; loves arduous, delightful, foolhardy, intense.


I was so holographic in my twenties; so changeable to whomever I was around. I was enormously influenced by certain men I dated—and while I’m grateful I didn’t marry any of them, I’m not happy that I don’t know them at all now, not even peripherally, in the tender and distant way you can only know a former love, now become friend. They are all great men. Enormously talented in their own ways; worthy of the influence they had on me to be sure. Still, I was nearly transparent dating some of them: taking on their passions and pastimes the way water takes on the contours of the riverbed it travels through.


A couple of weeks ago I was chatting with a friend of mine about turning thirty; about the angst you feel at the end of your twenties when you are told that the world is your oyster and you want to do everything you can to make sure it stays that way. You become preoccupied, maybe, with the way things appear (you check off certain boxes, perhaps: house, spouse, puppy, baby.) Perhaps you throw yourself into multiple activities. You maintain a bustling social life; commit to far too many things fearing that without all the hustle you’ll become a working stiff, a boring old married couple. Maybe you fear becoming that couple with the new baby who no one ever sees any more. Maybe you fear becoming the couple who have regular sides of the bed; who don’t talk over breakfast; who forget to hold hands in the grocery store. Already you are fixated on remembering what you used to be like when your were younger, in your early twenties, when all-nighters were effortless, and you could drink hard and not feel it the next morning (or when you had sex on the couch just because you wanted to, instead of because it was the only cushioned place in the house not occupied by a sleeping child.


I was so glad, looking back, to no longer feel that angst. To feel instead the grace that comes with sticking with things; with letting the edges soften a bit. As I said to my friend: it’s not about doing more, it’s about being more. Quietly, subtly, within the very small orbit of your ordinary, extraordinary life.


That said, when I turned thirty I had no idea how I’d feel now, at thirty two (and a half!–remember saying that when you were a kid?). I hated turning thirty. I can remember my optimism and anxiety cocktail perfectly. I was obsessed with the idea that I had missed the boat already (for becoming a writer and artist; for ever having an amazing body; for doing any kind of adventurous travel; for having a night life.)


I was sure that I was saddled for the long haul, and that in fact, it would be a haul. Thirty sucked. I was pregnant (and vomiting) and while things were fabulous financially, I hated my job more than I can even begin to describe. It unsettled me, and sucked the creative energy from me in a way that left me frazzled and certain that I would never amount to a single thing in the world. Then I turned thirty-one and had Nirvaan and quit my job and all of our financial security came tumbling down around me like an igloo made of sugar cubes in a rainstorm. Yet miraculously I began, last year, to see how being more means being in the moment. It means discovering the day, wholly, with joy and wonder, and living into it as wholly as possible.


I discovered grace in the midst of sadness; wonder in the thistle-sweet heart of despair. I grew disciplined with fitness.


Last year was unfathomably hard. If my twenty-five year-old-self could have seen last year she would have been terrified by the repetition (the laundry, the dishes, the endless responsibility of making food and enforcing bed times), the perpetual noise and lack of privacy, and the endless, endless worry. But she would have been missing the point.


I have a kind of tempered, hard-earned confidence now that I never had in my twenties. The kind of confidence that comes, trial by fire, through doing the difficult, painful parts of life. From giving birth; from loving a small tiny extension of yourself until my heart could split like an overripe melon, revealing the sugary sweetness inside; from fighting and wincing and feeling small and reactive in my relationship and growing from it, to become richer and deeper, like soil made from the decomposed refuse of last season’s garden clippings. We lost a lot last year. A lot of security, a lot of known outcomes, a lot of comfort. Still, I gained a groundedness I’m grateful for. I traded muscles and determination for all the thinness and whimsy I had at twenty-five.


And I’ve begun to discover how contentment can come slowly with the unfolding of a day: with changing diapers, sleeping baby, eating chocolate cakes or a quick sandwich and a frothy coffee for breakfast; with folding sheets fresh laundry; with the sound of the oscillating afternoon fans and lemonade; and later, story swapping after dinner. Of perpetual tiredness.


I am trying to, or shall we say, make another harder, important, life-changing decision about career pursuits; and am still mulling over it. It depends wholly on others: their help, support, time, etc. And it’s about having a baby and having a career, naturally. About pursuing research/ph.d programme school now, or waiting. It’s about feeling like time is slipping by (my time, and his childhood’s both.)


It’s about loving him hard: my boy with his sweet sticky grins and laughter and innocence, and about wanting the best for him… and also wanting the best for me. It’s about wondering if those are mutually inclusive or mutually exclusive.


It’s about getting ahead or falling behind and about hopefully ending up right where I’m supposed to be.


Does the universe has the outcome planned, or are we architects of the outcomes all on our own?


CpRyt@NeerS

July the 13th - an uneventfully good day!

I’m almost uncertain about how to face this new day and the subsequent ones without that uncertainty hanging over my head. A hello lot of times of uncertainty, and finally, the beginning of really effing awesome new things.
Thank you universe.

the only god is one who can dance - nietzsche



The first time I danced to be alone with my fierce pummelling thoughts, the anxiety in my chest, and the tears slick on my cheeks. The first time I danced with my hair down, floating behind me like a mane. I danced until my mind narrowed to only this: to my feet flirting with the ground and air, making slow sensual love to the music. Reaching  the almost instant giddy feeling of freedom that bloomed in my ribcage as I moved faster on those slow gliding moves until I could hear my heart in my ears, surrounded by heat of the momentum and the liquid warble of warm adrenaline!






 CpRyt@NeerS

MDMX ... then maybe not!


Squares and rectangles with light pouring in, raw and bright, the way that new monsoon light does. I’ve been noticing the way windows frame a view, just so. 


Today the afternoon light splashes through glass. It makes the walls yellower and my mood softer, even without enough sleep. Where I am sitting I can see the hills from the window, and the concrete skyline. And, this view could turn two ways: either the concrete takes over like a blanket of lichen over a pond; or an Armageddon of sorts and when the dust settles and the first rain hits again, world goes green! I vote for latter!

We are always looking through windows, always seeing a view.

I spend the days indoors, looking out of windows and feeling listless and limited by the smallness of the being and the wants. I’d spent the day inadvertently waiting for something to happen, waiting for the view to change, for something sweet, for delight to find me here in this house were the walls sometimes feel very close and the rooms very small.  

I had every intention of spending the rest of the afternoon pacing in the dark rooms of my mind analyzing whatever it was I had missed or done wrong with life, so far, curtains drawn.



Disappointment, if it could have a taste, would be the taste you get at the back of your throat when you jump into a pool, expecting the splash and the plunge, but forgetting to hold your nose. Or it would taste like burnt toast; or getting the popcorn flavored jellybean instead of the lemon one when you pick a yellow one out of the bag. Whatever its taste, disappointment was there on my tongue with the many bitter words I don’t say and swallow instead.

Under the imaginary table in my head I was kicking myself for doing it again: for expecting something, unnamed and remarkable at the end of a day.

Do you ever do this? Expect the world, when the world is already right here, and you are already in it?

I could feel tears at the back of my eyes. They spring up now, often and unbidden, a symptom of the tiredness that has begun to inhabit my body, making the skin under my eyes transparent and dark, and my heart quick to ache.

But, after much clattering of plates and flatware I realized that the only thing I could change was my view. I desperately needed to get out of the house. Right then. Right that minute when the sun was still high and the breeze would bring the scent of warm mud.

As I hiked I found the answers, scattered like last year’s fallen leaves. I realized that what happens with us is something that must happen to many people.

Without intending, it’s easy to become absent, distracted, distant, disheartened. And so there we are. There I am.

I realized I was not mad at all, I found, when I opened and closed the many crammed drawers of my heart.
Instead all I found was a kind of loneliness. A hunger. Shit. It’s so easy to let it slip. You blink, you are caught imperceptibly into life, the clock’s hands go round and round, and zip, it’s gone.

Along the way I noticed how a part of my body would ache, or tighten or complain, and I’d follow the complaint, the ache, the tightness through. I’d listen to it, run into it, and then miraculously it would disappear, and I’d be further down the road with a completely different outlook.

CpRyt@NeerS