accidentally - on purpose

On my reading bench, my sighs ring out my desires in the cold December air. The sky is dry and dull. The smell of grass wafts from my nook of a garden. Its greening and inadvertently make me happy. The shadows long in the gloaming.

It’s so easy, to let habit become fact. To let inertia stilt the energy flows. To settle into the way things have always been, even if it no longer feels in balance.

That’s what 2015 was all about.

It’s easy for this to happen especially when you’ve just been waxing and waning on the needs of day-to-day. The bills in the inbox and the dishes on the counter; the laundry in the machine and still your thoughts gravitate to alone-time and time together. Both in short supply.

When it takes all, to not scream with weariness – the seeped in your marrows variety of weariness! And what you do instead is pull out the forgotten cocoa from the pantry, treat yourself to homemade chocolate and get comfy between the warm throw and pillows, with a book.

Too much happened. I joined and quit an extremely toxic organization. I fell in and out of love in several layers. I got a pair of gold fish and lost one. Lost a few friends to their own choice. Nirvaan graduated to a proper school and every morning I break my heart seeing my baby climb the school bus to travel for an hour. I made some bold moves and chastised myself on every other occasion. I finally caught fine lines and immense amount of grey. I was grateful and grumbled too, for dad staying over this year. Home renovation projects. Meeting friends over business trips. Kept the migraine tablet industry going single-handedly. Thinking details. Planning big. Spending all my savings. Rolled my thoughts around like a pebbles in a box. Threw them on the board and I still don’t see a pattern. Or a picture.

I feel like 60 and 16 at the same time. Shattered and resurrected by the same things.

The world makes me claustrophobic and I deliberately lose myself inside, lest I forget to breathe, forget to feel, to listen. It’s harder to bring attention to breath and pulse and heart.

Shall I stop seeking balance? Pull a plug on the quest for peace?

Shall I just let the Universe guide me? Waiting for that stirring of energy. Activation. Motivation.

Copyright © Neerja Yadav

the smallest possible perfect number - six is sexy!

Nirvaan is a big kid this year. Looking back at last year’s birthday I still see the toddler in him. Now it’s gone, and in it’s place is this boy full of muscle and movement and song.

Every waking second he’s singing or joking or yelling. He rode a bicycle without any help from the word go. He watches way too much kids show and spins his own yarns. He is now naughty, now a little monster, now all almost adult like patience and now a tantrum throwing teenager.  “Mummy I don't need any more friends, I have you and your friends” to “Mummy can I show my new watch to my friends?” to “Mummy you are fired, but of course you shouted at me” to “Mummy can I get inside your tummy again?” 

He wants to go to outer space and my sister's house! A constant theme of his life. For him, everything is drama. His eyes wide in mock despair or bright with glee. 

He got a pocket full of coins, a watch with hands (!!), and a basketball for his for his birthday. Recently he’s learned to cut shapes; carefully sketching, coloring and cutting them at the edges for his teachers. He picks up wild flowers for me and stones for his bath time playing! 

He wants to help with my homework! Dinner and even driving!

The weekdays go by in a rhythm and blur. School and work. We do the same things. We do different things. We spend our days mostly apart. We come together in the evenings, hungry, excited, tired, impatient, eager, quiet.

As we get dinner together and the sleep time histrionics; that is the time we exchange stories. Say our Sorrys for stuff we must have done wrong. Say our Love Yous and do the huggy-sleep and butterfly kisses!  

Every day that is my favorite time, a moment of pause and grace to the world “Thank You God, for everything! And Good Night Everybody!"  Mommy, he asks, how did I come out of your tummy? Mommy, when will Nanu get better? Mommy, can we build rockets to go to outer space? And, Mommy, I miss you when you are not there!

He doesn’t have perfect table manners yet, but he knows how to ask questions with weight.

It’s so funny hanging out with six year old. Its like undulation between being grown up and yet full of wonder and a little one with fleeting feelings. Everything is magic. Anything possible. Days are filled with quick heartbreaks and quicker ecstasies.

I cant quite seize the sweet exhilaration of this little man! My smiles and even my barely held exasperation scatter like freckles around this point of life. The heart is just a helium balloon!

Being Six is Sexy!   Blessings to you, my biggest Blessing! 

-Love Mummy!

Copyright©Neerja Yadav

the escape art

We are all pieces, trying to find the best fit for all our edges; grappling with self, with life and with purpose.

Today I found myself feeling every thought that traipsed across my mind, not just thinking and analyzing on auto pilot but feeling them… each one of them.

A neighbor lost one of her sons to complications of cancer, a friend lost a friend to depression; another one lost a girlfriend to murkiness. I devoured books like someone out of prison. I took impulsive drives in impulsive rains. I forgot obvious words in the middle of sentences. Basically I ran out of words. Bundled up on emotions; every single one of the senses taut and alert and me just the audience.

It’s been a drama of a week.

On Monday in the wake of a dramatic weekend and in wake of series of arguments with the manager and the way things are at work, politically, dirty, I decided to drown myself in work. And did just that! Dive down and there’s plenty to do, some oysters to find, some pearls to be discovered and some simple wonders of everyday. The beauty of being busy! The magic of mundane.

On Tuesday an impromptu coffee meeting and then what looked like escape begins to look like destination of some form. I stayed up till nearly midnight. Reading. Thinking. Hurting. Dreaming. Calming myself down. It is kind of surreal to see yourself through the motions of emotions. Be this high octane drama queen one moment and lovelorn lost soul next to completely sorted strategist the very next second. Like Magic.

On Wednesday I stayed up until midnight, talking, wanting to just go out and chill;  while trying to make sense of the addiction to drama. Why does he do this? Really? I am at a point in my existence where even a hint of anything over the top, dramatic, scares the hell. Drains the premium Qi away! And, then I just gave up trying to fight the illogic. Trying to draw some semblance of sense. Why bother? Not with apathy… but with compassion and understanding that everyone needs to, has a right to make their own brand of mistakes, missteps and evolve from there. Caterpillar to Butterfly is messy and yet Magic.

On Thursday took a detour from norm and went out pub hopping; on an invitation; invitation of an impulse! Reached home and collapsed into bed short circuiting another scene and another risk. And my five year old waiting for me and promptly falling asleep holding my hand, was magic!

Friday was back to back meetings – strategies to be made. New financial year to be charted; excels to be plotted and then Starbucks. Catching up on space. On nothingness. On re-calibration. On curious quotidian. Nothing short of magic.

Now, looking at Saturday. Day full of reading and wondering and laundry and chores and thinking and obsessing. And now catching up with friends, picking up from last weekend…  

A day of whiskey in wine glasses, and wine in coffee mugs and vodka in beer glasses; managing toddler time with grown-ups talktime; a day of letting the drama slide out … and unwittingly it becomes a day of letting go, hanging on and keeping things which matter, close…

For real life is messy. And real life is murkier than any pathos can hope to be and real life is richer, right here, happening, unraveling while we zone out…

Copyright © Neerja Yadav           

Beats between my Breaths

Looking for un-lost things,
the soul just circles and roam

It's a déjà vu tune or
another regressed song...

Is it me? Is it you?
Un-compassed I drift alone...

What am I looking for...
A truth or a dare
Or a flame I can flare.. *2

Adrenal drive...
I run from the past,
I boxed my angel down...
Shook the Lucifer around...

Snake eyes, broken wings,
Ecstasy laced hopscotch wins

The darkness pulls me down
The light throws me up

Lost in the debris
Caught in the freefall

What am I looking for...
A truth or a dare
A flame I can flare *2

Copyright © Neerja Yadav

March Madness et

With a longer slant of light the days have a little more ease. It’s a year-end in this industry it means additional target pressures and additional playtime. The ‘work hard, play harder’ platitude!

We get to work, and there’s just enough time to take those coffee and smoke breaks, to listen to the traffic and myriad point of views – from politics to pot luck.

No time to listen to the wind stirring in the trees and the spring time birds serenading the setting sun.

Every weekend is a boon. A few hours spent catching up on the quotidian, playing with kids, doing the laundry, cooking or baking and a movie, maybe a bit of shopping. Letting the sound of everyday wash over me.

Have you noticed, how the Sun is at its seductive delicious best during Spring afternoons and evenings? Have you noticed how the water bodies are literally set aflame with the light of setting sun?

Not enough hours, really, for all the books, movies, concocted games of playtime. Not enough time together, but still.

Enough to fill us up temporarily.
Enough for the time being!

For March, for early spring in this city I fell in love with. For this apartment which is truly a home.

At the mid of next month, I’ll have been here a decade. How did that happen?

Copyright © Neerja Yadav

Mid Birthday Post

My birthday is here and almost gone. A blink! The world turns. It keeps turning. Every day  is a hilarious mix of pure joy and annoyance, angst and delight, frustration and sweetness.
Every day my heart is cracked open with wonder.
Every day the floor is strewn recklessly with his things.
There is no way to make up for the lost days over useless frustration of work place or keep the delightful ones intact.
The smell of my boy’s skin curled next to me, reading stories before bed; playing with ‘tooth fairy’ coins… all those lost teeth – a treasure now. 
No way to describe all the moments spent at arguing or making love;  no way at all to capture the vastness of sky full of stars or planet filled with myriad marvels.; the ions dancing in the air; the flock of birds; the bonfire smoke at twilight, sipping wine, the distant temple bells. 
No way to convey the way days have been fractured and this old soul claustrophobic, or a tiny speck of inspiration re-invigorating my work, and igniting new fervor. No way to list the  books I’ve read, or partly read; the thousand kisses exchanged with my love; the late nights spent on projects for work; the deadlines and the satisfaction of hitting them; the camellias in bloom; the surprising sweetness of colleagues, the affection they shower....the humility I bow into with each new day.
Instead, a handful of prayers.  It’s been an incredible start to the year. A year I’ve begun with big intentions and deep gratitude.
Thank You, Universe!
Copyright © Neerja Yadav

This year, surprise yourself!

We went (Nirvaan and Me) just before the New year. to the old empire, the oldest modern country.

To a place of cold air and saturated hues, big skies bigger quiet!  The kind of quiet that reminds you what you are, and also, what you hope to be. The quiet is first thing you become aware of. Among that topography of the quiet you feel time differently. Where the roads are cobbled and wind has a bite.

The time spent midair for 9 hours, looking out of the window and also on the interactive map, tells not of daily things: hurry up, finish up, let’s go, come on, and make it happen. But rather, galactic evidence. You are here. Part of everything. Breathing and alive. A speck on this spinning planet. A spark, a fleck, some inkling of the beyond. 

And then we saw (actually he saw first!) the smaller aircrafts zoom opposite, below us, all black snuggled in vermilion clouds, creating a trail of black, like an impressionist painting. 

It was a quiet holiday, filled with many moments of sheer delight with just the three of us this year. My baby sister, the sidekick and me. She too took time off and that affords certain leisure, umpteen cups of tea, both morning and hi. Long winding, parallel and tangential conversations, fits of laughter and mock arguments. All peppered with toddler words of wisdom about Peppa Pig, My Little Pony, Care Bears and How to Train Your Dragon (did you know Night Fury looks furious but is not and Boneknapper is just quietly dangerous but a very good ride!!)

Playing Doc Mcstuffins cards and playing carols in Greek on YouTube. Hiking to the Waitrose or Sainsbury’s or just plain Trinity Church; into the city, zig-zagging on wet and windy wharfs and cute bridges, and under the bridge and over the Corn Exchange yonder!

Taking turn babysitting (because “.. mumma my eyes are cold!!”) to shop and bag-pack and then making boyfriend and friends babysit to go some serious pub hopping on Christmas eve – a jump to the happy and delighted one to another leap to gay showy one and flip somersault to a uber chic one… closing with glasses full of cider! 

And then on Christmas, waking up with a massive hangover to shrill delight of a five year old finding that Santa really did visit and all his shenanigans with tree wasn’t in vain! New telescope and Robot Fish and a plaque spelling his name in his favorite green color!

And afterwards when am sufficiently capable of getting back to the living.  A soiree of some really sumptuous meal done by equally sumptuous boys!  Yep, Kavos folks, this ones for you! :)

Much teasing, much laughter, much wine (not for me, right Foti?)  later …

When I lie down, tucking him in, listening to his salad of stories.

I can’t help but wonder… in this hemisphere the earth tilts farther from the sun. The days grow dark and short, but no matter. There’s light inside.

Not a few days back, there was Florida and then there was Peshawar; each of such events, as if in a race to out shame holocaust, 9/11 and the list just goes on… the apocalypse is upon us?? It might as well be…Out the window, the leaves-bereft trees donned with fairy lights have become a cloud of golden stars, quivering in the late December air. Inside, I look up from where I sit and watch the drizzle. I like to think their passing is evidence of a world more real than mine at the screen and on the page.

A world we all improbably share. A moon that follows us in orbit. Seasons, in spite of injustice, ebola, homicide, unrest.

How is it possible for any human’s heart not to ache at what’s happened? What keeps happening?

How is it possible for any of us to go on living at all, nodding to strangers as we pass, holding loved ones hands, offering beggars what we have, planning for future. There is so much hunger, need, anguish, guilt, loss. Each of us lives it in some way, and then beyond us.

Still we do.

Morning finds us softly with new light. Smell of coffee in the kitchen fills the air with sweetness. We make plans with friends to gather and hold each other close. We sip wine. We light candles. We say whatever kinds of prayers we say, whispered, wonder-filled, pleading.

There is hope. There always is!

My baby sister … she made this holiday possible and impossibly delightful! A memorable one! She who second mothers my son, she for whom, he still cries every night (some serious crush happening here!)

When finally the taxi is at the curb and we get in. When finally the tightest hugs have been given. The ache of leaving the lil bossy one (for she always is that lil one, who still smells like the vanilla baby she used to when mum got her home) takes hold of me until my heart begins to thrum in tune with the snow clad landscape. And while he just slips into a fitful quiet and sleep. 

The thrum grows beyond to the spirit of spinning sun and the early moon that is part of this corner of the hemisphere. And, it then becomes a highly syncopated chord of my individual heart and universal rhythm.

By the time, the aircraft taxis and takes off and after much fighting off sleep – he dozes off in my lap, seat belts undone and tucked in, with those light baby snores … 

I  found my word for the coming year.

It’s prosperous!

Be prosperous – in mind and in soul!

Wishing you a very Blessed 2015, Dear Planet!

 Copyright © Neerja Yadav