Luna…my dearest black and white fur ball. You came to me so unexpected – I was only supposed to babysit you for 2 weeks and you ended up staying with me for almost 10 years. Hakan said you would be better off with me but I think I was getting the better end of the bargain and eventually I ended up better off with you. I have always had pets growing up, loved having cats and dogs around me, making me laugh and running around. But with you I knew it was different. You were my duchess, my person. Damn you were one lazy kitty and always ready to gobble something down – seemed like we were meant to be. You were so calm and always there – even when I was not in the mood or when I wanted to smother you with kisses – you were always there. You were there when I missed my home and parents, you were there when I missed my sister, you were there when I felt lonely, you were there when I felt like I wanted to just hide. You were there when I chilled on the balcony, you were there when I threw a house party, you were there as I locked myself up to cram for an exam or write up my thesis. You were there as I snuggled you at night, the very night I knew I fell in love. You were there as a faithful friend and companion making sure I made the right choices. I will never forget when I brought Pablo home and asked him to wait for me while I took a quick shower. Of course I planned it like that so I could see if you approved of him…hahaha…I left you with him opposite sides of the room and upon return I see you rubbing yourself up and down like the slut you were…my Luna you made yourself a new best friend as you approved of Pablito!!! You spent 5 years in NL with me, as I finished my Bachelor and Master. You snuggled your way into my siblings heart and as the day came for us to leave to Switzerland you left those two dumbos heart broken…maybe Arthur more since I not only took you away from him, I kidnapped Leia as well. I know a selfish heart does not know how to share…and oh lord how I hated sharing you. Sharing you with Pablo was the worst….as you always seemed to cuddle with him. I teased Pablo always how he loved you more than me and how I feel cheated on…hahaha…what I would give to have you back…purring in his arms or hogging on the bed with both Pablo and me trying to squeeze into the bed so that little miss luna would not be disturbed. You were one helluva a diva- no care in the world if I had the girls over….we were one rowdy bunch but you just chilled there giving zero fucks. Yes you sure were one diva, as you refused to get your snout wet as you drank your water…duchess Lunaton had her way of drinking-licking water from her paw as you dipped it graciously in your water bowl. Although maybe just one time you made an exception after you stealthily pigged out on the spicy curry chicken mamma made. Never did you drink so fast. And even when you lost your one tooth and you got yourself a new pirate grin…you always were capable of making us smile. I can go on and on about all the loving memories you gave to me, but what I will miss most about you is that you always looked into me reassuring me that all was going to be okay. How did you know, how was it that I felt so safe and loved? And now with you gone, I feel lost and distraught. I feel embarrassed and confused, I cannot understand how you being gone could have such an impact on me. You were just my pet!!! Just my pet!! Doesn’t that sound ridiculous – how can I lie….you were my luna…my person..my little Lunaton…how could you have left me! I guess you were pulling through till the last minute we decided that it was time. You knew already weeks ago and you were trying to tell us. You stopped eating, you lost weight and we pushed you to not give up for us. We were selfish to have spend night and day force feeding you and shoving pills down you. We didn’t want you to leave..but you knew your time was up…but you were our trooper..you kept it up for so long just to give us hope and to give us the last weekend. The last weekend we could cuddle and say our goodbyes. Monday July 27, 9:15am will be etched in my heart as you took your last breath as the Vet injected you. You were tired and weak, but those eyes were still trying to reassure me that all would be okay. Will it?? I miss you and having to finally give in to what we should have done days before, I don’t feel relieved. I should feel relieved that you are in a better place…but I am a selfish person and I want you back…I am weak and selfish and it kills me that I am sharing you with the afterworld. Being heartbroken is a cruel joke and saying time will heal or that its for the best is just a load of bull!!! I will deal with it I guess and I promise I will be okay….but I will be fooling myself if I say I will get over you…I will never get over you…I do not care if I sound like the crazy cat lady….you were my Luna…my moon in the darkest nights!!!
This week I have had to do the hardest thing in my life ever. I was dreading it for weeks and when the day finally arrived, I felt numb. I guess I could call myself ambitious and more over I love to compete with myself. I have accepted challenges with open arms (other than maybe working out) and to push my boundaries of comfort and intellect. But I think I did not quite prepare myself to feel how I felt after the event. I had all reason to do what I had to do and I had support from all sides and a decision had been made. Even while executing it, I knew that what I was doing then and there made total sense and it was for the benefit of all. But yet I felt small and hurt. To have the power to decide another person’s fate is not at all amusing. It does not make you feel better than the rest. It is disarming and uncomfortable. It will test your skill at masking your emotions and keeping calm, confident and composed. All hell could be breaking loose, people’s lives might be shattering – but there you are in the middle of it all keeping it all together. I should win an oscar for my performance. Truth be told, I just had not prepared myself for the after shock. I had prepped my mind for the actual moment, but I underestimated how I would feel after and how I was squirming from within. I believe I have done the right thing and I have no regrets, yet I cannot help feel a bit lost. Crazy how hard it is to grow up and experience new things. Moments like these define who you can depend on to find you and bring you back from being and feeling lost. I am grateful I have them near and dear to me. Strength from your parents, support from your siblings, wise words from your far away friend and love & kindness from your spouse is what made me process the day and realize that there will be more difficult days or occasions to come, where I will be tested to mask my emotions and show strength. Hard as it will be, I rest tonight knowing that I have reliable people around me to help me grow!
It’s plain and simple – I love dreaming!
I am pretty darn sure that I have been blessed with the ability to have vivid dreams and to wake up the next day to actually remember them.
I dream about almost anything – about my home back in Nepal, my high school, my dogs (even those that are dead), about flying (those are the best), about work (oh never can get rid of those), about crazy monsters, witches and snakes. I guess that when I hit the sack and submerge myself deep into sleep, I become this version of Indiana jones meets Tomb Raider with a twist of Harry Potter, lord of the rings. So don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to brag or even trying to compare myself to that. I just feel happy knowing that before I go to sleep, I may just have the chance to have a mind blowing experience.
Okay so maybe to give you a sense of my weird mumbo jumbo I will tell you about my recent dream. Here goes….
I was living in an open space surrounded by a wood. I don’t think there were really any houses or anything, just a bunch of us living under the moon in a open field. We spent our day picking berries, flowers and letting the warmth of our sun engulf our body. Then one day as we lay looking at the blue sky, a cadillac pulled up and out stepped three buffed up men. They were speaking to each other in language that none of us knew. We did not approach them and allowed them to watch us, as we thought they would leave eventually. Then all of a sudden my body felt a jilt and I started to have an seizure of some sort. Then the three men started to run towards me screaming something in a different language. But for some reason I could understand what they were saying – “the beast is in her…we must suppress it”….I was bewildered what were they talking about and what should I now do. Next thing I know, I had rounded up all my family and friends and we started to go around in circle holding hands and chanting some random stuff. It was too much for me to contain, as it seemed all of them too had been bewitched. So I left the circle and ran towards the wood. From the three men one of them captured me and swung me over his shoulder. But he did not run back towards the car, he instead ran into the woods. He held his hand onto my forehead and whispered, “awaken, you have always been close to me”. No clue what he meant but I felt safe even though I was dangling around his body. Then out of nowhere two of the men were chasing us on dirt bikes and they managed to catch up with us. One of them locked eyes with the man that was carrying me and gave a evil grin, leaving him to drop me and bellow the most deafening roar ever. He crashed to the floor holding his head. It seemed like the other men had put some sort of spell on him making him feel like his head was about to explode. In that very moment, I got up from the ground and then faced the two men and said BRAND (which means burn in dutch). Their bodies started to rupture with molten lava like blood & flesh mixture. It was like they were a volcano erupting right before me. The other man lying on the ground had regained consciousness and he came towards me and took my hand into his. We watched the men turn into ashes and then I turned to the man and said – “I am hungry”….
And just like that I woke up feeling thrilled and invigorated!!! It took me a moment to think back on what I had dreamed of that could thus explain my elated heartbeat.
Dreams!! I just love them….they keep my imagination alive…well folks that was it! For me now its off to bed…lets hope that I will have another good one…sleep tight!
When one loses someone, the grief can weigh down and take away the essence of ones very existence. Recently, my Uncle passed away from a heart attack while taking a shower. We have been told that he had a peaceful passing. To celebrate his life and to give strength to his family, I wrote this piece below for his funeral.
The water pours down on me
Cleanses and refreshes me
Today is the day
I am happy….he has chosen me
The water pours down on me
Through my hair and down to my toes
Today is the day
I am blessed….he wants me close
The water pours down on me
I close my eyes
I am happy….for I was dearly loved
A beautiful wife and two blessed children
I am content….for I could love
A family and a home
The water pours down on me
I can feel his warmth
Today is the day
I am joyful….for I need not say goodbye
I will always be here – close
The water pours down on me
I am confident….they will be strong
My loving wife and children
Yes, you will be strong……
For I will always be the strength in your pulse
The water pours down on me
It is time to go
I am in wonder….for I embark on a new beginning
As their guardian angel
The water pours down on me
I feel him calling and I am now one with him
I am thankful…I will always be in their hearts
I am in wonder…for I see that they too will embark on a new beginning
Together we shall embark….
Together we shall live on….
The light still shines!!!
Aunt Vie was a mother to three, grandmother to seven and an aunt and friend to many. She had been married thrice, twice to the same man. Despite her age, she insisted that we all – children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews – call her Vie, plain and simple. Vie was born into a middle class family as the only daughter. At the age of 17, she eloped with her high school sweetheart and ran off to Peru. What a cliché – she would always say. She married a simple man for she fell in love with his simple ideals. Vie believed and cherished simplicity, but when she turned 18, her curiosity and thirst for the world could not be contained within the cheerful pleasantries of her Peruvian farm. So, she left Joaquin and his simplicity to embark on an unknown journey.
Vie loved to write. She carried a notebook and a 3B pencil with her at all times. She used 3B pencils, as she wanted her words to stand out. What she wrote were not frivolous, over-abused words but the reality as she saw it. For this, she needed her words to be bold as they formed a regal statement. Vie’s writings portrayed the world in black and white – right and wrong. In her eyes there was no in between. Her strong convictions made what she wrote genuine. Her writings made one feel uncomfortable, for we as humans tend to seek solace in every shade and grayness in our own construed realities.
She travelled all over the world unwilling to make a home and settle down. She would say – the world is my home, I have built a house in my heart where I choose to sleep in a different room every night. She was 19 when she had her first sip of alcohol. She let the brandy trickle down her throat as she stared into her reflection in the mirror across the bar. After that day, she would always love to look at herself drink for she would see another her every single time. Vie travelled from Darjeeling to Alaska, writing what her eyes saw and drinking the wines and liquors from all around. When she was in Seoul, she picked up the habit of smoking. She wrote a piece, her one and only biographical, about how it felt to be a woman who welcomed all the vices of society with open arms. A woman that smokes profusely, drinks limitlessly, and writes inconsequently; shunned by society. Her piece was sarcastic and so true that it received mixed reviews. Her sentence that struck me the most was – I dine like an English Duchess, love like a Japanese concubine and drink like a Russian peasant; why is it that I am told not to bring these worlds together? Her strong economic, political and social convictions gave her a hate it or love it charm.
When she turned 23, she bore her first child. She married the father of her son as those times called upon her as a mother to give her child a father, a home and a society that would not outcast him. Timothy was a good father and a decent husband. He gave Vie the stability that she wanted for her children. She gave birth to two more in the years to come. Vie believed in having a strong and close family. She may not have loved the man she married, but she loved and adored her babies. For them she stayed at home and she never looked back on her decision. She gave up smoking for them, but drinking she would not. I mean who was she kidding, her brandy was her happy bottle. That was how she called it. But the 25 years that all her children lived with her she was never a drunk. That she had promised herself. After all her three children went off to college leaving her nest empty, she opened her drawer and took out her notebook and pencil.
At 48, she was a forgotten writer. She embraced this with delight as she had a fresh new start with a new outlook. She left her husband, sold her house in Canada and bought herself a ticket to Seoul so that she could once again smoke a cigarette under the same street lamp where she had had her first ever drag. Desires of an old fool, I would say.
Vie was not like those who believed in fate and the one. But, in our eyes it was so as she fell in love again with the same man she had left brokenhearted 40 years ago. Joaquin with shades of grey in his hair strode back again into her life. Vie loved as she never did before. She felt like she was 23 again with the world at her feet together with the man she loved. She wrote pieces all day and in bed, she read them aloud to Joaquin. They married on a cold winter day. That night they had only each other and brandy to keep themselves warm.
Vie would say that life has its own reset button. But you could never fast forward or rewind to where you would want to be or where you have already been. I loved listening to Aunt Vie. She once told me a story about how she stole a monkey from a restaurant in China, just because the monkey had managed to steal her bottle of brandy from her handbag. Oh, yes! She always carried a 375ml bottle of brandy with her. She did not carry it in a flask, as she liked seeing the golden brown color glisten in the bottle as she took her sips. She was an eccentric woman indeed.
She spent 20 fulfilling years with her Joaquin, notebook and her happy bottle. The four of them travelled the world indulging themselves in each other. Seoul was Vie’s happy place. She had fallen in love with the people there from their serene faces to their we move forward attitude. They bought a house there and settled down. To commemorate their 20 years of being together Vie and Joaquin took a trip to Fiji, where Joaquin died peacefully in his sleep on the beach while Vie was taking a midnight dip. Ironic, that’s life – said Vie. She did not shed a single tear but we believe she took comfort in her happy bottle. She denied she was an alcoholic, we said otherwise.
In the years to come, time was of no avail to Vie. She threw out all her clocks and watches saying that she needn’t know the exact time. Her time became the light as it passed through the horizon. I would mostly go over to Vie’s and wake her from her ever so often stupors. She would wake up to a mimosa with a dash of vodka. She laughed with all her heart, cried from within her soul and threw tantrums that would make any 3-year-old look like an angel. Her every emotion was an exaggeration. She lived in a reality exaggerated by the sublime effects of her intoxication. I told her once that she lived in a blur while talking with a slur. She erupted into a thunderous explosion and literally fell of her chair laughing. Then all of a sudden she stopped and the house became as silent as a deserted house on the prairies. I never knew if I had offended her or not. Vie was present in this world in a surreal way. She would be saying one thing then jump to talking about how she ended up buying vodka instead of her usual brandy. She told me that in her years of travelling one thing she learnt was that even in the most trying and harsh times people always managed to scrape some money together so that they could have a slug of their preferred liquor before calling it a night. To that, I told her – but Vie isn’t that then an unnecessary desperation, a need for borderline alcoholics. To this, she just said – indeed darling you are right, but you have to understand that this was a luxury we cannot give up as it is a cheap remedy to fall into a slumber where our worries are forgotten.
That night I went home realizing that my aunt was not an alcoholic. She chose to drink to ease her mind. Yes sometimes she drank a drop too much but she knew right from wrong. Although, sometimes the realization hit her a day later. I remember a time when I found her passed out on her porch. She explained to me how she had probably blacked out still hugging her happy bottle. She told me that a blackout was her escape from monotony. An escape from the usual. She would do things she would never remember. Sometimes she’d end up awake in a hotel room with an unknown man beside her ( that’s when shit hits the fan oh so many times) and sometimes she’d have managed to clean out her whole garage (that’s when you’re left in awe as Vie was not known to be the most tidiest person). She told me she’d awoken numerous times either in shame, regret, curiosity or simple happiness. To her, blackouts were for the weak and cowardly, who would want to escape just for some time, do something out of their good judgment and wake up with the excuse of having no recollection.
Vie had many philosophies, half of them were on alcohol. Even to a non-drinker like myself they made sense, but not always. Another one of her philosophies was about how an alcoholic would find any reason to drink, whereas for a true lover of the alcohol the reason would already be there in the letters imprinted on the bottle, on their own lips that could already taste the alcohol as it is being poured into their glass. I did not know what was worse being an alcoholic or a servitude to the happy bottle. Vie was the latter one, as the next time I went to visit her I found her in her bathtub – shut eyes, pulse stopped, candles ablaze and her precious happy bottle floating around her. Ironic-that’s life as Vie once said.
I wrote the words, as they were my thoughts
I sang the song, as they were my words
I listened to them, as they were all I had
The same thoughts, I had over and over again
The same words that danced around in my head
Forming a confusingly translucent paradigm
The emotionally challenged try to look away like it did not happen
The neurotically affected try to obsess on it like it was meant to happen
While the lost souls try to bring themselves back from just being a memory
A picture in someone’s scrapbook
A character in someone’s narrative
A memory that might just fade away
So as I wrote the words and sang the song
I realized that I was not gone
and most importantly that you were not gone
I did not have to touch you, to feel you
I did not have to breathe you, to smell you
I did not have to hold you, to love you
I could just close my eyes, sing my song and be with you….
In one way or the others, we all are story tellers by our own rights. Is it not wonderful how we can talk about nothing and yet it seems to be everything or how we all choose to craft our stories, understating our shortcomings and exaggerating our deeds, each with their own intent. In every story there is always a moral to be seen, a lesson to be learnt and genius to appreciate. At times, the moral might be blurred, or the lesson unclear; but with due time and proper medium one can peer through the confusion and delve deeper.
I met such a story teller at the most random of all places. I had spent a night tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep. Whether it was due to the stress of work or the upcoming life events or the simplest of explanations being a heavy dinner? So as I lay in bed, I decided to go out for a walk. I am the lazy type who would have preferred to crawl onto the couch and watch TV just to pass the time, but that night my whole body and mind was screaming to go out for a stroll in the cold night.
At 2 am in the morning, in the calm serenity of darkness where you would least expect to come across a fellow being I met Mr. Haven. Till this very the day I die or get Alzheimer I shall not forget this special person. At first sight, I was quite hesitant and was already speculating on walking to the other side of the street just to avoid the walk by. But just as how I had stepped out of my house to go for the walk, my body and mind were compelling me to walk towards Mr. Haven. I looked into his eyes and I did not see a drunk loitering around, I did not see a soul lost from home, I did not see a thief taking solace in the curtains of the night. What I saw shocked and startled me, for what I saw was myself peering into a bottomless well. A bottomless well equivalent to endless possibilities!
I questioned myself and looked intently at Mr. Haven. It was like he was in my mind looking out through my eyes, feeling my heart thump within my chest. What was this sensation, what was this yearning that was seeping out from under my own skin? “Take a breath, my child”, he whispered. While he said this, I could feel a release of pressure from my head. “It is freaking 2 am; I thought to myself, what am I doing here?”
“Do not question yourself, come sit down take a moment with me”, said he.
So I listened and sat next to him. I sat next to him not because I wanted to be kind to the man or because I had this feeling he was a part of me. I went and sat next to him as I felt I owed myself an explanation as to why I was there, encountering this man in the depths of the night.
“Let me tell you a story, a story about myself”, said the man.
What the man went on to tell me not only left me with a cold shiver down my spine, but it eased my heart with the softness of his voice and the purity of his story.
“Life, as we want it to be, is a lie. Life, as we actually live it – is a treasure and beauty that we choose to ignore. I have been blessed to roam this world from all corners for all times. I have seen too much to be angry or happy about anything. My happiness is the inner peace I have gathered from learning on how to live and not to question”.
Who was this man, telling me his meaning about life? Did I really need to hear this? Did I even want to believe him? You read about these life affirming do good quotes and to me he was sounding clichéd by the second and was turning into the poster child for promoting Live Life!!
It seems he felt my cynicism, for he then took my hand asked me to close my eyes. In that moment, I swear, I lived through my whole life from the time I was born till that very moment sitting next to this man. 27 years of my life, I saw through a third eye within sheer seconds. How was this even possible? Did he drug me?
What did I see you wonder? I did not see the cliché of my family and friends beside me, I did not see the ups and downs I had in my being, I did not see the happy me when I graduated or got my first job. What I saw was hard to explain. I saw being born to a faceless woman, I saw myself zombie-like going around my world of faceless family & friends, nameless schools, university and work. My face was the only face visible. Neither a sad or smiling face – just a face with eyes, nose and a mouth. So in my faceless existence I had turned 27 and would go on living in a faceless eternity.
I jerked my hand away from Mr. Haven. I slapped him across the face. What came over me, I cannot say as I have never laid a hand on a single person. And with this act of hatred, betrayal, fear or whatever it was it led to the disappearance of Mr. Haven. He was gone and I was left there contemplating about what the hell had just happened. Was I hallucinating? I pinched my hand and felt nothing. I looked into my reflection in the dark shadowy river. As I started to look, I could see myself turning faceless. My head was turning into a mere outline with smudged features. Just like Mr. Haven I was gradually dissolving into the darkness that engulfed me.
If there was an instant in my life to be awakened from a nightmare it would have been that very moment and to my good fortune, my Husband shook me awake and tenderly took me into his arms hushing me and wiping away my tears.
While I lay in his arms, letting his body warm and gentle heartbeat press against me, I understood why Mr. Haven came to me in my dreams. I understood his meaning of life. I could comprehend what the faceless flashback meant.
I embrace all the clichés, quotes and sayings and acknowledge that you only live life when you can appreciate what you have and have been through.
I am blessed to have faces, names and bonds for all the faceless people that were in my dream. I am grateful for I am surrounded by people who hold me dear to them. I may whine constantly about being the zombie walking through life lost at times; but knowing that I have a treasure chest of people I can call mine, every dark moment in my life dissolves into the thin air. Vanishes in seconds, for we only have seconds to seize the moment and to truly live our lives!
Mr. Haven, you were a fearful ghost or an angel perhaps but the story you told me and the raw emotions you made me feel, will always remain intact with me.
So yes, we are all story tellers of our own design, who we choose to share it with will be ours for the taking.
I wrote this piece to acknowledge and appreciate the fact that I am lucky to be surrounded by love – family, friends, pets, good food, laughter, peace, home and many more. Love to Love you – speaks out in ways that I tell this story. I can love because I am loved.