Worry Not..how?

I had quite a few topics on which I wanted to expand today, but then came in the way the most destructive mental activity – “worry”. I have always liked to stay out of worry’s way throughout my life. Now you would say everyone does. But, I beg to differ. I have seen people jumping directly into the puddle of tensions, fights, arguments, and just about anything noisy and violent, when they could have just be within themselves and enjoyed the music flowing through the earphones they were wearing. Some people handle bad situations in their lives well, so they don’t mind stepping into them every now and then. Though I have just read in a book that situations are what they are, neither bad, nor good – just situations. It’s your reaction to them that makes them good or bad for you or others.

I, on the other hand, tend to, so easily, get caught into the web of mental agony if something is worrying me. I just can’t throw it out. A heaviness clasps the back of my head, and it refuses to leave. That has been the primary reason I keep all my money invested in the most liquid assets, like bank deposits, mutual funds, bonds. Ask me to buy a piece of land, and I will freak out. I simply can’t bear the pain a big loan inflicts on a person’s mind, or the up-keeping of the land brings about. Likewise, if I have a task to be completed in the office the next day, I find it hard to enjoy ‘today’.

What should be done to pick the worry glands out of your brain? I know most of the times, the solution is right there, available, maybe just an hour away, possibly after the meeting, or the call, but the wait, the very wait kills me. Just for example I had this very beautiful poem all prepared and almost ready to be posted, but then came a phone call, and now I can’t look at the poem at all. I can’t even feel it let alone finalize it. The romance, the poetic thought process is all flushed out.

I have even tried finding a solution to the problem but it involves: first forgetting about it all tonight, and going to sleep (impossible!). Then, getting up early and setting off to a two-hour long journey, and meeting the cause (need to attend the office afterwards too). Behaving mature and all grown-up, when I actually want to slap the person (the cause of course is a human-being). But anger will only escalate the issue further, and again I’ll be left with an issue unresolved. And, that precisely is something I can’t tolerate. Unresolved issues. I have got to finish all of them to be able to relax. And there are too many of them everyday. And the bloody life is too long. Why can’t I simply write and read, sitting comfortably at home? Too much to wish.

Don’t you guys feel tensed about things? How do you tackle the pain worry causes to the head? How should one enjoy while a big, a humongous issue lies open somewhere, a place you can’t reach now – maybe tomorrow – but not now? It would help if I know there are people like me out there, or am I the only one so perturbed?

World Book Fair in New Delhi

Book Fair – Does that excite you?Book fair

Well, when I first saw the title above, pasted on top of a bus stop, I screamed inwardly in exhilaration, and immediately fixed a date with myself and the books on the stated date. You will agree with me that for a book lover a mere sight of a stack of books can be a trigger for adrenaline rush. A book fair, thus, is a deluge of excitement. Though in today’s world where everything is available online, and where Kindles are gradually replacing books, I was not sure how many people would really turn up. That was none of my concern, I realised, and I set off for the fair, refusing to be held back by the recent surge in winters here. The very idea of books – shining, colourful books – in all the shapes and sizes, from all the publishers you can think of, was too much of a motivation for me to stay indoors.

bookfair759

The best feeling that I get when I visit such places is that I am not alone. There are thousands of people who would rather read than spend time doing anything else. They feel like a part of my family – the reading community. Their smiles appear familiar, the sheen of their eyes seems understandable, and natural. People of all ages checking out stalls, rummaging shelves, and reading the back-covers of the books feel like my own world.

 

The halls were huge, and stalls were many,

Still many were the shelves,

Just pick and choose any!

 

But where to start? How to start?

I just followed the most instinctive approach and slipped inside the very first hall and the stall I could see. It turned out to be devoted to medicine, and I gave a quick uncomfortable look at the pictures on the books, all organs, tools, bodies etc. and left in a hurry fearing that someone might ask me a question or two about the subject. Right ahead, there were all big publishers, and many small ones too. People had flocked the big ones as if books were being distributed for free there. I soon realised that checking books, shelf by shelf, was not going to help. There were millions of them. Discounts weren’t good either, so I glimpsed at them randomly and bought a few, and took pictures of the rest – to buy online later on, with hefty discounts.

world-book-fair-2016

All in all, I loved the ambience, the presence of books all around, and found some really helpful books there. Some I bought, some I will. But it reminded me of the days when my father would take us to book fairs. It was enjoyable then, and it was pleasurable this time too.

Out Of My League You Are But…

I pause,

Stare hard,

At screen with bleary eyes,

It’s time I know,

Let’s go – Heart cries,

But the lights are still on,

My boss is on the phone,

That means I can’t move,

I let out a groan,

She knocks,

Walks past,

And submits her work,

I smile,

Say ‘night,

I think I’m a jerk,

I want to go,

Along with her too,

Her earrings are new,

What am I going to do?

She spins,

And leaves,

Her fragrance still stays,

I close,

My eyes,

My heart ablaze,

I hear her say bye,

To all outside,

Out of my league she is,

I should’ve still tried,

It’s been some days,

My life is such,

We work together,

What else?

Nothing much,

Today is the day,

I thought I would say,

Anything beyond a smile,

And clear up the way,

But,

She leaves,

I am alone,

A couple of hours gone,

I rub my eyes,

Stretch my back,

Suppress a possible yawn,

And,

I shuffle across,

The hall to my boss,

Get a pat on my back,

Still feel it’s a loss,

Elevator I take,

Grab a burger and a cake,

And long to sit,

By the side of a lake,

I reach my car,

A heart with a scar,

In sight is a tree,

Beneath a star,

Just then it glows,

With a shiver and a tone,

That’s her message,

Her message on my phone,

I read it aloud,

She needs to talk,

Oh,

It’s about work,

She’s in a shock,

The work she did,

Was ‘All Wrong!’ – she cries,

But I’ve sent it ahead,

My blood all dries,

I sit in fright,

My eyes on the tree,

I call up my boss,

Just say it was me,

I take all the flak,

And then call her back,

I state what I’ve done,

She screams I’m a crack!

She says she is sorry,

I say,

That’s alright,

She talks she laughs,

Right past midnight,

Still dreaming of her,

Not blinking at all,

I’m thinking what next,

Now that,

We’ve broken the wall.

 

Night – Aren’t You a Gift!

The land is slowly devoid of light,

Even noise is about to lose its fight,

The tick of the clock is amplified loud,

It’s the time of the day when dark feels proud.

 

People at last succumb to fatigue,

Nuisance in the day, sleeping children intrigue,

It’s time to relax, to sleep, to replenish,

Even breeze runs slow, I know it’ll vanish.

 

But here I am, sitting wide awake,

Hot tea on the table, cold back with an ache,

Out of the window, moon looks a beauty,

Somewhere afar, a watchman begins his duty.

 

I love this silence – it’s fertile, it’s great,

It brings me joy, it helps me contemplate,

I read, I write, and I feel alive,

I do all that, that’s how I thrive.

 

No disruption, no distraction,

No boss, no client, no need for an action,

I work, I earn, I spend – all right,

But I meet my true self only at night.

 

In day I’m lazy, come night I’m crazy,

In nights I see, my days are hazy,

I kiss my son, my wife good night,

But, spend the rest of it underneath light.

 

I take no pressure to be the best,

No need to run and reach the crest,

I think and write what best I can,

Just want to be honest, that’s the plan.

Reading To Kids, It Does Work.

While out shopping as a company to my dear wife a few weeks back, I happened to stumble over to the kids’ section of a shopping mall, trying to get hold of my four year old completely-out-of-control son. As usual, nothing but the artificial divinity of this section could calm his nerves down, and he so predictably came to a halt in awe of the surroundings, and got lost in the colourful walls, huge stuffed toys, and for the first time perhaps –  books. Though if I think back, he might not have been as serious while throwing a glance at the books as was made out by me (you know parents pay attention to what they want to pay attention to). Nevertheless, I hauled him up in my arms affectionately, and landed him right in front of the books he now seemed somewhat unsure about. In the end I feel I ended up buying a number of books, more to my liking than his.

Most of these books, just as their earlier relatives now occupy a designated and neglected section of our room, however, we started reading the new story books to him, just to check, yet again, whether he has inherited the love of books from his parents. And to our great surprise, he listened. He listened, and asked questions, and got excited, and related that the elephant or the rabbit or the fox in the story met him the other day, and they even shared food. The crux is that his imagination was given a way out when he listened to the stories. More importantly, ever since that day he keeps picking up the books and pointing at the pictures to urge us to read him another one. Or the earlier ones again.

Of course things do not remain that dreamlike uninterrupted for long. The activity is not as smooth as we would like it to be. During the process,he keeps jumping around, behaving like the animals in the stories, asking us to roar like a lion, stopping us midway and raising back the issues from a previous read. Also, he often wants us to rush on the stories to know the end, right at the beginning, and gets somewhat annoyed by the colour of the eyes of the rabbit, who according to him is more like an alien, as rabbits are like what he has seen in another of his books. Hard to argue with that! But we agree with him, and now we have two types of rabbits, the real ones, and the alien ones.

All in all, I see the point why so many people suggest reading stories to kids. It is effective, engaging, and quite fruitful. It might not establish control as kids are rather excited while you narrate to them. But they do use their imagination and creativity, and they learn new words, ideas, possibilities, and even tricks. The idea that books are fun is registered to their minds in this early age, and that helps in the long run.

Now, I love it when at bed time he goes over to the book-rack and starts throwing away all books till the time he finds the one which has the picture and story of an alien lion. Yes, we have that too!