Tag Archives: #writing

Thathastu to Thesis

How often is writing the observing of the observed and the observer? I wonder about the process and now the tumult that is in my head as I am trying to make sense of my research and getting to start to write my thesis.

I have been fence sitting to be honest, going around in circles of a task that is incumbent upon me. It is like I am always thinking about writing but not writing.

It sure worries my guide, and I see that in her.

It sure worries me too, yet I stand and watch how the process unfolds to get me to the stage of putting it out on paper.

A task so humungous that I am surprised I have come this far. A subject so dear that as I go about talking and reading I am caught deeper in its whirlpool and seem to meander about clueless of where I am heading.

It has been frightening, as if this last leg of the journey rather than being exciting, has been intimidating to me, scaring me of something I am not very sure of.

And the incessant call of the stories swimming around in the air I breathe, asking me to listen, just listen and speak, as if there are myriad souls wanting to find an intermediary, a voice, but am I good enough for that? And the work of course, with multiple excels that need submission almost on hourly basis, and my fear of anything numerical compounding my worries to no end.

I feel tossed and turned like a pendulum swinging against extremes, trying to hold my stance, worried, yet somewhere a feeling of satisfaction creeps in, as if the process painful as it is is also one of deep joy, that I should have the comfort of worrying about writing and not perhaps putting food on the table, that’s is a state of achievement in itself. A feeling that the worst is behind me keeps the smile stitched on the face.

Knowing the paths that have led me this far, I know of the learnings that have stood me in good stead and the friends that I have found on the way, and if death had to stop by and call, I would say happily, come, let’s go, I have done my part though of course, I could do more. Which of us can’t or won’t want to do more.

I seek the comfort of knowing that the the universe, sits by my side and eggs me to complete the learning process that I started before I jump headlong into the next.

I seek the presence of a soul for whom my learning was a ticket to a better life, though he chose a different path and left too early to another home, perhaps a better one, and gave me enough fodder to keep learning forever.

I look at my parents for whom my efforts at learning is a validation, being taunted for not learning enough in life, and living in a certain shame, which try as I do, they cannot seem to overcome, ‘after all we didn’t study beyond 10 th std’ is now replaced with amma’s constant crib, ‘if only I had the opportunity to learn’! to which I have no answer.

I look at her wilful spirit that recites a poem now and then, that learns sanskrit shlokas and talks with pride of the book I brought out and I have to smile, living as I do carrying the dreams of two in one life, that of my brother and mine, and sometimes tiring out in the labour of it all, yet finding strength as if from above.

I look at my daughter for whom it is ‘important to see you happy, ma and I know you can do it’.

So long, to my PhD Thesis writing, I bow and seek blessings from the universe and somehow deep down know that she says, ‘thathastu’.

writers who don’t write, Lovers who don’t love

Writing has been like love

she spent a lifetime

dreaming about love

so did she about writing

sometimes in her dreams

they intermixed and danced

like ‘theyyam’ in a trance of thoughts

like love itself where it is a task to find a lover

of heart and kind, as good as you think he should be

so it is with writing to find a page and fill it with thoughts

the dancing pen coursing through and noting ideas, dreams and aspiration

the sweat and blood of living, the pain of conception and the inability to reproduce

of long traumatic gestation that bends the heart with weight

the muse in either is case being vamoose

sandwiched amidst hopes, expectations and soar realities

throbs a dull ache that makes living plausible

whiffs of love, songs of yonder, tales of the worlds beyond

are in waiting

but not too long, not too long.

Of writing

I hear a thought

I see a few lines forming

as if writing in the air

my heart is entranced

in the magic of the words

I have to sit down

I just have no other go

the words flow

the lines flow

guiding me from

within and without

forming themselves

on to a blank page

filling it with what is beyond me

like one entrusted with a secret

to be spilled out in parts

I am moved to the call of the word

She rules, I obey

that which writes itself is then writing.

Of gratitude

To go back to studying when you are a full blown adult is not an easy choice. Yes, you take pride in having done justice to your parenting responsibilities, but you already are in that loop of EMIs and various other billing activities which tie you down, a caesura at this point is akin to harakiri, or so you think, or fear.

Then comes a mother’s heart calling out to you and saying, ‘ fear not child, do what you want for once, just do it’, and she laughs away all the fears saying ,’what are we here for?’

And a father who chips in,’ it’s not impossible, we are there for you.’

It is terrifying to think of the instability it brings, the staying away from work, even for a short time, the insecurities for someone who has prided on financial independence, yet, a promise looms and a hope and a cause calls, the call is persistent, deep, insistent, relentless and you cannot look away.

Then comes a message, a talk and an assurance, from someone I taught a good 2 decades ago, ‘I want to help you in your studies, just let me know’, it is just a word of promise but it lifts the spirits immediately, as if the universe answered a call, and calmed a fear, and smiled away a tear.

Years ago, I quit school teaching to move to the corporate, in need of a gainful employment, to pay the bills of course, again I remember how one of students asked, ‘What made you quit teaching? You would not have done that. You see, I am a corporate lawyer now. I can help you. Let me know what you need’. The words at that time brought tears to my eyes. I had expected such support from those in my immediate vicinity but there it came from a student again, who had just started his career.

I think of how the universe is assuaging my fears and holding out a hand, egging me on to a journey, whose turns I am not yet able to see.

Yet, it is true that there have been new opportunities and meeting with people who value my abilities in a slow, subtle manner that seems to be changing my universe in some ways, perhaps, a new horizon shines, a new friend or two waits, a new journey begins…

For the Ullysses in me, who wants to go looking after a sinking star, what could be better?

I now feel it won’t be difficult to find a school for Sunil to study, a place to work and learn for Chanamma, a place for me to grow as a writer and a student and to contribute to a cause so close to my heart…. perhaps that is what it is…..a place from where I can reach out and say to those I love and those who love me, here I am for you always…. I have everything to help you…ha, life… what learnings, what lessons!!!

Gratitude is all that I can think of…..