Friday, June 08, 2018

RIP Anthony

Another day ends.

And with that another life.

We gasp, choke, sigh and post our tributes.

And then get on with the day.

And the next.

And the day after.

Until the next person dies.

A suicide isn’t a normal death.

A suicide goes against the natural human desire to survive. To exist.

A suicide is born out of pain and despair. And the feeling that there is no other way.

It’s the final step in a series of unrelenting steps that pleaded for help, screamed to be heard.

Did no one hear Anthony Bourdain? Or Kate Spade?

Or Chester Bennington?
                                                                                                                    Courtesy: Fortune

Not even their families, their loved ones?

Did we have the wrong idea about their personal lives?

Or perhaps, no matter how happy a person looks, one can never be sure what’s eating them inside.

How hollow do you have to feel, how hopeless to take such a drastic step?

I can’t imagine.

But tonight, my heart cries for Bourdain, Spade, Bennington and those millions of lives we have lost early. And those that we will continue to lose if we don’t do something about it.

Depression is real. Suicides are happening every day. You might not like it; you might think people should be stronger. But you can’t change reality.

What you can change is the way you are with people. Even a few kind words can mean the world to someone.

Empathy is a gift. You don’t know what someone is going through. You might not even understand at first. But be kind. Be patient.  Be persistent. Don’t do it for that person to thank you but because it is the right thing to do.

And if we all try and be a little kinder to each other, perhaps, we can make a small dent in this harsh world.

And that’s a start.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

When you start performing outside, do your words stop performing?

Dear words,

It's been a while since I have written. Really written. 

And I don't mean the pathetic excuse of ads. Writing ads is not writing.

Sure, you can write good ads. But how many good ads have I written in a while? Sure, we have had some good times.

I can still dig out some of the ads I'm proud of, from the treasure chest of my folio. 

Or rummage through my memory palace for the gems that made me who I am.

But mostly, I just take a peek in my blog.

I gaze at the worlds I created with you, my words. Where you became characters, happy, sad, angry, magical elves, talking parrots, Robert de Niroesque camels, sallow old men, abused vampires, even the timeless Night. A stranger in the world I created, I gaze in wonder, wanting to read more. What happens next? I ask.

But there are no more pages.

No more stories.

No more characters.



Because I stopped writing.


And just like that, this world turns bleak. You look at me in disdain. Like I betrayed you, abandoned you. Left you out to die.


But I didn't, I swear. 

I just... got consumed... by other words.


Glamorous and boring and shallow and self-centered but worth a lot. They are paying my bills, you know. What are you worth, anyway? What could you give me?



Except my entire being.


What were you ever worth...except my soul?

What were you...except my reason to live?



And what am I now, without you?

Is this how it feels to live an empty existence? To roam like a ghost through the halls of success? To be famous without any identity? 

Does this mean I have nothing left to say?



Far from that.

I feel I have grown up.

I think I have become funnier. Other humans attest to that.

I think I have become more patient, more understanding...braver even. 

I think I understand humans a bit better now. I will not say I understand everything about them or even like them but I think they like me a little better than they used to. 

Why does it matter? 

Because that has been one of my constant struggles. To understand human beings better. To get my point across. To see them. For what they are and what they can be. And to make them see me.

I daresay I might even have a following.

Human beings are not completely repulsed by the thought of me. How on earth did I pull off this feat? I'm sure you would be proud of me, dear words. You would be proud of how much I have achieved, how far I have come. I think humans find me funny too. 


But is it because I started performing for them that I stopped writing for you? I wonder. 


Perhaps, I was getting fulfilment outside so I didn't need to release words to feel at peace. 


But just like a drug, this fulfilment is temporary. Human contact and appreciation is no match for the warmth and comfort of your creation, and your company.


Am I making up for the years of little human contact with rampant popularity?

Should I wait for the tipping point or find a balance now?


I suppose, humans will always be there. With their frivolous nature and their shallowness, their worship-or-criticise attitude, their shiny trinkets that lose value the moment they buy them, and their arrogance. I daresay I enjoyed being worshipped, I enjoyed being criticized but more often than not, I liked manipulating their view at will. 


But you, my dear words have been with me through thick and thin. Through the darkness and abyss, the rise and popularity and success, you have been my one constant. You never asked for anything much like the quiet mother who makes way for her daughter's rise. She was the furious mother who wouldn't let mean kids make her daughter cry. Mean kids still exist. But the mother now believes she has created a strong woman who is ready to face whatever life throws at her and instead prefers to retire to the shadows. That, however, doesn't mean she is not ready to defend her daughter at the drop of a hat. 


Just like that mother, I need you today, dear words.

Please come back.


The writer who terribly misses you