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Monday, 30 August 2021

#MondayBlogs - "I Do"

August 30, 2021 0 Comments

Photo by Asad Photo Maldives from Pexels

“We have been the best of friends for more than ten years now and have seen each other through a lot of shit that life has chosen to throw at us. Yet here we are, our friendship is stronger than ever. But, for quite some time now, for months actually… I have had much stronger feelings for you. Its much more than just friendship. I… I think I am in love with you.”

It was exactly what I had wanted to hear from him for over two years now. To actually hear him say it was so different from the thousands of ways that I had imagined of over the years. For starters, instead of feeling excited or ecstatic, I felt like somebody had just doused me with a bucketful of ice cold water. Secondly, I was sure that I had prepared different replies for him depending upon how he chose to propose me – some funny, some serious, some romantic and some downright mushy lines ready in my mind for when the time came. But at that moment I could not think of a single thing to say to him. Instead my full attention was on him. I could almost see the hundred different thoughts racing through his mind with each second that he waited for me to say something. He was definitely faking the cool and calm composure he had put up in front of me.

“Look, I know that this might seem very sudden to you. Take time to think it over. After all, I had months to process my real feelings for you, to consider the pros & cons of getting in a relationship with you. I just wanted you to know that I am totally sure about us…”

He had drifted off, fixing his gaze on something mundane outside the window. He looked so adorable when he was nervous. He was not the most patient person around and I was sure that he was just trying to be fair to me when he said that I could take some time to think over. But really, he must have been wishing that he could just ‘shake’ the answer out of me immediately. He looked back at me and a slight pucker appeared between his brows.

“You are angry! I have upset you… I am so sorry. I swear I did not mean to hurt you. Here, go ahead and slap me or hit me – whatever you feel like. I just couldn’t keep it from you any longer. You know how bad I am at not telling you stuff. Please don’t be angry.”

Strange! He was usually a hundred percent accurate at reading my moods and expressions. He had eleven years, three months and seventeen days of practice at it. But for the first time, I doubted him for a second. Why would I be angry at him for finally telling me what I had been longing to hear for a long time? Why would I be upset to hear that the person I was in love with, returned my feelings for him?

“Oh God! Brishti, just say something, will you? Don’t just sit there, looking at me like that when I have proposed you. Or do something… Wanna kill me for doing this to you? Go ahead and take a shot. If you feel like breaking something, there’s a lot of china pieces lying around. Just stop looking at me like that.”

That’s when realization hit me – he was right. I was angry. I was upset. He could read my expressions but he could not read the turmoil behind it. I finally got myself to speak, “I don’t know what to say. I wish I could say that I feel the same way about you, but I can only be your friend.” No matter how we truly felt about each other, I could only be his friend. I was upset because, I wished I could tell him how much I truly loved him. I was upset because I wanted to be the one to take care of him for the rest of his life. I wanted to be the one he would always turn to, the one he came home to and the one he would always hold in his arms. But what I wanted to be and what I could be were such extremes.

I was angry at myself, at life and at God for everything that stopped me from being who I wanted to be. If only I didn't have so much baggage. If only, I still had my family. If only, I hadn’t spent a good part of my life at a counselor’s office. I thought about the hysterics inside that office. I thought about the cold and empty flat I called home. But mostly I thought about the bottle of small white pills that sat on my bedside table and lent to the illusion of me that sat in front of him today. Did I really want him to suffer with me? No, I was doing the right thing by not telling him – I told myself. He did not deserve me. He was meant for much better and greater things in life. He deserved someone just like him --- carefree, loving, caring and most importantly, someone baggage-free, who wouldn’t clip his wings and let him fly high like he was meant to.

“I guess I sort of knew it in my subconscious that you did not feel the same way. Maybe that’s why I kept stalling. But in the end, I just had to let you know, you know? I do not want to spend the rest of my life wondering. I had to take a chance and be sure. Do you think you can forgive me for overstepping my boundaries? Please? I don’t want to loose my buddy.”

When He looked at me with those big warm brown eyes, how could I say no to him? I heard myself say in a very lighthearted tone, “Of course you fool! Didn’t I just say that I will always be your friend. I will be there till the day you need me.”

“Well then I will go with forever ‘coz I don’t think I will never not need you!”

He then gave me a heart melting smile and proceeded to return to his old comforting ways. As if this conversation had never happened. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was the only one who was putting up an act. But I promised myself that I would be there for him till he had someone else to turn to.

That was then and this was now.

Three years have passed since then. Things between us were like what it was before that day at the restaurant. In the meantime, I was still stuck at the same flat, at the same job, at the same counselor’s office and with the same bottle of white pills on my bedside. He on the other hand, had climbed the corporate ladder quite fast. He had been sent abroad for a year to work on some project. That's where he had met her. After a whirlwind affair, here we were gathered today, at a church for the wedding of Akash & Sarah. Sarah was just another kindred spirit, who was just a shade bit more responsible than him. It was clear to me and to everyone else gathered there, that they were meant to be.

As they stood at the altar, ready to exchange their wows, they looked radiant. I remembered my promise to myself and realized that Sarah would truly be his better half. It was time for me to fade away in the shadows of his past and so I did right at the moment he said, “I Do”.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

#TarotThursday - Why I Want to Continue My Tarot Journey

August 26, 2021 0 Comments

In my last post about Tarot, I have talked about my Tarot journey so far. It would be easier to give up on it right now than to start from the beginning again.

To be clear, I have to studied or practiced Tarot in over 5 years and I had left off even before I had completed studying the whole of Minor Arcana. I have lost my connection to it for most parts – if not completely and I am not sure if I remember all of what I had learned.

But I want to continue this journey and learn and discover more. And I want to start afresh.

The aspect of Tarot that attracted me the most is the fact that Tarot doesn’t claim to have any control over our lives. It is simply a tool to take a look into a person’s past, present and future. While some people claim that Tarot can predict the future, I see it as more of a tool to guide a person towards the future.

Tarot for me is a way of self-discovery and storytelling. It tells us what was, what is and what can be. It can be used to understand yourself better and take a stock of what surrounds you and how best to utilize the resources that one has. For instance, when a person is under tremendous pressure or feeling particularly vulnerable, they may not be in a state to take stock of their situation completely or pragmatically. In such situations, Tarot can guide a person to find out the blockages or the hurdles and that of the resources that are available to them but were being overlooked.

Though it is suggested that a reader should never read for themselves due to the biases that may affect the reading our personal blocks, I found it particularly enlightening to draw a card for myself each day (even if I hadn’t already studied a particular card) when I started teaching myself the art of Tarot. I would let myself look at the card and let my feelings guide to what I expected from the day. And not surprisingly, I would get different vibes from the same card on different days. It was then that I noticed that my personal moods affected how I interpreted each card. On the days I was feeling particularly positive, I would see the brighter aspects of a card and on the days, I wasn’t in the best of moods, I would align with the negative aspects of the cards.

For instance, take ‘The Fool’ card:

On a good day, I would see a person embarking on a daring adventure with a loyal companion in tow. Yet on a bad day, all I could see was a person taking a leap off an edge to the unknown.

Does the card mean one or the other? Fact is, it could be both depending the position and on the other cards in a spread. It could mean a new beginning and trust. And it could mean foolishness and naivety too.

I still do believe that a reader should not read for themselves or people they are really close to. But I did benefit from daily draws for myself while learning because paying attention to what aspects of a card I was drawn towards on a given day did give insight to my own state of mind and heart. And since I used to do it in the mornings, I could pay attention to how things were affecting me that day and how I was reacting to things. Slowly that helped me understand myself better and pay attention to my own intuition better.

It would be great to be able to become a professional reader one day. Till then I want to try I learn it better because I have never gravitated to anything more naturally before and the attraction I feel to it is not something I want to ignore any longer.

Do you have any experience with Tarot?

Monday, 23 August 2021

#MondayBlogs - Crazy, Stupid, Love

August 23, 2021 0 Comments

Photo by How Far From Home from Pexels

“But I can feel your love, as strong as mine” – Arjun B

Love, the four-letter word makes this world go around, even when we don’t like it. This is the most abused, misunderstood, misused word in the world. Yet, even the most broken, damaged souls we carve for love, some affection, a touch with desire.

In short, we all desire love in some form or other, like friendship, parents, siblings, and most desired a lover’s love.

Today let's discuss love, the romantic, heartbreaking, passionate love. 

But why do you desire someone?

It is not forever, it breaks your heart into million pieces, and it will make you cry on those lonely nights, where you feel closer to the dark sky and far from your lover.

Before we go into that, let’s see what the stages of love are...

Dilkashi (Attraction):
The first of attraction, the first sigh of longing.

Uns (Attachment):
At this stage, she is developing her interest in him and decides to woo her or just ignore him and give him the chance to woo her. 

Mohobbat (Love):
She starts feeling at top of the world, butterflies in her mind lost in thoughts of her beloved. This is the most euphoric of all stages.

Akidat (Trust):
She started trusting him more than anything and anyone. 

Ibadat (Worship):
Her love reaches the extend of worshiping him.

Junoo (Madness):
She finds her own identity incomplete without him, a stage of obsession.

Maut (Death):
The final stage of love, DEATH, where the self-identity is completely lost. 

Now back to the main question, why are we so crazy about love.....

Childhood Neglect:
The theory the psychologist propose is that people who crave love usually do this because they grew up without affection or emotional intimacy. It’s like one needs to be holding them in their arms and tell them loving words. If this is the reason for the love, it feels like a black hole consuming them from inside.

Procreate Babies:
German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer maintained that love, based on sexual desire and makes babies. This is the biological theory of the crazy need for love, creating a mini us in this oblivious world. This theory also tangled sex and creating babies. We love (read Sex) because our desires lead us to believe that another person will make us happy.

According to this, men like Ovulation women as they can reproduce.

I really don’t think the theory is enough to explain the mystery of love, anyhow, who doesn’t like sex.

Escape from our Loneliness:
Well, we all relate to this. It’s like someone fills the vacuum that we are carrying. However, the type and loneliness various time to time, hence the type of lover. This quality is often seen in people with high emotional intelligence, poets, and writers.

The Best way to describe this is.....

প্রেম আসলে ছন্নছাড়া,
দৌড়ে বেড়ায় এদিক ওদিক,
শূন্য মন ভরায় যে,
সেই আমার তখন প্রেমিক।

A loose translation...

Love is aimless, roaming around all day. Whoever can fill the vacuum of my heart, is my love for the time being.

Love is Misleading affliction: Gautama Buddha said we love because we are trying to satisfy our basic desires of companionship. However, our passionate cravings are defects, and the end attachment even if it is romantic love, results in a great source of suffering.

Love lets us reach beyond ourselves:
French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir proposed that love is the desire to be one with another and it supposes to infuse our lives with meaning.

She advised to love authentically; it is more like a great friendship. Like a mutual support system, each other in discovering themselves, reaching beyond themselves, and enriching their lives as well as the world, together.

Though it is literally impossible to know why we fall in love, one thing is certain that it’ll be an emotional rollercoaster ride. 

We lose ourselves. 

We find ourselves. 

It might end in heartbreak or the best thing in life. 

Hence, the moral of the story, love is the pain and is the cure and we humans are powerless in front of it. 

“I cannot let you burn me up, nor can I resist you. No mere human can stand in a fire and not be consumed.” A.S. Byatt


Thursday, 19 August 2021

#TarotThursday - My Journey With Tarot So Far...

August 19, 2021 0 Comments


Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

For as long as I can remember, I have been curious about the different branches of Occult. I remember reading up dozens of books on Palmistry while still in middle school; and reading books on Astrology during college days. They were fun parlour tricks for a time, looking at people’s hand and telling them whether they would have a love marriage or how many kids they may have and if they should be careful about their health. The novelty wore off quickly enough for me to abandon the pretence that I believed in them completely.

It is the biggest dichotomy of my life! I do not really believe in fate. Or that the planets and stars can influence our life paths from thousands of light years away; or that the story of our lives are already set in the lines on our palms. I am a control freak and as such even trying to imagine that my life path is already set and completely out of my control send me down a rabbit hole that no one should ever have to experience. And so, I do not believe that we have no control over our own lives – that they are all predetermined by the position of planets during our birth or that they are set in the lines of our palms. Yet, when I am down and feel beaten, I cannot help but wonder if there is indeed something called fate that controls us all and fighting against it to set our own paths is just setting ourselves up for failure.

Then around 2012, I discovered Tarot. It is not that I discovered its existence then, just that I was drawn to Tarot then. I was at a bookstore where they had a section for Occult and as usual, I wandered over to it after I had my fill of the Mystery/Thriller section. I felt myself drawn right to a particular tarot deck. The store had open sample decks for people to be able to explore before buying and while I checked out quite a few of them, I kept going back to one particular deck. I do not remember what deck it was, and I have not seen it again since – but the artwork on that deck told me stories. It was expensive enough for me to leave the store without buying it that day. But it stayed with me for so long (and I still remember the artwork on it till date) that I decided to give Tarot a try. Unfortunately, when I went back to the store few months later, that deck was out of stock already. I ended up buying my first deck – an original Rider-Waite deck because of course I had researched online, and most websites recommended the Rider-Waite deck for beginners.

So, it was beginning of 2013 that I started my journey with Tarot. And I must put a disclaimer here that I fully expected it to be similar to my experience with Palmistry and Astrology. I did not take any classes on tarot and instead read up online and developed my own way to learn tarot. It was a slow process because I was no longer a student. I was married, working, and struggling in those days to even stay awake after I had done my work and household chores. I would go months in between when I wouldn’t touch my deck and then go back to revising my learning before continuing just to make sure I had not forgotten in between. This continued till 2015 and then I had to give it up completely due to my work and family commitments, I had gone back to university to study and health complications.

I may not have studied Tarot for the last 5/6 years, but I could never let go of it completely either. I would still watch videos and read up articles in between. And, now that I have a bit more time (I think I do, I am never really sure) I want to get back to it seriously.

If you are wondering if it is going to be any different from my experiences with Astrology, Palmistry and even with Tarot so far – I really hope so. For one, I like how Tarot doesn’t claim to have any control over my life. And as someone whose first passion is reading, the fact that Tarot tells me stories through the cards is also a factor that makes it different from the other Occult branches that I have studied so far. I feel a connection here that I have not felt with anything before – even when I studied Graphology for a year in between.

As I go back to studying Tarot, I would really like to start at the beginning again and brush up before advancing. And I will freely admit that I need to create content for this blog. So, I thought I could maybe kill two birds with one stone – study Tarot again and chronicle my learnings in this blog.

Now, my question to you is – will you be willing to hold me accountable so that I keep at it?
If you are knowledgeable about Tarot, would you drop by with tips and ideas for me?
Or, if you have been curious about Tarot, then come learn with me?

Monday, 9 August 2021

#MondayBlogs - Just for a Day

August 09, 2021 0 Comments

Photo by Athena from Pexels


You help the sun to blaze
You help the moon to shine
I have seen you with fireflies, twinkling in the darkest nights.

Just for once let your hair loose,
Let the hurricane become the breeze for you
The moonlight wants to burn you from inside... out

I am about to paint a picture on your naked skin,
Under thousands of stars,
In those rain soaked paddy fields

Let me love you just for this once,
I don’t want you, except for tonight...
You know, don’t like the tangled strings

Just for once, love me like you mean it
Hold me like you will never let me go,
Kiss me like its raindrops

Tomorrow, go back to being epic
Tonight let's set the night on fire,
Let me drive you to the eternal dark.

Monday, 2 August 2021

#MondayBlogs - A Different Life

August 02, 2021 0 Comments
Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

When I was young and hated to go to school, my mother would always tell me that one day I would find ‘education’ was the only thing that could liberate me in life. Whenever she made me sit and do my homework or study for my exams, she would keep chanting, ‘This is going to be your ticket to a different life. You don’t want one like mine. You’ll see… you will be free and then you will thank me for putting you through this.’ At first, I was too young to understand what she meant. Then I was a rebelling teenager to whom her mother was the ‘bad guy’ in real life, and I did not have a moment to understand her motivations. Soon I was too wrapped up in my own life to give a second thought to what she meant and what she wanted for me.

Today, I am turning 40. I have already lived through a big part of my life – I would like to think more than half. I have seen see a lot of places and people. I have had my share of ups and downs of life and I have gathered a lot of experience - experience of learning from my mistakes and triumphs and also from the mistakes of those around me. Today, I am turning 40. I am married to a ‘very successful’ man; I am a mother of two most beautiful children and an efficient home maker.

I had met my husband in college and have been together ever since. We had even done our Masters in Business Administration together, with same majors. We had the same ambition and the same drive. ‘We both want the same things from life,’ he had said. ‘Nobody else can understand this need better. Why wait? Let’s get married and be together to support each other.’ We had eloped and gotten married straight out of the University. I remember our initial struggle. For the first five years we had worked hard to make the ends meet and build some sort of life for ourselves. We had finally reached a stage of stability in life, but our long hours had taken us away from each other. We hardly knew the person we had become and knew even less about the other.

Things changed again when I got pregnant and found out that we were going to have twins. We started working harder and even longer hours. In the fifth month of my pregnancy, he said, “Why don’t you take a break from your job? The job, home and now the twins. It is too much stress. I am going to call your mother to come stay with us and you can quit your job. Just sit back and relax. You need to think about your health, and you must think about the health of the babies as well. All this stress cannot be good for them. You can always get back to work later.” So, I quit my job. Since then my life has changed completely.

Every mother likes to think that their child is the best and most beautiful thing on this earth.  I do so too. But I do not mean their physical appearance; they have the best from both of us and while we are both average looking, our children are beautiful. But I actually meant about their personality, their nature and their temperament. They hardly ever fuss or fight. They are very adaptable and most sensitive about their surroundings… They know the importance of a good education and excel in their classes. My son enjoys playing the guitar while my daughter loves to sing. I revel in their talents.

Personally, my life has become very monotonous and predictable.  My mornings start with the rush of school & office. The day passes on with washing & cleaning. Evenings are busy with homework and preparation of dinner. My husband usually arrives at the nick of time for dinner. After a family dinner and discussion of each person’s highlight of the day, the kitchen beckons me for one last clean down. By the time I am done cleaning, checking on the kids and a shower to wash off the day’s exhaustion, I find my husband snoring slightly on his side of the bed.

Today as I turn 40, I look back over my shoulders to the days that have gone by. I see all the forks in my life where my decisions took me towards one and away from the other. I can see all the failures and I can see all my triumphs. I can see how, when and where the priorities in my life had changed. I can see what I had wanted to be and what I had become.  I finally realized what I always wanted to be like – everything that my mother was not; a practical career-oriented woman who was totally independent. I can see what I had become – everything that she was; a sentimental and emotional housewife whose whole world revolved around her husband and children.

Today as I turn 40, I find myself looking back at the little girl whose mother kept telling her that education would bring her freedom. I finally have the time and maturity to understand her motivations. So, I ask myself, am I anymore free than she was? Do I have a ‘different life’?