Just a day

“And I realized—I realized how badly I’d been treated before, if my standards had become so low. If the freedom I’d been granted felt like a privilege and not an inherent right.” – A Court of Mist and Fury, Sarah J Maas

There is an undercurrent that accompanies the second month of every year. When the empty seat beside you starts to feel like a reflection of some shortcoming of yours that is unique to February, when the absence of another hand in yours leaves you feeling colder than usual, and the silence from the other side of the bed begins to feel weighted. ‘It’s just a day’. It is. ‘Nobody remembers it once it’s gone’. They don’t. February 14th comes, awash in pinks and reds and hearts and promises, and leaves, until next year, giving you another chance to fill that seat beside you.

Ever since I’ve moved to a new country, I often find myself circling back to the idea of signs and how fate guides our every move, and the bigger picture is already painted; we can only finetune the details. With the world around me painted rose, I wonder what if every step we take is leading us onto a path that’s meant to collide with someone else’s. One day, you just stumble upon your happily ever after, the story that you always knew of, but hadn’t yet read.

But how do you know what you’re looking for? What is the cost, the price you pay to know what’s good, what will make you happy? Pain. All the storms in your life, the tears, the hurt, the grief that overrides every other sense and leaves you feeling like you’re drowning – that’s the cost of love. That’s what steels your will and makes you grow, like storm clouds breaking apart to make way for the sun to shine through.

The empty seat isn’t a mark against you. The other half of the cold is bed now, so go ahead and sleep in the middle of the bed like a freaking starfish. Your hands are empty for you to hold fries in them. Nothing is permanent, and nothing goes on forever. It is, in actual fact, a day.

Love,

Snigdha

In Omnia Paratus

“Only you can decide what breaks you, Cursebreaker. Only you.”

I have had more than two decades to grasp the concept of time, but it still eludes me. One day, it’s March 23 of 2020, the whole world is locked in, and all your plans are trashed. You blink, look away, get busy dealing with today, and suddenly, it’s the next year, and you find yourself many miles away from everything that is familiar and known.

I did it. I moved halfway across the globe, to the United States of America, and classes begin tomorrow. It’s been twenty days since I arrived here, so far away from my mother and the comfort of home, and while most days are okay, there are moments between here and there when I need to remind myself that all will be okay. Different things hit me at different times, you know? Some days, it’s how my pillow smells different, or how my bed feels unfamiliar. Other days, it’s how my fingers don’t wrap around my car keys anymore. These little things may not seem like much, but they are. Change is never easy, and even after having been through my fair share of changes, I can’t say I’m used to it.

When the view outside your window changes, finding a sense of home becomes very difficult. Twenty days in, and sometimes I still feel like this is all a dream, and I’ll be home once I wake up. But there’s hope, too. Hope that all this will amount to something that is beyond my imagination, something that will make all of this worth the discomfort.

In omnia paratus means ‘ready for anything’. I believe it’s too late for anything else, right?

See you soon, ladies and gentlemen.

Love,

Snigdha

One-Fourth

“You can’t make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build your world from it.”

When I turned 24 last year, I had a feeling that it was going to be a bumpy ride, albeit exciting, and I was right on the money. I vaguely remember saying that 23 was the worst year I’d ever lived through, but 24 leveled up the game like no other, friends. It wasn’t bad, not at all — it was challenging. Eye-opening. Life-altering. Surprising. With barely four days to go for my birthday, I believe I can confirm that that was the theme of this year: surprise. Every day was a new low or new high, every single day was a surprise.

People surprised me, circumstances surprised me, life surprised me, but most of all, I surprised myself. I had such plans for this year, you know, and everything was very neatly laid out. Lists and plans and to-dos were all ready to just be put into action, and when the the pandemic happened and the world locked down, all those beautiful plans were discarded in a trench and set on fire. Suddenly, I didn’t know which way was up anymore, because while I had planned for setbacks, I hadn’t expected utter and complete annihilation of the carefully-crafted action items. Things got so out of control for a while that I started to reconsider all the choices that I’d made, which only led to making of more stupid decisions. Thankfully, my mother swooped in and saved the day before I could do any permanent damage. This was the starting of summer.

The summer of quarantine was devoted to rebuilding and discoveries and just taking my own sweet time. I read, learned new recipes and practiced the old ones, took up a new job that I enjoy quite a bit, and spent time healing myself from within, at my own pace. Some days were so easy that I often wondered why I hadn’t just done it sooner, but some days were very, very ugly. It was a tough and largely solitary process, one that I’m so thankful I choose to subject myself to. There were scabs and scars and knots all over my being from so many things, some fresh and recent, some long forgotten, and all of them painful. More than others, I was forced to come face to face with my own shortcomings and ugliness, and all the things that I’ve avoided looking in the eye for so damn long. It was nerve-wracking to address the darkness within, and to wade my way through it was a challenge like no other. It’s creepy, to be very honest, only because it’s you who is the cause of it. Nobody else, nothing else, but you.

I guess finding my way out of the labyrinth righted many, many wrongs and healed over every last wound that I had been harboring inside of myself. Now, today, I feel peaceful, and I know that happiness is always within reach, even if nothing around you seems capable of sparking joy. Happiness is always around, fellas, trust me. You might have to dig a little deeper sometimes, but you’ll find it, closer and bigger and all-encompassing than you thought possible.

There are a million and one things that I’ve learned this year, from people, from books, from every day that has passed me by. It’s has been a terrifying, exhilarating ride, this year. 24 was a gift, truly.

As is custom around here, we shall delve into the life lessons on the birthday eve, where I shall share the wisdom that 24 hammered into me. Stay tuned for that load of fun, ladies and gents.

Love,

Snigdha

Night

I wonder if some part of me knew what was waiting for me. That I would never be a gentle grower of things, or someone who burned like fire – but that I would be quiet and enduring and as faceted as the night.”

Well, hello. Counting from today, I turn 25 in exactly fifteen days. Yesterday, I ordered eight books that I absolutely want to read as an early birthday present for myself, and I’m here today to brood a little, as promised. This post was originally supposed to be me raving about all the fantastic books I managed to read during quarantine, but I believe it’s better if we just don’t try to find a particular point here. I’m in a mood.

The quote above is from A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J Maas. If you know me in real life, you know how the series that this book belongs to has had the honor of being the first ever fantasy series that I’ve read, and needless to say, love. After August left me reeling from a major sensory overload, I fell into this reading slump that turned my mouth sour at the mere thought of picking up any book that I was so excited to get to just days ago (Midnight Sun has been sitting on my shelf since two weeks now, for that very reason). I tried re-reading old favorites, and when that didn’t yield affirmatory results, I tried an item off the Things I’d Never Do list: reading fantasy. Starting with A Court of Thorns and Roses.

The book started out a teensy bit slow, but before I knew it, I was done with the whole series, had pre-ordered the signed edition of the next book, and had a folder in my phone full of fan arts and memes. To say that I’m surprised things turned out this way would be a gross understatement. I was almost desperate to hate the book, write off the fantasy genre as something that just isn’t my cup of tea and be content with the knowledge that after nearly 25 years, I know myself enough to avoid surprises when it comes to what I will or won’t like.

I was wrong. Horribly, shockingly wrong. Turns out, there is a lot about myself that I’m either reluctant to admit, or just simply haven’t discovered yet. Nothing is set in stone, not even the most basic of instincts, and with just the correct scenario to catalyze actions, guide them along, I bet there are going to a lot many surprises in the future. And not just with book choices.

ACOTAR induced a lot of anxiety, I’m not going to lie. Parts of it weren’t pretty, parts of it were just downright nerve-wracking, and peace was never permanent; there was no neatly-wrapped-with-a-bow-on-top ending. The characters were morally gray, and even the heroes were sometimes selfish and cruel. It dredged up a lot of unpleasant incidents from my own life, which is always such a delightful experience. But it was real, all of it–as real as a story about faerie people can get.

Feyre Archeron tells you it’s okay to be fiercely protective of your loved ones, but also of yourself. It’s okay to be subservient and do things to make others happy, but never okay to let love be a blanket over your eyes about the horrible things. Most importantly, it’s okay to choose for yourself.

I feel like I’ve been scraped raw all over, to be honest. Usually, the month before my birthday is grounding–it’s when I feel most sure of myself, of the future, ready to pick up and run with whatever is coming. This time, I don’t seem to be able to tell which way is up. There’s this indescribable feeling roiling in the pit of my stomach every day, but I haven’t made any attempt to unravel what it is. Another point that this rollercoaster of a year has driven home thoroughly: things happen when it’s their time, and it’s ill-advised to mess with the order. So, yeah, not doing that now.

I am also yet to fully discern what I expect of the coming year, even if that’s as far as my control over reality extends. It’s nice to at least have the illusion in place, helps me sleep at night. Maybe next post will be about that.

Stay tuned.

Love,

Snigdha

Two Five

“Be glad of human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”

Well, hello there. It is I, and I’ve finally managed to pry myself away from my Kindle to check in with you guys/word-vomit a little.

So, I’m turning 25 in less than a month. I know, right? The Big 25, a milestone in life. And you already know September is all about brooding and reminiscing and actually feeling the time that has gone by, down to my bones. Usually it’s chipper and emotional. This year, though, it feels like swimming in murky, choppy waters. I don’t know what exactly has me feeling like I want to clench my fist around time and just stop it, but it probably has something to do with the fact that next year, I’m going to be doing a lot more than just getting a year older. Come December, I’d probably be across the globe, away from all that is known and familiar.

I’ve wanted to go, for as long as I can remember, and that hasn’t changed one bit. But the butterflies start dancing up a storm in my stomach every time I think about how different things would be. The decision to move wasn’t easy, but for probably the first time in the entirety of my 24 years, it was mine and only mine. Mom supported me through it, even though I know she’s terrified of letting me go. Her unwavering strength gives me hope that I’ll be okay, too.

I began reading A Court Of Thorns And Roses last week, and now am on the second book in the series. It’s such an entertaining read, and the timing couldn’t be better. Actually, I’ve read so many books that I wouldn’t normally go for, and they’ve turned out fantastic. Despite the books being exceptional in themselves, the whole situation only goes to show that the other side of fear is a pretty awesome place to be. I’m reading fantasy, for the love of God, and I can’t seem to find the will to put the book down. I didn’t see this happening, ever, and well, here we are.

There’s room in life for ‘picky’, but there’s also plenty of room for ‘surprise me’. Maybe if I just keep at it, life will surprise me. This past year has been tough, but it’s also been enlightening in a way that I’ve never experienced before. A lot of things have settled inside me, while others have been shaken up from their resting place somewhere deep within my mind. So far, I’m all okay with the changes.

This month will bear many posts similar to this one. It’s my brooding month, I told you.

Talk later.