Home grown tomato plant

I’m always surprised when I visit people’s houses (pre-pandemic) and I see a large collection of store bought plants. They are usually contained in pots of all sizes, some hanging, some small, some large and mostly made of clay. Trouble with these is that once you move, you’re almost always certain that these pots will break. Secondly you don’t really need to spend a fortune on getting household plants.

For this plant here, I purchased soil from amazon and that’s it. The container I used formerly housed ready to eat cup noodles. The tomato seeds were obtained from a tomato I used for cooking. And that’s it. I’ve made it a point to not discard such plastic containers after a single use. They will end up in a landfill somewhere or worse, in the oceans. It takes a few weeks but just look at how beautiful it looks. And the smell, freshly sprayed leaves, they just tingle all your senses.

In a few weeks I might have to transfer it to a different plastic container but I have those too. I end up donating these plants to my friends because someone needs to look after them when I’m sailing.

But what a sight. I have sown 23 such plants recently. I got hold of some seeds from amazon which cost me ₹500. I kinda got tired of growing only apples, lemons and tomatoes. So I got some flowering plants, some veggies and I planted everything in whatever plastic container I could find. In a few weeks I should have a blossoming garden in my balcony.

The next time you’re getting rid of a plastic container, maybe stop and think for a second if this can be reused somewhere.

Till you die…

I watched the smoke roll in and it slowly took over my city. Engulfed in a darkness on an already dark night. The troubled souls wandered taking one step after another, day after day, year after year till the time they walked into their graves not knowing what the hell they spent their lives doing. What they imagined their lives to be like and what the ended up being. The dreams. The aspirations. The fame. The fortune. All within touching distance but always just out of reach. The mindless pursuit carried on and to me it looked far more dangerous than the smoke rolling in day by day. For the smoke takes a brisk wind, a short rain or a seasonal change to clear, but what of the minds engaged in trivial pursuits? What lifts that fog?

I read a quote once “the biggest tragedy of life is that the days are long and the years are short”. I watched it happen everyday. The days just won’t end but then pages flew off the calendars. Suddenly it was this one’s birthday or that one’s getting married. I watched it all going round on this never end carousel. Silent and numb. Watching others rejoice but for what joy? Why? The illusion of happiness. That’s the blinding fog that has engulfed not just my city but the whole world. If I was to ask someone “show me what happiness looks like” I wonder what they’ll say. What will you say? Do you know what that looks like? Do you know exactly what you’re after?

I walk a tight rope that separates joyous heavens and miserable pits. Without blinking. Without a shadow of emotion. Without remorse. I walk this tightrope each day. Some days I fall. Some days I fly. And repeat and repeat and repeat. Till you die.

Two worlds.

She sat in bed in her favourite pyjamas. Her hair tied up in a neat little bun that women usually have indoors but dare not display outside. Dinner was done a while back. She now nursed a tall glass of wine. The lights were dim and only the twinkle of her fairy lights illuminated her surroundings. Little women played on the TV. She was a dreamer, this one. An eternal optimist. Her bursts of joy knew no bounds. But life had been cruel to her. Unfair. But she’d be damned if she let anyone witness it. She nursed her wounds in this dark corner by herself and braved the widest smile for the world to see.

He sat alone in his big empty apartment watching a movie called “Love guaranteed”. Basically about a guy who’s sick and tired of online dating because it always coughed up terrible matches. He wasn’t particularly picky but he knew what he wanted. Not a man who would settle for less than what he deserved. And he knew what he deserved. Life hadn’t been kind to him either. He polished off his dinner and drowned in the bottomless pit of his beer mug.

Both hopeless romantics. Both injured and alone. Both living a world apart. Both perfect in their own way. Their worlds collided in the past once. But now, years later, they each sit alone in their corners, hiding in comfort, putting on a brave face for the world. A story as old as time. Why is it that those who are capable of giving the most love, never get the chance to do so?

Lipstick and cigarettes

The drunken haze of last night washed over me repeatedly. Like waves at high tide. Surrounding me. Drowning me.

Gasping for air I breathed myself back to life. The haze continued. Memory failed me. I recalled nothing except my sense of regret. The whiskey glasses sat right where we left them, half drunk. The cigarettes lounged around the ash tray, discarded in haste, caressed with the touch of your lips with light lipstick stains.

You were nowhere to be seen. My clothes strewn about but yours nowhere to be found. The front door was unlocked. A small note lay on the kitchen counter top. You were gone. All that was left of you were the lipstick stained cigarettes.

Unattainable

She watched the world crawl at her feet, perched high up at the tallest tower in the biggest city. Everything looked tiny and insignificant from afar but she knew how much they craved her. A glimpse was worth millions, a whisper worth a life. There was nothing they wouldn’t do for her. But in their hearts, they all knew; she was unattainable.

Dream #2

She got into a fight with another car on the road. She was driving and someone had crashed into her after jumping a red light. Me and another male friend were accompanying her. We protected her against the particularly unruly demeanour of the other guy. Eventually we left the scene with plenty of onlookers still gathered for amusement.

We reached a club. She was walking ahead with her friend. They rushed inside while I was still climbing the stairs. The music grew louder. The air grew thick with repugnant cigarette smoke, sweat and alcohol. It was way too loud now. Too loud to even hear my own thoughts. I reached the doorway. Flashing lights inside, people dancing, drunken laughter. I looked one way, then the other. I couldn’t see her anywhere. She waved at me from a distance and I caught a glimpse of her wrist tattoo. She beckoned me to come and join her. But she was already too far. And she had her friends around. I never really fit in with her crowd. And I always became invisible in the presence of other company. I signalled that I was fine right here. She turned and went back to her group. Still standing, I looked one way, then the other. Alone in a crowd, I thought to myself. As always.

Dream #1

I landed in the Ulsan district of South Korea after catching a flight from Seoul. It was mostly uneventful, the inflight entertainment was mediocre to say the least. The food wasn’t something I’d voluntarily eat. Had a constant battle for arm rest occupation with this determined old Korean lady. I kept nodding off and my head bobbed vehemently waking my up each time. What else is a person supposed to do on planes? I like how I can fall asleep multiple times on a plane but I struggle to catch a good sleep when I’m on the ground.

It was snowing outside and I hadn’t prepared for it as always. I’m a terrible packer and I always miss out in things I eventually need because I pack light. I wrapped myself in whatever warm clothes I had summoned. I hadn’t booked myself a hotel either. I figured I’ll stay with her once I find her. She had flown in from America and this was the closest she would be to home in a long long time. I didn’t think twice and hopped on a plane to come and see her. This was my only chance. She had left some instructions about where she would be staying.

I walked, shivering in the snow, watching a kitty make tiny paw prints. I was now starving and had no idea where I was. I fired up my maps app and it pointed me towards a building. When I reached nearby, the direction of the arrow pointed upwards. Too cold and tired to question this, I began climbing the wall and reached the tiled roof of the ground floor apartment. There was a smaller structure built on top and I went inside searching for some food after making sure there was no one inside. The air was saturated with the aroma of chicken soup. Oh I would kill for some soup, if I could find it. But I couldn’t. I looked everywhere.

A door opened and I hid behind the counter. A man walked in with his friend. Both had their hands full of provisions and they got to work. One man lit the burner but it wasn’t a regular burner. It gave off an orange flame. The burner then started rotating and the flame turned blue. He placed a wok on the burner and got to work. That’s when they saw me.

I explained what was going on and lucky for me they understood English. They offered me their food while I told them my story. “Have to be there when your friends come to visit, right?” She was more than a friend. I had a special corner reserved for her in my heart. I wanted to see her again. But I was lost. The other two merely nodded their head and ate their soup.

Perish.

What a quaint little house, I thought. I walked past it on my way from nowhere in particular heading where my wandering feet would take me. It was one of those days which wasn’t going to be remembered for being remarkable. More so for the peace and the sense of soothing calmness it brought over me. My thoughts wavered unpredictably like horses in the rain. I heard every sound, the crunching leaves, the snapping twigs, the whispers in the trees. I was aware of every scent that danced with my senses. The freshly cut grass, the hint of sumptuous wet earth, the smoke emanating from cold houses. I saw everything. The lovers walking hand in hand, a sense of ease and procrastination in their step. The cold winter air turning each breath into a foggy mist but it lay hapless in discouraging them from getting lost in each other’s eyes.

And then my eyes chanced upon this quaint little house. I wondered what stories spawned from this humble abode. What secrets it held tightly in its bosom and what scandals were witnessed by its walls. It was empty now, heading steadily towards its slow inevitable perish.

I felt like the house myself. Keeper of secrets, a vault locked with memories, a stern protector of what’s inside lest someone finds the right keys and gains access to what lies within. The keys were lost though and I remained locked like an abandoned house much like this one, living out the remainder of my pointless unremarkable existence averting my gaze from the perils of society. I did have Love once. Now I wanted nothing to do with it. Neither it with me.

I was now the old abandoned house, heading steadily towards my own slow inevitable perish.

What am I?

I feel all this power hiding behind curtains. Everyone can hear my voice but no one can see me. I reveal myself when I want to and turn invisible when I feel like it. Everyone knows me but no one really knows me.

What am I?

A modern human being.