It was just another day as Neena was at her desk, attending a work meeting. She was listening and mindlessly playing the 2248 game on her phone. She looked out of the window now and then. The white mailbox stood there alone looking at the empty road. A car would pass by once in a while. This was the best work office, by the window, with its wooden blinds rolled up every morning and rolled down at night.

She had missed to look out at the window for a few minutes, when the ring doorbell chimed on her phone. She looked out of the window and there was a white car parked outside her doorway. She opened the ring app and ran downstairs to open the door. As she opened the door, she could hear her heartbeat pounding. There he was, with his handsome smile.

‘Hey.. ‘, he said.

Neena was beaming from ear to ear, she knew she shouldn’t smile and hide her emotions. But she just couldn’t hold back. She had dreamt of this moment for many months now.

‘Can you talk?’

“Yea, come on on”, as he walked in, she closed the door.

🪡 Sew

Come heart
Let’s mourn
For him and the one before
And the one before that and the one before
In this long list of losses
Where do we find the light
Heart you lead the way
And I will follow
But wasn’t it you that got me here
And I still want to follow you
Leave now
Let me mourn my losses
Don’t come back
Not for a while
Go away and mend yourself
When you are all sewed up
I’ll be here washing away the tears
Until then let it rain
No rainbows

This moment

“The way to suffer well and be happy is to stay in touch with what is actually going on; in doing so, you will gain liberating insights into the true nature of suffering and of joy.” No Mind No Lotus – Thich Nhat Hanh

I started reading the book No mind No Lotus at the recommendation of a friend. When I ordered the book I did not notice the words in the center of the front cover. When I opened the amazon package I saw it ‘the art of transforming suffering’. Interesting, was my first thought. I started reading the book and am only a few pages into it. This is a book I want to read slowly, savor the lines, because this is what I need to learn, the art of transforming suffering.

In the few pages I have read, I realize the zen Buddhist teacher wants us to realize how important it is to live in the moment. I am anxious to unfurl the rest of his wisdom in the book. A few weeks ago my mind was clouded, I was stressed, I was depressed. If I was reading something, it flew past me. I could not register a single word. There was a dense fog clouding my mind, with zero visibility. My therapist kept reminding me that I have been here before and the fog has cleared before. I did not, rather could not believe a word she said. It felt like forever. I was living with ghosts from the past in my head. I thought I needed a higher dose of my depression meds. The news of my son’s college admission did little to clear the fog. A few hours of happiness and I was back as an ass with the heavy load.

It is difficult to explain depression, it is not like fracturing a toe that one can see in an x-ray. It is not possible to see the moment, let alone live it. It is like a web of your past, your anxiousness of the future, woven so intricately, that you cannot seem to find the edge. The more you try to get out, the more you are entangled. With a bone fracture, you can get a cast to set it right. With depression, you can get meds, but you alone have to make small changes, take baby steps to come out of it. My baby step as pointed out by my therapist was to make a list of the things clogging my mind. Separate them out as those that I can control and those I cannot. It is an extremely simple thing to do, but put the serenity prayer into action.

Coming out of trauma is not a small ordeal. It takes time, you need to give yourself time. The longer you have been in trauma, the longer the road to rediscovering yourself. It takes effort, sometimes it feels like every ounce of you is at work. It is hard, extremely hard at times, but that small voice inside you somewhere, the superpower hidden beneath the layers, kicks your gut, pushing you, every moment, every day. There are different categorizations of people, but emotionally there are only two. The ones who have been abused and the ones who have not. It is that simple. The world shapes up based on this.

People who have not been abused have a strong sense of self. They know what they want, they know how they will react in a certain situation. Their highs and lows are closer to the normal. They don’t get too excited or too sad instantly because their center of emotional gravity is deep rooted.

The abused are the utterly confused strata of society. They have absolutely no fucking clue, of self worth. You cannot blame them, because their reality has been so masterly altered by the abusers that it’s all a haze. Their level of expectation of happiness is so low that anything small makes them euphoric. If they are lucky they go through years of therapy to find some normalcy. But do they ever become whole again? I wonder.. one’s life is so caught up in looking for red flags that they forget to experience the happiness laid right in front of their eyes. It’s always a question, “Can I trust this?”. It’s atrocious how our souls are battered, by another mere mortal. How someone could think that we are a toy to be pulled and pushed and reshaped the way they choose.

It is very difficult for a person who has not experienced abuse to understand. There is so much to unlearn and rediscover, not something that’s out there in the world, but yourself. A whole lifetime wasted on this unlearning and being able to trust again. I wonder how many years of therapy it will take to be whole again.

I write so much about trauma and abuse and healing and depression, I wonder if people who are reading this are bored. But then I feel the awareness is not there, and it is very sad. In this age and time where information is at our fingertips (overused phrase, I know), millions of people who don’t have the avenue to get out abusive relationships and get access to a good therapist who will help them move forward. Through therapy I have relived the suffering to be able to heal from it. At the other end of this reliving is joy, a release of the pain, my version of it, a person listening to it who has my emotional wellbeing in front and center.

If you are thinking, she is so broken, yes I am. And this is unashamedly, me. Healing is more difficult than the suffering. You are a constant work in progress to calm the waters, settle the waves down to reach that state of serenity where water is one with nature. People will come and throw a stone, because they don’t like anything still. There will be ripples, which will disrupt the stillness, but healing is knowing that the ripples will eventually die and the water will be still again. The stone deep inside cannot be moved, it will lie there and in the end we gather many stones, moving from stillness to ripples and back to stillness again..


it appeared as a vision
faint at first
when I blinked
there it was
bright and resplendent
it was soft
it was beautiful
I should have known
when the moisture settles
when the sun sets
it would disappear
leaving me in the dark
my eyes are numb
my mind is blank
i run the machines
because they should
but my dear one,
something died
deep inside..


No, not the conventional marathon running. I’ve done a few conventional 5Ks but I’ve been on a marathon run from my feelings. The most recent one that started on Sep 3rd. When they took my father away, it felt like they were taking something from my house, not my father. And since that day I’ve been running, running away from the fact that he’s gone. My head knows it, my body feels it, but I refuse to accept it, so I keep running.

To get away from strong emotions, people take a vacation or a getaway, but then what’s the point. They come back to the same physical space, that is waiting to remind them, “see what you ran from, it’s all here”. When people leave, it’s not the physical space they occupied, but the way they made you feel. The subtle gestures, the smiles of understanding, the feeling of the arm around your shoulder. Yea at this point I’m not talking about my father.

Yes I did see the rainbow, but don’t rainbows last only as long as there is moisture in the air and the sun is out. When the moisture settles down, and the sun sets, the rainbow disappears.

When I went to watch a movie last week, I saw this woman on a wheelchair, the innumerable wrinkles on her arms tell stories of years lived. It was an effort, I could easily see, for her to lift her hand and hand me the ticket. Her hand and her mind were not processing at the same speed they once did. I was patient, I wanted her to feel accomplished. She wasn’t running, I guess. She was there in that moment handing out tickets, telling me which hall my movie was playing. Witnessing these things makes me feel, what is it that I am sad about?

Today as I sit at the stadium waiting for my son’s band to perform, I see another lady, panting as she climbs each step to find a seat. Another set of wrinkles speaking a thousand stories. Yet she is here, making that effort for her grandchild, to cheer him or her or them on. What have I got to complain? The sun will rise again tomorrow. The moon is right in front of me shining and mocking at me. It will be a new day, there will be smiles again. There is no need to run from anything. The world is exactly as it was supposed to be and I am here, just where I am supposed to me, cheering my baby on.. like I am supposed to do..

What makes people happy?

Is that question right – what makes people happy? Why should some “thing” make people happy? I witnessed a beautiful sunset today, the sky magically turned from a dull blue to a fireball of red and orange. That vision made me happy. But isn’t it because I was already happy that I was able to embrace the vision? A little bit of a chicken and egg?

Some “thing” or “event” can make you sad. And then you are in that state of sadness, when the situation changes you move to the next emotion. Anger, sadness, embarrassment etc are emotions triggered based on an event. Unlike these, happiness is a constant state you can achieve by looking within you. Happiness doesn’t warrant a situation, you can be simply happy. People latch on to this zen state, as I want to call it, at different stages in their life. Probably like what Buddha felt when he attained enlightenment. I don’t know. It is deep inside you, you have to find it. But once you do, all other emotions feel baseless. To put it another way, the span from feeling unhappy to the state of understanding why you are unhappy, is much shorter. It is so easy to spring back to the state of happiness.

I like to believe that babies are born with the only emotion of happiness, characterized by their first smile, until we infuse all the other emotions by the way we treat them. It took me some time, actually a long time to figure out why babies cry with anger, it because we don’t do something for them. We confuse the heck out of them. Because we have unstable minds, we pass on a slice of that instability to them. Ultimately parents are responsible for teaching their young ones all the emotions there are in the world by being the cause.

Narcissists are not born (I guess). They become that way because of their environment and what they see. I keep going back to narcissism because I have spent time trying to understand why and how someone acquires narcissistic behavior. So if you think of it, a human life begins with a state of happiness, is polluted with all other emotions and then spends years trying to get back to the center of happiness. Not everyone is dumb as me and takes this long, my bestie had this figured out way back, she is my inspiration in finding your normal and sticking to it. But I guess environmental factors like the people in your life could contribute to the prolongation of finding your center. Honestly, it’s crazy and kind of ridiculous. When I see people much older than me who haven’t found it, I chuckle. They always skip the line of happiness, and in some, I see them skipping the line and I think “fuck, you missed it again”. There must have been someone who looked at me and thought the same. But in this zen state, you don’t care about what anyone thinks. Do what feels right to you, there is nobody in this world you need to convince. And that state is “zen”!