Oaks and Weeds

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Throughout the years of our life, we come across different people. I firmly believe that while there may be many, you can always categorize them into two groups. There are those that stand strong like ‘oaks’, deeply rooted into the ground. And then there are ‘weeds’ that grow in the moments where you ignored and changed route – ‘growing in the wrong place’.

Weeds will always fester, and like poison attach themselves, eating away at all the good. Unless you don’t make the active effort to pull them out and chuck them away, they will remain. But once the weeds are pulled out from the ground, they are pulled out from your life as well.

The oaks however, unlike the weeds hold more eminence. Their loss is not insignificant like the weeds’. It is commonly wondered, “If a tree falls in the forest with no ears to hear does it make a sound. It matters not for the tree has fallen.”The obvious, scientific answer would be a resounding ‘yes’. But that sound unheard would not remain unfeeling in the heart. The true answer actually does not lie in the sound but rather the fallen tree – the unmistakable loss of the tree.

An oak may never have the power like the weed to disappear. An oak with always make its presence, or lack of, be known. The lush forest will may appear the same to untrained eyes of an outsider, but for those who live within its depths, the loss will be imposing.

This brings into question why it is always considered a ‘family tree’. Drawn on paper is a great sturdy oak that branches across the page as the family grows. That single truck holds everyone together but the loss brings everyone tumbling down.

We all resume life after the death of an oak, a loved one who held importance in our life, but are we ever able to extract ourselves from the legacies that they leave behind? Your oak need not be famous; their legacy could simply be living. The loss of that one person in our life is like losing the whole forest, leaving behind barren land that cultivates no life.

Life is never the same. Slowly, traditions start to die down. They almost seem trivial and time consuming, things that we rationalize with ourselves that we no longer need to do. Sometimes, it is that single person who was the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle and with them gone, the puzzle forever remains incomplete. That single piece possessed the power to bring forth a landscape that had mesmerizing qualities and with it gone, the rest of the puzzle begins to dull in comparison.

The family is no longer complete. Relations are no longer complete. The oak’s roots were what prevented relations to drift away and with it gone, the landslides of strife and missed connections come to play.

The disappearance of the weed causes no loss to land, to life, to love. It is the oak that holds the power to make true loss felt.

Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav

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Some books tend to stay with you in the most beautiful way and when you flip that last page, your heart is content, you are content and that sigh that has been resting on your lips finally escapes.

It took me longer than usual to get my hands on this book and three whole days to finish its 155 pages. Not because I’m a slow reader or that I didn’t have time on my hands. I wanted to imprint every word into my mind.

Poetry continues to remain a favourite of mine and Lang Leav doesn’t fail to deliver carefully worded, bittersweet and soulful poems in her book. Love & Misadventure is divided into three parts and I read a part per day.

Part 1: Misadventure

The poems range from putting yourself out there, entering the dating world, opening up your heart to someone and giving it your all.

Part 2: The Circus of Sorrows

The falling out of love, moving on, heartbreak and all the intricacies that play out at the end of a relationship fill this section.

Part 3: Love

The last part simply leaves the reader with hope and that is exactly how the book ends.

Like love, Lang Leav has artfully placed the poems to depict a roller coaster that one expects to go on. From all its ups and downs there is something left to be expected from the poems. Every word makes a place in the heart of the reader which Leav has the ability to see into.

This book has officially become my go-to travel companion.

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Overrated

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When a fight becomes bigger than your friendship, what does that imply? When you leave on one of the most important days of your friend’s life. How does that reflect on you and your friendship?

I begged you

Begged

Begged

Begged

To come downstairs

To be there for her

But you couldn’t give a damn

Now I get these feelings…that what we had is falling apart. And even after what you did she asks me if she should apologize. I want to tell her no. But I’m conflicted as well. You shouldn’t have left.

I cried

At the whole situation

It was unfair to her

That the best friend she loved

Found it in herself

To walk out

Just like that

And I’m sorry to say, but my doubts are overpowering me. You have lost all respect in the eyes of everyone. You were going to almost ruin her day, but I hid the fact that you walked out. But then I couldn’t anymore, and I had to tell her.

That the friend she loved like a sister

Found throwing a tantrum

Worth her time

But giving her friend a smile

Not so much

You could have argued and fought later

Because yesterday was HER day

And you almost ruined it. Selfish. And when I look at the situation now, pathetic. That you fell so low. Found it within yourself to treat her like that. I’m sorry that I came to beg. Sorry that you had to hear my voice because if you couldn’t come down even after that…then I’m afraid you already know the answer to that.

The New Year…with one less family member

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Life can be cruel when it needs to be. Cruel enough to fool and then laugh at our expense.

Yesterday, he was fine. In better spirits. Recovery no longer seemed impossible – in fact it was within arms length.

Today, he is no more. In the blink of an eye – gone.

Cruel.

I look into his room – every time i walk past it. Every time. Pinch myself every time. It took me 3 whole days to realize – he won’t be coming back.

They hauled his body on their shoulders. Walked to the mosque, taking turns carrying the weight. In that moment i looked to the horizon, closed one eye, extended my index finger and thumb, picked him up and put him back in his room. Foolish.

The tears didn’t stop till for at least a few minutes after. And then nothing. My head throbbed and i was sure would explode. Thoughts were haywire. Body numb. I couldn’t even bring myself to enter his room after it all. Just lingering at the door.

I came to terms with something that day. We are small and weak in the eyes of Death. He’ll come for us all.

I have to believe that it was for his betterment. So he would be out of pain. Free from it all. Maybe.

And then there was that probable truth – i no longer had any grandparents.

Words of Wisdom Lay Etched on Her Skin…Stories Untold

My grandmother was a woman of purpose. A self-sufficient and independent woman who liked to do things on her own. That is one of the things that i admire most about her. In her dainty, frail hands was strength and courage. The wrinkles that adorned her skin were stories of the past. Stories that had me sitting in awe and begging for more.

It was my grandmother who taught me the art of pressing flowers. Her love for preserving the beauty, in a different more mesmerising form, was transferred to me. Her love for nature became my own and i found life among the flowers, trees and mountains. The grass spoke out to me, whispering sweet nothings. The trees swayed to the song of the wind and i twirled with a sole hibiscus and the breeze in my hair.

Weekly stories of her past, that i begged for her to recall in agonising detail i looked forward to. Her past. The life she lived in a Hogwarts of her own made my mouth hang agape. She would close it, laughing at the possibility that a fly might find its way in. Her laugh, a melody more sweeter than a bird’s song. It still resonates through my ears. Her cold fingers that mine encompassed in warmth.

There was something very prim and proper about her, which unfortunately i did not inherit. Not a single strand of hair out of place. Her saris pressed and ironed to perfection, not a single crease in sight. Her bed made, not a single corned un-tucked  that is till it saw the sight of me. She berated my mother about my carelessness and apparent laziness. Yes, my room still remains a mess.

I don’t quite know how i got through that initial phase of disbelief and loss. But i did. I think it had something to do with her. She never left my side, even though she was no longer physically present. She appeared in my dreams, a reassuring hand on my shoulder. Or going about her garden up keeps. But she was there even if she wasn’t.