Monday, 19 January 2015

Understanding You: Depression

Depression - /dɪˈprɛʃ(ə)n/ - feelings of severe despondency and dejection. "self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression". a long and severe recession in an economy or market. "the depression in the housing market"

Imagine yourself, sitting on a chair, in an empty house. Your mind is full of thoughts, starting from wanting to become someone great to destroying your life, because you believe you won't be able to achieve or attain that state of prominence.

Imagine yourself in a crowded room. You are in an animated mood. You are conversing with people. People are intrigued by you, you entertain them, they love you. But, inside you, you are not sure, you do not believe anything you say.

Whatever, you have been doing at this point of time, till this very moment, you judge everything. You wonder whether life itself is true. Going to sleep is a problem for you, waking up is worse.

You don't want to share this with anyone, not even the man who loves you, not even the family that dotes on you. You are scared that they will be scared and they would want to take care of you. However, you want to be alone, you are unsure whether they will understand you, in this struggle.

You thrive for love, longing, peace, stability. But, you don't believe that it is worth that pain, it is worth that wait, or time, or energy.

You take double the time to write one sentence; you take triple the time to satisfy yourself by sentence, you have just written. Next morning, you regret that yesterday ever happened.

You are suffering, and you want to be cured. But, you are too ashamed or too unconfident that people will understand. Your whole life has been about running away from the truth, escaping from the very meaning and purpose of your life.

Impulse rules you; rationalism irritates you. You hallucinate; you soliloquize.

You stare, you think about what you are trying to think. There is an emptiness inside your heart and stomach, it is being filled up by oblivion. You close your eyes, you want to sleep, but you can't. Your mind is stimulating thoughts, too fast for you to put in a pensive and analyse it later.

It is morning, you need to get up. Three cups of tea, seven cups of coffee. Caffeine is your best friend. At night, alcohol is your husband. And, scag is your extra-marital affair.

You are not surviving. You are a living death. And then, pop. It's over.

You have woken up from the dream. Was it psychosis?

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Happy Married Life, My Friend

7:49 PM, January 17, 2015. I am sitting on the one of the wrought-iron chairs that we have at our rented apartment in the City of Dreams. There is a pillow and blanket lying on the sofa, the Television set is running on mute. A Vicks lozenge's wrapper is lying on the floor. The centre table have two used tea mugs, one chocolate biscuits packet, open, half-filled. And, a water bottle, half-closed.

For the last two hours, I have been sitting on this place, wondering what to do. I do not like spending the whole day at home. I hate holidays. It suffocates me, idles my brain. An idle brain is devil's workshop. I am very sleepy. Probably, over-slept.

I try to write, but cannot. My brain is not working. I think of drying the clothes that are lying in the washing machine, but I am too lazy to. I think of going out, but I check my bank account summary. I am ashamed. All I can do, is sit and hope for this night to pass quickly.

I look at my laptop; I have been working whole morning. I don't feel like touching it anymore.

I pick up my cell phone. Browse through my contact list. My eyes narrow down to one of my best friends. She is getting married tomorrow. January 18. I have sent her bunch of flowers. All I wanted to send her, is a note, a poem, a book, I don't know. But, something lyrical. Not flowers. They don't allow you to just send a greetings card. Bad for their business.

I have known her for eight years now, is it? I am very bad at mathematics. We did not became friends so easily. My first year at college, was, kind of political. It is somewhere at the end of my first year, that we became friends. How? One day I just simply decided to stop sitting where I used to and move to where they used to sit. It was not welcomed, kindly. But, she and her friends, did not raise voice too.

Rest is history. Tea breaks, tram rides, Some Place Else, Boncharals, etc. Poetry, write-ups, David Daiches, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Tree Trunk, Maroon 5, Jane Eyre.

However, nothing comes easy. No relationship is supposed to be easy. As our college lives came to an end, our friendship got diminished too.

Albeit, when you have been friends, have been so close friends, distance pains. We got back, we worked our way back into the relationship.

It was not easy. We were in different cities, our lives had changed. We were different people. There was a gap of three years, in between us. We remained in touch, may not be as close and good friends, as once we were.

Few weeks back, she broke the news. She was getting married. I suddenly felt cheated. No, not because she was not marrying me! But, somewhere I knew in my heart, I had moved very far.

I read my other two friends get excited over her wedding. And, I wonder, where I am in my life.

Ran away from home, from friends, from love, from the city that taught me to dream.

She is special. I vividly remember her handwriting, the letters we have exchanged. The Reader's Digest, lying somewhere in my cupboard, back at home.

I feel like Bunny, from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani. Best friend is getting married, but I cannot make it. I have been listening to Kabira on the loop. I will sleep my way. Sadly, I cannot just decide to pack my bags like Bunny, and surprise her.

Minutes before I started writing this, I suddenly remembered, or rather it struck me - Mr. Rochester and Jane never got to be with each other. I guess, it was written in the star.

Remember? One afternoon, as we waited for SD to arrive and teach us Francis Bacon, you told me, "Why don't write something big, something for the Booker?" I laughed. I still laugh. But, I knew and still know, you never told me or anyone that you did not believe in.

Thanks, for the best days of my life. I may be different, I may be 2,002 km away from you (Yes, 2,002, I double checked), but you will be a very special friend for me.

I hope you find happiness, that you always dreamt of. You are the most practical person I have met in my life. I wish, sometimes, the way few things turned out, in our lives, it never happened. But both of us, know that few things happen for the best.

Always, love you.

PS - Remember the house, we used to dream of? Four rooms, each to ourselves and vacations? It still can happen. And, you will need a lot of cancer sticks till you are fully done with the ceremonies. Stay, happy.

Happy Boncharal Wedding!!!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Remembering Abhijit Dasgupta

It's a Saturday and I cannot simply write that it is just another Saturday. For the last three years of my life, there has been no difference between weekends and weekdays. I would get excited if I got a weekend off and would run away to my cousin's place at Juhu to chill out. Chill out meant, spending a quarter of my salary on eating, roaming, and shopping and sleeping throughout Sunday.

However, this is a life I have chosen, and I had decided to live a life like this one since a very long time. One day in 2001, early morning during breakfast, I just randomly decided to become a journalist. As I didn't have any idea about how to become one, I often looked upon at people who were in the profession and industry.

Over time, I acquired good social skills — be it virtual or real.

One random day, while browsing through my social life, I stumbled upon one Abhijit Dasgupta. To my misfortune or luck, I confused him with a former editor of a tabloid. He quickly corrected me and made sure that I did not feel bad or ashamed of my misjudgment. By chance, he invited me over to his office for lunch and I with one of my friend (who acted like my bodyguard) went to meet him.

We became good friends, and he became a father figure. He would tell me, "Kiddo, stay away from journalism. You will only get hurt. It is not the profession for you." And I would not listen.

He would call me the Cosmopolitan girl, and all that he could come up with. In the days to come, we would celebrate another close friend's birthday, miles away from the friend. I still remember having chicken bharta and rumali roti.

I could write and write well. He would tell me, "You write well. But when you write from your heart, you write the best. Stop being a rational writer." And I would ignore.

Blogging earned me an internship with the same tabloid, with whose editor I confused him.

I moved to another city and by the time I shifted back, he had shifted to another new city. He was not happy. We would chat and he would say, "Kiddo, when are you going to write my biography? If you don't, I will be very disappointed."

I would then send him questions, he would answer and then moderate them and send it again.

At nights, we would be busy in our mutual admiration for music and good liquor. There were days when he along with two other very close friends would be my saviour. However, he never scolded me. He always saw the funny side of a bad situation. He knew how to make people smile, especially me.

He also knew that I did not like him colouring his hair black or pampering someone too much. But, he never changed that.

I knew he was hurting but I could not do anything in the end. His death  did not leave me broken or shattered. I do not remember crying or asking why. I knew the reasons and I knew that I could had not done anything.

I kept his phone number in my contact list for few years. I saved his e-mails and chat messages. I would stare at his answers for the book and my mind would be blank. A year later when I met a common friend, I would ask why? She in her own way explained.

But, I had moved on. Moved on too fast. Was I ashamed of it? No, I wanted to escape the bitter truth of life, that nothing is as sweet as it appears. Years later after his death, I read this post by the common friend and I am taken back to the dreadful day, when I received a call telling me about his death. My first reaction was, "Why was not I the first person to know about his death?" Mean it would sound, but he was very special and I would not share him. He was my Father Teresa, and I would remember him like that.

I have been told a lot of stories about him, from people in Calcutta, Delhi and Mumbai. I have heard his versions, I have heard everyone's version.

After four years, I would like to remember only one thing that he had once told someone, "Wherever there is spirit, you will find me."

Nothing bothers me today, but whenever I am alone, in an empty house, struggling to sleep, I wonder, "Is this how he struggled?" And then, I would shut myself and forget everything. I have to move on, like everyone. I guess that is what he would want too.

Oh, yes, he promised me that he will take me to Bishop's House, Calcutta some day. I don't want to visit the place ever. I just want to simply remember that he promised. It will always remain special, just like that.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Five Things That Will Happen in 2015

The year 2014 is almost over, and with it all the things that happened in the past year will be forgotten, as we enter a new dawn, filled with new possibilities.

Let us see, what are five things that will or can happen in 2015...

1. YouTube will be the new Television Set

We have already seen how YouTube has dominated the web world in 2014, when it started full-fledgedly live streaming major events around the world. Even if YouTube didn't live stream the Fifa World Cup 2014, don't worry it will the next time. I am already expecting the Oscars being live streamed followed by ICC World Cup 2015, etc.

YouTube or major live streaming networks across the globe have finally realised the importance of being there 'live' on the internet. People do not have time to sit at home and enjoy a show as much as they could five years back. Blame the busy work life but that is it. We are travelling long routes and it would be awesome if we could catch the live streaming of our favourite team's match on the move.

So yes, be it mobile or desktop or laptop, or your iPad, YouTube is the new Idiot Box.

2. Mobile users will slowly start taking over Desktop and Laptop users

Most of us spend 12 hours of our life in the office, in front of our desktops or laptops. After that, if we have to come back home and sit in front of the same machines for important personal work that needs to be attended, then it becomes really irritating.

Now imagine the cellphone in your palm, with which you can buy stuff, transfer money, book tickets, and even do PowerPoint (even if it hurts your eyes). That is the power of the palm, errr, the cellphone.

Gone are the days, when you would find people working with their heads inside their laptops, trying to put things together. You have the simple mobile system — be it your iPhone or iPad or a tablet — life has become too easy and comfortable because of these machines.

They are lite and easy to be carried.

If you are in website business, you would know how much mobile and tablets already dominate compared to desktops or laptops. For example, if I check my Google Analytics, 63 percent are desktops/laptops users and the rest 37 percent are mobile or tablet users. The 63 percent can be understood because, again, 12 hours of our life is spent in office, where I am guessing people are likely to use a desktop or laptop.

3. Twitter will become the new News Agency

According to Google, crowdsourcing is the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.

We are already in an age when journalists keep an eye on Twitter 24x7, like literally, 24x7. Breaking news like Osama bin Laden's death, Boston Marathon attack appeared on Twitter first rather than news channels. Journalists were seen using pictures, videos for their stories from Twitter. That is the power that Twitter holds right now.

The third season of The Newsroom also shows how the new management of ACN tries to implement the fact that in this digital age, Twitter and social media will rule the news circuit rather than news channels and newspapers.

What Twitter breaks now, news channels break 30 minutes later and newspapers, a day later.

4. News aggregation sites and mobile apps will take over individual news websites and apps

All of us have by now got used to Flipboard, Reddit and other news aggregation apps. Why would someone download numerous news channels or magazine apps, when one click can give access to various websites. Rather than going through 10 different sources, readers can click one app and check the news on their favourite and selected topics.

5. Marketing will be the new Editorial team

Marketing has always played a vital role in the running of the business. And now it will dominate how the way a newsroom work. Reporters will be made to work on the guidelines of marketers, who endlessly try to impress the advertisers and earn more money for the company. Terms like Journalism ethics are no more valid in this fast-paced, competitive world. The year 2014 saw the slow rise of marketing gimmicks; 2015 will be the year when the marketers fully take over the proceedings of the newsroom. Good or bad? Time will say (no hard feelings; that's how businesses run).

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Fight for love

Remember the night?

The night we fought like teenagers,
Running away from each other,
Snarling abuses at one another.
I remember that night.

When we didn't care about
What the world thought.
About what we are made of,
About all the things that went wrong,
About all the things that could go wrong.

Cause' we were fighting for something pure,
Fighting over something that we believed in.
Fighting for something that we dreamt of.
Fighting with convictions and assurance.

We were fighting for love.

The love that makes us whole,

The love that makes this night so bold.
The love that makes this world so gay,
The love that intoxicates.

We fight, over, for, with love.

Love that was scripted in our stars.

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