The Way of the World

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We sit in our little nooks
The ones we call our own
The portions we carved out for ourselves
In this almighty world
And we look upon the earth
Like observers, untouched
By wars, riots, famines, tsunamis
Only if the roof came crashing down
Or the waters swept us out of our nooks
Would we realise that
We're more than observers
Or participants even
We ARE the world.
Indistinct, in-disparate
From a distance, just one big bustling ball
From a distance, they wouldn't know
That we draw borders
And we fight
Over You and I
Us and Them
From a distance, they wouldn't dream
Of all the insanity we indulge in
And label as -
The Way of the World.

And when it rains.

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Dusty afternoon street
That you can almost smell
Baked grey by the sun
Not that soulful warm cake smell
But a dry, lifeless smell
The kind that sticks to the soles of your feet
And pretends to be tiredness instead
When you come home after another day
At that place that pays your bills
That place that lets you live
In this dusty tube-lit flat.

But when it rains -
Something happens.
Something lyrical,
That street - suddenly it smells even better than warm cakes
It smells like renewed hope
And the vapour of long-held secrets
And it makes the feet that tread on it
Walk with a spring
That's what happens.

And when it rains -
That tubelight sputters and gives up
Shadows dance across your dusty flat
Transformed at once
To an elven nook
That suddenly sprung up
In the midst of this soulless city
Cool, wet, green, growing
Fresh, moist, new, glowing
All that happens.

And the tiredness at the soles of your feet?
It has long since lost the battle to rain-soaked mud
That squirms its playful way in.

Stop expecting life to be easy

Every one of our lives is a damn good story. And what’s a good story without some twists and turns? If you take up a new job thinking it’s the solution to all your problems, you’re fooling yourself. Your problems will never end – not as long as you’re alive anyway. And that’s the good news. Because problems mean you get to use that wonderful brain of yours. You get to put all those fantastic skills to practise and you get to experience something you haven’t so far. Problems are how you advance – in life, your job and your relationships. Imagine if there wasn’t a single problem in your job for months. How on earth would you prove that you were capable of handling crises? On what basis would anyone ever promote you?
An easy life is for boring people. And generally, life doesn’t allow anyone to remain boring. It gives everyone a really good chance to get interesting. The day you stop expecting life to be easy is the day you decide to embrace the fact that you’re brave, resourceful and open-minded. None of those qualities would mean anything if there wasn’t a crisis or two where they came to the forefront. Enjoy the good times. But wait for the challenging times as well. Keep your metaphorical boxing gloves handy at all times because you never know when you might need them. In fact, get into the habit of predicting possible spokes in your wheel. It can be a really invigorating exercise coming up with possible problems and solutions to them. It gives you confidence because you realise – nothing is so big you can’t handle it. And no problem is so enduring that it lasts forever.
So your favourite boss quit and the new one is a monster in your eyes. So what? Tons of people face that kind of thing every day. Go make an effort to befriend the boss. Understand where they’re coming from and be their ally. If everything fails, talk to your superior. Talk to your HR person. Hell, get a new job. But don’t complain because you had to go through all of that. Everyone goes through things they don’t like or want. But sometimes, the person you are at the end of a crisis is somehow an improved version of the person you were before it.
Don’t fear the downs. Face them head on. Welcome them, even. Without them, your life would be worthy of one big monotonous yawn. And if you think there are folks who don’t have any downs, you’re wrong. Everyone does. The president of the country does. The captain of the world’s best football team does. That’s just how it is. We’re not here to have it easy. We’re here to learn. We’re here to grow. More than anything else, we’re here for an unforgettable adventure.
Expect life to get difficult now and then – though I prefer the term ‘interesting’. And life will never be able to get the better of you. Remember - the only ones with no problems are the ones who aren’t alive.
(This post was originally published at