Growing Up #10: What Have We Done to Our Homes?

I’ve always been a fan of retreats, but then it struck me this time. What have we done to our homes that we must go far far away from it to find our peace back? Isn’t home supposed to be the inviolable place we rested our minds, the impermeable barrier that kept us safe, the impervious door no evil could pass?

This is of course not to say travel and retreats are a waste. It’s just very ironic that our schedules have made us their slaves. We’re always connected, and a few minutes of disconnection can feel like a year of missing out.

I’ve been reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, and a line from the book about the domestication of wheat strikes so familiar to what technology has done to us:

We did not domesticate wheat. It domesticated us. 

Perhaps technology has domesticated us. Harari calls us a hackable creature, thanks to technology again. Read about it here.

I’ve known myself as someone who has always loved being home. I might be the classic introvert that personality quizzes describe. I love being at home – wiping dust off the book shelf, arranging and rearranging toiletries on the rack, or just playing the keyboard.

These days though I find stress creeping into the walls of my room, insecurity emerging out of social media taking over my dusty study desk, unnecessary emails gnawing up my creating time.

And I ask myself, what have I done to my home?

I must change it. It must be changed. Drawing lines – it might just be as simple, undecorated and acetic as that. Just as hard.


Growing Up is a weekly series on well, growing up, published every Saturday (Cheat week this Week as I wrote this on a Tuesday). It’s been 10 consecutive weeks I’ve been writing this specific column in my blog here. Can’t believe it’s 10 weeks already. They were right: time passes any way.  

It’s That Time of The Year

It is that time of the year when we say, shockingly, surprisingly or sadly, “It’s the year end already!” “How fast time flies!” And I begin to wonder how should I wish the world the start of a new calendar.

I do not understand what time does to us, or is it our brains? I can still remember the first week of 2018, I had a different job and I was performing poetry one cold evening surrounded by my lovely colleagues.

2018 was a year of change, of confusion, and of challenge. It was heart breaking at times, and other times liberating. At times it filled me with despair and other times it made be feel like a warrior. It taught me to plan, and then to let go of the plan when it failed. It was what literary books would call coming of age, at 25 instead of 15, a year when I came face to face with many of my values boiling inside.

It was the year I decided I need to go meditate and I spent 10 days aloof of the world, but so much enriched from within. It was the year I panicked and quarter life crisis was the major topic of discussion, literally everywhere. I bought many books to solve it, just as much as I tried to tie time by crossing off things on the list of life that should have happened, only to realize letting time flow is the most important thing I can do. It was also the year I realized how savvy I am at saving. I should hold on to this more often.

It was also the year I finally joined Toastmasters after 7 years of coming to know about the club(s). The year I socialized so much that the 15 year old me would be shocked.

It was also the year I came across some wonderful people and ideas, and learnt to map my life in ways I could not have imagined.
It was the year I felt more comfortable in my skin.

The year the vastness of the universe terrified me, and the year I became a part of the vastness.

As I spend the last day of 2018, I realize how my spelling and grammar have gotten worse, and I haven’t gotten past one paragraph without a single error as I write this. Auto correct! It’s a sign to write more longhand. Maybe it is time to gather the courage spread across all veins.

2018 was the year I expected to go to grad school, only to realize I have already been enrolled at the School called Life.

Happy 2019!

Peeled Skin

Layer after layer,
skin everywhere
peeled from one another.

As the layers are gone
so are the burdens with it.
Everything’s lighter now.

The peeling, indeed tough,
but the result much better.


I identify myself as an introvert. Much of my life I believed I couldn’t walk up and strike a conversation with anyone. Why would anyone ever want to listen to my awkward words. So I stayed put. It harmed me most of all. I closed myself to opportunities and ideas that could not just interest me but enchant me. I’m thankful the jobs I’ve taken up somehow requires me to break the barrier by peeling my own skin. Painful it was and it still is, but I enjoy it better. I know how wonderful things can be. I look on the brighter side now. 

C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S | A Poem

Your finger tips know
very well to scroll up and down,
tap right and right
and only right.

Oh! something appears:
Started School at XYZ.
Type congratulations!
Type it now,
because this post won’t appear later.
15 seconds and it will be gone
in the oceans of algorithms.
You’ll look mean and
rude and jealous,
so type fast, C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S!

A big glass of juice,
chocos dipped in milk,
because you love chocolate,
and yet you can’t let go of
the sight of the screen.

Let’s see:
Started Job At The Best Company In The
Whole Wide World.
Fast type: congratulations
because you do not mean to be rude,
even if your accounts have run dry,
this is not the time to
question the unconventional path
you’ve decided to walk on.

Type, type.
Because you are indeed proud of
that someone,
and wish nothing but
great things for the other.

Yet, you cannot stop wondering,
if the roads ahead
amount to anything.

Lying on the bed
close to mid-night,
the scrolling game in dim light.
The tech lights
might damage your sight,
but wait:
Engaged to DEF!
Fast, type: Congratulations,
even if you know this post will pop again,
type it fast.
Now’s not the time to worry about
your broken heart, your insecure mind
that tells you you’ve been doing something wrong
by being all by yourself
all this time.
Type: C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S!
Congratulations.

You do not mean ill will,
you do not mean disaster,
you are not the sour devil.
Even if you have to think twice
to type
congratulations!

Dried up appetites,
surviving on self doubts,
where do we belong?

Wait:
A proud father?
You look at yourself,
your body so fragile
unable to complete
what you’ve started
how and when will you ever think of a child?
Still type: Congratulations! 

Type type,
don’t be such a miser!
Wish a wish,
maybe it’ll come back to you.

Here’s a better idea:
let’s get out of this myopia.
Throw away the screen
and silence the voices in your head,
that tell you
you are not enough. 

Listen. Do not see.
Just listen.
You are E-N-O-U-G-H. 

Now write to yourself:
CONGRATULATIONS!


For everyone who feels everybody knows the path but yourself: No one does. No one. 
Pink Floyd was right:

“We’re just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl
Year after year”