mono piece

‘You’ or ‘I’ – Anjani Agarwal

Someone recently asked me ‘ what’s your favourite thing to do?’ and I just stood there thinking of many things that made even a small place in my heart. And I started to think ‘ well , umm , there are many like having a long , long conversation with someone over tea , while it rains. To observe people and the things they do wondering why they do it. I mean how many of us actually pay attention to the details of people around us? Like how their eyebrows widens when they smile , or how they avoid eye contact just to hide what’s inside. Watching people’s madness and confusion and all the moments that can’t be put into words. Moments when you hug someone and they hug you back even tighter , moments when you know you mean something to someone , or even those moments of solitude where you were your own home , moments that just open you up to the unfamiliar sides of life. The kind of sides you never knew existed. Like the calm of the sea and the light of sunsets , like the softness of the world and the intensity of their hope. Like the humans with all the ups and downs.
And after thinking all this , I smiled and replied ‘ nothing much really.’
‘ Stay ‘ , you say. ‘ I can’t ‘, I reply. The voices in my head started to talk. Sometimes , just sometimes , we want something so bad that we ruin it by over thinking and then use the phrase ‘it wasn’t meant to be’. But what if , meant to be meant try harder? If it meant stay a little longer? Or maybe sometimes it actually means let go? Let go of what? The next time someone asks you to let go when you are not ready , claim your pain. It is yours to keep for as long as you need to and for as long as you want to and nobody can take it away from you , not until you are ready to.

You lose a piece of yourself in every person you meet , they say. But in reality , we find a bit of ourselves in every person we meet. So are we letting go of ourselves or are we letting go of people who don’t find them in us? Maybe that’s what the word ‘home’ means. We build homes in people and when they leave , our world seems shaken up. And suddenly , ‘goodbye’ doesn’t seem just a seven letter word anymore.We get so stuck up at goodbyes that we never see life bought us a wonderful hello. And that a whole world is waiting out there. Great cities. Great art. People we haven’t met yet and places we haven’t seen. Words we never dared to say and hugs we never dared to give. And what a wonderful thought it is , that we can have all of it. Because one day you wake up and you’re not upset anymore. You stop wishing for the weekends and you stop looking forward to special events. You begin to live in each moment and just ride the wave that is life with contentment and joy. And when you look back from here , you look at where you came from and look at where you’re going. The lessons learnt in between termed as ‘pain’ is now linked to every fiber of your becoming. These lessons are not at random. These lessons are meant to be. The only constant meant to be of the story , I say.
And in this story I sometimes wonder if I am ‘You’ or am I the ‘I’ . Then I see that both words are just voices in my head and I ask them to be quiet.

Anjani Agarwal is a lover of tea and Drake’s theory. Introvert by day and extrovert by night. Believes in a parallel universe and tends to recreate stories in mind.


Prose – Rahul Gupta

Dialogue, A Two Faced Question: Good or Bad.

Non Fiction Article

[The Chronicle of one bad-ass weekend: When I woke up I was asked a simple but convoluted question at once, “Which side of the world am I on – the good or the bad ?” a rather strange awakening. But wait, are you also perplexed like I was? Well, don’t be. Calm your nerves, breathe and give it a thought. Just as I did.]

Weekend – an escape from a moribund working life, a tablet to curb pangs of the routine tasks and chaotic meetings. For me, it’s a ‘breakout.’

On any weekend, I would wake up and start knitting plans for making most out of it. But this weekend, surprisingly, I woke up and beside me, rose one question – rolling into my blood and striking into my conscience, “Which side of the world am I on – the good or the bad?.”

“What? Seriously, out of all the random thoughts, why would I pick pace to this one!” With no clue – completely perplexed – I started discovering the answer, and unexpectedly got into an exhausting conversation with my inner self. I asked myself, “What do you mean? Why this question?”

It smirked and asked, “Dude, you ever thought if you are a good apple or a bad one? I replied, “No, I never thought about it.” It laughed and said, “Okay, think about it for sometime.”

I was relieved that I had successfully escaped the conversation, but this kept pinching me throughout. It would come back and knock hard to get an answer out of me. I knew I had to unearth the answer to this convoluted question and so, my mind started constructing a classifier and excavating the deeds from my past to feed it – deeds which were bad or good. I was not even sure of the parameters, I should have built my classifier on. All I wanted was a formula or some kind of an equation in which I could substitute variables with the pasts’ good and bad acts. After investing considerable time in reasoning, I managed to narrow down to few parameters. So, according to the rules which have been clawing me ever since I was born, lying, cheating, abusing, killing, harassing, torturing marked offensive while helping, obeying, respecting others, being religious were well appreciated.

No kidding, if I go by these rules then I believe I fall into none. I am neither good nor bad. Well, not that just leaves us more clueless! I can’t forget this incident that happened to me a few days back at a traffic signal; a fragile weak woman with her kids was begging. Seeing her pitiful condition and her malnourished kids, I walked up to her and offered food. But to my surprise, she refused to take it, rather started asking for money. I said ‘No’ because it was against my principles; I will offer food, clothes, shelter, but not money to a beggar. Now, what I did was right for me but for others, it might be wrong.

I could have offered money which I had spent in buying food but I didn’t. Morally, I should have helped her but I didn’t. Does that make me a bad person? My parents never approved of alcohol. They never consumed any and expected none of their kids to touch it, too. But, I drink, occasionally, with colleagues or friends on outings. I never told them about it, I don’t want to. I know, if I ever tell them then they will be hurt and feel deceived. To forgive me, they might ask to leave it which, I can’t promise for now. So, I have been lying to them ever since I started boozing to keep both parties happy.

Now, again I face this dilemma – I feel both guilty because I’m lying to my parents and innocent because I’m doing what I want, or like, or desire to do all the while ready to face the repercussion of the choices that I’m making. Those indelible impressions of bullying will never fade away with time from my mind. I remember vividly, how I used to obey my teachers, and always listen to them. In return, my teachers would appreciate me but my batch-mates would despise me and pass ill comments like fawner, bootlicker. I never understood why it was this way? I was only obeying my elders, the why did I face all this hatred? Here, even after doing good, I was loathed. What’s right, what is wrong – It’s hard to tell when we don’t have a defined denomination.

What’s ethical, what is unethical – It’s hard to say when everybody is perspicacious in his own way. This world is a convoluted place; it has theories postulated by different people, set of facts and beliefs which some follow and some don’t, rules which would make one smile and another cry. Both plants and animals have a life but eating leaves are fine while devouring over flesh is still frowned upon by many. This whole setup is a vicious circle with no way out. I feel the suffocation felt by the many others. I feel like I’m standing at a hold, when others liberate.

“Wait. Hold on. This wasn’t exactly how the ‘dialogue with self’ started. I guess, I’ll hold it for some other time or rather put it all behind me because, I don’t have the answer to a perplexed two-faced question and I guess I will never have one.”

Rahul Gupta is an aspiring writer, while also a volunteer as a content creator and editor for CRY and currently pursuing Computer Science, USC, California.