A letter to music – gratitude and stories.

It has been a long time since I posted, huh? Needed a break, sorry. I am back, though. Let’s enjoy this! I hope you like this letter-format I’ve recently started trying.


To music,

From Ghazals to ‘Kiss me’ to ‘Dusk Till Dawn’, this has been a long journey, hasn’t it?

When I was six, I could barely speak English. My tongue fumbled when I spoke English because it was a foreign language that I still wasn’t used to but I could hum the tune of ‘Chand Sifarish’ and not miss a single note.

In my 10-13 year old phase, my all-time favorite memory that I often find myself telling people is how me and my family would go on long drives and have sandwiches and hot chocolate and listen to an endless number of songs. My sister and I had a playlist that we would listen to on our way to school every morning.

When two broken pieces clash, they break into smaller pieces. When I had my heart broken for the third time, the only leftovers of my heart was dust. With earphones jammed into my ears and a few fancy dance moves, music turned it into fairy-dust that I sprinkled onto everything and healed myself.

My point is that you have literally always been there for me. Be it in the form of a language, a memory or a magic trick. You’ve witnessed me grow up from when I was a few months old and my parents would sing me lullabies to today when I listen to ‘Girls like you’ on repeat.

I heard somewhere that old weapons are sometimes melted and musical instruments are made from the metal. I guess that explains the bullet wounds some of your lyrics leave behind, and it also explains why playing Antakshri when I was ten felt like going to war.

Thank you Music, for being my metaphorical shoulder to cry on and literal ‘always’.

Yours,
Utsav Raj


Previous post: Not every forever is a cliché.
Related post: To all the #METOOs

Give me prompts in the comment section below and share if you liked this! Also, I’m probably going to post an exclusive poem on my Instagram handle (@myspirals) on Tuesday at 9:45 p.m. IST, so drop over if you’d like to read it.

A letter for home.

Delhi is a city in India, and so yes, this letter is to a city. I hope you like this!


To Delhi,

Whenever somebody asks me about the best relationship I have been in or the place I refer to as home or just the city I get nostalgic for, I take your name. I often ask myself this: were you The One?

I was twelve when I shifted to India from Dubai. Now anyone who has seen you knows you are not the love-at-first-sight kind. It takes time and maybe even ages to fall in love with you. A month before I shifted, I came to you with my father to find an apartment, a school and maybe a reason to not leave Dubai. You gave us five. Overwhelming traffic, impolite people and horns so loud that I didn’t feel like listening to music for two days. But it is said that when you love someone, one reason to stay is enough. You gave us a beautiful society to stay in.

Just like any other heartbroken dude you might have come across, I lamented for Dubai for weeks. I spoke non-stop about the best things about the place I used to live in as a child. You would have grinned so hard if you possibly could. I remember very vividly that our affair started on my first day in an Indian school. Three girls walked up to me, shared my chips, and spoke to me for hours. I fell in love with you because of them.

Ever since that first day, you introduced me to pretty women and novels and parties. But here are the two things you gave me that I will forever be grateful for: my first heartbreak and poetry. I met the girl that would later promise me homemade cookies and personal stories and completely leave me in awe of her. I wrote poems with grammatical mistakes but a lot of love and short stories with tons of feelings just for this girl and that made me happy. She was way out of my league but exactly everything I would want. You have me things that made me ‘me’. How could I not call you home?

Delhi, I know I broke up with you abruptly and I miss you too, but I guess we weren’t meant to be. You’re still my home, though.

Write back to me someday?

Yours,
A homesick me.


Instagram handle: @myspirals
Previous post: Two best friends and a strange story.
Related post: To all the #METOOs

Give me prompts in the comment section below and share if you liked this!

A nomad’s home.

A nomad’s home.

For the last seventeen years, my father has had a nomad heart with a paternal intention. In human terms, it means he loves changing cities but the new homes that he finds for me have only one common criterion: growth. From Delhi to Chennai to Dubai to Delhi again, I have seen more shades of cities than emotions.

Migration usually is made of a lot of nostalgia and little to no belief in a better future. When I shifted back to India, I was a twelve-year-old who had just left his home to live in a house. It was still comparatively easier because it took me a day and some food to make new friends.

The best thing about Delhi was that I had best friends for the very first time. That is when I read my first proper novel too because the book ‘Goosebumps’ doesn’t count. I had a crush and my heart broken for the very first time too, and I strongly recommend it to everybody. Don’t hate me for it.

More importantly, I fell in love. I fell in love with a girl, the city and everything in between. When I was ten, home was a four-walled apartment. Two years later, it was a city I had just migrated from. That is what being a nomad means. A nomad’s home is an anxious writer who edits his story even after the twentieth draft. When I fell in love, my home became two arms and a steady (and sometimes fast and loud) heartbeat.

Three years into memories of Delhi, my parents decided to shift again. Surprise? Not at all. I never made any friends again and I spent the next two years being nostalgic and the saddest kid you would ever see. But as I caught up to speed to a new city and entered seventeen, something inside me clicked and I realized I can’t do this anymore. I cannot try to make a home every time I shift and then brood over it for some time. More importantly, I cannot stay in the same place.

I became what my dad was. My home is now blurry memories, nostalgia and a thirst to find new places to live. I became a nomad.


Instagram handle: @myspirals
Previous post: A tale of the five senses – 2
Related post: Earth.

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How extraordinary came to be.

I go through a personal tale to explain how the word extraordinary came to be. Bear with me and enjoy reading this! If not, feel free to read this instead.


As a ten-year-old, I always wondered how calling someone extraordinary was a compliment. Why was being more normal considered to be a great thing, and is that what my goal should be? To be a little more of everything that we all are? Apparently, yes. I was a fat kid with chubby cheeks who always had a smile on his face. I cried a lot and laughed even more. As a kid, I could run out of time in a game of Antakshri and still giggle. Pretty women and their hair flips, lipsticks and kind smiles fascinated me. I could play all day and still remember to complete my to-do list.  Continue reading How extraordinary came to be.

Obsessions.

Every now and then, I write about myself, about how I am just another person, and about how I am an infinity. Christmas, hot chocolate and love have always been mentioned here or there in my poetry. Here is a small and brief glimpse into my obsession:

  1. 2009: We stopped at a gas station to buy food and coffee. I was nine, so I ran towards the chocolates aisle in the store close by. Meanwhile, my dad bought me ad my sister hot chocolate, sandwiches and cupcakes. He bought coffee and sandwiches for him and my mom. So we got into the car with the best food ever and drove around the streets of Dubai, listening and singing along to classical Indian music. I remember the taste of hot chocolate, the sound of my sister’s giggle, my dad’s smile and everything in between.
  2. 2013: Four families got together to celebrate Christmas. The music was too loud but no one cared, and the food smelled like god himself. I was thirteen and fat, because I didn’t yet know that you could, by choice, not eat delicious food. Eating it seemed kinda obvious to me. So as everyone grooved to the music, I danced too and ate something once in while. It was a party worth remembering and that’s when I became best friends with the amazing people I was dancing with. Every since that Christmas, many games, life saving advices and lame jokes have followed.
  3. 2014: Ninth grade has been the show stopper. I was in a history class, talking to my girl friend when this other girl entered the class. For the next two years, I had been madly in love with this other girl. She was like a walk in a park, except that the park was an amusement park and the walk was actually crazy, jaw dropping, breath taking rides. She had beautiful eyes that looked like an eclipse, and a smile like the fourth moon of the fortnight, a bright crescent. Her eyes had dark circles under them, and her arms had cuts. And every time I saw either, they recited a different story and wonderful poetry.

I started writing in 2014, so these three have always been something I find myself using in my poems. Here are ten random questions that I am answering to tell you more about me.

  • Are you scared of heights?
    ∞ I am. I’ve been on the tallest building on Earth and still, height freaks out.
  • What is at the top of your bucket list?
    ∞ I don’t really have an order. But I’ve always wanted to go Greece or Amsterdam.
  • What is the first book you remember reading?
    ∞ As funny as this sounds, my first book was a comic called Tinkle. But my first novel was Percy Jackson.
  • What is your eye color?
    ∞ I’d say dark brown.
  • Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for?
    ∞ None that I am aware of. But I guess I’ll know when I have to.
  • What is your biggest fear?
    ∞ I am Atelophobic (the fear of not being enough)
  • One thing you know now that you wish you had known as a kid?
    ∞ That fears exists, probably.
  • Do you judge a book by it’s cover?
    ∞ I try not to, but I might subconsciously.
  • What makes you angry?
    ∞ Everything?
  • What are you attracted to in a woman?
    ∞ Preferably bold, frank and wild.

I hope you know me a little better today. Also, a shout-out to Hello Lauren for nominating me for the sunshine blogger award.  Tell me more about you in the comments section below. You can ask me questions too. I cannot wait to hear stories about you.