Just One Of Those Days

Robin Williams died on the 11th of August, 2014. I woke up to go the gym the following morning and read the tweets that followed. They said (and still maintain) that he killed himself because he was battling severe depression. 6 am is really too early to process death, more so the death of someone you remember as a comedian. I heard the same line over and over – “The saddest hearts laugh the hardest.”

I should have started with the disclaimer. I am not writing the man a eulogy. I am just confused. I have been Googling the symptoms for depression since I was 13, because I am quite the hypochondriac when the occasion suits me. I have counselled far too many people in my age group in my capacity as Community Agony Aunt. So, why am I surprised that he killed himself? I don’t know. My mood swings begin with “Why me?” and end with trivialities like “Can eyeliner really make me look like I haven’t cried as much as Nirupa Roy did in her entire career?” We’re an easily distractable generation. I can find joy in cat videos after having my heart broken by a boy. I swear, that has happened. But when, at the end of the day, I crawl back into my mother’s lap and still think it’s not enough to console an inexplicable sadness – I ponder over these things and these deaths. No amount of instrumental music can calm the overthinking heart. Sorry, Yann Tiersen.

So, I write. I write to God, I write to him, I write to my father, I write to my feisty alter ego, Lola, I write letters to friends in distant places who I might never see again. I fill the gaps and I write to you. This is your couch I am going to squat on and tell you how I really feel. And you’re going to listen. If you want to. I think that is where they found their solace too. In words. I dread the day I won’t have a story I haven’t heard or haven’t told before. I don’t want to feel empty. Dear God, no. We are all overflowing with stories and words we haven’t heard yet. We are the solutions to our own problems. I think. Maybe Lena Dunham has something to say about it.

My best friend is right. We will never be entirely happy with anything. The way I see it, we’re only seeking something better and that keeps us going. I know that because when I checked my phone on the way to work after what felt like a shitty morning, I found my reason to get through the day. The realisation was enough to fill this heart already overflowing with too much to say. So, I said thank you.

Maybe, that’s what they didn’t have. A reason to say thank you.

PS – Depression and dealing with it is something that I take very seriously. Next time your friend or anyone tells you they’re depressed, please listen. I have attached a link for the symptoms in the text, so that no one has to ever be alone.

Bad Tools And Twisted Brinjals

Something I submitted for the Monochrome Collective. Have fun at my expense. 🙂


Sonia Thomas 

Trust is the foundation of any relationship, more so in the relationship you share with your father. For someone with a severe Electra complex, it is a lot more than that. This man is the yardstick by which I have measured every other man I have encountered (real and otherwise). Loving him is also precisely how I learnt something vital – we are mere fools when it comes to love.

As I sat at the dining table that fateful evening in the 6th grade, trying to complete my Hindi homework, my father came up to me to ask about it. It is always assumed a child has nothing better to do than loaf around. This was work. I was in deep and now, disturbed. But, I did not care. Dada was here and I would be okay.

“Dada, have a look at this muhavra (idiom). Naach…

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My friends find it really funny that I have a hand fetish. Yes, I use the word fetish because I don’t think I have the power to imagine more than I do than when I see someone’s hands.

Hands, like scars, have their own stories to tell. There are hands like my father’s. Soft and stubby, quite contrary to what the conventional idea of man hands is. My mother says it is because he is a good, caring man who has been lucky to have the women around him love him enough to never have him work a day of manual labour. I always remember my dad’s hands as the ones that have never faltered when it came to teaching me a lesson and never being too hard on this crybaby he had for a daughter.

At the other end of the spectrum are my mother’s hands, slender like a lady’s hands should be. But roughened by the life in a kitchen feeding her families before and after marriage and moulding children as a teacher.

Even today, you ask me about any boy I like and I will be able to tell you how much I loved his hands.

I still remember the hands of the teacher who threw us down on the floor in the name of discipline. I still remember the lining around the print left on my own tiny one because that is the only mark she thought a teacher is supposed to leave on a student.

Hands build and hands break. Hands caress and hands tear. What else do you want when you have hands to hold you? Or hands to just play with? Barring Captain Hook and Jaime Lannister, I think I can safely say that we cannot imagine our existence without touch. So, why don’t we let our hands decide where we want to go? For someone whose memories centre around sensory memory, hands are such a big part of the picture.

Touch aside, when you’re someone like me who uses her hands to express so much of what they feel, you know what I mean when I say they are extremely important. This reminds me of a time that I was standing outside my hostel waiting for a cab in my second year of college. I saw a good looking boy in his teens talking to a girl. I looked at his face, his eyebrows moving like Mexican jumping beans. I realised his lips weren’t moving. I looked down at his hands. His long fingers made words in the air for her to hear. I hadn’t seen too many people converse in sign language, so I stared like the juvenile I was. I was fascinated by how much hands could say.

We have waved off things we would rather forget, flipped off things we don’t give two flying birds about, dismissed people as crazy with a twirl of our fingers. We have also called out in desperation, pleaded for help, wiped our tears and picked ourselves up at the end of the day.

I wish I could express in words, or justify my fascination or love for our often underestimated hands. Maybe, I need to use them to let you know how I feel like I always do?