The Journal #24: Stories

This was written while sipping a double-shot Americano made from a new espresso machine, since the one I had earlier melted its own self from within.

I’ve always been obsessed with stories. I believe everyone runs on them. Stories they tell themselves, stories they tell others and stories that are actually true. Everyone is a protagonist in their head, whether they explicitly believe it or not. It takes great courage to see that it’s not all about you in most things. Yet, the stories we tell ourselves are important.

There is a story behind why you tie your tie in a certain way. There’s one behind why grey is your favourite colour or why you adore and hate Octobers. There is a long one behind why you go out of your way to help others. There’s a story behind that chuckle and smile you give when someone asks you if you’ve ever been in love. There’s one behind why you often stare at an empty table you dare not take in your hometown cafe.

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The Journal #23: Virtue

This was written over a single evening months before being published here; however, this has been stared at and repeatedly read without making a single change over countless cups of coffee. These included cheap instant coffee, coffee from a dingy cafe, coffee from one of the country’s finest estates, and some cold black coffee leftover in a pot. In the end, I decided to publish it exactly as I had written it. If there are any errors of logic or language, I apologise to my purist friends in the off chance they stumble upon this piece.

To whomsoever it may concern, I have something important to tell you. Please don’t panic. It’s not urgent, just important. Ah, yes. I understand the overreaction. We often fail to adhere to that difference. It is also an important difference. In any case, I want you to sit down, nonetheless. Important words reckon you to be at ease when you’re reading them, and these might be the most important ones I’ve written yet.

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The Journal #22: Homecoming

This was written over countless cups of coffee spent as I tried to make sense of how I felt after coming back to the city I once called home, and learnt to call it just that again. The final words were put to paper after brewing a medium roast with my french press.

The idea of homecoming is, at least in my head, limited to those who come home from a war, a voyage or something in proportion. So, when I came back to the city where I learnt my ropes as a human being, I didn’t much see it as a homecoming. I did see it as the idea of someone coming home after a long time, in every sense of the word. It didn’t feel earned though. I thought I was the same person who had left two years ago in an almost knee-jerk reaction of leaving the city for good.

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The Journal #21: Everything

I wrote this as an empty cup of coffee sat on a perfectly aligned coaster at enough distance from my laptop so as to not spill the leftover sip on it.

I want you to know that like peanut butter and honey between two slices of toasted bread at four in the afternoon, but also, at four in the night, sometimes. When I’m outside though, I prefer a savoury spinach, corn and cheese sandwich. I like my coffee medium to dark without milk and sugar. I have a specific dislike for sugar. It wasn’t always that way, but then I learned that sweet things were particularly harmful. I especially enjoy a cup when there’s an unexpected spice, flavour or hint to it.

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The Journal #20: Greatness

I wrote this as I drank some very cold coffee that had been sitting in the pot for a while. When doing the dishes after a long day, you often face the decision of throwing some very well-brewed coffee, albeit cold, down the sink or drink it. It’s seldom that I choose the former.

In some ways, I’ve always been a writer, but if I was being honest, I really began writing because I wanted to be one of the greats. I wanted to leave something behind that was celebrated for years after I disappeared.

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The Journal #19: Alive

I wrote this after a usual long day in my apartment. I do not remember how many cups of coffee I had taken by that point but it seems safe to assume that double-digits were involved. The coffee was a French Roast from the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu.

I remember I told you once, I had a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde situation. There were two sides to me: two equally important parts. I don’t remember when they split, and I don’t know why they did. Do you remember that I told you about them some two or three years ago?

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The Journal #18: The Eagle

This piece was written while a mug full of instant chocolate mint flavoured coffee by Beanies was getting cold.

Today, I spent the afternoon working, sipping coffee, and watching an eagle on a naked tree nearby. The eagle likes to sit on one of its twig-like branches. I watched it fly high into the sky and then dive way down, almost like a torpedo chasing a target. There was nothing else there, as I could gather after I left all my work undone and the coffee to get colder, and kept watching it.

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The Journal #17: Love

This was written late at night as a result of not a cup of coffee but some peppermint green tea.

If I were to describe how my tryst with love has been so far in life, I’d say it was like the game of pinball. Have you ever played that old arcade game? Perhaps, not in an actual arcade but I’m sure you’ve played it on a computer or a game console. In pinball, you have these two bent pins, and you move a ball to different parts of what looks like a carefully designed maze. It seems random, at first. Then, when you look closely, you see different areas. Each area has a theme and a different way that makes the ball bounce off, and as it jumps to different places, it hits some places where it makes points. Pinball is all about scoring the maximum points by bouncing off the right places; love, unfortunately, doesn’t quite work like that, though.

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The Journal #16: Action

As I wrote this over multiple days, I was mostly sipping a Dark Roast from Starbucks brewed with my French press. As the days got warmer, I switched to a cold brew Dark Roast coffee from SleepyOwl instead.

It was back in first grade if I remember correctly when I first prioritised action. It was a sloppy assignment. You see, they used to give us books to make sure our handwriting turned cursive down the line, and they gave us notes to write pages of those. Five, ten, it was up to the teacher. I remember getting up at around one at night and walking up to my parents who were up. I remember telling them that I had an assignment that I didn’t do and that I wanted to do it because it was important. So, I did the pages, howsoever many were required, and it was only then that I could go to sleep.

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The Journal #15: Promise

These words are the result of an americano from the airport concessionaire which has nothing really good about it besides the fact that it is warm.

In life, I hope whatever you do, you never promise anyone that you’ll be okay. If you can, I’d suggest you never promise anything at all. All promises are difficult to keep, especially the ones you can make easily. You know, the ones which don’t take a lot of effort. Those are the ones that last a lifetime. I hope when you’re about to utter, “I promise”, you remember these words as they are written in front of you. I hope you never utter the phrase.

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