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another aesthete

When mind wanders, heart wails, art heals & soul speaks

Spring // a photo diary

Dear readers,

This post comes off with an extreme delay as now summer, let alone spring is about to end. But, it’s never too late to reminisce the colors of this beautiful season, right?
Spring for me, started with the bloom of Cherry Blossom (Sakura) trees, and capturing their beauty both in my camera and my memory as long as that moment lasted. There’s an unexplained hope in witnessing that subtle shade of pink in the trees, and the way people gather to photograph them makes you feel that you’re not the only aesthete overjoyed to feel this spectacle of nature around.

 

This followed by another bloom of pink trees, whose name I don’t know (you guessed it right, Botany is my weak point!). Anyhow, I felt it was surreal to see blue sky contrasting with pink flowers and green grass. Add in a little bit of brown, and the whole scene left me in awe! Even my usually brown campus looked like a freshly painted canvas.

 

I luckily managed to get a stranger in frame to get the shot I wanted. The serendipity in that moment was TOO REAL.

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And then, on the other hand, the whites in the trees reminded me of purity and pristine beauty, unscathed by any filth. Truly sublime and delicate, they complimented so well with sunlight pouring from behind.

In addition, the dandelions were found in so much abundance surrounding sidewalks and grounds, that their gentle swaying with the wind looked like a synchronized, joyful dance. Plus, the pleasure of blowing them is awesome!

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Not to forget the rain during spring which thankfully showered so much in Canada this time, that it seemed more like a monsoon season. Being a pluviophile and a huge nature fan, everything is 10x better for me when it rains; especially those drops on the soft petals are worth halting my steps to appreciate and photograph them.

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Lastly, one of my favorite part of Spring is to hear the sounds of birds chirping, as if they too enjoy this part of the year with full zeal. Also, when all the colors of nature amalgamate, it effects the inner season of self as well. At least for me, spring is a breath of fresh air after the cold, monotonous, stay-at-home-as-much-as-you-can Winter.

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can you spot the ladybug in action?

Although spring is kind of short-lived but it’s so mesmerizing, inspiring, and beautiful that its colors last even when it is replaced by the decomposed leaves, and empty branches.

Do you experience it the same way? What is your favorite season? Let me know 😀

Until next time,

Much love,

Saira.

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Chronic fatigue 

Your face looked like someone
who has been through a lot.
and no, I am not referring
to the wound on the right side
of your forehead;
a red bruise, almost new.
it was your overall expression:
the overarching gloom,
the contagious tiredness.
it was like witnessing a far away star,
which is not only distant in its distance
but distant in its time.

like there was once you
who was luminous
but that intensity faded over time,
the fuel ran out and
the brightness
turned into blackness.
and that is what you miss,
leaving a trail of
chronic fatigue on your face.
~S.

// the featured image is by the talented Vareesha! You can follow her on instagram. 💕

Tragedy of one’s life

A friend once said to me, “You don’t know the tragedy of my life”.

I was perplexed when I read those words in the text message. For the several days which followed after, I wondered what really could be the ‘tragedy’ of her life? At that time perhaps, I was too naive or young to understand that such a thing exists very commonly. I thought of all the worst case scenarios that could possibly cause a person to utter such a grave,odd statement.

It is only until recent few months or a year that I understand what she meant. I don’t know the real reason why she said that and I’m way too shy to ask such a personal question but here’s what I deduce about that sentence:

When someone often refers the word ‘tragedy’, what comes to our mind is a serious calamity, a mishap, perhaps a death. What does not really strike us is the possibility of that word surrounding the sentence: “It’s all in your head”. What if that tragedy is not physical but metaphysical? What if it doesn’t scar our bodies but our minds and souls? What if it doesn’t cause us pain but numbness? What if it’s our mind convincing us that THAT is a TRAGEDY. Period. You can do nothing about it. Not today. Not ever.

The way I see it, each one of us have our own tragedy(s) of our life, whether visible or unknown to others. It could be a heartbreak one could never forget, or a dream which could possibly be never fulfilled or a death of a loved one; the examples are endless. But what really matters concerning a tragedy is how we DEAL with it. How we describe it. Do we keep calling it a tragedy even after years later or do we name it as a part of our foundation, the reason which makes us US. Do we allow that tragedy to make us empathize with the ones around us or do we wallow in self-pity. Do we cause it to build us or do we keep allowing it to break us.

Maybe it is all about perception. Maybe it requires cognitive shifting. Maybe we’re all still struggling to overcome our tragedies. Maybe all we need is time.

Much love,

~S.

// featured art from my art journal

My friends 

My friends

are all good
in my head.
Never failing to amuse me,
they talk to me
about stars,
about life & it’s suffocating bars,
about invisible scars,
about injustice & wars.

And then,
there’s another one named conscience.
It keeps me on track,
overloads with feedback,
an ever evaluating ‘Super ego’ sack.

But most of all,
there’s Him, the Almighty.
The closest of all,
who listens despite knowing it all.
Who judges not appearance, only my soul. Who responds in terms of blessings,
who picks me up after a heartbreaking fall.
A friend who’s always there
without the need of a text or a phone call.

So,
for you I’m socially deserted.
But for me,
I’m internally rewarded.

Winter // a photo diary

Dear readers,

If all goes well, April will mark the end of Canadian winter (I really hope so), but knowing the unpredictable weather here, there could be a parting wave of snow even in May *sigh*.

Anyhow, there’s something about bearing the same cold weather for about more than 6 months that makes the inner climate depressing. To be vulnerably honest, I find winter the most depressing and lonesome season. Perhaps, it is due to lack of going outside, staying confined within the closed walls of the home, or the overall gloom of the atmosphere. One can just pay a glance at the trees and find it sad to see all the green leaves gone, replaced by a uniform, dull brown mess of branches.

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My homeothermic body
doesn’t really like
when it’s -15°C outside.
But my lypophreniac self
loves it
when there’s finally something
which disturbs my nerves,
burns my skin and bones,
churns my emotions
other than
my idiopathic sadness.

And then, there are the dreaded, long commutes. Its hard to fathom that even simple tasks like walking and breathing are a chore in this season. Keeping your nose intact and protecting hands from catching a frostbite while taking a photograph is also a real struggle! *a dramatic exaggeration*

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In addition, there’s this banality of seeing nothing but white and brown all around, and some grey, too, if you count the muddy slush found on footpaths and roads, which makes driving a real sore.

But even though there’s this monotony in this season, there’s hope. There’s resilience. There are still cars on the road on way to their destinations, people shoveling their driveways, and snowplows fulfilling their duties to melt & remove the snow, and life still goes on. 

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And of course, there are snow crystals. The joy of witnessing that perfect micro symmetry as depicted in illustrations is out of this world. The gentle thawing of the crystals upon touching and watching them vanish into nothingness reminds very much of human fragility.

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Then, there’s variety: flurries, snow storm, ice storm, freezing rain and what-not. You’re bound to pick at least one bearable item from the list! As much as I like kicking ice cones to break them, I’d still go with the gentle flurries (there are pretty harmless, don’t break your bones if slipped upon, unless well….if you get into a serious snowball fight with siblings).

Here’s a snapshot of some crystals on a black car, presenting a beautiful aesthetic sight.

Also, it sure does make you stop and wonder and be grateful of having the privilege of centralized heating. Imagine being born as a native few decades ago with no such facilities! We in all our daily rants usually overlook the blessings we are given, one of them being the lovely naturesque sights.

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All in all, even though I’d pretty much be happy about not having to survive a cold, harsh weather, I still appreciate its existence. It teaches the art of facing hardships with courage and resilience. It gives something to hope for: a colourful spring and a warm summer. It symbolizes adversities of life, assuring that this phase, too, will pass. But most of all, it makes you appreciate the importance of keeping our hearts warm despite this cold weather, because cold hearts are far more damaging than cold weather.

What are your thoughts about winter?

Much love,

Saira. 

 

People pleaser?

Twenty one years of being on this earth and as far as I can remember I have been a people pleaser all my life. Reason: Fear of abandonment.

It was during my school years that I realized something grave. There was one specific reason which was huge enough in my society for people to abandon me. It was then that I tried my best to work on my personality. I thought (albeit falsely) that if I have a genuinely nice persona and if I help people to the best of my abilities, perhaps they would consider my personality first before abandoning me. Maybe then, they would be a tiny bit hesitant to leave me in the times of my need. So, I learned to say ‘yes’ to every favour they asked from me. I never had contradictory opinions and even if I felt strongly about a topic, I never voiced it out loud from the fear of offending someone. I hardly ever took sides when it came to people. I became a very neutral person. This cost me some frowns & criticism but I thought it would be worth it. I tutored my friends, provided them handmade notes, made birthday cards for them and smiled at every thing they said even if I was sometimes mentally frustrated of their materialistic talks. I built a castle of unsaid words & unexpressed emotions in my heart. But alas in 2009, my fears came true. I was devastated. Hardly anyone gave a damn about my personality. Yet, I picked myself up. Things improved and I went back to square one. Fast forward to 2016, I realized what an idiot I have always been. Yes, I had learned to be kind and empathetic but it cost me my confidence, my self respect and my self esteem. The price I paid was too heavy and what I gained was invaluable.

The truth is that no one is destined to stay in your life forever. Whether they consciously abandon you or fate separates your paths, the fact is that people always leave. The connection is bound to grow weak at some point or the other. That’s just how life works and it’s totally normal. To blame yourself for this is a blatant stupidity. You can be the nicest person on earth, but there’ll always be something about you which doesn’t appeal to public and that’s totally okay. Because you are you and they are they.

Altogether, it cost me a huge chunk of my life to acknowledge this truth. If you’re reading it this far, please know that you are enough. That you don’t need validation from people to recognize your self worth. That the size of your friend circle doesn’t determine the clarity of your intentions & soul. And that sometimes it’s okay to say ‘no’; it’s okay to be alone.

Love,

Saira.

The introvert dilemma

Sometimes I wonder if extroverts have it easy.

Do they ,too, feel the soul crushing weight on their shoulders forcing them to get out of their skin in order to be acknowledged? How do words come to them so effortlessly? Does their voice during speech sounds the same as the voice in their head?
Do they constantly analyze the conversations they had ages ago, wondering what if they had said that thing differently?
Do they prepare a speech beforehand only for words to fumble later anyways?
Do they feel that they’re are a misfit, an imperfect version of what the world expects them to be?
Do they,too, feel like they’re just being tolerated, an extra in group meet ups?

I wonder if they,too, are misunderstood by the society & whether my thoughts right now are a testimony of that misunderstanding.
In the end, I just feel resigned and try to shut these voices in my head because I’m done with enough overthinking for the day.

~S.

Sixteen things I learned in 2016

2016 for me, has been a year of personal growth. It was the year I felt I was the most close to myself than ever before. Perhaps because I lost quite a few people around me. I discovered things about myself I never paid attention to before. And I topped all charts of overthinking! (that’s not really an accomplishment though🤐). 

Anyhow, to sum it all I penned down a few things I learned this year:

  1. As much cliche as it sounds, no one is going to be there for you every second of your life except for your own self. When you’re crying in agony at 3 am in the night, it is YOU who has to pick yourself up from that state. For that reason, learn to be your own savior.
  2. Don’t blame yourself for others’ attitude towards you. If people fail to appreciate your existence it’s a lapse on their part, not yours. Don’t hold yourself responsible for every thing they did or didn’t do.
  3. Live life on a daily basis. Not in the past which won’t return, and neither in the future which isn’t guaranteed. Live this current moment while it lasts and I’ll promise you, it’ll relieve you from so many weights you carry on your chest.
  4. No one is entitled to stay with a person forever. People change; people outgrow other people. So it’s okay if you let go of people or they let go of you. That’s how we all grow.
  5. Be sad. Be very sad if that’s how you feel currently. Don’t lie to yourself and dive in whatever emotion you wish to. But remember to pull yourself back up. Don’t drown in it. Keep swimming.
  6. Remember that you are enough. Shut out any voices that tell you otherwise. You don’t have to win a Nobel prize to prove your worth. You’re here for a reason and you matter!
  7. Find like minded people. People who feel & think the same way as you. You are lucky to have internet to connect to such people. Once you find your clan, you’ll learn that you’re not alone. You’re a part of a huge community and that’s amazing!
  8. If you yearn to grow, you’ll have to get out of your comfort zone. It’s very hard to do so, but once you get out of it, you’ll be the proudest you’ve ever been of yourself.
  9. Make friends with people who are not of your age; not of the same culture; who don’t speak the same first language. That’s how you’ll learn to empathize, and appreciate the differences among all humans.
  10. There’s no shame in being vulnerable. If you feel weak that’s not because you’re not grateful enough or religious enough. That’s only because you’re human enough to feel that way.
  11. Create. Create as if your life depends on it. Create if it brings out the truth in you. Don’t hold yourself back from the things you love doing from the fear of imperfection. If that is what keeps you sane, the criticism & flaws don’t matter much.
  12. If you still don’t know how to practice ‘self love‘, it’s okay. Start by taking small steps like ‘self care‘ and ‘self appreciation‘. The love will come eventually. Allow yourself time. Just don’t lose hope on yourself.
  13. Patience, dear heart, patience. Learn the fact that ‘delayed gratification‘ yields greater rewards. As much painful it is to endure, it’ll be the most fruitful in the end.
  14. If social media gets to your head to the point of depression, just maintain some distance for a while. Trust me, you don’t miss anything by not knowing what that XYZ person had for dinner.
  15. Being an introvert is not a crime or a disease. Yes, it sucks at times but it’s a great privilege to be one. So be grateful for who you are!
  16. Lastly, don’t expect too much from 2017. The mere changing of a date or calendar is not responsible for your tomorrows. YOU ARE! Work on being a better person, and it’ll all be fine. You’ve got this!

    ____________________________

    That was it! I hope 2017 is a much fulfilling year for you all!

    Love,

    Saira. 

    Unuttured words

    Sometimes all I want
    is to speak,
    to let out the heaps
    of thoughts
    piled inside me
    throughout my existence.
    But when I open my lips to do so,
    somehow all the words betray me.
    Like your very own cells
    turn against you,
    attacking
    your already weakened immunity.

    So I resign
    and transfer my trash
    on paper instead.
    Because the scribbled lines
    on a tear smudged paper
    make much more sense
    than the unuttured hertz of words
    floating aimlessly in the air.
    ~S. 

    // shy people aren’t mute //

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