Food Coloring

food coloring

“Katray katray se deryah bantha hai” which literally means “through drops an entire river can be made.”

 

The way food coloring shows the nature of relationships is absolutely beautiful to me. Now here’s what you need to do in order to see what I mean. Get a clear glass, fill it with water and then carefully put in one drop of food coloring into the glass. Then observe how that one drop cuts through the water and then slowly changes the color of the water. It’s not instant, but rather slow. With each drop the color of the water becomes deeper and stronger. No matter how much clear water you add into that glass, the water is tinted. That’s exactly how negative energy works in a relationship. At first, that one drop slightly cuts through you and then, with each drop, the relationship drowns before your own eyes. The reality is, all relationships go through ups and downs, but the ups should always outweigh the downs.

The moment a relationship starts dropping “food coloring” on you and into your relationship you will only have two choices. One, either have a talk and fix the issues that you are having before the food coloring ruins you any further. Secondly, walk away because your water (relationship) is already tinted.

We all have been in a toxic relationship or witnessed someone who has been in one and it’s exhausting. The person visibly looks stressed, unhappy and worn out because of the mental strain. It’s painful to go through and even worse to see someone you love suffer in silence.

As I said earlier, with each drop a river is made, but the choice is yours on what you want the river made out of: negativity, toxicity and a tint of “food coloring”, or a basic understanding that you have to sacrifice, compromise and be willing to have the lightest tint in your glass of water.

Types Of Love

download (5)I was 20 years old when I first fell in love and instantly my life became full of colors. Her color brought me to a new high because we instantly clicked on every level. Our personalities went together like the summer in June, our birthdays were two days apart and my day was not complete without seeing her. We texted each other paragraph long text messages every morning, we fell asleep over facetime and made so many internal jokes. Each day that passed felt like a dive into another parallel universe because when I was around her, nothing else mattered. My family, friends, school and hobbies didn’t matter anymore because she was able to fill all those spaces in my heart. Some would say it’s not healthy but at that time I didn’t listen to anyone, besides her. One month turned into one year and I knew she was the girl I will marry. I mean, why wouldn’t I think that? We did everything together. That’s what love is. That’s what I saw in the movies, so this had to be it. Yet, we fought a lot and with those fights we forgot to give each other the space to grow. In my head love was being together and being away meant that love is no longer alive.

At the one year mark our love became an obsession that pulled the other closer if they dared to even hang out with someone else, but we loved each other. The thought of losing her would make my heart tremble, the fear of me losing her became more evident. As each day passed I became sucked out of our own parallel universe. I stopped laughing at her jokes. I didn’t have much to say anymore, but she was my home. So I always went back because it had to work this time around even though the other 55 times didn’t work. I became confused at our relationship because I couldn’t live with her and I couldn’t live without her. Our love became overwhelming and suffocating; both of us knew this but we were willing to slowly die within our self made poison we called love. As each day passed we became more distant. Hours on the phone became a quick 30 second call. 3 meals a day soon became 3 meals a week. Facetime turned into an automatic text, “sorry can’t talk right now.” As if we actually talked anymore? Eventually I got distracted because maybe deep down inside I wasn’t happy. She then sat me down at our favorite restaurant to talk and I knew what bullet was about to come my way. She said it, the three words, It is over. Within that instant the few ounces of happiness that I had left, soon became depleted.

~KirfanLive

 

I was 20 years old when I first had my heart broken and just as the canvas I called my life had become so colorful when he entered my life…in an instant my life became black and white once more. I wondered, what had happened to the two souls that seemed so inseparable? What had happened to the young love that had promised forever and a lifetime? Every day that passed without him felt like being hit by a train, but drowning at the same time. He’d always said that my heart was a mosaic he had put back together for good…and looking back, maybe that’s why I felt so many empty spaces in me. He was the glue that held me together, the reality that I felt was worth living for. Our nights together, had turned into days, and our days to months, and then years. I thought he was the one. I’ve often heard that when someone leaves your life they take a piece of you with them. He took all of me with him. He was my fairy tale in the world of non fiction. All I wanted was to keep him close, and love him. But…one year later our fairy tale was fading, and I felt powerless knowing that I was losing him. It felt like I was constantly holding my hand out to him, and no matter how much he tried to reach out…somehow our hands never met anymore. He said we had become poison for each other, but if so why was his love still my elixir? Every memory we had promised to make together, had in fact turned into a memory. But at this point, I knew it was over. I couldn’t see him suffer no matter how much I wanted him to be mine. And so one night, over dinner, I said it. It is over. With tears spilling down my cheeks, and my breath refusing to leave my throat. What else could I have done? As soon as the words had left my lips…I ran. I ran far far away from him. And I haven’t seen him since. I held him so close to my heart, so why had he kicked me out of his? I may have turned into a nightmare he wanted to wake up from, but he will always be the dream that I fall asleep to.

~V.G

 

It’s been almost five years now. I still think of him every day, but I’m sure he’s moved on by now. There’s probably a lucky girl in his life now, that he comes up behind, when she’s drying her hair in the mirror…and whispers, “hey beautiful” into her ear. People that haven’t seen me in years still ask me about him. If we’re still together. And I’m never able to get any words out. I just smile my sad smile, and continue trudging through life. So many people told him that I’m with someone now…but I’m not. I’m as lonely as ever. My only relationship is with my own solitude. I guess he needed more than just me. I still occasionally go back to the pier where we had spent so much of our time. I listen to the waves crash against each other and try to piece myself back together. I’ve found some peace though. I don’t hate him. I know I never will. If I were to completely honest, I still love him. But I’ve grown enough to know that not everything in life comes and stays forever. He was one of those things. I just hope he’s happy. Because that’s all I really ever wanted. I know that God has someone for me somewhere, and I’ll use all the lessons he taught me. And yeah, maybe I still cry in his memory. But one day, I’ll smile again…and everything will be okay.

~V.G

 

Note from the author:

This was one of the best collaborations I have been a part of to date. Me and Vaidehi have very complimentary styles that intertwine perfectly. This is one of many collaborations coming your way. Visit http://www.vaidehigajjar.com to check out her writing. #KayVStrikes

Burn Your Ships

burnships.jpg“The same love you give to people is not the same love you get back”

An old friend of mine once told me that life is like a boomerang; what you throw at it, is what you get back. I agreed with her at the time because it made complete sense to me, but now after my personal life experiences, not so much.

So I ask you, have you ever had unconditional love for someone? When all you wanted was the best for them and for them to be happy, no matter what they did? Their happiness meant so much that if they needed you, you would drop the world for them? If you said yes to the questions above you will understand what I’m about to talk about.

No matter how busy I was, I always made time for every single friend I had in my life. I truly loved all of my friends and wanted to be around for them just in case one of them needed me. Whether it was a break up, family issues, or something as simple as spilling coffee all over their favorite shirt. I always tried to help my close friends in any way, shape, or form because I knew when the time came they would do the same for me. Or so I hoped.

As I said earlier, what you throw at life is what life throws back at you. The boomerang I threw at my friends was love, understanding, compassion and unconditional support. The boomerang I got back, however, was the complete opposite from what I expected. Of course I spilled coffee on myself, I walked into a pole and even fell in public all of which my friends were always there for; until my life took a twist of fate. Suddenly I looked around and never felt more alone in my life. The same people I called my brothers, the same people I would drop the world for, were now suddenly unwilling to drop a party for me, or just text me and see if I’m okay.

With all I was going through, I figured eventually that boomerang would come back with my friends, because this time I needed them. This time I needed a friend, i really did need to go out; but this time, the people I needed no longer needed me. That was a tough pill to swallow but I had to accept the truth. My hard times and downfall were my own problems and nobody else could help me, besides me.

Since a lot of what I went through was alone I often found myself feeling scared and on a hill that had no end. On such days I’d sit on the floor with my back against my bed and would look up at my office chair. I always had a flashback to my father sitting on that very chair, while I sat on the ground as he told me a story. One specific story I remembered a few days ago was about a king who was unable to capture an area of land. The only thing that held the king back from capturing the land, was his own fear and hesitations. He figured that all of his old ways didn’t work so he had to change up his game plan. This time around, he got on his ship with the rest of his soldiers and told them to burn the ships once they got to the island. The soldiers looked at the king with confusion because obviously they needed those ships to get back if the opposing army was stronger. The king then told them, “If we don’t burn our ships, we will run back just like we did last time”. He explained to them, “We can’t have a safety net this time, our only way out is to keep marching forward”. After days of battle, the king and his army were tired, in pain, and aching but they did what they set out to do; they conquered the land that they wanted.

While sitting on my room’s floor I remembered what my father told me and I felt like he was really on that chair, just like he used to whenever he wanted to give me a quick life lesson. As a kid, I thought it was a cool story but now I understood what my father was trying to explain to me. I have to burn my ships and keep marching forward, no matter what people or life throw my way.

Be careful of where and to whom you throw your boomerang. You may not always like the boomerang you get back.

The Blossom Effect

 

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“I blossomed before you and you stopped growing as a whole”

Mistakes of all forms happen and heartaches happen at different magnitudes, but Imagine hearing that from the person you were supposed to marry. I always remember telling her she is my sidekick, my day 1 and wife. We weren’t married and just had the title of boyfriend and girlfriend, but I wanted to do everything with her. Not that I was unable to do it alone, but simply because her being with me, made everything better. There was not a snapchat she didn’t send my way that I didn’t take a screenshot of. There was not a dinner where I didn’t sneak a picture of her. There wasn’t much I didn’t take a picture of because I wanted to hold those memories. Unfortunately, through the process I lost touch with me and my world became her happiness. So naturally, I stopped growing from the inside out. Yes, I figured out my style of clothing and starting smiling more, but that was really about it. Whereas now when I look back at the pictures I can tell the exact moment in time where she lost touch with me. I can tell the exact moment in time where she blossomed and I was the same guy she met. Maybe it’s good thing or maybe it’s a bad thing, i have no idea how to feel about it. I have just come to accept the fact that she blossomed before me.

The unfortunate thing about toxic relationships is it leaves its scars on you permanently. You can move on, you can grow and be different but something about that toxicity, stays with you. The easy way is to blame her, but as a man I have to admit both of us together just didn’t work. I had to swallow my pride and accept the fact that I didn’t do enough to keep her around. I simply became boring and stagnant.

The first year was difficult in all forms because I had to adjust myself to doing things alone. I had to be okay with her doing her own thing or with friends, instead of me. I had to face the truth of me being the same guy as the first day she met. I had not grown in any way, so I really had two options? one , I could drown in my own pain and sorrow(which I was already doing). Two, I could start a new chapter in my life and never hear this ever again.

It’s been two-three years now and those words ring in my ear whenever I relax. Those words help wake me up at 5 am to start the day with pedal to the metal. I have taken out the word tired from my dictionary. I have stopped with relying on others to join me on adventures, if anything I love my alone time. I probably have grown the most this year than ever before because 90% of things I have done all alone.

I was sitting with my father one day and he told me a story about an eagle that wouldn’t fly. The eagle would just sit on a tree branch all day even though it had the ability to fly. The owner then decided to cut off the entire branch and the eagle immediately started to fly. Just as this eagle I was meant to soar but she was my branch and my comfort zone. I held on to her for dear life  because I was too scared to fly and now that I am soaring, I only want to go higher. I only want to try new things and be the best version of myself. If you are in this predicament, i’m telling you, cut off that branch. You can love someone without limits but the day you become stagnant and stay in your comfort zone is the day you will hear what I did. I promise you. The day you start doing things alone, is the day new doors will open for you.

Thank You Guys!

 

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This post is for all of my day one followers, readers and daily visitors on my first blog. I hated you guys when I started because I would receive such harsh words. I hated you guys because I would get 1 view a week, if that. At that moment I figured I have no future so I decided to quit and walk away, which I did. Then 6 months later I realized I’m not a good writer, so I had two options. One, quit and never look back at this idea of blogging or keep practicing until I become better than ever before. So for 6 months I went on hundreds and hundreds of blogs to see what they have. All I did was study my competition and practiced different types of writing. After that 6 month period I made a brand new blog called www.kirfanlive.com under wordpress. This website is my baby, my first love and as we say in urdu my jaan(life). I found my voice here and slowly I figured out my topic of interest in writing. I remember being scared to share my blog or tell my friends because that fear of rejection was still within me. That fear of failure smacking me in the face made me shy and my writing weak. Eventually other bloggers reached out to me and told me they loved my first story about a girl named “Anjali”. That was the push I needed and I started mass sharing my blog. I started waking up to texts of how good my writing is and how much they love this new piece.

April 12th, 2015 I got a notification from wordpress that I got 55 views, I was ecstatic! It was the highest amount of traffic I ever got onto my blog. I felt on top of the world and I was telling everyone how many views I got! I wanted to become even bigger and better  so I decided to make a new website, which would be a platform for artists of all forms to display their work under my label. With no other choice I had to change my first blogs name to www.kirfanspeaks.com and the websites name to www.kirfanlive.com . I eventually signed a writer, poet and two photographers to my brand name, who do not only put out amazing pieces but also promote my writing.

October 23rd, 2016 I got another notification from wordpress, stating that I am averaging 41 views an hour! A few days later I found out that my website is pulling in 600 views on a monthly basis which is split between my personal blog, guest blogs, and men’s fashion!

I am nowhere near the top and I have a long road ahead of me. Regardless, I love all of my kirfanlive followers. You guys have been nothing less than amazing! Seriously, I want to thank everyone on twitter who tweet out my links and keep supporting my journey! Some of you guys made my logos, spread the word and continuously motivated me. Others have messaged me to let me know something I said has helped them in some way. I promise I read all of the emails, texts and messages but sometimes I am unable to reply to everyone. I promise I read everything and everything you guys send my way holds a very special place in my heart and keeps me motivated! Today we are over 500 strong and I promise our family will only get bigger and better! On that note,my dream is becoming a reality because of all of you and I am working hard to bring you guys original content. What started out as writing transformed into a place where you can find art, photography and men’s fashion. Not to forget Kirfanlive poetry and Kirfanlive womens fashion are also dropping soon! Thank you for the love and support! If you havent already please visit www.kirfanlive.com then go to www.kirfanspeaks.com and click follow!

The Corner Store Man

Broken English was what I knew him as. The man behind the counter was nothing more than a the corner store man. He stood tall above the customers only because the counter made him look tall. Bulletproof glass was the only barrier between him and the customers. “Hello buddy” was said to everyone and each time I died inside because he had an accent. I was embarrassed of him and I didn’t want people to know this man was my father. He was nothing but an immigrant who the customers can mock, make fun of and disrespect. I was a young, shy and quiet kid who usually stood in the background because I didn’t want to be noticed. I remember one day a girl from my 5th grade class walked in and I hid under the counter because I thought I would be judged due to my father’s job and accent.

A bad accent was what I knew him as. The man behind the counter would make me broom and mop the store. I hated these tasks because I could hear the whispers of the kids my age laughing. I remember one day I was mopping and I saw this man throw change at the corner store man while he had his hand out to take the change. I remember people throwing racist remarks at the corner store man only because he had an accent. The corner store man would do nothing but smile back and do whatever he can to make the customer happy. I was so embarrassed because I couldn’t defend him. I didn’t know what to say, what to do and how to handle these situations. Instead I grew distant because I did not want to be at the corner store.

As I grew distant, the corner store man and me would only meet for breakfast and maybe dinner. He would always ask me to stop by and help him but I always was too “busy” or made some other excuse. At times I would wish he could just be a doctor or have a “real job”. While I was wishing what he could’ve been he dealt with body aches, back problems and various health problems. I was so blinded and so selfish at the time that I couldn’t notice he would need my help.

I soon went to college and I forgot the corner store even existed. The corner store man not only got me through college but also made sure I never gave up. The corner store man forgot all of his dreams to see me peruse mine. I followed my dreams of becoming a dancer, photographer and writer. I fell so many times during my undergrad career and he was always by my side to pick me up even when I didn’t ask for help. I was an asshole who was so concerned about what he did that I forgot who he was.

Yes, I proudly announce to the world my father is a corner store man but nobody is better at it than him. Yes, he has an accent but he can read, write and speak in 3 languages. The corner store man is not only a proud storeowner but also a son, father, husband and a selfless man who provided education to all of his kids.

As I write this I am standing at the counter greeting the customers who walk in. This time around my father is drinking tea at home while I try to manage the things he does with his eyes closed. My father is what I will always see him as.

For all of my South Asian readers, whose families are in some sort of a family business, show your parents love and appreciate them. The immigrant life is tough and it is not easy by any means. It’s a new language, new culture and pretty much new everything. Never let yourself be embarrassed of how they speak or what they do.