Depression to Now!

When I came in contact with the external world through my foreign job in Malaysia, I was 26. Within few days of being independent, I realized that there is a huge gap between me and now. More often, I dwelled in the past. Through my new kith, I began to recover but the 26 years of grooming depression still pulled me back.

In early 2010, after being alone in Malaysia for a few months, I began to look out for a useful hobby that I could enjoy and improve on throughout my whole life. I chose writing. From childhood to that moment, all the writing I did was only academic.

I began to write movie reviews, then English translation of Tamil short stories and gradually came across a very warm poetry online literary journal, Muse India which ran and still runs a Your Space column for aspiring writers to share their literary works on a daily basis. It greatly influenced me to write free verses and share with them, I was rewarded too at times.

Through Your Space forum, in July 2010, I happen to read few haiku which impressed me as those were full of lives and brought joy to me. I was struck for few days in those haiku images. It gave me a reason to live every moment to the fullest to experience these little extraordinary moments myself. As I began to read more and more haiku, I began to observe extraordinary moments myself, my life got better as I began to use my senses effectively and I was speeding towards now more often.

Though I began to try my hands on haiku and share it in Your Space, Muse India: it took me six months to write a technically correct haiku.

winter twilight –
homing mynah
over my backstroke

Those days, my favorite and only exercise was swimming during the weekends at my condominium pool. I began to craft my experiences into haiku and above is one such haiku that beautifully fell in place and my first haiku to get published in an international haiku journal. I had to wait for three months till December 2010 to see it in print though. It was the longest wait in my life and the excitement I had when I saw it published cannot be expressed in words.

In 2011, I opened myself to international haiku scene and had more success through Simply Haiku, The Heron’s Nest and Magna Poets etc. I spent easily twelve hours a day on haiku throughout that year.

uphill walking ...
she takes me into
winter clouds

In 2012 I returned back to India permanently for personal reasons and my parents saw a new me and they were in awe on my significant improvement in health (body, mind and soul). Since then, I made it a habit to go for nature trips like wildlife safari, birding, visiting landscapes etc., as part of my bi-annual vacation. Most of my haiku are from those experiences.

my child stretches
the end of play

night blossoms
the elders swing dance
in the neighborhood

I also began to attend poetry festivals in various parts of India to read my haiku and more often I use Senryu to break the ice before reading the haiku with the literary audience. Organizers began to invite me often as they saw haiku providing a unique variety to the poetry audience.

working from home ...
my child asks if she can
study from home

Above Senryu came to me through my wife, that Friday (winter) morning, I was actually stretching my sleep. When my daughter enquired about me, my wife said that I would be working from home today to which my daughter replied she will also study from home.

autumn sky
patches of twilight
in the falling leaf

Another haiku from my direct experience with an autumn moment. The moment I reached my office desk, I penned this haiku; this scene happened while I was on the drive to my office.

The haiku seed I planted, six years back, has grown tall and wide and now it is in my veins, blood and everywhere within me and became me or rather I became the aesthetics of haiku. 2016 has been a phenomenal year so far with few international first prizes and with the amount of time I consciously invested in it and it has become subconscious now.

year's end
the spot I revisited
within me

I am seeing number of improvements in various aspects of my life; continuously improving consciousness is a direct benefit of reading and writing haiku; significant improvements in my personal, family, financial, general and spiritual life. While I continue to grow on these life aspects, I also sense that I am continuing to get detached from the materialistic values with time.

Giving me back to me is the biggest gift that haiku gave to me.

spring silence with every breath returning me

how many
breaths do I have left ...
spring stars

No matter where I am, I dedicate the Saturdays to crafting haiku. Some of my best haiku has come on the mornings of Saturday. Before and after writing haiku, I always sense a change in me; better alignment of my mind, body and soul.

spring cleaning
the shelves
of boxed grudges

I am continuing to write on my direct experience with nature, kith, poverty, spirituality, and foible.

As I have personally experienced cure from depression through haiku, in addition to meditation being used as a medicine for psychological illness in west, reading and writing haiku as a way to cure psychological illness could also be explored for healthy living.

waters of spring
father backstrokes
into healthiness

haiku credits:
winter twilight - Gean Tree, uphill walking – Magna Poets, twilight – Frogpond, night blossoms - Modern Haiku, working from home ... - Cattails, autumn sky - AHG, year's end - THN, spring silence - Haiku Presence, how many - WHR, spring cleaning - Modern Haiku, waters of spring - Acorn.