Random thoughts

Lost & finding

I was meeting V after years. After that bitter spat we had almost seven years ago seeing him was sort of intriguing.

While we decided where to meet and I waited for him to hop by the chosen spot, I was anxious to see whether I would recognise him at all. The boy had grown tall, lost his glasses and grown his hair. Three years younger than me he always a little bachha to me. He was one of the few relationships I regretted letting go off. Few of the people who didn’t look at you from the social/moral tinted glasses but for who you really were and didn’t care about it too.

We hugged and settled down by my favourite spot at the Cafe. After pleasantries were exchanged he produced this letter from his pocket. I must have written that almost 10 years ago and he had preserved that in mint condition. The letter was as expected a rant about how conflicted I felt with everything in life. Whether it was home, boyfriend or the other stuff.

After glancing through it I just asked him not much has changed, has it? Here I am still battling to correct the same perspectives. Want to do what is the correct thing to do but don’t have the will to change my lot for myself. Every time you just feel like a failure. The harder you try the stronger you are pushed back.

Reading that letter I asked him how can it be that its been so long and I feel the same. He just said for as long as I know you, you know what the problem is but you don’t have it in you to go get the solution. Your mind wants something and your heart something else leaving you in a constant state of conflict and hence you don’t land up doing anything.

My mind was already in another tangent. Did I waste 10 years of my life over the same things. Why did I hold on to the negative emotions for so long as if it fuelled me, gave me a reason to carry on. I always sought innocence. Always wanted to be with people who were still less disillusioned by the cunningness of the world. That backstabbing nature of making you feel small. Purity of heart always lured me. But was I pure? Did my intentions mean right all the time? Even if I did the right thing, with the right intention I was proven incorrect. I hate lies but every time I tried to be honest I was kicked on the backside for it. It just leaves you frustrated, unsure and uncertain about how or what you should next.

Over the years you lick your wounds and let it heal. You don’t keep scratching it and then say it still hurts. I deal with loss by over thinking each loss. Whether it was the loss of the education I desired, the career I wanted or the ability to tell someone you got what you deserved. We have all but one life and somehow I looked at losses to make it all right. Overthinking and course correcting in a delusional sort of way. I guess it gives us fodder for good stories but not for living reality.

When I was cleaning up the house to move, I found my treasure box with so many memories that I had just hoarded. Each object there was a memory. At times when you try to go to back in time to correct things, things definitely tend to fuck up. Instead, you just accept your mistake, pray for forgiveness and then just let go. As I moved to the next round in life, I threw away lot of memories and still held on to a few. Maybe its importance mellowed down and its utility remained.

Always wondered should you cower down when you know you are right. There is always this question of what is more important, the relationship or your ego. Is it ok to rattle and make things right of years of animosity or is it best left buried as a thing that was not meant to be. Do you need to explain yourself at all times or should you just let it be.

I wonder how many years have I lost trying to find these answers and they still seem to evade me in some odd way.

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Random thoughts

Finding innocence

So I discussed this point of view of innocence with my husband. He just shrugged and said I can’t judge people. They are how they treat me. And if they hurt me for no reason I’ll just walk away after some point.

I felt like screaming my head out and say really, are you REALLY that innocent? He just looked at me with the most adoring puppy face as if sensing an explosion and I smiled. He just had the guts to do what I couldn’t. He values the goodness in somebody more than the bad. He kept his innocence when everyone around him pulled him down. He had faith in himself and came out the better man.

It takes a lot to push him away. If he still believes in you he will come back and fetch you and believe in you with the same conviction he did earlier. Which is a bit weird. At times you feel like just leave me alone. I’m way past being goody goody.

Even in the innocence I found him, I doubt my own. I doubt my ability to trust and open up. Knowing very well that there he is, saying something to me and saying something else behind my back.

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Random thoughts

The darkest conversation

I had just returned home from a long day at the NGO. Mom was waiting to talk to me. The sun was setting and I wasn’t in the mood to talk after the mentally straining day. I went straight to my room and lay down on my bed, letting the street lights stream into my bedroom. I didn’t want to switch on the lights. I just needed some space to collect my thoughts.

I don’t care what you think. I know what has happened was not right and no amount of cajoling would make me apologise.

Mom came in and switched on the light. She said she needed to talk. I told her even if she had to, to please switch off the light. I didn’t want her to see how battered I was. I couldn’t let her have a one up on the conversation. She started speaking of things that didn’t matter and I asked her to come straight to the point. She wanted me to apologise to my brother. I told her no. He apologises to me first.

She wanted to know what for. As if she didn’t know already. She was the one who had caught him in the act and told him what he did was wrong. She said it happened a long time back and I needed to forget about it. I told her if I could it wouldn’t be troubling me all these years later. She then bought up my promiscuity, saying that how come it hasn’t affected that? I just wanted to tell her there is a difference between choice and not knowing what is happening to you. And when you realise what has happened to you it scars you for life.

I tried to explain my point of view the way I would to any parent at the NGO. Just quivering at every word cause it was my mother that I was talking to. My mother who didn’t want to believe what I said, who wanted me to forget everything when I couldn’t. By the end of it she agreed I should see a shrink (officially) and get over with it. If that made me feel better, she said.

In that dark room she made many promises on how she would keep me safe and help me get out of my mess. But as she walked on to the light and till many days later she didn’t act. Thinking that our conversation would help me forget everything.

Years of self loathing and disrespecting myself, I learnt how to cope up and say no. I only regret the years wasted in self destruction. Only if she held my hand then and explained what we explain to survivors now. Only if she told me what good touch and bad touch was instead of shutting me up every time I broached the topic. My childhood memories are tainted with these well defined incidents and somewhere all the happy ones have receded into the black night. As dark as the night of the darkest conversation I had with mom.

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Random thoughts

Holiday home

I lived in the same house from the time I was born till the age of 30. Writing about the same thing again won’t be very interesting. Instead, I think, I’ll write about the house I loved the most. A holiday home. On top of hill in one of the busiest cities in the world – Mumbai.

This tall mountain-like building was one of the finest in the area when Dad bought it. I always thought it was to celebrate my birth. He bought it in the year I was born. All my school holidays were in Flat 3A2. On the first day on summer holidays we would be flown to Mumbai and on the last day flown back.

I loved the size of the place. It was a small flat compared to large house we had in Calcutta. Cosy, comfortable and warm. Everyone was within hearing distance of each other. The living area was always breezy despite the torrid heat outside. I could read all  I wanted on the raised marble slab while everybody watched TV. Idle days, no school, nowhere to go…

The building was divided into two blocks A & B. Both had mesmerising mosaic pillars with suns in the centre. One in yellow and the other in orange. In the B side where the pillar was located, a constant breeze blew. So much so when you stood there around 4 PM with your skates on you moved with the breeze and not with any effort of your own. On the other side was a kid’s play area where I spent most of my mornings making sand castles with the other kids.

A lot of firsts happened during these holidays. I learnt to skate. I was introduced to Roald Dahl. I learnt how to make sandcastles. I learnt to ride a cycle. I learnt calligraphy. I learnt to read newspapers…

By the time I was thirteen my set of friends changed. All who I knew as kids had grown up and moved out.

The place at 12 which was a sketch of a busy city which left you alone grew up to be a small space where you always ran out of time.

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Random thoughts

Understanding someone you just met

Considering I just got married in January, I was surrounded by long lost friends who I had never met before. An old friend of Dad’s who had seen me as a kid or my husband’s school friend who he was meeting after ages. Everybody was so excited about our wedding. And you know the best part, if I meet them again sometime in the future, they expect me to remember their name, their village and how much they enjoyed our wedding! *sigh* Such  is life.

However, the most interesting lot was these friends of my husband. He has various lots of friends. Ones he hangs out with everyday. Ones he parties with once in a while. Ones he drinks with at Clubs only or the ones who are too busy to keep working and he meets them only on special occasions. So one of these too busy to meet unless on special occasions was there.

We had met his parents around Christmas. His father taught my husband swimming. So they were swimming buddies. He promised to come for the wedding but unfortunately couldn’t make it. That said and done he was there for the reception in Bombay. That’s the time I met him for the first time.

He was a podgy short fellow, no taller than I am. Spiked hair, fair eyes and an unbelievable large paunch for a swimmer. That to a state champion but then my husband was a state basketball player and a state football champion and look at him now. He looks like a grizzly bear. But ya, back to his friend. He introduced himself when we were on the stage and started chatting with me like I was his long lost friend.

I did know my husband’s back history with this particular friend and had spoken to him a couple of times but this kind of casualness made me sort of uncomfortable. Expecting me to drink and smoke with all my in-laws in around and in my sort of bridal attire was kind of hilarious. He always leaned slightly back and spoke in the Amitabh Bachchan stance from  Agneepath.

Cut to the day we met him again for drinks and dinner. His wife and another friend and his wife were there. The other couple were dentists and wife is a fashion designer, I think. The seating was such that I was facing the three boys. Grown up with boys I tend to get along better with the other gender in any case. The conversation jumped from how my husband and I met to what I do to why have we decided to settle in Calcutta leaving Bombay etc.

The night continued with drinks pouring and he being magnanimous with the drinks flowing and pulling all stops to ensure we kept drinking after the bar closed. Was kind of a brag. Everything about him seemed so fake. A put on. As if trying to impress his friend’s wife. We shared a smoke outside and he was kind enough to find a matchbox in an empty club. By the greens we connected on paintings. He is an art collector but he collects art to sell later rather than what appreciates value the longer you look at it. Money-minded. Won’t even leave human expression in its purest form out of it. He talks well, enunciates his words carefully and hence always manages to capture his audience and convince him of his genuineness. The evening went of well with glimpses of true self emerging when drunk. The non-caring eyes, the chauvinist who believes his wife is there to take care of him irrespective. The one who is boisterous and obsessive for no reason at all. However, every time he slipped a quick cover up made by his wife.

When we got back my husband got back to Calcutta, he warned me about doing any business with him and that got me wondering which side of his was true. The one he had put on or the one he let slip.

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Random thoughts

For my eyes only…

Too many things to clear, too little time. Moving out in 5 days and have 30 years worth of junk to clean out from hiding places which are long forgotten. I stumble upon this shoebox marked for my eyes only. In there I find letters, many of them sealed and addressed yet unposted. Some were written when we broke up, some when he fell ill and some I wrote just because I missed him once he was gone. My bestest friend and my first love wish I could tell you how life felt without you rather than shy away in this shoebox.

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Random thoughts

The loss

The first thing that struck me about my husband when we met for the first time was his innocence. He reminded me of a younger, naive version of myself. Something I always wanted to go back to but had outgrown by the time I realised what I missed. He reminded me of all that I couldn’t be anymore. Innocent.

Over the years, innocence was slowly peeled, layer by layer, like an old scab. To a point in time you excepted people you could trust to just rip off the bandaid and leave you bleeding. There was always this struggle between the head and the heart. The heart wanted to believe in the goodness the head saw the practicality. The older you grew the practicality took over and there  was no room for goodness.

At times you can’t figure simple things out. Things connected with feelings and emotions and people expect you to know and say don’t act so ‘naive’. But really why the hell will I complicate my life and try and figure out what your twisted mind is thinking. I rather protect whatever torn bit is left of me and stay away. Don’t ask me to think. If you can’t open up and be a man and talk issues out then don’t expect me to know cause I’m not supposed to know. I’m not your mom. Maybe even she doesn’t know what you want cause hey, you never opened your mouth!  Wonder what that has to do with innocence but trust me it is always blamed on you ‘acting’ innocent.

People say you learn from your mistakes. But what if you make the same mistakes knowing it is a mistake and you still want to go through with it? Are you just a believer or simply innocent? What does innocent mean in the first place? Not knowing the ways of the world or simply not accepting it? But then aren’t you smart by not letting yourself get corrupted by the pessimism even though what you are believing in might hurt?

I don’t know these are random ideas, which may throw up in a different light when discussed later. How much later is what we need to wait out and see.

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