Tuesday, December 17, 2013

13 - The Omen

The number 13 has always been bad luck for me. Even if it is just a string in the digits of a year. So yes 2013 and a couple of years before that has been one heck of a roller coaster life journey for me. And I couldn't heave a bigger sigh of relief as all this comes to an end. Finally !

As I bid good bye to all of this, I realized I have changed a lot when it comes to what I have believed in or taken for granted. I am very glad few people decided to get out of my life. And I am more glad I got to kick out some too ! The list is still on, but I am definitely going to do a fool proof plan this time around ! Life doesn't give second chances more than once. I plan to start the new year on a new note. Absolutely !

My take on life as I see it
Family = Blessing !
Girlfriends = Oxygen !
Love = Bullshit !
Attitude = Practice !
Husband = Stranger !
In laws = Torture !
Marriage = Agony !
Men = Opportunists !
Sex = Demeaning !
Money = Therapy !
Food = Happiness !
Work = Heaven !
Nature = Soul-mate !
Dreams = Inspiring !
Nightmares = Frequent !
Dogs = Companion !
ME = THANKFUL !!!!!! I finally make sense of it all. 

Highlight of the year - When my one year old niece hugged me and woke me up in the morning..or was it the moment when the judge said 'I grant the divorce' ?

.. Happy that a crappy year is coming to an end !!! 

Window blinds... Or sees

So the general consensus appears to be that I have either fallen off from the face of earth or killed myself. I can totally understand why this conclusion was arrived at (based on all my previous ramblings), but its actually very weird to get calls every alternate day just to check if I am still alive !

So if it is any consolation,
No - The flight didn't crash as I wanted it to. It flew safely all the way to and fro and I am still living here in one piece.
No - I have no intentions of throwing myself at any oncoming traffic, be it trains or cars.
No - I completely understand that a knife can and should only be used for cutting fruits/veggies and in my opinion the occasionally frequent amazon packages too ;) !

When I was really down in the dumps and wanted to have a conversation, there was not a soul around to even ask me if I was doing Ok. Now when I have settled it all (in my head and otherwise too) and finally managed to make peace with whatever it was all about, I get a zillion questions thrown at me every single day to remind me of something I try not to think of at all ! I have known all along that 'Irony' is the middle name and heck, last name of life too, but why do I have to live through it !

So that said and done, I have survived my first day of winter snow (And yes still in one piece!). There's something magical about December, about Christmas, about this pristine white snow blanket spread all around, the lights. I love it. I wouldn't be anywhere else for winters, but just here! As much as I crib about having to shovel the snow off my car and pavement, I still love every bit of this.

My new found craze is a fact I just learnt recently - Every window has a story to tell.

The passion started off as my curiosity to drive around the neighborhood and see how they have decked up the houses for the holidays. At dusk, almost every house in and around and even far flung are decked up with the most beautiful decorations and lights. But what really caught my attention was the always open one window in every house. It is either the window to the kitchen or the window beside the den with the lighted tree, or the window in the dining area. Every window which was open had a story to tell. Of the people, of the longing, of the holidays, of a year gone by.

The window in the kitchen opened to the scene of a grandmother sipping her cup of hot cocoa (I assume) while browsing the huge album book laid out in the table in front of her. I suppose, like every other holiday previous year, this year too, she has decked up the house beautifully to welcome her children and grandchildren. She sure has done a great job of it !

The window in the den opened to show a huge tree lighted up and decorated with multi colored strings. I could see a child stop his dog from tugging away at the tree. The mother and dad were sharing a nice laugh seeing the two in action.

The dining room scene was pretty much typical of what you would see otherwise too. A family table laid out with aromatic dishes and the family says grace before marveling at the glorious spread.

I decorated my house too. Not a tree. No star. Just a string of lights. I leave them on and I leave my window blinds open too. I am curious to hear the story I would hear from somebody who, like me, would try to come up with.

The story of a single lighted window with a girl looking out to wonder what the world thinks her story would be.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Over the rainbow so high

Up in the sky I go again today.
Will it be too selfish of me to wish 
never to set foot on ground ever again?

It's a lovely fall day. The colors around me are way too pretty.
Maybe the reasons I think of are just simply petty.

Sigh ! Life... why must it even go on?
Up in the sky, again I am on.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Into each life some rain must fall.

It was raining heavily the day he was to leave.

It wasn't meant to. But it did. Just like how he wasn't supposed to. But he did.

Look, the sky is pouring out my tears. I guess it is also as sad as I am that you are leaving.

He did not look my way. But he sure sent his reply my way.

No. Those are the tears of my joy falling from the sky. Because I am leaving.

He had an answer. For everything. Except me.

Roses are red and Violets are blue.

Scarlet - Some words are beautiful just because of the way they sound.

I read 'Gone with the wind' when I was too young, way younger than I would prefer to admit.
But amazingly, it made sense to me. Even then. Maybe that is why I got drawn to this illusion called love - Fool's paradise.
Paradise maybe. But a fool nevertheless.

Early 90's. He used to visit our apartment once a month. With a bundle of sorts. Folded 5 yards of fabric in every color and material.

Installment Velu - that's what the women in the complex called him.

Tugging the heavy bundle, he would make his way to the open area beside the entrance. Velu's saree mela, I had named it. To myself.

I didn't think he would take a 8 year old seriously, even if she went up to him and offered to buy a saree.

'Scarlet velu anna. Do you have a saree in scarlet color?'

I was too young to explain to him what the color was. 
He was not educated enough to figure out what it meant.

From then, we had our parade.

He would try to bring a different shade each time since then. A new shade neither him nor I had seen.
'Is this your scarlet little one?'

I always replied in the negative. I had no idea if it was or not. But I knew that saying yes would put an end to this new game in my life. And my new friendship.

His reply had always been the same 'If we don't find your color now, I promise you it will be my wedding gift to you ok little one. You will wear it on that day.'

Now I know what scarlet looks like. It's been many years. 

I have seen plenty of 5 yards of beautifully woven, intricately worked fabric of that color in the gazillion retail outlets. But I could never bring myself to buy any of them. I wanted the scarlet saree an old friend would have gifted to the 8 year old.

I was supposed to walk down the aisle in my scarlet saree. He never gifted me one for that, when I walked down it for the first time. Maybe the walk was never supposed to have been. Maybe it was all jinxed from the start. A jinx I put on when I was 8.

I should have bought a scarlet saree after all. Maybe my life would have been different.

Dream your dreams with your eyes closed.....

....but live them with your eyes open.

Dream catcher.

That's what he told me it was. Comes in any color I may want.

Hang it above your head when you go to sleep. It will filter your dreams. The mesh won't let the bad dreams come to you. Only the good ones can reach you. It will be like living a fantasy.

I smile at him. Seeing his enthusiasm in trying to get me to buy one.

It isn't rocket science to figure out that I am a sucker for anything which sounds even remotely fantasy.

I don't have any bad dreams when I am asleep. I have to live through them when I am awake. Do you have anything to filter those? I ask him.

Now he smiles back at me. I guess he has understood why I am in the 'fantasy' aisle now. 

Or rather - Do you have a dream catcher I can use to filter somebody else's dreams? As the name goes, shouldn't it be something I can use to catch another person's dream? I would most certainly need one in that case. I desperately need to get into somebody's mind. A one somebody who didn't want me to be in his mind.

He moves on to the next customer.

I really must stop talking to strangers !

Monday, October 14, 2013

I love you. Thank you.

I knew I would be ridiculed for this. For a very long time to come. But I also knew, I couldn't stand one more day without knowing it. It was too much to take. I knew my side of the story. I had to know his. And I wasn't going to wait around for him to do it.

I realized I would be breaking every rule in the book by taking the first step. But it was easier to justify my conscience than a group of jobless people who came up with a silly rule book in the first place.

Ever so gingerly, I finally took the initiative. Without much drama, I summarized my life's biggest truth. To him. In just 3 beautiful words. I Love You.

I was expecting a Yes. Or a No. Or even a Maybe. But I was not prepared for a Thank You.

Where does one go from here now?

He came back to me. Eventually. But his answer was still a Thank You.

Does one say Thank you after making love? I wish I did. To him. After our first time. 

Because now, there is no other way to make him understand how I feel.

When a heart breaks, it never breaks even.

I must stop writing about him.
Maybe the next time.
so here again, I simply try to skim
with just about anything to rhyme.

I try to make stories of people whose only offense,
was to have come in my line of vision.
But when that fascination ceased to make any sense,
I realize, I still never refrain from indecision.

I have spent hours watching my mobile,
willing it to ring.
Most often, it's just the time digits beneath the label
changing with a sting.

So I've broken words and hearts of course,
with absolutely no remorse.
But now I stand on the curb side, much worse
with a tearing pain I wish I could outsource.

I have clearly abandoned any misconceptions
about this illusion called love.
For it definitely comes with no directions,
and is just the beginning to be the end of.

so who says a rhyme should always rhyme,
Can't it just be about a bad time?
Even though the beauty of the night is still sublime,
I really must stop writing about him !!!

Ps: Note to myself - I suck at poetry !

Friday, October 11, 2013

I want to wake up where you are....

They had recently moved in to the house next door. I overheard people say that she was a young widow. I was too young to understand what that meant. I was maybe 7 or 8. Too young to fathom heart breaks or the loss of a husband/lover. But I knew she cried a lot. I saw it in her eyes every time I ran into her. They were always red and puffy. She tried her best to smile at me, but somehow the smile never reached her eyes. Her smile always left me more uncomfortable than her teary eyes.

She was young. Too young to spend her days behind a shut door. She was lonely. I think she sensed my loneliness too. We had nothing in common. But she left her doors open for me. I would sit and sip the warm cup of milk she made for me, while she would be lost in her thoughts. She would reheat her cup of tea atleast 5 times, but before I left, I could see her pour down the still full cold cup of tea down the drain. I can count the number of words we had exchanged, but I think the presence of another living person in the room gave her a sense of comfort. A reassurance. Or maybe it is the innocence of my non-judgmental age that she preferred.

For a change, I saw her smile one evening. It was amazing how that one smile of hers managed to put an even brighter one on my face. Excited, I hurried to her house. She had laid out the table with quite a spread. She told me it was all his favorites. It was his birthday.

I was his favorite too, she said. He liked it that I didn't hurt his young wife. So he had wanted me to keep her company on his special day. His 2 special ladies, she told me. And ever so lightly, she gave a laugh. The first one in months. Or maybe years. I had no idea.

For the first time since I had known her, my little mind was curious to hear more about him. This person, who had been her life and whom she still missed so dearly. Or so I thought. She denied it. She still has conversations with him, she tells me. He is still around, she knows it. She hugs a sweater tightly. She can still smell him, she tells me.

She wants to tell me more, I know. But then she knew I was too young to understand. Now I wish she had told me more.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Definitely not in the stars..or in this lifetime.

The place was not on my way. I had to take a big detour if I even had to see it's signboard. But atleast thrice a week, on my way home from work, I try to make it through that area.

By dusk, she turns on the neon lights. It doesn't look welcoming at all. The entire place had a very aloof look about it. Despite being in a busy neighborhood, the house stood empty, forlorn..almost forgotten.

I had discovered it by accident. I was on a house hunt and had to drive through the community. It's been over a month now since I first saw the place. I could never muster the courage to go up the pathway and open the door. I feared of what lay inside.

But today, I had to keep myself occupied. I needed to divert my attention. So on my way back, I took the detour and instead of driving past it as had been habit, I parked beside and walked up. I knew that if I hesitated even for a second, I might not want to step inside. So I walked in as fast as I could, making the cold fall evening my excuse.

I was expecting to see a multi-colored, dingy, ill lit, scary place. Instead I saw a very cozy and quaint living room. Seated on a teak wood desk by the side of the room, I saw her.

'Where's your crystal ball' - I ask her even before any introductions.

She had the sweetest laugh.

She beckoned for me to take my seat. I obliged. And repeated my question.

'I don't have a crystal ball. But I read from the cards and your hands' - She answered.

'So then you are not a psych.Psychic readings should be from the crystal ball' - I was my stubborn self. Even to a complete stranger.

'Are you expecting any miracles' - Her question was as abrupt as my indignant query on the crystal ball.

I guess my silence was good enough an answer for her.
From the extended deck of cards, I hastily picked out one for her.

'I saw it in your eyes the moment you walked in. I have seen very few people with this aura. Do you want to hear it?' - I guess it is the beauty of her profession. To talk in riddles.

I know I have to pay her either case. So I decided to hear her out.

'In the olden days, we would have called it a gypsy curse. I don't know if you modern folks would like to believe it or not. But you have that curse. You are cursed when it comes to the matters of your heart. You are cursed to be loved by people you can never love back. And the love of your life will never love you back'.

Like I had to pay her 10 dollars to hear what I have known all my life ! So much for wanting a distraction from the killing pain in my heart. Period.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I am done crying.. for today. Tomorrow is yet to dawn.

For a girl, I am quite stuck up. In fact, maybe even arrogant.

So when I finally let my tears gush, I regret the fact that it had to be in front of him.

I hate to admit that he had his victory. And he loved the fact that he relished my defeat.

As reluctant as I am, I always let him come back to me.

But for someone as detached as him, turning back was never difficult.

In the end, it is always my broken self left alone to loathe in self pity.

And yet one more time, I disguise it all over again as my arrogance.

Maybe, for a girl, I am a good actor too.

Miserably ever after ???

Well,I had seen this one coming. After being repeatedly questioned on this. I decided to make it a note to my next post.

Why are all my posts sad/about broken hearts/lost love/depressing topics. Why can't I write about happier stuff?

So..here's my answer to it. Misery likes company. I have never heard of any such phrase when it comes to happiness. And it's not like all my posts are tear jerking or nerve wrecking. I like to think that my writing is a queer mix of humor, sarcasm and the occasional pain or numbness. Well mostly sarcasm? I find no joy in writing about how happy I am. I am sure I won't have anything to write on that topic for more than a day ! I am thankful for all the blessings in my life, but again who wants to read about that either.

My regular day is very average. So I have no new awesome topics to explore. Hence I stick to the ordinary and easily relatable areas of human emotions which I am sure every person would have experienced atleast once in this lifetime.

And oh if it helps, maybe this one poem I had memorized as a kid might be a better answer to the question.

“Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child born on the Sabbath Day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay. “

When I had read this for the first time in my life, I guess I was around 8 or 9. And even though my mom knew my date of birth and the year of birth and even the time of birth, she had absolutely no clue which day of the week it was. So the optimist in me preferred to believe that the fateful day was a Sunday. For a long time I grew up with that firm belief. But eventually I did find out the day of the week. Any guesses?

Monday, October 7, 2013

The day I let you go

Have you ever met somebody and felt that the person was absolutely perfect?

So inspite of my friends advising me that going for his wedding was a terrible mistake, I still had to.

He was my Mr.Perfect. 
I had to make sure his wedding would be too. Also his bride.

I could have been the most beautiful girl at the venue and he still would have never given me a second look.

I saw the perfect love in his eyes. For his perfect bride. In her perfect finery.
I saw them share that perfect smile. That one moment of solitude which was just theirs even amidst the sea of people around them.
I saw the way he used every opportunity he could, to hold her hands.
I saw him desperately try to get her to give him one more look, each time.
I saw him perfectly happy. For the new life he had chosen.
I saw he couldn't wait for tomorrow to dawn. To wake up beside his perfect wife.
To start his perfect new life.

This sinking feeling I have in my heart, maybe it's the perfect pain? Self inflicted. Because it was too perfect to let go of. No matter how hard it hurts.

Break the heart into a zillion pieces a hundred times and the idiot still refuses to let go of it's optimism. Maybe that is it's way of being perfect.

So I give one last look at the one person who wanted to be in my world no more and I walk out into the perfect night. A night which neither him nor I will ever forget. 
Him for finding his love and........ me, for seeing mine with his.

That perfect evening... One I hope I never have to live through again.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

No affair can ever start with an 'I Love You'.

It was too good to be true. From the very beginning.

I had never felt so happy ever before. I had never known such contentment before.
I never knew I could care for someone the way I felt for you.

I knew it was a sin to be this happy.
So I constantly feared what it would take for all this to end.

Apparently, all it took to end it, was for me to tell you 'I Love You'.

Unceremonious harmony

I had always been accused of talking too much. Of being too expressive. Why then did I have countless unsent letters and emails ?  Guess I was just not expressive enough to the right people. Or maybe with the right words. Or probably my expressiveness is what drove them away in the first place.

I am very selfish when it comes to sharing. Especially myself. I know that love leads to pain, so I try to steer clear of that path. Unfortunately, even he believed that too. 
Guess it was simply a cursed union from the beginning itself. 

After all, when 2 selfish hearts decide to try and create a rhythm, it's just a matter of time before the tune falters and the loneliness creeps back in.

To him these were just words, but to me they had become companions - the hurt, the pain, those terrible sleepless nights, the frustration, the sorrow, the longing, the emptiness, the sense of failure.

As easy as it was for him to walk out so unceremoniously from my life, I had no clue how I was supposed to stop loving him. One fine day. 

True, he had never promised me anything. He hadn't cared a damn about me. But love was no bargain or a deal. And so for a long long time, I still continued to love him...even long after he stopped.

I realized how scared I was of loving. Again.

I should have never stopped being selfish. 
Even with him.

Especially with him.

A date with IKEA

So I guess it can be safely concluded by one and all that I am not the kind of girl who keeps my word. I like to talk big. But I am glad that my marathon even reached  8 days. That's generally more than most things which have caught my attention or devotion. So I guess this definitely is a first.

Today as I sit to type this, I have wood splinters in every finger of mine, grazed skin on knees and elbows, black and blue in more than 4 places on myself, nail wounds on my toes, a back I can barely manage to sit upright with and a hand I can hardly move. As much as I would love to claim that I had been to fight for a noble cause, the truth is, I was just simply setting up a house.

The ordeal began last Friday when I stepped into IKEA to buy furniture for my new place. With a list as long as the tresses of Rapunzel, when I reached the self serve floor of IKEA, for a complete ten minutes I stood in the middle of the floor completely helpless and lost. The first box I was supposed to have in my cart was a freaking 56 lbs crate which apparently could be transformed to my bed frame. After much struggling and tugging, I managed to have it sit in the push along cart I had picked up. Finally 2 hours later, I had 4 carts of boxes, a sprained hand and a bump on my forehead where my supposed to have been bookshelf had come tumbling down.

Without even trying to figure out if I wanted to fit them in my car, I simply walked over to the home delivery section and had them send it over.

The fun began on Saturday when I started to unpack each box and assemble them. I had 13 in total. I knew it was going to be a long long week. So I set my mobile at it's loudest and started my work. This was the first time in my life I was holding a screwdriver or a hammer (I guess India literally pampers us when it comes to any kind of manual work !). The first couple of hammer hits, as you might have already guessed, was correctly aimed on my unsuspecting left hand. Even a week later, it's still blue. And my bookshelf still has the dent in it !

I spent hours drilling in nails and trying to hold the shelves in place. I had most of the heavy pieces falling on me every time I moved them around. I lost count of the number of times I had the joints hit my head and the shelves I broke. I didn't bother to wipe the tear stained marks on my completed assemblies. At-least not yet.

Except for one box, every other instruction leaflet in the other boxes clearly indicated the sign to illustrate that this work should not be done by one person.

But hey, I guess I was just out to prove them wrong.

Anyways, one week later, as I sit and look around my new home (The theme was sweet and simple), I feel an overwhelming sense of appreciation for myself. I have never felt so proud ever before. As terrified as I am that the sofa might tumble down if I sit on it or that the bed might crack if I try lying down or that the chair might just give away (because I know exactly what and how it is being held in place and who put it there !) I cannot stop feeling this joy in coming back home every day. To my home. A place I literally built in piece by piece. On my own.

 A new place to have new beginnings probably. Or to completely end any old ones.

The place is now a reminder to me that maybe life doesn't have to be so bleak after all. And that I am not a total failure in getting back up and starting again. Maybe there is hope for me after all. 

And who says you need to be with somebody to be happy. I guess I was too hasty in getting the queen sized cot.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

8 - Married... on paper !

I haven't used this warning in any of my recent posts and I am very thrilled to say it now :). This is a long post. Tread on it only if you want to venture the risk.

Of all the roles I knew I would have to take in my life, the one of a marriage 'counselor' was something I was totally unprepared for. And to be honest, among the least favorite in my list too.

So it came as a bit of a shocker to me when I received this intriguing message in my inbox a few days ago, from a friend. Short and crisp. Point was simple. Somebody who has decided to embark on a journey for a lifetime and who wanted advice on how to handle this new phase in life. Who better to answer that than somebody who can tell you exactly on how 'not' to handle things in a so called marriage.

Combine this with my love to blabber anything verbally or in the written media, and voila !! I become the new master in this session.

After reading my pages long reply, I was advised to put it up here, as apparently nobody else could have summarized it this well. As flattered as I was (honestly the irony here simply sucks! To be complimented on being good in explaining something you were accused of being bad at !), I figured I do not want to put it all up here because honestly to a certain extent it is an invasion of privacy.

 However, there was one question in the reply which really intrigued me and I wanted to ponder over it. Again, it was straight forward and point blank 'Would you be open to trust someone again'?. Before I embark to find an answer to it, I would like to post a few lines here on my first reply to my friend.

The opening statement in it, I believe was as honest and frank as I could have possibly put it.

Marriage is not about being with the most perfect person. It is about being with that one imperfect person, who's every imperfectness you are absolutely happy putting up with because there is that one little aspect in him/her which makes you want to go back to them every single day.

The day you realize this truth is when you are ready to pave the path for a lifelong commitment of agreeing to live with that person under the same roof for the rest of your life.

But, and this is a very big clause here, you also need to be able to realize the difference between a pure plain imperfectness and downright brutality. No relationship is precious enough to taunt or torture the other, emotionally or physically.

Lay your cards on the table upfront, in the beginning itself. Don't wait to give any surprises after tying the knot. You are literally trapping the other person that way.

This is that one person in your life you should learn to be absolutely honest with. He or she is the one who is going to see you vulnerable, see your fears, hear your anger, wipe your tears, share your joys and have children with. This other person has every right to know what exactly they are getting into and what to expect. So ground rule.. BE HONEST, at-least with your spouse, even if you know it might kill you. Eventually these things have a way of working themselves out.

And please for the sake of harmony, it is always best to remember that this person had a life before you came into it. Friends, family, colleagues, hobbies, likes, dislikes. Don't try to change it all in a day or 10 years. Instead try to merge into.

Learn to trust. Question him/her when you feel you are getting lost. Appreciate when you feel you are trusted. Giving and taking..goes a long way. And it is always wise to remember that not every discussion has to be an argument.

This should be that one person you are happy waking up with every morning. Not somebody you detest going to bed with.

Last but not the least, forget every single bollywood masala you have ever seen in your life. These have a way of ruining your life in a way you would never expect.

No, marriage is not about having your husband calling you hundred times in a day to tell you he loves you. There will be no background music or colorfully clad beautiful ladies coming to sing and dance for you each time he does something romantic. He is not going to come home and swipe you off your feet every evening and walk around carrying you in the house. He would rather spend his time to ensure that he can provide for you and keep you happy under his roof.

For the men, no, your wife is not going to wake up every morning looking like aiswarya rai or priyanka chopra. She is going to have puffy eyes, stretch marks and frizzy hair. She is not going to walk around the entire day looking like a model in the runway. There will be days when she might even refuse to change out of her pajamas. But she would rather spend her time to maintain a neat place you can come home to every evening. To make sure you have fresh sets of clothes every morning. To ensure that you eat good food every day.

Every marriage works on one simple rule. Do not set individual expectations. Get together and make it a journey. Not a means to achieve some expectation you set when you were 18.

And yes, I know these are all easier said than done. But hey, haven't we managed to get along all these years doing things we didn't want to in the first place. Like I said, few things have a way of working themselves out. And few, let's just say is better when not worked out. It's a choice of being wanted or unwanted.

Geez..by writing all this here, I think I just aged 40 years ! Crap !

And oh..as for my answer.. I don't think I have one yet.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

7 - A husband's wife

‘He’s at it again. I don’t know how you put up with it’
My 12 year old walks in to the kitchen with this declaration.

With hands elbow deep in the kitchen sink trying to clean up the remnants of the day’s breakfast, I turn back to give her a look.

‘You are not allowed to talk like that about him’ – I chide her.
‘Well, then somebody has to tell him he needs to change. I hate school, but I hate being at home more. I am just choosing the better of the 2 evils when I leave this house every morning’.

I guess it’s this taken for granted feeling that my mother had warned me about. Or probably my baby thinks that after the immense pain I suffered in bringing her out into this world, nothing she does or says could hurt me more.

With no further hurtful words, she left the house, to a world of her own.

I am still doing the dishes, but my mind wanders.

I could hear him upstairs, cursing and hurrying.

Maybe it is because he grew old. Or maybe it is because he grew old with me.

I wonder if he would have been like this had he been married to any of the other girls from the numerous names signed in his precious book collection. Each time I found him lost in thought, I had always wondered which one of those pretty faces he was missing.

I hear the front door slam shut. His way of letting me know that he was out of the house.

I couldn't have asked for a better start to my 16’Th anniversary day. A day forgotten both by my husband and daughter.

All it took was less than a minute for the water to go down the drain…in one swift gush.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

6 - Impossible....For us.

It was ideal. 

He liked her. She liked him. He made her smile. 

They could talk. And she wanted to. 
She hoped he wanted it too. Or so she thought.

He was in a new affair. A new face. A new name. Everyday.
And she wondered, if they were all very pretty and intelligent.
It bothered her so much that she never asked him, ever.

She was... well, out of an affair. 'Relationship', if you don’t find that word comfortable.

She enjoyed today with him. Tomorrow she stored up conversations to repeat to him. The day after existed too, but not very clearly. 

She dwelt on 'maybe'.

For a person who wasn't able to love someone whom she was in love with, being faithful had never been an issue. 

For someone who was self protective, he didn't want to love. And he wasn't sure if he wanted her to love him. He might be unfaithful. 

Everyone except the two of them knew it was love.

She really didn't know. She knew she could. She didn't know if she already had.

He didn't. Or maybe he didn't know. That's what he said. Or pretended. 

Looking was easy. Seeing was incomprehensible. 

Author's Note, 26'th september 2013
I saw this lying in my drafts folder. Tweaked it a bit and posted it here. Now I wonder if this was all entirely my work. Trying to figure out how and why it's been in my draft's folder for the last almost 4 years :(.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

5 - Chapatti and ice cream for one please

‘She will have one chapatti and the Dal. I will have 1 plate chicken Dum biriyani with 2 eggs and the boondi raita'.

I sat bewildered and before I could react, the petite dainty waitress was already on her way to the next table to take orders.

‘Are we on a budget here? ‘ – I ask him.
‘No. Why do you ask’
‘Well cause, I would have preferred to eat more than just one chapatti and 3 spoons of dal’. I couldn't hide the sarcasm from my voice. Nor the pangs of my hunger.

He started laughing.
I didn't see the joke.
He looked my way and he realized I wasn't joking.

‘Are you serious? Come on now, you are a girl’.
Now I burst out laughing.

He looked offended. Apparently that wasn't my cue to laugh. Nor was it his attempt at making a joke.

‘Do explain’. I urge him.

‘You know. Girls never have more than chapatti. In fact they cannot even have the one chapatti. In all my other dates, I have had the girls waste away so much food, I felt my fingers burn when I paid for it from my wallet. ’
‘Moreover. You don’t need to have a healthy appetite. You can do with a bit of dieting. After all, isn't it a fad among all girls to be on constant diets?’

He was proud in displaying his wisdom on what he assumed was unique to the species called ‘girls’.

‘So who exactly wrote this rule book that you are quoting from?’ I can never resist being sarcastic when it comes to any ‘Mr. Know it all’.

‘Hey! it’s general knowledge. Girls don’t like to eat. There is nothing for you to take offence on.’ He still stood his ground.

‘Well, I am not sure I understand your point, but are you telling me that being a girl, I shouldn't feel hunger?’  - I needed him to clarify.

‘Yes. Girls are all about being dainty. I am surprised you are even arguing with me on this fact. Girls don’t argue and girls don’t have a big appetite’.

For the rest of the dinner, I ate my 1 chapatti in silence.
As my reward, after dinner, I hear him tell the waitress ‘1 black-current ice-cream for the lady here please’.

I am not a fan of ice creams but I absolutely hate black-current.

However, I do know a lost cause when I see one. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

4 - Love at first sight

I was just taking a stroll in the aisle with no particular intention in mind. And that is when I laid eyes on the most beautiful creation, tucked away in a corner of the shelf. I am guessing no one had a chance to see it, cause if they were to, it wouldn't be lying there still..for me.

Love at first sight.. on the most beautiful bracelet I had seen. It had all my favorite colors. The pattern was delicate. 

The price was outrageous. But I knew I had to own it. At any cost. Even if it meant I go hungry for the next 2 days.

And that is how I bought my love home, even though the affair was just a few minutes in the billing counter.

The prettier it gets, the tougher it is to flaunt.

I spend the next 6 hours trying to clasp it on my hands. Desperately.

After the multiple futile attempts I decided to venture out and knock on his door.

'I need you to clasp this on my hands for me. Please'.

Apparently it was funny. Cause he couldn't stop laughing. 

He was still amused. Even long after I left the place, with the bracelet still in my bag.

The lady in the counter questions me 'But I thought you totally loved this piece when you got it'.

'Yeah. But you really should put a tag on it - Not suitable for singles/living alone'.

I think she understood. Without another word, she processed the returns and the money was back onto my card.

The bracelet was back in the safe corner of the shelf. Now I know why it was still there, all this while, despite being so beautiful.

I was just taking a stroll in the aisle with no particular intention in mind.

3 - Third time is the charm

As I hit the backspace key on my laptop for the hundredth time, I hit the table in frustration. It's been over 2 hours that I have been staring at the blank compose page of my Gmail and trying to get a start. I knew this would be difficult, but I had no idea it would be this difficult.

I had typed 'Dear'. But I knew it wasn't fair, not to me ..or him. I wasn't 'dear' to him anymore and now I wasn't sure he was mine either. But I didn't know any other way to address him. After all, we had been dear to each other.. until just a few days ago.

I wasn't given any rule book when I fell in love. I didn't know there were if's and but's. After all I hadn't planned on falling in love and least of all, with him.

But it happened, even if neither of us had planned for it.

I remembered the fun times we had.

Like the time he voted to cook dinner and made me my favorite green bean salad. I liked it spicy. He knew it. But the first bite I took was not the bean, but the big green chilli sliced exactly like the bean. After gulping down glasses of ice cold water, we both laughed over it for hours...even while munching on the take out pizza we treated ourselves to.

I was the one who taught him how to shop. I made him realize that there is a whole new world besides the one faded blue jeans. 

He was no drop dead hunk, but he definitely was a charmer.

I had been the envy of my friends for landing this dreamboat.
I had believed it too...until the first time it happened.

It was a day not different from any other regular day. But I had been late for a meeting with his friends. I got held up in traffic. Not my fault. I knew he would be pissed, but there was nothing my smile couldn't change. Or so I thought.

The extended arm was coming for a hug is what had occurred to me. But when I felt the heat gush up to my cheeks, I felt my head reeling and time stood still..for what felt like an eternity.

In the middle of the dinner table with his friends seated, in clear view of all the guests in the classy restaurant, he had slapped me..for being 20 minutes late.

My head and dignity told me not to stay on, but my heart bade me to pull the chair and take the seat beside him. To be a lady, his lady. Even if he was not gentle or a man now.

The dinner conversation continued, but I was not a part of it. Not anymore.
He walked out with his friends and I came home.

I waited the next 28 hours for his call. For an apology. He never called. 

Despite all the warning bells in my head, I still made the call. He answered and spoke to me like he would have..on any normal day.

It took me a while, but I conceded. After all, he was still making plans with me.

Maybe he was just waiting for an opening to break the rule or maybe be liked the fact that I didn't question him. But he believed that the harshness of his rough hands on my delicate face was a right which being in a relationship bestowed on him. 

A right he felt to walk away from, if I reacted.

Third time's the charm they say. That's when I knew there would be a fourth and a fifth and maybe a tenth too. This time, I didn't wait to find out or for him to walk out. I was the first to walk out.

And that is when I ended up alone, staring into my laptop, completely unsure on if and how to invite him back.

After all, he had walked out on me a thousand times, but the first time I walked out was when he decided to end it all.

Maybe this was a clause in the rule book they are given when they are born superior. 'It takes a girl to walk out, for the relation to end.'

I honestly don't know if it's the boon or bane of my species. But I do know for a fact that the pain and humiliation is no lesser than what they might feel too.

Anyhow, the email stayed on in my drafts folder...incomplete and unsent.

I knew the scar on my face will heal in a few days. I knew the pattern now. This wasn't the first scar. But I was finally glad, this would be the last.

Friday, September 20, 2013

2 - Oceans apart and ever so close

‘Ammaaaaa’  I shriek into the phone.

‘hmmmm’ she replies.

OK tell me. So how have I pissed you off today?

What on earth are you doing with your blog? What are you writing in there? Your blog is viral again. I am tired of replying to people for your actions.

Whaattt…? Sunny Leone can get away being a porn star. Poonam Pandey can get away with stripping in public? I cannot get away with a simple blog? Since when did life get so unfair?

I don’t care. They are not my daughters. You are. And with this blog of yours, how in the world are we supposed to find a decent alliance for you?

But amma, if I wanted an alliance I would be writing in XYZmatrimony.com and not blogspot.com. And frankly, my blog should be the least of your worries in hitching me now.

"Paayaram parayalla ahangaari" (I had to put it here in the original dialect. It translates to ‘Don’ t talk arrogance’). I should have been spanking you when I had the chance. You wouldn't have grown up to back answer me like this now.

Well. You should be thankful I didn't know any child welfare society’s number as a kid. Else I am sure you would still be serving time for all the hits and miss during our maths teaching regime.

You should get a daughter just like you. I hope at-least she can teach you a lesson.

Ah yes ! So can I go ahead and adopt one.. pleaseee??

I don’t have the time for your nonsense now. Go find somebody else to irritate. I am off.

Without even waiting for me to say bye, she cuts the call. And as I sit in my car waiting for the signal to turn green, I could picture my mother’s face, from the other side of the globe, looking into the phone she just hung up on and smiling away.

My mobile beeps again. WhatsApp.

‘Drive carefully. Don’t eat Junk food. Don’t go out late’ and now I am smiling too.  
After all, it’s a mother’s heart.

I didn't have to hunt high and low for my guarding angel. I had found mine just around the corner, in the most beautiful place on earth.. Home!