Saturday, June 14, 2014

To Hate, With Love.

This was not my favorite city in the world. I had always been a 'Paris' kind of girl. Terribly in love with romance. And the cold. A quaint cafe, my book, his smile and a cup of coffee. This would have made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

So when I set foot in the best city of the world, I was determined to hate it with all my heart. Every single thing about it. The rush. The rains. The bridges. The lights. The confusing maps. And most of all, him.

I hated the way his face lit up when he saw the city.
I hated that he held my hands when we crossed the roads.
I hated that he looked at me while I admired the love locks on the bridge.
I hated how he refused to sit anywhere else on the train. That he sat only next to me.
I hated that we walked around for hours to find the perfect food.
I hated how good the food tasted, with him.
I hated the way he smiled when he turned down a ride on the horse carriage.
'She will love you more for this', the owner insisted.
I think he knew better.
I hated that he took pictures to send her.
I hated that he still came back to me.
I hated how happy that made me.

I think I just fell in love with hate.

Not pink enough

I am a social introvert. For all the 'blah-ing' that I do on my blog here, in my real life, I paint a picture quite in contrast. So if and when I embark to make a conversation with anyone, it truly means that the person on the other side is worth risking the effort.

Hence, out of the blue, I decided to ping him. Just like that. No agenda. 

'Hey !' - My favorite conversation starter word. Has to go in with the exclamation mark. Shows my enthusiasm in striking up the conversation.

I wasn't expecting a quick response. When my mobile beeped with a reply in seconds, my heart literally leapt into my throat.

The smile was involuntary.

Crisp but sweet. His message. 'I am glad you pinged. Been missing you.'

A 'Really?' was all I could manage to text back.

'Yeah. Can't wait to meet you. Pick you up in 20 minutes. Dinner and a drive by the beach.'

My legs had gotten wings.20 minutes is not enough time to look pretty. I simply had to do my best. The shirt was ironed. Blue. His favorite.Mine too. And the pink lipstick. He always complained my lips weren't pink enough. 

I smiled at myself in the mirror. I don't know what he complained about. They were pink. And smiling from end to end. 

I knew he couldn't make the journey of 22 hours in just 20 minutes.

I hope she was ready when he got there. I hope he got to take her on the dinner and the drive. I hope her lips were pink enough.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Heads or Tails

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you, but because in that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you are hoping for.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

20's something Vs 30's me

'Deeps, You are like a second hand 1100 Nokia handset now. I mean, maybe some people might prefer it for, you know, reasons like you remind them of a past they enjoyed being in, but 99% of the crowd prefers the new generation cloud phones with all the frills and fancy attachments. Even if you try an upgrade now, say by working out and losing all that fat you gained by your emotional binge, it's definitely not going to make you into an iPhone5. Face it, your options and choices are very limited and I say you just head for the first recycle center you see and just be content with it. Don't aim for true love or happiness anymore. Leave that to the iPhones and galaxy tabs'

I usually never quote any conversations in my blog, but this one particular conversation is being used here word by word because I couldn't get over the absurdity in it. The context being, a well meaning friend advising me on giving marriage a second shot. I must admit, I have to give it to her for the well constructed analogy. But the actual content of the conversation left me numb for a long time and then just gave me a reason to write up another blog post, back to back!

She did get me thinking though. Am I really that low in the desirable market now? I do know that on this side of the 30's, the choice of available single men who are not commitment phobes or rapists or murderers or mamma's boy is drastically low. And to be honest, if a man was past 30 and still single, I would have my doubts about him too, obviously! And if he turns out to be a decent one for that matter and maybe even ready to commit, that would only exponentially increase my suspicions about him. I wouldn't think of it as a stroke of my good luck. I would only be more focused on trying to understand why any other woman hadn't gotten to him before!

So I guess on the other side of the 30's, there is no concept of true love or romance. It is all about trying to make best of what is available and fervently hope that the one you land up is not going to rape, kill or abscond with your savings ! Whats scarier is the fact that this apparently appears to be the mutual consensus.

That's not a pretty picture for the future, especially for a die-hard romantic like me. I mean, I still expect to be swooned away magically by 'The one', because hey, I just got myself freed from the wrong one so that I am ready when he gets along. And if I am going to have to ask him questions on terms like 'Have you ever been convicted of rape or murder' instead of 'Will you get me flowers and hold my hands when we walk', I think I am in for some serious trouble !! I am still waiting for my dream proposal. And this time, I wanted to make sure that it's the guy who is going to propose me !

I guess the 20's something iPhones certainly have their lives in a better place. And I wasted that entire decade of my life figuring out how I can do everything wrong so that I screw up my 30's,40's and 50's. Brilliant planning I say !

God ! Just don't let me be taken to a recycle center.

And my dear friends - this is precisely the reason why I never answer your phone calls or reply to your emails. Because if this is the kind of inspirational jabber you think will help me back on my feet, I guess you just don't know me well enough.

Sonic memories

Today, I woke up to the sound of the shrill whistle of the pressure cooker. For that brief moment, I was transported 7000 miles across the oceans and continents. Back home. To my mother's kitchen. Our weekend routine breakfast. Puttu-Kadala (Traditional kerala dish). The first whistle of the pressure cooker is the sign that she is readying the 'Kadala' for it's first stage of preparation. It was like a well rehearsed dance. Still lying cozy in my bed, I would continue making a mental note of her routine. The sound of her getting the grater out of the shelf, the coconut being broken in half, she saves the tender sweet water for me after taking one sip from the glass, the sound of the coconut being grated, the smell of the curry leaves and spices and coconut being roasted, the blender and the grand finale, sound of her setting up the 'Puttu' steamer. This was my cue to get out of bed. Perfect timing to freshen up and be in the kitchen exactly in time for the first batch of the steaming hot puttu-kadala and my favourite, the sweet coconut water.

So today morning, on hearing the shrill whistle, I dragged my lazy self out of bed and walked sleepy eyed into my kitchen half expecting to see my mother's smiling face there with the hot breakfast ready. The kitchen was empty, much like my life.

Turns out, I just have new Indian neighbors.

But to me, it was amazing, how that one single sound bought back such fond memories. Which filled my heart with love and missing. Also a teeny weeny bit of guilt. Because every single trip home, I always swore I would surprise my mother by waking up early and taking up the role of making breakfast for the family. Never happened. Despite being 30, when I get home, I miraculously turn worse than a 3 year old !

So that got me thinking - Sonic memories. I am sure it's not just me. We all have memories associated with most sounds in our daily life. Some sweet, some harsh, some bitter and some purely mind numbing.

Like the time the radio plays a song. Every time, even today, when this particular song comes up, my heart skips a beat and my hand automatically reaches for my mobile - Overwhelmingly numb.

Or the time the Jennifer Lopez song comes up, it reminds me of the time the super cute guy from my gym hit on me :-). This song had been my inspiration to do a crazy work out regime that particular day and said cute guy congratulates me for the attempt and even goes on to compliment my tattoo - Seventh heaven !

Case rests that I never wound up meeting the afore mentioned cutie after that, but it's been my inspiration to hit the gym atleast 3 days a week because you know, sometimes you never know - Inspired!

Speaking of ring tones, my personal favorite- The classic Nokia ring tone. To this day, there is only one person my heart fondly remembers every single time I hear it - My father. For over the last 16 years, ever since he has started using a mobile phone, despite upgrading the device to still-no-frills handsets, he has vehemently refused to change the ring tone to anything else - Deep love and gratitude for the one man in my life who has never left my side or let me down from the time I took my first breath.

Commercial flight's take off announcement - This fills me with panic and grips my heart with such fierce fear that I literally break out into a sweat frenzy. And no, it is not because I have the fear of flying. On the contrary, I used to love it.It all started when I was making my first trip back home to file my divorce. From the moment I boarded the flight and the engines revved into life, my first instinct was to get out of my seat, make a dash for the door and run for life. I didn't want to make the much dreaded journey, just to get there and end my life. What lay at the other side of the journey filled me with dread. I was, after all, putting an end to my life, going to make an ass of myself in front of family, friends and the general public, sign up for a life of being scorned, rebuked and disdained upon and in all probability end up being alone for the rest of my life. To be that weird old hag who lives with her 5 dogs and 20 cats.

So much so that, each time I board a flight now, I have to convince myself that there is going to be no courtroom drama at the other end, no counselors making you feel like a cheapskate, no confusing paper work to be signed, no looks of disapproval or animosity and most importantly no one with a name board reading 'Loser - You are such a failure'. Because when you are thirty and divorced and happen to be of the 'Woman' species, this is exactly what you are. A pathetic failure.

I would have assumed that anything associated with marriage would fill me dread and panic, but oddly enough, the sounds of marriage itself or any memory associated with it actually fills me up with fond nostalgia. Because no matter how the journey ended, the beginning was beautiful. The day of my marriage is still a very fond memory in my mind. Not to sound vain, but I was a beautiful bride. Dressed up in all glory. Everything had been perfect. I hadn't stopped smiling even for a second.The day was every bit how I had wanted it to be. I know I can never go there again, ever. Even if I do get married again, I know I will never be as beautiful or innocent as the 27 year old bride I had been.

And that is precisely the reason why, when my mother asked me what to do with the wedding album, I told her to save it up someplace safe. Because in-spite of everything that had gone wrong in the marriage, I still want to someday see the visual proof of the day I had been completely oblivious in a fool's paradise. Everything else from that journey has been burned and turned to ashes. Only this was to remain.

So folks, this is the story of how a single shrill whistle of a pressure cooker in the morning turned my day into a day of reminiscence. There are plenty more memories I can think of to associate memories I cherish and refrain from too, but I think this post has done what it was intended to do - Get me out of my head and into my blog. Maybe I should tip my new neighbors something generous, so that they make this a weekend routine.

I liked waking up in the morning, today.

Friday, June 6, 2014

It's been there all along...

I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand.
                         - Confucius

So that clearly explains why I am hell bent on making mistakes over and over again ! Finally, a theory to support my spontaneous outbursts. And to think I had been stuck like a hamster in a wheel going round and round in my head over my actions. Which reminds me - I should get a hamster. Maybe. Or a dog. Oh sigh ! Here we go again !

Monday, June 2, 2014

To be or not

My biggest regret in life  – that I had a near perfect childhood. That my parents were the perfect examples of a stable marriage. That they ensured I never mixed in with the wrong crowd. That I was always protected. That I never met a thug or got spoken to harshly.

All the people in my life were reviewed and filtered. I got to meet only the good ones. The bad ones were kicked out even before I got a chance to know of their existence. I was taught to trust people. To give them chances.  To not hurt anyone. Even if they hurt you over and over. I was taught never to panic. Because it was assured to me that everything will be eventually taken care of. That there is a place to go back no matter how bad things get. A place where I am not judged, scorned or insulted. That I never had to witness a fight in my life ever before. That everything was rosy and a bed of roses. 

I was taught to be always optimistic. That there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. But in my case, most often, that light was usually the headlight of an approaching train and I was stranded in the tunnel with no way out! This was a truth I never realized until much later in my life. Until then, the fool in me breezed along enjoying the shrill whistle of the speeding train, feeling the thunderous vibrations of the tracks and being happy that I was getting closer to the light, oblivious of the impending doom.

Probably this is how I turned out to be naive. I like to call it naive. Others might call it stupid or foolhardy.

 I really do wish I did tread a few thorns on my way when I was younger and stronger to deal with it. Not now. Not when I am thirty and everyone in my league is eons ahead of me when it comes to grabbing life by it’s collar and kicking it where it hurts! I am stranded even now, struggling to find where this evasive so-called collar of life is so that I can give it a piece of my mind too, before my time is up.

I wish I was from a broken home trained to be street smart from a very young age. Trained to call out on people’s lies and shrewdness the minute I laid eyes on them. Capable of using abusive language. Able to actually type out the phrase ‘kick his balls’ without having to backspace it a hundred times.  Give s**t to people when they lash it out to me. Be able to never trust anyone, ever. To be a cynic. To not want to have a smile on my face even when the world around me is crashing down. To not worry about hurting others. To speak my mind out without a care for the listener.

I wish I could put the blame on someone. But it’s really not fair of me to put my parents in the hot seat and tell them that I am a lost cause because they were perfect. That I am a failure when it comes to living on my own cause they taught me to believe only in the good. Because they ensured I grow up to be a better person. 

I am my own enemy.