Guest Blog #2: One last look back at you!

The protagonist is not afraid to say, he is a flirt. He flirts, cause to him, flirting is a game, one he excels at. Words, have always come to him easily, when he lays eyes on a beautiful woman, ever more so. The charm and the smile does what words couldn’t if they ever failed him. Make no mistake though, a flirt he may be, but a romantic more so at heart. The protagonist wishes to relive and share some candid thoughts he had for a woman who made a mark in his life. Carl Jung once said, “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”, and the protagonist is thankful to “the ex”, and wishes to pay homage for the transformation she helped bring about.

And thus, came the conclusion to that, with a mighty sob that tugged the strings in my heart just as your nonchalant smile did the first time I laid my eyes on you. I wished ever so much to console you, tell you things are going to be good; With a heavy heart I said goodbye, a mumble under the breath followed by acquiescence. Long distance, have left many victims in their wake. Won’t deny it, I cried myself to sleep that night and a few after that (Alpha male, what is that? Besides manliness is overrated, unless you are one of those guys). They say karma is a bitch (always wondered who they are, hold them by the scruff shout at them while I violently shake them “Why must you always be right, and who are you to prove me wrong?”), and I shall have my comeuppance for the agony you suffered. But today, today is not the day for it. Today I shall remember you, glorify you, and finally be able to say, sorry for your misery but thank you for making me a part of your life. Thank you for having shared your time with me, laughed and shared your insights with me. I shall never forget you for as long as I shall exist.

Knock knock, rings the notification tone in the background; The clickety clack of the keyboard gone, replaced by the lull of expectation. I purse my lips, a wry smile on the horizon as I reach out to check the text. The walks where I would call you, and hear your morning voice, fresh from your sleep,  those moments stay fresh in my mind. You taught me to enjoy food more (Beef Bourgogne, Indian cuisine? Yum yum), the look of relish and childlike happiness as you dip your roti in the curry and gently slip it into your mouth. You taught me to never be afraid of trying things (Avial (South Indian dish)) with bitter gourd, suffice to say, I am still scared from that one.) and most of all, I learnt to take things one day at a time.

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I respect you, and I have always had nothing but love for you. Gripes there were a few, you made me feel worthless at times with your sharp words, as if I was nothing but a fly on the wall. I should have opened out about our relationship to my parents and validated it, which I failed to do. I failed to placate the doubts which should have been uprooted at inception. Times aplenty when language would stop us from understanding each other, but I also learnt how a relationship need not be anything but fun. Hurting you was never something I wished, but you knew it right from the beginning when you started calling me a foetus, and foetus is what I eventually showed myself to be. Distance, I am afraid brought cracks in my belief of us. I should have stood up, earned our right to be part of each other’s lives. Naysayers there were aplenty, but see through this with a smile on my face I should have. Counterproductive, but one day, hopefully you shall look back at this, less bitter and disappointed in me, having moved on to someone more deserving your affection, have a wry smile on your face and finally think “I didn’t understand you back then, but I can finally forgive you”.

***

Shruthi says:

I have known “The one who don’t want to be named” for a long long time now. I feel the best part of him is he can laugh until tummy hurts and cry like a baby when need be.To be able to go through something and feel emotion in truest sense is great, and I wish he does not change ever 🙂

Author’s inner monologue:

Three things that I fancy : food, travel and my ego. I spend my time thinking of the time I can get on the airport, nibbling away at the next  fancy meal, preferably with oysters and champagne, and the next time I can hear someone say I am amazing.
Put me in the company of people who want to experience new things and learn, and I will be happy. I write and read purely to express my superiority over others. Oh, and in case you haven’t figured, I am a narcissist. The joys of going anonymous
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Broken Promises

There is a lot of hype about heart break. But, it is often wrongly portrayed as this one instance when the whole thing crumples down- an apocalypse of sort, for some relationships mean the world to you (at least at that particular point of time).

It is not. It is when small cracks appear, and it starts bleeding, and you patch things up to keep going despite all the pain. And, one day it becomes too hard to take anymore and it just stops ticking for things you believe in. That’s real heart break!

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Heart broke a little every time when;

I was told I can grow up to be anything, but realised all everyone wanted from me was fit into their mind frame

The pinkie swear with this girl in ponytail to be best friends forever did not stand the test of time

The assurance of “Always and Forever” wilted a few years after the first flowers were exchanged

Farewell mails vowing to stay in touch are as hollow as it sounds

And many other countless times..

It breaks a little more now, when I look into your tiny eyes and keep saying I will always be there for you, knowing exactly that I won’t be around forever

A pile of broken promises and spoken words that weighs heavily sits now where the heart used to

 

Short story: His kaleidoscope!!

You know that feeling of having it all, yet unable to savour anything, like being alone in midst of a crowd. That was what love did to her.

But to understand her, you have to know her first.

Growing up her favourite toy was a kaleidoscope. She loved it when the broken pieces transformed into beautiful patterns. Much like her.

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She never liked to share. Not that she was insensitive or a hoarder. Mostly because she felt a compulsive attachment to everything and everyone in her life.

She could not be herself when someone borrowed mundane stuff from her, say a pencil or a book. When it was returned she would pass her hands over it a hundred times, to see if it felt the same; to make sure it was treated the way she would have cared for it.

And…he walked into her life. Wait, it will be an understatement to tell he walked into her life. For the kind of person he was, crashed would be a better word.

It was as if a stone had hit still water sending ripples through out. The kind of ripples which shattered the wall she had created around her, shook her senses and opened her up.

It would be too cliché to say opposite attract. Let’s say, he was everything she was not. He was popular, had a happy personality and could make anyone talking to him feel that at that moment only they mattered to him.

It was not that she was antisocial, but making relationships was always her Achilles heel. You could judge her to be selfish, insensitivity or practical. But, no one understood that she would give an arm for people who loved her, just that it took a lot more time for her to accept someone in her life.

And, people thought it was weird that they are together. You couldn’t blame them for pointing out. Even she thought she was not the one for him and told him so as well. But he wouldn’t hear any of it.

She would tell him that this wont last long. She said, he will lose interest in her, that all romances fizzle out. And, he told her with conviction that he will feel same way for her even when they are 80 years old.

On outside she would tell him that he will get bored of her, but secretly she gloated that he was into her, truly, madly, and deeply as he often told. She believed every word of what he said, deep inside, though she won’t show it out in open.

She saw him grow, the magnanimity of his personality often baffled her, but she found pride that she was there to support him throughout. He was a lot ahead of her and she would take great pains to get to where he was. But, by the time she reached half distance, he would have moved on.

He always wanted lot of attention, to be popular, to be known as the guy to go to. Friends flocked around him. She was suddenly not enough for him. She tried to fit into the image he had made of her to his friends. She tried and tried, then got tired of it. It was a lot of pain to watch the laugh escape his lips and smile in his eyes, when he was around friends. Something that she did not see him do with her, or may be something she couldn’t give him. It hurt like a thousand nails had pierced her heart. She started hating all for taking him away from her. But it did not take her long to realise that it was not about them, it was about him and her.

She asked why did he need so many people in his life: they come and go, she was the one who was and will always be there. Why does he choose them over her?

And he said, that she is always there, and that they have rest of life ahead of them. He cannot be happy with just her. He needed a lot more.

She cried, begged, fought, cried a lot more and asked , why them? Why not her?

He said he never chose her over anybody. That, all existed in parallel worlds of his.

She did not know what to do. She had lost all hope. Life as she wanted was never going to happen. She did the only thing she does when she’s alone. She read.

She read two stories that day. One was about a violinist, who met this girl randomly, fell in love with her, and lost her to a fling that lasted only a moment, compared to the lifetime she was willing to give him.

Next, she read the story of a girl who loved zero. It was written by a guy who was taught the value of zero by her. He was the zero, when they had met and he was thankful she was there for him through the years they were together.

And, she wondered. She could be either of these girls. But, it would depend on what he chooses, would it not?

Either way, she was his kaleidoscope; broken glasses or beautiful patterns? Only time can tell!

Love like wine gets better with time, really?

To be honest I do not know. But I wonder about this a lot these days. May be because of valentine’s day and all other associated days (friends, rose, propose, chocolate, teddy or whatever).

So, this is what probably led me to ask myself this question a lot lately. I have been watching (don’t read as stalking ;)) couples over Facebook and this is what I noticed. People who have been in relationship for short time write stuff like “you are the best thing ever to happen to me; thanks for being the magic in my life; and blah”. A verbal PDA. And, then I notice these veteran couples post stuff like  “thanks for putting up with me over last ten years; or we have seen ups and downs, but I had never be with anyone other than you; and the like”.

That makes me wonder where did the sweet nothings go after all these years?
And, before you feel that I am pointing fingers, let me tell you that I have been there, done that (over and over), and which makes me wonder a little bit more.

As February started and the valentine’s day hashtags, offers and emails started pouring in, it hit me that I should probably do something for him. And, I had a mental scroll down of things I have already done or got for him. It struck me that my gifts earlier on were those proclaiming my love to him, while over the years I have mellowed down. This time as a gift or more aptly a thought, I felt I should probably get him in touch with a friend whom he mentioned over a casual talk that he had lost contact over years and that he missed a bit.

So, why did this weird idea occur to me? If you were to ask me this, I would probably have to admit that may be it’s because it dawned on me (unlike my prior notion earlier in our relationship) that I am not the only wonderful thing that ever happened to him. And may be that better than a card or gift or even a Facebook status trumpeting my love for him, he would prefer meeting an old friend or have boys night or something of that sort.

Perhaps that’s why a lot of couples start thanking each other for making it through over the years. They are recognising that probably their partner needs and deserves a lot more than smothering with too much attention. That perhaps there are things that you cannot give him or her, that he or she needs. That perhaps how much ever they try, it will never be enough.

And after the above monologue I still have not answered the question. Does love like wine get better with age?

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I don’t know still. But, the other day my friend and a fellow blogger wrote this story of what’s probably her first love, aptly titled “I can still feel the butterflies”. I read about how she fell in love, told it to him and he just smiled back. Just a smile. It started and ended with just a smile. And, I found myself telling her that there is no beginning or ending for love stories, it just happens and grows on you.

Perhaps as an after thought I should add that love evolves and so does those in love. And, irrespective of whether it gets better with age or not, it intoxicates you and leaves a taste on your lips that you are going to savour for a long time.

May be love gets better with age, a lot more better than wine does.

Lost in Love!

Love and Pain are mirror images of each other. You cannot feel one without feeling the other. “Lost in love” is an ode to those who have/are lost in love, which they probably never had in first place

She got up in the middle of night and checked if he was sleeping beside her. She touched him to make sure it was not a dream; he was there alright, but what she did not know was that she had lost touch with his soul a long way back.

Like horses tethered to a cart, they pulled the burden of life together; different destinations in their head, but destined to be together as God’s hand had frantically wrote it on their head.

“Pain needs to be felt”, said Augustus to Hazel, they were not alone in their battle. She closed her book, she felt the pain- being lonely was tougher than being alone.

Courtsey-RMDrakeLooking into mirror and seeing them together was their thing once upon a time, now when their eyes lock accidentally while in front of a mirror, all they could see was two strangers staring back at them. Love looked into mirror and saw pain.

People saw an image when they were together, when what truly it should have been was a reflection of their real self.

A static image, a picture frozen in time, a broken reel.

P.S.

This post was inspired by the above quote from R M Drake. Thanks to his powerful words, thoughts and intellect.

Mind the Gap!!!

For those who have been to London, tube service is something you can never forget and so is the loud booming voice that says “Mind the Gap”.  It’s no big deal, if you have no clue what I am talking about, because the other ‘tube’ that is impossible to miss out in this lifetime has a fix for anything and everything. Here is the YouTube link.

Everyone I know here has a story about the tube and here comes mine. I came to London with lots of apprehension of meeting my husband after a stint at long distance relationship. Until then, I have not been apart from him for that long in the last 8 years or so that I have known him. There have been highs and lows as you can expect, and I usually spend the time during the many commutes to think, muse, reflect and clear my head. It has been always been like that, whether it’s the rickety rides in autos in India or the 11 hour journey to London. So one of these days while traveling in the tube, it just occurred to me that managing a long distance relationship has lot of parallels with the commute. Here is why.

Mind the Gap

On my first time in the tube, I got lot of gyan (advice) from my husband and a tube map which at that point did not make any sense to me. Despite trying to decipher the map and follow the many directions, I got lost. I called, bugged and nagged him for letting me go alone in the tube instead of dropping me. The first few days on my own after he left were the same. Until I came to terms with the reality, stopped blaming someone else for the situation I am in, took ownership and opened my heart to the possibilities, I remained lost. And as soon as I took the initiative to accept things as they were, lot of doors opened and I found my way.

There are these days when the tube is so crowded and you are struggling to find a quiet corner to shrink into.  But you cannot help but notice the couples who are kootchie kooi-ing oblivious of surroundings, families laughing loud and friends pulling each other’s leg. Suddenly, you miss him so much that I have no way to tell you how badly you want to get back home. Back in India, the first few weeks alone was terrifying because wherever I turned around I could only see happy couples and families. The thought of going back to an empty house was so scary and the only way out was to think about how it will be when we meet again, make stories around it and constantly thinking about ‘us’ so that it was like he was not that far anymore. (Of course, million thanks to lyca mobile, whatsapp, skype and hangouts)

After a few tube rides, you feel confident and tube map is like back of your hand. Still, on days you travel late to home, by the time you reach your station almost all the people would have got down and you feel quiet alone. So I look down the car and there is someone in the corner sitting all alone, giving me a tense smile. It is like we are in this together and the mere presence gives me a reassurance to go on. Few months into our time apart from each other, there has been so many such people who unknowingly made a lot of difference in our lives, by just being there for us in tough times.

Most importantly, never go too far that you don’t get to ride at all. Nor should you be too close that you get run over. Same with relationships! Trying to get obsessively close or wander far way will only spoil the beautiful thing you both had between you. Just think about it as a ride together without wondering where it will end.

The golden words are “Mind the Gap”!!!

An Indian Love Story: “God winks at me!!”

An MBA degree, supportive family, vibrant gang of friends, dotting boyfriend and on top of that a job offer in hand.

What else does a 23 year old girl want in life?

Bliss. Total bliss, that was what I felt when I went home for New Year this year.

Yes, this New Year was special. More than “Perfect” because I chose to celebrate it the way I had always wanted it to be -warm, peaceful and so satisfying.

Is it not curious that a happy girl so full of life with every reason to rejoice want a New Year away from blaring speakers of a party?

Who on this overcrowded planet would spend the final moments of the dying year with a heart that resonates through its “Lub-Dub” the countdown, that too with a paper and pencil in hand???

I would and that makes me all the more inimitable.

Late in the night what was I scribbling so animatedly??

I was putting down some thoughts which was ebbing my heart for a long time. It was no rocket science or eureka moment that I jotted down. It was two simple words that would make my year more than special.

“Thank You”

As the fire crackers lit the sky, glasses clinked and mobile phones beeped all over the world, I was nestled in my bed in a foetal position thinking of the peacock that I saw on the Christmas morning as I left for my interview.

Signs!!

I watched wistfully at the elderly lady ahead of me in the queue to the offerings counter of the temple. With the long list of offerings on the board next to the counter, It took me a while to settle on a “Bhagya Suktham” for me. It would bring me luck, so be it I thought. But the lady didn’t seem to have any confusion at all.

“Swayamvara Pushpanjali” she said with such a pompous air that the man at the counter had a jolt.  She is in search for a soul mate for her child.

Out of blue, the advertisement for the incense sticks that is aired every five minute in TV flashed before my eyes.

“Everyone has a reason for praying”.

Here I am visiting the God in his shrine. My long lists of wants and needs have only one request unfulfilled. I tell him- “You know what I desire, make my wish true”.

I hand over the offerings with the coupon of “Bhagya Suktham” and all devotees follow suit. I can’t help wondering as I listen to the priest translating our prayers in Sanskrit to God behind the closed doors.

The bells clink, the doors are opened, camphor is shown and people are pushing and craning their necks to get a glimpse of the deity. The priest places in my hand “Sacred Prasad” after the offering. I smear sandal paste on my forehead and take one last look at the adorned Idol before I turn around.

Just as I give out a sigh of relief that I finally got out of the crowding devotees, the mayhem breaks out.

Even from the distance I could make out that there is an argument between the lady and the priest looking at the agitated shaking of heads and gestures. The perplexed priest is scanning the crowd and he spots me. I feel eerie as he calls out to me and the whole mass looks at me.

As I inch my way to the spot, I come to know what has caused the commotion. In the push and pull, the priest had accidentally handed over me the Prasad of “Swayamvara Pushpanjali” that belonged to the lady’s son. She greedily snatches it away and I steal a glimpse of her forty year old son who still has not got a bride. He looks crest fallen and disappointed as if the offering to God was his ticket to married life.

A content smile plays at my lips as I raise my eyes to the sky.

Did God wink at me??

I wink back at him.

Signs!!

I gleefully walk back home, now that I know that my prayers have reached him alright.