I have been working for 10 years now and although it may not
seem a lot but I’ve slogged all this while, tried doing complete justice to
every facet, treated it like it’s my life. I have taken so much stress that I’ve
lost hair and feel weird about how I look.
I have tried being fair and kept shut about things that have
bothered me. Then why cannot I get that tiny bit of recognition that I so want.
Why do I have to struggle for everything- money, respect, recognition, even
acknowledgement. I might be doing something wrong and I have no idea what.
It's my birthday- again! So
let's forget all about that and write what I came here to..
I have been feeding birds for years now. Everyday after my pooja (prayers), I
scatter a palmful of lentils and some rice on the balcony and wait for birds,
mostly pigeons to rush to them.
While I was in Delhi, for almost 7 years, these little guys had learnt the
timings. They'd already be waiting for me when I went out and by the time I was
leaving the city, some of them had even begun eating out of my hand.
I have been in Bangalore for a year and a half now and like always, scattered
the grains everyday- only to see them go waste, until lately. A few days back
when I left out food for the birds, I saw a pigeon fly to it. While I waited
behind the balcony door, I somehow could sense it's anxiety while pecking at
these. I smiled to myself, somewhat with relief even. The next day there were
more of these birds so I increased the quantity and now there are about 12
pigeons that greet me in the morning.
I felt relived because I've associated home with them, it's like my soul has
accepted the place and this is it's way of communicating this to me. It's
amazing, the sort of peace I feel when I see them pecking at the food I leave
out for them and the joy when I wake up S to watch that scene with me is
I guess I am finally content now, from the inside..
I cannot deny the fact that I’ve been in love quite a few
times. And it has never been the casual sort of love, on the contrary it’s been
the intense kinds where I have mostly wanted to spend the rest of our lives
I first fell in love when I was probably 17 years old. We
were best friends in school and the irony is that we began dating only after we
moved to different cities, meeting just once a year. Despite all that, it
lasted 6 years and came very close to ending the way we wanted it to. That
never happened and I was left with a lot of bitterness for a long time to come.
I swore to myself, (the way we do when our hearts get broken for the first
time), that I would never fall in love, never date, but mostly I learnt that I
will never compromise what I wanted to be for anyone- and that was my first
lesson in love.
The promise didn’t last long and before I knew it, I was
dating again. Again in different cities, hardly meeting each other. Countries
changed and breakups happened. This time however it was different, for once it
was mutual so there were no tears as such, just a hollow feeling that you get
when you revert to being single after years. Obviously I’d matured and things
were easier- or so I thought.
The next one was sort of weird and am still not sure if I
was seeing him. Stupid as it may sound, I actually didn’t know. I had been
terribly attracted to this person for years but always thought that I was
totally out of his league. Again different cities (which had become so my
thing- I could compartmentalize my life, have my career, my own set of friends
and not be answerable to anyone, rather bound by anything), but it was much
more intense than anything I’d ever experienced. At one point I thought that I
could never have a normal relationship after him, I’d become so used to not
talking for months, or zero expectations that I had begun believing that’s
probably how it worked. I had too much of pride and ego to even question what
was happening. When this one ended, I thought my life would end and it didn’t.
The wall I thought I’d built around myself came crashing down and I just went
Not for long I must say! I began dating yet again and the
similarity was so acute to the previous one that I thought that if I went
through the trauma again, I might just collapse. So when S asked me out, I
simply said yes. We were very good friends, he treated me like china, always
took care of me and tolerated all my tantrums. I assumed that if he was soo
good to me as a friend, he would definitely treat me well as his partner. I was
starving for a normal relationship, where you could call the person anytime you
wanted to, where you didn’t have to hide behind the wall and he gave me that
and much more. The doubts I had about ever being in love again- without pride
or ego and selflessly have long been shattered because that’s the kind of love
I received and I simply had to reciprocate it.
The reason am writing the much hidden story of my life is
- - I have wanted to come out in the open for a very long time.
- - I couldn’t care less of what people think of me
- But mostly because whenever I've dated someone, I've never confessed of it in public. It's been like hiding it, and not telling
about it to anyone. So when I read someone on insta of how she had fallen in
love and couldn't care less what people thought of her, how she showed her
excitement about meeting that person, it made me so happy.
I realized that love
is not a thing to hide. When you give so
much of yourself to a person, there is nothing to be ashamed of it. You
were young, you made mistakes and you learnt or maybe didn’t but these will be
with you for the rest of your life and mostly you’ll look back at them only with
fondness- I do..
Maybe I will always be an outsider. Outsider to jokes, to
bonding, friends, colleagues, relatives, everything..
I have never managed to make close friends, people never
like me at first instance and mostly everyone gets inhibited by that invisible
wall I seem to have created around myself. I make progress and then pushed
back again. I move one step forward and end up in square one. I try to be kind
and patient, maybe too much so, and then taken for granted.
I learn, only to forget as quickly. And then there’s no
denying the fact that it hurts terribly..
The "happiness" clippings make me feel soo good.. :) So I just thought I'd write things that make me happy:
- I feel overwhelmed by what I feel for him, its amazing to be in love with exactly the right person..
- I will live by the sea, maybe later in life..
- I was talking to Ma today and she said she didn't realise how quickly we grew up, she still thinks of us as little kids..
- Writing makes me happy
I've been reading someone's blog for a long time, she doesn't read mine. I could relate to her, similar qualms of singular status, cruel boys we got attracted to and who broke our hearts, fierce ambition, that perpetual need for freedom, the paranoia of being tied down, love for our family, big ego and larger pride, the endless list..
I recently found out that she's married now (like me) and I wonder how quickly these things happen and our worlds change. How you are so content in life that you just abandon this space (but can never stay away long enough). And how all the pain, pride and everything else transforms into absolute love for that one person around which your whole world begins to revolve now..
I don’t think I am a very curious person as such. I usually
take things at their face value and don’t introspect much about them. However,
I have exceptions as always:
People from my past: I often wonder about them- how they are
doing in life generally (not in a curious way, just how friends wonder about
each other). If they are truly happy, barring what Facebook says, and mostly
what will our conversation be like if we ever chose to connect back again. I
can chose to stop thinking about it, simply pick up the phone and give them a
call (I do remember most of the numbers from the non- cellphone days), but I
just can’t bring myself to. I dread the what ifs of being taken wrong, of pride
being hurt or being laughed at. And so I just don’t..
Homes: I love homes- they needn’t always be well done ones,
just places with identity and character. Whenever I look at any photograph
taken at somebody’s place, I sort of turn my head a little so that I might
catch a glimpse of some more. I know that photographs aren’t three dimensional
but it’s something that I can’t help- my inquisitiveness to see more. There are
old places where things are depilated, furniture that’s gone old and rickety,
the functional lines of one room merging to the other, I love that. And then
the modern houses, with clean lines, beautiful light and organized clutter,
with plants and such. To me, a home says more about people than shoes..
And with that I leave here with a picture of my house, my favorite
place in the whole world..
Can we really compare pain or miseries or even illness..
I often find myself talking about my hair issues to my
friends. Though it may seem small and petty to most of us (I too would have not
sympathized with anyone had it not happened to me), but it’s a major dent in
the confidence of the person who bears it. Last night, I met some friends and
since I was so conscious about how I looked, I ended up confessing my hair
problem. Another friend who’s trying to have a baby said that it couldn’t be as
bad as having fibroids in the uterus and I was like of course there’s no
comparison. What I felt bad about is that how could you compare problems- they
are so uniquely yours and yours alone. While I wouldn’t understand what she
must be going through, she might not have any idea how tough it was to deal
with something as trivial as a cosmetic issue.
I learnt this lesson some time ago. Someone I knew was
having a tough time getting pregnant and I had been stupid and ignorant enough
to compare that with my singular status and loneliness issue. I am still so
ashamed of even thinking like that now, how naïve and- a millionth time, stupid
I could be.
I realized that a person’s problems was theirs alone and no
matter how small we would think of them, they are big enough to bother them and
therefore have importance. A person going through cancer or a life threatening
disease would be happy to have what I do.
There’s just no way to compare joys and likewise miseries,
it’s just fundamentally incorrect..
These lines from her got me thinking: "..because
where you live can keep changing. Where you belong never does..."
S belongs to Kolkata while I to Lucknow. We have spent a
major part of our lives, our growing up in these cities. Both of us have
families there, relatives, cousins and even friends that we’ve grown up with.
In my case, the bond is even stronger, my ancestors have lived there and for as
long as any of us can remember, Lucknow has been our home. As I explain to
people, I am typically from the city- we haven’t migrated from somewhere and
both my parents’ sides have generations living in the city. I never gave it
much thought until now, never realized what a source of pride for me it is and
how important to “belong” to a place is, a place where I have my roots. And now
suddenly, it’s such a beautiful feeling- to belong!
This whole thought process began when I started to think
which place our children would belong to.. Both of us have our roots in
different places, we will move cities based on our work requirements. And I
wonder if my children would feel like the way I do about home? Will they ever
come to the sudden realization about the importance of having roots, or ever
wonder at this ordinary yet miraculous discovery..
There are some people you know you’ll never meet again..
I was flying home sometime last year. I’d just moved cities,
had no job and was desperate for company, making “new” friends. My married
sisters had instructed me to start talking to people, connecting with them
(which is a very tough thing for me to do), and make friends, so I began
groping for company. I was seated next to this lady who must be early 40s and
we began talking.
It was rather interesting talking to her. She seemed as
impatient as me, mature but still had that defying streak in her. She explained
how Bangalore will gradually grow on me and I’ll begin to prefer it over Delhi,
we spoke about ambition and families and children. She told me how
independently she was raised, how she had called off her engagement when young
with her childhood friend and neighbor and still managed to remain friends,
that there came a time when she knew that she had to leave home for a larger
city or she wouldn’t survive. There was too much of similarity and vehemence
in us and I could see faint glimmers of a bond. This had happened
to me before when total strangers had become my best friends and with that dire
need now to find a close pal, I was glad to encounter someone like her.
We kept chatting for
all of the two and half hours and by the end of it remained interested enough
to exchange numbers and a probability to meet each other once back in
Bangalore. After umpteen attempts to connect, we did manage to meet up. We had
lunch, chatted amicably for an hour or so and then parted with words of meeting
each other with our spouses some time. However, in some inexplicable way, at
some unsure moment during our lunch, I realized that this was probably that
last time I was meeting her. I don’t know when and how this happened but I just
knew it. After that meeting neither tried meeting or even staying in touch,
just like that.
Now when I look back, I feel that I should have left that
airplane conversation to what it was- a conversation that makes you smile at
times, of connecting with somebody totally unknown and making you think about
the wonders of life. I have had some encounters when I travelled often and
though I don’t even know their names, I remember most of them distinctly, even
I guess its better being ignorant about some things, certain
people. Maybe some things are best left the way they are..
I no more have the older qualms.. It’s a peaceful and some
might even say, a pretty life I live.
My day begins at 7:30 in the morning when I wake up to open
the door for the cook, instruct him what to make and then go back to bed, if
only to shut my eyes for those 20 extra minutes before I have no choice but to
wake up. Once I am ready, I literarily cajole S to wake up and rush into the
kitchen to make nimboo paani/ tea/
breakfast and pack our lunch. In the meanwhile S is ready and settles the bed,
waters plants and we talk about mundane things with some random music playing
in the background.
He obviously finishes his share of chores before me (with
hardly much to do) and is at the table when I bring breakfast and tea out for
us. We again chat amicably for a while before we realize with a start that both
of us are getting late. This is followed with total chaos to pick up our bags,
one last look at the mirror, hug each other and then while I bring out the car,
he locks up the house. I drop him on my way to work and we both get immersed in
our respective work places.
Once I reach work, I HAVE to text him or he loses it (which
I think is rather sweet). Once when I forgot to message him and rushed into a
meeting, I had umpteen missed calls, several frantic texts and a call at the
office reception! We usually call each other once in a day from work, even if
to say hello. I leave work at about 6:30-7:00 in the evening when things are
good, talk to Ma on my way back and by that time he has already reached home,
changed and is off to the gym. We meet each other by 8:30ish and have dinner,
watch some tv, share our day and are off to sleep. Often the gym is replaced by
a common urge to eat paani bataasha
(gogappas), so we meet each other mid-way and go for dinner.
Amidst all this, my life is sprinkled with little fights and
arguments with him, some late night conversations about life and future plans,
our doubts and fears, everlasting holiday plans, some gossip and a bit of
bullying each other.
I admit I've been living my life in a bit of an illusion. A life I've been seeing through rose tinted glares, where everything works out the way I want it to.. And though "Castle" says high time he admitted to reality, I refuse to. I would still like to believe that I will get what I want, somehow.
And yes, I am 30 something and still not cynical, touch wood..
On another note, those bloody shots on my scalp hurt crazy. I've paid my price for being arrogant about how I look, hair back now- please God..
DESTINY- It's a word that I've learnt the meaning of very slowly. I've argued with myself a zillion times on how it's the willpower of a human being that makes things happen and though I still believe in the thought, things have changed.
I've learnt that:
- You do get exactly what you want, it may or may not be how you've wanted it.
- "He" up there knows you more than you know yourself
- Believing is a miraculous word
- Some things are meant to be, most are destined
- Hard work and luck go together
- The present happens in preparation to the future
And I believe this because of all the guys I met, I ended up with S, whose exactly right for me. There were times when I hated him beyond reason but still continued being friends with him and now I wonder why..
I guess He always has a plan and that makes me believe in miracles..
I sometimes wonder how she knows me so well, its T I am
talking about. Whenever we have our conversations about “life”, she says such
things that stick to me, and no matter how I disagree with them at that point
in time, eventually I realize how right she was.
Before I got married, she kept telling me how wonderful a
life I was living- a place to myself, all the freedom, work that I loved and
enough money, what more could I ask for. I kept telling her that she didn’t realize
that how it was a struggle sometimes to live alone, how at times I wouldn’t speak
for hours, and all the stupid stuff I could think of. And though I hate to
admit it, she was right about the life I was living was that people only dreamt
Another conversation of ours was regarding a friend who
lived out of a suitcase. She lived a nomadic life and to buy something new, she
had to throw something old out of her case. I was completely fascinated by it
and wanted to live a similar life, travel, have no roots, just like the movies.
When we were discussing it, she said that “we-her and I”, weren’t capable of
such lives. We were people with roots, we liked familiarity was too much-
coming back to a home and not a hotel room, being around familiar faces and not
trying to make new friends all the time, talking and meeting our parents and
sibling very often, that’s what made us. Again, stupid of me to disagree but
one move to another city and a month in the hotel room made me change my mind.
To say that she’s my alter ego wouldn’t be an overstatement.
I’ve come to realize how important “validation” for us in anything we do,
thanks to her. When I decided to get married to S, I was super scared. Although
we were friends but he was not the kind of man I’d sought for myself, rather
opposite. Destiny intervened and things happened. As usual, I went to her with
my woes and this is what she said (she’d of course met him by then)- “Sam, some things are decided by God himself,
what happened to you was just that. Since you didn’t know what’s good for you,
he intervened and took the call for you and that’s the best way it should be
done. Knowing you and how you’ve lived your life, how you don’t like answering
people and that freedom you need, you couldn’t have settled for a typical
family like we have.” This not only gave me the much needed confidence at
the point of time, but now I realize how she knows me better than myself.
I can go on about this sister of mine, how some of the best
advices have come from her, how she puts into words exactly what I am thinking,
but let’s just end it like that- she knows me better than I know myself..
At times when I read my earlier posts, I feel strangely
detached. As if the current strange me is looking at the real me that earlier
was. I know it makes no sense at all, so let me explain (or try to).
For a millionth time- I lived alone for 6 years, in total
solitude. There was just no one I came back home to, or who heard me out.
Though it may sound depressing and I constantly cribbed about it, somewhere I’d
gotten used to it too. I had a way of living, behaving, doing things and coping
with situations. When I think about those days, I feel as if the person I am
right now is somebody I don’t connect to and I keep looking for those glimpses
of my past life. It is nowhere to say that I am not happy right now, just that
I reminisce about those days through rosy glasses. I seem to have forgotten the
pain and hurt of living alone, not talking for hours at times, crying myself to
sleep even. All I think of now is how I could not talk when I didn’t feel like,
taking power naps coming back home before going out with friends for dinner,
those late night conversations of love, life and miseries with best
friends. I miss dragging my bean bag in
the balcony with a nice cup of tea and a book and going off to sleep on it till
the evening chill woke me up. I miss S picking me up and giving me that
appreciative glance that embarrassed me and inflated my ego at the same time. I
miss my little secret life..
It’s like sitting on a tree and looking at my current life
as if it is all happening to someone else.. And then I meet S in the evening
and couldn’t care less..
It has become increasingly difficult to read or even write
these days. I start something and don’t to how to continue with it and no
matter how much I crave for the earlier enthusiasm to do either, I just can’t.
I feel guilty about all the unread books I have with me, or the books I want to
read, but it just doesn’t happen.
Once, books and writing were my solace, my escape from the
hard realities of this world. I could lose myself in them, they made me feel
smarter, they made me feel strangely me, but mostly through them I connected to
the eccentric side of me. These activities, no matter how regular, made me feel
unique, as if I was just slightly apart from the rest, or when I felt alone and
scared, I connected with them like nothing else.
And now I miss it so much, I miss being so in love with a
book that I never want it to finish, or relating myself to the characters or my
heart pumping so fast when something exciting is going to happen in it. I miss
posting regularly and knowing that someone there is reading, relating.. maybe even
I miss pouring it all out here, I miss my old self at
I don't know how to begin, rather crib, so lets begin right away (in my favorite way):
- Any new work place, and I have my issues.
- I think I have no social skills left in me, can't make conversations, can't bond
- I wonder what's it between the bosses and me, they never ever like me
- What the hell does it take to do well in your carrier- I work as hard as I can but it doesn't even matter.
- Stupid ambitious me
- I NEED to be happy in my work and my personal life to be truly happy
- I wonder if its just a girl thing to make life difficult for the new girls who join in or men go through similar grievances
- I miss M, I wish I could find a friend like him here