07/07/14 : A day I might not remember

Its raining outside, heavily. It was not, some time before, but since then, it all looked so sad, so gloomy. It’s like that emptiness that had found its way into me around 2 weeks ago when I had left my rental apartment, has not left me yet, and maybe it will show up a couple of times more before I leave my permanent residence and my parents here, and fly to US next month for my studies.

Rain had always brought pleasant emotions in me, or has it? I don’t remember. Just yesterday I went through some emotional situations, though I stayed as composed as I could, but the emotions in play were strong. And yesterday was a clear sunny day.

Yesterday:

I tried out my suit which I plan to take to US with me and wear it on occasions which will require that attire. We were on the way to home, another 1 hour ride in the middle of which I had to also get my Sherwani and a couple of clothes for my dad to be taken to our one week trip tomorrow to my native place, Kerala, at my Uncle’s house. That is when dad spotted Pinto uncle, or was it Mom who did the spotting; I don’t remember. Dad parked the car, I got down, waved at Pinto uncle, who had clearly not recognized me; ‘Age takes its toll on the memory and eyes’, I said to myself to explain and make a comfortable sense of the situation. Soon and close enough, he recognized and I embraced him; I had no idea why I did that. I don’t usually go around hugging people, especially when they are very elder to me; I keep my distance, maybe smile, and maybe, if need and situation asks for it, touch their feet. I guided him towards the car where Mom and Dad waited for him, I wondered why they were not getting down. They saw him, and mom laughed in a way which was only some decibels short of a guffaw, though it was not pride, or was it? May be she was in fact the one who spotted him; was the pride for that? Was their pride at all? I don’t remember.

Dad asked him to wait while he parks the car safe. Pinto uncle nodded and kept walking. We got down the car and he was gone. He clearly did not understand what we said. Dad said it is very usual of him and we all agreed on going to his house, which is in the building where we used to live since long before I was born and till just 3 years ago when we shifted to our current residence in Kalyan, a mere 2 hours of drive by car; I don’t know why I said mere, it is not mere, it is far.

So, we went to his place, in the building where we once lived, where we have so many who knows us yet they don’t, and hence I visited only his house, and no other. He was happy to see us, Pinto auntie was there too. The happiness on their faces looked genuine, and when they heard about my plans to go to US for studies that happiness did not take time to squeeze out some tears. Pinto uncle did hide and wiped away the tears, but his voice gave him away. I did not expect this. They both got up, and prayed to the photo of Jesus and Mother Mary for me. We got up too, me and mom with our hands mimicking theirs, and dad with his hands folded; he stood just to show respect to their faith, it is not like he does not have faith in any Gods. He is a die hard fan of the Hindu Gods, he just doesn’t take the other Gods so seriously, nonetheless he stood till their prayer was over. Before leaving, I touched the feet of both of them, not Jesus and Mary, obviously not, the photos were close ups from face to shoulder, no feet to touch. I meant Pinto uncle and Pinto auntie, their feet I touched, and more tears came. I felt overwhelmed.

Before leaving I wanted to see their bedroom once, where once I had learned as a child. Seraphine didi (elder sister), their daughter, used to teach me when I was in school. It felt nice to be there. I could remember where she sat, and where I sat, and where the bed was, and where the books were, where Sindhu, another neighbor cum student of hers sat, and I also remembered didi’s handwriting, and the way she wrote, and how I tried to mimic it.

In sometime, we left for home. On the way we started suggesting each other places to eat, and on the way to one place we all voted yes for, I came close to ‘Shree Gajanan‘ that Vada Pav center in Vishnu Nagar close to Excel Classes where I was a student for about a year. Oh I remember the class, Nitin sir, Usha mam. They both were married, and both were great and enthusiastic teachers. I remember my crush on Usha mam. Mom said there is no Excel classes there anymore, but there was ‘Shree Gajanan‘. We used to have Vada Pavs over there, and when we were short on our budget we used to have Chutney Pav which came for Rs. 2. I used to love their Chutney, and I realized I still do, and I still remembered the taste. I suggested that we can have our lunch here. They did not argue and I went to get three Vada Pavs and a plate of Kanda Bhaji with lots of their Chutney. I looked around in the place, to see myself, a younger me, standing and having Vada Pavs with my friends, discussing that one girl in our class whom we all liked. She had a way of carrying herself at an age when that did not come naturally to many girls, I wondered if she is still that gorgeous, and my thoughts were interrupted by my parcel. I brought the food to the car, where my parents were comfortably waiting for me. We had our lunch and I enjoyed every bite of it.

After some more time we were off to our house.

Today:

In about 2 hours we leave for Kerala, to visit the temples and some of our relatives. It is my chance to ask the Gods to come with me to the foreign land and to bid farewell to my relative and share hopes to see them again. The heavy rains have reduced to a drizzle, but the emptiness still remains.

It is these memories I bet, so many of them. Even though I will be back to my house from Kerala in 1 week and I will be back to my house from US in some years, but the memories, the more they fill up, the more this emptiness. I guess that is the equation in play.

I am sure I should be doing something else right now, instead of typing this down. What is it? I don’t remember.

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Do not turn back now

Do not turn back. It would not be a good idea to turn back now. Keep moving forward, though the path looks tremendously tortuous with a myriad number of dark areas, but keep walking. Walk through the shades if you feel they are the right turns, you eyes will be accustomed and you will be able to see.

Do not stop now, do not turn back, because you have walked through that way, and whatever was there was not good enough to keep you entrenched. You moved away from it and thus you stand here. What lies ahead may be good or bad, but donot vacillate now, for what lies behind is conspicuously not enough.

Lost the touch of solitude

I have lost the touch of loneliness. I kind of used to be an expert on it. Living alone, keeping myself shut from others, not being close to people; that and many more things qualified me to be a really skilled solitude-man. But not in my dreams had I thought that one day I would drop my grades in it; lose my touch in the art.

It is an art, of course. Humans are social by instinct, and to go against that and be perfectly fine, productive and to shine; that requires a lot of upstream swimming. You have to define rules, boundaries, and still feel free. You have to always look for ways to escape before you get into any social situation, and fill your mind with enough things to accompany you, so that you will never miss being with someone other than you.

People would call being alone, a depressing idea; but I disagree; I was rather proud of myself for being good at it, for being a successful and a happy solitary man. But I think it all started to change from that day, when I had sought out for people. This tracks back to only about a month ago; I do not exactly know the reasons that led me into that scenario, in fact, I think I had no peculiar reason as such. What I can clearly remember is me calling out to my friends, desperately I must add, to make a plan, for a night out. “I want to be with people.” was what I repeatedly said; it kind of felt weird after that night passed, because that statement made me look like an alien in this world of people.

I did have a night out that night, and it was a good one. However, since that night, I kind of kept having a lot of hang outs, planned a lot of them, and planned rather frequently.

Two days ago I shifted to a new place. From a room shared with 5 other people, I shifted to a smaller apartment where I could live alone; something I had always wanted, or at least something I truly wanted before the weird “I want to be with people” night.

I, now, finally live alone, but now I miss people. I keep looking at my cell to see if there are any text messages, I keep thinking if I should call someone for a hang out. I have lost the touch of something that I was proud to be. I am not sure if it is something good or bad, but I surely do know, that I just need to let this pass by. I will be back on my track, filling my brains with enough stuff to keep myself occupied, leaving little time to think about others. However, I also am pretty sure, that from now, I wont mind missing people. I wont think twice before calling a friend if I feel like being with him or her. I do realize that with it, comes the attached traumas, like disappointment, expectations, plans getting cancelled, friend not responding, futile waits, and a lot more. But, that is collateral; maybe one day like seedless grapes and bananas, humans will devise a way to have happy attachments without the emotional-behind-the-scenes-trouble; till then I will try to spit out the seed, and enjoy the pulp and sweet juice.

I will be the solitude-man again, regain my touch; but I will blend it with just the right amount of people, friendship, love and emotions. And that, I think, is not a bad thing.

It’s always the small things

Its always the small things.
The big things are easy to find,easy to spot; the big problems, the big fights; they show, they leave a mark very much visible even after they are bygone, quondam.
A broken smile or a clear frown, a slight limp or a visible scar, it can be seen. The effects of the big things show up and unlike the really small things, sharing or talking about it, doesn’t feel futile.
The small things are ignored; given the status of insignificant. The small ones, put those tiny dents, minuscule enough to be ignored. And with every small individual problem comes a small dent, in the mind or the person himself.

But we never share them, do we? Precisely, because they are small. A couple may have fights over the big things, but the really small things? It looks too childish an act to be bothered, or to bother someone, by them. However, small though they are, but every dent it imprints, is a dent nonetheless.

Then comes more dents, one small thing after another. And before you know it, there is one big dent, or maybe a huge crater, in you, and you go through a phase of frequent mental chaos and depression; I guess that is why they call it depression. You are now waiting for a trigger; subconsciously; or a conscious wait.
The trigger can be a big thing, or another small thing. And when you get the trigger, your conversation, your expressions start a trip to a crater that, you wish, should have never existed. You can now connect from the trigger, every dent that led to that depression. You never really knew all of those dents were connected so intricately, but of course they were, they are all on you. You are the connecting link, and now you cannot stop, but let go all of the steam that emanates from this crater.

And if there is a person who is at the receiving end of the steam, he gets not a draft, but a blow so strong that he is shaken. Neither you nor the person who is now shaken, knew that those small dents mattered, but they did.

What happens now? Well the person reacts in the way he would react when he is hit by a strong emotional blow. Some get sad, some angry, some might leave, while some might still stand with you. And even if the one who receives the blow is of the fourth kind, all the agglomerated dents together have impacted, on the person, as a big thing, and hence, it will show.

You now wish that a closed crater with such a trapped deadly steam should have never existed, but you can now only wish. Every dent, every small thing matters. Either by clearing it out or by sharing it, whatever be the method, it should be treated; for its always the small things that matters, the small dents that wreaks havoc; precisely because they are small.

Give me a weird creature

Give me a weird creature.
A creature that is not stupid for lack of brains, but because he chooses to be stupid.
A creature which has abundance, but chooses to ignore it for something trivial.
A creature with eyes to see, but a blind intellect.
A creature which, though can hear, cannot receive; though can touch, cannot feel.
Give me a creature that can forget the womb it came from, the land it thrived on.
A creature so bright, yet so dark at heart.
Give me a creature, that can kill its own kind.
But let that creature have a heart to know love, yet make it hard for it to recognize.
Give the creature, the mind to care, yet a memory to forget.
Make the creature the best that ever lived, yet the most deserving to die.
Give me a weird creature.

Empty drawer

She threw it away; did not even ask me once; she never does it like that. My mom knows how obsessed I am with my room, and each and every thing that it holds. How could she just walk in, open my drawers, take those bangles and throw them away assuming they might not be of any use to me.

I don’t remember if it was the last time we had met, but I am certain that it was at least close to the last time. She had come to my home, my mom and dad were not here; we were no more in any relation with a name, but we still were close. We could not just forget; we were giving each other time to grow away from each other, but I think we both secretly hoped that, that time should never end. She had forgot her bangles at my place. It was one of those ethnic bangles, with a wooden and bronze touch and a matte brown color. I thought I would give it to her the next time she comes. I cannot recollect if she never came after that or she had come few times after that and I forgot to give it back to her; but she never got them back. Those bangles stayed with me. And I liked the fact that they did. It was a small part of her, the only something of her that I might have left, with me, forever.

Whenever I came home and opened those drawers, I smiled when I saw those bangles. We have moved on, but a part of me was clinging onto those bangles, onto her, and I will never let that part walk with me as I move on. I want it to be there; ill advised, but still the way I would like things to be.

Yesterday, when I opened my drawer, it was not there. I asked my mom and to my horror I learnt from her that she threw it away because the last time she asked me about them, I was very evasive about the answer, and so she thought it might not be of any value to me. I could not shout at her because she did not know the value that it held for me; but I could not let myself be shut in either. I shouted, I asked how could she just throw away something that is mine without even asking me. She was sorry, but she was also confused about the reason of my irate behavior. The dubious face she held made me realize that there was no point telling all this to her. I had to let it be.

I have to, now, let it be. It is gone. Not that those bangles would have someday made things back to the way I liked it, neither had I kept those bangles in the hope that she would someday come back to ask for it. That would be stupid, and besides, I, more than anybody wanted her to move on from me.

But without those bangles, I feel torn, I do not know why. It was not as if I used to always carry it with myself, but maybe the part of me holding it, is gone with it. Or maybe now that part, like me, is stranded alone with nothing to hold on to; unable to move on, but solitary at where it stands. I had let a part of me stay in the past, and now that part is still there, unclear, of what it should be with.

I should have kept them somewhere more secure. This is weird, but I don’t even feel like opening the drawer now.  With all the things that it has, it is still going to look painfully empty.

But then…

…and then with all that excitement I really wanted to talk to someone.
I was completely ecstatic and I had no exact reason why, and I wanted to talk about all this to someone. My eyes were frantically in search of someone to speak with.

There she was, sitting on the bench just some steps away from me. Who better to tell than her? Not everyone understands me the way she does. She seems to be sitting like that for quite a while now. She looked all still, motionless, I wondered if she was in one of those moods. I hoped not.

“Hey! Hi. You free?”
She looked at me, expressionless, and took efforts to reply back, “Yes. But I am in one of those “want to be alone” mood. You understand right?”
“Oh yes, totally.” I reacted instantaneously. I left.

Yes I did understand it. It was like one of our codes – if either of us tells the other that they want to be in that mood, the other person just lets that person be in that state. Many reasons and a lot of past has gone into each one of us making this rule, and it works for us. This is why we can understand each other so well, because we connect, not just by the normal ways people connect, but by such unsaid rules, and many more unwritten codes of conduct. Rules that we created because we feel comfortable within them.

But now, I am blue, distressed. That feeling, that good one that I had moments ago, comes to me in unexpected short bursts and when it comes I so wish that it will stay. In those few moments, I totally forget the reasons why those bursts have become this short; but now I am sad again; the burst is dry.
I wish I could talk to her about how sad I am now. But then we have a code. I wish we had none, but we do.

Oh! Its friendship day today. Ironical. How I want to talk about this irony to someone? But then…