In another world, another time, this should have been the name you must have been baptised with,
As the new adage goes, when was the last time, you did something for the first time, I wonder, when was the first time, I did something for the last time, there are so many habits that one needs to unlearn as they grow old. For people who firmly agree to believe and as well fervently refuse to believe that ‘Age is just a number’; something they overlook,
With age, comes a certain vulnerability. Say a graceful one. At times, they are visible, yet they can render a great invincibility. Being vulnerable doesn’t scare me much, but rather the lack of it scares me, more. The peculiarity, is that in a world mediated by cell phones and being connected, people have lost touch with their emotional side, that days and moments only count for Facebook or for an Instagram picture worthy moment. Just couldn’t help to smile and agree more with Ms.Buffay when she says, “How self-involved are you?”
I wish I was self-involved, I wish I could love me more once, and Hence this letter. To remind that self love can also be a worthy love at times.
To remind oneself the multitude of joys that one can attain, if only learnt how to live in this time, immediate – not the bygone, not-the-to-be-gone, but the on-going time. I have somehow learnt, say mastering the art of staying away from Social media – the way it makes me anxious, I have also realised that twenty fours hours of time is enough and adequate to sit and sulk, to bask in lazyness, to contemplate, to actually get the domestic chores done, to do run errands, to watch a film, or to re-watch-the-many-times-re-watched episodes of a sit-com,
Strange but true, I do have a better re-collection of things that happen in a day, I can cook a decent meal, read an article, read a newspaper, and write mails. ( I really should learn to cut down the number of mails i write to people, who at times, can be so emotionally retarded and unavailable, to even compose a few couple of sentences as a reply)
Stranger but truer, thirty can be quite confounding when it comes to certain conjectures about life, the way time overruns, overlaps, the way it is reluctant and reticent. It does a number on your head, mind and soul and yet gives enough time for healing. The way days plummet forward when my mind and heart race backwards in time and memory, everything seems a standstill
Which is exactly what I cannot afford right now, with work cut out to do and an impending finished PhD thesis. I race along time, day and night, in its stillness and in its momentum. All I need is a refuge in doing now. What needs to be taken care, should be taken care.
With souls departing in a jiff, all it takes is to be a still-home, in Happyness and in Faith.
Oops. Here I go,
Here I am back to my blogging life, interspersed with random thoughts, frequents cups of hot fluids, evading abstract memories of fading yesterdays and an impending finished PhD dissertation, nursing myself back to health, like an wounded animal in a battle for survival.
My mind chose this night to recount a few memories, draped in a moon-lit solitude and a flickering candle, I sit helplessly and sleeplessly ruminating over a few hundred moments of what could have been the point of breaking down. Writing could be a wonderful way to exorcise past and to confront the violent ugliness of reality. Its the point in time, when people see that lane of exit of the past, parallel to their actual days of life.
Most times, our lives are never about ourselves alone, it is so more about a few people who do become a part of you and your everydayness of life. It is strange when people decide to leave, all of a sudden. The silence, sullenness, the aloofness, the cold distance, the indifference and all of that together in a single look, word or a phrase, and to realise at a precise moment in time; to be left alone,
” I was certain he would turn my way. He would look at me. He would flatten his ears. He would growl. In some such way, he would conclude our relationship. He did nothing of the sort…
…. I was weeping because Richard Parker had left me so unceremoniously. What a terrible thing to botch a farewell. I am a person who believes in form, in the harmony of order. where we can, we must give things a meaningful shape.. It’s important in life to conclude things properly. Only then you can let go, otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did and your heart is heavy with remorse, that bungled good-bye hurts me to this day.. But I hope you will remember me as a friend. I will never forget you, that is certain. You will always be with me in my heart…So Farewell, God be with you..”
– Life of Pi- Yann Martel.
The adolescent longings of an unrequited love seems much more of a mirage in the scale of pain as one grows up to be an adult. Those winter evenings as I stay hidden on the sides of the wall, looking up on balcony for a sight of her. The exhilarating joys of a puppy love, the rush of hormones, the inevitable shyness even to look into your eyes as we speak. The innocence of then love held a promise of being cared for, with no apprehensiveness. Was it the age? was it the heart? Was it the mind?
Life then sucked too.
The promise of a love and a faith in the togetherness of a tomorrow was quite reassuring.
I vividly remember a new years eve. Following a promise made to A, I began to read my first Classic, Of Human Bondage. Any plans for a celebration looked futile. I was half cursing and sulking at my room-mate who left earlier that evening. I took my pills, covered myself with two sheets of blankets and held a book on top of my chest. It was cold and difficult even to hold the book and worse it wasn’t a book that seemed to move forward as one reads. I remember this place in the book, where an unhappy orphan kid feeling far worse alone and painful as he couldn’t be consoled by his care taker, a barren elderly women who never had a kid. The kid shouts out his vengeance”I hate you, I wish you were dead”. The poor lady who never knew what it is to be mother breaks down at her failure. She breaks down and sobs as the kid reaches to kiss her. “She loved him now with a new love because he had made her suffer”. That was a moment of a sublimeness and I was overcome with such a spiritual feeling. I went off to sleep, closing the book and remember waking up far better in reality.
I knew very little of A’s own journey from her childhood. She married young and got divorced with a little boy even before she turned twenty five. Having lost her father at a young age, it was her mother who raised her; and life can be indeed cruel when you are violently brought back to square one. I knew somethings about her life as she told me, what she had to fight everyday and what follows her like the shadows of demons. I know our lives are not destined to be the same in our adulthood, yet I know, how I once felt close to her as how I would have for a sibling.
At times, life spins a tale, a far fetched joke, taking someone far away from everything they knew and they loved.
I remember writing once in my diary, “Love is an ability. An ability to be humane.” I have had known, what is when people leave, when they grow up and move on. Yet some times, when few memories catch you, so off-guard. A trembling moment of resonance as one sees, when things come crashing down. Stay put. Hold onto your ground. Look up as they soar high and smile, knowing deep down, they are not coming back.
May be. Sometimes they do.
Sometimes this wound occurs at the moment of birth, sometimes it happens later. We are all fixing what is broken. It is the task of a lifetime. We’ll leave much unfinished for the next generation.
Cutting For Stone – Abraham Verghese
Let all that remain aside,
but what concerns me more these days is you. Just you.
I had been merely just lazy and have thoroughly neglected you. I am sorry baby. I promise that I will make up and be the best to you in the coming days. Promise to take you out for more, random outings, random restaurants for an eat-out and posh places once in a blue moon, More Walks, More movies, More Shopping and I need to earn for that.
It feels good to sit and write a letter, a post just for you. And more than anything I need to spend more time with you, to re-discover you, discover you and to fall in love with you once again… and that’s a promise now.
From Darling Me to Darling Me…
I lay here on the sofa in my drawing room awake to the sense of being alive in the thoughts of my dead mother. There are times, when I wished she was here with me in this very home where we loved to hate each other and lived a life of lies. Lost in the oblivion, I sat looking at the fan in the ceiling, my mind swirls to certain moments in my life, I feel bad to know that I had been worse to her, there is a painful lump in my throat, my heart gnaws in pain at the very thought of those days. I wish I could ease this numbing pain. I wish I can get rid of this guiltiness of nothing and the nothingness of the guilt that this life had for me to offer.
Wish I had written this letter a few years ago, when you could have possibly read this to know that your son loves you, no matter what happened between us. Remember the first letter I wrote in my fourth standard summer vacation camp, rather that was the last letter too. I know I have wronged you, I had never been a son to you, never loved you, never let you love me. but honestly you have never known your son. What happened in our life, which made us hate each other in such vehement hostility? Have you ever wondered how difficult it was for me to live under one roof and still pass each other day as strangers?
You never had time to think about these things, you had your son, who was the world to you. What did I do in life? what was wrong in a nine-year old boy to expect his dad and mom live together? I don’t understand this mom, well for that matter I don’t understand anything you did in your life, How can you stand to see dad with another woman? you let him live a life with another woman, when you know very well that he cheated you and walk out of the family abandoning the two kids? And more of that, you and him being that good friends even after divorce. I honestly wonder, did you expect your nine year kid to make sense out of all this and then realize that one plus one, not only makes two, but also something that is not one, but actually two. It took me time to understand things and more importantly to put them in perspectives and understand that my mom and dad are divorced, but still love each other.
I knew mom, you were more understanding with dad, you loved him so much that you didn’t really mind him, loving another woman. I was the one who didn’t understand you and dad. There were times, when you had plainly ignored me and my pain of being the left-over of the love you shared with him. I understood that he was that good friend for you and the husband who felt it was more important for him to bring down his family to ruins, and then expect his kid to understand that it was man enough on his part to part his family. But mom, where you ever there for me to hold me, to ease my pain, help me grow up, ease my adolescent agonies, help me come up with my teen-aches.
Yet I lived life on my own terms, had a dad for name-sake, who felt it was important for me to have a constant male-companion, he was there in my greater-part of life as an unwanted mute spectator, who felt me as a mere awkward acquaintance, who made it a point to be just there in all occasions. I never had a proper father-son conversation with him in all this years. Let me tell you one thing, I just cannot accept him as my father in my life, knowing very well that he had shattered you and your life by a gross betrayal which I cannot just forget or forgive. Also I found it hard to accept you as a mother who would just willfully accept her husband’s decision to live with other woman. I lived in a fuss of constant anger, frustration, despair, solitude and a constant longing for love and a quest to know what made my dad and mom decide to part ways and bring to ruins a decade of wedded bliss.
I remember that august evening, when you were about to leave to delhi. I was late from dad’s place. I totally forgot that you had your flight at 1 AM, I came home around 11. The first thing you asked me as usual was whether I had dinner. I answered a usual I-don’t-care-a-damn-why-you-bother-me NO. I didn’t expect that you would take pain to fix up a dinner for me at the last minute. It rather irritated me, knowing that you still care for me and I just couldn’t bring myself either to love you or feel grateful to you. And worst of all, you choosing to make rotis then, When you served rotis to me, you very well understand me, by my mere flinching reaction. And still you decided your luck with idlies and chutney.
I came to the kitchen frustrated, to find you cooking when you were already late for the air-port. I shouted at you for no reason. I was rather wild, came behind the counter and threw the vegetable board down, knowing very well that would make you hurt your fingers with the knife. I saw the blood staining the floor, I took the first-aid kit and got the gauze cloth and cotton to bandage you. I tried to hold your hand and help you, you reluctantly got out of my hold and turned to me with tears welled up in your eyes. When I tried to comfort you, you shrinked away from me and sat down the counter and started crying. You drifted away and sobbed heavily into your lap, I wish I could hold you and make up for every wrong I did. I wished you would take me in your arms and let me drown in your love and ease my life out of the hell I made. But you didn’t. Instead You again left me. In a minute you sprang up and left the kitchen. I sat there dumbfounded. I sat there still, watching you move inside the house to get ready for your flight. I heard a distant sound of the screeching of the reversing of the car.
Three days later, I awoke to a phone call from Neethu aunty to know that you passed away in your sleep. It was a massive cardiac-arrest. You appeared calmer and prettier than ever. I couldn’t forgive myself for our last day. I still keep asking bo–bo whether you spoke anything about me after you left to delhi. He maintains that You spoke nothing. I wish you had spoken something about me. What did we achieve in our life with all this hatredness? I wish I can shout aloud and tell the world that my mom loves me. Never once in your life, you told me that you loved me or made me feel warm and important. But why mom?
All that I have in memory of our lives is the sight of dad playing with little leila, you in kitchen cooking, either singing or humming a favorite tune of yours, the smell of dad’s old spice lotion and the smell of cuticura talcum on you, me sitting in your lap when you read from those tattered books, or when you and dad going for those long walks, me holding each of yours hand. Till Today when ever I see the couch, all I could remember is the sight of you lying dreamily across and reading a book. You’re so much in me mom, that I hate to admit that you’re no more with us and that I never loved you.
PS ***A Draft of a story that i’m experimenting with***
addthis_pub = ‘barathwillbe’;
For the first time, I felt like talking to you. I just couldn’t see you crying yesterday night. I know how it pains, when it hurts, for I’m a paper. I had been through struggles in my life before becoming this beautiful diary of yours. Remember this in life, “This too shall pass, Choco!”
Life was good, uncertainly good, when I had to keep waiting till 12 in the noon for the postman to arrive and then get hold of the letter only to read it 112 times a day till the next letter. The sight of the street promising the post-man to walk by was much better than the monitor showing zero new mail(s) in my Inbox.
Yeah. I had been always a man of letters (No!!! from Boy of letters to Man of letters). The magic of letters cannot be expressed in mere words. Receiving a letter is a ceremony that is to be cherished, if you’re not into much of snail mail. I don’t think that there is a possibility of you appreciating e-mail, either.
The gentle feel of the rough textured paper covered with smudged ink and stamp, thoroughly mishandled by a dozen of postal authorities is an excitement about to explode in me. I, carefully take time in ripping the corners of the cover to make sure that the stamp stays intact. I can imagine how the other person would have taken time and pleasure in writing the letter. I can see a busy battering brain, sitting on a table with a pen and a mind totally in action, laziness doused on a bed with a paper at an unearthly hour, someone exhaustively lost in woods, someone sitting in a boring lecture, faking a feign air of attentiveness in taking notes, but actually writing a letter.
Does a place determine how a letter would be? In a snail mail, right from the stationary, place and to the ambience, everything affects the writer, letter as well as the reader. A letter written on a dining table differs from that of a writing table and a coffee table. Your mood differs to the smell of the meals gently waft in from the kitchen to the aroma of a nice coffee or an herbal tea, so is the content of the letter. I remember writing an exciting letter to my vegan friend about the recent delectable Hyderabadi biryani I had, just to get an annoying two worded reply. Yeah! That’s what came in reply.
The magic never fades out. I keep reading and re-reading the letter. I ran my fingers across the words, tracing the paper lightly to know where the hand had been rested before writing the letter. In spots, I can see the smudges, the pen made. I can imagine the rush of the author in completing the letter. I look at the crossed out words, wondering what he/she intended to say. I take peace in knowing that someone has taken up time to give up their time to spare some time for me. I love the words carved out of love. The scribbling of the gentle hand makes the relationship a resolute one.
Days of long letters are gone; People don’t find time to write letters, rather they don’t find themselves to write letters. Phone calls had made it easy. No tones of regret here. If it was all hand and words, now it’s the voice and words. Well even then there came a time, when people couldn’t find time to make phone calls. Never mind. I get replies to my letters through phone calls.
“Da machaan, letter kedachudhu, Sorry da time illai, aparama ezhutharen” aparam never came in life.
“Got your letter, sorry da, couldn’t find time. Will reply later” Later never happened.
I wonder how people don’t find time to write letters, when they have time for every thing and every other thing. I, a kid enjoyed the serenity that life offered in writing letters. It became synonymous with me. I write letters, long letters, only to get telegraphic mails in reply.
With time, I switched to e-mails, for me it was the same feel, but a different medium, yet I found it annoying to sit before a monitor and let my muse out. I just cannot ruminate before a monitor’s reflection. I am a paper-pen kind of guy. I need to get lost in the tranquil of thoughts to think and write. SO I stuck faithfully to my paper. Write and then type. I always let out a gentle sigh, after seeing the length of the mail in the monitor. Just got reminded of this essay, where a guy sits to write a letter to his brother, “Brother, I write to you because I have nothing to do. And now I wind up the letter because I have nothing to tell.” This brother seems much better than my friends who are good at sending MUL mails.
What makes me wonder so much is how people who had been writers of long lengthy mails turn to someone who just sends MUL mails. There was everything written in letters once, from the book read, the cricket matches, the movies and their reviews, the visit to grandpa’s place, the first dog, the first love and those code words for the secrets. Change is inevitable and the inevitable happened. Whenever I write mails, as I told, I write long letters. The reply is a total fascination for me,
“Dude. Got to go, got a meeting tomo morning. Mail u l8r da.”
Life is already full of If(s) and But(s). I don’t believe in the Later(s) of life. For Life is now or never. I kind of changed now, I refrain myself from lengthy mails for I knew I always end up with a “Mail you later” mails. I scan my inbox for text mails; sorry I don’t give damn importance to those “please pass on” mails. I delete them ruthlessly but spare a moment for those funny and witty forwards.
Dude. Got to go.
Will talk to you later. Bubye
addthis_pub = ‘barathwillbe’;