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The one and only ‘love’

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That night as I walked back home having broken up, it had seemed like nothing would ever feel worse. Probably today, six years later, I know I was being too quick to judge.

A few days later, I had also concluded that I had lost my capacity to feel the love ever again. This had to be it. I was now doomed to be lonely for life. Six years later, that story turned out differently too.

So I have learned through bitter experiences that neither the good parts nor the bad ones are to be permanent. I have been liking people, maybe feeling the love and I have experienced much deeper pains than what I felt that night.

But there’s something that bothers me because it doesn’t seem to have changed with these experiences – the surprise. Whether its about growing close to a person or drifting away, there is a recurrent element of surprise, as if something not-supposed-to-happen was unfolding before me.

Why?

Why does there have to be a hold over the future and where will a relationship end (or not)?

Why can’t that one powerful conversation with someone be an expression of love that lasted for as much time?

Wherever it comes from, most of us have a strong urge to classify people and interactions in slots that make sense to us. In doing this, the most important aspect – of being mindful in a relationship – is lost. We become experts in judging the other person’s intentions and use their reactions and behaviours to tell us what it implies for the future of that relationship.

Therein lies a major mistake. Those judgements and assumptions, instead of the actual experiences, set the tone of how we behave and perceive that relationship.

How much would being in the here and now really hurt? Maybe not as much as we fear, and maybe much worse than what we have imagined. But in any case, being guarded doesn’t entirely keep the pain away. It instead manages to sabotage the possible beautiful interactions.

Next time maybe don’t hold yourself back from blushing when you feel appreciated. Don’t try to not express what you feel because you aren’t yet sure about ‘where is this going’. Say what you feel and get those urges out into actions.

Whether you’re beginning to feel drawn towards someone or whether you need to bury some memories, remember they are just one of the several such moments that your life is woven with.

Falling in love once and being there forever is just one of the possibilities in this lifetime, not the only one.

That unfailing Sun

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I have begun to love seeing these sunrises..between feeling groggy and rushing off

One of those beautiful mornings when the nature smiles upon you

One of those beautiful mornings when the nature smiles upon you

to work. They feel surreal, beautiful and heavenly. There is something so calming and at the same time energizing about seeing the Sun come up daily. And the best part is, it manages to be there daily. Just like how I see your presence in my life. Or mine in your’s. It beats me how there is never even a shade of doubt about the Sun coming up in the mornings, about it managing to spread those beautiful colours across the sky. That’s what reliability is. That’s what consistency is. That’s what inspires the trust. That is what I think of when I think of you and your love. The kind of a bond that won’t ever give up on me – even on days when I fail to wake up on time, on days when the rains refuse to let the Sun peek in, even on days when I might be shut indoors all day, I know the Sun will be shining outside unfailingly; I know you will be waiting for me just the same. I love the sunsets equally so. I like them because they give me the time to want the next sunrise. I like the sunsets because they compel me to face the darkness, force me to navigate my way out; out where there is better light and hope. I like the sunsets because they help me not to take the days for granted. I like the sunsets also because they tell me I’ll have to earn that next sunrise by going through the hell night might bring along. And more often than not, that struggle has been worth it. Maybe that is why I have grown to depend on you and your love so much. Because each time you move away, you come back; and you always will. Sometimes I might have to earn that time we spend together by holding my act together on my own until then, sometimes I might just barely drag myself through the interim. But that doesn’t matter. All nights have ended in sunrises; they always do.

I don’t know whether I love the glow of a sunrise because it reminds me of you or whether I love you because you bring in that pleasant morning feeling. But then I am not in any hurry to figure that out. I am happier basking in the contentment I feel. I am happy adoring that Sun as it comes up each day and reminds me of someone I know who is as dependable on, as is that beautiful Sunrise.

Growing up…

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It took the greater part of a day, and then I grew up.

Sudden and uncertain, that’s how most dramatic events in life unfold; whether good or bad. There’s hardly ever a time to rehearse things out, to try and plan your reactions, or even to brace yourself. That’s how today unfolded as well. Another of those seemingly routine days; appointments following the clock and the clock following the appointments. And then came the jolt, as is supposed to happen on such days.

Despite my dislike, despite the discomfort and despite not having figured out how to behave, Life kind of manages to throw up deaths at me every once in a while. It is almost as if she keeps a watch. When I gradually become comfortable with the routine and keep focusing on helping people the best I can, through therapy, Life chooses to remind me that there will always be events beyond anyone’s control and wishes.

But today was not so much about the death. It wasn’t even about the uncertainty. I am probably getting better at seeing it as an inevitable aspect of life. Today essentially was about growing up, and as I said earlier, in about half a day.

I never found the time to stop and check with myself about how and when I learnt to say the right things, do the right things, and console the right people. There were several instances when I nearly gave in to my urges of wanting to run down and seek solace in my mother’s arms or maybe my father’s arms. Each of those times when I almost got up, something pulled me down again (and no, that was not gravity). It was the need to stick around for someone else that got the better of those urges, every single time. When I got a stranger’s car out of their parking lot to run errands, I knew I had turned into someone other people chose to rely on. When I downed one cup of coffee, washed the tear stains off and headed to the clinic to meet with the pre-fixed appointments, I learnt that I could get to work at the cost of my discomfort. When I dragged my father out from the middle of a crowd of upset people; sat him down at a nearby restaurant and ensured his diabetes doesn’t go haywire, I realized I had moved onto being practical and rational.

Being relied upon, being looked upon by people older to you, being considered as someone who can shoulder the pain, trauma and tears, being seen a shield for someone younger to you, and to cease being the person people feel the need to worry about – they all tell you that you grew up somewhere along the way.

Growing up is more in the mind. Somethings probably won’t remain the same in my mind anymore. Certain events act as an announcement, for yourself and those around you. I went through one such event today. It told me I have grown up. And it told the others around as well that I have grown up.

With a tinge of sadness, and mostly a lot of calm acceptance, I am now aware that it is all going to be alright no matter what. No matter who chooses to stay, no matter who chooses to go; no matter who makes their way into my life, no matter who I never get to meet with; no matter how big the repertoire of my experiences will be, no matter how confined my life remains in the vastness of Life; no matter whether I appreciate it or not, what is going to happen is going to happen. I am going to continue living, and I am going to continue to function, as long as I choose to. The day I decide to throw my hands up in the air and give up, no matter who will be around and no matter what help I’ll find, it just won’t be enough. We are all quite literally on our own in this path of Life. Its about finding good company on the way, and savouring it while it lasts.

Ease..unease..

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As you settled into bed that night and held my hand as you drifted off into a comfortable sleep, I grew uneasy.

Your ease, your comfort disarmed me. I was in a fitful, restless state that night. I mostly lay awake till you woke up with that early morning call. Not because you snored right into my ears. Not even because I felt unwell. Those reasons didn’t seem to matter enough.

I couldn’t sleep because your ease led to my unease.

How does one give oneself to another so easily? How does one be oneself with another? Physical nakedness seems okay. How does one come undone before another from within? How does one fall asleep in the assurance of the other’s arms; without the fear of losing that warmth?

What is it like to gracefully accept love and not be embarrassed in the expression of that soft, tiny glow?
Maybe it feels like you want to savour every moment that passes by; like you would slowly take in the last spoonful of your favourite ice cream.
Maybe it feels warm within, the kind of warmth that makes you smile wihout a reason.
Maybe it feels like a big mistake at times, that you’ll probably never regret committing
Maybe it gives one the strength to keep moving on..
Maybe it feels light..to live in the awareness that you will be loved despite all that you will choose to do and not do..

I don’t know if I there will be such a night ever again. But I want you to know, as much as I want myself to know, that I have never felt so tender, so vulnerable ever before. My defenses might get the better of me ahead at some point. I might resist coming closer again. I will probably wander a little more still. But know this for good – you brought in a sense of vulnerability I didn’t know I was capable of.
What one’s gesture of comfort can do to another’s extent of discomfort is sometimes magical..

Letting out sometimes

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It’s an enviable ability
To express yourself
To express what you’re thinking just the way you’re thinking it..
To let your face project what you feel within..
To crib with the assurance of not being put down for it..
To be able to show the disgust you feel at something..
To let your brows furrow in anger that otherwise would eat you up within..
To shrug off all responsibilities for a while and let yourself be frustrated..
To tell someone when you disagree with them instead of the mechanic nod..
To pause and let others know what you need..
To be able to ask for help..

One needs to be able to accept to be able to express. Accept themselves the way they are. Accept their feelings the way they feel them. Accept that expressions of fear, shame, disgust or disappointment do not mean a permanent damage to relationships. Accept that there are people who might never approve. Accept that you have a choice – to express. And that choice might bring along consequences that may only increase discomfort. But they allow you a certain freedom as well.
Once in a while, we can do ourselves a favour; let out what needs to be let out.

That happy ending?

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This fear that I talk about – the one that doesn’t let me hope easily – sounds unrealistic at times. I do realize that. The ups and downs are just a part and parcel of everyone’s lives. After all, these are all experiences one goes through while growing up, right?

No, they aren’t.

Growing up with a constant fear of things falling apart if you were to look away..

Having your guards up all the time to ward off the slightest presence of danger..

Being on the lookout for tiffs that can be fanned into full blown fires..

To fear being embarrassed when you’re out with your own people..

To know their dirty secrets, listen to everything nasty about them, but smile and pretend otherwise..

To turn a blind eye towards all those marks, bruises, and signs of loss..

To have your game face on all the time because no one understood, neither within those doors, or without..

Having to curl up and hug yourself hard while your tears gently eased you into that uncomfortable sleep..

Not allowing yourself to slow down for the fear of coming to a halt altogether..

Trying your best and finding it hard to believe when people talk about happy endings..

These are not the regular experiences one grows up with. When you know that your scars run deep enough to colour everything you’ll experience in life, you know something went wrong on the way. I find it hard to think about happy endings thus. Too many guards that are drawn into action to ward off all possible danger.

What is the possible danger with a happy ending, you wonder? …that it might never be mine.

Have it all and have none of it..

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To hold water in the crevice of your palms,
but not drink it.

To see your reflection in the mirror,
but not touch it.

To see hundreds of people around you,
but not be with them.

To go crazy with the ache within,
but not locate it.

To be in love with the idea of being in love,
but not be in love.

To help, help, and help,
but feel helpless.

To see that steam rise up from the broth,
but not smell it.

To lap up food like you were starving
but not taste a thing.

To have it all,
but to believe you never had any of it.

Mrigtrishna…

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