A break up.

Dear A,
I probably wouldn’t tell you how I feel. I wouldn’t let you in on a lot of my secrets. I won’t let you know when you’ve hurt me, and I wouldn’t allow you to feel sad. I won’t talk to you about what my dreams are. I wouldn’t share my nightmares with you either. I wouldn’t travel with you. I wouldn’t think of a future with you. I wouldn’t write about you. I wouldn’t read to you or buy you gifts. Most of all, I wouldn’t let you know how much I would love to do everything I’ve just mentioned. I’d box it up and seal it, push it to the farthest corner of the darkest part of my mind and then cover it with maroon sheets and place an orchid in a flower vase on top of the sheets, just to distract you. And outside, there will be a dragon for extra security. I can’t share what goes on, no, because if I share it means I actually feel them and that means I am vulnerable again. No, I think I like the box in the far away corner. It seems to be cosy up there, so I’ll let it be. As the dust settles on the sheets, and the maroon turns to a dull red, I’ll learn to never let anyone in. They will remain secrets until I run into that part of you which acually doesn’t need my permission to enter the dungeon because that person will know that the dragon doesn’t know how to breathe fire and that the secrets I have kept need to be unearthed. No, you don’t know me. You know that part of me which I’ve let you in on, for all these years. You think you know me and I’ll let it be like that. Each time we’ve spoken, I’ve let you assume and I’ve never corrected you because you seem happy to believe in what you believe. Happiness is my gift to you, even though ignorance isn’t something you’re fond of. I know you. I know you because you’re not guarded like I am. You’re free. You have the freedom I desire and I live it through you, and I just didn’t have the heart to let you in on my secrets. The secret which screams out loud about how I’m not who you think I am. I am proud of myself; I pretend very well, to have fooled you for this long, fools live happily and happiness is my gift to you. No, to think of it, I don’t have to pretend. I just keep quiet. Every time I see assumptions flood in, I drift into my cool, dark corner and allow you and everyone else to be happy. What good does an argument do, anyway? You’ll call me passive and indifferent but I just want you to feel like you know me, because you look so joyous when you feel triumphant..triumphant of having known me and been with me for twenty five long years. Foolish, at the same time, to have assumed that in those years I remained the same person, like a stagnant pool of water trapped in a crack underground; nowhere to escape and no reason to, either. I had reasons and I did use them, probably only too subtle for you to have noticed. I grew in depth and with it grew the darkness that shrouded my box of desires, and you, like a fool, felt you knew me. You were happy, like any fool would be, so I let it be because happiness has always been my gift to you. I have loved you, and you love me, or so you think. Is it me or the idea of me that you’re in love with? It isn’t your fault, I clouded the proof you needed to accept who I had become but what if you didn’t like me anymore? You probably wouldn’t, because I know you. You’re free and it’s your freedom that inspires me to end it with you. I can’t pretend or be quiet anymore. I’ve grown too deep to come out of it, and I can’t hold my breath any longer.
I wish you knew, but I wouldn’t let you in on my secrets anyway. I love you, because I know you and I know that you’ve tried your best. If you ever come across a tamed dragon, know that it’s I who has sent it for you, because I’ll miss you enough to risk it.

Love,
Z.

image

The X-YZ of things.

I am bitter and not feeling very bright at the moment, so pardon the hatred. This is almost exclusively for a particular set of people in the world and that is, surprise surprise, the ex. It could be an ex boyfriend or a girlfriend or heck, even a friend. It is human tendency to do two of the things that I will write about here, post an ‘end’ to the said relationship.
First, you would want to claw back to the person (assuming that you re the one who was dumped, obviously)
Second, you would bad mouth that person or, listen to others talk bull about them.

Let’s go serially:
The clawing back phenomenon is very common. Obviously, they were an important part of your life and without them it feels empty and you want to fill their void only with their presence. Everything that you would have taken for granted suddenly becomes about them. I read a comic strip on Facebook a while back which went something like this-
Person A-“Yes! I am finally over her. I can live now”
Friend- “Great! Hey, want some water?”
A- “OMG SHE LOVED WATER :'(”

Yes I know It would look better with the comic strip, but I can not seem to find it. Blah.

Anyway, the point is, the feeling is normal. You would do everything in you power to get them to like you again. It is not your fault. It happened to me too when I was dumped, long long ago. I was heart-broken and sad and whatnot. At one point in time, I assumed that person to be someone without whom I would not be able to live, but look at me now; living and all. Ha!
But there are some of you who take this to a whole new level. Don’t play the sympathy card with their friend(s). Yes, the sad part is ‘you still love them’ despite the fact that they ‘mutilated’ your heart and stomped on it, repeatedly. Don’t do that. It isn’t healthy, not for your ego or for the friendship. Just because they took the call of ending the relationship does not mean they aren’t hurting. It does not mean they have a stone cold heart.

The usual protocol after a break up is to not talk for a couple of months, preferably years. Maintain it. Only because a person was your everynight-phone-companion, does not mean they will remain so for life. While dating, people say a lot of things
– I will always love you
– I will watch our grandchildren grow old with you
– Let’s go to switzerland
– Buy a dog
-Laser tag is a sad sport
Making lists is fun (…but I digress)

But don’t hold it against them when the break up does happen. I mean seriously, are you new to the dating world? People say things. It doesn’t mean they did not mean it while they said it! So don’t play the sympathy card. Don’t try to rope in all of their friends on to your side. Remember, a break up always has two people involved. The one to call it quits may have started the process earlier but they need their friends too.

break_up_by_LNePrZ

The second:
And if you DO end up playing the fool by pretending to be the one who is the victim, like they announced war on your tiny heart, grow up. The first rule to move on is accepting the fact that you need to. Pretending to be ‘fine’ and acting ‘cool’ is not helping anyone.
Also, learn to differentiate between those who really want your good and those who just want to laugh at you behind your back while you grieve. Let me tell you my story. Long back, when I broke up with this guy, I was in regular contact with one of his friends. After the break up, the guy had only sad, sad things to tell me about the said boy. He filled me in with snippets of false news that made me pity my ex. The friend told me all about his grades in school (they were low) and  spats with teachers (thee were many), popularity (hated by all class mates) and simultaneously, the friend kept praising himself (high grades, and I assumed he was a teacher’s pet and student of the year). At that age, the three criteria that were mentioned to me were important aspects of a student’s life, the fact that a boy once dated was flunking grades disturbed me. Two months later I came to know how the friend was really trying to make me fall for him. Every word that he uttered about the ex was a tweaked version of the truth, a lie actually.

^the moral there is don’t believe everything people have to say. Also, don’t go on spreading rumours and make the poor -ex an anomaly to the social structure. Respect the privacy. Understand the dynamics of the people. By telling everyone that you love them despite the horrendous way they treated you and describing how you JUST know they never loved you, makes them the bad person . What have they actually done? Broken up with you and not spoken? THAT is the crime you are holding them responsible for and therefore that makes them heartless? Then yes, maybe they’re guilty in YOUR court of law. I have done it myself too, when I was new to this world. But now, I have matured. And I hope you do too.

Memoirs of a Memory with a Song.

Don’t you just detest it when a perfectly brilliant song is ruined because some jack-ass halfway around the globe decided to make a memory with you precisely when that song was playing and then BAM! three months later he isn’t there and the perfectly brilliant song is pooped. Yknow, there are categories of songs- the mediocre, the good and then, there are the brilliant.

The mediocre are the ones which find their way into your playlist because
– someone gave them to you via bluetooth
-a dude shared his playlist with you to get you to listen to grunge rock
-a break up
-PMS
-by mistake
-really sad sitcoms which make you think ‘wow that song is brilliant’ and then you download it and listen to it on repeat for 567 hours and then, by the end of it you are ready to puke.
-initially a brilliant track which slips to the mediocre because of *surprise surprise* the MEMORIES.

The good ones are good primarily because they are cult classics, I mean, Pink Floyd will never become mediocre because a d-bag decided to ruin it for you. NO! You always come back to life after Pink Floyd, literally. And then is John Mayer and Coldplay and ABBA (and ronan keating). And Death Cab For Cutie (at least some of their songs. I don’t know why they decided to sing for Twilight- the Meet me on the equinox). Some songs never die. I mean, yeah whatever some guy might ruin one or two of those ‘classic’ songs but forgive them. They know not what it means to dance to ‘I will follow you into the dark’. Word of advice, limit these classics to those you know will NOT let you down. Ever. EVER. Like best friends or parents or children. That way, no one can ruin good songs for you. 🙂

^that is a really cute rendition of I Have A Dream, ABBA. Watch it :’)

Then come the brilliant ones. These are comprised mainly by The biggies themselves, each of us have our personal favourites and I wont name mine but you would which songs figure in your list of brilliant, wouldn’t you? The ones which you always listen to, anytime all the time. Like I could listen to Fix You for-evvvver and never get tired of it and I would not let anyone ruin that song for me. No one is allowed to dedicate it to me. No one is allowed to expect it from me. This is MY song. and will remain so because it is too precious for me. The words are too personal. If this song is dedicated to me by someone I love and then he breaks my heart (or whatever) then these very words will prick me and make me bleed. So I wont let anyone burst my bubble. And if you really love me, you wont dedicate this to me.
You could, however, dedicate a ‘Baara maheene mein baara tareeko se’ to me because that song is already hopeless. It means all that you want a love song to and then too it doesn’t stand a chance of getting ruined with a memory because the song already is at the lowest level of music. Seriously. LOWEST.

^Don’t watch this if you aren’t ‘READY’

Now, it isn’t just sad memories that attach themselves to songs. there are songs to which you have joys and birthdays related to. There are songs which make you smile no matter what. there are those songs to which you danced on your first night stay or the song you sang to your BFF after the epic fight or a song you dedicated to your mom on mother’s day. Some songs become good from the mediocre scale because of the memories so never underestimate those underdogs, you!

^Like this one, that I’d love to sing- fights or no fights, we are stuck with each other Pie. Oh, Happy Birthday! 😀

But getting back to the sad stuff (because sad things always appeal more, sadists we are),
I missed out one more category of songs. they are the happy songs which mean nothing. Or sad ones, the blues, which say absolutely nothing to you. Yknow, the kind to which you were introduced to because someone dedicated them to you. The conversation goes like:
Random person who knows you- ‘Hey, this is a nice song and I, in my right senses dedicate this absolutely nonchalant piece of music to you!’
You- ‘Oh, alright gracious man/woman/person, I shall listen to it right away’
And then you and that person become really good friends, lovers, pals, siblings, online facebook open relationship partners, whatever, and slowly you drift away BUT the song still remains on your iPod/Walkman/Really awesome phone like SGIII. And while you’re on a long journey the song begins to play and you remember that friendship (or affair) and just…smile. No bitterness, no joy either but just a memory that does not affect your emotion.
Like, right now, I am listening to ‘Addicted’ by Enrique. No, don’t judge me it is a really nice song okay, whatever. And  this song has become rotten by all the so-called dedication but still it has managed to remain on my playlist and I have no memory associated with it whatsoever. None!

So, lesson to be learnt is just one:

Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.

Don’t fight the memories and don’t fight the world from making them for you. If some guy, in his mushy weakness dedicates ‘Perfect two’ by Auburn to you, just smile and listen to the song. And then, remember the song. Memories are a part of life. We wouldn’t stay up at night if it wasnt for those wretched memories and future-planning. Happy or sad, songs and memories are intricate and you can’t argue over the fact that a little bit of heartache makes the songs even more beautiful, ’cause lets face it- even though you categorise them as mediocre because of the sourness attached to them, they are still there on your playlist, aren’t they?

Let life play itself out. 🙂

A final treat for you-

-entangle.

Stars or just a single Moon?

“It’s the moon.”

“What’s the moon?”

“That. That’s the moon”

“Sweetheart, that’s not the moon. 
It’s a cloud.”

“No. The glow is the moon.”

“It’s a star.”

“I’m telling you mom, it’s the moon.”

They sat in the plane and kept arguing, both mother and daughter peering into the 
window while the rest of the mortals on the plane were busy dreaming 
in the REM cycle. Maya always looked out into the sky when 
she travelled by air. She felt that she was seeing a side of 
the sky which she rarely ever saw- which always changed from 
the last time she saw it. She saw the belly of the clouds that
 rained on her; she saw the gurgle of the fluff which smiled at her… 
This was her first ever over-night flight.

“The moon has a mark, then why is it beautiful?”
“That’s because it doesn’t believe that it has a scar.”
“But why? Is it not good to be aware of ones shortcomings?”
“Yes, but we shouldn’t let it over power our sense of belief and beauty dear.”

Maya slumped back, not too convinced by the answer 
her mom gave. She was sleepy and tired but the window kept 
luring her back to itself.  She looked at the glow again. 
Was it the moon or was mom really right? 
No, it WAS the moon.

***

“Mayaaaaa!”

“Neel? Hey, what’s wrong?”

“She left me Maya, she left me and went away”

“ Rhea? Shucks, why?”

“I don’t know. She just left. Without a word. To another country.”

“But she loved you.”
“Yes.”

“And she left you.”
“Yes.”

“Did you call?”

“She left her phone. She’s going to take a new one there.”

“Where there?”

“Stupid-America, there.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why did she leave? Even I did not know.”

“Family issues”

“Oh.”

“And she left. No good-bye. No I’ll miss you.”

“Nothing?”

“No.”

“Mail her. Don’t sweat. She’ll call you when she can, trust me.”

But Rhea never called and Maya was happy that she did not. 
Neel was moving on, but not with the one she hoped he would. 
Maya was always his friend. She was never any more or any less. 
She was just one of his stars, but not his moon.

***

“Ma, why do we lose things we love?”

“We only love them after we lose them child.”

“But what if we loved them already?”

“Then your love increases after losing the thing.”

“But why do we lose them in the first place?”

“Because we don’t care much when it’s nearby.”

“And what if we do?”

“Then, we never allowed it to understand we cared. So it goes away.”

Maya wasn’t sure what her mother had replied to. Did she understand 
Maya’s reference to Neel or was her mother referring to something 
else- someone else? It was raining outside. The seatbelt sign went 
on and an announcement was made. Maya locked herself in.

***
“Aaaaa. Drive carefully Raj.”

“Hold on tight. I love you.”

“That does not give you the right to murder me!”

“Why would I do that?”

“Look in front.”

“No, I would never lose you.”

“I am more worried about me losing you, dumb-ass.”

“I am Immortal. Hahaha.”

“And I am batman.”

“Really?!”

“Shut up. Raj, drive carefully.”

“Relax babe, you’re with me. Smile!”

“I cant. You just freakin’ jumped a signal”

“Maya, wait.”

“For that, you need to stop your bike, right?”

“Oh yeah, sorry.”


“Shucks, it’s the road, why are you sitting on the road?”

“Will you, please, let me talk this time?”

“Yeah”

“Maya, we’ve been together for four years now. It’s a verylong time. 
No, very, very, very long time. I know you like I know myself.
It’s a lot, but it’s still not enough.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Maya. Shush. What we have is a lot like love but I’m not sure it is. 
I mean, I love you. Do you love me?”

“Yes, I love you. What are you talking about?!”

“Maya, then will you marry me?

“Shucks.”

“Shucks?”

“Yes I love you. I will marry you Neel. I will.”

“Neel?”
***

Maya shut the window. She did not want the moon to see her pain. She was 
tired of replaying the conversation. She was tired of analysing where
 she’d gone wrong, why she’d said Neel instead of Raj. 
She glanced at her mother;she saw her reading a book.

“Have you ever felt true love Ma?”

“Yes , I have.’

“Who was it for?”

“You”
“Me?”

“Yes, you.”

“I mean real, movie-type love…”

“True love has just one type. True love is pure.
 And the only pure love I have is for you.”

“Can we feel true love for more than one person?”

“Yes, why not. It means so much more than what you think it does?”

“It does?”

“Yes. Ever thought of it this way- turn love around and add a ‘ve’ to it.
 It becomes ‘evolve’.”

***

Maya re-opened the window. She wasn’t in pain anymore. After thirty years of life 
and one marriage later, Maya still loved Neel- True love, pure love, and infinite love. 
She smiled at her reflection on the double window. It had stopped raining
 but the plane kept jerking. The seatbelt sign remained on.

***

“I can’t take it anymore.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean it’s enough.”

“What is?”

“You. Your tantrums. Your entire presence in my life. It’s enough.”

“Then what do you want?”

“A divorce”

“It’s not that easy.”

“I know. I just want to be out of it.”

“Fine”

“Fine?”

“I know this is just a phase. I’ll wait for it to be over and then we’ll talk.”

“It’s not a phase.”

“We’ll see.”
Three months later, Maya was free. She walked out of it without a penny. 
She was happy. USA had made life much simpler for divorcees. 
Maya decided to go back to India. Her mom came over to help 
her make the move and that’s how Maya was on this flight.

“Ma, did I make the right decision?”

“As long as you’re happy- yes”

“I am happy. Now”

“Later?”

“I don’t know.”

“Maya, beta what happened?”

“Between him and me?”

“Yes.”

“Don’t you know?”

“I just supported you through this. I know what you did, I don’t know why.”

“But I thought you knew. Why did you not stop me?”

“Do you regret it?”

“No.”

“Then I think I did fine by not stopping you.”

“But I thought you knew!”

“I asked you why.”

“I didn’t feel happy with him.”

“That’s it?”

“Is that not enough?”

“For how long were you unhappy?”

“25th March; last year”

“But you got married on 20th.”

“I did not love him.”

“That’s the real reason.”

“Maybe”

“It is.”

“If you say so, Ma”

“I know so.”
***

Maya did not respond anymore. 
She felt as if she was spiralling downward with each question her mother asked. 
She felt naked. She felt revealed. She felt exposed. 
She had hidden her love for him so well, but not from her mother.  
She loved him. She hoped he loved her. But she knew he did not.
 He did not love her even when he was her friend. He did not love her 
when he was married. Or even now, when he is alive. 
And he still lives without loving her. 
He lives without knowing her love for him. 
He lives, breathes and lives again, but he’s ignorant about 
the one true love he could have shared.
He missed out. 
Right? 

Maya knew she was the moon and not the star. But then again, he was the sky.
She knew the glow in her sky was the moon.

“It’s the moon Ma, it’s the moon”
Her mother just smiled and Maya felt like a little girl who was lying to her mother.

She knew and for the first time- agreed, 
she would always be just a star in his sky but a moon in her own.

“I’m telling you mom, it’s the moon.”