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Day 6: Pivotal Unhappiness

6 Jan

I read a headline on my fb wall in passing, courtesy a friend, which spoke about the business of perennial unhappiness. Of course I now wish I’d saved it for later, but neither did I click it open to read, nor did I bookmark it for further exploration. If I were to go by the title, I’d presume its content was primarily based around how the world thrives on all of us being incessantly and constantly unhappy. I didn’t give it much thought back then, like I do 99.9% of the times when I see my feed. However, it did stick on to revisit me from time to time; perhaps because I think it’s the most real and truthful statement I’d read in a while.

Come to think of it, everything today does seem to run on our need to want something, to fish into this endless depth of perceived nothingness and perpetual have-not-ism. Maybe that’s why we’re constantly trying (so hard now) to actively catch moments and whatever it is that makes our world seem a little more sunshiney and happy; in a somewhat desperate attempt to convince ourselves that yes, we do have something. It’s strange how we’ve digressed (?) from where we started. Doing nothing was normal, engaging in even the most mundane was exciting and something to look forward to, being bored was the gateway to more interesting avenues of simple and uncomplicated discoveries…and none of it was a big deal. There was no parading of this sense of being, no platforms were stood on and boasted from, none of it felt fake or fragile. In fact, it was matter of fact, usual, and blatantly extraordinary in its casualness.

A lot of me doesn’t understand this constant need to show, talk, prove, highlight. It just doesn’t make sense. I reckon that’s why we even had someone write that article anyway – being unhappy is a trend, a business, a way of normalcy connected very directly, in my opinion, with the fear of being happy. I know I’m afraid of being happy, or at least talking about it to the world. Coming from an intensely private sense of self, I find it almost alarming to speak about my experiences, which people around me seem to do so effortlessly. A check-in here, a photograph there, a few hundred likes here, the display of very private moments there. At the cost of sounding judgemental, which certainly isn’t the intention or idea, I feel rather misplaced and not up with the times. And of course I have this added fear of expressing my states of happiness and being. Something really seems amiss.

I do hope to find that article and then share it here. In the mean time I sincerely wish this pivotal unhappiness goes out of business for good. We’ve got a lot going and maybe it’s best to use one’s time more wisely than thinking about all that we do not have. And what a fabulous outcome that’d be, no?

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Day 4: Change

4 Jan

It was bang in the middle of last year, when I was seat-belted and on my way to Bangalore, that my life was changing in the serious adult sort of way. A change that has no excuses, no escape routes, no shortcuts, no alternatives to comfort the commitment-afraid me. Half of me saw marriage as a life change that still had the potential to give me that leeway, should I ever want or need it; much to my husband’s utter shock and then ire. It’s an all or none deal, he told me. There can be no frivolity in judgement no matter how hard it gets, he explained to me over a phone call before we were to get married. He was still aghast at my way of thinking, which to me was very natural and completely normal given the history I’ve been woven from. It was scary; exciting yes, but scary to get into something so final. Little did I (reallyknow that there were changes with a grander and firmer foundation of finality than getting married. And so it happened – suddenly, hugely, and startlingly – in the form of two very defined pink lines on the pregnancy test I held in my hand once I got back from Bangalore, after two weeks of delayed periods and a nagging subconscious.

We’d begun talking about the idea of it, the possibility of it, and the plan to start working on it with immediate effect. But perhaps the universe suspected we were fooling ourselves and decided to conspire against us, in this case. The first sign was of course my delayed period, which I panicked about but then shrugged aside owing to changes in diet and what have you. The second stronger sign was my rather sudden dislike for alcohol every time I’d sip on it. Beer tasted strange, whiskey didn’t appeal to me, and again, I shrugged it off as something to be ignored. The third sign was this unnecessary fatigue I felt constantly. Back then I didn’t realise or even know that this was an early sign of pregnancy, which I blamed on the comparatively fewer trips we made to Comm Street. Something was amiss, and ma did voice what I was pushing into the recesses of my consciousness – is it possible that you’re pregnant mun?, she gently asked while I washed my teacup one evening. Of course I scoffed and kept it aside for another day.

There are two things I’ve learnt – never scoff at your mom, and never question her acute sense of intuition. These instances have always, and I mean always, backfired in my face every.single.time. And it was to happen to me yet again. It would be just a couple of hours after I said my byes to her that I would call her up again and mumble the words – ma, I’m pregnant; the stick shows two, very clear, pink lines. She was quiet (perhaps respecting my feelings and state of mind regarding it), and then congratulated the two of us and blessed us. We were to travel the very next morning to my in-laws, and I got no sleep that night.

If there’s a feeling I won’t forget, it’s the indescribable experience of watching that white nothingness turn into a second pink line. I remember staring at it, keeping it aside, and then revisiting it again. Repeatedly. It was that kaleidoscope of emotions that constantly switches from surprise to shock to excitement to fear to tears to this tide of overwhelming feelings that kept washing over me for what would be sometime to come. I was granted and bestowed with a gift, a responsibility, a job, a journey, a learning experience, a chance within a million chances to be *it* for someone who had chosen to come to us. It was a lot to take then.

When I look back, the two of us have come a long, long way. From feeling completely lost and left in the unknown, to where we are today – a little less lost and lot more sure of ourselves as parents and individuals – it’s been an intriguing journey. We’re far from perfect and will never be because that’s not what we’re gunning for. We’re here today, standing together, a little more ready and a lot less unsure from where we started off. Faith, trust, love, togetherness, and madness – I reckon this is all it takes to get by.

PS, trust me on the not scoffing at your mom bit. It’s true.

184: Do You Know…

4 Jul

…that everything’s going to be alright? That it never was anything but alright all this while? That it takes a special kind of understanding to feel at peace, to come to terms with life’s ways, to essentially let go?

Do you know that the world conspires to put things together – sometimes with a small prayer, sometimes by its own volition?

Do you know that you’re safe, loved, trusted to be the best and only the best?

Do you also know that perhaps there’s no one better than you to do what you’re supposed to do?

:)

163: It’s Time

13 Jun

S, A, and I left for the airport together, and sat to have our respective bevvys together while waiting for our flights. I watched his taxi to the runway and take-off, wondering just how big my baby brother had become. Soon it’d be our turn to leave.


Ma told me to have button idlis at the airport, so I did…and now I’m too full. Of everything that home can fill a child with. Including the heartbreak of leaving it. Sigh.

163: Penultimate

12 Jun

My mind has reached a place of acceptance that we’re leaving tomorrow, that my stay in Bangalore has come to its end, and that it’s time to pack and go. S was supposed to leave the morning after A arrived, but that got pushed to today. We somehow managed to convince him to get his tickets along with us so we could all leave together – ma says she’d prefer that than the slow plucking away of her children from her nest. A was clear that he wasn’t interested in going out anywhere thanks to his cricket match that was on. So we spent Sunday chilling at home, watching tv, catching naps in between, and just being lazy. I didn’t watch much of the match and immersed myself in my book instead. I am currently reading “The Princess Remembers” – Memoirs by Maharani Gayatri Devi. I’ve loved reading it so far and hope to complete it as soon as possible.

We aren’t doing much today except gathering our things, packing, and just being lazy. Ma has gone to work and we plan to catch a late lunch of burgers, pasta, and steaks a little later. There’s not much I can comprehend from my current state of mind. Time just flies.

161: Time Flies

10 Jun

A came down to Bangalore last night. As has been the trend so far, his arrival signals two things to me – newfound experiences from sharing my maternal home with him, and the culmination of my stay in Bangalore. He usually arrives at the end of my trip, spends a couple of days here, and then we leave together.

Therefore this is my last weekend in Bangalore for the summer. When I look back, it’s been yet another crazy visit filled with everything that speaks of home. I will introspect and write about it a little later, but for now all I can say is that home will always be home.

We’ve got a series of plans lined up, and it’s something I would like to focus on instead. :)

157: It’s A Feeling

6 Jun

…that of ordering sundaes from Corner House, and settling back into our respective couches to catch up on episodes of The Crown, which btw, we’re completely hooked on to.

From what I gauge, and from what is in fact the way of the world, all that glitters isn’t gold, and the grass always somehow looks greener on the other side.

Having said that, I will also maintain that I’ve always wanted to live like royalty, even if it was for just a day. Okay two. :P

154: Snapshots So Far

3 Jun

Some experiences are best described without words. 

Here are some of mine so far, and I’m letting these pictures do all the talking. 

Banana chips and post-dinner conversations


Saris, dosas, window shopping in Commercial Street.

Friday afternoons with family and these eyes

Impromptu visits, conversations, and homemade fish fry and prawn curry meals

Sunny, windy, shade-laden walks under these gentle giants

Andhra meals, laughter, and bubbly fresh lime sodas

Relaxing with baking

153: The Thrill In The Uexpected

2 Jun

Ever since I got here, I’ve experienced a series of unexpected joys. As I was very matter-of-factly walking towards the bus shuttle after exiting the airport, I chanced upon the first bus in line, which was relatively empty, that I decided to get home by. On approaching the bus, there she was sitting right in the front seat in direct sight – my first ever psychology teacher from back in the day. One really finds it difficult to sum up all the feelings that bubble and gurgle within you…a fine blend of shock, excitement, confusion, joy, thrill, all woven into a fabric of beautiful memories put together. We couldn’t believe our chance meeting – on a bus out of so many buses, at an airport of all places; and after what’s soon going to be 15 years. Of course this count was meant to highlight just how long it’s been, except it also reminds me just how long ago I finished my 10th board exams. It goes without saying that we spent the rest of the bus ride seated next to each other, sharing titbits from our life and experiences, and how the journey has been so far. To say that the ride was too short would fall short of how I felt; where’s that traffic jam when you really need it?!

In-keeping with this, and as if I hadn’t walked back in time enough, I passed my school during functional school hours yesterday for the first time since I’d left it. As I drove past it, I couldn’t resist the urge to get off the car and walk right in, to just perhaps see if I could meet the teachers I’d once spent every single day of my life with. And I did. I still cannot describe the feeling; perhaps the connections run so deep that they’ve remained embedded somewhere within me in a place that’s hard to access. Time really isn’t enough when you’re walking down memory lane. Sometimes words aren’t, either.

It’s a strange feeling, this. There’s always been an indefinable friction within me to go back to where I came from. Notwithstanding the trying times that they were, and not discounting the amazing things that were also happening back then, it really isn’t a road I like to walk down. Things change, people change, everything changes. Apart from this insecurity of not being remembered or being acknowledged like you perhaps once were, it’s this strange tug of war stepping back in time versus watching your memories from the safety of disconnected distance. As I walked away from these two episodes, it only reminded me that as the years pile up, so do our own thoughts and perceptions of the whats and hows. To say I didn’t take away so much from these experiences and in turn give so much to these experiences as well, would negate the actual power of reminiscence, time, and life itself.

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132: Friday Is A Feeling

12 May