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Past Baggage?

Does your past ever evade you?  Or does it form a part of your present?

For me my past is an integral part of who I am today. It has taught me to love and lose, to cry over something lost and to smile for the happiness it has brought forth, to miss the moments that were and to smile for the fact that they happened, to realize that it’s finally over and to know that it’s over for a reason.

But then, does love ever stop?  For me love never dies, it changes form. So for someone I’ve loved with all my heart and soul, the love will never cease to be there. But it has a new dimension – from romantic illusions of a life together, it is a quite and resilient happiness for all that is signifies today- for him to be in a place he is happy in and I to be happy for him, irrespective of who he is with and where.

For me, my past was never a romantic affair that ended mid-way with copious amounts of tears and tearing and burning of mushy cards. My past was a love who perhaps never knew how much I loved him and wanted to be a part of his life. It’s weird because with him I can’t imagine that I would have ever held his hands and taken a walk by the beach, whispering sweet nothings. With him it was more of loving him by being with him, by being around him and most importantly belonging to him. That’s the only thing that I’ve ever wanted- to belong to him, not in a slave kind of way but in a way that nobody has ever felt – that close, that familiar. And that never happened. I loved, I lost. But it etched my mind forever- with a love that can never be washed away…

Today I am a stronger woman- a happier woman. I know I have enough love in my heart to give to someone who doesn’t care and someone who does. And for both I’m thankful.

The Men in My Life

In order of preference…tho’ the preference keeps changing according to the mood…but its always them

For the smile and the wit

For making salt and pepper so sexy and so far far removed from food

For the perennial white shirt and blue jeans and the love for food and cooking

For the smile and the innocence in the eyes

And lastly…and most importantly…M…for accepting me with all my men 🙂

I love you lots…

when is it too much?

have you ever felt that you were emotionally drained? that you were giving too much of yourself to your friends, families, lover/loved ones and getting nothing in return? that you valued people much much more than they ever have? that you loved without being loved in return? that it was necessarily important to be loved in return when you love unconditionally? that there is something called unconditional love?

the last few days iv been constantly thinking about relationships and the significance it has in people’s lives. For me relationships hold huge amount of importance- whether it be friends, family, spouse. Office is possibly the only place where I don’t get emotionally involved but that is a conscious decision that I have made so that it helps me get my work done without thinking how others perceive. Despite this I still have a close friend at work who of course tells me that my nature at office has made everybody think that I hate them with a vengeance. which is good in a way. because if I have to deal with emotional soppy nonsense at work, I might as well hang myself and put the entire matter to rest 😉

But really, when it comes to friends and family, I notice myself giving much more of myself than I probably give to err…myself. I care about what people say, what I say to people, what people think, blah, blah blah. M tells me I go over the top but I have spent many a sleepless night fretting over whether I was mean to a close friend, did I hurt her even tho’ I didn’t intend to, did I really be rude? I know its a bit too much and maybe I’m a bit warpy in the head but more often than not, I’m right.

And of course then I go through these periods of time, like now, when I truly feel I have been taken for granted. People know that I never mind, that its OK to be rude to me, that its OK to say anything they want and even ignore me, if you will, just because its me. Because I will never turn around and bit them in the ass and give them a fair share of what they put me through. But aint I also human? Dont I also feel hurt? Dont i also want somebody to hold and cry? to tell them what I feel confident that they will understand me without judging me for what I say?

Like I said, I dont know- maybe its me…or do u feel the same way?

A year…

It’s exactly one year today since I last heard my dad. Since I last heard him call my name, since I last heard him laugh, since I last heard him tell me how much he missed me around.

I go back to Kolkata again today…to remember him and mourn him with the family…together…to hold ma tight and tell her she’s not alone, to remember baba together for all the good times and all the hard times, to remember his jokes and his antics, to wish that this day never came into our lives.

In the last one year I dont think there has ever been a day when I havent wished him here…around me…physically. There have been so many times when Iv picked up the phone to call him, only to realize that its futile. His number still stays on my phone, with his name and his picture…and I look at it wistfully hoping one day it will ring and he will be on the other end, talking to me. I dont cry anymore…my tears have dried up long long ago…tears dont come to me anymore…not even if I try hard.

One year ago I didnt think I could pass a day without him around. I couldnt move a step without holding his hand, I couldnt do anything without telling him…how would I live? but a year has gone by and we have emereged out of it…alive…accepting…not stronger.

Baba…u live in each one of us…every single moment, every single day…ur gone…but only in body. You remain my hero…now and forever.

I miss you and I love you.

To b(r)other or not???

Its on days like today that i start questioning what relationships really mean…what they are…and how much of it is for real?  when we went to school all our friends had the concept of rakhi brother- a brother who was not flesh and blood but who was perhaps a brother of convenience…most of the time they turned out to be boyfriends at a later stage but well…that’s another story…the easiest way to meet boys in school and yet not hide and meet them. I, for one, always scorned this concept and for me this never existed…how could someone not related to you somehow be your brother? friend, buddy, pal? yeah…brother…nevaaah!!!

and then many years later I met this idiot ( lets call him A)who made me get my arse off my high horse and realize that sometimes these relationships do come true. He showed me that relationships go beyond sheer family…they are what you make of them…not necessarily what they were made to be.  And these relationships are really that touch you deep inside your soul, where perhaps youve always had a silent whine for a pal/buddy you’ve never had.

A and me dont go back very very long. Its not like we have known each other forever and grown up together. While i love believing in that kind of a soppy story and feel, the truth is A and i met through work, surprisingly thru my cousin brother. At that time A used to work for a coffee chain and I for a NGO. He was this charming young man who helped me out big time on a project i was doing and the next thing I knew i was introducing him to M and we were all having dinner together. Then A moved…to Hyderabad i think and i thought in my mind that it was nice knowing such a charming young guy, now that we wouldn’t be in touch anymore…those were the days when there was no facebook to claw you out of any semblance of sanity or privacy you might have left. We did lose touch and then got back in touch after some time and this time it continued. We grew closer and fonder of each other. and then he was going again…this time far far away where we wouldnt even be able to talk. i was sad and this time around i knew this would really be the end of our friendship…but we continued.

Somewhere over the years we became more than friends…he is the baby brother iv never had…to spoil, to scold, to love endlessly and to bitch with. he claims i am the sister he has never had ( he is too busy courting women to think of them as anything else anyway).

But all these days our relationship has never been tested the way it was yesterday. Something stupid i did led us to fight and for him to say some very mean things to me…and it hit me then… it shook me from the core of my soul and perhaps hurt me like my own brother would never ever have managed to do. and i cried…not for what he had said…but for what he made me out to be. i decided it wasnt worth picking up with him…because he probably didnt feel this way. And then today he came back…told me how he felt…about what I said, about us, about what I meant to his life. And while I sat there listning to him ( rather reading him online), I had tears streaming down my face. because i knew that somewhere in the world, far far away, there was also a small brother grieving at the hurt he caused someone who loved him for real. and he taught me that brothers are for real…even if they are not made of your own blood.

I love you lots A

I often meet people who ask me where I belong to…well thats easy I say to them…Kolkata- thats home for me…no but where do you actually belong, they insist… and I think hard for the appropriate answer and I say…well, Bangladesh…if you have to be very very technical.

For me it’s very difficult to pinpoint where I belong- what I really call home- what was home and what is home now. I grew up in Kolkata- south Kolkata to be precise. But Iv always been told by my dad and paternal relatives, that we are originally from Bangladesh and thats where our roots are. Even my mom’s family is originally from Bangladesh and now when I think of it, Iv often heard my grandmom saying that she would want to breathe her last in the house in which she was born- apparently that still exists and one of her nephews live there. To me, Bangladesh is really abroad- a land I cant even imagine I can call home because I have had no association with it, even in terms of a visit ever.

Iv lived in Kolkata for 25 years of my life. I have my family there and so does M. We have some of our very close friends still in Kolkata. For M, there is really no city he associates himself with anymore. He was born in Chennai, grew up in Hyderabad and Bangalore and moved to Kolkata when he was really at the age when teenagers start hanging out with their friends for movies, coffee etc. Also being the introvert that he is and having two other siblings, he never made any friends by the time he came to Kolkata. Most of his friends today are friends he has made much later in life and not in school or college. For him, his childhood has memories of him playing with his cousins and siblings. He often talks of Bangalore and i can sense that nostalgia in his voice when he regales me with stories of how they used to play in their bungalow gardens there. Thats possibly the only place he wishes he can go back to and the only place he can call home. I, on the other hand, make friends wherever I go. Even though they might not be really close, I am a more sociable person than M and can mix much more easily.

We moved to Delhi about three years back- actually exactly 3 years back to the date tomorrow. I moved out of Kolkata and pulled M with me, not because we got better offers in Delhi, but because I  needed to get away. I need my space from people and surprisingly enough, from my family. Iv had disastrous relations with them at some point in time and for me getting out and being in touch from a distance was the only way out. I did it and I liked it. But like every other thing in life, this also has its major disadvantages and I couldnt be there by my dad when he breathed his last. By the time I reached, it was all over. Ever since dad, Iv been thinking whether it makes sense to go back and be around mom, not because I need to…but because she needs me. I know that…but going back to the city I left for good just doesnt feel right anymore. I have been dilly-dallying with this thought for some time now and everybody who knows me closely enough has completely warned me against it because they know that I need my distance to be sane and calm.

For me now, packing to go home for short visits is fun…is refreshing…is nice. To be pampered and spoilt, to meet old friends over a beer, to visit some places I used to love. But Delhi is home…where I belong…my own house…my own bed…my own space…atleast till the time I dont run away again.

Edited to add: Now when I read this post, not a single line makes any sense…so just in case anybody else other than me is readin this, please pardon the incomprehensibility of the post.

It was long long ago.

 She was a little girl, still in school, starry eyed about the notions of love. He was her brother’s friend- dashing, intelligent and nice- her idol, her mentor, her brother. They spent a lot of time together, he lazing on the sofa on hot afternoons with the other boys, ordering her around, she in awe, completing all the errands and still wanting to do some more. At times she hated him- for not looking at her in a special way, for not loving him the way she did, for not staying that extra minute because she wanted him to. But he loved her too- like his own little sister, because he didn’t have one, like someone he could bully and he knew she would never mind. She looked forward to it every week- when the boys would come home from school, hungry and tired and crabby- to eat before they left for tuitions together or just to play a game of football. She hated them for how much they ragged her. But she loved him for being there always- like a part of her soul, a part of her being.

Some afternoons were special- those long dreary days when she would go to his house with her brother- after her some time her brother would leave for his tuitions and he would drop her home. All the way, in a bus. She would sit at the window and pretend she was looking out- but her heart would flutter because he was next to her- so close- it felt like she had him to herself forever. They would chat and he would make her laugh. She would love to be with him and she would silently wish it would stay this way forever. Her friends told her it was a crush, just an infatuation. But she knew it could never be that. It was love. For today. For tomorrow. Forever.

And then they grew up one day. Just that he grew up too fast for her. She grew up too, but held onto what had been once upon a time. She still saw him occasionally. Girls swooning over him. Girls just waiting to get his attention. She laughed as she saw these girls. This was infatuation. What she had, was love. They didn’t know him. They only saw the part of him he wanted to show . They didn’t know him like she did. They didn’t love him like she did. She was sure of that. There was no jealousy. It was all amusement. He still looked at her from time to time. But just to say hi. Or enquire how she was, or her mom or her dad. That was enough. Because it was still love. She loved him and always will.

He got married. To a girl who everyone liked and said was very very nice. She was happy for him. That he had found someone he loved. Who loved him and he understood it. That was important. That this time he could see the love. Did he not see her love then? All these years? It didn’t matter anymore. She still loved him. But she didn’t go to his wedding. Not because she hated him for marrying a girl he loved. But because she couldn’t see her dreams get over. She was happy for him. She really was. She cried copious amounts of tears- but she knew he would be fine. He had found his love. And she had found hers. So what if he married someone else. She wasn’t hurt. She wasn’t angry.

Today, it’s been many years past. She is married too. She still loves him. She hasn’t seen him in years- but she knews what he looks like, what he sounds like, how he laughs, what he says. She recognizes his voice in an instant as her calls her across the oceans to tell her how sorry he is about her father. She cries for the first time that day since her father died. Because she mourns two men in her life- one who defined who she is today and one who is still a part of her soul.