A Laundered Life


I feel like my life is being scrubbed with a very hard brush and industrial-strength detergent.

It’s almost mid-way through 2010 and I’m hoping the rest of this year speeds by quickly. It really hasn’t been a good time at all. I feel like everything around me is dropping away, one by one. The job is over and the longer I stay home, the more distanced I feel from that ambitious, aggressive person I was at work. Some days I feel like all those things were done by another person. I can’t imagine standing up and talking to a crowd of people, of taking charge of a team, of coping with a death and supporting a whole group of other people. Was that really me?

I feel like people and relationships are just slipping away from me. The best friend moved to another continent. She and I are just the same and yet, she feels so far away, so disconnected.

Astra, my lovely witch, and I parted ways. I miss her often but I know I can’t go back to her. If it makes sense and if I anticipated it and I know it can’t change, why does it hurt so much?

My fascinating muse has left. I find myself thinking about him often but again, I think of our last conversation and I know I’m never going to reach out to him. You were wrong, we so didn’t get past this.

I’ve been going through dates in a crazy way. None of them have hurt at all. I decided to call it off  and when I went to meet him, the first thing he said is that we should stop dating. It didn’t even hurt my ego, let alone my heart. Nothing touches me anymore.

A distant cousin was in Mumbai this morning and he mentioned a yahoogroup I had set up ages ago of my cousins. I had forgotten about it so I went to look it up. I found a whole list of groups of people who used to matter in various ways. I set up most of those groups. I was a born social networker, long before it became a marketable skill.

Notably, I rediscovered the college group. There were lots of photographs in one, an albumful that I’d uploaded. It appalled me that I couldn’t remember the names of many of the people in those pictures.

Remember the Bihari boy from Delhi? Quiet and gentle and soft-spoken. He once told me about his family in Ranchi and his hardships, being an unpopular minority citizen. I remember he was one of the few people who actively tried to keep in touch after college and was very kind to me when he learnt about the break-up. I remember him telling me that I was sinking, cutting off the world and I should make an effort to reach out and come back to life. I still can’t place his name and it’s driving me nuts.

I remembered the one other person apart from Best Friend that I was in touch with and I called him. I asked if we could catch up tomorrow since I’d be in his part of town. I last met him a few months back, after I took my break. Our meetings have always been this way – I call him when I’m in his area or think of him. But he’s never once called. He told me he was busy but if he wasn’t travelling and if he didn’t have meetings and if he managed to finish work, he’d stop by. I don’t know why this particular time should have hit me but it did. I told him I didn’t like that I kept calling and he never called. It snowballed into a fight where he kept saying things like “I never call anybody”, “Tum log sab mujhe phone karke aise nahin bol sakte ho”. I ended up hanging up really, really angry and hurt. I deleted his number. And I feel like shit.

I just had a thought as I was typing this out. It feels like I’m facing some kind of karmic retribution for running after all the wrong people and ignoring the ones who really cared. What do I do now? How do I break out of this? And what could I have done back then? I didn’t know, I so didn’t know.

God, but it isn’t the same thing typing all this out in an email or a post. What’s the point in a long list of Facebook Friend acquaintances when the only person you really have left to talk to, is a blog?

I miss people, the real people. My people.

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15 thoughts on “A Laundered Life

  1. anand jeyahar June 3, 2010 at 23:19 Reply

    I am reminded of this Alex quote from “Into the wild”.
    “I will miss you too, but you are wrong if you think that the joy of life comes principally from the joy of human relationships. God’s place is all around us, it is in everything and in anything we can experience. People just need to change the way they look at things.”

    You gotta try this noble silence. http://www.dhamma.org/en/code.shtml.

    Like

    • IdeaSmith June 4, 2010 at 16:49 Reply

      @Anand: Not helping at all. If I wanted God-talk, I’d have gone to the temple or to church. If I thought pop-philosophy would work, I’ve a bookshelf full of things I could read. Your comment is in line with the attitude of some of the people I’ve been meeting and exactly what makes me feel the way I did when I wrote this post. Not this time, please. I’m not in a mood to be patient or nice about this.

      @Jinal: *HUGGG* Thank you.

      Like

  2. Jinal Shah June 3, 2010 at 23:58 Reply

    A big bear hug.

    That’s all.

    Like

  3. anand jeyahar June 4, 2010 at 17:48 Reply

    @IdeaSmith: Well then, all i can do is what Jinal did and give a big hug…. 🙂 I am no brilliant wordsmith, that can convey, anything better than, pop-talk, and definitely can’t attempt right now… Its ok.. am not a huge fan of niceties(i consider them necessary evil, but no more.)

    Like

    • IdeaSmith June 6, 2010 at 16:09 Reply

      @anand: Thank you, that helps much.

      @shaz: I’d have thought it would be obvious this isn’t a ‘critique requested’ post. Anyhow I’ve corrected it.

      @alice-in-wonder: Yes, absolutely. The Best Friend called the next day though. Not the same for sure, but it is something.

      @mithun: No, been there, done enough of that.

      @Rachna: I don’t think our cases are similar. I didn’t quit to write, I took a sabbatical because I needed it and writing was one of the things that happened. You probably don’t live in the same city I do, since it isn’t a feasible reality here to have a fulltime career as well as write. I would know, I’ve tried for many years. So I don’t think you understand where I was coming from but I appreciate your reaching out, anyway.

      @rakhi: Everywhere, same shit, different names.

      Like

  4. Shaz June 4, 2010 at 21:37 Reply

    *its almost mid-way through 2010.

    Like

  5. alice-in-wonder June 5, 2010 at 11:05 Reply

    A big hug your way. Ok, multiply that by ‘n’, until you feel better (or feel your ribs cracking 🙂 )

    Words won’t help, but in case they do – I can really feel what you have written. I have gone thru’ some of the things mentioned.. about the break, that does get depressing. But you’ll haul yourself up, don’t worry. Best friends moving away, ah.. what do I say? Even though it isn’t the same as meeting in person, the internet helps. Big time!!

    And the big list of F/B friends.. God, I can so understand that. The real people get misplaced somewhere, don’t they??

    Like

  6. alice-in-wonder June 5, 2010 at 11:06 Reply

    break from work, I mean, above.

    Like

  7. mithun June 5, 2010 at 12:06 Reply

    I just strolled around the outside and came back in…little change of weather, but not much difference;mostly a dead planet. But ah, try a change of perspectives; a manhole cover, for instance could always pass off as a metal donut which evolved into a higher state, isnt it?

    Like

  8. Rachna June 5, 2010 at 22:10 Reply

    Ideasmith, I really think you should go back and get a JOB! It is really not a good idea to not work. One, for an independent intelligent individual person, a lot of satisfaction ocmes from doign good work, being recognized for it and also from financial freedom. It also helps to have a group of people form work to socialize with.

    Not working = not being productive= lack of self-esteem.

    I did this once in my life- gave up work to write a book- did this for 3 months, but nothing.
    WOrking actually would HELP write the book, since it gives structure to the day/ life. It invigorates mentally, however little we think it does!
    Rubing shoulders with different people and perspectives keeps us on our toes.

    I remember feeling rudderless when not owrking.
    You should get a job- believe me, it will help a lot.

    I’m not saying that you should leave writing- that will come. But if you leave work to do it, it does not happen. Since the one thing that gives shape and structure to everyday life is gone.

    And this is from personal experience. We need to work to feel fulfilled!

    Like

  9. Rachna June 5, 2010 at 22:12 Reply

    And- its not jsut work. Not working also made me want to not socialize. WE do get a lot of confidence form work, which shows in our personal relationships as well!

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  10. Rachna June 5, 2010 at 22:12 Reply

    Sorry for all the typos.
    Just wanted to reach out, since I TOTALLY get where you are.

    Like

  11. rakhi June 5, 2010 at 23:36 Reply

    Hang in there I. You’ll make it through. I am certain you will. I would say it’s time for a solo holiday. To somewhere peaceful, off the beaten track. And besides, some people are only just a click away. 🙂

    Like

  12. Anon June 6, 2010 at 20:16 Reply

    It had to happen. Happens with many people when they stop communicating with people who want to communicate and will run after people who do not want to communicate.

    An example – Pehle I used to visit ur blog bahut but badmey stopped visiting after seeing you u not bothering replying to comments left by visitors like me. Told myself no point in trying to communicate with you in comments section when you dont bother at all replying.

    Like

  13. IdeaSmith June 6, 2010 at 21:21 Reply

    @Anon: Ouch, that sounds unpleasantly like “You deserve it.”. I don’t know what you mean by ‘visitors like me’ unless it is people who don’t leave their email address or names or URLs behind. If that’s the case, you must realize that ‘Anon’ doesn’t stand apart from ‘Anonymous’ or other versions of the word (and believe me, I’ve seen a number of them). I try to respond whenever there is a discussion or a question in the commentspace and I always respond to emails. I’m not sure why you think I’ve been unresponsive but I’d be willing to hear about it.

    Like

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