Going Home

I read out this post at the Caferati Open Mic at Prithvi day before yesterday. Coming on the heels of a 2hour commute, it felt especially apt. :-) And the evening ended on a lovely note.

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

Let’s take a trip, you & I. Let’s go looking for home.

HOME. Home isn’t just a where.

It’s a when. It’s a why. It’s a who. And also a with whom.

Home is in somebody’s hug, when they hold you in just the right way. Not too close, not too tight. When arms but also face, torso and stomach fit into you or onto you. Without design but perfectly right.

Home is in an old song that you first heard in happy times.

It’s a scent that brings back a good memory. Like your first boyfriend’s cologne. Frying fish like your Goan neighbors used to cook. Talcum powder from the baby you’re holding, reminds you of your own childhood.

To a reader, every library and every book store is home.

But home isn’t just memories of pretty things. After all, memories are tangled messes but unique messes nevertheless. A room that is messed up exactly the way you define a mess, will feel like home. Is it clothes that fall out in bundles when you open the cupboard? Newspaper tatters? Food drippings on the refrigerator shelves? Or intricate pencil marks on the wall? The messes that we learn to live with, follow us loyally and make a bunch of bricks seem like home.

Having somewhere to go back to, even if you don’t, is home.

And then people. People who recognize the same references that you do. People whose skin is the same colour when everyone else is a different hue. People who think in the same language. People who call God, the same name. People who sometimes have answers to your questions but mostly, have the same questions too. You may not like them, but hey, they’ll sure feel like home to you.

This blogger calls her blog, home.

Home is objects that have moulded themselves to you. Worn-in shoes. Old undergarments aged to comfort & holes. Hair of the texture and colour you were born with. Toothbrush bristles bent to the contours of your mouth.

The bed you wake up in, after a good sleep will feel like home.

Home is the numbers on a clock and a calendar that carry many stories. Hot summers when everything tastes of mangoes. June approaching with the mixed dread/excitement of back to school. The date of your birth in every other month of the calendar.

Home is having the happy birthday song sung to you.

Home, where you’re used to reaching without thinking and finding just what you were looking for. Mints in the middle drawer. A pen wedged under the keyboard stand. A crumpled handkerchief in your right pocket. A phone number listed under 1 on speed-dial.

Home is who you call when you have nothing to say.

Everyone and every thing that inhabits the world of your vices, has a place in your home. Cigarettes, alcohol, toxic relationships or bad eating habits. Home is every person who shares your vice. Also the objects that fuel it. And finally, the reason you turned to vice in the first place – that’s home too. But take heart, the ex- once felt like home. In conversations & experiences that heal you, there’s home again.

Home is the person you list as your emergency contact.

Home is what stays with you after you’ve shut the door. It travels with you in your suitcase, your pocket, your mobile phone and even in the smell of your own hands. It’s a hard thing to know yourself but it’s easy to know what you recognize.

In a long life of shifting structures and changing addresses, I hope you’ll always find your way home.

Trust, Actually

If I’m a fool to trust you, what does that say about you?

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

Nobody’s born suspicious. We trust because we think other people are the way we are. Then someone hurts us and we think everyone else is that way.

Treat every suspicious person you meet, gently. Maybe they’ve been hurt really bad.

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

What have you ever lost that is so precious that it cannot be found again or replaced? Life, is the only thing that meets that description. If you’re still breathing, then everything else can be found again.

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

Trust isn’t the blind faith that things will never go wrong. It is the belief that nothing will ever be so bad that it can’t be gotten over or out of.

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

Trust is not thinking you’ll never hurt me. It’s believing that you’ll not willingly want to.

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

Trust isn’t relying on those who’ve never sinned. It’s relying on the premise that there is always the possibility of redemption.

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

And finally, trust in everyone and everything else is built firmly on a foundation of trust in self. Nothing that really matters can be taken away from me.

Habit, Actually

I would have said..

I could get really used to you

…except I find I already have.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Habits are like huge foam pillows
Comforting, cuddly, warm
Suffocating and restrictive as well

And yeah, they aren’t easy to break. All they do is bounce right back on you.
Your only hope is to tear through even if some of the residue sticks to you.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

A ritual is a habit with an over-inflated sense of self-importance

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Relationships that are habits
aren’t exciting any more
but they are a helluva lot more comfortable.

And consider, if you had to let go of that flashy new bling outfit you got last week
OR your favorite holed-and-patched-and-ripping pyjamas…
…which would you really, really miss more?

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Some people are sad or bored or boring out of habit.
Actually by the same token some people are joyful or involved or interesting by habit.

All it is, is about getting used to thinking about the way one is…or decides to be.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

I’m a creature of habit – a bad habit of hobnobing with worse creatures.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Discipline is nothing more than habit with good PR.

Forgiveness, Actually

Yes, there’s more.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Do banished memories go to hell? I hope not, ‘cos I’ll only end up meeting them there again. Besides they deserve better, so much better than the  darkness in my mind.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

A friend who hurts you
….is the one most likely to come back and apologize
….is the one that deserves forgiveness the least.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

If intimacy is what happens when love and hate collide,
Then seperation is when they lie together in the same bed…or grave.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

I would hold onto any scrap of you that I can get,
Even if it is only a painful memory.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

I would make sure the memory of me never fades in your mind
Even if it means having to leave only a memory of me behind with you.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Love means never having to say you’re sorry.

I take that to mean, the situation of being sorry never arises. After all, what else is love but taking the other person’s happiness as one’s personal responsibility? Even if that’s impossible, so is love.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Forgiveness is admitting the humaness of the other person
And divinity in oneself.For

I think I can live with being just human.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Forgiveness is for the world at large, a fair exchange for our own peace of mind. But anyone who is special enough to love, is special enough to never be forgiven.

Closure, Actually

Actually after this, another string of random thoughts on breaking up and the afterlife.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

You watch them speak to and of the one they love.
And think, unflinchingly, that they don’t speak to or of you that way.
The only part that hurts is the realisation that they once used to.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

When you cannot remember what you were thinking or how you could ever have made that decision and conclude that you were a completely different person then- that’s when you know that you’re completely over them.

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~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Sometimes getting over someone or something is giving yourself permission to be happy.
At other times it’s letting go of the luxury of being sad.
And occasionally, it’s just realizing that you are bored of misery.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

You talk about forgiving and forgetting like one follows the other
And some people say that they can forgive but never forget
But in my mind, that’s still vendetta since the memory stays alive and hurtful
I’d much rather forget, even if not forgive
At least life can go on unbound by a straining bond

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

I am not sorry that you are sad I’m no longer a part of your life
You must be punished for the crime of having hurt me, after all
But I’m just sorry that it all still matters to me
Probably even more than my absence matters to you.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Love is the experience of a person, but also emotions, places, mementos and other people. Being okay with the person is just the first step and not even the easiest one at that. Complete closure is when the entire world that you’ve built and shared with the person starts to feel alright again. It is when, finally…

Friends don’t walk on eggshells around you. Friends aren’t unsure of how to behave with both of you.
Houses, roads, parks and shops don’t make you catch your breath because you were there with them once.
It doesn’t feel ‘wrong’ to be at a certain restaurant with someone else.
Watching a romantic movie or hearing such a song doesn’t send you down a trip of nostalgia.
And you don’t feel guilty about a gift because you’ve gifted someone else the same thing before.

But then, by that premise, there is no such a thing as complete closure. Love is a color that taints you forever.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

If you don’t care anymore whether they love you or not, perhaps you never really did.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Fear of loneliness is a good enough reason for a relationship, even if it isn’t a noble one. At least half the relationships around are founded on it and survive quite well.

Sheer habit is another such. What’s wrong with being in a rut? Some people call it stability.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Lack of excitement is a good enough reason for a break-up.
So is lack of commitment.
Far more than lack of love.

For love may be the name we give the ride, but excitement is the fuel and commitment is the nuts-and-bolts that holds the carriage together. And we all know what happens when you try going anywhere without fuel or in a cart that falls apart.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

The experience of being loved is really as moving, if not more, than the act of loving.
So believe it or not, no matter how unfair it all was, there is justice in the end.
And they will probably miss you far more than you will miss them, when this is done.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Sometimes a person can do you a great service by not letting you fall in love with them because they think you deserve better.
Even if you disagree, if that’s what they think, they are probably right.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

You have the right to be as miserable for as long as you want.
The grave stupidity has already been committed when you fell in love anyway.
Why feel ashamed now?

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~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Cheating and lying are unpardonable.
And it is divine to forgive, a sign of shining, enlightening love.
But no one said you had to be a superhero.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Breaking up can make you feel unlovable, like you were never really loved after all.
But there are many reasons to not love a person.
Duty, ego, fear, indifference, commitment-phobia, emotional detachment.
All of them realistic and logical, none deeply noble.

And there can be only one reason to love a person.
Because you do, that’s all.
That’s neither logical nor noble.
But yes, it is wonderful.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Some of us hold on simply to assure ourselves that we were really, truly, honest-to-goodness, till-death-do-us-apart, irrevocably, madly, fiercely in love.

Perseverance is more important than happiness to some. And ah, how hard we try!

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~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

If you tried and the other didn’t, consider that a gift offered wasn’t accepted. Whose loss is that?

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

There are plenty of other fish in the sea.
But you can’t fish anymore if the last one reeled you in hook, line and sinker.

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~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

When it comes down to it, no one is indispensable. If they had been, your lungs would have been attached to their nostrils and your stomach, to their food pipe. That’s a far more practical apparatus.

A lover cannot have been a Siamese twin. And vice versa.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Oddly enough, the very things that attracted you to each other in the first place are the biggest reasons for your breaking up.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Part of mourning the death of the relationship is grieving the loss of their affection for you.
The other part is grieving the loss of your affection for them.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

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Love, actually

Some random things that have drifted across my mind recently:

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

We spend our lives looking for something that will matter so much to us,
that we can’t live without it
Then when we find it,
we run away to practise living without it.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Do you ever have a moment when you realise that someone genuinely cares for you
And you wonder, “WHY?”
Being loved is almost as moving an experience as loving someone
Sometimes it’s slightly spooky and occasionally downright scary
…coming face to face with those aspects of yourself that are deserving of love.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Each time you hurt me
I flee and hide
Nursing my wounds and wondering why you keep hurting me

And then I come back to you
In the hope that this time, you’ll heal me instead.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

You don’t need to own a person to be able to love them
You don’t need to be in a relationship with them, don’t need to have them reciprocate
You don’t even actually need them to be actively a part of your life
All you need is to be happy that the person exists
Not indifferent, not indulgent but actively pleased, gratified by the thought
If the thought of the person puts a smile on your face, that can erase all the unpleasant memories they’ve created…
That’s love, that’s love enough, that’s enough really.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Earlier in the week, I inadvertently said something funny and intelligent (only I can’t remember it now). And someone in the room said,

Will you marry me?

I dimpled when someone told my proposer,

You’re already married….to a great man!!!!!

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

On the weekend, I saw my dear friend. And she looked mesmerizing. She was always a pretty girl. Nicely-dressed too. But last evening, she was positively shimmering. Suddenly I just knew that she was very beautiful. Like her very skin was aglow with her deeply spiritual self, her eyes dancing with the sweet, uncynical wisdom I’ve come to associate with her. Didn’t someone say “We don’t love people because they’re beautiful but they seem beautiful to us because we love them.”? Then when I told her for the fifteenth time that she looked gorgeous, she beamed back and eyes twinkling, asked,

Are you having a crush on me?

I declared,

YES!

And again, for a brief moment, I wondered why my normally easy-to-agitation self was so complacent, unperturbed over something that seems to disturb most people.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

From a movie I saw on the weekend,

You can have both roots and wings.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Sometimes truly loving a person means letting them believe that they care about you more than you care about them. Everybody needs to be loved but some people can’t bear to be reminded of it.

Pain, Actually

Some people make you come to life
It’s like they make you feel so much more
And they do it by hurting you

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Masochism isn’t that abnormal after all
Everyone picks their scabs and healing bruises when they are kids
Some people just carry that behaviour into their emotions as well

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

And then we discover gangrene and surgery
So we cut out that which causes us pain and could infect the rest of us too
Each time we feel, we pick up the knife
And whittle away tiny pieces of ourselves away
Till there’s nothing left except the memory.

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