Objects In The Rear-View Mirror May Be Closer Than They Appear

I wake up remembering that it is the last day of the year – and with rueful reluctance – a birthday. For a chilling moment, comes my horoscope for the day,

Someone you used to have strong feelings for comes back into your life today, either in the real world or via the digital one. They still have a hold over you, although you won’t know for certain if you are ready to reconnect and get things stirred up again. Wait until you know more about how you feel before responding to them. Getting back in tune with other people at this point in your life could turn out to be much more complicated than you thought.

I ended an awful 2007 with a ‘tomorrow-is-another-day‘ post, getting tagged by Arzan. 2008 has been so wonderful, especially after a disastrous, heart-breaking 2007. I didn’t get into any messes, any ‘emotional atyachaar’. I even cleaned up the muck on the floor of my mind. And in the second half, life only got better. In every possible way. I am so thankful.

Which is why (oddly enough), I enter 2009 with some trepedition. When you’ve got nothing left to lose, the only way you can go is up. But when you have things and people who matter, there’s also the fear of losing – balance, control and them. The past clutches its cold, skeletal fingers around my throat briefly.

I have this photograph, a reminder of a special friendship and many, many special moments. And the first thought I had when I saw it, that ‘Objects in the rear-view mirror are closer than they appear’. But I’ll just redo the tag and just use this photograph to remind me to look on, upward and ahead. Happy 2009, everyone!

objects-in-the-rear-view-mirror.JPG

There is no fortress more secure than your past. No stronger prison, either.

Older And Wiser

Tell me what it’s like.

she says.

Does it get better with time?

I pause and wonder what to say.

Can I give her an honest answer?

That it won’t..in some ways.

That heartbreak hurts as much at 30 as it does at 20.

That you never quite get used to the pain of letting go, no matter how often you’ve done it….though you might learn the lesson of numbness.

That love and cheating and tenderness and passion will continue to turn up unanticipated…and unwelcome, no matter how clear your vision stays.

That eventually dreams will become the last survival tactic for those who don’t have God or Family or FairyTales anymore.

No, I decide, I can’t tell her all of that. I can’t paint the next decade in a pall of gloom before it’s even arrived.

So I take a deep breath and say instead…

What does change is all the things in your head.

With the pain, there will be the aspirin of reality,
a little snapshot of the last time that grows clearer with time,
the knowledge that you survived that and so this you will too.

With time, other people’s opinions
will start to matter less than your own
or at least you’ll be able to pick and choose what you want to believe.

And if you’re smart…and I know you are,
you’ll have a Plan B or at the very least…an exit route.

So I end without lies, telling her the truth…but perhaps not all of it.

And I wish there were some lessons one didn’t need to learn.

—————————————–

*Dedicated to a very young and wonderful friend who asked the question. I hope she’s reading…or perhaps I hope she isn’t.

All The Time In The World

Ah, the flush of new love!

And I was lost for words
In your arms
Attempting to make sense
Of my aching heart
If I could just be
Everything and everyone to you
This life would just be so easy

Not enough time for all
That I want for you

– INXS ‘Not enough time’

I remember it from a long time ago, a lifetime ago. I recognize it in the faces of strangers, in the anonymous words I read on my computer screen. In the poised-and-posed expressions on painted actors on screen, I read the yearning that was fed into a writer’s mind to create this.

After the pain has subsided, long after when you reach that place of not hurting anymore and past the cynicism, the despair and the feeling that you’ll never love again….what is there at the end of it? It is this…

The thought that love may never again be the raging forest fire that it once (or twice or more) was. But the burning defined you in a way that you’ll never again be the same. And the only thing that can come next is peace. Absolute peace. And there’s all the time in the world.

Love truly is a hue that taints us forever. And in the middle of a hot November afternoon, there’s a cool breeze blowing across my forehead.

Trust

is a two-way street
with a lot of potholes
and not enough speed-breakers.

If you do manage to make it down the street, it’ll likely not be in one piece.

Well, minus some expectations at least.

walker.jpg

First Date

What makes a good first date?

  • Zero awkwardness
  • Lots of laughter
  • Meaningful conversations (even if they go across different time-zones!)
  • Smiling – sweet smiles, secret smiles, silly smiles, wicked smiles, shared smiles, smiley smiles

What makes a great first date?

Hoping there’ll be another.

I got it. :-)

Things I Wrote At Sea

Yes, I did think of the world that makes home – friends, blog, work, people – a lot. I promised myself I wouldn’t blog or worry or stress or do any of the things I normally do, while on vacation. But two measly days in, I found myself reaching for my pen and notebook. I couldn’t help it anymore than I could help thinking, I realized. When I stop writing, I’ll stop being. So here goes nothing – my scribbles from my two weeks away. There’s a lot more where that came from. Thank you so much for reading.

It is the knowledge that you have someplace to come back to, that makes travelling delightful.

~o~o~o~

Does distance really make the heart grow fonder? If you care for someone, aren’t they in your thoughts, often, alive and well? And conversations and meetings are just taping sessions for records that may be played over and over again for years and years.

~o~o~o~

Romance has been lost, this is true. Waiting as a concept exists no more. There are no long, yearning waits for people long absent. There aren’t any waits for news, patience the only alternative to insanity in a world of dangers and no returns. We don’t wait for letters to be delivered, for people to come back or even long-distance calls to be put through. Everything is available, yesterday. And there’s nothing left to wait for. Isn’t that supposed to signify the end of life?

~o~o~o~

Two men flirted with me today. A Greek, suave, confident and smooth – conversing easily without slicking it and holding my interest in his gaze. And a Turk with a broad smile and a mischievious wink, his intentions perfectly clear, his gaze entirely appreciative. I was wearing shorts.So my body draws attention. I love it myself but my face leaves me short. Never mind, I’ve gotten used to thinking that my assets lie elsewhere. But when they change, stay assets no more, what will I do? Will I remember my own adage that there’s no greater beauty than a body that can perform every function that it was designed to? Legs that hold me and carry me places. Hands and fingers that do…so much. Eyes that see, read – the most wonderous gift of all. A body that runs near perfectly requiring little aid and only some care.

I stay beautiful as long as I can do all that. And as long as I can remember that.

~o~o~o~

Sometimes it is nice to just be by yourself, not because you don’t like other people but simply to experience yourself every now and then and see what other people see…and what they don’t.

~o~o~o~

What bonds people together? A common need – like vegetarians huddling together on this adventure of non-vegetarians? Or a shared past – classmates, colleagues, neighbors, playmates? Shared interests like books, music, photography, wine, travel? Similar demographics – neighbors, religious communities, parents of school-going children? And yet we labour under the delusion that relationships are about compatibility or love.

It seems like we select the most convenient people we can and mold ourselves to fit the association. Human beings are enormously flexible.

~o~o~o~

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.

All You Get From Love Is A Love Song

A well-wisher tells me,

At least find that company with someone who’s honest with you.

My reply,

Honesty. All the honesty I get is “I’m not in love with you but I’d love to sleep with you.”

Doesn’t this bug the hell out of you?

I hate it.

Then why do you put yourself through this??

What do I say to that? That I’d rather have the truth than mind-games? That I don’t believe that the motive changes either way but forewarned is definitely forearmed. And that I don’t really believe any of them really care about me, the person – or ever will. I’ve had enough of serenades. The truth doesn’t sound as good but at least it is…the truth.

Photographs

I was burrowing through my closet the other day. Buried beneath the long-forgotten scarves and shawls and tee-shirts, I found an album.

Just before he left for his first trip back home to Delhi, he asked me,

What shall I get you from there?

And I said.

Yourself. Lots of yourself.

‘Lots’??

Yes. You with your family. Your school. College. Friends. Festive occasions. Baby memories. Photographs. I want to see what the rest of your life is like.

He looked at me like I was crazy. (Those were early days after all..in the months that followed, he got used to my weird requests). But he brought back photographs. An album full of them.
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Sulking

I was surprised that you didn’t care so I went away

And now I’m stunned to discover how much you actually do.

Why does my absence make you feel so much more than my presence does?

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