Friday, 26 October 2012

Lotta love to give

The last few weeks have been rather crazy. And the next few weeks promise to be equally so. Between work and a little too much of partying, I’m exhausted. But more importantly, there have been revelations and realisations galore.

These have been weeks of making new friends, reconnecting with old ones and losing some older ones. This ‘balance of life’ business is odd. On the one hand, I meet new people who tell me how fun and interesting I am, while on the other, I have people I’ve spent years, even decades, with, choosing to spend time with others rather than me. And unfortunately, no matter how flattering a new person can be, it’s when those who you’ve spent your best and worst with, decide to walk away that it hurts the most.

In these last few weeks, I reconnected with a special friend only to say goodbye once again; I spent time, and lots of it, with people who still matter; a friend who had walked away for a while has easily and gladly slipped back into my life; and I also lost someone who I’ve grown up with. Sometimes, even the most invincible relationships are brittle. You’ll be shocked, you’ll be hurt, you’ll be angry, but then you’ll know—nothing is forever.

Yes, every relationship has its phases, every friendship loosens grip every now and then, despite having been cemented for eons. What do you do in cases like these? Do you give up on your friend, who once upon a time, used to be an extension of your own being? Or do you fight for it? Or do you simply let time do its work? I have no idea. Right now, I’m doing nothing about it.

Yes, priorities change in life—who knows this better than I do? Your daily life and the people who feature regularly in it take precedence over those you rarely see. That doesn’t mean you have to choose, does it? The one thing I pride myself in is that I’m a good friend. If you ever need me, I’m there, baby. I’m also damn good at keeping in touch. I don’t know how and why, but I just am. So I don’t understand why people decide to choose only a few people to be in their lives, at any given point in time. The human heart is endless, we have so much love and fun to give—why would you restrict that?

In these last few weeks, I have been told I’m fun, and at the same time, been told that I’m stubborn and mufat to the point of being unbearable. In the last few weeks, many have asked for my company, while at the same time, I have been cast aside for someone else. In the last few weeks, I have loved, nursed a broken heart, strengthened myself, perhaps almost loved again, and then returned to my senses.

But the most important thing that has happened in the last few weeks is that I’ve rediscovered myself. In the last few years, I had become a different person—someone I thought I wanted to be. Maybe that person is within me, but not yet. I tried to be this someone for someone else, who, funnily enough, never even *really* asked me to be this someone. And yet I thought, I’d be more appreciated and loved, and I’d be doing the right thing by being this someone for this someone else. Well, that’s just crap.

In these last few weeks, I have done things, said things, been things that I haven’t for years. I have learnt to live for myself and by my own rules. I have stopped tiptoeing around anyone; I have stopped expecting anyone to call or show up; I have stopped waiting for things to happen—as clich├ęd as it sounds, I’m making things happen for myself. I’m going out, I’m working hard, I’m continuing with my fabulous yoga class, and *wait for it*, I’ve started a kathak class. After seven odd years, I feel the passion zinging through me again as my feet slap the floor and my hand does a graceful curve. I’m a dancer and a writer, and today I’m actively pursuing both. I’ve never been happier with myself.

Yes, I’m mufat; yes, I’m stubborn; yes, I love passionately when I do—friend, lover, family or dance—; yes, I am uber sensitive, especially with those who matter the world to me; yes, I daydream; yes, I diet and then break my diet; yes, I love sleeping; yes my friends mean a lot to me, but that doesn’t mean I’m a pushover. Yes, I’m all this and more. If you can’t accept me this way, then maybe I don’t deserve you in my life—yes, I take it all on myself. And yet, despite it all, I love myself.

We all go through changes in our personalities, behaviour, etc. It’s but natural. At any given point in time, some people will *love* you, while others will find you annoying, and still others will not be able to breathe the same air you are. But do yourself a favour and don’t change for someone else—speaking purely from experience. If you’re trying to be someone else for your girlfriend/boyfriend, kinda defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? I mean, your significant other fell in love with the person you truly are, not the one you’re trying to be. Most of all, love yourself and the world is bound to love you. I love me; do you?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The power of a word

I met someone the other day for the first time ever, and somehow within moments, we were talking about the power of words. One word actually. How one off word slipped into a conversation can change how the other feels. Sounds complicated.

For example, A likes B but B cannot be with A, for his/her personal reasons. A knows these reasons but still decides to tell B how s/he feels. And while doing so, A tells B that s/he understands B has issues, but wanted this off his/her chest anyway.

Issues. Ouch. B is obviously not pleased that A thinks his/her constraints or circumstances are ‘issues’. Hence, in a moment, whatever doubts B had about rejecting A’s proposal dissipates and his/her resolve to stick by the circumstantial decision made strengthens.

Isn’t it funny how something spoken, sometimes on the phone or online, not even in person, can hurt more than if you were to beat the person with an iron rod? How odd is it that one word can change the way someone feels? Sometimes one word misspelt or mispronounced can really put you off a person. Wait, maybe that’s just me, aka the Grammar Nazi aka the Grammar Gandu. But I digress.

Is it fair that a few alphabets strung together can have such a strong impact? That I can say something and inflict some serious pain on someone else, or cause some serious anger, or even potentially seriously jeopardise a relationship? Words and language were created, developed and nurtured over centuries in order to enhance communication, help people connect with others. And yet, these same words can destroy bonds and create uncrossable bridges. See—‘uncrossable’ isn’t a real word. Does it annoy you or does it do the job, since you understand what it means?

The point is, yes, it may be annoying, it may be unfair and it may be extremely frustrating to have to measure your words and tiptoe around people so as not to offend/hurt/anger them. But the truth is, words are far more powerful than any WMD can be. Ok a tad dramatic but you get my drift. The pen is mightier than the sword and all that. Say one nasty word to your mother, and she’ll be crying rivers; say a word too honest to a friend and expect the cold treatment; and say a hurtful word to a lover and forget about any action you were getting or may have got in the near future.

I have no advice here. Yes, one word-just ONE goddamn word- can change things—many a time for the worse. But sometimes you just gotta say what’s on your mind. You just have to decide what is more important—unburdening your already heavy heart/mind, or the person and the relationship in front of you.

P.S. In other, completely unrelated news, after seven years of not having any Bong friends in the city, I suddenly find myself surrounded by them. Much like I was inundated with Goans when I first moved here, and I know how important they turned out to be in my life. Hmm, God, is this some sort of a sign? If it is, some lightening or a vision of Ma Durga’s glowing face would be much appreciated. Thanks. 

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The one that got away...

Break-ups are annoying. Apart from the usual drama, heartache, stress, loneliness, they are seriously just annoying.

I say this because a break-up, no matter how long you've been with the person—three weeks, three months or three years—pervades every aspect of your life. You don’t agree? I’ll tell you how.

Firstly, there’s the obvious anger, hurt, resentment and awkwardness with the person you've just broken up with. From speaking to and seeing each other every day, you now have to go days or weeks or more, not speaking to each other. You suddenly find yourself free on holidays and weekends, and have to make plans so that you don’t drown in your abysmal hole of depression.

Then there are all these common friends you both must have had. These common friends now have to pick sides. They either have to stay friends with you or your ex. Rarely are they able to maintain normal friendships with both parties, especially if the break-up is bitter. And let’s face it, rarely is a break-up not bitter. One side is always more hurt and pissed than the other. And in case your families were involved, then be prepared to discover all new levels of awkward much.
There’s also the whole ‘putting up a facade’ thing. No one likes pity. There are very few people who you can cry to and be honest about how hurt you are. And fewer still for guys. It’s not macho to cry about a girl, so guys will put on their brave face and drink their livers out. The rest of us, have to go about our lives, go out, meet people, party, etc. a) to show the world that you’re ok, and b) to prove to your ex that you’re doing just fine without him or her. Which even he or she knows isn’t true, but we’re cool like that.
You also don’t want to become annoying to your friends by whining about your broken heart all the time, so you eventually quit doing that and deal with shit yourself. The least fun thing that is.

Then there’s music. And oh man, how annoying is this. Most of us, connoisseurs or not, are addicted to all sorts of music. After a break-up, listen to any song, and you will think of your ex—guaranteed. Even if you had never heard the song while being with your ex, you will suddenly put new meanings to every syllable in the song and think of the good times you’ve shared, or better still, what an asshole/bitch the ex has been. Sad songs made you sadder; happy songs make you miss him/her so make you sad, party songs make you want to party with him/her again so make you sad again. See! Annoying! Can’t even listen to music in peace.

Then of course, there are all the places you two have been together. Going there now is beyond annoying. The longer the relationship, the more places you have to strike off your list. And if you’ve shared an apartment together or spent a considerable amount of time together, say in the same office, then you’ve had it. Bloody memories are a darned thing. And don’t even get me started on dates. The date you first met, started dating, kissed, etc. etc. now all etched in your mind forever. Urgh.

And of course, with the overflow of social media in today’s world, it’s not even that you can put the person behind you and move on. You’ll see updates, pictures, comments, etc., everywhere you go. And deleting the ex or yourself from the social networking site just seems a tad dramatic, even by your standards.

One of the few good things that does come out of break-ups is creativity. Sorrow makes for great inspiration. Musicians make their best songs after a break-up (greater still since so many people will relate to it), writers produce some heartrending poetry and prose after a heartbreak, and artists can create magic on a canvas.

The thing about a break-up is that your friends can help you get through it, your family can be supportive, but only you and the person with whom you have broken up or who has broken up with you, truly knows what you (both of you) are going through. Cos the truth is, that despite being surrounded by friends et al, it was just you and him/her in the relationship, so only the two of you know what you’ve lost.

It’s easy being angry and resentful after a break-up. It’s natural to blame the other person. You’re bound to go through phases—shock, denial, anger, sorrow and acceptance. But it’s important to remember never to be cruel or treat the person you once dearly cared about, loved even, badly. Because honestly, that just makes you a jerk; and always remember, karma is just waiting to come bite you in the ass.

Clearly, heartbreak is normal as it is widespread. With the number of break-ups happening lately, this is evident. So don’t try too hard to be strong or don’t try to move on too quick. One-night stands and rebounds do NOT work, trust me. Take your time, especially if the relationship meant something to you—if you had, at some point, believed that this person was the one, your soulmate, etc. etc. Sometimes it’s ok to mourn the loss of that special someone, of ‘the one that got away’.

And remember, whatever doesn’t kill you, will make you stronger. Once you get over all the above annoying points, you’ll be good as new, and ready again to take on the world, fall in love again and get your heart broken all over again. Till then, find a break-up song and listen to it on repeat. Once you tire of the song, you’ll know you’re on the way to closure.