I’ve lived in quite a few places. Changed houses, states, countries and a continent in the process.
But the longest I’d lived anywhere till date was the first place Red and I bought after we got married. It wasn’t that much of a well-thought out decision. We didn’t factor in any green space close by, or schools.
The place was BIG, we had the room that we needed for our books, clothes and kitchen stuff. When the parents came to visit, they each had their own rooms with attached loos and the view from the balcony, while not spectacular, was cozy and I had flowering plants on the parapet for the almost the entire duration we lived there.
We planned a family in the apartment, had a kid who learnt to walk there. We had our fights, plans for the future, packed for trips and ultimately made it a home. And now, 4 years later, it’s gone back to being an apartment again.
We had tenants living there till recently and when they moved out I realized that I’d cut my ties with the place well and truly. Earlier, I used to be able to see glimpses of my kid toddling about the house along with other memories of us going about our lives; without getting hauled in for hallucinating.
But this time around I felt like it was someone else’s space that I was visiting. I still knew where the light switches were (Red doesn’t remember them for the place we live in even now) but there was not tugs felt once I switched off the lights and locked the door on the home we’d lived in for 6 years.
People move on. Sometimes it’s a such a smooth process that you wake up one day and realize that you no longer possess a particular frame of mind. And there are other times when you literally browbeat yourself into moving forward.
The people we couldn’t do without once- we can now go without talking to them for days on end and things still seem alright. The lifestyle we held to be an absolute truth gets swapped for another one and we ease into it so seamlessly it’s almost as if nothing else ever existed.
It’s a heady and yet a very reassuring thought…I for one am relieved.
Have a good weekend people.
One lingering memory of Durga pujas at Barasat are the acoustic version of retro Hindi songs of Salil Choudhury playing in the neighborhood somewhere. Right from Yeh Kya Hua to O Sajna, Barkha Bahaar Aayi…they play them all.
And it sounds just wonderful. Seeped in whispers of the years that’ve passed while trying to make it to Calcutta to attend the puja from whichever part of the country we might have been in…..
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Isn’t that what it all boils down to in life?
It isn’t always celebrating the things that go well or in accordance with our plans or even making our peace with the things that don’t. It’s finally just existing with what IS.
Sometimes we are able to do it gracefully and other times it takes a lot of plodding and prodding to get through each day.
There’s a saying by Oscar Wilde that people often smugly quote- ” There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”
I’ve found that while tragedy might be too strong a word for it, it does seem difficult to comprehend and accept ,what you sought out, opted for even isn’t all that it’s cut out to be or even worse…it’s not what you want. Is inadequate.
So you shuffle the deck a few times and hope the next hand is better than the one that has you staring in bafflement.
Or you chuck the cards up in the air and don’t care if they scatter all over; since it’s mimicking life in doing so.
And some of us painstakingly make a house of cards. Trying to balance each card over the other and anxiously watching whether they stay up or come tumbling down.
In the end you either end up with a steady house you used up all your cards in making and are proud of or you decide to call it quits after you reach a plateau and are still left holding a few cards for later.
It’s all about playing with the hand you were dealt.
Originally published in- http://fortunatecave.livejournal.com/110328.html
Red mumbles. And quite likely, I’m going deaf in one ear.
This is how it happened:
I was saying something about Mumaith Khan
Red said something I heard as thus- She looks like Cromwell.
Me: Cromwell? Oliver Cromwell? Eeks!!
Red: Cromwell?!! I said kaamwaali!!
*walks away shaking his head at me in a bewildered fashion*
The following content has been rated GG (goody-goody and slightly gagworthy).
Spoiler alert- expect mother love and nothing else.
Ever since I saw that little button nose in the sonogram I knew you’d be the cutest person in the whole world. And while you weren’t the chubbiest kid ever born, the pearly luster of your nails, the curled up little toes that were even tinier than your father and I imagined, were perfect and and we couldn’t have asked for any more.
As you grew up you not only brought worry and fatigue in your wake but also an overpowering urge to keep you safe, cocooned and as a cherubic infant for all time since my life was that much prettier a place with those luminous eyes, the drooly mouth and the padded rump and the drunken baby gait you had while learning to walk.
Your high-pitched giggle, rapture at cartoons, utter joy at just spotting an ice cream is so pure, so unalloyed it makes me want to stop time and just watch you LIVE.
Trying to help you grow into your own person is a daunting task but one I embrace happily since I’m convinced that whoever you grow up to be…the moment I see you sleep with those beautiful long lashes almost grazing your face, I’ll be taken back to the image of my cherubic little man who made faces in his sleep and who held out plump little hands wanting to be lifted up for a hug and a kiss.
You are beautiful inside and out and I hope your dreams are beautiful tonight and always.
Your (Slightly Emotional) Mother
P.S: Sleep through the nights from now on wards and your mother will be emotional for totally different reasons altogether! XXXs&OOOs
Some of us actively live in the past. How things were, how they happened et al. And that’s understandable. There’s a comfort in looking back at things which have already occurred. You don’t need to worry about them again…they’re done. Maybe not dusted but you know how they’ve played out. It’s *not* the unknown. The present is fluid and the future uncertain so the past is often the only reliable thing you have.
The past is a powerful thing. It shapes you. It holds a repository of YOU and your life that you can go back to and pluck instances out of that help you in your present and may help you in the future.
There are times when I pass by a place where significant things in my life have occurred and if I try hard enough I can actually see myself there. Not too clearly but as a hazy memory. Too clearly and it’s ground for being certifiable :p
But sometimes a walk down memory lane helps. Especially when you’re getting your present to pull up it’s socks and get it’s act together!