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If only there was an easier way of explaining, I wouldn’t have been making up stories.

My mother tried teaching me all possible practical methods of dealing with the society while putting me at a safe distance from most of her own secrets. Most probably, I grew up knowing nothing and doubting everything. This, infact, isn’t one of those lazy Brontë sister stories where a girl dreamt of secured life while having written about feminine freedom. Every character in their books, got married, had strange children or died of tuberculosis. It sounds pretty ironic to me. I almost had a laugh but it died when I started thinking about how clueless I was. I did have a laugh. Maybe it was all in my head. I don’t know. But something seriously went wrong.  It wasn’t one of my intentions. If only, there was an easier way of explaining. Maybe I thought for a moment I could pull off a Brontë joke pretty well. Or maybe my mother was right about everything she ever spoke of. She did manage to make me think over my uncertainty. Infact, I have been infamously called a dreamer throughout my life. If you ask my mother, it wouldn’t make me sad if she doesn’t agree with it. At the least, I’ll be glad about my uprightness on having accepted certain facts about myself based on social norms. Like we all do. Accepting society as they speak about us. Letting people judge us without them having the slightest idea about our personal lives; letting people talk, listening to them and sometimes making guilty decisions against our own conscience. Lets not lie. We all do these petty mistakes but there isn’t enough time for blaming anyone anyways. Why put so much effort on people? I mean, people in general and more precisely the kinds who love the Brontë sisters or the kinds who would feed every kinds of food to every street dog in the community for the welfare of society and other strange health related issues. I am socially incapable of understanding dog issues at times. Don’t ask me why, I wouldn’t answer you because I don’t like to lie and I personally have nothing against dogs. I assure you with all my honesty, I adore them as much as I love resisting myself from posting dog videos on people’s wall post. If only there was an easier way of explaining, I wouldn’t have mentioned dogs.

My mother once told me, I shouldn’t dream too high. If I may recall possible heights of her dreams and combine it with mine, all of our above average dreams would still seem unrealistic to her. Infact, she fits well in all of Brontë’s novels but I don’t feel the need to get married, having strange kids or dying of tuberculosis. If only there was an easier way of explaining, I wouldn’t have mentioned Brontë.

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I used to sketch a lot when I was younger. School days mostly. My first story book was made of handwritten pages torn out of old notebooks and hand-illustrated sketches with pages stapled in the middle. It had stories about magic potion and bullied ugly girls because I thought I was one apparently. I was 7years old pale girl and I was skinnier than a dying old man.

A lot of things happened and I never really stopped sketching but I got more into study books and I thought I would either end up becoming a crime investigator officer or a UFO researcher or an ethical hacker. The nerd in me died a bit after I joined college and its now buried under fashion magazines. Long gone, I finally bought new sketchbooks and new pens and I am gonna scribble down everything and anything.

This is summertime madness, my ugly new sketch and I currently struggle to put on a tee when I stay alone because summer is 46 degrees in Delhi.

summertime madness2

 

(An article about how hard I try at times to describe a happy loner.)

Nobody in this world really wants to be alone. It’s just that someday someone realizes that it’s better to be alone. It’s optional, like all other things. How people would opt for oranges instead of bananas and hardcover copies instead of paperbacks. Whatever that fits in the bag that you carry. You know, what I mean.

Besides, I am just some somebody who likes to live in my head, where I do everything that I want to. Not that I would do everything in reality but I guess it’s just easier, you know, living-in-the-head thing. It sorts out things on its own and presents to me the optional options. So I had two choices. Choose people or being alone. Choosing someone sounds simpler but trust me, its not. As a matter of fact, it gets worse when you know someone too well. It’s like you got nothing else left in this world to do; too many stories, presumptions, garbage and no space for the thoughts to wander around your mind. Besides, you need to give people time, energy and other terms of physics and also take it back from them if you can or want, which obviously depends on you. I need to probably sit in a café over tea and have a chat with somebody who has exactly the opposite observations. The ones who get excited when they read ‘sharing is caring’. You know, what I mean.

Besides besides, people who have so many misconceptions about me just because I am quiet, shy or a bit strange as they call me, in my head I am everything you don’t know about. You know, what I mean.

A friend of mine told me something a long long time ago. “Time heals”

Probably it was the most normal thing anybody could say to anyone.  Years later, I still realize it, it’s probably the simplest trick that dictates life.

I just let my unconscious mind do the talking while time passes by.

While the time passes by I watch people. I watch them fight and love. I watch them grow with others. I watch them die within themselves. We all learn from what we see while the mind manipulates its own answers to what we all face.

Time passes by and everything will change. The way we look at things and the way we deal with situations. Things that looked tougher will look a lot easier later. Years would have passed by then and we would have grown out of ourselves.

We are what we create ourselves to be. We are what we live, how we live and how we want to. Time created it. Time will take it away as it passes by. That is the assurance it gives.

Memories will live in our head as it always has. Perspective will change. The time will come when it  we can forget them, if we wanted to and only a few moments will last forever.

Then we can die in peace.

You know, yesterday it was my birthday and we had this whole cake thing, those pretty lights and pretty food thing! The cake had pink and white flowers and I cut the cake with a sandwich knife that I could find and I put it inside my mouth. I felt great. I didn’t have to share it with anyone. I didn’t have funny people singing birthday song for me. I felt it right. It sounded like a right thing to do. You know, eat the cake and end your birthday and yoohoo! You are 22-year old loner, where 21years of lunatic years made me sane. It’s quite an epic! Just for me.

I am 22 but this time I feel like I have lived forever. I have grown old, you know- old, tired, weary, lonely, cranky and lots of grey hair. I have a grandson and two granddaughters but I don’t know whom I am married to. I must have forgotten, maybe I had a husband and maybe he passed away a few years back. I have forgotten it seems like. I don’t remember what really happened to me. But my heart is more brittle than my bones. It could break anytime or has it already. It could have.

I have been asking myself a lot of questions. Where are my kids? Where did they run away? Were they scared of me or were they ashamed of me? Which one of them could possibly have been the reason? I should stop reassuring myself. Of course, they were ashamed. How could I not know that. Its funny, I am funny. I am the non-rhetorical joke, that people don’t get it.
But you know, I used to love my kids but I must have forgotten how to love them now. Life was pleasant. It was infact, rosy with showering petals and dried leaves. Then I saw, I was becoming older and not much insane. It’s a poorer joke to be insane. How on earth can someone be insane? I wouldn’t. I don’t. I am a good person. I don’t care about people. I let people live the life they want. And they leave me. I leave them too. You see, I am a good person. I don’t complain and I let things happen on it’s own. I let people make me unhappy too. I let people not understand me. I am happy and being so happy is tragic, sometimes.

In these years of living, I have come across quite a lot of people. Out of that quite a lot of people, I have quite a less number of people I call friends. Out of that quite a less number, I have very few, I call friend friends. These are the living blocks of my life that I haven’t forgotten much about. The rest are my kids and grandson, granddaughters, etc. to whom I am a kid myself. They have taken care of me while I haven’t taken care of them. No wonder, I have chosen to not remember the bad things I did. The remaining are my lovers and I have loved myself for the entire part of my life. If somebody tried to kill me, I could kill myself to save myself. You know, the pseudo- narcissist thing! I love me, I do I do, I know I love me… yeah that thing!

Besides the living blocks of my life, the feelings that I associated with these little events that occurred throughout my lifetime, are what fascinated me.
What do you feel when everybody is around you but nobody is there with you?
What do you feel when you have so many things to feel sad about but you know it, you have to be happy about sad things?
What do you feel when you have to let go of something that you have loved for your lifetime?
What do you feel when you always dream of dying and you wake up everyday and find yourself alive?
What do you feel when you don’t wish to live but you love yourself so much that you choose to live the despair?
What do you feel when you choose to remain silent?
What do you feel on a sunny Sunday afternoon?
What do you feel on a late Sunday midnight?
I shall wait for my Sunday midnight, today. I shall look at the moon and ask myself a few more questions, before other people ask me. I am too slow to come up with lies. I need to prepare my answers. If I don’t, people will make fun of this old woman. They used to call me an old fool. Now they will call me an old fool who doesn’t know how to lie. I could be so bad with my words, you cannot think. Even if my kids have run away, I can lie people that I have killed them. But what really happened to me is what concerns me now. I must have forgotten so many things of my past. I know things that are gonna happen to me in my future. I shall be an old, tired, rich, weary, cranky woman with lots of grey hair, living alone in my big castle.

Wish me happy birthday!


Photo Courtesy: Chris Plummer

For some particular unknown reason, she has lived the life of impotence. I have never felt like asking her the reasons. Why? Because like all other people around her, I, too never suspect a smile.

I can say that I just followed the photographs like childhood children without zigzag brains. Therefore, I was never her favourite friend to whom she could have talked to.


The very Monday I went to her house, in her room, to her home. She seemed overwhelmed to see me but I wasn’t surprised. She told she could have died out of irony of her own existence in this extremely hygienic room of hers, which she condemned! She desired a better room, which I assumed, where her habits would have ruled her. For few more minutes, I kept listening to her complaints of her existence in the house, where the cupboard was too spacious and a double bed where she slept alone. A little later she seemed to realize that my expressions were indifferent and her jokes remained unsaturated.


“So, what did my parents tell you?” She finally arrived at the point.


“They don’t wanna lose you”. This was the first time when I spoke.


“Very well, then. I don’t wanna lose myself too” And she smiled.


“You can’t shut people out of the room simply like that”


“I don’t do that. I just shut myself here, that’s it. As simple as you want.”


“Sounds the same to me though”


“I can’t help it if you don’t get it”


“Simple? You have never opened yourself up to anyone I know. How will anyone get you?”


“That’s the bad part. I never open up to anyone. And even worse, I do not like to do so”


“But it won’t help either, you do know it”


“I have already assumed it won’t help either ways”


“You never try. Did you?” I was not satisfied. Her casual replies were getting onto my nerves. “You never tell. Not to your parents. Not to your sister. Not to friends. Not to me too. You never really talked about yourself and keeping quiet do not help, it’s taking you away from everyone who loves you. Know that”


“I know that”


“Then, why is this silence all about?”


“Look, I am happy. It’s just that I feel sad sometimes like any normal person”


“I see you smile with hundred teeth out in every photograph doesn’t always make you happy, right?”


“My friend, you do not understand. I feel much happier when I am alone and I am being plain selfish but that’s what I am supposed to be. I am a human with heart, don’t you agree?”


“Well, that’s the confusion. We never saw you sad. You have been our joker and I admire you for that. But you are alone, as you just said. Why? I would like to know the reason.”

She didn’t answer. She seemed lost yet again in her selfish world of faraway happiness which I have described in discourteous utterance even though the other part of me still wished highly of her unconventional mind. Having thought a lot, which I again assumed, she spoke for the first time, in a voice that was so depressing that it gave me a secret hope.

“My dear, years back when I was sad, I would always cry because I was stupid. Sadness was so new to me then and secretly I enjoyed getting the attention from people. Years later, when I am still sad, I have started hating being sad. I hate being emotional. I hate being pathetic. I hate being romantic. And sometimes I can’t bear touchy words. I hate being anyone I would have loved to be years back. I hate this sadness and at times I hate it so much that I get frustrated when I see people who are sad and emotional. And then I start cracking stupid jokes every now and then because I can’t bear the intense silence that surrounds me. I crave for happiness. I die for it. I breathe for it.”


She continued after a pause.


“I have a lot of friends but none to whom I can talk to. They are my party friends, photograph friends, homework friends, music friends, etc etc. But when I walk to the streets for medicine, I walk alone. When I need to have my food, I eat alone. When I need to talk to someone, I talk alone. And day by day, I am getting used to it. It’s all in my schedule. And if you are wondering why I haven’t spoken up to anyone till date, I do not like to force my suppressed tales to anyone and I shall speak up if I find someone to whom I would like to. But one very unlikely truth in life is that no one understands our feelings even if they have passed through the same situations. People can only console because they don’t want us to be bad. So I try finding an alternative to this situation by keeping quiet and smiling away”


“When I am outside, it’s much easier for me to let my mind sway sway sway and fly. Only to return home, BACK TO MY ROOM, to face myself. And the life that exists outside this room becomes of mere importance. All my emotions that have been concealed from people are born here, in this room. This is the place of my existence. I grow here as a person in front of my own eyes, which are only mine. Once again I start living among the truths. I start thinking. I find the peace. I live the remaining part of the life here. I live here. Yes I do. Along with me, the whole life seems to submerge in this little spacious room of mine and I would not call it ‘shutting myself here’. I travel more than when I am outside. I travel within. I travel within me. And I grow living here.”


“My loneliness cannot be described in mere suicide or sheer poetry. I am lonely which cannot be shown. I have accepted what came to me, only to move on”


Silence


It was a long silence. I could have made a mind to agree to all what she just said. But I wasn’t in her shoes. I had my own set of interpretations of how I would deal if I were in her place and that, like her unlikely truth, was not all understood.


But before I could open my mouth to speak, I heard a sound that was so familiar. I tried hard to not pay attention to it, only to realize that it was getting unbearable. By now, it had totally swept my mind. I was under control and I opened my eyes. I had just switched off the alarm clock which explained the familiarity.


It was ten minutes to nine, early morning. And I woke up to find myself on a double bed sleeping alone in a room where everything was extremely hygienic.

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