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Friday, November 10, 2006

Loss of Valuable Energy

I just saw my ex-fiancĂ©e’s snap on the web…

She was with her present guy and she looked happy.

I wish I could say otherwise but it was so.

I wish it weren’t so….

It was not a amicable break up. She tried to make it so, but years of unrelenting hard work just to build something that could sustain life and then to have it crumbling down around you was not an experience I was prepared for perhaps…

Being dumped by the person you love more than life itself is like going cold turkey off heroin – life with the skin flayed from your body.

Every person who goes through this is mad. The madness is so fierce that some die of it. And in that temporary insanity of that skinned, excruciated world, we commit crimes. Against ourselves and the world, sometimes…

And sometimes, you never shake it off….

Every day I woke with a dream or a thought of her. Every night I slept with the knife of regret in my chest….

I mean, how long do you go on feeling sorry for yourself?

One week, two weeks, two months….one year, two?

How much alcohol can you drink?

Where would I go from here, where would I ‘move on’?

There was nowhere to go; nowhere that was not emptied of meaning and identity and love by the vacuum of those who were missing and lost forever to you…

Still, I ran… hard and as long as I could.

Yet, how far can you run away from yourself?

I ran across half the world to forget her and still go weak at the knees when I see in a photograph with her guy.

Somehow, I don’t resent the bastard, I honestly don’t. He’s got the girl, its part of the game.

You win some, you lose some, but you play …always

I am tough enough to accept that she is gone and that he is the man of her life, now.

I am strong enough to realise that she was right; should have spent more time with the relationship than on building the future.

I am hard enough to never want her back in my life, ever.

I am smart enough to be able to mask my heart and pick up the pieces and shut out the memories.

I, I, I… was always about me…..and her too, but….

Wish it were different, but it wasn’t.

Tried to drink half of Assam dry, fight with all of it and then finally shook myself out and decided that a change of scene may shake loose this fever of love.

And here I am….still shaken by a picture of her, even with another man and all I can see is her lovely eyes…. Still warm, still loving, but not for me…..

I smile at this maudlin state of my heart and ask my mind, how long is this bloody bullshit going to last?

I ask myself, if this is my state, when I see a picture, what might happen if I was to see the person, in reality?

I shudder at the thought and hope that the scene wont ever happen…..

Sometimes, the worst thing you can do to a woman is to love her.

I am still dreaming of her……not perhaps her, but of the love we shared and the bonds we built, only to be torn away in an instant of indifference, misunderstanding or whatever.

I never believed I would ever experience love….but I did.

Perhaps, that should have been enough…..but I never knew when to say enough was enough….

I have been writing for a long time now, maybe too long, as anyone reading these scraps might say….

When I was about 15, (My god, was I ever 15?!!)

Well, anyway, I wrote then;

“……….If you truly wish to win, the way is clear, but the paths to enlightenment are unto half a mile of broken glass. There is always a price to pay and it is always higher than you set out to pay or bargain for. The goal is never impossible, indomitable, invincible or inviolate. The strongest tower, the greatest fort, the hardest heart, the mightiest minds are nothing….”

Did I even understand these lines then?

Do I understand them now?

I have won….

Paid the prices, without heed, willingly….

Nothing was impossible, indomitable, invincible or inviolate…..nothing…..

And today, that’s what I have…..nothing

It is always possible to do the right things for the wrong reasons….and the wrong things for the right reasons….

What happens when the one you love and swear to protect and serve is gone?

When the mere fact of your existence seems like a betrayal and every heartbreak, a new act of treachery? When you eyes have such an unutterable sadness, withered and emptied of tears, so deep that no man risks its touch?

You don’t grieve or mourn, for there is not enough truth in anyone for that much sorrowing

For a year, I waited, trapped, hungering and afraid and slowly, one razor-edged day at a time, the knife of loneliness and grief whittled away the wishing and the hoping, until all that was left to me, within the hard, disconsolate wrap of my own arms around my fate and destiny and my tired, shivering body was the lonely will to survive, at any cost.

And so I survived…..I still ask myself why??

If so much love could vanish into the earth and leave mere ashes of dreams, to speak no more, to smile no more, then love was nothing. Life is nothing….

I tell my best friend that my value today is more dead than alive.

I have more insurance than a hostel full of undergrads old enough to purchase matches, alcohol and worse….

So, what’s my value?

Monetarily brilliant, financially unbeatable, spiritually and mentally bankrupt.

They say that the choices you make, between hating and forgiving can become the story of your life.

My friggin’ life reads like the story of a fuckin’ Tolstoy novel or worse…and is equally long!!!

They say that lives are crunched up in mistakes and thrown away by the wrong second of someone else’s hate or love or indifference. That makes sense today. Fate needs accomplices, and the stones in destiny’s walls are mortared with the small and heedless complicities such as these.

It is said that repression breeds’ resistance in some men and being tough is about the saddest thing you could say about such a man.
I was such a man and for a very long time all you could say about me was that there was in me, a determination that was almost brutal, courage, almost cruel and the lonely, angry longing to be loved.
To be loved for whom I was and what I was…

I would look at the mirror and see my eyes; Eyes that were shouting at the deaf world, which never looks beyond its own needs and cares….

I guess, someone upstairs took pity on me…..

And then, I pushed my luck…….as always

I believed that great principles, noble virtues and grand love are all very well, but from this day to the next, its money that keep’s us going – and the lack of it that drives us under the wheels of fate and worse and so I set out to earn my share of the world, to carve my piece of meat, for us….

Should I be writing this? I should not, but that’s the hypocrite in me being mocked by the writer in me. Hypocrisy is just another kind of cruelty and the truth is simply a bully we all pretend to like. This is not what I said, but it fits….

So, I worked and figured and fought…..for us

And my love grew…

Would you know the misery of an ugly man, which he feels in every conscious minute of love with a beautiful woman?

There is a dark feeling – less than hatred, but more than loathing – that ugly men always feel for handsome men. Its unreasonable and unjustified, of course, but its always there, hiding in the long shadows thrown by envy. It creeps out into the light of your eyes, especially when you are falling in love with a beautiful woman and the world seems full of handsome men.

Would you believe my insecurity when I found myself being loved back?

She said I would pinch a corpse to see if it was dead….

I often pinched myself, which was true…

Why do we want to be in love?

Why is it the biggest, the greatest thing that can ever happen to a person?

Why is there so much hullabaloo about the whole issue?

For that matter, why am I even writing about it and why are you reading it?

Perhaps, as my favourite writer put it –

One of the reasons we crave love and seek it so desperately is that love is the only cure for loneliness and shame and sorrow. But some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths about yourself are so painful that only shame can help you love with them. And some things are just so sad that only your soul can do your crying for you.

I couldn’t ever say it better…

And I was in love….with her eyes… and her smile….

It was a good smile, honest but wicked and generous but shrewd.

I saw those eyes again today and tigers still moved quickly in the eyes of her smile…..

They say, romantic love is your heart lost in the dream of a woman’s face and your soul lost in the dream of her body….

I wonder what you would define my love as, today?

Idiotic, asinine, impossible….??

Of the many reasons we love women for, the best is the fact that a woman does what God should do; a woman sometimes gives us a reason to live and love this world.

But today, the world and I are not on speaking terms…..

The love of a woman is held in a vault of hearts while the condemning and cruel world tries to reach it through our skin and bones.

They claim a hidden corner of our hearts, all those moments that stay with us, unscreamed.

That’s where loves, like elephants, drag themselves to die.

It’s the place where pride allows itself to cry. I am there today….

It is a characteristic of human nature that the contours of all our virtues are shaped by adversity.

I only wish I had this much sense then…..

But then, don’t we all wish for time to roll back and allow us to rectify our mistakes?

She had left me and betrayed me, leaving jagged edges where all my trust had been and I didn’t like or respect her anymore, but still I loved her.

I had no choice; I understand that as I write this….

You cannot kill love.

You cannot kill it with hate.

You can kill in-love, and loving and even loveliness.

You can kill them all or numb them into dense, leaden regret, but you can’t kill love itself.

Love is the passionate search for a truth other than your own and once you have felt it, honestly and completely, love is forever.

Every act of love, every moment of the heart reaching out, is a part of the universal good; it’s a part of God, or what we call God and it can never die.

And so, sometimes we love with nothing more than hope....even without hope...

Sometimes we cry with everything except tears....

In the end, that’s all there is; love and its duty, sorrow and its truth....

In that end that’s all we have….

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bonfires, Strippers and Immigration

5.30 am, Monday

Never thought that I would ever, EVER get up at 5 am to get ready for a presentation and that too by myself.

Last night was Guy Fawkes Night and as I watched the brilliant fireworks exploding overhead, I could still remember the old nursery poem. This was not taught to us in our schools back home, but it was required learning in England and hence my cousins taught it to me when they would come for their occasional visits.

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

So, I watched “Guy” burn on Glasgow green and drank a pint in his name, one of the earliest revolutionaries against the Empire.

Night before that, I saw another very British tradition….kissograms!!!

I was on duty as ASR for the night and as luck would have it, it was a Saturday and Halloween party time!!!

So, anyway, case studies of an ASR record as follows;

* Two drunken females who couldn’t get inside their rooms
* One drunk female who couldn’t get out (Why don’t boys get into problems when they are drunk, I wonder?)
*Five cases of eggs and vegetable throwing competitions….hmmmm!!!
*One Halloween party where noise levels could be heard five blocks away.

So, Jim, the guard and me made our way upstairs, to hunt down the owner of the flat where the party was being held to impose peace and order….well that WAS the intention.

Anyway, suddenly I see this police woman walking into the room and I go... Oh, shit, there goes my job!!

And THEN….the policewoman or the woman at least, starts dancing to the music and starts stripping….

Jim, relaxes and settles back to watch the show…and I watch with my jaw open wide enough to let in a battalion of flies.

Basically, a kissogram is a girl/boy who comes, strips for the intended person, smooches them and leaves, all this for a price range of 55-90 pounds. AND its legal!!!

So, I watched a kissogram and got a visiting card from the ….umm, lady!!!

And THEN I wrecked the party!!!


Even living here is a culture shock. Apparently, strippers and kissograms are must-haves for 18th birthday parties and such.

I am again amazed at this culture which is so open and therefore in certain areas so much better than our silly hypocrisies back home.

Which is another way of saying that I WISH someone had got me a kissogram for my 18th birthday…..?

What was I doing on my 18th birthday?

Hmmm, I think I was preparing for a moot and later went out and got sloshed on cheap rotgut Indian whisky.

By our standards, that was quite a nice party. This leads me to the next question, something asked by a lot of people who have made the difficult journey till here…

Is there a better alternative to the years of intensive study and the high rate of attrition inherent in our education system?

Ever since I remember I have been studying and studying and studying….

My old buddy, pari used to say there were only two stages in an Indian student’s life – studying and drinking!!! Nothing else!!!

I mean, all I was doing was the same as my other pals. Nothing great, nothing new…

The fact was that getting anywhere in India was a one way lane and it was overcrowded beyond belief. We slogged our arses off just to get somewhere and sometimes, that somewhere was not enough.

I was lucky, many weren’t.

And then, I saw my younger brother and his pals and then my even younger cousins and saw that I had a positively easy life…

Where will this end?

What of those children who don’t make the leap?

Children here choose areas which I haven’t even heard of and take gap years, a concept I am still coming to grips with.

Our folks are more caring, more considerate than the parents of these brats and yet, so many hearts are broken for the simple law of averages, for the simple rules of competition.

My growth and development professor explains this as the difference between economic growth and economic development. When a country earns more money it is eco growth, when a country invests in the facilities it offers to its citizens, it called eco development.

When will our country be able to offer development?

Today, I don’t blame the parents who came here and took the decision to stay back. I mean, we deride and despise them for their decisions back home.

We call them Non-Resident Indians, Not Required Indians, No Responsibilities Indian, Non Returning Indians…

Were they wrong for choosing a better chance at life for their children…

Forget the past generations, what of us? This generation, MY generation.

We, the ones who reached foreign shores, have fought a bloody way to get to this country and as we look back, our trail is littered with the corpses of old friendships lost because they lacked our pace or because the pace of time eliminated them from our lists, dead bodies of dysfunctional families forgotten in the mad race to get that sought after college, that internship which would look good on our CV’s, that better University, that better job….

We have been to the wars, us students, and we bear scars, all of us….

Would it be unreasonable for us to be scared that our children might not make in the ever increasing competition of the developing countries?

Would it be wrong on our parts to not want to inflict such scars on our children?

Would it wrong for us to choose the option to stay behind?

And if we did choose that decision, what of our children?

Would they appreciate that decision?

To deprive them of identity, support, culture and family for better education, amenities, facilities, advantages?

How do we even or ever make that decision?

Still wondering…….