Five Years Later ( Loving Against The Odds)

It has been a long time since I wrote this post and to be honest I am a little astonished by the traffic this post still gets. This has been the most viewed and most commented post on my blog and may be the only reason I get any amount of hits on my blog. A lot of people search for inter-caste and inter-religion relationships and land up on my blog which makes me wonder how many couples in our country are suffering from the inter caste marriage syndrome (ICMS)! A few of them even mail me either to sympathize with me or to ask me for suggestions on their own relationships. And that my dear friends really scare me because five years later I am still with the same guy.

I wrote that post when I was 21, fresh out of college and in a long distance relationship with a guy for two years. I never really got to leave the guy because such an event never cropped up in my life. Neither my parents decided to marry me off, nor did they get to know of my relationship. My mom to be honest most definitely knows about our relationship but still tries to turn a blind eye to it. She has now met him and even told me that she liked him but I know that deep down she prays to Lord every day that we should just be friends. This is after she practically expects him to drop me to stations, help me when I am sick, accompany me anywhere I have to go alone and totally be my knight in shining armour. May be she’s still living in Satayuga and expects guys to be that friendly and expect nothing in return. (or maybe she is aware of a term called friend zone)

In fact, sans my sister my whole family has now met him and know that we are close. And the fact that they still try to brush us off as friends, that ladies and gentleman is a big problem, because that shows the blind trust they have put on me. I don’t hold grudges against them anymore though. I know where they come from and why they have certain thoughts and beliefs. They are the reason I am able enough to have an opinion of my own and to respect other’s opinion.

So the next question is why I am still hiding this relationship?

That is because I really don’t know if I even want to get married. Marriage fails to interest me. Yes, I do like all the fun and festivities associated with weddings, taking pictures and posting them on social media. I turn green on seeing people getting the opportunity to freely express their love, and would like to have children someday but I don’t know whether the concept of marriage is my cup of tea. There are too many expectations, too much home-bound politics and too many roles to play. This could be because I’ve had many bad experiences with married people or because I don’t see many people around me getting married for the right reasons.

So what is the point of making the relationship public and hurt everyone when I don’t know whether marriage is what I want. Let’s just keep everyone happy for now.

Of course, I can’t be sure that my views won’t change in the coming years. It is very much possible but right now at twenty six I find myself too young to get married. (But in a country where around 90% of females get married before the age of 25, I might be wrong.) Anyway, if the situation comes down to choosing someone between the two, I can honestly say that I want both. In five years I have come far from crying about giving up on my love on the internet to announcing my hatred for marriage, who knows what’s going to happen in the next five years.

For now, the goal is to make something of myself, stop being jealous, try to write more, and to learn Kannada and Bengali. Let me focus on the small things and let the bigger things fall into place.

(To the folks who have landed here to find a solution to their relationship woes, sorry to disappoint you but I am not a love guru. I am just a girl in my mid twenties who writes her own story here. I wish I could bring a change in the society and relieve you of your miseries but that my friend is what you’ll have to do yourself. If is it important enough you’ll find a reason, if not you ‘ll find an excuse)

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Wishing on a Star, Wishing on a Dream

Back in April I went to Hyderabad to attend a friend’s wedding. That was the first time I had a late night flight. If you have read my blog during my initial blogging days you might know how fascinated I am by airplanes. Even after being on airplanes for quite a number of times, I am still excited by the thought of flying. Anyway, as the plane was landing that day, I was mesmerized by the view down below.  Have you ever experienced a moment when you realized how lucky you are to just be alive! Although it may seem trivial to a lot many of you but that night when my plane was landing and I was looking out the window, at all the twinkling lights on earth, the moving vehicles on road adding to the drama, I felt blessed. I don’t think my words could justify the sheer beauty that I witnessed that night and all the myriad of emotions that I felt. It was surreal. And that was a big thing for me, mostly because I have always been a whiner. I am the kind of person who listens to sad songs just to feel depressed. So you see, feeling grateful has never been my forte. But that night was different. I was lucky to be alive.

 

Amid these feelings of joy, the only thing that bothered me was that my parents never had the opportunity to witness such things in life. They spent their lives to fulfill all our wishes but never spent an extra penny to do something for pleasure. Right from the time they were married, all they did was fulfilling responsibilities. In fact, in order to save money my parents are unknowingly doing a lot of eco-friendly things- using solar cooker to save gas, using a cycle to save petrol, not using ACs because who’ll pay such a hefty electricity bill, taking shared autos instead of booking cabs and much more. I am all in favor of saving the ecosystem but I wish someday my parents could witness the things I could witness because of them.

When I was a little girl, I would look at the helicopters that occasionally ventured into our small hilly town and wonder whether I would ever get a chance to be on them someday.

That night, as my plane landed, I wondered whether I would ever be able to take my parents to see what I saw, to fly above the clouds and see the dancing lights on earth.

It is at times like these that a poem by Shel Silverstein comes to mind,

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts.

Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts.

Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me…

Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”

Meanwhile In Life…

I have been away from a lot of things (including this blog) for a really long time. Almost two years have passed since I properly wrote anything here. And those two years of my life were spent in Delhi, the city of dreams for many unemployed people like me. In 2015, after finishing my post graduation, I stepped into the task of preparing for the civil services examinations. For those of you who don’t know about it, it is almost a year long examination conducted in three stages where around a million students compete for some of the most coveted jobs in our country.

 So I gave my first attempt in 2016 and surprisingly passed the preliminary examination. When you spend your whole life believing that you are nothing as compared to others, passing even the preliminary stage of one the toughest exam in the world feels like an achievement. That joy lasted for one day as I faced the difficult task of writing the mains examination in December 2016. Those were the toughest 3 months of my life. I spent around 17-18 hours a day studying. I don’t think I had ever read so many things as I did in those 3 months. But in my mind, I think I had already given up. I went on to write the examinations with almost zero confidence. As expected I failed in the exam. By February 2017 I had almost spent 2 years of my life and gained zero result. The worst part is I was too scared to start again. Anyway I spent quite a few months ignoring life, books and everything. I procrastinated a lot and spent days doing really nothing. Reality hit me hard when I realized that the exam for 2017 is coming closer and I am still grieving for 2016.

Well, I started studying again and in all possible ways I had studied more than what I had studied in 2016. But I don’t think it’s just my time yet. I didn’t do well in the preliminary exam conducted a fortnight ago. Though results are not out yet, but I know I am out of the race this year. And thus another year goes down the drain.

What can I say! From two weeks I have been contemplating the reasons for my existence. I don’t know where I went wrong in life. I just don’t know why happiness eludes me. It may all sound depressing but I can say that I am not depressed. These are just questions I encounter when I start thinking about my life.

I know that I was the one who wanted this; the bigger your dreams are, the bigger the struggle. But yes, sometimes you are allowed to mourn over failure. And that is what I am doing.

Anyway I did clear the preliminary round of my state civil services exam (different from the national level exam) and have to start preparing for that, so my mourning period would have to end very soon.

The struggle hasn’t ended. Some people are lucky enough to learn many lessons in life and I can say that I am one among them. I have never had anything for free. I have shed my sweat, blood and tears for everything I have ever achieved in life and would continue to do so.

Few lines by Ernest Hemingway keeps me going,

Life is unpredictable,

It changes with the seasons,

Even your coldest winter,

Happens for the best of reasons,

And though it feels eternal,

Like all you’ll ever do is freeze,

I promise spring is coming,

And with it, brand new leaves.”

 

Why do you write?

There are times in my life when I want someone to talk to. You know like a real talk. Not a friend, not my boyfriend, not my mom, not anyone I know but someone else. I think I have been looking for this someone else for a long time. Ever since I finished college, when I felt clueless about my life, when I didn’t know what next, there was someone I was looking for. I can’t talk to people I know because they love me, they would never tell me what’s wrong with me, a certain subjectivity would always accompany their “talks” and I don’t want that.

Though my mother is my confidant, I can’t afford to worry her with my weird thoughts. My parents, they are simple people, the only thing they can do using a phone is a call (which originally a phone was supposed to do). They don’t understand Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. They don’t get YOLO or FOMO. They don’t get my quarter life crisis. At my age my mother has had several miscarriages and finally a baby. She had no time or thoughts to deal with an identity crisis. So, they do what they think is right- which is to support me in whatever I wish to do. And I can’t ask them for more.

As for my boyfriend, he doesn’t really talk. You know like the real talk. He’s an introvert and it’s hard for him to express himself. He has a completely different personality than me. I mean we have a very similar lifestyle and same kind of dreams but we are different people. He’s a fulfilled, happy person while I am an insatiable wandering soul. He is calm like the sea while I am violent like a cyclone. He doesn’t get my obsession with finding my mojo or my streak of competitiveness. He does try but the talks with him are mostly monologues while all I want is a dialogue.

Kuch hum kahen, kuch wo sunayen,

Kuch baton se kuch or baat ban jayen…

So, there was a time in my life when I used to strike up conversations with strangers while travelling…in trains, in buses, while waiting at the airports. I liked that. Two people who don’t know each other discussing everything under the sun. I liked the notion of talking and never having to see each other again. It was like I left a part of my story with someone I would never meet again. And this was one of the reason I started this blog, to talk. Even here, I don’t get “dialogues” (except for a few comments) but whenever I write, I imagine someone is sitting in front of me, listening to everything I say. And you may find it hard to believe but by the end of a post, I feel relieved. In my mind I have had a conversation with myself. So when I don’t get that someone I want to talk to, I write.

I write to talk.

Why do you write?

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Image from here.