How Do You Say “I Love You”?

Around a year ago, during one of the most difficult phases of my life, in between an episode of terrible migraine I knocked on his doors. My head was bursting with pain, and I wanted to shut myself away from the world, distant from anything that produced any light or sound. His small, dingy room in a secluded space was a perfect place to crash down. After several bouts of nausea and vomiting, I was in a bad shape. As the headache subsided a little, my stomach was growling with hunger and all I wanted to eat were potatoes exactly the way my mother makes them. Not his way. Not my way. But the way my mother cooks them. With almost no expectations I told him the recipe. In his one room apartment, while I rested in his bed, he toiled in the kitchen to cook something he hadn’t even tasted. After half an hour or so, with almost a frightened look on his face he asked me to taste the food. I took a bite and smiled. It tasted exactly like my mother’s. And, for the thousandth time, I fell in love with the same guy.

After several years of being in a relationship, I understood that love is not just the butterflies you get in your stomach when you hold each other’s hand for the first time, or your first kiss, or roses on Valentine’s Day, or a romantic night under the sky.

More than being just a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart, love is a verb.

And in love, more than what you say, what matters more is what you do.

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 Inspired by: Discover

 

 

Black and White Photo Challenge #7


Because it’s his birthday today. And the only thing I bought for him was this cake. Apart from that, I lied to my entire family, made up great excuses so that we get to spend one day together.

Love is hard, especially when you have to hide your relationship from a lots of people, when you both are broke, unmotivated, and in a mess. But  I can still say that all our miseries are nothing compared to the love we feel for each other. Our tragedies turn into comedies the moment we meet. We laugh, we fight (a lot), we clean and cook together. We prefer lying in our bed,  than going out and enjoying a day in the sun. We bitch about people we mutually hate, and sympathize with the same people sometimes. We are completely different yet so alike. I don’t know how to say this but we are very wrong for each other but we are wrong in the right way. 

***

Orange nominated me for the Black and White Photo Challenge and I am so thankful to her for that. I can’t remember the last time I blogged so consistently. And even though I broke all the rules of the challenge, I am glad that I completed it today. Yay!!! 

Little Things

Do you remember the first time your father bought you a chocolate or a toy or anything you liked? Do you remember the times, when the little you waited for your father to come back from office to shower you with love? 

I don’t. 

As much as I think about my childhood, I can’t come up with a single happy memory with my father. He was never there. He was this non existential person who sponsored our studies, food and other stuff one requires to survive. I used to think that’s what fathers do. It was normal to me.  I remember I was surprised to see a lot of girls around me idolizing their dads. I couldn’t understand the concept. 

Well, I grew up and made peace with having a dysfunctional family. Honestly, I didn’t even miss all the fatherly love. I had many people around me who loved me and showered me with all the things I needed.

But then 4 years ago, when I was 22 , staying at home & preparing for some exam, my father came back from one of his evening walks and gave me a chocolate. He didn’t say anything, just threw a chocolate in my direction. I don’t think he realised that it was the first time he actually got something for me. 

But I did. I looked at the chocolate and I cried. Not heavy breathing, thumping my chest crying, just a tear rolling down my cheek crying. 

That chocolate meant something else to me. I don’t think a chocolate would have made a kid as happy as a twenty something girl that day. I don’t even know if I should call that happiness. It was just a little thing, yet it wasn’t. It was an unusual thing and I don’t know how to express it in words. Sometimes you just feel some emotions you can’t define. It was just that.

Now that I am at home again, every other evening my father gets me these little things- puffs, chips, kurkure. He has a ten rupee budget for every other evening. Today he bought me these soya puffs with chinese flavour and I made a face as I didn’t like that flavour. He then asked me which ones did I like. I told him to get me the pink packets. He went back to the shop and came back with red ones. I took pity of my poor, old father and acted like I loved the red tomato flavour(which honestly are even worse than the earlier chinese ones). I am still trying to figure out a way to make him understand the difference between red and pink. 
Sometimes, little things like these help me to relive my childhood- this one where my father gets me chocolates. May be, the universe does compensate us for everything. It might be a little late but everyone gets what s/he deserves. 

To each his due. 

Finding The Perfect Man

It’s hard isn’t it, to decide what you want from life, especially in cases related to your heart. I mean how do you go about finding the right guy for you? Who is this perfect man every classic novel, every chick flick raves about? One guy is hot, and the other one is oh-so-smart, one is the-nice-guy, and the other one is witty, but all in one, oh no, he doesn’t exist.

There was this one guy in school I had a crush on. Even if it isn’t the right adjective to describe a boy, but man, he was oh-so-beautiful. His cuteness level was beyond 100 on a scale of 10. But, he always treated me like some Goddess you know, and not in a sexy kind of way. Actually I was a class topper while he sucked in studies, so he always addressed me with all this respect like I am some kind of a nerd or something. He still does it, even when we are like almost a decade away from high school.  So, all his cuteness just withers out.

Hell yeah!!! Cute guy spotted...

Hell yeah!!! Cute guy spotted…

Then there was this really hot guy who went to the same tuition as me. It has been seven years since I last saw him but I still stalk him on Facebook. He’s in the Navy now, and that uniform has only added to his hotness. I really don’t know anything about him other than his apparently hot-looking-bod on the pictures he posts in Facebook but that doesn’t seem enough to hunt him down.

Yup..It's my hobby!! Deal with it.

Yup..It’s my hobby!! Deal with it.

The third crush of mine was this typical nerd from 11th grade. He was this shy (nice) guy who became my friend after leaving school. We bonded over orkut, emails, and my sad stories about life where I used to do most of the talking. The problem here was he fell in love with a friend of mine, and I chose to remain silent about my crush. I guess it was for the best, we ended up being good friends.

Next was this blogger, I met here on WordPress. From cheesy mails, to supportive calls and his funny pjs, he seemed to have it all. He never looked good in pictures, except this one photograph where he looked kinda sexy. But he was proud and the timing wasn’t right and he never seemed to like me that way. And we ended up being friends (again), and I treasure our friendship because he was there for me in the worst phase of my life. (You were near perfect, my friend.)

Moving on, the next one is a guy I met in college two years ago and the only thing I wanted to do was to kiss him, nothing more, and nothing less. He’s what a friend of mine describes correctly as “just a pair of lips” and not a human being for me. It was insane, I didn’t like him at all, he was a male chauvinist, full of attitude but I had this huge “kissing crush” on him. I thank my stars that he left college before I could do anything stupid because I would have ended up regretting it all my life.

And then, my last one (until today) was a guy in college, a doppelganger of a Bollywood star. He was tall & handsome, with this sexy stubble that only added to his charm. But he was three years my junior and I was scared for being termed a paedophile (haha). What if he thought of me as this desperate spinster who stares at him, especially when he had the option to choose from so many hot girls around? Seriously how would you feel if this average looking senior checks you out?  The only respite was that he was dumb (that’s what his batch mate told me), and probably never got to know about my crush.

Let me have a look at him...

Let me have a look at him…

I have had many crushes since I got past puberty, but none seems to fit the “novelistic” perfect guy criteria. You see, the cute guy who respected me way too much, the hot navy guy I know nothing about, the nerd who talked way too less, the smart but proud blogger, the kissable male chauvinist, and the dumb Bollywood look alike, they were all good but weren’t perfect.

And what is perfection really? Isn’t it different for different individuals? I, for instance ended up falling in love with this guy who isn’t cute, funny, or has an amazing body. We are two average, ambitious yet lazy individuals who complete each other. While I am indecisive, crazy, and fickle minded, he sets definite goals in life, works on them and feels content with whatever he gets. He talks less, I talk way too much. I write, while he sucks at it. He is into gaming, while I am technologically handicapped. It’s like separately we are disasters but together we are a perfect team. And maybe, just maybe it is not about finding the perfect guy/girl but about finding the perfect combination. What do you think?

***

(All images from google)

Moms And Their Superpowers

I have a bad habit of biting my nails whenever I sit down to study. I never realise I am doing it until someone points it out to me. So this morning when I was sitting in my room, lost in my newspaper, my mother shouted from the kitchen, “Stop biting your nails”. Very steadily I removed my thumb from my mouth and shouted back, “How do you know that I am biting my nails? You are in the kitchen”.  And my mom replied, “Because I have a third eye which has magical powers”. And trust me this mystical third eye is not fake, it’s definitely a real thing. This special power of my mom to locate every single thing I have ever lost in my lifetime has helped me a lot: my specs every time I remove them for bathing or washing my face, that small almost-invisible-to-my-eyes button I lost from my shirt, that important document I kept carefully some time back but forgot where I kept it when it was actually required, my slippers, my camera, my books, my socks, you name it!

But the third eye has its drawbacks too. Back in childhood every mischief of ours was caught by our mother. By some sixth sense, she came to know that my brother took a round in the roller-coaster in spite of her warnings of no to do so, that my sister stole two rupees from my father’s pocket, that I myself signed my test papers instead of showing them to her.  You see, the three of us never left any witness or evidences but she always caught us red handed. It is her clever investigative techniques that I have nicknamed her CID. This power of hers in not limited by distance, even when I am miles away from her, she can always sense my sadness, pain or discomfort. I actually check my room to see whether she has secretly installed a camera somewhere or not.

I have actually come to a conclusion that the moment a woman becomes a mother, God gifts her with an extra sense: a connection with her child that is time proof, distance proof, and age proof. I witnessed this extra-sense-granting-ceremony exactly two years back when my sister gave birth to her son. The moment the little baby arrived, everyone was excited to see him while my mother was more eager to see her daughter, she couldn’t calm down till the doctors brought my sister out of the operation theatre. Every time the baby made a little noise my sister’s heartbeats shot up and the alarm of the monitor started ringing. Hearing the alarm, my own mother’s blood pressure increased. It was worrisome yet surreal: the mamta (maternal affection) of two mothers. I don’t think there is anything as unique as a mother’s love in this universe and this love is the reason our mothers know us better than anyone. This third eye of a mom always protects her child from any misfortune that could happen to him/her. This bond and mamta attributes them to be our saviour, our spies, and our life guards. And this is what makes them special…

Care to share any superpower your mom possess… do comment below. 🙂

That Thing Called Marriage

This February when I got the news of my best friend from high school giving birth to a baby girl, I looked at the disheveled pile of notebooks lying on my chair, the cobwebs adorning the corners of my study table, the always-ready-to-fall-down clothes in my cupboard and asked my roommate, how is it possible that people my age are taking out an entire human being out of their bodies and taking care of it while I am barely able to take care of myself! When I asked a mutual friend of ours the same question she texted me this,

Mujhe lag rha hai logon ke bachche bhi ho gye, bas mai hi peeche reh gayi, meri shadi bhi nhi hui ab tak. Kab basaungi mai apna ghar?

I was perplexed by her thoughts. Was I the only one who thought we were too young? I mean we are just in the 24-26 age group, what’s the hurry? But apparently everyone is in a hurry as is evident by the constant wedding updates on my Facebook feed. It’s like everyone I know is getting married. That innocent girl from secondary school who never talked to anyone, the Punjabi sherni from high school, all my south Indian classmates from college, almost every day I wish someone on Facebook  to have a happy married life!!!  And then I go into this deep depression mode… yaar hum itne bade kab ho gye? Seriously, I can’t imagine myself getting married.

Falling in love – OK

Having a boyfriend – OK

Live-in – OK

But Shadi- Kaise yaar!!!

There is this thing in our community where as soon as the bride reaches her sasural, she has to dance or show how to play a dholak, or both. No one considers that she has come there after spending hours, even days in those torturous wedding rituals. Everyone is interested to see her dance or sing. Every time I think of marriage, this dancing scene comes into my mind.  She is going to be a wife, not a reality show contestant yaar!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I love weddings- new dresses, shoes, gifts, all the dhama-chaukari. One can actually see me teary eyed while watching those mushy wedding videos they make these days, and what can I say about the magnificent photography (simply wow)! It’s like if I could get married for a day, and then say goodbye to everyone, including the husband.

woman

          A Kumaoni Bride…

I can be in a relationship (much better be single) all my life, but marriage frightens me. I am in love with this guy for five years, and yes we used to talk about marriage and all when we were teenagers (hence stupid), but right now, I just can’t imagine myself in that red bridal dress.

When a childhood friend of mine got married two years ago, I kept staring at her pictures with that big kumaoni nath on her nose and a mangalsutra on her neck, and I was like,

Oh My God!! Why is she wearing a nath? Isn’t that for old people? She is just a kid like me. How can she get married so early? And so on…

I couldn’t get out of the shock of her marriage. I guess this is somehow related to my fear of growing up. I think I was twelve when I came to know that girls have periods upon reaching puberty. From that time, every single day I was scared to be an “adult”. While I heard stories of it from my classmates, I secretly prayed for that “period monster” to never show up. Alas, it knocked on my doors (hehe) when I was fourteen. And me, being an idiot didn’t tell anyone, hid myself and kept crying.

Well, that was the first phase of the process of growing up, upon which I had no control of my own. It was a natural process and it happened. But getting married would be like, aa bail mujhe maar, and I have no intention of doing that. I can’t get married and grow up again, not so soon, and hopefully never.

*****

Pic courtesy: here

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Distance Between Us

If it wasn’t for the internet, I would have always thought of him as the guy who made me cry by scoring a mark more than me and securing first position in 7th grade.

If it wasn’t for Orkut, I would have never known him personally, never ever have interacted with him in any way.

If it wasn’t for mobile phones, emails, text messages, and video chats, I would have never fallen in love.

Modern technology has played quite essentially the most important part in shaping up the story of my love. Although we knew each other since the time we were 10, we never really liked each other. I always prayed for him to leave school and my prayers were answered after 7th grade, as he left the city to study in a different state.  He was out of my mind and my life until the day when we met in Orkut, the then famous social networking site. The scraps in Orkut soon turned into mails and the mails into phone calls. I was going through a rough phase during those times and the only time I was happy was when I talked to him. After a series of never ending phone calls and numerous texts, we turned from just being friends to best friends. The words we spoke and the words we wrote laid the foundation of a beautiful relationship. We were undoubtedly in love but with a distance of almost 1400 miles between us and with the uncertain future of an inter-caste relationship, it was difficult for us to acknowledge our feelings. We did give in eventually, as it became impossible to hide our feelings from our own soul. There wasn’t a particular date, when we confessed our feelings to each other. I still don’t know the exact time, when our conversations through mails started changing from those of friends to lovers.

The real problem though, was not of falling in love, it was easy, but of keeping that love alive, especially when we had the disadvantage of not being together physically. In these 3 years since we have been together, there were times when I longed to see his face, or wished for nothing but a hug, but all that I could get was a text or a call. There are numerous things I don’t know about him yet. I know the smiley he would send me if he is angry but I still don’t how he looks when he’s angry.  On those rare occasions when we meet, the initial few hours are spent in accepting the fact that this is the same person we talk to for countless hours through phone. By the time we get comfortable with each other, the time to part ways sets in. But those few hours we’ve spent together till today have been inscribed as the most beautiful memories in our minds. If we can make so many memories living at a distance, how wonderful it would be to finally spend the rest of our lives together. This thoughts keeps us going, makes us work hard to make it work. The pain, the separation is worth the happiness.

We’ve shared our dreams and hopes for the future, we’ve shared our embarrassing secrets, the desire to do senseless things, the disappointments and fears we have. We’ve fought over silly things, hurt each other only to forgive and learn from those fights. We’ve always found a way to shorten the distance between us. Our love hasn’t faded because of the complications we’ve faced in life because at the end of the day we trust each other. And trust is what matters the most, be it an online or an offline relationship. If you’ve the belief that you will find true love someday and will strive to make it work, then you surely will, no matter what. You may face many glitches on the way, but one or the other medium would help you to overcome those glitches.

In these three years we’ve created a world of our own. We may not be perfect for each other, but every step we take in our lives; it is to get closer to that perfection. We may have sacrificed few things on the way, but it doesn’t matter much. Love after all is worth giving up everything for, yet feel good about it. It has always been this way, be it the 18th century or the 21st and I believe that it’ll always remain the same.

We clicked this picture sitting on the shores of the holy river Ganga, this month when I met him after a gap of one year. I wish our love remains as pure as the water of this sacred river.

We clicked this picture sitting on the shores of the holy river Ganga, this month when I met him after a gap of one year. I wish our love remains as pure as the water of this sacred river.

 

 

Written for the Weekly Writing Challenge.

Under The Sunset Sky

The sunset this evening…

Sitting under the sunset sky,

I think of the times passed by,

Of all the cheesy lines that you said,

Of all the mails that went unread,

Of all the poems you wrote for me,

Of all the pictures you took at sea,

Of all the moments I waited for you,

Of all the praises I doubted to be true…

But most of all,

I think of all the things that went wrong,

When you forgot me like the lyrics of an old song,

When abrupt endings became real again,

When old wounds resurfaced with even more pain,

When I realized we can no longer be friends,

And that nothing lasts forever, everything ends.

Sitting under the sunset sky,

I wonder why,

It’s so hard for me,

To bid you goodbye…

Saathiya Style Wedding

I was probably 13 when I first watched the movie Saathiya, and being a die hard romantic I loved it to the core. It was an epic love story for me- guy meets the girl at a wedding, he falls in love, follows her everywhere, makes her fall in love with him, they elope to get married, defy their parents, romance through phones, live together, fight, and end up together after a series of misunderstandings and  tragedies. What stood out for me in the whole movie was the way in which the leads get married. Ever since I saw this movie, I wished to get married that way- go to a temple with your friends, sign the documents, look coyly at each other, smile, pose for photographs,  go back to your respective houses and wait for the right time to disclose your marriage. How the teenager in me loved that dreamy world!

But as I entered the world of adults I realized that nothing of that sort happens in real life, Bollywood earns by selling us those false dreams, life is too complicated to wrap up in just 2-3 hours. My Saathiya dreams took a backseat, and reality crept in.   But unlike me, there are people in this world who do take inspiration from movies. So, a few days back I heard about this couple who got married Saathiya style.  They were in love for more than 6 years but being from different castes, it was impossible for them to convince their parents for their union. In total filmy style they decided to get married secretively, and to wait for the right time to tell their parents about it.

For 2 years they kept their marriage a secret, no one knew about it except some close friends. And then came the day, when the girl’s parents came to know about it through an outsider. They called up the guy’s parents. After a lot of arguments, blame games, murder threats, the families gave up, and love triumphed.

They have been married for five years now and are proud parents of a little girl. They fought for their love and won. Many people will call them foolish, irresponsible for the way they got married, well, hate me for this but I call them true lovers. How many of us have the courage of doing something stupid and face its consequences? They believed in their love and followed their heart. Life is all about taking chances they say, so is it wrong to take chances in love? Probably not…

Well, how can I finish this post without telling you the moral of the story, as in for me-

My dreams of a Saathiya style wedding are back. I’ve told my guy that if ever we decide to elope, we will do it the Saathiya way and that I’ll of course run wearing a lehenga, I can’t dream of getting married wearing shorts, or jeans. That would be gross. Location koi bhi ho, mandir, court, ya arya samaj, shadi to mai lehenge mai hi krungi. And good news is that, he has agreed (as always) but he has asked me to complete all the formalities, legal work etc. (as always).

Henceforth, I wait for my wedding day…With the song Mangalyam  on my mind.  Ab thodi filmy life toh chalti hai na yaar…?

Love this song and this scene from the movie…. 🙂

Disclaimer- I am not getting married tomorrow. This plan will be executed after 7-8 years if required. Please guys stop wishing me luck…I am embarrassed. Gosh..I am just 22. (#^.^#)

Life On The Way

I am on my way to Lucknow right now and I am writing this post while sitting on the 22nd seat of the AC coach of Nainital Express. This is the first time I am writing something while travelling, I mean writing something online. I have written diary entries while travelling by flights,but I am writing a post on a train for the first time. My brother stays in Lucknow and we are going to his place. To be honest, I don’t really want to go there. Something about our relatioship changed since the day he got married. We had fights, really nasty ones and he said something which i really can’t forget ever in my life. Some words inflict wounds that can never be healed and even if they do, they leave permanent scars.  I’ll write about it someday. I am presently not in a state of mind to write further about it. Well, going to Lucknow is important because my flight tickets to Bangalore  are from Lucknow. I am going to Bangalore on 7th April, and I’ll be there for 4 days. It might be the last time I’ll be in Bangalore, and that’s why I am gonna enjoy every second of my stay, reliving old memories, and doing things I couldn’t do in these 10 months. My trip to Bangalore is the only thing that is keeping me sane right now, but in a corner of mind I am a little sad about it. Sad because I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to go back there ever again. I’ve spent 7 years of my life there and I’ve literally grown up there. And now it seems like a final goodbye to that place.

Every problem in my life is due to the fact that I get too attached to people, places and even things. The attachment turns into madness and I am never able to let go of anything.  My conflicts with my brother and my fear of leaving Bangalore forever is because of this very fact that I just can’t get over my past. I just can’t bear these changes in my life. I want to be the water of a stagnant pond but my life is like the flowing water of a river, always moving ahead.  I want to stay at a place, live with the same set of people, make the same kind of memories but life is just not like that. Life is changing, each day, each moment. Why is it so hard for me to accept those changes and move on with my life. Why is it so difficult for me to grow up? Why do I still want to be a kid? I don’t know.

May be I’ll learn everything with time. May be we all learn to live life with time, some earlier and some later.

As of now, I’ve learned that acceptance is the key to happiness. And I am gonna apply this rule to my life.

Signing off  with a quote from one of my favourite books, Memoirs of a Geisha,

“Now I know that our world is no more permanent than a wave rising on the ocean. Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all too soon they bleed into a wash, just like watery ink on paper.”