You will survive.

When you broke up with me, I worried about how you would do without me. We were never a stereotypical couple and our breakup wasn’t because of hate or malign or any such thing. We were just not able to make each other happy anymore. We were practical about it. We broke up. It was hard but it had to be done. I understood that. But it didn’t stop me from wondering how you would do without me. I was always your confidante. I was the one who was always there to comfort you in your lows and hug you when you thought you were falling apart. I believed you when you said you couldn’t imagine living without me six months ago cause I knew it was what you really felt. Now I wonder how much of that is still true. You may find someone else to take my place, to comfort you, to wipe away your tears but I wonder if you will be okay with them; if you will be okay without me.

But that thought lasted only for a few minutes. All it took was reminding myself that you are a survivor to make me realize that you were going to okay without me.

You are a survivor. You have always been. You survived pain, breaking of trust, sexual assault, emotional downfall, depression and even your ex cheating on you. You survived some terrible things. You did that cause you are a survivor. You survived it and you found a way, a method, a trick that you taught yourself to survive all the future calamities of heart. And those will come in handy. You survived pain and suffering and loneliness. You sure can survive without love, comfort and warmth. Bear in mind they are not the same thing. Pain is not the same as absence of joy; loneliness is not the same as absence of love. Absence of love doesn’t eat you up and depress you; it just empties you and prepares you for the next adventure. Absence of joy means you are not ecstatic right now; it doesn’t mean you are in pain. There are sad emotions, a neutral state and happy emotions. You survived some terribly sad emotions. The absence of some happy emotions that my absence will result into, won’t kill you. It would make you empty for a while and then someone will come along and acquire that space. You have survived love being snatched away from you even when you fought for it and gave it your all. So this breakup, where you willingly let love go away, wouldn’t be that hard for you to survive.

Trust me, you will survive.

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An Ideal Date.

I’d like to go on the ideal date once. Mine would be simple.

I make arrangements for dinner in a black-tie restaurant at 8. I show up early, dressed as immaculately as conceivable to me, wearing that favourite tie that she likes so much. I wait for her a little; she is a little busy with her work life nowadays, what with a big promotion coming her way! Ambition has its costs, after all.

 

She arrives at 8.15, dressed in something I had bought for her as a birthday present. A red evening gown. She looks drop dead gorgeous. I had imagined she would, fantasized about this moment when I see her in the dress, over & over, but no figment of imagination matched what I was seeing right in front of me. As the patron leads her towards our table, she catches my gaze, and her face lights up. That smile. I get up without a second thought, walk towards her, hold her hand and we walk towards the table as one. I pull up the chair, she gets seated, and I am yet to take my eyes off her.

 

I can tell though that she is tired, slightly exhausted even. This is not going to be a night where she has to exert herself, I want to make it a special one for her. I have already pre-ordered a meal for her, all her favourites, right from the Ravioli to the Sauvignon Blanc. One by one, it all arrives and we look hungrily, at the food, & at each other. It’s been some time.

 

We dig in, eating dignifiedly, calmly, yet with a stormy fire raging between our eyes. I remember well the last night we had together. It was good like it has always been. But, there was something off. And I knew wh
at. Her work keeping her busy, her life goals, her future achievements coming temporarily in the way of happiness for her. But I wanted to make it better for her. She deserved some peace, God knows she did. This was going to be a special night for her, I had promised myself, and that was one promise I was planning on keeping to the very end.

 

I excuse myself for a minute, breaking off the searing glares between us, reluctantly, but necessarily. I have a call to make…

ideal date

I get back and we finish up our meals, share a dessert. Things get strangely heated when she starts licking off the spoon, slowly, seductively, and with a knowing stare, and a minx-y smile on her lips. I manage a smile, a pull of the tie, a nervous pull-back-my-hair & a clearing of my parched throat. “Today, we drink”, I assure my thirst, a coy smile on my lips too.

We finish up with the dessert, have ourselves a toast, each imagining what the night seems to have in store for us. We make our way to the entrance and there stands a limo driver, ready to take us someplace special. She beams at me, hugs me, refrains from the kiss, mindful that it would overpower us. Patience has its charm too.

 

We get in, hand-in-hand and she lays her head on my shoulder. A tender, sweet gesture. I reciprocate. It feels like less of passion, more of innocence. She sweetly whispers into my ear, “Thank you for tonight, honey”, smiles and pecks me on the cheek. But I am still not done, and I keep smiling ear-to-ear.

 

We get off at our apartment building, a lonely place this time of the night, and we proceed to our flat, hand-in-hand, the passion re-igniting, second by second, step-by-step. But just as she is about to insert the key in the lock, I pull her away for a passionate kiss, right in the hallway. It lasts. Long. I break away after a few minutes, both of us pausing for breath, yet eager for more. But ‘tis not over yet, my darling, I keep repeating in my head.

 

Against her slight protests, I lead her to the terrace. It’s a full moon out tonight and the skies have always been beautiful this time of the year. The stars beam, the moon shines, but none come close to the glow I see on her face. I haven’t seen her this relaxed and calm in quite some time. I derive quite a lot of pleasure from this, just holding her in my arms and looking with her into the sky, into the depths of the universe, yet coming back again & again to see the serenity of her expressions. Her closed eyes, pursed lips and conspicuously calm breathing make for good gazing after all.

 

I hug her tight, never wanting this moment to end. Never wanting to let go. She loosens my grip, turns towards me, gazes right into my eyes. And right then, I know. I lean in slowly, knowingly, and she reciprocates. Our lips touch, caress. Not strong like lust would demand, but sweet and innocuous. Like the first kiss you might have with someone, when passion and lust haven’t yet sullied its childlike and pure emotion. We stay there, lips glued, minds boggled, bodies tingling, for what seems to be an eternity. An “I love you” passes between our lips. Love, the emotion we feel for each other. There is no need for words to express it. Feels like music to the ears however. And our embrace tightens. It’s been so long after all, but patience has its charm.

 

We break away and that coy expression is back on her face again. It’s going to be a long, long night…

 

 

Note: This is not written by me. A very dear friend wrote this but was awkward to post it. I am posting this on his behalf because it is very nicely written and needs to be read by other people too. Please give your feedback, if any. I will pass it on to the person who has written this. 🙂

I don’t want a forever

“I don’t want your ‘forever’. They don’t last”, she interrupted me and spoiled my ‘moment’.

We were watching a romantic movie at my place and discussing how some cliches in movies are stupid and others, not so. The protagonist or rather, the guy(cause we just had an argument about how it was wrong to call the guy a protagonist as a love story involves two people) had just proposed to the girl and promised her that he would be there beside her forever. It was a cliche that movies and movie watchers are now used to. Ending a movie with a guy and girl getting together after facing all the obstacles that love brings with it and then promising forever is a nice cliche and something that people never really get bored of.

As the movie ended and the credentials rolled up the screen, we started talking about the cliche that is ‘forever’.
‘Well, that was a nice cliche’, I said.
‘I liked it as a child but I don’t enjoy it anymore. We need to grow out of it and start being realistic. We need to get out of this ‘forever’ bullshit and start teaching our kids that the future is not necessarily always happy.’
‘Well, yeah. But I like it. It is something that everyone should aspire for. Being with someone for the entire life; the promise of eternity, that kind of love is huge and the kind of stuff people should hope to achieve.’
‘I think we need to be realistic. This kind of love is difficult to exist in today’s world. With a growing percentage of population constantly breaking up and divorcing, we need to accept that the times have changed. We need to teach our kids the basic values and let them decide what kind of future they want to have.’
‘I agree but I still like this cliche. This is how love should be. Like ours. I love you and want to be with you forever. What’s wrong with th…’ I had retorted. I agree it was not the ideal setting to propose to your girlfriend but I wasn’t proposing. I was merely stating the fact. We both knew we loved each other. We hadn’t talked about marriage but we both knew that it was on the cards. We were in a happy relationship aside from the occasional moments when we couldn’t stand each other. I thought it was a forever kind of thing. And even though it was not the ideal kind of setting to say those things, I thought it would win me the argument(or discussion, as she would have corrected me). But she interrupted me and spoiled my moment.

I wanted to say something and defend myself but I didn’t know what to say. No one knows what the future holds and a ‘forever’ is just an empty promise but I still wanted to be with her till the end of time. I started to say something but she cut me off again.

‘Don’t!’ she interjected. ‘Don’t even try to convince me that we will have a forever. I am not some 13 year old who will get convinced of it. I am not a teen and I don’t want your ‘forever’s’ she vented out in frustration.

She paused for a second and took a moment to compose herself after that staunch outburst of her emotion and calmly tried to put forth her point, ‘I don’t want you to just stay with me because you once promised or because a piece of paper says so. I don’t want us to be together because getting separated would involve heartbreak or pain or some paper work. That will be disrespectful to me. If you stay with me because of a promise or because you think I wouldn’t be able to live without you, I would not be happy with that. If you are unhappy in the relationship, I don’t want you to stay. I don’t want you to resent every moment of this relationship just because of a promise you once made. We are independent adults who have lives of our own. We will survive the hardships of life. I don’t want our relationship to feel like a prison. I want you to be with me because at every moment in life, you wanted to be with me; because even in the moments when I made your life miserable, I was worth it. I don’t want a promise of forever. I want a right now.’

 

I was a bit shocked but not at all surprised. She was a remarkable, strong, independent woman with a mind of her own. That is what I loved about her in the first place. I loved how she could think independently and not get influenced by the society and its stupid, generations-old laws. I loved how she talked about changing the future generation by giving them the knowledge and trusting them to choose their own life. And I loved how she wanted our relationship to be honest and pure. I should have known that all these cliches that society imposes upon us wouldn’t be agreeable to  her. I understood what she was saying and my respect for her multiplied. It’ s weird how after a fight or argument or ‘discussion’, you start loving the person more. (That is if your relationship survives the fight, of course.) I leaned in towards her, smiling uncontrollably, and said, ‘Fine! Lets be together right now. Because, I love you right now’ and we kissed. That kiss making me wanting to add, ‘for all the ‘right now’s of the future’ but I resisted.

Fiction 4

‘Why are you so hard?’ she almost screamed out of frustration. He wished it was meant in a sexual way. Although that would have been embarrassing, but it would be easy to explain or deal with. This was not meant in that way. She meant it in a personal sense. She was frustrated with him. It was so tough to figure him out. He wouldn’t open up, he wouldn’t talk much, he wouldn’t share his feelings with her and still he would act like it was her fault. She had given him a birthday gift which had been the toughest thing to do for her since she had decided to date him. It was actually the first time, in their 8 month relationship, that she had realized how she didn’t know him that well and how the entire relationship was just one sided. She was investing it all in the relationship. It was like if a book was written on their relationship, you could call it her biography. She was surprised to realize it and also felt a little bad thinking that she was overshadowing the relationship. She didn’t like it. Only later she realized that it was his nature and not her fault. He didn’t like to talk much about himself and his likes and dislikes. It was all about her. She had, after much struggle, found something for him. She had known that he loved cricket so she decided to give him a book that had the story of his favorite cricket player. She had found about the book and heard good things about it. She thought he would love it and would be really excited about it. But he reacted in such a bad way that she just wanted to kick him in the groin and storm out. She didn’t though. She stayed. Not only that, she had cooked him his favorite delicacy Chicken Tikka but when he saw it he commented that he was in the mood for some pasta today. She couldn’t take it anymore. Why was it so hard to make him happy? He made her so happy at times and she wanted to reciprocate it by doing something nice for him but she always failed. And today, when she thought she was about to be successful in making him happy and giving him a good birthday gift, he appears to have not liked it. She couldn’t take it anymore. ‘Why are you so hard?’ she repeated, not screaming this time but genuinely asking. ‘Why are you so difficult to please? Why couldn’t you be happy at the fact that I cooked for you knowing that I never cook for anyone? Why can’t you understand that you don’t talk much and you are not the expressive kind of person and that makes it harder to shop for you? Why can’t you appreciate the effort that I make? Why is it hard to make you happy?’ She just gave in. Letting it all out. She just couldn’t keep it all in.

He stood there listening to her patiently. He knew what she meant. He had understood it when she said it the first time. He already knew he wasn’t easy to be with. Also, that he was a very insecure person and found it hard to discuss his life and secrets with others. There was only one person whom he could actually tell all his secrets to and that had taken him many years to be able to do so. In that perspective, she was very new to him and although he loved her (or at least thought so) he couldn’t just tell her things about him. He just couldn’t; not that he didn’t want to but he just couldn’t. Her final sentence was the last nail in the coffin. The moment she said, ‘Why is it hard to make you happy?’ he knew she was the girl for him. He was a much screwed up person. He wouldn’t tell people what he wanted (mainly because he himself didn’t know) but he would expect them to understand it. He was like that and he knew it.

He thought for a moment before replying. He carefully thought of what he would say because he knew that it would matter and it had to be perfect so as he doesn’t lose her. He really didn’t want to lose her. He contemplated a few things, gathered his thoughts and spoke in the earnest possible way he could. ‘I am sorry’ he started, ‘I am sorry that I disappointed you today and I am sorry that I make it so tough for you. I know that I am messed up and I know that I am tough to get along with and I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to be in a relationship with someone and not know what they think or feel most of the time.’ He stopped for a moment to gauge her reaction but she didn’t react. She was listening very intently may be saving everything she had to say for the end. He continued nevertheless, ‘It has been very tough living like this. I don’t trust people very often and I don’t feel comfortable confiding in them all my secrets and likes and dislikes. Some times that is because I don’t think the other person will appreciate it but most of the times it is because I don’t think the other person will respect it. I am a weird person with not-so-normal likes and dislikes and I have always thought that keeping your secrets to yourself is better than telling it to people. I know I don’t talk much and that must be hard and disappointing for you. Till now I have only trusted one person with my life because no one else came close enough and no one else seemed interested. But that seems to be changing. I would like to share my life with you. I would like to give my all to this relationship. I feel like talking to you and sharing my life with you. You seem to understand things which no one else does. You seem to care. Very few people in my life have tried to understand me and cared for me. You seem to be one of them. I don’t want to lose this. I want to hold on to this” he trailed off. “I don’t want to lose you. I love you’ he added before she could say anything. She looked at him and waited for him to stare back into her eyes. He felt ashamed and was nervously looking down. Very slowly, he looked up into her eyes. She looked into his eyes and saw it. She saw the love. She knew it was true love. He looked at her with expectant eyes. ‘I love you too, you fool’ she said and moved forward to kiss him. He kissed her back. Nothing more needed to be said. All the feelings, all the emotions, everything was conveyed in that kiss. Kisses after fights are the most passionate ones and this one was no exception. They kissed till they could; only stopping to breathe.

k

Before sunrise

There is tiredness in staying awake all night alone. You think too much, you drink too much and you analyze too much. You worry too much, you feel lonely and you listen to sad songs; it is depressing. Being awake all night alone is an exhaustive experience and he hated it. This was so much better, he thought.

It was a clear sky. The stars were sparkling and sprinkling their magic all over the world. The sea was in a good mood. The calm waves crashed the shore from time to time without disturbing anyone. Occasionally, it would rise a little higher and crash a little louder just to remind everyone of its presence. The wind was cold and breezy but not cold enough to deserve their attention. He looked at her and was happy that tonight he wasn’t alone. They had had a lovely dinner at a nearby restaurant and decided to take a walk to the beach to keep the conversation going. Walking to the beach, neither had planned to spend the entire night there but they had just lost track of time as the conversations kept flowing. They didn’t realize that they had, not consciously but by not mentioning how late it was getting, decided to sit there till as long as they could. They talked, initially, about the everyday routine of their life. The first few hours quickly passed by talking about the usual stuff, about mutual friends and sharing funny stories from their everyday boring routine. After a while, the conversation turned a little personal. Even though they had been dating for a while now, when it came to personal stuff, their always seemed to be something they hadn’t shared with each other before. That is the thing about secrets. We all have secrets in our life and every secret requires a trust limit that needs to be crossed to be privileged enough to know it. A certain trust limit had been achieved tonight and they were willing to share a bit more of their personal life with each other – their fears, their insecurities and their worries. For some reason, sharing their secrets, their deepest fears, things that mattered the most to them didn’t seem very hard today. They both felt in sync with each other. The side of them they never shared in fear of being misjudged and thought of as weird, was shared today without a second thought. It felt good. That was the beauty of their love. Some days everything seemed perfect and some days, nothing did. Thankfully, this was the former.

The night seemed to be coming to an end. They could see the initial sign of sun in the sky. It was still dark but the sun was not far away and they knew it would be morning soon. He pause the music. They were listening to songs from her favorite playlist and staring at the endless sea for some time now. He turned towards her and stared at her. He could see an ocean of emotions in her eyes. For some strange reason he couldn’t put his finger on, she looked more beautiful in that moment than any moment ever, as far as he could remember. The wind was playing with her hair and complimenting her beauty. He wondered what it was about the night that made her look so beautiful. May be it was the moonlight falling on her face or the stars twinkling in her eyes or the smile of contentment and joy that staring into the infinite sea brought to her face or maybe it was a combination of it all, he thought. After a few seconds, she realized that the music had stopped. She turned around to look at him. She saw him staring at her intensely like some hero in a romantic movie of the 90s looks at the love of his life. She knew he loved her, although they had never said it to each other. She looked at him and saw the look in his eyes and smiled as she saw something else in his eyes too. Besides the I-am-in-love look that he had in his eyes, he also had this other look where he wanted to kiss her and she knew it all too well. Being the romantic guy that he was, he never seemed to have enough of kissing her and in a moment like this he always wanted to kiss. And he looked so cute with that look on his face that she couldn’t resist him either. She moved forward and kissed him on the lips.

Under the starry sky, with the sound of waves crashing in a rhythm that was music to their ears, with the cool wind breezing past them only bringing them closer and the sun now ready to rise in the sky to announce the new day, they kissed. As she started to let go, he pulled her back in; not ready to let go yet. He kissed her strongly and she responded back with the same passion that he exhibited. At first it was just a normal sweet kiss and then all the passion took over. They kissed for as long as they could only parting lips to let some oxygen in. They lingered for a moment. Their eyes were shut and their lips were still close to each other’s and they could feel each other’s breath in their mouth. When he had caught his breath, he gave a small but lasting peck on her lips to end the kiss and she smiled. Sometimes he just does everything the right way, she thought.

They opened their eyes and moved apart to face the sea again. It was morning. The darkness of night was washed away by the first rays of the sun and the sky was a light blue. It was a beautiful morning. ‘We kissed at night and that moment felt like eternity and when we parted away and opened our eyes, it was morning. That kiss converted the night into morning. It drove away the darkness out of my life and brightened my life. It was the most memorable kiss I have ever had and this has been one of the best nights of my life’ he said. She looked at him with an amused look, half smiling. He was and always has been the more romantic person in their relationship but even after dating him for all this time, she never actually got used to how he came with the cheesiest of things to say. She was happily amused. Looking at the amused look on her face, he added ‘Too much of my romantic, poetic shit for you to handle?’ feeling awkward at having said it in such a bad way when all he wanted to convey was a very basic feeling that she was very special to him. He knew that sometimes in his desperate attempt to be a romantic, he just said plainly stupid things. ‘No, no… nothing like that. The thought and the gesture were sweet, and the kiss was great and memorable too… and this has been one of the best nights of my life as well… but only if you had said it all in a better way…’ she trailed off. He smiled at her, glad to know that she felt the same way. ‘Well, in a fairy tale version of the story, I do say it in a better way’ he replied giving a weak defense for his stupidity.  ‘Well’, she started, leaning towards him at the same time, ‘this is the closest I have come to any fairy tale and I love every bit of it, including you’ she said. ‘I love you’ she added, before kissing him again. She hadn’t thought she would say it tonight. She wasn’t even sure if she loved him till before tonight but saying it to him made her sure of it. For a moment, it scared her – the realization of having said it and of admitting it but only till he leaned forward and kissed her with full intensity. After that, she just kind of forgot having ever said it.

Fiction #2 Are you lost?

In the midst of all the noise and hustle that the city so naturally generates, I saw her standing on the sidewalk of the road looking here and there, searching for someone or waiting for someone. She looked confused. May be she was just lost and didn’t know which path to take. I walked up to her. She didn’t even notice me walking up to her. She was just lost in her own little confusion. I walked up to her and said ‘Excuse me, can I help you in any way? You seem like you have landed up at the wrong place. Are you looking for some address or destination that I can guide you to?’ She looked at me first with a little surprise and then with an amused look. I didn’t know what to say so I just started explaining myself before she could start judging me. ‘I’m sorry I didn’t mean to intrude. I just saw you from over there and you looked confused so I thought you might be lost. Are you lost?’ She looked at me and waited for a second as if framing the sentence in her mind before saying it and then said ‘Well, not today, no! But yeah I kinda think I’m lost; in the general sense of the word. I think I’m lost in life. I don’t have any idea of what I’m doing with my life. I think I am lost there.’ As she said this I just felt out of place and started feeling awkward. I cursed myself for having come up and asked her anything and for putting myself in such a position. I didn’t know what to say to her. I looked at her and saw a puzzled expression. She was waiting for me to respond. I didn’t have anything. This was much unexpected. I came up with a feeble ‘Well, aren’t we all?’ She smiled on hearing that which was a relief for me. She then dived into a conversation with me. She told me that she loved this part of town; the buildings, the cafes and the people and how they are very helpful to strangers. She asked me if I lived nearby and what I did for a living and I told her a little about myself. When I walked up to her, I swear, I had no intention of asking her out or dating her or anything; it was purely out of the need to help others. But now that we had exchanged this blip of good conversation I felt like asking her out for coffee. I was just mustering the courage to ask her if she would like to consider joining me for a coffee at one of the nearby cafe when she looked over my shoulder and smiled and waved at someone. A tall, good looking guy was standing on the other side of the road. ‘That is who I was looking for and waiting for’ she said and added ‘It was nice to converse with you’ and left. I stood there with a question that would never be answered and a moment I will always remember. As she left, she turned around and said ‘See you around’. I smiled. I kept thinking how I was just a way to pass her time while she was waiting for someone. I didn’t feel bad or diminished or used in any way. She was not rude in any way. She was polite and courteous to me. It felt good to have a nice conversation with a stranger. To just meet people once, spend a good time (no matter how short the time is) and make a good memory feels good. It just makes your day, in some cases, your week. I remembered what she had said about this city and the people and thought how true and apt it felt right now ‘I love this city. I love how you can have a conversation with a stranger like he/she was an old friend’ she had said. Indeed, I loved this city too.

Fiction #1

“Am I kissable?” she blurted out, without thinking twice. It just came out. She didn’t intend to ask that question but it just came out. They were sitting on the park bench and staring at the setting sun. He was checking out some girls who were passing by and wasn’t really paying attention to her. She had been thinking about it for quite a while now and just said it out loud without realizing it. Now that she had said it, she felt awkward. With that one question she let all her insecurities , all her vulnerabilities out. She felt naked. She felt ashamed.

He knew the question was not meant for him but for the guy she had been dating for quite some time now. He realized that they hadn’t kissed each other and that she felt weird and insecure and hence, asked the question. It was weird coming from her because normally she didn’t like to talk about her boyfriend. She felt that there was something wrong with her and that’s why he hadn’t kissed her. She just wanted to know if that was the case.

He could have kissed her right then and there and showed her how kissable she was but he was just the friend.  The question was not meant for him. He looked at her and saw how uncomfortable asking that question had made her feel. He could see from the shame in her eyes and awkward twitching of her jaw that she was really embarrassed. “Sometimes… when a guy isn’t kissing you, it is not because he doesn’t want to kiss you. Sometimes, it is just that he doesn’t think he deserves you. He just doesn’t think he is worthy of you. He might want to kiss you more than anything in the world but when he looks at your face he feels belittled by your beauty and diminished by your intelligence and just questions himself if he really deserves you. Sometimes, he is just wondering if he is allowed to kiss you. Sometimes, he is just afraid to lose you and doesn’t want to take that risk. He just doesn’t want to give you a reason to leave him. ‘What if she doesn’t want to kiss me?’, ‘What if she doesn’t enjoy it?’, ‘What if she thinks I am being horny?’ he keeps wondering. Sometimes, he is just afraid and that is the reason he is not kissing you. Sometimes, he is just being stupid and over-thinking it but he is just unable to gather the courage. Sometimes, it is just him and not you.” he thought of saying. Funny how he couldn’t even muster the courage to say that.

He ended up replying with a “Hey, don’t worry! You are a good girl and if there is a problem, it is with him not you.”

She wasn’t satisfied with the answer but she made do.