Thursday, September 19, 2013

Turning 26

Those who know me, know just how much I dread, detest and abhor birthdays. Honestly, I have tried to like, be normal or even go through the day without flinching but each time I have failed. This year was no different. But unlike other years this year something happened, which took me a couple of weeks to accept as a positive one.But once I did, I learned to let go of the pain. I learned that giving up on a loved one may excruciating but sometimes it is the right thing for you.

For starters I have been trying to write this post for about 13 days now and in 5th draft I have managed to get myself to write and complete the post. Thankfully the post was not a dark one as it was turning out to be in the last few attempts at writing this one. Every year I set goals for myself and I try and strike them off till the next time. This year, I want it to be about me.



I want to smile without those tears clouding my eyes.
I want to wish something for me, me alone.
I want to be happy, happiness which will be about me.
I want to go to sleep without the wet pillow.
I want to love without flinching
I want to make a new start.
I want to love and respect myself.
More than which, I want to let go of the pain that has pulled me down over the years.

I have already started to implement these and it is so painful. I feel guilty for wanting things for myself that does not include that loved one. It is not really a happy feeling but I know it is about time and I am ready. I went from literally giving up on life on my birthday eve to wanting to give life a chance. I think the healing has begun.. about time too. 26 is as good as any number to begin afresh, isnt it?

Sunday, August 04, 2013

As Beautiful As Your Work

Much has been said women’s empowerment and equality. Feminists have been screaming themselves hoarse fighting for equal rights and to be honest I do conform to it. But I guess I have had the greatest fortune of being a woman of my own thanks to the wonderful people around me who gave me the freedom to be me.

Being a woman of my own has been an epic journey so far. I guess it started way back in school where I choose my own subjects. Then came selection of a college and the subject I wanted to study, not for once did bias or prejudice come my way. My desire to be a journalist never met with statements that said “but that is not a woman’s profession” It has been three years to my professional career and 5 years since I first left home and to be who I am today is a much cherished childhood dream come true. As a young girl, I yearned to be able to support myself. When other girls wanted their boy friends to gift them things I coveted the idea of being able to afford the things I desire. Now, when at the billing counter of a store when I flick my card to pay for my purchases the feeling of achievement is too great to ignore. At work, to be respected not because of the position I occupy but as a person who is skilled is just another satisfying feeling.

What makes me the woman I am today is the ability to be able to make my own choices, to lead the life I wanted on my own terms and despite being independent and empowered the desire to nurture the relationships that mean much. The idea of the woman I am is reflected in everything that I do or own; be that watch which I saved for many months and bought, a brand but something that is without frills that speaks of the no nonsense person that I am. That diamond nose pin I had gifted myself on my birthday the year I first started working or that phone which helps me not just to categorize and keep abreast with my work, but helps me organize my home chores and also remain in touch with friends and family.

There is not much that is needed to establish yourself. It is the elegance with which you carry yourself, dignity with which you deal with trouble at hand, the respect with which you treat your colleagues and loved ones that are your real asset. It is your work, be it at home or at office; that speaks volumes for the woman you are. Being a woman is a blessing for as nurturers we have the ability to be homemakers and professional with equal elaan.



There are so many like me,  for whom their work is a form of self-expression.  This blog post is a part of Tanishq’s Mia blog contest on the topic “As Beautiful As Your Work”. The entry is not just a contest entry but it reflects the kind of person I am and the idea I associate with. 

You can watch the TVC here where Tanishq celebrates the beauty of such women like Megha. To take part in the blog contest click here. http://mia.tanishq.co.in/


Thursday, July 04, 2013

Hyderabad Hues..



It has been three years to my professional career. Three years to an independent life. Three years to finding and losing the great love. Three years of a beautiful relationship which has hurt as much as it brought happiness. Three years to living a childhood dream. 

I have lived in three cities in the last four years of my life, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi, Kolkata is obviously home. I have this tremendous love and yearning for Bangalore and the love is there for all to see. Hyderabad was the only place where I have lived for less than a year, 4 months to be precise, yet it will be the only place I love as much as I hate, I yearn but I can’t bring myself up to revisit. Hyderabad, the start of something new, the city which gave me so much yet the phase so beautiful and painful that I can never really bring myself to love it with abandon as I do to Bangalore.

As I type, Udaan is put on the playlist. This is one movie which has struck home at so many levels, the lyrics were something I clung on to when I was embarking upon a very important phase of my life. I was starting my career, I got a big break, I had triumphed a dark phase in my life so I was ruthless, ambitious and adamant to make it on my own. More than anything, I was going to live my dream, a career and a house of my own.

Baba had gone to settle me down for the first week.  We stayed at a hotel the first evening that we reached. I remember updating my Facebook account with the current city I was going to call home, from a small hotel room, with my window overlooking the old Hyderabad streets. Dread filled me and I almost choked. I could not bring myself to tell Baba, let’s go home, I can’t do this. Instead we went house hunting that evening and then again the next morning. By noon I had seen my new office, found a home and by end of that day, we had shopped for almost everything we required to set home. 

First day at work was fun, I met someone who went on to mean the world to me in the next month or so but then I had no way of knowing it then. I asked this colleague ‘what is the process of resigning?” this on the first day of my first job, this colleague turned out to be my Unit Head, yes I was as crazy as that, by the way, that colleague and me are now the best of friends. Dad left in a week, I had almost settled in. While I was making progress in a new life I was leaving behind a very essential relationship which used to mean the world to me. Now that I look back may be a part of me wanted to give up because I could not deal with anything less than perfect and after 7 years of trying I did give up and walked away without a backward glance. As I willed myself to move on, work harder, learn new things, without me knowing a lot of changes were coming about. All the childish, naïve, silly notions fell apart and from a young girl I was transforming into a lady. Under unintentional loving eye, I was molded, nurtured into a woman. I worked hard, learned so much at work, that awe and admiration for someones knowledge tipped me over without me even knowing. It was as though the entire universe was conspiring, and the cautious person I was, suddenly assumed a new form; overnight I was carefree, spontaneous, I loved fiercely, I gave without abandon, I learnt amorously and I knew the world was mine.

For the first time in my life I was not cautious, I was playing with fire but it did not perturb me. I was just flowing freely. It was as if I was water and I took the shape of the vessel I was poured into. I remember feeling sick because I just would not let myself sleep, I was so scared that my dream will be over, literally, that I stayed up all night just to recount what happened. Every little thing, that took place, be it a random conversation, an eye contact or a brush of hands. I thought it over and over again. I fell in love with an intelligent mind, eyes that soaked in every information, that look of intense concentration as the mind processed the information, the furious typing. Evenings were spent at Hussein Sagar frolicking, the breeze swept my hair away as I lost myself in admiration of the ‘Ideal' I had grown up loving but was told he does not exist. Time would fly, work would pile up and I would be reduced to hoping, praying for the moment to last. During those moments spent at a CCD or a MacDs, those long walks because money was sparse, there were not too many places to go and the desire to spend some more time tore us apart.  Not even once during that time did it occur to me that I was opening up my life, myself and my soul to something to change irrevocably. It would be later, much later, when I would see a train pull away for the reality to sink in, the great love was not for keeps, it was never meant to be. I aged several years at that moment. To me that was an end of life. 

I had no recollection of the next one month that passed. How I lived? How I worked? What happened? What I ate? I had no recollection what so ever. I knew that my parents trusted me enough to let me be in a new city so I had to remain alive. At 23 life suddenly lost all meaning. I had to get away from the city, I had to get away from the memories, even tears could not wash away the pain. And I did get away in a month flat. I found a new job, I resigned and got away from the city brushing aside angry tears ripping me apart. If I have ever wanted to  do anything at that moment was just lie there somewhere and cry myself to death but I had a life to lead and move on because that was what was expected of me. So that is exactly what I did, without  thinking. As my train pulled away towards Bangalore, I left behind myself, a naïve lil girl that I was when I first came to the city, I had aged years since then and that part of me has been severed with precision, love has fueled the desire to live, to love some more, hurt beyond imagination and trudge along.

Hyderabad as I look back is my utopia, where smiles had a reason, happiness meant sharing a colddrink with two straws with the loved one.Bread, butter and bhujiya was the most delicious dinner I have had ever had because it was fed to me lovingly, lack of money was the least of our concern. Morning chai at a nearby tea stall, was how I began my day. Work was fun, as I looked up from work to see the eyes of a loved one lost in thought. Evening strolls at Hussein Sagar with wind whipping my hair on my face which ever so lovingly was brushed aside, those 5 rupee ice creams and the silent holding hands compensated for the lack of communication…

Hyderabad, I may not say this enough, but you are an intrinsic part of my being and will always be.. you taught me love, love that kindles the soul and makes this life worthwhile. I will always be indebted to you. May be someday I will come back to you, to reminisce, the beautiful times this wonderful city that gave me, I found Love at unlikeliest of places and time. Someday when it will hurt less I will come back.. I know I will.. I have a lot of forgiving to do in the mean time.. but come back I will, even if to just make peace.

Friday, June 28, 2013

When Vaidehi became Why-dahi..

My name is not Vaidehi... its Why-dahi?! ermmm okay... since then Vaidehi became 'Why-Dahi and why not chaas', a standing joke between all of us.

I first spoke to Vaidu, through Orkut when we both got through IIJNM. We decided to be roommates and in time we looped in others, Deepika (Deepu), Gayatri (Anu), Shephali (Shephu) and we were roommates. What followed was intensely long group chat conversations with all five of us till the run up to the time when we left home to build the career of our dreams. My childhood sweetheart (we were dating then) was suddenly thrown off balance, there was his girl friend who with venegence took up a course which would take her away from him, tipping their dream life. And to top it off she showed no signs of remorse or unhappiness; instead looked forward to a new life. Conversations were filled with Vaidu bought this today, you know Shephu said the Dean was a tough cookie. But there was hardly a thing he could do but watch. And then, yours truly got drunk and cried for hours in her sweethearts car just a couple of days prior to leaving home for her new life in Bangalore. When the tears subsided.. and I finally got home; the first ever drunk call and the only since then; was placed to Vaidu, "Raks sab theek ho jayega tu tension mat le... 10 months will pass by." I murmured okay and fell off to sleep. Till date I dont know why I called Vaidu, a would be room mate whom I knew, but I was not close to.

In IIJNM, we were roommates and our life was not hunky dory. We were not bum chums, we were close but yet not enough. We had our own set of friends. The nights I would be awake were the ones we would gather and talk. On our first night together, all of us talked about our boy friends, our love life and things that meant much to us. A bond was formed. There was something different about Vaidu, even though I got along with others with Vaidu it was somehow different. Our goodnight texts even though our beds were just opposite to each other. Waking up to her sleeping form. Caressing her hair on my way to the loo was our usual thing. I would get out of my shower and she would be drinking her bottle of water gearing up for the day ahead as the rest would be dead to the world. That one hour that we existed, without talking but connected. She understood that I need time in the morning to just be quiet but I liked her company, and I respected her need for her routine. She is probably the only person I would never mind running errands or doing her chores for. It was usual for her to speak to her boy friend now husband (sounds weird even to me) who was then in US as I quickly ironed my clothes and did hers too happily. No this does not mean we were close, we were attached in an unspoken way. we had the most terrible fight one day on the lamest of reasons and we laughed on it ever since! It was crazy.. i cant even remember bonding moments with her but I know we did. As the 10th month in IIJNM came to a close and it was time to bid hostel life goodbye, I found myself back in the room where it all started..all had their suitcases on the bed but this time not unpacking but packing to go away and then I looked at her scared of having to adjust without her; she smiled comfortingly it was an awful moment. As the cab pulled away I saw her standing on the driveway looking at the cab till she could see no more. It was then I realized I was leaving behind a loved one and not just a batchmate.

It has been three years since that day. I have visited Mumbai about 9 times during this period. We have kept in touch as if life depended upon it. It was only after IIJNM that we became close. I was the only soul who she made an extra effort to stay in touch. She was everything I had. I went back to her every few months to feel whole, to get some sense knocked into my head. The only one who did not judge me one bit when I broke norms, did things which even I could not imagine. There were no warm words of comfort but very direct hurtful comments which showed me light. She held my hand as I broke down, I told her things I could not admit to even myself. She saw to it that there would be someone who would show me the things that were and be there when it hit me and help me tide through it all.

Together we have seen the most terrible upheavals of life. But unlike me, she saw things through, as I screwed up and took risks; she held on with conviction. In our disagreements we found strength. Today my Vaidu long legs gets married to her childhood sweetheart. And I know what it took her to get here. She has found her happiness in Ashok who fought the world, sacrificed so much to be there for his girlfriend who has waited for him for 5 long years.. Today, as they get inked together forever, a hope lives, that dreams do come true.. today Why Dahi; becomes Mrs, Vaidehi Ashok and her friend has been unable to make it! Can anything be more crappy?

As she revels in her new found happiness, Instead of being there by her side here I am sitting in my cubicle trying to swallow the tears that threaten to spill. Vaidu, know that if I could be there I would have. Know that what we share is special. That it has stood the tests of time, it is for keeps. I may not say it often but I do love you, without you these last 4 years of my life would have been the toughest. Without you giving up on life would have been so easy. Thank you for being there and understanding me when no-one ever did... Wishing you the very best in life..Congratulations and have a very happy married life!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Change

Strange thing this heart is, it unlearns everything with a touch of love, no matter how insignificant it is. Months of rigorous training all in vain! To top it off building the walls once again to shield the vulnerable self becomes a mammoth task! All the heart craves for, is some love and at the sight of a flicker of it, it throws caution to the wind and just submits to the heady feeling. And once the tide runs out and the darkness dawns, the heart grapples hard to adjust to the hard realities of life.

There is just so little to be happy or be content with, and if to top it off those little unique things are taken away, you are left wondering just how to cope with it all. Subconsciously I guess all I have ever wanted from you Love, is that we remain unique in our own eccentricities; something that will always make you smile every time you think about us. With time, I see you change, even if it is just the way you look at things now, things that used to be so precious to us. Things that may be insignificant, but so essential to 'us' that has just become 'me' and not 'you' anymore. As I see you change, a change that is not conscious I understand, a change I so detest, a change I cannot accept, a change that kills me, I realize this is just how it will be. Love wont change I want to believe, but when I see you evolve I am not sure any more.

Is it the first signs of a carefully loved world crumbling down? I wouldn't know but the sense of hurt is massive. I feel like I lost as essential part of my being. Why? Did I believe that I will be able to con reality always? Did I believe that I had the power to have my way some way or another, even if not in the truest of sense?

I always draw strength from the way we have managed to cling on to our emotions, that bind us together, in a way that even our realities have been unable to part us. We donot exist as 'us' anymore, but in our unique way, we love, we care and we are there for each other; the only way we can. But as I see those little things we so cheerished being reduced to just mine, a part of me dies, loses hope and the pain of which is unbearable. It is so hard to mourn this change, this change that will be so difficult to accept and internalize. The change, that will be yet another bitter pill I will have to swallow, yet another loss I will have to bear, despite having lost the one person I loved with all my heart; You.

Some more strength, God!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Little puddles of love..8 months and still many more to go

Love,

The last time I wrote to you was about 6 months back, when in the beginning of every month I would write to recount that month without you. Since then I have become stronger, I have learnt to blink back the tears that threatened to fall every time I set my eyes on you. Every time something would remind me of you, I felt a part of die a million deaths. Those nights of praying for sleep to take over so the mind would stop thinking about you are now over. All those mornings I would wake up with no zest for life as I would hurt, long for you and find reasons to hold on.

It has been an uphill task, no it has not stopped hurting, if possible it has increased manifolds. I have just bettered myself at reacting to it. Well one has to do things to preserve whatever little dignity one has right? You know, in all these months, the only thing that kept me going is the image of seeing you smile, the cloud of unhappiness not casting a shadow on your face, clear and bright your face smiling at me, for me, only for me. That, is my single most happy thought. Every time things go wrong and i feel upset and ready to explode I just close my eyes and picture you smile and it works wonders.

You are right, I have stopped needing you. I don't need you for anything. Not my mental peace. Not for friendship and surely not for love. I am content in my memories. In my memories you are mine. In my memories it is a perfect world. In my mind I talk to you every day, so what if you dont reply? So what if you dont hold me close when I need comforting the most. So what if I want to spend time with you and you just cant nor do you ever feel the need. So what? I have found my own lil world in my own thoughts. In my world there are no let downs, no insecurities, no anger and surely no lack of love. So many things are missing yet the things that are there make up for every single of them.

I feel surer, stronger and lot more in control of the emotions that create a chaos, too turbulent to keep in check. But at the same time I realize the importance you have in my life, so what you are not there any more? I know you are going to be a part of my existence, an intrinsic part of my soul. A part which I can never surgically part with. So instead of fighting, I have accepted that there is never going to be another you. You will be there in every breath I take. At the same time I will not let that be the only thing about my existence, I will live, love and be free.

Love, I have always wanted us to be special, in a way that you have never ever known before. I may have failed but then there is no knowing. But know that you were loved, you will be no matter how much it hurts. There are a million things I don't tell you, I never will, but that does not mean I don't feel them anymore, just that there is no need or use to express them anymore. The heart longs to know how you are coping with this, since we so efficiently behave as if nothing in life has changed since!

As the days go by, love assumes new form, it teaches so many ways to make things work. We fight, we are unhappy, we find newer ways to find the lost smiles in each other. We have learned to live apart but will we ever learn to live without each other? May we never find that out, for what we have, however little is enough, it shall fuel the love that keeps us together, despite being apart, in ways that most can't comprehend.

Love, the only way I know how..

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Of Books and Journals

This post is about me, the Me I used to be, the me i miss but I realize I never will be. Every time I reconnect with anything that deals with the times I have left behind a kind of numbness takes over. I try real hard not to go back and read old pages from my journal, in fact I try not to write, be it a blog or journal. I try hard not to tweet or express in every written form but I end up doing it despite the misgivings and that is my undoing.



I have always said that I write to preserve my sanity. But by writing I end up chronicling thoughts, thoughts I keep coming back to. Being a Virgo does not help, because I end up reading, analyzing, dissecting some more and in turn hurting twice over.

A couple of years back I re-read The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. The first time I read it was when I was 13. This has been my favourite book and it was only when I was gifting this book to a loved one, I thought of re-reading the book. After two days of upset reading I completed the book, but it took me more time to snap out of the shocking realization that a book that I read at 13 had defined my thoughts and life unknowingly. In reflection, I dont think I am surprised, even as the events were happening and I was going through a roller coaster in life, the calmness with which I dealt with them, the ideologies I have and the reasons behind each of those choices I made, had a very strong influence for that one book. Revisiting the book probably made sense of all those confusing times when I was shocked at my own decisions.

Then there was this journal I kept in one of the darkest phases of my life. The journal chronicled about 6 months of a time when I just wrote to keep sane, to remember by penning down memories, bit by bit with care. I wrote about events that happened. what I felt, how people reacted, how situations were. I wept in anguish. I burned in anger. I wrote passionately, fell in love some more, in my fervent penning down I found a way to redeem myself. A year later, stronger, wiser and lot more in control I went back to this journal and broke down, actually feeling sorry for the naive young girl who changed the course of her entire life with just one mad, passionate, love filled decision. I cried in mourning, as if i was an outsider seeing someone else wince in pain. That was it, I felt such devotion like love and the pain it entailed should not be revered if it is not valued. There at one go, I ripped the pages out and took pains to make a billion pieces of it so that not even one word could be deciphered. Hot angry tears flowed, it hurt like hell but to see the remains of a beautiful phase of my life now reduced to just heaps of paper littered in my room; but it did give me some sadistic satisfaction!

I feel my education and my fiercely independent lifestyle will be my undoing. I question and analyze much more than required. The more I read, the more the vagabond in me feels wild, wanting to break away from pre-determined societal and familial norms. I find it hard to conform to the very basic tenets of relationships, social obligations and norms which at some point of time I used to adhere to. Existential questions plagues the mind and robbing the mind of peace. I think then, that my books and journals are the only things that allow me to escape the mundane world.. It whets the bold and fiercely independent spirit me that wants to defies the accepted and create my own niche. It becomes the only escape that I am permitted and it is through them that my parallel world is established, where all things I love and hold dear exists without a cloud of gloom or uncertainty shrouding it, this part of my existence no matter how ethereal, it is the only way that my existence feels worthwhile.

Of books and journals,
Of words which aid me in finding you,
Time and again
Words, which weaves a world
Of just you and me,
A world where there are no time frames
Where the day begins with your smile,
And ends with your arms holding me tight.
Through words, I live our forever after
A world where there are no fears for tomorrow
Just this moment that lasts a lifetime...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Of summer heat and heart that beats..


She flicked a tendril  of hair from her face, summers were here and the heat was already unbearable. It was one of her days off but instead of an afternoon siesta; there she was sitting curled up on the bean bag with a book. The only sound she could hear was of the gentle humming of the AC. She smiled to herself. Thinking back to the times gone by. Summers, always brought back various memories.

The most vivid childhood memories were that of waking up to thunder and lightening and pitter patter rain drops on her window sill. Those reluctant few moments, when she would pull the covers up and let the sound of rain comfort her. Then there was that mad dash to the terrace to get drenched as it poured like crazy, soaking her clothes and purging her soul. Summers in Kolkata, meant Kalboishaki, storm and thunder that took away the stinging heat of the day and it was that which she loved like crazy.

As years rolled on, summers would come to mean stinging Delhi summers, the days of traveling in an auto with face covered up. Those midnight ice-cream cravings and him stepping out to satiate each and every one of them. Sometimes it would be a malai kulfi and sometimes a chocolate tub; whatever be the flavor, the ice cream miraculously tasted heavenly only because he so lovingly fed it to her. Nights seemed to wear off in his embrace, his gentle breathing lulling her off to sleep, her days beginning with a kiss on his forehead and it would end with his loving caress.

Memories came thick and fast and she sighed, she knew life since then had changed drastically. Pain and anguished marred her existence, going to the brink and back and then finding peace. All she needed to do was close her eyes to see the images flashing in front of her eyes. Unknowingly she had clenched her fists, her lips pursed in a straight line, as memories took her back in time in some of the darkest hours of her life. She felt as if she was spiraling into pits of despair like that summer evening when she had watched her life collapse as he walked away; the rain Gods had mercy on her and decided to pour. Minutes turned into hours and time stood still.

A gentle kiss on her forehead snapped her out of her reverie; as she looked up to see his smiling face. Instantaneously warmth spread through her, the worst had passed, he was there with her, to stay. As his arms came around her and he snuggled up to her, she knew she had triumphed her fears and had come a long way. At a distance she could see the rain clouds join forces and she could almost smell the rain. As his fingers caressed her head, she tucked her head under his chin and settled in. His familiar smell cocooning her as love reassured her that the storm had passed.
As the first drops came down in torrents, she handed him a cup of coffee and settled in beside him.  Life had come a full circle, if life was as harsh as the summers, He was like the rain that took the sting away and made it worthwhile.