A Travellerspoint blog

Little Acts of Love ... an ode to my friends & other devils!

The Sunday That Never Was

A stay-at-homebody that I am now, all my days are same. Be it a Monday or a Saturday or a Thursday. It however does not mean that I have stopped looking forward to the weekends. My weekends are also are not very happening as it was ago. I end up hanging around with my closest of pals. Either they come over or at times I visit them. I am off the clubbing circuit and as well off the pub hopping mode too. Not that I complain. I enjoy every bit of the receded pace my life is currently going through.
In this repetitiveness, the only thing changing was the weather. From pleasant days to slightly warmer ones and I wasn't welcoming the summers enthusiastically.
Everything is instant in today’s time. Be it food, shopping, expressing feelings and making friends. All you need to do perhaps is just a click away. And in between all this, there he was –my brand new friend. You bump into so many people in the World Wide Web. It’s usually a rare thing to find someone who matches up to you – like peas in a pod.
“Rules?” he asked me reading my post which goes like this - “My life, my rules”.
“Keep it short and simple”, I told him.
Perhaps he was one of the few strangers I bothered to reply. Let’s face bare facts. He was the only one who had the brains to read the post and ask something interesting.
This is how it all began. It was slow, it was nice and it was getting better. We were not rushing into anything. For that matter we were not even in a hurry to ask “send in a picture of yours. I want to see how you look like”.
He was talking to A-queer-N and I was talking to a Free Spirit.
It was after four days when we finally introduced ourselves, starting with our names, but that seemed not too essential as the ice-breaking stage was crossed already and we were happy with our pseudo-names. No not pseudo … it is not the right word. We were comfortable talking to our alter egos.
Much later we saw how we looked like. But then again, the comfort level was such immense that when I saw him it felt I could have recognized him anyways!
Like his name, he is somebody that cannot be tied down or chained to or tamed. Extremely moody he leaves me confused at times. One moment he is this restless, impatient, philosophical, right on your face and funny to the bone creature and the next moment he is nervous, hugely irritated and angry with some unexplained outburst of frustrations. Slowly and slowly I learnt to deal with it. And how I learnt it! That is interesting as well.
It was after about twenty odd messages when I sent him a stinker one day.
“It’s awkward when you shut up”, I said.
“I know”, replied the Free Spirit.
“So? What are we going to do about it?” I asked him.
“Let’s observe the silence”.
So there we were observing the silence.
“I’m breaking up with my girlfriend”. He sent me a message much later, but by then I was in deep sleep and I read it the next morning and I decided to still “observe the silence”!
Months later, we decided it was time we met.
I would be lying if I say I wasn’t excited. I was. Very much indeed. I looked forward to meet this man who struck the right chords with me.
“Sandwiches”, he said and also added, “beer as well”.
“Grilled chicken”, I added further.
So it was all set.
My checklist made and marked.
After a long time I had something to look forward to. I would cook with utmost care and I could not afford to let a thing go wrong.
And on that Sunday on the second week of April, 11:30 a.m. was the time I was expecting him to be knocking on my door. Inspite of having a late Saturday night, I woke up much earlier than I would do on any given Sunday.
The chicken was already marinating since a day earlier. I began with slicing the vegetables for the sandwiches and then went on to making the mayonnaise. So on it continued till my phone beeped around 10 o’ clock.
“I am sick. Can barely move from my bed”.
The message was so casually written.
I read the message twice before I pressed the reply button. I waited for a while. I did not know what I wanted to say or type. The feeling – there was a sense of rejection, denial… it was awfully negative - something I really wasn’t expecting. It was not at all a good feeling.
I said to myself, “Stop over-reacting.”
“Okay!”, is what I replied and continued making the sandwiches, wrapping them with slightly wet cotton hand towels to keep the moisture of the bread intact. I mashed the potatoes with generous amount of milk and cheese and black pepper. But at the back of my mind there was a feeling of restlessness. I was agitated.
“Oh! Come on now! The man is sick. How could he come for this brunch when he can barely move from his bed”, I re-assured myself. But still I was not at all ready to accept this. Yet I kept my mind calm and composed and went about doing my work. I told myself, even if the plan bombed, I will still grill the meat and eat it as well.
That is exactly what I did.
I wore my Davidoff Coolwaters after my bath and put on the clothes I had intended to wear… it did not matter if the Free Spirit had turned me down at the nth hour.
So I put the meat on the grill pan and uncorked one Budweiser too.
“Cheers” I told to myself as I sipped the beer. It was good. On that hot, dry April mid morning-afternoon, I could feel the chilled beer going down my through the esophagus straight into by belly!
There my phone beeped again and it was him, “So what are you doing?”
I told him all I did and how much I loved my aloneness.
“Have fun you!” and then continued, “Am alone in the house, looking after my grand-dad. He his counting his last days and so am I counting mine. Everyone’s gone out”.
Reading this made me all the more bitter, more than the beer you see.
I do not know if I would be this patient with anybody else. But there was and still is something about him that makes me react in a way I usually do not. It surprises me at times.
I knew it. I got my answers then. That he said he was sick and that he could barely move his body was a big lie. I had this hunch about it but now I was sure.
I felt bloody idiotic.
“I do not know what made you call off this meeting of ours. It was you who said Sunday it would be. Make up your mind, whether you are sick or is it your grandfather that made you cancel our brunch. At least you could have told someone in your family that you had an invitation and we had planned this at least a week earlier. How could you do this?
It all goes to prove the point that all the things we talk have been not worth it.
But I must thank you Free Spirit wholeheartedly. It was after a long time that I was looking ahead for a day when I could unwind and be me. You have no idea how much care I took while making the food. How much I had to persuade another friend of mine to buy the beer bottles for me as you know it’s a total No No for a woman to walk in to a wine store and buy booze.
Do I sound rude and nasty Free Spirit? Oh you bet I am. You hurt me a lot today. But then now I know how not to expect things this way. From now on I never will.”
Yes I was hurt.
“People who love to eat are the best – Julia Child”, is what he sent me back.
“And people who love to cook are damned fools indeed”, I said.
So that was it, my Sunday – a day I wanted it so badly. To meet my new found friend. But like I said maybe that particular Sunday was not his day. He was not at his best and thus he decided to chicken out.
But the ripples he created were far flung.
He still is a good friend. We still talk. We still talk in our alter egos. He still makes plans. He still wants me to make sandwiches. I laugh, I say yes and then I forget about it then and there. And then I smile more because I no longer feel bitter about it. Because I have stopped making plans or expecting things which I know might not happen eventually.
Is this once bitten twice shy is all about? I guess it is… it is which that particular Sunday taught me.

Posted by incommunicado 04:50 Archived in India Tagged me sunsets_and_sunrises people night Comments (0)

And when we sat and talked

I broke a promise.
It’s as simple as that.
I broke not only a promise but also broke someone’s trust and heart all at once.
Bad bad me…

I don’t know from where to begin… its one long story. And this is one story I would not like to muddle and mess or edit my lines. If you get an eye sore by the time you reach the last line, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you!

I knew I did something which would not be easily forgiven. But I had a plan. I wanted to make a confession and come out clean and assure that this would never happen again in the future.

But my plans did not see the light of the day. It died prematurely.

“Why are you in touch with that bastard again?” he asked me.

I didn’t have to ask who was being referred to. I knew this was coming. But never for once did I foresee the hatred which still remained undamaged. I thought with time opinions had altered. But no! I was so damn wrong.

He waited patiently for an answer looking into my eyes fixedly. Those few seconds seemed infinite while I managed to gather my voice and grit to answer that one simple question.

As I nodded my head in affirmation, I felt the soft, pendulous lower part of my external ear getting warmer and it had changed its hue to a shade of crimson (if only I could have seen my reflection). At the same time I also felt my eyes tearing unstoppable.

Posted by incommunicado 09:10 Archived in India Tagged me people night Comments (0)

Little Acts of Love

Ode to my Friends and other Devils

rain

MY CHIRPY BUDDY
A light sleeper that I am, I logged in to my messenger at the wee hour of the morning today. The very act of grabbing my phone while I was still groggy and in a semi dream like state of mind was only to know what time it was. After a dry and hot spell, the weather has been really good this weekend. It's been raining on and off. Occasional thunder squalls with lightning and clouds roaring, it been drizzling on. So it was 4:32 a.m exactly. I sat up, did a few rounds of deep breathing. Outside the sun was just beginning to rise. Was it being lazy today? Or was it the rain to be blamed? I could hear the birds chirping - the sounds are different. Too many species around I know. But I for the life of mine cannot identify birds - except for the regular crows, pigeons, dove and parrots.
The deep breathing I did made me all the more fresher and sleep was gone completely. But instead of getting out of the bed, I continued to fiddle with my phone randomly logging into my Facebook at that hour of the morning. And I must say this - Facebook gives me all the news and gory details of all and sundry. Its like a newspaper for me. As I scrolled my homepage I got a few juicy gossips and without even blinking an eyelid I immediately messaged my chirpy friend. And there he was online too... at that hour of the morning! He admitted that he knew about it and we dug deep into the matter without a care in the world and had a good laugh at the expense of our so called pop star "friend"!
So why was my friend who is chirpier than a bird awake so early? I know he sleeps very late, but this was unusual. I did not ask him. I assumed either he had not slept the whole night and was still strumming his guitar or maybe he slept very early to have woken up at the crack of dawn. But he proved me wrong. It was a horrid dream that woke him up he said. He was gorging on mutton he said. It felt so real that he woke up salivating!
And I had a mighty laugh.
We both have been on a restricted diet for a long time now and we keep updating our progress. There are times and moments when we binge, indulge and wear the "to hell with diet & exercise" attitude. I was craving for a king sized chicken burger with cheese and mayonnaise in plenty for the last few days and a day ago he was at the food joint where I wanted to be too for the burger. As rude and cheeky as a good friend can be and also get away with it without getting arrested, Mr. Chirpy Chirp sends me a picture of all that he was eating. I kept deleting the pictures and he kept sending it again.
"Why this torture? Why didn't you at least say that you were planning to go there?", I asked him.
He smiled and said, "But you were to attend a wedding today. So I did not ask you. Plus as far as I can recall you were supposed to be on the fifth day of your G.M. Diet!!!"
"My diet went for a toss. Yes I am off carbs and sweets still but am not following the diet. I gave up yesterday", I replied.
I was so tempted to go and eat that burger to my heart's content that yesterday being rainy and gloomy, I still went ahead with my plan. And as luck would have had and like the saying goes - Man proposes God disposes - the restaurant was closed!
When I told my chirpy buddy about it, he laughed liked mad and again sent me those pictures!
But now that his sleep was gone for all the mutton curry he dreamt I can actually say that at least now we are even. The score is one all.

This is how it is between us - we both can talk non-stop without breathing and you know how it is - if I call him or he calls me we don't even say the "Hello"... we start from the point we had left and this goes on till our phone batteries give up.
Its nice to have you as a buddy Chirpy Chirp. I love you just the way you are. The way you make me laugh. Your logic makes more sense. You are not judgmental. You let me be me.

Thank you! If I ever say all this to you I am sure you will think I am out of my mind. Because we are past that stage of our friendship where we need to assure each other.

Its just a feeling I had, so I wrote it down. And it gives me a great sense of achievement that our scores are one all!!!

Posted by incommunicado 00:03 Archived in India Tagged me sunsets_and_sunrises people night Comments (0)

Adonis & Isis

As I begin to write this I wonder what if the woman was me? What if the man in question was someone I loved, if not for entirety then at least for six month or maybe a month or a week or just twenty four hours? As long as it lasted?

NOTES TO SELF : BY ISIS

I have known Adonis for a very long time. For the last twelve years he has been around... on and off... in and out... on the outer periphery of my huge gang of mad friends. I usually do not form opinions about people. Adonis was the last one I needed to have an opinion.

I do not recall when was the first time I met him. It was a random meeting during one of the weekends. That was so long ago.

So there he was - Adonis. In a pair of light blue Levi's and crisp white linen shirt and a pair of brown suede loafers. Why do I have such vivid recollection about all that he was wearing? This has got to do with the very fact about how we got introduced. As he walked into the living room, the hostess introduced us and as we exchanged the customary "hello" Adonis looked at me and then pointed towards our hostess of the evening and said, "She is the one I am responsible for all the rumors. I got her pregnant!".
He was so casual about it. I didn't know how should I have reacted. It was too much a blonde moment for me. The girl (our hostess) gave him a very angry glare and walked away. The next few minutes seemed unending and the silence would have killed us if only Adonis had not broken it with his smoothness. Yes we all had heard about this issue. But till that moment I did not know it was him.
I left the thought there forever, until now when I started to write about it.

I have been a quiet kind of woman always. Only the closet ones know me - how ruthless, brash, intimidating and insane I am capable of being.

Adonis had always thought me to be quiet, aloof and cold. I never had a problem with it.

And all this while I have come across women of all ages and sizes dying to be with him - in a long term or short. It did not matter to them as long as they were together for a while. I have seen him or have heard about it or he has admitted about it all. Too many women he has had in his life.

A true blue Casanova, smooth talker, charmer, highly intelligent with equally good looks and manners coming as an added bonus like an icing on a cake, an extra topping of vanilla ice-cream with cold coffee, the extra mayonnaise and cheese in your king sized burger.
A pure boyfriend material... a lover any woman would love to have...

So on a warm late evening when Adonis calls me out of the blue I was rather surprised.

"Are you deaf?", is exactly what he said.
"I didn't hear the phone ring", I replied.
"You home?"
"Yes", I replied.
"I am seeing you in the next seventeen minutes", and he hung up.

So there he was knocking on my door. Was it after seventeen minutes? I do not recall that. Nor did I keep a count of it,

It was good to see him. We met once briefly a few months ago at a very social gathering. And yes, he did drop me home that night. Prior to that he dropped me home one more time, but much earlier, when we were say ten years younger.

We spoke for a long time, one on one, face to face, frank to the point of being brutal.

"You are not what you are", he said.
I raised my eyebrows, "Is that bad?"
"Bad is the new good. I am beginning to like it", he said squinting his left eye.
There was nothing on my part to be amused or surprised or be floored. Afterall it was the Casanova speaking. He must have used these lines on too many women too many times, I thought to myself.

Surprisingly the time we spent together, the long conversation we had was so meaningful. Adonis on his part opened up to me as a friend. He shared his thoughts, his fears and insecurities. He was not that bad... just that he rubs people the wrong way with his attitude and talks.

And then it was time to call it a day.
To sum things up, he put it very beautifully, "Isis, do you really think I am a womanizer?"

Nodding my head in agreement, I said, "I don't have a problem with you being one. Why are you asking me this now? At this hour?"

"To hit on a woman for a casual fling is one thing. But to have a decent conversation forgetting how time went by, to let out my fears to a woman is very rare. Its not always about sex Isis. I did not have this in mind when I called you and said I wanted to see you tonight."

He looked into me deeply, smiled and continued, "There were times and instances when I was tempted hugely. The two occasions when I dropped you home. How badly I wanted you to tell me to step inside for one drink. And you being icy cold never did say it."

I couldn't help but laugh, which I think was rude but you see, the kind of circumstances I got introduced with him, it left no room for doubts!

As he got ready to leave, checking his pockets for one final time for his car keys, cell phone, lighter and cigarettes, he held my face with both his hands very firmly, looked straight into me and kissed me on my forehead.

Much later, deep in the night, the phone beeped. It was Adonis. "Can I call you?"
"Sure you can", said Isis.

They spoke for another good forty five minutes. This is how good as it gets.

But there are things Isis must tell him.

Adonis does not know that Isis finds him irresistible. He is too good to be true. He is the kind of man she has always wanted to be with. (Like those hundreds of other women who could do just anything to be with him). She knows well if they meet again, the kiss on the forehead and holding hands would go to another level, a step further. And would she be able to stop him? And would she rather?

For Isis there is too much to lose, too much is at stake. She knows it well, he is not the man for her. He is a smooth talker, he will get his way, work his charms to woo her. He tried it already. But she told him on that evening, that she is not ready... and that it is too early.

As Isis and I sat down with our steaming hot cups of coffee, she tells me all this with so much of genuinity and yet with so much fondness for the man, I couldn't help but wonder, what if I was Isis? Would I behaved the same way?

When there is a whole bunch of women desperately wanting to be with Adonis, here we have one quiet and charming Isis, who admits liking the man yet she decides to let go. Now isn't that beautiful? Isn't that saner? Isn't that the best and simplest way to keep just the friendship alive? For her it was those few hours they spent together talking which would last a lifetime, than being impulsive and give in to the moment.

Isis reminded me of what the Buddha said, "In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you".

Posted by incommunicado 04:19 Archived in India Tagged me people night Comments (0)

My Side

My dear Bhai,

It has been one long day and I am tired as a dog. There are things I should tell you now. Maybe I'll feel better and maybe you'll lose some sleep. I simply need to vent out my feelings, have bottled up myself for too long. Honesty is the best policy, remember our Moral Science classes? Oh My Gosh! I still exclaim now at the very thought of the subject. I cannot vouch for you but I personally felt it was an overdose of the omnipresent, the conscience and the truth. Today as I sit down to write to you, I pray and hope I'll be honest enough. Being honest is not a child's play; even if it means being honest to oneself. O.K. let me give myself the benefit of doubt and rephrase honesty - let me confess!

Sapna delivered a cute little baby girl today afternoon. I was at the nursing home with Sanjeev all throughout. It was amazing to watch Sanjeev. His expressions changed with every second passing by. A would be father that he was, he was an assortment of every possible emotions -excitement, fear, worry, edginess, anxiety, impatience and hope.

"Its worse than waiting for the Board Results!", he said to me.

Board results. It automatically connected me with you Bhai. Suddenly I realized that you are the only one with whom I’ve remained bonded since school. It was after Boards, we decided to part ways “ to find greener pastures. Do you recall those hostel days, when we shared every possible thing under the sun? The pickles, biscuits and cakes which came from home, notes and text books, tee shirts and jackets and at High School we shared cigarettes also! I even remember sharing your toothbrush once! I know it gives the jitters now but I guess that's precisely why we have been Bhaito each other than best friends.

When the nurse came out of the O.T. to break the news of the newborn, the happiness, the satisfaction and the pride was far much greater than what Sanjeev might have felt when his Board Results were out! "The mother and the baby are doing fine" the nurse informed us. We were allowed to visit Sapna, once she was shifted to her room.

Sapna looked calm and peaceful in her slumber. Somehow she looked more ravishing now. There was newness in her face. Her skin glowed as the afternoon sunrays fell on her tenderly from the venetian blinds. Sanjeev was right next to her, caressing her forehead softly. I left them in their own seclusion and came out of the nursing home. An uneasy feeling crept inside me. I searched my pockets for the cigarettes and the lighter. I lit one and took a heavy drag. It felt fine. I decided to have a cup of tea too from the nearby tea stall. Nicotine and caffeine does wonders to tired nerves, you do agree with me Bhai, don't you?

I met the couple “ Sapna & Sanjeev some three years ago when my work brought me to this sleepy town down south in Kottayam. Our friendship clicked right from the very start. My house is just two houses away from theirs. I bumped into them one evening when Sanjeev was changing the flat tyre of their car right in front of my gate. I had just returned from work and the first thing I noticed was Sapna looking absent-mindedly towards the old banyan tree.
'Look at the bark of the tree. Doesn't it resemble an old lady with a wrinkled skin!", she exclaimed. "Sorry Sanjeev, that was rather a poor joke!" Sanjeev winked his eyes and nodded saying nothing. He was engrossed adjusting the jack. It was then I went forward and lent Sanjeev a helping hand. By the time the car was ready we really got talking. I invited them to my place, Sanjeev to wash his hands. That's how our friendship started.

But Sapna, she was and will always be a cute little thing to me. She is so child like, shy, nervous, reluctant and yet needy. Sapna “ the woman I have always dreamt of"! We never spoke much. Or maybe I talk less. Or maybe I could read her mind by looking at those expressive eyes. Or maybe I simply loved listening to her. She is an amazing woman.

Let me tell you this incident Bhai. It was one of those Sunday summer afternoons when Sanjeev and I decided to chill out with a beer each before the lunch. Sanjeev asked me to get the bottles from the fridge. As I entered the kitchen, Sapna was busy cooking. I said nothing and headed straight for the fridge. She turned around when she sensed there was someone else besides her in the kitchen. She saw me and heaved and before she could say anything I cut her short. "So you got scared, huh?" She looked at me for a moment, trying to study me and said, "No, I wasn't. There are only two things I am scared of. Reptiles and ghosts", she again looked at me closely, "and you resemble none!" I knew she would come up with something as weird as this. She was as passionate about nature and the homeless the way she was about tattoos and bungee jumping. These are perhaps a few things, which brought me closer to her. No matter how hard I tried to erase, her thoughts kept hitting me on my mind. The more I tried to refrain my feelings the more difficult it felt.

I was in love with her and I couldn't help myself. I was walking on the razor's edge and it was difficult to hold on to the reins. And I couldn't betray the trust and faith Sanjeev bestowed upon me. He was a buddy and I know what a buddy means and I swear on my life I wasn't eyeing my buddy's wife. I started distancing myself. I gave professional excuses to be away from them. Sanjeev would never accept these excuses and would off and on say that he wanted his old buddy back; the same old chap who helped him in changing the flat tyre. I never thought love came with such complications. I loved Sapna. Couldn't it sound simple? Couldn't it feel easy? Hell! No it wouldn't. My love and respect for her wasn't an attraction, a lust, a carnal desire or a lure. It was LOVE “ undiluted and pure". But could anybody understand? For it would be Sapna at the receiving end of all the unpleasant and derogatory remarks. For the woman of my dreams was already married. The standards and norms that we set and use as benchmarks for ourselves make us nothing but civilized beasts.

Sapna somehow sensed it. I am sure Bhai, for it always takes two to tango. Somewhere in some corner of her heart she felt the same, the way I did. But I never took it as a healthy sign. For a change I asked my God, not to be generous and kind to me. But Bhai, there has been times and instances when I've put my head and heart on the balance and found my heart on the heavier side. And that's when I slipped. I couldn't hold on to the reins at all. And it didn't matter whether it was right or wrong. It didn't matter if the sun didn't shine the next morning. All that mattered was the moment; it was real; “ the moment when she was lying close to me; the moment when I felt her warm breath on my skin; the moment when our heartbeats were synchronized. The truth.

My love and respect for Sapna is all the same. I can still look straight into her eyes the way I do always. How I wish things were as easy as said!

The cell phone rang and it was Sanjeev. "Where have you been?"he asked.
"I am outside, came down for a smoke. Will be there soon.", I said. I took out some change to pay for my tea “ I drank four cups! Amazing!

As I entered the room I saw the newborn on a cradle next to Sapna's bed. Sapna was still asleep. The tranquilizers were still going strong on her. I carefully lifted the baby in my arms. The baby felt like her mother. Maybe I was holding a part of my flesh; a part of my blood; a part of my love and a part of me. I don't know. I don't want to either. And the baby is too small to bear any or explain her resemblance.

It's only a feeling. Not a guilty one though.

Bhai, I don't want you to curse me. I wanted to confess and that's what I did. And now I know for sure, being honest is not at all a child's play.

Lovingly yours,
Bhai.

Posted by incommunicado 04:19 Archived in India Tagged me people Comments (0)

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