Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Will miss you...always.

1977 - 2013
As I rubbed my fingers on your face, everything was numb. My fingers, your face, our heart beat, even my emotions for you. Everything was dead. Just as you were. 

After sharing 15 years of life with you, it was not easy to let you go. Neither in life, nor in death. Filing divorce was as painful. It hurt almost the same. You were gone already in life, leaving us in death at this juncture was cruel. 

This struggle of living the last two years alone, and the effort of trying to be independent and reasonably stable, suddenly suffered a blow. It felt like someone had hit my back bone with a hammer. The strength, the confidence, the faith, all of it was crashing right there in front of my eyes. I wanted to win this battle with you, you defeated me with your death.

This life was unfair. We met, we loved, but we could not co-exist. I warned you. The day you crossed the road without me, I stopped you. I was in panic when you drifted from life. I was scared when I saw you crash. I wanted to hold your hand, you were already headed out for the unknown destruction. 

I could not stop you, I could not change you. Deserting you was not an option, but a decision to keep Maulik away from the misery of a deranged home. While you were gone, there were challenges thrown in every day. The rooms had gone silent, the bed was lonely, the balcony held nothing but gloom. 

In the middle of all of this, I was building life for Me and Maulik. We were taking small steps everyday, holding each other as close as we could. I was emerging stronger, he was growing smarter. In this parallel world, we were trying to create a small happy family. As much as I used to miss Papa in my struggle every day, I would miss you in his moments of achievement.

In death today, you took away a lot of me with you. There was love in holding you all these years, but there was even more love in letting you go to a better world. While I forgive you for not being around in smiles and sorrows, I regret not being around when you went away. 

I loved you. I always will. And as you transition into a different form, I join hands and say sorry. Life could not hold us together. In death, I shall meet you one day.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Papa, I miss you like a little girl!

Call me a pessimist, a cribber, or a negative soul. But I keep recapping and reviving pain from the past because it makes me stronger and better.

3 years back, on this date, Papa left me forever. But I know he has been helping me in creating this little world around me where I feel more secure and protected. When I think about this day, I cry. But at the same time, I know he is smiling up there, looking at me trying to befriend life.

People often come up and say, ‘let bygones be bygones’ or ‘why do you sound unhappy on twitter’. Some even say, ‘Forget things, people, and unpleasant situations and move on’. But I perpetually refuse. The past was my journey and so is my present. It is because of the deeper understanding of my experiences that I have been able to evolve. It is the insight into why I failed, that has helped me in developing a coping mechanism for myself which works rather beautifully. There are chapters which I have secretly written down, and in each of those weak moments, I know exactly which chapter I need to refer to. It is a better situation because my life is writing its own reference book.

As a result of all this balancing action inside, there is often an uproar outside. The uproar is visible, the chaos inside is not. So while there are many who only see the externally anxious me, they fail to appreciate the incredibly balanced me inside. The aggression and angst in me is not my disgust against anyone, it is just some of those fumes from inside that I let go. But trust me, this surreal balance that I manage to keep inside, gives me enough strength and the attitude to move on.

None of it was easy, but it was Papa’s upbringing and essence that kept me moving in this journey. It is his value system which sort of helps me to hold on to my belief and strength. As much as I know he has always been around, I miss him. I wanted him to hug me and appreciate. I wanted him to tell me he is proud seeing me complete some of his unfinished tasks. I wanted him to live. But within me, I shall never let him die.

Monday, January 7, 2013

People, yeah thank you!

This was less than two months after papa passed away, and mom was still struggling to recover from her injuries. One night, as I was lying all alone in the hospital room, brutally tortured, badly pained, and just about to lose hope, I decided to change life for good. I decided to take charge.

I remember looking at Maulik the night before I filed my papers. I remember the day I went to the court room, all alone. I wanted to sort it all, but with each passing day, life was becoming more complicated. I was insecure, unsure, and totally confused of where it was all going.

Life was struggling between trying to live without papa, the court case, getting used to single parenting, and also a mind which was apparently, losing balance. ‘You need a shrink’ people would advise. Family was sympathetic, and more. There was simmering pain inside, there were visual injuries outside – this was not a turn of life that I had ever expected.

And then there were these lessons that changed the way I was looking at life. The ‘what ifs’ of life suddenly became ‘what is’. I was learning to dismiss the ‘why me’ question that was haunting me. I was learning to spell DETACH and was able to exercise that into my life. The past was becoming weaker, and my determination was making me stronger.

In the dynamics of life, I never realized how I rediscovered self - confidence. had been feeling stronger but the pain was trying to pull me down. At this point, there were many people (from work, twitter, and life) who helped me in their own way to help me stand tall. The people who could move the mountain of apprehensions and fear in me aside just by telling me all that I needed to hear the most. I would not put names to the all those who have build a special relation by just being there, I would not even use a small word of thanks to acknowledge their contribution, but as long as I live, I will be indebted to these people and will make sure that I never let them down for the investment they have made in me. 

Yes, I am blessed. And as my struggle to re-discover myself and my search for quintessence in life continues, I just hope they stay close.

Friday, December 14, 2012

And the legal war began...

Kuch is tarah suljhaane chali zindagi ko, ulajh ke reh gaye armaan kahin par

May, 2011

The day I submitted my first application in the women’s cell against cruelty by my husband and in-laws, a new journey had begun. Rocky roads, uneven path, no lights in sight, and unknown milestones. I knew this journey will not be pleasant, and the road would be extremely tough. But by then I had tasted the dream of liberation, respect, happiness and the best of life for Maulik. And I needed all of this. For once in life, I became greedy.

There was always a sense of fear when I used to enter the court premises. The very first day had been the worst ever. Twice, while reciting my story, I broke down. My strong determination and will seemed to ditch me everytime. They hurled abuses, called me names, and tried to rein my psyche, just like they did for the nine years I called them family. But this was a different me, alone but stronger, polite but aggressive, easy but determined. They had never seen this side of me. Neither had I.

July, 2011

By the second hearing, I knew they would have an uglier script for me.The feeling of nakedness did not go down. The dirty corridors, the paan smeared corners, the broken benches, and off course the people – everyone seemed to be looking at me, laughing at me for living through hell all these years. Are you seeing someone now? Do you plan to settle abroad? Do you plan to marry soon? No one can ever to understand why I took 9 long years to react. And we had no answer. Neither me, nor the little plants in my balcony who have heard me crying, talking to myself, cursing myself, and then empathizing. 

While they thought that this pressure was taking me down, they did not realize that I was getting more prepared to bounce. The pain was no less, but I was getting much better each day to handle it all. I was not just burning in pain, I was getting stronger.

March, 2012 
The four sessions at the women’s cell brought me to a different level of hatred and disgust. My tears have vengeance now, and they will never be able to escape. When I started this war, I just wanted to move out. But while all this was on, I have decided much more for these people I had given my nine years to. 

From sending the local cops to scare me, to asking senior IAS officers to ignore my complaints, to forcing me to compromise for the sake of my family - they tried it all. They forgot that they were fighting with not just me, but the immense strength which Papa left behind for me. They had to lose, and they are losing. 

They have money and power but I have I perseverance to pull anything through. Their gift of a scar on my forehead will always keep the fire in me burning. If I could respect them all these years and survive their brutalities, I know I can do anything. And the time to do it all has come.  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Maulik, mom loves you!

The most wonderful thing in life is to see your kids grow up. The way they observe, talk, walk, eat – everything is so dynamic and you can never match the speed.

Maulik is a sensitive kid. He saw us when papa passed away and without saying or asking much, was an integral part of our cynical life. He would say things that we never expected from a 5 year old.

His concern towards naani, the video he shot for her when she was in the hospital, his attempt to avoid any conversation around an accident, his saying sorry to the stars (naanu as he would call one of them) one day when he misbehaved with naani – all of it is saying the unsaid pain and anxiety in him. The day he met mom in the hospital, he was quick to say, ‘chalo achha hai naani God ke paas nahi ja rahi’.

Today, everyone talks about Maulik turning a naughty kid, naughtier than what he was an year back. I scold him, scream at him and fail to straighten him. But somehow, deep within I can see my failure in his behavior. For almost 6 months after papa passed away, I was never with him. He spent his days either with cousins, friends or neighbors, but never with me. He wandered on his journey from the age of 5 to 6, the very crucial years of his life, and I was busy with my own self, trying to gain strength to overcome the blows of life. In the process – I clearly ignored him.

While all of us complain about his behavior, I can see through him when he is sleeping next to me, sliding his hands in my t-shirt. I have failed enormous times in asking someone else to drop him at the bus stop so that I do not miss my cab. But I eventually miss it everyday. ‘Mom will drop me’ he would maintain. He even threatened to quit school if I cannot drop him to the bus stop. Countless discussions and here’s the final verdict with moisture in the eyes – ‘aap soft soft meri jaan ho, aur koi itna pyaara nahi and so I will not go with anyone else’. Speechless I was.

I have spent the entire year cribbing and complaining, cursing God for taking away so much from me. Someone who was always there, someone who, I feel is much more precious than anything I could ever deserve - Maulik, meaning precious.

Maulik, I am seeing the sensitive little fool in you. The mature mind who gets fidgety the moment he senses gloom in the house. I am sorry if I ignored you somewhere, and I promise to make life better and this world more beautiful for you.