Move on

“Move on.”

“I can’t.”




“Because it would be murder. All those memories we painstakingly collected, they will be long forgotten. No, I’d rather smile and cry whenever I remember you and our memories. Some day, the edges of these memories are going to get frayed and dog-eared like a beloved book read again and again. I’d rather our memories too die a natural death. I don’t want them to meet a preemptive end. You move on. You need to. I’m happy here.”

You do not have to like to love

I’ve reached the age where relationships taper. (And before you jump to the conclusion that I’m very old, let me clarify: I’m referring to the late twenties.) Everywhere I look, I see people starting to get out of the phenomenon of ‘groups’ that were formed because of shared experiences in schools, colleges and maybe even workplaces. There’s a transition to a life filed with “your chosen few”. These are people who fulfil different criteria—they stayed by your side all these years; they know you inside out; they don’t judge your whacky behavior and pet peeves, so on and so forth. You get the gist.

These are “your” people. You hold them dear to your heart. Maybe even love them with an intensity that takes you by surprise. (Usually there’s copious amounts of alcohol involved in such cases.)

But every now and then, you go through an evaluation phase, when you wonder if the people you’ve retained in life really do deserve it. Anything could spark such introspection—a mistake, disappointment, or maybe even literature (Internet junk included).

And if you’re even remotely like me, you may go through these dark phases when all you can see is the flaws in people. You recount all the past mistakes, the hurt and the disappointment. You recount the times you gave them more than they deserved, forgetting that you’re equally flawed. It’s akin to a “self pity” trip.

During these phases, you may draw the conclusion that somewhere deep down, you may not actually like the person you hold so dear. That if it weren’t for the shared experiences, that if you were to be introduced to this person afresh, you may not even befriend them. That all that links you two is the past.

I often take this one step further. I wonder if it’s time to leave the past behind and move on. Sometimes, the bitterness can cause chemical changes in your brain structure (not to be taken literally… I’m no scientist, yo!)

And then, a light shines later through the dark hole you’ve dug yourself into. (Insert a clichéd line about how love is the light). You realize that flawed as they may be, and hurt and bitter as you may be, you go back to the default setting of loving them. Unbeknownst to you, your actions to back to the normal, where you look forward to more shared experiences, insipid as they may be. You look forward to having your heart fill with a brand of joy, friendship and love that only they are capable of. And you realize, you do not have to really like a person in their entirety to love them.

Why I don’t celebrate your relationships, bestie

Dear Best Friend,

We are in our 20s, widely considered the marriageable age—at least in India. Most of us have been asked when we plan to get married.

I dread it, you getting married.

We’ve spent years together. I know from memory the shape of your eyes when you are feeling happy, sad, nostalgic, far-away, thoughtful, unsure or plain joyous. I know from memory the way they twinkle. I know from one look how you feel for me. You don’t know I notice all this, like you’re my lover. But I do. And I love every single expression those eyes convey.

I know the nuances in your voice or your silence. I’ve heard you when you had laughter in your voice, and when you tried hard to restrain the sorrow in your tones. I’ve heard everything that falls in the range.

There was this one day I was sitting on the sofa in your living room waiting for you to arrive. And when you did, I heard you first before you walked in, talking in the low tone that is so you. I noticed. It made my heart sing in silent joy.

There was this one time when you were humming—have I told you how much I love your voice? But not everybody sees it so. Some hated it. It disturbed their sleep. And I felt the most putrid kind of hate flow towards them.

But, that’s the way people are—not everyone can appreciate your silent beauty. No, not physical beauty—everybody can do it. I am talking about you—who you are in entirety. The beauty that you are.

And that’s why, in all these years, I always let a silent scream when you introduced a potential partner. I jealously guarded you against any potential invasion. Sometimes, I even cried myself to sleep. I could never see the pure love in their eyes, touch, walk—in their whole body.

And that’s why I dread you getting married. I don’t mind losing you to another person if they are worth it. Not just for the moment or a few short years, but over the long-term.

You see, you are family. And when you get married, it is not just your parents handing you over in your partner’s care. Even I give up my rightful place beside you for your partner. And how can I possibly do so if I do not see them love you like I, a mere friend, do?

I want nothing less for you.

And I dread every moment you settle for less—for a lifetime!

Yours lovingly

The observer, the observed

Today, I saw a line of Chawls spread along the road. I was in the rickshaw, aloof, at a distance, observing.

All along, I could see one story after another passing me by. Hopes, dreams and insecurities littered the street in great numbers.

A few sat on their doorsteps, staring into nothing. Wonder what they were thinking. A few were occupied by human actions. A few kids played with rubber tires. I saw a well-dressed lady amongst the kids, carrying a purse. A social worker? I turned back to check if my sight was right. I missed it as the rickshaw zipped past, with a single focus on its destination.

And then came a new set of crowd, middle-class men and women going about their business of buying plants and flowers from the roadside. A different set of dreams, aspirations, worries and insecurities altogether.

Only a twist of fate placed them in either class. The same fate could’ve swapped their places. The dreams and insecurities, though, would’ve remained the same.



In the film ‘Matrix’, we were told our idea of reality is skewed; it is just an illusion. In a way, it hit the right chords if we take into account the different perspectives of a human mind. Some of these we brush away as figments of imagination; some we celebrate as creativity; some we meditate upon as the ‘inner-eye’ or ‘subconscious’, and some, we tolerate as reality – something we are part of, but is out of our control.

To those who are aware of these, it will feel like there is a constant buzz in your head. Like a desktop window with multiple operations under process.

In reality, at the click of a button, you push one up; prioritize one—albeit temporarily—over the others.

But, what if we did not have this option? What if the default setting was that all these perspectives were constantly at work in non-hibernation mode?

Imagine a world, where you wade through every moment of life across three-four layers. Imagine if your vision was divided into four sectors (vertical or horizontal as you please) – one, where your imagination unfolds, is portraying night time; the one, which deals with creativity, is a mosaic of bright, interchanging colours; the subconscious or inner-eye, a dull throbbing gold, and the reality reflects the normal landscapes that mark your life – like a local train, your workstation, television, etc.

The idea seems, at once, enthralling and perverse. Enthralling, for who would want to not live not one, but four vibrant lives at one, especially in a state of higher awareness and consciousness? But perverse all the same, because it will make you realise how hopeless and powerless reality is; also because, there will come a time when you would want to switch off, for it would simply feel overwhelming, like your brain is about to burst.

I am sure the creative sort of people would relate to this, those who have powerful urges to step out of reality and capture their imagination and thoughts by penning down (or painting). Those whose brains are bursting with too many thoughts and feelings.

Perhaps, this is what we already do unconsciously, though, on a smaller scale. This is why we box sections of our lives into categories, and make sure they are processed in hibernation mode.

Who knows!

To the guy I choose to marry in future

Dear you,

I want you–all of you. I want to look into your eyes when I wake up, every day, every night. I want to lie beside you in bed and snuggle for warmth during winters. I want to feel your sleep-laden arms around me, feeling me up in your dreams. I want you to wake me up in the middle of the night to have your fill of me.

I want you–all of you. I want to know the tiny details of your everyday life. I want to know who told you what, who made you feel what, what you saw on the way to work, and what you thought while you nibbled on the sandwich during lunch. I want you to share every single detail of your life, until it becomes mine. All of it, until it fills me up–my body, soul and mind. And I want you to fill the spaces between my fingers, and permeate every hollow in my body–the space between skin and flesh, blood and bone; even the very space between skin pores.

I want the security of your arm as my blanket. And I want the freedom of our travels. I want to feel the smooth skin and sooty smell of your body against mine. And I want to feel your lashes blink against my cheeks as you fall asleep.

All this and more, until your life becomes mine, and mine yours.

I want to carry the warm, invisible stamp on me–the mark that says I am a taken woman, owned in entirety. That I’m a woman conquered.

A woman who finally, willingly chose to admit defeat and surrendered her life at the feet of happiness, of domesticity without having given up her wings. That I’ve been touched so deeply, that no other touch matters.

Dear you, I want to love you until you’re my sun, my sin, and my heaven. And I want you to love me back. I want you to smile into my eyes and laugh at my jokes, poor as they may be. I want you to share your dreams and your fears, your likes and your dislikes, the things that you love and those that fill you with awe. And I want to take those and make them mine, until I practically see the world through your eyes.

You see, I was once a woman who kept a part untouched, hidden away from the world. I was once a woman who sought to hide in frivolous flings, uncaring and distant. I was a woman who didn’t appreciate the full intensity of love. I once ran away from all this.

Not anymore. Not with you.

Today, I want to give you my all, and more. Today, I want to be with you. Today, I am combustible, and only you know how to light me up. Today, I am yours. Today, I am you.