Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The return.

The date of my last entry tells me it has been one year and 5 days since I have posted anything. That does not mean that I was not writing but I guess I just was not posting anything. Today while I was reading some old things that I had written I figured that this particular post made a lot of sense and I wanted to post it. It's a few months old but it's still true.

Happy Anniversary.

It’s the 5th of july – nearly a year since I’ve been in America. Nearly a year since I went back home. To say I miss home is of course to state the obvious. I miss home and I miss my family. I miss my friends, I miss the familiarity and the comfort that comes from being at home with loved ones. Or just being at home and not doing anything. A sense of belonging.

This year has been one hell of a journey. When I go home I know for sure that it won’t be the same girl going home. I feel more mature, more grown up, more independent and I don’t know if I’m happy about all of that. I don’t know if I’m comfortable with being all grown up and mature. The independence I like, I enjoy. Just enough independence to return back home whenever I feel like. Met some amazing people and done some amazing and not-so-amazing things. Some of the things I’ve done have made me real proud and the others have made me want to puke – literally and figuratively.

In this one year my life has changed from kilograms to pounds (and I’ve gained quite a few of them), from Celsius to Fahrenheit, from rupee to dollar. Found a new family and learnt to love them with all my heart and appreciate how much they do for me. I have realised the strength of family and the value of people. I have learnt to love my friends who are far away from me and also grown to love new ones, near and far.

Some dates have fallen off the calendar while others have gained new meaning. I have lost some people and will return never to see them again – and that causes a deep ache in my heart. I don’t think I have allowed myself to grieve for them because there are certain people in life that no matter the time or distance – you are just never ready to believe they are gone. In the past two years I have lost some very near and dear ones. Some I have come to accept and some I have not. Some I think of every night and realise anew that they are gone. Some I keep close to my heart and think of them when I find myself alone. But then there are some who you think you will definitely see when you return and it’s losing them that tears the soul apart.

The day of my graduation – one of the happiest moments of this year I came home and learnt that my grandfather had passed away – suddenly and peacefully. And just when I read that message it was as if I could hear his voice call out my name and see him walking towards me with his broad smile and open arms. I could see him get all worked up and insist on going and getting me something to eat from the shop nearby. When you leave for a long time away from family – there are certain people who you know that are going to be there when you return. And when you return to an empty chair and see your grandmother in white there are just no words to describe the heart break.

Friends and ex-lovers have acquired increased and diminished significance in my life. Friends- some I have left behind and the ones who matter I carry them with me in my heart. Ex-lovers – they lose their priority in life – at least in my life. I have come to realise that it’s not them that I miss particularly but the feeling that I miss. It’s not as if I crave for them or feel like reaching out to them – frankly I have nothing to say to them – but I do miss the closeness. Some were friends and I do miss them particularly. But yes they seemed to have lost their importance in my moments of melancholy, self-pity and even my dreams seem to have rejected them.

Friday, 7 November 2008


It’s the weirdest feeling. I don’t know how to explain it – PMS or the huge tub of popcorn topped with heaps of butter. Maybe both, maybe neither. It’s just this restless feeling that you feel in your fingers even though it’s your feet that want to take off.
I want something, I want to do something, I want to be somewhere. I don’t know where, what and why.
Could it be homesickness? Could it be too much of popcorn? Could it be boredom, stress, anxiety?
So let me tell you how I feel and then maybe you could prescribe something. I look around I just know that this is not where I want to be right now. I think about tomorrow and I know that I don’t want to do what I am going to do. I don’t want to be sitting here and writing this – I want to go out but I don’t know where to go. My heart is beating fast, my fingers have this weird feeling, my tummy also feels strange. Flu, indigestion, heart attack?
All I want to do is be up in the mountains, with a cup of hot chocolate, sitting by the window with a book to read and some warmth. Does that make me insane? Does that make me sound pretentious? Does that sound too girlie?
I just want to be with a friend and not talk, just sit, just be. I just want to take a slight peep into my future to see if there is a ‘happily after all’ ending. I don’t want to know everything, but like a good book, read the ending first. I just want to take a stroll down the beach with someone and not feel the need to talk, not feel the need to hold hands, not feel the need to impress, not feel the need to breathe.
I don’t want to feel the need to rush, the need to hurry, the need to think ahead, the need to plan ahead. I just want to be.
I don’t want to be within these four walls, within any four walls. I just want to hold Mammai’s hand and be. I just want to kneel beside her bed and not leave and make sure that she doesn’t leave. I want to feel the peace and the nothingness that I felt that 25th December.
I don’t want to turn back time or go forward in time. I want to stand still and feel the cold autumn wind on my face, the red autumn leaves rushing towards my feet.
It’s not peace that I’m looking for and it’s not love that I seek. I’m not running away from something and I have no destination that I want to run to. There is no one person that I long for and there is no one person I miss.
I want to feel like a pack of cards being shuffled and I want to be put down on the table and just be. I don’t feel like hiding from the world and I don’t feel like burying my head in the ground. I want to open my eyes and see. I want to feel, I want to hear. I don’t want to be invisible and yet I don’t want anyone to see me.

I don’t want to sound pretentious and stupid and yet I know that this is exactly how it sounds.

Maybe on a better day and a better time I will not feel this way and then I will come up with something smart and write about how the world is changing at every step and how I feel that I am being caught up in the whirlwind of history and like in a twister don’t know where I am going to land.

Maybe someday I will.

Monday, 19 May 2008

The Final Farewell

So, today the remaining two left. I had thought that this was going to be the toughest farewell and that I will be a mess at the airport and that I would be renamed Waterworks Inc. But surprisingly, I didn’t shed a single tear. I got misty-eyed and all for a while but then before I knew it they were inside and I was on my way home. It was my heart that was really aching as I hugged them and said ‘goodbye’. It was a blur, I was in a daze, I could not believe that they were actually going, and I think I am still in denial.

There were lots of people to see them off and I felt that they had more of a right to feel sad and cry perhaps and somehow I felt it was not my place to cry in front of family. Somewhat like family had more of a right over my friends and that my crying would seem out of place and fake and drama queen-ish. Every now and then over the past few days the thought of standing at the airport and having to say bye to these two has resulted in a certain ache in the heart which I just cannot explain. But standing there as they left, I didn’t even look back or wait till they had gone inside. I just walked away. This was so not me. Trust me if you know me you know that I suck at farewells. I cry like a baby, my nose runs, my eyes turn red and I look a wreck. But strangely after this farewell, forget a runny nose, my kajal was still intact! This was the most unnatural farewell ever for me. It was so incomplete, not to say that crying makes it more complete. I think I am still in denial. I think that they are still in town and that in the evening one of us will call and we’ll all end up meeting in Oly at 6:00 and stay there till 10:00 and by then we would have become a larger group, and then head to SPE and then be too buzzed to go back home and so we would drink some more to sober up and then crash at either of our houses and be up till 3 talking and watching TV.

Yup definitely still in denial.

Anyway, this was the last of the goodbyes to college friends. As we were waiting for the car to come, we were standing outside the arrival terminal, which was particularly painful. Somehow the arrival terminal seems to shout out ‘Back Home’, which was exactly opposite of what I was feeling at that moment. I just wanted to run away somewhere. Be anywhere but there and then I turn around and see smiling people coming out of the airport with the look of having come home written all over their faces.

Now all of my friends are all over the country, all about to begin work, all about to earn big money, all about to become corporate whores. And I am left back in this city. This city, which I have grown to love and grown to know only through my friends and only with my friends. I don’t know how to live here without them. I don’t know how I did live here 5 years ago. Back then things were different I suppose. Back then I made good with only 1 person and a few school friends all of whom have also left this city. Did I tell you how much I hated to be the one left behind? I think I did in a previous post of mine: P

I remember S telling me nearly 3 years ago when someone I loved was leaving ‘Everyone has to go, no one stays forever. Today he’s going, and someday I will have to leave also’. Back then March 2008 seemed so far away, I just dismissed what she had said like it was an impossibility, something that could never happen. But today as I sit at home, in my city all alone, with nowhere to go and no one to go to I know this to be true. I also know that I too will leave soon and hopefully go on to make friends in another world, but none as special, none as dear, none as loved, and none but none that can ever, ever replace them.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Sometimes all it takes is a sip to get intoxicated; sometimes all it takes is a moment to push you over the edge. Sometimes all it takes is a day to get cleaned up and sometimes all it takes is a tear to drown you. Sometimes reason isn’t enough to pull you through, sometimes you can’t find meaning in anything that takes place. Sometimes there isn’t a reason behind everything. Sometimes the reason is best left unsaid. Sometimes the words just flow; sometimes they just come to the mind and get lost in your blood. Sometimes the water trickles down, and sometimes it dries you up from inside. Sometimes you feel the loneliest amidst a crowd and saddest when you laugh. Sometimes it pays when you look beyond those eyes and delve into them just to see whether they really blink or not. Sometimes it feels good just to stare at the wall and feel as if you have found the best listener ever. Sometimes talking to God is just so easy because he doesn’t talk back and neither does he give advice, he just listens and hears me out.

There isn’t always the right moment or the right thing to say. Sometimes the words just flow, the tears just pour, the heart just stops, the dreams just break. Sometimes love isn’t enough, even lots of it and sometimes the hurt and the tears aren’t enough, even lots of it. Sometimes you just have to wait till the end for it all to be over. Sometimes all it takes is that first step for it all to end.

There isn’t always a reason why things are the way they are. There isn’t always someone to blame. There always isn’t a shoulder to rest on. Sometimes even the closest of friends just let you down and strangers lead you home. Sometimes all it takes is a song, a poem, a lifetime to move on. Sometimes all it takes is the truth.

Friday, 11 January 2008


I had the most magical evening yesterday. It was a moment straight out of the movies.

I had gone to the club wit ma to grab an early dinner. And there he was. Cute boy with slight curly hair, fuck awesome jaw line and a hell of a Brit accent. He was sitting at a table opposite ours with his grandparents. And the funniest thing happened. Every time I looked up to look at him, I would see him looking at me. So there we were both of us trying to have a nice family time with mom, and grandparents respectively and stealing glances at each other. I have never had such an experience. I swear there were sparks. Well not exactly sparks but u know it was a kind moment – the moment when u are trying to light the phulhjahri with the candle and you’re holding it to the flame. Initially there are slight sparks and it’s just about to start sparkling when the flame dies down. It was a moment like that. There would have been fireworks :P

He was so cute, and I don’t believe he was looking at me also. Every time I looked up to look at him I would find him looking at me and then we would both look away to again steal glances at each other after 5 minutes. But then every magical moment comes to an end and so did this. He went his way and I went mine. I don’t know his name, where he’s from and I don’t think he’s from here. But he was cute and well dressed and well spoken and with his grandparents. How often do you come across some one like that, and that too looking at you?

Anyway it was a nice moment, a nice evening and made for some nice daydreaming. I swear if I had been with my friends, this story would have had a different end :P

Thursday, 25 October 2007

the (in)humanity of it all

I was just going through few Somalian files in office (UNHCR) and my eyes are really tired from reading so much. On an average I have to go through at least 10 files everyday. And I have been dealing with Somalian cases for the past week. In fact 1 file is open and in front of me.
A thought just passed my mind when I was reading the file – “why does his life story have to be so big and complicated. Why couldn’t it have been short and simple like he got tortured, someone from his family got raped/killed and then he had no money no food and thus he somehow fled to India and now wants refugee status?”
I know – what the hell was that all about? I assure I am not this mean normally.

Just the other day something similar happened at work. 2 of my colleagues were having a discussion on how they want to get a ‘happy refugee’ to interview. And I remember thinking that how can one say such a thing casually working in a humanitarian agency?
It’s just that – working in a humanitarian agency makes you like that. It makes you inhumane. What I mean to say is that working in a place like this you come across so many distraught and depressing cases, one more tragic than the other that I think somehow you stop reacting or feeling bad or feeling anything for that matter. It just happens. It does.
So when someone asks you – ‘So how was your case?’, don’t be surprised if you hear ‘Yeah just another 15 year old got raped case, the usual’, or 'the same old family missing, fatally injured unaccompanied minor case'. It is just usual and it is just normal. That is the saddest and the most disturbing thought. You know something somewhere is wrong when rape becomes usual and missing families become normal.

I was so surprised at myself when I thought something like that, I sat up and cleared my head. I had to pause for a while. What did I just say, what just happened? Was working for a humanitarian agency making me inhumane? Does being in this field do this to you? Or is it just me? God that would be terrible.

Anyway gotto go back to yet another case of missing wife and children, lost his hearing due to a rocket attack, sister got raped in front of know the usual.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

A strange echo

There are just some days that you cannot forget.
Every detail of every munite, every second is etched in your memory. It's like a movie which keeps running in your head.

All the moments of that one particular day is in my head. But not the whole day, just till a particular point. And after that it just goes blank.

Her eyes used to light up the moment she used to hear footsteps coming up the stairs, and when we left she used to look so sad, but never too sad - she still had her ego in place.
It's so strange how she used to give so much of solace even though she could not speak or even get out of bed. At my toughest and saddest times I have just gone and sat next to her and held her hand. And she seemed to understand it all. All that I had to say and all that I didn't.

My words are now haunting me. They keep on coming back to me.
'Aami aashbo aabar tomake dekhte, tumi bhalo theko'.
There is no one to go back to now. The only thing which keeps on coming back to me is that a year ago this time she was still there.
And I miss her. I miss her so.

I don't know whether I wish she was still here, cause she was in pain, lots of pain. And I dont mean to be selfish. It's just that her going has left such a vaccuum that its real hard at times. Honestly I never thought that it would be this hard, but it has been far more than that. I always thought that I would be comforted by knowing that at least there is no more pain. But there are days when the movie in your head just refuses to stop.

I can still see her breathe her last, still struggling to live and at that moment I was so taken by all of it I did not know what to do. The nurse said "Step back please and let the soul leave, it's not being able to go with you'll surrounding her like this. Let her go in peace". And we did. We did step back.
I wonder if we hadn't would she still have been with us?

It's almost a year and the strangest part is that what has stayed on with me amongst other things is not the echo of her voice but the echo of my voice telling her 'aami aashbo aabar tomake dekhte, tumi bhalo theko'.
Maybe it's because when I used to tell her this I always used to fear that there won't be a next time and that this was the last time I was seeing her.

And that day, 19th July 2006, it was the last time I saw her and yet it's my voice which still echoes in my head.