Tag Archives: relationships

A Magical Day

There are days when you just feel good about life. Everything seems to fit perfectly into the grand scheme of life.

On these days, maybe someone tells you about how you add value to their lives, or help them out in tough situations.

Maybe an old friend walks up to you and you go for a cup of coffee or tea together.

Maybe you walk amongst the busy city streets, passing snail-like traffic and tree-lined avenues, the wind blowing your hair.

Maybe you pour your heart out in your writing.

Maybe you decide on a change in life.

Maybe you see a smile on someone else’s face, and you feel happy in their happiness.

These are days when it feels good to be on the face of Earth, even as the industries and cars blow smoke into the air, people die and hearts break. These are days that are just perfect.

Today was one such day.

What is true love?

What is true love? It is loving the same person, the same place all the time? Can two people, who are growing everyday, becoming fuller and truer versions of themselves, always stay in sync of each other’s changes and stay right for each other? Is it unlikely that we outgrow the people that we love, not because they are bad people, but our growth makes us need different things at different points in our lives?

Somewhere, all of us crave for change. We want to do different things, learn different things, eat different things, live differently. However, often, when are standing at the cusp of a change, we draw back. We look hard into ourselves and wonder, is the change even required? We talk ourselves into the thousand things that are going well for us. We think about the people who are in our lives, the memories we have made with them. We think about the things that we are so used to using. We remember the usual roads that we take, the convenience of the neighborhood that we live in.

Interestingly, when we are far away from change, we nitpick and find faults with our current existence: we complain about how the apartment we are living in is not cool enough, how we have to deal with too much traffic in the cities that we live in, how the people around us are difficult. But standing at the cusp of change, those same things feel wonderful, comfortable, and loving.

For almost three years now, I have been living in the same apartment, working in the same job. I had always told myself that I wanted to travel, live in another country. Now, when the situation is finally presenting itself to me (not the foreign travel, just yet), I am feeling a sense of lethargy. I just want to lie with my face hidden in my soft pillow and wish things could go on in the same manner for the remainder of my life. I wish I was still working with the people I first met when I joined my workplace – so very few of them are now left in the workplace.

But that’s the thing – even if we wished for things to stay the same, they won’t. There was a time when people lived the same lifestyle their entire lives, didn’t move around much, didn’t change jobs, lived in the same neighborhood all their lives, became an extended family to the neighbors – cried in their sad times, were happy for their happiness – but the times have changed. People who we want to hold on to leave all the time, and we have to just sit back and accept it. Partly because, today there are so many opportunities. Partly because, today, even as young employees, we can afford so much. People delay their marriages all the time these days, so nobody is tied down by family needs. We all have invisible wings now – we all can fly away and grow roots in a town very different from the ones we grew up in, speak other languages, sing different songs, eat different cuisine.

Yet, standing in this 21st century, my heart does ache from time to time for a time when things were not-so-dynamic – when you could fall in love with one person and could just die happily being married to them, having built a family around them.

Once upon a time, I looked down upon our generation for moving from one relationship to the other, as if relationships really do not have an expiry date. However, having lived a few more years on this Earth, having known a bunch of more people, I realized all relationships have an expiry date. Sometimes, we do outgrow the people we love, sometimes, we grow to dislike the same people who we once loved. It is natural and it is not a bad thing. Change gives us an opportunity to start with a new slate, fix the things that we earlier could not.

But in all this, if we do find those people, those places, who we want to come back to again and again, even after we have ended our relationships, because even if in the short period they do not match our needs, but in the long term we realize the importance of their presence in our lives, I guess, we have found true love.

The Day of St. Valentine

The clock struck twelve a.m. and the first thing that hit my eyes was the wannabe-cute doodle that Google has put up for the day. I mean I love Google (I am in the analytics industry, do I have a choice?). But honestly, I do love Google. I think they are great! I love Google doodles even better! But why do they have to scream Valentine’s from the center of the homepage? I mean what are those birds anyway? Ducks? What’s ducks got to do with love anyway? Oh wait, let me Google it!

<goes to Google home page, screams and returns to WordPress>

God! Now I have to spend the whole day dodging the homepage. Difficulty level: 99999999999!

Anyways, while the lovers break their heads over the shade of red of rose they must get and the shopkeepers buy Mercedes with their sky-rocketed prices, let me spread some love for all the single folks out there! If you are single (like me), here’s some digital love with chocolate sauce for you. Slurppp! Dang, it’s tasty!

I know they don’t celebrate a day for us singles (says something about how the world hates freedom), but guys and gals, if you are single on 14th Feb, 2018, do not shed copious tears. Go buy some popcorn (because why not) and watch some Zakir Khan on YouTube (or Amazon Prime if you can afford it ūüėČ ). I assure you, you will walk away feeling prouder for your single-hood. If anything can get you over a break up in 2018, this guy has to be that person! #HaqSeSingle

Love,

Arpita

P.S: To all couples out there, don’t feel left out. I will have an awesome post for you next year (I hope, I hope, I hope!).

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, FOLKS!

The rains that wash away

The night was dark and grey. The city lights illuminated it, but the luminosity could not reach the depth of the darkness that lay in her heart. She was walking in the rain, the pitter-patter rain that smelled of late monsoon and a ton of irritation.

She was not angry about getting wet. Even though she hated that her feet was soiled with the water from drainage system.

Her heart throbbed faster because she was lost.

She had just gotten out of her office, a steel-grey structure that was impartial to all emotions. Her umbrella was in her hand. Like her, hundreds of other people left the building at the same time, with their deodorant soaked sweaty bodies, each destined to their own destinations.

Her hostel was two kilometres away. She crossed the billboard of a smiling television actor, with a skin so smooth that she ended up feeling her own skin for the acne. She expected the familiarity of the paan shop right after the billboard. Only, today it wasn’t there.

The road was still filled with mindless traffic, whistles blowing and curses being yelled. The dirty water came rushing at her feet, her trousers.

Her eyes widened and blurred as she saw the unfamiliar buildings around her: a grey-yellow two-story house, a small tin-roofed hut. Where were the tall apartment buildings that lined the road to her flat?

The sound of the rain increased as she crossed a dank pond filled with water hyacinth. She had never known any pond in this direction.

Her hands trembled as she looked at her phone. It read the date correctly. She had not teleported into another century, another city. She searched her contacts for a number. A face popped up on her screen. Quickly, she rubbed out the face from her screen and dialed her mother’s number. The phone rang two times before her mother picked.

“You reached home?” her mother said, amid the buzz of some curry cooking on the oven.

“Yes, I’m walking back.” Her voice was heavy with emotion. Her eyelids were drooping with the heaviness of tears.

“I’ll call you when I reach,” she said, quickly, before her mother could ask more questions. She could not do this anymore.

She had walked into a park. There was a lone cement bench, glistening with rain water, illuminated by a yellow lamp overhead. There was a darkness above it that came from the trees. She walked up to the bench and sat over there. Her umbrella fell from her hand. The bottom of her dress got wet. The tears came pounding from her chest and knocked the breath out of her.

Lost, so lost.

Some years ago, there was a bench like this, in another city, in another park. A man and a woman ate roasted peanuts from a single paper bag. Her head was on his shoulder. It was all water under the bridge now.

She clutched her stomach to stop the pain. The liquid in her belly swarmed up, up, up and came gushing from her mouth. It tasted like rotten worms and failure.

She was too tired to think. So she lied down on the bench. The rain kept falling. The vomit washed away. She waited for the heaviness on her heart to abate.

In a different corner of the park, life went on, as a snake gobbled a frog and passers-by crossed them, without knowing that one less life breathed in this universe.

(c) 2017 Arpita Pramanick

 

Getting back on track – Part 1

For close to 8 months now, I have been struggling with mild depression. I had been going through a rough relationship patch, work life was hectic and there was little that I had been doing besides worrying about how stale my life was.

I have tried to pull back from that state: in January, I went to Pondicherry with some friends, in February bought my parents a new washing machine, in April I was taking part in NaNoWriMo and won it. Some of these things made me happy. But only marginally.

My work is usually hectic. Until the timings change happened (1-10 PM IST), I used to rush to office at around 9.30 AM and come back around 10.30 PM. All my day seemed to be consumed in that. After I returned from work, I refused to go to sleep right away – because I wanted to think about something other than my work. So I watched something or the other on my phone. This resulted in a vicious cycle wherein I slept late and woke up tired and rushed to kitchen to make lunch and then rushed to office to take an on-site call. I was angry at myself, then I was angry at my teammates for not being on time at work. I was throwing tantrums. Basically, it was all going downhill.

When I came to Bangalore in the last half of 2015, I didn’t imagine that two years down the line I would be writing this post. Back in the day, my only worry was to find a place to stay at a reasonable price and start to pay off the student loan and do it consistently. Thankfully, I have been able to do that. I also helped out a lot with things at home (financially). These made me happy, but perhaps not enough.

The only root cause that made me so weak is my relationship, it consumed my entire being. I was heavily invested in this relationship – had planned out what the future could be. When you are far away from your loved ones, you often miss the void that distance creates between you. You fail to see the fissures and cracks that are created everyday. One day, suddenly, you wake up to see the deep chasm and wonder how did you ever get there.

This is what happened to me. The person in concern stopped communicating to me entirely. He was active on his social media and I am sure in every other aspect of his life, but I simply could not get him to talk to me.

We spoke on and off – ever enough to convince me that the cracks were getting repaired. I feigned an imaginary break up, hoping it would make him notice. It didn’t.

I think we are too broken.

Meanwhile, I was sleeping even late, waking up around 10 AM and then hurrying to get ready for office. You’d think that the timing change at office would promote some good things back at home. Instead, things were as worse as they could perhaps get.

As I write this today, I am still not out of the depressed phase. But I am perhaps at a point in time when things are starting to look better. I spoke about the issues in my life to plenty of people (even had a mild breakdown at office), spoke to a cousin who I had not interacted in years. Talking about it helped. I was trying to hold onto any new tactic that I could find from people, to mend my broken life.

Today, I am consciously trying to change some things in life:

  1. No matter what happens, get to bed by 12: Haven’t ¬†been entirely successful every day in this, but my bed time has definitely improved
  2. Wake up early: around 8-8.30ish for the last few days
  3. Do half an hour of yoga and meditation
  4. Not skip breakfast – With the help of my cousin, I am trying out multiple changes to my breakfast (Earlier, because of waking up early, I was missing it entirely or making do with the 12 PM brunch)
  5. Meet with people on weekends – Keep busy

These are simple changes, but at first they were hard to implement. Now, I am easing into it. It helps that I had always been a disciplined kid – always waking up early in the morning. In fact, that I was not waking up early was what was frustrating me the most, as if I was dealing with my depression by staying in bed)

I have been doing this only for 3 days now, but there’s already a positive feedback that I can feel. I am looking forward to waking up every morning, to experience something new. I still need to decide how to fill my morning space.

If you have been reading this far, thank you! Depression is not an easy thing to deal with. It takes strong willpower to get anywhere. I will be posting more on this space, as I deal with everyday life and return to being the person I used to be. Until then, thanks for being part of my journey!

‚̧

 

Why relationships are so crucial?

As a kid, my parents dictated who I made friends with. They were not very enthusiastic about me going out with friends. I used to play in the neighborhood playground until a certain age. At any rate, girls my age were few in number and the boys were always playing cricket, so as I grew up I started to stay indoors. I believe that is what ruined my ability to form relationships.

At school, I was close to couple of people. We used to play, talk, laugh, have fun. Those were simple days. Then after tenth standard examinations, I went to a different, all-girls’ school. The next two years were a busy time, when everyone was preparing for entrance examinations to different colleges. Nobody had the time to sit around and chat. I also lost contact with my previous school friends. As a result, I became more and more isolated.

In college again, I made some friends, but by this time around, I had learnt not to depend on anyone. I was independent and could manage most things myself. This gave me a false sense of relationships not being important. I thought relationships were overrated. I did have a boyfriend for major part of college, but there was never any need in that relationship.

From what I have seen so far, relationships thrive on need. Two people could be independent, great when they are single, but there has to be something that they see in each other through which they bond and become dependent on each other. Unless there is a sense of need, the relationship becomes fragile and once you put some distance, it breaks.

Trust me, I do not like drama in a relationship. I am not someone who likes to call up every five minutes to check on anyone. I enjoy having meaningful conversations ranging from stars in the sky to incredible progress of science and technology that is enabling to write this post. However, in my quest of being independent, I never learnt how to feel need for a person.

Two years into work life, isolated from my family, out of any romantic relationship, I realize how lonely it is to not have anyone to discuss your day with. Maybe, everyday you do not need to talk about stars in the sky or marvels of technology. Maybe, some days are about bitching about work and being pissed off and being able to share that with someone. But for someone who never learnt how to depend, how do I trust anyone with the crumbles of my heart?

Until later.

‚̧

Day 16: Camp NaNo (April)

Lots happened since the last post, not just in terms of writing, but my personal life as well.

Today was Day 16 of Camp NaNo. Sometime this week, I upped my NaNo goal from 25K to 50K. Unlike NaNo in Nov ’15, I find myself much more disciplined this year. I have been writing almost daily and have mostly¬†been ahead of my daily goal. I try to get a lot of the writing done on the weekends – because the weekdays are too unpredictable.

Thankfully, I have managed to write for about 30 minutes after lunch during work days as well. I think of it like an extended lunch break. At any rate, I do not have much of a life outside of work, so the writing bit keeps me sane.

I am currently at 32K words, pretty close to my target of 50K (yes, having written 32K, 18K feels like a cakewalk). So far, I am proud of what I have achieved in terms of my current project. I have never been this far into any novel. I am almost halfway through the story of Sukriti – a housewife whose husband is alcoholic and whose young daughter blames her for everything that is wrong in the family. The second part of the book will be from the daughter’s POV. For some reason, I feel writing the daughter’s POV is going to be more challenging for me that the mother’s. Somehow, inside my head, I can feel Sukriti, understand her motives. I do not know yet if I understand her daughter, Maya, so well.

I have to outline her side of the story soon, because I see myself reaching the finish line with the mother’s POV soon. And unless I have a plan for the daughter’s POV, I am going to be stuck and the word count will suffer.

On the personal front, I have been going through some tough times. Had to take a hard decision in terms of relationships this week. So far, I stand by my decision and I hope that I will see myself through it.  I need some big changes in my life right now.

Thankfully, I spoke to a lot of people this weekend, which helped me keep my mind off the immediate worries. I spoke to a lot of people who I had not spoken in a long, long time. So that way, good things are happening.

When I was younger, I was okay with loneliness. I even cherished the silence around me. I cherish it now as well. But as I move into my twenties, I realize that I am craving relationships and support more. I feel the need to connect to people, speak to them and be in touch.

Hopefully, I will be at a better place by the end of this year – have some clarity in terms of what I want to do with my life.

What’s up at your end? Did you visit some new place this weekend? Tried out some new dish? Share with me bits and pieces of your life in the Comments below. Like I said, it feels great to be connected.