Thursday, 21 July 2011

Dead . Calm .

It’s not that I have never been in doubt before. I have doubted myself, I have doubted the people around me, I have doubted God. I have doubted the world, and its people, and their actions. I have doubted the purpose of existence. I have doubted everything until all seemed to curl up like the dot beneath the question mark. I have lived with doubt long enough to lose my dread of it. Doubt doesn’t scare me anymore. At least not much, anyway.

Anger doesn’t scare me either. I have been so angry that I could have killed those around me. . I have been angry enough to get into fights.  I have felt angry enough to destroy the world. Or perhaps destroy myself. But I know my anger doesn’t last long. One flash, and then gone. I can forgive my enemies, even if I don’t forget them. I am not afraid of anger.

I haven’t been much scared in the time I have been around. I have taken on things with a juvenile audacity, and sometimes naivety. Que Sera Sera have always tided me through.

But I am scared now. Not because of doubt, or anger or sadness or any of those things. But rather of the lack of the aforesaid. I am almost not angry anymore. I accept more than I doubt. And most of all, I am afraid that I am not crazy any more. I am not mad at the world or at myself.

They said this would be the best. That when you stop bothering, you will be safe. But that is not me. To be safe, to be calm. That is not me. I want to cry, to rage about. I want to question. I want to go down fighting. Good or bad, I still want to care. I want to dream. I want to tear down the walls that enclose. I want to break the lines that conform.  

I can take the punishment of seeing my dreams being broken, a hundred times over. I can take the challenge of starting over, every single time. I can take the ridicule of my peers and admonishment of my elders. I can take the burden of fighting a lost war to stand up for what I believe in. But I cannot take this darkness. I cannot take this tiredness, this hopelessness, that threatens to overwhelm me. I cannot take this calm.

Because as long as I am angry, or doubtful, or cynical, or hurting, I know I will make it through. And right now, I am scared. That I might not.

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Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Bitter Homecoming

Homecomings aren’t always as rosy as the movies paint them to be. “The greatest journeys are those that bring us home”, went the tagline of a movie I had seen a few years back. True, I know of homecomings that totally justify it. But then again, I also know of the other kind of homecomings.

I left my home of 14 years in defiance of the wishes of almost every person I know and love. I went to a college 3000kms away. Single child of my parents, it was tough to leave. My best friends all decided to make their futures in the city where we had grown up together. In a class of 150, I was one of the five or six people who decided to fly the nest. But I had my reasons, and I stuck to my guns. Even though it meant tearing myself apart.

But I still come back twice a year. Comeback to everything that had sent me away in the first place. It’s almost funny, in a twisted, sadistic kind of a way. 

Here’s the thing. I like coming back. And I hate coming back.

I will be honest.
There are lots of good things. I have always been a well-loved person. And I am still welcomed back with open arms, by friends and family alike. It feels good to know that I am missed at least by a few people. Truth be told, I miss my people too, specially the kids. Who doesn’t? 
And I love the city. For better or for worse, it is an indelible part of me. Anyone who has been to Calcutta for a single day will agree that for all its drawbacks, it still is a very different metro. And I am fiercely proud to be a part of it. Maybe it’s a different story that I find it claustrophobic. The people, the ideas, the buildings, the apathy. It all makes me retch mentally.

I don’t think I ever got it right. The entire “man is a social animal” thing. While I was never a disappointment to my parents, I haven’t exactly been the dutiful daughter too. I have taken a lot of shit from a lot of people. I have messed up things with my friends countless times. I was a lousy girlfriend. I haven’t been of mortal use to anyone till now. I never really ‘belonged’. When I left, my 17 year old naivety convinced me that a new place would mean a fresh start, new people and perhaps I would go better this time. Now when I come back, my 19 year old experience tells me that people don’t change, only the faces and names do. And the new start is an Utopian dream that only a lucky few achieve.

For me, to come home is to be reminded of all that I have failed at, of all that I love and cannot have, of broken dreams and disillusionment, of that torturous feeling of being torn between love and hate.

I learnt long back a harsh truth of the world. That wishes don’t come true, and no matter how many shooting stars you whisper upon, you are wasting your breath. Perhaps all I need now is someone who can tell me otherwise. Because I need to make a wish. I need to wish that one day, I can call a place home, in the bestest sense of the term, without anything of past and future to haunt me. I want to be free. I want to belong. I want to come home.

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