Actually, I have been quite at peace with the way things have been progressing of late. There is a staid dullness to the proceedings, with the (dis?)pleasures of a predictable routine that shines through each passing day. But I am not one to complain, since there is not much by means of things going wrong and that is a luxury in times like these. Each day is nothing but a name and a number that changes on the calendar; nothing is lost, nor is anything gained.
There is, though, a lot going wrong around me. Elderly people becoming frailer and more insecure than what they ever were, ghastly accidents, best laid plans going awry, best of intentions bringing forth the worst of results, differing degrees of chaos and little instances and incidents that I choose to turn my head away from, rather than observe, analyse and worry over endlessly. If I were not fully awake, I could have even mistaken it for sleep walking.
There is something new in all this about me – an enhanced degree of selfishness that I have gotten quite comfortable with. I have worn it like a tight jacket around me; tight enough to keep me comfortably isolated, but not tight enough to cause me discomfort. If I had known these splendid virtues of selfishness earlier, I would have willingly subscribed to it, but you do learn such things only at the appropriate times and not a moment before when it is meant to be. You can’t obviously learn it a moment after, if the ‘appropriate time’ theory is actually right.
And I am learning to keep quite a few of my thoughts to myself. Not that I really want to, but I don’t want to rush over them with anyone, like the passing dust storms that are all over Delhi these days. If you have the time, patience and diligence, then I might. Otherwise, I am quite glad to keep them to myself. They are not quite secrets. The circle of friends who are closest to me know practically every little thing about me, including my best fantasies and the worst nightmares. But these are different. These are more like observations. I don’t even know if they would make any sense to anyone at all.
Why does being with someone almost always turn us into the kind of people we have hated? Maybe we don’t see it when we are in a relationship, because even I have done the same at some point, allowing mistrust, than trust, to lead the way. We twist, bend, wriggle and contort ourselves into these mummified personas that are at least a million miles away from who and what we really are. Relationships are not meant to do that us. It is weird when all of us – educated, uneducated, liberal, conservative, intellectual, non-intellectuals – end up in the same shitty corner once we are with someone. Why is it so?
After a lot of the above-mentioned contortions, I have had enough. I don’t want to waste my life trying to be someone that I am not. This is me at my ugliest, clumsiest worst; which if you can meet eye-to-eye and still find something worth trusting, putting a bit of faith and effort into, we might have something to go ahead with. Otherwise, this is the part where I get off the play that has been acted billions of times already.
Meanwhile, do welcome a close friend of mine who's taken a sudden shine to blogging. And yes, I do have a huge thing for shoes, I should warn you, before you read all that she has to say.