Sunday, September 21, 2008

Feels a Little bit like Stupidity

I have been absolutely insufferable lately. I have been mean, grumpy, angry, frustrated and hopelessly depressed. Yes, I admit I haven’t been good company. In fact, I have been absolutely intolerable. The worst part about being this way is to absolutely know how incredibly unfair you are to yourself and those around you, but yet be completely incapable of changing the way you think and feel. It’s a really frustrating, hopeless, lonely rut to be stuck in. I could easily blame my lack of amicability upon my hormones; yes to a certain degree they do hugely contribute to my volatile, tumultuous state of mind, but that would only partially be the truth. I have been generally cross with the world recently and most of it has been no ones fault but my own, I most certainly can’t blame it on my period. Sure I cannot control the way people act and behave, but it is certainly in my power to control the way I feel and react to things and it maddening to sometimes contemplate that this is the least I have control over.

My general frumpiness isn’t all a concoction of my overactive imagination. I have been genuinely sad and troubled; the worst part is my complete incapacity to discuss it with anyone, not even close friends and family. I perhaps unfairly and wrongly think that they don’t care enough or are simply incapable of understanding what I am going through. Yes, I know this might be unreasonable on my part, but I simply can’t stop feeling this way. I know the whole I am so alone, no one really gets me and the world is such a shitty place to live in bullshit is a little cliché and that I should have left my teenage angst behind a long time ago, exactly six years to be precise when I stopped being a teenager, but what the hell, I can label this my mid-life crisis and call it a day!

My dad passed away precisely six years and five days ago. I thought that things would get better with time, all wounds nicely healed and scabbed, but I guess in many ways it was some solid wishful thinking on my part. Some things never really become a distant, less painfully memory, even after all the time that has gone by. I would be lying and exaggerating if I said that my life came to a screeching a halt, a painful standstill and any other metaphors I can think off after my dad died. But with him I feel like I lost a little bit of myself too, that little something that I haven’t quiet managed to find yet. I wish I really knew what it was, things would be a lot easier if I did, all I feel time and again is this over whelming sense of loss, which no matter what I do never really seems to go away. Just when I think I am alright, I feel this crushing urge to just see him and be with him one more time, just so that I can ask him if I turned out alright. I know it’s a little sick to need this kind of validation, but when you are as confused and lost as I feel I am it’s comforting to know that you are on the right track, especially when nothing makes any sense at all. It is unbelievably painful to miss and want someone so terribly and know that they are really truly gone forever.

The gloom and doom of my father’s death anniversary and the subsequent onslaught of nostalgic recollection had made me less than friendly in the last couple of weeks. I use ‘had’ because I think I am slowly getting out of my funk, but in the process I have very successfully managed to alienate the people I care the most about. A lot of my friends have stopped calling me, just because I have been so damn difficult to deal with. Worst of all, I feel like I am growing further and further apart from my closest friend and this has been the hardest to deal with.

He was the one person I always looked forward to seeing, one I felt I could always count on, someone who got me, well at least a little. Now he is one I have successfully managed to push the furthest away. I know it’s no ones fault but my own, but it would be really, truly nice and comforting if just once he would pick up the phone and ask me if I was alright. Maybe with a little patience and perseverance cajole the truth out of me. We never spend time together anymore, not as a group, we do plenty of that, I’m talking about just him and me. Now every chance he gets he runs away, acting like my presence and company is the source of great annoyance, I really hate and resent that, only because I miss him so damn much. I know I am not fun and chirpy all the time, but to be abandoned by your closest friend at what seems like the most vulnerable time in your life, feels a little bit like betrayal.

A bunch of us were hanging out late last night and as usual the conversation took a serious turn. ‘T’ told me that I should really stop being so damn moral, judgmental and idealistic all the time. Apparently someone wise once said that ‘A high moral ground is a very lonely place.’ I forgot who it was. Yeah I guess I do agree, but I am also obstinate enough to think that what precious, few morals that I do have in possession are the guiding principals of my life and if I didn’t have them, I would be left with almost nothing. If it’s a choice between being alone and letting go of my ideals then I stubbornly choose to stick with my morality. Well at least for now anyway, when I feel like I am strong enough live with the consequences of my decision. They advised me time and again that I need to cut myself a slack and give the world a break. Don’t they think that I already know this? I mean pragmatically and logical it all makes absolute perfect sense, but making something that seems so simple into an actual living, breathing reality is a whole different ball game. Sweeping, life changes don’t really happen over night.

I am probably the stupidest human being on the planet. I am stupid because I realize that I am doing idiotic things and yet continue to do them because all I have is my idiocy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Does it all End so Quickly?

It’s really frustrating and infuriating to see how people give up so incredibly easily, especially about the things they care the most about. I had mentioned in my last post that it is easy to be in a relationship once you have found the one that seems almost right, either by sheer miracle or an incredible stroke of luck. I guess I might just be very wrong about this one, although it’s not really the first time I have completed miscalculated things, as I grow older significant revelations like these make life a tad bit more disconcerting . It’s incredibly frustrating to think that the values, ideals and morals that you have based your whole life upon might just be an antiquated system of thought. Maybe I am stupid and naïve enough to feel that forever and ever might not be such an intangible concept, but as time passes, at every nook and bend I see relationships slowly crumbling away and subsequently with it the people involved.

It fills me with immense sadness and anger to look around and observe that people who claim to be so passionately in love with each other, give up so easily at the slightly sign of trouble and upheaval. I happen to be lucky enough to enjoy an extremely amicable, open and honest relationship with my mother. Although I don’t divulge every single relevant or irrelevant detail of my life to her, over time, we have grown to love, respect and understand each other us adults, with our own set of distinct belief’s that govern our lives and at least be respectful enough to hear each other out, even though sometimes we may not agree at all.

We have spend a lot of time talking about different things over the course of the last two years, in many ways it’s comforting and relieving to know that at the end of the day, when there really is something that truly bothers me and if I am looking for a different perspective and insight I can always go and talk to her. I am filled with immense relief whenever I unburden myself to her, she doesn’t always understand every thought I propose, but that’s secondary, it’s cathartic to talk to her. As independent, forward thinking and liberated I might think and say I am, at the end of the day, I am glad to admit that I find a lot of wisdom in many of the things she says.

A lot of our conversations revolve around the evolution of relationships, be it people specific or a massive generalization on the state of things. We are well above and beyond the rigid confines of the parent-child relationship where the discussion of boyfriends, girlfriends and sex is a taboo or a source of immense awkwardness. With that out of the way, it is much easier to talk about most things. I may not feel comfortable enough to spill the beans on all scandalous, salacious details, but what is important and truly matters I can share with ease and that’s what’s important I suppose.

I have been sad and upset for the last couple of days, every one seems to be falling apart piece by piece and the air reeks with the melancholy born out of the rancor of broken promises. I hate the idea of impermenance, I know that absolutely nothing in life will ever remain the same, in spite of my weak and futile resistance, whether I choose to accept or not, people and the circumstance that they are tied into will evolve over time. Logically all this makes perfect sense, yet on a very personal level I have grown to resent this in more ways than one. I often feel like sometimes people use impermanence as an excuse to get out of a maddening, uncomfortable, difficult, miserable situations without even so much as a feeble attempt to make things right.
Sometimes I really wonder what is wrong with us. What is so terribly wrong with me? My gigantic relationship phobia and subsequent paranoia aside, I really do feel like as a generation we have somehow missed the all important vital lessons on perseverance, understanding, compromise, patience and forgiveness that we could have learnt through mere observation.

Realistically we all know that every relationship that we enter in is bound to hit troubled waters at some point. Yet as soon as we reach that rough patch, instead of working together as a team and navigating it in the right directions, we flail our arms, throw a fit and abandon ship! We frantically swim for a while; cursing and yelling until we are spotted by the nearest life boat (my metaphor for a rebound fling) which takes us to the next safe destination and like a self-fulfilling prophesy the pattern repeats itself. Dock, descent, wait and then get onboard the next attractive liner that offers the best destination.

I am not saying that people should stay together and be miserable in abusive relationships, far from it; in fact such situations warrant strict separation and ultimate abandonment, but to end a relationship that was supposedly based on the foundation of trust, love and commitment for small, frugal, insignificant trivialities is really, selfish and unfair.

Mom tells me time and again that we as a generation have either forgotten or never quite learnt how to love. Although on principle I am forced to defend me and my kind, I can’t help but ponder upon the significance of those words and maybe even see a certain truth in it. To describe love as an expression is to diminish its importance gravely humiliate it. Love for me is a verb; it is a live, tangible, action that binds two people together, not some metaphor, adjective or word which seems almost fickle.

I may be idealistic, but I certainly don’t feel like I am unrealistic. My observations and derivations come from having front row seats to the spectacle called my parents marriage. Maybe because they had such a stellar- relationship- so imperfect and humane, fraught with unhappiness and hardships, misery and regret that it some how made them stronger and learn to appreciate what truly mattered and ultimately hone their skills at loving and persevering. My parents didn’t stick it out till the very end out of compulsion or apathy either, that would be my uncle and aunt’s genuinely terrible marriage, where they stopped caring so entirely about each other that even getting a divorce seemed like too much trouble. No, my parents for all their imperfections, insecurities and hassles (and believe me they had a lot of those) genuinely loved each other wanted their marriage to work. With time, effort, infinite patience, and understanding and in due course of time they were lucky enough to share a warm, amicable, truly tender relationship. I wistfully and desperately hope to one day share kind of relationship that my parents had with someone else. But every where I look and see, all I observe is callousness, insensitivity and a general decease in patience and understanding. I know times have changed and the world that I inhabit in is driven at an incredibly maddening pace which tests the best of souls. But the world that I live in also houses the people of my parents generations and if they have managed to some what successfully preserve and cherish what’s important, is it so damn difficult for me?

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Politics of Attraction

What amazes me the most amongst many, many things that fascinate and amuse me in life is what really attracts people. I am not taking about being fascinated and allured by the blinding glitz and dazzle of different products available in the market like shiny shoes or pretty dresses. Although they are most lovely and tempt me time and again to spend the money that I don’t have, on things that I don’t really need, they aren’t all that important in the grand scheme of things or so it seems. I am not talking about being drawn to a shiny coin glistening in the sunlight, long forgotten my some absent minded soul as he bustles around the city either. Draw to material things is all well and good I suppose, in a critical, pragmatic frame of mind, all these things are quite necessary to make the wheels of life turn, even if it maybe in a long drawn out, screeching tone that makes the scant hair on my forearms curl in annoyance. No what I am really, really mystified and stupefied by, is what really attracts people to each other.

I happen to be lucky enough to have a somewhat versatile group of friends, some in remotely healthy relationships, hopelessly trying to figure each other out and make things work in this worst possible scenario called life. The rest of us, like me are single, somewhat hoping and wishing and maybe even secretly praying that somewhere in the near future we could do the same as well, while mulling, groaning and complaining about how damn difficult relationships can be, but almost in a good natured way, glad to have someone out there infinitely patient to deal with our eccentricities. And yes, the sex is a nice little add on as well. After all at the end of the day, what healthy, some what remotely sane or for that matter even insane human being doesn’t want to get some?

This is all well and good I suppose, this is the easy part, I think. Maybe I am wrong, but I personally don’t feel being in a relationship is all that hard. Sure, sure it isn’t all that easy to incorporate someone else into your life, to share somewhat of a common existence, make sweeping changes to ones lifestyle and worst of all too actually grow to like and get along with each others friends. That’s always been the hardest for me. But really at the end of the day, when someone really matters to you that much, you are most willing to do all that it takes to make the relationship work, all doubts and insecurities pushed at the bottom of the bin and all flaws and imperfections ignored, even if it is for the time being. Bravo! This is all well and good, and this is how it really should be, or so I feel. Most people who are actually committed to each other in any way, shape or form do want a happy, functional, semi-normal relationship; hence they go the extra mile and a half. This is the easy part.

The hard part is to actually be successfully in finding this person you are willing to do all these things for. Here is where the complication likes and the politics of attraction begins. I have been single for a little over a year and willingly or unwillingly (I have truly forgotten which one it was, at first it was choice, followed by complacency, then apathy and gradually hopelessness) celibate for over nine months. Everywhere I look, see and observe there are men around me in all shapes, sizes and colors. I am intensely fascinated at knowing really what it is that attracts them to the opposite sex and willing makes them risk the possibility of ego-shattering humiliation, just so that they can go the extra mile and a half with someone. Here’s where I am stumped. Every time, okay that’s an exaggeration, many time when I am at a bar or a pub, I have made eye contact with someone throughout the course of the night that looks somewhat appealing, I am not overtly flirtatious, actually I am painfully shy at most times. I frown more than smile and talking to a stranger at the bar is completely out of character for me. I am usually happy sipping my drink in the corner and brooding away or exchanging playful banter with my select group of friends. I haven’t had a single successful bar story to narrate since I have moved to Bombay. I know partially it may almost be my fault, I could stop being so painfully arrogant and unapproachable, but what about the role of the other part in the picture? Don’t they have an important part to play as well to make this truly magical, movie moment? I guess not since it hasn’t really happened yet. Does it bother me and make me feel less unattractive, unappealing and uninteresting? Of course it does, I am the poster child for 20 something female insecurity. Do I regularly need validation? Yes, all the times. Am I ashamed of it? Sure am.

I have a lot of single male friends (this is almost like the male equivalent of always the bridesmaid never the bride, except with guys it’s always the friend but never the girlfriend) these boys go to bars and spend hours and hours checking out these so called ‘hot’ women, guzzling one drink after another and salivating at the very sight of them. I can almost understand it (okay, well not really) and even almost ignore it, but when it comes to relationships, they go for the completely opposite! And I am not talking about some what pretty, average everything, blink and miss in the crowd, girl next door types. I am talking about downright unattractive, (being ugly is excusable of course, after all the way we look is not really in our hands) foul mouthed, foul tempered, foul everything types!!

I think to myself, what the hell?! What is he thinking?! Hell, I am so much better than her! Really? HER?! HER?!!! I try to like this girlfriend of his, thrust into my life without even so much as a slight warning. But I secretly resent her, while putting up a brave front, smiling as I go though one painfully long excursion after the another, wistfully hoping that he will see the light of the day soon enough and dump her!

Of course I am jealous and bitter and a tad bit resentful. It’s natural to feel this way when every where you look slowly but surely, one after the other, all your friends are finding relationship bliss where as you are stuck in a rut that seems to have no end in sight. As lovely as your friends are and as much at the try to incorporate you into their new relationship, being the third or the fifth wheel doesn’t feel so hot.
My insecurities and jealousies aside, my view was totally validated the other day by a guy friend. (I have often felt terribly guilty for thinking such awful things about people I barely know. I know it’s downright hateful and childish to form such harsh judgments about someone and deem them less worthy and deserving of things that I don’t have because I can be a mad, hateful, jealous lunatic!) But then my friend said the things that he did and it made stop and contemplate over the complexity and messiness of it all. All of a sudden I didn’t feel like the rotten apple in the basket, I almost smiled in relief.

We were hanging out at someone’s house as usual, drinking late into the night, when someone broached the topic of ‘R’s’ girlfriend. Men can be quite nasty in the company of other men and well some times other women too. Someone mentioned how she looked like a witch with long black hair, sunken eyes and a hooked nose.
To this R replied, “Yeah, she was ugly, poor girl, I had no option, I had to fuck her.”

So are people really getting in relationships whether sexual or otherwise because they feel sorry for each other?! When did I miss the memo?

It’s not just him, its other people I know as well, another friend of mine who can’t stop ogling after model, actress types that infest Zenzi, but dated a 30 something obese women with braces. I have no problem with anyone dating anyone, seriously. Everyone needs a little love, I need some too. I just don’t understand this twisted fascination with the opposite ends of the spectrum. How and why does the insatiable lust for something truly awe inspiring manifests into something that is so incredibly hideous? It’s not the people that I am speaking of here; it’s the attitude and the thought behind it all, which I find revolting. When did average become so unappealing and unattractive? What’s an average person like me to do in a town which is so fascinated with extremes? Is there any peace and salvation for me and millions of women like me that tether on the brink of mediocrity day in and day out?