Love

This is what I think of love from all that I’ve learned from my relationships with family, friends and romantic relationships:

Love is:

conditional because you need to love yourself enough to be capable of loving someone else.

conditional because you need to have enough self worth to accept love.

conditional because it’s a cycle, you bounce things off of each other.

constantly choosing to fight for it.

not justifiying your defense mechanisms.

adding quality to life.

mutual respect.

getting out of your comfort zone.

not a thing to tick off your bucket list.

not a remedy to loneliness because you may love and be loved but still feel lonely at times.

 

Love not  worth it – you dont have to do it- but you can.

 

A little interview my partner and I did with my grandad, inspired by Human, The Film.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized.

You’re just 59, going on 60

I’m looking for 60 fond memories because you’re turning 60. I’m 27 – nearly half your age and I figured I could come up with at least 2 memories for each year.
When I was 21 and I told you that I hated you – I never thought I’d be looking back “fondly ” at my childhood.

When I was 21, I realized how human you were. 

I worked hard to earn your love as a child. I despised you as a teenager , because you were growing up too. And then somehow you became my best friend. And my best friend was supposed to be better than me. And I realized you weren’t. You had messed up, you were not a “role model”, you were not perfect.

I’m 27 now. If one of the kids I worked with told me they hated me, I’d be devastated, let alone my own child. You didn’t really react when I said it. I thought you were rude but I knew you knew. You understood. 

Back then I never thought that feeling would pass. I hated hating you. I hope you’ve forgotten about it. 

My cappuccino cup is empty. My mind wanders. My pen hovers over my list of “60 fond memories with you.” Funny thing, I stopped at number 21. 
21 – I was still a kid in many way. 

21 – That’s when you got married. You must have been a kid in many ways. 

And as I sit writing down all of our fondest memories , the not so fond ones kick in too.

And I don’t mind. I actually don’t mind. I understand , now. The burden has been lifted. The memories hurt, I always wished you were stronger back then. But you’re so much stronger now. 

As you said, no one really gets a handbook on parenting. You know if you said that today, I would be on my phone listing out all the parenting handbooks out there. But as a joke, of course.

I know that if I was a parent I’d do things differently, I would have learnt from your mistakes the same way you learnt from those of your parents. I’d do the best that I could, the way that you did.

I can’t help but wonder how many birthdays you have left. 

I can’t help but be glad that we’ve grown up. 

I hope I can have you for as many more years as possible. 

Better than OK

I have a list of things to do. The idea is to complete one task every week. 

Normally it takes me more than a week, and sometimes tasks over lap. But it’s ok. It gives me perspective and at least I make progress in the span of weeks to months, rather than months to never.

The past few weeks have been my “put a song on soundcloud” and “put a video on YouTube ” weeks. But then I felt like writing a short story, and I thought I’d skip to “write a blog/short story”.

I started a short story but writer’s block hit me.

It hit me hard and gave me a nose bleed. My head’s been consistently hurting too. Or maybe that’s just my wisdom teeth growing out.

“Oh you’re finally getting wiser”, yeah…..no… It’s not  I’ve never heard that before. I’m Desi. It’s Desi protocol to say these kind of things, but they always forget that a million people would have already said that before them. I guess they hope to be the first.

Other things I expect to hear and have heard from a Desi because I am… me:

“Anushka? Like Anushka Sharma?” (My name is Anushka Abraham, hi.) She’s a relatively new Indian actress and at one point, we both had short hair. I still haven’t grown my hair. Ha! Beat you to it Ms. Sharma!

“Are you a boy or a girl?” Apparently I’m way too flat-chested and for them to see the difference and apparently my sex really matters.

“Why short hair?”

“Are you Sri Lankan? Where you from?” – that’s a complimentary question  because when my hair was longer , it was impossible to be racially ambiguous , but now, now I have slightly better chance. I was even asked if I was Ethiopian! So cool! (No, I do enjoy my culture, I just am a wannabe superhero)

Off topic.

Right, so list of things to do, writer’s block, da da dum…dee dee doo…. The pain began to subside and I sat down.

I forget to breathe through my nose, so I did. I forget to just sit and not do anything, so I did. That didn’t last long, but that’s ok. 

I began to think about the people in my life. And now I’m here. Clearly I settled on the “Write a blog” part.

It has been 10 years since I moved to the UAE and earned the company of some beautiful people. Through my last year of school and university I was graced by the presence of some crazy, quirky, intelligent and simply good people.

10. That’s almost one-third of my life. It’s a big number to me….. (God, this is where the ultimate shitiness of my writing surfaces)

I know some of you have the privilege of speaking to the person you have known since you had tiny toes and big heads, almost everyday. My chuddy buddy (childhood bestie) is in my heart, no doubt.  But our lives flow in parallel streams, and that’s ok. Once in a while there’ll be a crack in the ground and we will get to hi5 each other.

10 years. These wonderful people have been my constants. We (mostly they) have traveled, studied, worked abroad, but we’ve always somehow comeback and found some middle ground. 

It’s comforting. I don’t take it for granted. I won’t check up on them day to day and they won’t know what I ate and how my day was. But it’s ok.  I know them and they know me. We may reunite after weeks or months but we pick up where left off, as if we never left. 

They are , family.

What would this place be with out the familiarity that they bring into my life? How would I look back at my time here when I leave? 

It just wouldn’t be the same.

It couldn’t have been better.

It’s better than OK. This thought is just like that feeling I get when it’s that time of the day, when the sun isn’t too high, nor too low, but it’s dimmed just enough for me to look right at it without squinting. 

Bright, warm, brilliant and welcoming.

Milky Chance – Down by The River

Equalizing

I assume there’s a stage in everyone’s life when they feel more or less like an equal to their parent or guardian. A switch gets flipped and the relationship stabilizes, in a sense. It all begins from that one moment when one of you realize the value of the other.

This was one of those moments.

People always thought we had a great relationship. We were more like best friends, they’d say. We knew how to maintain a level of “cool”, but it was not an easy relationship. I was never the daughter she hoped I’d be and it was okay for her to let me know.

I grew up too fast and she wasn’t happy about change. With time, though she began to accommodate me, and she began to change too. But there was always an underlying discomfort.

I’d get the randomest calls, at the randomest times and she would say the strangest sharpest things. Never once did I think it came from a place of neediness.

I thought I was bad, because she said I was bad. I thought I was poor daughter and failing at this “family thing”.

But that night, there was clarity. You know that feeling you get when something that you’ve been processing for so long surfaces? My chest resisted gravity while my shoulders embraced it. Her condescending remarks, a blur.

I asked, “What’s wrong?:”

Her voice changed, “I have a headache…it’s been a rough day…can you come home?”

“I’ll be there in half an hour.”

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Saying sorry

Why sorry Should be the Hardest thing to say :
When you apologize you are not just saying “Hey I messed up and I know it.” You are also asking to be forgiven. And, now this is something that just recently came to mind. I realized you’re asking them to somehow, more or less,  maintain their relationship with you as if no dents were created by their mistake.

Does that make sense? Maybe that’s what forgiveness is? The thing is, I feel like I can forgive but I will remain cautious till enough time and events have passed to confirm that the mistake was a genuine one off or at least the person is making an effort to not repeat it and eventually (and quickly) the mistakes stop happening.

Ok so maybe I am an asshole that makes saying sorry complicated. But I think it should be. I’m hard on myself about repeating mistakes. I’m also hard on myself about what I apologize for and the honesty in my apology.

Anyway, back to the point.
Making allowance to trust someone again and again is easy for some people but I think after certain number of instances it just makes us gullible idiots. And I think even if we don’t consciously think about it, if we constantly repeat mistakes and expect to be forgiven I think, (a) we take the person we are hurting for granted and (b) we can’t think much of their self-respect.

When you say sorry, you are asking for patience. You may be saying that this will never happen again or maybe that you are prone to do it again (because perhaps it’s a habit) and that you may require more than just forgiveness from them.

That’s a BIG thing to say. It’s also a ballsy thing to say.

An apology isn’t meant to rest on a fleeting sense of obligation.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized.

Home 

Deep breath….. It’s just a cupboard.

She walked past every section but stopped to pick up on of those little pencils and lists. She took  two steps forward only to take take two steps back.

“I think I’m going to need two of these, ” she thought, grabbing another pencil, “and another one of these,” grabbing another number list.

She walked, hunched, past families picking browsing through potential bedrooms, potential bathrooms and kitchens, potentials ……

She hunched.

Seeing a man draw his partner closer to him while they stared at a baby’s crib reminded somehow her to straighten her back and broaden her shoulders.

She walked in and out of bedrooms. Fingers grazed surfaced like silk and absorbing their feel like sponge. Then she touched something. The wood was smoothened but with a minimal layer of wax.

Opening her eyes fully for the first time she saw a moderately sized four-door wardrobe. A reddish hue tinged its surface.

The doors opened to comfortably spaced clothing racks and shelves. It was tall but not tall enough to make it unreachable. It was wide but not wide enough to cramp the space in her room.

Item number jotted down, her little legs took quick strides with wide eyes and wide shoulders.

The narrow pathway soon expanded leading her to the warehouse-like room filled with neatly stored furnitue.

She loved this place. The enormity of the space spread out the distances between people. There was so much air to breathe, and that smell of cardboard boxes, which calmed her senses.

A1380 …… A1380

A….. 1…3….

“1380!”

“Yah!”

“Huh”

“Hi!”

Startled she took a 360 degree turn and saw no one around.

She swore she had heard a man’s voice come from somewhere near by. No not just somewhere, from right in front of her. She peered closer into the shelf.

“People always get surprised when their furniture talks to them, relax. I’ve been waiting for you . I’m the last one of the batch left here on the shelf, let’s go!”

She blinked.

There was no one. Just 1380 printed boldly on a large, lone cardboard box. Everything else was at least a few feet away.

The box is talking to me? I’ve gone insane. I have been single for way too long. I need to eat.

“I’m sorry.”

He interrupted her thoughts. His voice was warm and soft. It very well could have been a woman’s voice if it didn’t have a underlying baritone note.

“I’m sorry, I’ve just been waiting for quite some time, frankly I don’t think I was ready to be taken away until now. I didn’t mean to startle you. The trolleys are at the end of the next isle. Grab one, come get me and we can sort the rest out once we’re out of here.”

“Oh… Yes… Oh…kay….”

Wobbly legs worked their way through the isles. She processed nothing, just grabbed the huge box in which her dismantled (talking?) cupboard sat in, and went to the counter.

Into the back seat he went. She sat infront and gripped the steering wheel.

“I’m Lionel by the way.”

Ok it’s real. She turned her head around.

“M.. M..Mel… Melissa. That’s my name. You talk. Is it the box talking or the cupboard?”

He laughed. “Cardboard boxes can’t talk, silly!”

“Well up until today, as far as I knew,neither could cupboards.”

“Fair point.”
It took her two days to put him together. She’d come back from work, turn the kettle on and the house would smell of coffee. He said he never acquired a taste and never understood people’s love for it. But in here, on her, he liked it.
For the last time she put her screwdriver down, swung the doors back and forth to make sure they worked smoothly and fell back on her bed.

“I feel good. It feels good to be in one, big, useful piece.”

” You look good.”

” So come on! Get your clothes out of those boxes. You have a cupboard now!”

” They can wait. I’m going to sit back and enjoy my craftsmenship.”

They laughed together. He liked this. He was home.

 

Waking Up

Sometimes even after you’ve grown up and grown out of the old methods you used to deal with tough times and tough thoughts, your body naturally craves them. We’re creatures of habits right? Seems fair. It makes sense. 
I’m here now. I know how I would react to this discomfort I feel. But I need to resist. What’s the point of living up to the age of 26, making mature decisions about work, money, traveling, relationships and not being able to make mature decisions when it comes to dealing with my personal demons?