Am I doing right by my partner?

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Whether you are currently in a couple, or ever were in one… I am sure this question crossed your mind.

At least, if you were seriously committed to the relationship.

We usually don’t like to show weakness. During those heated arguments, we tend to stick to our guns. No matter how wrong we really think we are, we just keep fighting right on.

This is not even limited to romantic relationship; this happens to us in EVERY fight.

But inside our heads, outside the fight… we know, “the person I am fighting with, and me… are the same.”

We may come from different geographies, may be of different ages, may be from different races or even genders… but deep down inside.. we know, that we are all the same.

Especially when we are in love with someone… they become a part of us. We wish to do right by them, love them right, treat them right, and we just want to see them happy.

However, there are sometimes these painful moments, where our partners hold us guilty of certain behaviours. This mostly leads to broken dishes, or skulls (kidding).

So when all the fighting is done and over.. we tend to wonder.. “Was what he/she saying right? Do I really do that? Do I really need to change? Am I not a good friend/lover/spouse/sibling/parent?”

But how do we know if the complaint is just, or just cribbing?

Here’s how:

“Do you think if there was a clone of you, and you were dating that clone, the relationship would work with that habit in tact?”

If the answer is yes, you’re fine. But if the answer is no, buddy some introspection is in order.

Tamaacha

IF you are happy, content, satisfied with where you are right now, with what your are doing and who you ARE in general and Existentialism means squat to you, kindly do not waste your time reading this. I envy you but mostly, I am glad that people like you exist, that there is peace in hearts and there are those who are lucky enough to be like you. But really, this piece is of no use to you.

But if you, like me, are constantly fighting an internal everyday battle between who you are and who you need to be, but keep that voice inside hushed for the peace of mind of those close to you and have happened to watch the recent Ranbir-Deepika flick, “Tamasha”, read on.

Please note, I used the word “need” quite deliberately. You see, there are those of us that are so content within themselves that they don’t need for what they do on an everyday basis to bring any additional happiness, any additional meaning, their existence is a meaning in itself. Then there are those of you, like me, who define themselves with what they practice. You DO NOT have an occupation, no. You have a practice. If you practice making something look different from what it really is, everyday day in and day out (Media/Marketing/Sales/Consulting/Advertising), that’s what you ARE, you are a con-artist; if you practice finding loopholes in the system to get your…or your client’s way (Chartered Accountancy/Law) you are again, a con artist. I am not saying that that is all these professions are about, but then again you aren’t what you practice. There is a fundamental conflict. So, you wake up everyday, force-feed yourself, and go to that office, where that small cubicle is what defines you. That 4 by 4 workstation that defines YOU. That everyday number-crunching, client-meetings, endless discussions that don’t Really have a Meaning. That really don’t Affect anyone’s life.

Hurts, right?

Yes, it is excruciating. Tamasha was a tight tamacha (slap) on my face, because it told me in more ways than one that I need an outside intervention to come save me. That I need a Deepika in my life to come save me from this gut-wrenching internal conflict and cowardice that stares me in the face every morning. That I need a little angel to come along and unleash what is already within because I am too much of wuss to let the world see the real me, because I am afraid of that Morse-code tsk tsk tsk that reads,”You damn failure” or more realistically, “You Freak”.

My friends, I hate to break it to you, that the likelihood of that happening is very low. Most likely, you are going to have to fight this battle on your own. A feature film may not be that interesting without a Deepika in it. Watching a lonely struggle can be boring. But sadly, the truth is very different, it is indeed a lone struggle.

Additionally, while it is great to know who you are where you need to be, your journey to that place where your heart wants to be will be a lot more like Will Smith in one of my favorite movies, “The Pursuit of Happyness”than Ved suddenly becoming the story teller of a theater play. There will be struggles galore and since it will be a path-not-taken by you or anyone you know, it will be filled with 10 times more everyday battles. Because now, those loved ones that you have ticked off by not doing “what is right for you”, won’t wish to look you in the eye. No, not all fathers will like who you really are, not all of them will come embrace you for being who you really are, not all will congratulate you on winning that internal battle. But, that little light inside will have to keep you warm, the one that is born from the friction inside of you. Yes, I want you to keep that friction going, that fight within you raging, because it is through that friction and that friction only, that you will be reminded that this, THIS is not you, and you need to be elsewhere and finally, when the strike is hard enough, there shall be light.

And in that one spark of light, the world will finally see YOU.

 

 

 

 

A man’s world

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I had the horror of my life, the day I woke up as a man. There was a hollowness I felt inside of me that I had never felt as a woman. As I looked within, I saw a plethora of unsaid, unvoiced emotions. I felt like a bomb, just ready to burst, with no outlet but anger.

It is hard to be a woman, the plight is there, visible and everyone talks about it. However, the real plight is that of being a man because they can’t talk about the hidden emotions, as that in itself will be showing emotions.

Point is, when I picture myself as a man, I shudder. I am an emotional person and much of my writing stems from my limbic system. I am used to expressing my emotions too, through hand gestures, expressions, voice modulation and various other outlets. Then I think of men, and the solitude of confinement they are taught to create from childhood on, emulating their fathers who were taught the same. I think about it and I feel choked.

Could it be that these bottled up emotions are really to be blamed for the innocuous street fight or the peccadillo
murder? Statistically speaking there are more male criminals than female. Could it be a burst of emotions that the society has continuously taught them not to project?

Somehow the only emotion OK for men to reveal is anger. Therefore sadness, frustration, loss, pain all come out in the form of aggression and sadly the society permits Only that. Or maybe venting after alcohol.

WHO defines a healthy individual as someone with sound physical, mental and emotional health and this makes me wonder how one can ever be healthy without an emotional outlet.

Most of my girlfriends complain about having uncommunicative partners. Others complain about how easily they move on. I think the root for all this lies in the same place.

I think it is time to rethink the statement: real men don’t cry.

They may be suffocating behind the bars of their self made confinement.

Definition of Love

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I think I was about… 6 or 7 years old when I watched the Bollywood movie, “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”, starring the king of Bollywood(totally debatable), Shahrukh Khan. There was this one sequence in the movie, in which one of the characters was asked, “What is love?”. Now, I don’t know how everyone else around me reacted, but this hit me like a mad truck. I used to hear this word so often, mostly from my family, or hear it on the television. I had seen man-woman amorous scenes on the television, too. By then I was aware that there are different kinds of “love”s in the world. But then the actor in the movie, asked for a universal definition of love.

It really had me spinning.

It was like one of the those things that have been around forever, happening forever, but when you notice it for the first time, you can’t not notice it anymore. For instance, breathing. I have a vague memory as a 3-4 year old.. I remember playing with “building blocks” at least that’s what they were called back then and then I noticed this strange thing that I keep doing… breathing. I didn’t know it was “breathing” at the time, of course. So I couldn’t stop noticing myself doing it, and found it quite useless and annoying. So I tried to stop… needless to say, I couldn’t. Then I rushed to someone older in my family, and complained. I think they just laughed it off, which only confused me, more.

Similarly, once this subject of love caught my attention, I started noticing the use of the word love, everywhere around me. My English teacher introduced me to a new concept: to love is to give, and expect nothing in return. I gave this considerable amount of thought.

Then I learned of love for one’s nation, also called patriotism. Subsequently, I learned of war, of killing in the name of said love for nation; which confused me.

I learned of love for god, devotion and practice. Then I heard of religion, communism and I got confused again.

I learned of love for family and close ones and then I learned of divorces, and got confused, still.

There were many, many different kinds, shapes, colors, forms, sizes of love that I saw on Valentine’s day. I heard people talking about “true love”. It made me warm inside. Then I learned of pain, deceit and cheating. I got confused again.

Then I heard of a term called “Fanaa”. It is an Urdu word, which means complete annihilation of self at the hands of love. And everything made sense.

The world may have many different brands of love, many different personas. They try to trick us mainly by selling magic in the form of love and happiness. But “true love” comes with a loss of identity, complete surrender and pursuance of your love till the end.

Now many find that in a person. I wish to find it in something that outlives me. I think I have found it through writing. I find it ridiculous when people say,  “An idea won’t keep you warm at night.” Well, buy a damn heater, I say. To fall in love with someone to keep yourself warm at night is not love in my books at all.

I think it is time you found yours, because die we all shall but to be destroyed in love, wallah. That is worth living for.