Living with the unusual

5 a.m and 8 nights later, the Mother refuses to sleep despite all the medications she is given to get some shuteye. The Doctor may discharge her in the morning (which might be a fallacy, since I have been hearing that for the past 4 days) and that is causing the anxiety. She loves hospitals and has been making practically an annual pilgrimage, since I was nine.

Some days, which are more frequent now, I get fead up. I realise how politically incorrect that statement is but some days I want to lock myself up in a room, scream till my voice gets hoarse, cry till my eyes turn red and break things till my head stops to throb. The pressures of dealing with a father who starts drinking at 11a.m and a Mother who has been unwell for more than three decades has of course taken a toll on my health. My BP starts to fluctuate, I have more and more anxiety attacks and I know my own sanity hangs by a loose thread. The only thing that keeps me going is a memory of a far off place. Sitting by the Dal Lake, driving through the Western Ghats…sitting with a camel trader in Pushkar, reaching Kanyakumari. The advantages of escapism, my dear.

The trouble with being in a complicated situation is not just the situation itself but the pressure that society puts on you. I’m quite adamant so I don’t give in that easy. But it’s another way in which people judge and try to imprison you.

I have an aunt who is of a similar disposition as my Mother. She has two sons-the elder one, more attached to the mother is a lot like me, has one foot on each boat ( of sanity and insanity). The younger one is very successful. He has spent the majority of his grown up years away from his family and now lives in a different city and has a wonderful life. I am not trying to give you the pros and cons of living with or near your parents, here. But this what people say about them. About the older one, ‘ he does’nt do anything’, ‘ what is wrong with him’ blah, blah , blah. About the younger one, it is ‘how can he be so selfish?’, ‘why couldn’t he at least live in the same city as his parents?’.,.blah, blah, blah. Now, pray tell, what are they supposed to do?

A lady I interviewed many years ago, Merry, told me that she faced the same kind of judgements. Her son, was diagnosed with autism, more than two decades ago. When you meet her, her positivity will surprise you. She is not just someone’s wife, she is not just the mother of an autistic child. She is a woman who has fought for her child rights as well as her own rights- to live a well balanced, happy life. She works, she travels, she chills out and of course she takes care of her son.

A couple of weeks ago, as I lay alone without an attendant on my hospital bed, I got a lecture from the hospital staff about getting married.’You need someone who will think about you’, said the lady from the front office who came to pay me a visit. Now, tell me how fair is it to get another person involved? I think it would be quite sadistic and terribly selfish on my part. Though, there are a number of people who think I am so selfish that I dare to go away when I want despite the fact that my Mother is unwell and I heard so much rubbish, including someone fabricating a story about my Father being unwell, to get me back from my K2K trip. But this getting married to make my life easier, ain’t my cup of tea.

Miss

Dear Love

Each time I think I have almost forgotten you, something comes up that makes me miss you like mad. Some nights, nights such as these I wish you were around. Though, you hated hospitals and I don’t know how useful you would have been in handling your Mother right now, it would have been nice to be worried together. We could have cracked jokes on death and dying, pulled each other’s and our Mum’s leg and nobody would have thought us strange.

We could have yelled and screamed, fought and cried and only we would have known how terrified we are of losing her. Without you and G, it’s too tedious to bring the bring the guard down for anyone. You would have handled the relatives with your sweetness and handled the Father with your charm.

But you are not here and I am our parent’s only surviving child. I shall have the privilege of watching them wither away and die by myself. All the time pretending that I got this shit covered.

Ye duniyaa bhi ajeeb he dosto

Yeh jab tumhare zakhm dekhti he

Ussi samay khuraidne aatee he.

Jab tumhari majburi dekhti he

Ussi pal tumhe rolane aati he.

Iss uuch neech ke naatak mein,

Iss sahee galat ke khel mein,

Insaaniyat kahi gumm si ho gayi he.

Words

Ask me what my greatest turn offs are and the words ‘I love you’, top the chart and the words, ‘he loves you’ are the easiest way to make me physically mad.

But my extrinsic reactions to them are so much calmer now. I no longer try to push or use words like ‘are you my father?’ ( In Hindi these words are just priceless. Only one person I have met in my life has stumped me with ‘yes, anything else.’) Neither do I get all nostalgic and reply with what use to be my chosen reply in adolescence, ‘pyaar mujhse jo kia tummne to kyaa paoge? Mere halaath ki andhi me bikhar jaoge.’ Though, right now as the Mother lies on a hospital bed, yet again, it could be quite poetic!

But there is no need. Easy goes as easily as it comes.

Dil

Ae Dil Mere Tu Kyun Ghabrata He?

Sabse Kyun Har Vakt Aankhen Churata He?Tere Bikhre Huen Tukdo Ko Sambhalne Vala Yaahan Koi Nahin

Har Shaks Yahaan Apne Aansoon Ko Chupata He!

Dar Dar Ke Jeena Teri Fitrat Mein Nahin

Tu Kyun Apne Zameer Se Jhunjhlata He?

Teri Uljhano Ko Sulhjhana Kissi Shaks Ka Kaam Nahin

Har Insaan Apni Kismat Leke Aata He.

Apne Garoor Se Tune Chipkaya Unn Tukdo Ko

 Jo Zamaane Ne Behrahmi Se Thukraye The.

Akelepan Ko Tune Banaaya Saathi,

Awaargi Ko Apni Chaal Banayee.

Chaand, Sitaron Ne, Gali, Chobaro Ne

Dekhe He Tere Aansuo Ke Rele

Wohi He Uss Vakt Ke Gavah, Wohi The Uss Vakt Ke Saathi.

Parr Abh Vo Mausam Beet Chuka He,

Abh Tu Kyuun Ghabrata He?

Kar Hosla Aek Aur Bar

Kar Le Ishq Dubara

Chand Lamho Ki Zindagi Mein

Dar Dar Ke Jeena Ho Jaiga Dushwara!

2017 September 13th. Random thoughts that come to my mind after a drive. Sitting in my car vomiting this sudden outburst.

Gauri Lankesh

AN ODE TO GAURI AND ALL THE ‘ANTI-NATIONALS’ WHO WILL GIVE THEIR LIVES FOR THIS COUNTRY.

‘NA HUMME GUJARAT KA FARAK PADEGA…NA KASHMIR KA. NA HUMME GANDHI KA FARAK PADEGA AUR NA GAURI. HUMME SIRF ‘HINDUSTAN’ KA FARAK PADEGA…JAB TAK KOI HUMARA NAHIN MAREGA! WAH DESH BHAKTO WAH…JASHN MANAO… BHARAT BIKHR RAHA HE.’

04.09.17-Validation 

The beauty of existence is that we learn…relearn and then unlearn the lessons. Within a month of being back, I was made to unlearn a lesson I learnt on my road trip. 

I have always believed that I require very few people in my life and after being alone for a while, my people’s skills are at the lowest ebb. Landed up with a stomach infection and high BP, which lasted a week and culminated into a dramatic night. On Sunday, when I drove myself to the hospital, I relearnt that my survival instincts were intact. I don’t know how I drove there but when I reached, I ran in. The BP had shot up to 160/120, the pulse was at 103 and ECG was irregular. When they decided to keep me under observation, of course, like it’s second nature the first no I wanted to call was 9350…but of course I didn’t. The sequence in which I made my calls is fascinating to me because for the first time I realised that whether I know it or not I do rely on a few people. It was really sweet of them to turn up.

I love life, each time I draw a conclusion about myself,  ‘I don’t need anybody’, or this one is classic, ‘when I die…the world will forget me in 4 seconds’, it shows me very so bloody quickly that I am so bloody wrong. My sister, who I have an on again -off again romance with spent almost the entire night. AA, drove down from dwarka and my favourite’s from my Dad’s family turned up so quickly (Don’t ask me where the parents were!). The little baby from Bombay, who is more protective of me than most people kept calling to check up and the most adorable man in this world-who is too far away to come over instantaneously transferred money into my account (since, I never carry cash on me everyone keeps offering me money! Digital India he bhai! I always carry my cards).

But interdependency is a good lesson to learn…for a bit I shall keep my ego on the shelf and admire it from the distance. Anyway, what made the night interesting isn’t the nose rubbing that life gives me but frequently, it is the validation that I have received. 

I have this philosophy in life-do whatever you want but never be afraid of owning up to it. It’s the reason I always got into trouble with the parents and the lovers…it’s the reason I have a more scandelous reputation than a lot of women I know…who do more shit than I do! I have been consistently adviced to keep my trap shut or to lie through my teeth. It’s not that I don’t lie or keep my trap shut but I very rarely do it where I should! But you know what, I was given some important information when I lay on that hospital bed and a weight is lifted! I have realised that Life and karma don’t work on the whims and fancies of your reputation. They only take into account your actions and most of all your intentions. My actions may be totally warped but God knows what my intentions are!

Life will respect your guts to own up to your shit, to be unafraid of a herd and to give it all up and walk away believing that it will play out, the way it needs to. Life sorts itself out and makes you relearn, to always listen to your gut!