It seems like in the long run my closure will come from your silences and my interpretations of them.’ Moi to the Mountain/15th Aug 2012

‘People don’t know how to communicate!’- AA/Sep 2018

‘ One needs to not tell you how well they know you or have the need to know you. As long as a person stands by your side, neither too near nor too far, never probing, you find no need to escape!’- TOWW/ Sep ’18

As all my love stories will unravel in front of you slowly, there will be an underlying theme. The age, backgrounds and qualifications of the men will change but most of them will be ‘good men’. One has always looked at the good ones with hope and one likes to play the bad one, it’s so much more entertaining. But the underlying theme always remains the same. Girl meets boy…boy is nice to girl..girl pushes him away or boy meets girl…girl likes him because he pushes her away. Underlying theme- girl is commitment phobic!

Let me proclaim myself the ‘The queen of the rebound!’ By the time I reached college, I had already been in a string of intense relationships. My track record is a month, that’s how long one has been able to do without a man, not physically but emotionally. From the period between 14-35 it remained that way. Of course one still has male friends and men around but there has been a drastic change. One has always looked at a man with this warped need, to not just be the lover but first and foremost the father, then the mother and after the brother’s death, the child. With that kind of baggage and those expectations, which one has now become painfully aware of, there ain’t a relationship in the world that can survive.

Playing second fiddle only to the brother, the men have played the most significant part, in one’s existence and every other aspect of one’s life has been affected by them. So much so that, by looking at the trajectory of the relationships one can tell how everything else would have played out. The tatoo on the arm is a reminder to be self reliant otherwise, one will become a yoyo, looking for a sense of stability everywhere, other than within and instead of finding it, loosing everything in the bargain. Therefore, henceforth, in conclusion, wild horses will have to drag me that way!

When the tables turn

There was a time in my early thirties, when I was convinced that the gold old days- where boys would write poems, sleep outside my house and do all kinds of crazily romantic things were done and over with. After all I was older, twenty kilos heavier and a lot less complicated than I was, in my teens.

I’ve never been beautiful or nice for that matter but good men like good women, want someone to fix and who requires more fixing than moi. But what I know now, I didn’t know, then. At the time, I was between the fire and the frying pan, with my self image at the lowest ebb.

The tables have turned and how! So, this is how my day went, in between shit loads of work. Got a series of very sweet messages from a friend, whose worked up about my BP. Then received a call from my crazy Shets, saying all the things, he’s been saying for as long as I’ve known him. Those being the cherries and this photograph, from the sweetest man being the cake. Wells me up.

When you live in a society which is obsessed with fair skin, the right weight and the ripe age it is but natural to believe that as you grow older, you won’t find love. But that’s so not the case. In a year, I’ll be all of forty years old and I have never been looked at with more admiration, treated so lovingly and held in higher esteem, than I am now. It’s only because of how I treat myself that the men in my life know how to treat me or because no one has me (highly probable). As the the wrinkles set in and a few strands turn, grey, I’m convinced life and love get better as you age.

Goodbye Section 377

Deepti Sharma- founding member Delhi Pride Parade

‘Gay sex is not a crime,’ said the Supreme Court today. As it decriminalised Section 377, we at a 100 pieces of me, revisit the memories.

Whatever Stays

I smile looking at the arm that is stretched a few inches away from my shoulder, protectively. No, I’m not in Kashmir, I’m walking in Vasant Lok Market and I am not Salman Khan and this is not Shera but the Alpha Male was here and that’s just how his reflexes work around me. We have a quite dinner in a deserted restaurant. I listen as he talks about how lonely his life is away from home and how many years it will take him to move back to his Motherland.

A couple of months of working with the labour- laying bricks, trying to build another home outside of Srinagar, has tanned the hairy, disproportionately, huge forearms. Though he’s neither tall, nor bulky and has a voice which is as soft as a scared child’s, one always wonders what is it about him that makes people instantaneously back off. From the ex, to a mob, from the father to friends, something about him makes all the men around one, very uncomfortable.

SB occasionally, in her oh so cocky manner, tries to poke him around. ‘Baap lag rahaa he mera?’, the one question she uses to piss off most men has not effect on him. ‘Haan’, he replies in his matter of fact manner. He’s seen SB around too many men to not know all her tricks, so he dodges, ducks and attacks her like a pro. SC he indulges, silly, so that makes him, her favourite person in the world. SB and SC, may be dil fekh aashiqs ( one more than the other) but their respect is so hard to earn, even to themselves they hand it out as a well deserved bonus. But in a world full of people pleasers and reflective personalities, where all feelings are entwined with social acceptance from kith and kin, they hardly ever get to meet anyone, who says what he means and always means what he says. Someone who is not swayed by people or trends, is totally fearless and whose sense of right and wrong, though dramatically different from one’s, always points north. Someone who works like a donkey and prays like a devout. Something about this person’s unflinching loyalty towards his family, friends and most of all to SC, makes her feel secure and his ability to handle SB, people, trust me, is award winning.

I drive him to the airport and of course everyone hates goodbyes, so it’s uncomfortable for both of us. He informs me that he’s going to return after twelve months and will stopover in Delhi, when he does. I bid him adieu.

As I stand on the threshold of forty and contemplate motherhood in the near future, I shudder at the idea, that all of it may come at the expense of something that has saved me. That if anything close to attraction comes rushing through the door, anytime soon, it will disrupt a friendship which helped me to rebuild myself from dust. Friendship, Emotional Security and Gratitude was a choice I did opt for once and let’s just say, I have borne the repercussions of that one before. But the other one is such a shot in the dark and handling me is no child’s play. It requires the skill of a Matador. Maybe I should do what I always do in this case, pretend to be an Ostrich and bury my head in the sand. Whatever goes let it go, whatever stays ( nothing ever does) let it stay!