Singlehood

Cold, cold heart of mine!

I gave a quote about being single to someone, who had written about my work many moons, ago. Of course I took the onus of all my failed relationships and got calls from friends asking why I would do that publicly and let everyone off the hook. Well, I like being on the hook, it suits me just fine. Besides, ‘nice people’, like to live upto to the idea of being faultless, so they’re better at concealment, but karma has a way of levelling the playing field. So, don’t fret. Besides, itni colourful zindagi, carpet ke under sweep karne ke liye to nahin jee he humne.

I don’t get why people mistake honesty for self deprecation. ‘One should always tell the truth but not all truths should be told?’ or something like that, the quote goes. Maybe, somethings should be kept to yourself. But nothing that involves, another human being can be kept just between the two of you and when it comes out, you not having the third leg that gives men a free pass to do everything, will be blamed. So, always own your shit, is my principle because if you don’t, you will loose your personal power. If you do it, own it, if you can’t own it, don’t do it. One of the few rules one tends to abide by.

I don’t think I was ‘too honest’ as someone put it, I think I wasn’t honest enough. Let’s just get it out. I think it’s not just a lack of love for oneself but also this totally unrealistic expectation, that I’ve always had, from the men in my life. It’s like I expected them to magically heal all that broke inside me as a kid, which no one can do, right? That’s was for me to do. To play part father and part lover and whichever part the man played, I wanted the other. One has two terribly different shades, each with a different need. You would assume, my knowing this, would make me nicer, nope, so that’s why, inspite of all the notifications Tinder sends me, to become more active, I’m Haq Se Single.

Tera kyaa hoga life mein? they ask. I ask myself the same question. People read this and think it’s apt for the times we live in. ‘ Tum se pahle jo ik shakhs yahan takht-nashin tha. Us ko bhi apne khuda hone pe itna hi yaqin tha.’ When I read this, I shit you not, I can imagine myself saying this to the next man, I date. Yeh inherent niceness, jo he (not) uska kyaa kare?

Repeatedly, wherever I go, people keep trying to remind me I need company. The father keeps trying to convince me to marry the Wall. His recent observation of course is, ‘ jisko karna hi nahi hota, uske paas sau bahane he!’ But of all the gyaan, free advice, people give me about changing my status, the most astute observation came from an old friend, who noted, ‘ men keep thinking that have to compete with each other for your attention, when actually it’s with your inherent loneliness, that they need to compete. That’s what you’re not willing to give up, so you keep jeopardizing relationships. You have to be able to let someone in at some point!’ In my old age, like George Clooney, I too shall try. Fifty is my deadline. Until then, one runs till one finds someone wild enough to run with.

Solo Travels Srinagar

Came to Srinagar yesterday, armed with all that SB comes with-bitchiness, arrogance, anger, resentment and as soon as the plane touched the runaway of Srinagar Airport, SC was back in all her glory. I’ve been told by many, any place outside of Delhi, I’m nicer. They get to see the other one, I guess.

One’s recently becoming more and more aware of one’s privileges. To be fair, when you live a life, that your relatives term, ‘living under poverty line’, your view of reality and your privileges is quite skewed and mine despite all my travels and having friends from different strati of society, still is. Read an article before coming here, about how these three boys travelled to Kashmir and used public transport to go from one place to other and I realized twelve years down the line and that is something, I’ve barely done. I have no idea, what it’s like to catch a bus from the airport. So yesterday, I did. It cost 70 bucks and I met interesting characters, on the way. A girl from Ladakh who was coming from Delhi but staying in Srinagar, a man who was returning from hibernation and so and so forth. But if you are pressed for time, you’ll be waiting for forty minutes on the bus, as passengers fill the seats, slowly.

Hats off to those young lads, who managed going from one destination to other by local transport because to find a local bus, in the winter, to take you to Pahalgam or Gulmarg is impossible. I tried and even the local passenger taxis don’t take you to Pahalgam, straight. They drop you at Anantnag and from there you have to catch another one cab to Pahalgam. Since, one is here for work and not for budget travelling, I chucked the idea of doing that. Lugging my overweight bag around, in the winter, by myself, waiting for local taxis, isn’t a feasible option for me. The anonymity that it grants you, though, is quite enticing. Some other time, for now, Farookh Uncle (my cab guy) and I remain steadfast companions.

Delhi through their eyes. – Syed Yusuf

Syed Yusuf Shahab
Hauz-I-Shamsi Burraq Relic
Dargah Nooruddin Mubarak Ghazani
DargahAbdul Haq Mohaddis Dehlvi
Challis Aadalo Ki Mazar
Dargah Sheikh Najibuddin Firdausi

Sufism, an offshoot of Islam, attracts many non Muslims, due to its openness, its vibrancy and the love of its teachers- like Rumi, for God. The language of love, of surrender, of oneness with the Beloved (God), the main tenants of this branch of Islam. The Lost Sufis of Mehruli, was the name of the walk conducted by Syed Yusuf Shahab. Though, we couldn’t visit all the shrines in Mehrauli, as we walked around for four kilometres visiting the hidden gems, only Yusuf knew, it was a wonderful couple of hours spent in great company.

I’ve been told that when I write about the walks, I give away too much information, that’s why one has stopped being too descriptive about them. To know more, purchase the book written by the walk leader- The Lost Sufis of Delhi.