1st Shot

‘ It’s better to carry a book and not read it than not carry one at all’
Waiting after their second shots, while one just got one’s first one.

So, I joined the herd and took a jab, totally unconvinced about the entire thing. Since I had Covid…my body was protecting me. But one needs the certificate, so here we are, doing something the body should have learnt to fight on it’s own.

Your daughter

Amma,

Everyday since you’ve passed, I have wondered how could you have survived your life, any other way? ‘ You know why you yell, I’m not my mum at people because you are scared that a part of you is!’, they say. Ya, ya..who do you think SC is like? My child ego state is like you, that’s why I keep it nicely tucked away but apparently not well enough.

Dad hates it! It infuriates him no less, that people say the worst things about me and I still don’t turn them down if they ask me for something. ‘ Just like your mother!’ he said to me last evening as he kept recounting what some women say about me and what they did to you! Misogynistic, much? Yup but in your story as well as mine, men were nicer to us, always. Well, I’m nice until someone makes me furious, then I wouldn’t give a person a thing or a single penny…I’m as vindictive as him but don’t have such a great memory. With time I let it go…I feel too intensely, otherwise it would consume me. How much you hated our tongues!

I tell the ones who are helping me though, ‘ you expect me to get along and not be so ‘self protective’ yet most people show me there’s very little to trust! Everything is a matter of convenience, they think I’m too rigid and I think they are too flexible. Their opinions and their stances, depending on whose going to butter their bread and nothing that withholds the test of time. I respect a true hater, someone who really goes after me passionately, they have my admiration.’ Remember, when I was around twelve, I was part of this group and a particular girl from that group would be nice to me, when she would meet but truly hated my guts? Even at that age, I was confused by this behaviour, ‘ why are you talking to me? I don’t like you and you don’t like me so why are we doing this?’ Of course we didn’t speak for a few years after that and eventually when we grew up, became close. To her credit, she said ‘ you know I don’t like you either!’ Respect! I appreciate spine. You of course were very disappointed in me…you genuinely liked people and I on the other hand am amazed at a social construct that will demonize the person, who says exactly what they feel ( unless it’s nice, ofcourse) and appreciates and applauds conniving!

You think any amount of therapy is going to make me less anti social? I really doubt it! Am I going to miraculously wake up one day and appreciate the utter waste of time, energy and resources, in faking niceness? No! Am I going to understand why I’m supposed to be your sister and not have your back? You remember how much Dustu’s girlfriends hated me? I had no problem with it, I made my choice and it was him. I always made that choice, consciously, so much so that I argued with friend’s parents who tried to diss them infront of me. I choose the side I am on, until for some reason I decide it isn’t a side I am going to remain on…give a piece of mind ( or two) and move on! The Wall, is like that, very different from me, in any and every other way but this. I ain’t going to win any popularity contest. That’s for sure and no one will turn up for my funeral, I’ll die alone in my old age but so did you! Inspite of how lovely you were. So, I have to find a good reason to learn to bite my tongue and play nice because fear of social ostracism, loneliness, rotting in my basement alone or hell, ain’t working! What could it be? Maturity, I guess!

Secrets and disclaimers

Ranbhir Kapoor said on the Kapil Sharma show, ‘ there are no secrets. You will tell your best friend something and they too will confide in their best friend and so on and so forth. Ultimately everyone will know the secret!’ He didn’t mention that eventually someone will mention something to the person who is being spoken about, too.

Gossip is something one has been surrounded by as much as drama. After all, one had a rebel for a mother and one turned out to be a lot more rebellious than her. Nuttier and more experimental, too! There are no free rides darling, if you ain’t going to abide by the rules of the society you got to pay the price for it. If you are a woman that is. Not only will it have an ill effect on your personal life but apparently your ‘brand value’, as well.

If you have a third leg and money though, you could be a liar, thief, an adulterer, a stalker, a fifty year old man cheating on his wife with a twenty year old woman, a rapist, a tax evader, a sex addict, a woman basher, an alcoholic, you could be driving over people sleeping on the pavement, be a murderer, a prisoner and nothing will spoil that reputation and brand name of yours.

Gossip- not that one doesn’t indulge in it periodically but one has always used it as a means for testing people. Sometimes you got to play the fool, infront of the fools who think they are fooling you. I seem viscous. Oh I am! I keep to myself all the time but you know the sayings about snakes hold true for one.

Self deprecating, not at all! Just a little honest. In a world full of people who tend to make others hear their conversations, to prove their innocence, I’m just a person whose stubborn and has a little spine. It’s very interesting how information moves at the speed of light and people worry so much about having said what they have said. I say a lot of stuff but the only good thing about me is, I own my shit-my past, my mistakes, my words I take full onus of them. They’re on me. The only time I should be forgiven, is when I’m drunk because that stuff really doesn’t suit me and makes me truly sentimental. But otherwise, I don’t mindlessly, aimlessly…blabber. One does it consciously, knowing the repercussions of those words and how they will come back.

Why this extra gyaan? I’ve given so many people an occupation in the past year. First they gossip, then I retaliate…then they gossip some more, and then they drive themselves crazy…trying to figure out whose told me about their viscous words. My goodness, it carries on. So much of people’s time and effort is being wasted on someone as insignificant as myself. So, I thought, why not put the rumours to rest. First of all, no one has ‘told me’ anything in particular. If you spoke about me or if you gossip about anyone at all, infront of someone…you know in your heart, their spines and mouths are like yours otherwise you wouldn’t have done it. You will never bitch about a person infront of anyone who dotes on them. No one dares to do that. They do it knowing the recipient of that information is as receptive. If not they will instantly shut it down. ‘Anyone who helps you to gossip about someone can help someone to gossip about you’ said Israelmore Ayivor. So, the recipient of your mindless blabbers, have repeated your lovely words, not to me, like most people worry (since then oh my God, I might think so badly of them) but to lots of other people and words my dearies spread fast! So, spare them the interrogation and spare me the phone calls. Don’t worry, if you thought they were so loyal, you wouldn’t have called them in the first place and you’re absolutely right!

As for your real cause for concern? If you have such a low opinion of someone to think,’ they are starving their father’ ( yup! He looks it) or ‘not letting her father sell the house’ ( which is absurd, since that will instantly make me rich) or ‘creating communal disharmony’ ( you make the Islamophobic comments and I am creating a problem? Wow), I’m moving to Dubai (well that’s turned into I’m too rigid because everyone’s figured that ain’t happening) and similar bullshit I don’t want to repeat, then why worry about what such a horrible person thinks of you? If I thought these things about someone, God knows I would first give them a piece of my mind and then cut them off from my life, instantly! So, have some principle’s man! Straighten the spine, give me a piece of your mind. Stop calculating whether I’ll be useful to you in the future…go for it…hate me. But I suspect the inability to take a stand about anything, isn’t your only problem. People are also worried about what I’ll do with all the accumulated information I have about them. Well, my opinion of myself is so much more important than any vendetta towards, anyone! So, enjoy, your secrets are mine to keep.

Companionship

Amma,

A picture of you and the love of your life, popped up on Facebook, on what would have been your 43 rd anniversary. The worst, the bad and the good! Kudos, to both of you. Inspite of all the dysfunctionality it was a relatively honest, relationship. I never gave it credit because I bought the facade that other people display to the world. Only to realize much later, that all relationships are full of all sorts of compromises and people have a dozen skeletons in the closet but they keep them, well hidden.

The other day, Dad’s friends came over and of course the discussion steered towards marriage. One propagated companionship as a worthy reason for lifelong imprisonment and the other very subtly tried to explain to me that ‘bringing someone to the house’ for either Dad or me, would be a dangerous idea. Don’t know about your husband but I really wonder, how people assume, that a lifelong commitment phobic, loner, who feels exhausted by other humans ( other than some of my male friends) can ‘bring’ someone into their space. Imagine me in one bedroom with a man…sends a freaking shiver down my spine. The rumour mills, keep churning because the house is falling apart so something or the other has to be repaired and each time that happens, the assumption is that I’m getting married. Chances are —-if there’s a wedding in this house, it’s going to be of the man who spent over four decades with someone, not the one who has never even survived four years, in a committed, you are mine and I am yours kind of relationship!

Though, I do think I should give some sort of a relationship or an ongoing hookup, a shot. I’m getting way too comfortable, by myself and the way I’m going, I’ll invariably become more antisocial, if that’s possible! The trust issues are of course, off the charts. But you know with all these voice recording applications, that have been used on me for the past year and half, where conversations have been recorded, cut short at crucial times, edited to make points, I really have a hard time trusting anyone at all! Also, insulting to my intelligence, which apparently I don’t have much off, but insulting to my ‘sharpness’ nevertheless!

One of my exes asked me a few months ago, how the boys scene is and I said, ‘ replaced you all, with technology but I do miss kissing, sometimes!’ I wasn’t trying to be cocky, it’s the truth but I have to wonder how viable it is to wait for robots, to spend your old age with. That’s my latest plan for companionship! Robot ain’t going to care about relatives, complications, friends, past, the two boys I can’t seem to get over and is probably going to be better than a man at everything! You think, having parents who weren’t hypocrites and having a grandfather who said, ‘the only men who don’t cheat are the ones who can’t’ ( which your sisters will deny since nobody told their children the truth, unlike you) or reading Osho at a young age, has warped me just a little, like men tell me all the time? I doubt it…I suspect, some of us are just born with a couple of loose screws. In my head I’m either Sunny Deol, singing ‘mujhko apni jaan se pyaari he apni aazadi’ or Amitabh Bachchan, wanting to get on a tempo with my brothers, and serenading a man with , ‘Jumma meri jaaneman!’. Haaye, Amma, when will I grow up and stop enjoying the chase? So freaking Alpha one is and to top it one wants a worthy ( Thomas Crown, haan?) companion or opponent! Most people tell me ‘oh, it’s not like that’ and ‘ marriage is about having someone’ and blah, blah ( basically a snooze fest) yet I find relationships are games, not necessarily mind games like chess but games nevertheless. You want to play, with someone who keeps you mentally and physically engaged. My overthinking brain that they want to tame with meds, could do with an engaging distraction but not with anyone cowardly! So, my new plan, is freaking fabulous, I’m telling you! Siyapa, hi khatam!