After months of therapy, one realized that the only way to get over one’s antisocial ways, is to take the plunge and just jump into the pot. Excuse my language ( or not) that’s what most public gatherings feel like to moi, as if I’m being thrown into a pot of boiling oil, nothing about it will leave one unscarred.
But turns out I was wrong. I head out on a journey will thirty eight people…some of them I knew but to one, everyone seems like a stranger, these days. Was it smooth sailing…not really, it never is…even as a child I kept to oneself. With age, that hasn’t changed very much, plus, I understand the world as little as it seems to understand me, I guess. My mask is all pokey and right there in everyone’s faces to see, their masks…don’t exist. My brutal honesty seems too harsh and their best foot forward, makes me highly suspicious of most people. So, one does tend to stand out like a sore thumb.
Having said that, this was the best place to be a sore thumb. The spiritually inclined, may be as corrupted as us lesser mortals but some are more accepting of people’s flaws. Some of them tend to take us lost souls, under their wings and connect with us on a deeper level, others not so much. But if you don’t throw yourself into the mix, you do miss out on experiences and learnings that are essential to one’s healing and growth. One’s wept more than one has in the past year. A lovely soul, conducted a water meditation and so much of one’s pent up emotions just came to the surface. For a change SC, who remains well hidden, came out to play. So a few people actually told me that, ‘I’m so nice’. Nice, is the last adjective anyone would use to describe me. Eccentric, stubborn as an ox, moody, bitchy, flirtatious, muhfat, badtameez, yes, nice…absolutely not! Then I figured it’s the CJM, thing. Anyone whose been educated in a convent school, will say thank you, sorry, will reach out to help…it’s our natural instinct, it’s like we are on auto pilot mode. It’s the Convent upbringing, like CJMites discuss, which has been drilled into us by the nuns. Nice people on the other hand, will do stuff they don’t want to do and they’ll be polite. One’s anything but. To get a yes out of me, for anything is seriously tough. I didn’t shoot the entire trip, even if people asked me to, I couldn’t. I’m blocked. I was there for something else and I got lots of that. Met a couple of people, who were so generous with their time and healing, that it really helped me.
On the other hand, barring the healing I had a good time, too. One has always had more male friends, I work with more men, teach more men, hang around them, sit like them and think a lot like them. They say, every man has a feminine side and each woman has a masculine side. Mere andar ek chichora 14 saal ka ladka he, jo kabhi bada nahi ho sakta aur mere andar ki aurat sou rahee he. One avoids drinking too much these days because one tends to get very emotional. Alcoholism in any case runs in the family and one’s emotionally fraught. But this was a ‘safe space’, so one drank and smoked, a bit, chilled out…met some people I absolutely adored, instinctively. I met someone, who reminded me of my Dad…totally bindaas, flirtatious and opinionated. A much older friend of mine, would very sweetly hold onto my hand, whenever I met him, at this bookstore and tell me how, men never really grow up. Then I saw men of all ages, under one roof and realised that neither they nor I will ever grow up!
The older women too, were precious. They were a bit concerned about my smoking, which I thought was really sweet….koi hakk jamata he tokne ka, to iss ka matlab he unko farak padta he aap ka. In an indifferent world, concern is a precious gift. I don’t smoke infront of my Dad, though he knows that I do…I didn’t want to infront of them, either. Some consider it hypocrisy, I don’t. A gentle soul also made me realize, how little I’ve been touched in the past year. I think the first night when we were talking, he just touched my arm, I kept backing off. I was so afraid, that if someone held onto me long enough, I would burst into tears.
By the end of the trip, people were sitting on my lap…forget touching, I was hugging. God, it’s been a while! But the real reason, I think God, made me go on this trip was because I needed to see mothers and daughters together and cry to sleep every night. I was supposed to get up each morning and somehow drag myself into a room full of people, when all I wanted to do was crawl under a freaking rock. I was supposed to bump into people who somehow knew my ex and have them discuss what went wrong with other people. The assumption being what went wrong was an older man! Wrong guess! I was supposed to realize that ‘if you found the perfect man and you fucked it up, you realize you’re just bad at relationships! So why waste anytime on them.’ As soon as I said that to a stranger, while we were trekking up to a waterfall, it occurred to me that, maybe I need imperfect and flawed like myself and not a nice, ideal man!
I realized I may know myself very well, in fact they say one’s- ‘too aware and forthcoming of one’s flaws’ but one’s not very accepting of them. I learnt that I got to stop apologising for my privileges. One can’t go through life, underplaying it to make other people comfortable or to feel safer, around them. I saw the best of human nature- besides the fun and frolic, kindness- people I barely spoke to through out the trip, looking out for me, as my blood pressure fluctuated and I felt sick on the bus and making sure I was well taken care off…making sure I wasn’t left behind. This trip, has kept my Dad on the edge. He’s seen me go through so many boys in my teenage years without blinking an eyelid, but after mum and last year’s disaster, he’s suddenly very worried, some man will entice me, into marriage as if I’m an eighteen year girl. Well, I prefer technology for now. Hassle free, no complications, good at getting the job done and someday, I’ll find my Mr Right, who will be a robot!