Snippets of Life…Ups and Downs

…Maybe I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah…

1.

“As she walked up the porch I braked and slid down my cycle to say hello. It was a nice bright morning and I was feeling good and happy. She was coming from the market as I saw a bag of veggies and milk in her hand and obviously she was in a hurry. After our exchange of the usual pleasantries, suddenly she asked me whether I had seen the current popular Hindi movie “Queen” and I said that I had seen it just the previous day! Sensing her disappointment I offered to go with her if she wanted the company. She liked the idea and said that we could go for the show at 1pm or 4pm at a nearby theatre complex. Since it was a holiday I asked her to check the availability of tickets so that we were not disappointed at the theatre. To this she said, you check and let me know. As I was going to be cycling for another half hour more atleast and since tickets go like hot potatoes these days I asked her to do it as she was going home sooner than me. Smiling wickedly she told me anyway you are jobless, all you have to do is cycle a bit and then go home whereas I have all this work to do at home so you should do it yourself! With that she walked away not even realizing that she had left me hurting. Not that I can’t take a friendly jab or a joke but perhaps I was in an emotionally vulnerable phase and this just stung right through. Why is it that I am perceived by others as a person who is “jobless” or “free of responsibilities” or “whatever”? Am I creating such an image for surely that is not my intention. If its not my behaviour or actions then why would someone get that impression? And if there is no such impression then can someone just joke about it like that? What is it then? Frankly I don’t know. Not that this is debilitating me or affecting my life in any major way. I will move on. I always do. But then these pauses in life always mean something. Something more than what we can perceive at the time. And so I pause for a bit, and then move on.”

2.

“It was their daily catch up call… something most long distance couples do in order to keep in touch with the other in this otherwise crazy fast paced chaotic life that doesn’t stop or halt for anyone… it just keeps moving… and if we take a break or slow down, it just leaves you behind and then you spend rest of your time playing catch up… so there she was talking excitedly about her first cycle trip on the road with a friend and even before she could complete what she was trying to say he interrupted to talk about how cycling was good for health and that cycling was easy stuff and on the roads one only needed ‘common sense’ … he was right, of course… but then again, in this world the one thing that’s hard to find is “common” sense and even if one had it and used it well, if everyone around that person does not use theirs then whats the point really? … also, sometimes we just want someone to listen and that’s when most often we find it near impossible to find that one good listener… and funnily enough, the day you don’t have anything to say is when they are ready to listen… ”

3.

“It was after ten at night and I was having a post dinner walk around my building as I had been unable to do any exercise all day and I really needed to get some fresh air to clear my head of all the wandering thoughts from the day. As I took a deep breath and felt the cool breeze ruffling my hair I smiled and felt a deep sense of peace and tranquility. As I walked I saw that I was not alone and there were few others enjoying the night breeze like me. Two women were walking together and their pace told me that they took their walk seriously. And after a long busy day at home I was sure that this was a much needed break for the two of them. As I watched them I realized that one of them was talking on her mobile continuously while the other kept getting calls on and off. So even though they were surrounded by the wonderful sounds of birds and other interesting night sounds, unfortunately they were unable to enjoy it fully. And somehow it saddened me. That even though we had all this beauty and magic around us all the time, not everyone was able to be fully present and enjoy it like its meant to be enjoyed…”

4.

“When he said I could not see what you posted on FB clearly but I liked it all the same, I asked why. When you don’t know what it is then why would you want to “like” it, I asked. Because you put it there and that’s all that matters, he said. Really? Now is that supposed to be a compliment? What do you think? Because I really don’t know. It didn’t feel like one to me. What is FB all about? Why is there this craze about “liking” someone’s post. Isn’t the concept all about sharing some news, views, opinions, suggestions with people close to you? Would you want someone to say OK to you without listening to what you have to say? I wouldn’t.”

5.

“We met online. On a popular matrimonial website. He was from Mumbai. I was in Chennai. We spoke a lot. We connected well and conversation flowed freely. Our talks increased in frequency. We started sharing stories of our lives and our talks got more intimate. He told me once about a friend of his who had agreed to meet a girl in Hyderabad. Flew down there only to find that he had been duped. No one came to meet him and the girl stopped taking calls. I told him how unfortunate it was for that friend. Also that there were many frauds online who got some kind of perverse pleasure from cheating unsuspecting folk. We joked that we would be careful and that when we met it would be on equal terms. I told him that whoever traveled to meet the other person would split the cost with the other so that both were equally involved in the effort. He said that was fair. After couple of weeks we started talking about us meeting and he suggested that he come to Chennai to meet me. I was glad as I could not make a trip to Mumbai at the time and this was more convenient for me. We discussed a few dates and then one day he called me early in the day saying he was traveling to his travel agents place and would get the flight ticket booked and whether I would transfer the 50% which was my share of the ticket. I agreed and immediately transferred the said amount. He was supposed to reach the next day in the morning. He said he would arrange for his accommodation and call me from the hotel after checking in. I was excited and happy that we were finally going to meet. Next day I finished all work quickly and patiently waited for his call. It never came. His number was switched off and my mails got no reply. I had a sinking feeling but hoped for the best. All kinds of scenarios played out in my mind and I kept trying to stay calm. Days passed and slowly I started considering the possibility that I had been taken for a royal ride. What really hurt me was that someone could play with my emotions for so long with no intention whatsoever to meet me or take this any farther. Was I so gullible? Or Naive? Actually no. But it happened to me also. This really put a huge hole in my confidence as well as my trust levels. Each day I hoped for some news from his side. An answer was all I wanted. Finally after about a month he called me and started talking casually. When I asked him about his sudden disappearance, he told me that his father had passed away that morning! That was when I lost it. I knew it was a lie and I had no doubts whatsoever anymore. In measured tones, I told him as calmly as I could that I did not believe him anymore and that if he ever got in touch with me again I would chase him, find him and take him to the highest Courts possible for damages. He hung up. And never called again. I was completely shattered that this could happen to me. I was almost on the verge of losing my faith in humanity and basic decency. Somehow I slowly realized that it was up to me to decide what I learnt from this episode. There was no need to make this the ONE defining moment in my life. It was an important lesson but not one I wanted to color my perception of others from now on. I still believe in love, trust and faith. For every fraud and cheat in this world, there are so many more wonderful nice people. So why should I give those losers more importance when I have so many winners all around me? It took me some time to reach this stage of thinking and for the pain to leave my hurting heart. I did do one thing though. I consistently kept locating his profile in the matrimonial website and complaining to the concerned people ensuring his profile was removed with immediate effect. This I did about 4-5 times until I could find him no more. With that I left him behind. And moved ahead. A bit more experienced perhaps, but not hardened or cynical. This is me. And no reason I need to change. Peace. Over and out.”

 

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