Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The poverty wars

He likes to top my stories on how we often had to struggle to stay afloat while growing up. Its a game we sometimes play, one of those that serve no purpose whatsoever.
I tell him about how my mom sold all her jewelry so that we could get a decent education. He asks, "Your mom had jewelry??"

I tell him about how my mom used to buy the cheapest cloth that she could find and how she would sew identical dresses for me and my sisters, and how she was able to make us feel it was a privilege to have the same dress. He says, "Your mom owned a sewing machine??"

When I sometimes reminisce about the good old days when MTV played 'real' music, he says he wouldn't know, they only had cable TV in 2000, and colour TV in 2004. I tell him about how faded my school skirts and sweaters used to be, because we couldn't afford to buy new ones too often. He says he went to an important function wearing his school shirt and his father's old trousers because he didn't have decent clothes to wear.

I tell him to shut up; he doesn't.

Just one of those little games that lovers play that serve no purpose whatsoever, save for the fact that it reminds us how good it feels to have someone to tell your stories to.

Brandi Carlile- The Story. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013


And comes that time of the month that I used to dread-
of failed romances, weight gain and mould growing on shoes;
When the days grow shorter
And the nights become way too, too long
and October-
of reconciliations- to romantic hurdles, to weight gain,
seemed too, too far away.

Youth was when I fought those changes-
Raged and screamed and sulked the month away.
Oh that seemed like a long way away,
For now September becomes me,
Or maybe its the other way round.
March to September hasnt been long at all in coming .

And yet, the month still looms long,
And I look forward once more to October.
And November would disappear after,
In my chase for old December.
30 days hath September,
And I'll spend all 30 days counting
And watching the leaves turn  gold-
Nah, I probably won't.

October has 31 days
And I'll spend a precious few with you.
October and December,
I'll spend them with you.

Some things never really change.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Into the night.

Do you find yourself dreading these moments of darkness when those doubts start crawling into your head? When you can't control your thoughts and he finds his way into them once again?
During the day your head is clear. You know that your time together has passed and there is no going back. You go to work, you meet your friends, you talk, you laugh, you go for aimless rides under the sun, you try out a new eatery. Your life is not as empty as you thought it would be without him and the fact no longer surprises you.

But at night, old ghosts come out and they play wildly inside your head. And that's okay. There always will be unfinished business and unspoken recriminations. Maybe you've suppressed your pain, your sense of loss and the inevitable rage that comes with this. And sometimes you might 'pedestalise' him and what you had, and that could lead to bitter regret.  It's okay girl. You're doing fine.

You've let him go, physically and emotionally. But its natural that his ghost would still linger in your subconscious mind. And people may say that means something, and they would be right. Everyone we meet, those that we've loved or hated, plus the books we've read, the music we listen to, the experiences that we've had, they've all helped to shape you into who you are now and so they linger. As he does. Sometimes.

So it's okay. Let him have the occasional moments at night. You can't exorcise those ghosts by sprinkling them with holy water and shouting, "The power of Christ compels you!" Or maybe you can. Either way, you have your whole life ahead of you, both the days and the nights. And a time will come when you no longer fear those ghosts because you know they cannot hurt you anymore.

Have a good sleep.

And music, always.
Slipknot- Vermilion 2. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thank you

For staying up with me because you feared I would go into the dark.
For slaying my demons time and time again.
For persisting despite my resistance.
For letting me walk at my own pace.

I have a colleague whose mind has bent because of something similar to what I'm going through and I sometimes think, "There but for the grace of God go I". I thank God for you and your limitless patience and your generosity.

Thank you-
For banishing the voices.
For not letting me hate.
For making me hope.
For today and for tomorrow.

I thought my security lay elsewhere but its you who's always been there, been constant despite the lack of guarantees, hopes and promises.
You've seen me love and lost; seen me a deranged woman, driven by anguish and envy; you've tasted my darkest psychosis and turned them into irrelevancies and somehow, I find myself laughing again. And with you I am free. With you, I am beautiful. With you, I am myself.

Thank you.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Day 2 and 3

Day 2: I cheated. All veg day. Walked halfway to college and morning energy was pretty high. Around lunchtime, I started to feel weak, and the salad I bought for lunch didnt really help. Classes were awful because I discovered I didn't have the energy to boss around 150 students for an hour. I got so lethargic around 4:00 pm that I thought my low BP was acting up again, so had it checked and it was pretty normal for me. Still feeling weak so I cheated and made myself a little veg soup. Stomach felt super full. Besides that, stuck faithfully to the regimen . My bladder runneth over!

Day 3: Started the day with green tea and watermelon. Had the first period and I felt like schlumping into a chair and letting the students run wild. Somehow summoned the energy to talk manically for about 45 minutes and exited the classroom early, on the pretext of giving my "very attentive kids" a reward. Lani,my co-worker who's pretty awesome in most areas is awful when it comes to being a diet buddy. She either laughs upon seeing me gnawing on a raw carrot, or she'll feel sorry for me and suggest I cheat a little. I'm very susceptible to people feeling sad for me, so I succumbed and cheated and had a little soup and later, half a pakora. If you've cheated once, its a little easier to cheat again. Fact.

Despite my little indiscretions, I weighed myself and I found I've lost 3 pounds. That's sliightly over a kilo. Yay.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day 1 in Purgatory

Started the GM Diet Plan from today. I feel awful.

I've been gaining weight steadily since last year, and I've been constantly subjected to the cute Mizo custom of having people commenting on your weight by way of greeting- "Uiii, I va thau em em!! (You are so faaat)" "Thanks, a very i va thau em em to you too!"

My body usually responds well to bursts of activity, so a week of light exercise would usually get me back in shape. But not this time. Strenuous morning walks, skipping and light aerobics and I'm still steadily gaining weight. Its gotten to a point where people now eschew the "I va thau ve" greeting and instead, poke me gingerly in the gut and whisper quietly with sad eyes, "Kuku, tinge (why)?"

Decided that the problem lay with my diet so I thought about my daily food intake, and I realised I have been taking in gargantuan amounts of food. Hence the GM Diet. For those reading and too lazy to follow the link up there or too third-world -countryish to have a fast internet connection, its a 7-day diet plan consisting of eating as much raw fruits and veggies as you want plus the occasional side of beef. It also dehydrates you, so 10 glasses of water a day is a must. Also, the first 3 days, you get awful cravings and weakness. But if  followed correctly, the diet makes you lose at least 10 pounds a week and flushes your system of bad toxins or something. I'm usually skeptical about diet plans but two friends have followed this one with positive results, so here goes. Im getting desperate.

I've read that it's good to tell people if you're on a diet because you're less tempted to cheat; hence the reason I'm putting this up.

So, Day 1!! 
Just fruits, minus bananas. 

I FEEL AWFUL! I never knew I'd crave fluffy white, boiled rice this much! After this week, I will never eat fruits again! I long for rice smothered in dal and butter and chased down with deep fried potatoes and the spiciest chilli. 

It grew especially bad around 230 when I usually have a packet of wai-wai or spicy chips. I became so sad that it being a holiday, I took a tiny nap. Hunger does strange things to your mind. 

I dreamt I lived in an architecturally unsound house but with interesting corners and nooks and occupants. I discovered a jacuzzi in the basement and a tiny, gay, sadistic personal trainer who lived quietly all alone there. He barked that I'd have to do two rounds of exercise with him to use the jacuzzi. Then he told me to bathe first before exercising, and he became hugely affronted when I put on the same jacket after bathing. I vaguely remember him muttering something about why I bothered to even wash myself if I wasgoing to put on dirty clothes..
And then he prepped himself for the exercises by squatting and stretching and he wore super-tight leotards and that's when I woke up.

I hate apples. I shall never eat them again after next week. Watermelons are okay. I shall probably eat them again next year. Papayas are evil.

I've drunk around 8 and a half glasses of water. The number of bathroom trips  Im taking is frankly becoming ridiculous. 
My sadistic mom wants to start preparing dinner. I think I'm going to find out how that Edward Cullen feels being constantly around Bella, his 'personal brand of heroin'. 
It's going to be one long week. This thing better work...

Monday, January 21, 2013


I know you hate when I do this, but like so many times before, here I am, doing it anyway.
The title is the start-up message on your old phone. It's funny, the things one remembers.

"This is sad, isn't it" I said, and you said I gambled away a lifetime of music for just one night.
I felt your resolve all the way across the line, and I knew there wasn't a thing I could have said, but I tried anyway, and you said you had just two minutes of talktime left.
I dont remember what I said, something about taking care of your health, you said I shouldn't worry and that was all, that was all.

Im going to miss winter because it was when I knew you best.
December 27th to January 10th. And all the years in between.
We got tipsy on the foullest tasting beer, and I thought I could sing. You played along and strummed my sister's old guitar and we sang song after song after song amounting to nothing.
You stir non-stop when you cook.
We drank cup after cup of black tea and shared the same smoke afterwards.

You took me out one night and I got hungry. We ate the foullest tasting pulao and rode off on an almost empty fuel-tank.
We shared a plate of chop-suey, and sulked when they brought us an extra bowl of soup that we had to pay for; we were that broke. And yet we were immensely rich.

There was you and me, rifling through your dad's old books in that dusty, old cupboard.
You said you had vague memories of a man whose name you don't remember, whom you adored as a child. You feared that the same would happen with you and my nephew. He says he's going to grow up to be you. Sometimes he asks where you are. I tell him you've gone to work. He says he wants to go to work too.

You jumped in the air and clicked your heels together. I tried and tried, but I cant make myself look as light-footed as you do. I insisted on standing up on the swing; you stood nearby, arms outstretched, ready to break my fall. I insisted on climbing up a tree and moving from there onto the roof. You didn't want to, but you climbed up with me anyway so that you could catch me if I fell.
But it's impossible for someone to break another's fall every time, wasn't it?

What crazy joke are you into right now? What song are you listening to? Do you still wear that football jersey that I hated? Chelsea beat Arsenal last night and I found myself wanting to congratulate you.

Somehow it all just feels really unfair. The trip to the Living Root Bridge, camping out under the stars, staying in a houseboat, hogging our kids' toys, growing old together, dying together- all the things we said we'd do but never gotten round to doing. I lost them all, so I guess I lose.
And I will always look back.

You always put me first and that somehow broke my heart.
My first love and my muse, over and over again.