Saturday, August 30, 2014

One Thousand Days of Winter

September 5 marks a thousand days since December 11, 2011, the worst day of my life. The day she walked out and never returned. The day that plays on and on in my head, making me sick to my stomach. As horrible as it makes me feel, it’s the wonderful memories of her that are the best and at the same time, the worst.

I wanted to put down some of my best memories as I remember them, trying to assuage the nausea filling me. I never understood why the movie 500 days of Summer used a non linear format till now.  It’s the best way to reminisce about the good times.

There we are, sitting in the park opposite my home, after all the other kids had left for the day, talking to her about the same things every evening – about school, about teachers, and yet never getting tired of watching her laugh at the stupid jokes I’d recycle over and over. Going over to my neighbours place in the evening first, to call them out to play, before going to her place, to not make it obvious that I really only cared if she came out to play (I don’t know to whom I didn’t want to make it obvious to, but it’s one of those silly things kids do I guess).

The first time I saw her, I was captivated. She was riding a bike. I was riding a bike. I remember riding past her at top speed “showing off” as we idiot boys do. Thankfully, she didn’t see me slip on a muddy patch on the road and fall. Years later, I would hear the music of her voice, as she laughing her guts out as I told her about this story she didn’t even know about.

It’s my birthday, one of the multiple lonely birthdays in college. I’m by myself in my room feeling horrible, since as always, it is forgotten to everyone there. I cry, feeling broken, lonely. But she’s there, over the phone, whispering so she won’t be heard, being there for me, and at least for the moment, letting me know I’ll never be alone (even though, years later, she would break that promise).

I’m terrible at gifts. She’s not overly fond of anything I’ve ever given her. But there was the bracelet. She loved it when I gave it to her – couldn’t stop smiling, so much so, that her mum caught her smiling for no apparent reason, and she had to confess.

I write and sing a song to her for her birthday, because I can’t be there and give her something in person, and I can think of no better way to show how much I love her.

There we are playing basketball among other friends, on opposite teams. I guard her and she guards me. We pass each other sneaky smiles as we continue playing way after we’ve begun tiring, because it’s fun going at each other.

Across a crowded party hall on my 21st birthday, my eyes meet hers. She smiles, and suddenly the rest of the room evaporates. It’s like no one else is there and there’s quiet all round. In the midst of a crowd, it’s just me and her, and no one else.

We’re at a coffee place. She’s nervous. She doesn’t want to get caught by her parents. I know she wants to be there, but the fear she feels makes me uncomfortable. Our hands brush each other, and for a brief moment, she smiles. She then blushes for the next few seconds, before going back to being uncomfortable with her surroundings. Those few seconds – bliss.

We’re a bunch of kids playing cards, making fun of each other as kids do. I don’t know I’m in love with her yet, but she makes me feel funny, especially when she laughs. She leaves, but she leaves behind one of her cards. It’s the two of clubs. I keep it with me, to this day.

She’s crying. We’ve been together for less than three months, but I’m leaving for college. I’ll be away four years. She’s crying because she’ll miss me. I make her some promises. She cheers up, but there are still tears. I feel more special than I’ve ever felt. It hits me harder than ever. She loves me.

It’s dark. She has to go home. I offer to walk her home. We go around the bend walk to within 40 metres of her home. Suddenly she turns and heads of in a different direction. I follow. She doesn’t want to get home just yet. She wants a few extra minutes with me. I’m touched.

We’re kids attending basketball coaching. We’re friends at home, but here we’re almost strangers. She missed the last few sessions. She told me the lie she was going to tell the coach. She’s talking to him, using that lie. I’m standing behind the coach unable to contain my laughter. She sees me out of the corner, but gets through it determinedly. But her cheeks are pink. She is so damn beautiful.

I’m still in school. We haven’t spoken in about a year. I’m crying because I miss her. I’m crying because I don’t know why she won’t talk to me. I miss our long talks in the park. I miss that smile. I realize she’s more to me than just a friend. I’m in love.

There’s a text on my phone. I don’t recognize the number. Someone needs my Physics text book. It’s her. After such a long time, it’s her. We become friends again. We’re texting each other all day long. I know happiness again. I really like her. No, I love her. I don’t know how to tell her. She’s texting some gossip to me. I tell her I like someone. She asks me who. I tell her that can’t tell her. I tell her that I find “the girl” very beautiful. I share with her the little things I love about her, though she doesn’t know I’m talking about her. I promise to tell her “the girl’s” identity, once I’ve told “the girl”.

Today’s the day I decide. I tell her that I’m about to tell the girl. She’s on her scooter, on the way home. She sees me on the way. She is in a bluish green outfit and so beautiful. I want to tell her. But nerves get the better of me. I can’t do it. I tell her, not yet. She goes home. I know I can’t do it looking into those eyes. I send her a long text. She’s the one. I love her. She looks at me as a friend. She’s sorry. But she tells me something – I was her first crush. I feel down, but I’m not out. She used to like me, maybe she can again.

We’re texting each other all the time. My gut tells me she’s into me. I tell her, everyday. She won’t admit it. I flirt with her. She responds, with an air of guilt. I know she likes me. I tell her. She won’t admit it. It’s the 5th of May. She tells me I’m right. “Are you serious?!”, I exclaim. She tells me she’s joking. I’m hurt. I tell her. She didn’t have to make fun of me. She texts later. She meant it. She just didn’t like the way I reacted. She likes me. We’re together. Just like that. The 5th of May – the best day of my life.

There are no selfies in the world yet. We’re there together. She’s laughing with me. We realize we don’t have a picture together, not since we started dating. I take out my laptop, and we sit together, my arm around her. I just manage to take our picture, before my brother walks in and I pretend to be teaching her something from computer science. She’s blushing. I make fun of her saying something computer science a little. She’s laughing. My brother goes out, she hits me playfully. She’s laughing. She’s so beautiful. I look at our picture, she is stunning. I look horrendous. Why she is with me, I don’t know. I don’t deserve her.

After everything we went through – the long distance, the stress that came with it, I broke it. I took her presence for granted. I took her love for granted. She’s gone, and I’ve been through a 1000 days of winter, and look to be spending many more in the cold. I love her, and that love will never cease. But I don’t deserve her. I never did.
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Two years on...

Dear S,

Two years, two painful years. That’s how long it has been. Just two years.

I still remember the day vividly. The tears, the pain, the suffocation. The day I lost everything I wanted in life. Today, I sit and I look back in agony. Agony, because I look at my life today, and I still need you, more than you will ever understand, more than I sometimes realize.

Need. That’s a strong word. That’s what I keep coming back to. Love, I find, is fleeting, a happy feeling that passes through your body - a hormonal response, driven toward our evolutionary need to find a mate. I have always felt that toward you, but that is not what makes you unique to me, special. Need. Now that, is not something you feel toward just anybody.

Ever since we grew close, I needed you. No matter the distance, you were there. In my happiest moments, you were there, laughing and sharing my joys. In every painful moment, I never felt alone, because you would always be there, listening and making me feel a little less alone. Alone. A feeling I have not been able to shake in the last two years.

I was watching clips of some of the movies we grew up watching. I chanced upon the song New York Nagaram, from Sillunu Oru Kaadhal. I couldn’t help but connect. “Naangu Kannadi Suvargalukkullae, Naanum Mezhuguvaththiyum, Thanimai Thanimayo.. Kodumai Kodumaiyo.” That, sums up my life.
You know more than anyone, I abhor human interaction. I always preferred my own company. But you, you were always a part of that. Wait, you say, that doesn’t make sense. It does. You were never a separate entity. Ever since you said yes on the afternoon of May 5, 2007, you were a part of me. Every moment of my life since, I calculated. I weighed every action against what you would think of me. And you were always there, supporting, understanding, loving.

I was and continue to be a loner. There are just some things about yourself that you can never change I suppose. But I tried S. I tried to change. I tried to not be in pain every moment of every day. But it’s like Surya sings. The more I get out, the more I find myself surrounded by people, the more those glass walls close in, and that dimmer that one candle keeping me going gets.

I utter your name so many times a day. I look up at the moon and only tears come down. I got a bike, and I push myself to pain riding it, because I need the other pain to stop. But it never does. When I’m riding up the toughest climbs, I feel a fleeting glimpse of accomplishment. I turn around to tell you. You aren’t there. That, is my life without you.

Every small success, every small failure. Your absence is a void. A black hole. I need you. And, I don’t know how to express that need. I’ve said some stupid things. Done and nearly done even stupider (and scary) things. And I recognize above everything, that I, in the end screwed any chance I’d ever have of being with you.

So pain, is what I’ll live with. Till you decide to let me back in – which I guess will be never. So many, talk about “moving on”. “Overcome your grief”. “Get back on my feet”. They don’t realize that it never matters whether I accomplish all that. They only know love. They don’t know need. They don’t know of that hole, need leaves in your soul. I may walk, and talk and appear okay on the surface, but that hole will never fill up, because I need.

Need is only known to the young boy in the hardest of shells that was broken down by a young girl, with nothing but a smile. Need, is only known the bullied young kid, who would always turn to his angel, to not feel alone. Need is only known to kid who’s dreams for life, didn’t circle around being rich and famous, but centred around happiness – happiness, with you. Not a day goes by, where I don’t think of you and your smile. Not a day goes by, where I don’t consider our future imaginary children (I still remember their names). Not a day goes by, where I don’t break into tears, thinking of what could have been, what should have been, what should be – if only I hadn’t screwed it up.

I say this now, two years on from the worst day of my life, despite you being far away, despite knowing that you probably will never see this, despite knowing, at this point, you probably don’t care. I will never, ever stop needing you. I will never, ever stop loving you. In every small thing I do, there will always be - you, as a source of inspiration that will never die. And with every small success and every small failure, I will always turn around to tell you. I hope, against all reasonable and realistic hope, that someday, you will be there to listen.

Yours, now and forever,
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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Painful Love

He sighed, as he walked across the room and sat cross legged on his bed. He looked around his bedroom, settling his gaze on the giant smiling face on the wall. A tear rolled down his cheek. He gently rubbed it away as his mind wandered to about 40 years earlier.


"Do you love me?", she asked, her head resting on his lap.

"Of course I do! What kind of question is that!", he exclaimed, smiling.

"How much?", a question she loved asking.

He thought for a moment, "if you took the size of all the planets, all the stars and combined them all, it still would not compare to the love I have for you", he said, in his usual corny manner.

She smiled. She always did. It didn't matter how silly the line was, she always smiled. She just loved that he tried, always, to say something loving and sweet.


He got off the bed and walked over to the bathroom and washed up. He looked in the mirror. He was quite possibly among the fittest 60 year-olds in the world. Plus with his exploding wallet, he could've easily found a companion to spend his life with. But, he chose not to.

"No way, I could look at anyone the way I looked at her", he always reasoned. Slowly he had a warm bath. He thought of shaving the stubble on his face...


"Ouch, you're poking me", she joked with a hint of laughter in her voice.

"You want me to shave it off?", he asked, knowing the answer.

"Chi poda! You know i love the feeling of your stubble against my face, don't you dare shave it off!". With that she leaned in and kissed him.


Chucking the razor aside, he muttered to himself, "not tonight". He walked down the stairs to find a hot meal waiting for him.

"Aah lasagna", he muttered, "my favourite". Tonight was a special night. He wanted to have his favourite meal tonight.

He sat at the table and dug in. All around him on the walls of the massive dining room were pictures of him, with various important people, receiving some kind of award or the other. He hated every inch of it. But it was his late mother's idea. And since he hadn't obliged much in the grand kids department, he felt the need to go with her on this one.

He looked up at a large picture of his parents. While they were around, at least he had company at home. Since they'd left for their heavenly abode, he felt more alone than ever.


"Do you think your parents will like me?", she said in a worried voice.
He laughed aloud. "My parents are gonna love you sweetie, you've got nothing to worry about!"

"What if they don't?" she asked, for the millionth time.

He smiled and replied, "it doesn't matter to me. As long as I have you, I will always be happy".

Content, she leaned her head on his shoulder, smiling.


The maid walked in, snapping him back to reality.

"Your juice sir?", she enquired.
Apple juice, his favourite. Incredibly, he had refused to drink a drop of alcohol all his life.


"You're going there?! That place is full on drunkards!! They'll spoil you!! You'll change!! Don't go!!", she cried.

He hugged her and said, "I have to go finish up my studies darling. Two years will feel like twenty without you by my side! But what has to be done, has to be done! Think about it, I'll come back with an awesome job, and walk straight up to your parents asking for your hand!"

"You'll change!", she whimpered, tears now running down her cheeks as she hugged him tighter, burying her head in his chest.

Slowly he raised her head with his fingers on her chin, and kissed her gently. "If it'll make you feel better I promise I won't touch the drink, alright?"

She smiled through the tears. It occurred to him how lucky he was.


Dinner was done. He slowly walked past the window overlooking his array of sports cars. Different shapes, different sizes. Each bought with the intention of finding himself some happiness. It never worked.

He sighed and drew the curtains. Slowly he walked up the stairs. At the top was a large photograph. An old one. One they'd clicked together as teenagers. He paused.


"Someone's gonna come, hurry up!", she exclaimed impatiently.

"I know, I'm trying", he retorted, with half a smile. "There", he said, "it's ready".

He put his arm around her and pulled her close as the camera went off. As they pulled out to see the picture, in walked her cousin.

"What are you two doing?", she exclaimed.

He looked towards his blushing girl, turned to her cousin and uttered the most believable excuse he could think of.
"Yeah right", her cousin exclaimed and left them alone.


He entered his room slowly. On the wall was stuck a calender. Today would've marked 42 years together. "Seven times six", he thought, "our favourite numbers." It had been wonderful, until it all fell apart.


"Go away", she screamed.

"Please don't do this baby", he pleaded.

"How many times do I tell you, I don't love you anymore."

"I know you do sweetie, I know it! Don't chase me away like this."

"Just get the fuck away from me, leave me alone!".


The tears that had been frequently appearing all night, now streamed down his cheeks. He sobbed, uncontrollably. It was now about 37 and a half years to the day. Since she'd walked out on him. She was married, had two gorgeous children, with a doting husband. She was happy.

He had everything. Fast cars. A near unlimited bank account. The world at his feet. Yet, he felt empty. Alone. It didn't matter how successful he became, it just got worse and worse.

For a while, he convinced himself she'd be back. When she got married, he convinced himself it wouldn't last. After a while he convinced himself, that his parents would want him around.

Every last straw, had been clutched. His life had drained him. He neither had the motivation nor the will anymore.

He walked over to the dresser and opened the drawer. There was a piece of paper. He had no heir. No family. He knew who it all was to be left to. He always knew. Quietly he signed it, put it in an envelope and called over his maid.

"Mail this please", he said, "and take the rest of the day off with your kids."

The maid smiled. Such a sweet man he was. Always considerate. Always kind. He never seemed to want anything. In fact she had quite taken aback when he'd requested a specific menu for the day.

Thanking him, she headed to the post office, happy at the idea of picking up her little kids from school.

"The time has come", he thought to himself. Slowly, he went back to the dresser again. He pulled out a small box.

He carried it with him to the bed. He looked at the smiling face on the wall and sighed, "maybe in heaven. I love you."

Out of the box he pulled out a pistol. It shone in the light from the window. "Goodbye", he said to no one in particular. Within a couple of seconds, it was over.

As he lay in a pool of his own blood, a look of relief passed over his face. Even though he had had everything, without her, he had, in fact, nothing. His pain was over. Every day for the last 45 to 50 years he thought about her. Every fucking minute of the day.

He could finally sleep in peace, without her, or the daughter they always dreamt of having, ever haunting him again.
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Saturday, May 4, 2013

May the Fifth

May 5, 2007. It remains and will remain forever, the best day of my life. I will never forget that feeling. I will never forget that day. I will never forget that moment.

You came into my life and gave me so much happiness, only to take it away from me four and a half years later. But here I am, six years on, still completely, hopelessly in love with you. You may or may not see this.  But, nevertheless, I want you to know that I will always love you, till the day I go lifeless.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

There will come an end

It's tough. You walk around feeling lifeless. Living day to day. Going through life one moment to the next. Passing by people and hating them for no real reason. Hating your surroundings. Hating what your life has become and yet, having to put on a facade. An act put on to try and convince yourself that your life means something. You try to be okay. You try to distract. You try to make peace. You try to convince yourself that things will be okay. You try to pray. You try to live. Yet that loneliness. The feeling of isolation and desertion. That never goes.

On nights like tonight I can't help but hate myself. I grew up alone. Yet I was happy. Then she came along and showed me what company could bring. Now, alone. Forever. Lost. Lonely. Helpless. 

I don't deserve her. I never did. But the pain of needing somebody who you may never talk to or even see again is just getting unbearable. The time will finally arrive when I truly cannot live without her. I try to convince myself day to day, that I'm ok. That I'll survive. But deep down I know that day will come. And when that day comes, I know I have no one to turn to. 
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Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Birthday S

I look up at the moon, from whence she came,
The angel with the flowing hair,
A voice filled with sugar,
A smile made of pearls. 

I look up at the moon,
I see her there with me, 
Far away she may be, 
But within my heart she resides. 

I look up at the moon, 
Longing in my heart, 
Forever in my thoughts, 
No matter the distance between us.

I look up at the moon, 
To wish you a happy birthday S, 
Have a wonderful year, 
Forever I am yours.
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Sunday, July 1, 2012

I am Peter Parker

It's a tough life, being the quiet chap sitting in the corner of the room, observing everyone around. The guy who prefers nothing better than to spend his time alone, watching the latest sporting event. It's tough to live with yourself when you'd rather talk about stuff with a bunch of people on twitter you've never met, rather than go out and actually meet people. It is the worst, when you hold your phone in your hand and realize that no one is ever going to call you, and worse still, you have no one to call (outside of your parents of course).

I'm probably an extreme case. Even now, I choose to write here than find somebody to talk to about this. But why?

I watched "The Amazing Spider-man" recently. Half an hour into the flick, I realized something. I'm Peter Parker. Yes, that sounds crazy, but let me explain.

Peter Parker (the character) is shy, quiet, a bit nerdy. But it's not just these characteristics that make me feel like him. Love. Love for the girl I've always believed I can never have. Love for the girl that makes me hate myself beyond anything measurable. Damn, do I know how that feels!

I was in school many years ago, and shamelessly in love with the prettiest girl in school (I still am), indeed the prettiest I'd ever met. We were friends. Good friends. Yet I had not the courage to tell her so. Peter Parker in the beginning of the movie, has a wallpaper on his computer. A photo of Gwen Stacy taken secretly.

Me? Once upon a time, *she* had dropped a playing card at my place. I never returned it to her. 7 years on, that playing card enjoys a pride of place among my possessions. The 2 of clubs. It rests in my wallet, close to me, as I try to hold on to her. Yes, I realize this makes me sound mad.

Anyway, I have lost her. Twice, actually. The first time was in school itself, when I seemingly lost her friendship. I lost her to exams and rumors that can circle a teenager. I suffered. For one and a half years. I would cry for her everyday. I would curse the Gods that took her away from me. I would beg no one in particular to return her to me. I forgot what happiness was.

Then, one day, fate (which I never believed in till that moment) reunited us. We became close friends. Closer than ever. I wanted to tell her I loved her. So badly. It burnt me inside. One day, I decided I would. I walked up to her. She smiled. I lost my voice. I lost my gut. She left for home. I beat myself over it while I realized I could never tell her to her face. Then I sent her a text. I poured my heart out. Through a freaking text message. She rejected me. But not convincingly. 3 months later she was mine. Mine for life. Or so I thought.

For four and a half years this Peter Parker was Spider-man. I had the world at my feet. Well, I had the pretty girl from school. But aren't they much the same thing? To me, at least they are. I was invincible. I was proud. I was happy.

Everyday, the best moments would be our phone calls. Our little texts to each other reminding us about our love. Those stolen whispers at the middle of the night while everyone around was asleep. Then there were our stolen glances. Quiet little meetings in the coffee/dessert place a few hundred metres away from home. Everything was amazing.

But somewhere within Spider-man, Peter Parker lived on. Scared. Insecure. Afraid. Deep down I knew I wasn't good enough for her. Maybe it was an unfair assessment of myself. Maybe it was completely warranted. But I was always afraid of the day she would feel the same way. The day came.

It's been nearly 7 months since she left. I begged and pleaded with her for much of it. But eventually I realized there's no sense in both of us being sad with our lives. So I let her go. No, I can't stop loving that dame with that gorgeous smile, but at least I can keep out of her life for her happiness right? How about moving on, you may ask. There are plenty of fish in the sea, you might say. That's not within the realms of possibility. Why?

Like I said, I'm probably an extreme case. I don't know for sure. As I sit quietly in my room alone everyday, I miss her. I miss the one person I always trusted. The one person whose company I craved, I enjoyed. It's not all about love and flirtation. She was... No. She is much more than that to me.

There are a couple of friends I do have, who talk to me sometimes. And neither can understand why it's so difficult to move on for me. What they don't understand is that I want to move on too. I want to forget. I want to be like any "normal" person. But I'm not. For much of my childhood, I was happy by myself. As a kid I would set up my stumps on the street outside my home every evening and just bowl at the stumps. Playing with other kids, just wasn't in my DNA.

But she. She was different. The moment I saw her, I wanted to know her. I wanted to talk to her. I craved her attention. I craved her company. I felt for her the way I'd never felt for another human being before. The connection I felt with her was far beyond romantic. For the first time in my life, I wanted a friend. For the first time, I felt that not having one had left a void in my life.

Today, I feel that same void. Nothing, and nobody but her can fill that void. For an introvert like me, it's tough to even talk to somebody. I often sit and watch in envy when I see a guy in big group joking, laughing and having a good time with a big group of people. Instead, I'll be the quiet guy nobody notices sitting alone in the canteen, eating his lunch. Peter Parker. For a guy like that, a guy like me, to want to even talk to somebody, is a massive deal. This is something most people don't seem to understand.

Today the Peter Parker in me is all that's left. Spider-man is gone. Gone with her sweeping hair, her expressive eyes, those skinny cold hands and that loving, almost caressing smile. I retreat everyday, further away from people. Further into the arms of those of you reading this.

I pray to the Gods to have mercy on me. I pray to have her back. Indeed, the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness has turned me, once again to the Gods. I tell them the truth. She has never just been a person I wanted. Instead she has always also been the person I needed.

I want to be able to climb the walls again. I want to be a hero to the downtrodden. I want to love myself. As I lie in bed, the Peter Parker that I am, writing this, I miss my Gwen Stacy. I miss my Mary Jane Watson. I want to be better. I want to be worthy of her love. I want to be good enough for her and more.

In short, I want to be Spider-man again.
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