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Sitting and Stalking

The first few weeks after my post-graduation were spent sitting in an arm-chair, looking for jobs and streaming How I Met Your Mother. Two tabs for teaching vacancies, two for writing and two other tabs for stalking women’s blogs. I didn’t know this then but I think stalking women’s blogs made me want to have a writing life and made me see how independent the women who wrote were.

Two of my favourite women bloggers were on blogspot then and they had written extensively about their work and living alone. I gobbled up their archives in a day and was thirsty for more. I went looking for them online. I stalked friends of friends on facebook, googled their names and arrived at a set of conclusions. These women were employed, lived alone, liked to read, and wanted to become writers. They were part of writing and reading workshops, were in touch with each other and wrote motherfucking every day.

I was more envious than thrilled. I was only just coming to terms with my own desire to write and these women– some even younger than me, were a lot more accomplished. It was around this time that I got a job at an NGO in Mysore. After a lot of persuading, my parents agreed and I started to pack my life of 22 years into medium-sized suitcases. I packed tea mugs, all of my journals which needn’t be hidden anymore, my books that were waiting to be read after I had become an independent woman, and family albums, just in case I missed them (so many giggles)

When we got to Mysore, I realised that I hadn’t really given much thought to where I would be living my independent woman life. I hadn’t thought of accommodation. I assumed that a PG would come flying by to my rescue and I wouldn’t have to worry. Long story short- I didn’t find any accommodation that my parents approved of so I lived in a government guest house for three days before giving in to their emotional drama and eventually quitting. I cried and kicked all the way back to Bangalore. My theory is that all of my dad’s government car drivers know me better than my parents do. So many of my life’s tragedies have happened in these cars. They would look straight ahead and drive on sombrely, ignoring the hysterical and weepy woman sitting next to them. I wonder what they knew. I wonder if they judged my father.

Months later– sitting in Uttarahalli where I got my second job, I took my first step and started to blog. I had reached a dead-end. I was stalking all these women and becoming nervous and ambitious all at once. These bursts of energy only made me more jealous so I’d binge-watch Gilmore Girls and call it a day. Here I discovered a blogger who lived in Bangalore and went to college by day and wrote madly by night. I followed her writing very closely and that was the exact moment when ambition became inspiration. I wrote about watching Julie & Julia that day and went to bed a happy woman that night.

I continue to stalk women now. I turn to their writing for comfort when my own writing hits all levels of shit and my personal life hits all levels of madness. These women taught me how to be but they didn’t know that I was learning from them. Three years later I find that I have a writing life. It’s not the greatest but I’m sure that if the girl sitting in Uttarahalli knew this, she would be happy for herself.

It’s not easy to write. Especially not when I am sad but it’s the only thing that I can call mine and I trust it to make me feel better.

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Dear Diary III

On 4 December 2014, Silva wrote in his diary,

I cannot take this anymore. I feel inadequate when I am not around her. I feel poisoned when I imagine her bonding with somebody else, telling them the same stories she told me, laughing with them in that same obscene way she laughed with me. When she repeats her stories to them, I almost wish she is bored, going over the same details with undeserving people, pondering over characters we pondered over together, matching their curiosity with hers. I wish she feels uninspired to tell her stories after this. Such is my misery. I want her to forget her stories so nobody comes seeking them.

They haven’t earned her stories the way I have. I have worked really hard to be here and it breaks my heart to see that now, other people have the same knowledge of her that I do. They will all know now, the laugh in her eyes, the story behind her wounds, her careless moles I thought only I could touch. They will all know now how she moans when she is about to climax, how she digs her fingers into flesh, body and bone when she is aroused, how the shape of her back looks in maddening darkness.

I cannot tell her all this. Because she keeps her promise. When she is with me, I know she is with me, in body, soul and mind. It’s what happens after, I have no control over that, and maybe it’s good that I don’t. I don’t know if I can feel the same way I do now, if she was mine everyday and day after day. What would we say to each other? How will we have stories if we haven’t lived outside of one another, far away most days and really far away on some days?

I know I must seek other people and their stories if I want to keep her in my life. I am just scared. What if she feels nothing? What if she feels happy when I have sought them?

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Dear Diary – II

On 17 October, 2001, Silva wrote in his diary:

She didn’t tell me about Anaaz. She talked about her cat after we made love on the balcony and then she slept. I waited for an hour, her head on my chest, her hand on my right nipple. As I listened to her slow breathing, I lay awake thinking of all the ways I could broach this subject. What unsuspecting ankle related question could I have asked? Do you like silver anklets? Too unlike me. She knows I don’t do gifts. At least that’s what I told her. She told me when we met first at Saibaa’s coffee shop that she doesn’t like gifts – something about accepted forms of bribery, to which I had to shrug and say that I don’t do gifts.

I feel screwed. I don’t want to lose this woman to some goatee – tattoo bastard. He’s a chuth. I can say he doesn’t respect her enough. I tried hacking into her FB account to see if they’ve been chatting. She seems to have changed her password. It is not fairypumpkins anymore. And then I made mistake # 1 of the evening. Under the pretext of drinking water, I left her covered on the balcony, sneaked into her bag, found her phone and locked myself in the bathroom. As I went through all her Whats app conversations, I saw that she had deleted her chat with Anaaz. I couldn’t even locate the pictures. I was struggling on many levels. All these years I thought I was the cool one in relationships. I was never jealous with other women. They were. Always. Now along with having to deal with the fact that I am a jealous person, I also had to face the possibility of losing her.

Mistake # 2 was not putting the phone on silent. When it started ringing, I heard a loud banging on the bathroom door. She wanted to know what I was doing with her phone in the bathroom. I opened Plants vs Zombies and told her that I only took her phone to play something while on the toilet. She just smiled and wrenched her phone back.

I have gone from being cool to very uncool. I don’t think she’s going to call me anymore. She hurried through dinner and left early.

I need a better plan.

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Dear Diary

On 16 October, 2001, Silva wrote in his diary:

“I’m tired today. I must give up on love altogether. Every time I fall in love, I go a little mad. This time I have nothing left to give. I don’t have the energy to be jealous anymore. At least I wish I didn’t, but I do. I have a lot of energy for jealousy and none for love. It’s as if somebody left a cold dagger in my ankle and it is wrenching itself out, bit by bit. I feel the jealousy from my neck and I feel it more as it travels down to my ankle. I checked her phone today. She had sent a picture of her bare ankle to Anaaz. Another picture of her bare thighs and another with a red shawl partly revealing her bare brown shoulders. I died a million times with each picture I saw, while I measured the amount of nakedness he was devouring, his evil tongue smacking his lips, I felt a surge of madness taking over me.

Until that moment, I thought I had full authority over her nakedness. I didn’t care much about how she chose to cover it or uncover it. But he had seen now the tenderness in those arms that I slept on. He was probably jerking off to her shoulders right now. I wondered if they had done it yet. I wondered if she was going to tell me. I wondered how I was going to react when she told me for I was sure she would tell me. She wasn’t one to hide. We had agreed that this was going to be an open relationship. Now I was only thinking of my face and what it should look like when she told me. I punched my pillow and saw Anaaz’ horny bastard face in it. I went up to the mirror and started to practice my fake smile. She would know, the bitch. I still had to try. I decided to disarm her first with a low pitched, measured laugh, I narrowed my eyes as I looked into the brown buttons in the mirror and mimicked ‘ha ha ha ha’. I was overdoing it. Maybe if I cut back on one ha. Three ha’s should suffice. Three is always a good number. It suggests a laidbackness that can only come after making love.

Should I broach the topic after making love, when her head is on my chest and her hand on my right nipple? I rehearsed my laugh for 10 minutes and then looked into my face for signs of dishonesty. I was afraid of getting caught. I may have enjoyed the rehearsals a bit too much, like the smell of my fart.

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G – Green eyed wala monster

Why are some people different than most others when they are in love? Why does jealousy accompany love with so much passion? Why does the absence of it bring coldness in relationships? Why is the lack of jealousy frowned upon by some and celebrated by some others? I have been pondering over relationships and jealousies for sometime now. And it has left me more puzzled and watchful of my thoughts than anything.

How do you explain that surge of bubbling blood and vital organs turning inside out when the person you desire desires somebody else? Do we feel jealous because we think we are ‘supposed’ to feel jealous? Do we feel jealous because we think it’s the most reliable and convenient way of declaring love to somebody? Eventually do we end up desiring them because they invest so much energy in feeling jealous?

A wise woman once told me that she doesn’t really care about her partner’s desires for other people as long as their desire for her remains the same. I felt almost handicapped when I heard that. Without much sequel to that conversation, I found myself desiring that state of ease. I wish I could say that some day. I wish I could mean it when I say that someday. 

I have had conversations with many people about this. And most of them think it pointless to be jealous because it’s beyond our control. We cannot decide how those that we desire ought to feel about others. But isn’t this untrue? Because we do decide in more arrangements than we take credit for, how those that we desire see us and other people.

The jealousy could be pointless but not because it is beyond our control but because why we feel jealous has nothing to do with us. It shouldn’t have anything to do with us. We feel jealous because we see another person as whole and his/her belonging to us in wholeness. But this a flaw we tend to overlook. When did people become wholes? Why do we see them as wholes? Isn’t it because we think it’s not normal to have many personalities in one? Because Psychology calls it a disorder to nourish many selves within one self? 

What if it were completely normal to be schizophrenic and by that extension, free of ourselves? I would be very happy if I wasn’t curious about who else my partner is sleeping with. Curiosity getting fucked here because I don’t see them as one whole belonging to me but as many parts, only one of which they choose to share with me. Is it now possible to keep track of what they do with the other selves? 

Does this mean freedom finally from wanting to know everything about them? 

Am I going slightly mad?