I think, therefore I write

Tag: AtoZ2015

Bittersweet

I didn’t think that I would be able to do 2 consecutive posts for the AtoZChallenge going on, without compromising on what I want to write rather than what I should write for the letter of the day. And that is the exact reason why I created my own AtoZ series of posts over a year. Yet, here I am writing the second consecutive post. Blame it on the gap between my posts or on my heart’s persistent urge to title the post on this particular topic as ‘Bittersweet’. Any which way, here goes:

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Have you ever loved anyone? Or has anyone ever loved you enough to make you feel like you were the only person in the world? And did you succeed in that love or fail, pick yourself up and move on? Yes, love is my focus here. But it is not above how elating or crazy or blind love is. I am here to write about how bittersweet love is. Yes, of all the adjectives the English language provides us, I feel this one does justice to the feeling. Allow me to recount the experience that inspired this post. A very good friend of mine was in a relationship with a girl from a different religion. They always knew that the religion thing will get in the way from the start but something kept them going. We were all very intrigued as to how they are going to face such a stark difference in this society and make their love a success. They both had very charming personalities and were such a lovely couple too.

In a few months, we had become friends with the girl even though we didn’t share workplaces and started addressing her as though she was his wife. They were confident in their love and we were too. Time passed and the usual pressure at the girl’s house started. She had a younger sister too which didn’t make things easier. The same way, the guy had a younger sister whom he had to marry off before he could even think of his marriage. Well, things happened and needless to say, the only way out was that of a mutual break-up. They opted for that and parted ways with no hard feelings. They tried, cried and somehow managed to move on. As days passed ,I lost touch with them both except for the occasional call or two from my friend. I could never get in touch with her because believe it or not, it gets awkward. Obviously, I got to know her only because I was his friend and so talking to me would invariably loop around him. And many such reasons happened and we lost touch for no good reason. However, I could never delete her from my contacts. Every time I looked at her name, I didn’t just remember her or him. I remembered them and what could have been, a really beautiful life for 2 of my friends filled with overwhelming love.

Recently, I happened to look at her name as I was scrolling through my contacts and saw her profile pic. It was a pic of her with her husband on her wedding day. I paused for a moment and tried to swallow. I couldn’t. My heart felt so heavy. I was wondering why I was feeling so bad about this when they themselves have moved on and started a new phase of their lives. And it’s been like a couple of years since they broke up. Still I was not consoled. I continued to stare at her profile pic and her smiling pose. A 1000 questions raced through my mind – Is she happy? Can you move on completely from such a wonderful love and that too the first one at that? Does she remember the happy times with him and us? It would be very judgmental on my part if I expected her not to move on and marry someone else and I understood that perfectly. I never judged either of them for one moment. They had their reasons and even more who am I to judge them for deciding that what they thought would work out was a mistake? They were very mature about it and parted without hurting anyone except themselves. No, that is not my problem. My problem is the what-could-have-been. My problem is because of religion, the concept of love took a hit here. Ironically religion claims that the basis is love when it is taught to all of us. What we miss out is that love comes with conditions – love another of the same religion. same community, same caste, same status. But that love which was crushed didn’t come withΒ  conditions, it was just simply beautiful and bittersweet.

Until later πŸ™‚

P.S: I know I missed out on the Action Replay for March but there was nothing eventful except work during March and I didn’t think it would as interesting to you as it was to me. So the post for that series will visit you at the dawn of May.

An alternate angle

Everyone in the blogging world knows about The April AtoZ challenge, it’s been doing the rounds for quite a while and a lot of people take part in it. All the while, I watched as a mute spectator. I spent a lot of minutes wondering whether I should take part in it. But then who am I kidding? I honestly don’t have the time and I don’t want force myself to write some random post and title it even more randomly so that the title starts with the letter of the day. No offense to the challenge and the bloggers who are participating (who by the way are dishing out amazing fiction for this challenge) but such challenges are not for me. Yet.

As I was mulling over this, another idea struck me and I tweeted about it. Obviously, the AtoZ post concept is appealing but the challenge of posting one every day is what takes the fun out of it for me. Why stuff so many posts in that 1 month just for the sake of it? I will do AtoZ posts on my terms. I have a lot of things to write about and as and when the idea for a letter strikes me, I will tag it under this category and write on it. This will be in the span of a year, that way I can repeat this multiple times and have fun with it. So here I am, writing the first post of AtoZ2015.

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“Decide on one soon na?” I begged hubby who was flitting between Domino’s and South Indies for lunch. Hunger makes me cranky and I lose all reasoning as time goes by. Knowing this well, hubby blindly decided on Domino’s. As we were entering the outlet, we saw a boy, in 12-14 yrs age range begging the customers for some food. His face and mannerisms rang a bell. I have seen him often in front of this Domino’s outlet begging for food and I remembered feeling disturbed by the irony of a child begging for food outside a restaurant. It’s a common thing that restaurants will have a lot of edible left overs but still the boy’s hunger was not met by any kind soul. At the same time, my hubby pointed out that a lot of people beg stating that they are hungry but refuse to take food when provided and insist on money. I had experienced such stuff too. This caused a dilemma in me. I couldn’t think straight because of my hunger and decided to be selfish and satiate my hunger first.

Soon we ordered a variety of dishes in no time. On second thoughts, I felt that we might have ordered more than we could eat. I shrugged the feeling with a “Who cares? We can always take home if there’s much left over.” As I was eating through the delicacies on my table, I couldn’t help but glance at the boy through the glass doors. And I kept wondering why life is so two-faced. On the inside of the glass door sat people like me, relishing the food and A/C that they could easily afford and outside was a poor boy in the scorching heat begging for food. I couldn’t bear it. I quickly took the box of Taco Mexicana I had ordered and poured out a glass of diet coke I had ordered and went out to the boy. I was skeptical if he would accept food instead of money but was relieved when he did.

Having relieved my guilty conscience, I ate my lunch happily, paid up and left. As I came out of the restaurant, I found the same boy begging again. I was wondering if what I gave him was not enough but I could see that he had not finished eating whatever I had given him in the first place. I got angered that my act couldn’t stop him from begging and maybe I couldn’t even if I give him more food. I left the place in a huff in a helpless state. But my mind kept going back and as my mind calmed down, I could see the rationale behind the boy’s act.

I provided him one meal. He might have a family with many mouths to feed. Even if that’s not the case, who guarantees his next meal? Who ensures that he doesn’t get beaten up by the mafia whose business is making children beg and take the money for themselves? Without knowing anything about him, what makes me qualified to judge him? The fact that I have provided him a single meal? No!

The situation looks entirely different from the boy’s angle. That alternate dimension or perspective is something that we often forget. What does it look like when you are the one getting the raw end of the deal? That angle is something that will make us shudder and thank our stars that we are not there. Yes, I can do an act of kindness but that single act might not change someone’s life altogether. Such people are fighting the battle of survival.

I resolved that I will never judge anyone like this again. Yes, there is a possibility that the boy falls into the category of greedy beggars insisting on money when offered good food or those people who beg to make enough money to get drunk or high or things like that. But there is also the alternate possibility of him having a family that depends on him, him being an orphan who has to take care of himself at an age when children should be pampered and protected. And I will respect that possibility, however low it is.

Until later πŸ™‚