Saturday, March 10, 2007

Reminiscence.

I looked at the pictures my friend had sent me from Mumbai and smiled to myself. She is a sweetheart and I wondered why did she take so long to send the pics. Was she hesitating? I closed my eyes and leaned my spine further on the swivel chair. And suddenly, memories from the past started to come in a flash.


We fell in love the first time we met at a common friend's place. Our common friend was my school friend and his institute junior. The second day we met at St.Paul's, we sat there in silence for God knows how long in front of the pic of Christ. And then he looked at me and asked, “Do you love me?”


To which, I had said, “I am in God's house, and I wouldn't lie. I do”.


And that had been the beginning of the best two months of this whole phase. I was fresh in college. I viewed the world with these colored glasses of mine. And suddenly, everything had been so beautiful. He used to come home from hostel every weekend, and I always made it a point to see him at the station. Yes, I used to travel a good one hour to the station to see him. We would keep walking on the streets for hours. We would spend sunsets by the banks of the river. We would talk for hours over ice creams. And he always made it a point to drop me home.


I thought I had the best of the world. I was never really the career minded, ambitious types. I knew all about my dreams. I knew I was marrying him, we were having kids, and so would be our story. A few more years and I would be out of college and he would have a job. What more did I want from life?


I saved my pocket money for his birth day. I used to giggle senselessly whenever the train would enter the platform. I would be mindless of the stench and chaos and coolies and hawkers, totally oblivious to the real world. Life had been a dream.


I told him about my parents. I told my parents about him. Dad was mad, but that he would be with anyone. Eventually, he agreed to meet him. They met, they talked. I was hopeful all the while that he would like him. So there I sat sandwiched between two men I loved the most.


Later that night, I had excitedly crept into dad's room to talk to him. And dad had only told me one thing, “If testing times come, he will not put up a fight for you”.


I was distraught. I argued with dad. I told him how wrong he was. Dad just smiled, and said nothing.


And then it was my turn to meet his parents. His parents invited me over. And there I sat nervously, sensing a certain air of discomfort, yet not really knowing what to do. He had held my hands and said, “Trust me”. I trusted him. I wish I had noticed that his palms were sweating too.


His mom had seemed aloof, distant. She was very ill. His dad had been indifferent. Frankly, at the end of the evening, I just didn't know.


Later he had told me that their parents did not approve of me. My world had come tumbling down. I was aghast. I saw no reason why they should disapprove. After much prodding, I was told the truth. I wasn't fair. I was not an engineer. Period.


I had laughed at the ludicrousness of the situation. “So what?”, I had asked him. “You love me and I love you. And you are fair and you are an engineer”.


“You don't understand dear”, is what he had told me. “You should do something my family should be proud of”.


“Like what?”


He had seemed to hesitate. “Can you get a doctoral degree?”


I had laughed my guts out. A doctoral degree? I was not even planning to go beyond college. How can I study so much?


“Well, that's up to you”, was all he had said.


And that day had changed the course of my life. I decided to do a PhD. I started with finding out what did one need to do in a PhD. And then I started working hard towards my career, and towards preparing for GRE.


In the meantime, he called me up to say that it was all over. His mom has had a fit and she refused to take her medicines till he gave her his word that he would never see me again. More than being angry, I was puzzled. I just wish I had a say in this.


He went away from my life. For some strange reason, I had the notion that if I made it to the US, he would come back to me someday. I worked hard day and night. I made it. But by that time, I had realized that we did not deserve each other. Initially I thought I could not live without him. Then I thought I hated him. Finally, I realized that I just felt nothing for him anymore.


I have always been good friends with his sis. After we split, his sis and I mutually agreed that we would never bring him up. She did not support his decision, and this was the least she could do.


Her email today amused me a lot. So there she sent me an attachment and there I saw him looking as handsome as ever in the groom's wear, a pretty, fair, nubile woman in red beside him. Those were their marriage pics.


“Arranged?”, I asked.


“No, love marriage. And she is an engineer”, she said.


Somehow, I had known all the while that this would happen someday. And I had always thought that the day this happened, I would not be able to live anymore. Strangely, I felt none of my anger or pride or hurt. I just felt sorry for him. And then I closed my eyes, leaned on my swivel chair, and smiled to myself. A thought had just crossed my mind.


People often asked me what prompted me to do a PhD. Was it ambition, academic inclination, and the drive to do something innovative? Now they had my answer.


A broken heart and oodles of humiliation wasn't a big deal after all. At least I got to do a PhD. At least I am doing well in life. And most importantly, at least I did not have to spend the rest of my life with a spineless man.


How incidents, more than ambition, shapes us up in life!!!


As narrated to me by a senior friend here, and written with her consent.

sunshine.

37 comments:

desperado said...

one of your mos beautiful post..apinful and full of deepest feelinsg...u really did bring the words alive and yeah again...

u r a writer

Ruchika said...

Oh yeah!! We're all better off without spineless men!! :) Interesting thought there though, about how incidents shape our lives more than ambition...

Garrett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Garrett said...

an experience very beautifully put up.... u have real flare of getting the mood and picture through yr writings... keep up the good work!!!

and nice insight about how the incident rather than ambitions shapes the life....

~Nayan~ said...

I know how it feels when u are judged by some unknown person and literally given grades on ur physical appearance. My elder sister went all through this gross stereotypical thinking "bou tuktuke phorsha hova uchit" - crap.....
Whatever, its great that u chose PhD. You have a great opportunity to shape ur life...Best of Luck

IdeaSmith said...

Beautiful post and deeply honest. I wish your friend all the very best and hope she retains her positive outlook to the way her life turned out.

jason_monk said...

hi sunshine ,
been reading ur blog for 4 months now , never commented though
somwhow i get this weird feeling tht ur talking abt urself here
and yes , the guy did not deserve you , if it was indeed you.
please delete comment after you read it.

rt said...

I second ruchika..
just like to add - its not just for men - world wud be a better place without such spineless men/women!

shruti said...

lovely post ...yes many a time incidents do shape our life... they has to be a reason especially wehn we are young and naive ,, but then that's exactly whts required so that we reach the stage when we have dealt through and felt most of the emotions and emerged a stronger soul.. it will stay with us for ever .nothing else will !!

Chaos said...

Beautiful post sunshine, and kudos to you.......i post a comment after a long time. hope your studies are going fine.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

A very touching story. hugs to your friend and to you for the narration. :) She must be very proud of herself.gon

Manasi said...

Wonderful post!
When I decided to do my masters in the US, I always thought it was more because he was there, and that the incidents were shaping my decision than my ambition. But once the course started, I knew it was my ambition in the first place that made me decide upon coming over, his existence just made decisions a lot simpler.

Yugandhar V said...

I don't think there is any 'spine' related issue in this. He chose his parents over her. Whatever reason he might give, that's what happened. He thinks more of his parents than her. That's it.
I would say, he was dishonest to her by not mentioning (assuming, he did not) that he would choose his parents over her if the situation arises.
That said, He might be a spineless guy, but I would say we cannot conclude that by looking at this story

Anonymous said...

I am speechless.

Anonymous said...

Nice post and.....dad always knows best I guess :-)

gayathri said...

it always takes me someitme to figure out ur blogs:)

sunshine said...

Heartfelt thanks to everyone for appreciating my writing skills.

yugandhar v- any person, man or woman, who doesn't stand up for a cause he/she beleives in is spineless. There is nothing to choose between parents and beloved. Both of them have their different positions, and importance is one's life. However it is spinelessness to let one influence the presence of the other.

Vinod Khare said...

Really wonderful post. And you are a great writer!! Well done.

I believe that it is always incidents that shape ones life. One may attribute things to abstract notions such as ambition and liking and honor and such but it is individual incidents that make us take the decisions that we take.

Fishfry.... said...

hey...
Its stragnge that how 2 ppl's live could roll in surprisingly same way.
Currently i could relate my life to urs but only in the first stage.. m still struggling to get thru my P.hd, and i was brought to this blog by the one i loved most.. but had to part cus of xactly the same reasons as ur's!

Abhi said...

Think of the what the guy has to face - emotional drainage of being torn between the people he loves, the fear of watching his family turn his back on him , the guilt of having to choose between his loved ones . There are no supermen around.Guys are not men of steel all the time . Guys buckle.Guys crash.Guys make mistakes.Wonder what the spinless guy would have said if he was writing this .Doubt if anyone would have cared to listen.

Anonymous said...

uyrwguI have been reading your blog for over a year.. In your earlier posts you had mentioned about this whole thing as yours … I mean the guy rejecting you because the his mon wanted a fair and an achiever bride. This post talks about a similar experience but you have mentioned it as that of your friends. Wonder you and your friend went through a similar trauma or is the same thing you are talking about …

Vidya

anonymous coward said...

a very touching post ...

preeti said...

How incidents, more than ambition, shapes us up in life!!!
--- very true i guess

Sharique said...

Beautifully written. One thing I have realised in life is never to invest emotions. I know as naives we often fell in the trap. There is nothing wrong to learn from mistakes. I kind of agree with Abhi above. I would love to read the other part of the story also.

Anonymous said...

would like to meet the "father", can u throw some lights as to how he cud make that out about the guy....

'jo said...

wish i could just hug and tell that...good it all over......
you are much better off without him

Neo said...

Really touched.I agree life's actually a weaved pattern of incidents and our reactions to those incidents.

But i would like to add that, this wont stop us from planning :)

Pooh said...

Wonderful post! I have seen someone go through something similar and yes she attributes her success to the one who broke her heart!

parmvir said...

really touching!!

sushant said...

i feel this guy needn't be labelled a spineless fellow for things he did. i'd extend as much symapathies to you/your senior - whoever's story it was - as to that guy who's being called spineless by people on one side of the coin for taking a decision X, while he would have been called one anyway even if he took the decision Y, then by people on the other side of the coin.

in any case, what are symapathies worth. who needs them anyways.

your writing is excellent, thanks.

someone anonymous has commented - dad know's best. this 'guy' might have thought 'mom knows best' .. not a great deviation in thinking, but man he'z got 26 comments of wrath already for that minute deviation.

vendz said...

Hi!!have been reading ur blog for quite soem time now..U have beautiful eyes..:) tuchwud

Anonymous said...

Just happend to come across ur blog...first of all let me compliment u on ur writing skill...its really very touching.And there are so many things that anybody can relate to.
Now coming to this post of urs...I also happened to read a few earlier posts of urs which talked a lot abt complexion...I just wanted to add something to this.A few relations are not meant to sustain over a long period and I am sure when u r done with such relations u feel a lot relieved and u sure learn a few lessons (although the bitter way ) but neverthless the lessons remain forever and finally u realise good that it happened had it not how wud I have encountered better things that were ahead.The reason why a relation didn't work cannot be narrowed down to just one particular reason ...the basic reason why the relation didn't work out is for u to move ahead in life...for u to have a reason and inspiration to move ahead carrying along a lesson and more strenth than before and to understand that that relation just doesn't deserve ur thots to it anymore and ur reasoning out of the same.Sometimes erasing out a few things of ur memory helps....

anoop said...

hey,
people here are complimenting your writing skills, but more than that I want to bring to notice your humility in writing such a post. The way you have accepted the situation - as a fact - and moved on, this simple outlook is not possible by many.
you wrote - "Finally, I realized that I just felt nothing for him anymore." excellent!

anoop said...

update:
'When they say that its the heart that is broken...
its just mostly the dreams that are shattered'

maverick said...

Wow! that was an excellent piece of writing. So poignant yet so true.

Sidin said...

Most beautiful. A little bit of that has happened in all our lives I guess.

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