of absences

It’s finally time for the next round of revelations. Actually it’s been that time for a while. I have been busy packing for my Bangalore trip to be with Mister, so haven’t been very present in the blogging world.

So where were we? You know that the obsession with shoes and the date rape threat are real. So is the fear of all flying insects, including butterflies.

That leaves us with two possible lies: (a) Giggles and I not being in touch for a while, and (b) the tattoos.

You know what happened once upon a time with PepTalk – and how she thought Giggles and I were ganging up against her and how I stupidly sent a text about PepTalk to PepTalk.

After that, things kinda went south. Giggles focused all her energies on making PepTalk feel loved – because that’s who she is; she can’t see her friends in pain.

And you know me; even in my closest friendships I have always maintained a safe distance, and what PepTalk did completely drove me away. PepTalk and I had ostensibly sorted things out, but for me these things leave a bad taste in the mouth and things can never go back to being hunky dory again. She was being kinda territorial, so I backed off from Giggles. Aside from a customary lunch break, which the entire group took together, I took most of my breaks at my desk on the second floor. Mister would come up once in a while to say hello refill his coffee mug.

Things were ok until I broke my foot and had to shift to the ground floor. Since people knew I was pally with Giggles and PepTalk I was given a seat between them. That made things super uncomfortable. These two ladies would talk incessantly – and I often felt like I was getting in the way. One day, I offered to exchange seats with Giggles so they could sit together. They jumped at the opportunity and talked even more. I couldn’t understand how two people could discuss everything – from makeup to clothes to work. They ran all their decisions by each other, and that drove me away further. To be honest, we never had another fight again purely because I wasn’t interested.

All this while I knew Giggles and I would get along really well – and I was right. When I finally switched offices, Giggles and I stayed in touch. And then we became closer than ever before. ❤

So there – that’s the truth about Giggles and me.

The whole tattoos thing has to be a lie!

Or does it? Could I not have lied at all?

of little lies and big truths

I was a gawky, socially awkward girl who found it difficult to make eye contact with other children – who seemed better off in every way imaginable. They were smarter, happier, better looking, more accomplished in every sense of the word possible. I ate lunch alone. I would choke on my words if someone ever asked me a question. I was completely inept at holding conversations. The only exception was perhaps the one time I spoke to Mister when I was eight.

At home, I was the eldest of three children. My mom traveled a lot, so I ended up taking on roles too big for me – I became the cook, the agony aunt, the mother, the judge – all too soon; I still remember chuckling as I thought about how she was the actor, but I got all her roles. My sister and I fought a lot, sometimes there were badminton rackets and bruises involved, but we were okay. My brother was nine years younger to me, and I practically raised him like my mom should’ve.

Sometimes it meant missing homework; sometimes it meant I could use it as an excuse to miss homework.

I lied.

Growing up, I craved an older brother, and found one in S., my cousin. He was technically six months younger to me, but he loved me and was very protective about me. I liked that. He was very affectionate and would often hug me and hold my hand. Sometimes he was really mean to me, but he once beat up a guy because he was looking at me inappropriately and that more than made up for the heartbreak.

Once, S accompanied me to the school fete. People just assumed that he was my boyfriend. The next Monday, the school was abuzz with gossip of me seeing a really good looking guy. The popular girls suddenly wanted to hang out with me. It make me even more awkward, but I did enjoy their attention.

People asked me where I met him.

I lied.

When I was 23, I finally fell in love with a great guy. I could see that he loved me back; he even looked up to me in a boyish sort of way. He made life so easy. I no longer had to really be responsible for anything. He placed no demands on me, and told me he felt that a woman only really belonged to herself.

It feels really naïve now, but I thought that I had found the perfect man – one who would shield me from the world. I thought that I wouldn’t have to deal with issues on my own – he would do the dealing from there on. I felt like marriage was the only way I was ever going to be safe again; I expected him to protect me from the world; he was going to be the rock I could hide behind.

Once we were married, the practicalities of life took over. He worked nights, and I worked during the day. So there was a whole lot I had to take care of on my own. I realized that I couldn’t really depend on him to give me a comforting shoulder when I’d had a bad day at work or a squabble with his mother. He wasn’t there.

His was a demanding job, so I tried to make his life as comfortable as I could. I took on household responsibilities in addition to my full-time job. I kept quiet when his mom called me a whore for wearing a skirt to office. I acquiesced when he said he wanted to drive to work because his cab took too long. I happily accommodated and took a rickshaw to work. I stopped asking him to visit my parents when he told me he was uncomfortable around them.

I missed him, but I valued the two days a week I got with him, and I taught myself to be content with that.

The first five years were basically peaceful co-existence. It didn’t bother me that he didn’t know the name of my doctor. It didn’t bother him that I forgot about his daily injections. He needed his space, and I happily gave it to him. He gave me my space too, but the alone-ness scared me, so I filled it up with crowded malls and shopping.

I realized that space had turned into distance; in my marriage I was isolated, quiet, and unnaturally passive. I was ‘okay’ with everything that happened to me; I didn’t have clear choices any more. My intellect was gathering dust and I kept brushing that dust under the carpet, where I thought it belonged. I had twisted myself to fit the mold that I thought would fit the alliance, and it was finally beginning to hurt.

But I desperately wanted my marriage to work.

I lied.

Then, one day, I was at a mall, alone, after work. I didn’t want to go home. That day it suddenly hit me – we weren’t really a couple; only two really different people desperately wanting to be one half of a couple. I was more desperate than him, and that was clear to me from the start.

My life was slipping out of my grasp and I needed to do something about it. So I quit. I walked out of his house with two big bags and a heart full of dread.

Suddenly, I was outside in the world, alone. I didn’t know how I was going to deal with it.

When I moved into my parents’ house, I was living out of my luggage. I didn’t have a room of my own; I didn’t belong there anymore. At some level I never really had.

I moved out and got a place of my own. The 1 BHK house seemed huge – I didn’t know what I was going to do with so many rooms. But when I finally settled down, I was surprised that I could occupy so much space. That is when I realized how cramped my existence had been – I had been living like a cooped-up bird in a cage; uncomfortable and with not nearly enough room to breathe and with no courage whatsoever to tell the truth.

And that is when I decided – no more lies.