It rarely happens that one has sex and death on their mind at the same time. As I lay abusing myself until darkness fell, I thought about committing suicide. I wondered why people mourn the deaths of those who had willingly tipped themselves over the edge and six feet under. I composed my note as my fingers slipped once again inside my panties, working of their own accord. “Don’t mourn me”, my note would say. “I lived well enough – I ate, I breathed, I fucked to my heart’s content. I loved somewhat, I was loved rather more. Don’t let me drain your strength and zest for life.” I would try not to sound condescending; I wanted to praise everyone for surviving me but also to let them know that I wanted this. But I always stopped myself before I began thinking of ways to die. As fascinatingly morbid as death is, one finds reasons to keep on living… I think I have more shudders left in me, as my fingers fall limp and my eyes close in sudden ecstasy.
He speaks with fantastic conviction, spilling half-truths and twisted facts with every word. He’s mastered the art; he keeps a straight face and looks directly into your eyes. His hands do not tremble when he looks away, and his lips do not press together to hide his guilt.
You’ve known for weeks now. He comes home sweaty and tired after work and immediately hops into the shower. Once you thought you saw a bite mark on his neck; another time you leaned in to kiss him and detected the unmistakable scent of another woman on his mouth. You recoiled from him then. You began to watch him closely for signs of a nervous collapse, but he seemed to have it together.
He makes no mistakes; no phone calls, messages, no photos. All data erased from memory. But you know it, you have felt it. There were no signs, but you have noticed the occasional hushed phone call to a ‘colleague’, meeting ‘college friends’ on Sunday afternoons. He never once slipped, but you saw and understood the ache in his bones after fucking her, or the smell of her pussy on his lips. He sleeps soundly at night, snoring loudly the moment he hits the bed. And you lie awake in the dark, wondering what your life has come to.
So why haven’t you confronted him yet? Perhaps you aren’t really sure and there’s a possibility that he isn’t cheating? Or perhaps you are scared to find out that he is; it opens doors to darker and disturbing questions – Who did he fuck? Did he love her? Are you not good enough for him? You close your eyes and push the thoughts out of your head, too painful to deal with at the moment. You find yourself still hoping for all this to go away, like a bad dream that never happened.
He wakes you up one day with kisses and caresses. He wishes you good morning, plays with your hair, smiling the way he used to. You smile back at him sleepily, and suddenly you’ve gone two years back in time; when you were young and stupid and madly in love. His lips graze your earlobe and whisper words of love. And just like that, you fall for his lies yet again.
Last night I had sex with a stranger. I don’t remember who, but it definitely wasn’t you. I don’t remember the details clearly, it was just a dream. Just a dream that ended in a scream. I woke up feeling guilty, that you might think it was cheating. Blurry dream images flash before my eyes in a swirling mix of alcohol and lies. And the dream started fading into the distance, dissolving into the blackness within.
Early morning streaking sunlight; blushing memories of last night. Your lips crushing mine, suddenly demanding; your hands in my hair, roughly commanding; and me surrendering to your urgency, willingly obeying. We tease pleasure and pain’s fine line; but you only find your pleasure in mine. Memories, more real than the rapidly dissolving dream. Memories can be held in the palm of your hand; dreams become lost time, sifting through the hourglass like fine grains of sand.
We can surrender body and mind, a consciousness, a waking life. But dream is destiny, they say; waking or dreaming, life’s in disarray; I wonder what remains at the end of day? Is it memories that come to stay… or haunting dreams that won’t go away?
Homi Adajania and Deepika Padukone’s Vogue ‘My Choice’ video has taken the word ‘empowerment’, and flung it far and wide, beyond the focus of the camera lens, where even Deepika’s billowing hair cannot reach.
Yes, a choice to cheat is incredibly selfish, and will probably shatter your partner’s life. But it is, after all, a choice.
Homi Adajania’s video ‘My Choice’ on ‘Women Empowerment’ featuring Deepika Padukone and 99 other women, has gone viral, which was what they wanted, but has created an outrage, which was not perhaps what they expected.
Deepika, looking gorgeous as always, says things like ‘My body, my mind, my choice’. She goes on to say that the kind of dress she wears, what time she comes home, whether ‘to love temporarily or lust forever’, ‘to have sex before marriage, outside of marriage or to not have sex at all’, is her choice. That, according to her is women empowerment.
I think everyone agrees that the video has nothing to do with women empowerment. She seems to have taken the opportunity to tell the world, ‘Yes, I am bold enough to think about running around naked, coming home at whatever time I want, choosing not to have a baby, or even having sex outside of marriage.’ The video has taken the word ‘empowerment’, and flung it far and wide, beyond the focus of the camera lens, where even Deepika’s billowing hair cannot reach.
That said, I may then say that the video was an attempt to make Indian women aware that they do have a choice, and to tell them to make their own choices. A choice to not have a baby if they don’t want it, to not have sex if they don’t want to, to dress the way they like as long as they are comfortable with it. 99 women are not in the video to simply fill up the edits in Deepika’s footage; they are independent women with strong personal opinions of their own.
People have focused way too much on the ‘having sex outside of marriage’ part. I did not hear Deepika say, “You should have sex outside of marriage.” She merely states that it is a choice. Yes, a choice to cheat is incredibly selfish, and will probably shatter your partner’s life. But it is, after all, a choice. The woman (or man) who chooses to cheat knows somewhere deep down, the repercussions of such a decision. I do not think Deepika meant to say that a woman can cheat and get away with it, or that a woman is allowed to cheat but a man isn’t.
It’s a choice. I’ve been on both ends of the cheating cane. It hurts, sure. A simple message expressing that he wants to be with her, how he longs to take her in his arms… is enough. Enough to realize you are faced with a choice to give him another chance, or to leave him. The choice to cheat is simpler. You don’t cheat if you’re happily committed to your partner. Making a choice to cheat, in my opinion, says you do not care enough, or that in your mind, you two are already broken up.
There is enough grey between being faithful and cheating. In the end it all comes down to what choices you make.
It’s an important date. It used to mark anniversaries of a past love. Year after year of gifts and romance, cards and special surprises, then absence, distance, bitter fights to coming back stronger with a sweeter love. The aging date stole time from under our young, naive eyes, only to throw them back at me as memories of a lost dimension.
5 anniversaries later, I started resenting the lost years of stumbling through life unquestioning, unaware of who I was and where I was headed. I was restless, and I knew this time the upheaval was far too big to be subdued under compromise. I knew then, that I would always be restless in love. I would always be certain only of what I don’t want, and always seeking what I want.
On 21st November last year, I bade goodbye to my first love, scared of letting go and guilty of having hurt him. But my instincts told me I’m doing the right thing. A year later, and nothing has changed; but nothing’s the same any more.
Who knew so much could happen in a year, especially so much of what would ultimately be remembered with either sadness, guilt or regret? I believed I was still the same person inside, just doing things I didn’t usually do. It’s just a phase, and I’m living someone else’s borrowed lifestyle of excessive partying, drinking and occasional screwups, I kept telling myself. Well, not anymore. This girl is sobering down, it’s done and resolved.
The date is still significant. This year the clock struck 12 and time passed by a drunk me in a stranger’s arms. It gave me a good hard much-needed slap on the face. It left me wringing my hands in despair, and the more I thought of what I’m doing the more I fell into depression, terrified of confessing to anyone for fear of being judged, and completely clueless of how to get out of this mess.
So I wrote this post and decided that if there’s one thing I knew about myself, it was that I’m not a coward. I told myself to take a deep breath and start by being completely honest, without fearing who I might lose in this process. Once again, this date seems to have woken me up from a deep stupor.
I guess now the date marks my years of stumbling down an unknown path, stubbornly alone, just as unaware of who I am, and just as sure of what I don’t want.
It’s the question that eternally haunts me: What should I believe? The words that form on his lips or everything else that he left unspoken? When our very connection was the silence of our conversations, did he say the few things he truly meant, or did he simply trust I understood everything he omitted saying?
People always want to feel special. Simply knowing themselves that they were part of something big is never enough. They want others to know it, and acknowledge it. They want to be treated like a conquering hero returning with the world on their backs. Sure, they’ve achieved something the rest of us probably never will. But it’s also true that while they’ve been away (spiraling up into the clouds) we haven’t exactly been tuned in to their frequency, listening in with bated breath as they make their dream come true. For us, life went on.
They say even a taste of fame changes you. It leaves you a different person, unable to fit in among the nobodies. They are all grounded when they start off, resolute in thinking they won’t change. And then it hits them, their first taste of the salty spray of fame. They are intoxicated, overwhelmed by greatness, pulled in deeper by the ever-changing tide and the waves. And they adapt to the ebb and flow, knowing their place will always be by the bay. ‘Mumbai meri jaan’…
“It’s not working out”, he says.
“I don’t understand. I thought you liked her. So what’s wrong?” I asked him.
“She doesn’t like me. We were only fooling around, just a physical relationship between friends. We’d always made that clear between us”, he says, trying to sound matter-of-factly.
“Did you tell her you like her?”
“Why would I tell her that?”
“Cause you like her”.
“I don’t give a shit about her.”
Rejection. It’s a hard blow to the face that knocks out half your teeth and breaks your nose. It was with difficulty that you’d let yourself fall for someone without the thought of getting too serious. Barely a day gone by and you’d begun to miss them more than you’d like to admit. The concepts of ‘love’ and ‘dating’ were beginning to make sense again. Who’d have thought you were to fall, only to fall harder, alone.
Two people getting together and falling in love is a beautiful thing. You see that happiness in their eyes and in their smiles. You see the affection in every word, a hint of a blush from a text /mail. They just want to keep their new-found love a secret and at the same time they wish to tell everyone about it. They are oblivious to the world around, and much more aware of each other. They float in their own bubble, some feet above the rest of us. They dissolve into a world of their own, a different world of music and laughter and fun and touching and kissing and caressing. Their conversations are now all about the other, the sparkle in her eye, his mischievous dimples, their unspoken understanding, the little romantic gestures, the perfection of a moment.
You may be talking to them and they could be nodding back, but their eyes unfocus and you can’t be sure if they’re listening, or if their thoughts have wandered back into his arms. You try and make plans with them, and they are reluctant. Because you know, “He just loves this band, he’s a big fan” and “You don’t mind if she goes with us, do you?” “Of course not. The more the merrier. It’ll be fun!”, you say brightly.
And you tag along like a third wheel. It’s not uncomfortable at all, not even when each time you wish to say something to your friend and snicker like old times, he sticks his head right around and stares stone-faced as you laugh holding your stomach. Then you haultingly explain the joke, but since he’s so new to the slang you and your friends use, he doesn’t get it, and the laughter subsides. It’s not uncomfortable, even when you want to hug your friend, but he’s brought his new girlfriend along, and you don’t know really know her and you don’t want to make things more awkward than they already are.
They’ll ask you questions, such as “What about you, are you seeing someone?” And you shrug it off saying something like, “Naah, I guess it’s just not for me, the whole dating game. Not now, anyways.” And they nod understandingly at this insight they’ve gotten into your struggle with relationships. Then they are back into their snug little bubble of two, just him and her. And you watch them from the outside, truly happy for them but your feet firmly touching the ground.
It’s a beautiful thing, falling in love. There’s no shame in being in love, and there’s no denying that one can’t really stay away from it, no matter how badly it tore you apart. You may fuck around all you want, and say things like, “I don’t give a shit about him”, and “I’m just fucking her, I’m not in love”. You try with all your might to run from love and the tangle of emotions that is now just too hard for you to overcome once again. You mock the bubble, but you’ve been on the inside once or twice and you know how blissfully the bubble wraps around you, above the staring and mocking eyes of people, and teaches you not to care. And your feet suddenly get the urge to be lifted, lost in just one other pair of staring eyes.