Friday, July 14

End of the World

It was predicted that the world would end in 2012. 

It didn't. 

I got married that year. Probably the end of my days of peace and fulfilment.

There are so many events that spell doom for us, and we think if such and such thing happens, then my life is over. 

When I was in school, one of my umpteen teen secrets was that I couldn't for the life of me, memorize the multiplication table of 17. I was so sure that everyone else but me knew all tables by rote that it distressed me no end. Now when I look back, I barely recall having used the table in all my growing up years. But back then, it was something that appeared a major obstacle in my education, career and reputation. (Little did I know that my peers and elders did not know the math tables of 13, 14, 15 and 16 either, and anyway what are calculators for?!!) 

That's just a tiny example, one of many that would spring to your mind as well, when something seemed unsurpassable and daunting.  

Right now, as my son displays all wonders and disasters of toddlerhood, there are so many things that stand out as "can do" and "cannot do", and become benchmarks for moms who enjoy (or can't help) comparing their kids with others. I've never been one of those moms, I knew my child would cross his milestones as and when he was ready, and sooner or later, all kids are able to do everything that is required of them. (All of us grew up just fine, didn't we, no matter what our scores in school, no matter what our experiences in life.) Some of us did better than the others in certain fields, and the others are happier though they may not have done anything that seems extraordinary to the rest. I know my classmates who flunked in school while I scored near perfect marks, and now they're settled in all parts of the globe, earning probably way more than I do, and ticking off items in their wishlists and their lucky spouses' too! Life's fair, everything balances out in the long run. 

Coming out of the closet and divulging the truth about yourself to society is a fate worse than death to our earlier generations. Everything was swept under the rug, and people pretended everything was fine, just so that society did not look at them funny or criticise them. Fortunately, our generation is more honest and upfront about confessing our realities - be it our sexual orientation, marital status, career preference, life goals, etc. Our parents may not approve, but most of them do support us and allow us that blessed chance to do what our hearts say. Society, that comprises folks like our parents, thus follows suit and while they still whisper behind closed doors, stories are forgotten and new ones take their place. 

I had an inter-caste marriage, much to the agony of my family: blood as well as in-laws, for various reasons. But since many youngsters then chose partners across religions, I did not ruffle too many feathers. I thought it was the start of my happily ever after. It was cursed even before it started, and over the years, I realised that I would regret this union, though I'd skipped the regret of not having taken a chance (which is a lot more common). 

For 3 years I tried to make it work, sometimes alone, sometimes with the help of the "wonderful" (ex) husband (who objects to being mentioned on this blog, though he religiously stalks me here since I've blocked him on Facebook and WhatsApp and my real life, and threatens to sue me for defamation, for citing things that I've experienced in real. Bollocks! All he wants is to avoid paying maintenance for the kid, just like he avoided all duties and responsibilities of husband-hood and fatherhood. Which I'm okay with! Good riddance to bad shit, even at the cost of an arm and a leg.) 

My marriage was not meant to be. I should have quit many years ago, but hope and the shame of divorce kept me going. I felt that a love marriage (or any marriage, for that matter) should never end. It was a promise for life. End of a marriage, meant end of the world (yet again). 

Had I been sensible and known that I'd have to change my opinion, I'd have changed it sooner and saved a beautiful creature from being impacted. But well, this angel being there is a blessing to me as well. Plus the knowledge of how tolerant, how wicked and how loving I can be, which was an eye opener for me as well.  

Oddly, they talk about mutual consent divorce. How can divorce be mutual consent, why does it need to be? If one person lets go off the handshake, there is no handshake - it does not depend on the other person withdrawing his hand or not. Marriage needs to be mutual consent, not divorce. And divorce is not the end of the world like I thought it was. It is the end of my sacrifices and suffering, and I have come to terms with it. My dear husband probably hasn't, since he doesn't want to let me go free, though he's the one desirous of freedom and no-strings-attached-relationships.

So separation - better late than never. I'm not the only one, and I am definitely one of the luckier ones, who at least have a choice, and means, reasons and ways to survive. Better than those couples who stay together due to limitations and helplessness, and certainly better than couples who pretend to be together but are more distant than strangers. "Choosing to be miserable together than happier alone", as I read on Scoopwhoop, and exactly my condition up until last year...  

We all have our reasons. We all have our methods. We all choose to sanction some things, and we detest some others. We are all right. We are all wrong. And we all co-exist. Our perspectives change, our wisdom rises above the petty and prejudices.

And the world only ends when we stay stuck, refusing to move on. Find your miracle, be your saviour. Uncover your strengths and reveal your dreams. Nothing can hold you back, if you really want to be happy. The world only ends when you lose faith.  

The world ends. For you.

Reality? It is always alive. Never dies. Never will. No matter what. Even if you cease to exist, the world shall still go on. So don't take yourself too seriously, don't beat yourself up over your mistakes and bad decisions. It was all meant to happen. You were supposed to learn those lessons and experience that anxiety and pain, all so that you could be who you are today, better than yesterday, ready for tomorrow. 

Smile and say hello, it's a beautiful world. And it's immortal. 

(You're not . So make every day count, and enjoy each moment.) 

Cheers!
Anuja


Sunday, July 9

A Decade of Blogging

Hi there, 

I've been on Blogger.com for a decade! Hurray!

That I have not written frequently enough is another tale altogether, but I am delighted that people across the globe visit, stay and return to  550+ posts on "Life..."

I cannot thank you enough, and I do hope I bring you pleasure and reflection in your good and not so good times. Blogging is catharsis to me, and a responsibility as well, especially when someone tells me that they read a post or remind me that I haven't expressed in a while. Heartfelt gratitude. You are my motivation to write, despite my long absences. To each one of you, thank you!

Albeit a cliche, life's a roller coaster, in so many ways more than one, and we meet some amazing and not so amazing people on the way. I look back at all that's happened and all that I have done in my 3 decades of life, and it's been crazy! So much learning, so much heartache, so many joys and so much to be grateful for. But I'm not going to make this a boring, philosophical post. I'm going to tell you what I've been up to this past month. 

(Yes, it's been 4 weeks. Sorry.)

To take my adrenaline rush up a notch and tick another item in the deep bucket list I got, I went to Andaman and experienced scuba diving. Remember Hrithik and Kareena in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara? That's exactly what I did, and I felt exactly as petrified as Hrithik underwater. I had a wonderful instructor, goes by the name Steve, and is from Bangalore, though he spends more than 11 months in a year on the archipelago away from civilization, blissful among the flora and fauna under the sea. He kept me alive and gave me strength as I cruised below the surface of the water, worried about my next breath, trying to enjoy the sight of fish, octopus, anemones and other creatures. It was beautiful, but I'm never doing it again! Scary as hell, even if you know swimming, which you don't need to know. Throw me off a plane a 100 times and I'll be excited, but I'm never going underwater again. You can't open your mouth to talk or scream, and that's not my idea of a great place to be! I'm a trainer after all, and I need to have full use of my mouth, no matter where I am! Only breathing through my mouth - no, not good enough. 

Apart from that, I had fun under the sun with my son on the beach amidst the sand, making castles and enjoying the waves. We're baked brown and happy for this break, which I desperately needed for my sanity and peace. I've been working and fighting some personal battles for more than a long time, and this vacation helped me rejuvenate, re-energize and renew myself. Thank god (again) for such opportunities and possibilities. 

Review of the Andaman islands - It's a gorgeous destination, just as pretty and more economical than other phoren locations which they show on TV and advertise in movies. Havelock beaches are a must visit, and we also stayed at a wonderful resort called Summer Sands at Neil island. We also visited Mangrove and Lighthouse beaches (since Elephant beach is closed almost all year). The blue, green waters and clean beaches - you can see multicoloured fish with the naked eye right at the surface of the water! Apart from multiple beaches with water sports, you got the Cellular Jail with a very painful story and an okay-ish light and sound show, some aquariums and museums in Port Blair. Food can be a problem for pure vegetarians, and the hotels though 3 and 4 star, have limited facilities owing to transport and connectivity challenges. I would definitely recommend Andaman and Nicobar to beach lovers.

Now it's back to work and life, where a difficult battle awaits since my marriage is on the rocks and my soon to be ex husband is harassing me and refusing to sign the mutual consent papers in court. I've suffered for 3 years, been in depression and taken care single-handedly of my son along with a full time job, but that suffering apparently is not enough according to my amazing spouse and he'd like to teach me a lesson. Looks like all his adultery, desertion and abandonment, physical and verbal abuse, dowry and in-law harassment doesn't qualify as adequate torture. I wanted to keep it clean despite all this and not press charges, but he is determined to not let me go "easy". All those times I cared and pampered him were insufficient, cos he wanted to go on secret holidays with his girlfriends from work, leaving the ill kid alone at home with me for days and abuse me for his failures and incompetence in every area of life. Bring  it on partner. I've got God, my parents and my son on my side. I'm sure this will end well for me and I hope it keeps you afloat, if not buried 6 feet under. Karma shall play its cards in time.

Must have come as a shock to many of you, since I always have a smile on my face and a spring in my step. But it's been hard. And now I'm ready for all that life throws my way. I know I deserve someone much better, more cultured, loving and wise. Akhilesh was my mistake - I was warned by everyone I knew. I'm paying the price for this, but my biggest regret is that Aarush has to suffer as well. Nobody can make up for a father's place in life, no matter how much love and values are provided by the mother and grandparents. Guess that's his destiny too, and it's all for the best. Being a divorced, single mom caused me much worry and panic earlier, but it's been 3 months since I've accepted it and built a new life. The heavens up above are merciful, and I know it is going to get better.    

Reading and writing, everything obviously has taken a backseat at this point in time. With so many restaurants and joints mushrooming everywhere in the city, I've had a chance to visit Urban Foundry/Terttulia in Baner (just like any other, to be honest) and Raasta Cafe (which had a better ambience and spread). Despicable Me 3 was a letdown after the first two laugh riots, and that sums up my recreational activities. I do watch Roadies Rising and Sarabhai Take 2 now and then, but my days are full of work and Aarush on loop.  

Each one of us has his/her own troubles, some more difficult than the rest. I know you will get through them, be strong. Keep the faith, like God told Joshua in the Bible. You may not see the progress, you may think nothing is happening behind those walls. But trust me, at the end of it, God will set it right. You will be happy. 

And so will I.

Lots of love,
Anuja