For N- who complains that I only write depressing things about him

dropped into my life

with whiskey-blood and a mouth full of smoke.

my feet forgot the pull of gravity

for months afterward.

i should have paid more attention to what the storm was singing.

the happiest i have ever been

is struggling not to fall asleep on strange living room floors,

on make-shift beds,

beside lights strung in bottles

losing track of which of these limbs belong to me.

Annual end of year reflection-2012

1What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
2012’s been a helluva year for new things. I’ll try to list as many as I can remember.
-had someone i knew very well die an untimely, unnatural death
– smoked up
-drunken mistake number 1,2,3,4,50
-learned how to grind (yesreally)
-went on a pubcrawl
-been kissed multiple times by multiple women
-been in the middle of a terrible split, come out of it relatively unscathed
-bagged an internship at harvard; come jan, i will be moving to boston and the states for the very first time
– lost all faith and confidence in myself and completely broken down
– stayed over at a proper sleepover party (thankyou sambit and rupsha!)
– made the first move(ish)
– bust casting- got top half naked with a bunch of unknown women, sat in a circle and cooperatively made casts of our breasts
– read asimov, watched Monty Python, listened to tom waits- yes these are significant enough to be listed here
– gotten into the blues (thankyou neelu)
– made a lot of new friends with much confidence, without swallowing my tongue or letting my usual- well previous awkwardness rob me of my ability to speak
– explored cal on foot, thoroughly
– behaved like a completely irrational sap, bid goodbye to my ego
– written exams without driving myself into blind panic about them
– cooked, started cooking properly- i made soup guys! chicken noodle soup from scratch!
– lost a whole ton of weight, gone on a proper running routine, done that whole thing where you wake up at 5:30 am to go for a morning run before you start your day
– gone on a proper diet for like 2 months- it worked too; then i became happy and lazy
– wanted to do things i hadn’t wanted to before, and liked em
–  visited sodpur (lol?)
– gotten my first vacation in three years (existential fear factor, yes)
– long distance
– worked at an ngo with the children of sex-workers
– gotten into a scuffle with er..metro police?
– been awarded a scholarship
-gotten three job offers- one at a major toronto hospital, two at harvard (yes i’m gloating)
– watched Dylan and Knopfler live. I can’t say enough about this so I won’t say anything at all.
– had a lot of epiphanies
– started the process of coming to terms with the fact that I’m not a terrible person. self-love, self-love, self-love.
– torn a ligament, passed out, called 911, been taken to emergency in an ambulance
– got stung by a wasp
-started a secretblog, and a shared musicblog
-started liking beer
-did a photoshoot
2. Did you keep your new years resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Well, I did lose weight (and then gained most of it back), and eat healthy and cook lots (and then start eating trash again), and become focused on my academics. So I guess sort’ve? My new resolution is to stick to my resolutions.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not that I know of.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yeah. Not emotionally I guess, but physically? And mentally.
5. What countries did you visit?
Canada, India. Same as last year.
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Published papers, a significant involvement in research I love, a 4.2. More: kindness,  balance, travelling, concerts, writing, self-love.
Wishful thinking: My voice back, my boyfriend in the same place. This was the 2012 list:
Inner peace. Better grades. Significant involvement in a cause I’m committed to, an extracurricular I love. The right significant other? Better hair. More compassion and thoughtfulness. Patience. Better time management. A fitter and healthier body. The ability to see a good story through the initial few chapters to the very end. The start of a long term research involvement. The opposite of my usual inertia and ennui. Confidence.
7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
– Feb 14th- the night R.B died and I balanced a stupid plate of dal on my hand
– April 23rd- the night I landed in Calcutta, seeing Trisha, Adi, and Piu at the airport and finally believing that I was back home
– July 17th- cuz N finally reached the end of his rational thought process
– August 7th- cuz it was a new birthday to put on the list of donotforget. And it was a nice time
– Sep 11th- cuz I dreaded it for so long, and then it came and I left
– November 14th- because I watched Dylan and Knopfler live and it was indescribable
– October 26th- cuz rankings came out and I went out with a bang, just like I wanted
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
– Doing major amounts of growing up
– Surviving Winter term long enough to drag my arse home where thankfully summer happened
– Bagging three job offers
– Getting on Dean’s Honour Roll, and excellent standing
– Keeping my promise to myself to write all of my exams this term
– Somehow managing not to screw up hobo and crazy thus far
– Not indulging in self sabotage long enough to let myself fall in love
9. What was your biggest failure?
Oh. I got so distracted and happy that I failed my non-credit PD course. And forgot to contact that prof for research. Ohwell.
Losing my temper too often at my family. Falling off course with the diet and eating healthy and running.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I tore a ligament right before finals week. And I got a nasty bout of flu during reading week. And I got stung by a wasp.
11. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Mine for going after the things I wanted and getting allofem =D
Squg for being dignified and a lady in a very old world sense of the term. For being a bundle of goodness and joy.
Neelu for dealing with all my crazy.
Piu for unconditional support, and for finding her way and getting her act together. Trisha for being the fiercely loyal and kickass person she is.
Emily for being the wonderful generous person she is.
12. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Er. I don’t want to say.
13. Where did most of your money go?
Eating out =( I gave Burger King, Mozy’s and Tim Horton’s LOTS of steady business.
14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going home for the summer. Neelu. The job I got offered at Princess Margaret. Harvard and Boston. Sambit’s farewell. New Light. The Dylan-Knopfler concert.
15. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Sweet thing- The Waterboys/Van Morrison. So far away, What it is- Knopfler. Bird on a wire- Bonamassa’s cover of Cohen. So long Marianne- Cohen. Gun street girl, Hold on- Waits.  Waits in general. I want you, You’re gonna make me lonesome when you go, All along the watchtower, Like a rolling stone- Dylan. Womaniya, Moora. Sittin’ on top of the world. Heroin- VU. Pine moon- Feist. Bloom- The Paper Kites. I saw her standing there, Someday(heh)- the Beatles. Wagon wheel- Old Crow Medicine Show. Drift away- Dobie gray. Lover you should’ve come over- Buckley.
16. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?’
Last year this time I was in Toronto, it was a very nice time, and I was quite happy. This year I’m alone in ghost town for the next two weeks. Overall however, 2012 has been unbelievable, in terms of the incredible things it has brought me. So happier, I guess. And very, very grateful.
17. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Spending more time with the grandparents, brother. Reading. Making out. Running. Cooking.
18. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Eating junk, brooding over things, procrastinating, taking out my temper on my fam cuz it was easy
19. How will you be spending Christmas?
I will try to find a church to haunt. I will bring back spiced eggnog and a shawarma. I will watch a movie and read Lord of the Rings and go to bed.
20. Did you fall in love in 2012?
H, L and S.
21. How many one night stands?
None.
22. What was your favourite TV programme?
I don’t watch TV. Gilmore Girls, I guess. And Criminal Minds.
23. What was the best book you read?
Good Omens, I think. It was a lifesaver on the plane back. I just started LOTR so anticipation. Kafka on the Shore. The Great Indian Novel.  Animal Farm.
24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Oh man. 2012’s been a brilliant year as far as musical discoveries are concerned. A large part of this has to do with Neelu. All the blues stuff. Right now I’m really loving John Hammond and JJ Cale. In general, my absolute new favourite is Tom Waits. Listened to a lot of Cohen and Dylan for extensive periods of time. Knopfler in a big way, and Knopfler himself is responsible for this 😀
The Velvet Underground whom I absolutely loved. I listened to lots of the Beatles as usual. Tallest Man on Earth. Jefferson Airplane. Bonamassa. The Grateful Dead, whom I still have to listen to a lot more of. Jeff Buckley!
25. What did you want and get?
Love.
Happiness.
A good GPA and job offers and Harvard.
26. What did you want and not get?
Nothing. I got everything I wanted.
27. What was your favourite film of this year?
In theatre? Gangs of Wasseypur.
I fell in love with Woody Allen, Annie Hall in particular- those lobsters kill me. Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian.
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
It’s coming up on the 30th. I’m alone in ghost town right now. I’ll wake up, talk to people, eat something, read something, watch something. Might go to Symposium and buy myself cake. Byas.
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Nothing. I got everything I wanted, and more. Well, being able to go home for the winter would have been nice, but that’s just greediness. And having N closer would’ve been great, but that’s more greediness.
30. What kept you sane?
Ma, Trisha, Piu, Tony, Anushka, Upi, Shalmi, Neelu, Emily.
31. Who was the worst new person you met?
Stupid new bitch roommate.
32. Who was the best new person you met?
Upasana whom I’d technically met before but I really got to know her this year. Sattam. Amrusha. Pratiti. Shibansu. Tanuka (whom I technically haven’t met yet). Neelu.
33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learnt in 2012.
Only worry about one thing at a time. Take life one moment at a time.
If you want something, go after it. Stop being passive. Go out and grab what you want.
All that self-love bullshit isn’t bullshit.
Making soup is easy.
I have an infinite capacity to surprise myself.
34. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Hey, it’s me, I’m dynamite
And I don’t know why

A Madness Past

Today I feel like pleasing you more than before
Today I know what I want to do but I don’t know what for
To be living for you is all I want to do
To be loving you it’ll all be there when my dreams come true
Today you’ll make me say that I somehow have changed
Today you’ll look into my eyes, I’m just not the same
To be anymore than all I am would be a lie
I’m so full of love I could burst apart and start to cry
Today everything you want, I swear it all will come true
Today I realize how much I’m in love with you
With you standing here I could tell the world what it means to love
To go on from here I can’t use words, they don’t say enought
Please, please listen to me
It’s taken so long to come true
And it’s all for you
all for you….
I love this song.

This is not a love letter 2.0

Here is how I think of you.

I think of you looking like a dog, with your head suddenly cocked up, alert and listening for the sounds outside that drove you into panic in a matter of seconds.

I think of you with only some of one eye and tan skin that suddenly looks light, visible, squished into the crook of my arm, looking at me.

I think of you sitting across me from the table at a restaurant and holding my hand as 20’s music plays and we wait for our food to arrive.

I think of you long-limbed, and brown and ridiculously comfortable and unselfconscious, flinging your clothes across the room for the first time.

I think of you with your face half hidden behind my hair, breathing into my ear and making my skin tingle while our friends drink beer and get stoned in yellow light.

I think of you with your face buried in my neck, breathing in; I have wet eyelashes.

I think of you pulling retarded faces on skype all the way across the world, as far as you can possibly get.

I think of you and I am not angry anymore.

So what do you …

So what do you do when you’ve grown up watching two people who came together after ten years of companionship, and camaraderie and romance, who came together finally- in the face of much opposition- in marriage? When you watched these people slowly fall apart over the years, first like slipping off a cliff, so surreal that you can’t believe that it’s happening, and then in slow motion, and then quick, all of a sudden, freefalling, and then a plateau of dullness. Two people suddenly realizing with dismay, how horribly irreconcilably different they really are. Realizing that you don’t really know someone till you live with them, and have to live with them and their quirks, and fancies, and their adorable absentmindedness day in and day out. You have to take the short temper, and the conventionality, and sink its roots down somewhere tangled up with the frivolousness and nature-loving.

What you do is this: In your own relationships with men, in relationships that appear to be terrifyingly real, you throw your worst self at them. Here, you retort, take my crazy, and my ugly, and my batshit insane and deal with it! When they do, you’re surprised, but not convinced. So you let go even more and let yourself unravel on them. You deliberately air out your morbidity, and your anxiety and the panic attacks, and cling on to them for air, drawing in deep lungfuls. You expect them to recoil, to want space, to slay you with a shrug of indifference. When they don’t, you’re a little bemused. Still you wait. Sooner or later, you’ll push it too far, and they’ll leave you. It’ll suck, and you’ll hurt and bleed, because this is the real-est it’s ever gotten, but deep down, you’ll be vindicated. You were expecting it, of course. You knew. 

So you don’t make the common mistake that most people do in new relationships. You aren’t on your best behaviour, and you don’t pretend to like sports. You don’t faff around like you usually do when you’re trying to impress people and seem cool. You confess to not remembering much of ‘Pulp Fiction’, and express the desire to rewatch it, soon. You confess your feelings of inadequacy and struggle against the fact that you’re hopelessly besotted. You use the word “besotted” in front of them, about them, and feel them smile from halfway across the world. The good things about you slip out unconsciously, like you can’t control them, or restrain yourself. The texts in the middle of an evening (yours) saying “I love you, I love you, I love you. I’m so lucky we met”- that he will wake up to in the morning. The spontaneous squishing of someone that you cannot believe you want to squish, and are allowed to squish. The semi-sexy emails in the middle of the day. The actually worrying about a person, and buying them fruit and making a detour to their place to make sure they’re still breathing. These are the things that pour out of you- words that you cannot stuff back into your mouth, thoughts that translate into sentences before you have time to think, that terribly foolish thing where you include them in your plans for a year later. The good things are unplanned, but your ugly you will fling at them continuously.

“When will you show me?”, he asks one day when you’re talking about a piece you wrote about him. “When I’m convinced you’re not running away”, you say. “I’m not running away, babe.”

You don’t believe him entirely. Yet.

Discovery

If I had to pinpoint the one moment when I first knew I was in love with you, it would have to be that evening on the ledge. It was dark, and it was one of those rare summer evenings, which had just the right amount of cool wind, and absolutely none of the damp sticky humidity Calcutta lives with. There were strangers carrying on their own conversation a little distance away and there was music playing on their cell-phones. We had been sitting there a while, alone for a change. We were just talking, occasionally kissing. It was then that I discovered that I didn’t want to stop kissing you, and it had nothing to do with lust, it was just you. I couldn’t get enough of you. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and my chest was tight, and I remember feeling a little stunned by the sheer intensity of what I was feeling. There was a little comic shade of dismay I remember, at this discovery, and a thrill of excitement as well.

“Love was that moment when your heart was about to burst.” I read this today, on a website. Stieg Larson says it in ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’. It sparked off this train of thought, because you see, it’s true. That evening right then, I felt like my heart would explode, and I’m so very glad it did. It gets bigger you see, to let in more light, and comfort, and belonging. My legs miss your legs, and my lips miss your lips, but darling, I carry you with me all the time.