Wednesday, 3 June 2015

To You,Tigger

(Back-story: Each one of my close friends can attest that the one candle-lit protest I would attend at India Gate would be for monogamy. Stories of cheating and betrayal upset me more deeply and perhaps more irrationally than they do other people.
 It's because of this that this was such a hard letter to write. This and how a 50 year old woman from Bombay laid bare, visceral and un-pretty details about her life with humour and majestic ease. Details that she wore like Balmain badges of honour and style on her jacket. This may not be a popular To You letter, but it takes all kinds of stories to make up love stories and we only barely understand the ones we ourselves star in.)

To You

Bright red shorts should be banned at gyms. Those and too smooth men out to break hearts.

That’s my first memory of you. The time I want to run back to and stop anything more from happening. Maybe I want to change gyms, maybe I never want to speak to you and maybe I  want to succumb to your niceness once more, just like I did back then.

When you’re divorced and a single mum with a kid struggling to make it on your own in a city like Bombay, after cash the other currency you tend to run low on is kindness and trust. That’s how you won me over, Tigger- with uncharacteristic kindness.
You were 32, I was 44. It started with a phone call and friendship. I was palpably lonely and wondering at which birthday would people just start to decorate my aloneness with candles and ask me to cut it like a cake.

You were married, working out at our gym, wearing red shorts and amazed at how a woman my age could lift so well. I was bruised by life, standing tall and beautiful at 44. 

A single mother who’d become used to going it alone, until you came around and reminded me how heady, luscious and addictive dependency could be. 
You’d think that at our age we’d skip the talking for hours on the phone stage? But that’s where we laid our best foundation- the one that we’re ripping apart right now. Who said earthquakes were not man made?

You were married/

Your marriage was empty/

She didn’t laugh like me/

She didn’t look like me

It reads like a bad rap song here. It felt like tired, old lines when you said them to me, back then.
But when has knowing better, stopped anyone from falling into love?

And when has falling into love, protected you from being split open across the gut with a rust-embellished knife, each time you saw on Facebook, the man you loved holding someone else?
I’ve memorized our faces- yours, mine and hers. I had to. I’ve seen the slope of your thick fingers curve along her waist and I’ve known far too well what that warm hand feels like. I've always wondered if ownership added more heat.
I’ve hated the triangle you made me a part of.
I’ve hated more when you tried to cut me out of it.
I’ve loved even when I was a knobbly point , isolated and far removed within the triangle.
I’ve loved even when ‘we’ seemed to be just a fantastical construct of my imagination. 
And between the loving and hating, I’ve lived out six years that were lynched with longing and waiting.

Phone calls, your interest and our love petered out in cliché patterns. I was a woman once so wanted by you that I wasn’t allowed to hang up even to change my clothes. I was the one you’d wake up at 3am to whisper goodnight to while you were in a different time zone on family vacation, the one you’d talk to in code language and under an alias on Twitter to someone you now can’t travel from Nasik to see unless we’re counting the 4 times in a year you want to come home.

Baby, there’s no romance in drama when you’re my age.
But baby, having a broken heart still cuts as fucking deep. 

(Isn't that how the kids would say it?)

Don’t worry or feel sorry for me, darling. I’ve walked hard and proud alone. 
I’ve left a marriage and parents who didn’t want me to leave the marriage, I’ve watched the son I gave everything up for almost walk away. I’ve watched the beauty I held proudly, succumb and crumble to an illness and avalanche of steroids. 
I’ve learnt that a single mum is a liability for couple friends, romantic situations and a job. But through it all, I’ve never forgotten how to love.

Mothers worry for their daughters when they're 16 and 18. They worry for reckless mistakes their daughters can make, like falling in love with slick men who will hurt them and break their hearts.
But that’s the thing, Tigger, mothers need to realize they shouldn’t stop worrying about this, even when their daughter is 50.

Yours Defiantly,

(Author’s note: the client’s pet name Siggy was derived from her college pet name- Sigmund Freud. The time she was happiest and believed in love, "like you in your blog", she told me. "Don't ever lose that", she also told me.)

                                       (Gorgeous picture reblogged from this Tumblr account)

(To You is a letter writing project I started because there are not enough letters and love going around. If you have something to say with love-- for your ex girlfriend, you current husband, pizza (promise not to make it cheesy), your landlord who let you skip rent or even Ryan Gosling-- I'll write that letter for you.
The final letter will be up on my blog and a copy will be handwritten and posted to you or to an intended recipient. Kisses on the envelope only on my discretion.
Give me a shout at: )

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