Tag Archives: Love

The Circle

14 Jun

​”Hi. I’m A, and I’m an alcoholic. I have been sober for 2 months.” 

“Hi A.”

“Hi I’m B, and I’m an alcoholic. I have been sober for 7 months.”

“Hi B.”

“Hi I’m C, and I’m an alcoholic. I have been sober for 3 days.”

“Hi C.”

“Hi I’m D, and I’m… I’m… I don’t know… I don’t even know if I belong here. I couldn’t find a self-help group for my condition, and I’m desperate for help. I’m addicted to a person, and I have been sober for 23 hours.”

As the sound of “Hi D” chimed through the circle, a wounded soul finally found a shoulder to rest on. 

Abuse

27 Apr

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Image Source: 123rf.com

She sat huddled in the corner of her room. Her back was pressed against the wall, as if hoping for some grounding, some support. Her knees were drawn close to her chest, her arms tightly wrapped around herself, almost seeming like she was trying to soothe herself with a hug. Tears dropped intermittently from her eyes, her body emitting an occasional shudder. Her eyes glanced over her arms and legs, looking for the red marks from the lashing she had just received. A quivering hand rose up to her face, tentatively hovering over it, almost scared of brushing over a stretch of slashed skin. She sat there for what seemed like hours, her heart rate accelerating with the rise in the sound of the footsteps outside her locked door. The footsteps of a burly man, a man she had loved, even revered, for years.

She woke up the next day as the alarm clock blared at 7 AM. Laying a few minutes in bed, she steeled herself for another day. As she stood in the shower, with the cold water pouring down on her, she almost wished that it could also wash away the memories of the previous night. She applied two extra coats of concealer under her eyes, an attempt to ward off the anticipated queries from her co-workers about her growing dark circles. She wondered if there was any concealer available in the market which could also mask the look of death in her big, black eyes. She trudged through the day, immersing herself in the pile of files on her desk, hoping to distract herself from the impending doom that awaited her at home at night. One could never unearth the whirlpool of emotions inside her which was wrecking her sanity, every moment, every day. As she cracked jokes, and laughed along with her co-workers, not one of them was able to look past her façade, and tell her that she seemed to be trying too hard; that even if her face was perennially split into a wide smile, her eyes were still vacant.

10 PM, she shuffled around the house, completing her chores and hoping against hope, that tonight will be the night she would be spared. She tried to be as invisible as she could, hoping that if he didn’t see her much, he wouldn’t flare up. Wishful thinking. Just a few minutes later, he sought her out, and on started the insults, berates, belittling, threats, and mockery. His verbal blows rained torrentially on her, every word searing through her like acid-tipped arrows. She winced through them, cowering, sobbing, fighting back, and weeping, in unending cycles; until she was resorted to a lump of flesh and bones pressed hard against the wall, her knees drawn close to her chest, and her arms wrapped tightly around herself.

Relentless loop. Every day. Every night.

She did not have any scars to show for her abuse. There were no breaks on the surface of her skin; no cuts, burns, or slashes. But her heart, soul, and psyche was repeatedly stabbed at every night. Sure, there were no outward signs of distress; but if one would have ever looked closely at her, one could have fathomed her pain. Her shoulders drooping with a veiled burden, her vacant eyes, and her deadened spirit and zest for life were her scars.

Emotional abuse is as real, painful, and damaging as physical abuse. It is time we give it the attention it silently screams for.

The Addiction Story

3 Dec

Every time I visited the government hospital, I never paid any heed to the half torn, faded posters that preached about the harmful effects of addiction. I was pompous enough to believe that it would never happen to me, that I was strong enough to never fall into the trap, that I could never be the pitiable person they depicted, the one who lay half-dead on the hospital bed.

I had always glanced at the cigarette boxes, which warned us about how smoking causes cancer, earlier with a one line statutory warning, and later with horrific images, which have only been getting larger and larger over the years. The warning never affected me, because I knew that I wasn’t foolish enough to let something else govern my life, enough to insidiously render me powerless, at its mercy for my survival. I always managed to find a way to ridicule the advertisement at the beginning of a movie, at any theatre in India, mocking the poor acting by the characters in the advertisement, at the outright portrayal of doom which they implied was sure to befall on you if you succumbed to your temptations. I mocked because I knew that I was safe, far away from cigarettes, or alcohol, or any other drug. I prided myself on the ground that I was a sensible, independent, well-informed young woman, who would never voluntarily give in to cravings, regarding how fatal they can prove to be, and hence, was at a self-appointed higher position from which I could look down at the other humans who had given away their souls to the devil.

Until I met you.

As soon as I started to get to know you, my ground slowly started slipping from under my feet, and I found myself falling in love with you. I could feel myself falling, but the fall was sweet, and I let myself loose, falling down from my self-appointed higher position, and into levels way under the earth. Moments of self-doubt crept into my head, but aided by the notorious Cupid, I managed to shoot them down, convincing myself that my condition wasn’t the same as that of the young boy who started smoking marijuana occasionally with his friends just for recreation, but the high was so sweet that he slowly started smoking it every day, and soon, all day every day.

Initially reluctant about the possibility of it turning into a routine, I soon started speaking to you every night on the phone, giggling and blushing. I used to feel light in my head, almost dizzy, quite like the woman who drinks alcohol every day, until she’s inebriated enough to allow herself to be happy. Cupid’s aim had started to get better by then, and he could easily shoot down the balloons of doubt even before I could see them.

Days turned into months, and then into years, and when things between you and me got over at the end of the two years, I couldn’t even recall the exact moment I had started getting addicted to you. My mouth did not have any blisters or ulcers to show for proof, nor had my liver or lungs started to degenerate; but my heart felt hollow, and my soul felt battered. I sat on my bedroom floor, hours of tears dried up on my face, with not a grain of energy left in my body and soul to fight the craving that consumed my heart. And I dialed your number, and again, and again, drawing comfort from the sound of your voice mail. I looked around for my old accomplice desperately, only to realize that Cupid was after all, just the devil in disguise.

The haze gradually lifted, and it dawned upon me, that after months of consuming my addiction, it had finally consumed me.

Image Source: lookinart.blogspot.in

Aalabu

25 Dec

The old man sits down for dinner at the dinner table somewhat lost in his own world. Decades of having financial constraints had taken its toll on him. He notices the table cloth and complains grumpily to his wife to remove it as the texture annoys him. He says, “I have been meaning to ask you to remove it for days now, but I keep forgetting everytime.” Moments like this made the wife feel more strongly about the name she had playfully christened him with, ‘khoosat’. She says, “I’m going to lock the front door, why don’t you write down all the things you want to tell me so that you don’t forget?”, and leaves, wondering what khoosat is going to complain about now. She returns to find only one thing scribbled on the paper, ‘Aalabu’. She smiles and falls in love with him one more time. Aalabu was their family code for ‘I love you’. Their youngest daughter could not pronounce the three magic words when she was a child, so instead, she turned it into an even more magical amalgamated one word, and since then, the family had started using it to convey the kind of love ‘I love you’ failed to express.

The old couple has been married for more than thirty years now. They met each other just a week before their wedding, and the only conversation they had before the wedding was when they silently willed each other in their minds to reject the marriage proposal, as they sat amongst their families. However, neither could convince their parents, and they ended up tying the knot, unenthusiastic and disgruntled.

Over the years of being married, the couple fell in and out of love with each other a lot of times. They argued, fought, stopped talking for days, wept, cursed, loathed. But they also smiled, giggled, danced, cuddled, talked, kissed. The key, of course, was falling back in love with the same person despite having memories of being hurt or mistreated burnt in their minds.

Couples like these teach us to hold on to each other in the toughest times and not give up when you feel that you have had enough. They teach us to forgive, and try to start over, throwing the ugly memories in the trash can every night, and emptying the can every fortnight. They also teach us to have faith in the institution of arranged marriages. Most importantly, they remind us that it is never too late to fall in love.

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