I seem to be going through a phase wherein my days are either moving at such a fast pace that they are a blur, or they come to a complete standstill. And I have come to accept the variations considering that it has been more than forty days that we are under lockdown.
On the slow days, I am simply reminiscing the past , thinking of leisurely walks and hot coffees and warm conversations. I simply do not want to function – I want to curl up in a ball and wait for the day to pass. I find that these slow days help me to an extent because it forces me to take a pause and grieve for what I have lost.
It took me a year to actually sit down and realise the gravity of losing a spouse. For one year, I was high strung on making sure that my son is protected from the horror of the situation ; I had simply packed my feelings in a box and placed in a dark corner of my mind.
Opening up the box now has left me feeling overwhelmed and gasping for air ; there are days when my chest aches from all the crying. But I cannot cry out loud because it is shameful in my family to feel things and express ourselves. The wet pillow is the only evidence of my grief when they silently absorbed the salty tears of someone who is still coming to terms with the loss of someone who not only celebrated life, but made sure I celebrated mine too.
Festivals are tough. I think they always have been so but the mixed feelings seemed to have subsided after I got married. He used to always make a big deal about them and his favorite part was gifting others – there was a few months advance planning involved. Slowly, I eased into his way of celebrating festivals and birthdays and anniversaries and happy occasions, not that I could ever match his enthusiasm.
With him gone, I feel a light got extinguished inside me. Every festival, I try to ignite it, but end up struggling like an oil lamp flickering feebly against the wind and end up giving up the fight.
My son is the only reason I get the courage to get up from bed on these days and teach him about the customs and traditions, not to mention the stories, associated with the festivals. I believe it is a long, arduous journey of recovery for me, but I want make it for my son. And for my love’s memory. For you, always.
All my life, I have lived with this simple belief – as long as you stay good, good things will happen to you. No wonder, I end up feeling like a fool at the end of every life experience.
I have never known any other way to achieve things except hard work, smartness is something that came in pretty late for me. The only reason I was academically good was because I slogged throughout my school and college years. There was a lot of anxiety about what would happen if I do not manage to keep up my performance (another post for that) and that drove me further, neck-deep, into studies.
I was suitably rewarded for the hard work during my school days but as I progressed in my Engineering course and then into my full-time job, I realized things do not turn out to be always fair and your fate is not proportional to your good deeds.
I have been nothing but angelic towards certain people in my life ; overlooking the way they have treated me in the past. You give up everything to keep them in your life and they will discard you like a piece of rag. To this day, I continue to face the torment of being treated like shit but I am slowly becoming immune to it.
And then came the blow from which I haven’t recovered from yet – my husband’s death. The only person, who reciprocated wholeheartedly , the love that I gave him and for the first time, I felt life was kind and beautiful. He was the gentlest soul on the earth and I don’t say it lightly when I say that he wouldn’t hurt even a fly.
I sometimes wonder where is the justice in this world? Where is the karma that people keep talking about? I have made the best of my circumstances, living in bits of happiness I collect each day but I often wonder if life will ever smile at me ; if I will ever recover from this trauma and if I will truly believe in a life that is fair, kind and filled with love that I so deserve.
So it has been so many days since lockdown and the only thing that has been keeping me sane are my morning yoga classes. Early morning, while civilisation is yet to stir into consciousness, I sit in the terrace and relish the cool before the sunrise.
There is no set routine to my yoga poses – on days I am simply stretching and keeping it light and on some days it is filled with powerful poses that leave me sweating and gasping.
These few minutes ,when I am thinking of nothing else except holding on to the asanas, and counting my breaths and monitoring the breathing pattern, is what is keeping me sane in these insane times.
I have to admit, it is quite a task to wake up early but every time I think of snoozing the alarm, I remind myself of the cool breeze that I will miss if I decide to skip. I find it hard to believe the wonders it has done to my mental health and now I am all the more determined to continue this practice. This lockdown is not turning out to be that bad a thing, I say 😉
My work life, as far as I can remember, has always been hectic and constantly threatening to disturb the delicate balance of work and life I have always struggled to maintain. It is further aggravated by the fact that I spend four hours daily in commute with two, sometimes three, modes of transport.
By the time I am back home, I have a teaspoon of energy left – I am like a sponge who has been completely squeezed out. And to my annoyance, there would be a hundred cars scattered across the floor by the toddler. He used to mumble something about making a pattern but I was too exhausted by then. Until one day, I actually had the energy to take a pause and listen to him say about the car patterns he has been making for me every day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Shame and guilt and tears. How could I not notice such a gesture by him? Every night, after dinner, he used to take out his cars and arrange them in different designs for me. Just for me. I couldn’t sleep that night out of guilt – I recalled the instances when I snapped at him out of impatience or when I was too tired to put those cars back into storage.
And that is when I decided to make some life-altering decisions which would enable me to spend less time in energy guzzling activities and more productive time in interacting with sonny boy. Just waiting for this coronavirus thing to cool off before I get started on my plan for 2020. Wish me luck!
Memories are strange – they come to you in bits and pieces and at times when you least expect them. I went back in time to reminiscence on the day when I woke to a home smelling of buttery, sweet French toast.
I am an early riser which means that my BH is the one getting served lavish breakfasts on weekends (weekdays are more of a stuff-something-edible-in-your-mouth-and-dash-to-office affair). One particular Friday, I went to sleep early because I was very tired and I extended my sleep beyond my usual waking hours
I could have slept longer had I not smelled the aroma of butter and eggs and the sweet sound of something sizzling on the pan. I was out of the bed in a jiffy and there he was – cooking up the most delicious-looking french toast. There was a paused Youtube video on the iPad besides him, drizzling honey on the toast while flipping another one. This guy waking up early just to make me breakfast – how can I not be having the best day of my life?
So we sat down and savored it, and I must have said it a hundred times on how tasty it was and yet, it was not enough. I am having such a hard time typing this because I wish I had bottled up that memory like perfume and kept it safe – so that I could open it and smell that memory and feel happy and whole again. Because the person behind that memory has vanished into air just like perfume and all I am left is holding the bottle and wondering how this happened.
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