Into the abyss

This is the story of a little boy and his special toy. And how he lost it forever. Even though it was irreplaceable, he was never too careful with it. It was vulnerable and he knew it but he always had it on his person. Not too many moons ago, when he was loitering around, he came across a well. The ever inquisitive lad had to look inside it, he had to know what was down there. How could he not. The careless bastard he is, dropped his toy down the well even before he could grab a peek down it. No ropes or buckets around, no light to see down the abyss, he panicked.

Knowing his toy would be floating around, he decided to fill the well up inch by inch, day after day until the water rose up enough for him to retrieve his toy. He wasn’t going to settle down until he got it back. So he began, running back and forth from the nearby lake with a couple of buckets, shuttling water to fill up the well. He had no clue how deep the well was, no idea how many buckets of water he required. All he knew was he had to make as many trips as possible in the day between the lake and the well relentlessly. And he did. He never flinched, he never gave up. It became his routine, day in and out. Every now and then he would look inside with hope brimming through his eyes, wishing he would see his toy, maybe just a glimpse, just enough to validate his efforts. But no, he was staring into the endless black walls with no reflection at the end. Not even a glimmer.

As the time passed, his patience wore thin, his dedication turned into an obsession. He never gave up even for a moment, he poured as many buckets of water as possible into the well. He demanded there better be some improvement, for all he knew this was the most dedicated he has ever been his entire life. Then it struck him, there was some rope lying around in his backyard. He sprinted to his home and to his joy, he found the reel of rope. This day was going to be different, he knew. He ran back with the same gusto now with a new approach, it was definitely going to work. He tied it to a bucket and lowered it down the well. It was killing him, the wait. Slowly he was at the end of the line but still no sign of water. Agitated, he stretched further into the well, balancing himself on the ledge to reach deeper. More deeper. Poor bastard, understimated his strength, dropped the rope and the attached bucket into the unknown.

Devastated, unable to bottle his tears and frustration any more, he pounced onto the ledge and started hurling abuses into the well. That’s when it hit him, there was not even an echo. His disappointment turned to rage which then fizzled into fear. He begged to know what he did wrong, why he deserved this, or didn’t. He bawled inconsolably between his fits of anger. He didn’t get anything back except the deafening silence. It was clearly not the well’s fault. He was never going to get any closure. Was the toy still inside? Did the well require more water? Should he have patiently waited for the rains? Should be have gotten a bigger reel of rope? Should he have given up immediately, saving the time and effort invested down this black hole? He wasn’t going to get answers. He wasn’t going to get closure. He certainly wasn’t getting his special toy back. Nor the water he poured down the drain. It was time he wrote off his losses and waited for time to showcase it’s trickery.

Advertisements

Afreen Afreen – An Update

I have the habit of revisiting my old posts when I am bored beyond reproach. What I try to do when I am taking a trip down the nostalgia lane is to see how better or different I could’ve conveyed what I wanted to. And generally I wouldn’t want to change anything about it, until now. I happened to read a post I’d written, just more than a year ago about the woman I love. Trust me I don’t want to take anything back, my perception of her hasn’t changed but has evolved into something deep and complex which I never would’ve appreciated unless I had read the post again! And obviously it talks volumes about how my feelings for her has matured like scotch in an old barrel.

That post was so naive and obvious. It was so Bollywoody and extra, which she and her friends “pointed out” gently but you know how mean girls can get! I wear my heart on my sleeve and I never really am ashamed of how much I love. But after being (and not being for a longer duration) with her, what I realised is there is beauty in restraint as well, which I learnt from her! There is more love in an aptly timed hug and a peck on the forehead than spending huge amounts on elaborate cocktail dinners or fancy gifts. There is so much love in clamming up and turning into a boxing bag just to let her vent it out when she is super pissed on her period. Her smile when she discovers the secret notes (sadly mostly apologies) or chocolates you leave her sneakily is enough fuel to get you through a shitty day. You don’t always have to say it out loud, sometimes you don’t even have to say it. All the little things you do for her, with her, all the time…that matters most. Your words end up just being words. If you can’t translate your love into actions, if they aren’t your way of life, what good are they?

My previous post was from my heart but still you can notice a distance. It’s very one dimensional. It’s like a person describing the tip of an iceberg from far away without having the faintest clue of what lies underneath. I knew her well enough to fall in love with her but not enough to understand her. And even now I haven’t figured her out or don’t intend to because she isn’t a puzzle. Piece of advice for all the 4 people who are reading this, never approach a person you love like an achievement to be unlocked or mystery to be solved!
The excitement and fun exists until you find out the solution. What happens after that? What you should instead do it embrace everything you don’t know or understand about them. More than love, patience is the best gift you can give anyone. Give them the space they deserve to grow. Earn their trust, their understanding, their patience, friendship & respect! Earn your space in their life which is irreplaceable! Then you will get their love. Take no shortcuts, they won’t last.

Although, I am not perfect. I don’t follow my advice to the T. It’s easier said than done but I am willing to do it only for her. She is a paradox. She is a lot of things at once. She is as strong as she is fragile. She is as thick skinned as she is sensitive. She can be cold as fuck or a carebear at the flick of a switch! She is made to constantly learn and adapt and evolve! She can never be the same person you knew few months back. And that’s where people don’t get her. You expect her to be the same but she is not meant to be. It’s impossible for her to be stagnant. Even she doesn’t know where she wants to go but she always finds her way. In all this chaos behind the veil, she carries herself with grace, levity and a sense of respect and appreciation for everything which is around her. She is the truest version of herself and that’s the best anyone can do! Now tell me, is there a better definition of beauty, both inside and out? The most beautiful woman I know just one-upped on me 🙂

You are my literature :)

I don’t want to label
I don’t want to analyse
I don’t want to justify
I don’t want to verbalize

I don’t want to answer your difficult questions
I don’t want to make sense of the situations
I don’t want to worry about tomorrow
I don’t want us to deal with our sorrow

I want the silence in our eyes to talk
I want our bodies to revel in the spark
I want me to be yours and you mine
I want us to remain till the last sun shines

Jack’s Nightmarish Nights!

Previously!

FADE IN:

INT. THE BEDROOM – 3:17am

The glasses lie on the side of bed, not folded and on the side table like usual. The wireless keyboard and mouse lie scattered, separated from each other. The Bleeding by Five Finger Death Punch blaring out of the headphones which are on the verge of falling out of the ear sockets. The phone isn’t plugged into the charger but on his chest. Nobody likes to wake up with a phone without power or cancer, especially someone as paranoid as Jack. No matter how tired he is, he is always anal about order and routine. It’s fashionable to claim to have OCD but his obsession might be close to a medical condition. That and his love life. By the look of it, one sickness has apparently cured the other, temporarily at least. Clearly, he has had a rough night. Definitely not the first one in the recent weeks.

JACK’S WRETCHED MIND, the antithesis of everything that’s positive / hopeful in life, walks into the room, breaking the eerie silence in the room.

JACK’S WRETCHED MIND

So, what do we have here tonight?

JACK’S WRETCHED MIND slowly lifts Jack’s hand, careful enough not to wake him up, to see what’s on the phone.

JACK’S WRETCHED MIND

Ohhh mystery solved! New Instagram post. Wait is that him with her, again? Hahaha loser look at the caption! The pleasure of telling you “I told you so”! Such an ego boost, man!

 

JACK’S WRETCHED MIND puts the hand with the phone back in position and closes in on Jack’s face with a disgusted look, to check his breath for signs of weed or booze. Rolling his eyes, he smirks.

 

JACK’S WRETCHED MIND

Sober as fuck! Whom were you trying to fool with your grand schemes of self destruction, sissy? You can’t last a weekend of heavy drinking and getting stoned, you fuckin’ disgrace!

JACK’S REMAINING SANITY

And nobody expects him to! He isn’t Devdas.

 

With a pretty self-explanatory name, JACK’S REMAINING SANITY appears to be sitting on the edge of the bed with his hands buried in his face, while JACK’S WRETCHED MIND is pacing around with a sly smile of disapproval.

 

JACK’S WRETCHED MIND

Haha I was expecting you to take his side, Mr. Politically Correct! You do know you have also contributed to his current state, right? Not that he needs any help to screw himself over again and again, pretty self sufficient that way, our boy!

JACK’S REMAINING SANITY

Oh shut up! He doesn’t need to hear this now, even though how correct you are. Now is the time to support him and help him see through this phase.

JACK’S WRETCHED MIND

What fuckin phase, man? His need for romantic love is more dreadful and keeps resurfacing more frequently than Pennywise, you clown! I am so done with him. Everytime it’s the same thing! No wait, this time was different. Yeah he got fuckin friendzoned, he didn’t even get into a relationship to screw things up! It’s time I took control again. The shit has hit the fan and even painted the ceiling brown, my friend! Please do not stop me now.

JACK’S REMAINING SANITY

Yeah? And how are you going to protect him? By isolating him? Getting used to a routine where he suppresses his emotions? That’s hardly the way to heal or even live. There are some values which should never change! People should never give up on that. He is a hopeless romantic, let him be one. There aren’t many out there!

JACK’S WRETCHED MIND

Remind me again, who’s giving him an award for that? Save pandas and koalas if you want. Romantics can kiss my ass and die! It isn’t the 90’s anymore. People have to adapt. Relationships aren’t the same anymore. Millennials have watered it down. It’s basically a joke. Romance is dead, loving someone is only a calculated risk now. Everything is extra, being vulnerable and emotional is a weakness. People who can distance themselves from any sort of association are the powerful ones. It’s become a fuckin Darwin’s jungle, this charade of relationships. And I am not surprised he is being butchered, two words to explain it: Natural Selection.

JACK’S REMAINING SANITY

Such a fuckin monologist! You can’t expect him to remove her from his life. What about the friendship? Isn’t that important? Isn’t that breaking a promise?

JACK’S WRETCHED MIND

Ok first of all, all promises are eventually going to be broken. It’s like fuckin Westworld out here! And secondly, “yourself above anyone else”. That’s the only way anyone can survive. Number 3….

JACK’S REMAINING SANITY

We know you love making lists! Now go away before you wake him up!

 

JACK’S WRETCHED MIND loses his cool and climbs on bed, pointing his finger at JACK’S REMAINING SANITY’s face, he says in a muffled but stern voice!

 

JACK’S WRETCHED MIND

Look man, this is where you get the fuck out and let me take control! Enough of your pussy-minded, I-am-a-fuckin-gentleman/romantic bullshit! The truth is this has to end. Look I agree she isn’t to blame. Love and attraction doesn’t have a rule book! But he was everything she wanted in a guy. Ok a 100% match isn’t possible but he would strive to make her happy! He was there when she wanted and he will always be. Isn’t he funny, warm, caring, loving and an absolute stand-up guy? Yes he is a bit extra but that’s him! It’s better than being an asshole! He is a fat fuck but if that’s the reason why he was rejected, good for him! In spite of him being all this, if it didn’t work out, isn’t it time to kiss her goodbye? What about the plans he made for her birthday since the day he learnt how special it is to her? Everything is ruined now, nothing went to plan! Isn’t that a sign to just give up? Even if he manages to pull it off, it would only make her awkward as she doesn’t feel shit for him, man! And you are saying let him indulge in his fantasy dates in which he keeps falling for that damned smile every time and she gets to kill an evening with just another friend! His expectations of priority and importance in her life will never meet the reality. He will always end up getting hurt, especially when some other guy is going to make her feel special in ways he dreamt of. Why can’t you or him let that sink in your thick fuckin skull of yours, you dim-witted misfits! If I had a mic, I would smash your motherfucking heads to pulp before dropping it!

 

In this commotion, Jack suddenly wakes up with his phone in hand, to his dismay his screen still showing her latest post and a battery percentage of 13!

 

JACK

Fuuuuck man!

 

Jack looks around the room only to find no one. He is sure he heard someone. He can remember parts of their conservation. He looks lost like a deer staring into headlights. He closes all the apps on the phone, restarts the playlist which has been unchanged since weeks, plugs in the headphones and closes his eyes.

 

JACK (takes a deep breath)

Let’s do this!

 

FADE OUT: Cut to black. Cue in Someone That I Used to Know by Gotye. 

JACK’S WRETCHED MIND (voice over)

Such a melodramatic, mainstream motherfucker! Couldn’t you get a more obvious song? 

(MORE)

La Douleur Exquise

Lessons in life will be repeated until they are learned.

Why do we keep doing this to ourselves? After a point you know that you can’t blame anyone but yourself, yet you are willing to walk the tightrope without a net underneath. Is falling in love really worth so much? Even when it is unrequited? Especially when it is unrequited!


“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” Nice note to finish the movie on. That’s why Shawshank Redemption would remain one of best movies about *drumroll* redemption! As Andy Dufresne digs through the prison wall over the years and finally breaks out, there is an overwhelming sense of satisfaction in the redemption the figment of the author’s imagination gets. You tend to believe this shit is true. Yes for most part of life it probably is. Honestly though, hope is a dangerous device when you are in love. Love defies all rules and logic, it doesn’t follow a path you can predict, it’s not always right, it’s never fair, there is no redemption in the end! It fucks you up in ways you can’t imagine. And hope just fuels the self-destruction. Finally, if you are smart enough, you settle with Red’s side of the coin: “Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane!” 


My all time favourite talk show host, Craig Ferguson (how I miss you, man), always identified himself as a pessimist because he is smart and hope leads to expectations which can only bring pain. True. Even a smart kid can see the logic behind this, right? Why do you get a “404, logic not found error” when you fall in love with someone you can’t be with? Ok you can’t choose whom you fall in love with, agreed smarty pants! Still, does that change the fact that you are fucked for a considerable amount of time until whatever this is is out of your system? No. To make things worse, you begin to bargain with yourself. You justify your decision to pursue this dead fish of “relationship” in your head. You begin to believe you are worthy of love and the power of love would compel them (sorry about the steal, Exorcist) to eventually fall for you. All this is good in theory, but sadly it doesn’t work like that!

The truth hurts.

It’s so easy so paint the person you are in love with as a villain. A little empathy and a dash of common sense would help you understand even they are as helpless as you. “I do not like you in that way”, “I am not attracted to you”, “You are a friend to me”. I know these are soul crushing to hear but if these are honest emotions, shouldn’t you be strong enough to respect them? Classic example of “easier said than done”! Is there an alternative though? Nope! A lot of questions would have no as the answer and we should learn to deal with it. Put yourself ahead of everything else as the suffering is personal, no one else can share the pain with you. If you don’t respect yourself, how can anyone else? Accepting no for an answer and letting go is the first step in moving the fuck on.

If you can’t stay as friends with them, don’t. Take some time off and then get back when you think you can, if they value you. If you aren’t strong enough, clean breaks are the best. Even then you won’t be healed. You will stalk their Instagram, you will read through the comments to find any hint that they are dating someone else. You will torture yourself by assuming the worst. And mostly, what you assume would be true and you can’t do anything but wallow in self pity. The pain of watching you being replaced by someone else in your story (in your head, you are already a couple, no?) is actually physical and beyond manageble. You would seek avenues to escape the pain, shelve the reality for a while! But remember, all those are temporary measures. Eventually the reality catches up with you.

 

That leaves us with one option, the last option. Own it. Embrace it. Accept it. It’s not easy to fall out of love but you don’t have to. A part of you will never stop loving them. You don’t need closure. Somethings can remain unresolved. It will remain as baggage for quite some time, weeks / months / even years! Don’t shun the feelings, don’t repress the pain, don’t forget the love, never fuel the hate. Everything that you consider toxic is still a part of you, it completes you. You will never be okay. But that’s ok.

Afreen Afreen

Beauty.

Have you met someone who has redefined your standards of beauty, both inside and out? Her mere presence gives you a bout of jitters, even though you are used to company of gorgeous women. Every time she steps into a room, you can’t help but embarrass yourself by doing the obvious, turn towards her like clockwork. The embarrassment doesn’t really register considering the trade off: you get to see her, again. And again and again! I bet you can never have enough of her! How much ever you try to distract yourself, the moment you close your eyes, there she appears, as vivid as any memory can be.

I am not sure if it is even possible to get tired of that lovely face! I never believed in “Good morning!”s until she started wishing me with a snap of her face, as bright as the early rays of sunshine deflecting off the yellowing leaves of autumn. That’s when I realised I have been waking up the wrong way my entire life. And as she would like to plug in an inside joke at this juncture, I have had a considerably longer life than hers. Things you do to make them laugh, eh? And if you have seen her laugh or even smile, you would just take it upon yourself to be the reason for her smile more than anything else. Her skin glistens like the ocean on a full moon night. Her cheeks would make adorably fluffy bunnies feel insecure, her lips are probably the specimen templates used by god (Okay I will stop there :P). I can’t talk about goddamn eyes though! I have pushed myself into a corner as I can’t do justice to her eyes with mere mortal words. I just can’t. I can only feel lucky to be able to get lost in them, whenever I get to see them.

All this sounds like hyperbole? A guy in love is always going to be biased when he is going to textualize his love, but you needn’t be able to see her from my eyes to see how beautiful she is. She is one hell of a woman! Although, this is only about the physical appearance which, unfortunately, is bound to fade away eventually. Does it even matter though? That’s when you need my pair of eyes to see how beautiful she actually is.

She is one of the souls who gets torn when she sees other people in misery. Her need to help others who are actually in need of it, is fueled by nothing but her honest intentions of making the world a better place. She doesn’t post about it on any social media or even actively talk about it. She would be the first one to raise her voice in support whenever she sees any form of exploitation. I worry for her sometimes if she will land in some trouble for doing it, but she wouldn’t give a rat’s ass. She is a firebrand! She is very kind-hearted, especially to the ones we wouldn’t even consider giving our attention to. She would always put her loved ones ahead of her, what may come. Her expectations from life is as simple and meaningful as it can be. She can’t lie, she is as transparent and honest, yet constructive as anyone can be.

I don’t want this to sound like a write up on Mother Teresa. I am not putting her on a pedestal. She is human and I am aware of it. And she is a crazily wild human being, thank god for that! These are just the few little things I love about her. These are the reasons why I believe she defines beauty in a way a lot of them are not used to.

This is why she will be the most beautiful woman, inside and out!

Husn-I jaanaan ki tareef mumkin nahi
Husn-I jaanaan ki tareef mumkin nahi
Afreen afreen
Afreen afreen
Tu bhi dekhe agar toh kahe hamnisheen
Afreen afreen
Afreen afreen
Husn-I jaanaan ki tareef mumkin nahi

Her favorite song, the one which inspired me to write after 2 years 🙂

An Open Letter To Aamir Khan

Dear Aamir Khan,

This is an open letter to you. Why am I writing this? How many people will read it? Will it make a difference? I don’t know. Is this another exercise of mine to grab the attention of people in my social circle to feed my ego? Quite possibly! Is it one of those life-saving gestures where I change my profile picture to show my support to a first world country where 100 odd people died? I know that’s a lazy Wednesday afternoon in Syria but I like French fries better. Anyway, I am going to deny all that, put my pseudo-patriotism on and tell you why I am writing this. You hurt my feelings! Did you kill someone? Did you endorse patriarchy? Did any major corporation withhold chunks of FDI from our country due to your comment? Did it have any fucking effect on anything remotely noticeable, apart from down-voting the Snapdeal app into oblivion? Poor chaps had only one strategy and that backfired like shit! But it hurt our FEELINGS, bro! I feel more disappointed in you than the parents of an Asian kid who scored an A-minus.

How dare you? What gives you the right to have an opinion? You are an actor. You are an Indian actor. Let me be clearer. You are a Muslim Indian actor. Don’t you know you have to be responsible with what comes out of your mouth? And also what goes into it, holy cow!! Don’t you know better than to speak your mind, even though the fear and intolerance you talked about is on every rational Indian’s mind right now? The exact intolerance which you are subjected to right now! Yes we don’t know what might get banned next, what might be termed offensive, who will be bullied next, how many are going to be raped, murdered or just fucked with. But hey, didn’t you learn in school? Saare jahaan se achcha Hindustan humara? Ignorance is bliss. That’s how we roll, yo!

Don’t you know TRP is the one thing our conniving media cares about and everything you say will be twisted and used against you? Just wait for that over-enthusiastic politician, who never gets his facts right, to demand you to go back to where you came from. Bandra, Mumbai apparently but you know what I mean. And being a Muslim only makes you more anti-national no matter how many social causes you have fought for.

By the way who asked you to do all that? Isn’t looking good, talking about your love life, diet regime and your 300 crore blockbusters the only part of your job description? It’s not your fault, Aamir. In a country where chai wala’s can run governments, you can never stick to the job you are meant to do! So here’s what you do. Write an apology letter to every Indian whose country you belittled. And be a mard & get a grip on your woman!! Why she is even allowed to worry about any place which isn’t her kitchen? If you don’t set this straight, I am not going to spend one dime on your movies anymore! And I don’t even have to kid around if you make another one like Dhoom 3.

Jai Hind

Sathyameva Jayathe

If I Can’t Accept You at Your Worst, Then Maybe You Should Stop Being So Horrible

Original Post seen on themattwalshblog.com

Source: http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/01/23/if-i-cant-accept-you-at-your-worst-then-maybe-you-should-stop-being-so-horrible/

I remember the first time I was awarded the “game ball” in my Little League. I don’t recall the details exactly, but I’m pretty sure my stat sheet looked something like this:

Zero RBIs, zero home runs, zero hits, zero stolen bases, zero plays made on the field, seven errors, four innings spent sitting on the bench.

Most of my team probably performed similarly, but I know we put a few points on the board, so SOMEONE must have done something notable.

Alas, that kid — whoever he was — got jobbed this tragic afternoon. They gave the game ball to me. You can only imagine how I felt.

That is, confused.

We capped off the season with a trophy ceremony in the local middle school auditorium. One by one, they called every team up to receive their participation awards. You played a game for a few weeks and achieved no amount of success at all! Congratulations on your mediocrity, kid! It was a plastic gold-colored figurine of a guy hitting a baseball. Ironic, really, considering I hadn’t actually made contact with a ball all season.

I still have my pity-trophy, it’s right up there on my pity-mantle, next to my pity-game ball and the mandatory Valentine’s Day cards I only received because elementary school rules required every child to give one to every other child.

When visitors come by, I show it to them and proudly say, “Look at all of the mandatory recognition showered upon me as a matter of routine policy!”

Then my guests will often cringe and weep, and the evening ends early and uncomfortably.

See, I think all of this nonsense — this “everybody is special, everybody gets to have a trophy, everybody gets a card, everybody gets recognition” idiocy — can produce only two possible results, neither desirable. One, it can make perceptive, self-aware children even more embarrassed and insecure. They know that they are undeserving of these accolades, and they’d rather not be patronized.

If a severely impoverished child wore a burlap sack to school, he would be utterly humiliated if his teacher, with all good intentions, decided to award him the honor of “best dressed.” That’s how many kids feel when their mediocrity is put on a pedestal and treated like it’s something exceptional. They aren’t fooled, as much as they’d like to be.

Then there’s Category 2. These kids, perhaps not equipped with the same critical thinking capacities as the first type, will eventually buy into the hype. They will look at those trophies and gold stars, unearned and undeserved, and begin to develop an inflated image of themselves. What is born from this is not confidence, but narcissism and arrogance. These are the kids in possession of the much-heralded “self-esteem.” Indeed, they hold themselves in high esteem. Why? Because they are themselves. They are spectacular, beautiful, athletic, and brilliant, all by their very nature. Whatever they do is the best thing anyone has ever done, simply because it was done by them. Whoever comes in contact with them ought to be grateful for the privilege. Success and happiness is what they are due, and the entire universe is in their debt. They are the people who expect the Lord to descend from heaven and hand them a game ball and a participation trophy every day.

I’m sure you’ve met this type. Maybe you’ve voted for this type. Maybe you work with, or under, this type. Maybe, God help you, they are in your family. Maybe you’ve been in a relationship with them.

In fact, it seems statistically likely that you have been in a relationship with them. The divorce rate speaks for itself. Beyond that, although there aren’t any statistics (as far as I’m aware) for non-married break ups, it appears obvious that we are experiencing a crisis of failed relationships at every level and in every form. People don’t know howto be in relationships anymore, and I think this epidemic can be traced, at least in part, to the delusions of grandeur we instill in our little snowflakes from an early age.

Shielded from failure, insulated from criticism, covered in emotional bubble wrap, our kids are venturing out into the world with little discipline and even less humility. You can see this manifest in many arenas, but I think it’s most pronounced in the way we approach relationships.

Here’s one example. It’s minor, probably insignificant, but it represents something quite serious. I was perusing my Facebook Newsfeed today and I came across a status that said this:

“Yea I’m a b*tch but deal with it. I wont be with anyone who cant accept all of who I am!!!”

This was a grown woman. Apparently college educated. Older than me.

It reminded me of a meme we’ve all seen a thousand times. It has a few variations, but it usually goes something like this:

If you can’t accept me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best.

This is such a popular sentiment that it has its own Facebook fan page with over 150,000 “likes.”

It shows up all the time on memes and illustrations like this one:

2014-01-27-untitled5.png

Of course, the original quote, widely attributed to Marilyn Monroe, is even more vapid and nauseating when taken in its full context:

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

Out of all the profundities ever uttered, what does it say about our society that THIS is the quote we’ve decided to take to heart?

It says that we need to read more books.

Also, it says that we are horrible at relationships.

Yes, it’s true that, in a marriage, we must love our spouses in spite of their flaws. It’s also true that we all have flaws. But it’s ALSO true that only an infantile, spoiled, egotistical brat would ever treat a loved one with “her worst” and expect them to deal with it because her “best” will somehow compensate for it.

Newsflash: It’s not OK to be selfish, impatient, and out of control. These traits, while common, are UNacceptable. They should not be accepted, least of all by the people you claim to love. The onus is on YOU to change your behavior and your attitude, not on them to “handle it.” Are you such a gem that they should thank God for the opportunity to be emotionally abused by you, if only it earns them a chance to bask in the glow of your superiority?

Perhaps that’s how you see it, but I’ve never met anyone quite that charming.

This philosophy is poison, and it stretches beyond one offensive quote from a 20th century Playboy Bunny. Often I read or hear people whine that they ‘just want to find someone who will accept them, no matter what.’ But being “accepted” should not be our relationship goal. Healthy relationships are loving, but also challenging, edifying, and even occasionally painful.

Accept. Definition: to receive with approval or favor, to agree or consent to.

Should our selfishness, impatience, and weakness preclude us from being loved? No. But should these traits be “accepted”? Should they be “received with approval or favor”? Should our loved ones “consent” to them?

No.

Big no.

Enormous, loud, screaming no.

Should we scoff at our husbands or wives or boyfriends or girlfriends and flippantly tell them to “handle it,” as we behave in ways that will hurt and offend them?

No. And if you think that — if you REALLY think that — then you shouldn’t be getting into relationships at all. You aren’t ready.

Further, does our “best” (which probably isn’t as great as we imagine it to be) make up for, or negate, our “worst”?

No. Your worst is your worst. Fix it. Be better. Nobody should have to put up with it. Least of all the people you love.

Love is a transformative force, and if you want to experience it you better be ready to change in every way imaginable. My wife does not “accept me,” and thank God for that. She challenges me. She makes me better. In other words, she loves me.

What kind of a pathetic and dreary goal is that, anyway — just wanting to be “accepted,” tolerated, put up with? That’s not why we’re put on this planet. Life is not about gaining “acceptance.” Life is change. It is not static and stagnant, do you really want your relationships to be?

We don’t emerge into the world as eternally entitled princes and princesses. We come into it as naked, crying, helpless babies. Our job is to grow out of that condition. And that will take a lot of changing and a lot of learning about what parts of us are unsuitable and insufficient and unacceptable. Sadly, some of us are unwilling to endure that process, so we never grow, and in failing to grow we fail to live. It’s a tragedy.

Don’t ask anyone to “accept” the bad parts of you. Instead, strive to improve those parts. Put in the effort. Make yourself worthy of the love they’ve offered you.

Forget what you learned in elementary school. The only “participation trophy” you’re awarded from life is death. That’s the one thing we all get just for showing up. In the meantime, if you want something better, you have to earn it.

That means if you want better relationships, you have to earn them, too.

It’s all about balance!

There are dreamers and there are realists in this world. You’d think the dreamers would find the dreamers and the realists would find the realists, but more often than not the opposite is true. You see, the dreamers need the realists to keep them from soaring too close to the sun. And the realists, well without the dreamers, they might not ever get off the ground.

This line got to me when I was getting my daily dose of chuckle on the telly. Modern Family fans, up top! BTW I am talking about the design here. The quoted line is applicable for any two extremes of a spectrum. A girl who loves makeup will fall for the guy who thinks girls are the prettiest early in the morning, plain and simple. Someone who can’t stop yapping for a minute ends up with the one who could give Manmohan Singh a complex. When things are bad, one expects love and the other space. One believes in spelling everything out in excruciating detail to ensure there is no miscommunication while the other expects their partner to be Charles Francis Xavier (not the hairstyle, you doofus!). This is the design. You can’t fight it, contest it and even pointless to crib about it.

 

What can you do?

Accept it. It’s not a made-to-fit tuxedo! Nothing ever fits perfectly. If it does, then something’s really fishy. There will always be differences in priorities, opinions and values between two grown individuals. That’s the reality which you have to accept and work on it. So you decide in the beginning if you want a “pretentious but incomplete” relationship or the “not easy but the real deal” kind.

Embrace it. When you love someone, trust they are doing the right thing. The minute you empathize and understand what makes your person different from you, you tend to open yourself to a little change in the way you perceive things. You tend to become less ignorant and more tolerant which will only help you grow closer.

Be patient. Easier said than done, I know!!! Why do you think every year there is an increment in the number of G’s on your mobile phone? People can’t frigging wait. But you have no option but to in a relationship. Especially when things are sour, take a time out. Spending time away from each other is not always bad. When someone truly loves you, you will get a reassurance in some form which would make the waiting more worth it.

What you should not do?

Stop communicating! It’s a relationship killer. Even if you are the kind who likes to be left alone when you are not being understood, you have to communicate. You have to let them in on what you are going through. Spell out your expectations as no one can understand someone completely, especially when that someone prefers curling up into a cocoon. When someone feels left out, it only leads to assumption and misunderstanding which eventually leads to even bigger squabbles. Basic Relationship 101, people!

Pretending. Honestly compromising is different from just pretending to. When two people are together, lot of compromises and sacrifices will be made as you can’t find common ground on everything. Where do you draw the line though? When the compromises you have made is making you somebody you are not, stop. Get out of it. Pretending everything will be okay will not only ruin your happiness on a daily basis, it will destroy your partner’s trust in you. And we all know regaining trust in a relationship is well, very tricky.

It’s all about balance. Each of you having 10 unique things is better than having 10 things in common. That way, you get to learn and appreciate twice as many things! How willing you are to meet on some common ground where you both can nurture your relationship and grow as individuals as well matters. Every relationship is different but there is a simple formula to beat this design. Equal amounts of love and effort gives a balanced relationship. Lots of love but no effort to understand each other or lots of effort to make it work but no love to sustain it will only leave you with a bitter aftertaste.

When dreams cross into reality

It was a huge gathering of people. I see my mom, grandma, extended family. Everyone greets us with a wide smile. They are genuinely happy to see us. I am with her. She is dressed in a mint green salwar suit, looking splendid as ever. I don’t remember any distinct conversation but just people are crowding around us. We are busy dividing the attention among them so that no one feels ignored. My friends are walking in too, some of them whom I haven’t seen in years. I drift away from her gradually while trying to catch up with all of them. I keep checking on her from a distance if she isn’t bored or ignored. She is also chatting up, exchanging glances and smiles from a distance. Damn, those eyes kill me every time I stare at them. I am one lucky guy!

Then a guy walked in who I never thought I would see again. My ex-best friend. He didn’t punch me, instead it was a hug. I didn’t understand why. We parted on very bad terms. So I went over to find out why he isn’t pissed at me anymore. Eventually I lost track of her. I couldn’t see where she was, did she eat, is someone taking care of her, is she lonely? She hates being lonely! These thoughts were wreaking havoc in my head. And here are my friends who I can’t ignore. I have to pay attention to the family as well. I was about to explode.

As I was trying to ease the built up pressure in my head, my eyes were scanning for her, only to be seen nowhere. Oh yeah now I’m fucked. She is gone. So I rush to the exit mildly manhandling everyone through the sea of people. There is she, walking out of the gate hailing for an auto. “Oh don’t do that baby”, I am screaming at a lung-shattering pitch but not a word comes out. Somehow she turns, looks at me with those eyes, almost tearing up and gets into the auto. I somehow gather the strength to push everyone out of the way and rush to the auto.

Babbling helplessly, “Don’t go, boo. Please stay, you haven’t had anything since the morning. I am sorry, please get down.” Not a single fuck was given. As the auto started moving, I forced myself in. She is hitting me, pushing me away, and trying to escape. Almost like a re-enactment of your typical travel in Delhi. She starts to cry. I hate it when that happens as I break. I console her, cajole her. “Baby please don’t do this, I am sorry. I love you. There was too much happening but you were always in my thought! I couldn’t stop worrying about you”, I yell helplessly. She is still giving me a fight, “I didn’t have anything since morning and you completely ignored me. I have to spell out everything to you, you never understand me”, she sheepishly let it out while still sobbing. I didn’t know if I should feel bad for her crying or take in all the adorability and just smile.

I just hugged her; I kissed her forehead and calmed her down. “I love you baby. I am sorry. I really love you so much; please never leave like this again. I will never desert you. I always try to understand you”, me whispering in my typical apologetic tone to calm her down. Suddenly I recognized this street, there is an amazing pizza joint here. I ask the auto wala to stop at the corner. “Baby we are going to get some food in you.” There is still some tear run-off, I wipe it off and look her in the eyes and ask, “Okay?” She took a deep breath in and replied, “Okay”.

We had a fight the previous night. We have been having it quite a lot in the past week. Maybe this was the manifestation of the subconscious. But when I woke up from this, I was feeling so heavy and overwhelmed. Losing her in any form was painful to imagine. I immediately searched for my phone and sent her a good morning text with an I love you. I got back “Good morning!” without emoticons of course. Not everyone goes through emotions in the same order of preference, especially the time required to process everything varies. We can only hope in its due time, everything which is meant to be will be Okay.

i__m_sorry_by_painefullthrottle

The roles are reversed in this case. Yes I am a crier! Deal with it.