To right the wrong

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“We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong.
Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for.
You’re looking for the wrong person.
But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have”.
I will find that special person who is wrong for me in just the right way. Let our scars fall in love.”

― Galway Kinnell

I’m in a relationship!

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Now that I have your attention, let me explain..
The object of my affection is something really mundane.
It’s my apartment. Warm, bright and bathed in a yellow hue.
Everyone who’s walked in has unequivocally said..it’s so you!

My tumultuous affair started a few months ago.
Worth every bit of my time and pride for sure.
The minute I set my eyes, I was in love full throttle.
Not exactly a celebration but it did call for the opening of a champagne bottle.

It gives the solitude I seek, even though it overlooks a road.
I’ve spent several soporific Sundays being in a couch potato mode.
The calmness in my heart out-shouts everything else.
To curl up with a book or watch something on the TV that makes no sense.

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An open kitchen, a bar stocked with all the alcohol that can be had.
It would be the ultimate spinster pad.
A movie star living room and the room which inspired this writing, my study.
A monochromatic bathroom and a bedroom which is earthy.
Adding little touches to compensate for the minus.
A refuge or respite with something to do.
I often catch myself saying to no one in particular..I love you.

The house is always on my mind.
I walk in every evening and thank the god above for this find.
What can I do to make it better? Sometimes wishing I were a housewife.
Should I buy the wall art now or save it for later?
Let the space fill out naturally, let the walls chronicle my life.

Not willing to rest till it’s functional, tidy and shiny again.
Not a speck of dust. Clean, wash, wipe without complain.
Till I’m exhausted. Till I’m sane.

I wish we could love each other unconditionally like this.
Give every relationship all your love and attention. Be respectful and willing.
The only expectation is for you to welcome me, protect me and keep me safe.
When things don’t go as planned, the disappointment might be crippling.
Nonetheless I’d walk gratefully into your arms at the end of the day.
It’s bound by paperwork and lease terms but in my heart I’m here to stay.

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HOW R U. GOT COLD. CONTACT AT CONVENIENCE.

This is the text I received from my father. For those of you wondering why daddy dearest sounds so brusque it’s simply because texting to him is a modified version of the telegram. He continues to be frugal with words as if every letter is charged.

It would appear that technology and warmth can’t be juxtaposed. I send my father a text saying I’ve landed in Hong Kong and ask him to wish me luck because I start a new job from tomorrow. His response is GOOD. SLEEP WELL. FACE CHALLENGES FROM TOMORROW.
His fixation for uppercase beats me. Maybe it’s him trying to be VERY clear. I imagine his tired eyes scanning his small screen, not so smart phone and all’s forgiven.

I sometimes marvel at his single minded-ness. It wouldn’t surprise me if he makes bullet-points about the topics to be discussed during our weekly Sunday calls (no mid-week calls unless it’s an emergency). Although there is usually a pattern .Get information on my health, awkwardly inquire about my happiness, quiz me about work and an inquisition on my savings (and the lack thereof). What quickly follows is a lecture on how I squander it away before the phone is handed to my mom for peace talks.

His clarity in thought makes me wonder just how many words, texts, calls and years I have wasted on small talk. I reason by saying it’s the price of popularity.
Yet, I look at my dad sending letters and postcards to his retired friends , receiving calendars which are probably meant as corporate gifts and I have to respect how they actually took time out to keep in touch. We,the instant-gratification loving Gen Y with our synthetic SMS’es, hashtag tweets, Insta love on instagram and Facebook likes and pokes are plain lazy. The world is getting smaller but the distance between us is increasing. I’ve been toying with a social experiment of removing my birthday from my Facebook profile. Would people remember without a reminder?

Not too long ago, I tried to teach my parents the joys of Skype. Much excitement ensued before the video call except for a tiny technicality, they forgot to put on their webcam! When they figured it out, I had a better view of the wall than them. The maiden call was going swimmingly but after the basic pleasantries were exchanged my dad wanted to hang-up. I reiterated it’s free but that didn’t change his mind. He says he doesn’t understand the Skype revenue model. Admittedly neither do I.

I realize that I’m heading in the same direction. I shy away from leaving voice messages and blithely ignore the marvels of modern-day technology like voice memos and audio notes, much to the chagrin of my friends.

In school, after spending the day together, my friend would ring me and we would chat for hours as if we hadn’t met in years
In college my friends and I would discuss every boy, every dream and any remote possibility of how our lives could change
When I reached my 20’s I was full of existential angst
I wanted to be anyone but me and live anywhere but here

Then we grew up and couldn’t ignore the gradual changes as technology seeped into our lives. Staying in-touch meant texting, g talking, what’s app’ing, BBM’ing and on very rare occasions, a phone call. The call is usually to make a plan. I can’t remember the last time I got a call when a person just wanted to ..talk.

With more number of years under our belt, are fewer words spoken?
With the customary ping of ‘let’s catch-up’ just how many promises are broken?
Technology is efficient but it’s also crippling our communication skill
My father is a man of few words with an old-fashioned way of expressing them
But I treasure his messages because not too far from now I too will feel like an ossified fossil

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