Of Cabbages and Kings

November 17, 2010

Oh happy day!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chinmayi @ 5:03 pm

Today I have tons and tons of work. My work is going to help many people.

Today, I conquered my temper. And realised that I have been doing this rather more often than I have in the past.

Today, everything looks wonderful and rosy. My lovely home. My wonderful career (and my show of courage in going for it despite everyone’s best effort to frighten me into the rat race). My healthy relationship with the ex (which both he and I deserve credit for this) which has been hard won and has the ancillary ┬ábenefit of teaching how truly wonderful it is to learn to forgive (while at the same time not deliberately putting oneself in the way of hurt).

I feel stretched. And I know that I will feel even more stretched in the years to come.

I feel in control. I know that there will be problems but after so long, so very long, I know that I’ll be able to handle them.

Happy happy day!

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The Elephant in the Room

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chinmayi @ 4:36 pm

I was never really good at ignoring the elephant or hell, even the kitten, in the room. My very sensible and very feminine friend has advised me to do it this time. I wish I knew whether the advice was coming from the sensible aspect or the feminine aspect of her persona. I don’t do feminine. Yes, even my flirtations have an underpinning of very male cynicism and acquisitiveness to them.

You see the trouble with ignoring the Elephant, is that it gets in the way all the time. It is this big invisible communication gap that colours everything but you are not permitted to talk about it. So what if you get sick of it all and yell, ‘But there’s a bloody big elephant in this room!’? Well I’ve done it in the past. And to be fair, it hasn’t worked out so well in the past. But this is my first time tiptoeing around the elephant. And that isn’t really working out so much better anyway. A old and very very dear friend is drifting out of the door.

I’ve noticed recently that one tends to have exactly the same kind of fight with particular people over and over. Yes, the context can vary vastly but bring the fight down to its bare bones and it is about the same things. Mostly about things that we don’t say to eachother. ‘You lied to me’; ‘I don’t like your smugness’; ‘I don’t think you really like me’; ‘I think you are stupid’; ‘I think you think I am stupid’; ‘you don’t really love me’; ‘you love someone else more’; ‘you don’t trust me’; ‘I don’t trust you’…and so on and so forth. Silly things. Often unfounded. Often so insignificant compared to all the other big things that bind people and make them love each other. But ignoring them seems to mean that they wriggle into tiny regular disagreements, and inflate them into large, ugly and insurmountable problems. And then these problem stand between us along with that good old Elephant and we can’t reach each other any more.

What if one day – one special day – we were all made to say exactly what we thought to each other? What would happen?

I’d love one Brutal Honesty day. It’d drive out all the elephants and leave my friendships to stand or fall as they would naturally.

November 13, 2010

Winter

Filed under: Random musing — Chinmayi @ 6:18 pm

This city is wrapped in a thickening mist that floats alluringly above its ankle. A shadow of the emphatic fog that shrouds London or the deep smoky air of Delhi. Someone looking at it through a window would swear there it chilly like a real winter. Although there are no greatcoats and shared street bonfires, there are mufflers, sweaters and people with flus everywhere.

It is surreal: you can see the cold but you can’t feel it. Not at all. This is the only time of year that you are not sweaty and uncomfortable. But you are very far from feeling the winter. Even if you can see it and smell it. Even if you feel like it is standing next to you in a dark room and bending out of reach every time you put you hand out to touch it.

November 8, 2010

What one wants

Filed under: Random musing — Chinmayi @ 5:20 pm

seems so constructed sometimes. We chase so many things which, when examined, seem a little empty. This isn’t a depressive post. It is just a bewildered one. I’ve been puzzling over what I really want. And honestly, I don’t know…I have no idea at all.

At my age, people chase money – I’ve done that and it is fun but too easy, and green only to the person on the other side really. People chase power and fame but I suspect that the same can be said for both of those. I’ve been to good universities and I’ve done a couple of things that should have sent me over the moon. Did it make me feel good? Yes. But only as long as I was looking at myself from someone else’s eyes. When I stepped back into my own shoes, I was still me – my earning capacity, my universities, my achievements don’t change that. Winning a competition may tell other people that I’m reasonably competent at something but as far as I am concerned, nothing changes really. I could be happy being me. Or not. If it takes validation like competitions to make me happy then it is only a question of time before I will start craving more validation, and more…and it won’t really end.

The rat races never actually end. You hop from one to another and then another. I don’t notice the ‘achievers’ from the past being secure. They may have won one rat race but it just took them into another. And then another. And then another. With all the attendant stress and fear. The sense of achievement seems fleeting, and the desperation to win again seems to drown it out.

The people I know who want to ‘save the world’ are also confused. They aren’t quite clear about what their contribution will be – is it better to responsible for 100 people’s literacy than to bring up one really good and generous human being? Is it better to help a country shake off colonial rule than to ensure that your family doesn’t die of grief and starvation from your neglect? When we say ‘hero’, do we only refer to people about whom books are written or do we include the sweet old lady next door who has suffered much but has only ever loved everyone around her and done her best to help everyone who came her way?

I go through my phases of the usual ‘dreams’. But I wonder – how many of them are really constructed? Bits and pieces cadged together from other people’s expectations, directed at getting other people’s approval. How many of us truly know what we want – what makes us happy…divorced completely from the way in which the world, or at least some small part of it, sees us? Relationships, power, fame, money, climbing up this ladder or that one… how much is really a choice?

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