Friday, October 30, 2015

Eight years ago, I joined Facebook today and added three friends. One of the three, I've now known for over nine years. Yet, I have never met him. One passed away tragically, around my birthday last year. Nobody informed me, really. I just stumbled upon 'sorry for your loss' messages on Facebook itself and felt clinically disturbed for a week.  The third, I've known since I gained consciousness.

Two years ago, I smoked eleven cigarettes back to back after a class got cancelled. I made a friend roll them fresh, and everyone around me wondered if I was okay. I wasn't. I had a script to submit for approval in under a day for a television pilot, amongst other things that I was to worry about. I remember what I was wearing, I remember the Earl Grey sky and I also remember receiving multiple calls from someone I no longer talk to, to check whether I was doing okay. I remember breaking down thrice in the course of writing and being stone cold by 4 am, when I was on the third part of that script. I had channelized my grief into writing my directorial debut. I think it was the best I could do with the piece of writing.

A year ago, I believed I could never recover from the curse of nostalgia. I was placing and nearly celebrating the loss of my confidence- of events that went down 365 days ago. I was no longer bitter but I could feel that the coffee and cigarettes were making up for that. It could have been the change in the weather. I'd decided to show up in an Aztec sundress with a cropped sweater and walked the labyrinthian streets of Shahpur Jat. One-half was in sorrow and the other, in possession of my judgement. I knew I couldn't be in love and I knew I was no longer grieving bygones. I was a spirit discarded, in search of new home. I just didn't know where to look.

Today, I sit surprised. Besides investing time in writing this, I've not found myself the luxury to sit and think. I really don't remember if it was Halloween or the day prior or after that. I don't remember why I ended up on a bench, with a cigarette wrapped tightly around my lips, two years in a row mourning what was never mine. I found that it's easier to let go and build new blocks to step on and hold on to things which did not have a beginning or an end to it. I gave away a meal coupon to an acquaintance because she happened to write me a mail, a new project I'm working on. I used my card, with limited funds in my bank (considering I don't earn 'any'- a new insult devised by those who feel the need to bring up my life choices as a defence to their inadequacies in life, which have been pointed out by me, naturally) to book tickets for a pleasure trip for no rhyme or reason. I woke up to some poignant words by a friend and some more by others. I proceeded to spend the morning indulging in a 'first day, first show' from the banner of one of my favourite film director. It was an empty cinema hall and I had the whole last row to myself with my mother, who has more than graciously adapted to cinema. Have I ever mentioned how my mother is a better fit to cinema than me?

There are things worth holding and some other which lose their essence over time The idea is to evolve and see if the ones worth holding signify anything, over time. If you give up on pleasant or poop-worthy stuff that you've lived with for a chunk of your life, then really, those things were never significant in the first place. If I could bring in this day with a brownie and not care about the cigarettes I smoked in the past then it means it's just an ordinary day, like any other.  If you allow the etchings to erode, only then will you hold space to make way for the new ones.

Look forward to the next 30 October.  

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