Mail to my Bestie - 20-04-2018


We had kulhad chai in Kolkata, Baba and me. Sanu Mamu  does not drink chai. Well I think he's not human. He doesn't drink anything- coffee, soft drinks, cola , sprite, maaza, hard drinks. Of course he is not  human. We all had dosa, and misti doi. I wanted to visit the south side of the city to the chinese colony to eat authentic Chinese momo and chinese dishes like noodles, fish cakes etc. But we didn't have time, and Baba was reluctant. So I didn't urge. 

You know last since 2016 I had been booking tickets for Kolkata and cancelling. Twice. Once Arpita, Ipsa, Joyeeta and I had planned- but we cancelled due to a marriage ceremony we had in family. Next in 2017 we had booked- Saswati, me and Arpita- to go the next week of returning from Visakhapatnam, but canceled since Saswati had no holidays. And I was wondering ever since whether I was jinxed for Kolkata or vise versa. And now I get to go there, not to roam around, but with family.

When returning I was feeling the same feeling I had in Mysore. That lingering feeling, of something awesome passing, by and through your life. I couldn't really pinpoint why, but I loved that feeling. I had it in the train journey return. I wish to make connections, meaningful ones, grow and go places, learn and make friends. I regret that I had not put effort in new friendships in Hyderabad. I really do sometimes. 

I think we live life in retrospect. Always nostalgia overpowers our present memory. And before going to Hyderabad, it was Mysore that ruled my mind in idle nostalgic times, happy memories. I missed Mysore so many times, those times, that life. 

And after returning from Hyderabad, I haven't stopped missing it- I mean mostly the life there(we tend to retain the good parts and erase the bad  parts from memory)- what ifs and what could have beens. That life. And now, even though nothing sort of relevant was in Kolkata, I feel I will miss it. I mean, mostly it's my imagination, my make-belief thoughts than anything else. May be because it provided me to look at a probable new chapter in my life. Mtech in college. I also saw mothers in jeans and shirts - career oriented ones- walking their school kids to home, crossing the roads,- Famous icse schools - Don Bosco, La Martina, etc.. and I was thinking about my future. Mostly I think places do make us think and see possibilities in a dreamy way. 

I was also imagining life in UPES, Dehradun. Hills surrounding the campus. Ya, I think I am really just dreamy all the time. Leave it. Next week SP and Ipsa would go Kolkata for Isro exam. They would roam around too. 

Sanu Mamu also told me, "Stay away from home for at least 2 years. You need to." - He said this after he heard that we sleep at 11 and wake up at 6 and Mama takes away our cellphones before going to bed. Hahaha!!!

You know another thing- Baba tells me he wants me to go and study in foreign universities- but I don't have the courage. Where from will I get the courage when I am always restricted from going alone, within the country, or city sometimes. I realize that I still depend on him, and people. It's sad sometimes, feels intimidating. I feel I can't ever learn to expand myself or fight my own battles or stand up for myself. In previous company, while the separation process was going on I was thinking why do I have to deal with all this shit myself- office politics, people, etc. Etc. Why can't Baba just call and talk as it happened in school time? Problems were so easily resolved by him. For me this process of being an adult is getting difficult. I realize.

Another thing I noticed baba worried so much while we were traveling from Sanu Mamu's home to railway station in cab. Worried if we would reach on time or not.  He fussed a lot with apps Uber and  Ola over rates, and whether to book in pool or not. It took 15- 20 mins. It irritated me. I bet Sanu Mamu too was and he hid his irritation well. He accompanied us as Baba urged, which seemed unnecessary to me. He was tensed in a new town, but seeing that was new for me too. I wanted to reassure that not to worry we would reach on time, despite the traffic. But couldn't, I think I didn't. 

So I think I know I want to grow to to a responsible adult, to support my parents but I feel I won't ever know how. I hate this dilemma. And I feel I am always full of opposites- wanting to support and quarrel at the same time. As the saying goes- wanting to kiss and kill at the same time. Haha!  And same is the feeling I have about home these days. I am always feeling somewhere in between wanting to run away from and run towards home. Intense homesickness or intense willing to just run far away. 

PS: I got a glimpse of who I was in this letter, and in these three years I have changed so much. I travelled places, made friends, found a life partner, got married. I value family more than wanderlust - given the current times. When I stayed in Mumbai for a year, I showed places to my parents and sister who visited for a week. We went to Shirdi, Ellora and Sulla Vineyards. Had an awesome trip before covid struck the country. My father is a worrier - I have seen him worry the most during the months leading to my marriage, and my mother is the one who keeps the worries in check. But we also manage to make fun of it to lighten the situation and he laughs them away. 

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.


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Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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