11/8/20

The Creaking Chair - Part XXVIII

 



9th November 1988

When I was a kid, I was rarely exposed to any foreign language movie or play
we came from a humble background and were just catching up to the so called ‘upper middle class’
and we had certain values which we adhered to and certain unsaid ways of living
that changed when I moved to Delhi for a couple of years
for my first tryst with life as an adult – that is when I could relate to the movies & plays I saw
this was also the time when I had fought with my father in my effort to join the armed forces


That was the beginning of a curve in my life that took me to twisted routes
of ups and downs, of joys and sorrows, of adventures and misfortunes
but none of them did I regret or feel sorry about even today
had I not taken that route, I would possibly not have spent my time in Paris or Madrid
I may never have met Paul or Jamie or Harshita or Vani ; I can go on with the list 
all treasures in my memory vault


I explored the emotion of love and the tickle in the stomach that comes with it 
during that phase of life; and I think all these experiences turned me into a hopeless romantic 
This was the time I was relishing in the absolute joy of writing 
and all my amoral interests used to ask me – ‘why don’t you send me love letters?’
How I could never explain to them that I always wrote them love letters 
but never attached the sentimentality of that name with what I wrote for them 
Love letters need not be an event I always believed,
just like love was not meant to be celebrated only on the Valentine’s day.


I specifically remember the debate I had with Venessa on a sun kissed morning in Madrid
that’s when for the only time I tried to explain how my love letters worked 
They were hidden in the notes I left purposefully in the books I borrowed from her
I know she hated any scribbles on her book – she believed books were sacred
but I always marked in pencil passages that was us, and scribbled my thoughts besides them

My love letters were written in small passages when I used to chat with her 
The text messages we shared were full of hints of what I could say in plain sight to start with 
which then moved to more overt expressions of adoration and desires 
then, of course, there were phases of frustration – when I felt my words were not registering 
or when she could not listen what I was talking about or maybe ignored the real meaning 
I would never know if that was on purpose or because of her inherent fears

But then the emotions finally settled in 
like sunlight falling from an open window in a darkened room 
these hidden text became more about care and support
of knowing when she would get angry and when she would want to vent out
knowing when to push the buttons and when to stop sharing my not-so-funny jokes
of knowing how to make her smile and doing it even though I knew she may not respond 
or decide not to acknowledge my efforts to make her day a little lighter


Of all the miniature letters I shared with her in this way 
the ones which I would cherish are on those days when she was just her 
not agitated after a grueling day at work or her struggles with her side gig
and definitely not on days when her spirits were high 
No, it had to be the days when she was just herself 
for those were the days, when my hints and my covert expressions of love made their mark
whether she acknowledged with a smile or a diversion in conversation was irrelevant 
those were the days when I was making progress in my pursuit for her companionship


And yet I was sure she craved for a love letter, if and when we openly accepted our relationship
while she always said that she wanted relationships to not kill the individuality 
and yet she was fiercely possessive
how did I know that and of other things she was – I possibly wrote in my year end memoir for the year 1962

 

~ Ashk


P.S. – The only time I did write a love letter was a 12-page note filled with poetry and excerpts from our first chats on a hand sketched paper backdrop


P.P.S. – Maybe the reason I never wrote an actual love letter post that was to hold the purity of the memory of that letter in my heart 


For the complete series, visit - http://www.ashksymphony.com/p/the-creaking-chair.html

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