That's the amount of time it takes for a habit to crystallize. Do you know that?
It's been 40 days since you left for the U.S. I certainly don't want this "habit" of you being away from me to crystallize.
I am handling it largely in a positive way. The mundane dependencies that I have on you have been resolved. It's now very clear that I miss only your presence. Just seeing you walk around the house, being next to me, sharing some moments - all these. I do yearn for your cooking. But that's taken care of somehow. Being independent and yet yearning for a person's presence - I guess that's a new lesson. I am loving it.
I happen to realize that love is not a feeling, but a decision. A choice I can exercise at every moment. This clarity just came to me.
The result of this choice made me embark on "The Good Man Project". Some of your pet peeves are getting addressed -
Just under fifteen minutes of mobile usage in the morning - useful, focused, timed.
Mindful activity - basic gardening, making up for some lost reading/writing.
Conscious choice of food and healthy eating.
The fact that "listening to you" equals "growth" is quite a revelation. I will exercise choice on the "listening" part, though. :)
Why don't you drop me a "long form" email on what these 40 days have done to you?
We never discussed "favorites" after we got married. I got introduced to all your favorites before marriage. Rahul Dravid, Ajith (the 90's one), a few songs from Arindum Ariyamalum, fried fish ...
I was wondering why. Did we "assume" that discussing "favorites" is such a trivial thing to do? Maybe. Now, I have an overwhelming feeling of talking to you about a lot of your favorites. Sit somewhere and paint grand pictures of "favorites". It could be something as simple as discussing your love for the "ganji" in tender coconut, or Dravid's style of speaking, or the joys of watching chilli grow from our kitchen garden. You might not talk about these readily, but now that you are not here, I am thinking of the little joys of making you talk - of all things big and small. The reality that it is going to take several days before we can share a simple moment like this in person, is shaking me up a bit.
The other day P asked me, "Manni illama epdi da irukke?" I found it amusing that he could ask this. We were in the beach on a hot Sunday evening. This question momentarily made me forget the heat and sweat. How was I handling life away from you? Was I doing just fine? Or better? I told him I could not answer the question. He looked at me and just gave a smile. And when I was about to leave to catch my bus, he asked me when was I going to join you. "Soon". He found it amusing that he has two things to handle - he somehow feels I should join you there soon and also handle the fact that he will miss me for sometime. This, obviously, is a big conflict for him to handle. :) Such things make me feel generally good about life.
The plants are getting some attention. They generally get watered even before my mind and body get the morning tea. The mornings kindle images of you running around the house - attending to plants, cooking, oiling your hair, the kolam outside the door,...... making tea for me. You calling out my name and saying "tea" - this has not happened in the past 25 days. It's going to be several days before I get to hear it again. I will give several gold coins away just to hear it.
The nights were generally difficult for the first 3-4 days. I got chills and woke up in the middle of the night when it struck me hard that it is going to be several days before I will find you near me when I sleep. The nights are slowly dissolving away waiting for the time when we would find us next to each other. It is not the loneliness that is difficult to handle. The parts of me that you took along when you left, accentuates the incompleteness of my existence. This is troubling me. We could argue that we never felt this when we were together. The reality of how you complete me is now totally exposed. In not being here, is how you make me realize what being here means.
You know how to measure the value of one rupee? I realized it when the laundry person said "six rupees per cloth". When you were here, it was just five rupees. This is the Universe's way of showing me the difference of "before she left" and "after she left"!
I was just going through the annals here. The things that were written for you or otherwise. It's funny to see how things were, then. The charm that the distance lent, the longing, the castles built out of togetherness, the warmth ........everything looks like the "writing on the wall" that got erased.
Exactly. The illusions that held us together are all gone. We are here today - together, working our way forward, missing the woods for the trees sometimes, but definitely smelling the nectar that lies hidden in the woods. Things are only beginning to get real. All the rose-tinted notions of what it means to being together have vanished and the reality looks refreshing. I am starting to see the real you and you are seeing a version of me stripped off all the unreal me. This is making me vulnerable but it is also injecting a great vigor. The vigor to grow - together.
The castles we built, then, look small to the real one's we are going to build. Stay tuned.
Although my life has not wound up as black-and-white newsreel footage backed by a Shehnai in a minor key, I do have my cup of woes living away from you. I cannot readily tell you that I 'miss you'. Those days are over. It has become more subtle now. For example, these days I wake up and I don't look for you next to me. No, I am not going to say that lie again. I don't look for you in the morning. Neither do I look for you in the night. These days I mostly doze off the moment I hit the pillow. You don't flood my dreams, either. But I look for you when I am actually not looking for you. See, here, some word play (though every word is true):
"You are all that I did not look for. You are all that I did not know I will end up liking. You showed me what I should look for. You showed me why what I was looking for is not what is the best for me. You are all that I will not have looked for before. You were a white space. You were all that missing pieces of me that I was looking for. You changed the meaning of many a words in my dictionary - when I was not looking."
But I no longer like the mushy way of missing you. I don't 'feel' that way. Why is it ? You know I have some grey hairs cropping up on my head. You know I don't remember some things as well as you do. So, yes, I am growing a little old. But I don't want to lose the elusive magic of romantic love. That mad, addictive, foolish yearning. It is what is going to keep us going. You were some kind of an addiction to me for quite some time. I wrote this a long time back, when I 'missed' being with you:
"I am not able to share my life with anyone else. Not even friends. Going to lunch, dinner, movies is all fine. Oh yeah, add a pub/bar to it. But when I am at home, it is only you I can be with. I want to be. Even when I am with my parents, I sense some parts of me still yearn for you. It is not a sexual yearning. It is something I am not able to verbalize yet. These things have made me a bit un-social too. You are some kind of an addiction. I can't get over it. What if i get over it and find that i have got over with love too ? Danger. "
But see, the fact remains that I still yearn for you - only that the addiction has weared down. I don't fear I will lose you. I find a sense of peace with myself. On the surface I want some things to happen soon, but inside I know we have arrived. I know we are going to be together. I know we are going to walk together hand in hand into the sunset. A happy story is waiting for us. :)
These days there are dreams. With you and without you. With you, it is mostly hazy. It is like those dreams are made of a thousand pieces. Earlier when I used to wake up, even if you were not with me, even if it took some time, I'd wake up all at once. Now I am afraid of missing pieces. Pieces of me that don't wake up with me. Give my dreams back to me. Or at least the parts you whisk away. I am afraid of those missing pieces. What if they come back to haunt me ? In a different time.
No matter how much you say you are for me, I am never convinced of it. Am I some idealization of a man you wanted to find but you never could ? Are you sure of what you are doing ? I am afraid. I am afraid of all these missing pieces - of myself, of answers, of you, of the future we dreamed together.