Sunday, 10 March 2013

Begin the Beginning.


“So tell me your story.”
“My story?” I asked, playing dumb.
“Yes. And this time tell me the truth. Why did you really push everyone away? Why did you really become like this?”


I looked at my drink blankly.
My mind fumbled for the right words while I pretended to idly look at the condensed water droplets slide down the smooth surface of the glass that held my soda. I traced the slithering rivulets with my finger. 


He looked at me intently.


I set the glass aside and looked into his eyes. Brown. Like limpid pools of molten chocolate.
I remembered telling him that once. Almost a lifetime ago.
But today there was something old and haunted in them. Something knowing. Something wise.

 I looked away, suddenly shy and eager to unload my story onto him.
“Are you sure you really want to know?”
“More than anything.” He reached out and took my hand in his.
I looked up at him, surprised.  Then I smiled sadly. And began.
I spoke haltingly at first. Then my words came faster and faster, I couldn't stop.



“Life changed, after you left. I wasn’t the same. Nothing around me was.
Over the months after you left I made myself strong in such a way that my walls were impenetrable. I didn’t let anyone get to me. Or through me.
I stopped talking to people who wanted to help. I pushed everyone away.
You were the only person I wanted. But you weren't there.
And soon enough I realized I wasn’t left with anybody.
Every time I looked in the mirror, I knew I was looking at someone who wasn’t sure she deserved to be loved at all.
I had no friends. Maybe I never had any in the first place.

 “Your definition of a friendship is very different from mine, Tofu”, he interrupted.
I smiled. We both knew that only too well.

“I couldn't find the motivation to search for people I could invest my trust in. Besides, that would be incredibly absurd, wouldn't it? Making new friends only to burden them with stories?
The word 'Relationships' had begun to scare me.
And that's when I realized I'm scared of attachments. Because I believe that every attachment that I have will finally break my heart or leave me.”

“But what happened, Tofu? You were one of the strongest people I knew. You were MY strength. You should have just gone back. They're your friends. They would have understood, I'm sure.”

I laughed out loud. “What happened? Really? I can't believe you're asking me that.”

“Well, I am. Tell me.”

“You.” I said quietly. “You happened.”
“I got scared of losing people after I lost you. I don't have any friends, because I'm scared of losing them. I live in the perpetual fear of breaking ties with the people I love.
I know I'm the one who shut everyone out, but the funny thing is as much as I know how to say sorry, I can’t get myself to say sorry.
As much I love hugging people, I can’t hug old friends and ask them to come back to me.

 

“Why? Why is it so hard?” He looked desperate to know. Like a little child craving a piece of candy.
But his ignorance exasperated me.


“Because I couldn’t do it with you.” I answered simply.

“I hugged you and I begged you to come back to me, but you didn't.
You went away and with you, you had my heart aching on a leash, bumping behind you, lurching over leaves and small stones. Bruised and almost broken.

I can’t do it anymore. I've lost that quality; I've lost the ability to call people back.” 
I slumped back into my seat, sated and exhausted. 

For a long time neither of us said anything.

The many voices in the cafe began to swim into focus. Some in slow moving conversation, some raised in argument. The place suddenly seemed small and dark.

“You know, sometimes you have to be apart from people you love, but that doesn't make you love them any less. Sometimes you love them more.” he said carefully.

I processed what he said. 
I felt empty, but it wasn't unpleasant. It was a nice feeling. A feeling of buoyancy. As if I was finally ready to start again, to begin filling myself with good things. Things that were of my own choosing this time. 
I looked at him and laughed. A happy laugh. He joined in.

“I love you”, said he, in he midst of peals of laughter.
“I love you too.” I echoed woodenly, wondering if I really meant what I said. 


Then I laughed some more.

30 comments:

Raj Chawla said...

At the end of the day hope is a funny thing. It turns up when you don’t really expect it. Its like one day you realize that the fairy tale or whatever may be slightly different than you dreamed. The castle, well, it may not be a castle. And the happily ever after ever after doesn't matter so much as long as, you're happy right now. See once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you.
I'm getting tired of telling you how charming your words are. Love your work. (As usual)

Tangled Tofu said...

Well, I believe for the most part, love is about choices. It’s about putting down the poison and the dagger and making your own happy ending, most of the time. It’s about choosing to be hopeful over the alternative. And that sometimes, despite all your best choices and all your best intentions, life takes its own course anyway.
Still, the expected is just the beginning; the unexpected is what changes our lives.

And thank you, Rajma jee, You're very sweet.

Rahil Ansari said...

Hello TangledTofu,
Dialogue writing is quite up your alley. (But then again, what isn't?)
The colloquy is is tantalizingly engaging. And you're a marvelous storyteller.
Laugh away! :)

Tangled Tofu said...

Hey, Rahil!
Thank you, I was unsure whether I'd be able to pull it off with due justice. You're very, very encouraging.
Thanks again!

That Kapoor boy. said...

Dude, your life is like a movie. :P
You're so vulnerable, I love that about you. You're like me, or my teacher, or my maid, or my mom or my worst enemy, or my best friend.

Confused? Lol. My point is everyone can relate with your vulnerability.
And plus, (obviously) you write like a Goddess.Your blog entries are like, commandments dude.
(I'm not even sorry for that one :P)
Haha, good work!

France, Argentina, and another place I don't remember. said...

This isn't easy.

Tangled Tofu said...

I don't know what exactly you mean, but most worthwhile things aren't.

Tangled Tofu said...

Haha, the entertainment quotient in my life is overrated. Seriously.
But thank you, I'm glad could strike a chord with you. And your maid, your mom, your worst enemy and your best friend. :P
Again. You're wayyyyy too kind with your words.
Much love.

Talitha said...

And I'm glad.
'You're only imagining it' is something I hear ever so often.But sometimes it's easier to keep imagining everything is sugar,spice and everything nice than to face cold,hard reality.
And later you can laugh at how stupid you were.
Love,as always.:)

Tangled Tofu said...

Absolutely. Sometimes the whole world seems upside down. And then somehow, and probably, and when you least expect it, the world rights itself again.
Much more love your way. :*

Anonymous said...

Your work is amazing. But don't you feel being more realistic towards life and expecting what you know you deserve is better than imagining that everything is 'sugar, spice and everything nice'(With all due respect, Talitha)? It leaves less room for disappointment.

Tangled Tofu said...

Thank you. Okay, for starters, maybe I'd be able to answer your question more specifically if you weren't commenting from under your sheath of anonymity.
But here's the thing. Knowing what you deserve is completely different from believing everything is sugar spice and everything nice. One is plain acceptance, the other is a choice.
Having said that, I think at some point one has to make a decision. Life is messy. That’s how we’re made. So, we can either waste our lives drawing lines and playing safe because we believe that the situations we're caught up in are too messed up for us to handle (or vice versa).
Or we can live our lives admiring the struggle it takes to be human. Appreciating small victories. Learning from our mistakes. Revising our difficulties.
At the end of the day, I think, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing and facing every day head on is reason enough to celebrate.

Raj Chawla said...

Lol. Anonymous commenter stumped? :P

Paroma Bose said...

I can COMPLETELY relate with this article. Love the way you have put it. I don't know if this is a true incident or just a story but it is very real. :)

Tangled Tofu said...

Haha well I didn't think anybody would be able to relate to this but, thanks! You're very sweet. :)

Anonymous said...

What baffles me is why people would even choose to coat everything with sugar and spice, knowing that the disappointment caused would be relatively overwhelming.
And drawing lines and playing safe is not wasting your life. True, we all need drama. But what's the point of it if you're going to regret taking that step? People who play safe learn from their mistakes too. They revise their difficulties too. And it's especially them, who appreciate small victories. Because when the big things fail to deliver you enough satisfaction and happiness, drawing joy from little things is all that you have left.
And lastly, the people who play safe and draw lines needn't necessarily be the ones who think that the situations they're caught up in are too messed up to handle. Maybe they do what they do because sorting the same situations out over and again is a huge cliche in their lives.

Sincerely,
Anonymous. The one who was claimed to be stumped.

Raj Chawla said...

Aw, don't start crying on me, dude.
And wow. You need an attitude change. Your life is sad.

Tangled Tofu said...

Raj. I disapprove.

Okay, look Mr/Ms Anonymous,
People  choose to coat everything with sugar and spice because of obvious reasons, isn't it? Fear of failure, fear of rejection, sometimes the fear is just of making a decision, because what if you’re wrong? What if you’re making a mistake you can’t undo?
We find an upside to everything.
Do you really think people who play safe learn from their mistakes?
I don't think so. People who play safe live in fear, you seem smart, you should know this.
Its all just primal and supposedly instictive fear.

But let's do this your way. According to you they play safe, don't they? Then how do they revise their dificulties?
The whole point of playing safe is trying to avoid any bumps on the road. Then why do they even have difficulties in the first place.
Odd, isn't it?
How do they appreciate small victories when their whole life is supposed to be a joyride, because hey, they're playing it safe!

We can’t pretend we haven't been told. The early bird catches the worm. A stitch in time saves nine. He who hesitates is lost. We’ve all heard the proverbs, heard the philosophers, heard our grandparents warning us about wasted time, heard the damn poets urging us to seize the day, you get the drift.

Because sometimes we have to see for ourselves. We have to make our own mistakes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today’s possibility under tomorrow’s rug until we can’t anymore. Until we finally understand for ourselves what not playing safe really means. That knowing is better than wondering, that waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beats the hell out of never trying.
That's when you start realizing everybody needs a little "sugar spice and everything nice" in their lives.
You seem like you're in a dark place right now. Hope you pull through if at all you're going through something distressing.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, to keep supporting my opinions, I'd like to say that the entire point of this discussion started from you. It was based on you, and people like you. Don't get me wrong. I mean people at your intellectual level. Who are smart enough to deal with life. Love. Emotion. Disappointment. Let-downs. Sympathy. Empathy. Human nature, in brief. And you say that the reasons for sugar-coating everything are obvious. Fear? Like, seriously? You gotta know/believe that you're stronger than that. You're afraid of failure? Rejection? Making decisions? You're gifted with those brains for a reason. That's what puts you on a higher pedestal than the common man. Accept your intellect. Relish it. And stand back up to face the world. Let the train hit you with your eyes open rather than closed. Be realistic. Not optimistic.
Secondly, it takes experience to get to where I am. Rather, wherever you and Raj think I am. A person isn't born steeled. It takes experiences and circumstances to graft him. It's after he experiences the bumps on the road that he decides to just call it a day and chill at a bar instead. So yes, big things fail to provide him satisfaction, so he just relishes small victories instead.
It takes perception to understand these things.

P.S. Raj, firstly, it ridicules me how naive you could actually be even after being one hell of a mind when it comes to writing and emoting.
Secondly, 2+2=4.

Raj Chawla said...

Dude, your argument with her is not even based on the blog entry, so as entertaining as your points are, you should really get a life. Unless you were dropped on your head as a kid or something (which seems very probable at this stage) which is why you're an emotionally deprived mess, then I completely understand, and you have my sympathies.
If you really were as "experienced" you put it, why are you hiding under anonymity?
Tells a lot about you.
And by the way, the point of this discussion started with you and your unnecessary butt-in on Talitha/TangledT's views.

Anonymous said...

If she didn't want any 'butt-ins' on her post, she wouldn't have created a blog where people could comment in the first place. Retard.
And I don't feel the need to reveal myself.

Raj Chawla said...

Aww. That's cute wimp.

Tangled Tofu said...

Being afraid of failure, rejection, making decisions.
It's what makes me human. It's what makes me, me.
You don’t have to be tough every minute of every day. It’s okay to let down your guard. In fact there are moments when it’s the best thing you can possibly do, as long as you choose your moments wisely.
And oh, trust me, If you're talking about my perception of things and how experienced I am, I'm qualified to be as proud as you are.
At some point we all have to choose: do we fall back on what we know, or do we step forward to something new? It’s hard not to be haunted by our past. Our history is what shapes us, what guides us. Our history resurfaces time after time after time. So we have to remember sometimes the most important history is the history we’re making today.
Which is why I respect your views, but I can't ever accept them because you're a different breed of animal than I am.
In the end it just boils down our individual views and choices.
I choose to be optimistic rather than going with the alternatives because I know my limit. I know the person I am, and I know what works for me.
Lets just say it's a defense mechanism.
You have yours, I have mine.
Either way, both of our mechanisms keep us going.

Raj, I can fight my own battles, thank you very much.
It's an open blog and every single comment is appreciated.
I don't know whats funnier, the fact that you two are so juvenile with each other, or that this is the medium you finally choose to talk to me, Mr. Anonymous, and we still end up arguing.

Raj Chawla said...

I can't believe you're actually taking this person seriously.
And hey, I'm sorry. Just looking out for you.

Anonymous said...

Haha, you're hilarious, bro. Keep that attitude up.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm not the same anonymous person who has been commenting all this time but I'll have to agree with him/her. I'm pretty sure I lost track of what you guys are talking about at one point but I have one thing to tell you, Tangled T.

If this thing happened to you, then it's a miracle and I'm happy for you. But if it didn't, that is, if this guy never came back or apologized, at one point you will realise that he isn't worth any of this. I know how you're feeling right now and believe me, you don't need to reply to that argumentative anonymous person above because after all that experience that he/she has got, they have probably forgotten that they had done the same things that you're doing right now. He/she should understand that lecturing you won't be of any help because many people have already done that. You will gain your own experience so don't listen to others.
I used to imagine the same things that you've written about until one day I just....how do I put it.........learned from the experience!
I love your work, keep this flare alive.

P.S: I'm anonymous because I don't want some people I know to read this and know what I have been through. :)

Tangled Tofu said...

Haha, I know what you mean. It’s hard to let go of that fairy tale entirely, because almost everyone has that smallest bit of faith and hope that one day they would open their eyes and it'll all come true.
But the thing is, there is no guy.
This is just some story I made up in my head.

Thank you so much for talking me through this, though.
Much love.

Rahil Ansari said...

My my, quite the fan club we have here.

Tangled Tofu said...

Oh God, why?

Rahil Ansari said...

Sorry, couldn't resist. But I do have to agree with some people here. Your life is quite a TV episode.
I'm hooked and waiting for more.

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