Maybe someday you may make a mistake…
and wander into my streets, by mistake, my love.
My love remained inside, unsaid, captive in my heart,
Never got a chance to be free and flowing like a
Meandering carefree stream.
It just fluttered inside like a captive bird, and then
Sat quietly, hopeless and giving up.
Longingly I looked for the blue,
The blue of your eyes, the blue of your smile.
The sun set and closed another day.
And I asked you yet again,
Cant I be with you for a while,
I don’t ask a lifetime, for that is too long,
Stay and hold me close and let me feel your heart
Beating near my face,
Under the shade of the tree lets sit,
And forget time, age and place…
Every morning I see white american kids going to school in groups of 3,4, 5, laughing, chattering on their way to school. In contrast, I and my son walk to school, looking at them, and wishing that we also had a group. I see my 7 year old son looking at them as he walks to school alone, dark haired, light-brown skinned, as I watch other Indian kids also walking to school alone.
I chose my life here in USA and came to know first hand what it feels like to be a minority community. White neighbors look past you, when they walk on streets or break into a half-hearted smile and a greeting. “Hello”, they say and walk-on. I wonder at their lives, and wish I could be part of it and know through their eyes, the real America, the country I had wanted to be part of since a child. I grew up watching Hollywood movies, hearing American songs and grew to love the freedom, the culture, the spirit that embodied America. My favorite actor in my college years was Patrick Swayze and I had wanted to meet him when I came to USA. Of course, that dream never realised. In India, I could never identify with my Indian community and culture, always felt like an on-looker, and was excited to go to USA. Now so many years later, I realise that I am just an on-looker again, looking into a society which I can never be part of. Esentially, I was doomed to be alone, never to be part of the Indian culture, or the culture which I chose, which did not want me. Westerners who are in love with Indian are glorified as Indophiles, but me, I would probably be vilified as a traitor, as a wanna-be westerner. I however, believe, that we are what we want to be. Every country and culture has an underlying subtle trait and some people are just not part of that trait even if they are born into it. Sometimes you go to a completely unknown place and feel that yes, this is where you belong. So, I understand why I am the way I am…neither do I disparage myself, neither do I want to be anything else, because I am what I am, though I know the world is not at a stage where it can understand this fully. Because the world cannot look beyond color, it cannot see a person’s soul. Cannot see that we humans are alike/not-alike in our thinking and our spirit and not what our ethnicity is. Sometimes people from similar ethnic backgrounds can be vastly different, while people from different ethnic backgrounds can be so similar. Yet, we close ourselves to these possibilities, thinking we cannot cross-over age old doctrines grilled into us.
So now like me, my children are doomed to the same fate. They have a few Indian friends and one or two not-so-close american friends. Friends who come to our house to play with them, but whose parents never bother to call us to their homes and whom I also try to not to impose on too much. Maybe just an occasional call wishing Happy Christmas, or Happy Thanksgiving.
I keep wondering what their future would be, as social outcastes, living on the periphery of society. Wonder whether living here was worth it, or was it better to live in one’s own country, although in my heart I was never part of it. These questions haunt me every waking hour when I am not busy or in the night when I lay down to sleep and yet I dont see any escape. Don’t know where we are going or what we are going to be like, what my children will be like, but there is no way out, no end to this desolate road, this lonely journey we have undertaken…
I happened to be chatting to my old childhood friend that other night when things turned totally bizzare. We had known each other when we were teenagers, we really liked each other but I moved away after knowing him for 3 years. We lost touch for almost 15 years then got chatting again for the past few years and we have been just friends..but then, this happened. Well, he had pinged me the other day saying he needed to talk to me. We usually texted on phone or on FB but tonight he wanted to videochat. Well, we started chatting on VC, when he said all of a sudden, “You are beautiful…..”.and went on to say, “He loves me..always had! He said I was too good for him, so he could never tell me or contact me”. He says that after all these years he had denied to himself that I was the girl he had always loved. I did not know what to say. Should I laugh, should I cry? Should I believe him or not? He was drunk. It could be the alcohol talking but I guess it must have been there in his sub conscious all this time, so that, that night it all came pouring out. He said he failed in his relationships because of me. He said I had been fickle. How could I forget him? How could I leave him and go away to foreign countries? I always had a hunch that he loved me, something always pulled at me, all through my life, yet that night was still a shock. I just kept staring at him, playing with my fingers, looking down and sometimes up at him. We laughed and we cried. I was shocked to see him crying. We cried at all the time wasted, the years spent searching for love, when we had already found love, all those years back. He told me “I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen”, like “ever seen”. How old fashioned is that! But he said it, and it shocked me. Noone had ever said this to me. I told him, “I had loved him too…and He was the handsomest guy I had ever seen”. And I did not think I was that beautiful. But he kept repeating, “You are beautiful. You have no idea how beautiful you are.”. He said, “It is such a waste, this life, all these misunderstandings.” I told him, that “I thought I was boring”, so he had not wanted to be with me….And he just stared at me, shocked, saying, “How could you think that!” ….yes, all these years, and the reason I am writing it down because I am too startled at life…I cannot believe that his and my story turned out to be like the story of Cathy and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights…..I did not even believe that such a love existed…and now I am proved wrong…My childhood friend of so many years, who I had always remembered and loved for a long time, who I lost touch with, who now says he had always loved me too.
How will you forget me?
Me that carries the same soul as yours,
When you look up at the sky, you will see my face
As one with the night sky, faintly glimmering like the stars,
You will see my eyes, looking at you, hoping that
One day you will look at me too, for a time long,
Longer than a lazy afternoon day,
Longer than a dark moonless night.
How will you forget the wind swept night?
When you rested your head on mine.
Who can you share that moment if not with me?
Who will turn up her face with yours,
feeling the rain laden wind lightly caressing your face,
Who will look at the clouds with you,
waiting for it to burst open in rain,
How will you forget me?
How will you forget the darkly lit room where we smoked
and hoped that the night goes on forever,
The music, the lights, and the tall chilled drinks,
The night that one dreams of, an ephemeral night,
Which one can go back to again and again.
Even if you wait for an entire lifetime, and hope that my
Memory fades, I will still be there, ever present,
How can you forget me? How can I forget you?
Today morning it was raining and as my husband tinkered with the coffee pot silently, not talking much, I sat near the window sipping my coffee, looking at the rain falling on the leaves and the water dripping off them silently.
Some days pass without talking to anyone…and I begin to feel lonely. Husband is also busy with his office work…somehow does not need to talk..when he does..its just mundane things about daily life..nothing emotional..no connection to the soul..
But watching the rain, I thought how can I be lonely when I can hear and see this loveliness? The sound of the water falling and the smell of the wet ground. Thought I would spend more time outdoors…maybe I wont be lonely anymore..
A digression from my usual “love-related” posts.. ha ha…
What if its not just one thing? What if you want, really “want” to do many things? Is it possible to sing, dance, write, paint, be a great scientist or engineer, play guitar? The other day I was watching a TED talk asking, “What do you want?”…and then after some inspirational words and a lot more, she goes on to say, “whats keeping you? Go and get it.”. This question however begs another question. Is it just one thing or multiple things? Why does it have to be just that “one” thing? For me it has always been multiple things which I could do well and could have continued to do well, until society, parents, friends, told me that it can’t be done. You have to choose. But this TED talk, made me revisit this question and then it dawned on me…that this question, is precisely what has stopped me from pursuing the “all” the things I love to do, because I thought multiple things cannot be achieved. I dont know if it can be achieved but from today I have decided to try an experiment.
Instead of watching 3 hours of TV, Netflix, FB, Youtube, I am actually going to split that time to write (not to read), to sing (not to watch others singing), to paint. There are 16 hours in a day….16 whole hours!! What was stopping me?? I can do THIS and I can also do THAT! So will start from today and will post again about how I am doing with this experiment!
And what do you think, my friends, can it be done? Can we be good, and “really good” at two things, or even three, if we just divide up our time each day doing it, instead of wasting time over TV and other sundry If you have thoughts to share on this, would love to get some ideas from you too!
That day that summer day
The skies were bluer than blue
The winds seemed to have changed,
The sunlight was soft and mellow
And the winds were blowing slow
But walking near you was the best
If we could but stay for some more time,
Then the day would seem brighter still,
But no the afternoon did not last,
Not for you, not for me,
We had to return, from where we came
to where we had to go back to,
So there you went to again, and
there I went to again,
Leaving behind that little time,
When I walked beside you, a few..