Thursday, August 03, 2006


Five years!

She never would have predicted that it would have lasted this long. After all, she was on the rebound, and rejection is a heavy chip on the shoulder. Not once, but three times consecutively. She had glimpsed a fantastic future each time, but fate had turned a cold shoulder towards her. Each time, she had mentally packed her bags, moved into a new city to start a new life, filled with the foolish optimism of naive and confident youth. Each time, at the last minute she realized that someone else had taken her place - someone prettier, smarter and luckier than she could ever hope to be.

So it was with little hope, a healthy dose of cynicism and a carelessness that leaned towards recklessness that she chose to enter this new relationship. She was in it to have fun, exploit the situation and enjoy herself. She didn't see much of a future in this, but knew for sure that it was going to be a ride of a lifetime.

At least this time she felt 'wanted'. In a strange and unexpected way, she felt like she was recognized for who she really was, and that was still okay! More than okay, she was valued and honored for who she really was. Yet, she felt like she was the lucky one in this relationship - the comfort it provided, the fun and excitement it promised, all the learning it afforded her, not just about the world, but about herself. It was like looking into a mirror for the first time in her life and really seeing herself.

In the heady rush of this new learning, she didn't realize that she was slowly shedding the past. This revealing of her inner layers meant getting rid of some of those chips on her shoulder that had become part of her story.

She didn't see the slow insidious way this relationship was worming its way into her identity. The innocent but steady trickle of time ensured that the seeds of its permanence had taken root in her life.

The thing is, at some level, she wasn't ready to recognize this or water those seeds of permanence just yet. She still wanted to pick up the sapling of her new identity and plant it in the comfortable familiar garden of past loves. This new garden, while fertile, was still foreign to her and sometimes this jarred her very soul. She could not bite the hand that fed her, but she could not eat everything it fed her either, after a while.

And then one day she realized that it had been five years.

She asked herself who she was, how much of her old self remained, where this was heading, how much of her future had she secured, how much of her present had she squandered away...all brilliant existential questions. With no answers.

She realized though, that she couldn't let another five years slip past without trying to rein some of it in. She had let the current of time sweep her into unchartered yet rewarding territories of her soul, but it was time she took helm and guided it into the future.

This relationship either had to end, or had to earn a legitimate name. Status quo was no longer an option.

Five years, she realized, is a long time.

It's been a while since I posted here, and I admit, I've missed blogging.
I tried to write this to reflect a lot of what I'm going through. While it might read like a page from my 'Journal of Failed Romances', this post was inspired by the fact that today marks the fifth year anniversary of my arrival in this country.
I told myself in 2001 that this was a two year Masters program, a two year window in which to gain some international experience, live alone, make new friends, learn about other cultures and also, as a bonus, get a degree. Two years turned into five, a Masters degree gave way to admission into the PhD program, that gave way to a job, a new visa, a new identity and a new life. Before I knew it I had become an NRI, a 'dhobi ka kutta, na ghar ka, na ghat ka', a foreigner no matter where I go. I've had occassion recently to question my situation, to answer some questions about my future one way or the other. I know that in time I will have my answers, but in the meantime, I will acknowledge both the good and bad that I've gone through in these five years, that have made them quite possibly the most important ones of my life.