I know this girl

When she sees her friends in Spain, she thinks she’s more deserving of being there. When she sees a friend with a foreigner husband, she wishes she had one of those. Then she wants an exotic one, with mixed blood.
When she’s told her friend’s an astronaut, she wishes she had studied more. When she’s told he’s an artist, she’s unhappy she isn’t.
When she sees an ant, she feels superior for not stepping on it.
When she sees friends in America, she thinks she’s more suited to England. Secretly, she’d rather be in America, Australia, New Zealand or a hip part of her town.
She feels pathetic she doesn’t have a car, or a house in her name, or a career to make her happy. Or parents to rely on. She thinks of all the things she could have been. Of what she deserves to be.

The girl is me. And it’s hard being her.

A lot of people who read this blog now, are people who have known me as a child, a teen, a young adult. You know my family. You know superficially where I come from. You know my parents from social dinners.
I can’t tell you how glad I am that you found me and I found you.
But this is my blog. I’m going to have to say things you may not know, which may disturb you. I’m sorry to put you in that position.
But this is my blog. And sometimes, I may not talk about my dog and my husband. I may talk about how unhappily married my parents have always been. I may talk about my struggle with being happy and grateful for what I have.
I may talk about how hard I am trying to stay married. About not drinking, so that I don’t go home and try to slit my wrists again. So that Tushar doesn’t have to stay awake all night to keep all sharp objects away from me. Or push me into the shower cause I’m babbling.
Believe me when I say I am aware of how dramatic this sounds. I try not to be this person every minute.
But on days that I do, can we look the other way? Or not judge my family? Or only comment if you have felt the same and can help me overcome?
I would really appreciate that.

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15 thoughts on “I know this girl

  1. Hmm…i don’t know how serious you are in this post, but to be on the safe side:
    a) what’s the point of having a car in bombay, when everyone knows the train’s the best way to get around?
    b) bombay is waaaaaaaaaaay cooler than a huge part of america (read the midwest). plus, it’s where all the family is at. people in america talk of going back ‘home’ all the time. and worry about how their kids are going to turn out, growing up in this cultural wasteland.
    c) i’m soooo envious of your job. i’d say u have amongst the coolest jobs amongst my friends/acquaintances. just the other day, my friend, getting a pedicure in a salon, picked up the latest issue of femina, figured out that i was being talked about (surprisingly, despite the anonymization :p), and asked me about it. and i felt quite proud to say that you had written the article.
    d) you are superior for not stepping on the ant. but not as superior as me, who never knowingly kicks at stones or twigs in her path.
    And finally,
    e) TB is exotic.

  2. *hugs.

    Very touching.

    And brutally honest.

    “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

    Shine on. 🙂

  3. Sri: Thanks. You’re just glad I’m still crazy after all these years. You think I shine?
    G & Ketaki: ‘How do you manage to put it all out here looking this pretty?’/ ‘Nicely done’
    If I have to be publicly pathetic, I might as well make it entertaining.
    Aditi: All the points you pick are valid. And that is how I rationalise. But the thing is, one would like a car instead of waiting for the bus/train on the weekend and lug things about in the heat. It’s the small luxuries. It why people who go abroad do not come back to Bombay, even if it’s where the family is.
    My regular job is not really cool at all. I work on the newsdesk and edit and re-write other people’s stories. All the stories I do are on my own time and in this large city, it translates to being sleepless and going long distances. But I do like writing, and am happiest when I write something I like.
    TB is eccentric, not exotic.
    These are not counter-arguments, but I’m just saying I would like an easier life, but I’m sure lack of challenges would bore me too.

    I hurried to work today to delete this post. But I’m glad I didn’t

  4. The grass is always greener on the other side! And if there was ever a thing as having all that you want and wanting all that you have well then wouldn’t you be called Siddharthi gautami tatya rather than educated tatya?

    I do agree about the car though, take it any day over the pleasure of having your family around! Its easy for the west to say otherwise, but in the agonizingly painful experience of a hot and smelly afternoon here by public transport, family loving seems like cold comfort!

    MAybe the west should swith placeS!

  5. “It why people who go abroad do not come back to Bombay, even if it’s where the family is.”

    Na-uh, I know lots of people headed back/already back — it’s an increasing number now-a-days. I’d be one of them too (I think, although it is easier said than done), if it weren’t for the fact that my husband wants to stay here.

    Yaar, frog baby and all, definitely exotic.

  6. We all know that girl. You’ve just described me, and most other females I know. But you still smile and look radiant through it, and also manage to smile, laugh. Ever seen me doing that?
    So you ARE superior. And whatever reasons you do it for, the ant still thanks you. So there.

  7. Tatya,
    I don’t know you – but I think I would like you if I did. Heck, I don’t know you and I like you anyway.
    I tried to kill myself once. I don’t think I’d ever do it again, but often when life seems daunting and a problem just won’t go away – I comfort myself by thinking, “Worst case scenario – I can just kill myself”.

    Scary, but it’s gotten me through some rough days!

    Weird but true.

  8. I don’t know why, but the first para of this blog made me cry.

    I have been reading your blog for some time and envy you for so many things.
    then you mention about yearning for things which I have.
    but boy, don’t I yearn for things which you have.
    * that sparkle in your eyes.
    * audacity to take brave and life changing decisions
    * confidence and at-ease-ness that oozes from any of your photos.

    car/career can be earned.
    india and especially mumbai has everything that a developed country has.

    don’t know what more to write, but
    you might be surprised but I read your blog to get inspiration and to know how a free spirit lives.

  9. Dear Anon,
    I’m sorry the post made you cry. I don’t remember taking any life-changing decisions, apart from my haircuts. All the rest you talk about are nothing but the magic of a good camera and a mediumly-talented photographer. I’m glad you read this blog. Thank you.

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