Saturday, June 24, 2017

Endless suffering – 2 (JACKAL)

(Reading part -1 would make more sense as you dig into part-2; just further down!)
You could say in a way I was born anew at 38.  Three events burst on me more from chance than design: mother moving out of Besant nagar, at long last I found a writing job, and finally out of the blue I fell in love. Each transformative in itself and together combined spelt new hopes and filled the heart with “dreams may come true” optimism.
            My eldest sister found a one-bedroom apartment for the mother bang opposite her bungalow.  She could keep an eye, feed three squares and yet not have the nuisance in the house.  
            Working for Worldwide Media from home gave me just the drive to develop my writing. I spent long hours in the dictionary and starting to develop some craft. 
            “Writing” and “mother’s issue” gave a lot of relief to the mind but it was “romance” that gave the mind its dreams. 
            Enter the “Jackal” phase:
            I used to blog in rediffiland in 2006.  One day I find in my inbox a co-blogger’s request to read her posts for a feedback. I run my eye and within half an hour I feel the first flush of romance. We write to one another, more love flows in the heart.  A month later we take to the phones, we are inseparables whispering the “magic three words” without an image being exchanged.
            Ishita (name changed) impacted my mind with a force of a thunderbolt. I was 38 to her 40.  This tale is so interesting, let’s break it into stages: (I promise it's worth your while!) 
First Stage: Soulmates 
            We met on a mid-afternoon sultry day in the mid 2007 after I had flown specially to meet her in the Gujarat capital.  The emails and phone-calls of three months set us up beautifully. By the end of the day our heart sang in unison: this is for real as we hugged and kissed.
            Ishita seemed perfect in every way – attractive, sunshine personality, spontaneous humour, and wore clothes to her best advantage.  Those eyes blazed radiant cheer and rosy cheeks ridge to a curve each time she smiled.   
           The next six months were pure magic. We met less than 8 days in our lives and they were made in heaven including a pre-honeymoon vacation to Kodaikanal.  We speak over two hours on a daily basis; I love the fruity voice rattle on the happenings of the day.  Ishita sang Hindi hits over the phone, read her poems, and her incessant sms texting:  Given to frequent travels on work, she reports by the instant: Now, "security". Ten minutes later, "boarding".  And then an hour later “Landed”.
            Ishita, in her own words, sums up this period, “Sathya, Thank God you have a stable job for once.  I believe we were destined to meet. Aren’t we soulmates?” while tossing me the Brian Weiss book.  
               Second Stage: Standby mode
We speak couple of hours each day – remember we were separated by geography, Chennai and Ahmedabad – and gushing passion. The ma’am plans honeymoon locations, Mauritius is bandied and I nod my head like a good boy: anywhere, as long as she is there for hugs and kisses.
            Six months pass by and I am frantic at the delay. Each time there is talk of marriage, the subject is deftly changed.  I meet her in Bangalore in one of her monthly visits to her Corporate Office with a stern tone: What’s on your mind? Am I an embarrassment or a time-filler?
            Ishita climbs down from the high horse, “Sathya, I have not spoken to my parents as yet. Please come to Ahmedabad and we’ll make it official”. I wonder what kind of parents allow their daughters on pre-honeymoon trips and not be in the know.
            I visit Ahmedabad for a tête-à-tête for a complete fiasco. I am introduced to the mother who is seated on the sofa and legs stretched over the coffee table! I say nothing, but the gesture doesn’t escape me.
            The whole “marriage” thing rings hollow.  Ishita would just not commit on a date.  Worse still we were fighting over trivial things; I now believe she fabricated them and douse my ardour.  All my instincts scream: IT's OVER. 
            But strangely there is no letup on the phone conversations. I keep saying: Either marriage or stop calling. It’s emotionally draining. The diva is insistent and keeps the mobile ringing. 
            As for me the memories of Kodaikanal were too etched on the mind to let go.  This stalemate continues over the next 12 months. We no longer coo and whisper sweet nothings. All the fantasies done and dusted. 
Third Stage: The knockout
It was apparent this relation was going nowhere.  Then out of the bolt I find her Orkut post with the status: Committed.
            Something snaps in me. I had never felt a devil lodged inside; now it was aroused to a blinding fury. I wrote to her office on her character or the lack of it, wrote blogs and the woman cried over the phone for the last time: Sathya, I am not a prostitute. I don’t know where I have gone wrong. I am sorry to have hurt you. But I have a right to choose my life-partner. 
            I thought: Of course you have a right to choose after 500 calls, 100 snaps (I mean pictures/images!!!), 400 mails, Kodaikanal trip, sharing beds, hugs, kisses and more! 
           Fourth Stage: Reflections
One devil of a mother reduced me on “mood balancing" drugs.  Ishita was told about this Bipolar even before we met; she knew all about my earnings (was even a nominee to my Mutual Funds savings), she came down to Besant Nagar for inspection at the height of fever shrieking: wow, great.  She saw the beach and Theosophical Society and suitably mesmerized. 
            I try to make sense of events and pick the pieces: Ishita was extraordinarily charming to a James Bond girl level. No man could have resisted her charms. It took me years to realize that she was wicked, scheming, and morally loose. * ***It's unlikely her Prince Charming appeared one fine day riding a white mount and dropping from the skies, she had been dating for weeks and months and keep my telephone conversations going. It takes an evil mind to keep two horses running at the same time. That's why long distance online romances are terrible.   
            I feel smaller than a miserable worm, worthless, a big time loser. 
           I am baffled. She burst on my life for no reason, showers love which I greedily lap, then close and open the charm tap on whim,  my utility over and then kicked away.  I felt like those "use and throw" napkins. 
            I spent years lamenting the play of destiny.  After 38 years of AMMA and her genes, I thought Nature would compensate and Ishita verily the medicine. But reality couldn't be more cruel: I escaped the SNAKE of a mother only to embrace a JACKAL for a lover. Destiny caught me by the short collar and really shoved it in!
           The Plight of Loneliness  (2010 onwards
            With Ishita chapter hermetically sealed, I feel the full weight of loneliness. I adore my writing still and that’s there’s no creative juice in it. My career nosedives further south.  Writing jobs in Chennai is a hopeless case, I am now well over 40 and defeat written all over the face.  I get into insignificant jobs like Tattvaloka (incidentally that got me a lot of friends) and India Cements (again lot of banter).   
            But staying alone in an an empty house brings its own misery.  The feeling of inadequacy plagues the mind like a tambura shruthi:  worthless, hopeless, never amount of anything in life (exactly the sentiments my mother felt when feeding me as a two year old).  
            The years kept marching by. I had foreclosed romance though a few attractive faces impinge on my mind for no more than a week’s fancy. I dread another rejection. I find friends at the beach, India Cements gave me Manikandan and his brand of laughs, weekend spiritual discourses, hours of Vipassana, chanting classes and my sister’s daily calls for a sole human connection.  Even my writing goals and career aspirations watered down: no more chasing anyone, anything the day brings.     
            To wake up alone, mostly work from home, cook for self, and go for days without a human being in sight is vulnerability to the extreme.  My highest aspiration is dying in sleep and take solace in suicidal thoughts.  I stock barbiturates feeling my time is just around the corner. I had run out of any reason to live, or nothing in the horizon to bring cheer.      
            I take an assignment at Abu Dhabi only to run into another monster boss, suffered and came home more hurt and defeated.  I realize earning fat salaries does not assuage loneliness. You may end up buying more in a mall but adds nothing to your stored-up agitations.  Whether in the UAE or in INDIA, loneliness follows you everywhere. 
            Post UAE phase there is no gas in the tank. The script reads a decade of loneliness; living my life felt a never ending marathon. Loneliness eats away your will to live. My life's so hollow; my living or dying makes no difference to others except me. I go through days and weeks averaging less than a dozen sentences a day for human interactions.  The mind fills the rest of the day with repeat runs of "I am worthless, hopeless, good for nothing" on a circular conveyor belt " and adding one more "enough of this nonsense. Just do it". 
          "live miserable" Vs "Die now" Debate rages on
           My scoreboard in life reads: 38 years of AMMA+ 2 years of DIVA meant four decades GONE (the best part of anyone's life) and 7 years of LONELINESS to an extreme frightening degree. If this not end of the road, what is?  I almost do myself in towards the end of 2016 as to engage a quack’s injection in Theni (500 km away) for a forced exit. I backed out at the last moment not out any fear of uncertainty or karmic punishment but I did not want to die so far from home and no friendly face nearby.  
           For years my daily prayers were: Lord, end this misery quickly. I want to die next instant and reborn a human again minus this family, minus this bipolar. Maybe then I qualify for life's blessings of love, family just as anyone else.  But I hold back. 
            Death makes perfect sense but for this countervailing thought: Death is irreversible. However much your current sufferings are, there is no end to destiny’s mischief to piling more.  I see a cage of love birds at the vegetables shop I frequent; they chirp unmindful of being trapped in small space. They are locked from the outside for the nights; even natural light is denied to them until the shutters open the next day.
            Life is not easy at all for anyone; be it animals in the wild or birds on migratory flight with all this climate change nonsense.
            Even when you are at the extreme limits of human endurance, snuffing your own life out feels criminally offensive.  It's not as though death would confer happiness that living denied. I am so high on the misery scale to Guinness Records but animals have it worse. Here I am in a beach-side residence and I still have enough to feed myself.  What if I am condemned to those love birds in the cage of that vegetable shop for my next innings!!!  
          Then the truth feebly seeps through: only as human being there is a possibility. Possibility to learn lessons of peace and happiness even if you die ploughing through rivers of fears, tears, rejections and those depressions.  It is for this remote possibly that you hold your life. Human life is very precious even if it smells of death for years and you languish in splendid isolation. 
           
I'm unabashed admirer of Eckhart Tolle 
That's when I discovered Mindfulness tapping into the wisdom of Louise Hay, Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, Jon Kabat-Zinn’s MBSR., Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Kristin Neff , Thich Naht Hanh, Byron Katie and more. I feel a new world open inside where suffering is the starting point to discovery.   
         “I have suffered so much that I don't want to suffer any more, “ was the quote that directed my attention to Eckhart Tolle and Mindfulness.  Louise Hay says the same thing: Thoughts and intentions are the only tools I have and let me junk all those that drag me down, don't serve me. Used to prayers hoping for a quick end, I now pray: God, let me have a shot at romance again. I don't want to end up just a 2007 winter collection of an irascible diva out to suck the male population dry.  I finally learn to love myself. Stand up for myself. Resolve to treat myself gentler and kinder. And maybe that is all that I need. 
         It takes me 48 years to realize that DESTINY  may have been extremely kind. It takes a master-planner to use the SNAKE and the JACKAL into making an EAGLE of an ASS.  
Life's just begun and I can’t wait to read the next page!        

Post Script: The road on the journey of life is unpaved and full of pebbles,  and our only chance is to trust ourselves completely - be gentle, kind and compassionate to oneself. So I better trust myself at all times and in all situations was the thought that saved me. Not even a crazy mother and hot shot partner and plighted loneliness can rob the intrinsic joy which is me. 

**** It is not normal when a "soulmate" stage is downgraded to "Standby" note for no reason. It is not normal for a woman to go oral with one man and another the next month. Again no real reason for change of heart (maybe it her GENES). I have no doubt in my mind that she was faeces best flushed. I narrate this Ishita episode only to show how cruel my destiny had been. My father could have been a very rich and famous  even if he had a half a decent human being for a spouse. He got the devil HERSELF (surely Satan is feminine) and he died before his time. As for me, Ishita was slow death too but bitten by charm. What makes the story stick is life runs in cycles, we too often ignore and miss out. 
                    
(My Twitter handle @Sathya33 is packed with MINDFULNESS posts. My Facebook page is filled with these thoughts. So anyone can check them out at: https://www.facebook.com/MadrasSathya?lst=100000018632520%3A100000018632520%3A1498666249. It transformed my life, so I guess it can work for anyone!! Actually the motive of the twin "Relentless & Endless" posts is to inspire any desperate person to stay in the race however dark and long the tunnel is.  There is no light at the end, you have to make your own torch along the way) 

4 comments:

  1. http://creative.sulekha.com/the-deadlier-gender_77810_blog is my cousin's take on the female gender. Misogyny runs in the blood!!!!

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  2. You have indeed passed through tough times Sathya. Now the light can be seen at the end of the tunnel.

    JAI HANUMAN

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    1. Thank you Mama. If there is one person who showered "unconditional affection" to me in the last 5 years, it's you. Nature's wonderful balancing act.

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  3. The heat zone you have traversed could char many. Lighht at the end of the tunnel is seen by you still as a train coming to mow you down is incorrect - you are getting out of the dreary and dark phases two women tested your times. But movement like Tolle puts it and knowing that you have the treasure of redemption within you - the moment you see that you are not dependent and the buck stops with just "YOU" No age and no time is inapt as there is life to be lived to the full - best wishes and love - Siddhans

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