Pages from a Diary
'It's terrible. I grow lean
like a water lily
gnawed by a beetle.'[i]
Saturday, August 4: Sometimes we meet a stranger -- just another ship in the ocean of life -- and we feel a strange connection. I felt that way. He came into my life, when I was tired of fighting my battles on my own and I wished there were somebody I could share everything with. He struck a chord somewhere in my heart and, even before I knew what was happening to me, I had fallen in love with him. He shared my values and convictions (or so it had seemed) and now, as always, I am left wondering what could have been. I had been in my little romantic dreamland -- dreaming of reading 'The Bridge Across Forever' in bed with him, laughing over Jeeve's antics together, holding hands with him at 'Lord of the Rings', learning to make 'kheer' because he likes it, looking forward to him picking me up from work in the evenings, falling asleep and waking up in his arms, holidays in the mountains cuddling with him, walking along the beach with the waves kissing our feet, long drives always ending with kisses...
Bipasha shook herself out of a self-destructive reverie. I will go to pieces if I keep thinking about him, she chided herself. He is never going to be mine, no matter how many nights I spend crying over him, she tried to reason with herself. He never was mine in the first place. I thought it would be different this time -- but it never is, is it? Oh well, she told herself, life has to go on and I'll just have to pick up the pieces and move on -- as always. It is hard pretending to the world I'm fine when my heart is breaking and I feel like crying my eyes out. Acting nonchalant and saying 'plenty of fish in the sea' was easy, but you still don't stop pining for the fish that slipped out of the net… life was so unfair!
'Your love seemed to last even longer
than time itself. Now you wave your hand –
And suddenly your love for me is over!
That is the truth in five words!'[ii]
Thursday, October 4: Why did I have to fall in love with him? Why do I get caught in this vicious circle of love and loss -- again and again? He never promised me anything, he never committed anything. And yet, I dreamt of a whole future for us. Every time I think this is IT, I've found my Mr. Right, everything crashes like a house of cards. I've had enough heartbreaks and enough 'Can we be friends?' to last me a lifetime.
Bipasha's eyes filled with tears as she remembered. She had subconsciously known, from the day they had met, that their relationship spelt doom. Yet, she couldn't help falling in love with him. She had reproached herself, again and again, in her diary, for being aware of the impending disaster, yet plunging headlong towards it. He had told her how conservative his family was -- Tamil Iyers -- who wouldn't even dream of letting a Bengali daughter-in-law darken their door. “She is not a Brahmin and she eats fish, for Gods' sake,” his father had thundered! Oh well…
Wednesday, January 23: It's a new year, a time to forget the past and move on. Sometimes life just 'seems' so perfect -- my love whispering 'I love you' in my ear and covering me with kisses, and then... come back to the real world with a thud!
Bipasha flicked the page, smiling sadly. She remembered that evening like it was yesterday. That magical drive with him to Mysore -- a starry night and that long road ahead -- empty apart from the two of them. Walking around the gorgeous palace in Mysore during the day, they had been lost in each other, seeing everything with unseeing eyes, their whole world centred on holding each other's hand, as if in a silent promise -- I'll never let you go. On the journey home in his golden car, the one he was so proud of and spent almost all his spare time making a fuss over, there was the soft whisper of the chilly December wind, otherwise silence. They were lost in their own world, willing that the night would stretch ahead of them forever. She had come alive in his arms that evening. It was like a homecoming -- the warmth reassured her, his kisses fired her imagination, his every caress, his every word etched in her mind for always. And, she had thought…
'I like my body when it is with your
body. It is quite so new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
I like your body. I like what it does,
I like its hows.'[iii]
Bipasha sighed and went back to her diary…
Wednesday, March 7: 'Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.' He wrote that to me today, telling me not to cry, to read and reflect. This was the first time he said in so many words that it was over. I've been such a fool, as naïve as ever, building my own castle of dreams. And now he's gone -- away from me, away from my life -- being a realist, doing his family's bidding -- marrying a 24-year-old nice Tamil Brahmin girl his parents chose for him.
Bipasha mused to herself, whoever had said 'It's better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all' had probably never been in love. How else do I explain the tears that sting my eyes whenever I think of him, she thought. What is love?
Tuesday, March 13: To me, love is waiting for him to come home to me for lunch. Looking at my watch and wondering what he's doing. Going to a wedding and dreaming how ours would be. Cuddling a baby and wishing it was ours. Calling him up to talk to him and then just revelling in the sound of his voice. Flipping through South Indian recipe books, trying to learn to make 'avial'. This could go on and on -- I wish I knew what he's thinking now…
Bipasha shut her diary and promised herself -- I'm not going to wallow in self-pity anymore. How easily men move on, leaving us to pick up the pieces! I loved and trusted him too much, she told herself, and he just never measured up. He just walked out of my life without even a goodbye, without even a backward glance to see if I would pull through. My tears just keep pouring and writing in my diary is catharsis for me -- a means of flushing out all the pent-up pain and anger. I miss you my darling, I miss you very, very much. I just want you to know, wherever you are, that you made me very happy for a little while. And I wish you all the happiness in the world … pity I will never be able to share it with you…
[i]Kaccipettu Nannakaiyar, translated by A.K. Ramanujan
[ii]Marina Tsvetaeva, translated by Elaine Feinstein
Disclaimer: This story is a complete figment of my imagination, it's not based on any individual's personal experiences.