Category Archives: separation anxiety

What were we afraid of losing?

We spent our best years fighting
That was the best thing about them.

We began to live together when we began to fight
We began to fight when we became unafraid of losing.

What were we afraid of losing?
I know I was afraid of losing him.

I was afraid I would be hurt
Now I treat words like falling leaves, not a sharp knife.

When I have no words to counter the barrage from him
I leave the room.

Sometimes I stay and make faces at him
I let him fight with me.

Because that is love
Love slicing through silence like curtains pulled suddenly.

Too much sunlight makes us wince
Sometimes the view distracts us.

Why are you fighting with me, he says
You know why I am fighting with you, I say.

We fight because the silence stifles us
We fight to find out if we are still friends.

I fold some fights in the pages of time
Letting them mature over years.

By the time I bring them out between us
Some of them have become stories to tell.

Sometimes we start fighting as soon as we meet
As if we must accelerate everything.

There isn’t time for everything

So lets get straight to the point, lets fight to keep us together.

Why I write about things we have forgotten.

Many of the columns I write for Mint Lounge are difficult to write. I stay up nights. I sleep a lot. I wake up with sentences and connections in my head. I quickly write lines on the iPhone and put them away for weeks.

Sometimes tears well up while I am writing. I cried a lot when I wrote on Geet. After it was published, apparently Reena cried for a full day. Zara would come up to her, see her boo-hoo-hooing and ask, “Are you still crying over the same thing?”

I had a theory that day. We were crying for their father. The father they had lost, and been so brave about losing. As one must. One of the first things Geet would do when she made a new friend in college was to make a joke about having lost her father before she was 5 years old. “Look, its no big deal,” was her attitude. “Mera baap,” she would say, when referring to him.

Another friend would speak the same way later. He was barely a teenager when his father killed himself. There’s a time to laugh and there’s a time to cry.   Both need us to be strong. Very strong.

So here’s a new one from last week’s Mint Lounge. I wrote about Mum and me. This one was not so difficult to write, but has been very difficult to read.

I sent the first draft of it…the stream of consciousness version to my secret personal Editor for approval. I couldn’t read it after writing it. I couldn’t read it in the newspaper either. I was travelling when it was published so I didn’t really have to deal with it on the weekend when the feedback was pouring in. There must be something between the lines that needs it’s space in the sun now.

Apoorva asked me on twitter: Why did you have to write this?
I’m tired of fighting with Bhai for my share of Mom, I thought. I want to stop. Only I can stop this game, this racket.

Bhai lives in San Francisco. He is visiting this week. In India for a conference in Chennai.

Something horrible must have happened for us to have become so bitter and strange with each other. What was it? How can we undo it?

How can we heal so that we don’t repeat the same version of family all over again?

Healing is easy. We are designed to heal. We have to want it first. Stop scratching phantom wounds.

Sometimes, I see a flash of Bhai and me in Sahar and Aliza.
Sahar was narrating a story from Secret Seven yesterday. Aliza corrected her pronunciation of ‘caravan.’
“How does she know it already?” asked Sahar.

Aliza reads and draws as well and as fast as Sahar. Sahar sometimes takes away her books from Ali.

There’s enough for everyone in this world. Certainly in this family. This cycle of emotional deprivation is stupid. I won’t pass it on.

That’s why I write about things we have long forgotten.

Living on the brink

I am living on the brink.
Sahar is 3 and she misses me. She needs more time, energy, attention and love from me. The best I can manage on a working day is return after 10+ hours

We moved house 8 months ago. Moved away to a suburb that is 1 hr away from my workplace, and 1 hr away from my Mum’s….. who was earlier too close for comfort but certainly a great support for the girls and me.

The move has brought us closer to nature, open spaces, independance of mind and spirit…. but it has been hard on me because it has separated my children and me for another 2 hours a day. It has depressed me… because it all added up to a bit much.
New maids, big house, extra hours away, the return to work and having to start from scratch again…… Guilt, guilt guilt. The guilt and my own separation anxiety of being torn away from my daughters has crushed me.

ADDED LATER: I revisited this post today stealing computer time from the ladies who are standing by with a Mickey Mouse CD. This post was typed in May 2006 and in May 2007 I quit that beloved, blessed job of mine.