i. The morning half-cup of tea, boiled to a fault
by a mother used to infusing love by food
– not by words, no, that’s not the Indian way.
Steeped in sugar – more chashni than chai, really.
The sweetness balanced only against the hollow
vacancy in my hand, two fingers ready to curl up
against the delicate handle of the teacup, ready
to break with the faintest sleight of hand, but what
broke instead was my will to make the concoction
myself, knowing it can never be the same. Realising
for the first time, moving to a different city, that
while love leads to unsustainable addictions,
a habit brewed by one love can lead to another,
quite untouched by such afflictions.
ii. I never knew I loved a full life, before I was
hit with a mere fraction of what the world was
and six months went by with nothing to do –
no, in fact, with an expansive freedom of choice
which I simply refused to take, and covertly refused
to acknowledge, my privilege over the same. When
Scout Finch said – one does not love breathing,
I justified what I had lost by claiming it never came
in a neat package, saying, “Here. This is your gift.”
What I had lost, could not come in a package,
because who can wrap the slithering grasp of
the unyielding fiend called time? All synonymous
clichés came crashing down when I realised
that my real gift was really the present, and
most grudgingly in my hands.
iii. The quiet certainty of choice. How the
difference between someone staying or leaving
your life, lies in one, binary decision. A stubborn
refusal to let things go, when the going gets
tough. Someone who brandishes nerves of steel
over steeling themselves against the hassle. I
used to believe defense is our only hope against the
purgatory choices of the world, but a few (reluctant)
battles later – I realised, what is defense but one
of many other options? Our choices show
what we truly are, and they are here to stay.
And how these choices that make or break
our lives – they start, in fact, by us
making or breaking them.
Things I didn’t know I loved.