Hmm

This post is more for me as I am trying to figure out what exactly I want.

If I had ever written a matrimonial ad (which I really should have, but in my 20’s I hardly knew what I wanted) In a couple of weeks I will be 45 and at this time of my life this is what I would have written.

Wanted, a man for Sarah.

First a bit about Sarah. I am strong willed, stubborn and sarcastic to the core. I am a voracious reader and in the last year alone I read 232 books  and that is not including the romance books. I have near perfect eidetic memory which means I will always remember every single thing. I like to travel and not like the once a year trip to homeland. I have really itchy feet and would go on a trip whenever(and wherever) I feel like. I like good food and spend a great deal of time and money in pursuit of culinary delights. My children are my world. I have absolutely no contact with my parents or  sisters and that will never change. I am a perfectionist and a creature of habit and hate changes to the way I have organized my life.

You should be intelligent. There is no way, I can live with a guy who is not highly intelligent. You should be well read. (The last time I told a guy that I am a voracious reader, he claimed he too is a voracious reader. Unfortunately our definition of voraciousness didn’t match. He considered himself to be a voracious reader because he reads one book a year). You should be sarcastic,  be able to get sarcasm and can say ‘snap’ when it is dished out in liberal doses. I can happily say ‘snap’ every time I receive sarcasm in liberal doses, because for me sarcasm has no malicious undertone. For me sarcasm is simply good wit that can cut through humbug. You should be stubborn and can argue your points sensibly and win. I really don’t mind losing an argument, I, however hate people trying to argue with ridiculous points that has absolutely no merit. You should know history and must love it.I love history and I am still learning. Right now I am reading about Cambodian history and if I find something really interesting, I need you to be kind of guy who I can discuss those things, so if you don’t know the capital of Cambodia or the name of the largest fresh water lake in S E Asia, we are wasting each other’s time. You should be good looking (as in own a pair of beautiful eyes) not fat, certainly no potbelly and must dress well. If I as a mother of three kids can still keep my figure, I don’t see the reason why I should live with someone who doesn’t care about his body. I certainly will not put up with someone who thinks wearing white socks with trousers is fashion!  You should love good food and not necessarily eat only certain types of cuisine. I cook whatever takes my fancy, which simply means you might get Mexican breakfast, Spanish lunch and Mongolian dinner in a single day. You should love travelling, be at ease in business class or in a tent. Most importantly you should have enough money (preferably born in to money), love spending your money and living a good life.I do not live for anyone nor do care to show anyone how successful I am with the usual trappings of success. I will however spend a great deal of money on things that make me happy such as the best mattress money can buy and the most expensive bed sheet.

Why this guy? He has really beautiful eyes, good looking and fit. He is exceptionally intelligent, reads more than me. He knows history better than me, knows the capital, flag, political party and leader of every single country on earth. He can argue passionately why Franco was not good for Spain ( while his father who was arrested during Franco’s time and I are pro Franco) and can graciously agree to disagree with both of us. He listened to my points and have agreed with me that prochoice is not always the right decision. He has very similar OCD like mine and it is a relief not having to force my values on him. He likes to travel and has been to more places (including Costa Rica, Cuba and Madagascar, three countries in my to do  list) than me. He laughs with me for my quirks. (not at me). I wash apples before peeling them, but not bananas. I don’t have any logical explanation to why I do things the way I do and he finds my quirks hilarious. He loves going for long walks. He is sarcastic to the core and always said that I am the only one who could get his sarcasm( I felt exactly the same with him). He is very caring and knows every little things about me. But more than anything else, we seem to have a connection that simply can’t be explained.. We are so different, yet we have so much in common.

In 2020, I will be 49 and my youngest would have left home. I want to retire by my 50th birthday and there are things I want to do after I retire. I want to live in S. America for a couple of years, learn Spanish and read some of the great books that are written in Spanish. I want to sail around the world for a year. After that I want to buy a house by the beach (not sure where) and then spend the rest of my life doing the things that make me really happy. Go for walks in the beach, watch the sunset, read all the books I want to and write. As such I could do all of these on my own, but it would be nicer if I did all these with that one person who can make my heart sing for joy by merely calling my name.

My children, my strength

I have always had a very open relationship with my children. When I met him the first time, I told my kids about him. They met him a month later. There was really no need to hide a guy in my life from my kids.

They adore him.

Few years ago, I had thrown away my son’s very expensive BMX bike. I had told my son over and over that if he kept leaving his bike on the lawn and getting it wet in the rain, then I will throw it away. My son didn’t think I would do it and I did it. He was devastated.

Before he left, he gave my son his bike. (He knew the story of what happened to the BMX). It is a very expensive bike and my son was on cloud 9. Yesterday, my son sent him a mail attaching a photo of the bike near a Brisbane river bicycle path, with the beautiful river as a background !

Couple of days ago, Ywrote to him about her travel plans and asked his opinion and he replied back and told her the places she should visit. (She will be staying with him in Barcelona)

My youngest talks to him  on FB.

In a way he is still very much a part of our life..yet I feel so miserable..Going to the city yesterday was tortuous, it hurts so much to not have him physically here… and I don’t think I can handle 4 years of separation..

Hmm

Today, I need to go to the city, which means I will be driving by his place and I have to accept that I can’t park my car in the drive way, walk up to his place and find him either sitting on the dining chair or the couch with his laptop/ipad in his hand and waiting for me.. I am known for being a stickler for punctuality, yet with him I never once kept the time. I was always an hour late every time we arranged a time to meet and he never once complained. He would wait for me patiently..

I wouldn’t see the way his eyes light up when he sees me and the smile on his face.

He wouldn’t  be there to ask me “Do you want some coffee?” and then when I nod my head and say “yes”, he wouldn’t be there to tell me “Go, make it yourself” This was something he called ‘honey trap’ that I walk in to every single time. I tell myself every single time he did this (asking me if I want coffee and then telling me to go and make it yourself) that next time I will be smarter and tell him, “only if you are making it”.. but in the excitement of seeing him, I forget it.

My youngest told me few days ago “Mama, I know you both will be together eventually, you will never be able to walk away from him because I don’t think it is possible for you to love anyone as much as you love him and he will never walk away from you because you both are meant to be together”

And I think she is right that I will never be able to love anyone as much as I love him.

A very dear friend once told me, you know you met your mate when you find that one person with whom you could be silent and still be heard.

He gives voice to my silence.. and in him I find my soul’s rest and living each day without him is becoming harder and harder.

Of all the coincidences that connect the two of us, we both felt this would be the most unbelievable.

Few days after we met, he asked me “When is your birthday?” And I replied “in March”.

” When in March?” He asked and I told him my D.O.B and I did notice him taking a deep breath which I found it really odd.

As our friendship grew, one day he told me

“Remember that day when I asked you about your birthday?”

“yup” I replied

“When you told me it is in March, I braced myself and hoped it is not on the 16th”

“Why?” I asked.

“It is my mom’s death anniversary”

He didn’t say anything for a few minutes and I didn’t ask anything either. Death of a parent is devastating and I felt, all in good time he would tell me. Over the months he told me a lot about his mom and even though I never met her, I know so much about her.

The day before he was leaving, I was at his place. I sat next to him on the couch, with my head on his shoulder and I realized this year for my birthday he won’t be around and I won’t be with him on the saddest day of his life. I thought I should remember what ‘number’ his mom’s anniversary would be this year

So, asked him

“What year did your mom pass away?”

“1996” He replied

And in a flash it all came to me.

1996, in the first week of March, I turned 25. My oldest sister called me to wish me and told me ” Next year, you will have a little one to celebrate your birthday” I was expecting my baby.

Few days after my birthday was the Dunblane disaster. The Saturday after the disaster, I woke up and found myself bleeding. I remember it was Saturday because the University health center, where I was registered as a patient was closed and I had to call the hospital emergency and the lovely NHS system put me in a never ending loop of absolute chaos. I remember wishing I was in Malaysia, I could have  walked in to any emergency hospital and got the best care. I finally managed to get an appointment by late evening to get an ultrasound.. By then I knew, there was no hope.

I lost my baby on the Saturday after Dunblane disaster. 16 th of March 1996. and what is even more odd, I lost my Baby in England and his mom was English.

Serendipity

It is not exactly the right word, but it would do.

Sometimes, you meet someone and realizes that even beyond the probability of odds, you have lived parallel lives..

I remember the day very clearly. I was a final year medical student.. It was Pooja holidays in India and I decided to go back home. It was raining heavy by the time the bus reached Ulsoor lake and no Auto driver wanted to do the short trip. I was soaked to the bone and walked part of the distance till an older auto driver felt sorry for me and finally stopped.

Amma was home and as usual there was nothing to eat. I took a shower while regretting the decision of  coming home. If I had stayed at the hostel, at least I would get three meals!  I was too tired to cook and Amma offered to make Kanji and I said fine.

While waiting for my mother to cook the dinner, I switched on the TV and for some reason, I ended up watching X-files. I don’t remember much about the episode, but it had aliens, drains and it spooked me so much that I asked my mother if I could sleep with her that night. (I was 20 years old). It also was the last time I ever watched X-files.

When he and I were discussing about all the TV shows we watched, he said “There was an episode of X-files that I watched that had aliens and drains and it spooked me so much that I was so scared to sleep in my room and  had to sleep in the living room, near my parent’s room.

That was the first of many incidents we seem to have shared a common path..

The ‘it’ factor

I did a summer 5 day intense course the beginning of December and I have an assignment due before midnight today. I will fail the subject if I don’t submit the assignment as it is worth 60% of my marks. I can hardly see a thing on my computer because I have been crying so much.

A friend of mine called me up yesterday evening to see how I am doing and I told her I can’t bear the thought of failing a subject and I just don’t have the will to do it.

She said ” But you are the one person I always thought who has the ‘it’ factor”

“What ‘it’ factor?” I asked her

“Sarah, you never give up, that is your ‘it’ factor. You always rise above every adversity life has thrown at you” she said

“Perhaps, but this time, I just can’t do it” I replied.

“Let me tell you a poem, I read as a child” she said

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

 

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it”
                                              E A Guest
“Sing a song and give it a go” She said
And I am glad she talked to me. My head hurts like hell, my heart ache so much that I am worried I might have a heart attack.. but the assignment is done..It is the worst assignment I have ever written, but I don’t care.. the fact that I managed to write 3000 words in my current state is nothing but a miracle.

 

Once in a life time..

At the airport, before he left he gave me his jumper. It was 3 degrees in Barcelona and he would have been cold without his jumper. But he also knew I use odour memories and his jumper will be of a big comfort to me.

I want to be able to find something that I could be angry with him for..so I could use to convince myself why he wasn’t the one for me. But there is none. Every moment I shared with him was  better than the previous moment.

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.” Bob Marley.

He was my everything..

He is gone

This morning, I woke up from my drug induced hazy sleep to hear the Kookaburras laughing, Molly, my neighbour’s dog was barking and  Tom, my neighbour up the street was starting his bike.. to go to work. I looked by my side and found my youngest, who never likes to be hugged or held has her arm over me..in a protective way. The tears rolling down my cheek may stop one day.. but if I can get through just one moment and then the next..then I will be fine. I know this too shall pass and I will find my wings again again and soar high…but that is the hardest part. This journey of healing and finding myself..

I want everything to stop, for I feel so numb..I want the Kookaburras and the dog to shut up..How can the world go on when  I am hurting so much..

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message ‘He is Dead’.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

(Auden)

 

Jade

I think the first time I fell in love with Jade was when I was living in Sabah. Someone had donated a jade necklace as part of the offering in the Catholic church and my cousin bought it from the church. It was an antique jewellery set and very pretty. My cousin fluffed her plumes and strutted around wearing the beautiful necklace, revelling in the attention.. because everyone knew she paid more than the market value for the jade..because the money was going to the church.. for a good cause. What no one noticed was that it was a flawless piece of imperial jade.. easily 50 years old and that for someone to donate such a valuable heirloom, there had to be a reason.. I felt the church should have kept it.

I have always watched the older Chinese women wearing jade ornaments and thought they looked really beautiful..

Years later, my mother wanted a jade pendant and I went looking around for a perfect jade..and due to my political convictions, I even made sure that the jade wasn’t from Myanmar..

I never really bought jade for myself.. not sure why I didn’t.. Not that Jade was very expensive.. there is something about finding that perfect piece of jewellery.. I never got around to it.

When I visited NZ, I kept finding jade jewellery in every shop we went to and I kept  thinking the next shop will have something even better.. this went on. till I reached the airport and realized the price was easily 10 times more at the airport and I didn’t like anything they had at the airport..

Jade comes in various colours, my favourite is Kingfisher jade that is semi transparent. The green of kingfisher jade reminds of me of the green in Kerala after the monsoon rain..

I did tell him the story of my ill luck finding the perfect jade months ago.. But I didn’t tell him the colour I like. He had never been to Kerala.. and he wouldn’t have understood what I mean when I talk about monsoon green..

He bought me wine from NZ ( pinot noir, cause I am really partial to that). He collected  Manuka shampoo and conditioner from the hotels he stayed in NZ, because he felt I deserve only the best.. He bought raspberry and vanilla body soap..I had assumed he would buy lemon and mint cause he knows it is my favourite..But he opted for the raspberry one because I did tell him long ago that my adopted daughter had brought it with her when she came to stay with me and it smelled divine..He even bought stuff for the kids..

The thing is, I knew he was going to get all these.. and I really wasn’t surprised.

Finally, with a beautiful smile that lit his face up and with a twinkle in his eyes, he then handed me a very small parcel…. really really small parcel..

“What is inside?” I asked him..I am not good with surprises that I can’t predict..

“You should open it” He replied

I felt outside the parcel.. I couldn’t figure out what it was.

I looked at him..he looked so happy.. as if he knew this was something that would make me really happy.. I really had to see what he got for me, so I tore open the paper cover.. and inside was a small kingfisher jade pendant..