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..

 

 

 

Hmm

Yesterday evening, we decided to go out for dinner to celebrate the end of our holidays, perhaps the end of our good times together.. Since we have been together, the one thing I hadn’t cooked for him is dosai.. even when we went to Malaysia, somehow he never got a chance to eat dosai. So I wanted to go to an Indian restaurant for dinner, so he could have dosai… I googled to find a place nearby and unfortunately for us, either the address was wrong or the shop closed down. However we did end up in a street with lots of restaurants. There were French, Mexican and even a Spanish restaurant, but he knew I wanted to go to an Indian restaurant and insisted we walk down the street till we find one. Eventually we did. Mukka on Fitzroy street. They had an assortment south and north Indian food and he let me place the order. I knew he likes Aubergines, so I ordered the Bhartha and roti, one masala dosai and a pav bhaji set to share between us. He loved it all (to be fair, he looked like a cooked prawn at the end of the meal and I did feel a bit bad for not ordering something less spicy)

There was so much we needed to tell each other, but goodbyes are hard to say and we both chose to read instead of talking when we got back to our hotel. It was a horrible night. .I could feel him toss and turn and the bed creaked every time he moved. He set the alarm for 7 AM to my fav song..and I let it ring..hoping to delay the impending doom. He knew I was awake.. and I knew he was awake.. only the alarm didn’t know that we were both awake and continued the ringing.

Eventually he got up and I knew he was going to make me tea. He knows I need two sugars, but will only add a single sugar in my tea( for my health apparently) We had some cookies, so he served tea in bed with cookies. This was going to be the last time he made me tea and I wanted to cherish the moment.. but somehow it made me feel even more miserable.

He used the washroom first and when I went to brush my teeth, I noticed that he left his lip balm on the counter..so I could use it. The cold Melbourne weather had caused my lips to bleed.. I took a shower, so I could cry my heart out.

Eventually we got to the airport, returned the rental car and found our flight was delayed.

I had planned my exit well. I deactivated my facebook account first thing in the morning and already got a new phone number. I was planning to go to my house straight from the airport and have no contact with him till he leaves on Thursday. I hate goodbyes.

“Let us play scrabble” he said, and we did.

When we boarded the flight, the cabin crew noticed that we were sitting in two different rows. I am not sure how the cabin crew knew we were travelling together(our tickets were booked separately), but they did and promised us that once the light take off, they will find two seats for us. The seat next to me was empty and the moment the cabin door was closed, he came and sat next to me.

“You can now sleep peacefully” He said pointing to his shoulder. I have always slept on his shoulder every time we flew. He wouldn’t move at all, so I can sleep peacefully and not get migraine.

When we landed, he said ” Why don’t you come to my place and spend a few hours with me before you go home” He sounded so needy (not in a bad way) and I didn’t have the heart to say No. So we took a taxi from the airport and went to his house. (I wonder if he knew I was going to do a runner..he even insisted that I leave my backpack at his place and come and pick up later)

For some strange reason, I remembered I have a friend who owns an RTO( registered training organization) that you can apply to study some course and get a student visa.

“Why don’t you call him?” He asked and I did. My friend sent the application etc and within 30 minutes he filled the whole thing and sent it back.

He may or may not get the student visa.

He may or may not come back from Spain..

We may never be together again..

But right now..this very moment..I feel hopeful..

 

Hmm

Tomorrow, I am going to Melbourne. It was his Christmas gift to me. I had always wanted to see a platypus in the wild and even though Tassie is known to have a lot of platypi, we didn’t get to see a single one. Lake Elizabeth in Victoria is supposed to be a platypi habitat, so he felt it would be an ideal gift for me.

He was away and would arrive in Melbourne tomorrow morning. When he comes to pick me up, the first thing he will do is to carry my backpack. He will open the car door for me and on my seat  there will be a packet of Tyrrel’s kettle cooked chips and a bottle of water. He would tell me, He knows Tyrrel’s is my favourite chips and bought it for me because he knows I don’t eat breakfast and would be starving by the time I get to Melbourne.. Because I am not checking in luggage and can’t carry shampoo and conditioner, he would have bought all that for me before coming to pick me up. He would have even bought my favourite lemon and mint soap.

I cooked Nasi Lemak and satay chicken to take with me. Ideally he wouldn’t eat cold lunch. But he likes Nasi Lemak and will eat it without complaining. Then he will find a place for us to have a cappuccino and when he orders mine, he will ask for extra chocolate.

Right now, it is almost midnight and I am just so angry at myself..for being a stubborn mule.

I don’t know what the next few weeks hold in store me..don’t know when I will update either..