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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

There goes my baby

My good ole' days were a week ago. There were times when somebody would just lovingly wrap her arms around me. There were times when I would carry someone up the stairs in my arms. There were times when someone would lovingly admonish me for driving slow and I would continue to do so just to tease her. There were times when someone would use my back as a pillow while studying. There were times when I did this and that but alas,those times are over.

C came over tonight. Or should I say, I convinced her to come over and study at my place since we are still friends. I thought maybe maybe there was still something salvageable. To use medical lingo, I was hoping that it was still a Full Code situation. I was prepared to throw the sink at it if I had to. Hell, I was not even opposed to a little mouth to mouth breathing if that would have made a difference. But to my dismay, it turned out to be a Do Not Resuscitate situation. I tried feeble attempts to revive the conversation about "us" but she remained steadfast and stubborn in her stance. I don't blame her. She is probably right in her own way but tell that to my heart.

She stayed for a few hours. We had some ice-cream for old times sake. But even the damn ice-cream tasted nasty. And then, it was time for her to leave. As a gentleman that I am, I walked with her to the door. We stood there for a few minutes making small talk nervously. I wanted to hold her hand and beg her to stay. I tried to read her mind by looking at her face. But her face did not betray any of her emotions. Nor did those green eyes. The same green eyes, which not in the very distant past, had been my best friends. I lifted my hand but stopped midway. It was too late. She had turned her back and had started to walk away.

I stood at the door watching her walk away. Every step that she took, I prayed that she would stop. I prayed that she would atleast turn around and exchange a final look, the look that would tell me some sort of indication that she still felt anything for me. The look, by which I would be able to spend the rest of my life with. "woh nazar jiske sahare mein baki ki jindagi goojar doonga".

But she didn't. She kept walking (some would say, briskly) and kept walking. And then she turned the corner and with that last step, she walked out of my sight and I am afraid, out of my life. The passage was brightly lit with pretty lights, the air was still and musty and I stood there wondering how things could change so fast. No answers came to mind. Like they say, American appliances don't work in Europe and I guess, Indian men don't work in America. You know, it is all about the "connection".

As I started to turn around and drag myself in, I noticed something on the floor. I bent down to take a closer look. It seemed familiar. "I'll be damned", I told myself. It was my darn heart. God bless my soul. The poor bugger was badly mangled but it was still beating. The rascal just won't quit. C had very skillfully dropped it on the ground as she was leaving, severing the final ties and sealing the deal. I picked it up and put in the refrigerator where it would lay healing, only for the next angel to come and break it.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Rest in Peace

It was a busy weekend for me. I cooked, I ran and I did some other things. But most importantly, I dug out a grave. A grave for my dreams and some fascinating memories. Yeah, yeah. C broke up with me. I had been expecting it for two weeks now. It was clear (to both of us but mostly to her) that despite our best efforts, we did not have that chemistry( or "connect" , as she put it) between us that could sustain a happy longterm relationship. We just happen to belong to two very different worlds. As Mary Bilge put it:"Chemistry was crazy from the get-go".

O boy! I had thought that having been through almost two break-ups before, this one would be a little easier on me. But it feels the same. It feels like someone just slapped two electrodes on my scalp, thrust a piece of cloth in my mouth so that I couldn't scream and pushed the lever down making 1000 volts of electricity run through me. Sure, I didn't scream and there was no surface damage but somewhere deep inside my heart, a lot of fragile emotions and feelings melted and died a painful death.

No,overall it was a cordial thing. There was no screaming or pulling of hair. We both kind of knew it was coming.

We have agreed to remain friends and we will have to see how it goes.

C gave me a lot in these last three months. She was an answer to my prayers. I don't know how true or untrue her affections were but she touched my life in more ways than she could imagine. There are a lot of happy memories. Memories of her kicking my ass in miniature golf, memories of her bringing that bowl of CTM, memories of the smiley face that she drew on her every note. Little things that were peculiar to her and little things she did for me. I will miss holding her in my arms as much as I will miss her dulcous voice saying my name. I will cherish the memories of her saying her first Namaste and Sat Shri Akal. The memories of these three months will forever be safe in a corner of my left atrial appendage. Every now and then, my heart will fibrillate and small emboli of those memories will travel from my heart to my brain sending shivers down my mortal body and causing intense pain. But that is my fate.

The epitaph shall read this:"Here in rest the memories of the best three months of Harry Singh's life. Memories that were God's gift to him for good deeds done in a past life. Times will change and Harry will grow old. But the thought of these memories will continue to give him a gleam in his eye and a smile on his wrinkled face."

C, you are a special person and I hope you know that. To me, you will remain, forever precious.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What's cookin',Good lookin'?

The simple answer to that question is:"A Lot".Literally. I am finally dabbling in the art and science of cooking. Over the last few days, we have cooked things like pasta, stir fry veggies and chicken of different types. Sure enough, it does not supplant restaurant food yet but I think I am getting there. There have been a few bumps. Like the other day, C had a little upset stomach. But you know, in big endeavours such as this, little drawbacks are ok. She is doing better now. Thanks.

While cooking, I reminsce about the days when I used to see my lady love in the kitchen cooking CTM for me. The other day, as C was working on the sandwiches, I sneaked behind her and held her in my arms. It was more or less exactly like I had thought. The only difference being there was no CTM in the picture. But that is ok.

The other thing that I have been doing is giving C lessons in "Life of a Sikh guy-101". So, C has been given demonstrations of how Sikh guys wear a turban, how they can wrap up their relatively long beards into a small knot. The first time she saw me wearing a piece of linen around my beard, she was astonished. She thought I had a tooth-ache or something. I gave her insights into the science of tying a beard. At the end, she told me that I still look like someone with a toothache. And then she kissed me in an attempt to cure my tooth ache.

I am glad a few of the sisters have finally accepted that what I have been yapping about is not entirely baseless. I stand vindicated. We are all but specks in this universe engaged in a quest for God as well as the one that God has created for us. One way or the other, we will all find that one. But sometimes, the quest is protracted and desperation sets in. I was and still am hurt by the open rejection of turbaned Sikh guys by Sikh women. I don't think it is a celebration of personal freedom. To me, it still reeks of discrimination.

My compliments and best wishes to those who have defeated the odds and found the partner of their dreams. As we all wallow in our luxuries, let us still not close our eyes to the world around us.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Mission Impossible

The juice of this blog ultimately lies in the turban debate. The relevance of the turban in the new world and the changing attitude of the Sikh youth towards it. I understand that we have had a lively debate going on these issues. A lot of times,however, this debate seems to have an unlikely resemblance to the Pak-India talks where people will talk about everything except the crux of the issue. There is a thin line between impassioned debating and bickering and it seems like that we occasionally cross that line very easily. First of all, this blog is not against women, least of all Sikh women. I have had the utmost respect for women. Men spend half of their lives pinning for women and the other half complaining about them. Their lives revolve around the fairer sex. I and a lot of other people are not any different. I think any efforts to educate me regarding the importance of women in our society and our lives are redundant because I already have profound appreciation for women. I also celebrate women' right to equality and freedom of speech although I do feel sometimes in an overzealous bid to exercise those rights, some people forget about decency and common courtesies, which are equally important.

To continue on this rhetorical note, I will also like to point out that this blog is not about race either. I think the debate about white vs non-white women is futile too and perhaps belongs to another blog.

I appreciate those women readers who have professed a personal fondness for the turban or at least stated that turbans don't turn them off. What I don't completely understand is the utter denial that is coming across. None of the women readers have acknowledged that a lot of their sahelis are not cool with turbaned Sikhs. As far as I am concerned, that attitude is rampant among Sikh women. It seems like a mission impossible to get people to admit that. I will change my opinion when I see a change. Again, I would urge people to not behave like dinosaurs who remained oblivious to the changing climate around them and when they figured out what was going on, they were already extinct! Also, to those of you who are in the Social Sciences, may I suggest for you to do a study looking at the scope of the changing attitudes among Sikh women towards turbaned Sikh men using both the data from online matrimonial sites as well as population based surveys. I think that would establish scientifically what we already know is true anecdotally. "Hath kangan ko aarsi kya, padhe likhe ko farsi kya"

Maybe I am taking this too far. Maybe I should just shut up and let things take their own course. After all, I am no longer personally affected by all this. Maybe I should join the hordes of fellow Punjabis who shrug their shoulders and say "Mainu ki" and "Sanu ki" everytime they are asked tough questions about religion and their personal preferences. But for some reason, I can't. I am not going to change my opinion to earn brownie points or to look good. My opinions are based on my life experiences and are my version of reality. It may not appear to be accurate to you but nonetheless it does to me.

On a differnt note, I can't believe that I have written over fifty posts for this blog. What started out on a whim has turned out to be a very interesting journey. I thank all of you for your coments and for keeping the discussion lively.