Rinse Repeat and Start Again

As part of “kids say the darnest things” I fell upon this little anecdote on an 8 year who said this sagely, as she mixed brownie batter purposefully. She was hearing her mom talk about their dog and then the neighbors and all through the chatter and silence, she had looked up and said those words below.

Think about it.
“I love you” seems to be the most commonly used phrase within the family, between friends, romantic partners, and husband and wife and so on. It’s a relationship bound for the most part. We hear it at least once every day, either being told to us, or we say it to someone or we overhear.
Almost akin to breathing.
‘love you honey”
“love you babe”
“aw baby, I love you!”
“you know I love you right?”
and I could go on, but you get the point.

I love how she points out that you must never really say it as a habit, but more of a conscious declaration of what you deeply feel within you towards this person you feel it for.
Purposefully, with complete mindfulness that you declare your love and affection. Not as a statement to be acted upon, and to dwell on, as a barter as a deal or as a sword held precariously, to be wanted to reciprocate.

It’s as sacred as it is common. So, be warned to not be glib about saying it.

I love the way the frail mind is referenced here.
We forget.
We all forget.
We forget the past, the fleeting present and we forget the preciousness in a relationship. We forget our promises, we forget our kindness and we forget the pleasure of feeling.
It’s human nature.
Not me. Not you. No one’s fault. It’s the way it is.

Some people forget that they are loved.
They need reminders.
Not just in those 3 words, but in the affirmations that do not require those words to be spoken. Yet, there is magic in saying them. With conviction, with depth as you look into their eyes, and to get to a point that you feel they are inadequate.
It happens when you love a person so.
Saying “i love you” just doesn’t cut it. You feel that?

Our mind is distracted, and succumbs to many an event, the present day engulfs us, and we forget.
It’s okay to repeat those words again and again and again.
Some of us thrive on them. It’s like the air we breathe. The food we need and the drop of water that we crave. We aren’t needy, we just thrive on love. Flourish on it.
Grow in it.
Bloom in the presence and affirmations of love.

It’s okay to rinse and repeat.
It is not boring. Not if you meant it in the first place anyway.
So next time, someone throws a fit at you, or they weep in insecurity, or they act up, Just stop them, look into their eyes and tell them you love them. Only if you mean it though. Then tell them.

You never would understand the value of that pause and the reboot their delicate heart gets when you take that moment to tell them that you love them.

Consider it a jumpstart to a slowly beating heart.
It’s a rescue mission at times.
So rinse and repeat and start all over again.
Flat lines are no good for anyone.

Celebrate Love

I asked, via my newsletter and boy, did I receive?!

I asked what your favorite love story, line, quote or experience with love as your emotion and experience and I got enough and plenty that I had to go tile them up and make them all pretty to look at too, not just the words but even how they looked while you read them :-)

So, without further chatter, here they are!

1. A dear reader and a friend from the real world sent me this and made my day and I smiled,  happily, tad self-consciously to hear such praise and thank God I get some reminders! Thanks SG!

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2. This is also from another dear friend, AN, who emailed that he liked the newsletter and that this was his favorite. Guess what, it’s my favorite too! I can’t tire reading it, and most likely will read it this month. :-)

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3. Sammy sent me this. Sweet sweet thing I met a couple of years ago, we met via blogs, and romance is so high in her life considering she is a newly wed and all that, but hey, Alai Payuthey is an amazingly romantic sweet and lovely movie and the actors are adorable as are the sequences of love and romance. Even old boring listless folks may have seen a sparkle after that!

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4. Padma sent me this. She’s a mom and well and deeply sunk into marriage and boredom, but she says the best part of her day comes with the look in her husband’s eyes when she jumps with joy watching movies and she loves movies! Go figure :-)

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5. Hugh as he goes by told me that every love, no matter what kind grows only when you feed it. Love is work, but worth it, but you gotta feed it! So there. Food for thought?

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6. As silly as this sounds, it’s the smallest things that matter in a relationship. SS is a blog reader and she always always sends me a short mail when a post speaks to her. She said, that her brother mentioned this of his wife of 18 years. He said that she was the happiest when he left the last piece of cake/bread for her, which of course gets ultimately shared between them, but the fact that he tells her “it’s for you” or “I saved this for you” gets a crazy wild and happy sparkle in her eyes and it just makes him so happy seeing her like that.

One collective huge aw. No? :)

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7. Cold winters are a nightmare. Just by doing this alone scores tremendous brownie points in my book and looks like in her book too! It’s always the smallest things. :-)

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8. Z, a twitter buddy sent this out and I realized how both the emotions were equally important! It’s not enough to love a man, but it’s important to like him enough to sustain that love. No? I think so. People don’t give “like” part of their relationship enough value. and no, they are not the same, and one may evolve into the other, but retaining the like is so much more valuable for longer and happier relationships, in my book at least.

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9. THIS is how SG’s husband convinced her to marry him. By telling her to be practical and wise and accept his proposal coz he surely loved her more and to marry someone who loves you a lot more is a sure way to a happy fabulous life. ;-)

Smart man. Wise woman. Happily married with two kids and they are a joy to watch, even in pictures!

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10. M on twitter mentioned this, and I had to google it, and well, it is a proposal in a book where two high-brow characters propose and accept to get married. Romantic enough words? Latin is romantic? I still prefer French and their rolling r’s but hey, I’ll take Latin! :)

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11. What a line. Simple and seemingly obvious on the archaic, permissions, it speaks of gallantry and elegance in the tradition of romance and tenderness. <3

Z sent this one in too, and there is an old-world charm that will never go out of style. Nope.

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12. KR from twitter sent me this as part of his post, on his interpretation of love. It is true isn’t it though? Love is an emotion that entertains and graces one who let’s it go. Who is not tethered down by fears and insecurities and to just allow the emotion to consume you, take you in. It’s very neat in fact. :) IMG_1565

13. AK said this to his best friend. During courtship and a perfectly romantic period in his and her life, where every line and word spoken between them meant something more than just words, and the smiles they shared between the letters and the unsaids that echoed the thoughts that synchronized and rang in harmony.

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***

There is beauty in love, camaraderie and friendship.

There is love even there isn’t seen by the naked eye. Sometimes, like the unseen sea breeze, it can only be felt, at times it’s like the tempest. Like the wind, it can only be felt, but not seen. When it can be seen, it’s almost always disguised to the naked eye.

When it is raw, it is beautiful. Stark and plain beautiful. So gorgeous it can overwhelm you from within and exhaust you and leave you breathless. Like me, now.

***

All tiles done in Parable app. It’s like Noteography app, and has some ways to go to make it more social and interactive within the ecosphere, but it’s cute as is. Try it maybe? (nope, they didn’t pay me to say it, just a friendly recommendation)

life finds a way

Yes, I start with a cliche.

Ive been surrounded by sobering moments the past few weeks. There’s just been so much news both in the outside world and in the world that I am a constant part of, where things are coming to a full circle. The circle of life as they say. There is sadness, sickness, death, and loss of hope. News that can make you sit up straight and pay attention to yourself, to the ones around you. From the various calamities across the globe, to the targeted puncturing of lives, intentionally and otherwise, poof, a life is gone and we are just left with whatever we can make of the moment passed.

I just saw the sister of Deah Barakat, hold such a strong reserve while speaking with Anderson Cooper and I broke down. I see the ailing grandfather succumbing to a ruthless body slam and I am shocked. I hear increasingly vitriolic words, accusations and actions based on assumptions and their own insecurities that reaches through the bytes and hurt us. I see it all. With an air of resignation.

I try hard to smile. I swore I would make a difference to myself, and I would make a difference to just one person a day, nothing huge, but if am able to offer comfort, a smile, or a squeeze of the palm, maybe, just maybe I would make a difference to them. Maybe they will find the strength within them to battle and hold fort as the harsh winds blow over them and yet, they remain steadfast and un-affected.

I hope.

a shoot

I see a few new emails in my inbox.

My heart soars.

It soars because of their content.

A woman who admits the attention she gets from another adult is flattering. She enjoys it. Revels in it. It’s a beginning of a love story. All love stories don’t need an ending, but there is an path, a journey and it’s the smile through the journey that counts.

Another young woman offers me a smile and a perspective. She herself is bogged down plenty and she has killed more demons than the whack-a-mole game can throw at us in one play. She smiles. A broad smile. Rich in happiness, as she takes stock of what’s left and the choices she has made.

A young man writes to say he finds the writings are inspirational. That he enjoys what I serve here. He writes too, of love and everything else that surrounds it.

My little girl has diligently made 26 bracelets to hand to her classmates for Valentine’s day tomorrow. Out of those painful small rubber bands. Silly bands. It took her a couple of hours, but she toiled. She wanted to do it and she was perfectly at peace with her classmates who “may not wear it much, but no, they wouldn’t throw it away!”

I see the President of the US, make faces in the mirror, pretend to be 007, take selfie with a GoPro/Selfie stick and I see him sketch his crush. I see him NOT take life seriously, even if for the shoot. Nothing about the grin and the jaunt is for the camera, he looks like he is enjoying himself.

I see an email, every day, from a friend who sends me quotes. I am now used to them, and I don’t always reply. Some are extremely cliched. Some strike a chord. Again, it’s not the words, but what they stand for and when they reach me. It’s all about the timing we are all governed by.  Today’s was “Don’t watch the clock, do what it does, keep going” by Sam Levinson. It came when I was floundering with words and the page looked ominously white. I had to keep going.

Another young man reaches through the words and offers a hug. No words, just a hug. I am thankful.

I see hope.

I am shown that through the pall that will weigh us at every point, there is that tiny ray of hope that’s fighting to break through it to reach us. It’s there for you to see, reach out and grasp it and use it to break free.

Life does go on.

Though to go on, one must live, mourn, rejoice and feel the day, and then rise. Rise above the pettiness and the incompatibilities, the classes and the groups and the incredible hate that exists between us, to rise to a point that the murky waters are far below us and all we see and hear is love, and the beauty of being with each other.

Love and Kindness.

Hope we can remember them when we forget.

Happy Valentine’s :-)

 

flutters {fable}

She was late. Not like I was in a hurry or anything, and she called to say she was running late and sounded flustered and it really didn’t matter as I had plenty to do anyway, so I told her it was fine.

I waited in the mall. Just outside of the restaurant we were to have lunch. I looked up from my papers and there she was. A vision of red. I smiled. I knew why she wore red. It was a gorgeous red. Standing out among all the other pales as she stepped out of the elevators and came forward to the railing and peeped down. We were on the 3rd floor of the mall and I was on the other end of the circle. With her large bag slung from her shoulder, hair loose and framing her oval face, I saw her look all around, searching for me.

There is something perverse about watching someone search for you. Romantic at times, it kicks in a certain want, a lust even to be wanted and searched for. I get up and walk towards her along the other end. She catches my eye and smiles and starts walking quickly along to reach me. I see how put together she seems.

The gorgeous red cotton sari draping her curved full hips, the swish of the pleats as her legs carry her gracefully towards me. The pallu draped casually on her chest, the careless way it fell off her shoulder, hovering over her waist, with an occasional show of her skin. The rounded arms ending in slim wrists with the two thin gold bangles that caught the sun, her waist length hair flying away from her temples and shoulder as the wind blew and her small round black bindi between her arched dark eyebrows. Thick chunky silver beaded along her neck accentuating silver earrings, the jhumkas I gifted her, as she told me afterwards.

How she could pull off a worried yet smiling and an apologetic face is beyond me but she did. Apologizing for her late arrival, she tucked her hair behind her ears and looked at me with liquid brown eyes. I wanted to hug her, but instead steeled myself to just touch her elbow and say it’s okay, and steered her towards the restaurant while she kept a steady flow ore excuses, reasons and complaints on why she was delayed. She hated IST, and how laid back folks were, and how she didn’t have a ride and how she hated being dependent!

Steering her clear with an occasional nod and pacifying her at the same time we arrived at the restaurant and luckily were led to a quiet corner. Heaving a sigh of relief as the cool air hit us, we took a deep breath and looked at each other. A little quieter but yet annoyed, she smiled forcefully.
“This is how I wanted you to see me. In red. I luckily found this two days ago, and I HAD to wear it.”

I take in her enthusiasm, her childish excitement and peeve for how perfect she wanted for things to be, to fall into place and I nodded.
“You look beautiful”

She blushed. I could see the now disappearing sweat around her temples, the glistening skin on her forearms, the curve of her lips and the softening of her eyes.

We spoke.

Of random ness. Of the mundane. Of the daily. Of the routine. Of the memories. Mine. Hers. Things I had not thought of for many years came by quickly through me. Of pickled onions. Of manholes. Of money. Of truancy. Of guilt and ethics of the past. Of doggy bags. Of the less fortunate. Of food. Of lives long gone. Of apartments.

She handed me a brushed bronze pocket watch, a small dial on a chain in a small bag. It was a gift. She smiled, just a little something to remember this time. I took it, unsure of what I would do with a pocket watch, but it was a watch and she knew I liked watches, so that made me happy.

We barely ate. I could tell she wasn’t. I didn’t eat much either. Maybe it was me, but neither felt hungry enough, or maybe it was the anticipation of meeting. Maybe it was the heat. It was time to go.

She leaned on my shoulder as I gave the taxi guy directions from the back seat. I was making conversation, and she nodded and remained silent, preoccupied but yet very present. The way her eyes flickered with interest, her lips curved with a slight dimple above when she felt happy, as I pointed out familiar landmarks. The hotel I stayed the last trip when I spoke with her, the buildings that were once work, the roads that I had traveled in another lifetime, with other souls.

With barely contained excitement I opened the door to my apartment of the last few days. The place that was mine more than anything else I owned. The details, the time spent in hashing details, the journey and the pains and travails to become a home owner. For the first time. I had worked hard to hold on to it, through the empty walls, the offers that came and ones I refused to the ones that fell through. The investment, the memories it carried, and clearly all that emotional investiture was coming to a head. I had never dreamt of her walking in along with me here one day. I did hold this place as a back up for her for one day if needed but to actually see her walk around the empty rooms, touching the walls, the kitchen counter, the tiles in the bathrooms, the balcony and then the mirrors, was almost surreal.

She walked with rounded eyes. Slowly. Following my lead as I showed her the little parts of a long ago me that raised this place with so much care and love. The balcony, we were high up and the winds were strong. She lent on the railing and immediately lurched back.

Head spins! yes, I laughed, Let’s go back in, here, this is the master bedroom. See, we had two closets. 

She twirled around in the middle of the hall. Her sari flying, and from where I stood, the light streaming in through the balcony framing her, she looked divine. A mirage. A vision even. I still couldn’t believe she was here.

Come here,. the kitchen is neat. See the space here in the corner, had to think so hard on how best to use it. Yes, that’s for the maid to use for wash. Through this window you can see those buildings in the corner far away? They seem far form here, but they aren’t. Just about 10 minutes of a drive maybe less. That’s where I worked. 

I stood behind her. Over her shoulder as I pointed in the distance. Erect, with her shoulders square. Her hair smelt good, as I bent forward. Smiling, she turned slightly to look at me. Nodding, she breathed in sharply. I couldn’t help but touch her waist. My fingers had hovered ever so slightly at her waist, barely touching, but feeling.

Our voices had dropped to a whisper. The apartment was getting warm. The wind from the balcony barely reached the kitchen. Standing there in the quiet, our thoughts climbing to a crescendo and slowly finding harmony with the other.

She started walking out of the kitchen, when I held her left palm and pulled her close to me.

Come here.

..and we hugged.

I felt her body relax and tense and heave a sigh of relief, love and happiness as she collapsed into my arms. I cradled and buried my face into her right shoulder and her arm held my neck tight. The skin at her waist felt cool and hot against my right forearm. She rested her neck on my shoulder and held on to me.

I’d waited so long for this moment. To be able to hug and hold her close in a space in my mind that had no room for anything else but her. That’s the least we owed each other I reasoned.

She snug closer to me. Whispering into my neck on how long she had waited. I replied. I don’t remember now what I said, but it didn’t matter. We held a little longer. Neither wanting to let go. Our lips finding skin, cloth, and just in a suspended state of motion to be in touch. The touch. The flaming touch of skin on skin. The happiness, the wait, the pleasure and the agony, interspersed with the love and then lust.

I withdrew to look into her eyes. She looked up at me and then into my eyes and there was just raw emotion as she parted her lips and closed her eyes. A truant thin lock of hair had called across her brown face, dancing on her lips and chin. I gently tucked it away behind her ears, and bent down to touch her lips with mine.

Soft. Cold. Flutter.

Soft. Touch. A pull. A nibble.

The slow dance. Of lips. Of emotions twirling within, of the flutters that held us and rocked us within us, towards each other, as we stood in the closest embrace and kissed. Gently. Slowly. Savoring the moment, with controlled rush in the most natural way possible, to just be with each other.

Like we were meant to.

A simple kiss. A kiss full of love. A love that was pure. A purity that could be tasted in that simple kiss.

And we held each other, and the moment in an embrace that was special. No one mattered. No one else would know. It was just us, in a cocoon, stealing a moment from our lives, defiantly.

This one was for keeps.

For the memory books and for the tales that I may one day tell my grandkids.

I smiled in pain as I let her go.