I’ve heard people complain about how they are in a bad marriage or ended up with the wrong person. My story is different from everyone else’s. It’s the place I live in I have a problem with. I somehow feel like I don’t belong here or I am stuck up in a place I don’t want to be. This, often makes me feel unsatisfied, unfilled, uninspired, even after being moderately happy, and I worry that in no time, the relationship will turn sour, leaving behind a trail of muck, mess, regrets, and bitter-sweet moments.
Nothing is wrong about Irving. The city has in fact expanded in extraordinary measure in these past seven years, and time and again, has been voted as one of the fastest growing places in the country. Promising housing market, steady job economy, low cost of living, and low crime rate are a few perks of living here.
I am the wrong person in the right place. Irving is simple and straightforward, dipped in sugar syrup, and gold. But, perhaps, it is too perfect, too good for me…a flawed individual with a complex and chaotic mind, and foolish theories of life. I have an emotional brain, with my heart, sixth sense, inner voice, intuitions and what I am feeling at the moment, showing me the way and helping me make decisions, whether trivial or important. Irving, on the other hand, is practical, has a rational brain with a realistic approach to life. I am an impulsive and carefree person; Irving darling is calculating and too cautious. My life is like an incomplete sentence and I find joy in reveling in the mystery of what’s next. My Irving, to me, looks like a perfectly framed picture, of self-assured, contented, and perpetually happy adults basking in the sunshine of their dream homes and children’s love. Comfortable – I shun the word and like to stay away from it. Irving likes to wrap up in a cozy, comfy blanket and stay warm and safe. Even from an aesthetic point of view, we are a complete mismatch. I am a lover of beauty and art and anything creative; Irving is a place devoid of beauty and art, extremely bland, banal, and barren.
People have their own path to follow, their own story to write, their own ways of looking at life. I like to, or perhaps choose to, look at life through a camera lens. Color palettes, shapes, textures, symmetry, synergy, and design fascinate me, along with its underlying emotional order and disorder, the chaos as well as pure silence. After all, life, if you notice closely, is a collection of short stories. Life is a fine poetry, also.
Before Irving, I was in a relationship with Delhi. Being a copywriter and coming from an advertising background, my life was an interesting mix of many things, and creatively satisfying. Cracking headlines and punchlines. Conceiving radio spots and television ads. Writing copy for brochures, hoardings, mailers, and websites. Collaborating with designers and proof reading artworks. Life was stimulating too, outside office. Attending international film festivals, watching plays and streets dramas, strolling along Hauz Khas Village and Delhi Haat, visiting art exhibitions in India Habitat Centre, pirouetting to waltz and merengue and tango, hanging out with people with common interests and gabbing about designing and writing and philosophy and the infinity of life mixed with absolute nonsense stuff, over rum and laughs and humor.
If Delhi stimulated my mind, Gangtok moved me, emotionally. Gangtok was not only home, but also a delightful artistic haven. Whether it was snowy peaks of Kanchenjunga, the gentle stream of river Teesta, the fluttering of prayer flags, or creative minds turning their passion into purpose – there was, and there is, a great story hidden around every corner, waiting to be told, lived, felt, and translated in prose and poetry.
A love-hate relationship is an odd, funny, imperfect, and an exciting bond, one that constantly keeps you on the go. Maybe, I am still looking for my past in my present. Maybe, I now need to try hard, to love and understand you. Maybe, I haven’t been able to appreciate all that you have done for me. Maybe, I need to open my eyes wider, and see more. Maybe, I need to try to accept your version of life, and edit my script of what life is. Maybe, you are right and I am wrong. Maybe, I am right and you are wrong. Maybe, I just need to hang on a little longer. Or, maybe, Irving, I have to let you go, move forward, move on…