Gossip Girls

Well this is not about the series which I have never watched. This is more about garden variety grapevine. This post was in the drafts for quite sometime now and I had almost forgotten about it, but I met one of them recently, so decided to post it. This about those whines (pun intended) in the grapevine that attempt to strangle you. Here are the various types of gossip girls (and boys too). Enjoy!

1. The relationship expert : This person knows all about who is seeing whom, who is sleeping with whom and at exactly what level of dating someone is. They find great pleasure in letting others know about the latest IT couple. Breakups, makeups, make outs real and imagined, you can get all the information in typical soap opera full with dialogues when you ask them. Said person is generally married or in a stable relationship so a lot of first timers actually believe every word that comes from their mouth. Said person actually never speaks about their life much, maybe their own relationship life isnt really crackling.

2. The empathiser/guide : This individual generally comes across as an angel when you are going through some personal shit. He/she will be very nice to you, listen to you always, even encourage you by telling you how you are right and others are wrong. You are almost taken in by the goodness and you would end up spilling the beans about your miseries. Next thing you know, your most personal anguish is all known to everyone, sometimes they don’t name you, sometimes they do, but the details are all there and infact travel back to you in the form of questions about your well being.

3. The Q & A expert : This one I met recently. This person would meet you after ages and ask with some level of curiosity in a manner of catching up with you all sorts of pokey questions like ‘so did you get a raise?’ ‘are you getting married soon?’ ‘is your boss treating you well?’ Mind you these are people who can fake idle curiosity, they might seem like people who are sort of trying to get back in touch after a long time, but also remember that these people arent really interested, if they were they would keep in touch with you regularly.

4. The why of it : This is the kind of person who tries to find links to everything everyone does. Oohh he went to the boss’ cabin, surely he has gone to lick ass about that new project, hmm so she is going to lunch with him, surely it is because romance is brewing, ohhhh these two are meeting for coffee surely they are ganging up against someone else and so on they cook up stories and spread it around.

5. The shameless : These are the ones who will come up to you or your friends and ask you pointblank about the latest thing they have heard about you. These are the kinds who don’t realise that personal things would be shared only with friends, not with random passersby. They want to know and they will persist, if not from you, from your friends or someone else, they have to get their dose of the addiction or life loses all meaning.

6. The office spy : This is the person who finds professional linkages and is also up to date on who was hired/fired/reprimanded etc etc. This person talks with much authority about who is efficient, who is inefficient, who is going to go far and who is trash professionally. This person at times also infuses the characteristics of the relationship expert and guide to extract maximum information and provide maximum fodder.

7. The carriers : These are those people who have always heard from so and so, or just heard what happened. No first person account or interpretation, these are the Chinese whisperers and some of the most judgemental ones at that.

Its all about appearances anyways, who cares what you really are. If they start caring then they wont be able to pass time because well nothing interesting is happening to them anyways and everyone’s got to do something to make their own lives feel better right? Yes pulling you down makes them feel socially/morally/financially/whateverly better. And in case you are wondering, I did write this to feel good (wink).

Walking with the quake

(Another submission for the Soch lo contest on Indiblogger. This is about past conditioning and a reimagining of my memories of the earthquake in 2001)

Every once in a while someone comes along in life who mocks your illusions and brings you to the reality of being human. For me that was you. Before you I never thought anything was impossible. I never felt there was a thing that good intentions and persistence couldn’t set right. But you proved me wrong. I don’t know it if made you happy. But maybe nothing makes you happy, you never seemed to be. Somehow your negativity seems to have rubbed off on me. Shouldn’t it have been my positivity rubbing on to you?

It still is difficult for me to comprehend how little the quake affected you. It devastated my home. The little cracks in the old home, they burst open. There are times I still wonder if I had repaired the cracks would the home have been saved. But how was I to know a quake was due? And even if I did, some destruction was inevitable.

You walked with the quake. That was the way it always was, wasn’t it? Your coming was the signal for the coming of the quake. Someone long ago had told you that. Someone whose words were the truth for you. You ran from the quake always, but the times that it was late, you worried and almost wished it would strike soon. After all, how could the self fulfilling prophecy be wrong? Someone long ago had told me of the havoc you could wreak. But I was given no tools to recognise you, no plan to protect the house from you. So when you came, I just let you in, just like I have always let everyone in.

You seemed to admire the house. The cracks were strategic, even pretty you said. They gave the home a character. You talked of strengthening the house, painting over the cracks. No traveller had talked that way. For them, it was just an Inn. You seemed to call it home, but I could somehow feel that you didn’t mean it. You feared the quake and at that time, I didn’t know.

The rumbling had begun. I could feel it but for sometime I thought my ears were playing tricks on me. It registered somewhere that it was a quake coming, but I told myself it couldn’t be. I asked you if you heard anything. Didn’t you smile and say no? Didn’t you hold me tighter saying you feared it too but you didn’t see it coming and that I must have imagined it? You had told me of your quake nightmares so I trusted you knew better. That night we hugged each other close as we slept, I still felt the rumbling, but I let it be.

At dawn I could no longer ignore it. Then the first slab fell and I woke up. I felt for you beside me but you had already woken up. You were at the door, all ready to run. But you said it wasn’t coming I cried. And you replied, well I walk with the quake so it had to happen. So matter-of-fact your voice was. You never wanted to stop it, I understood. You had wished it away for a while, but you believed that was your destiny. And even before I could cry out in anger, I could see you had a counter to every question if mine. You were going to walk away, maybe laughing at the illusion you created or cry that you couldn’t control the quake. Either way, my house was going down and you walked away because you never had any.

When the sun rose I stood by the road, in front of the heap that was the house. It was all a-rubble and it was all I had and it was still mine. I still had a place. The neighbours wept silently with me. But we couldn’t wait beyond afternoon, we had to get to work. Each of us started piecing things back. We gathered what was intact, we fixed what was fixable. We chased away the robbers too. This was the first time I felt that good intentions might not be enough. And yet, aren’t they always the foundation of beautiful edifices?

I could see the path you walked on. I could be the quake harbinger too. But I still had my land and I could still build an edifice here. I didn’t have to wander away from what I had built. Yes, it was now a rubble. But then it was old and wearing away. Now I could build something new. I am not alone, the neighbours help with the logs, the fresh mortar. There is that boy who loves the way I lay the bricks. There is the old woman who thinks my paint is good. There are some old cracks still there in the remaining part. But there is more mortar we have all got.

I had waited for you till evening, but from the next day, I have only built my house. I had one before you and now I am building one after you. Its already taking shape. I can see the neighbourhood growing too. And I hear there are some settlers on the way to this town. I didn’t need the quake, but now that I have a new home that I am building, maybe it will only get better. And this home would stand all the quakes in the future.

The ex-files – Soch lo

(Submission for the Soch lo contest on indiblogger)

What if your partner’s ex wants them back? Well, shoot the ex, as in who cares what the ex wants? I would be more concerned about what my partner wants. I would ask my partner what do they have to say about the Return of the Big EX. If there is any amount of hesitation in deciding who they want to be with, I would just say dude, I am leaving, good times to you and ex. If your partner cannot for whatever reason decide, that is not your problem, its his (using the male pronoun as I am a female). Just like taking a decision is a choice, sitting on the fence is also a choice and every choice has its consequences. You are not obliged to sit on the fence wall with Humpty Dumpty just because he is scared to climb down or hates or is confused about the ground on either side. You are entitled to your walk in the garden without a bumpy ride.

That said it also depends on how the ex and your partner broke up. In most cases, there never is a justification to return. If say your partner had been the bad person, maybe the ex needs to get their head examined as to why they want to return. If the ex was a bad person, then your partner of course, has no reason to return. But if the ex was the bad person and your partner seems to waver at the offer, you really need to rethink your relationship. Why is your partner behaving this way, are they alright?

A lot of times people use exes like some back up plan, even unconsciously, running to them for consolation when something else fails in life, if not for a new relationship but atleast to get some support for old times’ sake. There are very few exes who can be good friends, lets say 1% of the population. The rest of the 99% keeps in touch because of unfinished business and by this I refer to the numerous couples who do not have kids together. If you have kids, it’s a totally different story.

Someone wants the ex to one day finally realise that they made a mistake in leaving. Some others keep in touch because they don’t want to face the fact that they had been the jerk or jerkette. Some genuinely believe that they are trying to be friends and are really not aware of the fact that they are actually trying to avoid being seen as the bad or uncool person who wont talk. Its an evasion of either guilt or the reality of the end of the relationship. Some others are keeping in touch waiting for that one moment or moments of vindication, when they can tell the ex what you sow, so shall you reap. The cycle of emotional manipulation that the two started during the relationship continues much after it ends. What’s amazing is that for practical purposes, these two people have moved on, they now have new partners, but even then they keep in touch for some ego validation, forgetting that in the process they are disrespecting their current partner.

In very rare circumstances, both the parties have matured to such an extent that they can put the past aside and start afresh, but most people still have trust issues after getting back. So it is very important for both parties to actually know their own real motive in getting back. Is it to get validation, vindication, make the past alright or to actually have a better future together? Are they trying to numb out the past rejection by trying to get back?

And if you are the new partner caught in the ex drama, all I have to say is, if your partner hesitates, then they have dug their own grave. You are fully justified in leaving them to their fate. If they go back to their ex and find that they want you after all, then that is their problem. You surely deserve someone who wants you all the time and not as an afterthought. So if they waver, please walk out. Don’t be party to a drama that two people want to create. You deserve a drama free life, especially when the drama is not of your own creation at all. But if your partner comes to you and says that the ex wants to come back but they don’t want to go, hold on to dear life. You have a keeper on hand.