My Comeback

It’s been some time since I wrote last. I hope I still have that flair to express and write that I thought I used to. It’s been a long and trying journey, these two years that I’ve been away. I totally shut myself off from the world in terms of social media, uninstalled the messaging and media file sharing apps from my phone. I was using the so-called smartest phone (as my friends mockingly call the iPhone I possess) just like a basic feature phone. Secluding myself gave me some space to heal. No one to answer to the usual and casual questions, how are you, what’s up, what’s happening in your life, let’s catch up some time, where have you been, etc. The fact that I can’t give untrue, made up or diplomatic answers, which is very essential at times, made me succumb to the solitude. Loneliness becomes solitude when you are depressed and you still don’t know it.

Few very old associates whom I had happened to meet by chance either while waiting in front of someone’s office or through some common friend and hit the same frequency instantly, got in touch with me as usual, after about a couple of months or so as was the typical way of our association in the past 10 years? Yeah, it’s been that long now when I sit and think about it. They stood the test of time. We hardly exchanged any pleasantries in cell phone messages but occasionally did planned to meet, wished each other on festivals. I remember all those meet ups distinctly and fondly, especially because there was no agenda. We just wanted to meet.

One such friend always used to keep in touch wherever I went, whatever I did and whatever happened with me or to me in my real life or virtual (yeah, talking about the time when I used to be in the fad group of voicing my opinions and writing provocative…not inflammatory, statements depending on the frame of mind I used to be in on social networking sites). No, that person isn’t a stalker but a genuine acquaintance, and now a friend for life. He keeps extremely busy and yet finds time for his friends and family. An ideal man. I always admired him for his mental strength after being through one of the biggest losses one can ever have (Don’t wish to elaborate on this). I earnestly hope and pray I become like him one day.

So, talking about friendships… I think today we’re following the American way of friendship. I take this liberty to state this after having long chats with a close neighbour who’s recently returned after a good year of studying with multi-national citizens in the US, an old friend who shifted base to the Gulf after having served in India and then US too, another close colleague-turned-friend who’s now settled and working in the States. Very sensible and grounded lot. They have interacted with many people from various parts of the world and had varied observations about all of them. And their words commonly resonate with many others who’ve been on deputation to countries like Nigeria, Vietnam, South Africa, different states of US, the UK, Ireland, and so on. Advantages of working in the IT industry if you may call it so. So, how friendship happens these days here, in the metropolitan cities at least… There are different kinds of friendships, often in form of different groups for different activities you do together. For example, the weekend in US starts on Friday, people leave offices early and go partying or meet friends, go to pubs, etc. Saturday continues in pretty much the same fashion and Sundays are religious days. So, if you happen to meet them elsewhere other than your usual hangout places, they probably won’t show recognition and that’s perfectly normal. Being an Indian, this is unimaginable, for me 😊

(Please note that the views expressed here are solely on the basis of what I’ve heard from my foreign-returned associates. No offence meant to anybody as I am aware there are exceptions always. We have few foreigner family friends who adopted our culture just like one amongst us. They even placed a Ganesha idol on their car deck ‘coz its auspicious and even got His tattoo inspired with the faith in Him.)

free bird

Picture courtesy

Coming back to myself, I’ve changed a lot in the last six years. I can now analyse people better, I know how to protect myself from being vulnerable in situations where unnecessary details need not be divulged to quench people’s curiosity. In fact, the obligation to answer I used to feel earlier when someone used to ask me something, I now tackle it totally differently. I smile, give a courteous answer and ask about them very briefly and excuse myself for taking their leave. Often, it’s not concern that’s making them interested but I revel in the fact that they are and why not let them keep guessing 😉 I have learnt one good thing – the more you are able to hold the element of secrecy, people just can’t rule you out. It does my psyche a lot of good. If not anything, it’s a good esteem booster after going through a bad patch in relationships 😀 (relationships: not just in personal life, professional life plays a big role as we spent most of our day inside the office with various colleagues, people you have to interact with for your sustenance needs, like – the ill-mannered shopkeeper who keeps your preferred milk packets & won’t give you the change, make faces when you pay & request to keep the packets in their storage till you shop for veggies, the pesky neighbour who takes you for granted for being at home every weekend for trusting with their keys & which in turn you need to hand over to their multiple maids coming at different timings, the perpetual complainant of anything & everything that stops working in the apartment…phew!) To hell with them!

Not that am bothered about whether they’re including me anywhere but it gives me the feeling of being in demand and, most importantly, ‘without being a snob’. Being an open book is of no help. It gives people chance to judge without being in our shoes. Besides that, if there’s something I’d fight to avoid, is being a coffee table topic. So, I chose to be off the radar and I think it’s one of the biggest reasons that helped me in the process of my healing.

Will be back soon with some interesting stuff… 😉
Torque Earnest

P. S. To all who liked my posts so far, the readers, the followers, friends, friends of friends & even those whom I don’t know but have inquired about me with different associates in my absence, it’s been very heart warming to hear about it. Thank you so much! _/\_


The Fears of a Heart

The fears of a heart…
I love someone, more than one can display as an art.
A silent wish escapes my lips today, in front of the God who once lived, oh Father!
To take away the love from my small heart
‘Coz now we don’t talk, we don’t see each other.

There was a time when we used to steal kisses in middle of the sea
Now it’s a new partner he seeks, not our dreams or my plea.
All this ‘coz of his dear ones, said he
What do you call this if not destiny for me?

I remember the day that brought us together
It was the month of May & afternoon of a holiday.
Destiny played its role so neat, he knew his heart skipped a beat.
I was like a princess wandering in my fantasy land, unaware that I had caught someone’s eye.
Then came June, out of the summer’s bloom
It was a blessed day, when the three Gods went their way – ‘Ulto roth’ they say.

It was hard to tell if he was even acting sane
Because I remained as poised & calm as the same.

They say I am a fighter, but barely do they know the lover behind my rough armour.
He approached with love in his smile, hope in his eyes, trust in his heart
It was the first time I saw a man as mine.
Unknown as the dark, sweet & sour as lime,
Unaware, I went along oblivious of the slime.

Three long years went by, our boat rocked & jived
With loads of prayers & hopes gone to the hive.
No one knows the fears of a heart
When an intense relationship catches a wrong spark
I love someone, more than one can display as an art.

Every day his last words ring in my ears…
Have some self respect & call me never.
Thus I went away as far as I could
To fool my heart & as my dignity cried I should…

I don’t know if today is a day that brought us close or tore us apart
But a silent wish escapes my lips & is deep in my heart… in front of the same helpless God.
I love him more than I can display as an art.

I dream of you not every night

I dream of you…
Not every night but at nights when I don’t see you.

I remember you…
Not every day but while doing anything without you.

I have a hope…
Not that you’ll come back but that some day you’ll want me with you.

I pray for you…
Not every moment but whenever I talk to God.

I have an apology…
Not for you but for all the times I have hurt you.

I love you…
Not more than myself but more than you.

I miss you…
You’ll know how, if you’ve loved someone somehow.

But I know you…
You think I lie & I know I don’t mean anything to you.

The Night Caller’s Dilemma

It was just another monotonous day with the routine writing and editing work I was hired to do. All my writers were freelancers which ensured there was no meeting anybody. Just the big office with the sound of ACs (air conditioners) droning. The two small breaks were invariably spent near the coffee machine in the cafeteria with two tables. You couldn’t talk about personal stuff and surely not the bosses if you didn’t intend to get fired because every soul could hear each other breathe given the humble cafeteria space. The only amusing thing on the floor was the newcomer who had just joined as a Night Caller.

The name was Shawn. A well dressed guy of average height, chubby face, spiky hair and round eyes. He seemed to have this air of superiority about himself over us others. After all, we didn’t belong to the BPO (business process outsourcing) sector and were just novices who didn’t know the accented English pronunciation, would fumble even when a local phone rang on our desks, and of course how could I forget to mention the typical Indian summer dressing sense that we have! His Armani jeans & Versace jacket spoke volumes of our unfathomable fashion sense in the scorching heat. His eyes were the most amusing feature of his personality though. You’ll know why…

So, while we were furiously at work on our workstations he would nicely roll his phone in his palm and peer into it as if he’s just received the most important mail of his life. The eyes spoke so and also the lips that puckered into an O shape whenever he glanced at the small screen! Then he would fashionably put on a brand new headphone every other day for hygiene reasons and insist with authority that no one else touch it.

One day, when finally it dawned upon him that the office had a coffee machine, he got himself the metallic cup with a spoon and sugar at the bottom. He was lost as usual in his own corner and two screens with the occasional O shaped mouth opening and shutting every now and then. He seated himself and sat stirring the coffee so mindfully that it attracted all our attention and we were all gaping at the source of sound that was pretty evident apart from the usual AC droning. I bent a little more forward than others to have a look at the tinkling sound and suddenly conscientiousness dawned upon him. He very slowly turned his head with the most sheepish look on his chubby face and whispered a meek “sorry” and my funny bone gave way. I laughed uncontrollably… To my horror, the next thing I notice was he was walking towards me! Thankfully enough, he went inside his boss’ cabin.

Few days passed by but the perpetual expression of amazement in his eyes didn’t seem to leave his face. It seemed that every order that his boss gave came as a new task to him that he had never heard of. I kept observing through the corner of my eyes and couldn’t help bursting out laughing yet again looking at my screen posing as if I had just read some hilarious joke while editing the medical finance article. He did seem to notice my laughter and sometimes just slightly he used to glance in my direction, shake his head and go back to his amazing work. So much so that now I was really curious as to what his profile was.

The next day I thought I will strike up a conversation whenever our eyes met. As luck would have it, the moment he came in with the same Armani jeans & Versace jacket, our common boss called us both in, introduced to each other and then I was assigned yet another task which I wasn’t paid for. More importantly, a task which I wasn’t even acquainted with. This challenge never stopped me from imagining myself placed on a border control office where you are expected to do anything and everything that your senior dumps on you. So, the first look into his eyes and a handshake it was. I had to write a ‘script” for this caller! I had no idea what that was. Anyway, thankfully I could control my laughter looking at my source of amusement in the face.

I asked him seriously, ‘what is your profile?” and he had that same look on his face and said, “I have no idea! They gave me a list and said start calling.” Needless to say I was trying hard to not show my teeth as I clenched them within my lips. I asked, “call whom and for what purpose?” Shawn said, “I have no clue! They didn’t brief me anything. I have to figure it out.”

Me: What is expected of you? And what is this script that the Manager spoke of?

Shawn: Ah! You need to give me what I am supposed to talk. That’s a script.

Me: I don’t know what you should be talking! What’s your target?

Shawn: (in a whisper) These guys didn’t brief me anything! I have no idea what to talk!

Me: You are from the BPO, right? You know calling! Is it inbound or outbound?

Shawn: I know calling but I don’t know the purpose yet! I have both kind of calls, inbound & outbound. They have given me this international number on which I keep receiving these phone calls.

Me: From whom and about what?

Shawn: Look, I told you I have no clue whatsoever. I didn’t have an induction yet.

Me: But you are here for over a month!

Shawn: Yes, tomorrow I am gonna tell me to brief me & at least tell me the basics of the business.

Me: Do that.

The next day I was too occupied and irritated with the promotional activities for marketing campaigns and e-mailers because we had to redo each and every task involved in the process from scratch. After a long day of repetitive work, I was about to leave when I saw Shawn sitting at his desk with the usual shaking of head and amused look on his face.

Me: Hey! Did you have your induction finally?

Shawn: Nope. But I have got my briefing.

Me: Oh! (sigh) That’s nice… Now you can plan.

Shawn: Yeah, right. The presentation was simple and short:

Presentation Slide 1: Introduction / Induction –

This company needs business.

Presentation Slide 2: Conclusion / Briefing –

Get business anyhow.

Shawn: (seriously) Now, I just have to figure out what the company’s business is all about. Can you help me with that?

Manager: (crept up from behind) Done with the list I had given you Shawn? How many did you call?

Me: (rolling on the floor laughing)

∗   All in a day’s work!!!   ∗

Looking for my Worth on the Highway

Trakiya highway in Bulgaria
Sitting at the window sill overlooking the NH4 highway… There’s a road that joins the two important cities. I wonder if there’s any path that joins two hearts. Two stranded hearts one of which is sinking with no hope and the other misguided with… It is a difficult phase that tears you apart when you are helpless and know there’s nothing to look forward to. The failure of a pure love and a trust that comes with a bond. Depression and nothing else becomes your companion.

The feeling of morose is so overwhelming that you turn blind towards your achievements and forget the worth you have. No amount of consoling words help you when someone repeatedly betrays your trust and punishes you for sins you don’t even know you have committed. The achievements and accolades of years fade in front of the grief of being abandoned. I like my solitude but feel lonely. I followed my principles and many a times bent too to save the disaster. Isn’t it heart wrenching when people don’t understand the difference between ego and self respect?

The number of males is more in my country than females. I also know that there fewer men who stand up for themselves if not for the right. I wish I too had a support when injustice had captured me in those four walls. I kept waiting for him to come and there wasn’t even a phone call. I kept my faith. A firm belief that he hadn’t earned. May be that’s where I was wrong but am happy I fulfilled my part of the promise. I never went out of communication. I tried and kept trying but as they say poison is stronger than any emotional string… The path between the two hearts were broken and poisoned beyond measure.

The highway is always busy but the two ends remain the same. The two cities that it connects are there to complete the journey. But I am lost and wish no one loses their path that connects their heart to that one person for whom you can sacrifice anything. Let me get up and find my worth. It has lost somewhere on the highway. An accident that cannot repair the damage it caused.

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