Writing 101 Day 4: Fresh wounds of Loss

I’ve never really felt lasting loss. Whenever a major conflict occurred in my life, it was resolved reasonably quickly with minimal permanent damage… I think it’s safe for me to say that I’ve never really experienced true loss.

I’ve never really felt lasting loss. Whenever a major conflict occurred in my life, it was resolved reasonably quickly with minimal permanent damage. My class 9 event – an orchestrated falling out with my friends – didn’t last beyond a day for a couple, and a few years with the others.  My class 10 white lie expulsion scare lasted all of 1 evening. My lack of direction after finishing high school was resolved quickly with my admission to Christ University and with my father making the decision for me. Lucky for him, it turned out to be the 3 most satisfying, fulfilling years of my life, so I have no beef with him on that aspect of my life. I graduated at the top of my class this year, with the best employment opportunity in the deanery, and one of the best in the University. I also have a loving family, one that is pretty functional actually, despite its quirks and eccentricities, and I’ve been in a fulfilling, loving relationship for 2 years now. I think it’s safe for me to say that I’ve never really experienced true loss.

I had thought about writing this particular post 3 weeks ago, with the point of view of my sister, who has had as dreadful a 2014 as I have had a great one – substandard results in her school board exams, and none of her entrance exams really worked out, either because of a bad result or because of family drama over the girl child leaving the house to live in a hostel for her education. It angers me how my parents have played with that plan on and off, getting her hopes up and then tearing them down only because of their lack of sureness and my father’s jumping the gun, but I can at least appreciate their insecurity because now both their children will be living away from them. I have felt intense loneliness, and I know how damaging it feels, so I can forgive my parents for the ordeal they put their daughter through (she won’t though, for the time being). What I cannot forgive is the narrow-minded, invasive, unapologetic, old coots that I have for relatives that think their word is law. Those relatives who have literally contributed nothing to our growth these past many years are now jumping queues to come and tell my father what a mistake he’s making, as if he’s bound to obey them because they’re older. Their sons, my cousins, jumped in to save her, and I found out much later. Otherwise I would have made enough calls and said enough things that my father would be apologising for many years to come, doting relative that he is.
Nonetheless, she is going to a college not in Kolkata, and it is prestigious (ranking among the top 15-20 colleges in the country for said program), but the problem is that before the exam, no one talked about it. Everyone kept saying “Top 5 or bust”, and it got repeated so often that my sister went the same way as the average Indian student – parroting out those words to fulfill someone’s else’s standards. She got so caught up in “Top 5 or bust” that when it didn’t work out, she cried. At that time, when people would come and tell her that this particular college was also excellent, it obviously would not console her. It feels like a slap in the face, as if handing a consolation prize or a participation badge and beaming at the person as if they’d won the grand one. It is humiliating and degrading, rather than uplifting, and if setting expectations high and then beaming at consolations were a crime, then my father would be a first-degree criminal on death row.

Though that is not what this post is about. I know it’s stupid that I put in such a big paragraph if that was not the point, but it was the original motivation. She’s okay now, she’ll be going to the aforementioned college next week and she’s happy. Somewhere along the way she stopped crying, took a deep breath and gave up (or let go, however you want to look at it), so she’s pretty enthused now to just get out of our house.

I’m really very angry right now, which is why I am writing. I beat myself up for a lot of things, but I don’t for my anger – my anger is special to me. I’m very quick-tempered, and I get angry way too often, and way too hard – it’s been this way for many, many years now. It happens so often, that I actually believe that I’ve turned that anger into at least a constructive force, if not positive. For quite a while now, I’ve been able to channel my milder anger into positive things – writing, drawing, exercise, jokes. I even clean when I’m angry. Maybe you’re thinking about the clichéd compulsive cleaner, but I’m not that. I live in a bachelor pad – a well maintained and disciplined bachelor pad, but a bachelor pad nonetheless, and every now and then it returns to its expected form. My greater bursts of anger are still difficult for me to handle though. I’m working on it though.

I’m angry right now for two reasons – the first being that one of my roommates broke my glasses by accident. Why am I angry if it was an accident? Because tomorrow at work I have to stare at a computer screen for 9 hours and I don’t think I have a spare pair of glasses. Just a few days ago, as I exited my home, I remembered that I wasn’t wearing my glasses and decided to leave them be because my eyesight isn’t too bad without them. I suffered that day. So I decided not to skip out on wearing glasses, and that option has been taken from me.

Secondly, I have now discovered one particular kind of person I don’t like. I generally actively try to avoid hating things personally, by not using the word ‘hate’ in regular conversation and by trying to tone down my immediate reactions. That being clarified, I HATE a particular sort of person – a person who does not admit to or want to learn from his own mistakes. I may be subconsciously comparing myself to the person in question[*].  I came across two instances today. The first, one roommate knocked over a couple of bottles while trying to position an item on a table, his 7th clumsy mistake in the last 3 days. The second, being the roommate who broke my glasses (the second pair he’s broken in a week), and is belligerent and completely unwilling to admit a mistake. He did say sorry, but I didn’t feel any sincerity. Maybe it was just brashness on his part.

[*]I strongly believe I learn from my own mistakes and from others’ mistakes. I’ve been told this so many times as a principle to be imbibed, that I have imbibed it. I feel that with the bad way I treat myself, I’m not exaggerating this positive trait of mine. In fact, I think it is pretty f***ing astonishing that I’m able to do so. 🙂

So when I write about these, the loss I’m talking about is the loss of faith in these people. For all my outbursts and my general poop-flinging, I forgive others a lot. So it is pretty bad if I am unwilling to put faith in and forgive these people.

However, with these two events, I’m actually pretty damn proud of how I handled them. Where earlier I would have flown off the handle, and shouted really loudly every time, I didn’t. Instead, I answered both of them in a low, serious tone. My displeasure was clear, because now in these cases I find myself freezing – not moving for a few seconds while I analyze the situation, and then communicating. To the clumsy one, I said this – “This is the 7th time in the past 3 days. I’m not going to shout at you, but you should be asking yourself what is wrong with you.” To the brash one, I stood an eternity before saying “You’ll replace it?”, which he affirmed. I then proceeded to walk around, go into an isolated room and punch the wall a couple of times, and proceeding with cleaning.

With a major shift in my life now finally hitting me – college out, work in; not meeting my girlfriend everyday; giving up a greater portion of my day to a single activity; weight-loss regimen etc. – I haven’t given this blog its due time. I want to eventually finish this Writing 101 challenge that I’ve put off for so long, and then focus on a more personal form of writing (as above) that pertains to the new tagline and my principles of growth and evolution. These principles are now organically becoming more concrete in my lifestyle, and as I am wont to do, I will set them in stone by analyzing them and listing them out, in a future post. If you are a regular reader, then I’m sorry that I do this – I don’t post, then come back and go on a writing spree and then go away again. I can’t promise I’ll change it, but then again, I realize that I’m probably being hard on myself here again.

If it has bothered you, I’m sorry. Please comment below and tell me if I am justified in not having faith in my roommates anymore, and if I am really utilising anger well or if I’m simply rationalizing it. Also, please tell me off for not writing more, or tell me that it’s okay. 🙂

Thank you for reading. 🙂