10th October 1991, Thursday when Roll No 638 bewitched me just to change the course of my perspective, priorities and preferences. Ever since then I began to live in a world of fantasy wherein everything revolved around him. Days definitely commenced with my routine customary prayers, but now they changed too. Imploring God to have a glimpse of Roll No 638 became its objective. Sleepless nights were spent weaving dreams of us together while days were spent supplicating that he does not play truant. But with each passing day, his reckless play-truant attitude gradually grew stronger, making my prayers more intense and his appearance less likely.
Twenty Eight long years, yet our first encounter is etched deep in my memory, every detail distinctively fresh and crisp. It was our college excursion where we had first met; with every eye contact no dialogues were exchanged yet our eyes spoke volumes making the day worth memorable. Distinctly reminiscing when he first appeared before me, with all his opulent personality, dressed in the most casual grey stonewashed jeans and white printed shirt, his chiselled jaw lifted with a sweet, pleasing smile accentuating his devil’s tooth, his eyes twinkling with impishness, his dark black hair neatly done behind and his voice though exuding pride yet was soothing and genial. He had an unusual lethal combination of sturdy, muscular physique and an incredible sense of humour (a combination almost extinct in men then). He was the Greek God per se, a bearer of a charming, smart and attractive demeanour. A complete package any girl would fall for. He had successfully cast his spell upon me that day.
He became the reason to regularly attend college. My eyes would scan the classroom only to rest on him and vice versa. His look would pulverize me, blushingly I would rip my eyes away from his. Less attention was on the lessons but more on his hilarious comments and mischief. He was roll no 638 and I was roll no 645, we occupied adjacent benches during exams. Being a regular student, my notes would always make rounds in the class. However, my adonis made use of them only during exams for cheating purposes. Thus my only motive to study for exams was to share my answer sheet with him in order to ensure that we remain class fellows.
Since we were pursuing science, laboratory sessions were an essential part of the course. He would be irregular for lectures but fortunately regular for lab sessions. I would always look forward for these sessions as we were to arrange ourselves as per our roll numbers. We shared the same lab counter for experiments. We had many instances where we bumped into each other, grabbed the same test tube or the same chemical but ironically spoke nothing just smiled and drew ourselves in different directions. With him around I was oblivious to the world around me. We would enjoy every silent and speechless conversation between us.
Probably, coming from a conservative family social barriers, fears and pressures prohibited us from being extrovert. Subsequently, deterring us to speak to each other too, but however, we shared an amazing oculesics communication.
Today, I sit back and traverse down the memory lane just to understand that life goes on. No one is indispensable and so is he. My life has moved on unfortunately without him but with beautiful memories of his charismatic smile, his humour filled one-liners and his devil-may-care attitude. Optimistically I believe his life too must have moved on successfully with someone worthy.
But, today while ruminating the past, I regret not speaking to him at least once! How I regret he could have taken the initiative to speak to me at least once (being the man)! How I wish we could express our feelings for each other in words! Why didn’t I ever muster up my courage and confess? Why didn’t he ever articulate his feelings into words?
I am positive, wherever he is, he might be still remembering me. As I still remember him. His well-being is always included in my prayers till date but crossing paths now after 28 years is always excluded.
Stay blessed wherever and whoever you are with …
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“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
The world knows it as Newton’s third law of motion, I am sure he wanted to say the Third Law of Emotion. Because, whatever you say or do, it tends to generate a certain kind of emotional reaction in other people. This is very evident in the case of social media celebrities – one tweet or one Instagram story from them and you can see all emotions flooding the comment section.
When I agreed to write about this topic, I was a little unsure if I can do it. Not because I do not have emotions. I do realize my eyes oozing out a teardrop when I am watching an emotional scene and my hand wisely wiping it off secretly before my wife finds out about this and mocks me. I was hesitant because I cannot even name many of the emotions. Just like I can recognize only basic colours on the rainbow and not all the shades on the paint company’s colour catalogue, I understand the basic emotions like fear, anger, and happiness but I cannot clearly identify the other emotions and feelings. Partly because, as men, we do not talk about other emotions much. It is not very common to hear two buddies, at least as I have observed, having conversations like “I am extremely anxious about this situation”, “This made me super emotional, I feel sad”, or “I am feeling ashamed”. Most of the conversations will be about positive emotions like pride, excitement & amusement.
Each one is different. In my case, many a time I catch myself going into an empty cocoon without thinking about anything. I don’t feel anything – neither happy nor sad, neither anger nor fear. I am calm. I think this is the enlightenment state that many spiritual leaders talk about. My wife doesn’t think so. She says I may have some sort of diurnal lagophthalmos. As a man who has not read “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”, I refuse to let her assumptions shake my belief. I was thinking maybe I am special until I found this video from Mark Gungor. The response from the crowd says how true this could be for all men. All men seem to get into a box (not the final one, although one day they will).
I am not an expert in this field. If I was, I would be publishing a book instead and charging for it. In order to learn more about emotions I started reading the book, “Master your emotions”. I must say that I was not too emotionally attached to the content and set it aside for another time. Like any normal human being slaving in the Information Technology world would do, I resorted to Dr.Google and asked, “Hey Google, how do men handle their emotions?” There were a bunch of articles both from experts and from wannabes like me. Some interesting ways that men use to handle their emotions, that caught my attention, are listed below.
The feelings may be expressed in the form of physical ailments. It looks like men tend to complain of sudden headaches, backaches etc when they are emotional. Have I done this before? I do get headaches and backaches but mostly they are either because I am sick or because of strenuous physical work like sitting in that uncomfortable seat in the flight for 9 hours. I do feel fatigued on certain days but that’s a rare occurrence. Otherwise, I was guilty of occasionally faking physical complaints to avoid a certain situation or people. Maybe that was my way of expressing disinterest? Is disinterest an emotion? Not sure. Only experts can say.
Men remodel one feeling into other feelings. They tend to convert emotions that they perceive as weak like sadness into an emotion that they feel is strong, like anger. The belief that it is okay for men to express anger but not sadness could be because the former is considered as a more masculine feeling. We have all done that. When I feel incredibly sad about how little common sense few people have, I turn the hulk mode on and smash that like button, err, smash whatever is in hand. I miss my Nokia 3310. Sigh!
Walking away is the default survival instinct. When men find themselves in an emotional situation they tend to walk away from that place or situation to calm themselves down. Be it when you are arguing with your better half or when you are in a group where the stupidity hits the fan. I have walked away from a lot of arguments when I sense that my heartbeat is rising up. But with this Corona fiasco on, not many people have the luxury of walking away from an argument. Please remember facing the conflict and having that argument with your wife is far healthier than going away and risking your life.
Is it really a blog post if you don’t leave a quote at the end to ponder about? Here is the food for thought on handling emotions from an anonymous person that is generally attributed to Lord Buddha (or Mark Twain, if you know what I mean) on the internet.
“Don’t promise when you are happy, don’t reply when you are angry and don’t decide when you are sad.”
Date: 24.3.2020 Dear Irut, Subject: This too shall pass.
Its been long since we spoke last. Hope you are doing good and enjoying late morning breakfasts and a rhythmic array of eat-sleep-repeat while you blog, design and shoot in your empty spaces. However, I write this letter to you to tell you that I am so Proud of you. All the catastrophic episode which you have been starring in, have passed by without dimming your sparkle. Even this too shall pass. Focus on the tiny winks, clasp on them till it becomes a memory. Enjoy and strengthen your bonds with your family and get more closer to your creator. This too shall pass. Make every moment worth remembering and cherishing. Your brain cells have been working overtime these days to outgrow your nervousness. Major plunge in your funds, an inevitable dilemma, I can understand. But, darling, since when did monetary roller coasters start keeping you up at night. You’re stronger than you think, you have been through a tougher time than this. And, this too shall pass. Build your faith stronger and focus on the good. Let tomorrow get its luggage and unveil it tomorrow. Go with the flow, love. As this too shall pass.
Love, Irut. Subconscious, Positivism and Motivational Department.
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