Nostalgia.

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I heard my laptop go pop with an IM that said ” send me one of those speaking stickers ,they get me everytime ” .
And I did, with a message of my own.
” I miss this ” .
We often used to IM on MSN before they shut it down , for nostalgia’s sake. Took us back to the ‘ honeymoon’ phase .

As much as I didn’t want to admit, like every other relationship out there , ours had run it’s course too, but we were catching up to it, which kept it alive.
We often looked for ways to reminisce old dates , movie nights , even arguments to distract us from the now.
I realise that digging into the past to make the present bearable isn’t the right way to live , but what’s a life lived without a few wrongs.

I remember how I used to google complicated synonyms to impress her with my vocabulary . And how I used to talk about wordly topics only because she always did . That didn’t quite change because eventually I just talked about her ,which was as wordlyas ever , because she was – the least to say – my world.

She didn’t do relationships like my older girlfriends or my friends’ girlfriends did.
She didn’t sugarcoat anything, neither did she refrain from talking about awkward & uncomfortable things with me.
Which made me feel lucky in a way, unless she started talking about her menstrual cycle or blatantly started telling me about how she wanted to eat a sausage while maintaining eye contact with a good looking guy she saw in a restaurant.
She also didn’t pay attention.
She never gave anything a second thought.
She was also very pretentiously damaged, to say the least – but she was my pretentious bundle of beautiful damage – She’d often say stuff like
” I’m too busy pre-consciously running in a race , speeding to reach the day I die,Hun. And so is everyone else. There’s nothing worth second guessing around here . ”
And there never came a time when she didn’t catch me off guard.
But eventually I caught upto her, as far as I could , atleast.

I’d like to believe she was as impressive as I thought she was. But then I put more thought into it, and figured I probably just had Aria goggles on. The goggles which put Aria before everyone else, the goggles which made every annoying thing about her seem impressive.

But she just made everything better for me, and I wasn’t going to deny that.

Man scientifically may not have invented a way to go back in time yet, but anecdotes are nothing but a literary form of a time capsule.
There are times when you can’t get enough of something or someone in the past. And then there are times you want to forget and have no memory of.

The month of June in 2013 was the latter.

For a summer I spent every hour of every day with her , I would’ve never thought there will be a time I wouldn’t want to be reminded of it.

A summer when I didn’t know it would be her last .

I would call those 70 days rather beguile.
For I can’t think of a better summer , neither can I think of a worse one.

I can still play the whole incident in my head

It was 3:43 am when I received the call. Like always, she didn’t start the call with a conventional greeting. What is the point of all the Hi’s and Helloes when you know I’m calling to talk to you, why give into inexplicable social conformities when you’ll do just fine without them, she’d say.
” as cliché as this will sound when you narrate it to everyone, this nocturnal & slightly abrasive phone call is to tell you that I love you. I love your mainstream ideas for a date. I love how absurdly expressive you are. And I love how you love me. ”
And she hung up.
I was too drunk in love at that moment to realise how unlike Aria that gesture was.
Or maybe for once I wanted to believe she was thinking about me and that was nothing but a late night love binge.
But my heart knew better.

After 12 minutes of swimming in my puddle of all things sappy,at 3:55 I decided to call back.
She didn’t pick up.
4:02 am – 18 missed calls and desperate voice mails later , my phone flashed an unknown number.
4:38 am – I pushed through the emergency room doors, looking for something I knew I wouldn’t find.
4:50 am – I lifted my head up from her torso and my eyes found the clock, blurred with tears . Her body was cold and stiff, puddled in blood that should’ve been running through her veins.
Her brother rushed into the room behind me and I stepped back.
My head hurt and my every inch of my face was wet and salty. I didn’t cry very often- I actually didn’t cry at all – but I’d just lost the only person who mattered.

I snapped out of that to realise I was crying again. The past year had been one night after the other , with me replaying the incident in my head . I knew it was pathetic, it made me pathetic. and that was the kind of nostalgia I hated.

Wanderlust.

Standard

travel.

that word is as subjective as paradoxically universal it seems, for some to travel doesn’t even cover crossing oceans, for some it’s as far as crossing borders, for the mildly ignorant and juvenile teenagers in this city it means covering a distance of 15 kilometers of the 36 this city is made of , in a car they call their own and visit whatever the seasonal ‘place to be’ is.
Surprisingly, all this doesn’t sound half as bad as i made it to be to the previously mentioned teenagers. And as hypocritical as it sounds, i was well acquainted with some.

She was one of them. Or atleast I thought she was.

When you live in the same city,the same house all your life, you build your own ecosystem. It has people you want to be close to, people who want to be close to you, the family that chose you, the family that you choose, a slight romantic congnizance and the like. You grow up to evolve as a person, but you are limited to your own ecosystem. No matter how ‘out of the box’ you perceive you are, how radical your concepts are, they are – as disappointing as it sounds – the by products of the ecosystem.Some of us outgrow our own safe place by changing cities,meeting new people, trying to change ourselves, some of us are comfortable with whatever we have around us,some of us don’t fit in either of those categories. And she was the latter.

Like a lot of us, she yearned for stability despite being moored, but she also wanted to break down her ecosystem,build small ones everywhere she went – going everywhere she wanted to. She didn’t agree to what Tolkien said ” how sad is that people believe that not all those who wander are lost, for what fun it is to wander if you don’t let yourself be a little lost ” which is ridiculously literal but liberating and she completed it with ” but how scary it is to risk losing yourself in the process “. And like a lot of us, she was a conflicted contradiction.

She didn’t think about how anchored she was, she didn’t think much about anything at all, She also didn’t live in the moment, more like drift through many. Until the day she got an escape she never knew she needed. She traveled across 2 oceans, built a life in another continent, with her past rather clenching on to her like a rugged rope choking her throat being cut with a blunt tool. After 425 days of a soothing pandemonium, she was ready to fit into a new ecosystem.

I’d call it fate if i didn’t know better, but just as she was feeling accustomed to the refurbished walls that now surrounded her, circumstances swayed her across another ocean, where building new walls hurt, because they drifted in closer, and they -for the first time -felt harsh.

As she tried harder to smoothen up to them, this time, while building up an emotional fortress , she was trapped in herself. While evolving in a lucid ecosystem, she lost her wanderlust.