Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year Resolutions

The last year has been sort of a scorched-Earth experience for me. As an example, of the last two months that have gone by - also the time when my writing here recommenced - I've spent about 40-45 of those days at home, in bed with my computer, drowning myself in whatever media I could find. I'm not proud of this. But try as I might, I couldn't get myself to move. The closest I can come to comparing this experience is the time when I went through a bad break-up. Atleast then I had friends and a legit reason to mope. This time, no legit reason, and hence nothing to say, even to friends.

But this enforced solitude has also given me pause. It's given me time to think, time to examine what it is that I could have done differently. The truth is, I'll never know. Hindsight is stellar, but it doesn't prepare you for anything. The singular truth is that things change, whether we want them to or not. And the only thing we can do is make ourselves more damage-resistant by creating more life support systems.

On that note, I have compiled a list of resolutions that I want to keep for this year.
  1. I shall be better at how I love and what I write.
  2. I shall be healthier.
  3. I shall earn more, invest more and spend more.
  4. I shall dip my feet in an ocean I haven’t felt before.
  5. I shall not feel very sorry for myself.
  6. I shall finish what I start.
  7. I shall redo my place even if it’s a giant pain in my ass. It’s my place.
  8. I shall listen to more music. Maybe even take lessons.
  9. I shall actively work on my relationships with friends and family.
  10. I shall forgive more easily.
And tonight, I shall kiss someone who makes me laugh and wonder why I ever worried. 

Here's to a year with lesser carnage and more laughter.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Aliens Aboard!

The party season is on. And I haven’t felt more isolated than this, right here, right now. 

Over the last two years or so, I’ve spent a lot of time examining people. My friends, family, total strangers - no one has been free of this scrutiny. And simultaneously, I’ve held myself under a microscope - my motivations, desires, needs, etc. I have done this because I believed in an ideology - the possibility of freedom - and in its achievability. At the end of this year, I find myself up against a wall that has come up between me and that vision, a wall that just doesn’t show any indication of moving. As a result, I find myself stuck inside this rather large but pretty solo existence, cut off from the people out there, unable to really connect. An alien in a land I used to inhabit.

It’s quite lonely. What’s worse is that I see the people around me and I find myself not really WANTING to connect with them. The terrible part is that while normally, I'm the one who decides when I get to switch off and switch on, this time I feel helpless and out of my depth. Truthfully, I’d like nothing better than to be able to have a few laughs, to dance like no one’s watching, to use the sassy turn of phrase that’s my “move” at parties - but that Alien in my head just won’t shut up. It’s constantly saying things like “Really? You really want to know who he is? Do his torn denim pants intrigue you, or is it the fact that the 1990s seem to be back and making a home in his wardrobe?” That alien is also mean! 

Then I yo-yo to the “meaningful" ideological side of the conversation - the kind of stuff that has been my jam lately - and even there, the minute I hear someone utter the words like “You must follow your dreams”, I want to projectile vomit into an expensive dinner bowl being carried by someone wearing an expensive Vera Wang dress in an expensive home filled with expensive curios. 

When I look for comfort in the arms of an ex-lover, I can almost feel my skin peeling off my bones as the Alien says, “Really? Him? All these years of living and it’s him??” While one ex says, “Come over, let me cook you dinner” and the other says, “I’ve always wanted to find out what it would have been like if we had actually gotten together for real”, all I want to say, while desperately trying to keep my skin in place, is “Not you."

It’s like I’m going through a phase of checking the Not Applicable box in a survey that asks impossible questions like “What do you really want?” and “What are you good at?” and “Who are your people?” Somedays, as I stare at the wall in front of my bed, covered with drawings I’ve done in crayon, and I feel that if I could just lie there forever, not answer the phone or the door and just dissolve into air, a little at a time, until at the end of the day, there's nothing left of me, wouldn’t that be a good thing.

My friend told me that I'm being too maudlin these days. But I can't seem to shake off this feeling. I go to a party, or to a quiet dinner and I see the people around me and they all look like they’re pretending. Pretending to be happy or satisfied or interested or creative or chirpy or important or happy… like everyone is wearing a mask that allows just the most superficial interactions before alarm bells go off. And the thing is, I’m almost grateful for the masks. It means then that I don’t have to deal with the really scary stuff the masks are hiding.

Because if the masks slip, we’ll see that we are in truth, total and utter savages, with no real love or affection for anything else except ourselves. Or that we’re just non-existent grey limbo and all this introspection and navel gazing and life-examining is pure shit. Maybe that will be a relief. 

Because right now, I’m just exhausted being me.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Letter to the Future Love of My Life

Dear You, 

I say this with the utmost affection and love and respect, but you’re going to have a few very confusing months ahead of you. But you’ll get through them like a champion. You know how I know this? Because the others didn’t.

I started this note with the intention of giving you a few pointers about how to navigate the hot mess that is me. And I just realized something - almost all my pointers are about what the “other guys” said and did or didn’t do and how to avoid the nastiness that followed. I was going to tell you about how I’m a disaster and have trust issues and will mostly need a lot of patience and understanding and how my standards are too high etc - and then i realized that I was only repeating those things that the others have said about me - the others who are NOT the love of my life.

So why try and fit you into a box vacated by people who are just not good enough to be compared with you? This is not to say that you won’t have your set of problems with me, but I’m guessing they will be problems I haven’t thought about or tried to fix already. They will be new, and unique to your set of deal-breakers and nothing I do or say will prepare me for them. What will happen is that when you come into my life, I’ll finally know what it is that everyone has been going on about - love? Pfuitt! What is that? And you will show me and I will be speechless and terrified and awestruck and so grateful that you found me. 

All I can hope for is that I won’t bolt before the words have even settled into their meanings and I hope that I won’t see the actions and the intentions of all the Boyfriends Past in the words that you say. Because you will be the love of my life, and that makes you a pretty unique person. 

So as  favor to myself, I’m going to try and write down my end of the deal, my part of what I think would be an immensely awesome relationship deal. When times are tough - and they will be - I want you to let us take a breather and remind me to read these words again:

  1. I promise to trust that you are the love of my life and as such, you have my best interests at heart.
  2. I promise to remember that you are what I have been waiting for my whole life, the one who gets me in ways that are scary and fun and nightmare-inducing and joyous.
  3. I promise to try and fight fair. Try. In case I don’t, please know that I already know I did something wrong and you can bet I shall apologize very quickly if I haven’t already.
  4. I promise that all my apologies will be sincere.
  5. I promise that I will improve my cooking. Cooking for someone is one of the ways I express my love for them… and I’d like what I cook to be good for that reason.
  6. I promise to always try and tell my truth at any given moment. This is honestly the best I can do because I’m also someone who takes time to process my feelings and to arrive at a concrete truth. But the minute I do, you will know that too.
  7. I promise to remember that you’re not perfect and that it’s not a bad thing. The important thing is that you’re just perfect for me - even on those days when you’re trampling every nerve in my body to breaking point. Particularly then.
  8. I promise to remind myself that you're not a mind-reader and you deserve to know what I'm thinking and how I'm reaching life-altering conclusions about my.. our life. I promise to try and include you in my mental life.
  9. I promise to remember what I loved about you in the early days and what I love about you today and that agreeing with me all the time probably wasn't on that list ever. 
  10. I promise to remember to kiss you - like, really kiss you - at least once a day. No carry forwards. Even on days I don't feel like it.
  11. I promise to pay you at least one heartfelt compliment everyday. Because sometimes I tend to keep it in my head. I say, "Wow, he is really bright..." and tend to forget that I didn't say it out loud.
  12. I promise to be flexible about this list, and keep adding and.. adding.. because I really do want you, and am willing to work at keeping you.
Almost every second day, I’m with some friend or the other at my neighborhood watering hole. And most days, the conversation flows around work, and who's doing whom how well and for how long… And it’s so boring. Like… pointless. And I realized something. I’m so bored with ‘doing’ and being ‘done’. For now, I’m in the mood for romance, for whispered stories in bed, for full body kisses - you know, the kind where your whole body is held and the kiss is deep and all-consuming - and for that feeling of fearlessness…

And I want you to know. You’re it. You’ve given me all these things. And if I'm the love of your life, then we're on the verge of The. Best. Romance. Ever.

It’s just that sometimes, I may need to be reminded. 


Thursday, December 4, 2014

How An #FBCHAT Changed The Face Of Indian Daily Soaps - for 45 seconds

It all started when I posted a normal, run of the mill update on FB. My friend Shorey, a lover of all things TV and now into crowd funding for worthy creative projects, pinged me. What follows is a tiny look into how free-wheeling 21st Century Indian daily soaps could look like - if WE had any say in it :D

(Warning: Some colloquial Hindi)

Naalaayak! Kaam waam nahi hai……. FB pe timepass ho raha hai
(You worthless piece of poo-poo.... wasting time on FB)

Haan, true hai ji
(Yep, that's true)

uff!!!! yeh aaj kal ki ladkiyan….
(Gosh! This generation's kids......)

haan! Yeh sach hai!! Main aaj kal ki ladki hi hoon!
*sounds of chudiyaan breaking*
(Yes! It's true.. I AM a kid of this generation!
*sound of shattering glass bangles)

*close up of shocked faces in slow motion, repeat with color change*

*Cue heroine running out of room in tears*

*... Hero crying in one corner so no-one sees him… So metrosexual macho *ugh*

Mother in law immediately updates Facebook with #familydrama

Sister in Law calls Heroine LS and tweets #whatabitch

And says "my poor bro is trapped #blindlyinlove"

Heroine's family immediately deletes the whatsapp family group and starts another one

Meanwhile the heroine's sis secretly looks for guys for the Heroine on Tinder

And discovers the Hero's Tinder Profile!! *Cue more tears and horror

The heroine's brother BBm's all his bros to go and beat the crap out of the Hero….. After all GPS tracking is easy.. His best friend is a techie

But his friends say "Dude, you're still using BB?!" And immediately unfriend him

Sub Plot starts….. The bro starts stalking his BFF's GF on her secret MY Space page….…...

Where he finds porn clippings of her and her brother - who, mid scene, discovers he's adopted and loses his libido…

What will Happen now? Will the Heroine’s brother’s best-friend’s girlfriend choose someone else to fill the gaping hole IN HER HEART!

(this is becoming very modern age NSFW)

Cut! Cut!…. This much is enough to sell it to the producer…..


This will be our Story….. 'Script of the Year' Written on FB chat
*Cue Awards

Chalo, tum funding organise karo, main likhna shuru karti hoon
KISNE kaha ki FB pe timepass hota hai??
(Awrighty then, get the funds organized, I'll start writing the show.
Who said one only wastes time on FB??)

Maybe this is why no one gives me a job on TV.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Freestyle Dreaming

I was in England and Prince William and Kate were getting hitched. I was part of the wedding party. It was pouring buckets and the grounds were slushy and horrible. Everyone was out in their wedding finest, but the weather just wasn’t being a sport. Two miles away, there was an inn. There was food and music - well, bangers and mash and lots of ale - and hot fire and room for all, if you counted the barn. Harry was late as usual, grinning his cheeky grin, and you could tell that William was losing his cool. Kate’s minders had their hands full with keeping her gown as white as they possibly could, given the squelchy mess she was walking through. I told Harry about the inn, and the plan was made - Prince William and that Kate girl would be wed at an inn….

… I open my bank statement and am not surprised to find just how much in the red I am. There’s a pile of bills to be paid, I look around my house and count off the repairs needed, and then do a quick math in my head - mostly subtraction - and find that the money in my account is more than enough to do all that. It’s almost like the bills shrunk or the money expanded without changing the numbers in the little boxes. Or maybe I’ve forgotten how to do math…

… The crack of the cricket bat against the ball in the green wide open fields of Surrey comes as a surprise to me. I see two people - teenagers really - playing at one end. An umpire looks on. There is no one else around. The Umpire turns to me and says that it’s a shame that one will kill the other, isn’t it? In the distance, Sean and Phillip laugh and play cricket…

… I’m running and it’s late. I’m late for a meeting…

… I’m running on the treadmill. The counter reads 12 km/hr. It’s fast. I’m planning to push it further. But I’m getting tired. I can feel my legs wanting to stop. But the treadmill is speeding up. I could be the Flash or I could be a hot mess tossed off the treadmill and slammed into the wall behind me…

… The meeting takes place in the outdoors. The director of the film - a new chap - wants to “feel the space” as we discuss the script. I’m wondering how he knows the space, given that he hasn’t yet heard the story. Then he starts telling me a story - predictably, of his childhood. I wonder why everyone thinks that theirs is a story worth subjecting millions of people to. Then I look down at my laptop, and the words printed on the screen and I see my childhood and heartbreak and laughter and loneliness all tied in to the fictions I tell others. I’m privileged to do so. I lean back and hear his story. It’s not tremendous, but it’s worth telling. Like all other stories….

I wake up. It's still dark. My cat is curled up next to me under the blanket, my arm around her soft warm body. I feel her purring. And just before I close my eyes, I see that all is perfect with my world.

Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

If I Could Speak

If I could speak, 
I would talk of my soul
Once radiant and blissful
Now withered and old

If I could speak
I would talk of love
How it flowed from my fingers
But now makes tapestries of dust

If I could speak
I would talk of laughter
Of gatherings steeped in music
Now just hollow echoes forever

If I could speak
I would ask for your hand
To pull me away
From the corpse that I am

If I could speak
I would whisper my fears
And know that I was heard
That I wasn’t alone with my tears

If I could speak
My silence would end
And when tomorrow comes
Maybe I’ll finally start to mend.

If I could speak…

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Too Much Honesty

There is such a thing. 

When I was a kid, I used to lie compulsively. I lied about my exams, homework, bodily functions, friends, etc. It came easily to me. And then, one scary day when my lies were discovered for what they were by my ferocious mother, I finally got a life lesson that shaped the rest of my existence. She said, “If you’re lying, it means you’re afraid. And I didn’t raise you to be afraid of anything.” Except her. I was afraid of her. But more than that, I was afraid of seeing that disappointed expression on her face again. 

That’s the day I quit lying. Well, I quit telling blatant lies. I know how to spin a tale as well as the next person, but never do I consciously tell outright lies. In fact, my biggest area of lie-telling is in the realm of punctuality and the time-space continuum. Not so bad, considering there’s a whole world out there telling lies about murder and mayhem.

But there is definitely a down-side to all this honesty. For one, not everyone believes the ’truth’. For example, “I don’t love you” starts to sound like “I’m scared of my feelings and I’m emotionally closed off so please continue with your attentions while I realize that I do in fact love you.” Just as a BTW - this one actually lost me a friend and a lover. 

The other truths I have told in my life have revolved around my work. 

I said: “There’s no point making changes to a screenplay based on feedback from people who will have no say in its making” 

They heard: “I have no intention to work on this further. Screw you.”

I said: "I would love to work with you but if you think our relationship will ever transcend the professional, then maybe it’s not a good idea”

They heard: You can keep trying and who knows? Late nights, wine, movies… anything can happen.

I said: Wow… this (script, film, business plan, food) is really good. You ARE talented!

They heard: Let’s get naked and start sexy time.

No, its not always about sex but then, it mostly is. Then there’s the other stuff that comes up linked to self-esteem (I say no, he hears yes, I say no again, he says terrible things to retaliate for teasing and rejection), and of course, friendship. 

I always thought friendship was the one thing that could handle honesty. That was because you chose your friends, not because of the things you feared but because of the things that made you stronger with each friendship. You liked to spend time with each other not because of dread but of solidarity. And what shows greater solidarity and indeed, respect, if it isn’t the commitment to honesty with each other? Sure, we’ve all told the odd “You look lovely” and “of course he still loves you” white lies. But when it comes to the big things - well, it seems total honestly may not be the best policy. 

I say: If I support you in this, you make me lie to everyone else

They hear : I don’t love you so clearly we can’t be friends anymore.

I say: You’ve told me many things in the past that haven’t worked out. This time, I want to see proof.

They hear: I don’t trust you and hence, we can’t be friends anymore

I say: You’re cheating on your wife/husband? Why aren’t you talking to them about all that’s wrong? Or does security matter so much that you’d rather they live not knowing that they don’t have you?

They hear: You’re wrong and we can’t be friends anymore.

I say: You shouldn’t drink anymore because you can’t hold it and start becoming difficult to handle.

They hear: You’re an alcoholic and we can’t be friends anymore.

And so on and so forth.

I understand that it seems harsh, but the truth is that I could just as easily have said that right thing that wouldn’t ruffle any feathers and keep the boat un-rocked. But what’s the point of that? When we choose friends, we choose them for making us better, not just to fill space around us. And one of the ways of being better is to be less fearful of the world around us. Maybe that’s why one should tell the truth to the ones closest to us… make us stronger. No?

A few days ago however, I watched Interstellar and the best thing I liked about it was the cool robot with a 80% honesty setting, because “emotional creatures like humans can’t handle the whole truth.” That robot probably got it right, and it doesn’t even need friends. Maybe it's high time I got the message.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The F Grade

Have you noticed how, for the most important things in the world, we have years of compulsory preparation before we're allowed to do the real thing? Engineers, doctors, lawyers, designers, quantum physicists, etc - all of them and million others go through decades of education, examinations, late night studying, endless cups of coffee poring over theories and conducting practicals under controlled, laboratory conditions. All this is for jobs of which there are plenty.

Compare that to the very little time and incredibly limited chances we have of meeting the "one" or even the "five people in your world who totally get you and also want to sleep with you over the long term and whom you're attracted to as well" - and I'm stunned at the level of unpreparedness and naivete with which we enter the world of romance and love.

The other day I was hanging with a friend of mine called Kenneth. He's also in the film-making business, has managed to get two films, one marriage, two kids and a divorce under his belt. These days he spends his time working on his next film, his kids' futures and making his way around the party circuit. That evening the conversation was predictably heading towards the nature of relationships and how it's better to continue to play the field - given that the curiosity of marriage and kids has been assuaged - instead of settling in for the long haul. And between laughs and inevitable joshing, he said, "It's not that I'm afraid of a relationship, I'm afraid of getting bored."

And I got to thinking - is that my phobia as well? Over the last couple of years, I've been in an on-again-off-again bizarre little mating dance with someone who was going to be my third-time-lucky nominee. Again, a film-maker, again the prototype of tall, cute and awkward and again someone whom I'd have to take care of. (Sigh - it's not that my patterns shock me, it's just what they say about me - in this case, they say that I'd rather choose weak than risk losing control. Ugh.) The good news is that despite being the nominee, he only barely entered into my emotional space.

And then I thought about Alex. He and I have been through the crapper and back, but we've always been able to communicate with each other, laugh with each other. He's enough of a guy to remind me that l'm feminine, and non-threatening enough to remind me of my strength. And yet, I can't for the life of me imagine anything long-term with him. Too much stinky murky water under the bridge.

And apart from this lot, I'm sure there have been many who were right for me, who were what I needed, and who potentially wouldn't have bored me either. So why didn't I take that leap? I blame the fact that I wasn't suitably prepared.

The thing is - this one thing - the romantic-sexual relationship is one of the most important ones we share with another being. It has a way of getting into our heads, of leaving a fairly indelible mark and deciding for us - based on the level of fucked-up-ness of it - if we're going to be well-adjusted productive people or just hurting beings who slash and cut through the rest of the world around us - friends, families alike - in a blind way of curing the pain.

And given that it's going to affect so much of our and other peoples' lives, that it's going to be a significant factor in our happiness quotient, we still step into it, without so much as cracking open a book or even learning the alphabet of romance. And then we wonder why there are so many divorces, apathetic hook-ups, why fewer people want to have kids, why fewer people are choosing to be married, and even in that fraction, how many of them are delaying their marriage and kids choice. Hell, I'm willing to wager that's why more people prefer text messaging and online chatter to the real thing!

Because we give the responsibility of raising a tribe to unprepared 12 year olds with their first relationships that can mark them for life... Let the scarring begin! If we have dysfunctional relationships, we will have a dysfunctional society. And a dysfunctional society will only support messed up relationships.

This chicken and egg routine has gone on long enough. Everywhere we turn, we are assaulted by post-apocalyptic imagery because somewhere we as a society have come to accept that the only way ahead for us is down. We train in the martial arts, we read about zombies, we go to boot camps and learn to create fire, we go to schools and learn about the arts - but no one goes anywhere to learn about love, compassion, kindness and mutual respect. The general argument is that society is supposed to teach that, but the fact that while everywhere else, we look to the experts, it's only in this crucial realm that we look to the flawed, non-expert, muddling along amateurs with a terrible track record to teach us these most critical lessons in survival.

Is it any real wonder then that as a society we achieve greatness in the sciences and the arts, but also devolve into such barbaric hatred for each other that it barely touches our consciousness when a judge says that non-consensual sex with a menopausal woman can't be considered rape, and the way you love another person could put you in jail?

It's no surprise really then that we keep hoping for a reset button through zombies, interplanetary travel or anything supernatural - because we know that maybe we as humans failed at our most elementary subject.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Disappearing People

I've always been afraid of ending up alone. Not just in the romantic sense of the word, but also in basic friendships. I'm aware of my challenges in forming connections, I'm aware of the fact that I don't open up easily and I'm aware of the constant hum that goes on in the back of my head when I meet someone new - "Are you to be trusted?" I'm also aware that given enough time, people screw up hugely and that sometimes, I can't find a way to cross that bridge without burning it. And because of all this hyper-awareness, and my fear of being alone, any shuddering change in my social circle gets my full attention.

Lately I've been looking around myself and seeing that the people I used to know have changed. I don't mean change in the personality kind of way, not even in the "s/he has become a different person" metaphorical sense. I mean, literally, the people I used to know have dropped out of my world, replaced by another bunch of people.

Some of the disappearing acts have happened dramatically :
"You and I are done!"
And some have been hurtful:
"I wonder if I was ever your friend, or did you just use me to feel good about yourself?"
And some have just gone into the fugue of "Let's catch up soon" knowing we won't.

All this has happened in a very short space of time - say a couple of months. And I've been pretty cut up about it. I've bawled myself to sleep once, I've sat quietly and collected my shattered calm a few times and sometimes I've just stared askance at a computer screen reading the words that go like, "You're going to be nutty about a Facebook friend request? Forget I asked."

The thing is, I like all these people. I've liked them for a while. Almost all of them are super bright, talented, funny - exactly the kind of mix I thrive on. But making those deep exclusive friendships somehow hasn't happened for me. I'm too open to new people, I'm too easily bored, I'm too excited by the possibility of what could be new and different about many experiences to really believe that the five people I cobbled together as friends when I was 20 would be the same five friends I'd need when I was 36.

And then I took a closer look at all the people who have disappeared - dramatically or otherwise. And I start to see a pattern emerge. Each one of them has grievously wronged me in the past. And each one of them, today, made it seem as if the rift was my fault. And each one of them found it mighty easy to let me go. If I was writing a film, none of them would be the hero - not because they are flawed but because they show a remarkable lack of substance (which they hide behind oodles of charm) and very poor taste. And while I forgive easily, I never forget.

Trust is a tricky thing. In my life, I hand over my trust to people unguardedly when it comes to friendship. Like blown-glass, it takes the shape of a unique glass jar that is truly representative of the two people involved. But, like a glass jar, when trust truly shatters, then no amount of glue can remove those cracks from the relationship. The best that can be hoped for is that the jar doesn't shatter again, and over the years you get used to the cracks to the extent that you stop noticing them. Sometimes, I think that those relationships are the ones that are truly unique and worth saving because, if you look at any of the masterpieces of the world, they're nothing without the cracks in the paint / ceramic.

But the thing about relationships is that it can't be done solo. That's why, with every goodbye, I feel a part of me tear out and crumble.

And then I discovered something very interesting. It seems, in the study of Alchemy, there's a belief that says that if you change a few chemical bonds in mercury, you'll get gold. I think the same is true among people - if you change the nature of a few bonds in your life, it's likely that you'll become everything you can be. And then, those are the kind of people you'll attract in your life as well - the people who aspire to be better.

Because if the Universe gives you everything you want, then friends are the last thing you'll ever lack.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Why I Want a Surprise Birthday Party

I’ve always wanted a surprise party on my birthday. It’s such a great feeling to walk into a house, maybe after a rotten day, and come into a room full of people who love you. And – the most important part – you didn’t have to work out the logistics. 

Till date, I haven’t ever had one thrown for me. And the sad part is – as a friend of mine just pointed out – it’s a little daunting to organize one. I have a vast social circle filled with people whom I would love to meet, but just about maybe 5 people who are people I consider myself close to. These 5 people mostly don’t get along with each other so there’s no small committee of people who can get together and make a guest-list of everyone I know, and people they’re certain I would like to meet.

The unfortunate truth is – a surprise party needs a bestie and I don’t think I have one. There are a few people who come close, but the bestie who knows all your friends, all your family members, knows history and the emotional minefields, the one who has the contact numbers of atleast 17 of the significants in my life… that essential ingredient to a surprise party is missing from my life.

And I’ve had a lot to do with that. By nature, I’m a person who compartmentalizes my life. There are writing friends, the creative bunch, media buddies, drinking buddies, semi-strangers-with-a-connect, business-partners-who-are-friends, ex-FWBs-lovers-boyfriends, school buddies, college buddies, dead-bestie’s-social-circle, etc . And this lot is just a broad-stroke categorization. Within each group, there are several distinctions. (Looking at this list, I can see why I need to compartmentalize – I’ll just go cuckoo otherwise!) Each circle of friends caters to a different facet of my personality but every time any two of these circles have collided, I’m always surprised to realize that one group doesn’t usually get along with the other. It’s like my internal war brought out into the open with equally pitted players fighting for space.  It’s a metaphorical massacre.

That’s why a surprise party is so important. It’s not just that by some miracle, I’ll have all my favorite people in the room together, but that there would be someone who would get all my different people, and thus, in a way, finally get me.