Dear people who left,

I wish I knew what I did wrong. Is that a lot to ask for, closure? Or did you decide that I do not deserve to know, that I deserve to suffer?

It’s ironic because I have a degree in communication studies, and communicating is what I spectacularly failed at. I guess I never let you know how much you meant to me. Sometimes I live too much inside my head.

I don’t let a lot of people in. But you made it. You made it through the awkward hellos, the uncomfortable silences, the mask of being too cool to care. You paved your way through some walls, only to find some more, and you tore them down too. You found the key. And just when I was enjoying the breath of fresh air you brought in, you turned back and walked right out. You didn’t even look back once.

I will apologize. Call it therapy, call it self-care. I’m sorry I didn’t live up to your expectations. I’m sorry I disappointed you. I’m sorry I made life choices that you didn’t like. I’m sorry I wasn’t more expressive. I’m sorry if you feel like I looked past you. I didn’t. I noticed every single time you didn’t look me straight in the eye. I noticed when you spoke to everyone in the room but me. I noticed how you went from dislike to resentment to hate to absolute indifference. And that’s what hurts the most. The part where it feels like we never shared something special, ever. Like the present has wiped out the past.

I wish I could go back in time and see the exact moment where you decided that you didn’t want to be a part of my life. Laughter became awkward smiles, phone calls turned to short texts, and then radio silence. Our lives no longer intersected. You became somebody that I used to know. When I needed a friend, you weren’t there. And maybe you have the same complaints. Maybe all we had to do was say something. I tried. I swear I did. And then my heart got tired of being broken. It sought shelter under my ego. Under the same mask of being too cool to care that you once saw through.

I still wish you all the happiness in the world. I try my best to remember only the good parts. I tell myself some people aren’t meant to stay. But some day our lives might intersect again and maybe, just maybe, this time you’ll decide to stay.

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A Letter To Writer’s Block

Dear Writer’s Block,

You’re like that unexpected guest who always overstays his welcome. I dread your arrival more than I dread the arrival of my periods, and that’s saying something. I’m sure when you started out, writers brushed you off like, let me just get some fresh air, may be the words will come then. But with time you grew so notorious that they had to give you a name. Writer’s Block. Like they name serial killers after they’ve done one too many murders.

I don’t hate you, I despise you. Do you know how hard it is to not be able to put down what you feel on paper? It’s like being trapped inside your own head. Forget writing thought-provoking, emotionally charged or exemplary literary pieces, even my diary entries take a hit. Sample this, “Life really sucks right now. Hope things get better. May the force be with me.” Ending with a clichéd pop culture reference from a franchise that I don’t even follow. Amazing, isn’t it? Nope.

What do you have against words? As the great Dumbledore said, “Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic.” AND DUMBLEDORE IS NEVER WRONG! (Okay maybe only when he’s being a manipulative bitch to Harry) Wait, where was I? See, going off topic plus unnecessary use of uppercase letters and parentheses; you really bring out the worst in me. Can you read the title? ‘A Letter To Writer’s Block’. I mean I couldn’t even bring myself to come up with something even slightly interesting like ‘Writer’s Unblock’. Or ‘That Which Shall Not Be Written’. Or ‘Can’t Write, Will Rant’.

All I’m saying is writers are good people. They’re trying to change the world, one word at a time. And you have no right to interfere. I’ll be very elaborate – fuck you. I’m going to write, block or no block.

Not even signing off.

Dear Pune

I’d posted this note on my Facebook profile on May 11th, 2012 after completing a year in Pune, the city I moved to for pursuing my bachelor’s degree.

Dear Pune,

The pin-board beside my desk is now cluttered with memories worth almost a year. Ticket of the first movie I saw after coming here, random sticky notes from my roommate and other seemingly trivial stuff. And then of course there are the intangible memories.

You are a city of spirit. But I arrived here dispirited. I loved my home way too much. I still do. I wondered if you will ever feel familiar, ever feel my own. You did not intimidate me; you’re not that kind of a city. I was just not too fond of change. You tried your best; comfortable weather, good food and an unapologetic way of life. But I was still homesick. With time came a harsh realization. I won’t be home for a long time. Thus, I began to realize your worth. I realized I should give you a chance. You were, after all, the start of a new phase in my life.

Since then, you’ve been the city of discovery for me. As funny as it sounds, here, I’ve discovered Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Dubai; the list too long to complete. I’ve discovered through people, their culture, their language, their food, their lifestyle and their knowledge. And all of it has amalgamated into one, within you.

One year, and I have met all kinds of people, unbelievably talented, unbelievably dumb and irritating, sarcastic, rude, weird, hot, nice, random, like-minded, cute and what not. Not that there weren’t people from where I come from, but you have given me a whole new perspective all together. You’ve have brought out the best in people, and worst.

I haven’t explored you much; my hostel room has been my quiet haven, and I’m not proud of it. I know you’re ready to welcome me, and I know it won’t take me long to fall in love with you. One thing I liked about you right away was how your ambiance is dynamic yet laid back at the same time. I have been lazy, I’ve been ignorant and I haven’t made the most of you. There’s so much more to you than just eating out or watching movies or shopping or clubbing.

My spirit is returning, as sense of belonging is slowly setting in. After a stretch of silence, the words are coming back. The curiosity, the sense of adventure, the laughter, the urge to open up to the world, I must say, you managed to get to me.

I can’t wait to embrace you with all my heart! I can’t wait for the time when your streets will no longer be strange to me and when I’ll refer to you as my own. They say, “Home is where the heart is”, and I hope soon enough, I will look at you as my second home, if not home itself. There are two more years to go, and who knows, even more. One thing’s for sure; I’ll instinctively defend you, always. I guess you have that effect on people.

Today, what I can say is that when I go back home, I’ll miss you. I’ll want to return, and that’s saying a lot. My family photo still stands on my desk, and I now look at it less often, not because I love them any less but because I’ve found another thing to love!

Yours lovingly

Self-Proclaimed Puneite