In a little over a month (32 days to be precise), I will be married. This means that I will no longer be single. I say this because there is strange comfort in stating the obvious. Reminds me of work. Not that the prospect of being a Mrs. Someone completely freaks me out, but I would like to cruise through the wedding preparation phase instead of closing my eyes and fervently hoping that all of this gets behind me soon.
I wonder what the anxiety is all about. The marriage itself is not a matter of contention. After all, neither of the sides are opposed to A and I getting hitched. But what I think most about is the life after – the immediate life after. I don’t seem to have a handle on what I should be doing the first morning I wake up in Delhi as a newly wed. (Yes, I do mean after brushing my teeth.) Days and weeks, I have sort of figured out how to deal with the larger stuff – of feeling like a fish out of water, balancing home and work (when I find employment), family and in-laws, budgets and splurges, my own needs versus those of everyone else’s, etc. etc. Here’s a list I’ve come up with for now:
- Keep an open mind about everything
- Read something interesting every day
- Learn something new
- Write my brilliant manuscript
- Discover a new holiday place
- Save to travel (this is followed by actually travelling after I have saved enough)
- Do up the study
- Continue to write my brilliant manuscript
- Not try and please everyone (it’s not possible and it’s not my responsibility)
- Sell aforementioned manuscript
- Learn to say ‘No’
- Learn to say ‘Yes’
- Do both graciously, and Always, always remember to say ‘Thank you.’ In the ultimate analysis of one’s amble through the Universe, one is just thankful for the chances one has got. I’ve always got enough going on to look forward to something.
Therefore, the anxiety that slips through the oesophagus a little at a time, is not about the big stuff. It’s about the details. Like where do I fold my clothes and keep them, and which shelves do I use for my books (what if there’s no place for all my books?), and how do I spend my time until I get a job, and when we do throw a party in the house, what will I do if I bicker with A’s friends, what will I do if A doesn’t like my pals, what about breakfast, and I still haven’t learnt to cook the stir-fry veggies that I like so much, and let’s say I want to go Khan market for some peaceful bazaar-browsing, how do I get there when the world and its aunty has put the fear of Satan in me about stepping onto the roads of Delhi alone in the evening.
I feel awkwardly despondent at the thought of not being able to ask for my morning beverage in Oriya. I don’t know why it seems to plunge me into depths of moroseness. I mean, there are just so many ways you can ask for ‘coffee’. It’s all the same in Oriya, English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, or Spanish. So there is no grounded reason for being wistful. Still.
Sometimes it gets overwhelming. There’s no point in talking to anyone about it because frankly, it’s as unique an experience as it is universal. I realise that it is now the time to turn inwards. Because, I can feel something tremendous and solid happening inside of me. It’s a feeling I get rarely, but have learnt not to ignore it since the last few years. It’s as if there is a very dark, yet colorful vortex between my eyes and each thought, dream, idea, wish is succumbing to some sort of a force in some kind of a pattern. I can see it happening. Sometimes, it is so intense that I can see it with my eyes open.
After many months of heightened stimulation, I finally bought a diary made of handmade paper. It has a coarse pea-green cover and a cord that you tie round a button to close it. I’ve decided to go back to writing my diary. I had gone slack with journalling ever since I started blogging. But it’s time to go back.
Ironically, moons ago, writing my blog felt so emancipating. I felt as if all these words and stories had somehow been cultivated, but caged. And now they were out. Today, when I go back to writing my diary and I see the sheets of paper straining to hold the tumble of words – words that will never be read by anyone other than me – I feel the same way.
So far, it has been an interesting reunion with freedom – my capricious muse of dancing shackles.