Elegance

Elegance

The funny thing is, nobody in the average Indian schools teaches you the important stuff. Sure, you learn factorials, HTML and the Preamble to the Constitution. You learn maybe French and you’re taught to play sports. But nobody sees the bigger picture: there’s no sex education, no classes specifically meant to teach you manners and your social studies teacher is a joke to you.

And kids these days, with their overexposure to the Internet, and their desire to grow up super fast, start looking like twenty-year-olds when they’re barely fifteen. The cringe is crippling. I should put that on a tee shirt. And sell it. The cringe is crippling, y’all.

Anyway, I’ve got a bit of a story-time today.

I’ve got this friend from college, and she travels around quite a bit. She’s been all over India, on her own, camera and backpack in tow, and it’s safe to say that she’s encountered a lot of fine uh, specimens of the human species. Here’s the thing, nobody shies away from criticism, when they’re the ones tossing “criticism” your way. She got called out for being supposedly grossly shameless (besharam) and easy (not even going to repeat the word they called her) and she took it all in her stride. It got so bad, there was a point where other women, overcome by fits of jealousy, no doubt, (because who are we kidding here – Indian women don’t have the freedom to solo travel, at least not the majority) posted hate comments on her feed. Again, proving to the masses that social media is super evil.

She never showed skin, never broke the rules, never really did anything to warrant such hate. But the hate kept coming. And then one day, it didn’t. Which was shocking.

She explained it all to me, the other day. That nothing beats staying classy. That you don’t get places by stooping to certain people’s levels. That, if you reply to whatever is being said, with kindness, despite the backlash, it frustrates people. Why? If you refuse to stay anything but classy, if you can’t be broken into pieces with words and actions even, it makes people super frustrated because they didn’t manage to destroy you. And that’s super important. This made a ton of sense to me. That you need to be kind and never let people get to you. That, if you need a weapon of mass-destruction of hatred and trolling, it has to be this. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. Again, you could be rocking Louboutin heels, you could be nouveau riche, and you could appear shiny as a new penny – but if your mind is in the damn gutter, you’re a total zero. It’s actually what’s inside your head and your heart, and how amazing your personality is, that actually really matters.

So go ahead, make that your weapon.

Elegance. Class. Sophistication. Keeping a cool head. The new weapons. The only weapons. Kill them with class, people.

Dissimulation

Dissimulation

Okay, so this is a super controversial topic to do a whole post on, if you think about it. Dissimulation. Oh my. My friend does come up with the most unconventional challenges.

We’re basically talking about the millions of ways people tend to pretend. Ooh, that rhymed. And ooh, I digress. Why must I digress? I’m such a child, you guys. Ahahaha. Excuse me while I gather my thoughts, stop being a chihuahua with ADHD and address the matter at hand. (Act of dissimulation: part one.)

See, I’m not like that in real life. (MAJOR ACT OF DISSIMULATION: Part two.)

I’m a normal person, I’m only weird on the blog. At least, that’s what I tell people. I don’t fake accents. It’s something that I picked up, ahahah. Just randomly. Like picking cheese off of my man’s pizza. I’ve never faked an accent, nope. I’ve also never been out of the the Asian Subcontinent. My Fake Brit Accent is totally normal. So is my friend’s London accent. She’s probably grown up in the Buckingham Palace. What do I know? (Act of dissimulation: part three.)

Every time I travel, I make sure I’m wearing nice shoes. I scuff them and clean them and ensure they’re spotless and the white tick is obvious. I tell people I’m not an influencer. That I don’t want to be an influencer. And I’ll go ahead and check what Olivia Palermo is wearing. I don’t follow any celebrities because I think it’s cool not to. But I’ll stalk them nonetheless. I don’t care what I look like. Oh, I woke up like this. Trust me, this is the ONLY selfie I took today. I’m hiding my phone so you don’t see how much I’ve photoshopped my nose. I tell them it’s only a good contour job. (Act of dissimulation: Part five.)

Your ex isn’t happy. But he shows off that he is. He’s married this woman randomly just to spite you. Your current isn’t happy. She misses her ex. Your best friend went broke and got robbed, en route to Italy. Your sister is headed towards a divorce and is bitter and angry. But look at all these peoples’ Instagrams: ooh, happy sappy photo gallery. It’s a thing now: We do it for the Gram. (Act of global dissimulation: part lord-knows-what.)

Like what do you expect from a word that starts with “diss”, I mean, come on, right? You’re dissing yourself already.

Okay, now jokes apart: how guilty are we as a generation? We’re all portraying things on social media and in front of most people, and we’re all pretending to be something we remotely aren’t. YouTubers post happy couple pictures and break up two weeks later. Nobody sees the bigger picture because we’ve been told it’s okay to fake it till we make it.

It’s not real life anymore, you know? It’s all pretend. There are songs about it. Chart-topping hits. Please make it end.

Closure.

Closure.

She looks at her phone, wondering if he’ll ever come home. It’s becoming a routine now. Six AM morning runs, the detox tea, the office hours, the gym. The desperation, the obsession with making him stay, has taken over her whole life and she doesn’t even know who she is anymore.

She’s almost twenty five, and she’s brilliant. She’s got free advice and she’s got a million. Neither of which helps her anyway. He wasn’t ever meant to stay. He was meant to go away, and go away he did. Today was just another day. Why, oh why, did she fall in love, why oh why, did she fall apart, why did she let herself go astray – all these questions burn into the back of her head.

Three days, and there’s been no contact.

A month goes by, still no change.

He’s missing, it’s like he never existed. His Insta and his Twitter, his Snapchat, the selfies with those filters – all seem fictional to her these days.

And then he resurfaces, New Girl on his arm. He doesn’t bother to break up, he just moves on. Ferrari and Dior Homme, sunset in Malibu, New Girl in his arms. Doesn’t matter if she’s a gold digger, she’s got the body. Doesn’t matter her heart seems empty, doesn’t matter because they’re both drunk on their vanity.

Doesn’t matter he managed to break a young woman’s heart – doesn’t matter it was with her best friend, doesn’t matter how many wedges drove these girls apart, doesn’t matter, none of that matters. She closes her eyes and the tears fall. She’s numb, she never wanted the money, she never wanted it all.

Funny how the only thing you want is the only thing that’s denied you – funny how closure is the hardest thing to give to your girl.

Battle.

Battle.

Journal entry – April 2, 2019:

It’s been exactly two months as a married woman. Sometimes I wonder if men are meant to lie thorough their teeth while doing their wedding vows. India has this long list of rules and traditions that must be followed before, during and after the wedding. There are the pre-wedding, the actual wedding and the post-wedding cold-feet situations. Cold feet, when it comes to the man, that is. I’m doing fine. I’m doing okay. I’m lying to you.

I’m far from fine.

It was a match made in heaven. At least that’s what everyone said says. He’s well educated and makes good money. And looks good. You made a brilliant choice, they said. I knew I’d made a very far-from-brilliant choice. You see, when you’re in a relationship with someone, you get too used to them. You don’t want to leave and start over with someone new. You ignore the red flags. You put on your armor: you go into battle. That’s what I did, I went into battle. I’d had several – four, to be precise – years of mastering the art of deception. You see, I’ve been projecting happiness so beautifully it’s impossible to say what I’ve been constantly feeling.

The initial days were just as bad.

It was meant to feel amazing. Your honeymoon phase was meant to make you happy. But not for me. I’ve always been the boyfriend and now I’m the husband, in the relationship. He does nothing. Doesn’t meet me halfway. And I can’t complain, because I chose this. I picked my misery and I picked my battle and I’m going to fight it.

He’s on leave from work this whole week.

He’s spent a total of five minutes with me. I’m not a nagging wife. I didn’t call him. He’s been missing since morning. I don’t know where he is, I don’t know when he’s going to come home. I don’t know how many pot brownies he’s going to wolf down with a friend and I don’t know how much alcohol will be downed. I don’t know any of that. It’s also my birthday and no one remembers around these parts. What are wives for, after all, if not to just bear your body weight and your children? What are wives for, if not to just exist, only when you need them? I married myself, it feels like. There’s work, there are bills I pay, and he doesn’t take care of any of that. I’m proud to say, I don’t make him spend. I never have. Almost half a decade with this man, half a decade of being in pain because somewhere I couldn’t walk away and start over.

I guess, marriage is battle. A lost one. That I’ve no clue what or whom I’m fighting for.