Writing this on the morning after 23rd Jan 2016
The run up to my 39th birthday was very eventful. This was my 39th birthday and I really wanted to celebrate it in a grand way. The middle age express have seen the green flag, and it should be reaching the 40th platform in just a year, the last year of 30s gotta be celebrated. The week saw new job opportunity at a awesome place, a new date, a beautiful kiss, some sex (not with the same guy who I kissed), new decor for my walls, new wedding shoot finalized, and my first tattoo. A brief recap of the week and the month.
First thing I needed for a party was a place of my own where there is no 60, 70 something parents. I wanted mom and dad to go to Kolkata and give me my space to party. Dad didn’t like the idea, he wanted to visit Kolkata in March, but I insisted. I booked their tickets myself and couldn’t be happier to send them off. I was being mean and selfish, but I desperately needed this party, my party in my style on my birthday. A lot of feelings, emotions, life’s planning, career planning was culminating to this party so it was important.
I intended this party to be the beginning of my plans for independent living. By the end of 2015, I was finally mentally prepared to get a bit settled in life, and the most important thing for that is a stable income. Freelance consultancy is not stable. I used to always have this mindset, “Where would I go leaving my parents alone, in bad days they can always take care of me, then I have got savings.” This kind of mindset kept me stuck in a rut. I had stopped going out for dating, given up all hopes of ever being in a real relationship, I felt ugly, miserable, unwanted and unloved in the dating atmosphere most of the time.
But towards the end of 2015, few things changed. I had some new work opportunity that made me financially more confident. Following which I went for an image makeover, I pampered myself. In October 2015 I started this diet called Ketosis and by January I had lost about 9 kgs. This gave me immense confidence. For the first time in years I loved my body, it may still be overweight but I love it. Maybe the Ketosis diet helps you psychologically too, at least it did for me. The birthday dress I wore yesterday, I never thought I could ever carry in my entire life. But I did carry and looked damn hot.
I realized that I cannot spend my entire life living with my parents anymore. I want a life where I am at least dating men, if not in a committed relationship. I hope people know what I mean when I say dating, it means chasing romance and sexuality. And this time I want it to be different. I have done a lot of exciting stuff, from one night stands to no strings attached, I have done it all. Now I want the boring stereotypical commitment stuff. I want a home, a partner, a new car. I don’t want to be single anymore. A friend recently asked, “If it happened, if you found love and he also loved you back, would you marry?”
It was a difficult question. Marriage is too heavy a word for me, it is political, it is not just about two people, it is a package deal. I don’t want the whole package. But would I lose love because of my mind block about marriage? Is it hypocritical to be a feminist and opt for this patriarchal institution that marriage is? I don’t know.
So these were the thoughts leading up to the birthday. Job opportunities have been knocking on the door, and I appeared for two important interviews. I hope one of them works out. Wherever my new workplace would be, I would rent a house nearby. New place isn’t there yet but I have already started collecting decors and stuff for my new place. For my bed room I got new posters, the patchitra I bought from Orissa, another new wall hanging all framed. For the party I bought new glasses to serve drinks, they are also for my new home.
Before every birthday, I plan a tattoo but for lack of a good design I don’t get it. Perfection is sought because it is going to be something for life. But this Wednesday, I decided that if I keep waiting for the perfect design to sort of appear in front of me the tattoo would never happen. I just need to go and get it done. So it finally happened. I got my first tattoo and its lovely. Perhaps that’s true for love and relationship too. I am getting it all wrong by waiting for the perfect man.
On Thursday I appeared for another interview in Faridabad. On my way back I went to the photo framing shop, got those guys to come and put up all the frames on my wall the the same evening.
On Friday I went shopping for the party, which totally went overboard. I have so much food left over in my fridge now, cooked and uncooked, I can survive several weeks without grocery shopping.
I cooked on my birthday. On the menu were: Starters – Peanut salad, lavash and coleslaw, chicken sheekh kababs, mutton grilled, paneer grilled chips etc. For main course, I prepared Thai stir fried oyster mushrooms and vegetables at home. And some Roomli Roti, Biryani etc were ordered from outside. For sweet toothed ones, I got canapes, to be filled with whipped cream and strawberries, or cocoa power.
The several small yet significant ways in which mom and dad appear to be my best life hacks – dad told me about the hardware shop from where I could get iron jaali for the angeethi. Mom gave me the recipe for marinating the mutton. But you value these only when you stay away. The early years of this decade when every birthday was spent with mom and dad, I used to be disappointed with them all the time. This year, they are away, but our love is stronger from both sides.
I had sent out the invites to all my friends on 3rd Jan, twenty days in advance so that they have enough time to plan their month and make no excuse for not being able to attend. They all came, Mansi and Abhishek, Kreeti and Sachin, Aneesha and Manish with Manan, Snigdha and Vinayak with Mishka, and Ramit. Ramit was extremely sick through the week, he could barely speak and was in no shape of health to attend a party. But he came. I always thought Ramit doesn’t give a shit about me, because we don’t really connect a lot beyond these parties. But then, maybe he does. It took a lot of effort for him to come with that health issue and he didn’t even touch the drink or smoke. And Mansi in her over enthusiasm to take care of him, tucked him in bed without even giving him any food. I had already passed out by then, the first one to do so in all parties, as predicted by Ansy.
Sachin came to pick Kreeti around 11 and he also joined the party briefly. It was lovely to meet him. Abhishek the latest member of our group is a natural. He already feels comfortable like he has always been part of the group.
I was super duper happy through my birthday. But this morning when every body left my place, I went crawling right back to my known turf sadness and misery. Like Hugh Laurie, I too cannot be at ease with happiness. I would figure out a way to be sad.
I suddenly felt I don’t wanna be single any more. But I felt hopeless that it would never happen. I am a great loving person, I met so many men in this life but nobody loved me. Men have dumped me again and again. Whenever I have expressed any emotions for men they have run like crazy. I feel like I am a dangerous animal, like snake or something, which men want to poke to check out, and the moment I react they run as if i am going to bite. Like I am a freak. I guess I am just too fat and ugly to be anybody’s partner in day light. I am only a good fuck in the secret of the night.
Here are all the photos from my birthday
Update: By 25th July 2016, this entire set of people whom I called friends for last 10-20 years disappeared from my life, and I don’t even fully know why. Some parts of it is written here and here. And now I am wondering how to turn 40.