I was sitting in the same place I always sat. But she looked ahead and through everything. A proud wounded, lost, and infinitely tired look. A look that wished to see nothing and no one.
– The Reader
( Bernhard Schlink)
She tells her about the kind of girlfriend he wants. Someone he can share all his passions with. He is sportive. He would want her want to play with him, any sport, cook together, go on long drives…do everything together like the best of buddies. She listens intently. She doesn’t know anything about the guy other than what she has told her of him and that he still carries the love notes they exchanged in his purse. She does too..the U rock ones. There was a time she wanted the same. Those were the days she dreamt. Not anymore. Life feels like a doomed affair…a failed plan. She waits for the Jiri trip hoping it will make her feel better. Just anything to feel better…
“Hatred” the word weighs heavily on her conscience. She smiles in spite of herself always, at all times. “This kind..the way you just smiled is sarcastic” he tells her. But the “hate” has done away with it. The half circle faces downwards and she sees no way she can turn it upside down. It is the “Hatred” phase.
“You’re pretentious,” he told her. She didn’t know what the word would feel like when spit on her. Shock, it felt like one. Perhaps she widened her eyes, raised her eyebrows to express her emotions. Vacant eyes. The same which would be termed “2 dots on your face” years later by her sister, “ I don’t like them” D would say “the lips and nose are better” and the ophthalmologist would examine it to recommend in a playful tone “ Don’t marry a myopic”. Then one fine morning Sofs would hand her something from Pakistan “ Wear this Surma around your eyes” she would recommend making her roll with laughter catching her stomach on the green grass in Paris Danda wondering how that came from a person who knew her so well. Eyes betray you. Clandestines are leaked, hopes reflected and pain released in the form of sparkling tears.
Love lies in the eyes..it lies..lies..lies.
What’s love? He asks.
The thirty heads scribble on their notebooks. She overhears one asking “What’s samarpan(submission) in English?” She is amused.
Read out yours he tells her.
“Love is being in tune with yourself,” she starts. “ It is solitude for me.” (She doesn’t know what made her write that..the spending 2 hours in front of the pond..must be she thinks)
You sound like a narcissist. He comments.
You can interpret it the way you like she tells him. Love for me is unconditional which is next to non-existent.
It sounds like what a self-satisfied person would write he continues. No concern for anyone else.
Concern. She doesn’t want to explain things to him. Relationships… she has learnt all about people the hard way. Never through the love story crap but ways no one would ever comprehend far beyond anyone’s imagination…Real.Almost unreal to be real…hahaha…narcissist! Read my autobiography someday she wants to tell. She keeps it to herself.
He finds the definition very queer. Talks about it in another college he teaches. She hears of it once again. Nothing unusual. People surprise her she surprises them.
Love, anyone can love like a fool. But hating my friend is an art.
Who wants to be hated?
Know none of the kind? Then meet her.
It was a strange feeling when one fine day she realized it was what she wanted. Be hated by people..the closest ones..not just anyone. A weird clause followed: NOT BY TEACHERS. The hatred thing just happened. She never meant to hurt people but to make them hate her..it occured unknowingly. Most members of the human species she knows proclaim to like her or make a pretense of liking her. She doesn’t know that for sure.
She doesn’t care for careless words, mechanical handshakes and fake smiles. Making friends is not her hobby either. It is unbecoming of her to make the first move. She wants to escape. Escape from human minds, human touch, human words…ESCAPE. The things you love don’t have a niche in your mind. The things you hate do. “People, people, people..no not anymore of them.” the thought is strong. The power of thoughts. Thereby she is dragged into the maze of humans..
We know more people than our ancestors did but have fewer friends.
Friends, it is not just a word. It is a world. A real world, a reality unlike words that doesn’t pollute emotions. It’s not a smile; it’s an echoing laughter. It is not the brusque touch of fingers but a firm handclasp. It’s not a formal muttering of “ Its nice, you’re good…its “you suck”, an ease with which it is said. IT IS LIFE.
“HATRED” is the sieve, which filters friends. Unusual, but its her. She’s a pro at it. Makes sure they hate her..God! Why to complicate lives? People are better without her presence in their lives..A crank. She wants to be hated! A wish she knows no else to have. Why? Reasons, reasons, a psychologist’s code.
There was a girl she knew. She was always after her. No not lesbian.
Get lost! She yelled at the silhouette of the girl, someone taller and stronger though younger than her. A tight slap followed. Not once but many times.
The girl didn’t budge.
Making the girl hate her was the hardest thing ever.
Go run after …didi or that she would tell. Look I am so irritating..so bad..
The girl would be back again. No you are the best.
Four years later the girl called. The same admiration as though nothing had changed! “Remember the Willy and Milly story you told me” the girl asked. She couldn’t believe her ears. The girl remembers each and every thing she ever told. Every conversation that took place between them for seven years! There are some people you just can’t let go she concluded. Just meant to be friends. Accepted with all your shortcomings. And your presence mattered. If it made her happy..if she had taken the first step..the 10 towards the girl was just spontaneous.
People are invaluable. They aren’t meant to exist as merely acquaintances in your address books. Not someone you know for the heck of it, just to tell others..I know this and that and absolutely not a source of entertainment. A tip for real people who dare to live!! People you know are Life. Life Demands Respect.
Another “she” came along like an angel from the sky. There is no need of words between them it is like Ronan Keating’s “ you say best when you say nothing at all”. The hate voodo magic failed again. And he, thought she succeeded once again, asked back the letters burnt them, burnt her carpet. She celebrated on being hated! Time changed. They share …an unusual understanding.
As you lay on your deathbed, you are the most blessed among all human folk if surrounded by five true friends…She’s found three. Two decades of existence. Death..deathbed. Its certain. For now..know this deviant. Hate her…She’ll be Glad!!