house of cards

March 29, 2008

human relationships are so delicate… like a house of cards. takes so much care and patience and determination to build. and there is always this factor – a zephyr (after all i worked so hard to cram that gre word list once upon a time!) – that can bring it all down in one whiff.

i was a socially awkward kid… i have rarely been able to have a normal interaction outside of home and school. easy at home – because i was protected. easy at school – because the territory was familiar and also we were there for a purpose – study and shine – and where does making small talk figure in that! so you see, left alone i was a gauche blunderer in the highest degree. so… with regards to houses of cards… i was not just a gentle breeze… i was a bull in a china shop!

there was this cousin (distant in the way we are related) who lived in the same town as i. she was a very nice girl, elder than me and she treated me as her own sister. you see i felt affection for her and respected her a lot… but when i was talking to her (in person) all i would do was nod vigorously and grin from ear to ear. you see, i have always believed that you may not be able to say the right words but you could always smile… and since a smile was my only medium i would put my best effort and stretch it as far as i could! and since i am straining so hard to give the best smile the tension would show on my face. hee hee yeah i am lying… the strain and the tension was the fear that it might become imperative for me to respond in words anytime in the course of the conversation!

so though i had known my cousin for a long time, i had never really gotten to know her or had a chance to interact with her until i was in my 12th grade (yeah i know i really stretched the truth when i said i was a kid!) she knew i liked reading books so she would loan me hers. she knew i was researching about colleges and courses to join since i had just then finished my 12th and she was always there to advice. so naturally she wanted to help me when i wanted a computer. mind you she was doing a masters herself in computer applications and she was knowledgeable and also had contacts she could refer.

rewinding a little backwards…. since we dont get to meet face to face often she would regularly call and keep in touch and extend her help. and there was a time when my mother had put the milk to boil and went to the restroom. that was when she had called. the milk boiled and cooker’s whistle screamed and screamed and i simply couldnt bring myself to interrupt the conversation to say that i had to step away for just a second to switch off the cooker. the whistle’s insistence brought my mom rushing out and now it was her turn to scream at me to find what i was doing that i couldnt even trouble myself to shut the blasted thing off! and ofcourse i didnt respond cos i was still on the phone! hee hee! guys i know! you dont understand… but that is the way it was, believe it or not! there is more to come….

so back to talking about buying a computer… on the phone, she was telling me about shops that her friends had bought assembled computers from and she was advising me about the configurations, etc, etc. i was touched. i was yet to get the green signal from dad to buy a computer and i was annoyed that he still hadnt decided. and here was my cousin… she had gone to such trouble… and i was very touched. but note that i am touched but she has no way of knowing. and i wanted her to know that i appreciated.

lub….. dub…. lub…. dub…. so my brave heart decides it will show her its appreciation. and from that moment onwards in the conversation, i was working myself up about slipping in a sentence pouring out my thanks. lub… dub… lub… dub… but wait a minute… i dont know how to do that… LUB..DUB..LUB..DUB.. LUBDUB.. LUBDUB.. my mind is working overtime too… it is phrasing sentences… checking context… then tells itself it wont just say thanks like my heart wanted but it will also offer the use of the computer for her academic work whenever she wants it when the computer is bought… LOOKS LIKE THE MOMENT HAS COME TO SAY MY PART… LUDUBLUDUBDLUDUB…. CUE… HERE IT GOES… I AM NERVOUS BUT THE VOICE IS CLEAR AND FIRM “so you can use it too”.

OOOOPPS!!! CRASHHH!

after that i pretended i hadnt said anything… she didnt give the slightest indication that i had said THAT. she said very kindly that she had to go. and she hung up in goodwill. now she wouldnt have done that if i had said that, right? RIGHT? my heart screams… but my mind pretends nothing has happened. she never called back. after 2 MONTHS… my mind agrees with my heart that it will face the consequences. i call her… she talks just as usual. kind and… i cant define that virtue. she is not even like… forgiving… she must obviously be hurt… but she would not take offense. the bible or i dont know who, says that the biggest punishent you can give your wrong doer is by forgiving them. but she said… “i look at you as i do my sister” and that was all that mattered to her.

guys… i never told her what was happening in my head. the damage was done. and it is difficult for anybody to understand that a smart and intelligent person could actually be this muddle headed.

i can never undo what i did but i hope somebody understands. and hema akka… how i wish you could read this… though i am afraid i am as bad at writing as i was when i talked over the phone then. but this shall stay on the blog.

this is my confession of how i brought down a house of cards.