a gift

My Dearest S,

I know, it must sound presumptuous and even a little phony calling you “my” when you really aren’t. Yet you see, I do consider you mine in ways that I doubt there really is a soul out there who could ‘own’ you the way I do. You don’t ‘belong’ to me, but yet you are mine. Screwed up logic? Strange? I’dlike to call it ‘unique’ if you don’t mind.

The purpose of this mail is simple as the subject line reads. I have a gift for you. Why, you ask? Well, It is the holidays, and you know how I feel about these days. They are a spectacularly wonderful time of the year. When we smile, cheer and spread happiness through the crisp cold air to one and all, and add in just a little more warmth and love to the more dear ones.

Do you remember last year? It wasn’t the most pleasantest of the holidays. Through the bewildered hurt, anger and sadness, I sent you a comfort food that I know comforted me, and in my blind faith believed that it would comfort you too. 
Did you know all I ever wanted was to meet you? To look at you in flesh and blood and to breathe the same air. Last year today, I traveled far and wide, through red lights and lies to meet you from one place to another. Time ran out and with that ended a holiday season that will go down in history as best left forgotten. An idiom that rings false even as I type.

This holiday season I again racked my brains on what to send you. I take giving seriously. Gifting is precious, a sacred act, one that’s holistic and thoughtful, a physical rendition of the tunes one plays within towards the person. One that calms me into a trance in return. A bliss of sorts. After thinking long and hard, I figured, I’d put together a collection of a few pieces that I had performed. It was as personal a gift that I could offer. Then again, uncertainty seeped in between us like the stifling vapor from a rekindled bonfire gone awry. The package sits in front of me. Contents charred, simmering in embers but sealed in its own soot and abandoned.

What does one give to a person who has it all?

To a person who doesn’t want anything?

To one who who doesn’t want to have anything to do with you?

I remember all our conversations and apart from something you desperately wanted and bought anyway, there was really nothing that you spoke of that I could mold into a gift. I ignored the fact that was staring at me in my face. The fact that I really don’t know you as much as I’d like to think I do. Such arrogance I carry, right? Through this mirage I built, I saw your want loud and clear.

The one thing you keep saying you didn’t have much of. The one you yearned for. The one that would give you your peace and clarity. One that would allow you to achieve your goal in life. The one that lashes out a whip at me every time we speak. The one that gives me nightmares as I lay me down to sleep. Yes sweetie, for these holidays I give you the gift you would use most.

I gift you Time.

As 2009 rolls in, you will have all the time you want, deserve and need, to become the person you dream of; at least from my side.

I am not being magnanimous, presumptuous, or even patronizing. No, am not  being sacrificial either. This has been an extremely difficult, wrenching decision I have had to make, but I do so, only because it will make you happy, and making one happy is what an appropriate gift should do. There is freedom in the happiness. A happiness that blooms and produces a level of art and success that will feed itself and all around. One that will eventually bring a proud wrinkling smile on my face.

You see, each of us is selfish in our own ways.

I would like to tell you this though. Irrespective of how you feel about this gift, I request you to not dis-respect it. Use it how you may deem worthy.

Did you say five more years? That was your deadline for yourself, correct? When you really think about it, it isn’t that long. Time tends to fly when you are busy. That’s something you are always anyway, and so the days, months and years will fly before you know it. So you see, keep track of those seconds as they fly by you, including the ones I’ve sent your way, as they have a tendency to bubble up and disappear before you know it. Guard them and use them well, coz once they are gone, they sadly cannot be recreated again. You will do that won’t you?

I feel it necessary that I tell you this. When you said you didn’t have “time” for me, it hurt. That was a self-absorbed thought, telling me that I was not a priority anymore. I chose to accept it not because I do not respect or value myself, but because I value you and what you go through, enough to let you have your way. Thinking it through, the decision to actually give you back what you want from me seemed ideal.

Giving up has been something I’ve learnt to accept with increasing grace through the years. I hated having to part with my best dress, my bike, my choice of school, my smallest of wishes, my dreams, and now my time with you. It’s a cascading of emotions as I think back, like how a waterfall roars down into a passivity, a placid clear lake. 

There is so much I want to tell you, so much I want to hear from you at this moment. I’d give anything to sit with you and tell you how my days have been and hear you talk about your time spent and all that you came back home with. Setting myself up for the expectation of such kind will only force me to listen to the age old excuse from you. My once sturdy heart can no longer hear it again, and thus I leave. 

I am not saying goodbye. I am not leaving you. On the sidelines I will stand and cheer you when I see you flagging, when a word of encouragement is in order, when there’s frustration writ large in your words, when all you want is a ear to listen. I will always be there watching and rooting for you. Unseen, my faith stands tall.

Considering your pride, arrogance and your reticence will not allow you to bare with me, I hope you will allow me the liberty to check on you occasionally.

Once you have climbed the pinnacle of success, you will remember to call me to break the news, won’t you?

Happy New Year Sweetheart,

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28 replies on “a gift”
    1. says: rads

      That IS a thought! I'd never have imagined it that way, but yeah, you right, it could work that way too. S happens to be a favorite letter of mine, thatsall 🙂

  1. says: gauri

    Thank you, Rads – you touched a chord, you really did. I can see a lot of thought and passion behind it – beautifully written; 🙂


    1. says: rads

      I like to gift. Being the oldest has its advantages, and I do think of it as a good thing. So writing this piece? I spent time thinking about it, but writing it took me an hour or less.

  2. says: shriram

    This piece was warm and benevolent without making the giftee look like a victim. A delicate balance, and you achieved it well. The words carry affection and love without looking desperate. Dignified letter.

    As a writer, I can see your heart through the words. As someone else also wondered, I'd like to see how the gifted responded. Why don't you write that side of the story too?

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