The days pass quickly. Its the 13th and there are just 7 days left for Barbie to go home. Then Mommy will leave. And finally it will be my turn.

Was a time when we dreaded coming to Dubai for our alloted month: endless hours of boredom, the death of freedom, the sudden stifle of unaccustomed things which other people, 'them', take so much for granted. Now, there is just a flurry of activity.

I wake up early in the morning to practise my golf, with Baba. Then we hang around over breakfast and talk (summer solstice, the Gita, the world wars, 'Us') till its time for him to leave for work.

Barbie wakes up. Mommy wakes up. We eat something or the other. We vegetate on the huge cream sofa and fight over what we should watch or how life should be lived or the state of the world, or of 'Us'.

Soon, its Four. Its time Baba to get home and we go to the Meridian. He and Mommy swim. We watch, photograph the ocean, talk about life and the world and 'Us'. When they are done, we hit the Sauna and the whole routine. I used to hate it, now I do it everyday. Just for the sake of the togetherness. Little snatched bits of exquisite, make believe ordinariness and togetherness, unaccustomed things which other people, 'them', take so much for granted. And in the jacuzzi, we talk about how life should be lived or the state of the world, or of 'Us'.

Then its back home and the quiet of the late evening. After a while Mommy and Baba watch the TV and we go outside and I play some football with Barbie. The makebelieve goall post is hit and she says Di thats not a goal. My back hurts, I am growing old. We head back and I try the net again, but all I get is 'page not displayed'. The dialup seems incredbly slow nowadays.

Late night, we eat dinner at the table. Like dolls in a dollhouse, but soon something happens and its 'Us' again, the game is left half played.

Then they go to bed. We are left behind. awake. sleepless sentinels of maimed dreams still struggling to walk, and bitter chocolate, still sweet. We talk of 'them' and how it could have been, should have been, would have been. Who we were, are, could become, dream of being. We are closer than ever before, yet there is something missing. I have let go. Let go of that desperate struggle to salvage her soul, atleast her soul. I have learned that it is way too late, that I am way too weak. That fate, life and blood are way too strong. We all become what we will become. That is 'destiny'. Our's. Written by our basic nature. By our basest nature. Yet, there was so much potential. Its all lost now like a flower that bloomed in the desert and lost its sweetness, wasted, spilled, in the dry desert air.

Yet, is anything ever wasted? She was. She bloomed. She lived. I survived. So will she. But I had not wanted her to have become a caracass, a shell, a walking dead, like me. But it was inevitable. The fell combination, of blood, and fate, and time and 'Us' is too much to fight.

At times I think, I will not give up. I will keep fighting. I will battle 'Them','Us'
and even Time. I will save her, if I die so doing. I will fight them all to save them. I will make love out of nothing. I will plant Roses in the desert. I will make grow a garden, make love, and ties and family.

At other times, I feel that its too much. It always was. This was the way it was meant to be. Bitter Chocolate. Chocolate Amer. Bittersweet. Loving. Hating. Stumbling. Lying. Cheating. Stealing. Learning. All from Life. All with Life. And ourselves. Why do I obsess with paper perfect people? And Honour? And clean lives? Why am I what I am, yet nurture the ambitions I do? Ramayan revisited. Its not real. Its not possible. Its a lost battle. Why keep fighting? Whom to keep fighting? How long to keep fighting?

The biggest battle is with yourself. The demons. The dirt. The imperfections. But if all your life is spent becoming, or trying to, who you aspire to be. Stark, Clean, Tall, Pure ... then whats the point? Or is it, like virtue, its own reward? But what would I know of Virtue?

Time and again the escapist in me turn to the dream, of new beginnings: I will start afresh. I will make a new life. It will be everything that I had ever dreamed of. Ramayan revisited. I will move to a greener pasture and plant my garden there. Love, Family, perfectly crafted tiny human lives, clean, normal, ordinary, middle class. I wanna be like 'Them'. I wanna be one of 'Them'. Uncomplicated and simple. No skeletons stuffed in every closet, threatening to spill out with every stray gust of wind. I'm a wanna be Goodie.

Originally Posted at Prerona.

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