Saturday, June 14, 2008

Of football and fear in the city

Somewhere between watching Carrie Bradshaw fall in and out with Mr. Big and in again, I seem to have found something that I thought had been eroded away.

The Netherlands won against France, 4-1. I watched the match surrounded by hundreds of screaming fans in an open air cinema with a huge screen. From ecstasy to depression to ridicule, I saw emotions flit across the innumerable unknown faces around me. Winning and losing. Battles and wars. They say that the spirit of the game lies in playing and not in the result.

But I am by no definition of the word, a player. I am like a golf amateur sent out to play for the national football team in the world cup finals. In extra time.

I do a worst case analysis by habit. I have found if I can grow into the worst case scenario, whatever happens afterward, is always a bonus. But when life deals you a blackjack, the worst case can morph beyond recognition and leave you surrounded by ruins you never expected to inhabit. That such a thing may happen, is not the question. That it used to scare me out of my wits was also firmly established in my psyche. Fear, as a reaction, can be very crippling sometimes.

Will it do my image a lot of damage if I admit that I almost shed a tear when towards the end of the movie, Carrie ran and hugged Mr. Big, like there was no tomorrow. Believing in fairy tale love stories seems to be a sure shot way of setting myself up for disaster. The dream at once seems so fragile and ephemeral. I was so scared of ruining it, that I actually stopped living it.

Yes, I live in my dream world. With my head buried somewhere in the clouds and my feet flailing in mid air. It doesn't help at all that I can see all this with my eyes. Other people mostly can't, so whenever I am caught talking to myself, I get the loony-tunes look. But coming back to the subject of being scared.

A long time ago. Well, it seems like a long time anyway, but you'll find it on this blog if you'll search for it, I gave up on hate. I haven't quite been as successful with anger, but mostly so. Well I would like to claim today, I give up on fear. I would like to. But that is not the way to look at it I guess.

I have just grown extremely comfortable in my own skin. Narcissistic? Maybe. A lot of doubts, of suitability, of being worth it, of being perfect for someone have fizzled out. The fear of loss is gone. Simply. Just like that.

As Beethoven wrote, and Carrie read out, and Mr. Big whispered, and I quote -

Ever thine,
Ever mine,
Ever ours.

How can one love someone without expecting them to love one back? It is not surprising that praying in a church in Pondicherry and a mosque in Istanbul will bring you to the same conclusion. A tiny instant of absolute clarity.

There is no greater liberation.

Ludwig van Beethoven's Letters to the Immortal Beloved can be found here.


  1. Thank you
    for joining the reader's paradise.
    I apologize i didnt write a formal mail inviting you to the blog

  2. @tshhar: Thank you for inviting me, but as I wrote to you in the email, I am really not in a position to contribute to another blog. Hope I did not lose a reader. :)

  3. You have given up on hate?
    Well then you have overcome a great evil.
    As for getting over the fear, the necessity of being perfect for someone else, dont you think it is rather the love for the other one rather than for yourself that makes you feel that way.

    I am a new reader for you, but i do return to read your posts. They are well written.Perhaps you could visit mine at

  4. @enigma: Thank you dear, for reading. But I have few things to say: I have not overcome all hate - no, I am not a saint. I made that statement in a very specific context. Also, all hate and hate per se is not evil - like I absolutely hate bananas - that does not make either me or the bananas or hate evil - though I doubt the bananas! About the fear factor - (I feel) it is very necessary to love yourself before you ever love someone else - here I am, as mathematicians say, abusing the notation by using the 'L' word twice - but this is the subject of another post perhaps.

    I did visit your blog earlier. Will leave a comment the next time I am around :) Keep reading.

  5. "The fear of loss is gone."

    ....but the empty space it left behind was a bother, in my case. :)

    thanks for dropping by my blog the other day.