Posts Tagged ‘I Miss you my EX-Neighbor’

To all of you out there reading this, I just wanna start by saying, if you have a certain someone in you life,  you can hold hands and go on a walk with, have dinner dates and meaningful conversations with, the one who makes you feel excited about life, then hold onto them, appreciate them, cherish them,  not everyone is blessed enough to have someone like that in their lives. I personally am not in the blessed category, and so most of my time is spent in preventing my mind from running wild and imagining the worst. All I can imagine is my end, after I had been gone for days,  body and soul, finally someone finds me, my body covered in big fat ants, feasted on my corpse. What can I say? Dark times and even darker thoughts!!! So, all you fortunate folks be grateful you are not alone during these crazy times

So, after the year that we all collectively had in 2020, a possibility of an even worse 2021 seemed vicious, but guess what, this morbid possibility turned into a reality, well at least in India. And while the rest of the world was starting to get back to “Business As Usual”, we as a nation were battling one of the deadliest surges of the covid-19 pandemic. Our hospitals and morgues filled to capacity, people dying of oxygen scarcity. Nothing could prepare us for the things we witnessed, after seeing the never-ending flames rising from the burning pyres, pictures of queued up coffins, I had nightmares for days and was depressed for a while, I couldn’t bring myself to smile, or have any kind of pleasant thoughts. While it is quite possible that we will have to live with the aftereffects of these traumatic events for a while, all of it seems trivial when compared to people who have lost their loved ones, without a proper burial, a loving embrace. We are all mourning and grieving, but at the same time, ours is a nation of resilient people and like all the other times in the past, even this time when faced with challenging situations we surmounted, we didn’t succumb.

I personally did a few things to maintain my sanity, first started by limiting the news consumption and then did everything in my power to stay positive and covid negative (covid joke). of course, all this is easier said than done, some days would get especially bleak, and I would cry out to my creator “I will stop sinning lord, I will say my rosary….” It’s not that I don’t want to die it is just that I don’t want to die like how most of the pandemic victims have died, gasping for oxygen and not getting any, begging for ICU bed, without their loved ones by their side, a dignified death seemed like a luxury many couldn’t afford. Sorry if all of this depressed you but this is just something I had experienced and just needed to express, now let us pull the chain on this morbid train of thoughts and get away from all of life’s gloomy shit and toward lighter shit.

Here’s a random thought that creeped into my mind the other day, I saw flies hopping over each other, possibly making love, occupied in procreation and I thought to myself, “well, at least someone’s having the time of their lives , so what if it’s not us, humans.” Yeah, in my mind an insect which I could easily give a swat was living a better life that we were, well, that’s where things are at.

Anyway, just as everything was starting to feel a little bearable, my hormones decided to act up in all possible ways, and to make matters even worse, I suddenly had this urge to get married,  maybe it had something to do with, not wanting to worry about the next delivery slot for the groceries, or where to get the required medicines from, or booking the taxi for vaccination, for a change just wanted someone else to figure it all out for me, or just have someone by my side “to worry” together with, it was of course a fleeting thought, and thank God for that. I mean for the past year and a half I have been managing everything on my own, and agreed it hasn’t all been a smooth sailing, but at the same, wouldn’t risk everything just to have a sailing partner now, would we?

It has been some time since my new neighbor moved in next door, it was quite a while after Renal moved out. It was terrible to hear/see him move out. We hardly spoke, but he was a pretty cool neighbor, polite and respectful, mindful of my privacy, no unnecessary visits, no screaming into his phone or shouting at the top of his voice, no slamming of doors,  I guess you could say, we were the kinda neighbors who managed to live in harmony with each other, which I have come to realize isn’t all that common, and doesn’t happen with everyone, my new neighbor has been instrumental in teaching this valuable lesson, you know how they say, “Worst experiences teach the best lessons”, that’s absolutely true.

Now I don’t mean to rattle off about how exasperating it is to live next door from my new neighbor, but she is a lot to take! She drives me nuts. She has no boundaries, comes knocking at the door, any day and every day. Absolutely    inconsiderate of my day or time, I mean, I could be in a meeting, or taking a nap or even in the freaking washroom, but she doesn’t care, she considers it to be her right to keep ringing the damn doorbell till I get around to answering the door.

And then there is a series of silly questions like, “S*** do you know the customer care number?”, “Do you want some Onam Sadhya?”, “Do you have some change?”, and some grand announcements like, “I got married!!!”, “Its pretty hot…..”, “My internet is not working !”. I don’t mind helping her out, but at same time I value my privacy and my time, also, not a fan of unannounced visits, it’s like living with a free roommate without the perks (if at all there are any).

She also comes across as not someone who could be called responsible, in a pandemic that has plagued all our lives, and in which staying indoors is directly related to staying alive and stopping the spread, she steps out of her house every now and then for no apparent reason, has the maid come in, for cooking and cleaning, I mean she might be eager to visit the covid ward, but I am not!!

She is a living example of how some people disregard any and every possible rule just because following them could cause a little inconvenience.

All this is overwhelming especially since Renal was such an angel by contrast, almost flawless as a neighbor, his only flaw, not very good with the locks, struggled with them all the time, and quite noisily I must say. But he managed it all on his own, like a grown up should be able to. The only time he paid me a visit, was to return an empty tequila bottle. He stood at the door, holding the empty silver tequila bottle in his hand, his green color stud shone bright in the grim light coming from my living room, his overgrown curls reaching his shoulder. He looked like a Greek god to me.

So to take you back, when I realized that he was vacating the place, as a ‘Thank you’ I gave him this tequila bottle,  for being a good neighbor, and in some ways helping me get through my first ever lockdown, silently.

So, one day, as he was stepping out of the house, I mustered up enough courage and interrupted him,

“Do you have a minute? “I asked

He looked up at me with a confused look on his face. He wore glasses 😊, something else we have in common besides our taste in songs, I thought to myself.

“I am S%^^&,I live upstairs” I heard my weak voice

I was nervous, been ages since I spoke to a  tall guy in person .

“I am Renal” I know!!I replied, but only in my mind.

“Are you moving out?”

“Oh Yeah! will be moving in with my friend, it’s nearby, lot of sunlight.”

“That’s nice” I said, and then pulled out the tequila bottle and blabbered something like “maybe you can enjoy with your friend, a small housewarming gift”.

He took the bottle, and like every other man his eyes were glued to the bottle, taking in all information.

Men and alcohol !!!I tell you!

“Sad we never got to meet in spite of being neighbors for a year”.  I know, we missed one of those life’s opportunities, I was telling myself.

His eyes were still glued to the bottle.

“If you don’t mind, can you please bring back the bottle, it’s pretty cool and I would love to use it as vase” there you go, my typical Indian mentality. Did I want to see him again or did I just need the bottle back? The latter of course, trust me.

“Sure” he said.

“Bye then, nice talking to you” I said.

“Bye” he said.

No, we did not exchange numbers, he didn’t ask for mine number, I didn’t ask his and that’s that.

The bottle of silver tequila was now in good hands, after waiting for 5 glorious years. A destiny finally fulfilled.

Days passed; I was eagerly waiting for that one knock at the door. Weeks rolled by and I had given up on the idea of seeing him or the bottle again. Renal had shifted all his things from the house and there was a dead silence all around, I hated it. No sounds of carrom board being moved around, no juggling of keys, nothing but a pin drop silence.

And then one fine evening he comes with the empty bottle with the most awaited knock, “Oh Hi” I said, opening the door, my face was blooming like a sunflower at 7PM in the evening.

“Your bottle” he said handing back the empty bottle.

“I had made some cocktails for my friends, they all enjoyed it” So you just made them the cocktails? you didn’t drink? my follow up question was right at the tip of my tongue, but I held back and instead replied back,

“That’s nice.”

“So, I am moving back to Mangalore, mum is alone” he said.

Boy oh boy!! Now I don’t know much about him and I am pretty sure he definitely has some flaws, like every other human, but right at that moment he seemed like a keeper!!! Rides an old secondhand bike, is 6ft tall, loves dogs and is moving back home because his mom is alone, didn’t forget to return the stupid bottle, come on now! 😊and for a moment it felt like I shouldn’t let him be ‘the one that got away’.

Anyway, brushing the fantasy aside, I said, “Maybe we will bump into each other in Mangalore”, a very sincere and hopeful thought. And no, even this time we didn’t exchange numbers, in case you were wondering. I didn’t want to ruin the moment, in search of something more.

“Yeah” he replied.

“Safe journey, take care.”

“Thank you”

Now tell me, would you blame me for not being able to stand my new neighbor, she doesn’t talk on her phone, she screams into it, even at 3 in the morning.

Every annoying thing she does reminds of Renal, my silent, sweet, quiet neighbor. So, my dear ex-neighbor wherever you are, you are missed dearly, every damn day.

PS: Thank you SH for your magic, If this post have some kick in it, then it’s because of you. Thank you