Friday, June 20, 2014

When the going gets tough...

This weekend I travel all the way up North, changing flights and trains. Heading into the eye of summer. A seasonally unwise move. But on the soul-level it feels right. I’ve been missing home and two years has been plenty of time to be away from it.

So, I’m off to ‘see’ my home (in military parlance, home is whichever house you’ve been allotted to live in for your tenure at a military base). My home is a sprawling bungalow in the middle of nowhere. Or rather in one corner of an Air Force base, set amidst a village and its dusty fields.

And I have a confession to make. I’ve never much liked this particular base because of the drastic weather (scorching summers and chilly winters). But mostly because of the negativity and rigidity that I encountered there many years ago as a newlywed, which has made me wary of the society here, and of the many subversive ‘rules’ that bind you in knots.

S and I had just got married then. He, a junior officer and I, a work-at-home journalist. Just at the beginning of our life as an Air Force couple, we met people ‘higher up’ on the rigid military social structure, who took it upon themselves to make our existence difficult, hounding us through the first two years of our marriage, their vindictiveness seeping into almost every facet of our lives. It was a trying time that still colors the way I view the life there.

So, when we got posted back here a second time around two years ago, needless to say, I didn’t much look forward to the tenure. The memories were raw, the ‘triggers’ were bubbling beneath the surface and the social fabric was still as rigid and unrelenting.

But this time, as I go back to this base where I had a bumpy initiation into Air Force life, I’ve promised myself to keep the triggers at bay, to let the memories lie low, to let go of fear and anger.

Fear and anger at having lost and of losing hold of happiness. Of precious time squandered away in the 'compulsoriness' of everything. Of not having the choice to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Fear and anger at things being blown out of proportion and unnecessary confrontations, of precious hours spent dissecting the minutiae.

So as I head back, to a home that I love and to a place & society that I’m wary of, I have promised myself that I will try.

To let-go of my triggers, one slow step at a time.
To let the judgments that come my way, roll over me, like water droplets on a raincoat.
To stay cozy and happy in my haven.
To let meanness stay where it should – outside my door and life.
To be myself in spite of this maze of rules and hierarchy.
To stay assertive, content, loved. 
To cherish my life there.
To relish the now.

photo & text by chandana banerjee


  1. All the best Chandana, hang in there, hugs Anu

  2. You go girl! More power to you ,break a leg ( somebody else's ,of course) and all such clichéd encouraging statements from my end.Told you,I suck at


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