Yesterday I met an old “friend” of mine from Hyderabad on my way to dinner at a relative’s place in Khatla here in Aizawl. A definite blast from the past. She’s working in Aizawl now, doing pretty well. She’s not as attractive as I used to remember, and she also told me I’ve lost a lot of hair since the last time she saw me. We talked about the present, and not the past.
You see, she wasn’t exactly a friend. She was one of the many girls I’ve seen living-in with my Arab friends back in Hyderabad, during my CAT coaching class days. I didn’t even remember her name yesterday, and I certainly felt odd asking for her name after the way she seemed to know me so well. I did recognize her face after she called me by my name, and memories of Hyderabad came rushing back immediately. But her name, nah… couldn’t recollect.
We quickly talked about what’s going on with our lives. Again I felt odd because… we were never that close back in Hyderabad. I had my own circle of friends (Pawan, Kini, Adonica, Shruti, Antara, etc. miss you guys!) and my roomies were Alaa & Hyder, two Arabs. Two amazing and wonderful friends. Through them, I got to meet more and more Arabs and Africans (North Africans). And it was with those people that I would frequently cross paths with the women who stayed with them.
It was clear that my roomies didn’t like the promiscuous ways of their Arab friends, but being from the same place, it was inevitable not to hang out occasionally. Yesterday I wanted to ask her how her “boyfriend” was, but I couldn’t remember who she was with back in Hyderabad… So I avoided the question until she asked me if I was seeing anyone (in our society, it is a very common practice for people to ask really personal questions directly to somebody they hardly know, something that I am still not accustomed to due to my upbringing). I said no and I asked her the same thing back politely and she said she was seeing somebody here in Aizawl. Then I asked her if he “knows” and her eyes widened with a coy smile and said no. She grinned.
We soon parted ways as I was getting late for the dinner. Thoughts filled my head - I hoped I didn’t know who the boyfriend was because if he turned out to be a friend or a distant cousin, I wouldn’t be able to sleep well at night if I didn’t tell him about her past. And then I felt extremely ashamed of myself immediately.
Ashamed for trying to poke my freaking nose into other’s affairs. Ashamed for trying to moral police. Ashamed for being a hypocrite. And last but not the least, amazed at myself for ever having such a thought… must be the Mizoram air.
See, I am not judging her. I have no rights to do that and neither does anybody. In fact I too have a lot of dark pasts that I am not exactly proud of. But in a relationship, I’ve always believed that we have to come clean to the person we give our heart to, otherwise the relationship is just built on lies alone.
Call me a sentimental old fool but if you really really really love somebody with all your heart and soul and mind and spirit, can you live with a secret? Can you? Won’t the weight of that secret pull you further and further down until you sink into an abysmal madness where guilt clouds up your ability to genuinely love somebody back?
Of course there is the clichéd old saying, that the past is the past and what matters is the present. But that doesn’t mean the present and the past are completely unrelated. Western culture and ethos are different. Over here, both the past and the present usually intertwine, especially in a close knitted society like our Mizo society. The past will keep coming back to haunt you as long as you lie about it. And believe me, not saying anything about it is in itself a lie too when it comes to relationships.
My advice to all you young lovers out there – if you have a past, don’t worry about it. Most of us do. Just tell the person about it, and if he or she really loves you back, it won’t matter. That is the power of true love. But if you keep it a secret and the two of you become serious later on, believe me, it’s the hangman’s noose for you if he or she gets to know about your past from somebody else.
Because a relationship is all about trust. How can he or she trust you again when there had been one big lie all through your relationship? He or she will definitely assume that all the other truths you’ve told him/her are all lies too. One rotten lie can spoil everything. So it is best to come clean right at the start of a relationship. And believe me, the lightness you will feel after your “confession” is amazing! You no longer need to carry that heavy burden on your back every day, every night. In a way, it does sound quite gospelic!
And hey, if he or she doesn’t want to continue with your relationship because of your confession, move on. Know that you’re good enough for her/him and that it’s her/his loss, not yours. Don’t let low self esteem bite you in the butt. At least you have been honest. You will definitely find somebody later on who will accept you for who you are, and not for what you’ve done in the past.
I mean, that’s just me. What say you? Do you think it’s necessary to come clean before the start of a relationship? Or do you believe that some things are best left unsaid? Do you think it’s wiser to take a gamble and hope that the other person you’re going to share the rest of your life with will never find out about that something you’ve been hiding from her/him?
Dying to know what you think. Do write in. And if the person mentioned here by some weird coincidental chance happens to read this post, do know that I do not mean to offend you in any way. You’ve just triggered a thought, that’s all. Love and hugs.