Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Sudha's take on Goa

  1. Sudha sent me her thoughts on our recent trip to Goa. Here goes:

The Goa trip with Uma turned out to be much more of an introspective experience than I expected.

  1. Uma... Have spent a large chunk of my childhood with her…loving her , hating her, (she used to LAUGH at me!), but mostly liking her a great deal; agonizing over her handicap and keeping mum about it, because she hated anybody mentioning it. And somewhere along the way, taking it for granted, even rationalizing it all to myself. She has so many other comforts to make up the loss.. and other nonsense.

    This time in Goa, we take a walk down to the nearest store and it hits me. She can’t undertake a casual stroll without company; a small undulation can cause a bad fall ; and even idle chatter as we walk distracts, and is not without risk. And I thought I was a sensitive soul! In one of our Mumbai sessions, Uma had asked whether we got different perspectives of ourselves from feedback. That day I came face to face with myself, and didn’t like it much.

    Walking with Uma starts another trend of thought…it is so much easier when I match my stride to hers. Have I been doing that all the time? Matching my stride to other people's so that everything is easier? Uma has no choice, but what about the others in my life? Have I even given them a chance to match their strides to mine? What is my stride? Do I know… do I even want to know? And if I did find it and nobody wanted to match my stride, would I be ready to walk the path alone?

    We sit out on the beach every night after dinner. There is no moon, and the sky is dusty with stars. I feel distant from Uma, and realize that this feeling has persisted for some time now. Is this the authority problem which Venky and Sharat have been mentioning? No - I accept her superior understanding of the work we are in, and accept it gratefully.... then where is this distance coming from? If I accept the distance, it is not an uncomfortable feeling. Just that I know I love her more than this, and am unable to express it.

    The following day, over lunch, I start telling her about my passion for writing about films, and she interrupts with “What is in it for you” ; I resent that, but curb the feeling and buy time, by saying “I will think about it.” I think she catches on. Next day, Uma does a ‘dry run’ of some new exercises for the group. Surprisingly, it touches the very issue that’s troubling me. And I can tell her that I find she is too much ‘therapist’ and not enough ‘friend’. I mention my earlier resentment and she says maybe all it needed was for me to tell her not to interrupt her. Simple. Point taken.

    Somehow it is easier to talk to her now, and as we sit on the beach at night, I reach out and hold her hand. It is like being kids together again. It has been a good trip.

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