A few weeks ago, I got a missed call from an unsuitable boy I once had a crush on. In my fengshui pursuit of clearing the clutter from my life, I had of course deleted his number from my phone book, but my voracious south-indian memory didn’t fail to recognize it. What could he want now, I wondered.
Come morning, I stopped wondering, and moved on with my rituals, radio, work and other things. He had clearly been ctrl_alt-deleted from my life, but I wasn’t from his.
Of all the open windows on the hard-disk of this thing called life, something that keeps popping up are the ex-files. They have an uncanny knack of doing it. Some may creep up during holidays and festivals in the guise of what might be construed as a mass-sms. Non-commitant, neutral, impersonal, but at the same time, encrypted, registering their shadowed presence.
It's like saying, "I know you have moved on, but this is just so that you remember I was once around.” Sometimes, it might be a carefully chosen e-card or greetings for the new year or Valentine’s day or that kind of thing.
Some might go a step further and include you in their listing of forwards. Or worse, send you a link to their photos with totally random strangers at totally random places.
The point is, when you choose not to be with someone, you have really thought it through. People break up much before they actually break-up. And it always has a validation, at least in your head, however shallow that might me. I for one have a problem with men who send forwarded messages. Or wear pleated trousers. Or men who don't stand by their friends, or are indifferent to yours. Or just men who don't smell clean. But once it is in my head, it has to be out there.
Men on the other hand, still want to leave the window of 'we can still be friends' open, which more often than not always ends in disaster.
I do have friends who can’t seem to ax the ex and in some creepy way, I know they are still looming large. The real trouble is, having trouble with closure. When they can't stop calling, or emailing, or smsing or scrapping or orkuting or IMing or whatever their techno happy triggers get them to do.
I remember reading somewhere that all it takes is a sixty day detox program (yes, apparently, it is like being in an alcoholic recovery program or something)
And it is not just about ordinary people. Haven’t we heard of stars being slapped by their exes in public, or someone who dropped a glass of wine on her husband's ex?
So finally, as the halo of cumulative wisdom builds around me, I have learnt that the only way that works is ctrl+alt+delete.
Yes, it is hard to forget their phone number, even though they might be out of your phone book, or forget the caller tune, or forget his birthday or his brand of cigarette. But, when you look at it as one more bit of trivia your super-wonderful brain remembers, it ain't so bad.