Being Women

The Two Of Us! My Partnership With Loneliness

The author cherishes an unconventional partnership with loneliness, finding self-acceptance and strength through embracing solitude.

Mein aur meri tanhayi aksar yeh batein karte hai, tum hoti to….

When I heard Mr. Bachchan speak aloud these lines for the first time in his baritone voice, I was in my early teens. Tanhaiya was an exciting word then. There was no Google to barge into, and neither was someone who could tell me what ‘tanhaiya’ meant. To make things convenient, I moved to the song, made peace with the rest of it and fell in love. ‘Yeh kaha aa gaye hum’ became and remained a personal favourite. 

Coming back to ‘Tanhaiya’.

Discovering the Meaning of Loneliness

A few years later, I discovered the meaning of this potent word- loneliness. 

Little did I know this word would mean so much to me and my life. 

As I moved through the tapestry of life and its myriad hues, this word, which means loneliness, became my friend. My confidant. My home. My space to find peace in good and bad times. My place to find myself in the din called life. 

Loneliness as a Refuge

Over the years, I understood loneliness is not always bad, only if you know how to befriend it. Like Bachchan sahab, when I talk to my tanhaiya, every single time, I end up discovering myself in a renewed way. I do. Seriously. I smile. I cry, wrap my loneliness around me, and ask it to speak. I put my head on its lap and rest. And it speaks. Those words that I found difficult to bring to my lips. Words that yearned to tumble out of my heart, but was scared. But my loneliness effortlessly does it, and how? 

Loneliness Asks the Hard Questions

And it doesn’t end there. Sometimes, it opens the floodgates of questions for me. Oh, bitter ones, I say. It pierces me deeply and twists the knots within. Questions my choices. My people. My decisions. My reactions. I scream. It aches. It makes me feel so helpless. But isn’t a good friend meant to do that? Ask you so that you know what lies beneath and behind the face that the world sees of yours. And you discover a new ‘YOU’.

Unconditional Support

But you know what’s the best thing about these questions? It never asks for an answer. Even if you lay quietly, embracing it for hours together, you can rest assured that you will not be nudged for an answer. Tanhaiya will hug you tight and let you be. Allow you to find your way, the light, the breath that will finally make you feel alive again. 

Mein aur meri tanhaiya aksar yeh batein karte hai- tum na hoti mein kya karti?

The Power Of Loneliness

Where would I have run and hide when those harsh waves of life dashed onto me? Where would I take that buddle of nerve when I stand clueless about whys and hows? Where would I find that space when I want to be me without any pretences? I go to my tanhaiya

My place of solace, of rest and rumination. 

And then, can you beat the fact that you can gobble an entire chocolate bar without batting an eyelid when you are with loneliness? And binge-watch your favourite movie without raising an eyebrow. Or wear that sexy strapless and dance through the night, beat to beat. And croon and become the Madonna of your life till the hilt.  

Loneliness as a Guide

Befriend your loneliness once in a while. Don’t run away. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t loathe that the only thing you have is loneliness. Instead, speak to it and allow it to talk to you. Blend yourself into a cathartic conversation. Nurture yourself with the wisdom that otherwise hides behind the voices that cloud you. Allow your loneliness to caress your wounds and prepare yourself to face the world again. Allow it to make you strong, more resilient and creative. Allow!

I love my loneliness. Because we two tango. It’s a clandestine, passionate affair. We all need to sit with this partner once in a while. Not to get lost but to find our way back to us. 

It’s two of us when the world turns around or even otherwise. 

And then,

Mein aur meri tanhaiya fir batein karte hai… yeh kaha aa gaye hum yuhi saath chalte chalte!!

(This was an entry to the contest ‘Two’ commemorating the second anniversary of The She Saga)


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