Dearest Patiala,

Dearest Patiala,
Oh my sweet,
Once upon a time,
I was warned about men like you.
“Punjabi by Nature- an expression we say here,” she began explaining the meaning of the restaurant name we were dining lunch at. “Punjabi’s are known for their thunderous love of food, life, and celebrations. Until they are ready to settle into marriage, the men are wild and free. Never fall in love with a Punjabi man, you will only get your heart broken,” she said with a sly smile.
I thought she was speaking of from experience.
I did not know she was foreshadowing entanglements to come.

I remember that day,
I remember that Monday.
I remember the way you showed up,
I remember my world stopping-
I remember looking through the glass door, my first glance of you, everything stopped. A roaring urge to turn away, to leave you outside, unable to gather up courage to find words. Overwhelmed.
  My god, you were so handsome.

I remember taking a big deep breath in- hands shaking, exhaling- fumbling with the lock on the door, fumbling with courage. I could taste the beating vibrations of a nervous heart beat in my throat. I wanted to turn around, to leave you there; you know, those moments in your life where you see fate intervening in your life and it being so serendipitous, so perfect, I felt my legs crumbling.

I remember doing my best. We began the meeting, our third party running late, comfort was brought to me sensing nervousness coming from you; Funny how much inner strength can be mustered when you sense another person struggling. My curiosity ignited as you spoke and transcribe. What was your story? Why did your presence feel so familiar. Like home.

I remember the days, the weeks that followed. I could not erase your brown eyes from my memory; it drove me mad. How could you walk into my life, knocking down my grounded stance- only to sit with the knowing that chance crossed our paths, and the unbearable knowing that I may never see you again.

I remember the way you itched into my mind, my memory,
I remember the way you moved me to courage, weeks after, deciding to intentionally intersect with the natural course. A leap of faith, followed by an even greater leap of faith – letting go of you and trusting the universe.
I truly did let go of the thought of you. In exception to a powerful kundalini yoga practice, where once again, you rudely showed up into my awareness, my memory.. feeling real as ever.

Weeks passed, and I turned the page with gratitude.
But this wasn’t the end..

I remember, it was a Thursday, the ink was still fresh on my wrist. A tattoo whim to remind me of a powerful insight of death to come.
I remember how full my life was, so full I was able to even forget you- fire, dancing movement in the studio, life, community.
I remember looking at my phone, confused, who was this person contacting me? Repeatedly. Multiple texts. Facebook friend request. Facebook messages.
“Who is this???”
I put my phone down and walked away,
It took me hours to realize it was you,
And when I did,
I felt in awe,
Of this one precious life.

I remember our first date, that turned into a day, that turned into love.
I could be myself around you. You had a way of bringing out my true nature, the side that only a few trusted see- the goofy, overly joyous, playful soul who loved Bollywood flicks and masala chai. My fire to learn Hindi dissolved, “I must learn the language of your soul,” my heart sang with hunger to speak to you in your highest truth.

Felt right.
In your presence,
I felt safety.

Things grew and grew, until the month of destruction began. First, my car- my independence. Then my inner flame, dimming, adjusting to a new normal. A new normal that did not include the luxury of studio nights, followed by cozying to you, falling asleep. So safe. So peaceful. Now, a memory of such luxurious freedom.

Things were shifting, and shifting,
Until the ultimate undoing.
Death of my brother.

My shadows moved to the forefront of my mind.

I needed you. More than I let on.
I simply did not want to make you feel obligated.
Drag you down.

I didn’t know anymore.

I wanted you there. Present. In the weeds with me.
But you never came, and I did not know how to ask you to come.
You were drifting so far, or was it I who drifted away from solid grounding.
It didn’t help that you were being pulled to pursue career growth that meant you leaving- The one pause in my life where I knew my heart couldn’t take another loss of warmth and love, even if it meant you shifting closer to your highest version of yourself.
I simply knew in the months that followed, I needed you more and saw you less and less.

Until snow began to thaw, and the distance was so far,
The only thing worse than unknowing where I stood with someone I loved-
was the pain of reuniting,
worlds melting into one,
knowing when I walked out the door-
not knowing when I would see you again.

Everything felt grey and cold.
Empty. Lifeless.
Flickering of anger, sadness, frustration.
But even worse- unknowing.

Who let go of who?
I don’t know.

In the storm, I thought it was you.
But maybe I was more to blame than I knew?

I don’t know.
Death is tricky.
Vision is lost.
Shadows consume.

The only thing I knew, is that your absence screamed volumes.
I would find my flow, a rhythm,
And all it would take to crush it down,
Was a text or call from you – to bring my awareness to how much I missed you,
Followed by the heart churning jolt of weeks of no communication.

“If he wanted to be with you, he would.”

It took a gust of courage to find my own closure.
The moment I made the decision, peace arose.
Not that I stopped loving you, but simply,
The unknowing was too loud.

To weeks,
To months,
To knowing,
The closure is complete.

I struggled, you know,
Trying to find the meaning of all this.
Why did a human like you walk into my life,
Why did we experience what we experienced,
Only to have it dissolve into non- merited meaning.

My friend,
     I can call you this now, can’t I?
I understand it now.

Walking home days ago in freshly gifted snow,
I observed a wave of happiness that didn’t feel foreign,
In fact, I began to realize how happy I have been in the previous months.
Pure, genuine, expansive, joyful, sincere happiness.
Awareness shifted to what brought me to this “place”.

A vibrational wave of grief ran through my body-
   loss, grief, abandonment brought me to this place.
   what a fucking gut wrenching weight on the soul to know that the loss of another humans life is bringing me to a place of joy and peace. It feels unjust and cruel. 
A wave of awareness moved to you and anger I felt, melted to compassion, to upmost gratitude-
   you needed to leave. i could not have found this space with you here. i loved you too much. i would have hid in the safety of your arms from the emotions that needed to be dealt with. instead of cultivating my own, i would have relied on your own strength. it would have worn us both down. i would have worn us both down, immersed in grief. i needed to feel it, to heal it. 

I am here, now.
It was hard to get here.
I am here now.
Here feels good.

My dear sweet friend,
  Yes, I know I can call you that, 
I see the arc of our storyline now.
You were meant to appear when you did.
You were meant to fade away when you did.
You gave me enough faith in both trusting the universe
and the sweet nectar of doing “the work”.

I found strength.
I found joy again.
I found new passions and outlets of creativity.
I found myself even sharing my true self to all of those around me more.
I found myself trusting and opening up more and more to the people in my life.

I am happy.

Even in the waves of grief, sadness, and anger-
I still feel the frequency of joy.

By not being able to hide in the safety of you,
I found me and I found the things I needed to help heal.
I’m not there, completely. I still struggle.
But I am “failing forward”,
Stumbling often,
But always making it up again.
On my own.
It feels good.

I thank you, my friend,
And will always treasure you with gratitude.
Wishing you well and that you find growth with your career,
And with less miles between you and your family.

I will keep the masala chai recipe you gifted to me safe in my heart,
Sharing the result with friends and family, but never the recipe.

And perhaps, if the fates allow,
Maybe I will find myself traveling through your homelands.
I’ll remember you with a sweet smile,
The man who walked into my life only to lead me home, to myself.

Sat sri akall. Dhanwaad.   

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