Chasing the Midnight Moon


Chasing the Midnight Moon

07/01/2012

It is 2:00am DG is just back from a 2 mile walk. It was a warm and sultry day she could not muster courage to walk to the gym in the hot sun so she settled for a late evening walk. Sundown was 9:30pm so she pulled a summer dress for a leisurely power walk but could not resist temptation to ping a young friend before she stepped out. A quick ping became two hour exchange and then it was another friend and it was almost half past midnight. Twice she thought of dropping the idea but the big bright moon dangling in her window tempted her to step out at 1am. She walked a 15 minute a mile and sat by the river just watching few solitary souls (couples) strolling and few cyclists.

While she was walking back home it dawned on her she was only unaccompanied woman at 2am walking by the river. Was it a foolish walk alone at this ungodly hour? Was it risky, was she prepared for any kind of emergency; yes she had her phone on her person besides the house keys? This is not the first time she has taken a walk or biked so late on the river. What does she think? Is she immune to risks or she doesn’t even give a thought to her safety? May be she never felt unsafe when she is in her own company and in sync with the universe?

Then another thought came to her mind, was it possible to go for such a walk if she were to be in a relationship, marriage or just be even with her natal family? If all these years DG has managed to stay safe and do her thing will she accept someone reasoning with her about her safety and their responsibility towards her or their concern? When living in company why it matters to other person(s) when one does their thing, “me time” after they are done the “we time.” Is such probing legitimate and warranted just because you live under the same roof?

How will DG react if her hypothetical partner took such a leisurely walk? Will she tag along or let them go by themselves. Some may suggest if she had a partner she’ll not need to take a lone stroll but what if she still wanted to? If she could stay safe all these years should she just give up her joy of moonlit walks to assuage her recent partner’s real or imaginary fears?

What does it mean to be in a relationship familial or conjugal? What is acceptable suggestion and what is infantilizing? Where do you draw a line on negotiable suggestions and non negotiable?

Readers are encouraged to contribute their take on DG’s everyday observations. She is hopeful she’ll learn a thing or two.

5 Responses to “Chasing the Midnight Moon”

  1. Santulan January 9, 2013 at p01 #

    Sochne waali baat hai…

    Like you said, this is not just about partners but family also.. One of the reasons I am not relocating back to ahmedabad from baroda is that I will be living in mom’s house. Then the nagging starts, yahaan mat jaao, itni der se kyu jaa rahe ho etc etc,.Over here I can go out whenever and wherever I want.. One day at 1 in the night I wanted to have chai and pakodas, and went out and had that. Once the room mate got up and took out his bike. we went for an hour long drive

    It’s a thin line.. Sometimes you do things for the other person or family, even when you would not do it otherwise because it means to you that they feel about it. Even if it means doing it out of obligation.. Is it right? I don’t know, I don’t think so (but then again i have non existent experience when it comes to relationships).

    This also means that if you want some of alone time, the other person should respect the same. But people don’t think of that.. If you want to go alone, you partner may ask questions

    @Santulan,

    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.
    Eternal dilemma. Dunno how people in relationships will navigate DG kind of wanderlust.
    Her only problem is people trying to patronize her in the name of love and care; utter strangers, especially younger lot and that too desi.
    Alone time in desi land is oxymoron Har tarf adami hi adami… up in your face adami…

    Please shae this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Like this

  2. preetidutta July 1, 2012 at p07 #

    Just back from a long walk on a rainy day in Grenoble (France) . You are lucky to be out at 2 am and come back safe . in India , even in Bangalore , 9 -10 pm is the limit to venture out all alone , for a walk , drink or dinner . I thought Paris will be different , but i was chased , teased and even intimidated by men in Paris at 4pm in a crowded metro. So , may be its not about time , its not place , its about people . I don’t need a man to be my side , but safer place for me to walk free at will at what ever time.
    Relationships make everything complicated.That’s true with every relationship . Friends, colleague, relatives , partners , all will have a view in our lives .
    I will be worried about my partner going out at 2 am for a walk , but I would rather let him take the decision and vice versa , while i will keep my partner informed I won’t be seeking permissions for walk .

    Like this

  3. anjugandhi July 1, 2012 at p07 #

    a simple walk and so many thoughts :-)

    @anjugandhi,

    It wasn’t a simple walk it was a walk at one past midnight. When was the last time you took a walk by yourself at that hour or even at 10-11pm in Des or abroad? Would you not probe your daughter or DIL for that matter even your son or your partner stepping out for a walk at that our. Could you go for a similar walk without being asked any questions by those you share a roof with other than your partner?

    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Like this

  4. Pranesh Nagri July 1, 2012 at p07 #

    I do not know why simple things become a subject matter of discussion. If you have to think in a relationship then it has already ended.
    And is life not very simple and a celebration every minute?
    Or may be that is how I deal with life, I love doing what I like to do and honestly life does walk a mile with me too and no questions.

    @Pranesh Nagri,

    All the thinking in the world is required in relationships to build a strong foundation where after all the initial hard work there will no longer be a need to think before every personal action.
    My life could be simple and celebration it is my choice what about those I am in relationship with; what if they do not want to keep their life simple and a celebration?

    Another part to the equation is gender, men beget more opportunities just by virtue of their gender for “me time” and socializing than women in desi culture.

    We may do what we love to do and what about those in our lives, if they feel left out or feel helpless to not be able to join us on our pursuits due to their insecurities or disinterest.

    Didn’t get this part …and honestly life does walk a mile with me too and no questions.

    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Like this

  5. Huzaifa Pandit July 1, 2012 at p07 #

    It is a double edged sword DG!! When you recognize a relationship you accept the inhibitions and restrictions that come along with it! You have to bend over a little to toe the comfort line : a state where you sacrifice a little in order to assuage the other stakeholder while at the same time preserving your self!! sometimes you go overboard with it and problems arise therein: in your words we go on rescue missions – sacrificing a little too much for the others comfort!! When you are alone you can do all that your heart yearns but then you will have to do without physical company which is rather more of a priority than fulfilling all your heart’s yearnings, speaking realistically!! Perhaps Blake summed it best in his The Clod and the Pebble:

    Love seeketh not itself to please,
    Nor for itself hath any care,
    But for another gives its ease,
    And builds a heaven in hell’s despair.”

    So sung a little Clod of Clay,
    Trodden with the cattle’s feet,
    But a Pebble of the brook
    Warbled out these metres meet:

    “Love seeketh only Self to please,
    To bind another to its delight,
    Joys in another’s loss of ease,
    And builds a hell in heaven’s despite.”

    i guess the best one is neither of them but then it is ultimately a matter of personal choice!!!

    @Huzaifa,

    The restrictions and inhibitions you mentioned that come with any relationship are they a package deal or there is a scope of “me time” past the “we time.”
    You got it my friend there is a price to be paid for the company we keep. But the question arises when in company do we lose our individual preferences and instincts that another has to protect us in the name of love or their personal insecurities?
    Haven’t we made enough made enough sacrifices to be where we are why would anyone exchange personal freedom for constant feeling of feeling, responsible, obligated and guilty to make another feel safe and secure?

    As a woman DG has a lot at stake than a man who could venture anywhere at anytime lest the fear of mugging.

    Blake is good but you know it isn’t gelling in here.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Like this

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