Saturday, January 10, 2009

Me and Sree

(I wrote most part of this note on Jan 1, in a personal e-mail addressed to a few friends. I have edited it a bit, have added the experiences of the days that went by in the new year, and have also tried to address the kind of direct and indirect reactions to that note.)

Myself and Sreejitha have been trying to live together for four years now. It was difficult for us as it is for any two persons. Both us put a lot of efforts to pull it through despite differences, we stretched ourselves to accommodate each other and define a space together for the two of us (and later for the three of us). And now we have reached a point when we feel it is in the best interests of the relationship that we live in separate spaces.

It was my decision more than Sreejitha's, as it had become near impossible for me to live in such a physical space, putting in a lot of energy into that relationship, since I felt I did not have much space in this relationship at this moment.

Yes, one thing we still talked was the household. And I do not want to undermine the importance of managing the household. But I felt I could manage the household better if I did not live with Sreejitha. I could cook more often, I could wash my own clothes.. because I do not have to spend a lot of energy trying to sync myself with another person who is more or less completely living in a different world.

I have spent four years spending so much of my time and energy in this relationship, and let me add that I do not regret that. I think I have gained a lot from this relationship, as did Sree. In fact, I do feel good that we have reached a point where Sreejitha has become more of a person (in her own choice of words). This is a point when I can afford to think of leaving her to herself.

One reaction that Sree got was that "one should invest in the relationship". To that I would ask, is a relationship only about being together? Is it not possible that a relationship fares better when separated physically? That two people can understand each other better, understand where the relationship stays now and understand where can these two people go forward from here?

I know there are many people who do stay together in even more stagnated stages, but it is just that I do not find it worth two lives. I do not consider this parting of ways an end of the relationship, nor do I want to call it a 'break-up'. We did not want our love and respect for each other to make way for intolerance and irritation with each other. We felt this is how the relationship can grow from where we were, and from my experience of the last few days I can tell you that this has indeed been the case. I am happy with that.

At some point we may get back to staying with each other again. Till then, let us both take separate courses in life. (pun intended).

Don't be jealous.

Yours
Sudeep

21 comments:

My Story said...

Seems to be a good decision at the moment. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Sudeep. Congratulations. You should probably have done this a long time ago.

sudeep said...

Subid, good to know that you consider this a good decision at this moment. Thanks.

Anonymous, I don't want to acknowledge your congratulations. Because I do not find that "Good for you" any good for me. I wouldn't have taken this decision if I believed it was just a "good for me" decision. And I don't know what you mean by "Good for you".

I arrived at this decision with a conviction that this is good for all of us -- Aadil, Sreejitha, myself and others associated with our lives directly or indirectly -- at this point of time. Also, I don't think I should have done this a long time ago.

There are some other responses that I got over email. I will try to respond to some of those points here in a separate comment, without mentioning the names of those people.

sudeep said...

Mails from different people, along with my responses. This is in the order in which I got these mails.

* * *

"Umma for both of you....

Hugs and love always..."


Thanks!

* * *

"Know that u must have put lots of time and energy to arrive at this decision.

Hope it works for both of you.

If i am not interrupting, what about adil?"


thanks for the support..

yes, this separation is only as far as possible with aadil around :-)

right now he is with sree's parents, in kerala. that did not happen as a part of this decision -- he only insisted he'd stay back. i'm going to kerala in feb, hope to get him along then.

* * *

"If you guys are happy with this ... I am with you.

If you guys are sad... I am with you."


Thats so lovely of you. Thanks:-)

* * *

"Dear Sudeep,

Puzzled is what I am, reading this e-mail,
why must you explain anything to anyone?
You are not socially, morally or legally bound to do so.

As simply people accepted you and shree living together,
they will accept you not doing so.

I for one will be happy for you in every decision you make,
as far as you are convinced by it.

trying to understand,"


Mm..
I wanted to tell that this is an option -- to others who are rotting in their relationships/marriages and try hard to stay in it depite the fact that neither person is happy
and the two hardly have any communication with each other.

* * *

"applause
to the both of your maturity
will meet u guys when i am in delhi

Lots of love"


Thanks:-)

* * *

"these are empty words, but they
are all that we have to give each other..
enjoy your space, freedom, decision, choice..
and let it bring more and more good to you.

we feel disturbed by the fact
that you people have decided to separate -
somewhere we all live with each other dreaming of separation i suppose.
anyway for us that time has not yet come.."


I believe this shows how such a public announcement can work!

* * *

"sudeep, you have laid it out soooo well. i am terribly happy for you. and sree. and the ralationship you have.
lots of luv"


Thanks! Love you!

* * *

"hi....

i read ur latest diary.... and it was touching...

my parents had a ugly fight and they end u their relationship in a such a way that they cant stand each other.
As a kid i used to think to end my life because of their fights /and hearing coments from my relatives..

i agree with your statement "I do not consider this parting of ways an end of the relationship, nor do I want to call it a 'break-up'. We did not want our love and respect for each other to make way for intolerance and irritation with each other."


Thanks!

* * *

"Hi Sudeep,

I read your diary today. Not sure if you will like me writing this.. But I thought I should.. So I am writing

I had heard about your live in relationship.. And to be honest, I was a bit jealous of you both.. I was totally sick of the bindings that "marriage" brought in. I thought that living in means the advantage of marriage minus the disadvantage of marriage..Its also like you do not need any external formality to keep you together. your love is more than enough to keep you both together. thats the best part of it. I thought, you still will be called a family. We too had reached paths where I had felt like its better to separate. But we have gone past that stage now. yes, there were phases of life which made us think that life/our relationship has become stagnant. But after arrival of our son, our focus changed.. we thought everything in the viewpoint of our son. So this was another binding to our relationship. We are happy with this binding. Our relationship has matured again, we are separate even after being together and we are together even when we are separate.. :)
Was just wondering how you must be feeling. You have said that you feel good. Now I realize that live in must be more difficult than a marriage. First question that comes to my mind is, how to tackle relatives.. live in doesn't bring in any (unwanted?) additional relationships. ... the more I think the more complicated it looks to me..
any way.. just a question.. how do you manage your kid now? I hope your separation has not affected your kid. He is getting both, his papa and mamma, as he used to earlier..

Sorry, if you did not like me writing this.

All the best,"


Hi

Don't be unsure whether I will like your comments or not. When I go "public" with this decision, I better be prepared for other's
comments. I could have kept this decision very private but I chose to post it on my blog because I did not consider it as something between just me and Sree. I wanted to kind of inspire/tempt people living a stagnated life together to consider the option of separation, and to open a discussion if possible.

- In my experience your understanding of marriage vs living in is correct only to some extent. There are a lot of
disadvantages of a marriage that applies to a live-in relationship as well. In fact, a lot many.

- I agree to the point that our love for each other is enough to hold us together. And I believe that is what keeps us together even in separation.

- I certainly don't believe living together without a marital bond is more difficult. I still think marriage would be worse, and
not being in a marriage gives me a bit more freedom to consider this
separation without breaking our relationship.

- There has not been much difference on the relatives part. We are considered more or less like a family both most of our relatives (though they
wanted us to get married formally). Sree holds very good relationships with many of my relatives, and I am very much related to Sree's family
as well. I don't think that is going to change much even as we live in different spaces. I have gone to Kerala with Aadil before also (when Sree was in Delhi), Sree has lived in Kerala with Aadil for periods as long as two-three months (once when I was in Guwahati, then this year
during summer for two months) -- so they are used to not seeing us
together every time they meet us.

- About Aadil, I hope he gets both of us more than what he used to get earlier. Growing up in the middle of a stressed relationship could be very damaging. I have gone through that. As a child, I believed it would be better for both my mom and dad (and for us, as children) if they lived
separately. I had even suggested them that, and some of our relatives scolded me saying no child anywhere in the world should speak like that.

- I am happy that you wrote this. And I am sure we understand each other better now.

Regards
Sudeep

sudeep said...

Another comment (on phone, to Sree) was that we live in a Bergman film.

Scary.

Especially for women, living in a Bergman film is quite sad.

I said, we'd rather live in a Tarantino film.

(After I heard from a friend, I want to watch Death Proof also).

My Story said...

Ha. the decision has made you a poet :)

ഗി said...

darling,
i thought such a decision was looooooong awaiting.

i love you two for not making it longer.
would have drained 'the you's out of you.

and, sudeep,
i dont like this anonimous commenting good for you..
i want to fight with that malayalaee man (am sure 'it' is)
seems that he understood it as a rightfull mallu man being saved from a mysterious unholy mallu woman. god save you!

with you two, always.

Heera said...

Interestng to see all the comments.

Even me also want to fight this "Good for you" anonymous.....

Arun said...

Your life, your decisions. Good luck with everything! I am sure Aadil will be fine at your hands :)

-Arun

alabhya singh said...

my sincere suggestion is to explore polyfidelity on google and see if it can correct the artificial social design defect of weak one-one monogamy that is both un-natural from DNA point of view and also very demanding as the poor spouses have no other way and therefore cling so hard to each other that it becomes suffocating to death, leaving no space to each other and also there is no communication. spouses try to own each other and that degenerates into sort of repelling slavery. it is society's fault. poor people like us should rise and join to correct this social design defect and consider natural arrangements such as polyfidelity etc.

let me congratulate you for being truthful rather than rot like 100% so called mono-gamous "happily married" couples. it is a fallacy to be happy in a monogamous marriage as it against the variety principle of genetic pool diversity expansion.

we the monogamous unhappy people have nothing else to loose but our unhappiness if we are bold enough to embrace the truth.

Prathibha said...

Hi Sudeep,
I think you are a selfish person thinking about your peace of mind and your freedom. As I can get it you both (you and Sree) were wrong to get a kid along with you in this experiment of yours with your life. You should have tried to make your relationship work till YOUR end. You just proved that you are A BIG FAILURE and nothing else. So enjoy your life with your precious freedom with a guilt hidden in your sub-conscious mind.

Neha said...

you are sick to the core.....not fit for human civilization just go n stay with stray dogs coz dats what you are...what the hell did u think of when you reproduced that child of yours....and since you were not married adil is a bastard but i would prefer if everbody calls him the son of a bastard.....u should go n rot somewhere ......probably u wud end up producing many more bastards throughout youe life..dats all you can do the loser that you are...

Sudeep said...

Dear Prathibha and Neha,

I don't know what makes you believe that either of us are not serious about, or do not care about, Aadil.

As for the decision to have a child (and even the decision to stay together with Sree), there were many reasons behind it, and let me tell you I do not regret that decision. While coming to that decision we had also decided that I would take charge of bringing up Aadil once he turns three. The current decision to separate was not directly connected to that, but it is not complete coincidence either.

I do plan to be with him for some years to come. And yes, when I say this separation is only as far as possible with Aadil around, I mean that.

Prathibha, I do not claim to be a complete success in life, but I believe we have been working on our failures and have been trying to do better (better for Aadil, better for others around us, and better for the two us). Let me add that I did not come to this decision with guilt at the back of my mind. Within my convictions, I feel that this is the best thing to happen to Aadil at this point in his life.

An update, Aadil is back in Delhi with us. I had gone to Kerala earlier this month, and he came back with me. (He was with Sree's parents in Koyilandi for over a month. It was he who insisted that he wanted to stay at the 'kadal veedu' -- sea house -- for a few days when we both went to Kerala in December).

Neha, I don't get offended by the word bastard nor do I take that seriously. As you have made it clear, it is not really about whether one has a 'legitimate' father or not, it is just about whether one wants to call you an abusive word. (Otherwise I wouldn't be a bastard:-))

Thanks to both of you for your comments -- it was interesting to get to hear from people who think differently.

Vaishalee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lee said...

Hi Sudeep..
well i happnd to come across this post of urs thru a random search !
well it was pretty disturbing to read ur post…even as an outsider, I wonder how Sree wud have managed !
There are a few peculiar things here…
***“I feel good that we have reached a point where Sreejitha has become more of a person”—
wats dis supposed to mean.. was she a savage or uncivilized person before you walked into her life??
If she was…den maybe you were a pervert to start a relationship wid her in the first place !
I guess maybe you had to face certain emotional outbursts, dat changed ur perception abt the female ; but hey in a relationship like yours (LIVE -IN) things are bound to be sensitive , u shud have been prepared for dat !
**** “To that I would ask, is a relationship only about being together? Is it not possible that a relationship fares better when separated physically?”
Separated physically ??? Wat are you a moron?? If this was de case Y cudn you begin your relationship being physically separated?why did u move in wid de gal ?
N where did that kid come from ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION??….. u believe so much in NON Physical aspects of love na ??
My point is ..there are different aspects to a relationship physical, emotional ,social etc…
Now since u r living in india..maybe on de social front its not dat strong ,cos Live in rships aren’t viewed wid much respect,
so atleast u shud have wrked on the other two aspects dat is being emotionally & physically available (PS physically available –m not referring to de *ex…….jus be around man…be supportive !)
Now I feel you both were wrong wen you didn’t decide to get married even when you went for de baby !
I say so cos here s a new life we are talking abt, & you can’t be so casual abt it !
& wats wrong if you two got married…Ah I knw..you cudn shun the responsibility so easily den ….
.N to flaunt dis you wrote DON’T BE JEALOUS at the end of your post …isnt it ?
Dude learn to take responsibility of your actions …..i don’t say if things weren’t working out you shud still drag de relationship ! but atleast give it a fair chance …
.N if you have failed ,den accept the fact that u have failed …don’t say dat you didn want to ruin the love & respect …n blah blah
Accept the fact that you are being an escapist !
accept that you are selfish
that you are ready to give importance to trivial things like cooking alone N managing other household activities over the emotinal comfort of a gal you once loved so much !
Accept that you just wanted to use the chick n now that things are hard to manage….you are glad you didn’t get married , n its easier to forget about it !
Den you say -“At some point we may get back to staying with each other again. Till then, let us both take separate courses in life. (pun intended).”
WTF … u don’t want to call it a breakup ….cos now maybe you are young…you want to fool around n all @!
But you ve given the girl a hope by not ending things so as once you are like 40 or something…..or wenever you mature ..you can come back to her ..have a family n resume a normal lifestyle !
I feel you are a coward man ……just accept the truth…nothing wrong in ending things…..but dont hide under lame excuses !
N if things arent working out , take a break if you are tired of trying , thigns work out if you try !
don’t just shun the responsibility n leave ..dont add WE MAY live together n all ! define things in your life ….take control ….say that you are tired of trying but you wont give up on this !
Well I guess I got a lil emotional in this response …..pardon me , none of my business dere !
U said you u still love each other !
\so … dat movie- The mexican, brad pitt N Julia roberts
De guy who kidnaps Julia in the movie had a point …….when do two people who really love each other but just cant seem to get it right stop tryinng ???
Watch the movie fro de answer….or if u ve already seen it think abt it !
you don’t seem like a loser ….dont act like one !

tabassum said...

I've not been present in this scene because i was unsure of the way we are now, I dont know whether it's a separation. I have been absent from our relationship many a times and it still worked, mainly because of sudeep's contribution. When he said I've not been a person before he came to my life, it's almost true.
I've kept myself in complete chaos never collecting myself together.I always sought a space for growth and our relationship gave me that along with a reference point. He has been mothering me and helped me gather myself by living in the ideals that we shared for a short period.
Coming to the wellbeing of aadil: I still wonder whether people who desires growth,( emotionally, intellectually, physically and spiritually )should bring up a child or not. At the moment of our decision I believed they should since the new generation that they raise would be capable of living in truth, and later on i had doubted this and felt that we should stop our urge to grow for offering aadil a strong and nonfluctuating support structure.
At this stage I'm unsure of the results of our decisions on aadil but i try to balance my urge for growth and my duty to be a support structure. And we have never stopped working on our relationship, not just for aadilbut for ourselves. we could never stop feeling intensly for each other and that's exactly why we should think of not sharing the same space.
By "being separated physically" Sudeep might not have meant having no sex.It's about not being together in daytoday life. It helps us not to hurt each other everyday. We happened to grow differently and I take psychological journey to the realms quite unknown to sudeep. And whatever insecurities I have now is a natural consequence of living life that my partner or parents cannot make sense of.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you sudeep.Its your immature act .You have a big ideological mouth with zero ideology in behaviour.Why u choose this life before? Whats up for Adil?
Not bothered about your life it will be waste only.Mind you please don't start any relationship like this in future atleast,as life is not like tissue paper. There are some guys like this who takes relationship like of living any time and leaving anytime.My dear to your knowledge this was practiced in 80,s in western countries but now they are coming back to a married life as they were worst hit by this sort life.Now guys like u are promoting this sort life with some ideological back up.We dont want your reply ,but just think once ,have you ever loved her???

I dont know how sree will be suffering you .Please come out ASAP.You need treatment.

Sudeep said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks a lot for your concern.

As for Aadil, he was the primary reason I wanted to part at this point of time. I did not want him to go through the turmoils of a strained home atmosphere. I have experienced it, and I know how bad it can be on children.

And if you want to know more, this is not a 'live now, leave now' relationship. I am very much with Sree now, much more than when we were always physically together.

As for your advice regarding 'starting relationships in future', I will keep that in mind. Right now it is my relationship with Aadil that is of prime importance to me.

To answer your question, I have always loved her and I still do.

I have come out in open with this post to discuss this separation. If I need treatment, I am willing to take it. (And I feel that all those people who live strained lives and pretend to be living a happy married life need treatment too.)

You said you are not bothered about my life but you really seem very bothered. Thanks a lot once again.

Yours
Sudeep

Biju JNU said...

Dear Sudeep,

I am appreciating your selection of a debatable topic and following responses in your blog which shows the social and cultural baggage of Indian society. It would be a good exercise to know a pre-modern society with post-modern aspiration....

Biju from JNU

tabassum said...

There are so many assumptions based on patriarchal society in the comment by the anonymous. me and sudeep have lived many steps from that society and are trying out what ourrational mind once said and is still saying, with corrections and modifications. May be what you said on western society is true. We dont have to model them, theirs is completely different social needs, and all lives have to be changed and shaped by immediate social needs too.
So we cant say one follws them when one lives such rational lives. and we cant take it that the natural result that follows is what theyhad. But surely we have felt the problems in our ideas many a times, we have felt the emotional tie between us and we have had the opportunity to sort the complications with much more clarity.
One of the important result that this decision brought tome is that I became completely self sufficient. And i realised most of my tensions related to addil's growth and safety and compromises were baseless, and my fears would have had its grip on me if we haven't tried this out. Now i'm happier because I didnt lose sudeep and didnt losr my self.-sree

karim said...

A valuable post and it much helpfull to all.Thanks a lot for your post.

Thanks,
Karim - Positive thinking