The Existence of Guilt with Paromita Bardoloi

On November 17th, I was live with spoken word artist and writer Paromita Bardoloi today and we talked about guilt, mourning, how human consistencies or inconsistencies can be generational and ancestral in nature. I have never seen a woman so self-affirmed in her individual capacity as she is and she gave some of it to me too! It was a wonderful afternoon after a very long time. I redeemed myself through this conversation.

The below excerpt is influenced by my conversation with Paromita, and is dedicated to someone very special.

“She had come to my house for the first time, the lunch was ready. In silence we ate and then, I told her things that were clinging to my chest, sometimes in a comforting manner and sometimes choking me to death. She held my hand and said something that stuck with me for hours, “Stop mourning. It’s not a loss, it’s just unfinished business. Take a step back and give yourself another chance. You did not do anything, it was signed up for you before you even came to life. You know, some people can only be lovers, for the best or for the worst. They cannot be friends, they cannot be soulmates. Just lovers. You lived your unlived for some time, relish it and let it go.”

After she left, I stood leaning across the window. Sometimes windows need a companion too. And, it occurred to me it’s been months, the last time was the last time. I was harsh, I was rough, I was determined yet fragile, yet empty, yet ready to reconcile.

Of all the people I know, it’s been easy to spread my heart out to someone who has never flipped pages of my past, never crossed lines with me, never scanned me under any lens, never chained me with judgement, or never seen me as a threat. After a very long time, I heard someone tell me, “It’s okay, if you are not strong. It gives you room to be vulnerable.”

No more I will arrest myself for the wrong I have not done, this is a journey to solitude that has just begun. Wish me luck if you can. Promise me you would let go too, if we ever meet again.

If we ever meet again….”

– Manvi.

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