Tragic endings, most beautiful…

My last blog was about my time L, one and a half blissful years and a less blissful last half year. The last half year was greatly overshadowed by my feelings of loss as if the relationship was already finished. I somewhat mourned, worried and stuck my head in the sand. His letters were sweet but a torture at the same time. He hinted that he would see me soon and that he needed to tell me something face to face. Honestly speaking I couldn’t wait in all senses it was difficult for me to wait for someone. Not sleep with anyone and be okay, a very physical side of it was giving me grief. I struggled and tossed and turned I need of sexual release, arms to hold me and his sternness to subdue me when too much nonsense started prevailing.


At the fear of sounding very weak, which indeed I was, I had a fling with a sous chef from the Tibet hotel. I hated myself for it and the guilt was tremendous but I never told him or anyone what I did but it’s not something I’m proud of. The first and last time I ever cheated on someone, as it thought me a great lesson then I’m no good when it comes to leading a double life. Wanting one maybe yes, but living it is not my forte. Too complicated, too many guilt feelings and too much behaviour to keep in check to appear normal. So when L send me a telegraph that he was due in Dharamsala on such and such date and time became a nervous wreck and didn’t know what to do with myself. However, I survived it? I have no clue but I did and the day arrived.


The day L would return, was quite a normal day in the sense that I went to the Tibetan Libray of works and archives for my lessons in Tibetan and Philosophy and  though I was a nervous wreck I managed somehow to keep relatively calm all morning, walking back from the library for lunch to Mcleod from Gangchen Kyishong I started to develop an enormous nervous feeling in my gut. I was too strong to be ignored but also too strong to have to do entirely with L alone. My mind started to dream up all sorts of doom scenarios of what could happen when we met and he found out about my transgression on our relationship and somewhere somehow I knew it wasn’t because of that or because of him I was feeling that way.


And I wasn’t wrong. Returning to Mcleod I walked past my home and onto a favourite restaurant for lunch. On the way over I passed a couple of communications offices used for faxing and phoning in a place where home phones were still scarce and out of one a Punjabi rushed out and called me miss Radia, Miss Radia is that you? I was so nervous I didn’t answer but just stood there, the guy must have understood it was indeed me,  therefore pulled me inside his office and said that a fax had come fro me and that He would dial a number hang up after three rings and wait for a call from that same number abroad.


I read the fax which was from my aunt who is also a follower of the same guru and it basically said that I had to leave Dharamsala Immediately, very important to leave that night and before leaving to break off my relationship with L. That she would explain later on the phone in more detail but that it was of utmost importance I leave that very day after having seen him and breaking up with him….


The world stopped turning, my stomach turned al the more to the point of needing to throw up and I just sat there waiting for the phone to ring and getting to talk to her. I took ages for a line to be clear enough to hear her on the other side and I couldn’t say anything back because the echo was too great for them to make out what I had actually said so I listened. My aunt told me in dutch that my guru was begging me from the depth of his heart to leave Dharamsala as he feared for my life and to leave that day. that I should break off my relationship with L as he and I were not meant to spending this life together that our karma was good enough and strong enough to stay connected and for our friendship to last but not in this way as it would become a huge obstacle to his and my life and would force a break between either him and me which would be irreparable or between my guru and myself which would also be very difficult for the years to come for me in my life. She said that my guru understood that even though I was still very young he asked a great sacrifice of me as I was greatly committed to L a trait he admired in me greatly but was not useful at the time and that even I didn’t follow his advice the consequences of staying with L or in Dharamsala being his student would be grave.


It all didn’t make sense, It didn’t and still, here I was a dharma student needing to make a choice. Do I listen and follow to my guru’s solicited and unsought for advice even though it didn’t make sense? What would you have done? I also didn’t know what to do. My aunt had stopped speaking at that point and very clearly I heard my guru’s voice on the other side of the line. Radia, I love you greatly, I am very scared what might happen to you if you stay in Dharamsala any longer as something is about to happen there that involves a split in the Tibetan Buddhist community our whole social structure will change he said and as everybody knows you are my student and you will be in the wrong camp from the reigning power’s point of view it might be dangerous to stay around.  He said repeated himself again, in other words, he said the same and urged me to break off with L. It would do me no good as he was from another Buddhist school and close the other camp. That actually reminded me that L had asked me on a couple of occasions if I couldn’t find another guru/Lama or if it was necessary to follow a guru at all?


Now you would think that for a Tibetan having a and following a guru was quite normal or it would make sense to them but actually, they mostly feel Buddhist and have great believed but actually practising like we western students tend to do or aspire only a few do and especially amongst the young is still quite scarce. But back to the story.


When I remembered L having asked me this I tempted to speak a few words to my guru on the phone and I managed to say ok ill do it. I’ll leave and break off my relationship. I don’t know what or how but I’ll do it. I don’t know where to go to or what to do with my life in Dharamsala but I’ll figure it out and leave tonight. The conversation was over and the line was cut off. I stood there further like struck down with a bat, until a strange emergency and at the same time calm feeling took over and I thanked the owner of the communications office gave him some money asked if he could arrange a bus ticket for the last bus from lower Dharamsala to Delhi and gave him money for that as well. he knew where I lived and would bring the tickets round to my place as soon as he had arranged them.


I ran down the road al the way home and packed in a frenzy. My most prized belongings were at that time all L’s letters and a couple of prayer books, my western clothes. I left all my Tibetan clothes and other things which included so many lovely dharma things lovely quilted cotton bedding I had made and many many other things. When I was done packing up and waited for my taxi to lower Dharamsala – also arranged with the owner of the communications office – I sat in my room when the dawn fell, it was only another hour until L would be with me and for the first time since the telephone I allowed myself to feel the magnitude of what I was about to do… really break up with L????  Tears started flooding my eyes there were too many, my heart tightened and tightened until it imploded and tore. The physical pain was so great It made me fold my arms over my chest for thinking that might help soften the blow but it didn’t. I cried bitter tears right until L appeared in the doorway of our room. He looked at me but before he asked me why I was crying he told me had left the army to build our life together and though he hoped my tears were tears of joy he could clearly see they weren’t. He helped me up from the bed I’d been sitting on and held me in his arm tightly. Comforting me and at the same time, he understood from the packed bag I was leaving, and from my tears that I was leaving now.


I somehow stopped crying still in his embrace and we just stood there him looking worriedly at my face and me slowly plucking up the courage to look at his face, maybe for the last time in my life. I remember a warm feeling below my the torn heart spread from my belly upward to my chest but my heart was so constricted and tight it wouldn’t loosen. I tried to speak but my voice was feeble as if very sick and weak and I barely managed to say I’d simply had to leave Dharamsala and even worse, him. I said the words that we had to break up in a very small voice but it felt like shouting directly in someone’s ear. In his ears. I wonder how he felt at the time still now as he never really was able to express himself other than it wasn’t good and that he was worried for me and heartbroken because I left him and didn’t know how to get in touch with me afterwards.


L looked at me and fixed my eyes with his gaze and tightened his embrace as if he would never let go and kissed me softly. His kiss was a caress and hurt me greatly at the same time. I almost died of more heartache when he did that and wrestled myself free. He got kind of angry as did I and it gave me the much-needed strength and energy to push myself out of his embrace, him onto the bed, picking up my bad and walking over to the door from where I flung the key of our room at his feet.


The moment  I stepped into the coolish evening air the taxi arrived at the main road and I ran toward it as if my life depended on it. Many years after when L and I got talking about that fatal night It became clear my life had kind of depended on it and he had felt a great relief from what he experienced right after he saw the taxi leave that I had indeed gone from Dharamsala.


So what did happen after I left? As L related to me after I found him back was the following. He had tried to run after me when I ran for the taxi, he saw it was futile and turned around back to the room to pick up the key and maybe leave. He actually felt so devastated because he had actually thought we would start the rest of our life together and it had ended instead. He was struck with a sense of loss he had never felt before and was angry and upset at the same time. He had sat down to make some sense of it and realised he had no other place to go to than to stay and sleep in our room. He actually was letting the feeling of loss get to him when he heard a great group of people shout my name, calling me to come out of my house and at the same time a couple of stones and small rocks hit the windows and shattered some too. He quickly left the room to go outside and see for himself but switched off the big light off being the trained army special forces man he was so they couldn’t target the windows so easily anymore. He shouted back at them that I wasn’t there and that I had just left to leave Dharamsala for good and to leave him alone. He made known who he was and they continued their search for people and institutions following that particular dharma protector which my guru also followed.


He expressed afterwards he was grief-stricken but now also happy at the same time that I did manage to escape the angry mob he had just seen. He covered the broken windows with some blankets and slept a long and dreamless sleep. Asleep only the grieving know of. Of wanting to forget or even better not remember at all. A heavy and deep sleep hoping the feeling as if you had been run over by a truck would be gone by waking up as it only reminded you of how much grief was still with you and still had to be worked through and In Delhi, I did the same.


Why didn’t he follow me to Delhi? Why didn’t he come to Nepal like he knew I would? He had tough of my safety and also his anger over my leaving him like that had taken over. He also had to now start to earn a living for himself and because he was from another Tibetan Buddhist school and wasn’t able to reconcile me following my guru it though all in all it would be better he left it at what it was.


Anything I write after this is guessed, especially when it comes to L’s thought and motives and when we speak about my own I had to work through the grief and come to terms with the changed course my life had to take as he had to as well.


Writing this now still makes me still a bit raw in my chest for the strong and young love which was lost and dissolved in such a dramatic way. Maybe it was too strong to break up in a less dramatic way, who is to say. Would we have stayed together and been happy still now if we hadn’t split up? Or would have cultural differences and our characters bring us to hate each other? The strength of our feelings at that time does tend to make me believe we would have been a strong happy couple but hey who is to say…


Hope you enjoyed the read and are excited about my following post in two weeks time. I still have to think what to write about that. I might actually revert back to the guru devotion part which manifested itself in this story but I didn’t elaborate upon. I can understand if you have questions about the decisions I made following my guru’s advice in this particular case. How that works and how you come to follow a guru or how is to be relied upon. If you do please send them by email, message me on facebook, leave a comment/question below and I’ll try by writing examples of my “presumed” guru devotion to answer your questions.



My life with L

L and MeL was my boyfriend for a good two years. How we met and how we got together I told you here before. How we developed as a couple was quite another story. I wasn’t mature when I started the relation but by the time it ended (had to end…which is another story altogether on “guru devotion in adversities”) I was a lot wiser about myself, and about life in general. L was my boyfriend and he was sweet and loving and above all caring but he was also very stern and sober. We enjoyed a great many things together but I was never to enjoy them if my room looked a certain way… read messy or unclean. After being with him for a while I became more disciplined and more sensitive to other peoples needs. In a way, I slowly started to wake up.


It’s not that my senses were very dull but somehow him taking care of me and him making me notice things by pointing them out created greater awareness. I guess each one of my relationships has greatly added to my becoming more aware even till date. It’s not that I can give the men in my life all the credit for that but somehow I am more wired towards male attention and in my younger years, I guess rewards and punishment worked very well for me. I mean it’s not that these guys had any ideas about it maybe themselves but I think I felt I either was being punished or rewarded or needed to work hard to avoid punishment and receive rewards. L maybe consciously didn’t know about this but at times he was like a father figure teaching me about life and society in the place I lived. About cleanliness and cooking and about staying at home. I mean I knew a great deal of course after all I was 19 already … But in fact, I felt clueless and I realize now a lot of what we do when we are younger is role-playing the way we want to be or we think is what we should be or portray. I don’t even know if to some degree we don’t indeed fake it till we make it and portray all sorts of behaviour till we make it our own.


L noticed through the week while visiting me how many times I had been wearing something. him being an army man he was good at doing house chores. So he introduced “laundry day” where he would come to my house with his”own laundry and made me do mine while he did his. Bought two dish-washing buckets for it as well and left them at my house. I was amused at the gift, less amused in winter when laundry day would also continue, of course, but the water was cold. But it taught me to look at my image, cleanliness, and routine.


I used to eat out all the time as I had lots of time and there as always someone who could keep you company with the many westerners living in Dharamsala. L living with the rest of the bodyguards (meaning eating, sleeping, training and working army barrack style) after a while got permission to eat dinner outside the grounds he was protecting. So he made sure I got a gas book (where you can get a new one once you empty one and only had to pay a nominal amount ) a gas stove for cooking and some pots and pans. That was a huge gift, the gas book was coveted and hard to get but he got me one in my name so I could cook, eat healthier and spend time with him as he, of course, started eating at my place. It actually was difficult to get permission to spend mealtimes outside the palace ground for him as a bodyguard, especially because we weren’t married but he somehow got it and made me cook almost on a daily basis. I somehow had to learn to be more organized, do shopping, learn some more Hindi to do the shopping, be back on time to cook and have it ready for us to eat. I had more money to spend after I started cooking for myself as it was cheaper than eating out and I always had his help. He shopped for groceries, got me recipes, helped to chop and prepare. He loved my cooking and he did the dishes without complaint which was a bonus as after dinner I mostly was tired of preparing, cooking and eating and the day in general.


The home cooking made sure we had friends coming over and my best friends Nestor and Usha came to my house a lot more to enjoy mealtimes. Especially around lunchtime whipping up an omelette or other and after we worked on the things we wanted to work on like our dharma and Tibetan studies etc.


L gave my life more direction. I adored him and he was my everything. I mostly was a content being in those two years especially when after a year he came and lived with me. Meaning he would come over after his duty finished unless he had a night shift and he would stay with his colleagues. I think he was the person I slept best next to in life, he made me feel safe and we would also sleep in separate beds but hold hands falling asleep. Never ever after that liked sleeping much next to someone closely as I did with him. I loved him more than anything. A real first love and the reciprocation was so strong. He loved me, wanted to spend time with me and though I had flaws never minded. He never categorized himself as a patient man but he was immensely patient with me. Teaching me Tibetan, teaching me Hindi. I never understood really what this accomplished fine man saw in me but I never made an effort to question him on that topic but I did question myself why he would like me at all, what kind of weak person I was without resolve and too attached and too afraid of him leaving me. My jealousy surfaced for the first time in life in relationships. He thought that was very funny and told me many a time I had nothing to worry about.


L was a very private person but I was bubbly and outgoing and needed to go out and do different things sometimes as well. So I introduced going to private parties and going to performances and movies. He didn’t appreciate me loitering around at night after 9 pm but we made a compromise that I could go to drinking nights on Fridays with my friends by myself and he would then take the night shift as he really didn’t like it but didn’t want to restrict me totally on all my drinking and loitering fun.


When I think about it, my mother back home in the Netherlands never was the restricting type so L was the first that actually told me to handle things differently. I didn’t always like it and I felt guilty a lot when I couldn’t live up to his expectations but he never got angry much or long. Looking back I think I brought much-needed spontaneity and new ideas and he brought structure and helped me look at things not only from my own perspective.


I have kept a diary and on and off I mostly wrote about my less happy periods and in the two years with L I have not written much. There were inserts especially for when he wasn’t around and didn’t contact me and I got worried if I had done something to displease him. My fear of losing him always fought with my tendencies to be free and not worry about what he or anyone thought. My fear of losing him would win always. You can image L appealed to my very traditional and even old-fashioned nature in some ways. But at the same time, he possessed an unconventional inner side that only I got to see. He was a person who didn’t need much in life. Was easily happy and content. I still had a big hang towards exciting things but he again gave me another perspective. I don’t remember my partying in detail anymore but I remember our quiet evenings and laughing and talking and making plans for our future together.


Right up and until L left back to his normal army duties and was placed for half a year in some border region where they could not be in contact over the phone we had a very nice life together. We made plans but never took serious steps thinking we had a lot of time together still. These 6 months apart were killing, and it really intensified my fear of losing him and my attachment towards him which was clearly visible. I couldn’t concentrate on my studies, couldn’t eat much, didn’t enjoy my own or others peoples company much and in general was a moping Myrtle. He did manage to phone me a few times and wrote letters weekly which were always full of longing and anticipation over his first leave to come see me and something he wanted and had to tell me when finally face to face.


This actually should have been the beginning of a life together. I felt so sure of my love for him and his love for me…and somewhere I still am. Life and some other things got in the way. But I never stopped loving him. I am not attached anymore and not jealous and of course, to a big degree I had to let go and it hurt for many years. Maybe even never gave the next relationship I had a chance. But I know I’ll always have his heart and he has mine. We still talk sometime. This warmth for one another has never left us, as well as great respect which is also still there between us. We will be “old” friends before we know it.


Soon  I’ll tell you the story of how we broke up. it’s a relatively short story and took place in about 24 hours. It will read straight out of romantic drama and actually I never before or after felt my heart being torn apart that much. A truly broken heart and not understanding and knowing how to deal with it stayed with me a good many years. I used to have vivid dreams of a reunion and a new life together after which I sometimes woke up sobbing. Only after starting to write about it (not for this blog or for my book but just for me) I started to make sense of my unfulfilled desires and dreams of spending my life with him, so don’t feel sorry for me now, it has all been good for a while now.


L always accepted my bullshit but also always took the chance to correct my thinking from his Buddhist perspective. When we talked again for the first time I was afraid he would blame me for the way that I’d left him that he was very understanding. I imagine he must have dealt with his own immense pain and worries because of the way we broke up so suddenly and in such a dramatic setting. But he never mentioned it or blamed me for anything. His happiness of me trying to get in contact and actually managing to find and phone him overshadowed, he said, all his pain and if L says something you simply believe it. So we both healed and instead of mourning our lost relationship we continued the already present friendship.


Have you had such all-consuming feelings of love for another person? I am always interested to know about your stories. I feel quite vulnerable writing all these things but then again I can’t seem to stop writing and sharing.


Hope you enjoy this read and in two weeks time, I’ll see if I can manage to write about how it ended that is if not another story from my past takes antecedence overall stories from my far, middle an recent past.

Counting my blessings, feeling gratitude you are still reading my blog and seem to be enjoying it too and wishing you a very happy Sunday, Radia –  The Unusual Yogini




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