One cold summer evening

Dear Helsinki,

One cold summer evening I approach my door step. I have just bought it a couple of months ago with him after living some years in different cities and for a certain period even in opposite sides of the world, but what we shared with each other was so strong, so determined, so much in love that she decisively carried us to this moment when I am about enter a home that is ours. That very evening as I place the key in the door and turn the knob, I reminiscence the past. Against all the odds we had made it. Had someone bet even a dollar on our chances to survive, he would be a billionaire now. Perhaps that is the reason bookmakers never take bets on love. It is unpredictable and unlike in sports you can never do match fixing.

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In the beginning we had nothing else conversations online; we had met briefly after two weeks talking to each other, it was an afternoon that lasted no longer than a Woody Allen but the moment captured a myriad of feelings that no director has ever been able to portray in her works. Two men who met in a small Indian town and fell in love with each other at that very first time when their hands secretively brushed against each other. No art form is able to depict the sensation of being with him, listening to his luring voice as he tells you about himself and every single word he mouths is so tastefully articulated that it almost sounds as if he is reciting 13th-century Persian poetry. Those three hours wits him is something that you happens when miss Ordinary makes love with mister Wonder and it is just perfect.

We had just that for next six and half months. I was in Finland and he was in India, I was a student and he was a student, he wanted to study at Oxford and be part of the social change that makes this world a better place and I was still uncertain what to do with my life. Continue reading

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Love that the world loaths

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Dear Helsinki,

Several years I have been fighting for my rights to be recognised. The language of human and fundamental rights have become an integral characteristic in the way I speak to decision-makers, general public and other stakeholders about legalising the love my heart longs for, desperately. I quote significant individuals who have come out in support of the battle I am struggling with, I refer to the international human rights instruments that protect all humans from oppression and discrimination and I compare the situation to other states which have made remarkable advancements. But this time Helsinki, I no longer wish to convince the rest of the world with abstract notions of love, rights and equality. I want to tell you my story. And I wish you to help me understand what it is about my feelings that still today make most of the world shiver with disgust.

I met a man in India a few weeks back. We started conversing on Grindr, an application for gay men to meet each other, and that alone felt strange as I never have a conversation on it. I use it for my own amusement and maybe three or four times a year I actually respond to someone, but his message and profile sparked my interest instantly that I responded without thinking the possible consequences.

We sent each other long messages, getting to know each other and soon enough I discovered myself having a chat with him every single time I had access to Internet. I would stay up until 3am every night, just talking about our lives, dreams that kept us going on, people that we had loved in the past and TV-shows that entertained us. It was effortless as if you had been discussing with a person who had known you the entire lifetime. Without realising I had let all my guards down with him, I had allowed him to enter my life and to access all parts of it without a hint of caution. My heart had not experienced such a magnitude of attraction and desire in years and she yearned to have more of the infatuation.

He had asked me a few times if I was able to visit Chandigarh, the city where he lived. I had been planning to travel there before we had started to talk, but then I realised it was four hour drive down to the mountains and as I was with my family my freedom was constrained. My lungs were thirsty to see him and the crippling thought of not seeing paralysed my entire body. Just a week before I was leaving the town, he found a compromise that worked for both of us: we would meet in Solan that was two hour ride away for both of us and have a coffee there. It was not much, but it was all we could have and I was willing to take it even though I was certain that the moment that meeting was over, the yearning for him would intensify conspicuously. Continue reading

The short-lived ordeal from the past

Dear Helsinki,

I got an email from him on Thursday. I had not heard from him since I sent him an email two years ago and asked him not to contact me at least until he could perhaps see my name on Facebook in blue again, which probably would take years and moreover might go unnoticed because we had never been friends on my new profile. According to my privacy settings he is still blocked so you can imagine the overpowering daze I experienced when I got a notification on my phone about an email from XXXX XXXX, a name that I have preferred not to mouth in the past years.

I feared. And as I read his words the nightmare became solid.

We no longer communicate as I do not wish to. I didn’t even take note of what you were doing until some mutual friends informed me. I did not react to your outrageous publication of your blog about us and Osijek in the Osijek media. But I will react to your alleged arrival to Bruxelles, just so that we are on the same page.

This is not the first time this has happened. Soon after he left me second time with an email, I sent him a letter telling him straightforwardly about all the shit I had to take from him after he had broken up with me the first time. We did not talk after that. I moved to Geneva, met nice people and a boy who liked me and whom I liked. While content with the life I had I wrote about my feelings about him because that is how I process life and he contacted me after us not speaking to each other for two months. He assured me that it did not mean us getting back together, but I was not sane. I was still in love. He had read the story that made him write to me. We started talking, exchanging emails every day and sharing the most irrelevant events of our lives. I became sad, withdrew from my social life, which my friends noticed. I dreamed of us getting together again, but my mind knew it was not going to happen. My heart wanted to fight, she lusted his words like nothing else in the world and the daily dose was assured as long as I continued to write back to him. I was an addict. Continue reading

The notion of love

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The notion of love,
it has gotten complicated and I am not too sure what to make of that. Had I been wrong the entire time?

It is hard, to write this. Somewhat confusing. I fear of going even more astray. I do know what verb tense to use, because deciding one would inevitably mean I have arrived to a conclusion while nothing could be further from the truth. So I apologise in advance if what I write does not make sense, my dear, but I just have to go from present to past and maybe even further into the past.

I was fourteen when I fell in love for the first time.
I knew it was not real love.

But something had happened when I saw him. I start to write stories, love stories. Not about him, although fan fiction was conquering the hearts of all online friends I had. Rather I wrote original fiction, about the love that all the people in the world, or so I thought, were after for because that was the sole purpose of your entire existence. To find someone who completes you, makes you what you are supposed to be because without that one person you are nothing more than a mere being stripped naked of meaning.

My love stories were sad. Star-crossed lovers acted as the protagonists in words that still are under my copyright. I do not think I wrote a single tale where the two lived happily ever after. Maybe because I knew there was not space for that in life I had.

Nevertheless I dreamed. It hurt, ached. I collected love quotes, wrote them in sticky notes and left them in different modes of public transportation in Helsinki. I watched romantic comedies, and tended to shed a tear or two in the end because the realisation of knowing it would never happen to me was too much to bear. I read,
& listened & saw & created.
And it all anguished, tormented. Continue reading

The city that loves you no matter what; Amsterdam

dear Amsterdam, It was wonderful to visit you after such a long time. I think I might have fallen in love with you again and this time I think it is permanent. You are still the same, but I changed.

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Just like eight years ago, the time I visited you for the first time, I experienced all the things that you are supposed to experience when one has a date with you. And god had I forgotten how intense you make one feel. It is not the drugs, it is not the prostitutes, it not the gay cinemas, it is none of that.

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I guess it is just the way you are, my Amsterdam.
The kindness you offer to every single person who goes on a date with you.

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When I exited the Central Station for the first time I witnessed the billboard that warned about white heroin that was sold as cocaine in your streets. My mother, my brother who is ten and my cousin who is not much older wondered what kind of a place I was going to show them, but my first reaction to the sign was only in Amsterdam and smiled. I know it is a serious issue, but I bet even you cannot imagine Paris or Johannesburg or Beijing addressing the issue of drugs the way you.

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Continue reading