Years ago, a teacher, very dear to me, asked me to apply for a certain college in UK. She arranged for information and also proposed recommendations should I decide in favor of that. But the decision wasn’t mine to take at that age. My parents, for various reasons, decided to have me live close to them and the idea was soon forgotten. And now for reasons unexplained, I feel this urge to go and visit the place. Just once. Just to have a look at the life that we chose not to have. And perhaps to get myself to have the luxury of dreaming what my teacher once wanted for me.
One of the many things that I love and hate about myself is being directionless. Now that sounds like a contradiction to how I define myself . I prefer having plans and road-maps. And here I am almost feeling proud of myself for being able to let myself go , stumbling on one unknown to the other.
I woke up this morning, trying to plan the day ahead and then decided against it. That, by far, has been the best decision of today. I move from one corner of the house to the other, picking this, tidying that, just staring outside the window at times. I go out to the community hall where the kids had organized a very well-curated program for the Independence day. Since I had just myself to look after, I took rest of the day off. I ended up doing everything and yet nothing at all. A drive in the rain, and now I feel at peace, and done for the day.
The Singapore trip happened. And it is being added to the the memories as being one of the many amazing days spent with Diya. Sometimes when she asks me to tell her ‘bachpan ki kahani’, I get confused. What should I tell her? Where should I start from? From the beginning? Or from even before that? And would it be okay if I jump from one phase to the other, randomly, remembering all in those jigsaw puzzle pieces which ultimately fit together to form this masterpiece of amazement and wonder! And how do I explain to her that these moments make me feel complete. Is there any way that I can describe the emotions that sweep through me when I watch her deriving fun out of even the hardships that we go through together. How do I convince her that she makes me very proud by virtue of her character and personality.
So the trip. It came up as an opportunity for both of us to spend some time together. I am glad I took it up.
The promise was to have her lead our way. She was the official navigator. From checking flight status to plan our way through the city, she had to do it all. But who says you can’t have some fun while you execute your role as a ‘leader’ (her grandfather has designated her as one… needs another post for that!).
And while I absolutely enjoy conversations with her, sometimes one needs to just keep quiet and look outside.
Looking at how far the world reaches beyond us.
Zoo is not just an ‘educational’ place. It is where you go and realize that there is much more around than just yourself and your problems. The animals with their simplicity in a very complex world are what you need to reassure yourself of beauty still existent.
She mentioned feeling lost in the waves. Throughout the trip, her wide eyes, the happiness in the heart for having seen something new, the courage to take on the difficult situations was inspiring. I understand this is something which fades away with age and time. But I also know that like innocence of heart, one can definitely strive to retain it for a little longer than usual.
And we could manage to catch the sunrise as we were traveling back home. We made promises to each other to be better at what each of us does and is.
Sometimes the end seems to be the best beginning there can be.
“The man” – who is passionately in love (on/off screen) , protects his woman, helps her whenever needed. All this, of course excuses him in case he ever abuses the ‘object’ of his love and desire. Isn’t it the duty of a woman to serve her man since he has had a long day at work, earning for them, protecting the family from bad elements, upholding Indian values by ensuring the honor (read women) of his family are not exposed outside the ‘protected’ walls of his home. One slap here, a slight push there hurts no one, especially if the ‘intention’ was to have the right prevailing at the end.
“The man” – indulges in sports which project his masculinity. What is wrong in that? Aren’t we all fond of watching men do that since ages? The macho man is the one who is fit and strong enough to carry a rifle and know when to use it. Now whether it is to kill the helpless animals – Who cares.
“The man” – carrying the burden of the world on his shoulders, on certain occasions, is made to face rejection – that too by the woman he loved and desired, and did so much for by means of taking care and protecting her. Can anything be worse than that? What kind of person won’t feel sympathy? And if he ends up getting drunk, isn’t that understandable? And of course, alcohol is an evil who made him run over some people who weren’t even supposed to be where they were, how can it be his fault?
“The man” is not the problem here. We and our mental conditioning of how he should be led to accepting and normalizing what he is today. How can we blame just him when we all are the same – by doing what he does in various degrees, and by keeping silent and accepting his behavior however unruly it may be.
Some days are just impossible to sail through.
Laden with raw grief.
That one call.
That one moment.
The fear of inevitable haunts me.