December 16, 2018
After spending three extraordinarily long days constantly surrounded with a never ending group of people (a Bengali wedding ceremony of a close friend), I was glad to be back home. I was exhausted and annoyed with a terrible flight experience – the cherry on top was the pilot almost nearly tipped the plane while landing; or it felt like. My battery was down and I wanted to recharge, an introvert that I am.
But as soon as I rang the doorbell of my house, a wonderful sight greeted me. My 3 year old niece came running, hearing my voice, and wrapped herself tightly around my waist. No words said. Just a tight warm hug. THAT instantly made me feel better. Happier. Coming from a pure, untainted, unharmed, untouched human being. An innocent soul, who does as she feels, says as she feels – I know is truly genuine. No filters added. This hug, thus, was everything to me. Made me feel loved, missed and wanted.
This moment, has now become the happy memory I can summon when I am terribly low. My patronus – is this 3 year old ball of energy. A shout/call away. Sometimes gives hugs spontaneously, always before I go to work, sometimes needs to be cajoled into giving one. She is my source of happiness, peace and sometimes annoyance.
She just is she.
If you are unfamiliar with the magical world of Harry Potter – Expecto Patronum is a defensive charm (magic spell) used to ward off Dementors – they are this vile faceless creatures who feed on human happiness. This spell is casted by summoning one’s happiest memories. Supposed to be an exceptionally difficult spell.
Dementors was J K Rowling’s way of depicting depression.
Steady for some. Shaken for most of us. While shaken, it still exists. Subconsciously.
What is it, when you get inside an Uber cab? A stranger, who you’ve never met till the instance you stand in front of their cab? Trust. How does that trust come so easily?
Sleep. You go to bed every night, confident that you’ll be up and going with the plan you set up last night before you went to bed. A blind belief that sleep is safe and will rise you you up tomorrow morning feeling energised. Belief? Trust is a better word. How does this blind trust exist deep in our atoms?
Then there’s a dirty secret about yourself. You learned today. A few hours back. You reach out to that one friend who you would swear your trust on. The friend you instantly tell everything. Yet, when you reach out to share what you learnt, the words – your secret – gets stuck in your throat. There are no tears, but a deep sense of sadness. It’s a dirty secret that you believe if you tell them, they will have power over you to destroy you. A very vulnerable part exposed to be hidden, first time. Trust.
Yet, you got into the stranger’s Uber cab. Someone who might murder you, maybe. Yet, you get in knowing you will reach your destination. Trust.
I don’t know. But the irony. The places we easily trust and the places we hold our steps back. The irony of where our fear lies. Friend knowing the real you vs an unknown stranger – might be a psychopath. Who knows of the possibilities?
Want to know something funnier?
That sometimes, even if you’ll call yourself your own best friend, you lack trust in self.
When I find my window to light(ness) at the nearing end of my dark(ness) alley. When the dark(ness) begins to become lighter. When I’m able to get out of my bed with a sense of purpose to live. With the sense of purpose to get things done. Get some juice out of my life. Feel alive from the inside. Be part of something. Create something.
When I find myself want to be alive to taste my life – all phases of it. This is what success looks like to me.
It didn’t work out. You put yourself out there, got out of your bubble and took a chance. It still didn’t work out.
There will be a lit bit of tightness in your chest. Find it difficult to breathe when you think of it again and again: That it didn’t work out. That you’ll have to do it all over again.
“Failed”, you’ll think.
But, so what?
Feel sad for a while. That’s ok. Like John Green said, “Pain demands to be felt!”
But stay in there. Don’t do anything hasty. Feel it for a while.
Then pick yourself up, get back in control and start all over again.
Remember that small window when you put yourself out there? The window that reminded you of how beautiful life can be? Hold on to that. Fight for that.
Live for that window.
It’s not over yet.
She looked forward to the day. The exact time of the day, to be precise, when she would lay her eyes on him. It had almost been an year.
When he called her to announce, “I’m here!” she couldn’t hold back the bounce in her strides, as she walked towards him. And when she saw him, she hurled herself at him, and took the long pending bear hug from him.
Just the thing she needed.
He held the strings that bound her, untangled them gently so that she could slowly breathe. The first breath she took cracked the high wall of pretense she had built around her. She took another deep breath and she found herself unravel in his arms.
Her vulnerability lay bare in front of him.
They sat next to each other on the bench. Leaves crackled as they shifted their feet. The winter afternoon heat warm on their backs. His arms around her shoulder. Her hands resting on her thighs. They sat for a while. Her emotions finally found words and they flowed from her lips. The unspoken, unseen weight slowly lifting from her shoulders.
Trusting that he can take it all, she unfolded. And he did.
Though they felt stillness around them, the time kept ticking. Finally it was time to leave, with a promise to see each other soon again.
As they both walked away in the opposite directions, she walked away with strength and courage to live from him. And he, with a bit of her soul.
She was a vision to behold. Born out of a dream.
She stood, spine erect, her legs sightly apart. Her hands balled into fists, rested softly at the side of her waist. The breeze blew softly through her long, wavy, black tresses. It swayed to the right of her face; a tender lock caressing her cheeks now and then.
She stood tall with a strong armour hugging her body. The silver on her armour shone as the sun rays hit her. She glowed. She had scars all over. Battle scars. Emotional scars. A of imperfections. She didn’t hide them. She wore them with pride.
A small smile played on her lips.
Behind her sat her now small ‘big black dog’. Present yet but not daring to touch her. She had him under control.
Another victory tucked in her belt.
She knew it was going to be a long battle with the black dog. Yet, she celebrated this was a small victory, for now.
She was strong.
She was the strength.
She was the freedom.
She was a live wire with a wild heart.
She was alive.