The One That Got Away


The One That Got Away

There was a sharp pull in my right foot as I ran to catch a train. The more I pulled, the harder it became to go ahead. Until I stopped. And let that train go away.

As I ran towards the platform, waiting for another one, it pained me that I had let that train go away. That I was late for class is a given but the whole system of running from one place to another was taking a toll on me.

The more you push yourself headlong into the world, the more it tries to bounce you out. They didn’t come up with ‘push or perish’ for any specific reason. Our whole life it’s been, push yourself to get better results, push others to make your way to the top, push your point to win an argument, push so you can get your work done fast without worrying about the consequences.

A very wise man once said to me that the world expects you to be like the moon and show only your bright side, the one lit by the sun. What everyone fails to realise is that there is always a dark side, a flip side, the back side that nobody sees. It’s become such a routine really. Sometimes it feels like we’re playing very well cut out roles in someone else’s Iliad or Odyssey.

I wondered how it came to be this way, all of us acting different lives everywhere. Putting on a face at work, pushing through the week with glassy eyes and then pushing through the weekend dreading the week ahead.

When we were small, they told us about values and ethics and how to be a good girl/boy. And the minute we started dreaming, they wanted a share of that too. It’s like the whole world is out to tax every bit of your happiness that you must share. Even though your arm is twisted, you have to smile.

All my life at least, I’ve been told to grow up. To take on responsibilities and to do things simply because they should be done.  Even I haven’t spared myself some downgrading critique when I didn’t come up to someone else’s words.

When did letting a train go become such a crime? When did we start taxing smiles and exempting anger, moodiness and arrogance? How did we come to function like “adults” but instead displaying the most childish behaviour everywhere? And then we complain of meltdowns and curse ourselves when sometimes we just can’t help crying for no reason at all.

Indeed I’ve come to realise that life is what slips by when we push to stay in the train. Maybe those few minutes looking at yourself in the mirror weren’t so bad. Maybe I can cut myself some slack if I fall asleep while watching TV. Maybe you can just laugh at your mistake instead of wanting to kick yourself.

Maybe letting go isn’t so bad after all. Maybe, in a hidden way, we all hope someone helps us let go and grow up after all!

Walk Alone but Walk Strong!!!

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Dear Mama


Dear Mama,

I know i know its been a long time since i’ve written but these beastly schedules!!! I know you’re keeping very well. I think about you every day you know, remember those holidays at the beach when i used to build those castles and you got me the good ol’ chocolate ice from Mr Jones’s stall. I wish i’d get a break like that or that we could go to the beach together. Work’s been keeping me busy these days. I’ve been getting to learn a lot of new things. Its a little stressful but i wake up in the morning remembering your smile and that keeps me going.

I really wish you could see my apartment now. I’ve got some new stuff you’d like. I also finally got those paintings up which you’d kept in the attic all along as a memory. I thought that you were being funny keeping random bits of paper with my name and some random lines representing art, But now i see your point. These random bits remind me of you!!

Work is going good albeit a little tough. There are a lot of times when i remember those anecdotes you’d told me when i was growing up. You should see how I’ve changed from your “small cutie pie” to an “urban working woman.”

I wish i could tell you everyday about what happens, how the neighbors keep fighting or how my cooking is going by. I wish i could tell you how much i miss you when i need to go shopping. I wish i could hold your hand. There are times when i wish i could go inside the frame and hug you tight and never let you go.

There is so much i want to tell you. And so much of it i do tell you, through my letters. I miss your fragrance, that favourite perfume of yours, those pies you used to bake, those parties you dressed up for. There’s so much you’ve missed being a part of. So much i want to show.

I’m rendered helpless though. I know you had to go. I know you were in pain. I know it was for the best. But I can’t help wondering why the world’s sweetest, most understanding and accomodating mom who cooked the best food, took me to the best places for holidays and listened to my every rant and rave..had to go.

I could never even tell you how much I loved you when i held your hand that day. Words failed me as i looked at the serene smile on your face, as i saw life leave those eyes, to travel into a world of their own. I just knew that you’d left behind the world a much better place. And i loved you for that.

Waiting for a pat before i sleep

Loads of Love

Nina

(Dedicated to a mum who left behind a beautiful world, whose smile made a family smile)

The Welcome


The sudden darkness in the sky surprised her. After two months of summer sunshine, the blue sky had become an ally. She’d been occupied with work and seldom got to see the sky in element. Sometimes it surprised her with its vivid colours and always seemed to acknowledge her presence. The quiet gray was disconcerting.

She shrugged and pulled her bag closer. It looked as if she was a visitor, with her black bag and white sneakers. The crowd pushed her trying to make their way, in time to reach work. She leaned against the railing and watched the sky, curious. The more she saw it, the calmer she felt. The canvas above was in monotones of grey and white. It somehow seemed to colour the buildings around as well. Everything looked centred and in tranquil despite the obvious rush in front of a railway station.

Suddenly there was a breeze. She couldn’t help but smile. The breeze turned to droplets soon after. The first showers!!! There were screams as people rushed to protect themselves from the rain and mud. The earth rejoiced, and leaves danced.

She looked at the watch annoyed. It was time for her to go. A new day in office awaited her. Pulling her bag closer, she walked. It seemed that a hand was pulling her back. She’d always enjoyed the rains. A part of her ached to let go of all the trials and pressures and just spread her arms for a while.

Try as she might, she couldn’t ignore the feeling. Leaving her bag with a guard, she went and faced the sky. Little droplets scattered here and there welcoming her. The winds blew at her wet face sending shivers down her spine. She spread her arms out and gave the widest of smiles. She felt as large as the sky. Somehow she’d been waiting for this moment. At some deep level she felt healed. As if the raindrops and the gentle breeze were welcoming her back. From a frenzy of deadlines to a peaceful world. From being preoccupied to noticing the sky and smiling in pleasure. From holding back to spreading her arms out to give out all the love she could. Oh she could feel the sky spreading too, responding to her smile. She’d not felt this way for long.

After what seemed like an eternity, she turned and took her bag. There was a spring in her step and a wide grin on her face. What a welcome this was. What a celebration it was!

We are always in too much of a rush. Running to complete deadlines, holding the load of the world on our shoulders. We never realise there’s nature calling us, welcoming us back from that stressful part to the part where we just spread our arms, smile and rejoice with nature. This is who we are, celebration is a part of us. Look out of the window the next time, it might be your calling to rejoice, your welcome waiting!!!