Tag Archives: care

Of Crying That Makes Us Strong

I have never seen a person cry. For most of my life, the people around me have always been happy. When the day of tears arrived, they left.

I know people cry when they are in pain. They cry when every breath is laboured and things do not seem to be making sense. People cry when they are weak. And some cry, even when they are strong. People like you.

Mom used to say that it is okay to cry. For one day, every tear will dry up and you can stand up again. She often used to joke around and say that crying helps clear the vision. She had a weird sense of humour, I agree. Though her words never made sense back then, I think they do, now.

Every time a person falls; every time a person is in pain; every time a person cries, it helps them get a newer perspective. For we take off our rose-tinted glasses and retrospect. And by the time we are done crying, we know already that we’ll never be crying again for the same reason.

In some wickedly strange way, crying makes us strong.

Of Fairies and Godmothers and Princes

Dear Whoever-Is-Reading-This,

There’s a thing about Disney movies. They are real. Fairies, godmothers, princes and mermaids do exist. At the stroke of midnight, somewhere in a forgettable corner of the world, a prince finds a glass slipper. The mermaid finds a man and falls in love. A frozen land is gifted with the magic of sun rays and glistens in gold.

But there’s a thing about us – we are natural pessimists. The dark haunts us instead of the light. Instead of believing that we may fly if we have a million balloons attached to us, we mentally remind ourselves that it is impossible. Who told so? Why do hot air balloons fly then? You’ll say, it’s different. You’ll probably start explaining me Archimedes’ principle.

And this is where we stop believing in miracles and magic. We tell ourselves that real life can never be a Disney movie. So when the prince finds a glass slipper, he starts blinking so hard that he almost loses his vision. When the man sees the mermaid, he suddenly wakes up. And when summer comes, we talk about science.

But what if, what if, all this is magic? You and me? What if we hold magical powers but fail to realize that? What if we can fly but we’ve never tried because we are not willing to take the risk? What if all we see is not real, but all that we dream is? What if the lives we live in the day are a dream, and the ones we spend sleeping is actually our life?

Probably, the biggest difference between us and Cinderella and Snowwhite and Elsa and their fairy tales and our un-fairytales is the fact that they believed in miracles and magic, and we don’t.

Sincerely,

A Lost Little Girl

The Dreams We See

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” – Lanton Hughes, American poet.

All my life, I’ve grown up reading stories. So have you, probably, and many other people.

I accept I was a nerd back in high school, though not your typical nerd from out of a teenage novel! I missed my P.E. classes to read books in the library. Though it was clearly against the rules, the grey-haired librarian didn’t seem to mind. Nor did she ever complain to anyone that I spent a half of the school hours hiding in there.

When she didn’t have a class, she’d choose books and give them to me. She even let me borrow two books when we were allowed to take only one!

On a fine autumn day, she asked me if I write stories.

Being only in sixth grade, her question took me by surprise.

“No,” I replied. “I only read.”

“You should try to write a story someday,” she told me.

“But no one will read it,” I stated.

“I will,” she promised.

I never got a chance to give her my story to read. I left school the same year and I didn’t really have a chance to contact her.

How or when I began writing is a memory that has already left my mind. All that I remember is that I used to write secretly. I was afraid of how my piece of writing would be received by an audience. In between classes, in the lunch breaks, I would sit in a lone corner and scribble a poem or two in the last pages of some copy. I knew no teacher bothered to look at the last pages and so, my little secret was safe.

Until one day. My English teacher interrupted a class and asked me to meet her in the staff room during the lunch break.

When I visited her, I found her reading something intently. As I walked closer, I realized that she was going through the little poems I had written.

“You write so beautifully!” she exclaimed.

I really didn’t know how to react. Was I supposed to be scared because she had found out? Or was I supposed to be happy because she felt it was good?

“Don’t ever give up,” she continued. “You have an extraordinary talent. Keep this dream alive and someday you’ll reach there.

She reminded me of my old librarian.

I found a confidence after hearing her. And since then, I’ve always shared my work with people.

People often ask me if I have ever dreamt of becoming a writer. That very question never fails to take me by surprise.

“Yes,” I tell them. “It is my dream to become a writer.”

It is a dream that has been with me for as long as I can remember. While some dreams come and go, this stays with me.

Someday, I’m going to write something for the old librarian to read. I remember her promise.

Someday, I’m going to thank her for igniting my dream.

Someday, I’m going to wake up and live my only dream.

I still remember a couple of lines from the same poem which i had scribbled at the back of my English copy. it reads like this-

“They told you, dreams are important,

That dreams are hidden somewhere in the sky, beneath the golden hue;

They told you to hold on to your dreams,

For sometimes, they find you.

How I Lost You

“Do not save your loving speeches

For your friends till they are dead;

Do not write them on their tombstones

Speak them rather now instead.” – Anna Cumins

I met her in junior high. We had been those bubbly little girls, always fangirling over some Hollywood character. The memories are hazy. I don’t remember how we looked like, back then. I remember she used to chatter all day long about Brett Lee, often mentioning facts as ridiculous as how many teeth he had lost!

We became quick friends. We used to talk to each other for hours over phone. We used to call dibs on hot anime guys! I was going to be her bridesmaid, she was going to be mine.

Indeed, I have too many happy memories with her.

When and where things went wrong, I don’t remember. I guess, she doesn’t too. Perhaps, it was when I had to leave school due to my Dad’s transfer.

Moving away didn’t seem like a big deal. We had telephones and e-mails and Facebook to remain in contact and I presumed blindly that things wouldn’t change.

Somehow, they did.

Conversations started getting shorter and most of the time, it seemed like we were calling each other just for the sake of old times. Our priorities changed. So did our friends’ circle. We thought that we were still going to remain friends forever, but deep inside our hearts, we knew that the thread was slowly withering away.

Five years of friendship was lost to a year of separation.

Slowly, other people started taking her place and a part of me still holds a profound amount of guilt that I had given up on our friendship so easily.

I used to browse through her pictures on Facebook and see her with her new friends, happier that I’d ever seen her. Though both of us used to be online at the same time, none of us took an effort of dropping a message. Strangely, it didn’t hurt.

At that moment, I knew, I had lost her.

When I returned back, two years later, our friendship remained as messed up as ever. We did talk, but it was no longer the same.

The good, old times remained carved in some forgettable corners of our classrooms.

Perhaps, we grew up. And life moved crazily fast.

Or may be, we never had been friends in the first place.

I went through the darkest phases of my life, alone. There were times when I believed there was no hope. And what hurt me the most was, I had no shoulder to cry on. So I cried, alone.

That period of darkness I went through, convinced me that nothing was permanent in life and that I was going to lose people. It made me numb. And it made me forget about her.

Until a couple of months ago, we started talking again.

Of course, conversations were pretty short and awkward. I used to think a lot before saying her something. I hid certain things from her. She did too.

Nevertheless, we talked.

I waited for her messages. I desperately wished for things to go back to being the same again, just like the olden, golden times. I wanted to meet her and talk and talk and talk about nothing in particular. Yet, I kept all that to myself.

I’m talking to her as I write this. I tell her I’m going to write about her in the next post. She wants to read it. I want her to. But I don’t know where to start.

The happy childhood memories are fading away with each passing second. So are the not-so-good memories. Now, I remember the little arguments we had. I think about the time she threw a water pouch right at my face and burst out laughing, while I stood in the middle of the staircase, absolutely clueless about how I was supposed to react.

I remember the one time something happened between us and I refused to talk to her. She had cried over the phone. Yes, she did. I was the stronger person. But I’m crying as I write this.

The memories are withering away and no matter how frantically I’m trying to hold them close, they are slipping away. The castles I had built are slowly crumbling to pieces and she’s not there to lend a hand.

However, along with the happy memories, the bitter ones are gone too. They are replaced by a set of new memories – of this friendship blooming again. May be we can never go back to being the best friends we had once been, but I’ll try. I don’t know about her.

Looking back, I still can’t figure out where things went downhill. A part of me doesn’t want to.

I had never figured out that writing about her would be so tough. We have our fair share of memories and sorrow. And we’ve been through all that together.

And I owe it to her – she taught me the importance of having friends. She made me realize that some friendships will fall and some will last and some friends will leave and some will keep coming back. They are people who are going to raise a toast at your wedding day and even raise a mop if you want them to. They are people who one writes about. They are people who have the most impact on one’s life.

They are called, friends.

She is mine. She is my friend.

And I believe there will be brighter days.

No, I know there will be even brighter ones.

We’ll see them together.

A Plate Full Of Mom

“One of the most important relationships we have is the relationship we have with our mothers.”

When Mom had to go away for a week to attend one of her training conferences, I hadn’t thought I’d miss her cooking that much! Her cooking!

Since my early childhood days, I’ve always been a lonely kid. Put me in an empty room with something to eat and a pen and a paper and I guarantee that I can live my entire life in the same space.

So, the day Mom left to attend the conference, naturally I didn’t miss her that much. Being a working woman, Mom was hardly around me. The little time we got after she returned home from her work, she spent it in the kitchen, cooking dinner and doing other little works.

Growing up, I didn’t have a particularly good relationship with my mom. Perhaps, it was because of the fact that I was a rebellious teenager with very different tastes than my mother. We’d argue on almost everything – clothes, food, books, subjects, languages, cultures and food. In short, we were both hot-headed and adamant to prove our point to each other.

Food – whatever she cooked, I didn’t like. She didn’t like that I didn’t like what she cooked. And I hardly knew how to cook! So each day, four of us, including my crazy eleven year old brother and my Dad, sat at the dining table hearing my grumbles and Mom’s constant complaints against my so-called attitude.

But that was five years ago.

Now, I believe I’m a sober teenager. My hormones have calmed down and I did realize how crazy a teen I had been! Relationships have improved and that counts the one between me and my mom. We understand each other better and hopefully, though the arguments haven’t completely stopped, they aren’t really that serious.

However, I still have a problem with her cooking.

Dad tells me that it’s probably because I’m bored of eating the same thing again and again and he is probably right. Sometimes, I believe the same too. But is there a solution? No. So until I learn how to cook (which seems like the next birth) and I’m finally independent and have a job, I’ve to depend on Mom.

Mom had to go for almost a week and we were given our pocket-money to order take-outs for dinner. The entire idea of eating out for an entire week, thrilled me! As most of you must have predicted by now, I’m a big foodie. Give me food and I’m the happiest soul around. But I’m really picky when it comes to food.

Dad, being the more inventive person in our house, decided that we should cook something and not order everyday. So that is what we did. Basically, he cooked.

And though I’ve seen that some men are great cooks, I can vouch that my dad is not. He can make some decent dishes, agreed, but when he tries to cook something he doesn’t know, it’s always a blunder that somehow ends up tasting good to him. And he forces us to eat it!

That is exactly what happened on the rainy Friday night when he got back home early.

I still do not know what he made. He called it something and we ate it without a noise. My brother even went on to say it was so good he could eat it everyday! Obviously, he meant it in a very sarcastic sense but Dad took it as words of encouragement and decided that we were going to eat the same thing again the next night.

I remember swinging my feet wildly and hitting my brother under the table.

The other day, when Dad had left for his office, we were hungry. So my brother and I decided to try something new. Given my complete inexperience when it comes to cooking, I had a difficult time trying to find something to make. We would’ve bought instant noodles but we were lazy.

“Cookies!” my brother suggested.

I agreed.

Half an hour later, he was mixing the batter for the second batch of cookies while I was reading a recipe book. A part of me wanted the cookies to taste exactly like Mom’s. So I took special care while adding the flour and eggs and chocolate, making sure the measure was accurate enough.

In between the little party in the kitchen, I remembered the last time she had made those cookies for us. It was a long while ago. Now that I sat on the kitchen top, reading through a recipe book, it felt as if Mom’s recipe to deliciousness had left along with her. It hadn’t been passed on to me and I had this nagging thought at the back of my brain that something might be wrong with the cookies.

It was then I realized that I had always loved Mom’s cooking, no matter what. I had always complained but that was plainly because I was bored with eating the very same thing, not because her cooking was bad.

The alarm of the oven went off and I helped my brother in pulling the tray out.

The cookies had weird shapes. Though they had looked good when we had poured them into the tray, after being baked, they had those weird amoeboid shapes. However, they tasted great! Perfect!

“Exactly like Mom’s!” my brother exclaimed as he stuffed a handful of cookies into his mouth.

No, the cookies didn’t taste like the ones Mom made. They lacked one thing. One person.

They lacked Mom.