One heck of a “life”

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batori.in“It has been 6 months since I saw you last, where have you been?” She asked. “Where else would I be?” Managing through the smolder of his cigarette, that coarse voice materialized. “I was right here, struggling to muddle through, right where you left me.” He turned and left. It was impossible for her to stop him and explain to him, the sensations his voice still instigated in her heart, that crave in her that it still gratified. But she knew she had promises to keep and responsibilities to adhere to.

In a different land, amidst different crowds, in a 3 BHK; just like those usual mornings, she heard her mother complain against her brother, to her father, “Your son has gone crazy, he returned at 4 am today, and that heavy-guitar music all day is sickening. He’s always on the laptop when he’s home, making documentaries, how is that gonna get him settled? That girl who is with him in all those pictures on Facebook, wears disgustingly short clothes, even Mumbai wali maasi noticed the upload and called me yesterday, asking about his studies. We have a 16 year old at home, what is she gonna learn from him? He is supposed to be a role-model to her. I overheard him on the phone, planning a road-trip to Kashmir, how insane is that now! He says he doesn’t want to attend the family-pooja because he is an atheist, and believes in the idea sci-fiction rather than religion. Oh God! He is out of our hands.”

Another day, another place; he was in a quandary, whether to run away to some distant-detached isle, where he could start afresh, and just rejoice in the clicks, colors and rhythm that were life to him at some point. Or to hold on, for yet another day and reach the same closed-enclave, file-in, file-out and earn the regular, hoping for life to get better, than just making money.

“She is not going to that late night gathering of brats, wearing this red lipstick. Where has all the dignity of today’s girls gone? We never had the guts to back-chat with our parents; we studied, got settled and got married at the right time, respecting society’s expectations from us. And look at her, wants to do theater and party all the time.” Her father screamed and left the room. On the other hand, a friend of her’s was being mocked at for being a “tom-boy” as she always dressed in a casual denims and shirt, and loved playing football.

At a yet new land, she was getting dressed for her 5 year Old’s PTM. Kajal on her dresser, reminded her of the good old days, when thousands were enthralled, watching her on stage. How much she misses those ghungarus, that bold-eye-make up, that antique jewelry which she wore for her classical performances. But her husband compensates for it by taking her on dinner-dates and shopping on weekends and getting her expensive cell-phones, with those glittery covers, and she gets to enjoy those once-in-a month, social gatherings as well.

He turned 74 last month, retired lieutenant-colonel, he has always liked it systematic and organized, but now that he shares roof with his son’s family, nothing is really the same. His wife was beautiful, he remembers, telling his teenager-grandson, “I and your grandma would go for long walks, how she understood what I wanted, without me asking for, it is still a mystery to me. Oh! How I meant the world to her. But it’s not the same with your parents I see. Anyway, you better focus on your studies and pay back to your motherland for all that it has bestowed upon you.”

We all have a life-story; a tale of “hard-hitting” anecdotes that place our thoughts, estimations, words and actions in the way they are at present. When I call my story “tough”, I give an expression to my own belief on my life, because we all tend to perceive our own struggles harder than of those around us. Life seems smooth and soothing till it falls as per our plans, till the turns and twists are pretty much a part of our predictions, which generally falls within our comfort-zone.

The restlessness and apprehension begins when you have turned rigid. When you want to stick to what has “been happening and what “fixes with the dogmas and canons” of the “stereotypical” society. You do this, not because you want to hurt or get hurt, but because you are scared of being constrained with the responsibility of taking charge for not affirming to the mainstream. Wanna know what’s gonna help? Well, have faith in what yourself. If you know you’re doing what you “want” to do, with all your heart, do it. But the moment you’ll give this liberty to your heart, to make its own choices, you’ll affirm to being accountable to your own life and the way it would unfold then. If you’re sure you won’t regret, do it, and even if you do regret one day, life gives you several, second-third-fourth, a hundred chances, to get better, to get wiser! The moment you’ll learn to be patient and tolerant, you’ll see them understand. And if at all, they don’t, and you feel like it’s high time for you to make a choice, let the world be, go your way, be self-sufficient. Make your choice!

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About Suvi Jain

-Suvi Jain is a third year law student at Aligarh Muslim University




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