Thursday, September 29, 2011

Polka-dotted frocks

Today afternoon I saw two little girls in pigtails, riding their bicycles and giggling away. Their matching polka-dotted frocks, their smiles and the aura of complete freedom around them made me aware of a pang of envy, of longing for times gone.
There was a time when five little girls would all be fitted out in bright matching cotton frocks with identical patterns and frills, just a specially different colour for each one. Those were days of carefree summers, of youth and fearless adventure. Of mangoes, afternoon picnics, hide and seek, tantrums and umpteen tumbles. I can even see their eyes... happy, wide and guileless. Anything seemed possible then, the world was a personal stage. A place where everybody was meant to be happy.
And then the little girls grew up. Back then, I remember I wanted to grow up fast, real fast. Today I wish, sometimes, that we never did have to grow up. That we could have remained that age forever.  Friends together. Sisters together. Time never lets you stay that young. It snatches away those moments of togetherness. It makes you grow up. As each of us now looks ahead to a new and different life, I hope we shall remember those happy sunny summers. Those shared holidays and the "gachhi" at aji-papa's house that was our permanent adda and treasure trove! I shall miss those times. Always.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Life Lessons

I have gone through life believing I am lucky. Have tried to live life in the open wind and the sunshine. I have had a lovely life, full of the most beautiful people and times. Have believed in kindness and niceness and genuine goodness. Trusted with my heart and had faith, always.

Yet not everything is as lovely as it seems. The harsh light brings with it shadows and darkness. You chance upon people who can spoil everything, people you wish you didn't have to meet ever again. Have you met these blurry, shadowy, seemingly crazy, hurtful and self-obsessed people who refuse to grow up and face the world? They never bothered me before because I thought they were just in that bad phase and that they would change... because people are essentially nice. I have never believed that anybody is inherently mean or bitchy. I have never wanted to believe that any person is crooked within. It is just a bad time for that person. They seem to see a grey and glum world and perhaps decide that the world deserves a grey and glum person.

But the world is as it always has been. Real. Lively. Tough. But worth it. Every moment. And I wonder, why do I have to be understanding enough to wait for someone to see the truth? Wait while it hurts? A waiting I do not deserve. What for? For those who see a tainted world? For those who do not think before they speak or act and who do not see or value anything beyond themselves? How fair is this? Is it better to stay still and wait for this to pass? Should I smile and shrug it off or should I react?

I think I like my life better with its love and warmth and friendship. I choose to believe in that. I choose to let that, and that alone, be my truth, my reality.