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Monday, January 8, 2007

I am only one

I complained once to my mother that she was being too strict…and that because she wouldn’t let me buy another pair of those beautiful sandals. My best friend had just bought her 3 rd pair and I wanted one just like that too…me and my mother squabbled all the way down the road…I was so engrossed in making my point clear to my mother that I wasn’t looking where I was headed and I crashed headlong into a small girl walking towards me.

She stretched out her little grubby palm towards me in the hope of getting at least a 25 paisa coin. I looked at her small round face. With a bit of soap and effort she would most definitely look like a little angel. Her eyes, as black as currents peered at me earnestly. It was raining outside and windy too. The child had nothing on her except for a torn, worn dress which gave no clue as to what its colour was. She wore nothing on her bare feet and she was standing in a pool of murky water that was overflowing from the drains. I looked down at my own well covered and protected, pedicured feet.

I would be lying if said that I gave up my money that I had set aside for my sandals to the poor girl. I would be lying still if I said I dint buy the sandals after all, because I did. But it would never be a lie if I said that the image of the poor little child and her bare legs never taunted did and it does still…I think of her almost every time I put on that sandals. I wish now that I had not bought them. And I wish I had given the little child something better than a measly 2 rupee coin.

I come across many a small child on the street but none left the kind of impression on me than this girl. I wonder what it was that makes me remember her even now almost 2 years after I met her. I always felt sympathy towards the under privileged, I wished someone would do some thing for them. But now I realize…it’s not just” some one “who is got to help them…it is me. It is me who ahs got to do some thing. It is me who has to feel empathy and not sympathy…It is me who’s got to lend a helping hand… as Edward Everett Hale says-“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.

Even if it is a matter of giving up my watching of my favourite soap on television (I can always catch the repeat later), or if it is a matter of skipping the premiers of a much awaited movie (I can always watch it later) or if it is skipping a party (my friends are still going to be there for me) I will definitely try to do my bit to help my lesser lucky sisters and brothers.

Marian Wright Edelman once said- We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.
And that is going to be motto…to do what ever I can, do what little I can, to live as simply as I can, so that many others may simply-live. After all no one really knows what is in future for us…we might end up just like some of them, alone and uncared for…if that is what is in store for us maybe God will help us out there sending us angels to help us…just like he is helping out some others by sending us to them as angels…

When is life a lie???

I ask you when it is not? Some one asks you “how are you” and you reply with that clichéd expression “am fine”...when actually you are a far cry from being fine…you reply because that is what is expected of you…basic etiquette. It may be manners to answer that way…but are you being truthful??

How many such instances in life when you live a lie, present themselves before you? I am living a lie even at this moment. I want to be anywhere else but here. I want to do something other than what I am doing right now but I can’t. Because that is exactly what the society and my family doesn’t want me to be. So I compromise with life and live the way I need to rather than going for what I want to. I do not complain or rather I am not expected to. Because again I am living a lie…of being the perfect woman, the perfect daughter, the perfect sister, the perfect friend. When in reality it is these very things that strangle me. The expectations on me that I am supposed to meet…they choke me…but I am expected to put up with it, smile and say I cannot have a better life than this. Isn’t it a lie too?

I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a friend. But when will I be me? When will I be just Vrinda? Isn’t this living a lie? Being what I am needed to? Rather than being me? I write my story today. I want to put in all that I feel, want to bring out the rebel in me. But one day my mother will read it. And perhaps tomorrow, my sons and daughters. Will I want them to know what I am exactly, than what I seem to be? Strange the things you want out of life. Sometimes I want people to know me for what I am. Not for what they want me to be. Yet some part of me wishes that no one knows me completely. Because in my heart of hearts I am afraid. All that I consider mine today, will they remain mine tomorrow if I bring out “the real me”? But again, who is the real me? Do I lie to myself about me?

Today I love someone who once left me burnt and broken. But someone told me to be careful don’t let yourself be cheated again. And so I lie. I tell him that I have come a long way. And that I am trying to put my past behind me. Why? Coz I care about myself? Or coz someone told me to be careful? I don’t know.

I make a wall around me. The attitude wall. So that people don’t come close to me. People who became close to me have hurt me in some way or the other. Or, maybe I could not accept them to go away from me. So now I don’t allow anyone or at least try not to let anyone see the real me. When I care about someone, I care not the least for anything else and give them my whole self. But time and time again I have been let down, shattered to pieces. So now am scared. What if this happens to me again? So I live in solitude. Living another lie. When I really love being with people, when I love being a simple girl, I put up a mask of the confident and strapping Vrinda. True it has earned me many a recognition. But all material. I become an enigma. But then again people who know me see thru my mask and am shattered. Why? When I should be happy that they can see the real me? I don’t know

Now I don’t know what I am. Am I the Vrinda who used to be b4? The simple, fun loving, bubbly kind? Who was so diplomatic and so caring that never from my mouth have I voiced my opinion if I felt it hurt someone? Or have I really changed? I find myself being frank. Too frank sometimes. This leaves me satisfied for a moment but then leaves me drained thinking about the fact that maybe I hurt someone. What do I do? What am I supposed to do? I want to be myself. The real me. But who is that?

Maybe I am a coward. Maybe that is why I live a lie. But is wishing that you have all those people you care for with you always…a form of cowardice? Is wanting your world to look perfect even if it really is not, a sign of not being intrepid? Why do I hold myself back? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll never will. This question will always linger in my mind…should I live my live in the way that will make many others happy? Or should I live my life my way and make me happy? But then again is the question…will I be happy if people around me are not? So I chose to live this lie…

Wilting away

I stood in the rain and watched the multitude of people and vehicles scurry past me. But in reality, not really seeing anything at all…

Some part of me wanted to scream, to cry, to die….

I wanted to cry but not a tear kissed the corners of my eyes. The rain pelted my face, ran along, touched my eyes and lavished themselves on my cheeks. They were trying to mock my eyes into shedding a tear or so it seemed to me….

My mouth was dry, my lips were trembling and my hands were cold…

I buried my face in my hands and realized that you wouldn’t take my face in your strong hands…not anymore…

How easy it was for you to tell me to leave you alone…but how much more difficult for me to let you go….I had dreaded this day since the beginning…but why, when I had so much faith in you I don’t know...I really don’t…

Maybe my love never reached your heart… perhaps my care never touched your soul…or maybe I never told you often enough how much you meant to me…..

Though I know I did nothing wrong, I still try to find fault with me….because for me you are perfect and always will be. I can never think badly of you though you left me burnt and broken….

I know that I am alone now and that you don’t need me anymore…but will you come in my solitude as a whiff of air, a plaintive song, a sweet fragrance? I can’t seem to let you go…you are that part of me that I’ll never learn to live without…

I should perhaps thank you for all those beautiful moments that once you gave me…I’ll cherish them forever and treasure them in my heart…

Nothing will ever be the same again…my little coloured canvas is drenched in rain and I see the colours leak…you left me alone when I needed you most…but I’ll never blame you…because for me you are still perfect….

I wanted to scream, to cry, to die….but I knew …I had already died…..

I stood in the rain and saw people and motor scurry past me…but never really saw them all…


I may not talk to you at first sight
Take not my timidity for arrogance.
I may keep a ‘distance’ between us
Know that I too like my privacy.
I may not speak much
Understand that it’s not my strength.
I might ask you a million questions
Have patience to listen to them,
I may have only you to ask that to.

I may appear too confused and too muddled
Take it as a part of me
I may flare up soon
Know that I cool down faster
I may seem stupid
Know that I still have some brains left in me

I may seem jealous if you keep talking about another girl
Understand that it’s just my possessiveness
My eyes water soon
Please try not to be the cause
I have my mood swings
Know that I like you with me in those times

I may not tell you often how much you mean to me
But know that I still care for you from the depths of my heart
I may not hold hands in public
I wouldn’t want you to be embarrassed
I may sing aloud often
Tell me if I am bad…
But I may not stop

I will never judge you whatever come
Try not to judge me too
I might appear lost
Know that I would need you to show me the way
I may not live up to your expectations
Know that I too have my limits

I might end up forgetting how you look
But I’ll never forget how you made me feel
I may be timid
Know that I am not weak
I might try my hand at everything
But I need you to spur me on
Coz you help me be strong

I might ask you again and again
What I mean to you
Know that it’s not my doubt
But my love to hear you tell me what I am to you
That I ask you often
Remember in your honesty my pride.
If you don't want to see me, please don't hide
The truth, yet tell it with some art.