Come here you. Let me give you one big bear hug, coochie-coo your cheeks and say, “You Rock!” You have given me everything that I’ve ever needed in life, though in your own sweet way. Of course, there were ups and downs and lefts and rights. But then, what’s life without a few bitter tears!
How time flies! From wearing a tee tied to my head and walking around in my ‘nun’s costume’, to tying mom’s duppata as a saree to pass myself off as a teacher and then in the blink of an eye, to start humming Suraj Hua Maddham and Humko Humise Churalo and entering a world of my own! You were indeed quick about it all and I never complained for I wanted to grow up as fast as I could.
There were heartbreaks and haircuts! And just when I gathered up the zillion pieces of my tiny heart, it was broken again. And again. I survived without self-loathing but it had hurt for a long, long time. I could never really speak my piece to everybody. But then, you asked me to stop that bothering me, because the same thing will keep happening to me and that I have to let it all go.
A miracle as beautiful as it is, you gave me my Mom back from the verge of that dreadful C. And I still believe that if it wasn’t for my Dad’s love we wouldn’t have survived it as a family. And all while long, you held my hand and allowed me to explore that vibrant thing called life.
You are indeed a roller-coaster ride, aren’t you? But even amongst books and grabbing that Masters Degree in Engineering, I did what I loved the most. Dance. Ha, those days when Dad ballyhooed my Dance performances, as if I was the best in the world! Cracking all the interviews I’ve attended and having a handful of offers to choose from was a moment of pride in itself. And to have joined my dream company was a high.
Little did I know that there were better plans laid out for me. It was like a prayer answered when I got married to my soldier for he is everything that my dad is- patient and calm, thoughtful and inspiring. When I sat in the comforts of an air-conditioned room working for my clients, he was miles away, guarding the frontiers without caring if it was sun or sand, sweat or ice and whether it was a festival or our anniversary. That year of separation brought us close and I quit my job, not because anyone asked me to. But because I wanted to. And if not anything, I am proud to be an Army Wife, to be going all over the country every 2 years, staying out of boxes and being the shadow of my man’s life.
My priorities have changed and I do not live in a bubble anymore. When his dear friend was martyred in the Pathankot attack, it was a nasty shock! For we never believe something like that would happen to our dear ones. It takes a lot of courage to be in your man’s shoes, to be head of the family when situation calls in or seem hopeless. And I’m glad I am doing my bit in comforting a fellow soldier’s family, offering support and encouragement so that we all can continue walking the path of healing and rejuvenation with our soldier. Yes, all this with a smile plastered on our faces. And I’m often surprised by the inner strength and maturity that comes to us in this young age. For we are not only those pretty ladies clad in the finest of clothes and living a life of luxury. Or those with a glass of wine in hand and dance away to glory at the parties. But we do things which make an impact on another individual, trying our best to heal a shattered soul and quieten those silent screams? Who better than us can understand these as we are never promised a tomorrow?
And all through this. I am still me.
When I walk with my friend and hear “Thud!!” to find her face down on the ground, my very first reaction is to giggle. When I watch a colleague do something silly or embarrassing, I smirk. When I get a promotion, I beam. When my husband give a kiss on my cheek for that Chicken curry I prepared, I shy.
I still love fighting with my sister for silly reasons and pampering her with cookies. I love to talk nonstop and annoy my mom when she cooks. I send him sweet text messages. And have ice-creams on a cold winter night. I paint my toe nails yellow or green or whichever that I like. I watch Popeye and sing at the top of my lungs which often resembles a frog’s cacophony. I love to watch my cat play with a ball of yarn or my dog with a wrapped gift. I love to put on a dress and flaunt. Click pictures. Walk on the beach or listen to wind chimes. Make a new friend or talk to the person next to me on my cab. Or break out to a dance every time I listen to Kar Gayi Chull.
I love you, dear Zindagi for all that you’ve done and making me, me.
And yeah! for making me believe that when you give me lemons…instead of throwing it to someone or make lemonades, I should grab tequila and salt!
I’m enjoying the stay and I’m looking forward to continue this helluva ride with you.