I hoard things. Clothes, handbags, shoes, earrings, receipts, memories, etc. And lately, gadgets and the paraphernalia that comes along with them. Charging cords, adaptors, manuals, et al. Even cords that don’t function anymore. Haven’t for five years. One of those cords beckoned me. I had abandoned it a few years ago when it failed to charge my beloved iPod. And I knew it was time to recycle it. The hoarder in me resisted. On a whim, I plugged in the iPod using this cord, and it was working!
I was now stuck with multiple cords for the same device. And for a hoarder that’s a good place to be. Only I was learning to let go. So one afternoon, I found myself throwing a random wish into the universe. Let me find someone who will have more use for this cord than I presently do. I remember uttering these words, and then going about my day. I didn’t pore over the phrasing, fret over the timing or get all worked up over the logistics of how. I simply left it to the higher forces that be.
That evening, long past dinner and dessert, I found myself scrolling through my Facebook feed. There were a few GIFs I mooned over, a few links I saved for later and then I came across a friend’s post soliciting a charging cord for an older model of the iPod. I read the post three times. Twice, in disbelief. The third time, aloud to the husband.
Five minutes later, the friend and I had a deal!
The blades of time are sharp, and we’re all in the same game. Knee-deep. Just grappling different devils. You’re not happy. But you’re not unhappy either. Perhaps, Robert Frost said it best when he said that the journey and the route make all the difference. We step away from the herd. We may be going on the same journey, but our maps are all different. Sure, they intersect for a bit, but no two paths ever run completely parallel to each other.
Time and again, we choose to break free from the ignominy of the nameless and the aimless. Loneliness and silence are our constant companions. And the real challenge lies in finding what’s yours. Choose your escape.
Freedom isn’t free. But our choices are. The choice to either be right or be happy! And choose we must. For choices are all we have.
Feelings are a double-edged sword. Often just like the weather. Fluctuating, drifting, flip-flopping. Yes, being happy is exhausting. And sometimes, we are our own worst enemies. In a world heavily split between black and white, the grey beckons. Perhaps, it’s time to blur the lines. The world demands conformity. You crave to break away. But you forget that the roads that take you away from home also eventually lead you back.
Band-aids don’t heal a bruised spirit. And you wonder if there’s a hospice for souls. The heart is brittle. And hope is fragile. We yearn for some faith to glue it together. Faith flickers. It must be nurtured. Let it rest on a cause.
Remember, some causes are more equal than others. Adopt yours wisely. Or let it come find you. Expel the doubts, break the clutter, banish the fear. You’ll be rewarded handsomely.
Let’s cheat on our fears!
The dress I wore at my wedding reception lay hung in the mother’s wardrobe for close to a decade. I was there when she had picked it up for herself, one afternoon, with both the grandmothers in tow. The first time she wore it, a kind photographer also captured a beautiful shot of her and the father together, long before candid photography became the buzzword. She relinquished it to me even before I could ask for it. And I had always dreamt of raiding her wardrobe for one saree that I could “borrow” for my reception.
The shoes that led me to my wedding hall lay snug in a yellow case in my drawers for more than a year. The mother had been hugely disappointed that I hadn’t begun using them sooner; she had picked them up with great precision from a small market in Rajasthan. Now of course she knows why!
The churidar I wore for the griha pravesh ceremony was a set that I almost tossed aside. I had returned twice from the cash counter to reconsider my choices, for you see, an unstitched piece of cloth is too much of a commitment to take on, in the absence of a trusted tailor. But it had been a long evening and the colour was too pretty to let go off. So it too sneaked itself into my wardrobe, months before we had an inkling of a wedding.
In small, subtle ways, I had been prepping for the event long before I knew of it. And when I did, I found myself with very little time.
When the wedding invitation wrote itself one evening, I remember thanking the folks for letting me put it together. I remember feeling a part of something larger that night. That the words I had written weren’t actually mine, but just a gift to me.
I was unabashed in asking for help, from friends and strangers alike, invoking every iota of goodwill I had accumulated in the last three decades of my life. And most people didn’t disappoint. My mehendi artist was a name to me off a newspaper article I had read online. He only had a name, number and date for me. But he showed up a day before the wedding ceremony to apply the most beautiful mehendi on my hands and feet.
I’ve seen the strangest of my wishes come true. I had wanted to meet the card vendor, for no valid reason, mind you! But the universe granted me that and so much more.
The man I’m married to was a part of my social circle long before we saw ourselves together. Until one casual coffee date one winter evening changed our lives forever.
Nothing came close to the look of pride on the father’s face when he saw me decked up for the wedding ceremony. I held up my eyes for approval, as I’m wont to do. But we barely exchanged any words that day. And when the husband and I walked into a roomful of family and friends, for the reception, (gleefully, an hour behind schedule), the father was beaming. When we sat down for the final dinner with the extended family, he got up to feed a jalebi to each member of the family; a memory I’ll keep with me for life.
It’s been a magical few months, with everything falling into place, beautifully, rapidly, almost miraculously. Like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. Today, “My heart is at ease knowing that what is meant for me will never miss me. And that which misses me was never meant for me.”