*This post was written by Vishvaraj Chauhan in March 2016 to celebrate 1000+ views on the blog Meraki, authored by the ever charming Sreshtha Mondal.*
She is the face of experience; patron of existence; an embodiment of destiny. Gliding and touching every life on its way, playing hide and seek with everyone who seeks it out, she lays out her lessons with paramount ease and her teachings with adherent subtlety. ‘Life’, as many call her, has set an eye on the curious case of another girl, a mirror image of herself…
The baby gurgled and wailed; finished with sleep and on to hunger, two of the initial and foremost attachments ‘Life’ has deemed necessary for one and all. The little one has a lot of life in her and has a long journey to trod.
Infancy. The beginning of so many things, the decided staring point of a vicious cycle of events, joy, sadness and even more. A small child only cares about it’s three primary needs – food, sleep and health – three attachments never to be let go. I look back at myself as an infant and get a pang of jealousy – such innocence, such awe at the smallest things yet an astute determination to do whatever I could to get what I want..
The child, learning and walking, reaching out to it’s parents for support and guidance. Ah, parenthood – the most beautifully disquiet experience ‘Life’ has managed to procure. Certain strings are meant to be attached, and meant to stay that way..
Never has been a more beautiful relationship than a mother and daughter. I can remember so many times I looked up to my mother, for almost everything – guidance, counseling, beauty tips, behavioral and social sense, food, support, care and love. To be a mother is like one’s is every daughter’s aim, and irrespective of whether it transcends to a progressive chain or not, the feelings and admiration are always passed down from generation to generation. Mothers and daughters are like the Sun and the Earth – one all giving, the other glad to receive and utilize. And of course the Earth acts as a mother to millions of us, maybe hoping that it can give as much as it receives from the Sun.
If the mother –daughter relationship is surreal, the father-daughter relationship is often surreptitiously deep and uniquely affectionate. The father is the daughter’s first protective hand, her first hero, her first love. But for the father – the little darling is the most precious thing he has ever known, a pure angel with the power to heal with touch and smiles. Fathers and daughters are like the Earth and the Moon, daughter’s life revolves around the father every day, and every movement in the daughter’s life creates tides in the father’s heart.
School, study, friends, colleagues, bullies – the little girl is meeting new and new people every day. The quandary of whom to trust and whom to not; and whether to tie the strings of attachment to one and all or to none but one? She must learn to decide, judge, protect her little heart, but it can sometimes can only be learnt from experiences.
Friendship encompasses every emotion one can hope to encounter, either one at a time or all at once. Love, share, care, envy, jealousy, support, pressure, competitiveness – the entire package. It takes perseverance and a measure of highs and lows, knock downs and lift ups and the shrinking of a void to really know the variants of your true friends. There were people who were always my merry chitter-chatter friends, while some considered me their SOS, but there were a couple of them, who took me in for what I was and accepted, tolerated and loved me for what little I had to give, and for the selfish tonnes I wanted to take.
But there were many I tried to build things with, to create a fortress often fabled in stories popular. I dug in, compromised and stayed when probably I should have let go. It was only when the string I held on to tightly began to sting that I realized that letting go was the better option – however much the decision hurt. Inherently, Lady Life taught me that only the effortless bondings travel long, or maybe we need to put ourselves first at times. People come, people go. If you don’t lose, you don’t grow.
She’s a woman now, and has fallen for someone she possibly cannot overcome. The shenanigans of Cupid strike again, and possibly one heartbreak among many can build the strength to differentiate herself.
Funny isn’t it? How you keep one stand of attachment protected for that special one and when he finally arrives, you realize that your strand is made of satin and his’ is nylon – never to be tied tightly. And then you question whether satin can only be tied to satin, or maybe the simple cotton – often overlooked do the trick?
Love breaks. It shatters. It makes you look at yourself in a way you’ve never seen yourself before. It builds in you a strength that takes quite some breaking, but it also unleashes a power hitherto uninitiated. But more so, it teaches you the difference between the two – strength respects, power intimidates.
Yet I did find solace and love, just not from the source I thought I would. The strings of mine once snipped which I rendered too short now were met with some with longer lengths of his. Love will find a way. Always.
Oh, Lady Life. You took away people and things I once couldn’t live without; you cut the strings with someone I believed was the one for me. What have you tied me to, I ask? The mature me looks back and sees myself tied to my parents, the basic needs, some true friends and a person I believe you presented to me for being a good girl all my life. Beyond that I tied myself to my career, success and my children – just extending the knots of my parents. I am utterly thankful, for you knew which strings to cut and which to keep, even if I didn’t agree with you in the immediate aftermath. But couldn’t you have done it without this much pain which you decided to give?
The woman is now wise, and has the teachings along with the lessons of life. Yet the child within her cannot see that teachings gave her intelligence, and lessons gave her wisdom. Oh dear child of mine,
I am life, and I was teaching you how to live!