I'm scurrying around my room, grabbing things and stuffing them in the shapeless bag, refusing breakfast to the annoyed maid, feeling a burst of corticosteroids that make me unnecessarily nervous at the prospect of entering late to class (that's a different thing that actually I'm let off without even a warning, but I still remain a sincere student. Just not sincere enough to be on time!) The only thing that keeps my palpitations in control is the continuous stream of text messages from my bestie, who always reaches college on time (I say that's because she lives near college, but she says it's because she's habitually punctual). It's these texts that say "Class not started yet" or "Just a couple of students here" that give me some unidentifiable satisfaction that I'll not be embarrassed after all.
Being a weirdo who takes longer than necessary to understand if a situation is problematic, I would have landed in many useless arguments or worse, embarrassing moments, had it not been for my bestie who has super powers and knows precisely what's going to happen and helps me out without even me knowing about it! Be it changing the direction of the discussion if she senses it's picking on me or helping me deal with raucous extroverts who're intimidating, she does it on her own. I don't ask, and most of the times I don't even know. What is it that brings out this selfless action? LOVE.
|Apoorva (to your left) and Me. (Don't ask what made us pose with a huge flower pot :P)|
There's a party to attend and I'm wailing. I don't want to go, I create millions of excuses just to skip the event, because I don't want to make a fool of myself. Because the theme for the event is 'Indian'! I've always been the T-shirt-Jeans sort, and the prospect of having to wear an Indian suit is unthinkable! But I'm always present at the event, having a good time, feeling good about myself, comfortable in the Indian attire. That's only because four superb people I call my super-friends have been pouring an incessant stream of encouragements, helping me pick and choose the dresses and accessories, linking arms and walking at the party as one amazing group, with five confident girls. Including me.
I missed out a lecture (OK, lecturesssss), or announcements or the special samosa at the canteen or the latest gossip (hey, I don't miss out on everything! There ARE things I don't miss out on, like........... whatever. I'm not going to overuse my brain for this, you see). Or when I have an unfinished assignment I need help with, or when the maid's on leave and Mom hasn't packed my lunch (she's a very good Mom, okay? She's working and leaves home when I'm not even awake!) or when I need help buying a gift for a family member! I have four saviors who will enable me to cover up for all the 'misses' and help me with every and any random thing I ask for! What is it that brings out this selfless action? LOVE.
|(From top) Sunmeet, Me, Shruti, Shivani, Apoorva|
I'm seven and running home from the bus stop. She takes me into her arms as I fling myself at her and start chattering about the day's adventures at school and in the bus (1.5 hours in the bus calls for some fun ;)). She listens patiently, nodding and shaking her head at appropriate intervals, helping me get comfortable and lays down the scrumptious lunch she's taken hours to prepare. Years pass and I know stuff about my religion, about our relatives, about India's past, about the art of stitching and every little thing parents don't have the time to talk about. I'm thankful to you, Grandma for instilling the power of patience and gratitude I learnt from you, I'm thankful to God for choosing ME to be lucky enough to be brought up by you.
I suddenly wake up from a horrible nightmare and immediately feel a soft wrinkled hand across my forehead. Before she says anything, I feel better and stumble off to sleep the next instant. I'm reading the mystery/horror novel before bedtime (again!) and feel too scared that the characters will somehow come live and meet me in the bathroom. It's her, who voices soothing words, holds my hand, prays with me and makes me sleep peacefully. What is it that brings out this selfless action? LOVE.
|Me, Grandma and my brother (This is the old me. Like 6 years ago!)|
I'm a capable student. I have all the books I've always wanted (well, almost!) and I'm fairly well behaved. I feel comfortable at all times I'm in the heaven called home. I can do my room as I want, I can sleep in late during holidays and I receive constant encouragement in any thing I wish to do. The academic awards that adorn the drawing room cabinet have my name, but the real stars are those whose names it does not hold. My FAMILY. They have made me who I am. I might not be the best, but they certainly see me as one. And the wonderful feeling it gives makes me feel privileged.
I can laugh like maniacs without feeling self conscious, since they too, would join me and we would become a laughing-like-maniacs-family. I can play scrabble all the time I want, though I'm not so lucky with the time I have the laptop (I have a sibling). I can bring forward an overcooked and half burnt parantha and still it would be relished by them. I can make crazy demands (like a sudden urge to tour the historical monuments or the zoo) and they would patiently listen and reassure me that it would be done (with sarcastic remarks from my brother, of course. And that's a different issue I still haven't toured those places!). What is it that brings out this selfless action? LOVE.
I'm greatly thankful to Preeti Shenoy for this creative prompt that enabled me to ponder over and value the wonderful people in my life. The prompt was, "Can a relationship be like a tea stain? Why, or Why not?".
While I've talked about the people who literally make me live through the day, I say I connect with them through just one simple bond. The all powerful - LOVE. I don't believe in defining relationships. I just know I love them and that's it. A tea stain is something that's undesirable; a blot that attaches itself to you when you don't want it and sticks there, looking ugly and getting furious and frustrated expressions for its presence. Sometimes it takes a long hard wash or aggressive scrubbing to make it go away and sometimes you have to abandon the affected cloth because it refuses to go. I wouldn't say a relationship is like a tea stain. Tea stains are undesirable. Loving relationships are not.
(Preeti Shenoy's third book "Tea for two and a piece of cake" is releasing tomorrow!)