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We all know that life moves on. A young woman recounts how she finally embraced changes in life and moved on!
Today, as I sit in Delhi, my heart is stuck back home. Today my cousin leaves home to get married in another city. Once married, she will be shifting to Chennai with her husband. Paplee, as we call her, is someone I have grown up with. This September, when I was home, we invited her for a lunch, which is a part of our ritual- to invite the to-be-bride for a meal.
As she is younger to me, all my life I would tell her, “bring water,” “get the chilies,” and so on. But that day I did everything on my own. I remember the way we used to drag her out of sleep, to field for us in the cricket matches, drag her in the betel leaves or may be to play hide and seek. We treasured our fishes together in the Horlicks bottles. Mourned when they died. Once we grew up, we learned to take long walks in our small town, and cycle too.
That’s the thing about time, it moves so softly, it hardly makes its presence felt.
That’s the thing about time, it moves so softly, it hardly makes its presence felt. We have spent long afternoons, lying on the bed talking and eating raw mangoes. When she came for lunch, that was the last lunch I had with her as a single woman. Next time, she will be a married woman. We will stay in two different cities and I am not sure if we could spend so many hours lying on our backs, talking about things that won’t matter.
It’s a strange thing that I thought everything will continue forever. Like maa would never fall sick. She will always provide. She will teach in a college forever. In all Durga Pujas, chachu will take us out, with the fragrance of Sunlight lingering on our new dresses and we will buy something from those make shift shops. When you are walking the passage of time, you don’t feel that time is passing by. At 21, I never though 30s will come this soon. You know, when you thought somewhere colleges and schools might never end. But one day, you realise, things move in circles and you have to move out of one circle and step into another.
Someone told me long back that if you don’t move with the flow of life, a hurricane will make sure you do. I am laid back, I like to pretend that nothing will change or nothing would have changed. I hold on to things way too long, till I am forced to leave. I am very scared of new places, maybe. I can live on pretense for too long. I wait for that deadline to finish the line. That has created much turmoil in my life. Do you know what is the greatest injustice we do to ourselves? The lies we tell ourselves. Human beings are great story tellers, we tell ourselves a lie and weave a story around it and start living it. But that story that is built on lies will always fall flat.
I make quick stories for staying in the same place.
I make quick stories for staying in the same place. I explain to myself how things will not change. How everyone will be around, when I go home. How maa and chaachi will still cook in festivals, and we will all sit around the fire place and talk loud and sleep early. The winters will still be the same, I told myself.
I laughed and talked to my cousin. I took a photo with her. Something within was telling me that life was moving on.
As I walked out of our house to drop her to her place, I had a time lapse. I remember holding her hands, each time we walked, especially in Durga Puja. Time moved on so well that the moment I returned alone walking the same streets we had shared over two decades, I realised, time keeps spinning its wheels, only for us to discover one day that nothing is forever.
I looked at our huge empty courtyard, the well maintained backyards, where we all must have played a thousand of times.
I looked at our huge empty courtyard, the well maintained backyards, where we all must have played a thousand of times. The stories began there. I told myself that next time, we will again meet and talk there. I thought in Magh Bihu, we will all have food there once again. I remembered how my cousins would come in the evening and we would all feast together.
I sat for a moment on the sofa, and I spoke the first truth to myself. Time has flown very swiftly. I looked at the courtyard, still well-maintained, but I do realise that this summer when my sisters come home, their children will play there. This Bihu, Paplee will be with her in-laws. I stared at the walls; the same walls that have seen us grow and said to myself, that it’s time to move from the stage of being a daughter. It’s time to be a woman, who is responsible for everything in her life. Most importantly, it’s time, to realise that Time has zipped one sack and carried it on its shoulder. It’s time I open another sack that’s been long delivered at my doorstep, who knows it might have the treasures I always longed for!
I smiled at myself and looked at the night sky that was shining so clear as if trying to write a new page in my life.
Cover image via Shutterstock
Proud Indian. Senior Writer at Women's Web. Columnist. Book Reviewer. Street Theatre - Aatish. Dreamer.
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