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What do you do when you don't have someone you can pour out your feelings to? You take out your book, a pen- and write.
Ever since I was thirteen, I developed the habit of writing in a diary- it was my diary. What drove me to this was loneliness and lack of companionship.
Having no friends at school and some formal ones in the neighbourhood was a disadvantage. My sibling and I have a nine-year difference, so being friendly and connecting with him was ruled out.
My parents- especially my mother- had always maintained a healthy and open relationship with me. Yet, I couldn’t discuss particular issues with her; they were intensely private and not for human ears.
The only option was to pour out my innermost feelings into the crisp, blank pages of diaries. Interestingly, Dad would gift me a diary at the beginning of the year. He somehow seemed to understand what I was up to, and I am thankful he never peeked into or probed their content. Neither did Mom.
Almost every night- after homework, studies, and dinner I would retire to my room sit down with my diary to record the day’s happenings. It was a no-holds-barred interaction between two entities, so to say.
Adolescence is a period of turmoil, anxiety and confusion, and I was no exception. There were sudden bodily changes, mood swings, weeping bouts without specific reasons. Jotting down my emotions in my diary helped to restore my equilibrium.
My diary entries were about how some teachers cold-shouldered me even though I was good in academics; instead, they pampered pretty girls.
My classmates made fun of me because I was absent-minded. Moreover, my modest background was no match for their opulence.
I also encountered body shaming because of my broad face, big bones, oversized hands and feet and my husky unfeminine voice. At times I bore their behaviour patiently. But sometimes, they went overboard.
On such occasions, I would cry myself to sleep. But the only thing that offered me solace was my diary(s).
Several of my entries were about my crushes in school. Yes, I was a dumb doll. But that couldn’t stop me from having a crush- could it?
I also penned down other fantasies and dreams: How I would fly to faraway lands to pursue higher studies, travel extensively across the globe, how one day my ‘prince charming’ would come and sweep me off my feet, we would live happily ever after.
There were ‘bad’ days at home too, when my parents would thrash me for my- supposedly- insolence, disobedience or rude behaviour.
Distraught and sulking- I would turn to my diary and scribble a few lines to cry my heart out. Often tears would smudge my entries, but I felt calm afterwards.
Years passed, I finished college, began working, got hitched and finally became a mother. But, this habit clung on to me tenaciously.
I still write about job-related hurdles, intrigue, betrayal, gossip, controversies within the family circle, ruffled emotions and misunderstandings in a conjugal relationship, etc.
In all honesty, over the years, my diaries have been my true friends that absorbed my agony without judging me for who I am.
Today, poised on the brink of senility, I still take time to record my musings, lingering hopes and dreams in my diaries.
Image credits: Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels
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Am a trained and experienced features writer with 25 plus years of experience .My favourite subjects are women's issues, food travel, art,culture ,literature et all.Am a true feminist at heart. An iconoclast read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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