Reaching the wiser side of 40 is when you have shed so much of your inhibitions and you discover the unhindered part of your personality that was hindered so long. You have by now maybe settled the children and gotten into an unspoken tango with your spouse, or you have figured out that you are not the one to settle down into the monotony of matrimony. But we continue to seek the uncharted territory of reality and the dream you have tucked away into the corner of your mind. Like the dust settled on your furniture you dust your mind and clear out the debris. You finally learn to speak freely.
I wanted to express myself since I remember I learnt to speak. I always noticed the sad eyes of a passerby and I noticed the glee in a stranger. I wanted to always have a meaningful conversation and share my stories of lost love, lost innocence and new found freedom. But it was always thwarted because you have to learn to speak the voice of consent. What I learnt over the years of being a mother, wife, daughter and above all a woman is she needs to express what is acceptable to the majority and anything outside that exterior major consent is considered indecent and inappropriate. I am now fatigued being the one towing the line. I wish to walk out of line, ruffle your feathers with my honesty and a whole lot of love and hope. I want to share my journey with whoever can relate to being raised as a minority in a state rife with hatred toward you and eventually be moving into the big city that has larger spaces and larger hearts but a very large gaping hole that can swallow you into its oblivion.
To each of us who search for the elusive rainbow in our grey skies and often bask in the supple sunshine of our souls. To all we beautifully flawed and perfect human beings I hope you enjoy reading my posts. I grew up in insurgency-ridden Shillong and was taught to run away every time I was accosted for being a Bengali who was hated those days. I felt rebellion color my cheeks every time I was pushed by a Khasi on the road itching for a fight, I lowered my gaze and my voice and under my breath used expletives but didn’t dare tell him or her what a coward I think he or she was. It saddened me but could not break me.
With the hope of not being harassed anymore for being a Bengali and a minority. We overnight ran away to Delhi in search of a cosmopolitan life and the familiarity with the city that my ma grew up in. I did not get a chance to say my goodbye to my childhood friends and cousins. I was too young to comprehend that I was just passing away a chapter of my life that would be etched forever in my heart. Even today on rainy days I recall the wet roads and the folded umbrellas that had stories hidden inside them.
I thought I had found my coveted long lost friend called freedom. Freedom to be me. But Alas! I learnt soon that here too I had to thwart men and their advances by acting coy and towing the line of what was considered appropriate. I had to wear my dupatta over my growing breasts because anything showing would be considered an invite. I was 13 yet going to 30 in my head and heart. I was always worried if I displeased the moral police or even my extended family members. They could see the fire in my eyes and the hunger in my belly to express. I was always told please keep quiet and lower your gaze and speak like a lady. I resented that friendly advice because I knew it wasn’t friendly. Over the years learnt that my tiny heart had so much capacity to forgive and forget but it needed to be expressed.
Met a motley group of men, women, artists, writers, bankers and above all met myself at this juncture where I needed to cry, shout and write it out like a cleansing of sorts. Every time I feel the world is heavy on my shoulders I listen to music, wear a nice dress or a sari to feel happy with the fabric swathed all over me. It may be considered very plebian to find joy in dressing the part. But have you met anyone who does not smile when you tell them that they are looking nice?
So, It has been a long journey of finding those little moments when I stand near the mirror and really love myself. I liked myself at 75 kilos and I like myself today many kilos lesser. It was the simple thing called celebrating life and a deep down satisfaction that no one could get me down.
To those happy and not so happy interactions between the animate and inanimate connections, I dedicate my blogs.
I thank all the good, bad, the righteous, conformists and the non-conformists not to mention the morons who taught me to be kinder when they made me feel lesser and taught me lessons of empathy. They showed me how one can feel when one is judged or shamed for color, desire, age, body weight and all the things that make us beautifully flawed human beings.
To those and the journey ahead is MoodyMo – Another Day But Always My Way!!!