9 April 2013.
A sudden ‘thump’ shook me out of my reverie. Unknown to me, I had knocked the pen stand off my desk. Picking it quickly up, I heaved a sigh of relief that the floor is carpeted. And all at once, yet another ‘thump’ moment came to my mind. Only that time round, I hadn’t been as lucky…and the ‘thump’ had actually resulted in a ‘crash’ amidst shattered ceramic pieces.
Years ago, I had bought myself a birthday gift from my own money. My first gift to myself, from my first ever ‘earnings’. A little ceramic pirate, holding a heart in hand and smiling mischievously at me. The day I had seen it, I had wanted it. I knew the exact spot in my room where he could reign supreme. But I was too reluctant to ask for it at home. To satisfy myself, I dragged my friend to the shop everyday and admired my little pirate atop the shop shelf. The shopkeepers now knew me, they even agreed for a discounted price looking at my young age and my determination. And yet, I was adamant to keep this obsession to myself. Just around that time, I earned a little money for some voluntary work I used to do. Perhaps it was my will-power or perhaps it was mere co-incidence, but the amount I had earned was the exact cost of my current obsession. Money in hand, I could proudly walk into the store and claim the pirate as mine.
As I placed him in his rightful spot, I knew my world was now complete. I had what I desired the most and I had earned it through my own efforts. While the rest of my room collected dust, I was loyal to my pirate. He was sparkling clean amidst the sea of dust he seemed to always float on. Not a day passed when I hadn’t spoken a few words to him or kissed me a quick Goodnight.
And then one day, the photo frame hanging above my pirate slipped on its hook and hit him hard. Pushed off the shelf, the ceramic figure plummeted a few feet and came to rest at my feet…..in a million pieces. I had seen the entire incident, but had been too shocked to put my hands out and save him. At that moment, it felt like the pile of pieces I was standing in, was a reflection of my own heart. The tiny red heart the pirate held in his hand had perhaps, after all….been mine.
Looking back years later upon the incident, I almost smile. I had made something my whole world, when actually it was meant to be just a single part. An important part, yes but a part of the whole nevertheless. One of the ceramic pieces had hurt me, and I had bled all over the floor. But till date, what remains crystal clear in my memory is the void I felt upon losing him. The hours of obsession, the money spent, the wound inflicted never mattered….
Perhaps that is why they say, Scraped Knees are easier to bear than Broken Hearts!