1 May 2014.
Today I met someone. Someone I knew, years ago. She was a vivacious, enthusiastic, constantly occupied with some work at hand kinda girl. Years ago, she was my best friend.
And then, we lost touch. We didn’t exactly part ways, but we confided in each other less and less. As we got busy with everything that Life kept throwing upon us, we just dealt with the blows differently. It was almost funny, how the same battles were fought by different weapons and yet the same results were achieved. Leaving the world a happier place.
Seeing her after a gap of so many years, I was curious to know how she’d fared. Her eyes still twinkled with mischief, like she knew a delicious secret of yours. But there was an air about her almost impossible to decode. She’d grown up, that was for sure. But her child-like nature still got the better of her at times. It was in the way she suddenly burst into a smile on miniscule memories; it was in the way she could wipe off your sorrows with one swipe of her joy. And yet despite the fact that she brought happiness wherever she went (I was smiling when I met her too!), her own smile had stopped reaching her eyes.
Her eyes flitted around, seeking approval. Her body language was awkward, always trying to fit in. It seemed like the society around had been trying to fit her in a mould that wasn’t made for her.
I wanted to shake her out of this stupor, this change that had swallowed my friend whole. But then I looked closer and in her eyes lay the answers to my questions.
The years had played their part. She was now burdened with the expectations of everyone who crossed her life. Friends, family, loved ones…each one demanded so much. And in the struggle to grant each one their smile, she’d given up on hers’.
It struck me how much like a worn tyre she seemed at that very moment. Worn and torn by living upto everyone’s expectations, being the companion on each long journey. And yet, changed at the drop of a hat. Because the ‘new-ness’ had been lost. Because the ‘shine’ had dulled. Like a goalkeeper, the saved goals forgotten and the missed goals etched in memory. She seemed everything else, but…
I stretched out my hand…yes, still fighting that urge to shake her out of this strange garb. And yet, something about her made me stop.
Something about her whispered that Life was this. Where each day was a tightrope walk. Where each person who mattered must be told, must be given time. Where even priorities need to be on equal footing. And where no smile, including yours’ should go for a toss.
Yes, life ahead is all of this. More responsibilities, more relatives, more roles to execute. And successfully.
Funny how a nugget of wisdom came through after an hour in front of the mirror.
It was funny, this meeting with myself…