Sunday, 13 July 2014

Woh din

I think I have a good memory when it comes to remembering dates –and if my friends are reading this I know they would be nodding their heads in unison. Ya I know it’s a boring skill and probably unappreciative. Let’s move ahead. So this skill actually makes my life… fun (maybe?)

I look at a date and if it’s important I kind of relive the event that would have happened on that same date, years ago. Some days…. we all agree are special –maybe a birthday of someone in the family or a friend. Then we have anniversaries… our own, parents’ siblings’ or friends’. I of course remember a lot of these dates that are associated with my near and dear ones. These are all happy days which have happy memories associated with them. At the same time there are certain days where you wished the grounds caved in or the skies sucked you. Yes these are not so happy days or memories… but they cage events which have brought you where you are today.


6th May 2014: I was working from home that day and that too only for the first half. The excitement had started probably a month back when I was arranging for my parents’ visa to visit us here in the US. Right from assisting them to fill up their DS-160 forms to sending important documents… informing them what to carry for the interview and what not… and once they got the passports with their visas back… talking to them about what to bring and what not… baggage –check-in and cabin, food or no food and all the way to getting their seats confirmed and talking to them till they boarded their flight from Mumbai. All of this seemed to have passed in a whirlwind. And there I was… waiting at MSP international airport’s Terminal 1… waiting for them to come out of the elevator. On my way to the airport I kept checking my phone where google kept updating the flight status. Just as I reached the airport their flight landed. I ran to Gate 1 and saw people reuniting with their families. Kids with their moms or dads, relatives, spouses and it was such a happy sight. Each time the elevator door opened I searched for two familiar faces. After having waited for close to an hour I started asking people coming out about their flight#. A lot of them belonged to an earlier flight and so I consoled myself that it’s going to be some more time… but I still waited with my eyes glued to the elevator. And then just as I kept staring at the gate… I saw my mom’s pretty face and my legs got wings. I ran… no, I flew to them. My mom and dad did not expect me to be inside the airport [as it’s in India] and they were just so happy. All I could see was hazy… my eyes well up pretty fast. Holding my mom there… aah it was all worth it. All four of us were just so happy. Mom and dad were so excited that they wanted to tell us all the things about their flight at the same time.
It’s been more than a couple of months now and I’m having a great time living with them. Not only is it a great feeling, but also a very humble one that God gave me this experience… to bring my parents here and tend to them… even though it’s for a short time of three months.

6th May 1999: It was an ordinary summer day in Baroda. I did not feel anything great about that day in the morning. I was tensed though. I mean, I was exceptionally excited, but had some kind of premonition that things are not going to be great in another few hours. I did not feel like eating anything then… it was the unknown that was troubling me. It was not that I had performed poorly or anything but usually it’s not happy thoughts that you get when you’re waiting. However when reality dawned on me I was shocked and numb. I could not even cry. My mom told me [later] that when she saw my face as I entered our home, she knew that I wasn’t bringing good news. I just went to my room and sat on my chair. It wasn’t something utterly impossible that had happened, but then when that actually happens… it’s a very strange feeling. I was confused for a few hours… and couldn’t believe that it was happening to me. I was no star student, but this was a little too far-fetched. Was I dreaming? So what’s next now? Am I done? Written off? All those dreams that I had of my future… that had just started taking shape… what happens to them? Are they squashed? Was I destined to lead a life of utter misery, weighed down by my performance in my 12th board exams? India as a nation and our society as a community puts a lot of emphasis on education –kindergarten, primary, secondary, graduation, post-graduation, doctorate and what not.
Beta school mein acche number aayenge to fir to aish is hai…
Beta 10th mein acche number aayenge to fir to aish is hai…
Beta 12th mein acche number aayenge to fir to aish is hai…
Beta graduation mein acche number aayenge to fir to aish is hai…
Beta post-graduation mein acche number aayenge to fir to aish is hai…
Beta itna kiya hai to doctory mein bhi acche number aayenge to fir to pakka aish hi hai…

I am not whining and neither did my parents lay a lot of pressure on me but I come from a family where education is giving a lot of emphasis and poor performance is something that we are not ready for. Those initial few days I had one question [to God, maybe] –why me? Of course there have been a lot of times later in life when I have asked that question- all for different things going wrong in my life –or as I see now, going against “my plan” then. I did not get any answers then. Later I didn’t f*cking care about the answer. Life took over. Was my mom sad? She was hurt. I could see that. So was my dad. But we lived through the summer. I had lost my spirit. I was recluse… I was everything I am not now. I am not going to lie now and say that I challenged the Gods and told them that I might be broken but my spirit is not. That I will rise again in the future to fight another day. I don’t anyone thinks of such things in real life when they are going through shit. All that I know is that I was scared. Shit scared deep down and had absolutely no idea what I was going to do then. Life went on and I just followed.

It’s been 15 years since that fateful day. I hugged my mom tightly as I navigated the baggage trolley through MSP airport for having faith in me. She knows what I went through then. I know what she went through then. 15 years from then, has my question been answered by God?

Oh yes you f*cking bast*rd!

1 comment:

Kimi Shrivastava said...

You might not believe, but I can totally relate to this post.... Even for me there had been ups and downs in my school academics....and for the reason that I was over ambitious, I did suffer a lot wasting my time and energy pitying myself. The most frustrating thing that used to infuriate me the most at that time was the common dialog - "Koi baat nahi....kuch nahi hua toh tumhari shaadi kar denge aur kya". As if the only option left in case a girl is poor in studies is to get married. Anyway, I have come a long way since then, and even my family has thankfully ..to a great extent..... :) :)