I travel to find myself. I'm lost somewhere since the longest time. And I'm
searching, through the valleys and seas, to recover myself, restore myself.
know one of these days I'll find myself somewhere around a bend on a dusty
road, or a well worn, broken shoe sole, or deep among the colourful fish of a
reef, or high up in the impossibly thin air of the peaks, or among skins of different colour and voices of unintelligible languages but similarly beautiful souls.
Among the thatched
roofs and sleepy towns, somewhere, someplace, I'm hiding.
Stay a while. I know you're upset. I know commitments are
frustrating. We've only been together 2 months. This isn't even my last
mistake. Let me make some more. Not all of them are as bad, I promise. Perhaps,
someday you'll learn to love me more for them. That day, you’ll consider me
This isn't our last fight, not even
the worst. You'd be tempted to slay me some time. But you won't, not because
it's illegal, but because I'll be yours, complete with all my endearing
mistakes. But let us get on that road first. Let me make more mistakes. Give us
some time. Please, stay a while.
We haven’t even started taking each other for granted yet.
My home doesn’t even have a single, forgotten belonging of yours (except me, if
you’ll allow it). I don’t even know the
name of your imaginary childhood friend. Let us get to know each other better. Give
us some time. Please, stay a while.
Let me be your punching bag, your cold beer, your parent,
your child, please, stay a while. Sorry, that was either very romantic or too
corny. I tend to swing to extreme dramatics to make my point. Did you know
that? This letter is your first clue. Get to know me better. Give us some time.
Please, stay a while.
So, dear runner, think of me at your next pit stop and hit
reply if you, you know, want to stay a while.
I came across this amazing video that really substantiates the phrase 'choose your words carefully'. It's not just bull crap, it is scientific. It made me think of all the times I've been ruthless with my words towards friends, family, acquaintances and about how much damage I might've caused to them. It also made me think of how much damage has been caused to me over all the years in my life by bullies in school, in relationships and probably even by my parents, merely through words.
It puts into perspective the need to really think about the words you put out there, knowing that they have the power to change a person's constitution on such a basic, physical level. How can we be so unkind to the dearest, most loved people in our lives? What gives us the right to impede a child's growth by reprimanding him/her so harshly for innocent mistakes? How does it benefit us to impair someone's self worth through name calling in a petty fight?
Before I get too emo, here's the video I spoke of - specifically between 6.22 mins and 8.10 mins.
I’m always being told that I’m too timid and mild, even “too
polite”. I’m told I should be more assertive, more aggressive about what I want
and how I lead. Well, let me tell you a little story.
I had this friend in school, who was more like a rival. She
lived close by so our parents were friends. Our parents would always pit us
against each other in terms of our mark sheets. I really hated that. I was
never keen on studies, never worked too hard at it. I was an average student
and happy with it. I consistently scored 80% till 7th grade, after which the
competition really intensified. And the more it intensified, the more I lost
the will to compete and I started falling farther and farther behind this rival
of mine. The more behind I fell, the more my mother taunted me, the more I was
taunted, the more I hated this friend, until we stopped talking altogether. School
was a long time ago and until recently, I still hated her. Come to think of it,
she didn't exactly make matters easier for me in school either, because she was
so competitive and mean to me when I fell behind.
So anyway, there was one thing about her that I never
forgot, but pushed into my deep subconscious while I was consciously busy
hating her. She had an elder sister who was severely mentally retarded. She was
about 3 years older to us but always in a grade below because the school never
promoted her. For the first time in all the years that I've known this
'friend', I wondered, how difficult it must have been to grow up like that. You
cannot look up to your elder sister and your parents expect the world of you
because you are their only hope. How do you live like that – answering questions
from people about your sister, fighting their stares when she walks home with you after school with chalk scribbles all over her uniform. I just can't imagine
it. And so, I decided to finally stop hating her. 'Be nicer than necessary, because
everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle'. It’s my new mantra.
During a post-grad class project, a group mate of
mine threw away all the ads I had painstakingly prepared by pulling an all
nighter after work and told me to make new ones in the most impolite manner. I
was so infuriated; I would’ve smacked her right across her face if I could. But
I decided to take the high road. Surely she must have been in some sort of a bad situation that was making her act this way. I told her, I'll make new ads. She apologised the next
day and said she tends to get hyper under stress.
I'm always offloading my angst on my family. I guess
everyone does that, but of late, it just doesn't seem fair. Every time I'd be
facing any personal crises, I'd just clamp up and become really crabby towards
my poor cheery mum and sister. The more they'd try to help me, the more I'd be
rude to them, locking myself in my room or just screaming at them. Very bitchy of
me, I know. But that was them understanding that I'm acting the way I am for a
reason. They already knew the mantra before me. So you see, I've been on both
sides of the coin.
I believe most conflicts can be resolved with
some compassion and understanding. Everyone is fighting a battle. Just because
you don't understand mine, doesn't mean I'll not do my best to understand
yours. Just because you are mean to me, doesn't mean I'll be mean to you. I
don't know how this whole philosophy fits into the larger order of things, and
maybe it will turn me into a 'no-balls' pushover (which I suspect I already
am). But for now, it just feels good to be compassionate. “There’s nothing
either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”, I believe Shakespeare said that.