Not so long ago, I used to be a chubby, naughty, socially hyper active & chirpy child. I would wake up early in the morning, get all pretty, tie 2 little braids with tons of oil, gulp down my Boosted mug of Milk, skip joyfully to the busstand and zoom off to school with a bunch of friends just like me. Never paid attention in class, always talking, always joking about & making all my friends laugh. Every quarter, my mother would come to collect my report card, she would hear only one complaint; “She is such a bright & intelligent child, but lacks discipline. Very mischievous & always distracting everyone around her!” It was a ritual, 1 really long sermon from 7 teachers each, per subject & then come back home and hear from my mom too.. There was never a time in my entire 15 years of education when this ritual ever broke! But who do you suppose really cared? These days would never come back… And I had no intention of wasting a single day being disciplined!
It was a clear, care free, simple life!!
Go to school everyday, mix & fool around with a million friends, come back home for lunch, watch some post lunch Dexter & Powerpuff Girls (maybe even Popeye.. The sailor man! if I felt like), put on my favorite Power Rangers cassette, tie my mom’s duppatta around my neck like a cape & play the movie out, jumping and crashing all over the room saving every barbie & ken in danger, or sometimes wearing tattered shorts & painting my face dancing around a pile of clothes (pretending it was a bonfire) like a Red Indian!, or sometimes playing video games, finishing my homework in an hour or 2, watching my favorite drawing show & copying it out in my own sketch book, running down as soon as I heard my friends call out my name from the window, playing all sorts of games all evening, coming back home for dinner, spending time with my mom & off to bed! And obviously not forgetting my Shiamak Dawar JDC practice 3 times a week whenever I had any shows to perform at! It was the coolest life eva!!!!!
But then I had to grow up.. Education became serious, dance became a profession, obstacles were created, fell in love, broke my heart, had to build myself all over again, you know, LIFE happened!
By the time I was 15, I had my whole life planned out. That made me & everyone around me think I was such a focused, ambitious girl! But who knew so much would change?? Who knew I would change??
I went to College in different states, met so many people, so much exposure, dancing took me so many places, got to learn about various cultures, tasted the Bollywood industry (Behind and in-front of the cameras), went to parties, different social groups, in the next 7 years I learnt immensely… and slowly all my plans started looking so tiny and immature.
I never imagined that decisions could ever get so serious, that 1 person would have to face so many things in 1 life, that there would be these many adversities to overcome, that every choice I made would interconnect with every story of my life, that a few bad moves can alter my happiness forever!
I see my life & hear about people facing almost similar or may be worse situations then me and then I look at my niece.. So vibrant, so untroubled, so ignorant about the amount of evil the world has to offer.. It scares me to think that I can’t stop time for her, to keep her in this moment & never have her grow up to face the things that I faced, that others faced, to put her in a spot where she would have to make choices, to bare regret… I wish I could protect her from it all… I wish she could live only knowing Milk and never get to know what Beer tastes like!
But I guess this is inevitable. Everyone has to undergo it all, everyone has to emerge strong, everyone has to move forward… It’s called Survival… It’s called Life… and it can’t be stopped!
“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
– Martha Washington