I was twenty one when I got married. Too young even by modern Indian standards but then, it appeared as the only cure at that time for a young girl badly bitten by love bug and smitten by a handsome prince charming, like the one popping up straight out of some fairy tale that she had grown up with. Marriage meant lifelong friendship, late night gossips, drinking wine together in a closed room, pillow fights following kisses on foreheads and snarling at each other’s lovely misgivings. So far, so good! It was not much later that I realized that early marriage also meant making of a ‘bahu’ in a joint family, following a routine that fitted my ‘sasural’, learning to cook, wash, clean, do the bed, study for career and help others study for their careers, all juggling at the same time. Following the precision of clock ticking every second, did not even get to know when did I get trapped in the “Let’s do- When to do- Will do” vicious cycle of routines. I loved where I was and what good work was I doing but I loved it not enough to be take it to my grave. My wish-list, thereafter, has been increasing day by day.
It has been thirteen years since marriage and I've learnt to find my sky where I could tick off items in wish list at my own gradual pace, in my own merrily way. So recently when I was doing my wardrobe for the forthcoming week as a regular Sunday ritual, I decided to break the mould. I shut myself in a closet for three mirthful hours and retrieved old photographs from archives looking for my favourite few. There it went. The ones in which I was dressed up as geek man supporting big moustache for a play that was staged in city's local theatre. Then there was another in which I was all dressed up for playing a new bride who had lost her husband in martyrdom. There was one from school in which I characterized the journey of a young boy through India's freedom struggle till his old age. And another when I played a ‘sutradhaar’ delivering monologue a good twenty five minutes long!! So many others in which I was either giggling, rehearsing, practicing lines, anchoring, putting makeup for stage or performing. In many of those snaps I spotted my prince, now my husband, standing beside me as partner to give a toast to whatever work, good or bad, I was doing. Tears of nostalgia welled my eyes. I wondered why on earth did I ever think of giving up theatre? Is there actually a point in giving up simple pleasures of life in pursuit of larger happiness? Don't little moments make up life? I resolved. I’d restart. I will go back to the ‘stage’ that has beckoned me, calling my name loud and clear continuously for last thirteen years. That is where I am meant to be. The next I remember is rushing for facebook, twitter and my old directory, hunting for names of friends who could help me take plunge into my second chance of reliving creativity.
As a little girl, I remember being highly opinionated. My nerdy opinions often fetched me snarls of elders who winked at me to ‘keep shut’ in public, of friends who thought I ‘pretended’ to be against populist culture and traditional norms, of men who thought of me as a feminist and even of colleagues who thought I was too straightforward in office to be climbing the ladders of success. But who cares a darn? What could I possibly do if I have a mind of my own and whatever I have to say finds little appreciation in the traditional way of thinking. They label me. Atheist, feminist, blasphemer, geek, nerd, oddball and may be a few more. My desire to express is in-suppressible but there’s this one weapon that has always, just always, rescued me from peril of labels. It is called ‘the pen.’ I learnt that firstly, it is mightier than the sword and secondly, while writing the story of your life, never let anyone else hold it on your behalf. So her I am! All set with papers and a fountain pen, often replacing it with keyboard on my laptop, speaking boisterously on multiple blogging sites or discussing forums on internet and preparing half-baked unfinished manuscripts or blueprint of a proposed book in mind. In the days to come, I want my writings to be read. I write for the same reasons I breathe. ‘Cause if I didn’t, I’d die.
Sitting near the bonfire in this cold breezy evening with a cup of ‘masala’ chai in my hand, when I take a look around, I gather warmth. Warmth in the eyes of my husband who checks out on me from some distant corner of the room, warmth in the laughter of my children who are gleefully working together on paper origami and warmth of love, cosiness and snugness of home. Yet, my mind wanders. I want to drift away from this comfort and travel alone to the lands unseen. Test myself in the hard waters and find that I can fare well even when I am on my own. To travel to the strangest places in our country without disclosing plans to anyone, to take journey as it comes, to see places and jot them down in my diary, to sleep for wee hours and stay awake for successive days, to sit by the waters and dance by the tress, to stop to breathe that one waft of pure air wherever I please. As luck would have it, whenever I speak of freezing a month’s itinerary for some lone travel, my dear ones gush in out of love to offer me company and refuse to let me venture alone. Their love is overpowering! So much so that I always surrender to their concern for me while they daftly wait for my nod to say, “Okay guys, you can join me” and the trip has to be postponed to ‘some-future-date-to-be.” But the frame has to be broken for this date to intercept my life. It has to be now. So I guess when I’m done with writing this article, I’ll be seen fishing for a plan to some distant land, making it happen all by myself.
So what if sometimes in life we miss the first bus? Second chances come because maybe the time wasn't right for the first one. It may not have a happy ending but it will certainly have the right ending, like the fairy tale that I would have spun for myself.
This post is a part of the #SecondChance activity at Blogadda in association with MaxLife Insurance