As he would often drink uncontrollably I had to relentlessly walk him into spiritual path to calm him. His unnatural demands of getting high on alcohol often got me worried and I wondered why he had to have so many breaths left. I had to exude my vaguely childlike womanly charm to emotionally manipulate Dadda’s mind and talk him out of his urge for consuming alcohol as his mind reliever. His garish friends circle, those endless summer nights smelling of alcohol - me in some corner under the bed or behind a cabinet watching Dadda’s furious outbursts and venting out his frustrations, the chill of winter down my spine, and splurging smell of maligned fear were becoming almost placid in life then. I tried so hard to change my emotions but realized it can only be changed to another emotion. Am I not the feeling itself? Oh! “How can I stop being a victim of feelings?
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Reach Out To Me
By Anima Dey
This is my story, story of Zinnia – “Blossoming Glory” as my friends in the hostel named me. It’s all about “Me Blossoming to My Glory”. How I learnt my lesson of transforming my potential to actual to fill the gaps in life. My Mamma passed away when I was just eight years, and Dadda almost physically inactive remained emotionally forlorn and lived an abandoned life in his self-created mesh. I grew up in my Granny’s arms. She was very active, emotionally twined with me and physically sound in health. Dadda was not a very dynamic man, so after he had that major accident he was unable to hold his mental and physical balance, and would just stay home and drink with friends many a times to get rid of his state of helplessness.
This not-so-old friend of Dadda was loathfully devilish – spineless man as he was. Whenever he sensed that Granny was away to her orphanage and I was alone at home he would take his chance and drop over posing to be a caring family man. As he sat with that glass of alcohol in his deathly hands I had to sit on his lap and then have those harsh fingers fondling ruthlessly and shamelessly all over me. Oh! How I loathed this and hated myself every moment for breathing in his trap. My innocence wailed and lamented and then shattered my soul that denied the torment this man old enough to be my Dadda’s age was putting me through. At eight years, I felt ashamed of being born a girl but how could I voice my abuses in this abhorable man’s society. I didn’t need the consent of my future to know how happy or lonely I was then. Years were aging with a fear and shame condoned upon my childhood in my own house.
Dadda, who should have been my knight in shining armor, had turned out to be a lost knight with a bottle of alcohol. I did not know if what was happening to me was a normal torture every girl lives. For many years I lived with a notion that all older/younger men do this to small girls. The very sight of a man with a glass shadowed my world- a world I despised breathing, a world full of shame and man’s malicious intentions, where I hated every breath of a man’s presence in my life. Life dragged on for many years and my pot was brimming of fear and shame. How could I stop fighting the fact and start dealing with it? Didn’t know why I discarded myself again and again rather than be more of me. Granny often taught me a lesson: “Humanity is the seed of all godliness, and when the seed blooms godliness manifests”. When will I breathe that fragrance of divinity? When will this blooming humanity reach out to me?
At 13, Dadda finally left our world, not sure if he would have acquired credentials for being the shining star in the night skies, besides my Mamma. But it was only after Dadda passed away that I managed to gather my fears and finally one day, I busted out to Granny. She, of course, did not have a clue and with her faith shaken she was left heartbroken. We both did soothe each other and cried for hours over the ordeal I had been through. Her heart ripped apart as she had never felt as helpless in her life before as she felt that day and she held me in her arms rocking me like a baby. I was her only reason to live after she had lost her own daughter, then how could she have not been aware of what I was going through at that tender an age? She was torn and we decided we’d best bury the past and move on knowing that no one living on this earth could even dream of ever hurting me again. She taught me my second lesson then: “Misery needs great efforts, bliss and peace is natural, we can never create the bliss and peace, it’s just there, but misery is what we create.” Forgetting past becomes bliss effortlessly, we must practice, for misery to live within we need great efforts.” Dadda drank alcohol to forget his miseries for that moment, to remain in oblivion but he knew he couldn’t have changed anything. Life was not just that moment after all.
After a year of Dadda’s death, I moved to the hostel to study further. I lived some golden moments of my life there, Making friends and learning all about life’s positives. Now it was the endless summer nights of working on class projects, sometimes in candle light to keep the warden away and eating cakes with pickles. Waking every morning with a hug from a friend and coming back to room to break in the arms of a caring sister like friend. I had worked hard and during my first year at the hostel and university I managed to be a pride for my teachers and the reason for that laughter on my dear friend’s faces. Again emotions were shifting from sad to happy, cries to laughs and fears to faith. But what changed my whole life was that moment when love reached out to me in the form of Anvy – my best friend Sassy’s cousin brother.
Anvy, the man I had never seen before but at the first sight of him I felt a strange tingling in my heart. He was lean built not very tall, just average height, had straight thick black hair falling on his forehead, his eyes set deep inside lotus petals under his eye brows. His smile was so enchanting and teasingly naughty. I felt an ocean of tide inside me bursting to his sight, although I hated myself for having felt that way for a man. After all I had grown up hating men and how could I let myself loose now? Yet, I had lost control over all my feelings, I found them dashing and echoing at every corner, as I just sat in a daze. Heavens were ringing bells and I could hear them croon of love. Hints of devotion in my coy glances met his eyes now and then chancing. I tried so hard to stop the echoes of my pounding heartbeats, yet it was too late.
I’d fallen completely in love with that moment that chanced me upon him. For the first time nothing mattered to me, his smile so invigorating, his jokes so humorous, his presence so comforting, his words so gentle and his eyes so innocent. It didn’t matter if he was not mine, something inside was changing those doubts to unshaken faith. Anvy’s presence had taught me my third Lesson: “When Love is unconditional, and has not been coercive, rather welled up spontaneously inside then it holds tremendous power and beauty.” Such was the fire inside me that transformed all my metallic emotions into gold, and made him from an ordinary being into my extraordinary divine being.
Anvy unassumingly helped Sassy and me with our class projects. I felt transformed in his presence. Oh! I so desired the heavens to bless me with his presence in my life forever. I could go numb with the touch of his handshake, blush all pink and purple as he called me scary cat, admired his rhetorical support for all our college projects. How could I forget those silent nights sitting behind him, hesitating to hold him as his bike took the sharp turns on busy roads, and that look in his eyes as he waved a goodbye after dropping me safe at the hostel. His protectiveness shielded my fears; his understanding of woman’s rights bestowed me with dignity for being a naive girl in this man’s world. He would never demand anything in return; in fact, he made drab college work such an exhilarating challenge. Every time he was closer to me, I felt my heart beat racing, lids cozying lower, and lips smiling of puppy love. Anvy had never hinted me of love in any way though, in fact, most of the times he had ignored my presence conveniently.
Moments of working and laughing fleeted in a wink. My desires winged from the cage of distress/hatred and flew to skies of attachment/devotion to meet their awaited portal. I was unable to voice this bond and knew very well in my heart that Granny would never accept my new found reason for heartbreak because it was sure Anvy was already committed elsewhere. When I left the hostel, I took with me the biggest lesson of my life, and the most beautiful memory of having loved someone so selflessly. A year later when I was at work, I got the news that Anvy was getting married. Alas! My unvoiced devotion remained unspoken in my heart, and I had to be content with my remaining self. The love I had felt then was just mine, the devotion I had prayed was also just mine, yet the blessing was just not mine. Life has its ways, strange as they are yet powerful.
Years grew upon my devotion and memories faded with time. Passion for work took over the reins of selfless devotion and one day I chanced upon another man at work who came to me with a whole new meaning of love and passion. He promised me a love I didn’t quite believe in until then. All I had learnt was the art of selfless devotional love. I knew I adored Anvy and my pot of love was already full, I believed I would never have what I so craved and desired. I had learnt that love is not acquiring, rather it’s the sacrifice. Trusting men was something my childhood never blessed me with. That is also one of the reasons why I had never voiced my love for Anvy to anyone, not to him and not even to Sassy or Granny. But I often questioned my heart will Anvy ever hear my voice and reach out to me once?
Pabby, who voiced his love for me was masculine and strong and unlike Anvy, he gave my presence a lot of importance. He convinced me that if I believed in his love I would get it all my life, that there is no such thing as sacrifice in love, when you love someone then you work hard to make that love yours and keep it forever. He managed to get his message through across Granny and she agreed for our marriage. I knew that Pabby was a strong and handsome man, very intelligent and dynamic, a go-getter in life who never looked back and only knew to live in the present treading upwards, yet did I really need that for a living? He loved life and believed that he would always manage to keep us both happy. Granny often explained to me that I must allow fresh memories in my mind to grow new roots for a future I deserved. Granny wanted me to forget my dark past and move on with Pabby into a union that would nurture love, raise babies and live a blissful womanhood. I never disappointed Granny, and so we finally tied the sacred knot, of our passionately convenient love, thus began our journey of nurturing family values, looking towards each other on the path set out by our elders.
Although I had everything I desired in my life, there was something I despised and that was Pabby’s social drinking. He would drink with his friends at home or at parties/official meetings, and had successfully managed to convince me that he would never lose bounds and would never make me live my childhood fear. And although he had kept his side of the promise, every time I would see Pabby holding the glass of alcohol, my inner self that had suffered a marred and ashamed childhood, found my soul curl into a shell of the same fear of drinking men, hungry eyes full of cheat and that was unable to handle. Pabby was aware of my past and expected that I grow out of all draining emotions. Within no time he expected me to walk every step with him keeping faith alive that he will shelter me and protect me and never make me see what I did not deserve. I believed his words and fought every dark breath inside me. There was just that lesson I learnt then - “Eloquence is often very lyrically powerful, but unless it bathes in love, unless the words of love caress the heart and the ear, it remains only a beauty that inspires, but does not have the power to heal.” Every morning had dawned seeing those eyes of love, and every night had slept knowing it was for someone else.
I lived with the memory of how Anvy’s smile would lit the room with rainbow, his shadows spread rays of sunshine and my heart would beam in it basking of love’s sacrificial glory. Every time I felt insecure with Pabby’s drinking I’d remind myself of my fateful devotion for Anvy that gave my injured soul all the strength to love and trust a man again - Anvy had been my angel. When I traced my emotions with his devotion brimming my thoughts I’d gleam with pride. I prayed everyday for a moment in my life when I would be able to spend few hours of bliss in Anvy’s presence. I could never dream of cheating on my present love but all I desired was clock hours of life with Anvy to fuel my faith to live the rest of my life with hope and renewed vigor. As years passed, I became a mother of two most beautiful children. Pabby remained supportive, strong, dynamic and go-getter. Life was walking me on a tightrope: sometimes leaning left and realizing its time to change directions and lean right. Walking between my devotion and love was enriching and exhilarating. It was time to stop analyzing life, just live it. And just then :
One day the magical moment befell, I chanced upon Anvy in a departmental store where he was struggling to get his message across to the vendor. I stood numb, my hands cold, my cheeks warm, and a gush of chill down my spine, how could heavens bless me with this mystically magical sight, what had I done to deserve this soulful dream my heart nurtured. I couldn’t believe my fate and to test the clock second, I hesitantly went past him and helped him put the message across to the vendor. As I gathered my guts and shook my trembling wet hands, Anvy stood with the same intriguing smile on his lips and his eyes teasing me. I was sure in 14 years he must have forgotten all about my existence which was anyways so insignificant for him then. But he called me out by my name and thanked me. I stood numb as the closeness of his face sent those feelings flaunting, my name on his lips was a blessing from heaven.
I was flabbergasted and it was unbelievable yet true. I was choked to know he had remembered a lot of things I did not expect him to remember. I sensed that he was aware of my feelings for him all throughout and I felt so small. I felt ashamed for having called out to him in my thoughts, past so many years. I was so happy in my own world and so was he in his, I was so content with my feelings for him buried deep down and he was content with his life and his family, yet why did that moment feel so magically complete! I wasn’t sure if I was feeling right or wrong; a part of me wanted to keep feeling that same way and started looking for reasons to justify the continuation. A lesson again here: “I could either be my own self, or be consistent in my behavior, I cannot be both.”
By the end of those blissful clock hours, Anvy confessed that he had seen through me, how I blushed in his presence and he felt sorry that he didn’t think of me with the same love. He agreed that he never felt the need to ever reciprocate my love because he believed I was destined for another journey with another man. This was the moment my eyes held no sight, as I closed my lids the tear found its way down my warm cheeks and melted. Yet, there must have been some truth in my devotional love for him that heavens blessed me with that one moment in my life when I called out to him and although he was not made for me he could hear me calling. It was truly a blissful reality. I knew I could live the rest of my life in dignity believing that my devotion was pure of lust and passion of all worldly relationships and that is why he had reached out to me once. A glorious lesson of my lifetime I learnt that day - “Don’t fight a fact deal with it, don’t discard yourself be more of it!”
Reach out to me!!!!
As the hours go by
Memories linger on mind
A naive look in your eye
& those deeds so very kind
How do I express
Those dreams my eyes bound
Could I ever confess?
My feet don’t walk on ground
The skies shine aglow
Brighten my hopes to belong
As the groovy winds blow
They whisper to me your song
You dwell in my heart
Where your devotion makes root
Why do I dwell in your heart
Where my love uproots?
How can I reach out to you?
Want to hold on to your beside
Wish you felt the morning dew
As my love for you it hides
I know you are not near
& you don’t feel the same
Yet I want you to hear
When I call out your name!