Growing up as the only child in the family, that too, a girl, that too in India, my mom was scared for me. She taught me everything, from the colours of the setting sun to the slight flick at the end of the alphabet ‘a’, from how drizzling rain is more harmful than a downpour, to how each drop has a rainbow in itself. I looked up to her as the Goddess who can do and find everything, LITERALLY EVERYTHING. (Your mom’s the same, admit it).
But she was always scared for me. She was scared that my wandering mind should not be caged someday. She was worried that I would bow down to the norms of the society. She sort of raised me in a bubble. Today, I look around and I am in awe of myself, and sometimes annoyed too, that everyone and everything is so different than what I think it should be. It’s hard for me now to find people to connect with, to share my emotions and inhibitions with, because they are JUST SO DIFFERENT. The black umbrella excites me more than the chaos of finding a shelter, the mountains are dreamier to me than my actual dreams. My mother never stopped me from dreaming, words from the hundreds of books I read, sitting amidst the crowd, flew right before my eyes every time I looked at her. She was the inspiration for me to start the next book, to know what’s hiding, what is there to know more. And now I know, that I am different. I was raised like a boy.
I learnt much more from the men in my life, after my mother being the only woman. Men are intriguing creatures who wander about the surface of the Earth, searching for questions, rather than answers, because they don’t complicate themselves much with how? Why? Or When? But are happy to see the next rising sun. Much more emotional than girls, and their tears mean more than just temporary pain or sadness. NO. No. Men’s tears? God! They mean pain beyond what we can imagine, coming out from a heart shattered to pieces, more broken than that glass which you just broke. And because of THIS reason, i guess, they don’t cry as much THEY SHOULD. With the burden of a patriarchal society (Yeah girls, men have that pressure too), to be the perfect son, the perfect brother, better than Sharma Ji Ka Beta, the perfect boyfriend, husband and the perfect Father, how much can we expect from them to give ? They have the most fragile heart in the world, ever wondered how it feels to be torn between mom and girlfriend? That’s some shitty pressure.
We have a weird rising culture of treating men and women as equal. Weird, isn’t it? Dude, a grape and a blueberry are not equal!
WE are different. Each and every individual is different than the one you are sitting beside now. Can you imagine the intensity of the sun through their eyes? Do you know how the flower girl sees red, and what is orange for her is peach for the primary school teacher? What is fragile for us, is strong for that survivor, because he has seen the depths of the will power of a soldier, whose eyes are still filled with that flower his daughter picked from the garden that day. A father’s heart melts even faster than the ice cream of his son on a bright sunny morning. It’s stronger than the sound of The Niagara Falls, and weaker than faint hope you get every time you see Jesus. Ever thought what it feels to feel strong and weak at the same time? Ask a father whose daughter just graduated.
If women are the symbol of love and motherhood, don’t you miss the sense of security you get when he holds you? When his huge arms just wraps you in a bundle, and he promises to take you to mountains and glide over oceans. The way he gets proud when your eyes shimmer with success, his inability to express emotions has a beauty of its own. It’s like that hidden pearl, it’s deep and pure.
Whom are you thinking about now? Who is that man in your life? Your dad? Your lover? Your grandfather? Your son? That man who wishes you with a smile every morning at the flower shop?
Or did you just think about yourself while looking at the mirror? Yes. You are my words.