A Chance To Dream

Last Monday, my father and I had a conversation about people struggling to chase their dreams. ‘Opportunities are created, not handed.’ But exactly how true is that statement if some of us don’t even get a shot at creating an opportunity?

On Tuesday, I went to see a movie with my friend. I’ll admit – I cry at movies. But surprisingly, I didn’t cry during this movie, I cried an hour after I reached home. The movie was called Jeeva. The story of a boy who dares to dream; the typical parent that says he can’t do it and a society that thrashes him for trying. As it was a movie, there were way too many nice people but that isn’t the case for everyone.

I am privileged to have parents that sent me to school. I am privileged to have parents that don’t depend on my earnings to put food on the plate. I am blessed to have parents that said “Ok. You can chase your dream. If you fall, know I’ll pick you up and push you forward again.” So many would kill for this life..

“Mahendra Singh Dhoni” – MSD – Captain of the Indian Cricket Team. I say his name with pride because I love him as a player. But there is a kid in my city, about 11-12 years old. When you ask him to say that name he will say it the way we say our deity’s name. With respect, energy and power. Because the man that is nothing but a cricket player in my eyes is that little kid’s idol. MSD is everything that kid aspires to be. MSD is the reason that kid wakes up at 5a.m and rushes to the beach with a bat in his hand to play the game he hopes to one day play for a living. MSD is the man that kid hopes to one day be.

And I don’t want to be the one to tell him that the dream he dares to dream of every night, the passion he feels when he lifts that bat, the joy he feels when playing – it’s not going to last forever. Because there will come a day in his life when he will stand in front of his parents and say – “I don’t want to get a job. I want to be a cricketer. This is my dream.” and his “practical” and “logical” parents will tell him “That is the most ridiculous thing we have ever heard !”
“But I want to be like MS Dhoni !”
“You’re not MS Dhoni. You go get a job and make a living for yourself. Be practical.”
“This is what makes me happy.”
“Happiness. You think if I’d chosen to be ‘happy’ you would have had the opportunity to stand here and argue with me? Go to those placement interviews. Get a job.”

His parents are not wrong. Every parent across the world struggles to raise a kid. To put them through school and university. To get their feet on the ground and have them move forward. It is never easy to watch your child make a career choice that might end in utter disaster. But that is the problem.

I meet a lot of people. When they tell me what they do for a living, I always ask – Is this what you want to be doing? The answer is always yes. So I ask again, “But if you could turn back time, you’re 19. You can pick any career you want to. Nobody depends on you. Is this what you would want to be doing?” I watch that person squirm and ask to talk about something else or tell me “It’s irrelevant to be talking about now.” But why does the next person not have the right to chase his dream?

Parents are taught to ‘let go’ of their kids after a certain age. ‘They can take care of themselves now. It’s ok to let go.’ I have watched my parents struggle with the concept. To them I will always be their little girl. But they took the chance.

I am not the next JK Rowling. I am not writing the next New York Times bestseller. But I know. I know the joy of sitting in a class and studying exactly what I wanted to. I know the joy of being able to excel in it because I loved it so much. I know the pain, the sleepless nights, the non-stop tears and the broken heart when I had to make the decision to drop out and give up on something I loved. And today, I know the peacefulness I feel deep inside me every time I sit in front of this computer and begin to type. I know the joy and the emotions in me when I write the title to this post because it may not be a publishing house, but I at least have a platform to do what I love.

One of my favorite quotes in life – “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” I’m fully aware that people might be suicidal when their dreams crash. Not everyone is strong inside. And I don’t have an answer when someone asks me “What if I let him/her do what they want and find them used and dead?” But I want you to take one second to think to yourself, “What if they came out with flying colors?” Precautionary behavior is never wrong, but telling them they can never make it, is.

That kid’s parents are not wrong. But they’re not right. He is not MSD. He will never be. But you know what they failed to think of? Yes he might fail, miserably. Or ten years later there will be a writer sitting on her bed in tears as she writes..

There is this kid in my city, about 11-12 years old. When you ask him to say the name, he will say it with respect, energy and power because.. that man, that man whose parents let him chase his dreams, that man is everything this kid aspires to be..

“Every child has a dream and every dream deserves a chance”

Poems from the Past

It has been a rather sick week and I didn’t get out of bed for the most part. The only two things that kept me company was my sketchbook and this little guy :

Dala

As someone that gets bored very, VERY easily, staying in bed is possibly not the ideal way I’d like to spend my days.  As and when I felt even a little better, I tried to do something or the other. One of those things was to clean up my old bookshelf. I swear, bookshelves are the only thing, no matter how much you throw away, they still make you feel like a hoarder. And amidst those books, I found a special something.

We all have those things we loved doing when we were younger but just quit with time. Things we quit for no reason. The thing I quit was writing poems.

I used to love to write poems. I was in 3rd grade, I think, when I started. I stopped when I went to university. I don’t know if I grew out of it or something. I just randomly stopped. I highly doubt I’ll ever start again. I’m one of those people that just keeps finding fault with her stuff. So I’m possibly going to tear up page after page if I every try again. But anyway, when I was cleaning, I found my old poetry book. Since I’ve been sick and haven’t really had much thoughts whatsoever to rant about, I thought, I’d share my two favorite poems, from the bunch that I’ve written, with you.

A little background information : The first one was written right before I started university. I’d written a poem for a friend that is pretty much like my brother and the guy I was with at that point made a tantrum asking me to write one for him. So I did and hence, the cheesiness. Please don’t mind. The second one, I wrote when I was in 9th grade. I was about 14 years old, I immensely believed in fairytales and it was written whilst day dreaming about my “knight in shining armor” during Science class.

 

SANTA’S GIFT – 23rd May 2011

“You’ve been a very good girl this year”

“Thank you, Santa”

“Tell me what you want and it’s yours”

“I want..”

 

Ten years down the road

I think of that day

When Santa asked me what I want

And I said “I want..”

 

Time went by

And I lost all trust

In Santa’s honest words

Until that July

 

When I remembered that day

Santa asked me

To tell him what I want

And I said “I want..”

 

The first date, The first kiss,

The first touch.. The way you look at me

The first time my heart itched

To hear you tell me you love me

 

Forever, it’s not enough

But today, I won’t complain

Sometimes, love is rough

But with you, I’m me again.

 

When I was a little kid

Santa gave me one good wish

He asked me what I want

And I said “I want..”

 

“I want an honest man

Someone who will love me for me

Take me to the moon and back

Live his life just for me..”

 

That July I got my wish

When I found you and I realized

Santa thinks before he gives

Something I was mesmerized with.

 

Santa said to a little girl

“You’ve been good, what do you want ?”

She pointed at you and told him softly

“To be everything he’ll ever want..”

 

 

I’LL NEVER LET GO – 2007

If this is a dream,

Let me never wake up.

If this is reality,

Let me never sleep.

 

If this is a maze,

Let me never get out.

If this is the world,

Let me scream and shout.

 

If this is day,

Let the moon never shine.

If this is night,

Let the sun never rise.

 

If this is him,

Let him never go.

If this is me,

I’ll never let go..

 

 

Happy Easter 🙂

Cleaning Out My Closet..

I just moved to a new house. Which, of course, meant finding things you hid away for reasons you’ve forgotten and along with it, the memories you’ve either cherished or tried to kill.

I found a lot of memories that made me laugh and when I thought I was almost done, I found a picture.

You know those moments when you tell yourself “Someday I’m going to find someone better and that person will make me fall so head over heels in love and give me all the happiness in the world that all these memories of the past will no longer matter” ? Here’s the fact we know but refuse to utter – “But until then..”

I spent two years getting over one person. Someone I believed was a dream come true, who by the end of our relationship made me want to pull my hair out and run screaming for the hills. But the bad memories never outshone the good ones. When I look back, I miss those days of sweet nothings. I miss those stupid conversation and useless text messages. I miss the person who brought out the best in me but loved me at my worst.

It’s been a little over two and half years since I last saw him. Two and half years since I swore I wouldn’t think of him. Two and half years since I told myself that I will not let the memories of him haunt me ever again. Yet, here I was.

When you clean out your closet, you will find things you don’t want to see or think about anymore. It will bring back memories you believed to have let go of. And when you have to throw that object away, it’ll make you realize that no matter how hard you try to convince yourself of how brave and strong you are and how you’re totally over that phase of your life, the truth is always a whole other story.

I sat and stared at that picture of him. I remembered that day. I remembered the exact moment that picture was taken. The reason for the frown on my face. The way he mocked my frown by grinning like an idiot. I don’t even know for how long I just sat there staring at it before I finally told myself, I’m going to tear this up. I’m going to put an end to this so I can never find it again. But somehow, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. My hands shivered and my eyes teared up. My heart longed to re-live that moment one last time. I simply put the picture aside and continued cleaning up the rest of my closet.

A few hours later, as I was throwing away the last bits and pieces of unwanted things, I turned back to that picture and realization hit me. My heart did this too. Instead of just letting go of memories, it simply pushed them to a corner and moved on with other things. My heart was a hoarder and now I was turning into one too.

So I braced myself and picked up that picture again. I ignored the tug inside me and swallowed my tears. I tore that picture into half and over and over again until I couldn’t anymore. I was sobbing like a baby but I knew it was the right thing to do. Goodbyes are difficult but they’re said for a reason. And this was me taking the first step towards letting go.

Ever have those moments when you’re throwing out clothes and you find that one old, dirty shirt hidden away in the back of your closet that you know you’ll never wear but don’t want to throw away ?! Certain memories are like that too. And the longer you hold on, the more space it starts to occupy. Space you can certainly use for something more useful and meaningful.

So don’t think about it. Just pick it up and throw it out. It might be the most difficult thing you’ll ever do but someday you’ll be glad you did.

Letting go..

Do you ever have a problem with this? Be it a friend, a crush, a boyfriend, an ex, a family member, a pet or even an object? Do you ever sit in a corner and think of a million reasons that convince you to walk away but hold on to the one thing that makes you stay? Do you ever mentally curse yourself for not having the ability to just say “goodbye” and mean it?

Welcome to my world.

It sounds so simple when people say it. “Let go.” All I can think of replying to them is, “Trust me, if I could I would. But I can’t.” Then my best friend asked me “Why not?”

That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it ? Why not ?!

Why can the father not let go of his 21-year-old daughter? Why can the mother not let go of her toddler’s hand on the first day of pre-school? Why can you not let go of that little dog/cat you’ve had for ten years now? Why can she not let go of the guy who broke her heart? Why can you not let go of your favorite doll you’ve cuddled with since you were a child?

I don’t have answers for this. I don’t even have a  theory. I like knowing that I have an answer, any answer even if it’s not the right one. But I can’t find one for this question.

Now I have this guy. Or rather, had. Actually, scratch that. Let me rephrase that sentence. There was this guy I fell for. He was the most imperfect human being I have ever met. I can find a million things wrong with him, starting with, he made me cry once a week. I know, what was I thinking?! But somehow I couldn’t let go. I’d tell myself, and him, every other week – “I can’t do this anymore. I have to let go. This is killing me. We can’t talk. We can’t be friends.” He eventually stopped caring about it because he knows, the very next morning, I’d call him and tell him I was being stupid. That we should, of course, keep talking. That I’m totally fine. I wasn’t. I still am not. I actually said the exact same thing to him for the hundredth time last night. I’m struggling now.  All I want to do is to pick up the phone and call him. But why?!

Why is it so difficult to let go? I had a chair when I was a kid. A yellow chair. A yellow plastic chair. It was my favorite place to sit for the first eight years of my life and then one fine day, it broke. I duct-taped it. Painted it black (didn’t really look good). I kept it that way for another 6 years before my mom forced me into throwing it away. I cried and cried for days. Made no sense because I hadn’t used it in 4 years. But I couldn’t let go. It was like kissing my childhood goodbye.

That’s why letting go is difficult. When you look at something or someone, it’s not just that person or just that particular thing. It’s not simply a broken chair. It’s a memory. It’s something that’s been a part of our lives and letting go feels like we’re not just saying goodbye to that object or person but to the memory that comes along with them. To that part of our life. It means accepting change.

And change, as we all know, might be inevitable but is possibly the most difficult thing to deal with.