While I was a happy, super confident chirpy girl in my childhood, I changed into a clumsy, quiet and unsure young adult as soon as I entered college. I had big trouble lifting my head and looking up at others. A huge blanket of shyness fell on me with such heaviness that I was convinced I must be the most stupid,incapable and unattractive person on the planet.
Compliments, if they came, made me cringe and want to hide. A part of me did see this anomaly in a person who loved the sky and dreamed of fierce independence and took to scooter riding at a time when there were few girls riding a scooter in a quaint town like Palakkad. (Well! that was the height of adventure, I could think of)
Yet, I swung between extreme feelings of inadequacies and my unsure attempts at breaking the shell somehow did not…
I often think of how asking ‘why not’ has changed my life in ways that are beyond my comprehension but definitely to my liking, yes, most of it, I must admit.
So when I am asked will you participate in the Toastmasters? ‘why not? ‘ , I go and end up reaching the finals. That experience in 2014 sort of cemented my urge to say ‘why not’ and I have landed up in most unlikely places eversince.
From the recent dandiya to the upcoming webinar on Enviornmental Communication to bringing out a book to what not? The why nots have definitely led a lot of what nots… and often has me surprised!
I hope to in the near future be only writing and doing my research of communities and community practices in Kerala with a bit of teaching for sustenance. To that end, I thought of putting up the invite to the upcoming webinar here and get some solid feedback so that I improve and continue learning.
Here it is!
Coz like Andrew Marvell told to his coy mistress a few centuries back
‘Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near:
And yonder all before us lye.
Deserts of vast Eternity.’
In the wake of swiftly changing climatic conditions its time we all did our bit, and hopefully the universe approve and watches over us!
I sit at home grumpy,sad and irritated. There’s no friend in sight. Nobody. Not a soul.
Friends, colleagues families have packed and left for the long weekend. I knew this was coming. I knew I am going to feel low. I knew it is going to hurt big time and it did.
But it is difficult to reconcile with reality even when you know what is and why it is so. Except for Andrew’s long and short meows there is no noise at home. Instead of research that I should do I am angry and upset for no particular reason.
I wait for a friend to turn up. Friends have friends and families !!!! I am busy playing the victim, the god forsaken soul, left on an island… why? why?
Fine. I decide enough is enough solo is not solitude and like Matteo Bocelli I will find my way.
Besides I am good at taking care of myself. I will do it. So I set off to get a bicycle yep to ride to glory.
Its been years since I did it but it should be good. The cycle shops are not selling cycles anymore but a fashion statement and my purse is going to be stretched too far… I come back now less gloomy!
Anyways, back home I have a visitor, ‘ would you like to dance for the dandiya?’ dance, me! Well, I wanted to invite your daughter but since she is not here, why don’t you come, said the neighbour in a compensatory tone.
‘Ok!’ I say, desperate for company, ‘I would love to, nay, I will’ and end up attending 2 practice sessions and go all the way to hit the dance floor literally!
My body is not amused at such onslaught of vigor, ‘what for’. it demands angrily and sulks big time!
But dance I did in my effort to find new friends and some new spaces outside the books, research and I must say I enjoyed it.
Walking in alone into a space of families did make me feel awkward initially but soon I got over it and relaxed, I counselled myself and said, ‘its ok, afterall alone is no crime, you are in a happy space, don’t you see that!’
I did of course, and soon lost myself in the dance.
Sometimes you got to shake the statusquo! So I did!
And found a surprise visitor at home!
And a promise of a friend who said, ‘I come when I say I will’ and I had to laugh!
Then says my dear chechi, ‘Lekha come home tomorrow ok!’. ‘I will’, I say happily.
Who does one thank except the universe for such unexpected offers of good company!
In order to quell the restlessness of my mind, running across different directions all at once and nullifying my efforts to pursue my researh interests, I take to the reading of ‘Autobiography of a yogi’ . I have read it before and will read it again. But to my surprise, there is a sense of calm that my mind refuses to allow me to open the facebook that evil occupier of my leisure time and directs me to read instead.
I am trying for sure and working hard too, but I do feel somewhat more empowered with this text by my side, a copy of Palgrave’s Golden Treasury, a copy of ‘Phenomenal Woman’ by Maya Angelou and some notes put up on the window sill and the almirahs, where I decorate myself with such endearing adjectives like, ‘smart lekha’, disciplined sreelekha’, ‘dr.sreelekha’, ‘power of learning’, ‘researcher’, ‘disciplined researcher’ and other such hyperboles, help me drown my doubts of ‘too late, too much!!!’, can I ? Am I doing the right stuff?’ and other such nigglers and guide me to work, just work, to be able to do enjoyable reading and try to make something of it, is it not good enough?
To be able to ask questions and to be told’, oh, but you are the first person to ask us this? ‘ , ‘I never thought much of this’, ‘I would like to read what comes of all this!’ at once puts a hell lot of pressure and it excites the learner in me.
But all said and done, thathastu to the completion of the thesis!
The universe lends a hand and smiles as always at the inefficient, yet tireless striving of a miniscule being on the planet, ‘each to his own’ , muses she!
HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
If only one could tailor make friends who had time and good will, how wonderful it would be? How enchanting would such relationships of understanding be where words need not be spoken, mere thoughts would set sail, connect and collaborate? How is one to find souls alike in a journey so full of set backs?
Whither the sail, my friend, whither thy care and solace? What travails has the life to offer further? Wherefrom shall smiles now sprout from a soul so damaged?
What lessons, dear universe, does thou now offer? What tribulations to meet the journey’s end? Whither are the inns to spread one’s legs and sit down a bit, which comrade is to join to cheer?
Coz to walk the path of dreams is most difficult, to chin up and face is most daunting, tell me, dear universe, does thou send thy messaih, the saviour, the friend and the benefactor?
At what turn should she wait? What shall be the sign of care? Whither comes the stop?