A few hours back, I came upon a Facebook update from a schoolmate announcing her engagement to a guy with the weirdest name. I smirked, I laughed and I joked about it with a couple of friends of mine… I admit, I was being petty and mean.
The two of us never really managed to get along in spite of studying together for five years. Maybe it was the consistent rivalry over academics or attention from men folk (she totally used to get extra flirty and giggly with the boyfriend much to my resentment) or fashion… Maybe it was a clash of completely opposite personalities that never really warmed up to each other’s quirks. But here I was, seven years older and supposedly wiser, still giggling over the ridiculous name of her fiance. It left a bad taste in my mouth; I had still not forgiven her for all those taunts and paltry arguments.
A part of me still gives people the leeway of only one strike. Even if we patch up, there is a part of me that smarts unconsciously. It is difficult to give them a second chance – to forgive AND forget and simply move on. A little hypocritical as I am surprisingly lenient about forgiving myself for my misdeeds! I have handed myself not just a second chance but probably a billion ones with chocolate ice-cream!
I thought that I had finally learned to put my faith on the line even though it has been broken multiple due to circumstances often not in anyone’s control and well… Look at the smug feeling that gleefully roared when I saw she landed up with someone with such an absurd name while I ensnared a goldmine. Oh Seeeet!!!
I am still trying to get around sending her a private congratulatory message and let that awful rivalry behind me for once and for all. As I write this, I think of all other small things that hurt me (which I barely remember) and the perpetrators (whom I recollect to the last pore on their face). It is not a good feeling to hold on to such memories.
I am slowly starting to forgive those people mentally even if they are not really aware of it – chances are they don’t care either. Good news is, I established firm contact with one of them a year back and now she is one of my closest friends!
So let me help myself to a glass of wine. And then a second one. And send out a hearty congratulations message to her while maintaining a perfectly straight face as I type… “Wish you and ABC all the happiness in the world”
Sorry. I still couldn’t help but break into a laugh. God! His parents hate him I think 😀 😀
Sorry. Straight face.
Brought to you by the good Linda Hill hosting the SOCS with the prompt “Second“
I used to keep questioning myself for a long time on the above “If” of my life and I have no answers. This used to make an ugly entrance in my thoughts every time I was up for a presentation or public speaking (ironically supposed to my significant strength).
I was 20 and was in the final round of extempore. I was really confident as I had racked up quite a few winning certificates in the past couple of years. I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was the saying “Pride comes before the fall” coming to life? I got the topic and I started off really well! And Bang! Before I know it, I have come to a pregnant pause. I am looking at those hundreds of people and I forget everything. I fumble. I grasp. And I walk-off. I went into a corner backstage and had this minor panic attack. What had just happened? My friends and professors were gobsmacked! Later, the judges offered a second chance and without knowing or understanding why, I refused.
And I never discussed those seconds with anyone. I am not sure if my parents were even aware of it.
The aftermath was, I stayed clear of the stage for almost a year. In my final semester, my professors convinced me to try one more time for a smaller event. It was a different me on the stage. Quiet and earnest – it did end up giving me a second place and the much-needed confidence boost.
But every time I faced an audience, the inside me was a deer caught in headlights. I tighten ed up with that awful swallowing feeling. I had to work hard to mute the scared voice and hit straight, for the sake of my team members and grades. My two years in university ensured I had enough time to contain the panic germ into a small corner. And three years into the corporate I am back in my element, albeit quiet and restrained.
I was attending a stand-up comic show with the line-up being a mix of first-timers and upcoming comedians. Through the two hour show, there were some brilliant, some cringe-worthy and some truly awful jokes shared and bantered around. While some made our tummies ache, some did not even deserve the customary crack on the smile. But being so close to the stage, I saw all the standard signs. The sweat on the brow, the flickering of eyes, the slight tremble of the fingers.
For a moment, I was 20 again when I had depended on the support from my friends and professors in the audience to attempt the hard climb back up to the stage and thrive. Which is why every comedian yesterday got a huge round of applause from us – at times, it is not the content that carries you to the next level but just the encouraging audience.
And it also brought back my nagging question to which I STILL have no answer. What if I had taken the second chance?
“Don’t race, just do what you love – who cares about the time when you can run more and longer” – My otherwise idiotic cousin brother.
I was complaining to him (a runner as well) about how I was not able to reach my target distance in a given time-frame. He patted my head and presented me with the above which I am happy to say I have incorporated in my routine. Results are better stamina and fewer aches.
As a bonus, I will also share what he said minutes later when I told him that I am increasing my fibre intake:
“Go Wireless, Praju”
What a stupid amazing fool 🙂 He is visiting India after three long years and it has been a ball having him around!
I get very disappointed with time lately. I have taken to putting on my disapproving grandma look as the tick tocking clock merrily ignores the grunts and mumbles passing under my breath.
Time reminds me a lot like my salary. It looks amazing on the whole – a full 24 hours a day! And then, whoosh! I am levied a tax of 33% towards sleep-related activities from birth. On top of it, I am taxed at the rate of 40% as duty towards my employer. In a matter of seconds, my disposable income is down to about 25% of what I earn as time. Out of 24 hours, I effectively have only 6 hours to do as I please.
Unlike my salary, I don’t get any hikes or increment. Neither do I get any paid leaves or bonuses or other benefits. No matter what insanely amazing activity I pull off in those remaining 6 hours, they remain the same. But again, like my salary if I avoid paying those taxes – one day it will come down on me for ignoring to put aside that required amount of time on those necessary activities such as employment, sleep and daily ablutions.
Taking a look at tax-saving schemes, different rules have been created for each and every one of us – nature has been thoughtfully generous in giving us the freedom to do our tax planning and does nothing more than rolling her eyes when we change the plan almost the moment it is made.
I have been given the option of multi-tasking so that I can focus a little more on say, self-learning or binge watching The Newsroom all over again. I can spend a part of those six hours coloring away at my book to simply drain out the toil of those hours spent at work. I have the option of staring at a sunrise on top of a hill which makes time itself transient and gives me hope that it is not too late yet. Walking with an old friend at night while giving up a part of my due to sleep tax is acceptable since it rests me more that any siesta in the world. Also, you can plan for retirement by not delaying the payment!
I have it in my hands to make full use of those six-seven hours left over and make them count so that their worth spills over and above the 24 hours. That is more than what any increment in my time can give me! And time has a tendency to make itself disappear if you give it a chance to. It is tired of flowing and running; it likes to sit on clouds and fish for stars as well. But its freedom depends on our freedom! We can help it by not worrying about the taxes due and instead focus on making the ones paid work. Unlike some governments, time truly wants to use the tax it collects for our enhancement.
I realize that I can make my taxes disappear by paying them wholeheartedly, because then they cease to be a duty and start looking like an investment with guaranteed returns! I just need to find the time to do that…