By Kritika Mehta
The world was dipped in swirling, glittering celebrations with friends, family and unknown to embrace a new year. And this time it seemed to be more about desire and dreams to turn into flowers and butterflies. Because everyone needed that more than ever. Is that why they were out? To conceal from themselves the reality this year unleashed upon us — as if, it wasn’t our own doing. Humans.
And here I was, at home rolled up in a black-feathered blanket reading Love Story by Erich Segal. The perfect woody-scented book I have had for years but never read. Maybe I wasn’t ready before. Somewhere I had this prenotion — though I never read about the book or the plot — that it would go to a place that was desolate. I checked the time, thirty-five minutes to midnight, to the new year and I already knew the ending would be sad. I am talking about the book.
I was already wafting into the next year and how I wanted it to be. People make new year’s resolutions. I never did that. But I do long for something more, something different. Not small routine alterations, or self-improvement goals. Something real, something solid. Because that is where it is tough, the unknown. That toughness, even if I don’t think about it, exists. All through the day and night. Something’s sticking in my heart from inside — every second of my life.
My thoughts were interrupted by some party music outside. So, I returned back to the book. It was almost the end. With a tear resting on the top of my lower eyelid, I ended it at 10 minutes to midnight. Was this how I wanted to start new year, crying over a book I didn’t even bother to read in years, engulfed by deep sensation of unfair endings to great love? Then this thought came to my mind: If I don’t have to tell anyone about it, then yes. That was what I wanted to do. Dig deep into a story that was so perfect right from start that it had to be flawed, broken into pieces and spread all over my heart. I needed that rush of tears in my veins and the gushy feelings filling my being. But trust me, the tear didn’t flow.
There were ten minutes remaining. With my eyes closed, I let my thoughts, the uncomfortable ones return. I opened my heart and asked my soul: What is it that you want? And I don’t know exactly from where these words came flooding into my mind. I don’t know. No that’s true, I have really never known. And whatever it is that is outside is all fake. At least for me it is. And, I don’t get it. What do I think of those people partying outside? In this pandemic year, what is it that this year leaves behind? People are bothered more about partying instead of caring more about their friends, family and keeping them safe at home. Is being at home, happy — talking with your people and starting a new year that bad? It isn’t, right? Or, is it?
In those last few minutes, it struck me. Like that sound of the rumbling thunder that drags me deep into a feeling of fear and engulfs me so tightly that my mind, body and soul all belong to it. Yes, it struck me like that.
I am not real.
The life of posts and updates and deep poetic lines to justify the perfection of one’s journey – it’s not mine. The job, the money, the responsibilities of the family, doing things the right way and following laid-out plans, all this is making me blind.
There is a twitch in my little finger at least once every night. Just when I am about to sleep, it gives me a sensation that it’s not comfortable. My little finger is not comfortable in this body of lies. Thirty-one years of my life, thirty-one years of thoughts and opportunities to understand but my mind has been so beautifully organised that I fail to see; I fail to see that for me this perfectly programmed life is not right.
Drop the charade and face the reality. What matters to me? What really matters to me?
I don’t know. Then figure it out. This life you are leading is not mine and its eating me inside. So, figure it out now. It’s time.
Why hide behind conventions? What will happen when I cease to be this person? Will I miss her? Will I want to return to being her? Can I walk away from her?
This is one life, and it is too important to let it all just slide as I try to convince other people on how it is similar it is to theirs because it’s not. And, I don’t want it to be.
So, that is what I’ll do starting this year. Find. Find that me who I really want to be. I’ll find her and I’ll let her flow in my blood with pride. Will that be easy?
I don’t even know where to start or how to even try. It won’t be easy to change. But it will be worth all my life. Yes, worth all my life.
Kritika Mehta is a Sr. Technical Analyst. Working in IT, her heart lies everywhere and her soul wants to write everything down. So, the bread-winner and writer parts are now locked in a struggle.
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