First things first, for all the people who care, and even for those who don’t (this is the snob in me speaking, in case you don’t realize) today has indeed been a new day for me, much like the proverbial phoenix reborn from the ashes. And I really needed the one vent yesterday to set things right again. Delighted to admit I have actually become something of a connoisseur in the art of cribbing about nothing at all.
But this post is dedicated to retrospection. Or more so to the entire concept of flashback; the sucker for Technicolor romance that I am. This is all about the “I could have” and “Maybe I should have”.
So even as I was writing the excuse of a post yesterday (admitted, it was written just for the sake of assuring myself I can still write…long story that one) I realized that undeniably, in the past two months, I’ve crossed a few of the most important milestones in my insignificant life of twenty-three years, and I let them pass without even leaving traces on my blog! And that’s how the whole “How could I…!” seed germinated and the sprouts started creeping all inside my head till I couldn’t ignore it anymore.
Enough of the prologue (heck, even I am bored of it by now), but just imagine, I let my first bike ride (as a rider, none less) pass me by!! And to think it was just a tiny part of the whole incredible trip I made to my mother’s birthplace two months ago! I mean, I could have written about the thrill of mastering (or “Jack-ing” at least?) a robust pulsating motorbike across a wobbly field with my cousin jogging behind, and the consuming yet weird desire to say a “Ha!” to the faces of all those guys who confuse their bike’s horsepower with their own, not to mention how the feminist in me was beaming with pride again and again and patting my back at this simple triumph. Oh yeah, I don’t need much to start loving myself more.
Or about the bike ride at 6 am in the chilly January morning that me and the same cousin took the day before I had to come back, just for the heck of it. By the time we reached Bogibeel (25kms away from Dibrugarh town and the construction site for the bridge connecting two extremes of Asom across the Brahmaputra) our hands were frozen and our teeth in danger of premature wear and tear, but I couldn’t have felt more free and “myself”. I still can’t decide which I loved more; the scene that met my eyes when we finally reached there after crossing kilometers of dirt-road (that is, after the fog reluctantly lifted its veil from over the river), the feeling of being totally disconnected from the rest of the world (needless to say I’d left my phone behind) and that of nothingness and humility when I realized the mightiness of the river whose horizon my even vision couldn’t reach, the sizzling hot pork fry we had on empty stomach, in one of those dingy shacks they call “riverside stalls” (for once shutting off all our hygiene instincts), or the ride back home, when I felt like a sunflower turning its face in the direction of the sun to take in as much of the soft warmth on my face as possible, and the chorus of the song “Soak up the Sun” being played inside my head on repeat, even though am not that great a fan of Sheryl Crow and that song is about the metamorphic sun and not even about sunshine the way I experienced it.
Or I could have written about the trip to Guwahati in the end of January to attend a wedding that changed my life permanently. And not just when it comes to the permanent tattoo I got while staying there, the one I now proudly flaunt on my ankle. Boy was that an episode in itself…! I’ve been called a brave girl many times, but even I realized that bravery shown atop a tummy-turning roller coaster ride is one thing, and that shown while letting somebody pierce you with a machine-powered needle, that too unaccompanied by anyone whose hands you could bury your fingernails into and let out that scream itching to come out, is a whole different level of bravery (bordered on craziness) altogether. And that’s the only reason I attribute to my breaking in cold sweat and hyperventilating even as Ripz (yeah, that’s the guy who did it) continued to ink my ankle. But hell, it was worth it a million times over. I’ll forever remember Akon’s “Beautiful” (being blasted from the speakers at that time) as the song commemorating my everlasting conquest over a small patch of my skin, if not anything more. At last something that’s permanent.
And if that was not enough, it was during that trip that I finally felt like a grown up amidst all grown-ups, which, for all of my intents and purposes have always meant the group of my sister’s friends who’ve been like together forever. I mean, I actually crossed that sacred line that I have been reverently coveting to cross for years now…that from being the “kiddo” to “one of us”, and most importantly, having access to all “censored” discussions, and wonder of sweet wonders, being asked for opinion like it actually counted! I can’t even start on how much it changed the way I looked at life in itself. I mean, in the Technicolor I mentioned above, this would be the moment where the drumrolls and the happy music start and the screen is filled with all brilliant colors devoid of blacks and greys. The grand finale to my whole list of “You know you’re grown up when….” milestones. Alright, you get the point.
Or I could have typed down (whoever “writes” these days?) all the thoughts going on in my sleep-deprived cotton-wooly and yet exuberant mind, after having spent a whole night simply talking to my twin-soul. I mean it was that simple. Just two girls sitting and yakking away over coffee and laughter till 5:30 in the morning. Until we realized that at some point of time that we HAD to sleep, just for the sake of sleeping if not anything else. Little did I care that whole of the next day there was a low hum in my ears and my eyes were struggling to remain open. All I could keep saying was that finally I found a girl with whom things were just so easy. And most importantly with whom I wouldn’t have to pretend to digest the “holier than thou” attitude that most of us flaunt. Because she didn’t have one. For someone who’s always considered herself lucky in love (to be painfully proven wrong over the years) and unlucky in friendship, it means the world to find someone with whom things just click. And call it the sanctified beginning, but since then I have actually rediscovered and reconnected with a lot of friends, so much, that by now the list of girls I want in my dream all-girls-night-out has reached quite an acceptable number from a pathetic zero. Yeah, that’s how bad things were. Curse me and my one-to-one friendships only.
Not to mention those tiny little “Eureka…!” moments when I discovered that I could sit in a Computer Networks class without fidgeting for an entire hour and that, that unlikely phenomenon could turn into more of a regular practice. Or when I realized that given a chance, I could do something as impossible as opening my textbooks for the sake of knowing more about a topic being taught in class and not just the day before the exams for the sake of mugging things up. Or when my Dad came back from Bangalore with an immensely cuddly soft toy for his “about to be twenty-four” daughter, and kept waiting to see that grin on her face…..which kind of reminded me of the time way, way back, when he’d arrived home from Nagpur at the ungodly hour of 4am in the morning and me and my sister (still in our flannels, me all of six years) had woken up just to see what he’d brought us back.
See. I could have written about all of these things. And I should have. But maybe then I wouldn’t have spent the whole of the evening today cooped up inside my room in front of the laptop typing like my life depended on it. And maybe I wouldn’t have had the satisfaction of defying the whole practice of “studying for the exams even though it’s a Friday” that is prevalent amongst the lesser mortals (read greater nerds) out here.
Sigh! Am happy.