Tonight, I am sensing that raw, invincible part of me overtaking. It is a defense mechanism of sorts when I feel that I am being under-estimated.
My parents always kept the village alive in us, never letting it go. When I reached the point where I consciously made my own choices, I clung to the village even dearly because, to me, these are my roots. If I leave my village behind or pretend that I don’t belong, I will simply know nothing else. I won’t know how to behave and I will lose myself.
But then, there are drawbacks. There are many nights like this one.
My parents gave us the best and there is one habit which I can certainly say comes through my father and then instilled by my elder sister: the insanely huge respect for knowledge. I have this ancient respect and love for knowledge, and for people who are intellectuals. That’s why I have been a poor businesswoman. Where it came to knowledge-sharing, I forgot about revenues and I was so engrossed in appreciating and spreading knowledge that it simply didn’t matter that I had to be paid for what I did. It was not for money, ever.
During ancient times of the guru ‘system’ of teaching, the respect for teachers was beyond the value of one’s life. You see, I don’t have fancy aunts or uncles. None of them were media superheroes or Bollywood stars or some fancy authors. Some are people I would not even like to mention as my relatives and many are people who taught me much about being grounded and leading an organic way of life. I am so incredibly proud of their lives but these unsung heroes who become the building blocks of our life do not have that name-dropping quality in social circles.
The bough that falls with all its trophies hung
Falls not too soon, but lays its flower-crowned head
Most royal in the dust, with no leaf shed
Unhallowed or unchiselled or unsung.
And though the after world will never hear
The happy name of one so gently true,
Nor chronicles write large this fatal year,
Yet we who loved you, though we be but few,
Keep you in whatsoe’er is good, and rear
In our weak virtues monuments to you.
When I see people whose families have a plethora of people who live acutely famous lives (especially if politics or literature), I feel a sense of sadness sometimes. I also sometimes feel that there is something missing from my conversations that the others seem to have.
When sadness hits me, at the same time this defensive feeling rises in my gut. I somehow accepted that being humble translates to sacrificing self-esteem. I am reminding myself of the guts it has taken to live my life. Many people don’t have even have a story to tell and look at me, I have a treasure chest full of them. All those people have influenced me to live like a little, impactful story in my book.
Maybe this is the trade-off. I chose stories over living a conformist life. Conforming to a societal circle–I am so against such socialising circles. It does not work for me at all. Life is too short to pretend to be someone else. Sometimes when I had to attend such events/parties, I found myself returning to a gloomy mood. It is so tiresome to be someone else even if for a few hours.
I know I am underestimated now but I also know that this will not last long. I won’t let it. If I could have lived these thirty years with my dichotomy, I can last forever. The burkha makes my life much more difficult but this is precisely why I adore it–it makes me even stronger. What makes me stronger, I keep them close to me.
This is a blogpost to those feelings that persist. Go away, I am strong. I will be. My stories are with me. I read them, remember them anytime I want. The people leave but their stories remain forever.