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Once upon a time

I was a daddy’s girl

Then I found a life partner

And daddy thought I didn’t need him anymore

Did he not know no one could love me as much?

Once upon a time

I was so pampered

Then I had my own little ones

And everyone thought I had enough love

Did they not know that love is never enough?

Once upon a time

I was a princess

Of a story I wrote in my mind

Then I faced the real life situations

Did I not know it is really tough?

Once upon a time

I believed in myself

Then I made some stupid mistakes

And I thought I learned my lessons

Did I not know life’s teachings are rough?

Once upon a time

I thought I found happiness

Then I understood the bitter truth

It’s not easy to stand up for yourself

Did I not know high is the cost of principles?

Once upon a time

There lived a girl

Who believed in goodness

Then she experienced people

Did she not know it always ends in despair?

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Picture this. It is 15 – 20 years from now. When you look back at today, would you ask yourself the question “Did I settle for financial security? Did I know that I had the passion to be what I dreamt of being and yet I sacrificed that for a mediocre (or even high profile) job?” This question haunts me every single time I want to write something and I am unable to because of work or other responsibilities. I read the biographies of people I think as great writers/poets and there is a common element I see there. Except for a very few lucky ones, all the others had a tough youth, meaning they did not have a decent job, or financial means to even support them. Many of them just wandered around, taking up some what we call as ‘lowly’ odd jobs, until one day, the fate tested them for courage. They, of course, exhibited the courage (precisely why we have their biographies) and they were rewarded with what they wanted to be! The most important common element in the stories of these great writers/poets is – they did not settle. I am sure many must have told them they are wasting away their skills or life. Many must have discouraged them. Many must even have ridiculed them. But it did not bother them. They did not settle, despite all odds against them, despite everyone around them asking to.

I dread to think that I will answer that question in affirmative. Because I have been telling myself I have time, I will be 100% dedicated to writing after I am done with x or have handled my y responsibility etc. But what if I don’t have time? I keep postponing my dream as if I get to decide how long I am going to live! I keep lying to myself every day that I will succeed despite not giving it my 100%.

So what do I do? Quit my job, a well-settled life and devote myself to my dream? Is it that simple? What about the practical day-to-day responsibilities I have towards people I love?

What is a bigger remorse – shunning the comforts and try to act on my passion, which has a risk of being unsuccessful? Or settling for a mediocre life?

Today is Mother’s Day. Ideally, my kids would have written something for me. They did. My daughter made me a wonderful card, wrote very loving things in it and she even fixed me a snack. They hugged me and kissed me and wished me. And I was touched. Again. I don’t know how the children manage to touch a chord inside your heart so often. I wonder for how long this will last. This thought scared me a little. So I sat down to write something for them today – a message for them when they are older, when they need me and I am not around.

This is what I would say to them.

My dearest Chunchu & Shiku,

If there is a God, I experienced His love through you. I felt love that I could not ever imagine existed, with you. There are many people who have loved me and I have loved, yet what I have with you both cannot be compared with any other joy in my life. I wonder how incomplete my life would be without you. I cannot begin to fathom if I would even know the depth of my own feelings, if it was not for you. So thank you, for becoming a part of my life and showing me what love is all about. Thank you for being my wonderful children and for loving me.

I would like you both to understand this. I know and I believe that whatever life throws at you, you can handle it with as much finesse as you colored with your little hands and as much dedication you put in learning a new thing, when you were little. I assure you that there will be at least equal measures of good and wonderful moments in your life as any tough moments you have to face. I can tell you that no matter what choices you make, you will achieve what you ought to achieve and you will be your best, always. I was and will always be proud of you.

Children, you were my angels, who brought light and hope into my life. Know this. My life meant a great deal because of you. Irrespective of any arguments we ever had, I was always on your side.

I wish you experience the same joy and same love with your children. I have and will always love you more than my life.

Your mom,

Manisha

My Books

Read the review Love No More (Love, It Is!)

Read the review Love, It Is!

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