Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Maya Banerjee

We have always been at loggerheads. It started about 20 years back and since then it has become progressively worse. Now, however, we have achieved near total perfection in communication. She does not understand a single word I say and I refuse to accept what she says.

Yet, for some quite inexplicable reasons, I cannot help but admire her. I cannot help but be thankful to her for what she has done for me all of these years. To construe it as a discharge of responsibility would be to trivialize the intent, effort and an almost uncompromising love.

If, at times, it appeared to be too harsh, it appeared to push me more than what was required, those chidings which appeared to be unsubstantiated and unnecessary, it was just to instill in me the spirit to stand and fight, not to lose till I have lost and to be humble in victory, possibly to teach me that what might win you the day might be responsible for losing you another.

That courage is not just in muscles and more to do with a heart, that being honest is tough yet advisable, that being a good human being meant much more than accumulated material achievements were consciously and subconsciously drilled more through actions, and much less through dictums. I distinctly remember, my friend and I, 10 years old, playing one evening and being the object of quite a brutal verbal assault from a security guard at our locality. Defenseless, we hardly had the ammunition to hit back. She happened to pass by at that moment and stopped by to confront the inebrieted guard. It did not matter that he was physically more intimidating and it did not matter as well that, in the event of an unsavoury incident, she would also be quite defenseless.
What mattered was, she did what she had to and ten years later those two children understood what it was all about.

If not for anything, I have to salute her incredible strength of mind. It takes a lot of courage to tell your offsprings that they are not exactly good looking. And to do it without sounding offensive, without hurting the most precious thing you have ever possessed is worthy of unparalleled praise. Remarkable.

To stand against practically all of who claim to be far more rational than her, maybe justifiably so, to pursue something with a zeal purely to extract the best for me and nothing but the best, inspite of my objections to her thoughts requires a motivation and affection which cannot be replicated.

There will be many and there are, who love me and would want me to be happy in life. But none as purely and as much, as the woman I call 'ma'.

As I look back on the woman, who brought me up, nurtured my thoughts, thought me to think and love and fight and keep fighting, I am filled with a sense of amazement and wonder that whom I thought to be quite 'ordinary', is actually, in reality, an exceptional person. Much more that what she gets credit for. Much more than I could ever be. Much more than I could ever ask off any other I would come to know.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The First Love?

I met her for the first time when I was eight. She called. To say 'hello'.And she had me at hello. Every morning after that for the next seven years, I would meet her and wonder in awe and amazement.How could someone be so pristine and so beautiful ? My days would be made by her smile, her attention. I was smitten.

I don't know whether it was love or infatuation or a crush. But I so wanted to be with her all the time. Coming to think of it, till today, I think she was the only person who had some degree of control over me without acting pricey. We were great friends, we still are and we will be. But I could never tell her in all those years what she meant to me - the stakes were very very high. I did finally tell her, of course. And I knew it would be quite useless. Or so I thought.

Eventually when the moment came, and it did, I, true to the trend of my life, let it go, opening up a plethora of 'what-ifs' and 'maybes'. At a later point of time, I guess, we both realized what we missed.

What we have for each other today can never be counted as love. I am not sure whether there exists in English a word that could describe it. And we do not even feel the need to. Its pure, its honest and its beautiful.

She never knew it and neither did I for a very long time that our dreams were the same and so were our aspirations and so were our feelings for each other. Today, it does not matter. We will, in all likelihood, live those dreams individually with different people without regret, without remorse, with love and with an assurance that we did exist for each other many years back.

Maybe just for a fleeting second. But we did.