Sunday, 2 February 2014

In almost every childhood memory of mine, I recall myself with a book.

My first ever poem was along the creek side, about a butterfly, thanks to the marvelling world of nature that dad introduced me to, inspite of being brought up amidst big unearthy boxes as I call these structures, in defiance of being an aspiring architect and pledging to replicate one some day.

One of my only childhood memories about India is reading out loud about Goldilocks, the three bears, the fascination still unkempt after cycles of the same book. And also, writing to dad, while my aunts dictated with keen pleasure each word of what the letter would say.

I believe I have always loved writing; that when my younger sister would play with her dolls and be the girl that she had to be, I turned a blind eye to the world around me and entered a more fascinating one that I had scripted for myself, of me and my favorite characters.

Quoting my grandpa (a beautiful writer, to whom I owe this skill along with dad, if there's any at all), I remember him saying, "Give Sheru a book, you will not realize her presence even if you were to share the room."  As difficult as it was for me to open up to my own family about my troubles, I found solace in the few words that I would occasionally pen down. In hindsight. it has always been my go-to friend.

I was always an emotional child. Being the older of the two of us, I would often adorn my role as an elder sister and graciously accept my license to be rude. It was difficult most times, because not only was I fragile with respect to my age, despite being two years younger, Roshi was much stronger and bigger. But I was always sharper with my words- the only kind of hurt that I have ever been capable of imposing on others. I remember how I would cry myself to sleep most nights, overcome by guilt and remorse of how I had been rude to my only sister during the course of the day. I would pledge to myself every night, to be a better person the next day- a habit that has been instilled in me over the years.

And when I failed to be that nice person I dreamt of being, I would take to my diary. From the 9/11 attacks, to the death of Yasser Arafat and Sheikh Zayed, my diary has figuratively seen my grief and anger. The occasional insult that my easily furious mom would shower, the ensuing grief, the new girl in school that could be a potential threat to my academic achievement as the longest standing topper, our family visits to Jabal al Hafeet- my diary has been a kind listener.

I would also write about the people that matter the most to me- a habit I have maintained to this day. I would write about them in extreme gratitude. I remember writing about my mom, about her beauty (which has only heightened over the years) and her willingness to give it all to our family. I grew up as an extremely obedient child, and as I gradually, but surely transformed into a rebel in my adolescence, the memory of this poem probably kept my mom going. 

However, my most coveted piece of writing was to my grandpa, with gleaming hope that he'd recover to read it some day, but in vain. It was also the first time I ever felt confident about my skill as the self-proclaimed writer that I am today. He passed away, not reading a word of what I had written- how badly I wanted him back, how grateful I was for him, how I wished I had spent more time with him and how I wanted to make him proud someday. Some ten years since his death, I wish, even today that he could have read it. Maybe he'd have stayed back. For me!

In retrospection,  I haven't written much ever since. My latest spell of writing is what you'd see here on my blog- most of it only random ramblings. Also, I've taken to sketching landscapes in my free time- a new-found hobby that I have let myself be consumed by. When my mediocre knowledge of words and limited skill of articulation prove an arming enemy, I am glad I can expend some ink in shaping new worlds with my recently discovered love for sketching.

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