Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Woman Within

I  was the odd one out. The spaced out, mixed up kid. Never really fitting into anything or with anyone. 
Often I felt alienated in the group of my gender and people of my age; or found myself separated, standing on the brink watching everything happen with bemused expression on my face.
I still am. The mixed up kid within. Feeling lonely in a crowd. Never fitting in any group. Nothing has changed; just years had been added to what was already quite ancient. My soul. I feel I have been living on this planet since eternity. As a child, as a young girl, as a woman, and as a mother. I feel I have seen this world come into being. Watched the trees, mountains and rivers spring into life. I feel I have memories of things that were happening many, many years ago. Fading, faint and glazed memories. Vague faces, voices, shouts and screams of thousands of years ago. Maybe I draped the palm leaves on my body, was caught by hair by a caveman and dragged into the cave to satiate his hunger. I drew pictures on the walls to communicate. Maybe I am the reincarnation of Eve who was thrown out of heaven in disgust and shame...
The little confused kid never failed to feel bewildered with what was happening to the grown up woman outside of me. For the world I was a woman with fairly normal and 'Blessed'  existence. Yes, let's call it existence...
I existed, with my ability to stay on top of things. Apparently. To be able to cope with the tricky anomalies life would have thrown at me. But this was the ability I had not built myself. It just came to me, like everything else that came to me, without applying any intelligence. I lived on the frugality of coincidences. Incidentally I am strong. Incidentally I was able to hold my sanity. Incidentally I did not break down and fell apart when everything around me was falling apart.
The quagmire of messy dilemmas were buried under a hard crest. And without any apparent effort. It was just the deeply ingrained pride, the obduracy about complaining. Such obdurateness is often taken as courage. Labelled as fortitude and patience. No one knows. They are too busy crowning you as the goddess of virtues. Virtue. That is the most appalling  word in the dictionary. The righteousness, and too much goodness. It is all about pleasing others rather than yourself. And in the end you only hurt yourself.
And as I grew up I realized that only dreams are real. Rest is all farce. Live frugally on dreams. They salvage you from the indignity of living a life full of realities.

*The blog title is inspired by the title of Graham Greene's novel, 'The Man Within' 

© Nazia Mallick


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