What is the thing you most regret not doing? Why? What is stopping you from doing it now?
This prompt on the The Writing Reader has made me think back many instances in the past, but few stand out.
So the thing I most regret not doing these days is, giving/receiving hugs. I feel human beings should make use of hugs to feel its magic. But having the conservative upbringing in the back of my mind, I stop myself from showing off the affection in form of hugs. The generation might have now outgrown these narrow minded notions but I rarely remember myself hugging my school friends or even my parents. And hugging among opposite genders was a total no-no as eyebrows would be raised or suppressed smiles would be passed around questioning the nature of the relationship.
Few days back, my maid told me that it pleased her to have me as her agony aunt. Yes all maids crib, but what if we look at it in a positive way? Talking to someone in between her chores relieved her stress. Not sure whether she was expecting any money or raise or gifts, but what I saw was, how she wanted to share how lonely she feels in her marriage and life. Its the same old story of how the husband has deserted the wife and kid and living elsewhere happily while they are suffering in poverty. Whether we help or not, the least we can offer them are hugs or a shoulder to lean on. Agreed that if the story is baseless, then we are facing a bigger risk of making fool of ourselves and sometimes losing money. But what if the story is true, and she was expressing her state of helplessness, her worries, her dreams of a happy family?
The reverse also holds true. There are many instances where I wished to hug the person in front of me, as he/she could connect with me instantly. The happiness when someone understands you and you want to share it. How do you express it? Along with a “thanks for understanding”, I so wish I could give him/her a bear hug too for just being there… Then the root cause of all problems, pops up in my head – what will they think?!.
If not the hugs, sometimes, I regret the silence. Small compliments to strangers that could make their day. Or the few words that made a connection making them feel good. The other day, while returning in cab, I decided that while getting out, I would compliment the driver for his nice collection of songs. But at the last moment, the ever questioning fat Aunty, appeared in my head, asking, “what’s the need to talk with strangers?”, “what if he says the songs are not his”? “what if he doesn’t know English?” “what if you create an awkward situation?” and I walked away silently.
Silence also plays a huge role in destroying relationships. I’ve so wanted to connect with some old friends/acquaintances but never couldn’t open up myself. If I were at a loss of words but had to express something, hugs would have conveyed the same, but nowadays, topics also dries up. Isn’t it too hard for us to accept the changes in us over the years, how are we then going to explain it to others?. Experiences can never be explained, and that’s all we earn over time. It could well be a lesson on patting down our ego while rekindling the flames again. We could atleast throw away the burnt wood making way for new fresh ones.
Have you ever felt such short instances where in you wanted to do something but not ended up doing it?