Hugs Forever

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?

The last foreword

Amazing how Arjun scored such high marks in the exam, Meera, specially after this loss.“, commented Kamlabai.

Meera too was proud that the death of Arjun’ father two weeks before the exam, didn’t affect his performance. Late that night, Meera left her husband’s diary on Arjun’s desk as a gift.

On finding the book, Arjun flipped the book cover to see the last foreword from his father,
Failure is a stepping stone to success“.
Tears pooled in his eyes.

He crumpled the stolen paper chits used for the exam into the dustbin, just as the tears shed from his eyes.

Hot water

It was a weekday morning, and my house was working in full swing at 7am.
Switch on the geyser dear.” Amma’s voice in the background.

By the time I have my early morning tea, she was in the bathroom complaining,
Did you switch off the geyser early? Why, the water is cold!!“.

Don’t know why the water is always cold for you. Only for you! “, mumbled Appa.

Yes yes! This water is not hot enough for me!“, Amma accepted his sarcasm and kept mumbling about her plight.

I tried to pitch in to calm her down,
Maybe I turned in the cold water accidentally while filling the bucket…Or else there maybe problem in geyser. Now should I keep water to boil on stove?
Its okay, I am almost done for today!

Early morning scenes were always the same.

Years later, as I stand on the cold tiles of my bathroom in my house, the bucketful of lukewarm water stares at me. A voice in my head, that resembles the past shouts the same words again,
The water is not hot enough!

Winds in the mind

Up and down,
Here and there,
They ask the same again
Thinking that I would share.
How’s the weather
And how am I
The endless dam of questions
Tempting me to fly.
How do I reply,
But I still try.
Haven’t seen winds in a while,
Drowning in the waves all this time,
Hiding in the dark cocoon,
Deep in the ocean of thoughts,
Under the white moon,
Waiting to be rescued,
Thinking that I’m screwed.
Ignoring the voice
Screaming within
The only person that can set my life free
Is just me…