Swarna asked her friend “how many people you have met so far? How many of them are your friends? How many of them could you respect or love? How many of them you could find equivalent to your own brother, sister and parents on emotional grounds?”
Her friend gasped and said “Few friends and few people whom she could look up to and respect and none whom she could love unconditionally and NONE to be equivalent to her siblings and parents.” Swarna was surprised as she had known that her friend was quite popular, social and loving person unlike her.
Swarna was less social and was loving and caring person in moderation. She had her own set of rules and standards while interacting with people. She was unforgiving for any kind of weakness in one’s character. Her prerequisite in any relationship was acceptance of her being and her respect and rest every feeling was counted afterwards. If she ever came across a person who threw insult on her face, it was herculean task for her to let that person go without any bruises and impossible to give a second chance to both of them for any kind of relationship. She would erase that person from her memory and her world forever. She was, alike her father, person of strong likes and dislikes. Since childhood, she honed this skill of saying “Get lost” to people who get wounded by merely her existence and her goodness. She never tried to change herself to match the expectations of others except for her family and friends. If someone ever tried to snatch something dear to her, she would be probably the most ruthless person the other had ever encountered. she was not submissive. If someone ever tried to evaluate her or pass any judgement on her worth, she would give a damn to that evaluation and to the judge. As the world is big enough to accommodate all of us with our rules and code of living, everything was going fine and Swarna loved the symphony.
For the first time in journey of 22 years Swarna met a person,Uphaar, whom she could respect and love exactly like her family. And the best part was that Uphaar felt in the same way for her. It was a very special relationship with mutual respect, abundant love and care. Both of them found themselves unable to learn the art of survival without having each other in their worlds. Now, the time had come to pay a price for this disability.To survive Swarna had to lower her standards, abandon many of her rules and surrender to feeling of being seen as worthless and unwanted. Uphaar’s family, they never tried to find out who she was and what she was? They had their evaluations, verdict, reproach and disrespect for her. She was not able to decide how to feel about all this and what to do with the expectation that she have to love these people and take care of them forever- complete bewilderment. Many times she submitted to their codes but, there were times when she just could not hold it anymore and reciprocated and obviously those reactions turned out to be boomerang. Swarna noticed that she was getting used to rejections and was loosing her self respect and in a matter of 4 years Swarna became a totally different person. She started accepting disrespect in her workplace as a punishment to herself for compromising her stand to deal with people and for her cowardice. Once a girl with high self respect and proud owner of her head turned into an insignificant life on earth. It was a downhill pathway she was tumbling into. Uphaar mentioned many times that he was loosing sight of the girl whom he loved but, it was the price they were paying for to be together. Years passed by and nothing changed between Swarna and Uphaar’s family.
Unexpectedly, after years of their togetherness, the tensed interaction started converting into fun filled and happy one. The only change Swarna could notice was that she was a mother now. Long back Swarna had decided to avoid eye contact with these people while interacting, as she was not able to continue to see the hatred and rejection in their eyes. Now, when situations have turned around she still can’t muster the courage to look into their eyes. It is a fear that what if this new behavior is again a disrespect in disguise, what if the rejection is still there in their eyes? She somehow had adjusted to older situations and now again she has to think how to feel in changed situation and what to do? How cruel it is and how hypocritical it is- to consult your highest faculty, your brain, just for your survival and if he speaks anything more just shut it down. Swarna was being cut in two halves, one said revolt and other said submit.
“Hey, why this question today?” asked Swarna’s friend. Her voice pulled Swarna out of her inner world and she noticed how long the precedent moment had lasted! Swarna smiled back and said “You know there is something interesting about laws- they are meant to restrict your degree of freedom and they are always an enforcement and never a choice and for every disobedience there is a penalty as well. You realize this more vividly when you have a bunch of people who are to be treated equivalent to your siblings and parents on basis of LAW -your in laws. that is why this question today.” Both of them laughed out aloud and said “YES”.
See you again. 🙂