As a child, I remember being very insecure, lonely, and afraid. So afraid of so many things. Clinging to my mom, reluctant to go to school… begging her to take me with her wherever she goes. To her office too if possible but not to the damn school please. Please... ..not to be.
I can’t understand, even now, why I was so wary of going to school – was it because there was no one I could call a friend at school? Not true. I can recollect laughing happily with two idiotic fools…one, a mentally retarded child, and another - a crackpot.. and all of us fools tickling and falling all over each other…laughing crazily…. Only to be reprimanded by the teacher…. That must have been UKG…. But after that, not many happy memories. Always sidelined, not the class topper but not a dull student either who needs attention. I was stuck in between somewhere in the universe dominated by bright overachievers and dull & vacant kids. Wallowing happily in the list of people who are always ignored and not noticed.
I do remember thinking and dreaming nice things that all the kids do… only difference being, I was always alone in my thoughts – not a word of it to another being on Earth. Maybe to the cats occasionally and the plants but not to anyone else. Just when I thought, maybe there is hope after all, my grandma left me and died! For a child who was the grandma’s favorite and for who, grandma was a savior in this big bad world, that was quiet a blow. I used to cry quietly into my pillow so many nights… the sorrow of a young heart wanting to get out, but ashamed of being ridiculed. So brave outside, so afraid inside. So lonely.
As a young adult, I remember stepping a little out of the shell of loneliness and attempting to make friends. I was so stupid and so so desperate to make friends that I used to write letters to the girl in the next street during the summer holidays. Never mind that that girl turned out to be my best friend later in life! But crazily enough, all the friends I made were exactly like me!!!! Imagine that! Few years passed by, I forgot I was ever lonely…. The tumultuous period of teenage, crushes, friends, crowds, roaming around… life was good for some time. There were ups and downs of course… the usual sob story of crushes turning ugly and heroes turning villains but hey overall, I kinda liked that period of my life. Don’t think I was so lonely… not with my best friend and my sister always by my side.
And then, I did the most stupid thing ever possible on Earth. I grew up. I started getting ambitions. I decided to torture myself by moving to a new city where I didn’t know a single soul – all in the name of higher studies and career. Ha, ha… another crazy period in life where my past returned to haunt me in all its glory. Again crying into the pillows every night in a row… missing my parents, sister, friends… Two years of loneliness. I compensated by becoming a good dramatist. Loud, crass, bright, attention-seeking, dominant…were some of the words people would have used when referring to me. I don’t think anyone would have associated lonely with me. But that I was.
Anyway, as bound to happen, love did. A year or two of bliss… I had almost banned the ghost to the darkest closet in the house. Thought love had done what nobody else had done – I could happily step out of my shell without being afraid of getting hurt. So I stepped out. Life happened. Went on.
And today, I realize loneliness is a lifetime story. I can’t banish it anywhere. And nobody can break it. It is there and I better accept it. After a few therapeutic sessions with the pillow, I decided to write a story on it – and I hope I am on my way to accepting the ghost as part of my life.
I toast - “To times to come, hey loneliness, I hope you will stand by me! Cheers!”
PS: As mentioned somewhere in this story, no one will ever believe this of me… I am the very example of being happy, cheerful, and having the most blessed of life. J I think I really like this - being stuck in the oblivion of ‘being average’.