Went to my Badi Mumma’s (read as the grandmother) place today. Like the folds of her skin, my memories of the moments spent at her house are also wrinkled now.
I recall in parts the days when I was still a child and life was all about broken crayons and not hearts. When walls, not minds, were tainted with colours; reds, blues, and greens. When cartoons and not people made my heart stop. I recall in parts when life was simpler, and I was happier.
I have had my struggles, I have had my fights. And God knows I have been hard on myself.
There are scars on my mind; scar from that one time when I let that one Math exam determine my worth. From the day my classmate made a remark about my appearance which till date makes me uncomfortable. And from that one teacher who dismissed my story calling it ‘not good enough’.
And I have questioned myself since then.
There are scars on my mind, but it’s time I turn them into marks. Marks that should remind me of my battles, but never make me stop. Marks that should tell me about my journey and lead me to my destination.
So, today when I went to my Badi Mumma’s house, I looked through the family photo that still hangs on the wall. The nail seems to have become weak, tilting the frame to one side. But it’s still holding on with whatever strength is left.
Whatever is, seems enough.
I smiled and introduced myself to the 5-year-old version of myself staring back at me. I looked into her innocent eyes; they were glowing with happiness and curiosity. They were hopeful and confident; her eyes were smiling.
I noticed how her eyes reflected her smile. Genuine smiles; her eyes are untainted with the worldly pressures. Untouched by greed, far from competition. Unbelievable how they scream out “Everything is okay. I’m proud of you. We may have missed an episode of Oswald today, couldn’t go out for our game of tag, we might have failed to get A grades, might not have been able to bring the best to our parents with our average paychecks, we may have loved that one person with all our heart and lost them. But we’re still here; smiling, moving, being. We’ve scars from the wars we have fought in the name of life, but we’ve survived. Fighters. Hey, you look all grown up and beautiful! I love you and I’m proud of you.”
We act like we’re fighting a battle against the world but it’s really just us against ourselves. As the smell of the old photos engulfed my heart and nostrils, I smiled.