I have always been a happy girl. I guess I have had a great childhood and was exposed to a pretty good lifestyle and education and had great parents. I was loved so much and was given so much freedom and knowledge by both my Amma and Appa. Amma insisted that I learn Hindi, while Appa was dead against it. But Amma had her way in this matter and both Gayathri (my sister) and I took to learning Hindi as our second language. So Appa somehow wanted us to learn Tamil and I was given comic books in Tamil to make me recognize letters and improve my reading speed. He also introduced me to the world of books, being an avid reader himself. He was an inspiration. He taught us to play Chess and taught us the rules of Cricket and Tennis and Football and Hockey. In all those school-going years, neither Amma nor Appa ever forced us to ‘sit and study’. Those were the happiest years – no tension, no worries, no idea about the financial situation of the family and in my case, no worries about tests and exams as well – I was a good student, duh… The biggest worry was eating – Amma and Appa and Paati and Athaipaati always forced food down my throat and well, it never stuck to my body. I was always underweight, still am.
Nobody’s life is full of roses. We all have our share of bad days. I have mine too. No, I am not going to start cribbing about kosu again – I guess I have grown used to it and am slowly learning how to tackle this. As my Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandji said, “This too shall pass” and I totally believe in his words. Now more than ever before! My point is, in order to understand where you stand and who your real friends are and who is trustworthy and how tough you are, you have to go through the dark patches of life. I went through a couple of them. Well, right now, I don’t actually remember the first one. But hey, I am sure it was there. I felt bad; maybe I was too young to comprehend it or something. But the second one, I remember quite well.
I was in college. Right now, nobody will believe me if I said I was more of an outcast there. I was popular – hugely popular would be more appropriate – but for the wrong reasons. Now what reasons they were and why they made me popular is beyond the scope of this blog :D (Effect of reading training documents, you see) Well, to be frank, now it makes me laugh and I feel like an idiot for worrying so much about such a non-issue. But yes, back then it made me a bitter person – I went into my own shell and refused to come out of it or allow anyone inside it. Well, to tell you the truth, nobody wanted to come inside, hold my hand and take me out of the darkness and the sadness. Everyone was busy too with their own lives to find out what went wrong with me or to verify the facts and simply stuck to listening to made up stories. There was no one to listen to me. I thought how true these lines were,
"Iruttinile nee nadakkaiyile, un nizhalum unnai vittu odi vidum;
Nee mattum dhaan indha ulagithile, unakku thunai endru vilangi vidum"
(When you walk in darkness, even your shadow deserts you. It is then that you would realize that you are your only companion)
My only strength was my studies. No matter what happened, I never let it affect my studies.
I was all alone inside a dark room for so long and finally when light came, I was afraid of it. I was starting to be afraid of being happy. But slowly, the light grew on me and I started enjoying my day in the sun. It just felt right. I started feeling so light (NOT weight-wise) and slowly started becoming the same girl that I was during school.
I got into Wipro – 2008 was one of the happiest years of my life – my project at Wipro’s Chennai One office, my (rather big) gang of friends, weekend trips to Vandalur and beach resorts with the ‘gang’ – each day was filled with so much laughter that I felt that God was giving me the laughter that was long overdue. 2009, too, was a very happy year. I enjoyed my new project and the early morning shifts – the only time when Chennai’s heat was bearable :)
I still consider my college days to be the most productive years. I went through so much of trauma, but I came out stronger – much stronger than I ever was. I kept on telling myself, “God is putting you through it, because you are one of His favorite children and He wants to make sure you come out strong and tough. And don’t worry; He is doing this to you because He knows you will overcome it successfully. He is just trying to build your confidence.” Now I am happy and strong and know who my TRUE friends are and who is trust-worthy. Behind all that suffering was a learning process. :)