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November 11, 2016

#DearZindagi...a letter to life!




Dear Zindagi,

You must be really surprised to see me addressing you with such terms of endearment today. I don't usually have positive things to say about you, no? But there are days when I also count my blessings. And lucky for you, today is one of them.
So tadaa! Here I am, Zindagi. For all you are worth, here I am, my head bent low, my eyes brimming with emotions and my heart full of gratitude. For you, only for you, and for all that you have taught me till date, I have only one thing to say...Thank you!

Thank you, Zindagi, for giving me a brand new chance every day---a new opportunity get things right; to learn, to prove my worth, to improve. You are the best teacher and worst critic one could ask for. You never allow me to be too hard on myself for the mistakes I commit and yet make sure I'm guilty enough not to repeat them. Of course, there are times you end up being an utter disappointment. Fretting and fuming, ranting and raving, cursing, blaming, and fighting with you for being unfair...has almost been a habit.

But in hindsight, I do realize that every second chance you refuse to bestow upon me does me a whole lot of good. Thanks to this, I have learned to value my relationships...to cherish and treasure them. You have taught me never to take for granted those who love me. In fact, it is this constant fear of not being allowed a second chance that helps keep me in check. And I owe you big for that.

People say I have changed. I think I have too, for the better. You have made me emotionally stronger and more hurt-resistant over time. There was a time when I was so hopelessly sensitive that one push (from someone who mattered) was all it'd take to shatter me. I thought I'd never be able to survive the agony of heart break, stressful relationships, work pressure. But you exposed me to the big bad world and convinced me that nothing here is indispensable, no one is irreplaceable. Friends backbite lovers betray, relationships putrify, and you can't do much than break the bonds that chain you, burn bridges that lead to nowhere, and never look back.
You taught me that there is nothing more important than self worth and peace of mind.  to leave before I'm left, to learn the difference between want and need, love and lust. I learned that sacrifice can be liberating, that love need not always mean attaining, and that hearts, no matter how badly bruised, will heal with time. I also realised that a mug of freshly brewed coffee and a good nap can provide an instant fix to most problems.

Of course, I cannot forget to thank you for the more permanent reasons to smile--the amazing friendships you have helped me forge. Some that have won over time, distance and even fate to stand by me. Some that have proved my cynical heart wrong by showing me how lucky I am to have them in my life.
However, pain and grief are part of every journey. I have had my share of it as well. Cliched though it may sound, it made me stronger, showed me what I did not want, and helped me see what I really needed. I needed to believe in myself, respect myself, fall in love with myself before expecting that from anyone else.

You, Zindagi, taught me the true meaning of love. To love unconditionally is a heart breaking yet surreal experience. I think everyone should try it at least once. You taught me that love need not always have a fairytale ending. It can be very different from what you were expecting and yet be love all the same.

Gradually, I discovered your myriad hues. Each experience you offered taught me a little more about you. It made me realize that we are never in the place to judge anyone, for their reality might be way different from ours. To judge someone, we need to run a mile in their shoes. I'm grateful to you, Zindagi, for you evoked in me enough compassion to attempt seeing beyond the masks people wear, to try listening beyond the words they speak. In the process, I discovered hearts of gold beneath many steel armours and malevolent intentions behind the sweetest of smiles. You snapped me out of my childish delusions and planned a rendezvous with reality. I hated you then for snatching away my rose tinted glasses. But thinking back, I'm so glad you smashed them. You helped me grow up. And although we all would love to be kids forever, I learned that growing up was inevitable. Gradually, I realised it wasn't all that bad. As I stared awestruck at your various nuances, you made me realise how I'd never be able to comprehend you fully, that some questions were best unanswered, some things were best undiscussed. I couldn't understand then but I realise now that it did work out for the best. It almost always does...

Even today, I can count on you to believe in me when the chips are down...even when everyone else leaves my side. It's true you make me stumble at times. I have even fallen flat face-down a couple of times, but it is only because of you that I have learned to pick myself up, brush away the humiliation, hold my head held high and continue walking.

I am faced with challenges every day. And everyday, I fight, I survive, I triumph the odds. You have taught me to believe in myself, to value my strength and confront my weaknesses. At times, you break down my defenses, and I give in to you. I trust you to show me the way, and you trust me enough to know I'd not let you down. There are times I can't help feel frustrated at your antics and want to let go. But you, in your own stubborn little way, make me realize how fragile you really are. In my career as a doctor, there have been several incidents that have made me value you more than I ever had. I have witnessed patients struggle for a breath of air while their loved ones watch helplessly, watching them suffer. They make me aware of the times I take you for granted; be it wrong food, stress, a lethargic lifestyle, the truth is I am guilty of cheating on you. Every time they look at me, that pleading look in their eyes, I see you there, dear Zindagi...gasping, hurting, groaning, compromising, and yet putting up a brave face for me. When a patient leaves the hospital premises in good health. I feel you beaming with joy. But when I fail, I find it impossible to confront you. These are times I try to  block you out by scribbling furiously in my journal in an attempt to stonewall the disappointment I feel. However, writing is a contemplative and introspective task and you manage to find your way out through my words.

You inspire me to write, Zindagi. And for that, I am eternally indebted. Even today, you continue to be my greatest muse. Words fall short to capture your true essence. But I'm not giving up...neither on you nor on writing. We are stuck together for good.

You have taught me when to hang on and when to let go. And that is a lesson I hold very dear. You have made me understand the difference between strength and wisdom, integrity and courage. Every day, you make me open up to the unparalleled beauty in the world---stars wrapped in the blanket of a clear sky, a breathtaking view of the setting sun, the sound of babies gurgling, the musical quality of a flowing brook, the natural fragrance of wild flowers. I find poetry all around me. I find it within me too.

You have watched me dream and crumble. You've witnessed me sprint and crawl. You've seen me soar and crash. It has been one hell of a journey. But every step of the way has been an adventure in it's own sense.

Come to think of it, hasn't ours always been a queer relationship? I do not believe in definite beginnings or strong endings. And I believe neither do you. (You are my mirror after all.) All we can be sure of is a worthwhile middle. We might not have had a great start, and I have no idea how we are going to end. But I feel strongly about this transition period of learning. And I have learned from you never to give up on something you feel so strongly about.

So let's make the best of this symbiotic relationship. Let's show the world how strong a team we really make. No cribbing, no complaining, no mud-slinging. Just loads of gratitude for what was, what is, and what will be...because every moment can impart us with wisdom, knowledge, or experience if only we allow it to.

So here's to making more memories...
Here's to you, me, and tomorrow...

Thank you, Zindagi!

Yours truly,
Me.
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1 comment:

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