You have given me wings with which to fly
Now I breathe in deep and spread them wide
as we lift off from the silken petals
into the wind where the butterflies glide
This is not a year-end post or may be it is. A requiem for the past and a song of courage for the future.
I wanted to wrap up this year and all those before them and bury them for good. 2011 has been a year of extreme highs and lows in more than one ways. We lost some of the most loved, immensely talented artists/musicians and many other luminaries from diverse fields. Let us say adieu to those who left us in 2011. Bhimsen Joshi , Jagjit Singh, Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Satyadev Dubey , Bhupen Hazarika, Anant Pai, M.F.Hussain, M.K.Pataudi, Hargobind Khurana, Jehangir Sabavala, Mario Miranda, Steve Jobs, Elizabeth Tylor, Amy Winehouse, Ustad Sultan Khan, Navin Nishcol, Gautam Rajadhyaksh, Indira Goswami and football player Socrates and Gary Speed.. the list seems endless.
Year 2011 also took away the fierce tigress Shehla Masood, Nighamanand and RTI activist Nadeem Sayeed. Any voice that rises against the rotten corrupt system, the age-old orthodox so-called values and norms is silenced. Sometimes one pays with one’s life and at others one has to take courageous risks to stand for one’s dignity, pride and right to live as a human being , as a woman.
When a woman decides to break the shackles that chain her to submit to the will of others, when she walks out on a relationship that smothered her for years , when she decides to be fearlessly herself , to not be a “trophy wife” , when she shows the inner strength and moral courage to defy submitting to what society defines as ” excepted rules and code of conduct for women” then she is born again and trust me this is a difficult birth. This metamorphosis from a caterpillar to a butterfly is a slow painful process. A process which for some means shedding layers and layers of borrowed hurts and burdens. This journey from darkness to dawn requires an inner courage which is unmatched and unbreakable especially when one is economically dependent. It is difficult to take that first step and say ENOUGH. Difficult to leave behind young children and a large part of one’s life but when relationships stagnate they rot and it is better to cut the rotting part before it infects and kills. It is difficult to stand for your dignity and face the filth flung at you by the society for whom a woman is merely a “puppet that can be fit into various roles with strings pulling her from all sides deciding when she should do what “.
A forgotten species not allowed to dream and live the life she imagines. Always subjected to ridicule, contempt and told to shut up, she is supposed to adjust , compromise, suffer, make peace, forgive the offenses and injustices inflicted at them and go through difficult marriages with ” patience and tolerance. She is “not allowed” to follow her dreams, aspirations and put them all on a back burner to make sure ” a peaceful happy married life” and if she rebels against the established conventions and charts a path for herself then the situation is even worse.
Courageous risks are life-giving.
2011 changed direction of my life. Sometimes it just takes a tiny spark to light a flame within. I have already written about what made me step out and start afresh. It took me many years to find my lost confidence, my voice that was stilled. Change is uncomfortable, new beginnings scary for someone like me whose world was confined.
I have so many friends to thank for this transformation, for instilling this strength in me , for believing in my potential and for making me love and believe in myself as a woman, as a human being irrespective of the roles assigned by the society. Each word, each gesture made me stronger than ever. Friends who showed me the mirror, who spoke their minds to make me see the reality as it is, who helped me get out of the closet and express through my writings, each one of them played a significant role in making me who I am today and my heart is filled with gratitude for them. The reason I write about me is again to be a spark in someone’s life , to light a flame of change in some woman’s life.
I realized that after that initial fear is conquered there is no turning back. At the end of 2010 the embryonic plant encased in the seed coat was beginning to prepare itself to break the sidewalk and blossom into a flowering plant. I have come a long way from the time I wrote ‘ The time has come to be fearlessly myself ‘.
I took some bold steps just as Tara did. For, If it hurts it is not love .
It wasn’t easy for me to leave but I knew that nothing could be worse than what I was going through. Separation from my boys cut me deep. They put up a very brave front in standing by my decision. It was I am sure their energy that made me spread my wings and take a flight into the vast open sky through the tiniest crack in the walls that were closing in every moment. I know I could not have done without their never-failing love and support. They taught me some very fine lessons in life. The period of nine months since I stepped out were filled with extreme emotional upheavals but the fact that I did what was right for me as a human being , as a woman , kept me going. It is not that the guilt of leaving behind the children did not gnaw at my heart but sometimes to survive and live one must take the most painful of steps.
Now at the threshold of a new year , I find myself heading towards a new ending, a much-needed closure that will be the new beginning for me. The road is rough and full of uncertainty but I know that the wind beneath my wings is strong and I won’t fall. It is with this unsurpassed trust and confidence that I greet the new year. There is still a lot to be done and having taken this first step all I see is the summit. I know that to climb steep hills requires slow pace in the beginning and I am taking one step and a time.
There is no turning back.
I have the gift of life again and I want to cherish and nurture it with respect and love. There were times I cribbed about life being unfair and people being unjust to me but now when I look back I thank the universe for all those hardships and all those people who made sure I suffered for it is due to them I am stronger and sharper.
Life never gives you anything you can not handle , it is just that some flowers take time to blossom. Nothing goes waste. Those years gone by were my rooting years. Now with strong roots and stronger heart I am ready to take on anything that life offers.
I thank all my readers, my friends, everyone who helped me open my resilient petals. To all of you I owe my new self. Thank you for enriching my life.
Wish you all a very happy New Year.
The two important things I did learn were that you are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be, and that the most difficult part of any endeavor is taking the first step, making the first decision.
This post is dedicated with love and gratitude to a very special person.
Butterfly picture courtesy Google Images