What does the photograph on the mantelpiece mean to you? A broken remnant of a faded dream? A hazy memory from an intangible past? Who is the woman whose smile is captured perennially in reel, whose eyes look at you but never see you? The first breath of air that you took when you came into this world was my last. Memories have ways of becoming independent of the reality they evoke. So, come child, come close to me. Close your eyes, open your heart and hear me. Come, listen to your Mother.
When will you utter your first word? What would it be? Ma? How would you take your first baby steps? I wont be by your side as time and life shape you. It wont be my lullaby that would gently rock you to sleep. I always knew you would be a girl. I always knew you would be Anupama.
Yes, you will pine for a mother but would you want me? How can you? How can a woman whose is nothing but a part of a miasma provoke any emotion in you? How would you carve me in your mind…. would you smell my perfumes to know how I smelt, touch my clothes with your skin to feel how I felt like, my heels on your little feet to picture how I walked? Incidents shared by alien people related by blood ties….. would they be your memories of me? A voice on the recorder, would that be my voice?
A kaleideoscope of images is embedded in the mind leaving no space for coherence or clarity :- your sweet voice- music, harmony, bliss, your delightful gurgles, pink fingers, pink toes, sublime smile, dainty lace frocks, eyes that revealed wonder, joy, angst, frolic, eyes that substitute for speech, the first word, the first tear, the first sneeze, the first fight, the first ride, the first school bag, the first bruise, the first fear, the first nursery rhyme, the turbulence of adolescence, heartbreak, love, love, heartbreak, graduation, marriage…….my presence-poignant in its absence.
Sorry. I feel so incapacitated, how does one shape eternity into a wish, into a prayer…….
But you must close your eyes, I implore, open your soul and feel me. You’ll feel me everywhere. I am enmeshed in the air that you breathe, scattered on the earth that you tread on. I’ll flow down your cheeks as tears when you are despairing. I’ll ring in your ears as laughter when you are jubilant. In your celebrations, in your exasperations, in your trials, in your conquests, my love would be manifold. In gaiety, in despair, in quietude, in solitude, everywhere and anywhere you’d find me.
I would not want to negotiate with pain, adversity, betrayal and injustice on your behalf. Have them in your life for whatever measure is deemed fit by them. Prosperity would be even dearer, hope even stronger and love even more precious. Life is a heady concoction of a myriad emotions and feelings. Do not hesitate to consume it till the last drop. Live.
I was not someone great. My presence could not make or mar governments; I could not change parliaments or laws; my words did not influence millions, I did not write verses, my opinions and notions were not so important in magnitude that newspapers or journals would quote them, I was not a messiah for the oppressed nor did I make millions. But I feel, I know, I have created history because I made You and gave You to this world.
There will come a point in your life when you would know that there is nothing stronger, potent and more powerful than love. This life giving seed is what makes an individual. This is the prop to pass the test. Let love be the epicenter of your being. Never let it erode away. Never stop trusting and believing in Him. There is no salvation for the ignorant and God abandoned.
I want you to have beauty. Not too much of it. Not the beauty that captivates, allures and disillusions. Beautiful women consider beauty as a sufficient end. This beauty gives them the power- the power to manipulate- the power to deceive. Have the beauty, which mirrors the innocence of your soul. Beauty- the less talked about, the better felt.
But it still makes me ache, thinking whether you would have my eyes… would your brow burrow like His when you concentrate….God forbid, if you have my nose I’d writhe in anguish! What a colossal waste it would be if you didn’t get His Roman nose!
May you be granted serenity. The serenity, which makes you, accept all joys with grace. The serenity, which makes you sail through ordeal and sorrow with patience and forbearance. They say a woman is born three hundred years old. She is born with wisdom. Use this wisdom to your discretion. Never let indifference and complacency touch you in any way. Let there be zeal and enthusiasm for the smallest of things you do.
Acquaint yourself with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, an indomitable spirit for enquiry, invincible courage for the unknown and confidence and conviction to see every challenge through. Form opinions and voice thoughts that are your own, not of others.
Whatever you do, do it with passion and interest. Feel anger if you want. Feel pain, feel frustration, feel bitterness, feel hatred but never never feel apathy towards anyone or anything.
Apathy lets us feel that it is the cocoon. Its not. Its vacuum- where nothing can breed.
Learn, imbibe, study and then judge for yourself. Don’t let books or people give you your notions of right and wrong, of virtue and vice. Live and learn it yourself.
My Darling Daughter, let your life be like the beacon that guides a lost ship to the harbor. Let your deeds be like little lamps in the darkness that is slowly but surely engulfing the world. Let your existence be like the lighthouse that steadies those gone astray. Let a man find fulfillment in you. Let a child find its haven in your embrace. Let your heart felt smile light up the lives of many.
This, my dearest daughter is my sincere prayer for you.