To tell you the truth, I think I was robbed. Now, I say ‘I think’ because it may have been a mistake on my part. Let me explain to you my disorientation.
My life was simple; it has always been this way. Everything I ever wanted was tangible – new dolls, new shoes, new phones; and that is how I like things. Materialistic, it may be, but I have learnt something, if not nothing, in these past 17 years- it is easier to place your consumerist desires before you dig deep and understand what you really want, what can’t be bought by money; what makes the inner you happy, not the superficial side of you.
Because as a child, tiny and annoying as I was, nothing made me happier than a new doll. Despite the hours spent in convincing and selecting, I understand today that it wasn’t just the doll that I loved so much. It was the experience of it all. Childhood. The comfort I felt, circling my grubby hands around my father’s wrist, and walking with him from one end of the aisle to the other, brows creased in confusion – is she the one? But are you sure?
And I have always been shrouded by this comfort. Home. Food on my plate, a roof over my head, and family and friends that love me as much as I love them. This warmth to me means many things: solace, happiness and luxury. The smell of rain, cuddled up in the thickest blanket with my nose buried in my favourite book; twisting open the wrappers of Dairy Milk and spoon-fighting our way to get the last bit of ice cream.
Do you remember the times when we made our own version of cricket, complete with a new, revised set of rules and regulations – only to discover how silly they all were when we came back to it years later? Or the times when we sat for hours on end, without a purpose, discussing where the ‘next big vacation destination’ would be? The detailed analysis of every member of One Direction?
Can you recall the time when you nursed me back to health, untangling my hair and dressing me when I didn’t even have the power in me to lift my own glass of water? When you promised you wouldn’t bring me back a souvenir from your trip, and you very diligently kept that promise? Or that day when you pushed me into the van and realized immediately that you were going to regret this for the rest of your life? Do you ever think about our cuddles on the tiny bed, squeezed against each other to watch MasterChef on your tiny phone screen? I know you do.
I know you remember, and I know this is just as difficult for you. Thank you for being my comfort for these 17 years, and for the rest of my life. Thank you for being my home. This is what I have been robbed of. And my mistake- not realizing it sooner, but I have understood it now, and am grateful for all the memories we share and are going to share.
And at the end of the day, the roof can be frail, the food unpalatable, but as long as I have you to fall back on, I know I’ll be okay.
Written by Nandini Sethi