I turn 37 today. It sounds like I am getting old. The white hair strands are becoming more visible, the physical strength of the body diminishing a little. People still tell me I don’t look my age and I like that compliment. Almost always, children call me aunty. It does not sound odd any more. To look back at the years seems like such a long journey. I heard a dialogue in a movie which said, how many days do you remember in your 30 year life? I want to count some of those today.
– I remember the day my uncle had a baby. I now had someone to call a brother. I was not the only child any more. I learnt sharing.
– I remember the day I first heard the word ‘divorcee’ being used for mom. I did not know what it meant then. I just remember the pain in mom’s eyes and the silence in her words.
– I remember the day adults fought around me at home. I felt helpless and wanted them to be aware where each other was coming from.
– I remember the day I stood second in Delhi CBSE. That my photograph could come in newspapers was not even my wildest dream.
– I remember the day I almost burnt myself on a Diwali.
– I remember the first day of my working life. I felt liberated.
– I remember the day my father called me and told me he wanted to meet me. It was one of the biggest dilemmas of my childhood life.
– I remember the day I got my first salary. I bought something for everyone at home. The money was still not exhausted.
– I remember the day I lost my grandpa. That was the first time I encountered death in its true sense.
– I remember the day I bought my first house. A dream I cherished forever. A house without a home loan was a big achievement and totally unfathomable till a few years back.
– I remember the day I lost my granny. I knew it was coming and yet even today, it is hard to think she is gone.
– I remember the day I graduated from IIM-Calcutta. It was an honor to study there and make some friends for life. It was a day my mom was around to celebrate her life, when all her struggles came together.
– I remember the day I had my first heartbreak. It seemed the world would end there.
– I remember the day I took my first international flight and got a free upgrade to the business class. I was flying!
– I remember the day my mom had no money to pay my fees. I just knew I needed to get into corporate life, so we could have lots of money.
– I remember the day I got my first phone. I could now speak to anyone anytime.
– I remember the day me and mom fought so badly that we said we did not want to see each other ever again. I hurt her very much with my words.
– I remember the day I held the first copy of my first book in my hand. The autographs I needed to do made me feel like a celebrity.
– I remember the day my brother met with an accident. It was his birthday and we were thankful that God gave us a chance to celebrate it.
– I remember the day I went on my first overnight trip with my friends.
– I remember the day someone I had been in love was to get married to, left me on the morning of the marriage because his parents threatened to kill themselves . It took me years to forgive and move on.
– I remember the day I met Suresh. The journey of my second book began with this humbling experience of meeting a completely visually impaired person passing out of IIM-Calcutta. my notion of disabled changed forever.
– I remember the day I left a job not because I wanted to but because the toxicity was draining me.
– I remember the day I got connected to ‘Pick-a-Fight’. This was my first work in the social sector.
– I remember the day when mom was diagnosed with Asthma. Life has not been the same since then.
– I remember the day I realized I needed to love myself first before I could love others.
– I remember the day I moved cities. To convince myself about the move was so difficult and needed to let go of many fears.
– I remember the day I first met someone for an arranged alliance. It all felt so odd.
– I remember the day I first met my life partner. The connect was so instant that everything that followed was obvious.
– I remember the day my life partner met with an accident. I was so scared of my bad luck spilling on him. II felt guilty and responsible for his accident.
– I remember the day we bought our cycles. The cycle makes me feel like a child.
– I remember the day I saw a strand of white hair and I was called an aunty. It gradually sunk in.
– I remember the day I witnessed a road accident. The whole body was gone in a second. Who was he, what was his journey; I would never know.
– I remember the day someone close to me was diagnosed with COVID. That they recovered is a miracle and a gift of God.
– I remember the day I felt failure was ok, it was ok to be not perfect.
– I remember the day I got a review of my second book in my mailbox. Someone saaid they were on the verge of suicide and the book made them change their mind.
– I remember the day I got married. It was THE most beautiful day of my life. A day after which I have never felt alone.
(37 days from 37 years. To be continued.. )