It took me years to fit my own age. At age 16, the world went around saying how mature I was for my age. That probably went to my head. Because on the threshold of a new decade in my life and I still feel 15.
Working in the real world, experimenting with relationships, living alone, living in, having a baby — all that has got to take a toll on you right? Like a mango tree that stops being weighed down by too much fruit with each passing year. But in my head it doesn’t feel like I’ve gone and lived an adult life.
I am still shocked when I meet really tiny kids and they tell me they are in class 12of the school I studied in. I still think monthly facials are for older women. I look at number 30, and it’s just that to me — a number. I don’t see the big fuss.
What does drive home the point these days is when people expect grown up things from me. Or when I put myself in my mother’s shoes — which I have done very often since Shyama arrived — and realise damn, at my age she had an 8-year old daughter. Or when I fill out restaurant suggestion cards that put you in a whole different bracket.
I don’t know if it’s all the frosty windows and super nice warm clothing that you see in the movies (if you live in India, that is) but Christmas season anywhere is truly magical. (Even in Mauritius where it comes bang in the middle of summer and therefore the Christmas trees there are mostly golden. Yum!) I even imagine the smell of baking when I put on my Sinatra CD of Christmas carols.
This season I hope to recall all the people in the last year that have meant something to me. I plan to write them a note telling them how much I appreciate them or the thing they did for me. My list gets longer each day and I suddenly thank god for giving me such magic in my life.
Ever wonder what happens if you had made a different decision from the one made when you came at a crossroad? I do. Of course I can never see the answer but it’s a nice a journey. I see 20 kgs less, I see higher heels, I see more money, I see a different language, I see the sea. Other times I see an empty house, addictive behavior, I see cigarette hair and voice. Both seem romantic, but at the end of that little mind-detour, Shyama smiles and I love being where I am.
I don’t know where Bombay is going to go from here. Or India. I hate to think we won’t all have normal lives but I hate it even more to think that we will go back to our lives when this mess is cleaned up. That’s not indomitable spirit, that’s freezing over. For good. That’s death.