I remember how, when I was five-ish, and spent the afternoons filling Paati’s ears with my stories, she would say, “Think good thoughts, for yourself and others. Go ahead and wish for what you want. There’s a guardian angel sitting on your right shoulder, listening, waiting to make all your dreams come true”.
Of course she said that in Tamizh, Mi, and I never questioned her about why the right shoulder and not the left, and believed her. I had no reason not to. Those days, my secret wishes revolved around getting an extra Marie biscuit when she opened the cupboard at 2 pm to pay the milkman, or a bar of Cadburys chocolate, which would magically appear by my pillow when I woke up. I also wished to eat an entire pack of Parle’s glucose biscuits, and to pop that egg shaped candy we used to get at the corner bakery.
Fast forward 5 years and I was 10 years old. All I could think of was getting away from their house back to Paati because I always felt hungry and miserable. Funnily, respite came the very next year when I got shunted off to a boarding school in another city, and what a relief it was. The next year, my wish came true, and we were both back with Paati in yet another city. I like to think of that time as our Golden Age, a la Ashoka’s reign. It felt like God was in her heaven and all was right with the world. Life was simple, perfect and happy.
Of course, then I grew up.
Fast forward another 14 years and we were back in our favorite city. I had a job, and we were rather broke most of the time, or at least the last ten days of the month. Even so, it didn’t stop us from dreaming, Mi. You’d encourage me to make wishlists and put a date against each item. Two days later you’d urge me to think about how I was going to achieve it. Who knew you were imparting a loving lesson on successful goal setting at the time? You were amused to see my wishlist – it had a refrigerator, a 14# black and white TV, a cupboard, a moped and 5000 Rs. In the bank. Such lofty desires!
But writing down that list helped me get there and meet the “deadlines” I had set.
Over the years, as life changed, and priorities changed, my wishful thinking has taken a different turn.
Earning a good income was once focused on survival, now I want to earn to donate to charities and I like myself for working hard towards that goal and enjoying it.
We thought dreaming of Vidur’s admission into a good college/course was a bit beyond our reach, but were overjoyed when he got into the place we most wished for, by his own efforts minus extra coaching
I wished to meet The Dalai Lama and I still can’t believe it happened in less than 20 days of wishing it last year – seems like a beautiful dream, except it wasn’t, because I can still feel the loving pressure of his grip when he put his arm around us and held our hands to pose for our photo. I wish you had been there, Mi.
And a long list of other things I didn’t even imagine would come true.
Today, I am content. Of course, the daily freaking out over managing my time properly does not count. I’ve learned to accept that it is quite okay not to check off everything on my to-do list. I have stopped feeling guilty about relaxing and reading a book when I feel like it. I’ve learned to live and enjoy the present moment, just as you always advised me to. Most of all, I’ve stopped worrying about the things that will not matter in the long run.
You were always right, you know, about your faith that things always work out, one way or other. I feel sheepish when I think about how I argued with you and how each one ended with you smiling serenely and saying, “One day you’ll think about this and know what I meant”. Sometimes I can’t get over how nice you were in spite of all the shit you went through in life.
Yes, I believe now that Universe is always listening. Everything is possible. Nothing is impossible. Maybe even Paati was right about the angel on my right shoulder. And oh yeah, the harder I work, the luckier I get!
My biggest goal at this point is spring-cleaning and transforming our home before the year is out and I really wish you were around to cheer me on, making those endless cups of coffee and laughing over the silliest things. It is so hard to do it alone.
I am proud to be with Team Crimson Rush