Saturday, July 26, 2014

Of Faces and Of Masks

It’s so easy to assume that you know someone. Know, as in not where they live or what they do or who are their family members. But what they believe in, what their reactions to certain  things could be or whom they would approve or disapprove of. But if that person suddenly changes in such a fashion that they seem to be a stranger to you, then what do you make of it? Did you make a mistake in understanding them? Are they actually so good in camouflaging their real self? Are they confused as to who they really are? Or are they so easily manipulated?

At 26, I don’t claim to be a very good judge of characters, for I am susceptible to “first impressions” and “benefits of doubt”. I may get the hunch that a person is not trustworthy, but I scold myself on being disbelieving at the first glance. However, more often than not, I am cheated by the person or witness them cheating someone. And then I wonder, who is right? The ‘me’ trusting the intrinsic goodness in people, or the ‘me’ detecting the ‘out-of-place’-ness in that person.

For my whole life, or for the last 14years, I have been ridiculed at for being meticulous about my nails, or my hair or my appearance by a certain someone. And now, after being in company with a new person for the last few months, I am rather confused seeing the person completely changed, with stylish nail-art, straightened hair, and makeup that they had always jeered at. So, what should I make of it?

An experienced friend of mine opined that some people are rather brilliant at pretensions, and they make it so believable that they themselves confuse the thin line between appearance and reality. So is this it? All those clever lectures, all those books, all those philosophies – coming to this? Confused pretensions? And should I be proud that at least I have the courage to look into the mirror and differentiate between the mask and the face that I carry? But today I don’t quite feel happy being proud, because today I realize that I have basically failed in understanding the basic nature of one of the people I assumed closest to me.

I still would like to believe that whoever they are, they may be happy in whatever world they have built for themselves. After all, it was my mistake that I couldn’t understand who they are, and I don’t blame anybody for pretending anything. After all, we all pretend. Some of us can identify the face and the mask, and some get trapped in their own web. The latter are the sadder kind, I believe.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

"She is my friend. She's my family. My insides"

So, as I am in her home for the weekend - after spending an eventful yesterday with herself and her mother,  shopping more and more in the various parts of the city – and sitting at her laptop, choosing the songs to be played during the various ceremonies before the wedding, I wonder. I wonder when did she become an important part of my life?

I met her more than 14 years ago, and was introduced to her through a girl who went on to be a close part of my life. But this story is not about her. This is about the girl who was not really my friend. She was my friend’s friend. And in the years following, we had been through quite a lot – good and bad. Silly quarrels, gossips, tuition together, being crazy in our own stupid ways. We bonded, and we fell apart. This time it wasn't quite silly. It was serious. But may be one fine morning, I realized that she is more important to me than whatever important reason had forced us to stay apart. It was a tough decision for me to take, but today I can say with immense pride that I had made the correct decision that day to meet her and then visit her place.

And then her family members became my family members as well. Her sister is no less than a sister to me. Her parents know that they have the right to correct me and scold me if and when required. And she is the little part of my heart which is anxious whenever it remembers that she will move to a faraway city very soon. And this time, there won’t be any turning-back-of-time. This time, we are actually growing up and this time I am ready to accept it.

So, who is she? She is the person to keep in me alive a part of my childhood. All of us should have that one person who is not the lover, not the best friend, not the sister – who is the 'soulmate'. She is that soulmate of mine. She is that friend who knows when to keep quiet and when to burst out. She is the one whose imminent absence makes me anxious for I don’t know what I will do without her.

She has found the man of her dreams, and I have never seen her so constantly happy. She smiles without reason. Even if she’s cross at something, if I take his name, she can’t help but break into a shy smile. She is one of the toughest people I have ever known. Tough, resilient, optimistic and practical. But she has this huge warm heart and that’s her biggest strength. She is the real Superwoman!

And when she was trying on the various benarasi sarees last week, I wondered how can the laws of the land allow such a cute doll to get married! Shouldn't they keep her in some glass doll-house, or something? But that’s the problem. This girl, who apparently looks like a doll and loves to get pampered, is a tough cookie inside. She doesn't give up on her dreams and ambitions, even though things might get rough or alluring to some other direction. And does she hold her ground!

I shouldn't lengthen this post any more, for I can go on writing about her, but that doesn't quite mean that I will have written it all. So, Debjani Chatterjee, you are complete in yourself, and you have crafted your own place in my heart among all the other people in such a way that this is ‘love actually’!