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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cruel as the Grave...

I was reading a mail from my Dost today…and in there he said… “I am a bit jealous too!!!”…now before you all start assuming what he might have been jealous for…let me tell you..with a bit of a Halo around my head…He was jealous of me…lols….Yeah..as per him…he likes my blogs and my writing style..and he felt jealous on that…

So, while I was reading his mail…one face came to my eyes…a face that I haven't seen for more than 10-12 years...Its been years, that I haven’t thought of her…She was a good friend of mine from the age of 10 and we were in same school till Age 15…the meaning of her name was Light; so lets call her so….but somehow, from the first day I met her…I always thought that was the only thing she missed in her life…Light…Light of Love…Light of Affection…Light of Intelligence...and so on…She was a beautiful singer…apart from that she was inactive in anything and everything…

Now the irony of her life was her Mom…Just opposite to her character, Aunty was like a Super Hero in the field of Art, Literature and Popularity …. to be frank…’Light’ always reminded me of Cinderella and Aunty to be the step mother…bcoz the horrifying abusive stories that Light used to share with me, really made me believe that indeed Aunty was a Monster…(till date, I don’t know if what she said was right…still….) Light used to come to school daily with new marks on her body…Red marks of Trouser Belts…or Burnt skin…wounds etc etc…and she sadly claimed all of them to be gifted by her mom…

When asked for a reason…there was none…sometimes for walking slowly…sometimes for not sitting straight…sometimes for talking…sometimes for not talking…and so on…daily I would sit and listen to these stories and feel sad for her…Many a times I wished I could take her home and let her live with me… which was impossible…This was a preface to my main story…

[About me…I really need to tell you about me to understand the cause of the whole story…I was an extreme extrovert and tomboyish from school days…As my mom would rightfully say… “I had skin of a rhino or hippo…”…as I had no fear to get into any thing and everything… The truth was… “With the motto of bunking the maximum number of classes, daily I thought of excuses to not attend lectures…Instead I started participating in any contest or competition held anywhere in or around my school…”…Thus, I became a singer, dancer, guitarist, painter, poet, athlete and what not…I just started looking for new ways to bunk school or classes… and to some extend, I was excelled in the items and managed to bring atleast one of the first three prizes in the contests…
For fear of low marks in school, I had to even study well for exams…else I could have experienced some marks on my body too…hehe!!! My mom would have seen to it…lol!!! So, even after all these extra curricular activities…I used to get above average marks too… All this attributed for myself being a pet of the teachers and nuns of my school….]


Now, the above was not boasting…but I had to tell you that…bcoz in one way or other…directly or indirectly…I play the “Villain” of this story…lol!!! Poor Me…

Anyways, that was a longggggggg preface…

Now, Let me get into my story…So it so happened, Light’s mom started comparing her daughter with me… and she was really irritated on the fact that her daughter was quiet and not so active…to add it up, Light never managed to even score decent marks in exams…and the worst part of all this was 'they were a distant relative of my cousin’s family'…At times Aunty used to tell me that Light is so irresponsible…and I used to support Light and at times tried helping her in her studies…

But as days passed, I started seeing extra marks on her body whenever I accomplished something…If I scored high marks, Light got another slap or burnt mark…If I won a prize in a dance competition, Light came to school with wounds all around her hands or ears…When we have parties and when Aunty sees me dancing; I could witness aunty pinching Light’s hand as long as blood oozed out…I could see her pushing Light towards the dancing floor…and Light used to just come and stand there at the centre of the floor as if SHE WAS LOST…

I knew, there was some problem…but Light never said anything…with me, Aunty used to soooo much like Darling talks…she never behaved indifferent with me…but still marks on Light’s body hurt me and to tell the truth…many a times I prayed to god wishing Aunty would change some day...

Years passed…when it was time for our public exam results…using her political influence Aunty got me my results…(which I had never asked for…and God knows, how she had my ID number…)…She happily announced that I got a 90% for the exam…I wondered, why she had to take the extra step to find my results through the back door…uhmm…anyways…it did ease of some tension of waiting for the results…lol!!!

After that…almost 3 years passed before I saw Light again…She had changed…enormously…She wore highly fashionable clothes…with heavy makeup…and extremely talkative…I was hurrying as I was on my way for some urgent issue…Still I asked her…How was she and Aunty…and even asked her how was her daughter…(ok, now the story is…soon after our 10th public exam…she joined a school…and then she eloped with their college peon… but soon found her way back home with a baby on hand…I had heard this story through some friends….) I didn’t wanted to ask her WHAT and WHY about her marital life…but still for courtesy I enquired about her daughter…

I still remember, the way Light spoke to me…She spoke with an aura of pride and self confidence in her…she told me what she was doing…and her daughter was fine and was at home with a servant…As I was observing the vast change in my “Light”… she continued…

“Dear, do you know something…I have never told you this...My life was hell always because of mom’s extreme expectation about me…and to worsen the situation you came by…and my life became Devilishly Hell with your presence in my Mom’s Head…She was always comparing me with you and always hated you…She was angry evry time you won a prize or got good marks…she was suffocated at the fact that you scored 90% while I score less than 50%... It was hell for me… ”

I was shocked…I wondered…Me…???

She continued… Yeah, I know, you were always sweet to me…and that’s why I never wanted to tell you all this then…I never wanted to hurt you as you were my only relief those days…Do you know…My mom even always used to Wish that U WERE DEAD…and she even prayed hard for that…Whenever she was talking sweetly to you, at heart she was cursing you...”

I was dead-struck…I couldn’t belive my ears…as Light continued…

“Don’t Worry Dear….I never wished for that and always prayed that mom’s wish shouldn’t be granted…and all my life, I will pray for your good…Mom was just envying your parents…She was JEALOUS…jealous from the core of her heart…I just wanted to tell this to you some day...”

Once she said that, a tear rolled down her eyes and she walked off…I stood there…I was Lost…I didn't stop her to ask for any clarification...neither I needed any...I knew, maybe, she wanted to clear off some sort of guilty feeling from her heart…and I am sure she succeeded in that…and I am happy she did it…

But then…a question that I still ask is…Can Jealousy grow to that extent where you would pray for the death of some other parents’ child…Can it grow to this extent where one could hurt her own child…Can it be called Jealousy towards another or Over-Love towards your own…No answers…As it says in the Bible… “Jealousy is Cruel as the Grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire”

But, now I understand and realize the essence of Lawrence Durrell’s words.

“It is not Love that is blind, but Jealousy…”

6 comments:

anupama said...

Dear Anamika,
Good Evening!
Wishing you a bright and colourful Holi!
Today I should not have read your post,as I was in high spirits till now,in masti mood of the festival of spring.
Jealousy creates unpleasant and bitter experience beyond one's imagination!I have suffered in my workplace as I am hyper active!
Learning lessons in a harder way for being so active,I can relate very well.
Hey,Anamika,let us be back into the fun mood.
A beautiful March awaits........
Sasneham,
Anu

Jzt 4 me... said...

Dear Anu,

So Sorry...I really missed that it was the festive spirit...but this was prepared on 28th...and I posted without any thoughts...

But then...hey, u can see good side of the story...My friend was a relived off a pain she was bearing in her heart...I am still alive(aunty's curses didnt work...)...I am absolutely doing well...still the same old active lady...

And trust me Anu, such memories cannot be erased off...they wont be cherished...but will stay in my memories..bcoz they r things that had touched my life in some way...positive or negative...

I learnt a lesson...But not that I shouldnt be active...I still remained the "ME" I am...but I learnt the biggest lesson of "HOW ONE SHOULDNT FEEL ABOUT ANOTHER PERSON'S SUCCESS"...HOW ONE SHOULDNT BE TORTURING OWN CHILD DUE COMPARISONS...and such positive lessons...I am sure, I would never be so to my kid...and will always feel happy for the success for any kids in this world...

So Be what u r...change urself to the better-IF U WISH...and just keep ur parents' happiness in your behaviour and NO ONE else in this world is reason enough for you to change...

Happy Holi...

KParthasarathi said...

I liked this sentence.
So Be what u r...change urself to the better-IF U WISH NO ONE else in this world is reason enough for you to change...

Your dost must have said that he was a bit jealous to drive home the point in a light hearted manner that you write extremely well.He could hv used envy.Thanks to him we have a fine post.
The jealousy exhibited by aunty is of a different variety,a very despicable trait,of being ready even to lose one eye if the other guy loses both.

Penny Manning said...

[i]I have never told you this...My life was hell always because of mom’s extreme expectation about me…and to worsen the situation you came by…and my life became Devilishly Hell with your presence in my Mom’s Head…She was always comparing me with you and always hated you…She was angry evry time you won a prize or got good marks…she was suffocated at the fact that you scored 90% while I score less than 50%... It was hell for me… ”[/i]

I can relate to that. My grandmother (who raised me) would compare me to my sister (who lived with my mother)--"How come you can't be like her?" By the time I was nine, I was regularly hearing that I was stupid, that I didn't measure up to some other person. There was a young girl who moved into our building. I like her, she was very bright for her age--like an old soul--and we had an instant connection an got along well. Next thing I knew Ma was comparing me to someone way younger than me. Everyone was smarter than me and more streetwise. Naturally all this hurt my feelings and my self-esteem nose-dived and by the time I was a teen, I was practically a juvenile delinquent.

Even now at 47, I feel inferior to others in a culture that hates brown-skinned people and ridicules those of low income. But I did manage to recover some of my confidence, thanks to college and my writing skills (which has won me praise).

It is sad that society doesn't teach people how to channel their feelings better. We hold people to strict dogmas of what success and accomplishment is and feel worthless when we are told we don't measure up. Another thing is that parents and guardians tend to live their lost youth and unrealised dreams through the lives of our kids and charges, pushing them to achieve and measure up where the parents and guardians had failed. Sad to measure our success as people by the success and failure of another. I do it. Perhaps we all do to some extent.

Thank you for sharing the story; it was thought-provoking.

Jzt 4 me... said...

Penny,

I can understand you...even if I was active in everything, still mom used to have this comparison...its typical of all parents I suppose...But then atleast I didnt flop it up completely with his expectations...When I score a 70% in exams she would ask me, if they could get 80 then why couldnt u...when I get 80...she would ask why not 90...lol...

There is no limits for our personal wishes and hopes...soo...I had to accept it...

Hope atleast, I doesnt turn into one such comparing mother to my kid...but to be frank..I can see one in me already...lol!!!

Jzt

SindhuBhairavi said...

Hi Anamika..

It was nice reading you.. ya somewhere the heart goes heavy thinking of how that girl would have suffered.. i think todays youth is more mature as we do have a lot of informative mails that come around that helps one to be a mature parent.. just giving birth to a kid doesnt make one a mother.. or a parent.. alas there are many who torture kids on comparison.. i pray they grow up some day!

take care..