The time I was about 27, I was a mother of two beautiful twins whom I named Varna ( Slovenian for safe) and Usaha ( Indonesian for venture). They were named so because of two wacky reasons. One was my love of foreign words and second were the traits which my little babies showed me when they were very little. Some traits were common- both of them were unreasonably active, which helped a lot with the extra pounds that I gained during my pregnancy, red-faced like peeled tomatoes which they are even now and glittery-eyed as though everything they wanted was already theirs.. Some traits were however very different. My younger baby Usaha used to be very adventurous. Yes, even though she was about three weeks old then, she used to snatch the bigger ball of the two put in their bed, a little older and she used to fearlessly clap in awe when some child-lover swung her in mid-air, used to actually dive in her not-so big bath tub and showed her mommy a trailer of exactly what was she gonna be when young. My elder baby Varna however was always content with her blonde-doll, used a lot of help and a lot of people to make her comfy while she bathed teary-eyed and loved not-so mid-air adventurous. I have to admit, I used to be very scared everytime Usaha even chuckled and came running to wherever I heard her chuckle. I was very fearless about Varna though. I knew she never attempted things and never tried discovering things on her own- be it a pickle jar which was very heavy or the plastic box with Nutella which both of my kids loved. When they were one, my evenings saw me throwing my office-bag on the couch and helping their baby sitter Parul rescue Usaha from things like- the boroplus cream which my little one had just used for her shampoo, the expensive dinner plates which were all broken into pieces and my little one still giggling, all the possible napkins in the world used up for one plate of snacks which I made earlier in the day and me phoning my mother for some tips to manage this hyperactive baby of mine. “Tum room me band krke jaya kro, aur Parul ko bol do vahi rakhe use” (Lock her in one room and tell Parul to keep her in that room itself), which eventually didn’t work as Usaha didn’t have a nibble of her food without running in the whole house and a couple of other futile tricks. That’s how their childhood was. I, as I already mentioned worried about Usaha and what would she do without me. As they’ve both now become 25, quite a few things have changed.I am more worried about my elder daughter now – No, she is still the way she was when small, but now she has always opted for the safer route, never did she take any chances. Or as she puts it ” never endeavored something which I regret.” Now you might look at this statement in two ways and my Usaha and I know she makes this statement half-heartedly. As I write this in my laptop screen, Usaha comes and stands by me, analyses whatever I have written, smiles and then urges me to stop writing only to let her finish this post. ” Hi there. So here’s what I did with my life, which mom doesn’t know. By the time I was 17, I had already suffered my first heartbreak, that too from a guy I was very sure of. We spent 2 years together. He was so into me that I never thought this would happen. But that’s it. He left me for some vague reasons like he couldn’t manage time for as he was now in college, that I suddenly don’t know how to behave and I shout at him a lot. What do you think? I shouldn’t have done it? or given the choice now, would I go back and erase my past? I’d rather not. Because when I was 15, I had to make this decision – whether or not to let me discover the softer side of me. Whether or not to take this chance. I decided in an affirmative. I knew I would be a different person after this experience but everything I encountered in my life was to be taken as an experience. I chose a Literature degree at a time when people told me not to. “Jobless rhegi ladki” neighbours remarked. ( She won’t get a job). But here I am now. I blog, I tour the world with my idols Sarah and Phil Kaye for the Spoken word art of poetry.With some reasonable caution, I chose to take chances and when I look back now, I kind of have my life figured out well.
Knew not whether he’ll be a keeper, thought I’d be more feeble
After this experience, but was enriched more as I discovered my potence ,
“I could work miracles for you baby” said I, and even did; given the importance,
But he tore me apart ” I think it’s over”, it sure was
I did not cry or regret that chance of mine O friend
Now I know what one does he does not preach.
Ohh my such an important lesson to teach
Cut to when I was 19, already rejected people which my forlorn past adored ,
They would whisper sweet nothings as I stood as skeptic as a 4 year old,
who was told to jump,
Inside a big pool of water, just right in his 3rd swimming class as I became a frump,
Then this pool started brimming with experiences- some good and some pathetic,
My chances took me to crossroads, and soon I was balletic
These crossroads gave me boons, threw at me banes
made me dance away my pains,
Taught me some quick life lessons and none of them went in vain,
I’m twenty now, I instagram about
” The only chances that you regret are the ones you don’t take”
A friend cautions “Or the ones you do”
I see it like a debate of the glass being half-empty or half-full
It comes down to your own perspective.
Only to realise you could do so much about that chance once you take it,
You now have the chance to make it or break it,
Even after If it leaves you scars, you now know it was pretentious
And the next time around you’d be more cautious.
In the game called life, mediocrity will see no mastery
In the game called life, your chances will shape up your experience
In the game called life, Mediocrity will try to rope you, grope you and elope you
Into the prosaic
Whereas Mastery will stand opening her door wide open, waiting or you to grab that chance
And re-affirming that
In life when Mediocrity tells you not to believe in chances my friend,
Mastery teaches you why in life it’s not okay to think you deserve to be ordinary,
It’ll roll out a red carpet for you which no one would for a mediocre.
Try to soar, fall, learn, take that chance because
Even If it leaves you scars, you now know it was pretentious
And the next time around you’d be more cautious.
In a life full of second chances and no do-overs it’s your say”
As the mommy of Usaha comes back , Usaha backspaces all of what she has written and her mother goes back to explaining her concern for her elder daughter who has always played it safe- Varna. That is why now she has almost no experiences which taught her things. She never fell in love, never went out for an adventure, never followed her dreams to be a painter and took a Political Science degree, settled when it came down to her marriage and now when she thinks of her life she regrets not saying yes to that guy she always wanted to go out with. She wonders what it would’ve been had she gone to an Art School, her life is filled with what ifs when it comes to her dreams and choices.
Whereas Usaha sits in the nearby chair, her leg still fractured from the trip to New Zealand which she herself arranged from her Spoken word show earnings. Her life isn’t made of regrets, but experiences which she proudly calls her own. Their 52 years old mother is now more concerned about their elder daughter and hopes she discovers her wants as she sits there completing her blog post and watching the photograph of her children’s dad who eloped with his lover. He took a chance. So did she .Didn’t resort to contraceptives and managed her children on her own. He lives with his children happily and so does she. Strange are the ways of god.
“Ohh Varna I wish you were more like your parents.” she says smiling as she looks at the picture of her marriage and then at the photograph of her daughters . She was glad he happened :’)