I have seen people idolizing famous entities but I am never able to idolize one. I still remember the last day of my school. Excited I went to my favourite teacher to take an autograph and what she wrote seemed to be written on my heart. She wrote “Dear Priyanka, always try to search the good in others and the bad in you.”... It became kind of a voice that echoed in my mind every time I’d meet someone. And then I would spend some time writing about what impressed me about that very person and that soon became a habit which also guided me through my path.
And then I remember meeting one of my best friends. I was giving my medical entrance exams. A few days ago I met with a little accident and my knee was so bruised that I could not walk. I was not well prepared, and somehow I knew I could escape the exam. Better to not appear than to appear with a humiliation. The day of exam while waiting for the entry to the examination centre my eyes suddenly saw a girl. A girl my age, slim and somehow I could not take my eyes off her face. Her face was almost half burnt. She was standing very confidently. I saw she wore no scarf to hide it. I was kind of staring at her, observing the very details of her face and thinking a million questions. Who was she? Where did she come from? What happened to her?? I wanted to step out of my car, talk to her, and ask her out loud “What happened to you?” ... but I could find no courage. I knew the feeling. When someone would ask me of my mom’s death, I would be so hurt that it felt impossible to be able to breathe at the time. Something horrible obviously happened to her, if I asked directly this would hurt her.
I was thinking all this and suddenly I saw my dad talking to the guy who came with her. In the meanwhile she approached towards me. “Oh Shit!! She is coming here only. Stop staring Prerna” I said to myself and quickly moved my gaze back to my books and pretended that I was reading.
“Hi.” She said enthusiastically. “You study at the maths coaching centre in gurgaon??” she asked me. First thing I noticed was her amazing enthusiasm and her beautiful smile which got me a little hesitant, nervous and a little doubtful. She knows where I take coaching from, I wondered. “Hi. How do you know?” I asked. .. “I also go there, a different batch probably coz I have never seen you there”. “Okay, so you from gurgaon?” .. I enquired a few more questions to find that she lived near my house. And yet I had never seen her before.
But that got me one step closer to being friends with her. Exam was postponed luckily. I offered her a ride back home and she agreed. While in car my dad asked her about the burn. “Thank god!! Papa asked. I just didn’t have the nerve to ask. Now I can know without feeling bad.” I thought to myself.
In a monotonous, calm n composed manner she replied... “A few years ago, a cylinder burst in our kitchen. I was in class 7th and was with my mother. I lost her in the accident and got burnt.”
All this time I was staring at her face. Calm composed confident. Ask me about my mother, first thing I do is cry. How come she was not crying? How come she felt so normal? She then turned to me and said “sometimes people look at me like I’m some kind of a miserable thing. Like it’s something creepy. It feels bad. But It’s okay, I am now used to it.” It was then I realized I had been staring at her since the moment I saw her, although I never found her creepy but the fact that I was staring felt embarrassing. “You never thought of getting a surgery??” I asked. .. “I will. The burn is deep. But I have planned surgery In future. Looks are very important today. Set aside a lover, you won’t even get a job with that.: she said pointing towards her burn. “But I plan to get the surgery done with my own money” she further said.
Back home I wrote the key points that touched me.
· “Looks are VERY important. Set aside a lover, I won’t even get a job If I don’t have one.”
· “Always have the confidence to face things even if you know you will not get considered.” and
· “Never lose your confidence no matter how compromised you are”.
Since I lost my mother, I have felt that I was highly compromised. A handicap I would feel within myself especially when someone would point at it. And this girl... she lost her mother too. There was something about her that suddenly linked me to her. My father always taught me a phrase “A man cried when he had no shoes, but he stopped crying when he saw a man with no legs.”It is still my favourite quote. But that moment I felt like this. Exactly like this. I had been feeling that I have a huge sorrow to cope up with, and I had no clue as to what should I designate hers. I wanted to know her more, spend more time with her, wanted to see her laugh like wild wind. Something about her just linked to my soul.
Soon we became good friends. We shared our mother’s pictures, stories, studied together, had lots of fun and soon she became one of my best friends and one of the person I would look at when I would start losing myself. “I extract courage from you when I start losing mine. I think about you and my courage magically comes back” I once said to her and she would always tell me “Prerna! you are very creative. A person who is creative has the power to create. Don’t let your talent go waste.”
Down the years she completed her graduation, post graduation, lives independently (not a dependent one) , now started her company with her hard earned money and plans surgery in the near future. She highly idolizes Roger frederer. I could never understand what made her follow him like an obsession that was sometimes highly irritating but her liking never ends. She says I’m Roger’s biggest Fan. He is at the top and he works hard to stay at the top.
Another thing I added to the list... “Hard work”, “Inspiration”.
While I was in class 12, My principal asked the meaning of my name on my birthday. I said smiling “Sir, It means Inspiration”. He asked further “Are you the inspiration or you take inspiration from others??” .. I thought for a moment and replied “Sir, Its both the ways.”
Yes! It’s both the ways. I idolize no celebrities but I take inspiration from everyone around me. They are my angels my mother said, that inspire me and guide me through my way. At the end of the day, when I count my blessings I feel proud to have my life filled with beautiful angels, lots of angels.
My this post is also a dedication to my friend so that she knows that she is one of the inspiring angels in my life. I thank you for being there. And now please don’t cry.