Hey guys, the title is a shocker I know. But so is the truth most of the times. In your face and stark. And that’s what #MoreToMe is all about. I feel there’s just so much more to me, that even I have no idea. That’s why Aham Brahmasmi: the Brahmin — a seeker of knowledge (I am the proverbial sponge); the Brahma — a creator (even if it is a new pasta recipe, why not?) and the Brahmand — a vast universe of possibilities, oh yeah! Wait, something’s still missing. Let me see, hanh got it — “delightfully flawed” too. Yes, that’s it. That’s exactly how I choose to define ME. Someone even I am discovering little by little every day. It’s amazing.
At 40 plus, it’s like having this out-of-body experience, where you see yourself in a detached, un-bias light in great clarity. What is even more interesting is that you can actually see yourself in the future too, along the lines YOU choose to pursue as a woman of today — free and fearless. When I was a hosteller in DPS, R K Puram, my room-mate once gave me this innocuous-looking book mark that said: Whatever you think that you will be. If you think yourself weak, weak you will be; if you think yourself strong, strong you will be, with a picture of Swami Vivekananda on it. And I remember marvelling at the simplicity of the life-altering philosophy. Isn’t it so true guys? If YOU believe — You are not a drop in the ocean, but the entire ocean in a drop, as Rumi famously quipped. That is the power of ME — I’m a bitch, I’m a lover I’m a child, I’m a mother I’m a sinner, I’m a saint .. I do not feel ashamed. And as Meredith Brooks (bless her!) croons:
Yesterday I cried
Must have been relieved to see
The softer side
I can understand how
you’d be so confused
I don’t envy you
I’m a little bit of everything
All rolled into one…
Since we are at it, let me paint a picture for you: so I got 5 ear piercings as a 14-year-old, last year I added two tattoos too. I have NEVER lived in one place for more than 5 years at a stretch, which means I am an eternal nomad and I love it. Fiercely independent, an extrovert with a capital E, a pucca Leo and someone who “says it like it is” especially if you are my friend. Things that have got me into trouble a lot, but there you have the “delightfully flawed” bit. My friends and family have made their peace with it. Phew!
I can swear like a Jat on JD, especially while driving on Gurgaon roads, but I am also an incurable romantic. I love chunky jewellery. And loud music. And deep-fried pakoras with sugary jalebi.
What does all this tell you about me? What is the image that pops into you head?
Let me shine the spotlight on a Youtube video of Andrew-De-Leon at this stage. It’s my personal favourite ever since I chanced upon it a few years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=255qSgdEfqc&t=269s
I must have seen it many, many, many times but each time, it gives me goosebumps. As does the Susan Boyle video. Two aspects that hit me each time — the condescending smirks of the judgemental audience and then the slap in the face, as these two go on to shine on stage, and how. While you are at it, also take a sneak peek at the indomitable Bhanvari Devi as she rocks the MTV Coke Studio with her powerful vocals in Kattey. This is not to say that I am anywhere near them, oh no, but just a re-affirmation that appearances can be so very deceptive. Hence #MoreToMe!
In this wonderful forum itself there may be grandmas in traditional saris who have been in the school hockey team once upon a time, so many mums who gave up lucrative jobs to embrace domesticity, deceptively docile women who are in fact black belters or bikers, petite teenagers who have climbed the highest mountains and generally some of the finest specimens of our species going about their task — whatever it may be, with a steely resolve, mindless to worldly appreciation or recognition. That’s the me I want to be. Unfuckwithable, as my tattoo proclaims. Someone truly at peace and in touch with herself, so nothing anyone says or does bothers you, and no negativity or drama can touch you. Amen!
For now though, I thoroughly enjoy my role as mum to my teenager. As also being a foodie with a twist as I experiment with recipes and ingredients and come up with my own protien-rich quick-fixes. A birder, reveling in the beauty around me and trying to capture with my amateur lens the elusive barbets, orioles, bush chats and an occasional Jacobin cuckoo. Right here at the bio-diversity park.
An artist, dabbling in folk paintings of typical Madhubani and Gond motifs, besides bringing the Enchanted Forest alive in my adult-colouring book. A lover of the forgotten craft of cross stitch and knitting, looks like our sisters at the convent made sure the SUPW lessons got truly ingrained.
A yoga enthusiast, a journalist, a traveller, someone who absolutely enjoys a good book, a blogger, an aspiring short story writer, a fledgling green soldier, an active citizen volunteer and so much more still. It’s like even I am confused aakhir kaun hoon mein? Who really is the true me?
Is it a Hindu trying to understand the deeper meaning of my chosen “ism” as much through S Radhakrishnan’s The Hindu View of Life as Khushwant Singh’s We Indians, even as I look forward to Tharoor’s Why I am a Hindu. Or a typical “housewife” going about her chores as a mum, wife, daughter… Or perhaps a woman at the cusp of a new awakening!
I think I’ll latch on to that last thought. A thought that holds so much promise, power, providence and positivity. Bahut bhari ho gaya na? So on a lighter note let me end by raising my glass to the poster on my door: Yes I am — temperamental, classy, bitchy, hungry, messy, stylish, unpredictable, cool, offensive, sarcastic, original: it’s called being a WOMAN. Cheers girls!!!
(Written in Momspresso)