Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Letters Unsent- to the person who lead me on the course of self revelation, my cousin

Hi Lathi,

Life is strange. One minute you see a teenager bite her nails, shy to face the world and the next moment you find her taking over the world.

Well, you must be wondering what has got over me. Why I am writing thus? Dear Lathi, its only that today while going through my collection of Certificates, certificates collected over the years in literary events that I thought of you. In fact I must say these are ‘courtesy you’. I still vividly remember the day you dragged me into the English Department in my first year of college, registered my name for the “Wildlife Elocution Competition.” I was furious. The ride home saw me in a black mood. But you were cool as ever. That night we had a great fight. But in the end you prevailed upon me. You reminded me of Dad’s parting words at the railway station just before he saw me off to college miles and miles away from him. You reminded me that he wished I shed my shyness, my aversion to the limelight and sharpen my skills, my talent. In fact you virtually blackmailed me by reminding me of my all time Hero, my Dad. You knew how much I adored him and also knew that I could do anything to make him proud. Finally you won.

Do you still remember that big day, the day I first stepped before the mike? My, what a day! The hall was packed to capacity. Speaker after speaker, all seniors doing their graduation, came and went. Standing alone in one corner of the corridor, tense and trembling I heard them speak. I wanted to run away. But my legs would not move an inch. But all the time you were there with me providing me the much needed support. Or was it that you were afraid I would really sneak away? Were you keeping guard over me? I have often wondered. Only you can answer.

Finally, the call came. I took a deep breath and moved as if in a daze. But then the smiling faces helped me ease a bit. Many were awestruck as I could see from their faces. This was the first time a junior just out of school was competing in the English elocution competition and that too with seniors 4-5 years elder to her.  The start went off well. I began to relax. Words flowed. Till this day I am amazed as to how I started off without an “err....”without an “umm…”Everything was going on smoothly. In fact I started liking the attention, the look on the faces in front of me as they let each word uttered, sink in.  That was till I looked straight into Gopalakrishnan Sir’s face. You remember, Gopalakrishnan Sir, our Zoology Dept. HOD. Well, I have always been in awe of that man. He was there smiling. Can you imagine he of all persons was smiling? I have always seen him with a grim face. Well, that did it. I suddenly fumbled and went blank for a second. That was until I saw your face in the sidelines. Your ever soothing smile helped me regain my wits and words and I moved on.

Of course, I did not win. But the congratulatory handshakes I got and that too from my teachers and seniors assembled there, was worth more than the trophy. But it was your hug that I cherish the most. In fact, I know everyone was expecting me to win. The tie as I came to know later was between me and Laila, the final year Degree student. The majority I understand was in favour of me. However, it was decided to declare Laila the winner since it was her last year in college. I still had many more years and many more opportunities to win.

That dear Lathi, was the beginning of a long journey, a journey of self – revelation, a journey of accomplishment. I owe all my successes to you. Had it not been for you I would still be fumbling with words, still be shy of the mike, the limelight.

I have often wanted to thank you, but then it’s rarely that we meet. After college, you got married and left and I moved on with my career, my family. Even when we do meet it’s at some party or family function. We hardly get beyond saying a ‘Hi!’ or enquiring about each other’s family. However, today I decided, the “thank you” could wait no longer and hence this letter.

 “Thank You, for instilling in me the confidence to take on the world and for helping me discover myself.”

Luv you,

Geetu