I met her a long time ago. Let’s call her W. In her 50s inching towards her 60th birthday she had a head full of silver streaks in her poker straight hair. A warm smile with lots of laugh lines around her eyes; a reminder of a life well lived; full of laughs and sunshine. The lines couldn’t be erased by any anti-ageing cream. And W didn’t seem to care. She was over the phase of caring and bothering. A qualified professional who had worked for many years and now spent time watering her plants and making cushions out jeans she no longer fit into and didn’t bother herself over it.
I was a year short of my 30th birthday when I met W. Eager, anxious, impatient; with a list full of things to do, the world to see and explore. I was yet to see London, Paris, Louvre. I’d just sipped my first glass of wine. It was heady, tizzy and exuberant. But more than the wine, it was life ahead of me that excited me. Life is indeed the most potent of aphrodisiac.
So W and her quiet days seemed like such a waste of time to me. How could a qualified professional just be content with plants and sewing? How purposeless I said to myself! As i rushed from my editing job at Unilever to Rohan and home.
There’s indeed no better teacher than life itself. It moved, gushed and sped and I ran with it. I turned 40. Rohan finished school and went to college. I wrote my first book. Finally. Then I wrote another one; the second one better than the first. Rohan started working. Sandeep stopped working. My days slowed down. The hours stretched and the 24 hours which earlier seemed too little now seemed long. I filled 3 balcony with plants. Taught myself to propogate baby plants, sowed seeds. watched the saplings grow. Played with Casper. Struggled with my weight. Played tennis. Stopped it. Started cycling.
I have become W. My jobs are done. The items on the list ticked off. I’ve seen London many times over. Traveled to beautiful countries that I’d read and dreamt of. Sipped many glasses of wine. Now I prefer whiskey.
I stopped chemically straightening my hair and learnt to manage, accept and live with my witch crazy hair.
There’s a time to run and a time to slow down. It’s not something you plan and do. It happens. Life slows down and you have to with it.
The angry impatient young waterfall that gushes down the mountain slope, skimming over rocks and boulders…finally comes to a languid gentle flow.
I think I’ll bake a loaf of bread today and enjoy the warm aroma as it wafts through my home.