V and I used to be the bestest of friends. This was when we were doing undergrad. We both went to different engineering colleges. We were sort of neighbours and so we spent great deal of time with each other, hanging out in each other’s house. Once we even got locked out of each other’s home. We were at another neighbor’s house , my parents thought we were at V’s and V’s family left on some business thinking we were at my home. We didn’t realize until it was quite late that we were locked out. We didnt knock on our door. Instead, we decided to camp out on the quiet road. We stayed up there, sitting on the plain dirt roads, jumping from one house to another until about 2 am when V’s brother returned and let us in.
We were probably 20 years old then, and our biggest worry that night was that we were missing the premier of Kuch Kuch Hota Hain movie on Sony TV, something we were so eagerly waiting for quite a few days. Of course we didn’t mention to our moms the next day how we spent most of the night. Had we, we would have heard quite an earful despite us living in a very decent, quiet and safe colony. That age, I remember, I used to think moms are always paranoid. They don’t like fun or they liked fun in a very very safe environment. My dad was very easy-going. He always supported V’s and my outings, reminding us to be careful. And so he was my hero for letting us do what we wanted to. V and I were not ultra-modern then, but again, in the place we lived in, there were not many girls who wore jeans, leave alone ride a scooty to go shopping in the evening. We were doing all. Eating out, spending time at friends, visiting temples, camping near the gate – talking endlessly, late evening exhibition visits and many more. Just the two of us, on one of our scooties.
Today, I suddenly realized what our moms were saying. I understand her fear. I now understand the reason she constantly asked us not to go shopping during the nights or asking us to return by 8pm etc. She wanted nothing to go wrong. She had fear we would get hurt. Had I understood her fear then as I do now, I wouldn’t have stepped out of the house, ever. But, is that what I really want? Is that what I want for my kids? No. Definitely NO.
What we did then is what shaped us today. My dad let me and another friend of mine go on a solo trip to Mysore for a pilot training exercise. My friend and I managed to travel alone from hyd- Bangalore – Mysore. Stay at a friend’s place and return to Hyderabad after two days. The trip alone gave me lot of confidence. That I could survive in this world. Today, I am glad we were lucky nothing went wrong than being proud of what I have accomplished all by myself.
I bet you already know where all this originated from. It’s on all of our minds now. The recent happenings. Many of them I have successfully avoided reading/knowing about. Only because they make me feel terrible, terrified and unsafe. Its been a while I stopped reading all the news, listening to local channels; Only for the fear of hearing such things. But I heard the recent one through a blog. So there is no really avoiding these news. Is there? I do continue to ignore or respond to the news, where ever I find it. But I have also reached my quota of how much I can ignore. I need to speak out now to clear my thoughts and my fears.
I fear more as I think of my future visits to India, I am scared. I am really scared of what can happen. Not just to me, for all of us. My another best friend who travels on her bike to and from work. I almost told her today, be careful; stop driving by yourself at nights. I felt like a mother asking her to be careful. But I also know that except for getting over this or forgetting the incident, there is nothing that would make me feel safe.
My colleague at work I was just speaking to said, there isn’t anything we can do other than being super super careful. Like locking all of us inside? I wanted to ask. I kinda agree with her and I kind of don’t. School children who got killed last week, was it their fault that they went to school? Had they stayed at home, they would have been safe. Is that the solution to the problem?
I was reminded today of a chat I had with one of my friends few years back. He and I wanted to go to the Himalayas, camp there until GOD gave us super powers. It was only meant as a joke, we did quite a bit of fake planning and etc. But I do wish today, I (or one of us) had super powers. Looks like that’s the only way to fight the evil.