Words paint the gestures in an understanding established between me and the storyteller. Dubious over the narrator, juggling between ‘me’ and ‘her’, the sediments of our thoughts settled upon ‘I’, a soul all of us can relate to, each and every human being can relate to and this I has a story to say, about herself and all of us are parts of it, some by experience and some by simple connection, the bond, the emotions. And I, Sunetra will express my feelings in words, to myself and to my readers.
Communication, perhaps the primary reason of our existence in social media is not that easy when you don’t belong to the size-zero-fair-doll’s gang and have to spend quite a lot of time hiding behind books and understanding human physiology. And all through my life, I have tried to communicate, to make others understand me. It’s never been easy for me with my flabby bulges and my dusky skin colour. Flying out of the cocoon of my pampered home, I realized this void in communication prevailing around me. Derided and dejected by friends, by men of my age searching for a prospective bride, tears offered me their friendship. My long braids twined my life with their ever-growing stagnancy and I decided to break free, to liberate them and push my own ego to fly away and accept the changing world, the changing me. No, I would never want to be a part of the fashion-brigade and for me, Facebook likes never mattered as such. I never wanted to let go of my chubby cheeks for I love them the way they are but my flat braids could not compliment them. A little snip-snap! The fluffy petals of my dark hair protect my smile now, in layers making me feel beautiful. In all the three years of my life at the Raja Bazar Science College studying Physiology, I have learnt how the veins and nerves in the body communicate with each other. So did my countenance without having to utter, ‘Hey, I have changed.’ My bulges are flattered by the dresses I wear, out of choice because when I stand in front of the mirror, I love myself, not like a narcissist but like a strong woman, proud and confident.
Yet, questions remain unanswered and life is not a linear one; impulses are sent and reacted upon. Reactions, like communications matter. And I left the dead city filled with my past, haunting me back and then to be here in Scotland where a single utterance of Bangla sends me shivers, a certain longing to go back to the place where I spent my happy childhood and learnt the ways of fighting back, to be myself. The pessimistic tears couldn’t help me much and I was the one to reject them for in my struggle to keep positivity in life, I loathed negativity of any sort. Tears only bind you to your past increasing the pain, forcing you to remember the pain and waste the time which could have been utilised to find the solution.
Another troublesome adjective was added: an expatriate. A woman with her full blooming youth and beauty, an expatriate looking for friends, desperately trying to make a home in a distant land allures the evil even before the light knows its responsibilities. Friends and pubbing was definitely not the sort of life I enjoyed but in the journey of exploring the world, a few nights were worth to be awake, to understand the traps and the characters I came across. All of us like stories, a girl called X, a guy called Y in a place called Z. But even if we removed the XYZs, the situations will remain the same. But let’s not keep everything blurred.
Let me talk of a girl called A and a guy called B in Scotland. There they met, two expatriates living their dreams, the girl studying and the guy earning a handsome salary in an MNC. A few dates and they decided to be together, the two people speaking Bangla, sharing the same culture. And the language created a void. The guy stopped talking. The camphor filled with promises was burnt in the flames of the treachery of the heart. The non-existent ashes of involvement in work scorned the fate. Life is not always fair, you don’t get everything you want in life.
No, I don’t gloat of living like a strong single woman. I don’t want to be compartmentalized. Even committed women have lived the phase I am going through. And all I seek is to be understood. All I try is to communicate, through gestures, through the ways I live and through my dreams, my aspirations, my work in the same way I try to understand others. It’s a phase we all go through and the XYZs can be anything and anyone. You, me , us or anyone else. Strong, independent. Loving my own self. Full of dreams. Taking life in the way it comes. Little expectations are actually great expectations. And that’s how we live. That’s how we all live.
*This piece is dedicated to Sunetra Banerjee on her birthday ( 27.5.2016).