Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cleaning up the closet

J, this post is happening because you reminded me that I have a blog. Thank you.

A few weeks ago I went to my mom's and picked up some of my stuff from there. Some old books, diaries, pictures - all the stuff that takes almost four years to get picked :) As I was going through the stuff I came across my autograph book from school. Wow, what a find, I thought. Lately, thanks to social networking sites I have been in touch with some of my classmates from school but that pales in comparision to what that diary meant to me at one point of time. I started going through what my classmates(mostly girls) had written, how did they want me to remember them and the time we spent together. I must admit most of them were really sweet, some had written very kind words about me(mostly undeserved) while a couple had recounted some very fun moments that we had spent together. I felt I was 12 again, dressed in grey pleated skirt and white shirt, making fun of the punjab-ish pronunciation of the chemistry teacher, gossiping about the clandestine love affairs that some bold girls(yeah, only bold ones had boyfriends when we were that age!) were having, thinking big about future etcetera, etcetera.....
Boy, what expectations I had from life!! Strange isn't it! When you are young and un-initiated about the business of the real world, you believe everything is possible. That time if someone would have told me that I will win a Noble prize for rocket science, I would have said - "What??? just one?!!", well I would even have believed that India and Pakistan will become one country again just like the Germanies and this unification will happen under my Prime-ministership! Ha! Ha! Ha!

But as I was flipping through the pages half smilingly two of the messages in that book brought me back to real life. My autograph book did not go to everyone, I picked and chose the people I wanted to remember, or who I thought made an impact upon my life. Strangely, two of such people decided that everytime I read out their messages - they'd rather make me squirm than smile. Boy, were they right?! What they had written was mean and hurtful. Even though cloaked behind fun words, it was hard to miss the sarcasm and cynicysm. The hurt that I felt when I read these messages for the first time came back to me. I remembered that I had cried and had a hard time not tearing those pages.

I give those girls concession that I must have done something to deserve atleast a fraction of what they wrote, but yaar what kind of people write mean things in autograph diaries of people that they'll probably not see for the rest of their lives? School is a tough place for most people, all for different reasons - some people want to gel-in, but they stand-out; some people want to stand-out but they fade into the background, some people just want to get great grades, while some want to learn more... I guess school is fun when you look at it in retrospective, but it gives everyone a tough time at some point or another. People especially children do behave strangely when they are attempting to be both bright and cool, I am aware of a few of the blunders that I have made.

So coming back to my classmates, they have both been connected to me for the past few months/years via the social networking sites. Rather I had sought out one of them after searching for a while. Ofcourse I had forgotten what these people thought of me when they left school. But as I read that book I must admit I still felt a little hurt by those words. It has been 13 years since we last met, but they still managed to stir-up things within me. I got really angry at myself for feeling bad about words of two 17 year olds, but then I realized why I was sulking. These people were still connected to me, though in a very distant way. But I needed closure. Then I had a second realization, which was - hey! this is not school and I am a grown up now. I can make my own choices today.
And I did just that...... Today I chose not to be friendly with people who are not my friends. Sounds so simple, doesn't it :)

That set me thinking(yes, I know I think a lot) again - Today I am aware of many people who are part of my life in different ways, who I know do not mean well or don't really care. Most of them are in my life only because I choose that they be there.

This closet needs a lot of cleaning.

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