A midget is a big world. High dreams, small hopes. Frivolous, yet sensitive. Strong but not bold. Weak but not fragile. Neither beautiful nor ugly. Brilliant not at all; moron never ever. Who’s that? An average woman, or better say, a lady of our generation.
At every turn of life, she waits avidly for her entry into the new world: the world sans big profiles and bigger promises; the world sans the biggest plausibility.
In fact, the new world means many different things to her. It can be a wonderful experience, which touches the deepest emotions. A quite understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. A devotion through good and bad times.
The world that settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Harbours contentment with the present, hopefulness for the future and no brooding over the past.
The day-in and day-out chronicle of problems, compromises, and disappointments amidst small achievements and little joys.
Above all, the new world makes-up for the many things the lady has missed: maybe an innocent smile; a selfless gesture; the sincerity of purpose; and the significance of wisdom in everything.
She’s perhaps the lady who woke in bits, piecemeal over the years. She discovered herself and the world, and then forgot only to discover them again and again.
The process of waking never slipped back, and never was she free of herself. Like flowing up and down from a trance, she lodged herself in an eerily familiar life already well underway. She was both observer and observable, an object of her own humming awareness.
Was she evolving? Maybe. Maybe not. However, the challenges of life were never unwarranted. She wasn’t killed as a child, she was allowed to survive. She wasn’t discriminated, she was loved. Yet, life and love connoted an obscurely tough battle for her.
Beyond the walls of her home, the rules involved in this battle were quite different. Life was tough; love was rough. It was all about cheap bargaining: success, failure, virtues, vices, affection and apathy.
Education enlightened her. Experience enfeebled her. Books carried her away into the spick and span world—the pure, chaste, unspotted and unadulterated.
Every alphabet meant a sacrosanct ideal. Every word is an inviolable law. But then, realities dragged her down to earth, and dust of expediency settled all over her. Hard-faced ideals never breathed their last, but they somehow got blurred in the void. Adeptly she could tolerate and justify any damn thing!
She became independent. Emancipated. She is Aaj Ki Nari! An entity having loathsome eyes for failing ever to recognize what is actually what. Standing in the queues; running in the crowd; bouncing into the buses; jostling through the men –she’s what she never dreamt to be. Chasing her world of desires, she wrongly lands somewhere else. A misfit in a mischievous world! From abuses to name-calling, she has it all.
She’s the lady for whom the fragrance of henna and fascination of bridal dress costs more than her means. The extinction of “Upright Species” leaves few choices for her to hitch on. And still, the price tag is one she hardly can pay on her own.
But even as the No-So-Right halfwits fancy being the best buy, destiny somehow takes her to the place she is wrought for. She gets what she deserves; good if good, bad for bad, and the Divine Law operates.
The new world, now seeming tenable, proliferates out from the vagueness again. She truly understands the beauty and power of Providence. She respects it, and ventures out to play multiple roles.
She treads different roads; encounters ups and downs; meets saints and sinners; laughs with the winners; weeps for the losers; lives for others; dies for herself; and ultimately fits herself into the portrait of a lady who’s not an uncommon, unparalleled, unerring goddess but an ordinary soul designed for things even beyond her comprehension.
Assimilating much, asserting little, she learns, unlearns and relearns many a truth. The English song Live To Tell murmurs for her:
I’ve a tale to tell.
Sometimes it gets so hard.
To hide it well.
A man can tell
a thousand lies
but the truth is
never far behind.
I’ve learned my lesson well.
Hope I live to tell.
The secrets I’ve learned.
Perhaps the secrets of life; the reality of fangs; humbug of faces; the joy of giving; the sorrow of losing; pangs of death; panacea of birth; the bloom of flowers; blight of leaves; the pleasure of riches; a plague of rags; and everything that comes in the way, she picks up gladly. From a cry-baby to a storytelling granny, she remains what she is: Affectionate and Yearning.
The odyssey of life leads her on, on and on... The dimples vanish, the wrinkles visit. The dust of time settles on her but she remains unchanged. The mirth of childhood, halcyon of youth and autumn of old age—every phase adds to her queer versatility.
Chivvying to be a typical weirdo, she keeps catching sunny hope in her palms, holding a windy fortune in her breaths, and arresting invisible lustre in the cages of her smallish mind. She falters and slithers along the tortuous route of her life but eventually has a graceful face-off with her own world.
Long last, she reaches where she has to. She lives only once and if she works it right somehow, that’s fair enough for her.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK