She reminds me of Anne Frank. And a lot of other unnamed things, feelings and faceless, virtuous people, people worth having met and people you create and give a form with flesh and blood in your head.
The moment I stepped into her room, which I did for the first time, and with an awareness that I may never be there again, I did not know how I should have felt.
Happy, some would say, even thankful, that it had happened, once, if only once. Something tells me that she would have, without losing a breath or stopping in her stride, chosen Happy. She might not have even waited to know what the other optional feeling was. This is the kind of person she is - (for me, atleast, if that amounts to anything at all. But this isn’t a balance statement concerning me. I may never sum up to anything. If that is the case, then so be it. That does not matter. Not here. Not right now. Because right now what matters, the only thing that matters is that I talk to you about her, that I absolutely need to talk to you about her. This is about her. Only her) - One that chooses happiness. And this fascinates me. Up until I met her, I did not really know that one could choose to be happy. On dwelling deeper on the last statement, I am willing to concede this much, I may have known, I use the word may because it is something that I could have known without actually knowing it or atleast without any real intention of letting this knowing see the day light.
How am I so sure that she would have chosen ‘happy’? Well, I did not compare her with Anne Frank without a reason. Anne Frank, as a child, as a little girl, once wrote in her now famous diary ‘and whoever is happy will make others happy too’. This is how I am sure. Because I am happy. Yes, I am sure that I am. Maybe not all the time, but definitely when she or her weird ways of creeping in to my thoughts are around. Yes, I am sure she would have chosen ‘happy’. In a way, she did choose ‘happy’, for me as well. And she did that, just the way she does all those other things that she does; the occasional goofy laugh, her serious talks, her silent smile. She did not ask for my permission, she did not, for instance, come up to me and say, “I have chosen happiness for you, hope that is fine by you?” She just went ahead and decided that being happy should be my choice as well. The best part: she does not even know it. Just the way, she does not realize when she is goofily laughing, seriously talking, or silently smiling.
I, unavoidably, will have to dwell on myself for a little while. I know it is excruciating. It is so, even for me, if knowing that offers any solace. But I need to do this, just so that I can tell you more vividly about her. I like to think, I am the background of bad, against which the good in her is clearly seen, the eternal pessimist, who in a way coaxes the ever-blooming optimist in her, the ‘negative’ as opposed to her wonderful skill of turning moments into images, beautiful positive images.
No, I am not trying to say that I bring out the “good, the optimist or the positively beautiful’ out in her. All I am saying is this; it is the law of the nature to balance things out. Light darkness, famines plenty, droughts overflowing glistening rivers and streams, me and her.
I, invariably reserve my enthusiasm, when it comes to things and people and possibilities. Plainly put, I am a skeptic. A skeptic who believes in ghosts but distrusts people (well most of them atleast). I find it incredibly hard to bank on the goodness that may be or which may come or if such a thing even exists. This is what I bring to the table. And this is what gets countered, often negated by what she has – the ability to see ‘good’ and be ‘happy’. I read the passage in Anne Frank’s diary, wherein she states I don't think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains... My advice is: "Go outside, to the fields, enjoy nature and the sunshine, go out and try to recapture happiness in yourself and in God. Think of all the beauty that's still left in and around you and be happy!" I read these words and thought of her. This could very well have been written by her.
Maybe she has, when she writes secretly in her diary, fiercely protecting it from eager, curious, outsider eyes, replacing the words God with Universe and trading the fields for the beaches and the endless expanse of the sea. Maybe.
Do not misunderstand me. The objective of writing this isn’t to try and make her seem transcendent. The words haven’t been used as bricks to create a shrine for her. She isn’t a saint, or an angel. If she was, I would have started this musing with ‘She reminds me of a saint or an angel.’ She is human, very much so, with her share of flaws, a chip here and there. I am sure she has unpleasant thoughts, I am sure she could cause harm (if she set her mind to it). She is merely a human being with the capacity of being an angel, even a saint, at times, times when she chooses to be so.
If truth be told, when I sat down to write this, I had sworn to myself that I would be absolutely objective in what I write, how I describe her, so on and so forth. And now that I have penned down these words, I am no longer sure if I was objective.
It is hard to be objective when you see the good in a person, and more importantly, when they, even without trying to accomplish it, end up making you see the good in you.
But this I am absolutely sure of, the words here are absolutely true. This is how I see her, how I know her. I have, in no way, been dishonest, by trying to decorate my words. Thankfully, I did not have to.
Meaningful conversations, senseless ones - which invariably end up being the ones that last longer, talks about experiences from the past, a past in which neither of us were present, but still end up knowing, as if we were there. Minute details, trifles, deepest secrets, darkest shadows and well-rounded life related thoughts comfortably laced with humour. Spending time with her, means having all of this, on some days. On some other days, there is none of this, but she still ends up being there.
No, she isn’t like Anne Frank, when circumstances surrounding the two are compared. She hasn’t seen or experienced the horrors of a Holocaust, the one placed in history. But then, we all have our own holocausts to deal with and we are hardly ever aware or concerned with one that is not our own. It is not the circumstance, which I wish to compare; it is the singular most apparent similarity that comes to my mind – yes, when I read Anne Frank, I did think, how can so much go on in a little girl’s soul. I had the same thought when I heard the incessant thoughts, those self-directed conversations raging in her mind, her soul.
For those who still can’t see the similarity, this in my last and final attempt at accomplishing it: she too, like Anne, loves making people around her mad and something tells me, she too has her own little group of imaginary friends, well-hidden in her mind’s attic.
If you still can’t imagine her, if you still can’t draw a sketch of her, then, I am truly sorry for you and just as glad for myself. Because I can.
Because I undoubtedly saw ‘her’, when she parted those plastic bottles away and invited the sea right in. And it has stayed ever since, the sea as well as the image of her, the one I can clearly still see.
There is something very certain about it staying that way, because after all, isn’t Anne Frank too, still around?