“My project proposal is accepted! I will soon be exploring the flora of North-East India!” I hugged my mother in bliss.
“Knew it! Your dedication towards the subject will not go in vain. Let me cook Halwa. It’s time to celebrate!”. She gets another reason to be in the kitchen!
It has been five years since I started studying the theoretical part of Botany (Plant Science). And now, I will finally be exploring the lush green forests. I feel so thrilled for the upcoming Science project cum adventure. But at the same time, packing stuff for the six months expedition seems a task in itself!
“Beta, don’t forget to pack your raincoat!” my mother exclaimed.
My mother has always been my saviour. And she has saved me again!
Step forward to pick my raincoat. But as soon as I opened my Almirah, all my clothes fell on me. I never realized that I have so much variety in my wardrobe! Most of the time, I crib about not having enough clothes, but now it feels like I can wear a new outfit every day without even repeating it for the next thirty days!
While clearing the messy almirah, I rediscover a tinted yellow envelope. I open it and memories start rushing in my mind. It is not the first time I am reading this letter, which I received two years ago, but whenever I read it, I can feel her presence.
“She is my best friend, Shikha.” I mumbled with my teary eyes.
Open the envelope and start reading it again. But this time, aloud!
Hope you are doing great. I know I don’t deserve to be heard. But please don’t throw this letter before reading it!
Life isn’t what I thought it would be where I would be dancing on the glittery shores of the sea. It’s more like serving a monster as a slave. I can’t blame anyone but me. I am the real culprit who didn’t resist while being offered to those pseudo human beings.
But you can! I wish I could raise my voice against evil, just like you. I still remember how you took my stand when I was struggling to cope with the bullies around me. Your bold statement, “A bully bullies others, bullied by a bully” is still imprinted in my cerebrum. But alas! These words can’t ignite my soul anymore.
Pardon me for my arrogance when I was questioning your decision of further studies. I mocked you for prioritizing education over marriage. Although I was naïve, yet I pretended to be mature among us. You even tried to stop me from getting into the vicious life of untimely marriage. But I didn’t listen to you. And now here I am, regretting and living a life of guilt each day.
Even if I am surrounded by the fog of gloominess, our childhood memories still keep me going. You always nourished me just like your baby sister. You never minded exchanging Maggi even though you had to eat pumpkin veggie from my lunch box! You handled my mother’s calls pretty well when I was hanging out with my guy friends. And your instantaneous calls to know whether I reached home safely or not, always made me feel special. I wish that time didn’t pass, and we were still trying to match the chords of “Yeh Dosti, Hum Nahi Todenge“. Your silly act of pulling my warm cheeks with your freezing hands reminds me of our days of innocence.
I wish I could meet you and relive those merry days. I apologize for my juvenile behaviour. Although you have already forgiven me, yet I can’t forgive myself. My wings have been broken so badly that I can’t fly again. But I want you to stop another butterfly from being caught in this vicious cycle, before it’s too late. Millions of innocent girls are rattled by the trauma of domestic violence. I want you to raise your bold and courageous voice for them. I know how ironic it is! I can’t speak for myself, but I am encouraging you to do the same. I am timid but you are brave. I am selfish but you are an epitome of selflessness.
And please don’t try to save me. I may already be flying with the Gods of sky by the time. Don’t cry as well because your smudged Mascara may scare others around you! I envy the best gift of your life which you are not even aware of. Although it is the most discussed constitutional right, yet we forget to embrace it all the time. It’s your Freedom! Treasure it!
We’ll meet again on the judgment day. Till then, take care.
I love you, always and forever!
I fold the letter carefully and put it in the same envelope. This letter was her bravest written piece. I got this when I was perplexed regarding my career. I thought life was so mean to me. But reading this letter made me realize that life isn’t mean. It’s just we; humans keep on searching for the perfect gifts outside. But in fact, we have already been bestowed the best gift ever. And it is freedom! It lies in the deepest layers inside all of us. Unfortunately, the outside dust in the form of societal pressure and patriarchy makes it difficult to align it with our souls. But I hope one day all of us will have the courage to stand for our own selves and treasure those gifts which are already bestowed upon us. Our freedom!
I soon pack my bags and spend the rest of the day with my family. I feel blessed around them. I may not be able to come this far without my family’s support. Although I am excited for the new journey of my life, yet I always miss her.
She is and will always be my best friend. Shikha.
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