I Want To Be Her

Credit | Madcat_MadLove via Shutterstock

 

School, studies, few friends, home and family, that was her entire world and she loved it. Growing up in a small hill station town in an almost undiscovered part of the country, life was simple for her. There was never a moment when she wanted to be someone else. She loved who she was and the people that formed part of her life. That’s childhood, probably, untouched by the banalities and cruelties of life.

 

Sometimes I wonder if an experience is a good or a bad thing. Isn’t it but experience that makes us cynical in life? Anyways.

 
So going back to her again. She had always led a sheltered life. Her dad would drop her to school every morning. Or, she would walk through the picturesque lanes with her mother and sister to school. Protected and sheltered probably is the word for the life she led. She never stayed out alone after dark like some of the other youngsters. And she never felt like she missed something because of that. Being at home was what she liked the most. Surrounded by her books, comforted by the sounds of her mum finishing chores around the house was her idea of a perfect day. In fact, it wasn’t until junior college that she started going out with friends alone. And even then when everyone would bunk classes to watch a movie or go to a restaurant, she would run back home to be with her mum. She was a simple girl, uncomplicated and honest.

 

One day when she was in the 7th standard her headmistress called her to the office and asked her to go with two teachers to take part in an essay competition. She wanted her to represent the school. So off she went in a taxicab with her teachers which I should tell you she hadn’t used until that point in her life.

 

The essay competition was to be held for two hours, so her teachers left her there with a Rs. 5 note which the headmistress had given. This so that she could come back to school in a shared cab. The teachers left and the competition began as she got busy with writing.

 

Satisfied with what she had written, it was time to go back and that’s when she was in a dilemma, probably a bit scared too. She had never used public transport alone up until then. So she stood there at the taxi stand for a while contemplating what to do. But after a while, she decided to walk back to school. Maybe she was scared and hesitant to take a cab alone not because there was any danger per se but because she had never gone anywhere alone.

 

She walked through the spiralling roads lined with pines, climbed steps and crossed roads she hadn’t before to finally reach school after walking for about 30 minutes. After entering the school, she didn’t go straight to her classroom. Instead, she went to the Headmistress’ office and handed her the Rs. 5 note. When asked she explained that she came walking so she was returning the money which hadn’t been used.

 

Now, maybe she had led a little too much of a sheltered life. And maybe she was stupid to have not taken the cab. But do you know what I liked, no loved most about her? Her honesty.

 

She didn’t have to give back the money but she did. The thought of not giving it back didn’t even cross her mind. And she was like that always. She never lied, shared all her knowledge willingly and stressed if unknowingly she ended up hurting someone.

 

Once she during exams she had forgotten to tell her friend to study a chapter. That whole night she felt guilty even if this was a friend who had on several occasions before given her wrong information to score more. But she wasn’t like that. She didn’t rest till she went early to school the next day and sat with that friend explaining her everything on that chapter. So, again, I loved that about her.

 

I miss that girl. I miss her. I miss being her. I wish I could go back to being her again. Life is so complicated that now sometimes I even lie, frequently judge people and even don’t willingly share everything I know. I hate that a pure soul was contaminated by everything that is life, by experience. I hate that I’m not that simple and completely honest like I was before. Though even now I don’t take what is not rightfully mine but that honesty was something else and I miss it.

 

What is it about yourself from your childhood that you miss these days?

 

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19 thoughts on “I Want To Be Her

  1. Thats so refreshing this honesty.We sometimes wonder whether life will ever be the same again.But life will take its course and we will miss this time too.One day #mg

  2. Lovely post, Nabanita. I know what you feel like. I too have days when I feel that way but you know I feel I was so naive, simple and shy that I used to be taken advantage of, very often, which I’d realise wasn’t really right. I was very giving and would happily part with things that I’m now cautious about. When I look back at that little girl I feel I could just give her a hug and tell her she needn’t worry about being that way because life is going to change her very soon. Childhood is so innocent…I miss the innocence of those years the most Nabanita, because I think life has hardened me way beyond what I ever thought.

  3. Ah! childhood and the memories of our childhood. We all feel this at some point in time. I wish to go back to that time too. When we were all innocent and our hearts were clean. Growing up takes away all the fun. Good one Naba.

  4. This is such a beautiful post, Naba. The longing for your childhood you, for the simple, uncomplicated life you lead and your honesty in admitting how that is gone. Childhood was a treasure truly. I hate the responsibility now, all the worries being a parent. Definitely miss being a child.

  5. You are her, a grown-up version of that sweet innocent girl. She is admirable and her honesty inspirational. Glad to know a bit more about your childhood.

  6. I try to remember the good things about childhood – the sense of joy and wonder, the ability to think the best of people etc – and keep hold of those but add in the things I’ve learnt as a grown up. Lovely post. Thank you for sharing

  7. Oh I feel exactly the same way at times too. I miss the person I was, before life got in the way and I learned the harsh lessons of adulthood. I miss the naivety I had to bad things happening in the world, I wish I could go back and feel that way sometimes. #mg

  8. Naba there’s such an endearing honesty in your post. I love the little girl you were and I love the you now because you have the courage to admit that you’ve changed. Maybe this is that first step to reclaiming all that age and exposure has taken away. #mg

  9. Beautifully honest post.

    What do I miss–the belief that somehow things would turn out as they should.

    And of course, my mom.

  10. Thanks so much for sharing this lovely post. You sent me on a little journey in my minds eye. Hmmm. DIdn’t know I would be headed there today. #mg

  11. You can see her again in your child I miss the uncomplicated life… The beauty of being honest and caring … It was just natural instinct. But Life teaches us that not everyone ‘S like that and not everyone is worth the honesty.

  12. There is something very endearing about this post and that’s what reflects in as great honesty about your writing and more importantly about you. Wonderful piece, Naba! 🙂

  13. just so beautifully written. I miss just curling up in my mothers arms when I was scared, some times now I am so scared and I just wish I could feel the safe again. #mg

  14. What a beautiful post !! so relatable. Was thinking about same, that how life changes us. When i see my month old baby, a thought always come how we go from innocence to selfishness.

  15. I LOVE this anecdote, Naba. Not just for the honesty and the innocence that you portrayed but for the wistful nostalgia of a simpler time. Perhaps we take things for granted today and I believe that is mostly due to online interactions and fewer face to face ones. We are all guilty of it these days. Don’t beat yourself up and if it makes you any better, I believe you are still as sweet, innocent and honest as that young girl. Always.

  16. I love this — I love that repetition of I miss her, I miss being her. I don’t know if we can ever get back to who we were, but that person is still inside you, guiding you.

  17. Hi Nabanita, there are so many little things that I have long left in course of growing up in the world of today. You have penned your feelings very nicely.

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