Friendship Day some twenty years back. Pa got me this dress during our trip to Goa in February 2002.

Mom objected, but she objected to everything in her attempt to keep me down to earth. I think she succeeded some bit in the long run. But back then her success ratio was negligible. I would just roll my eyes and walk away.

(Of course revenge is a dish best served cold. I have a pair of eyes that roll and walk away now – my son)

I was independent, brash and Pa’s daughter. I did not drive my scooty, I flew. Crash landed a couple of times but then I had the best bear like hands in the world that picked me up and put me on the road to fly again. Pa was the wind beneath my wings. Everytime I see this photograph I see Pa winking at me, gesturing me to run off to the friendship day party before Mom raises any objections.

He made sure I never got the brunt of “what will people say” syndromes.
“People have a lot of time, let them say what they want to, let her do what she wants.” He would tell Ma. And I did, until he went away… And overnight I was a grown-up. People mattered.

How entangled life becomes as we grow? Adulting is not for everyone. Not me, for sure.
But one cannot really be much different that the spirit they were raised with.

So I finally decided to pick up the strands of what remains left of me as Pa’s girl and started un-growing myself. It is hard, it takes time but like a phoenix I will rise out of the ashes. The first step to it is… Un-Peopling myself.
There is a lot more I have to let go before I step forward with myself. But I know when I finally look around, I will find that one smile, that one gesture telling me – You go, I will handle the rest.


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