While I dwelled into my love of stories and books in my last post. I want to focus this one on the importance of storytelling and in consequence the importance of reading or listening to stories.
Stories inspire us. They may be in the form of an incident that occurred to us or to someone else but they inspire us. I remember when I read Rafa – My Story. I have never been as inspired in my life as I was then. I know of people who have anecdotes of what changed their lives and they use it to inspire others. If you are ever looking for inspiration – read and read more until you find your inspiration.
Stories are life as we feel it at that point in time. Every story, ever written by anyone in this world is a reflection of what they felt at that point in time. It can be happy or sad. It is the authors feeling that comes out on paper. When you read, you are looking at life from someone else’s perspective. You are feeling what the author wants you to feel. Reading is empathizing.
Stories help us judge the right from the wrong. Stories help us learn that there is a gray. Stories are the gray. Stories are the medium through which a child learns easiest.
History is also a story, story that one intends to learn from. A story that is intended to be repeated but with a different end.
Stories are a retreat into a parallel space where you can forget your worldly worries. Stories let you can run your imagination into the extraterrestrial or closer to home just a different life. Stories let you be who you want to be. It is a safe haven for the reader/listener. Away…far far away.
I like to be teleported into space with the tales of the long gone. What do you like?
Uncertainty of life
Uncertainty of happy times
Uncertainty of careers
Uncertainty of health
Uncertainty of wealth
Uncertainty of soul
Everything we know is uncertain and we want to make everything certain.
But are we certain about that everything?
Do we all want to live a happy life with a booming career with the best of health, wealth and soul?
Yes, we all do
Then, why are we certain only about career and wealth?
Why are we uncertain about life, happiness, health and soul?
Yes, career and wealth lead to it all
But is life, happiness, health and soul non existent without career and wealth?
It’s uncertain, I believe
We don’t know because we haven’t tried
There’s no reason to try, it’s going as per plan
If the plan fails, if uncertainty shows it’s face
There’s no harm in trying
It would be difficult, it’s different than usual
It would take a toll, to find another way
We will fail, we will learn ways it doesn’t happen
Until we make it happen
When we make it happen
It will still be uncertain
We will still live
Live to do it all over again
“Now that serve that he just hit is called an ace. He, Roger is a master of aces. It is basically the kind of serve in which the ball hits the court in a way that makes it impossible for the opponent to return. The more you watch, you will understand.” It was Federer vs Nadal, French Open 2007. I just happened to be there and ask my uncle a question that had been bothering me for an year now. How the hell is tennis played?
It had all started when one of my tuition teachers was disappointed due to a rain delay at a crucial time in a match and was cribbing to us how he would have liked to see it finish but for the class he had scheduled with us, he could not wait for the rain to end and the match to resume. That is the day when I had first asked this question. My teacher tried to explain it to me but I think since there wasn’t an example game playing in front of me, I did not understand. I especially did not understand the way the scoring was done. Since then, I had asked this question to quite a few people. However, due to the lack of interest of the people around me in any sport but Cricket I never got an answer.
This was the day, I got all my answers. I not just got all my answers but I also became a fan of Rafa Nadal. I have always felt a connection with him. Unlike Roger who plays smart, Rafa is a player who plays hard. It is clear, Roger is more talented than Rafa; but what makes Rafa special is his never say never attitude. This is also the reason that Rafa stands a chance of being the greatest tennis player in history. Inshallah (if God wills it) Rafa will soon surpass the grand slam title count of 17 that Roger currently has.
I have grown as a fan of Rafa over the years. My dedication to him was so evident that in 2011 one of my closest friends gifted me the recently launched book ‘Rafa – My Story’ on my birthday. Due to my fear of biographies (I always feared that they will bore me and I will leave it in turn effecting my stature as a fan) I had not come to reading it until two weeks back.
Now that I have read it. I must congratulate Rafa’s parents on being such great parents. I hope and wish I become such a parent some day. It was only fitting for the upbringing they gave to Rafa that he become special. I would disagree with Toni Nadal (Rafa’s uncle and coach) when he says to Rafa ‘you are not special because of who you are, but because of what you do’. I would disagree because the Rafa’s upbringing and humility makes him special for who he. I, who have not achieved a thing in the world is not as grounded as Rafa is. Reading Rafa my story was a delight and it was as inspiring as it could be. Thank You Rafa for being my inspiration. I have never had a role model or inspiration to look up until I read about your life. You are a Hero. My Hero.
My name is Suhani, a fitting name I believe.
I know who my parents are, I live with them.
I know who my siblings are, I love them and they love me.
I know which roots I come from – faith and belief.
I know who my friends are, they have stood the test of time and effort.
I know that my parents hate my guts. They think I am fixated and stubborn. They think I am ruining my life. They want me to follow their footsteps; get married, settle down, have kids and finish my life.
I know my siblings love me without judgements. They might not agree with me and my decisions but they let go. They are there for me.
I know what my friends think of me. They think I am bold and can face challenges easily. They think I am clear headed and opinionated. They think I have too much ambition. They think I am logical, pragmatic and practical in my approach and decisions. So, they think I don’t understand what they are and the pain that they go through.
I believe I understand how strangers look at me and perceive me as someone who is independent with a ‘I give a damn’ attitude. They don’t like me but they are intrigued as to who am I? They like the confidence in my walk but it also freaks them out.
To sum it up, I know who am I in the traditional sense because I know what people think I am.
But do I know who am I? NO.
No, I do not know who am I because what my parents see me as is only because I want them to let me make my own decisions. I don’t defy them because that is who I am. I defy them because if I don’t I will have to live their life which is definitely not me.
No, I do not know who I am because what my friends think to be my strength is actually a wall. Yes, I use my brains more than my emotional side but that is because I am afraid to loose it all to emotion and be pathetic like so many others. In reality I am scared, very scared to be ‘anybody’. I don’t want to be an ‘anybody’.
No, I do not know who I am because the strangers who see my independence do not see how I long for someone to take care of me. When they see my confidence, they miss the flaw it is hiding.
Then who am I?
I am someone who wanted to be journalist, but that ship has long sailed.
I am someone who could have been a lawyer, but I did not have enough confidence in myself to pursue it. I still don’t.
I am someone who wants to be a writer. I used to write more often. I used to write better than I do now. I am struggling with my writing for a long time now. It is still a long journey and a distant dream which I may or may not realise.
I am someone with insecurity issues. I fear losing what I have and prefer death over it at times.
I am someone whom death doesn’t scare. I struggle with my issues and come back rising.
I am someone who needs to be somebody because being ‘anybody’ is a huge identity crisis.
I am someone who can not live with an identity crisis.
I am someone who is afraid to pour her heart out to anyone. Writing about it helps.
I am someone who is trying to open up with the help of writing.
I am someone whose life has been more or less an open book but who herself has been more of a closed book, sealed from cover to cover.
I am someone who is gathering courage with every passing day to force open that book page by page.
I am someone trying to become more than who I currently am.