Hi. It’s Sunday, the 27th of Jan 2019. The season of marriages has begun here in Bhubaneswar and a couple of days back, I returned after participating in the wedding ceremonies of my brother-in-law. Five days of absolute festivity, 120 hours of madness and celebrations with equal fervour!
I probably wore the richest looking Kurta (you can know more about this on Wikipedia) among all the gentlemen there for the Baraat (the groom’s wedding procession). The best part is, I got a readymade piece for my size!! Unbelievable!! Of course, that war was won over through multiple shops across the city and over two days full of tension. I had started by asking, “Can you show some nice Kurtas for me?” Several series of battles were lost in the trial rooms. The shoulder portions would be absolutely fine, but then those from the chest downwards, pure HORROR! There was definitely no “You” in any of the mirrors in those trial rooms! Eventually I ended up asking, “Please show me the largest Kurtas that you have.” Definitely I was red-faced and few people around looked at me amused, or maybe I thought so. But I ended up being lucky, just about lucky in that it fit me while I stood, but it shrieked in pain and threatened me if I sat or bent. I think God momentarily liked my compliment on the Boon gene.
Before the procession started, I had a look in the mirror in our hotel room. Aaaghhh!! Dear God, why did you not bless me with the Boon gene??
The Baraat started with back-to-back Odia Sambalpuri beats, infusing a craziness among all of us and dance simply pulled each one of us into its arms. Punjabi, Gujarati and Bhojpuri music had us spinning, bouncing, falling again and again, for almost an hour and a half, over just 1 Km of stretch from our hotel to till the bride’s place! I saw myself falling out of breath every 2 minutes and then catching some breath in a 3 min break, before pouncing amidst the mad crowd again. So, I must have paused more than 10 times to catch my breath. Each time I stood still, I saw “They” continuously dancing, probably in total control of their breath. “They” must have paused about 4-5 times in all. By the time we reached the bride’s place where the marriage function was scheduled to happen, I was drenched in sweat (despite the cold air at this time of the night), all my hair was in a mess and my knees and hips were feeling as if a 100-year-old bungalow was about to crash in an earthquake.
Some of the bride’s family members appreciated the Kurta, “Royal robe on a Royal personality!”, they said. My brain received Pride from my ears, Pain from my joints and Desperation from my eyes. Mix these emotions and then think about how was I feeling. I sat through the night putting up genuine smiles, whistling and even irritating my brother-in-law (Memorable moments for him for sure!!) as the ceremonies took place.
But something was making me restless. A thought was continuously pecking a hole in my mind. For the same task, I have to put in more effort, bear more pain and overcome greater struggle than “They” have to. And if I am able to accomplish the same task as them, then it’s a bigger achievement by me than “They”. So what if I took 10 pauses and “They” took 5, I did not collapse, I did not need anyone to lend me a helping hand!! I danced at every song, even though at some places, it was just raising my hands, shaking my waist and hinging on my knees as a spring!! But I did it and everyone enjoyed. I was never a drag on the procession even if I could have been a weak link!
Let me put it this way, God did not bless me with the Boon Gene OK? But then he definitely placed a Gladiator within me. A gladiator, ready to fight whenever required, to accomplish a task, even if it means the most basic of a task. Each Day. I challenge all of the “They”, if they are loaded with 50 kilograms of weight from their shoulders down and asked to dance for 10 minutes or walk the way I walk or do their daily same basic tasks for 1 month, “They” won’t be able to do it. I’ve been doing it for years and years and years and continue to do it toady!! Each day.
The “I” inside me is a Gladiator!! For the first time in my life that night, I felt as if I had connected with that “I” with a different perspective. More powerful than any of the “They” around me! Aggressive when needed, each day.
I immediately returned to our room at the marriage venue and rushed to the bathroom and saw myself in the mirror one more time. Yes, “You” was there. “You” was a reflection of that fit, smart, healthy and lean but solid gladiator, “I”.
Look into the mirror today. Look at “You” with pride. Feel that warrior “I” one more time. You are winning battles each day that “They” can’t even thinking of fighting. This gladiator needs to fight one more war this time.
Let’s begin the strategy when we meet next!!
There lived a great man named JoeMuhammad Ali
who was belittled by a loudmouth foe.
While his rival would taunt and tease
Joe silently bore the stings.
And then fought like gladiator in the ring.