I am a proud member of the little community where I live. There are so many families that care about each other. Mothers asking for new recipes, fathers talking about government policies and politics behind it, and elders protecting their neighborhood with their wisdom. Being an Indian, I’m blessed with year-round festivals that include delicious food, multiple occasions to dress nicely, and gatherings of neighbors at someone’s house. Indians know how to celebrate their lives and live in a harmony. I’ve been proud of such interconnected lives. Until I found out how cruel the harmony actually is.
The more unbiasedly I think about me, my parents, my siblings, rather everyone, I recognize a subtle pattern that is so well hidden. Mothers are not asking for new recipes, but trying to mimic each other in a socially acceptable way. Father figuring out the most suitable political stand to fit in together and fight against someone with different opinions. When I look around me, I see no mother, father, or a friendly, somewhat nosy neighbor, I see mirrors reflecting each other until it is impossible to figure the true self.
The world is lost in a game. This game has been played for decades. Everyone has figured out the rules and they are quite simple. What would people say? This is the only question you have to ask yourself and make every decision accordingly.
Does the boy you love share the same caste as yours? If yes, you have an eye for selecting a suitable life partner! If not, how dare you to open your heart and show such vulgarity! Does the career of your choice match with your education? If yes, you are a quite example for the youngsters in the society. If no, how dare you follow your heart and waste your parent’s money! See, even you have seen the glimpse of this game and failed to think twice about it.
You see, the game is quite simple yet horribly twisted. It demands nothing but your will. The saddening fact is that after playing it for years, you get used to it and even forget about the life when you could make your own decisions. By the time you are a parent, you slowly try to impose these rules on your children and snatch the hope of something brilliant that could come out of their innocent imagination.
It took me 26 years to accept that I’m a part of this game and I can stop playing whenever I want. I can hit quit and my soul could liberate once and for all. However, this is not as easy as it sounds. It took me a while to understand how sinister the game really is. You are not only mimicking each other but selling your soul in exchange for acceptance in each other eyes.
When I look at the elders, I no longer see wisdom, I see a lack of soul, a living rule book of the game, a person without a persona. When they look at me, they see a threat in my eyes. I am a stone that can shatter the realm of mirrors. I am a living reminder of something they had a long time ago, something that they loved dearly and failed to protect. I’m no longer a sister, daughter, or grandchild.
I’m not a mirror and that is the worst thing to be.