Question Marks

I have never been close to the subject of death. I do not know how to approach this dark subject. I have friends whose parent passed away while I knew them and I didn’t know how to respond except saying ‘Oh’ or ‘I am sorry’ because this is what I have heard / read people say. How much ever I want to respond in the best possible manner, I become dumb. My first crush’s mother died today. I was shocked. I was afraid to pass his house lest I see him because I wouldn’t know how to react. I badly wanted to do something to ease his pain; to help him deal with this but I would never know what to do (and it is practically impossible that I can ever do / say anything to him because I don’t exist for him).

I have never seen death closely. And no one wants that to happen. So, I am one of those lucky ones who has completely been protected from witnessing this tragedy. My mother saw her mother’s slow death during her college years when she was 21. I was 21 eight years ago. I am sure I never could have handled it.

It’s ironical that this protectiveness, this shield that my parents have created for me all my life has become a handicap for me today. Even after staying on my own for 10 years now, I am still naïve and goose-bumpy, easily intimidated by darkness, night driving, violence, reptiles and rude words. Till a while ago, I thought I had struggled in life. A lot more than most girls of my age. I soon realized it wasn’t true. Yes, I have struggled and have fallen, got up and learnt in my own right. But it was probably nothing in front of many other people’s miseries. I have seen girls much younger to me who are much more bold and strong because they have come across tough situations at home and have been cemented against all odds.

Somewhere, I have matured. I have grown up. But I am still stuck in time warp. I should have been married by now but I still watch animated movies. My cousin, the closest to my heart, has turned 15 and has changed a lot but for me she is still a 4 year old. Though I am suspicious of everyone around me and am a control freak, I cannot handle a rude rickshaw driver.

Some say I am running away from reality. I have a sweetened view of everything created by my own I  mind and refuse to see it in its stripped, raw form. Sometimes, I see nothing wrong in this. I mean, why not? Why not be happy with knowing little, if knowing more is painful and disturbing? Why not stay a few years behind age schedule if that helps you stay fresh and hopeful? And many times, I just feel dumb at being such a baby. I wonder if something is seriously wrong with me that I am not able to keep up with times.

I will probably never know the answer to this dilemma.

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