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Thursday, 14 March 2013

Private battles

The newspaper this morning is kind enough to inform us that Rekha (Bollywood superstar of yester years) has issues finding the right shade of Red and goes to great lengths to sort it out. Now considering I have never seen any picture of hers with a lipstick of any color but red, one wonders, why after so many years is it still an issue for her? More importantly, who gives a damn? She still ends up looking as Indian Rapunzel, not quite with it!

Any who, I guess it is her personal little battle she must fight, whether it makes an ounce of sense to another or not, and to be honest why should making sense to another matter? Since it is something one has to sort with oneself anyways, public opinion sort of seems to fade away. (This is not entirely true but I am going to get back to this point in a bit). We all have our little battles we set up and fight everyday. Perhaps these battles one sets up with oneself are harder to combat than with another. Maybe, just maybe it has something to do with being true to oneself and knowing what is good and bad, and rather clearly and having to admit it to oneself.

This one day, I must have been about 5 or 6 years old and it was the first time I had fasted in the month of Ramadan (The Islamic month long practise of fasting from sunrise to sunset).  It is apparently a big deal for a child to keep her first fast and my mum, bless her, in her excitement threw a huge party, and all the family attended and there was a huge feast to be had at sunset, with me dressed all pretty in shiny clothes (My mum went through her phase of dressing me in shiny and prickly clothes, till I had strength enough to protest). Now being that young and fasting for the first time, the entire point is self-control and abstinence and not quite putting their faith in either factor as far as I was concerned, I was warned that I shouldn’t mess about because Allah is watching. Now to a 5 year old, with a house full of expectant guests and the first fast of abstaining not only from all the food but water as well, self-control seemed impossible. But it had to be done, because I thought Allah was paying special attention to me that day and would smack me if I messed about, so I didn’t. I won a battle that day. It was a big achievement for me. Even if I did mess about, my family would have forgiven me, but in the quiet of my room, that little promise was a battle I had to win.


Over the years, battles won and lost, and my recent trips to the hospital (nasty business), I am made aware of the fact that I hardly drink any water. I am also made aware that my body in its slow subtle way is rebelling, and how! So the troops need to be controlled, hence a battle plan was formed. The plan is to drink 3 or more litres of water every-day. Now it might sound easy, but it isn’t. Oh no. The bottle looks at me, I look at the bottle, there’s a standoff. My throat clenches, I bite the bullet and go for it. Now there is no one here right now, no one watching technically, but the battle is still on. There are two more bottles in the fridge I need to finish before dinner. I am loathing the thought.

My bottle battles are not alone in their sincerity or re-occurrence. ZP has been trying to cut down on the daily intake of cigarettes and to maintain 6 a day has been his own personal battle.  The trial and tribulations and excuses offered to win or even the losses of these battles are hilarious. So, does diluting juice in a ginormous glass constitute the water intake equal to a bottle or does having a cigarette post-midnight start a new roster of 6 a day or is it continuation of the same day since one is awake and all? What to do..hmmm.

Reiterating to what I said in the second parah, given that public opinion generally doesn’t matter when one is combating with oneself, surprisingly people are very supportive whence has made their mind to achieve a victory. It seems supporting a personal victory leaves an essence of accomplishment and positivity on people around oneself. So now my friends have taken upon themselves to keep me away from spicy food and coke and discussing its pros and cons in my presence like I wasn’t present there at all. Somehow this show of support makes pushing forth on the attainable or unattainable slightly easier.

It’s the promises we make to ourselves which are the hardest to keep. So once again Rekha with her right shade of red, ZP at his last drag and me with the thought that the two bottles from my 3 a day are staring at me silently and menacingly, (or maybe that’s in my head. Big deal, my battle my rules!), I shall annihilate them. And by tonight chuffed at winning another little battle of my own, hopefully I shall live to fight another day.

Yippie kai yay M******J

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