She is always on my mind 24/7. This teenager who sometimes becomes my mentor, philosopher and guide. Other times appears as an infant who refuses to come out of the closet where she is hiding because she hates milk.Maybe what's bothering me most is her insecure tantrums which proclaim " Nobody likes me, nobody understands me, i am going to the garden to eat worms".
i looked around the chaotic room so typical of a shared hostel room and was offering to help clean up the mess when my eyes got stuck on something which was kept neatly near the books stacked untidily.
i picked it up, caressed the cold smoothness and marveled at nature but more than that i wondered how and where she could manage to find those. Her school is neither in the hills nor by a stream where one could collect them.
Also a warm affectionate smile spread upon me and washed me of the frustration as i noticed how she has neatly without a drop of smudge doodled on the surface of her collections.
In between all that warmth i was still a bit perplexed as to how when she could be so finicky about being neat in her doodling could bear to lodge in a room that looked like a burglar ransacked room.
The object took me a few years back when she was still in primary school. The hot summer siesta afternoons when all of us were busy snoozing she would be out in scorching heat wandering the periphery of the garden picking up this and that. Not even her mother clinging to whom she would be listening to a story a few minutes back could suspect nor realize her creeping out of the bed.
A twig, a dry leaf, feather...
We would only chance upon these after they were neatly put up on her study table. Not in it's original form but along with her creativity.
i can see-
The twigs resembling miniature driftwood converted into pencil holders.
The leaves stuck artistically with some words painted neatly on it, on her small bulletin board.
The feathers peeping like bookmarks at first but later painted and decorated in her small handmade paper vase.
So assuming her new find to be yet another art from waste i just patted her affectionately and complimented her on her cute paper weights.
But more than that i asked her how she found those in the hostel campus which was all covered up with concrete and green.
What she told me was not surprising at all.
i was seeing that frail, petite very beautiful girl aged 6 maybe 7 or 8 lurking in the hostel campus on her hunting spree.
She is now a beautiful teenager who excavates the moment she chances upon one peeping from the ground.
Rocks! and her kitty includes quite a few. She could have more if space permitted but i was amazed at her collection. There were sizes that made me call them a paperweight but some were smaller.
All wonderfully weathered to perfect ovals, ellipses and circles.
And she calls them GRATITUDE ROCKS.
Any moment when she feels good she decorates these rocks with words that spill out from her heart.
i then wished i had seen more than what just my eyes had seen.
(Mausi in Hindi means maternal aunt)