An hour back, I absent-mindedly looked up and into the mirror while washing my hands in the restroom. There they were – streaks of silver glistening against the blackness of my hair.
Yet again, I had parted my hair right where the population density of white hair is highest. A bit too high for a 26-year old.
The involuntary reaction was to think ‘adjust the parting now – hide them brutes!’.
The voluntary action was to smile at my reflection, admire the silver streaks, and walk back to lab.
Being able to shrug off aging – premature or not – is liberating. Makes me smile to myself.
There are more such ‘silly’ things that are liberating to me..
It is liberating to be able to sport un-shaved arms in short-sleeved tops and be completely oblivious to it until you over-hear some girl exclaim “Oh, I have to go for waxing ASAP. I look like a bear!”. And then smile looking at your own ‘bear’-arms.
It is liberating to be able to not go red in the face when you realize that you have been going around with a bra strap peeking out for hours.
It is liberating to be able to not ‘notice’ that there are males around and to carry a sanitary pad to the restroom openly – no more handbags entering the bathroom, or wearing only clothes with pockets during ‘those days’.
It is liberating to be able to say – aloud – “Could you please look at my eyes while talking to me? They are above my neck – not below!” to a guy who talks to your chest. And then smile at him warmly while looking in his eyes – till he goes red in his face and flees. It is quite amusing too.. oh, who am I kidding? It is pure sadistic pleasure!
It is liberating to travel alone – at dawn, after dusk; in notorious Delhi, to unknown cities; into crowds, into dark deserted ruins. To hell with the rapists on prowl.
Gender-neutral liberating things? Umm… let us see…
It is liberating to..
To be able to impulsively get up mid-work and walk off to meet the rising sun at the Qutub.
To be able to go for a purposeless walk truly alone – without the company of an mp3 player or a phone conversation. With just thoughts for company.
To be able to explore a city in the rain – carrying nothing – no umbrella, no wallet, no phone, no camera, no map. And hum softly to yourself. Free of burdens, free of destinations, free of inhibitions.
To be able to decide now and set off on a trip tonight.
To be able to travel to a tourist place, and not go on a ‘sight-seeing’ spree or photograph everything.
To be able to stay off email for a week – in spite of having ready access to it.
To be able to forget that your mobile phone exists – to lose that 11th finger.
To be able to live alone – without feeling lonely.
To be able to buy books and travel with your own earnings.
It is liberating to say NO when you want to.
It is liberating to ‘want’, ‘demand’, and ‘get’ – without guilt.
It is liberating to turn away from people who drain you – for good, with neither hard feelings nor guilt.
It is liberating to know your weaknesses and that it is okay to have a few.
It is liberating to ask ‘Yes.. So?’ .
It is liberating to simply feel ‘I don’t care!’
In a world that teaches you to conform, to be self-conscious, to not stand out, the tiniest of things can be liberating. More so to women.
One just discovers a few.. and then it becomes an addiction.
I am addicted. Are you? 🙂