The Roles I Play
This is an attempt to bring in some of the important roles I have played, and still playing in my life. As a sister, daughter, friend, and so on…I have tried to describe each of my role going back in time and describing the incidents that made me realize my role in the life of the people I am close to. The tone and the voice are simple and the incidents are laid down as they happened. Each phase is separated by a dotted line, which conveys a leap of time. In the end, I venture into the future and describe the role I wish to play.
It’s 2006. I am 16 years old. Lying next to my sister who is going to get married today, I suddenly feel the void in my chest and the lump in my throat thinking she won’t be here tomorrow. From the time I can remember, I have always found her by my side. She is my best friend, my role model and in my eyes, the best sister anyone could ever have. I have had heard stories from my mom about how she hated me at first (because she wanted a baby boy!), but she started loving me over the years. I can’t remember a time I have hated her for just a second. She has always been and will always be the best thing that has happened to me. She taught me the act of sharing, loving and caring. If not for her, I would have never understood what it meant to be a sister to someone.
It’s been 5 years since my sister got married, and I still miss her presence. I have grown up, taken up the responsibilities she had at first before she left to start a new family. The biggest of it was being a daughter to my father. I love my mom, but my father has always scored a point higher than her. It’s because he never regretted having a son. He was always proud of his daughters, and we did everything to keep him proud. We still are. I think I am being a good daughter when I fetch him medicines every night; when I take a walk with him so he can tell me his life stories; or when I just smile and end the argument for him to win. I don’t know if it’s enough, but I am trying.
The year 2011 didn’t start off well. I lost my grandfather. He was my hero. But losing him was not the saddest part; not seeing him for the last time was. Standing at the airport that morning in a hurry to catch the plane so I could see him one last time, I got the call. The call I wish I never took. My brother-in-law was on the other side; in a choked up voice he said, “Your grandfather is no more”. I sat down the stairs with tears rolling down my cheeks. Should I board the plane? He is not waiting for me at the other end. But I did want to feel his presence one last time, even if he was not there anymore. I reached my destination and entered his room, sat down in his chair, and looked around. I would never feel his soft hands on my face as he kissed my forehead. A part of me died that day. But I didn’t want to let him go. I promised myself I would keep him alive in our memories and do my part as a granddaughter. Because he was the best grandfather I could ever have.
I am in a new city, new people, new life. It all feels like a dream. I never thought I would live in New Delhi. We visited before as tourists, but this time I am here to stay. Today was my first day at my new school here in Delhi. I met a girl. Given that I now study at a girl’s school, that statement might sound funny, but she was different. With a ponytail as high as it can get, she looked quirky. She walked across the room searching for a seat, and came and sat next to me. Her name is Prerna. I have a feeling we will be friends for a long time.
I met her when I moved to Delhi. Seven years down the lane, she is still my best friend. Today is a memorable day for both of us. Prerna is getting married to the love of her life. I can’t be happier for her. Over the years, I learned what it means to be a best friend, the most valued confidant and a soulmate. From the days of bunking together at school to watch a movie to talking over the phone overnight discussing relationships — we had them all! She made me a much stronger person; a person someone could depend on. I would never have understood the meaning of true friendship if not for her. Standing here, watching her get married today just makes me realize true friends are meant forever.
It’s way into the future. I’m married now. I have a loving husband, a beautiful family, and a great home. I always dreamt of being the ideal wife, and now I have the chance. I married the guy I loved for years, and the spark we had the day we met still glitters when we look at each other. I wanted a family too, where my mother-in-law is not just attached to me by law, but by love. I have a bigger role to play now; a role where I have to walk hand in hand with my husband and build a family for myself just like the one I grew up in.