I do not want to forget . . .

Courtesy of YouVersion

I don’t want to forget I am called to be a light in this world. I am called to move others in any way I can and at the highest level of my ability. I am called to gift people with love. I am called to uplift others when they are down. I am called to converse with, build with, grow with, and understand others. I am called to put in the work of opening my arms when my arms need to be opened. I am called to lend a shoulder when a shoulder is needed.

But, I am not called to endure empty rhetoric, words filled with hate, and people who do not wish to understand what they do not understand and be open-minded regarding the plight of others. I am not called to stand for what I do not believe in or to respect actions deeply rooted in harming other human beings. I am not called to profess anything that doesn’t shift or change one fiber of your being. I am not called to hate. I am not called to harm. I am not called to be an enemy.

I will be what I am called to be and I will not allow you to steer me in a direction in which I am not called to go. I am not led by your hand. I am not led by your heart.

“You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.”
Matthew 5:14 GNT

Young Minds of Medium Featured Piece #3

Subodhini Vignesh (Subo)  is a young one I am happy to have in A Cornered Gurl. She is encouraging, strong-willed, open-minded, and takes on a challenge like it’s second nature to her. She recently turned sixteen years old and the second way she decided to respond to the Young Minds of Medium What Do You Miss Most During This Pandemic call was to write about how she experienced her birthday this year. Her first submission was just as detailed and definitely a gut-punch, but this piece truly touched my heart as I read it. I give you, “My Sweet Sixteenth Birthday . . .”

My Sweet Sixteenth Birthday

Young Minds of Medium Missed Things Call

My Birthday Cake ❤|Photo credit: Author’s Dad

A few days ago, I found myself sobbing under my covers at night, with the rest of my family in a deep slumber. Until that moment, I hadn’t felt dejected for not being able to celebrate my 16th birthday with all my close friends and family. I felt a little lonely, but this wasn’t only because of the future physical absence of my friends on my special day; this would be the last birthday I’d be celebrating in India before shifting to another country, and my friends wouldn’t be there. They would forget me soon anyway, might as well celebrate what had once been- the celebration of the end of years of friendship and memories.

When I woke up the next morning, 15th May, I no longer felt the sadness that had fueled my tears; instead, I felt stupid and a bit embarrassed to take responsibility for the thoughts that had clouded my more rational reasoning. My friends would never forget me, even if I’m 1000s of kilometres away. So what if they are absent for a little cake cutting? There are still so many memories of them I can hang on to. It isn’t really their fault they can’t come — it’s beyond any of our control. It’s okay to feel bad for their absence — it’s human.

Out of sight, but not out of mind.

As of 15th May, I had zero expectations for my birthday — that is what my parents and my brother had fooled me into believing. I’m generally good at putting pieces together, so hiding something from me isn’t a piece of cake; it turns out, they hid an entire cake. That night, my parents, my brother, and I were watching a 1980s Rajinikanth movie — it being a reason to keep me up till 12 o’clock.

May 16, 2020- The Birthday

When the clock struck twelve, all my friends and family stood at my doorstep ready to wish me a happy birthday, and the beautiful blue dress my fairy godmother had gifted me turned into my rags, leaving me with only one glass slipper. Nah, not really.

My brother and my parents gave me the gifts they had secretly brought home, and all of them sang the happy birthday song at the top of their lungs. I was awestruck, to add to this, several of my relatives and buddies had swarmed my landline and Whatsapp with their wishes and love.

I had expected them to forget my birthday, yet they had won my heart with all their love.

I woke up to a video my friends had curated; it began with a picture of me in a ridiculous pose and sunglasses and then a series of pictures where each of them held an alphabet to spell “Happy Bday”. I was delighted and a bit surprised because, to be honest, for the last three months I hadn’t had a proper conversation with many of the girls — except maybe some Whatsapp “Gm’s” and “Bye’s.”

One of the most significant moments of the day was by one of my best friends. She had created an entire card and left me a long beautiful message which got me to smile so much that my jaw hurt. She and I were going to take completely different paths in our lives, and our personalities don’t really coincide, yet we are thick as thieves. I have always known that even if we end up in different parts of the planet we’d never lose touch. The gift of sweet words she had given me a pleasant reminder of our togetherness and friendship which will last forever.

She’d be amongst the ones I will miss the most, but never forget.

In the evening, I cut a delicious cake my parents had smuggled home. I was courted by my grandparents, cousins, and best friends singing the birthday song through video conference.

Throughout the entire day, I felt special and a little spoiled — a break from my scheduled day.

For me, my birthday was a refreshing reminder that everything will be fine soon, and until then, we are in this together.

I am not forgotten, I am loved — this is all I needed to know.

Stay Home. Stay Safe.
Have Hope.

Author’s Note: I would like to apologise to those who believe that, in this period where several are losing lives, I shouldn’t babble about something as childish as a birthday. This is a tough time for all of us, even me, and I wish to share the little insignificant moments that make my life more joyous. Through this pandemic, we all have different problems with varying magnitudes; each a story unique to the individual. This is part of my story.

Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

behind the screen

NaPoWriMo #12

I’ve not been able to visit my baby cousins every weekend as I am accustomed to doing, so yesterday, we had a little video chat session. It lifted my spirits tremendously. I also got a chance to chit chat with my sweet friend of God knows how long now. LOL. I’ve known her since she was a toddler (so maybe 32 years?). She is in the navy and is stationed in Japan–just to see her loving, sweet dimpled face was truly the highlight of my evening yesterday. 

Reach out to your loved ones, people. I did and I feel a bit better about not being able to see them during this time.


glimpses of you

NaPoWriMo #11

There’s this gnawing feeling deep within me to be even more connected with someone who is dear to me, someone I’ve known for a little over three years. But, there’s also a lot of fear too. The core of me is saying, “Don’t take any chances,” but the smaller parts of me are screaming, “What’s the harm in trying?” I do not know what I’ll do I feel as though I’ll be lead down the right path if that path ever presents itself to me.

Thank you for reading. 


the memory of the sound of your voice

NaPoWriMo #10