I met her even before I opened my eyes in this big bad world. Since then she has always remained an inseparable part of my existence. I have experienced the carefreeness of childhood, the fantasies of adolescence and the responsibilities of adulthood in her presence; sometimes learning the lessons she taught me, harshly, and sometimes trying to imbibe her expectations with a willful and an unquestioning obedience of a mentee. 33 years is not a small time period to share your existence with someone, and pass off so easily, unscathed. We have gone through both the thick and thin of this beautiful relationship, which has had its own moments of laughter, happiness, sadness, disappointment and even self-doubt, but at the end of the day, it was just another lesson learnt. It’s strange, but despite having spent a huge amount of time with an entity that influenced my thoughts and actions in every possible manner, I never asked her name, maybe because somewhere down my heart I trusted her every opinion-driven act towards me; that it was for my betterment and long-term success. After all, as the legendary Shakespeare said, “what’s in a name?”
But humans will be humans.....one of God’s most unique, innovative, but also restless and impatient creations. So last night before retiring, I had a brief conversation with her, summarizing all the different facets of our companionship in these many years. I can tell you she was enjoying every bit of it. That sparkle in her eyes could simply not be ignored. Taking advantage of her trance, just when the time was right, I asked her, “Hey! What’s your name?”
She was taken aback by surprise for a moment, followed by a long and loud silence that appeared to question my common sense for the first time in these years.
After a period of tortuous calmness, she replied shyly, “LIFE”.