"Faith, indeed, has up to the present not been able to move real mountains... But it can put mountains where there are none."
Tonight as I fumbled my way through butchering a chicken, my very first, my eyes feverishly trailed the blood and sinew till they could no more tell which was what. Despite the plethora of recipes and my reputation as a cook (okay, I can't help but be a narcissist here!), I had never ever dared touching raw flesh. That was always Sam's job. But tonight I had to, for the husband was 'busy'. Making my way through the wobbly carcass, I realised it's no big deal. What was I so afraid of? It's just meat and it's dead. There!
And so sprung up a string of incidents that have remained singularly unforgettable in my inconsequential life thus far...
I was barely ten then, when I had once returned home from my regular evening recreation before the helplessness of 'homework time' would kick in. How I had straight gone into the bathroom to hide the gaping wound on my thigh that had resulted from a bad bicycle fall. Lest the parents see it and give me a good piece of their mind, which I was anyway quite used to in those days. Lest I am rushed to the hospital for that much dreaded shot. But like all mothers do, mine too discovered the wound after a day or so and what followed should better be left out. Let's just say the lesson thrived well inside me, for years. Because the next time I had tumbled off and bruised myself, I had just cycled on briskly with a bleeding knee to the hospital. Shot time!
Three winters back during a rafting adventure, when almost drowning in the glacial waters of the Teesta, I had seen it looming large like a green monster. Fear. Little did I know that the life jacket would fail me when the then daredevil in me had decided to take an impulsive plunge into the tempting Himalayan waters. I was already doing the goodbyes in my mind, and all this when I was just a month-old newly wed. How supremely unreal the moment felt! Suddenly, something inside me had silenced the howling tears and strangled that sneering monster. And there I was, streamlined (what if a creature from the deep pulled me into the fathomless depths!), holding on to the boat and actually using my head. Of course, I was rescued back into the boat. Of course I cried, wailed in fact, but not before I was snug and secure in one of the changing huts.
One afternoon, when words had been whispered and blames had been hurled inside closed doors. When judgement was sung callously, the notes of which still ring deep in my ears. When I learnt that it takes only a handful of days for some people to stab you right in the heart. Just like a spell, the mirror of illusions had broken. And how I was reborn, stripped of doubts and fear. And a little respect, too. Fate lets you have only one choice (which I proudly have) and keeps the rest for herself - perhaps the most important of all lessons I've learnt.
It starts from some point. How we carry some fears with us all along and then one day we just drop it, like clothes from a tired body. One fine day, just nothing matters. Absolutely nothing.