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Pratima Bhatt

Comedy Drama


Pratima Bhatt

Comedy Drama

My Life- A Bedtime Story

My Life- A Bedtime Story

12 mins 17.2K 12 mins 17.2K

If my life were a bedtime story, it would be hilarious, probably wouldn't let you sleep at all. I would choose to narrate it to my 18 year old self. I would say this to her:

Happy 18th birthday love! The cake has been cut, phone calls and SMSes have poured in, mom dad have officially allowed you to have a boyfriend (that's the birthday gift you asked for) and now, you want to sleep. You have enough movie like choreographed pictures to show off tomorrow. Your friends will think you had a gala time and that is the whole point, no? So, park your rear on the bed and let me tell you a fairy tale from the future. A bedtime story if you will. I promise it'll entertain you! For you are the queen of this fairy tale!

10 years from now, you will be just 2 years shy of turning 30!

I personally feel that's unfair because you are so lazy, so so so very lazy, I think your one day should comprise of 72 hours instead of 24 - that's how slow you are! So you should reach 30 at a slower rate as well. That won't happen though. Sigh! Anyhow, before you pout and complain that you are being ragged on your birthday, let's get on to YOUR fairy tale...

Once upon a time, almost a couple of decades ago, a millennial, just like any other, was born - a healthy girl, supposedly with pink lips and nails. So ecstatic were her parents that their kid had been born half baked (half baked in a positive were born with hair and nails; many girls take as long as 6 months to grow hair...the horror!) The relatives and friends of the family were so taken by her beauty, that her parents couldn't help but gloat that they'd done something right that night, ahem! Soon the parents discovered that she was different from the other babies- in just her 10th month on the planet, she had learnt to hold a pen and she scribbled away, madly, on walls and whichever empty surface she could lay her tiny hands on. Years passed by, new things kept revealing themselves- she loved watching the news even before she had started talking, she scribbled something that resembled Russian font which led the parents to believe she was a Russian in a previous life (wishful thinking!) She was sent to the best school in town, was a well behaved kid who grew up into a rebellious teen.

On the first day of college, this convent bred kid tried to work up a conversation with a boy who would be her classmate for the rest of the course. He responded with a shy reply at first and then opened up a bit. She was happy that she had already made a new friend. Sadly, that wasn't the case. For, the next day, she started receiving these odd looks from everyone- some quizzical and some, flat out disgusted. Puzzled, she got to class and the first lecture began. Sometime later, she spotted her new friend; she waved a small "hi" at him but he looked away as if she were a stranger. Confused, she looked for him after class, found him with other boys. One of them saw her and elbowed him. He looked at her and they all broke into giggles which turned into her! She was temporarily labelled a slut for apparently just wanting to talk to a boy. Irritated at this revelation, she learnt that college and later, adulthood, isn't as transparent as school days are. Nothing is the way it appears to be like. She finished her course and happily moved on to further study what she loved- travel. So much history everywhere! All of that culture, that food, wow! Travel was delightful! So she moved to a big city to study that. The city life was better- she wore what she wanted to without grabbing eyeballs, she could step out for a meal or movie all by herself and nobody looked at her like she was mad and most importantly, she could make friends irrespective of gender.

She was beginning to feel right at home just in her first week there. One day, in class, their lecturer informed them that they were expecting a new student and he was running late. The queen thought, naughtily, if it would be someone good looking so she'd have a worthy crush to boast of to her friends. Less than five minutes later, a boy entered the classroom- tall, athletic build and a beard! She realised she had a thing for bearded men then. He came close to where she was seated and sat in the seat ahead of her's. She shared some notes with him, obviously to initiate contact. Soon enough, they were talking, they hung out with their classmates but everyone knew there was something brewing between the two. One day, she informed her father about her crush; yes, millennials are pretty bold. Her father was slightly taken aback but that tiny shock aside, he gave her a simple advice which she carried well into her adulthood. He said: "this crush of yours, let him be a friend at the most, for you will progress in life and you'll scale milestones and you'll come across so many people whom you will crush on. You've just begun exploring the world, learn the ways of the world, be a sponge, get to know everything. Some day, you will come to a point where you will want to take the crush to the next level. Ask yourself, have you reached that point already? If the answer is yes, by all means, I'd like to meet the young man" . She did ask herself that question and her mind answered in the negative. Surprised, she started distancing herself from him. Sadly, he was into her. Sadly because, he fell in love and professed his love for her, thrice, which she turned her back on, every time. She tried to comfort him, apologized for having led him on and when he blamed her for scarring his heart, she realised the difference between having a crush and actually being involved, emotionally. She cursed herself because the boy was not playing games, he was in it for the long haul and she wanted to explore the world being single. With all her might, she focused her energy on studying and later, work. They eventually fell out of touch and she hoped he had moved on. Years went by and the thought of love and men never crossed her mind.

One day, her father complained he wasn't feeling too well and before she knew it, he was being treated for a major illness. Being an only child, she took a sabbatical from her life in the big city to look after her mother who clearly wasn't taking her father's illness well. She watched her father's health go from bad to worse and she was disappointed that there was nothing she could do about it. He gradually recovered, it took him years to fully recover.

Her life had changed in an instant, from the high soaring travel professional to being part-mother to her parents, moving back home at such a time felt unfair. Life was unfair, but family would always come first and she pushed the frustration away.

Her social life consisted of a small group of friends, going out for meals and coffee occasionally.

One day, these friends planned to get together for a drive in the rains. Excited, she made sure her parents had taken their medication as advised and left the house. A friend picked her up and she got in the car and off they went. The other friends in the group had canceled on them and yet she'd insisted they go, just her and the boy driving the car, her friend who she knew liked her as more than a friend. She knew she was about to repeat that folly, just like all those years ago, but the climate was too good to be sitting at home, doing nothing. He drove and they chit chatted like they always did. At one point, nature called and they had to attend to it. They spotted a local chai stall there and not too far ahead, a lake. It was drizzling, so they had the chai and walked over to the lake. She was enjoying every bit of that moment- the weather, the light drizzle, the greenery around, the ducks in the lake, the lake itself and her friend by her side. And there wasn't anyone around. Too good to be true, she thought. Full of glee, she turned around to face her friend and found him staring at her. When she shot him a questioning look, he took a few rapid steps to where she was and kissed her, a passionate, deep kiss. She felt short of breath and her heart was about to explode!

He let her come back to senses and then went down on one knee and proposed to her! She looked around and wondered if she were dreaming. She wasn't. She was terrified. Was she ready for this? He read her mind and got up and kissed her again, said "I love you. You probably already know that. I had planned this evening, I made all the friends cancel on us so I could have you to myself this evening. I know you are afraid. Don't be. I'll be your friend, just like I have always been. I'll just love you twice as much. I'll be there when you need a hug, when you need to cry. I know the difficulties you've been through and I love you the way you are. Make me the happiest guy alive, say yes?" And she still wondered if it was real at all. She kept quiet for a few seconds and after what felt like forever, she mouthed a small "yes" . Ecstatic, he picked her up in her arms and showered her with kisses.

Remember, this is the 21st century we're talking about. They were happy, but like every other new age couple, they ran into differences and decided to part ways after a couple of years. He was her first love. She would eventually move on, she would maybe find someone better and someone she wouldn't want to quit on, but nothing would change the fact that he was the first man to capture her heart. Move on she did. She traveled a lot, made new friends and evolved. She did come across a man every now and then who impressed her, but she didn't dare invest her energy in them.

Life went on, her parents stabilized and soon enough, she went back to the big city to work and explore- only this time, she was an adult.

Today is her 28th birthday - your 28th birthday. You have been strong, a good daughter, a good girlfriend and a good friend; you have put your heart through plenty and you have learnt to take failures in your stride. You have seen the best of both worlds- living the life and traveling and at the same time, caring for your parents the way they would for you. Your life has been nothing short of a millenial's fairytale and it's still in the making. Now, before it gets all cry baby-ish, please pay attention to what your future queen self wants to convey to you:

You might be a queen, but you are no Rapunzel. You are 18 and have been having bad hair days; by the time you turn 28, you will have had a bad hair decade. I would suggest you go bald, just for the heck of it.

You need to start drinking already- people around you are talking about it and you are so clueless! Start already!

Fortunately, a decade from now, you will still be healthy enough to embark on long treks and survive hunger and dehydration. The bits about being healthy and drinking later than most kids(lazy bum) aren't related, but who knows.

Not everything about you is all that boring; you are 18- supposedly the next best thing after sweet 16 and yet, you will look better when you turn 28 (even with unmanageable hair)

You are morphing into an outspoken woman. You will also be unapologetic about the way you are and you will (try to) inspire younger girls to be that way. They won't pay attention because you won't be rich or famous enough, but atleast you'll know you tried.

The best part - men! Well, I won't pollute your head with too many gory details *wink wink* Although, you will realize that men are human. Huh? Yes. They will claim to be mysterious, extraordinarily charming, superhuman even, but eventually you will see them for who they are - male versions of women. Mysterious they are, because their cell phone passwords are top secret. They are superhuman, yes- you will see some men down too much alcohol and still drive steadily. They are extraordinarily charming, yes, until you fall for them. Once that's done, you'll see them for who they are .....drum roll..... human, boring versions of women!

How, when, with whom, I will obviously not reveal, but I'll share this: you will fall in love, head over heels. That love story will happen when you least expect it to. It will change you. Cherish the love you feel for that man! It is the most outstanding thump your heart will ever feel. You will seek an insane, larger than life love story for you believe that love is too amazing to be mediocre or mundane - I hate to break this to you, that's nearly impossible. You will realize that men call you beautiful, but that compliment isn't always aimed at your face. Most men will disappoint, but do not take any disappointment to heart. Move on and live.

You will find the strength to stay strong without anybody backing you up on your toughest days. Disappointments will come from the most unexpected sources and your faith will dwindle. That's a good sign, mind you - it will make you step carefully and before you know it, you will walk on eggshells with élan, everyday!

Juggling a lot of tasks (at snail's pace of course you lazy bum) will make the years fly by and before you know it, you'll almost be 30.

You are no Rapunzel, you didn't do half of the things you wanted to, but you survived when most gave up, you did things most have only dreamt of. So far, you have done well and that makes your life a fairytale. Live on, make it grander so you can visit your 10 year younger self in the future and win another story writing contest!

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