What Stories Tell Us

I was 7 years old; I was at my aunt’s place. My aunt and a few cousins of mine were talking about fasting and how they believe that their prayers will be answered if they fast. There was this kid in school who gave me a hard time; I really wanted her to fail class because she was always better than me. I announced that I’m gonna fast without talking for a day and pray to god that she fails her exams.  I have vague memories of my cousins laughing and telling me that it will rebound if I wanted evil things to happen.  At the end of the day I ended up crying because I had evil thoughts.
There are three reasons why I’m sharing this story. One, embarrassing stories are always fun to listen. Two, to point out how we perceive things as a kid.  
My aunts and my mother would fast every week without eating because they were bound by custom; if they didn’t fast they were not good wives. And yes there is this fact that they truly wished good for their families and believed that “god” will take care of their families if they kept fast. I talked to my mother recently about why she sticks to her culture, and why she thinks it is important to do so. What I got out of the conversation is that, many a times, we do things, even though we don’t want to do them because the society expects us to, we are scared to let go and break free from those people who keep talking  shit about us no matter what we do . It was really surprising for me that mom was aware of that fact that the people around her will keep treating her the same way no mater what, still she wanted to call them her loved ones. She has drawn a circle and made a set of rules by which she will live, till she dies. When I asked her what about all the things that you wanted to do in your life, she replied “lets hope I have the courage to pursue my dreams in my next life.” I didn’t know what to say.
Third, we always fall for what others say without understanding where it’s coming from. We ourselves draw a circle around us; build a cage, a cage so strong that it is becomes tough to break free.  
I only said it becomes tough to break free, I didn’t say that it’s impossible. It’s your life, only you get to decide what is right and wrong, it is also important to keep questioning your right and wrong.


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