There’s a problem in bringing up kids with high level of imagination (all eyes at me please and not at the door – there’s no diva who’s set to appear. DQ is in front of you! 😳 ) – or so my mother bantered and I smirked. But that was ONLY before Tamanna came into my life. Now I bow down to the power of imagination and in fact dread each time her counselor calls me. “I say a little prayer for you myself” before I pick up the calls and then I leave it on my cuppa of Green Tea to go through the escapades of photo shoots and expensive parlor visits to do her hair (the Barbie way) – when in reality she was in a special class!

Guess this time the morning tea session with Ma is going to be a long one.

Today as I type this, I smile when I think about the session I am to have tomorrow with Ma about Tamanna. I am sure she’s again going to giggle about my “monsters under the bed’ episodes! Being a typical Calvin, I thoroughly believed that there were indeed monsters under my bed each night. The difference was that instead of a father telling re-assuring stories to put a child to sleep (as imagined by Watterson) I had a sister who gladly did the opposite to keep me awake as she snored! And since my parents had the rule that I couldn’t step down from the bed after lights were put off, as I could do was clutch my Hobbes near and wonder if the monsters were done with their dinner, or whether they were making plans to attack me and whether they really had glowing eyes with X-ray vision!

For long I have believed in this story – refused to peep under beds at night and somehow deep down my alter ego still mocks me for believing in this fear. According to her I hate beds (yes I do!) and have none at my place mainly because I am still scared of invisible monsters! (No!!! it’s not true 😳 )

Paah! I wag my tongue at her and walk away only to come back and sit by the mirror and tell her profoundly yesterday and indeed I am still scared of monsters, but unfortunately they are no longer invisible. After growing up they come in all shapes and sizes. They differ in forms, patterns and come wrapped up in all sorts – like through a DVD (Exorcism of Emily Rose) or even as a face that still makes me break out in sweat and tears – fear and heartbreak are fast friends in this part of the wall.

Monsters do not shape us but, they stay to shape the walls around us. I haven’t met a single man/woman who doesn’t come with the baggage, the problem is we don’t know when and how to shed it. Trudging along we become so habituated carrying that load, we slouch into an ‘accepted’ zone. Though we know that doors might open and the baggage can be dropped we fear about the times when the opposite might happen and the already existing load becomes too much to handle!

Standing from a neutral perspective it’s easy to say to loosen up, but then again when you have been tightly bound for a long time and the ropes don’t eat into your skin anymore, how so you react to discourses about pain and free times?

Letting go doesn’t always mean putting life back to where it was. Such a principal only works in the legal agreements I vet for my clients. It in reality means letting go a part of you completely – so that it vanishes and a new set of prejudices take its place, which you counsel yourself as the necessary evil to keep you going.

I see my friends – fleeting social butterflies hopping from one party to other, changing arms like summer apparels and nod when they say that this is the best life a girl can have. Then why do you cry after 4 drinks I ask one of them, why are your eyes moist when after that drag of “grass” you should be on a ride to ecstasy? She mumbles something about loneliness and a run away youth she’s trying to grasp, before she pukes all over the floor and passes out. Her beau for the evening likes an ‘easy going’ life and hence is mesmerized in some other nectar dipped neck!

I see epitomes of stability and smile into the mirror – I was there to once! Life would be perfect with a job, house, happy spouse and adorable kids! Now the order is all jumbled up as I see a close one battling divorce when the ‘irreparable breakdown of marriage’ cause baffles her more than it baffles her family court judge! The kids I see hug each other to sleep – occasionally asking her if divorce actually stands to be a sort of punishment for naughty kids! She on the other hand Google(s), attends counseling camps and is confident that time will heal everything and that she doesn’t need men in her life!

I see myself and a lot around that resembles me. I overwork, I exhaust fearing that tomorrow I might again blame myself for not doing what I should have done – like I do for each thing that didn’t turn out the way I wanted (irrespective of the real reason behind it!). I am too critical about my own self, but I don’t take judgments about my own self from others. I have a “I am what I am’ defense ready when anyone tries to hold up the mirror and I have a “I survived when he/she/the opportunity was not there right” line ready to pick myself up and “move on”.

But, the truth is that in reality we are all monster stricken individuals, who refuse to see that with time monsters do not vanish and life doesn’t become ok but that we put up walls which we think monsters can’t climb. But then for some like me they do and sit quietly under the bed, and just when I think I am ready to take the plunge they shake the bed and make me run back to the clove in the middle. And I snuggle up with Hobbes and tell myself, I am all ok here, all alone. When, we are never alone – the monsters are watching!

Have you ever felt there are monsters under your bed? Or if you are grown up (unlike me) do have skeletons in your cup board which refuse to let you put on your best dress and look pretty?