I’ve never had a role model. Growing up, I never said "I want to be like so-and-so when I’m older!" I wanted to be as happy in my personal life as my mother, as happy in my professional life as my aunt, but I never wanted to be them. I think I went through a stage when I wanted to be Strawbella, my doll, but we wont count that.
Even the various authors I fell in love with over the years, from Blyton to Austen, to Fielding, to Roy. I admired them whole-heartedly, but I never thought of being them. Whenever people asked who my role model was, Id mutter something and change the subject. Eventually, I convinced myself that I didn’t have a role model simply because my ego was the size of South Mumbai. Then I joined BMM, and like other milestones it helped me cross, this was one of them.
I remember the first day I met her, and I remember telling people that I wanted to be like her. I remember the transition she & I made, from me being in total awe of her, to her becoming one of my best friends – where we completed each other’s thoughts, had the same playlist on our iPods, the same rug and the same views on everything – from chai, to music, to people, to books, to waddling babies in the park, to the way we wanted to lead our lives, to what we wanted from relationships, from work, from the world. I remember the way I sat burning the midnight oil to scribble 50-odd letters to people in the Polaris Events Team 2007 because I remembered the feeling that rose up within me, when she gave me my letter on my first Polaris 2006.
She graduated last year, and left a gaping hole in my final year of college. I hear random music wafting from my iPod and I think of her, I see people dancing in the College Hall and I think of her, I pull out a my pretty patiala and I think of her. I think of her when I feel joy, when I feel anger, when I feel irritation or peace.
She’s one of the most beautiful people I know – inside out. She has clean sharp ideas and opinions I envy. She sings, she dances, she writes and in my 3 years of knowing her I found few things she couldnt do. She’s loud, she’s peaceful. She’s angry and she’s calm. She’s confident and she’s sure. She loves and she hates. She’s the first role model I ever had and even when the role-model-ness faded away, I had a beautiful someone I could call my own.
Here’s to you Mrs Robinson. Jesus loves you more than you will know. As do I. An early Appy Birday to you.