Apoorva Joshi

PhD student - Michigan State University; Independent journalist - environment, science and international news.

Fellow - International League of Conservation Writers.

Member - Society of Environmental Journalists, International Communication Association.

Juliet,Cinderella,Rapunzel,Snow White...Me?

The stuff that dreams are made of, the stuff that has painted our history red with love, red with blood; Red - symbol of two extreme feelings. All the while when I was growing up I prayed and prayed to "God" knows who [pun intended]. I asked for my knight in shining armor and no, I wasn't one of those Cinderella or Rapunzel or Snow White kinds. I was, however, a very very lonely and misunderstood girl thrown in with a very large bunch of people at every stage of her life. Her biggest challenge was to survive all that. To blend in or not, was entirely up to her, even at the age of 3, it was her decision. What "decision" that tender mind could take, I don't remember completely but I suppose, the person I am today, is a combination of those shaky starts, and the bold steps that echoed confidence as they walked from corridor to corridor. 


Through the phases I labelled as "one of the most difficult" times of my life, I realized many-a-times that a single companion who understands you, and loves you unconditionally, is what would solve "a problem like Maria" [reference to The Sound of Music- please listen to the song "How do you solve a problem like Maria"]. 


People made movies. Movies in which love was the centre of everything. If you Google "Love", you will probably have to have a lease on your next life to combine it with your current one so that you can read all the stuff that's written or centred around Love. 


It's no wonder than that even today, Shakespeare is read across the world. Human emotions very often govern human actions and that is not necessarily always a bad thing. 


So, when, as a child, I would dream about a "picture perfect" [pun intended] life, I had no idea how that dream would modify and practicalize itself as the years passed. I wanted the best of everything that I thought I deserved and according to my calculations of good and bad behaviour, I was sure I deserved that one person whom I would love beyond eternity and vice versa. 


I went from 7th grader to a 17yr old and a few typical teenage heartbreaks later, it was time for the big stuff. I was off to college, and not just any college. I was going to be a graduate. 2007. I thought I was all grown up and that life had put me through the worst already. And by then, I had become a bitter person on the inside. I had stopped believing that all those wishes with folded hands I made silently in my balcony corner as a child, would ever come true, and with good reason. 2009 saw the worst that could ever be fit into a single year and by the 31st December of 2009, my hopes were long shattered, my battery discharged, and my heart almost non-existent. 


My mission became work and the stoic in me decided that I would "marry my work" like most people do when they're down in the dumps. My heart, till that day, had played the roles of Caesar, Brutus, Antony, and Juliet during its many trysts with the world! [;)] 


But it's funny how, during your worst time, you end up having the most sensible and feasible wishes! I never once wished for love after that. I only thought about it. A lot. I thought how things would have been different if one day, I'd be telling my kids the story of how their parents met and fell in love and stayed together forever. I wondered what would happen if my life really became happy again someday?


Less than a year later, I was staring into the eyes of the person I'm going to marry. More than a year into this divine relationship, I'm convinced that if Shakespeare or any random person who ever wished to write about, to pen his/her thoughts on love, were around, that person wouldn't have to go any further. :) 


Modesty, is a virtue, sometimes best left behind. Love, can never and in my opinion, SHOULD never, be modest. It should be full of itself, full of so much emotion that it spills over and spreads everywhere, it should be, in all its entirety, worthy of being called Love. 


Moral of the story? Wishes do come true. Children on their knees, hands folded, eyes shut in tight hope, teeth clenched should ALWAYS believe, when they grow into teenagers who're fretting about shoes, clothes, people, marks, driver's licenses, alcohol, cigarettes, peer pressure, parents' constant nagging, food, fitness.. , they really need to do just one thing- believe. Believe, that all those wishes, do come true. And sometimes, all you need to do, is just make that wish. 


Because when you absolutely least expect it, your best friend, transforms into your better half and there is not a feeling on earth that matches the satisfaction and ecstasy of having your best bud as your life partner. Just when you think life cannot possibly go any lower, it surprises the shit out of you and you're suddenly back on top. And being on top of your own life is a miraculously empowering feeling. You hold the reigns. You, and your man. For now, the word "you" , doesn't mean what it has all this while. 


No amount of psychiatric counselling or therapy, punishments, lectures, lessons, articles, photographs, experiences, can teach and INSPIRE someone to continually make efforts to be a better person with each passing day; nothing is as inspiring as Love. Nothing. 


When you know the honest to god trust that your partner invests in you, the faith and support you're getting, and the unshakable strength, motivation, and most importantly, happiness that you have, all because of the love that your "special someone" has for you, you cannot possibly ignore your own heart when it makes decisions that shock and regularly, surprise you! 


The once aggressive teenager is now a mellowing mature person who makes decisions that are way smarter than before and even though not too much time has passed between these two phases, your life's most important event has been enough to keep you happily grounded on cloud 9 :) 


Because all those times you thought your heart has been reduced to a mere speck now, are a major build up to the day you discover that what you thought was an electron sized part of your body, has suddenly jumped into your throat. And in a flash, you know, it's back. Your blood pumping organ is back. And it's doing over-time because someone somewhere, is driving it bananas! 


Because, now, you actually WILL be sitting and telling your kids about how their parents have been together right since they've been 21 :) Because your children won't need Mills and Boons. They'll have you. 
I couldn't be more grateful to two people for the happiness in me today. The man responsible for keeping my spirit and soul alive as ever, everyday; and that kid in the corner of my balcony who secretly wished for her knight in shining armor :) 


It baffles me how MANY emotions are locked up in that four lettered word. How Love supplies endless energy, strength, and patience, I have no clue but I'm glad as hell that it does. How a word that looks so small, can be so powerful, makes me wonder if there could possibly be another word anywhere in any language that could be anywhere close to the power of Love. "Hope" maybe, but even that, ties with "Faith" and Love still wins. 


All those shooting stars, those eyelashes placed carefully on your fist, those birthday candles you blew out, the days you kneeled before your god and joined your hands in prayer [irrespective of whether or not you believe/d in god], the times you made a lonely wish as you stared out your window at the rain as the drops embraced the leaves they soaked as they slid down, - all those wishes, probably go someplace where they're stored, safeguarded, and looked after till the time comes for them to be granted. 


And my Angel, practically walked up to my door, rang the bell and wrapped my wish around me in a giant hug. And in all probability, had a neon-sign maker witnessed that moment, he'd have seen "GRANTED" flashing in bright red above my head like an enormous Halo. :) 

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