It is true that I'm strong. It is true that I kept on watching an 80 year old's eye operation with blurred vision, but I did not give up. It is true that I was close to embracing death, in my jeep, when it was about to fall in a bottomless pit, but I did not turn off my video camera. It is true that I wish to keep a lion cub as not only a pet, but a life-long companion, despite knowing its voracious nature and man-eating abilities. It is true that I devise ingenious plans of self-defense when I'm alone at home or in the car, just to know how strong I am. It is true that I don't have a brother, but I know I'm stronger than any son my parents could possibly have.
As I write with my half chewed pencil, I can feel my adrenaline spiking, my heart thumping and my eyes flooding. The mere thought of it is enough for me to realize how correct Bob Marley was when he said,
'You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice'.
It was my cousin's wedding, and the entire house was teeming with people. The music was erupting at ear splitting decibel levels, and I wanted to give my ears some rest. Hence, I sneaked out of the crowd, and was successful in escaping to the secluded basement, where my night suit was awaiting. The basement was empty, but I could still hear the music and inhale the fragrance of roses. All was well until I entered the laundry room.
The moment I entered, my gut reaction was of stark disbelief and horror. What I was witnessing, was hard to digest. A marshmallow like finger, with a needle protruding out of it!
Wait, was it a strange nightmare!? No!
My two year old cousin's finger was actually inside my grandmother's old sewing machine! The needle had entered from one end of his index finger, and had made its way out through the other, like a piece of meat on a skewer.
It was stuck! I was stupefied!
Shivering in horror, I could see blood. I could see a helpless, chubby, reddened face wanting my help. My eyes were wide open, my lower jaw had dropped and I could feel my empty cranium. All my senses had in a split of a second abandoned me. I had to cope with the complexity of the situation alone. I couldn't scream. I couldn't run. I couldn't leave the young soul, that was counting on me, alone. I had to do something. I somehow had to get the finger out. It had to be me, hence I took a step closer towards the finger. I did not have the audacity to look at the poor face; I focused on the finger. I, simultaneously, rotated the wheel of the sewing machine and pulled down the finger as gently as I could. It was out! It was finally freed! As soon as it was out, my senses came rushing back towards me. I could hear the music again, I could smell the roses again, but most importantly, I could feel the warmth of the hug that I had been given. He hugged me so hard that as I think of it now, I can feel the warmth; the gratitude. I had always been strong for myself, and it had felt good, but today, I had been strong for somebody else, and the joy was much greater.
The image of me standing there, in front of the helpless two-year-old, at times slips into my thoughts as I ponder over what lies ahead in life for me. It makes me gulp down the fact that, each one of us receives his or her share of hardships; we are rained with a torrent of challenges each day, and we can only succeed if we look into every challenge's eye. I could have cried, that day. I could have ran away, I could possibly have fainted...
But I did not!
I stood there with my eyes riveted upon the task at hand. I did not let my anxiety and fear take control, instead I kept awake my logical, decision maker self. I judged the situation calmly, and indeed correctly. I had made the right decision and was successful.
Today, life keeps on throwing at me, and I keep on hitting fours and sixes. Today, I'm not only strong, but also sensible.