Thursday, February 04, 2010

gifts of humanity, celebrations of self.

There are few things as refreshing as a few hours in the company of dear friends. Julekha and Nazmeera are sisters, and two of my childhood friends, and I had the pleasure of spending some time in their company yesterday, in celebration of Julie's birthday. This is standard practice for a good many years, as February is birthday month for the both of us. And so, in typical feelgood fashion, momentous celebrations of self usually begin on the 3rd Feb and go on, until the 12th, the day that I was born. In between, we will reflect, go out for a movie, a lunch, a dinner, and just do ritual celebratory things that add to the markers along the path of this fortnight between our respective birthdays. We missed out in 2008 when I lived in Durban, but I think that this is the year to make up for it.

It's also a fascinating double celebration this time around, especially because Nazmeera has set a wedding date roughly a month from now, 6 March. This only means a full month of extended celebration. I'm thrilled for her, because the certainty and joy is a rose grown to fullness in her being. Even more so, because I attended her wedding a few years ago when she married at the age of 21, and then her carefully constructed house of cards fell apart some few months later and she got divorced. I saw her fall ill to the disappointment, the confusion, the hurt and pain. I watched from afar as her sister tried to shield her from the insensitive comments of onlookers, ogling the spectacle. I listened, and tried in vain to humble the experience, without trying to trivialise the depth of the wound. Her parents were phenomenal in their support, as was Julie. I flitted in and out of their cocoon every once in a while. And then we stepped back as she worked her way out of the ditch of misery, and began to bloom, once again.

Four years later, I have total respect and appreciation for the growth that she has undergone: it shows in the way that her mindset has taken leaps, in her new sense of spirit, in the honours degree that she has achieved, in the person that she has become. Four earth years might look small, but with the right encouragement, support and intentions made by a person, they can be more valuable than a lifetime of careful living, far less destructive than a full decade of self-pity. And clearly, they have been formative years for her realisation of self. She didn't hold back and shared these Eureka moments, gladly. We made mental notes and smiled as we learned from her, shared some of our own messy details, and hoped that we were rising above them.

Lessons learned are burdens on the back of a miser, and veritable bags of gold in the pockets of those willing to share their humanity with others. These are the truest celebrations of self.

1 comment:

Azra said...

I think what's really sad is how prominent stories like these have become. I'm glad she's got a happy ending.

Our society makes life unnecessarily difficult sometimes.

Heres to a month of celebrations ;) I know you've been mad busy, so I haven't brought it up ~ but thinking, once the dust settles and your luggage isn't on standby, we can stop talking about it and finally go and get some coffee? :) x