Dear Papa and Amma

As I nurse that wound, I am beginning to see the positive – rejection is a gift.

Dear Papa and Amma,

You are probably never going to read this letter. It’s not really a letter. I am writing this in my journal. Writing to you gives me strength, but I don’t want to worry you.

I miss you.

That’s all I want to say. But there’s more because I think of you a lot these days. For some reason, happiness opens a window to the future but hurt opens the doors to the past.

All I have ever had from you was unconditional love, adoration, and indulgence. From the time I was a prodigal child with voracious reading habits and a precocious memory to the star student who got into a prestigious university. You were proud of me. I understood and navigated through academic competitions and you protected me from a world that could be scary, ruthless and fierce. You gave me so much confidence. You had dreams for me, and I lived in those dreams. I had a natural talent, you said. I am a clear winner in life, I thought.

And yet, I am here, hurting with rejection.

There’s this boy I met. He is funny and smart. We became friends, and then so much more. We enjoyed our nonsense chats, long walks, and intimate company. That one year was lovely and exhilarating. I thought it was love. For some reason that I still cannot fathom, he did not think of it that way. It ended.

I couldn’t let go. There’s this incessant humming of his name in my head, whether awake or asleep. I think of the times when I was in love, and the present when he is not. What is so wrong with me that it is possible to not want me at all? It hurts.

The pain of being rejected forces an intense reality check. You know, I am not entirely the person I thought I was or the person you believed I was. It is possible that I could fail. It is possible that I am not enough. It is also possible that I am too much.

As I nurse that wound, I am beginning to see the positive – rejection is a gift. Even though I cried myself to sleep on many nights, even though I spent some days listlessly, something changed in me profoundly. I have started counting my blessings. I am grateful, ever more, for the people who have accepted me. Your unconditional love para-glided me into the skyline. Maybe this rejection was necessary to keep me grounded. This reminds me of the times I have not been accepting of people. It’s true, I have not been the person I should have been. This is a life lesson I will never forget.

The good news, though, is I am not afraid to love again. Nor am I afraid to be hurt. If there is hurt, I will survive it because I know my treasures – you and my friends. Even with all this distance between us, I know just my thought brings you joy, and my voice much more. I have my friends who will talk me out of my gloom like they did the last few weeks.

All this has not been easy. I have thought of the worst possible scenarios – what if I left all this and came back to you, the familiarity of your love and the comfort of home? What if I put myself to sleep? But that’s just not me. I have so many unexplored dreams. If reality is sometimes the opposite of dreams, I will deal with it then. But I will not quit.

I have indeed come a long way. I could not have realized this will to live on my own. I belong to you. I love you.

Can’t wait to see you.

Yours, Smriti.

Mamata Vegunta Singh

Mamata Vegunta Singh

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