Anger, frustration, desperation, rage, fury, impulse – I really need to keep these in check. And for good measure. I celebrated ‘What’s Left Day’ yesterday, June 28. What’s that, you ask? It’s simple really. Read on past the break for more information.
What’s Left isn’t merely a festival. It’s not all about the celebration of life as other festivals tend to do. This is different. This isn’t a celebration of life. This is about realising what you’ve left in life – a time to assess on what remains, smouldering, ashen, or infernal otherwise, yours. Claim it. Life isn’t kind – it doesn’t ask you to take something out of politeness. The only politeness it shows is giving you what you need. To add to the fun, it makes it into a game, so it’s all very involving and (trust me on this) fun. I mean, honestly, what greater happiness do you need? To spend a lifetime searching for that one elusive thing on The Big Amazing Race Of Life (featuring You) with a TOTAL stranger, trusting them on quests such as ‘Jump! I’ll Catch You!’, involving you taking the biggest risk of your life whose after-effects include but are not limited to death, severe paralysis or, worst of all, mistrust. And then when you’re finally ready to accept the inevitable: that you’ve lost the race, and must now forfeit the Race, does Life come back again (this time a good host) giving you a second chance (I mean, WOW, a second chance!) to try and win the Race again.
That’s the whole point of this celebration: a celebration of all those heroes who said a bold ‘no’ to the camera, and walked off, proud heads looking up at the sky. They picked up what they had won, and moved on. They don’t look back – it’s a shame for them. A shame that they lost when they had all the potential to win. (Mind you, I said potential.) But it’s not their fault, it’s that person they trusted, trusted with their life, their chances at life, their chance at nearly everything, most importantly – at their chance at what they wanted the most: which lay at the end of the Race. It doesn’t make sense sitting down and not doing anything. Sometimes you’ve got to trudge on, be two of yourself, and most importantly, trust yourself.
So you have done all that, and are ready: that’s when what’s left becomes your right. It is yours to keep. You choose, and you do. And remember, you will have no one but yourself to blame in the end if it doesn’t work right.
AFAIK, I’m the only one celebrating this. This is the first time too, so I guess I should carefully document the origins just in case this becomes a yearly celebration all around the world.
It all started with me trusting a total stranger (I was in no Race then; and let’s call this person, uhm, M), and then getting all trustworthy. We’d trust each other with the worst secrets that brought out sides of us no one knew. We could read each other the way we read books. We could say hello and figure out that something had gone wrong somewhere. Communication, trust, care. CTC. That’s what we had. And we knew we were happy with it – more than happy. Our trust was our darling, and we wouldn’t let anything come to harm it. M was sure we’d be there for each other – forever – as was I.
Things took nasty tumbles later on. It’s only natural that you stay close to someone for a long while and you fall for them. Excerpt from Alistair Maclean’s ‘The Dark Crusader’:
And so you arranged that I fall in love with Marie Hopeman. You reckoned that no one could sit side by side in planes with Marie Hopeman for two days, spend a night in the same room, spend the night and day in the hold of a ship, a night huddled together on a reef and two more days side by side in the same hut without falling in love with her. […] you gave us the time, the situation and every opportunity to fall in love. And so we did.
And so we did; at least I thought we did. I know I did. I was afraid to push. I was afraid to lose, and I was afraid – because I didn’t want to risk something so beautiful and perfect on something that might work. So I hid, and I lied. I cried each time I thought about it, because I felt like a murderer trying to cover up his tracks, his signs of the crime. But eventually even the most cold-blooded murderer breaks, and I was no exception.
I broke. I told her. ‘No’ was the answer. Well I didn’t expect that. I was scorned, burned. Broken-hearted, destroyed and what-not. But I thought we could go back to being friends, you know? I tried – God knows I did! I tried hard and harder and I failed. I’d lost two people in one fell swoop, one stupid mistake – my best friend, and the one I loved. My life was in tatters and it still is.
And yesterday I ask her why she’d said no. And the answer, again, was not unexpected. ‘It wouldn’t’ve worked because… you’re Gujarati.’ That was all, and it broke me into a million little pieces. But I didn’t die, I survived. But I know I’m not the person who I was before. I’m more conscious of who I am, where I come from, what faith I follow, the principles that guide my life. It doesn’t matter that I’m a human, not flawless like every other person in the world. I’m just Gujarati.
The damage has been done. But I’m moving on, picking up what’s left of my life that isn’t attached to her now. You have to walk on – just because you’ve come across a river doesn’t mean you go around it: you might not be able to at all, for all you know! And so it came down to this, to celebrate this day as a day to remember to pick up the pieces of a life that’s battle-tested you, maimed you, scarred and disabled you in some way or the other, and walk on. You’ll be joined by others. Leave those who dared to leave you behind, or went on too far ahead. Remember the story of the hare and the turtle?
Me? I’m just out to find some solace that I’ve lost so much, and that I’ve really very little to pick up and move on. But that makes me happy, because I’ll maybe find someone who’s ready to share their pieces, and together we’ll make a lifetime together. I won’t forget M, though, nor will I leave a grudge against her. She’s always welcome to come and see how I’ve rebuilt my life without her, with all the little tiny pieces one wouldn’t imagine building a life with. But I will, of my own strength.
That’s what I think the origins are from, at least.
One other theory could be the sprained wrist on my right hand. That should explain the name too. (I sprained it when I punched the wall and the metal bunk-bed thrice each with my bare fist. Frustration, rage and other things… *sigh*.) Right now I’m typing with both, with very limited right wrist movement. It’s not broken (yet), I’m sure. However, the wrist proved difficult in class, what with me being a right-hander and there being no way for me to properly grasp the pen with a bandage to support the wrist for now. Couldn’t bend fingers enough.
I did improvise though. There was the wand (or Assassin’s) grip, the thumb and the palm grip, left hand scrawl grip, the ‘Buddha Palm’ grip and the loose grip. Interesting results, as you can see above (no loose grip in there!). I personally liked theBuddha Palm and the Wand technique the best, mainly because of how hilarious it was to hold the pen like that. It was funny when the professors asked what happened and I said ‘I punched the wall’ with a straight face. Epicness.