As the sun peeks over the mountains and ushers in a new day, so does a birthday give us the chance to shed past baggage and embrace a new age
This morning the sun was glazed over by a thin milky gauze. Beside it, the mountains contained their millennial spirit in a large majestic moment. It was as gorgeous a sunrise as we could hope for, quiet yet grand, understated yet magnificent. Even until an hour before it had been pouring. The dregs of last night’s bonfire were drenched. We’d ordered half the menu, got blissfully buzzed on Old Monk, had a bunch of ‘sandwiches’ while nearby the Beas roared. We were finally here in Kalga, basking in the apple orchard bounty of the Parvati valley. The kind of trip you only do in your early thirties, when life has yet to spoil you with the luxuries that eventual success will inevitably bring, like the need for attached bathrooms or even hot water.
The sun was glazed over by a thin milky gauze. Beside it, the mountains contained their millennial spirit in a large majestic moment. It was as gorgeous a sunrise as we could hope for. Pic/Getty Images
Simar turned 30 last night. Instead of a cake, we cut banana fritters, instead of candles we got a firecracker with a young Britney Spears that set off eight fountains while the skies began to unravel. Then we slept in our R200-a-night rooms so we could charge ourselves for the trek to Pulga that we will set out for the instant I finish this column, and after a sandwich for the road.
I’m still mourning the loss of my extracted tooth. It was an operation indeed. Dr Atul Tuli gave me the anaesthesia. Right around then his wife, Khurshed, came in to say hello. She, also a dental surgeon, politely asked him if she could take a look. She examined my gaping mouth and saw the state of my twice root-canalled tooth.
“What were you nursing it for?” She asked.
By then the gums to the left of my mouth had fallen asleep, so I couldn’t adequately respond. But as the two of them conspired to wrench that stubborn tooth out, I closed my eyes and pondered over her question. It began to assume philosophical proportions. Given this tooth had been a part of me for at least 25 years or so, maybe it symbolised all the grudges I’d been holding on to like an unspoken litany. But since it had outlived its utility and could no longer be salvaged, it had to go. And may be with it, all the resentment I’d been hoarding since childhood.
I began to enumerate some of them. Most were against people who’d wronged me, who continue to wrong me. Though I bear them no ill will, and would like to believe I’ve forgiven them for their emotional cruelties, I doubt I have encouraged myself enough to forget. So even if the grudges aren’t insistently felt, they still exist as memories.
“There’s been a fair amount of trauma to the gums and the left jaw. The nerve that runs along your left jaw will hurt you, so don’t be alarmed,” Dr Khurshed said. I still don’t have the courage to look at the wound. It is still raw and my tongue is unaccustomed to the new gorge on my lower left gum. But I’m learning to allow my body to heal, physically and emotionally.
In exactly a month I turn 31. I’m aspiring to be like the mountains around me, magnanimous and sure of myself, more involved in the act of simply being; beyond past resentments and traumas. Aged and yet eternally young.
Deliberating on the life and times of Everywoman, Rosalyn D’Mello is a reputed art critic and the author of A Handbook For My Lover. She tweets @RosaParx. Send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org