Dolly Koghar is still questioning who she really is, despite her many decades.
Not everyone born hangs around for six dozen of years, something I’d have done by this month’s end. Nevertheless, it feels like it was just yesterday when on the spur of the moment, I walked into a tattoo shop in MBK, and got the nose pin I’d always wanted. I was 50. Then at 60, I decided I’d go grey and risk looking like a skunk, since anyway, I’m not social. Not caring how I was viewed gained me the spunk to face my dread of heights and amusement park rides, because of which I’d always stood by foolishly looking up at hubby dear and the kids screaming with glee on the likes of the Viking Ship or the gravity-defying Drop Tower.
Consequently, at the family trip to Pattaya to celebrate my 60th, I announced I wanted to parasail; the expressions around me were worth a million words! I was ecstatic, as I was lifted off into the bright, sunny sky once the speedboat gained momentum! I’d beaten my fear, and for once, it was hubby dear and the kids, and their kids, who were standing on the barge below me, wringing their hands, sure that with my penchant for swooning, I’d fainted – but I didn’t, although I have no intentions of repeating that escapade!
At 67, I ‘came-out’ as a writer and started this column, for the then-infant Masala Lite, and my earliest e-mail address, which had the words ‘writer-wannabe,’ finally came true. Then, at 70, I survived a mini-stroke, which I’m convinced was brought on by the COVID-19 vaccines pushed on to us!
Consequently, with less years ahead of me, I surprised myself at 71 by stepping out of my identity as firstname.lastname@example.org, which happened to be my second earliest e-mail address. While innocently accompanying Bollywood actor-wanna-be hubby dear to a shoot as an extra in a full-length, Thai-Indian production, I was asked to join the bandwagon. I blinked and said, “OK!” The movie is ready and being streamed on Amazon Prime from the 16th of November. Please see if you can find us amongst the 100s of extras in Congrats My Ex! After the movie, we got gutsier and went on to do some ads, in which if you blinked, you’d miss us.
My journey has been inimitable; as is true for every living being, whether a person, the ant, or the mighty dinosaurs that are no more. We each thread a narrow single lane, and along the way, weave our own stories, unique and dissimilar. I walked my own winding road, and wonder what transpired between the ‘then’ and ‘now’. Was it just a case of, I came; I ate; I cried a lot, laughed a little, sang in the bathroom, loved with expectations, and gave with expectations; and didn’t stopped to smell the roses. If I let the days of my childhood go without watching the fluffy white clouds in the then-clear blue skies float above the buffalos ploughing the rice paddies; or without enjoying rides in the Datsun cabs with leaky and rusted flooring in the rainy seasons of what we thought was bad traffic jams. Should I pine for those lost days, or let them stay in the long ago past, where they belong? On this walk, did I find out who I was, or who I’ve become, or who would I have liked to become? I have not found an answer, and may never find one, even if I live another decade. Meanwhile, thus far, I’ve spent my life planning for that ‘someday’ and before I knew it, that someday became today, and then without me noticing it, the ‘someday’ crept into the yesterday of my past. One day, that ‘someday’ for which I’ve waited so long will be in the long past, without ever being lived. Because I lived fearful and worried of the possibility of the sky falling on me any moment – when the reality is, it held up, till now, 72 years on! However, for the immediate now, I’m looking for a dare to commemorate the six dozenth year of my life with which to shock the family!