She opens her eyes early in the morning when she is supposed to be thinking, how many ‘send’ buttons to press saying ‘please find the attached file’ and going through powerpoint presentations or how many phone calls to make and take and how many meetings to attend. Instead, she thinks of a sandy beach smelling salty water, waves crashing at the shore and the sound of solitude.
Her day starts with the usual hustling of the loving stress without which she knows she doesn’t exist, hence she loves it. Sneak peek on Facebook and there is a post, ‘don’t ask me how I am single, I don’t ask you how you are married’! She giggles with amusement over how everyone is curious about others forgetting that sometimes everyone stares at the ceiling fan at 2am wondering what is coming to pass.
An old friend calls to tell she has reached the zenith in life and wants to resign from the lifelong commitment called marriage. “Anger is a temporary emotion whereas love is a permanent one, for the right person keep the permanent emotion so that there is no regret later”, she says. Her friend slams down the phone saying, “Never get married!”
While she wonders if society thinks of single women like ‘Nobody wants you, so let us help you!’ or as a completely different species altogether. Pressing the ‘send’ button on her computer, she sensed a shadow of suspicion and looks up, there a fresh graduate and young mother, the intern standing uncomfortably trying to say something. “I need to take leave; my in-laws are concerned about my son who might have a hearing problem.”
In shock, she says “Yes, please do. Take your time; your child is more important than anything in this world.” The intern looks at her shocked and says, “Are you for real? Why would you understand what a working mother goes through?” She is amused by her comment and she has no words, so she improvises using popular US drama series back in the 90’s, “I will never be the woman with the perfect hair, who can wear white and not spill on it. But I will always stand by women and men.” The intern laughed at her because she mentioned men as well.
Where the clock demands ‘my time’, another friend calls “Need a theme for my daughter’s birthday party, has to be grand”. “Great! So take Underwater World or Alice in Wonderland theme,” she tells her friend. “I want you to meet someone on the birthday party and will not take no for an answer,” is the last thing her friend said before saying bye to her. The sleigh ride of life is quite fascinating, is her thought at that moment.
As she zones into her ‘my time’, she realises how we all deceive each other with sorrow or happiness. At the end, we are all just ‘another brick in the wall’ trying to stand still playing with our own shadow on the wall.
Frank Sinatra sings “As Time Goes By” on the playlist. She reassures on that rainy night that with rejection, acceptance, recognition, appreciation, fear or strength; every woman’s battle to survive and to be happy. Where eternity is a sky full of stars at the night and rays of sun makes shadow so we are never alone.
Tanziral Dilshad Ditan is associate executive director at Forethought PR