WoW workshops are divided into two broad categories… the writing workshops and the self-discovery workshops! While the writing ones can help you to tweak your thinking, unlock your creativity, write and publish, the self-discovery workshops have the potential to introduce you to that one person who has been waiting since years to meet you… You!
Oh? Oh…My eyes scanned the crowds eagerly. Surely papa would come? Mummy had to take care of dadi at home, but papa would come! After all it was the first time his nine year old daughter was winning an award… and that too for studies! It was quite a moment. My heart thudded loudly as I waited in the dark wings of the stage for my name to be called. It was a bittersweet wait… I wanted to see my papa's face before I went on the stage, so that as I would get the award, I would know in my heart that amidst the loud applause one of the 'claps' belonged to papa. However, before I could find him, my name was called.
With my chest puffed up with pride, I tip toed gracefully across the stage, confident my daddy was watching my every step. I wanted to make him feel so good. I wanted him to take me in the car for an ice-cream after the award function to celebrate. I wanted him to ruffle my hair. When the ceremony was over I went down and looked around for him. That's when the hard, cold reality hit me. My father hadn't come. Somehow the shining medal, the brown certificate with my name written in calligraphy lost all meaning. As I took the school bus, with all the other children, I felt so lonely even amidst all the joy and chatter.
At home, I threw my bag, and went straight to bed. My mother tried to explain to me that papa wanted to come but some urgent meeting had come up and he just couldn't. She said he promised that he would take me out to celebrate. She hugged me and kissed me and wiped my tears. But I wasn't willing to listen. I slept off early and locked my room door, ensuring I didn't have to see my dad that night. My heart had been broken into a million pieces and I wondered if I would ever become happy again? Surprisingly, with the next sunrise, I somehow was. I even allowed my father to kiss my forehead and apologize. And of course, buy me that ice-cream. I wondered what had changed in a night…
She was my best friend. I loved her like I had never loved anyone before. We studied together, we partied together, we watched movies together, we did all our extra-curricular classes together. Tia and me, me and Tia - ah we were inseparable. I entwined my hands, my dreams and my future with her and knew that we would be best friends forever. Obviously, we applied for the same college. However, as luck would have it - while she got through - I didn't, because of my low marks in the boards. I simply wasn't interested in studies - and while I had pulled through school years with last minute cramming, for this college it just wasn't enough.
As I applied in the next best college with sadness, Tia promised me that nothing would change between us. In fact, we would have two canteens to eat from, two colleges to bunk, two sets of friends and life would be doubly great. For a few weeks, as we acclimatized to our new spaces, we had a lot to share. And yet, somewhere along the way distance started wedging its way between us. Tia had found a great group of friends and as she spent more and more time with them, my time with her grew lesser and lesser. Suddenly my calls to Tia started becoming missed calls. The regular spend-overs weaned off. What hurt the most was - she was still my world - but for her, I was a small, insignificant part of the world. I used to sit on my terrace, look into the sea and tears would fall from my eyes as the loneliness of the night would wrap around me. Nothing could ever make up for not having Tia in my life… and yet, much to my surprise, in a few months I did begin to make great friends all over again. In just a year, I had a large, loud, happy group of friends, and while I thought of Tia often - the memories were happy ones. I wondered how things had changed…
There has never been a time that my mother has not been there for me. Even before I spell out a need, it was taken care of. No wonder, I couldn't handle those few minutes. My marriage ceremony had just gotten over and I was feeling several strange emotions at the same time. There is something about that moment - suddenly the man before you seems like such a stranger, and yet so intimate. Suddenly you wonder who you are - a girl or a woman? Suddenly you wonder how you can ever pack twenty five years of your life and take it along with you into a new home? You don't know whether to smile or to cry… and end up doing it all. On the pretext of wanting to freshen up, I went to the room and asked my cousin to get my mother. I just wanted her to hold me. I wanted her to speak to me. And listen to me.
So many feelings like little rivulets were flowing here and there, waiting for that source for them to empty themselves. I just wanted my mummy. I waited, and waited. I tried calling her - but of course, in the noise and celebrations she didn't hear me. I felt extremely lonely. I knew everyone would be waiting for me outside and yet, I just didn't seem to want to leave the room. I closed my eyes for a few minutes - trying to soothe the loud thud thud of my heart. After some time, when I opened my eyes, I felt amazing. Ready. And I went and enjoyed the night away with all my loved ones. I wondered what had happened…
One of those nights as I was dancing with the stars, in a spiritual retreat I felt so immensely connected with everything that was. Questioning had dissolved into silence and from that sacred space, a realization so bright, so sparkling, so sure, suddenly burst forth. Goose bumps prickled upon my arms. The hair on my neck stood up. My heart began to beat in celebration even as tears fell incessantly from my eyes… I finally knew.
That night years ago, when papa had not made it to my function something had happened between me sleeping in a bad mood and waking up happy and ready to forgive. The entire night God had held me in His arms, soothed my nine year old mind filled with angst, caressed my unruly hair and whispered, "I watched you win the award my little one. I did. And I am so proud of you."
That phase in my adolescence when Tia wasn't around something had happened between me feeling lonely and friendless and me finding great friends to share my life with. Every day, in so many ways, God had held my hands, listened to my whispers, spoken to me and had told me, "I am here for you, my friend, I am. As long as you want I will be your best friend. I will never leave you - and this is a promise."
Those few moments after my marriage when mom couldn't be around something had happened between me closing my eyes feeling lost and me opening my eyes and feeling prepared to be with the world. God had held my head to Her bosom with tears in my eyes and told me, "I understand my child, I understand. I know what you are going through and it's okay. I love you."
I went down on my knees and wept like I had never wept before. All those times when things had gone wrong, all those times when I had felt lonely, all those times when I believed things would never be right again, God had carried me in His arms and put me on the other side of the bank. He had been there - as a father, as a friend, as a mother and held me. He had never forsaken me - not even for a moment. Even when I didn't know He even existed, he was carrying me. I felt so blessed. So purified. So protected. All my life I had believed I had only two parents - but at that moment I knew that there was one more - who silently, diligently, lovingly, carefully was always working on me.
What a feeling it is to know that I am being parented at all times… Parented by God.