Secret Garden (Part I)

I was 10 years old when I came across a movie called Secret Garden, and I loved everything about it. A lonely girl, who still has hope, making new friends, getting hold of her life, and of course, discovering a secret garden full of roses. What’s not to like! Eventually, as the days passed by, I forgot about it.

Then recently, I came across this classic song by Bruce Springsteen of the same name and it took me back in time. The lyrics ‘She had a secret garden’ was everything. That, literally, hit me, that I too once had a secret garden, which no one ever had been a part of. It was my happy, as well as my dark place. People came and left, but nobody ever tried to break in. I had purposely made the walls too high, because what was the point of my secret garden if anyone could enter it. I was content with my flowers, they were everything I ever wanted, but fate had some different plans.

One day, I could hear someone crying in the distance. I tried to ignore it as much as I could but it kept growing. I couldn’t take it anymore, it was disturbing my gardens harmony. So I left, that right there was my biggest mistake. I was standing at the gate and could see this guy, completely gray, crying for help. I knew I had to help him, as I was in his place once. I know how it feels to be alone and helpless. So I held his hand and brought him back to my orchard which was full of joy and colors, unlike him.

I wanted to make him happy, I wanted him to able to see the colors around me, feel them, be a part of them. So, I plucked a flower, it did hurt, but I did it anyway and gave it to him. I could feel a little part of me losing color, but I did it anyway. The little flower right in front of his nose made him smile a bit. It made me feel much better than before. I couldn’t stop but show him around my garden. My naive little mind wanted him to be as radiant and colorful as I was.

So, there it goes… We were living, laughing, dreaming in my garden and whenever I saw him a bit upset I would pluck some more flowers and hand it to him. This went on for days and months. There came a time when he was exactly what I wanted him to be, he quickly blossomed into several colors and soon he was a completely different person, but then, so was I. I reeked of grayness and no radiance at all. If you made me stand in front of a mirror I wouldn’t recognize my own self. I was sad, lost, and all alone…

(To be continued…)

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Smita 

My father loved my smile so much that he named me Smita (the one who has a very lovely smile). All my childhood he kept clicking pictures every time I smiled. I guess that’s where my interest in photography came from. As I grew up, my smile started fading bit by bit. There came a time when I completely forgot what it’s like not to fake a smile.

And then someone came along and I literally forgot what its like to keep a straight face. Anyway, when he left he took it away with him. Nothing really mattered to me after that.

Days went by but my parents didn’t give up on me. They did everything to bring that smile back on my face, to make me look somewhat like ‘Smita’ again. Fortunately, one fine day they did succeed. I finally gave up on my grief and smiled, not the fake one, the real one. And guess what they did? They started taking my pictures. It was one of that moment which I could cherish all my life.

Since then I realized how valuable my smile is, maybe not for me, but at least for them.

 

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