Rima, the eight-year-old was a little upset that day when she was not allowed to choose her favorite character in the role-playing game. She wanted to play the mother as always but her friends wanted her to play doctor. She agreed reluctantly to this shift of identity. What doesn’t seem appealing in the first place gradually allures her. “Well, it’s not that bad to be a doctor”, she certifies herself. She came back home delightfully and told her mother about her wonderful experience. She has now become open to try new roles in the game, be it a teacher, a chef, or a pilot. Rima feels as if a treasure has opened up for her. There is so much to explore and so much to experience. A new day, a new role, a new experience, a new story.
Time flies, Rima is a teenager now. Role-playing is not her thing anymore but she does play “some roles”. She plays the role of a sincere student, an obedient daughter and a worthy friend. Each passing day leaves her with sweet and sour flavors on her plate. Her challenges are a bit different from her younger self, dealing with average grades, fulfilling unsaid expectations of parents, collecting strength to handle peer pressure and many more, but the innate desire for love and acceptance remains the same. This Rima also loves to explore life, gain new experiences and write new stories every day.
Learning from every failure and getting motivated by every success, Rima steps into adulthood. She is an architect though she aspired to be an astronomer, as most of us are not sitting on the same chair we dreamt to sit on. Tall, lean, fair, elegant… Rima is beyond this checklist. She was a woman with average looks and a body with unfair distribution of fat. Her looks were never on her priority list until one day when she had gone shopping with her friends and they mocked her for not fitting in xl size. Suddenly the urge of touching the beauty bar arises in her. She got a membership to a gym without wasting much time getting sculpted. She walked miles without reaching anywhere. Her frustration reached heights when the results didn’t accord with her expectation. She could have kept walking this path with a vague destination when one fine day she happened to meet with her new client, who wanted Rima to design her new house.
Mrs. Naina was a specially-abled person and she was indeed special. What was absent in her life was really absent because of her powerful presence. Rima was a little nervous but Mrs. Naina comforts her by having a casual talk. Rima had never felt more alive and closer to life before. There was something magnificent ‘about the lady that left Rima speechless; no, it was not her dress, or her looks, and it was definitely not her money and status, then what was it? Rima was trying to find out the answers, simultaneously performing the duties of an architect, she sees a six to seven years old boy running toward Mrs. Naina. “Meet my son, Nihal” Mrs. Naina says to Rima. Rima smiles at him.
Nihal was disturbing her mother amidst the conversation with Rima. He wanted her phone to play some games. She strictly but not angrily says, “no”, and hands him a storybook, and without saying a word instructs him to not disturb. To Rima’s amazement, the boy indeed listens to her mother.
Rima was explaining the design to Mrs. Naina when she receives a call from her husband telling her that they’ll have to cancel their Hawaii trip as some important official work has come up. “That’s ok, maybe next time”, says Mrs. Naina, and the conversation ends. Rima could read some disappointment on Naina’s face but was very hesitant to ask. Rima gathers some courage and asks Naina, the reason behind her lost smile. Mrs. Naina tells Rima about the cancellation of their trip. Being a sensible person and an understanding wife, Mrs. Naina understands his husband’s situation and relieves him from the guilt by her helping words that responsibilities always hold first place. Rima was surprised and impressed to see how the lady has kept calm, whereas she could have freaked out in this situation.
Rima now shamelessly asks Mrs. Naina to reveal the secret of her acing in all her identities. Mrs. Naina humbly says, “I just perform all the duties associated with the different identities I carry using all my knowledge and understanding. In life we come across diverse situations and people, all demanding a different approach from us, and that won’t be possible if are clung to some specific identities, flexibility is a must for stability, and flexibility comes to one who is unshakable at the very core. Mrs. Naina further says, “One mantra that I always abide by is, I am not these roles but the one who plays them without being played upon.
Mrs. Naina’s words leave an impression on Rima’s mind for a lifetime and she continues her role-playing.