It is in the chances that we miss

“I don’t know how I could not come to send my CV,” said a dear friend, in a recent conversation we had.

She shared how she had come across a job that caught her eye, but did not send her resume, and just like that the deadline passed.

I had been lurking in the same alley of not being able to bring myself to do the things I have wanted to do, to take the necessary risks and pain to stretch out. So many of my plans had all ended up in the drafts folder of my life, like so many write ups in this blog.

I began pondering over this very idea of missed chances. Big and small. I tell myself, you could have resumed the conversation with the nice person who began a conversation with you in the elevator at a conference, you could have walked over to the speaker and said how much you admired their presentation, you could have been a tad bit nicer to everyone. But no. My throat runs dry, my feet auto locks and my smile freezes.

But what can I do about it but wait for the next time by when I might have hopefully learned from the experience and could perform better as a human?

That is when the game of darts hit me. I was particularly worse at it. We only had magnetic darts to begin with, because the pointed one was deemed too dangerous, I was just a kid. But whenever I played, I remember the dart flying beyond the board. But the scores I had missed would make me want to try more. It was, in some way, about the chances that I had missed that made me pick up the instrument a second time. Here, I hadn’t picked up the instrument yet and the chances had still flown pass by, just like that. But maybe the shots I hadn’t taken would themselves also make the ones that I do, count.

I’ve had the opportunity to listen to many stories of ‘could have beens’ – the the exam they never had the gut to appear for, the instruments they never learnt, mostly the youth that went by without giving a tell tale of passing. But something interesting has been happening in my family. My aunt thousands of miles away, has been attending a poetry club. She has been tagging me in all of her poems. Another of my aunts has joined a singing class as she waits for her kids to finish their own music routines. In the past one and a half decade, my mother cleared two levels of music exams as she learnt to play the Sitar. We, the kids, have been coxing our uncle to join a music class as he waits for his kids outside the music school.

I cannot help but imagine, the chances they missed has a huge role to play in their current actions. We, the kids, are super inspired and super proud.

In my last year of undergraduate study, I walked into a finance class where the first line our instructor uttered was this:

We all meet here because of a big confusion.

We all meet because of the actions we take, and also equally (if not more) because of the actions we do not take. The chances we let go, for whatever reasons, do have a role to play in our lives.

It is perhaps impossible to live a life without regrets. Maybe we need them. Might as well own them.

Snow on the Fourteenth

If you’re a 90s kid that grew up in Kathmandu Valley, chances are we share a vivid memory of St. Valentine’s Day.

‘Ah, hai…hami sano huda valentines day ma snow pareko thiyo!’ (Yeah, when we were little, there was snow fall on valentine’s day!).

Each year as February approaches, so does this little memory hidden at the back of our minds. It’s unusual for Kathmandu to witness snowfall. But about a decade earlier, on a cold cloudy day of February the 14th, as it poured hard, bits of snow touched the ground. For many of us, just early teenagers back then, it was the very first time we saw snow, even if it melted just as quickly as it fell.

Everyone who remembers has a different narrative to share. Some of them were in grade 6, some in 9. I don’t particularly remember (just lazy to calculate, more particularly) which grade I was in, but it was that year when we shifted to a class from where we could see the Langoor’s cage as our school was close to the central zoo. Drawing a parallel analogy of the animals in the cage and the students inside the classroom was very common. But on that particular day, apart from the Langoors, someone who was by the window shouted in the middle of an on going class that it was snowing.

S-N-O-W-I-N-G.

The class was halted, even the teacher could not do anything for minutes. Perhaps, snow did the trick. Some moved towards the window to have a glimpse. It was indeed, snow; a light layer that was already melting as it was falling.

The teacher settled us back, but the class was still buzzing. From that day onwards it would be That Valentine’s Day when the snow fell.

We were quick to assume that anyone who dated that day, must be very lucky, after all it was snowing. But little did we know that just like the falling snow that changed from water to a white magical substance, change, in all aspects of our lives had been marked ahead.

It will always be that Valentine’s Day when the snow fell.

Connection That Never Was

Funny isn’t it,
how some lines
drawn upon
people’s faces
smeared on their clothes,
stretched over their palms
draw them together,
the warmth of their voices
and the coolness of their existence
together at the exact moment
shake up the present.

And some other instance
the same lines
draw them
far away,
leaving the connection
that never was
in tatters.