‘ If you thought that you would die today, would you change?’ asked Tracy Chapman and I would think, no! But there’s a gnawing feeling, a restlessness, again and again I find myself thinking, ‘this can’t be my life!’

Don’t get me wrong. At 25, if you asked me or anyone around me, where they saw me at forty- this would be it. Of course the brother and the mother would be alive in that prediction. But something, seems off, like I’m forcing something down my throat, a life that is not my own, choices that aren’t mine!

Like today, as I packed my stuff and was on my way to Noida, it’s like a movie was playing in my head. ‘ Humare jeene marne se ghanta farak pade ga kissi ko. Jee ke mene kyaa ukhad lena he?’ SB tells the boys who fuss over her. But while my eyes itched and my stomach hurt and I forced myself to drive back to the factory to pacify the man, who kept insisting one of us has to work, if it ain’t going to be me, it’s going to him, every cell in my body yelled, ‘Mujhe farak padega! It doesn’t matter if my life is of no consequence to anyone else but it’s freaking precious to me. It’s a gift from my mum!’

That was a first. My entire being, so angry that my life was considered disposable, by another person. For the first time, upon being treated like that ( for the umpteenth time) the thought that ‘ I must be worthless, that’s why I’m treated such!’ didn’t even occur to me. As I sobbed in anger and pain, I promised myself , that its time to make different choices. These thirteen months have taught me, the harshest lessons but self love, is a lesson one really needs to learn. You got to be your own top priority, love because no one will do that for you!