Dear Diary

Prathibha Jacob

Diary can be your dearest friend, if you let it be. Diary can be an excellent listener, if you don’t hold back. Diary can be the best secret keeper, until it reaches in someone’s hands.

The naivety of childhood had me believe my secrets to be safe and secure with my dairy. The pages were, hence, filled with all that the little me had left unsaid to my friends, cousins or family. As and when my childhood left me, so did the naivety and the blind faith. But diary still remained my ardent listener, who would quietly go back to its hiding place just so nobody could get hold of the key to the real me, the complete me. Unlike my childhood diary, this one didn’t have all the pages filled. But the pages that were not blank spoke volume, just like those from my childhood. Written for no one in particular, they remained unfaded even when they were hidden and forgotten, thanks to the I-don’t-have-time buddy that tagged along with my adulthood.

Boredom that accompanied the lockdown that followed the all-powerful pandemic made my hands extend in search of those hidden treasures from long, long ago. As I turned page after page, I revisited my past, caught a glimpse of a little girl who almost drowned in self-pity, self-hatred and self-blame, of a young girl who entangled herself in the never ending saga of “he loves me/he loves me not”. Drenched in mixed emotions, I kept those treasures away, wondering what I would tell those little versions of me.

I would certainly not reveal what journey they await in this wonderful life, wouldn’t that kill the fun? I would probably not tell them it will all be alright one day, wouldn’t they stop trying? I would not disclose that life can never fully be figured out, wouldn’t they lose hope? I would also not reveal they would finally grasp the mantra – “one step at a time”, wouldn’t they miss out on a lot of lessons?

But I would wrap them in my warm embrace. I would hold them close to my heart. I would place a kiss on their foreheads. I would tell them they are unique and beautiful. I would tell them they don’t need to be anyone else. I would tell them how worthy they are of all the love in the world. I would let them know they are imperfect and that is their perfection.

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