Holding Hands across Miles
The essence of life is not in living; it’s in our relationships. It’s in the hands that we hold. Some hands have dragged me out of the pit of failure; some hands have pulled me out of my comfort zone into challenging spots; some hands have shown me the path out of the forest of confusion; some hands have lifted me on their shoulders so I can see the future through their eyes. I am a better person because of the five fingers knotting mine daily across miles.
These hands I haven’t seen before. Are the palms hard from excessive work? Are the nails painted in red paint? Are the knuckles so hard they are heard when knocking on a door? I have no answers but I know these hands that have embraced me these two years. The hands have shown me the light at the end of the tunnel of self-pity. The hands have loved me without knowing me. They have moulded me without expecting anything in return.
In March 2008, we were both volunteer editors with TakingITGlobal. A spider spun a web of friendship around the two of us. After online meetings, we shared thoughts on several issues. I looked forward to each day to meet my friend. For us, it was not just open palms; it was a communion of hearts.
I am Nigerian. She is Indian. She does not see me through the clouded eyes of the negatives against my country. This I appreciate. We talked about cultural differences: portrayal of women, societal values and politics. Through our conversations, I have mental pictures of India. I hope to visit during Diwali. I have traveled miles holding her hands across miles.
Information is passed between two held hands. Ours are fingers punching keyboards connected across miles. Between two computers secrets, stories and information have been transferred. As writers, deadlines are very important. We act as alarm clocks reminding ourselves of deadlines. Earlier this year, she sent me information on the WLP Essay contest. I wrote the essay. My unpaid editor, she edited it. She made it a powerful piece. The essay won the contest (http://www.learningpartnership.org/blog/2010/03/youth-essay-winners/). She helps me see beyond the rejection letters (from publishers and residencies). Through her eyes, I see a bright future full of stars!
My ‘unseen’ friend, Roli Mahajan tells me--with every email, every gift, every picture, every smiley, every Facebook comment, every buzz on my chat--love is about giving yourself. It may mean holding hands with people you may never see.