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As I type this, a favourite piece of mine plays in the background, Fur Elise by Beethoven. The melodic rise and fall of the notes is soothing, calming like a lullaby and yet, not quite. Because it feels like a sprightly dance mid-way and then drops back into the lull and rocking motion of the original notes.

I wonder why music like this appeals to me and I realise it is because of its power to calm me down. I listen to music when I am angry, upset, irritable and on the verge of losing my temper. I typically bite my tongue when it comes to quick retorts, because I know you can’t take something back once it is said.

 Writing, on the other hand, is much easier, in my opinion.  I remember as a child when I used to argue with my parents and my father used to get angry with me for some reason, I would get choked up and wouldn’t know what to say. The anger and the resentment would bottle up but I would find an immediate outlet through writing about it. 

Finding myself a quiet corner, I would write out a long letter, explaining why  I felt hurt and upset by what he had said or how I was sorry for what I had done. Every single time. And for each of those times, I have seen him smile and hug me. My dad was the kind who would get upset with me and then turn around and forget about it within 15 minutes. He wouldn’t carry a grudge or resent anyone for what they had said or done.

That isn’t easy to do, mind you. It doesn’t come naturally to a lot of us- me, most of all. It is something I struggled with while I grew up, interacted with my peers, after marriage and even post motherhood. I was always the very sensitive one who had to learn to grow ‘tough’ to face today’s world. Sometimes, I see my daughter and wonder if I should help her become street smart and tough. I watch as she gets hurt by a friend and lunge forward to protect her, like a tigress and her cub. Then, i step back and think, ‘Am I doing the right thing? How will she ever learn to face disappointment and difficulty if I keep shielding her from that?’ Yet, I can’t stop my instinct; not even sure it’s maternal, because I wouldn’t want to see anyone get hurt.

But , yes, my experiences have made me who I am today. I am the non-confrontational type in general. I don’t go looking for fights and arguments, but I will debate on something in a healthy, constructive way. That’s they way I have built myself. Once I realise that the argument goes nowhere , I stop wasting my energy and time on it. Again, that’s the way I am made. 

Are there parts of my life I regret? Had you asked me this question 15 years ago, I would have said ‘Yes!’ But today, I look at every negative thing that happened and see the linear path of transformation that it has led me on. I am grateful to those experiences and I wouldn’t exchange them for happier moments.

Today, I blog with a passion. I write because it makes me feel alive. I am sure that there is a lot of scope for improvement and that is something that I am ready to work on and commit myself towards. But I am also grateful. For every person, every community and every reader in my circle. 

After all, our experiences shape us and our interactions make up a bulk of those.
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This is my entry for Day 3 of the week-long Festival of Words for Write Tribe
On 4th March our topic is ‘Free Write’ – You write down whatever comes into your mind for 15 straight minutes either as a word purge (no topic at all) or on a prompt.

Click here to read more entries!
I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3
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Comments

comments


Shilpa Garg · March 4, 2014 at 8:50 am

My husband is just like your father. He forgets about the argument or the upsetting talk a few minutes later while I tend to chew on it for a long long time. I guess, it comes naturally to many people, but yes, letting go and forgiving and forgetting is in our best interest only.

Mina Menon · March 4, 2014 at 9:35 am

Reminds me of my daddy and to a large extent my husband! Cool as cucmbers arent they

Dr. Sushree · March 4, 2014 at 9:42 am

I loved this post …could relate to that . I guess writing acts as balm for many….

Jini Fernandez · March 4, 2014 at 10:39 am

During our initial days of marriage I and hubby would've cold wars for days together. And the first one to melt was always me. I fail to stay headstrong for long for my conscience pricks me. But it's the opposite in case of my hubby.

Kajal · March 4, 2014 at 10:54 am

I do believe in this-forgiving and forgetting. If I am unable to forget, I simply detach myself from that!

Also it does not mean that I am not affected, I am…but I chose to let that get to changing the course of my life. Thanks!

Sheethal Susan Jacob · March 4, 2014 at 11:00 am

I believe in forgiving… but forgetting takes time for me… eventhou I know that letting go is the Best option. 🙂

Vidya Lohith · March 4, 2014 at 11:47 am

Totally in sync with what music does to one. Music is my go-to any time.

Aarthy · March 4, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Writing is a therapeutic for me too. Loved your thoughts about not wanting to exchange the negative experiences for happier moments. Those do shape us better than the happy times.

Sreeja Praveen · March 4, 2014 at 12:40 pm

I'm able to identify so much of myself here, as I'm sensitive. That's something I wish to make myself better at, controlling emotions , I mean. Forgiving might be easy, but forgetting is not.
Hugs to you for this, Shailaja !

belinda reger · March 4, 2014 at 12:44 pm

If my anger is suppressed, I cry. Sobbing and crying and I'm back to normal. Loved your post and the musical is one of my fav.

jaish_vats · March 4, 2014 at 1:36 pm

You reminded me of my own dad. His anger too would vanish in seconds and i am a very sensitive person just like you.

P.s From Ur posts its obvious that you are passionate about writing 🙂

Bhavya · March 4, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Writing and music are therapeutic for me.
I'm a very sensitive person, but then I don't see it as my weakness 🙂

Richa Singh · March 4, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Music yes brings out the best in me as a writer and as a cook. About forgive and forget, I am still learning that bit…

Richa

Archana · March 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm

I also wrote long long ones when young, but not letters, only journals in my secret diary.. 🙂

mystickuheli · March 4, 2014 at 3:43 pm

I always argue with my best friend that there's an other, better way to turn our negative emotions into a constructive one. It's in nature. Just we've to recognize it.
Love this piece.

Kathy Combs · March 4, 2014 at 3:58 pm

I know how you feel!!! Just today I told my husband that I feel more alive when I write! How weird is that??? And here you are feeling the same way! I used to be a lot more explosive. Still am a bit, but I think writing has definitely tamed the beast in me! ♥

shellymona · March 4, 2014 at 4:26 pm

I hope you won't mind if I say your post is the mirror of my heart. It seems you are speaking my emotions….really impressive and lovely writing…..thank you

sulekkha · March 4, 2014 at 4:37 pm

I am like your dad, I forget easily why I was angry with someone 🙂 We all learn to adapt and grow up into mature thinking individuals, some become introverts the others, the exact opposites.

tulika singh · March 4, 2014 at 5:29 pm

It's a blessing to be able to forgive and forget. Could so picture you as a small girl writing to express your hurt. Glad you did express it. As for the 'jumping in to protect your daughter'.. that's another one of those parenting challenges where you never know the right from the wrong!

Pixie · March 4, 2014 at 5:30 pm

I love this piece by Beethoven and I can play it, but not this well of course 🙂

I don't hold grudges either.. It takes a lot for me to hold a grudge against someone!

jyothisdayout.com · March 4, 2014 at 7:08 pm

I used to study for my board exams with my walkman on! But I listen to old Hindi Melodies. Even today these take me to a better world. 🙂

I was the opposite growing up. I always voiced my opinions in words. In fact I stood up for so many things in school and otherwise that many thought that I would end up being a lawyer! I was a carefree soul! Even back then I never held any grudges. But with age all that has settled down, I have learnt to chose my battles wisely. I forgive and I forget too. For me, this is the way of life. Life is too short. 🙂

Valerie Boersma · March 4, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Shailaja, This is so beautiful, and there is so much in these words that describes me too. It's so comforting and strengthening to have read this! Excellent, amazing writing!

Aditi · March 4, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Listening to Beethoven right now…in the silence of the night…Bliss! I loved your post!

Psych Babbler · March 5, 2014 at 1:15 am

I used to be like that too — write letters to my mum and dad when I got angry or upset because the words wouldn't come out easily. Having said that, I did say some hurtful things too which I currently regret. Over time though, I have learnt to sometimes say things to people to their faces…become more assertive and voice my opinion. Confrontation is hard…but I practice a bit.

I have to learn to become like your dad and not hold on to some grudges…

searchingforsubstance · March 5, 2014 at 1:31 am

i, too, love beethoven. my favorites are his moonlight sonata (listen to 2nd and 3rd movements, they're so good too), and Pathetique.

i'm the same way.. music speaks to me in a way that is indescribable.. i listen to it all the time too, sad, angry, heartbroken, contemplative, etc. it expresses emotions in which i feel words often fail. when i was a kid i used to express my anger on the piano by banging out mozart or chopin on the keys, and i think my parents probably despised my rage at that time.

for me i don't think writing is necessarily easier, i think its still challenging, just in a different way. they are both methods to express our feelings/thoughts, and do so in a different tone, color, depth.

thanks for sharing this thoughtful post!

Vaisakh Venugopal · March 5, 2014 at 9:17 am

Very thoughtful post.. 🙂 Your way of looking at the negatives as experiences which shaped you is commendable. And yes, Für Elise is a classic, beautiful composition.

Suzy · March 5, 2014 at 10:25 am

Music is so meditative and Fur Elise is a delightful melody. My mother used to play it on the piano. Took me back to my childhood. Thanks for sharing.

Inderpreet Kaur Uppal · March 8, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Music, Beethoven, writing and forgiveness- what a lovely combination. Simplify your life and enjoy it more. This is what I do to.

Natalie DeYoung · March 15, 2014 at 4:21 am

We sound similar, in that we don't go looking for confrontation but still enjoy a spirited debate. And I too find comfort in writing. 🙂
Also, I used to teach piano, and from what I learned about Classical music is that it calms people down because it's more complex than other forms of music. This complexity requires the brain to work in a different way to distinguish sounds, which relaxes people (which incidentally is why some people fall asleep while listening to it. 😉

Nabanita · March 15, 2014 at 12:24 pm

You know this post was like Fur Elise free flowing! Music helps me weave stories too….I can sit for hours in a room with music and my laptop! enjoyed reading this…

www.icescreammama.com · March 15, 2014 at 1:16 pm

i relate a lot to this post.. love music but writing is really what soothes me. and i have a bit of grudge problem too. my husband can move on in minutes while i hold on to things a bit longer.. sometimes too long.

Michelle DeLorge · March 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm

I used to play classical violin and piano in my younger days and as I read your words I played Fur Elise in my head. Your words flowed with the rhythm of the music most beautifully. Thank you for sharing.

Larks · March 16, 2014 at 8:01 pm

I love that piece of music. And I hear what you're saying about writing. It's like that for me too.

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