Thursday, October 27, 2011

Almost done reading "Goodbye, Dearest Holly" by Kevin Wells, the father of Holly Wells who, along with her friend Jessica Chapman, was killed on 4th August 2002, when the girls were just 10. It's a good book, gives you the perspective of a father coming to terms with the loss of his baby and at the same time handling the intense media scrutiny and the mad chase to find the killer.

         I was 12 back when the girls were murdered. And I'm reading about it now, when I'm 21. And every time the father describes the situation at his home, the number of breakdowns he has with his wife, the way they try to still be strong for their son, I can't help but shed a few tears. I send up a prayer every time. I'm sure the family would never believe that anything good could come out of this horrible incident, but it has made me realize how incredibly lucky I am to have everything that I have, to still be alive, to have a chance to realize my dreams, to see my parents and my sister everyday, life without whom I wouldn't even like to imagine.

        Yesterday my country celebrated Diwali, the happiest festival of the year. I met my best friends, like every year. But yesterday we suddenly realized that we have grown older, older than last year. Our discussions were different, the manner in which we posed for photos was different. Not that I didn't have fun, I did, but it was different. Although we are the same people underneath, our thoughts, aspirations and pretty much everything has changed over time. But what hasn't changed is how they wholeheartedly accept me as I am.

         And that is such a relief and such a blessing. Apart from them, the only people who do that are my parents and my sister. Parents are probably always at the receiving end of our anger, frustration etc etc, atleast mine. I have yelled at mine, said things I should never have said, hurt them, and yet they still do everything they can for me. Nobody else in the entire world is going to do that. There have been times when I've been judged, gossiped about, scoffed at, yelled at, but my parents have stood by me like pillars. There have been times when I've broken down to bits, but they have put back the pieces for me, made me stand again. 

         Like every teenager, I've asked for things, mainly due to peer pressure, and I've been refused. I've rebelled, cried, acted like my life will end if I don't get something, not spoken to my mom for days......but I now realize, that above everything, the only standing, firm aim in whatever I have done in my short life has been to make my parents proud. And that relieves me to a great extent because that restores my faith in myself. I may have completely transformed in the past few years, but I'm still the same geek inside.

        I'm happy to have picked up this book from the hundreds I could have chosen from. It's the the signs God always sends me when I'm lost. It just told me something I've always known, but had forgotten somewhere along the road. The killing of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman that grim day will have affected many lives in numerous ways, but 9 years after the incident, it has affected mine.People may or may not believe in a higher force, but I know it exists, I've felt it. Kevin Wells will never get his child back and nothing can replace his loss, but I hope he realises what an impact this has left on thousands of people including me. Everything does have a purpose, you may not see it immediately or even in many years, but have faith that something good has happened.

        People who deserve to have you will love you at your worst. You may put on a lot of masks but when all those peel off the ones who still stand by you are the ones you should live your life for. A lot of people will come and go, some will tell you to wear something you are uncomfortable in, some will ask you to eat something you don't want to, some will ask you to change your beliefs for them, some will ask you to crush your conscience for them......and even if at that moment you feel they are the most important people in your life, give a thought to those you loved you even when you were none of these.

       My faith has been restored, my goal is clear. Thank you Kevin Wells, for sharing your story.

       Happy Diwali. :)

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