She was one of those who took immense pride in her tribe; a tribe of people she collected and polished to keep them safe in her castle – one by one.
After all, she had grown up yearning for it. And now that she had found it, how could she risk to lose it?
Who am I without them?
She made a place for each one of them – in her living room, her art room, her kitchen – until she realized the space to be getting too full and she had to accommodate some in her bedroom.
She fed them with all the love in her pantry without ever asking for a refill or a rent. Somewhere, she knew they couldn’t – not that they ever tried to.
The thing is, she thought she could make them stay there forever; forever with her hot bowl of soup, served with fine patience and understanding. But she never realized how people have a knack of chasing wild chickens outside.
Nor did she realize, someday, her pantry would exhaust.
And so, it did. And when it did, she felt empty.
Her own space suffocated her as she bumped into strangers in her own house.
The sadness her bedroom pillows had soaked in from these souls, started haunting her own dreams.
The tribe who had become her permanent resident started sucking the blood out of her – because well, they were still hungry.
And so, they kept moving out to feed themselves when nothing more was left. This never meant they abandoned her; never. They stayed there throughout – without any rent.
But then one day, she crumbled.
She crumbled onto the cold marble floor of her bedroom, only to find herself alone with no one in reality to share her soup, her dreams or her sadness she had numbed so long ago.
If only I knew love is sharing, not giving.
Until one day she realized how she had not just kept others but the only hope of a refill outside her locked castle – simply because she made it too crowded with glittering stones and superficial pride to allow anyone dare step inside.
Until one day she realized it’s time to stand up and ask each one of them to leave and find a new home. It was time to rebuild the crumbling bricked walls of her old castle into a beautiful glass one.
And so this time, she has no plans to lock the gates of her castle with innumerable chains to keep outsiders outside and her possessed so-called ‘tribe’ inside.
This time, she has decided to throw open the gates of her new castle to everyone; everyone.
Her pantry is filled with unconditional love and compassion overflowing from the fountains of her ripe garden.
Step in, taste it, feel it. Leave me a part of you and take a part of me – but never the whole.
This time no one is allowed to make her castle a rented apartment which never receives a rent.
Sure, come and enjoy a stay in her guest rooms for a day or two, but that’s it.
My bedroom is just my own.
She will love and care all the same; yet this time, her home is only for those who are meaning to share her hot, steaming bowl of soup for a lifetime.