Tasmiah Aktar

Lecturer, Department of English

“Much rather would she have been one of those people like Richard who did things for themselves, whereas, she thought, waiting to cross, half the time she did things not simply, not for themselves; but to make people think this or that; perfect idiocy she knew (and now the policeman held up his hand) for no one was ever for a second taken in. Oh if she could have had her life over again! she thought, stepping on to the pavement, could have looked even differently!”

― Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

In one moment, she was not here anymore. She was not in the stuffy classroom anymore- she had already traveled to a universe beyond.

In some other life, she reckoned, where they lived differently. Perhaps she had chosen a different path. Possibly even had chosen to be a different, other-self. Maybe, in that other world, the sun shone a little too hard and the moon gleamed a little softer. It could be, in that other reality, the air had a hint of floral warmth to it.

There, she was fearless. There, she was brave. There, the time is now, not in yesterdays, not in could have beens, certainly not in somedays. There, she sang out loud, to herself, to the world.

She sang when she was happy, she sang when she was not.

She sang with the boy who played the ukulele. Maybe something was there between them. Maybe not.

They treaded in between the bittersweet will-they-wont-they period, where one action would twist your insides in delight, the other freeze them instantly on the spot.

There, she would sometimes muse something melancholic. A tune that sang of walking away, letting the city be, and just leaving. She loved that song, it felt like she had loved it for eons. She, for the life of her, couldn’t figure out why though.

She was happy there. She had peace there.

She had found her perfect little niche with the ukulele boy, with the friend who always ordered her noodles super spicy even though it left her nose running, and with the other one who would always be a little out of it.

But she was not there. Not with the people she shared her soul with.

Instead, she was in a classroom with some guitar-stringing boy who mistuned her favorite song, where the air was congested and smelled of tired people- the people she shared seven hours a day with and yet, only knew a handful.

But here, she was herself. All of herself- the good, the bad, the somewhat in between.

And here, she sang along.