A few months into pre-school, I told my dad that I didn’t wish to continue going to the classes anymore because my teacher could not, for the life of her, pronounce my name properly. (She called me Manina. Manina?! How did the letters “r” and “l” morphed into an “n”? And this came from a person who was supposed to teach me my ABC’s.) After a chuckle and an “Are you sure?”, my dad agreed to let me stay home and play instead.
The days that followed were tranquil and filled with joy. In the mornings, I’d draw, paint and play; the afternoons were spent with my mum who read me stories and taught me how to add and subtract; some evenings, my dad would teach me how to read and write.
One of the mornings, I found myself awake alone in our house that was bathed in the glorious warm tone of a delicious morning sun. I remember walking into the kitchen, thinking the rays that flooded the windows were veils of magic dust. I went into the bathroom, cupped water from a running tap and then watched it flow through my fingers. I caught myself breathing deeply, paused for awhile and thought, “this is life. I am alive.”
That afternoon, I watched my mother’s rhythmic breathing as she was taking a nap. I tried to hold my breath to see if I felt any different. Then I deduced that there was an existence within me that was more than physical. I asked my dad later about it and he told me I’ve just discovered my own soul.
Do you remember the first time you discovered life?