The First Diary

A lot of people ask me whether I write a diary. I always respond with a smile and a polite “No”.
“But why not? If you can write a blog, then why not a diary?” they ask.
The answer lies in a story. A story that embarrasses me but one which I am willing to share because its mine to tell. And thanks to Robyn for her post which prompted me to do so!

I have always wanted to write a diary since I was ten (from the time I heard about the Anne Frank story). However my procrastination beat my inspiration and I never got around to do it.

Soon enough I turned thirteen. Like any other girl out there I too had my first crush. And like most girls at that time, I did not even dare to drop any hints. A whole month passed and nothing changed, except that I got myself a diary. 😀

Needless to say, I called the diary by the boy’s name. Every entry in it started off as “Dear B” and sometimes if I felt happy I would even draw hearts on the pages. (I know!) 😀
Things went fine for about half a month. I kept writing in the diary and my crush just grew bigger with each day.

*******

It is pitch black darkness. I wake up to feel a hand stroking my hair. For a moment my body stills, then relaxes as I realize it is Amma checking on me like she does every night. But today, something is different.
She sits down by my bed and continues to stroke my hair.
“Hey..” she says slowly knowing that I have stirred.
Being too lazy to speak I hum in response.
“Everything okay with you?” she asks.
“Yeah yeah.. Go back to sleep, Ma.” I say as I pull the covers up closer to me.
“Things are well at school?”
“Of course.. Please let me sleep.”
For a few moments Amma does not say anything.
“Who is B?” she asks slowly.
I freeze in bed. In the dark she cannot see my face. But my eyes are wide open and my heartbeat accelerates.
“What do you mean by that?” I hear myself ask and I know it sounds more defensive that it should.
“Nah.. I was just curious that’s all..” I hear the amusement in her voice.
However, I have no idea what she expects me to say.
“He’s in my class alright..” I blurt out finally.
“Oh okay.. I found your diary today” she informs quietly.
“Its not what you think, Ma.” I reply weakly.
“Shh.. Just go to sleep..” she says. With that she strokes my hair and kisses my cheek.
Then tucks me in and leaves the room. And I just lie there in the dark; feeling whatever it was that I felt.

******

To sleep after what had just happened, was she kidding me? I was wide awake. My heart pounding so loud that I could hear it in my ears. I felt a wave of emotions surge through me.
I was ashamed and angry all at once. Ashamed because Amma had found out something I had kept a secret. Given the surroundings I was born and brought up in, I did not know if crushing on someone was okay. Nobody had told me whether it was right or wrong to feel the way I did. All I had heard in thirteen years of existence was disapproval for girls who eloped with men they loved; stories of unhappiness and misery, of shame they caused to their families.
“Well you haven’t eloped and you are still here – in your bed, under Appa’s roof,” I told myself.
“But what if Amma thinks I’m falling out of track?” I wondered. (Yes, I used to worry about disappointing my parents.)
“Then that’s her problem! Not yours!!” my alter ego answered.
And then at some point, my frustration turned into anger.
Amma had no business reading my diary. She did not respect my privacy. Maybe I was not an adult then, but was I not entitled to my personal space?!
When I was not writing a diary, I had told her infinite examples about how my best friend’s mother never read her diary; about how my friend could trust her mother to leave things out on the dining table and come back to find them untouched.
Why couldn’t my mother do that? My friend was going out with boys. I did not do that. She would flirt all around school. And still her mom never read her diary!
Here I was, playing the angel and I couldn’t command as much respect? From my own mother?

****

I don’t remember when I fell asleep that night. All I remember is waking up feeling tired the next day morning.
I did not go to get my coffee from the kitchen like I did everyday morning. I lay there on my bed wondering how to face Amma.
It wasn’t fear or anger but sheer embarrassment. This was not something I wanted to discuss like buying a new dress or getting a haircut.
Besides, I would never forgive her for breaching my trust and reading my precious diary. As I phrased clever statements for my heated arguments with Amma (which I assumed would start soon), the alarm started blaring.
The moment I switched it off and sat up on my bed, I was surprised to see Amma standing there leaning against the doorframe with a grin on her face.
Before I could say anything she asked me playfully, “Good nap?”.

******

That was the first and last time I wrote a diary. Now this might seem very childish to you. But, I can never bring myself to believe that anything written down in a diary can ever remain private.

What makes me so sure? After we finished high school, when my friend came home one day she told me about how her mom had been lying all along. Her mom had read her diary cover to cover. But had refrained from saying anything least her daughter quit writing one altogether. I’m not going to lie now – I felt extremely happy to learn that! 😀

Anyway not writing a diary doesn’t mean I’ll take my secrets to the grave with me. I share them with real people around me. People who can give me shocked reactions, empathise with what I say, tell me if I was right or wrong, guide me to be a better person. Even better, they bring people closer to me because they realise that they know something the rest of the world doesn’t.

More to say later. Cheers! 🙂

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59 thoughts on “The First Diary

  1. What a beautifully written story!
    I have felt such embarrassments so often with friends but I don’t regret them at all. Now I am at a stage in life that I can write whatever comes into my head and won’t feel ashamed even if it is read out aloud in public by anyone. But there were times when I used to feel like you. They are past and I am happy they occurred because they allowed this present mind to be.

    Love and light ❤

    Anand 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Vibrant! 🙂
      I realized the best stories are those which are inspired by our own lives. 😀
      By the way, I haven’t been able to drop in by the alumni page and say hello yet. My internet was down for the last two days. I shall make my way there soon enough! Thank you for all the support and guidance! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Go to WPadmin—>Appearance–>Customization—>Widgets—>Image Widgets : there fill out relevant details like URL and all and then you can scroll it up and down to place it at appropriate place 🙂

        For showing it in the post you have to use “add media” button in the post editor(classic) or the image icon(in new post editor)

        Let me know if you need help on this.

        Also: whenever you need help you can post in forum too. It might be something technical or otherwise. Just use #help tag 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well written, Visakha. My mom too had read my diary 😀 Did you notice one thing? Even in movies, whenever they show some one writing a diary, it is meant to be read by someone. It’s as if a person is writing their secrets, just to be seen by someone else 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Haha! I am actually happy to learn that a lot of people had their diaries read. 😀
      And I totally agree with you. From crime shows to movies to all good novels, somebody’s diary has been read! Probably one more reason why people keep e-diaries! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Visakha, I just read that you are new on our blogger’s world community so I came here to check your blog and your post out. I share your inspiration of writing a Diary from the story of Anne Frank. It was one of the movies/stories that keeps me wanting to write a diary but lo and behold, I cannot get myself to doing it. I guess because of procrastination too or just laziness. lol 🙂 I admire those that are able to write journals and diaries, I guess when I was younger I rather tell the story, my story or ideas mostly by talking about them. Your experience is really one for the books/movies and I enjoyed reading about it. I think we also share something about not wanting our crush know how we feel and not making our parents disappointed. I can say that you really are a very good story teller/writing and I look forward to reading more of your post. I seldom write (I guess the laziness takes over) aside from I have been busy and I much love reading other posts than writing one of my own but I know I should do it as it enhances once skills and somehow it is also one form of communication who we are to the world. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a lot to take in all at once and I am humbled that you like my writing. Thank you so much for visiting this space. 🙂
      I hope I am able to write more/ better in the coming days and meet your expectations. Take care!
      P.s. This is where the laziness to write strikes. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am pretty sure you can do it. They say practice makes perfect/better. I need to practice my writing skills too but I have to find the courage yet as all new writers/bloggers do. I can say you are doing awesome! 🙂 Glad to meet you in blogger’s world 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I kept a diary from about 8 years old to 14, right around the time I got interested in boys! I didn’t trust my mother not to read my diary so I kept those thoughts locked up safely in my head! I think we can all relate to this one! I am looking forward to reading more of your posts! Thanks for connecting!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve tried to journal/keep a diary off and on since I was younger … but, procrastination always took over & I’d stop writing. I’m not sure if anyone ever secretly read what I wrote, but I could see that being a very embarrassing event to someone it happened to. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Loved your story. It’s beautifully told 🙂 My Amma would have done the same. Fortunately, I wasn’t a good writer then. I only really had a travel diary with stuff like: Went to Topstones today. Bought some crystals. Was disappointed with Cape Point. We only saw monkeys and some white foam where the oceans meet.
    I’m guessing your diary was a lot more enthralling. No wonder your Amma read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading!!
      Yeah, I was quite a dramatic writer back then portraying exaggerated emotions and feelings! 😀
      #side_effects_of_reading_sap_during_teenage_years
      Do keep coming back. Hugs. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Okay, first thing first: I love the way you write! This was an interesting thing to read, and very well-written. Also, I could so relate! My amma had read my diary too. And not just once! I had felt a mixture of frustration and anger, and embarrassment of course, just like that.
    The part where you relate about your friend’s mom having lied all along was hilarious! 😀

    I still write diaries though. I feel that there are things I cannot share publicly but those I would still like to get off my chest. And so I do. 🙂
    – Maria

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lol! I enjoyed reading this. I experienced similar embarrassment when my mom asked about a boy that was mentioned in my diary but we have a pretty close and open relationship so I wasn’t too annoyed by it lol. I might go back to writing a journal though. It could give me book or blog ideas…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Everyone had a diary, so I was told to keep one too.. but then I ended up pasting pictures on them…lol 🙂 I still have them..Sachin Tendulkar on the front, Shane Warne on the back cover and lots of stuff inside 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Need I state the obvious? amazingly written and can so relate to this. I’ve never maintained a diary but i have written my feelings on paper a few times, and hated it when my over-inquisitive mom would fish into my secret hiding places (i guess hiding them in my study desk or in my school bag wasn’t really a secret place!) and find them and read them. once wrote a letter from college to my parents and had poured out my heart to them, telling them all about my mean room-mates and the challenges i was facing being away from home the first time. Guess who read it before i could post the letter. My mean room-mates! you can imagine my embarrassment after that 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No! They just thought it was foolish of me to have left it around in my journals/books for them to easily find it while snooping around my stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. You write so well Visakha I’m sure this blog will take you to places. Wish you all the success you dream of. I guess every Indian middle class girl would have faced this situation, where her dairy was snooped by either her mother or siblings. There is so much love that we actually forget about the word called privacy. 🙂 I can totally relate to you.

    Like

  11. This is so evocatively written, you had my attention right to the end. As a mother of a teen and a very self-ware preteen, I’m going to take one big look at how I might be trampling all over their privacy and emotions.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Visakha! I don’t know if you remember me but I had a blog called starfriends4ever. Anyways, I continued reading your blog(as almost always!) And I really like it! Like Sherry, I love this story! Please give feedback on if I should make a new domain for writing ect… Anyways please check out my blog!
    Ciao! ~Fashionliah ^ _ ^
    http://www.fashionloverweb.wordpress.com

    Like

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