I thank all those who did not help me, because of them I did it all by myself!
Often, life brings you at crossroads where you feel stranded, and you don’t know which road to take. This is the time when you are faced with a situation – a challenge, a task or a job and you have no clue how to deal with it. The assistance or support you expect seems to have disappeared. You have never done anything like that before, so a feeling of helplessness creeps in. The task looks impossible. You start feeling betrayed, when the ones you depend on are not available. You feel like you’re at a dead end even before getting started. Being all alone at such times may even give you a sinking feeling. Everything seems to go blank. Looking back, I see things optimistically and see that such times are in fact opportunities for a new venture.
I faced these kind of challenges one too many times as a child and even as an adult. Surely, all of us have gone through this ordeal at some stage or the other. What I realize is that these situations are adventurous if taken in the right spirit, and teach us a lot of new things as well as reveal some skill or talent lying dormant within us. Needless to say the achievement of dealing with it energizes us with a lot of confidence.
I still remember very clearly – it was the month of April 1996. I had just moved into my brand new apartment. The whole new place smelled of fresh paint, the rooms were filled with empty space, waiting to get some shape & identity. As I walked in, feeling every wall, every corner of every room, I had no idea what form and shape the rooms would be taking. I only knew that the place was mine and I had to give it a cozy, loving & adorable look. I had no idea how I would make that happen.
My search began with finding some skillful carpenters. This was not too hard, as I found a good team of craftsmen through some friends, who were ready to do the job. So I explained to them all the requirements and the basic need to furnish the place . It was the 1st of May, the day the carpenters walked in. The raw material for the basic wardrobes of one room were ordered, to start with. Dozens of massive sheets of plywood poured in and the smell of the house changed from paint-like to woody.
Now came the big challenge! The carpenters could only follow whatever was explained to them as a design. And I had nothing designed, no designer, and the person who was to coordinate this work bailed on me just a day before the workers arrived. I had no experience in this field at all and did not know anything about furniture or designing. At that point I felt stupid and helpless. This was to be my home, I couldn’t afford to make mistakes, since it involved time, work, money and energy. I was sleepless for 4-5 nights, just trying to come up with a solution. I looked through bookshops, the local library, dozens of TV shows… anywhere I could learn something about how to plan the furniture. I narrowed it down to certain materials, certain styles and sizes that would be apt for the apartment and my taste. I created a whole concept to match the requirements – a cozy, loving and adorable abode that had to be economical, spacious and durable at the same time.
In short, I took ownership of the whole project, and began to enjoy this adventure. There was no looking back now. It was just a matter of making the decision. I chose my designs, sketched them out, worked with the carpenters on the measurements, and the team also responded well. They taught me a lot about different kinds of wood, how they are treated, varnished, the wall paint, the pest control measures, the types of edge finishes, the curves, the kind of glass, the etching, beveling and all that I needed to know. I got totally involved. By now I could identify the type of wood when it was being sawed and identify each type by it’s scent. Very soon the wood planks started taking forms. The design I visualized began to take shape. More ideas started flowing as work progressed, and as the result, the work done was amazing.
Next, I went from one hardware store to another, choosing accessories. To see my apartment take the shape of a cozy home was an exhilarating experience. I would touch, feel and smell the wooden panels – sometimes doors, sometimes tables, sometimes cabinets, and so forth at the end of each day. The concept began to flow from one room to another as we covered the bedrooms, the kitchen, the dining, the utility area, and finally the living room. The carpenters had worked in rhythm day and night, from the 1st of may to the end of August. The final painting and polishing began, and at last after a patient wait of four and a half months the place was all set and complete.
I rated my project with a A++++++! The most unbelievable task had turned into a ‘dream come true’. I felt satisfied that I had done full justice to my home. This wonderful achievement was yet another feather in my cap. As I gazed adoringly on the completed mission, I felt happy and proud of myself. I gave myself a pat on the back every time I was complimented on the beautiful look of my cozy nest. Whenever people asked me ‘who was my designer’ I felt elevated saying, ‘Its Me!’. Now that I look back, I realize how the whole adventure had shown me a confident creative myself, whom I was unaware of. I had overpowered the impossible into something truly amazing . Thanks to all those who did not help me , I did it myself.