“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
Martha Washington

Dear Diary,

Happiness, though abstract, is one thing I held so dear. In a world where every NEWS bears a burden of the negative. If it’s not brutally juicy, it doesn’t make the headlines. The hopelessness portrayed every single day is sickening!It makes one look over ones shoulders every day. And then, there comes this “still small voice” that nudges, and reminds that the dreaded, the bad and the ugly cynically lurk to strike out the big “H” that begins the word Happiness. And sometimes, in order to hold some level of security, we tend to somehow use the weapon of religion or any act involving the transiency of the soul to spew out fire and brimstone to guard against the “big bad” Happiness drainer.

Dear Diary, It is only fair to say that like every teenager I had my fantasies, fun and foolishness. But how far I went to keep afloat is the whole point of all this shenanigans.

I come from a very rich home. Should I mention my last name, you most likely would guess my parents. They are names you use to qualify wealth in the society, more like a maxim. If your memory serves you well Dear D, we have been featured twice as a family on a renowned international television family show. Not meaning to give my identity away, my Dad was named a few years ago among the top 100 most successful men in West Africa and my mum the fourteenth richest woman in Africa.

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I have 4 siblings and I’m the last and only girl. I get a lot of accolades for my looks. And yes, I know I’m very pretty, a girl knows these things. I am not your average beauty, far from it and very well above it. An impeccable blend of an African tall-dark-handsome prince gene and a mother who is a Spanish-Indian; if that makes any sense to you at all. Half caste? Let’s try Triple caste. I have the hair, the height, the body, but I can’t say much about the brains.

Jack and Jill went up the hill…and then came my thirteenth birthday. My mum, as a matter of yearly tradition decided to show off…again! A Birthday Party for me? No way! More like a show off of wealth in the hall of fame.

“Mum, wait till I’m eighteen”. Empty pleas.

There was no convincing her. Who was I kidding?  Before I could finish saying “Jack Robinson”, she was already shouting out invitations over the phone to her circle of influence. Outrageously funny. In my house, the Children’s party was never about them. My mum labeled empty days just to find avenues to parade her beauty, power, fame and wealth.

Now, can you beat this? Once, she made me celebrate the day I started my menstrual cycle. Yes! NO Jokes, she did! It’s so easy for her to convince my Dad because of their cultural differences.

“That is how it’s done in Spain, We do it in India bi-annually, and it’s a Mumbai tradition, Nana, before her death, insisted I do it for my kids….” On and on she rants, and my poor-rich ignorant Dad nods away in gullible affirmation and we, the helpless fruit of their loins just must tag along…Phew!!!

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It’s never difficult to decipher who the occasions favored, because the friend count of the so-called celebrants (the kids) at the party hardly hit double digits. A show of shame, thinking back now. Besides, my parents know I am the introvert of the family. The shy one. I dwell more within my thoughts. I talk a lot, yes, with the mirrors in my room; with ME. Despite attending the top private schools, I hardly made friends. I had my life lived for me by my mum. Being the only girl, I was her trophy child. I existed mainly for show offs.  I got introduced to the world of makeups and makeovers at the tender age of seven. Mum dressed me up like a grown-up; it was all designer dresses, shoes, perfumes and more for me. In all honesty, being so reserved and nonchalant, I thought it was highly unnecessary. I thought no one gave a b******t or noticed a strand of my hair. I was later to be proven wrong.

“Have you met my daughter, Kiishi”   Goodness! You never could miss the pride in her voice whenever she shows me off to all and sundry.

Pathetic!!!

Anyways, as long as London Bridge keeps falling down, I imagined the birthday rituals would keep being a monumental part of my existence in that home. I couldn’t bear any more of this façade. But being only thirteen, I was inevitably stuck to their apron strings.

“Pop goes the Weasel”

That day came alright.  The 21st of September 2005. The day the first of my monsters got unleashed. Yawns! Right now before hunger unleashes the last of the monsters, I need to fix me something to eat.  I am famished.

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Photo credit:  Jack Hollingsworth/Blend Images/Corbis