Siang, that’s her name, and she’s my neighbour. I’ve recently moved to this new place and she was the first person to welcome me. From our very first meeting, a genuine friendship blossomed between us. She came across as a cheerful personality with great warmth and wisdom. Siang must be in her late 40s and she is single! Her singlehood is not her choice; on the contrary, she blames her stars. She is different and intriguing.
She possesses a dream that fills her with hope and an energetic zest for life. She wants to see herself in a wedding gown.
Yes! She immensely yearns for love and companionship.
Siang is also popular among the people of our housing society and interestingly everybody has a different story to tell about her… Some find her weird, some pity her and some even tagged her as an insane loner. The grapevine works overtime here; people even claimed to have witnessed Siang laughing and talking to herself. I know Siang; she’s not a loner or a recluse, but yes, she is alone.
One afternoon Siang visited me with a freshly baked cake and I was touched. I exclaimed, “Wow Siang, you have baked such a delicious cake” to which she replied “Well, that’s my secret dear. If you know how to bake a cake, your life is definitely going to be sweet.” We spoke for hours, and I was bowled over by the depth and vastness of her knowledge. Soon our conversation veered towards her personal life. She told me about her parents’ death when she was just 13 and the struggle she had, to give her siblings a decent life. I was awe-struck, listening to her.
She told me, “You know, Namita, I am tired of being single, every day I pray to God to send me my Prince Charming and my only wish is to wear a beautiful lacy wedding gown and take the vows of marriage.” I melted; it was heart rending to see her like this, her otherwise bright face appeared so faded and pale. I could see the dream in her eyes which she has been harbouring for ages, and felt the emptiness, the loneliness that Siang had hidden behind her broad smile.
Prayer and philosophy
Siang believes in silent prayers. Every Sunday she goes to church, volunteers for charity work and loves reading the Bible to be more enlightened about her purpose in life. The harsh realities of life have not bogged her down; instead she has become more optimistic, strong and trusting. She has developed some remarkable philosophies to deal with the hardships of life.
I once asked her how she could be so calm and not protest what people say about her? She replied, “Namita dear, I’ve slowly reached that point in my life where I’m so used to everything. People talking behind my back, hating me for no reason, writing me off without knowing me, making judgements about me without even walking my path. The truth is, I can’t care anymore, it hurts and it’s too tiring. So, I’ve got used to it and let it be.” I was numb for a few seconds after hearing this.
The constant companion
Once Siang invited my husband and me for dinner. After our casual chitchat, we headed towards the dining table, beautifully decked with colourful candles and flowers. She had laid four plates but we were three. Curious, I asked her, “Is there another guest coming?” She replied, “Yes! My permanent guest, my Jesus. Each day, I invite Him to dine with me and I can feel His presence around me. He never forgets to oblige me.” I was teary eyed; others may take this as an invention to combat her loneliness but I was enchanted by her firm faith in God. It was all because of her belief that she was better and not bitter.
Surely he will not disappoint
Siang is not broken…she is powerful! I have promised to be her ‘matron of honour’ at her wedding and she wants me to help her choose the wedding gown whenever Jesus decides to get her married. I’m sure the day is going to arrive soon, as now we both pray to the Lord to quickly send Siang her Prince Charming… And it’s not going to be easy for Him to break two little hearts.
Her dreams build her, inspire her, liberate her and above all, give her the hope of life.
To me Siang is a warrior with inward strength and plenty of courage; I believe there can never be an end to her story… She and her dreams will live with me forever.