The room was crowded save for a few seats. The club secretary was on the dais with the mike, commencing the function with the usual pleasantries. I scanned the rows full of familiar faces, looking for someone who might remember me. Of course, being regular in the club did not mean I met up with people. I only tagged along with my parents, it being daddy's office club.
Soon enough a girl in a pretty lehenga rose from among the crowd. She was walking up to the stage just as a thunderous applause erupted from the audience. Of course, everyone knew her. She was the star kid in there; the dancing damsel who won the national scholarship. Excellent singer too. She never failed to dazzle the crowd with her voice, and here she was on stage with a promising performance yet again.
Next to where she had been sitting were three other girls around my age. Silky hair, dangling earrings, stunning dress, they had it all. I could tell they had their own performances lined up after the damsel on the dais. Taking the only extra seat nearby, I gave them a candid wave. The one next to me beamed, "Oh hey there, how' you doing?" "Great!" I reply, " And you? Got any group programme coming up?"
"Ah yes we had a fusion dance all set up but it turns out they can't play the song here, technical issues."
"Ohh...that's sad. So all of you singing?"
"Yeah, I'm up next."
And that was the end of the conversation. For the next fifteen minutes I sat pretending like I was keenly listening to their conversation when truthfully they were simply oblivious to my presence.
It was nothing new. They were close, just not with me. I was out of place here. I did not sing. There was this once when they made me, and my cacophony left them convinced never to call me up on stage again. And I did not dance, unless they wanted a flimsy, wobbly joker to laugh at. And I did not have pretty skirts or dresses to adorn on these so called parties. I was not like them. I was not enough.
One party after another, I would sit there with the gang quiet as can be with occasional queries from people- "But dear, why don't you dance? Then surely you must sing?" while I go, "No aunty I don't." with the politest smile possible. Sometimes I thought I noticed some pity in their eyes. Not surprising was it? Because I was simply not enough.
Until that one day when things changed. It was the annual day and they had competitions, one among them being the poetry recital. I was excited, for here was finally a chance to perform! I had my favourite poem ready, and recited it with all my heart in my very own way. They aah-ed and ooh-ed as I sang my lines. They patted my back and shook my hand. And many times more I returned to the stage.
Eventually they ceased asking me why I did not sing. Instead they asked me, "Dear, did you write anything new lately?" And for me, that was enough.
I saw the pity in their eyes vanish with looks of pride. Certainly I did not sing or dance. But I wrote, and it made up for all else. I was the writer in the club. And yes, I was enough.