She was beauty. Perfection. I remember coming across her many months ago and being so captivated by her beauty, her eyes, her obvious charisma. It was a random photograph that had popped up on my news feed and immediately, I was obsessed. I remember sending the picture to my best friend, my next friend and anyone else that would spare a minute just to gaze upon her. I just simply couldn’t keep all that loveliness to myself. It seemed selfish somehow.
I simply had to find her and so the search began.
Of course, Google was my first stop. Google, home to all that is lost and yet to be found. I remember typing in “Blue eyed beauty” in to the search, but nothing came up. Next was Facebook, trying different hashtags in an almost desperate attempt to track her down. Still, my search proved fruitless.
And then I found her on Instagram. Rauda Athif. And she was even more perfect than I could have ever imagined. Her pictures were beautiful, she was travelling the world, had a boyfriend and of course, those eyes. Her beauty seemed to astound me more because now I could see that she was real and very much human- she too laughed, dropped random quotes on her Instagram and most likely fought with her boyfriend earlier that day before they took that adorable selfie. She even did charity work.
I remember my refusal to follow her, in a futile attempt to remove her seemingly perfect self out of my sight and therefore out of my mind. I simply couldn’t bear the thought of scrolling through my newsfeed every day and her aqua blue eyes staring abysses into my soul.
I simply wouldn’t allow it. My rational also included the fact that she had enough followers and I would not give her the satisfaction of adding me to the list too. She had enough. She was enough.
And so my search ended there and I pushed her to the back of my mind.
Months went by and I did not pay her a second thought. Until one day, she popped up on my newsfeed again. Those blue eyes captivated me once again and I found myself on her page. There she was, as perfect as ever, even more so, it seemed. She was now training to be a doctor, landed a Vogue magazine cover and as happy as ever in her relationship. However, as I scrolled down, comments began to catch my eye- “RIP Rauda, beautiful angel”.
I paused for a minute and read the comment again. Unable to comprehend what I had read, I clicked into the comments section and was met with comment after comment, all saying the same thing. My heart sunk a little but I convinced myself that the media lies. And so, I went back to my old friend, Mr Google.
And there it was- Rauda’s lifeless body had been found in a hostel in Bangladesh. She had either killed herself or had been murdered. But the reality was the fact that she was dead.It hit me then. This woman, that I had perceived as such a perfect creature, was gone. Dead.
She hadn’t been perfect. Her life had been taken, alone and far away from home. The perfection that I had been so jealous of was now a mere illusion. The tears came then, as I cried for the departed soul. But an awareness formed in my soul.
It made me realise that she had had everything that I thought I wanted and yet it hadn’t been enough. It made me realise the reality of social media and the effect in can have on our outlook on life. I had thought she was enough, being jealous of her “enoughness”. But the problem was the fact that she hadn’t known that.
I thought Rauda’s life was perfect based on the reality that I had fabricated based on her social media presence but what I had failed to see was the human being behind the posts, the baskets of insecurities and last but not the least, the pain and hatred that led to her final moments.
I wish to use this opportunity to pass my deepest condolences to her family and friends. May her beautiful soul rest in perfect peace. And to anyone that is out there that feels that they are not enough- You are enough. I am enough. We are enough.
Life is short and beautiful. So enjoy it to the fullest while you’re still here. Don’t spend your waking hours pining after someone else’s reality. Just live yours.