Have you ever read Cruel Beauty by Rosemund Hodge?
It’s a beautifully written novel. I’m not usually one for love stories. But I especially loved this book because it featured a pair of twin sisters, Nyx and Astraia Triskelion.
These sisters were born into a kingdom that was ruled by demons. And Nyx, even before she was born, was chosen by the kingdom to be the one to kill the demon prince. She spent her childhood and teenage years studying Hermetic arts, elemental magic, sigils, etc, in preparation for the mission while her twin sister got to live a normal life.
So (naturally) Nyx grew up harboring resentment and hate towards everyone, including her sister. While her sister, Astraia, grew up happy, jovial and cheerful.
People didn’t think much of her sister. People, including Nyx, thought Astraia could only behave in such ways because she was spared from a very heavy burden. She was sheltered. She was nothing but a child. While Nyx, on the other hand, is the one shouldering a huge responsibility, she was their warrior.
But the truth is, Astraia only acted in such way to cheer her sister up. And she was waiting for Nyx to ask her to take her place. Astraia was ready to take over the mission but she was never considered for the position. So when Nyx wavered, she was the one who pushed and forced her to continue.
The point is, people always underestimate those who smile and hop around like a child. People think they are weak and childish. People think they are not self- sufficient. But that’s not necessarily true.
I’ve always believed that those who are kind are the strongest And Astraia is that person.
And if I have to think of one person who might be Astraia’s present day manifestation, that would be Bahiyah;- Goddess of Innocence and Purity, how could that not be Bahiyah.
I will help you looked beyond Bahiyah’s weird poses and overly enthusiastic hops through this carefully written post.
And just like the three theological virtues, these three virtues of Bahiyah Khalid are qualities resulted from the grace of God himslef.
The first of the three virtues:
tenacity noun te·nac·i·ty \tə-ˈna-sə-tē\
: the quality or state of being tenacious
: not easily stopped or pulled apart : firm or strong
: continuing for a long time
When we were 16, Bahiyah wanted to change school. She wanted to study bakery at a vocational school. So she applied to the school secretly. When the acceptance letter came (she got straight As in PMR, how could they not accept her), my family found out and didn’t allow her to go. But even till the final day of registration, she insisted on going and my family finally let her go. But that’s not what made me think she’s tenacious.
It is her unwillingness to be discouraged. Her ability to persist. Her tenacity. Bakery used to be a course made for those who can’t do well in exam. It’s their alternative. But it wasn’t like that for Bahiyah. It was her choice. So even against my mom’s support, she just pushed on. She pushed on despite all odds. She went in there and thrived. She was their best student. And just like that, she left a mark in the school.
The second of the three virtues:
courage noun cour·age \ˈkər-ij, ˈkə-rij\
: the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous
When we were in our final year in USM, every Management students have to start applying for internships. Most people applied to many different companies. They put their eggs in different baskets and wait to see which one survives. In my best judgement, I thought she should do the same. That’s a lot safer. If one company doesn’t work out, she will still have some other companies to fall back on. Well, that’s what I thought.
But not Bahiyah. She wanted one company AND one company ONLY. She wanted L’Oreal. So she applied ONLY to L’Oreal.
And this was the moment when I learnt the second virtue of Bahiyah Khalid.
COURAGE. Courage is often confused with stupidity. And if things didn’t work out, I’m pretty sure that’s what people would’ve called her. But courage is not a virtue many have. We prepare our safety net out of fear. But Bahiyah doesn’t believe in that. And that’s why she was accepted into the company. A lot of people, including her boss, came to tell me that she is one of the best interns they ever had. And you know what? She had so much fun there as well!!! And that’s what really matters.
The third of the three virtues:
love noun \ˈləv\
a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person
This is probably the most important, the most powerful and the most potent virtue out of the three. Her ability to love. She loves many things. She loves TOO many things (and too many people). She’s a lover, that’s what I call her. Not in the gross, clingy girlfriend type of way. But in a strong, unwavering kind of way.
She’s an avid hugger, if there’s even such a thing. She hugs people a lot. And by a lot, I mean a lot of people, AND a lot of times.
She’s always smiling. She’s always greeting people cheerfully. I didn’t even think it was physically possible for people to smile that often. But she’s the living proof that humans ARE capable to love to such great extent. But most of us just arrogantly choose not to.
And with that being said, I hope whoever is reading this, will leave this post with at least a little bit more tenacity, a little bit more courage and a little bit more love.
Go be Astraia! Go be Bahiyah!