Tag Archives: sadness

Life Notes #13.

Is happiness an illusion? Or is the search for happiness a mirage that lures you until you’re too lost to even know so?

News media often carries reports of people who have failed to measure success in their acts – standards of success that the society set for us all, marks in examinations, money in jobs, marriage by a certain age, being a mother – suffer from depression and end their lives.

But once in a while you also come across relatively successful people, who have much more means, who have earned more respect than the average individual, yet they too suffer from depression. A couple of years ago, a well-known Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, opened up about reclaiming her life from the dark clutches of depression. She shared her vulnerability with the world at large, and very bravely so. She made depression a household phrase, more rightly and less commonly used from then on.

Just in came news of an IPS officer, aged merely 30, who committed suicide, apparently due to depression. The case is still under investigation so it is possible the facts of the case might change later. But becoming an IPS officer is an achievement few have been able to boast about in the country. Out of 9 lakh aspirants each year, merely 200 are able to achieve the glory. And it requires you to slog your ass off! I know it because I’ve myself given it a shot or two. He was just 30. But being an IPS officer must have meant he was immensely respected and an immensely powerful carrier of change. Despite what I think would have been an ideal place in life, he was under depression. And depression strong enough to lead him to end his life – which means sharing his plight with others hadn’t helped, hoping that he had. It saddens me to think that someone in his stature, position and with the visibility among people he had, the visibility his work demanded, the best of therapists he could afford, he still believed the death was the solution. That deprived his soul felt!

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I know there could have been circumstances at work or at home which may not have ended in a rosy life. I know there could have been sufferings in his past that had led to this step. I know there could have been therapists and medicines but they didn’t work. I know all of it. I acknowledge that I do not know the full story. But I fear the fear depression institutes in people, the helplessness it causes, the grief it brings to our beings.

And that is what leads me to think:

Is happiness an illusion? Or is the search for happiness a mirage that lures you until you’re too lost to even know so?

Graciously Yours!

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Hope.

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What keeps you going on the less happy days? What keeps you from letting one night turn into yet another morning? What pushes you to breathe one more time even though it pains every time? The belief in God – whatever your religion may be, wherever your faith lies? Or is it destiny? Or karma – that you will get what you give around. Or are you one of those who believe in the power of humans and the ability to conquer the world – the rising supporters of humanism?

Me? For me, hope keeps me going – the hope that one of these days, I’ll figure myself out again. Someday the sun will be brighter, the world more colorful and the day happier. The hope that this too shall pass and l will survive it like I have all these years. Hope. It’s important not to lose hope.

Graciously yours!

Pulled Apart.

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I’ve come a long way,

From that fateful day,

Where all I could think of was

Getting you to stay,

While all you did was push me away.

Now and then, things would sway,

Giving me hopes that you would stay,

But alas that wouldn’t happen,

Not how I wanted, anyway.

“For the baby’s sake,” I would say,

The little brown eyes would see your way,

But you would turn away,

Tears welling up in your eyes,

The battles you faced were bigger anyway.

There were days, when you were happy and gay,

And others when you would look out at the bay,

I would sit beside you all day,

Waiting for you to let me in on your thoughts.

Worse became the passing day,

Your smile was a needle in a stack of hay,

All day home we made you stay,

Afraid you would fall prey,

To the darkness we pulled you from.

But you fell into it, day after day,

Too late for us to mend the way,

“You deserve to be happy,” I’d say,

And that “together we would slay”

But you got addicted to the pain.

When I found you that day,

On the floor as you lay,

To you I wanted to say,

That to be weak once a while was okay,

But it was much more than you could take.

With your life you chose to pay,

To rid yourself of the darkness of the day,

In our hearts you still stay,

But not the way I wanted anyway,

The guilt of failing you still noosed tight.

Graciously Yours!

Picture Courtesy : Pinterest

 

The Hope?

He sent his father away for breakfast. It was ticking 10 AM. She would be coming over  any time to the shop now. And there she was, clad in a sari, hiding all possible parts with the six yards of cloth. She had a beautiful body, one she should have been flaunting had it not been marred with red, blue, purple and brown. Her eyes showed what the clothes hid.

His eyes lit up and smile broadened whenever he saw her. And when she looked at him and smiled, his wings fluttered to fly! She handed him a list of groceries required. Their hands touched. Neither pulled away. They both knew they wanted it. It was her console and his concern.

 “How are you today?” he asked, while slowly picking out items from the shelves. There was no hurry. There never was.

“Same as yesterday. Same as every day. Existing.”

She was morose today. Anyone in her shoes would be.

“You’ll start living soon.”

“Will I now?”

“Yes,” he said with a conviction she admired in him. He was the reason she had more purple than red.

“He touches you again and it’ll be all over, okay?” he asked her, handing her the packet.

He took the money she gave him and put it aside in a drawer his father knew nothing about.

“I’ll give him a week at the most. He’s a rotten fellow.”

“A week it is then,” he said, looking at her. Her sad smile spiked a pain in his chest. He knew she wasn’t an infatuation. And he let her know. Every damn day.

“I love you,” he said, his parting words.

“I do, too,” she said softly, her day already feeling better and brighter.

He watched her walk away. She was married. She was elder to him. Theirs was a match the society would frown upon.

But he had taken to her like salt to sea. He was her only hope and she his beacon of light. Together they would alight the horizon.

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Graciously Yours!

The Love?

Contd from “The Ideal?”

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He re-read the letter again in the dimness of the street light streaming in through the window. There was no mention of what really was going on at their place. He liked it that way. Folding the letter inside the envelope, he put it back in the diary where it belonged. He treaded lightly towards the cupboard and kept the diary on top of it. Looking at the woman sleeping on his bed, face towards him, the light unable to flit across her face, he smiled at her lovingly. He rubbed the gashes on the knuckles of his left hand. The gashes were so old, he now referred to them as birth marks. They were signs of his father’s love.

The naive woman thought he didn’t know she wrote to her mother. He loved her for how she covered for him. She really did love him. Was that how his mother was too? Nah, she was better. She never fought back, never talked back. She was always the loving mother, dutiful wife. She didn’t even show her tears to his father ever. His wife had a lot to learn. But she would  – with time. He was sure. Maybe it was time for a lesson soon.

He loved his wife a lot. The marks on her body showed that bright and loud. That was the only love he knew. That was the only love he’d ever known.

To be contd…

Graciously Yours!

Picture Courtesy : Pinterest.

Pool of tears.

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She sat by the shore. The cold water rhythmically wet her toes now and again. Some more and then no more. She inched closer to the water. She sadly stared out at the man in the water, helplessly flailing his arms around. She wished she could help him. But she’d just come out of the water for him. She’d tried dragging him to the banks. She’d tried calling out for help. She’d tried hauling him over herself. But after a while, there’s nothing she could do. She saved herself from drowning. That is all she could do. He didn’t want to be saved. Yet he wanted to live.

“Let me please help you,” she cried out. She pushed her drenched hair out of her eyes. Sand was stuck on her wet palms and legs. He didn’t reply. He struggled without making a sound. He didn’t cry out for help. Her dress was soaked. It clenched to her contours. She was breathing heavily. She was struggling to breathe as he was struggling to die. She dug her fingers in the sand and dried leaves around. She sobbed uncontrollably. Her lungs were searing with pain.

She looked up after a while. There was no one in sight. The water was rippling in the middle. The waves were becoming smaller. They would soon die. Just as he had. She stared at the water. Her tears were drying up. After a while, she got up, turned around and left.

She couldn’t kill herself over him. If she did that, his death would be a waste. After all, he had just killed himself over his love. She couldn’t repeat his mistakes.

Graciously Yours!

Happy anniversary, indeed!

The last piece of cake was smeared on his face!
“Twenty years of marriage! What’s the secret?” asked a colleague in jest!
“You agree more than you disagree. And you learn to shut up!” Sameer replied at once.
“At least there’s someone who can shut Sameer up,” they joked!
Only they didn’t know it was a joke.

Like every night, that night too he went back from office to find his dinner laid at the table. Hers was however missing. He checked his text messages. An unread message from her said she’d return late after dinner.

Post dinner, he returned to his room – his part of the house.

Normally, he’d have slept after reading a book for an hour or so but he’d expected today to be different. He’d wanted it to be different. Probably he should have made it different. By his bedside was their picture. From one of the early vacations in their marriage, when they were still young and so much in love! Time and tide waits for no man and didn’t wait for them either. They both took each other and time for granted. Constant fights and tiffs led to so much disagreement that they found it easier to live in separate rooms. Yet, surprisingly either didn’t want to leave because they still enjoyed each other’s company. It was a strange situation. And had been for more than a couple of years now.

For some reason unknown to him altogether, he walked over to his wife’s room today. Her room was so much neater than his. He could smell her in there. Nandini’s bedside had a picture of theirs too. A more recent one. In front of it, lay a slightly wilted rose. Surprised, he went and picked it up. A note lay beneath, “Wait up for me today, will you? Happy anniversary!”

***

She came home an hour later. He was barely managing to keep his eyes open, but the minute she walked into the hall, sleep left him for the night. And for good! Her tired eyes smiled on seeing her husband waiting.

“How did you know?” he asked, as she came and sat beside him.
“I was hopeful,” she said, barely meeting his gaze.

She nestled herself in his arms and every single fight that they’d had over the years seemed to melt away in that moment.

Probably, this was their second chance.

Night smiled as it fell upon the two souls. It pushed them to a closeness that not even dawn could penetrate!

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Graciously Yours!

Picture Courtesy : Pinterest

Forever and always.

He pulled me closer. My arms tingled with his touch. A current shot through me as he held me in his arms. I still fit snugly in his shape. I laid my head on his chest. Caressing my back, he dug his face in my hair. He loved my white mane much more than I did. His longing for my touch made me melt against him. I wanted time to stand still.

The shuffling of feet and din of people brought me back to my surroundings. Embarrassed, I tried to let go off him. But this meant so much more to him than it meant to me. He hesitated. Slowly, sadly, he let go off me. Through my glistening eyes, I could see him trying to pull his emotions together.

I intertwined my wrinkled fingers with his and we walked away to somewhere quieter. But there wasn’t any quiet to be found. Everywhere prying eyes followed us. With each step, our arms brushed. The thirst was maddening and our control weakening. Not a word was said and the bell rung! It was time for me to leave.

He walked me to the end of the room. Beyond that I was on my own. As I tiptoed to land him a peck, he brushed his stubble against my face and whispered in my ears, “I’ll always love you.”

I pulled him away. Running my fingers through his hair, I kissed him on the mouth. I tasted him while I still could. And then I turned my back on him and left.

As the Alzheimer’s struck me walked away from him, I prayed that the next time he came, I still remembered him. And I know he prayed for the same.

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Graciously Yours!

1 day to go!

Facebook wants to tell me how my year has been. If I go by that, all I did in 2014 was sketch a few portraits, go to a few restaurants with a bunch of people, and get pictures clicked for my sister’s #100happydays!

Well, that’s not how it was, Facebook.

Exactly a year ago, my father suffered a cerebral stroke and ended up with aphasia.

Exactly a year ago, my life crashed around me.

Exactly a year ago, I had to remind myself to breathe.

2014 was a tough nut to crack. It made me shed tears, broke my trust, made me lose relations, showed me how cruel the world can be and that family is not about blood.

2014 was also a brilliant year to test myself. It made me learn to hope even in the worst of circumstances, smile no matter how dim the light is, trust people no matter how much it may hurt you (sometimes they need your help more than you need theirs) and that family is not about blood.

And this has been a very important life changing lesson for me. Come what may, never turn your back to your family and friends. You have no idea how badly and permanently you could leave scars on them! Life isn’t about your bank balance! Ask those who are dying and have so much more still left to be spent. They would trade it all for some more time with their loved ones.

Graciously Yours!

P.S.: My dad’s almost recovered now.