By Bob Marley

Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you.

When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful.

There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are.

The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colors seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all.

A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you.

You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon.

You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you.

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Purpose Less?

Of all the obstacles and hardships a bad day can provide, having doubts on your purpose of this life is the worst. That sudden feeling of uselessness and subsequent hours of overthinking are the hardest to endure. How can one possibly be cheerful or even functional when they feel like a zilch? Like your existence were of no possible benefit to anyone. Trash.

Beyond the daily chores and a daily routine, what do we live for? Apart from the calculations of profit and loss, benefit and money, what is it that drives our day? What, at the end of the day, are we looking for?

Has our routine run so deep in our veins that we do it mechanically? Without questioning? Without looking for a reason, ever? Have we forgotten to look within and know what we desire? Contemplate for our passions and work for them?

In the pursuit of a luxurious life, fame and money, have we forgotten our own selves?

Owned?

The fault was in destiny. The day which bore her a burden forever. Cause when everyone was speculating a baby boy, out came a girl! The most common form of heartbreak once you get married. Everyone accepted her half-heartedly. The first thoughts associated with her? “She is a burden on our shoulders. To be married off someday.”

The years following her birth were not as deadly as the first day but she was still treated as a burden, constantly being reminded of it. While her brother had permissions to do anything, it was all vice versa with her. She was hindered for doing anything and everything. And the most common aphorism to follow? “You have to live with another family someday. All this would not be tolerated there. Hence be in  your limits.” Even before being married, she was bound by the idea of marriage. Her flight delayed.

All through she was taught how to do household chores. And above all, she was taught to be doctile. How she should never argue back. How she should not look anyone in the eye. How … blah blah blah. All this while she thought maybe marriage is the end to all this torment. Maybe it is not as bad as they show. Maybe …

And atlast the day did arrive. The burden was off from her parents’ shoulders. She was being married off. And she? Naive as she always was, she was dreaming. She thought her prince charming had just saved her from an unpleasant life and hereon everythibg would be smooth. Like a fairy tale. Alas! Life is no fairy tale…

With marriage came responsibilities. And soon it dawned on her that she had no help there. She alone had to manage everything. And then you could not say no to your husband. Angels will curse you all night. She wondered why was only the wife cursed? All day she toiled hard and all she got at the end was curse and displeasure? For what did she do all this then?

Gradually she realised that though she worked as hard as her husband, she had to work at home too. He won’t move as much as a spoon. While he got to rest, all she got was more work. And displeasure of in-laws too. She wondered why only a woman was supposed to work at home? Was God biased or humans? She forgot our society believes in male chauvinism.

As some more time passed she was blessed with a baby. A baby girl. All her in-laws cursed her for bearing a girl child. Blaming her for being responsible for this tragedy. But what was her fault in it? How could she know what she bore. Yet no one thought about it. And instead of celebrations there was gloom in her house. It was another tragedy for them. But not a soul remembered what she had undergone to bring the life to this world. No one acknowledged her patience or tried to share her pain. It seemed she was unwanted. Surrounded by a whole lot of relatives and still alone.

As the birth of girl was gradually accepted, life began to be normal. But when the baby would cry, it would be her job to pacify her. Even after the baby was born, she alone had to take its care. When it would cry in night, she would be awakened to pacify it. She wondered why her husband could not have changed a diaper or fed it with milk that lay nearby?

She soon resumed her job too. Now she was handling too much together. House hold work, office, a baby, in-laws and a husband. She kept wondering why she had to be subdued and doctile. She wondered why women were doomed to this fate. Why was God partial to her gender? If her husband could rest after office why could not she? Why could she not go out and enjoy? Why could she not live?  Why were all bindations imposed on women only?

She had no answers. All she knew was that it all was unjust. Whether God was partial or the society, but she deserved much better, much more. And one such day, when she was tired of asking for her rights, she broke off. She broke all her chains that didn’t let her do her choice. She flew off away that day. Cause that day she realised life could not be what people say.  And your husband cannot be God. A wife has as much rights to rest and recreation as her husband. But still women feel chocked up, exhausted and sick.

A caged bird never sings of green fields.

A bird in a case can never love it’s owner.

 

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Alienation and Slander

That feeling of being cheated when the person you have been fighting for is talking to the person you are fighting with. Talking behind someone’s back to  enemy is nothing less than slander. And in the process of saving their own relations and skin, they break up another.

Do they not realise all the trouble someone underwent only for them. And what was their contribution? Backstabbing? Do they not realise the same can happen to them too and they could feel equally alienated?

Slander and relation can never go together.

Recovering Childhood

She sat comfortably in a leather chair. The room looked cosy and was dimly lit. And a feeling of familiarity. As if the room was designed in a way to make people feel comfortable. To make them speak their hearts out. And so did she. In there a voice had asked her her story. And she had obliged.

Her story comprised merely of disappointment, gloom and regret. She was born some 20 years after her siblings. That meant they were busy with college studies when she was of playful age. Even their mother was working. So she had no playmate. All she ever played with was her own self. And the few toys she had had.

The biggest disadvantage of being the youngest sibling is that your clothes are not new. They are passed on from the elders to you. And sometimes they are not even your size. She never asked for new clothes but when she saw her friends all dressed up she yearned for the same. She thought when she would grow up a little she would get her own new wardrobe. Alas! That remained a dream. She had to wear the older sibling’s clothes much more longer than she had anticipated.

But all these were minor things that occur to all such kids who have an older sibling. What had hit her was the loneliness. She had no one to talk to. So she took refuge in mirrors. And even for that her sister used to scold her. “What are you doing? Standing and looking at the mirror all day? What does it serve you?”  So she started talking to the moon. Maybe because moon has patterns which make it look like a human face. That period was the start of talking to her own self. The lonelier she felt the more she talked to her own self.

Siblings are thought of as support. But it was different for her. Maybe because they were elder, they found her problems ridiculous. But they were not ridiculous for her. And it killed her to see that her siblings laughed when they saw her crying. Sometimes she had trifles with her friends. So when she turned to them for help, they laughed back. She probably never stated her problem again. This later triggered her to write a diary. A daily diary. And her siblings used to steal that and read it. Spying maybe. But they would not bother to talk to her or play with her. Instead spying seemed easier. Further breach of trust.

She was later not allowed to lock her cupboards or room. Her room would be searched in her absence. And everyone did so separately. She never really knew why. What could a 14 year old hide? This might not have been so complicated if school life had been a little more stable. There friendships were formed and broken in a matter of days. And nobody really liked to keep up to each other. Friends could have been a support but they never were. So the loneliness followed her everywhere. Absence of one could have been managed but absence of any kind of support was way different. It meant she was alone even before she was ready.

Among other things and scoldings, what bothered her was the lack of appreciation. Whatever she may do, however good her marks, she was never appreciated. All they ever said was, “Why are you lagging behind?” “Why did you lose marks?” “Why is your handwriting so bad?” Her hard work, her problems or anything related to her was not their concern. Their concern was results. And the worst thing about results was comparison. “Look that girl fared more than you.” “Why can’t you top your class?” These questions stung like needles. They made her feel so worthless. A zilch. This made her hate the girl she was compared to. What was in her that her parents loved her more than their own daughter? Why could they not love her as much?

Sometime later she made a big decision. She wanted to go live in a hostel for higher studies. After a month of negotiation, counselling and counter counselling she was approved to go. Maybe she didn’t realise how significant the consequences of this decision could be. A new phase. They say you can grow only outside your comfort zone. And so did she. In some ways. There were many things that she got better at. Shyness. Lack of words. Blah blah…. The list could go on and on. But it also elevated some of her fears too. The fear of being replaced. Back home there were many things happening which she was unaware of. And when she did come to know of it, she felt bad. She was clearly been replaced and apparently she was not needed. And there her fears took root.

In her course of study she could rarely visit home. And the days when she could she was made to feel like a zilch. The taunts of other children being better had not ceased. And they probably never would. Back at college all her professors looked at her with admiration but at home all she could see in eyes was dissatisfaction and rejection. As if she could never satisfy them whatever she did whatever she tried. Her family’s approval, their consent and appreciation meant a lot to her. And that was the most difficult for her to achieve. This triggered her emotional instability.

Amongst all this loneliness and unappreciatedness she was an easy prey. Talking to strangers and confiding in someone on social network was easier. Even fake sympathy and a kind word was enough. Not that she walked away astray but it did affect her. Sometimes her online friends were her only solace.

She understood her parents had gone through a lot but now they did not have to. They gave her a good, luxurious life but they forgot about emotional needs. They forgot a child needs a playmate, a confidant. But for her both were absent. In their bid to fulfil needs they forgot a 7 year old would be frightened to be home all alone. That for a child so young it was fearful to be alone, not fun. They did not realise the lack of appreciation and the constant comparison had rendered their child instable and insecure. That she constantly felt the need for attention so that she may feel someone’s affection and love. That after years of growing up she would still feel insecure and alone. That she would have to take sessions with a psychologist to recover from her childhood.

She was always surrounded by an aura of melancholy. Her moods would suddenly shift. And at times she broke down for no immediate reasons at all. She might not have found a solution but she did vent out her disappointment.

What was striking in her story was the statement, “I remember, once in childhood we were discussing America. We thought that if children are not happy there with their parents they can ask for another parents. I was young but I still wanted a different set of parents. 20 years later I still desire the same.”

Hearing stories was not any easier for a psychiatrist too.

Heart

Heart… A mere cluster of muscles pumping blood through your body, responsible for your survival. And yet it is this muscular mass that is most important in how to decide to live your life, in choosing your way forward..

Being a pure heart is one of the choicest blessings that can be bestowed upon a person. Being able to see everything in its purity and being able to work forward with a good heart is rare, and a blessing.

But then a pure, honest heart makes you vulnerable. In a world filled of crooks, the straight trees are first to be cut down. And honest, pure heart the first to be cheated and bruised. In the purity of one’s own heart, we tend to forget about the deceptiveness of the world. Of how your emotions don’t mean a thing to anyone else. And how they can be friends one moment and foes in another just to get their motives accomplished.

It is difficult to decide whether a pure heart is a blessing or a curse when the same thing can be your strength as well as your greatest weakness. When you lend your hand to someone to help them out, you never know whether they actually want to be saved or are pretending the situation just to throw you down the pits.

And one’s sanctity makes it look like everyone is a friend, a fellow human with the same needs. But does greed not overpower so many souls? Is every other person you see not corrupt? Have they not sold their conscience for some mere notes they call money?

Has the world, in its chase for fame and fortune, not sold itself?