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Vanished into Eternity…

We have experienced all types of emotions…a variety of emotions…And it is funny to think how some wonderful memories bring a tear and how some bitter experiences brings a smile. Something life has taught me was everything is temporary. Nothing is eternal. Emotions, people, incidents change with time and we just go with the flow.
On this day, I wake up to a normal peaceful day. Started fighting with the veggies and cookers…finally packed the lunch and bade goodbye to my husband. Followed by few cleaning activities, News running in the background. After all the hussles, I put all the dirty clothes in the washing machine and sat down to sip a coffee. As I sipped, I opened the chats… As I went through the chat, Sambu texted me. Sambu is my best friend, a friend I miss almost everyday. He used to be my one-step or 1-Click problem solver, stress buster, partner-in-crime, hangout partner and my dear one…
The text was,”You remember my friend Aji?”
I replied,”Yeah…..y?” (That text got me a chill,I freezed for a moment…Probably because that is not how our chats begin….Something was wrong. I just wished its not what I thought it was)
But yes,it was… “Avan Marichu” (He is dead…in malayalam)
And booom….It was a car accident. I just thought for a moment about his wife and child who were in the car with him and survived. The life ahead, a day they would never want to remember. A day that has gifted nothing good.
In a matter of 5 minutes, My day just changed. Its not a casual day. Though I knew him for a short while, I remember his cheerful face and humor when we last met for a movie with Sambu. I felt sad for Sambu. I know what his friends mean to him. I know What Aji meant to him. If that news affected me, I am sure its not easy for him.
Be nice to people. No matter What. We just don’t know what the very next minute holds for us. Its not easy seeing a friend just vanish from your life. I had missed several of my close one – some to deaths, some to misunderstandings. But I will not regret the ones I lost because of misunderstandings, because I am sure I tried my best in patching up, I tried my best to be nice and to apologise, I took that extra step that they remained in my life. I wouldn’t regret the ones I lost to death, because there was nothing I could do about it, and I know for sure I gifted them good memories for the short time we knew each other.
Life is like a fairytale where people come and go. We meet many different people – funny, weird, strange, depressed, nice, innocent…it goes on. Some stay close, some just move on. We can’t hold on to people because there is nothing we own.All we own are the memories and emotions we create which can be gifted to others. Just live life, there is nothing we can control and there is nothing we should try to control. And as the saying goes,” No matter what happens, Life goes on…”

Being the Ideal Daughter and Daughter-in-law…

Every phase has its own ebb and flow. When you look back, every memory brings either a smile or a tear. Those emotions linked with the memories, and some wounds that never cure… I am still not quite sure as to what I am supposed to write. A married friend told me once,”Mom is Mom. Mother-in-law is mother-in-law. However you try, Mother-in-law can’t be Mom”. I had several reasons to argue that day. From time known I have heard my mom caring her in-laws the same as her own. I grew up seeing her take care of the family, subconsciously cultivating the art of managing the household, kids, relationships,profession,everything. I was close to my dad – we shared lot of interests in common, but my mom was my role model. The lady who was the example for an ideal wife, daughter and daughter-in-law.

So, in this post I can share few guidelines for all newly married or to-be-married girls so that you can either opt out marriage or be equipped for the life ahead (Note : this is purely based on few experiences of my friends and mine and this is NOT focusing on those daughter-in-laws who are just born to create issues in the family):

1. If you are planning to get married, either you learn patience or learn to lose your individuality. Individuality and In-laws are rarely in terms.
2. If you have the notion that marriage brings you a friend for life, another family to lean on, a sister born to another mother,etc… all I have to say is ROFL!!!
3. Never ever compare your past and present. The simple logic is, if you do, Anti depressants would be your lifelong partners.
4. Learn to appreciate yourself because no one else would.
5. Expectation. When it comes to expectations, follow the thumb rule – “Meet theirs and let go yours”
6. I modified a motto of some company I read long back – Your Husband is always right! Keep that always in mind. I have always found lot of funny posts where wives are portrayed as monsters who keep arguing and shut their husband’s mouth. Trust me,I have seen the reverse. If you aren’t equipped with it, you needn’t worry because eventually you will master the art of nodding “Yes”
7. A guy would have cooked or done his laundry for a maximum of 5 years, but when it comes to an arguement, It is always” I have done it, it isn’t tough”. Oh Please, try doing it for a family everyday and getting tears in return. (You definitely can’t say that, because the default reply would be “Who is asking you to?”,”You needn’t do it for me”,…) Be ready!
8. You are suppose to call and be involved in the family, taking care of the parents and others, even if the reverse doesn’t happen. I have heard most moms telling daughters,”That’s the new family, treat them as your own!”, Never seen the reverse with the guy. Yet another Irony of Indian culture.
9. Never expect others to understand what you are going through. There will be a stage you can’t depend on anyone. Not your family, not your friends… In those depressing days, try writing a blog 😉 Trust me, It helps!!!
10. Before opening up on any issue on how his attitude hurt you in a particular scenario, be ready to face the questions, “Why can’t you?,”Why don’t you?”,”Why shouldn’t you?”…This takes me to the 11th point.
11. There are 3 solutions to any problem – IGNORE, ADJUST, LET GO! Master this and your life will be golden
12. Last golden rule – Never act smarter than your in-laws, In-laws want smart girls only till the marriage is fixed. Be sure you are good enough to take care of their son, but pleaseeeee make sure you don’t exceed their standards. They don’t want u to be better than them – be in cooking, cleaning or anything for that matter.

Disclaimer : This is not stereotyping. This is for the vast majority who boasts that “Daughter-in-laws are daughters” JUST in words. I have seen great ones who have maintained wonderful relationship with their “Daughters” who would shoot their sons if they say a thing bad about them. Most girls are much pampered and have never been to the kitchen before marriage. They have embraced the family as their own and working their heart out to keep the family happy, but I rarely see the appreciation coming on the way. The basic attitude is – “What they are doing is their responsibility. We have done it. Its not a big deal”. It is a big deal! It is a big deal they are taking care of your son and family. It is a big deal they are doing all they can to keep everyone united and happy. It is a big deal they are sacrificing their happiness for you. It is a big deal they are doing things they hated just to see a smile on your face. It is a big deal that they have compromised on their passion and career. It is a big deal that they are sticking around inspite of all the hurtful things they have to undergo.

From deep within the heart of a married woman…

I get a phone call right in the middle of the night…
I attended the call even without checking who it was… (I don’t even know why I picked it up,I usually don’t)
Even before a hello,came a familiar voice – “I can’t sleep…
“Hey…U?!? What is the matter?….Man, what is the time?” Almost in half sleep.
It’s 2:40 in the morning…I know its late…But I need you…now…Is it okay?
“Firstly you wake me up and then you ask me permission…tell me” I expected her reply as – “Oh, shut up…I just need to talk…wakkkkeeeeeee upppppppp” That’s the normal her. But this time, the reply came as
No…You sleep…Good night!
“Hey..Hey Nisha…..” She disconnected the call…. I got up from the bed and walked to the balcony trying to call her…But as you are expecting now, she didn’t receive my call…I got a text back which read – “It’s okay Ammu. Don’t bother. Go to sleep. Nothing important”. I texted her back,”Call me right now. I am up” I knew something was wrong. I put a kettle for coffee. Soon came the call…
“Nisha, What’s wrong? I am sorry for blabbering,I was in half sleep…”
It’s okay.I wasn’t in a great mood
“Wasn’t???”
I still am
“What happened?”
I think I can’t go forward with this marriage!
“Dude!!!”
Am serious. I have had enough. I love Ankush. I really do. But how can I be in a relationship just because I love a person and I know he loves me
” Do you realize what you are speaking?”
Yeah. I know I don’t sound like making sense. We both have our set of egos. I know everybody has, but it goes to that extend that inspite of knowing I am hurt, he just can’t let it go
“Why can’t you let it go if you know this is the issue”
I am hurt because he never admits it. I am offended because he is okay with hurting me than letting it go. I just can’t be me. Though everything gets solved after a while….still some issues pop up…very small issues,even those that doesn’t have any relevance in our life. And it ends with him sleeping peacefully and me crying whole night
“Tried talking?”
U think I wouldn’t have? But to everything, the response is defaulted – Why can’t you,why don’t u, why shouldn’t u, why not u…..when I say I am fed up hearing these blames on me,its always me…again the default reply – same with me….And am done. Every single day, something pops up and when it worsens.U know me,It takes time for me to get back once it reaches the peek. Then yet another one of his defaulted sarcastic dialogue – ‘You can’t stay happy a day without fighting?what are you getting out of it’….Ammu,Why would anyone want to be happy fighting.The one thing I want in a guy was to be able to admit his mistakes…but…I can’t.
“Nisha,Can’t you ignore?”
That’s what we are taught right from the start – adjust,ignore. How much Ammu? I just wished someone was there for me just to sit and listen…without arguing,without trying to prove s/he is right, without judging me…I can’t talk all the issues over phone. I myself know those are small petty issues,but things add up. It adds up to that point you think why did you even get married just to soak your pillow in tears. Because you feel your husband values his ego more than your emotion.”
“Nisha, I understand what you are going through. But we all are here for you. You can open up any time anything you want”
Says who? Do you think a girl who loves her husband will talk bad about him to her friends? She doesn’t want her friends to tag him bad. Can she talk to her family? No!! They would be so upset she isn’t happy. Can she talk to her in-laws? No, beyond any doubt” I could feel the frustration. Should I support her? If I did, she wouldn’t turn back on her decision to move out of her relationship, I definitely don’t want her to go through a broken marriage. If I don’t, I would also be in the sack of people who wouldn’t understand what she is going through. If she is staying awake at that hour pouring her heart out, it is because she trusts I would understand her. She isn’t the village girl who would complaint about husband being late from office, he has female friends or he didn’t compliment on her looks. She is also not the girl who is so independent and jumps to divorce when a small stuff jumps up, like many modern day modern-independent girl set up.
“Nisha, this is not the decision you can take at this hour of the night. Just get back to bed. Everything has a solution. Let’s figure out”
Ammu, I have thought 10 months…I have thought more than an year before engagement. Each time when I was hesitant to move forward with this proposal, I have heard lots of – this will change,don’t fall into conclusion, you should ignore, just close your eyes, don’t expect and so forth. I just wished I had the nerve to say – No, It won’t. But I didn’t. Now I am right in middle knowing its so hard to proceed forward, knowing I am putting a fake smile and a happy marriage infront of others, pulling myself to fit into the role of the ideal wife,daughter and daughter-in-law. Tomorrow morning, he would wake up trying to act normal, being normal, not knowing the damage he is doing to me everyday. I can feel me going back to a cocoon, going back to myself, just me…U know what I feel right now. I am part of an unfinished painting, where the painter has lost interest in completing it and any day I can be thrown to the bin. I think its with the painter if it should be finished and put it up for exhibiting or throw it to the trash, right?
“You are thinking too much. Just relax for now, drink water and go to bed. I can’t give you solution if you don’t tell me things in detail. I will meet you in person tomorrow. Its too much to discuss over phone. Is that good?”
Mmm-Hmmmm….
“Good night for now, Sweetheart”
Good night” I was about to disconnect the call when I heard her feeble voice calling my name.
Ammuuuu….
“Yea…tell me..”
Thank you!
“Why?”
For listening. For not telling me – ADJUST. For not telling me – IGNORE. Thank u
“Sleep, Nisha. No more thinking,okay? Love you.”
Love you too

As I returned back to bed, I could feel a huge burden in my heart. I know I kept the call because I am not sure what I should speak. I needed time to think what I should tell her. I can tell her to ignore and lose herself. I can also tell her to let it go and start afresh. I need time – however I think, I know I will end up with the traditional golden words taught to all Indian girls right from birth – ADJUST,IGNORE,LET GO. I know she would opt it to letting go off the relationship, because it is easier to let go yourself than your relationship in the society we are living today. You are answerable to a lot of people if you step out of the relationship. While in the other scenario, you just need to answer yourself which was far easier to cope up.

The REAL World

Today I am in a mood to be myself…enough of fake smiles, enough of pretentious talks, enough of sweet shaggy expressions… I am done with u, Mr.Life. Done with u for today.
Dear Life, Listen for this moment what I feel about you and what I had for you. I agree we had lot of misunderstandings and fights. Let us clarify things and move forward together. You continue doing things as per your wish and not even for a while do you think how I feel about them.You are not bother what emotion I am in and continue doing things as you wish. Have some respect Man. Because of you, I am turning my nights sleepless, I am wasting my precious tears, I dont even know why I am still hung with you. Its so tough what you cook for me everyday and put across the table. But I think I know the reason I am still with you…..I don’t want to quit.
Yeah, I don’t want to quit. Do you think its easy for me….then listen, No!!! Its just I am ready to face it.I have had enough – heart breaks, sexual harassment, physical illness, mental tortures, depression, broken family, selfish parents, Bitchy friends, Horrible job, Monster men….everything….I have enough of everything. And each time you test my patience, I didn’t let myself down. I don’t regret the things you did for me.Because you made me strong, you made me independent…Above all, you made me stable…emotionally stable. Emotionally stable to the point, I can ignore my emotions. Emotionally stable that Nobody can snatch away my happiness and Emotionally stable that I decide when I should cry and when I shouldn’t.
There were days…days I cried…turning my days to nights and nights to day. As a child, I was scared of everything around….I don’t know why I was scared – if I get low marks, if I break something…Even if I didn’t do anything wrong, I was the one to get all the scoldings…I was insecure.I was afraid. As the scared factor increased, a rebel in me started growing…telling me “U aren’t scared, U needn’t do it if you don’t want to” and I embraced it as my good friend. I was no more scared of the consequences -F**k off Marks, “Go to hell People”… I grew making mistakes and learning from them…But today when I look back – I can count on my fingers the number of mistake and wrong decisions I made in the last 26 years. Screw you Life…You made me feel so miserable. No, You haven’t always gifted me the worst. You have taught me a lot- a real lot. When I look back at how I have stood up from what you have surprised me with, I feel relieved, enlightened, above all happy and contended. You have showed me what is to be a girl in the Men’s world. You showed me the power of our mind. You proved me you aren’t as bad as you seem to be.
Thanks for showing me how strong I can be. Thanks for giving me the strength to face you. Thanks for giving me opportunity to look forward….. Thanks!!!

“He did this to me…I don’t know how I can handle it” – A burden of regret

Over the years, an incident that shook me and stole many night’s sleep. One Sunny afternoon just before our School summer vacation in 2004, somewhere in mid June, grabbing an Ice-cream after struggling with the skipping ropes for a while, I sat on a shady tree in our school ground. It was games period and few of my friends had gone to the washroom, few were with their skipping ropes and throw ball. Niharika came towards me with a smile (Niharika was never among my close circle of friends. We were together since 5th standard. She was reserved and wasn’t very active in any of the school activities, let alone she wasn’t good in her studies. I never knew anything about her, other than she was my classmate for more than 3 years). I smiled back and asked if she wasn’t joining for any games, she just shook her head signaling NO. I tried focusing on my Ice-cream which started melting because of the sun. She began saying, ” I wanted to talk to you!”

I was stunned…Wasn’t sure if I heard it address to me  “Me???” I looked at her.

She nodded back.

“Yea. Go ahead”I replied, Still wondering what in the world was she going to tell me.

Just before she began, Teena ran from the ground shouting ” Ammu, Teacher Nirmal is calling you”

I told Niharika as I hurried,”One minute. I will be back soon. Just be here”. Before waiting for her reply, I ran. I was stuck the rest of the hours that day with my Scout activity and completely forgot about the talk. I had to reach school earlier than others as I was the class leader that year. The next day I reached class early and was about to leave to the staff room for picking up the flower vase and table cloth when I saw Niharika in one corner of the classroom. I wished her Good morning and left. It was on the way back I remembered that she hadn’t told me what she wanted to tell me. By the time I was back there were students in the class. I wrote a chit telling her that we meet in the church during the short break. She wrote back,”Don’t tell your friends!”. I wrote back,”Okay”. I waited the whole 2 hours to pass and as the bell rang,without telling any of my friends,I walked to the church. She followed me. We sat in one of the chairs. I said,”Its just 10 minutes, tell fast. What is the matter?”

“I don’t know if 10 minutes will be enough. Can we talk about it during recess?”

I said,”I have lunch with my friends. I will need to explain where I am going”

“NO…NO….” The reply bounced back almost immediately and that too with fear

“Its okay. Don’t worry. I won’t tell them if you don’t want to. I will figure out something to tell them. Okay?”

She said,almost like a whisper,”Okay…”

Bell rang and we rushed back to class. I couldn’t focus – what is she going to talk to me, why me, why does’t she want me to share it with my friends, what do I tell them. I was sure about one thing, it was serious, something is haunting her. I decided to focus in the class. I wrote a chit to Tamanna during the fourth period ” You guys go for lunch. I won’t be there for lunch. Need to meet mom” She said, “Okay. But what for?” I was about to write, when Aloka ma’am gave us an angry look and I just signaled her – will tell u later.

During lunch break, we went to the ground and decided to walk. The conversation went as follows :

Niharika, Tell me…what is it?”

“Ammu…..Can I call you “Ammu”?

Yeah….why not….”

“Ammu, Please promise you won’t tell anyone…not even your mom”

Sure. Promise”

“I am scared.”

For what?

“I think I am Pregnant”

WHAAAAT……PREGNANT?!? Are you kidding me?” That came out louder than I expected. She immediately looked around if anyone heard me. I scanned too. No, None heard. The chatter on the ground was louder!

I didn’t understand. Did you say you were pregnant”

“I didn’t say I was pregnant. I think I might be pregnant” and tears rolled down her cheeks.

Man, This is serious. I don’t know how to react to that. A year back, when my best friend reached Puberty,I remember advising her to be careful and not to even accidentally touch a guy as she may be pregnant,to which she replied in shock – “I thought God gave babies when you get married”. I laughed at her because I had more knowledge than her. But yeah, I just looked at her. I could feel my hands getting colder. I told her not to cry…But she didn’t stop. I saw our physical training teacher staring at us. I immediately went upto her and said,”She has got stomachache. Periods second day,Ma’am. Can I take her to class?”. She nodded yes and told me to get medicine from office if required.

Once inside, I closed the door,we sat in a corner. I gave her some water to drink. Then I asked her,”That….that one you said…How can it be? I mean….Why do u doubt?”

She said,”Promise me you won’t tell teacher Deepthy….” That’s my mom. As I told,She was in the same school. She was the favorite of all students and teachers. While bringing her to class, thoughts were running through my mind as to why she chose to tell me this. I wasn’t even her friend. I assumed it might be because she needed my mom’s help and she chose me to convey it to mom. But now,thats not why.

Almost immediately I nodded,”Promise”. (then Why me?!? – those words ran to my mind, but felt inappropriate for the time. I held those words back)

“Its my Dad!”

Holy SH**, Did she say DAD…Yeah, she did. Seeing my doubtful expressionless face,I think she felt I didn’t hear her. She repeated,a little louder and clearer,”It is my father. He did this to me and…..and I can’t handle it anymore” Tears rolled as she spoke. I felt helpless,I didn’t know what would make her feel better. I hugged her, I could feel tears filling my eyes. I tried hard holding them back,telling myself – You are brave, don’t make her weak, Don’t…Don’t….. I have just read above such monsters on the newspapers and stories, but here, I am with a girl,my age,who has been living with one from the time she was born. I was too young to understand what she went through.

She continued,”He never treated me like a daughter. I never knew if it was right or wrong. When I was Six, I remember crying in pain as some knife was inserted through the place I peeped. I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t even know it was wrong. As I cried,my father closed my mouth with his hands and hissing-“Sssssh………… sssshhhhhhhhhh……………its over…….wait…..” After a while, I felt water droplets on my thighs.Through little light, I saw him rub it off with a cloth. I cried to sleep. I don’t remember where my mom was that day, but she wasn’t home.” It was too much for me to digest. I couldn’t understand half of what she said because I couldn’t relate. I had doubts to clarify, but no,I can’t ask her details of that night. Was it a real knife? If yes, why didn’t she bleed, how can she be alive then? If No, what was it? And how is she able to pee? I knew somewhere in my mind, it’s not the real knife she meant, but…yeah..whatever….I told myself here is something more serious that my questions and shifted my focus to what she was saying.

“After that, it happened frequently. I would sleep next to my brother with nightmares, hugging him tight. But midnight I would wake up in pain next to my father and it repeated. As I grew,I realised its not normal what is happening to me.After a while, I understood my mom knew what was happening with me. She was acting blind to it.. I soon realised my family wasn’t the normal happy one my friends have. Still it continues…I thought of running away. But to where? Noone can help me too…”

“Why did you think about telling me this?” Before realising, it can out of me.

“I heard you tell Tanu the other day about the news where a father raped his daughters and how your dad exclaimed – how can a normal person think such a way about your own blood. I thought probably you would understand” I remember my dad saying that, he was so angry reading that news.

“Neha, what do you want me to do? Why can’t you talk to your brother?”

“No Ammu. He can’t help me. He is just a year older and is in the boarding school”

“Then Lets tell my mom….”

“No please…you promised…..”

“Are you serious you are pregnant?”

“I can be. I missed my period for last 2 months”

“Neha, I think we should tell someone. Talk to your mom. She knows it,right”

I hate her,Ammu. We don’t talk to each other any more. I think she feels I am the reason my father isn’t leaving us. She keeps a blind eye because she can hold my dad back. I have heard people saying he has another family somewhere”

“Lets wait and see. But if you really are pregnant,what will you do?”

I will die!

Terror waves shook my body “No.Please don’t do it. You just doubt. Its may not be true. I will tell my mom if you are saying things like this. I won’t mind breaking my promise. Promise me you will never think of dying…”

“…….” She didn’t respond

“Promise me….”

“Promise!!!”

Sleepless nights followed.I prayed hard everyday,She gets her period. First thing to ask her everyday would be,”Did you get?” She would nod- No. My friends fought with me for spending more time with Niharika and not sharing things. After a week, I got a phone call in the evening. It was her. As soon as I said Hello,She said “I got….I got” I almost shouted in happiness. She didn’t talk much, after few normal exchanges, she said,”Talk to you tomorrow” and disconnected the call.

I was so glad that she wasn’t pregnant. I wanted to tell her the next day that she shouldn’t allow her dad to touch her hereafter. I haven’t been so stressed out ever before.

Next day, she didn’t take this topic. I thought of not reminding her. She definitely needed a break. She seemed happy and relaxed.

We had our summer vacation after few days.It was a month long vacation. We never took that topic during those days. On the last day, we discussed our assignments and exam preparations. As the bell rang, we walked towards the gate and I told her,”Do call when possible and yeah, don’t let him touch you. If he does, come to my house. We can tell my parents. They will help you”

She smiled. I could see she was relieved hearing my words. I was happy too.

She called me just once during the first week of vacation to ask about an assignment. I was enjoying my holidays,occasionally thinking what she would be doing. I missed her though I knew her just for 2 weeks,I grew so fond of her. Not because she opened up to me and that made me feel special. But because she trusted me with her biggest burden of secret. I loved her innocence. I loved for having the courage to tell me what she had been through. I waited for the school to reopen.

I waited the first day, but yeah, she didn’t turn up. I knew something was terribly wrong. I had no way to find out. How do I contact her? Whenever I tried contacting her, both her parents wouldn’t hand over the phone to her. I decided to call her that evening once I am home and waited impatiently till the last hour. As the bell rang, I was waiting outside the staffroom for my mom to come. I heard Teacher Nirmal tell our class-teacher,”She was playing. But the string got pulled accidentally and  the veins got cut. Kids these days are more interested in playing dangerous games. These movies are influencing a lot”. Sir George was coming out of the staff room and asked her,”Whom are you talking about?”

Immediately came her reply,”Sir Johny’s student who died few days back. She was playing it seems. Her mom found her hanging on the window. Police say she was playing and it got accidentally out of hand…” They saw me standing out and stopped. I gave an artificial smile and acted as if I didn’t hear them. I was praying,”Its not her…not her”

After a while, mom came down. Teacher Nirmal also got out. She came upto me and said,”You heard, right”. I nodded and asked,”Niharika?” She said, “Yes Child. Don’t tell anyone. Tomorrow it will be announced in the assembly.” Tears poured out and she hugged me,”My child….don’t cry. Don’t cry”

My mom came to me and asked ma’am,”What is the matter?” Ma’am should have given some hint or signaled, my mom immediately stopped. I rubbed my tears and walked home. Ma’am and mom talking behind as we walked…. I ran to my room, closed the door and cried my heart out. I didn’t want to hear anything…neither did I want to know what happened. Questions started flashing – Was she lying she wasn’t pregnant? Was it really an accident? Could she have been murdered? How can someone hang to death from a window? I started thinking of situations – maybe she threatened she would tell others and she was choked to death or Maybe she wanted to end her life and she did. Maybe she felt hopeless and helpless. Whatever it is, She was gone. I almost broke when I heard the Reverend reveal the news to the school during the assembly.

I was naturally upset, being guilty over and over again. Thinking I could have saved her life if I did open up to somebody – maybe my mom or Teacher Nirmala….or our class teacher. My friends told me,”She wasn’t even your friend….” My mind whispered,”She was….she definitely was…The dear one who considered me important enough to share her life, her suffering…even when she knew I cant help her. She knew for sure I wouldn’t judge her”

Years passed,occasionally reminding me of that friend who came to my life for 2 weeks and vanished away creating a scar which would take a lifetime to heal…Couldn’t even afford to find answers to those questions she left behind unanswered. Why did she? Probably the stupidest thing to do was keeping those things to ourselves. We should have spoken it to somebody. But yeah, we were kids….Kids of 14. When I read stories of child abuse, first thought would always be – why can’t they tell somebody? But then it gets back, almost a decade, what did I do? Why didn’t I help? Its easier to question. We never know what people around us go through. And neither do we think for a second anyone can be a victim to those monster stories we read everyday.

Almost a year back, during an usual discussion with a dear friend & colleague – Saritha, we bumped into this topic and she told me exactly the same story of her best friend who committed suicide during one such vacation. I was in a state of shock to respond I had been through that state. I had seen a dear sister still living in the nightmares of one such disastrous night she went through, which I knew 16 years later. Looking back, I realize, it wasn’t easy spending a minute home with someone whom I knew wanted to sexually take advantage of me. But I wish I had known that 12 years back. I don’t know if I understood well the seriousness of what she had been going through for 14 years of her life, from the time she recollected. Wonder if she had atleast a moment to smile freely without those fearful thoughts. I wish I had known her a little longer. I wish I could have had an opportunity to give some happiness. This burden of regret she handed me over will remain with me and will die with me, however you console yourself there was not much you could do. The conscious murmurs each time,”There were things you could do, but you ignored to do!!!”

Fibromyalgia – My own…A journey unveiling myself….

I sat impatiently waiting for the attendant to call my name. I am in the waiting room to meet one of the best Rheumatologist in the country. The initial screening with the Junior doctors went good, where my long suffering of body-ache, migraine and other issues were examined. The last 2 years were kind of hell physically – undergoing different medical treatments, lot of medications, temporary relief, physiotherapy, again the cycle taking you back to the initial stage.

I had started working, and travelling long distances were part of my day-to-day activities. And the back pain which I used to have during my college days started interrupting my work. The pain initially occurred when I strained in front of my laptop or during long journeys. Rest would make me feel better and then I hit back with double enthusiasm to complete my responsibilities. This phenomenon would again drag me to bed and finally I landed up in the hospital bed. All the tests and scanning were conducted. when the MRI reports came, there it was “Mild disc bulge, nerve compression”. The doctor looked at me and asked “My child, how did you manage to get into this? How old are you? He said, if I don’t care now, its going to be tough. The next stage is surgery and he is really afraid at the thought of a girl my age go through it. The company I worked with supported me in this condition, and I soon moved to a different department where my travels reduced. During this phase, my marriage almost got fixed. I went for Ayurvedic treatment which helped relieve a lot of pain, but again the needle went back to “0” the minute I hit back work. But this time, there were much more to it. I started gaining weight (a lot of it) – no dieting & exercise seemed to work, there was no energy in me (the vibrant me just disappeared), I feel so bloody cold all the time (during most meetings, I switch off the AC for a while till I see my colleagues sweating)…but the most terrified one was I lost my memory, I couldn’t remember names of people I met everyday, I can’t remember my password I changed the previous day, I forgot my ATM pin, I forgot my way back home and many incidents followed. From childhood, I had always been sharp in my memory – my ability to remember numbers and dates of historical events used to be my signature among my friends circle. All that seemed so different to the “NEW ME”. I still remember the day I realized something is really wrong with me. I took up my phone and called Aby (Mr.Abraham) to discuss some important issue and as I hear the first ring, I just thought what was the issue…I couldn’t recollect. At the other end of the phone, I heard Aby’s voice and all I could say was,”Hey, I called to say something important,but I forgot. Will call you soon” Though I ended the conversation on a funny note, it was the most difficult realization. It was not at all funny. The thought that your memory is fading and you know you are not able to perform as you were. You are just not YOU – the “YOU” you were and the “YOU” you are never used to. It was just so difficult.

It was then I realized what I had was not something small. It was much beyond my thoughts and much beyond what I really imagined it to be. That’s when I founded out,I had “Fibromyalgia”. It took me days to spell it correctly. The first instance on hearing the name was “I had WHATTTT?!?” But yeah, it was a relief to finally know what my condition was. It was a greater relief that finally I knew I was on the right direction. I suffered the pain of not knowing what is happening to me, I suffered the pain of not being able to explain myself to others. Physiotherapy, drugs, needling and a long list followed, which would pull me down, suck all my energy out, reminding me often how different I have turned to be. The pain that I have been battling depression.

The journey then on wasn’t easy. It was tough. You have to deal with it, maybe for life. It was not that I decided one fine day – “Am not going to let this change me!”. It took days & months for me to accept that I have to live with it. There are 2 options – either I embrace it and let it stay without letting it affect me, or I can pretend to ignore it and let it take “ME” away from me. Finally being so much different from the person I used to be.

Something life taught me during that stage – you can out-beat any condition. It takes courage, acceptance and will power. You are far beyond what you think you are capable of. Life is never going to be easy, but embrace it. And slowly you will feel life embracing you. I started my 2017 resolution when I decided that I can no longer stay brooding over what I cannot control. So, here goes my list – Be nice, Be positive, Think positive, Eliminate the negatives (be it people or situations), Eat healthy, Be active, Keep reading.

Fibromyalgia, Thank you!!! If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have known what it was to fail. If it wasn’t for you I would still be comfortable in my little world. If it wasn’t for you, I would never know the value of life. If it wasn’t for you, I would never ever experience what it is to erase the moment you freezed for future. Thank you for the Painful Enlightenment! I will fight every minute to keep you with me and not let you rule me.

 

 

Dreams That remain just Dreams!!!

Post from February 15th 2015 :

All characters appearing on this page is fictitious, purely & truly to the length, height and breadth of my imagination. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental or accidentally true or intentionally made 🙂

I could never understand the concept of arranged marriage. Guys, note the point, I am never against it!!! But it makes me think…

Exposed to a whole load of unknown Mama, mami, bua, chacha, chachi, cousins – extended and over extended family. Sitting in the middle of a crowd with every pair of eyes scanning you, if your one ear is slightly smaller than other; if your eyes are of the same size; if you have hearing problem; if your smile is proper; if you have got limps; if you have a hunch and what not………… This is terrible, but can manage because people need to undergo this at some stage of life whether arranged or love.

I had made up my mind that I will be Daddy’s sweet daughter when it comes to marriage. All these years my parents has given me full freedom to do all what I want; to be myself; to explore the world the way I dreamt. There was another reason – tomorrow if something goes wrong, I always have someone to point my finger on the whole drama 😉

But there was one demand – I need a guy with good personality. And how do you judge the personality of the guy in an arranged marriage??? Uff…. There is a way out – you need to have sufficient time before fixing the marriage. Once the marriage is fixed, I don’t mind even if I have to marry the very next day. I was very proud of my people reading skills which hardly goes wrong; so it is perfectly perfect – I can analyse how he is & den decide whether he is the one. I am indeed doing him a favor too – giving him an opportunity to decide for himself if he really wanted to put his head on the railway track. My plan so far is cool because nobody loses anything, in fact they get a better idea on the person and can decide.

My entire plan went into the biggest flop, when this guy Mr.XYZ came to see me……Preliminary rounds of interview & analysis went fine. Oh my plan was perfect till then; my parents supported me through the whole process (Remembering my sister’s counseling on how I shouldn’t screw this proposal like the previous ones)  and they sticked to my demand…The initial phase of checking horoscope compatibility went great; First round of skype interview was ok leaving aside the occasional technical issue; second round of personal interview went cool; third round of Interview with the guy and cousins went good. Now there is my final round of interview. But Coincidentally his folks are abroad and my joys knew no bounds…I have sufficient time to know the guy till they return (Almost 2 months to know if I needed this or not – a rare luxury; wow!!!). All fine and perfect so far………….right? It is not now the plan was flopped……

The entire system fell off the track when I received a text from him :

“Have our parents spoke anything about our talking?” Fissshhhhh…………How will I know that……

I replied “I am not sure……..Why”

Immediately came the reply – “Before the decisions are made, I don’t think it is really healthy for us to talk” (What an Ideal Indian boy…………..Trying to recollect if his dad’s name was Harichandran…….No…no…it is some other name……). Why in the world would I need to know him once the marriage is fixed………when the damage is already done…………….

I wasn’t ready to give up – “Once a decision is made, do you think you can change it if you feel it is not the right one?”

“Once decided I will see to it that it works” (That was a greaaaat relief…….Ho…………..Somebody is ready to bear the risk about tolerating me all his life….wow). “Atleast something that everyone is comfortable I need to be sure on that” (That gave me surety on several other things :))

“Adjustments?!?”  – That definitely came from me

“I am not talking about adjustments here, but I don’t want hopes to roam around” (Why do you let hopes to roam around, My man………Don’t men have any control over their  feelings??? or did he mean – I am building hopes??? Oh Gosh…………I don’t fall into that category & when will you be aware of it???) Along came a very decent statement “I hope you understand what I am trying to tell”

“If u feel its creating hopes & stuff, I guess we should hold till the decision is made” (Generous me!!!)

“Thanks dae for understanding” (What a wonderful statement..aha)

The only thing I could reply was ” 🙂 ” – A smile of relief………… This would be the beginning of our many arguments if I would be marrying him………….Somebody who is not bothered about the feelings of others; who doesn’t even make an effort to know……… A typical arranged marriage does go this way – without knowing, without understanding getting into a legal relation without making any sense of the whole process………………I pity me for having fallen into the same line as all others…….Long chats and phone calls after the marriage is fixed is an utter waste (Waste of time, money & EMOTIONS!!!) – Because couples live in fantasy after it is fixed and they live in reality once marriage is over……… Both are two extreme conditions connected by the same person.

Faith in Fate is the only thing that remains 🙂

There goes the saying “OPERATION SUCCESS, PATIENT DEAD!!!” 😀

The current status of this incident after close to 2 years :

This guy is one among my close friend. You want to know how that happened. After months, my marriage was fixed with whom I found to be the most eligible bachelor 😉 It was then this guy Mr.XYZ texted me – “Hi,Hope you are doing good. I wanted to ask you something. Actually everybody is asking why you rejected the proposal?”. All I did was forward the link to the post. I kept thinking why was I so angry over the incident. It would probably be because I felt the person didn’t bother discussing or asking my opinion. I would never have any problem if he is said his thought and asked what I felt about the same. I would have probably agreed to it. I might have been over analytical on such a silly incident that made me took an important decision for life. But when I look back, It was great that I didn’t want to be doubtful over taking the most important decision in my life.

Why opt to compromise and pretend to be someone who you are not,rather be the person you are and enjoy being crazy with the one who loves it. Its not how long you live, its how much you live your life and how much you brought about the change for a better tomorrow.