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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Turning a corner...

I’ve often split myself to avoid making decisions,
And I’ve walked on every path that I wished to see.

There were limits to the things I could do,
But, it was a small price to pay for a taste of it all.

I kept my various lives separate till now,
Never mentioned this there or that here.

Today, there is a lone road leading away.
And I'm struggling to merge the best of all worlds in one.

I see I’ll have to leave some things behind,
Bolted as they are, to this place or time.

Tomorrow, though I may seem very different to you,
Nothing was a lie – just more to me than met your eye. Read More......

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Letter to Samantha

I wrote this story more than two and a half years back. Many of the things I've written in this story, were realised while writing it. The end product has turned out to be loooong and really preachy. It actually sounds as if I've decided on all the answers. But, it was with this, that I actively started thinking about some stuff. That is why it is so special to me, I guess. Hope you find enough patience to read the whole thing. :)

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Letter to Samantha

Dear Samantha,

I came home from work a bit early yesterday. I normally assume you are in your room working or reading. I never come upstairs to call you before dinner. But something didn't feel right yesterday. I came up to your room and found you lying on the floor. You lay on your side, your back to the door and your knees drawn up to your chest. I thought you were crying. I knelt down near you and touched your shoulder and softly called out your name.

Then I saw the pool of blood and the razor. I remember how I felt then. My heart stopped beating for a moment. I know it did. I felt it stop and then stay that way. Then I saw you heave for a breath. I closed my eyes and willed my heart to beat again. I felt it beat again - Faster and faster. Louder and louder. As if it was trying to beat for you too.

I remember running downstairs for the phone. I called the hospital. I called your dad. I ran back up leaving the door open. You were unconscious. But alive. I dropped down on the floor and tried to stop the bleeding. But it wouldn't stop. You always did things well. Even this. The cloth I held turned bright red as your life spilled out.


I remember talking to you, saying stupid things - more to comfort myself than to help you. I told you that you were going to be ok. The ambulance was on its way. They'd help you. They would save your life. But would they actually help you? I didn't know. I wished you'd open you eyes and yell 'April Fool' though it was December. I wished I would wake up and find that it was just a nightmare. Wake up darling. Wake up. Wake up. Open your eyes and everything will be fine. I was babbling.

I heard the wail of the ambulance siren as it raced closer, then a screech of tires as it stopped. Men running up the stairs. Someone banging doors downstairs. Someone found us and called the others. Suddenly the room was full of people. They took you from me. Doing their job, calm and collected. Someone was asking me questions. I answered him but I never took my eyes off you even for a single second. I rushed after them down the stairs as they went holding you in a stretcher. A neighbor noticed the noise and came over. She was speaking to me, but I didn't understand what she was saying. I nodded mechanically – all I cared about was your frail form in that stretcher being taken away. I climbed into the ambulance along with the paramedics. I still spoke to you nonstop. Jabbering away without a pause.

At the hospital they took you into a room and left me outside. 'Don't worry', said someone, 'They'll save her'. I nodded and sat down. Your father came after a few minutes - Scared and anxious about his little girl. I pointed to the door behind which you lay. It was chaos out there in the corridor. People were rushing in and out of rooms, carrying equipment, medicines, pushing patients in wheelchairs. I felt lost in there. We sat on a bench opposite to the room you were in. The tears finally came then. We cried for you and talked now and then. The doctors came out. Non-committal tones….. God…. Blood…. Loss….. ICU……

I don't know how many hours it has been now. You are in the ICU. They have let me stay near you and I'm writing this. Why? Perhaps to tell you tomorrow when you wake up? I don't know. To ask you questions? To doubt myself? To remember this forever? Maybe I hope that if I spill my thoughts on these sheets of paper, my heart will hurt less?

Right now Samantha, I have no idea why you did this. You wrote no note. I saw no signs of your pain. What drove you to this?

Did you do it to spite someone? Did you find some pain too much to bear? Did you not find any friend to share with? Did we make too many demands? Did you not find happiness in your work? Did someone hurt you? Did something scare you? Did someone leave you? Were you forced to do something you didn't want to do? Did you lose something? Did you love someone who did not love you? Did you care too much? Did you break rules? Did you do something wrong? Did you fear something? Were you ashamed of something? Did you feel guilty for anything? Did you envy someone? Was jealousy a reason? Were you dissatisfied with something? Did you hate something? Are you sick? Were you sad? Did you think you failed in something? Were you tired of trying? Did you feel unnoticed?

I have put down every possible reason I can think of. But I don't expect an answer from you. Whatever reason you had, there was something that made you to stop wanting to live. I don't want to know the reason. I want to know the reason that reason took you this far. Why did that single reason make you decide this while you could have had a thousand other reasons to live? What power does one single thing hold over your very life?

Something happened and your heart hurt so much that you didn't want to live. I don't know what I can do my darling, I cannot hide every bottle of pills, I can't remove every sharp object on earth so you wouldn't use it to hurt your little body, I have never been able to prevent you from doing something if you really wanted to do it. You could always find a way over every obstacle. I have to make you want to live. That is the only way. I desperately want to say that even if the whole world isn't with you, I will be and you must live at least for my sake. But I cannot say that. I keep thinking of you as a part of me. I cannot help it. I'm your mother. I now realize that you are not a part of me. I would have known if any part of me had been in pain, wouldn't I? But I never knew it in your case. No. Not a part of me. But you are a part of my life. My joy and pride. My child.

I was just an instrument to bring you into this world. But you are a separate person - with a mind and heart of your own. Just because you are our child does not mean that you will turn out exactly like me or like your father. The circumstances you have grown in are different, the people you have been with are different and the world you grew up in was different. But I still hope you take in the good in us in your self. You see Sammy, people are not born with a personality. You are born with your mind empty except perhaps for instinct, and as you grow you learn things. The first few years of your life were just spent in learning how to survive. After that you started to think, make decisions and from then on your personality started to evolve. We are all just creating our self. Creating our personality and evolving into a person who is an eclectic mix of good and bad – the sources of which lie in the persons we deal with, the books we read, the work we do, the ideals we believe in, and oh many many more. Who you are, is therefore not just the physical ‘you’ that we created, it is mainly the mind in your head that you created.

You created your self.

Do you see the immense possibility and the power in that? Do you now see how you have the power to do anything on earth that you want to? Do you see how you can be any way that you want to be? Do you realize the wonder of life Sammy? There is absolutely no carbon copy of you on earth. You are the only one of your kind. Do you realize how special that is? You. This bundle of being called you? Out of the billions and billions of people who have walked and will walk here …there isn't anyone who'll fit into your shoes as perfectly as you do. There is a reason why you are the way you are. That purpose of your life is a nagging question that will drag you to search in many places and believe me, the hunt is what makes your life worthwhile.

There are some people whose lives are such that they live for sometime after they die – either because of fame or because of notoriety. There are others whose presence is limited to their lifespan, who live their lives quietly and pass on with out any racket. I don't know which of the two you are destined to be, Sammy. This is a pretty old world and has seen millions of lives. People don't live on Sammy – their work does, their achievements do, their talents do. Books, poetry, buildings, bridges, movies, music, industries, contributions, designs, styles, creations, products – These are what live on. The creator is lost with time. The creation is not. Perhaps now, we don't know who actually invented the wheel – maybe in a thousand years from now no one will remember who invented the telephone. A towering building is built on foundations. The foundation is lost to sight, but it is still there holding the building up. Your work is what you leave to the world, to build on, to negate, to disprove, to understand, to appreciate, to realize, to experience, to help, to learn from, to reach out and to inspire.

That is why Sammy, you need to live, work, create for yourself and for the sake of the work itself. You can not live for others. When you set out to create something, you don't think of the others – you think of how much you want to do and see it done. You think of satisfying yourself. You are not fighting the world Sammy. You are competing against yourself, against the best that you can be. When you set a goal, you must set it by your measuring stick. You can not measure your success using another person's yardstick. You see, we all know where we want to be and what we are capable of. And we are trying to reach there. To the place where we are at our best. Not where we are the best. But where we are at OUR best. That is the only measurement of our worth.

Most of the times, the very result we aimed for will be less satisfactory than the joy we had in the effort we put in to achieve it. Effort spans a lifetime but the result is always a split second. Now do you get where the actual happiness lies, sweety? Dreams are what drive a person. Once you fulfill them, there will always be a strange lingering sorrow – the sorrow that the chase is over and your life suddenly comes to a halt. Only then, you will realize the truth that your actual dream was to chase the dream and not to actually achieve it. Strange is life and stranger are the emotions of humans, Sammy. Shouldn't you be alive to experience this wonder itself?

Yes. 100 years from now, maybe no one will care if a girl called Samantha walked here on earth. But that doesn't matter Sammy. What matters is that you do walk now. The smallest action of one person will cascade over and over like a snow ball rolling down the hill. So you will make a difference no matter what. Unfortunately life is not a movie for us to play back and check ourselves, our actions and their effects. But rest assured sweetheart that you do matter.

Perhaps your mind is confused now, perhaps you heart is troubled. You have ventured into the world and then realized that the world is not perfect. Perhaps I should have cushioned your fall a bit. No. I don't mean that I want to protect you from the world - it is your life and I will not be around forever. I mean that I should have prepared you for what was to come. There is only one cushion a person has against adversity – Confidence. I should have taught you to understand your worth and your strengths. I should have shared my life’s experiences with you, so that you don’t make those mistakes in your life. But somehow we always want to see for ourselves if the paint is really wet despite a board that says so, right? But still, I should have found a way to share my experience with you so that you had a chance to learn and profit from it. There is one thing I blame myself for; that you did not seek help when your heart was troubled. I taught you to be self-reliant. I never taught you that it was ok to be tired sometimes and to lean on a loved one for support and to rest awhile. We were too busy being the perfect parents that we never let you see the painful times in our lives and how we overcame it. You were a large part of our lives. But we made only our joys a part of yours, and not our sorrows. Maybe, if we had done that you might not be fighting for your very life now?

Maybe you expected that your little world would be perfect? Then you saw that it wasn't. But Samantha, how do I tell you this - there is no such thing as a perfect world. Every single thing in your world has both good and bad in it. This is not a movie Sammy, where the actors are superheroes and embodiment of perfection. This is real. In the real world, everyone you meet has both good and bad in them. You must have felt this before. In yourself. One person means different things to different people. When you judge a person, Sammy you actually are judging him by what he is to you and not by what he is to the different people around him. People are odd creatures, Sammy. They aren't the same to everyone around them. If you try to judge a person by what he is to the others around you, you will understand what I mean and perhaps you will find yourself getting confused. We are all human – with good and bad and shades of gray in us. Just because you can see only one shade of a person does not mean there are no others.

Take yourself for example, now.

There is someone who loves you. There is someone who hates you. There is someone who respects you. There is someone who worships you. There is someone who envies you. There is someone who is indifferent to you. There is someone who likes you. There is someone who is your friend. There is someone who thinks you are pretty. There is someone who feels you are nice. There is someone who believes in you. There is someone who trusts you. There is someone who admires you. There is someone who salutes you. There is someone who doubts you. There is someone who laughs at you. There is someone who laughs with you. There is someone who hurts you. There is someone who scares you. There is someone who is glad to be with you. There is someone who dislikes being with you. If you want the whole world to like you, that is not going to happen. For the same reason why you don't like everyone you meet.

You will perhaps meet undesirable characters, perhaps be forced to be where you'd rather not be. You'll have to put up with people's sneers, their criticism, their low expectations from themselves, their fears and their insecurities. You'll have to deal with these uncertainties without giving way under their burden. Don't ever let another person's opinions, words or actions dictate your life. Every man owns only his own life and nothing else. Don’t let anyone take over yours. Keep your life under your control. Use your mind Sammy, you can and you must grow stronger under pressure. Haven't you heard about how diamonds are made under tremendous pressure? You will never be in any situation which you cannot handle. Any time you feel that you need help, just look around you Sammy. There is always help at hand for a person from friends or relatives or neighbours or total strangers. The world is a crazy place. But there are many decent souls as well.

There will be times when you do something wrong. What ever you do, accept the punishment for your wrong. Learn from the mistakes and then let go. Sometimes the very guilt may be your punishment. Your own mind will be the one punishing you, reminding you of your wrongdoing. No my darling, you are not alone. Every one around you is also drowning in guilt at times. Try and make amends if you can. Otherwise hold that guilt and bear it with grace. Use it as a tool to discipline yourself and as a result to better yourself as a human. Understand that you are not alone even in this. It is when guilt has no bearing on you that you have to worry.

We sometimes do things right. Sometimes we do wrong. Don't be cruel on yourself. There is no need to. The point is to go on and do less wrong. The point is to live and to grow into a better person day by day. Most importantly, remember to be happy despite all the trials.

We make our own happiness Sammy, by the choices and decisions we make. And there is no such thing as an unchangeable decision. You can always go back. Make sure you do go back before any damage is done. You wouldn't keep driving down a road once you realize you are going in the wrong direction, would you Sammy? No you'd try to find the nearest exit on the highway and figure out how to set your direction right. You have to do that in life too. Your only objective on earth must be your happiness, earned in a fair and just manner with no harm intended to anyone around you.

Right now you are sleeping. When ever you wake up you just lie there, saying nothing. I have not questioned you. You'll speak to me when you want to. Your bandaged hands will serve as a grim reminder of your heart’s pain. You will hold the scars for the rest of your life. I am not concerned about the physical scars now. I am wondering about the painful wounds you hold in your heart. This may sound very strange and unreal, but they will heal too. With time comes change and with change, the heart fills with a million thoughts, healing the wounds. But first of all, you must choose life. Don't go back on this path again Samantha. This pain you are going through now, that led you to this decision, will not be forever. There are people who can help you and will. You will come back to live. I know.

Anytime you feel unhappy or pained, think of all that you have not done yet. The things you want to do. Think of the music you have not made yet and choose life and happiness, my love.

With Love,
Mamma.
Read More......