Why are people struggling so much? Why there is so much sorrow, why people are clinging to the past and hugging the pain so tightly that it’s hurting them, why we can not just live in the moment, read books, listen to others and fill ourselves with abundant joy. What is stopping us from being the way we are meant to be.
Susmita is sitting near the window looking outside at the deserted streets. This street is never deserted, not even at 3 AM, but the city is locked down as a precaution to stop the CORONA Virus spread. She got up early on a Saturday morning to have a peaceful cup of tea and feel the breeze.
Few conversations with her friends from last night were still buzzing in her ears, and she was pained by what Rita said. Rita is really struggling in her life.
Susmita is a funloving girl from northern India living in Bangalore for a job. Due to COVID-19 spread in India, Govt has advised all companies to work from home till 31st March. She lives in Paying Guest, and she is still undecided about whether to go back home or wait for the lockdown to be lifted. She started enjoying the company of her PG mates, listening to them and understanding different flavors and colors of human emotions.
Since childhood, she always liked to listen to stories and get deeper into their meanings and finding a good cause behind every deed, whether the act looks good or bad to the external world. But her newfound love to read books has given her the wings to her inquisitiveness about human emotions.
Before this ‘work from home’ situation, she used to meet her PG mates only during weekends or evenings, but this has allowed her to see them throughout the day; hence she has got more opportunity to talk to as well as listen to them and understand them.
She is amazed by the fact that she had misunderstood many of them till she got an opportunity to listen to their life stories. Everybody is so lovely and so true to the life situations they have gone through. It’s we who try to quickly judge a person by comparing their behavior with our ideal self and tag them as not right just by taking a piece of minuscule information about their life. It is like judging a tree by a dried leaf. We all have many dried leaves in our life, but we shed them so that we remain healthy and happy. They are our past. But when we look at others, we look at them from the prism of those dried leaves which they have shed. How unfair it is.
Susmita’s gaze at the deserted road was disturbed by a racing scooter’s noise and made her look for the motorcycle, which sounds like coming in high speed. Scooter appeared in a breeze, and surprisingly, it slipped on the empty road. In a matter of a few seconds, the rider was on the street crying with pain, and the scooter has moved near the divider. Susmita ran to help the rider. She grabbed a bottle of water with her.
Fortunately, the rider was unhurt except few bruises on her leg. Susmita helped her to get up and brought her inside PG, and her other PG mates helped the scooter to be parked at a nearby parking area. Once the rider was settled and confirmed no injury except the bruises, Susmita asked why she was at such a speed. The rider who mentioned her name as Nishi cried loudly and was unable to speak much.
Susmita calmed her down in her natural style. Nishi seemed not in a hurry to go anywhere, and Susmita’s company made her feel good.
Susmita has a divine calmness within her, which helps the person next to her feel calm. She without enforcing, insisting, and demanding can make you share your thoughts without any inhibition. This made Nishi share a bit about herself. Susmita could realize that Nishi has left her home with a lot of anger and was suicidal. This accident helped her know that she was making a mistake. She was upset about the fact that her long-standing relationship has broken; she does not have anybody in her life to share her thoughts, and she was not doing well in her professional life as well.
Susmita realized, although Nishi was not suicidal anymore, but was going through deep internal turbulence. If any other discomfort comes to her life, she could attempt suicide again. Nishi was trying to leave. Susmita asked her to join her for breakfast, which she was about to prepare.
While preparing breakfast, Sushmita asked questions to Nishi about her life. As soon as Nishi mentioned a situation, Susmita started writing a few keywords in a notebook.
Like, ‘Boyfriend’, ‘not giving importance’, ‘availability’, ‘happy with his colleagues’, ‘mother’,’cared more about elder sister’,’elder sister’,’Good at studies’,’have a loving boyfriend’,’father’,’busy in business’,’younger brother’,’Gets attention’,’boyfriend’,’not ready to marry now’,’Not enough friends’,’boss’,’very annoying’,’never appreciates’ etc tec.
Susmita kept asking questions, and Nishi kept answering. By the time Susmita understood a lot about Nishi, they had finished breakfast. By then, the notebook page was filled with keywords and arrows connecting one word to another. Absolutely no space left on that page. Nishi was amused to see how Sushmita has put all the problems in nicely following mind mapping techniques.
Susmita said, “Shall we try finding how to get to a better state in life? I mean, solution part?”. Nishi was much relaxed now. She said, “yes,’ with lots of excitement. It doesn’t look like she was so upset now. Instead, she is enjoying this activity.
Sushmita was attempting to write on this filled page. Nishi stopped her, “why are you writing on top of this filled page, why don’t you start on a clean sheet.”
“Why?” Sushmita asked, looking at Nishi.
Nishi was surprised by this answer, she thought why Sushmita asking this stupid question. She looks so intelligent.
Nishi responded, “There are writings on the page. What you write on top of it will not be legible. We can’t figure out what we wrote. It will be difficult, confusing.”
Sushmita said, “Hmm! Then what should we do.”
Nishi felt good to advise Sushmita, who seemed very wise, and level headed, “Open a new sheet and start writing the way forward.”
“How do you think we can find a solution?” Sushmita asked.
Nishi was looking more like in solution mode and had come out of the closed mindset and was thinking openly.
“I think I should start my life all over again with a fresh perspective, reevaluate my relationships to understand my expectations from them. I should see what I really want from my profession or career. What I want to do in life. I loved music so much, due to family pressure during my board exam, I stopped music practice and never started again. I should start that. Also Dance. Join some Bharatnatyam class. I used to be very good at it. I forgot everything about myself in the past few years. It was all about the job, pleasing my company, pleasing my boyfriend, pleasing everybody, and not getting anything in return. I will live my life all over again. Fresh start”, Nishi was speaking in a flow. It seemed words were flowing from her heart.
Sushmita said, “Fresh start, like a fresh sheet of paper.”
Now Nishi understood what Sushmita was trying to convey by writing on the same page where the problems were written.
After a quick chat and exchange of phone numbers, Nishi left home. Fortunately, the scooter was fine, and her bruises were not painful as well.
Sushmita was happy due to the transformation she observed in Nishi through her talks.