Monday, 10 April 2017

Mental Health Guide- How to Choose Your Person!

Educating a person about your mental health issue is like teaching a child to spell the word 'Onomatopoeia'. At first it looks nothing like it sounds - hence you ask them to unlearn the rules of the language they have learnt before. You teach them the concept of silent letters. You teach them how the word is ironic to its simple meaning. The child then spends the first half of his/her life hating the word and wishing that it was spelt somewhat easier. 

In short, it is difficult. The process of explaining to someone what your mental health is doing to you, why it IS an issue in the first place and why it is working you up to the point of exhaustion. More specifically, why you need help either in the form of understanding or mere words of support from them. Sometimes a gesture would do. A gentle gesture to assure you that though you are alone in this journey, you are being encouraged to go on with this race. That your journey is being respected. 
It is hard to explain why you are what you are. 

Your journey is precious. You need all the strength and energy you have got in you to channelize it entirely into the battle in hand and HENCE, it is important that you choose your people. Because even one person's - "So? Big deal" can make you feel like you have been pushed to the starting point, especially if that person was someone you thought you could trust. You do not deserve that.  

Based on the experience of some of my close friends and my own, I have categorized people into two broad categories which then branch out to two more under each.


 The first among the main categories is ignorant. It might be frustrating at first, but you need to remind yourself that it is NOT THEIR FAULT. Refrain from subjecting them to what you have been subjected to - the Superiority of knowing more than them.

Passive ignorance is when a person is not aware of the things you go through predominantly because they have not walked a journey similar to yours. However, they are WILLING to listen and understand. These are the people who listen to respond and not react or give solutions. These are the people you hold on to. They might not be able to actively help but rest assured they will never fail you. 

Active ignorance, on the other hand are the ones who realize they are ignorant about your issues but also choose to remain ignorant about it. There can be variety of reasons why - inability to process so much information, too worked up with their own troubles and trying to find their way out of it, do not want their peace to be disrupted (though they sympathize with you). They might trigger strong negative emotions in you at first. Until you finally realize that they are fighting their own battles too- it might be nothing to do with their mental health and perhaps far less in magnitude than yours but it IS their personal battle. Do not make that judgement (you never know) and hold on to that rejection to be heard. When you fall, they WILL be there. They just cannot be your person. And that's okay!! 

Now we enter the interesting category of people - the arrogant folks. The perfectionists. The 'ME' and 'ONLY ME'. Lack of emotional maturity. Sometimes hard to notice the difference but they TOO are divided in two sub-categories.

The passive ones live ONLY BECAUSE of that lack of emotional maturity. They are meticulous in the way they think and work through their problems and believe 'all problems have a solution without any exception'. If there is no solution, FIND ONE otherwise you are not strong enough. The reason why I call them passive is because they do not know they are being arrogant. They have a unidimentional vision who have not seen much in their life. They were the part of the cool gang in their high-school, had a bunch of friends who have supported them all through, made their way out of their insecurities using their problem-solving things (which is great by the way). But only because they were able to. The nature of problems were such that they could weave their way out of it with nothing but reasoning. They CARE. They want to help. However, their inability to curb that arrogance down often end up in them starting their sentences with - "If I were you ..." Well now, that's the point. You are not me and heaven knows whether you would have even survived this far if you had to walk my path. For people belonging to this category - forgive them. Acknowledge that their intent is to help you (though it feels like each time they do they end up in blowing their own trumpet). They are not just strong enough. Remind yourself you have your people. It helps! 

The active ones are the ones whose only intention is to tell you how awesome they are and how weak you are - "Oh grow up..." , "What now? Depressed again?" 
I am not going to waste my time in writing about them. Word of caution: if you spot them, chin up. Look in their eyes and give them your best smile. Not a happy one. The proud one. (Though a little too dramatic, I sometimes repeat the lines of Sia's 'Titanium' in my head when these people are around me. It helps to keep their germs away from my soul)
Next time you are acquainting yourself with someone new and you want to get close to them, immediately try and put them into one of the four categories. It helps to choose your people this way to minimize damage. You might be wrong at first so it is indeed about trial and error. You start with little details about yourself - just a peak into your darkness. If you think they are strong enough to handle that, you get your cue. Sometimes, people have a way of surprising you. Someone very special to me, recently made their way from passive arrogance to passive ignorance and eventually out of the recipient space to become my person! It's beautiful to watch that happen :)

In conclusion, this is certainly a hard battle that you fight. In the process of looking for support do not attach a part of your soul in too many people's hearts. When they break it, it will be too hard for you to assimilate the pieces back together. One thing you can try to make yourself feel strong is the 'Superman Stand'. My obsession with Grey's Anatomy has helped me pick up a few good examples. Before performing a complex, life-changing surgery on a fellow doctor, we see the chief neurosurgeon place her hands on her waist, chest and shoulders broad and head held high. The theory she mentions states that standing in this pose for a few minutes strengthens you to a large extent, helping you go on with your battle when there is no one else to hold on to. I have tried it - it works remarkably! 

Keep in mind, there will always be a child who despite all efforts wouldn't be able to spell Onomatopoeia. Some others who won't care to learn it in the first place. That's their problem, not yours.

Be proud. March on. You are nearly there! 

Saturday, 27 August 2016

A Regular Week in the Life of (name of the person you are thinking of while reading this)

1.3.2006

Dear Diary,

Today was my first day at hockey practice. My school hockey team is so good that I want to be a part of it and be one of the most popular girls in high school and get so much recognition and my papa will be proud of me. It will be awesome. I will also lose weight. That's what papa says anyway. All my high school people will look up to me and I will be school team captain and it will make me happy. I can be happy.
First day, coach made me run so much. I am fat. I can't run so much. I almost wanted to give up but I am tired of papa calling me fat so I will keep running till I grow thin and till I become the school team captain. I will be awesome.

2.3.2006

Dear Diary,

I am awesome. I am so awesome that even awesome thinks I am awesome. I still have not learnt how to handle the stick properly but my defence was so cool. I stopped the leading player of our team from scoring TWICE! My coach said I was a porridgie or something. Porridgie in hockey. He said I can go a long long long long way. I am so happy. Papa was right. I am happy.  <3 :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

3.3.2006

Dear Diary,

I still don't know how to handle the stick. Which is okay because it is only my third day. But coach said very good to me only three times today. Yesterday he said very good five times. Maybe coach is disappointed in me a little. But he did not want to tell me anything or scold me because I am sensitive. He yells at everyone else. He is scary coach Shah. He is really scary and the other girls are really scared of him. But he did not yell at me. I am scared. I should play better. 

4.3.2006

Dear Diary,

I am scared. Today I dropped the hockey stick when trying to defend the leading player. I know I know I am not supposed to be scared. I know I am supposed to learn. This is a new sport. This is new. I can't be perfect in a day. I know I can get better if only I could CALM DOWN. I told papa about it. I don't know why I have to tell him everything. He was disappointed. He said I should be calm and concentrate more. Papa was disappointed. My coach gave me the look. The look Annie ma'am gave me in math class 4 years back when I got a 96 in final exam. The 'oh you stupid girl' look. I know the look. I know. I hope he does not give up on me. I hope I get better. I am scared. 

5.3.2006

Dear Diary,

Something awful and something awesome happened today. I dropped the stick again. This time the leading scorer pointed a finger at me and started laughing. I started crying. Can you believe it? I STARTED CRYING! I AM SO WEAK!
My coach nodded his head from side to side. It reminded me of how my english teacher did it that time I could not spell 'Onomatopoea'. No, 'Onomotopeoa' . No, wait. Wow!! I got humiliated in front of the whole class and I still don't remember the spelling. WOW! BRILLIANT! BRILLIANT YOU ARE. THIS IS WHAT YOU DESERVE YOU STUPID GIRL. WAIT I KNOW THE SOLUTION. WHY DON'T YOU JUST CRY?? THAT WOULD SOLVE ALL YOUR PROBLEMS :) :) :) :) :) <3 <3 <3 :* :* :*

Anyway. I need to give you the awesome news. My coach wants to try me for the team. He said I would be a good goalie. He said I am good but don't let myself believe it. But I just think it is only because I cried like an idiot. He had to stop me somehow so he pleased the little 14 year old baby. But well. I at least hope I make it. 

6.3.2006

Dear Diary,

I am AWESOME. I did so well. I got into the team. I stopped FIVE GOALS. My coach is right I AM a porridgy. He said I need to let lose. I need to stop being hard on myself. I get nervous easily. I have the ability to learn but I get so anxious that I can't control my thoughts on the field. I need to let myself absorb the skills and not run behind getting it right from the first time itself. 
This reminded me of the first time I bit myself really hard. When I missed a goal in basketball and Karan made fun of me - GIRLS CAN'T PLAY. WHY DO YOU PLAY WITH BOYS? 
I went back home and bit my arms so hard you know??? For being so weak. For not being able to run. I HATE Basketball. YUCK! I feel so silly now. Why was I so hard on me? For that stupid boy. For that stupid game. Now I am a goalie!!!

I am so so so so happy today. I am not a bad girl. No, I am not. I am good. I am very good. Some friends say I am getting proudy. I know they are just J. I am good good good girl.

7.3.2006

Dear Diary,

I don't know what is going on. I really don't. I swear I am trying really hard. I am. I am. I am. I swear I am. I cried again today. I swear I don't want to be sensitive. I don't want to get so much attention. I am not doing it for attention. 
Today was first day of school team practice. The tournament is in one month. Today we ran so much. While running the team lead said to me - you fatty! what are you doing? This is not a beach. Run faster. 
She called me fatty. Like my papa does. It hurt because I could not stand up for myself. What do I say? "Don't call me fatty?" But I AM fat. 
My coach saw that she called me fat. He did not say to her anything. He did nothing. Maybe the world is like that. Bad things happen and no one does anything. Only you have to do something. You have to help you. But I cannot. I am scared. I am a big fool. How can I defend me when I know I am a big fool?
The whistle blew. I did not stop even one goal. Instead, the puck landed near my feet and I don't know what I did, I could not handle the stick and instead of passing to my team I hit the goal and scored for the other team. I really don't know what happened. My coach yelled. The lead scorer laughed. I cried. I don't know what happened. I don't. I came back home and bit my arm again. I felt better, I feel calmer. But I am just sad. I don't know what sad is. But I feel sad.
I don't think I deserve to be in this team. I wish it was an individual sport. I will bring down the whole team along with me. I don't think I deserve to do anything. 
I told papa about it. He just said I was not strong enough. I should stop getting depressed for everything. 
I don't want to be depressed. I want to be strong. I want to be recognised. I want to be awesome. 
I don't know why I really don't.
But I am turning bad again. 

Monday, 23 May 2016

The Laundry Room

"Hi! Do you happen to have change for 2 dollars?"
Her eyes were sharp. Chin held up, hair tied back and a very courteous smile across her face. The 2 dollar note remained clenched tightly between her fingers as she extended her bare hand towards me. The strong yet sweet smell of the laundry room suddenly seemed to come from her. She stood there next to the coin machine that had a sticky-note on it - 'EMPTY'
It took me three whole seconds to absorb the interaction before I could respond to her.
"Nope!" my voice came out way calmer than I had expected it to. "But I happen to have a 1 dollar coin if that's what you are looking for."
"Oh! That would be great. You can keep the two."
"That won't be necessary." I reached out to my wallet lying in my laundry bag. "Here you go"
"I insist!" she said assertively with her face broadening as she smiled. I watched a strand of her hair interceding the visual connection between us. I nodded and we quickly made the transaction, my fingers barely daring to touch hers.
"Thank you!" her face lit up. "I looked under the doormat at first actually. You always have some naive person drop them there. But no luck today!" She waited for no response, as though she was just speaking to herself. She immediately picked up her laundry basket and moved to one of the machines humming a famous regional song in my mother tongue.
I smiled and stayed there for a few more minutes pretending to check on my clothes until her voice was drowned by the unison roar of the washing machines.
As I walked out, I let out a heavy breath. "What the hell was that?" I asked myself. I pulled my laundry bag towards the elevator and made my way to my room.
It took days to get the laundry girl off my head. 'Laundry girl', that's a funny identity to give someone. What else do I call her?  'The girl with the white basket?" Nah. 'Laundry girl' it is. Why am I thinking of a name anyway? This is insane.
So that was about it. That's what you would expect now, won't you? Quick infatuation that dies out in a week or so. That's what I expected. However, within a week I found myself walking to the laundry room for no reason at all. The strong fragrance tickled my throat as my mind swayed back and forth. I smiled foolishly as I walked out of the doors. Well, at least I got it out of my system.
It was Sunday the 15th, two weeks after my mind slipped. I got out of the elevator when I heard a voice from behind- "Hey laundry boy!!!" There were gazillion violins playing in my head when I made a dramatic turn. "Remember me?"
Remember you? I have not been able to get you out of my head since that evening. I have been beating myself up for not having sustained a conversation with you. Above all, the smell of detergent makes me smile! And you ask me whether I remember you?
"Erm... I guess... wait, the second floor laundry room, was it?" Way to go lover boy.
She smiled rather excitedly. "YES!"
Then there was silence which I found too hard to break. Her eyes widened and I felt like she was trying to read me.
"Nice to meet you. I am late for class though" The violins died out. I was sure I would be going back to my room to bang my head against the wall for that. 
She continued to smile as my social awkwardness made me walk away from the scene.
"Hey laundry boy!"
I stopped and reciprocated the smile.
"You owe me a dollar!"
"Oh!" I reached out for my wallet.
"But you know what? Never mind. Maybe some other time."
"Oh!"
She laughed as she walked away. Before I could even get my thoughts together in one place she merged with the group of students leaving the hostel. I paced up and down the hallway for sometime waiting for my heart rate to slow down without realising that it was just getting worse. 
That night I looked outside my window; my room over-looking the entire University Campus. The brief episode of that evening kept playing in my head along with the visual display of every single thing I could have possibly said or done. I threw my fist towards my side table and accidentally knocked my coin box. There were dollar coins rolling on the floor upto the most inaccessible corners of my room. With my pent up frustration I started picking them up one by one, trying hard to keep my calm. All of a sudden something struck my usually sedated brain. I quickly ran down to the laundry room. The coin machine had no sticky-note this time, until I placed mine. Feeling mildly proud of my action I was expecting to have a good night's sleep. Well, one should not be surprised to learn that it backfired. The whole night I remained awake second-guessing my deed that now seemed pretty silly.
First thing in the morning I found myself floating towards the laundry room. I reached the coin machine and I knew that very moment that this smile on my face is going to remain for a long while.
Hey laundry girl,
      If you need your one dollar coin, you know where to find it.
Your naive laundry boy
I walked towards the door mat and pulled it up. The coin was missing. Instead there was a note; a note I knew is going to be the starting point of several such moments.

Dear naive laundry boy,
   If you ever want to learn how to flirt, here's my number-()
Your laundry girl.

PS- This was a good move! First level cleared :)
   

Saturday, 16 April 2016

The Telephone

She was six.
Her mother worked at an office, the name of which she could never remember.
Her father worked at a Bank. He was a banker. That's all she knew.
Her day started with her mother waking her up for school. She combed her hair into two, tight braids and dropped her to the gate of their house, to her bus. She watched her father as he peeped over his morning newspaper with a subtle smile on his face and over-pronounced affection in his eyes as she got onto the bus.
Both of them wave. She waves. The bus leaves.
That's her morning.
After six hours of Primary school - grade one, she was back home. The bus dropped her to the gate around 2 PM. At this time, there was no one at the gate, except her watchman. The old man opened the gate for her (someday soon she would be tall enough to reach it herself).  He smiled at her each time, half amused by her soiled clothes for she played in the streets with the puppies every day after school; her hair half-done, her cheeks red, her eyes shining bright.
Khaana Kha liya, beti? he asked her each day, without fail. She nodded affirmatively and flung open the front door to a dark hallway. She then closed the door behind her and entered the world where time would stand still.
She would watch the television for hours, for there was no one to tell her that it is not good for her eyes. She would somersault on her bed with her shoes on; something her friends would never dare to do lest their parents should find out.
She would have candy bars from her over stocked refrigerator as and when she wished. Well, who is there to stop her?
She was the little Princess of the house. Until the phone rang.
Don't ask her why, for she might never be able to tell. Is it the pitch of the ring screaming through the empty silence of her house or is it the voice of the grown-up on the other side? She could never tell.
However, each time that phone rang, her heart would stop beating and then within seconds accelerate to a speed just too proportionate to the sudden rise in volume in the air. She suddenly got aware of the darkness she had been in all this while. She suddenly got aware of her being the only one in the house - the fact she was actually enjoying until then. She was no longer alone, she was lonely. Sometimes she waited for the ring to stop, hoping they would not call again. However seldom did that happen. Within seconds of the ring stopping, heartbeat seeking its normal pace, the air is filled once again with that particular grown-up's second attempt. This time she picked up, the little brave heart.
"Hello?" She needed to sound strong or else the grown-up would want to know whether she is okay. That was never a good topic to venture into, she knew by experience.
"Hello beta! How are you?"
This one's simple. "Fine." Then she remembered what she was taught in school; "And you?"
"Arre we are also very fine, beta!"
After this the conversation was usually straight-forward. "How is mumma?" "How is daddy?" "When will they come home?" "How was school today?"She had her answers prepared for all of these and if answered correctly, they will not bother her anymore. The grown-up ended the conversation with a few sweet words and hung up the phone. She can then go back to her happy world. Eating candies, watching TV, jumping on the bed, hoping that she won't be interrupted anymore for the day until her parents return at night. 
The worst kind of grown-ups were those, who when she picked up the phone shouted enthusiastically,
"Hello beta! GUESS WHO?"
Her palm began to sweat each time she was asked that question. 'I don't know' was never a good answer since it was always followed by a disappointed 'you don't even remember me?' tone. She cleared her throat. She used a lot of 'erm'. She remained silent for what felt like an eternity till the grown-up gave up and revealed their identity. Then came the second dangerous question- "Do you remember me now?"
"Yes!!" She was smart, the little princess. She knew that was the only answer to the question. After this, she only had to answer the regular ones- "How is mumma? How is daddy? How is school?". No need to be scared of these.
Such was her fear of the Telephone.
Weekends were fine because her parents did all the calling. She did not get to hear the ring much.
If there was any call, it was most probably a bad news- someone's had a heart-attack, someone's getting a divorce (or threatening to) or someone's dead. The call is followed by the girl's mother hanging her head low and her father comforting her or vice-versa.
The Telephone was the carrier of heart-aches, she deduced. Nothing good can ever come out of answering the call...any call. Why have it in the house in the first place and spoil your smooth running life? She often wondered.
Her worst nightmare began when her parents installed a parallel connection on the first floor of her house. She no longer knew which one to run for. She knew that picking either one up would serve the purpose but at the time the phones ring in chaotic unison, her brain shut and she found herself running around the hallway for the first few weeks. It was traumatic, it really was.
She still remembers the first time she confronted the Telephone. The first time she knew that she was over her fear. Enough is enough.
She was fast asleep after her long afternoon chase behind the street puppy. The phone rang and woke her up from her deep slumber. She jumped off her bed, this time with no hesitation whatsoever. Picked up the one in her parent's room- "Hello????"
"Beta! You remember me??"
"NO. BYE."
Phone slammed down. Door shut. Back to slumber. 
She tasted accomplishment.
The Telephone never bothered her after that.


Sunday, 31 January 2016

Silence

The long pause after a deep conversation,
The immediate gesture after harsh humiliation,
The soft smile that was meant to encourage,
Your best friend performing on the stage.

The crucial minute as the lawyer prays,
Before she begins to fight her case,
The vulnerable moment when a mother looks upon,
The doctor's hand to hold her new-born.

The grief that is shared on someone's demise,
Wishing the soul peace, quietly with closed eyes,
The inevitable fear, sitting in the exam room,
The inarticulate passion at the altar between the bride and her groom.

Be it joy or sorrow, big or small,
A brief moment of silence conveys it all.
'Silence is Golden', sometimes necessary,
Bearing immense meaning, setting emotions free.

Friday, 18 December 2015

The Hardest Goodbyes

For whom is a 'goodbye' harder? For the one who leaves or the one who is left behind?
I remember sitting with my closest friend in my house, just before I left the city of Kolkata for good. I was seven. So was she. To me back then, leaving a place for a new one was something as exciting as a vacation. I was in my packers' costume, something my dad came up with- a Jumpsuit, a cap on the head and a notepad in my hand. She walked in to wish me 'goodbye' with a card in her hand and an unusually unsettling countenance. I think we were too young to understand the concept of emotions or how one expresses it. She said 'I'll miss you', I reciprocated and hugged her with a promise to write her a letter every week.
So that was about it. Fifteen years now and on the phone with her a week back this is what she said- "In my twelfth grade, I used to go to your block for tuitions. Each time I crossed your building I could not help but smile, remembering you and wishing we could go back in time and relive those memories." All I could think of is the unsettling expression on her face the day I left.  For me, I had a whole new life to begin, while she was returning to the same one only without the someone she really valued.
Having said this, we can still never be sure of the answer. 'Goodbye' is just one word. Indicating closure. Sometimes unavoidable. Sometimes a choice. Sometimes... a necessity.
I was sitting in the University a few days back as I wondered which 'goodbye' personally was the most unsettling one for me? The one that was unexpected or the one that was unexpressed?
I recollected the way my mother cried the evening before I left for higher studies. I was too excited, just like the child in the jumpsuit so all I could manage was - "Relax! We will Skype everyday! It will be like I never left". A 'goodbye' unexpressed.
Reflecting on the same I realised that the hardest part of a 'goodbye' comes from the memories associated with the person involved and the fear of things 'not being the same'; the fear of facing the brief period of instability. A 'goodbye' to the dependency.
'Everything's going to change!' I exclaimed childishly to my pal a few days back as we were getting crazy selfies clicked. 'I can never be this weird in front of anyone else and now you are leaving!!!' She laughed for a long while trying to get words out but only laughing more each time she opened her mouth to speak. Before we knew, we went back to clicking selfies. A 'goodbye' unsaid.
Sometimes I wonder, what really makes us miss a person? We meet people on a daily basis. Different kinds, different (interesting) specimens. How do we still have the space to miss someone. Probably you miss a person as long as you remember how you used to feel when they were around you. Once you cease to remember that, you cease to remember them the same way. Then there are those who will never let you forget that feeling. The memories remain fresh and never fade away. That's when you realise that after-all, there wasn't a goodbye. There will never be one...


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The Bawl of The Broken Pieces




'Two more miles,' I told myself as I dragged my feet across the road. Wiping the tears off my face, making way for fresh ones that were currently brewing below my lids, I took the turn on the right. It was past midnight. Ma and Baba are surely still in bed, munching on happy thoughts in their deep slumber. I hope Prabhas Kaka remembered to put back the gravy in the fridge post dinner. He has become very careless lately. Ma has been very upset with him. As it is Raya has been giving her so much trouble with her Math marks. Oh! Doesn't she have another test tomorrow? Well, this time when she fails, she can put it on me- 'My older brother of eighteen has run away from home'.
There is no turning back now. No there isn't. I just need to keep walking for two more miles. Then maybe a little further. Further till I finally figure out where these roads are leading me to. No, I am not eloping. Nor am I a byproduct of a family breeding on unhappy grounds. In fact, just a few hours back I put my dog to sleep in my drawing room while Ma sang, in our regional language, happy songs of love and hope that binds humanity together to my sister in her room. I always forget the lyrics.
'Just one more mile' I spoke out loud. That's when my knees gave way as I knelt down on the footpath. I gently pushed my body back to get the support of the wall. It reminded me of the time I was five and I ran down our lane with the street kids playing soccer. After the 'big game' we sat against the wall sweating in the heat and laughing till our cheeks turned red. It did not last long though. Baba did not like me playing with those boys. They were 'gawaar' he said; illiterate.
I stared down the street wondering whether this lane has ever witnessed a bunch of five to six years old boys play around jauntily in the peak of their childhood, their screams and laughter echoing in the ears of the passersby.  As I stared, I saw it right in the middle of the road. A pair of glasses, frame intact, a crack symmetric across the left rim. The dim streetlight suddenly seemed to refract sharply through the chipped edges of the glasses.
They were like a pair of eyes staring right back at me. I laughed at the horrific thought, nervously amused by my height of imagination at One in the night. Or was it Two?
I pulled my eyes to my watch but my gaze remained arrested to the abandoned frame in the middle of the deserted street. Probably we were the only two loners in town today- one's been forcibly isolated and the other chose to.
The thick frame suggested that it belonged to an old man, probably in his sixties. I guess he would be a little older than Prabhas Kaka. He never wore glasses. He said he eats healthy and never needed them. But Baba said he was fibbing. He does not wear them cause he does not want to look old lest Baba should ask him to quit. Kaka has been working for us ever since I remember my existence. Ma once told me that when I was two and suffered from dengue, Kaka prayed in several temples and swore to quit eating meat for the sake of my good health and long life. He still believes that I survived because of him while Baba of course tells me it is because of the Zillion medical care services imported for me. Baba is an atheist so I never argue about this with him. Actually, I never really argue with him on anything. I just... never do.
I wanted to get back on my feet and inspect my lonely companion much closely but my body did not comply. I tilted my head to one side. There was a blue sari swaying in the air in someone's balcony across the street. I stared at the miniature reflection on the glass and smiled. Ma had a similar sari with a golden border. I remember she wore it for the first time on Raya's first birthday. I was eight at that time and was writhing in pain from within as MY mother held this new kid of twelve months so affectionately in her arms. I am the only child of Ma and Baba and will always be. That was the year I got my first cellular phone. I had a good year at school- ' The only kid with a phone at that age'. I made so many friends so fast. That was the last time I longed for Ma and Baba the way I did at the birthday party. Longed for, openly. Cause after that, any time I opened my mouth to complaint I got my 'something new'. A new blackmail game I liked- reducing my emotions merely to a trick to get things done. Hey! But it was a trick that benefitted both parties. Cause boys don't cry. Boy's don't express their feelings. I was indeed, grooming to be their "perfect son".
My eyes streamed with tears once again, blurring my vision. I felt like I had those broken pair of glasses on. Viewing this world, through the cracks. But then, don't we all? Watching the subtle imperfections stream by. It was through my blur vision that I could see things more clearly.
I pulled myself up to my feet and marched towards the middle of the road. I picked up those glasses, the fragile pieces unravelling between my fingers and finally settling in the pit of my palm. It had the letters 'GUCCI' inscribed on the side. I laughed at its destiny.
I threw away the pieces and kept the frame in my front pocket. My 'branded' companion for the miles that remain. Maybe a little further. Further till I finally figure out where these roads are leading me to. It's time to put the broken pieces together...

Mental Health Guide- How to Choose Your Person!

Educating a person about your mental health issue is like teaching a child to spell the word 'Onomatopoeia'. At first it looks no...