MOM – II

Sapna stood gazing at the tall building – in the seventh floor of which, was Mr. Parmar’s office – the place where her Harsh had worked for eight long years. Her head was reeling. Her eyes were going dim. She felt as if she was about to collapse.

Why is life so harsh on me?

Why can’t I have a peaceful enjoyable life, like many others? Why?

After being known as an orphan for so many years, when I finally thought that I have a family to call my own and to belong to, gradually it is falling apart. Isn’t there a God somewhere? Isn’t there justice?

Oh God, if you are there, please intervene! I have no one else to turn to, for help.

As Naina’s sweet innocent face flashed before her, it seemed as if a huge amount of energy gushed into Sapna. She no longer allowed her thoughts to deter her determination. She was determined to save Naina from the clutches of death!

Sapna walked inside, got into the lift and with trembling voice, told the lift operator – “Seventh Floor”. It seemed to take ages from the ground floor to the seventh. The twirl of thoughts within her mind were taking their toll on her. She dreaded meeting Harsh’s colleagues. What would she say, about her being there?

“I have come to see Mr. Parmar. Is he in?”, Sapna told the receptionist on reaching the seventh floor.

“May I know your identity, Ma’am”, asked the soft-spoken lady. She was not the same receptionist who was around when Sapna had come a few times some years back, to collect her husband’s dues. “Good, one person less to know”, she thought within her.

“You could tell him that an old acquaintance is here to meet him”, replied Sapna feigning a smile.

“Sure, I’ll do that. Please have a seat Ma’am. Sir is in a meeting and it may be some time before you could meet him”, said the receptionist.

“Ok”, said Sapna with a sigh and took a seat.

She was assured by the presence of the nurses around little Naina in the hospital, so that she would not be left alone and unattended. But, her condition demanded immediate medical attention. Every minute counted. Sapna felt her heart beat within the walls of her chest. The man whom she was looking up to as her saviour now, would end up being her devourer! “Oh, Harsh! Only if you were here”, she whispered without her knowledge even as a tear flowed down from her right eye.

“Umm…excuse me Ma’am, I have informed Sir that you are waiting. The meeting should be over in a couple of minutes.” That was the receptionist, cutting through Sapna’s line of thoughts.

“Hmm..alright. Thanks!”, said Sapna.

In about ten minutes, Sapna saw people coming out in groups from the Board Room and assumed that the meeting was over. She had never met her husband’s colleagues before. But many of them had come to offer their condolences to her when she had last visited the office. Some of them may recognize her now. So thinking, she thought it wise to step into the restroom for a while, till everyone passed by the reception area.

Inside the Restroom, Sapna stared at herself in the mirror. And out came a flood of tears as if they were impatiently waiting to break out. Amidst the muffled sobs, her heart was shattering into pieces within her. How she wished that she had parents to fall back on! Harsh’s family had been very clear that they had nothing to with either Sapna or Naina soon after his demise.

Once again, Sapna gathered herself and stepped out of the restroom. She was informed by the receptionist that she could go in to meet Mr. Parmar.

Sapna tapped twice before entering Mr. Parmar’s office. She stopped short to see someone else in Mr. Parmar’s seat. The man bore a striking resemblance to Mr. Parmar, but looked much younger.

“I am here to meet Mr. Parmar. Isn’t he around? I was told that he is in here”, said Sapna, her tongue drying within her mouth.

“Yes, how may I help you?”, said the man without much emotion in his voice.

“Er… I don’t know you, Sir”. Mr. Parmar knows me well”, she said with a sudden air of confidence.

“You must be talking about my father. I’m his son, Rohit Parmar. My father is into a new venture in another part of the country. And, I’m the Manager of the office here. Now, how may I help you? Please be quick because I need to rush out”, said Rohit Parmar.

Sapna felt her hopes for help crash to the ground. She couldn’t obviously tell Rohit of his father’s offer. She decided to try winning Rohit’s favour just as she had unsuccessfully tried with many others before.

“Oh! I am the widow of Mr. Harsh Gupta, who used to work here few years back. I lost my husband to an unfortunate accident. Life has been difficult, but my daughter and I have been able to manage ourselves well. At least until now. But now, I am desperately in need of help”. By now, Sapna had started weeping. “My daughter is struggling between life and death in the hospital. The doctors need a huge sum of money to be deposited before they start the treatment. I have exhausted all my savings. My friends and acquaintances are not in a position to help me.”

“Unless I deposit the money soon, I’ll lose my daughter – my life – forever. I had thought to seek help from Mr. Parmar. Now that he is not around, I don’t know what to do”.

“Will you help me, please? All I am asking for, is a loan. I have a job. And I will repay the entire amount gradually, since my salary is not that high. Please have mercy on me. Please help me,” sobbed Sapna.

Continue reading the next part: HERE

OF FEARS – RATIONAL AND IRRATIONAL

As a child, I feared darkness. If there was a sudden disruption in power supply while I was alone in a room, a spontaneous shriek was sure to escape from me. How I overcame it, is sure to add humour to your day!!

One fine evening, I told myself that – my mother doesn’t shriek in fear when she is alone in a room and the power goes off, and my father doesn’t either. Nor do my grandparents, aunts or uncles. So if I continue to be afraid of the dark, I would carry it with me to my adult years as well. And how am I going to comfort my children when they are afraid of the dark, when I am no less? As a child, my mother came to me with a lit candle when it got dark. How will I do the same if I continue to be afraid? From that day, I decided to make a conscious effort to calm myself in the event of being alone in a room when there was a sudden power cut. It worked! It wasn’t easy. Nor did the change happen overnight. But, it did happen.

Our fears can be overcome! While I say this, I also acknowledge the fact that all fears can’t be overcome. A strong determination, motivation and counselling, therapy can help overcome many of our fears. However, some fears still continue to reside comfortably within us. To give an example, I haven’t overcome my fear of caterpillars. Come rainy season, and my eyes scan all walls, doors and windows for any sign of the creepy creature. More than a fear, its just a yucky repelling feeling.

Fear is a powerful human emotion. It is a response to the perception of an imminent danger/threat. Fear may be aroused in the presence of the object of fear or in remembrance of a past episode with the object of fear or in anticipation of a future encounter with it. For instance, one may be afraid of the fierce winds, heavy rainfall and the sight of houses and trees falling down during a cyclone; or may shudder recalling a past experience of a cyclone or may simply be afraid anticipating the footfall of a cyclone some day in the unseen future.

Some fears are rational. You cannot obviously, expect to see a lion and run towards it with a welcome smile! Such fears are rational. Whereas there are some fears which are irrational. These irrational fears are termed as ‘phobias’. Phobias are not easy to do away with, and require short-term or long-term therapy in order to be overcome. Rational fears on the other hand, are comparatively easier to be dealt with.

Stage fear, fear of facing an interview panel, fear of darkness, fear of sexual intimacy after marriage, fear of conceiving a child are all rational fears under normal circumstances (unless there is some compelling aversive antecedent to it).

There is a difference between discomfort and anxiety and fear. I remember going to a metro station in New Delhi and changing my travel plans and returning, on finding it overcrowded. Seeing the crowd milling all over the platform with practically no breathing space, I didn’t even descend the stairs to the platform! Now, that has nothing to do with phobia. It is just a sense of extreme mental discomfort. On the other hand, there are people who, in such a crowded situation would have broken into a sweat with high palpitations and pulse rate. This is phobia.

The same object can induce rational fear for one and irrational fear for another. There can be no strict categories for objects of rational and irrational fears.

While fear perception is a sign of a normal human being, continuing to live with fears, is not healthy. It affects one’s functioning as an individual and one’s relationship with others and how one views the world. It is best to overcome fear or to be surrounded by people who can guard and guide in the event of occurrence of such fears.

Having said it all, I strongly believe that all fears can be overcome with strength from God. I’m not being a fanatic when I say this. But its the faith within, that if God is in control of this massive universe, He is in control of my fears and yours.

“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

 

EMOTIONAL, BUT NOT ALWAYS . . .

Recently, I asked my friend Sheetal, “What is your understanding on ‘Being Emotional’?” And she replied, “Being emotional for me means I understand everything deeply and the purpose of the situation too.”

Isn’t she very true?

I completely believe in her statement as I am a very emotional person. Though I pretend at times that – ‘it’s okay!’…with a plastic smile but the inside story contradicts it completely.

Last year I was at Park Street traffic and a small boy knocked on my cab window requesting me to buy one balloon…as my eyes fell on that guy the first thought that sprouted in me was, “What if I was in his condition today!”

That thought not only emotionally inclined me with his situation but also humbled me before God and reminded me not to defame my character by taking easy exits of life.

Emotion always paves the way to incline with the situation or the person’s situation in order to retrospect our life and develop Godly standards within us.

“Emotions are our Strength…”

One of the biggest combat plans is “identifying the strengths of your enemy”. We human beings are framed in a mortal structure with an immortal image within us and the biggest agenda of the devil is to skillfully strike on our strength and denigrate our immortal image.

Few years back a very elderly English speaking man came to my house asking for financial help. At the beginning of the conversation I was very much impressed by his gesture and moreover his story literally brought me to emotions and after 20 minutes I gave him Rs. 100 in a very humble way. As he departed, with a heavy heart I prayed for him. After 15 days again the same man came to my house with two rotten bags and a walk-stick in his hand and asked me money. Though I felt like he is taking advantage of my emotions still I thought let me go further and help him, if he is taking advantage then God will take care of it. But as the days went on the old man started regularly visiting my house and even in my absence he started emotionally forcing my parents for money. Finally, after 2 months of this drama I decided to have straight talk with him and in his next visit I gave him Rs. 20 with warning not to visit us again.  

The Bible says,

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.

Therefore be as wise as snakes and as innocent as doves”.

Being emotionally driven is very good but at the same time we need to safeguard our goodness, our emotions using the God given wisdom and knowledge as the people of these world are like wolves. At times when we see people taking advantage of our emotions we need to draw a line then there. It will hurt them and us as well but we need to remember, “scars and pain on both sides are obvious while taming a horse”.

“Being emotional is good but safeguarding the goodness is more necessary…”

Express

EMOTIONS – WINDOW INTO OUR THOUGHTS

Emotions are one of the most complicated actions of a human body.

For me, they are the window of my thoughts. There are millions of thoughts that run in our minds all the time. Every image we see, every sound we hear, everything we touch, every smell that goes in – triggers a thought. Most of them are not even registered in our conscious minds. Thoughts switch from one context to another all the time unless you are really concentrating on one thing.

Law of attractions say that negative thoughts attract negativity in our lives and positive thoughts attract positivity. Which means that in order to have a positive life we need to keep track of our thoughts. That sounds like a lot of work. Now, is it really possible to keep track of these thoughts? I bet, NO. It would drain us in mentally if we had to do that.

Then how do we make sure that our thoughts really are positive? Through emotions. Emotions act as a window into our brain. Feeling good, happy, relieved, victorious, healthy are all the signs that you have majorly good thoughts. Feeling sad, angry, guilty, upset, bored are all signs that you have majorly negative thoughts.

Thoughts breed its own kind. Have you ever experienced going down spirally into a big dark abyss of negativity. It starts with something small and then more and more negative incident starts to happen around us and just when we think that this is worse – something even worst happens. That one small negative incident just sparks a fire that goes uncontrollably in all directions destroying all the positivity around it. Nobody wants to be in this situation – yet it happens to almost all of us some times.

To avoid going down spirally – it is important to keep an eye on this window of thoughts “Emotions”. If you are feeling negative, you feel that way because your thoughts are negative. How can you turn that around? Of course, it is not possible to keep track of your thoughts but it is definitely possible to consciously change the direction of thoughts. Think of a baby, listen to your favorite song, watch that movie you love, talk to a person who makes you happy, do something to turn that negative thought around. Keep doing it till you start feeling good. Because if you let your emotions be on auto-pilot – you mostly land in big dark abyss of negativity.

Does it mean that you should control your emotions and not let them out? No, that is not what I mean. Sometimes letting the emotion out is the only way to get rid of the negative thoughts. So be it. Let it out. Cry, shout, scream, do whatever it takes to get the negative feeling out of your system. But make sure you do it safely. Don’t let your emotions out in front of people who will only mock you or take advantage of you.

For me, the solution is mostly the same. Every time I end up in an argument either at work or home, as soon as I feel my anger or upset is taking over and driving me insane – I just ask people to pause the argument till next day or something. I wear my running shoes and go for jog either in gym or outside (depending on the situation). Most of the time I cry while running and I cry hard. Sometimes I even end up screaming (if there aren’t any people around). After all my energies are drained and I am physically and mentally tired – I just go off to sleep. When I wake up after all this, I feel fresh and rejuvenated. In my experience, whenever I have returned to the same argument after a workout and sleep – the argument never remains an argument. It mostly is a small discussion with smiles and apologies (and hugs and kisses). This has worked for me every single time.

The main challenge is to take pause in an argument. We usually get so involved in a fight and proving ourselves right is more important than anything. Taking a pause from the argument really becomes a challenge in such cases. But once that pause happens, I know what I have to do to get rid of this negative situation.

So, what is your solution? Do you have one? Do you let your emotions on an auto-pilot or do you keep checking them? Even if you check them, how do you switch to a positive note from a negative one?

Think and re-think. Emotions are complicated but they can simplified a great deal if you have a good strategy in place.

 

Express

MY LIFE – AN EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER

Life they say is an emotional roller coaster. Some times it’s high and sometimes it’s low. Many a times we humans start our lives with innocence, love, tenderness etc. but after facing all hardships of life by the end are filled with anger, bitterness and regret. I really want to avoid this path.

Well let’s start at the beginning.

At the risk of sounding repetitive. Like my fellow writers Astha and Sreepriya, I too am a very emotional person. I guess all women are emotional. We are designed like this by God that we tend to show our emotions very easily.

The joke which goes around in my family is that the bucket behind my eyes is always full. It just needs a slight nudge and lo behold the bucket spills and the tears come tumbling down. Well to a certain extent it’s very true. Though I am not ashamed of crying, it’s a good outlet for all negative emotions. But at times the tears come out at a very wrong time. For example when I am very angry and I really need to give someone a piece of my mind, I need to look stern and really pissed off and here come the tears in my eyes and spoil the total effect. The other day when I was driving and suddenly my car brushed against another one. The damage was minimal and it was fault of both the drivers. I needed to get down the vehicle act all serious and angry and put my foot down that it was not only my fault and I will not pay for it. But before I could pull on that serious mask out came the tears. Now how do I manage to do all that with tears in my eyes? You can all imagine what happened after that. I was intimidated into paying some damages to the other driver (anyways you know the women drivers are always at fault)

So these days for my own benefit I am trying to control these pesky tears and try that they don’t come out at a wrong time.

Being emotional is still understandable. But what is really harmful are negative emotions and negative thoughts. Self-pity, jealousy etc. I guess we have all felt these emotions some time in our life. The idea is to not let them linger long in our minds. These negative emotions have a tendency to multiply in our minds one thought leads to another and we are filled up with bitterness. I have been through such emotions many times and I make a conscious effort to kick it out of my mind the moment I realise that my mind is going on the wrong track. Some time back I had written an article also about jealousy: My affair with the green eyed monster.

Anger is another such negative emotion. In my anger I have hit my child when he did something wrong and immediately regretted doing it. In the end I was also crying with my son and feeling really sorry. But then the deed was done. And by apologising later I diluted the lesson I was trying to teach my son. Had I controlled my anger and handled this situation in some other way it would had been a win-win situation for me. In a very angry argument we sometimes say such cruel words which we regret saying later but the words are already out of our mouth so nothing can be done about it now other than apologising.

So my friends it’s ok to be emotional. Being emotional means being normal, being human. But steer clear of negative emotions and stay happy, stay blessed.

Express

EMOTIONS THAT DRAIN ME,​ YET STRENGTHEN ME

“It was an amateur me

A spontaneous moment

wherein I lost all the integrity

The lessons I read but never implemented

a moment of childishness

a moment of anger

that exploded in me

It was quick but left an impact on many 

I never turned back to look what was the impact

but the effect stayed along in me as I walked away

for a moment it was relieving 

for a moment it was clouding my thoughts 

unable to throw me out of my dilemma

I ran away from the emotions

I closed my eyes, to read my heart

yet it was deceiving me too.”

~~~~~~

If I could recall a moment of emotional me, it would be the last job I worked on. It was not a decision  I made, but the “emotional me” let me decide that I do not want to be crunched under those political feets. I was drained emotionally, unable to think and every effort I took was not getting noticed. In a way, it was draining me. I knew being emotional in a corporate world was not a right choice.

Bein born to get attached to people and things was the only defect I had. I knew I had the least survival chances in the corporate world, as I never knew how to be swim across the current. The only solution was to bid goodbye to my job and leave myself in an isolation. Yet, the decision was strong enough for me. It brought in a positive aspect of life into me. Though initially, it was an untamed emotion, gradually it became an asset to me, to decide and understand the world. The emotional step changed my life as a whole, yet I was happy.

Being a mother, changed the whole perspective of emotions in me. My heart seemed to be much more vulnerable when am a mother. A heart that yearns to be with the child always. I realised motherhood is the weakest emotion that let you carry away, yet the strongest of all. I realised that emotions are my strength – the power of love, anger, gratitude, sadness everything in a mixed form – that is what I am. I am proud of it now.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I look at you

The only feeling that accumulates  

is the feeling of love

emotions became my strength 

emotions let me feel you the most

As you arrived in my life 

there was a reason that my eyes watered

It was the strongest feeling that aroused in me

the feeling of being a mom

you drive my emotions crazy

yet you are my life 

you are my weakness

you are my strength

there is nothing more joyful than being a mom

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Being a mother, I enjoy the roller coaster ride of emotions.

To quote : 

“Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.”

Roger Ebert

Yes, emotions are our inner strengths undefined.  An asset to us, which helps our unconscious mind lead us to the right path. Driven by emotions at times might lead you into troubles, yet every step in life is a lesson. A lesson to be learned, a lesson to be cherished.

 

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NOURISH WITH UNADULTERATED EMOTIONS

Adulteration is that when something impure or of lesser value is mixed with something pure and original thus destroying its purity, originality and values.

Food materials usually get adulterated by business-minded people for unethical gains which Aastha pointed out beautifully in her article. Values get adulterated as well, which my co-authors Sreepriya and Rajnandini explained in their respective articles. Pradita emphasized on education getting adulterated and that was so rightly pointed out by her. Finally, Kalpana stressed on the innocence in a child that is so rare to see these days as it is either adulterated or lost completely.

But my recent life experience gave me another thought about this subject: ‘The Age of Adulteration‘. Adulteration of Emotions… Can this be possible? Yes… it is very much possible.

Let me give the examples through my recent life experiences…

It was just two weeks ago and there I was lying down on the hospital bed. I was just blank and was thinking what suddenly happened to me. A serious illness is a time when we usually become very tired, worn out, weak, vulnerable and extremely emotional. And I was feeling the same. Tears were rolling down my eyes. I was missing my family and friends. I was feeling extremely scared. My family members and friends called me and spoke to me, gave me and my wife a lot of strength. I want to share few special calls and messages that really strengthened me.

It was on 12th September 2017, afternoon time:

Kalpana messaged me asking, “Can I call you?” and I replied immediately, “Call”. And she called on Whatsapp from Belgium. The talk didn’t last more than 10/15 minutes but I could feel her heart and emotions for me and that gave me so much strength.

On 13th Sep 2017 around 5:51 PM:

I saw a missed call at 3:42PM. And the name amazed me, “Sreepriya”. She is very new in the team and to me and had never spoken to me even once or chatted with me much as yet. Yet I just called back immediately as soon as I saw the missed call. And we spoke. I felt the same care and same concern in her voice as I felt talking to my old buddies. That was heart warming and extremely soothing. That call touched me a lot.

That’s the strength of an Unadulterated Emotion. It pierces the heart and works within it amazingly.

On 11th Sep 2017 at 2:12 PM, :

Saakshi messaged. “Please don’t worry…Nothing will happen to you… I know you are suffering…. And in pain… But you trust in Jesus so much… He has to come for your help… He can’t sit back and watch… Everything will be okay. I am holding your hand. I won’t let it go.

She messaged again at 8:19 AM, 14th Sep 2017: “How are you? Good Morning… Please tell me you are better… Listen to me… Don’t hold back on your treatment if money becomes issue… I am there…  Are you listening? Your Jesus will help you… I am sure… I am an atheist… But you are a resilient believer… He won’t desert you…  He will come to your aid and get you out of this trouble… I have confidence in your prayers… You are a fighter… Remember my passage I wrote for your heart… It’s weak but it’s strong… You have won against odds… You will do same this time as well.

Poor she… I could not respond to her right away as both the times I was sleeping. But I could feel how troubled she was for me – her mentor, her father-like friend.

But the message which really made me cry a lot though gave me a lot of strength was when Preeta messaged me. Probably the timings were critical when she messaged…

At 10AM, 10 Sep 2017:

Preeta: Gear up boss! Lots of best wishes and hugs to you for you to get up and get moving…

Me: Thanks Salma

At 10:39 PM, 11 Sep 2017:

Preeta: How are you fighter?

Me: Not great… finally feeling bit scared.

Preeta: Arrey why? You will be fine, keep the faith.

Me: Gum bleeding

Preeta: Look, you are a born fighter and remember that. You are going to be fine very soon. Your Salma is missing you, like your other angels… come back to your normal self with a bang… Just remember you will be recovering soon. Don’t stress much on your phone. Take care dearie…

At 7:42 AM, 12th Sep 2017:

Preeta: Hey man! See I’m going to write this Friday, after so long, so u better get ok.

You won’t believe how strengthening these words were. I could feel her pained and worried heart yet she never failed to encourage me. She tried to distract my focus from my problem to other things, to the things which interest me… That encompassed me with loads of pure emotions around my heart like honey covering around a scoop of ice cream.  Thank You Preeta!

Apart from these people there were Aastha, Rajnandini, Prabhjot and all others who were constantly calling, messaging and strengthening me. Avinash came twice to see me and pray for me. That was strengthening as well.

If I write about the words of my sisters and relatives it would be too long an article. 😉

This was an amazing and unforgettable event of my life though I suffered a lot. And I had to mention all of them in this article where I am talking about Unadulterated Emotions and how it nourished me when I needed it.

Emotions are something that makes humans different from animals. Animals have senses and instincts, not emotions because they don’t have spirits as we have. That’s a different subject altogether though. But sometimes the emotions that we express towards someone can be faked, adulterated with ease and very cunningly.

Just imagine why we love to hear those authoritative statements from our friends, relatives and family members? Because we feel and understand that the emotions of that person which is surging out for us are real and pure. But sometimes we don’t feel the same pure, unadulterated emotions surging out for us and that makes us sad and disappointed when someone says he or she loves us yet avoids us and ignores us and so on…

We need to remember that unadulterated emotions always soothe our spirit, calm our mind and nourish our hearts. But adulterated emotions hurt us brutally, leave deep scars in our hearts and make us sad in our life.

Emotions are integral part of us and I have always been honest in expressing myself. I never show a second side of myself. I say what I feel. I admonish, reprimand and show my love wholeheartedly with my unadulterated emotions surging out for the concerned person. And that really touches people and nourishes them emotionally.

Have you ever felt nourished or malnourished emotionally? Check for what you are receiving… pure, unadulterated emotions or fake and adulterated which can drain you out completely. Think about the other way around as well. Nourish… Don’t let people struggle emotionally.

Stay Blessed!