THE INVISIBLE LEASE

Why on earth is his phone switched off?‘ there was panic in my voice. ‘He must be in a meeting.’ said my sister. ‘No he always keeps it on silent mode during meetings doesn’t switch it off.. ‘.’OK then the battery must be dead‘ she came up with another reason and I was quick to shoot it down. ‘It was fully charged in the morning. It’s not possible that it drains off so quickly‘ by now my mind was in a tizzy. I called his secretary who said sir had already left for the day. Now my heart was beating loudly and all sorts of bad thoughts were coming in my mind. This whole episode lasted only 15 minutes and here came my dear hubby smilingly into the house. ‘Why was your phone switched off?’ was my greeting to him. He was taken aback. Actually his phone had fallen down and battery and cover had come off since he was so near to the house he decided to assemble it at home. I realized how our need to be connected all the time is so high we can’t imagine what to do if for some time that connection is lost. 

I don’t know how many times this has happened with you but I am notorious for it. I sent a message to my friend on WhatsApp. And then checked, one tick – ‘Oh OK not delivered yet’. After 10 Mins – double tick, ‘OK great now she will see it’. I double checked her last seen also to understand how much time has lapsed since she was away from her phone. Another 15 minutes pass now when I checked it showed blue ticks. ‘Oh great now she has seen it. But wait she has seen the message then why has she not replied?’ Another 5 minutes pass away and now my thoughts are ‘Why is she ignoring me? After reading the message also she doesn’t have the time to answer me. My God, this lady has become very snobbish these days.‘ Later on I come to know that the phone was in the hands of her 3 year old daughter who was playing some game on the phone and happily clicking on all the notifications also. 

How many times has it happened that when you send a message on the WhatsApp group and after some time check on the info button to see who all have read it. And wonder why they didn’t respond. 

Actually the more we are getting connected the more we are becoming addicted or enslaved by this connectivity. We can’t seem to function without it or exist without it.

Summer vacations are on. And our kids go to their friend’s house to play. Ya! what’s new in this even we used to spend the whole afternoons at each other’s house playing board games. Well the difference is here they all carry their cell phones, the host swtiches on the hotspot to give everyone access to wifi , they log in to an online multi-player game and sit together everyone’s head buried in their respective mobiles playing against each other. Looking at them I wondered whether they were actually more connected by technology or more disconnected. 

But then this is how our life is. I wonder how we as kids managed in the times of landlines and how our parents used to keep a track of us. Nowadays it’s mandatory to give even small children mobile phones to keep a track of them when they go out to play or go to the tuitions etc. Feels like an invisible leash on them. 

I am not trying to portray only the negative part. I love being on WhatsApp. The best part for me is the group chats. When we can talk to family members or friends together. It’s like sitting in one place and chatting. With our busy schedules this becomes a boon.  My sisters and I talk mostly via our WhatsApp group. There is no Compulsion of immediate answer. A topic starts in the morning and each one keeps replying as and when they have time. We end up discussing the same topic till evening. It’s very comfortable for us. We can have long chats also and it doesn’t intrude into our daily routine. The down side to it is if I get a call from her I get worried that it must be some emergency or else she would have just messaged me. 

Facebook is another such frenemy (friend and enemy). I am connected to so many people on fb. Some of whom I haven’t met for 20-25 years. Even though catching up is fun at times I wonder do I really need to be connected with so many people many of them just acquaintances? And most importantly does everyone need to know so many details of my life. 

With so many controversies over the data theft or other privacy issues in news these days we really need to rethink how much of ourselves do we want to share with the world. And how much should we stay connected. It’s OK for the Wi-Fi connection to be lost at times who knows you might just discover some new hobby or something new about our family members. Like we all recently did. My kids were playing a game on the computer, my husband was busy with his laptop and I was admiring the recent vacation pics posted by my friends on Facebook. When Suddenly due to some fault the Wi-Fi stopped working. After a lot fretting and fuming and calling up the internet guys we came to know that we won’t get a connection till evening. Wonder of wonders we survived and actually enjoyed ourselves. Our family of four really connected over a game of Uno. 

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CONNECT WITH CAUTION

When I was in the Third Grade, I enjoyed the companionship of a wonderful friend in my class. Her father, being a doctor with the government had been transferred to the city where I lived and she had got admitted to my school. We shared two years of beautiful friendship. And then when we were in Grade Five, her father got transferred again. We both were very sad to part with each other, never knowing whether we would ever meet each other again.

Those were not the days of easy and cheap accessibility to mobile phones and internet. WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype and the like were not even in the picture. All houses were not privileged to have land phone connections also. But the good news for both of us was that we had land phones in our houses. So we exchanged our addresses and land phone numbers. And thus, began our exchange of long and short letters. We were learning letter-writing in our respective schools that time. Naturally, our letters to each other were strictly in the format that was taught by our teachers – with all the formal salutations and all. (I would never write a friendly letter so formally if I were to write one, today!)

Though we had land phones, the connectivity was not easy. Intercity calls had to be Trunk Booked. (To explain those of this present generation, intercity calls had to be routed through a common operator who would in turn connect to the required number and call you back. And so you could speak for some time with a person from another city or state.) These STD calls were tariffed at a higher price than the normal calls within the city. But, the tariff rates were much low very early in the morning and late at night.

I remember waking up at 5 o’ clock on weekends to book a call to my friend. To prevent my parents from waking up, I used to reduce the volume of the phone so that when the operator called back with the connection, the ring of the phone won’t disturb the sleep of others.

Connectivity seemed cumbersome then. But, it was exciting. The wait of a whole week to be able to chat with a friend was richly rewarding in terms of the joy and satisfaction it gave.

Fast forward twenty years . . .

The Digital Age where connectivity is just a click away has made it possible to access loved ones anytime anywhere. The whole world seems to be so small, after all. People can even participate in weddings and social functions from different parts of the world over the web. The regret of physical absence can be compensated by emotional fulfilment of one’s virtual presence on such occasions.

Its more than twenty years now, since my friend and I wrote letters to each other and made STD calls to hear each other’s voice. I have recently shifted from one city to another. Now, I no longer do I have to wake up early to book calls to my loved ones in the other city, nor do I have to write letters. ‘I am just a phone call away’, I had told them while parting. Mobile phones, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. make sure that we remain connected to each other and are a part of each other’s joys, sorrows and other life events.

While it is so exciting to get to know who is upto what, to display one’s talents and achievements, to share one’s thoughts and views, to mobilize public opinion on issues of social nature, putting personal data on the public forum is scary indeed. No matter how tight your security settings are, those in the business know how to have access to it. And no, I’m not referring to hackers only. Professional data collecting agencies can get unprofessional too. The big scandal of the Cambridge Analytica is an example that speaks for itself.

It feels so nice to see Facebook compile the whole year’s events that you have posted and present a video clipping at the end of the year or send you a reminder of what you had posted on the same date five years back. However, it is scary to realize that there are minds who are analyzing and scrutinising our posts – and they are NOT in our ‘Friends List’!

My purpose is not to scare you to an extent that you shun all social networking sites and confine yourself to your room. The intention is to caution you – ‘Beware of what you Share. What you Share, stays in There’.

Be wise enough not to share anything and everything in the social networking sites. More than the satisfaction from the number of ‘Likes’ you get, you create memories for analyzers doing their job. The information which wouldn’t harm you or others even when it gets into the hands of other parties can be comfortably shared. So, use your discretion. Don’t be hasty to upload something just because you are feeling bored and have nothing to do. Exercise restraint.

Technology sure, does make life easier and brings closer those who are miles apart. But it also pushes those who are close, far away from each other.

Let’s be wise in keeping technology under our control and not end up being controlled by it. Connectivity is an essentiality in the world today. No longer do people travel by ships for months together to cross continents. A few hours in an airline of your choice, and you can land up in any part of the world. That’s the ease and blessing of connectivity. Wisdom lies in NOT making it an excuse to increase the distance between each other, before looking for means to bridge the gap.

ARE WE CONNECTED TO BE ENSLAVED?

Whoa! What a world! What an opportunity to know the outer world!!! What a way to explore all hidden desires!!! What an excellent platform to let my wild imagination be played out!!! There’s no one to know!!! There’s no one to restrict!!! There’s no one to shout at!!! All I have is me, my imagination and freedom! Absolute Freedom!

I spent a lot of money after Yahoo chatting… I made many new friends… I was all alone in the city and there was nobody to control me. I was on my own. Soon my favourite pastime became going to the café and chatting for hours over reading books. Later I was introduced to Friendster.com, then Myspace.com and then came Orkut.com. But I was not addictive to all of those because nothing could beat the attraction and allurement of Yahoo messenger. Interacting with people has been my favourite thing. And Yahoo messenger gave the scope to interact with a wide range of people.

Time went on like that…

I was late yet finally got the taste of a new networking site called FACEBOOK.COM. Yahoo messenger became boring and outdated as soon as I started exploring the charm of FB. Yahoo Messenger had allowed only a coffee shop to hangout but FB gave a city to live in with the people we found on internet. Life changed literally I would say. The new world of interaction seemed very interesting, captivating and extremely addictive. I have been always very imaginative from my childhood and when I came to know about Role Play I was hooked to it for hours. Role Play gave me the scope to do whatever that I had ever dreamt and desired in life though in the forms of imagination only, it devastated my focus on the most important things of life. I could have achieved lot more in my life if I would have mastered the use of internet instead of being enslaved to it. I deeply regret it today.

No doubt there were lots of benefits of being connected to internet; I am not denying them at all. Candles Online is part of being connected. But despite of all those benefits there are some adverse effects of social networking sites or being connected which had alarmed us over the last couple of years.  And the effects are devastating. Let’s look in to them one after the other as under: 

  1. Lost skill of Face to Face Interactions: This is one of the biggest setbacks which social networking sites have brought in to our lives. People are busier with computers and smart phones than person to person interactions. Sometimes we joke even husband and wife communicate each other through whatsapp inside the same house as both will be busy in their mobile phones instead of being with each other. We can laugh about this but this has killed the effectiveness of personal human interactions. 
  1. Causes of Break ups and Divorces:Sometimes I talk rudely with my wife when she asks something because she interrupts my communication with others on my smart phone or laptop. That should not be the case. I regret it later but the relationship gets affected. I am quoting an article which I found on web which talks about how FB causes break ups in relationships which reads as under:

“It’s not official until it’s on Facebook,” they say. But keeping it off Facebook could be the best way to ensure your romantic relationship stays strong. Individuals who use Facebook excessively are much more likely to experience Facebook-related conflict with their partner, which can lead to non-digital conflicts as well, including emotional and physical cheating, breakups, and even divorce, a study says. 

  1. Induces Jealousy and Peer Pressure: My friend Prabhjot once wrote about this in her article on our webzine. She says, 

Looking at all the goody goody pictures of people you are hardly in touch with gives a feeling that – whole world is having fun and living a perfect life but me. It is a very obvious feeling.” She also described the story of a 17 year old boy who killed himself while taking a selfie. He wanted to take a “cool” selfie on a railway track with an approaching train from behind. He got run over by the train.

That’s what peer pressure or being liked by others can make to you. This is how social media induces it. 

  1. Vulnerable to Criminal Activities: Crimes on internet is when computer networks or devices are used as means to perform fraud and identity theft through social engineering as well as cyber bullying, cyber stalking and cyber warfare. And when we upload all our personal details we get exposed to the danger of being harassed and bullied online by the criminals. 
  1. Obsession and Addiction to Internet can be fatal: The obsession and addiction of internet makes life worse. Women [64%] are more likely than men [55%] to consider themselves addicted to the internet. In the 13-17 age demographic, up to 3 out of every 4 kids could be considered addicted to the internet. The percentage of 18-24 year olds who would qualify as being addicted to the internet today: 71%. These obsession and addiction can spoil the students as they lose concentration on their studies. It makes the adult neglect their real life by spending more time on virtual world and spend life idly. 
  1. Severe Health Hazards:There’s an interesting article on ‘whashingtonpost.com’ that I read which my cousin shared once really alarmed me and can really make you worry as well.

The human head weighs about a dozen pounds. But as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds.

That’s the burden that comes with staring at a smartphone — the way millions do for hours every day, according to research published by Kenneth Hansraj in the National Library of Medicine. The study will appear next month in Surgical Technology International. Over time, researchers say, this poor posture, sometimes called “text neck,” can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and even surgery.

Long hours in front of the screen can spoil our eyes, makes us lazy and obese when it is continued as a daily practice.

What can we conclude now after understanding all these alarming facts and information?

Couple of verses from the Bible comes to my mind:

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.

From childhood we are told, “anything excess is bad“. If we don’t make the social medias and our being connected our slave today then they will rule over us, destroy us and devastate our peaceful lives. It is we who are responsible for allowing being connected to be a boon or bane; the choice is ours.

Stay Blessed!!!

(Picture Credit: HERE )

FB BEST CAPTION COMPETITION – 1

It was Friday and I was kinda bored. I thought let me have some intelligent fun competition on FB. So, I posted a thought-provoking picture on my Facebook timeline asking my friends and relatives to write a caption (a word, few words or a sentence) describing that picture. And the results were berserk…

Preeta: “Everything is here, yet it’s incomplete!”

Pradita: “Game of Thrones – Mini!”

Prabhjot: “Hogwarts!”

Kalpana: “Free Yet Slaves!”

Rima: “Once upon a time…in a faraway land…!”

Ashrita“Castles can be built when you lose trap of the virtual world and embrace verity!”

Smruti Rekha: “We’d rather be incarcerated in the fortress of virtuality than perceive the reality!”

Aditi“Building Castles in the Virtual World” – a harsh but real tweak to the old idiom “Building Castles in the air!”

Sreela: “Westeros!”

Rain: Access to the World!”

Avinash: “Chained!”

Gregory: “Where’s the bathroom?”

Kuljeet: “Ok so that’s the virtual castle my kids visit everyday…!”

Parimita: “iCastle on an iPhone: Crush the Castle to unlock!”

Abhinanda: “Imagination – There are no rules of architecture for a castle on the phone!”

All the entries or the captions were excellent and meaningful in their own ways but out of those 15 entries, Preeta Bhatnagar‘s caption moved me. It was absolutely simple, meaningful and well framed. Thus, I chose that as the best and am declaring her as the winner of this contest. I had promised earlier of a surprise reward for the best caption, so she will be receiving a Candles Online Poster Certificate as the winner of the competition.

Congratulations, Preeta Bhatnagar!

Note:  The Wining Poster Certificate was set as the featured image of this post and will be displayed on the site’s sidebar as well till the next competition. 

HOW TO WIN BACK THE TRUST OF YOUR BROKEN PARTNER AFTER SHE CAUGHT YOU CHEATING BEHIND HER?

“Relationships are based on trust and honesty and the boundaries of being monogamous need to be set by partners themselves.”

And when the boundaries are breached there are heartaches, brokenness, pain and devastation. It is really very difficult to win back the trust of our spouse when we are the main culprit in our relationship or we are caught cheating behind our spouse even though we realize and repent later.

Can we gain her/him back? Can I win her/his trust ever again?

I know, this question haunts many of us when we finally find ourselves guilty of cheating on our spouses. What can we do at this point? Because, only realisation doesn’t help us  in anyway…

I kind of researched a bit to find out few steps that we can take on a daily basis to gain back the trust of our spouses who were betrayed, cheated, hurt and broken because of us, for our illicit activities in the past.

Following are those steps:

  1. Keep the Apologising Attitude on: Why I said apologising attitude? So many times we apologise and then think our part is over. But in this scenario we need to have a constant apologising attitude, may be till we get our spouse back to ourselves.
  2. Owning the responsibility: A relationship can be restored only when we have the desire to reconcile and rebuild and for that we need to own the responsibility. When I think “She doesn’t show any interest to reconcile” then I would be sure that I am not ready to reconcile. As I have cheated and breached the trust then it is my responsibility to take the step first. When she is hurt, angry and I have lost her trust and confidence then it is me who’s gonna be doing everything to gain her trust and ultimately gain her back into my life.
  3. Expect Denials: When we are on the verge of regaining the trust of our partner who is hurt and try to restore then we should always be ready for denials to our attempts. Our partner may not want to rebuild or reconcile again with us… She has all the reasons to do so. In that case, we should not be disappointed with our partner’s denial, we should be ready to face that and accept it in a very positive way.
  4. Patience is the Key: We being the cheat and culprit, we need to remember one thing that we can’t be hasty or hurry in anyway… Remember we have lost their trust… We can’t afford to lose our patience. We always need to remember that “breaking is much easier than rebuilding.” We need patience. We need perseverance. We have to keep coming again and again to reconcile and regain our partner’s trust. And one day when we succeed we have to start rebuilding slowly.
  5. A Humbling experience: It is really not at all easy to come again and again expecting a response to our invitation to reconcile and restore a strained relationship. Regaining someone’s trust is a humbling experience. A very tough one… May be the toughest one in one’s life… We need humility along with patience to break the wall that’s created by us. When we face denial our ego may challenge us to take a step back and stop thinking of bending down again or we might lose heart, thinking we may not gain our partner’s trust again ever. We might have patience to come again but we might not stay calm when we hear absurd and hurting words from our partner. We need to give our partner the time and space to vent their feelings, hurling out judgments on us… That’s the consequence of our cheating our partner and we need to tolerate that silently. We need to remind ourselves that regaining is our responsibility because we have lost it… Thus, we have to bend down again and again to regain; we need to prove ourselves at every steps, small or big again and again to win the trust of our spouse.

All these steps have to be carried out together. It’s not that we would finish the first step and then try out the second one. All these have to be undertaken all at a time and then only we can expect a rebuilt relationship after we regain the trust of our spouse. No matter how shaky it seems at the moment when things went all wrong but by taking it one day at a time, following the above steps might bring our relationships float well and strong again.

Before I close, I would like to request all those who have been hurt and broken because of their cheating spouses that – Cheating doesn’t have to lead to divorce or breakup always. you can build a more honest, healthier and love filled relationship all over again against all negatives and messy scenarios by forgiving your partner seeing his/her truthful repentance.

Stay Blessed!!!

​TEXTING OR CHEATING?

“Hey! Where are you engrossed? Who are you texting??”

“Oh! Nothing, just an old friend! Was just catching up”

For that half-an-hour or so, you only concentrate on the conversation and it is making you forget your partner’s presence in the same room, it is making you smile, you are praising them, giving compliments, you are enjoying being in that ‘virtual world’.

Your partner gets hold of your chats and is clearly not comfortable and when confronted you simply laugh at them, get angry and mock them for over-reacting. There is nothing wrong in it! That is not cheating after all!

Fine! Let’s have a look at this scenario.

You are at home alone and you invited someone of the opposite sex, to have a ‘conversation’ in the privacy of your bedroom with doors locked.

 Your spouse suddenly walks in! You are immediately guilty.

Clear act of cheating! Right?

Well, what is cheating anyway?

An obvious answer to this is physical infidelity or starting an affair with someone outside your relationship.

Well of course yes!

But what about the gray areas of having an ‘emotional affair’!  Something most of us do almost ‘unknowingly’ like how our mind wanders and pretty soon we are on facebook or WhatsApp messaging someone other than your significant other? Is it fun, a harmless flirting, or is it evidence of infidelity?

Maybe it’s your best friend that you’ve known for years,  or your junior from college, or colleagues, fact is you’re texting them a lot lately. The conversations have gotten a little too flirty (so many winky faced emojis!), you’re in bad territory.

Infidelity occurs much before having actual sex with someone and in today’s culture it can very well initiate with ‘one harmless text conversation’.

You would agree that kissing another women or man would be a huge no, if you are in a relationship but on the contrary sending kiss emojis to another women and men is completely cool in virtual world. How is that not cheating?

The tell-tale sign that you’re possibly cheating is that you feel the need to hide it from your significant other, you delete entire conversation or individual messages, you know they would get angry if they read the entire conversation, so you start blaming them for the ‘not trusting you’.  If you’re trying to hide something there’s the element of betrayal. Not only does this mean you feel guilty, it shows that you’re potentially looking for something elsewhere and you know it’ll hurt their feelings.

The simple fact is that people who cheat, lie. If you’re covering your tracks so your partner can’t catch you in the act, you’re being sketchy and unfair, whether sex is involved or not.

The question many of us might ask is why do people flirt? It makes them feel young and attractive and has the power to put them back on a-game. However, we need understand that this all leads to an ’emotional affair’. It might seem like flirting but it’s not!  Messages that blur the line between teasing and intimacy, or that replace feelings you should be getting from your partner, can quickly violate relationship boundaries, even if you don’t recognize the situation as dangerous.

One of my closest friend caught her husband texting a friend and sharing details about his work life and that he was disturbed and work stressed. Something my friend knew nothing about! She got paranoid and was deeply hurt.

If you look at this from a wider perspective you might not agree for this to be cheating but having a closer look, I would agree with my friend’s opinion!

She told me while I was consoling her “Relationships are about finding someone you can share life with, not just your body, but your emotions, your insecurities” she continued. “I am heartbroken to found out he was sharing his deepest thought with someone else and was keeping it from me.”

Isn’t that true for all kind of relationships? Relationships are based on trust and honesty and the boundaries of being monogamous need to be set by partners themselves.

Key thing to remember is, what begins innocently enough is pushed and forced to its bitter conclusion, cheating. Better to remove the temptation before you cause incurable damage!

 

A VIRTUAL BLESSING IN DISGUISE

Isha returned back home after a tiring day at work. Day long client meetings have kept her busy all day. After a long time, she logged into Facebook. There was a message “Hi Isha, I have come across your website today, glad to have crossed by your site. Pretty impressed by your ideology” – Kartik

Isha sent a reply thanking him. Kartik and Isha soon became friends, they kept in touch over instant messaging app. They used to message each other whenever they get time during their work hours, and once they are back from work, Kartik used to ensure that he dedicates some time for Isha almost everyday. 

Isha who is a girl who doesn’t share much about herself to anyone, opened her book of life to him. She had no hesitation because she could trust him. Kartik also respects her for what she is. He has put maximum efforts to understand Isha, her interests, her likes, hobbies, part time activities. 

Isha started to feel happier with every day that passed by, her once dull and boring life has now become interesting. She used to eagerly wait for Kartik’s messages. Kartik never gave Isha a single chance to be disappointed, starting with a good morning wish everyday, he took care of her feelings, her worries in her personal life, stress at work. Isha couldn’t believe how life has changed with arrival of Kartik into her life. She now has a person to talk, she knows the value of having one such acquaintance. 

Kartik became parent of a dog. Isha had the chance to name the dog, she spent hours searching for a nice name. She named the dog Buddy. Kartik used to share many pictures of Buddy with Isha, she used to feel delighted. Her happiness could not be expressed in words. Kartik came in as an angel for her, she respected Kartik all the more… Kartik filled her otherwise lonely life with joyful moments.

It has been more than an year they were chatting, she doesn’t know how Kartik even looks. This hasn’t bothered Isha but she preferred associating Kartik to a face, an identity. She wanted to meet him. Kartik was reluctant to meet her so soon. He even expressed the same to her, Isha was definitely surprised by this.

They continued to talk the same way as earlier, Isha never brought up the topic of meeting him thereafter. After a few months, one day Kartik asked Isha if they could meet. Isha agreed as she was eager to meet him. They made a plan for weekend to meet at a cafe. As in movies, Isha told him what color dress she would wear, Kartik replied “ROFL” . She innocently asked him, “How will I recognise you?“, “Now that I know what you would wear, I will search for you at the cafe …” was his reply. 

Isha reached the cafe well before time, seated at a table, curiously looking at every person entering the cafe. She noticed that her cousin Nandan came to the same cafe. She greeted him, Nandan took the seat opposite her. They talked for sometime, Isha is now concerned that it’s time for Kartik to come, she should tell Nandan that she has to meet a friend. Nandan was continuously talking, Isha couldn’t break the conversation in-between. Nandan asked Isha, “Are you ok? You look tensed”. Isha told him she came to meet a friend…

Nandan has put his hand forward as if he wanted a handshake, when they were shaking hands, he said in an introductory fashion “Kartik…”. Isha was surprised to listen to the name, then she realised his name is Kartik Nandan. “Was it you who chatted with me everyday ?”, he nodded in acceptance. She was confused, couldn’t find words to talk … 

I am sorry Isha. It was me. You may be thinking why I did all this ? Let me explain“, after a pause he continued, “It is one thing to be there for you when in need and all together different thing to make you feel that you are cared. I am sure there would have been many people who would have told you to reach out to them if you needed help, it is courtesy to offer help when one is in need, they care, they really do. But, I know it is very unlikely for you to reach out to them…

If I would have told you that you can talk to me whenever you feel like talking, would you have opened up the way you did with ‘Kartik’? May be not. After Rajiv (Isha’s husband) passed away, you became very lonely. I can understand how it feels when you lose someone who was everything till yesterday and today you don’t have anyone to look up to. There are family and friends but the emptiness cannot be filled so easily. On the back of your mind, you may also feel that they are sympathising even if they haven’t intended to be so, not your fault just the time is so…

Isha felt very emotional, she couldn’t help but cry. After a few minutes, she composed herself, “You are right Nandan. Every word you uttered is true, but not everyone understands the feelings of another. Who would care for a lonely person? Actually loneliness goes totally unnoticed at times. People would force me to be happy. I have work, hobbies, many other things that keep me occupied all day long, but at the end of the day and early morning I feel very lonely. It used to frustrate me so much to not have anyone who I can talk to, but could not express this concern to anyone. 

How would I ask anyone that I want someone to talk to. Nothing important, but a casual conversation also has become rarest of rare. Communication, which is basic need of human being is so tough to have, I have never known this. It is very tough to manage everyday. I find myself ‘odd man out’ when my colleagues converse at lunch table. Once one of my colleague asked me why is that I don’t have any complaints / concerns  about anyone, when all others share so much about their families. There is nothing to share, so I am just a passive listener… It hurts so much…

I am very happy to know that you understand those feelings which are unexpressed, can read the innate need of another with ease. God bless you Nandan. Thank you !!”

“Isha, saying this you cannot escape from me, I would continue to be Kartik for you, I would continue to talk the same way as earlier. Now, we can even talk not only chat.. I will look forward to meet you soon…” said Kartik. Isha felt very relieved and happy to know how blessed she is. 

They continued for many years happily sharing their feelings, fighting like kids, being each other’s support.