Depression is a very loosely used term. People don’t mostly understand the full meaning and scope of the word and throw it around so randomly. As an onlooker, it hurts to see that happening. The more cliched it becomes, lesser is its impact on the listener and the gravity of the situation gets lost. Depression is not merely a mental state. It is a disease that cripples life itself. You losing a loved one, not landing the dream job or being heartbroken in love doesn’t necessarily make you depressed. What you experience then is sorrow, sadness and despair. Some days, weeks or months pass by and you pull yourself together and move on. But if you try your best to get past it but cannot even bring yourself to rise from the bed, that is when you suffer from depression. When no amount of positivity can help you, when you break down in the middle of the night for reasons you can’t understand, when you lose the drive to just be – that’s when you are depressed. You sneeze one random time or catch a common cold – you wouldn’t proclaim you are suffering from COVID right? Every passing sorrow or a phase of grief shouldn’t be associated to depression for the very same reasons. The last thing you’d want to do to a loved one is to make it more difficult for them to open up, just by trivializing the term ‘depression’.
P. S. Above are my thoughts from experiences in person, through others’ experiences and some random reading. By no means do I intent to define the term ‘depression’ or limit its depth. You never know the full story unless you are a part of it.
I am not a feminist, never was, never will be. Because, I don’t believe in discrimination on any basis – gender, age, race, economic status, language, knowledge, power – positively or negatively. Feminism to me is just discrimination on gender to ‘benefit’ out of it. If there’s any ‘-ism’ ever, it must be individualism and I hold that philosophy very closely. But lately, I feel suppressed – emotionally and intellectually. I am a working professional, socially active and emotionally open to new arenas of a social life. And I feel overwhelmed by what I experience each day – at work, on the road, in a discussion forum, a public place and the nuances of simple conversations! I wouldn’t call it out as misogynistic since it’s not always purely on gender, but it greatly does seem so. The biases have been based on age, power and even knowledge. It’s frustrating when you are cornered for being in a ‘discriminated class’. The co-worker who pulls the strings of ‘power’, the reckless driver who questions your ‘female’ driving, the male friend who ‘stares’, the relative who dismisses your ‘inexperienced’ knowledge – no I am not pulling a #metoo moment here. I am asking if this is a #youtoo moment. Have you dismissed a younger person’s wisdom because they aren’t ‘old enough’? Have you played the ‘victim card’ for your own recklessness on the road? Have you made someone uncomfortable by ‘ogling’ at them? Have you been rude to a subordinate because of your ‘entitlement’? Please say no. Please don’t be that person. You are scarring an individual by all those unfortunate moments of truth. Age, gender, power – they don’t make up a person. They are merely some states of a person. Don’t limit an individual’s experience with your inadequacy. Grow. And let grow.
So why does all these matter suddenly? Perhaps because of my fortunate half of life where I have been blessed with unbiased individuals. People who don’t judge you. People who see you for who you are without their baggy lenses. I have had humble bosses who respected their colleagues, dignified men who look up to women for their worth and a great deal of amazing people who make life worth exploring. It’s because of them that I sit down and contemplate on the rest of the world. Why not make a difference with a simple gesture, if it has the potential to make one more person relevant in this system. Why not!
Nay, I am not afraid of blogs. But people at my home are. They are worried that I am spy to netizens, leaking news from their privacy. 😛 Lately, at the end of every conversation, my dad makes it a point to add, “Daivame! Sollandamayirinthuthu. Iniyippo ithum blog-la varume.” (God! Need not have said this now. This is also gonna come up in the blog!) While my dad remarks this jokingly, my mom’s is a serious concern. She’s worried I dont know to draw the lines of discretion. She’s of the assumption that I let out my ‘secrets’ out here in public and I am so exploited by my readers! What does she know! Essentially, I am proving their fears genuine, by posting this one too. Thank god my sister aint much bothered!
A part of me seems to be affected by the same fear as well. A hesitation to write, worrying if that one unnecessary line might slip off my mouth (fingers, for that matter!). The whole idea of staying wound up in the irrelevant concern is stupid and I obviously know it. Shedding the cloak off me, I am trying to pitch up. I’d rather ruin my blog with stained words, than spoil my life in strained silence. Back again, hoping to stay.
Of all things in life, if I am to let go of something, I’d rather let go of my fears. Not all of them together. But may be, one by one. For a long period of my life, I thought I had feline-phobia. I was so afraid of cats. I still am. But then, I guess my greater fear was in acknowledging that I was afraid of cats than the fear itself. So I decide to let go of that one fear today. And I am proclaiming my fear. Yes! I am shit scared of cats though I always preferred calling it hatred or dislike or whatever. Today morning, I was beckoned by someone at the door. It was rather a ‘mya..mya’ that I heard and interpreted as ‘soumya’. But it was self explanatory as I reached the door and saw a cat stretching on my balcony. The annoyance of being fooled and stupidly mimicked – I was so frustrated. But that wasn’t enough for me to kick that creature out of my home. I was too scared to even go any close, that I had to call my grandma to shoo that thing away. “Thankachikkari konjuval. Nee oduvai.” (Your sisters pampers it, and you run away seeing it!) The ‘it’ being that 4 legged creature.
I was insecure about letting go of fears. As anyone else would be. But then, there happens these life changing moments, once in a while. To inspire you to let it go. To push you, a level ahead. I am glad it happens. Its like a sudden revelation that tells me it’s not worth hiding under the covers. That, life just happens once, as we know it, and its never too late to start over right now. But may be, the next moment could turn to be too late. So here I am, letting go of it. One by one. By confronting people and things and all that my fears attribute to.
One of the very first times, today, I had another two wheeler bumping onto mine. I was parked by the roadside and waiting to make a U-turn, when a lady casually brushes against my vehicle and parks and walks away. As she was gonna walk away, I called out for her and demanded an explanation. There was no huge damage, but an apology would have been still welcome, as it was evidently her carelessness. But to my surprise, she yelled and freaked out, as though I came hit her from behind. For a moment, I thought I was her. Too scared to confront. Too scared to accept one’s own mistakes. I could see more of fear than accusation in her. I was her. Most of my life. But the rest of my life, I knew how not to be her. And how much I want to be not her. So the rest of my life, that’s what I would like to do. To let go of fears. And everything else that chains down the flowing spirit in me.
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Ever since I got down to this city, I’ve been travelling. On and on. On a two wheeler (many actually), by car, by bus, by walk. Long long distances. Hours turned minutes. Confusions turned solutions. Emptiness filled. Silence echoed. Walking around like a crazy woman was so relaxing. Well, it still is. But for some unknown reason, I feel like closing myself up in this room and just stay exactly like this. Like I totally hate going out.
But that aint true. Not true at all. Coz I love going out. Just anywhere out of enclosed spaces. I just feel so defeated today. So lost that I’d rather keep myself to myself. Had this stupid encounter in a bus. Was on my way back home from somewhere and I got into this crowded bus. With too many ladies standing in the front, and relatively too few men. And then I see this guy sitting in the seat reserved for ladies. He’s not a handicap. He’s not old. Pretty much in late twenties. And I wanted him to offer the seat to somebody there, who’s old and was practically saying out she’s tired, if not to me. And when I ask him, he wants the conductor’s recommendation to look into my plea. And now when I requested the conductor, he offered me the pleasure of kicking him out all by myself. I stopped looking at him. I got the next immediate seat I got and tried to push away his victorious grimace. But I was so defeated. So lost deep down. Not to that smart ass. Not that irresponsible conductor. But to myself. I was lost if I should ask for the seat or not. Demanding my rights was never a tough thing. So it was not about asking him to get up. All that it might have taken is a bit of yelling. But it was actually about my want. Did I really want that seat? Everybody wanted to sit but nobody cared to support me. And for a moment, it all felt so futile and lost. And I stopped. Defeated. It’s just that one moment that you need to pass. The judgment. The decision making. Whether or whether not. A life long of such crucial points is nothing less than excruciating. I couldn’t stand just one such moment. So defeated indeed!
Colgate toothpaste people once offered jigsaw puzzles as free gifts to their bulk buyers. My grandpa was a buyer and he got one too. It was made MINE by me unconditionally! That was my first jigsaw. The map of India, split into a hundred pieces. That was hard. Just too hard. Me and my little cousin, (I was little too, back then) sat down for hours to solve it. And if my memory doesn’t fail me, she lost interest half way and I took my precious jigsaw home and sat with it till I finally solved it. It was step by step. First time, I matched the colours and filled the voids. Then started linking letters and connected broken words. With the big picture in my mind, I associated the bends and curves with the geography and location of the states. Everytime I solved the puzzle, I was devising a new way to solve that brain teaser. Beginning from the middle, and growing in all directions. Finishing the border rectangle and shrinking inwards. Ways were many to reach the big picture. Never satisfied with the techniques, I gathered the pieces and timed my setting up of the puzzle. I was fast enough for me to be proud of myself. Every other jigsaw that my little sis was gifted, was less than a minutes business for me. After all, they were 6 – 10 piece puzzles meant for kids!
Jigsaws vanished. Sudoku and Minesweeper are better mind games, topped by jumbled words. With their varying difficulty levels, time is never enough to finish them. There’s almost no time for thinking about jigsaw, that I’ve already mastered with glory. Today was an eye opener. The puzzle below. Hardly a twenty four piece jigsaw and I couldn’t solve it in three big minutes. I can explain. I was not thinking proper. I was absent minded. I was not taking it serious. Ah cut the crap. I couldn’t solve that god damn puzzle. The one that I thought I was an ace at! Forget it. It’s just the disintegration of molecules from the the brain. 😀
My mom is constantly worried ever since I told her about my blog. After seeing it for herself, she’s not yet confident that I can make sense in my writings. She assumes I’m nuts and I might blabber around things that I shouldn’t be talking about. My assurances about my readers aint soothing her. Paavam amma! But then, I think she’s a point. So I’ve come to the point of not letting her read my blog. But instead, just tell her what I write. So then, I can conveniently decide what to say and what not to say. This probably is one such post that I wouldn’t let her know.
Came home after a strenuous journey yesterday night. Was tired and slept pretty soon (after the night’s post obviously). Somewhere in the middle of the night, I woke up and there was no returning to sleep. Thought about the unthinkable. Expected the unexpected. Craved for the impossible. Yearned for some sleep. Finally, slept by around six in the morning. But now I wish I hadn’t gotten sleep at all. Do early morning dreams actually come real? I was talking to someone in the same room that I slept yesterday night. Suddenly the conversation turned wild and I went out of my mind. Next thing I see is the person screaming in agony and my left wrist bleeding and right hand clutching to a blade. I saw my hands for a second more in the mirror and then my dad knocked the door. The dream ended there. But the knocking didn’t stop. My dad was actually knocking at the door. I took out my phone to see the time and it was six thirty or so. I was not sweating in shock. But I’m kinda disturbed. Why would I dream of suicide? I dont have such ideas. But then, why did I dream of dying? Rather, killing myself. Do early morning dreams turn real? Hope not. 🙂
Preface : https://soumyavg.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/disclaimer/
Me and baby? What relativity eh? Seriously, I’m wondering too. Eventually, it seems like there’s a lot of relativity though. Not that I’ve, out of nowhere, started loving all those ‘cute’ baby photos or all those pink ‘n blue things of life. But things have definitely changed between me and the babies.
My bro always pulls my legs on how I used to check if the diaper is on before getting anywhere near my cousin’s child. I dont think anybody believes him on that now. It seems a near impossibility now coz I’ve gotten that intimate with the kid. Back then, I had told only him about how I used to do that. Nobody else holds a reason to believe it now. I dont even realise how much has change swept over me.
Its a wonderful kid. I cant say the ‘best’ coz I dont know many kids to make a comparison. She’s the only one I’ve ever known. Known the best! Tending to her, reaching out to hold her hand, coaxing her, yelling at her. I’m loving it all. Love the way she calls me ‘athey’. Amazingly, I kinda even miss her when she’s away at her grandma’s. For people who have known the callous me, aren’t these ‘interesting and new’ developments? Lol. Hell they are! And I cant even bring myself upto believing it.
With all the preconceptions of people around me, I’m very much disturbed by their assumptions and notions. Its so much a relief to see her and believe atleast she knows me only the way I’m to her; nice but easily angered. I wish if things could remain that way with her forever. With someone atleast, let me sneak out of all the prejudices. She’s growing, soon losing her innocence. Life and its prejudices aren’t far from her. And I’m worried. Ironically, I crave to see her grow up into a pretty girl, yet staying the apple of everybody’s eyes. She’s one such whom I’ve loved so much that it causes envy. It might even asphyxiate her. Worry gets recursive! (Read the previous post to make some sense of the last sentences)
She’s growing. Already at the computer! Lol.
All my life was an attempt in vain to be an iconoclast. I did not think being one is easy. But I assumed it was possible for me. But the futility of my efforts is depressing. Futility isn’t absolute though. I haven’t yet met with a fiasco. Its just minor flaws that reflect major shortcomings to what I have always wanted. So now what do you say? Is my loss redeemable yet?
My mom read the blog the other day. And her obvious worry! What on earth is my never ending saga of mourning and pain about? She wonders what have I lost so much in life. She’s right about that. I haven’t ‘lost’ anything in life. Life is good. As good and as smooth as it should be. For an average girl of my age, requirements are few and expectations are huge. And for me, they never matter for they are all taken care of. Wants and needs are the way I define it for myself. If I call a want to my need, it gets done as my most immediate need. All thanks to my family and people around me.
But what if I am the illusion myself. Practicality ruling over me, often I filter my wants and needs. What I desperately need gets pushed under my fancies, presumably too irrelevant to be even thought of for a second time.
I get that. Even without looking at your eyes, its obvious what you are thinking. When people have totally nothing to do, may be they can think so much and write so much and drive others nuts! Lol. I agree. I have totally nothing to do. Hence I think. Hence I write. So with you. You dont have anything to do. You dont think yet. You dont write yet. Hence you read. And hence you pull your hair. Who should be blamed?
‘Three days’ wouldn’t ring a bell to most. ‘Those days of the month’ says it though. Yeah, menstrual days, periods, the cat with its throat cut. Its all the same! But three is significant. Read further.
Bought up in Kerala, with the obvious inhibitions and consciousness of a woman, trust me its difficult. Just too difficult to actually ‘ask’ for sanitary pads. Super market billing counter is a different thing. Asking for ‘it’, waiting till the shopkeeper finds your brand and specifications, and finally making sure he wraps it up with something, rushing out without making eye contact. Its more difficult than taking the first step in proposing to someone! Trust me when I say that for its my experience. 🙂
How many of us women actually let others know if we are thru ‘those’ days? For some of us, it appears quite obvious when the body quite doesn’t cooperate. Its fine somebody getting to know. Not having ‘it’ in time is what concerns you here, so its perfectly fine. But announcing it? Going around and saying that ‘I’m on my periods!’ That’s impossible. Ah, and that is what I go through every month. Its disgusting. Tell your husband, tell your bro, tell your dad, tell your friend. Even tell your friend. But saying it to another male is like ‘ugly’, if I may want to sound polite and euphemistic.
So why would you say? For those first three days, you become an untouchable. When your body craves for some warmth, you’ll be dragged down the cosy bed to icy floor. Dont touch anything. Dont stay close to anything. Just dont dont do anything. Thank god, my books and phone doesn’t get washed if I touch them!
All these are what you suffer if you fall into a Brahmin family. But what it does to you is awesome things. The first three days of extreme pain, if any, you get cent percent rest. It lets you muster courage to go ‘ask’ for it. Not the least, it lets you realise the worth of touching things around you and existing with them! The bed suddenly turns more warm, the sofa all the more cosy, and the carpet becomes the best thing you have ever felt!