The Good News and The Bad News

The Good news is pretty visible now as I enter the third trimester of pregnancy. I think I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to go through this again and more so to have family and friends around me who provide so much love and care during this critical time. 

I remember the time when I was carrying my first and people on the streets, in shopping malls, elevators, on flights, would be genuinely considerate and take care lest they hurt me. Don’t get me wrong! Pregnancy is not a disability. It is in fact a privilege! But it certainly makes you more vulnerable to getting hurt. So if people around you are considerate, it makes the whole experience all the more beautiful. 

Eight years hence, I have been in for a rude shock. The minute I step outside the safe arena of my house or office, the insensitivity of people  surprises me to the core. Whether it is the traffic which will passes by dangerously close or the long queues at the airport check-in, examples of insensitivity are abound. Just the other day, three well groomed boys on a bike deliberately zoomed by dangerously close to me. At the airport, while I was waiting patiently in queue for security check, a well educated lady tried to bypass the queue to get through just before me. These are of course not the only instances and there are many more that happen each day.

I used to get frustrated earlier but over time I realize that these so called educated people are not to be blamed. They are not being insensitive knowingly. Perhaps they don’t even realize my situation because they don’t even notice the world around them. They are busy sharing messages on important social causes on Facebook or are busy tweeting their opinion on important political movements. They might even be extremely busy gathering funds for a child in Nigeria who needs organ transplant. They are all extremely educated, highly responsible and deeply sensitive people. Just that all their worries exist for the virtual world out there, which can be easily switched off whenever it becomes too depressing for them.

Times like this, I feel ashamed to be part of this generation for whom “making a difference” is all about online propaganda. I truly wish we could sometimes detach ourselves from the online world and see the LIVE world around us. There are elderly folks in the bus who need the seat much more than we do. There are pregnant women accompanied with children trying to carry groceries home for dinner. There are people with disabilities who need a little longer to cross the road. Do we ever stop to think, they might need help? Or do we consider them as burden to the world we live in, because they tend to slow us down?

It is true that our good deeds on Facebook get us national acclaim. But I hope that we don’t forget that at the end of the day, we don’t sleep with the nation. We sleep with our own conscious which is watching us even when no one else is.

The Lion and the Man

There was once a good man who was passing through a jungle. On the way, he saw a lion trapped in a hunters net. Taking pity on the lion, the man decided to help it get free. As soon as the hunter approached the lion, the lion bounced on the man and scratched him deeply. The wounded man lay bleeding on the ground unable to help either the lion or himself. 

Moral of the story – Just because your intentions are right, does not automatically ensure that the other party views you like a friend. The first thought in the mind of a lion trapped in a hunters net would be that all men are bad and he needs to protect himself.

Be prepared to handle the situation before jumping into it. It was not the lions fault that the man got hurt.

If both parties do not have a common language for communication, there is no point trying to talk out the problem. Either use force to handle the situation or stay away from it.

Sharing Pain

There are many folks out there who whine about life at the drop of the smallest pin. And then, there are many other folks out there, like me, who  detest talking about pain or suffering, especially if it is our own. Does that mean, we are superhuman and never feel pain, are never hurt or are never lonely? Of course not! We are as human as anyone else – our necks pain, our knees wobble, our heart breaks and sometimes we too wish we could throw someone out the window. It is just that most people who meet us, would never know about any of this.

For us, it is extremely difficult to share the fact that we are in pain and need help. We consider asking for help as being a burden on someone and would rather die before we trouble anyone else.

In spite of such thick walls around us, we have a set of very few special characters in our lives too, who are privy to our pain, whom we talk to without any qualms whatsoever and whom we really ask for help. To all those reading this, you would know you are one of those special characters in my life, if I have ever asked you for help or shared my pain with you. Believe me, you would be one of those rare and special set of friends in my life.

If I was to turn tables around – I know there are some of you who share your deepest fears and pain with me. That tells me, I belong to that special set of friends in your life. It makes me mighty glad to deserve that honor.

I am sure everyone has their own set of friends they rely on and perhaps a different set of friends who relies on them. Trust me, it is the greatest thing in the world to have these set of people in your life. While it is good to be a part of sharing joy, it is an honor to be that special for someone that they can share their pain with you.

You don’t know what you don’t know

Last few days, I have been involved in talking to some close friends about problems they have been facing lately. I have essentially not done anything to help them but just heard them out. 

It is amazing how just hearing others talk about problems and issues, can make you learn so much more about life, people and different perspectives everyone has towards the same set of facts. I learnt that many times when we think we are in a problem, we tend to become extremely judgmental. We tend to assign blame on someone or something, so that we can rest assured that the problem did not start because of us. I find this behavior very paradoxical because –

1. If the problem is not created by us, then we have no way solving it. So essentially by blaming someone else for the problem, we are accepting that it cannot be solved by us. This attitude works well for problems like – Inflation, Wars, Global warming, etc. but not for our personal relationships, jobs, health, etc. In fact, many can argue that the first set of problems are also in our control and we should actively participate in controlling them.

2. We seem to know so much about how others can make mistakes but so less about how we ourselves make mistakes. We know exactly why someone deliberately tried to harm/hurt/deceive us but we never stop to think, why would someone want to harm us in the first place. I find it very odd to imagine that someone would dedicate their life to make someone else’s life miserable. I am sure everyone has better goals to be achieved in their own life.

I am still confused why we humans always have to judge people and classify them as good or bad, clever or foolish, beautiful or ugly, hard working or lazy and so on. After all, how much do we know about anyone to be able to judge them? Then again, what does it give us by mentally classifying anyone? If anything, we lose the opportunity to learn about them more, once we have stowed them away in a labelled shelf in the racks of our mind. 

I hope the next time we are trying to judge a person, we remind ourselves that we don’t know what we don’t know and give a little more benefit of doubt. After all isn’t everyone supposed to be innocent unless proven guilty. 

Death of a Dream

Dreams I once dream as a child came true

I went to England, got fancy dresses and made some good friends too

I didn’t know how, or when or why

But they came true right in front on my eyes

Now my dreams are larger, much larger than myself

They live and breathe inside of me

If I was to die today, the body would still live

Through dust, soil and trees, it would still breathe

The only thing that would die with me are the dreams I used to dream

For I didn’t have the courage to share them outside of me