Pandora’s Box


Enough said. Make actions count. Talking about mental health, depression, how you are available (after someone took their own life), preaching the strong be more strong or the weak to be stronger or giving quotes of pat value to ignore the ill-willed is out of fashion. So please stop. If you can’t say good things, it is better to swallow your words and wait for them to come out another relevant hole at another time. If you have a hard time not hurting or offending someone else to feel a sense of supremacy, strongly recommend all-day meditation 24×7 and probably getting started on sleep medication. Your worth is better there.

Can you chide your child for not focusing on their education – Absolutely. Can you be overzealous and push the limits on your child and demand more than they can offer. No. They won’t be able to succeed. If kids are resorting to suicide because their parents chided them for not getting good grades, then shame on the parents and teachers for not preparing the kids for failure or for setting unrealistic expectations or not setting expectations at all. It is a fine line on what and what not but as long as the parents are able to prevent the child from getting bullied elsewhere or ensuring they are not abused by a relative, that is half battle won.

Two decades ago, my mom and I had attended a transitional ceremony where only married women are given return gift. All the ladies receiving it sat in the line and the lady offering had one job to go down the line. When it was my mother’s turn, she skipped her and moved onto the next. It is a small thing after all but can you imagine the rummage that goes on in that strong mind? And this happened on several other occasions. Yes, there is always something positive to look forward to but it is also true she was so hurt that she couldn’t function for days. Not that she cared but it took her down. Many might say, she is a strong woman and should ignore but how can you, when you’ve not walked a mile in her shoes.

To top it all on the professional front, she was demoted twice based on her caste privileges. Strong nor not, these things have a way of taking a toll on any mind. We were visiting California in 2010 and she happened to be excited to visit a native language school for which she’d written textbooks for. There was no desire for any recognition or acknowledgment but the morons asked her where he roots are from. Perhaps to determine if she fits a paradigm of their regional preference. Despite being so elite in her profession, that day I could see the defeat in her eyes.

I’ve been very vocal about social exclusion. None better example than the actor who just passed. He was depressed in many ways that he possibly expressed, that the film fraternity has not accepted him. After all, how many more examples and how many more lives would we need to sacrifice to this pandemic. You want to exclude someone, then set that expectation from the start. I am not an easy person to live or deal with. But I am human. I do feel awful that I am selectively excluded because I trigger a certain bitch alert. Instead of wallowing in self-pity I write. So, like it or not, don’t be surprised if my experiences with you shows up in one of them. However, I won’t emulate your sensical behaviors and will absolutely keep your name out.

Everyone in life has their limitations. Not everyone is blessed with good clothes, top of the line gizmos, rich lifestyle or frivolous leisure. Don’t impose. It is a lot of pressure to blend in beyond means. Let people react to what comes naturally to them. Don’t create a social pandemic where we are amplifying their emotional, psychological struggles. If we can’t be nice, the least you can do is leave them alone. If you don’t like what they wear, stay away for your own good. They don’t need people like you around their humble lives. If you don’t like what they talk, bite your tongue and tell them one on one instead of humiliating in public.

Gossip is soothing for a lot of people. While they have a whale of time assassinating the image of the person at coffee tables or WhatsApp messages, there is no cover for humility if the person (in question) gets to know they are the hot topic. For those that are able to discriminate and perhaps don’t even know, it is time for a reality check. Because you have become assassins. That uncle who called me a liar – I was strong and I still but I did contemplate hurting myself because I didn’t know where or when I rubbed you off the wrong way. All those that put my parents through troubling anecdotes of my character back in the day – shame on you. And all those acquaintances who continue to mock, what you do to me could happen with your kids. That day, hope you remember what you did to me.

It is unfair to blame people without evidence. Unless there is an indication that there was an abetted crime. Our society has come to this where it feels normal to hurt another human being. Creating unfavorable situations for someone who is not traveling the same road as you is wrongdoing too. We don’t know what someone is going through. Behind all those smiles and cackles, there could be a vulnerable human being who is trying to get through that second without having to struggle for their very existence. Depression and mental struggles are not maladies of just the creative minds but they surely are accentuated. “The reason why so many intelligent and creative people suffer from depression is that when you that the risk of being fully conscious, you open a Pandora’s box and can never close it again.”

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