The white horse and I galloped into Delhi on a Saturday morning, after having spent two and half days on the road trying to get here. Two thousand kilometres, we both could have tried doing straight but since the sensors of the car were being mischievous and I started my period it wasn’t something we wanted to attempt. Plus, of all the states in India the three I liked the least due to the male population I encountered- Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat.
But on another day we can discuss the sleazy creatures I meet on the road. A couple of weeks ago, I parked my car, in a locality close to my house, where a tailor has setup a small shop. When I returned from the tailor’s after having given him instructions on how to stitch my kurtis, which I required for my road trip, I found a gentleman reading the stickers on the car. It’s something I am accustomed to, by now.
He started chatting, asking me the usual, ‘fear, my marital status, the how’s and why’s’ basically everything, everybody asks me. Then the conversation took a turn, I wasn’t expecting. His daughter was in depression and he wanted me to meet her, whenever I had the time. ‘Aap jab bhi yahaan aaoge, my shop is here, I will call her,’ he said. Though, I found the request a bit unusual [why would anyone want my opinion about their life?] but since he seemed genuine, I agreed.
Today, as I returned to the tailor’s to get a flaming red, polka dot outfit made for my Mommy, who is going to be a year older- physically, this Saturday and not a day older, otherwise, the same Uncle approached me. ‘Aap Sikkim se kab aayee?’, he asked. I was a bit taken aback. Apparently, he told his children about me and they found my page on Facebook and that’s how he knew about my whereabouts. Anyway, long story short, somehow I managed to meet his daughter today. It was a rather awkward meeting, with me treading on her personal space, shamelessly, which I almost never do, since I am so fierce about mine.
I grew up surrounded by mental illness and addictions, at sixteen the shrinks wanted me to get on meds because they thought that was the cure for my existential angst and of course I was genetically inclined. This was way before being depressed was considered cool and when regular people turned towards family, friends and most of all faith to deal with the harsh realities of life.
My Dad threw a fit and saved me from a life of addictions. There are a number of individuals who genuinely require treatment but I have seen the aftermath of those meds, that big pharma pushes down the throats of people who could get better with just a proper tweaking of their mind sets, through counselling. All this makes me a bit blunt sometimes, when I encounter people life myself. A friend who is part of some support group suggested I come in for a meeting, a couple of years ago. My reaction to that to that is and hopefully will be till I can fight it, with all my might, ‘ I ain’t feeding that beast!’
So, I attempted to give advice to the young lady, who sat there as awkwardly as I did, while her father looked over us, worriedly. So, as she discussed her lack of confidence and inability to work, I totally empathised with her. Of course, I never have a positive reaction to people getting on the pills, but since it was not my place to say, this and a bit more is all I could say, ‘ there are things you will go through which you will have to experience alone and you will be unable to discuss that with anyone. If you surround yourself with people who seem to have perfect lives to you, in a state of depression, that will make you retreat further, into your shell. All you can do, is to go out and meet people less fortunate and you will realize how tiny your problems, are. If you can just spend sometime with kids, they will make you feel better, for sure.’ I felt like an aunty giving a sermon.
What a role reversal, it was! Four years ago, I would get calls asking me to stop my romance with my bed. God and my gigantic ego came to my rescue. I hope faith and her ego come to her rescue, too!