My story would be incomplete if I do not do literary justice to the final one year of the four years of trials and tribulations.
This is the year when slowly but surely, things started to look up. However, it is debatable if things really got better in truth, or if my attitude towards life became more robust.
It is for the reader to decide.
There goes a cliched saying that says that behind the success of every man, there exists the support of a woman. In my case, I am fortunate to have not one but, two women, who’ve played a major role in defining my personality.
One of them is my Mother, and the other is Mitali, my soulmate.
Readers who’ve been here for long know the story about my mother, and for the advantage of new readers, I shall provide a link to the tribute I had written for her on Mother’s Day, last year.
This, however, is the story of Mitali.
A rarely discussed handicap that I have is the tendency of having terrible nervous breakdowns, just before an exams. It has been a nemesis and I’ve had to live with it since I was 16.
It is a really complicated process and many who are not patient enough to listen, often misunderstand and ridicule the condition that I have.
The Doctor says that this cannot be solved with pills, but only with counselling and replacement of previous traumatic experiences with positive ones.
When I say doctor, yes, I mean what you would call a ‘shrink’ – psychologist/psychiatrist.
When you go to a ‘doctor for the mad’, there is a certain stigma attached to it, and it’s something I’ve maintained a secret. Only some people very close to me know this.
So, let me tell you more about what this condition basically is. The Human mind is complicated and it replicates previous responses to a bad situation.
‘Fight or flight’ – reaction is what it is know as. So, I don’t know why, but my mind developed a certain poor way to react to examinations.
And, with each time, that reaction slowly got converted into a habit.
I’d not be able to sleep the night before an exam, tossing and turning on the bed. Heart rate would be abnormally high. It is sometimes accompanied by getting up in the middle of the night and frantically revising the lessons again and again.
But I would just turn the pages, and nothing would be registered in my mind. Shaky hands and a feverish body temperature would follow suite.
The most disappointing thing was I’d not be able to recall anything that I had studied. It is one of the most horrifying experiences of my life – going as BLANK as the white answer sheet before me.
What my doctor couldn’t cure completely was cured by Mitali.
She reached for the root of the problem, and opined that this problem continues to persist because I have a deep seated fear of being judged by people for my academic performance.
How right was she!
Here was the simple solution to my nemesis of 7 years – saying out aloud in my mind “I care a rat’s ass about what people think about me. I know I haven’t wasted my potential. I have tried my best, and whatever grades I get shall be great. I’ll not hate myself for it”.
I learnt to love myself by loving Mitali. I learnt to stop punishing myself over the years for not matching up to people’s standards. I imbibed her attitude towards life.
I’m a Piscean by astrological meaning and connotation (skip this part if you don’t believe in all that jazz). Pisceans are people who absorb the positives of their immediate environment.
I learnt to think like Mitali. I learnt to say “I don’t care a damn”. This was a great addition to my soft spoken nature.
She’d call me before every exam of my final year, just minutes before the final bell and say “Listen this exam can’t determine your destiny. Even if you fail it, we’ll start again. We’ll start fresh, this time with an honors in English. Remember you ARE talented and you know it. And, no matter what, I shall love you”.
The solution is simplistic but it worked wonders for me. I survived. The ordeal is over.
Today, that is, on the thirteenth of April, Mitali and I complete one year of togetherness.
It seems like an eternity to me – like I’ve known that noble soul for generations. Among the few people I’ve dated, good or bad, straight or crooked, none of them had come to stay, none of them had accepted me so wholesomely.
It’s like, she is a seasoned sculpturor and she simply took some mud and created a different idol of me – very different from what I was. Women have great power and as I look back in amazement on the year we’ve spent, I cannot help but smile a little.
You have created a new Subh, and nothing that I can write, now or in the next fifty years, shall ever measure up to be a worthy tribute to you. Thanks a lot for showing me how to live without fear and how love can do wonders.
Looking forward to growing old with you.
Happy anniversary, buddy!
This, friends, is the story so far – the story of my simple life.