Start a new life!
“I found myself lucky to have earned an edge, way earlier, over others as just few months ago, I moved to this company which benefited a hike in my income. Although, what was different in this company was that I could not hatch a good relationship with anybody here, but I cared less. I was on the fast track. Since a week, I have not been in great scheme of things. The manager, strangely has not been behaving well with me but has been in great spirit with other employees. While passing the canteen, I heard my name being said but nothing else and I doubt if the employees are pitching something against me.”
said Rakesh bhai, my cousin brother. We both are residents in Mumbai.
Mumbai. A place which makes a person strive for his whole life to earn an edge over others. It’s a frantic playfield.
5 months later.
Rakesh bhai had just returned from Kolkata where our whole family is based. Due to tensions at the workplace, I had to force him to take this trip. I couldn’t go with him, as taking a leave for me was impossible. I wish I did, or I wish I did not force him at all in the first place, but just could have convinced him to go in some other way.
Rakesh bhai returned and he looked much better than before. Though, as chachi told me on call, everybody back home could sense him losing enthusiasm and excitement.
The next day was a Sunday.
I woke up at the noise of hustling coming from within the house. I entered our common room to find all things misplaced and Rakesh bhai came from behind asking me where have I hidden his documents? Where is the evidence? What did I do while he was in Kolkata? He kept shouting, “That is why you forced me to leave!” and “I never thought, it would be you with those employees.” and he left with his car at that note.
I made a series of calls on his number, on his colleague’s number and even asked few neighbours. None got me through him. Eventually, 75 minutes later he turned up at home exclaiming, “Do not worry. I have come home”
I did not inform chachi, if she would worry? I thought the chapter is over.
What happened the next morning is where all my regrets are linked to. He woke up at 5 am saying that he would be put behind bars and that the manager will not spare him. He used my phone for calling someone where he found call logs from the previous day made to his colleagues. He turned against me. Neighbours got alarmed. I had to call the doctor which agitated him further. A high power sleeping pill is the only thing that could control him then which gave me time to talk to the doctor about the whole scheme of things.
“Schizophrenia”, said the doctor, “Schizophrenia is what such types of mental delusional disorders are called” He prescribed some pills and advised me to admit Rakesh in his hospital as soon as possible. I searched the net, and what I read about this disorder was disheartening. The most I would have cried in so many days. An hour later, Rakesh woke up to find the prescription and the pills and got very aggressive. He surfed the net for those pills and there details and looked at me with burning eyes. He rushed towards his mobile and started making calls to Kolkata, to chachi, to chacha and everyone asking them to save him, telling them that he doesn’t desire living, complaining them about my treatment.
I talked to the doctor who gave consent for taking Rakesh to Kolkata but asked me to get him admitted soon. Coming to Kolkata, the treatments, the medicine pills, and contact with doctors, all made Rakesh very agitated. I have skipped the part where all the anxious and curious and concerned family members see him at house, as he steps in. Tears did not stop as Rakesh spoke nothing…. skip!
Three days later, Rakesh got hold of a knife. He dared killing himself if he wasn’t allowed to go outside. We had barred him from going anywhere after he ran away and got home only after the sun had set. He dared killing himself now. We all feared from going near him. He had a knife. We gave in hope. The ambulance was eventually called up. He resisted. He shouted. We all were crying. The eyes which had tears greeting him farewell for Mumbai, now were flooded with tears for a completely opposite situation. The two days that followed, had the doctor asking us again and again whether to give him electric shocks. We were told we had delayed bringing him till here. I cried. I kept crying. I had seen this grow each day in Mumbai and I did not do anything until this sixth month. We kept reading about the disorder on the net if anything could come out. There were alternatives of counselling and constant medication but Rakesh couldn’t be contained at the hospital. We agreed for electric shocks. The boldest step I would have taken in my life. That step, that decision changed my life. It changed our lives. With that electric shock, we lost Rakesh, in a way, who was known to be so aspiring and someone who had set his ambitions way earlier in his life. A new life had started. 3 weeks later, we had a Rakesh sitting in front of us who seldom spoke, except for when he was drilled in counselling classes, and who seldom ate except for the medicines he had to take. Rakesh could never get a job back. I could not go back to our place at Mumbai because it was a horror to live there without Rakesh.
I took a job here and this feeling had set in so much that it made us very rigid, we never cried now… our new life was underway.
I cried after months when India played Pakistan in this world cup and I missed an animated Rakesh. He just sat there, blank. Spoke nothing. I missed the way we abused cricketers together. I missed him so much. But never think we were sad. We were happy. Starting a new life is always a happy moment. We had him in front of our eyes, and yes, we did see him smile on his birthday, so all was not lost. We were happy to have him, and have him away from all the tensions he has been around for the past six months. Were we really happy? When I asked myself this question, I couldn’t really answer though. And such was our new life.
Rakesh is fictional but there must be so many Rakesh in our society who have their lives chasing them, in return for them chasing their dreams previously. Stress has sucked their lives out of them. Their ambitions had cramped them. These are not disorders, but murders. And this could be the most ruthless way, we murder ourselves, the most ruthless way in which we can hurt our near ones. This blog post means to be an appeal to all of us running in the frantic race to have an upper edge over others to stop for a moment and realize, what kind of family life are we earning, what kind of stress are we pushing ourselves into and will all this be worth? We are all working hard but we should not lose ourselves by doing so. Who are we making happy by getting into such competitions? Our families want us. They will be very happy when we return to them from anywhere in this world, even if we return with a penny less. Work hard. But do not over-stress. Start a new life.