impersonal bonds

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Sitting in the balcony, Priya was brought back from her deep thoughts by the mobile ringing next to her. It was an unknown number and Priya was scared to answer. Sanjay, the man she’d been living with for the past 5 years, was missing since last three days. He had left home for a musical concert he had wanted to attend, but hadn’t  came back home since then.

After much courage, she answered. The voice on other side was heavy and straightforward. The person, a police officer, informed her of what she had been dreading for the last three days. They had found Sanjay’s body and wanted her to come for identification. Priya felt numb, she wanted to speak, but her cords didn’t seem to respond. She found herself sweating heavily. She couldn’t feel her body, her mind, nothing. She was completely blank. In Spite of her fear of what would have happened to Sanjay, she couldn’t accept that it had actually happened. She kept sitting on the chair for a long time and then, when she came back a little to her senses, she picked up her phone and dialed a friend’s number.

She, along with her friend, went to the place where the officer had called her to. It was a small guest house, not far from her house. They were taken into a room and what they saw was soul shattering for Priya. There was Sanjay, lying in a pool of blood, on the floor. She went up to Sanjay, sat next to him and kissed his forehead. It wasn’t warm as it used to be. She looked up at the officer and asked him, who would’ve done this to him?

He was such a happy man, no financial issues, a happy family back in Bhopal, good friends and their own relationship was very stable and beautiful. And they were to get married soon. Priya couldn’t think of anyone who would want to harm Sanjay.

What the officer said not only left her stunned, but also with a big WHY? Sanjay had committed suicide. He had inflicted this injury upon himself by slitting his throat. The officer gave her the suicide note that they had found next to him. It was written in a clear handwriting which Priya identified as his. A very short note which just said, ‘I can’t take this pain anymore’.

What pain he was going through, Priya wondered!

What could’ve driven Sanjay to do this? She had never seen him go through any ‘crisis’, financial or emotional. They were together in everything they did, except when they travelled because of their work. Sanjay was heading the marketing team of his company, in addition to the frequent trips that he made to his hometown for the family business. And Priya was a budding model.

While sitting there, there whole relationship flashed in front of her, from the time they had first met to the time he had left the house. She couldn’t think of a single incident wherein he may have looked or behaved worried or stressed. They were a happy couple, completely in love, so she always believed. Her belief was now lying on the floor, dead, in a pool of blood.

 

The police, after the initial formalities, closed the case as sanjay’s family didn’t want an investigation. Days passed by and life moved on, even with the big void that Sanjay’s absence had created. But one thing that always remained on everyone’s minds was the big WHY? Much wiser than his years, Sanjay was a very warm, kind-hearted and cheerful man. But clearly, there was more to him than anyone knew. Why had sanjay done what he had done?  What was the pain that he wrote about in his last note? Why did he not discuss his issues with anyone, his friends or anyone in the family? Priya, the love of his life, had no clue about his distressed side.

Was this a side effect of today’s increasing concept of ‘personal space’? Were two people, living under the same roof and seemingly in deep love with each other, totally oblivious to each others’ distress?

Life sure has become more of a race against time. There’s so much we want to do and the 24 hours of the day don’t do justice to our aspirations. Our ambitions have become so big that our relationships tend to look very small and are taken for granted. The little time that we get with our close ones, is spent in making things look flowery. And then, there’s a fear of being judged. Someone may think of us as ‘losers’, incapable of handling our issues. And this fear, many a times, is so strong and deep rooted that we keep fighting within ourselves and don’t ask for any help. ‘Help’ is another word we have become scared of. We avoid asking for help, for the simple reason of being judged as a weakling. It seems we have gotten trapped in this cage of judgement and fear.

The present day society may have opened up, become more accepting of the taboos of yesteryears, but the distances between people are also increasing. Privacy, personal space, it’s my life, i’ll manage, mind your own business, how does it matter to you? have become very normal things to say and hear. We all have started living inside the walls of these phrases. But are these walls capable of protecting us? Do they make us feel secure enough to face the challenges of today’s world?  Should we be really confining ourselves to our self-made ‘privacy cubicles’? We are fearful of judgement even by our parents and friends. So clearly, these personal spaces don’t seem very safe and healthy for our minds. We are losing touch with our own people, becoming increasingly insensitive to their emotional needs.The connect is fading. And with it, its taking away the very soul of our relationships. These personal spaces seem to be spreading their span wider every day, and we have started to live in two worlds, two minds. One for ourselves and one for the world.

 

Maybe this is what Sanjay was going through. The fear of being judged, being labelled a weakling, being laughed upon on sharing a crisis stopped him from sharing his ‘pain’ with anyone. He may have lived in a space of no-trust, that he could never feel comfortable or secure enough to speak his heart to anyone. And maybe no one around him was sensitive or loving enough to break these thick walls of fear and no-trust. Living in two minds does become a ‘pain’. The pain no one could see in his eyes because they all were confined to spaces of their own ‘privacy cubicles’. The insensitivity or the reluctance of intruding into the others’ space stopped them from recognising anything abnormal in Sanjay’s behaviour.

There are always two people in any relationship. It takes both to nurture each other. Overlapping our spaces into each others’ cements the bond. Creating an ‘our’ space definitely helps in understanding each other better. Accepting each other in completeness drives away many insecurities and fears of being judged, of being laughed upon and of being labelled. In this race against time, we need to pause and spend time with our loved ones. we  need to make our space worth a happy life, happy not just materially, but happy with love and care of our people. We must work our way towards a balance of wealth, success and love in our lives. Being sensitive to the emotional needs of our loved ones and recognising any unfamiliar behavioral patterns is necessary to avoid what sanjay did to himself. We need to make our minds stronger and clearer as to what we are racing for. Because it’s this race that will take us to our destination and the onus is on us as to where we want to reach.

Sanjay reached where he probably had never planned and wanted to. What happened with him could have been avoided, had there been a little smaller ‘privacy cubicle’ and a little wider ‘our’ space. A space wherein thoughts of the hearts can be shared and nurtured. Where love blooms, not because one has a fat wallet, but a beautiful soul.

 

What’s left now, are memories of sanjay. Memories that haunt his family and priya. Life goes on and everyone is back to their routines, but a deep scar will always remain. A scar even time would not be able to heal.

 

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