Hero.

Hero.

 

As I sat staring at the computer screen striving to figure out the intricacies for my new blog, I wondered what had led me to stray towards alien territory  leaving behind the comforts of familiarity. And, suddenly, something stirred within me.  I had left my career for the sake of my family – a career that gave me an identity  – and struggled all these days to find that lost identity in things that failed to offer me one. I was itching  to carve a name for myself other than that of “Wife of Mr. G”.

Giving up on those desires, on the dreams I had for myself after coming this far did not seem acceptable to me.  I travelled back in time to when I faced worst situations in life despite the  terror and  the helplessness, and realised how I had waded through those choppy waters and swum ashore. How, then, could I give up now? What was the worse that could happen? Would I lose face? No. Would my dreams shatter before my eyes? Perhaps.  But, I could build those dreams again, couldn’t I?

There come countless moments in life, when we are tested for our grit, our determination and patience. There is a lot at stake, and yet, we choose to carry on fighting, surging ahead to achieve what we  set out to, even survive till our last breath.

The fear of losing, the trepidation as we face our challenges, is colossal, yet there’s always something within us, someone within us that pushes us towards our dreams, consoles us when we trip and fall on the way and  cheers us as we reach the finishing line.  Often, we lack the knowledge of this special someone; it’s just when we reflect upon it all later, do we realise that the someone was actually the Hero who resides within us, unbeknownst to us.

The Hero who encourages us, and gives us the will to fight our battles, to never give up hope, and win, in spite of it all.

It was the Hero within me who helped me through every difficult situation in my life, even when I was shivering with fear. And, it was the Hero within me who would help me now, as I set off to fulfil a tiny dream I had for myself. I did not need any assistance as long as I had Me.

We all have it in us to face our challenges, so why do we crumble under pressure; why do we look for help to those who might not offer any. Keep going, people; keep fighting for all that you desire for yourself. Trust the Hero within you.  Never give up, never fear, for one day you will succeed. Things might take time, but they will surely come to you in the right time.

I heard this song by Mariah Carey long ago, when I was going through a very difficult period in life. It’s a song that I often listen to, or think about when the going gets tough, when I feel I have hit a roadblock. It urges me to go on, trust myself and keep moving forward.

I am sharing this song with you all.  Sharing it for me, too, to remind myself once again about the Hero who lives within me, who will always be by my side, even when the rest of the world will have given up and left.

Keep up the fight, people! And, believe that you are not alone. You have YOU!

 

Lots of love,

SHILPA…

 

The Real Heroes.

The Real Heroes.

                                                                                                                                                                            A few days ago, Bombay Times carried an interview of  the Indian rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh. It was a tell-all about his disappearance from the public glare for around 18 months; a period  during which he battled a very frightening        monster called Bi-polar Disorder.The state of mind he described reminded me of what I have seen a dear one go through.  A person very close to me suffers from the  illness, and I have been a witness to the struggle – his and ours.

 

We had never heard the name, or known someone who suffered from the illness.   So,  it was akin to solving a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces just wouldn’t fit!  Our psychiatrist did explain it in detail and so did my counsellor, but, ultimately, we were on our own.  We didn’t have anyone coming up to offer solace, or assure us that this wasn’t the end. 

At times, as I sat in the hospital lounge, I would look around trying to find someone who was in a similar predicament as I; on whose shoulder I could cry and from whom I could hear some words  of hope. But, alas, I found none! It happens to be an illness – like every other mental illness – which people would rather conceal from outsiders.

There aren’t any visible symptoms for the world to make out any difference in the patient. And, divulging such information might lead to who-knows-what!  Finding oneself all alone at such a juncture in life can be devastating, to say the least.

Coming back to Mr. Honey Singh, I know the amount of  courage it takes to reveal such private (and delicate) information to the world, especially,  if one belongs to the glamorous world of films and music. I can only imagine the number of people in this glitzy world, who may be actually suffering from this, or some other illness, but who lack the courage to come out and speak about their travails!

The dark periods of the mind-boggling highs and lows that one goes through thanks to bi-polar, can be unnerving. And, if one belongs to such a  world, where one is always portrayed as an epitome of perfection, then revealing such facts could be detrimental to not only their image, but also to their career. But, here is Honey Singh, who has admitted to the world the truth about his life and come out a winner in many ways!

Some time ago,  Deepika Padukone   revealed the bout of depression that she had been through. The hopelessness and the despair she spoke about, made her a hero to many a sufferer in our midst. An actress of her calibre, coming all out about such a delicate issue was a brave decision indeed! And, now we hear about Honey Singh’s struggle with bi-polar disorder.

Unsurprisingly, these are  only two such  brave-hearts, who have opened up their wounds for the world to see;  people, who are otherwise expected to be flawless entities!

However, as opposed to the denizens of our Indian film industry, the stars of Hollywood seem to have no such inhibitions in speaking about the trials they suffer, vis-a-vis their health issues. We know a greater number of Hollywood actors who suffer from bi-polar disorder or depression than we do of our Bollywood actors.

Maybe, over there they are treated like normal human beings, whilst our actors are revered as gods!  Why isn’t it accepted that these are  illnesses that could strike anybody,  irrespective of social standing, religion or gender?  Why don’t we all – including our screen idols – accept that they are, after all, mere mortals, who are prone to maladies of any and every kind?  Why don’t we  just accept it and live, and let live?

I think the fact that we deify them is the reason they fear coming out of the closets they hide their imperfections in. Wouldn’t their acceptance of themselves, and openness about their problems make them more real  to us? 

The confessions these two  brave hearts made may actually give strength to many a troubled soul who suffer behind closed doors, away from  prying eyes. Frankly, I have no knowledge about the kind of music he makes, but, Honey Singh’s  story of  the battle he has fought could surely motivate others like him.  And, so could Deepika’s story – she, who reigns the box-office today!

We all need heroes in our lives, to look up to, to draw inspiration from. And, who better than those who have the guts to reveal their true selves,  their trials and tribulations, like Dipika and Honey Singh? They would definitely make better heroes than those who flaunt attributes which are as artificial as the smiles that adorn their faces on the giant posters along the streets!

If the stories of these two  exceptional beings are able to inspire even a handful few,  it would be an achievement in the truest sense for these celebrities, isn’t it?

A big ‘Thank you’ to you, Deepika and Honey Singh!  May your tribe increase!

Do I enjoy growing old or do I fight against it?

Do I enjoy growing old or do I fight against it?

  As we reach our 40s, the one question that keeps popping in our head is, “Am I growing old?” We have reached middle age, of course we are bound to get edgy!  I mean, who enjoys growing old? Or, being called, “Oldie”?

I did find the whole progression rather interesting, though! After celebrating my 40th birthday, I began reflecting on my past, noticing the changes in me, my body and my personality, my attitude towards life, and I began feeling good I was inching towards old age. Although, age is just a number for me, and I take good care of myself and don’t feel a day above 21, it’s not something I can deny, right? I am growing old!

Well, I don’t cringe anymore when kids address me as, “Aunty!”

So, frankly, I am enjoying growing old!  There are some aspects of ageing that get my thumbs up. The maturity, the intuition, the perception that I have gained thanks to the passing years, have helped me become a better human being. Or so, I would like to believe! They have helped me change my perspective, accept people and situations as they are, and view the world and not cringe with discomfort.

About the situations I can not change – well, I am learning to live with them. We really don’t have a choice, do we? Life isn’t in our control, nor is people’s behaviour. We may as well learn to live with it all, for, it will soon pass. My old age mantra – “This, too, shall pass!” helps me each time.

With age, I have learnt to treasure the people who have come into my life, more than the ‘things’ that I have been accumulating. It is because of age that I know the difference between the two, and the importance that needs to be given to the former, and not the latter.

However, the visible aspects of ageing like wrinkles and grey hair, achy joints and a dipping enthusiasm, are things that make me agitated. Oh, and the terrible mood swings, too!

There was a time, though,  not long ago, when I dreamt of “growing old gracefully”. My friends would nod their heads and look at me with the “we shall see” look. But, the sighting of the first grey on my crowning glory made me run to get it ‘fixed’.

‘Lines’ now mean something that I see more on my face than on the pages of a book!  Fine lines and laugh lines keep appearing like apparitions out of the blue! One day they aren’t there, and the next day there are two!  Thankfully, there are quick fixes for all these oldie problems!

That must make me sound shallow, right?  Where’s the wisdom that I gained with age gone? I know, there will be a time not far from today, when I will be all wrinkly and grey. There will be a time, when my joints will creak under my weight and my vision will be blurry; when I will have not sparkling white teeth, but shiny, golden ones! But, that’s life!

We keep changing our ‘clothes’ from time to time. But, we also keep gaining so much with every change. And, it is best that we take it all in our  stride and keep moving ahead, with our head held high and our spirits, higher! Don’t they say that wine tastes better with age? The same applies to us, humans, too!

NaBloPoMo November 2014