Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

I opened today’s newspaper to find a headline that almost leapt out at me, as if trying to urge me to write something I had been putting off for a couple days now.

September happens to be the Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

I had mulled over the idea of writing a post on suicides since the beginning of this month, but kept putting it off. I just couldn’t find the right tone to express my thoughts on the matter. But, today’s news changed it all.

Syed Nasser Hussain, a resident of Deonar, Mumbai, was returning home from work from Vashi. When on the Vashi bridge, he spotted a girl trying to jump off the bridge into the creek below. Syed Hussain got off his scooter, hurried to the girl and pulled her back in the nick of time.

He then spent an hour counselling the girl, asking her what the matter was, why she had decided to take such a drastic step.

Hearing her story about a heartbreak, he then counselled her and took her to her home. On reaching her home, they found the house locked as her parents had gone to a hospital. Taking the keys from her neighbours, Syed left the girl inside, and asking the neighbours to keep an eye on her, left the place.

While driving back, though, he had this strong feeling that he should not have left the girl alone at home in this condition, and so, he turned around and drove back to her house. On reaching, when he tried to open the door, he found it locked from within. With the help of her neighbours, he broke open the door only to find his intuition right.

The girl had hung herself from the ceiling fan.

They untied her off the fan and rushed her to a hospital. Yesterday the doctors informed the newspaper reporter that the girl was out of danger.

The girl’s father thanked Syed Hussain profusely.

Syed Hussain was a stranger to the girl. Yet, when he felt something amiss, he decided to help her. And, in doing so, twice in a night, he had saved a life. A precious life which would have gotten wiped out had Syed not stopped his scooter that night; a death that would have left behind heartbroken parents with nothing but memories of their only child.

In our hectic lives, how often do we stop and pause to think about what someone said or did that felt abnormal; something that seemed to be a silent cry for help, but in not as many words?

Do we even give a moment’s thought about what the person might have implied?

Each of us faces hardships in life. And, let’s not even get started on the kind of hardships that we are subjected to. We fight right till the end, with every ounce of our strength we can muster. Sadly, there are some who are left with no willpower to continue fighting; no support from the world and no desire to even keep running towards the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Some just prefer to end it all rather than keep fighting and keep living a miserable life.

And, with the loneliness and the depression tormenting them night and day, and with no one to offer them the necessary support, they give it all up.

And, end up being just a statistic.

The Suicide Awareness Campaign might not find a better mascot than Syed Hussain, who went out of his way to save the life of a stranger. Not only did he save her once, but heeding his intuition, he reached out to her twice. He counselled her about not giving up because some idiot broke her heart.

To quote Syed Hussain, “I have had long conversations with her dad. She needs to be taken care of. I have told her he must support her to complete her education. She must grow into a confident woman who does not see unfaithfulness of a man as the end of the world.”

How many of us would leave aside our work, our busy schedules, if we were to spot someone trying to end their life? How many of us would even pay attention to what someone says in a moment of despair?

All the person needs is a patient ear; someone who holds their hand and asks what the matter really is. All they need is to talk their heart out to someone who will just hear them out, not judge them, or give unsolicited advice without knowing the entire story. Someone who will read the real meaning behind their sad smiles and their artificial laughter and their overeagerness to appear “normal”, when in reality, they are crumbling from within.

Do we have it in us to be that someone who listens, really listens, and doesn’t let go just because the person in front of us won’t open up about the pain they suffer?

it really takes very little time to help out people in distress. It takes just a few words to heal a sad, broken heart. And, it takes just a few moments to save a life from becoming a statistic.

All you need to do, is reach out.

Love,

SHILPA..

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with Blogchatter.

 

Reach out, before they take the drastic step

 

If I were to leave this world tomorrow…

If I were to leave this world tomorrow…

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My friend, Vinodini Iyer shared a post today about what she would do if she were to discover that today was the last day of her life. It got me thinking along the same lines. Of course, I know that some day will be my last day on this planet, and knowing how uncertain Life can be, it might just be tomorrow! Well, you never know, do you?

So, even though I have thought about what I would do if I were to discover that Life would be ending on a particular day, I haven’t put it down in as many words, yet. The thoughts have been saved and the plan’s all ready, up there, in my mind, but reading Vinodini’s post inspired me to put those thoughts down on my blog, not for any other reason than to remind myself every day that Life is nearing its end , so, lady, you need to change a few things about yourself and learn to chill…a bit!

So, here goes, my to-do list for the day I bid adieu:

  1. The very first thing I would do is call up my parents. God, just thinking about how they would react on reading this post gives me a fair idea of how they would react if…So, let me reword it: I would call up my family–every person of the entire family– and have a heart to heart chat with them all. Joke with my gang of cousins and share a few dirty jokes one last time so that I leave with a big smile on my face, and theirs, too.
  2. Next, I would call the few friends who matter to me, a lot. It will be one of those emotionally draining experiences, but it’s what I would want to do. We hardly get the time to talk to each other everyday as much as we would like to. And, they are well aware of it, but I still need to tell them how much I love them, how much they mean to me.
  3. There are a few things that I cherish–my jewellery, sarees, books,art supplies–and I have already decided what goes to whom. So, during those heart to heart chats I have with them, I will let them know about their little inheritance!ūüėú (My girls are going to kick me if they read this post, really!).
  4. My winged babies–Cookie, Bholu, Chikki–will be moved to their aunt’s home or my mom’s home. These are the two places where they will receive the most love and the best care.
  5. I wonder who will take care of hubby! (Oh, God! I really don’t want to go tomorrow! How will that guy survive alone?).
  6. I will remind hubby and sis-in-law about donating my organs so someone can live a better life. I have told them about it on multiple occasions, but this time they will have to take me seriously!
  7. My blog baby, Metanoia, will have one last post, to thank all those who visit here regularly and leave behind a piece of their heart.
  8. And, yes, for the last time, I would like to spend some happy moments with my stray furry friends–I so look forward to meeting them every day! They remind me of my Chikoo–the guy I will be meeting soon!

These are just some of the things I would want to do before I cross over. Although, I do wonder if the time I have left would be enough to fulfil these last wishes!

That’s the reason behind penning this post, you see? To be grateful for all that I have been blessed with and to remind myself, again, that Life is so very uncertain. And, the few, uncertain moments we have left, are best spent doing something worthwhile. That nothing here lasts forever and that love is all that really matters.

Have you ever thought what you would want to do if it was your last day today?

Love,

SHILPA…

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with Blogchatter.

The Bucket List.

The Bucket List.

 

Life happens when we are busy planning life.

Death comes knocking, too, when we are busy planning life.

We go about our life, rushing from one plan to  the next, proudly patting our back on how efficient a planner we are, and how foresighted, too!

And, just when we think we have mastered the art of living, bang! A bomb drops on our happy paradise, out of the blue. An illness, or an accident, and we find ourselves with an ultimatum handed to us by Life.

“A few months, maybe” , ¬†says She. ¬† She, as in Life, Herself. She has decided that we have had enough – enough of running around, enough of bragging about our expertise on handling life, enough of existing. And now, it’s time to pack up and leave.

Leave for the beyond. 

The said bomb¬†¬†causes destruction¬†all over. First, there’s utter disbelief (What? How can I die so soon? I have hardly even ‘lived’!), and bitterness (God, this is just not done, okay?) then,¬†denial (This can’t be happening to me! There must be some mistake!!) *haha*, ¬†¬†and finally, ¬†extreme panic (What will I do? How will my family cope? What about my plans? How am I supposed to wrap up things in 6 months?).

Why am I saying all these things, you ask? Well, there’s a reason.

Last week I saw the film, The Bucket List. A heartwarming  as well as a heart-rending  tale of two men who become friends in the hospital they have been admitted to.

Diagnosed with Cancer  Рa metaphor for death Рthey are given 6 months to an year, at the most, to live. They do have the choice of experimental drugs that might help.

Accepting it and living their last days with the knowledge, is the only choice they really have. Do they go along with the plans Life has made for them? Do they accept it all gracefully and bravely, and decide to live their last moments looking for the happiness that eluded them all their life?

If you have seen the movie, you will know and agree, that the decisions they made were the best. They did not lie crying and cursing their fate those 6 months. They decided to live. 

A friend shared these words on Facebook today…

Don’t just exist. LIVE!”¬†

But, do we? Really live?

Many of us do. And, I am in awe of these people. But, most of us, sadly, simply exist. We only begin living when we reach situations like the above, when we find ourselves on the threshold. Suffice it to say, we, belonging to the latter category, need to join those in the former, and learn to  live. 

And, like those two men in the movie, prepare a Bucket List and start ticking things off one by one. Who knows, death might be just round the corner! I am not being a ¬†pessimist, mind you. I am ¬†just being practical. ¬†We did not arrive with a ‘Live by’ date, did we?

So, I drew up a Bucket List for myself – ¬†a very short one, really. What if Madame Death sends me a ‘notice’ some day, urging me ¬†to ‘wrap things up’ and get ready to leave? Of course, She doesn’t always send a notice. At times, She just arrives and whisks us away, without a second to say our goodbyes! And, She is never late!

*Gulp*

Doesn’t that make you nervous?

Anyway, so, about the Bucket List. It is quite a simple one. Nothing like, skydiving/scuba diving here. I am petrified of heights and I cannot swim. And, I am not even interested in doing either of those. Just simple stuff that will make me truly happy.

So, here goes…

Meet your friends, as in your virtual friends, who have now become an important part of your life. They are the ones who ¬†guided you, supported you and encouraged you through these past few years. It’s because of them that you found your ‘calling card’ – your passion, blogging.

Go on a solo trip. Any place will do. Just ¬†go. Gather your courage and have faith in the world. I know, it will be the most daring act by you, so far. But, it’s something you need to do. For yourself.

Learn to bake like a pro.

Find a dog shelter/animal shelter you can visit and spend some time with those ¬†darlings, as a tribute to Chikoo, perhaps. They really don’t have many humans doing that.

Stop being a recluse and an introvert. Get talking. You can’t keep mum all your life! Try giving a speech, for starters. Speak your mind without fear, just like you¬†write without fear!

And, lastly, learn to live. Live every moment Рbe it a good one, or a not-so-good one. Experience every nuance of every moment you live, so that, when your time comes, you can go a contented and peaceful soul.

So, that’s it.

That’s my little bucket list. Easy, doable. Sorta!

I know, Life must be chuckling while reading this list of mine. She must have made plans of Her own, for sure. But, until those plans are put into action, I will try and (hopefully) put my own plans into action, so, help me God!

So, have you made a bucket list? What is it that figures topmost on it? Do share with me, I would love to know!

 

Love,

SHILPA…

 

Image source: PIXABAY

 

 

Love – Lost and found.

Love – Lost and found.

Four months ago, I lost the love of my life, my pet dog, Chikoo. The heartache was unbearable. All the love that I was used to, was gone, forever. Dealing with his absence was exhausting.

Heartbreak, or loss of someone you have loved dearly, takes its toll on the heart. It takes time to mend and get back to its sunny, cheery self again. I found it strenuous collecting the pieces of my broken heart and getting through this alien phase. I knew for sure that I wouldn’t be bringing another pet to fill the void Chikoo left. How could I give his place to someone else? And, getting attached to another soul would mean going through the pangs of separation all over again.

My day would begin with remembering my dear departed pet, and end with his memories. There were times I would find myself caught in the tussle between my mind and my heart: should I bring home another pet? At least it would save me from feeling lonely. But, what if I am not able to show them the love I did to Chikoo?

And, one day, out of the blue, hubby brought home a parakeet. A bird?! I was astonished. Why? Oh, why, did he have to give in to his impulses? Why couldn’t he have conferred with me at least once before bringing home the bird? I was already finding it difficult dealing with all the confusion, and now I had to deal with this new arrival! He was finding it difficult to deal with the void Chikoo’s passing had left, and, so he got home this bird, was his reply.

A dog and a bird are as different as chalk and cheese. The dog being the cheese – gooey and soft, and oh, so lovely – and the bird being the chalk – as emotionless as the piece of stationary. Or so I thought. Because, each time we tried to feed it, it would shrink away in fear, or try to peck at our fingers! I felt it may have had a traumatic experience with humans in the pet shop. Or, it may be in need of some time to get adjusted to its new environment.

But, even after three months, the situation had not improved. I, too, had not tried to bond with him, or her. We couldn’t even make out its gender! I did not want to get attached to anybody all over again. Everything I did for the bird, was done mechanically, without investing any emotions.

Until, I began ‘talking’ to it, it being the only other soul in the house all day. Not that I would have heart to heart conversations with it, but I would just say things to it to hear it respond, “Eh?” It sounded cute. Moreover, I really don’t remember what had overtaken me.

And, one fine day last week, as I sat beside its cage, reading a book, it hopped over from its little stool ( its cage is placed on a stool and the door of the cage is open for the bird to move about freely) to mine. I just watched silently, in surprise, as it then snuggled against my back, and went off to sleep! it was seeking from me the warmth it had missed out on all these months!

In a matter of days, he had moved on to perching on my shoulders, nibbling at my neck or my ears and eating from my dinner plate. And, I had moved on from referring to the bird as “it”, to “he”. In short, the little birdie had found its mama, and I had found my Chikoo, all over again.

I remember this quote I read sometime ago:

“All the love that you give away, will one day find its way back to you!”

He loves to lean on my shoulder and chat with me in ‘parakeetese’. We hold deep conversations, he and I. And, when he is tired and sleepy after all the activity he indulges in, he hops on to my lap, nestles in the crook of my arm and goes off to sleep. He is fond of all the stuff Chikoo was fond off. He, in fact, displays traits that were so typically Chikoo! I believe that my Chikoo is back. Maybe, his soul took three months to find its way to the bird, and that is why it took me three months to bond with the bird.

Silly, emotional me!

I am aware that this guy, too, will be gone some day. That’s what happens, isn’t it? People enter our life, touch our heart and move away when their time in our life is up. Saddening, but true. But, that’s okay. I am strengthening my heart, making myself resilient to the changing nature of the world.

Oh, did I tell you, I call him, Cookie, which, at times, changes to Chikky, which was another name for Chikoo! And, so often, he doesn’t respond to, “Hey, Cookie…!”, but definitely does to, “Hey, Chikky…!”

Post co-authored by Cookie.

*Linking this post to Friday Reflections, at Write Tribe.

The prompt for today was the 25th word on the 25th page of the book we are reading presently. And, the word I found was ‘found‘!

On the temporariness of life.

On the temporariness of life.

It’s not impermanence that makes us suffer.
What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not.

_Thich Nhat Hanh

How I wish this vibrant bloom would defy the impermanent nature of life!

It has been some time now since I have been on a learning spree, if I can call it that – spree, I mean. It really wasn’t what I wanted to do, but life seems to have had some plans up its sleeve, and it sprung those upon me when I wasn’t really looking forward to any major changes.

I lost the apple of my eyes – my pet, Chikoo. Not that I hadn’t known ¬†all along that some day he would part ways with us. We all do. As if we have a say in matters of the universe! ¬†So, as much as I have accepted that this is the nature of life – temporary – I am finding it difficult to deal with my loss.

Dealing with loss isn’t easy; how well we all know that! And, yet, we keep on moving ahead in life, wishing life was easier to deal with, loss was easier to deal with. Sadly, though, we really have no ¬†choice but accept whatever fate has in store for us. ¬†We lose people to death or to circumstances; at times, people simply drift away, like the ship that drifts away by the current of the sea waters leaving behind many a teary eyed souls waving their goodbyes to their ‘someones’ who may never ever return. Despite making promises of staying by each other’s sides forever and ever people move away, reinforcing the temporariness of everything in life.

Haven’t we known all along that nothing lasts forever, not even feelings, then why do we find it so painful to accept this bitter fact of life? There are some brave hearts out there, who accept it all with a smile – the changes that occur, the losses they suffer – all of it. I like to think that either they are superlatively courageous, or exceedingly stoic. I am not so sure if there are any degrees of stoicism, though, but this is what I feel about people who take it all on their chin.

And, here I am, unable to digest even the loss of ¬†friends who decided to go their separate ways without so much as a goodbye! As much as ¬†I am aware of this temporariness, I am still to come to terms with the fact that there are people ¬†in my life who might just walk away from me some day; without caring to give me an explanation, or even bid me farewell! I am still to accept the fact that the life I live today might take a 360 degree turn and change like I have never ever imagined. And, that is what frightens me. It just scares the hell out of me! It’s really not the kind of language I use on my blog, but these words perfectly sum up my feelings!

This constant urge to change is the one characteristic feature of life that overwhelms me. How I wish things were a bit different, with only the unpleasantness undergoing the necessary change and the happiness staying intact…untouched! Life would be so happy happy…no? Now, I know what you will say: “if we don’t learn about sorrow, how will we value the happiness we are blessed with?” etc etc. But, I say, what’s the harm in fantasising? We have to get back to facing life in a moment or two, so until then, why not just go sailing on the ship of our dreams and wish life stayed a bed of roses?

I would have then had my Chikoo with me, always, always!

Sigh.

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Linking this post to #ChattyBlogs by¬†@ Shanaya tales. Do visit and share some love.. ūüôā