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Contemplating about life comes at a point when one has no hope, or meaning, to live for. And to a soul that is lost, hope comes in the most unexpected way.
[Please note that this post was written for the World Suicide Prevention Day, and therefore, contains mention of suicide.]
The 10th of September is a day to educate people, reflect, and address mental health stigma.
It is natural to be overwhelmed when life births unexpected bends. Reaching out for help when you need it is the first sign of progress. Let’s treat mental health as any other health issue and help remove the stigma.
Let’s do our part.
Mike was everything happiness depicted. He lived life on his terms, and cashed out his hobby of fishing. Fishing was hard work. It demanded patience and physical labour. But Mike found it enjoyable, albeit he belonged to the elderly club. What mattered was he was free. Nothing and no one dictated his life.
When asked about the secret behind the smile he wore, he would answer, “Independence and the truth grill you the hard way, but the lesson stays.”
On the 20th of last month, Mike passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was seventy. Everyone who knew him gathered, and agreed to scatter his remains into the sea.
He left behind no family, but a large platoon of friends and well-wishers. At the funeral, each had their personal story to share about Mike. People loved him and held him in high regard. Then there was Thomas – the son of Greg, who lived next door to the deceased. The six-year-old had always been around grandpa Mike.
His loss was the greatest of them all.
Thomas overwhelmed Mike. He invaded right into the softest corners of the oldie’s heart. They shared a bond that went beyond blood; A bond between grandpa and his cute little grandson.
Mike was everything a grandfather should be, and much more. He taught Thomas his art. The happiness they shared was contagious, and inadvertently Greg and his wife Jules found themselves looking up to Mike as their father figure.
Mike’s family felt complete. They shared more than what empathy dictated.
Mike was married at some point. Occasionally men would catch him talking about his spouse fondly with a moist twinkle in his eyes. No one dared to bring up memories they thought would stir sadness inside that jolly old man. He was a subject of endearment amongst the people around him. At times, even the Secret Santa people wished for earnestly.
Mike shared his story with Greg and Jules one day – his life before he came to Jacques Bay. He had been married for thirty-two years.
Mike’s memories of his wife Sadie reverberated feelings of love and loneliness simultaneously. They were married young, yet their twenty years of marriage yielded no flesh and blood of their own. But they never lost the hope of being blessed. When all seemed bleak, their hearts finally synced with an orphaned baby girl, Hannah.
Hannah was an angel, but sickly. The couple tried their best to keep her safe.
Hannah passed away at the tender age of twelve, leaving behind her parents in a state of numbness and disparity. Unable to face the truth, Sadie had let the grief consume her, and the only way out she deemed was through eternal sleep.
On the first death anniversary of his daughter, Mike buried his beautiful wife alongside his baby girl. The blissful life he had imagined with Sadie had passed away in a blink.
Mike spent the next three years in a state of extreme grief, letting his life stray away to nothingness. Alcohol and painkillers – his only elixirs; death – the only calm he desired.
But, one fine morning, he woke up with a smile. Sadie had spoken. She urged him to survive, and not embrace death.
Live for me, Mike. Live for the sake of our Hannah. Go live your life to the fullest, and keep your memories alive.
“And the rest is history”, Mike used to narrate.
Greg, Jules, and Thomas had given Mike a glimpse of a life he wished to have with Sadie and Hannah. They appeared complete in his eyes. Thomas had bridged the gap Mike had in his heart.
He lived his life guiltlessly with freedom, as he had promised Sadie.
Hence, he had a smile etched onto his numb, chapped lips when he passed away.
When your day is long
And the night
The night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
Of this life
Well hang on
Don’t let yourself go
‘Cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes.
~ Everybody Hurts, R.E.M
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What I loved was how there is so much in the movie of the SRK we have known, and also a totally new star. The gestures, the smile, the wit and the charisma are all too familiar, but you also witness a rawness, an edginess.
When a movie that got the entire nation in a twist – for the right and wrong reasons – hits the theatres, there is bound to be noise. From ‘I am going to watch it – first day first show’ to ‘Boycott the movie and make it a flop’, social media has been a furore of posts.
Let me get one thing straight here – I did not watch Pathaan to make a statement or to simply rebel as people would put it. I went to watch it for the sheer pleasure of witnessing my favourite superstar in all his glory being what he is best at being – his magnificent self. Because when it comes to screen presence, he burns it, melts it and then resurrects it as well like no other. Because when it comes to style and passion, he owns it like a boss. Because SRK is, in a way, my last connecting point to the girl that I once was. Though I have evolved into so many more things over the years, I don’t think I am ready to let go of that girl fully yet.
There is no elephant in the room really here because it’s a fact that Bollywood has a lot of cleaning up to do. Calling out on all the problematic aspects of the industry is important and in doing that, maintaining objectivity is also equally imperative. I went for Pathaan for entertainment and got more than I had hoped for. It is a clever, slick, witty, brilliantly packaged action movie that delivers what it promises to. Logic definitely goes flying out of the window at times and some scenes will make you go ‘kuch bhi’ , but the screenplay clearly reminds you that you knew all along what you were in for. The action sequences are lavish and someone like me who is not exactly a fan of this genre was also mind blown.
Recent footage of her coming out of an airport had comments preaching karma and its cruel ways, that Samantha "deserved her illness" because she filed for divorce.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu fell from being the public’s sweetheart to a villain overnight because she filed for divorce. The actress was struck with myositis post divorce, much to the joy of certain groups (read sexist) in our society.
A troll responded to Samantha’s tweet, “Women Rising!!” by adding to it “just to fall”. She replied, “Getting back up makes it all the more sweeter, my friend.”
Here’s another insensitive tweet by BuzZ Basket showing fake concern for her autoimmune disease. “Feeling sad for Samantha, she lost all her charm and glow. When everyone thought she came out of divorce strongly and her professional life was seeing heights, myositis hit her badly, making her weak again.” Samantha responded, “I pray you never have to go through months of treatment and medication like I did. And here’s some love from me to add to your glow.”
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