In Contrast…

I have always believed that “In life, sadness is always bearable as a standalone…but gets heightened in contrast”.


I discretely remember everything about that day. It was a festive night and I got the news that one of my loved ones got pretty unwell. And from that moment on, every single detail of that experience is etched in my mind like a name on the rock.

As I drove through the messy traffic and cluttered roads, I could not help but notice how high everyone was on nonchalance. Maddened by the spirit (s) of festivity, there were laughing faces all over. Faces that saw me as an interruption to their right to cover everything with sparks, sound and smoke. And I remember all the angry looks they gave, wanting to shoo me away.

Well! Somehow, I managed to reach the place and entered the room which was almost sealed so that the sufferer can be spared to some extent, if at all.

But, not to be…

That whole night, I saw him going through excruciating restlessness…trying to sleep but twitching on a cracker-noise every now and then. All the while, he kept turning over in the bed, bereft of strength to even open his eyes. And the whole night, I was numb. Not angry or sad – simply numb. The agony I felt in those hours was so deep-seated that it is still fresh in my mind, and gives me shudders even now.

That day, I learnt that the most damaging experiences of life are not that of sadness. They are that of helplessness. You don’t feel bad, you feel violated…humiliated.


And that night, I also learnt that…the most painful loneliness in life is when you are amidst a sea of people and nothing around you suggests that you are lonely…but you are.

About Sandeep Atre

Sandeep Atre, PhD: Dr. Sandeep Atre is the Founder-Director of Socialigence – an organization that specializes in the development of ‘Social Intelligence’ through its focused online-courses and customized workshops on ‘observing nonverbal behavior and understanding emotions for greater interpersonal effectiveness and self-management’. ( He is also one of the Founder-Directors of CH EdgeMakers - a leading ‘Coaching and Training’ group of Central India. In his career of close to one and a half decade, he has trained thousands of students, and professionals of more than fifty organizations and institutions. He has authored two books “Understanding Emotions Logically – A layman’s guide to the foundations of Social Intelligence” and “Observing Nonverbal Behavior – An exhaustive guide to the essential skill of Social Intelligence” and has also been a noted blogger for last many years. He has also featured at various prestigious platforms as a ‘Management Speaker’ and ‘Motivational Orator’ and has also served on various advisory and editorial boards. He has earned repute for his value-additive innovation and holistic methodology in his domain.
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