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.