On 16 June 2018, I came across a strange man while travelling in the Metro. He was talking to himself and seemed to be absolutely disgusted with life. “Even God would wish to commit suicide,” he said. I was shocked, of course, but I was unable to do anything about it. All I could do was move away to another seat far away from him.
The memory of this incident refused to leave my mind, so I wrote about this in my blog on 28 June 2018.
Click here to read this piece. https://wp.me/p67zXw-2h
I had not imagined then that just a few days later, on 2 July 2018, the city would wake up to the shocking news of a well-planned suicide through hanging on the night of 1 July 2018 by a big family of 11.
Photo source: Whatsapp
Like the Pied Piper of Hamlin, as per media reports, a severely delusional senior family member, whom the whole family believed and trusted blindly, led the whole family into committing the ghastly act in their common quest for the so-called Moksha. They believed that they would not die and something wonderful was going to happen once it was over!
Is there any connection between the two incidents? I mean, is the man behind the family’s tragic end same as the one I saw on 16 June 2018? I can’t say really and I hope not.
But it does seem that negativity, dark thoughts, and mental disease are spreading through the city like an epidemic at an alarming speed.
Another worrisome thing about suiciders is that they often put so much thought and planning into it that talking them out of it is next to impossible.
What they don’t realize is Death gives nothing. It is just a scavenger, a super-efficient garbage handling machine. When Life ends, everything ends. Simple.
Life, on the other hand, has so much to give. It is only while you are alive that you can hope to achieve anything you want, even Moksh for that matter.
Life is, in fact, a wonderful gift from God, something beautiful, something that probably no other planet has. So value it, dear Friends. Hold on to it like nothing else.
Until very recently, auto rickshaw drivers were always males; autowallahs, that’s what we called them.
But on 26 June 2018, I had a pleasant surprise. My driver was a female and I had an additional bonus. It was a brand new vehicle with new floor mats placed neatly on the floor.
We waited for a few minutes while she solicited for more passengers.
A fellow e-rickshaw driver came up to her and said respectfully, “Madam, thoda aage badha lo! (Meaning in Hindi, Madam, please move a bit ahead)”
While he walked back , she drove her rickshaw a few steps ahead.
Finally, it was full and she confidently drove the vehicle into the busy traffic….
A few stops later, we saw a young man waving. She stopped beside him and waited for him to enter. He eyed the passenger seat beside her on the front, hesitated, and a second later opted to sit along with us behind her.
Gleefully, I noticed that had she been a male, he would have probably just plopped beside her without a second thought and parked his right arm behind her on the metal railing…
Our next stand was at a temple near Channan Devi Hospital, Janakpuri. This time she stopped and came out with a water bottle. She filled it at the water cooler and returned to continue with the journey.
She turned to the passenger next to her and said, “Yahan ka pani bohot meetha hota hai (Meaning, water from here is very good to drink).”
My co-passengers included a little girl, age about 8, I think, and her mom. They spent the first few minutes in eating chowmein off a small plastic plate. The little girl ate elegantly with 2 forks while her mother kept on picking strands of chowmein with her fingers and depositing them into her mouth. Once the chowmein was over, the mother threw the disposable plate outside and thrust a 10-rupee note into the girl’s trouser pocket.
Cautioning her, she said, “Yeh Autowali Aunty ke liye hai.” (Hindi translation: This is for Auto wali Aunty).
A passenger got off from the seat next to mine and the chowmein lady took his place. Turning towards me, she remarked, “My father also has an e-rickshaw. He keeps telling me to start using it. You just have to take care of brakes and speed.”
We all seemed to be moving at a leisurely pace. It was my weekly off and I wasn’t in a hurry either. I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed my short journey.
When we reached our destination, I tried to come out from my right.
The autowali lady stretched out her hand and said, “No, not from there. There’s heavy traffic.”
I came out from the other side and handed her a 50-rupee note.
She muttered something into her face handkerchief about not always having “enough change.”
After giving me back my balance of Rs.40, she drove off…
With many government sectors closed and jobs too few, it’s good to see more and more women foraying into fields that were once male bastions.
Adversity, after all, doesn’t care for gender. Why should we?
Life is a big cad indeed! It is always so full of bumps, steep bends, and unforeseen disasters and it keeps turning and churning you around. But stability and rhythm are important for survival because it is in peaceful existence that you get the chance to rejuvenate and gather strength to carry on.
One way to remain in sync with the divine cycle of days, nights, and seasons is to follow a definite work routine. The job and the place of work may not always be the best you deserve, but what matters most is being part of a daily grind with its daily goals and objectives. This isn’t always very easy, but it’s not impossible.
Here are some pics of the Metro clocks at the metro stations I walk on while commuting between office and home. A sight of them gives me a huge high, a deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, for being able to remain above the tide, in spite of all those obstacles that compel me to remain home-bound and my heart silently sends a prayer of thanks to God.
In the morning, on my way to work…
In the evening, on my way home…Best time of my life…