Rediscovering myself with my Crisis Angel

Our human life is not a comfortable bed of roses, we’ve heard about that countless number of times. Our lives are like the roller-coaster ride filled with ups and downs at the most unexpected moments. While some survive these rough and lean patches of life, many others do not have the strength to face the crisis life puts them in; they break down, go into depression and accept defeat.

But, every cloud has a silver lining, and above those clouds high up in the skies, sits the Almighty God, who watches over us and how we deal with our tribulations. What is so wonderful about Him is that He is the ultimate schemer for He secretly places some guardian angels around us; these persons are the anchors in our lives which hold us in the severest storm that befalls us, and steer us through the troubled waters. These people are our “crisis angels” –  they’re the manifestations of God’s blessings.

Helping hand

I also have many crisis angels in my life, but one of them needs a special mention. That’s because she came into my life at a time, when I was crumbling down and was on the verge of losing myself entirely. This post is dedicated to that special person and it is a token of gratitude for helping me stand up again and smile.

I will not disclose her real name here, for she might not take it well; however I’ll talk about her with the name I had given her. She is Lily, and I named her so after Lily Aldrin, the fictional character in the English television series How I Met Your Mother, and portrayed by talented American actress Alyson Hannigan. And she used to call me Ted Mosby, another fictional character from the same show, and one of Lily’s best friends. You must be wondering why we named each other like that. Well, we both bonded over this lovely TV show, and somehow, we connected ourselves with both these characters (although many favour Barney Stintson!). I had requested her to watch this show, and she watched the episodes like a crazy girl, instantly falling in love with the story! We soon realized how stupid and funny we both can get and at the same time, have concern for each other, just like the two characters!

Ted and Lily

The first half of 2014, especially the month of January was the stormy phase in my life which I talked about earlier. It was my last semester of engineering and I was quite geared up to spend the last days of my college in the most amazing and memorable manner as possible. However, the one sitting above those clouds had other plans. This phase was supposed to be my ‘enlightenment’ phase, not ‘enjoyment’ phase as I realized it later.

I will not describe in detail what happened during these months. I will keep it short. In the month of January, in response to a very trifle matter, I committed a huge blunder by outpouring my person angst and feelings on Facebook in the form of a status update. Little did I realize at that time that this update would almost destroy me mentally in the next few months. A section of students in my college were terribly angered over my stupid action on the social networking website, as they felt targeted and insulted, and to vent out their anger and disappointment, they resorted to means which broke me into pieces, not literally though. If that was not enough, I also used harsh words with close friends who had tried to help me, and soon, a rift grew out of the misunderstanding. Don’t be surprised if I say Lily was one of them too! Slowly, I broke down mentally out of guilt, repentance and a little bit of anger at myself. I couldn’t gather myself to think clearly at that moment and I started to have attacks of depression. My eating and sleeping suffered consequently. My blogging and other creative work took a backseat totally. I lost my mood and touch! The easiest escape route I could think of then was to withdraw myself into a shell and avoid contact with people. The classroom was just a room to me; I was lost inside myself. What seemed more heartbreaking was that hardly any of my classmates or friends showed concern for me. Not that I wanted their sympathy or false concern, but it seemed they were ashamed of me. This was a storm I hadn’t come across in life before.

And…. gradually, the Almighty’s scheme started unravelling itself. Lily’s birthday in late February offered me a chance of redemption and I couldn’t miss this one shot. I wrote a really long letter of apology to her and gifted a handmade portrait of her; it was a painting I’d made after almost 4 months! Clouds can only hide the sun, but can not eat the sunshine. Lily forgave me and we became best friends again. Step by step, in the next few months, she drew me out of my shell, and made me see the bright side of life again. She showed me where I was wrong and what I should do to improve my thinking and personality. She knew the best medicine for me was painting and blogging. So she inspired me to write and sketch again. As a mark of our friendship and to make me feel better for being her good friend, she gifted me this wonderful handmade gift.

Lily's gift

But, it wasn’t easy for me. I was still victimized by depression, and couldn’t feel cheerful. I talked to her about it. She said only one person could help me now. One day, in the month of April, she accompanied me to the famous Dol Gobindo Temple which was a few kilometres away from my college. This temple was situated in my ancestral place – Rajaduar, where my maternal grandparents grew up. The place was so peaceful. After we entered the temple compound, Lily said, pointing towards the altar, “Go and talk to Him, Lord Krishna. Pour your heart to Him, tell Him how sorry you are for your mistakes and most importantly, say your thanks to Him, for He has been watching over you from above the clouds, helping you discover a new person inside you and looking at life as an optimist. I am sure He will clear your doubts and help you find the inner peace you’ve been looking for.” (in picture: Dol Gobindo Temple)

Doul Gobindo Temple

I cried…cried a lot that day. For I felt free after months of pain and guilt, that was eating me away from the inside. God and His angel, Lily truly made me smile again. My faith in God has become stronger after this bad phase. Through this post, I offer my sincerest thanks to Lily; she is miles away from me now, but I know how happy she is to see me grow in the last few months. I am a much better and matured person today, and I see life in a different way. Most importantly, I have learnt to deal with anger, pain and strong emotions, and now, I know the perils of being too vocal on a social networking website.

I end with a beautiful quote by my favourite author Haruki Murakami. He says:

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

Freedom

I have survived this storm, all credit to #MyCrisisAngel. 🙂

This post is written as a part of the initiative by www.incrisisrelief.org  as a part of IndiChange in www.indiblogger.in


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The 100th post: Celebrations and a journey to the past

The number 100 is a special number in our lives. We all have some special moments which get associated with the century mark. We celebrate the 100th birthday of our parents, or grandparents in a grand manner, if they live up to that age, and we wish them many more healthy years. We celebrate 100 days of a successful relationship, or friendship or any other work or some association. We celebrate the century of our favourite cricketers or the 100th victory of a sportsperson. We even celebrate 100 likes on our Facebook updates! In fact, there are so many ways we celebrate a century.

100 posts

And today is my day of celebration! Today I write the 100th post in my blog. This may be a very small celebration compared to others, but it means a lot to me. A few days ago, when I was pondering what to write for the 100th post, I hit a roadblock, not because I was short of ideas, but a torrent of different topics filled my mind. I was unable to come to a proper decision, so I sought the help of the readers of my blog. I created a poll asking the readers to vote for the category on which they would like me to write my 100th post. The initial votes were in favour of ‘Fiction’ and ‘Photography’. Honestly speaking, I was a bit worried as I didn’t want to write a story or post a photo for my 100th post. I really wanted to write something on a personal level, something to connect with the readers and share my story, which was possible only if majority votes were cast for the categories ‘Musings’ or ‘Memories’. I waited for sometime. And today, I am writing this post according to the wishes of my blog’s readers. A big thanks to everyone who voted and a special thanks to those readers who voted for the categories I wished for. Thanks a lot.

Poll

Since equal votes have been given for ‘Musings’ and ‘Memories’, I am sharing something which reflects the essence of both these categories. I want to share with you a small incident which propelled me towards reading serious novels, creative writing and especially blogging.

People, who know me well, often ask me what inspired or prompted me towards literature because I wasn’t so keen about reading novels or writing during school days. But I loved reading other books, especially comics and a set of 20 Volume Children’s Britannica, from which I learnt so many stuff. Occasionally, I used to read books of Famous Five series or The Secret Seven series. Sometimes, I used to write poems but they were really horrible by poetry standards. I better not discuss about them! However, this particular incident changed my perception and interest regarding  the world of literature, and eventually, helped me become a blogger.

It was the day in the year 2010 when the results of CBSE Class 12 board exams were announced. I was expecting good marks in all the subjects. But, fate had other plans for me. When the results were displayed on my computer screen, my heart broke into pieces. I had scored excellent marks in all subjects except English. Out of 100 marks, I scored only 69. I say ‘only’ because it was the poorest English marks I had scored in my entire academic life in school. I used to write well, my teachers themselves believed I could score above 90 and my board exam was pretty good. But 69 baffled me! It was something I never imagined; in fact, I still don’t. This incident turned into a wound, which is till fresh and the pain it gives me has become a driving force. Instead of lamenting over a lost cause, I promised myself that if my English actually has some flaws for which I probably got low marks, then I would have to work hard to improve it, to remove the shortcomings and finally to master it. In the four years of college I spent after 2010, I watched a lot of English movies and TV series, which I hadn’t done before; I read books like a voracious reader and took my writing seriously by contributing articles for magazines, newspapers and journals. I began to work with people with similar interests, learning how to improve my writing and overall, my literary tastes. I immersed myself totally in any medium which could help me improve my English.

And in 2013, I stumbled upon the world of blogging. My mark of achievement of this hard work is my blog “The Kaleidoscopic Kanvas“. 4 years back, I was easily intimidated when I was told to write something, be it a story or an article or a report. I was not confident about my English and my writing skills. But, today, I am able to maintain this blog with posts which many readers have loved and appreciated. In this one and a half year journey as a blogger, I have truly benefitted from the association with the websites Indiblogger and BlogAdda. They have given me opportunities to improve my work and connect with different bloggers across India and the world. Thank you Indiblogger and BlogAdda.

The 100th post  is a momentous one for me, and I consider it as a stepping stone for better things to come in the future. Blogging has opened up a new world of possibilities for me and I immensely rejoice this new life blogging, books and writing has offered me.

To know more about “The Kaleidoscopic Kanvas”, you can read these two posts I wrote earlier.

The birth of “The Kaleidoscopic Kanvas” !

A new beginning!

Once again, I thank you for your reading my blog and I hope you will continue to show your love and support for my blog. I shall strive to make this relationship between scribe and reader better and richer everyday. 🙂

The Orientation Day @ AEC, Guwahati

Date: 1 August 2013, Thursday

Venue: Auditorium, Assam Engineering College, Guwahati

Assam Engineering College, GuwahatiThe clock struck 10 a.m. and slowly, the area around the auditorium started to reverberate with chit-chat of parents and their kids, who had been newly admitted to the college. It was the Orientation Day, when the first-year students are given a brief introduction and overall idea about the college, familiarizing them with the environment here. Most parents wore anxious looks and were drowned in deep conversation with fellow parents. I was sure they were discussing about the college and how their kids would fare in the 4 years (or more, but let’s just skip that part) of engineering studies. Interestingly, the first-year students seemed to be in quite an upbeat mood; a few of them had already begun to form groups and indulge in talks, as if they’re in the senior years, discussing some very crucial matters. I still remember how scared and worried I was on the Orientation day, when I was newly inducted into the college. Perhaps the fear of being in an unknown setting and unknown people had overwhelmed me. How time has changed!

Being a final year student, this was the last Orientation Day I attended and unlike the one I attended in my 2nd and 3rd year, this year, the event turned out to be quite nostalgic for me. Within a few minutes past 10 a.m, I spotted three juniors of my school, Delhi Public School, Duliajan – Audrika Thakuria, Angshuman Buragohain and Arnav Duarah, sitting calm and composed in the auditorium. A very nice feeling flowed in me, to see familiar faces from my hometown, Duliajan and when I met them, they were equally happy to meet me. You see, there is always a happy moment involved, when you see someone you know very well, in a crowd of unfamiliar faces (be it as a tourist in some other place or in some tight situations, needing assistance). Drawing similar lines, 3 years ago, I had also come to this college, along with two classmates of mine from school -Karpun Pegu and Madhurya Dhodapkar, but then we never sat together in the auditorium. In fact, I don’t know how we got dispersed in the crowd of first-years.

The programme started. After the introduction of the college and the various departments and their HODs (Head of the Departemts) were done, the dynamic Dr. Arup Mishra sir took centre-stage and kicked off the fun session of the Orientation programme. Mishra sir has been synonymous with this programme for many years and the panache with which he conducts it is remembered by all the students here. He is a man, gifted with a baritone, that doesn’t require the microphone; his voice is enough to arouse a full-packed audience. Soon, he began his ice-breaking exercise with the first years, trying to snap them out of their shells of fear, shyness and hesitation and allowing them to speak out their interests, hobbies and aspirations. Like every year, he showered questions full of humour and wit and as I was watching the proceedings from a distance, I remembered the similar questions asked 3 years back. It really helped me to break-free from the initial fear I had about the college, that was sir’s magic!

The Orientation Day programme may be a very small event but it holds a special place in my heart. It is the stepping stone or should I say the red carpet, that is laid to all the first-years to come and accept the college as their family. 1 August, 2013 was the day I took a nostalgic  mini ride to 2 August, 2010, the day I attended the Orientation programme.