Anju Balan



Anju Balan


All We Want For Life Is...!

All We Want For Life Is...!

9 mins

“Why would anyone think that getting married was a girl’s life’s greatest destination. If reached, then anything more is complimentary…or rather are extra things…!”

“No! Don’t say so. Who thinks this way. “

“Almost everyone who is of my age…who are not married yet... Obviously! “


“Yes, I know. But really! How many times I have heard this. Even my opinion was not different.”

“It is ok not to have a life which you have dreamed of. It’s all about choosing the next step right.”

“How can I be so sure about my next step when all those took until this day was a wrong one?”

“Think on it more. Do you really think that you would have built this finer version of yourself if you were not been gone through all those chaos?”

“well..! Maybe you are correct.” I paused for a moment and suddenly continued over a sigh. “No. You are absolutely right. It makes perfect sense when put together. Maybe we can wind up for today. “

“Yes sure. It’s on you…! And you have already been doing amazing! “

“Thank you, Pallavi! I guess I’m good to go on my own now. I owe you... Big time..! Promise me for the countless coffee chats we are going to have.”

“This would be my happiest day for sure then…! You are a gem… girl..! “

This has been my Sunday routine for the last few weeks. I knew it was silly for a lot of people to think of going to a therapist for having a wrong relationship. Why should we only do things which the whole world approves? Apparently there are none. I have this habit of talking to myself in mind-you may call it overthinking – but it helps me tackle a lot of things. When I speak right now, I know the improvement I have made from a point that was nearly close to depression, somewhere near to finding myself all over again.

I always had a smiling face, despite all my self pitiful thoughts. Moreover, I have friends who could see the sadness masked behind. Those were the times when I felt like crying for no reason at all. I was emotionally full as much as I would tear up reading something silly or watching a simple ad on TV. All I had were negative thoughts. Luckily, I was not up to begin any unhealthy habits. But, emotions were in control of myself. I did not have the thoughts of dying or killing myself for sure. However, the lack of motivation to at least survive a day was not different from ending my life. Eventually, I was referred to Pallavi by one of my friends. I decided to just go and meet her, as I did not want to feel the same anymore then. All this while, those meetings were making me strong enough to stand for myself.

The first-ever conversation we had was so promising. I still remember the bits and pieces. I could feel that things can take a positive turn, after a really long time. I was not prejudiced about a psychologist and never thought about how the conversation will start until I entered the room. But, Pallavi made it comfortable.

“Hey, Dwani..! “

“Hi” My voice was low.

“Please sit down. I have been hearing a lot about you from Kevin, for all the years from school days. Make yourself comfortable. This is a space where you are accepted the way you are. Take your time.”

“Yes, I know. Kevin gave me this whole idea of meeting you. Because, I believed, maybe a new person can help me out without the fear of being judged.”

“So, how do you feel now?”

“I don’t think am depressed. But, there is this desire to feel better.”

“I assume that you are comfortable to talk your heart out.”

“I guess so. This feels warm and safe.”

“So, what is it stopping you to feel good? “

“I am not sure. I was struggling with my marriage as you know. Then, there are these random thoughts… it’s gonna affect my parents..? How they are gonna face society?... “ 

“Please..! You definitely don’t need to think of anyone else when it comes to something which you alone have to handle the rest of your life. “

“Maybe..! But my reasons are not valid they say! “

“As long as you are not happy to continue in a relationship, there is no other go. It’s about two individuals and if one is not in it, then there is no meaning. So, you are actually saving the other person’s life as well. “

“That’s a relieving perspective.“

“Yes! That should be the way one should analyze these kinds of situations.”

“Then I have all these feminist persuasions. Plenty of things are there which don’t make any sense.”

“Okay…carry on.”

“There was a time when my parents were trying to convince me to stick on to that relationship. Merely because they valued society’s opinions over my personal decisions. I really don’t blame them. That’s the way they have been raised. The worst part was that I was told to resign from my job. The people who were proud of my achievements became blind to see my mental health. They also thought a job can make a girl arrogant. A job is a very normal thing for men. But, always something unnecessary for women. If an occupation cannot make a man behave differently, how can it make a woman be arrogant? It is the face of patriarchy… Right? “

“Yes. Absolutely. I get you. Even I face these questions from women itself. Why do you work when your husband earns in lakhs. Good that you ignore these. Changing their way of thinking is out of our scope.!” 

I smiled. That was the real moment when the world seemed so much better. 

“I am not treating you like a client.” Pallavi brought my attention back to the room. I could only smile and ask my next question.

“I know girls who just don't do things that make them happy because those are considered not suitable for so-called good girls. Their parents won't approve of it. For that well-known reason... the value for their daughters in the marriage market gonna be decreased. So.. well they prepare to be slaves for the entire life then. Why can't just they think that being their true selves can bring the right person into their life? Then they don't need to translate their souls to the partner. Our society has made the girls believe that their value is always one step less than that of the boys.”

I lingered on some more thoughts and then came up with the next question. 

“Another thing is the comparison. Why do they expect us to live like others? Problems are always there in a relationship. It's the sacrifices the individuals make which helps to sustain the long run. But, that would be for the love between them. What if there is no love anymore. Or maybe what there was not love at all” 

Pallavi did not stop me as she knew I did not want any answers for them but the ears for those loud perceptions. I got carried away and shot all my frustrations out. 

“Why would anyone need to compromise their individuality over a point? Do we need to reform ourselves or more precisely lose ourselves to succeed in a relationship?”

“I would say that it purely depends on your partner. You sound exactly like you were with someone who was not meant for you. “

That took me to the time when my marriage was fixed and the phones I had with my ‘would be’ then. I was so optimistic. I believed no one can betray me. But, hiding some facts were not less than telling lies on the face. 

“I don’t want you to tell me the points which lead to your decision. I am not your lawyer. My interest is in your mental well being.” Pallavi was the one to break the silence again. 

“That’s a relief. I have explained things a million times for a million people already. That makes me tell this too that my soon to be ex-husband argued that I don’t have a valid reason to ask for a divorce. Because he thinks drinking and hitting can only qualify for good reasons. In short, mental health is nothing in front of physical health. That’s stupid. Invisible wounds may make deeper scars..! “

“Yes, I agree! “ Pallavi nodded. 

Sometimes when you tell someone that you don’t feel good from inside, you may be told to just shake it off and will be ignored by saying it’s all on your head. That’s the less one can do. But... Take my word. You just don’t give up but seek help from the right people. 

I totally forgot that I have come to a psychological therapist. It was more like an open... friendly conversation. The power of a space where we are not judged… where our true colors are appreciated is a wonder. And that was such a special space. I don’t recall how long we had the talks go on, but, it appeared that time did not matter when it is completely utilized for something valuable. I left there that day with hope. A hope that still pushes me to do my best in spite of the hurdles that come in my way.

Sometimes, I was waiting for Sundays to come. It was decided that the meetings will be once in a week, but I was allowed to seek help when and where needed. I was asked to involve in things that could help me build my own space. 

I used to buy and keep books with me but never read them. I decided to give it a try. I started with the book ‘The forty rules of love’ by Elif Shafak. It was magic. I could not stop reading it until it is finished. Then, it has become a habit and rather the favorite. Sometimes I fell in love with the protagonist. I loved it when I forget the world around me and totally indulge in it. Then, eventually, I was diverted to read all the self-help books one by one. I did not plan to do so. ‘The monk who sold his Ferrari’ was the first one to read in that genre. And it inspired and motivated me for becoming my best version. It said.. ‘investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. it will not only improve your life, but it will also improve the lives of all those around you.…’

When I drive my car today from the clinic to my home.. I am almost a different person from whom I was when first visited Pallavi. I believe that we all have that personality hidden inside us which we truly possess but somehow is suppressed fearing what others would think of us. It was all inside me. The significant refinement needed to be given with all my heart, because, this is the only life I have. And one wrong step cannot define my future. I realized that all we need for life is someone who listens..who is not judgemental at all..! 

Rate this content
Log in

More english story from Anju Balan

Similar english story from Abstract