Atharva and Sunny
Atharva and Sunny
HOW BLUE IS MY SAPPHIRE
All of us live with our past. All of us allow it to shape our future. But some of us know how to shrug the past. I think that is who I am. In my counselling profession every day is a new beginning for me. The past experiences that I treasure after curing patients of psychic illness is nothing but a useless clutter as brain’s complications are vivid which demand new and innovative solutions. Since morning till evening I fight against Depression, suicidal tendency, Phobia like enemies who kill human beings silently. I have discovered each generation is little more hyper, aggressive and impatient than the older one. Youngsters are great dreamer in the existing technologically advanced world who wishes to acquire success, reputation immediately without wasting time in waiting. The existing days parents are overconfident about the talents of their children. Social networking sites are the mediums to be famous overnight. Anything that goes wrong should be fixed instantly otherwise life and its value seems negligible for the teenagers of today. The alarming condition of this mental state has given risen number of patients in my clinic.
“Mom, where is Sunny? I have searched everywhere.” Atharva asked while rubbing his eyes.
“See at attic, you may find.” Mom answered.
“Nobody is there.”
A frantic search for little adorable Sunny started. The neighbours were also clueless when enquired.
Atharva went to the nearby garden, asked people about Sunny by showing photographs. He uploaded pics on social networking sites. His heart sank and mind was filled with all negative thoughts. What if any accident happened or someone had kidnapped my Sunny. Under the scorching heat, in the humid climate of Mumbai, one hour passed and Atharva was still unable to trace Sunny.
Just then he received a call from Mom.
“Atharva come home soon. We have spotted a box at the door.” He rushed to home. With curiosity he opened it hurriedly. What they saw inside was a great shock for them as there were belongings of Sunny- hat, bow tie - all soaked in blood. Atharva was about to faint as he realised he could never see Sunny anymore. He was cursing himself for not taking care of his little champ and praying God to return his one and only buddy. His parents were also tensed for Atharva refused to have meals and was crying constantly. They immediately consulted me as I was Atharva’s counsellor and he was under treatment for depression.
It was Wednesday 8 in the morning when I was with Atharva to console him.
“Don’t worry everything will be fine. Did you say anything that hurt Sunny?”
“My entire day schedule is based around that charming creature. Yesterday in the evening I was slight angry and so shouted at my poor baby because Sunny turned glass of milk on my board project file and spoiled it. I apologised thereafter as it happened accidently.”
“Oh! To avert any such situations in future Sunny may have left home and met with an accident perhaps.” I guessed.
“How shall I live now? My beautiful world is crushed. I am left alone forever.”
“You have caring parents who love you. Think about them and try to concentrate on today’s paper. We shall find Sunny as early as possible. Today is your last paper. You complete your exam and relax.”
Once they left I went down the memory lanes. Atharva, a boy of 16 years, looked upset and was in deep thought when brought to my chamber four months ago. He had been in emotional turmoil since two months. While preparing for JEE Mains entrance exam he realised it was not his cup of tea. However, huge fee paid by papa, mom’s expectation, social reputation all these had pressurized him to continue this unwanted journey. He was dreaming of a short cut to end his worries and came to a deadly conclusion. If something happened to him accidently and he could pass away, then his parents would not have to face humiliation due to his failure. This intention was penned down by him in his diary and fortunately or unfortunately parents had read it. The boy was immediately brought to me and after having talk with his parents I sat with the boy.
I was very careful in framing my question as children having such mental status refused to attend any session in which they smelt advice for loving Life. Death seems a solution to all the worries and feeble minded people engaged with life threatening activities to close their books of life.
I took him into confidence by asking questions related to his school and friends.
With normalcy in my tone I asked,” What is that troubling you, son? You can open your heart in front of me.”
The boy, still in doubt whether I would take him seriously or not,, with hesitation asked,” After death can I see my parents from the sky above as people say dead person becomes a star? Can a dead person interact with loved ones?”
I smiled and said, “No one can give an authentic answer to this query as dead people can never be able to reveal what happen to them after Death.”
“Oh! Shall I never come to know if my parents are happy or not?”
The boy’s question was a clear indication of his love for his parents.
“As you have decided to leave this insensitive world and sever all ties with your parents then why this emotional attachment with them?”
He answered,” I love them a lot as I am their only child.”
The boy during this conversation opened slowly layers of his heart as my presence made him comfortable.
“I can’t see them heartbroken as they are absolutely sure about my success in the entrance exam. Whenever I try to explain my inability to them, they advise me to study harder. I am dying every minute with the fear of failure so it seems better for me to leave the world at once. Death seems to me more comfortable than Life. I am tired with what destiny has offered till date and so to bring peace in life of my parents I need to die.”
“When is your exam?
“Not too far.”
“Well, leave this discussion and tell me do you love animals?”
He looked at me in a strange way and replied, “Yes, but mom hates bringing any animal at home.”
“Don’t worry I shall talk to her. Actually there is a little puppy which needs care and I think you have that caring ability as you are very sensitive to other’s pain and suffering.”
I noticed a radiance of happiness on his face. He was, at first, reluctant to attend the session as he thought it would be very tiring as well as boring and I would definitely try to spill the bean in the way the other counsellors do and then deliver lectures on the value of life and so on.
I gifted him a cute brown and white furred three days old puppy. I asked him to name it. He instantly called it “Sunny.” He lifted it in his arm and started playing. I left the cabin without informing him and met with his parents. I insisted them to allow Atharva to spend time with Sunny as he needed it as an emotional support to vent out his heart. An animal with its unconditional love and loyalty always makes human beings better and helps them to reduce stress level and teaches how to appreciate life. Atharva, who felt isolated, required an acquaintance that could cuddle him when he was stressed, make him relaxed and without uttering words could heal his wounded heart.
After a month I met a new Atharva who had successfully overcome the bouts of depression. Sunny sprang from his lap and started sniffing. Atharva immediately offered water to it. Sunny licked the entire bowl and wagged its tail.
“Sunny can fetch things and understand whatever is instructed to it. Thank you, Sir, for gifting it to me.”
They both looked contented in each other’s company.
“How is your preparation for exams going? Have you shared your fear of scoring lower marks with your parents?”
His reply was a huge disappointment for me.
”How can I break their hope by declaring this much before the announcement of the results? I am studying hard and if my performance will be average I shall be left with no other option but to end this life.”
I was worried. I realised the parents were still in darkness as they thought him getting normal. I assured Atharva that his parents would be supportive if he would talk to them as definitely for them their son would be more precious than scores attained by him. He smiled but it was not an assurance that he agreed to me. His decision was his solo option to provide ultimate happiness to his parents.
I had been thinking of how to bring him out of the suicidal tendency since that session. His exams would be over after three days and his dangerous intention was known to me only.
I woke up when a shrill sound of doorbell broke the deep silence of my home. It was 2.30 am and my mind started visualizing all the scary happenings. I opened the door and found MR. and MRS. Shetty- the parents of Atharva. They were looking very disturbed as well as in hurry. They carried with them a file in which Atharva had collected all the news related with accidental deaths of youths. I was also shocked. It was Wednesday and at 11am he had to appear for his last exam. I went to their home with them and brought with me Sunny. I instructed the anxious parents not to keep Atharva under strict vigilance and helped him to find Sunny but requested them to hide its whereabouts. They agreed.
Atharva was without Sunny since morning. In the evening at 5 pm I was informed that he had returned home and was worried about Sunny’s missing. I landed at his home at 7 pm with a gift packed in a big basket.
“How was your exam?”
“It was o.k. At present I am unable to concentrate on anything. My entire thought process is revolving round missing Sunny.”
“Do you remember once you asked if you could see your parents from sky above after your death?”
“Yes, I remember. Why are you reminding me that?”
“Will you be happy and satisfied if Sunny sees you as a star from the sky or you want to spend life with it?”
“I was wrong when I told you all nonsense. Life of a person is not only for him or her. Entire family gets affected if something happens to any of the family members. I now realize what happens to the people whose loved one is lost or dead. I can do anything to get back sunny in my life. God, please return my only source of happiness. I have understood the value of life.”
I looked at Mr. and Mrs. Shetty and smiled. They too were relaxed to see a change in their son’s attitude.
Mr. Shetty hugged Atharva and said,” I am delighted that you have learnt importance of love and life. Death is not a solution to anything. We are sorry that we fail to show our deepest love for you. You are precious to us. In life game of achievements and failures continues. It matters nothing if you crack JEE or not. We also do not have anyone except you. Without you we can’t survive even for a moment.”
“I am sorry and promise never will allow the negative and dark thoughts to control me.”
“Now, a big pleasant surprise is waiting for you. Open the basket to get that.” I announced as it was already 9 pm and since 2.30 am we three- myself and Atharva’s parents- could not take a breath of relief.
Atharva merrily untied the knots of golden ribbon and jumped with joy when Sunny leaped on his lap. They both, it seemed, were separated for a year. Sunny climbed on his shoulders and started licking his face. It whined as if complaining about why they were sat apart. They both had their meals and went inside the room to rest. Atharva threw his diary and file into dustbin and assured his parents never to think about death. I heaved a sigh of relief after curing one more patient by applying new method. I retired for a day as I knew the next day would be more challenging as well as solution to the problem would be unusual and I had to think out of the box.