Sudhir switched off, in despair, the program he was watching on YouTube. It was a famous film actress who was trying to differentiate between sadness and depression. Only those who are going through these difficult situations can know what it really means, thought Sudhir. He looked at his sister, Sudipta sitting in the garden chair along with him and looking into the void. The feelings that were evoked in him were beyond description.
She lost her husband, Rahul, in a freak accident. Both were very young, happily married, and had many dreams and aspirations about life, and all of a sudden he was erased from her life. She was unable to accept the reality and was engulfed in grief. It had been three months now and there was no coming out of sadness. The only sister of two brothers, Mahesh and Sudhir, and only daughter to her parents, she was always pampered and treated specially, All of them in the family were grief-stricken and while they were grieving Rahul’s death, they also had to deal with Sudipta’s condition. Sudhir, who was the youngest of the three siblings had just completed his MBA and was in search of a job. This gave him time to look after his sister and try to help her get out of her grief.
Today Sudhir was very disturbed and desperate to do something to bring his sister out of her depth of despair, He took her to a doctor who diagnosed that she was in depression and it was not surprising given the circumstances. How to bring her out of it?
Sudeepta was lost in deep thoughts(?) and was gazing abstractly into the space in front of her. She was always with an expressionless face and going through the motions of life mechanically. She did not respond to anyone. Occasionally there was a hint of a smile on her face, perhaps she was recollecting the happy times with her husband or pretending that she was right. Sudhir tried to strike up a conversation with her and she was giving responses in monosyllables, when something Sudhir said struck a wrong chord in her mind and she fainted all of a sudden. A doctor was rushed in and she examined her carefully to everyone’s surprise and delight, the Doctor told her that Sudipta was four months pregnant. Everyone in the family was thrilled beyond words.
After the tragedy, this was a positive turn in their lives and a new life was at their threshold. Everyone expected that Sudipta would recover from her depression. But to their dismay, there was not much change in her.
Sudipta had her own perspective. She had desperate thoughts when awake and nightmares when asleep. It appeared as though she was engulfed in darkness. Life was going smoothly till the fateful day when she lost her husband, her soul mate... She and Rahul have been married for six years now and they were looking forward to starting their own family. They would be fighting over who should be their first child, a girl or a boy. And would select names. Fate was playing a cruel game with them. She considered herself to be very unlucky and was convinced that the child in her womb was also unlucky as it would be without a father even before it was born. Sudiptha had a feeling of sinking into quicksand and totally buried. She was scared of facing the world with the baby alone, utterly lonely and clueless as to how she would navigate through this dark, labyrinthous path of life. So, she was not very happy and enthusiastic about her pregnancy. Time and tide do not wait for anyone. Days passed into weeks and then into months. Sudipta was completing her term, but she was still reluctant about the child.
One bright morning Sudipta went into labor and was rushed to a hospital, where she gave birth to a healthy boy. Sudipta was exhausted due to labor and had dozed off. Her mother brought the baby and silently kept him beside her. She opened her eyes when she felt something soft and warm beside her. As soon as she saw her child, she was overwhelmed by emotions of various kinds like different colors in a rainbow. It was like a whiff of fresh air, bringing in hope, joy, love, and gratitude. She was inundated with the memories of her husband and their plans for their child. With tears trickling down her eyes, she cuddled the baby and showered it with kisses.
Her family watching from far away, her welcoming the child, was relieved!
After coming home from the hospital one afternoon she was speaking to Sudir with a calm and composed disposition. She said,” The loss of Rahul had taken a toll on the entire family including the little one. If I suffered depression, the rest of you were also equally pained by the death of Rahul and my illness. I am fortunate to have you as my family. Specially you Sudhir, were there with me although, holding my hand and protecting and caring for me. The loss of Rahul was a big blow to me as he was my world. I had no clue as to what I would be doing without him. The child has rekindled my life with new hopes, new aspirations, responsibility, and rejoicing. All my fears have disappeared the moment I saw his face. The experience that I went through the entire year and the learning from it can never be forgotten. It is life’s lesson not to lean on anyone so heavily that their loss will totally incapacitate you. I and my son are going to love each other in a way that we become each other’s strengths and not weaknesses. “ Sudhir added, “Yes dear sister. In this journey of life, we all are companions helping and supporting each other. Each one has a different destination and when one reaches that, others have to say goodbye with solemnity and dignity and continue further. “
Sudipta held the baby tightly to her bosom and had a serene smile on her face and Sudhir was relieved to see that his sister had come out of touch times and ready to move on.