TRAPPED - Wishes Unfulfilled
TRAPPED - Wishes Unfulfilled7 mins 266 7 mins 266
It had been a long tiring day, as usually all my days are. I finished up seeing the last patients for the evening, picked my bag and got up to start for my home. Although I loved being at my clinic, curing people however best I can, but at evenings I would love to rush back home, to be with my wife and my little daughter. She had been growing up so fast, and I would like to steal all moments I can to cherish this forever.
As I packed my stuff and came out of the room, I saw my clinic staff all gathered around the common TV in the lobby. I went closer to see what was going on. What I read just stunned me.
There was news that a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir.
It seemed someone had cut the ground from under my feet. Everyone was talking around and it seemed that everyone had their blood boiling. It was one of the biggest terrors attacks on armed forces we would have ever heard of.
Kashmir always held a special place in my heart. Although the memories I had of the place were not very pleasant, but still the birthplace remains special always I felt. I got so lost in the news to absorb what had happened, my office boy had to literally shout to make me hear him. ‘Dr. Rajeev, your phone is ringing since sometime.’ As I saw it was one of my cousins, my brother from a paternal uncle. The news had spread like a wildfire by now, and we started discussing how atrocious the incident was. We discussed about the brave soldiers and how suddenly so many families had lost their sons that instant for the nation. This had created waves of anger, shock, grief almost across the whole country. After taking to him for about forty minutes or more, I decided to leave for home.
My drive back home almost felt life a dive into the memories of the past. Being born and brought up in Srinagar, as a Kashmiri Pandit, my childhood flashback was always full of a varied mix of emotions. I remember the beauty of the place and how during the very young age we enjoyed the heaven on earth. As we grew up, the memories of snow laden mountains, the beautiful Dal Lake, the splendid gardens changed to sounds of bullets, burning houses and those of screams in neighbourhood. That phase of life was no less than a nightmare. Till date just a thought of it gives me Goosebumps. I could vividly recall when overnight we had to run from our ancestral homes, to save our own life and of our families. There was no certainty that we would even be alive to see the dawn next day, but still the only chance we stood was to run for our lives.
There had been weeks which we had spent in the refugee camps. Leaving our eight-room big house in Kashmir, all the twelve members of the family learnt to adjust in the little tents we could get. The usual day at home which started with mother running after me and my sister for us to have food properly, was now changed to a day starting with worry to arrange food for survival of the family.
Beauty of life is that it just continues irrespective of how bad the situations around are. Slowly we managed to move to Delhi, where my father got some work. Once he got some money, he started with our education again. It felt like a new start of the lives. As they say, the place you are born at, is the place which feels like home. We could never become part of Delhi, but it does hold a special place as it gave our lives a new start.
Since the time we moved out of Kashmir, I could never forget those incidents. The hatred in me kept growing and I decided to join Indian Army once I would grow up. It became like an ambition, and I felt it would bring some peace to me. However, my father would not agree. The bitter feelings in him of the past, could not let me go back to the place where we lost so much. ‘Rajeev, I do not have any strength to lose anyone now. You are the only support we have for our old age.’ He kept insisting me to become a lawyer or a doctor, to have a successful career. I tried talking to him so many times to explain and to convince him.
Serving my country, had always been my dream,
Knew it might end my life one day in pain and screams.
I gave in eventually.
The car suddenly stopped, and it broke my chain of thoughts. I realised I had reached home. Pushing my thoughts aside, I went inside to my real life. After a usual dinner and watching news for an extended hour, I decided to go off to sleep. The incident had pulled back the painful memories and had drained me of all my energy. Tonight, again seemed one of the many nights that I have just spent wondering how life would have been different if I could have got chance to go to army. I might not have been able to change anything, but life at least would have been meaningful.
I went to bed, but the restlessness kept me wide awake.
As I tried to close my eyes, I went back into my thoughts again. I could almost hear back the words of my father as he told me to stop thinking of army.
‘We have already lost so much. We would not be able to bear the pain of losing you ever.’
Since the day I remember, I had only wished to stand up for my country. I had dreamt of fighting the enemies which back in those childhood days I could not. I was too young to act at that time. However, as I grew, I promised myself to devote myself for this cause.
However, fate had different plans for me. I could never fight back decision of my father. Only option I had was to become a doctor, as I thought it might still make me feel satisfied if I serve people. I was sent for my studies to best of medical college, and life had been kind since then to help me grow as a known and a successful doctor. I managed to set up my own clinic and had been thankful to God as he was kind to me.
I could not forget my desires or wishes but guess the pace of life made them bit blurred with time. The thoughts kept coming back to me over periods of time, but I had learnt to shove them off under the pretext of being satisfied with my current life. At times, I felt that my soul had been trapped behind the bars of society, the bars of superficial measures of success and happiness, and behind the bars of family pressures.
Looking into the mirror, I see the dreams that could not be lived,
Hiding somewhere, the desires that could not be fulfilled.
The whole incident reminded me of my desire of serving my country and homeland, which I had somehow locked under the pressures of my family and the society. My soul that was committed to the cause was shut down in a dark, lonely place where no one would know what I had felt. While on surface I always showed how content I felt with life, I knew my heartfelt happiness lay somewhere else.
Today it just felt restless, wanting to break free all the chuckles and fly high to place where my peace of mind lay. Will I have to live with these handcuffs all through my life or will I ever be able to feel liberated, to breathe the air free of all judgements, all pressures, all expectations.
More I tried to free myself, more tied up I felt, more TRAPPED I feel.