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Umasree Raghunath



Umasree Raghunath


Unusually Myself!

Unusually Myself!

7 mins 17 7 mins 17

I was wheeled out of the ICU. I could hardly see and there were tubes connected into my mouth and an irritating catheter. Thankfully someone just removed the one that bled me to horror from my nose and I felt finally breathing. I don’t remember the last 8 hours of my life and was terribly weak. I could see the curious and pained faces of people around me. I felt like lifting my hand and asking someone to hold it as a comfort. But I don’t know these people around me or probably I am not able to remember who they are.

 ‘Paru, Paru, Can you hear me?’ Some new voice was shouting at me. I could see him bending close and looking at my face. I was in deep pain. My body seems to be floating in the sea. There are voices all around. I could hear somebody crying and someone screaming. I closed my eyes tightly. The man who was shouting my name pinched my arm. I opened my eyes in anger. But could do nothing and closed them again, this time with tears flowing silently from my closed eyes. I did not dare to open them again for a while. I slowly slipped into a deep sleep.

The next morning someone woke me up. I slowly opened my eyes and saw out of the window. The day is at its peak. It must be already noon. I could see my friend sitting next to me, holding my hand in hers. ‘ Paru, how are you feeling now?’…she asked. I could just nod my head indicating that I am ok. My husband came to my side and started to pamper my forehead and he looked very distressed. I was trying to recollect what happened to me and why am I in the place where I am.

After some time, a nurse carrying medicines and injections came to my side. I understood that I was just out of the emergency revivification. I quietly obeyed her as she instructed me to raise my arms and then show my hands for blood samples and all that. I could not muster the courage to speak as there were tubes still connected to my mouth. But my thoughts started to rewind to that Sunday evening that caused havoc and turbulence in my life.

The relationships mostly strain due to issues related to finances and justice denied over property dealings. My case was not immune to this common phenomenon. The biggest tragedy is that I am neither a party to it nor a beneficiary for the same. I have been fighting for ages for the benefit of my extended family. People instigated me to fight for it. My husband or my children never provoked me to do so, but something inside me took the slightest external triggers that pushed me out of my own self whenever this issue arose in the past. This situation is no different. When it happens, the usual person in me is lost. 

It is very easy to go back a decade without any discomfort of doing so. The haunting memories and struggles of the initial days fail to disappear. The moments of happiness that was buried in entangles of reality pushed me to a sense of loss and hap hazardous thoughts. These thoughts are not of mine. They are created and pushed on me by someone who could not do things by themselves. I was victimized many times in the past being an emotional human being I am. I always felt that it is my duty to fight for justice and this is the exact feeling that pushed me to situations that further let me drain emotionally.

After several hours of discussion and negotiations, there arrived a no common understanding between the people who are important to me in life. What I actually failed to understand then was that no one is important to you than your own self. If your own self is not in existence, then everything materialistic around you is of no matter to you. It all becomes irrelevant and useless. If you fail to understand and celebrate life as it is, then there is no meaning on how much ever you try to make it when you are normal. The actual personality is seen only when the circumstances are not in favor of you. This is the exact lesson that I failed to realize before I took that drastic step to end my life. Yes, I was foolish. It needed a lot of courage to take that step that could have wiped me from existence. Yet, when I took that decision, I did not understand any of these. I was just not myself. 

That evening, when things were not going in our favor, I behaved like an eccentric. I pushed people; I started to throw things around and was shouting in frustration. I remember being calm and listening to the larger part of the discussion. But as people started to behave in a sarcastic way and mocking at my self-esteem, I could not tolerate it anymore. The closest people in life behaved with high levels of selfishness and greed. Probably, this pushed me to feel jealous and become intolerant. Anger knew no bounds. I was angry at myself for having pushed to this situation. I was uncontrollable and wanted an exit from that place. But something strongly made me sit there and watch people enjoying my different me. 

After an hour, a sense of loss filled my head. I remember stopping to think- forget it being positive or negative thoughts. There was nothing. What was rushing in my head was a strong sense of rage and atrocity. This dancing of anger made me slap an elderly person. For a minute the entire room went in silence. In a split second, I realized what I did. I did not hesitate to apologize immediately. However, this provoked a fit of volcanic anger in everyone around. Suddenly I became an abuser from being a victim. I was looked upon as the worst person besides the bad people I was fighting against. The actual I died at that minute. What I did is wrong and it didn’t take me long to get that understanding. No amount of justification will compensate for what I did. Years of suppressed agony, repeated victimization, and continuous raw abuse in all forms that never showed up in the face to others suddenly took over my conscience, consciousness, and reality. 

There is no point in defending and I felt deserted in a situation that I could have fused before it exploded by just leaving that damn place where I was not comfortable from the beginning. I listened to external influences than listening to my inner self and my genuine thinking. That is where I went wrong. The loss is not just the relations around, but my goodness. The cost I paid for the day is huge. Even if others forgive me, I could not forgive myself and the repentance was so strong that I decided to end my life.  Instead of clearing the darkest cloud, I pushed myself further into a thunderstorm. 

This time abusing my own body beyond what it can take. I can blame no one other than myself. Where did the conscious and most respected Paru disappear at that moment? Where my original soft self went hiding? What happened to my respect for elders and gratitude for those who made my life what it is?  Was it not the worst of situations that made me strong in the past? Is it not the toughest of circumstances that made me handle any kind of crisis all these years? How could I change now? Is this a change in me? Or another hidden personality that is unable to shed away from my body and mind. Am I deceiving myself as a good person, when the actual inner self is a most jealous and annoyed person?

‘Paru, Paru…what are you doing? It’s time for the office.' I suddenly got up from my chair and looked at the wall clock that was fasting ticking away as my husband shouted at me as he was searching for his car keys. I could hear him calling me from the hall, ‘ Paru, what happened to you? Sleeping in the morning, after sending children to school? Are you alright or do you need to see the doctor? 

I contained myself quickly. On My Goodness! What a fanatic dream! That too early in the morning dozing off in chair after finishing cooking and packing children off to school!

 “Wait!- I replied to my husband. ‘Do not leave, I will be ready in 10 minutes and you can drop me on the way’.  He came near me and gave a hug and said his usual silent one word- ok... That OK always had a hundred meanings. A confirmation that he is there for me at all times. A reassurance, that I am a happy wife as well as a caring mother. A support system that always makes me manages things both at home and work.

I acted fast and quickly rushed to the car, with a heavy sigh of relief that it was just a dream- a bad dream!. ‘Paru- Relax’ I heard my man whispering into my ears as I buckled up in the car and leaned on his shoulders. This time I don’t mind falling asleep!

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