<%-- Page Title--%> Slice Of Life <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 156 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

May 28, 2004

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Cheered by Tears...

Richa Jha

I am an unabashed believer in tear-therapy. Call me what you will, only two activities help me tide over any crisis: crying, and sleeping. Since most crises are facilitated by our own ignorance and slothfulness, it pays to sleep some more and pretend the problem doesn't exist.

Similarly, it helps to shed gallons of tears, feel drained, gulp down some chilled cola, then get under your duvet, and sleep. There is no problem in the world that a good night's, or mid-day's sleep cannot solve. In most cases, talking from personal experience, the problem somehow doesn't look all that insurmountable once you've slept over it. Crying, on the other hand, in itself is such a brilliant tool for catharsis that nothing can take its place. Nothing. Not window-shopping, not actual shopping, not even the most vicious round of gossip.

Crying was what I did most of the previous week. I cried for various reasons. Let's not get into the unpleasant details, but should suffice to say that nothing went the way it should have. When I tried to be polite, I ended up hurting myself; when I tried to be professional, I ended up jerky-eyed. When I went ahead and did what my heart said, I knew I was being stupid, and therefore, shed some more tears. In the middle of all this, a friend remarking that someone else may be having the last laugh at my expense, was not such a mood enhancer after all.

The Hubby, to give the wise owl his due, judiciously steered clear of trouble by staying out of my way. He also did the endearingly clever thing of sending me plenty of "Cheer up!" SMSs at frequent intervals. And the most unbelievable act of all, he also left Post-Its on our bathroom mirror and my handbag saying how much he loved me! I'm certain he's been reading up a couple of the so-called women's magazines.

I know I am deviating from the usual pattern of this page, but it has been an unusual week for me for all the wrong reasons-- and some of gooey feelings are fighting their way in. A happy mind looks at the delectable pan crust; an unhappy one looks at the extra blobs of cheese that fell on your topping by mistake. Yes, cheese, rancid at that, it is for me today.

It was an unusual week for reasons more than one. In an email, I addressed the editor of an Indian magazine as Madhuri, when her name is Meghna. It could have been passed off as a harmless oversight, but trouble brewed quickly because Meghna and Madhuri edit rival publications! Then again, I keyed in the wrong email id while sending an urgent mail, and without so much as looking at the contents of a received mail, I deleted the 'undelivered' message that showed up in my mailbox, and then sat fretting for several hours over why the person wasn't replying. I bought entry tickets to a play and remembered it a couple of days after the show!

Gloom and absentmindedness make a routing combination. And a whining child on antibiotics seals the deal. So you can imagine.

It was the first time I heard my son say, "Mamma, why are you being cross with me so frequently. Have I done something wrong?" It was also the first time this week that he saw me walk home without a smile. That night I wrote these words below in my diary:

"Maybe I look dumb, which is why I am unwittingly made a fool of. Or maybe I am actually dumb to be taken in for a ride by everyone.

Maybe I need to learn to say 'no' when I want to say 'no'. And a firm 'yes' when I want something badly. Irresoluteness did not take one anywhere, it will not take me anywhere.

Maybe, I need to realise that the world does not think of the other person first. I, me, myself rules. Maybe I shouldn't break the scheme of things by keeping my thoughts so other-centric.

Maybe, I need to assert myself more often. Maybe I should learn to throw my weight around. Maybe, I need to…"

Maybe my own depressing words put me to sleep! for the sentence was incomplete. This morning, I re-read it, tore the sheet away, folded it into a paper-jet for my child, and forgot I ever had such sinking thoughts. So there you are, I remain, as dumb as I was at the start of the week. But at least I admit it. It is only the insane who are always sure they're super-fine. The sane are willing to admit they're crazy. I'm not crazy, just plain dumb, but that's an equally perfectly-sane state to be in.

Finally, this week I also got to hear that few people think that my husband may be ghost writing The Hubby's pieces. Thank Goodness, I took that as a compliment!





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