The alternate perspectives of therapy

Firstly I want to clarify the big boring title. The alternate perspective is a hangover from my son’s  essay on Alternate Perspectives in Accounting which I needed to understand, undo and redo. Being of scientific mindset, making head or tail of philosophy, and then vomiting an article around it is, ugh, my cup of karela juice.  And therapy seems to be the life around me these days. I have herds of well wishers guiding me on the art of auras and negative energies and forgiveness and tantras and mantras that they believe can help heal.

Let me also seek forgiveness a priori from all who sincerely believe and practice the art of alternate living and give free advice to everyone who doesn’t want it. I have nothing against the poor souls who know not what they don’t know and I know they are trying to do good. Par दिल है कि मानता नहीं ।

This lady in her 60’s, modern though she is, believes all about नजरs and how you need to remove the same. So she calls me and tells me that I need to use मिर्ची to perform a ritual and then burn it. It’s smell will tell me whether the illness was because किसी ने नज़र लगा दी. Now I have a big problem with all spices, I get into a sneezing fit whenever I smell spices which is quite often as I like spending time in the kitchen. So all I did was sneeze away for half an hour and there was no way I could smell the नज़र or lack of it.

And then there is a Mrs ( no names, you never know who will get upset) who solidly believes in the power of rock- salt. I also believe in the power of rocks and salts, rocks is Geography and salt is Chemistry and both taken together can be lethal. But doing a पोछा with rock salt like the way she advised me, well, Google never heard of that, ( did not find it in the top 10 uses of rock salt) and I am sure there are better uses for the spice, like sprinkling on cholas and fruit salads. Well she believes it can remove the root of all evils from my life, but I want to first get to the rock bottom of it.

The numerous maids that surround me, have had a gala time telling me all about the practices of witchcraft and likewise prevalent in Maharashtra and West Bengal. For them, I am the epitome of all things विधर्मी , I don’t spend time praying, I don’t wear a saree often, no sindoor and watch English channels. They taught me a new use of jaggery, beyond a sweetener. You touch it and then go and feed it to a cow. Now, where the hell am I expected to find a cow and how on earth will me, with a most urban upbringing, suddenly turn into a village belle and start feeding and milking cows. Ever since a cow tried to hit me ( or was it a buffalo), when I was a kid, I have stayed away from all forms of cow, including beef. Milking reminds me, Mrs no names also told me that the milk of black goat is supposed to be very good. And also very helpfully and hopefully told me that I could find black sheep in the field behind her home. I was just picturing myself running around trying to find a black goat, who also happens to be a female goat, getting hold of her milk generating organs and then some.

A highly educated person told me about the art of forgiveness. I do get that to a certain extent. You fight, you hold it in your mind, stress, tension, heart aches, heart attacks, blood pressure, oh yeah, I get that. But when you are asked to think back on who you alienated in 1995, it is a long way to go back, someone whose name begins with a “v”. I have this sudden vision of an old lady in a cloak looking into her crystal ball and screaming “Mr शनि is there to get you, he is already into your राहु, protect your केतु now”. I had to go back to my address book, start with V and try to think who all I fought with in that year. That is tough. Not because it is a big list, but simply because I don’t recall. Even if I did have a fight, I have moved on. The fact that I have no recollection means I have forgiven. But no, wham, the ever helpful person sends a page, that you need to read 4 times a day. Which heads ” please forgive your ex wife/ husband/ girlfriend/ boyfriend” I mean really !!.  Which ex-boyfriend do I forgive ? किस किस को माफ़ करूँ ? Maybe I should forgive my last ex boyfriend, my current husband. Never, not in this life.IMG-20151124-WA0000 (1)

There is more, the use of a special oil जो किसी ने बताया है, the wick that will stop depositing ash as soon as you get rid of the नज़र, the daily थू-थू, and a few that I have forgotten. I am actually reminded of a guru that I once went to and let me retell the story ( earlier published on my fb page)

3 days *14 hrs. with a Transform-Your-Life coach and 254 people and 11000 Rs.
Day 1: went out of inquisitiveness. Good reviews on the web. Highly recommended by an ex-colleague. Maybe it will provide more insight on how can I do things better. Sat in front row. Listened to all the complicated jargon and derived my own meanings.  Seems to be Freudian inspired. Saw a few people seeing major impacts- emotional touch- yes- touches a chord. It works for them. Maybe it will work for me too. Let me continue with an open mind.

Day 2: sitting somewhat in the middle, at an angle. Maybe I will catch it better from here. Then came the marketing and the hard selling- other products, next course, how soon can you sign up for it. How it will make a huge different in relationships, productivity, open infinite possibilities and more- the Amway way. Why is it so tough for me? Maybe I need to learn How-to-maintain-concentration-when-you are-bored. More people seeing impacts. Wow! Is this for real? For me to grasp, that if I am committed, actually it is because someone spanked me as a kid and hence to hide the fact that I am not a loser, I am being committed??? What? I don’t get it!

 Day 3: sitting in the last row. Maybe the sixer can be caught here only. And then came the peak “your life is empty and meaningless”- everything building up towards the ultimate answer.  And after that the divine revelation. Finally I got it. YES, HAPPENED TO ME. I realized what I was missing all along. “Never! Never will I sit through such torture again.” Finally I am liberated :-). The blockbuster moment was yet to come. I came to know- confirmed – 1 person among the 20 odd who claimed they have seen the divine, and the whole world and the future full of possibilities- was a fraud and was claiming this to get a job there. The person said it in exactly so many words. So it was all a sham! Maybe the others were a sham too. I had had enough.

Disclaimer: The coach was a great orator. To hold the concentration of 254 people for 3 days takes  tremendous effort. And if you have faith, miracles may still happen for you. For me No way. I have far far better things to do in my empty life.

The ghostly family

The realization hit me at 3 am in the morning. No, I am absolutely not a night bird. But I am a part of a ghostly family. Let me start from the very beginning.

My husband’s cellphone rang at 3 am. Now, I have to tell you something about this ring tone. It is an ascending crescendo, enough to wake up the dead, literally, in the dead of the night. No matter how many times, I have told my husband to change to a more decent tone, he keeps the same which creates this sense of urgency and alarm every time it honks and leaves your heart racing. I got up to open the door, we had a guest who had arrived then.

You may think that is hardly a decent time for anyone to arrive, but that wasn’t his fault really. Pune, happens to be a railway nightmare. If you arrive by train you can expect to hit the town anytime between 2 to 5 am and you not only can’t sleep yourself, you can’t let anyone else sleep either.

As I was going to open the door, I saw my father in law, sitting up on the bed and having his midnight glass of milk. ( नोट किया जाए, मी लॉर्ड, at 3 am) Now he normally stays awake during the night and rests in the day, turning life upside down for everyone around him as well. That also really isn’t his fault either, it is just that he normally would have had his quota of sleep in the day, which expectedly eludes him in the night. And the circle goes on. Now when you stay awake, you feel hungry, so he needed something to eat, of course he has to wake up my mom in law, who then heated the glass of milk for him and hence was up, trotting along in her white nightgown and rummaging in the kitchen, looking irritated and resigned to her nightly routine.

In recent times, my dear husband has also developed the tendency to be nocturnal. He will find his reasons, he can be thirsty, so he will get up to drink water, and then of course he needs to go to the washroom, in an hourly ritual. Sometimes he likes to read a book or newspaper or watch the match ( in mute, will I not kill him otherwise) at 4 am when sheep and forward and reverse counts don’t help. He may also have his natures call very early, pre-dawn or very late, post-midnight. All in all, he was awake and hungry too at the unearthly hour, hunting for something to eat.

With everyone around awake and eating and talking, it felt like 3 pm and not 3 am. You know, how it is always daytime at the station, all that was missing is the hawker crying चाई, चाई….in his broken monotonous tone. Addam’s family, anyone?

Let me give you some more insight. My bro in law has different reasons for staying awake, he may be reading a book that he needs to finish tonight, ( maybe the ending will change if I leave it till the next day) or he may be working, ( or shall I call it tweeting) more often than not, or he may be watching a old faded martial arts Jackie Chan movie and the next sci-fi after that and then what. Going to sleep at 5 am is normal for him.

His wife, wanting to spend as much quality awake time with him, stays up when he is up and sleeps when the world wakes up. Other than wanting to be with him, she has her personal reasons as well like playing candy crush saga for 5 hours, or skying her daughter who is in the GMT time zone. Going to sleep early morning is again a daily routine for her and she can continue her beauty sleep through the morning while the kid is away at school.

This routine has a major advantage – nobody can loot us when we are all asleep, because we are never.

Tensions are a major worry for this insomniac household. My husband has discovered 101 reasons for staying awake and maybe he will write a book on it one day. Some of the gems from his list are- every time I slept, I could could hear Ornob and others shouting on the TV having a political debate on intolerance. Really !!! Ornob, you have no right to enter my husband’s dreams in the middle of the night. The ruby being – since somebody in the family needs to travel the next day, I can’t sleep today, I was worrying. ( about what?)  The most glittering diamond – I should have bought the pounds while it was 2 Rs down, now I lost 200 Rs. इव क्या होगा?

Normally I sleep pretty soundly without any worry. Other than when I wake up and see everyone moving around and look for the signs like turned feet and rotating head. The one night I did not sleep is the day I read about Mr Gray. No, do not get the wrong ideas into your head. I could not sleep because my inner voice kept asking me how could such drivel be written. How can you repeat yourself every 5 pages and still be categorized as a literary bestseller? Forget the strong urge I felt about giving a hard slap to Mr Gray and the waif. I can’t even find 50 adjectives to describe the book except that it was repetitive, boring, unreal, teenage, soppy and more. The ending of the volume 1, ( where she walks out, leaving him) was expected to create a desire and longing to get your hands on the volume 2 ( much like कटप्पा ने बाहुबली को क्यों मारा?) left me yawning and wondering why I was wasting my beauty sleep on this.