Worthless Rant

Of late, I have been feeling nobly unworthy. And it all started with the DIY and 5 minute craft videos. Somehow those videos have a mesmerising quality, you can watch it repeatedly and still not fathom what is coming next. What you can’t do is actually try to replicate it. That is when you realise, that you are dumb. You are an idiot and something that looks so trivial, you can’t even do that! What use is this life without being able to successfully do a simple do-it-yourself. In fact, I am so unworthy, you can use me as a worthy example on how not to turn out to be.

To further reduce my self-esteem, I have tried to list down a horde of things I can’t do, and how useful the rest of the world is, as compared to me.

  1. I can’t stitch the shirts and trousers that my son wears. I keep on hearing how certain someone stitches all the clothes for her daughter, her dresses and everything and how she manages to find the time to do all this after finishing all the chores in the house in a joint family. They are so well made, better than ready-made clothes. I have therefore concluded that I completely wasted my yesteryears getting an engineering degree, getting into IIT, and then working rest of my life. I should have been a seamstress and sewed clothes for my family, including the banian (vest) and underwear’s, I could have walked with my head held high. How worthless am I that I can’t even stitch the traditional “A” on the banians.
  2. I am unable to cook “Usha poha” (snacks with rice flakes). The name depicts the owner of the recipe, Usha, my maid of honour, makes awesome Poha. And try as I might, I am unable to replicate the patented recipe. As my esteemed husband would say “tumhara poha thoda dry hota hain” (The poha you make is dry), or “tumne chini nahi dali” (you missed adding sugar), or “vaisa nahi hain jaisa usha banati hain” (doesn’t taste like Usha Poha) or “who baat nahi hain” (It is not as good).  I bow my head with shame, why doesn’t the earth swallow me up, I can’t even make poha well (The Usha poha version). I hitherto wish I had learnt culinary skills rather than internet technologies and C programming.
  3. I am hopelessly inadequate at the art of selfie taking. I will not elaborate on this, we all know how insignificant and miserable we feel when we are unable to post selfies once a week on Facebook, I can’t even post once a year, I am so bad. In fact, read my blog https://myhumerousbone.wordpress.com/2016/10/07/i-me-selfie/ to gather more details about my selfie shaming. There is body shaming, there is fat shaming, there is colour shaming, with me it is selfie shaming. Shame on my selfies. I think I am only capable of asking Siri to do the needful- only if I get the accent.
  4. I have two left feet and I cannot dance, sala. Period. All my childhood and adulthood, people have tried to push me on to the floor and after a brief look at my clumsy attempts, they give up. They can’t bear to watch me. I can see them struggling to be kind, no it is ok, you anyway said you can’t dance (I can hear the brains creaking – we also can’t dance but our can’t dance is any day better than your can’t dance). This is not TRUE. I can actually dance better than, hmmm, ok.. I knew I had a name.. at least one person on this earth.. Sunny Deol, maybe? I mean why did God send me to this world to be insulted in this fashion, and danced away to glory.
  5. Of course, at an elevated level are the DIY’s where you mess up the whole shit and come to the conclusion that life isn’t fair. They are designed to reduce your feeling of I-am-good-bro down to ashes. How can that idiot on youtube do this and I can’t. Is it because I am dumber? I once tried to do a DIY fashion hack –(I presume the intent was to make you look sexier). There was a spelling mistake. It made me look messier, till I gave it up for pocha (mop). I mean how tough is cutting cloth with scissors, but somehow when I do it, the shape ends up pretty much shapeless. I think I am more a DDIY fan, bole to, Don’t Do It Yourself, unless of course, you have absolutely nothing to do, Still better, watch Netflix, a better use of time and less wastage of things-I bought-that-I-had-no-use-for.

I can hold up my head for my one and only one quality. I breathe out CO2 for plants. Nobody can take that away from me. During this deep introspection phase, I also absurdly observed that there are so many other things far worthier. Well, think of something you consider good for nothing. I can guarantee they are still better than good for nothing me.

  • A piece of rag (post DIY effect), we can use it to clean running noses, or the kitchen table, as a wiser person told me.
  • An old broken bottle – DIY has taught me they are most useful things discovered since the fire.
  • An old broken gramophone (don’t ask what that is, google it, pls, they still need to come out with google for dummies) – Even that can be repaired. But I am above repair (do I mean beneath repair, or maybe beyond repair?)
  • A piece of trash – come on- recycle, reuse, you know the ropes. Find a DIY to tell you what to do with it.

Unworthily yours

P.S. Self Esteem is exactly that, the esteem you hold for yourself. Who cares what the world thinks! Hold up your head and walk tall. Fall if you haven’t observed what you are walking into, pick yourself up and start again. Tell yourself you are worthy of falling over better things (sorry, my sarcastic avatar gets the better of my pious self). Grow up, doesn’t matter. You feel worthless, tell the world and laugh with them. Whatever you do, don’t let anyone, yes anyone, get you down, you owe yourself that. You are the best (at something, even If it is at breathing out CO2).

The waiting room

Reminds you of the railway station, the crowd and cacophony, the chai and the stink. Train whistles, the incomprehensible announcements and the strain to listen for your own train. But this is a different waiting room.

Here only those people wait, whose trains have derailed, or are about to. They are trying to repair the tracks, push and pull to get the train back on track and somehow make it run, so they can leave for home. A few never do. 

Here they dont say ” train no so and so has arrived on platform number so and so.” Here it is ” Bed no 102″ and Kamble and Banerjee, the names and the numbers, and the call to feed or meet the doctor or sign something you have not read.

I am in the waiting room of an ICU. All around me is chaos. Sea of people, waiting to catch a glimpse of their loved ones, waiting for that ray of hope, that word from the doctor that can change despair to a smile or bring a frown and a tear. Noisy, crying, sharing, yet so distant from it all. Hearing it all, but not absorbing.

Hospitals are a part of life. And death. I am at the same place I was slightly more than two years ago. Same hospital, same ICU, same waiting room. I lost Baba here. He was already lost, but here I lost his physical being. All around me are faces, in despair, but still hopeful as they cross the nights of nightmares. 

When you think it cant get any worse, it does. And we get used to that and then there is a new low. How much the human mind can accept and get on with life, feels like a trial and error test.

Why does she have to suffer so much? In the past so many years, I have seen her lose her speech and her smile, her walk and her zest for life. A vegetable, that breathes and swallows, with a beating heart. That is about it. Just pain and more pain, which she doesn’t feel, or maybe feels and does not  express. Cancers, and then free from cancers. But not from this hell called dependence. Not from this journey that is a constant struggle for survival.

Who will I take home from here, a whole being or a part? A person who always smiled at me, now closes her eyes and shrinks away as I talk to her, or touch her.

Do your job, dont worry about the consequences. I was reminded today. Do your best, dont expect anything. Maybe that is the learning. And emotions? That are ready to flow, that have to be pushed back because there is so much to be done.

I try to work. In an effort to remain sane. Not break. I have to be strong and stronger, specially when I am powerless. Someone else pulls the strings and we dance. I do- the biggest fallacy. Who are we? Who am I? My face is expressionless, as I listen to the doctor’s verdict. Impassive but with a storm inside. 

Life sucks. Death sucks more. But maybe it is the end of suffering, pain and despair. But can’t it be painless? Among so much pain and pleasure, something goes on- that they call life, as it sits in the waiting room, for death. Somebody give respite from it all,  she needs to rest. In peace. 

Sometime in 2010

It isn’t easy. Even though you are smart enough to realise you are moving into depression, you can’t avoid it. Especially when you know that the world has not shattered, it only feels like that.

The first day was a shock, total and complete. We live in a world where nobody is spared but I had probably developed a firm belief that I was immune and nothing could impact me, however big the situation. After three weeks I am still in a state of denial- my counsellor says. Maybe writing will ease the pain.

They just handed over the letter, just like that. It was Monday morning and I drove all the way across Delhi- it used to be a pain then, today I’ll welcome it. My boss had called me to his hotel. I thought I knew what he wanted to discuss, impact on my organisation due to cost control, I had heard the CEO in the last All Hands- what needs to be done, who will get impacted, how do we handle the work as nothing stops ever. Of course it could not be discussed in office. It had to be outside. I had thought it out, what needs to be done and so on. I had worked most of the weekend as the super boss was also going to be there that week and we needed to be prepared. I reached the hotel and called my boss. He came down and said he had taken a biz centre on 1st floor. I followed him there and when we entered the centre, I saw an HR person there too. It did not even strike me then. Overconfidence! There was also a letter on the table in an envelope. I noticed everything but not what it implied.

I sat down. Chit chat and then he said the famous words. “Your role has been impacted”. I remember I kept saying ok, ok to all that he was saying but something was building up inside me. I know the HR person was describing the various options available to me but nothing registered. Then I got up and said something like I need a break. I knew I was crying and did not really care. I walked out and went to the only place – restroom where I could be alone and away from eyes for some time.

Few minutes inside and I was angry. Why me? I had not done anything wrong- I had reasonably good performance. People said I was good. And I knew it. Knew it in all sincerity that I was better than several out there. I needed to find out. I stomped out and went back to the den. I said I wanted to talk to my boss. The HR person still did not leave. I asked- why me? He said he was going to be honest and that one of us had to go- either it would have been him or me. I had nothing more to say after that. Today I am not even sure what he said was true, but that day it took everything out of me. I had no more fight left. The HR person kept on droning something which I never really heard, just said fine to everything . Handed over my entry to the office- access card and left. With my head held high.

This encounter has taken a lot out of me. Maybe the HR person realised that. She asked if I wanted to talk to some counsellor etc. She said it very gently but I was angry. I snapped at her- Do you think I am going to jump off a cliff. I won’t!

The first week wasn’t so bad. In order to prove to others that I was a survivor, I had to remain strong and that helped. I spoke to a number of people. Told everyone that I was fine. I knew the ropes. This happened in MNCs .

The second week was sending reminders to everyone. My mornings always started with a flurry of mails in the morning on the blackberry. Now I open my mail folder and it is empty. This is an emptiness that I dread every day. I am the only one who is free- everyone around me is so busy. I hardly had a social life. My life revolved around my work, my family.

The third week is bad. I can’t laugh any more. My mother says that it is taking a toll on me. I try to keep busy by cooking, networking, reading and some TV. I always used to think; when I have spare time I will do so many things. But I can’t focus too much on anything. I don’t feel like talking much; go about my duties with a blank mind. Can’t sleep much. I wake up every couple of hours. Earlier I used to feel the lack of sleep. Now when I have time, I can’t utilise it. It is ironic.

My counsellor says I am still in “denial”. A friend had come all the way from Chennai to Delhi and wanted to meet for lunch. I made an excuse and did not meet him. I did not want to talk about my work, this was the only way to avoid it. “101 excuses to avoid tough topics”. My family wants me to attend a function in Jaipur. I am avoiding it. People will make small talk- how is work? What do I say- should I lie? Should I avoid it? Let me be smarter and avoid the trip. Right, I am in denial. That is fine. I’ll live with it.

Will any medicine take that pain away from me- ever?