There are days one feels, everything is blacked out. There wouldn’t be any reasons for it, but it just happens. Its like an opposite to big bang. Everything you do go nothing. That includes, time, space, mass and energy. You would have counted on them in your entire life right? Now imagine everything without time, space, mass and energy? That’s called nothing. An emptiness. Strange but I am witnessing it. How am I witnessing it? Its like sitting in the end of the universe and watch the universe collapsing. One by one. You feel bad for it. But you got nothing to do. You can’t go and stop the universe from collapsing. After all its a norm and its happening everywhere. Just that you feel bad because the one collapsing is yours. You can try rescuing it. But its like an ant trying to moon land. You won’t see a single ray of light, hope and future. Nothing can make you back yourself. Confused?. Forget it. Its a state of the mind. I quoted this saying more often already.
“A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought...alone”
Anyway its not smart to get bogged down and leave your emotions to take over your brain. People try different things to overcome this. There was a time in Singapore. We were in a server room doing a massive project of our time and I was leading the team. Singaporeans are ruthless professionals. They would never give room for mistakes and if we commit, then they will make us count for it. So although I showed a brave face, I knew I was tensed and so did my team. The time was ticking and we all were working tirelessly and its about past midnight, as often the case, a team member made a blunder. A blunder would make us pay the heavy price. We needed to sort it out sooner. The atmosphere was becoming vulnerable and could break anytime. What did I do to cool things down? I just went to restroom. Spent 10 minutes there humming an A R Rahman song. If I recall it correct, it was “Malargale Malargale”. Soon I realised it wasn’t a blunder but a small hiccup and there is an immediate plan B available too. We did it and we got through the situation. Hmm. One of those days.
But humming a song and going to restroom wouldn’t always help. It depends on the nature of the problem you are in. If you are emotionally down, listening to a song may not usually help. It makes things worse. Because songs make you soft and innocence. Going to Gym is a superb alternative. A physical hardship can surpass the pain of emotional breakdowns. If it doesn’t then you can try to do more push-ups, or increase the speed of the treadmill or something. But the issue is, you can’t live in the Gym for ever. The moment you do the stretches and cool offs, that’s it, emotions will gradually take you over.
Another option is driving. Driving alone especially. It can bring peace, no doubt about it. But its bit dangerous if you get insane and go out of your mind. Its not something advisable to everybody. But it definitely helps and lot of my friends do it and would agree with me I am sure.
That leaves me two other options. My favourite options. Reading and Writing. When Harsha, Sayanthan and I went to Nepal together, we used to read a lot. In the trains, in the planes, hotel rooms and even sitting besides the beautiful Pokra lake, we were reading most of the times. Imagine a level of peace you will feel when reading at the middle of surrounded Himalaya ranges. Reading is meant for that. Not everybody can read and feel. And I always feel blessed to have that habit. And I get jealous with people like Sayanthan and Harsha. Sayanthan reads two books a week. That’s the amount of time he spends on reading. A quote in The Namesake says “That's the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.”
Then I have my writing! Writing gives me a sense of engagement to a topic, makes me doing a bit of research and study. I would think about the format and design of the post. And I will just get drained while doing it. The aftermath effect of writing will last for at least a couple of days for me. And that with the combination of things above, I can usually get through the problems without anybody’s helps. It doesn’t really matter for me whether the post get read by others or not. Last week I wrote a story, I was initially satisfied with it then went on to published it. The very next day, the story didn’t look justifiable to me. It didn’t bring any value to a common reader. A reader will only get confused with the plot other than enjoying the witty dialogues. It doesn’t deserve a publishing. Result? Deleted It!
There are times, none of above works,. The writing wouldn’t move beyond the first line. Its tough. In these situations we got only way out. As we strive to make it through, hearing the wisdom of others who struggled, suffered and even murdered can make our journey easier. Its ironical but it makes us think, we put in through nothing but a small glitch in our lives. Whenever I think about the book “Still Counting The Dead”, I feel exactly the same. My issues are nothing but stupid emotional confusions. These people have lost their land, life, loves and pretty much everything. They starved for weeks if not months, their infant babies got killed while breast feeding. Loved ones lost their lives in front of them. People get raped, kidnapped and killed. And I am having my happy meals everyday, not having to worry about getting killed when I step out of my beautiful home, still worry about something. Go to hell me.
I was shell shocked after finished reading the book, was wondering how Francis Harrison, the author of the book could manage to hold herself together to come up with such a epic non-fiction of true stories. So I sent her message.
Dear Ms Francis Harrison,
It’s been three weeks since I finished reading "Still Counting The Dead".
of-course the reading was a painful exercise, which I wanted to experience to its fullest effect. I felt I shared the pain of Gowris', Ushas', Nirons' and Manimozhis' when reading it. It hurts, it kills, and it makes me guilty while reading each and every word in the book.
I may have been well settled here in Australia, sitting in front of my machine and typing this email, feeling blessed to have survived and be safe.
But as an ordinary Tamil, it also makes me feeling responsible for the atrocities happened and happening to the very same people. Would I have done something different to prevent this? I donno.
I cried when I read that it wasn't a palmyrah fruit but the head of an infant child. I was in the train. People were surprised and one kind lady offered me a tissue. It wasn't embarrassing. The same thing happened too when I read about the dead mom breast feeding her baby. I wonder how you managed to pull it off without breaking down.
Thanks a lot Francis, hoping to see you in March here in Melbourne. I did try to write a snippet of this book in my blog too but in Tamil.
Hope justice will prevail one day.
Her kindness, replied immediately.
the dying mum breastfeeding is my worst bit too of the whole book.
Thanks for your kind message - these contacts with readers make all the difference in what has been a lonely and FRUSTRATING road!
see u in Melbourne then I hope - come and introduce yourself please!
I have no complains what so ever with my life anymore. And I am meeting her today!