A seven pages letter from Anita (not the real name). To cut it short, she lost her father during childhood. Anita couldn’t complete her studies. Her family forced her to marry her uncle’s son, who is 14 years older. Later, she found that the boy is a drug addict, pervert, and sadist. But the entire family, including her mother, didn’t support her.
“Many family members knew that he was an addict. They were trying to rectify him via marriage, making me a scapegoat. After my dad’s death, my uncle was handling finance. My mom always trusted him blindly,” Anita said. She faced much hardship there – helplessness and trauma haunted her. She became very depressed and toyed with the idea of committing suicide. That’s when one of her friends forwarded her my old article “Depressed girl and the butterfly effect”.
Anita wrote to me seeking help. You need to consult a qualified doctor as genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors play a role in depression.
Whoever comes to me saying he/she is down and depressed, I do a ‘virtual’ pat on their shoulders and request them to consult a doctor. But in the case of Anita, that was not enough. She said her family won’t allow that. There is no other alternative, but death, she thought.
I told her: “If you die today, the next day would just be the second day after the death. Nothing will happen to the world. Only, you lose your precious life and a great future. Bad things happen to make you better, not bitter.”
“My life is anyways useless and lost sir…”
“Ok, in that case, why don’t you spare me some time from your life before committing suicide?”
“Yes sir, what do you want me to do?”
“Learn some facts. The thinking process happens when neurons fire inside your brain, especially the prefrontal cortex, as the area responsible for managing thoughts. It doesn’t happen in any other part of the body.”
“Yes sir. I know it.”
“Then, why don’t you use the brain (intelligence) to think? Why do you let the heart (considered to be the seat of emotions) think for you? What’s the point in wasting time being down in self-pity and ignoring a bright future? You are overwhelmed by emotions now. So your reactions would be wrong. Instead, use brain to enhance diplomatic actions based on facts.”
Anita was blessed with intelligence – she could easily grasp things.
“Now, the very fundamental secret of life is revealed by our ancestor Krishna in the Bhagavat Gita: Uddharet Atmana Atmanam.”
“I don’t understand…”
“The meaning is: ‘I alone can bring about my upliftment and progress on all fronts.’ Each individual should lift himself with his own effort. There is no one else in the universe who can do it for you. Because the real Krishna is within you and not outside. ‘Do not let yourself go down’ is his command. We are our own help. If we cannot help ourselves, there is none to help us.”
I told her to use her brain, find a way to continue her studies, and get a job for her financial independence. Every female should fix this as the first and foremost motto in life: education and financial independence. Once you achieve this, you can do anything you want.
“You will have to bear with the current situation till you become financially independent. Yes, you have a depressing situation at home. Being emotional won’t solve that. Instead, use brain and diplomacy to manage the situation in your favor,” I told her. You don’t have to be cunning, but you need to be shrewd at times. We talked a lot. As said, Anita was an intelligent girl – a diamond unpolished.
The rest of the story is about her empowerment. She has broken her conditioning. She came out of the pitiful condition that we often mistake as a ‘comfort zone’. The fact-based thinking will set you free. Once it happens, then, the sky is the limit.
All you need to have is a Dharmic goal. Then the divine will unleash opportunities.
She re-joined the computer course. She also worked as a part-time teacher in the same institution. Yes, the family troubled her a lot. She silently bore the pain and suffering as she had internally set her goal. She was patient and waiting for her chance, instead of being jumpy, reactive, and impulsive. Yes, the brain started working based on facts, and not emotions.
Incidentally, I wanted to warn her to take precautions not to get impregnated during this time. But I didn’t know how to communicate this to a girl who is my daughter’s age. But somehow she understood that.
She has gone a step ahead. She sold her jewelry to pay education fees! She also has created proof/recorded her husband’s abusive activities and drug usage. “My sole aim is to get a divorce from him when I stand up on my feet.”
Somedays I would get just crying Emojis. I would reply with a Smiley, that’s all. That was her request too. “Sir, you always send a Smiley. You do not show any sympathy. ”
That’s true. I don’t have sympathy, as I believe it is a fake emotion.
Yes, her hard work, and dedicated work, yielded a great result. She has got a decent job in Bangalore, far away from her home. Now she can decide on her future.
“Sir, my family won’t allow me to go for this job. I guess they have got some hints about my plans. Yesterday, the entire family fought with me.”
“What do you want?”
“I would want to tell them madhyangule adhara pudasthe” (I just used a polished phrase here, it means to show them the middle finger).”
She used her brain and moved to a ladies’ hostel. The powerful Constitution of India is there to support her. There was legal aid. To cut it short, she got divorced too without much effort.
“But taking care of your mom too is your Dharma…” I reminded her.
“Sir, I will beg her to come with me…”Anita said. But mom didn’t go with her.
She got another IT job, later migrated to the USA, and is now in a position where she is second to the director post. She is happy now. Married again, have one child too. Now, Mom also has joined her. She messaged me recently: “When you come to the USA next, please keep a month free for us. Stay with us. I want to introduce you to my child as his Grandfather.”
I said I will try. I am happy that she considers me her father. (I have few such non-biological children). All I share with them is my best wishes and prayer of Ayurarogyasoukhyam. I don’t give them anything else. And I can’t expect anything from them too. As said, a little pat on the shoulder and introducing facts-based thinking would go a long way.
You’ve quite a lot of things to do in life – for yourself and, then for people around you. The most precious thing in life is time, you won’t get an extra second. So if you think you hit bottom, please donate some of your time to others. Remember what Krishna said: “Uddharet Atmana Atmanam”. It’s your basic duty to take care of your health, wealth, and well-being. Don’t expect anyone else to do that. Dharma follows then. (Message No: 253)
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