Being alone is not the same as being lonely #L #Loneliness #AtoZChallenge

We’re all a bit scared of loneliness – of being alone. Of being left. Of not being loved. Or needed. Or cared about. “Lonely” hits a spot of fear in all of us even if we don’t acknowledge it.

Being alone is a state of being by oneself without others around. It can actually be a healthy phenomenon, as everyone needs a little time away from others to plan, to think, and to rest.

However, being lonely is a different matter entirely. We are especially prone to loneliness in the modern society. Social media like Facebook, Whatsapp, or Snapchat may allow more convenient communication, but all these ways of communication neglect the importance of face-to-face socialization.

And at the end, despite many “friends” we have on the online media, they don’t really have anyone to talk to when they need friends most.

We prefer online communication to face-to-face conversation because online communication is less committed, if you don’t respond instantly, it’s okay. But face-to-face conversation doesn’t really need to be stressful. When you’re with someone who you can be comfortable with, silence is precious too.

Audrey Hepburn once said:

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others”

This quote highlights the importance of helping others, and also highlights the fact that most of the time we are the key to many problems we are facing; in other words, you can cure your loneliness.

Giving others a hand will help you realize your value, as you discover you are capable of doing so. And helping others also open up opportunities of deep friendships, as very often, a deep relationship is forged in adversity.

When we talk about “helping others”, you don’t need to always save others by risking life. You can just pay attention to details.

Write your colleague a card if he or she is unhappy. Read out loud for the old man living next to you. Or help a child to reach the top of a rack

#SpeakingCinema

Charulata –  Charulata, a beautiful saga of loneliness by Styajit ray himself  is based on a story by Rabindranath Tagore, Nastanirh (The broken Nest) and set in Calcutta in the late nineteenth century. Bengal Renaissance is at its peak and India is under the British rule. The film revolves around Charulata / Charu (Madhabi Mukherjee), the childless, intelligent and beautiful wife of Bhupati (Sailen Mukherjee). He edits and publishes a political newspaper. Bhupati is an upper class Bengali intellectual with a keen interest in politics and the freedom movement.

Charu is interested in the arts, literature and poetry. Though Bhupati loves his wife, he has no time for her. She has little to do in the house run by a fleet of servants. Sensing her boredom, Bhupati invites Charu’s elder brother Umapada and wife Manda to live with them. Umapada helps in running of the magazine and the printing press. Manda with her silly and crude ways is no company for the sensitive and intelligent Charulata.

Amal (Soumitra Chatterjee), Bhupati’s younger cousin comes on a visit. Bhupati asks him to encourage Charu’s cultural interests. Amal is young, handsome and is of the same age group as Charu. He has literary ambitions and shares her interests in poetry. He provides her with much needed intellectual companionship and attention. An intimate relationship develops between Charulata and Amal. There is a hint of rivalry when she publishes a short story on her own without his knowledge. He realizes that Charulata is in love with him but is reluctant to reciprocate due to the guilt involved.

As a respect to Satyajit Ray, we will discuss Charulata only in detail.

In Charulata, Satyajit Ray explores the emergence of the modern woman in the upper-class of colonial India. One can not help drawing parallels with Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.

The opening sequence is a piece of cinematic poetry. We see the young wife Charulata moving from one window to another in her house. She observes the activities of the outside world through the window blinds using opera glasses. She is like a caged bird in her mansion. We sense her curiosity and desire to know the outside world.

As she moves to the interior corridor of the house, we see her intellectual husband. He is too engrossed in a book and walks past her without even noticing her presence. She watches him as he walks away and stands reading. Charu raises her opera glasses and looks again as if he too belongs to the outside world. As Bhupati disappears from the view, she is expressionless and lets the opera glasses slip down. The camera is pulled back sharply, “like a flourish with a pen at the end of an essay …” in Ray’s words. Without a dialogue being spoken, we know Charulata is condemned to her loneliness and boredom.

In the final sequence, as Bhupati returns home after wandering aimlessly, Charu opens the door. Gently and with hesitation, she asks him to enter. A wavering Bhupati enters the door and reaches toward her hand. The shot is frozen and is followed with still images of Charu’s half-lit face, Bhupati’s half-lit face, a servant holding a lamp, a mid-shot of Charu and Bhupati and finally a long-shot of them. As the music rises the words “Nastanirh” (Bengali, The Broken Nest) fill the screen. It was ray’s cinematic answer to Tagore’s original ending in which Bhupati has to go out of town and Charu asks him to take her with him. He hesitates to which Charu says “Thak” meaning “Let it be”. As Ray explained later, it was his visual equivalent of the word “Thak”. “The two are about to reconcile and then prevented from doing so.”

Hail Satyajit Ray.

How to speak about your mental condition #H #AtoZChallenge

OK. We have made a lot of hoopla around mental health and the forms of illness and we will continue that.

But the question that i was asked by a reader was how to speak about it. And gosh, that is important and we completely missed it.

If you recognize symptoms of any common mental health problem and are worried, or if you feel that something isn’t right but you can’t put your finger on why, we recommend that you speak to someone in family, someone who cares and then therapist.

Some of the most frequently experienced symptoms include:

  • loss of apetite
  • feeling low or constantly anxious or worrying
  • thinking negative thoughts about yourself
  • irritability or moodiness
  • finding it harder than usual to concentrate
  • not enjoying your life as much as you once did
  • finding day-to-day life difficult (not feeling up to washing or eating, for example)
  • trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much
  • seeing or hearing things that other people do not see or hear

One thing is important- You may be generally sad and not depressed even with these symptoms, it’s the persistence of these symptoms over a period of time that is crucial.

It can be daunting to speak to someone that you may not know well about your mental health, but most people find that speaking  can make all the difference to their lives.

And this “Speaking Up” is not a cake walk and we know that. Make some pointers before you speak to your therapist:

  • Be patient, the treatment mat take time.
  • Communication is the key- Your doctor is not a mind reader or an astrologer, communicate clearly about your life events or thought process so that he/ she can come up with proper diagnosis.
  • State your expectations and understand his limitations
  • Be a good person with timely follow back.
  • Remember that diagnosing and treating depression takes time and expertise, so if your goal is to make your symptoms disappear immediately, you’re likely to be disappointed
  • Treat him/her as a friend rather than a doctor.

Speaking Cinema

One movie that hugely impressed me with a patient- therapist relationship is Dear Zindagi. This  exploration of the inner life of a young successful, ambitious woman confused with relationships (Sounds familiar……Na?) is fairly unprecedented in Bollywood. In Tanu Weds Manu 2, we do get a chance to see Tanu’s  bipolar struggles. But the shabby treatment of the movie and a predictable attempt to make it comedy with punchlines like

“Tu Kaun hai be?”

“Main kandha hun”( I am that shoulder on which girls lean). ………….Oh please, give me some better jokes.

Instead, in the opening scene, Tanu manages to turn marriage counselling into an opportunity to get her husband locked up in an asylum.(WTF) In Queen, Rani needs the trip to Paris to transform herself into this confident avatar (But we ain’t geeting Paris dear ladies)

It’s soothing, therefore, to hear Khan tell Kiara that she doesn’t have to forgive her parents or confront them for abandoning her. To hear Khan tell Kiara that she is not “cheap” but “superfine” to not settle for the first man who comes down the pike. Kiara has  nightmares about society judging her for being unmarried and unloved. (Happening with definitely me).It’s even more soothing when Khan tells Kiara that no society — no matter how judgmental — doesn’t have to think well of her, as long as she thinks well of herself.

The best part about this movie is how Gauri shinde doesn’t create any love angle between therapist and Kaira. And that is how it should be, we all are left crushing over Shahrukh and a rocking chair. But what we leave behind is :

When Kaira confesses about life being an interminable musical in so far as the new singer guy in her life is concerned, SRK’s Dr Khan is quick to retort with a good humoured jibe: “Aur tumhein to dialogue pasand hain (You like dialogues)”. Or when he himself says “we are all our own teachers in the school of life” and then comes back with “ye kuchh zyada heavy ho gaya (it’s too heavy-handed)”. Oh, we love you Shahrukh.

Dear Zindagi is a breezy change in the rare movies pertaining to mental health. I will leave you with a beautiful deleted scene of Dear Zindagi.

 

Postcard from P: I am there for you

Dear younger ones

Today in this postcard i will not be talking about relationships. The first postcard of 2017 and it’s about those magical words. 2017 had a rocky start and somewhere i now know that life can never be perfect. It throws not lemons but stones and boulders and you definitely can’t make a lemonade out of it. But between those panic moments, teary eyes, anxious breaths at one end and i am there for you at other………..life happens.

We all pretend to be strong, we all pretend that we can handle but believe me nothing is more reassuring than a word of solace. a hug that says i am along, an embrace you want to melt into. a tap on head that says don’t worry, a bar of chocolate left on your table saying skipping meals don’t help,and when a best friend says “You want me to come along?”, you feel protected, you feel secured and you know that you have earned two things-

  • Lesson that life can always have a sudden turn and you are never prepared for it.
  • You have earned something more priceless than a message that says salary has been credited to your account, you have earned relationships.

So this new year say this to anyone who is facing a tough time.They will find the strength and inspiration they need to make the first step towards the better day. Everyone is fighting a battle, You can make it easy, you really can.

Love

P.

And that’s when I knew that I was going to be okay.

 

पहाड़ों के लिहाफ़ में

 

 

पहाड़ों के लिहाफ़ में

सिमटे हुये, पैरों को सिकोड़े

एक रुका हुआ वक़्त

कुछ दोस्त, कई किस्से

वो प्यार के सबके अपने फलसफे

ज़िन्दगी की दौड़ से अलग हटकर

खुद को देखते, बस देखते

किसी को समझाने की जिद नहीं

यादों के फोल्डर से

निकाल के कुछ अधूरे ख्वाब

हरी घास पर, ओस की बूँद पर बैठे

कुछ दोस्त, कई किस्से

बेबाक होने का सुकून

न कुछ प्रूव करने की घबराहट

कहीं न जाने को उतरती सीढ़ियाँ

खिड़की पर चाँद का धुंधला अक्स

अचानक से आती किसी हेडलाइट की रौशनी

रात के अंतिम पहर में

बेखयाली में हँसते

तसल्ली की 5 चाय

और बेफिक्री की मैगी

पहाड़ों के लिहाफ़ में

सिमटे हुये, पैरों को सिकोड़े

एक रुका हुआ वक़्त

कुछ दोस्त, कई किस्से

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