Stop Crying Sister

Toss a coin and choose a face. Keep trying until you win the toss. Are you telling me that you won in the first go? Well why don’t you toss again, let’s see how long can you go on winning?

Last week one of my favourite cousins paid a visit after a long time. The bell chimed and I opened the door to find an overweight woman in her mid 40’s. Her bloated face and red nose contrasted with the big bulging eyes that sunk deep into her skull, giving her face an almost skeletal appearance. I gave her a warm smile and a tight hug which she returned halfheartedly. The years following her divorce had been harsh.

“How is the job?” I asked her. She had finally found employment after a year.

“I quit”, she replied. I immediately sensed her uneasiness and changed the topic.

We spent the next half an hour making small talk, or at least tried to do so, in fact I was the one trying. I told her that I had resumed my studies, made new friends and joined a Pilates’ class. She nodded in approval and requested for a glass of water in an almost inaudible voice. I went to the kitchen and saw her reflection next to mine on the glossy refrigerator door. It reminded me of the beige couch in her apartment, where I sat howling like a headless chicken fluttering and stuttering to express the pain and anguish in words. That was several years ago, I had just dropped out of college, was unsure of returning to the city of my birth and my parents were forcing me to marry the boy they had chosen after much “consideration”.


Any Luck with that toss yet. Choose heads this time, though I think Tales has an equal probability.

Back then the events unfolded in such a fashion that I was disheartened to the extent of hopelessness. Everyone thought I was just running away from myself. Only I knew that I was peddling towards something. I didn’t start a fresh, I didn’t get to choose the circumstances or the people who created those circumstances, but I emerged. I emerged from the crippling pits of self-pity unabashed and unafraid. She didn’t seem very happy hearing all this.

And then out of nowhere in a hushed tone she whispered, “He married again and has a two-year old daughter.”

He had moved on and she had not, and something told me that she wasn’t going to move on anytime soon. She was scared of facing the void that would be left, once all the feelings of anger and pain had been done away with. People often cling on to their past because they are afraid of living in the present. People often continue to suffer because they are afraid of a future in which they are all by themselves. My cousin unfortunately was one such person. She summed it up as her mid-life crisis. Of course it was more than that.

Hold on to that coin because it shows how similar happiness is to grief; that both have an equal possibility.

My cousin I hope reaches the same conclusion as I did. Next time I hope to stumble upon a renewed person; someone who has broken the shackles of a stifling relationship and moved on to live a happier more fulfilling life.

Edited by ‘bhilash


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