what I Learnt from ‘A Day at a Time’-I

Dearest Sally,
You know how I’ve been reading this book, called ‘A Day at a Time’. It is basically used as a prayer guide for recovering alcoholics. It is written by an anonymous writer, and what a writer he is.
Reading through the book, the writer often talks about addiction to drugs and how to deal with it actually a day at a time. Every page is dated from the first of January till the last day of the year. Every page has a diagnosis of a possible symptom followed by a prayer and it ends with a single line for the addict to remember so he can relate the entire lesson of the day.
There is one lesson I really liked and have been passing it on to my friends. Its about addiction to people. People we know, friends, spouse, girlfriend, anyone to whom we think we need to call and tell them all about how we hurt our little finger with the thorn.
We get addicted to people, we rely on them way too much than is healthy or wise. And most importantly, we don’t realise it. So when that person or persons are not around we suffer the withdrawal symptoms. Racing heart, ‘oh my God’, ‘oh my God’, what am I going to do?
This doesn’t mean you love less the poeple you love, neither does it mean that you shun everyone around you and become a hermit and practice the art of being alone. No. This just means that love people, make friends, get married, do whatever you always wanted to do.
But addiction is a bad thing and can make you act insane, even when its not drugs.

Posted in Dear Sally

The Relativity of ‘Choice’

Dear Sally,

As a child my grandfather always used to tell me how in life you have to choose a boat to sail on. He emphasized on the point that there should only be ‘one’ boat’ to choose. For, he explained that sailing on two boats would never take me to my destination. As a child, I heard him, it is only today that I understand what he was trying to say.

Life is a cross road one after the other. There are sign boards everywhere. Choices to be made all the time. Decisions to be decided every moment. If you look back at your life, you’ll notice that some of the choices you made long before, if made differently could have embarked you to an entirely different course, and hence destination.

The relativity of choice hangs in balance every moment of everyday in our lives. While the major choices determine where we end up, the small ones decide who we are. Sadly, some of the small choices many of us make, are made because we ‘can’ and not because we ‘should’ or ‘ought’.

We choose to lash out, speak negativity, raise a screeching voice, express how we have been offended only because we ‘can’. There is another side to the story though. There is also a choice of ‘not to’ spread malice. But seldom do we glance at that path and carry on with our guns and shovels because we ‘can’.

So to reform ourselves, lets make an oath to ourselves and say that from now onwards we would choose between what we ‘can’ and what we ought ‘let go, let live’ wisely. May we not make war by crucifying those who speak the truth and which unfortunately does not lay parallel to the world we have created for ourselves.

Posted in Dear Sally

The Abyss

Dear Sally,

You know how I tend to fall into an abyss from time to time. I’ve told you in our journal how dark it is, how foreboding. Frequenting an oblivion is not easy. It is not merry. You forget what you were doing, and after a while you start forgetting why you are doing it. A life where you stand on the ledge all the time, and you don’t know when you will get back to safety. It’s a dreary life. A life I wouldn’t wish on anyone, not even an enemy.

Sometimes, I ask God if death is easier. That too is oblivion, is it not? But then I tell myself that in death you don’t walk the ledge. You are beyond it, here or there. Not suck in the betweens. Not knowing where beyond the ledge I’ll end up while I still hold on to here, death too seems tormenting. Ignorance, Sally, after all is not always a blessing.

I was reading somewhere that faith is a leap into darkness. Into the unknown. Faith is betting on something you know very little about. Choosing to have faith is like a gamble, but it is an all-win situation. Blaise Pascal said, ‘In choosing to believe in God, the risk is finite but the gain infinite.’ So, while I try to pass the fifteen minutes while my respiration arrests and I cough and choke to breath, I hold on to faith and tell myself “This too shall pass.”

Posted in Dear Sally

How Does Man Console Himself?

Dear Sally,

When man is stricken with grief, how does he console himself? In those heavy moments, when the weight of your own body feels too much, and you wish you could wrench your heart out in hope that maybe you would feel less…how does man console himself?

We tell ourselves, “have hope”, “have faith”, but what is hope and faith? Were we born with these entities, or were we supposed to learn about them and gradually develop them? Who was supposed to teach us about them? Does by being a part of a religion or a sect provide us with hope and faith? So, does that mean that people who do not believe in a Higher Power are void of them?

Sometimes, Sally, I think that in moments of grief and despair we tend to lie to ourselves. But, what then, shall we do when we run out of lies? How do we then console ourselves? Is ripping our heart out from our chest, the best solution? Or should we ask God to make us feel less, that we may no longer carry the grief that sometimes hits us bad? Does that mean that we should trade an aching heart for a life-less stone- a heart that does not feel anything? More importantly, are we willing to exchange the pain for less humanity?

How does man console himself?

Posted in Dear Sally

Remember him? He was so kind…

Dear Sally,

I am sorry that I am shifting some of our conversations from our journal to the digital world, but I just thought that perhaps, the world might muse over some of the topics of our conversations.

I was thinking last night before I went to bed, that in life we have experiences of all sort. Usually, more bad and disappointing ones than the good. But when night falls, and all is said and done, we don’t remember much of anything. At the end of the journey, when we are done climbing to the top of the mountain, we don’t really remember how hard the climb was.

In life, at the end of whatever turn, we never remember who was rude to us or who tried their best to pull us down in the deep. Neither do we remember the scratches and bruises it left us with. The pain, with time ceases too.

What we do remember is, the people who were good to us. Who lent us their outstretched hand. We remember the people who offered us water when we were thirsty. Who told us we are brave enough to make the climb. Those are the ones we remember after a tough battle. And then we tell ourselves, “remember, he was so kind.”