Is life really so bad?

{Author’s Notes: This was my first blog post ever. I wrote in on my birthday, 9 years ago. In fact, it was this particular incident that prompted me to start a blog. Updated it on October 28, 2015}

There was this one thing I wanted to write down somewhere for a very long time. Never found the time and the place. Trying it now…

In the first few months of living in Pune, I traveled to work using public transport. My bus always passed over the bridge connecting Pune Station and Sohrab Hall. It was a pretty narrow bridge, especially because of all the street bumpkins, tramps, and beggars living on its footpaths, on either side.
It was just another normal day and I was looking out of the window, hoping that the traffic would move along faster, when I happened to notice this absolutely destitute girl, 5 to 6 years of age. Another girl, a little younger than her (who I assumed was her sister), was tugging at her. It was a very sunny morning, and both the girls were seething in the heat. The elder sister held very tightly in her hands, something that the younger sister badly wanted. She screamed, she cried, she chased; the elder sister resisted, ran, dodged, even hit back; but finally gave in, and dropped what was in her hand on the ground.
The younger one scooped it happily, stopped crying at once, and merrily went about playing with it.

At first, I hadn’t seen what this object of contention was.  I had thought it would be food or a toy, or something like that.
Only when it was dropped on the ground, did I get a glimpse of it. I will not ask you to guess what it was, for I myself wouldn’t have been able to guess it, not even in my wildest dreams!

It was a broken plastic doll’s head, with all her golden hair still intact.

For a moment, I was stunned, speechless. For a long time after that, I could hardly speak. I kept thinking about the whole episode for quite a few days after that.

It was such an inconspicuous incident, if you look at it. If I had looked out of the window a minute later, I might have missed it. But somehow, it had a strong effect on me. I mean, the fact that something that we would discard just as easily as dirt meant a lot to someone; that they could fight over it; could cry, scream, snatch for it; they could be crazy with joy after they finally laid their hands on it -this whole idea seemed very ironic, satirical, and so dramatic to me!

Before witnessing that, I always thought that occurrence of such dramatic incidents was the sole copyright of Ekta Kapoor type TV serials or movies. That they also occur in real life, and are much deeper, was a revelation for me. It forced me to think how miserable life is; and how lucky we are, not to be subjected to such a life. Happiness is such a relative thing , I realized then.

But however positively I tried to look at the situation, I just couldn’t bring myself to forget the sight of the doll’s head falling on the ground and the child’s face beaming with joy. I still cannot actually. But soon something else happened, that helped me reinstate my belief about the goodness of life.
What was it?  We shall see that in my next blog post! https://amruta.wordpress.com/2006/11/01/nothere-are-surely-rays-of-hope/

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10 thoughts on “Is life really so bad?

  1. Its really heartening and highly gripping. The narration / presentation, rather the down pour of something recalled, was graphic as it preferred to be immaculate. Yes! we need to look around, at least some times, with heart. Thanks for showing another new way of looking at incidents around and sharing.

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  2. Yes as a previous comment says…”Really heartening and slightly gripping”.
    A very fluent and expressive presentation that beckons the almost dormant “Kind and compassionate human being” in us to have a look around and understand that joy does not have to do anything with jazzily lit parites, flashy cellular phones and laptops but has a lot to do with the smiles of people around us especially KIDS.
    Great work and a fantastic presentation!!

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  3. I have heard several people complaining about petty day to day things that make them miserable.
    Such incidents do makes one realise and appreciate how lucky he/she is really.
    The incident does not make me depressed … it only reassures my belief that it is these so called small things are what really make a difference…u may accomplish as much money and success in life….(it is important i dont deny it)
    but a breath of fresh air….scent of soil after first rains…a hand on your shoulder when you are depressed…sharing ur thoughts with your loved ones….knowing you have atleast one person in life you can completely trust…and atleast one person who trusts u…ofcourse..having the doll u so much loved be it all broken…the sense of joy and satisfaction that these things bring to you is what matters most in life..

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  4. No words for this as you have used most of them in your narration. Well life is really bad…1 sec…no no life is damn gud yaar…again 1 sec…life is so bad…1 sec….well our definitions change with what we see, what we have, what we accomplish, what we loose and what we desire for. Its not about judging whether life is gud or bad, its more about how to improve upon the existing versions because the more we complain the more we become ironical. Life is a journey that needs to be travelled…well yes at a pace one decides for himself. And its also not the same for everybody..(how can it be…practically..) Some go through bad times and complain that life is really bad. But when the same people go thru ecstatic times, they forget that life is indeed very good. Yeah we do see some things around that make us say that life is bad but the onus is on us only to make it better as we are the sole rider of this vehicle of each. Its only us who has to decide….

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  5. I see u have chosen not to reply to all of them above. What was it that u reinstated your belief about goodness again. Did u write it somewhere.

    This actually brings me to the point i thought i must bring up. When u write something new does it come up on the homepage.

    I have saved the URL in favourites so i land on that page everytime and then unsure whether u updated something that day.

    🙂

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  6. Well, I chose not to reply to them because I, and they, had already said what was to be said about the topic… There was nothing much left to be discussed right? 🙂

    Yes I did write what reinstated my belief about goodness again, and I did it in my immediate next article on this blog…anyways, if u were unable to find it, u can go thru this link:
    https://amruta.wordpress.com/2006/11/01/nothere-are-surely-rays-of-hope/

    And that’s a good suggestion!! Will put up a column about the most recent posts on the right side of my homepage…. thanks buddy!! 🙂

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  7. Simply Superb…Do check out my blog and u will find many message oriented stories…I m planning to publish it even..i assure u dat u will find it surely interesting

    sekhariitm.wordpress.com

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    1. Yes, nutritious food is definitely a basic requirement for living; but sometimes it makes me wonder: is food, water, shelter enough? What about emotional requirements? I know this is a conundrum and has no answer, but a wandering mind wonders…

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