Dr. Nalini: It has been a year that you are taking these counseling sessions and medicines. You have two options… either you continue doing this to you and drop your year or fight back and move on. Choice is yours!
With tears dried cheeks and swollen eyes, Adhira looked at Dr. Nalini. She nodded her head saying yes to college once again. It had been a year to her mother’s demise but her face bespoke the scars of her aching heart. She couldn’t run away from the sorrow. All she could do was keep the pain deep within her and move on.
Adhira was the youngest among 2 sisters and a brother. Being a pampered kid, getting into depression after her mother’s demise was quite natural. But very few kids are blessed with an understanding father like Adhira’s.
After his wife, Devyani’s death, Danish noticed anxiety, mood swings, frequent anger outbursts etc. in Adhira. She was never an aggressive child so noticing such a drastic behavioral change was natural. He talked to his friend who was a doctor himself and approached Dr. Nalini on a recommendation.
Adhira: Will you come along on the first day of my college?
Dr. Nalini: No!
Adhira: *silent with a sadness covering her face*
Dr. Nalini: When you went to your school for the first time, how did you react? Do you remember?
Adhira: Muma once told that I was too scared. I wanted her to come along.
Dr. Nalini: Did she accompany you?
Dr. Nalini: Why?
Adhira stayed silent as if she knew the answer but wanted Dr. Nalini to explain.
‘She wanted you to overcome your fear of facing the world. And today, your fear is loneliness. But trust me, the moment you will enter your college, it will be a whole new world with a lot of new beginnings.’ Dr. Nalini paused and held Adhira’s hand. One more drop on her cheek and she agreed to join her college back.
Dr. Nalini took a year to convince Adhira to give a second chance to her life. It was one of the most challenging and close-to-heart cases of her professional journey till date.
As promised to her favorite doctor, Adhira left for college next day. She was a second-year student but it was looking different to her. Nothing was same. Her life changed her ways to see the world. The students’ crowd, chit-chats, friends… she was disinterested in every single thing that she loved once. She got numb in front of her college gate. While she was lost in her own ‘black’ world of thoughts, she listened to a voice coming from her right. It was her friend, Neeti.
She shouted cheerfully. Before Adhira could say anything she hugged her tight.
Adhira: Hey! What’s up?
Neeti: What? You alright? When did you become so formal?
Adhira replied with a smile.
Neeti: Anyways, what are you doing on road? Let’s go inside.
Neeti held Adhira’s hand and took her inside the college. While Neeti was busy sharing all her stories, Adhira had just one thought in her mind, ‘Damn! It’s simple. I entered the college.’
Neeti noticed Adhira’s lost face.
Neeti: I am talking to you, Ms. dreamer. Come back to the real world.
Adhira again replied with her usual gesture, a smile.
Neeti: Wake up Adhu. It’s the first day of our college. Introduction time for freshers… remember?
Adhira: Oh, yes! But I don’t want to be a part of all this. You know I am against ragging.
Neeti: Did I say a word about ragging? It’s introduction time… like we gave to our seniors. Stop thinking too much and come along.
Neeti once again dragged her to the auditorium. She was the only friend, Adhira could never deal with. After all, she doesn’t give a chance to do so.
Neeti: Damn! The auditorium is full. We are late. We need to go in the front. We are the seniors.
Like a yearly task, every fresher started coming in front and giving their introduction. Adhira was least interested in listening to which school they belong to, what they like, and why did they enroll themselves in this college. But then a girl grabbed her attention.
It was Naina, a girl with a stick in hand came on the floor wearing a smile.
‘I am Naina. I cannot tell you my full name as I don’t have it. I’m brought up in an orphanage. I completed my 12th standard privately from the CBSE board. I want to study technology because I don’t think I can ever get a field job with this polio. And above all, it’s a black terminal which filled my life with colors.’
While Naina was speaking everyone was silent but a voice broke it. It was Adhira’s voice.
Adhira: How many friends do you have?
Naina: I have many in my orphanage.
Adhira: Don’t you miss a family?
Naina: No! (she replied with a smile)
Adhira: *silent and confused
‘I don’t have a family and I know it. But I have friends, my working hands, and a brain. I can either use my hands and brain to give a good life to me and hang out with friends or I can nag about my destiny and keep taking sympathies and money from my friends. I choose the former.’ Naina replied in calm and confident tone.
Adhira: Mothers are special. Don’t you miss her?
Naina: Who said I don’t have a mother?
Naina confused Adhira and everyone sitting in the auditorium. It got filled with murmurs of the students till Naina decided to break it.
‘This pretty girl standing next to me helped me in climbing these stairs… I see my mother in her. The gatekeeper who helped me holding my books tight in hands while I was paying to the autowala is my mother. Neha, that girl standing on the right corner of this auditorium… she’s my batchmate. She welcomed me in the college with a smile… she is my mother. Everyone sitting in this auditorium and listening to my uninteresting life is my mother. In fact, I see my mother in you too.’
Naina: Yes! I can see the concern in your eyes. Don’t we see all these things in our mother?
Naina gave a period to her introduction with a question and smile. But this was not the end. It was the new beginning for Adhira. Now, she knew how to deal with the loss.