Monday, August 26, 2013

All Facts,no Fiction.

The following account is a window into the torturous life-paths of many who go about their daily lives without letting on what they are going through.

To come straight to the point,many years ago a boy of about 37 years of age--let's call him Suresh--came to my counseling centre "Sahyog".He had a steady job,good health,ample property and came from a large family consisting of his mother,three sisters and one younger brother.The family had good political connections.

His father,who used to be a government servant,had expired ten years ago.He had been an alcoholic & died of cirrhosis of liver.The family had been in dire straits till he lived.After his death Suresh took charge and got his younger brother--let's name him Ritesh--instated in his father's place.Suresh began to work over-time and married off his sisters one by one.

Problems started when Suresh went to another city for his father's last rites.Ritesh misbehaved with his sisters.It came out that he was a voyeur.

Relations between the two brothers were very good till the elder one got married about two years back.Ritesh started peeping into Suresh's room at night after removing the panel of his room cooler.He also tried to instigate Suresh's wife against him by cooking up stories about illicit relations between Suresh & his young aunt.Now their relations deteriorated rapidly.Ritesh bacame notorious in the neighborhood too.

In order to pacify his wife Suresh bought a house in a larger city.His sisters had been married by now.His mother & brother also shifted with him and the problem persisted.His mother shielded Ritesh who was her youngest child.Suresh tried to marry him off so that he could be separated, but he refused to marry.

Naturally all this took a toll on his mental health-he was so agitated that he could not even recall his own phone number when i asked for it.He wanted to get on with his life but this problem would not let him concentrate on anything.

I expressed a desire to meet Ritesh but he said that he would never come over,nor would he go to a psychiatrist.So we discussed how best he could cope with the situation & then he left.I think he had already thrashed out all possible solutions and he had come to me only so that he could get a load of his chest.

I called up Suresh for a follow up after a few months.He told me that Ritesh had got into some bad company and he also began to associate with some tantriks. He died in a road accident about 45 days after Suresh had come to me.

Strange are the ways of some lives.A problem which seemed insurmountable was solved miraculously.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Curbing Crime

There is a never-before spurt in violence and crime in our society today.It is time we gave a thought to why this is happening.Can we reverse this trend?
Please join me in a discussion about this disturbing reality at:--

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tackeling Loneliness

We all know what loneliness can do to us--it can suck all joy out of life.Sometimes it becomes difficult to get over it, but it is not insurmountable.
To read further on the Speaking Tree please go to the following link:---

Monday, August 5, 2013

# Resilience

Remember the toy that,no matter which side you hit it from,stood up again?It had resilience in ample measure and who would not like to be blessed similarly?Because life will knock us down now & then and we cannot afford to keep lying there.But sometimes getting up again seems more difficult than reaching for the moon.Yet there are individuals who do just that when they are struck by misfortune.

Here i am reminded of a super star who incurred colossal debts & was forced into semi-retirement for five years. But he explored new avenues and is still raking the moolah even though he is nearing seventy years of age.

It is no doubt the quality of resilience which empowers a person to overcome all odds and stand up again.We all have it in varying measures but those who find themselves lacking can certainly take steps to increase it.Here are some tips:---

*When circumstances change drastically flexibility comes to rescue, therefore guard against rigidity.No matter how dear,attractive or promising a dream was;when it shatters a new one has to be dreamt. So go ahead and do it.

*Now that you have bid goodbye to the old and accepted the new scenario, it is necessary to make the required changes.Think deeply--what is the need of the hour,which options are open to you,what talents and resources you have, and then reinvent yourself.

*But wait!If a recent calamity has sapped your confidence then what hope do you have of re-establishing yourself?Build up a strong belief in your abilities.Think back to the occasions when you overcame adversity & crossed hurdles.Take baby steps in the new direction.Every small success will increase your confidence & soon you will realize that you are doing fine;and can take on bigger tasks.

*Confidence needs to be accompanied by optimism.Have faith that the outcome of this change will be good,that even though it is not exactly what you would have asked for;it could still have certain plus points;or at least this--that you will be able to manage whatever comes your way.Positive Thinking is an important constituent of success.

*Confidence & optimism can be put to action only when you have a realistic goal in front of you.Determine your short term & long term goals carefully.After you have deliberated over the pros & cons of your decision, chart out your game plan & spell out the steps to be taken in order of priority.

*Take decisive steps towards your goal.

*While you are doing this make full use of your resources.The best resource is strong supportive relationships, whether in family or outside.Relationships provide role models for guidance and also inculcate reassurance & enthusiasm through their loving trust.You can share your worries or fears,seek solutions & get feed-back regarding your efforts.

*It is not easy to overcome all upheavals.Certain tragedies like loss of limb or death or disease of a dear person, can result in long grieving periods.Reaching out to other similarly hit persons can be therapeutic when all else has failed.Many people who suffered a loss due to Cancer,H.I.V or some other fatal disease threw themselves into a cause for the welfare of others suffering from it and therein found a purpose for their lives. Samir Zaveri is one such hero.

*Religion or Spirituality can also help you tide over difficult times.The conviction that a supreme being will help you to overcome & take care of you, can be very empowering.It is a stabilizing force for those who are thus inclined.

*However, not everyone has such faith.Those who need external help in order to find solace can take the help of counselors.

*Adapting to challenging situations demands energy & equanimity.Take good care of your health in order to achieve this-eat well,sleep well & take up a physical routine of your choice to keep you supple & active.Above all,do not indulge in any form of substance abuse in a fit of depression.

*When a daunting reality stares you in the face it is natural to yearn for the old,comfortable set-up.But as you accept the change & view it with an open mind,you will soon realize that it has a brighter side too:-----
*For one,it will enable you to evolve & learn new tricks.
*You will sense greater confidence in your ability to weather a storm.
*Your resourcefulness will come to the fore& you will learn new problem solving skills.
*And lastly,you will also find out which are the ties you can depend upon.
Therefore, try to look for the silver lining in those ominous clouds.

Everything happens for a reason.When a traumatic event is viewed as only one part of the vast panorama of life it becomes more bearable.Docket it in it's proper place and remember:----
Sometimes Grace comes in the form of a punch in the face.
Mary Elder.
Image courtesy google.