By Faizan Bashir
We often hear the stories of those, who have suffered either psychologically, emotionally or physically to such an extent that life seems heavier than hefty mountains. Some of these unfortunate few may turn up with flying colors while others give up. However, instead of giving in to adversity and suffering, the right attitude and approach to both that the one who suffers won’t let anyone else suffer though. This is the essence of humanity and what being human means.
I have a personal odyssey or even tragedy to narrate that might illustrate the foregoing point.
The conflict in Kashmir took a toll on me and the lives of my family. The manifestation of this conflict rendered us homeless. Everything we had, got destroyed in what amounted to an inferno. We used to live as a joint household family. But after the life changing incident, everyone was in pain, weeping and screaming day in and day out over the irredeemable loss. We were left with no choice but to live in rented accommodation. One of my aunts occupied that piece of land on which used to stand our house, and gave us very little money for it( about 1 lakh rupees). But, this money had to be parceled out between my uncles. The paltry sum my family received got exhausted by daily expenses and we were on the verge of destitution.
But, this was not the end of our travails and trials.
As we were happily living yet in rented accommodation, one day, news broke out like the bolt from the blue that my mother had shuffled this mortal coil and left for her heavenly abode. I was mere two years old that day, unable to understand that whosoever lives has to, one day, pass onto another abode.
Now that my father was alone in this world, the question of taking care of his young children, including myself, was settled by us being taken care of by our aunts and relatives. My father, who never remarried, bore this with utmost equanimity, just for the sake of our happiness. So, suffering upon suffering, including the death of my mother, visited me and my family. But, what helped us pull through was faith in God and patience. I would cry often times and our reunions whenever these would happen would be days of great joy for me.
During the whole journey of my pain and tragedy, I was provided everything by my paternal aunt. But, despite her graciousness and generosity, my whole being was racked by paradoxes: On the one hand , I was trying to get happiness but , on the other I was dying inside.
However, it was patience that helped me cope up. I never gave vent to what I suffered, neither to my father nor my paternal aunt. I came to believe that with hardships comes an unwavering determination to do something for oneself and for the people. And, I have resolved not to allow others to suffer further, to the extent I can. The general lesson I have learnt is that, in life, ups and downs are bound to happen to everyone but it is hope that we must not lose. The particular flows from this wherein I now believe that each day I will turn out to be successful not only for myself but for the happiness of others.
—The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org