I was on the road and all I could think of was about my grandmother. I wanted to write about this for a long long time now and I feel I should now. Have never been able to pen what I wanted to and I worry I might never be able to, even today. Three years ago this time of the year my sister rang me and said our grandmothers health is failing and things are not looking good. As always my sister was resolute for myself and our family as she knows how fragile I have always been with respect to her to cope things. My grandmother had the best of her last times with Amelie who ran around holding the end of her cotton saree, calling out Jani-ammamma sing that song for me again. Amelie was lucky I felt and that imagery, of the frail old woman with so much of life left in her wrinkled face smiling and singing to little Amelie, was a breath of fresh air for all of us. We wanted it to last as much as we can for all the children to be born in our family. But we knew she was old and going to leave us not now but soon. She was taken ill on August 9th and was never the same after that. She was delirious, had dementia and pain, and to see her sink into an unknown person was unbearable and agony for everybody around. Me and my aunt spent few days with her in the hospital and she would be coherent sometimes and tell us about how much she wanted to die as now she feels she is not herself. But other times she told us about many other things from her past, freedom struggle, her life as a comrade and a teacher. And I could see how much I wasted my time not talking enough to her all those years, arguing and fighting with her as we both were quite stubborn, hurting her at times with digs and what not. I think among all the grand children the eldest one me had a difficult relationship with her with respect to temperament as we both very sensitive and stubborn and very much alike.
Depression is something many of us fight in our modern world, for some it is a losers life where you are not equipped to cope, but for many it is a disease people and loved ones have to support and live with. And in the modern world people do make it with love and support so please do hang on there and try harder and harder to go through the journey, the gift of life. I have been open about my depression and I have been on medication to fight it for almost a decade now. It is something you have to fight yourself and make life easier for loved ones around. It is also about being resolute. It is about living for yourself and others. It is about acknowledging you have a problem and confronting it and fixing it. My grandmother fought depression for many a years and lived a meaningful life serving the people. It can be done, to give up the gift of life would be giving up a fight which you can win. We can win this battle. We can win only by doing lot of things in life, rewarding your brain with the sense of living and being there for loved ones, participating in life, sacrificing our internal chaos to do things which are meaningful, be it a stroll in the wild, a dip in the pond, reading, writing, dancing, singing, cooking, whatever takes your interest but to actually do things than mere words and train your brain to be a happy person. Strength is only in living, for you and others, not in plans or dreams. Future is unpredictable so live in the present, take control of your emotions and life, and live a fruitful life for you and the loved ones and people who care.
Hang on there, you are not alone, you will find your support system within you and people around. Just hang on there without shame as this is just our brains not able to cope, and it can be done with effort and time. Just hang on there….
I will write about Ammamma more soon, but August 2013 was difficult, and Augusts are difficult. I miss Ammamma but she inspires me to live….and I hope all of you can find inspiration too.
Depression is not a joke or an escape, it is real, and only ourselves can manage it. So hang on there….